Smoothie Operator

Let's start with my fundamental dislike of exercise the gym. I mean, I don't really hate exercise, but I always feel like the gym is such a colossal waste of time! The rigmarole of changing clothes, then traveling someplace simply to get sweaty and blindly stare at Fox News in disbelief as a way to avoid looking at the fact that I have 20 more minutes left on this stinking machine just does not resonate with me. Don't get it twisted - it's not the sin of sloth that gets me: I love riding my bicycle, roller skating, and dancing the night away, but those things ring of purpose and fun and don't come with the thought of being on a stupid hamster wheel. Instead, the sin of gluttony (and to some extent vanity) has everything to do with this.

Now that I've gotten that off my chest, let's get down to the nitty gritty. I am (quite happily) on the wrong side of thirty and while that brings wisdom and a certain amount of gravitas (and grey hair) that I couldn't lay claim to five years ago, it also brings an accompanying ten pounds. :( The Dietary Axis of Evil better known as Thanksgiving-Christmas-New Year's really messes up my beach body...(ha ha, MY beach body!)  When the reality check of guilt/tight jeans/or *cringe* tight underwear has descended upon you and one more bite of chocolate cake will force your your family members to think about staging an intervention, it's time to turn to the almighty blender to help you correct the error of your gluttonous ways.

I jumped on the smoothie bandwagon a while ago.  It's strange; I usually balk at healthy living propaganda peddled via TV and internet, but I'm a girl who loves to eat her greens.  While I usually will take a cheeseburger over a salad, I am proud to say my Nutribullet has seen many a chia seed and lemon pip.  What I adore most about the humble smoothie is the ease in which you can have a 3-7 servings of veg a day without feeling like you are constantly chewing a cud.

Back to the gym: I'm a morning person through and through and I'm trying my very best to make the morning workout a reality so I can just get it out of the way.  Whizzing together a smoothie in the AM allows me to a) hydrate, b) have something to jumpstart my energy and avoid hanger and c) have my breakfast on the go so I can actually be bopping around to Bobby Brown (check the worst sounds of the 80s, aka my childhood, on the playlist below) by 7:15AM.

Most of the time, my go to is a sweet smoothie with almond milk for the basis, but the savory caprese salad smoothie can be served in the summertime as a chilled soup or it could be a new riff on the bloody mary.

(Savory) Caprese Salad Smoothie

Makes about one 16 oz smoothie

  • large handful of basil - about 15-20 leaves (I used Thai and Genovese or sweet basil)
  • 1/4 cup arugula or rocket
  • 1/2 cup of baby spinach
  • about six-eight cherry tomatoes or one medium ripe tomato
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil
  • dash of salt and cracked pepper
  • 1 Persian cucumber or 1/2 cup slices of English cucumber
  • 1/2 cup ice water (use leftover whey from cheesemaking if you have it.  full of protein!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon-1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Bocconcini or string cheese cut in pieces in a pinch as a garnish or high protein snack

Whizz everything except the cheese and cayenne together in the blender until smooth.  Garnish with the cheese on a toothpick if serving as an appetizer.  Sprinkle a dash of cayenne pepper on top for a bit of a kick.  ¡Salud!