Too Busy to Keep up with Greens? Here’s a Smoothie Sure to Satisfy

Getting bored or fickle with your plant-based diet? Do you sometimes look in the fridge or pantry and nothing looks enticing? Perhaps it’s time to mix-it-up a bit. There’s an outstanding green smoothie that’s an oldie but a goodie. It’s a 10-minute prep and blend, and promises to delight in flavor and nutritional satisfaction.

New York Times bestselling author Angela Liddon has invented 100’s of vegan recipes, but there’s one kitchen sink-type drink full of veggies that promises to keep you feeling sated for hours. Its ingredients were chosen specifically by Liddon to create a perfect shake; it doesn’t include bananas, which is one reason why if you make a large batch, it will last for an entire day. She calls it the “All Day Glow Green Smoothie.” And glow you will.

She describes the flavor as “refreshing, tangy, and lightly sweet.” Included in the recipe is: fresh turmeric (found at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods), which is a natural anti-inflammatory and pain-reliever; fresh cilantro beneficial for detoxifying; fresh parsley, an antioxidant containing vitamin K; red leaf lettuce containing iron and fiber; lemon, an antibacterial high in vitamin C; avocado for the good fat; and mango containing vitamin A and C along with prebiotic dietary fiber.

Here’s the recipe. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (250 mL) coconut water
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) mango juice (I love Happy Planet Organic Mango juice)
  • 2 large (400 g total) Granny Smith apples, cored and roughly chopped
  • 2 cups (70 g) packed red leaf lettuce or romaine
  • 2/3 cup (18 g) loosely packed fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/3 cup (15 g) packed fresh cilantro leaves OR ¼ cup of fresh mint
  • 1/2 cup (70 g) frozen mango chunks
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) packed avocado
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste
  • 2 small, pinky-sized pieces (12 g total) peeled fresh turmeric
  • 5 to 6 large ice cubes, or as needed

Directions:

  1. Add the coconut water and mango juice into a (64-ounce) high-speed blender. (If your blender is on the small side, you may want to make a half-batch.)
  2. Now add the rest of the ingredients. Blend on high until super smooth. If you have a Vitamix, use the tamper stick to get things moving. Taste and adjust sweetness if desired. If it’s too tart, feel free to add a bit of liquid sweetener.
  3. Serve and enjoy! Place any leftovers into an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 24 hours. I love to enjoy half in the morning, and the other half in the afternoon.

Healthy, Unique Snack Selections that Help Burn Fat

Snacks are good—if they are healthy. Snacking can actually help you burn fat faster than if you skip eating when you’re hungry. Choosing the right foods will offer a great selection for your snacking pleasure.

Exercise isn’t the only way to burn fat. Eating the proper combination of healthy foods increases metabolism. Boosting metabolism burns calories at a more rapid rate, even when you’re sleeping.

So don’t be hesitant to snack if you truly feel hungry. First, try some water (because many times we confuse hunger with thirst.) If after you drink, your body is genuinely asking for fuel, then offer it some.

Burning Without Boredom

Sure, carrots are a great source of beta-carotene and fiber. They’re crunchy, tasty, and really are one of the healthiest snack foods around. But carrots, alone, day after day, can get so boring.

Adding a “good fat” to raw veggies is a great way to extend the length of your feeling full. Good carbs mixed with good fats makes the most of your protein intake. It also allows your body to readily absorb the important nutrients from your foods.

Simple Mixing and Matching

Like when you create a quality, but practical-based wardrobe, you choose items that will work well with others. You also pick classic winners that you know won’t disappoint. This action is similar when creating healthy snacks, especially when your taste buds want you to mix it up a bit.

Column A items are suggestions for healthy spreads or dips. Column B are foods used as healthy dippers or holders. For each snack, choose One item from column A and pair it with any number of items from column B. Your palate and your belly will be sure to stay interested in your snacking choices.

Column A

Guacamole, or a plain ripe avocado

Almond, peanut, or cashew butter

Unsweetened sunflower seed butter

Hummus

Artichoke dip (preferably prepared with nut milk, not mayo)

Column B

Hard-boiled cage-free egg

Sweet-potato chips (no corn, just sweet potatoes)

Chips made from black or navy beans

Root veggie chips

Gluten-free crackers

Herb flat bread (preferably prepared from almond or tapioca flour)

Celery

Carrots

Jicama

Tomatoes

AVOID:

Refined sugar, artificial sweeteners, soy, dairy, and wheat flour. You may not have an allergy to any on that list, but they can (and often do) cause inflammation in the body. It’s almost impossible to lose weight when you have inflammation. (Read here for more on inflammation and diet.)

Other easy go-to’s are: nut butter on banana or apple slices; smoothies made with berries, leafy greens, almond milk, and flaxseed, chia, or avocado oil; a variety of nuts mixed with gluten-free oats and unsweetened dried fruits.

Keep your eyes peeled for some enticing snack-dip recipes soon to be posted on Get Thrive! In the meanwhile, check out our archives for other articles on healthy food tips and facts on www.GetThrive.com

7 Smoothie Recipes to Get You in Gear

Smoothies are a great way to pack lots of nutrients into one frosty drink. The key, however, is to prepare your smoothie with the healthiest ingredients, all while creating the yummiest flavor. Here are some recipes that are nutritious, delicious, and will boost your booty into high gear.

Main Smoothie Staples

There are a few categories of ingredients you’ll want to add to most or all of your smoothies. They are: protein, fiber, good fat, and fresh produce

Here are some examples. You can derive protein from: protein powder (pea protein has no dairy or soy); nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans), seeds (pumpkin, flax, chia); good fats (coconut or flaxseed oil, avocado, almond butter), fiber (berries, carrots, squash, pumpkin), and greens (spinach, kale, chard, basil).

Feel free to mix and match within the food groups and improvise with the recipes.

Don’t skip the good fats thinking that will help your diet. You need the good fats to help you absorb all the nutrients in the powders and the whole foods. It’s the nutrients that boost your metabolism and actually help you lose weight and maintain optimum health.

The biggest detriment to store-bought smoothies is their sugar content. When making them at home, use stevia or honey if you feel you need to add more sweetness. These recipes, however, should be perfectly adequate without any type of sweetening additive. Toss all the ingredients in the blender (adding ice is optional) and tada! Your “get in gear” smoothie will appear.

APPLE PIE IN THE SKY SMOOTHIE

2 scoops vanilla protein powder
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
½ minced green apple
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon almond butter
8 ounces unsweetened vanilla almond milk

 

LIGHTING UP THE BLACK FOREST

 

2 scoops chocolate protein powder
1/3 cup pitted dark cherries
1/3 cup raspberries
1 teaspoon flaxseed oil
1 teaspoon organic unsweetened cocoa powder
8 ounces unsweetened chocolate almond milk

 

PUNCH IT UP PINA COLADA

 

2 scoops vanilla protein powder
1 cup chopped fresh pineapple
1 teaspoon coconut oil
¼ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
8 ounces original or vanilla unsweetened coconut milk

 

JUMPIN’ FOR ALMOND JOY

 

2 scoops chocolate protein powder
1 tablespoon almond butter
1 teaspoon coconut oil
¼ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
8 ounces vanilla or chocolate unsweetened almond milk

 

PERKY PINK LADY

 

2 scoops vanilla protein powder
1/3 cup raspberries
1/3 cup strawberries
1 teaspoon flaxseed oil
splash of unsweetened cranberry juice
8 ounces unsweetened plain or vanilla coconut milk

 

GREEN GO-GETTER

 

2 scoops vanilla protein powder
½ cup chopped spinach
pinch of fresh basil leaves
pinch of wheat grass
½ ripe avocado
½ minced green apple
8 ounces of unsweetened vanilla almond milk

 

SOCK IT TO ME CINNAMON

 

2 scoops vanilla protein powder
1/3 cup blueberries
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coconut oil
8 ounces plain unsweetened almond milk

 

Any of these smoothies can replace one of your three main meals of the day. A suggested dietary habit can include one smoothie daily along with fresh, whole foods for snacks and other meals. For additional recipes, up-to-date food recommendations, and best health practices for you and your family, check out www.GetThrive.com

Is Your Fresh Apple Really Fresh?

You’re in the market and the rows of new apples, tomatoes, and potatoes have just been neatly placed in their designated showcase bins. Chances are, they weren’t just picked or dug up. In fact, they may have been chilled, chemically treated, and stored elsewhere, sometimes for up to a year!

The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far…

Yes, it does. Some apples fall and are picked from very far away. In the US, on average, our food travels approximately 1,500 miles from where it was grown. Different types of produce are treated in various ways so that by the time they get to the consumer, they still seem fresh.

Apples, for example, are often picked before they’re ripe. Then they are treated with spray preservatives or methycyclopropene and then waxed. (This is after they are tested for malformations, divets, or anything that would make their façade appear unsightly.) The apples are stacked on pallets and placed in low-temperature storage.

They are boxed in cold storage, slowing their respiration rate. They can be, and often are, stored anywhere from a week up until about 12 months. They’ll look good, taste fine, but will have lost their nutritional antioxidant value after three months in that type of setting.

Other Produce Life-Prolonging Practices

How about that easy-to-use cut and bagged lettuce? That’s generally picked, washed, dried by centrifuge, and then treated with a preservative or a chlorine-based compound to ensure longer shelf life. It can rest in a closely moderated low-temperature vault for almost a month. Once it’s packed into its bag, however, it will only be edible (and sellable) for about another 10 days, tops.

Potatoes, believe it or not, can be kept looking bake-worthy for up to a year. That depends on if directly after they’re dug up, they get “cured.” (Curing is a process where the food item is stored in a warm temperature, but with extremely high humidity for about two weeks.) So once the potatoes are cured, they can be sprayed with a “sprout-inhibitor” (a chemical) that will keep them looking like hot potatoes.

Getting a Hold of Truly Fresh Foods

Buying organic and from a local farmer is a surer way to know your produce is fresh. And remember the reason why we want fresh is because it contains the most nutritional value. When a fruit or vegetable has been kept alive under “inorganic” ways, the vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant values diminish.

Check out stores that boast carrying locally produced foods. It’s not just about the genuine quality of the plant or fruit, but we have to take into account all of the handling. Hand-picked will always be better than harvested-by-machine because contamination risks will be lower.

Where There’s a Will, There’s a Green Way

If you’re lucky enough to have some property to grow your own food garden, then most of your healthy produce concerns can be alleviated. Even a small, raised bed can fit on a patio if you lack a large yard. Of course, you’ll have to learn about feeding soil, direct vs. indirect sunlight, and gauging water provisions. But if you have a green thumb and/or the passion to discover what’s needed to grow your own veggies and herbs, it will be well worth it.

On the other hand, you may live in an apartment. Or, you may not understand how or have the time or inclination to supervise an entire garden. Enter: products and ideas for organic, personal, food growing in small spaces or for “garden dummies.”

For example, Click & Grow created The Smart Garden, which is basically a no-brainer, countertop party for growing your own veggies. Growing your own organic produce with their patented “smart soil” may be a preferable option to buying fake ”new” food. The green-friendly company will soon be launching their latest DIY garden aide that will hold, grow, and nourish up to 9 different lettuces, herbs, greens, or small fruits. You can actually watch your food growing in a box right on your kitchen table or counter. And it costs very little compared to grocery store expenses for old produce or doctor bills from ill health.

There are many resources available if you seek to shop wisely or grow your own produce. If those options don’t work for your lifestyle, then just be discriminatory about the products you purchase. If you’re able to buy organic, that’s the superior health choice. And if you’re interested in reading about other potential healthy-life choices, check out some more reports on Thrive!