If there is one you should know about me, it is that I absolutely love a nutrient dense smoothie in the Morning – smoothies are super quick [I am always on the go] and extremely nutritious + delicious! Honestly, what better way to start your day!?
In my last blog post [Morning Routine], I mentioned that my “go-to” smoothies incorporate the “Fab Four” formula developed by the stunning holistic expert and nutritionist Kelly LeVeque [Be Well By Kelly – #bewellsmoothie]. To further understand the benefits of this formula, I would highly recommend listening to the fantastic podcast episode with The Skinny Confidential and Be Well By Kelly – podcast link. It is honestly so informational!
Incorporated into my smoothies are amazing superfoods that are nutrient dense and provide a ton of health benefits – here are some of my absolute favorites:
Maca Powder [aka. magic powder] has been a recent addition to my smoothie and lets just say, I wish I added this superfood sooner – I am honestly addicted! What is Maca you ask? The Maca plant grows in central Peru in the high plateaus of the Andes mountains. With its root used for medicinal, this plant had quickly gained popularity as there are so many amazing health benefits surrounding the consumption of Maca – I mean, the butterscotch like taste is also an added bonus:
- Increases energy levels
- Improves sex drive [gives a real libido boost]+ improves fertility
- Regulates hormone balance
- Reduces anxiety + enhances mental clarity [reduces cortisol levels]
- Improves acne
- Improves hair growth
I have to admit, when I tried spirulina for the first time, I absolutely did not love it – for some reason I could not get used to the “earthiness” taste. However, after giving spirulina a few chances by integrating small amounts at a time [i.e., 1/2 a teaspoon], I soon could not live without spirulina powder in my smoothies – now, I even quite enjoy the taste [quite refreshing in nature – no pun intended]! For those who are not privy to spirulina, is a type of bacteria [microalgae] referred to as “blue-green alga” and it grows in both fresh + salt water. A single tablespoon of spirulina powder provides an immense amount of nutrients that are essential for your body [just about every nutrient we need]:
- Protein [4 grams] + contains all of the amino acids we need
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B2
- Vitamin B3
When I first started researching everything and anything spirulina, I was surprised to learn that it is also an incredible source of protein [very high] – I mean, how amazing is that! As a Pescetarian and someone with a highly restrictive diet due to food allergies/intolerances, I often have a difficult time finding a good protein source for my smoothies. Depending on what type of ingredients I put in my smoothie, aside from hemp protein I am loving that spirulina is an additional protein option!
Seeds [Flax + Chia]
Flax and chia seeds are absolute favourites of mine at the moment. Just like the other ingredients I use, there are so many amazing benefits to consuming both flax and chia seeds:
In addition to being a complete protein, flax seeds are high in fiber which aids in digestion. What I also love about flax seeds is that it is fabulous for your hair and skin due to the fatty acids and B vitamins it contains – I am 100% up for consuming anything that will help my hair healthy and skin glowing!
For good reason, chia seeds are trending at the moment – although I consume a lot of these seeds throughout the day, If I could sprinkle them on everything I eat, I 100% would! Similar to flax seeds, chia seeds are a fantastic source of fiber, protein, calcium, magnesium and zinc – they also make you feel full as they expand [into a jelly like substance]. I mean, what more can you ask for in a seed!?
A handful of greens is an absolute must in my smoothies – it is honestly the perfect way to get them in each day! Although I sometimes use kale, spinach is my number “go-to” green; it blends perfectly and you can’t even taste it [I promise]! Loaded with tons of nutrients, spinach is rich in omega-3s, iron, protein and vitamins [A, C + E] and has an amazing ability to restore your energy levels and improve the quality of your blood. Better yet, this dark, leafy green is fantastic for your bone health, skin and hair – Popeye was definitely on to something with his spinach consumption!
Cheers to loving yourself enough to fuel your body with fabulous nutrient dense superfood smoothies!
Lots of love,
Sara Locke – XOXO