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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Smoothie of the Week: Power Punch

For the past few months I have been (somewhat compulsively) preparing for the newest chapter in my life. On July 27 (just a few short weeks away) I will be getting married to a wonderful man who I feel very grateful to be sharing my life with. We’ve decided to take this event as an opportunity to grow and change and put forth a best effort to create the life we both dream of having together. We’ll be trying a new city, moving all the way across the country to Seattle in an attempt to find a place where we both can thrive. We’ll also be trying our luck at turning our passions, our hobbies, into lifelong careers that give us each a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment at the end of every day. We hope to build a life on foundations of happiness and compassion, on honesty and trust.

But… even lost in all these overwhelming hopes and dreams, let us not fool ourselves into believing that the road will be not be paved without some cracking along the way that will need repairing. The stress of planning (and paying for) our own wedding, for instance, is certainly shortening fuses and fostering tensions, but we ultimately rely on each other to be the one person in the world that we can be our worst around, and still be loved by, and the one person that can always make us laugh even when we’re as mad as we think we could ever be. While I don’t have a lot to base it on, I am hoping that these are the things that build a strong marriage and a strong family.

In the mean time, in an attempt to cut spending (and pounds) in the weeks before the wedding, we (well, mostly I) have begun a stricter regiment for health and beauty. I am, as you will discover, a woman with a plan, and a lack of structure (and organization) in my life makes me feel like I am suffocating. I realize that this is a trait that will be tested once we decide to have children, but in the mean time, I am inclined to put it to good use in attempt to create a business and a home during the upcoming years.

I ho
pe to document this process here, featuring the many recipes that get us from day to day, in the hopes that it will help me keep focused on my goals and dreams. Much of our life revolves around food, however meager the meals may be at times. The certain smells of home that bring the comfort of my mother’s kitchen into mine, no matter where I am in the world; the fact that we always eat dinner together and talk about our day; the fact that in group settings the crowds magnetize around the food table. To me, food is one of the major essentials of human social interaction because it is a love that must be shared in order to be truly appreciated.

I have decided to start this new blog off with one of my best (and recent additions) to our daily routine; fruit smoothies. There is an infinite array of possibilities, endless combinations, to create quick, low-fat, high fiber, high protein smoothies. Having a smoothie or two every day is great way to ensure that you are getting more of the so-called power foods into your diet. For many I will use plain yogurt as a base, and for others soft tofu; add some fruit and any juice or soy, rice or regular milk, then toss it all into a blender and press “start.” Now you’ve got a delicious, nutritious substitute for ice cream or the perfect breakfast on the go. I started having one a day for breakfast, and now Jon drinks them too (even when I put tofu in them).

As an added bonus I discovered a study from the University of Tennessee that found that people who added three servings of yogurt a day to their diets lost 61 percent more body fat and 81 percent more stomach fat over 12 weeks than those who didn’t eat yogurt, and truth be told – since adding protein-yogurt smoothies to my daily routine 3 months ago (even without increasing my daily exercise) I’ve lost 14 pounds (of my 20 pound goal toward reclaiming my pre-relationship weight of 125 pounds by the wedding day). One of my newest favorites is this refreshing tofu-based smoothie we like to call the perfect “power punch.” It is an energy elixir which is rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids which gives your brain a boost and protects against some of the negative effects of aging. Drink this in the morning after a good workout to replenish spent nutrients.

Power Punch Smoothie

(Serves 2)

1/2 cup soft silken tofu
1 – 12 oz. can pear nectar (I like to use GOYA brand)
1 cup frozen diced pineapple
1 frozen banana, sliced

1 tsp. fresh lime juice

Combine ingredients into a blender (we adore our Magic Bullet – a single serving blender with bar mug style cups that we purchased from for approximately $55) and blend until smooth. Serve immediately, and enjoy.

Each smoothie contains approximately 170 Calories, 3 g fiber and 3.5 g protein.


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