Blueberry Muffin Superfood & Adaptogen Smoothie


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Stay calm, focused, and energized & counteract the effects of daily stress with this tasty Blueberry Muffin Superfood & Adaptogen Smoothie featuring three of nature’s most powerful adaptogens combined into one convenient and affordable blend.

WHAT ARE SUPERFOODS?

According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, a superfood is a food (such as salmon, broccoli, or blueberries) that is rich in compounds (such as antioxidants, fiber, or fatty acids) considered beneficial to a person’s health (1). I love this definition because it reminds us of two things. First, superfoods are available to all of us privileged enough to have access to real, whole foods. Second, we don’t need to travel to exotic locations across the globe or buy the latest supplement to experience the health benefits of superfoods. Most of us can choose to grow them in our gardens or purchase them at our local farmers’ markets or grocery stores.

My Blueberry Muffin Superfood & Adaptogen Smoothie includes five superfoods (eight if you count the adaptogens) and is surprisingly simple to make. You can find most of the ingredients at an affordable price at AldiTrader Joe’s, and Thrive Market, with organic options available.

WHAT ARE ADAPTOGENS?

Adaptogens are a class of herbs that help the body resist or “adapt” to physical and mental stress and fatigue (2). In other words, adaptogens can help protect your body from a wide range of stressors and restore balance. Adding adaptogens to your wellness routine can improve sleep, mood, energy levels, mental focus, immune function, and more (23).

While I’m not going to detail specific adaptogen herbs and how they can support the body in this post, it’s important to know that not all adaptogens are the same. Some adaptogens, such as ashwagandha root, are more nourishing and calming, while others, such as Rhodiola, are more energizing (4). The adaptogens found in this recipe were selected to help calm your body and enhance your mood. Plus, they can be purchased together in one convenient powdered mix that’s easy to add to any smoothie or beverage.

The adaptogens found in this recipe include:

  • Maca – A nutrient-dense root that boosts mood, energy, and fertility (5).
  • Reishi – A medicinal mushroom used to improve mood, energy, and overall well-being (67).
  • Ashwagandha – A mood-enhancing herb that protects the body from stress and anxiety (8).

ARE ADAPTOGENS SAFE?

Like any other herb or supplement, it’s always wise to consult with your doctor before adding them to your wellness routine. While adaptogens are generally safe for most people – they can pose risks to those with nightshade sensitivities, allergies, or other underlying health conditions such as diabetes (9). Adaptogens should also be used with caution by individuals taking medications (9). If you are pregnant or nursing, please speak with your doctor or a qualified healthcare professional before taking any herbs and supplements, including adaptogens.

LEARN MORE ABOUT ADAPTOGENS

Want to take a deeper dive into the world of adaptogens? Here’s a list of reputable, evidence-based articles and books to explore:

Blueberry Muffin Superfood & Adaptogen Smoothie

INGREDIENTS

INSTRUCTIONS

Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Add more almond milk as needed (1/4 cup at a time) to achieve desired consistency. Enjoy immediately.

NOTES

Use organic ingredients when possible. Truvani’s Vanilla Plant-Based Protein Powder is my go-to protein powder for this recipe.

 Simple Swaps:


How To Make A Dairy-Free Matcha Latte


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My favorite way to start each day is by sipping on a warm cup of matcha green tea. I first learned about this energizing, antioxidant-rich green tea when I worked as a research assistant at the University at Buffalo’s School of Public Health and Health Professions during grad school. My colleagues and professors would sip on their green tea and tout its health benefits. They were so convincing that I swapped my afternoon cup of coffee for green tea too. Then one day at a trendy coffee shop, I noticed a different type of green tea on their menu, matcha, and I had to give it a try. I’ve been hooked ever since!

WHAT IS MATCHA?

Matcha is a Japanese green tea powder made from finely ground green tea leaves. Known for its delicate, umami flavor and vibrant green color, this tea is a favorite in Japan and worldwide. While matcha was traditionally reserved for the Japanese tea ceremony, it’s an everyday drink today, thanks to its health benefits.

MATCHA GREEN TEA BENEFITS

Matcha is jam-packed with health-promoting compounds, including chlorophyll and catechins, a class of plant compounds with potent antioxidant properties. Catechins, specifically epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), inhibits cellular oxidation, prevents free radical damage to cells, and is considered the most effective cancer-fighting polyphenol in green tea (12).

Unlike loose-leaf tea, matcha contains the nutrients from the entire tea leaf, resulting in greater antioxidants than regular green tea. In fact, one study showed the concentration of EGCG available from drinking matcha to be 137 times greater than China Green Tips green tea and at least three times higher than the largest literature value for other green teas (3).

Frequently referred to as mood and brain food, matcha is also rich in L-Theanine, an amino acid that improves mood, focus, and concentration (4). Matcha has also been shown to improve attention, reaction time, and memory (56).

Other studies suggest that matcha may improve heart health (8910), support a healthy metabolism (1112), and decrease the risk of liver disease (13).

My personal fascination with matcha is how it makes me feel. There’s a level of calm, focused energy from drinking matcha that I don’t get from coffee. I also don’t get heartburn as I used to when I drank two cups of coffee every day. These are major benefits in my book!

WHERE TO BUY MATCHA GREEN TEA

Buying matcha for the first time can be a daunting task – there are so many brands to choose from, and they vary widely in quality. The first and most important thing to know is that matcha is customarily divided into two grades: ceremonial and culinary. The separation comes down to harvest times, impacting each grade’s color, flavor, and uses. Ceremonial matcha has a bright and vibrant green color, fresh and slightly sweet flavor, and is most suitable for drinking in teas and lattes. On the other hand, culinary grade matcha has a less vibrant green color, bitter and robust flavor, and is typically used to cook and bake.

To make the best tasting matcha green teas or lattes, look for an authentic (Japanese origin), organic, high-quality ceremonial matcha with no added sugar. My personal favorite is from DōMatcha, which you can get on Amazon or their website. DōMatcha is clean, additive-free, and tested by an independent lab for residual chemicals from pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and radiation. I switch back and forth between their Ceremonial Organic Matcha and Summer Harvest Organic Matcha. Their Summer Harvest is higher in catechins and has an earthier flavor than their Ceremonial Organic Matcha, which has a sweet, clean flavor. Ippodo Tea and Pique Tea are two other reputable brands that carry authentic, high-quality matcha. Experiment and see what you like best.

HOW TO MAKE MATCHA GREEN TEA

Traditionally, matcha green tea is made using a sievebamboo whisk, hot water, and 1/2 to 1 teaspoon matcha. You can also add your favorite plant milk, such as almond milk, and adjust quantities for thick or thin matcha as you prefer.

  1. Sift matcha: Sift 1/2 to 2 teaspoons of matcha green tea powder in a large mug or drinking bowl. The amount varies depending on how thin or thick you like your matcha (1 teaspoon is a great place to start).

  2. Add hot water: Add a small amount of hot water (2-3 fl oz). The ideal water temperature for matcha is 80°C or 176°F (below boiling).

  3. Whisk: Whisk in a light, zig-zag motion until a layer of green froth appears.

  4. Add more hot water or milk: Add more hot water to make a tea or warm milk (3 to 5 fl oz) to make a latte.

Optional:

  • Sweeten it: Sweeten it to taste using organic liquid stevia or raw honey if desired.
  • Supercharge it: Give your matcha green tea latte a boost by adding 1 teaspoon maca powder and/or 1/2 teaspoon ashwagandha powder. Maca and ashwagandha are powerful adaptogens, helping your body better adapt to stress and fatigue (15).

Don’t have a bamboo whisk? Don’t stress! Add your chosen ingredients to a blender and blend on high for 15 seconds until frothy and smooth. Pour into your favorite mug and enjoy!

OTHER HELPFUL TIPS

If you see matcha on the menu at your favorite coffee shop, ask if it’s premixed with sugar before ordering it. I was shocked when I found out how much sugar was in Starbucks’ matcha green tea. A 16 fl oz grande contains 32 g of sugar, while a 20 fl oz venti contains 43 g of sugar (16). That’s more sugar than a Snickers bar! Avoid the potential sugar crash and save money by making your own matcha green tea lattes at home.

MY GO-TO DAIRY-FREE MATCHA GREEN TEA LATTE RECIPE 

EQUIPMENT

  • Sieve
  • Bamboo whisk
  • Large tea cup or drinking bowl  

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 teaspoon matcha green tea
  • 2 ounces hot water
  • 6 ounces warm unsweetened almond milk

Optional: 

INSTRUCTIONS 

  1. Sift matcha in a large tea cup or matcha bowl.
  2. Add a small amount of hot water (2-3 fl oz). The ideal water temperature for matcha is 80°C or 176°F (below boiling).
  3. Whisk the matcha and water in a light, zig-zag motion until a layer of green froth appears.
  4. Add warm almond milk.
  5. Sweeten it to taste using organic liquid stevia if desired. Stir and enjoy!

NOTES

Use organic ingredients when possible.

 Simple Swaps:

  • Unsweetened coconut milk or other nut milk for almond milk
  • Raw local honey for organic liquid stevia 

Don’t have a bamboo whisk? Don’t stress! Add the ingredients to a blender and blend on high for 15 seconds until frothy and smooth. Pour into your favorite mug and enjoy!

Have you ever tried matcha? If so, what’s your favorite way to make it? Do you supercharge it with any other ingredients? I’m always looking for new ways to pump up my matcha, so please share. I’d love to hear from you!


Pineapple Coconut Green Smoothie


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If you love the combination of pineapple and coconut (hello Pina Coladas!), you’re going to love this healthy Pineapple Coconut Green Smoothie. It’s thick, creamy, and delicious – and it will keep you full for hours.

Does the thought of adding avocado, frozen cauliflower rice, or spinach to your smoothies make you cringe? Trust me; I get it! I thought these ingredients would make my smoothies taste awful, but to my surprise, you can’t taste them at all! The pineapple and protein powder mask the taste of these particular vegetables. Give them a try; I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Stick to the recipe or make substitutes to best suit your taste preferences and nutrition needs. I provide a list of Simple Swaps at the end of the recipe. Experiment to see what you like best!

Pineapple Coconut Green Smoothie

This creamy & delicious smoothie is packed with nutrients to boost your energy and keep you full in between meals.

EQUIPMENT

  • High-Speed Blender
INGREDIENTS
  1x2x3x
  • 1 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk, more as needed
  • 1 serving vanilla plant-based protein powder
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1/2 small avocado, peeled, pitted, and chopped
  • 1 to 2 cups frozen baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup frozen cauliflower rice
  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple chunks
INSTRUCTIONS
 
  1. Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Add more coconut milk as needed (1/4 cup at a time) to achieve desired consistency. Enjoy!
NOTES

Use organic ingredients when possible. Truvani’s Vanilla Plant-Based Protein Powder is my go-to protein powder for this recipe. 

Simple Swaps:

  • Unsweetened plant milk of choice for coconut milk. 
  • 2 tablespoons hemp seeds + 2 tablespoons chia seeds + 1 teaspoon pure vanilla bean powder (optional) for vanilla plant-based protein powder.
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons cashew butter for avocado.
  • Any organic leafy greens for baby spinach. 

DIY Pink Grapefruit Salt Scrub


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I wish you could smell this Pink Grapefruit Salt Scrub through your screen because it smells heavennnnnnnly! Seriously, friends, I’m in LOVE.

Before I share this super simple and inexpensive recipe, let’s highlight a few health benefits... shall we?! 

Massaging your body with a salt scrub helps remove dirt and dead skin, stimulate circulation and encourage new skin cells' regeneration. This process of removing dead surface layer skin cells (known as exfoliating) leaves the skin soft, smooth, and glowing. 

The essential oils selected for this recipe also help support the circulatory system, lymphatic and immune system, and appearance of healthy skin. Blended, they create the most uplifting and energizing aroma. You have to experience it for yourself!

Tip: When making your own salt scrub, it’s best to use fine sea salt and avoid anything too coarse as you don’t want to scratch or damage your delicate skin.

PINK GRAPEFRUIT SALT SCRUB

INGREDIENTS 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a small glass or stainless steel mixing bowl, combine the sea salt and coconut oil. 
  2. Add the essential oils. Mix well to combine. Add more coconut oil, if needed, to achieve desired consistency. 
  3. Transfer the scrub to an 8 oz glass or PET plastic BPA-free container with an air-tight lid. Label and store in a cool, dark place.
HOW TO USE

Wet the skin. Gently massage salt scrub all over your body in circular motions. Once you’ve massaged your whole body (avoiding the face & neck), rinse your body with warm water.


NOTES

  • Avoid using salt scrubs on the face as the skin is too delicate and prone to scratching. 
  • Be sure to moisturize your body with a natural body oil or lotion to feed and replenish the newly exfoliated skin. 
  • Use 2-3 times per week for best results. If you have sensitive skin, reduce to 1-2 times per week.
Tell me, do you exfoliate your body regularly? If so, what are your favorite products to use?!

DIY Calming Lavender Linen Spray


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Ok, so I may have a slight obsession with Lavender essential oil. I have lavender-infused body soap, lotion, chapstick, and facial serum, I diffuse it most nights to relax before bed, and I even make a homemade honey lavender lemonade that is to die for. Four years ago, I started making my own linen sprays to save money (I used to pay a hefty price for a tiny bottle from a fancy store) and I was shocked at just how easy it is to make at home.

So let’s get started so you can learn how to freshen fabrics in your home for just pennies and with simple ingredients. This recipe requires only three ingredients and takes less than two minutes to make. It can be used to spray on sheets, blankets, carpets, sofas, and pillows. It will leave your entire home smelling clean and fresh, without any harmful synthetic fragrances. #Winning

ABOUT THE INGREDIENTS

Lavender essential oil has a scent that’s fresh, clean, and relaxing. It eases feelings of tension and stress by instilling an overall sense of calm. It promotes total body relaxation and supports a restful night’s sleep.

Alcohol acts as a preservative. If you prefer to make this recipe without alcohol; use unscented witch hazel instead.


SUPPLIES

INGREDIENTS

  • 24 drops Lavender essential oil
  • 2 tablespoons organic grain alcohol or witch hazel
  • Distilled water

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Combine the Lavender and grain alcohol (or witch hazel) in a clean glass spray bottle and swirl to combine.
  2. Fill with distilled water. Cap and shake well.

HOW TO USE

Spritz on sheets, blankets, towels, and other linens. Shake well before each use.

NOTES

With alcohol, this spray will last for months without the need for refrigeration.

What’s your favorite way to keep fabrics smelling fresh? 


 
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