There’s nothing like a pandemic to make you think real hard about your health. I’ve been thinking deeply about my health lately (about my life, actually), and about my family’s health just like you have, I’m sure. For me, a lot of it has to do with food.
Most of the food that I love to eat and cook are the fatty, unhealthy, utterly delicious kind. And as of late, and if we’re not cooking it ourselves, this food is easily delivered to my front door.
Momofuku’s David Chang recently spoke about his doubts regarding the survival of the restaurant industry as we know it. “Would I like to be at home and be like boop, press a button and get something delicious delivered?” he asked. “That would be amazing, but it also scares me. We’re not supposed to live this way.” Yet here we are.
Covid-19 has changed how we eat overnight, and it’s not necessarily for the better. Please know that I am gutted that many restaurants will not make it through this, and massively relieved that many others have found a business-saving pivot that has a lot to do with offering food for delivery. That just doesn’t mean I should order every single thing that appears on my feed.
Two months into the lockdown, I thought that I had eaten enough junk. But I thought I’d go slow with a new change: introducing a green smoothie into my daily life. By that I mean, breakfast.
Somehow this simple smoothie is filling enough to tide me over to my mid-morning snack without involving an entire head of lettuce. Two months into this new habit and I’ve learned some best practices and great tips to make this sustainable.
I’m not a doctor or a nutritionist, so please consult one if you plan to introduce anything new into your diet, especially if you have a chronic health condition. Having said that, I can say that this smoothie has been incredible for me.
It has helped me lose nearly ten pounds in two months, have more energy, better sleep, and somehow my palate is “cleaner” everything tastes better. Including junk or processed food, which I still eat by the way. Same goes for my unhealthy but beloved breakfast of bacon or corned beef, fried eggs, and perfect sinangag (Filipino garlic rice). I enjoy that more now that it’s no longer an almost daily thing.
I don’t think I’ll ever give up all the unhealthy food, but I also want to be healthy enough to enjoy said food for a long time. This smoothie is nourishing, energizing, and makes a quick and delicious breakfast. It’s my ally.
Simple Green Smoothie
Chunks from 1 large frozen banana
About 1/2 cup of frozen ripe mango
Handful of spinach leaves
1-2 cups unsweetened almond milk
Half a cup of filtered water
other add-ons (see below)
Start by blending together the frozen fruit, milk and water until smooth. Add the spinach and blend until smooth and green. Add more milk or water if it’s too thick. Sprinkle flaxseeds on top and serve immediately. *The measurements above are a rough guide. You can add more or less of each to taste.
The day before, cut a week’s supply of your fruit into chunks and freeze in freezer-safe containers. Preferably portioned into what you might need for the servings.
Use a blender that has a motor with at least 600-watt power and you’ll get smooth smoothies. It doesn’t need to be the priciest one especially if you’re buying a blender for the first time. If you already have a blender and was always wondering why your smoothies were just not smooth enough and you realize they are less than 600-watts, you’re welcome.
Make sure the blender motor has totally stopped turning before you yank the jar off the base. Clean your blender gently and promptly. It will thank you with many years of service.
Your blender jar could get cloudy after a while. That’s probably from the fruits enzymes.
Health & Safety
Use fresh and organic fruit if you can, and especially organic greens, which might be easier to find. Since you won’t really be able to effectively wash or soak off any pesticides from delicate greens.
If you’re not growing your own, farm-bought hydroponic, organic greens are great. Store them dry, between sheets of kitchen paper in an airtight container in the ref. Wash gently in clean water then shake off excess water before blending.
Handle, wash, and prep your fruit and greens properly and with clean hands, chopping boards and knives etc. Never forget that you are eating raw produce and you can get real sick if you’re not careful.
Make sure to switch greens every week or so at least. You can have too much spinach for instance. Similarly, don’t use anymore fruit or greens than you would normally eat in one sitting.
Instead of Banana, try Avocado
Instead of Mango, try Pineapple
Instead of Spinach – Kale or lettuce
Instead of the Almond Milk – Unsweetened dairy milk, Coconut, Cashew, Rice or Oat Milk. Coconut water!
Add-ons (to taste)
A bit of Macha for a caffeine boost