Recipe – Iced Coffee Protein Smoothie

You wake up in the morning ready for your daily caffeine fix, and all you can think about is heading to the local coffee shop to grab yourself a sweet, creamy iced coffee.

A Frappucino doesn’t sound too bad for you, right? Wrong! The traditional recipe is full of refined sugar and artificial flavourings; just not what your body needs to fuel your day.

What you really need is a balance of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats (for more information on this, see How to Fuel Your Body in the Morning). Who knew it’s possible to achieve this combination in a homemade Iced Coffee Protein Smoothie!?

With a little organisation, you can stock your cupboards with fresh and nutritious ingredients and satisfy your cravings the healthy way. So many people say that they ‘don’t have time’ to eat breakfast, but with this recipe, that’s not an excuse – it takes less than 5 minutes to make!

So next time you’re feeling tempted by a shop-bought, ice cold sweet treat and you’re just not ready to surrender your morning caffeine fix, why not try making this simple recipe at home instead? It’s SO much better than the original, and full of goodness that your body will thank you for.

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The Recipe

Vegan

Gluten free

Dairy free

Refined sugar free

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Ingredients (Always use organic products where possible):

  • One small cup of double strength coffee, cooled
  • ½ cup of natural dairy free milk. I use Rude Health almond milk because it’s delicious and free from chemicals
  • Two frozen bananas
  • Two scoops of protein powder. I use unflavoured Pulsin Soya Protein because it’s completely natural, but a vanilla or chocolate protein would work equally well
  • Two heaped teaspoons of nut butter. I use Meridian cashew nut butter
  • Two heaped teaspoons of raw cacao powder. I use Organic Traditions
  • ½ teaspoon ground vanilla seeds or pure vanilla extract (without ethanol)
  • One/two cups of ice, depending on how slushy you like your smoothie
  • If you prefer your smoothie extra sweet, you can add two medjool dates

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Preparation – The Night Before:

  • Brew the coffee and leave to cool, before storing overnight in the fridge
  • Peel the bananas and chop into chunks, before placing in the freezer in a tupperware

Creation – In the Morning:

  • Remove banana chunks from the freezer and place in the blender, along with cooled coffee
  • Add all remaining ingredients to the mixture
  • Blend until smooth
  • Enjoy!

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The great thing about this recipe is that it’s really versatile. Here, I’ve served mine as a smoothie bowl, topped with crushed pistachios, but you can also bottle it and take it on the go – perfect for those busy mornings.

The Danger of Diet Pills

In the modern world, diet pills are becoming an increasing phenomenon. The overwhelming desire to lose weight is leading thousands of individuals to purchase chemical products that they perceive to be a ‘quick fix’ to losing fat, fast. Manufacturers make far-fetched promises, the vast majority of which are not backed up with any evidence.

Diet pills tend to contain stimulants such as caffeine, dextromethorphan or ephedrine. These chemicals have the capacity to suppress your appetite and increase your metabolism for a short period of time. Both of these effects wear off rapidly, with no long-term alterations to your resting metabolic rate or the scale of your appetite.

Many of these products are purchased on the internet, and marketed as ‘natural remedies’ or ‘herbal substances’. However, the reality is that because such products do not require approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), they can be extremely damaging to your health. Although ‘ingredients’ may be listed, you cannot be certain that this information is reliable.

Too often diet pills purchased online contain traces of illegal or extremely harmful chemicals. Recently, health commissioners have issued a warning about the substance 2,4-dinotrophenol (commonly known as DNP), which has been found in weight loss pills bought on the internet. The chemical, regularly used as a raw material to create explosives, has been directly linked to a number of diet pill related deaths.

Most deaths linked to weight loss substances occur as a result of a severely increased internal body temperature and/or an escalated heart rate, which eventually leads to heart failure.

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Both over the counter diet pills and those purchased online come with an array of other potential side effects. These include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Nausea
  • Kidney problems
  • Liver damage
  • Increased risk of stroke
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Drowsiness
  • Disorientation
  • Sleeplessness

Despite these risks, the demand for diet supplements continues to rise. People struggle to come to terms with the idea that there is no ‘wonder pill’. Fat loss is a journey, and it occurs as a result of clean eating and dedication. Anyone can do it.

There are plenty of ways to boost your metabolism naturally, details of which will be included in my next post.

Recipe – Mixed Berry Smoothie Bowl

Smoothies are one of my all time favourite things. They’re a great source of essential vitamins and nutrients because they’re packed with raw fruit and vegetables. Creating smoothies made with wholesome ingredients will leave you feeling satisfied and energised.

One of the many health benefits of smoothies is that they’re easy to digest. The ingredients are broken down during the blending process, which eases the burden on your digestive system.

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This recipe contains both strawberries and blueberries, which are packed with antioxidants. These help your body to fight against free radicals, which multiply in the body as a result of factors such as air pollution, smoking and alcohol. Free radicals have the potential to damage healthy cells, so antioxidants play a crucial role in preventing this process.

Berries have a particularly low sugar and calorie content in comparison to other fruit. They also act to decrease inflammation in the body, and their high level of phytonutrients aid in fighting disease.

Smoothies are a great way to up your daily fibre intake, which contributes to good digestive health. Fruit contains soluble fibre, which can be digested in the body, helping to reduce blood cholesterol levels. Fibre leaves you feeling fuller for longer, aiding in the prevention of those dreaded cravings.

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The Recipe

✓ Vegan

✓ Gluten free

✓ Refined sugar free

Ingredients:

  • One cup of strawberries
  • One cup of blueberries
  • A banana (can be frozen if you have a high powered blender but this is optional)
  • One large teaspoon of natural nut butter. I like Meridian
  • Half a teaspoon of cinnamon, plus an extra sprinkle to garnish (optional)
  • Half a cup of water or natural dairy free milk of choice. I like Rude Health Almond Milk
  • One cup of ice
  • Handful of nuts/seeds of choice to garnish. I’ve used chopped walnuts

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  1. If you are freezing the banana, peel it and chop into small chunks. Store in the freezer in a sealed tupperware. I like to do this the night before to ensure that the banana is frozen properly
  2. Remove the stalks from all strawberries
  3. Wash the strawberries and blueberries in a colander, before placing in the blender. I use a Blend Active by Breville because it’s high powered and inexpensive
  4. Remove banana from the freezer and place in the blender along with all remaining ingredients
  5. Blend until desired consistency is achieved
  6. Pour into a bowl, before topping with nuts/seeds of choice and sprinkling with cinnamon
  7. Grab a spoon and enjoy!