The Great Green Smackdown – Part One

Over the weekend, a short stop at a little vitamin shop somehow turned into a half-hour discussion with the manager about my beloved Pond Sludge (aka Green Monsters).

You know you’re in a happy place when you can profess your undying love for icy green mush to a perfect stranger and not only are they not grossed out, but they play mad chef with you 🙂 After some intense scheming over flavor combos (coffee and nutella seems incredibly promising!), the manager helped me pick out samples of three new green mix-ins to boost up my smoothies. (I paid, for the record, so there’s no freebie bias!)

I never was one for high school science fairs, but this is one experiment I’m psyched to start. I’m thinking it could redeem several years worth of bombed projects (on the off chance that any of my old teachers happen to be reading, feel free to adjust my report card…never mind that it’s easily eight years later…)

I picked a neutral, classic formula for the shakes: a banana, almond milk, spinach, almond milk, wheat germ, and ice. The first contender to kick off the experiment is Kyo*Green.

Kyogreen includes six major listed ingredients: Barley grass powder, cooked brown rice, wheat grass powder, chlorella, kelp, and FOS (fructo-oligosaccharides, which are a sweet, soluble prebiotics). It also includes potato starch, vitamin C, B-Carotene, licorice extract, and guar gum. One 2.5 gram serving is the nutritional equivalent of one serving of veggies.

The product is free of preservatives, yeast, gluten, milk, artificial colors, and artificial flavors. After some additional research, however, I found that as a food additive, FOS is a semi-refined additive. These microbes are found in certain foods such as Jerusalem artichokes and garlic, yet they are indigestible and remain for a period of time in the body, where they promote fermentation of the good bacteria involved in digestive tract health.

I was impressed at how tasteless KyoGreen proved to be – seriously indetectible! It blended in very smoothly to boot. The greens added a mild herbal smell – much like echinacea – but it wasn’t overpowering in the slightest. The only hangup I foresee is the FOS – I’m not quite sure where I stand on that ingredient yet.

In other, non-green news, Angela recently mentioned positivity breeding more energy. I started considering the flip side of that; negativity – especially when it comes from within – is incredibly draining, and it effectively saps us of the mojo we work so hard to come by.

Here’s a hypothetical. A date comes to pick you up for the evening, and when you open the door, he gives you the once-over. He opens his mouth, and the words that come out are almost too bitter to choke down. “You’re looking awfully chubby in that dress. You should probably skip out on our dinner reservation tonight.”

How quickly would you slam the door in his face (or more likely, inflict some sort of gratuitous bodily harm)?

What if it came from a friend or a family member’s mouth?

A comment like that would irrevocably mar a relationship, if not end it entirely. That just ain’t gonna fly with me. If we wouldn’t tolerate these words from others, why do we continue to entertain them when they come from our own psyches?

Women are notoriously critical in general, and doubly so of ourselves. We’re trained to commiserate over self-deprication. Prime example: Mean Girls (ultimate scholarly source and psychological study that it is). These gorgeous girls attack their pore size, noses, and figures, then look expectantly to the others to join in. Self-critiques have become a bonding ritual.

We routinely cut ourselves down and brood on the negativity. A single lousy concept can manifest itself in our heads and catch on replay. Fat. Out of shape. Unsuccessful. Undesirable. Underacheiver. Slow. Stupid. These thoughts couldn’t be farther from the truth – and we know it – yet we let them take root and take over.

This brand of pessimism saps energy like no other. Who feels productive after a verbal beatdown? What kind of motivation could possibly come from counting our flaws? Last time I checked, it was blessings we were supposed to be counting – not flaws, not failures, and not calories. I’m all for self-improvement, but once the mentality turns from constructive to destructive, it’s time to draw the line. We have so many other things demanding our focus; it’s time to make the promise not to let negativity take up any more space in our attention spans.

Come clean: What negative messages are you guilty of entertaining, and how have you (or could you) made it into a positive source of encouragement or inspiration? What messages are you struggling with? I’m planning to feature some key turn-arounds in a future post and I’d love to know how you’ve given negativity the boot. You’re more than welcome to comment anonymously, but be sure to leave linkback information if you’d like to be quoted!

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6 Comments on “The Great Green Smackdown – Part One”

  1. Danielle says:

    I totally agree- women are way too critical of themselves! Sometimes it can be constructive, but most of the time it’s just plain negative & unnecessary. I’m a perfectionist so if I mess up, I get a little anxiety –> “Ugh, why’d you do that? That was dumb.” But I’m learning to loosen up & say “it’s OK”

  2. Great post Faith! You really hit it on the head. My day to day negative is about a pimple. Like if one pimple shows up I obsess over it. No one cares about it but me.

  3. Katie says:

    Your sludgy drink looks yummy! Mine always turn out brownish/green like that, but taste fantastic.

    I know I am way to critical of myself. I have been for as long as I can remember…and it’s a vicious cycle. I get angry with the way I look, and then I get angry because I’m being so negative and I can’t stop the cycle. My husband often has to snap me out of it by reminding me that I put in so much effort to be nice and friendly to OTHER PEOPLE (family members, co-workers, random encounters at the grocery store), and I should extend myself the same courtesy. Why are we so mean to ourselves???!

  4. Kristie says:

    We really ARE hugely critical of ourselves, way too much so. Way more than anyone else ever would be of us. We’re our own worst enemies and yet that’s completely ridiculous. I’m more than guilty of beating myself down, criticizing myself, or not feeling “good enough”.. but to what standards? Ones I’ve set myself that are often way too high… and completely unrealistic! I’ve become much better at snapping myself out of these attitudes though. I definitely still have my blah days but forcing yourself to change your thought processes and really think to the positive (even if you don’t believe it at first… fake it til you make it!) makes a huge difference. As does reading articles and posts like this one. They never fail to help me put things into perspective and see how ridiculous I’m really being 🙂

  5. Barb Hall says:

    I find taking the wheatgrass with the roots is best for me. It is 100% wheatgrass with nothing added. Wheatgrass is “The King of Alkaline Foods”, so why would you add anything to wheatgrass? If you want to alkalize your body, take the most alkaline food available (100% wheatgrass). With the roots the taste is more like a “green tea”, you can’t beat that. Check out this review and video: http://eathealthybehappy.blogspot.com/2010/04/wheatgrass-benefits-product-review-and.htm
    Try a free sample, simply go to http://www.BestOrganicWheatgrass.com and fill out the form on the home page. Let me know what you think!

  6. I haven’t really noticed this until recently but I hate how negative women’s health magazines can be. I also hate the mixed messages they send between the ad’s and some of the articles. Great post!


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