Healthy Holiday Shopping Guide


Hi friends!

I'm wrapping up 10 days of giveaways and wanted to share with you some of my favorite things. Also, our January Shred10 is looking like it's going to be one of our biggest ever! I'll be running it with some of my teammates so it's going to be a blast. Click here to learn more about the Shred10 program.
Beauty
My two favorite beauty companies are Thrive Causemetics and BeautyCounter. Thrive donates money from every purchase to help a woman thrive (click here to read more) and both companies are committed to quality, non toxic ingredients. My sister Deb turned me onto Thrive and particularly my new secret weapon, the Brilliant Eye Brightener. I am a big fan of BeautyCounter's shampoo and conditioner and it's sunscreen, and my favorite product is the lip conditioner in peppermint. If you don't have a Beauty Counter rep yet, please reach out to my girlfriend Terry.

Healthy Home, Healthy You
My friend Kristen turned me on to Norwex products about a year ago and I'm a huge fan. The company has created a line of products that safer and non-toxic for your home.The mops are the best and I've reduced my use of cleaners extensively. I love the window cloth and the dish towel but there are so many other products that all seem great. Reach out to my friend Jenna to get some for yourself and others.

Speaking of cleaner-cleaners, I really like doterra's On Guard concentrated cleaner and I'm a huge diffuser. The citrus blend is my favorite. My friend Melissa is a rep if you don't have one and you can email her here.

Speaking of essential oils, Plant Juice Oils , are a line of oils that are infused with CBD oil (the non THC kind) and I loved their stuff so much I bought all of the blends and the CBD tincture (I also just like the word "tincture").

Romaine Calm and get a Tower Garden. 

Our amazing Tower Gardens allow you (or someone you love) to grow fresh vegetables  all year long - inside or outside - in any climate - under any conditions. And help the planet in the process. 

TG's use 95% less water , 90% less space and no soil. Easy. Convenient. Affordable. Delicious. Just kale me, I mean call me to hear more. Or click here for more details.

Other great gifts and stocking stuffers
While I was hanging out at the NYRR marathon expo this November, I spied "healthy chocolate" out of the corner of my eye. Flavanaturals sources great chocolate and preserves that flavanoids, which are the part of the chocolate that provides the most antioxidants. I am anxiously awaiting the next shipment of mydrinking chocolate which I add to my JP smoothies.

Elena Frid  a neurologist and neuropsychologist who specializes in infections-induced autoimmune disorders. Her hope is you don't actually need to come see her so she's created a line of all season insect repellant and some apparel. Check her out here .

My favorite NYC healthy haunts are Exceed Physical CultureBodModSalt Haus NYC and Dig Inn. Gift cards are available at all of them.

Give Health

Our team is banding together to help get more families healthy in the new year. Do you know anyone who could benefit from our amazing Juice Plus products?

For every 100 families our team helps, I am donating $250 to a charity. Can you help us by thinking of some families you'd love to see get healthier this year?

And if you think of anyone you'd like to give the gift of JP to this year click here to shop for yo'self. 

Peace.  Joy.  And much Love.

Tracey

Peanut Sweet Potato Soup in the Slow Cooker



Hi Friends!

I'm in a slow cooker phase right now and made this soup - it's so good I need to share.  If you can’t do peanuts, pick another nut butter and if you want to make it vegan, swap to vegetable stock and take out the chicken.  My husband, who “hates” sweet potatoes, came back for seconds and maybe thirds.  Enjoy! 

Ingredients:
4 cups sweet potato, peeled and cubed (1/2")
2 boneless chicken breasts
1 cup onion, chopped
2 tablespoons garlic, minced (about 6 cloves)
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cumin, ground
¼ teaspoon coriander, ground
3 cups chicken broth, (depending on how soupy you like it)
¾ cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon peanut oil
olive or avocado oil
red pepper flakes, to taste
Cilantro, fresh, chopped

In a pan, sauté onions and garlic until brown.  When done, toss everything but the cilantro into the crockpot and cook for 4 hours.  When done, the chicken will easily shred with a fork.  Top with cilantro and, if you want, some non-dairy sour cream.  

Enjoy!  

Love,

Tracey


Taco 'bout yummy! Cauliflower Tacos plus our new recipe booklet

Hi friends!

Our latest recipe booklet is hot off the presses and I wanted to make sure you all saw it.  To download your copy, click here.  And here is a delicious cauliflower taco recipe.  YUM! 

As many of you know, I'm crazy about cauliflower.  It's a ridiculously versatile vegetable that I simply love, and it also has fabulous health benefits.  Here are some top health benefits of cauliflower according to our friends at Dr. Axe

  • Helps Reduce Cancer Risk
  • Fights Inflammation
  • Decreases Risk for Heart Disease and Brain Disorders
  • Provides High Levels of Vitamins and Minerals (Especially Vitamin C and Vitamin K)
  • Improves Digestion and Detoxification
  • Aids in Weight Loss
  • Helps Balance Hormones
  • Preserves Eye Health

We love it so much, we even have a Pinterest page dedicated to it.  Click here to see more recipes.  




Don't just do something - sit there. Meditation 101




Hi friends! 

When I stopped working full time as a high powered PR executive to stay home with my family, I had a bit of an identity crisis.  Who was I without my crazy schedule and insane deadlines?  It was during that time that I read A New Earth by Ekhart Tolle and it rocked my world.  I began to realize that I am simply who I am at any given time and I started to journey into wellness.  It lead me here - as a wellness entrepreneur, family carpool karaoke aficionado, and amateur meditator.  I'm the happiest and most fulfilled I've ever been and so I want to take a moment to dig deeper into meditation, go through some of the objections people have, and give you some simple ways to get started.  So let's dig in. 



This video from Oprah's Super Soul series is one of my favorite explanations.  

A teacher of mine once said simply, "There's a part of each one of us that is always meditating.  A place inside us that is quiet, mindful and at peace.  When we practice meditating, we are creating space to allow that part to come forward." 

Meditation is NOT about clearing your mind.  
Meditation is simply about sitting and acknowledging thoughts and emotions with some detachment.  And the first part of this is mindfulness.  
mind·ful·ness n
1. the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
2. a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
So why meditate?  
The science is firmly behind us on this one.  Here's a great article from Psychology Today on some of the key benefits, including: 

  • Increasing immune function 
  • Decreasing pain and inflammation at the cellular level
  • Increasing positive emotions and decreasing depression, anxiety and stress 
  • Increases your compassion, introspection and ability to regulate emotions 
  • Increases grey matter and volume/health of areas that regulate emotion and paying attention 
  • Improves your memory and creativity
Meditation also unearths and gets rid of stress from the past.  This is what my guru Emily Fletcher of Ziva meditation calls "unstressing" and is a powerful tool.  Since you've likely been hanging on to that stuff for a while, I'd way it's an excellent time to get that stuff up and out.  


Now that we've explained why you should meditate, let's move on to objections: 


I suck at meditating. 
To quote Emily Fletcher, "We meditate to get good at life, not to get good at meditation."  So getting good at it should not be your goal.  Getting good a committing to do it should be the goal. 

I don't have time.
I get it.  Meditating is an extra activity in your day.  But the options that I'm going to give you below start at a 3 minute meditation up to a 2x/day 20-minute meditation.  You just need to decide that you want to do it.  I wake up 20 minutes earlier in the morning and immediately meditate.  I set my second meditation in my calendar.  Sometimes it's on the subway or a bus.  Sometimes it's only 10 minutes.  But I'm committed.  

I can't meditate.  
You can't sit still for 5 minutes? As we discussed above, the only goal of meditation is to sit an acknowledge thoughts and emotions with some detachment.  So...I bet you can.   

There are many meditation programs and apps to use and I'd love to hear from you which ones have worked.  I started with guided meditations/mindfulness exercises and loved them, but decided about six months ago to take off the training wheels and took an advanced program and now I meditate all by myself 2x/day.  So there's a full range of options and here are some popular favorites: 

- Headspace.  Guided meditations starting a 3 minutes.  The meditations are guided by creator Andy who has a fabulous British accent, making the whole experience really enjoyable. 

- Calm.  Guided by the lovely Tamara Levitt, Calm has all types of meditation including some bedtime stories for both kids and adults.  

- Ziva Meditation.  Emily Fletcher has developed a meditation training that is specifically designed for busy people.  She blends mindfulness, meditation and manifestation to really target all areas of your brain.  I stated with her online training program and then went and spent a few days with her here in NYC to deepen my practice.  I love her.  

- Go to a meditation class.  Many yoga studios have them and in NYC we have a fabulous meditation space called MNDFL with locations throughout the city.  

Other popular options that I haven't personally tried include 10 Percent Happier with Dan Harris and Trascendental Meditation (TM).  

And now I'd like to hear from you!  Tell me what's worked, what else you'd like to share! 

Peace out,

Tracey 

-- 
T R A C E Y  P O N T A R E L L I 
Certified Personal Trainer & Wellness Coach  





Putting the :D in Vitamin D



Hi friends! 

My oldest daughter and I were both recently tested for Vitamin D levels, and like about 3/4 of the population, our levels were low.  During the summer we are going to be able to get our vitamin D from the best of all places - the sun 🌞 - but it felt like a good time to loop back on what the big D does for the body, what affects the production of vitamin D in the body, and which supplements make the most sense.  

What does Vitamin D do for the body?
The most well known - and critical use of vitamin D in the body is to absorb calcium and promote bone growth.  But what else does D do

  • Think D for fighting Disease, including MS, heart disease and the flu. 
  • And D for fighting Depression and anxiety 
  • And D for Decreasing your weight 


What affects Vitamin D absorption? 
Know the old saying "you are what you eat?"  Well, you really are what you digest and what you absorb.  If your body isn't in a place to absorb vitamin D, you could still find yourself at a deficit.  Here's a great article from Harvard Health that outlines so key elements.  To summarize: vitamin D is produced in the body when UVB rays are absorbed by the skin.  Here are the things that can get in the way:  
  • Location. Location. Location.  Higher latitudes = less UVB.  
  • Air.  Stuff in the air (hello NYC) "scatter and absorb UVB rays" and Ozone absorbs UVB rays so holes in the ozone layer could actually end up increasing vitamin D levels.  
  • Maybe Sunscreen. Reviews are mixed and most of us don't put enough on to block all of the UVB rays.  
  • Skin color. Darker skin needs more UVB.  
  • Skin temp. Interestingly, if you are warmer - like in the summer - your body absorbs more UVB rays.  
  • Weight.  "Fat tissue sops up vitamin D" so having some fat on your body helps you bank some D, but being obese seems to have the opposite effect. 
  • Gut Health. If you are taking your D by capsule, absorption can be affected by the gut health, particularly if you have things like celiac disease and Crohn's disease.
  • Kidney & Liver Health. The liver and kidneys are essential in the creation of vitamin D in the body.  


Okay, so how do I get more vitamin D? 

  • Get outside.  Particularly in the summer.  Enjoy the outdoors!  I can't stress this enough.  There are mixed reviews on the usefulness of supplementation of all vitamins, including vitamin D, and the sun is the #1 way to get the UVB rays needed to produce vitamin D in the body.  The truth of the matter is - you probably have a vitamin D deficiency so get tested, and if you are low, go ahead and get a good supplement. This is key - your vitamin D supplement MUST be vitamin D3.  That's the form that's absorbed in the body.  I'm not even sure why vitamin D2 is allowed to be sold.  It doesn't do anything for you.  
  • Eat your Ds.  Eggs, salmon, mackeral, sardines, cod liver oil and other things that have been fortified with vitamin D will help.  
Also, here's a link back to an earlier post about why you shouldn't be so scared of the sun.  And finally, here's a great blog post from my favorite doctor, Mark Hyman with some more info on specific levels.  Now I'd love to hear from you.  Have you gotten your vitamin D levels checked?  Let us know what's worked for you! 

Love and health,

Tracey


A Few Of My Favorite Things: Holiday Shopping Edition


Hi friends!  I hope you are all well.  We are in the midst of the holiday shopping season and I wanted to get you this edition of favorite things as well as ask you for some of your favorites.  I'll incorporate them into the blog! 

For The Healthy Cook...



Spiralizer 
Zucchini noodles (aka Zoodles) are a favorite in my house and what's best is - for real - they can be made in less time than traditional pasta.  I have both the Veggeti Spiralizer and the Veggetti Pro, but there are a lot of options out there, including these recommendations.   (Note: I paid about $15.00 for my Pro version and I'm seeing it on Amazon for over $30 so do some recon.)




Ceramic Cookware 
As much as we all like the practicality of Teflon, the potential chemical firestorm that can be unleashed when cooked at too high a temperature has given me enough concern to rotate out these non-stick varieties for something far safer and cleaner.  Cast iron is a great option but very heavy, and stainless steel is a practical and widely available option, but my new favorite cookware is ceramic because
  • It doesn't leach trace metals or chemicals and cleans completely free from all bacterial and residue.  
  • It uses far-infrared cooking technology which means the food cooks from both the inside and outside. 
  • It can be used a very high temperatures both on the stove and inside the oven (and even a grill!).  
  • I find them easy to clean and really durable from scratching.  
I like the Xtrema brand and here are some other options.


A REAL Blender 
If you have been hanging on to your blender waiting for the right moment, the moment is NOW.  Go donate your blender to a local church or community center and kick it up to a new level.  The Clean Plate Club has a few favorites: 1) The Vitamix, which my friend Mary says "has an engine like a Porsche", 2) The NutriBullet, which is my personal favorite because the blender cup becomes  your smoothie cup, allowing me to make different smoothies for me and my hubby and the clean up is a snap, and 3) The Ninja, doesn't quite have the Porsche engine, but it doesn't come at the Porsche price either.  At the time of writing this blog, the links above are directly to Macy's, whee each of these are ON SALE!  SO GO!  CODE: FRIEND



Glass Storage 
As with cookware, plastic storage is made of toxic materials that can leach into your food, so I'm transitioning over to glass cookware.  I found a great set on Groupon so I recommend going there to look for some and of course you can find a wide variety on Amazon.  


The Clever Cutter
Clean Plate Club member Kelly shared this amazing find with us and we are all in.  Find this chopper/cutting board combination on Amazon or watch the commercial here.  

For The Health Curious...



Hair Mineral Analysis 
I did a hair mineral analysis with Wendy Myers and was blown away by the toxicity that is leaching out of my body.  I still need to get my mercury fillings taken out (2018 goal) and she gave me some ideas for daily detoxing, including simple Pectasol capsules to investment like the sauna below.  Sign up for the Myers Detoxhere.  



DNA Test 
On my wish list this year is a DNA test because knowledge is power.  Order at 23andme.com


For The Health Determined...

Near Infrared Sauna
I am in love with me infrared sauna.  It's an investment but the benefits of infrared, particularly near infrared, are numerous, including detoxification of the body through sweating, recharging mitochondria, promoting relaxation and more.  I received the Sauna Space pop up sauna last year for Christmas and I love it.  I usually throw on a meditation app (Calm or Headspace are my favorites) and take some time to get centered while I'm getting sweaty. 


Tower Garden 
I learned this week that the average head of lettuce travels 1800 miles, and that 70% of the earth's clean water is used on agriculture.  Take gardening into your own hands and get fresh vegetables, year round that are clean and nutritious.  The Tower Garden is an aeroponic growing system that uses 90% less water than traditional farming.  The future of gardening is vertical.  You can purchase it from me or on my site here.  

For The Inspired...


Motivational Cards
My colleagues are kind of amazing.  Yogi Taylor Wells created these amazing Best Life Ever cards and Coach Loren Slocum created I Am cards.  I use them both as well as these awesome Affirmators and any variety of these pop up cards fro Thoughfulls.  

Inspirational Books 
Narrowing down options for great books is always extremely difficult, so here are just a few that the Clean Plate Club community has loved this past year.  

For The Hungry...

No Dairy.  No gluten.  No GMOs.  No Refined sugar.  100% Yummy.  Buy a pack for your friends. My favorite is the puffed quinoa with almond butter.  I mean.  Yum.  Also for a great stocking stuffer healthy snack, I love Barnana snacks.  Buy them at most health food stores or here.   

Happy shopping!  

Much love,

Tracey 
--
Tracey Pontarelli 
Certified Personal Trainer, Wellcoaches Certified Wellness Coach  

Grateful & Healthy Thanksgiving - Tips For Success




We are realists here at the Clean Plate Club. We want to maintain our health, both body and mind, and get through the holiday season in tact (both body and mind!).  We are looking forward to our favorite treats, so we've put some Holiday Essentials & Tips together that we can all do and still enjoy some mashed potatoes and apple pie.  


Find Gratitude.
As Oprah says in her new amazing book, The Wisdom of Sundays, "When you acknowledge and are grateful for whatever you have it allows more to be drawn to you and changes the way you experience life."  Start Thanksgiving with writing down three things you are grateful for.  End the day the same way.  There's even an app for that with a two week trial.  



Sit Still.  
My personal favorite apps for meditation are Calm and Headspace, but there are a lot of good ones out there, and here is a great video on how to start meditating from the guy from Headspace (I love his voice, which makes chilling out even easier).  Meditation, besides being good for your soul by getting you more present, has been shown to help reduce cortisol levels, improve hypertension, type 2 diabetes and reduce irritable bowl syndrome.  


Find time to move.  
Early morning or run and a post-dinner walk are good for body and soul.  Research has shown that taking even a 15 minute walk after a meal can help with digestion and improve blood sugar levels.  Click here for more.  

Our family likes to engage in some Just Dance battles on the Xbox.  I'm rarely defeated. Gauntlet.  Thrown.  



Hydrate.  
Drinking more water flushes out toxins, helps you feel fuller and does so many other great things for you.  Plus, it's really simple to do.  I start my day with warm water with lemon to greatly aid the digestive process, which will be working overtime during the holidays. 

Start Strong: Have a smart breakfast that stabilizes blood sugar.  
Think of a breakfast with fiber, fat and protein.  It's why I always start my day with a smoothie packed with plant-based protein, fiber and healthy add ins like flaxseeds, chia seeds and MCT oil.  

Mocktail Before Cocktail
I can't emphasize enough the impact of hidden calories from cocktails during the holiday season.  Consider delaying cocktail hour just a bit by starting with a mocktail and drinking a full glass of water in between each drink.  

Do You LOOOOOOOVE It? 
Ever find yourself at a party and nibbling on appetizers that you don't really love?  Look down and wonder where the heck all of the cheese and crackers just went?  You are not alone.  Take your mindfulness and apply it to your eating during the holidays.  Try not to indulge in foods that don't bring you satisfaction or joy, which frees you up to 100% enjoy and embrace those foods ("healthy" or not) that you love.  

Clean Before Dirty
This is one of our favorite tricks.  Start one plate with healthy foods and when that plate is done, go back for the other stuff.  You'll still get the food you enjoy, but you'll have put some good nutrients into your body and, odds are, you'll be fuller so you won't over indulge on the other stuff.  

Sneak In
Last but not least, consider sneaking in some healthy additions to your dishes this year. Steamed cauliflower can be snuck into all sorts of things and I've even added it to my smoothie.  Add some complete protein and some pumpkin puree to your pancakes. More sneaky ideas can be found here.  And finally, an oldie but goodie recipe that we posted last year, here is a recipe for sneaky mashed potatoes.  

Sneaky Mashed Potatoes, adapted from thechiclife.com 
Hide a serving of cauliflower in your next batch of mashed potatoes with this easy recipe. This recipe uses a one-to-one amount of cauliflower to potatoes, but adjust based on preference.  

Ingredients 
  • 3 cups of red potatoes, cleaned and cut into approximately 1 1/2" pieces
  • 3 cups cauliflower, rinsed, cut into 1 1/2" pieces
  • 1/3 cup of coconut or almond milk
  • 2-4 tablespoons ghee or grass fed butter
  • Pinch salt, plus more to taste
  • fresh-cracked pepper, to taste
  • fresh herbs, rinsed chopped, optional

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot filled ¾ full of water to a boil. Add pinch of salt and potatoes and cook for 17-20 minutes, until potatoes are fork-tender.
  • When the potatoes have 7-8 minutes left of cook time, add the cauliflower. This will allow the potatoes and cauliflower to finish cooking at the same time.
  • Drain potatoes and cauliflower in a colander. Add the potatoes and cauliflower back to the empty pot and put the pot back on the burner you were just using, but make sure it's off. The residual heat will help the potatoes and cauliflower to dry out a bit. Let rest 2-3 minutes.
  • Add 2 tablespoons butter/ghee, ¼ cup almond/coconut milk, salt, and pepper to the pot and mash with a handheld potato mashed (or use a blender, immersion blender, or food processor for a smoother texture) until the vegetables are to your preferred texture. Add additional milk and/or butter until the mixture reaches your desired texture. Add additional salt/pepper as needed. 

Much love and gratitude to you all!  

Love,

Tracey 

--
Tracey Pontarelli 
Certified Personal Trainer, Wellcoaches Certified Wellness Coach  




A few of My Favorite Things: Smoothie Edition


Ready for the crazy season of holiday parties, eating and drinking, leftovers, holiday shopping, wrapping, more eating and drinking?  As we head into the madness, I like to anchor myself with a few good habits that I can keep throughout the holidays.  Starting each morning with a cup of warm water with lemon, having a smoothie for breakfast and drinking water throughout the day are my top three.  

In December, the Clean Plate Club is doing 12 Days of Smoothies because it's an easy way to start your day of with healthy, nourishing food and a simple habit to keep into place.  So in preparation here's "a few of my favorite things" for smoothies!


I highly recommend plant-based protein mix and as many of you know, I love my JP Complete because it's clean, plant based protein that tastes delicious.  Find one that's clean and good tasting.  You shouldn't have to mask the taste of your protein. 

Also, I don't want to get into a fight with the dairy industry and I know there are people who are fans of whey, but it's not for me and the wikipedia definition pretty much sums it up: "Whey is the liquid remaining after milk has been curdled and strained. It is a byproduct of the manufacture of cheese or casein and has several commercial uses."  So, yeah.  No.  


SEEDS

If I had to choose just one thing I'd suggest you add to your smoothie regimen, it would be flaxseeds.  They are a true superfood and give you fiber, omega 3s and lignans (which help with hormonal balance for both men and women).   Flaxseed fiber is prebiotic, which means it's food for your microbiome, helps with digestion, cholesterol, skin, nails, weight and inflammation.  So, seriously, go get some flaxseed. 

I don't suggest flaxseed oil because it can go rancid very quickly, could be processed in an unhealthy way and needs to be handled with care. I do buy my seeds ground but keep them in an airtight container and use them every day so they goes quickly.  You could also buy yours whole and then grind them in a coffee grinder before using.   

If you read this article like I did, you'll want to go buy hemp hearts immediately.  Hemp seeds are another superfood that also happen to be a complete plant-based protein, are extremely nutritious and have been proven to help with heart and skin health, reduce PMS and menopause, and digestion.  Hemp hearts are the same as shelled hemp seeds, though I like the sound of hearts better.  ❤

I first fell in love with Chia Seeds after reading Born to Run about a Mexican tribe that effortlessly and regularly ran somewhere between 50-100 miles for fun.  Sadly, that has not happened for me, but no matter, because chia seeds are high in calcium and magnesium, antioxidants, fiber and omega 3s. Click here for the full rundown on the benefits, which include aiding in digestion, skin and heart health, energy and metabolism, bone health and protective against breast cancer.  I like white chia seeds and there seems to be no nutritional difference.  

Seed Mixes 
I have found some seed mixes that I love from Gerb's, which also happens to be from my home state of Rhode Island.  I like the super seed mixes that include honorary mentions pumpkin seeds and sunflower kernels in addition to the three above.  

Nut Butters (Almond, Cashew & Peanut)
I won't go into this in too much details except to say make sure your nut butter of choice is, like everything else, organic and doesn't contain added sugar. Also, cashew butter is delicious and give almost a caramel flavor to smoothies.  Oh!  And I haven't tried it but this non-nut butter by The Sneaky Chef is made from pea and gets great reviews.  


Alligator Pears, aka Avocados 
Avocados add a creamy texture to smoothies and, since they are so mild, do not alter the taste of the smoothie in any significant way.  They do add healthy fats (brain food people!) and are high in fiber, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, as well as other minerals and vitamins including C, B6 & 12, A, D, K and E. They are amazing.  


If you know me at all, you know I'm cuckoo for coconuts.  Coconut oil is helpful for brain health, heart and blood pressure health, inflammation and arthritis, could help with UTIs, improving  energy,   Click here for more.  

MCT stands for Medium Chain Triglycerides and they are part of the beauty of coconut oil, mentioned above.  It's a more concentrated form that has been shown to aid in weight loss, athletic performance and mental alertness.  It has no taste and you can't use it to cook with, so putting a bit in a smoothie is perfect, or coffee which can be seen by this hilarious video.  Start small and work your way up.   




Healthy Liquids 
This section doesn't need much explaining, except to say you do not need dairy for smoothies!  I've listed tons of things above that are great sources of calcium as are almond, coconut and cashew milk.  For non milk smoothies, I recommend coconut water or gold old fashioned water.  I don't recommend fruit juice.  Use water and add actual fruit in.  Speaking of fruit...

Any kind of fruit is good in a smoothie, but I highly recommend berries as your primary fruit source because they are higher in antioxidants and lower in sugar.  I particularly live wild blueberries and cherries.  Buy frozen mixed berries and keep them in your freezer.


Veggies
Spinach does not change the taste of your smoothie, so it's a perfect way to sneak another serving in!  Baby Kale has a milder taste than the fully grown variety and Cauliflower, which might be my favorite vegetable, virtually disappears.  Finally, try cooked Sweet Potato.  Try Fresh Mint with a chocolate smoothie to make it taste like a thin mint!   Finally, I like this version of Turmeric and Fresh Ginger is a smoothie is quite yummy.   Finally, everyone's smoothie favorite: Bananas.  Afraid of bananas?  Don't be.  Read here

Happy holiday season everyone!  Go make a smoothie! 

Love,

Tracey 


Tracey Pontarelli 
Personal Trainer, Wellcoaches Wellness Coach