Monday, November 5, 2012

The Power of a Green Monster

Now I know what you are all thinking, it is after Halloween, why are you talking about monsters? However, the green monster I'm talking about is not THAT kind of monster. In fact, it is a smoothie. Now you are probably wondering why I would be talking about a smoothie on my teaching blog, but read on!

As some of you probably know, I teach Kindergarten - 5th grade in two school districts. I teach four mornings a week at one school and five afternoons a week at the other school. My travel time normally cuts into my lunch hour. By the time I get from point A to point B I usually have 15-20 minutes to prepare for class AND eat. I'm sure some of you face this same problem and wonder what the solution could be. You could skip eating lunch all together, but at least for me I am completely drained of energy when I do that. Plus, I am starving as soon as school is done and all I can think about is getting home and stuffing my face. (NOT exactly the healthiest option...)

So, here is my solution... A Green Monster (read more about this revolution here...). If you haven't heard of them, they are smoothies that use spinach as a main ingredient. That is what makes them green. It may look gross to some or freak some people out, but I for one love spinach. Plus, anyone who has drank a green monster can attest to the fact that they taste NOTHING like spinach.

Still skeptical?

I began researching Green Monsters back in September. I found out how many vitamins they are packed with and how many people said they were very filling. So, I began to go to work. I created many different flavors, created a whole pin board on pinterest, and just started experimenting. I decided to make one for each day of the week and freeze them at the beginning of the week. During my rush to get going I would grab my drink from the freezer and go to work. After finishing teaching in the morning I would hop in my car and drink my green smoothie on the way to my other school. (Or sometimes I drank it at school or while I was teaching) I noticed after a couple days of doing this, I did not feel super hungry after school each day. I also did not feel as drained and tired.

About two weeks ago, I did not make my green smoothie drinks for the week. Instead, I fell back into some of my bad habits of skipping lunch or eating junk. By Wednesday or Thursday I noticed myself really dragging. I could NOT figure out what was wrong with me. Then it hit me! My green monster drinks really do give me a lot of extra NATURAL energy. So, I returned to making my green monster drinks as my lunch.

It is so important for us as teachers to stay energized throughout the day. How many of us feel exhausted after a long day of teaching? Imagine what an extra dose of vitamins, nutrients, fiber, and natural sugars could do for you! I seriously recommend you give them a try. They really are yummy!

Here is my favorite combination, so far:
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1/3 cup greek yogurt (for protein!)
  • 1 T flax seed or wheat germ or both (this is just added protein and fiber)
  • 1 Handful of frozen pineapple (I actually freeze pineapple juice in an ice cube tray and then I put the whole ice cube tray of pineapple juice in my blender)
  • 2 Handfuls of spinach
  • 1 ripe banana (I normally freeze mine, but it doesn't really matter!)

Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend! Comes out to taste like a tropical smoothie, YUM!


  1. Thank-you for posting! I used o go between two schools and luckily now I am at one. Oddly enough though, I eat worse now than before! I have been drinking no name meal replacement smoothies so that I get at least something in me. I like your option better though. Do you just keep it in the fridge when you get to school? Store them in mason jars like in your pic?

    1. I normally freeze them in to-go coffee mugs on Sunday night and then leave them in my car while I teach at my first school. Since it is frozen, I don't really think it is a big deal to just sit in my car.

      If I were working at one school I would probably just refrigerate them (they will stay good all week) and then put them in the fridge at school until lunch time.

      I have actually thought about doing that, but I'm always afraid that I'll forget it in the lunch room at school one and then end up not having lunch that day. :( Keeping it in my car makes it a sure thing that I'll have it.

  2. Hi Brittany! I can't believe I hadn't happened across your blog before. I have been horrible about eating healthfully at work. We have 25 minutes for lunch but by the time I dismiss the class, run to the bathroom, set up for the next group and check my email the next class is bangin' on my door.

    I finally had to say enough! My weight had gotten to a point I was, oh so not happy about, so over the last couple of weeks I found a couple of great oatmeal recipes via Pinterest. I'm at one school, so I can pop it in my microwave and have it ready in a minute. Such a healthier homemade option and it keeps me satisfied so that I'm not stuffing my face as soon as I get home.

    We music teachers really need to take better care of ourselves. Thanks for sharing this healthy lunch option! :)

    1. I agree. I have talked to so many music teachers with the same issue. We are normally expected to do so much and sometimes there is just not enough time in the day to eat.