Thursday, June 2, 2011

New Beginnings--Non-Dairy Smoothies

As I blogged the other day, I've put on a few pounds.   One of the things I've discovered since I've hit 40 (and I'll be 50 in a few months) is that not only is losing weight a bitch, but just maintaining it is even a bigger bitch.  

It can take me an entire month to lose 2 pounds, and then I'll put those two pounds back on in 2 weeks.  

It takes constant vigilance to make sure that I don't gain any weight and if I do put on a couple of pounds those 2 extra pounds doesn't turn into 5 and then 10 pounds.  

So, when the scale hit 5 extra pounds I realized I needed to rethink and revitalize my overall eating and exercising plans.  

I fell off the weight-maintenance wagon food-wise because I got bored.    You go into new eating habits with such gusto, but then before you know it you're in a rut and looking for a little excitement.  

I've always allowed myself to go "off diet" occasionally to enjoy a minor indulgence.   Those "occasional" indulgences have become a bit too frequent of late.

My busy social calendar and unwillingness to draw attention to myself also did me in.  I believe in not being a "Food Pain in the Ass" at social events.  Nothing bugs me more then people expecting special treatment because they don't "eat meat" or are on the latest restrictive fad diet.    I believe that if someone invites you to their house or you go to a social event you either eat or don't eat what's presented and shut up.  The only time I think you're justified in getting special treatment is if you have real food allergies, etc.

I used to be very good at the just "not eating" thing.   I would go to some one's house and usually be able to fill up on vegetables and avoid the high calorie stuff.   If I knew the food options most likely would be nothing but processed junkier food, I'd eat a big salad before going so that I would be less tempted by the wide array of crap.  These days, however, I'm not so good.   Not terrible, mind you, but not as fastidious as I used to be.

So, it's time to regroup, reevaluate and revitalize.

I need to get out of my food rut.  I've been eating pretty much the same standard fare for breakfast and lunch for several years now.  For breakfast I have my "standards" of oatmeal, fresh fruit, juice or eggs.   Lunch at home is always a salad, and pretty much the same exact salad every day.

So, do get myself out of the rut, I thought I'd start with creating a new breakfast option for myself.

Now, I've never been much of a smoothie person, primarily because most smoothie recipes I'd seen rely very heavily on milk and yogurt.   Since dairy doesn't really "agree" with me these days (I'd be bloated and gassy for the rest of the day if I started my day with a standard smoothie), I decided to experiment with a non-dairy version.

Basically, I've been combining bananas, berries and almond milk in my blender with some ice cubes.   This morning I blended:

1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, strawberries and raspberries
1 very ripe banana
1 cup almond milk
1 1/2 cups ice cubes.

The flavor of my new breakfast concoction is actually quite good, and the smoothie fills me up enough to get me through my entire morning (which always includes yoga, a walk or a personal training  session).

So, now I have a new menu option.  The only problem is that making smoothies has me seriously wanting a new blender.   I've been lusting after a Vitamix blender for years, but have never felt comfortable enough to make the financial splurge (Vitamix blenders start at $499 in the Williams-Sonoma catalog).

However, if the smoothies help me to stick to my weight loss/maintenance goals and lose the weight a bit faster, maybe I'll reward myself with a new blender????

Probably not, but maybe the next time a financial windfall comes in.


  1. I've been making smoothies with a frozen banana, it seems to give it more body.

  2. I rely on smoothies pretty much every day, to keep me on the straight and narrow, and I don't use any dairy, ever. One of my favorite morning smoothies is a tablespoon of flax seeds, a cup of frozen mango chunks, one orange, four to six ounces of spinach, blended in a Vitamix with ice and water to blend. It's tangy, good for you, and filling enough to get me through a morning.

    If you can spring for a Vitamix I don't think you'll regret it. I use mine every day and did for years even before I adopted a high veggie and fruit dietary lifestyle.

    Cold fruit and vegetable smoothies come in endless varieties and give me the variation I need to stay interested and engaged in good eating.

    If I get bored with a fruit base,I'll switch to vegetable bases with a little spice, like a chunk of fresh chili pepper, for a savory concoction.

    Best of luck with your changes.

  3. I always have smoothies in the morning! Do yourself a favor and put something green in there...spinach, romaine is great...tastes great because the fruit hides it. Gives you a great alkaline rush better than caffeine!

    If you think it's tough before 50, wait until til you get to 52-53. Even harder when the menopause hormones kick in full time...but I have to say the smoothies have helped me immensely to keep the weight down. I sometimes have two a day due to busy sked and then have a normal healthy dinner. No gluten is another great way to get the weight down.
    Enjoy the smoothies!

  4. Youngsters! I'm 56. I thought AARP was rude for sending me an unsolicited membership, but these unwanted pounds are even worse - especially for someone who was once upon a time naturally thin and able to eat whatever whenever with no repercussions. I actually desperately wanted to gain weight at one point and time.

    I think I'll try the non-dairy smoothie. I've been making yogurt-based smoothies in a regular blender but I've been on a binge since visiting relatives a couple of weeks ago, which got me off my regimen. It's time to get back to sensible eating.

    My daughter bought a vitamix at Costco for around $400, but it was a special limited time promotion. I have an old juicer that I use from time to time but I mostly make smoothies in the blender. I made a green drink (once) that had lots of romaine and I loved it. I could use a rush so I might try it again for lunch today and see what happens.

    All of these tips are inspiring me to get back with the program; now if I can only muster up some more enthusiasm for exercise. I work at home and have become very sedentary.

  5. Make this the fun part. I change up often. In my head I am having something different all of the time. Treat it like you do chicken. Sometimes you bake it, broil it, grill it and the different seasonings will grant a different outcome. Well that's how you treat your smoothies. Protein will keep you satiated. ENJOY!!!