Maui Vacation and the Spo Smoothie

maui sunset

Maui! Sigh…

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.

maui - goji smoothie

Yup, that’s right. Took my blender. Best “extra baggage” fee I’ve ever paid — only $20 on Alaska Airlines.

maui - hike

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.

Alonzo - Erik

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”…

erik - alonzo - soccer

Followed by plenty of belly-flopping…

alonzo - swimming

And an opportunity to perfect his Coach Spo sideline impersonation.

erik - alonzo - 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?).

maui - salad

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!

monica spoelstra metz - headstand

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.

peter metz - erik spoelstra

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)
1 banana
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!

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12 Responses to “Maui Vacation and the Spo Smoothie”

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  1. Maria says:

    What fun you all had, nothing like spending quality time with fam, and good for you on getting them to finally drink the Kool- Aid of healthy eating, been trying with my parents for years and it only last a week :( .. that smoothie sounds wonderful gonna try it but i need to get me a blender like yours. btw, pretty impressive hand stand :)

    • grantustheluxury says:

      Thanks Maria! It’s funny, my parents are the ones who started all this. They were drinking lecithin smoothies and making carob cookies back in the 1970s. Thank goodness I finally took note!

  2. Just the drink I’ve been waiting for. I bought a Ninja last night for Art. He has gone through a few blenders since he started blending his own power smoothies in the morning. I don’t think he will need to take naps in the afternoon now….ya think?
    Good to hear Erik is getting some great down time with family.
    Can you get goji berries at Whole Foods?
    Julie Wilmore

    • grantustheluxury says:

      How awesome that Coach Wilmore is on the Green Smoothie train! I find that a morning smoothie — and a nutritious lunch with some green tea or hot water — has really helped with the afternoon sleepies. As for goji berries, you can definitely find them at Whole Foods. I also see several brands on Thanks for checking in — and have fun with the new blender!

  3. Kris says:

    Hi Monica, what gorgeous pictures, especially the first one of Haleakala! Maui no ka oi indeed. I am in complete awe of you and your family for sticking with your healthy eating and workout habits while on vacation, I have always been one to go into “throw caution to the wind” mode. And I think I’m gonna have to try your brother’s smoothie recipe. Take care!

    • grantustheluxury says:

      Thanks Kris — Maui is indeed stunning! I was proud of my family for being mostly virtuous on our trip — believe me, we all need to have some indulgences along the way! I did get to enjoy some pizza from the Outrigger pizza cart while there. Very tasty! On the healthy side of things, my brother’s smoothie is tasty too. Hope you give it a try!

  4. Nikki P. says:

    Hi! My meek attempt to “be a little healthier” was inspired by this blog of yours and I’ve been a follower since then. :) Maui seems to be a lot of fun and adventures but it’s still cool how you’re all doing healthy stuff together while out on vacation. And wow, I applaud you on your headstand, I wish I could do that! :D

    Please do send my hugs to Alonzo, he’s such a fun-loving little boy, and he’s gwapo too. :) btw, love his ‘Team Philippines’ shirt. ;)


    • grantustheluxury says:

      Hey Nikki — kudos to you for living a little healthier. I’m glad I can help support you in that effort! As for the headstand, I’m a bit of a chicken… so it took me about five years to get there. I’m pretty sure most people — including you — could get there a lot more quickly if you put in the practice :) Glad you like the Team Philippines shirt. I got it last year in Manila and am sad Alonzo’s already outgrowing it. Thanks for following my blog and for your note. All best, Monica

  5. Marie says:

    The Coach Spo special smoothie is pretty incredible… delish!

  6. Ashleigh says:

    Great post! Today I made a new mixed berry smoothie with passion fruit, chia seeds, spinach, almond milk and banana, but was starving by 10am. Can’t wait to try this one. I’m always finding inspiration in your posts!

    P.S. Rhi said she saw you and Alonzo out at dinner the other night. She said A is so cute and getting so big. I still remember the newborn pics of him like it was just a couple years ago. Makes me feel old. :)

    • grantustheluxury says:

      Thanks Ash — I love the passion fruit combo. Can you buy it fresh in CA? I used it a lot while we were on Maui — makes a great addition to salad dressing, too. It was fun seeing Rhi and fam — but it also made me miss seeing your smiling face here in P-town! Thanks for checking out my blog… hope you are well!

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