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Adaptogenic Chocolate Smoothie

Adaptogenic Chocolate Smoothie

Maca will support your body’s own production of numerous hormones, increasing or decreasing their levels according to your individual needs.

This magical smoothie is boosted with delicious raw cacao and the sweet-tasting South American  adaptogenic root called Maca. Maca helps support the body’s own production of numerous hormones, increasing or decreasing their levels according to your individual needs.

What does adaptogen mean?

Adaptogens are natural substances like herbs and plant extract that increases the body's ability to resist the damaging effects of stress and promote or restore normal physiological functioning.

Think of adaptogens like a thermostat. The keep your body’s stress response at a desirable level, much like the way a thermostat keeps the temperature from becoming too high or too low. They’re good for you all the time, not only when you have a high level of stress.

I'm not really stressed, one might think. I'm sure you feel that way and it might be true for some people but most of us are kind of semi "stressed" all day long. Think about stress as what is commonly called your “fight or flight” response. Today, most of us don’t have to worry so much about lions or other obvious dangers like that. However, most modern-day stresses are ongoing. Like sitting at your comuter and working on a project with a deadline. When your adrenal system remains in a constant active state, it throws your body out of balance. Constant stress can create a lot of imbalances in your body, especially on your digestive system and energy levels.

Adaptogenic Chocolate Smoothie
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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 zucchini
  • 2 medjool dates
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 3 tbsp raw cacao
  • 1 tsp maca powder
  • 1/2 tsp ashwagandha*
  • 1/2 tsp reishi
  • 1/2 tsp Ceylon cinnamon
  • pinch pink Himalayan salt

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. If you prefer it sweeter add a banana or another date. If you prefer it thinner add some almond or oat milk. This serving serves two small glasses or one big.

* Ashwagandha Dangers for Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Plain and simple, please do not use Ashwagandha during pregnancy. There is evidence that it could cause miscarriages. I don’t know enough about the effects of using this herb during breastfeeding. It may be unsafe. If you are trying to become pregnant or if you have had previous miscarriages in your life, Ashwagandha is not for you. It's natural and safe to use if you're not taking any medication. But with that being said. It's very powerful.

adaptogenic Chocolate Smoothie
Adaptogenic Chocolate Smoothie

The small adaptogen pantry. This choloate smoothie is a pretty basic smoothie that I drink quite often. I sometimes make it green with plenty of spinach and kale instead of raw cacao, but one thing that's always the same is my adaptogens. These are 4 of the adaptogens that I use on a daily basis.

Maca

Some women get life-changing results from maca and others feel worse. If you are thinking of trying it or have tried it in the past with mixed results, try different phenotypes (colors of maca) and change up the amounts, dose can make a big difference. Phenotypes, the different color types of maca contain some different active ingredients which trigger specific health benefits. Maca is a nutrient-rich root that is known to relief PMS, help with libido stimulation and balance Peri- and Menopause.

Reishi

Also known as the “mushroom of immortality,” reishi is a Chinese herbal mushroom that comes in six different types. The most potent variety, red reishi, is used for it's immune-boosting properties. Reishi mushroom benefits the liver and heart organs foremost. Reishi is able to down-regulate alpha-glucosidase, the enzyme responsible for breaking down starches into sugars. This magic mushroom has also shown to help with kidney problems and wound healing in diabetics.

Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is one of the most important herbs in Ayurveda (a form of alternative medicine based on Indian principles of natural healing). Many of it's health benefits are attributed to the high concentration of withanolides, which have been shown to fight inflammation and tumor growth. In a controlled study of chronically stressed adults, the group that supplemented with ashwagandha had significantly greater reductions in cortisol than the control group. The group taking the highest dose had a 30% reduction, on average.

Ceylon cinnamon

Cinnamon is known to have an anti-diabetic effect. It helps lower blood sugar levels and also can improve sensitivity to the hormone insulin, which is the vital hormone needed for keeping blood sugar levels balanced.

Adaptogenic Chocolate Smoothie

I try to avoid too much fructose in my smoothies. As you can see in the recipe, the base of this smoothie is zucchini instead of the more common base of bananas. What I love about zucchini as a smoothie base is that it's completely natural in flavor but still creamy in texture. So it's perfect for those of you who doesn't really like that banana flavor that overshadows pretty much anything.

I also try to add as much good fats to my smoothies as possible. Nut butters, seeds, full fat coconut milk and algae oils.

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I hope you'll enjoy this thick and creamy chocolate smoothie. If you're one of those people who doesn't like thick smoothies, be sure to add some water or plant milk to make it thinner.

Adaptogenic Chocolate Smoothie

Enjoy!

Chocolate Fat-Balls

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I try to always have some Fat-balls stored in the fridge and freezer because this is the best everyday snack you can ever imagine!

Fat-balls!! Every one that follows Lee from America knows about them already. And if not, they're pretty much superyummy balls that are high in fat + protein and low in sugar. I love chocolate so I had to create a CHOCOLATE fat-ball recipe! I try to always have some Fat-balls stored in the fridge and freezer because this is the best everyday snack you can ever imagine!

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INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut shreds
  • 2 tbsp raw cacao
  • 10 Brazil nuts
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds
  • 1 tsp coconut palm sugar (optional)
  • pinch salt
  • 3 dates
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil

DIRECTIONS

  1. Start by combining all of the ingredients into a food processor. 
  2. Process for 1 minute until a crumbly dough has formed.
  3. Next, add some extra coconut oil if needed. Process for an additional 1 minute until well processed.
  4. Fill a bowl with coconut flakes. (I have colored mine with natural coloring such as spirulina, and pitaya powder. Just for fun, this is completely optional.)
  5. Roll mixture into balls. Roll in coconut to coat.
  6. Store in an air tight container for up to 3 months in your freezer. Or about 1 week in your fridge. Best enjoyed slightly thawed. 
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This recipe makes about 10 balls and each ball is around 170 kcal. Each ball has around 4,5 g of protein. 15,5 g of fat and 2,5 g of fiber! :) There's also a very good and healthy amount of zinc, iron and magnesium in these balls!

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Enjoy! <3

Aligning your journaling practice with your menstrual cycle

Journaling is a beautiful tool for self-care and reflection. If you wanna try it or just take your journaling practice to the next level, try scheduling time for it during your menstrual phase!

While it's often assumed that anyone who's menstruating isn't working at a top mental pitch, the truth is quite the opposite! In fact, hormone levels decline quickly to their lowest concentration during the menstrual phase. This creates the greatest communication between the two brain hemispheres (the analytical side and the feeling side). This means that we as women are best able to synthesize how we feel about situations at this phase in our cycle. This is why the menstrual phase is a perfect time for journaling. This is a time where we can really see the big picture, analyze situations and review the different areas of our lives.

I've never been much for journaling, but as I've tried to live more in tune with my cycle and use each phase for my benefit, I've decided to give it a try. It actually feels good to take the time and space for it. It has felt very beneficial to me to turn inward and to reflect on where I am right now and just appreciate that...

If you're giving journaling a try, be aware of the masculine energy (the go-go-go type of thinking) that is dominant in most of us women today. Don't make this a big planning/mind mapping session! It's not about where you want to go or how you want to improve yourself/your life/your career. There's a time and space for that too, but I would suggest using the follicular phase (the 2nd phase of the menstrual cycle) for that. This is a time where you look inward and reflect, see it as a date with yourself. A time to get to know yourself a little more...

Here's an easy way to start of your journaling session!

  1. Set the alarm for 1 hour, an hour just for you. You're giving yourself this hour of undivided attention. Turn off all notifications and other disturbances.
  2. Light some candles and turn on a nice playlist of relaxing music (preferably non verbal songs not to disturb your thoughts).
  3. Start by writing down something you are stressed about.
  4. Write down the words you would love to hear when you're sad.
  5. Using 10 words, describe yourself kindly. Don't judge yourself.
  6. Make a list of the people in your life who genuinely support you, and who you can genuinely trust.
  7. Make a list of everything that inspires you — from books to websites, from quotes to people, from places to paintings.

Finish these sentences:

  1. I couldn’t imagine living without…
  2. These are the ways I've grown over the past 5 years...
  3. The qualities I admire most in others are...
  4. When I’m in pain — physical or emotional — the kindest thing I can do for myself is…
  5. I really wish others knew this about me…
  6. If my body could talk right now, it would say…
  7. I feel most energized when…

Answer these questions:

  1. What does unconditional love look like to me?
  2. What would I do if I loved myself unconditionally?
  3. What did I most enjoy doing this past week?
  4. What has surprised me the most about my life or about the world in general?
  5. What could I learn from my biggest mistakes?
  6. How do I deal with anger?
  7. What would I do if I knew I couldn't fail?

Really take time here... Ask yourself these questions, and read the sentences out loud... Sometimes we need to read them several times before we receive the answers. Don't rush...

Lots of Love, N