Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Plant-Based on Mackinac Island

As soon as we started planning our trip to the Upper Peninsula, I knew that Mackinac Island was one of the must-see places to show Jeff, who's originally from Seattle and had yet to experience northern Michigan. Mackinac is bursting with historic sites and scenic views, but the traditional fare isn't exactly vegan-friendly or even all that healthy (think fudge, ice cream, and lots of greasy food). 

Our goal was to stay filled up and feeling good, and to enjoy a day on the island without spending a fortune. With a bit of research and planning, we were definitely able to achieve our goal!

There are no motor vehicles allowed on the island, so our first stop was a bike shop where we rented a tandem cycle. It took a few minutes to get used to, but before we knew it we were cruising right along. We had the bike for a little over an hour and spent about $15. It was so worth it!

We took our time biking the eight mile loop around the island, stopping to enjoy the beautiful colors and the breathtaking views of Lake Huron. The weather was absolutely perfect.

Before leaving our campground, we filled a backpack with food and water bottles so that we could fill up and stay hydrated without spending an extra dime. It was really nice to be able to stop at a random beach and enjoy a quick snack!

We brought bananas and little packets of almond butter, trail mix, Lara bars, and baggies filled with crackers and kettle corn. For water, we brought a Camelbak and a reusable water bottle and refilled them at drinking fountains as needed throughout the day.

Before our trip I was determined to find a vegan-friendly restaurant on the island and was thrilled to discover Twist-n-Sprouts, located right on Main Street. They offer fresh wraps, non-dairy smoothies, soups, frozen yogurt, and a full salad bar. We stopped there for a quick lunch before heading back to camp.

Twist-n-Sprouts felt like a breath of fresh air on an island that is practically buzzing with sugar. The staff was friendly and helpful, the restaurant is clean, and they had plenty of options for omnivores and herbivores alike.

We met the owner, Jack Armstrong, who was going above and beyond to ensure that his customers were having a pleasant experience. He was kind and friendly and we really enjoyed chatting with him about the restaurant.

I ordered a strawberry-kiwi smoothie and the vegan wrap, which was made with black beans, edamame, artichoke, onion, corn, and mushrooms. So good! If you want to eat something fresh and healthy on Mackinac Island, be sure to visit Jack and his staff at Twist-n-Sprouts!

A trip to Mackinac Island on a plant-based diet might seem pointless. Why bother if you can't enjoy the fudge, right? Wrong! It's all about perspective. We focused our energy on each other, and on the history and beauty that surrounded us. At the end of the day we had made fun memories, taken plenty of pictures, and filled up without spending needlessly... and no one had a stomach ache! That, my friends, is priceless.

After lunch we took the ferry back to St. Ignace and headed to our second campground on Lake Superior. Stay tuned for more of our plant-based camping adventures!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Nutrient Density

Our food choices are endless, but the truth is that every bite we take reaches far beyond our taste buds, ultimately supporting our health or weighing it down. It's possible to reach your daily caloric goal regardless of what's at the end of your fork, but it's about time you asked your food... "What have you done for me lately?!"

Last year I was introduced to the concept of nutrient density after reading Eat to Live by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. The idea is that our overall health can be predicted (relatively speaking) by our nutrient intake divided by our caloric intake. Stick with me here, it isn't as complicated as it sounds!


We love to talk/worry/obsess about the caloric elements of our food (carbs! fat! protein!), but here's the thing... all food has that stuff. All of it. Whether you're eating straight from the garden or straight from the drive-thru, you're going to get the macronutrients (energy) you need to keep your body moving.

Noncaloric nutrients are a different story, and they're getting harder to find in this processed world we're living in. The vitamins, minerals, fibers and phytochemicals that our bodies need to thrive are not guaranteed for us in everything we eat. These micronutrients literally give life to our cells, boosting our immunity and fighting chronic disease by ushering out the toxins that threaten our wellness.

I'm not talking about the orange powdered fiber that you stir into a glass of water or the vitamins you'll find in a pill! If you want the maximum benefit from the nutrients you need, it's best to consume them in the form of whole, unrefined plant foods as often as possible. The good news is that it's easy (and delicious!) to do so.

Sample Nutrient/Calorie Density Scores
Kale1000Sunflower Seeds64
Collard Greens1000Kidney Beans64
Mustard Greens1000Green Peas63
Swiss Chard895Pineapple54
Bok Choy865Apple53
Arugula604Peanut Butter51
Brussels Sprouts490Pistachio Nuts37
Broccoli Rabe455Shrimp36
Cauliflower315Milk, 1%31
Bell Peppers265Walnuts30
Mushrooms238Whole Wheat Bread30
Sweet Potato181Brown Rice28
Zucchini164White Potato28
Artichoke145Low Fat Plain Yogurt28
Iceburg Lettuce127Chicken Breast24
Grapes119Ground Beef, 85% lean21
Pomegranates119Feta Cheese20
Cantaloupe118White Bread17
Onions109White Pasta16
Flax Seeds103French Fries12
Orange98Cheddar Cheese11
Edamame98Apple Juice11
Cucumber87Olive Oil10
Tofu82Vanilla Ice Cream9
Sesame Seeds74Corn Chips7

Dr. Fuhrman created the Aggregrate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI) to help identify the most nutrient dense foods available. Over thirty nutrients were considered, and equal-calorie portions were measured in micronutrients per calorie. Fuhrman advises that his patients strive to eat a wide variety of these foods, and as many above the 100 score as possible.

Your portion sizes will likely change a bit since those nutrient dense items tend to be lower in calories, so pile your plates high with that high scoring food!

Monday, June 8, 2015

How much protein do we actually NEED?

Way less than you'd think, that's for sure.

Despite our growing obsession with it, protein is no more important than the other two macronutrients we require: carbohydrates and fat. When we strictly minimize one of these or bombard our bodies with another, it throws everything out of balance and health problems ensue. As a nation, we are unthinkably sick, and that is largely a result of our eating habits and the confusion that surrounds nutrition.

So how much protein do we actually need?

Babies - 10 grams
Children - 19-34 grams 
Teen Boys - 52 grams
Women and Teen Girls - 46 grams
Pregnant or Nursing Women - 71 grams
Men - 56 grams

These estimates include a margin of safety and are actually more than we need on a daily basis. Total grams may vary based on age, lifestyle and activity level, but most people thrive when 5-10% of total calories come from protein. Caloric intake is rarely an issue in this country, and with an emphasis on pounding the protein at every meal, most people are eating in excess of what they truly need. 

Have you ever heard of someone being deficient in protein? Neither have I.

Here's the truth: if you are consuming the correct amount of calories for your lifestyle (hopefully from healthful foods!) it is virtually impossible to be protein deficient. The makeup of food is always a combination of protein, carbs and fat, so when we eat enough of it, we get what we need. It's as simple as that! Potatoes, rice, and bananas all have protein. They may not be significant sources of it, but the point is that you really don't have to look very hard to find the stuff!

Today, most Americans consume anywhere from two to five times the recommended amount of protein their bodies need to thrive. FIVE TIMES! That's just crazy. Believe it or not, even those following a whole foods plant-based diet tend to get more protein than they require.

How much is too much, and why?

The RDA for protein intake has been rounded up to about 10% of total calories for overall health and wellness. When more than the recommended amount of protein is consumed, especially from animal products, we are far more likely to experience weight gain, osteoporosis, heart disease, impaired kidney function, and the development of certain types of cancer.

Animal proteins are escorted into our bodies by saturated fat, cholesterol, hormones, and carcinogens, and they're severely lacking the stuff that we all need more of: fiber and nutrients. When we lean toward high-protein/low-carb diets, we tend not to fill our plates with whole plant foods (whole grains, vegetables, legumes, etc) which aid in cell regeneration and usher out toxins, thus helping us to fight disease.

Geting more "bang" for your protein "buck"

The lesson here is that protein is ridiculously easy to find, and that we really just need to calm down about it already. As you prepare your meals, pay attention to the protein sources you're choosing and consider what else comes along with them. Avoid the fatty stuff and gift yourself with a fiber-filled feast. Your body will thank you! 

Take a look at the graphic below to see how easy (and delicious!) it is to reach your protein requirements from plants. I can assure you, I do it every day without even trying!

*this graphic was borrowed from here*


Sunday, May 17, 2015

Coconut French Toast

Sometimes breakfast needs to be a bit more fun than oatmeal, am I right? This coconut french toast really hits the spot without being too sweet. It's just as easy to whip up as your standard recipe, but it's completely free of dairy and eggs. If you're looking for a filling treat that's cholesterol free, low fat, low on the glycemic index, and bursting with fiber and nutrients, you've come to the right place!

Coconut French Toast
makes six pieces

  • Six pieces whole grain or sprouted grain bread
  • 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp organic corn starch
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (the finely grated stuff, not the shreds)
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (optional)


Heat a large skillet over medium heat (or low, if your pans get really hot!). Add the flour, corn starch and salt to a bowl and combine. Gradually add the non-dairy milk (I used almond milk because it's all I had on hand) and vanilla extract and whisk together until no lumps remain. Set aside. If needed, add the coconut oil to the pan so that it begins to melt.

Place the shredded coconut and cinnamon to a plate and toss with a fork to combine. Dip each piece of bread in the batter, coating all sides. Dip both sides of the bread in the shredded coconut and cinnamon, then place them in your pan. Cook for approximately four minutes on each side or until golden brown. Repeat!

Garnish with fresh berries, organic maple syrup, and your favorite nuts or seeds and serve immediately!


THE BREAD: Check the ingredients list on your loaf and be sure that it is made from whole grains as opposed to whole wheat. Whole wheat is a deceiving term that tricks consumers into thinking they're making a healthy choice, when in reality that "whole" wheat has been refined and most (if not all) of its fiber and nutrients have been stripped away. Fiber is vital to a healthy diet for many reasons, mainly because it slows digestion and helps to regulate our blood sugar. That's important for people of all ages, even those of us who are in good health. I use Ezekial bread, which can be found in the freezer section at your local grocery store or even found in a two-pack at Costco! The grains are sprouted before they're added to the bread, meaning more protein, fiber and nutrients for the consumer. That's a major win!

THE CORNSTARCH: Most of the corn grown in the United States is genetically modified, but you can avoid GMOs by buying organic cornstarch. It may not be at your local store, but you can easily and cheaply find some online or at Whole Foods.

THE MILK and THE COCONUT: In order to keep this breakfast as low on the sugar scale as possible, it's ideal to use both unsweetened coconut and non-dairy milk. Trust me, it will be sweet enough on its own! Especially if you're adding syrup. I use the finely ground coconut flakes, but if you can only find the shreds you can pulse them in a blender or food processor to make the pieces smaller.

This recipe was inspired by the coconut french toast in the cookbook Isa Does It! Isa is the bomb, and you should definitely check out her recipes.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Leaning into Change

We all get that there are certain foods we should be eating more of, right? Veggies and beans do the body good, but there are no billboards or magazine ads out there singing their praises so we rarely invite them to dinner.

There are so many distractions out there pulling us away from real, whole foods. Marketing dollars, sugar cravings, social norms, and so on. We might know full well when we need to make a change, but there are so many reasons not to that it's often easier to just, well... not. But who decided that this whole food thing has to be all or nothing, perfect or pointless?

We make major life-altering decisions all the time. We switch careers. We move across the country. We commit to another human being for eternity. We become parents. Changes like these can happen in a split second, but the process of mastering them doesn't happen overnight. It can take days, weeks, months, or years to feel like we're in control again- and we all know we're never perfect at any of it.

So before you write off the crazy idea of a lifestyle that centers around plants, consider the strategy recommended by Kathy Freston:

Lean into it.

You don't have to dive head first into an ocean of tofu and broccoli without your life raft of cheese. There is no rule that says the only way to be healthy is to commit 100% right here, right now, forever and ever, or else! Make small changes that work for you.

Add some chia seeds to your smoothie or cereal in the morning. Replace one meal a week with a giant salad. Buy a big bag of apples and indulge whenever your sweet tooth starts making demands. Make your own desserts instead of buying them at the store. Experiment with some meat and dairy alternatives once in a while and use them to re-create the hearty, flavorful foods you know and love. Believe me, it can be done, and it can be done well!

Whoever you are, wherever you are: lean into it. 

Lean in that direction.

Lean as slowly and as gingerly as you'd like.

If there's even a glimmer of curiosity about how this kind of change might make you might feel, or how you'll positively impact the world around you... keep leaning. There is no right or wrong way to walk your path in life. The world will always be filled with distraction and doubts and dogma, but you get to decide the direction you want to go and the rate of travel that works best for you.

Lean into it with care, consideration and love. That, my friends, is how progress happens!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

An ode to nachos and 28 years of living

As of approximately 2:00pm today, I am 28 years old. I've always loved my late Spring birthday. If I'm lucky, I get to celebrate another year of living at the same time that Michigan is in full bloom. There are buds forming everywhere, leaves are breathing life into the streets, and the sun finally feels warm again. It's a beautiful time to reflect on a year gone by, and to practice gratitude for all that I have and all that's yet to come.

Last night I was hurriedly preparing myself a plate of nachos (my longstanding favorite meal) and I couldn't help but laugh as I noticed how much of my life has shifted and changed in the last 28 years, but how many things have ultimately stayed the same. Yes, apparently 28-year-old me finds inspiration in a plate of chips and hot sauce. Getting old is so cool.

Nachos were the first meal I learned how to effortlessly prepare for myself in high school. I'd pile my plate high with cheap tortilla chips, ground [insert available meat here], shredded cheese, and sour cream. I advised my college roommate of the ideal plop-to-chip refried bean ratio, and shared many a plate with friends and family over the years that followed. Cheap ingredients, minimal time, and oh-so satisfying. How I loved my mindlessly delicious nachos!

For me, a significant part of "growing up" has been learning to be intentional in daily life. For a while there I was crashing through life without being mindful of what I was doing or why. These days I do my best to invest in my own happiness and well being every single day. Sometimes the investments are modest little moments of self love, and other times they are giant leaps of faith that reap greater rewards than I ever could have imagined. Either way, life looks different because I've decided to live it as consciously as I possibly can.

This year would be nearly unrecognizable to the version of me who celebrated her 25th birthday just a few years back. A new home. A new career path. A new outlook on just about everything. At the end of the day I'm the same person who was there all along, but this time I'm awake and am truly feeling every vulnerable moment that life has to offer.

Now I'm the hippie-dippy who layers her non-gmo blue chips with quinoa and tempeh, garnished with cashew cheese sauce and whatever fresh vegetables I can find. Every choice I make matters, even that silly (and still delicious) little plate of nachos. The meals made in my kitchen now fill my heart just as much as they fill my belly, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

I heap my plate with love and joy and positive energy every chance I get, and nothing could be more satisfying.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

My Plant-Based Kitchen Essentials

In honor of Earth Day tomorrow I wanted to share the top ten kitchen essentials that help to make plant-based living as enjoyable, efficient, and eco-friendly as possible in my home. These items save time, help cut back on plastic waste, and allow me to try fun, flavorful new recipes every day!

You certainly don't need a kitchen full of gadgets to incorporate more whole foods into your lifestyle-- but the more you can simplify preparing and cooking your food, the more likely you are to enjoy the process... and the final result!

 A Sharp Knife
If you're eating a lot of plants, that means you'll be slicing and dicing more often. I cannot express the importance of a decent knife for these tasks. When I removed meat from my diet, my knife needs changed. That sounds weird, but it's true! I don't need a big block set of utensils and steak knives. I use one good quality knife every single day, and that's truly all I need. I also have a bread knife on hand, but I rarely use it. I use Calphalon because I've been gifted with many of their items over the years from relatives who work for the company, but any brand will do if it slices through your food with ease.

Dual Citrus Squeezer
There are a lot of citrus juicing tools out there, but this kind is easy to use and easy to clean, and the slits allow the juice to escape while also catching stray seeds. Lemon juice is often used to enhance the flavor of veggie dishes and vegan "cheese" recipes, so I'm pulling this out constantly. Fresh lemon juice has anti-viral and immune-boosting powers, so do yourself a favor and juice them as you need them instead of buying bottled lemon juice. You'll be using less plastic and gaining countless nutrients! I use this one, but I see other versions at the grocery store all the time.
Garlic Press
Some might turn up their nose at the idea of using a garlic press, but I'm not trying to win Top Chef over here so they can take their noses elsewhere. If a gadget can save me time, energy, and help me avoid garlic fingers, then I'm sold. Garlic is a great source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties-- but only when it's FRESH. Ditch that tub of minced garlic if you're hoping to reap the nutritional benefits and incredible flavor of the real thing. A garlic press will help keep your hands clean and your nutrient intake high, and that's one less container you have to throw away or recycle!

Steamer Basket
Steaming is one of my favorite ways to prepare veggies and greens because it helps to retain the nutrients of the plants. Boiling, on the other hand can rob your food of its nutrients. This inexpensive vegetable steamer is versatile and easy to use. I bring an inch or two of water to a boil and set this inside of or on top of the pot. In just a few minutes, your veggies are ready to go! This is the one in my kitchen, but there are several other types out there to choose from.

Herb Keeper
When I first saw an herb keeper, I assumed it was one of those frivolous items that retailers make you think you need, but oh was I wrong. If herbs aren't watered, they'll wilt rapidly in the fridge. I don't know about you, but I rarely use the entire bunch when I buy herbs for a recipe, and this little guy does an incredible job of keeping them fresh. I've tried storing herbs in cups or mason jars with a plastic baggie covering the top, but the results were definitely not the same. I have the older plastic version of this one, which is now made with glass! 

High-Powered Blender
I have the Ninja Ultima, which is sort of like the cheaper little brother to the Vitamix, and I absolutely love it. I use it to make soups, smoothies, cashew "cheese" sauces, salad dressings, banana "milkshakes," and so much more. A high powered blender is the one appliance that I'd encourage plant-curious peeps to invest in because it is so versatile and powerful. I love that the Ninja came with individual size travel cups and a smaller blade, which I use even more often than the large pitcher these days.

Food Processor
I debated leaving this one off the list, since a good quality blender can perform many of the same tasks, but there's still a special place in my heart for my food processor. I use this bad boy to chop and shred vegetables (in seconds!), to puree beans, to knead doughs and mixes, and to make nut butters and banana ice cream. If you have the ability to add this small appliance to your kitchen, you will definitely save yourself time that would otherwise have been spent at the cutting board.

Mason Jars
Oh, mason jars. What aren't they good for, really? I bought a pack of the quart sized jars last year, thinking I'd mostly use them to store dry goods in the pantry. Since then I've also started using them to hold my salads for the week, and I even use them as drinking glasses because I'm cheap and hey, why not? It's easy to track how many ounces you're taking in throughout the day as the measurements are listed right on the jar! They're cheap (less than $20 for a dozen), and are usually BPA free and made in the U.S.!

Glass Storage Containers with Lids
We all know not to microwave our food in plastic anymore, right? Right. I love having various sizes of glass storage containers on hand for easy-to-grab leftovers and homemade dips and nut butter. Brands like Pyrex are freezer and oven-safe too, so you can bake or re-heat without having to dirty another dish. Win! I can't get enough of these. In fact, I need to add another set to my collection soon...

Glass Straws
My brother gave me these straws for Christmas last year, and while they don't necessarily save me time in the kitchen, they certainly have helped me cut down on waste and the annoyance of plastic straws that bend and crack. The Hummingbird brand is made in the United States and is sturdy and easy to clean. I love how solid these straws are! I recommend rinsing them out immediately after use or cleaning can become more difficult.

So there you have it! My favorites. If you're hoping to add more to your kitchen lineup, don't feel like it needs to happen all at once. Remember these items at holidays, or when you have a retail gift card burning a hole in your wallet. Start to accumulate them slowly over time, and before you know it your kitchen will be stocked with items that will make your life easy breezy.

What are YOUR favorite kitchen gadgets?!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Meatout: Eat Vegan for a Day!

My goal is not to tell people how to eat or to guilt anyone into shifting toward this lifestyle. I truly believe that better health can be achieved for all by simply incorporating more whole plant-based foods into our daily diets- plain and simple. And the benefits don't stop with our health! Cutting back on meat and dairy has an incredible impact on our environment and on the welfare of the animals we farm. 

It's so easy to get lost in the crowd and feel discouraged. There have been many times that I've struggled and questioned whether my choices would ever be enough to make a difference, but I always come back to the "big three" that motivates me every single day: Our health, our planet, and the treatment of creatures that have no voice. Truly, everything I value in life fits into that list.

On March 20th, Meatout is challenging people across the globe to cut out animal products for just one day. One day. Three meals. That's it! Do you think you could do it? I know you can!

The Meatout website is filled with recipes and advice to help everyone succeed in this challenge. They have meal suggestions for cooks of all skill levels, as well as a listing of plant-based menu options at popular restaurants. Check it out!

When discouragement sets in, sometimes numbers speak louder than words! According to meatout.org, giving up animal products has an incredible impact on that big three:

Eating plant-based for one day: Saves 3,400 gallons of water and 148 square feet of rain forest per year

1-2 days per week: Saves 44 animals, 11,550 square feet of rain forest, and 288,600 gallons of water each year

3-4 days per week: Saves 102 animals, 26,950 square feet of rain forest, and 673,400 gallons of water each year

Every day: Saves 204 animals, 53,900 square feet of rain forest, and more than 1.3 MILLION gallons of water each year.

I've been plant-based for almost two years now, which means that I've saved more than two million gallons of water. Holy cows!

If you're up for this EASY and IMPACTFUL challenge and are looking for fun new recipes to try, some of my favorite resources are Forks Over Knives, Engine 2, and Vega. Are you on Pinterest? Search for any recipe and add the word "vegan" to the end of it. You wont be disappointed!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

On Monday evening I threw a small post-class party for my good friend and fellow Zumba instructor Liz, who is getting married in Mexico this weekend. I was in charge of the dessert for our little gathering, and that morning I challenged myself to find a recipe that I could whip together without making another trip to the store. Our gym is right next to a Kroger, and I'm there way too often.

The final product was a ridiculously-easy-to-make batch of peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. They were moist and rich without being too sweet, and I definitely ate three of them right after they came out of the oven. I just can't resist desserts in the morning! It's a problem.

In addition to being delicious, these cookies are oil-free, dairy-free, and very low in sugar. They can easily be made gluten free as well if you use GF flour and oats!

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
makes approximately one dozen cookies

  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup dairy-free chocolate chips


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat mat. In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat the applesauce, peanut butter and coconut sugar until combined. Add the vanilla extract. Gradually add the remaining dry ingredients except for the chocolate chips. The dough will be very sticky. Fold in the chocolate chips.

To avoid getting the dough stuck to your fingers, I recommend spraying your hands with coconut oil or using two spoons to form the cookies. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and place them on your cookie sheet. Gently flatten them into discs. You don't need to worry about spacing with this dough, because the cookies will not spread as they bake!

Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until firm and slightly golden on the edges. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Sunshine Smoothie

This weekend was filled with friends and food and fun, which means we're needing a little "detox" on this Sunday morning. I'm calling this the Sunshine Smoothie because light is currently pouring in my windows and because the pineapple and banana really "shine" through and hide any tartness you might expect from the greens in this recipe.

Sunshine Smoothie
makes approximately 20 oz - serves two

In a powerful blender, combine:
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1.5 frozen bananas
  • 4 kale leaves (stalks removed)
  • 5" piece of cucumber
  • 1 small organic apple (seeds and stem removed)
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 2 tbsp hemp seeds

Toss them all together and blend until there are no visible pieces of the fruits and veggies. If your cucumber and apple are organic, feel free to leave the skin on. You'll be gifting yourself with more nutrients and fiber! With no added sweeteners, this smoothie is packed with vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber and plant-based proteins.

Use regular water if you don't have coconut water, or you can add an unsweetened nut milk to bump up the protein, calcium, and creaminess of this smoothie. Chia seeds can be used in addition to or in place of the hemp!