Happy New Year! If you’re like most of us, you’ve made a resolution to be healthier in some way. Whether it’s to lose weight, exercise more often or improve your diet, we are all looking to achieve goals in health and wellness.
As for me, I’m resolving to eat a better breakfast in 2016. I know how important eating breakfast is; how it helps to fuel the body for the day and provide nutrients for more energy and mental acuity. I know all of this, yet I often find myself chasing my toddler around and forget to make breakfast for myself in my pursuit to make sure Benjamin eats his. I’m sure many of you can relate!
So here’s my resolution: I am going to take 5 minutes in the morning to get a healthy dose of protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats and nutrients to fuel my body for the day! But what’s a resolution without a plan? In order to achieve our goals, we need a strategy to succeed. I figure that in order to keep my resolution, I’ll need to make something that I can quickly whip up, clean and eat on the run. Smoothies seems like the obvious choice for all of those reasons.
So here are a few tricks and a great smoothie recipe! It makes about 500 mL – so one big serving or two snack sized smoothies.
Tricks: Here are two easy ways to ensure that you always have healthy ingredients on hand.
1.) Spinach/banana cubes: Making a batch of these green ice cubes is a convenient way to have smoothie ingredients on hand. My best friend introduced this to me as a baby food recipe, but it’s perfect for smoothies when frozen – and it’s so easy:
- Steam 1 lb. (454 g) pre-washed carton of organic spinach (approximately 5-6 minutes, or until wilted), let cool to room temperature
- Peel and roughly chop 2-3 ripe bananas Blend the spinach and bananas until combined and pureed, adding 1-2 tsp of water if needed
- Pour mixture in ice cube trays and freeze
Spinach has vitamins K, A, C, and minerals manganese, folate, and magnesium. There are also anti-inflammatory phytonutrients in spinach. Raw spinach is good for us, but is even better when lightly steamed because raw spinach has oxalic acid which can be damaging to blood vessels. Steaming spinach also allows us to eat so much more in a small serving. Bananas are naturally sweet and full of vitamins including potassium.
Bananas are said to lower blood pressure and are good for our moods and memory because they include the amino acid tryptophan.
2.) Green tea cubes: Similar to the spinach/banana cubes, these green tea cubes are just another way to add a healthy boost to your smoothie.
- Boil 2 cups of water and steep 3-4 bags of organic green tea or 3 TBSP loose leaf green tea.
- Let cool to room temperature, pour into ice cube trays and freeze.
Green tea is said to be good for the heart and brain and has catechins which are antioxidants that fight and may even prevent cell damage.
Rise and Shine Smoothie Recipe
- 1 cup coconut water (or regular water)
- 2-3 spinach/banana ice cubes
- 2 green tea ice cubes (or 1 tsp matcha powder)
- 3/4 cup fresh or frozen berries (I used raspberries and blueberries)
- 1/2 an avocado (about 4 TBSP), roughly chopped
- 1 TBSP Chia Seeds
- 1 inch piece of ginger, chopped or grated
- 1 18 g scoop vanilla protein powder (I use a whey protein, with no sugar and 15 grams of protein per scoop)
Combine all ingredients in a blender and mix on high for about 20 seconds or until well combined. Enjoy immediately.
Hope this helps in your individual quest to overall health and wellness. Feel free to share your resolutions and plans to make them successful. Cheers to a great year ahead!