Chocolate Cherry Antioxidant Shake
I’ve been fighting with some arthritis pain in my thumb for the past few years. Despite a healthy, clean diet, my thumb still tends to ache especially if I’m doing a lot of typing or texting.
My doctor says that it’s a common type of arthritis which is hereditary and really has no cure besides a very invasive surgery. So instead of going under the knife, I decided to really amp up my diet to include a lot of anti-inflammatory foods and the results have been amazing! This shake I am about to share is just one of my powerful new tools that work better than drugs and without the side effects of hurting my gut.
One of the most powerful anti-inflammatory foods I included is turmeric, or curcumin which is the active ingredient in this spice. Tumeric has many other health benefits besides just acting to knock out inflammation so I get lots of bang for my buck adding this inexpensive spice into my diet. Besides adding it to my shake and cooking with it, check out my recent video for my quick and easy Tumeric Milk which makes a great bedtime snack. (Quick and Easy Tumeric Milk Recipe)
My next ingredient with amazing anti-inflammatory properties is cherries. Cherries contain anthocyanins and cyanidin, both of which have powerful properties which fight inflammation. Studies show that cherries help fight gouty arthritis as well as osteoarthritis, promote sleep, reduce muscle pain post exercise, lower risk of stroke and decrease belly fat! Since these are all things we are trying to achieve, adding cherries to our morning shake makes a lot of good sense.
Cinnamon is added not only for flavor but because it has many amazing health benefits. The one we are most interested in is the ability to reduce blood glucose levels and enhance insulin sensitivity in normal and overweight individuals. Since we know that insulin is a fat storage hormone and that high insulin levels produce inflammation in the body then the addition of cinnamon acts to help weight loss and reduce inflammation.
Spirulina, a blue-green algae, is considered a super food full of antioxidants, amino acids and B12. It has been shown to alleviate arthritis and joint pain. Spirulina is already an ingredient on BodyDesigns Two Week Detox Plan as are the chia seeds. Chia seeds not only make the shake thick but add omega 3 fatty acids which again have amazing health benefits which include reducing inflammation in the body.
Raw, unrefined dark chocolate is called cacao and is another superfood you can add into the shake. The raw chocolate retains the health benefits such as antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and flavonoids. Flavonoids help to reduce plaque, improve circulation, and combat inflammation and free radical damage making them a great protector against cancer and aging. Carob is similar and I include it in my recipes instead of cacao because chocolate is a migraine trigger for me and many people. Carob is similar to cacao in that it is loaded with protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals as well as having anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Carob also has the same positive effect on cholesterol as cacao. Carob does not contain the stimulatory properties of chocolate making it a better choice for those who are sensitive to caffeine. They are very similar in flavor and can be used interchangeable in any of my recipes.
So you can see this shake is a powerhouse but it’s also delicious and will help you start your day off right! For those of you that are following BodyDesigns Two Week Detox Plan this shake can replace the shake in the book.
Chocolate Cherry Antioxidant Shake
12 oz. of unsweetened almond, cashew or coconut milk
1 T chia seeds
½ cup frozen organic cherries
1 scoop vegan My Favorite Protein
1 tsp. organic spirulina or Spirulina pacifica is an excellent brand*
1/2 tsp. Organic Tumeric
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. carob or cacoa powder
natural leaf stevia to taste (depends on protein powder)
1. Allow chia seeds to soak in milk for at least 15 minutes. Try soaking them overnight in your blender and then just adding the rest of the ingredients in the morning.
2. Add all other ingredients and mix well in a blender.
Fat: 10 g
Carbs: 27 g
Protein: 25 g
*Spirulina is contraindicated for certain people such as pregnant, lactating or those allergic to shellfish. Check with your health provider if you have any concerns about using this superfood. If in doubt, leave it out of the recipe. Always use organic or Pacifico to ensure it has no toxins.
Are you looking to transform your health? Mary works with clients all over the country developing personalized nutrition and exercise plans for weight loss and health. If you’re ready to get started on your journey to health and wellness contact her today!
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