Recent nutritional evidence¬†underscores the value of letting nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables dominate our diets. ¬†Over the last decade, I’ve adopted a number of strategies in my lunch and dinner meal planning that are consistent with this approach:
- Our grains are nearly always whole grains, eaten in the least processed form possible.
- When we do eat grains, we are careful about portion control.
- Vegetables generally comprise 50% or more of the food on the plate.
- We eat a lot less meat, and when we do, I try to choose meat that is humanely and sustainably produced and local when possible.
Recently, in reflecting on ways to make additional improvements to my nutritional choices, I started thinking about breakfast. In our home, breakfast is a pretty individual affair. ¬†My own breakfasts vary dramatically from something pretty traditional like peanut butter toast to non-traditional breakfasts fare like leftover salad or stir fry. ¬†I’ve read a lot about the popularity and nutritional rationale for¬†green smoothies and decided to spend the next couple weeks exploring the benefits as part of my morning routine.
A¬†green smoothie has a lot to recommend it:
- Use of whole fruits and vegetables
- Flexibility to change flavors based on season, mood, individual preference
- Flexibility to add¬†nutrient-rich ingredients¬†like turmeric, flax seed, etc.
- Convenience for on-the-go consumption, a major plus on the days when “breakfast” takes place at stop lights during my morning drive
I already have a very sturdy commercial-grade bar blender, so the ability to make smooth purees from fruits and vegetables is definitely within reach. For nutritional consistency, I’m using one scoop of a green superfood blend in each of my shakes. ¬†This gives me a high dose of antioxidants in every shake. ¬†Beyond that, I’m experimenting with flavors, textures, etc.¬†Here’s a description of the¬†concoctions¬†I’m trying¬†in this first week:
1. Banana-Cranberry Smoothie: 1 cup skim milk, 1 frozen banana, 1/3 cup homemade cranberry sauce, 1 scoop ORAC Green Superfood.
2. Grape-Cucumber-Lettuce Smoothie: ¬†1 cup skim milk, 3/4 cup grapes, 3/4 cup cucumber, 3/4 cup green leaf lettuce, 1 Tbs flax seeds, 1 scoop ORAC Green Superfood
3. Orange-Cucumber-Lettuce Smoothie:¬†1 cup skim milk, 1 orange, 3/4 cup cucumber, 3/4 cup green leaf lettuce, 1 Tbs flax seeds, 1 scoop ORAC Green Superfood
4. Sweet Potato Masala Smoothie: 1 cup skim milk, 1/2 baked sweet potato, 1 tsp fresh turmeric root, 1 tsp fresh ginger root, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1 scoop ORAC Green Superfood
5. Gazpacho-Apple Smoothie: 1 cup plain yogurt, 1 apple, 2 plum tomatoes, 1/2 cup yellow squash, 2 Tbs fresh basil
I am only a few days into this new routine, but I’m already noticing that starting my day with a higher fiber breakfast keeps the stomach grumbling at bay until later in the morning.