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15 Amazingly Refreshing Smoothie Recipes You Should Try This Summer

15 Amazingly Refreshing Smoothie Recipes You Should Try This Summer

I currently work at a gym café where I blend up healthy smoothies and shakes day in and day out. It’s not uncommon for these gym-goers to slurp down smoothies even in the coldest Minnesota months. For the majority of the population though, smoothies are a yummy treat to drink while lounging on the beach so this is the perfect time to round up some delicious smoothie recipes.

Working in this gym café, I have sampled dozens of smoothie recipes from the simple and sweet strawberry banana to the overly healthy kale and broccoli smoothies. This smoothie expertise serves a good purpose today as I have brought you some healthy yet decadent summer smoothie recipes to try out.

I also realize that “healthy” is one of those terms that is different to each person, so for the purpose in this post, none of the drinks contain ice cream, booze, or excessive added sugars. Many of them involve fruits which are packed with vitamins, nutrients and soluble fiber or leafy green vegetables which you probably already know are good for you since your mom probably insisted, “Eat your vegetables!”

I hope you enjoy drooling over these smoothie recipes as much as I did!

1. Peanut Lover’s Green Smoothie via Fit Foodie Finds

peanut lover's green smoothie via fit foodie finds

    This is genius. What better way to hide spinach in a smoothie than to smother it with peanut-buttery goodness? This smoothie packs healthy fats and healthy, green leafy veggies into one mason jar!

    2. Cake Batter Smoothie via Running with Spoons

    Cake Batter smoothie via running with spoons

      How can you turn down a smoothie that promises to taste like cake batter? The answer is: you can’t.

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      3. Strawberry Banana Pineapple Smoothie via Averie Cooks

      Strawberry Banana Smoothie via Averie Cooks

        This is definitely a summer smoothie recipe made with simple, tropical ingredients. Kick back and sip on this smoothie while pretending you are on a beach.

        4. Blueberry Mango Smoothie via Eat Your Heart Out

        blueberry mango smoothie via Eat Your Heart Out

          Blueberry and mango are flavors that seem as though they wouldn’t go together, but they really do! Try it for yourself.

          5. Very Berry Chocolate Protein Smoothie via Lexi’s Clean Kitchen

          Very Berry Chocolate Protein Smoohie via Lexi's Clean Kitchen

            This smoothie makes me think of chocolate-covered strawberries—a super decadent treat. This smoothie also contains chia seeds, which is something I’ve wanted to try adding to smoothies for the many health benefits.

            6. Apple Pie A-La-Mode via Meals and Moves

            apple pie a la mode smoothie via meals and moves

              This smoothie is as American as apple pie. We all know that apple pie goes together with ice cream like peas and carrots, so why not try to duplicate those flavors in a healthy smoothie?

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              7. Banana Cream Pie Shake via Ari’s Menu

              banana creme pie smoothie via ari's menu

                We have another pie themed drink in the smoothie recipes round-up! This one involves frozen bananas which are so much fun to work with (you can also use a frozen banana to make make-shift ice cream!).

                8. Berry Oatmeal Smoothie via Mollie’s Sprinkles of Life

                berry oatmeal smoothie via mollie's sprinkles of life

                  Another fascinating way of adding nutrition to your smoothies is with oatmeal. You heard me right, oatmeal. You really can blend up anything!

                  9. Mango Strawberry Frozen via The Marvelous Misadventures of a Foodie

                  Mango Strawberry smoothie

                    Strawberry and mango are the perfect summer flavor combination. This smoothie is super simple and only has three ingredients.

                    10. Watermelon Spritzer via Barefoot Colorado

                    watermelon spritzer

                      Now that I have said strawberries and mangos are the perfect summer flavor combination, I cannot say that watermelon exudes summer, can I? You would agree with me if I did though, right?

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                      11. Beautifying Beet Smoothie via Kiss My Broccoli

                      beet and avocado smoothie

                        I will be honest; I have never tried a beet. They remind me of Dwight, a weird farmer slash office worker from the sitcom, The Office. (Bears. Beets. Battlestar Gallactica.) This particular selection of smoothie recipes makes me want to at least try one blended up, especially if it is going to make me feel beautiful as the title suggests.

                        12. Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie via Peanut Butter and Peppers

                        peanut butter and jelly smoothie

                          Now this is right up my alley. I have peanut butter (and sometimes jelly) toast every single morning. If I could blend it up in a smoothie and drink it while driving to the café, it would probably be a much safer alternative to what actually happens.

                          http://www.peanutbutterandpeppers.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Peanut-Butter-and-Jelly-Smoothie-002.jpg

                          http://www.pinterest.com/pin/77053843599690897/

                          13. Protein Packed Blackberry Smoothie via Eating Bird Food

                          Protein Packed Blackberry Smoothie

                            The color of this smoothie is out of this world. I don’t think I’ve mentioned this thus far, but pretty much the only time I eat berries is when they are blended up in a smoothie or in my jelly (see last smoothie) so this would be perfect for me.

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                            14. Green Colada Power Smoothie via Little Blue Boo

                            green colada power smoothie

                              Do you like pina coladas? And getting lost in the rain? Well you will probably enjoy this smoothie as well as the added health benefits. Something interesting the blogger mentioned was adding a scoop of bee pollen for added energy. We use a powder that has bee pollen in it at work and I’ve always thought it a little weird. Whatever works, right?

                              15. Orange Push-Up Smoothie via Averie Cooks

                              Orange Push up smoothie

                                Apparently I like the sounds of smoothie recipes from Averie Cooks. The name of this smoothie literally made me start drooling. Push-ups remind me of summer days as a kid when we would go to a friend’s house whose parents were nice enough to buy this particular sugar-ridden treat. Okay, I do appreciate the fact that I wasn’t pumped full of processed sugar as a kid. This last one does deviate from the “healthy” mold I was trying to achieve for this post, but I just couldn’t stop thinking about this recipe. I’m sure you don’t have to add all the sugar…

                                 

                                Are you ready for some frozen summer smoothies on the beach now? I sure am!

                                Which of these smoothie recipes will you try first?

                                Featured photo credit: Collage Created by Me; all original images and sources found in post via semihealthyblog.com

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                                Published on November 14, 2018

                                Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

                                Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

                                With our busy, always on lives, it seems that more and more of us are facing constant tiredness and fatigue on a regular basis.

                                For many people, they just take this in their stride as part of modern life, but for others the impact can be crippling and can have a serious effect on their sense of wellbeing, health and productivity.

                                In this article, I’ll share some of the most common causes of constant tiredness and fatigue and give you some guidance and action steps you can take to overcome some of the symptoms of fatigue.

                                Why Am I Feeling Fatigued?

                                Fatigue is extreme tiredness resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness.  It is a reduction in the efficiency of a muscle or organ after prolonged activity.[1]

                                It can affect anyone, and most adults will experience fatigue at some point in their life. 

                                For many people, fatigue is caused by a combination of lifestyle, social, psychological and general wellbeing issues rather than an underlying medical condition.

                                Although fatigue is sometimes described as tiredness, it is different to just feeling tired or sleepy. Everyone feels tired at some point, but this is usually resolved with a nap or a few nights of good sleep. Someone who is sleepy may also feel temporarily refreshed after exercising. If you are getting enough sleep, good nutrition and exercising regularly but still find it hard to perform, concentrate or be motivated at your normal levels, you may be experiencing a level of fatigue that needs further investigation. 

                                Symptoms of Fatigue

                                Fatigue can cause a vast range of physical, mental and emotional symptoms including:

                                • chronic tiredness, exhaustion or sleepiness
                                • mental blocks
                                • lack of motivation
                                • headache
                                • dizziness
                                • muscle weakness
                                • slowed reflexes and responses
                                • impaired decision-making and judgement
                                • moodiness, such as irritability
                                • impaired hand-to-eye coordination
                                • reduced immune system function
                                • blurry vision
                                • short-term memory problems
                                • poor concentration
                                • reduced ability to pay attention to the situation at hand

                                Causes of Fatigue

                                The wide range of causes that can trigger fatigue include:

                                • Medical causes: Constant exhaustion, tiredness and fatigue may be a sign of an underlying illness, such as a thyroid disorder, heart disease, anemia or diabetes.
                                • Lifestyle-related causes: Being overweight and a lack of regular exercise can lead to feelings of fatigue.  Lack of sleep and overcommitting can also create feelings of excessive tiredness and fatigue.
                                • Workplace-related causes: Workplace and financial stress in a variety of forms can lead to feelings of fatigue.
                                • Emotional concerns and stress: Fatigue is a common symptom of mental health problems, such as depression and grief, and may be accompanied by other signs and symptoms, including irritability and lack of motivation.

                                Fatigue can also be caused by a number of factors working in combination.

                                Medical Causes of Fatigue

                                If you have made lifestyle changes to increase your energy and still feel exhausted and fatigued, it may be time to seek guidance from your doctor.

                                Here are a few examples of illnesses that can cause ongoing fatigue. Seek medical advice if you suspect you have a health problem:

                                Anemia

                                Anemia is a condition in which you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues. It is a common cause of fatigue in women.

                                Having anemia may make you feel tired and weak.

                                There are many forms of anemia, each with its own cause. Anemia can be temporary or long term, and it can range from mild to severe.[2]

                                Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

                                Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a condition that can cause persistent, unexplained fatigue that interferes with daily activities for more than six months.

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                                This is a chronic condition with no one-size-fits-all treatment, but lifestyle changes can often help ease some symptoms of fatigue.[3]

                                Diabetes

                                Diabetes can cause fatigue with either high or low blood sugars. When your sugars are high, they remain in the bloodstream instead of being used for energy, which makes you feel fatigued. Low blood sugar (glucose) means you may not have enough fuel for energy, also causing fatigue.[4]

                                Sleep Apnea

                                Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder where sufferers briefly stop breathing for short periods during sleep. Most people are not aware this is happening, but it can cause loud snoring, and daytime fatigue.

                                Being overweight, smoking, and drinking alcohol can all worsen the symptoms of sleep apnea.[5]

                                Thyroid disease

                                An underactive thyroid gland means you have too little thyroid hormone (thyroxine) in your body. This makes you feel tired and you could also put on weight and have aching muscles and dry skin.[6]

                                Common lifestyle factors that can cause fatigue include:

                                • Lack of sleep
                                • Too much sleep 
                                • Alcohol and drugs 
                                • Sleep disturbances 
                                • Lack of regular exercise and sedentary behaviour 
                                • Poor diet 

                                Common workplace issues that can cause fatigue include:

                                • Shift work: Our body is designed to sleep during the night. A shift worker may confuse their circadian clock by working when their body is programmed to be asleep.
                                • Poor workplace practices: This may include long work hours, hard physical labour, irregular working hours (such as rotating shifts), a stressful work environment, boredom or working alone. 
                                • Workplace stress – This can be caused by a wide range of factors including job dissatisfaction, heavy workload, conflicts with bosses or colleagues, bullying, or threats to job security.
                                • Burnout: This could be striving too hard on one area of your life while neglecting others, which leads to a life that feels out of balance.

                                Psychological Causes of Fatigue

                                Psychological factors are present in many cases of extreme tiredness and fatigue.  These may include:

                                • Depression: Depression is characterised by severe and prolonged feelings of sadness, dejection and hopelessness. People who are depressed commonly experience chronic fatigue.
                                • Anxiety and stress: Someone who is constantly anxious or stressed keeps their body in overdrive. The constant flooding of adrenaline exhausts the body, and fatigue sets in.
                                • Grief: Losing a loved one causes a wide range of emotions including shock, guilt, depression, despair and loneliness.

                                How to Tackle Constant Fatigue

                                Here are 12 ways you can start tackling the causes of fatigue and start feeling more energetic.

                                1. Tell The Truth

                                Some people can numb themselves to the fact that they are overtired or fatigued all the time. In the long run, this won’t help you.

                                To give you the best chance to overcome or eliminate fatigue, you must diagnose and tell the truth about the things that are draining your energy, making you tired or causing constant fatigue.

                                Once you’re honest with yourself about the activities you’re doing in your life that you find irritating, energy-draining, and make you tired on a regular basis you can make a commitment to stop doing them.

                                The help that you need to overcome fatigue is available to you, but not until you tell the truth about it. The first person you have to sell on getting rid of the causes of fatigue is yourself.

                                One starting point is to diagnose the symptoms. When you start feeling stressed, overtired or just not operating at your normal energy levels make a note of:

                                • How you feel
                                • What time of day it is
                                • What may have contributed to your fatigue
                                • How your mind and body reacts

                                This analysis may help you identify, understand and then eliminate very specific causes.

                                2. Reduce Your Commitments

                                When we have too many things on our plate personally and professionally, we can feel overstretched, causing physical and mental fatigue.

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                                If you have committed to things you really don’t want to do, this causes irritability and low emotional engagement. Stack these up throughout your day and week, then your stress levels will rise.

                                When these commitments have deadlines associated with them, you may be trying to cram in far too much in a short period of time.  This creates more stress and can affect your decision making ability.

                                Start being realistic about how much you can get done. Either reduce the commitments you have or give yourself more time to complete them in.

                                3. Get Clear On Your Priorities

                                If working on your list of to-do’s or goals becomes too overwhelming, start reducing and prioritizing the things that matter most.

                                Start with prioritizing just 3 things every day. When you complete those 3 things, you’ll get a rush of energy and your confidence will grow.

                                If you’re trying to juggle too many things and are multi-tasking, your energy levels will drop and you’ll struggle to maintain focus.

                                Unfinished projects can make you self-critical and feel guilty which drops energy levels further, creating inaction.

                                Make a list of your 3 MIT (Most Important Tasks) for the next day before you go to bed. This will stop you overcommitting and get you excited about what the next day can bring.

                                4. Express More Gratitude

                                Gratitude and confidence are heavily linked. Just being thankful for what you have and what you’ve achieved increases confidence and makes you feel more optimistic.

                                It can help you improve your sense of wellbeing, which can bring on feelings of joy and enthusiasm.

                                Try starting a gratitude journal or just note down 3 things you’re grateful for every day.

                                5. Focus On Yourself

                                Exhaustion and fatigue can arrive by focusing solely on other people’s needs all the time, rather than worrying about and focusing on what you need (and want).

                                There are work commitments, family commitments, social commitments. You may start with the best intentions, to put in your best performance at work, to be an amazing parent and friend, to simply help others.

                                But sometimes, we extend ourselves too much and go beyond our personal limits to help others. That’s when constant exhaustion can creep up on us.  Which can make us more fatigued.

                                We all want to help and do our best for others, but there needs to be some balance. We also need to take some time out just for ourselves to recharge and rejuvenate.

                                6. Set Aside Rest and Recovery Time

                                Whether it’s a couple of hours, a day off, a mini-break or a proper holiday, time off is essential to help us recover, recharge and refocus.

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                                Recovery time helps fend off mental fatigue and allows us to simply kick back and relax.

                                The key here, though, is to remove ourselves from the daily challenges that bring on tiredness and fatigue. Here’s how.

                                Can you free yourself up completely from work and personal obligations to just rest and recover?

                                7. Take a Power Nap

                                When you’re feeling tired or fatigued and you have the ability to take a quick 20-minute nap, it could make a big difference to your performance for the rest of the day.

                                Napping can improve learning, memory and boost your energy levels quickly.

                                This article on the benefit of napping is a useful place to start if you want to learn more: How a 20-Minute Nap at Work Makes You Awake and Productive the Whole Day

                                8. Take More Exercise

                                The simple act of introducing some form of physical activity into your day can make a huge difference. It can boost energy levels, make you feel much better about yourself and can help you avoid fatigue.

                                Find something that fits into your life, be that walking, going to the gym, running or swimming. 

                                The key is to ensure the exercise is regular and that you are emotionally engaged and committed to stick with it.

                                You could also walk more which will help clear your head and shift your focus away from stressful thoughts.

                                9. Get More Quality Sleep

                                To avoid tiredness, exhaustion and fatigue, getting enough quality sleep matters. 

                                Your body needs sleep to recharge.  Getting the right amount of sleep every night can improve your health, reduce stress levels and help us improve our memory and learning skills.

                                My previous article on The Benefits of Sleep You Need to Know will give you some action steps to start improving your sleep. 

                                10. Improve Your Diet

                                Heavy or fatty meals can make you feel sluggish and tired, whilst some foods or eating strategies do just the opposite.

                                Our always on lives have us reaching for sweets or other sugary snacks to give us a burst of energy to keep going. Unfortunately, that boost fades quickly which can leave you feeling depleted and wanting more.

                                On the other hand, whole grains and healthy unsaturated fats supply the reserves you can draw on throughout the day.

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                                To keep energy up and steady, it’s a good idea to limit refined sugar and starches.

                                Eating small meals and healthy snacks every few hours throughout the day provides a steady supply of nutrients to body and brain. It’s also important not to skip breakfast.

                                Eating a balanced diet helps keep your blood sugar in a normal range and prevents that sluggish feeling when your blood sugar drops.

                                11. Manage Your Stress Levels

                                Stress is one of the leading causes of exhaustion and fatigue, and can seriously affect your health.

                                When you have increased levels of stress at work and at home, it’s easy to feel exhausted all the time. 

                                Identifying the causes of stress and then tackling the problems should be a priority. 

                                My article on How to Help Anxiety When Life is Stressing You Out shares 16 strategies you can use to overcome stress.

                                12. Get Hydrated

                                Sometimes we can be so busy that we forget to keep ourselves fully hydrated.

                                Water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight and is essential in maintaining our body’s basic functions.

                                If we don’t have enough water, it can adversely affect our mental and physical performance, which leads to tiredness and fatigue.

                                The recommended daily amount is around two litres a day, so to stay well hydrated keep a water bottle with you as much as possible.

                                The Bottom Line

                                These 12 tips can help you reduce your tiredness and feeling of fatigue.  Some will work better than others as we are all different, whilst others can be incorporated together in your daily life.

                                If you’ve tried to make positive changes to reduce fatigue and you still feel tired and exhausted, it may be time to consider making an appointment with your doctor to discuss your condition.

                                Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

                                Reference

                                [1]Oxford English Dictionary: Definition of fatigue
                                [2]NHS Choices: 10 Reasons for feeling tired
                                [3]Verywellhealth: What is chronic fatigue syndrome
                                [4]Everyday Health: Why does type 2 diabetes make you feel tired
                                [5]Mayo Clinic: Sleep apnea
                                [6]Harvard Health: The lowdown on thyroid slowdown

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