What I Learn From My Fruit Smoothie
Healthier (and very specific) food has become a big deal in my life lately. I'm working with a holistic nutrition clinic to normalize my gastric system with a diet that identifies and eliminates the foods I am 'sensitive' to. I suppose this diet could be a struggle, if I let it be. However, I'm taking the approach that "painting within the lines is fun" and so is STAYING ALIVE. Therefore, I strive to take my nutrition seriously and my philosophy ironically.
Perhaps I am a little late to the game, because I have seen many of you raising your consciousness with bread baking (I was offered sourdough starter a dozen times, at least), but today I wish to report on the insights I've gleaned from my Fruit Smoothie.
NOT TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING
I do the smoothie thing EVERY OTHER DAY so I don't get burnt out. Even the best of things become ordinary with overuse.
THE RESULTS ARE ONLY AS GOOD AS THE INGREDIENTS
Healthy, delicious smoothies will not be helpful if made from foods that upset my system. It turns out I'm "sensitive" to over 60 foods, some I've never actually eaten! So I have to be particular: peaches IN, bananas OUT; pea protein IN, wheat protein OUT; pineapple IN, guava and papaya OUT etc.
MEASUREMENT HAS REWARDS
I'm guessing many of you are culinary artistes who never follow a recipe. Good for you. But I'd be, often as not, you (and your dinner guests) put on a thoughtful expression and say, "Well, that's different…" But I like the feeling of STARTING THE DAY WITH SUCCESS: when I pour out the elixir, it fills my designated smoothie tumbler exactly to the top. Delicious, every time.
Do I hear you asking for the measurements? Ok, be careful:
1.5 c. Almond Milk (I use Simply brand, unsweetened with vanilla)
2 tablespoon-glops of non-fat, low-salt, organic, plain Yogurt* (noth'n but the protein, mam!)
*I have been restricted from dairy - but OAT YOGURT (who knew?) is wonderful!
1 3/4 c. frozen fruit pieces (mixture of 'allowed' fruit varies**)
**When I'm feeling a little adventurous, I add 2 tbs. of organic APPLE SAUCE!
1 scoop Vegan protein powder
1 scoop Collagen protein powder
2 tsp. soluble fiber powder -or- 1 tsp. hemp seeds
DO THE HARDEST PARTS FIRST
I start grinding with just the frozen strawberries in the milk. Thick as ice cubes, they need the most wiggle-room and take the longest to grind. Once chopped, I thicken the mix with the creamy yogurt and powders. The little blueberries go in last - quick and easy. I think the 80\20 rule applies here somewhere, 20% of the ingredients takes 80% of the blending?
START SLOW, THEN PICK UP SPEED
When, at first, I dumped all the above in the blender at one time, the liquid would freeze and the machine lock up. I find it's better to start on GRIND (with those hardest items), add complexities one at a time, and then kick it up to LIQUIFY for only the last 15 seconds. If it's whipped for too long, the results will be full of air which everyone belches later.
JUST BECAUSE YOU DON'T LIKE IT…
I have never liked to eat fresh blueberries! It's not the taste — they're fruity and all, wonderful in muffins. It's the texture: squishy, slimy and extremely blue on the tongue. Yet, everyone says they are a SUPERFOOD and all of the frozen fruit packets include them. Well, I learned a secret! In a SMOOTHIE, bb's don't squeak on your teeth or turn your lips blue!
…YOU DON'T HAVE TO INCLUDE EVERYTHING
Even if everyone says it's a superfood…KALE is nasty. Kale is wrong - in a salad, in a stew, and certainly in a smoothie. Just don't. And be aware that avocados only pretend to be a fruit and try to sneak their way into fruit smoothies. I have worked so hard to achieve the mouth-watering color somewhere between "Tickle Me Pink" and "Purple Mountains Majesty". Adding either of the above green items will turn goodness into an unappetizing "Beaver Brown" goo. (Just save the other items for an "avocado toast" lunch.)
CLEAN UP RIGHT AWAY
I have often said to roommates, "If you don't have time to clean up, you don't have time to cook." Blueberry juice will stain your counter and wiping up dried-on yogurt can be…nasty. Let's just say that keeping your kitchen clean is a very healthy practice. Plus, it is so great to jump into the next meal prep without delay, after your smoothie has done its job and left you hungry.
EMPOWER A HEALTHY ATTITUDE
The overall take-a-way from the bi-daily, kale-free smoothie experience is to realize that it takes work to be healthy, satisfied and positive. It is worth the planning, effort and expense when you are starting out the day "in the pink"! With a fruit smoothie to rev up the morning, nothing can stand in the way of what you have to accomplish.
Except, perhaps, finding another excuse to avoid putting kale on your avocado toast at lunch.