Oh, that's Original!!!
"Where do you get your protein?" As a vegan I get asked that question a lot. Actually it's a question I get asked the most. We all seem to be obsessed with protein. If you really think about it nobody's getting sick or malnourished from lack of protein, we are sick or malnourished from lack of nourishment.
At 14, I started gaining tons of weight. As the years went on, things I got worse as I started developing health issues. Then, I came to understand how my body worked and what it needed. I developed systems and a protocol. I want to share with you my ideas so that you don't have to spend years of wasted time and the thousands of dollars I spent searching out answers to what was going on.
We are Undernourished
Most people are not getting enough nutrition. We're all focused on protein in this country, but protein has very little vitamins and minerals. We are not dying from lack of protein, we are dying from lack of NUTRITION.
There are no vitamins and minerals in animal meat. So, whether you are vegan or paleo it always helps to get more fruits and vegetables into your daily routine. The trick is how to get them in.
My easiest trick to get more fruits and vegetables into your routine is with smoothies. Smoothies are a great, delicious and super fast way to get more fruits and vegetables into your daily routine. Most people kind of crinkle their nose at the thought of it, but I'm going to show you some really great ways to make them yummy, delicious and super fast.
Do your smoothies taste like GRASS?
Maybe the reason you don't like them is the way they are made.
Some make mistakes with smoothies that can easily be corrected. If your smoothie tastes bad, just know something is wrong. No one wants you to have a smoothie that tastes gross. You do not have to suffer to be healthy and being miserable while adopting new healthy habits really isn't serving anyone.
Nobody needs to shove a smoothie down their mouth that they don't like you're not doing anybody any favors.
Mistake #1 Wrong Kind of Blender
If you really want to make a smoothie into something yummy, you're going to have to have a good blender. This is something that I resisted and beleive me, I broke about 4 blenders because I didn't want to get a really good and expensive one!!
Vitamix is my blender of choice, but there are others that are good too. I know Vitamix has a way to buy refurbished machines as well as new. You can also cut the cost down by getting the simplest model they offer. Honestly, I only use "on" or "off," so getting a simple version won't change anything. Either way, if you are going to adopt a plant based diet, a good blender is a must. Any chef will tell you that good tools will change the game completely.
Not only will a good blender make the smoothie creamy in general, but it will also allow you do blend up "greens." This is almost impossible to do well in a normal blender. Fresh greens will allow you to get more nutrient dense product into the smoothie. Greens have tons of fiber and protein, key things to helping you to stay satisfied longer.
Make them Sweet
Most people wake and crave sweet, but then make a smoothie that tastes bad! So, one way to help with consistency here is to make the smoothie a bit sweet.
This is easily done with sugar, but that kind of defeats the purpose. And, since most powders have either sugar or artificial sweeteners, we can't depend too much on them either. So, I blend up a date or two into my smoothie to sweeten it up.
Mistake #2 Using Milk
Instead of adding dairy to your smoothie, try water, or even yerba mate. In other words, you will need liquid in the blender to have things get all blended up. Rather then use milk that creates more inflammatory issues, you will want a liquid that fuels you. Using water is fine, but yerba mate will give you a bit of an energy boost.
Make about two cups of yerba with either loose leaf or a tea bag. Cool it down and then pour in blender before blending up the fruit. Most people find that they save a ton of time making yerba ahead of time and keeping it in a jar in the refrigerator to use for the smoothies. If you use hot yerba, you will just melt all the frozen fruit!
Don't Make a Runny Smoothie!
Freeze your fruit! This does a few things all at once. It gives you something to do with overripe fruit, gives a smoothie a great consistency and saves you money!
The easiest way to make a smoothie creamy is to have some blended bananas in with it. Blended bananas are my go to for all my smoothies. I love the flavor and I love the consistency. Most eat bananas when they are unripe which not only maks the smoothie have a bit of an acidic flavor, but also isn't healthy to eat, so be sure that your bananas have freckles!
I buy a bunch of bananas at a time. I do this to save on time. I let them all ripen, and once they are darker and have freckles, I peel them all at one time and stick them in a freezer bag. I usually have a few full bags of frozen bananas at hand. I use them for desserts as well as smoothies and I don't want to peel and freeze them every day,
What's in that Powder?
When I first started eating plant based, I was using protein powder, and honestly, I think it helps a lot. Powders a great way to get in a few extra servings of protein as well as having the smoothie itself hold off hunger for a bit longer. In the beginning, protein powders are definitely a must.
One of the biggest mistakes I made though, was to use a "whey" protein powder. Whey is just refined dairy. That will only cause weight gain, inflammation and cravings. You don't want that! So, getting a good protein powder from a good source will really help. If you go with a pea or rice protein, it will be much easier. I like the products from Sunwarrior.
Also, there are a lot of things that can be hidden in a protein powder. Things like fillers or artificial ingredients are going to stop any progress you are making, so again, just be sure you are buying the protein powder from a good company.
Greens are a great way to not only add more protein to the smoothie, but also to make cravings and hunger stay away. Most don't realize that things like spinach or kale really don't change the flavor of a smoothie that much. You do need to get over the color, of course, but if you can get past that, you will really see amazing benefits in using greens.
There are other greens that work well too, but might have a bit more of a flavor. I love things like celery in my smoothie. I will often add strawberries and bananas to it and make a delicious smoothie. I love the saltiness of the celery against the sweetness of the strawberries. This is a great combination.You can also try parsley and sprouts. Sprouts taste really super earthy, so I do add in an extra date for these, but I do sprouts at every smoothie now.
Mistake #3 Plastic is out! Use Glass
There is a huge difference in drinking out of glass than a plastic cup. I swear! Not only is of course healthier, due to BPA's but it is also a tastier way to go. If I am going to be at home drinking my smoothie, I only use glass. I bought mason jars that have a wide mouth and drink the smoothie with glass, reusable straws. The mouth feel alone is amazing. It is soooo different.
I bought glass straws about a decade ago and loved them even more then the stainless steel ones I was using. And, if you are using plastic straws, just wait til you upgrade to glass. The mouthfeel is so different and you will also be doing something amazing for the environment. Have you seen these pictures people are posting with plastic straws being pulled out of the ocean? It is crazy. We can do better!
Do yourself a favor, and if you are going to incorporate smoothies into your daily plan, switch to mason jars and glass straws! Even a used spaghetti sauce jar would work!
ok, there are some of my favorite tips on how to make a better tasting smoothie. If you liked this blog, please share with your friends! I would really appreciate it. Also, let me know what combinations you love! Be well! Ciao!