7 Day Smoothie Challenge

I don’t know about you, but after most holiday weekends, I feel like I need to hit the refresh button.  So, I whipped up the Green Goblin Smoothie from Simple Green Smoothies to give me some much needed energy and get myself back on track for the week.

I should mention that extremes aren’t really my thing, especially when it comes to nutrition.  I’m more of the mindset that moderation is a good thing.  So, when I found the 7 day smoothie challenge called Simple 7 by Simple Green Smoothies, I was pumped that it involved making small changes rather than changing your whole diet.

After you submit your email, you’ll receive a A Simple 7 – Game Plan, and the best part – it’s free!  It includes a shopping list of the 7 ingredients you will need for the week (yes, 7!).  And you will recognize all 7 ingredients and easily find them at your local grocery store.

Green Goblin Smoothie
The Green Goblin Smoothie

You will also be given a daily smoothie schedule with easy to follow recipes.  All the challenge requires is that you follow the daily smoothie schedule for 7 days.  Yep, just add one smoothie a day for a week – no other requirements.  Since this type of challenge was right up my alley, I submitted my email and started it.  It was super easy to follow and I felt great. I had energy, my skin looked better, and I had lost all those pesky weekend lbs. that love to follow me around 😉

The Green Goblin Smoothie from Simple Green Smoothies:

  • 1 cup spinach (I used kale instead)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 orange, peeled
  • 1 cup pineapple
  • 1/2 banana

Instructions:

Mix your greens and water first until you get a nice smooth consistency.  Then, add your remaining ingredients and blend.  If you want this cold – use frozen pineapple and frozen bananas (don’t throw those brown bananas away – chop and freeze instead ;)).

In fact, it wasn’t until the following week when I wasn’t having the smoothies, that I realized how great I had felt the week before on the Simple 7 challenge.  Which is why I’m returned to the program.

Beginner's Luck Smoothie by Simple Green Smoothie
Oh Kale Yeah smoothie (day 2)

If you go to the Simple Green Smoothie website you’ll find lots of other delicious smoothie and plant-based recipes.  In fact, Simple Green Smoothies has a new recipe book coming out September 11th on Amazon which we will be reviewing soon!

Simple Green Meals by Jen Hansard
Simple Green Meals by Jen Hansard

If you are looking to boost your energy, look and feel better but not make drastic changes to your diet, I encourage you to try the 7-Day Challenge and report back to us at Nearly All Things.  We think you’ll love it as much as we did 🙂

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Tropical Smoothie

This beautiful, creamy smoothie is perfect to get you thinking about someplace tropical.  We recommend throwing in a fun straw, closing your eyes, and let your mind wander for a while!

The coconut in this smoothie is not only great as a dairy substitute, it is also good for you. Coconuts are rich in fiber, vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6.  They also contain selenium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous.  Coconuts also help improve your immune system, help detoxify, and support your metabolism.

The mango in this smoothie is not just for taste, it also provides amazing health benefits like it’s co-ingredient (Is “co-ingredient” a word???).  Mangos are high in antioxidants which help fight against cancer.  They also contain high levels of fiber, vitamin C, and pectin which help combat cholesterol (especially the bad cholesterol).    They are also good for clearing your skin and improving eye health.

So, you’re not just escaping to the tropics with this smoothie, you’re actually improving your health at the same time!

Tropical Smoothie Ingredients:
– Handful of spinach
– Coconut chunks (found Frozen at Trader Joes)
– Plain Kefir*  – gets your probiotics
– Tbsp Hemp seeds
– Mango
– 1 – 2 Scoops Protein powder of choice
– Avocado (half)
-4-5 ice cubes
*You can use coconut kefir if you are dairy-free.  This will only enhance the coconut flavor 🙂

Instructions: Add your spinach, kefir, hemp seeds, mango, protein powder, and avocado to your blender.  Add the frozen coconut and ice last.  This order will help liquefy the smoothie faster and easier.  Blend until smooth.

Now, kick back and relax….that is, at least, until the kids start screaming for help for something really important…like “Mom! Where’s my sports headband???”

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Immunity Boosting Smoothie that Tastes Great

After a long weekend of fighting the flu, I wanted to start the week off right with an immunity boosting blueberry and kale smoothie.

Immunity boosting smoothie

What better ingredient to boost your immunity than a handful of blueberries?  With high levels of vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, manganese, dietary fiber and antioxidants, these tiny berries pack a lot of punch.  Likewise, kale  is another immune-boosting food with high levels of vitamin C and folate that improves your immunity and fights off infection.

Coconut butter also can help fight off the flu and boost your immunity.  It is made up of lauric acid, which the body converts to monolaurin, an antiviral agent that fights off a variety of pathogens and viruses, including the flu.  

Almond butter is also a great immunity-boosting ingredient because it contains vitamin E and selenium.  Selenium helps the immune system function properly and vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that boosts the immune system.

Finally, we added flax seed which is “effective at fighting disease because it is the #1 source of lignans in the plant world.” Lignans have a positive affect on your immune response.

Add all of these together and you have a powerful immune-boosting smoothie with a great taste to boot!

Ingredients:
1 Cup Kale
1/2 Cup Blueberries (frozen preferred)
1 Cup Coconut Water
1 Heaping Tbsp almond butter
1 Tbsp coconut butter
1 tsp flaxseed
5 – 6 ice cubes

Directions: Place ingredients in blender in the order they appear and mix until you have a smooth consistency.  Pour and enjoy!

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Add This to Your Next Smoothie

This raw coconut butter by Artisana has the texture of peanut butter only it’s coconut.  I’m literally eating this out of the jar!  It is made from the whole coconut flesh, not just the oil.  There are “no additives, only pure, unadulterated coconut.”  It’s certified organic, vegan, raw, and kosher. What’s so great about coconut flesh?  Glad you asked!

Artisana Raw Coconut Butter

According to the article “Is Coconut Meat Good For You?” by Foods for Better Health, Coconut Meat (otherwise known as flesh) has the following 8 benefits:

1) Helps eliminate parasites from the body
2) Regulates bowel activity
3) Helps to balance blood sugar levels
4) Destroys candida and other harmful organisms
5) Supports the immune system
6) Great for bone health
7) Assists in weight-loss
8) Reduces the risk of heart disease

So as our girlfriend Deb likes to say, “Why Wouldn’t Cha?”

You can find Artisana Organics Raw Coconut Butter in most grocery stores or click the image or link above and buy it right through Amazon (oh, and we might make a small commission if you do – hint, hint, wink, wink).  Below is a great smoothie recipe.

Raw Coconut Butter Smoothie:
– 1 Tbsp Artisana Organics Raw Coconut Butter
– 1 C Mixed Blueberries/Cranberries
– 1/2 C any non-dairy milk
– 1 C Spinach (needs some greens)
– Scoop of favorite protein powder
– 1 tsp chia
– 1 tsp flax
– 1 tsp hemp seeds
– 1/4 banana (optional but good if you want it a little sweeter)

If you are ahead of the curve and already using raw coconut butter – send us your recipes – we’d love to try them and share them!

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After-The-Holidays Detox Smoothie

Between celebrating Christmas, meeting friends out, having a couple of cocktails while we catch up on Netflix shows, the idea of the upcoming weekend and New Years seems a little daunting.  One word keeps surfacing each morning in my mind over and over………..detox!

Below is a recipe for a delicious detox smoothie.  The base of the recipe we pulled from Healthy Smoothie Tips and Ideas (Plus 8 Recipes) by Listotic.  I recommend reading her article if you are new to making smoothies or just can’t seem to get it right.  She’s has a list of great tips for making all kinds of smoothies.  Here is our version of the detox smoothie:

After-The-Holidays Detox Smoothie

  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 cup kale
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 Tbsp Trader Joes Super Seed and Ancient Grain Blend
  • 1/2 cup coconut water
  • ice (I used 5 ice cubes if you want to get specific :))

Place your ingredients in your blender,  but as Lilly from Listotic recommends, add your liquid and ice cubes last for a better consistency.

Not only does this smoothie taste great but it has so many benefits for you.  Many of the ingredients including the ginger, cucumber and kale have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.  This smoothie is also rich in nutrients and helps aid digestion.  The liquid from the coconut water, cucumber and ice also helps detox your system and can improve your metabolism.  And as an added bonus, the ginger is also great for fighting nausea if you don’t feel so great on New Years Day.

Enjoy this smoothie and let us know what you think!  I made it this morning and really enjoyed it!

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Get the Benefits of Maca in This Delicious Smoothie

 

Last week, on a search for recipes with maca powder, I found this “Hormone Balancing Almond, Maca & Cinnamon Smoothie” on Pinterest posted by Wallflower Kitchen.  I made it and am excited to share it!  I feel like my hormones were out of whack so I thought what the heck – why not try it?  It was delish! I loved it!   I decided I would have one a day for a week to really see if it evens out my moods.  Ingredients shown below:

Wait, what is Maca?  Maca powder is a superfood that originates in the Peruvian Andes and grows at altitudes starting at  11,000 ft. in harsh conditions.  Maca is a plant from the cruciferous family (broccoli, cauliflower, kale, etc. ).

Maca
Maca Image from http://www.themacateam.com

Maca has been used for centuries to help increase energy, balance hormones, help with menopause symptoms, improve sexual function, and reduce anxiety and depression.  If this is true, than this is a serious superfood for women!

Does this really work?  I turned to Authority Nutrition, an unbiased and independent website that provides articles about nutrition, weight loss and health based on scientific evidence.  In their article, “9 Benefits of Maca Root (and potential side effects)” , they concur that among other benefits, “Maca increases libido in men and women, may help relieve symptoms of menopause, reduces depression and anxiety, and may boost sports performance and energy”.

Where can you buy Maca?  If going to the Andes isn’t in your travel plans, you can find maca as a powder form or as a supplement.  I bought it at The Vitamin Shoppe,  but it is available at Amazon and at other retailers as well.

Flash forward to today – I am still in love with this smoothie!  It tastes so good.  I haven’t noticed any changes in my hormones just yet, but I’m also not sure if a week is enough time to truly tell a difference.  In any case, I highly recommend this smoothie for flavor alone.  To me, it tastes like a vanilla malt – but Wallflower Kitchen describes it as a “sweet cookie flavor”.  I think the final flavor will depend on the type of protein power you use, so use your favorite and you’ll be happy.

The benefits of the smoothie are that it’s high in protein,  low in sugar, vegan, gluten-free, and paleo.  You could even lessen the sugar by using 1 date rather than 2 if you really wanted to.

This morning I changed it up a bit and added avocado to this smoothie.  I felt it really made it smooth and still tasted like a malt.  Did I mention I love malts?

See the recipe and comments on Pinterest .

 

Recreation of a Daily Harvest Smoothie

We have recreated this yummy smoothie by Daily Harvest a smoothie delivery service. I tried the service and it was awesome but I felt like for me it was not a necessity since I like to make them myself and I have the time. If that is not you, then get the service.

Daily Harvest Cacao Avocado Smoothie

 

 

I cut up several zucchini and froze them so I could have them handy.

 

 

 

My version below:

  • 1/2 cup zucchini
  • 1/4 avocado
  • Tablespoon pumpkin seeds
  • 1 date
  • 1 tablespoon cacao
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • Scoop vanilla protein
  • 1/2 cup almond milk or milk of choice
  • Add ice and blend away

This turns into a thick, rich, creamy smoothie  -so good!  Even my 10 year old liked it- bonus!   Just don’t let them see you make it 😉