We’re firmly planted in mid-January, the time I suspect 75% of New Year’s resolutions have already failed. Why do we continue to fall short on our well-intentioned resolutions? There are so many reasons, but I think it’s because so many of them are far too ambitious.
I gave up on making resolutions years ago, particularly the ones about getting in shape and dieting. I just don’t believe in them, especially if it means that, beginning January 1, I need to suddenly start working out every day or cutting sugar or white flour completely out of my diet. Not gonna happen!
Instead, I prefer a more consistent state of well-being which includes plenty of exercise that occurs in the normal course of living. That means no gyms but plenty of walking with Lucy, biking to the grocery store, and working in the garden. As for eating, I don’t believe in fads. I believe in eating a wide variety of foods and meals cooked from scratch.
I was glad to see, around the start of 2016, an emphasis on moderation from my favorite food magazine, Bon Appetit, and one of my favorite writers, Michael Pollan. Usually, the January issue of Bon Appetit is all about their Food Lover’s Cleanse that seeks to undo the damage we’ve done to ourselves through excessive eating during the holiday season. But, this year, their issue was all about being “healthy-ish” or just being mindful or our excesses and making better choices most of the time. Then I saw this great article by Michael Pollan espousing the same approach. We don’t need to cut out entire food groups or follow every new trend, we just need to cook from whole food ingredients, avoid processed foods, and enjoy more fruits and vegetables.
I was delighted by the recipes I saw in January’s issue of Bon Appetit. They did a nice spread on smoothies, a meal I’m getting even more psyched about since Mr. President and I snagged a brand new Vitamix blender right after Christmas. Now, our smoothies are really smooth! My favorite among the featured concoctions was this one, a decadent mix of antioxidant-rich dark chocolate and cold-brew coffee blended with cashews for healthy fat, rolled oats for fiber, frozen banana and dates for natural sweetness. There is no refined sugar or dairy in this breakfast smoothie, but it ends up tasting like a sinful mocha milkshake that’s good for body and soul.
Ingredients (Makes about 2 cups)
1 frozen banana
2 pitted dates
1/2 cup cold-brew coffee
1/4 cup raw cashews, preferably soaked overnight or for a few hours and then drained
I soak the oats and cashews together in a small container and drain before placing in the blender.
1 tablespoon unsweetened natural cocoa (I used dark Valrhona)
Pinch of ground cardamom
Pinch of kosher salt
Simply place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high speed until very smooth and creamy. Enjoy your “healthy-ish” breakfast smoothie!