By now, you know our stance on indulgences. The holidays are an ideal time to relax, dig in and enjoy the pleasures of food. Appreciating balance, there are easy steps we can take to stay on point nutritionally and stave off ravenous behavior later in the day.
Making a simple choice early in the morning to get our daily allotment of vitamins and minerals leaves us feeling strong and ready to make mindful choices. From the European Food Information Council:
Some foods can more easily contribute to the feeling of fullness (satiety) than others, and this is referred to as their “satiating power”. The calorie-counting tables, used widely by slimmers and the weight conscious, do not necessarily reflect this satiating power and studies examining the effects of foods on “feelings of fullness” can be helpful. In one study of 38 common foods, both men and women subjects consumed foods with equal calorie contents and their feelings of fullness were recorded every 15 minutes for 2 hours. Highest satiating power was found with high levels of protein, dietary fibre and water and low satiating power was related to higher fat foods. Fruit and vegetables-especially boiled potatoes-proved to have high satiating values, whereas bakery products like cakes, croissants and biscuits were the least satiating foods.
In the past, I’ve shared that I prefer to crush fruits and vegetables in my mouth rather than with a blender. There is something survival of the fittest style about animal flesh in one hand, plants and berries in the other. It just feels right.
That said, we also preach flexibility around here. Every once in a while, we have no desire to taste arugula or spinach or whatever. For me, that was yesterday on Christmas morning. While it’s been sort of chilly in Malibu (especially relative to say, Boston these days), I was in the mood for something cool and fresh. I wanted to hide my greens while still encouraging athleticism and a strong mind.
I threw together a very simple smoothie, a quick mix of frozen blueberries, strawberries, spinach, arugula and cold water, and blended it all.
This wasn’t anything like your Jamba Juice joint, so you sugar freaks needn’t apply. It was just a little bit sweet, just a little bit tart. It was a perfect, healthy diversion from eating (which I do a lot of) and had me feeling on point for the rest of the day. I felt stronger for making powerful choices on Christmas, a day filled with options that have many folks cracking. The vitamin and anti-inflammatory content in my mix seemed to encourage athletic, graceful movement. The confidence I derived from this single choice represented the value at the margins we’re perpetually seeking.
At the end of the night, deep in a canyon and surrounded by mountains and a freaky powerful moon as the marquee, a glass of Pinot with friends represented a minor indulgence and satisfied the Christmas spirit.