I asked my wife and co-blogger at Happy Great Day® whether it was OK to write that she picked up a few pounds lately and that I wanted to shake up the cooking around our house to improve our health (full disclosure: I do all of the cooking). My proposal: some wonderful smoothies designed to empty those bulging saddle bags. (Of course I am only speaking of my own bags. My lovely perfect wife does not have anything other than beautiful handbags. I promise.)
My inquiry to Suzana about full disclosure was met with a poker face and long silence before she slowly stated, “Let me think about that.”
I pulled out my go-to weight loss smoothie ingredients and trusty Ninja blender and went to work mixing the following:
· Granny Smith apple
· Lemon juice
· A handful of blackberries and strawberries
· Cayenne red pepper
These ingredients pack a variety of vitamins and nutrients, but I think the most important (for going lean and mean) is the cayenne pepper. A number of experts have said that cayenne pepper increases your metabolism and helps you burn more calories. The main active ingredient is capaicin, which scientists have labeled as a thermogenic chemical that may speed metabolism and decrease the appetite. It works like this: When you eat a spicy pepper, your body temperature rises. Then your body shifts to cool down mode and burns more calories in the process.
If I’m too heavy handed with the pepper, I’ll just add a few more sweet apples or berries to the mix. The final result is very tasty and drinkable. And, I think, very romantic. More spice means more spice, if you catch my drift.
Picture taken by Howard Hackney at the annual Sunday Supper In The Strawberry Patch Fundraiser Event at Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens.
As a sweeter but just as healthy alternative go heavy on the strawberries, add a dollop of non-fat yogurt, and turn the green monster smoothie into a tamer strawberry smoothie.
I like to freeze over-ripe strawberries and bananas for smoothies instead of throwing them away.
A lot of my food inspiration comes from the diverse buildings and architecture in Savannah, including a small place off the beaten path we call “the strawberry house” for obvious reasons.
Strawberry garnishes are nice, but a slice of fresh lemon is a delicious and healthy touch too. I find that a good presentation always helps food and drinks taste better.
Lemon has powerful detoxifying effects including lowering cholesterol levels.
In the future I'll be writing about creating healthy meals in a tiny space and eating well on the road. We just bought a cargo van and will be converting it to a travel van (!) so stay tuned.
And, if you have a minute please leave a comment. I'd love to hear from you.