Sunday, February 22, 2015

2015 Food Journey + Hot Pink Smoothie



Happy 2015…nearly three months late!

I know I haven’t posted since last December. I don’t want to abandon Sputnik Prose, but won’t be devoting as much energy to it as some of the other works I’m writing. In addition to writing for ThriveWire, which I love, I felt that I needed to choose spending time on this blog or focus on my writing projects, and I’ve chosen the latter. Although I won’t be blogging as much, I would like to occasionally to let any readers (hi, Mom) know what I’m pondering and cooking. Find more of my writing at ThriveWire.

However, I did want to blog about food and then share a recipe with you all.

Aaron and I recently decided to make a few changes to our eating habits. Our philosophy is that food should be healthy and fun. Since high school, I’ve believed in natural foods and eating as few processed foods as possible (fake sweeteners are something thing I utterly loathe, as well as soda). However, I don’t believe in the philosophy behind diets, and I hate the idea of counting calories or trying to attain a certain weight.

We only have one life, and I want to enjoy the food I eat, not torture myself. Yet food also has a huge impact on our bodies and the way we feel. I didn’t feel great over the holidays. I ate whatever I wanted, but didn’t exercise. I gained not a lot of weight, but enough to make me feel sluggish and out of shape.

Aaron was also concerned about our sugar intake. I, of course, disagreed. Anyone who knows me in person could tell you I have a huge sweet tooth. Yet in the spirit of continuing the conversation with Aaron, I agreed to read one of the articles that had influenced his decision. I fully expected to disagree. However, after reading this article quite critically, I found myself unexpectedly changing my mind.

The article is worth a read even if you’re not interested. I definitely wasn’t interested. It can be found here.

We both agreed that we wouldn’t eliminate sugar entirely. If I am in the vicinity of some Richardson’s ice cream, I will joyfully eat some Richardson’s ice cream. But we’ve stopped buying things like fruit juice (even unsweetened, because without the fiber found in a piece of fruit, your body cannot absorb natural sugars from fruits as well – read about it here, here, or here) and I’ve been replacing sugar with honey in our baked goods. Honey still has plenty of sugar, but it has less glucose and fructose and more complex sugars. We do eat fruit, but we avoid processed sugar and fruit juice when possible.

Step two was to eat more veggie based meals and sides. I’ve started making less fish or meat than I used to, and adding a vegetable side. I’ve also experimented with veggie-based meals.

Those two goals, combined with yoga for me, and gym time for Aaron, has made my body feel so much better. I joined a yoga studio, and that has been such a positive experience.

I’ve also switched from grains to protein at breakfast. I used to start my day with cereal, but recently found my body craving protein in the morning. One day I tried eating an apple with peanut butter and fell in love. My body loves that burst of protein, and the meal fills me for far longer (like, two hours longer) than a bowl of cereal ever did. Now that I work from home, I also have more time to make a healthy lunch, and while I usually reheat leftovers, a smoothie with yogurt also hits the spot some days. I made the following smoothie to use up some vegetables in my fridge and unexpectedly fell in love.

Be prepared: it’s made with beets. I didn’t like beets, but bought them to use in a vegetable soup, which I thought was okay and Aaron loathed. Then I had a lot of beets left, so I figured that surrounded by fruit, they couldn’t be too terrible.

However, I loved that smoothie. I loved it so much that I’ve made it three times. I actually may continue to buy beets.


Hot Pink Smoothie

Ingredients

1 small beet, chopped
¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
¾ cup frozen berries
¼ cup water
½ cup chopped kale

Directions

1. Add the beet, yogurt, and applesauce to a blender first to make sure the beets are blended.

2. Add the frozen berries and water and blend.

3. Lastly, add in the kale and blend until you reach your desired consistency. I like super chunky smoothies, but I know many people prefer smoother smoothies.

Serves 1.


Hopefully you enjoy the smoothie, beets and all!


Note: For the sake of clarity, I wanted to state that I don't view vegan or vegetarian eating as diets; I see them as lifestyles. To me, a diet is something define by what you cannot eat. My vegan and vegetarian friends, rather, celebrate what they can eat. I don't believe in placing on emphasis on what you can't eat, but what you can eat.

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