Dreamsicle Chocolate Orange Smoothie

Chocolate Orange Smoothie

“Dreamsicle Chocolate Orange Smoothie” | myMindBodyBaby

You know those orange chocolate balls that come out around Christmas, that you smash on a hard surface and it cracks into little “orange” segments?

Well this recipe is the healthy year-round version of these flavours… and let me tell you, this is so yummy. I kid you not, I have this almost daily in the afternoon as a quick pick-me-up.

With my 5 month old, time is of limited supply so grabbing quick, delicious snacks that will keep me going between meals is of top priority.

But, full disclosure…

I’m a nutritionist with a sweet tooth

There, I said it.

Phew.

To be honest, I get cravings too.

And when things are really stressful and are going terribly, I’m sometimes tempted to grab a little chocolaty treat to turn things around. Not wine, you ask? Nope, for me – chocolate would be my last meal should I ever land on death row. Too grim?

But it’s not all depressing!

What if I told you…

Chocolate is good for you

I should clarify, dark chocolate = good

Milk chocolate = bad (sorry)

Here are the goods:

We mostly associate chocolate with the vast array of chocolate bars that tempt us as we check out at the grocery store. But traditionally, cacao has been consumed for its healing properties. These included support for the nervous and digestive systems.

Today’s research is only reinforcing what was already known – “Cacao, the quintessential ingredient in all true chocolate and cocoa products, is a highly complex food source… cacao imparts to chocolate a rich endowment of nutritional properties, from minerals, to antioxidants, to vasoactive, and even psychoactive compounds”. (1)

Looks to me like chocolate really does make everything better – wishful thinking?

Pregnancy and Chocolate

Soooooo, I had to do a little research here to back up what I was hoping would not just be wishful thinking. It just tastes so good, how could it not also be amazing for our health?!

We know already that dark chocolate is high in antioxidants, which lovingly protect our cells from free radical damage. Thank goodness, as otherwise this can spell disaster for our health. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Free radicals may play a role in heart disease, cancer and other diseases”. (2)

These powerhouses help to neutralize and remove harmful free radicals from the body. They scavenge, pounce and destroy…so we need lots of them…and this is where a diet full of all the colours of the rainbow comes in. Green, purple, red, yellow – they each have a purpose.

Speaking of purpose, one small study found that, “A modest daily intake of high-cocoa-content chocolate contributes to reduce blood pressure, glycemic and liver pattern during pregnancy without affecting the weight gain”. Now if that isn’t a reason to eat dark chocolate, what is?! LOL (3)

There is more

We also know that cacao is absolutely loaded with vital minerals that do everything from promoting strong bones, maintaining blood vessels, improving brain function plus so much more!

One particular mineral, magnesium, comes to mind as one that was a game-changer in my books.

I always suspected stress as being one of the culprits for my “unexplained infertility”. With high levels of cortisol racing through my body, my fight or flight instinct was on high alert – I mean two years of constant worry, A LOT of questions and endless frustration will do that to anyone. However, this hormonal s#&% storm was likely creating an uninviting environment for any potential embryo to nestle into.

Magnesium is a crucial mineral – in fact, it’s the 4th most abundant mineral in the body that many of us in North America are deficient in. As a result, studies are linking deficiency to a wide array of disease processes including premature labour and miscarriage (see chart); “Mg supplement during pregnancy likely decrease probability occurrence of many complications of pregnancy”. This miraculous mineral has also been used for the treatment for preeclampsia. (4)

With all the benefits of this mineral, supplementation was a no brainer – not only for its fertility benefits, but its ability to metabolize insulin (due to my suspect/self diagnosed PCOS) and ability to help manage cortisol (our stress hormone).

Guilt-free suggestions for enjoying dark chocolate

  • Half an apple, top with natural peanut butter and a few dark chocolate chips or cacao nibs
  • Dinner party? Bring dark chocolate dipped orange slices or strawberries for a decadent dessert
  • 1-2 slices of a dark chocolate if a craving hits (we don’t have to be saints, people!)
  • Ever tried chia pudding before? Top with fruit and cacao nibs
  • Add a few nibs or chips to your trailmix or to Lyndsey’s Nuts to Nuts recipe for a quick snack
  • Breastfeeding mama’s, dark chips are a staple in my Banana Nut Lactation Muffins – a must have staple in my opinion

Health benefits of Dreamsicle Chocolate Orange Smoothie

  • Vegan
  • Sugar Free
  • Dairy Free
  • Gluten Free
  • Soy Free
  • Egg Free
  • Chalk full of fiber, healthy omega 3 fatty acids, protein, antioxidants and flavor!

If you scour the internet you will find all sorts of “healthy” smoothies. Many are, but unfortunately many are not as clean as they could be. Why? Well often they are loaded with too much fruit (yes, too much fruit can be a problem), dairy (hard to digest allergenic food) and lack sufficient protein and healthy fats.

Dreamsicle Chocolate Orange Smoothie

  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • 1.5 cups ice water
  • 2-3 drops wild orange essential oil
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (unrefined)
  • 1 handful of fresh spinach
  • 3-4 ice cubes
  1. Combine all ingredients into a blender and mix until smooth consistency
  2. Enjoy

This smoothie is a perfect balance, one that will keep you fueled up for all your important mama to-do’s.

So enjoy guilt-free, cuz technically it’s a health food!

Chocolate Orange Smoothie

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