I am not a dieter. Never have been. Honestly, I don’t think that it’s good for you. Limiting your diet to a single food group, eating too much of one thing or too little of another just doesn’t make sense to me. Maybe that’s because I
like love food. Do I have a Victoria’s Secret model’s body? No. Can I look in the mirror every most mornings and feel good about how I look? Yes (and trust me, it has taken a loooooooooong time to get there).
I believe in eating a wholesome, well balanced diet (with as little preprocessed food as possible) partnered with enough exercise to make you sweat a couple of times a week. It may not be the ideal lifestyle for everyone, but it works for us. And it is just that: a lifestyle. We stay active, whether it’s working on the Little House or running the dogs, and we eat. Lots. We make a point to have three square meals a day– it’s one of the most important parts of our lifestyle. If you skip meals, you get hungry. If you get hungry, you hit up the vending machine at 9:30 looking for breakfast and you end up with a strawberry Pop-Tart. Not good.
For us, breakfast is the easiest meal to skip. I’m always running late for work and don’t always have time for something healthy (or anything at all). To remedy this, Kev and I have started making grab-and-go smoothies. We started with this recipe from the Yummy Life and adapted it to meet our needs. Instead of ice, they use a combination of oatmeal and ch-ch-ch-chia seed to thicken them.
Lean Green Breakfast Smoothies
Prep: 30 minues
Idle: At least 4 hours
Ingredients (makes about 2 10 oz. smoothies):
2 c. packed spinach (you don’t taste it, I promise)
1/2 c. blueberries
3/4 c. orange juice (for sweetness)
3/4 c. plain yogurt
1/2 c. whole rolled oats
1 Tbsp. Chia seed (you can find this at your local fancy pants grocery or on the internet)
- Combine the oats and chia seed in a food processor and allow then to process until they come to a powdery consistency. The smoother this mixture is, the smoother your smoothies will be. We let ours process for several minutes.
- When the chia seed and oatmeal mixture have been reduced to a flour-like consistency, begin adding ingredients to your blender.We dump it all in at once, even though our blender is a $10 Walmart Special. We occasionally have to turn it off and poke everything a bit with the back end of a wooden spoon, but it all blends pretty well.
- Allow everything to blend for several minutes to get the smoothest mixture possible. The smoothie will seem a little runny now, but will thicken on standing (thanks to the oatmeal and chia seed).
- We poured our finished product into empty water bottles that we had been saving up for recycling (yay for reusing them). The smoothies need to rest for at least a few hours, but we’d suggest at least overnight for the oatmeal and chia seed to become hydrated and all the flavors to meld.
These smoothies are especially handy because you can make them so far in advance, thanks to using chia seed and oatmeal to thicken them instead of ice. They’re freezable and will keep in the fridge for about a week. The color is a little off (the first time I drank one at work I got some funny looks), but the taste is awesome. They keep us full until lunch time and are full of whole grains, antioxidants, a full serving of dairy, several of fruit, and even a serving of veggies.
So far we’ve only made the blueberry/banana/OJ version, but next week we plan on expanding our repertoire. Strawberry banana, anyone?
Give them a try. You’ll be hooked.
What’s your go-to breakfast? Do you prepare anything in advance? For more on Chia seed, check out it’s Wikipedia article, here. And yes. It’s the same stuff that grows on a Chia Pet!