Power Smoothies to Energize Your New Year
It’s 5:30 am, and your alarm is going off. You made the resolution to fit exercise into your schedule this year, but between work, studying, volunteering, and your active social life, it looks like the early morning is the only consistent time available to achieve this feat. One problem: you are not a morning person. In fact, you are a “snooze” person.
Fellow snoozers, do not be dismayed. Those yoga classes you bought will not go to waste, although those sesame bagels you bought for breakfast might. Consider this: achieving your wellness goals this year may not depend on strengthening your will power, but rather on increasing your energy. After all, attempting to force a new habit when lacking the energy to perform often leads to feelings of self-defeat, which, in turn, leads to quitting.
This year, instead of hitting “snooze” on your goals, unleash your inner wellness warrior by fueling your body, and thus, fueling your goals. By simply nourishing your body properly upon waking, you will notice enhanced performance at the gym and behind your desk, breeding the self-confidence needed to sustain a major life change.
The Most Important Meal of the Day:
A common occurrence I see when working with clients hoping to shed a few extra pounds is the absence of breakfast in their daily routines. Unfortunately, this habit often comes along with some unwanted baggage such as midday fatigue and sugar binges. However, by simply reinstating a balanced meal in the morning hours, many of these same clients notice a positive change in both their energy levels and waistlines. So, what gives?
Well, for one thing, the name “breakfast” stems from the idea that eating this AM meal ‘breaks’ our overnight ‘fast’ – you know, the stretch of hours we spend unconsciously lying in our beds, not eating. In a way, breakfast is like a morning alarm for our metabolism; without it, our metabolism stays in sleep mode and both our brains and hormonal systems suffer. By choosing to eat breakfast, we restore our body’s glucose levels, which our brains rely on for proper functioning (i.e. focus and concentration). We also stimulate our metabolic hormones, which help us eat enough to support our bodies, without eating too much, all day long.
The Benefits of a Power Smoothie:
If you are looking to reinstate a breakfast habit, or perhaps make over your current one, my favorite recommendation is the Power Smoothie. Not only are smoothies quick to prepare and easy to sip while running out the door, but they are also gentle on our digestive tracts. By blending our fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and other nutrient dense foods, we save our digestive systems the added work of breaking down these foods, making nutrient absorption a quicker process.
If you are familiar with juicing, you likely understand this benefit. However, unlike juicing, the fibers from our whole food ingredients are conserved in smoothies, helping us maintain proper blood sugar regulation, and avoid any midday slumps. If interested in working juice into your daily routine, consider replacing your mid-morning cup of coffee with fresh vegetable juice instead. The rush of glucose will likely provide the boost you’re seeking, and the influx of nutrients may help your body sustain this boost until lunch time.
As far as breakfast is concerned however, consider the recipe guide below:
Building A Power Smoothie:
- Base: for creaminess, start with 1/2-1 frozen or fresh bananas, or 1/4-1/2 fresh avocado.
- Liquid: for blending, add 1/2 cup almond milk, coconut milk, coconut water, fresh juice, or filtered water.
- Berries: for flavor and nutrients, add 1/4-1/2 cup of frozen berries such as blueberries, strawberries, or cranberries.
- Greens: sneak in a handful of nutritious spinach, kale, or other leafy greens (an easy way to achieve a serving of vegetables.)
- Omega 3s: to relieve inflammation and support brain health, add 1-2 tbsp of flaxseeds, hemp seeds, or chia seeds.
- Protein: in addition to any desired nuts & seeds, add a scoop of high-quality plant or non-denatured whey protein to ensure protein needs are met.
- Boosters: pump up the nutrition with small additions of nutrient-packed spirulina, chlorophyl, lemon zest, maca, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, coconut oil, etc.
This year, let’s make it a goal to stop hitting snooze on our wellness goals and our alarms.
Columbus Underground is celebrating healthy living habits to help you kick off the new year right! Check out all of our Health & Wellness 2016 articles by CLICKING HERE.