*Insert my singing voice* It’s Christmas tiiiiime in the city!
… Okay save your eardrums and don’t, but I think you’re reading what I’m writing.
Who doesn’t love the holidays?! Time to enjoy yourself with friends and family. Obviously I love this time of year, however, battling an existing sweet tooth on a daily basis can make the holiday seem a little tormenting. I’m already a very active person by nature, so I think I’m doing well by avoiding the endless supply of baked goods; Working out with a trainer, running our gorgeous seawall and planning all my meals ahead of time, including whipping up some smoothies with nutritious ingredients.
I’ve been a HUGE fan of Vega for years, I try to keep my diet as plant-based as I can and absolutely no dairy.
When I heard that Whole Foods and Vega teamed up to create a juice bar at the Cambie location… I got a little excited!
The Vega team and I met to chat ways of keeping healthy and fit over the holidays.
Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Personal Trainer and Vega Educator Sarah Skalzub shares here:
Michelle Morton: I found last year juicing was extremely popular. What is the difference between juicing and making a smoothie?
Sarah Skalzub: “When you’re making a smoothie, you’re consuming the whole fruit or vegetable. So you are getting the fibers in there, you are getting the protein in there. You are getting a better well balanced nutritional profile by consuming the whole food.”
MM: What are your favourite superfoods that you like to add to your smoothies?
SS: “I love using hemp seeds or hemp hearts, those are great additions. They really kind of boost up the consistency and make your smoothie a lot thicker; they’re a great source of protein, great source of healthy fats. I also love adding chlorella to my smoothies as well. So chlorella, not a whole lot of people are familiar with chlorella, but its a microscopic algae and it’s like nature’s multivitamin; it’s so jam packed with vitamins and minerals and enzymes, so it’s definitely a great addition.”
MM: Yes, I’ve heard of chlorella. I add spirulina to my smoothies for an extra kick of protein and, I love it, I always feel energized. What is the difference between chlorella and spirulina?
SS: “Basically spirulina is higher in protein, chlorella is higher in chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is an antioxidant; great for cellular repair and cellular rejuvenation. Something else that’s cool I want to point out, is that our new formulation of Vega One, that’s going to be in all the smoothies at the Cambie smoothie juice bar location, has both spirulina and chlorella.”
MM: What is your favourite smoothie to make?
SS: “I’m a huge fan of green smoothies. So the greener, the better. For me, I will toss everything that I can into there. There is one smoothie, The Stanley Park smoothie, at the Cambie smoothie bar that is definitely going to be my new go to. The Stanley Park is your go-to green smoothie.”
MM: What’s in that one?
SS: “In the Stanley Park, there’s almond milk, there’s bananas, some spinach, flax seeds, chlorella, so added chlorella, and than the new formulation of Vega One french vanilla.”
MM: Where can we go to find more smoothie recipes over the holidays?
SS: “Myvega.com has an amazing recipe centre. So all you do is log on to myvega.com, highlight the recipe centre icon and you will get a ton of smoothie recipes that have been created by our Vega staff from all throughout North America. So you are getting a wide variety of smoothies; There are green smoothies or something to satisfy your sweet tooth.
MM: It’s no secret Vancouverites are always in a rush to go somewhere. How do you suggest being prepared in advanced?
SS: “Pre-portioning is great for someone always on the run. What I’ve done before is kind of frozen my fruits and vegetables into pre-frozen smoothie packs so I can just grab that package, throw it into the blender, blend it up and then you’re good to go. You can also bring it to work with you as well, so that’s a great option.”
MM: Being surrounded by all these holiday treats is not easy! Haha what is a way we can avoid binging on all the sugar to avoid those holiday pounds?
SS: “This is something that I think everyone struggles with. I always notice over the holidays, especially if you go away to visit family or if you have family come and visit you, if you have some house guests, schedule some time to be active; whether it’s packing your gym clothes when you go to visit your family or scheduling some family activities when you have them come to visit you; go snowshoeing, go snowboarding or skiing or ice skating. Just make sure that you’re still adding that activity there throughout the holidays.”
MM: Are there any foods or snacks that you can include into your diet to help you curb those cravings?
SS: “Yes, for sure. I always find during the holiday season, it’s so easy to be tempted to graze and snack all the time, because there are so many treats around you, so I always make sure before I’m going to a holiday party or get together, I make sure that I’m having a snack before I go out or a light meal, like smoothies. Those are a great option because they are light and you won’t feel super heavy or weighed down. Adding some proteins and adding healthy fats into your smoothie will help keep you feeling full and satisfied and less likely to graze on those holiday treats.”
MM: I like the sounds of those outdoor activities, I’ve been wanting to try snowshoeing! What are some indoor options to try?
SS: “Yoga is great, I love yoga, and especially in Vancouver where there are so many studios. Go to a hot yoga class, it’s absolutely amazing if you’re wanting to feel like you’re in a tropical atmosphere for a little while. Hit up your local gym, those are some great options.”
For more plant-based nutrition tips, you can follow Vega on Twitter @VegaTeam and VegaVancouver || Instagram @Vega_Team
My Favourite Smoothie Recipe:
1.5 Cups Almond Milk
1 Leaf Kale
1 Tsp Spirulina
1 Cup Frozen Berries
1 TBSP Organic Almond Butter
2 TBSP Hemp Hearts and Chia Seeds
1 Scoop Vega One French Vanilla
BIG Thank you to the Vega Team!