Smoothie Goodness

According to some reports, 41% of us eat no fruit at all and 82% do not eat cruciferous vegetables in a day. Only around 9-14% of people eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables per day. Those percentages are a picture of what the American diet has sadly become. But the good news is, each of us can make changes today to turn that around in our homes.

In my opinion, the best way to get our recommended fruits and veggies in a day is by drinking smoothies. You know those times you want to reach for something sweet or salty (I prefer salty) that has an outrageous amount of calories per serving... stop... get your blender out... and make a smoothie.

It's going to be more work than just ripping open a bag of chips, but the overall satisfaction and nutritional content is by far the best choice. I know people like "quick and easy" meals and snacks... well, sometimes, healthy isn't always quick and easy and will require a little bit more work. I usually keep my blender in the clean side of my sink... ready for the next round.

Just a little heads up... you will run to the grocery more often when you increase your fruits/veggies intake. There's really no way around it. You want them to be fresh and you will go through them quickly when you make smoothies especially if you have children. But that is a good thing ~ making healthy choices for your family should make you feel proud. When looking over the produce at your grocery store, check the prices of organic over regular items. Sometimes there is not much of a difference. Go for organic is possible.

My favorite smoothie ingredients are frozen strawberries, berries, mangoes and peaches, and fresh pineapple and definitely bananas. My husband loves watermelon and shredded coconut together. Go with your favorites and what is in season first and then experiment as you go.

To amp things up, I also add some greens to our smoothies... I know the thought may sound little gross, but you will really be surprised at how good it will taste... my children never complain and even ask for seconds. Among the healthiest vegetables in the world, spinach comes out on top for the most nutrient dense vegetable... full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. If you want to experiment with your greens, try some kale which is a great sourse of omega-3's your body needs and does not create on its own ~ only through diet. Your liver will thank you for those added detoxifiers. Try a green smoothie for breakfast for 3-4 days and see if you feel a difference in your energy and mood levels.

Here's a basic recipe for one, but there is no right or wrong way to make one...
1 frozen banana or ripe pear(s)

2 c. frozen fruits of your choice (tropical blend, strawberries, mangos, blueberries... mix or just use one kind)

1 -2 T of coconut oil

handful of fresh baby spinach or kale

filtered water... about 1 1/2 cups

1 t. agave nectar or stevia to taste (if your banana is very ripe, you may not need to add any sweetener at all)

Blend for at least 2-3 minutes

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