I have yet ANOTHER confession to make. I love to go grocery shopping.
Ok, well maybe that’s not true.
I like to leisurely poke around grocery stores and see what new products are on the market. Get inspired by what’s trending or new. Yeah, that’s more like it. I don’t like it when it’s a chore on as busy day when the stores are packed. I hate that. I like to go midweek, snoop around at a store I don’t frequent (or do) and just see what grabs my attention. I get inspired by food.
Yesterday I popped into Trader Joe’s because I’ve seen cauliflower gnocchi posts and I’ve been super curious about that (see post coming soon). You know how TJ has food & coffee samples in the back by the deli meats? Well the Midtown location was offering vanilla granola with blueberry lavender milk! Good GAWD! I usually don’t eat food samples because of my sensitive belly and honestly if I want something and can eat it mindfully without guilt, then I’m game. This checked that box today because I was super curious about the MILK!
Yes, of course I checked the label like a good dietitian does and was pretty impressed with the relatively low sugar content. I say relatively low because a lot of chocolate flavored almond milks can have 22 grams of added sugar PER CUP! The American Heart Association recommends that women consume no more than 24 grams of added sugar and no more than 36 grams of added sugar for men. So as you can see, that can add up pretty quickly if you are not paying attention to where sugar is added in food. Again, it’s ADDED sugar, not total carbohydrates. And some foods contain natural sugars that occur in the food (think fruit, honey, maple syrup, dairy, etc) which are not part of added sugars on the label. From a health perspective, this is something everyone will want to pay attention to, especially if weight loss, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and other health issues are a concern. My #1 personal goal is prevention. I’m not on any pharmaceuticals and intend to stay that way.
So back to my creation…. This blueberry lavender milk and granola were DELISH! Yes the granola was loaded with sugar and I didn’t purchase it, but I did walk out with the milk because my mind went right to SMOOTHIE! I love smoothies. They are quick, portable, and can be a healthy way to flood the body with nutritious, high-fiber nutrient-dense veggies and fruits if you are not a fan of actually eating them. I like to use them as a meal replacement after the gym, when I’m on the go or don’t want a lot of food.
One of the best things I ever did for my health was go plant-based for 3+ years. I was hard core, no cooked or processed foods. Just plants. Don’t recommend that for everyone but that was my journey and it radically shifted my health and perspective on diet, both positive and negative. Positive because a high-plant diet works quite well with my biochemistry, negative because I struggled with orthorexia and a bit of an obsession with only eating “clean” foods. I had a lot of food fear that I work through with mindful eating skills which is why I’m so uber passionate about that now and my purpose is to create a Mindful Eating Revolution in Atlanta. Another important leg of my health and wellness journey. Balance is key. So is no judgment.
Blah blah blah I know I talk a lot about me on this blog and sometimes it feels really personal but I can’t exactly out clients here because that feels like a HIPPA/privacy violation (testimonies are a different thang BTW). So that gives me a bit of wiggle room and permission to be a bit of a health narcissist. Or at least that’s what I like to tell myself 🙂
And now for the inspiration of this post! What you’ve been scrolling down for perhaps…
NUTRITION ATLANTA BLUEBERRY LAVENDER SMOOTHIE
Serves 1, prep time: 5 minutes
8-10 ounces Trader Joe’s Blueberry Lavender almond milk
½ packet unsweetened acai packet
½ cup frozen blueberries, perhaps a teeny bit more
3-4 spinach ice cubes*
½ – 1 cup frozen zucchini and/or yellow squash
2 scoops protein powder of choice (I’m a fan of brown rice and plant-based ones since I don’t tolerate dairy)
About 1 Tablespoon almond butter or nut butter of choice
SweetLeaf liquid stevia to taste (I default to vanilla)
Add ingredients to a high-speed blender and mix to blend. Top with raw cacao nibs (my fave), shredded coconut, hemp seeds, nut butter or other topping you vibe with.
*SMOOTHIE HACK: If you don’t follow me on Insta then you probably didn’t see my post about how you can save money by purchasing large clam-shells of organic spinach on sale, then blend down with water, freeze in ice cube trays, and make spinach ice cubes to add to your smoothie. Then in the event you don’t have freshy-fresh greens, you have them ready to go as needed, in the freezer. I love to purchase containers and make my own ice cubes. A smoothie is one of my default foods when I come home from traveling in the summer. If the food on vaca has been heavy, my GI system is so happy to have something easy and healthy to process!
Next on the agenda: create my own DIY version of this blueberry lavender almond milk with essential oils and stevia so STAY TUNED!