I wasn’t always a smoothie person.
In fact, if you handed me a smoothie a month ago, I’d bluntly (but politely) reject your kind offer. It’s not that I don’t like them. I love all the various things that can go into smoothies; yogurt, milk or juice, fruit, even the ‘healthy’ stuff like spinach and flax seed. But if given the choice, I’d much rather enjoy each of those components individually.
There’s something satisfying about shredding a fresh piece of fruit between your teeth. Even frozen fruit is fun to eat on its own, especially on hot, summer days. Sometimes, I’d mix it in with a bowl of Greek yogurt, but that’s about as far as I’d go.
But then, something happened: an unexpected event in my life triggered two major changes to my morning routine.
First, I started having trouble falling asleep. This made it difficult to get in the requisite seven to six hours a night. Because of this, I was sleeping in half an hour later than usual, which threw a wrench in my once-leisurely morning routine. I now had just over an hour to have a shower, get dressed and ready, and eat breakfast – which isn’t a very long time when you’re loping around at the pace of a half-asleep sloth.
Second, my appetite took a hit. No longer did I wake ready to ravenously devour a bowl of yogurt and a big handful of fruit. But I knew I had to eat something to keep from keeling over on my keyboard at 9AM.
The smoothie was the solution to my morning breakfast woes. I was still eating the same thing as before: a cup of Greek yogurt with flax, two cups of fruit, and a big glass of water. But instead of enjoying it all at my own pace, I could cram it in a blender and down it in a few minutes.
I’ve since recovered from the ailment that wrecked my mornings. My appetite has improved, and I’m close to getting a full night’s sleep. But I’m still drinking smoothies every morning, and I have no plans to stop.
I used to think of smoothies as the wheelhouse of paleo-obsessed health nuts and protein-packing fitness buffs. But now that I’ve been eating (drinking?) them for a few weeks now, I like them. In addition to all the health benefits of smoothies, they make a lot of sense. Here’s why:
- They’re easy. Short of eating yogurt straight from the tub, you won’t find a more prep-free morning meal than a smoothie. Just put your ingredients in the blender and hit ‘blend’.
- They’re versatile. Smoothies go with just about any diet. I make my smoothies with yogurt and a bit of iron-infused water as a base. But you can easily replace the yogurt with bananas or avocado as a thickener, and just about any liquid will do. Milk is a good choice, and milk-alternatives like almond or soy milk fill the role just fine.
- They’re filling. If you’re not feeling well, or your appetite isn’t great, smoothies are much easier on your gut than solid food. At the same time, they fill you up well, so you won’t go hungry.
- They’re good for your teeth. While many smoothies contain sugar, drinking it will have far less of an effect on your teeth than chewing it. You also don’t risk getting food stuck between your teeth. Of course, your teeth do need some work to stay healthy, and an all-liquid diet is not recommended.
- They can be as healthy as you want. Since smoothies are completely customizable, you can make them as healthy or as indulgent as you like. I add a pinch of spinach to help boost my iron levels, and flax seed for extra fibre. But there’s nothing stopping you from adding a bit of chocolate, honey, or even ice cream to turn it into a treat.
If you’re short on time, why not try adding smoothies to your diet? If you don’t like it, you can always munch on all that extra fruit and yogurt separately.