By Dianne Bunis

The average person may skip breakfast or grab some "thing" on the road ... possibly a saturated fatty, artery-clogging thing with a hole in the middle, temptingly swathed in pink gooey frosting and sprinkles to boot!

Just add a cup of Joe.

Not much in the way of healthy fuel to start the day.

A smoothie is a quick, delicious way to add protein and nutrients to your diet and keeps you feeling fuller longer, possibly leading to weight loss.

Pick up seasonal fruit and berries at local farm stands (Yes! They taste better and you're supporting your local economy). Wash and freeze 1/2 cup per baggie, that way you don't have to add ice.

A switch from dairy, almond milk is loaded with Vitamin D, is low-fat, low-cholesterol, vegan, gluten-free and soy-free. Blueberries, hands down the best antioxidant fruit on the planet, are loaded with vitamin C. Flax seeds, when ground, add fiber, help lower bad cholesterol, contain high levels of antioxidants and are a plant source of omega-3 (whole flax seeds are difficult to digest and reduce their nutritional value). Finally, a scoop of quality whey protein isolate (and I stress not soy) will add the essential amino acids that will fuel your body.

Make your smoothie the night before, keep refrigerated. Here's to your health!

Tip: Adjust the ingredients to fit your taste -- try 1/4 banana (frozen, peeled), blackberries, raspberries, orange juice or green tea.


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Fresh Fruit Protein Smoothie

1/2 cup fresh blueberries, frozen

1 peach, peeled, sliced, frozen

1 cup Pacific Organic Almond Milk, original flavor

1/4 cup pomegranate juice

1 scoop whey protein powder (Jay Robb), unflavored

1 tsp. whole flax seeds (grind as you need it to ensure freshness)

Place flax seeds in a blender, grind until finely ground. Next, add fruit, whey and then liquid, puree until smooth. If the consistency is too thick, add a little spring water.