If you're like a lot of busy people, your calendar starts to fill up once the school year begins.
Trouble is, extra chores and carpooling can throw your nutritional schedule out of whack. So what do you do when your dinner doesn't get off the ground until eight-thirty, but you're famished now and it's only six?
A cool, refreshing energy drink could be just the thing to tide you over. It's quick and easy to make; all you need is a blender and the ingredients you want to use for your shake.
Energy drinks don't have to be merely snacks; they can also replace meals when you're on the go. For optimal nutritional impact, the drink should include an item from each of the four food groups: vegetables and fruit, milk and milk products, meat and alternatives, and grain products.
Create your own energy drink recipes -- any ingredient that tickles your taste buds will do if it can be blended. Here are a few suggestions.
The drink doesn't have to be complicated. Check the fridge for usable leftovers, such as last night's fruit salad.
If spicy and salty are more to your taste than sweet, start with a tomato-juice base and add Tabasco sauce for an extra kick.
Don't use raw eggs because of the risk of salmonella poisoning. Use commercial eggnog instead.
If you're lactose intolerant or concerned about animal fat in milk, try substituting soy milk.
Bananas are a wonderful thickening agent, but for variation you can also try tofu. Not only is tofu chock-full of protein and calcium but it also has soy isoflavones, which are believed to improve health.
Power boosters for your power drink
To pack more nutritional value into your energy drink, try adding one or more of the following:
• wheat germ (vitamin E, B vitamins, fibre)
• bran cereal (fibre, carbohydrates)
• skim milk powder (protein, calcium)
• yogurt (protein, calcium)
• whey protein powder (protein)
• soy protein powder (protein, soy isoflavones)
• peanut butter (protein, monounsaturated fat)
• almond butter (protein, monounsaturated fat, calcium, B vitamins)
• fruit and vegetables (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fibre, carbohydrates)
• flaxseed oil (omega-3 fatty acids -- the "good" fats)
• molasses (iron, calcium, potassium, simple sugars)
Click here from some Test Til Perfect smoothies and to get more ideas for healthy snacks on the go.
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