Why You Need Smoothies In Your Life
Healthy eating has often been a struggle for me, especially lately. I live alone and I don't usually have the time (or, really, the skills) to cook balanced and nutritious meals, so too often I wind up eating out, ordering pizza or falling back on frozen entrees.
A few weeks ago I bought a blender, and it's been a revelation.
Each morning before work, I now whip up a healthy smoothie packed with fruits and veggies. The ingredients in such a concoction can vary in almost infinite ways, but here's the simple formula I've been using:
- Handful of frozen fruits (strawberries, bananas, pineapple, mango, etc.)
- Handful of baby carrots and a handful of spinach leaves
- Spoonful of flax seeds
- Mixture of coconut milk, orange juice and water (enough to create liquid consistency)
I've only been in the habit of making these daily smoothies for a couple weeks, but already I have noticed immense benefits. Allow me to run through a few:
1) I eat less in the morning and feel great
When feeling those early hunger pangs, I often used to eat a bowl of sugary cereal or a danish. Smoothies have essentially replaced my breakfast meal, delivering fewer calories and far more value to my body. The natural sugars provide an awesome whole-body energy boost, and the drink is enough to keep me full until lunchtime.
2) It's extremely quick and convenient
I'm the type who likes to get in every last minute of sleep possible in the morning, so sometimes I don't have time prepare much of a breakfast meal after showering and getting ready. But throwing a bunch of stuff in a blender and running it for 30 seconds is a breeze. I toss it in a to-go container and bring it to work.
3) Tasty vehicle for tons of nutrients
Since I've never much liked the taste of vegetables but have always recognized their immense health benefits, I find this to be an excellent method for getting them into my diet. The fruits and other flavors easily outweigh any veggie tastes but you still get all the perks. I've been using spinach and carrots, but other popular ingredients include kale, peas and broccoli.
4) Ingredients that last
One problem in my attempts to eat healthier is that when I buy fresh produce it tends to go bad before I can consume all, or even most of it. This is the nature of living alone and being on the go. But I'm able to stock up on smoothie ingredients, and many of them -- like the frozen fruits and flax seeds -- last a long time. The items with shorter shelf lives, like coconut milk and veggies, require restocking trips to the store, but only once a month or so.
5) You can experiment endlessly!
This was referenced above, but there really is no limit to the different ingredients and combinations you can try out in a smoothie. Pick different plants boasting different nutrients that might be deficient in your diet. Target flavors that you like. Load in superfoods like kale and bananas. Power up with chia seeds or protein powder.
There are hundreds of different healthy smoothie recipes to be found online, but I find it more fun to tinker around on my own, searching for the flavor and consistency that suits me best. As long as you stick with natural ingredients and lots of plants, you really can't go wrong!