Do you struggle to reclaim healthy eating habits as the new year begins? The aftermath of holiday stress and low nutrition can wreak havoc on your overall well-being, not to mention your ability to stay centered and maintain balance between rest and energy, says Stacy Kennedy, chief wellness officer for AVA, a service that provides customized nutritional guidance through text messaging.
To ensure you are getting enough nutrition – and to boost your energy – Kennedy loves smoothies, made in a blender from whole, nutrient-dense foods that meet four major nutritional needs in one portable cup:
- Hydration, a cornerstone of energy and metabolism
- Fiber, to keep digestion smooth
- Protein, to maintain blood sugar and support immunity
- Vitamins and minerals, to support immunity, regulate energy, and manage your sleep-wake cycle
“Smoothies are opportunities to multitask those goals,” says Kennedy. Introduce your imagination to your blender with this “master smoothie” formula:
- A healthy liquid (dairy milk, nut milk or coconut water)
- Protein (plain organic Greek yogurt or nut butters)
- Fruits or vegetables (berries, banana or greens)
- A frozen element (fruit or ice, depending on the smoothie)
Kennedy suggests starting simply with smoothie recipes that are easy to make in a big batch, so you can freeze unused portions for later. These recipes each make one smoothie, but the recipes can easily be doubled, or more.
Nut Butter and Jelly Smoothie
Blend 10 ounces of almond milk with a frozen banana, a cup of berries, and a tablespoon of the nut butter of your choice. Add a handful of spinach leaves (you won’t taste it, Kennedy says) and a sprinkling of chia seeds, spirulina, or other super food, if desired.
Nutritional take-aways: Protein from the nut butter, potassium from the banana, antioxidants and phytonutrients from the berries.
Tropical Power Smoothie
Blend 10 ounces of unsweetened coconut water with ½ cup of pineapple, ¼ to ½ of a cucumber, a handful of spinach, chard, or kale, and ¼ to ½ of an avocado. Add a squeeze of fresh lime juice and a pinch of sea salt to finish.
Nutritional take-aways: Hydration and electrolytes from the coconut water, magnesium and B vitamins from the pineapple and greens, protein and healthy fat from the avocado.
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
Blend 10 ounces of almond milk with a cup of pureed pumpkin or cooked sweet potato, a teaspoon of honey, a dash of cinnamon, and a sprinkle of chia seeds. Fresh cranberries are a tart and colorful addition, if desired.
Nutritional take-aways: Electrolytes (potassium) and antioxidants (beta-carotene) from the orange squash, vitamin C from the cranberries.