The inspiration behind this special smoothie
Today I'm going to lay down one of my most powerful life hacks for weight loss and a healthy, happy, and balanced body.
It's not a pill. Or a fancy herb concoction. It's not a high-carb vs. low-carb thing, or a plea to get more protein into your diet.
My most powerful life hack — for diet, and most things really — is this: simplify.
What do I mean by that?
Don't try to have a different smoothie every morning.
And don't aspire to surprise your palate at dinner every night. You know what I mean — Italian one night, Mexican the next, then stir-fry. This strikes me as a uniquely American thing that we do — trying to present the whole melting pot that is our country in a week of meals. I don't think most of us actually cook this way, but I believe an unspoken expectation exists. And so, when we can't meet that expectation — because, really, who can cook like that every night? — we bail and order take-out. It's like our palates have ADD. Heaven forbid we have the same meal or flavors two nights in a row!
Lastly, don't show up a restaurant and start bargaining with yourself: just order a salad. Throw in a cup of soup if you want, but don't wander over to the sandwiches or tacos or pasta part of the menu, and try to figure out which of those dishes will be the healthiest. Or least “bad.” Because chances are those dishes will be full of unhealthy fat and salt and dairy and other ingredients that aren't helpful for weight loss and healing. So, just order a damn salad and be done with it.
Bottom line, less is truly more.
Streamline your dietary pattern and figure out a few dishes or preparations that really work for you, and you'll save yourself the overwhelm and stress — and extra weight — that can come from trying to reinvent your (culinary) self every day.
The magic of minimalism
Here's what I'm recommending: be a minimalist (for more on this, see this post on Zen Habits).
Dare to eat simply prepared food in our amped-up, love-to-talk-about-being-busy, overscheduled, burned-out culture.
Sure, it may take you awhile to get used to this, but I promise that eating simply will save you time and money and stress — and that it can help you on the scale, too.
So what do I mean by eating simply?
Am I recommending that you eat nothing but plain rice cakes and steamed veggies?
Here's what I mean:
- Batch prep veggies on the weekend so you can make quick stir-fries or burritos during the week.
- Be more efficient in the kitchen by making big batches of food to freeze or enjoy as leftovers.
- Utilize yummy sauces, salsas or other condiments to spice up simply prepared foods (i.e., rice and beans).
What my simple meals look like
Here's what a typical week looks like for our family…
When we're out of leftovers, I roast some potato wedges with avocado oil, salt, and pepper, and serve those alongside a big salad for dinner. Or, we have baked potato night. We also often eat rice-and-bean bowls.
We also eat a lot of fruit. Can't get any easier than that.
And for breakfast (and sometimes lunch), I make green smoothies.
I don't try to make cherry smoothies one day, and blueberry the next. Why bring on that kind of decision fatigue first thing in the morning?
Delicious and simple. That's the ticket!
Sure, sometimes we get tired of green smoothies. That's when I'll switch over to a new recipe using different fruit combinations — or I'll make a smoothie bowl. Or we'll have Overnight Oats. But for the most part, green smoothies are our go-to.
Which brings me to my favorite green smoothie recipe ever…
Yes, my favorite smoothie involves kale. But don't let that scare you. There's also a lot of beautiful, delicious fruit in this baby. And creamy plant milk. And coconut water, for natural, nutty sweetness.
If you're new to blending kale, start small. You don't need to add a whole heap of kale for this smoothie to be healthy. You want it taste good, right? Believe me, you can get a whole lot of bang for your (healthy) buck with just a couple of leaves. Just strip the leaves from the stem and you're good to go (the stems are really fibrous, so go ahead and discard or compost).
So why kale? Why not spinach for this one?
Spinach is fine — nothing wrong with it. But kale is super, as in superfood.
Kale, like its cruciferous cousins broccoli and cauliflower, is off-the-charts high in cancer-fighting antioxidants. Kale is especially high in lutein and beta-carotene, important nutrients that provide protection against oxidative stress and chronic inflammation — especially in relation to eye health.
That's why I like to have kale in my smoothies, and incorporate other leafy greens into my salads and cooked meals.
What else do you need to know about this smoothie?
This Kale-icious Smoothie is:
- Creamy and satisfying
- Healthy fast food — just a minute in the blender
- Easy for most people to digest
- Rich in fiber, antioxidants, and healthy fats
- Filled with tropical flavors from the pineapple and coconut water
- Perfect for breakfast or lunch on-the-go
- Amazing and hydrating for a post-workout meal
- A refreshing alternative for an afternoon pick-me-up
Grab the Kale-icious Smoothie Recipe
Ready to try this delicious and simple green smoothie? Great! Just click on the green box below for the recipe.
And remember to tag me on Instagram if you try the recipe. I love seeing your kitchen creations!