My mom has always taught me that if my body is craving something, I need to listen to it. If your body is craving a food, then your body is needing some kind of nutrient for one reason or another whether it is because you are sick, tired, have some hormonal imbalances, or you’re sore from a workout. Whatever it may be, it is so important to listen to what your body is telling you it needs.
ALL DAY, I was craving cherries.
Let’s talk about cherries for a minute. First off: they have AMAZING anti-inflammatory properties. This is a biggie for cherries. Because cherries reduce inflammation, they can help with things such as weight loss, heart problems, hypertension, and blood pressure! Some studies have even shown that cherries reduce inflammation better than aspirin. They also help with muscle recovery. Their anti-inflammatory property and high levels of potassium prevent muscle cramping and promote muscle strength! No wonder I was craving them! They have tons of antioxidants which fight off free radicals in our bodies. They also help with sleep due to their high amounts of melatonin, one of the many phytochemicals cherries have! Love me some sleep. And they are sweet and delicious. Could it get any better? Cherries are pretty darn great if I do say so myself.
So, to satisfy my craving for the beloved cherry, I made this smoothie bowl! I decided to make a smoothie bowl because it is the perfect vehicle to pack A BUNCH of nutrients into, which I knew I needed. And lets be honest, they are super pretty!
So here is a breakdown of the ingredients in my smoothie bowl, and why it’s in there!
- 10 oz. of Frozen Organic Dark Sweet Cherries: Well…I already explained that one.
- 1 Banana: Like the cherry, the banana has tons of potassium, anti-inflammatory properties, and helps with preventing muscle cramps! They also provide a good amount of B vitamins and help with calcium absorption! Both of those are super important! Plus, the banana helps with the texture of the smoothie.
- About a cup of Fage Total Greek Yogurt (not sure on the amount, I just kept adding until I was satisfied): It’s all about that gut health! Probiotics. Amazing little critters. They are the good bacteria in your tummy that are so important for a lot of things in the body, but especially digestive health. Probiotics help you out with digestion, detoxing, and absorbing nutrients! So many things can screw up your levels of good bacteria, such as stress, traveling, diet imbalance, and taking antibiotics. So, it is so important to give back to your gut and yogurt is a great way to do so. I eat it first thing in the morning and before I go to bed. Not Fage Total 0%. Not Fage Total 2%. Fage Total. Full fat. Animal fat is not bad fat. Period.
- 1 tablespoon of Raw Organic Cocao Powder (slightly rounded): A great superfood rich in magnesium, fiber, antioxidants, and iron! Bonus: chocolatey taste! And I mean who doesn’t love chocolate?
- Local Pure Raw Hilltop Gardens Honey (to taste): Honey helps boost the immune system! Great antiviral properties. Super important, especially as the days get colder. It also aids in digestive health and weight loss. It is great for cuts and reducing the risk for scaring because of its anti-bacterial properties. It’s great for your helping to moisturize your skin because its high amounts of humectants. Honey has tons of antioxidants, and again tons of phytonutrients providing the so valuable anti-inflammatory effects. Honey is also great for combating allergies! Something oh so familiar to us Oklahomans. Honey provides so many things that are so important to us humans. I’m talking about A, C, D, E, K, and even all the B vitamins, minerals, and even trace minerals such as iron, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and many more! Its live enzyme content is even one of the highest of all foods! Pretty crazy. ALSO! Buy locally if at all possible. It’s so important. Bees are now finally on the endangered species list you all. Without bees, there is no us. Think about it. Buying local helps to support your local bee population and local agriculture. It also helps you know that it is REALLY honey. Gotta buy raw unprocessed honey if you all the benefits! Get your honey on. It’s a natural unrefined sweetener with all the health benefits. The best of both worlds.
- A couple dashes of cinnamon: Cinnamon also has anti-bacterial/anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties and aids in digestion. It also helps with stabilizing blood sugar levels.
- 1/2 cup of frozen spinach (thawed): Spinach has loads of great properties as most of us know, so I’m only going to focus on two! It’s rich in antioxidants and iron! Great for muscle building and recovery.
- 1 tablespoon of Unsulphured Blackstrap Molasses: Ah, blackstrap molasses. Not one you hear about every day anymore. Such a shame because this stuff is awesome. In is loaded with important minerals. Excellent for those dealing with an iron deficiency. Or really any mineral deficiency.
- More cherries: Because they are just so great, like we’ve discussed. I left these still a little frozen, but chewable!
- Shredded Coconut: This is another anti-bacterial food containing a lot of vital vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
- Sprouted Salted Pumpkin Seeds: These seeds are high in protein and zinc! Another super important mineral that I feel gets over looked! They too also help with inflammation and sleep. Why sprouted? Well, LOTS of reasons. I’ll go into more detail in a later post, but long story short for now: it helps to deactivate all of the naturally occurring anti-nutrients and phytic acid nuts and seeds have. Sprouting helps for the nutrient absorption, makes them easier to digest, and increases the availability of their protein, enzymes, and other nutrients. The same goes with grains. They need to be sprouted if they are going to be consumed. Sprouting grains helps to decrease the amount of gluten protein, making them more digestible, and it reduces the amount of overall allergens found.
- Whole Foods Superfood Cereal (I bought it in bulk): So, this little treat is full of other superfoods…to be quite honest, I cant remember what all is in it because there is just so many goodies in it. You’ll just have to take my word that it’s good and good for ya!
All ya gotta do to make this beautiful smoothie bowl come to be is: put all the smoothie ingredients in the blender, blend it all up, pour your desired amount in a bowl, and top it off with your toppings of choice!
So, clearly my body was telling my I was in desperate need of some anti-inflammatory foods!
This is a great smoothie for workout recovery, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, pre-snack snack, or just whenever you feel like it because its just so darn good for you! Plus, it’s sweet and delicious and chocolatey and cherry-y (definitely not a word)! Can’t get any better.
Remember, DON’T count calories. Count NUTRIENTS. It’s all about mindful eating and listening to your bodies, my friends.