In an effort to be a completely unique snowflake, I decided to start exercising and eating better at the beginning of this year. I've started going to the gym with my boss and a couple of coworkers at least a couple times per week, with a goal of working my way up to going every day. I'm starting off fairly slow, because I'm not just out of shape, it's been so long since I've done any regular exercise that I'm in the next county away from shape. There's a Smoothie King inside the fitness center on campus, and after looking over their nutritional information, it seemed like eating a smoothie for lunch would be quite a bit healthier than what I normally eat, especially after realizing I could knock a couple hundred sugar-based calories off the smoothie by asking for them to "make it skinny" and leave off the honey and brown sugar compound.
Still, a medium smoothie costs me $7.09 with tax, and I figured I could probably do a lot better than that if I just made my own at home. I spoke to my boss since I know he makes his own smoothies, and he sent me his basic recipe. I made a quick trip to the grocery store and began making my own this week. Here's my modified version of the recipe:
1 cup Milk (2% right now, switching to Skim next time)
1 cup Yogurt (Stonyfield organic)
12-16 oz Frozen Fruit
2 Tbsp Almond Butter
2 scoops Whey Protein (will buy vanilla next time)
I use a Ninja Master Prep blender system to make my smoothies, but any decent blender should do. I got an awesome deal on a new Ninja at Woot.com, but here's a link to the same thing at Amazon. I estimate it takes me about 15 minutes to get all the ingredients out, portioned, mixed, and poured into cups for the next day, and I'm sure I can shave a few minutes off that as I grow more used to the process and avoid doing things like forgetting to add the whey protein powder.
These ingredients produce 2 or 2.5 servings, depending on the amount of fruit. I used a 16 oz bag of frozen strawberries tonight. I just realized I forgot to take a picture of the milk, but I ran upstairs and noted its serving size is a cup, and it contains 120 calories and 8 grams of protein. Adding all of that up, the smoothies I'll have for breakfast and lunch tomorrow should contain a total of 860 calories and 59 grams of protein. I've had a banana as a snack about mid-morning each day as well.
Tomorrow will be my third day of eating these homemade smoothies. Aside from an unfortunate taste combination of frozen mango and chocolate whey today, I'm loving them, although I'll be avoiding mango and choosing vanilla whey from now on. I'm going to set myself a goal of eating these every day for the next two weeks.
I'll post pictures of all of the ingredients below, as well as a before and after shot of the mixer pitcher.