My friend Jess is a rockstar. Like, for real. I met her about 6 years ago when we were both living in Washington, D.C. At the time, she was with her band Lightfoot and we became friends over the bunch of times I got to photographer her playing. She’s now rocking vocals and playing guitar with her new band High Waisted, “a NYC based surf band with pop sensibilities and an affliction for rock and roll.” Super sweet, beautiful, creative, talented and driven – my kind of people.
So when I talked with Jess about creating a smoothie in her honor, there were a couple of guidelines:
- It had to not only be a smoothie that a rocker would drink, but that would help with recovery after a night (or many nights) of playing.
- No avocado (sadness, I know, but Jess is allergic).
- It had to be purple in hue to match her latest hair color (see photo below).
Most of us have experienced a hangover at least once in our lives so we know how debilitating they can be. Some of the common symptoms of a hangover include headache, drowsiness and fatigue, inability to concentrate, dry mouth, vertigo (dizziness), nausea and tummy upset , hyper-excitability and anxiety. Sounds awesome, right? So awesome, in fact, that each time we experience one we end up swearing off drinking… at least until the next time.
So how can a smoothie help alleviate these symptoms to feel better the day after a night of excess? Check it out:
Deydration: Dehydration is the main reason we feel terrible the day after drinking too much alcohol. The main reason this happens is that alcohol is a diuretic; in other words, it makes you pee more. The coconut water contains easily digested carbohydrate and electrolytes (calcium, sodium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorous), so it helps to replenish energy and rehydrate. The high water content and potassium in the berries helps with rehydration as well.
Headache: Largely a by-product of dehydration, a headache is the hallmark of a hangover. For some it can be a run of the mill terrible headache, while for others (me included) it can rage into a migraine. First, the fruit and coconut water will help to replenish your fluids. Second, the the cherries and ginger will help to reduce inflammation. Lastly, the bit of caffeine in the green tea will help to constrict your blood vessels and taper off a migraine.
Mood: L-theanine, an amino acid (aka building block of protein) in green tea, has been shown to relieve stress, reduce anxiety and boost mood. The berries, pomegranate and cacao all contribute to the production of serotonin, thus helping to improve mood. Lastly, healthy fats (omega-3s) in the cacao, chia seeds and hemp seeds help to maintain balanced hormone levels, maintain flexible cell membranes and allows for easy communication from cell to cell; this supports not just a happier, more balanced mood, but clearer thoughts and a sharper memory.
Blood Sugar: Poorly controlled blood sugar levels impact energy levels and ability to concentrate. By including a balance of healthy fats, fiber and protein, we can keep blood sugar from spiking and dipping. The chia seeds, hemp seeds and avocado provide all three of these macronutrients, not to mention the raw protein powder. In addition, cinnamon has long been shown to modestly help control blood glucose levels.
Nausea and upset tummy: Not only is ginger an anti-inflammatory and immune system booster, but it also helps to relieve nausea and upset stomach. Plus, it tastes good.
So next time you have a really great night out but a not so great morning after, make yourself a High Waisted Hangover Smoothie. You can pretend you’re a rockstar.
- 1 Cup unsweetened vanilla quinoa milk (or almond, rice, coconut, hemp - pick your fave)
- 1 Tbsp freeze-dried coconut water (see note)
- 1 Tbsp chia seeds
- 1.5 Tbsp hemp seeds
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
- 2 Tbsp pomegranate powder (optional)
- 1 tsp matcha green tea powder
- 1/3 cup frozen blueberries
- 1/3 cup frozen strawberries
- 1/3 cup frozen cherries
- 1" piece ginger root
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- Cacao nibs
- Dried cherries
- Place first 7 ingredients into blender and let sit for 10-15 minutes to allow chia seeds to gel. Then blend until well mixed. Add in the remaining ingredients, with the exception of the cacao nibs and dried cherries. Blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and top finished smoothie with chia seeds, hemp seeds, cacao nibs, a few frozen blueberries and dried cherries.
- If you don't have freeze-dried coconut water, you can replace the cup of milk with coconut water. Your smoothie will be a little less thick but just as tasty. Similarly, if you don't have pomegranate powder, you can either omit it or use fresh pomegranate arils. The powder just gives a more concentrated amount.
- Also note that this also makes a great recovery smoothie after a long run or other intense workout where you sweat a lot since it will replace electrolytes and help to rehydrate you.