It’s a lot easier than you would think.
I was never much of a breakfast person growing up. In high school my idea of a nutritious meal was smearing globs of Nutella onto toaster waffles as I ran out the door half asleep. Thats if I made myself anything at all.
Later in college, armed with a too-large meal plan, nowhere to be until my 11 AM class, and a dining hall with an omelette bar, I suddenly made time for my morning meal. This not only kickstarted my indulgent breakfast habit, but also my dependence on coffee. Suddenly, I would wake up in the morning with a grumbling stomach and a pounding caffeine headache.
I soon found myself with a full-time job, and struggling to keep a balance between getting to work on time, but also making time to eat the filling breakfast I had trained myself to crave. I spent months shoveling scrambled eggs into my mouth directly from the pan and desperately trying to make microwave oatmeal taste semi-decent. It seemed like a lost cause.
One week, I decided to try out Cooking Light’s three day gut health makeover after a weekend that was a bit too indulgent. Day two of the plan called for a raspberry-date smoothie. I wasn’t much of a smoothie person. I don’t even own a blender—only an immersion blender, mostly for making soup.
See, I always figured a blender would just take up too much space in a tiny apartment kitchen and take up too much time in the morning. Blenders are hard to clean and smoothies are expensive to make, so why would I even bother? But I bought my ingredients, and grabbed my immersion blender to make the smoothie. And boy, am I glad I did.
The first thing I noticed was how much easier making a smoothie is than I anticipated. I simply toss everything in my blender cup the night before, blend away in the morning with ice, and pour it into a jar to bring to work. It takes less than five minutes of my morning. Plus, the cleanup is essentially as involved as what’s required after making scrambled eggs.
Smoothies are also super versatile, and though there are millions of smoothie recipes out there, I can really adapt the recipe to what I have on hand. I just need a creamy element (silken tofu or Greek yogurt) and a liquid element (water, almond milk, or cow’s milk). Then I add in whatever ingredients I want or already have like fruit, vegetables, and nut butter. Finally, I toss in two pitted dates for sweetness and a few ice cubes for chill. Boom. Done.
This seriously helps me increase my fruit and vegetable intake for the day. Plus, I can pack in some plant-based protein first thing in the morning, using tofu and nut butter to satisfy my appetite in ways even two fried eggs can’t do.
The biggest impact I’ve felt from making smoothies is realizing just how I much I really can enjoy my morning breakfast. I really look forward to sipping on my smoothie all morning long. It’s cool and creamy, fruity and delicious, and perfect for a summer morning. The experience is worlds apart from grabbing an overly-sweet granola bar from the pantry on the way out.
As a bonus, drinking smoothies has helped me cut down on my caffeine intake throughout the day. Before smoothies, I would come to work with a thermos full of coffee in-hand. By 2 PM, I was at the office Keurig brewing my next cup of the day. Now that I’m sipping on smoothies until later into the morning, I won’t even start my first cup until much later. This leaves me surprisingly caffeinated farther into the day, and I’m not wasting money buying myself coffee on the way to work. That’s a win-win.
All of which is to say, making smoothies has changed my life for the better. They’re way easier to prep and clean up than I ever thought, more nutritious than a granola bar or packet of sugar-packed microwave oatmeal, and can save you on that extra cup of coffee later in the day. Maybe it won’t be a daily habit for the rest of my life, but it’s definitely something I see myself doing a lot this summer.