June 9, 2009

Mocha Breakfast Smoothie

My mother died of a heart attack at age 47. My father was diagnosed with diabetes in his mid-50's after losing several toes. My maternal grandparents both have diabetes; my grandfather died in his 50's as a result of kidney failure.

Sometimes, I feel doomed.

Several years ago, after my dad's health problems, I decided to get healthier. This was the beginning of my foodie phase, so to speak. You see, growing up, I was surrounding by junk food (chips, snack cakes, frozen dinners). Even though I liked to cook as an adult, I was still eating frozen and boxed meals. However, after dad's diagnosis, I changed my eating lifestyle. I learned how our bodies process food, how certain ingredients (like sugar) are digested. I cut out processed foods as much as I could, replacing them with "whole" foods. I no longer felt the need to eat meals with a meat, vegetable, and a starch. For a year or so, I stuck to a strict diet plan of three meals a day with 2 snacks in between. I ate a lot of fruit, vegetables, and protein.

Even though I no longer stick to such a strict schedule of eating, my lifestyle has changed. I still eat as many "whole" foods as I can. Even though I indulge in carbs and fat, I always do so in moderation.

One of my favorite recipes from what I like to call my "skinny" phase is an unusual recipe for a breakfast smoothie. I used to drink these nearly every morning, sometimes even for a snack or a dessert.

I know the ingredients sound gross, but just trust me on this one. It tastes just like a mocha shake.

Mocha Breakfast Smoothie


Puree in a blender until ice is crushed:

1/2 cup small curd cottage cheese *
1/2 cup half & half
3 tablespoons mocha-flavored instant coffee mix (like International Foods)
1 cup ice cubes

* I have lately been using full-fat dairy products, since I've read that when they take the fat out they add other things like sugar. I figured the amount of fat here is really not all the significant. You could, of course, use fat-free or low-fat dairy in this recipe.

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