Mom always said the secret was in the heat. “Sprinkle a little water on the pan,” she would say. “If it immediately sizzles, it’s ready.” She then showed me how to grease the pan with a slab of butter before placing the bread with just the right amount of Velveeta cheese between the two slices on the hot griddle. Add a little more butter (you really couldn’t have too much butter), flip the sandwich and moments later: the perfect grilled cheese sandwich.
I share that story just to forewarn you that the nutrition and ‘cooking’ advise you are about to receive is not coming from either a five star chef or a certified nutritionist. However I do think I have made some progress from those killer sandwiches of death that I made at seven years old.
And I also have since had an epiphany of such, and that is the idea of viewing what goes into my mouth more as fuel and less as food. What I mean is that most of us judge ‘food’ not so much by how good it is for us, but rather by how it makes us feel at the moment. The taste, the comfort, the social aspect . . . in other words, how happy it makes us. And so the question of ‘what kind of food do you want today?’ is answered more frequently in the context of what experience you are looking for rather than if it is actually going to do what you really want it to do: nourish you. Sure, you can get an old Ford pickup to run down some dirt road on just about anything, but if you want to carve the corners of Monaco with your new Lamborghini, you are going to need to fill up with a slightly higher grade of petro.
And so, with that I would like to share my recipe for my morning smoothy. It tastes good (earthy and fresh) but honestly, it’s not grilled cheese good. However it is packed with nutrition, is gluten and dairy free, vegan, and is a highly alkaline food (if any of those matter to you). It’s what I drink for breakfast six out of seven days per week along with a separate protein shake (day seven is my ‘cheat day’, usually eggs or cereal) , and usually easily sustains me through my 6AM workout and busy morning schedule until noon.
So here it is (preferably everything is organic):
- 1 1/2 cups of spinach or kale (full of vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals)
- 1/2 of an avocado (20 vitamins and minerals and excellent source of healthy monounsaturated fatty acids)
- 3 or 4 slices of cucumber (anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, very hydrating and great source or vitamins)
- 1 cup of almond, cashew, or coconut milk (highly nutritious and dairy free)
- 1 tablespoon of hemp powder (omega-3, fiber, and protein)
- 1 tablespoon raw chia seeds (more omega-3, fiber, protein and antioxidants, plus I like the gritty texture it provides my smoothy)
- Handful of raw cashews or almonds (high in protein, fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins)
- 1 – 2 teaspoons of cinnamon (adds flavor, and helps regulate blood sugars and digestive health)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil (make sure you add this after #4 or it will clump with the powders and seeds and stick to bottom. Excellent source of medium chain fatty acids that have been shown to increase the good cholesterol in your body, provide all day energy, decrease risk of heart disease and some cancers, along with numerous other benefits)
- 1 tablespoon of coconut yogurt (again coconut benefits and adds a creamy flavor)
- 1/2 banana (mostly for flavor and potassium along with some immediate carbs)
- 1/2 – 1 cup of favorite frozen berries (fiber, vitamins, antioxidants and flavor. I use frozen to keep drink at a more palatable temperature).
Place all of above in a high quality blender (I use a Nutribullet) and blend thoroughly. Enjoy.
I will admit, if you haven’t had a lot of green type smoothies this might be a bit bitter for you. After about a week or so though, I really came to enjoy the flavor.
I should mention, this is not low calorie. According to MyFitnessPal app, it has about 750 calories, but they are very healthy calories and if you are active you will use them through the day.
. . . Or you could just have that grilled cheese sandwich and spew our noxious exhaust as you putter down the country roads of defeat!
Fuel well, send harder and follow your bliss,