Gold in a Jar
“Ok, Rhianna. What is the deal with you and smoothies already?”
Here’s the thing. I used to make the worst food choices. I mean…I. Ate. Like. Crap. Like, demolish the whole bag of Entenmann’s mini doughnuts for breakfast, “CRAPPY”. It’s no wonder that I didn’t have enough energy to get through the day! With three kids and one with severe special needs, this mama needed some energy. I was seriously dragging. So when I began learning about how food choices are directly connected to our level of health, I figured I may want to pick a different way to start out my day.
ENTER THE SMOOTHIE.
I began trying morning smoothies to start my day about 5 years ago and WHAT A DIFFERENCE it has made in my level of energy and food choices throughout the rest of the day! It’s amazing how one choice at the beginning of your day affects the plethora of others that may follow. It didn't take long to begin noticing that having a smoothie instead of some sugary sweet option somehow helped empower me to make another good choice for a snack or something later on. It was weird! But…Why smoothies, though? Why not just a bowl of fortified cereal or a bagel with cream cheese? Well, those are not horrible choices! But they aren’t POWER PACKED when it comes to energizing my morning and day. It’s all about the PLANTS, BABY! Fruits and veggies are deemed “healthy” because of all the phytonutrients, (vitamins, minerals, and chemicals from plants), that live inside them. Consuming a variety of them increases health in your body for every function, from muscle development to the immune system. It’s not rocket science. Healthy stuff lives inside fruits and veggies. Eat fruits and veggies. Simple. Right? I heard one doctor say that blending together several plants to drink together is like sending tens of thousands of little soldiers to go to work on sickness and disease in your body at once. THAT’s why I’m a smoothie nut. The end result of the synergy of various healing foods going in my body to turn the hands of time back on my cells is incomparable to that of a bagel. While a bagel may feel like it leaves you satisfied and balances out your blood sugar temporarily, there are not much healing properties…in a bagel. Smoothies are not only satisfying, but they deliver antioxidants to my blood, helping me to think better. (Goodbye brain fog!) In addition, it offers plenty of natural energy to efficiently function and there is no crashing in a couple of hours, like what a high-carb, sugary donut would allow. As far as cereals go, even those highly fortified ones with a ton of vitamins and minerals, (which your body may or MAY NOT even be absorbing), are still no comparison to the power of a combination of nutritious plants providing healing medicines on a cellular level.
It's important to clarify here that I am NOT talking about gorging yourself on a sweet smoothie made from a sugary, artificially-flavored mix like many fast-food restaurants offer. These kind of smoothies have little to no nutritional value. We're talking fresh or frozen produce that can be thrown into a blender with preferably water, or a plant-based liquid like almond, rice, or coconut milk. If you're in the mood for a smoothie and you're considering stopping some place quick for one, I'd advise you ask to see the ingredient list for their smoothie choices!
Adding a plant-based protein mix, however, is icing on the cake for building lean muscles and supplying the body with essential amino acids. I especially appreciate having a plant-based, protein smoothie as a post workout recovery drink! I am rarely ever sore after a workout or run which is a huge function of the amino acids and their ability to repair muscles. Cereal or a bagel can’t do that either! For more information regarding the importance of high-protein for athletes, click here!
“But how do they taste?” Um…DELICIOUS! Like everything that happens in the kitchen, there is some trial and error involved in learning what foods go well with each other. But let me tell you…Smoothie King ain’t got NOTHIN’ on me! I have my favorite protein mix, combo of fruits and veggies, and plant-based liquids that have pleased my specific taste buds. The beauty of smoothie-makin’ is that you get to choose what you like to taste and hide other healthy, but maybe, not-so-favorite, yet healthy foods, like spinach and kale in there as well! Adding a handful of spinach or kale is a great way to add more superfood power to your smoothie because you don’t really taste it amongst the blueberries, strawberries or black berries. A kale or a “Green” smoothie, with the addition of a great tasting protein mix, (preferably free of artificial sweeteners), a banana, and pineapples, is quite the tasty, yet super healthy combo! The possibilities are endless! My ultimate favorite smoothie is called the “Choco-Berry”. Click here for the recipe!
My most fave...EVER.
So now you know WHY I’m always posting pictures of smoothies on my Facebook/Instagram. I am a little obsessed. I admit it! I just can’t get enough of how yummy they are and the health benefits they provide! I will never be a “donut for breakfast" kind of girl again. I mean, if you’re going to eat something, shouldn’t it taste good AND be good for you all at once? Food was always meant for nutrition over taste anyhow. You CAN have both! Remember, this is coming from a recovering donutaholic! Take a look at your breakfast and post-workout options. Do you feel like your brain just can’t get started without a cup of coffee in the morning or a Red Bull? Try some whole-food, nutritionally-dense smoothies! Please, don’t hesitate to reach out if you need some ideas to get started! Here’s to more ways to live better!