So, what is a superfood?
Basically, anyone anywhere can call anything a superfood. Really. There’s no law against it. Nor is there a solid definition. However, within the health community in general, a superfood is basically a naturally occurring food that has a large concentration of antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins and minerals. Basically, something that gives you a huge nutritional bang for your buck.
But there are subcategories within superfoods, and what I’m focusing on in this post are those exotic supplements that are sometimes found in powder form. Things like Camu, Maca, Spirulina, Goji berries, etc. Regular fruits and vegetables are superfoods too. Don’t forget that!
Take me with a grain or two of salt, obviously, but I’ve never ridden the superfood bandwagon, and I’ll break down the why for you. And then after I do that, I’ll contradict myself and give you a recipe for a smoothie that contains not one, but TWO superfoods.
Here’s my deal.
If you label something as a superfood, it automatically increases exponentially in price. The exception of that is something like kale. Which is totally a superfood. But not found in the high plains of the Himalayas. Would I recommend to a client who is currently on a diet of processed food, little to no veggies, and looking to lose some weight and eat healthier, to go out and spend $200 on superfoods? NO. It’s completely insane. Why spend all that money on Goji berries and Reishi mushrooms when simple and basic fruits and veggies will nourish your body, help heal you, and make you feel awesome? It’s just not logical.
Also, I am a believer that people need to eat local more often. Your diet really should reflect your climate, altitude, and your energy level -as much as possible. The fruits and veggies that grow and thrive where you live, are the same fruits and veggies that can fortify YOU to grow and thrive where you live. If you’re eating a bunch of products from the Amazon and the Himalayas, you’re missing that point.
Superfoods, to me, seem at times to be one of those road blocks for people. A turn-off, if you will, to a healthier lifestyle. If you believe that you need to buy these products to live healthy, perhaps you’ll decide to just wait. Because living healthy is too expensive, and your Dollar menu diet is much cheaper. It doesn’t have to be that way!
Having said all that, I do think that some superfoods can be a great addition to an already healthy diet. I think of them as “boosters” if you will, to elevate and help support different functions that need supporting.
Currently, I’ve got these superfoods hanging around:
The goji berries were an impulse buy. I truly admit it. And I don’t even care to eat them if they aren’t covered in chocolate. So, lesson learned.
The Raw Cacao powder is pretty much a staple in this house. We don’t buy regular coco anymore. This stuff is delicious and packed with lots of goodness. Flavanols, polyphenols, antioxidants – Oh, and it’s chocolate. Hi. I absolutely put it in everything.
The Maca is more of a luxury buy. It’s an adaptogen, which means it contains things that can help your body adapt to different situations and stressors. It’s also purported to support your “frisky” behavior and help correct hormonal imbalances. The taste is kind of caramel-like to me. Nutty and caramel. If you’re going to drop some $$ on a superfood powder, I’d give this a vote.
The coconut butter is also a luxury buy. But since my desert choices are limited right now on the Whole30, this coconut butter melted with some cacao and maca = heaven.
So that’s my thought on the superfood supplement situation. What do you think? I’d love to hear from you and perhaps also hear what your faves are 🙂
And now, to the smoothie.
As you know, I opened a can of pumpkin.
So, you know. It’s ON.
Pumpkin Spice Smoothie
Note: If you don’t put the spinach in this smoothie, it will 100% taste like pumpkin pie. Obviously, my version is green and you can still taste a bit of the spinach. But I just can’t make a smoothie without putting some spinach in it, if I have it. Just can’t!
2 handfuls baby spinach
2 heaping tbsp canned pumpkin
1 heaping tbsp nut butter (I used cashew. I’m rolling like that these days)
1 tsp Maca powder
1 tsp cacao powder (optional, but why not?)
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
8-10 oz water or liquid of choice (a nut milk would do nicely! I used water though)
Pop it all in the blender and let it do its thing. You can add sweetener if you like. Once I can use sweetener again I’ll probably make this with Maple syrup or Stevia. We’ll see.
Add a little ice to cool it off, blend some more.
So, today is Monday and the last day of week 2 of our Whole30 Challenge.
It’s honestly become less and less of a deal. Prepping is definitely a huge help. If you’re currently doing the challenge, here’s what I prep Sunday night to help a bit with meals:
- Steam 2-3 sweet potatoes
- Par-cook purple cabbage
- Chop lettuce for salad
- Chop peppers (for use in salad or veggie stirfries)
- Dice an onion
I’m not a huge fan of cooking any type of protein before hand, unless it’s chili. But with the above prepped, I can easily add veggies to anything or make a quick salad.
Sunday was kind of a lazy hang around sort of day, save for my 2 hour trip to the Farmer’s market + Whole Foods. I found myself snacking on sweet potato chips a lot, which I don’t tend to do during the week. Considering what I usually do on a Sunday, I’ll call that a win.
I have a hunch that if I were sleeping well at night, I’d be waking up feeling pretty darn good these days. Eli has decided to kind of be crazy with his sleeping the last few nights, so I wake up feeling kind of left of center, but it fades after I have my green juice and is distant history after my morning coffee!
I’d love to tell you that weight has magically melted away, but that isn’t the case. I do feel that I’ve lost weight, but nothing drastic. I’m still in my same size pants and stuff, but I can tell my belly is flatter and less bloated, which is always nice.
Some exciting developments:
Babycakes loves going up stairs. As you can imagine, going down stairs is not working out, since he employs the same “going up” technique for going down. Basically, if he’s suddenly quiet, I need to RUN and find him, not walk. It’s been a blast. Especially when he learned how to pull down the gate and use it as a ramp. You can’t buy that kind of fun, people. Especially when you’re trying to watch Prison Break.
We went to the playground and it was the first time he actually played instead of just swinging in the baby swing. VERY fun! My little booger is getting so big. It’s freaking me out that he’ll be 11 months old soon…
I miss these days when he always passed out after his milk. Sigh. People said that they would grow super fast. But I didn’t realize how very fast it would be! Blink and your little creature is suddenly a little person trying to communicate with you.
Or giving you looks.
Speaking of, he also had his first green smoothie. We drank it through a straw, and clearly my man doesn’t yet get the concept yet. He did enjoy himself though. In this picture he’s giving the fist pump to show he’s finished. 🙂
I hope you all had a great weekend!
My friends, after four days of this:
It’s time for a little green goodness. Yes, I’m a bourbon girl. And that smokey chipotle hot sauce is outrageously good.
But I’m glad to see my friends, vegetables. You may have noticed I don’t post a lot of smoothies on here. I just haven’t been in the mood for them lately. But I’ve gotten a lot of questions about what’s better, juicing or blending? I wrote a post on it here.
This is a delicious green smoothie recipe, if I do say so myself. I’d definitely recommend it if you’re new to green smoothies, because if it weren’t green, you’d never know it had a vegetable in it!
Spicy Sweet Green Lemonade
Makes about 18 oz
2 handfuls baby spinach
1 overflowing cup green seedless grapes
thumb of ginger
1 lemon, peeled, seeded
1 cup water
Liquid Stevia (to taste)
Put all ingredients in a blender (Vita mix!) and blend until very smooth. You can also add ice, but I prefer to pour it over ice. Add a few drops of Stevia to taste.
We had a wonderful time in Atlanta hanging out with my husband’s mom, dad, and brother (plus niece and nephew pups!). It was a treat for all, because we haven’t all been together under the same room for a long time. I’m insanely happy to be home though, because Eli decided that naps and sleeping were for punks the entire time we were there, and I’ll just say… It was rough.
I hope you all had a fabulous weekend! And if you try the recipe, please do let me know!
It’s been a minute since I’ve made a smoothie, because the mood just hasn’t struck me. Today, however, 3pm had passed, I hadn’t had lunch, and I was seriously contemplating a Chick Fil A run, so…
2-3 handfuls baby spinach
Approx 1 cup milk of choice (almond for me!)
1 tbsp raw cacao powder
1 tsp coconut butter
6 drops vanilla liquid stevia
3/4 cup frozen blueberries
Blend it up!
It’s delicious and I feel good about myself.
Our Sunday is off to a nice start – Hubs has hit the gym, I’m showered and dressed and have already taken my troop for a walk around the park. AND, Eli is sleeping. It’s like, some sort of fantasy land around here!
Since I started off this morning with a nice big green smoothie, here’s the recipe for you. It’s my “go to” recipe, and if you’re a PB + Choco kinda person, it’ll be right up your alley.
Choconutter Green Smoothie
almond milk (1-2 cups, depending on the consistency you like)
1 tbsp raw cacao powder or unsweetened coco powder
1 tbsp almond butter (or a little more…:)
1 scoop chia seeds (or protein supplement of your choice)
sweetener to taste
If you have a Vita Mix or Blend tec, just toss all the ingredients in and let it roll. If you’re working with a regular blender, process the spinach with the almond milk first, then add the rest of the ingredients and blend. For sweetener, I really am partial to Agave or Maple syrup in this particular smoothie, but for right now I’m only using Stevia as a sweetener. It does the trick, but I can’t say it’s as amazing as those two sweeteners. Just something to keep in mind.
This is a handful of spinach, btw.
So, while we are on the topic of Green Smoothies, I wanted to talk about the differences between juicing and blending, because they really are quite different.
Juicing is the process of squeezing the liquid from fruits and vegetables while removing the fiber. This basically leaves you with a vitamin rich liquid that requires little to no work for your digestive system – it’s kind of like a power shot for your body. Juicing is very popular for when you’re detoxing, because it does not tax your system at all but delivers high quality nutrients. Juicers that are popular these days are the Jack LaLanne and the Breville (which I have and love).
Blending is the process of pulverizing fruits and vegetables. A blender like Vita Mix or Blend Tec will process the fibers of fruits and vegetables, including the skins and piths, into a very smooth consistency. But it still has fiber and because of that, your body will still need to work to process it.
Both are wonderful ways to get high quality vitamins and minerals into your system. Personally, I like to juice first thing in the morning and have a green juice as a balancing and alkalizing way to start my day. Then I ease into breakfast later on, and feel less guilty about my morning cup of coffee. However, sometimes I’m just not in the mood for juicing, and a smoothie sounds better. So I do that instead.
I hope this helps!
Have a fabulous Sunday!