The hottest thing since the smoothie, the smoothie BOWL is where it’s at. A little thicker, with fresh or dried goodies on top – you’ll enjoy every bite. My Dreamsicle Smoothie Bowl is no exception – and is a great way to get more plant foods into your life.
Years ago I battled with depression and found out how real of an issue mental health is.
On the outside I had it all, amazing husband, beautiful daughter, great job. But on the inside I was withering like a neglected houseplant. I wanted to sit in my closet and cry all day.
I worked in a corporate environment where she who stays the latest wins. Wins what? I’m not so sure, but that was the culture in my department. It was routine to give up holidays, nights and weekends in the name of the-work-must-get-done.
When I saw this article on CNN Health yesterday, old memories came bubbling up like gas bubbles in swamp water. Not pleasant. The response a woman got for taking a mental health day and how it sparked a larger discussion. Though it brought back my own bad memories, I give kudos to her CEO for recognizing the need for mental health days. My supervisor would not have had the same reaction.
It wasn’t easy, but I was able to change my situation. I realized the power in two things:
1) adding more plant foods to my diet – especially foods like chia seed with their high Omega 3 content, and,
2) having the courage to change the situation I was in.
Granted, I didn’t have the courage to change my situation until after my dad passed away very suddenly from un-diagnosed heart disease, on the day he decided to retire from his job. Determination fueled me. That wasn’t going to happen to me. I put my two weeks in a few months later on August 8th 2013 – finally having the courage to act on the backup plan I’d been building. I started consulting and working on this business and have never looked back. The depression I battled is gone and I’ve brought lots of stress management techniques into my life – yoga and meditation.
God, give me courage to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
If you can’t quit your job/marriage/life right away, you can start putting plans in place, and start adding more brain healing plant foods.
Search Google and you’ll find tons of studies about how Omega 3’s can battle depression – even in kids. So putting a focus on adding these nutrient dense plant foods, also full of fiber, is a great way to help prevent and fight depression.
Foods that are high in Omega 3
- Chia Seed: 5.06 grams ALA Omega 3 fatty acids per 1 oz serving. Scroll down for the recipe!
- Steamed Edamame: 300 mg of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids in half cup serving, along with 11 grams protein and 9 grams fiber – it’s an awesome snack.
- Flax seed: flax contains an Omega 3 that can convert from ALA to DHA, also found in fish oil. Be sure to buy organic because flax is a major GMO crop. Two tablespoons of ground flaxseed contain 3,800 mg of ALA omega 3s.
- Wild rice: A half-cup of dried wild rice—which is actually a grass, not a grain—contains 240 mg of omega-3
- Walnuts: One ounce of walnuts has 2,600 mg of Omega 3 fats. I love making walnut “meat” tacos.
How much Omega 3 do we need?
The National Institute for Health has a great chart in regards to minimums. There are 1000 milligrams (mg) in 1 gram (g).
|Birth to 6 months*||0.5 g||0.5 g|
|7–12 months*||0.5 g||0.5 g|
|1–3 years**||0.7 g||0.7 g|
|4–8 years**||0.9 g||0.9 g|
|9–13 years**||1.2 g||1.0 g|
|14–18 years**||1.6 g||1.1 g||1.4 g||1.3 g|
|19-50 years**||1.6 g||1.1 g||1.4 g||1.3 g|
|51+ years**||1.6 g||1.1 g|
*As total omega-3s
Doesn’t looking at this smoothie bowl just make you happy?
A few notes about the photo – my daughter created this beautiful bowl and she likes to add the chia afterwards on top instead of blending it in. We’d forgotten to add it to the top for the photo! Also, you might want to peel the oranges before putting them in your smoothie bowl.
Smoothie bowls are thicker than the typical smoothie and have lots of yumminess on top. If you’re sticking with the raw thing, go with raw sunflower seeds, coconut, fresh bananas and oranges. If you want a bit more flavor and texture, toast the sunflower seeds and coconut with a bit of coconut oil rubbed on the pan.
This recipe is also great for kids. I made this for the kids in a VegeCooking test class last night and they loved it!
- 3 mandarin oranges
- 2 frozen bananas
- 2 Tbsp plain or vanilla, non-dairy yogurt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Dash of salt (optional)
- 2 Tbsp chia
- 1 bananas, peeled and sliced
- 1 orange, sliced
- 2 Tbsp toasted or raw sunflower seeds
- 2 Tbsp toasted or raw shredded, unsweet coconut
- Peel and chop the mandarin oranges; add to blender or food processor; chop the frozen bananas; add to blender or food processor; add vanilla, chia and salt (if using); blend until smooth.
- Pour into bowls or cups; top each with some banana slices, orange slices, sunflower seeds, toasted or raw coconut and chia.
- Serves 2-3 people
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat 8.2 g
Saturated Fat 2.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.2 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 54.3 mg
Potassium 659.1 mg
Total Carbohydrate 32.2 g
Dietary Fiber 7.9 g
Sugars 19.2 g
Protein 4.6 g
Vitamin A 1.3 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 27.3 %
Vitamin C 12.5 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 24.8 %
Calcium 1.2 %
Copper 12.9 %
Folate 9.4 %
Iron 3.4 %
Magnesium 9.0 %
Manganese 16.3 %
Niacin 5.5 %
Pantothenic Acid 8.8 %
Phosphorus 12.5 %
Riboflavin 6.3 %
Selenium 11.9 %
Thiamin 3.1 %
Zinc 4.3 %
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.