Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Smoothie Love and a Weigh-In

The Hubs came home from a Sam's Club trip with a new toy a few weeks ago:  a NutriNinja(r) blender, food processor, smoothie maker and all-around most amazing tool in my kitchen right now.

The Ninja with accessories
Having this thing right there on the counter has quickly altered the way we have been cooking:  fresh salsa last night made from roasted poblano peppers - this was a last-minute decision and was considered, decided upon, and done, all in about 5 minutes.  Pureeing fresh produce to add flavor to whatever we're making for dinner just became a no-brainer.  And breakfast... well, if you follow me on Twitter, you know my whole breakfast routine has changed overnight.

I've gone a little nutty with smoothies lately. Partly it's the design of the NutriNinja... it came with three cups, which have to-go lids (hello, morning commute, how are ya?).  Total.  Game.  Changer.  What I've been doing is prepping the cup with fruit the night before (basically about 1 1/2 cups of frozen fruit plus 1/2- to 1 banana), putting the sippy-cup-lid on and sticking the whole thing back in the freezer. While I'm at it, I get my vitamins ready and set up the coffee as well.  Now I'm good to go in the morning.

Breakfast, Before and After
All I have to do is turn the coffee pot on on my way to the basement to do my hair and makeup, then come upstairs to kiss The Hubs goodbye, pull the cup from the freezer and add liquids (yogurt, juice, milk, water - some combination) and protein powder, screw on the blade and hit GO, and the IQ thingamabob does the rest.  The machine really seems to know whether or not the fruit has been blended enough to drink.  I don't have to babysit and pulse and shake it up so get fruit to fall down into the blade.  I hit that GO button and get my coffee ready and by the time that's ready, breakfast is ready too.  Put that sippy-cup-lid back on and out the door I go.

My consumption of fruits and vegetables (okay, fruits, mostly) and plain Greek yogurt has gone through the roof.  I've been practically hanging out in my favorite produce section every Sunday perusing whatever weird tropical items they have on hand (that I would normally ignore because I don't really know what to do with them). They are ALL good in smoothie-form!

Some of the ingredients I've been using (obviously not all at once... usually 2-3 at a time):

Ready for freezing
  • Dole mixed frozen fruits - a Sam's Club item that I'm burning through lately.
  • Frozen blueberries, something we've always kept on hand but ran out of very quickly last week.
  • Bananas were on sale recently at Aldi for like 12 cents a pound so we bought... well, ALL of them.  I just waited for them to get really over-ripe and then packaged in sandwich-sized sip-top baggies and lay flat in the freezer.
  • Fresh blueberries - they go bad fast but I just rinse and layer on a paper towel in a baking sheet and put it in the freezer.  In this case it was much cheaper than the frozen.
  • Grapes - see what I did to fresh blueberries.  Again, these were on sale SUPER cheap recently so I bought them all.  I've never heard of grapes in a smoothie but it works marvelously.  Also, they're fun to eat when they're frozen.
  • Mango?  Yes - a little goes a long way because it's so flavorful and you can freeze it once you bust into it.
  • Dragon Fruit?  Oh yeah.  It looks like cookies & cream but has a super mild flavor that really gets lost if you're not careful.
  • Papaya?  Getting used to it.  a little goes a VERY long way for me.  Taste is weirdly spicy, smells like a vegetable - a little like a red bell pepper, maybe? - but the texture is very much like a melon - cantaloupe or pumpkin maybe.  It's weird but a nice flavor to keep the daily breakfast smoothie from getting boring.
  • Horned Melon?  I bought one last Sunday but haven't yet had the nerve to cut it open.  I guess that's tomorrow's fruit experiment.
Giant Papaya
I love that I can "eat" breakfast in the car, no muss no fuss, and NO DRIVE-THRU.  This is working really well with my lifestyle right now.

For the record, nobody's paying me to write this.  I am just in love with the product.  but if you're interested, I believe The Hubs picked this beauty up at Sam's Club.  I've been giving out some @NutriNinja love on Twitter for a couple weeks now.  They shared some recipes and helpful tips as well!

This morning I was getting ready to leave, I went into the bedroom to kiss my sleeping husband goodbye and tell him "I love you, have a great day" as I do most Mondays and Tuesdays.  He rolls over, and still sleeping... grunts, "Oh God it's Smoothie Time again.  Close the door!"

So there's a little peep-hole into my world.

On a more serious note... I have for no obvious reason, dropped 4 pounds from my previous week's weight.  I'm skeptical, holding excitement at bay until next week's weigh-in.  I can't take the disappointment when this happens and all or nearly all of the weight reappears the following Sunday.  My goal right now is maintenance and getting fitter / healthier by eating healthier foods and moving more.  I really don't want to get caught up in obsessing over my weight right now.

But hey, I'm gonna stick to the smoothie thing for now - because I'm enjoying it - and if it happens to be putting pressure on the scale to move that direction, so be it.

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