Feel Better Together! Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

What I love most about writing the recipe column for the Reading Eagle is that the entire Berks Country magazine covers one of the most important parts of our life: community. What we do, how we live, behaviors our children see us modeling, it’s all part of the larger picture, our community.

My question though is this: how can we better come together as a community to help educate parents about what constitutes healthy foods to feed to their children? The reality is that there is so much confusion about what healthy eating really means. It’s a fact, obesity and type-2 diabetes are all around us, and even skinny kids are metabolically fat because of improper food choices; food that isn’t really food at all. You know what I’m talking about…the kind of food that contains ingredients that we can’t pronounce, the kind that leaves our children nutritionally deficient. How can we change that? We can start by surrounding ourselves with a strong, supportive community; one that helps foster an environment where we can all lead a healthy, happy life. If you really think about it, it’s the community where people talk about the importance of nutrition, encourage one another to pack whole foods like fruits and vegetables in our child’s lunchbox instead of a bag of marshmallows, and ask questions about what exercise routines we can do to achieve optimal health. But it’s also the community that encourages us to get back up when we fall down, to forget about the bag of chips we at last night and start anew, or to write down positive affirmations in order to help us see them through to fruition. It’s not about “paleo versus vegan” or “carnivore versus herbivore”. Its about helping to motivate each other to make better choices, the kind of choices that can transform healthcare from the inside out. When we motivate each other, we feel better together. Here’s an idea for an after school or post-workout snack that is both delicious and contains only real ingredients. Why not pass on the sports drink and give this seasonally inspired “recovery smoothie” a try instead?

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie
1 ripe banana
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 Tbsp. pecans
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. pumpkin spice (see recipe)
2 cups of ice

Pumpkin Spice (keep the rest in a tightly sealed tupperware and use it on roasted butternut squash or sweet potatoes)
2 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. grated ginger
2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. cloves

Blend well with a high powered blender to desired consistency and top with an additional tablespoon of chopped pecans when serving.

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