The Worst Gift EVER!

I think of my birthday as a national holiday. As such I believe that the gifts I receive should be worthy of such an occasion! A few years back, like at least eight or nine, I received what I thought was the worst gift ever! My dad, thinking he would give me something I needed, gave me a blender for my birthday! A BLENDER!!! I have to say, at the time I could not hide my disappointment. It wasn’t like it was one of those fancy blenders they make now it was a run of the mill, everyday blender… Now I know you are thinking what does this have to do with health and fitness?

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That blender sat on a shelf in my kitchen forever! It collected dust and grease and was never used… Then this year while doing the SHRED Diet, I discovered smoothies! Now in general, I was not a smoothie drinker. Although I was not opposed to them, I just had not met one that I liked! Enter my never used blender… The diet required that I drink smoothies and I knew I was not going to buy the store made varieties so I found some fruit that I liked and went forth making various smoothies and protein shakes!

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Since February, smoothies and protein shakes have become a daily part of my routine. They are easy to make, nutritious and a great way to get lots of fruits and vegetables in your diet. I have made smoothies with apples, bananas, oranges, spinach, blueberries, raspberries, mango and peaches. (Not at the same time of course) To my surprise and delight, I really like them! If you are like I was and think that they are hard to make, here is an easy formula to make smoothies.

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Now that I am a convert here are a couple of my favorite smoothie recipes:
Strawberry Orange Banana Smoothie
1.5 oz. Yoplait Vanilla Greek Yogurt
4 oz. Trop50 Orange Juice
1 whole navel orange, peeled and sectioned
1 banana, peeled and cut into small pieces
1 cup of fresh strawberries cut into small pieces (frozen can be used if they are not in season)
This makes 2 10oz. servings. Approximately 129 calories per serving via MyFitnessPal

Mango Banana Smoothie
1 whole mango peeled and cut into small pieces
1 banana, peeled and cut into small pieces
2.5 oz Yoplait Vanilla Greek Yogurt
8 ice cubes
This makes 2 10oz. servings. Approximately 138 calories per serving via MyFitnessPal

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If you are into “Green Smoothies” here are a few recipes that I found on Pinterest that you may enjoy!

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So looking back, I guess that gift… Turned out to be… The BEST GIFT EVER!

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