I generally eat pretty healthfully and I try to make fruits, veggies, protein and healthy fats a large part of my diet. I don’t eat fast food, stay away from fried foods and limit processed foods. But, I do have a list f go-to easy foods: Triscuits, homemade seed crackers, homemade granola, Lara bars, whole grain cereals, and cheese – we can’t forget cheese – that I turn to when I am really busy or just don’t want to cook.
And to be honest, lately cooking hasn’t been as much of a joy for me as it usually is. (Which is particularly tough when you have food blog – wink, wink). It’s taking me a long time to find that “new normal” since the death of my mom last summer and I just don’t have the energy that I am used to. I’d much rather sit on the couch and pursue Pinterest than clean my house, tackle a project or whip up a recipe. I have little patience for mess or even less motivation to get things done. I also feel completely scatterbrained – it’s hard for me to focus on any one task for a significant period of time.
On top of all that, my family’s schedule is crazy! I think that’s just how it is with three growing kids who are becoming more involved in their schools and communities, but we have something almost every night of the week. I am not complaining about that, I would much rather have them involved in activities they love than sitting around on devices, or worse, finding trouble. But it does make dinner time difficult. Sometimes it’s a challenge just to find time to go to the grocery store to stock up for the week. And if a meal isn’t prepped in the crock pot before 3 p.m., it isn’t getting made.
So, lately I have been over-relying on quick “snack” foods (and wine) to get me through the days. And I don’t mean just in December -this has been going on for some time people. I find myself eating a handful of granola or dried fruit for breakfast, grabbing a Lara bar or homemade snack bar on my way out the door and eating cheese and crackers (and wine) for dinner. (And not just on those nights that we designate as cheese platter nights, but generally anytime I am too tired or too uninspired to cook a meal). While this habit certainly isn’t terrible – it’s not like I’m eating cheeseburgers and pizza for every meal – it also isn’t great. And I can tell that my body is craving some more nutrients.
One of the easiest ways for me to get those nutrients is by whipping up a delicious smoothie. Smoothies make a great breakfast, snack, or even lunch on the go – and because of a virtually limitless number of additions and combinations they can be customized to meet any taste or dietary preferences.
This morning I decided to make a fruity smoothie. I found half a bag of frozen dark cherries in the freezer – I love using frozen fruit in my smoothies – and so I decided to combine them with coconut water, almond milk, a splash of lemon juice, dash of cinnamon, a little vanilla and a handful of hemp seeds. This was actually a very light smoothie – almost more like a juice (but I still haven’t acquired that juicer so I just keep making do with my blender), which was perfect for a post-run pick-me-up, especially since there were only a couple hours until lunch.
If you wanted to make this smoothie more filling you could reduce the amount of coconut water and add more almond milk, or sub full-fat coconut milk (the kind in the can) for the coconut water. You could also add in some Greek yogurt, almond butter or even a scoop of your favorite protein powder.
Any way you make it, the cherry flavor is superb. Assuming, of course, you like cherries.
And this is a great recipe to get you back on track if you’ve had one too many Christmas cookies.