In parts 1 & 2 of Do You? Does Your Family? we suggested the use of whole-food supplements to fill in any nutritional gaps you and your family may have in your diet because you aren't always getting your daily five to nine recommended servings of fruits and vegetables. There is another option, one my wife and I have used for years to assure that we get our daily quota of F & V and all the macro and micro-nutrients therein. Like so many in today's fast-paced world, we don't always eat all the F & V our bodies thrive on. Our solution is to drink our five to nine first thing in the morning -- we find it's much easier to consume our daily quota this way -- and we're not talking about juicing here.
We use a high-powered blender-like machine called a Vita-Mix which allows us to start with a basic liquid such as green tea or orange juice and add whole chunks of fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables, including some skins, seeds, cores, ...; We also throw in some nuts, yogurt, and protein powder to make a smoothie which is so rich in nutrients that we have the majority of our daily nutritional needs met in that one easy-to-swallow drink! It's our nutritional health-insurance program, if you will. It's different and better than juicing because these drinks contain the pulp that juicers discard and which is purported to contain about half of the nutrients of F & V. The Vita-Mix is also so high-powered that it is said to break the cell walls of the produce, increasing the bioavailability of the nutrients. Finally, it doesn't increase the concentration of fruit sugars as juicers do when they eliminate much of the pulp.
We toss about a dozen ingredients into the Vita-Mix for each smoothie we make, varying these substances to make sure we get a good variety of food. Here are some of the items we've included in our morning drinks over the years: frozen berries (cranberries, strawberries, red raspberries, blueberries and blackberries), fresh pineapple chunks, pomegranate seeds, protein powder, low-fat yogurt, nuts (walnuts, almonds and pecans), seeds (pumpkin and sunflower), sprouts, dark leafy greens (spinach, collards, kale and chard), citrus fruits with seeds and some peel (oranges and tangerines), apples (including skin, core and seeds), celery, carrots, grapes (with seeds -- making our own grape-seed extract), peaches, ginger root, cinnamon, green tea, grape juice ... and the list goes on.
With the right combination of foods, in the right amounts, it's actually quite tasty. We even freeze a portion of the morning's drink to have a frozen treat at night. We make our own concoctions against the advice of the folks at Vita-Mix; the Vita-Mix Corporation has a host of delicious (and nutritious) recipes for smoothies, soups and other foods -- we just happen to be renegade "vita-mixers." We consume 40-some ounces or more of our health-insurance concoction each day or the equivalent of several servings of fruits and veggies.
It's a very convenient way to assure that you get the myriad of nutrients your 10-trillion cells thrive on. If you find that you (and/or your family) seem unable to squeeze your five-a-day into your hectic lifestyle on some or most days, why not try this convenient method for getting the nutrients you need to be your best and to slow and reverse aging? For more information on this option visit: www.VitaMix.com
Ed Mayhew Is a speaker and the author of Fitter After 50 and Fitter For Life and his newest book, Age Blasters: 3 Steps to a Younger You www.FitterAfter50.com www.FitterForLife.com www.YouCanGrowYounger.com Ask for your F*R*E*E Fitter After 50 newsletter