Leafy Green Smoothie for Reduced Anxiety

Omega-3sThose that know me know I have bouts of general anxiety disorder (sometimes not so general) So i my reading on finding ways to reduce or eliminate my anxiety I have found that Omega 3s are quite helpful. In studies those that have increased their Omega 3s had shown a reduction in anxiety and depression. Most people get their Omega 3s from fish and fish oil tablets. A better way is in a smoothie!

No not blending your fish, but rather with dark leafy greens!  Leafy greens are a great source of Omega 3s, not as much as that fish but still a good source. Spinach and Kale along with Broccoli tops the list of good sources. Flaxseed is also rich in Omega 3s so that is why I try adding it to every smoothie I can!

Here is a great green smoothie to help with your anxiety and depression.

  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 4 stalks fresh kale
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 large orange
  • 1/2 cup rice milk
  • 2  bananas
  • 2 tablespoon ground flax seed

Blend in the veggies with the milk first, then add each of the fruits and finally the flaxseed. Blend until creamy and smooth! Serves about 3.

Vitamix 1782 TurboBlend, 2 Speed

Vitamix 1782 TurboBlend, 2-Speed
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Turbo Blend 2 Speed With a powerful motor, intuitive High/Low control, and hardened, stainless-steel blade, the TurboBlend Two Speed efficiently processes whole fruits and vegetables with predictable consistency. Paired with Recipes for the TurboBlend Two Speed, this package makes it easy to add fresh, all-natural ingredients to your daily menus. Create smoothies, hot soups, and frozen desserts in a single machine 64-ounce container is perfect for family meals and entertaining Includes spiral-bound cookbook filled with chef-tested recipe Product Features Your machine is designed and built for outstanding performance and….

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Acai Antioxidant Blast

acaijuiceAcai berries are found and grown in South America and have been dubbed the new super food. The best benefit of this berry is its high antioxidant value, apparently  more than any other berry or fruit. While I havent actually seen the berry in any stores you can buy the juice. Sambazon makes a nice one that I found at Costco recently. It does contain a bit of Agave in it though. I mention that because there are arguments as to how healthy it is. I figure right now its such a small amount (and the only source of it I would get) that its ok, personally I dont recommend it as a sweeter. Sambazon also makes a frozen smoothie pack of just Acai berry puree.

Well anyway with blueberries (another rich antioxidant berry) this smoothie may even make you age backwards (disclaimer: there is no medical evidence of this, but it does taste good!)

1 cup of acai berry juice
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 banana (for creamy texture)
1 cup of water (add as needed)

Blend for 30-60 seconds, add in flaxseed or protein powder if you wish and makes about 2 large glasses!

Have you tried Acai Berry yet? Let me know what you think of the smoothie!

Pom-Berry Breakfast Smoothie

POM Wonderful Pomegranate JuiceI was wandering around costco the other day and ran across this big bottle of POM pomegranate juice and thought, hmmm that would be good in a smoothie. Pomegranate juice is packed with antioxidants, in fact more than any other juice. Studies have shown that pomegranate juice may help prevent hardening of the arteries as well as protect you from heart disease, cholesterol and even stress! The great thing about POM is its 100% pomegranate juice, nothing else, so makes a great healthy and natural smoothies additive. This is what I threw together the other day and in fact have had it a couple times since its so good.

1 1/2 Cup POM wonderful juice
1 Banana
1 Cup frozen strawberries
1/2 Cup frozen cranberries
1/2 Cup frozen raspberries
1 Tablespoon rice vanilla protein powder (optional)

Mix in blender for 30-60 seconds till smooth. Makes about 2 large glasses of a delicious tangy berry smoothie

For more on POM Wonderful health benefits visit their website. You can even find a coupon for a $1 off your next POM purchase there.

Be sure to let me know what you think of it! Do you currently have Pomegranate juice in your diet?

Spinach in Smoothies? Yes!

spinach in smoothiesWe all grew up watching the Popeye cartoons where he would eat a can of spinach then whoop ass on Bluto. Well you wont get exactly that effect but adding spinach to your smoothie is a very healthy additive! Most or you are most likely turning your nose up at the idea thinking ‘ugh drinking spinach? that would taste terrible’. well when mixed with the right ratio of fruit you wont even notice it. Best fruit to mix it with is pineapple, you will taste nothing else!

Spinach his is a very nutrient-dense food. Low in calories yet a very high nutritional value and is extremely rich in antioxidants, especially raw in a smoothie. It is a rich source of vitamins A, C, E, K, B2, B6,  manganese, folate, betaine, iron, calcium, folic acid, copper, protein, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids. And I know I left some out!

Spinach is also loaded with flavonoids which act as antioxidants, protecting the body from free radicals. Studies have discovered many flavonoid compounds act as anti-cancer substances. Spinach is also a heart healthy veggie as its loaded with  folate (good for a healthy cardiovascular system), as well as magnesium (helps to lower high blood pressure) and potassium (which promotes heart health).

Whats also great about this little green leaf? Its everywhere! You can get it at any supermarket, farmers market or health food store practically anywhere in the world. This also makes it an inexpensive food item since it dosen’t need to be brought in from any great distance. In fact it is very easy to grow in your own backyard! I know when we start up our garden again we will have lots of spinach plants. Till then I always keep a bag of baby spinach on hand in the fridge.

Spinach in a smoothie is also the best way to get the most out of all these nutrients. When you cook the spinach most of the vitamins and minerals are depleted and lost. This doesn’t mean that cooked spinach is bad for you, as cooking does increase other health benefits from our leafy friend. But to get all the vitamin goodies throw a handful of raw spinach into that blender and knock out one of your daily servings of veggies. When adding spinach it is typically best if its one of the first ingredients put into you blender container (remember the softest and liquids go first) your fruit chunks will then weigh the spinach down to the blades making it easier to blend.

So whats your take? Going to start adding spinach?

 

Orange Creamsicle Smoothie

Orange Smoothie

Orange Smoothie

Well not quite that famous flavor but its close and very creamy. A great breakfast smoothie to start your day, adding an orange to get your vitamin C dose for the day it is quite tasty and I easily consumed the whole blender. As with most I start with the 1/4 of water and add a little more as needed if its to thick. I also added my protein powder and flaxseed to mine.

1/2 cup greek nonfat vanilla yogurt
1 large navel orange
1 cup frozen peaches
1 banana
1/2 cup frozen mango chunks
1/4-1/2 cup water

Adding Protein to your Smoothie

Protein for Smoothies

Protein for Smoothies

Many of you, like me, would like to add a nutritional boost to your smoothies. Make them more of a complete meal. Yes they are already packed with natural goodness like vitamins, minerals and antioxidants but what about adding protein to round it out as a meal. Well  there are a couple of good ways to accomplish this.

Yogurt!

This one is no real secret, many add yogurt to their smoothies without thinking to add some thickness and creaminess to their beverage. Yogurt is a great source of protein, being anywhere from 8-22g depending on the type and style. For me here the first thing is to keep it as healthy as you can. So always go with a non-fat yogurt. Also keep the flavor plain as to not to take away from the natural fruit taste but also so you dont get any other sugars or sweeteners. I have also used Vanilla yogurts as well, just be sure its a natural vanilla and not some artificial flavor. The best yogurt to add to me is Greek Style. These pack the highest amounts of protein compared to typical yogurts. If you are dairy sensitive you can go for an alternative such as soy or rice based yogurts.

Yogurt has another benefit for your health in the form of probiotics. Probiotics are live and active microorganisms that help with your digestion, offer protection from harmful bacteria, reduce cholesterol levels. They add to your system ‘good’ bacteria. Standard yogurt contains at least two strains of probiotics. Again though Greek yogurt being the best, can contain up to six!

Protein Powders

Most people when they think protein powders they think body builders packing on the muscles. Well protein powders are a little more mainstream now and can be good for anyone. In just a tablespoon of most powders you can get an additional 20+ grams of protein and all your essential amino acids. Some even have added vitamins as well. Protein in the powder form can be easier to digest and easier to be absorbed and used. They come in all sorts of flavors, but again I would stick to a plain or vanilla as to not compete with your fruits. Some protein powders can come with fat and added sugars as well so do some label reading. The best of the powders or the Whey Protein powders. This is comes from the cheese making process so yes it is dairy based. If you are dairy sensitive, again there are many alternatives. Soy, rice, veggie and even hemp.

Oats?

This was a new one for me but you can add 1/2-1 cup of oats to your smoothie recipes. 3.5 oz of oats has about 17g of protein in it. We all know oats benefits to lowering cholesterol so why not add it into your smoothie as well? Best way is to put it in your blender first and grind away till its more of a powder. Then add the rest of your ingredients. Another way, and may be more recommended, is to soak the oats first in water for a few hours. Not a great way for a quick breakfast smoothie but it is said soaking will improve nutrition absorption and easier on the stomach if yours is sensitive.

Let us know what you think! have other ways? let us know!