Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Power, Sunrise Smoothie

Do you ever feel like you’d LIKE to eat better and include all the foods you need in your diet but somehow, it just doesn’t happen – you’re just in too much of a hurry, other foods are presented that look good, or it’s  just hard to get them all in?  Well, the start of your morning helps set the tone for all else that will follow during that day.  And, what we eat in the morning sets the foundation for your body’s nutritional needs, energy and metabolism.  So….. why not make a point to start your day with a great, healthy, nutrition packed, balanced smoothie? 
This is what I eat in the morning: my Power, Sunrise Smoothie.  I love how it makes me feel, both physically and mentally.  I love knowing that no matter what else happens throughout the day, even if I don’t get in quite as many veggies as I’d like, or that caramel mocha just seems essential, I can still feel good knowing that I have already had the vitamins, minerals, protein, fruits, and veggies my body needs to function optimally.  I know what you’re thinking.... ‘veggies!’  Yes, veggies, and I promise that you won’t even notice they’re in your smoothie.
This recipe will make 3 large smoothies.  My husband and I each have one in the morning and then there is an extra smoothie for the evening or the next morning.

Power, Sunrise Smoothie

2 bananas
4 large organic kale leaves (more if the leaves are small – any type of kale will work, however, dinosaur kale is my favorite)
1 -2 cups veggies (see list below)*
½ - 1 cup fruit (see list below)**
1 cup organic keifer - with probiotics (if you’re watching your sugars get plain)
~16 oz. liquid (see list below) ***
2 T organic, extra-virgin coconut oil (organic will NOT hydrogenated)
 2-3 T organic almond butter (if on a budget you can use peanut butter instead)
1-2 t cinnamon
3 servings whey, vegetable, or egg protein (I recommend getting this from Whole Foods- each brand is a little different on what constitutes a serving so read the label and add accordingly)

 * Veggies (pick 1-2 – frozen or fresh)
Petite peas
Spinach (organic)
Carrots (3 large carrots, 4-5 small)  

** Fruit (pick 1-2 – frozen or fresh)
Strawberries (organic)
Blueberries (organic)
Peaches (organic)

*** Liquids  (pick 2-3 – amount will depend on how much frozen food you use, just experiment)
Unfiltered organic apple juice
Tart cherry juice
Coconut milk
Almond milk (unsweetened)

 I know some of the ingredients may seem a bit strange but everything in this smoothie has a purpose.  I will give a few general benefits for the more unique additions (coconut oil for example) but I recommend that you also look at the websites listed below.  In addition, I highly recommend buying organic for the items specified as organic above.  These items are some of the most highly sprayed for chemicals and pesticides and going organic for these (if not all food) will do your body good. 

Make a commitment to yourself to try this for at least a month and then see how you feel.  I’m sure there will be times that you are too tired, too rushed, don’t have the ingredients or plain just don’t feel like making the smoothie.  That’s ok.  I think once you get started you will come to crave these, in the morning or even during the day.  And, if you’re like me and my family, when you stop eating the smoothie for a few days, you just don’t feel as good and you can’t wait to get back to it.

Have fun with your Power, Sunrise Smoothie.  Mix it up.  And if you come up with some new ingredients that you love, share them with me. 

Cheers to health!
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Coconut oil –provides ‘healthy fats’; helps speed metabolism; moderate blood sugar levels
Almond/Peanut butter – protein and good fats
Cinnamon – helps regulate blood sugar levels
Tart cherry juice – good for muscle pain, gout, and arthritis; improved sleep; heart health
Bee pollen (extra) – protein and energy
Acai (extra) – liquid or frozen package – antioxidants

Why buy organic for at least the items listed organic above?

Coconut oil:

Almond butter:


Tart cherry juice:

Bee pollen:


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