Why a Smoothie a Day Was a Great Choice For Our Family

A few years ago, our family made a resolution to increase our consumption of fruits and vegetables.  This was a huge challenge.  Up to that point in time, it was a struggle to get any more than one serving of fruits or vegetables into our diet, let alone the 3-5 servings that is recommended.

At first we miserably choked those veggies down.  Raw celery, carrot sticks, and bland salads were our initial step into our resolution.

healthyI should also say, that at this time we were also trying to eliminate a lot of the processed foods that had long been part of our staple diet.  Needless to say, we were not a happy bunch.

It was easy to add in an extra serving for lunch and dinner, but breakfast was pure torture.  Bagels and cereal had pretty much been our go-to choices for breakfast in the morning and now they were on the “naughty list”.  The other problem with our breakfast choices was that about an hour after we ate, we were searching for more food.

It was at this point that we discovered smoothies.  Now I am not talking about the sugar laded, put you into some diabetic coma ones that you can get in the mall food court, but rather smoothies that were full of immunity boosting greens and full of nutritional value.

 

 

There has been so much controversy over “to drink your food” or “not to drink your food”.  Since I am not a registered dietitian, I can’t intelligently speak into the controversy.   What I am though, is a woman who is striving to be healthier.   I am a mom who wants to help my children get lots of vitamins and nutrients into their bodies without all the fillers.  I am a wife who needs to feel as though she has given her husband the best fuel for his body to see him through the hard day ahead.  So, while I can’t speak all the technical jargon; what I can tell you is that our smoothies began to offer our bodies vitamins, nutrients, healthy fats, amino acids, and fiber.  These were all things that our cereals and bagels weren’t providing.  As we developed this smoothie habit, we began to see some other key benefits of choosing smoothies as our breakfast alternative.

They Are Easy to Make

The first big benefit was that making a batch of smoothie kits for our week ahead, saved us a lot of time fixing and cleaning up breakfast.  Gone were the days where we had to clean a bunch of dishes or fix different breakfasts for each family member.  When we are in a hurry, I can toss the fruits and veggies all into the blender- breathe- and breakfast is served.  Just as simple as that.

Our Cravings Were Gone

As I said earlier, after we eliminated the breads and cereals from our morning routine, we were no longer craving extra food by 10:00 AM every day.  The smoothies keep us all full until lunch.

Improved Our Nutrition

This whole process began when we realized that we were not feeding our bodies properly.  We were all getting at least one serving of vegetables in during our dinner, but that is about where our consumption ended.  There definitely were not any leafy green action happening in our daily diet.  Instead of needing a bunch of supplements and extra vitamins, we began to feed our bodies the fuel they needed through vegetables, specifically dark leafy greens.  Our whole family noticed increased energy, clearer heads and skin, and for some of us, weight loss.

**The Kids Loved Them

For me this was probably one of the biggest benefits.  Struggling each night to coax the children to eat the vegetable that was prepared was hard enough, it was delightful to have them enjoy something that I knew was chock full of healthy stuff.  I will also say that whenever I try to make a significant lifestyle change; it is always easier with support.  The fact that we were making this change altogether and we all enjoyed it was a blessing.

Getting Started FAQ’s

What is the best type of equipment to use?
When we first started we had just an ordinary blender, purchased from a discount store.  It didn’t last long.  Once that blender kicked the bucket, my husband gifted me a Ninja.  That was three years ago and it is still kicking.  While the Ninja works well, it does still leave some chunky bits.  If you are looking for smooth as silk smoothies the Vitamix is the way to go. Here are the links to preview my recommendations.

What leafy greens do you use?
Our house has two, go-to leafy greens, kale and spinach.  Kale is known as a superfood.  It helps your body naturally detox, has high levels of vitamin A, C, and K, and it has been found to have many cancer-fighting nutrients.  Spinach is a good source of zinc and iron.  Both of their flavors are mild and easily masked within the smoothie.

Do you use fresh or frozen fruit?
The answer is both.  If I can get fresh fruit at a reasonable price, I will definitely use it.  However, frozen fruit is a wonderful choice and is an economically smart choice in many cases.

Do you have any additional add-in recommendations?
I often will add in flax or chia seeds for extra fiber.  To add in good sources of healthy fats we add in some coconut oil or avocado.  As a source of protein, we often will add in yogurt, a nut butter, or some protein powder.  Lastly, the smoothies will help rehydrate your body on their own, but when we need a little extra help in this area, I will add in some diced cucumber.

Favorite Smoothie Recipes

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Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

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Peach Mango Smoothie

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Pina Colada Smoothie

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Very Berry Smoothie

 

I hope that you will enjoy these family favorite smoothie recipe’s.  If you have a go-to smoothie recipe that you think we will like, please pass it along!!

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