Many years ago, when my twenty year old son was in grade two, I began to notice that his “bad days” at school were the days I couldn’t persuade him to eat breakfast. He didn’t, and still doesn’t, like to eat breakfast soon after waking up. He didn’t like school to start with; it was a constant struggle to keep him focused. While researching learning disorders, (his teachers suggested testing him for several of these) I found several articles on the correlation between brain function and food. Basically, without food (the fuel) in his body, my son’s brain (the furnace) wasn’t able to function at full capacity! I started making him (and his brothers) a smoothie (they call it “milkshake”) every morning, and have kept up this routine ever since! His teachers and I started noticing a difference almost immediately; he has now graduated high school and college and is out in the work force. He still loves his “milkshakes!”
You can use any ingredients you have handy; I use frozen strawberries, banana, yogurt, and orange juice as the base. One son prefers just these ingredients, the other two like a bit of chocolate syrup (sugar reduced) added, and one likes some added peanut butter; occasionally I put protein powder in too, especially when they have sports (all three play soccer and two play hockey) scheduled. I just use a regular blender; I have been through quite a few over the years! For cleanup, I simply fill with water, add a few drops of dish soap and blend. I then put the whole container in the dishwasher. This routine keeps even the small parts clean, without having to take it apart to clean each time.
A few months ago I read an article by the famed Dr. Oz about juicing to increase energy and lose weight and realized it was not a whole lot different than what I have been doing for my sons all these years. I thought I’d give it a try since it worked so well for my boys. I use spinach, blueberries, carrots, tomatoes, apples and green tea in my version. Occasionally, when I’m in a hurry and don’t have time to eat some form of grain and protein with my juice, I will add protein powder and a few table spoons of oats (the kind that cook fast) to the blender making it more of a “smoothie” and less of a “juice” My version doesn’t taste as yummy as theirs does, but it is not bad! I have lost approximately ten pounds and reduced my cholesterol level from slightly high to the mid normal range in six months. I am also on a wheat restricted diet, so not sure which of the two changes (probably a combination of both) has contributed to these results.