Plant Power Protein Smoothie

Good morning everyone!

It was an early morning for me as I have a lot on the go this week in terms of work, helping out with my sister’s wedding and prepping for this competition. I love keeping busy, especially when everything I’m keeping busy with fuels my creativity and mental/physical wellbeing.

The contest prep is going good. Right now it’s experimenting with nutrition and trying not fall into my sweet tooth cravings. So far it’s been good! Except for Saturday… I went to the grocery store and bought my friend a birthday gift which is where I laid my eyes on Heidi’s 85% dark chocolate. I have never been tempted buy milk chocolate (luckily) but when it comes to dark chocolate; I love it…and I say to myself “It’s a WAY better choice than most” which is very true. However, for contest prep although one or two pieces may fit into my macros, eating the whole thing as I did isn’t ideal. I don’t believe anyone who says one piece of dark chocolate is sweet but bitter enough to be satisfying – I CALL BULLSH**. Give me all of the dark chocolate. Futhermore, on Monday my boyfriend came back from his trip and we sat on the couch, ate kettle cooked chips (no sodium, but still) and shared a bag of cinnamon sugar popcorn. It was my fault because I actually brought it for him and figured I won’t want any… but I did. Although I felt a tiny hinge of guilt afterwards but decided not to feel that bad especially since I ate a green smoothie prior so my stomach was lined to digest the food better. I didn’t plan this and this doesn’t mean you can alkalize your stomach and eat poorly after (that’s counterproductive as your body will battle between acidity and alkalinity), I’m just saying it’s a good idea for those practicing healthier eating habits that are eating out at a restaurant once in  a while.

I’ve concluded that since my body is in decent shape and I have been eating very healthy for the majority (usually do, but now I’m taking macro’s into consideration); I feel that if I have a snack attack once every couple of weeks it’s not going to hurt me in training. Once you set restrictions to heavily and beat yourself up when your heart wants to enjoy something – you are doing damage. The key is to enjoy your meals, not eat them because they’re healthy. So far I’m already see some positive results at my waistline since I’m visiting the gym almost everyday for two hours at a time with plenty of cardio. Every other day I’m training through Muay Thai and doing weights. That is enough to keep me motivated and excited for the results yet to come in another few weeks and from then on till the actually contest day in June.

Having said that, if you’re facing temptation then compromise with a healthier choice that satisfies your tastebuds. You won’t feel as guilty and there are so many amazing recipes available online as we’re now in a society that is more health-conscious (almost too conscious). If you have a slip up every now and again, move on. Do not downward spiral and please do not be upset at yourself. Thank yourself for the delicious snack, treat your body with respect and say “Since you treated me, I will treat you to the gym.”

Moving forward with the purpose of my post.

I’ve created a new smoothie recipe that is at first glance, on the questionable side of things. Since I’m not buying vegetables and greens that I typically eat anymore I’ve got to get creative on packing my smoothies in with complementary vegetables that meet my daily requirements. It’s amazing how you really need to adjust between even considerably healthy vegetables based on their sodium and sugar content. This required some sit down time and cross-referencing of foods that fit into my regime. The result wasn’t too bad; swapping spinach for kale; almond milk in my smoothies for water, etc.

For the next few weeks I am moderating between:

everyday: kale, cucumber, romaine lettuce, zucchini green pepper, 1 – 2 bananas (I can’t deal with stevia all the time as a sweetener), garlic, onion, ginger root, turmeric root

every few days: bell peppers, carrots, sweet potatoes, lentils, millet, amaranth, quinoa and brown rice.

The list doesn’t look so bad to me because I love vegetables and I love carbs even more. Last night I was so happy with my big bowl of brown rice and sweet tomatoes seasoned with Mexican spices. I picked up a pamphlet from Whole Foods last week that gave me a guideline to using spices and it’s definitely come in handy to keep my belly happy without the extra sodium. And guess what, my taste buds are already adjusting and I don’t miss it!  In about a month, I can start reintroducing more fruit into my diet (I love fruit in the spring/summer) as it will be more alkaline by then being able to digest it better and reap the positive benefits of it. Colour me excited!

For this smoothie, I used essentially every green mentioned above except for zucchini and green peppers:

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  • 1 bunch purple kale
  • romaine lettuce
  • 1/4 large cucumber
  • 1″ ginger root
  • 1- 2 large frozen banana(s)
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup of filtered water
  • ground cinnamon
  • vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp hemp protein (optional)

At the beginning it was immediately getting that gorgeous green colour that screams ‘nourishment.’

I won’t pretend I wasn’t scared though…

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Please cucumber, be a good decision…

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Bananas make everything okay…

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After pureeing everything one by one (protein/cinnamon then bananas/ginger; last) I was quite happy with the end result (after adding the second banana). The hemp powder was strong at first but the fact that it was natural and there was zero sugar and sodium content I am happy with it.

  • 284 Cals:
  • 97 mg sodium,
  • 28g sugar from bananas.
  • 2.4g fat
  • 15g fibre
  • 19.4g protein

It was fresh and tasty with a hint of ginger which was so refreshing. This will be a repeat recipe on some mornings and I love the idea of packing a detoxifying, healthy meal in one delicious smoothie. It’s important to note that it is key this smoothie be enjoyed cold… I feel that it can only actually be enjoyed cold.

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Happy body, happy mind.

If you try this out, let me know what you think! Share some of your Plant-Powered faves!

Love,

Nidhi

St. Patty’s Day Lean Green Protein Poppers

Hello!

I’m pretty excited right now because I put together a recipe that fits my meal preps; it’s tasty, nourishing, and green. Also low sodium and high protein too. I guess that’s important as well…

I have been super busy the last couple of days so my meals have been quite boring and “meh” to say least which means I have already broken my own promise to myself and that is to go through this process enjoying it – especially the food!

So without further hesitation…

St. Patty’d Lean Green Protein Poppers!

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Even though St. Patrick’s Day is two and half weeks away, I thought it looked pretty festive and green for the event.

There is no added salt in this recipe. so for flavour I used chilli peppers, lemon and pepper. You can of course manipulate the spices however you’d like but I thought this was a great meal idea; and for contest prep especially! It’s packed with protein from quinoa, sprouted lentils (i love sprouted-anything), and red pepper organic tempeh (I use soy in moderation.. maybe once or twice a week as it induces bloating. When I use it it’s no more than a tablespoon.)

My recipe goes as follows but can be modified to suit your tastebuds:

  • 10 small assorted bell peppers
  • 1/4 cup dry quinoa, soaked
  • 1 celery stalk, finely diced
  • 1/2 zucchini, finely diced
  • 1 or 1/2 of a red chilli pepper
  • handful watercress
  • 1/2 cup of sprouted lentils/beans
  • 1 tbsp tempeh (optional), diced
  • 1/4 cup white onion, diced
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • pinch of pepper, onion powder, cayenne, assorted seasoning, etc
  • 1/2 tsp coconut

Bring water to a boil and allow quinoa to cook for 10 minutes until finished.

In the mean while, gently heat coconut oil and cook onion and garlic. After a few minutes, add the tempeh and cook for a couple of minutes followed by zucchini and celery cooking on medium Do not cook completely.

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Remove from heat and transfer quinoa, stirred veggies, watercress, chopped chilli and lentils to a bowl. Mix and add the spices you wish. Cut the caps off of each pepper and fill to your desire.

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I haven’t baked these just yet as I have prepared them for tonight’s dinner as I am just leaving to do some weights at my gym and teach a couple of classes. Right after I will be going to a friend’s birthday party so I don’t have the time to make my dinner right after (first world problem). In addition, I already got some good work done this morning as my friend Gabby had her grand opening this morning for her B.O.T.A Bootcamp Fit Classes along with a seminar on nutrition. She’s a registered holistic nutritionist and also a kick boxer and used to teach Muay Thai at the same gym as me in Toronto.

Check her out! http://www.gabbefit.com

Anyways, meal prep is so awesome because when I get home I don’t have to worry about what to eat. All I have to do is heat and eat :D. I’m pretty excited for tonight’s dinner; something to make me excited again about my meals and not waiting for my cheat day in April (sushi, anyone?).

As for baking these scrumptious poppers, I would bake it at 350 and bake for 10 minutes and no more. I enjoy my veggies crunchy. Vegetables are so wonderful and nourishing when they’re not cooked completely. They give us so much this way.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I will in a few hours!

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Love,

Nidhi