Nutrition secret: a healthy breakfast shake!
I’m often asked by clients what I eat
I tell them I eat food, like other people! But I realize what they are really asking is how do I keep from falling into the habits that cause weight gain – snacking, eating on the run, eating processed foods, etc. Because my eating habits are part of an overall lifestyle of generally healthy choices I try to make in daily living, I thought I would share one everyday tool I use to eat well.
One of the byproducts of our modern, ultra-busy and “productive” lifestyles is that we have pushed food to the wayside. Eating in general often becomes a needed inconvenience – something that must be done in order to accomplish our extensive “to do” lists. This fact is of course, crazy! But from what I can see, it still holds very true for most of us. When we do put time and effort into eating, it often means eating out with friends – the glorious Foodie experience of discovering outrageously great, creative, delicious, and rich food. So good food becomes a reward or special occasion, rather than a very very important part of a daily plan for living.
We are so busy running through our lives – work, kids, adult responsibilities, exercising (yes, this is seen as a chore to most people), that we don’t take time to refuel ourselves properly because it just simply takes too much time.
Cooking? Who wants to cook?
As my sister told me recently, after caring for my 2 year old nephew, working all day at a high-stress job, and slogging home through commute traffic, the last thing she wants to do is spend an hour in the kitchen cooking dinner. So she looks for an alternative like eating out, (not fun with a toddler), ordering “to go” or delivery (which quickly gets very expensive), or using a meal delivery service like Munchery (random example).
Meal delivery services seem like a decent alternative to stuffing our faces with Cheerios at the end of a long day because we’re too tired to cook. They claim to use locally-sourced, “all-natural” ingredients (a topic I will get into another time), and a convenient and quick solution for getting healthy food without much time or effort. I tried one for a while but found the meals underwhelming and even slightly stale sometimes. That said, meal-delivery services can provide convenient, healthy meals to help you eat better. But I have yet to find a service that will deliver good nutrition to me three times a day every day. I think that’s called a Personal Chef, and if you can afford one, more power to you – a win-win for you and the employed chef! But for most of us, that’s not a viable solution.
When I work on goal-setting with clients we often take a long-term goal, say “eating better”, and break that down into smaller steps that are measurable.
Now eating better is a vast, unruly, and hard-to-quantify kind of goal.
But how about eating a predefined healthy breakfast three days a week? That seems pretty manageable, right? For me, “better” means consuming healthy foods that meet my personal nutritional requirements of protein, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and fiber, rather than simple sugars or quick carbs like frozen waffles.
In pursuit of simplicity, and because I’m a creature of habit, for breakfast on most mornings I make a smoothie made up of protein powder, fruits and vegetables (carbohydrates and fiber), and a good source of fat to keep me satiated (not hungry) for a few hours.
Here’s my breakfast shake recipe:
1 cup organic unsweetened vanilla-flavored almond milk
⅓ cup water
1 serving protein (I currently use dotFIT All Natural Whey Protein vanilla and/or chocolate flavor)
1 cup frozen organic berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, other berries?)
1-2 cups kale
1 cup carrots
1 cup celery
2 Tablespoons Organic Almond Butter
This is a BIG breakfast shake, with 500-600 calories! If I have already worked out before breakfast I will usually consume the whole dang thing. If I haven’t exercised, and I’m not planning to workout for several hours, I will drink about half for breakfast and save the other have for a mid-morning snack.
This big breakfast shake strategy helps me get the nutrition I need without having to think a lot about it or take too much time to get it done. Try it this week and let me know what you think.