"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food." - Hippocrates
I have always LOVED breakfast. Like breakfast for dinner kind of love. From pancakes, to cereal, to pop-tarts... I literally had a love affair with breakfast. The first thing I learned to cook? Pancakes. When I was having a bad day what would I eat? Cereal. So when I decided that I wanted to "eat clean," I quickly realized that many of my beloved breakfast foods, simply had to go. For starters, I was basically eating sugar covered sugar. Sugar was the second ingredient of my favorite cereal, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and the 6th ingredient was fructose. My Brown Sugar Pop-tarts, for God's sake had sugar in the name, and boasted the holy trinity- corn syrup, sugar, and high fructose corn syrup. Not to mention, that my go to syrup had 37g of sugar in 1/4 of a cup. I needed a new plan for breakfast, and I needed it fast.
Now, the foundational ingredient of the clean eaters breakfast is eggs. And unfortunately, I can not stand eggs. I've tried them scrambled, fried, sunny side-up, boiled, as an omelette, egg whites only. And nope. Eggs just don't do it for me. So I had to find something else and I discovered three healthy alternatives: 1) avocado toast, 2) homemade oatmeal, and my favorite 3) fresh pressed juices and smoothies.
Clearly, I like sweet things in the morning. And if I couldn't have my cereal and pancakes, I ideally wanted a healthy alternative that was still sweet AND allowed me to get some additional servings of fruits & vegetables into my diet. A fresh-made green juice, is almost like receiving an IV infusion of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes because they go straight into your system without having to be broken down. And if you get the right recipe, it can taste great!!
Kristian's Morning Smoothie 1 Cup of Spinach or Kale 1/2 cup of shredded carrots 1/2 cup of frozen pineapples and mangoes (No added sugar) 1 tbsp of flax seeds 2 cups of water
Introducing smoothies into my morning routine transformed my mornings! For starters, they are super easy to make and do not take a lot of time. I am usually running late on my way to work, so being able to drink my smoothie in the car during my morning commute is a win-win. Not only is it easy and nutritious, but I also noticed that I had more energy and I was staying full until lunch time. This means that I was less likely to snack on something I knew I wasn't supposed to be eating. Smoothies are great, but sometimes I have a taste for a fresh pressed juice. The consistency of a juice and a smoothie are different as well as the nutritional value. We will discuss the differences between juices and smoothies in a later post.
My juice bar of choice is Plant Bar in Baltimore. They make fresh pressed juices right in front of you, so you know exactly what you are getting. This is NOT the same thing as Smoothie King, that adds all kinds of sugars and processed juices to their drinks. At Plant Bar, you are literally getting fresh veggies and fruits only. This morning I had the Post Workout Elixir, sub lemon for pineapple. (I love lemon on my chicken and in my guacamole, but not in my juice.)
In case you haven't heard, juicing is trending. Recent claims have promised that drinking fresh-pressed juices can help you lose weight, boost immunity, prevent cancer and cleanse your system. So if you haven't' tried it yet, go ahead, give it a try.