Random recipe: Blueberry Spinach Smoothie

I never used to enjoy eating my vegetables. They were always so gross to me. My mom usually purchased frozen or canned vegetables and then I truly think she pulverized them. Overcooked, often with added vinegar (um gross), and if lettuce at all it was usually iceberg. I do not blame her, maybe it was all she knew. I was that girl in college that basically ate cereal at every meal, or anything white (mashed potatoes, corn, pasta) — you get the point.

Until Chris.

Yes, Chris changed my vegetable consuming life. Let me just say we rarely have frozen vegetables, and other than canned tomatoes for a potential recipe, I do not think we ever have canned vegetables. Fresh. Always fresh. We live in the perfect state to enjoy local farmers and their tasty bounty. I now crave vegetables, and make sure to have them during each meal of the day.

For at least the last five years I have consumed a green smoothie for breakfast. Usually it is this fruit version, or this chocolate yummy goodness. Lately though we’ve wanted to try new options to put in the rotation. Every version we have must contain spinach or kale. I think of it like having a salad for breakfast without having to masticate every piece. You do not even know you are drinking all the greenness. I found the original recipe on Averie Cooks, but have adapted it to my liking. The pomegranate juice adds a bit of tart in with the sweet blueberries. Oh, and for those of you that are grossed out by adding spinach, you cannot taste the spinach, but you get all the nutrients.

INGREDIENTS:
12 ounces frozen blueberries
Large handful of spinach
1 med/large ripe banana
3/4 cup  pomegranate juice (can also try blueberry, grape, cherry)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:
1. Combine all ingredients in an amazing blender (my personal favorite is my trusty Vita-Mix and blend until smooth and creamy.
2. Serve immediately.

Start the day off right…

I have to start my day off right. It always begins with a green smoothie, water, and tea or coffee all before lunch. Those three things make all the difference in my day. For lunch I usually have a raw salad, and sometimes the additional protein on top. In the afternoon, if I am good I will have a clementine or some cashews. All of this is with the intent of consuming only raw foods before dinner. Why does this matter to me?

Over the past few years I have read so many books on health, eating, and fitness. What I have learned and what I have in turn become passionate about is making sure the food I ingest is full of nutrients and vitamins. Imagine if you put fake gas in your car? Would it take you very far? No. It might sputter along for a while only to shut down later, sometimes with damage done to the car. I believe we need to put the right fuel into our bodies on a daily basis. What is the right fuel? To me it is fruits and vegetables, nutrients that are grown by the sun. What is not great fuel? Pop tarts, and other foods that are filled full of preservatives and other crap. Basically any foods that require your body to use more energy to break down the food into usable fuel. Fruits and vegetables require less energy for your body to break the food down and use as fuel.

Green smoothie is an excellent example of fuel for your body. Yes, you probably think that I am a broken record on this topic, but it is true. The blender (my Vita-Mix of course, but any blender will do just fine) will break down the veggies and fruit, so that when your body consumes the nutrients it does not have to work so hard to process and use as fuel. If you were going to eat and chew all the fruits and vegetables in the smoothie, it would a) take too long to eat it all, but b) also take a long time for your body to break down the food and turn it into nutrients. The result: less energy wasted by your body = more energy = happier me!

Do I veer off course? Of course! If you have been reading my blog for a while, you’ll see that I love me some chocolate chip vanilla pudding cookies, homemade english muffins, and pretzel rolls, to name just a few. It is always great to pamper yourself with yummy foods, as long as they are in moderation. Usually my rule of thumb is how many fruits and vegetables did I consume that day? Did I stick to my normal raw before 5 pm? Did I have a work lunch were I veered off course? Did I go out to dinner? If so, I might not indulge in breads or sweets. Did I work out today? Did I gorge on something excessive? Did I give my body fuel today? It is a challenge of balance.

What do you do to start the day out right?