In 2018, I vow to become a Superhero of health and wellness! I will get eight hours of sleep every night! I will eat seven to 10 servings of fruits and veggies every day! I will work out five days a week!

Yeah, right.

We are so confident in the first few weeks of a new year, so motivated, so righteous and so “in it for the long haul.” And then it’s February, and we realize that somewhere along the side of the road to salvation, we lost our drive and took a turn toward poor food choices, skipped workouts and too much TV (or social media, take your pick).

It happens every year, doesn’t it? So, is failure inevitable? No. But avoiding the potholes is not easy, either. We must do our part and commit at least some time to healthy food preparation, fairly consistent physical exercise and downsizing our screen time while increasing our sleep time. Maybe not easy but certainly possible—even for the long haul.

Further, there are products out there that can not only help us stay on track but also make it (somewhat) easier to remain there. I’m featuring two Superhero helpers in this post that are fresh from the New Hope Network Blogger Box: NeoCell’s now-popular Super Collagen supplement and Pure Synergy Organics Kale Vegetable Powder.

Using these two trusted products, I’m also going to give you several options for everyone’s go-to healthy meal: the smoothie, from a rather time-intensive “Weekender Smoothie” to a “Healthy Weekday Wonder Smoothie,” plus some overnight smoothie options, as well. No excuse not to stay on the straight and narrow, right?

If you have been reading this blog for a while now, you know that I am a fan of NeoCell’s clinically proven collagen powder. I was honored to be part of Delicious Living Magazine’s first NeoCell-inspired cookbook, Collagen in the Kitchen. For that publication I created a “Happy Hour” Juiced Cocktail and followed up on this blog with an overnight NeoCell Mocha Morning Smoothie to help launch the online cookbook. But I never stopped using NeoCell because it is such an easy way to incorporate support for your hair, skin, nails, joints and bones in a delicious meal. I’m happy to say there is now a second online volume: Collagen Boost Cookbook!

NeoCell Collagen-Boost Cookbook cover

The following recipe is what the New York Times might call the “long read.” It requires considerable shopping and prep, but its rewards are great. You will end up with a two-serving smoothie that is full of wellness-enhancing ingredients, beginning with NeoCell’s Super Collagen and including vegetables, fruits and other ingredients meant to improve mood and wellbeing, and increase immune support. It’s also vegan and gluten free! So next weekend, get that blender ready. And be sure to review the recipe tips at the end of the recipe so things go smoothly with the smoothie.

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Recipe Tips:

To liquefy hard or fibrous produce such as beets, oranges or carrots, you will need either a rather expensive (more than $200) high-end blender or a much less expensive (less than $50) personal-size blender/extractor. Otherwise the results will be less than satisfactory.

If you opt for a juice shot of wheatgrass, you will significantly boost the nutrition of the smoothie, but wheatgrass is not for everyone because it has a strong, grass-like flavor that is not pleasant by everyone’s standards. If you really don’t want this flavor leave it out. If you are a wheatgrass-wannabe, try half a shot, a bit more honey or berries to lessen its intensity. Or, check out the next recipe, which uses a powdered version—in this case kale, but there is a wheatgrass version available from the same company.

The final taste of this smoothie depends on the ingredients. Clearly, using wheatgrass will affect the flavor and yield a stronger, “grassy” quality. Also, Golden beets are milder and less earthy than red beets. Feel free to mix and match these ingredients, substituting all carrots for the beets, if beets are not your thing, for instance. Successfully coaxing a loved one to join you for a healthy smoothie break instead of that bag of chips is worth a bit of compromise and creativity, I think.

Almond butter and sea salt are added not only to give a little boost to the protein content but also to elevate the flavor by contrasting salt and “butter” richness with the sweet taste in the fruits, veggies, coconut water and honey. If you have a nut allergy, nut butter can be omitted and the salt slightly increased. If you prefer another nut butter, feel free to switch it up.

Sourcing ingredients:

My juiced wheatgrass comes from a local small farm that supplies it to my neighborhood health food store, which makes this easy for me. If sourcing freshly juiced wheatgrass is more complicated for you, there are wheatgrass powders that are reputable and widely available, for instance our featured Pure Synergy Organics.

Coconut water is an excellent hydrator and contains a large amount of potassium. It’s also relatively low in sugar compared to fruit juice. However, coconut brands vary in quality, taste and commitment to Fair Trade. A little bit of homework before you buy goes a long way to making a tasty, healthy and green decision for this ingredient.

Ok, so was your reaction to my recipe above: Are you kidding me?

I get it. Commitment and time are really the key ingredients to the Green Gal Weekender Smoothie. So how do you make this work on weekdays?

Info graphic for overnight oats from Delicious Living MagazineOne idea is to start the night before. Both Delicious Living Magazine and I have options for you. There’s my NeoCell Mocha Morning Smoothie or a version of another breakfast classic—Overnight Oats—from Delicious Living. This handy PDF is ready to print and hang on your frig for a bedtime reminder.

Pure Synergy Organics Kale Vegetable Powder with smoothie in glassAnother idea is to simplify your ingredients. On days when I don’t have time to be a Superhero, I can still be healthy if I keep a few choice ingredients close at hand. One of my new favorites is Pure Synergy Organics vegetable powders. There are seven varieties for you to mix and match. I throw in a banana, some liquid—either coconut water or plain unsweetened almond milk—a protein powder, maybe some berries and a little honey. About two minutes in the blender and I am good to go. No real fuss or muss and no excuses.

Further, Synergy is a company you can believe in. Located in beautiful Moab, Utah, they have built an independent business dedicated to an eco-friendly, employee-positive and community-centered business model.

Here’s to a healthy 2018 and the Superhero in all of us!