Atkins. South Beach Diet. Weight Watchers.  Nutrisystem.

All of these dietary systems have a single thing in common: they are all for the most part premium fads that distinctly take advantage of the average consumer’s body image. I personally believe that for optimum health and beauty, the best diet and the most guaranteed diet is a BALANCED diet with daily exercise. The other dietary programs prey on one’s self-esteem and fail to account for other factors such as an exercise regimen and portion control. We all desire to be either a muscle-bound Adonis or a toned, curved and lean supermodel but this CANNOT be achieved without a plan and systematic routine.

There are other ways in which we can get our daily recommended vitamins and minerals without having to break the bank or starve ourselves. The shake or smoothie is the most ideal way to intake these important body building blocks since it is in a liquid form and can easily be absorbed. It is only a healthy route if fresh produce are used. They are easy to do and in conjunction to exercise can make our bodies feel optimized and recharged and all that is necessary is a blender or juice extractor. It’s simple, economical, portable and does not take more than 5 minutes in the day. To further cut the prep time, the fruits/vegetables can be cleaned and cut in advance. Smoothies and shakes can also be kept cold by freezing the fruits if you prefer a colder drink. Although smoothies and shakes are healthy, a substantial meal must be eaten at any time of the day.

Here are 2 recipes below which can be used to fuel your brain and your body to manage the daily situations and hectic corporate environs. The ingredients can be interchanged depending on what is currently in season. Ensure that your blender has a powerful motor as the consistency of the smoothie/shake is better the more powerful the motor is.

BERRY-FRUIT SMOOTHIE

Ingredients:

1 cup     Strawberries*

1 cup   Blueberries*

1 cup    Raspberries*

2    Bananas

1 cup       Orange/Pineapple Juice

1 cup        Yogurt (Plain or any flavor available)

1 Tsp.     Good Natural Honey

METHOD:

Place fruits at the bottom of blender. Pour orange/pineapple juice. Add yogurt and honey. Blend until combined and of smooth consistency. Pour into glass or portable bottle*. Chill in refrigerator. Enjoy.

Serves 3.

TROPICAL MARKET SHAKE

Ingredients:

2   Carrots**

2   Cucumbers**

1/2 cup  Pineapple

1 cup    Papaya (Paw-paw)

1/4 cup   Apple Juice

2   Bananas

1 tsp.   Good natural honey

METHOD:

Using a juice extractor, extract carrots and cucumbers until 1 cup of each is yielded and stir to combine. Add pineapple, banana & papaya into blender. Add the apple juice and carrot-cucumber mixture. Add honey. Blend until completely combined. Chill in refrigerator and enjoy.

*Frozen packaged berries can preferably and economically be used if not readily available fresh.

**A juice extractor is ideal to extract the juice of fibrous and tough vegetables and fruits. The skin and other remaining parts can be recycled and used for compost (which is natural homemade fertilizer)

Savoring the delicious & nutricious Mixed Berry smoothie

Power up and fuel your day with delicious and healthy smoothies and shakes.

– The Jamaican Gourmand

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