Why you should care
You’ll be a happier and thinner person.
They say food is the best medicine. That food is the way to the heart. For me, food is both of those things. But it can also be a poison. It can be the fuel that powers my pursuits or the drug that destroys them. For more than a decade, I oscillated between under- and overeating. Food, in both its presence and absence, tortured me. Until, I found my savior: the Vitamix.
Not to dismiss the complex emotional relationship humans have with food or to simplify my own journey to caloric freedom, but, seriously, this bulky, bladed contraption is not just a purveyor of liquid meals but a therapist, friend and nutritionist. When I’m eating right, which for me means minimal added sugar, alcohol, meat and dairy with plenty of plants, fat and calories, it affects everything. More energy. Better sleep. I’m focused at work and more likely to stick to my workouts. My emotions fluctuate less. The list goes on. In every area of my life I make better, more nurturing decisions. Along with shelling out $400 for a blender, I also did some psychological house cleaning, but my Vitamix certainly deserves credit in resetting my relationship with food (I’m sure any high-powered blender could do the trick).
It all started when I came across a book called Clean, which in addition to several hundred pages dedicated to explaining how food affects the body, both in positive and negative ways, lays out a 21-day detox that involves swapping liquid meals for breakfast and dinner. I first tried the program five years ago. While I didn’t last the full 21 days, the habit of replacing breakfast with a shake stuck. According to the author, liquid meals give the body more time to focus on cleaning out all the crap that it can’t get to when it’s busy digesting food. And when our systems are overtaxed and toxins build up, the body starts to break down, which can cause a gamut of symptoms, including fatigue, insomnia, allergies, headaches and depression.
Since adding daily shakes for breakfast my eczema has cleared, my weight hardly fluctuates and caffeine is a treat — not a necessity. I get half my fruits and vegetables in before 9 a.m. It’s fast, easy and, when I choose to go that route, delicious. Some days I opt for a green smoothie, in which I toss together a bunch of vegetables, some fruit, coconut water and flaxseed oil; on those instances, since I hate the taste of green, I chug and chase with apple juice. But the great thing about the Vitamix is that I can fill it with apples, carrots, spinach, human body parts and in seconds it’s liquefied (it also doubles as a food processor). On other days, when I want an energy kick, I go for this decadent treat:
1 cup almond or coconut milk
1 tablespoon almond butter (or half an avocado)
.5 cup of frozen dark cherries or a banana
2 cups spinach (don’t worry, you can’t taste it)
1.5 tablespoons cacao powder
A scoop of chocolate protein powder
A dash of cinnamon and vanilla extract