Shakes, smoothies great way to stay healthy

The simple idea that eating a balanced diet as part of daily care will help people stay healthy dates back generations to the old saying, “An apple a day will keep the doctor away.”

The winter months for students can be hectic and draining between classes, commute, work and life’s multiple obligations. It can seem like there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get it all done and many students turn to coffee and energy drinks to keep going long past the point their bodies are ready to end the day. Combining a grueling schedule with the unforgiving winter weather leads quickly to illness and burnout.

Avoiding sick days and even winter blues doesn’t have to require an entire upheaval of daily habits, additional time to prepare complicated meals or even giving up the flavors that students have come to love. There are many ways to keep a balance of the vitamins and minerals necessary to keep up with daily life and keep illness away.

It is often said by nutritionists and doctors that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It is also the most skipped meal of the day by busy students.

Shake Concoctions

Most breakfast shakes take an average of 10 minutes to make, the same amount of time it would take to make Pop-Tarts or toast, but offer a morning pick-me-up that can benefit both the body and the mind. These healthy but great-tasting shakes can be made in any blender, though there are some better suited for this purpose on the market than others.

A great time saving machine that adds even more fun and choices to the daily diet is the Magic Bullet, a do-it-all blending and chopping machine found in stores and Ebay for around $49.99.
This machine is perfect for making some healthy shakes good as a quick replacement for meals on the go.

Fruit Smoothies

Beginning with a healthy base, this shake can also be modified in endless ways to suit the student’s unique tastes. Each fruit and vegetable carries its own unique proprieties as well as flavors and the right combinations can suit any dietary needs. Researching the benefits of each ingredient can easily add to the student’s knowledge of great tasting combinations that are sure to assist in healthy living.

Raspberry is a great example of one such “power food.” This exotic berry is low in fat and calories but high in fiber, making it an excellent diet food. Z News of India also lists health benefits such as maintaining cardiovascular health, reducing the risk of certain cancers and slowing aging. The report also indicates this fruit can help fight depression and other mood disorders, perfect for those winter slumps.

The Base:

1 cup of ice

1 cup low-fat yogurt

fruits to taste

Combine all the ingredients into the Bullet or blender and chop until the mixture is smooth. Add an additional spoonful of yogurt and some chopped fruit to the top for a drink that will instantly take you to summer days.

Just like the coffee base this drink can be modified in so many ways. Suggested fruits include, but are not limited to:

• strawberries

• peach

• raspberry

• apple

• grapes (red or green depending on taste)

• cherries

• watermelon

For a mixture of fruits and veggies students can use a combination of raw veggies with any number of fruits to create creative concoctions. Carrots, tomatoes and celery are just a few of the many options out there.
Adding Nutrients*

Students will find that many local grocery stores such as Meijer and Walmart, as well as the multiple health food shops around town carry a wide variety of powdered vitamins. Just as fruits and veggies each have unique properties, many herbs and extracts have been used by holistic medicine for centuries. Adding any combination of these powders to a shake will not alter the taste in most cases but will add the extra boost of health needed to keep away colds and relieve winter blues.

Consumed since 2000 B.C by Ancient Egyptians, cinnamon has its own set of healing properties, as well as a great taste. According to the U.S National Library of Medicine, this spice can relieve symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and muscle spasms. It can help the body fight against bacterial and fungal infections as well. Using one pinch each day can lower blood sugar in people with type 1 and 2 diabetes.

Taking an extra 10 minutes each morning to make a healthy but great tasting shake, packed with nutrients can have multiple position effects for both the body and the mind. Depending on the combination of ingredients used, shakes can assist in healthy dieting or overall better eating habits (which, by the way, was the number one New Year’s resolution for 2014). Shakes can boost immunity, keep hearts healthy and combat many illnesses.

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