Tag Archives: smoothie

Put the lime in the coconut and drink it all up

“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.”

I read this quote not too long ago and I can’t agree with it more.

Last month, we were fortunate enough to abandon our not-so-nice Spring weather and drive nearly 3,000 kilometers to the sunny state of Florida.  I have an aunt that lives in a heavenly nook on the ocean in the Florida Keys.  Knowing we are avid travelers, my aunt has asked us several times to visit her – all the while enticing us with tales of iguanas, alligators, dolphins and some fabulous kayaking.  My husband and I finally decided earlier this Spring that June was the right time to pack up the family and pay my aunt a visit.

One of the first things we noticed when we finally pulled up to my aunt’s home was that she was surrounded by a splendid crop of palms and they were all lush with coconuts – beautiful, green coconuts!

Fresh, young, green coconuts are a true gem.  If you were to crack one open, you would find a nearly clear liquid that is mildly sweet, refreshing and fat-free.  This liquid is called coconut water.  Chock-full of electrolytes, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants, coconut water is known in the tropics as a “natural sports drink” due to its ability to combat dehydration and heat stroke.  According to Bruce Fife, N.D., in his book Coconut Water for Health and Healing, coconut water has also gained popularity for its amazing “anti-cancer” and “anti-aging” properties.

With temperatures reaching the high 30s (Celsius),  you can imagine our excitement at having so many green coconuts right there within arms’ reach.

With some fruit smoothies and a kayak through the mangroves in mind, my husband, Dan, set out to harvest some coconuts.  This became a ritual each morning we were in the Keys.

Once cut from the tree, Dan would carefully cut off the top of each coconut.

He would then puncture a hole at the top.

The coconut water was finally poured into a large glass. We received nearly 2 cups from every coconut.

You may want to consider adding coconut water to your water bottle before your next outdoor adventure or workout.  Compared to commercial sport drinks and fruit juices, coconut water has far less sugar and contains more electrolytes and nutrients.

However, like most food products,  when choosing a brand of coconut water, it is very important to read the label of the product carefully.  Some brands do contain added sugar, artificial flavourings, and preservatives which make it no better than a flavoured drink.  Look for a brand that is “not from concentrate”.  You should find one in your local health food store and in the natural foods section of your grocery store.  It may cost a little more, but so worth it!

Brendan Brazier, professional Ironman Triathlete and formulator of Vega products, uses coconut water as the base ingredient in many of his sport drinks recipes.  One of our personal favourites is Brazier’s Classic Lemon Lime Sport Drink (from his book, Thrive Fitness).  Along with a full water bottle, my daughter likes to take this drink with her to the ice rink for training.  It’s super easy to make – just blend all ingredients together in a blender.  If you enjoy a sweeter drink, try adding a tablespoon of maple syrup. 😉

  • 2 large Medjool dates
  • 2 cups coconut water
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • juice from 1/4 lime
  • sea salt to taste

sportsdrink

Pear and Almond Smoothie

pearsmoothie

I have to share this smoothie!  We have made this smoothie every morning this week before school or work and I just made it again for myself this afternoon.  We are a little addicted.

The original recipe comes from  Wanigan Organic Fruits and Vegetables in Brampton, Ontario. Last weekend, I had my husband make a stop there for some fruits and veggies before his trek home.  This store has the best variety and the most gorgeous looking produce you will ever see!  On the back of his receipt, we found this smoothie recipe.  I made one little substitution and one wee addition.  I replaced the teaspoon of vanilla extract with a 1/2 scoop of Vanilla SunWarrior Protein Powder and added some grated nutmeg.  So, chai-like!

PEAR AND ALMOND SMOOTHIE

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 chopped pear
  • 1 date, pitted
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter (I used a raw almond butter)
  • 1/2 scoop of Vanilla SunWarrior Protein Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • bit of grated nutmeg or dash of ground nutmeg

Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth.  I enjoyed my last glass with a couple of ice cubes on my deck. 🙂

I need to come clean

I had the greatest intentions last week of converting my kitchen into one mean sprouting and fermentation facility.   If you recall, my plan was to embrace my third go of Natasha Kyssa’s The Simply Raw Living Foods Detox with enthusiasm and my utmost devotion.  I will be honest.  This past week was not a good week.  Life just got in the way or, as the saying goes life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.

I won’t bore you with all the things that went wrong this past week.  Let’s just say I was a jack-of-all-trades for about 22 hours each and every day. 😉

Week 3 of my cleanse had me introduce more living foods to my diet.  I ate a lot of sprouts, dark leafy greens, green smoothies and juices, and shots of wheatgrass juice and E3 Live.  E3 Live is a frozen/liquid form of blue-green algae that comes from ocean water.  You can read more about this superfood here.

I reduced my consumption of extra virgin olive oil which meant that my salads on most days were topped with lemon juice only.  By the end of the week, I was getting pretty darn tired of sprouts and salads. I wanted Natasha’s seed cheese and puddings but because of my hectic week, I only had time to throw (I do mean this literally) greens and sprouts on my plate. I was also feeling quite irritable as I was making the kids their dinner (so much for cooking with love), as I wanted to dive right into their meal of soups and pasta.

So, what did I do?  I turned to my support group on Facebook and ranted.   Then I cheated. (gasp!)

I had “lightly” steamed asparagus a couple of nights on my salad.  Asparagus is by far a favourite of mine.  I then met a friend at a local coffee shop and ordered an herbal tea and had a couple of her raw power balls that are to die for.  Her power balls are raw,  but they contain maple syrup and almond butter – both foods not allowed this week.  The following day I returned to the same coffee shop with a friend and ordered a black coffee.  Gosh it was good.  On Sunday, the last day of week 3, my daughter and I met some friends for our annual pre-Stars On Ice lunch.  The restaurant of choice was Japanese.  I ate more than my share of avocado and sweet potato tempura sushi with a side of my very own pot of green tea.

So much for following the plan 100 per cent. 😦

I’m not going to beat myself up over it though.  Today is the 23rd day of this 28-day plan.  I will get back on the horse to finish this week proudly.

I will end this post by sharing with you my breakfast,  mid-morning snack, and lunch. All of this with a lot of water in between.

As I end this, the sun is shining and the temperature outside has finally reached a normal high.  A walk into town might be nice.  I think a little fresh air, sunshine, and exercise will help me stay positive. 🙂

Sunday Morning Sunshine Smoothie

I’m just finishing off day 7 of the SimplyRaw Living Foods Detox.  This is a 28-day cleanse written by Ottawa’s own Natasha Kyssa, a raw foods chef and healthy lifestyle coach.  This is my third time in the past year that I have tried this cleanse and I must admit that each time it gets easier.  This time is particularly fun because my sister and sister-in-law are doing the same cleanse.  Not to mention, we are 3 out of 40 plus members of one very enthusiastic support group.

I was feeling great all last week until Friday night rolled around.  I was sitting at the ice rink (like I do every Friday night) watching my daughter skate when suddenly my throat started to ache.  My immediate response was to blame this on the kindergarten class I had been teaching all week.  A few of the little ones had pretty bad colds.  I was so upset!  I thought I was finally over the winter “hump” and the likelihood of getting sick now was next to nil.  I have had a good winter and I am very proud to say that I’ve been able to fight off the number of colds and flu bugs that have made their way throughout our small community.  To get a cold or the flu now just seemed cruel!

By the time my daughter had finished skating and we made the 50 minute trek back home, my nose was running like a tap, my throat was on fire, and I was nearly in tears.

Thankfully, this brief episode of being ill was short-lived.  Today, I feel so energetic! I can’t remember the last time I had so much energy.  I am now wondering if the symptoms I was experiencing was a reaction to my body releasing toxins.  Napping and lots of water probably lessened the severity of my symptoms.

The sun was not shining this morning, but I felt cheery.  I decided that after my wheatgrass shot and mug of fire water that I would make a delicious tropical drink that the whole family could enjoy.

This smoothie was perfect for our lazy Sunday morning.  I found the recipe in Judita Wignall’s “Going Raw” book which has been parked on my kitchen counter since day 1 of this detox (her new book is on my wish list).   It was my husband’s idea to add the lemon and lemon rind giving this smoothie a refreshing taste and altering the hue to a beautiful shade of yellow.  I purchased the coconut meat from Wanigan Organics during my last visit to Toronto.

coconutsmoothie

SUNSHINE SMOOTHIE

  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1/2 cup coconut meat
  • 2 cups pineapple chunks
  • about 1/8 of organic lemon and lemon rind (to taste)
  • 1/2 cup ice

Process in high-power blender until smooth.  Satisfying and refreshing.

Looking forward to week 2! 🙂

“It’s a Good Morning” Smoothie

morning smoothie

About a week before our Thanksgiving holiday, my sister-in-law and friend asked me to participate with them in a month long raw cleanse.   Considering this is a big season for hot soups and beautiful curry dishes, I was somewhat reluctant.   But after a little thinking, I realized that this may in fact be a good time of the year.   Our days are getting shorter and cooler and often with it comes the common cold and flu bugs.  I want my body to be in “tip top” shape to fight these nasty invaders.  I just do not have the time to be sick!   Also,  why wouldn’t I want to feel more energetic and youthful?  (My birthday was only days away from this realization).   So, today is my fourth day on “The 28 – Day Simply Raw Detox Program” by Natasha Kyssa.

This is my second time on this program – the first being in the Spring.    Back then, somewhere near the end of the program, I discovered that I had developed some excellent dietary habits. Unfortunately, for me,  some of those habits slowly slipped away during the hot summer months.   So,  I am looking at this cleanse as a “refresher” – a reminder to continue those healthy habits once learned.

When I meander to the kitchen, first thing at the crack of dawn, I down one whole glass of room temperature water.   Water helps every cell in the body function properly.   During this cleanse, I must be sure to drink LOTS OF WATER.   For breakfast, I choose to whip up a green smoothie of apple, lemon juice, kale (high in calcium) and WATER.   For this first week of the cleanse, I can add some raw agave, stevia, or unpasteurized honey, but I have found that this smoothie really doesn’t need it.  I love it as it is!   Normally in the mornings,  I would throw a banana in there, but Natasha recommends leaving a banana out for later in the morning.  Bananas take longer to digest, so they are best to be left for later when I may require something heavier or more filling.

On a cleanse or not, green smoothies are a quick and healthy breakfast option.   Here is Natasha’s recipe – hope you give it a whirl!

NATASHA’S APPLE-KALE GREEN SMOOTHIE

  • 4 apples, cored
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice*
  • 4 leaves kale*
  • water to thin

Blend all ingredients together.  Makes 1 serving.

*At first, I found this to be a little too much lemon juice.  For the first time, you may want to decrease the quantity and adjust to taste.  If you don’t have any kale in the fridge, try a big handful of spinach.  Choose organic, local produce, if you can.

****If you feel you need a little sweetener, try adding a tablespoon of raw agave or stevia.  Soften dates are a great sweetener, too.  Soak dates in filtered water overnight.  Drain water in the morning then toss them in your blender.  You’ll love a smoothie with dates!    Please avoid adding white table sugar.  More about this in an upcoming post!