How are you getting on? Last week we talked about getting enough sleep, and before that we switched white to brown carbs - did you manage it? If so, stick with it. If not, don't worry, every day is a new day, start today on this weeks tweak instead.
This week's tweak: Start your day with a healthy smoothie at least 3 times this week. A breakfast smoothie is a great way to start the day right and to get some good nutrients into you. It's tasty, quick to prepare and good for you - so pull up the nutri-bullet and read on.
NOTE: Your smoothie should be sipped or taken with a spoon and not gulped. This allows your body to start the digestive process in the right way.
I use a smoothie as a good way of getting some key foods into me, namely berries and greens.
Berry good smoothies
Berries are just about the most nutritious fruits you can eat, with more anti-oxidants and phytonutrients (beneficial plant compounds) per calorie than almost all other fruits. I use strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries.
I use frozen berries for a few reasons
- They work out cheaper than fresh
- They are frozen soon after harvest and therefore maybe equal or better in terms of nutritional value than fresh
- They keep well - less waste
- They add a nice ice-creamy texture to your smoothie
Pack in the greens
The greens that I add are usually kale / spinach because they are highly nutritious and blend well without affecting the flavour too much. A good handful is all you need to pack a nutritious punch. Another great tip here is freeze your kale and add it to your smoothie as you need it.
Start with bananas
Bananas are the perfect base for almost any smoothie. They add great texture and sweetness.
Bananas are often criticized incorrectly on some websites, but they are high in B vitamins (for energy) and fibre. Two types of fibre plentiful in bananas – fructo-oligosaccharides and inulin – have been shown to positively alter gut bacteria and in particular promote a type known as bifidobacterium. These little good guys are great at crowding out the bad guys, helping you to maintain a healthy digestive tract.
Simple fruit smoothie
Blend these 3 ingredients – berries, bananas and greens – with a little water or juice for a smooth(ie) consistency. Done, boom!
Pimp your smoothie
Here are a few other options that I like to add from time to time:
A few dates – for extra sweetness if desired.
A squeeze of half a lemon – adds a nice tang.
A handful of oats – adds creaminess, texture, more fibre and fills you up for longer.
A teaspoon of flax or chia seeds (grind them up first) – high in Omega 3 fats.
Homemade kefir – a fermented milk product with strong probiotic properties.
So, this weeks tweak - 3 days a week get a smoothie into you! Get into the habit over the weekend and you will find this becomes a very simple sustainable health tweak.
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