I was one of those people who never ate breakfast. I’d get up in the morning, make coffee, get dressed, and literally be out the door in 15 minutes. By the time 12’0clock came, after grocery shopping and cooking 3-4 entrees for clients, I’d be on a blood sugar low and couldn’t see straight, which means I would eat anything that was in front of me. Normally, that was the fattiest, saltiest, or sweetest foods I could get my hands on, my favorite being the ubiquitously satisfying burger and fries. Which, of course, would only result in a food coma. This would set the tone for the rest of the day: a lack of energy, which resulted in trying to improve my mood with foods that would give me an immediate high, like more fatty, more salty, more sugary foods. This can be better explained through the concept of ‘toxic hunger,’ explained in detail here. http://www.seattleorganicrestaurants.com/vegan-whole-foods/toxic-hunger-food-addictions/
Then, I discovered smoothies. Not the fruit and yogurt laden smoothies that springs to mind when one thinks of smoothies, but the healthy, vitalizing smoothies that brings protein, anti-oxidants, a good dose of omega 3’s and vitamins. First, I wanted something in the morning that incorporated a complete nutritional profile, that would fill me up, and stop the blood sugar from releasing cortisol and sending my body into a wacky state by noon. In order to achieve balanced results, ingredients such as the omega and protein loaded hemp and chia seeds are used in combination with almond milk, berries or fruit, and a handful of veggies. Additional ‘superfoods’ can be added in order to boost flavor, such as raw cacao, cacao nibs, maca powder, and extra virgin coconut oil. When you consider that 2 tablespoons of hemp seeds hold 11 grams of complete protein, a healthy dose of vitamin E, iron, magnesium and potassium, and that one tablespoon of chia seeds contains 2 grams of complete protein, a handful of B vitamins, and roughly 2 grams of the AHA omega 3’s, you see that you’re getting a pretty good nutritional deal. From there, adding a cup of spinach makes half of your daily requirement of vitamin A, and exceeds your daily requirement of vitamin K. Top it off with a cup of blueberries, which is packed with vitamin C and anti-oxidants, and you’ve got yourself an complete meal. In order for your body to absorb the fat soluble vitamin K found in the spinach, add a tablespoon of coconut oil, and you’ve got yourself the fat that will help your body use these nutrients, not to mention the much needed and not so frequently found medium chain fatty acids found in coconut oil.
There is a ton of room to play around with the recipe. Interchange hemp, flax, or other unsweetened nut milk, or use raw or organic milk if your body does well with it. I don’t recommend soy milk, as most soy crops are genetically modified, and we get enough soy in our diets as is. Soaking the chia seeds overnight also helps break down the phytic acid, which some warn contains anti-nutrients. There is some controversy as to whether raw cacao is a superfood, as it also contains extremely high levels of phytic acid, and theobromine, which is a stimulant. It does, however, undeniably make the smoothie extra delicious, so use judiciously. Perhaps not every day, but as an occasional treat.
In order to make a proper smoothie, you’ll need a decent blender. But, if you don’t have one, an immersion blender will do the trick, and make for a much easier clean up. Just use the cup that comes with it to blend your ingredients.
While you can use different kinds of fruit, I’ve found that fruit with small seeds, like rasberries or blackberries, leave an unpleasant grainy texture which is best to avoid. I don’t add any additional sugar in mine, but I understand that others may not appreciate the unsweetened taste of a seed and vegetable laden smoothie. So, use honey, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, simple sugar made with succanat, but by god, don’t use refined sugar!
This is my go to recipe.
Roll Out of Bed Smoothie
Almond Milk, 1 1/2 cups
Blueberries, 1 cup
Spinach, 1 cup
Hemp Seeds, 1-2 Tablespoons. Start small and add more as you get used to the taste and texture.
Chia Seeds, 1 Tablespoon
Raw Cacao Powder, 1 Tablespoon
Coconut Oil, 1 Tablespoon
Optional: Maca Powder, 1 Tablespoon, Sweetener, if you must, 1/2 Tablespoon
All you need to do in place all of your ingredients inside a blender. Get it going, blend for a minute or two to thoroughly blend the seeds, and you’ve got yourself a great nutritional start to your day!