Smoothies . . . Do Something Good for You Today

The thought of changing your entire diet—and in effect, your life—might seem just a tad overwhelming. It’s possible you’re busy. Extra time and extra money may not be overflowing your days at the moment. Though I tend to be a draw-a-line-in-the-sand kind of girl, I know that doesn’t work for everyone. When I changed my diet, I picked a day and went for it. And I try to stick to it about 85 to 90 percent of the time, which makes it doable for me.

That may not be the case for you. And if it’s not, that is okay. Instead of changing everything, try changing something. I posted earlier about taking my parents loads of gluten-free foods. They appreciate it, and they’re eating it, but now doesn’t happen to be the best time for them to try to be totally gluten free. Daddy is in the middle of chemo, and we’re grateful that he’s been able to eat on a regular schedule. So what that his chicken and noodles aren’t gluten free? (I haven’t updated on that in awhile, but we are really thankful that the rest of his results were good news. Though chemotherapy is very difficult, and we still need a lot of prayer, I’m happy to report that the chemo is working. Praise God.)

If you are not in a place to change everything, I’d encourage you to change something. Add some healthy snacks to your diet. Start exercising a day or two a week. Baby steps are okay. One of my favorite good-things-I-do-for-myself has been my morning smoothie. Molly and Jen got me into this habit, and it’s fairly fast, very filling, and really delicious.

Last week I went to a smoothie class with my friend Tina. It was great, and I learned a lot from Krista.

She shared a lot of super-healthy recipes that I’m going to share with you, but first, I thought tell you about one of my personal favorites:

My Pretty Pink Smoothie
• Frozen pineapple (Trader Joe’s: $1.79 a bag)
• Frozen organic raspberries (Trader Joe’s: $2.79 a bag)
• Fresh strawberries (It’s Florida’s strawberry season right now; do take advantage of the glorious berries in harvest. The ones at Costco are the size of small apples!)
• Blue Diamond Almond Coconut Milk

I will try to be better about amounts as I have a tendency to throw things in whatever I’m making. This is hard to mess up, and it also depends on how many servings you want. I tend to make myself one giant serving for breakfast.

You’ll need a blender or food processor. I use equal parts of raspberries and pineapple and then add four to five large strawberries. I throw the frozen fruit in my processor before my morning walk or shower, and then when I’m done it’s thawed enough to blend pretty quickly. Add the strawberries and start with a couple splashes of almond-coconut milk. Blend, and depending on how thick or smooth you like your smoothie, continue to add milk until you reach your desired consistency. Pour or scoop and voila! You’ll have a great breakfast in the most perfectly bright shade of pink.

To boost the health content, also consider adding one of the following:

Ground flax
Protein powder (Krista recommends Garden of Life Vegan Protein)
Spirulina powder (Krista recommends Pure Hawaiin)

Here are a couple of Krista’s super-food smoothies:

Krista’s Yummy Goodness
• 1 cup liquid (almond, coconut, or rice milk or water)
• 2 scoops protein powder (vegan or whey): Kenzi’s disclaimer: this was a little too chalky for my taste; I would prefer one scoop.
• 1 Tbsp flax seed or chia seed
• 1 cup frozen or fresh spinach
• 1 banana
• Handful of frozen fruits of your choice

Spirulina Green Smoothie
• ½ cup frozen mixed berries (Costco has large bags of organic froze berries that work perfectly for this.)
• ¼ cup of orange juice (Did you know you really need to buy orange juice from the U.S.? Check labels as imported juice can actually contain some levels of arsenic)
• 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
• 1 Tbsp Spirulina powder.
• 1 banana (optional)

I hope you enjoy! I’d love to hear some of the good things you do for you.