When the month of March arrives, I start to bubble up inside. Spring! Granted, here in Michigan, the month of March can equal snow, rain, hail and/or 60° weather. One never knows what to expect! Needless to say, this month of awakening always makes me feel like I have survived another winter and am able to relish, once again, in the beauty of spring.
As I was creating my morning smoothie, (chocolate-banana-strawberry, w/cacao power) I realized it might be helpful to share a bit more information about some of the ingredients I incorporate into my everyday “Breakfast in a Cup”. Warning…if you have children, do not share the details of these ingredients with them. In fact, lie to them! When my kids ask me if there are any “sticks, twigs or dirt” (aka, health food) in the smoothie, I respond with only the basic ingredients-fruit & milk. Now keep in mind, I am not encouraging you to lie to your children on a daily basis…just in the beginning. Once you have them hooked on this outstanding breakfast choice, you can slowly begin to tell them about all of the nutritious ingredients you have been hiding in their smoothies! By the way, I recommend sharing this truth at about age 20!
As you become hooked on hiding as many healthy foods in your smoothies as possible, you will probably become filled with excitement and want to tell your spouse and/or friends about these amazing ingredients…DON’T! Keep in mind, your ultimate goal is for your family to be as healthy as possible, right?! And, we all know that change can be difficult the older we become. Take this process slowly…one healthy step at a time!
Wifey gives me more excuses than the kids do about why she does not like smoothies. In fact, just for fun, I have created a list of her top 10 excuses…
Wifey’s Top 10 Excuses for not Liking Smoothies
- She does not like the consistency. (She loves milk shakes and malts!)
- She is not a fan of almond milk. (She eats almonds for a snack every day!)
- She does not like bananas. (Last time I checked, there were other fruit options!)
- She is afraid of too much fiber. (Really…?)
- She is afraid the chia seeds will stick in her teeth. (She owns a toothbrush.)
- She believes that anything green belongs only in salad.(Salad for breakfast??)
- She refers to spirulina as duck food. (It is 3.5 billions years old! It has to be amazing!)
- She prefers “chocolate” in the form of PB M&Ms. (M&Ms are not guiltless chocolate!)
- She refuses to eat something with “germ” in the name. (Wheat germ is not a germ!)
- She calls hemp “mushy green mash” that is used for making rope. (I have no words)
I think it is time to clear up a few misconceptions about these superfoods…
Chia Seeds: The word chia is derived from the Mayan language, meaning “strength”. These powerful seeds were used by Aztec warriors to increase energy and stamina. Chia seeds have a mild, nutty flavor. They can be used in smoothies, pudding, sprinkled on salads and added to baked goods. Most importantly, they are loaded with Omega -3 fatty acids!
Flaxseeds: The Latin translation for the word flax means “most useful”. Since ancient times, flax has been used for intestinal problems. These wonderful seeds are packed with Omega – 3 fatty acids, while also providing fiber and protein.
Wheat Germ: Wheat germ has a nutty flavor and is the heart of the wheat berry. It is a great source of daily fiber and folic acid. Wheat Germ is also packed with numerous vitamins and minerals. It is known to boost the immune system and has anti-aging properties. Wheat germ can positively affect muscle development, stamina and healing. Add this healthy goodness to your smoothies, baked goods or as a breading for chicken and fish.
Hemp Protein Powder: Hemp seeds are a wonderful plant-based protein supplement. Hemp contains 21 essential amino acids and is a powerful source of fiber. This protein powder is perfect for smoothies, as well as baked goods.
Spirulia: Spirulia is a single celled organism that is classified as a blue-green algae. It is over 3.5 billion years old and known to be one of the most complete food sources on Earth. It has antioxidants that will strengthen your immune system and over all heath and wellness. Spirula is known to detoxify and help balance PH levels, while providing fatty acids, vitamins and minerals to the body. Holding over 60% protein, this superfood is the most digestible source of veggie protein.
Matcha: Matcha is powdered green tea. When you consume matcha, you ingest the entire leaf and receive 100% of its nutrients. Matcha has 137x more antioxidants than brewed green tea. Matcha is know for improving skin health, burning calories, detoxifying the body, enhancing mood/focus, preventing disease and lowering cholesterol/ blood sugar.
Cacao Powder: I like to think of Cacao powder as chocolate without the guilt! Cacao powder is unprocessed and does not contain added sugar, thus retaining its key nutrients. If you love chocolate, this powder is perfect for smoothies, shakes, coffee and baked goods. Yum!!
Now you see exactly why these superfoods are worth a little fibbing to your family! Keep in mind, there are many wonderful brands for these products. The ones pictured above just happen to be my favorites!♥
Watch for my 3 favorite smoothie recipes in next Friday’s blog entry!
Love Yourself…Embrace Yourself…Just Be You…
Weekly Photo Challenge
Enjoy this lovely Spring day and everything it has to offer!
Love Yourself…Embrace Yourself…Just Be You…
Breakfast has always been difficult for me. Getting up in the morning and chewing food just never worked. But, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It jump-starts the metabolism and prevents those afternoon energy dips that make me want to curl up with my favorite green blanket and hibernate. Eating breakfast not only protects my family members from potential crankiness, but protects myself from the notorious afternoon salty/sweet attack. For all of these reasons, I was determined to find a breakfast source that I could easily stomach, within the first hour of waking up. About 5 years ago, I discovered the perfect answer to my lifelong dilemma… The Smoothie! Continue reading “Breakfast in a Cup!”
As I sit at the keyboard, my hands instantly become tense. My creative flow comes to a complete halt. All of a sudden, I feel pressure. My fingers, unable to keep up with the pace of my thinking, are tangled with the images dancing within my head. At this moment, I find myself sitting at the keyboard, blank… fingers frozen, when just moments ago, thoughts flurried in my head. No matter how many times I try, this method of writing is maddening. Continue reading “Let it Flow…”
Gratitude is defined as the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful. This is such a simple definition for such a powerful term. As I try to put into words the meaning of gratitude, I fall short. Gratitude makes me feel. Gratitude makes me see. I have discovered that, for me, gratitude is a way of life…a journey of self. Since my words are unable to give justice to this magical term, I though my photography just might… Continue reading “A Collection of Gratitude”
The green sea turtles, that reside on the Punaluu black sand beach, on the Big Island of Hawaii, have the ability to teach us the valuable lesson of living in the moment. We only have to pause and listen…
Love Yourself…Embrace Yourself…Just Be You…
Happiness is the smell of freshly baked bread! I often remind myself that happiness comes from within, but it is always nice to have a friend to help out on those extra challenging days…why not bread! For me, baking bread is another form of creativity. How golden brown will the crust be? What shape do I want to experiment with next? (I have to admit, creating bread turtles brings out a lot of happiness in me!) So, for this last winter weekend, before spring approaches, I thought my favorite braided herb bread recipe would be the perfect slice of happiness to share. Now, let’s get twisted! Continue reading “Let’s Get Twisted!”
When I think back on my childhood, some of my most vibrant memories are from the moments I would sit in my tiny bedroom, with grandma’s rickety card table, creating critters out of TicTac containers, cotton balls, and pipe cleaners. I would spend hours drawing, painting, and creating with things I would find from the kitchen junk drawer and especially from nature. I loved art, for there was never a wrong answer. Continue reading “Unlock and Unleash”
Having an addiction of any kind creates utter turmoil in everyday life. It consumes your thoughts, keeps you up at night and separates you from friends and family. An addiction can also be costly, affecting your family’s budget. Spring is just around the corner and I have an addiction… My addiction is in the form of baby animals.