My husband and I have three children. Children? Well, grown and married children. They’ve given us the great opportunity to travel by living in states other than our own! Our kids are our favorite people in the world, and we’ve been blessed with amazingly good relationships, so even though we’re apart, we try to keep involved in each others’ lives however we can. Our dream is that some day they will all find themselves living in the same state, and then we will join them when we retire. 🙂
Recently, my house was full – my son will soon be entering an MBA program at a University in the United Kingdom, so he and my daughter-in-law will be there for the next year. How exciting for them! And, like most parents, we get to live vicariously through them! haha! In the meantime, we get to store much of what was in their apartment in our house. Yay! 😉
Jess and Anand were able to free up their schedule to come to NJ to say good-bye to them!
We brought Brian and Jenny to the airport – how do you pack for a whole year?!
There they are – B & J and 200 pounds of luggage!
Bye! Love you! I pray God’s protection and provision and blessing on your year!
(A mom’s heart – thanks for letting me get that out!)
While everyone was here, our eating habits were quite different from normal – waayyy more relaxed! Bagels, a lot of coffee, must-have pizza from Attilio’s. I even ate that in spite of being off gluten for 3-4 months. I did make an almond flour blueberry cake for after dinner one night. Fail! But it looked so pretty in the picture! The next morning I baked it for another hour-and-a-half. It was better after that.
No more bagels! It’s back to green smoothies! I try to have a green smoothie for breakfast every morning. I’ve gotten it down to a science now and have developed one that is my favorite that I’d like to share with you. It’s not overly sweet and has a clean, crisp taste. Mmm, refreshing!
I usually start with greens and a piece of cucumber. Then I add a variety of flavorings and nutritional enhancements. Here’s what I use and why…
(For more extensive information about each ingredient, just click where it’s written in blue.)
Greens – I try to keep green leafy vegetables as the foundation of my smoothie. Kale is my favorite green to use, but you could also use Swiss chard, spinach or collard greens. Mix it up – buy a different one every week. Dark green leafy vegetables are nutritional powerhouses! They are sources of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and fiber. More specifically, they have calcium potassium, Vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-carotene (which converts to Vitamin A), folate, and Vitamins E and K. Whew!
Cucumbers – Three types of phytonutrients in cucumbers are cucurbitacins, lignans, and flavonoids. These provide us with valuable antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer benefits.
Blueberries – Low calorie and low glycemic with high antioxidant value, fresh or frozen, blueberries have earned their place as a valuable fruit to enjoy daily.
Lemon – Vitamin C is vital to a strong immune system. From neutralizing free radicals to fighting infection, Vitamin C from fresh lemons is a great daily addition to our diet.
Plain Yogurt – I make my own yogurt at home, because I read once that its medicinal property is greatly increased when it’s extremely fresh. Also, it just tastes a lot better! Smooth, creamy, and no ingredients except milk and yogurt. (I’ll post how I do it in a future blog.) Yogurt is rich in protein, calcium, and B vitamins, but more unique is its probiotic value. Research has shown that increased yogurt consumption may enhance our immunity.
4-Seed Mix – I keep a jar in my freezer of equal amounts of milled flaxseed, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and unhulled sesame seeds. These provide Omega-3 essential fatty acids, protein, minerals and fiber.
Green powder – This is optional, but I have a powdered blend of I think 15 ingredients (mostly greens – barley grass, wheat grass, spirulina, etc.), and I use just a teaspoon of it to add even more minerals to my smoothie. When I’m out of greens, I’ll use a whole tablespoon in place of the fresh greens.
Ginger, Turmeric, Cinnamon – I used a small amount of each of these for their anti-inflammatory value.
Stevia – Stevia is my zero-calorie sweetener of choice. From all I’ve read, it seems to be the safest out there.
Vanilla – I don’t know what it is about vanilla, but when I leave it out, I know it.
Now to put it all together –
1/2-1 c plain yogurt
1/2 c water
1/3 cucumber, peeled if not organic
1 rounded teaspoon green powder
1/2 t powdered ginger (or 1/2″ fresh, sliced)
1/2 t turmeric
3/4 – 1 t cinnamon
1/4 t stevia
1 T 4-seed mix
1 t pure vanilla extract
1/2 c frozen blueberries
1/2 small banana (optional)
1-2 trays of “thin” ice cubes
Put all ingredients except ice cubes in a high-powered blender in order listed. Press “whole juice” and let run through complete cycle until completely pulverized. Taste and adjust for sweetness. If the taste is too strong, add another 1/4 to 1/2 cup water. Add ice cubes, then press “smoothie” and let run through complete cycle. Pour into large tumbler and serve with straw.
Made with 1/2 c yogurt and 1/2 small banana, the entire almost one quart of smoothie is only about 200 calories!
Take your time sipping this throughout your morning. It’s filling without weighing you down and should leave you feeling energized!