How I conquered breakfast...

Saturday, August 18, 2012
Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.
Gustave Flaubert

This has long been one of my favorite quotes. I live by this maxim as much as possible. I do my best to organize and simplify the fundamentals of my work and life so that when I'm creating my mind is free. I organize my hundreds of reference books by subject so I can find them easily when inspiration strikes. My paints are sorted by color. I like to pay bills on autopay. All my workouts are scheduled and recorded. I rarely go to the grocery store without a list. 

Of course I could always do better. It's an art keeping a good flow to the important things in life. Finding new ways to streamline and coordinate my life is one of my greatest pleasures. Some things are just too important to leave to breakfast. 

Breakfast, as anyone will tell you, is probably the most important meal of the day. It kickstarts your metabolism and sets the nutritional tone for the day. Unfortunately for me I'm not a breakfast eater. I just don't want to eat anything for hours after I get up. It was always a struggle to force myself to eat something when the body is just not interested in anything but coffee. 

Fortunately I found a solution. Green smoothies! Now I don't have to cook or prepare breakfast. I have a quick routine of blending assorted veggies and other ingredients to make a nutrient and vitamin-rich breakfast that I can drink in minutes. 

I've been tinkering around with green smoothies for almost 20 years. My family has seen me gulp down some hideous concoctions that can only be described as swamp water to onlookers. I've tried throwing virtually every garden green and fruit into a blender to see what happens. Mostly I made a frothy mess. Over the years I've played around and experimented with different combinations and finally found a formula that works fantastically. For me anyway....

Behold, the Frankensmoothie! It's essentially a highly alkalizing, liquid salad loaded with extra goodies to give it a supercharge of protein, essential oils and omega 3s. I sometimes add beets or other veggies that turn it from a lovely, fresh green to a funky gray...hence "Frankensmoothie" instead of the traditional "green smoothie". 
MMMMM......Frankensmoothie goooood.....
I'll share my magic formula and a few tips so you can learn from my mistakes. 

Tip 1) Buy a good blender. I've burned out at least 3 good blenders experimenting with my formulas. I found that they work pretty well but can't quite make the cut...pun intended....on some of the more crunchy veggies like carrots and kale. After researching green smoothies I saw it was recommended to buy a $500 Blendtec or Vitamix blender. No way! For $100 I got a great 1000 Watt Ninja blender that works wonders. 

Tip 2) Don't overload the shake with calorie dense foods. I was putting too much coconut oil and avocado in my shakes for years. That combined with eating too many almonds and nuts (again, super high in calories) put me way over my daily calorie limit unbeknownst to me. For your convenience I have put my calorie estimates (based on online research) for the entire formula so you know what you are getting.

Tip 3) Add a half a frozen banana, 1/4 avocado or some protein powder as a thickening agent. One or all of these ingredients turn frothy swamp water into ambrosia of the gods. 

Tip 4) Put water into the blender first. Then blend your kale, carrots, celery and spinach to create a green base. This helps to fully blend the kale which tends to be the hardest ingredient to blend. Add the other ingredients afterwards.

Those are the most important tips. Here are the ingredients below. Essentially you just add a few cups of water to the blender and start with your greens. After that it's just a few more steps and you are on your way. I've got it down to a science where it takes me less than 5 minutes. It makes a lot of frankensmoothie--enough for breakfast, brunch on the road, and some left over in the fridge. I keep the last bit in the fridge so when I get home I have some to drink instead of snacking on munchies. 

So, here goes: 

FrankenSmoothie (basic recipe--calorie estimates included):

1. 2 scoops whey protein powder: 2 @ 140 per scoop = 280
2. 1/4 avocado: = 80
3. 1/2 banana: = 60
4. 1 cup raw spinach: 7 per cup = 7
5. 1 cup raw kale: 34 per cup = 34
6. 2 stalks celery: 2 @ 9 per stalk = 18
7. 1 tbsp chia seeds: 65 calories = 65
8. 1 medium cucumber (unpeeled): 45
9. 1 medium carrot: 25
10: Dole mixed berries (raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries: 70 per cup (1/4+ cup 20)
11: tbsp creatine: 15
12: 1/2 Cup oatmeal (raw): 150
13: 1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil: 120
Oops. I forgot to add the coconut oil and oatmeal in this picture. You'll just have to imagine it ;-) 
So that's it. Start your day off right and give your body what it needs first thing in the AM....even if you don't like eating breakfast. ;-) 


  1. You make me laugh. I too have gone thru 3 blenders experimenting with frothy 'ambrosia of the gods' concoctions over the last decade or so. We should swap frothy swamp water recipes. ;)

  2. I'm drinking a yummy frankensmoothie at work right now;-)

  3. I can almost duplicate this. Kale doesn't exist here, though.