Just spend a minute on Pinterest lately, and you’ll see that the holiday season involves planning and serving a lot of tasty and not-so-healthy-for-you foods. Combine that with the busy schedules that this time of year typically brings, eating healthy might become an afterthought.
Enter the American Cancer Society (ACS) and its campaign for “More Birthdays.” They are hosting a project called A Healthier Holiday Table . Did you know that eating more fruits and veggies can reduce your risk of cancer? In fact, the American Cancer Society recommends at lest 2.5 cups of fruits and vegetables each day. The ACS offers 2 resources on their web site for ideas on increasing your vegetable and fruit consumption.
I’ve found a delicious and easy way to increase fruit and veggie consumption at our house that the whole family actually enjoys — a green smoothie. If you haven’t had a green smoothie, you might be hesitant. Don’t be. Although you won’t believe it until you try it, you can’t really taste the greens in this smoothie.
A green smoothie can be a great and healthy addition to your holiday table. Not only is it good option for a quick and easy breakfast or lunch, but it would be a fun and festive addition to a dinner or a party. Skip the heavy breakfasts on Christmas morning and serve green smoothies in festive mugs!
Here’s the recipe that I use:
- ½ to 1 organic banana
- 1 cup frozen organic whole strawberries
- 1 cup organic kale or organic baby spinach
- water to blend (start with a little…easier to add than take away)
- Put everything into a blender and blend on “smoothie” setting for about 1 minute — until everything is smooth. (Add the water and the greens first to make it easier to blend.)
- Add more water if needed to achieve desired consistency.
- This will make a few big glasses of smoothie.
Another reason that I love this smoothie is that you can mix and match the fruits and veggies to match what you have on hand or your taste preferences. You can literally have a different concoction every day. Hint: if you want to drink your greens but are uneasy with the green color of the drink, use frozen blueberries instead or in addition to strawberries. The deep blue/purple will mask the green color.
- Choose whole grains instead of refined grain products. Here are some innovative ways to add more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains to your day while watching your refined carbohydrates, sugar, and fat intake.
- Limit how much processed meat and red meat you eat. Some studies have linked eating large amounts of processed meat to increased risk of colorectal and stomach cancers.
- Drink no more than 1 drink per day for women or 2 per day for men. Alcohol raises the risk of cancers of the mouth, pharynx (throat), larynx (voice box), esophagus, liver, breast, and the colon and rectum.
- Stock your kitchen with a variety of foods that you can throw together for healthy meals in a hurry. Keep these foods on hand for fast meals on busy nights.
Do you have a healthy holiday recipe? Share it with others on the facebook page for the A Healthier Holiday Table project.