Maqui Berry Avocado Smoothie

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Hurrah! Welcome to my first ever foodie feature, of course busting with loads of colour and fun. I just had to share this – my current fave smoothie recipe contributed by my gorgeous all-sorts-of inspiring friend Courtenay from the Wholeveganpantry. Afternoon energy slumps are most definitely a ‘thing’ over here, and often call for energy boosting smoothies.

Throughout winter I’ve found it hard to stick to healthy pick me ups. While I’m pretty good at keeping bliss balls, fresh fruit and nuts on hand, I certainly haven’t kept up my usual clean eating habits this season (eeeeeek whoops!!) But, with the sunshine (fiiiinaallly) out, I’m feeling motivated to kick start healthy eating again. Let’s eat those rainbows!!! Yes yes I know I know ‘summer bodies are made in winter’, well with all the winter bugs, sick kids, sick me, miserable weather, I kind of fell off the totally healthy eating wagon. I mean, not completely, I’ve been a passionate clean eater for years now, and while I now have the waist line to show for my all to often comfort food cravings of late, my idea of a ‘bad’ diet, really probably isn’t that bad. ANNND also, here’s the other thing, it’s NEVER too late to jump back on the ‘get healthy’ train.

So, come and join me! Let’s do this in Spring (for me, to be honest, it will be mixed between lattes and occasional champagne, …because…. lattes and champagne people!) BUT it’s all about that balance, and I finally I feel motivated again and super excited to kick start summer feeling good on the inside, and hopefully reflect it on the outside soon too. Here’s one of my all time favourite recipes from Courtenay, hopefully the first of many I share with you here! It’s one I find super easy to have supplies for on hand. As Court’s says “You can pretty much load a smoothie with anything. There’s no real “magic” recipe. However, this smoothie mix is a great example of how to whiz a good combination of fruits, antioxidant rich ‘super foods’, fats, fibre and protein for a complete meal in a glass”. Read my full interview with Courtenay below, on eating well whilst juggling a busy lifestyle as a Mum of four, and how we can encourage our kids to do the same. You can also follow Courtenay on Instagram: @wholeveganpantry

Maqui Berry Avocado Smoothie

Serves 1

1 small avocado

3 strawberries

1 small handful of blueberries

1 tbs maqui berry powder

1 tsp hemp seeds

1 tsp quinoa

1 tsp linseeds

1 tsp sunflower seeds

1 tsp poppy seeds

1 tsp millet

1 tsp amaranth

1/4 cup coconut milk

A few cubes of ice

With a handheld blender or regular blender, place all the ingredients and top with a little water if needed. Blend until smooth. Top with a sprinkle of seeds and grains.

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More on Courtney (@wholeveganpantry):

What motivated you to start Whole Vegan Pantry?

I started Whole Vegan Pantry when my Dad found out he had cancer. I was always really interested in how foods can heal the body, and was already a very clean eater. But I was craving a more colourful and vibrant diet, so I went totally plant based. My Instagram account was then born, to help motivate me to stay vegan, and has evolved from there to a creative and fun outlet where I share the food we eat and the life we live. At the time my Dad adopted the diet as well. He was really lucky – as with a great medical team and a lifestyle change he is now cancer free. My energy exploded but at the same time I was more calm and relaxed than I’d ever been before, and I totally credit that to my change in diet.

For a lot of us busy Mums, eating healthy consistently can be really challenging, how do you stay motivated?

I think you’ve got to do two things. Keep it simple, and make small changes over time. Even if it’s just a healthy green smoothie every day. Small and simple changes mean you wont fall off the wagon. And (most of the time!) I try to stay organised and plan meals ahead, and then order a whole lot of groceries online twice a week. Going to the grocery store to me is just the worst! Dreary and boring. So I brainstorm and then order up all the food so that when it arrives the next day, there’s always something in the fridge to make a quick meal or tasty treat.

I love that you have an open mind about life style balance, would you say this is a key factor to maintaining a healthy lifestyle long term?

Yes totally! But first I’ve got to admit that I’m naturally an extremes person. I spent most of my life doing things to extremes. Eating badly, over exercising, undereating. It’s just no fun. When I changed my diet to totally plant based meals I was immediately more relaxed. It may not be the solution for everybody but it sure was for me. The more alkaline your diet is (more vegetables and fruits) and less acidic (less dairy, meat, sugar, alcohol, coffee, wheat) the more relaxed you are and feel. I now exercise in moderation, do more yoga and less high intensity exercise, and I happily spend more time with my kids; I’m just more chilled.

Mastering a clean (balanced) life style for ourselves is one thing, toddlers, young children and gah those tweens, well that’s another story. What are your tips for encouraging our children to embrace a healthy lifestyle?

Involve them in the kitchen, talk to them about healthy foods, get them to read healthy cook books and pick out their favourites, and ask them what they want to eat and cook themselves. My oldest is obsessed with Oreos. So I make nutrient dense, raw refined sugar free oreos covered in raw chocolate and she eats as many as she likes! And don’t let them see that when they don’t eat your healthy food that it gets to you. They will use it against you again and again! Power struggles are never-ending from toddlers to teens. Shrug it off and eat it yourself. 🙂

As a mum of three I find the pre organising is half my battle, sometimes I get to 2pm and would love to whip up a smoothie but find I don’t have enough interesting ingredients. What are your ‘staples’ that you make sure are always present in your pantry?

Organic frozen berries, frozen bananas, coconut milk, coconut oil, coconut water, greens like spinach or kale, quinoa and quinoa flour, avocados, raw nuts, pure maple syrup, organic dates, almond butter. You can make so many filling smoothies and quick satisfying meals out of these.

Your recipes are AMAZING. I love how you have them available for us to share and enjoy on your Instagram and website. Do you have plans to develop an app? We would love it!

I love sharing recipes on my Instagram page and blog. Right now I try to post a few a week. I love that people from across the other side of the world make the food and they love it, and their kids love, it, even the husbands! It means so much to me. Sharing something I love so much and seeing others enjoy it too. And, YES! in the future I would love to create an App especially for families who want their kids to eat more fruit and veggies.

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