Most mornings, I wake up and make a smoothie for my kids. It sounds like a simple and quick breakfast, but in my house, nothing is that simple. My kids don’t consider a smoothie to be a meal. Once I hand them their smoothies, they ask me what else I’m making.
The smoothie, in their minds, is just a drink—an accompaniment to their meal, and not a meal on its own. So, each morning, I make smoothies along with scrambled eggs or pancakes or something else that they consider to be a real meal.
BUT, if I placed all of the smoothie ingredients onto the table and announced that breakfast was served, I bet that my kids would laugh in disbelief at the quantity of food before them. Look at the ingredients in this morning’s smoothie: nut milk, blueberries, a whole banana, a whole peach, and a quarter cup of strawberry yogurt. They would say that they couldn’t eat all of that food in one sitting. It doesn’t cross their minds that they DO eat all of that food in one sitting (in addition to the “real” meal that I’ve prepared).
This got me thinking…
How many adults go through the motions of either buying a smoothie or blending one at home each day without any appreciation for the significant quantity of food that they are consuming? Perhaps some adults realize it. My husband happens to be one of those people, which is why you’ll never see him eating plates of fruit and yogurt and milk. He’s not a big breakfast eater, and the thought of eating plates of food first thing in the morning is just too much for him. A smoothie, which hides all of the bulky volume of fruit, is a perfect solution for someone like him, who would otherwise not eat breakfast at all. He knows he’s getting all of the benefits of fruits, vegetables, nut butters, etc., without actually having to sit down and eat all of that food with utensils.
I happen to be on the other end of the spectrum. If I choose to drink a smoothie for breakfast, I am looking for snacks within an hour, even if I’m not actually hungry. I am like my children, and my brain interprets the smoothie as a drink, not a meal. I would much rather see an abundant breakfast in front of me—a breakfast that I can chew and savor, rather than gulp down. I don’t care about the convenience of having a smoothie in a cup that can travel from the home to the car. I’d much rather sit down with multiple plates and bowls of food to taste. Eating the individual ingredients of the smoothie would be a much more satisfying experience than drinking the blended version of those same ingredients.
If you are working towards healthier eating habits, it’s SO important to understand your thought processes surrounding food so that you can tailor your meals and snacks to complement your tendencies.
Eating mindfully is key.
If you are wondering whether smoothies are a good breakfast option, ask yourself these questions:
-Am I a volume eater? Do I like having lots of food in front of me?
-Do I need various textures of food to feel satisfied?
-Can I be satisfied with a liquid meal?
-Am I better off eating the unblended ingredients of a smoothie in whole form? Do I prefer liquid meals? If so, why? Does convenience and portability have anything to do with my preference for smoothies?
If you answer each of these questions and really consider how and why you think the way you do, you can begin to understand why you eat the way you do. Once you get a handle on why you eat the way you do, you will become more mindful of your food choices and begin to develop healthier eating habits.
In the past, I’ve touched upon the subject of different eating habits. Not everyone has the same approach to eating, and that’s okay. Just becoming more mindful of your own approach and your own inclinations can help you figure out how to create healthy habits that will work for you.