I don’t get sick often. At least, not in the way that ordinary people get sick. You know, head colds and tummy bugs and assorted communicable viruses. They generally leave me alone.
No doubt a big part of this is due to my yearly ‘flu shot. But I also attribute a significant part of my robust immune system to what I call my Purple Milkshake.
It is actually a kefir smoothie, but with a fair whack of berries in it to give a purple hue. There was a joke in primary school about a kid who wanted to know what a Purple Milkshake was, and went on a perilous and convoluted journey to discover the meaning only to be run over by a car just before reaching his destination and die without ever finding out. It was one of those jokes designed to leave you forever wondering what exactly a Purple Milkshake was, when the reality was that it was just made up to annoy people.
My Purple Milkshake is the answer to a question you never thought to ask. It is the fuel behind my super powers, the reason why I am not dead yet.
Depending on how much I put in it, it weighs in at around a fairly hefty 700 calories. That is the equivalent of two and a half Mars bars or over a third of an average person’s daily requirement. I have one most mornings.
The key ingredient is kefir, which I have spoken at length about. I also add a banana (the bigger the better for a thick smoothie), about 2/3 of a cup of mixed berries, about 100g of full-fat home-made yogurt and about a tablespoon of wheat germ or oat bran.
Of those five ingredients, four of them are superfoods and yogurt is also widely accepted as being pretty healthy. There is plenty of tryptophan, vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, amino acids, essential fatty acids and even live bacteria for gut function in this smoothie.
And it is filling. A smoothie for breakfast will keep me going through to 2pm when I finish work, and see me comfortably through an after-work swim or run. If I am busy, it will fuel me until dinner time. The combination of natural sugars and a good dose of carbohydrate and protein prevents a mid-morning sugar crash and keeps my concentration levels up. I don’t feel the need to snack.
It also, apparently, re-hydrates me. Milk is great for helping with hydration. It will invariably necessitate a 10am bathroom break, though.
There are many variations on the smoothie concept, including mushed vegies and dairy-free options. But with a wealth of home-grown dairy products in my fridge, I might as well make the most of them.
Sometimes, if I feel like something different for breakfast, I will do a basic smoothie with just kefir and frozen berries as a breakfast drink and to make sure I still get all the kefir and berry goodness.
It is a quick breakfast for a busy person, just chuck all the ingredients in a big cup and whizz it with a stick blender. Also great post-workout or as a pick-me-up when I don’t really feel like eating. You need to respect the level of nutrient density it contains and not go overboard, but as a part of a balanced diet the Purple Milkshake can give you a lot of what you need to stay healthy and active.