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17 March 2011

Drinking my meals

Why is that in all my years, no one has ever told me how wonderful smoothies are? Growing up, smoothies were always high in calories and generally bad for you. They had a ton of sugar and fake fruit and frozen yogurt and were just generally bad. Not that they tasted bad, of course! Just bad for you. I remember that there was a smoothie place in the mall when I was a kid, and a single smoothie had something like 1000 calories in it. Because of this experience, I have never been a smoothie person. I would rather eat my meals than consume the caloric equivalent in a drink. Well, all that has changed recently.

In my (so far) successful quest to get fit and trim, I am very aware of what I am eating. I buy lots of fruit and veggies and things of the sort, but they often start to go bad before I can eat them. (I've yet to master the grocery thing. I always buy too much or too little.) Over the weekend I noticed that one of my containers of strawberries was starting to go bad. No mold or nastiness yet, but you know what I'm talking about. I also had some blueberries from a frozen bag that needed to be consumed as well. I don't like eating mushy fruit, so I decided to make a smoothie. Boy, oh boy, am I glad I did. I've been "eating" a smoothie every day since for one of my meals. I'm pretty pleased, so I thought I would share my recipe.

The MB Smoothie

I would suggest adding the ingredients to the blender in the order listed. 
It ensures an even mix with no chunks. 

Ice (2/3 of a tray)
1 whole banana
1 scoop protein powder*
1 cup of strawberries (or more, depending on your tastes)
1/2 cup of blueberries (again, modify for your own taste)
6 oz. of Stonyfield Fat-free French Vanilla yogurt (any fat-free will do. This is my fav.)
1/2 to 1 cup of skim milk (depending on desired thickness)

Blend all together. This recipe should make about 2 full glasses of smoothie. I usually drink both. The entire recipe is about 500 calories. If you exclude the protein powder, it would be about 450 or so. 

*The protein powder is optional. Since I'm a vegetarian, I don't get a lot of protein and this is one way I supplement my diet. 

This is super filling and really provides a nice nutritional punch. I use all organic ingredients as well for the ease of pesticide and other concerns. The banana provides good sugars combined with fiber as well as lots of B vitamins for energy. They also have tryptophan which is a natural mood enhancer, not to mention the potassium in them helps prevent muscle cramping after a workout! The blueberries are considered a "power fruit" with lots of antioxidants which is essential for cell repair and preservation. The strawberries are also loaded with antioxidants and Vitamin C. In fact, one serving of strawberries will meet your Vitamin C need for the day. The yogurt is important for it's calcium and protein and the probiotics (you know, to keep us regular). Mix it all together and you've got a well rounded meal! Drink it down with a slice of bread with some tomato on it, and you've got all your food groups covered. 

The best thing about this? I always have the ingredients on hand, and it takes about five minutes to make. Which, if you know anything about me in the kitchen, that is about my threshold.

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