chocolate chia milkshake

Having a green smoothie is an excellent way to power up your nutrient intake for the day.  There aren’t many other quick and simple meal/snack options that come packed with green leafy vegetables, omega 3 fatty acids, fiber and antioxidants.  Smoothies are also a tasty way to easily incorporate “super foods” such as chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, goji berries, wheat grass, spirulina and cacao into your diet!

This recipe uses a little bit of avocado to make it rich and creamy.  Just like a milkshake, but a whole lot healthier for you!

chocolate chia milkshake ~vegan green smoothie~

Chocolate Chia Milkshake

2 cups almond milk

2 tablespoons raw cacao powder (or cocoa powder)

1/2 avocado

1 banana

1 large handful baby spinach

1 tablespoon shredded coconut

2 tablespoons chia seeds

2 dates, pitted (I used 3 because the banana I had wasn’t very ripe)

6 ice cubes

~Blend and Enjoy~

blueberry crumble smoothie (balancing omega 3 & omega 6 fatty acids)

Balance, balance, balance…

In the nutrition and wellness world we talk a lot about balance.  Balancing calories in with calories out, balancing fluid intake, having a balanced diet, etc.

I have one more balancing act to add to the mix.  Balancing omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.

Both omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids are essential, meaning our body can not produce them so we need to rely on food sources.  Both are important in their own right.  Omega 6 fatty acids are necessary for hormone production, inflammation (a good thing when talking about immune response), and blood clotting.  Conversely, omega 3 fatty acids are important for decreasing inflammation, lowering triglyceride levels and risks of developing diseases such as heart disease.

There is a fine line, an equilibrium that must be met for optimal health.

Unfortunately, the Standard American Diet (SAD) has an overabundance of omega 6 fatty acids.  Why you ask?  Because of our dependence on processed foods and fast food restaurants!!!  Omega 6 fatty acids are found in corn oil, peanut oil and safflower oil to name a few.  These are all inexpensive oils that are used heavily in cookies, crackers and packaged snack foods.  Too much omega 6 in a diet can lead to heart disease, auto-immune disease, cancer, obesity, depression and other mood disorders.  All these disease states stem from inflammation.  The SAD is said to have an omega 6 to 3 ratio of 10:1 or 20:1 when it should ideally be at 2:1 to 4:1, that’s a huge difference!

So, how to bring your omega 6 to omega 3 ratio back in balance?

First things first…cut out the junk!  Stay away from those drive through windows and perfectly packaged ring-dings.  Second, swap out your oils.  Use olive oil instead of vegetable oils when cooking.  Third, pump up the omega 3 superfoods like chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, green leafy vegetables and sea vegetables.

This smoothie recipe will deliver a healthy dose of omega 3’s from the hemp seeds, flax seeds and spinach.  Plus,  it tastes good!

blueberry crumble smoothie ~vegan, gluten free~

Blueberry Crumble Smoothie

(makes 2 servings)

2 cups almond milk

1 frozen banana

2/3 to 1 cup frozen blueberries

1/4 cup old fashioned oats

2 dates, pitted

2 tablespoons flax seeds

2 tablespoons hemp seeds

1 teaspoon vanilla

and a large handful of baby spinach for good measure!

~blend and enjoy~

raspberry lime rickey smoothie

A little tart, a little sweet and a whole lot of refreshing!

Not to mention, it’s an easy way to get an extra serving of greens in your day!

Raspberry Lime Rickey ~vegan, raw, green smoothie~

Raspberry Lime Rickey Smoothie

1 cup coconut water

2/3 cup frozen raspberries

2 pitted dates

handful baby spinach

1 tablespoon chia seeds

Juice of 1 lime

~Blend and Enjoy!~

Raspberry Lime Rickey ~vegan, raw, green smoothie~