Rosemary Ginger Lemonade (+cocktail recipe)

rosemaryginger
Let’s switch it up this summer and combat the heat with this refreshing Rosemary Ginger Lemonade.   I know some of us can be dependent on our iced coffees, but what about something even more energizing and delicious? A cool, refreshing drink that will jump start our energy levels and contains more nutritional benefits than our old cup of joe.

This Rosemary Ginger Lemonade will pick us up, cool us down and will leave us feeling stable throughout the day without the crash (will also help flush out those nasty toxins we build up over time)  Try this simple recipe below,  your tastebuds and body will be so very grateful!

Rosemary Ginger Lemonade

Ingredients
7 cups water
3 rosemary sprigs
1 8-10 inch ginger hand, peeled and diced
1 cup honey/agave
1.5 cups fresh juice from lemons

Directions
Simple syrup: Place 1 cup water in sauce pan with ginger. Bring to a boil add agave and rosemary sprigs and return to boil. Remove from heat and let cool.

Lemonade:
Mix remaining 6 cups water, lemon juice and cooled simple syrup. Keep in pitcher refrigerated. Feel free to add more agave or honey for desired sweetness.

Health Benefits

Rosemary in this refreshing, detoxifying elixir has loads of health benefits. Rosemary will help jumpstart our bodies in the morning with its powers to increase blood flow. Getting that blood pumping throughout the body is exactly what our body needs to get itself moving and gain natural energy (great for mid-day slumps too).  Everyone needs a little immune booster , no matter what season it is  – and rosemary will do just the trick. Rosemary also has many anti-inflammatory properties. And get this:  during a long workday (when your brain is feeling a bit fried)  rosemary can be your life saver with its memory boosting abilities. Rosemary also has the perk of reducing severity of asthma attacks, help cure congestion and allergies – who knew?!

how-to-peel-chop-grate-ginger-verticalGinger is the perfect pick me up because it helps jump start your metabolism and awakens your body and mind – preparing you for the busy day ahead. Along with rosemary, ginger is an anti-inflammatory and a great immune booster. For those readers that get motion sickness, ginger can ease that stomach pain and it is also great for seasickness for you adventurous ocean goers. Ginger can help fight and cure infections like athletes foot and nail infections with its anti-fungal properties. Lastly, ginger is great for digestion and helps absorb essential nutrients consumed throughout the day, don’t let them go to waste! Get your ginger in.

Lemons are made up of citric acid that allows the breakdown of bile and dissolves any other toxins in the body. Lemon also helps flush out the kidneys and colon of toxic that tends to build up, the perfect detox! Remember, our goal is to achieve balance in the body, and lemon is a great way to balance the pH levels.  Lemons are packed with Vitamin C, which helps neutralize free radicals in the body and also boosts the immune system!

 

Cocktail Recipe

The Rosemary Ginger Lemonade can be very versatile. Had enough detoxifying and energy boosting? Need to do a little more winding down and  some re-toxing? 😉

It’s so easy to transform this elixir into a fun sumer cocktail – perfect for those warm summer evenings. Just pour 1 cup of the Rosemary Ginger Lemonade in a shaker with ice, add 1 oz vodka, gin or tequila and give it a good shake. Serve in a martini glass with a sprig of rosemary for garnish. Like your drinks on the rocks? Just pour lemonade over ice in a tumbler, top with our choice of liquor and garnish with rosemary, lemon slice or candied ginger.

Relax, cool down and feel better about indulging in a cocktail (or two) with the added health benefits of this light, refreshing libation.   Enjoy!

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St Patty’s Day: Minty Madness Smoothie

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Happy St. Patty’s day! I am sure some of you will be having other beverages that do not include spinach… or almond milk… BUT if you are on the detox (or  just looking for another delicious healthy smoothie recipe) you have to try this refreshing,  creamy Minty Madness Smoothie.

This 7 ingredient smoothie tastes somewhat how I would imagine the popular Shamrock Shake tastes … only WAY better. It also doesn’t contain the a million chemicals and unpronounceable ingredients the certain fast food chain uses. Not to mention it’s full of naturally flavorful ingredients that provide so many health benefits. It’s full of vitamins A, C, K and D, B vitamins, folate, magnesium, potassium, fiber, protein, antioxidants, healthy fats,  and many other vitamins and minerals.

I tested this recipe last weekend and have been craving it ever since. This creamy, minty goodness will be sold at the Galley all of next week in honor of St. Patty’s day. Come and get one of your close by! If not be sure to make it at home. I think it will soon become a smoothie staple in your household.

Minty Madness St. Patty’s SmoothieIMG_1611
Serves 2

Ingredients

1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least an hour or overnight*
1 cup vanilla unsweetened almond milk
1 cup spinach
1 serving vanilla hemp protein
1 frozen banana
1/2 cup fresh mint
vanilla bean (from one pod) or 1-2 drops vanilla stevia or extract
optional: honey or stevia for desired sweetness

In vitamix or high powered blender, add all ingredients. Blend on high for 1 minute or until creamy and smooth. Note: you may need to add more almond milk if too thick.

*The longer you soak the cashews the creamier the consistency. I like to soak overnight but if you forgot and need this smoothie now, it still tastes delicious with them soaked for a few minutes

Enjoy!

a few meal inspirations

Hello fellow detoxers!  I can’t believe how  many people have decided to join me on the 21 day detox. I am so thrilled to have you with me on this journey with me to vibrant health and new beginnings.

YAY! You made it through the first few days. Pat yourself on the back, they really are the hardest.  It’s like the minute you tell yourself you aren’t eating gluten you want that bagel staring at you on your co-workers desk…even if you usually don’t even eat bagels. Humans are strange creatures.  I promise though, those cravings will quiet everyday until they are gone completely. Sugar and caffeine seem to be the hardest part for people, especially eliminating them if you are used to having them daily.

If you are having headaches due to caffeine withdrawal, have some green tea. You can even buy flavored green tea that may help with a sweet tooth. If that sweet tooth will not give up, have a small piece of fruit or a green smoothie with 1/2 a banana or green apple and some coconut oil and unsweetened almond milk.

I swear they will soon start tasting like milkshakes to you (once your taste buds adjust to the natural flavors). I make this smoothie for my husband when he is having a sweet craving and he wouldn’t swap this for his favorite milkshake now, would you Mike? 😉

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hi Mike! came across this pic in my phone

A clean treat that is loaded with protein, fiber, antioxidants and other vitamins.

ChocoBanana Protein Smoothie
1 cup spinach
1/2 frozen banana
1 Tbs almond butter
1-2 Tbs raw cacao powder
1.5 tsp coconut oil (organic, cold-pressed)
1 Tbs hemp protein powder
3/4 cup unsweentened almond milk
1/2 cup ice
1 tsp honey or maple syrup(optional)
Additional add-ins : ground flaxseed, chia seed, raw cacao nibs (add after for choc chip pieces)

Blend until smooth.

Sorry, I went off on a smoothie tangent.  Anyway, I am really enjoying all of the emails about your progress so far- mentally and physically. It has only been a few days but I am seeing that a lot of you are already noticing positive affects. Whether it’s a noticeable change in energy levels, moods, stress, bloat, or any other digestive health issues, I am beyond excited hear all of your feedback! It only keeps getting better from here.

I’ve been getting a lot of inquiries about menu and meal ideas. Instead of sending each of you different recipes and ideas, I’ve decided to compile some of my favorite recipes and dishes from friends and fellow bloggers.

Many of these are dinner ideas – but can easily be stored and made into lunch the next day. Switch it up by adding a few more spices or vegetables to it, or even throw it in a saute pan in the morning, crack and egg on it and you’ve got a delicious and easy breakfast.

Be creative and switch out different ingredients and spices to your liking. Most of them are gluten and dairy free, however if one of the items happens to be just swap it out or just nix it. Enjoy!

Recipes:

Cauliflower Lentil Taco Salad,  Food Babe

Quinoa Fried Rice with PorkThe Queen of Quinoa
I substitute with organic chicken, beef or egg. Most of the time I  eliminate meat all together – as quinoa is very high in protein

Kale Rice Bowl , 101cookbooks
Can substitute yogurt with coconut milk yogurt or add avocado for creaminess. Great for breakfast or dinner. 

Roasted Sweet Potato, Kale and Sage Skillet Quinoa , Recipes to Nourish 

Jerk Chicken with Mango Salsa and Creamy Coconut Millet, Inspired Edibles

Quinoa Crusted Sole in a Chili-Lime Glaze, Inspired Edibles

25 Soups and Stews, With Food + Love
All Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg + Meat Free

Here are two recipes I’ve made this past week:

Spiced Salmon with mustard sauce
(I halved for 2 people and still had leftovers) 

Ingredients
2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets

Directions
Preheat broiler.

Combine first 6 ingredients in a small bowl, stirring well with a fork. Rub mustard mixture evenly over each fillet. Place fillets, skin side down, on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Broil 8 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness.

I know some of you were asking about substituting  breads/wraps for lunch, especially when packing a lunch for work. If you are not going 100% Gluten Free (which is okay, as long as you are eating the right kinds of grains) As I mentioned before, this should be tailored and manageable for your life. Don’t make too drastic of changes unless you know you can plan on maintaining. It’s better to set realistic goals for the detox and be in it for the long haul, then to cut it short or give up.

Creamy Kale + Basil Sauce
Great on any dish. Try it on chicken, fish, quinoa/rice bowls. I even put it on sautéed spinach and eggs for breakfast.

Ingredients
4-5 kale leaves
1 small bunch basil
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 clove garlic
sea salt and pepper to taste
approx. 1/2 cup olive oil
optional: 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (great for vegetarian dishes and adds a cheesy flavor) 

Directions: Place all ingredients in a vitamix/food processor. Blend until well incorporated. Slowly drizzle in olive oil until creamy and well emulsified.

This is so flavorful and adds a nutritional punch to any of your favorite dishes. It’s full of vitamins, fiber, protein, anti-oxidants, and healthy fats.

The other night we made lettuce wraps with our left over salmon. We shredded the salmon on large Boston lettuce leaves, added avocado, cucumber, radishes, chives and fresh dill. Drizzled them with this sauce and it was so good!

salmonwraps

You can make the sauce in large batches and store in the fridge. (Mix well before using, you may also have to add a little more olive oil if consistency thickened).

I am posting my Vegan Cheesy Broccoli Casserole tomorrow, as well as a vegan Shamrock Shake we made this weekend, just in time for St. Patty’s Day (think spinach, fresh mint and vanilla bean, yum!)

Re-New Week Day 2: Cayenne and L-Glutamine

With processed foods, chemical & artificial additives, over use of antibiotics, and stress  no wonder our gut lining is increasingly weakened. Digestive discomfort and disorders are more prevalent today than ever before. The first and foremost preventative or corrective measure is a healthy diet –  lots of vegetables, super foods, fish and lean meat (best to avoid processed foods, sugars, excess dairy, limit OTC drugs and antibiotics).

However, aside from a clean diet it is also a good idea to introduce a daily probiotic.  A probiotic is mostly healthy bacterium that reduces harmful bacteria and helps prevent infections in the digestive tract as well as reducing inflammation. It is crucial to have a healthy digestive system, as 80% percent of your immune system is located in your gut. Symptoms of digestive disorders vary, from indigestion, bloat, constipation, candida, even depression and mood swings.

Seeing how important is to keep your digestion in top shape, there are other natural aids to help support gut health. The amino acid L- Glutamine is a wonderful supplement for a healthy stomach and digestive system.  It is one of my favorites to add to smoothies for all of its wide range of health benefits.

First, L-glutamine is known to dramatically strengthen the stomach lining. It provides cells in the digestive tract with a crucial source of energy which aids in development of new cells, as well as increases the absorption capability of existing cells.  L-Glutamine helps with water absorption in the gut, which in turn aids in hydrating the entire body. Always a plus!

Aside from assisting in healthy digestion and gut repair, L-Glutamine works as an inherent neurotransmitter, aiding in healthy brain function and memory recollection. It is greatly used by athletes, as it helps to rebuild muscle while simultaneously breaks down fat.  In addition L-glutamine is known to help regulate blood sugar levels, enhance immune performance and fight infection, speed metabolism and may even decrease sugar and alcohol cravings.

The best way to take L-Glutamine is in powder form, making it readily digested. Add recommended dosage in your morning smoothie or juice and enjoy all of the wonderful health benefits it has to offer!

In addition to the daily probiotic, I added L-Glutamine to our smoothie today. I also added a serving of Spirulina, one of my favorite superfoods.    It is a micro-alga that has a high concentrate of protein, specifically made of essential amino acids.  Spirulina is great to add during our digestive restoration week, as it helps produce healthy stomach flora and  that repromote digestion. It is also has a high content of calcium, vitamins, nutrients and trace minerals, as well as iron and beta-carotene. Spirulina stimulates and boosts the immune system and detoxifies the body of pollutants and heavy metals. It is high in Chlorophyll, which purifies the blood, removing toxins from your system. Last but not least, it contains anti-inflammatory properties, may lower cholesterol, and even fight off allergies due to its histamine blocking effects.

Today’s Cucumber Melon Cayenne Smoothie contains loads of alkalizing vegetables and fruits, as well as the therapeutic spice- cayenne.    Cayenne is well-known for its digestive aid properties, among many other health benefits. It stimulates the digestive tract, which increases the flow of enzyme production, aiding is metabolizing food. It also reduces acid (very alkaline forming!), relieves gas and bloat, and helps digestion with absorption and elimination. It also aids in the digestive process by stimulating saliva. Cayenne also supports cardiovascular healthy, weight loss, natural detox, relieves joint pain and migraines, and has many anti-inflammatory, anti-allergen and ant-fungal properties. Cayenne is a great ant-flu and anti-cold agent as well, as it breaks down mucus and flushes from the body.

pepper

 

The importance of pH balance

All of our bodies have a pH level that determines the amount of acidity and alkalinity present in our system (pH balance refers to the levels in our body fluids and tissues). The acidity of foods, beverages, herbs, and spices are measured on a 14 point scale, zero being the highest amount of acidity, fourteen being the lowest, or alkaline.

Originally, alkaline is the body’s natural and pure state. However, many factors in today’s society contribute to an over acidic environment. These factors range from the abundance of processed foods, the overuse of antibiotics, the natural process of aging, and even stress. It is important for us to assist our body in creating and maintaining a healthy pH ratio of 70:30, alkaline to acid.

Most diseases, illnesses, and bad bacteria thrive in an over acidic environment. When pH levels are unbalanced, it is mostly in the case of being too acidic. This causes the body to borrow crucial minerals from organs, bones, and tissue to try and neutralize the acid and remove it from the body. Over acidity weakens all systems and can be seen in acute symptoms such as yeast/fungi overgrowth (candida among others), chronic fatigue, slow elimination, hormonal concerns, premature aging, free radical damage (may lead to cancerous mutations), weight gain, bladder and kidney damage such as kidney stones, diabetes, joint pain, and lactic acid build up.

Luckily for most of us, it is not too late to take measures and start making lifestyle changes to reduce the amount of acidity and create and maintain healthy pH levels. Even if we have a healthy ratio right now, it is just as important to maintain it through proper diet and lifestyle. Remember, preventative medicine is the best cure for all diseases!

The first step begins with diet. Below is a list of the levels of alkaline/acid foods. When in doubt about basic acid/alkaline properties of food remember that most vegetables, fruits, and herbs are alkaline forming. The most acidic foods (should be avoided) are processed flours and sugars, most dairy, soda, sugars, coffee, alcohol and harmful external toxins such as tobacco and over the counter medicine and drugs.
Refer to the charts below and use them as basic dietary guidelines.

acid-alkaline-food-chart1

“Note that a food’s acid or alkaline-forming tendency in the body has nothing to do with the actual pH of the food itself. For example, lemons are very acidic, however the end-products they produce after digestion and assimilation are very alkaline so lemons are alkaline-forming in the body. Likewise, meat
will test alkaline before digestion but it leaves very acidic residue in the body so, like nearly all animal products, meat is very acid-forming.” – http://www.naturalhealthschool.com

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Happy Re-New Week at Vincera Institute! Repair and restore with me…

Happy New Year friends!  I hope everyone is doing great and enjoyed the holidays. You may have heard Vincera Institute’s team has come together for Re-New Week through January 13-17.

If you are like a majority of us, the overindulgence of the holidays has left you dragging. You may be feeling bloated, tired, irritable, you may even be experiencing indigestion and digestive disruption.

The Happy Re-new Year cleanse will focus on restoring healthy gut flora and balancing pH levels to help rid these discomforts. Our digestive systems are often disrupted during the holidays from all of the over-indulging in rich food, alcohol, and even from being off of our normal routine. Thus we create an acidic environment, which more than likely has an overgrowth of ‘bad’ bacteria. When there is not enough of the good bacteria unpleasant symptoms and health issues occur  such as constipation, bloat, excess belly fat, moodiness, hormonal imbalances, candida, allergies, and many more.

I will be creating  fresh smoothies/juices daily that will contain healthy probiotics and supplements such as L-Glutamine to repair and regulate your digestive system, restoring the good bacteria needed to heal. They will help with bloat, acidity, inflammation, constipation, and the rebuilding a healthy flora. We will work together on creating an environment that will promote healthy digestion and overall health.

I’ll be giving daily tips and suggestions on supplements and foods to incorporate to maintain a healthy gut and pH levels.

healthy-gut1

We will also focus on balancing  pH levels by introducing more alkalizing foods and supplements.  I will guide you in neutralizing the highly acidic environment caused from rich foods, sugars, alcohol consumption, stress, and/or simply from going off of your daily eating rituals during the hectic holiday season.

Many people underestimate the importance of a healthy digestive system and stomach flora. Not only is it crucial for nutrient absorption and proper waste elimination, but did you know that 80% of your immune system is located in your gut?  It is only when we have healthy digestion that we can experience optimal health and vitality, physically and mentally.

Vincera has amazing offers and events going on, from yoga to acupuncture to massage therapy. Learn more details here.

Join me for a week of restorative smoothies and guidance for a healthy gut and digestive system. Get that belly back in shape, gain energy, and nix those mood swings and irritability.

Details: $45 a person. 1 restorative smoothie a day for 5 days. Sign up via email or in person at The Galley.  Please let me know in advance if you will be picking up smoothie in am/pm.

The many reasons to eat Butternust Squash right now

We really don’t need another reason to eat butternut squash other than it’s creamy, buttery texture and comforting goodness. However, we can happily add to the list with the abundance of nutritional benefits and vitamins and minerals butternut squash has to offer.

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Health Benefits: Butternut squash is naturally low in fat and contains high amounts of folate and fiber- a great heart healthy food! (The fiber helping to you feel fuller longer and aid in digestion as well). It contains Vitamin B6, which is essential for a properly functioning nervous and immune system. Butternut squash is high in potassium, which helps to regulate water retention and also improves bone health.

The most noteworthy benefit is obvious in its deep orange coloring. This rich color signifies the ample amount of nutrients called carotenoids, which are big protectors against heart disease and promote eye health. It is also high in Vitamin C- helping to keep that immune system in top shape. Just one cup has 1/3 the daily dietary needs of Vitamin C. Its high antioxidant count contributes to its anti-cancer properties as well as helping to maintain that youthful glow we all strive for.

Last but not least is its anti-inflammatory benefits. Many of us have inflammation in the body that manifests in different ways. Some of the obvious are joint pain, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, and many other -itis diagnosis. We all could use anti-inflammatory foods to help balance and protect against those that cause inflammation from packaged and processed foods.

How to chose: Look for those free of bruises and blemishes as well as one with a matte finish as well as shiny (not ripe enough). Check to feel the weight and aim to buy one that is heavy for it’s size. Store in a cool dry place, do not refrigerate.

How to prepare: There are numerous ways to prepare butternut squash. You can cut the squash in half length wise using a large chef knife. Scrape out the seeds, lay flesh side up on a baking sheet or pan. You can fill with 1/4-1/2 inch water to prevent from burning the bottom. Brush with coconut oil, butter or another high heat oil, and sprinkle with sea salt and your favorite spices. I bake mine on 400 for about 45-1 hr, or until soft when pierced with a fork. You can cut width-wise and carefully remove skin with a sharp chef knife (be careful!) Cut into cubes and roast, steam, or saute. You can also cut into round rings and then again into half moons, baking on high heat. Another option is to pierce the squash whole with a knife, and bake until soft, about an hour. Cut in half and scrape out skin, removing seeds.

Check back soon for my Roasted Butternut Squash with Sage + Apple soup recipe I have been selling like crazy at The Galley. 

Final Day of our Fall Detox!

I can’t believe we are on the final day of our Fall Detox! I hope everyone is feeling energized and grounded after nourishing our bodies and releasing those unwanted toxins. Do you feel a difference in your energy level? Your mood? Your cravings? I would love to hear your feedback.  I really enjoyed seeing everyone and working together this past week. It’s always great to have support during a cleanse or any kind of health goal you are trying to achieve.

Today’s smoothie is especially appropriate for the noticeably colder weather today. It is grounding and filling, packed with antioxidants, fiber, essential fatty acids, vitamins and other nourishing components. It is also creamy and delicious, and the warming spices are especially comforting.  It contains three different parts of the coconut, which in my opinion is one of the most underrated foods for all of its various health benefits. In sanskrit, coconut is referred to as kalpa vriksha, which is literally translated to ““the tree that supplies all that is needed to live.”

Coconut Chai -Chia Smoothie (say that 3 times) Image

1/4 cup organic shredded coconut, unsweetened
1/2 cup coconut milk, unsweetened
1/4 cup coconut cream, (canned or homemade)
1-2 T Tbs cashew or almond butter
1 tsp chia gel (soaked chia seeds in water overnight)
1 scoop of ice
1/4 c filtered water
1 tsp cinnamon
dash of nutmeg and allspice
1/2-1 tsp ginger (depending on how spicy you like it)
thin slice of fresh ginger
*make sure to blend on high

Health Benefits

Chia Seeds are tiny, yet mighty. They are loaded with omega 3s, which are essential for optimal health, specifically in healthy brain functioning. Chia also help to slow digestion, preventing blood sugar from spiking. Chia’s stabilizing effect on blood sugar may also fights insulin resistance which can be associated with excess belly fat. They also contain a high dose of fiber (11 g in 1 oz serving), aiding digestion and helping to keep fuller longer. They pack in a healthy dose of protein, calcium, phosphorous and manganese.

Coconut – the flesh of coconut contains essential fatty acids (the medium chain), fiber, manganese (helps stabilize blood sugar and aid in a healthy immune and nervous system function. It also contains copper, which promotes healthy red cell production and potassium, which maintains proper level of water in the cells and helps regulate water retention.  The coconut cream is just the water of the coconut blended with the coconut meat (usually found in a can, or you can make your own).  Coconut water is very hydrating and restores and balances electrolytes. Although coconut oil isn’t added into this smoothie, it definitely can be. I already went over the benefits of coconut oil here. Coconut is also known to speed your metabolism while regulating blood sugar and keeping you full. Although it is often looked down upon because of its high saturated fat content, I believe it should be included in a healthy diet. As I mentioned in my previous post, the fat comes from Medium Chain Fatty Acids, which have healthy benefits, unlike the Long Chain Fatty Acids.

Cinnamon not only adds flavor to any meal, it has many notable health properties. Cinnamon is known to increase energy, vitality, and circulation. It is also known to level blood sugar levels and also have anti-inflammatory properties.

I hope you enjoyed the smoothies and your week of mindful eating and cleansing. Remember to slowly ease off of your cleanse and try not to indulge too much too soon! You don’t want to overload your body with sugars, caffeine, alcohol, or meats if you have been totally eliminating. You may experience some digestive discomfort if so. Just introduce foods you were cutting out gradually. It is a great idea to just avoid processed and high sugar foods all together  😉

Be sure to check back on my blog for healthy tips and some yummy recipes! Please be in touch and let me know any health questions or concerns you may have.

Day 4… did somebody say chocolate?

Yum. Today’s smoothie is packed with a ton of health benefits and anti-oxidants from the mix of berries and raw cacao powder. Cranberries are highlighted in this smoothie, not only are they in season and deliciously tart, they contain loads of detoxifying properties!

Super Antioxidant Berry and Cacao Smoothie

3/4 cup mixed berries (blueberries, blackberries, cherries and raspberries)
1/4 cup fresh cranberries
1/2 cup almond milk, unsweetened (or your choice of non-dairy milk)
1/4 avocado, optional (I included to add more protein and healthy fat, also helps to keep you fuller, longer)
1 slice green apple, optional
1/2 cup filtered water
1 Tbs raw, organic cacao powder (or more to taste)

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Health Benefits

Cranberries – they contain one of the highest count of antioxidants of all berries. They also contain high amounts of fiber and phytonutrients. These phytonutrients give cranberries their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties, In fact, cranberries have been shown to provide crucial anti-inflammatory benefits for the cardiovascular system and for many parts of the digestive tract (including the mouth and gums, stomach, and colon). Cranberries help to balance out the good and bad bacteria in our stomach and are proven to reduce the risk of urinary track infections (because they contain proanthocyanidins (PACs), which fight certain ‘bad’ bacteria, including E.coli). They help to keep the kidney functioning well and flush out unwanted waste and bacteria.

Raw Cacao Powder – (another superfood!) is high in magnesium and iron content, and contains other essential minerals such as calcium, sulfur, zinc, copper, potassium, and manganese. It is loaded with antioxidants, protecting and neutralizing against free radicals and contains heart-healthy fat  oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat.  Cacao improves digestion, stimulating the body’s production of digestive enzymes, helping with elimination (essential for a detox).
Certain components of cacao powder help to stimulate the central nervous system and dilate blood vessels, causing you to experience elevated energy boosts. Also, certain chemicals, referred to as “bliss” chemicals,  improve circulation, increasing the amount of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain, which helps to improve mood and fight depression.

Berries  – in general berries contain the highest amount of antioxidants of fruits. Specifically blueberries and cranberries.   They contain anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial properties, as well cancer fighting components. They also contain high amounts of Vitamin C and fiber, which as we know is great for eliminating during a detox. The high fiber and other components of berries help cardiovascular health and decrease the LDL levels of cholesterol.

You can find the health benefits of apples and avocados from our Day 1 smoothie recipe this week.

Who knew raw cacao and the taste of chocolaty goodness had so many amazing health benefits. Add it to smoothies and desserts for the added health benefits and decadent taste.

Enjoy!

Day 3 + half way through our detox!

Mango, Ginger + Coconut with Aloe Vera Juice

This smoothie has all sorts of goodness in it. Get ready to wake up your tastebuds, body, and mind with its refreshing and invigorating ingredients.

1/2 cup mango
1/4 inch cube fresh ginger, peeled
2 tsp coconut oil
2 oz natural aloe vera juice, unsweetened
1 Tbs ground flaxseed (can reduce)
1/2 cup coconut milk, unsweetened
1/2 cup pure/filtered water

Mango is rich in vitamins, minerals, pre-biotic dietary fiber, and antioxidants. It is an excellent source of Vitamin-A and flavonoids beta-carotene, alpha-carotene,and beta-cryptoxanthin. It is high in Vitamin C, which helps neutralize harmful oxygen-free radicals and contains potassium which is essential in maintaining healthy blood pressure and fluid balance.  Compared to most fruits, mango is fairly low on the glycemic index chart (41-60),  so enjoying mango occasionally will not spike your blood sugar levels.

Aloe Vera is an incredible plant that has many health benefits and medicinal uses. It contains loads of  health benefits and components such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, polysaccharide, and fatty acids.  Some vitamins include, folic acid, choline, Vitamins A, C + E, B vitamins, including B12 which is rarely found in plants. Minerals include calcium, magnesium, as well as selenium, sodium, iron, potassium, copper, and manganese. Aloe vera also contains all 8 essential amino acids, as well as fatty acids which help lower fat in the blood cells and help reduce allergy symptoms as well as acid indigestion.

Aside from all of the vitamins and minerals aloe vera juice is extremely beneficial in the detoxification process. It also helps to soothe the digestion track, and regulates the digestive system. Because aloe vera is a gelatinous plant, when digested,  the gel moves through the intestines and absorbs any toxins and unwanted waste, helping to eliminate and flush out of the body. Aloe vera is alkalizing, which helps balance the pH in your body, as well as an anti-inflammatory and immune booster.

Ginger is a great anti-inflammatory and immune booster. It helps to also improve digestion, absorb and assimilate essential nutrients throughout the body, ease muscle or joint discomfort, clears ‘microcirculatory channels’  (including sinus cavities),  and helps to clear nose and throat congestion. 

Flax seeds – these tiny little seeds are nutritional power houses. First, they are a great source of fiber, helping to regulate digestion and aid in the detoxification process. Flax is a great plant source of the essential fatty acid, Omega 3. Theses little seeds also contain potassium for a healthy heart and muscles, as well as iron and zinc to boost your immunity. They contain trace minerals such as riboflavin and niacin, thiamin, and B vitamins (all which help to turn food into energy). They must be ground in order to gain all of the benefits they have to offer. When consumed whole they pass right through and are not digested fully.

Coconut oil is an amazing superfood filled with so many health benefits and nutrients. Coconut oil contains antioxidants, helps to absorb nutrients and vitamins, has antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. It is made up of mostly  Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFAs), which unlike Long Chain Fatty Acids, are sent straight to the liver for energy production. It kills candida growth,  corrects many skin conditions, helps with hypothyroidism, and helps speed metabolism.