Shake It Up


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Here's a healthful breakfast idea for busy, workaholic types: the fruit and yogurt smoothie. It's the ideal breakfast for people like you and me who don't have time for elaborate morning rituals. Not only is a yogurt fruit shake delicious and nutritious, but it affords maximum convenience and diet control!

Reasons Why Breakfast Shakes Rock

You decide what goes in. Allergic to bananas? Try peaches in your smoothie instead. Don’t like nuts? Leave them out. It’s totally up to you, what you add to your smoothie each morning. Mix up a “Berry Blast” one day and “Very Vanilla” the next. Smoothies are totally versatile and delicious!

They’re so easy to make. It doesn’t take a culinary master to throw a little of this or that in a blender with ice, give it a whirl on high speed and pour into your receptacle of choice. Stock up each week with a smorgasbord of smoothie ingredients and mix and match each day.

It’s a meal in a glass. What could be better than a breakfast that’s both nutritionally-optimized and can be ingested without chewing? This is the perfect food as far as I can see. Slurp one down just before that big meeting! Drink your meal while sitting in traffic. Brilliant!

Smoothies are easily transportable. Take one to work, carry one along in your gym backpack. . . your smoothie can go wherever you go, in a handy plastic container with a snap-on lid. Keep it cool in your take-along cold pack and enjoy a refreshing thirst quencher and energy booster any time of day.

Make it the night before. If you’ve got a full day scheduled, blend up your smoothie the night before, store it away in the fridge, and then in the morning you can just grab and go. Smoothies are for stress-free living!

Smoothie Ingredients: the Perfect Blend

When it comes to ingredients, there's really no set recipe to follow. It's your smoothie and you can make it however you like. Following is a list of foods that you may or may not include when dreaming up your own unique smoothie creation.

1. Yogurt. Just the right consistency to add body and texture to your shake. The tart flavor of yogurt contrasts nicely with fruit and natural sweeteners. A good source of protein for brain power, plus calcium to keep bones and teeth healthy. Active acidophilus cultures in yogurt help to maintain the bacterial balance of the stomach and intestinal tract.

2. Soymilk. The benefits of soy protein are vast! Used to curb hormone fluctuations in menopausal women, soymilk contains natural estrogenic plant derivatives that can reduce your risk of cancer. Calcium and B-vitamin rich soymilk also makes for healthier bones and improved nervous system function. Pour some into your morning smoothie as a healthy alternative to cow's milk.

3. Whole, rolled oats. Add fiber plus heart protection to your diet. Whole oats are packed with B vitamins and notorious for keeping cholesterol down. Remove artery sludge and reduce the risk of heart attack with a half-cup of oats a day. Cleverly hidden in your tasty breakfast shake, you barely even notice they're there.

4. Nuts or seeds. A source of protein and Omega-3 fatty acids needed for glandular and cellular function, nuts and seeds are another ingredient you can toss in by the handful and get instant health benefits. Try any combination of peanuts, walnuts, filberts, pecans, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds or milled flaxseeds for added fiber plus a bold, nutty flavor.

5. Fresh fruit. Start your day right with a little jolt of seratonin from natural fruit sugar. Blueberries are known for their anti-carcinogenic properties. Or, try any of the other vitamin-packed berry varieties such as strawberries, raspberries or blackberries. Bananas, peaches and pineapples make great shake flavors as well.

6. Raw honey. Just a touch of honey in your smoothie adds that sweetness to counter the taste of nuts and oats. Known for its amazing healing properties, honey is the healthy man's sugar and makes for excellent flavor in your morning protein drink.

Instead of skipping breakfast tomorrow like you usually do, why not shake things up with a fantastic breakfast shake that takes less than ten minutes to make! It’ll go down smooth and easy, and set the tone for an energy-filled and productive day.

Copyright 2005 Dina Giolitto. All rights reserved.

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