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Smooth(ie) Sailing

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Etiquette says that it isn’t nice to tell people how to spend their money. Sorry folks, this is a premeditated breach of etiquette right here. If you haven’t already done so, I strongly recommend taking a field trip to your nearest Target or miscellaneous big box store and buy yourself a single serve blender. Having this little Hamilton Beach gem (which I have named Stan… no idea why) in my kitchen has been an automatic +1 daily on the amount of fruits, vegetables and recovery protein that have made their way into my diet.

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I always thought people who would go to places like Freshens and other frozen treat chains to get smoothies the size of their faces and call it ‘health food’ were full of it. They still are. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY should walk into a Jamba Juice for an Original Size Peanut Butter Moo’d thinking that they’re making a health-conscious decision. 770 calories in that thing. Really? That’s the caloric equivalent of 2 cheeseburgers and an ice cream cone from McDonald’s. Nice.

Try this standup I just saw in Dunkin’ Donuts… Shouldn’t something with raspberries and limes in it be somewhat red? Pink at the very least? Mountain dew color is NOT naturally occurring.

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Needless to say, because of evil (albeit delicious) things like sugary concentrates, ice cream, froyo, sherbet and peanut butter that people toss into blenders with a slice of banana and call it healthy, I generally thought the idea of smoothies was nutritionally useless. Not to mention, homemade ice cubes were always too big to blend nicely into anything and always left icebergs in my drink large enough to sink the second coming of the Titanic.

I get impulsive sometimes. Once I decided I wanted to be girlier and start wearing rings. I went into Tiffany & Co on the way home from work that day and dropped $200 because I felt like it. 2 1/2 years later and I wear that thing every day. That’s the most notable impulse buy success story I’ve got. Stan comes in a close second. On the way home from CrossFit on a random Monday night, I decided that I wanted to make smoothies with just frozen fruit and some high-quality H2O. Detour to Target. 10 minutes and $15 later, Stan was mine. It’s now been a month and I still use him EVERY DAY.

Tips for Making Awesome Smoothies (Paleo, of course)

– Sounds weird, but NO ICE CUBES are needed. No room temperature fruit either. The key to the perfect consistency is to use reasonably-sized chunks of fruit that have been frozen in advance.

– Check the labels on your frozen fruit to make sure that no sugars have been added.

– Better yet, buy fresh and freeze the fruit yourself. See? Bananas plus cookie sheet and wax paper equals no big blob of banana chunks in a freezer bag.

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– Swap out the milk or yogurt you may be accustomed to using for water.

– It’s a great place to hide an extra serving of spinach.

– That said, if you’re going to go the spinach route, blend together the spinach and water FIRST, before adding the fruit. This helps break down the leaves without the berries getting in the way. Yes, it will look like hunter green water. If you only use light colored fruit like bananas, pineapple and peaches, it’s going to end up green. Deal with it.

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If anything… have fun with it! How else do you think Angry Smoothie was born? OH NOES! GREEN MONSTARRRR!

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– Are you so new to the smoothie thing that you’re not sure what proportions to use? Try this on for size = 6oz water, 1/2 scoop protein powder, 5 banana chunks and 1 additional cup of frozen fruit. Take it and run from there, should be a good start.

– Vanilla protein powder and banana slices make for a nice (and generally tasteless) base.

– For my readers who are of legal drinking age… you can even get boozy if you’re making this in the evening. Less protein powder but add a shot of tequila? Don’t mind if I do. Please no drinking alcohol before going to work, folks.

– This is also a fantastic way to trick yourself into thinking you’re eating dessert. Add a bit more fruit or a bit less water than normal to produce a thicker smoothie, eat with a spoon. Garnish with some Enjoy Life Chips if you’re feeling crazy. YUM.

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Do what the little bag of chocolate chips says. Enjoy Life. With today’s weather, I certainly did.

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