These crazy drinks can be as confusing to sort out as picking a good power bar! There are several factors to think about here too. Why are we drinking these things? What I often see in my nutritional consultant practice are people who don’t have an appetite or time for breakfast. A quickly made, tasty and nutritious, drinkable meal can be just the thing to start the day off on a more healthy note.
If you’ve been too busy to cook and want a healthy snack, again a protein shake is a great way to get a quick pick me up. It’s also a fantastic way to start including more nutritious (think green) foods into your diet. An interesting concept that I recently heard is how to start introducing new tastes in a gradual way. If you haven’t liked vegetables much in the past, you can begin introducing them to your tastebuds by eating a very small amount, like a teaspoonful a day for a week. Then increase to a tablespoon, then a quarter cup. Now you’re really there aren’t you? A half cup of vegetables is a serving and that’s what we’re looking for, how to increase those vegetables to 5 to 9 servings each day.
There are a myriad of nutritional advantages to doing this. Look around at the color when you walk through the produce section of the grocery store. It’s a rainbow in there! And that means a huge variety of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and anti-oxidants; the good stuff. I really do have to mention organic is better. It’s been tested to have more nutrition, better flavor, it’s better for the soil and the environment. If you need to watch the budget, here is a list of the most important foods to get organic as they are the most heavily sprayed with chemicals. The top three on the list; apples, celery and strawberries. Make mine organic please!
The sneaky thing I want you to do is begin weaning yourself away from the easy to drink because they are full of fruit smoothies and begin introducing some vegetables into your protein shakes. The Raw Family folks have a green smoothie app available from the iTunes store that’s really easy to use and has many good recipes. Now that we’re getting warmer weather I’m looking forward to trying their savory soups (AKA vegetable smoothies)!
The alkaline sisters website also has some great recipes. You can very easily add a protein powder to any of these recipes….I think protein is a very good thing. I recommend steering clear of soy, it’s mostly GMO, has too many hormone-like effects and is a common allergen. Instead, choose a high quality whey, rice or a new one I’m trying, peatein from Designs for Health!
Here’s a recipe to try for those like me, that don’t like a cold drink first thing; Snowy Morning Smoothie.
I’d like to end with a comment about flavors. I have to say in general, we Americans have an obsession with sugar and it’s ruining our health. Traditional Chinese Medicine has 5 flavors that correspond with the 5 elements; sweet-Earth, salty-Water, sour-Wood, bitter-Fire, pungent-Metal. If you think of exploring taste in a slow, gentle way as I mentioned above; you can bring more flavor and balance into your life with food. Yes, food is medicine! Be well……