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Green Chai Smoothie

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I realize that "green" smoothies are very much a thing in the health/fitness world, but I have to confess I'm not really into them. I have nothing nutritionally against smoothies, and in fact they're a great way to get in some extra nutrients for breakfast or after a workout, but I guess I would just rather eat my food. So in my last nutrition workshop when a student asked me what I do for my smoothies, I had to blush and admit that...well...I don't. 

Challenge accepted. I made a green smoothie this week!

I chose to go with a chai flavored smoothie for two reason; the first being that I just love chai. The second is that I don't care for sweet beverages (probably another reason why I don't drink smoothies), and this particular recipe has much more spice than sweet.

Green Chai Smoothie

Prep Time: 5 minutes (when chai is brewed ahead of time)

Yields: about 16 oz

You'll Need:

  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup chai (keep in mind chai does contain caffeine, so be sure to buy decaf if you are trying to avoid the jitters)
  • 1/2 frozen banana 
  • 1/2 cup ice
  • 2 cups spinach/greens (but honestly, who actually measures their greens? A couple solid handfuls should do it)
  • 1 tsp fresh chopped ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Protein powder (optional)

Brew chai ahead of time by steeping a chai tea bag in 1/4 cup of boiling water for about 4 minutes. Let the tea cool in the fridge. The rest is cake. Everything goes in blender til smooth.  

Variations: Like I mentioned before, I like this recipe because it's spicy rather than sweet. For extra sweetness, make that half banana a full one, and/or add a couple tablespoons of honey/agave.  Also, if I'm going to drink a smoothie, it's gonna have to have some protein in it. Vega brand actually makes a chai flavored nutritional shake that has some protein in it, so there ya go.

I have to admit I really enjoyed the taste of this one. Will it convert me to a full-blown smoothie drinker? Probably not, but I hope you find it useful and tasty!

Potassium Ice Cream

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Wait...what? Yep, you read it right. 

Backup real quick- why potassium? Maintaining a proper sodium to potassium ratio is key for cell health as well as maintaining fluid and PH balance within the body. A healthy ratio of potassium to sodium intake is about 5:1, but most Americans are consuming an excess of sodium and not near enough potassium, creating a ratio something like 1:20!! Getting some extra potassium in the diet will help improve heart health, reduce fatigue, relieve muscle aches/soreness, reduce water retention/bloating, and is especially beneficial for those who exercise and sweat often

Bananas seem to be the obvious source of K, but did you know that 1 avocado has almost 4 x the amount of a banana? Tomatoes, peaches, chicken, lima beans, and apricots are also great sources.

So, given what you now know about potassium you can either start poppin' the K supplements, or indulge in some creamy, chocolate, potassium ice cream. The decision should be an easy one. 

Potassium Ice Cream

Makes 2 Servings

Freeze time: 1 hour

Prep time: 5 minutes

You'll Need:

  • 2 medium ripe bananas 
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 4 tsp cocoa or cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Honey or other sweetener to taste (optional, I think the sweetness of the banana is enough)

Remove both the bananas and avo from their peels and cut into pieces. Put both in freezer until frozen. Once you've got frozen bananas and avos, it's so easy from there. Put them in a blender or food processor with the other ingredients and blend until you have a nice smooth consistency.

This recipe is absolutely scrumptious, but I'm already fantasizing about other possible variations (coconut, pumpkin, peanut butter chocolate- please throw out your ideas in the comments!

Enjoy, knowing that you're doing a GOOD thing for your body with this one!

Raw Dark Chocolate Squares

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Whew, long time no post! The blog has been laying low for a few months due to some major life transitions both in my personal and professional lives. The good news is that during that time, A Body In Motion received a makeover! Please leave feedback below. Now that things have settled down and I have an idea of what direction I'm going in the blog is back on track, and she's offering you chocolate to make up for the lost time. A few months ago, one of my yogis was sharing with me how she makes homemade raw dark chocolate.  Being the chocoholic that I am I tried it right away, and I've been making it since...well...since my last blog post.  It's so easy and so full of good nutrients that I don't think you can even consider it a treat. In fact, you should probably eat it daily just to be safe!

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Raw Dark Chocolate Squares

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Freeze time: 10-15 minutes

Makes: About 4 oz dark chocolate

You'll Need:

  • 1/3 Cup raw cacao powder (or unsweetened cocoa powder)
  • 1/8 Cup coconut oil (let me take this opportunity to encourage organic coconut oil!)
  • 1 Tb Raw honey (I like GloryBee raw organic clover honey)
  • 2 Tb add ins (optional) I love chopping up nuts or dried fruit for this; today I used cashew pieces. A sprinkle of sea salt also tastes amazing. 
  • Plastic wrap

 

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Place coconut oil in a glass bowl, and warm the oil by placing the glass bowl in another bowl filled with warm water. Warm the oil just enough to soften it. Stir in cacao, honey, and add-ins.

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Scoop the mixture onto a piece of plastic wrap, and fold the plastic over the top of the chocolate, so that it's sandwiched between the two sides of plastic. Smooth out the chocolate to your desired thickness. Place plastic, with choc mixture inside, in freezer.

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The good news is that it doesn't take long to freeze this little guy. After about 10 minutes, you can easily peel the plastic off and break your bar into squares. Or eat the whole thing. No judgment here. 

Notes/modifications: I like my chocolate reaaaally dark and bitter, so I actually only use about 1/2 Tb honey. Feel free to adjust for desired sweetness. Agave and maple syrup are also yummy alternatives to the honey. I recently tried this recipe with carob powder instead of cacao, and wow...it was tasty! (If you're into carob) Carob is naturally sweeter than cacao, so use less honey or none at all. Also, carob seems to absorb the oil more than cacao does, so adjust by using a little more oil.  Enjoy!

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