Chocobeet smoothie recipe

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Sometimes our lives can get a little hectic, especially when we squeeze in that morning or mid day workout then run off to work, or when we get home late at night after an evening workout and can't be bothered to make dinner.

Enter the trusty smoothie.

Here's a delicious recipe I created that is jam packed with antioxidants, helps to support digestion, as well as accelerate muscle recovery and gain. Tastes like chocolate and is good for my body? I’m all for it. ;) Make it ahead and take it with you to consume after your workout.

What makes this a great smoothie for post workout?

Beets help to fight inflammation and are a great source of pre-biotics, which are specialized plant fibres that help feed the good bacteria already living in our gut.

Bananas are a great source of starchy carbs that help restore your body’s levels of glycogen in order to rebuild damaged muscles. Plus they are full of potassium, an electrolyte that helps prevent muscle cramps.

Raw cacao* Not to be confused with cocoa, which is heavily processed and contains little to no nutritional value. Raw cacao helps you recover faster because it lowers the oxidative stress of strenuous activities because of the high levels of magnesium, chromium, B vitamins and antioxidants. I like using this brand.

Protein powder is a convenient way to help rebuild muscle. I enjoy using Genuine Health’s Fermented Vegan Proteins+ which is easy to digest and good for the gut. Steer clear of brands that have soy or artificial colours, flavours, or sweeteners.

L-Glutamine is the most common amino acid produced in your body that helps to assist in muscle growth and repair. It also helps to strengthen the gut lining to improve nutrient absorption. I highly recommend this supplement to any one that has digestive issues!

You got to try this smoothie! Make sure to tag me on Instagram when you do!

*If you are sensitive to caffeine, I recommend omitting the cacao if you are consuming this after 3pm as cacao can be a mild stimulant that may impair your sleep.

For more portable or easy to make meal or snack ideas, be sure to check out my blog for inspiration. In need of some health coaching? Check out my services here.

7 Summer Slim Down Tips

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Canadians would agree that summer is the one season that seems to fly by the fastest, but we sure know how to make the most of it by filling our days with barbecue parties, outdoor festivals, cottage weekends, and drinks on a patio. I advocate living a balanced lifestyle and it’s no lie that avoiding these social occasions would make for a rather dull summer. Below I share with you practical tips on how you can slim down while still having all your fun under the sun.

1.    Cleanse your insides
Twice a day, before a meal, drink one cup of warm water with the juice of half a fresh lemon or one teaspoon of apple-cider vinegar. This well help improve your digestion as well as give your liver a gentle cleanse.

2.    Eat your last meal before sunset
Giving your body a daily 12 hour break from food will give you a noticeably flatter belly. Why? Because your digestive system is much stronger during the hours of sunlight, so it’s much more equipped to effectively metabolize the foods you eat. By giving your body a rest from digesting, it spends its time working on repairing and re-energizing itself for the next day instead.

3.    Stop inhaling your food
Eating should always be done at a slow pace, while seated, and without any distractions (apart from enjoying it with good company). Keep in mind that your stomach doesn’t have teeth so make sure you chew your food until it becomes paste-like before swallowing (it’ll also help make sure you don’t wind up with a food baby!). Take note that the brain doesn’t get the signal that your stomach is full until about 20 minutes after your first bite. Eat slowly and you’ll realize you likely don’t need as much food as you think you do.

4.    Get more shut eye
Constant sleep deprivation may cause an increase in cortisol levels (AKA the stress hormone) and an increase in insulin, which can cause your system to store fat rather than burn it. On top of that, your ghrelin levels rise (the hunger hormone) when you are tired, causing you to make poor food choices or overeat. Commit to getting at least seven to eight hours of good quality sleep every night to keep your hormones in check.

5.    Incorporate raw foods at every meal
Make a conscious effort to start cutting out all processed or packaged foods and swap them for uncooked fruits and vegetables at every meal. It can be something like a green smoothie for breakfast, a chopped vegetable salad with grilled salmon and small baked sweet potato for lunch, and a large salad with quinoa for dinner. If you tend to bloat after eating raw foods, lightly steam them or add spices that support digestion like cinnamon, cayenne, and ginger.

6.    Stick to the grill
At your next barbecue party, stick to grilled veggies, go bunless with your burger, and load most of your plate with green salad. Replace the potato or pasta salad with healthier carb options. I usually bring my homemade quinoa salad, hummus, roasted beet and carrot salad, or plantains for grilling. Want dessert? Grill up some pineapple with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top, or make my Watermelon Jalapeño Popsicles for a spicy and refreshing treat (recipe down below!).


7.    Choose your booze
I would be a silly nutritionist to expect the majority of my clients go the entire summer without enjoying a sip of cold beer or a fancy cocktail. Truthfully, there’s no place for alcohol when trying to lose weight or build muscle (same goes for processed foods!), however, I advise them that if they do decide to enjoy alcohol, the limit is one boozy beverage a week – that’s it. I know, I’m sorry. Rule of thumb is to choose clear alcohol, like vodka, gin, tequila, or rum, watered down with a squeeze of lime or lemon. Steer clear of any artificially sweetened or flavoured drinks.
 
Watermelon Jalapeño Popsicles

A sweet and spicy summer treat! Hot peppers contain a substance called capsaicin, which helps regulate blood sugar levels after a meal and relieves sinus congestion, but be careful not to rub your eyes while handling spicy peppers! Watermelon has everything you need to beat scorching summer heat as it is packed with almost 92% water! It’s an excellent source of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that helps provide protection against cardiovascular disease as well as protect your skin from ultra violet (UV) damage. Not to mention, watermelon is also rich in an amino acid called L-citrulline (which your body converts to L-arginine), an essential amino acid that helps soothe sore muscles. Another round of boot camp, anyone?

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Ingredients:

3 cups of fresh watermelon, cut into 1 inch chunks
4 TB freshly squeezed lime juice
3 TB raw honey, or coconut nectar, or dark maple syrup
about 2 inches of green jalapeño, thinly sliced

Method:

Using a blender, blend only the watermelon, lime juice and sweetener. Toss the jalapeños into the jar then place in fridge for about 30 minutes to let the spiciness infuse into the mixture. Pour into popsicle moulds and place them in the freezer to let them set. Enjoy!

If you are looking for a kick start to achieve your health goals, I offer meal plan services that are customized to work exclusively for your body in order for you to get the best results you deserve.


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