Sunday, September 2, 2012

Chronicle #2: Drinking my veggies

From green tea to smoothies to coconut water, I have found more ways to pour nutrients down my throat in one sitting. I know this is not some revelation or any kind of surprise. Smoothies are not a new thing. But when Cooking Light asks me to blend spinach with honeydew, I do it, knowing that the combination is sure to be a nutritional win.

Smoothie Celebration
I saw several recipes that I am inspired to try, all in the latest issue of Cooking Light. I tried the honeydew and spinach smoothie, (1 c. spinach, 1.5 c honeydew, 1/3 c. vanilla yogurt) and was in Heaven! It is such an easy way to drink a salad and have your fruit without blinking. I could see myself drinking this as a breakfast delight or late night snack. Yes, I in fact did not resist the urge to sound like a commercial. It was that good.
I have a recipe for a pina colada smoothie and watermelon mint smoothie, a peanut butter berry smoothie...and I'm pretty much going to try them all. I feel a certain triumph in pulling out my hand blender and making produce happen again. It's been too long since I've entertained cooking and combining interesting ingredients. It really never gets old, and certain recipes never lose their appeal. It takes me minutes to prepare, and my son can enjoy them as well. At a moment in my life where I want my body in peak condition, these smoothie combinations couldn't come at a better time.

Green Tea
I'm thoughtful while sipping on steamed green Japanese tea. I can't wait to have enough to support my gyokuro green tea habit. I'm all set to buy a 16 oz. bag of the stuff for about 94 dollars from Adagio teas (they are online and make the best flavor blends). Yeah, that's not just cash laying around. That's someone who's truly in the game because health is at stake. I decided not to purchase another small bag to save money in the long run. I'd better hurry though, since it's time for second flush, and then that'll be the next drinkable green du jour. There's also a delicious 8 percent oolong called pouchong. I love the taste and figure it'll be available when my gyokuro no longer is...gyokuro is the best part about spring. Sigh.

Coconut Water: Gatorade in the Wild
 Really, the nectar of the gods begins and ends with coconut water, for its rich electrolyte content, especially potassium. I don't think that most people realize just how important potassium is to energy and a healthy heart. It's the perfect scientific workout ratio for a sports drink, and it's low in calories. My energy was ebbing just earlier, and 16 oz. of coconut water picked me up pretty nicely. I have now tried about four different companies and each have a different flavor. I've yet to decide my favorite. So far I think Zico ranks at the top, and Zola is the sweetest. I'm hearing that if the coconut comes from Brazil, you get more coconut taste. Companies are innovating coconut waters by infusing them with coffee and chocolate and cream. It's an interesting way to keep it different, so that  we don't get tired of the water's taste, since to me, it's a pretty unique flavor.

Naked Juice: Nature's other fast food
So obviously apples, bananas and grapes are among the fastest foods one can eat while driving, but when in a pinch, I'll reach for a Naked Juice, if I want a quick dose of guaranteed nutrients in a juice that I can trust will be fresh.
My favorite drinks of substance are protein zone (mango), and berry veggies, because of its strong cherry flavor, and its fiber. My favorite juices are the pomegranate blueberry and the orange juice, though I try not to rely on pure juice to satisfy my hydration or nutrient needs unless mixed with something more substantial (like fiber or protein).

Conversation with Food Prices
A friend and I were having lunch today, and she once dated a chef, and is a foodie herself. She made a great point about how the majority of our money does, and should essentially go to food, because good food is important and vital. It made me think about the money I set aside weekly to eat healthfully. I do feel it pays off, sometimes immediately, sometimes in the long run. Either way, I make sure to spend on my food, whether I plan it or not. (I think I should begin planning it.) I have several books that I have yet to read, and I feel these books contribute to our sense of knowing what is our food, what is the industry teaching us, and what we can expect if we continue to ignore the crisis in our society regarding the food industry, flours and sugars, sustainable farming, fast food, etc. I think it's time to make a book list in a future post. Look for it.

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