drink

Acai Berry Detox Bowl

acai berry detox bowl

Ah acai, acai. Or rather ah-sigh-EE, ah-sigh-EE! I first met acai when I was in Brazil where they sell it on the streets everywhere, usually in the form of acai bowls or cups. You cannot miss them, they really are everywhere. Lovely piercing purple dollops on every street corner. The thing is, it’s damn cheap in South America and you pay a pretty penny here for it but the desire to get reunited with acai was too strong and I really HAD to have some. Yeah when I think of Brazil these bright purple cups are high up there on my list of Brazil memories, funny the things that stick with us!

Acai cup

Having this again made me remember why I love it so much! Memories of Copacabana beach and the beach vendors selling bright vibrant purple acai bowls topped with all sorts of things. This is super refreshing and truly feel good food. It’s more filling than it looks as it contains a hefty amount of fruit which adds to the thick consistency and more importantly the turbo charged vitamin and mineral antioxidant content. This is truly good mood food.Acai cup in the blender!

Acai is more than just a pretty face and a hard to pronounce berry. It’s wonderful stuff, the superfood of superfoods and is one of the planet’s highest sources of antioxidants. As such this acai berry detox bowl is packed with mega health benefits, here’s just 5 of so many:

high in a particular antioxidant (called anthocyanins but you don’t care about the name right?) that lowers cholesterol
aids weight loss and reduces negative effect of high fat diets
high in fibre and detoxifying
anti-ageing
energy boost, combats fatigue and exhaustion.Beautiful acai + the toppings!

It’s not a smoothie, it’s not ice cream, it’s not frozen yoghurt, it’s a cleansing acai bowl for any time. A thick, sweet, berry infused superfood soft serve.Pretty acai cup

Make it thick or thin, dark or light, acai will never let you down. My new favourite snack!Acai cup

Acai berry detox bowl

(serves 1)

1 frozen banana
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup raspberries
1/2 cup blackberries
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon almond butter
handful spinach leaves
1 heaped tablespoon acai powder
berries, seeds, sliced banana + coconut for topping

Blend all the ingredients on high speed until smooth + creamy. A thick frozen yoghurt consistency is best. Top with delicious things and enjoy.

A Sunshine Winter Wellness Anti-Flu Drink + 5 ways to Stay Cold Free

antiflu smoothieOh my goodness, we’re barely out of autumn and already people are coughing and splattering about the place. I forgot how much I hate it when people come to work spreading their germs – stay at home please, no need to be the hero! Yeah, yeah, I’ve done this too…………..but anyway, this post is inspired by the trickle of nose juice, courtesy of a client that splattered all over my left foot yesterday. I can’t blame him really, I was the one wearing gladiator sandals…….it’s what I do when I refuse to give in to the colder temperatures!Sunshine ant-colds smoothie

I’m a queasy person and I was horrified with this nose juice making contact with my foot, running off mid conversation to desperately clean the offended foot in the bathroom, twice over. Yes, this did really happen and I still have a slight shudder at the thought!Sunshine smoothie

I feel much better after drinking one of these though.Sunshine smoothie

Now it’s a fresh new day and I’m fully recovered post trauma so lets get involved in doing our utmost to ensure we give flus and colds a good boot up the backside. Here’s 5 things that really do work for me, and Russ too – I don’t think he’s had a cold for like 3 years! So here goes:

1. Garlic – whole books have been written about garlic’s amazing health benefits but here we’re interested in it’s antiviral + antibiotic properties. They’re good.
2. Citrus + vitamin C – lemons contain antibiotic properties so vital for a fully functioning immune system and for fighting free radicals. Lots of vitamin C too.
3. Sleep + rest – research shows that poor sleep makes people susceptible to colds. I can vouch for this as when I seem to feel run down it usually correlates with a period of poor sleep. Get at least 7 hours and try to get at least 1 hour before midnight.
4. Chili – if you are currently fighting a cold then eat spicy foods. Yep, your nose + eyes may run but this is a good thing + may give you some relief by opening up congested nasal passages and clearing sinuses. The capsaicin will numb the nerves in your head when it’s clogged by colds. Oh + 1 chili can contain 4 X as much vitamin C as an orange.
5. Ginger – my one true love. Ginger contains chemicals which I don’t know the name of that fight rhinoviruses – these are the most common type of cold. Ginger helps ease coughing, is a mild sedative + a natural fever reliever. Add it to teas, smoothies, juices, stir fries, cookies or just EAT it as is, everyday!

I know I said 5 but here’s a bonus point! Turmeric- gosh this spice is a knock out in health benefits and one of its super powers reduces the severity of bacterial + viral infections.Healing ingredients

Yep, I’m thinking stir fry too (and curry and soup and moroccan stew) but this smoothie is a fantastic and speedy way of boosting our immune system and preventing winter colds and infections. Let’s call it a sunshine smoothie, a wellness drink and a health tonic too cos it’s all these things and mighty tasty too.Easy + effective cold remedy

The sunshine smoothie recap: pineapple for it’s magnificant vitamin C content, lemons for obvious reasons, ginger, garlic, turmeric (we’ve been here!), apple (well they do say an apple a day keeps the doctor away!), 1/2 frozen banana for a creamier consistency and the rest is history.

Get involved now, the perfect defence to those winter colds. Get well and get smug.A true health tonic

Sunshine  winter wellness anti-flu drink

(serves you)

1 cup fresh pineapple, chopped (or tinned in juice)
1 lemon, skin removed
1 apple
1/2 frozen banana
2 inch pice of ginger
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 clove garlic
sprinkle of cayenne
1/2 cup water, coconut water or apple juice
5 ice cubes

Add all ingredients to a blender + blend until smooth. Enjoy the sunshine.

Kale, Apple, Raspberry + Goji Green Smoothie

kale & goji smoothieThe power of the green smoothie. After a few instagram postings of my super green smoothies, I now have my Mum making them and dishing them out to anyone that wants them (yep, my 86 year old grandmother!). Proud much.Drink your greens!

I’ve promised myself to keep up my green smoothie habit so the Vitamix is getting a bit of a beating these days. Plus, I’m getting pretty experimental with my concoctions, some of them not as nice as others. I really like this kale, apple, raspberry + goji smoothie so thought it best to share it as inspiration to get creative and make your own.

I pretty much use kale as the main green in my ‘green’ smoothie and for good reason. At the end of the day, it really is all about the kale. I still can’t get over this: 1 cup has 1327% of our daily vitamin K needs. Woah. But in case you were interested in some more in depth reasoning of why you need kale in your life, just check these ten reasons out.  But, but but, kale per calorie has more calcium than milk. Hallelujah. See, kale really is everybody’s friend. Not milk, milk is never your friend. Raspberry, kale, apple + goji smoothie

I’ve never been a massive fan of goji berries, I like ’em just don’t love ’em but I must admit they do have some redeeming features. Chewy, tangy and sweet, they give this smoothie a nice flavour and texture as well as a ramp up on the nutritional front. Like many berries, goji’s have very powerful antioxidant properties and excellent levels of vitamin A, so a great choice to throw into your morning smoothie and pretty tasty on their own as a chewy snack.Blend those greens!Blend it up!

Apple is probably my favourite fruit to throw into a green smoothie as not only does it increase the nutrient density, it makes it richer in fibre and gives a huge whack of juicy sweetness. Yum. I like this smoothie for the light snack that it is but if you wanted to make it more substantial a nut butter, hemp, flax or chia seeds would be great additions. Have your smoothie your way, of course.

What’s your favourite smoothie addition?Drink your greens!

Kale, apple, raspberry + goji berry smoothie

(serves 2)

2 handfuls fresh kale
1 apple, chopped
1 cup raspberries
1/3 cup goji berries
1 cup almond milk
1 frozen banana
6 ice cubes

Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.

Lavender + Blueberry Slow Down Smoothie

lavender and blueberry smoothieWhen did it become so cool to be so busy? Have you noticed how busy everyone is and even when they’re not they’re pretending to be! But this is just what we do. When I take a look around I see – do more, get energised, kick start, jump to it, go go go, fast track – you get the picture! I’m all for being productive, getting stuff down and making the best use of my time but hang on a second, let’s not forget to……..

Slow down.

Take a moment.

Do nothing, steady ourselves, let go and just be.Slow down + relaxThis lavender + blueberry slow down smoothie is a celebration of not being busy, an ode to doing nothing. It’s a smoothie to calm, soothe, sedate and harmonise. There is no stress in this smoothie, just pure plant power.

I’ve got a big thing for lovely lavender. We go back years, so much so it’s become a running joke that I’m an old lady due to my lavender love! But I don’t care because although it sounds silly to say, lavender has been a very loyal friend. This amazing healing herb has stuck with me through thick and thin, in ups and downs, providing calming comforting vibes when I needed them most. Insomnia as a child, in times of shock, in anxious times, on grazed knees and during periods of unsettling change, lavender eased and soothed.lavender & blueberry smoothieIt’s part of my treasured sleep kit, travelling the world with me, a comforting companion at night wherever I may be. My pillow is always infused with the scent of heavenly lavender and I take it wherever I go. On our recent Canada RV trip I dropped a few drops on my pillow, creating a familiar happy and relaxing place to lay my head. I really do love lavender. We have an abundance of this violet flora blooming in the canal bank, abundant with delicate lavender flowers ready for relaxation and lavender infused blueberry slow down smoothies.

Inhaling, applying, burning, sprinkling, steaming, and bathing in this essential oil – my lavender usage knows no bounds. Until very recently, I had never thought to eat this highly edible herb and I’m not sure why because it has the most beautiful, delicate, floral aroma with violet undertones. The flavour of this lavender + blueberry smoothie reminded me of little parma violet sweets I used to eat as a kid.Lavender + blueberry smoothieThe healing lavender in this slow down medicinal smoothie provides vitamin A, iron, calcium and a soothing effect on the central nervous system. Super fruit blueberries are almost too amazing to comment on but what the heck – these super berries boost this smoothie by providing whole body antioxidant support as well as cardiovascular, cognitive, blood sugar, eye health and anti cancer benefits. Bananas are packed full of magnesium and potassium, perfect for relaxing tired muscles. Bananas combined with the lavender are a recipe for a calmer, more relaxed and rested self. Goodness me, with banana and lavender we’ll sleep like a log.

What’s your best way to slow down and relax?Lavender + blueberry smoothieLavender + blueberry slow down smoothie

(serves 2)

1 teaspoon dried lavender
2 cups almond milk
1 cup blueberries
1 frozen banana
1 tablespoon maple syrup

Add ingredients to a blender and blitz on high speed until smooth.

Beet, Apple, Lemon + Spinach Smoothie

Fresh fruits & vegetablesMy Mum donated some beets to yours truly that a friend had gifted her from their veggie garden – that’s the nicest, I need these friends! Anyway, I just love making things with produce grown in someones garden and then passed along for others to enjoy. Whenever this happens I always end up cooking something really random, it definitely gets the creativity flowing! Take marrows, although I like them I wouldn’t usually buy them but if someone gave me a marrow from their garden, well firstly I’d be honoured but mainly I’d have fun making something tasty out of it…albeit random!Delicious red smoothie

Growing vegetables full stop is too impressive to me but I did actually have my own patch in our garden as a kid – potatoes, onions, carrots and strawberries, funny the things we remember. I’m totally feeling inspired to start a little growing myself but I need to get Russ to build me a few planting boxes first. I’ll start small, maybe simple salad leaves, onions etc, this isn’t a random list but what people tell me are the easy growers. I know I’m going to love it purely gaged on the weirdly high level of enjoyment I get from cutting parsley I grow myself. It’s true, I hope I don’t sound too weird!

I’m right bang in the middle of a juicing phase so of course I was going to make a red smoothie. All I needed was a small leap of faith and I’d be there! Yes, I put beetroot in the Vitamix, hoping and praying that it wouldn’t stain. It didn’t, phew! Now I’m safe in the knowledge that I can pulse my beets without fear of stainage! That’s good news, because beets combined with the right ingredients are gooood juiced up. I shared it with Russ because sharing is caring and this is his favourite so far. It was pretty delicious but I still prefer the meaner greener smoothies.Red smoothies process

Sweet, smooth, earthy and zingy – it definitely perked me up after! This is an energising and cleansing beverage for any time of the day, with three servings of freshness and a good protein boost from the chia seeds. A smoothie juice with a winning edge.

Do you grow your own veggies? What’s the easiest to grow?Delicious red smoothie

Beet, apple + spinach smoothie

(serves 2)

1 beet, peeled & chopped
! apple, chopped
2 large handfuls spinach
1/2 frozen banana
juice of 1 lemon
4 ice cubes
1 cup water
1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

Goodness Green Spinach, Kiwi + Spirulina Smoothie

Putting the green into a green smoothie!I cannot tell you how happy I am to be drinking green smoothies. Why oh why has it taken so long for me to start this habit? I am loving my Vitamix too, who knew such a simple thing could do so many amazing things. Anyway, this is the first (of many!) green smoothies I’ll be making in this little darling. I’m not sure if you’ve ever seen the Thomas Crown Affair remake (the one with Pierce Brosnan), I think I was about 18 when I watched it. Anyway, there’s a scene with Renee Russo drinking one of these green smoothies and I remember wondering what the hell it was! Randomness, I know but I felt the urge to share that. It also goes to show how the US are space ages ahead when it comes to certain super foods and health crazes. Green juicing has become pretty mainstream now but I have to say the office were still a little taken back by my large glass jar crammed full of green stuff! It’s literally everywhere though, I watched ‘Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead’ the other night and was amazed by how juicing can actually transform lives. Of course these people were extreme cases and personally I couldn’t juice for extended periods of time but it really opened my eyes to the health benefits of a time limited juice diet.Smoothie making

This particular smoothie contains spirulina which of course is entirely optional but gee whizz it gives a superb health boost and really puts the GREEN into a green smoothie. This amazing post on Mind Body Green is all the evidence I need to put a teaspoon into my greens. I buy this green algae from Holland & Barrett but there are good bargains to be had on Ebay too.DSC_6594

I’m the first to admit it isn’t exactly pretty but the taste is utterly delicious! The kiwi, banana and almond milk balance out the spinach and spirulina flavours perfectly, resulting in a silky, smooth, supercharged health tonic that has you feeling on top of the world! Of course, if the spirulina makes this green smoothie just a little too green for your taste, just leave it out.Spirulina smoothie

It’s near impossible to list the vitamin and mineral boost this drink provides but let’s just say there’s hefty amounts of vitamin A, B1, B2, C, E, K, magnesium, potassium, calcium and tryptophan. It’s high in fibre and protein and the perfect health tonic for a pick me up late afternoon or as part of a power breakfast.Smoothie all gone!

Spinach, kiwi + spirulina smoothie

(serves 1)

2 handfuls fresh spinach
1 kiwi, skin removed
1/2 frozen banana
1 teaspoon spirulina (optional)
1 cup almond milk

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blitz on high for 45 seconds or until smooth. Enjoy the goodness.