Wednesday, January 16, 2013
New Year, new routine: Green smoothies
It seems like last year was the year for change ... a new baby, a new career. I have found my time for myself and the things I enjoy has narrowed and I found I was really relying on eating out and packaged foods more than my family should.
Breakfast was always a challenge. I'd get the kids fed and lunches packed and then I'd be out the door. I would remember on the drive to work that I needed to eat breakfast and stop by a local coffee shop and get a latte and pastry - not the best habit.
At the end of the year, I racked my brain to come up with something I could make ahead, that was healthy and I could enjoy for breakfast. I really like green smoothies but how could I make them a head of time and grab and go?
MASON JARS! They are all the rage ... mason jar salads, desserts and yes, mason jar smoothies! I'm getting my fruit and vegetables AND not eating a pastry, which is full of sugar.
I spend about 30 minutes on Sunday prepping five different ones for the week. I really don't have a recipe -- it's more of a formula and it looks like this:
1 handful of spinach
1 scoop of protein powder or PB2*
1-2 handfuls of fruit (frozen or not)
1 cup of coconut water or cooled green tea
1/2 cup of plain yogurt (sometimes I will use Greek)
1 tablespoon of ground chia seed
Blend it up, pour in mason jar and freeze. The night before, I pull it out of the freezer and let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight. If it is frozen still when I go to drink it at work, I pour a little hot green tea in it and it usually makes it drinkable. The smoothies will always last me until 11 am when I have a snack before my other new routine .... working out. But that's a whole other blog post.
My favorite smoothies as of late include apples and oranges blended up with vanilla protein powder. Other combinations have been mango/banana or my all time favorite -- banana and *PB2 powder (a powder form of peanut butter that is low in calories and fat).
The other habit I have been trying to break is the latte habit. I'm a coffee snob and I just can't drink bad coffee so since it is a challenge in the morning to get coffee made, I switched to green tea during the work week. It's easy to make and there are plenty of great brands out there. When the weekends are low key and laid back, we brew good coffee.
What are some of your great tricks for eating healthy?