PCS moves, generally, are not good for your body. In our case, the move tore apart our post-wedding glow with more traveling time than gym time, and an entire holiday season filled with peppermint bark and regret. (You know what’s difficult to eat when you’re without a kitchen? Roasted veggies and quinoa. You know what’s easy? Nutella. Straight from the jar. With your fingers.)
One of our most important goals upon finally setting into our California home was to get our bodies back on track. And now that the kitchen is unpacked, we’re back in the full swing of meat-ing in the middle with our meals. Surprisingly, life as a girl with vegetarian tendencies who married a red-blooded carnivore hasn’t made the kitchen a hamburger-versus-tofu-burger hell since arriving in CA. Thanks, in part, to green protein smoothies.
A very nice perk of life in Fort Campbell was that Jonathan often came home for breakfast after morning PT. So getting a full, balanced meal bright and early was never a problem. But with his DLI schedule, sunny-side-up more accurately describes his commute than his breakfast. ZING.
Then one day I went to Jamba Juice, ordered a kale smoothie, and realized that the blender we got from our wedding registry could make the same thing, but without the line or the price tag. Or having to deal with the kind of people who go to Jamba Juice for a kale smoothie. (We’re awful.)
I immediately started experimenting with green protein smoothie recipes that would force a stupid amount of fruits, vegetables, and protein power into our bodies first thing in the morning, without the typical sour aftertaste of powdered whey. Turns out it’s not that difficult; I’ve come up with four or five good recipes that rotate fruits and greens to keep things interesting. Which means the smoothies have become a twice-a-day staple for us, and now my grocery cart looks like I dumped the entire produce section into it once a week.
One of my favorite staples is a California-weather-inspired mandarin pineapple green protein smoothie. Which I made up when five-pound boxes of Halos went on sale at the Commissary, and I had 10 pounds of mandarins before the week was out. NO REGRETS.
The strong acidic flavors in the mandarin and pineapple completely mask both the leafy-greens and whey tastes and, as far as my smoothies have been going, the list of ingredients for this one is pretty short.
I’ve found that kale and spinach can be used interchangeably in many green smoothie recipes. I prefer kale in this one, though I can’t pinpoint why.
From beautiful rainbow collage to yellowish mush in approximately 10 seconds.
If you’re not really a protein powder person, this smoothie is still a great option; just cut out the whey powder, and bing, bang, boom you’re set. The Greek yogurt in the recipe still pumps you up with some protein, and you’ve now ingested enough Vitamin C to win a fistfight with a bucket of oranges.
Probably. I haven’t tried. But most fruits don’t have fists, so I’m feeling good about the odds anyway.
Jonathan has mentioned that, since we started downing green protein smoothies, he’s noticed a positive difference in his energy level and ability to focus throughout the day. Of course he could just be humoring me, but either way we’re getting a whole lot of nutrition in something we both like to eat.
The recipe I use is described below (scroll all the way to the bottom). If you’re using regular milk or unsweetened almond or soy milk, I recommend putting a dash of honey into the mixture for some sweetness.
And, I’m in no way being compensated to tell you this, but when it comes to whey powder I really like Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard 100% Whey; Jonathan introduced me to it, and compared to other brands I’ve tried, it dissolves the most easily with the best taste, and also has a decent price-to-calories ratio. I use the banana flavor in all my green smoothies because I also use bananas in all my green smoothies, and the flavor of the whey blends in pretty well.
An added bonus: Having a ton of fruit around (especially the mandarins) means we’re snacking a lot healthier. Or at least feeling guilty when we aren’t.
What are your thoughts on green smoothies? Are you a fan, or do you think they sort of taste like grass?
– 1 cup frozen pineapple
– 5 mandarins, peeled and separated into segments
– 1 ripe banana, peeled and cut into chunks
– 1/2 cup milk (I use vanilla Almond Breeze)
– 1/4 cup plain 0% Greek yogurt (I use Chobani)
– 1 cup kale or spinach, loosely packed
– 1 scoop whey protein powder (I use Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey in banana) (optional)
– 1 cup ice
Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Add more ice if desired.
Makes two smoothies.