The Bestest Smoothie Ever…..

….at least, that’s what I call it when I’m hungry and in a rush.  I also take complete credit for this concoction as I’ve used so many smoothie recipes from other people, but have bended them slightly to fit my dietary needs.

This recipe is great first thing in the morning, but I’ve been enjoying it more for dinner these days as a way to eat light in the evening and give my body the nutrients it needs to recover from the day.

I’ve never been very good at food photos, mostly because I’m so eager to chow down that the plate or glass is a mess by the time I think about it.  Today was no different.  I came tearing into the house after the gym, threw the smoothie together, and threw half of it back before thinking of a photo….the glass was pretty grungy by then.  You’ll just have to use your imagination.

It’s very basic, but excellent on its own or as a base to whatever else you want to throw in.  So incredibly fast, just throw everything into the blender and blend until super smooth and creamy, Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you….

Darcie’s Bestest Smoothie Ever…….

425 Calories.

1 cup Almond Milk.  If you’re not strictly raw, then use any kind of non-dairy milk that you want.

1 cup leafy greens.  I prefer Kale, but will use spinach if it’s on-hand.

6 ice cubes    

1 scoop protein powder. Good quality raw protein powder is hard to come by: use whatever you prefer.

1 Cup of fruit du jour.  This can be an apple (cored, peeling not necessary), frozen wild blueberries are my favourite, but if I’m getting bored of them, I always have frozen pineapple, mango, or other fruits on hand.  I try not to use fruit with a lot of small seeds, like raspberries, blackberries, or pomegranate as I don’t have time to chew my smoothies…

1 Tblsp Chia Seeds    

1 Scoop Veggie Green Powder, or Sea Veg powder. (Optional) 

1 tsp or preferred measure of your daily Omega 3*6*9 – I use Udo Oil.

Add Ins:  Depending on your tastes or dietary needs, I sometimes throw a frozen or fresh banana in, or half an avocado, a Tablespoon of Nut Butter, and, especially in winter, a vitamin D drop.

If I’m planning to have this in the morning, I pre-prep the powders and chia, which helps “Zombie Darcie” when trying to find ingredients before my eyes are really open.

This recipe fills a 1 Quart mason jar almost 3/4 full.  Using the base recipe (no add-ins) and blueberries as the fruit du jour, here’s the Nutritional Content:

Nutrition Facts
Servings 1.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 425
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 14 g 22 %
Saturated Fat 2 g 11 %
Monounsaturated Fat 1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 6 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 70 mg 23 %
Sodium 363 mg 15 %
Potassium 1039 mg 30 %
Total Carbohydrate 42 g 14 %
Dietary Fiber 14 g 56 %
Sugars 16 g
Protein 36 g 73 %
Vitamin A 319 %
Vitamin C 185 %
Calcium 81 %
Iron 37 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

So happy blending.


Ramp up the run…raw style!

Just a quick post today – to keep in touch.

If you’re looking into raw foods and integrating more raw food into your life, you will have noticed that there is so much more information on the internet and in books these days.  Seems there’s been a bit of an explosion of information but I believe the growth in ‘solution seeking‘ walks hand-in-hand with larger issues seen in society today, and I don’t just mean the obvious ones like the high rate of obesity and alarming rates of cancer, poor heart health, strokes, diabetes.  I’m also sensing a current of overall discontent in North American society (and perhaps abroad), where we recognize that we can have anything and still feel completely unfulfilled.   We may be starting to acknowledge what we’ve really been neglecting and what we really need, as individuals and as a society,  is a focus on our whole health.

So maybe it’s just because I’ve been looking, but I really believe I am seeing larger trends unfolding: trends towards real joy, real health, better balance, and real meaning to a life.  And with it seems to have come a lot more information available for those of us who are seeking it.  While this is wonderful, it can also mean some missteps, some rabbit holes that we can get caught up in (what’s best? Raw? Paleo? Vegan? gaa!  Who cares what’s “best” – try things out and find what works for you),  and sometimes all the information can be overwhelming.

I’ll make it my mission (or ONE of my missions) to help you find the reputable sources of information, those that are easy to navigate through, and with recipes or suggestions that are easiest to integrate into your changing habits.

On that note, I have mentioned the site “No Meat Athlete” in my blog before as a great place to go when looking for ‘ratios’ – how to get enough protein in a plant-based diet, for example.  Well, because I’m ramping up my running and am setting new, challenging (even uncomfortable!) goals for myself, I went to that site today to look for ‘ratios’ for carbohydrates (or ‘carbs’ as we cool kids call them).  Not only did I find what I was looking for, I found the No Meat Athlete published the Thrive recipe for a raw energy gel!  How exciting for me!

I have to admit:  I have sometimes found the “Thrive” information difficult to integrate.  It is certainly a site for more elite athletes (in my opinion) and I haven’t yet encountered the situations in my life or level of fitness that have made me seek out solutions to ‘elite athlete’ challenges.  Know what I mean?  I’m still looking for ‘simple’ not ‘complex’ diet solutions.  So I head over to the Thrive site sometimes, and I’m glad to know it’s there if I ever need to start integrating plant-based solutions for my ‘peak performance’ athleticism.  But I’m not quite there yet….

But back to the recipe for the raw energy gel.  I was excited to find this because, as I run longer distances, I will need to provide my body with replenishing carbs (for instant and longer term energy) and small amounts of protein (for muscle support) while I am running.  Gels are how most runners do this.  However, because my body is hyperactive when it comes to processing  sugars, commercial gels scare me a little.  I had tried a Gatorade gel once and felt like I was having heart palpitations 5 minutes after consuming it, and then had a sugar crash 15 minutes later.  Not fun to deal with when also trying to slog my way through a run (or, in my case, a “lope” – one does not think of gazelles when they see me run…an image of a walrus loping its way up the sandy beach is more like it.  For now.  I’m aiming for gazelle by December).  Although I’m 90% sure (because I know my body) that it was the glucose and fructose that caused this to happen, the caffeine may have helped.

So, when in the store to buy new running shoes yesterday, I had decided to also pick up some “Gu” gels as all my interweb research has indicated that they’re a high quality gel with excellent ratios and decent enough ingredients.  I do plan to try them out on my runs to see if I can tolerate them from a blood-sugar perspective, and then, of course, get used to eating them while I run – see if the stomach accepts them, get the timing of when to use them down, etc.  But, I worried, what if I can’t use them?  What then?  There has to be a solution for me to get my carbs and protein in for when I start running longer distances.

And voila.  The No Meat Athlete provides me with a Thrive recipe (so really, Thrive provided it, but I didn’t go there first) for a raw energy gel.

Here it is! (Finally, you say…yah, yah 🙂 ) : Thrive Raw Energy Gel recipe as provided on the No Meat Athlete site.

Because I already purchased the GU gels, I’m going to give them a whirl.  Nothing wrong with having options.  But I’ll also be giving the raw gel recipe a try for obvious reasons:  non-commercial, raw, no dyes or artificial ingredients, on-demand and likely less expensive over time.  The only drawback I see that could be an issue is portability.  The GU gels are more compact and come in a pretty sturdy package, while the raw gels are stored in plastic sandwich bags which may be easily punctured and harder to carry on a run, especially when needing to carry 4 or 5 of them.  But hey!  Let’s see how it goes!  I can get pretty creative – perhaps I’ll “MacGyver” a better delivery system for higher volumes of raw gel 🙂

If you give this recipe a try, stop by here and let us all know what you think of it – the pros and the cons.

Finally, you may be asking “If you’re all gung-ho over raw, why aren’t you using the raw solution first?”  Excellent question.  I have made the personal choice (as we all must) to become a runner first, and a raw runner next.  I find the integration of more frequent running and rising to the goals I’ve set for myself so challenging, that I need to uncomplicate it by taking it one step (excuse the pun) at a time.  Run first, discover dietary needs as the goal progresses next, establish easiest way to meet those dietary needs, then, last but not least, evolve those dietary solutions to being raw.  So be kind to me: new things are both exciting and scary as hell.  I do the best I can. 🙂

So here’s to us!  Doing the best we can!  Onward…

Single Portion Raw Pesto

Just a quick post today after working with a recipe that portioned out raw pesto in a way that doesn’t require a ginormous bunch of basil and 2 quarts of olive oil. Yes, I’m sure there are many out there, but I’ve encountered and tried one and I loved it enough to care to sit down and type, so there we go…

First, to give credit where credit is due, I started with the pesto recipe that accompanied this raw pasta and pesto recipe.  I must admit, as one who has never bothered with marriage, nor as one who would strive too hard to find a “Husband Approved Recipe” even if I did (You don’t like it?  There’s the kitchen.  Go nuts.) the name turned me off, but I do try to remain open minded, so bothered to read the ingredients and was drawn in from there…

Courtesy of The Raw Guru

But, again, as I have no spouse to blend for, or to force into his own blending, the volumes were a little on the heavy side for little old me, and I can happily report that they translate well.

So for the lovely individual that you are, and because you deserve to feed yourself in the best way possible even when no one is watching, here are the single serve ingredients plus a few tweaks I threw in of my own…

Raw Pesto for the one, the only, the fabulous YOU:

1/2 cup raw cashews

1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds

1 cup (yes, still 1 cup) fresh basil with stems, but loosely packed…

1/2 cold expeller pressed extra virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp pink himalayan salt

1 small garlic clove

1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Blend until smooth.

Now, aside from changing the salt and upping the basil content, I also added fresh squeezed lemon juice (to taste) and cayenne pepper (to taste) to perk this up a bit as, although the cashews add the wonderful texture, healthy fats, and creaminess, I found their sweetness contradicted the overall flavour and made it a bit flat.  Perhaps I don’t have a sophisticated palate (but never say that to my face, especially if I’ve had a couple glasses of wine…) and so, perhaps again, the subtle beauty of the original recipe is lost on me.  But so be it.  I added fresh lemon juice and cayenne pepper and loved it.  There we go.

So now you’re all set!  Spiralize a small zucchini, and/or carrot as per the recipe, or half a small sweet potato, or a bit of beet, and plaster with your five minute personal sized portion of pesto!

Have awe inspiring weekend friends!