Sneaky Green Berry Smoothie
Gluten, Dairy, Soy Free, Low Sugar, Anti-Inflammatory
We call this smoothie the "sneaky green smoothie" because the berry flavor is delicious and dominant, making it very easy to hide some healthy leafy green vegetables:) This is a perfect way to get some greens into picky eaters like kids and maybe even your spouse!
In fact starting your day with a green smoothie can help to boost your metabolism and energy for the day, improve digestion, and reduce cravings for sugar and carbs later in the day. Plus berries are loaded with antioxidants that help neutralize free radicals that can lead to disease and early aging in your body - especially blueberries which are one of the top anti-inflammatory foods on this planet! To learn more, check out our blog, Top 8 Anti-Inflammatory Foods.
Sneaky Green Berry Smoothie: (PRINT RECIPE)
1 cup organic spinach
1 -1 ½ cups lighter greens like romaine or cucumber
½ cup frozen organic berries of choice
½ of a ripe avocado, peeled & de-seeded
2 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk of choice (like almond, coconut, or hemp)
2 servings protein powder (2 scoops)
2 tablespoons ground organic flaxseed or chia seeds
Dairy Free. Gluten Free. Soy Free. Low Carb. Low Sugar.
I'm enjoying one of these as I write this blog today! This is a very filling smoothie that I like to use when a sweet or specifically chocolate craving hits. It tastes like dessert but I'm getting lots of healthy fats, protein, and fiber to keep me feeling full and satisfied. Plus, it only has 4.1 grams of sugar and is under 10 grams of carbs per serving. If you can't do chocolate, leave it out and just do Coconut-Macadamia Smoothie:)
Macadamia nuts are a great source of monounsaturated fat, the same type of fat found olive oil and avocados. Monounsaturated fats are hailed as one of the best types of fat to prevent heart disease and several studies show that these healthy fats can also help improve insulin resistance and reduce the risk of diabetes.
Stay tuned tomorrow when we share all about the health benefits of monounsaturated fats on our "What's That?! Wednesday post" plus give you a couple new recipes to help you incorporate these into your diet with ease and deliciousness.
Chocolate-Coconut Macadamia Smoothie (PRINT RECIPE)
2 scoops unflavored, vanilla, or chocolate flavored protein powder of choice*
Heaping 1/3 cup raw, unsalted macadamia nuts
1 heaping tablespoon raw, organic cocoa powder or raw cacao nibs
1 teaspoon ground organic cinnamon
2 tablespoons raw coconut butter or raw coconut manna (different from coconut oil)
OR 1/2 cup of raw, frozen coconut chunks or shavings
1-2 tablespoons chia seeds (optional) for extra fiber boost
2 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk of choice (Coconut, Hemp, or Almond)
1-2 cups ice cubes depending on how thick & cold you like it
*Check out our blog, How to Choose a Protein Powder. And if you like recipes like these, check out our 10 Day Sugar Detox eBook - a 10 day clean eating guide to help you incorporate healthy foods and reduce your sugar and simple carb intake.
Turmeric Spice Latte
Anti-Inflammatory Tea. Sugar Free. Vegan. Delicious.
Turmeric tea is a standard and popular beverage throughout Asian and India - often called "golden milk", this super delicious beverage is loaded with anti-inflammatory properties and perfect with those suffering from inflammatory related diseases. I make sure to get a hefty dose of turmeric in everyday to manage my symptoms while battling Chronic Lyme Disease - I find that it helps reduce pain and swelling, clear a "foggy" brain, and boost my body's ability to detoxify. You can head on over to our blog, 7 Health Benefits of Turmeric, to learn more about this.
About 8 months out of the year, I crave a warm beverage in the late morning or afternoon and I've found this to be the perfect choice for me! Typical lattes contain 10 or more grams of sugar or artificial sweeteners and this latte comes in under 1 gram if you use stevia (which I use and recommend). I started experimenting with "golden milk" recipes about a month ago and combined several elements of a few recipes to come up with this recipe. It is absolutely my new favorite beverage and acts more like a dessert or sweet snack for me! Not only does it have under 1 gram of sugar, but it has a rich and creamy flavor that makes me feel like I'm having something similar to a chai tea latte. I'm confident you will enjoy it as well!
This recipe uses a turmeric paste that you make and store in the fridge. Turmeric is absorbed better if you couple it with a small amount of black pepper and add some coconut oil since turmeric is fat soluble - this is why I like using the paste!
Turmeric Spice Latte (PRINT RECIPE)
1 ½ cups unsweetened non-dairy milk of choice (I like coconut or vanilla almond)
½ - 1 teaspoon turmeric paste*
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4-6 drops liquid stevia or ½ teaspoon honey or agave (using honey or agave adds 2.9 grams of sugar)
3 tablespoons ground turmeric
3 heaping tablespoons coconut oil
½ teaspoon ground pepper
¼ cup filtered water
*Store paste in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. I recommend using a glass jar for storage as turmeric is likely to stain your plastic ware.
In good health,
**Recipe inspired by both Andrea Nakayama's Turmeric Tea (www.replenish.pdx) and "Golden Milk Turmeric Tea" from www.happyhealthymama.com.
Mint Chocolate Chip Green Smoothie
Vegan, Gluten Free, Soy Free, Low Carb, Anti-Inflammatory
A few weeks ago, my husband I went to Santa Rosa, CA for some appointments with my Lyme doctor and to have some special treatments and therapies to continue to help me battle this difficult disease. During our stay there, we were able to meet up with my favorite cousin, Mike, his wife Cynthia, and their two beautiful daughters at the Petaluma Creamery. P.S. - For any of you who live in this area and love real dairy products, this place had some amazing ice cream and cheeses! Seriously - a must try!
As you can imagine, going to a creamery is torturous for someone who doesn't eat dairy! Cheese and ice cream used to be some of my favorite foods before going dairy free 3 years ago. Usually I have no problem avoiding dairy and don't really crave it much anymore. That day, I went there with the intention to NOT eat ice cream, but I DID!!
When my husband walked out with my all time favorite ice cream, MINT CHIP, I just knew I had to have a bite...actually 3 big bites. It was my first time eating ice cream in 3 years and the cheat was worth it!!
It was so creamy and delicious that since then, I've been craving my old favorite. So this week I took that inspiration down a healthier route to create an amazing new green smoothie recipe.
A deep chocolate flavor with a bright mint after-tone cover up any sign of "the greens" at all, making this recipe a perfect way to get 1 cup of greens in for the day! Kids and adults alike will love this dessert-like smoothie. Plus the fresh mint is packed with nutrients and antioxidants that promote a healthy digestion, improve energy and mood, alleviate allergy and cold symptoms, and reduce sugar cravings. This food's medicine is right up my alley and tastes like a dessert, what more can you ask for?!
Mint Chocolate Chip Green Smoothie (PRINT RECIPE)
2 cups romaine or other light greens
½ cup packed fresh mint leaves
2 scoops chocolate protein powder**
2 tablespoons organic cocoa powder or raw cacoa nibs
1 ½ cups unsweetened coconut milk
1-2 large handfuls of ice (depending on how cold and icy you like it)
Also, if you like this recipe, you may be interested in these other blogs:
**How to Choose a Healthy Protein Powder
Health Benefits of Mint
Cocoa vs. Cacao - What's the Difference?
Kick Your Cravings Chocolate Shake
Perfect Green Smoothie
Cravings often mean that your body is lacking in something that it needs - whether that be nutrients, water, or even emotional balance. Rather than "will powering" you way through every craving - which can lead to binge eating and overeating down the line, why not try giving your body a small, balanced snack that is high in protein and low in sugar and carbs?!
This shake is best used as a snack in between meals when cravings hit, as small meal replacement right after a workout, or as a small dessert after a light meal (200-250 calories) to keep your blood sugar stable and your energy levels up as well as give you a protein boost.
PLUS...raw cocoa or cacao nibs are actually both great appetite suppressors to help cut those cravings down which is why they are the star in this recipe along with another healing food, cinnamon. Cinnamon is known to reduce blood sugar and insulin response and will help keep your energy level even and keep cravings at bay. A stable blood sugar also contributes to your body's ability to burn fat and build muscle. Check out our blog, What's the Difference Between Cocoa and Cacao to learn more about the health benefits of cocoa and cacao.
Controlling the ingredients and the nutritional profile of this shake is the most important thing to keep in mind. To do this, you must choose a plant based protein powder that meets the right criteria. Look for one that is GMO free, allergen free, under 10 grams of sugar and over 20 grams of protein. Check out our blog, How to Choose a Protein Powder to help you navigate the health food store and make a choice that will assist you to meet your goals and not sabotage them.
"Kick Your Cravings" Chocolate Shake (PRINT RECIPE)
3 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk, almond milk or coconut milk
2 scoops vanilla protein powder*
2 tablespoons raw, organic cocoa powder or cacao nibs
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Large handful of ice cubes
Give it a try and let us know what you think! If you are looking for more support and nutritional know-how to help you beat the vicious cycle of cravings and rock your health goals, check out our Nutritional Coaching Program. We would be honored to support you towards meeting your goals.
*Choose a brand that is gluten, dairy, and soy free and has more than 20 grams protein and less than 10 grams sugar. I use Plant Fusion Brand (Vanilla Bean) it has 21 grams of protein and only 4 grams of sugar/carbs.
How to Choose a Protein Powder
Protein shakes, smoothies, and drinks have become quite popular and there is good reason. When used correctly, protein shakes/smoothies can be a very effective tool to manage or lose weight, make a great small balanced snack or meal on the go, and can supplement nutrition as well as help to build muscle and curb cravings. However, the key to ensuring you get all these benefits out of your protein shakes or smoothies is choosing the right protein powder!
Easy right?! WRONG! It can be pretty overwhelming and downright frustrating choosing a protein powder with all the different choices and ingredients out there today. To help you narrow down your choices, this week's What's That?! Wednesday post discusses the top 6 things to look for when choosing a protein powder, plus we share our favorite brands, and give you a few recipes to please your palette, boost your nutrition, and curb your cravings!
Top 6 Things to Look For When Choosing a Protein Powder:
Some of the brands that we use or know meet this criteria are:
All of these brands can be found at more natural food stores as well as online from places like Amazon. I often find better deals online, especially if you are willing to do regular, pre-scheduled shipments - many online retail sites will give you a small discount for doing so. Like anything, it comes down to your taste, so you may have to try a few before you find the right one. Keep in mind you can always try the single serving packs as your test before buying a huge tub.
Check out some of our favorite smoothie and shake recipes here:
Perfect Green Smoothie
Pumpkin Green Smoothie
"Kick Your Carvings" Chocolate Shake
~In good health,
BIllie & Jennifer
Chai Tea Latte
My favorite warm beverage of choice on a cold day is a chai tea latte - hands down! I love how the spicy and sweet flavors come together to make each sip of the beverage satisfying and whimsical. Prior to making some really big changes to my diet about 4 years ago, I would swing through a Starbucks a few times a week and get a soy chai tea latte - usually a grande which adds up to 240 calories and 43 grams of sugar - WOW! YIKES! Not to mention, I was dropping around $80 a month on these high calorie/high sugar drinks. Sound familiar?! Hopefully now that I've confessed my chai tea latte sins...you will feel more comfortable to admit your sweet Starbucks beverage splurge.
These days when I need to get a fix, I will occasionally splurge and buy the Tazo Chai tea concentrate (or similar) and mix it with unsweetened almond milk. It's one of my favorite treats and about once a week I will gladly blow my entire sugar allowance for the day to have my chai tea.
Recently I started experimenting with making my own chai tea concentrate and after several batches, developed this fabulous recipe that I think comes pretty close the boxed chai concentrates but with a bit less sugar. YAY! This recipe comes in at only 77 calories and can be sugar free for a one cup serving size. OH YES! Take a peek...
Chai Tea Latte (PRINT RECIPE)
Makes 10 servings; Serving Size: 1/2 cup tea concentrate + 1/2 cup milk of choice
8 cups filtered water
2-inch piece in ginger root, peeled and chopped
3 cinnamon sticks
½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
20 whole cloves
7 cardamom pods, gently smashed with the flat of a knife*
3 whole star anise*
1 heaping teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
Zest of one orange
10-12 bags of black tea, preferably Darjeeling (depending on how caffeinated you want it)
½ cup organic honey or agave (for a sugar free option - substitute 4-6 drops of dark liquid stevia to each latte)
This recipe makes a pretty big batch...so if you are making this for one or two people, I suggest cutting it in half so that you can go through the tea within the 7 day window.
**Whole cardamom pods and star anise can be pretty tough to find in a regular grocery store, but almost all natural food stores will carry these spices.
Pumpkin Green Smoothie
Last Thanksgiving day I woke up and was confronted with several prepared holiday desserts sitting on my counter top - just staring at me asking to be eaten. Can you relate?! A few years ago, I would have started the day with a slice of pumpkin pie, a cookie, brownie, or something else sweet just because it was a holiday and I felt like I could treat myself.
But these days, I try to avoid sugar, especially first thing in the morning. My experience with myself and my clients is that if you start your day with sugar, your body will continue to crave carbs and sugar throughout the day. This can cause you to overeat or fill up on the wrong types of foods all day long. It can also turn on "fat storage" hormones like cortisol and insulin and tell your body to store fat and not burn it for energy. This can leave you feeling lethargic and a bit slow in the brain - not cool!
So instead, I thought I'd try something new in my blender to help me feel like I was getting a "special holiday treat". One of my traditional green smoothies, but with pumpkin puree and holiday spices. The result...AMAZING! So amazing in fact, I had to have one for the next three mornings straight:) And I HAD to get it up on the blog to share with you.
Pumpkin Green Smoothie (PRINT RECIPE)
Makes 2 smoothies
1 cup spinach
1-1 1/2 cups romaine
1 scoop protein powder of choice*
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
1 tablespoon almond butter**
1/4 cup 100% pure pumpkin puree
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger or 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup - 1 cup ice cubes (depending on how cold and icy you like it)
Hope you enjoy this just as much as I do!
*We recommend a protein powder that is low in carbohydrates & sugars and high in protein. Use the 10/15/20 rule—you want 10 or LESS grams of sugar, 15 or LESS grams of total carbohydrates and 20 or MORE grams of protein per serving. Nutritional information assumes you follow the above rule when selecting your protein powder
**You can also do sunflower seed butter or just an additional scoop of protein powder if you prefer here.
Starting your day with a green smoothie can help to regulate digestion, fight inflammation, assist in weight loss, and boost your immune system and energy level - lots of awesomeness in one drink!! And that is why I am religious about my raw green smoothie or juice almost every morning. Read our blog, 4 Reasons to Make a Green Smoothie Part of Your Routine, to understand more about the health benefits of these awesome drinks.
Not only are these drinks good for your health, they make excellent breakfasts that come together in a flash and anyone can learn how to make them - all you need is a blender and an open mind. Green smoothies are an integral part of our 4 Week Detox Diet, on Sale Now Through Sunday 1/10!
In the meantime, follow these simple steps and you will be a green smoothie rockstar in no time!
5 Steps to Make the Perfect Green Smoothie:
Perfect Green Smoothie (PRINT RECIPE)
Makes 2 servings
2 cups dark leafy greens (options: kale, chard, or spinach)
1 cup light greens (options: romaine, celery, cucumber, leafy lettuce)
½ cup frozen fruit (options: pineapple, mango, berries, etc)
½ of a medium green,unripe banana, frozen (or substitute 1/2 ripe avocado for creamy texture and healthy fat)
1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk of choice (hemp, coconut, or almond)*
½ cup ice cubes or frozen milk cubes
2 scoops/servings of protein powder of choice (following 15/15 rule)
2 tablespoons super food ingredient (hemp seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, almond butter, raw walnuts, cacao powder)
*We recommend non-dairy milk or just water in green smoothies for most people, because dairy can disrupt the digestion and nutrient absorption of raw greens.
Try some of our other green smoothie recipes:
Chocolate Peanut Butter Green Smoothie
Sneaky Green Smoothie
Spring Refresh Smoothie
Mint Chip Smoothie
Sending you each health and joy!
~Billie & Jen
Summer Herbal Mint Iced Tea
Summer is here, and if you or anyone that has lived at or near your house in the last 50 or so years has ever planted mint, you probably are starting to have buckets of it. My favorite use for mint (other than mojitos, obviously) is for tea. It's refreshing in a way that plain water isn't, and mint is super good for you (see our Health Benefits of Mint post).
So, here's the skinny on how to make Summer Herbal Mint Iced Tea. I make up an enormous batch and then keep it in a pitcher in the fridge and drink it for a few days.
Summer Herbal Mint Iced Tea (PRINT RECIPE)
Serves as many people as you want to share it with.
Fresh mint leaves, any variety (peppermint, spearmint, chocolate mint, etc.)
Green or black tea bags (optional)
In general, one handful of mint will flavor 2 cups of water, and I would use 1 teabag for every 3-4 cups of water, if you’re using tea at all.
This is not a precise science—I usually just fill up the biggest pot I have with water and then use as much mint as will easily fit.
Basil-Mint: You could add basil to the tea as well for a more complex flavor. I’d do only a couple of leaves per cup of water, in addition to the mint.
Ginger-Mint: Drop an inch of peeled ginger root in the boiling water with the mint. This is a great combination to calm and soothe and upset tummy.
Cucumber-Mint: Just add sliced cucumbers to the pitcher or jar right before you put it in the fridge.
Coconut water plus cleansing greens and tart fruit make this drink taste like summertime in your mouth! Refreshing and light - I think it kind of resembles strawberry lemonade myself, but I'll let you be the judge of that. This light weight drink does pack a nutritional punch as well - rich in B vitamins, antioxidants, and packed with electrolytes to replenish your energy.
If you've never used coconut water before, it's actually been called, "Nature's Gatorade" as it is packed with electrolytes like potassium, sodium, manganese, and phosphorus, and calcium but clearly without the harmful sugars and GMO's.
Every cell in your body needs the right balance of electrolytes in order to maintain cell function and communicate with other systems. Electrolytes are also essential for building lean muscle, reducing inflammation, and maintaining healthy blood pressure. Most of us have experienced how the body feels when your electrolytes are low, like after participating in strenuous physical exercise or even after having one (or several) too many cocktails the night before (ahem).
The good news is that coconut water can help to replenish those electrolytes which will improve your energy level, your mood, and stamina as you go through your day. It will also help to alkalize your body so that your immune and other systems operate more efficiently. Try this beverage first thing in the morning or after a workout.
1 kiwi, peeled
1/3 cup frozen strawberries (about 3-5 berries only depending on the size)
½ of a lemon, peeled and seeds removed
2 cups spinach
1 cup romaine lettuce
1½ cups coconut water**
½ cup ice cubes
Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.
**Coconut water is usually in the same aisle as juices, waters, and/or sodas. It VERY important to choose coconut water that is plain and unflavored with no added sugar or other ingredients.
This was our breakfast this morning...a Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie. As many of you know, we are HUGE fans of having a green smoothie or juice for breakfast - the raw greens in the morning can help calm and stabilize your digestive system, help you maintain a healthy weight, and help reduce inflammation. We've both experienced all of these benefits first hand and so have many of our clients.
What I love MOST about this smoothie is that it offers me those benefits plus it tastes a little like a chocolate milkshake so it really satisfies my sweet cravings. This smoothie is loaded with fresh greens, heart healthy fat, and 8.2 grams of protein from the peanut butter. With only 4.6 net carbs per serving, this drink will help to stabilize your blood sugar and keep you feeling full all morning long.
You can add a bit of stevia, honey or agave to increase the sweetness if you need to or you can add a scoop of your favorite protein powder to increase the protein content.
1 frozen banana
2 tablespoons fresh peanut butter or almond butter OR 1 tablespoon peanut butter powder
2 cups non-dairy milk or milk of choice
2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
2 cups baby spinach
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
Place all ingredients in a blender or mix until well combined. Serve cold. Serves 2.
~Billie & Jennifer
Lemons are one of the most alkalizing foods for the body! While they are acidic by themselves, the acids contained in lemons are weak and therefore easily metabolized. This allows the mineral content of lemons to help alkalize the blood, reduce inflammation, and promote healthy digestion!
Beginning your day with a warm lemon water can have many positive health benefits - this is a practice that I've had for almost three years now and I cannot tell how much it helps me. So much in fact, that I rarely miss a day!
So...in this week's What's That?! Wednesday post, we review the health benefits of drinking a daily lemon as well as how to make it...
Top 5 Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water Daily
1) Kickstarts the Digestion Process & Detoxifies Your Body. Lemon juice helps to loosen toxins from your digestive track and flush out unwanted materials/waste from the body. Inside the gut, it acts similar to saliva and the hydrochloric acid of digestive juices and encourages the liver to produce bile which is an acid that is required for digestion. It will help to improve and/or alleviate symptoms like heartburn, belching and bloating. The citric acid in lemons helps stimulate enzyme function, which assists the liver and aids in detoxification.
2) Helps to Ease Joint & Muscle Pain. Lemon water on an empty stomach first thing in the morning will help to draw uric acid from your joints that builds up as you sleep at night. Uric acid contributes significantly to joint pain and inflammation so it's best to try to draw it out first thing as you wake.
3) Boosts & Supports Your Immune System. Lemons are high in vitamin C, which is great for fighting colds and combating life’s daily stresses. In fact, Vitamin C is the first thing to plummet in the body when you are stressed – so getting your daily Vitamin C is very important! The acids contained in lemons are weak and easily metabolized in the body, allowing the mineral content of lemons to help alkalize (or make less acidic) the blood. Disease states only occur when the body pH is acidic – daily lemon water helps to remove overall acidity in the body, which helps to decrease inflammation in the body. What kinds of things can happen when you have inflammation? The list is long – painful or swollen joints, excess weight in your middle section, getting sick more easily, getting injured more easily, hay fever, arthritis, cancer...take your pick.
4) Aids in Weight Loss. Mounting research indicates that diets that are more alkaline in nature can lead to quicker and more sustainable weight loss. One of the reasons is that when your body in alkaline state, it is more efficient at incorporating the foods you provide it – it can extract the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals it needs and then quickly eliminates waste. This prevents toxins from being deposited in your fat cells where they help feed the vicious cycle of cravings for salts, fats, and sugars. A diet rich in alkaline foods, like lemon water, helps to regulate your metabolism and reduce cravings!
5) Promotes Healthy Skin. Lemon water can help to decrease blemishes, even out skin tone and discoloration, and even fight wrinkles. It’s detoxifying effects help to sweep away blemishes from the inside out. The vitamin C and antioxidants contained in the lemon help fight the free radicals that lead to wrinkles.
Recommendations for Making Warm Lemon Water Part of Your Routine:
**You can also use 100% pure lemon essential oil - essential oils are VERY potent - so start with only 2-3 drops in your warm water.
Questions about the benefits of lemons or other alkalizing foods? Interested in learning more about incorporating more alkalizing foods into your diet but need some more guidance? Click the link below to check out our Metabolic Recovery Program - where one of our practitioners will guide you through how to eat clean foods that will balance hormones, reduce inflammation, and boost your metabolism so that you can lose weight for good!
Our clients also love our Detox Diet hat incorporates a daily lemon water - many of our clients have lost up to 9 pounds in the first week and up to 19 pounds by the end of the program. These eating plans help to re-set your metabolism, clear toxins, regulate digestion, lose weight, and boost energy. Click here to get more details and read more Detox Diet testimonials.
~Billie & Jennifer
A green smoothie or green juice is typically the way I start my day - everyday! And I recommend that you consider doing the same and here's why...
1. Supports Good Digestive Health
Greens literally escort toxins through your digestive tract and aid in regular elimination. If you are someone who deals with IBS symptoms at all - this will help immensely. We've had clients who have had their IBS symptoms completely disappear by adding one green smoothie a day!
2. Helps Reduce Cravings for Carbs & Sugar
When you start your day with carbs and sugar (ex: toast/bread of any kind, cereal, or even a yogurt with granola and fruit), your body is more likely to crave carbs and sugar throughout the day which can lead to snacking, overeating, and weight gain. Break the cycle and have sunshine for breakfast- start your day with a green protein shake, keep fruit content to a minimum, and kick those cravings to the curb.
3. Helps to Fight Inflammation & Prevent Chronic Disease
The alkalizing affects of greens in your body can help reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke, help prevent osteoporosis, improve brain health, and help reduce painful and swollen joints. Additionally, starting your day with something that isn't going to spike your blood sugar will help to keep inflammatory responses lower.
4. Assists in Weight Loss
A green smoothie can help to stabilize your blood sugar, which keeps you feeling fuller longer. The greens also help your body shed excess water weight. Adding more vegetables and fruits also curbs cravings for sugar and processed foods and increases cravings for healthier foods!
5. Nutrient & Vitamin Packed
When made correctly, these smoothies can contain more than your daily allowance for Vitamins A & C, and 25% of the recommended intake for Vitamin D. The daily recommended intake for green vegetables is 2 - 3 1/2 cups depending on your age and gender...and our Perfect Green Smoothie gets you 1 1/2 cups at the start of the day.
Read our blog, 5 Steps To The Perfect Green Smoothie, to get some free recipes and learn how simple and delicious it is to make a green smoothie part of your regular routine.
In order to receive the most health benefits, it's really important when making a green smoothie that you let the greens take the lead and keep the fruit to a minimum. We recommend 3:1 rule - you want to have 3 times as much greens (in volume) as you do fruit. For those of you who need to watch sugars even closer, like me, use a 4:1 ratio.
Enjoy your greens in the morning!
Honey Hot Chocolate
As promised, I wanted to share another delicious hot beverage recipe that the whole family can get into. I think we can all agree that hot chocolate is the standard kid-asked for hot beverage of choice in the colder fall and winter months. We can probably equally agree that the 'pre-packaged' options are not exactly the healthiest choice for our kiddos.
Upon examination, the first two ingredients listed on these packets of hot cocoa are sugar and corn syrup. Those ingredients are followed by another slew of unhealthy additives that I cannot pronounce as well as the words that I hate to see most -'partially hydrogenated oil'. For those of you who don't know, this is trans fat, which raises BAD cholesterol levels in your body. There is overwhelming data to suggest that we should not eat ANY trans fats in our diet. The goods news is though, there is a healthier way to enjoy this warming beverage with your kiddos...
Once you try this healthier version using only WHOLE, REAL FOOD ingredients, I'm certain you will never buy the pre-packaged powder packets again because it is simply delicious!
Honey Hot Chocolate (PRINT RECIPE)
1-teaspoons honey or agave or 4-5 drops dark liquid stevia for sugar free
1 tablespoon organic, unsweetened cocoa
1 cup milk of choice (Whole, Rice, Soy, Almond, or Coconut)
~ Billie & Jen
Pumpkin Spice Latte
Every year as the temperature cools and the fall leaves change to vibrant colors I'm reminded of how much I love the fall season! Its this time of year where I want to wrap up in my favorite sweater, slap on some walking shoes, and go for a nice fall hike in the moderate temperatures and the cool air. In years past, these lovely fall excursions also included a stop at Starbucks to grab my favorite fall drink - a pumpkin spice latte...mmmm...I spent many a fall season in previous years lined up every week at Starbucks for my fill until the 'season' was over.
The 16 ounce Starbucks version of this beverage packs 310 calories and 47 grams of sugar. They do not use organic milk so their milks are laden with hormones and antibiotics that can damage your immune system. And the most concerning part is they they use a GMO corn syrup mix to get that delicious sweet pumpkin spice taste. YUCK!
Since fall is just not complete without a sweet, hot beverage to warm you up...please enjoy this homemade cleaner, lower sugar version which is under 150 calories and contains only 18 grams of sugar per serving.
Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte (PRINT RECIPE)
1/2 cup milk of choice (I recommend whole,coconut, almond, hemp or soy milk)
1-2 tablespoons 100% pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling) from a can**
2 teaspoons honey or agave
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup hot brewed, strong coffee
2 tablespoons half and half or non-dairy creamer (optional and to your taste- if you want a creamer latte)
1. Place a small pot over medium heat and add the milk, pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, honey and vanilla, whisking until smooth. Heat for 3-5 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Alternatively you can microwave it for 1 to 2 minutes, watching closely so that you can remove it from the microwave when the milk is hot and frothing. If you want more froth, you can use a small handheld frother ($15 at a kitchen store).
2. Pour the pumpkin milk into a tall mug or glass. Add hot coffee and creamer (if using) and stir. Adjust to taste.
Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy this lovely Fall season! And please lay us down a comment or two if you like this recipe. You can also learn how to make your own pumpkin puree on our blog: How To Make Your Own Pumpkin Puree
As summer nears an end and the kids are heading back to school, it is important to think about your plan to get healthy food into your kiddos each day so they can be the best they can be! Between work, school, sports, homework and other activities, every family's schedule seems to fill up quickly and we often put our health needs last. We wanted to suggest some simple ways to implement whole foods into your kids diets without adding too much time to your schedule.
We will start with breakfast! Studies show that breakfast eaters tend to have higher school attendance, less tardiness, better concentration, higher test scores, and better muscle coordination. So whether they eat at home or at school, be sure your children eat a nutritious breakfast every day. The idea is to give them balanced nutrition to start their day - a combination of lean protein, healthy fat, and vitamin and nutrient packed fruits and vegetables.
Fast, Nutrient Packed, Kid Friendly Breakfasts:
When the rolled oats 'marinate' in the milk overnight, they will have a consistency like you are used to when you cook them on the stove top (I promise!). Besides being a time saver, the extra bonus is that by not cooking them, you are retaining more of the gut healthy enzymes and nutrients they are packed with!
Sneaky Green Smoothie
This is an easy way to get healthy greens like spinach into your kids without them tasting it:) The berries and protein powder cover up the taste of the greens so most kids have no idea they are even eating spinach! Once your kids gets used to this flavor, you can play around with other combinations or types of greens.
*We recommend a protein powder that is low in carbohydrates/sugars and high in protein - use the 15/15 rule - you want 15 or LESS grams of carbohydrates and 15 or MORE grams of protein per serving.
We hope you and your family enjoy these nutritious and delicious breakfast ideas! Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more Back to School, Kid-Friendly Nutrition Ideas...
Billie Shellist, FDN-P
I practice functional nutrition, an approach that allows me to look at your entire health history and help you find the "root causes" of your chronic health complaints.
This cuts out the trial and error process and helps you get real symptom relief and resolution!
Food is medicine and knowledge is power -I hope you enjoy my anti-inflammatory recipes which are gluten, dairy, and soy free as well as very low grain and sugar.
If you'd like to heal from the root cause(s) of your chronic symptoms, try starting with a complimentary 15-minute consultation. Click here to request your free session.