Posts Tagged ‘small steps’

MVP #058 – DISASTER! – Recovery When Everything Goes Wrong – Mark Phipps – Mocha Vegan Performance Podcast

Imagine the moment, your basketball team takes the court at another school. Wearing their bright blue uniforms smiling and excited for the game ahead. The first half is played aggressively with tons of energy. Your team is up almost twenty points at the half and spirits are extremely high. The other team is good, but your team is still in control of the game. In the second half, a series of events takes place that challenges all preparation and mental toughness. That’s the topic of this week’s conversation with Mark Phipps, age 12, regarding a recent basketball challenge never imagined.

Albert Einstein

“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.”

– Albert Einstein

@MochaVegan / Phipps Morning Green Smoothie
part 2 – the history of blending at my house

The other night I did an email post that showed screen shots from My Fitness Pal with the ingredients for my morning smoothie. The long evolution of my diet requires more writing before I break down the recipe.

It is a large jump from a Coke-and-a-slice-of-cold-pizza breakfast to having a green smoothie every morning and no longer drinking Coke or eating pizza. Pizza, by the way, was the largest barrier to being fully plant-based for me. It was the last to go and my daughter still gives me her crust 🙂 My point being there is a way to get there:

Take small steps

I saved for a long time to get my Blendtec. I had originally started with a Bella brand 2 cup capacity machine (similar in size to a nutri-bullet). I used it when I started trying to cook things or make sauces.

I used to get frustrated as I started tracking my food intake with as I would make something like a four-can chili – I will post a recipe for this – and it would have tons of sodium once I input all of the ingredients.

I started reading labels

I looked closer to discover that the canned tomatoes had enough salt for the whole recipe, so did the fresh salsa, so did the canned beans… No matter what I added from MY pantry, it was loaded with salt.

Slowly start to substitute

I visited a long neglected area of my Fry’s, the produce section. BTW, the only thing I ever bought from there was a bunch of bananas, when requested, or a bag of potatoes at Thanksgiving.

I found that the cheapest tomatoes were Roma at about 99 cents per pound so I used those.
I could fit 2-3 of them at a time in my Bella, run my little noise maker for thirty seconds, pour it in the pot and do it again several times depending on the size of my chili…it was still a little chunky as this machine was more of a high-speed mixer than blender.

Cook your own beans

Buying dried beans is really inexpensive. You can buy them in small bags at the grocery store or in bulk at a Sprouts or Whole Foods (I’ve never been to a Whole Foods). I never realized that beans were so tasty. So the big mystery around beans is that you have these little hard stones and in order to cook them, first soak them overnight. Then you boil and slow cook them on the stove. I love tasting them as they cook and then setting them on the window sill to cool (and continuing to taste them). I cooked them with almost no salt. I am determined that you can salt the product to taste.

Grind nuts for salad dressings

Though tasty, I would have to chew the dressing a little. It was a recurring theme of too small of a container and not powerful enough for the final blended product to be smooth.

Then I met the Vitamix lady at Costco

Picture me in love, googly-eyed, with the machine in her hands. I stood there and watched and sampled creation after creation with my kids. We stayed one night for 90 minutes while my food melted in the cart – until they turned out the lights.

I had a dream

$500 woke me up. Plus the extra pitcher and the better model – I was seriously looking at closer to $700. So I saved up until I had $500 and went into Costco ready to convert my gift cards for the machine of my dreams. Thirty minutes later, I walked away, empty-handed. I couldn’t do it. After a couple other visits I purchased a Ninja system for $119 on sale right before Christmas 2013. It had the small containers like my Bella, a huge blender and a wider bowl.

Sharp blades cut stuff

I get home with my thrifty purchase, which already had the blade in the pitcher, and rinsed it out in preparation for a test drive. When I dumped out the water the blade fell into the sink unexpectedly and I reached to catch whatever was falling and…SLICED MY THUMB OPEN. Now I was bleeding instead of blending…and that stunk. So I started with my Ninja for a few weeks and was able to make green smoothies, but they were more of a liquid salad. The blade system in the Ninja didn’t fully grind up the leaves of the kale or spinach to make it smooth.

After a few weeks my memories of the Vitamix and the urging of my friends that this was the best unit they’d every bought kept bugging me.

I went to a new Costco in early January and there she was, the same Vitamix demonstrator with my machine. I was three weeks into green smoothies now and knew MUCH more than I did the last time we’d been talking. I had her make what I made at home and it was AWESOME. So smooth, so tasty, my kids even drank it!

I decided it was time for the better machine

The next night I went to my Costco to buy the Vitamix. Ha, God sent me there because the Vitamix that I wanted was a demo only model and was at the other Costco 15 miles away. I realized this when I walked in with my son and my head hung low. But I went to see the shelf model. This is when I met the very-well-placed Blendtec lady on the end of the aisle where the blenders are shelved. She offered to make what I was interested in making with greens and fruit and almond milk and it was equally awesome. There wasn’t one of those push sticks, but the blades naturally drew the materials down to them.

She made me feel the blades

Not only don’t the blades come out, but they are not sharp. My engineer-style brain still has trouble understanding how that works, but it does. The red machine that now resides in my laundry room and gets used at least EVERY MORNING was only $300. I have the red model on the left.

World's Best Blender (Go check out their will it blend series on YouTube. Very funny!)

This started as a way to tell about the morning smoothie, but the history of the blending revolution at my house was a story I needed to share.


What type of things do YOU put into your favorite smoothie?

If you don’t make your own, what is your favorite smoothie or milkshake that people make for you?

Let me know what you like, I may have a recipe for that or a suggestion for making it a little better.

Thanks for tuning in!