375. PBJ Smoothie [Vegan]

PBJ Smoothie | Vegan | Ann NIng Learning How

I didn’t tell CMD I was having trouble eating prior to Oregon. She took one look at my tongue and knew. So while I was resting on the table and letting the needles do their magic she compounded some hardcore herbs for me. I meekly took the Ziploc bag and thanked her for her efforts but made a mental note that it would be a miracle if I could get those herbs down my throat. I kid you not – there were great big chunks of stuff in there! They were like trees. And she was very up front with me that it was definitely going to taste bad, but it would help with the nausea.

She was puzzled by the non-improvement in my tongue a few days later and I had to tell her that I hadn’t taken the herbs. She tried to wheedle me into compliance for a few minutes but then when she left me in the room to get ready she said she was done trying to convince me and I was big enough to make my own decision. Side note: I’ll let you guess what I decided :).

Coach R asked me about my diet last week while he was stretching me out and I immediately tensed up, ready for combat. This kind of response is unnecessary with him, though – I’m just used to it from Trainer D. During my first session Trainer D lost no time in telling me that his wife J (code name: Mrs. Miyagi) is a respected dietician in our community. Great. Just great, I thought, and assiduously avoided the subject of food for the next two months.

I met Trainer D right when I was doing my full force Vegan Experiment and I immediately ascertained that he is an enthusiastic and vocal supporter of eating animal protein. Furthermore he provides consistently spirited philosophical opposition to my non-or-low consumption of animal products.

Click for vegan recipes!

Click for vegan recipes!


That’s why I avoided the topic with him for so long, but then he got it into his head that it was time to call in the big guns so he made me keep a food diary for a week, and roped J into a consultation. The contrast between what she wrote via email and what he delivered verbally was hysterically funny to me, but that’s another story for another time. The bottom line is that while I have no qualms about arguing with Trainer D, I immediately waved the white flag of surrender when the well-credentialed Mrs. Miyagi entered the scene.

I could have dealt with you by yourself, I told Trainer D, but noooooooo – you had to bring J into this. 🙂. FYI she is now Team Tanimal’s Dietician. Trainer D is in charge of the fight song.

So now, after prolonged debate, I ingest a lot of protein powder. It’s a vegan kind that the Miyagis are comfortable with in terms of amino acid profile. When the eating situation really deteriorated prior to OR I began to rely heavily on it. This is not a recommended course of action. Tanpo was two shakes away from inserting a new PEG (feeding tube) himself, and Mommy only tolerated it bc she knew I was trying to eat but honestly couldn’t. Even Trainer D didn’t fuss with me when he found out I was having trouble.

But now I’m really trying hard to get back into the swing of things. I told Ai Ai a few weeks ago, Hey, Boo Boo – I think I feel mo’ betta when I eat more food. She gave me the dirtiest look – you know, with squinty eyes over her glasses. She was like, Mmm hmm. I need you to not say that in front of our father when we go home.

I was doing great, and practicing my kitchen mobility skills – her family likes my food!! – but the last week has been tougher. I think it was the unanticipated stress of coming home and seeing the things the moving company delivered from my storage garage in OR. We didn’t bring home a lot, but it’s been enough to throw me off track.

So I’m still busy building my protein shake repertoire. I often like to add a ¼ cup of hemp hearts to my breakfast shake. I’ve seen sources state that hemp hearts are a complete protein, and others state that they are “almost” complete. From what I can gather (sorry I don’t have citations for you) hemp hearts do contain great Omegas plus all of the essential amino acids (the ones your body can’t make on its own), but not in the ideal ratios for protein “completeness.” Specifically, I read somewhere that hemp hearts don’t have enough lysine in them. So if I’m only using hemp and no protein powder I’ll dump some frozen peas in there bc peas are high in lysine and call it a day. I love using frozen fruits and especially veggies in my smoothies instead of ice bc you get a frozen texture plus nutritional value without the added bulk of ice. Here’s a favorite:


PBJ Smoothie [Vegan]

serves 1

10 oz almond milk

½ cup frozen blueberries

1 scoop vegan protein powder – plain or vanilla

1 heaping Tbsp PB2 or peanut flour

dash of cinnamon (optional)

3 frozen strawberries (optional)

¼ cup hemp hearts (optional)



275. Creamy Green Apple Smoothie [Dairy Free]

Creamy Green Apple Smoothie|Dairy Free 10 g Protein | Ann Ning Learning How

Mommy picked up a big bag of hemp seeds for me one day at Costco since she heard they might be good for me. And they are – they are a good way for me to get some non-dairy protein without protein powder (I prefer the taste of whey protein powders anyway, but I’m trying to abstain overall). My brand has 10 grams of protein per 3 Tbsp serving. I went through a hemp-milk making phase recently. Yeah. That didn’t work out so well. Technically, the seeds blend up to a lovely rich white milky state, but I just don’t like the taste. I have never tasted the kind of hemp milk you buy in the store, though – that might be delicious, but my homemade variety didn’t tickle my fancy. This smoothie, however, is dominated by the taste of fresh green apple, and I LOVE green apple juice. There are juice bars at almost every food court in Singapore and Malaysia, and although there were piles of gorgeous tropical fruits I’d always order the classic green apple – it’s that tasty. And one of the benefits of the Vitamix (and whole-fruit juicers) is that it pulverizes what you put in it so you get to enjoy all the nutrition/fiber of the whole fruit or vegetable – not just the juice. And the hemp adds a nice creaminess. Don’t be afraid of the hemp. Just do it.

More smoothies with protein without powder: click here.


173.  "I'm Getting Healthy" Smoothies

173. “I’m Getting Healthy” Smoothies

173. “I’m Getting Healthy” Smoothies


I should probably be lying down.  But I don’t want to, so THERE. Mwa hahahahaha (maniacal laughter)!  This is the story of my recovery – there are so many things I want to do (mostly exercising and writing) but I can’t because I keep falling asleep.  I’ve tried the “I’m just gonna muscle through this” attitude, but it doesn’t work for me.  I used to be able to do it pre-AVM, but now I pay for it either immediately (e.g. by falling) or later (e.g. a 20 minute nap that morphs into a 3-hour siesta).  So I’ve got all kinds of ideas running around in my head, lots of healthy ingredients for my recipe experiments and several pieces of exercise equipment that I desperately want to take action on, but I can’t – I have to go take a nap now.  Boo hoo.  Poor me, poor me.  This is the part when I stop complaining and am thankful that I have the time and place to nap when I need to.

Okay, I’m all done complaining.  And I really will lie down after this, I promise.  But I’m just going to share a recipe before I go back to bed (It’s Saturday afternoon, but this will post Monday).  I am on antibiotics for the infection that’s got me down lately, and Tanpo has reminded me to make sure I eat some yogurt.  So it’s “I have a cold” smoothie time!!

I had a couple of serious infections as an inpatient (I was only awake for one of them), and a kind friend (a doctor, or nutritionist) emailed Dad to make sure I was ingesting yogurt while on my course of high-octane antibiotics.  My parents checked and yogurt was already being fed into my food tube (and later served on my tray).  I think this is the reasoning:  You eat yogurt to replenish the good bacteria in your intestine that might have gotten squashed (along with the bad bacteria that’s making you sick) by your antibiotics.

So I dutifully blended up an “I have a cold” smoothie this morning and informed Tanpo it had ½ c yogurt, carrots and strawberries in it.  He declined to sample my creation, although I also informed him that carrots and strawberries are good for you.  That is the extent of the health claims I am making for my smoothie.  This is not a magical healing elixir.  It just has yogurt in it bc I’m on antibiotics, and the healthfulness of carrots and strawberries is (I think) undebated.   Side note:  I know I’ve told you I ❤ my Vitamix before, but let me tell you again that it was so worth it.  Yes, it was an $ investment, but it allows me to do a lot of things in the kitchen since its so powerful and does a lot of work for me.  I can clean it (just add water and soap and blend) most of the time by myself, and it makes smoothies effortless.  And smoothies are just the beginning.  So I’m thankful I took the plunge and got one – if you’re thinking, “Should I buy a Vitamix?”, save your pennies and do it!  [End of personal endorsement.  I promise I am not affiliated with the company in any way – I’m just a happy consumer.]

“I have a cold” Smoothie

5 strawberries

½ c frozen carrots

¾ c milk of choice (I like unsweetened vanilla almond)

½ c plain Greek yogurt

splash of vanilla

Blend it up and enjoy!  This makes a big smoothie – I used my BIG smoothie cup.  I’m not sure how many ounces it contains but I purposely put the tissue box in the picture so you could gauge the size.  Sometimes I like really big smoothies, and now is one of those times.  I don’t have much of an appetite presently, but the strawberries and carrots were refreshing and easy to sip.

P.S. The strawberry flavor is dominant – I didn’t really notice the carrots.

P.P.S. I need a place to park my other “I’m getting healthy” smoothie recipes, so I’m going to do that here.   My smoothies thus far do NOT contain protein powder – I’ve preferred not to buy another product and just relied on the plain Greek yogurt we get from Costco (11-12 g Protein per ½ cup).  Although I love GY, it does add bulk, and sometimes I don’t want a HUGE smoothie.  (Sometimes I do, though, but not all the time).  I’ve tried protein powder in the past and I’ll try it again and see what happens.  Note that I’m calling these “I’m getting healthy” smoothies, not just “healthy smoothies.”  You generally generate more interest by making bold claims for your food, e.g. “Best ever!”  “Extreme Weight Loss!”  but I’m not into that at the moment.  I generally look at my food and ask myself if I’d be willing to put those ingredients singly in my body.  If the answer is “yes,” the recipe passes the test.

Find me and my smoothies on Pinterest

I'm Getting Healthy Smoothies for Pinterest || Ann Ning Learning How

The Protein Powder smoothies are from Dashing Dish.  The rest are mine.  When my protein powder arrives from Amazon I’ll park new recipes here.

more smoothie fun:

Apple Pie Smoothie || Ann Ning Learning How

Peach Carrot Smoothie || Ann Ning Learning How

Strawberry Coconut Smoothie || Ann Ning Learning How