Category Archives: Vitamix

Cherry Kale Smoothie

Cherry Kale Smoothie

My usual rule for smoothie making is to remember your paint color mixing from preschool and avoid making brown drinks when possible.  Go for pretty bright green, red or purple ones. Often, it’s hard enough to get your spouse, kids, friends to try your latest concoction…And, if it’s brown, game over.

But this morning, I forced myself into a brown smoothie.  I usually pair pineapple or peaches with kale.  Or, I’ll combine blueberries with my greens for a purple smoothie.  Today, only organic sweet cherries (frozen) were staring back at me.  Cherries are actually really good for us.  Here are some of the benefits of cherries:

  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Improves your natural sleep cycles
  • High in beta carotene
  • Heart healthy
  • Antioxidant properties

So cherries it is and I will say it tastes so good.  If the brown color gets in your way, just close your eyes and enjoy!

Cherry Kale Smoothie

1 1/2 c. coconut water or filtered water

1 handful of kale, stems removed

1 small handful of parsley

1 banana

1 c. of frozen organic sweet cherries (or other berry)

Option: if you’re using fresh fruit, add 1 c. of ice

1 scoop of favorite non-gmo protein powder

Blend in your Vitamix or other high speed blender and enjoy!

Mom-to-be Shares: Chocolate Kale Smoothie, Part 2

This week’s Wellness Junkie, Carrie

Earlier this week, I posted my interview with Carrie Putman, who in the last year has completely transformed her health and wellness by starting with simple, doable steps.  Go here to read that interview.

We promised to share her daily chocolate shake…so here you go – Happy Friday!

Carrie’s Daily Dose of Chocolate Shake (serves 2)

2 c. chocolate almond milk  (if you have regular almond or non-dairy milk, just add 2 T. of cocoa or cacao powder for every cup)

2 T. pure virgin organic coconut oil (if you’re in a cold climate, you may want to set the jar on the counter for awhile to soften back into a liquid)

2-3 leaves of kale

1 handful of carrots (Carrie uses the organic baby carrots, but you could also use one large carrot or two small ones)

1 scoop protein powder (look for a non-GMO powder, or  see my reviews of protein powders.)

1/4 cup of ice

Blend in the Vitamix or other high-speed blender until smooth.

As always – you can add to or modify however you need.  If you want a sweeter shake, consider adding a tablespoon of agave nectar or honey.

Enjoy!

 

Mom-to-be Shares her Steps to a Healthier Lifestyle

Are you a wellness junkie? If so, we want to hear from you!  We’re talking to people – all ages, from all over about the changes they’ve made in their life to be more healthy.  Leave a comment below with your email if you’d like us to profile you.

Meet Carrie Putman, 41, married, entrepreneur and expecting her first baby…congrats!

This week’s Wellness Junkie, Carrie with her Veggies & Chocolate Shake

Describe your eating and wellness habits before we met.

Well, I never exercised.  I drank big Starbucks drinks every day.  We ate out about 5-6 times a week.  A healthy meal at home was pasta with Ragu.  I had to have my gall bladder removed and I had really bad digestive problems, mostly constipation.  Overall, I just didn’t feel great.

What prompted you to seek out a healthier lifestyle?

I had been wanting to make a change for the last eight years, but didn’t really know how to cook and it just didn’t seem easy.  Growing up, a “healthy” meal was McDonalds… Walking into Trader Joes or Whole Foods, I was embarrassed and overwhelmed.  I didn’t know where to start. Then, I met you at the dog park and we started talking more about wellness…

How did you get started?

Purchasing the Vitamix Blender was really the first step that I took and it was life-changing. It was an investment, but I was able to purchase a refurbished one to save some money and received free shipping through Wellness Junkie.  Having a shake every day with fruits and vegetables has made it easy to get whole food nutrition in my body.  This way, I know that I’m getting a daily dose of kale and other veggies every day.   I also drink a ton more water than I used to.  I changed out all of the beauty products that I put on my body, such as lotions, soaps and shampoos to more natural, organic products free of chemicals and other toxins.

So, what’s changed about your life since making these changes?

Well, I’m expecting!  I’ve been with my husband 18 years and had never conceived.  We were always told everything was fine – but had never gotten pregnant.  We’re just thrilled…and super excited to raise our baby on whole foods from the very beginning of her life.  Also, my energy levels and digestion are great and I’m not on any medication.  I’m walking twice a day with our dogs and doing yoga regularly.

What would you tell someone who’s contemplating a healthier lifestyle but they’re not sure how to do it?

I really think investing in the Vitamix gave me momentum and made it so easy.  Initially, when we went to the grocery stores together and you pointed out different foods to try and showed me what to put together for meals, it was so helpful…so finding someone who’s already made those changes and learning from them works well too.  Also, surround yourself with like-minded people who you can share ideas and recipes with.  And, it really helps to be organized for meal planning…have a plan before you go to the store for meals that week.

Any final words of advice?

For those that think they have to give up their favorite foods and do without, you really don’t.  You can have the flavors that you love – just in a different format.  I really like chocolate so instead of candy bars, I have cocoa powder or chocolate almond milk in my daily shake with kale and other veggies.  Or instead of buying a store bought cake, I choose the one at the farmer’s market with only five ingredients.  You can eat what you love, just in a different and better way.

Check back with us on Friday for Carrie’s Daily Dose of Chocolate Shake…(yum!)

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

It finally feels like fall here in Arizona!   I’m loving all of the pumpkin recipes and just made Happy Herbivore’s Pumpkin Bars  this week which are very tasty. I think I like them even better after they’ve spent some time in the freezer – so good!

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

But, one of my biggest pet peeves is wasting food.  So, when a recipe calls for a cup of pumpkin (vs. using the entire can), I’ve got to find a way to use that extra pumpkin before it goes bad.  So, after a little experimenting, here is my yummy Pumpkin Spice Smoothie recipe.  Let me know what you think!

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

1 cup almond milk (or your favorite non-dairy milk)

1/2 cup canned pumpkin

1 banana

1/2 t. pumpkin pie spice

1/2 t.  cocoa powder (or cacao)

1 scoop of your favorite (subtle or no flavor) protein powder

1 t. chia seeds  (or other hidden gem like ground flax seeds)

1 cup of ice

 

Enjoy!!!

Ginger Mango Peach Smoothies

Don’t get me wrong — I love green smoothies.  Mostly, I love the energy boost that I enjoy after the green smoothie…but every once in a while I need a change.  At the farmer’s market this weekend I spotted some gorgeous peaches. The kale and other desirable greens looked a bit haggard so I opted for a little orange and peachy goodness.  Enjoy!

Ginger Mango Peach Smoothie

3/4 c. coconut water or filtered water

1/2 c.  almond milk (or your favorite nondairy milk)

1 peach, cored and sliced

1/2 c. of frozen mango or half fresh mango

1 -2 inch slice of fresh ginger, peeled (use 2 if you like the “ginger” kick)

1 scoop (or serving) of your favorite protein powder. I used Tera’s Whey Bourbon Vanilla.

Since I used frozen mango, I didn’t add any ice.  If you’re using all fresh ingredients, add 3/4 c. to 1 cup of ice to your smoothie.

Ginger Mango Peach Smoothie for Summer

More Green Smoothie Recipes

Lately, I’ve been exploring green smoothies without lemon.  I have a friend that just can’t tolerate the lemons and the greens together.  If that’s you, here are some great smoothie options:

Green Smoothie Love:

1 ½ cup coconut water (or filtered water)

2 handfuls of greens (kale or spinach)

1 banana peeled and cut in half

½ zucchini

1 inch sliver of fresh ginger, peeled — optional

1 apple, quartered

Fresh or frozen pineapple chunks (if you used fresh pineapple, then add a cup of ice cubes)

1 scoop protein powder ( I love Tera’s Whey Protein and Vega All Natural)

1 T. coconut oil

Berry Greens:

1 ½ cup coconut water (or filtered water)

2 handfuls of greens

1 banana peeled and cut in half

1 cup of blueberries or blackberries

1 apple, quartered

1 scoop protein powder

1 T. coconut oil

 

Lemon and Green Smoothie for Energy & De-Tox

Last week, one of my yoga clients brought me lemons from his backyard.  It’s still such a treat for this Arizona newbie to have fresh citrus.  And, this isn’t the first batch we’ve enjoyed.  Fresh lemons taste so much better than the ones in the store.  So much better that this kind gift inspired us to plant our own baby lemon tree.  Hopefully next January we’ll enjoy its fruits as well.

Lemons can help relieve digestive issues, nausea and constipation.  They are also helpful in releasing toxins from the body.  Many mornings, I’ll start my day with hot water and lemon…When I do, I just feel better, lighter – with more energy and focus.

Since I see a gorgeous bag of lemons each morning in my kitchen, I’ve been intentionally using them up in recipes, smoothies and as a great addition to water throughout the day.  This morning, I made this simple green smoothie for energy and detox.  Enjoy!

Green Smoothie

1 1/2 cup coconut water

1 lemon, peeled and halved

2 leaves of kale, stems removed

1 inch slice of fresh ginger

1/2 cup of frozen fruit (pineapple or mango tastes great)

1 heaping scoop of protein powder (I use Vega’s Whole Food Smoothie Infusion)

I use my Vitamix for my smoothies.  It’s been the most healthy, life-changing purchase we’ve made in a long time.  If you’re looking for the right high-speed blender for you, check out Vitamix. They new and refurbished models and if you click on WELLNESS JUNKIE COUPON CODE, you’ll receive free shipping.

Green Smoothie for Energy

I added just a few things to my usual green smoothie and the results were yummy. The important thing to remember is to always add a little sweetness to balance the bitterness. Apple, pineapple, mango are good choices. And don’t forget the protein. The best protein powder is Vega Whole Food Smoothie Infusion with hemp and pea protein plus fiber and greens.

Green Energy

1 cup coconut water

2 T. Greek-style yogurt

1 lemon, peeled and halved

2 small oranges or 1 large, peeled and halved

1 cup kale

2 -3 romaine leaves

1 cup pineapple or other frozen fruit

2 inches peeled fresh ginger

2 scoops protein powder

Healthy Ingredients For Your Next Green Smoothie

Some of my favorite add-in’s this week for my typical green smoothie (see recipe below) are:

  • 1 Clove of Garlic
  • Dash of Salt & Black Pepper
  • Slice of Fresh Ginger
  • Tablespoon of Coconut Oil

I guess the point is we really should CHANGE it up!  No one wants to drink the same green smoothie every morning and guess what – you probably won’t if you’re forcing it down…I will confess that I’m a horrible recipe follower. I throw in a little of this and a little of that and sometimes it’s perfection.  Sometimes not.  On the flop days, adding in one or several of these ingredients makes my green concoction a success again.

Salt & pepper with a clove of garlic is a great combination.  Garlic is so good for us – boosts our immune system and helps manage high cholesterol. Black pepper actually has antioxidant qualities and helps our digestion.  I use iodized salt because I’m working to improve my thyroid function, but iodized salt has many of benefits:  Iodized Salt Benefits

Ginger is also helpful for our digestion, can soothe nausea and has anti-inflammatory properties.

The benefits of Coconut Oil are many: skin care, hair care, cholesterol levels, stress relief and more… here’s a great list: health benefits of coconut oil.

My Typical Green Drink (with my Vitamix):

1 cup Coconut Water

1 lemon, peeled and cut in half

1 tomato, quartered or full handful of cherry tomatoes

1/3 cucumber, peeled and cut in half

1 cup of greens (you pick – I love kale or chard)

1 apple or pear, cored and quartered

1 banana (optional but if you have picky drinkers – definitely add the banana)

1 cup of ice

PLUS one or several of the add-ins above to taste…

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My Favorite Vitamix Green Smoothies

With the exception of our 5 days in San Diego escaping from the desert heat, we’ve used our Vitamix every morning for 2 months now and feel WONDERFUL.  I know it’s a blender and I’m surely showing my age in how excited I am about a blender but it’s been life-changing.

I will admit that I’m not much of a recipe follower. I love the cookbook that came with my Vitamix, and have made many of the recipes…but often I just look in the fridge to see what we have and let my creative juices flow (pun intended).  Here are some of our “home runs” that I’d like to share.

Green Ginger Goodness

1 cup Coconut Water or Orange Juice

1 lemon, peeled and cut in half

1/3 cucumber, cut in half (no cucumber? try zucchini)

handful of washed greens (I usually use kale or chard — whatever you have)

1 apple, quartered (no apple?  try a pear)

1 inch slice of fresh ginger root

1 tablespoon of Coconut Oil

1 banana (if you freeze your bananas, put it in second to last – just before the ice.  if you don’t, they can go in before the apple)

1 cup of ice

Follow the Vitamix blending instructions for other smoothies: Start on Variable 1 and slowly move up to 10 and then switch to High. Blend for 45 sec – 1 minute.  While it’s blending add in your favorite protein/fiber powder.  I love Vega’s Whole Food Smoothie Infusion.

Green Smoothie Disguised

1 cup coconut water

1 lemon peeled and cut in half

1/4 avocado

1/3 cucumber, cut in half

handful of greens – kale, chard or spinach

1-2 apples, quartered (depending on if you need a bit more sweetness for your drinkers)

1 carrot, peeled and cut in half (if carrot top is still on, just wash and leave on)

1 cup of favorite berries (strawberry, raspberry, blueberry)

1 banana (see banana placement instructions above)

1 cup of ice

See blending instructions above… This one is great because with the berries and bananas, it tastes wonderful but also has greens and healthy fats.