Until recently, I was not a fan of smoothies. I really don’t like to drink my calories, and so many smoothies are pitched as healthy, but are calorie laden and full of ingredients that make them more milkshake than delicious and nutritious smoothie. If I’m going to have something like this, I really do want it to be good for me. Admittedly, although I normally try to make healthful food choices, I’ve been recently hyperfocused on choosing foods and beverages that fuel me AND can satisfy those cravings that creep up from time to time.
In this new territory of getting back to taking great care of myself, I started to focus on not only the food I was choosing, but when I was eating. Years ago, I read Jorge Cruise’s The 3-Hour Diet and began to follow that as a general blueprint not so much for what I was eating (because I do usually gravitate toward whole healthy foods), but for when I was eating. You really should eat about every 3-31/2 hours, whether it’s a meal of a really great snack. When life hits the fan, however, my eating schedule is often the first thing to go right out the window. And every time this happens, it’s always a huge mistake. It throws me for a loop, and I start to feel sluggish, my cravings become more out of control, and I am much more likely to make a poor choice than I am to reach for something that is going to fuel my body and continue to boost my metabolism. When you wait too long between meals or snacks, or even skip a meal, your blood sugar levels do not remain consistent. This inconsistency is one of the things that contributes to weight gain because we feel hungry and our energy drains right out of us. The key is eating and snacking mindfully, I’m learning, making healthy choices and paying close attention to portion control and timing.
I was eating breakfast very early in the morning – between 5:30 and 6:00 a.m. most days. The breakfasts I choose are a healthy combination of carbs, protein, fat, and fruit. My problem was that I wasn’t eating again until after 11 a.m. – 5 hours later. If I did get hungry midmorning, I was reaching for convenient snacks that were mostly not great for me – crackers, pretzels, chips(gasp), and other treats that were being consumed to stop the hunger pangs or satisfy a craving more so than to continue to keep my blood sugar level consistent and my metabolism high.
That is, until I saw Rachael Ray and Sanjay Gupta talking about how to make a smoothie the RIGHT way and use it as a snack to keep your body going.
The ingredients are simple…
I have been using a combination of fresh and frozen fruit, but use what you have on hand. I find that with the frozen fruit I use less ice and it makes for a thicker consistency as well. Whichever type of fruit you choose, you need 2 cups total. I’ve been using 1 c. sliced strawberries, 1/2 c. blueberries, and 1/2 c. blackberries. You can choose any fruit you like or whatever is in season if you’re using fresh. There are endless possibilities with this basic recipe, so I wholeheartedly encourage experimentation!
Along with the fruit, you’ll need 8 oz. of milk – again, you choose your type – you could go with dairy, soy, or almond…you pick your favorite. I use soy milk – vanilla or very vanilla.
To round out the ingredients list, you’ll need honey – to taste and a pinch of cinnamon. Both have incredible health benefits AND help round out the flavor of your smoothie.
Next, you need to grab your blender. Since I’m drinking mine on the way to work, I went to my local Target and bought the Hamilton Beach single serve blender. Once my smoothie comes together, I take the cup off the base, stick a straw in it, and walk out the door. No pouring, no messing with extra glasses, just blend and go.
So…first, throw your fruit in the blender.
Next, you pour in you milk.
Then, you add your honey, cinnamon, and a few ice cubes.
Put the lid on, blend, and enjoy!
It really is that simple!
So, to recap…
2 c. fruit – fresh, frozen, or both
8 oz. milk of your choice
honey to taste
pinch of cinnamon
4-5 ice cubes
The ingredients can go in the blender in any order, and you have a healthy snack in five minutes! I’ve been making this first thing in the morning, and having an English muffin, egg white, and turkey sausage breakfast sandwich when I get to work. For me, it’s like a two-part breakfast, and I stay full and full of energy until lunch!
If you’re a smoothie fan, what are your favorite fruit and/or smoothie combinations? Leave a comment below and let me know! The best reply will win his or her very own single serve blender (like mine) in red, black, or purple (winner’s choice!).
Entries will close at 8 a.m. EST Saturday, April 28th. The winner will be selected and announced Saturday afternoon!!!!
I can’t wait to read your responses!!!!