Self-care is all about taking responsibility for your health. One of the easiest ways to do this is to eat healthy, yet who does all the time?

I’ve talked about my morning smoothies so much lately that friends have begun asking me my recipe. This is truly the easiest, simplest way to start your day right. Even better, it’s a no brainer way to begin changing your diet towards a healthy, mostly plant-based model even if you eat bad the rest of the day. This little beauty has at least 7 servings of vibrant, organic fruits and vegetables in one large glass. And it’s really filling.

The funny thing is that as soon as I started drinking this every morning I immediately stopped wanting anything less than clean, plant based lunches and snacks the rest of the day. My body/brain starting the day this way just seems to prefer focusing on “food as medicine” rather than the mindless eating that can sometimes happen for me when working all day from home.

How easy is it to just throw some stuff in the blender? (I haven’t gotten around to buying a VitaMix and just use my plain old blender!)

Here’s what I use:

  • Milk or milk alternative
  • Vegan protein
  • Frozen organic fruit
  • Half an avocado
  • Fresh organic fruit
  • Superfoods powder
  • Huge helping of greens

Here’s the more in-depth scoop:

Milk alternative
You can use milk if you must, but I like to use flax, hemp, or almond milk. This way you’re getting something good for you instead of something your body could really use a break from. Think of it this way: use something awesome like flax to get the plant proteins and fatty acids, and then eat pizza for lunch if you really need a dairy fix. A lot of people like coconut, although I’m allergic. Flax is my current favorite.

Vegan protein powder
Just like above, you could use whey protein if you have some that you want to use up. Spirutein is amazing and has spirulina in it; however, again, I’m moving toward a majority plant based diet and am allergic to dairy to boot. So I LOVE Naturade’s pea protein. It has a really naturally sweet, nutty flavor (has a little stevia in it). So that I don’t overdo one food every day I alternate containers and sometimes use Hemp protein. On those days I add a tiny dash of agave or stevia because it’s flavorless.

Frozen organic fruit
I love the bags of Central Market organic cut fruit. My favorite is peaches, but I use mangoes and berries, too. This is the frozen part that gives you the thickness you expect from a smoothy without using ice. Any frozen fruit will do. I even freeze my own leftovers if something is going bad or a banana is getting too ripe.

Yes, you read right. A half of a ripe avocado makes this really creamy. And you’ll NEVER taste it.

Fresh fruit
I love opening the fridge and popping in whatever fresh fruit I’ve just bought. Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries. Rinse and throw ’em in. If you really like a sweeter flavor use a banana. I reserve bananas for when I want a really sweet, indulgent treat and I add peanut butter and skip the berries.

Superfoods powder
I can’t say enough about this stuff. It’s like legal crack! I love Linwoods products. They have a lot of variety and I can find them at HEB. I usually used their pumpkin seed, flax, goji berry concoction. You could rotate or combine your own from whatever you can find in your local health food store. Read up on super foods. They will change your life.

The kicker here is the huge helping of greens that turn this into a meal that makes your body happy rather than just another smoothie…most are sugar filled, dairy filled glasses of nothing.  I use either baby spinach or baby Super Greens or Power Greens mixtures. The tender baby greens instead of full sized kale or other greens seem to grind up beautifully in my regular blender.

You know having a ton of food allergies since menopause has meant that my options for easy, convenient meals has been drastically diminished. And this is my secret weapon for eating well and feeling great the rest of the day – no matter what else is going on with my chronic health issues. Whether I’m feeling good or whether I wake up in pain (which is NOT very often these days) I reach for my blender.