My Cacao Green Smoothie Bowl and How it all Began!

Hi!  I’m very excited to be sitting down and writing my first blog for My Goodness Health & Lifestyle Coaching!  

Since having my children I have gone through much soul searching (and google searching!) to figure out what I wanted to do with my life aside from being a mother and wife.  

I knew I wanted to do something relating to health and nutrition and that’s when I discovered Health Coaching and enrolled with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN) who are the world leaders in educating Integrative Nutrition Health Coaches.

I worked hard and was extremely committed throughout my year of studies as I passionately enjoyed everything I was learning.

In March this year, I graduated and was very fortunate to travel to Miami and attend IIN’s annual conference for Health Coaches.  I had such an amazing time meeting like-minded people who shared my passion for wellness and making a difference in the world.  I listened to some world-class speakers and was inspired to take the big step to set up my own coaching business.  And here I am!

While in Miami I sought out some amazing cafes and restaurants and as a vegetarian was so happy to find many vegetarian and vegan restaurants.  


Plant House Cafe

Plant House Cafe

On my first day (after a couple of hours lounging by the pool) I had lunch at Plant House in 1 Hotel South Beach and it was so good I went back the following day for breakfast after a very long walk along the beach.

I chose a Cacao Green Smoothie Bowl which was topped with spirulina granola and enjoyed it with my iphone turned off so I could be completely present and absorb the ocean view and savour every delicious mouthful!  I decided that this was something I needed to reinvent when I got back home so that the Miami vibes could live on!

As a IIN Health coach one of my main goals is to educate people on the benefits of good fats and the demon that is sugar!  I have adapted the recipe from Plant House and made my own version of the Cacao Green smoothie bowl which is packed with brain boosting fat and I promise it won’t make you fat!

I have shared my recipe below but here is the low down on some of the great fats in this smoothie and why you shouldn’t be afraid to load up.

Avocados are the perfect food to protect and enhance your brain.  They are also rich in vitamin E which is a powerful antioxidant that may help to reduce free radical damage and slow the aging process.  They contain pigments which can boost your brains processing speed and which rely on an abundance of healthy fats to be absorbed.

They provide twice the amount of potassium as a banana.  Potassium works with sodium to regulate blood pressure and is essential for vascular health.

One whole avocado contains 12 grams of fibre which feeds the good bacteria in your gut, reducing inflammation, and boosting growth factors in the brain!

I have a true love for avocado and add half to most of my meals.  

Avocados are on the list of the ‘Clean Fifteen’ which is a list of foods published by the Environmental Working Group that are least likely to be contaminated with pesticide residue.  Therefore, you do not need to buy organic, my family eat so many avocados that If I bought organic I would blow my grocery budget!  

Cashew or almond butter

Almond skins have been shown to have a prebiotic effect, this mean that they feed the good bacteria in your gut.  They are a rich source of polyphenols – plant defense compounds that provide an antioxidant effect to both you and to your gut bacteria.  And, almonds are a powerful source of fat-soluble antioxidant vitamin E. More brain fuel for you!

Cashews are packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which include vitamin E, K and B6, along with minerals like copper, phosphorous, zinc, magnesium, iron and selenium, all of which are important for maintaining good bodily function.

Research shows that eating more nuts can lower your risk for cardiovascular disease.  This may occur by reducing blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels.  Nuts are naturally cholesterol-free and contain good amounts of heart-healthy fats, fibre, and protein.

Other vitamins and minerals in nuts, like potassium, vitamin E and B6, and folic acid also help to fight heart disease.

When buying a nut butter always read the ingredients to be sure it only contains nuts, you do not want to buy anything with added oil, salt or sugar.

Many vitamins are fat soluble and need to be consumed along with good fat to get the full benefits.

RECIPE

Cacao Green Smoothie / Bowl 

Serves 2

Prep Time: 5 min

1 banana

½ avocado

2 handfuls organic baby spinach

2 tablespoons raw cacao powder

2 tablespoons cashew nut butter

2 teaspoons of spirulina

1 teaspoon cinnamon 

2 cups of almond milk (adjust liquid to desired consistency)

 

Optional

2 scoops of vanilla protein powder (I like Garden of Life)

 

METHOD

  1. Place everything in a high speed blender and mix until smooth.  If making a smoothie bowl the consistency should be thick and spoonable!
  2. For a smoothie bowl, split between two bowls and sprinkle with toppings like nuts and seeds for crunch and protein.  I like to use my homemade muesli which is basically nuts and seeds toasted in coconut oil and cinnamon.  

I have hosted coffee morning workshops with the theme ‘Eating Good Fats’ and served this smoothie bowl.  It is a true winner!!

If you’re interested in personal health coaching or coming to a future workshop then pop on over to the ‘Contact Me’ page and say hello!  

 
Leannes smoothie.JPG
Plant house smoothie.jpg