I know the internet is rife with articles about the benefits of green smoothies (hey, I’ve even written about how much I love smoothies ) but hear me out for a minute. From self-image issues to boudoir photos, I’ve noticed a trend emerging on the blog this month: the body. This is totally unintentional, but I think it’s still a really great starting point for 2016. Especially, sine of my personal intentions in 2016 is to prioritize self-care in all situations. This means making an effort to put healthy things in my body.
I’ve been drinking smoothies for breakfast ever since I received a handful of free samples of Vega One nutritional shake powder at Bloggers in Sin City a few years ago. As I mentioned before, my morning smoothie ritual has become well, exactly that: a ritual. It’s gotten to the point where I actually pack a portable mini-blender & a small container of Vega One powder whenever I travel. Here’s a few reasons why I love smoothies for breakfast.
1. I feel more awake. Although I still love having a cup or two of coffee in the morning, the extra protein boost wakes me up before I’ve even reached for my coffee grinder.
2. It saves time and energy. I never have to waste time pondering the “what will I have for breakfast?” question. I already know: a smoothie. Knowing that I have something quick, delicious and healthy waiting for me in the kitchen makes my mornings so much more appealing and stress free.
3. Eating well is good for my anxiety. My brain works better when I put nutritious things in my body. Enough said.
4. No sugar or milk also means I feel better. Although there are a lot of different protein powders out there, I like the Vega ones because they’re vegan. No milk = a happier tummy. Also, they’re sugar free. Without a nasty mid-morning sugar crash, I get way more accomplished and feel better all around.
5. It’s my touchstone. Although I try to eat as healthy as possible, I’m not perfect. So, even if the rest of my day goes sideways, it’s comforting to know that at the very least, I start every morning by doing one healthy thing for my body.
After I wrote this post about how to recharge and feel inspired while you’re really busy, the nice people at Vega reached out to me to see I’d be interested in trying their new line of Protein and Greens drink mix. I’ve been religiously consuming the Vega One mix, so I was interested in seeing how this line compares.
So what exactly is this stuff? Here’s what you get with each serving of Vega Proteins and Greens.
Yep, 20 grams of plant-based protein – perfect for adding to your breakfast or for a healthy snack on the go. Vega Proteins and Greens is made from real whole food ingredients, SaviSeed (sacha inchi), hemp, pea and sprouted whole grain brown rice protein deliver all essential amino acids you need. Each scoop of Vega Protein & Greens also has the equivalent of two servings of greens from kale, spinach, broccoli, and alfalfa.
How to use it: Mix Vega Protein & Greens with water, juice or non-dairy beverage, shake and go! Or do like I do and blend it into your favorite smoothie recipe.
I received the Vanilla, Chocolate and Tropical flavours and now I’m ready to share my thoughts.I’ve tried the Vega One Vanilla powder before and while I’m sure they’re very similar in taste, I prefer this one for some reason. It seems less overtly vanilla-y to me for some reason. The nice thing about this flavour is that you can literally add almost anything to it and will taste good.
Preferred recipe: Vega has a bunch of awesome recipes on their site (Pomegranate Smoothie Parfait or Dark Chocolate Fudgy Pudding Pudding Pops, anyone?) I’m not even going to try and pretend that I get creative with my smoothie recipes. Usually, with the vanilla powder I’ll use a banana, a handful of whatever frozen fruit I have in the freezer + some almond milk. I don’t overthink it. You can’t go wrong with vanilla. I thought I was going to hate the chocolate, because I’m usually grossed out by “fake” chocolate flavoured things, but this ended up being the winner of the pack. The Vega Protein & Greens contains real Dutch cocoa, so it has a surprisingly rich taste…and it’s still sugar free! I could drink this one all day, everyday.
Preferred recipe: Banana, a handful of frozen cherries, a spoonful of ground flax seed and almond milk. It tastes like Black Forrest cake. The tropical flavour was definitely my least favourite and definitely the least neutral of the bunch. To me it tasted like a mix of apricot, mango and…something else? I still managed to finish the entire container, but this one tasted a bit weird to me. Also, because the taste was so distinctive, I found it didn’t work with all fruit. Frozen pineapple or mango: yes. Blueberries: no.
Preferred recipe: Banana, frozen pineapple & almond milk. Close your eyes & you’ll be whisked back to your pre-teen days of drinking a frothy Orange Julius at the mall with your BFFs. I promise.
Despite not loving the tropical flavour, overall, the new Vega Protein and Greens get an enthusiastic two thumbs up from myself and Joe the Intern (Joe wants you to know he’s still working on his ‘thumbs up.’)
Although I’ve heard some people complain that the product is chalky and/or doesn’t blend well (even in their super fancy blenders), I didn’t notice this at all (and I have what one would call a crappy, cheapo blender!) It could also be that I’m so focused on how my smoothies make me feel (energized, easier to concentrate, nourished), that I’m not super picky about the texture. Joe the Intern is also a fan.Thanks to Vega for sending me these products free of charge! All opinions are my own because that’s how I roll (in other words, I’m legitimately obsessed with Vega smoothies.)
Do you have a favourite smoothie recipe?