Our new massage therapist introduced us to the concept of taking raw fruits and vegetables first thing in the morning. While she was actually telling us about juicing, Mike and I decided that we would rather go with blending (aka smoothies). Juicing reduces the fruits and vegetables into liquid form, hastening absorption by the digestive system; blending chops and grinds the whole food, letting you consume the beneficial fiber of the fruits and vegetables.
After I did more research on the benefits and process of juicing and blending, I became more convinced that I prefer smoothies over juice. Besides, juicers are costly and harder to clean compared to blenders.
Our therapist suggested only three ingredients for the breakfast mix: carrots, cucumbers, and beets. She said that by taking these, first thing in the morning, we will not only become healthier but also feel better.
Because my research opened my eyes to this healthy sipping of plant nutrients, I thought: why not add what we’ve always known to be nutritious too, like celery, lettuce, spinach, ginger, and parsley? To neutralize the earthy taste of the beet root, I added strawberries, grapes, and banana. Nuts would be a great source of protein, so I threw in some chopped almonds. Then I read about the omega-3 and antioxidant properties of flaxseed, so I ground some and added that to our mix.
Sometimes I would vary the combination – oranges instead of strawberries, apple instead of banana. Sometimes the liquid would be no-sugar grape or apple juice, sometimes plain water. Most times I would add an infusion that we drink throughout the day: filtered water with slices of lemon, cucumber, and ginger (this one I learned from a friend who has been taking the infusion to keep her weight down).
Every morning, for the past 35 days, Mike and I have been having this smoothie for our first breakfast. To make the mixture refreshingly cool, I sometimes use frozen carrots, grapes, and strawberries, then throw in a couple of ice cubes. Some folks suggest frozen bananas or mixed berries.
So far, Mike and I appreciate the sipping of raw fruits and vegetables in the morning. It gives us a nice kickstart to our day. And with it, we’re already assured of ingesting at least two of the required number of servings per day. That’s certainly better than the “whenever” we were used to.
Here’s a quick list of what I include in one tall mug of our breakfast smoothie:
- 5-7 sticks baby carrots (could be frozen)
- 3-4 slices cucumber
- 2 medium stalks celery
- 2 thin slices ginger (more than that and the ginger taste dominates)
- 1 thin slice beet root (makes the smoothie red)
- 1 grab-full mixed greens (spinach, chard, lettuce, arugula, frisee, radicchio)
- 1 small bunch parsley
- 1 medium to large strawberry
- 5-7 medium grapes (frozen is cool)
- ½ ripe banana
- 1 tablespoon crushed almonds
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- Ice cubes after blending
- chia seeds