Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sayonara Caffeine Addiction, and Hello Smoothie Recipe

The three mornings per week I have to head into work can be tough. Hectic, frantic, stressful. Some days I'm lucky to get a shower in, never mind breakfast, before heading out the door. I hustle to get Maddy and all the barn animals fed and ready for the day, leaving myself out of the equation. And I've realized lately that I suffer for it.

I have never been much of a breakfast person. I find it hard to eat first thing in the morning and honestly never had a problem going without it. I would however make the occasional smoothie here and there. But, a few months ago I started losing steam around 11am. I could hardly keep myself motivated to do ANYTHING. So like most people - I increased my morning coffee from one cup to two.  I found myself craving it in the wee hours of the morning even before getting out of bed, then again in the afternoon. The addiction was getting BAD. I would fore-go my morning smoothie because, well, my Keurig is my best friend and let's be honest, it's fast and easy. Never thought I'd be calling a coffee maker fast and easy, but, if the shoe fits!

My coffee addiction had become so bad around here that Maddy was even bringing me my mug if I started getting grumpy. She would {and still does!} point out all the coffee shops we drove past, and has started having "coffee" parties with her dolls instead of tea parties. Even the hubs started grabbing  me a coffee on his way home from work hoping it would make me a happy wife from 5pm on. Hmmmm.....

In December I decided it was time to cut the cord. Obviously my caffeine addiction wasn't getting me anywhere. I began noticing the mood swings on my caffeine crashes, I felt like I was 16! Not good.

I started cutting my coffee load down little by little each day. I used to be a major tea junkie so I started adding a cup of decaf tea back into my routine mid-afternoon, cutting out my 1pm iced coffee. Luckily I never ended up with the caffeine headaches a lot of people experience when cutting out java. After the first week I found myself actually falling asleep faster when I went to bed. That's a HUGE thing for me - I can lay there for hours conjuring up every negative scenario in my head until I'm so stressed and exhausted that I cry myself to sleep. I am happy to say that I haven't had my "normal" bed time tear session in weeks.

Then the following week the hubs pointed out that I hadn't been as moody as usual. I quickly reminded him that I am NEVER moody. It's all in his imagination. And if on occasion I am, let's say, frazzled, it's probably because of him. He quickly agreed. Good man.

It took me about a month but I was determined and by the time January 1st arrived I was down to a 1/2 cup of coffee in the morning, and about 3 cups of decaf tea per day. GO ME! I haven't been crashing late morning, and my energy level seems to have increased a decent amount, added bonus. Will I ever give it up totally? Probably not. It's comforting for me to have a cup of coffee. I just need to realize that it should be more of a treat rather than a necessity.

The downfall? I wake up STARVING now. No longer do I have that large mug of warm coffee goodness to fill my stomach first thing in the morning. I was even getting dizzy I was so hungry. Back to smoothie making I went. I add in protein powder and coconut milk along with a variety of fresh squeezed juice, fruits and yogurt. Definitely filling. And time consuming on my work mornings. And do you have any idea how HARD it is to juggle a mug of coffee, a smoothie cup and a toddler with all her belongings on the way out the door in the morning?

Then it hit me. My genius idea.

Add the coffee TO the smoothie! Der. Why didn't I think of that before? One mug, I still get my little coffee fix, and breakfast, all at once. Protein and Caffeine all in one place - if that isn't perfection I don't know what is!

After a few trials and some nasty results, here is the goodness I came up with...

Berry Espresso Protein Smoothie

1/4 cup frozen berries {I use raspberries and strawberries}
1/3 of a banana
2 lite coconut milk ice cubes {freeze the milk in an ice cube tray}
1/4 cup vanilla or plain low-fat yogurt
1 scoop vanilla or chocolate protein powder
Instant Espresso
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract, add more if desired
Truvia, agave syrup or sugar to taste - I have tried all three, all work great!
Optional: Chocolate syrup to taste for a Mocha Berry Espresso Smoothie

To Make:

* Make the espresso per the directions, you only need one serving
* Add vanilla extract and sweetener to the espresso, then set aside and let cool
*In a blender mix together remainder of the ingredients, being sure to add all the liquid ingredients first for easier blending.
*Once blended add in 1.5 to 2 ounces (little more than a shot glass) of espresso, blend for a few more seconds.
* What you don't use of the Espresso be sure to refrigerate for the next day
* Pour into a glass and enjoy!

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Randy The Painter said...

Oooooh, this sounds like me! Maybe it's time for me to try something new :) Thanks for the delish recipe!

the worstest mommy said...

what a great idea! I'm going to have to try this!! Btw, I am passing along the Versatile Blogger award to you and your blog.

Erin {Lavender and Lemon Drops} said...

Sounds yummy! I love the idea of freezing your coconut milk!

ToSewWith Love said...

Hi, Katie! this smoothie looks really delish and I do really love smooties... I even love green tea, chamomile tea and matcha au lait but maybe, just maybe, not as much as I love my coffee ^^)

Thanks for sharing this recipe! ^^)

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