Berry Berry SubLIME Smoothie

Whether you’re stretching, shredding or striding through your best life, make sure to recover your best too! Vega Sport Performance Protein helps make this task a breeze with a powerful serving of complete protein, BCAAs, glutamine and probiotics. Blend it with a handful of thoughtful ingredients and you have yourself a tart, sweet smoothie that will get you back on your feet in no time!

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One of my all time favorite smoothie blends has Coconut Milk Yogurt, fresh berries and Lime. Theres just something about that combo that my tastebuds really love. The “yogurt” creates a beautiful, creamy texture while supplying your gut with some healthy live, active cultures. Of course, Limes throw in a bit of contrast with their zingy flavor…plus their great for your skin and digestion. And don’t even get me started on fresh berries. They are the world’s most perfect food; packed with an insane amount of nutrients, carotenoids and flavonoids. What does that mean?! It means their an antioxidant powerhouse and a nightmare for free radicals which damage your cells.

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Ingredients
1 scoop Vanilla or Berry Vega Sport Performance Protein
1/2 cup Unsweetened Coconut Milk
1 5.3 oz container So Delicious Blueberry “Yogurt” Alternative
2 cups Baby Spinach
1 frozen Banana
1 cup frozen Mixed Berries
1 lime (juice and zest only)
Shredded Coconut (to garnish)

Preparation
1. Blend the Coconutmilk, “Yogurt” Alternative and Spinach until greens are fully broken down.
2. Add all other ingredients and blend again until smooth.
3. Pour into a glass, garnish with shredded Coconut and enjoy!

Superfood Hot Chocolate

Yes…you heard that right. Hot Chocolate that is not only decadently delicious but a nutritional powerhouse as well. Nope, you can’t get it at Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts. But what you can do is empower yourself to reject the convenient, nutrient deficient beverages that fast food companies market at you. Instead, buy a handful of healthy ingredients and make your own creamy, cozy mug of hot chocolate; fully knowing that it is serving your body and mind on a much higher level. The no-brainer ingredient here will be Cacao; I mean…you can’t make chocolate without it! But one of my favorite ingredients to add to this recipe are dates! So plump, juicy and chewy. I use them in everything from smoothies to spreads (and everything in-between).

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But how else can we upgrade our hot chocolate? Well, I know an easy way that will also provide you with 20 grams of premium plant-based protein, 6 servings of greens, 50% DV vitamins and minerals, 25% DV fiber, 1.5 grams of Omega-3s, a slew of antioxidants and 1 billion CFU Probiotics. Whaaaat?!?!? No joke, it’s called Vega One! For a couple years now, it has been my go-to when I need to get in my daily nutrition “on the go”. It’s perfect in smoothies, nice creams, oatmeal bowls…and now in superfood tonics!

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If you put these excellent, plant-based ingredients together you can’t go wrong. And just because this hot chocolate doesn’t come in a quick packet or will not be handed to you from a drive-thru window, doesn’t mean it’s not worth your time. These days, you can’t afford NOT to treat your body right! Don’t be afraid to carve out a few extra minutes in the morning for this truly wonderful mug of goodness.

What you’ll need:
10 oz Heated Almond Milk
4 pitted Dates (any variety – but I LOVE Khadrawy)
1 scoop Vega One Nutritional Shake (Chocolate)
2 Tbsp Raw Cacao Powder
1 Tbsp Pure Maple Syrup

How to do it:
In a small saucepan, heat up your Almond Milk on medium/low heat (stirring often) just until bubbles begin to form. Now switch the heat to low and toss the pitted dates in there to soak for a few minutes (this helps soften them further for blending). While the dates are soaking, get out your blender and add the Vega One, Cacao and Maple Syrup. Now turn off the burner and gently pour the hot Almond Milk and Dates into the blender as well. Place lid on tightly and securely. Begin blending on low speed, gradually increasing to high. Blend until smooth. Pour into large mug and enjoy!

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!

Green Superfood Oatmeal

Tired of drinking freezing smoothies in the unforgiving chill of winter? Not me. 😉 But sometimes I just want something to heat me up. How about this Green Superfood Oatmeal? Delicious, nutritious, filling and chock full of immunity boosting antioxidant power! And it warms you up from the inside out.

The ingredient that ties this altogether is one of my most trusted and powerful superfoods; Vega Sport Performance Protein. After a tough session of swim training last night, I woke up with a true hunger. My muscles ached and they wanted to be fed! This clean, plant-based, whole food powder “sports” 30g of protein, 6g Glutamine, 6g BCAA, Probiotics, Tart Cherry and Turmeric. Now, let me just point out how genius this nutrition profile actually is. Protein, glutamine and ammino acids help repair and build new muscle while the probiotics, tart cherry and turmeric work on efficient digestion and anti-inflammation. Mind blown! For me, this is workout medicine after my body feels wrecked from running, cycling, swimming, lifting, etc. It will aid in recovery and get you back out there in no time.

On top of all that, it tastes great!
Ever since my health journey began, my tastebuds have changed immensely. What I used to cringe at; I now embrace wholeheartedly. Experimenting in the kitchen is one of my favorite things to do and this hearty superfood breakfast is the perfect example of that sentiment. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

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1 serving of your fav cooked oatmeal

Some fresh fruit like bananas, dates, berries (optional)

8oz plant-based Milk (almond, coconut, etc)

1 serving Vega Sport Performance Protein (Vanilla)

1 tsp Mushroom Matrix- Fit Matrix (Cordyceps and Reishi)

1 tsp Spirulina

1 tsp Maca

1 tsp Acai

1/4 tsp Camu Camu

Prepare 1 serving of your favorite whole grain oatmeal. While thats cooking, heat up your nut milk in a small pot on medium. When nut milk is hot, pour into your blender jar along with the Vega Sport and all of the other superfood powders. Place the lid on tight and begin blending working your way from low to high speed. Make sure lid is secure; liquid is hot! Blend until super smooth. In a large bowl, add your cooked oatmeal. Now pour the hot superfood smoothie contents into the bowl. Mix them together with a spoon. If desired, add some fresh fruit and sprinkle with some shredded Coconut.

Power Up Your Recovery Routine with new Vega Sport Performance Protein (+ 2 mind-blowing smoothie recipes!)

We’ve all been there before; leading our hectic lives and just barely finding the time to fit in a workout. And whether we’re running, riding, stretching, swimming or lifting, we may train that extra bit harder to make it worth our while. And boy do we ever feel it the next morning! That achy soreness all over…it hurts so good, doesn’t it? Well, sure, for a little while but at some point we’re going to want to feel good enough to do it all over again. For some of us, it can take up to 3 days to fully recover depending on the effort of exertion. One of the reasons is because many of us focus so much on powering up our pre-workout fuel, that we completely forget about our recovery nutrition.

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To energize beforehand, we usually plan on getting a decent amount of complex carbohydrates in order to build a glycogen reserve (the muscle energy we burn during a workout). And when we finally “hit the wall”, we just guzzle down some water or a sports drink and call it a day until lunch or dinner. Thats the mistake which our muscles can pay dearly for. To curb this bad habit, let’s shift our thinking a bit. First off, we want to replenish the glycogen we lost during the workout; so yes, more carbs (leafy greens, low fructose fruits, starchy root veggies, etc.). But we also want to take this a step further with a combo of Carbs, Protein and Amino Acids. This “trifecta” is the key to restoring, repairing and rebuilding our depleted muscles. Further, research tells us there is an 45 minute window after working out, when many of the body’s metabolic systems are activated. This is when we should be refueling for a quicker, more optimal recovery.

“But how am I going to get all of this stuff, prepare it and eat it within 45 minutes when I’m already tired, have to pick up the kids and get groceries”? Wow, that does sound tricky…maybe even impossible. But not if you have a tub of the new Vega Sport Performance Protein handy! You can simply blend one serving of this with a Banana and some Almond Milk and you’ll not only be on the road to recovery but on the actual road as well (just in time to pick the kids up from soccer practice). Vega has taken the guess work out of post-workout nutrition and passed the convenience on to you. They always take things to a whole other level and I truly think they’ve outdone themselves this time!

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Heres what’s in store from this upgraded Vega Sport Performance Protein:

  • Complete Protein w/ Amino Acids to Build and Repair Strong Muscles30 grams of GMO-project certified, complete-plant based protein per serving and 6 grams each BCAAs and glutamine
  • For Managing Inflammation: turmeric, tart cherry, black pepper, probiotics (1 billion CFUs), and bromelain
  • New Non-GMO Project certified Protein Blend: from pea, pumpkin seed, organic sunflower seed and alfalfa protein

Taste: I have found the taste of all 4 flavors (Vanilla, Chocolate, Mocha and Berry) to be a well rounded compliment to any veggies, fruits and seeds that I add in. I’m partial to Vanilla because it is the most versatile; and I love that the flavor is smooth and mellow with no lingering aftertaste (as some of the other brand’s protein powders have).

Texture: The powder itself seems finer than the last version, it doesn’t clump at all and blends for a nice smooth, silky texture. Just be careful when scooping not to toss it in the blender too fast; since it is so light and fine, you’ll be breathing in an airborne cloud of it.

Cost: The price has also come down $10 from it’s predecessor, which is also great news. More bang for your buck!

Overall: Vega never disappoints when they announce an upgrade. The Vega One reformulation was epic, as is this Vega Sport one. Not only did they increase the Protein, BCAA’s and Glutamine but then topped it off by adding extras like Turmeric, Tart Cherry and Probiotics (known for their anti-inflammatory properties). I love Vega because their products are well conceived and each ingredient serves a purpose; they leave no room for chemicals, fillers and other garbage that some other brands use. It’s a win for me!

Enjoy these 2 delicious, post-work out smoothie recipes using the newly formulated Vega Sport Performance Protein!

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Vega Sport Hemp Nog

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Hemp has long been known for being one of the most complete plant-based sources of protein containing all of the essential amino acids. And Lucuma is packed with B vitamins, iron and helps with inflammation. These are great compliments to your post-workout shake. Those tired muscles will be up and running again in no time. Also, if you’ve been looking for a healthy replacement for egg nog; this is it. I could drink this stuff all day!

8 oz Hemp Milk
1 Banana
2 Tbsp Lucuma Powder
1 Serving Vega Sport Performance Protein (Vanilla)
2 Tbsp Hemp Seed
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Ground Clove
1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg

Blend all ingredients on high speed until smooth. Add ice cubes for a frostier texture. Garnish with Hemp Seed and Ground Spices (if desired).

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Vega Sport Mocha Cappuccino Smoothie (w/ Peanut Butter Swirl)

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I’m not a huge advocate of Coffee, especially since I had an addiction to it a couple years back. But it does have it’s benefits; there is definitely a time and place for it (just not everyday).  There has been some debate over the years about consuming caffeine post-workout. Although, an Australian study done in 2008 by trainer Monique Ryan, author of “Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes”, showed that endurance athletes who combined caffeine along with carbohydrates after their workouts actually increased their glycogen levels 60% more than those who had no caffeine. Isn’t that something? Convinced me anyway. Drink it down 45 minutes after your workout. It can also be consumed “pre-workout” as well; the caffeine will give you a stimulating boost while giving it your all.

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For the smoothie:
11oz carton So Delicious Cococcino (Coconut Milk Iced Coffee)
1 Banana (or Avocado if you’re feeling a little crazy)
1 serving Vega Sport Performance Protein (Mocha)
1 Tbsp Chia Seed

Blend all on high setting until smooth. Pour into a glass.

For the swirl:
2 Tbsp Natural Peanut Butter
1/2 tsp Filtered Water

In a small bowl, whisk water and peanut butter together until liquidy but still thick. Adjust with more water or Peanut Butter if needed. Pour mixture into smoothie and swirl in with a straw. Garnish with Shredded Coconut and Cinnamon (if desired).

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Minestrone Soup (Vegan, Gluten Free, Paleo)

One of my favorite foods to prepare (especially during the colder seasons) is soup. I make many soups; some traditional, some invented, some on the fly but all are vegan, organic and delicious! I consider myself kind of a “soup wizard”, if you will.

Minestrone has always had a warm place in my heart and stomach. It’s chunky, full of flavor and is a super satisfying meal in a bowl. It runs the gamut in it’s variety of vegetables, legumes, pasta and it’s rich, tomatoey broth. Sometimes I change this recipe up a bit with different beans, juice pulp broths and sometimes I’ll even throw in some Italian style Tofurky Sausage (to get that subtly spicy, fennel bite in there).

I can assure you that if you use only the freshest and cleanest ingredients, you will truly taste the difference. Sure, you can get this from a can or a restaurant but nothing beats being in complete control of your food!

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp Unfiltered Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 medium Onion (diced)

1 large Zucchini (chopped chunky)

1 – 2 Cups Green Beans (trimmed/halved)

2-3 stalks Celery (diced)

3 cloves Garlic (minced)

4 cups Vegetable Broth (from juice pulp or homemade)

4 cups Filtered Water

1/2 Cup Red Kidney Beans (cooked or canned)

1/2 Cup Small White Beans (cooked or canned)

1 can (28oz) Crushed Tomatoes

1 cup shredded Carrot

1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley

3 tsp Dried Oregano

1 tsp Dried Basil

1/2 tsp Dried Thyme

Giant bunch of fresh Baby Spinach

1 Cup small shell Quinoa Pasta

Himalayan Pink Salt (to taste)

Ground Black Pepper (to taste)

Directions:

Pour oil into a large stock pot and heat on medium. When the oil is hot enough, add the onion, celery, garlic, green beans, and zucchini and sauté for about 5 minutes or so. 

Now add the broth, water, tomatoes, beans, carrots, herbs and spices. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes. 

 Add the Spinach and Pasta and cook for another 20 minutes or so (or until Pasta is aldente). Adjust salt and pepper to taste. (makes a huge pot and feeds many; freeze extra and store for future meals)