Smoothies give me life. They keep me energized and motivated to get through my days. They give me the nutrition I need to function optimally: both physically, mentally and thus emotionally, because my mental health and emotional state are inextricably linked with my physical well-being. These days I eat and exercise for my mental health. When I make food, my main focus is: how will this make me feel? When I go to the gym or for a bike ride, it's not to alter my body to look a certain way, it's to release endorphins in my brain so I can maintain a positive mental attitude.

I have gone through phases of my life where I ate and exercised out of obsessions with weight loss and notions of purity; fear of guilt, of not being good enough, thin enough, pretty enough. My relationship with food has been a conflicted one: I have suffered from eating disorders and didn't admit this to myself until years later. I have always LOVED food but unfortunately learned to attach negative moral values to certain foods (liked cooked food, processed foods, foods high in fat, etc.) so when I ate them I felt like I was a failure, like I was out of control. I would work out everyday to burn off the calories I ate. I wanted to be in total domination of my body, and to me - thanks to the influence of popular media, patriarchy, sizeism and society - a body under my control was a thin body. I didn't enjoy working out, but I forced myself to do it. I was constantly thinking about food, but not in an excited, positive way - I was instead endlessly worrying if I had eaten too much, or eaten the "wrong" kind of food.

I am proud of where I am today. I am learning to deal with, cope with and manage my mental processes so they don't hurt me as much. I still spend tons of time worrying about food and if I am eating "healthy" enough or working out enough. But compared to what it used to be, I am in a better place. I have been trying to educate myself on the fat liberation movement, exposing myself to fat-positive activists, authors, images and media. It reminds me that the assumption that fat = bad/ugly/unhealthy/undesirable/inferior is a socially and culturally constructed one. So my fear of being fat is actually super problematic because it's sizeist and [literally] fatphobic. I recognize this on a rational level, but I am still trying to unlearn ways of seeing and thinking that have been pressed onto me by our thin-obsessed world, and that inform how my mental illness plays out. My point here is that instead of eating, exercising and living to be thinner (and thus take up less space, sigh), to control myself, to bully myself like I used to; I am finally learning to fuel my body with calories and keep up a fitness routine in order to FEEL GOOD, to manage my mental health and take care of myself. Whatever I look like living by this credo is fine by me, because all bodies are good bodies and there can be health at every size.

One of my favourite foods that keeps me fuelled all day long is smoothies. And not just any smoothies, but smoothies that are bursting with high quality nutrition, smoothies that give me my RDI for a whack-ton of vitamins, minerals and nutrients so my brain and body can WERK RIGHT. And since I am a human being with taste buds, my smoothies need to taste great too. Two products I love that help this all happen are Silk® almond milk (their cashew milk is delish too btw) and Vega One. Silk provides just as much calcium as dairy milk, is an excellent vitamin D source, and is free from soy, dairy, GMOs and cholesterol. Vega One is something I crave on the daily because I know that when I consume it regularly it keeps my skin incredibly soft and glowy and mental attitude positive. It has 20g of protein, 25% of my RDI for fibre, 1 billion CFU probiotics, and MORE. Food is powerful, it can go a long way in aiding my cognitive health when I eat nutrient-dense meals, so I aim to do that as often as possible, and ingredients like Silk and Vega make it easy and veeeery yummy. So here's a nice and easy smoothie recipe that features all the good stuff to keep you goin'. The flavours are unexpected but imo, quite tasty and satisfying.

This post is sponsored by Whitewave (Silk, Vega One) but all the words are my own.
<3 Oh and thanks to Amanda for bein' my hand model! xx


[ serves one or two ]

1/4 cup fresh basil 
1 cup frozen mango
1 cup pineapple
1 banana
1/2 cup frozen broccoli florets
1 1/2 cups Silk unsweetened almond milk
1 scoop Vega One ("natural" flavour)

Blend it all up and enjoy! Add a bit more almond milk if it's too thick or too sweet. I decorated mine with hemp seeds and extra basil leaves.

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