Exciting new ways to concoct your own scrumptious smoothies
I am a fan of blended drinks, no matter the season. Like white clothing, I don’t cut out smoothies after Labor Day. Not only are they a sweet and filling treat, they are a fun way to fulfill your dietary needs with ease and efficiency. And as my schedule gets busier, I find myself needing to come up with creative ways to stay on top of my nutrition and not burn out.
While working in the corporate world, I did a number on my already-depleted body. I learned that if I don’t continue to take care of myself, I won’t be able to continue to do the work I love so much—hence, little tricks like supplementing a meal or snack with a smoothie. Plus, a smoothie here and there gives your digestive system a break. It’s an easy meal to digest, and with all of the health benefits of the base ingredients, plus any supplements you may choose to add, you’ll be fortifying your body in no time.
Speaking of supplementing, I am a huge fan of super foods. Those berries, seeds and powders pack a ton of nutrition into a small space, and they’re super good in smoothies. Chia, hemp, flax, cacao—I like to sneak in a tablespoon or two whenever I can.
Here are my favorite ingredients:
Chia contains EFAs and is a powerful antioxidant that provides fiber. It slows the rate at which our bodies convert calories from carbs to simple sugars, so it helps prevent the crash that so many of us experience on tiring days.
Hemp is a protein-packed seed that contains every single essential amino acid necessary for cellular functioning—a big job for such a little kernel.
Flax—low in cholesterol and sodium—is a good source of magnesium, phosphorous, copper, dietary fiber, thiamin and manganese. It’s great for your brain, hair, skin and nails.
Cacao is full of sulfur and magnesium, working hard to balance brain chemistry, build strong bones and boost happiness. And it makes your smoothie chocolate-y delicious!
Maca powder, though a little pricey, has a fantastic ability to nourish and balance the endocrine system in addition to helping us cope with stress. Like chia, maca is an energizer that doesn’t leave you sleepy later.
Blueberries, goji berries, spirulina (touted for nutritional benefits and also a complete protein like hemp) and bee products like bee pollen are also delicious additions. Add as much as a quarter of a cup to your blended concoctions for a blast of flavor and health.
Leafy greens blended with coconut water, ice and berries plus a sprig of fresh herbs like basil, mint or cilantro make a savory green power drink.
Whey protein and pea powder are readily accessible at health food stores and are excellent protein sources to include in your daily diet. If you feel as though you aren’t getting enough protein, a smoothie is the perfect place to put some.
A spoonful of coconut oil or flax oil is a great source of fatty acids. Raw saturated fat supports the whole body from the inside out, especially benefitting your immune system, thyroid, nervous system and skin. It’s also great for weight loss and memory retention. Plus, it’s antiviral, antimicrobial, antifungal and great for combating candida.
So dust off that blender and see what your smoothies are made of. They certainly aren’t just for detoxes and diets. And with combinations like almonds, mangos, coconut and fresh mint, who could blame me for whipping up a blended drink every day? Your smoothies can be as creative as you are. If you love Almond Joy bars, but opt to ditch the chemicals and additives of candy? Use any combination of banana and/or ice with almond butter and milk, coconut flakes, plus cacao nibs and powder, and your tongue won’t know the difference—but your tummy will thank you!
Remember to stick with the best ingredients. I always go with organic, non-GMO, high-quality produce and additives in my mixed meals. This ensures both the best taste and the best nutrition.
Coconut Blueberry Smoothie
Here’s an easy recipe that you can whip up in your kitchen today.
1 cup fresh pineapple, cut into ½-inch chunks
1 cup blueberries
¼ cup coconut milk
½ cup organic Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon coconut flakes
1 tablespoon Organic chia seeds (Barlean’s are my favorites)
2 tablespoons Barlean’s Organic flax seeds
1 ½ cups ice cubes
Blend all ingredients until smooth. Serve chilled.