Health Suppliment 1- 6 mins
Not everything I think about is business, careers, jobs, automation, or technology. I spent a lot of time in the last few years looking at health and diet, as has the western world at large. for me work/life balance means not compromising my health while trying to find time to compete in either the business or employment marketplace. Global opinions on health vary from region to region and from day to day. I tend to agree that sugar is the enemy and fat is useful for feeling full, meaning I disagree with almost all of the health advice given to me over my lifetime. With this in mind I've tried a variety of changes to my diet. These are not short-term, unpleasant diets, but instead are in exploration of enjoyable, alternative foods and meals that can be integrated into normal daily meals.
For a while I stuck to a high protein diet that uses a lot of "meat and salad" kind of meals for breakfast lunch and dinner. This works, but is expensive and time-consuming. My wife and I did establish a "meal prep Sunday" routine, but the volume of cooking required to cover high-protein meals of this type the whole week was just silly. Around the middle of 2017 I was introduced to whey protein concentrate and whey protein isolate and its ability to froth up when mixed or shaken vigourously. Unsweetened and unflavoured whey protein is very low in sugar, so I've been using it as the basis for a time-saving meal.
I have two different solutions that use whey protein as the base. One requires a personal blender, and the other just requires one of those shaky bottles with the ball in it. This article is about the blender option. These blenders and typically be acquired quite cheaply and I vaguely recall the last time I saw one on special it was about $19. They are ideal for dairy smoothies because they are much easier to clean than a traditional blender.
In addition to the whey protein, the smoothies include a large amount of probiotic foods that I have come to enjoy. For those unfamiliar, probiotics are simply foods full of live bacteria that are beneficial to the human digestive system. Think of your gut as less of a tube that nutrients filter through and more of an ecosystem powered by as wide a variety of friendly bacteria as you can convince to settle in there. I do also use prebiotics and again, for those unfamiliar, prebiotics are food that only bacteria can digest and the human body cannot without their help.
Start with your blender bottle, a dairy based probiotic drink such as kefir, soda water and one or two small optional healthy liquid shots such as the Yakult pictured. I strongly recommend cycling through every kefir brand you can find as they will all have slightly different bacterial cultures. You can also use other cultured milk products that are available in your area. I occasionally enjoy a fermented goats milk. I did for a while use a coconut kefir that was a bit fizzy instead of the soda water but it was about $16 a bottle and soda is around $1 a bottle. Shots can also be liquid iron supplements or even a shot of coffee. Add enough of each so that you fill no more than the first third of the bottle. Note that the result from the serve made for this article overflowed quite substantially so at each step you should probably add a little less than is pictured.
Next step is to add some fresh fruit. Whatever is in season and available at local farmers markets is typically the best option. I have pictured blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, grapes, and watermelon. In the end I remembered I also had a mandarin so I skipped the strawberries and used a few segments of that instead. You should choose whatever fruit you like the flavour of and is available fresh and locally in your area. This is where there is another advantage of using these personal blender is instead of a machine designed specifically to create fruit juice. You are putting the whole fruit in the blender, including the fibre that aids digestion of the sugars, and at the end of it it is all still in there.
If you are finding that the end result is not sweet enough for your palate then after the fruit but before the powder I can recommend a small amount of aged maple syrup. I use this if I run low on fresh fruit. You can use frozen fruit, but be careful of its origin. Also, the result can be quite chilly.
After the fruit add your assorted powders. I use whey protein concentrate because I'm not scared of the extra fat or lactose. If you prefer whey protein isolate, go for it. I do, however, strongly recommend an unsweetened and unflavoured version, which can be difficult to get hold of sometimes. I add that first because most of the other powders will tend to stick to the side of the mixer bottle if they get wet. When spooning in the powders there are a few things to be aware of. First up, moisture is the enemy. Make sure that the spoons that you use a perfectly dry and that there is no other way moisture may fall into these powders. They can be quite expensive and one drop of water will tend to ruin the whole bag. I am also very careful to not cross contaminate the powders and as such I use a fresh spoon for each one. After you seal the bags, give them a little squeeze to make sure they've sealed. If a bag routinely fails to seal, trim the corners carefully and put it in a Snap-lock bag. In this example the other powder supplements are used were; green banana flour as my prebiotic, a tiny bit of beetroot powder for both flavour and colour, baobab powder, and a mixed greens powder as a kind of multivitamin. Other powder supplements I have collected recently include an apple powder for fibre, a blueberry powder for flavour when using one of those shaky bottles where I don't have a mixer available, and Muscleze to avoid cramps after decent gym sessions.
You can see the end result is quite high in the bottle and, as I mentioned before, overflowed quite a lot when I opened it up, so all up you would probably want the bottle filled to about an inch lower than pictured.
As you can see it made a bit of a mess. You can also see how much you get out of it; one full personal blender bottle will typically fill a milkshake glass. Not all of the fruit is blended perfectly so I would give the same advice for this as I would for coffee from a French press; leave the last sip.