You know how sometimes you get home from work or the gym or whatever and you're so hungry that the only solution seems to be to eat everything in the house?
Slices of cheddar cheese right off the block? Perfect.
Handfuls of chocolate chips directly out of the bag? Sold.
Half a box of Cheez-Its? Done.
All of the above? (because, when combined together, they obviously constitute a well-balanced meal, right?). Yep.
It's happened to all of us.
But here's the deal: when you're thinking about building your PoleBody, you need to have a little more awareness about your food selections. The foods you choose serve a purpose: they either get you closer to your goals (energy, strength, flexibility, plus whatever else) or they don't. And sure, there will be days when half a box of salty crackers is just what you're going to eat because that's life. In the long run, though, if we really want to be creating happier, healthier bodies (and lives), we need to choose foods that support those goals.
However, it's realllly hard to do that if you wait until you're starving to look for healthy food options. Instead, it's essential to set yourself up for success by doing a little advance preparation.
One way to do this is by stocking up your freezer with healthy options that you can grab in a hurry. While there are lots of ways you could go about this, I want to focus on one that's super simple and very convenient: smoothie kits.
The idea is to fill your freezer with pre-made bags of smoothie ingredients, making it super easy to just grab one later, dump it in the blender, add liquid, and blend, saving you the time and effort of assembling all of your ingredients and thinking about your recipe. These are perfect for breakfast in a hurry or a post-workout snack, and they make it incredibly easy to incorporate some leafy greens into your meal without much work.
You can mix and match your ingredients to make a variety of flavors, or you can stick to the same recipe for all of them and know that you have the option to add in extras later. Just do what works for you.
Here's what you need to get started:
- washed and dried leafy greens of your choice (I usually use spinach, kale, or a spinach/kale/chard blend)
- fruits of your choice (pro tip: your smoothies kits will be easier to blend if some of the ingredients are flash frozen in advance. either use frozen fruit here, or consider taking the time to flash freeze some of your fresh fruit before you bag it. see below!)
- optional extras: hemp seeds, ground flax seed, chia seeds, natural protein powder, maca powder, raw cacao, spices (cinnamon, cayenne, pumpkin pie spice, etc.)
- freezer-safe ziplock bags (or use mason jars with lids!)
- permanent marker to label bags
Place about 1-2 cups of fruit into each bag, followed by about 2 cups of leafy greens. Add any extras if desired. Clearly label bags with the date, recipe description and any additional instructions. (For example, "Strawberry Banana Smoothie. Add almond milk.")
When ready to use, remove from freezer and dump contents in to blender. (If you are not using a high powered blender, you may want to break up the fruit a bit to ensure it blends well). Add 1-2 cups of the liquid of your choice (unsweetened nut milk, coconut water, or just plain water all work great). Blend thoroughly and enjoy!
- Strawberry Banana: 1 cup strawberries, 1 sliced banana, 1-2 cups leafy greens
- Tropical: 1 cup pineapple, 1 sliced banana, 1-2 cups leafy greens
- Banana Berry: 1 cup mixed berries, 1 sliced banana, 1-2 cups leafy greens
- Pink Pineapple: 1 cup raspberries, 1/2 cup pineapple, 1/2 sliced banana, 1-2 cups leafy greens
- Avo-Berry: 1/4 avocado, 2 cups strawberries, 1-2 cups leafy greens
- Bananas add a natural sweetness to smoothies, so if you aren't using them in a recipe, you may want to add a little extra fruit to compensate.
- Squeeze as much air as possible out of the baggies before freezing to avoid frosty contents.
- Flash freeze fresh fruit before bagging to prevent your ingredients from sticking together too much. Simply cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread chopped fruit across it in one layer. (Obviously things like small berries don't need to be chopped). Freeze on the tray for about 30 minutes. Remove from tray and and bag.
- Freeze baggies flat first. Once they're frozen, you can line them up vertically or stack them neatly in your freezer. Certainly not a requirement, but it gives you more uniform kits that are easier to store.
- Have fun! Try new combinations and enjoy!