Friday, March 7, 2014

My new favorite smoothie!

Starting your day the liquid way is an awesome way to hydrate and get a dense blast of nutrients, even if you're in a rush or still half asleep. All week, I've been experimenting with ingredients and flavor combinations. I've also lost 4 pounds toward my goal, because I've been tracking my calories (creating a deficit of about 200 calories a day, while maintaining a healthy carbohydrate/fat/protein ratio), and exercising.

Sharing is caring! Try this:

1 cup raw chopped kale
1/4 cup blueberries
1/4 cup pineapple
1/4 cup raw cashews
1/2 scoop Gold Standard Whey (chocolate)
1 tsp cayenne
1 ice cube

I use my Magic Bullet to blend all ingredients until the cashews and kale are smooth. It makes a lively-looking green chocolate smoothie and you can taste a kick from the cayenne!

Nutritional info:
287 calories
41% carbs, 34% (healthy) fats, 25% protein
4g fiber
19g protein
227% daily vitamin A
166% daily vitamin C
37% daily calcium
18% daily iron
561g potassium

I've started using cayenne for the first time ever this week. Here's why. By weight, cayenne is high in vitamins A, B6, E, C, riboflavin, potassium and manganese. Even more interestingly:
Cayenne pepper consumption dilates the blood vessels and speeds the metabolism due to the high amounts of capsaicin. This increases circulation and blood flow to all major organs which facilitates oxygen and nutrient delivery.
Some research suggests that cayenne pepper may support a healthy energy balance while suppressing appetite. It has also been shown to aid in the oxidation of adipose tissue, regulate high blood pressure, promote healthy liver function and tissue production, help regulate the digestive system, promote healthy mucus production in the membranes that line internal organs.
I don't know about "promoting healthy mucus" but I can attest to cayenne's power to break up mucus. It is March; I am so sick of the 20 degree, snowy winter weather in Boston, and so ready for it to be Spring. After a cold I had this winter, I could not seem to fully rid myself of a lingering background congestion, until I started using cayenne this week. Coincidence or not, I am breathing clearly, and it tastes great with chocolate! I'm keeping it on the menu.
Cayenne pepper is also claimed to be an aphrodisiac because it contains capsaicin... 
...Alright then! Happy Smoothie-ing!

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