Health & Wellness · Recipes

Strawberry Avocado Smoothie

Hey friends! Here’s a smoothie recipe I put together that includes avocado! In a smoothie!? Whaaaat? Yes! It adds a nice, rich creaminess to any smoothie recipe and I promise you do not taste the avocado. The best part, you get all the added benefits of the avocado. Avocados provide heart-healthy fats, dietary fiber, Vitamin K, and folate, among other things. With a food as nutrient dense as the avocado, it’s easy to throw in a smoothie the next time you decide to whip one up. Here’s the recipe:

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 of an avocado
  • 1/2 of a banana
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup of frozen strawberries (more or less depending on your taste preference of the strawberries)
  • Scoop of vanilla protein powder
  • 1 cup chocolate almond milk
  • 3 ice cubes
  • *optional: I added 1/2 teaspoon of reishi medicinal mushroom powder (Currently experimenting with the benefits of medicinal mushroom powder. See last post here. You do not need to add this as it does not affect the flavor of the smoothie).

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All you have to do is combine everything in a blender and blend until smooth! I snapped a shot of the frozen strawberries, banana, and avocado before adding the rest in. So pretty!

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Here is the finished smoothie! During the blending process, I added just a splash more of chocolate almond milk to make is slightly less thick, but it still comes out thick and creamy and delicious!

This smoothie is so good! The strawberry goodness with the slight hint of chocolate from the almond milk makes me feel like I’m drinking a milkshake! The avocado adds such a wonderful thickness to this decadent smoothie. No green seen here, and it’s healthy and nutrient dense. I prefer to enjoy this after working out, but I would also have this as a meal replacement for breakfast or lunch. It’s filling and satisfying. I’m happy to have shared this recipe with you and I hope you enjoyed 🙂

On another note, I’m leaving for Spain on Wednesday for a week.EEEEEEEEEEEEH! I’m SO.EXCITED. Perhaps I should document all the cerveza food I consume.  I’ll be sure to share parts of my trip on here when I return. Until then, enjoy your weekend!!! Thanks for reading =DFullSizeRender

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Health & Wellness

Wellness Trends

Have you jumped on the “adaptogen” train yet? I’ve been seeing this word a lot more these days in the health and nutrition world, along with other things such as medicinal mushrooms, collagen powder, bone broth, and ashwagandha. So many things to learn! What is all this? What are we “adapting” to? I have been really curious about all of these new to me things, but was surprised to learn that adaptogens themselves aren’t anything new. They have been a part of Eastern medicine and go back for centuries. I’m not sure what has brought them to light now, but I would say that the increasing popularity of health and wellness in general has a lot to do with it. I’m all for this.

Adaptogens are any natural substance taken that help the body “adapt” to various things, such as stressful environments in order to help keep our bodies flowing and balanced. In other words, adaptogens help us to maintain homeostasis. Adaptogens can be in the form of a spice, herb, powder, or liquid and there are many different types that I’ve heard about recently. They are usually taken mixed with something else or as an addition to a recipe/smoothie in order to get that additional health benefit. Although I don’t know too much in depth about adaptogens yet, I think if we can add something simple to our diets that may help us in some way (much like when you take your daily vitamins), it might be something worth exploring. Some adaptogens I have heard of are:

  • Medicinal mushrooms
  • Asian Ginseng
  • Ashwagandha
  • Holy Basil
  • Maca

There are many more adaptogens than this, but that is just a few of them. As for me, I decided to give medicinal mushrooms a try. Medicinal mushrooms have been known to posses many healing powers. They boost energy, calm anxiety, and enhance the immune system. A few examples of medicinal mushrooms are:

  • Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum)
  • Shiitake (Lentinula edodes)
  • Chaga (Inonotus obliquus)

I’m giving reishi mushroom powder a try! I have no idea what this will be like or if it will add or enhance anything in my personal health, but I’m excited to give it a go. This is the medicinal mushroom that I purchased: reishi mushroom powder

This product is described as a “Natural adaptogen to help balance mental and physical stress. Nourish your heart and soothe an overactive immune system.” With that being said, I’m going to spend a bit of time experimenting with this and seeing how I feel after two weeks or so. I’m going to write down how I’m using it each day I incorporate it into my diet, how it tastes, my thoughts, how I feel, etc. Keep an eye out for my thoughts on this medicinal mushroom powder and I can’t wait to report back! Also, Happy September 1st! The weather is perfectly fall-like here in NYC. Sunny, warm, and with just enough hint of cool breeze to make you question the short sleeve shirt you put on. Have a good Labor Day Weekend! =]

Nutrition/Health News

Updates on nutrition facts label

There will be changes coming to the nutrition facts label on packaged food in 2018. Did you know this? Mentioned below are a few of these changes that will be taking effect soon. Maybe you pay attention to these labels every now and then, or maybe you don’t, but you should! I think in recent years, we are starting to pay more attention at what we put in our bodies. It’s worth mentioning a few of the changes being made. Here are some of them:

-Potassium and vitamin D will now be required to be on food labels, while vitamins A and C will no longer be required. Nationwide food consumption surveys show that Americans still lack in potassium and vitamin D, which is important for bone and heart health. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Americans generally do not have difficulty getting the recommended amounts of vitamins A and C.

-Added sugars will now be required to be listed underneath the total sugars, differentiating between what is naturally occurring sugar and what isn’t. I personally find this to be a very helpful change to see take effect. I think a lot of the sugar we consume on a daily basis comes more from added sugars. Sometimes we do not even realize how much extra we are consuming so I think this will be very eye opening.

-Another change to take note of  is that the “serving size” of items will change to better fit what a person typically consumes in one sitting.  For example, a beverage may change from being listed as two servings in the bottle/container to just one serving. This helps a person see the whole picture, rather than having to count how many servings he or she consumed. However, I find this to be a little tricky because one serving size may not be what is recommended, depending on what it is. I think it will definitely make it easier to understand the amount, but consumers will still need to understand their own specific needs.

So there you have it. It looks like manufacturers have until July 26th, 2018 before they are required to use the new label. Another year to go, but still very important information to learn about. I will be very interested in seeing if these new changes help me in any way when grocery shopping. For more information on this topic, visit eatright.org

Thanks for reading! 🙂