Friday, April 17, 2009

We Love Green Smoothies!

This is my best tip on how to get more fruits and vegetables into your child's diet! I do a class called Super Plant Eaters Club here in Central Florida, and the first class is called "Feeding my Green Machine". We make Green Smoothies and identify the different greens that can be used in smoothies. Kids LOVE this class more than any of my other classes because: 1. They love pressing buttons on the Vita-Mix, 2. They get excited about the different colors they can create with the greens and the different fruits. 3. They love the part where I let them all toast each other and say "cheers" before downing the smoothie.

If you've never tried one, you will be pleasantly surprised at how good they taste. And if you have kids under 3, I recommend you get started right away and make it a daily habit. Kids older than three tend to be more averse to trying them but if you start with even just one small leaf of a green and the rest fruit, you can build up to more greens and less fruit over time. Let them pick out what they want in it and get excited about it!

My kids gulp down 3 cups of raw spinach along with 2 to 3 servings of fruit a day thanks to the Vita-mix. Really, if you can only have one kitchen appliance, let it be this one. Your smoothies will turn out so much better because the high powered motor and stainless steal blade will break down the greens and nuts really well, so much better than a normal blender. I use it more than my Omega 8000 Juicer and more than my food processor. In fact, I could probably live fine without those two appliances but not the Vita-mix.

So I'm going to share what I call "Beginner Green Smoothies" and feel free to adjust the amount of greens to 1 cup to start with and then add on each time you make it. You may add golden ground flax, any type of nut, or even half an avocado to increase calories/fat. You can also omit the plant milk altogether and just add water to the last two. And, you can sweeten with extra fruit juice or Agave Nectar.

Orange Green Smoothie
1-2 cups organic spinach
1 cup orange or tangerine juice (freshly juiced or organic is best)
1 frozen banana
Add coconut water or plain filtered water as needed to blend.
optional- add golden ground flax

Blend the fruit and juice first, then add greens. Enjoy!

Berry Green Smoothie
1-2 cups organic spinach
1 cup frozen organic blueberries
1 cup coconut water or almond milk
1 banana
Add extra coconut water or plain filtered water as needed to blend.

Blend the fruit and juice first, then add greens. Enjoy!

Chocolate Green Smoothie
1-2 cups organic spinach
1 frozen banana
1 cup soy milk or almond milk
1 tbsp organic cocoa powder
1 tbsp Agave Nectar
Add coconut water or plain filtered water as needed to blend.

Blend the fruit and juice first, then add greens. Enjoy!

In the photo above my girls are drinking the Berry Green Smoothie. The berries are dark enough to change the color to an almost brown looking smoothie. The Orange Green Smoothie is very green!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

We drink Water

I know this blog is called "What a Healthy Family Eats", but I want to start off talking about what we drink. In our house, water is the beverage we drink first thing in the morning after brushing our teeth. We sip on it in between meals and during and after exercise.

I can't stress enough how important it is to drink water! Too many adults and kids are walking around with symptoms of dehydration. They are tired, constipated, having sinus issues, or feeling sick. And yes, good old water can be a big help. Our bodies are made up of 60% water, so it makes sense to make water and foods containing water a staple in our diets.

We drink filtered water. We use a PUR 3 stage filter on our kitchen tap. I know some will argue that reverse osmosis is better because the PUR filter doesn't remove all pollutants...well I'll take 99% as good enough.

My concern with reverse osmosis is that all the mineral content is also removed and I don't know that I like the idea of adding minerals back into the water.

We also use Sigg Bottles to transport water with us around town. When we forget the Sigg Bottles, I resort to bottled water and usually chose VOSS, Fiji Spring Water or Glaceau Smart Water. It just depends on what I can find and whether we're in a place where glass is okay since the VOSS water comes in a glass bottle.

If you are a family that is currently drinking milk, juice or tea most of the day. Think about how you can start substituting water for those beverages. If you are using juice boxes, try switching to a Hanes Juice Flavored Water box or a Wateroo. Instead of serving juice or milk with a snack, serve water. Invest in a Sigg Bottle or other non-leaching recyclable bottle so you don't have to use water boxes or buy bottled water. If you have an athlete in your family they need water, not Gatorade or one of the other colored sports beverages. If they are exercising for more than one hour at a time, then coconut water, HEED, or Emergen-C is a better electrolyte replacement.

So just remember this equation: Water 90% of the time, other beverages 10%...unless you are drinking a green smoothie. But I'll save that for my next post!

What this blog is about

As a Wellness Coach I am constantly being asked what I eat, what my kids eat and how I get all those fruit and veggie servings in every day.

This blog is for all those people out there who need to be "in the know" about what I do on a daily basis, the choices we make as a family to make sure we are eating and living as healthy as possible 90% of the time.

We are not perfect and there will be people who will disagree or find fault in some of the things we are doing. I'm an open minded person who is open to perspectives other than my own. I just ask that you be considerate and respectful when responding to my posts.

I'm here to make a positive impact and offer help to families who are struggling with making consistently healthy choices. I'm not here to compete with other families who are "crunchy" like us or prove that our way is the "right" way. I believe that every family should find their own path to optimal health and wellness.

Enjoy the journey with us!