Your food choices depend greatly on your culture and your environment. That's why changing your eating habits can be so challenging. What you eat is your choice; but that choice is influenced by where you’re from, if you suffer from food allergies, whether you’re a vegetarian, whether you eat for nutrition or for the pleasure of satisfying your taste buds. It’s not a myth that what you eat affects how you feel physically and emotionally, so what and when you eat are important, especially if you are concerned with your overall health.
In many cultures, breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day. Did you know that breakfast means to “break” the “fast” from the previous day? I prefer to practice before breakfast; Ashtangis know it’s best to do asana on an empty stomach. I learned this the hard way, after a bad bout of stomach cramps while forward folding during one of my first yoga classes. It was very painful!
Today, I’m going to share what I usually have for breakfast after my practice. I love smoothies, fruit and veggies! I can go a whole day on smoothies alone. A smoothie is nutritionally packed because you use the whole fruit or vegetable, seeds and skins too. That's why organic is the way to go. They are usually filling, but if not you can add protein powder, oats or nuts. They are quick and easy to prepare. You can take them on the go, or make a batch, freeze it and enjoy it later. They make me feel healthy and they are delicious!
The smoothie I make the most is the green smoothie, since I always have ingredients at hand. I usually combine three fruits and three veggies. Sometimes I add almonds or chia seeds. I have experimented with different ingredients and followed recipes until I found something healthy, energizing, filling and satisfies.
Here is a list of some of the fruits and veggies I choose from and why.
Best known for its ability to reduce inflammation in muscles and joints.
They are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. Plus, they’re sweet.
Known to have cancer-fighting properties.
They are considered one of the healthiest options of fruit. Banana makes the smoothie creamy and sweet.
They are known to be very nutritious and packed with healthy fats. They also make your smoothie creamy, but not sweet.
Known for its cooling quality, high water content and thirst quenching properties. Great after a sweaty practice.
Is a great source of vitamin K and dietary fiber.
Green leafy veggies
Celery, romaine lettuce, parsley, kale, cabbage, spinach... too many to list. They all have vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber and a plethora of nutrients. It’s what makes your smoothie green. If not, it would be a strange unappetizing color.
Don't be afraid to mix different fruits and vegetables. One of my favorite fruit smoothies is mango and passion fruit. You can add ginger, turmeric, oils, nuts, spices until you find the perfect blend.
My Favorite Green Smoothie
1 cup of water or fresh coconut water
1 cucumber, chopped
1 apple, chopped
1 cup of pineapple, chopped
1 cup of broccoli, chopped
2 handfuls of any leafy green veggie
1 banana or half of an avocado if you prefer less sweet
1 cup of ice
Blend for 1 minute in a high-speed blender. Makes approximately 64 ounces of green smoothie. Enjoy!!
Do you have any favorite post-practice smoothies? Please share!