Hold back those extra holiday pounds with a healthful holiday smoothie

Just before Thanksgiving, wellness and nutrition experts on the morning news programs were warning viewers to beware of the 7 additional pounds of weight they would gain between Thanksgiving and the start of the New Year.

Cookies and candies that appear just once a year, holiday parties with rich foods, thick hot drinks and cold cocktails and punch, along with extra stress and often less sleep, all combine to make this eating season a hotbed for weight gain.

I decided I didn’t want to be one of the average Americans who find their waistline a bit larger when 2011 comes around.

My ammunition for holding back those extra 7 pounds? A morning smoothie.

I have the same protein and fruit smoothie just about every morning. Unsweetened juice gets the concoction started. I use either cranberry or pomegranate. Then, I cut up a whole organic lemon, skin and all, into large chunks and toss that into the juice in the blender. Ground flax seeds join a big scoop of Tera’s Whey protein powder. My favorite protein powder of the several offerings from this Wisconsin-based company is the organic Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla whey protein powder. Finally, I toss in some frozen organic strawberries and blueberries. Whirl it all together and drink up. I feel full and satisfied for hours after gulping down the big smoothie.

In the evenings when I start craving a bowl of popcorn, one of my favorite winter snacks, I pop some up. Rather than dousing the popped corn with melted butter, I use lime olive oil that I purchase from Vinaigrette in Minneapolis. Lime olive oil, drizzled over the popcorn, then sprinkled with hot cayenne pepper is a more healthful route to go. I feel full and quite satisfied after that snack with no desire to grab holiday cookies or candy.

So far my tactics are working. There are still a few more holiday celebrations to get through and lots of tempting foods to nibble and taste rather than gobble.

If I have a holiday party to attend in the evening, I have my smoothie later in the day so that I’m still feeling satisfied when I face the food and drink. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day helps, too.

This is not just a holiday time smoothie for me. I drink this breakfast in a glass all year long.

But, this time of year, I make sure I never run out of the ingredients. Seven pounds? No thank you.

Holiday Survival Smoothie

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened pomegranate or cranberry juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 organic lemon, washed
  • 1 scoop whey protein powder
  • 1 tablespoon flax seeds, ground
  • 4 frozen organic strawberries
  • 1 cup frozen organic blueberries

Put all ingredients in blender in order they are listed. Blend until smooth. Makes one breakfast serving.

Tip from the cook

  • I have an electric coffee grinder that I use only for grinding flax seeds and dried herbs and spices.

9 thoughts on “Hold back those extra holiday pounds with a healthful holiday smoothie

  1. I discovered last summer that I was ‘fat’ by French standards (although I was right in the middle of the weight chart by American standards). I lost 12 lbs and am approaching the middle of the French weight chart (4 more to go). I am very, very determined not to gain weight this season – losing was WAY to much effort! LOL I like your smoothie – I’m guessing it’s nicely tart and I do love tart.
    Meatballs look pretty darn good, as well!

  2. I use almond milk , frozen banana slices , spinach , chia seeds and whey protein in my morning smoothies! I’ll try your recipe and order that protein powder today to try. Merry Christmas.

    • Judy, your smoothie sounds delicious. Sometimes I throw in a handful of fresh organic spinach leaves to add some greenery to my smoothie. I’ve not tried chia seeds, though. Interesting.

  3. Pingback: Holiday Survival Smoothies and Recipe Roundup | The Heavy Table - Minneapolis-St. Paul and Upper Midwest Food Magazine and Blog

  4. I see from the picture you have a Vitamix. I have been lusting after one for years and am hoping to get one soon. Can you tell me if its really worth the money? I would love to be able to make green smoothies, pesto and hummus. Your smoothie looks so good!

    • Brandy, I’ve had my Vitamix for several years. It’s certainly not their top-of-the-line model, but I like it a lot. I can add fresh spinach leaves to my smoothie and it purees it in a wink. It works great for pesto and hummus. It’s big and heavy compared to many blenders. That’s why I just keep mine out on the counter. It’s a real work-horse, though. If you’re going to be doing some heavy-duty blending and pureeing, you will find the Vitamix is worth the money.

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