My health coaching client Luisa often tells me that while she wants to engage in more self-care activities including eating better and getting more exercise, she says that she is also challenged by a heavy work schedule and family obligations. Like many of us, Luisa knows the basics of what she needs to be doing for her health, but she doesn’t always do it, due to a variety of behavioral and environmental reasons.
As a health coach and therapist I am always brainstorming approaches with Luisa and other clients about how to incorporate changes into an already busy life. I know as a busy clinician and keynoter, that I also need the occasional quick meal that I can make in 3 minutes. Also, a number of my clients, including children, benefit from more greens in their diet but they often will not eat fresh vegetables or need additional supplements but don’t like swallowing pills or capsules
For Luisa, my child clients and everyone, I provide special superfood smoothie recipes.
Because Luisa works hard and often feels fatigued I shared with her this recipe from my new book The Good Mood Kitchen, and educated her about the mood-boosting effects of each ingredient.
MOCHA MATCHA SMOOTHIE
This is my favorite morning or afternoon guilt- free “pick- me- up.” It is anti-inflammatory, rich in antioxidants, and provides brain food in the form of the trinity of cognitive function: coffee, cocoa, and coconut. If you prefer, you can substitute organic decaffeinated coffee or just use cocoa when serving to children, replacing the liquid from the coffee with extra coconut milk. Make sure your ingredients are organic and sugar- free.
12 oz. fresh brewed organic coffee, hot
1/2. c. full- fat, unsweetened coconut milk
½ tsp. 0rganic Matcha powder (or strong tea from 3 matcha tea bags)
2 tbsp. unsweetened organic cocoa powder (for drinking)
2–5 drops liquid stevia (or to taste)
Vanilla extract (optional)
Coconut cream, unsweetened (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a blender at medium speed for a few minutes until frothy. Pour into a mug and top with coconut cream, if desired. For children I substitute berries and almond milk for the coffee.
This recipe make four servings.
Luisa loves this recipe but there are some times when Luisa says that she is too busy to plan for and make a smoothie from scratch.
Enter Superfood Smoothies at My Nutrition Advisor! These yummy smoothies are pre- packaged, organic and prepped to go into the blender after tearing open the bag. They are made up of seeds and dried powders from veggies and fruits and some include chocolate as well. These smoothie mixes make it easy for people with “picky” taste as well. One of my recent clients on the autism spectrum chose one of the berry flavors for her daily nutrient-dense meal as part of our mental health nutrition plan.
Now before you think I am hawking something like a juice-o-matic at midnight for a bargain, let me share with you my criteria for trying any new nutrient and food product.
Pure ingredients: preferably organic
No fillers or additives or preservatives
Affordable, no hype, no pyramid marketing and I can try a sample without spending a fortune or I can get my money back if I don't like it.
Has a benefit for mood and well-being
Superfood Smoothies at My Nutrition Advisor scored 100 on all my criteria. It also has a robust website that is filled with educational information for clients who may just be starting their journey along the path of nutrition for mental health and cognitive performance.
Luisa has been enjoying the smoothies and because she is carrying out her self care plan regularly, she is feeling better physically and emotionally and this reinforces other changes like getting regular exercise and making progress in our counseling work.
As a Behavioral Medicine clinician, it is my goal to help a client identify and overcome obstacles to mind/body self-care. Smoothies are an effective delivery system for enhancing mood and decreasing inflammation while stabilizing blood sugar.
I also use them when caring for elders who need easily digestible, tasty foods. While it is possible to create these smoothies from scratch, the pre-prepared packets make it easy to eat well while traveling or at work or for a quick afternoon pick-me-up.
The neat thing? Sign up for a free sample and test for yourself if it is something to include in your health cabinet or share as a resource with clients.
Financial disclosure: You can access Nutrition Advisor here, or directly at their website. I became an affiliate of My Nutrition Advisor with all sales directly funding our non profit 501 (c) 3 health projects, at the Center for World Indigenous Studies.
Dietz, Christina Dekkera, Matthijs & BetinaPiqueras-Fiszman. An intervention study on the effect of matcha tea, in drink and snack bar formats, on mood and cognitive performance.Food Research International Volume 99, Part 1, September 2017, p. 72-83. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2017.05.002
Heitman, Erin & Donald K. Ingram.Cognitive and neuroprotective effects of chlorogenic acid. 32-39 | Published online: 10 Mar 2016.http://dx.doi.org/10.1179/1476830514Y.0000000146
Reger, Mark A ., Henderson, Samuel T., Hale, Cathy, Cholerton,Brenna , Baker, Laura D., Watson,G S ., Hyde,Karen Chapman, Darla & Suzanne Craft . Effects of beta-hydroxybutyrate on cognition in memory-impaired adults. Neurobiol Aging. 2004 Mar;25(3):311-4. PMID:15123336