Monday, November 21, 2011

Recovery Shakes- #1 Apple Banana Smoothie

After finding out that my husband is still not well, even after his gallbladder surgery, I have decided that we need to be more serious about what we are doing for our health and what we are teaching our boys.  We have white-knuckled it through the first 11 months of my food blogging, after Hubby was allowed to increase the amount of fats in his diet, but basically went hog wild, literally, for a while there.  No joke.  It's not funny.  His body cannot handle high fat foods and we need to quit ignoring the same symptoms that have plagued him for years, and I am trying hard to dodge breast cancer which has already hit my grandmother and mother.  I won't quit food blogging.  I won't turn this blog into the "Diary of a Health Nut" but when I'm not cooking the occasional exorbitant meal for the food blog, I will be journalling our healthy food choices here.  I have already cut way back on my food blog posts, now that I have the recipe categories I have created looking a bit less skeletal, which has us eating much healthier on a daily basis and more like we were before I began blogging.  Right now our biggest problem is take-out $5 Fun Family Friday Night pizzas.  We used to spend Friday afternoons making whole wheat scratch pizzas, but there just never seems to be time anymore.  I have to make sure there is time if we want a form of our favorite junk food.  Of course there will still be times for fun food.   I refuse to cut all of the fun out of our lives, but will sensibly choose how often to have those foods.

Taking what culinary and nutrition knowledge I've gained in college and over the years, I have started teaching the boys all I know and researching what I haven't learned about healthy eating. We generally take a half hour after chore time, before lesson time, just for exercise.  Three weeks ago we started taking an hour per day, and I have been teaching them about nutrition instead of just telling them at snack time to make sure they grab a piece of fruit with whatever grain food they have chosen to nibble.  I look at them and realize that because my husband's problems are rumored among members of both sides of his family to have been inherited that his sons may have the same problems ahead of them.

We have never had chips and fishy crackers, soda and Kool-ade, cookies and milk around the house for the boys to eat for daily snacks.  They haven't been raised on processed, preservative ridden food, but I have never actually, beyond a lecture here and there, taught them how to think about nutrition for themselves beyond the basic elementary school age Food Guide Pyramid lessons as part of general science education.  I have now begun letting them make their lunches with me, choosing which dairy or meat they would like to have for the protein portion, colorful vegetables, fruit, and a whole grain food for the other areas of their plate.  In addition to this, I have been teaching them about proteins and amino acids and how complex carbohydrates can be combined to create a complete protein.  We have done many lessons on the difference between white and whole grains and how a white product such as rice or flour becomes white, but we pulled them all out of the pantry again the other day to look at the differences, which is healthier to consume and why.

Our favorite part of this increased awareness of what our bodies need to be fueled with, is the recovery shakes we make after our morning workouts.  They are delicious and give us what we need to balance what we may have lost during our exercise.  I am taking a cue from a fellow food blogger who posted a fruit dessert a day for a week and posting the recipe for each of the recovery shakes that the boys and I come up with on a daily basis.  I don't know how many different ones we will create, but I want us, through trial and error, to have a collection of them that we can choose from to keep our workouts from getting too tedious.  A good incentive is knowing that we get a delicious, dessert quality, healthy drink that rivals any high fat, high sugar milkshake from the ice cream parlor when we finish exercising.  We mostly aim to include protein and low sugar, high fiber carbohydrates.  One of them was tomato based, like a V8 by request from my boys, so we eliminated the dairy which goes into the others we have made and had cottage cheese on the side.

All were made in a single serve blender, an off-brand of the Magic Bullet.  It works very well to blend everything but apple cores into the shakes, but leaves them thick and pulpy, which we like.

Apple Banana Smoothie

2c. Golden Delicious Apples, cored, cut into large chunks with peeling left on
1 banana
1c. fat free plain yogurt
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. skim milk

Makes 3-4 servings.  

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