Spring has sprung (or at least it’s trying to, you can do it Mother Nature!), and I can think of no better way to kick it off than with a new smoothie bowl recipe. I was so excited to partner with Florida Orange Juice this month to create a fresh healthy recipe featuring orange juice!
Since having my second child Max I’ve been working hard to get back into shape and love creating new quick and EASY healthy recipes to help me (and you!) on my way; I thought I was busy with one child, ha! As a healthcare professional, I often get asked which is more important, nutrition or exercise, when it comes to getting fit. While you truly need both (you can’t build muscle without exercise), the food choices that you make have a greater impact on weight loss and body composition. That being said, if you want to truly improve your health, you MUST exercise AND eat right!
A big part of this equation is eating the right foods to fuel your body and energize your workouts before, during and after exercising. Florida Orange Juice is a staple in our fridge and is incorporated into a lot of my ‘energy’ foods for a good reason. It’s high in vitamin C (which builds collagen- hi healthy skin!), rich in potassium (more about potassium below), a good source of folate and tastes refreshing and sweet without any added sugar. I’ve also started experimenting with using it in salad dressings and cooking, orange juice is a versatile product and adds so much flavour to dishes!
In terms of nutrition for exercising, here’s what I recommend to help fuel your body to maximize your workouts:
Prior to exercising: Consume foods that give you energy without weighing you down. I once ate a very generous portion of peanuts (loaded with fat and protein) just prior to doing the Grouse Grind (very steep hike) in Vancouver: big mistake. I recommend eating a small meal that includes healthy carbohydrates 1-2 hours prior to exercising such as:
- poached egg on toast with a slice of tomato
- whole grain cereal with milk and berries
- yogurt and fruit
- smoothie or smoothie bowl (this Orange Creamsicle Smoothie Bowl is my new go-to)
If you’re planning on eating a big meal, do so 3-4 hours prior to exercising. Eating a source of carbohydrates before exercising has shown to enhance performance and may allow you to work out harder and longer, but of course we want to make sure that they’re quality carbs: a donut simply won’t cut it!
During exercise: If you are exercising for less than 60 minutes there is no need to consume anything other than water during your activity. Small carbohydrate-rich snacks such as fruit or diluted orange juice will give you quick energy while you exercise without weighing you down. Orange juice is rich in potassium which is important for muscle function and also plays a role in nerve transmission and helps maintain the body’s fluid, electrolyte and pH balance. In a nutshell it’s nature’s sports drink!
After exercising: To maximize muscle repair after a hard workout, eat something with some protein and carbohydrate in it 20-30 minutes after you are finished your activity. The ideal ratio is 1 gram of protein to every 3 grams of carbohydrate, but don’t get too hung up on these numbers unless you’re a competitive athlete. Examples include:
- hard boiled eggs and crackers
- hummus and whole grain pita chips
- chocolate milk
- Orange Creamsicle Smoothie Bowl made with Florida Orange Juice
This smoothie bowl is creamy smooth with a hint of vanilla, refreshing, and has a good amount of protein thanks to the Greek yogurt…and it tastes DELICIOUS!!! It only requires a couple minutes of preparation the evening before to freeze the oranges and orange juice ice cubes, and can be whipped up in a minute or two for those busy mornings or a quick snack when needed.
If you’re making it 20 minutes or more in advance I like to add 2 Tbsp. of chia seeds (I used the white variety) to the mixture when blending as it helps the smoothie bowl retain its thickness and adds a healthy dose of fibre, a bit of protein and some plant-based omega-3 fats.
ORANGE CREAMSICLE SMOOTHIE BOWL
Makes 2-3 servings
- 1/2 c. Florida Orange Juice, frozen into ice cubes (6 OJ ice cubes)
- 1 c. plain Greek yogurt (I use one with a minimum 2% fat)
- 1 ½ c. peeled diced oranges, frozen
- 1 medium frozen banana, broken in to chunks
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 Tbsp. white chia seeds (optional, see below)*
- 1/2 -2/3 c. additional Florida Orange Juice to thin
- unsweetened shredded coconut
- hemp seeds
*you can add chia seeds if you aren’t eating the smoothie bowl right away and want to retain the thickness for up to an hour. Keep the smoothie bowl in the fridge if you aren’t going to eat it immediately.
- The night before (or at least 6 hours before making the smoothie bowl), freeze the orange juice, diced oranges and the banana; I recommend freezing the diced oranges and the banana on a flat baking sheet so that they don’t all stick together.
- Blend all of the ingredients together in a blender until smooth, slowly adding the additional orange juice as needed to the blender to give it a thick smooth consistency (I used 1/2 cup of orange juice, but you may need a bit more). I used a Vitamix blender with the tamper to help the ingredients blend smoothly without having to add too much liquid.
- Top the smoothie bowl with your favourite toppings: I love using shredded unsweetened coconut and hemp seeds!
This post was sponsored by Florida Orange Juice. To learn more about the health benefits of Florida Orange Juice and for more recipes featuring orange juice, click here!
Thank you to Kelowna-based Mackenzie Jane for the stunning photography! Visit her beautiful website to check out her portfolio and book her photography services at mackenziejanephoto.com