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!

The Bitter Blend II – A Tart Return (Grapefruit, Pomegranate & Lime Smoothie)

Have you ever heard of a “Smoothie Sequel”? Well, this may be a first…or a second? I’m already confused! In any case, hopefully you remember my original Bitter Blend Smoothie from last year; it was a real zinger! And we already know that Grapefruit is on top of his game as a tenacious free-radical fighter, but I’m here to tell you that “sour” is back with a vengeance and this time he brought a couple of new pals with him! Say hello to Pomegranate; aka the “King of Antioxidant Fruits”, one of the fiercest of cancer opponents and a true defender of the immune system. Oh yeah, and that other little green sidekick? His name is Lime. Don’t ever underestimate his potential to help destroy obesity, strengthen skin and decimate high blood sugar levels. Together, this is one gutsy team who will get the job done.

Coming soon to a blender near you…yup, just like that one sitting on your kitchen counter 😉

Ingredients

1 Cup Almond Milk
1 serving Vega One Nutritional Shake (Coconut Almond or French Vanilla)
1 Frozen Banana
1 Grapefruit (w/ pith)
Seeds of 1 fresh Pomegranate
Juice of 1 fresh Lime
1 Tbsp Chia Seeds

Preparation

1. Add all ingredients into blender jar.

2. Blend on high setting until smooth.

3. Pour into a large, tall glass. Enjoy!

Why “Eat the Rainbow”?

I was drinking my Blueberry post workout shake this morning while contemplating an article that I recently read by Ronnie Landis called “The Color Code of Food“. We’ve all heard the term “Eat the Rainbow” before but how important is this? Well, it turns out that it’s really important. You see, the entire plant family consists of main color groups (similar to that of a rainbow). Aside from looking really cool, these pigments actually serve a greater purpose; in fact, each individual color provides unique health benefits all to their own. Plant pigments come from metabolic molecules called Flavonoids. These molecules are known to pack super antioxidant power which aid in the maintenance, repair and vitality of the many functions of the body.

For instance, Red foods are beneficial to the heart and circulatory system. The green family takes care of the lungs, respiratory and immune systems. Yellow is for the skin and digestive system. And my favorite; Purple is exclusively fuel for the brain, memory and helping fend off certain cancers. We have Anthocyanin to thank for that! Anthocyanin is the flavonoid which gives certain plants, fruits and berries their vibrant, purple color as well as a host of free-radical crushing power!

That said, one of my all-time favorites from this family are Blueberries. Originally, I loved them mostly for their taste but have come to learn of the massive health benefits they provide. From fighting cancer and diabetes to preventing aging and improving blood pressure; they’re oxidation’s worst nightmare. Blueberries also help protect our LDL (bad cholesterol) from oxidizing, a process which can usually lead to heart disease. And lastly, one of the benefits that led me to write this in the first place; these berries help reduce muscle damage after a tough workout. This means a shorter recovery time between workouts. Who doesn’t want that?

To see for yourself, try out this quick and easy recovery shake after your next workout and start on the path to upping your rainbow intake!

BLUEBERRY OAT RECOVERY SHAKE

8 oz Almond Milk
1 Banana
1 Cup frozen Blueberries (if fresh, add some ice cubes)
1/4 Cup Whole Grain Oats (Raw)
1 serving Vega Sport Vanilla Performance Protein

Blend all ingredients on high speed until smooth. Drink up and enjoy!

VEGA SPORT MOCHA APPLE PIE (Post Workout Smoothie)

Whether you’re making extreme gains, defeating triathlons or finishing up an intense Yoga session; chances are you’ve strained your muscles, depleted your energy or have lost some hydration. Whatever the case may be, you can put your body through some really extreme stuff while “fueling your better”. And armed with the proper nutrition and recovery routine, you can afford to go even a little harder next time (easy for me to say, right?).

Heres where Vega Sport Performance Protein comes in. This protein powder is packed with BCAA’s and Glutamine to help repair and build damaged muscle tissue after a tough workout. It’s smooth, creamy, tastes great and is nothing if not a life-saver for me after my weekly cycling adventures. Once I finally get off my bike it’s spaghetti-legs for hours! So, to get my recovery game going I just simply mix a serving into my favorite beverage (cough.cough.THIS SMOOTHIE!) 45 minutes after my workout, kick back and let Vega Sport do the rest.

In addition, I combined the Vega Sport with some other really thoughtful ingredients that will get you back on the saddle in no time. Coconut Water (for Hydration/Electrolytes), Banana and Apple (for Potassium), Quinoa (for Protein and Iron) and Ginger (for Inflammation). Now I’d say this smoothie is shaping up to be a great part of any workout recovery routine. Just don’t discount the pie spices…they aren’t only there to do the happy-dance on your taste buds; they also contain a host of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals which aid in digestion, reduce inflammation and help manage your blood sugar.

How could something taste this good and still be good for you? This is how…

8oz Coconut Water
1 Banana
1 Gala Apple (skin on)
1″ Ginger Root (peeled)
1/4 Cup Quinoa Flakes
1 Serving Vega Sport Performance Protein (Mocha)
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/4 tsp Ground Clove

Blend all ingredients on high speed until smooth. If necessary, adjust texture using ice or water and blend again. Drink it down and keep it up!

BLUEBERRY ORANGE QUINOA SMOOTHIE

For the last 3 days I’ve been suffering from a pinched nerve which has caused muscle inflammation and spasms in my neck. This was all due to sleeping the wrong way (on my stomach with head turned 90 degrees). On my quest to heal and rebuild these damaged muscles I’ve been resting, stretching, hydrating, taking Turmeric, Ginger and icing. Admittedly, I also leaned a bit on the help of a prescription muscle relaxer to help take the edge off (man has the pain been fierce). But to also help kickstart my recovery I’ve been drinking smoothies with Vega Sport recovery powder as it is packed with Glutamine, BCAAs and of course protein. Together, these are the building blocks for our muscles and are paramount in repairing and building new muscle tissue.

To add in some extra powerful ingredients I chose: Blueberries which are high in antioxidants and known to help aid in the recovery of damaged muscle tissue. Orange which helps boost the immune system and reduces inflammation. And let’s not forget Quinoa which packs a plant based punch of protein to help build new muscle.

So, whether you’ve injured yourself or just overdid your workout a bit, don’t underestimate the power of plant based nutrition. The right combination will get you back in the game in no time. Keep it up!

8 oz Cashew Milk (or other nut milk)
1 Frozen Banana
1 Cup Frozen Blueberries
1 Orange
1/3 Cup Quinoa Flakes
1 serving Vega Sport (Vanilla)
1 Tbsp Acai Powder
2 Tbsp Flax Meal
2 Tbsp Hemp Seeds

Blend all ingredients on high until smooth. Drink it. Love it.

Are You Too Acidic?

The answer is: probably not…unless, of course, you are currently experiencing severe symptoms, in a coma or already dead. Even if one subscribes to the typical Standard American Diet (S.A.D.), our pH stays steady between 7 and 7.35. If this balance shifts by even one whole number, in either direction, it’s game over. Our pH level does not shift based on the food we eat. If it did, many of us would not be alive to discuss the issue. But before you label me a naysayer and smash your screen in frustration, please read on.

The consensus in the alternative health community is that a diet rich in alkaline foods increases the blood pH, making us more alkaline; whereas a diet rich in acidic foods will lower the pH, making us more acidic. Interestingly enough, this isn’t exactly what happens in the body and conventional doctors are having a field day with this information. In an effort to debunk us “crazy new-agers”, some doctors are aggressively making the argument that food has no immediate effect on blood pH since our body naturally regulates it. While the statement is scientifically true, it is also misleading and void of any further thought passed “right now”. In fact, the issue is not as “black or white” as either side makes it out to be. For instance, if I drink an alkaline rich green juice am I raising my blood pH? Nope. If I eat an acid rich Bagel with Cream Cheese am I lowering my blood pH? Nope. Does this mean the doctors are right? Sure, if you approach the subject from the same immediate, matter of fact perspective. What these doctors are failing to elaborate upon are the very truths that may eventually kill us.

When food is broken down and metabolized in our body it releases either an “acidic” or “alkaline” base into the blood. The trick is that this process does not directly affect the blood pH levels whatsoever; what actually occurs is that the pH levels in the food itself have an effect on the internal buffers that regulate the blood pH. Once these buffers are damaged, they cease to maintain proper pH levels, hence, opening the floodgates for these levels to change. This is the missing explanation that needs to be understood on both sides of the topic. And drum roll…it just so happens that “acidic” foods have been proven to damage our organs while “alkalizing” foods maintain, nourish and clean our inner systems. That said, the true nature of this debate is not about food increasing or decreasing blood pH; it’s about preventing the breakdown of the systems that already regulate it. The “crazy new-agers” still come out on top. Yay for independent research!

Conventional doctors focus only on what is happening to you “right now”, so they can make a quick assessment and send you on your way home or to the pharmacy. Our bodies are so very complex, most things that can go wrong with our health will happen over an extended period of time. Disease may take a long while to present itself to the body after many years of persistence against it’s natural functions to fight it. That said, unless you are currently experiencing a medical issue or emergency; you will most likely get a stamp of approval and a pat on the back on the way out of your annual checkup, regardless of what illness may be slowly transforming inside of your body. Armed with absolutely no guidance on what you should or shouldn’t be doing with your diet, what is there to worry about?

Unfortunately, our whole way of life has become greatly “acidic”; not only through food and drugs but also from the toxicity caused by pollutants, body/house care products, stress, anxiety and depression. So take a step back and really analyze what you’re choosing to use and consume everyday (both mind and body). Begin to make better choices that will replace the damaging ones and before you know it, you’ll begin lifting the weight of sickness from your very being. Why not start now with this fantastic green juice?

Super Alkaline Green Juice w/ Spirulina

5 large leaves Kale

1 Cup packed Red Dandelion Greens

1 Cup packed Parsley

3-4 Celery Stalks (w/ leaves)

1 Cucumber

2 Cups Watermelon Rind (or Watermelon)

1 stalk Fennel

1/2 Green Pepper

1 Green Apple

1/2 Lemon (w/ Rind)

1 1/2″ Ginger

2 tsp Spirulina (whisked into juice afterward)

Prep all ingredients to extract in your juicer (except for the Spirulina). Juice all ingredients. Stir in Spiralina. Makes 2 12oz servings.

References:

The Truth About Alkalizing Your Blood

http://drbenkim.com/ph-body-blood-foods-acid-alkaline.htm

Detailed Listing of Acid/Alkaline Forming Foods

http://www.rense.com/1.mpicons/acidalka.htm