Best Smoothie Recipe for Healthy Treadmill Desking
This is a departure from our normal blogging topics but we thought it might be fun to share with you what the WorkWhileWalking staffers have adopted as our drink of choice for optimal health, since like you, we’re all into treadmill desking as a way to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
We promise you, if you take a daily dose of this detoxifying concoction instead of that third cup of coffee or can of soda you’ll notice an immediate improvement in your energy level and “digestive tract regularity,” and gain significant long-term benefit to your overall health. Plus it feels good to just know you’re taking better care of yourself.
This recipe doesn’t include sugary yogurts or milk, peanut butter, artificial sweeteners or anything you shouldn’t be eager to put in your body – it’s just the good stuff. In fact most of these ingredient are so-called “superfoods” because of their high ratio of nutrients to calories. Unlike a lot of “health smoothie” recipes you’ll find on the web, this recipe truly is low in sugar and fat, high in protein, fiber and anti-oxidants, and it tastes terrific. To make it, all you need are ingredients and a blender.
This smoothie is great for breakfast, lunch or – in a smaller portion – as a first course or dessert with dinner. The smoothie can be a meal in itself as it will leave you feeling very full and satisfied on as little as one glass.
Here are the ingredients:
A mix of organic berries – for a big dose of beneficial flavonoids add blueberries for sure, and strawberries and/or raspberries if you have them. Fresh is always best, otherwise make sure they haven’t been frozen for more than 3 months or they will have lost too many of their good nutrients. Berries help boost heart health, control diabetes, lower blood pressure, fight cancer, and help prevent Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease, among other health benefits. Blueberries have even been shown to help slow cognitive decline with aging. You can also control the color of your smoothie by manipulating the number of blues and reds you add to the mix to strike the most appetizing shade of purple. Never leave out the berries!
Green leaf – kale is our favorite green leaf to add although you can also use Swiss chard, arugula or any number of other green leafed plant, the darker the better. It’s very low in calories and high in iron, folic acid (Vitamin B9), Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, anti-oxidants that fight arthritis and asthma, anti-inflammatory nutrients like Omega-3, calcium and fiber – and it contains zero fat. Kale can be frozen whole-leaf for convenience and you don’t need to remove the stems if you’re going to blend it into a smoothie – use it all. Experiment with different kinds of kale to determine your favorite; all of them will add a nutty flavor to this filling nutty/fruity concoction.
Almonds and/or almond milk – plain almond milk is a GREAT substitute for cow’s milk that’s way healthier for you and better for the environment, too. If you’re trying to cut carbs and sugars in your diet, swapping almond milk in place of cow’s milk will go a long way. Be sure to get only pure almond milk made from just almonds and water. Avoid flavored almond milks that have added sugar. We like to throw a few raw almonds in for a little texture, too. If you don’t have almond milk on hand you can use skim milk or water. Add ice cubes if you want a frostier feel to your smoothie. We sometimes make ice cubes out of almond milk for convenience. Almond milk is great for your heart, bones (has as much calcium as cow’s milk), skin, eyes and muscles, and helps with weight management.
Plain Greek yogurt – make sure it’s plain, not sweetened or with sugary fruit added. The yogurt gives the smoothie its nice mouth feel and adds protein and calcium. Yogurt’s acidophilus and lactobacillus organisms can improve intestinal health, reduce diarrhea and even help to prevent vaginal yeast infections.
Organic fresh fruit – half a banana will add fiber and improve the texture of your smoothie while adding sweetness to balance the berries and kale. If your berries are not particularly sweet you can also add some apple for fiber and natural fructose sweetening. Don’t be afraid to experiment with other fruits. It’s really hard to screw up a smoothie, but if you’re just not getting the sweetness right with your mix of fruits either try to find riper fruits (especially the bananas, which get sweeter with time) or add a little organic honey to get the flavor right.
Chia seeds – if you’re not familiar with chia seeds they are becoming much more commonly available at grocery stores and online stores and even Costco carries them now. They’re super rich in Omega-3 anti-oxidants, minerals and fiber, and help control blood sugars. Chia seeds have no flavor of their own but when mixed in with liquids they plump up after a few minutes and add a texture layer to the smoothie that’s fun and delicious. They’re also great mixed into yogurt or even a glass of water. They look like poppy seeds but they become soft and pop between your teeth once they’ve absorbed some water, almost like microscopic tapioca. A tablespoon mixed into your smoothie (after blending), chia seeds are a favorite addition among the WorkWhileWalking staff. We’ll also sometimes add a tablespoon of hemp seeds (also available at Amazon and Costco now) for more fiber, vitamins and an interesting flavor layer.
Don’t worry about proportions, just start experimenting with small amounts of each and figure out the custom proportions of ingredients that work best for you. Just remember to use fresh ingredients to get the biggest nutrient bang for the calorie.
We raise a glass of Treadmill Walkers Smoothie to your health!