Get Your Summer On with a Superfood Smoothie Bowl {Guest Post}

Summer is synonymous with vibrant colors, fresh bounties and bold flavor combos. So, keep your body fueled, taste buds tantalized and wellness revitalized—compliments of this deliciously nutritious Smoothie Bowl recipe featured below.

Fortified with immune-boosting antioxidants from Nutri Maqui Superfruit Juice—plus, essential nutrients from leafy greens, seasonal fruits and plant-based proteins—this satisfying snack will keep you healthy, energized and going strong all summer long. And it contains no artificial additives, so indulge to your heart’s (err…stomach’s) content!


Ingredients:

For the Smoothie Base:

1 cup Unsweetened Cashew Milk

1 tbsp. Nutri Maqui Superfruit Juice

1/2 cup Organic Baby Kale

1/4 cup Fresh Blueberries

For the Smoothie Toppers: 

1 tbsp. Organic Almond Butter

1/4 cup Raw Organic Cashews

1/4 cup Organic Raw Almonds

1/4 cup Fresh Blueberries

1/2 tbsp. Coconut Flakes

1/2 Sliced Avocado

Ingredients for Nutri Maqui Smoothie Bowl

Preparation:

  1. Combine the Cashew Milk, Nutri Maqui Superfruit Juice, Baby Kale and Blueberries in a blender, then puree until the texture is smooth and creamy.
  2. Transfer this smoothie mixture into a bowl, then arrange the Cashews, Almonds, more Blueberries and Avocado slices in an “Instagram-worthy” pattern on top.
  3. Finish off with a drizzle of Almond Butter and sprinkle of Coconut Flakes, then enjoy—as if you even need an invitation!

Smoothie Bowl with Nutri Maqui

All content and graphics in this post are courtesy of Nutri Lifescience, LLC.

Simple Steps to Feel Amazing Every Day this Summer

Summertime is the official spokes-season (see what I did there?) of relaxation, vitality and pure amazingness. In fact, my personal mantra during these gloriously sun-drenched months is to Feel Amazing Every Day through self-care rituals, alfresco explorations, fitness commitments and superfood sustenance.

 And in that spirit of epic expectations, lemme divulge my Top 4 no-fail wellness pointers, along with statistical snapshots on why you should care. Then, we can ALL proceed to make this summer one for the history books!

feel amazing every day

1.  Start Each Day with a Yoga Flow.

  • Stimulates physical energy
  • Alleviates emotional stress
  • Cultivates breath awareness
  • Forges a mind–body connection
  • Promotes full-body movement
upward dog

upward dog, anyone? ignore the…err…unflattering angle!

2.  Say “Hell Yeah” to Whole Foods.

  • Gives the body nutrient–dense fuel
  • Satiates hunger for extended periods
  • Curbs refined sugar cravings over time
  • Encourages a mindful eating practice
  • Replaces “artificial” with all–natural
amazing grass pancakes

protein pancakes topped with almond butter drizzle

3.  Spend Quality Time Outdoors.

  • Improves respiration & circulation
  • Reduces stress for mental clarity
  • Offers the benefits of Vitamin D
  • Motivates cardiovascular activity
  • Fosters appreciation for nature
amazing grass smoothie 2

RayBan shades and 95–degree Florida humidity…optional

4.  Slurp on Amazing Grass Smoothies.

  • Contains 20g of plant-based protein
  • Yields 2 servings of fruit & veggies
  • Includes 7 alkalizing leafy greens
  • Supports lean muscle development
  • Regulates optimal digestive health
  • Provides these wellness benefits:
    • USDA-certified organic ingredients
    • non-GMO & gluten-free verified
    • no added sugars or preservatives
    • vegan, kosher & pareve compliant
amazing grass smoothie 3

organic pea, hemp, chia and quinoa…OH MY!

Psssst…wanna experience all that AMAZINGNESS for yourself this summer? Then, don’t forget to enter my Amazing Grass Protein Superfood Giveaway! Check out the details below and indicate which flavor you’d prefer: Original, Vanilla or Chocolate–Peanut Butter.

instagram giveaway

***Open U.S.–based entries only.  Winner selected at midnight July 9.***

 

Make Your Mornings Count With a Dash of Matcha Madness

So, guess I’ve been feeling the Eastern vibes lately. Between last week’s Korean Boribap recipe and this week’s love letter to all things matcha, I should probably just book a flight to Asia. Donate to my travel fund, and I’ll get right on that!

No takers? Shocking. Fine then…living vicariously through my taste buds isn’t the worst consolation prize. Lucky for this girl, my fiancé’s sister did go to Asia recently, and she brought me back some authentic ceremonial-grade Japanese matcha.

Talk about earning brownie points with the future sis-in-law. Give me pretentious sounding superfoods, and I’m your friend for life. Well played, Kristin…well played.

If you’re a matcha virgin, it’s literally just powdered green tea. Observe:

matcha powder

But what makes it so freaking fabulous? Check out these impressive stats:

  • Yields more antioxidants than any other superfood including goji berries, acai, kale and spinach.
  • Contains a powerful blend of essential nutrients like fiber, chlorophyll, zinc, magnesium, and Vitamin C.
  • Strengthens immune function, promotes anti-inflmmatory benefits and works like a natural detoxifier.
  • Boosts the metabolism to burn calories more efficiently, and regulates healthy cholesterol levels.
  • Reduces physical and mental stress, enhances concentration and balances fluctuating mood states.

Way to kick some nutritional ass, Matcha! And that’s why I jumpstart each morning with this little green powerhouse I’ve become *slightly* dependent on. Sure, you can drink it like the socially acceptable human you are. OR you can get creative, steal a chapter from my cookbook…

And breakfast will never be the same.

matcha for breakfast

MATCHA GINGER OATMEAL

Ingredients:

1 cup Cashew Milk (unsweetened)

1/2 cup Whole-Grain Oats

2 tsp. Matcha Powder

2 packets Stevia (organic)

1 tsp. Almond Butter (all-natural)

2–3 pinches Sesame Seeds

1/4 tsp. Ground Ginger

Preparation:

  1. Pour the Cashew Milk into a small saucepan and preheat the stovetop burner on a medium-high setting.
  2. Add the Oats and stir occasionally until the mixture begins to boil, then reduce to a simmer and continue stirring until the texture thickens.
  3. Remove the saucepan from the stove, add the Matcha, Ginger and Stevia, then stir to combine.
  4. Transfer the oatmeal into a serving bowl, then top with Almond Butter and Sesame Seeds for extra crunch. (NOTE: feel free to use whatever toppings you prefer…I just choose sesame seeds in keeping with our Asian theme!)

matcha oatmeal before pic

matcha oatmeal after pic

MATCHA BLUEBERRY PANCAKES

Ingredients:

1 cup Cashew Milk (unsweetened)

3/4 cup Spelt Flour (or, a GF alternative)

1/3 cup Fresh Blueberries

1/2 tbsp. Matcha Powder

2 packets Stevia (organic)

2 tsp. Almond Butter (all-natural)

Preparation:

  1. Pour the Cashew Milk and Spelt Flour into a mixing bowl, then stir vigorously until no lumps remain.
  2. Add the Blueberries, Matcha and Stevia into this batter, then stir again to combine.
  3. Preheat the stovetop burner on a medium-high setting, place a griddle on this burner and coat with non-stick cooking spray.
  4. Ladle the batter in small batches onto the griddle, allow to cook about 2 minutes on each side, then transfer the pancakes to a serving plate once they’re done.
  5. Spread the Almond Butter over the pancake stack and garnish with leftover blueberries, if desired.

matcha pancakes before pic

matcha pancakes after pic

Reader Poll (just because I’m curious): Do you cook with matcha, or are you a purist who thinks tea is for drinking, thankyouverymuch?

A Tastier-than-Takeout Asian Flavor Invasion

My parents live in Orlando, about 15 minutes away from Disney World (tough break, huh?), and I recently visited them over Memorial Day weekend. No, for real…seeing my parents was the main motivator. Not my fault the Happiest Place on Earth shares their same zipcode!

Anyway, during that visit, we made reservations at Morimoto Asia—a new Eastern fusion restaurant in Downtown Disney (I’m a nonconformist Disnerd who refuses to call it “Disney Springs,” by the way). I ordered their signature menu item Korean Boribap, a traditional half-rice/half-barley dish mixed with kimchi, bean sprouts, sushi grade fish and egg yolk.

And now…I want boribap for like every single meal. Damn you, Morimoto. Chinese takeout has lost its appeal for all eternity. So, what’s a girl to do when these random boribap cravings hit? Create my own riff on the original. Duh.

In this version, I swapped out the kimchi for kale, made it vegetarian by opting for mushrooms instead of meat, then tossed in radishes for some color and texture. Also, for the sake of convenience (read: laziness), I just used rice. Let’s call the finished product Boribap 2.0—a healthy weeknight “quick fix” when you’re feeling Asian but can’t bear the sight of another to-go carton loaded with MSG. Yep, this recipe’s a game changer!

meatless marvels korean boribap

Ingredients:

2 cups Baby Kale

2 Eggs (cage-free)

1 cup Jasmine Rice

1/2 cup Mushrooms (sliced)

1/2 cup Radishes (sliced)

2 tbsp. Sesame Oil

2 tbsp. Rice Wine Vinegar

1 tbsp. Soy Sauce (low sodium)

1 clove Garlic (minced)

Preparation:

  1. Pre-heat a stockpot on the highest stovetop setting, pour in 1 1 /2 cups Water and bring to a rolling boil.
  2. Add the Jasmine Rice, reduce the heat to low, cover the stockpot with a tight-fitting lid and allow the rice to simmer, stirring occasionally, until all the water is absorbed.
  3. Pre-heat a skillet on the medium stovetop setting, coat the bottom with 1 tbsp. Sesame Oil and stir in the Kale, Mushrooms and Radishes, then sauté the vegetables until they soften.
  4. Pre-heat another skillet on the medium stovetop setting, coat the bottom with cooking spray, crack the Eggs directly into the skillet and allow them to pan-fry until the yolk sets.
  5. Whisk together the Soy Sauce, Rice Wine Vinegar, Garlic and remaining tbsp. of Sesame Oil in a small mixing bowl.
  6. Pour this mixture on the rice, stir thoroughly to combine and portion out the rice into 2 serving bowls.
  7. Distribute the vegetables evenly over the rice, then top each bowl with a fried egg for some hearty protein.
Korean Boribap

that yolk though…mildly foodgasmic.

Probiotic Benefits: More than Just a Gut Feeling

probiotic culture time lapse

Uhhhh…what’s that yellow glob floating on the surface of my milk? 

Now, before you get all grossed out—it’s just probiotics growing overnight, so you can enjoy digestive regularity for breakfast the next morning!

These bacteria cultures promote gastrointestinal health, immune support, allergy or inflammatory relief, weight management and cholesterol reduction, among other wellness benefits. And they’re safe to consume on a daily basis—add one scoopful in powdered form to non-dairy milk then leave in room temperature for several hours until the liquid becomes a yogurt consistency. Probiotics at work, people!

Inside your body live trillions of bacterial inhabitants who play a vital role in organ function. Therefore, recent evidence suggests hacking this microbiome through probiotic supplements can take your overall health from mediocre to all-systems-go!

Not all probiotics are created equal though. So, the kicker is determining which supplements back up their marketing claims with long-term results. Here are some factors to consider before joining the probiotic party:

  • Opt for multi-strain. These little guys prefer the “buddy system,” so choose a supplement that combines two or more probiotic types for maximum efficacy.
  • Keep it live & active. If the cultures die before you even ingest them, consider their benefits null and void, so choose a supplement that guarantees shelf-life.
  • Steer clear of artificial. Refined sweeteners or processed ingredients don’t have your best interests in mind, so choose a supplement that’s both natural and plant-based.
  • Avoid the “pre” suffix. Prebiotics are sugary carb clusters which your GI tract cannot regulate, so choose a supplement that doesn’t hype the “prebiotic ploy.” 

Wanna learn more about which probiotic brands deliver optimal wellness? Check out the complete bacterial breakdown here.

Now, go forth…and keep that gut of yours gleeful!

 


Thanks to reviews.com for supplying the research featured in this post.

10 Turmeric Hacks to “Spice” Up Your Daily Wellness Ritual

Turmeric. It’s basically the kale of 2016. This close relative of the ginger root has been initiated into the “superfood” clique—sorry, avocado…we had a vote—and everyone, from  Ayurvedic healers to that cashier at Whole Foods, now swears by its anti-inflammatory benefits.

But turns out, turmeric is worth the hype. Containing high levels of antioxidants—more specifically, curcumin—this exotic orange-yellow-ish powder has been found to protect against cancer, stroke, arthritisliver disease and even Alzheimer’s.

So, yeah. “Superfood” indeed.

If you’re like me though, you’ve got this internal dialogue playing on-loop right about now: Ummm…medicinal properties are cool, but how am I supposed to actually use this stuff? Well, aside from being a wellness wonder, turmeric also earns versatility points. Consider it your spice rack’s answer to coconut oil.

Whether ingested or applied topically, the following hacks will transform turmeric into a health and beauty must-have:

turmeric hacks

Whiten Your Teeth

Douse a toothbrush in water then dip the bristles in 1/8 teaspoon turmeric. Scrub your teeth with the turmeric and leave on for 5 minutes. Rinse your mouth then brush again with regular toothpaste.

Minimize Dandruff

Whisk 1/2 teaspoon turmeric with 1 tablespoon coconut oil until both ingredients are combined. Massage this mixture into your scalp and leave on for 15 minutes. Rinse your hair then shampoo normally.

Heal Inflamed Skin

Mix 1/4 teaspoon turmeric, 1/2 tablespoon honey and 1 tablespoon water until these ingredients form a paste. Spread this mask across your face—paying close attention to acne-prone areas—then leave on for 15 minutes. Rinse your skin with cold water.

Sooth Joint Swelling

Combine 2 tablespoons turmeric, 1 tablespoon lime juice and 1/4 teaspoon water until these ingredients form a poultice. Apply this mixture directly onto the injured body part then wrap in a cloth bandage. Leave on for 20 minutes, at minimum.

Blend Into Smoothies

Include a few dashes of turmeric in your favorite beverage concoctions, along with other superfood enhancements like chia seeds, hemp hearts, cacao nibs or spirulina.

Make “Longevi-Tea” 

Add 1 teaspoon turmeric to 1 cup boiling water then simmer for 10 minutes. Strain any leftover turmeric grounds from the water then stir in ginger or honey, to taste.

Make “Golden Milk”

Mix together 1 teaspoon turmeric and 1/4 cup water on low heat until both ingredients form a paste. Add 1 cup unsweetened almond milk and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir in 1 teaspoon coconut oil or ghee, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.

Toss With Salads

Whisk 1/4 teaspoon turmeric with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 tablespoon whole grain Dijon mustard and 2 teaspoons lemon juice. Pour this mixture over fresh veggies and use salad tongs to distribute the liquid evenly.

Spice Up Bone Broth

Infuse 1 teaspoon turmeric into a healthy homemade stock—like this recipe from Wellness Mama—for extra flavor, zest and color.

Kickstart Your Morning

Sprinkle a few dashes of turmeric over scrambled eggs, oatmeal, avocado toast, plain Greek yogurt or sliced apples with almond butter.

Sweat It Out With a Protein-Packed Snack Attack

There’s a 50/50 chance I might’ve *casually* mentioned once—maaaaybe twice—that I’m getting married in the near future. 160 days if you wanna get technical, but who’s counting?

Although I don’t buy into that stereotypical “wedding workout” mentality (fitness is a lifestyle, not some Must. Drop. Two. Dress. Sizes. For. The. Big. Day. thing), exercise does have a prominent place in my routine. That would still be true regardless of this whole bride-to-be caveat…but extra motivation a la Alfred Angelo never hurts either!

post pure barre

That time I dragged the (almost) hubs to Pure Barre…Couples who sweat together stay together, dontcha know!

Don’t get me wrong though, it’s not just about turning heads on your walk down the aisle or rocking that honeymoon bikini you’ve ogled for months. Exercise relieves stress (pre-wedding jitters, anyone?), boosts productivity (those guest lists aren’t gonna write themselves!), and influences even more healthy habits too.

Like eating. A.K.A. the other part of this wellness equation. In order to sustain physical activity, our bodies need fuel. Mainly protein-dense fuel which promotes muscular development, strength and endurance, so we can keep moving for longer periods of time. Fact: no snacking repertoire—for pre-workout energy or post-workout recovery—is complete without this nutritional powerhouse.

Think raw almonds, steamed edamame, roasted chickpeas, hard-boiled eggs, sunflower seeds, plain Greek yogurt and nut butters, for example. Or, need some further “nom”spiration? (Just invented a new word. No biggie.) Check out my Sweat Sesh Snack Attack go-tos for your protein loading pleasure!

protein post-workout snacks

Whether you’re #SweatingForTheWedding or craving a healthier alternative to Cool Ranch Doritos, these mindful munchies just reinvented snacktime. Yup…don’t underestimate the power of protein. This bride-to-be has spoken.


*For even more ideas, recipes and tidbits to pack your diet with protein,  Nuts.com  has you covered!

Coffee + Coconut Oil = What’s Been Missing from Your Morning

name tag

And I’m a coffee addict.

But, like an unapologetic coffee addict. As in…I. Will. Not. Stop.

No lemon water-peddling holistic health coach is gonna shame me into quitting this black gold elixir of life. It’s my only incentive for not hitting “snooze” each morning. Thanks, coffee. Just for being you.

Eternal devotion aside though, I am cutting down on sugar and dairy, which kinda rules out my weakness for International Delight. Not gonna lie…this was a painful switcheroo. Tears were quite possibly shed. Until a certain superfood hitched a ride in my grocery cart and was all, “I’m about to rock your world, Coffee Addict!”

Yup. Enter: coconut oil.

I’ve heard people in the wellness community rave about that so-called “miracle worker with 100-plus uses,” but its price tag always discouraged me from believing the hype. Then, I started noticing Instagram posts touting the benefits of this stuff in coffee. Well, I’ll try anything with the magic word involved.

So…$8.50 later, yours truly became a coconut oil convert.

And didn’t waste a second testing out that coffee claim. Most tutorials I found unanimously agree—the secret is blending. Don’t just dump a glob in your mug, stir it around, then congratulate yourself on mission accomplished. Or, so the Blogosphere said. And I took note.

Out came the Nutri Bullet. In went the coffee-coconut oil combo. And my taste buds did their happy dance. You were right, Blogosphere…that blended latte-esque texture is pure bliss. Now this right here is the black gold elixir of life. Never. Going. Back.

coconut oil coffee blended

But if you still need more convincing that coconut oil = the savior of coffee addicts everywhere, check out its nutritional breakdown:

  • plant-based Medium Chain Triglyceride (MCT) fatty acids for natural weight loss
  • ketones for improved brain function, boosted metabolism & reduced appetite 
  • lauric acid for protection against viruses & bacteria
  • no sugar, trans fat, sodium, cholesterol or carbohydrates
  • USDA certified organic & non-GMO verified ingredients

‘Nuff said. So, without further ado…taste test, anyone?


Café au Lait 

(move over, milk!)

Café au COCONUT OIL:

coconut oil coffee ingredient list

Ingredients:

1 tbsp. Almond Milk (organic & unsweetened)

1/2 tbsp. Coconut Oil (organic)

2–3 scoops Coffee (or 1 K-Cup)

1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract (organic)

1/4 tsp. Cinnamon (ground)

1–2 packets Stevia (organic)*

*This ingredient is totally optionalI just prefer my coffee on the non-bitter side, and Stevia gets the job done!

coconut oil and coffee

Preparation:

  1. Brew your desired amount of coffee, then pour into a blender.
  2. Add the coconut oil, almond milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon and stevia (as needed).
  3. Blend these ingredients on “high” for 5–10 seconds, or until combined.
  4. Transfer to your favorite mug (like mine from Dean & Deluca—clearly, I’m a sucker for New York nostalgia).
  5. Savor all that creamy, frothy, can’t-stop-won’t-stop amazingness.
coconut oil coffee

pretentious Parisian placemat…optional.

So, What’s the Deal With that “Buddha Bowl” Bandwagon?

Lately, my entire Pinterest feed has turned into one continuous love letter to the gloriousness that is a Buddha Bowl. I’ve been hearing this term used more and more in wellness circles, but it’s taken me awhile to join the “Buddha Bowl Bandwagon.” Well, until last weekend anyway.

On a random Saturday night, the fiancé and I were embroiled in our usual debate: should we make dinner reservations, grab some take-out, or just raid the fridge? Laziness won out (’cause my spirit animal is a 65-year-old in threadbare sweats who calls “lights out” before 10pm), so we settled on Option #3. Then, inspiration struck—Hey…I’ll make one of those Buddha Bowl things!

So, through trial-and-error, I debunked the basic formula and concocted my own variation. And now that I’ve graduated from Buddha Bowl virgin to Buddha Bowl addict, I’m passing this formula along to you.

(WARNING: contents might cause obsession!)

how to make a buddha bowl

1.   Building Blocks—What Components Will You Need?

  • The Base: choose a whole grain like quinoa, brown rice, bulgur, wheatberry or farro.
  • The Greens: choose leafy greens like spinach, kale, arugula, chard or watercress.
  • The Protein: choose a plant-based protein like chickpeas, almonds, beans, tempeh or tofu.
  • The Extras: choose veggies like sweet potato, broccoli, asparagus, carrots or avocado (okay…not a veggie, but still delish).
  • The Dressing: choose a sauce like the flavor bomb pictured above. Wanna make it? Then, stay tuned…

2.   Assembly Required—How Do You Put It All Together?

  • The First Layer: cook the whole grains according to their package instructions, then spread onto the bottom of your bowl.
  • The Second Layer: arrange a handful of leafy greens over the whole grain base.
  • The Third Layer: oven roast the protein source (or, leave raw if desired and safe to consume), then arrange over the leafy greens.
  • The Fourth Layer: steam the veggies until tender, then arrange over the leafy greens.
  • The Top Layer: drizzle the sauce to evenly coat the veggies. Oh, and here’s that recipe I hinted at earlier…blend together 1 red pepper,       1 garlic clove2 tbsp. lemon juice1 tbsp. olive oil1/2 tsp. paprika1/4 tsp. turmeric1/4 tsp. coriander and 1/4 tsp. cumin. Viola!
buddha bowl finished product

couldn’t resist posting ANOTHER shot of my finished product in all its glory

Alrighty. That’s the gameplan, people. So, welcome aboard that Buddha Bowl Bandwagon—where dinnertime dilemmas have met their match!

“Spring” into Fresh, Fruity & Healthy Flavors with Nutri Maqui

As the winter chill becomes a distant memory, and we transition into spring’s vibrant colors and sunny warmth, it’s time for a seasonal shift in our diets as well. Instead of hearty bone broths and root vegetables, spring calls for light, crisp and refreshing flavors that keep us cool as the weather heats up.

So, for a fruity treat that satisfies your sweet tooth, quenches your thirst and fuels your body with nutrients, try these healthy popsicle bites. Featuring the bold tanginess and antioxidant benefits of Nutri Maqui Superfruit Juice, this recipe is a perfect afternoon snack for the kids or crowd-pleasing dessert at your next backyard cookout!

Note: This recipe yields 8 servings, so adjust the ingredients accordingly to feed large groups.


NUTRI MAQUI POPSICLE BITES

Ingredients:

1 tbsp. Nutri Maqui Superfruit Juice

1/2 Fresh Strawberries

1/3 Plain Greek Yogurt

1 sprig Fresh Sage Leaves

1 tsp. Raw Honey

All-Natural Stevia (to taste)

Nutri Maqui Popsicles Ingredient List

Preparation:

  1. Hull the strawberries and slice into bite-size chunks.
  2. Place all the ingredients in a blender and puree into liquefied.
  3. Line a mini muffin pan with plastic wrap or parchment paper.
  4. Spoon the mixture into eight of the muffin pan slots.
  5. Place the muffin pan in the freezer for about 30 minutes.
  6. Remove from the freezer and insert toothpicks in the center of each popsicle mold.
  7. Return to the freezer for another 30 minutes or until the popsicles have set completely.
  8. Lift up the plastic wrap in order to cleanly detach the popsicles from the muffin pan.
  9. Drizzle more honey on top for extra sweetness if desired.
  10. Enjoy…go ahead, it’s guilt-free!

Nutri Maqui Popsicles Before Freezing

Nutri Maqui Popsicles After Freezing


This recipe was originally featured on the Nutri Lifescience website. Reblogged with permission.