Purple Smoothie

Purple SmoothieDid you know that foods that are naturally purple (like blueberries or acai berries) are exceptionally high in antioxidants are therefore are super good for you? It’s true. Back in 2010 when I first began my weight loss journey, before I discovered juicing, I would have a purple smoothie every morning with a slice of cinnamon raisin Ezekiel bread. It is such a good breakfast. In fact I may just have to start doing it again.

Blend all of the ingredients below in a magic bullet or whatever blender system you have. I specify the Sambazon variety of acai berry juice because this is the brand they carry at Costco – it’s 2 bottles for $10, whereas one bottle will run you around $7 at Whole Foods. I also get all my frozen berries at Costco. Usually I buy one of their huge bags of frozen strawberries and either frozen blackberries or whatever berry blend they have available. It lasts for weeks and is such a good bang for your buck. As far as bananas go, the more ripe the better. If you like your smoothies extra thick and cold you can freeze the bananas once they’re ripe and add them to  your smoothie that way. At the end of the day, it’s your smoothie, so put in whatever you like – I’d love to hear your variations!

The Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 cup Sambazon acai berry juice
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 fresh or frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen blackberries or blueberries
  • 1 large frozen strawberry
  • 1 generous squeeze of honey
  • 1 tbsp fresh ground flaxseed
  • pinch of old fashioned rolled oats
  • dash of vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp Greek yogurt (optional)

Now I am not an advocate of protein powders and the like because at the end of the day they are super processed products that your body will have trouble digesting. However, if you must, this smoothie will be a perfect vehicle for that or any kind of powdered or liquid supplement you take.

A Killer Ice Cream Substitute

So Delicious Coconut Milk Mint Chip Ice cream So, I really love my healthy lifestyle. Really, I do. It is so empowering to be in such control over what you’re putting into your body. I always say that every single decision I make is a big one, whether it’s sneaking a single crouton onto my salad or talking myself out of going through the McDonald’s drive-thru. It feels so good to know that every day I make good decisions is that much closer to where I want to be.

But, regardless of how committed and “in the zone” one may be, there are always going to be days where we need a little something to get us over the hump. Maybe you’ve had a hard day and you’re feeling particularly vulnerable. Perhaps you’re trying to make a favorite recipe but one or two of the ingredients aren’t really in your realm of good eating. Or maybe you’ve just eaten one too many friggin salads and need something to break it up. That’s where having a good bank of substitutions can come in handy – a list of foods that can be eaten in place of those crave-ables that will satisfy your needs but won’t destroy all your efforts.

Today I’m tackling a huge one: ice cream. We all love it. Don’t even try and pretend you don’t. You want two scoops in a waffle cone and you want it now. By far the biggest challenge for me is not eating after 630pm and what I usually want after that time is something sweet. Well, you’re in luck. I’ve discovered this brand of soy-free dairy-free ice creams called So Delicious. They have two lines, one made with coconut milk, the other made with almond milk. Just last week they were on sale at my local grocery store and this “Mint Chip” coconut caught my eye. Immediate addiction. It’s creamy, sweet, with delicious crisps of chocolatey mint running through. I’m obsessed with anything mint, but the combination of that and coconut is simply divine. The perfect and perfectly healthy way to get you through that tough craving for ice cream. I’ve also tried the almond milk varieties as well and they are equally delicious.

Now, here’s the trick with substitute treats like these:

  1. You can’t eat them every day 
  2. You have to eat only one portion or less

I think all too often Americans fall into the trap of “oh, it’s dairy-free” or “oh, it’s gluten free” or “oh, it’s vegan” or “oh it’s [insert other health buzz word here]” therefore I can eat as much as I want! Not at all the case. Aside from two additives used for thickening, this product is totally natural and clean, but it is still 170 calories per serving. Granted, they are good calories with good sugars and fats, but they’re still calories and if you’re on a serious weight loss track like I am, they can add up quick. And let’s be serious, we all know we could plow through half the container without even realizing it. Besides, they are $6.99 per pint at my grocery store ($4.99 at the recent sale) – if you’re a starving artist like me, you’re going to want to make that last as long as it can.

So, put this in your freezer and forget about it until you have a day that really calls for it, or just a once a week little indulgence. If you need ice cream, this is definitely the way to get it.

*NOTE: I’ve added a new category to the right called “substitutions”  that will bring you to all of my ideas with one click (this is the first one – more will be coming!)