Juice & Smoothie Bars Bucket List Pt.1

I am so excited that so many Juice and Smoothie Bars are opening in and around the Boston area. I am a huge advocate of the smoothie, juice, acai bowl, and any other type of vegetable and fruit combination you can think of. My bucket list is becoming very long as more and more new spots open. I have created a challenge to make it to all of them at some point this fall. My first post will start with two new bars outside of the city near where I live: Stacy’s & Squeeze.

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Stacys Juice Bar in Needham: I have been a fan of Stacy’s since it opened back in March. It is very close to where I live and work out every day making it an easy post workout stop. I absolutely love their grasshopper smoothie (banana, avacado, mango, kale, spinach, dates, coconut water, spirulina, and aloe) and wheatgrass shot. They have a full menu of juices, smoothies, power smoothies, acai bowls, shots and a mix of food and small meals made in house as well.

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Squeeze Juice Bar in Chestnut Hill: I finally got to try Squeeze Juice Bar at the Chestnut Hill location this past weekend after my morning Pure Barre class. I ordered their ‘chia pet acai bowl’ (acai, banana, spinach, kale, chia seeds, coconut water topped with gluten free granola, coconut and green powder mix)and it was delicious. Of course I couldn’t leave without trying one of their wheatgrass shots…and no joke it was one of the best. Squeeze actually sources their wheatgrass locally from Duxbury Farm where it is grown organically. Overall, I had a great first experience at Squeeze and will definitely be back more often now that I know how close I am to this location to try the rest of the menu!
Coming Soon: Bucket List Pt 2: Head into the city to try Cocobeet, Jugos, Mother Juice, and Thirst Co.

Mix-up your Breakfast Routine

So many of us get stuck in a routine before work or school and find ourselves having the same old thing for breakfast each morning. Breakfast is one of my favorite meals and there are so many new healthy and quick options these days. Here are some of my new favorites alternatives/new products I have found to replace my daily green smoothie if you have a few extra minutes in the morning or they can be perfect weekend brunch options:

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-Purely Elizabeth Ancient Grain Oatmeal: I am a huge fan of this product. Purely Elizabeth created oatmeal that is made out of many different whole grains and SuperFoods. My favorite flavor is the 6 grain. The 6 grain includes: quinoa, millet, buckwheat, amaranth, kaniwa, hemp, flax and chia. You bring it to a boil and then let simmer on the stove for about 10-15 minutes with almond or coconut milk. The best part is what you can put on the top; berries, nuts, granola, shredded coconut, figs, almond/coconut butter and cinnamon. It is so delicious and can be made in a variety of ways when you get creative with your toppings. This is a great way to start your day with a hearty serving of grains, protein and fiber. These products are great because there is no sugar added, they are certified organic, vegan, and gluten free so they can satisfy a wide audience. Purely Elizabeth also makes delicious granolas and gluten free baking mixes. Check out her website and products at your local Whole Foods Market or Target store. [www.purelyelizabeth.com]

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-Fall Recipe Remix: Add half the amount of almond/coconut milk and substitute the other half with ½ cup of 100% pure pumpkin puree, top with pecans, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin pie spice.

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-Papaya Boats: This breakfast trend I can thank one of my favorite nutrition bloggers; Nutrition Stripped [www.nutritionstripped.com] for. This health blogger has come up with so many variations of making these amazing treats. This requires a little time to make but is well worth it! The concept is simple; split the papaya in half and scrape out the seeds in the middle. This creates your two “bowls”. Fill each with greek, icelandic skyr, or any other type of yogurt. Then comes the best part; cover with as many toppings of your choice. Some of my favorite toppings are berries, figs, coconut butter, almond butter, banana slices, avocado chunks, hemp or chia seeds, and crumbled nuts. Once you are finished filling your two bowls, grab a spoon and enjoy! Make sure to scrape some papaya into each bite!

‘Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall’

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Fall is by far my favorite season of the year. I love the brisk mornings and sunny but cold fall days. I live for when the leaves start to change colors and the apple and pumpkin flavored foods start to come back on the market. It is the prettiest season out of all four; especially living in New England.

Here are some of my fall favorites:
– Pumpkin Coffee (and lattes when I want to treat myself)
– Pumpkin bread, muffins, cookies…just about any baked good that’s bad for you
– Apples fresh from the farm; which means apple picking of course
– The return of fresh fall fruits & vegetables: brussel sprouts, pears, pomegranate, squash, & sweet potatoes
– Foliage hikes/ Trail Runs
– Cozing up to a roaring fireplace
– Watching my little brother’s soccer games (Go Babson!)
– The return of lazy Sundays watching Football & sipping on Pumpkin beer

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Pumpkin is a fall SuperFood. It is packed with vitamins, antioxidants, carotenoids and fiber. It is also very low in calories making this an easy addition to your fall diet. You do not have to use fresh pumpkin you can buy it in a can as long as you make sure it is 100% pure pumpkin (no added sugars, etc.) Pumpkin puree can be added to smoothies, oatmeal, quinoa, pancake batter and yogurt. Pumpkin can also be choppped into cubes/wedges and roasted to add to salads or used as a side vegetable. It tastes delicious sprinkled with cinnamon & nutmeg or garlic & sage.
Check out this great article that goes into much greater detail of the health benefits of pumpkin:
http://www.superfoodsrx.com/superfoods/pumpkin/pumpkin-as-a-super-food.html

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Here is a healthy green smoothie with a twist for fall: Pumpkin Green Smoothie
Smoothie Ingredients:
– 1 cups of Spinach/Kale/Greens of your choice
– 3/4 cup of almond milk or water OR DrinkMaple Maple Water
– 3/4 cup of pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)
– 1 good sized banana
– 1/2 tsp of pumpkin spice
– add a dash of ginger & nutmeg

To add a touch of added sweetness:
– drop of honey or maple syrup

To add protein to your smoothie:
-add vanilla protein powder (I use a plant based protein powder: Garden of Life Raw)
-add Siggi’s Pumpkin Spice Icelandic skyr yogurt/Chobani Pumpkin Spice Greek Yogurt

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The New Coconut Water

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I finally got my hands on some Maple Water this past weekend. Drink Maple, a company based out of Concord, MA makes bottled maple water. I was excited to try it since it has so many benefits, even more than coconut water! It contains over 46 nutrients that include vitamins, minerals, polyphenols, prebiotics, electrolytes, amino acids and antioxidants. Maple water is known to support digestive health, hydrate, increase energy levels, bone strengthening, and has anti-inflammatory results. This product is similar to coconut water but has much less sugar and calories! I was surprised at the taste when I tried it. It is not very sweet at all and does not taste like maple syrup in the least. It is super refreshing and easy to drink. It would be amazing post workout to rehydrate or as a substitute for water or nut milk in a smoothie!

Check out the company and where you can pick yourself up some Drink Maple at: http://www.drinkmaple.com/