That first week after Labour Day always gives me a bit of a New Year’s vibe. A seasonal change is imminent, sure, but I think we all crave a new routine after summer’s farewell weekend is gone. That sultry season is all beer hangs, slightly more indulgent snacks/meals, throwing our concerns out to the wind, late nights, and full days of leisure or sweaty garden grunt work, depending on how you roll. But the sun’s starting to go down a bit earlier, the nights are steadily cool and comfortable and early rises feel like they could come with a bit more ease. It’s a good time to refocus on what matters, maybe start a new personal project or two, and to cultivate some good habits that stick.
Admittedly, I’ve been feeling rather MEH for the last month or so. This summer kind of crushed me with all of its things and places. Some unfortunate everyday elements repeated themselves and some crap habits were lightly carved in as a result. If I was working at the restaurant, I’d generally be up late and would therefore wake up late the next day as well. On most days, I’m usually not hungry right away in the late-morning hours, so coffee seems to hold me over until I rig up a toast-centric lunch. And then before you know it, I’m getting my stuff together to either head into the restaurant again OR to ship off to some sort of social/family event or get caught up on some other work. From there, a solid meal becomes a spotty prospect. My ability to sleep has been hit or miss to the utmost, which inevitably offsets the eating/normal life schedule. Not complaining though! Just emphasizing how easy it is to slip into some motions that aren’t terribly kind to your body.
So I think I’ve hit the breaking point if I’m being really real. It’s time to start making some changes and to refocus the glance on wellness in a very mindful way. Cue up this matcha mint chip shake/breakfast bowl to start things off. I’ve made a version of this shake for a while–always with the greens, mint, vanilla, frozen banana, and cacao nibs. But I thought it would be fun to bring matcha into the picture for an extra boost, and top it off with crunchy, delicious, super-power ingredients too. It makes a fine shake for a morning meal or a little afternoon pick-me-up.
Thankfully (so thankfully), the kind people at VEGA contacted me a couple weeks ago about trying their plant-based protein + nutrition shake mixes. I’ve been a fan of VEGA and Brendan Brazier for a long time and VEGA ONE has been a part of my daily routine for the better part of the last 4 years. I might have squealed with delight in the health food store when they introduced the french vanilla flavour a while back. So rather than “trying” the goods, they made it possible for me to revisit and really appreciate my faves all over again. I’ve always loved that the product is Canadian too :) The best thing about VEGA ONE is that it’s really easy for me to blend into whatever smoothie or bowl I’m making and just like that, I have total reassurance that 50% of my nutritional needs are being met for the day, all formulated from a super clean plant base that tastes amazing. Even just trying it for 5 days will blow you away with good feels, promise.
And now I get to extend that kindness to you! VEGA is letting me give away 2 incredibly generous prize packs to a couple lucky readers. Two (2) winners will each receive one (1) tub of VEGA ONE nutritional shake + one (1) box of VEGA ONE all-in-one meal bars! This would be the coolest prize for any person looking to up their game in the realm of wellness or just for someone who really prioritizes health, but is so dang busy. This one is open to residents of the USA + Canada only, folks.
And how to enter? There’s two ways:
1) Leave a comment on this post telling me about your go-to smoothie/healthy shake combination.
2) Tag photos of your blended creations on Instagram with #THEFIRSTMESSxVEGAONE. And pssssst, you can follow VEGA team (link) and myself (link) while you’re at it… I mean if you want to ;) I’ll be sharing some off-the-cuff killer shake combos on my account for the next bit to get in the spirit. Weeee! Giveaway is closed, guys! Thanks for participating :)
So yeah! Lots of chances to win yourself some very high vibe gear. I can’t wait to see what you guys come up with! Cheers, x’s and o’s to you all :)
matcha mint chip greens shake/breakfast bowl recipe
serves: 3-5, depending on hunger/need
notes: I like milder greens for this, like spinach, chard or beet greens. Save the kale for some salads, peeps! Also, if you have a 1/4 of a ripe avocado to spare, I feel like it might do nicely here.
1/3 cup soaked raw cashews, drained
3 cups loose-packed greens
2-3 frozen bananas (depending on size)
1/4 cup mint leaves (about 3 sprigs)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla powder
2 tsp matcha powder
1-2 scoops VEGA ONE powder, french vanilla or chocolate flavour
3 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk/other plant milk
maple syrup or stevia to taste (very optional–I find it isn’t necessary most of the time)
1 tbsp cacao nibs
various optional toppin’s:
bee pollen (do not use if you’re strictly vegan, obviously)
extra cacao nibs
coconut whipped cream/cashew cream
In an upright blender, combine all of the shake ingredients except for the cacao nibs and blend on high until totally smooth. Throw the cacao nibs into the blender and blend for a couple seconds, just to break them up a bit. From here you can drink the shake straight up or you can serve it in small bowls with any combination of the specified toppings. Serve cold.