Monday, August 22, 2011

Shakes.

Over the summer, I have been trying to incorporate healthier foods into my diet (I haven't really thoughtfully eliminated any foods yet, but you've got to start somewhere).
Now, perhaps you know that my favorite breakfasts ever were those we were served in Germany. Some sort of bread/roll with a cream-cheese-garlic/herb spread, cheese, and coffee.  I wanted so badly to adopt that meal plan for every morning of the rest of my life.  Actually, I still do.
But the more I read, the more I am convinced that I need to be eating more fruits and vegetables (yes, I've seen a food pyramid before, and yes, I've seen the newest food circle, blah blah blah), and less sugary, white-bready, pasta-y foods (or, I need to be in search of things labeled 100% Whole Grain).
Now, I know this is not all new information.  But up until lately (or over the last few months), I haven't been convinced that I need to adopt a healthy eating lifestyle, even though all the rest of the fat Americans do.  Just like most smokers who don't live under a rock must know that smoking is bad for you and others, you still have to want to quit smoking in order to even try to quit smoking.  I have to want to eat healthier in order to actually start eating healthier (not just to stay thin, but to be healthy).
Well folks, I'm not sure what or who intrigued me to study what it means to eat healthier, but I feel like I am on that road, and I am actually liking it.  So far.  I still haven't really eliminated that much sugar.  But what I have done is started to make shakes (or...smoothies?), so that I can get my daily serving of fruits/vegetables in a relatively pain-free way (eating fruit is not as enjoyable taste-wise for me as it is for others, but I'm getting better).
My brother, who is way into eating healthy these days, sent me this recipe, which I have since modified in various ways.  I try to drink some of this stuff daily!

Here's the original recipe:
1 cup blueberries (can use frozen blueberries)
1 banana
1 tbsp peanut butter
1/2 cup honey bunches of oats
1 tbsp flaxseed
1 1/2 cup skim or 1% milk
2 ice cubes
1 scoop chocolate whey protein
Blend and drink.

I of course made it this way the first few times (and it was yumm), but then modified it for my liking (or to what ingredients I had laying around).
For one, I tend not to measure any of the ingredients too much, just eye it up for the most part.  Instead of  flaxseed, I add a tbsp of flaxseed oil (this I actually do measure out, because it is so darn expensive compared to the other ingredients). It is good for your hair, skin, and nails (and who doesn't want good hair, skin, and nails?).  Sometimes instead of milk, I will add coffee.  I will often add some coffee or blueberry flavored yogurt.  I also always throw in a couple handfuls of spinach (of course), and the protein whey I scoop in is Vanilla flavored.  Other than that, I stick to the recipe pretty closely.  Oh, and the honey bunches of oats also has almonds in it.  And I just recently started using some healthified organic peanut butter, which tastes pretty good considering sugar is not the main ingredient.

Health in a blender.  Watch it spin round to a beautiful oblivion.
The only drinking vessel that my yummy shake will fit in is this hefty ┼ávyturys 1 liter beer stein.   ┼ávyturys is brewed in my Lithuanian hometown of Klaipeda.

Even with all that spinach, it still turns a pretty purply color.  Sometimes I can drink it all in one morning, and other times I split it into two days' worth of shakes.

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