Did you overdo the cocktails and cookies this holiday season? (We sure did!) We asked L.A.'s Tess Masters — a.k.a. the Blender Girl — to help us get back on track in 2016.
Masters, author of "The Blender Girl Smoothies: 100 Gluten-Free, Vegan, and Paleo-Friendly Recipes," says she has one foolproof way for you to clean up your diet in the new year: "Forget extreme diets and cleanses and all the fad stuff," she said. "Just keep it simple: Just eat more vegetables every day." And when you're ready for a bigger challenge, adopt Masters' twist on the 80/20 Rule: Commit to one meal a day where your plate is made up of 80% non-starchy vegetables. And the rest of your plate? A lean protein of your choice. "Drizzle on a beautiful sauce to infuse flavor and add a healthy fat" — think avocado, olive oil, nuts — "and you're golden," she said.
Here she shares three of her favorite healthful smoothie recipes from her fun iTunes app, The Blender Girl Smoothies, which helps you match smoothie recipes to your mood (or to whatever's fresh or on sale at the market).
Three smoothie recipes from Tess Masters
Masters reaches for this during cold-and-flu season, as a "potent detoxifier that sips like a fancy new year cocktail." Why? "The bromelain in pineapple suppresses coughs and loosens mucus, mint clears respiratory congestion, vitamin C in limes has antibiotic power, kale and pineapple reduce inflammation from holiday bingeing, and ginger boosts immunity and aids digestion." Blend for 30 to 60 seconds: 2 cups frozen pineapple, 1 cup coconut water or water, 1 cup torn-up curly green kale leaves, 3 limes (peeled and quartered), 1/2 cup firmly packed mint, 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest, five drops alcohol-free liquid stevia, plus more to taste. Serves 2. Optional boosters: 1 teaspoon wheat grass powder, 1 teaspoon minced ginger or 1 teaspoon coconut oil.
Masters says this smoothie is a way to love your liver. "The betaine in beets flushes the liver, purifies the blood, enhances circulation." Hate beets? You might not realize they're in here. "This blend is sweet and spicy." Blend for about 60 seconds: 1 1/4 cups coconut water or water, 1 medium red beet (peeled and chopped, and, if you don't have a high-powered blender, cooked), 2 cups frozen strawberries, 1 skin-on apple, cored and chopped,1/2 small avocado (pitted and peeled), 1/2 lemon (peeled and seeded), 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon plus more to taste, pinch of cayenne pepper. Optional: Five drops alcohol-free liquid stevia, plus more to taste. Serves 2. Optional boosters: 1 tablespoon açaí powder, 1 teaspoon flaxseed oil or 1 teaspoon chia seeds.
This is Masters' immunity blend. She describes it as "fabulous for collagen formation and glowing skin, hair and nails. Mango's enzymes and vitamins A, C, and E cleanse the liver and aid digestion, and its potassium and fiber help regulate blood pressure and cholesterol." Blend for 30 to 60 seconds: 2 cups frozen mango, 1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice, 1/2 medium avocado (pitted and peeled), 1/2 cup of water, 1/2 cup ice cubes 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lime zest and 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom. Add more water as needed. Serves 2. Optional boosters: 1/2 teaspoon wheat grass powder, 1 teaspoon chia seeds or 1 teaspoon flaxseed oil.