Guest Blog by Joey Thurman, CPT, FNS, CSSC, CES
We all do this. We look back at our lives and think to ourselves “if I only knew back then what I know now.” Well, for me, nothing could be truer when it comes to my nutrition. I know, you were probably expecting me as the “fit guy” to say something about my workout plan. And yes, that is massively important and I could have done things a lot differently and more efficiently, but the nutrition was where I was lacking most.
If I could go back and talk to that younger Joey, even college-age Joey, I would have him eat some fruits and vegetables – and no, not from candy or an artificially flavored sports drink. Don’t even get me started on vegetables at that time in my life (eeeek!).
Little did I know back then how having something as simple as a serving of blueberries in the morning could have helped me fuel my workouts and prepared me to take (and give) some beatings on the ice. I would have told him that studies have even showed the positive cognitive aspects of chewing on the blue. I would have told him how his taste for sweet would move away from artificial and more toward something grown from the earth.
So, if I was to pick one thing he could have done back in the day that wasn’t only delicious but also incredibly nutritious – it would be to grab a boost of blue. I’m all for having a wide variety of nutritious food in the diet – whether it’s plants, protein, or fruit, but as far as the biggest bang for the buck, it would have to be blueberries.
Fast forward to a “slightly” older me and I do all of the things I would have told my younger self. There is a reason why I eat 3-5 pounds of blueberries a week and, no, that is not an exaggeration. But don’t fret – you can still reap the benefits of this amazing fruit by having just a handful or two of blueberries every day. Here are my top 3 tips to grab a boost of blue:
Build a better breakfast!
- Add a handful of blueberries to oatmeal along with some cinnamon, almonds, and pumpkin seeds.
Whip up a super simple smoothie!
- My favorite smoothie combo is easy, all you need is almond milk, a handful of spinach, chocolate protein powder, and a massive handful of fresh or frozen blueberries.
Turn blueberries into a delicious dressing!
- One trick I started using recently is taking frozen blueberries and defrosting them. I mix the liquid that results from defrosting with some apple cider vinegar for an amazing dressing for my salads with blueberries as the star on top.
Put these learnings into practice and grab a boost and GIVE* a boost with blueberries for National Blueberry Month! *You can help kids in need by sharing how you enjoy blueberries on social media. For each post you make tagging @blueberries in July, the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council will donate $1 to No Kid Hungry. Join this meaningful 31-day challenge to feel good – and do good – with blueberries!