Smoothies have changed my life! It sounds very dramatic but is so true. I am a person who likes to jam pack my day. I am full of ideas, projects and excitement about so many things that one has to be focused to make it all happen. I plan my days with the precision of an air traffic controller, to ensure that I am able to move through the activities of my day in a way that brings me satisfaction, efficiency and joy.
There is one exception to this organization and that comes in the area of food. I have tried. Believe me as a nutritionist, naturopathic doctor, mom, wife, just all-round go-getter women you would think that food prep would have made the priority list years ago. It started near the top and then work it’s way down as other things spark more joy. Don’t get me wrong I am 100% board with eating nourishing foods, this neglect does not result in trips to MacDonalds or drive-thru breakfast sandwiches (except on occasion). I just don’t meal plan, grocery shop based on Pinterest supper ideas and definitely don’t spend my Sundays preparing my food for the week.
I am more of a fly by the seat of your pants kind of gal when it comes to our meals. One of the huge benefits of studying Nutrition and Naturopathic medicine is the knowledge and experience that can be practically used in your own life. I can go into a grocery store and mindlessly purchasing equal ratios of protein, fat, carbs and all my fruits and veggies. I even go as far as to organize my food by these categories at the checkout. Good bless the lucky ones who get to wait behind me in line.
One thing that has been a huge lifesaver for me is daily smoothies. They are nutritionally dense, super tasty, kid-friendly and the best part… effortlessly easy. I say that with oh so much confidence but let me reveal the truth to you. My husband is on smoothie duty! Every night before bed, he gathers the 5 to 6 ingredients and creates out family smoothie for the next day. All that we have to do in the morning is add almond milk and we are good to go! This habit started when I was nursing my daughter and has stuck. I can certainly craft my own delicious smoothie and have done so many times for my crew but it is nice to have an allocated person for this very important nutritional hack. Thank you, dear husband, for taking this one on!
So what’s involved in the perfect smoothie: A good blender, I am talking about a high horsepower industrial style blender, you know the kind you would find at Starbucks or Booster Juice. We resisted for years, purchasing 3 runs of the mill blenders before investing in our Vitamix. It now sits on our counter like a proud peacock when you have a $600 blender, you show that baby off).
For the carbs:
A liquid base – I prefer nondairy alternatives like almond milk, rice milk, coconut milk. I am not cow’s milk adverse (a blog for another day) however, I do think we can reduce our load. Milk alternatives are a great way to do that and you (nor your kids) will not know the difference. This saves our cow’s dairy for more important items like cheese and yogurt
Frozen Fruit – We always have a Costco sized bag of frozen fruit cued up for this important addition
Ripe Bananas – I seriously think we go through 25 bananas a week
Greens – this is where we get sneaky, my daughter has no idea that spinach and kale are getting into her morning drink. My husband has perfected this addition my ensuring there is enough that we get the benefits from these nutrient-packed vegetables while not turning the smoothie green (game over if you are trying to get that into your kid)
Okay so we have take care of all of the carbohydrates, let’s make sure we get in some protein and fat.
Protein powders – I am loving collagen powder these days but pea proteins, hemp proteins, rice proteins and whey proteins (if you can tolerate) have certainly made it into our smoothies. If you are not into protein powders add hemp hearts, chia seeds or Greek yogurt.
Fats – Try nut butter, coconut oil or avocado (you can purchase frozen avocado now!)
Regarding sizes and variety – just play with it, everyone has different preferences for texture and consistency. You can jazz it up and keep it interesting by simply using different milk alternatives or frozen fruits. You could have a new smoothie taste for each day of the week.
Voila, simple, on the go, meal solution that involves minimal preparation and maximum benefit. A smoothie a day will keep mid-afternoon chocolate away!