Smoothies for Fuel and Energy

smoothie

Many years ago, when my almost thirty-year-old son was in grade two, I began to notice that his “bad days” at school were the days I couldn’t persuade him to eat breakfast.  He didn’t and still doesn’t, like to eat breakfast soon after waking up.  He didn’t like school to start with; it was a constant struggle to keep him focused.  It was back in those days that I started making smoothies on a regular basis.

Why Smoothies?

While researching learning disorders, (his teachers suggested testing him for several of these) I found several articles on the correlation between brain function and food.  Basically, without food (the fuel) in his body, my son’s brain (the furnace) wasn’t able to function at full capacity!

I then started making him (and his brothers) a smoothie (they called it “milkshake”) every morning, and kept up this routine pretty much until they moved out!  His teachers and I started noticing a difference almost immediately; he has now graduated high school and college, with successful employment in the workforce.  He still loves his “milkshakes!”

How to Concoct your own Smoothies

You can use any ingredients you have handy; I used strawberries (fresh or frozen), bananas, yogurt, and orange juice as the base for theirs.  One son preferred just these ingredients, the other two liked a bit of chocolate syrup (sugar reduced) added, and one liked some added peanut butter too. Occasionally I put protein powder in too, especially when they had sports (all three played soccer, two curled and two played hockey) scheduled.   I tried (unsuccessfully) to sneak in some greens, but they could always detect them. My blender was not that efficient at that stage.

I just used a regular blender; I have been through quite a few over the years!  For cleanup, I simply filled it with water, added a few drops of dish soap, and pressed blend.  I then put the whole container in the dishwasher.   This routine kept even the small parts clean, without having to take the blender apart to clean each time.

I’ve recently splurged on a new blender from Pampered Chef that really makes a great smoothie, amongst other things. It also makes nut butters, creamy soups, sauces, and more. I plan to try some of those recipes and functions this winter. Cleanup is the same, although it has a pulsing action that I use to make sure the soapy mixture gets up to the lid. I then let it sit on my counter for a few hours before rinsing it out. I bet I could sneak in greens with this baby!

Whip up Smoothies to Lose Weight

Way back then I read an article by the famed Dr. Oz about juicing to increase energy and lose weight and realized it was not a whole lot different than what I was doing for my sons for years.   I thought I’d give it a try since it worked so well for my boys. 

When I first started making smoothies for myself I lost approximately ten pounds and reduced my cholesterol level from slightly high to the mid-normal range in six months.  My energy level also increased.  I also switched to a wheat restricted diet, so not sure which of the two changes (probably a combination of both) contributed to those results.

The good news is I have maintained an ideal weight over the years, including through and after menopause when weight gain is typically hard to control.

My Current Smoothie Recipe

Currently, I use spinach, blueberries, hemp hearts, collagen, flax seeds, broccoli slaw, cucumber, turmeric, cinnamon, cloves, avocado, fresh lemon juice, and green tea in my version for my aging health issues although I have tried many variations over the years. In other words, customize your recipe using what you like the taste of and what benefits you the most.

My version doesn’t taste as yummy as theirs did years ago, but it is not bad! 

With the next generation now expanding our family, my grandchildren (at least the three oldest) are willing to try Grandma’s smoothies too…

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