Daily I am confronted with the urge to satisfy my carb-loving/sugar-fiending taste buds (it does not help that my Instagram feed consists solely of top chefs/bakers). Note: I have tried to unfollow these desires, but life becomes quite mundane without them.
So in order to stay sane, I adhere to the spiritually-focused/cognitively-challenging health ritual of portion control. This practice, which is thought to be one of the toughest feats to conquer, requires the subject to eat minimal amounts of the unhealthy stuff (i.e. typically mouthwatering foods) in order to achieve their health/fitness goals. It has taken me many, many years of practice, but as I embark on the latter side of my quarter-century life phase, I am aware that these sacrifices are necessary.
One way I combat the urge to not eat as much throughout the day is making sure that I eat enough of the right stuff at the start of the day. After 30+ years of eating breakfasts, I have finally discovered my go-to meal: Spinach Power Shake Smoothie.
The key is having ingredients that keep you full for a substantial amount of time. A lot of people love the to-go oatmeal every morning, thinking the slow digesting carbs will keep them full (and for many people it does), however for myself, it never did the trick! See, when having oatmeal, you really should only be having ¾ of a cup. This is a pitiful amount in my opinion, so what I ended up doing was having twice as much, thus consuming quite a lot of carbs/calories. The comforting bowl of oats would leave a 300+ calorie deficit of my daily total and over 50 grams of carbs (although not necessarily the bad carbs, albeit carbs non the less), and most importantly, a grumbling tummy within an hour.
So I turned to the breakfast shake/green smoothie. I have always enjoyed a good protein shake, but this time I started adding a new ingredient: spinach. Spinach, when blended in a smoothie, is virtually tasteless, but adds so many nutrients that it would be silly for anyone not to add it their shakes.
Spinach is a powerhouse leafy green, with a boat load of dietary potassium (almost twice as much as a banana and great for muscle recovery), rich in iron, and also has ton of magnesium, which is necessary for energy metabolism. Also adding a healthy dose of Vitamin K to your diet, this green hero was a life changer in my daily routine.
- A handful of baby spinach
- ½ frozen banana (doubles as a fruity ice cubes to cool down the smoothie)
- 1 cup of water
- 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
- Additional options:
- Chia seeds
- Any other fruit (I also love blueberries)
- Any powder supplements you may be taking
- Add the smoothie ingredients to your blender and whizz up until smooth.
- Top with your favourite toppings.