A couple months ago I put a challenge out there. At least for one month, I said, do whatever it takes to break the negative cycle of “NOT ENOUGH TIME” to workout, eat right, and sleep well.

When the flu knocked me out a couple weeks ago, workouts dropped to zero and sleeping doubled (or tripled). Thankfully, eating right wasn’t too hard, thanks to the baker’s dozen of smoothies I keep in my freezer.

I understand the Zen-like ritual of morning habits. My mom’s mornings are like clockwork. Take little Beula (her baby schnauzer) out for some exercise. Sit with a cup of coffee while reading and journaling. Finish a second cup of coffee. Then blend fruit, protein powder and almond milk into a pinky-purple smoothie.

My morning rituals are usually far from zen-like, which is why I pull the blender out once every couple weeks and make my baker’s dozen.  Then I can pull a smoothie from the freezer and consume it over the course of a couple of hours as it thaws. Thaw, shake, sip. Thaw some more, shake, sip. For breakfast, lunch, snack or dinner.

My ingredients vary, but spinach, bananas, protein powder, and almond-coconut milk are mainstays.  Sometimes peanut butter, hemp hearts, flax, chia, kale or seasonal fruits get thrown in the mix.

Here’s what my counter looks like at the start:

Here’s my little blender cup full of handfuls and spoonfuls:

And here’s the blended smoothie:

Don’t let the green color of this smoothie put you off. Bananas, dark-chocolate flavored protein, and milk make for a sweet, tasty smoothie.

The key to freezing: Leave some room for expansion. It also helps to have about three dozen cycling water bottles to rotate through, but mason jars or zip lock bags work as well.

My little stockpile of smoothies makes it easy to stick to “no more drive-thru fast food.” What works for you?


Jenny Pruitt Cleveland is a Content Creator in Nashville, Tenn. She swims, bikes, and runs a lot. In former lives she’s been a middle school teacher, magazine reporter and editor, cycling tour guide, and underwater photographer.