Try This---Add a Little Heat to Your Shake: Mexican Chocolate Breakfast Smoothie

Try This—Add a Little Heat to Your Shake: Mexican Chocolate Breakfast Smoothie

I never thought I’d say this, but I’ve been getting really bored with smoothies lately. I feel like I’ve run the gamut when it comes to all the healthy add-ins. Chia seeds, flax seeds, oats, peanut butter, you name it, I’ve thrown it in my smoothie. I’ve been feeling the need for something different. I don’t know about you, but when the weather is this cold, I crave nothing but warm things. Even though smoothies are the perfect breakfast, it’s so hard for me to get excited about a frothy cold drink in the Winter.

I started to think of drinks that make me feel warm and toasty. Of course there’s always alcohol, but I can’t very well start my mornings with a shot of smoothie. It’s too soon in my relationship with liquor to take that step, plus day-boozing totally defeats my fitness goal purposes. Then I started to think of this deliciously spicy hot chocolate that I got at the Chocolate Room in Park Slope. Um, the combination of sweet hot chocolate and chili peppers… seriously?! It’s delicious and I was determined to bring that warm, spicy flavor to my icy breakfast smoothie.

Solution: Cayenne pepper! Cayenne pepper promotes circulation, speeds up the metabolism, and improves digestion. This powerhouse spice also adds an unexpected kick of heat to your otherwise ice cold smoothie. This recipe is the perfect blend of sugar and spice. You absolutely must try this!

Mexican Chocolate Breakfast Smoothie


  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk (I use vanilla almond milk)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 of a ripe (preferably frozen) banana
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • a pinch of ground cayenne pepper, to taste (but I suggest you start really small)
  • extra ice, if desired


  • place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth
  • garnish with cacao nibs and coconut shavings, if you’re super fancy

Creamy, sweet, and spicy. This recipe is everything! If you haven’t paired chocolate and chili peppers before, this is the perfect recipe to start with. You won’t regret it!


Try This---Banana Milk Coffee

Try This—Banana Milk Coffee (Clean Eating Vegan Treat)

Thursday morning, you’re gonna wake up to a deliciously creamy, banana milk coffee. I’m saying Thursday for two reasons. Number one, I need to give you a little time to get over the initial shock of how incredible banana coffee sounds. Number two, you’re gonna need some time to cold brew your coffee to make your banana coffee dreams a reality.

In the spirit of staying motivated for a healthy new year, I’ve been cutting sugar out of my diet. I have a total sweet tooth, but I’ve been trying to cut down on the amount of unnecessary sugar I consume. I’ve traded in my bad-for-you pancake syrup for the very good-for-you maple syrup used in master cleanses. I’ve been sweetening baked goods with applesauce instead of the cups of sugar I usually use. The last sugar front that I’m up against is the megaton of sugar I put in my coffee. I’ve tried to sweeten coffee with everything from stevia to agave syrup…horrible. So when I heard about banana milk, I just had to give it a try.

The thing about this banana milk coffee is that, surprisingly, it doesn’t really taste too much like bananas. I know, I know. How is that possible? Truth is, I have no idea. What I do know is that this is one of the creamiest ‘lattes’ I’ve ever had. Best part is that it’s totally a clean eating, naturally sweet, potassium punch of a complete breakfast (seriously just as filling as a smoothie). It’s the perfect alternative to those expensive sugar cube lattes that you get at the local coffee shop. You guys!!! You must try this!

Try This---Banana Milk Coffee

Banana Milk Coffee


  • 1-2 tbsp ground coffee
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 cup milk


  • In a mason jar, combine 1 tbsp of ground coffee with 6 oz of water (if you like your coffee strong like I do, you can add more coffee per cup of water)
  • place the mason jar in the fridge and allow it to brew for a day (about 18 hours)
  • line a colander or strainer with a paper coffee filter
  • pour the mixture through the filter to remove coffee grounds
  • in a blender, combine the banana and milk
  • blend until creamy
  • pour enough banana milk over the cold brew to suit your taste

For a vegan alternative, you can use almond milk, rice milk, or coconut milk. Unsweetened milk works just fine, but if you like your coffee on the sweeter side you can use regular almond, rice, or coconut milk.

The brewing instructions are just an approximation. It’s pretty difficult to screw up cold brew, just use the same ratio of coffee grounds to water that you use regularly and it’ll turn out the same way as your regular coffee pot coffee. Also, feel free to add a dash of cinnamon to the grounds before you cold brew. Yum.

Try This---Gingerbread Coffee

Try This—Gingerbread Coffee

From time to time, I sprinkle a dash of cinnamon on top of my freshly ground coffee beans before I brew a pot. The result is a totally flavorful cup of coffee that really smells divine. Saturday morning, I was on pre-coffee auto pilot, dragging myself around the kitchen like a zombie. I reached for the cinnamon (so I thought) and added a dash to the coffee grounds. When I finally started sipping on my coffee, it had this spicy warm kick to it that I couldn’t quite figure out, but absolutely adored. You get where I’m going here? I accidentally added a dash of ground ginger instead of cinnamon and rather than totally destroying my hopes for a good day, it was actually the best mistake I could’ve made. I started thinking of the possibilities…

Image: abeautifulmess

Sunday morning, it finally started sinking in that Christmas is only a few weeks away. I decided to take my accidental ginger coffee to the next level… Gingerbread Coffee! I just added a dash of ginger, a dash a cinnamon, and a tiny pinch of nutmeg to my coffee grounds and oh man! You may have to play around with the proportions a bit to suit your taste, but any way you do it, you must try this!!!

Gingerbread Coffee


  • ground coffee
  • 1 dash ginger
  • 1 dash cinnamon
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg


  • mix ground coffee with the other ingredients
  • brew as you regularly would






5 Simple Juicing Recipes to Restart Your System

5 Simple Juicing Recipes to Restart Your System

Every year after Thanksgiving, I regret the amount of overeating and drinking that I did. It’s a vicious cycle. Thanksgiving comes and goes and I’m left feeling sick and sorry for myself because my jeans don’t fit. The upside of this terrible cycle is that it impels me to do a juice cleanse (something that I lack the discipline to do unless absolutely necessary). We’ve all heard how amazing juice cleanses can be. They recharge your immune system, they’re great for your skin, hair, and nails, and they deliver all the necessary nutrients to fuel your body.


A few years back, I heard about the Blueprint Juice Cleanse and I was sold. You know Blueprint, right? They’re those simple, organic juices that you see at Whole Foods with all the ingredients listed on the label. I wanted to give that juice cleanse a go until I saw the price. A quick visit to their website and you’ll see what I mean. The 1-day Renovation Cleanse (6 bottles of juice) is $65! That’s almost $11/bottle. I couldn’t justify spending that much on convenience and packaging, so I decided to make my own. The amount of juice that you can yield at home with a handful of veggies shows how insane that price really is.


Anyway, I always keep these recipes on hand so that I can quickly make these juices at home when my body is craving a fresh start. You certainly don’t have to jump into an all out fasting/cleanse, but adding any one of these juices to your daily routine will have you looking and feeling like a million bucks. These recipes are for the juices contained in Blueprint’s Renovation Cleanse. The cleanse itself calls for these five juices + a repeat of the green juice recipe. Each recipe that follows yields about 16oz of juice.

Green Juice


  • 5 ribs of celery
  • 1 cucumber, halved
  • 2 large green apples
  • 3 kale leaves
  • 1oz lemon juice
  • 1 handful of parsley
  • 3 romaine leaves
  • 1 handful of spinach


  • Juice the ingredients and add a tiny bit of water to help things along (not so much that it changes the consistency)
  • Strain the juice through a sieve to remove excess pulp

Pineapple, Apple, Mint


  • a third of one pineapple
  • 2 large green apples
  • a few pinches of mint


  • juice the pineapple and apple together
  • add mint one pinch at a time to taste (mint can be strong, so be careful not to add so much that it overpowers the flavor of your fruit)

 Spicy Lemonade


  • 14oz of filtered water
  • 3-4 lemons
  • a few dashes of cayenne pepper
  • 1tbsp agave nectar


  • mix the filtered water with the juice from your lemons
  • stir in the cayenne pepper
  • you can substitute the agave nectar with raw honey

ABC Like 1-2-3 (Apple, Beet, Carrot)


  • 1 green apple
  • 2 beets (greens and all)
  • 3 large carrots
  • 3-4tsp ginger
  • 1/2oz of lemon juice


  • juice all ingredients together

Homemade Cashew Milk Blend


  • 4-5oz raw cashews
  • 16oz filtered water
  • 1tbsp agave nectar
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1tsp vanilla extract


  • soak cashews in cold water for at least 8 hours (preferably overnight)
  • drain and rinse cashews until the rinsing water runs clear
  • blend softened cashews with your filtered water, agave nectar, cinnamon, and vanilla extract

You should definitely give this juice cleanse a try. Full disclosure: I’ve only been alternating between the Green Juice and the ABC juice this time around, but I feel so much better than I did a few days ago, that I might stop being lazy and start making the other juices again too!


Thanksgiving Perfect Pumpkin Martini

Try This—Thanksgiving Perfect Pumpkin Martini

So I was going over this year’s Thanksgiving menu with my sisters and I was shocked by the total lack of pumpkin on the list. In my attempt to not over do it on the Fall staple, I had completely left it out. No bueno. Still, our menu is pretty much set, and we’ve already done most of the shopping. I really didn’t want to add another dish, let alone cooking time, to our already overflowing list of things to do. Totally stressed out. Sometimes the answer is chocolate, but this time the answer is definitely alcohol. I’ve been meaning to try out a tasty Thanksgiving cocktail and this recipe does not disappoint. It’s not too sweet and has the perfect Turkey Day punch of pumpkin flavor that our menu was screaming for. You must try this!
Thanksgiving Perfect Pumpkin Martini

Thanksgiving Perfect Pumpkin Martini


  • 1tbsp sugar
  • 1/4tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 3tbsp vodka
  • 2tbsp half & half
  • 1tbsp canned pumpkin puree
  • 1tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4tsp vanilla extract


  • combine the sugar and half of the pumpkin pie spice on a small plate
  • dip the rim of the martini glass in a bit of water and then in the sugar and spice mixture to coat the rim
  • in a martini shaker filled with ice, combine the remaining ingredients (including the other half of the pumpkin pie spice), and shake vigorously for at least 20 seconds
  • strain into the prepared glass


Source: Pumpkin Martini