If you’re anything like me, you’re always looking for a simple idea for how to eat healthier. I seriously struggle so much with this. My diet kind of sucks, to be honest. I have a killer sweet tooth and chips call to me like a siren to a ship at sea. So I’m constantly trying new foods or trying to incorporate healthier foods into my diet more. And it is really hard sometimes.
Trying new things is hard…and sometimes gross.
Have you ever heard of Mermaid Lemonade? There are a few versions of this. There is the fun, alcohol-infused cocktail version, and then there’s this version. And it looks super amazing. This is the healthy one that I discovered one day and had to try while my husband looked at me bewildered and said, “You’re really going to drink that, huh?” And I replied optimistically, “It looks so good!” Boy, was I wrong. I attempted several sips before deciding it was awful and dumping the entire glass down the drain.
The key ingredient in this is spirulina. Spirulina has tons of healthy vitamins so it was definitely worth trying. If you’ve never had it, it definitely has kind of a weird “sea” taste to it and it can be difficult to figure out exactly how to go about incorporating it into your diet. This is not something you can just eat on a spoon.
Enter the Mermaid Lemonade, a seemingly pleasant way to consume this superfood.
Now, to be fair, I did use apple cider vinegar and not coconut. But it’s in the recipe that it can be substituted, so that should’ve been okay. I also noticed that my Mermaid Lemonade was considerably more green than the photo, so perhaps my spirulina was slightly different in taste. Either way, it was not good. It tasted like fish and vinegar water. And there is no way I am going to drink that on a daily basis.
That being said, I may try it again. But only with a new batch of spirulina and coconut vinegar. My taste buds cannot handle my version again. Some people, including the author -who has tons of other amazing recipes by the way- think it tastes absolutely amazing. So don’t take my word for it, go ahead and try it. But if you find yourself deciding this is not the mystical, delicious super drink you were hoping for, I am right there with you.
Then there are all of the healthy foods that are impossible to eat on a regular basis on their own like flax seed, chia seed, and kale. Yes, kale. I know there are some of you saying, “But, kale is amazing!” Let me stop you right there. No. Just…no.
It is nutritious, yes, and for a vegan, practically a staple. But I will never agree that it is delicious or easy to consume for that matter. Devein my greens? I gave up meat so that there would be no more deveining, thank you.
And don’t even get me started on trying to get a 3-year-old to eat kale.
It can be exhausting to try to figure out ways to add all of these new, strange, but undeniably healthy things into the mix. I’m not going to sprinkle chia seeds on everything. That would be weird. So what super easy change did we make to add these things to our diet in my house? We changed how we consumed them by adding to our meals the almighty smoothie.
So, why are smoothies so amazing?
Obviously, it can be really difficult to incorporate fancy, healthy foods into our diet. Like spirulina and kale. (That’s right, I called kale fancy. Because it’s not Iceberg or Romaine, and I am not that hip!) But it’s almost equally difficult to ensure we’re just eating enough fruits and vegetables of any kind on a daily basis. Most people struggle with this. It’s just so much easier to eat what we know. And what we know is usually boxed, basic, or from a restaurant.
It’s even harder to get kids to eat vegetables. Fruits? Sure, they’ll go for most fruits. But put something green or leafy in front of them and let the whining begin!
Smoothies are like a magic elixir that fixes this common problem. Figuring out how to eat healthier has never been easier! I can’t believe it took me so long to start making them.
In the right combinations, you can hide some of the most detested vegetables. Hide them from yourself, your meat and potatoes loving husband, and your I-only-want-spaghetti kids. As long as there is some sweet, flavorful fruit in there, you can hide spinach, kale, and yes, even the spirulina!
Not only do they mask the taste of vegetables we may not like, they do an even better job at making really boring vegetables better. I’ve successfully added frozen peas, cucumber, flax and chia seeds which are all virtually undetectable once mixed with fruits like watermelon and strawberries and liquids like lime juice or vanilla almond milk. The options are endless.
Speaking of endless options, that’s another great thing about smoothies. You almost can’t screw it up. I’ve made smoothies for over a year on an almost daily basis. I can count on one hand the number of times it didn’t turn out well enough to be consumed. Most have been awesome. Our current favorites are Chocolate Strawberry Banana and Chocolate Mint. You can always find some combination for whatever fruits, vegetables, liquids, and mix-ins you have on hand.
Since there are so many possibilities, it’s also a great way to easily mix up the different vitamins and nutrients you are getting. For example, switch up how you make it creamy by using avocado one day and yogurt the next. Two completely different ingredients, providing different nutrients, but in the smoothie, they do the same thing. And there usually isn’t much difference in taste.
But the number one reason why smoothies are the best trick for anyone trying to figure out how to eat healthier?
THEY TAKE NO TIME TO MAKE!
Literally the fastest breakfast I could ever make. Every morning, while my son is eating his breakfast, I grab a bunch of frozen fruits and vegetables, decide what flavor I’m looking for, and toss it all into the blender. It takes me less than five minutes to get it all together, blend it up, and pour it into my cup. It makes a giant cup for myself and a smaller one for Zach. Sometimes he doesn’t want it and I toss it in the fridge for him to have as an easy, healthy after school snack.
Of course, you are going to want a decent blender if you’re going to make smoothies. Not fancy, but not a $15 one from Wal-Mart either. I have this one and I love it. It’s not top of the line so it’s not super expensive. But it’s strong enough to get the job done and I have no complaints about it. It’s a great starter blender for anyone looking to add more smoothies into their diet. You can always upgrade to something stronger and fancier later if you want.
How to eat healthier…an easy solution
Smoothies are the perfect solution to the desire to find a simple way to eat healthily. They are versatile and can mask flavors that aren’t your favorite, allowing you and your family to eat more of what you know you should but just can’t seem to. I’ve been there. And they are so quick and easy to prepare. That alone earns them a gold star in my book.
The great thing about smoothies is they can grow and expand with your journey to eat more healthfully. The technique, time and simplicity never change as your desire to try new, crazy combinations grows. Just add whatever new ingredient you want to try and see what happens!
Incorporating smoothies into our diet greatly increased both the number of fruits and vegetables we eat daily as well as the variety. I feel so much better knowing that even if Zach didn’t eat the vegetables on his plate, he’s already had a few servings of fruits and veggies that he gladly gobbled up.
Start trying out some simple combinations and see where it takes you. Your body will thank you.
Have you decided to add smoothies into your diet? What are some of your favorite combinations?
-To your Better Life-