When I got out my summer clothes recently and they had gotten too snug, at first I was alarmed, and then I decided I had to make some changes and be more accountable for my eating. The “think system” for weight loss wasn’t working.
I started counting calories using an app and website LoseIt!, which was free and has fun little pictures of the foods. And I changed my meal planning. First, I made Monday night supper a superfood meal with colorful, nutrient-dense foods like salmon, kale, blueberries, beets and others. Second, I made Tuesday a cleanse day when I skip coffee and have only juices, warm broth, protein drinks, and smoothies throughout the day. After a few weeks I’m happy to report that my weight is trending downward.
A couple of ways I help myself get through the cleanse day is to have some type of liquid whenever I feel hungry and to plan really delicious, nutritious smoothies with added protein so they stay with me. The smoothie recipe here has nutrition-packed carrot juice and either yogurt or a protein powder/meal replacer. The ginger gives it a wonderful spicy zing, and the blended ice gives it a milkshake texture. This and other great smoothies make Tuesdays a day to look forward to.
If you’re going to use protein powder or a meal replacer on a regular basis, ask around and/or sample some and find one you really like. It makes a difference. I like Usana Nutrimeal, which has dairy. Marilyn Farms Essential Meal is good and is gluten- and dairy-free. Check with your health care professional about your specific needs: there are good reasons men should avoid too much soy, and you might want to make sure you’re getting the best nutritional profile to fit your situation.
If you aren’t able to make fresh carrot juice for the smoothie, a powder called Just Carrots tastes a lot like fresh when mixed with water. Alternatively, you could use bottled carrot juice or pick up fresh-made carrot juice to-go at a juice bar.
For the yogurt, Kalona Super Natural Vanilla is delicious and available at many stores throughout the United States.
- 1/2 cup carrot juice
- 1 tablespoon (about 1/4 ounce) fresh ginger, roughly chopped
- 1 banana
- 2 tablespoons vanilla meal replacement/protein powder OR 4 ounces (1/2 cup) vanilla yogurt
- 1 cup ice cubes
- Place carrot juice, ginger and banana (and optional yogurt) in blender. Blend until smooth.
- Add protein powder, if using, and blend.
- Add ice. Puree, and drink immediately.
(Recipe adapted from “Carrot-Ginger Smoothie” at MarthaStewart.com.)