I want to share a huge shout out to our long-time friend and GSLC colleague, Paul Doucette, who retired last month after 35+ years at Hannaford, Delhaize America & Guiding Stars. Paul was excited to try the retired life and spend more time with his hobbies and his family. Paul joined the Guiding Stars team over 11 years ago and as our Systems Specialist, he helped in every phase of our development and expansion.
My family recently went on a 2,000 mile road trip. On paper, this eight state tour looked like a serious culinary challenge. After all, I’m naturally particular about fast food fare and convenience products, and two members of my family of four have celiac disease, which means that very little is “fast” and just about nothing is “convenient.” Unless, of course, you make it that way. Whether you are tackling a big road trip, spending too many hours at a hotel, or checking into a hotel for a week, you can eat well while you’re traveling and at your destination too.
You might not think of tea as a liquid base for a smoothie, but you should certainly give it a try. The rooibus tea used here has a sweeter, less bitter flavor than black tea and is naturally caffeine free. Paired with the slightly puckering combo of grapes, cherries and blueberries, you’ll end up with a well-balanced fruitiness that’s refreshing as a smoothie or frozen into popsicle molds for a summer cooldown.
Between all of the things pulling at you for attention, it can sometimes feel like “personal wellness” is something that’s just for others, right? Ah, wellness… that’s that thing for people with more time, more money, easier lives, who are younger, fitter, more athletic, have a spouse to help pick up the slack (or at least have an every-other-week maid), right? Truly, I hear ya! If all you can manage some days is to just drag yourself to bed at a reasonable hour, that’s a victory! The last thing we need is another person telling us what we “should” do to stay healthy and making us feel bad about ourselves if we aren’t cramming every spare moment of our lives with wellness-related behaviors. So don’t worry, I won’t be doing that. I won’t be “telling” you to start juicing, cook every meal from scratch, always pack your kids’ lunches (and do it artfully and with all organic/colorful/whole grain foods), prep your own lunches 5 days in advance and pack them in cute Mason jars and in your free time don’t forget to get to yoga class or barre class or spin class or boot camp class. Nope. You won’t hear that from me.
Fruit is often both cheapest and at its best flavor when it’s in season. Many fruits are perfect for smoothies when they go on sale towards the end of their season–the higher sugar contents typically found in extremely ripe fruit mean that they’ll freeze better and taste amazing in either a pure fruit smoothie like this one or a smoothie packed with greens. Buy extra of your favorite smoothie fruits when the gettin’ is good. After you’ve washed and chopped, lay the fruit pieces (about an inch in size) in single layers on baking sheets and freeze. After a few hours, you can transfer the solid fruit to freezer bags for longer storage without worrying about the fruit mushing together.
The beautifully blended combination of nutrients that come together to create your favorite smoothie may also be the perfect pre- and probiotic boost your body needs. Prebiotics, the non-digestible fibers that promote the growth of the beneficial bacteria found in our gut, team up with probiotics, or good bacteria, to positively impact our gut microbiota. A few questions commonly come up when the topic of smoothies and gut bacteria is considered.
Moving towards a more plant-based diet is smart for the environment and smart for your wellness. Make eating your veggies more fun with these delicious vegetable dishes!