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The Fast and The Furious: How to get Your Nutrition On The Go

Life moves fast anymore.  From the moment your feet touch the floor until you fall back into bed again, you are on the move.


Get up, showered, and get you and anyone else in the house out the door.  On to work, or errands, or playdates, and anything else you can fit in.


How often have you, without thinking, grabbed something quick to fill the void in your belly or just forgotten to eat altogether?


Been there, done that.


I used to struggle with taking good care of my health while on the move.  Then, one day, I discovered… the smoothie.  (Cue heavenly lights and music).


Back in the day, you could only find smoothies at health food stores.  Which means you had to know where the health food store was.  No problem when you were home, but not so easy when you’re on the road.


Finding smoothies is easier today.  There are businesses dedicated to the creation and purveyance of those delectable, on-the-go, meals in a cup.


What is a Smoothie?


According to Merriam-Webster, a smoothie is a creamy beverage made of fruit blended with juice, milk, or yogurt.


That is not wrong; it is just bare-bones basic.


In my experience, a smoothie is a delicious conveyance of all things good and yummy in a cup.   The blending of flavors, textures, and health benefits is only restricted by your imagination and desired outcomes.


In plain speak, you can blend anything you want in a smoothie.  Fruits, vegetables, proteins, healthy fats, it can all go together.


Oh, and because it’s in a cup, it travels wherever you go.


What’s So Healthy About a Smoothie?


Smoothies make it easier to get your daily helpings of fruits and vegetables. 


Most smoothies start with fruit.  That’s kind of the easy part.  Most people like the taste of at least one or two fruits.


The beauty of the sweet fruit base is that it makes it easy to hide some vegetables in it.  Want to see a kid eat vegetables?  Give it to them in a smoothie!


The best way, in my opinion, to start adding vegetables to your smoothies is to start with mild flavored ones.  Some options are spinach, carrots, and cucumbers. 


Beets are super easy to add because they are sweet too.  Bonus, they create a pretty pink color to your smoothie.


The health world keeps saying everyone needs more fiber in their diet.  Smoothies are a tasty way to do that, without mixing up that gross glop in a cup that you find yourself choking down.


Fruits and vegetables are natural sources of fiber.  Smoothies use the whole fruit and/or vegetable, so you are getting the most out of every sip. 


An additional benefit of the fiber in smoothies is it slows down how much sugar is entering your system at one time.  Therefore, you don’t have the sugar overload and subsequent crash later.


One more benefit that I personally love is you can use smoothies to strengthen your immune system.  A few of my favorite immune boosters are spirulina, bee propolis, and ginger.


But Aren’t Smoothies Loaded with Sugar?


Unfortunately, some smoothies can be loaded with sugar which will override any health benefits that you might have gotten from it.


The best way to avoid sugar overload is to not add additional sweeteners to the smoothie. 


The second way is to use a mix of fruits.  Try using a balance of one fruit with a higher sugar content, like banana or mango, with fruits that have a lower sugar content. 


Jen Hansard at Simple Green Smoothies recommends using these low sugar options:   lemons, limes, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, kiwi, grapefruit, avocado, watermelon, cantaloupe, oranges, and peaches.


Are Smoothies a Whole Meal?


Smoothies can provide all you need for a whole, balanced meal.  Adding good proteins and fats will do that for you.


Some protein options that work well in smoothies are Greek yogurt, nut butters, milk, and some milk substitutes such as hemp milk (another favorite of mine).


Whether fats are good, or evil depends on who you are asking.  If you want your body to produce all the hormones you need for your body to be healthy, then fats are good.  So long as they are healthy, clean fats.


Avocados and nut butters are considered good fats.  Just keep in mind, a little goes a long way with these.  Some lighter options are easy to add like ground flax, chia, or hemp seeds.


I Don’t Have Time to Be Making Smoothies!


I hear what you are saying.  Most days I don’t have time to make a smoothie. 


But I am always on the hunt for a good smoothie place.


I checked out two in the Ocean County, New Jersey area.  They are Playa Bowl and Tropical Smoothie Café.



Playa Bowl began much like a neighborhood lemonade stand.  Two Jersey Shore kids, Robert Giuliani, and Abby Taylor pulled together the bare basics to get started. 


 With a couple of blenders, a patio table, a fridge, and a freezer Playa Bowl opened for business on May 23, 2014.


Their inspiration came from the surfing towns they had traveled to all over the world.  They brought home the best recipes with the healthiest ingredients and introduced it to the Jersey Shore communities.


Playa Bowls has come a long way from their pop-up business days.  They have grown to over 200 locations in 23 states. They are on a mission to see communities living healthy, sustainable lives through healing foods and clean initiatives.


The company uses ECO bowls and utensils at all their locations.  50% of the materials used to build each store are sourced from reclaimed or refurbished materials.  And if that bright side is not enough, they use 100% LED lighting technology.


And that’s all before you even ordered your first smoothie!


Playa Bowl brings in fresh produce each day and they do have organics.


 If you want strictly organic items in your smoothie you will want to place your order in the store.   That way the staff can tell you what is organic and what is not each time you go in.


I popped into the Brick location.  The décor had a beach vibe, and the staff were super nice.


I usually go in for the green smoothies but decided to be a little adventuresome.  I had the Dolce Smoothie, which is banana, peanut butter, chocolate protein and coconut milk.


I really loved the options that they gave.  For instance, not a banana lover?  You can remove that option.


I wanted a little bit of extra health boost in my smoothie, so opted for bee pollen, chia seeds, and spirulina.


The taste was fantastic, almost like a dessert.  The only complaint I can make is, that with the banana, it was so thick I went through two straws.  (The first one collapsed about halfway through).


Next time I may opt for no banana.  Otherwise, it was so tasty, you might forget that it is healthy.


If you’re in a big hurry, no worries.  You can save more time in your busy day by ordering online through their website, or on their downloadable app.


Playa Bowl offers rewards like $3 off when you earn 750 points or a free bowl when you hit 2100 points.  They make it easy to redeem as you can use it for online ordering, and they give a QR code to use in the store.


No time like the present to treat yourself to a healthy, on-the-go meal or snack and gain points toward your future visits.



I fell in love with Tropical Smoothie Café on my last trip to Virginia.  I was on a working trip to visit family, helping do updates on a new house they were moving into.


My daughter-in-law uses Tropical Smoothie Café as a go-to during her busy days.  I took her recommendation and got the Detox Island Green smoothie. 


After traveling, this was the perfect refreshing lunch to get my body back in balance.  It had spinach, kale, mango, pineapple, banana, and fresh ginger.  After that my digestion was back on track and so was my energy level.


I was delighted to find that Tropical Smoothie Café has locations in New Jersey.  In fact, they have over 1,000 locations across 45 states. 


Tropical Smoothie Café got their start in 1997 as a single location.  They opened on a beach in Destin, Florida.  Not too shabby of a first location.


After getting it right in Destin, they opened their first franchise location in Tallahassee, Fl. In 1998.  They have continued to grow and adjust, gaining popularity with people who desire to live healthy lives.


I often use ingredients in my smoothies that address health issues.  That is what happened on my next visit to Tropical Smoothie Café following a bout of digestive upset. 


On that occasion I went with something a little less intense.  The last thing I needed to subject my belly to, was a super detox.


I had the Mango Magic Smoothie, which was mango, pineapple, and yogurt.  For being fruity, I was happy to find that it was not overpoweringly sweet and was gentle to my aggravated belly.


This week I went back for my favorite Detox Island Green with a little change-up.  I had them take out the banana, which it turns out I don’t really like, and substitute yogurt.


I am thrilled to report, no matter which location I go to, the smoothie flavors are consistent.  You get what you want every time.


I used the app to place my order.  It was a breeze to walk in and pick up my smoothie at their location in Toms River, NJ.  They have a cubby system in the middle of the store that you walk up to and find your order. 


No waiting around.  Your receipt is with your order, so you know you are picking up the right one.  I love a good plan.


Tropical Smoothie Café has rewards too.  They offer things like a free supplement or add-in for 200 points or free smoothie for 1200 points, to name a couple.


Download their app and reap the rewards starting with your first order.


Who’s Ready for a Smoothie?


When you need to eat something healthy while you are on the go, a smoothie may be just the thing for you.


You’ll get your daily dose of fruits, vegetables, and fiber without missing a beat.  You can even round them out to a full meal with proteins and fats. 


There are many ways you can give them an extra health bump for your immune system too.  You’ll know you are doing something good for your health even when it tastes like it’s a treat.


We’d love to hear about your favorite smoothie and where you love to get them.  Share in the comments so we can go check them out.

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