Green Lactation Smoothie

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I’ve been asked a lot about my shakes lately, so I thought I’d share the deliciousness that is my favorite smoothie. I have to have one every. Single. Morning. Seriously. Days that I don’t get a chance to make one, I feel lethargic and find myself reaching for whatever I can get my hands on to fill my tummy – not good when you’re trying to lose the baby weight!
It is chock-full of good for you vitamins, fiber, and is great for nursing moms to help with milk production. It’s also great post-workout because of the banana and coconut water to help replenish what you’ve lost during a good sweet session. 

As a mom with a clingy 4 month old, most days this smoothie is what keeps me going throughout the day until my husband gets home and I can eat something real.

Ingredients:
2 – 3 big handfuls of spinach / kale / power greens
1.5 cups of mango (I use frozen from Costco)
1 banana
1 handful of baby carrots
3/4 c of blueberries
2 tbs unsweetened coconut flakes
1 tbs chia seeds
1 tbs flaxseed or flax meal
2-4 tbs hemp protein powder
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 c coconut water
1 – 1.5 cups water (depending on how thick or thin you want the consistency to be)

Yields: about 4 – 5 cups (30-40oz)

Nutrition facts: (approx)
Calories: 609
Fat: 14g (Sat: 5g, Poly: 7g, Mono: 1g, Trans: 0g)
Potassium: 1310mg

Carbohydrates: 110g
Dietary Fiber: 28g
Sugars: 71
Protein: 19g
Vitamin A: 171%
Vitamin C: 249%
Calcium: 38%
Iron: 29%

I put everything in in the order I listed above, that way the greens get liquified enough, and blend!
You’ll notice you have a very full blender – this isn’t something I down all at once. I usually have a big glass for breakfast to start my day off right, and then I’ll have enough for two more drinks as snacks the rest of the afternoon. 

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Don’t get scared off by the calories or the fat content! As a breastfeeding mom, I burn about 500 extra calories per day, so this smoothie makes sure I am getting good quality calories in. If you’re not getting enough calories, not only will your supply will suffer, but your energy levels will drop as well, and I’d rather lose weight slowly than have to give up breastfeeding.
Yes, there are a lot of carbohydrates, but it’s all complex carbs from the fruit, which help to keep you fuller, longer. Also, complex carbs are among the best possible foods for new moms to eat while breastfeeding. According to WebMD, complex carb loading is “one of the most successful long-term lactation weight loss programs” and will help you lose weight without having to sacrifice milk production!
In regards to the high fat count, 8 of the 14 grams are poly and mono – meaning they are the good for you fats, and come mostly from the Chia Seeds (3g) and Flax (4g). The coconut flakes are what has the 4.5g of fat in them, but I’m ok with that number. While breastfeeding, its really important to get enough fat in your diet, as this helps to ensure a good supply of the hind milk (super-fatty and hunger satisfying part) during the last part of your childs nursing session.
Spinach, carrots, and flax are well known for their lactation benefits, which is why I always add them to my smoothie. Chia seeds are a great source of calcium, protein, omegas and energy, and coconut water is apparently one of the hot new suggestions for increasing supply for lactating mamas because of all the nutrients and vitamins, but it can also boost immunity and increase your energy. Interestingly enough, it’s very high in lauric acid (fights against viruses and bacteria), which is also found in human breast milk! Even if you’re not nursing, and are just an athlete or a mom in general, coconut water is a great hydrator and recovery drink as it’s high in potassium and electrolytes.

For the record – I am not, or have I ever claimed to be a doctor or a lactation consultant or smarter than the average Jane Doe, so take my advice with a grain of salt. However, I am very aware of what I eat now that I’m nursing, so I’ve done my research, and have introduced foods accordingly. I have been very lucky in having more than enough of a milk supply, and while correlation does not equal causation, this is what has worked for me!

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