Raspberry chocolate super-smoothie bliss

I’ve made this smoothie twice now, and it’s definitely worth sharing. Raspberries and chocolate complement each other very, very well, and this smooth is loaded with nutrients from superfoods, keeping you hydrated and giving you energy.

I added measurements this time! Last time I just threw things together in the blender. Except for the first two packaged ingredients, these are not exact, just indicators. Use your own judgment.

  • 1 14-oz bottle Zico coconut water
  • 1 6-oz container of organic raspberries
  • 2 T dried goji berries
  • 1 T Cortas pomegranate molasses
  • 2 T Artisana organic coconut butter
  • 2 T organic raw cacao nibs
  • 1 T cacao powder
  • 1 T maca powder
  • 2 T chia seeds
  • 1 T ground flax seed meal
  • 1 T flax seed oil
  • peeled ginger root equal to about 1 T

I put everything in the blender and let it run on a high setting for a couple of minutes to pulverize the cacao nibs. It makes about 3 servings.

Coconut butter is a fairly new product on the shelves of health-oriented grocery stores. It uses both the coconut flesh and the oil, so you get fiber from the coconut, and not just the oil. You could even make it yourself. You can use it as a spread (like butter!). Apparently it makes a great match with maca powder.

That’s an area of food research where I’d love to see more work done — what food combinations boost each other. I’ve read that green tea and lemon work really well together too.

The chia seeds soak up liquid and expand, so the smoothie will gel after blending to a nice thick texture, very filling. Chia seeds are another recently “discovered” superfood from Mexico. They boost energy and keep you hydrated through the fluid they absorb. Long-distance runners often use them. They also provide calcium, boost brain functioning, contain anti-oxidants and omega-3s, lower bad cholesterol and raise the good, control high blood pressure, and do many other good things for the human biological machine.

Maca powder is made from a South American root with these properties:

Maca is a nutritionally dense super-food that contains high amounts of minerals, vitamins, enzymes and all of the essential amino acids. Maca root is rich in B-vitamins, which are the energy vitamins, and maca is a vegetarian source of B-12. To boot, maca has high levels of bioavailable calcium and magnesium and is great for remineralization.

Maca root helps balance our hormones and due to an over abundance of environmental estrogens, most people’s hormones are a bit out of whack. Maca stimulates and nourishes the hypothalamus and pituitary glands which are the “master glands” of the body. These glands actually regulate the other glands, so when in balance they can bring balance to the adrenal, thyroid, pancreas, ovarian and testicular glands.

Instead of providing hormones to the body, maca works as an adaptogen which means that it responds to different bodies’ needs individually. If you’re producing too much of a particular hormone, maca will regulate the production downward. However, if you’re producing too little, it’ll regulate the production upward.

You can google each of these ingredients to learn the health benefits, but this smoothie feels and tastes like an explosion of well-being from your tastebuds down to the cellular and energetic levels.

You could use frozen organic raspberries or any other kind of berry, but please do not use non-organic berries as their skins are thin, and pesticides are easily absorbed into the flesh. (That may not be scientific, but it makes sense to me.)

No particular reason for using both flax seed meal and flax seed oil except that I had both on hand!

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Energizing morning beverage: green tea, yerba mate, lemon juice, ginger

Lately in the mornings, I’ve been making myself a cup of tea that has been incredibly energizing. I feel like I have the energy of someone half my age, which would be…under 30. This morning I was literally jumping at ecstatic dance!

Here’s how to make it:

Boil some filtered water and turn off the heat.

Into a tea ball or strainer, add about a teaspoon of loose green tea leaves. You could use a tea bag of green tea if that’s all you have, but be warned: the tea that goes into tea bags is of vastly inferior quality compared to loose tea.

Add anywhere from a pinch to a quarter teaspoon of yerba mate. Too much can give heart palpitations, so more is not better. Start with a pinch and add more if you have no unpleasant side effects.

Put the tea ball into a cup and fill the cup with hot water.

Add about a teaspoon of fresh squeezed lemon juice or other citrus juice.

Add 1 or 2 slices of fresh ginger root, about as thick as a nickel.

Let steep for about 3 minutes. Remove tea ball.

You could add stevia or honey if you like, but I find the astringent taste refreshing. You can also pour it over ice for a refreshing cool beverage.

Health benefits

  • Green tea is a powerhouse for health. It contains catechins, which are antioxidants that scavenge the body for free radicals and destroy them.  The catechins also protect the skin from DNA damage from UV light. Green tea’s EGCG kills cells showing abnormal growth rates — like cancer cells. It lowers the absorption rate of cholesterol from food and increases the rate cholesterol is excreted, so it improves cardiovascular health. Its theanine boosts the activity of T cells, enhancing the immune system. It assists in weight loss by stimulating the metabolism while dissolving triglycerides.
  • Adding lemon juice to green tea boosts the amount of catechins that are absorbed, supercharging it. Green tea alone is already pretty supercharged, so this combo is super-supercharged! By itself, lemon juice has dozens of beneficial properties: it is alkalizing, improves digestion and elimination, cuts phlegm, purifies the blood, improves the skin, lowers blood pressure, aids in weight loss, and more.
  • Yerba mate provides provides energy without the negative side effects of caffeine. Its theobromine (also found in cacao) relaxes the blood vessels, lowering blood pressure. It stimulates the immune system. It also promotes weight loss by decreasing hunger pangs and stimulating the metabolism.
  • Ginger induces the death of cancer cells. It improves digestion, relieves gastro-intestinal distress, is anti-inflammatory and pain relieving. Like the other ingredients, it is stimulating and energizing.

It’s amazing to me that with just a morning cup of lemon ginger green tea mate, I can do so much for my health while I increase my energy for the day.