15 Smoothies in 15 Days, Day 1: Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

It’s been a while since I’ve been on here. Five and a half months, to be exact. And I’ll tell you why… I’m pregnant! This is our first, and it’s a girl and I have about three months left before we get to meet her.

Normally, pregnancy wouldn’t be a reason to stop a food blog, but morning sickness hit me, and hit me hard. After about six months of Paleo and clean eating, all I could stomach were strawberry milkshakes from Steak & Shake (they HAD to be from Steak & Shake – don’t ask me why) and pizza. Sometimes, I could eat fruit, but that was pretty much it. I wouldn’t call these craving so much as these were literally the only foods I could eat. For months. That whole thing about morning sickness stopping after your first trimester? It’s a bag of lies. Mine continued well through my fourth month.

This is all not to mention that, for a truly healthy pregnancy, you really need some bread and cheese if you aren’t intolerant to them. Actually, many pregnant women find themselves more tolerant to these things during their pregnancies than they usually are otherwise because they need the nutrients. If you don’t eat any carbs, your body ends up using all the protein and fat you are intaking for you instead of for your growing fetus, and that’s definitely not good, considering growing fetuses need a lot of protein and fat.

Also, did you know that getting into a cooking routine is kind of like getting into a workout routine? You get used to doing it, so you’re fine, but when you stop for a while, it can be tough to get back on the wagon. Needless to say, since I hadn’t cooked for over four months, I just… didn’t pick it back up.

Now, though, I’m in the home stretch. My third trimester starts on Sunday, and this little baby girl is growing well by all professional accounts. Since I want to try a natural, drug-free childbirth, I want to make sure I am healthy, she is healthy, and there are as few complications as possible. Furthermore, the third trimester, your immune system is pretty much shot, and I have to go back to school (i.e. come in contact with lots of new germs) in a few weeks. In short, I want to get my body in the best shape possible so I can avoid any illness or complications here in the home stretch.

So what am I doing to accomplish that goal? Eating well, of course. Whole foods – especially those that are known to increase immunity and breast milk production, because I plan to breastfeed – are now becoming a staple in my diet. I’m especially focused on herbal pregnancy teas, coconut oil, and apple cider vinegar. (Side note: NEVER take these without consulting your healthcare professional, pregnant or not! I AM NOT A DOCTOR and the internet is full of lies. This is just what I’ve chosen to do based on my research and with the help of my awesome team of doctors.) I don’t make my own pregnancy teas, but coconut oil and ACV are known to give you awesome nutrients, make your digestive system function more regularly (no small feat in the last months of your pregnancy), boost immunity, and – in the case of coconut oil – helps produce breast milk and good fats for your fetus, who is packing on the pounds as we speak.

I cook with these things, but I don’t incorporate enough of them into my diet to make a substantial difference (they say one teaspoon of ACV three times a day and two tablespoons of coconut oil per day – but spread it out!). So how am I to reconcile my desire to increase my intake of these foods with my need for more fruits and vegetables and my cravings for ice cream?

Smoothies, of course!

I love smoothies. I make them all the time, but I often find myself in a smoothie rut, eating the same one day in and day out. When I want to add things, I just add them, and the taste isn’t all that great. So, I’m on a quest for new smoothie recipes. Since I start school in a little less than 15 days, I’m starting a new project: 15 Smoothies in 15 Days! Who’s excited. I know I am!

First up, pumpkin pie. Why doesn’t love pumpkin pie? I absolutely adore pumpkin pie; it’s my favorite food. Ever. And, since we’re totally nesting and cleaning out everything, I found four cans of pumpkin puree in my pantry from last fall. So, here’s a little early taste of fall with all of the great nutrients pumpkin has to offer.

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Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
Makes one smoothie
Adapted from Free Coconut Recipes

Ingredients:
-1 banana
-1/2 cup coconut milk
-1/4 cup pumpkin puree
-1 teaspoon cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice, whatever you have on hand
-1 teaspoon honey
-1 tablespoon coconut oil
-1.5 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Optional: Garnish with cinnamon.

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