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!

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!

Grapes n’ Greens Smoothie

Whoulda’ thunk that Grapefruit, Red Grapes and fresh Organic Greens could taste so good together? Blended with all the other ingredients I chose, it seems to be the perfect balance of sweet, tangy and nutty. And as far as nutrition goes, today’s concoction is no lightweight. In fact, this heart healthy smoothie is literally packed with Potassium, Protein, Antioxidants, Phytonutrients, Polyphenols, Flavonoids; I mean, this list goes on and on.

But what does all of this mean for you? It means you are helping your body to fight the very diseases that are killing the majority of our nation. Obesity, Diabetes, Cancer, Coronary Heart Disease…you name it, these illnesses are not “random acts of god” nor can they be simply shrugged off as “genetic”. You can stop the cycle by simply changing your diet. We’re going to prevent these epidemics by starting with ourselves first; by eating whole, plant based foods.

Drink it, don’t overthink it.

8 oz Almond Milk
2 large handfuls of Mixed Baby Greens (I used Kale, Spinach and Chard)
1 Banana
1/2 Cup Red Seedless Grapes
1/2 Grapefruit (no rind but keep pith)
1/4 Quinoa Flakes
2 Turkish Figs
1 serving Vega One Protein (I used Coconut Almond)
1 Tbsp Maca Powder
1 Tbsp Chia Seed
5 Ice Cubes

As always, the best way to break down the greens is to blend them first with the liquid base. This will allow the blades to really work the leaves into the liquid without leaving a gritty texture. Once you’ve done that, you can add everything else in there and blend it again on the high setting until it’s super smooth. Enjoy!

Too Much of a Good Thing?! (Why I’m Breaking My Juice Fast Early)

As some of you already know, in 2014 I managed to completely turn around my poor health and obesity by simply changing the manner in which I ate. I lost 70 pounds, reversed my high cholesterol and high blood pressure, increased my energy/stamina, gained mental clarity, improved my skin and general mood, adopted a 100% plant-based (mostly whole food) diet, all while killing the bad habits that got me to such an unhealthy point: caffeine, alcohol, hydrogenated oils, otc and prescription medications, refined sugars, highly processed food, white flour, junk food, dairy and eggs. Removing these things may seem rather extreme but to me, they were all essential steps in beginning to take control and care for my now “middle-aged” body.

I’ve made a variety of nutritional changes to my vegetarian diet during 2014 (including finally cutting out eggs and dairy entirely). But I’d say juicing was the number one thing that really sparked my transformation. By committing to drink ONLY extracted juice (no pulp) for a predetermined period of time, the body receives many benefits such as improved eating habits, disease reversal, detoxification, weight loss, stronger immune system, increased stamina/energy, better skin…the list goes on. First and foremost, juicing gives your over-taxed digestive system a long needed break. By digesting only nutrient rich liquid each day your kidneys, liver, respiratory and immune systems are all able to work together in harmony to absorb the good stuff and get rid of the bad. Most of these claims would be denied by a conventional doctor (we won’t get into that now); the most you’ll get out of them is “eat more fruits and vegetables…and then take these drugs too”…ha!! In any case, I can attest to the power of juicing because it changed my life exactly in the manner it claimed. Through 4 juice fasts of varying lengths (20 day, 10 day, 10 day and 5 day) over a period of about 6 months, my body basically went back to what it was when I was a teenager, aside from the stretchy skin it left behind. Lean, strong, energetic…very much so the closest thing to a miracle I have ever witnessed in my lifetime (well…seeing my son and daughter born is up there too).

Fast forward to 2015, juicing and blending are an integral piece of my everyday lifestyle. I’m still super healthy…kept off all of the weight. I’ve been feeling so good, in fact, that I wanted to celebrate the anniversary of my first juice reboot by doing another 10 day one; as sort of a “reaffirmation” of my continual commitment to eating well. But two weeks before I began this fast, I started experiencing some stomach cramping when I drank certain mixtures in a smoothie or a juice. I kind of brushed it off in hopes that it was just a fluke thing but it continued each time I’d have one. Could it be too much sugar? Could it be too much fiber? Could it be too many probiotics? Could I have built up some intolerance to a mixture of certain fruits, vegetables or seeds? Could it be entirely something else? I didn’t know. So, I did what I do best…I began researching and found a vast sea of information on what could be happening to me; but still, no definitive answer. All I knew was that I was still going to do my juice fast one way or another; I was hoping that going on the fast would reset my body’s nutrition levels and completely do away with the problem on it’s own. Not so. In fact, too much juicing could be part of the problem itself.

Only 3 days into my juice fast and still experiencing the random stomach pain, my wife encouraged me to consult a doctor. I agreed to call a local Naturopath doctor (N.D.) who works in the same practice as my Hydro-Colon Therapist. After confusing the doctor with my drawn out, unfocused ramblings over the phone, she agreed to take me on as a patient and I got a lucky appointment for the following day. After showing up there with my whole sorted, complex story of how I eat and why, the doctor became comfortable “collaborating” with me, as opposed to talking at me (as she began doing when we first sat down). I think after seeing all of the research I had done as well as my general knowledge on my own nutrition, she realized that I really had my health in order; I wasn’t just some dude jumping on the bandwagon of some new fad diet. That said, she agreed with a few of my “self-diagnosed” theories which included sensitivities to too much natural Fructose (in the high sugar fruits and veg) OR too much fiber (from naturally occurring Inulin, Chia, Flax, Psyllium Husk + all the other plant sources I get everyday) OR too many probiotics (in my Protein Powder, PB8 supplement, Kombucha, Miso, Coconut Yogurts, etc). The repetitive theme here is the “EXCESSIVE” part. Some people like to target vegans and say ignorant shit like “YOU AREN’T GETTING ENOUGH of XXXXX”….well, for the record…it’s not a problem of deficiency: I’m getting TOO MUCH of XXXXX! Now, the doctor and I just have to work together to figure out what “XXXXX” is. Her further thinking began pointing toward the fact that since I drink juice and smoothies so often, these nutrients are being delivered in a “concentrated” form. Can this be the key? Is it that I’m putting too many ingredients in them OR I’m drinking them too often OR a combination of both? Either way, we have a plan of attack which started with me ending my juice fast early and transitioning back onto my normal vegan diet. I need to scale back and eat even more simply, paying closer attention to which nutrients I’m getting from where. As each day passes, I need to slowly throw in a juice or smoothie and begin adding supplements one at a time to see if we can pinpoint an offender.

Overall, the doctor was not surprised to hear that I hadn’t seen another physician since May 2013 (my last visit to a conventional M.D.)…she said although I’m super healthy, look and feel great, I may be going a little on the extreme side with my daily juicing and smoothie habits. And as I critically ponder that, I can’t say that I disagree. I had a feeling for a while that both a juice and a smoothie each day may be a bit much…especially with the amount of ingredients I’ve been putting in them. I mean, doing the fasts last year was a NEEDED regimen to snap me out of my bad eating habits. It was extreme because it needed to be in order to get me on a good track…but now that I am on that track, I have to simply find the right balance of juicing, blending and eating. I see this not as a setback but more of a fine-tuning of what I’ve already been doing.

The takeaway: Is being too healthy a bad thing? No. But it can be without proper BALANCE. We all see health as such a fantastic thing; but that can blind us to the fact that too much of a good thing can cause problems as well.

Keep it up!

-Chris

A CLOSE LOOK AT THE NEW VEGA ONE

As you probably already know from my posts, I’ve been using Vega protein powders in all of my smoothies…well, ever since I began making smoothies which was earlier this year. After going on a quest to regain my health back in February, drinking juice, eating clean, becoming vegan (and losing over 70 lbs doing it all) I began adding smoothies to my everyday eating as well. The thing that drew me in most to trying out Vega was Brendan Brazier’s story about his need for a plant-based protein powder, full of whole food nutrition and no chemical additives (as most powders on the market contain). Since I was in a situation where I had just undergone multiple steps to detox my body, I wasn’t about to just grab any protein powder to add to my smoothies. It had to be vegan…it had to be packed with nutrition and most of all, it had to be CLEAN. When I did some research, I quickly found out about Vega and purchased a small bag from my local health market. I haven’t stopped using Vega powders ever since. And now almost 3 months as a Vega blogger and 30+ smoothie recipes later, I catch word that Vega is changing the formula of their all in one Vega One powder. I immediately worried about what was changing, since I had relied on the original formula so much. But with what I had already known about the company, I had a feeling it would be better than ever. And I was right.

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Last week I received a nice big package from my friends at Vega containing samples of the new Vega One and boy was I excited to bust it open and check it all out. The very first thing I did when I took out the tub of French Vanilla was look at the ingredients list. At first glance, my heart sank as it appeared to be a very long list. But upon further inspection, I had realized something amazing; all of these new ingredients were whole foods! Broccoli, Kale, Spinach, Carrot, Beet, Tomato, Apple, Blueberry, Orange, Cranberry, Strawberry and Shitake Mushroom. On top of this, they added a ton of super foods as well, such as Hemp, Sacha Inchi, Maca Root, Spirulina, Chlorella, Pomegranate, Mangosteen, Goji and Maqui. I was completely blown away; they added to the powder itself many of the ingredients that I’ve been adding into my blender along with the Vega. Not only is that convenient for me, in the long run it could also save some pennies by not having to buy so many other supplements. And as if that wasn’t enough, Vega also went ahead and got the “Certified Vegan”, “Non GMO Project” designations and also increased the amount of organic produce they use (which are 3 very important things in my world). Awesome! The new powders all look greener because the ingredients are greener.

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One scoop of this bad boy will take you far! The serving size is larger than it’s predecessor but the benefits are even larger. To stretch your dollar, you can actually use 3/4 of a scoop and still get the same nutrition you’ve always been getting. But the quick snapshot of the new “per scoop” stats are very impressive; now boasting 20 grams of protein (33% more), 6 servings of greens (2x more), 50% daily vitamins & minerals, 27% daily fiber, 1.5 grams Omega-3, 1000 ORAC of Antioxidants, 1 Billion Probiotics and only 150 calories. BAM!

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As far as the flavor and drinkability goes, I tried each of the samples I was provided with (French Vanilla, Chocolate, Vanilla Chai and Natural). All of them had a very mild, sweet and clean taste. It seems that the strong “Stevia Leaf” flavor that is sometimes present in the Vega powders has mellowed out a bit which is a huge plus in my book. Not that it was a big problem for me before, but it is something I noticed with the new formula. In addition, the Vanilla and Chocolate profiles are kicked up even more. You can really taste the vanilla in French Vanilla! And likewise for the chocolate; so chocolaty!

All in all, my review of the new Vega One is 2 thumbs up (it’d be 3 if I could)! Be on the lookout for it on shelves in early 2015 or get it right now on Vega’s eStore. Once you have a supply of your very own, try out one (or all) of these awesome recipes below that I experimented with…yuuuuum…smoothies!

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Vega One (French Vanilla) Green Smoothie

8 oz Almond Milk
2 handfuls of fresh Baby Kale or Baby Spinach
1 Frozen Banana
1 handful of Mixed Berries (Raspberry, Blueberry, Blackberry)
1 handful of Mango chunks
1 scoop of Vega One (French Vanilla)
2 Tbsp Hemp Seeds
2 Tbsp Flax Meal
1 Tbsp Chia Seeds

Pour Almond Milk into the blender along with the greens and blend on liquify until you have a nicely blended green liquid. Now add the Banana, Berries and Mango. Blend on crush ice setting until cracking stops…then blend again on liquify setting for about 30-40 secs. If too thick, you can always adjust by adding more Almond Milk. Add Vega, Hemp Seeds, Chia Seeds and Flax Meal and blend one more time on liquify until very smooth. Pour into a large, tall glass. CLEAN UP BEFORE DRINKING (this reenforces good habits and a new regimen). Enjoy!

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Vega One (Chocolate) Smoothie

8 oz Coconut Milk
1 Frozen Banana
1 handful of Mixed Berries (Strawberry, Raspberry)
1 scoop of Vega One (Chocolate)
1 Tbsp Almond Butter
2 Tbsp Flax Meal
1 Tbsp Chia Seeds

Pour Coconut Milk into the blender along with the Banana and Berries. Blend on crush ice setting until cracking stops…then blend again on liquify setting for about 30-40 secs. If too thick, you can always adjust by adding more Coconut Milk. Add Vega, Almond Butter, Chia Seeds and Flax Meal and blend one more time on liquify until very smooth. Pour into a large, tall glass. CLEAN UP BEFORE DRINKING (this reenforces good habits and a new regimen). Enjoy!

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Vega One (Vanilla Chai) Smoothie

8 oz Coconut Milk
1 Frozen Banana
1 handful of fresh Cranberries
1/2 fresh Pomegranate Seeds
1 scoop of Vega One (Vanilla Chai)
1/4 Cup Coconut Flakes
2 Tbsp Flax Meal
1 Tbsp Chia Seeds

Pour Coconut Milk into the blender along with the Banana, Cranberries and Pomegranate Seeds. Blend on crush ice setting until cracking stops…then blend again on liquify setting for about 30-40 secs. If too thick, you can always adjust by adding more Coconut Milk. Add Vega, Coconut Flakes, Chia Seeds and Flax Meal and blend one more time on liquify until very smooth. Pour into a large, tall glass. CLEAN UP BEFORE DRINKING (this reenforces good habits and a new regimen). Enjoy!

Anatomy of a Green Smoothie

I make a lot of smoothies. So many, in fact, that I have a backed up list of ones yet to post. After looking through them and comparing, I am reminded that I have a “system” when it comes to Green Smoothies. I’m posting 3 recipes in this article to help point out how I go about creating these concoctions. But before we get to those recipes, lets break it down into steps.

#1. LIQUID – The first thing to always go into the blender is the liquid. A good rule of thumb is 8-12 oz, depending on how thick you want your smoothie to be. If you’re making Nice Cream, you would use much less to get that super thick texture. If you want to be able to drink it faster (on the go), you can always add more liquid for easier drinkability. Sometimes I enjoy a cleaner smoothie, so I’ll go with just plain filtered water. But most of the time, I will use a nut milk such as Almond or Hemp Milk to get more protein, B-12 and Vitamin D.
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#2. GREENS – The second step is adding your greens to the liquid. I have found that “baby” varieties work better in the blender and I usually save the more hearty versions for juicing. Baby leaves are very soft and you can buy at the market already prepped in a bag or container which makes it very convenient as well. The 2 varieties I use most are Baby Kale and Baby Spinach. On occassion, I will also use Spring Mix, Arugula or Baby Romaine as well. Greens are the nutritional foundation of your smoothie. Most people complain about not being able to eat enough greens throughout the day, well this your chance to pack it in there and get it down easy. I usually take 2 huge handfuls of greens and throw it in the blender with the liquid. It should look as if the greens are almost reaching the top of the blender jar. Put the lid on and blend on the liquify (high) setting until all the greens are completely blended. You should end up with green liquid and hopefully a very minimal amount of tiny green bits.
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#3. FRUITS/VEGGIES – My smoothies are primarily fruit based, aside from the greens. I do this on purpose because I also drink extracted vegetable juice daily. Since fruit has a higher sugar content, it is better to digest it in a blended smoothie so the sugars don’t immediately absorb into your bloodstream (spiking your glucose levels) as extracted juice does. Conversely, I will also sometimes add extracted juices into my smoothies if I’m going for a certain flavor profile but don’t want the extra grit/pulp in my smoothie. I have done this with Ginger, Carrots, Celery…basically any vegetable that is very dense or fiberous; I will juice them first and just add the juice into the blender. That all said, I get my daily fruits through blended smoothies (and eating) and I get my veggies through juicing (and eating). So, for this step I almost always start with 1 frozen Banana; it’s the creamy “carrier” for the overall consistency of the smoothie (it helps make it smooth). Then I will usually throw in 1 handful of frozen berries and/or 1 piece of fresh fruit (Apples, Oranges, Pears, etc). For a real creamy protein packed smoothie, add in some fresh Avocado! The possibilities are endless. Once I’ve added these ingredients, I blend on the “crush ice” setting to break up the frozen fruits and then slowly switch over to liquify again. At this point, you should have a pretty good idea if its too thick (add more liquid) or if its too watery (add some ice cubes).
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#4. PROTEIN, SUPERFOODS & MIX-INS – Some folks go without protein powders in their smoothies. Since I am vegan, I definitely make sure I cover my bases and add it. I’ve also been working out quite a bit since my weight loss, so I’m trying to build some muscle as well (why not?). I use a very clean, delicious, plant-based protein made by Vega. Specifically, Vega One and Vega Protein Smoothie. These powders help give my smoothies the extra flavor and nutrition that I’m looking for; I’d be lost without them. In addition to the protein powder, I also find smoothies a great opportunity to mix in other superfoods from nature that can only increase the nutritional value of this meal in a glass. I don’t think I have ever made a smoothie that did not at least contain Chia Seeds and Flax Seeds. These seeds are so very important to everyday health…vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein, Omegas; they are a powerhouse on their own. I usually measure 1 Tbsp of each or lately I’ve been getting a Chia/Flax blend that I like (which I’ll measure out 2 Tbsp). Other powders I like to use are Acai (fruity), Spiralina (green), Matcha (green), Hemp (green), Cacao (chocolate) and Maca (nutty). AS you can see, I gave each one of those a flavor description because depending on which direction my smoothie is going in, certain powders will work better in it. Nutrition, of course, always comes first but it doesn’t hurt to try and make it the best tasting smoothie as well! Other items to mix in are soaked nuts, oats, dates (pitted), dried berries (such as Goji) and good oils such as Coconut or Hemp.
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#5. FINAL BLEND & ADJUSTING – So once all the mix-ins are in there, I blend it on liquify one more time to make sure everything is nice and smooth. At this point I taste it and make adjustments if needed; maybe more liquid or some ice cubes to make it more thick. I never add any sweeteners because the Vega powder uses Stevia Leaf in it already; not to mention all of the other natural sugars coming from the fruits. Now pour your amazing smoothie into a tall glass and enjoy!
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Hopefully, this information helps turn you into a smoothie making machine. Get into the habit of recreating these steps and you really can’t mess anything up. Here are 3 recent Green Smoothie recipes to try out with your new skills!
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I RULE-GULA!
Almond Milk, Baby Spinach, Baby Kale, Arugula, Banana, Pineapple, Mango, Matcha, Spirulina, Vega One (French Vanilla), Chia Seeds and Flax Seeds

8 – 12 oz Almond Milk
1 medium handful Baby Kale
1 medium handful Baby Spinach
1 medium handful Arugula
1 Banana
1 handful Pineapple chunks
1 handful Mango chunks
1 scoop Vega One (French Vanilla)
2 tsp Matcha Green Tea Powder
1 tsp Spirulina
1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
1 Tbsp Flax Meal

Pour Almond Milk into the blender along with the greens. Blend on liquify for about 40 secs. Add in Banana, Pineapple and Mango. Blend on crush ice setting until cracking stops…then blend again on liquify setting for about 30-40 secs. If too thick, you can always adjust by adding more Almond Milk. Add Vega, Matcha, Spiralina, Chia and Flax and blend one more time on liquify until very smooth. Pour into a large, tall glass. CLEAN UP BEFORE DRINKING (this reenforces good habits and a new regimen). Enjoy!

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POM-A-GREEN IT!
Almond Milk, Baby Spinach, Banana, Pomegranate, Cranberries, Medjool Dates, Vega Protein Smoothie (Viva Vanilla), Acai Powder, Chia Seeds and Flax Seeds

8 – 12 oz Almond Milk
2 large handfuls Baby Kale
1 Banana
1/2 Pomegranate (Seeds only)
1/2 Cup Cranberries
2 Medjool Dates (pitted)
1 scoop Vega Protein Smoothie (Viva Vanilla)
1 Tbsp Acai Powder
1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
1 Tbsp Flax Meal

Pour Almond Milk into the blender along with the greens. Blend on liquify for about 40 secs. Add in Banana, Pomegranate Seeds, Cranberries and Dates. Blend on crush ice setting until cracking stops…then blend again on liquify setting for about 30-40 secs. If too thick, you can always adjust by adding more Almond Milk. Add Vega, Acai, Chia and Flax and blend one more time on liquify until very smooth. Pour into a large, tall glass. CLEAN UP BEFORE DRINKING (this reenforces good habits and a new regimen). Enjoy!

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NO GREENS, NO GAIN
Almond Milk, Baby Spinach, Baby Kale, Banana, Strawberry, Pomegranate, Blueberry, Vega One (French Vanilla) Spirulina, Hemp, Chia Seeds and Flax Seeds

8 – 12 oz Almond Milk
1 large handful Baby Kale
1 large handful Baby Spinach
1 Banana
1 handful frozen Strawberries
1 handful frozen Blueberries
1/2 Pomegranate (Seeds only)
1 scoop Vega One (French Vanilla)
2 Tbsp Hemp Powder
1 tsp Spirulina
1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
1 Tbsp Flax Meal

Pour Almond Milk into the blender along with the greens. Blend on liquify for about 40 secs. Add in Banana, Strawberries, Blueberries and Pomegranate Seeds. Blend on crush ice setting until cracking stops…then blend again on liquify setting for about 30-40 secs. If too thick, you can always adjust by adding more Almond Milk. Add Vega, Hemp, Spiralina, Chia and Flax and blend one more time on liquify until very smooth. Pour into a large, tall glass. CLEAN UP BEFORE DRINKING (this reenforces good habits and a new regimen). Enjoy!

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Don’t forget to check out all of the great plant-based, whole food products from Vega. Their smoothie powders are delicious, nutritious, animal-free and are the foundation for all of my smoothie recipes. http://myvega.com/

Enjoy your smoothie w/ your favorite straw; although, for Earth’s sake, I recommend a glass one from Glass Dharma http://glassdharma.com.

Brooke’s Blend (Smoothie)

ALMOND MILK, BABY SPINACH, BABY KALE, BANANA, STRAWBERRY, APPLE, MEDJOOL DATE, VEGA ONE (CHOCOLATE), CACAO, MAPLE ALMOND BUTTER, CHIA SEED AND FLAX MEAL

Following in my footsteps this year, my 15 year old daughter also became Vegan a couple months back. I’ve been training her in the ways of the force (plant-based eating) and she has been picking it up very well. Brooke makes her own smoothies, school lunches, healthy snacks and is definitely on the path to eating well. One day, I asked her to make a smoothie (so I could see if she was really listening to me when I first showed her how). Brooke, admittedly, has a super sweet tooth so it was no surprise when I saw her get out the Vega One Chocolate, Cacao and Maple Almond Butter. Then I saw her throw in huge handfuls of spinach and kale! I was thrown off a bit because I wasn’t sure about the combo of greens, chocolate and almond butter. After she made it, she handed it to me to take a sip…it was really great! So rich, chocolatey and with a nice thick nutty-ness from the almond butter.

This smoothie was inspired by my daughter’s favorite flavors w/ even some extra added sweet delights. Enjoy!

8 – 12 oz Almond Milk
1 large handful Baby Kale
1 large handful Baby Spinach
1 Banana
Small handful of Strawberries
1 Apple (cored)
2-3 Medjool Dates (pitted)
1 scoop Vega One (Chocolate)
1 Tbsp Cacao
1 – 1 1/2 Tbsp of Maple Almond Butter
1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
1 Tbsp Flax Meal
4-5 Ice cubes (if fruits are not frozen)

Pour Almond Milk into the blender along with the Baby Kale and Baby Spinach. Blend on liquify for about 40 secs. Add in Banana, Strawberries, Apple, Dates and Ice Cubes. Blend crush ice setting until cracking stops…then blend again on liquify setting for about 30-40 secs. If too thick, you can always adjust by adding more Hemp Milk. Add Vega, Cacao, Almond Butter, Chia and Flax and blend one more time on liquify until very smooth. Pour into a large, tall glass. CLEAN UP BEFORE DRINKING (this reenforces good habits and a new regimen). Enjoy!

Don’t forget to check out all of the great plant-based, whole food products from Vega. Their smoothie powders are delicious, nutritious, animal-free and are the foundation for all of my smoothie recipes. http://myvega.com/

Enjoy your smoothie w/ your favorite straw; although, for Earth’s sake, I recommend a glass one from Glass Dharma http://glassdharma.com.