Erin Stanczyk | eat.move.rest.

green smoothie

My Go-To Lean Green Protein Smoothie

Eat, Food + Nutrition, RecipesErin Stanczyk22 Comments

Breakfast of Champions

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | Lean Green Protein Smoothie

A smoothie is the best way to pack a powerful punch of nutrient-rich superfoods into your diet. I've shared a handful of smoothie recipes on social media and my favorite combination is always evolving, however, I've been using this recipe for breakfast for about the past year, without fail, and I still can't get enough of it! I like to look at diet and nutrition as an experiment, and when I find something that works, I stick to it!

I love this green smoothie for so many reasons!

  1. It satisfies my sweet tooth without refined sugar.

  2. It gives me energy for work or a workout.

  3. The fruit disguises the bitter-tasting greens.

  4. It eliminates the need for a multi-vitamin.

  5. A smoothie bowl makes for a fun cereal replacement!

When Mother Nature is your doctor, then food is your medicine!

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | Lean Green Protein Smoothie

Glow Green

When you drink this smoothie for breakfast, you could honestly probably eat french fries for the rest of the day and be just fine--not that you should, but just sayin'--it's loaded with the good stuff! If you're not a fan of eating a big bowl of chopped up "yard work," this smoothie might just become your best friend. Spinach, kale, and other dark, leafy greens can be difficult to acquire a taste for if you're not used to eating them, but I can't stress enough how important they are! Whether you're strictly plant-based or a meat-eater, greens should be a staple in all diets.

There's a lot of back-and-forth over how much fruit, grain, starches, meat, dairy, etc. that we should or shouldn't be eating, but one thing all diets and doctors can agree on is that dark, leafy green vegetables are a must! Greens are rich in nitrates, and when consumed, the body converts them into nitrites, and eventually into nitric oxide in the blood, which relaxes the blood vessels and lowers blood pressure. Greens are also highly alkaline, which aids in reducing inflammation in the body. On top of that, they're rich also rich in fiber, folate, carotenoids, vitamins C & K, and minerals like calcium and iron. 

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | Lean Green Protein Smoothie

Power-Players

Why I love these ingredients, in a nutshell:

  • Dark Leafy Greens & Barley Grass Juice Powder - alkalize the body and keep inflammation at bay, rich in protein, iron, calcium

  • Frozen Bananas - the perfect base to thicken and sweeten any smoothie

  • Pineapple - high in bromelain, which speeds up muscle repair and reduces inflammation

  • Green Apple - adds a tart punch - plus, an apple a day, keeps the you-know-who away!

  • Ginger + Cinnamon - warming to the body; stabilize blood sugar levels & reduce inflammation

  • Spirulina - akalizing, detoxifying, enhances athletic performance, speeds recovery, gives rich green color

  • Flax & Chia Seeds - high in heart-healthy Omega-3s & fiber

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | Lean Green Protein Smoothie

It's important to note that the RDA recommends we only need 8-10% of our calories from protein. While my green smoothie is a great source of this vital macro-nutrient, it's also high in an arguably more important component--FIBER! Less than 3% of Americans suffer from a protein deficiency, while more than 97% are deficient in fiber. *More Info at Forks Over Knives


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Lean Green Protein Smoothie

raw vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, refined-sugar-free, oil-free, alkalizing & energizing

Whether it's time for a workout, you just finished one, or you're on your way out the door in the morning, this meal in a glass is the best way to give your body everything it needs...and then some! This protein-packed, nutrient-dense green smoothie will satisfy your sweet tooth without spiking your blood sugar, thanks to its plant-powered, fiber-rich ingredients. Tropical fruits and tart, green apple mask the flavor of sometimes-bitter greens, allowing them to alkalize your body without giving you a gag reflex!

time: 10 min // serves: 2

Printable Recipe & BONUS Smoothie Formula PDF Here

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | EatMoveRest | My Go-To Lean Green Protein Smoothie

ingredients:

method:

  1. All superfood powders are optional, but the benefits are amazing! If you don't have them all on hand, no worries--the essentials are the whole, fresh greens and fruit!

  2. Chop and place ingredients into high-speed blender in order listed above and blend until smooth. Feel free to play around with water and ice amounts to achieve desired consistency. Use less water to make a smoothie bowl!

  3. Pour into 2 glasses (or bowls), cheers, and enjoy! Alternately, you can keep this smoothie all to yourself, saving half in the refrigerator to drink later, or simply cut the recipe quantities in half!

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | EatMoveRest | My Go-To Lean Green Protein Smoothie

notes:

  1. Protein powder is optional, but I highly recommend it, because it adds that extra satisfying sweet, vanilla flavor that really makes this smoothie pop! SunWarrior is my go-to, because it's completely raw vegan, organic, grain-free, and contains no additives. Use discount code "EatMoveRest" for a discount on your purchase!

  2. Purchasing whole flax seed is important, because when you buy it already ground up, it oxidizes rather quickly, causing nutrient-degradation. A quality, high-speed blender should have no problem blending up fresh, whole flax seeds.

  3. Experiment with other nutrient-dense superfood add-ins! Check out my blog post on My Top 10 Favorite Superfoods!

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Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | Lean Green Protein Smoothie

What's In A Glass?

Below is a screen shot from Cronometer.com that gives you an idea of just how much protein you're getting from 100% plant-powered sources. I love using this website and app from time-to-time, to check in and make sure that I'm getting everything that I need. As you can see, if you split this recipe in half, you'll be getting around 430 calories and nearly 20 grams of protein--not to mention a plethora of other vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants!

Green Smoothie Cronometer

Need More Calories?

Dusty likes to add extra frozen bananas and/or extra protein powder to bump up the calories!

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | Lean Green Protein Smoothie

As Seen On YouTube

Catch this recipe on the EatMoveRest YouTube channel and be sure to Subscribe, give it a Thumbs Up, Leave a Comment, and Share with friends and family!


Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | Lean Green Protein Smoothie
Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | Lean Green Protein Smoothie
Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | Lean Green Protein Smoothie

Go Green

If you're toying with the notion of going plant-based, or just want to take your health to the next level, I challenge you to drink this smoothie for breakfast for 7 days and see how you feel! Don't be afraid to experiment and find a combination that works for you--and when you do, stick with it! No matter what, get those greens in!

For more motivation, inspiration, tips, tricks, and tools, be sure to hit the "Join In" button at the bottom of the page to receive my monthly, In The Raw newsletter!  

Try This! Have fun with food art--make a green smoothie bowl!

Designed For Your Lifestyle,

Erin

Erin Stanczyk

Take Your Health To The Next Level With Smoothies + Juices Part 5: Supercharge Your Health With Superfoods

Eat, Food + NutritionErin StanczykComment

* If you haven't already, check out Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 of my 5 Part Series on Smoothies + Juices!


WHAT IS A SUPERFOOD?

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | Take Your Health to the Next Level With Smoothies + Juices Part 5: Supercharge Your Health With Superfoods

You're at the grocery store, you've got your list and you're sticking to it—until a bright, bold, package you've never seen before catches your eye. It's new, it's exciting, you can't pronounce the name, and it's gluten-free! As you approach with caution, the word superfood grabs your attention, and in the cart it goes! 

As of late, superfood has become just another overused marketing term to lure consumers—and it works! But what is a superfood, really? While there is no legal or medical definition, a superfood is a nutrient-rich (typically plant-based) food that promotes good health, and contains much higher amounts of antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals relative to other foods.

 
Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | Take Your Health to the Next Level With Smoothies + Juices Part 5: Supercharge Your Health With Superfoods

the AÇAÍ Berry On Top

If you break food down into categories, you've got your macronutrients (proteins, carbs, and fats), micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), and phytonutrients (phyto—referring to plant nutrients). Macronutrients are what we need to survive, while micronutrients and phytonutrients are what help us to thrive!

All foods contain macronutrients that fill us up; only some contain high amounts of micronutrients and phytonutrients. Superfoods contain a megadose! What I've done for you is taken my top 10 plant-based superfoods and compiled them into a list packed with facts and fun ways to incorporate them into your diet! 

Superfoods don't necessarily improve a bad diet. I like to think of superfoods as the cherry on top of an already healthy diet—the good stuff that'll sky-rocket your health to the next level! 

- Erin's Top 10 SuperfoODS -

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | Take Your Health to the Next Level With Smoothies + Juices Part 5: Supercharge Your Health With Superfoods

Flax • Hemp • Chia • Goji • Spirulina • Maca •   MORINGA • Cacao • AÇAÍ • Wheatgrass


Flax Seed

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | Take Your Health to the Next Level With Smoothies + Juices Part 5: Supercharge Your Health With Superfoods
  • source + location
    • flax seed comes from a flowering plant that is harvested for food, fiber, and textiles
    • cultivated in Babylon as early as 3000 BC; comes in whole seed form or ground up—I recommend whole, un-roasted
  • contents + benefits
    • omega fatty acids, protein, lignans, and fiber
    • great for cardiovascular health and immune system, brain function, joint health, soft skin; fiber helps to eliminate toxins
  • amount + uses
    • 1 tbsp
    • add whole flax seeds to your smoothies or ground flax to oatmeal, and baked goods
  • taste + fun facts
    • nutty flavor
    • best absorbed when ground up, otherwise you will only get the fiber benefits and not the omega fatty acid benefits—I like to buy whole flax seeds and grind them myself for freshness
    • when cutting out animal products, substitute ground flax mixed with water for eggs when baking—it will give you the exact same consistency!
    • can also be found in oil form, and is sometimes referred to as linseed oil

Hemp Seed

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | Take Your Health to the Next Level With Smoothies + Juices Part 5: Supercharge Your Health With Superfoods
  • source + location
    • comes from a variety of the Cannabis plant
    • has been used around the world for over 12,000 years
  • contents + benefits
    • protein—contains all essential amino acids, omega fatty acids, antioxidants, and minerals
    • great for athletes and aids in muscle repair; good for hair, skin, and nails
  • amount + uses
    • 1-4 tbsp
    • hemp seed is best known for its high protein content that is readily available to the body, making it a great addition to smoothies or in the protein powder form; also tasty in baked goods, on top of salads, or just eaten by itself
  • taste + fun facts
    • soft texture with a mild, nutty flavor
    • hemp seed (or hemp hearts) used for culinary purposes are from a different variety of plant than marijuana, and contain extremely low levels of THC that are virtually undetectable, Phew!

Chia Seed

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | Take Your Health to the Next Level With Smoothies + Juices Part 5: Supercharge Your Health With Superfoods
  • source + location
    • comes from the flower of an herb in the mint family
    • historically a staple crop in Central America to the Aztecs, Incans, and Mayans
  • contents + benefits
    • protein, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, phytonutrients, and antioxidants
    • known as the "ultimate runner's food," great for heart health, improves endurance, increases oxygen uptake, impedes dehydration, a "slow carb" that is hydrating and filling due to the fact that the seeds absorb water; highly digestible plant protein
  • amount + uses
    • 1-3 tbsp
    • blend into smoothies, make puddings, use as a flour in baked goods or thicken soups
  • taste + fun facts
    • mildly sweet and nutty; seeds expand, soften, and thicken in liquid
    • like flax, chia can also be used as an egg replacement
    • chia is the Mayan word for strength
    • yes, you can use the seeds and sprout your own ch-ch-ch-chia pet!

Goji Berries

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | Take Your Health to the Next Level With Smoothies + Juices Part 5: Supercharge Your Health With Superfoods
  • source + location
    • also known as the wolfberry, goji berries come from a thorny bush on which purple flowers turn into little orange-red berries
    • date back 2,000 years in Chinese Medicine; revered as the fountain of youth, vitality, and longevity
  • contents + benefits
    • antioxidants, protein—all essential amino acids, and 20+ vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A and C, and iron
    • eyesight, immune system, balance hormones, and longevity
  • amount + uses
    • 1 oz
    • goji berries are great in a trail mix, baked goods, smoothies, or just by themselves
  • taste + fun facts
    • tart and sweet
    • by weight, these berries have more vitamin C than oranges, more beta-carotene than carrots, and more iron than spinach and soybeans
    • a food's ORAC value (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) indicates how well it can fight off disease-causing free radicals in the body—goji has a value of 25,000; to put that into perspective, kale has an ORAC value of 1,700

Spirulina

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | Take Your Health to the Next Level With Smoothies + Juices Part 5: Supercharge Your Health With Superfoods
  • source + location
    • not all superfoods come from an exotic, tropical plant—spirulina is a blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) that is super-concentrated with nutrients
    • mostly found in tropical waters containing high salt content
  • contents + benefits
    • antioxidants, protein—65%, iron, B-vitamins, essential fatty acids
    • great vegetarian source of protein and iron, enhanced endurance, speedy recovery post workout,  boosts the immune system, increases energy
  • amount + uses
    • 1 tsp
    • the best way to use spirulina is blended in a smoothie or juice—it will add a beautiful, deep blue-green color to your green smoothie!
  • taste + fun facts
    • not pleasant by itself, but is virtually undetectable in a smoothie
    • contains the highest percentage of complete protein by weight of any food on earth
    • ORAC score of 24,000, spirulina is right up there with goji—it's got 4x the amount of antioxidants as blueberries

Maca

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | Take Your Health to the Next Level With Smoothies + Juices Part 5: Supercharge Your Health With Superfoods
  • source + location
    • comes from the root of an herbaceous plant 
    • this Peruvian and Bolivian superfood is native to the Andean Mountains, and is one of the only plant foods that is able to thrive at such high altitudes; used by natives as far back as 1600 BC
  • contents + benefits
    • amino acids, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients
    • another great supplement for athletes, maca is an adaptogen, meaning that it is great at repairing and lessening the impact of stressors on the body and muscle repair; good for strength, endurance, and gives you energy without the jitters or a crash like caffeine; balances the endocrine system; balances hormones, supports reproductive function and fertility; used for combating anemia and chronic fatigue while promoting proper adrenal function
  • amount + uses
    • 1 tsp
    • add maca to your smoothie for an extra energy boost and a great flavor or mix it into your tea; use in energy bars, desserts, and baked goods
  • taste + fun facts
    • sweet and nutty with hints of butterscotch
    • look for gelatinized maca powder, meaning that it is more concentrated and the starch has been extracted allowing for easier digestion!
    • this root is supposed to boost your libido—take it for what it's worth!

MORINGA

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | Take Your Health to the Next Level With Smoothies + Juices Part 5: Supercharge Your Health With Superfoods
  • source + location
    • comes from the leaf of the moringa tree, also known as horseradish tree, ben tree, or drumstick tree
    • native to India, Pakistan, and Nepal
  • contents + benefits
    • contains significant amounts of vitamins A, C, and E, as well as calcium, potassium, and protein
    • has been used in Eastern countries for centuries to treat and prevent diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, anemia, arthritis, liver disease, respiratory and digestive disorders, and skin problems
  • amount + uses
    • 1 tsp powder
    • add to smoothies or brew into a hot tea; this is one of my must-have ingredients in my daily green smoothie recipe
  • taste + fun facts
    • mild, slightly earthy flavor
    • the Sanskrit word for moringa is 'saubhajnana,' which means 'knowledge of the heavens'
    • contains more nutrition in the leaf than any other plant yet known

Cacao

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | Take Your Health to the Next Level With Smoothies + Juices Part 5: Supercharge Your Health With Superfoods
  • source + location
    • comes straight from the tropical cacao fruit; raw cacao is obtained through cold-pressing unroasted cocao beans, which keeps the living enzymes intact and removes the oil (cacao butter)
    • a traditionally Mayan superfood known to the Mesoamericans as the "Food of the Gods"
  • contents + benefits
    • one of the most antioxidant-rich foods on the plant, as well as iron and magnesium (of which many Americans are deficient), polyphenols—yes just like red wine, omega fatty acids, and fiber
    • considered a natural aphrodisiac with mood-boosting qualities; unlike chocolate, it is naturally free of sugar and dairy, and can help fight cravings; can lower blood pressure, protect against disease, and promote cardiovascular health
  • amount + uses
    • 1-4 tbsp
    • incorporate into daily smoothies; use as a chocolate chip replacement in treats like cookies, nice cream, trail mix, and energy bars; can also be eaten by themselves straight out of the bag 
  • taste + fun facts
    • nibs are crunchy and somewhat bitter; taste like rich, pure dark chocolate
    • cacao differs from cocoa, which has been roasted at high temperatures, and has usually been processed and manipulated to alter the pH, flavor, color, and nutritional value—all of this destroying many vital enzymes, vitamins, and nutrients
    • there is a very minimal amount of caffeine in cacao beans
    • ORAC score of 28,000—the numbers just keep going up!

açaí

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | Take Your Health to the Next Level With Smoothies + Juices Part 5: Supercharge Your Health With Superfoods
  • source + location
    • pronounced (ah-sigh-ee), this superfruit comes from the dark purple berries of a tropical palm tree
    • indigenous to Central and South America; commonly harvested from the Amazonian rainforests of Brazil
  • contents + benefits
    • one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet; contains antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, amino acids, protein, fiber, and several micronutrients including resveratrol, calcium, magnesium, and iron
    • antioxidants improve overall health and attack disease-causing free radicals in the body, great for energy and focus, low-glycemic, low sugar and can help fight off weight gain and combat cravings, protein and fiber help to keep fuller longer
  • amount + uses
    • 1 tbsp powder or 1-2 frozen packs
    • mixed in with smoothies or "nice cream," this makes an antioxidant-packed tropical treat; beverages, and desserts
  • taste + fun facts
    • creamy and tart berry flavor with chocolate undertones
    • harvest and sales of the crop generates income for native communities and is a great alternative to deforestation and habitat destruction

Wheatgrass

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | Take Your Health to the Next Level With Smoothies + Juices Part 5: Supercharge Your Health With Superfoods
  • source + location
    • grow fresh-cut yourself; also comes in powder and frozen form; powder is great to keep on hand at home
    • use in Mesoamerica and Egypt over 6,000 years ago
  • contents + benefits
    • abundant source of plant protein— 85% by weight, amino acids, live enzymes, amino acids, and chlorophyll; low calorie but contains more than 70 vitamins and minerals 
    • cleanses and energizes; highly alkaline pH, great for detoxifying the organs
  • amount + uses
    • 1/4 tsp powder
    • add to smoothies, juices, dressings, and even energy bars; take a shot by simply measuring out wheatgrass with 1-2oz of water, mix, and gulp!
  • taste + fun facts
    • slightly sweet, but overall a similar taste to fresh cut grass—oh wait, that's what it is!
    • don't worry—it's gluten-free; wheatgrass is harvested at the sprouting stage, when it is at its most nutritionally abundant, and also too young to develop the gluten protein.

* Disclaimer: The above health claims have been reviewed by the FDA, and none of these foods are intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease.

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | Take Your Health to the Next Level With Smoothies + Juices Part 5: Supercharge Your Health With Superfoods

Protein Bonus!

Without going off on too much of a biology tangent…of the above listed superfoods, goji, hemp, chiacacao, spirulina, and wheatgrass are all examples of complete proteins that are from non-animal sources! A complete protein contains all essential amino acids that the body needs, and in the right proportions. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and protein comprises the majority of muscle, along with water. There are 9 essential amino acids, which are essential because the body cannot synthesize, or make them, so they must be obtained through diet.

Are you sold on plant-powered superfoods yet?!

Here are all of the ingredients that I put into my go-to 'Morning Buzz' smoothie! You can find the recipe in Part 3 of this series!


To Much of a Good Thing

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | Take Your Health to the Next Level With Smoothies + Juices Part 5: Supercharge Your Health With Superfoods

Work your way up when trying new superfoods. Be careful not to exceed the recommended amounts or use superfood supplements in excess—there is such a thing as too much of a good thing!


QUALITY + SOURCE

  • Look for reputable companies and brands that provide organic, raw, sustainably grown and harvested products. I love Navitas Naturals—most local health markets and some grocery stores will carry this brand!
  • Buy your superfoods as close to their natural state as possible: whole flax seeds vs. flaxseed oil - you can get a whole bag that will last longer for less money and it will be more nutrient-dense! Many superfoods are only available in powder form, but are freeze-dried, which helps maintain the most nutrients possible.
  • If you're looking for an incredible, nutrient-packed protein shake and/or meal replacement, look no further than Shakeology! There are several incredible flavors, and some are 100% vegan! The best thing about Shakeology is that it's more than just a protein shake—it is packed full of superfoods that aid the body in muscle repair, increased energy, better digestion, and detoxification. I've been drinking Shakeology for 5 years now, and I love the energy it gives me before and/or after my workout, and I've traveled with it all over the world to keep me nourished on-the-go! Check out the man behind Shakeology's superior formulation, Darin Olien. Darin has been around the globe to some of the most remote and exotic locations, in search of nature's most powerful superfoods to bring into Shakeology! If you want to learn more, have a listen to his recent interview on the Rich Roll Podcast!
Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest.

5 STEPS TO UPGRADE YOUR DIET:EAT-UP 

Eliminate animal products and processed foods and minimize inflammatory foods

Always eat whole fruits and vegetables, nuts, and seeds

Try blended fruit-and-vegetable smoothies for nutrient-packed on-the-go meals

Upgrade to more potent and even more nutrient-dense fruit and vegetable juices

Power up your diet with superfoods


Remember: You can't eat a bad diet and expect superfoods to reverse the impact—eat clean and treat superfoods as the icing on the cake, the cherry on top, that extra boost, the peak of the mountain!

My hope is that through this 5 Part Series on Smoothies + Juices I have inspired you to tap into the power of blending and juicing, and experiment with the abundance of nutrient-packed superfoods! I want to hear from you—leave a comment or shoot me a message through my website!

Instagram Answers:

There are 6 of my Top 10 Superfoods in my smoothie bowl photo on Instagram, (goji, cacao, bee pollen, hemp, chia, açaí—which was blended into the smoothie to give it its color!

My favorite superfood is açaí, because I just can't get enough of açaí smoothie bowls, and it gives me so much energy! What's your favorite?!

Designed For Your Lifestyle,

Erin 


Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest.