If you're like most professionals I know, you're lucky to get any breakfast at all, let alone a healthy one. It seems that the more convenient the meal, the more unhealthy it is! But it doesn't have to be this way. I encourage you to figure out what works for you and your schedules so you can prioritize what's important to you -your health!
Smoothies can be a great way to get a lot of nutrition into a meal. They can be quite tasty and super easy to enjoy on the go! But the fresher the ingredients, the more it seems like you have to spend a lot of time preparing them. I found that I was buying all of these wonderfully nutritious ingredients and letting them rot in my refrigerator because I didn't have the time to make a smoothie. Then I finally found a solution that worked for me, and I hope that this will help you too. On the weekend, I do most of my cooking for the week and most of my food preparation for the week. I was making granola or muesli ahead of time for breakfasts, but it was this fresh thing I couldn't get in. So I thought, why not prepare that on the weekends too?
The idea here is to prepare a ready-to-go bag for your smoothie each morning. No more spending time washing and cutting when you just need to GO!
You have 2 options: freeze or refrigerate. Most fruits and vegetables will retain the majority of their nutritional value when frozen, even fresh greens. I prefer a smoothie that is only slightly chilled, so I refrigerate my bags. Here's what you need: a large ziplock bag, paper towel for refrigerated items (so greens stay fresher longer), 2 oz. mini cups with lids, all of your ingredients except the liquid.
Preparation: if you're planning on having a smoothy each morning, you need 5 bags and 5 mini cups. Any seeds, grains, powders will go in the cups. Wash all of your greens, vegetables, and fruits. Trim and separate them into the bags. Once the bags have been made, all you need to do each morning is throw everything in the blender, add ice and liquid of your choice and blend! ***PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE save your bags and cups -no need to throw them away! Did you know that once plastic is created, it can never be destroyed? Yes, we can recycle it, but why not recycle in our own homes? Use what you have until it doesn't work anymore. Love this earth and she will love you back!
Greens- 2.5-3 cups (Kale, Collards, Beet Greens, Dandelion Greens, Parsley, Mint, Fennel, Avocado, Cucumber, Zucchini, Spinach, Romaine Lettuce, Green Cabbage, Turnip Greens, Celery, Sprouts)
Fruits/Sweet Veggies- 1 fruit or 1.5-2 cups (Apples, Bananas, Pear, Blueberries, Strawberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, Pineapple, Papaya, Mango, Pomegranate, Cranberries, Kiwifruit, Figs, Watermelon, Lemon, Carrots, Sweet Potato, Beets)
Optional Superfood Additions- 1 teaspoon of 3-4 of these (Raw Cacao, Flax Oil, Hempseed Oil, Walnut Oil, Almonds, Goji Berries, Dates, Coconut Oil, Bee Pollen, Coconut (fresh or dry), Hempseeds, Chia Seeds, Spirulina, Maca Root Powder, Ginger, Cayenne, Sesame Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Nut/Seed Butters -good options if you have a weaker blender)
Liquid- 1 cup + (water, nut or seed milk, coconut water or milk) I would discourage you from using fruit juice. Even if there is no sugar added and it's only the fruit concentrate, you're missing all of the fiber and enzymes in the real fruit itself, which help you to absorb the nutrients.
If you didn't freeze your ingredients, now you'll want to add plenty of ice. I like about 10 cubes. Sometimes I add frozen berries instead. Mix it up! Have fun with it!
Now BLEND, BLEND, BLEND! You want all of the plant fiber to be easy to get down the hatch. You may find that you don't have a cup or glass large enough to contain all of your smoothie. If you don't have time to sip on it at home, feel free to share it or put what's left in another glass, covered in the fridge and enjoy it when you get home!
*VERY IMPORTANT -You want to use organic, preferably local ingredients, if possible. Stay away from additives and preservatives. Just eat real, whole food -it has everything your body needs!
All of these greens are helping you to detox from the other junk that we put in our bodies and the toxins we're exposed to in our environment every day; the nutrients in all of the plants are nourishing your body and feeding your cells so that all bodily functions work properly; the antioxidants in the superfoods are helping you to look younger and fight carcinogens and free radicals that cause cancer and other diseases; the plants provide alkalinity to an otherwise acidic state in the body, keeping disease at bay. These are just some of the benefits of smoothies, and I hope that you'll find a way to incorporate them into your daily menu!