October 14, 2011

Delicious Fruit & Spinach Smoothie.

Looking for a recipe? Please hold while I tell the story of my smoothie obsession..

Without my daily smoothie, I think I would die.

Yes, my smoothie means that much to me.

My smoothie. I drink one every single day. My son questions this habit and has been known to get upset that I don’t eat a ‘normal’ breakfast. He gets ecstatic if we stay overnight somewhere and I’m forced to do without. What a novelty! Mom chewing her breakfast! You’d think we just set foot in Disneyland.

My son decided that when I die, I will be buried with my blender.

He described me laying in a coffin (side note: only if biodegradable), one arm around the machine. This was a subject that came up at a pizza  joint not long ago, a conversation that threw us all into fits of laughter.

On days that I don’t have my smoothie, I might as well be dead. A bit extreme? Not to me. Smoothie-less days result in lethargy, more crankiness than usual, fog. Haunted by an empty need that nothing else could fill.

How did I get into this smoothie habit?

It has not been a lifelong passion of mine. Early on, my breakfasts consisted of Count Chocula, Quisp, Honeycomb, Lucky Charms. Thank goodness for my high metabolism (although sometimes I would trade that in for thicker lips).  I was never hungry for breakfast in high school for some reason, but would, on occasion, drink a Carnation Instant Breakfast. In college, I drank soda (eegads!) on the way to my morning class. And later I progressed to healthier (so I thought) options like energy bars. Plus a venti iced skim latte—hold the ice.

When I was working at a direct advertising agency, we landed a sports nutrition client. That meant free meal replacement shakes and bars. I began incorporating a mid afternoon snack into my day—a high protein vitamin packed powder mixed in the blender with water and ice. Eventually I incorporated fruit. It was like drinking a milk shake!

That free stuff went away when I quit my job to start a family. I took a smoothie hiatus, but my mid afternoon snack—a protein/carb combo—continued. Until I had to have jaw surgery. A year before the surgery, I purchased a Vitamix and began my smoothie regime every morning wanting to get used to daily no-chew meals.

I started with Spirutein, soy milk and frozen fruit. Then replaced the Spirutein powder with Shaklee after learning about its benefits. Further experimentation led to the addition of flax seed oil and vanilla. Recently, I began using a purer, organic, ‘real-er’ nutritional powder* that I have been known to sneak into my son’s oatmeal (please don’t tell him).

My evolved smoothie (yes, I believe in evolution) contains everything I need nutrition wise (as far as I can tell) and I could probably live on these alone. Would I get bored? Probably. But at least I wouldn’t be dead. I might even slow down the aging process. Who knows?

There are many other ways I could die—for example, running in our neighborhood yesterday, a van driven by a woman-captivated-by-the-image-of-herself-in-her-rearview-mirror-slathering-on-lipstick almost wiped me out. Granted, she was probably driving the 25 mph speed limit so I may have only been maimed. Another example…. I could choke on something weird.

Here’s a picture of my smoothie.

Note: I do not normally drink my smoothie from a martini glass. Some may think the contents in this glass looks like death itself. Blame that on my cell phone camera. Or the fact that my smoothies do take on a greenish filled-baby-diaper hue. (A valid explanation for not using this photo at the top of the post.) To me, it’s heaven.

Hasselberger Life-Saving Fruit & Spinach Smoothie Recipe

1 cup coconut milk (or organic kefir)
2 handfuls organic spinach
2-3 handfuls frozen fruit (I prefer mangoes or strawberries. Make sure the strawberries are organic!)
1-2 T organic chia seeds
1 T organic flax seed oil
1 scoop vanilla or chocolate Spirutein
1 pinch raw organic cacao (Whole Foods carries this)
Splash of vanilla extract
1/3 cup or more water (add as needed while mixing)

Throw it in a blender and enjoy! (Warning: Remember to put the top on the blender before pushing the “on” button.)

Note: I am not yet a real food purist, but am certainly conscious of what I eat, where it comes from and what impact it may have on people and planet. When I can find organic strawberries grown in the U.S., I purchase them, toss them in a used bread bag and freeze ‘em. I’ve tried cutting up fresh mangoes and freezing, but they ended up in one massive mango ice cube which even my Vitamix had trouble pulverizing.

Today’s smoothie is already resting in my belly, the sun is shining and I feel good. Soon I will step outside for a walk.

* This post was adapted from my blog, Putting It Out There.

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