Drink your greens but make them purple

Until recently, I had never really seen food as a means to an end. The world has so many delicious food combinations to enjoy. I couldn't imagine throwing away the chance for a fabulous meal from this cornucopia just for the purpose of sustenance (says the woman who used to eat popcorn for dinner). Enter motherhood and the tune changes. All of a sudden, meals become more of prerequisite for basic function rather than an enjoyable taste experience.

Take breakfast, for example. They say people are inclined to eat the same thing for breakfast every day, in part because it means reserving brain power for things like walking upright and being civil to your partner. For me, it also used to be incentive to get out of bed. What better reason to shower and get dressed than for the reward of peanut butter oozing all over a toasted english muffin?

Surprisingly, the promise of liquid salad has never offered the level of motivation. But time, reality, and countless elimination diets have a funny way of shifting your perspective. As I was weighing the desire for fitness, convenience, and the ability to survive a day with children, the green smoothie weaselled its way into my routine.

According to my research, there are at least a million recipes for green smoothies. About 999,992 of them start with an entire banana. In my mind, there’s a 20 second window during which a banana is suitably edible and by the time you’re done peeling it, those 20 seconds are up. Other options included tofu (don't get me started) or recipes that aim to include an army of powders, seeds and potions. I don’t have the patience to open that many containers before 7am. Grass-fed collagen be damned.

So I made up my own. It remains quite simple and remarkably tasty. The almond milk adds some creaminess to the mix. The beet crystals give it a hint of sweetness and a beautiful colour. My three-year-old asked to taste it—the guy who picks vegetables out of vegetable soup—and he actually liked it. He is my litmus test for palatability. If he will eat it, it has to be good. Mind you, he also likes mustard on macaroni and cheese, so maybe I'm off on my assessment of his sophisticated palate. 

I've been drinking this for a few weeks, and now find myself waking up favourably to the idea of a liquid breakfast. The other bonus is that it forces me to drink at least some water, something I have been known to eschew.

The Not-Green Green Smoothie 2 cups of kale (off the stem - no one’s body needs to fight that demon) 1/3 cup frozen sliced strawberries 1/4 cup frozen raspberries 1 tbsp chia seeds 1 tbsp beet crystals 1.5 tbsp pumpkin seed protein powder* Splash of vanilla Shake of cinnamon Almond milk** Water, depending on desired thickness and the willingness of your blender

Do I need to tell you to put all this stuff in a a Vitamix? I tried putting it in the Magic Bullet and all I got was a watery mess of chopped kale. I didn’t think I had issues with texture until that vile concoction landed on my tongue.

*This is the simplest of protein powders. It doesn’t have much of an imposing flavour and it delivers 9.5 grams of protein and 1 gram of fat in a 55 calorie serving.

**I like Califia and I just noticed they have a Toasted Coconut Almond Milk flavour that I might just have to go crazy over. I just have to find a store that stocks it since they don’t ship to Canada. Sad face.