You could say that I have a contradictory diet.  I consider myself to be a relatively healthy person, we eat local, we eat a lot of organic, etc.  However…

It’s no secret that I am addicted to the Golden Arches.  I go to Mickey D’s on a regular basis WITH.MY.KIDS.   We eat “in the restaurant.”   Your shocked silence and horror are duly noted, thank you.

It’s also no secret that I’m sort of (more than a little bit) obsessed with how, when, and what my children and I eat every day.  Earlier this year, we learned that LittleC has “food issues” – I had a full blood work up done, tested for diabetes, visited a dermatologist and a pediatric allergist.  There’s no official diagnosis; however, we learned that she’s gluten-sensitive, HFCS-sensitive, dye-sensitive, and has severe eczema and other skin issues.  Because feeding a 3-year-old isn’t hard enough.

So I started a pseudo-Paleo diet in our house – eliminated refined sugars and excess wheat, focused on organic fruit and veggies, went gluten-free wherever I could, and under no circumstances allow my girls to eat red food dye.  In the meantime, I was starting my TIU obsession, my daily workouts, and was seriously focusing on my diet.

Which leads me to my love affair with Green Smoothies.  It looks weird, the texture is odd, but the fact that I can suck down a few cups of greens, a whole banana, some fruit, some protein powder, and some coconut milk in less than 10 minutes ROCKS.MY.WORLD.

The basics: Spinach, fruit, protien, coconut milk.
The basics: Spinach, fruit, protein, coconut milk.

Also – that’s my very basic recipe.  I use spinach mostly, kale sometimes, and other greens if I have them.  I add whatever fruit I have on hand.  In the summer it’s pretty easy to rely on fresh fruit, and in the winter, I use organic canned or frozen.

Gettin my blend on.
Gettin my blend on.

If you’re looking for scientific nutritional information, you’ll have to use your google muscles because I am not a doctor.  Or a nutritionist.  So if you know any lawyers, don’t tell on me.

If you’re looking for recipes and other info, and want to REALLY rock the green smoothies, then you should definitely check out the girls at Tone It Up (come on, you knew I was going to go there) and the girls over at Simple Green Smoothies (their 30-day challenges and instagram feed will inspire you, promise).

Bottoms up!!
Bottoms up!!

But don’t feel that you’ve got to get all Pinterest-y and perfect about the whole thing.  You know that’s not who we are here.  You can see that I use my $30 “Magic Bullet” (seriously, mine was cheaper, and didn’t even come with half that stuff, but now I need a new one).  Just go with it – try it out.  If you hate it, come back and yell at me.  If you love it, you’re welcome.

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Also a transplant to New Jersey and Mercer County, Merritt McGlynn is walking a tightrope between career woman and devoted mother: hanging on for dear life with her dishpan hands. Merritt is a mom to two of the most adorable children in Jersey: a darling and spunky 4-year-old and a certifiably insane but heart-melting almost-3-year-old. Married to the always-working "Coach", Merritt tries to maintain some appearance of a work-life balance, and often finds that the scales are usually tipped in one direction or the other - but she’s still trying! In her spare time, if she ever gets any, Merritt would like to read books, travel with her husband, drink margaritas on the deck, and one day, if she’s really lucky, enjoy a phone conversation without interruptions. For now, she’ll settle for 20 minutes of an Audrey Hepburn movie and a diet coke.


  1. I definitely rock the smoothies, but have yet to go-green. I add my greens, but I overpower with fruit. Do I have to use coconut milk? Or is greek yogurt ok? Also, please give me more on the “under no circumstances allow my girls to eat red food dye”—- what is in it? Avoid most red colored stuff?

    • Hill! So glad you’re rocking the green. DO IT. Seriously. I’m limited in size because I use the Bullet blender, so mine are smaller in proportion that you’ll see on the links I posted – and I stick to the 2 handfuls of green, and whatever room is left gets filled with fruit. As for the fillers – I prefer my smoothies thinner, which is why I use unsweetened coconut milk instead of yogurt – I think yogurt makes it too thick and the milk is just right. And I hate almond milk with the passion of a thousand firey suns.

      As for the red dye, I had to do a total sugar detox earlier this year and as I started adding stuff back in – I noticed that things with red dye were huge issues for LittleC. Fruit snacks are a no-go. I made a red velvet box cake around valentine’s day – holy hell. Popsicles, lollipops, juice, etc. So I don’t really give them anything like that at all. And she knows she can’t have red stuff. For her birthday last week, she had the lamest yellow cupcakes with white frosting – no sprinkles, no colored sugar. It seems like the dyes, on top of the added sugars, add to eczema rashes, sleep disruption, tantrums, mood swings, etc. And I can tell – if she has a terrible day – I go back and think and usually it’s a sugar or a food dye culprit. Weird, right?

  2. Mer, If you have questions about adaptable gluten-free diet stuff for C, please holla! My little sis was diagnosed with Ciliacs in her late teens and I was allergic to food dyes… in the 80’s these things weren’t as accommodated for (and because the intrawebs weren’t as accessible my parents didn’t fully understand the impact of these.) As adults, we are well accustomed to eating out with food allergies as well as preparing “normal” food that doesn’t made us feel like bubble-babies. Good luck! Oh, and I love love love the green smoothies. <3

    • Thanks so much, Em! I’ve been reading up on these dietary changes like crazy – I’ve learned so much and think that going gluten-light has made such a difference. The red food dye thing is insane. I can’t remember how I figured that one out, because it didn’t really show up on any tests. But the impact food dyes have on her demeanor, temperment, skin, ability to sleep – it’s remarkable. And if she has something red on Saturday, the effects last well into the week. We’ve worked really hard to make it a “Dr. says” – so when she’s offered something red like a lollipop or a popsicle, she automatically says, “I can’t have the red ones.” My girls think that sugar-free organic lemon sorbet bars are popsicles. It’s been a blessing really – a lot of work, but it’s been a dramatic improvement! xxoo