I’m going to be really honest with you all today: the past few months have been incredibly busy and difficult. Work has been insane, the perils of working at a news organization in a world that seems more and more outrageous by the day. In order to instill some order and familiarity amid the chaos, I’ve started to cling to routines.
I have my afternoon mint tea routine, a reminder to get away from my desk for a few minutes and take a quick walk through the office. I have my evening walk routine, getting off at the further subway stop so I can take 15 minutes to decompress from my day. And most importantly, I have my morning routine, which has become crucial in setting the tone for the rest of my day.
Everyone has different needs in the morning, so I’m certainly not going to tell you how to set your day up for success. I know what works for me: the sometimes morning gym class, followed by a shower (must), coffee (must) and Morning Joe (I know, I know). I have my commute timed down to the minute and work backwards from there: 20 minutes to get dressed + 20 minutes to shower + 20 minutes to relax and drink my coffee = exactly what I need to start my day.
A key part of that routine is breakfast, and between April and October, that usually means a smoothie of some sort. I love smoothies because they’re a great way to pack in a ton of nutrients, are easy to transport (I do most of my eating once I get to work, because I prefer to eat a bit later in the morning) and can usually make themselves while you do other things.
While many people follow recipes for smoothies (as did I in the past), in my morning rush, I’ve realized that you can make a perfect smoothie every time by simply following an easy template: one handful of fresh spinach + one cup of liquid (I usually use unsweetened almond milk or coconut water, but regular milk or regular water work too) + a half a frozen banana + one cup of frozen fruit (I cycle between a mix of berries and pineapple/mango) + 1 tablespoon of almond butter or peanut butter (or even a quarter of an avocado, which is extra delicious with the pineapple/mango combo).
Sometimes I’ll add a scoop of protein powder or a teaspoon of chia or flax seeds, sometimes I’ll add cacao powder (amazing with frozen raspberries), sometimes I’ll add frozen acai — there are a million permutations based on what you like and what you have lying around. I throw things into the blender after I pour myself a cup of coffee, and 5 minutes later, I have a healthy, delicious breakfast that I can pack into my lunch bag and enjoy when I’m at my desk.
What do you like to put in your smoothies?