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Choco-Banana-Nut Smoothie (the "chunky monkey")

Choco-Banana-Nut Smoothie (the "chunky monkey")

I should probably work on another name (and profile photo) for this dreamy delight that is more appetizing. Because it is. I could seriously have it every day and never get tired of it - it’s that indulgent.

When my best friend was expecting one of her precious babes, I crafted this smoothie as per her craving request. (She has impeccable taste.)

One of the things that has bound us together since the very beginning is our love affair with food. There’s not much in the realm of cravings, culinary delights, and superfoods that we don’t resonate with each other on.

Being a nutritionally aware, wellness-conscious person, she knew that her body needed tons of protein, fats, and greens ALL the time…but especially in this important phase of nourishing the tiny life within.

And yet…chocolate. The need was real.

What was even more real was the urgent need for nutrients. The morning-glories of the first trimester brought with them a difficulty to eat much of anything at all, at any time of the day. Most edibles, no matter how healthy or junky, were a total no-go.

Knowing that if the situation were reversed, she would jump into action on my behalf, blending up a myriad of juices and smoothies and delivering them in mason jars to my door. So I called her and informed her of my plan to do the same for her.

 In my head my offering looked like this….but… #reallife - it didn’t. (Compliments of Pixabay)

In my head my offering looked like this….but… #reallife - it didn’t. (Compliments of Pixabay)

She shrieked in that “o-mi-gosh/how did you know/I was hoping you’d say that" tone, and then promptly dictated a dream smoothie she’d been craving for days: “Get this: Chocolate… some nut butter for protein….a banana…. of course, some cocoa powder for a good chocolate taste….and you could sneak some greens in there for sure…probably flax seeds to make it extra filling, and maybe some kind of dark chocolate so it’s low sugar but still really chocolatey!! What do you think?”

“I take it you want some chocolate added in there, right?” I laughed. Even aside from our shared language and customs (one of them being dubbing products comprised of 75% cacoa as a main food group), we just click so well. My life wouldn’t be the same without her.

Since then, I’ve made this smoothie countless times recommended it to so many friends as an easy and amazingly satisfying breakfast solution! Basically tastes like a dessert (if you get your protein powder right) and is SOO nourishing!

DRINK your greens!

It’s so easy to eat spinach every meal if you know a few life hacks like this :) You can’t even taste it in a delicious smoothie like this one!! I get my spinach in the big 1lb box from Costco/Sprouts/Natural Grocers for about $4 and go through it in ONE week flat. Make sure you get organic though…the regular stuff can be sketch!!

Spinach truly is the bomb - read what Dr. Axe has to say about it here. That iron, polyphenol content, Vitamins A & K and Magnesium in this leafy green are things we are so deficient in here in the US, but our bodies cannot thrive without them.

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A Few Notes on Taste/Quality

*Your smoothies will only taste as good as your protein powder! If your powder is gritty and grassy, you’ll need to really amp up your other yummy ingredients…and even then, it may be a bit meh. I’m on the hunt again for a greens-filled-but-still-delicious protein powder…let me know if you find one. In the meantime, I like starting with a delicious whey powder, and then cramming in in a ton of fresh superfoods myself to supplement it.

*Don’t buy one with artificial sweeteners! Sucralose (Splenda), and aspartame/acesulfame K (NutriSweet) are typically in commercial protein powders but are pretty harmful. Read why here.

However - stevia extract and stevia Reb A are A-OK …stevia is literally from the leaves of a plant! You’ll need to add your own stevia if your protein powder isn’t already sweetened.

*A few good-tasting, good-for-you options: I LOVE the brand Tera’s Whey. Young Living also has an incredibly clean, whey/egg/pea protein complex called Pure Protein Complete that is chock full of deep cellular energy-supporting amino acids and other powerful ingredients. (Way beyond just a protein powder and into the realm of true-energy-boosting and metabolism-supporting.)

If cow whey is an issue for you, try Tera’s Vanilla-Honey Goat Whey protein powder shown below that I absolutely adore!

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BUSY PERSON TIP #1: The night before, put the ingredients in blender except for the frozen banana, and refrigerate. Add the frozen banana in the morning, blend, and go!

BUSY PERSON TIP #2: Make it a double and put a serving in a mason jar for the next day, or make one for your spouse!

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