After the holidays each year, we are inundated with information regarding our health, diet and exercise. There are dozens and dozens of weight loss ads, emails and social media posts. Not to mention the gym membership deals that circulate every January.
Maybe this is all prompted by our overindulging in November and December. Or a New Year’s resolution. Or simply, a fresh new start at the beginning of a new year; a chance to make right the things we have intended to do better in our lives.
Some experts say New Year’s resolutions simply do not work, or at least when they pertain to weight loss, improved diet, and exercise. Apparently, it requires a real lifestyle change to be successful.
It does stand to reason that when we make changes to diet and exercise, but go back to our old ways, it would be very difficult to maintain our progress.
However, there are subtle changes we can make, and actually live with. Perhaps we can stack a few of the small changes and before we know it, we are evolving and truly changing the things that effect our health, weight, and lifestyle in a very impactful way.
I have read most of the Blue Zones books by Dan Buettner, and they are full of information that has been more valuable to me over the years than any gym membership. He chronicles the diet and daily activity of folks who live in areas tagged as blue zones, which are where more people exceed 100 years old than any other areas in the world. The concept is very doable. The food is simple, and whole. Lots of fruit and vegetables, low sugar, little meat, and they routinely have daily activities that keep them active, such as gardening, and walking.
A few months ago, I cut back on dairy, but I enjoy lots of whole grains, and find many ways to incorporate protein without all the meat. I like the non-dairy milk options, being cautious not to purchase ones with added sugar. And my morning smoothie is loaded with so much nutrition, that I feel strong, full, and satisfied. Perhaps it’s a way you would like to start your day, too. It’s brimming with vitamin C, anti-inflammatory properties, and lots of other super-charged nourishment. The flavor is mild, and slightly sweet from the fruit.
This is one small step that will help to reap big rewards. It might gradually become a routine that can have you wanting to stack more and more little changes that really add up for the benefit of our overall health. Enjoy food made fresh!
Super Green Smoothie
1 cup soy milk, or other non-dairy milk
2 cups fresh baby spinach
1 cup fresh curly kale
1/2 cup frozen mango chunks
1/2 frozen banana
3 tablespoons pea protein powder
2 tablespoons flax seeds
1 tablespoon psyllium husks
1/2 teaspoon amla powder
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon black cumin seeds
3/4 cup cold, filtered water
Place milk into an electric blender. Add spinach, kale, mango, banana, pea protein powder, flax seeds, psyllium husks, amla powder, ginger, turmeric, and black cumin seeds. Add water.
Cover with blender lid and pulse blender on high until ingredients begin to incorporate. Once they form a tunnel down the middle of the mixture, blend on high until mixture is completely smooth and creamy.
Serve immediately. Makes 1 large, or 2 small smoothies.
ANGELINA LARUE is a food writer, recipe developer and author of “The Whole Enchilada Fresh and Nutritious Southwestern Cuisine.”
This article originally appeared on Lubbock Avalanche-Journal: Larue: Start your day --- and year --- off with this nutrition-packed Super Green Smoothie