Ahhh, the dreaded time change. Well, I guess when it ends in the fall, gaining that extra hour isn't so bad. But in the spring, losing that hour can be brutal! Due to the fact that I am a creature of habit, this definitely messes with my body clock. I'm sure this doesn't surprise you, but it can have real effects on your health. I have learned over the years to start prepping for this a few days in advance. One thing I do is try to go to bed 15 minutes earlier each night for about 4 nights to help prepare myself. Also, I change the clocks on Saturday, during the day, and try to get acclimated that way as well.
So bless his heart, my younger son works part time. Occasionally, that includes a Sunday. Wouldn't you know it, this past Sunday was one of those days. And if it weren't bad enough to have to get up and go to work the morning after you have lost an hour of sleep, he needed to be to work at 6:00 am. Which essentially meant that his body would really need to be there at 5:00 am, and be needing to get out of bed at 4:15 am. He's 16...are you feeling me here? Yeah, rough, right? I warned him the day before to go to bed early, but who knows if he did or not.
Whatever the case, I got up with him as most mothers would do. I made him a light breakfast and he was off to work. So now that I was up and alert, I figured I might as well start my Sunday with a run. And why not? After all, I was feeling good and surprisingly awake. Running is always a good time for me to reflect on various things going on in my life. Today, my focus just so happened to be feeling grateful. I figured that would be a good way to combat the frustration of losing my precious hour. I thought about how grateful I am that my legs are strong and how they are such an essential part of my passion for running. I thought about my lungs and how I don't take them for granted for one minute. A couple of years ago my dad almost lost his life when he came down with the flu which led to pneumonia. He developed holes in his lungs and was is pretty rough shape. Just standing up straight took his breath away. It was a heartbreaking sight. But miracle after miracle came into his life and about 6 months after his illness, his running shoes were pounding the pavement again. So I know all too well how important our lungs are. We often don't think about them...until we do and it is usually because of a health issue.
So there I was, mile after mile, full of gratitude for my lung capacity. My legs that can endure- they take me to the places I want to go. Both of these things help me carry out one of my passions. It just felt so right. After 12 miles, my run was complete and I felt nothing but energized. When my son got home from work, I can't say he was energized. But, I can say he showed much gratitude for his plush bed and comfy pillow that was there to greet him. So why am I sharing this story with you? It's simple. If you have looked at the world around you lately or turned on your television, it's easy to let frustration and anger take over and fill your mind. I want to encourage you to stop for a minute, look at your life, pick out those blessings, and celebrate them. Demonstrate gratitude to those around you, those who lift you up, and those who support you. I promise you that the benefits of this act of recognition far outweigh any of the negative energy that we have been hammered with lately. And do you know what is cool about this? Positivity is infectious! It will bleed over into various parts of your life and to those around you. Watch it happen and let me know how it goes, okay? Great! Now check out one of my favorite smoothie bowl recipes!
Breakfast has never looked so good! Mint chip has long been one of my favorite combinations. For years I indulged in mint chip ice cream! But it has been awhile since I purchased a half gallon of that. And there is really no need after discovering such great and healthy alternatives. One of which is this delightful mint chip smoothie bowl. It will satisfy your craving while providing you with some rich nutrients.
Smoothie bowl straight from the Vitamix, then toppings added.
I don't make it overly sweet. So if you have a big sweet tooth, you can always increase the amount of banana you use, or simply add a tablespoon of maple syrup or raw honey. I love using a little unsweetened shredded coconut and raw slivered almonds on the top. Of course the recipe would not be mint chip without the chips! I opt for raw cacao nibs. But you can most certainly use chocolate chips if you desire. When using chocolate chips, I prefer to use Enjoy Life.
Getting it extra thick is the key when making a smoothie bowl. So I add quite a bit of ice (almost 2 cups) to thicken it up. It still maintains a great flavor though, so no worries there. You can also make a standard smoothie with this same recipe. You will just need to cut back on the amount of ice you use. Some other optional add-ins are your favorite protein powder or some raw cacao powder. For an even creamier consistency, add 1/2 of an avocado instead of 1/4.
So let's get started on making this refreshing treat. It works as a breakfast, snack, or even a dessert. This recipe makes one large bowl.
1/2-3/4 cup milk of choice (I used homemade almond milk)
1 1/2 cups packed organic spinach
1/4 cup mint leaves
1 Tbs grass-fed gelatin (or protein powder of your choice)
1 Tbs chia seeds (hemp or flax works too)
1 frozen banana
1/4 of an avocado (1/2 avocado for more creaminess)
1 1/2 cups of ice (or more depending on your thickness preference)
optional- 1 Tbs raw honey or maple syrup, if you need more sweetness
1. Gather your ingredients and place them into your high speed blender. Start with 1/2 cup of milk, then gradually add a little more if you feel it needs some thinning out. Same goes for the ice. Start with 1 cup and gradually add more until your desired thickness has been reached.
2. Take a taste and if you feel it needs more sweetener, add some raw honey or maple syrup.
3. Poor smoothie into a large bowl. Add your raw cacao nibs or chocolate chips on top. Add any additional toppings you desire. Grab a spoon and eat immediately.