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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

(Green) Monster Madness

What do you get when you combine spinach, a banana, a plum and milk in a blender? 

Yes, I've jumped on the Green Monster bandwagon after having bought and enjoyed green juice over the years. I'd never attempted to make it on my own -- can you believe that my family doesn't have a blender?! -- but friends have made them and the homemade kind are definitely superior to store-bought. Although I did get an amazing (wish I could remember the name of the brand now) bottle of organic, green juice at Sydney Airport that caused my Korean seatmate a little consternation. He gave me a half-concerned, half-repulsed look every time I raised the pea-colored concoction to my lips. 

Ah, well. 

After reading a ton of blogs talking how good (and foolproof) GM's are, I decided to give it a try with my newly-acquired blender.

The result? 

Delicious! I'll use a little less spinach next time (or add more fruit) as mine was a tad too spinach-y but otherwise, it was super-tasty and the perfect mid-afternoon snack. Really filled me up and gave me energy to teach two last-minute classes -- I was muy triste to be switched from proofreading all afternoon to teaching Geography. Give me proofreading over teaching any day!


As long as we're talking about greens, read this health column from Monday's Washington Post, which talks about the newest groundbreaking findings from the American Dietetic Association. 

The main idea is this: a vegetarian (or heavily vegetarian) diet is the healthiest option for people of all ages, adults and children, going contrary to previous beliefs that children need an omnivorous diet. 

The research paper accompanying the ADA's statement, written mostly for dietitians and health professionals, makes a good case for moving to such plant-based diets as the ovo-lacto vegetarian, incorporating eggs and dairy foods, and the pesco-vegetarian plan, which includes fish. The paper cites scientific evidence that these diets can help fight major diseases, such as Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and several kinds of cancer

Or, in the words of the amazing Michael Pollan, "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." 

Going vegetarian was a LOT easier than expected and I can honestly say, hand on heart, that I've never felt better. Tons of energy (seriously, I bound out of bed in the morning), better skin and a generally elevated mood (note that I say "generally," not "always," as the past couple of weeks might be evidence to the contrary...).

By the way, I'm not a true vegetarian and don't foresee becoming one -- at the moment, I'll eat fish and plan to eat organic, free-range meat occasionally once I'm back in the US. 

Manly Beach, Sydney: One of the best pieces of fish ever. The beachside setting didn't hurt, either. And a side of fries. My head said no but my stomach said yes. Always listen to your stomach -- it was delish!


Fantastic sign at Caribou Coffee, Sinchon: 

Calling it a paradise almost makes smoking sound appealing. But not. 

Wow, two "green" posts in as many days. Sorry, guys, I know this isn't exactly related to travel. But hey, it's my blog and I'll post what I want. Plus I am living in Korea, not just traveling, and the nitty-gritty of daily life are part of the experience. The more educated I become about food -- I feel like I learn something new every day -- the more I want to share with everyone else. Guess that's why I read so many food blogs

Two consecutive days off this weekend and even if it rains (highly likely) fun plans are already on the agenda for both days. Counting down...

11 weeks from TODAY I'm finished in Korea. My how a year flies!


  1. I've been reading about GMs for like months now...you think I'd be over my fear of them. But so far my smoothies have been strictly fruit based.

  2. Whoa, there's a Caribou Coffee in Korea???? I HAD NO IDEA! Maybe it's new. The very first Caribou Coffee I've ever seen was in DC a few months ago! Anyway, that smoothie actually looks really good. And your pasta with veggies..... yum!

  3. Okay, so I love your advice. Listen to your stomach. Indeed!