As we detail today in a major post on Long Long Honeymoon called “How Kristy Lost 33 Pounds” (http://goo.gl/r4g3Xw) last year my wife Kristy embraced a major change in lifestyle. And I’m not talking about boondocking. To date Kristy has lost 33 pounds and is nearing her goal weight. As her husband, it has been an amazing transformation to witness. She looks younger, healthier, and happier.
Her secret? Well, unfortunately, there is no secret. No magic pills. No fad diet. In fact, no “diet” whatsoever. Instead, Kristy changed her lifestyle and has reaped the rewards. In addition to regular exercise, wiser meal choices, and fewer snacks, Kristy started making fruit & vegetable smoothies using her Vitamix blender. While not a secret, the smoothies have been a key component of her success.
VIDEO: KRISTY DRINKS HER VEGGIES
If you are not familiar with Vitamix, this is the Cadillac of blenders. Vitamix are quite expensive as blenders go. Even the cheapest Vitamix costs a few hundred dollars. Thanks to the steep price, I was once a Vitamix skeptic. “How on Earth can a blender,” I wondered, “be worth that much money?”
But after living with a Vitamix for more than a year, I am now a flag-waving Vitamix fanboy. There are few product purchases that are genuine life changers. For us, this has been one. (I suppose our Airstream travel trailer was another life-changing purchase.)
First of all, Vitamix blenders are made in the USA, and they are built like tanks. They come with a 7-year warranty. It’s not uncommon for people to use the same Vitamix for more than 20 years. If you consider the product’s quality and longevity, the price tag seems more reasonable. I like buying quality products. They may cost more up front, but over time you get better value and fewer maintenance headaches.
But the real reason to buy such a fancy blender? Quite simply, a Vitamix can do things that ordinary blenders cannot. Every Vitamix is powered by a monster 2-horsepower motor that generates an amazing 37,500 rpm. You can place whole fruits and vegetables in a Vitamix, including stems and seeds, with no worries. Of course you should refrain from blending undesirable parts like citrus peels or peach and avocado pits. But most whole fruits are fair game. The Vitamix pulverizes everything down to a smooth texture. When you consume the smoothie, you ingest the entire nutritional value of the fruit and vegetables, including the fiber.
If you are so inclined, you can use a Vitamix to make soup, ice cream, and the like. The company does a nice job marketing the blender as “more than a smoothie machine.” We have made ice cream several times, and it’s like a tasty sorbet. We tried making soup once too. Amazingly, the torque from the spinning Vitamix blades actually heats and cooks the soup. But like many Vitamix owners, our primary use for the appliance is making healthy drinks.
Vitamix smoothies are a great way to “drink your veggies.” It’s fun to experiment with different combinations of ingredients. We regularly use kale, spinach, and carrots in our smoothies. On the fruit side, we like banana, blueberries, strawberries, pineapple, and apples. Sometimes we toss in a little peanut butter or protein powder. We often use almond milk.
We’ve also tried adding ginger root, flaxseed, broccoli, avocado, and other ingredients.
(Don’t tell the wife, but I have been known to make the occasional “adult smoothie.” Add a little gin or vodka and you’re set.)
In the past, we’ve owned cheaper blenders and even a dedicated smoothie machine. The Vitamix is much better than anything we’ve previously owned, including the smoothie maker. It’s simply more powerful, more effective, more reliable, more versatile, and easier to clean. The quality of the product is obvious. A Vitamix is a commercial grade appliance that’s at home in fine restaurant kitchens. It makes most consumer appliances seems weak and flimsy by comparison.
We like our Vitamix so much that we found a way to take it on the road.
If you want to take a Vitamix RV camping, you need to consider three issues: storage, electricity, and water.
With regard to storage, we are “storage challenged” in our Airstream. We also have space issues in our galley. The 64-ounce Vitamix container is so tall, it will bump into the cabinet above the countertop. So we bought the smaller 32-ounce container (half the size of the standard 64-ounce) and discovered it just barely fits on our Airstream’s counter. We are able to store the base of the blender beneath our sink. The container goes above. Our Airstream is pretty modest in size as RVs go, so I think most RV campers will be able to manage the storage issue.
With regard to electricity, you gotta have juice to make the juice. A Vitamix requires a whopping 1380 Watts of electrical current to work its magic. Most consumer blenders need only about 350 Watts. Thankfully, we have a generator. Sometimes when we boondock we crank our generator just to make a smoothie!
Finally, there is the issue of water. Like any cooking tool, a Vitamix needs to be cleaned after use. Cleaning a Vitamix is incredibly easy – just fill the container with water, add a dab of dishwasher detergent, and it will blend itself clean. Then give it a good rinse with fresh water. Easy peasy! Of course if you are dry camping, you need to carefully consider water consumption and disposal. Yet we managed to use our Vitamix while dry camping in Grand Teton National Park for weeks, so it can be done. If you are a full hookup RV camper, you have no worries whatsoever.
Drinking smoothies is not a sure fire ticket to weight loss. It all depends on what exactly you put in the smoothie. When you get your first Vitamix, you’ll experience the uncontrollable urge to blend everything in sight. If you’re not careful, it’s easy to go overboard and jack up the calorie count. (Yes, I once tossed a chocolate bar into a Vitamix smoothie – and it was delicious!) Weight loss also depends on what else you consume during the day, and whether you get off your duff and exercise.
Kristy has found success by substituting one meal per day with a smoothie. These drinks are surprisingly satisfying, nutrient rich, and the calorie count is manageable. (Just lay off the chocolate bars, will ya?) They usually contain no sodium and little to no fat. Smoothies are easier on your digestive system than eating solid food. There’s pretty much no downside to drinking fruits and veggies in this way.
The different Vitamix models all do the same thing. The more expensive models mainly feature better controls (for example, a dedicated “soup” switch or a “pulse” switch). We have the Vitamix 5200 which is equipped with a variable speed control.
Although the extra features are nice, the most important feature is inside every Vitamix: the 2-horsepower motor. All Vitamix machines will turn a pile of fruit and veggies into a creamy smooth drink. That’s what matters.