A Smoothie to Obsess Over

Summer is about socializing and in that energy I am pleased to announce my first of few guest bloggers.  These women are near and dear and can give you amazing tips along the same lines as me.  This first blog is by my amazing friend Xtina who is a yoga teacher in New York City.  This smoothie turned me into a believer and I think it might finally be my gateway drug to green juicing.  

A Smoothie to Obsess Over

Brandi and I share a huge love of yoga, health and wellness, learning how to be in moderation, and [of course] good food. While she gravitates towards Chinese medicine, and brings those influences into her amazing massage practice, I've been much more grounded in Ayurveda, the classic Indian sister science to yoga. We are consistently sharing these concepts with each other, and so when I discovered this smoothie, I had to share! She generously asked me to "guest blog" it - so here we go!

Ayurveda divides up the year into 3 seasons - an "earth" season (spring), a "fire" season (summer) and an "air" season (fall). As the "fire" or pitta season, summer is all about heat - the good (think summer love, long afternoons with friends, and all that natural exercise - good warm metabolism!) and the bad (heartburn, sunburn, anger - did you know that crime generally increases with temperature!?) Staying "balanced" season to season allows us to maintain our health and energy throughout the year. So, generally in Pitta season we eat cooling foods (think cucumbers, watermelon, salads) to balance all the natural fire. 

However, for me this all goes downhill when we get to coffee. Don't we all love coffee!? Well, in Ayurvedic practices, it doesn't tend to be beneficial. Particularly in the summer Pitta season. Summer is all about light, energy, and motion - we don't need to add to that with caffeine! That can burn most of us out - not immediately, but perhaps overdoing it in summer would send you into fall feeling a little frazzled. And of course, iced coffee is like the double whammy - something terrible to do to your body in the summer. So I wanted to find a way to make it a little more balanced, keeping my energy levels in check, and filling my heart (and my tastebuds) with happiness. Here are the adaptations to a basic cup of black coffee that I make on the most hot and sultry days: 

First off, I make cold-brewed coffee. It has much less acid than typical hot coffee, better for a tummy that might already be more fire-y than usual. I mix it with bananas and dates, fruits that are highly sweet - this is beneficial in Ayurvedic practices to balance excess pitta. I add almond butter and almond milk to add a little weight to the beverage, again fueling a metabolism that is already in high gear (most likely).

The cocoa nibs, well, those are a guilty pleasure. I like that I'm eating raw cocoa though, rather than processed. 

To make this amazing smoothie, you will need the following: 

1 whole or 1/2 banana (to taste)
2-3 dates 
1 spoonful almond butter (to taste)
3/4 cup coffee
1/2 cup almond milk 

And thats it - throw everything in the blender, and drink. Watch out though - this smoothie is FILLING, depending on how much you play with the ratios (whole banana vs. 1/2, etc). I usually have it early morning, and it'll carry me through all the way to 1 or 2 pm


Christina Ferwerda is a yoga teacher and exhibit developer in New York City, moving bodies and minds to help people feel good. As well as teaching privately, she teaches regular classes BY DONATION as one of the founders of Free School Yoga (http://freeschoolyoga.com/).