Author: Amanda

Gut Healing Green Smoothie with Ginger, Banana, and Avocado

Gut Healing Green Smoothie with Ginger, Banana, and Avocado

Earlier this week I had a 24 hour stomach bug thing – NOT fun! And just before my birthday :/ (Fortunately I felt much better on my bday 🙂 So all week I’ve been going easy on my stomach. One thing I’ve been making every […]

Paleo (ish) Banana Bread: Vegan, Gluten/ Grain-Free, Sugar-Free Recipe

Paleo (ish) Banana Bread: Vegan, Gluten/ Grain-Free, Sugar-Free Recipe

What do you do with a bunch of brown bananas? Make (paleo) banana bread of course! My friend was about to toss a whole bunch of bananas that were well beyond ripe. I hate watching food to waste. I simply said those would be perfect […]

What it’s Like to Have Adrenal Fatigue – A Day in the Life

What it’s Like to Have Adrenal Fatigue – A Day in the Life

Always tired. Always wired. Can’t sleep. Can’t think. Irritable. Moody. Always reaching for the caffeine just to get through the day. Overwhelmed and not even sure you’ll actually make it through the day.

Sound at all familiar? Probably does to at least a lot of you. An estimated 80 percent of people worldwide suffer from some level of adrenal fatigue.

Modern life has brought us here. Here’s what it feels like to be in full on stage three complete fatigue-mode, how stress causes adrenal fatigue, and why you should take preventative steps now.

A Day in My Life with Adrenal Fatigue Stage 3

Yesterday started out pretty well for someone who’s struggling with adrenal fatigue and in the midst of the slow recovery process.
I had actually slept more than 6 hours (huge progress for someone who has often averaged 4-5 hours), got up, brushed my teeth, made my warm lemon water with apple cider vinegar, and even motivated myself to walk to the beach to meditate, sun on my face, fully aware of how lucky I am to live here.
I walked at a moderate pace and settled in for a 10 minute meditation, journaled, did a few yoga stretches, and even did a little reading lying there on my blanket. Came back, rinsed the salty sea air sweat off my skin, made a smoothie, and changed for barre class. I’ve been feeling good lately and am beyond ready to get back in shape and regain my strength, so I was motivated.
After class I indulged in the steam room because my skin and my nerves are all the happier for it when I do. After a full weekend of work, I’ve allowed some space in my weekdays to feel a little bit like a weekend.
Yesterday morning was like that, because rest and recovery is beyond necessary when you have adrenal fatigue. So I went through my morning at a moderate pace, checking and replying to emails in between, refueled with a solid lunch when I got back, and got to work.
Frankly, though, all morning I’d been struggling to get my energy and focus back to the levels I’ve been experiencing for the past week. I had felt like I had turned a corner and was finally on the up and up.
I was feeling ok yesterday morning, but felt like I’d lost a bit of steam. And if I’ve learned anything over the past month-plus since diagnosis of recovery research and trial and error, it’s that when I feel lower energy, I have to honor that. I have to take things down a notch even when I don’t want to.
So I took my morning at a moderate pace. I thought sunshine and beach would start the day on the right foot. Pus I’ve been feeling stronger so I made the call that barre would be ok and would boost my confidence. Steaming would be good for my muscles and my sanity.
But then the afternoon slump hit. Hard. I went from a fairly normally functioning human to one who could hardly keep her eyes open much less get out of bed. Even sitting in bed was too much effort. I lay down and just rested for a bit. I got up after a nap-like rest, hoping I’d be more functional.
Nope. I was down for the count, completely and utterly. My eyes were watering and my muscles felt weak. I almost felt dizzy getting out of bed to get a snack. I at least managed to read a few chapters from a book on my list for professional growth and respond to a few important emails. So I guess at least it wasn’t a total wash of a day…
By the evening I was still feeling useless. I nearly ordered delivery even though I had just bought groceries the day before, because the thought of getting up to make even the simplest dinner was thoroughly exhausting. I garnered enough strength to rinse a sweet potato and throw it in the oven.
I lay back down and read for another hour then finally got up to throw some kale and walnuts in a pan and topped it with the sweet potato and some spices. After dinner, here I was, still tired, but feeling far more functional and alert than I had a couple hours prior, with enough brainpower to start drafting this post.

What it Really Feels like to have late stage Adrenal Fatigue

This it what it’s like to have later stage adrenal fatigue. One day you’re tired but functioning and getting things done. The next day you wake up tired, per usual, but maybe still get things done. The next day starts the same, but then without warning your energy is completely gone and you can do nothing but lie in bed all afternoon. In the middle of the week.
It’s the level of fatigue I felt in the first few days after my each of my intense four-day 24/7 chemo treatments.
It’s the kind of weakness and exhaustion you feel when you have the flu. Except it comes on without warning and with no other symptoms. You are not sick. Just completely bone-weary exhausted. Entirely depleted.
The next day you might feel comparatively amazing – like I do today. But you don’t just feel completely back to normal the next week. Recovery can take months, or sometimes even years.
When you’re out and about, you put in effort to look like a presentable human, so you look and seem fine and normal and maybe even great.
But the slumps are as yet unpredictable. It’s almost like having split personality disorder – happy human one day, zombie the next. Which makes planning and living life a little extra tricky. It sometimes feels like begin trapped in a cage of limited energy. Stuck and powerless over the circumstances.
And days where you feel truly amazing – well that’s a rare gift.

How did I get here – to Adrenal Fatigue Stage 3?

Stress. Chronic stress and chronic insomnia. I’m telling you now – if you are experiencing chronic stress and/ or insomnia, do something about it NOW. The longer you wait, the worse it gets. It can result in serious illness, as it did in my case.
Hoping it will resolve itself isn’t enough. You need to take serious, deliberate action steps to resolve stress and insomnia. In the world we live in, these issues won’t simply resolve themselves over time. They require attention and deliberate change, because our environment is not set up in our favor.

What Happens to the Adrenal Glands to Cause Adrenal Fatigue

Chronic stress continually burdens the adrenals, requiring more and more cortisol to be produced. High cortisol levels keep you tired but wired. You rely on caffeine to get through the day and feel perpetually overwhelmed by the daily burdens of life.
Common symptoms include racing thoughts, rouble concentrating, salty and sweet cravings, moodiness and irritability, body aches, and hormone imbalances. This is list is far from inclusive – there is a vast array of symptoms linked to adrenal fatigue, making it such an elusive condition to diagnose.
Also known as adrenal insufficiency, adrenal fatigue is technically a subclinical diagnosis not recognized by many trained in modern medicine. There is no pill or procedure that fixes it. Only diet and lifestyle changes and perhaps a few supplements will help you heal.
The adrenal glands are two thumb-sized organs that sit on top of your kidneys. They are responsible for producing over 50 hormones which control and influence nearly every bodily function.
As part of the stress response,the adrenal cortex releases corticosteroids which dampen bodily processes not necessary in the face of an immediate threat. Notably, digestion and the immune response are shut down. This is how stress contributes to digestion issues, inflammation, and weakened immunity.
Eventually, your adrenals can’t keep up with the amount of daily stress you’re experiencing. They become overloaded and eventually hormone production is impacted. Cortisol pulls resources and depletes the building blocks necessary to make the other hormones. Thus the reason for wide-ranging, seemingly unrelated symptoms that can vary dramatically from one person to the next.

Setting the Stage for Adrenal Fatigue: My Story of Stress and Burnout

I was diagnosed adrenal fatigue stage 3, but truthfully my struggles with stress, anxiety, insomnia, and burnout began exactly 3 years ago, about 3 and a half months before I first had symptoms of lymphoma, and a little over 7 months before the lymphoma was discovered – an aggressive form of lymphoma that grows quickly. Between 6 months to a year to get to the size of a grapefruit as the growth in my chest was. Interesting timing.
Three years ago, August 2015, I hit full-on burnout. I had been running around for work, dealing with one stressful living situation after another, and feeling like I was drowning in overwhelm. I’d been feeling stuck and like I’d lost control of my own life.
I woke up for work on a Tuesday morning in early August feeling barely alive. I had a sense that if I got in the car to drive to work I wouldn’t make it. I felt less coherent and coordinated than I was at some of my drunkest moments (and trust, me, there have been moments…).
In fact, a number of studies have shown how sleep deprivation slows and impairs judgment as much as being drunk. To be precise, being awake for 24 consecutive hours is equivalent to having a blood alcohol content of 0.10%, which is higher than the legal limit in all states of 0.08%.

The Dangers of Sleep Deprivation and the Serious Health Consequences of Insomnia

So by that point, insomnia ruled my life, and it had caught up with me. Abundant research has shown how dangerous sleep deprivation can be on many levels, and I can tell you from experience it’s an awful feeling to experience chronic sleep deprivation. My brain was not on point, my body was losing steam. I could barely get through my day. I was barely holding things together.
I called out that day and stayed in bed. I was mercifully able to nap and by the next morning felt like I could at least function again, as drained as I still was. I slowly began to create more boundaries when it came to my work schedule, and in the face of push-back I stood my ground. I knew my health and sanity depended on it.
However it was apparently too little too late. There were already enough straws that the camel’s back had already, imperceptibly, broken.
My energy deteriorated. I felt less and less like myself. It was getting to be winter, and the holidays entered full swing, so I chalked it up to winter and stress and colds. But when I wasn’t getting over those colds and things continued to get worse, I knew I had to take serious action.
The chest irritation was growing worse. I had a bad feeling. I called my doctor for that CT scan and sure enough there was the grapefruit-sized lymphoma.
With cancer treatment on the horizon, one of the first things I did was to sign up for a meditation course. I knew I had to get the stress and insomnia under control. So I meditated and rested my way through treatment and came out on the other end feeling motivated and energized and inspired by my second chance at life.

The Healing Process Takes Time

But I hadn’t fully healed. I was out of the woods when it came to cancer, but I still had a whole heck of a lot of healing left to do. And with the complex side effects that come along with cancer treatment, I figured the ongoing insomnia issues were related to the many disturbances caused by that. I already had the daily meditation thing under control.
So I dealt with my gut issues and detoxed the crazy chemicals out of my body and kept meditating and ate super clean most of the time and did a full-on kidney and liver detox and I did all the things I could think of.
And then winter came again and hit hard and I decided I had to move to my happy place because I was not happy. The beach. That’s my happy place. I picked up and moved to Miami. Three months and still a lot of uncertainty in, I can say it was definitely the right move. I can feel it. But transition is never ‘easy’ – as good as it may be – and moving is always stressful. And you can bet I wasn’t sleeping super well all throughout.
So when my insomnia and fatigue issues gave no signs of improving, I decided to bite the bullet and pay out of pocket for some holistic expertise. I got my stress hormones tested.

Adrenal Fatigue Stage 3. You don’t wind up there overnight.

What Makes us Susceptible to Adrenal Fatigue

Due in part to genetics and in part to environmental circumstances, some people are more resilient to extreme and chronic stress, while others are more stress sensitive.
On top of the insidious daily stress, over the years I’ve dealt with a number of very stressful circumstances, a great deal of transition, and a number of traumatic events. Sometimes you think you’re coping with things just fine – even well, perhaps – and perhaps in the face of everything you’ve gone through, you actually are coping admirably well.
But truthfully our bodies and our brains – as beautifully resilient as they are – can only handle so much on their own. If you don’t process these events completely, or properly, they just wind up repressed in your body and your psyche turns to numbing.
Not feeling anything doesn’t mean you’re coping well. It means you’re burying the pain and allowing it to brew. So many of us numb – through food, alcohol, or even extreme exercise. Any way to escape the difficult emotions.
Many of us are unequipped to handle heavy stuff, and many of us don’t even know how to recognize when something requires deeper, perhaps professional, attention.
This is how we are taught to cope: Move on. Get over it. Buck up. Get on with your life. Keep calm and carry on. Just do it.
To a point, yes to all of that. But only to a point. Beyond that, we cross over into the state of numbness.
Add to that the incessant stressors of modern life, and you get a recipe for adrenal overload. Which eventually results in adrenal fatigue if left unabated.

Our Bodies are Living in a Foreign World

Our bodies were designed to cope with acute stressors, such as running from predators like saber tooth tigers. Our bodies were not designed to deal with chronic ongoing stress that results from modern day life.
Nearly everything about modern society is set up against optimal functioning of the nervous and hormonal systems. Seriously. Nearly everything.
We’ve been artificially removed from natural circadian rhythms and nature itself.
Artificial lights, perpetual noise, cubicles, desks, and processed foods have removed us from our natural state in our natural habitat, and our bodies don’t like it. Nor do our brains.

Curb Adrenal Fatigue before it happens… or at least before it Gets Worse

Everyone knows what it feels like to be tired, to go with less than the optimal amount of sleep, and to be a little unfocused.
But real Fatigue is a whole other level of ‘tired.’ That general feeling of tiredness does not touch this extreme fatigue. It is extremely frustrating. So if you’re experiencing stress, don’t just ignore it. Don’t keep pushing through. Don’t go past that tipping point where constant tiredness becomes true fatigue.
Adrenal fatigue – no matter what stage – doesn’t happen over night.
It happens after months and years of chronic stress. The longer the stress, the longer it takes to heal.
Don’t let yourself get to the point where it will take years to get your body back to its optimal state.
Take steps to reduce stress and overwhelm from your life NOW.

The Upshot: You Can Heal Adrenal Fatigue – Without Fancy Treatments

Sure, I had to take a special test that insurance doesn’t cover. It took a day to collect the samples and a day to do some minor prep (like not have caffeine or alcohol). It’s annoying to be sure. But it cost significantly than $200.
And it’s saving my life. One month in and while I’m still struggling with the ups and downs as evidenced by my down day yesterday, my sleep is improving dramatically. I slept almost 7.5 hours straight last night – HUGE. My sleep average for the past week is nearly 6.5. AMAZING.
I went for over a week without having a major dip in energy. That’s actually major progress.
All it requires is a lot of patience and a lot of dedication to the diet and lifestyle shifts. Which isn’t easy, but at least it’s simple. And it’s completely within your power. You can free yourself from the cage.
Life is far too precious to waste feeling less than amazing.
Gazpacho – Cold Raw Soup with a Kick

Gazpacho – Cold Raw Soup with a Kick

Cold soup sounds a little odd at first. Raw soup sounds like one of those new-aged health fads. But in reality, there’s nothing new or odd about gazpacho, a classic dish in Spanish cuisine. While on vacation the other day, my mom served her homemade […]

Adrenal Fatigue: What is it and what are the symptoms?

Adrenal Fatigue: What is it and what are the symptoms?

What is Adrenal Fatigue? Tired after you wake up in the morning. Brain fog. Inability to focus. Reliance on caffeine to get you through the day. Stress. Burnout. Fatigue. Inexplicable symptoms yet clearly suboptimal health. Sound familiar? I’m guessing it probably does, to a lot […]

Candida Cleanse Anti-Candida Vegetable Broth: Delicious Cleansing and Gut-Healing Soup Recipe

Candida Cleanse Anti-Candida Vegetable Broth: Delicious Cleansing and Gut-Healing Soup Recipe

Seriously, I never thought I’d get excited about a vegetable broth. But this anti-candida vegetable broth is legit delicious!

It’s also super easy to make, cleansing, and honestly would just make a great first course! But the point is to help clear out candida.

Ok first – What is Candida?

There are several strains of the Candida bacteria – the most common and the one in question being Candida albicans. It is the most common type of yeast infection, typically found in the mouth, intestinal tract, and any other areas with mucous membranes. In healthy individuals it generally does not cause major issues. However if the immune system is impaired or if the integrity of the gut lining is impaired, it can migrate to other areas of the body, causing potentially serious symptoms.

At proper levels, it actually helps with nutrient absorption and digestion. But it can overproduce and cause typical symptoms. If left unchecked, it can cause leaky gut syndrome, allowing toxins to escape and enter the bloodstream.

anti-candida cleanse broth

What are the main causes of candida overgrowth?

Diet is a common factor in candida overgrowth. A diet high in sugar, alcohol, and refined carbs creates a perfect breeding ground for candida.

Additionally, antibiotics – particularly antibiotic overuse – can kill both the bad and the good bacteria in the body. These good bacteria keep candida under control. Candida is opportunistic. When they die off after long courses of antibiotics, candida has a hey-day!

Birth control pill use has also been linked to candida issues. Weakened immune systems, diabetes, and oral corticosteroids such as those used for asthma also create the perfect environment for candida to take over.

Finally, cancer treatment has been linked to serious cases of invasive candida (technically called candidiasis in the medical community). Like antibiotics, chemotherapy and radiation can kill off good bacteria as well as the cancer cells. Not to mention, most cancer patients are also put on antibiotics so their systems get a double whammy!

anti-candida cleanse broth

How do you know if you need to do a candida cleanse?

Doing serious, prolonged cleanses like this are certainly not fun, but the end results are so worth it… and the cleanse phase is temporary! After less than a week you shift into the anti-candida diet phase, which is more or less a no sugar, very low-carb way of eating.
For the anti-candida diet, think lots of green veggies, healthy fats, and clean protein. Which is not too different from how I tend to eat as it is. There is a lot of overlap between both the Paleo and Ketogenic Diets. The Anti-Candida Diet is meant to shift your long-term eating behaviors. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean you have to give up all your favorite foods for good. I still stand by the good ole’ 80-20 rule.

Any of the following symptoms are signs you have candida overgrowth:

  • Fatigue/ Exhaustion
  • Food Cravings (especially for sweets)
  • Bloating & Gas
  • Brain Fog
  • Weak Immune System
  • Frequent Colds
  • Sinus Congestion
  • Yeast Infections
  • Joint Pain
  • Oral Thrush (white coating on tongue)
  • Bad Breath
  • Headaches
  • Mood Swings/ Irritability
  • Dizziness
  • Itching
  • Weight Gain
  • Urinary Tract Infections
  • Loss of Sex Drive
  • Food Sensitivities
  • Insomnia
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Acne
  • Red, Itchy Eyes
  • Rashes
  • Psoriasis / Eczema
  • Allergies.
Phew that’s quite a list! As you can see, candida overgrowth in the gut causes issues way beyond the digestive tract. Because it compromises the integrity of the gut lining, it leaks out into the bloodstream and can travel around the body. Candida can wreak havoc on the whole system!

anti-candida cleanse broth

You certainly don’t need to be experiencing all of these symptoms as once to have a candida issue – I’m certainly not thank goodness! But I can check off plenty of these issues to know that candida is the underlying issue. This is exactly what I’m talking about whenever I mention gut health…. our gut health impacts our whole system! An unbelievable number of health issues can be traced back to our gut health… and of course our eating patterns. Which is why I focus so much on anti-inflammatory eating (aka like every recipe I post!)
And… did you catch the fact that some of the symptoms relate to mental and mood issues? Yup, our gut health influences our brain! Mind, mood, and food are all connected.

A Simple Test to Determine if You Have a Candida Overgrowth Issue

Do a saliva test! It sounds gross, but it’s very simple. And quick, and free! If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, the following test will help you a little confirmation.

Here’s how the saliva test works:

  1. Spit into a glass of water first thing in the morning before eating or drinking anything.
  2. Wait a minimum of 15 minutes (and keep checking if nothing happens at first) to check whether the saliva stays on top of the water.
  3. If it begins to ‘grow’ down into the water and you see little white fibers… yup that’s candida.

If you find candida, you may want to think about putting  yourself on an anti-candida diet. The best way to quick-start the candida diet is to do a short-term candida cleanse to give your digestive system a little chance to rest and reset.

Candida Cleanse Phase One: And So it Begins

So I woke up the first night I had this soup (after a lot of hydration throughout the day) to pee like eight times. No joke. Sunday was a soft start to the cleanse – I did my morning vegan protein powder drink then all veggies for lunch and a little tahini snack in the afternoon. But I made this anti-candida cleanse vegetable broth in the evening and had it for dinner.

Not gonna lie, it’s surprisingly delicious! I honestly didn’t have high expectations as far as the flavor went – most recipes I found sounded bland (and many admitted it was!). So I decided to add some ginger and spices to the mix, including a little extra heat from cayenne, and the flavor is actually amazing.

For two days I planned to do just the broth – although to be fair rather than straining the vegetables (which is an option), I decided to blend up the veggies and put them back in to make it a little more substantial.

anti-candida cleanse broth

I’m doing the cleanse with my friend and we also decided it was absolutely necessary to add avocado to the soup. Because yes avocado makes everything more delicious. But also because – healthy fats are important and keep you full. And as far as the cleanse goes, avocado is pretty easy on the digestives system.

A minor hiccup and a major health revelation

I started the day with a little sugar-free vegan protein powder drink as well. And then I went to see my holistic doctor and got the results of an adrenal test I took the other week – sure enough I have adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue stage 3 to be precise.

Ironically, my cortisol levels are actually quite low – I’d assumed they were way too high and that was what was keeping me up. But apparently I left that stage behind me long ago, pass through stage 2 where things just get a little wacky and unpredictable, and entered stage 3. Low levels of cortisol all day long – which explains my perpetual fatigue. At least I have my answer!

Fortunately, there is a lot of overlap between the anti-candida diet and the adrenal fatigue diet. So I stuck with my anti-candida cleanse plan but added some more vegan protein powder to my daily diet. And I continued on with the avocado. So far, it’s been manageable. And now after two days of the soup cleanse I am back on vegetables.

anti-candida cleanse broth

The Key Players in Anti-Candida Cleanse Vegetable Broth

This soup packs in some of the best anti-candida foods to kick-start your anti-candida mission.

  • Onion – great anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-parasitic properties. They also help flush out excess fluids, which is helpful for candida as many experience water retention
  • Kale – green vegetables in general are great for the nutritional value – kale in particular helps decrease inflammation and fight cancer
  • Celery – one of the best anti-candida foods, an anti-bacterial and high in fiber to keep the gut happy
  • Garlic – potent anti-inflammatory and detoxifier, helps reduce intestinal gas
  • Ginger – powerful anti-fungal properties, stimulates liver and colon to improve detox

It’s simple – just some veggies, water, and spices!

anti-candida cleanse broth
Print

Anti-Candida Vegetable Broth

A simple yet incredibly flavorful cleansing broth to help clear candida, cleanse the system, and get your gut back in balance. 

Course Soup
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 8

Ingredients

  • 2 medium onions, chopped or one large onion
  • 1 large handful kale I use 3 large leafs of lacinto kale
  • 6 stalks celery, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • thumb-sized piece of ginger
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • spices to taste
  • 10 cups pure waters

Optional herbs and spices

  • 1 tsp herbs de provence rosemary, sage, other similar herbs work well
  • a few shakes of cayenne to boost the heat
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • fresh cracked black pepper helps the turmeric absorb better

Instructions

  1. Clean and chop all your vegetables. 

  2. Add all of the ingredients to a large soup pot and bring to a boil.

  3. Cover the pot and reduce heat to a simmer for 60 minutes. 

  4. Option 1 - strain the veggies for a pure broth. 

  5. Option 2 - strain the vegetables and add a few back in. 

  6. Option 3 (my favorite) - use your veggies and blend it up! Use either an immersion blender, or place all the larger veggies in a blender with a few cups of the broth. You can leave the remaining broth and any smaller veggie bits in the pot. Blend it up and return it to the remaining broth, stir to incorporate. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.  

Recipe Notes

Use organic produce as much as possible. 

This will make enough broth to last one person about one day on the full cleanse. Otherwise, it makes about 6-8 servings of soup. To make it a bit heartier, add some chopped avocado. 

If you think you might be experiencing candida issues and want to ask more, feel free to get in touch!

For more healing and cleansing soup recipes, check these out:

Vegan Smoky Walnut Taco Meat

Vegan Smoky Walnut Taco Meat

The other week I met my friend for yoga and dinner at a vegan café in Coconut Grove. It’s an adorable spot, with smoothies, salads, and even vegan pizza. They have so many customizable options, so I decided to create my own salad. Walnut meat […]

Mango Ginger Kale Smoothie

Mango Ginger Kale Smoothie

Mango smoothie anyone? Mango trees are abundant down here, and it is full-on mango season in Miami. Mangoes are rather high in sugar as far as fruit goes, so as much as I love it I don’t tend to eat loads. However I’ve been gifted […]

Dark Chocolate Avocado Smoothie – Vegan Sugar-Free Recipe

Dark Chocolate Avocado Smoothie – Vegan Sugar-Free Recipe

Well it’s official – I’m on an avocado smoothie kick! After last week’s green superfood avocado smoothie, I decided to get inspiration from my own recipe and made a dark chocolate avocado smoothie.

Like the avocado chocolate mousse, this smoothie is super smooth and creamy, and full of decadent chocolate flavor. But I went superfood breakfast style and added more greens and a little vegan chocolate protein powder to boost the power breakfast factor.

dark chocolate avocado smoothie vegan sugar-free paleo keto-friendly

Give me a Chocolate Avocado Smoothie for Breakfast Please!

Because let’s be real – chocolate and avocados are the best foods ever. And putting them together is actually the best idea ever.

To bulk up the smoothie but keep the sugars on the low side, I added half a frozen zucchini. A lot of people like to add bananas to smoothies, but I prefer to skimp on the sugars and carbs. I know people love bananas for the potassium, but actually avocados have more potassium than bananas. Mind blown.

Not to mention avocados have a slew of other health benefits, which I detailed last week.

dark chocolate avocado smoothie vegan sugar-free paleo keto-friendly

Adding Zucchini to a Smoothie is Definitely a thing you should try because Zucchini is Packed with Nutritional Benefits

And yes, I did mean zucchini when I said that earlier. Zucchinis work super well in smoothies – they add both bulk and a bunch of nutritional benefits. Like avocados, they also pack a hefty dose of potassium, as well as folate, fiber, and vitamins A, C, and a bunch of Bs.

These all make it a heart-healthy addition to your diet. Zucchini is also low-calorie – a bonus for anyone concerned about the calories from the avocado – as well as anti-inflammatory. It helps reduce cholesterol, boost immunity, and provides a lot of antioxidants.

Beyond all that, given their high water and electrolyte content, zucchini is great for digestive health. The phytonutrient content in zucchini is great for eye health, while the polyphenols may help regulate adrenal and thyroid functioning as well as insulin levels, making zucchini a great option for diabetes prevention and management.

dark chocolate avocado smoothie vegan sugar-free paleo keto-friendly

How to Add Zucchini to your Smoothies

Zucchini blends up super smooth, and you can freeze the zucchini. Clean and chop off the ends and cut it in half before you store it in the freezer. You can also leave it fresh and either add ice – or, as I often do – nix the ice and frozen produce and just drink a fridge to room temperature smoothie!

Also, definitely leave the skin on – the skins of most fruits and vegetables contain a major portion of the nutritional value. Just be sure to clean it well.

Chocolate for breakfast is always a good idea, but a healthy treat that tastes like dessert for dinner? Go for it my friends 🙂

dark chocolate avocado smoothie vegan sugar-free paleo keto-friendly
Print

Dark Chocolate Avocado Smoothie Recipe

A smooth, creamy, delicious and nutrient-dense power breakfast in the form of a low-sugar vegan dark chocolate avocado smoothie to fuel your day

Course Breakfast
Prep Time 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 medium avocado
  • 1/2 medium-large zucchini frozen or fresh
  • 2 tbsp organic cacao powder
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder use protein powder of your choice, preferably organic and plant-based
  • 1 tbsp Lakanto sugar-free maple syrup, or pure maple honey works, or use 1 serving zero sugar sweetener of your choice like pure monk fruit or stevia powder
  • 1 cup nut milk or non-dairy milk of choice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract optional, but brings out the chocolate flavor
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon optional, but adds depth to the chocolate flavor and helps balance blood sugar
  • powders and potions of choice

Instructions

  1. Add all of the ingredients to a blender, and blend it up! 

  2. Drink from a large glass or mason jar, or pour into a bowl and add toppings of choice for a delicious smoothie bowl. Enjoy!

 

 

Creamy Avocado Green Superfood Smoothie Plus the Health Benefits of Avocados

Creamy Avocado Green Superfood Smoothie Plus the Health Benefits of Avocados

Avocado Smoothie for Breakfast Anyone!? We all know avocado toast has become a favorite go-to for breakfast. It’s hard to find a good breakfast or brunch menu without it. But an avocado smoothie!? We all know I’m obsessed with avocados. They make any meal better, […]