Thursday, December 1, 2011

Cinnamon Pumpkin Smoothie

It's not often that I get to have in-person conversations with fellow bloggers. I never really get to talk to people about what motivates them to write in such a public way. I know everyone has an "About Me" section, but I think it goes without saying that there is way more to a person than a two line biography. Something that has been on my mind lately is this: when people take breaks from blogging or have gaps of time where they don't post anything... what is the reason? I know life can take over, people go on vacations, have babies, come down with illnesses etc. but I would love to hear if anyone else is like me...  
simply unmotivated at times. 

This morning I woke up to fall leaves everywhere. We had quite the blustery wind storm come through last night. It blew away all of the fog that has been lingering around here lately and left nothing but golden sunshine and... leaves. Everywhere. I snapped this picture walking to my car on the way to work. The leaves where almost completely covering the sidewalk right here. I think I've said it before, but my favorite days are the ones in the fall or winter when the air is crisp and cold and the sun is shining warm on your face. It's such a refreshing and energizing feeling. Inspiring, really.

So what to post about other than the weather? This smoothie. I have made it twice now, yesterday and today. Smoothie's for breakfast are perfect, but not really ideal for winter. But for some reason, probably the spicy pumpkin flavor, this one hits the spot.

I found a recipe via Pinterest and decided to make my own version. I blended up the following:

5-10 ice cubes
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
1/2 of a frozen banana (i peel a banana, break it in half and put it in a ziplock in the freezer)
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
a squirt of Agave nectar
dash each of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove

Here is the original recipe so you can see what other variations are possible.

I put in in one of those insulated reusable cups that are starting to pop up everywhere and took it as my breakfast on the run. It protects against frozen fingers.

Some healthy nutrition facts about these ingredients:
  • Pumpkin is a great source of fiber, Vitamin A, C, E as well as Zinc. It is also high in carotenoids which assist in staving off the free radicals in the body and help in preventing premature aging, cardiovascular diseases and other infections.
  • Greek yogurt has about 20 grams of protein per cup which help to keep you feeling full longer. It is a great non-meat source of protein.
  • Bananas contain potassium and B6 and are fat free, cholesterol free and sodium-free.
  • Almond Milk had only unsaturated fat which is great for people who need a heart-healthy diet. It also contains omega-3 fatty acids which are known to lower bad cholesterol, improve mood, treat arthritis and enhance memory.
  • Cinnamon is like a wonder spice. Listen to all this: It contains manganese, fiber, iron, and calcium. It also has anti-inflammatory properties which protect against heart disease. Studies have shown it may significantly help people with type 2 diabetes improve their ability to respond to insulin, thus normalizing blood sugar levels. It also may significantly lower LDL “bad” cholesterol, total cholesterol and triglycerides. The fiber and Calcium it contains have been known to bind to bile and remove it from the body which can prevent damage that certain bile salts can cause to colon cells, thereby reducing the risk of colon cancer! Just smelling this wonderful spice can help improve brain function! Amazing, isn't it!?

Speaking of motivation, just doing a little reaearch and discovering all of the amazing things that healthful food choices can do for the body seriously motivates me to make better food choices. I am all for indulging during the holidays, but it also feels really good to nourish my body with food.

I hope everyone else is enjoying the weather and the amazing fruits and veggies that winter has to offer.

No comments:

Post a Comment