chocolate berry protein smoothie

As we all know (or I should hope anyway) part of a healthy lifestyle is incorporating exercise in to every day. It doesn't have to be much, 30 minutes of power walking, weight lifting, running, hard core dancing, etc. all can suffice. Get your blood pumping, your lungs working and your heart beating. I love getting my sweat on.

Exercise is vital for a long, healthy, happy and rich life. It helps you sleep, look good, feel good and does absolute miracles for your bod. Trust me. Try to get in 10-30 minutes of exercise per day - you won't regret it. 

Now why am I talking about getting my sweat on? Who cares? Well, I'd like to think you do. Now if you have just worked out and want some delicious, raw, whole food nourishment - try this recipe. The perfect meal to consume right after exercise is a smoothie. Preferably with fruit, dark leafy greens and some kind of protein. I love hemp seeds and several different vegan protein powders. Why? Because your body needs to replenish the calories it just lost, and also repair the muscle tissue that was damaged when you worked out. I know that sounds scary but it's all good. When you eat protein and carbs after a workout, the protein works to repair and improve your muscle - that's how you get guns! The carbs (in fruit) replenish calories lost. Your body can effortlessly take these in when in smoothie form because there's almost no digestion needed - just absorption. I give you a basic post-workout smoothie recipe below, using Vega protein powder

Pretty perfect, huh?

I know some raw foodists strongly believe we should not have to use protein powders because we can get all our required protein (which actually isn't that much, contrary to public belief) from entirely whole foods. I don't like to hold convictions for any case, and this one isn't special. Everyone is different - some people do fine without extra protein powder, some don't. I like to use it because it helps me build muscle faster and more efficiently. Also, I don't want to have to eat bowls and bowls of spinach and broccoli all day. 

I am NOT saying you can't get enough protein on a raw vegan diet unless you have protein powders. Definitely not. But if you work out a lot you need to repair your muscle tissue with protein, and the most efficient and convenient way to do that is with protein powder. Also, it's not like it's this terrible over-processed food. You can find loads of excellent brands out there that gently process whole foods into clean and simple powders. Of course, there are also some sketchy GMO soy isolate proteins which I do not recommend. I love Sun Warrior, an all raw powder, and Vega (also it's creator and pro athlete - Brendan Brazier. Read his book, Thrive).

chocolate berry protein smoothie: makes about 4 cups

2 cups kale
1 cup frozen blueberries or other fruit
1 banana
1 scoop chocolate vegan protein powder 
(or 2 tablespoons hemp seeds + 1 tablespoon cacao)
1-2 cups water, as needed

Blend all of the ingredients in your high speed blender (like a Vitamix) until smooth, then enjoy!