Wellness with Vanessa

Tools for a Nutrient-Rich Life

Day 15: Juices and Smoothies

This weekend at the beach there were tropical storms that flooded the roads back to DC. It was epic! While driving home from dinner the water on the roads came up to 3 – 4 feet around the car, lapping up over the hood. The next day we couldn’t leave Easton because there were puddles 5 feet deep that firetrucks had to clear.
Today’s juice is a homage to the tropics. Pineapple and ginger are both energizing. I posted before on the unique benefits of pineapple . The ginger gives this drink a stormy kick.

Pineapple and Ginger smoothie
handful spinach
1 cup pineapple
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 cup coconut water (optional)

Blend until smooth.

Image from: http://natalani.blogspot.com/

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Of all the juices and smoothies my favorite are the green drinks. They are an acquired taste, but I feel the best after them and have learned to love them. It wasn’t always this way. Over 10 years ago I started with super sweet drinks that I called smoothies but they were shakes made with soy, sugary fruits and no veggies. I’ve learned to love the foods that love me back over time I still enjoy a date-almond smoothie for dessert from time to time, but I drink a lot more of the greens now.

New Beginnings Green Drink
1 handful greens
1/2 cucumber
1 piece of seasonal fruit- such as nectarine, apple or pear
1/2 lemon
5 mint leaves
1/2 cup water (optional)

You can blend or juice this one.

Today I’m pretty under the weather (literally) it’s storming at the beach and my allergies have blown up into a cold. This juice is awesome not for its taste, but it’s healing and energizing power.

Let food (and juice) be your medicine and medicine your food ~ Hippocrates

Makes 8-12 ounces
1 cucumber
2 cloves garlic
2 stalks celery
1/2 inch ginger
1 carrot
1/2 red beet

Juice all ingredient, hold your nose and drink it.
Raw garlic is one of nature’s antibiotics


I love mangoes! They are extremely juicy and eating one (properly) is a sticky process requiring both hands and your whole face. To eat a mango without juice running down your chin, cube it, as shown in the picture. It’s easy to take chunks off without wasting any of the fruit or making a mess.

Today’s drink is a smoothie-version of a mango lassi.

Mango lassi
~ makes 16oz
1 tablespoon chia seeds
2 tablespoons water
1 large mango, cut up, discard pit
1 cup cashew milk
zest from 1/4 lemon (optional)

mix the chia and water and set aside to make a paste.
Cut up the mango into chicks.
Stir chia seed paste.
Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
This is a delicious drink and requires no added sugar.
Variation: If you leave out the cashew milk, it’s a great mango pudding.

Mangos have cancer-fighting antioxidants, an alkalizing effect on our internal environment, and vitamins A & C, among other benefits


I love when the yum factor is high and the work factor is low. That’s one of the great things about summer fruits and vegetables. They are peaking and need no extras to taste amazing. Today’s recipe is the simplest juice/smoothie recipe I know. Watermelon, being mostly water, can be blended and will have the consistency of juice without the juicer.

Watermelon Juice
2 cups sugar baby watermelon
1/4 cucumber
1 -2 teaspoons lemon juice (optional)
Blend together until smooth. Drink as is or for an even more liquid consistency, strain through a small-holed colander.

Watermelon is hydrating, has fiber and (big surprise) protein! It’s a cooling juice, prefect for the summer and it reduces hot flashes


This is a re-post. This is an alcohol-free, energizing cocktail. It reminds me of a mimosa and I drink it from a champagne glass. It also works well with dinner instead of wine.

You suppose you are the trouble
But you are the cure
You suppose that you are the lock on the door
But you are the key that opens it
It’s too bad that you want to be someone else
You don’t see your own face, your own beauty
Yet, no face is more beautiful than yours.

~Rumi

Ginger Lemon Cocktail
1 inch ginger
1 lemon
agave nectar
mineral water
Juice the ginger, followed by the lemon. Add agave to your taste then top with mineral water. It’s a zinger!

It’s Day 9 of 21-days of freakin’ awesome juices and smoothies and I’m getting a lot of compliments: “You skin looks amazing!”, “What a healthy glow!” and my favorite- “You look like a J-Lo back-up dancer.” I’m not sure what the last one means, but I like it. The only thing I’m doing differently is committing to a fresh smoothie or juice a day. Each of these nutrient-rich drinks packs 4-8 servings of fruits and vegetables. The ingredients are fresh and mostly local and seasonal; that means vibrant and full of prana/ life force. To me, it’s good nutrition because it allows me to live and love my life to the fullest. I have more energy for my yoga practice and it’s ultra-charged and fun, right now.

A lot of the juices have cucumber in them because my community garden plot is yielding tons of them. It’s exciting to grow my own veggies! I also get produce from farm stands on the way home from the beach and the Dupont Farmers’ Market when I’m in DC. Here’s a resource for DC Farmers’ Markets from the Washington Post: , to find fresh, local and seasonal foods.

Fennel Juice
~ makes 10 oz
1 peach
1/2 cucumber
3/4 c fennel bulb
1/2 cup filtered water (optional)
Juice all ingredients. It’s a sweet juice so you may want to dilute it with the filtered water.

Fennel may sound a little odd for a juice, but it works because of its sweet, fruity flavor. It promotes digestion, aids the assimilation of harder to digest foods and reduces flatulence.


This is my go-to green smoothie. It’s full of green and some fruit to help the medicine go down.

Green Buddha
~ makes 16 -20 oz
1 big handful kale
1 banana
1 piece fruit – peach or apple
1 lemon
1/2 cucumber
1/2 inch ginger (optional)
1/2 cup water (optional to make it more juice consistency)

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

This is a great, post-exercise recovery drink. I run around- biking, doing lots of yoga, working, traveling, hanging out with friends and family. Before, I would often run out of energy and have to take days off from doing what I love, to recover. I wasn’t gaining strength and found my progress was stuck. My self-limiting story explained what was happening- I was weak, not meant to be athletic. Finally, I realized that I just needed a nutrient boost to keep my mojo up. This shake has basic, easy to find superfoods- chia and maca. I’ll be sharing other energizing, superfood treats over the next couple weeks.

Chia Shake
~ makes 8-10 oz
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 cup cashew milk (recipe )
1 teaspoon maca powder
5-10 drops organic vanilla
1-2 teaspoons agave

Blend until smooth. Kick it back then enjoy that bike ride, run, or sweaty yoga practice.

Chia seeds are one of my favorite foods- they’re high in fiber and protein, and filling. Plus, they have omega-3 essential fatty acids, calcium, potassium and iron.

Maca ~ besides being used to improve male sexual function and potentially reduce enlarged prostate glands, this Andean root is good for sports recovery. It is an adaptogen that promotes hormonal balance for all, reduces anxiety and increases endurance by relieving adrenal glands.