June 2014 archive

the tropical storm (greens + tropical amazingness)

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This might be Rob and I’s favorite smoothie… mostly because it is so delicious! The tropical fruits add such a “vacation like” taste to this glass of goodness while the kale and spinach keep it clean eating.

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Check out the incredible health benefits of these tropical fruits too. You might be surprised!

Kale – provides comprehensive support for the body’s detoxification system. There are over 45 flavonoids in kale. (Side note: flavonoids are incredible… they help protect your blood vessels from rupture or leakage, enhance the power of your vitamin C, protect cells from oxygen damage, and prevent excessive inflammation throughout your body. Thank you flavonoids!)

Spinach – great non-heme source of iron giving your body the energy it needs. Spinach is one of the best sources of dietary potassium and full of magnesium which helps with muscle and nerve function).

Banana – high in tryptophan (great for fighting the blues) & high in potassium with 3 grams of fiber!

Mango
– rich in pre-biotic dietary fiber, poly-phenolic flavonoid antioxidant compounds. Excellent source of vitamin-A, vitamin-B6, vitamin-C, vitamin-E and flavonoids like beta-carotene, alpha-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin.

Pineapple – promotes healthy digestion with a proteolytic enzyme, bromelain. Bromelain digests food by breaking down protein. It has anti-inflammatory, anti-clotting and anti-cancer properties. Further, daily consumption can help fight against arthritis and indigestion. Further, pineapple is rich in B-complex vitamins like folate, thiamin, pyridoxine and minerals like copper, manganese and potassium.

Lemon – unique flavonoid compounds that have antioxidant and anti-cancer properties. Excellent source of vitamin C.

Chia seed – a seed grown in Mexico that means “strength” which makes sense because these little seeds give you a boost! Full of omega-3 fatty acids, 4 grams of protein, 11 grams of fiber (per 2 Tbsp), antioxidants and calcium all of which are easily absorbed!

Flax seed – full of omega-3 essential fatty acids…great heart-healthy effects! Fiber, both soluble and insoluble…power seed!

Coconut water – more potassium than four bananas (or so the claim!) It contains easily digested carbohydrate in the form of sugar and electrolytes making it very refreshing and hydrating!

Ingredients

2 cups of coconut water (or filtered water works great too)
3 cups kale
1 cup spinach
1 frozen banana
1 cup frozen mango
1 1/4 cup frozen pineapple
1/3 lemon, peel removed
2 tablespoons chia seeds
2 tablespoons ground flax seed
1 tablespoon agave (OR less! This makes for a very sweet smoothie)
2 ice cubes
2 brazil nuts (optional)

Instructions

Blend it all together, adding more ice or water for the consistency you prefer. Then drink and imagine your on some tropical island…even if for just a few minutes.

 

the Carpinteria (a.k.a.) avocado peach smoothie

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Carpinteria… the land of avocado orchards. Even better, the home of my dear friend Kate. She is more like a sister than a friend. We can say everything or say nothing at all and we have a good time. I have learned so much about life, and love and hope and disappointment from her, but mostly, she has taught me courage. She is the most courageous friend I know. She is smooth and sweet and surprising like this smoothie. I hope you get to drink this with someone as awesome as my friend Kate.

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This smoothie is pretty light… nothing too dominating… (with exception of ginger… use as much or as little as you prefer) it is refreshing and simple! This amazing fruit (avocado) is usually the main character in guacamole but don’t limit its potential! Avocado adds an amazing creaminess to smoothies and ups the ante in nutrient content! Give it a try… I think you will love it!

Avocado – omega-3′s and anti-inflammatory benefits! Key carotenoids antioxidants provided by the avocado are quiet impressive… they include but are not limited to alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lutein and neochrome. These fat soluble phytonutrients are easily absorbed because of the perfect amount of dietary fats found in avocados.

Ginger – an excellent carminative component (promotes the elimination of intestinal gas). Components which relax and soothe the intestinal track. Helps reduce nausea and vomiting. Contains gingerols which is a highly anti-inflammatory component.

Peaches – high in minerals such as, potassium, florid and iron. Helpful for strengthening bones and teeth. Moderate amounts of vitamin C which is required for connective tissue synthesis in your body!

Honey – contains vitamins such as (but are not limited to!) B6, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, and certain amino acids. Some of the minerals include, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, and zinc!

Ingredients

1/2 avocado ( I freeze mine for a lovely texture (thank you Bekah for the tip!)
1 3/4 cup frozen peaches
1/2 frozen banana
1/2 small lemon, peel removed
2 + tablespoons honey (or agave)
1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger, skin removed
6 ice cubes
1 1/2 cup water

Instructions

Blend all the ingredients together. Adjust sweetness as desired.

 

the wang sunset (mango and strawberry delight)

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We named this refreshing and delicious smoothie after our wedding sunset… it was stunning… the colors resembling sherbet. The beautiful soft orange and red hues of this smoothie bring a smile to the face just like that sunset did months ago. While this is no green goddess in the nutrition category… don’t write the Wang Sunset off too soon… mango and strawberries carry their own weight. For those of you who don’t care to have a salad bar in your smoothie…this will be the one for you!

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Strawberries – they are a unique blend of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrient dense berries. They support prevention of cardiovascular disease and decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes!

Mango – rich in pre-biotic fiber, vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, A, folate and moderate amounts of copper which aids in the production of red blood cells!

Ingredients

2/3 cup + 1 tablespoon coconut milk (regular milk works fine also)
1 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
2 teaspoons (or a generous squirt) of agave
2/3 cup orange or tangerine juice
1 1/2 cup frozen mango

Instructions

Blend the coconut milk, strawberries and agave. Pour into glasses.
Blend the orange juice and mango. Add on top of the strawberry smoothie.
Enjoy!
(You can of course blend this all together… its a beautiful soft sherbet color… I just blend them separate for the presentation factor)

 

green goddess smoothie

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Just as her name describes… she is full of greens and you feel almost superhuman for drinking this “smoothie”… I’m not going to lie…its not as smooth going down as say the “banana nut” smoothie BUT it packs a punch in the nutritional category! Confession: I can’t stop drinking this smoothie… not for the taste, that would be a lie, but because it really does provide so much nutrients, you feel like a million bucks for drinking it and it keeps me satisfied for a few hours! You may need to play around with the ingredients to find what is most palatable for you… if you come up with something great – share with the rest of us and leave a comment!

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I should note, Rob made a great point as he was sucking his portion down with an almost a child like “if I have to” face… the cayenne is a bit spicy… he was more worried about how this smoothie exits the body if you know what I mean… but we can verify from experience that this is not something to be worried about. Although, your throat may tingle after ingesting. Go big and give the green goddess a chance!

Spinach – as noted in the banana nut smoothie, spinach packs a punch in the potassium and magnesium category, high in fiber and great source of iron.

Kale – a super food! Kale’s risk-lowering benefits for cancer have recently been extended to at least five different types of cancer. These types include cancer of the bladder, breast, colon, ovary and prostate. Kale is recognized as providing support for the body’s detoxification system and is packed with 45 different flavonoids! Lastly, it is high in vitamins K, A and C!

Celery – well I need to apologize to the reference I made to this “calorie-less cracker”! Celery is actually an important food source of conventional antioxidant nutrients such as, vitamin C, beta-carotene and manganese. Further, it is packed with phytonutrients which help with anti-inflammatory benefits!

Zucchini – great source of manganese and vitamin C but it also contains antioxidant nutrients that are especially helpful in protection of the eyes, including protection against age-related macular degeneration and cataracts!

Banana – a natural antidepressant… thank you tryptophan! Also, high in potassium and contains 3 grams of fiber.

Strawberries – antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients cause this little berry to have three major benefits… cardiovascular support, improved regulation of blood sugar and prevention of certain cancer types.

Parsley – high in chemoprotective compounds (anti-cancer)!

Lemons & Limes – both contain unique flavonoid compounds that have antioxidant and anti-cancer properties! They are a great source of vitamin C which helps the body neutralize free radicals!

Brazil nuts – high in selenium (supports a healthy thyroid). One nut goes a long way!

Cinnamon- cinnamon stabilizes your blood sugar which will help balance the sugar in strawberries and banana (and agave if you so choose!)

Cayenne- stimulates digestion and helps boost immune system also fights inflammation! Remember… just a dash!

Ingredients
1 cup kale (frozen)
1 cup spinach (frozen)
2 stalks celery (fresh)
1 zucchini (summer squash) (fresh)
1 banana (frozen)
1 cup strawberries (frozen)
1/2 cup parsley
2 whole lemons, peeled (like an orange)
1 whole lime, peeled (like an orange)
2 brazil nuts
dash of cinnamon
dash of cayenne
1 1/2 -2 cups water
6 ice cubes
1 tablespoon agave (optional)

Instructions

Put all the ingredients in a vita mix and blend away. You can of course substitute a fruit or veggie to suit your taste or to use any left over veggies you may have on hand. But remember, this is for health over deliciousness so try it and see how it goes… Your body will thank you!

 

I should note that the health benefits for each fruit and vegetable are from internet sources. If you have questions or concerns you should ask a health care professional.

banana nut smoothie (plus spinach!)

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This delicious smoothie or dare I even say it… dessert… is a must try! Perfect for post workout nourishment or maybe its your after dinner delight (good-bye breyers) or maybe its the kiddos choice… either way this is fantastic and while it taste too good to be true… it actually packs a punch in the nutrition category.

Spinach… nut just for Popeye… do I really need to convince you of this healthy leaf? Spinach is a great non-heme source of iron giving your body the energy it needs! Further, it is possibly one of the best sources of dietary potassium and full of magnesium (great for energy metabolism and muscle and nerve function! The list goes on… needless to say, its worth adding a cup to the smoothie!

Peanut butter… not just for kids! 7.7 grams of protein, which helps keep your tissues strong and promotes immune function!

Banana…not just for monkeys! High in tryptophan (great for fighting the blues)… high in potassium and 3 grams of fiber!

Ground flax seed… Full of omega-3 essential fatty acids… great heart-healthy effects! Fiber, both soluble and insoluble… power seed!

Cacoa beans are a great source of antioxidants and natural energy!

Dates… not just for sweetness! Really! Dates are full of tannins… they are know to have an anti-infective, anti-inflammatory and anti-hemorrhagic properties! Also they have a moderate amount of vitamin-A and rich in fiber, which prevents LDL cholesterol absorption in the gut!

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Enjoy and feel good about it!

Ingredients

1 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 cup frozen spinach (I buy fresh organic spinach and freeze it)
1 large frozen banana
2 tablespoons peanut butter (or almond if allergic to peanut)
3 dates, pitted
4 cacoa beans (or 1 tablespoon dark chocolate chips)

Instructions

Add all ingredients into a high powered blender and waa laa… dessert… cough… I mean “wellness in a glass”

 

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