I do well at dinners where my wife and I eat a large salad or other seasonal vegetables each time. Breakfast, lunch and snacks are however, where I don’t always get my fruits and veggies in.
My breakfasts are where I thought I could make significant changes. I have known for a while that most breakfast cereals and packed with sodium and sugar. Damn, that’s why I love them so much! Toast with peanut butter and strawberry jam is also a favorite of mine.
How could I squeeze in some fruit and or vegetables into my breakfast, while keeping my hunger at bay until after I workout at noon?
Making a salad in the morning (or the night before) seemed like a pain in the ass and I don’t fancy eating a salad in the morning anyway.
Enter the Smoothie
My wife and I received a Magic Bullet as a wedding gift a couple of years ago. I loved it.
Easy to clean, store and a powerful little devil. I made smoothies 2-3 times per week with the Magic Bullet.
My typical smoothie consisted of:
- frozen berries
- almond or skim milk
- plain yogurt
- almond butter
This recipe was my go-to smoothie for a couple of years. Tasted great and probably had less sugar than my usual cereal.
The problem was that I was getting hungry long before lunch. Also, this was about all the Bullet could handle. If I really wanted to get a more “bang-for-your-buck” smoothie, I needed to add some vegetables.
Fast forward a couple of years. My Healthynomics co-founder, Garfield Crooks, told me about his new blender. His recipes included tons of fresh fruit and other crazy stuff like celery, carrots, kale, spinach and beets.
What the hell?
My little Magic Bullet couldn’t get this done. Frozen berries were a challenge. I often added some ice cubes and it wouldn’t even totally blend them.
Kale would eat the Bullet alive!
Time went on and I became less enthusiastic about my morning smoothies. If I really wanted to up my game in the smoothie department, I needed a blender that could handle more.
Garfield has the Blendtec blender. When I did my research, I noticed two blenders consistently got the best reviews online.
The Blentec was one and the Vitamix was the other.
More time passed.
I did an interview with Paul Jarvis, a vegan, author and brilliant website designer. Paul told me that if his house was burning down (and his family and pet rats were safe of course) and he could only run in to retrieve one item, it would be his Vitamix.
I started listening to Rich Roll’s podcast (and read his book which I highly recommend), who is a plant-based ultra endurance athlete. Rich’s podcast made me curious as to what he was all about. What was he really eating to train for and race in one of the most difficult endurance tests in the world (Ultraman)?
Then I came across a video of Rich making one of his workout recovery smoothies.
Sold…if I could add even a quarter of the good stuff he added to his smoothie in the morning, I don’t know how my body could not thank me.
A Smoothie With Everything But an iPhone (the video)
My wife and I purchased a Vitamix a week after watching this video!
- almond or coconut milk
- frozen mango
- ice cubes
- pumpkin seeds
- almonds or walnuts
- flax seeds or chia seeds
- plain yogurt
- spinach, Swiss chard or kale
- coconut oil
I’ve also experimented with a few other recipes that included beets, berries, apples, oranges, celery and carrots.
My new smoothies not only taste great, but I am not hungry until lunch time approaches and I am getting a whack load more veggies (and likely many other nutrients) that I was not consuming before.
Another huge bonus is that my 17-month old son not only loves helping me make smoothies, but also drinks them up. He’s a picky eater so knowing he’s getting a good dose of vitamins and nutrients from our morning smoothie makes my wife and I happy.
My intention with this post is not to convince you to buy a Vitamix (it is awesome though), but to realize the potential of smoothies to eat more fruits and vegetables. At this point however, you’ve probably watched Rich’s video and are either totally grossed out or have busted out your credit card to buy one.
Bottom line, if you want to add loads of fresh fruits and vegetables without having to cut them into very small pieces prior to blending, you’re going to need a high powered blender.
Other Smoothie Resources
- Matt Frazier wrote a great article entitled “10 Foods Worth Eating Every Single Day (and How to Make Sure You Actually Do It)” – CLICK HERE. Smoothies are how Matt fits many of these foods into his diet each day.
- Another great post by Matt Frazier – “The Perfect Smoothie Formula” – CLICK HERE
- Green smoothie recipes from Vitamix – CLICK HERE
- More great smoothie recipes from The Chalkboard – CLICK HERE (the Pumpkin Almond Butter Cup Smoothie looks amazing)
Over to You
What are your favourite smoothie recipes?
What blender do you recommend?
Have smoothies helped you eat better?
I would love to hear what you’ve got to say in the comment section below!