Avocado, spinach, and pitaya protein smoothie bowl!
As a 4th year medical student, I am constantly on the go. From working 12+ hour days, to covering night call and traveling to and from residency interviews, the time to prepare healthy meals is very limited. However, despite my busy schedule, I have learned to make healthy cooking and healthy eating a priority throughout my medical school journey. One of my favorite hobbies is to experiment with food and to create healthy recipes that are easy and efficient to make. Most of the meals that I prepare at home take under 30 minutes to make. The secret is in the meal prep, and buying basics that I am able to create many different meals from. I have always viewed my food and my meals as culinary medicine and as a means to nourish my body. As a future physician, I hope to teach my patients the importance of nutrition and how to prepare healthy meals at home as a true means to maintaining their health.
One of my favorite kitchen tools is my Vitamix. It has been the best investment for my nutritional health because it is so versatile and ensures that I get my share of fruits and veggies. During my first and second years of medical school, many of my meals were enjoyed in the form of smoothies and soups made in my Vitamix. My goal when creating any meal is to focus on balance, meaning, all of my meals have protein, healthy fats, carbohydrates and veggies. Protein and healthy fats are essential to feeling satiated throughout the day. I also love sneaking veggies into all of my meals in unconventional ways, such as making cauliflower oats and spinach waffles. These recipe ideas are perfect for picky eaters and even kids!
This smoothie bowl has got to be one of my favorites. I had all of the components of a balanced healthy meal, and took mere minutes to make. A combination of avocado, protein powder, spinach, fruit and nuts covers the basis of all of the necessary macronutrients to comprise a healthy meal. I also enjoy combining flavors and textures when cooking, hence all of the vibrant colors in this smoothie bowl.
16 oz nut milk (I use unsweetened cashew milk)
1 frozen banana
1 scoop vanilla protein powder of choice (I use Sun Warrior plant based vanilla protein)
2 handfuls of spinach
1 unsweetened pitaya packet
1 tbs chia seeds
Xanthan gum (optional for thickening)
Berries and nuts of choice for toppings
-Combine 1 tbs chia seeds and 4oz nut milk in a container and let soak and thicken.
-Next, make the avocado spinach smoothie. In a blender, combine nut milk, 1/2 frozen banana, spinach, 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder and half an avocado. Add Xanthan gum and ice cubes to thicken. Blend until smooth. Pour into a bowl and place in the freezer while you make the Pitaya smoothie.
- Now for the Pitaya! In a cleaned blender, combine nut milk, 1/2 frozen banana and a pitaya packet. Add Xanthan gum and ice cubes to thicken. Blend until smooth.
-To finish, add the pitaya smoothie to the spinach avocado smoothie. Top with chia pudding and add berries and nuts of choice.
Alexa is currently a 4th year medical student who is passionate about preventative and functional medicine. She is a firm believer in balanced living, health, and wellness. Alexa plans to practice primary care medicine and hopes to incorporate health education, nutrition and dietary interventions into her scope of practice. Follow her journey and see more awesome recipes here.