Like many of you, I'm on a mission to start the new year off on the right foot - eating better, exercising more, drinking less, being more mindful, you know the drill. One of the (many) habits I'm working on breaking/changing is my tendency to skip breakfast, and my husband and I are making an effort to actually sit and have our breakfast together in the morning before we head off in our separate directions for the day.
Now, I know that it's generally better to eat your breakfast rather than drink it in the form of a smoothie, but c'mon. Baby steps, right? I used to literally run out of the house in the morning, coffee in hand, and not eat anything until lunch (if I was lucky enough to find time for that). So a nutrient-packed smoothie in the morning, consumed while sitting in the kitchen next to my husband rather than in the car, is a vast improvement for me.
Smoothies, moreover, have actually become one of my favorite ways to start a weekday because they can be whipped up in a matter of minutes and require zero advance prep, especially if you use frozen fruits and veggies (which, by the way, are picked and frozen at peak ripeness/freshness, so they are actually just as healthy as fresh produce). I've always got a variety of frozen fruit (bananas, blueberries, strawberries, pineapple, peaches, mango, etc) and vegetables (spinach, kale, beets) in the freezer so that I can mix up whatever kind of smoothie sounds good that day. We even call it the "smoothie section" of the freezer. Hahaha.
In addition to fruits and vegetables, there are, of course, many other things you can add to your smoothies to boost your nutrient/protein/fiber intake depending on your dietary needs, such as protein or collagen powders, vitamin supplements, seeds, and dairy (or dairy substitute). We are fans of this protein powder, and I like to mix chia, flax or hemp seeds into our smoothies to add some omega fatty acids to the mix.
Finally, don't forget the spice rack!! Many spices not only make your food taste better, they might actually have health benefits ranging from assisting in digestion to easing inflammation to increasing blood flow. I'm no doctor, mind you, but if something (1) tastes good and (2) isn't going to hurt me, then sign me up for any ancillary health benefits that might come along with all that flavor! For example, turmeric is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties, ginger is said to aid in digestion, cinnamon increases blood flow, cardamom may lower blood pressure, nutmeg has antibacterial properties, black pepper may help regulate blood sugar levels, and vanilla can help curb sugar cravings. And guess what? I just happen to make a spice blend that contains all of these wonder spices!! (See what I did there?? Hehehe...) I even threw in some toasted coconut powder because (1) who doesn't love the flavor of toasted coconut, and (2) eating coconuts can help maintain healthy bones and increase red blood cell counts. Spices are AMAZING, are they not?? Check out my Toasted Coconut Turmeric Blend here.
So, dust off that old blender (we love our NutriBullet) because it's time to jump on the smoothie train. First stop: my Sunshine Smoothie, a delightful fruit-packed treat that is sure to put a smile on your face and a skip in your step.
Makes two 12-ounce smoothies
4-5 chunks (about 1/4 cup) of frozen mango
2 slices (about 1/4 cup) of frozen peaches
4-5 chunks (about 1/4 cup) frozen pineapple
1 scoop of your favorite protein powder (optional, but it will help you feel full longer)
1 tablespoon Toasted Coconut Turmeric Blend (get yours here)
1-2 cups water (or milk or milk substitute if you'd like)
Place all ingredients in your blender and blend away. Add more liquid if necessary to reach desired consistency. Smile and enjoy. :-)
Note: Make your smoothie green by swapping out the banana for a handful of fresh or frozen spinach (kale works great as well) and half of an avocado!