Posts Tagged ‘smoothie’

Green Smoothies for Mom Superpowers

Monday, March 17th, 2014

When you have a baby at home, can be hard to get a good, nutritious breakfast—or any kind of meal. And if you have more than one child, you may spend a good deal of your day in the car. But you don’t have to sacrifice your health or your sanity to get a quality meal in your busy day. Smoothies are quick, portable, and super healthy, and green smoothies pack a powerful punch of fiber, vitamins, minerals and energy. And what mom can’t use more of that?

Great Green Smoothies

Here’s how to make the perfect (quick!) green smoothie:

Choose your greens. Some of my favorites for smoothies are kale and spinach, but you can use any other one you like to change the flavor profile. Collards and beet greens have a more robust taste and a handful of parsley is a great choice for added energy and brings some brightness to the smoothie.

Pick a base. This can take your smoothie from light, airy and tropical, to rich and creamy. For more of a cleansing smoothie I like to go with a mixture of coconut water and aloe vera juice. Adding almond or coconut milk makes a thicker, richer smoothie.

Find your Fruit. Frozen bananas, mangoes and cherries are great for adding sweetness and depth. Citrus fruits such as grapefruit, limes, and oranges create lighter, more refreshing flavors. Berries are great for creating classic combinations such as banana strawberry.

Add more veggies. A green smoothie doesn’t have to stop with one green ingredient. You can add as many veggies as you’d like. Carrots, cucumbers and beets are great choices to boost your vitamin content.

Sprinkle in some extras. Smoothies are a great way to sneak in some superfoods. Blackstrap molasses adds some iron and calcium, fresh ginger is a refreshing immune booster, and seeds such as hemp, flax and chia add fiber, a little protein and a lot of nutrition. You can even try adding some green powder made of dried greens and fruits for even more of a boost.

Choose a fat and/or protein. Many of the vitamins in veggies are fat-soluble which means they need to be taken with some fat to be absorbed by the body. Coconut oil is one of the healthiest fats around, but other fats such as avocado and flax oil, nut butters or seeds work just as well. A high-quality protein powder can also help turn a smoothie from a snack into a delicious balanced meal.

Jacqueline Banks is a certified Holistic Health Counselor focused on nutrition and green living strategies. She works with women in all stages of motherhood, from mothers struggling with conception, through pregnancy, lactation and beyond to ensure the best health and nutrition for both mother and baby.

Tasty Tuesday: Breakfast Pumpkin Smoothie

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

People often ask me what I eat for breakfast before going on a run. One of my current favorites breakfasts has been a Pumpkin Smoothie*. It’s hearty enough to fuel a long run, but goes down quick and easy. While it’s vegan and gluten-free, it’s certainly not lacking in nutrients or flavor. Check it out!

 

Ingredients:

1 cup of almond milk

1/4 cup rolled oats

2 tablespoons chia seed gel (basically chia seeds soaked in water; awesome fuel for any activity!)

1/2 cup canned pumpkin

1/2 frozen banana (I pre-peel bananas, cut them in half, and place in small baggies to freeze. They are ready to pop in a smoothie straight from the freezer)

2 dates, pitted

1 tablepoon maple syrup

generous sprinkle of cinnamon

dash of giner and nutmeg

3 ice cubes

Directions:

Soak oats in almond milk for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator. (Quick Tip: I usually soak mine right before bed time so they are ready to right when I wake up). Add all ingredients into blender and blend on high until creamy and smooth.

YUM! I really look forward to waking up to this smoothie. It’s sooo good!!

-Sarah

*Adapted from Oh She Glows 

3 Simple Pre-Conception Preparations

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Congratulations! You are thinking about getting pregnant! :) The period in a couple’s life when they are hoping to expand their family is certainly an exciting time. While it may be a little ways away for your family, there are things you can do in advance to optimally prepare your body for carrying new life and it’s never to early to start!

Make Healthy Food Choices: Nutrition is probably the number one most important thing you can do to prepare your body for a healthy pregnancy. The awesome part of this is that it is something you can completely control; what you put into your body is 100% yours to decide! Of course eating well is important for everyone no matter what phase of life, but it is especially important for women during their childbearing years. If you want to make changes to your current diet, my suggestion would be to ease into it. Drastic dietary changes are often only temporarily sustainable efforts. Perhaps start by simply adding more whole foods into your diet? One idea might be to start your morning with a green smoothie? It’s a really easy way to get in a ton of nutrients. Another factor that influences healthy food choices and the relationship we have with food, is the common belief/misconception that healthy foods don’t taste good. If you believe that then you are less likely to select a healthy food and go straight for the junk foods which you know tastes good, right? Who woudn’t choose something yummy over something bland and tasteless? Eating is supposed to be a pleasurable experience! However I assure you eating healthy can be delicious, succulent, invigorating, and pure decadence! If what is healthy to you is boring, perhaps experiment more with foods and flavors? You might also try imposing more mindfulness into meals as described in this post. Another mental shift in eating is to focus on how foods make you feel after consuming them; really looking inward and examining how your body responds to foods. You might discover that healthy foods help you feel more vibrant and energetic as well as provide clarity of mind.  By attributing those positive qualities to the foods we use to fuel our bodies, we change our relationship with food. No longer does a donut look appealing…it starts to look like something that is going to make you feel heavy, sluggish, and unfulfilled. By changing the way you eat before getting pregnant, you are filling your body with optimum nutrients needed to grow and nourish a healthy baby. And you are setting yourself up for continued healthy food choices during pregnancy and postpartum. Pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding are a lot of work for your body and properly fueling your body can positively impact all three!

Increase water consumption: While this goes hand in hand with healthy eating, it is definitely worthy enough of separate mention. Water is quite healing and restorative to our bodies. Through large consumption of water we can help remove toxins from our body. One great way to start your day is to drink a large glass of water upon awakening. You have likely went 8 hours or so through the night without consuming any water so your body would graciously welcome a large glass of water each morning. Try to figure out a way throughout the day to have water readily available and accessible to you. Often this means carrying a water bottle with you. Investing in a quality water bottle that is easy to fill, clean, and drink from is definitely worthwhile as it is likely to directly impact how  much water you consume. By increasing water consumption during the pre-conception period, you are setting the stage to do so during your pregnancy. Staying properly hydrated during pregnancy can actually prevent some pretty serious medical issues. Something as simple as drinking water can change the course of your pregnancy, so bottoms up! :)

Be Active/Exercise: Again when you consider how much work carrying and birthing a baby is on your body, having a healthy strong body becomes even more important. If the idea of exercise means going to the gym and hating every minute of it, then of course you won’t be motivated to do it. However if you open yourself to the idea that there are hundreds of different ways to be active, you might find a type of exercise you actually enjoy such as hiking, biking, roller-blading, skiing, running, dancing, power-walking, yoga, volleyball, softball, tennis, swimming, surfing, etc. If exercise is infused into a recreational hobby, it becomes less of a ‘chore’ and something you are actually passionate about and willingly/happily devote time to. In addition to the direct health benefits of exercise, by engaging in physical activities we become more attune with our bodies which obviously carries great advantages during pregnancy and childbirth.

What are some ways you prepared for pregnancy? Would love to hear your ideas!

-Sarah