Recipe: Apple, Kale & Hemp Seed Green Smoothie

Easy, clean eating to fuel your body.

Don’t major in minor things.

~ Author Unknown

Okay, I admit it. Sometimes I am a mess.

And no, I don’t mean in the kitchen (but I am that too and I LOVE it).

I mean, I worry. I try to worry (just a little) less at times, but catch me at a bad time late at night and it’s game over.

I worry about my schedule, or I worry that the kids won’t have the strength they need to stand up to a mean kid at school. I worry about the tall tree in the neighbor’s yard that might fall on the house in a windstorm, and I worry that I could get sick with some scary awful disease and leave my kids and my husband all alone (completely unwillingly of course).

Now please don’t get scared, I am not going somewhere dark or deep here.

I’m just saying, I think it’s in us all to worry, right? And we should be responsible, and do our diligence by living healthily and reducing our reasons to worry needlessly.

Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things happen. Don’t be afraid.

~ Frederick Buechner

So cue the checklist to healthy living.

Eat well (check). Live well (check). Exercise (check). Laugh (check). Give thanks (major check) Give yourself regular breast exams.


Am I the only one that is (so far) dangerously lax in this department?

This week I decided to take action on that front & was quite terrified when I actually found something. It was indeed a painful lump in my armpit (SO tender!).

It was late at night at the time of this discovery, time for bed. After my discovery and the inevitable irrationality of thoughts that followed, a little visit to the Mr. Internet SelfΒ  Diagnosis department, and more irrationality (there may have been tears & attempts to hide them from the husband), I finally fell asleep.

Like I said, I am a mess sometimes. But aren’t we all? (And it WAS late).

The miracle is not to fly in the air, or to walk on the water, but to walk on the earth.

~ Chinese Proverb

Waking up that morning I vowed to be better. To check more often, and to visit the doctor more often. After all, I am in the prime age for this kind of stuff, and statistics show 1 in 8 of us will be diagnosed with breast cancer during our lifetime.

Shira you owe it to your family to do a better job (check).

After several hours of worry that morning, trying to work but only really thinking of my sore armpit (it was really really sore), and (maybe) a call to work announcing that I’d found a scary evil worrisome lump (in my pit), I managed to see the doctor in the clinic.

Even waiting there in that room (evidently the very same room almost 10 years ago that I learned I was pregnant the second time), I was a mess. Biting back tears, I explained my case.

I told the lovely doctor about the discovery, and about how I’d rubbed that lump extra hard to see just what kind of lump it was. I told her it really hurt (it really did).

When she didn’t seem to look worried, I started to (maybe) feel like it wasn’t going to be so bad.

Then when she asked me to take my shirt off and started poking around under my arm, I pretty much realized it was going to be okay.

The Less:

Less worry and more action means you can spend energy on real matters. Less avoidance of important issues means more facing things head on. Fewer reasons to fret needlessly means more calm in your center, so making room for thoughts that are fruitful comes easy.

The More:

More action on health issues means fewer reasons to lose sleep. More calm, confident feelings means more rational sound thinking. More healthy food and healthy thoughts means more wholeness and good, wholesome living. So the need to worry can go out with the compost.

Apple, Kale & Hemp Seed Green Smoothie:

  • (1) organic apple, seeded and chopped
  • (1/2 – 1) avocado
  • (1-1.5) cups mango juice, (or apple juice if you don’t have access to mango)
  • (1) tbsp hemp hearts
  • (3-4) leaves green kale
  • (3-4) ice cubes, if desired

Blend all to a creamy consistency and enjoy immediately for full health benefits. Don’t worry though if you do need to blend it and enjoy it will still be good for you (but maybe not if you worry too much about it) πŸ˜‰

This makes a generous amount that can easily feed 2-3 hungry people, but if you are at all like me, this could be just for one worry-free wonder woman (or man) as well. I often use this as my main daily sustenance until late afternoon, which means I have no problem enjoying the full recipe over the course of the morning.

Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.

~ Dr. Seuss

Turns out, I managed to strain a muscle in my armpit. I learned from the very nice doctor lady that there aren’t any nodes in there, but there are a lot of tendons (apparently ones that don’t like being pressured frenetically late at night).

I’d rubbed the heck out of that node the night I discovered it and caused myself a whole lot of pain for no other reason but to give myself a little wake up call.

I’m glad it was all okay.

And I don’t wish for the day when it isn’t. For anyone out there that has had a scare, or (heaven forbid) has been through cancer, I was reminded this week of how lucky we all are to have our health.

Only a few things are really important.Β 

~ Marie Dressler

How can something bother you if you won’t let it?

~ Terri Guillemets

I don’t know how I strained my armpit, and it doesn’t really matter, the point is, I am going to be okay (it’s all healed now too so that’s good). For now, at least, and that is worth celebrating, and protecting, every day.

And I hope you are too.

So don’t delay on giving yourself some well-intentioned attention. Check yourself regularly, and eat well. Go to the doctor for check ups, and try not to worry (I think it comes with the Motherhood territory and having a majorly over-active imagination).

Surround yourself with friends that care about you.

And treat yourself to a green smoothie. Just be careful not to strain any muscles while tearing up your kale πŸ™‚

That’s for you, JY and MN πŸ˜‰ Love.

Yours in Less,


Filed under Cooking, Gluten Free, Raw, Recipes, Rejuvenation, Rich & Simple, Snacks, Sweet Treats, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

62 responses to “Recipe: Apple, Kale & Hemp Seed Green Smoothie

  1. Alexia @ NamasteYoga

    give yourself regular breast exams? lol… that point definitely hasnt been on MY check list so far- but maybe a new important one to include! amazing superfood smoothie- i could definitely have it on my own too- there is something about not thinking about portion size and calories when drinking/eating a smoothie, but focusing on all the good stuff you are inhaling! mhmm…

    • Agreed Alexia! They say most cancers are treatable in stage one and if we did a better job at early detection we could (maybe) reduce the rates of the disease – at any rate…nothing wrong with giving it a go πŸ˜‰ It’s not been on my list all that often either!

  2. I can’t imagine you being a mess, Shira! Surely not?! Looks like guac – which is a good thing.

  3. This looks delish, but where do you get hemp hearts? I’m in social.

  4. Worry and the night are comfortable bunk-mates … we’ve got to separate those two! What a dreamy shade of green this is! And how good it sounds! What I’d like you to go to work on (if it isn’t be too much to ask) is a smoothie that helps us sleep long and worry-free through the night. in the meantime I’m thinking maybe a little Don’t worry…’bout a thing…cuz every little thing…is gonna be all right! (sing it with me now!) πŸ™‚

    • I’m humming the tune Spree….a perfect anthem to start the week. I thought this was such a classic moment of irrational night time behavior (I love to look back on the things and laugh a little – sometimes a LOT)….I’ll get right to it Spree! Got to fix those night time jitters..XOX πŸ™‚

  5. I actually have some avocados in my fridge right now!! I totally want to try this! It sounds delicious πŸ™‚

  6. Liz

    I have that song (3 little birds) as my phone ringtone and sometimes play it when I get all het up about something :)! I agree, the fear goblins tend to roam freely at night. I keep a stanza of a favorite hymn on my nightstand – praying those words and hearing the music in my head calms me.

    I’m 57 and over the years have had some incredible (challenging but oh, so good in the end) lessons in letting go of fear and worry. I am a self employed independent consultant (computer programmer) – I know about 60 days out what my cash flow is. It taught me some time ago (I’ve been doing this for 27 years) about “the wisdom of insecurity” (that is a book title, author Alan Watt – I HIGHLY recommend!). I’ve lost loved ones to cancer and through those experiences learned to appreciate each moment (mostly) because you just don’t know. The truth is there is not a whole lot that we can control. We can control how we react and how we spend our time, taking the best care of ourselves and those we love that we can…I think that’s what you are working on with this blog and your choices.


    • Fabulous words Liz – and totally agree with you on all counts! Appreciating the moment is key as is realizing that things are out of our control. I’d love to look into that book, sounds like a great read – thank you!
      Onward! Wishing you a wonderful week! πŸ™‚ XO

  7. I’m so relieved to have reached the last part of your post… don’t do this – Phew! Actually, to think of it… thanks for doing this – we always think that these things happen to others. I attended a Pink Masterchef class where the Chef was a lady and she cooked up everything in Pink. I have been wanting to do the post but am waiting for October to be over… a reminder of something so important after everybody has stopped doing the usual rounds of discussion.

    I haven’t tried – Kale, Hemp Seed before – but as always your recipes are do-able and oozes of freshness. Shira, I’m so happy that you are safe. Love:)

    • Thanks Ishita! All is well indeed! I have to laugh at myself as I think I am with thousands of other women out is good to remind us not to take our health for granted – ever!
      This is a regular staple in my diet Ishita – you will love it! I am happy I am safe too πŸ™‚ Love!

  8. Oh wow, I’m glad you’re ok! (I’m a big worrier too…) I love that your blog isn’t just full of wonderful recipes, but also many wise words.

    • Thanks Allison! I figure it’s fun to have ‘something to chew on’ – in addition to recipes and food chatter – always happy to know is of some use (even if just for amusement) πŸ˜‰ Dying to hear when you make sprouts!

  9. I had this scare last year, except when I went to the dr. to check it out, he looked worried and sent me for a breast ultrasound. The techs that did the ultrasound said terrible things like, “oh my, look at that lump, you can see it even without the machine.” All the while I’m terrified and vulnerable with my top off. The radiologist finally came in to do his evaluation and I was prepared for the worst, he gently told me I had several benign cysts and that i would likely have them for life and that they don’t know what causes them. All gone now that I’m eating plant based, which brings me to this incredible smoothie, thank goodness I have an avocado waiting for me in my pantry!

    So glad you are okay too Shira and that you only strained your armpit! (Sorry, had to laugh)! Bless you for eating good so that you are less at risk and for encouraging others to do the exam. You may save a life today. xx

    • Oh my! I had no idea Somer – that is quite a story (and a scare too) – so happy to hear it ended up being harmless..and of course in awe at the love your body has shown you since making the change in your diet – your story continues to amaze and inspire πŸ™‚ It is amazing how many times I hear that early detection is the key when it comes to this it’s time I got on it!
      I have to laugh at this story as it is all true but almost too funny. The ‘is your armpit going to be okay?’ texts were rather priceless πŸ˜‰ Laugh away..that’s why I wrote it! XOX

      • Super scary, but good ending. My sister in law had stage 4 breast cancer and ended up having a double mastectomy. I stayed with their family for a week after the surgery to help with meals and the kids. I’ll never forget how devastating that and the cancer treatments that followed were to her health, sanity and their financial situation. Thank goodness she’s a survivor, but others aren’t so lucky. Super important to be talking about this and not ignoring it. She detected something months before, but wrote it off as nothing and didn’t go in. I think many women aren’t as aware as they need to be. Healthy eating is a huge part of cancer prevention as well. Lets keep these flags raised! xx

      • The flag is raised Somer – and my heart goes out to your sister in law (not fun at all) – thanks for sharing that, talking about this stuff makes us all more aware! Are you all ready for tomorrow nights post? πŸ˜‰

      • Missed this, and I was writing it at the 11th hour, seriously served that brie on halloween night. I had it planned for weeks in advance but couldn’t find fresh cranberries in the store until 2 days before the potluck. Madness!!! Glad it’s behind me and that it worked out. Stressfull! Next time I won’t be so stubborn and I’ll have a plan B!

      • So many hearts in response to this…I just love your

  10. What a terrible scare! I’m so glad it turned out to be a harmless strain, though of course, that isn’t fun, either. I’m rotten about the self exam – – tho’ I (ahem) fib and tell my ob/gyn that I check regularly. So see, I’m bad on both fronts: exam AND lying! Argh! I need me a green smoothie to make it all right again :-).

  11. The fear of something being wrong can be worse than the actual problem. I’m glad you are okay. My heart sank a little bit when I first began reading but I was relieved and my spirits lifted as I continued through the post. I haven’t had this situation but I had a painful lump in my leg when I was pregnant and had to go to several doctors. Thankfully it was just a “fatty cyst” and went away shortly after.

    • Good to hear yours was okay too! You are so right that the fear and worry is often worse than the actual problem – very well said Holly!! No need to worry (thank you so much!) .. all is well thankfully and I just couldn’t resist sharing what I imagine happens to many of us! Now we just have to stay on top of things! Love! xx

  12. I am so glad you went to get this checked, you NEVER know!! Thank god it wasn’t anything serious. I worry all too much at times and really need to relax more! Life is too short to spend everyday with worry!

    Naturally you solved the day by making this delicious smoothie! It looks so creamy and so deliciously green!

    • I know right Britt? Another friend told me to never feel dumb when going to the doctor for anything – though I tend to agree it’s WAY better to safe than sorry! XX Thanks for your sweet thoughts!!

  13. Pingback: Chai spiced cinnamon rolls – because ‘beautiful and terrible things happen’ | Les DΓ©lices de Fleur

  14. Shira, my friend – I know exactly what you mean. Worry (and its best friend, stress) is a common issue in many of our lives these days. Unfairly, these are also things that can cause illness. Life can be a bitch! This year my personal mission has been to try and decrease my worrying – through living more mindfully, starting yoga (woohoo!) and eating ‘cleaner’. I feel ‘clearer’, but otherwise haven’t yet noticed an appreciable difference… Ah well!

    I am happy you went straight to the clinic and that the news was great.

    Off to find me some hemp hearts…

    With hugs from your fellow worrier (or, should that be warrior?) πŸ™‚

    • Hemp hearts, they are amazing J for making you feel like a ‘warrior!’ – I love that you picked up on that πŸ˜‰ Brilliant woman you are!
      I applaud you for taking those steps and whether or not you feel like a whole new woman or not (because we wouldn’t want that!) I think those little changes can add up to a lot over time! You are on the right track and that is so good!
      I am fine, but I do laugh at myself at times – turns out it’s good to check in on yourself here and there. Other than that, there’s not a whole lot we can do except smile & whether the storm πŸ™‚ XO Hugs back to YOU!

  15. Shira–I’m so happy you’re okay, well, at least your arm pit is okay. My mom died of cancer, so I’m always on high alert when anything feels off with my body. Your honest, vulnerable posts always remind me that we are works in progress in this life. Your story made me think of that song Beautiful Disaster, “She’s just the way she is. But no one’s told her that’s OK.” Thank you for sharing.

    • Thanks Bob! The armpit is going to be alright – I swear I am the only one who would strain my pit doing something benign like planting tulips (lol)! We are indeed works in progress…imagine if we could have seen the worlds most impressive masterpieces as they were painted….*sigh* – it’s a beautiful thing! I love that verse, very beautiful, thank YOU for sharing! XO

  16. I’m so glad you are okay and everything worked out in the end! It is those kind of wake-up calls that remind us how precious life is and how quickly things can change! So happy that it was not something more serious πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Maura! I am too and I appreciate your kind words – it;s good to get shaken up a little sometimes πŸ™‚ Reminds us all to take it all in..have a great week! XO

  17. Why is it that we find things to worry about when it’s late at night and we can’t do anything about it? I’m happy to hear that it was ok in the end. I’m still working my way up to a green smoothie. I may get there someday. πŸ™‚

    • I know, right? Those are the worst too is it is almost impossible to distract ourselves too..thanks!
      You will get there, and when you do please let me know! I was just thinking about your foot rub to make a list! Thanks Heidi! πŸ™‚

    • Oh Heidi, do try a green smoothie, start with spinach (it’s milder than kale) just a little bit of green with a lot of fruit, I swear you won’t even be able to taste the spinach. As you go on, you add more and more greens. I’m to the point where I do more greens then fruit. My kids love it too, even my 4 year old. We start out every morning with a green smoothie!

      • I’d be more tempted to have a fruit smoothie and eat a spinach salad. But I’m workin’ my way there. πŸ™‚

      • Haha, got it! I’ll just watch and wait my dear. I do the greens in the smoothie and big salads later. Gotta get my calcium somehow!

      • Heidi if it helps I can only get away with a leaf or two in a blenderful with the family πŸ™‚ The blending is such a nice way to eat greens…but tricking oneself is key! And of course…greens in a salad is pretty darned nice too πŸ™‚

  18. Reblogged this on MINDFUL CONSUMPTION and commented:
    Absolute yum! πŸ˜‰ I like.

  19. LOL! Oh Shira I thought I was the only mega worrier. And yes, it all seems so much worse at night. So glad you’re ok, but I had a good laugh as I’ve done something similar in the past. Love the smoothie. I need one of these today. Have a fabulous week!

    • I am so glad there are others like me Karista! And happy you saw the odd humor in this post πŸ˜‰ The whole thing was pretty comical in the end, and it is good to laugh – and the best part is I will be okay – thanks for the kind words!! Best to you too! XO

  20. Shira, I understand these places of late night worry — sheesh — and I appreciate the reminder to quit the fretting and do those exams (I, too, have been lax in that area). These photos, these quotes (particularly that Buechner one, which I adore) and that amazing looking and sounding smoothie…such blessings for my day.

    • Thank you Ashley! I am glad you found some value in my story – and hope we can all relax knowing we can do what we can to prevent these things πŸ™‚ You and your comments always brighten my day, thank you for all of your kindness! XO πŸ™‚

  21. I’m a stay up and worry kind of gal too. I worry about the most ridiculous things and then I worry I won’t be able to fall asleep and I’ll be tired all day. And the more I tell myself not to worry, the more anxious I get. I totally understand where you’re coming from. πŸ™‚

    This smoothie looks so heavenly- apple and mango and avocado- I imagine it’s so fruity and velvety at the same time. Great recipe, Shira! See you at the potluck! xo

  22. What a skill for storytelling–I didn’t know I was holding my breath the entire time until I’d finished reading and let it out! I’m glad everything’s still fine in your neck of the woods–goodness gracious knows we don’t take enough time for ourselves (my guilty self totally included). I’ve been obsessed with smoothies lately, and this one looks marvelous. Thanks for sharing!

  23. I am so happy to hear that all is well on teh health front with you Shira! Thankfully it was simply a strained muscle, thank you for gently reminding us that we should take a little more care and thought in regards to our health.

    This is such a different take on a smoothie – a must try!

    • Thanks Heather! It was such a typical *silly* worry story I had to share..I am grateful for those gentle reminders that we can have a laugh about later πŸ™‚

  24. First of all, I’m glad your scare was just that–a scare. Jody and I raise money every year with our Rialto-Trade cycling team in the PanMass Challenge to benefit the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. You did the right thing–get a lump, get it checked. Both Jody and I have sisters who’ve had breast cancer–they’re both fine now.

    I made your smoothie this morning, albeit with pineapple-coconut juice instead of mango–it was great. I’m not a big smoothie guy, but hey, there’s a long line of holiday meals in my near future and I figured that it wouldn’t heard to throw a bone to the healthy side. Anyway, I’ll make it again, maybe for some quick fuel before heading out for a bike ride. Thanks. Ken

    • Thanks Ken! I try to be responsible and going to the doctor isn’t always a priority for me – now it will be πŸ™‚
      Great news – I am happy to hear the smoothie was good (that juice sounds yum!), smart move considering the impending holiday – I like your style! x

  25. I’ve had a similar experience, and was all alone in a foreign country…and on my birthday! There *were* lumps, but benign, and try not to get too worried about any new ones. I’m glad yours was nothing to worry about. And this smoothie would definitely cheer anyone up! I’ll have to add it to my repertoire…! πŸ™‚

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