There is no doubt Hermione is my daughter. Like her mama she loves clothes, books, and vegetables! I have to admit I was scared when I first introduced her to my beloved kale. What if she did not love it? Luckily, my girl gobbles up all sorts of dark leafy greens like kale and spinach. She prefers them in a smoothie but has been known to eat a handful or two of sautéed spinach as well!

Here is the recipe for Hermione’s favorite green smoothie. This smoothie is great for her because it helps her get iron which is one thing not transferred breast milk. After month six when a babies iron stores from birth begin to deplete it is important they get their iron from food. Hermione likes her  smoothie with almond milk, but if you are not ready to give your baby nuts (check with your doctor first) water is just fine. I make this smoothie in large batches and freeze it in ice cubes trays. That way I can quickly defrost a smoothie cube for her when it’s mealtime!

H.A.M’s  Favorite Green Smoothie

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 an avocado
  • big handful of spinach
  • big handful of kale
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of water or almond milk
  1. Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender or Vitamix until thick and smooth adding more or less water to achieve spoonable consistency
  2. Serve to baby!
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Tea Time

Unlike my husband who cannot go to sleep without a cup, I have never been a big tea drinker. Save a few Alice in Wonderland themed birthday parties growing up my tea consumption has been limited. I find that by the time I drink all of the water and green juice I need to in a day there is little time left for other beverages such as tea.

Early into my pregnancy my friend and acupuncturist  asked me if I had started drinking “the tea” yet. I promptly asked “what tea”? She then gave me a recipe that contained a lot of loose herbs I didn’t know how to source. The recipe went into my purse and that was that. A few weeks later she asked me again about the tea and I confessed that I had not even looked at the recipe! After some urging and explanation on her part I agreed to make this special tea and drink it for the rest of my pregnancy and during the time that I am nursing.

This Pregnancy Nourishment Tea is actually quite easy to make. I ordered all of the bulk loose herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs for about $20. All you have to do is mix all the herbs in the right proportions in a big jar or other sealed container and then you can brew your tea as you want it. I like to make a jar full at a time as that makes enough to last two days or so. You could certainly brew your tea by the cupful as well if that is easier for you. Drinking this tea everyday during your pregnancy and post-partum will help with uterine toning (essential for labor), balance your nutrient levels, and aid in milk supply once it is time for that. Plus, as I am learning a cup of tea can be a great bedtime ritual. Especially for those of us that have a hard time shutting down at the end of the day!

Pregnancy Tea

  • 2 parts Red Raspberry Leaf
  • 2 parts Nettle
  • 1 part Oatstraw
  • 1/2 part Alfalfa
  • 1/2 part Rose Hips
  • 1/4 Red Clover
  • 1/4 part Spearmint Leaf
  1. Place 1/4 cup of mixture in a sealable 1 quart jar ( I use a Ball Jar).
  2. Fill jar with boiling water.
  3. Steep for 30 mins.
  4. Store jar in fridge and drink 1-2 cups per day.

 


Frozen Hot Chocolate

Something about the holiday season makes me feel a little bit like a kid again. All of a sudden I want to go ice-skating, wrap presents, decorate a tree, light a menorah and drink hot chocolate. Frozen Hot Chocolate that is. Growing up my most favorite treat on the planet was the Frozen Hot Chocolate from Serendipity. This incredibly decadent treat is/was served in a giant glass and topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings. One of them is enough to give four kids a major sugar high. I have not touched the stuff in at least twenty years but I can still recall the experience vividly.

The other day I picked up some NibMor Organic Vegan Drinking Chocolate  with every intention of making a cup of steaming hot chocolate with almond milk. I love NibMor because it is vegan, organic, gluten free and sweetened with coconut sugar. My favorite is the Mint flavor- a perfect minty chocolaty combination. However, come dessert time that night a hot beverage was no longer what I was craving. Looking around my kitchen for an alternative treat I noticed a tray of OMilk ice cubes in my freezer. I like to keep frozen cubes of almond milk and coconut water on hand to use in my smoothies; they make them frosty cold without watering them down like regular ice cubes do. Also, making almond milk ice cubes is useful when I have more OMilk than I can drink before it expires! Into my Vitamix went some OMilk, a packet of Mint NibMor and two large almond milk ice cubes. The result was a creamy, frosty treat that reminded me of the Frozen Hot Chocolate of my past. Yum!

Frozen Hot Chocolate

  1. Blend in Vitamix or blender.
  2. Top with dark chocolate chunk and enjoy!
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Happy October! This past weekend it really started to feel like fall- crisp, and slightly cool. On Saturday night I wore a jacket out to dinner, which is always a clear sign of weather change. This really is my favorite time of year, I love New York in October.

With fall here in earnest I have found the desire for all things pumpkin spice coming on strong. In fact, I have spent the last few weeks perfecting a Clean, Pure and Simple Pumpkin Spice Granola that will be making its debut (for sale!) soon. Stay tuned here for details!

The easiest and quickest way I know to get my pumpkin spice fix is with this Pumpkin Pie Smoothie. It tastes like a sweet and creamy dessert, yet is nutrient dense enough to be the perfect lunch. I often add a handful of kale to up the nutrition factor, but for the sake of a pretty photo omitted it this time. This smoothie is made even more delicious with the addition of OMilk’s new seasonal Pumpkin Pie-Spiced Cashew Milk  (available in NYC by delivery). Don’t panic if you can’t get your hands on any OMilk, regular almond milk ( preferably homemade) would work great here as well!

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

  • 1 cup almond milk or OMilk Pumpkin Pie-Spiced Cashew Milk 
  • 1 cup raw sweet potato
  • 1⁄4 of a ripe avocado
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 10 -­20 drops liquid stevia
  • pinch sea salt
  1. Combine all ingredients in a high speed blender or Vitamix.
  2. Adjust sweetness to taste.

 

 

New Video on VegNews TV- How to Make a Green Smoothie

If you read my blog regularly you know that green smoothies are a huge part of my daily routine. Huge. A green smoothie is basically any nutrient dense smoothie that involves greens such as kale, spinach, romaine, chard etc. We are not talking the bottled, fruit and sugar laden smoothies here! These are pure, green nutrition!

In this latest video in collaboration with VegNews TV I show you a basic blueprint for making your own green smoothie. Remember the Choose Your Own Adventure books that were popular during the 80′s and 90′s? This video is the smoothie equivalent of that series. Do you want coconut water or almond milk? Kale or Spinach? The choice is up to you!

 

Spicy Limeade

In the spirit of the Jewish New Year, I have made a few resolutions for myself. As I mentioned yesterday I am much more likely to stick to resolutions made in September than in January so now seemed like the perfect time! My biggest resolution is to seriously cut back my alcohol consumption. I am not a huge drinker but after a summer of constant socializing and a fall that promises to be just as busy, I need to give my body a break. With this in mind I have resolved to not drink on weeknights at all and to greatly limit my drinking on weekends. Starting tonight I have three weeks of constant activity (birthdays, holidays, charity events, video shoots, parties) and there is no way I will make it through if I do not take even better care of my body than I usually do.

My favorite non-alcoholic beverage to drink it a savory lemon or limeade. I have made many versions before including a particularly special Rosemary Lemonade. This newest Spicy Limeade was inspired by both my favorite Spicy Margarita  and my favorite green juice from my friend Christian Henderson at Pure Nutrition. It’s a perfect drink to sip throughout the day, or as a cleaner substitute come cocktail hour!

Spicy Limeade

  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 4 cups water
  • 5 sprigs cilantro
  • 5 mint leaves
  • 4 jalepeno slices seeds removed
  • 2 tsp liquid stevia
  1. Combine all ingredients in a jar or pitcher and allow to “marinate” for an  hour before serving
Watermelon Slushie

This last week of summer “vacation” has left me overwhelmed with feelings of nostalgia. Although it has been many years since the first week of September meant back to school I still feel the same sadness for summers end (and the same desire to buy school supplies). Also, this week is the Hampton Classic which has made me miss my equestrian days quite deeply. I was a committed horseback rider for most of my childhood and teenage years. While I competed in many horse shows up and down the East Coast the Hampton Classic was always one of my favorites. I may stop by tomorrow or Friday and watch some of the classes I used to show in. It has been far too long since I’ve been to a horse show!

As I start to think about packing up our rental house and heading back to NYC and reality I am reminding myself how much I love the upcoming season. I love fall and am excited for crisp days, my birthday, local apples, light jackets and sweater, boots and all things pumpkin spice.

While it is still summer I wanted to share a recipe that satisfies all of my feelings of nostalgia. This Watermelon Slushie tastes like something I would have enjoyed as a child-perhaps after a long, hot day at a horse show? The key is to freeze the watermelon chunks ahead of time, simply pop them in a container or Ziploc bag and place in the freezer. The combination of watermelon and almond milk is unexpected but delicious!

Watermelon Slushie

  • 1 cup frozen watermelon chunks
  • 1 cup almond milk ( I use OMilk)
  • liquid stevia to taste
  1. In a high speed blender or Vitamix combine all ingredients until smooth
  2. Adjust sweetness to taste
Green Juices vs. green Smoothies and a few favorites part 2

There are certain phrases in our society that I find perplexing. “Let’s grab a coffee” is one of them. Oftentimes the friend asking me on said coffee date does not drink coffee, and knows that I don’t touch the stuff either. Yet somehow, coffee has become a stand in for “let’s spend some time catching up over a beverage.” I would like to change that. Recently, I have been making an effort to ask friends if they would like to grab a juice or a smoothie. I think it’s catching on as last week a (very pregnant) friend of mine asked me on a smoothie date. I was delighted.

After giving much attention to the basics of green juice, it’s only fair to show some love to my other favorite green concotion-the green smoothie.  Unlike green juice where the fiber is separated out (for lighting fast nutrient absorption), a green smoothie is made by blending all of your ingredients together in a blender. My basic formula for a green smoothie is:

  • a liquid base such as water, coconut water or nut milk
  • a fat or protein source  for density such as nut butter, avocado or young coconut
  • some fruit for sweetness such as pineapple, mango, blueberries, banana etc
  • GREENS GREENS GREENS such as spinach, kale, romaine etc
  • some spices or extract for extra depth of flavor such as ginger, basil, cilantro, cinnamon, vanilla etc

Smoothie making is a very imprecise science. Throw one or more ingredients from each of these categories into a blender (your best choice is a Vitamix) and you will have a delicious, nutrient dense smoothie in no time! Green smoothie drinking has many benefits including:

A Jump Start on Digestion

As I mentioned before, digestion is hard work for your body. Unlike a juice a smoothie still requires digestive work from your body but it is much easier on your system than digesting a whole meal. The blender does a good deal of pre digestion for you, which allows the smoothie to be absorbed by your body much more easily.

Sneak In Some Greens

A green smoothie is a great way to sneak some extra greens into your day. By adding a few handfuls of spinach or kale or a head of romaine to your smoothie you are giving yourself an extra boost of alkalinity for the day. Oftentimes green smoothies contain more greens than a lunch-sized salad! Sweet, creamy, green smoothies are also a great way to get kids or those adverse to greens to get their daily dose.

Quick and Easy Meal

On most weekdays I will have a dense green smoothie for lunch. Not only are smoothies easier to consume on the go, but they don’t weigh me down and make me feel tired for the rest of the afternoon like a big meal would. A green smoothie gives you all of the nutrition of a filling lunch minus the bloat and post lunch slump!

A few notes about green smoothie consumption:

  • The bulk of your green smoothie should be greens, not fruit. A little fruit for flavor and sweetness is ok but make sure not to add too much as the sugar in fruit adds up quickly. Especially when blended!
  • Nutrient dense green smoothies should be thought of as a meal not a beverage. Just look at all the ingredients you are putting into your blender! Definitely meal material!
  • Don’t drink the bottled green smoothies you find at the grocery store. Not only does the pasteurizing process kill all the nutrition in them, but they are usually mostly fruit juices. Just look at the nutrition label- shocking amounts of sugar!
  • Always drink green smoothies on an empty stomach. They are fast to digest (although slower than green juice) and if anything is blocking their way they will make you gassy and miserable!

I drink a green smoothie almost every day for lunch. Whether I am making my own or getting one on the go these are my very favorite ones!

Sara’s Everyday Green Smoothie

There is a reason I call this my everyday smoothie. It is my go to favorite smoothie to drink at home. Sometimes I will change it up by adding some frozen fruit or mint but in general if I am home at lunchtime this is what I am having!

One Lucky Duck Sarma’s Favorite Green Shake

This super green smoothie is a bit on the lighter side as it does not have a fat source, just greens, greens, some fruit and herbs and more greens! It is perfect when I do not want something super filling!

One Lucky Duck Avocolada

This cold, creamy, sweet smoothie instantly puts me on the beach… if only in my mind!

Juice Generation Garden Green Coco (hold the banana)

Juice Generation recently added coconut shakes to their menu and I could not be more thrilled. With it’s combination of young coconut, spinach and kale this smoothie is amazing! I personally ask them to hold the banana as I am not a huge fan and think it makes it too sweet.

Planet Raw Maca Mint Chocolate Chip Mylk Shake

Whenever I visit LA, Planet Raw is my first stop from the airport. This amazing sweet shake is more of a dessert than a meal, but as a special treat I will often have one for lunch!

 

I hope these posts cleared up any questions you might have about green juices vs. green smoothies!

 

Green Juices vs. Green Smoothies and a few favorites Part 1

I talk about green juices and green smoothies a lot. A lot. I often find myself answering friend’s questions about anything and everything green juice and smoothie related. What are they? Why drink them? Where can I get one? And most importantly… what is the difference between a green juice and a green smoothie? Since juicing vs. blending can be a vexing question for many I thought I would talk a little about the difference between the two and the benefits of each. That’s right, juicing and blending both have their benefits IMHO. Many people are either juice or smoothie monogamists. Juicers won’t blend and blenders won’t juice. I am not one of them. I am an equal opportunity green beverage lover and both smoothies and juices play a vital role in my day.

Today, let’s start with green juice. Green juice is made by running vegetables such as kale, romaine, spinach, cucumber, celery etc. through a juicer. Some people include some fruit in their green juice- I usually don’t with the exception of lemon or lime. The juicer separates the bulk/fiber of the vegetables away from the juice. The bottled juices you see labeled as “cold pressed” are made on a snazzy machine that slowly presses the juice out of ground veggie pulp. Pressed juice last about 3 days. Juice from a traditional juice bar or from the juicer you got for your wedding (unless some amazingly kind relative gave you a Norwalk press!) should be consumed immediately. Pressed juice is also higher in nutrient content, and tastes better if you ask me. Now that we have covered the basics, let’s talk about the benefits of juicing:

Gives Your System a Break

Digestion is hard work for your body. By eliminating the fiber from the veggies you are juicing your body is able to get a direct influx of nutrients without having to expend energy. The energy your body would have spent digesting those veggies can now be spent on much needed internal house keeping!

So Many Greens

If you have ever made juice you know just how many vegetables it takes to make one 16oz glass. Think a head of romaine, 6 or so kale leaves, 4 stalks of celery, 1 whole cucumber etc. etc. That’s a lot of veggies! To eat all of those veggies would take you a huge amount of time and energy. By drinking them in a juice you can load your body up with tons of nutrients easily and quickly.

Internal House Keeping

Green juice is an amazing detoxification aide. I like to think of it as “Scrubbing Bubbles” for your insides. Drinking green juice daily helps your body awaken internal waste and sludge. You know those Sour Patch Kids you ate in the 3rd grade? Chances are they are still in your gut somewhere. Green juice can help clean them and all sorts of other nasties out of your body!

Get Alkaline

Consuming dark leafy green helps your body stay alkaline. An alkaline body is a happy one. When your internal system becomes acidic you leave yourself open to disease, weight gain, skin breakouts, and general malaise to name a few!

Pretty awesome huh? Green juice is amazing stuff!

  • A few notes about green juice consumption:
  • Green juices should always, always, always be consumed on an empty stomach. They are lighting fast to digest and if there is anything lingering in you stomach when you have your green juice  you will get bloated, gassy and generally miserable immediately.
  • Be careful not to have too much fruit in your green juice. A little apple for taste is o.k., but mainlining too much fruit juice can spike your blood sugar in a not great way. I personally prefer to chew my fruit as it slows down the sugar absorption into my system.
  • Don’t drink pasteurized juice. Most of the juice you find in the refrigerator section of the grocery store has been pasteurized aka cooked until all the nutrients are totally dead. Real, live, raw, pressed green juice will be labeled as such! Don’t be fooled!

I rarely make my own green juice. I do own a juicer but I find that other people do it better than me. Also, since pressed juice lasts three days I can stock up and keep my favorites on hand in my fridge! Speaking of favorites, these are my current favorite green juices. I have tried many, many, many and these ones really stand out to me!

Pure Nutrition Lime Aide

My friend, nutritionist Christian Henderson recently started making pressed  juices for her clients. Her Lime Aide is hands down my most favorite green juice ever. It is loaded with lime and cilantro and has wonderful zing to it!

Liqueteria All Greens with Lemon and Ginger 

Liqueteria is an NYC juicing institution. Their All Greens with Lemon and Ginger is just spicy enough. And the best part is they deliver- usually within an hour! Thanks to them I never find myself stranded without a green juice!

One Lucky Duck  Mean Greens 

This deep green juice is awesome and intense. The addition of parsley and cilantro really make it!

Pressed Juicery Greens 4

If you live in LA you have to try this juice. The combination of cucumber, celery, watercress, lemon, ginger, and cayenne is incredibly unique and delicious.

 

Hopefully that helped clear up any questions you may have had about green juice. Next time it’s all about green smoothies!

Sacred Routines and a New Smoothie

I love the comfort of a routine. I truly am a creature of habit and thrive when I have a set schedule to follow. Perhaps this is why I always loved school? Being able to look at my schedule and know that (at least for the semester) every Monday would resemble every other Monday was comforting to me. Now, as an adult my weeks are far less symmetrical. One day I could have back to back to back meetings and appointments all over the city, and the next I could be at my desk all day.

I do have two routines that I hold sacred, at least Monday to Friday. First, no matter what my day brings my morning routine is basically untouchable. Just ask anyone that has tried to schedule a breakfast meeting with me. Unless you are someone very, very special (like the president, Ina Garten or Tim McGraw) it is just not going to happen. My morning routine is one of the few constants in my week and I cherish the time I leave aside to read and respond to emails, walk Maddy, go to SoulCycle, and drink my green juice.

Another sacred part of my weekday routine is my green smoothie for lunch. Even if I have a lunch meeting I will usually not eat ( or eat very little) and instead wait until I can either make or get my hands on a green smoothie. Having a nutrient dense smoothie for lunch helps satiate me for the rest of the day without making me feel full, bloated, tired or weighed down. I truly find that I do better during the day when I sip my lunch instead of chew it.

This Pineapple Ginger Smoothie is one of my latest and favorite lunchtime green smoothie creations. It’s cold and creamy goodness is a nice refresher on the scorching hot days we have been having in NYC. If you don’t have frozen pineapple this would work well with mango instead. I hope you give it a try!

Do you have any daily, sacred routines? I would love to hear about them!

  • 1 cup almond milk ( I use OMilk!)
  • 1/4 of an avocado
  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
  • 3-4 stalks of kale ribs removed
  • 1″ knob of fresh ginger, peeled
  • liquid stevia to taste
  1. Combine all ingredients in a Vitamix or high speed blender
  2. Serve immediately

 

 

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