Persimmon Paradise Smoothie

After all of these years of eating healthy and creating smoothie recipes, I’ve not once tried a Persimmon…until now, that is. I finally found them at my local health market and had to give it a try. If you’re not familiar with what a Persimmon is, well it looks kind of like a Tomato but tastes very similar to an Apricot. It’s actually a type of berry packed with phytonutrients, antioxidants, flavonoids as well as both Vitamin A and C.

There are two varieties (astringent and non-astringent). The one you want to go for is the non-astringent, Fuyu…which is orange in color and has a nice ripe, fleshy inside. When blended, I found that it creates a very pleasing creamy texture; so much so that I did not include a Banana in this recipe. A ripe Fuyu packs a nice sweet punch in addition to being a great source of fiber, so I figured adding Banana would be an overkill. That said, for those of you who aren’t into adding Banana to every smoothie you drink, you’re gonna love this one.

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To round out the flavors and truly make this an immune-boosting delight, I paired the Persimmon along with Clementine and Ginger Root which helps cut the round sweetness with a tangy spice. And adding in some Coconut Manna gives it that extra creamy texture while providing a great source of fat to help absorb the nutrients.

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And if all of this wasn’t enough to awaken your tastebuds, I added a Vanilla protein powder to meld all these great flavors together. I used my personal favorite, Vanilla Vega Sport Performance Protein, simply because my constant workouts require an ample amount of recovery and the Vega line of sport products help me do this. That said, you don’t have to use Vega Sport. Vega has many other Vanilla powders to fit everyone’s individual needs…quite honsestly, I’ve tried every single one of them so I know they’d all work great in this recipe too 😉 You can check those out at MyVega.

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Persimmon Paradise Smoothie (1 serving)

  • 1 Cup Coconut Milk (or other plant-based milk)
  • 1 serving Vega Sport Performance Protein – Vanilla (or any other Vanilla variety)
  • 1 ripe Fuyu Persimmon (Calyx/Cap removed)
  • 1 Clementine (unpeeled)
  • 1 thumb-sized chunk of Ginger Root (peeled)
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut Manna (manna/butter or whole pulverized Coconut)
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp Chia Seed

Add all of the ingredients into a high speed blender and process on high speed until smooth. If desired, add ice and blend again for a frostier texture. Pour and sprinkle with shredded Coconut and Cinnamon. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Peach Pie Smoothie

What makes Pumpkin Pie even better? Peaches! 😮🍑🍑I took my classic Pumpkin Pie smoothie recipe and made it summer-ready by adding fresh organic peaches. Yum!!! Super high in antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins, minerals and beta carotene…this smoothie combo is excellent for skin, fighting oxidation brought on by free radicals and maintaining a healthy weight. So, go right ahead, don’t be afraid to gulp this one down and turn your frown upside down 😋😃
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1 Cup Plant Based Milk

1/2 Cup Pumpkin Purée

2 Peaches (pitted/skin on)

1 serving  Vega One Nutritional Shake (French Vanilla)

1/3 Cup Whole Grain Oats

1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice

1 Tbsp Chia Seed

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Blend all on high speed until smooth. Pour and enjoy!

Cashew Chive Cream Cheeze

One thing I can’t seem to find as a vegan is a good Cream Cheese substitute. After trying store brands and continually being let down for one reason or another, I set out to make my own. This is super simple, delicious, vegan and gluten-free. You can spread on toast, bagels, baked potato or even a dollop on Pasta…it’s all good! 

 
1 Cup soaked Raw Cashews

2 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast

1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar

splashes of Water (as needed)

1/2 bunch Chives (chopped)

Himalayan Pink Salt (to taste)

1/2 tsp Garlic Powder (optional)

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Soak Cashews overnight in a bowl of filtered water. Strain water and add Cashews to a high speed Blender or Food Processor. Add the Nutritional Yeast and Vinegar. Blend while adding tiny splashes of water to the mixture so the mixture smoothly blends. Don’t over-water or you will ruin the creamy texture. You may need to frequently stop/unplug the blender to stir the mixture and push into the blades before continuing. Once you get the perfect texture, transfer the contents to a small container with an airtight lid. Add in your seasonings and the Chives. Combine well and taste. Re-season if desired. Place lid on tight and refrigerate. Should be good for 3-4 days. 

Chocolate Strawberry Quinoa Smoothie 

Whether you’re recovering from a workout or just need a super-boost of nutrition to start your day, this delicious shake is packed with the power you’ll need to sustain your busy life; protein, fiber and antioxidants to name a few. And when people ask where you get your protein from, you can tell em’ where to go! 😜😂

1 Cup Plant-Based Milk 

1 serving Vega Chocolate Vega Sport, Vega One or Protein and Greens

1 Banana

1 Cup fresh Strawberries

1/2 cooked Quinoa (cooled)

1 Tbsp Chia Seed

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Blend all in a high speed blender with some ice. Pour and enjoy post-workout or to kick off your day.

Mango Vanilla Chai Recovery Smoothie

Fitness can be tough on your body. After working up a sweat, the last thing you want to do is another tedious workout in the kitchen. That said, you’ll be delighted that this smoothie can be prepped and blended in under 10 minutes. It’s creamy, refreshing, delicious and a powerful companion to your post-workout routine. And heck, the bright golden color is kinda pretty to look at too! To get it going, all you need is some Vega Sport Performance Protein and a few things from nature’s medicine cabinet; then you’ll be well on your way to making those gains again.

Ingredients
1 scoop Vanilla Vega Sport Performance Protein
1 cup Silk Unsweetened Original Cashewmilk
1 cup frozen Mango
1 Orange (peeled)
1 thumb Ginger (peeled)
1 tsp Chai Spice blend
Optional: Ice cubes

Preparation
1. Add all ingredients to blender and blend on high speed until smooth.
2. Pour into a glass and garnish with some shredded Coconut. Enjoy 45 minutes to 1 hour after your workout.

Mounds of Zenergy

Recently, I was graciously offered a free box of an amazing organic superfood tea made by Buddha Teas, an independent, environmentally responsible company set in Carlsbad, California. When Buddha Teas had asked me which tea I wanted to try, I was immediately drawn into the vast product offerings on their website; from bags, loose leaf, green teas, black teas, herbal teas and specialty teas, I knew right away that I’d be ordering from them often (and I hadn’t even tried it yet!). After browsing for a good 20 minutes, I finally landed on the Zenergy Blend, mostly because I’m an athlete and could always use an extra boost of energy! And this particular blend contained a unique blend of Ginkgo Biloba, Green Tea, Ginger Root, Maca Root and Ashwagandha; a true powerhouse of adaptogenic goodness!

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I was so excited to try this out from the very second I got my hands around the beautiful packaging; a sturdy, 100% Recyclable, flip-top box with a gold-seal stamped logo on the front. Clear indications that it is certified Organic, Non GMO, 100% Kosher, contains no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives…and they even use unbleached tea bags. All of this was a plus for me since I’m a stickler for clean ingredients. You can tell that these guys really care about their tea (and take it very seriously).

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I threw a pot of boiling water on, prepped a tea bag and steeped for about 5 minutes (as instructed). As many teas do, they have their own “motivational quotes” on the tea tags; I mean, who doesn’t love a little slice of wisdom with their tea? I sat down to relax with a hot cup of this tea (nothing added) and was pleasantly pleased at it’s mild, yet, full bodied flavor. John, from Buddha Teas, had mentioned that this was a very unique tasting tea which is “Maca forward” with a slightly creamy texture. He hit the nail directly on the head! Thankfully, I love the subtle nutty flavor of Maca Root; and along with the Ginger and light Green Tea notes, it was perfectly balanced. For those who enjoy the gentle flavors of Ginger Root Tea and Green Tea, this blend is an exceptional choice. Not only is it calming to drink but it provides a subtle “pep in your step” as well as providing other nutrients not found in other teas.

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Now for the part I like best…hot tonics! I often brew and blend many of my favorite teas into a tonic which includes a variety of superfoods, adaptogens, berries, nuts and seeds. With Zenergy’s already super creamy texture, I began to daydream about Dark Chocolate…and Coconut; kind of like a Mounds bar…except healthy…and fashioned into a Chinese Herbology inspired medicinal tonic. Fast forward to 5 minutes later, I had gathered all the ingredients together and threw em’ in the blender. The rest is history.

So sweet, chocolatey and creamy! And with just the right boost of ZENERGY! Enjoy the recipe below.

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MOUNDS OF ZENERGY SMOOTHIE (Salted Chocolate Coconut Tonic)

  • 8oz freshly brewed, hot Buddha Teas Zenergy Blend Tea
  • 4 Khadrawy Dates (pitted and soaked)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Raw Cacao Powder
  • 1 tsp Reishi Mushroom Powder
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Flakes
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil (Unrefined)
  • 1 tsp Coconut Nectar
  • pinch freshly ground Pink Himalayan Salt

Boil some water for brewing your Zenergy Tea. Once boiled, pour over 1 tea bag into a cup or brewing pot; 8 oz of liquid to 1 tea bag is a good serving ratio. While the tea is steeping, place the pitted dates into a small bowl and pour some of the boiled water over them for soaking. By the time you prepare/measure out all other ingredients and add them to your blender jar, the dates will be nice and soft for blending. Discard the soaking water and put the dates in with the rest of the mixture. Once the tea has steeped for at least 5 minutes, pour into the blender. Cover the jar with the lid tightly. Begin to blend on the low setting, gradually working up to high speed. Blend until perfectly smooth. Pour into your favorite mug and sprinkle some Ground Cinnamon on top if desired. Enjoy!

10 Tips to a Successful Juice Fast

Juicing holds a special place in my heart; it changed my life 2 years ago when I fasted on it for a total of 45 days (20/10/10/5). I shed 70 pounds, went full on vegan, reversed my high cholesterol and high blood pressure, curbed many bad habits including (food addiction, alcohol and caffeine) and completely overhauled my eating habits from the ground up. This all happened over 6 months. Crazy, right? Nope. Not crazy at all. It’s science really. 

To me, it will always be known as the most powerful weapon in my arsenal; a weapon that fought (and won) against my most destructive habits. It changed both my physical and mental health forever. Some see it as a trendy, hipster fad; conventional doctors don’t recommend it; the mainstream media pokes fun at it any chance they get. But you’ve gotta let all that brain chatter go. It’s the real deal, if you do it right.

That said, I’d like to share with you some tips that were not only vital in making my juice fasts a success; but were the very things that helped keep me on the right path for good!

1) Drink warm Lemon Water when you wake up to jumpstart digestive system; this may even eventually replace your morning coffee habit.

2) Drink 5 or 6 (12-16oz) Juices every day. There is no limit, drink even more if you want.

3) Drink tons of water in between juices; it’s extremely important to stay hydrated throughout your fast.

4) Enjoy detoxifying Herbal Teas throughout the day. Not only does herbal tea continue to nourish and help with digestion; a hot cup of tea in your hands will be a welcome change to all the juice. It is calming and you will begin looking forward to it.

5) Drink 16 oz of Pure Coconut Water each day to replenish lost electrolytes. Very important.

6) Move your body! After the initial days of rest and detox symptoms begin to fade, go for a walk, a light jog or some yoga. This will keep you fit AND keep your mind off hunger as well.

7) TRUST! Stay the course…you will most likely feel crappy for the first 3-5 days; this is normal. It’s called withdrawal 😉 Once you get over that hump, it’s smooth sailing from there. Your body will tell you when it’s time to transition back to eating again.

8) Relax! Try to get into a meditative state throughout your fast. Deeply feel the good it is doing for you. I see people fail all the time because they get inside their head too much. They worry that they aren’t getting enough of “this or that”. Keep in mind that this is only temporary and you will eat again!

9) Make it fun! Mix it up and make different recipes. Use different types of glasses and straws. Chew the juice! Serve it to yourself in a different way each time. This will help avoid the monotony and lighten the mental load

10) KEEP IT UP!!