Smoothie Satisfaction

hmm, beets grace this smoothie concoction

Recently one of my friends asked me if I would post about what I ate… for breakfast, well lunch and maybe dinner and what about snacks! You asked… I will do my best to deliver… with recipes, hints and I hope inspiration! The first thing that came to mind was Smooothie’s. Why Smoothie’s? Because I really do have them frequently, like everyday and for all the above mentioned eating times! There is a lot of hype about smoothies, the “go to” healthy drink, you can buy them already mixed, frozen fruit is “bagged as smoothie.”  They are showing up on diner menus, at your local gyms, Planet Smoothie is a chain dedicated to these wondrous drinks of bliss but do not be deceived my friends, not all is bliss, there maybe something amiss…

Recently on an overnight trip with friends for a 5oth celebration (no not mine, not yet.) The hotel had a grand breakfast buffet. I knew, however that I wasn’t about to plunk down $13 for this array of albeit somewhat beautiful looking “food” full of white evils; of white flour, white sugar, white salt, white dairy… yes there was fruit, but I can’t eat $13 dollars worth in one sitting. The ala cart menu had smoothies, their version. Blended up fruit with more of the “white” stuff mixed in such as yogurt, milk, and sugar. No green in sight, I may not like green eggs and ham, but Sam I am I like green smoothies!

There is my word of caution for smoothie selections when out and about. You have to know the ingredients, read the label but don’t be afraid to ask if it isn’t on the menu and don’t be shy about asking for different ingredients. You are spending your hard earned money and it is your body you are putting this stuff into! I was able to order a smoothie of just fruit, blended with what I was guaranteed fresh squeezed OJ. My regret was that I didn’t ask for some spinach in it, but these where friends who aren’t as used to my crazy escapades in eating, yet 🙂 so I was trying to behave a little!

People at work are always asking for smoothie recipes. Yes they make fun of the many colors of smoothies I drink, and as a nurse population I will spare you the details of the names they give the various concoctions. The problem is I really don’t follow a recipe most days. The ingredients on a work day are “usually” kale or spinach a couple handfuls, 1 frozen banana, 1-2 Tbs. flax seed, water or almond milk to consistency, possibly a spoonful of nut butter. If I have other greens such as broccoli, parsley, cilantro it goes in. Maybe a little red pepper. You see I think I have only had one smoothie that I actually could not drink because of the combo, but I have used leftover salads in a smoothie, beets, onion, butternut squash, apples, pears, mango… the list really is endless.

My groovy sister Cindy in a "before" mixing smoothie you can see it is heavy on greens!

I found this  picture of my most groovy sister Cindy as we were preparing our “lunch.”( she may not let me stay with her next week after using her as my “model” love ya sister) I would venture to say this one had spinach, banana, apple, carrots, flax seed and possibly some other veggie like celery. If you are just getting started go lighter on the greens. Remember though, these are power house foods full of Vitamin K, A, thiamine, calcium and protein, Spinach has just as much protein per ounce as animal protein. That little bit of flax seed is all you need to cover you for a full days supply of Omega 3.  Flax is also a good source of fiber. Flax seed helps to fight inflammation and we live in an inflamed world! If you are taking flax though and not grinding it up, you aren’t getting all the benefits, so if you aren’t putting it in a smoothie grind it up first.

All mixed up and ready to enjoy!

As far as the fruits in the smoothie, yes, but not all fruit, all the time! too much sweet really doesn’t do a body good, however your body does know what to do with the sugars from fruit, just don’t over do it. The apple in this smoothie; an apple a day really could keep the doctor away. Apples contain pectin, and pectin can help reduce blood cholesterol levels. They are high in fiber, contain Vitamin B6 (good mood vitamins!). Some studies have reported that eating 3 apples a day can lower a woman’s risk of breast cancer. My thought on that is any woman eating 3 apples a day is also doing other good things for herself, ya!

There you have it, what I eat for breakfast, lunch, sometimes dinners and a big snack! The flavor combos are endless, the nutrition profile too! One of my favorite summer sensations, tantalize the taste buds and refresh you from the inside out is:

Cucumber and Avocado

1 avocado

1 cucumber of not too large size

juice of half a lime or to taste

Good water to consistency of choice

This is most refreshing!

Here is another with some green action!

Pineapple Spinach Drink

1 bunch spinach

1 cup or more fresh pineapple (I like frozen too!)

1 cup or more pure water

Blend all ingredients until creamy

I hope that this inspires you to get out that dusty blender and spin you up some smoothie action. It is on the go nutrition! My sister-in-law Sue has become a smoothie convert! She is a great cook too, so unlike me, she doesn’t have to do the easy meal! A few benefits she noted from adding smoothies to her food plan; she has less waste for the compost pile using up veggies in that “in between” state and she feels like she is better hydrated, softer skin! Yep, good nutrition will give you groovy glow… WATCH OUT! 🙂

So cheers to veg heads and smoothie makers everywhere! yes veg heads can have a little frappy too! a most yummy treat

Now that I have lingered here with you all.. I must run and mix up a “to go cup of green goodness before I head out the door!”

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