May-June 2012

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n : a counterbalancing weight, force, or influence: physical equilibrium: mental and emotional steadiness BALANCE by Danielle Polen Smooth(ie) Operator W eat a balanced meal? A more likely scenario might be a quick pit-stop at Starbucks or McDonald's, followed by "dining" on the fly behind the wheel or in the subway. One way for even the busiest of people to enjoy a e've all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but how many of us actually carve out time to prepare and nutrient-dense breakfast is to whip up a nourishing smoothie. Smoothies are healthy, portable, and easy to prepare—perfect for an on-the-go breakfast. Depending on the ingredients you choose, smoothies can provide important proteins, vitamins, minerals, and even fiber. To add protein, you can select a base of milk (or a protein-rich milk alternative such as soy milk, almond milk, hemp milk, etc.), soſt tofu, yogurt, or kefir. Then experiment with different ingredients to find the flavors you like best. My smoothie of choice is a green smoothie—one BERRY PROTEIN SMOOTHIE 2 cups mixed berries, (fresh or frozen) 1 cup silken tofu 1/4 cup pomegranate juice 2 to 3 tablespoons honey 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed 1 teaspoon finely grated peeled ginger Courtesy of wholeliving.com DANIELLE'S GREEN SMOOTHIE organic kale (see suggestion below) vanilla almond or coconut milk that packs a punch by blending organic greens, such as kale, spinach, Swiss chard, arugula, etc., with fruit. Green smoothies are a great way to add raw greens to your diet. And while my ingredient list changes, depending on what's in my fridge, my "go-to" recipe includes a few handfuls of organic kale (especially, the Lacinato or "Dinosaur" variety), vanilla almond milk or coconut milk (experiment with adding the liquid a little at a time to find the consistency you like), 2–3 tablespoons of organic hemp protein powder, a banana, and some berries. I might even throw in a bit of wheatgrass powder for an added boost. Then, just blend and enjoy! Whether you choose the green smoothie route or organic hemp protein powder (2-3 tablespoons) 1 Banana your favorite mixed berries DANIELLE'S KEY INGREDIENT: LACINATO KALE Lacinato kale has dark blue-green leaves and tastes slightly sweeter and more delicate than curly kale. prefer to stick with fruit only, the recipe possibilities are endless! And there's no rule that says that smoothies are only for breakfast. They can make a great aſternoon pick-me-up snack or even a light supper during the warmer months. Not sure your kids will go for that? Why not bring them around with a pizza smoothie or a cheeseburger chill? You might never be the kind of smooth operator that "places high stakes, and makes hearts ache," but you can still be at the top of your game with a morning smoothie. Danielle Polen is Associate Director, Publications. She is also an experienced, registered yoga teacher through the Yoga Alliance. She can be reached at dpolen@aila.org. MAY/JUNE 2012 29

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