Yup, I'm a muncher... I love food, I love eating, and I love filling emotional voids with snacks. There it is, I said it. Somehow though, I feel like I'm not alone...
One of my ultimate fit life goals is to change my relationship with food. I will always love eating and I will always enjoy food, but I think it's very important to have a healthy approach when it comes to fueling my body. After a few weeks of intense munching and overeating, I realized that I need to do something to address my desire to eat when I'm not really hungry and my habit of consuming more than I should. Accordingly, I've decided to join forces with a longtime love to try and accomplish my munchie-mind overhaul....
I've always enjoyed smoothies - they're delicious and depending on the ingredients, they can be a very healthy alternative to an actual meal. As I was thinking back to last summer when I always had a smoothie in hand, it dawned on me that I was munching a lot less back then... So, I did some research to uncover the perfect way to make a "full meal" smoothie, equip with all the right nutrients and calories required to get me though the day. Here's what my smoothie recipe looks like and my overall method for incorporating them into my day:
1 cup Fage 0% Greek Yogurt
1 cup frozen mixed berries
1/2 an orange
1/2 an apple
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp chia seeds (or flax seeds)
2 cups spinach
water (amount varies depending on how thick you want your smoothie)
I'm usually too busy to see straight, so prepping my smoothies for the week was a must! I spent about 10-15 minutes filling up containers with all of my smoothie ingredients except the spinach and water. It's a really complicated process you guys, so I'm just warning you.... Haha, just kidding! All I did was cut up all my fruit and layer up the ingredients starting with the yogurt on the bottom. I didn't have room for the spinach at the top, so I chopped up spinach and made little baggies with 2 cups each.
Step 1: Grab a blender and plug it in.
Step 2: Grab your smoothie ingredient container and a baggie of chopped spinach.
Step 3: Dump everything into the blender.
Step 4: Fill some of your now empty ingredient container with water and add to the blender.
Step 5: Blend and enjoy!
I pour most of my smoothie into my Klean Kanteen Insulated to carry with me all day (remember, it keeps everything at the same temperature and consistency that it goes in at, which means I have what tastes like a freshly made smoothie for hours!). After my Klean Kanteen is full, I have a large cup leftover which I drink as I'm getting ready around the house.
The Daily Plan
1 slice Ezekiel toast topped with 1-2 tbsp almond butter
1 banana or other fruit
1-2 hard boiled eggs
Veggies like a mixed green salad, green beans, broccoli, mixed veggies, etc...
Lean protein like chicken breast, turkey, lean beef, fish/seafood, tofu, beans, etc...
Whole grains/healthy carbs like brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat pasta, etc...
By planning my daily meals like I have above, I will know exactly what I should and shouldn't be eating throughout the day. If my mind starts to wander and I feel like snacking, I can quickly remind myself that I have my smoothie for the day and I'm waiting until dinner for my next meal. Since I've also made sure that my smoothie is full of good ingredients and enough calories, I won't go hungry or feel unsatisfied. However, I will probably feel that uncomfortable feeling that occurs when you deny yourself from appetite eating (aka: eating when you're not really hungry), but that's exactly the point!
I can already hear the panic in most of your heads that this will never work for you... and that's probably because you need to make some alterations for your personal needs. I struggle the most while I'm at work all day, so I've created my meal/smoothie plan with that in mind. However, you may struggle at a different time of the day or you may want to plan on 3 smaller meals with a smoothie throughout the day - it's really up to you depending on how your body responds. I have a friend, for instance, who struggles the most at night, so we discussed switching it up for her to have a balanced breakfast, balanced lunch, then smoothie for the rest of the day/night. My advice is to prep your smoothies, try it for a day and see what needs adjusting.