Delicious Smoothie Recipes

In our previous blog, we focused on Spring Cleansing of the Mind, Body, and Home. Today, we’re expanding on the cleansing and detoxification of the body with some delicious smoothies!

As the weather gets warmer and we enjoy more outdoor activities, it’s essential to replenish and fortify our bodies with nutrients and minerals. Including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immune-boosting ingredients in smoothies is a great way to drink in the goodness.

One of our favorite organic smoothie blends is:

  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup blackberries
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 cup strawberries
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp Spirulina
  • 1 tsp chlorella
  • 1 tbsp raw cacao
  • 1 cup almond milk and/or coconut milk

We often use organic frozen berries so the smoothies blend into slushy, frothy yumminess. And, frozen berries keep longer so stock up on some when you get a chance.

If you prefer a smoothie that’s chockfull of greens, another of our favorite blends is:

  • 1 apple
  • 1 cup kale
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 cup carrots
  • 1/2 slice ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup almond and/or coconut milk

Additional wonderful and tasty ingredients to include in smoothies are watercress, lemongrass, turmeric, and matcha. Make several servings at a time and store some in the refrigerator to enjoy over the next few days. Or, freeze the extra for a frozen treat during those warms days or whenever you’d like!

What’s your favorite smoothie blend? Let us know. Happy blending!

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OH SUGAR! [HEALTH & WELLNESS]

Immunity-Boosters Plate PhotoSugar. The sweetness that many palates crave is touted differently by others of late. During the last year, in our quest to maintain better health and wellness, we took a closer look at the foods that we were consuming. The foods that we were relying on to maintain our health. And, we noticed an ingredient that we didn’t expect to find in many of the foods. We noticed it over and over again. What was it? It was sugar. Sugar in it’s various forms…cane sugar, high fructose corn syrup, glucose, maple syrup, and agave. And, it was everywhere! From pasta sauces, to breads, to juices, to cereals.

Based on our research, we found that excessive consumption and buildup of sugar in our bodies could play a major role in various health-related issues including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammation, arthritis, thyroid conditions, dementia, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and cancer. So, in our quest to ensure that we maintained our health, managed our sugar consumption, and consumption of inflammatory foods, we decided to significantly reduce all processed foods and foods that had added sugars from our diet. This included some pastas, pasta sauces, potato chips, granola bars, bagels, bottled juices, breads, and cereal. But there was more. It was more than the sugars that were listed on ingredient labels. We factored in natural and “hidden” sugars that were in whole and dried fruits, and carbohydrate-rich foods that our bodies convert into sugar such as corn, potatoes, peas, carrots, and others.

We decided to do this for 12 months, with the intention of reintroducing certain foods back into our diet afterwards. You may wonder as many did…”What did we eat?” In addition to increasing our intake of immunity-boosting foods like lemon, ginger and garlic, below are some of the foods on our “Eat More of” list.

1) Low-sugar, non-starchy foods:

    • Arugula root
    • Cabbage
    • Cilantro
    • Romaine lettuce
    • Mushrooms
    • Spinach
    • Cauliflower
    • Cucumber
    • Asparagus
    • Celery
    • Baby carrots
    • Artichokes
    • Broccoli
    • Brussels sprouts
    • Cucumber
    • Garlic (raw)
    • Kale
    • Onions
    • Tomatoes
    • Zucchini

2) Fruits that were lower in sugar:

    • Avocado
    • Lemon
    • Lime
    • Olives

3) Unsweetened beverages:

    • Water
    • Coconut water
    • Almond milk
    • Coconut milk

4) Snacks:

    • Almonds
    • Cashews
    • Sesame seeds
    • Pumpkin seeds
    • Veggie chips

Because we were opting for more fresh foods, this meant cooking more often which meant grocery shopping more often. Sometimes the most frustrating and time-consuming part of this process was having to deal with long grocery store check-out lines, but we remained determined. When pursuing this, we realized that this also meant a lifestyle change. This changed our daily routine especially when we had work events. Gone were the days when we timed our mornings so that we could squeeze every second of morning snooze with just enough time to shower, dress, and go (fellow sleep-lovers…you know how difficult this is!).

Instead, we woke up earlier to prepare our daily meals to make sure we had as much of what we needed for the day. Oftentimes, we cooked large meal portions enough to last the full week and we reheated the meals in the mornings so that we could bring breakfast, lunch, snacks, and beverages for the day. Needless to say, our shoulders felt the burden of carrying the meals in heavy glass Tupperware. But our solutions for our heavier loads…rolling back packs and lighter stainless steel food containers! During days when we did not have events, we would often eat lunch before leaving home and then return home after meetings and/or errands for dinner.

At times it seemed impossible to stick to our new diet especially during gatherings with friends and family due to the options available. Yet, we chose wiser options and we kept to our diet as much as possible.

At the conclusion of the 12-month period, we felt the difference in natural energy levels. And, we decided to keep many of the changes that we made to our diet, incorporating more color and variety in the produce that we chose to consume to make sure we had the proper nutrients and vitamins to nourish and replenish our bodies. And, the fresher the ingredients, the better. 2017 was a year of healthier discoveries for us. And, we met many friends and colleagues on this same journey which helped us stay on track. By doing so, our journey better prepared us for a healthier 2018!

Did you have a similar journey? Let us know. We thank you for being kind to your body.

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HEALTH & BEAUTY: The Benefits of Dark Chocolate

The Benefits of Dark ChocolateWhen February arrives, we think of chocolate! Maybe it’s because of Valentine’s Day? Actually…it’s probably because we’re always thinking of chocolate. But not just any type of chocolate. Dark chocolate!

Milk and white chocolate are higher in sugar and fillers, while dark chocolate typically has a higher cacao (cocoa) content that has been touted for its health benefits.

So, how can something that tastes so good be good for us? It’s all in the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant power of flavonoids. Dark chocolate with higher cacao content has been shown to have various health benefits that include the following:

  • reduce stress
  • enhance mood
  • lower cholesterol
  • increase cardiovascular blood flow

The higher cacao content does lend to a more bitter taste. Despite that, we still prefer dark chocolate with 65% to 90% cacao. The higher the better for our tastes. While tempting to start loading up on dark chocolate for its health benefits, remember to consult your medical practitioner to address any specific medical needs.

For us, we’ll continue to toast to our health with more dark chocolate. Cheers!