How to Winterize Your Smoothies

Winterize Your Smoothies | The Organic Beauty

I love green smoothie. I’m not going to go so far as to say I moved all the way across the country to California so that I could have green smoothies for breakfast every day without any consequences — but that isn’t as far from the truth as you would think.  I really LOVE my morning green smoothies.  They are my absolute favorite breakfast, and I find them to be the most wonderful vehicle for getting insane amounts of nutrients and superfoods into my body in a very efficient fashion.

But as great as green smoothies are, drinking them in the colder months actually messes with your health, digestion, energy, and immunity.  Eating and drinking cold foods, especially during periods of cold weather, forces your body to work harder to warm it up and digest it.  Cold foods can throw off the delicate balance of your stomach lining, can increase phlegm, decrease immunity and cause or exacerbate digestive issues like constipation and diarrhea.  No fun.

In both Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda, eating and drinking warm foods is a big part of keeping one’s body running smoothly and optimizing digestion.  I get chastised about my smoothie habit by my acupuncturist every time I see her, and I am in a constant heated back and forth with the Ayurvedic practitioner inside me every time I opt for a smoothie or salad in the middle of December.

So what’s a smoothie and salad loving girl to do?

Miraculous Lactation Smoothie

Miraculous-Lactation-Smoothie

When you’re a breastfeeding mom, your supply can become a bit of an obsession. So many things can impact it, and when your baby is 100% dependent on that liquid gold for nourishment, it can definitely send you into a panic when your supply takes a hit. I got sick with the flu a month ago, and my supply dwindled to scary levels. Thankfully I had a nice supply of frozen milk to get us through the rough patch, but it was still harrowing.

To get my supply back up, and to keep it flowing, I take Motherlove More Milk Blend, Shatavari, and Malunggay, and I drink this smoothie at least 4 times a week.  You guys, this stuff is no joke. After a week of taking the supplements 3 times a day and drinking this smoothie, I was pumping 5 oz. per breast, which is crazy for having a 3 month old. I actually cut back the supplements to even things out, but still drink the smoothie regularly.

Get Your Green On: Juices and Smoothies

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

Eat Your GreensYou know by now that you’ve gotta eat those greens.  Dark leafies are the single healthiest group of foods out there.  Loaded with nutrients, they are major health powerhouses, and the best part is, you can eat them as much as you want!  If you’re not doing so already, make greens a big priority in your eating — shooting for a full serving at least twice a day.  Salads, cooked greens, greens in your eggs, greens tossed into soup, and as a side for pretty much anything you’re eating — they are super easy to make into a daily habit.

To Juice Or To Blend? That is the question…

By: Stephanie Heino

juicingversusblendingLately, it seems juicing and blending are on every health fanatic’s lips, and we wanted to weigh in.  For a long time I was wondering what the actual difference was between blending and juicing foods, and I know that I am not alone so let us clear this confusion by listing the pro’s and con’s of each so you can see what fits you best. First of all, it’s important to note that just because it is a smoothie doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Buying pre-made smoothies in stores is probably not a good idea if you are looking for optimal health benefits. Often times they are loaded with sugar and preservatives to be kept fresh (a major no-no!).

Let’s start by defining juicing to clear the confusion. “Juicing is a process in which a machine, either through centrifugal force, grinding or mastication (chewing), extracts juice from its source. The juice will contain most of the nutrients, but not all of them, despite what ardent juicers claim. This process removes the insoluble fiber and some of the soluble fiber from the juice, which contains healthy colorful antioxidants. According to studies, juicing delivers 80% to 90% of the antioxidant potential of a veggie or fruit. Blending provides close to 100%.”

After extraction, it is best to consume the juice or blended foods within 10 to 15 minutes because antioxidants are activated and used as soon as air and liquid hit the food. There are some juicers that claim a vacuum extraction, however that doesn’t totally stop the loss of antioxidants.

Some also say juicing and blending gives the body more energy than solid food because the only nutrient that is quickly available for energy is sugar. Remember, with blended foods the sugar absorption is slower and steadier (which is a good thing), but even juice requires some form of digestion.

Benefits of Juicing

  • green_juice_smoothies_recipes_apple_cucumber_Broccoli_spinachVery fast delivery of nutrients to the blood stream. Only a small amount of digestion is required.
  • Gives the digestive system a break. Primarily the stomach, pancreas and colon.
  • Because of the lack of fiber, a lot of plant juice can be consumed. You can effectively drink more, consuming more nutrients.
  • Helpful for people sensitive to fiber since there is no insoluble fiber content. Juice does have some soluble fiber, but only a small amount.
  • Provides 80% to 90% of the nutritional value of the food being juiced.

Negatives

  • Allows very fast delivery of sugars to the blood stream.
  • Removes most of the fiber and some antioxidants from the juice.
  • Not as filling or satisfying for most people.
  • More time consuming and more difficult to clean.
  • Good juicers are expensive.

Meanwhile, blending is a process in which the whole foods, along with some liquid, are put in a machine and blended to form a puree. You get everything the whole food has to offer: vitamins, minerals, enzymes, proteins, essential fatty acids, antioxidants and fiber.

tofu-banana-strawberry-smoothieBenefits of blending

  • Fast delivery of nutrients to the blood stream. Only a small amount of digestion is required.
  • Gives the digestive system a break. Primarily the stomach and pancreas.
  • Because the food is blended, it takes up less space than a full meal would. This allows for more nutrient intake at one time.
  • The natural fiber slows the release of sugars into the blood stream.
  • More nutrient availability due to the whole plant being consumed.
  • More filling due to the fiber.
  • Very fast to make a smoothie (or Blast) and clean up.
  • Blenders are less expensive than juicers.

Negatives

  • If someone is sensitive to fiber, it could make a person bloated and a little gassy.
  • You can’t consume as much liquid as you could juicing.
  • Some blenders can create too much heat if you let them blend too long. The heat will kill the naturally occurring enzymes. (This is not the case with NutriBullet, as it doesn’t heat to the point of destroying enzymes.)

In the body, nutrients work together and support health through their interaction. For example, when the pulpy white part of the orange is removed in the processing of orange juice, the flavonoids in the orange are lost. This loss of flavonoids is one of the many reasons for eating the orange in its whole food form. The skin on a apple contains other antioxidants that you are not going to get in the juice and skins of vegetables and fruits contain some of the highest concentrations of nutrients and juicing is not as efficient as the body at extracting those nutrients.

There’s a jungle of blenders and juicers out there, but here is a few great ones to help you chose the best one for you!

Nutribullet ($90-$120)

The praised blender has taken the health market by storm and it truly takes blending to a whole new level by enhancing the absorption of nutrients. It has been called the superfood nutrition extractor since this powerful blender is used to grind up all types of foods into drinks yet keeps all the nutrition. Not only can you use it to make health shakes and juices, but you can also make soups, dressings, desserts, flour, and peanut butter.  We’ve been using this amazing kitchen tool for almost a year and love it.  At under a hundred bucks, it’s an amazing value and is the easiest way to start making super healthy smoothies at home right away!  You get 4 convenient to-go smoothie cups that you can take with you anywhere. (Click to read our full review of the Nutribullet.)  Get it here!

Ninja Mega Kitchen System ($160-$220)

If you’re ready to take your blending up a notch, and want the option for higher capacity blending and food processing, this is the blender for you.  It has a super high powered motor, and is an all-around great blender, because of the combination of the patented Ninja technology and powerful pulsing action. It comes with two to-go sized blender cups (like the Nutribullet), a full-size blender, and a food processor, making it a truly indispensable kitchen tool. At less than half the cost of the Vitamix, this puppy does pretty much everything it’s big expensive brother can do, but at a much friendlier price point.  We recently upgraded to this blender and couldn’t be happier! (Click to read our full review of the Ninja.)  Get it here!

Vitamix ($330-$650)

This healthy kitchen favorite not only makes perfect smoothies, but Vitamix machines are also built to stand up to years of demanding use in commercial kitchens and decades of daily use in your home. Impressive!  It can liquify almost anything, making blended soups and smoothies a cinch.  The high powered motor also warms blended soups without cooking them, which is essential for raw foodies in the colder months!  Get it here for less!

Breville Juice Fountain Compact ($99-$139)

This juicer is one of the best! It collects all the pulp and extracts 8 oz of yummy, refreshing juice in less than 5 seconds. Amazing.  Plus it’s nice and compact, which makes it much more flexible a kitchen tool than many of the bulkier juicers out there.  An awesome value!  Get it here!

Check out these delicious blended soup recipes, perfect for a cold winter day!

Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut squash is delicious, and did you know they’re low in calories and fat and packed with vitamins A & C as well? This soup makes a fabulous, nourishing soup.

Ingredients:bowlcloseup

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 1 medium apple, peeled, cored, seeded and cut into chunks
  • 2½ lbs butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • ½ cup of coconut milk or soy milk
  • ½ cup of cashew puree
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa

Directions:

Sauté onions and apples in a stockpot with olive oil until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for another minute. Add the rest of the ingredients, except coconut milk, cashews and quinoa. Cover pot and simmer for 30 minutes. Add batches of mixture to the blender, add coconut milk, cashews, and quinoa, and puree until smooth. Add a crispy green salad and you have a complete, healthy dinner!

Delicious Tomato Soup

This tomato soup recipe really gives you the nutrition your body needs thanks to the Nutribullet. It’s a great way to heat up on those cold winter days, and in addition to that it is so easy to make.

Ingredients:Tomato-Soup-1

  • 1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 14.5 oz. can Italian tomatoes
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 clove of minced garlic
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup brown rice or quinoa (cooked)
  • ¼ cup of cashews
  • ¼ cup coconut milk (optional)

 Directions:

1.      Place tomatoes, 1 cup of broth, onions, garlic and sweet potatoes in a pot.

2.      Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, until potatoes are fork soft.

3.      Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.

4.      Place cashews in blender and grind.  Add to soup.

5.      In small batches add soup and puree with extractor blade until smooth.

6.      Add brown rice or quinoa to soup and finish with coconut milk.

Happy blending everyone!

Don’t forget to check out our delicious Nutribullet smoothie recipes!

Tips For Younger Looking Skin

5-tips-to-younger-looking-skin-262x300By: Stephanie Heino

Forget the fountain of youth, and simply take a look on what goes into your grocery bag. This is a guide on how to increase the foods that you should consider your anti-aging staples. Fruits and vegetables high in flavonoids and carotenoids, two powerful plant-based antioxidants, are given since they will remove the free radicals from your skin and body that cause you to age prematurely. Overall, a well-balanced diet can help you lose weight, live longer and feel fitter. But it can also help you look younger. It doesn’t have to be so hard. Stop looking for expensive, unnatural products being advertised on TV promising you younger-looking skin by the morning. Instead load up a plate at the feel-better buffet and turn back the clock on a full (and happy) stomach. Exercise and a healthy diet are the best (non-surgical) ways to keep you looking years younger. But certain foods possess qualities that will improve your skin, boost your energy, and even fight of disease.

Spinach. This leafy green is a true nutrient powerhouse, and it’s easy and tasty to use as the base of a salad, or even in your Spinach_2337460bsmoothies. Spinach is rich in lutein, which has been shown to have anti-aging properties.

Cinnamon. Research shows that cinnamon may decrease the post-meal insulin spike. And the more controlled the spike, the less likely you are to store body fat. Add 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon in your smoothie for great taste, but also to help slim your waistline. And, it’s a powerful antioxidant too!

Sweet Potatoes. They do more than to fill out the table at Thanksgiving, ladies. Sweet potatoes contain lycopene, which protects your skin from UV damage. It also is loaded with vitamin C, which produces collagen for healthier skin.

Green Tea. It keeps showing up in many of my posts, but it is truly a miracle drink. Whether you drink it hot or cold, or use it as a refreshing base for soups or stews, green tea might help you look younger. In fact, Chinese researcherimages-2s found that people who drank 3 cups of green tea per day slowed down the aging process. And the reason is that green tea might improve your DNA structure and slow the shorten of cells that results during aging. Great!

Watermelon. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene. Carrots are filled with beta-carotene. And watermelon is loaded with both vitamins, which help protect your skin and repair cells that are damaged by sunlight.

Hemp. Most people know that salmon is a strong source of omega-3s, but so is hemp. Hemp seeds and oils are a natural moisturized, which helps your skin retain moisture and counteract the effects of aging. Eat the seeds raw, or add the oil to your favorite smoothie.

Pistachios. These little green nuts are not only high in nutrition, but they also have a major pistachiosbenefit over other nuts since they come in shells. According to a study published in the journal Appetite, subjects consumed 41 percent fewer calories when in-shell nuts are offered compared to those already shelled. Those who eat nuts gain, on average, an extra two and a half years. Nuts are rich sources of unsaturated fats, so they offer benefits similar to those associated with olive oil. They’re also concentrated sources of vitamins, minerals and other phytochemicals, including antioxidants.

Blueberries. These colorful little berries are high in fiber, loaded with vitamins and minerals, and a great soorganic-olive-oilurce of antioxidants that may help protect the brain and skin.

Olive Oil. Four decades ago, researchers from the Seven Countries Study concluded that the monounsaturated fats in olive oil were largely responsible for the low rates of heart disease and cancer on the Greek island of Crete. Now we know that olive oil also contains polyphenols, powerful antioxidants that may help prevent age-related diseases.

I also want to share 5 easy beauty steps you should follow in order to achieve younger looking skin:

1. Choosing the correct skin care products for your skin type is an essential part to younger looking skin. Either if you are having problem skin or not you should go for all natural skin care products since products that containing harmful ingreBeautiful woman with purifying facial mask keeping her palms by her facedients can increase your chance of premature ageing. Natural ingredients will help your skin remain wrinkle free for as long as possible.  Remember, less is more!

 2. Always use a good eye cream that contains vitamin A. They will soften the fine lines that appear under your eyes by boosting the collagen production. Never use your face moisturizer as your eye cream as these creams weren’t meant for such skin areas. Using a suitable eye cream will also help with under eye puffiness, wrinkles and dark circles.

3. Your face cream must always contain SPF 15 sunscreen which will protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. UVA rays from the sun can damage the collagen, which can result in premature aging and wrinkles.

4. You know it is important to cleanse your face daily, but don’t forget to exfoliate regularly. This will eliminate dead skin cells and giving you younger and more glowing skin. rec-woman-using-a-hula-hoop-credits-thinkstock-04-03-12-md

 5. Believe it or not, but exercise can contribute in a great way to get younger looking skin. Aim to be active for at least 30 minutes a day by going for a walk, go running or even chasing your kids around the local park. Exercise gets your blood flowing, and an increase in blood flow will carry more oxygen to the skin. The boost in blood flow and oxygen to the skin cells also carries nutrients that improve skin health, supporting all the effort you make with moisturizers and other skin care products.

Amazing Superfood Smoothie

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

Following up on our post about the 8 Amazing Superfoods Your Body Needs, I thought it would be awesome to post a delicious, ridiculously-insane-for-your-health Superfood Smoothie that uses almost all of these phenomenal foods.  Obviously, you don’t have to use each and every one, but if you want to supercharge your health, beauty, and energy, this is one majorly effective way to do it.

The Organic Beauty Amazing Superfood Smoothie

1 cup coconut water
1 cup organic baby spinach
1 organic banana (frozen is best!)
1/4 cup organic blueberries
A handful of walnuts
1 tsp maca powder
1 tsp goji berry powder
1 tsp spirulina
1 tbsp chia or hemp seeds
1 tsp bee pollen
A pinch of stevia (optional)

Combine ingredients in blender.

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Nutribullet — A Healthy Kitchen Must-Have!

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

I was home with a terrible virus for over a week not too long ago, which led to a lot of regrettable television choices.  As I was making the rounds of afternoon infomercials, one in particular caught my eye, and honestly, revolutionized my kitchen!  David Wolfe, raw food guru (and one of my instructors at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition) was speaking on behalf of Nutribullet — which, at first glance, seemed like a souped up MagicBullet (a tool I knew I didn’t need).  I really respect David Wolfe’s take on food, and count him among my favorite nutrition experts, so I thought I would see what he had to say.

Mechanically, the Nutribullet isn’t that different from the MagicBullet.  It’s a compact single or double serving blender that can smooth, chop, blend, or liquify pretty much anything.  But that’s the key!  It has a super powerful 600 watt motor that literally liquified fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds into an incredibly potent, concoction that is neither juice nor smoothie, but some magical hybrid.  It’s basically a mini-Vitamix — which is pretty much my dream come true.  (Though the Vitamix is a phenomenal kitchen tool, its bulk and generally unfashionable design–not to mention its hefty price tag–have been keeping me from investing in one)

Though I am an enormous fan of juicing (and base a lot of my cleanses on it), the amount of wasted food and fiber has always been a big issue for me.  Plus, a juicer doesn’t allow me to add nuts and seeds, which are key to created a superfood, detoxifying health cocktail.

Smoothies have been my standby for a long time.  I love making delicious morning creations out of fruit, greens, nuts, and almond milk, but am always annoyed when my smoothie comes out mealy, overly thick, or not completely blended.  Especially when blending fibrous greens like kale or swiss chard, having those stringy pieces still in the smoothie really makes it less palatable even for me (who LIVES for greens!).  And I never hear the end of it from some of my pickier clients, for whom eating greens is already a huge challenge.  I end up adding cups and cups of liquid to my smoothies to get them even close to smooth enough, and still, I find whole, unmilled flax seeds and food particles at the bottom of my glass.  Not ideal.

So you can imagine how pumped I was when I opened my Nutribullet, and made a delicious, super-potent, completely liquified drink, chock full of tons of greens, fruit, nuts and seeds… in under a minute.  I knew mornings would never be the same!  The benefit of a super powerful motor combined with a specialized extractor blade is that it completely breaks down the food for you, pulverizing stems, seeds, and skins of foods to maximize the amount of nutrients you can derive from it and make the whole process that much easier on your digestive system.  We definitely don’t want to liquify all our meals — making our system break down fibers is a good thing! — but being able to efficiently deliver so much nutritious goodness into our bodies for one or two meals a day is amazing.

Everyday for the past two weeks, I have started each morning with a powerful, mega-nutrient drink that leaves me feeling full (but not weighed down after I do after a thick smoothie), energized, and just plain awesome.  Since the blades are so powerful, I can throw whole fruit and veggies into my Nutribullet without having to chop anything up, which saves me tons of time, and with the super fast motor, the perfect consistency takes just a few seconds to achieve.  My favorite part is coming up with new, delicious fruit and veggie combos to try… My new favorites are watermelon/cucumber/apple/lemon/flaxseed and pineapple/kiwi/spinach/sunflower seed.  The recommended proportion is 50% fruit and 50% greens, with a good solid handful of nuts or seeds to top it all off.  Though I’ve always rocked smoothies blended with almond milk, I use spring water with my Nutribullet, which gives the concoctions a consistency more like juice, and less like a heavy smoothie.  Check out my favorite Nutribullet smoothie recipes!

This little gadget will also make doing my seasonal detox/cleanse that much easier!  I’m going to recommend it to all my cleansing clients.  Bottom line… I’m in love!

Benefits of drinking just one full size concoction made up of organic fruit and veggies a day include:

  • Decreased risk of cancer and other diseases (provided you use organic fruit and veggies!)
  • Weight loss (replace breakfast and/or dinner with an amazing Nutriblast, and you’ll reach your target weight in no time!)
  • Increased energy
  • Better skin and hair
  • Increased longevity
  • Lower blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Relief from joint and muscle pain
  • Balanced blood sugar
  • Increased immunity
  • Relief from chronic inflammation
  • Improved mood and concentration

You can get your Nutribullet from nutribullet.com for about $120, or you can purchase it from BrandsMart for $99.98, complete with all the bells and whistles!

Check out our delicious and healthy Nutribullet Superfood Smoothie recipes, and please share your favorite recipes and amazing results below!