Vacation has been over for a couple weeks now, and I’m already counting the days until next summer’s family trip to Maui.
Even my blender misses Maui.
Yup, that’s right. Took my blender. Best “extra baggage” fee I’ve ever paid — only $20 on Alaska Airlines.
This annual vacation is especially important to my family because of the fact that my brother’s job as an NBA coach means he’s often working on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.
Since he’s away from us and working during traditional vacation times, the August trip has become the best opportunity for us all to get together for some quality time.
Which this year meant keeping Alonzo entertained and giving him many outlets for his abundant energy.
Alonzo got lots of soccer practice with “Tio Erik”…
Followed by plenty of belly-flopping…
And an opportunity to perfect his Coach Spo sideline impersonation.
Surprisingly, this year’s vacation ended up being one of our healthiest. In the past, my brother (with his enviable metabolism) has talked us into huge lunches, extra appetizers, chicken wings and Barefoot Bar burgers-and-fries. Which is why we usually come back bloated and at least five pounds heavier.
This year, though, it seems everyone was drinking the Healthy Living Kool-Aid (what would that be — wheatgrass juice?).
For starters, my dad has adopted an impressive Forks-Over-Knives style, lowfat vegan diet in pursuit of optimal health. We all started our days with green smoothies or oatmeal, actually used the workout clothes we packed into our suitcases, made lovely salads with local produce, took a vinyasa class at a great local studio — and we didn’t order chicken wings. Not once!
And — I even pulled off my first real headstand, out in the open and away from the usual safety and security of my yoga studio wall!
Erik spent the week perfecting his own green smoothie recipe and brainstorming ways he can incorporate healthier food options into his busy NBA work and travel schedule.
Here’s the result — a collaborative effort made possible by a trip to the local Whole Foods (Maui’s store boasts 45% inventory from local growers and suppliers — the highest among all Whole Foods stores) and a packet of powders and superfoods I brought from home.
Whirl one of these up for a nutrient-dense, satisfying breakfast — Erik says it’s the perfect post-run meal, and it keeps the hunger pangs away all morning.
Coach Spo’s Green Smoothie (serves 2; raw, vegan)
1 1/2 cups of unsweetened almond milk
2 large handfuls of fresh baby spinach (sometimes he adds kale as well)
2 tablespoons almond butter (Erik likes to use the nut butter machine in the bulk foods section)
1 tablespoon of raw, unsweetened cacao powder
2 tablespoons of chia seed
1 tablespoon of hemp seed
1 serving of your favorite protein powder
2 tablespoons of dried goji berries
1/2 teaspoon turmeric (my Mom has been incorporating this anti-inflammatory powerhouse into her kitchen for years)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (helps with blood sugar stabilization)
1 cup of ice
Place ingredients into high speed blender, adding ice last. Process until creamy and smooth. Serve immediately or store some in fridge for later. Salud!