breakfast BLEND

By now you've heard it over and over and OVER again, "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day."  Most of us even know why: People who eat breakfast tend to weigh less than those who don't - it gets your metabolism moving and helps to keep afternoon cravings at bay.  Alas, there are many of us that just aren't breakfast people.  In fact, the thought of eating breakfast prior to our 6:00am workout is downright nauseating. Thankfully, Burn 60 Fitness Director Charlotte Mooney has a solution: BLENDING.

Vitamix Professional Series

"Blending is a great, nutrient-rich way to kick start your morning!" says Charlotte. "It's also an easy option for those that don't have the time to put together a sit down meal in the early morning hours (ahem, most of us)."

Because you can blend multiple servings of fruits and veggies into a single smoothie, blending is an excellent way to make sure you are consuming the recommended TWO servings of fruits and vegetables a day.

"Organic fruits are best for breakfast, but vegetables can be blended mid-afternoon or evening for a healthy and highly effective energy boost."

That being said, rest assured, there is NO WRONG WAY to do it! Any and all combinations of fruits and veggies can make for a deliciously satisfying meal.  Simply toss a few of your favorite selections in a blender with a little ice and water and blend away!

Feel free to experiment too! Maybe substitute the water with a bit of almond milk or add a tablespoon of peanut butter to up the protein and keep you feeling full even longer! Seriously, ANYTHING GOES!

Here's a delicious seasonal recipe to get those creative juices going:

PUMPKIN SPICE BREAKFAST SMOOTHIE

Recipe courtesy of Alaska from Scratch

What You'll Need:

1/2c pumpkin puree

2T pure maple syrup

1 frozen banana

1/2c old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)

1 graham cracker, crumbled

1-1/2t pumpkin pie spice

1-1/4c milk of your choice

How to Make It Happen:

Add all of the ingredients to a blender and whirl on high until smooth and well-combined. Add more milk as needed until desired consistency is reached. Pour into glasses and sprinkle with a little more pumpkin pie spice on top.

DRINK UP!

going green

We all know how important it is to eat our veggies, but do you know why?  In addition to being low in fat and calories, vegetables contain important nutrients such as potassium, fiber, folate and Vitamins A and C.  When eaten as recommended (approx. 3 cups daily) and as part of an overall healthy diet, this single food group packs a big punch-maintaining blood sugar, lowering cholesterol, and protecting against heart disease, obesity, diabetes and even cancer.

Given all their amazing benefits, we should be piling vegetables on our plates at every meal, but during these hot mid-summer months a heaping side of veggies, roasted steamed or otherwise, tends to lack  appeal.  Care to substitute with a big bowl fresh leafy greens? No, thanks. That's rabbit food.

So how then do we reap their rewards?  Insert the latest trend in health food: The Green Smoothie.

The process is quite simple: Begin with a liquid base (basically anything non-dairy will do), select your choice of greens (many MANY options here, but spinach has the perfect subtle taste for the first time smoothie maker).  Next, add some fruit for flavor, then play around with other nutrients (think protein found in nut butter) and sweeteners (NOT sugar).  Put everything in a blender and, well, BLEND!

The possibilities are endless, but here is a great recipe to get you started (courtesy of Two Peas and Their Pod)

Pineapple Mango Green Smoothie*

1 cup almond milk (or milk of your choice) 1/2 banana, frozen 1 cup chopped mango 1/2 cup chopped fresh pineapple 2 cups fresh spinach 1/2 cup of ice

Combine all ingredients into a blender, BLEND, then serve (makes one large smoothie)

*For more Green Smoothie recipes visit Burn 60's Whole Eating board on Pinterest.