Advertising
Advertising

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.

      Advertising

      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?

              Advertising

              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?

                      Advertising

                      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.

                            Advertising

                            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

                                More by this author

                                Amanda DeWitt

                                Writer. Photographer. Instagrammer. Future Educator.

                                The Ultimate Photography Cheat Sheet Every Photography Lover Needs 24 Funny Things to Tweet When You’re Out of Ideas 11 Ways To Have Romance In Long Distance Relationships love facts 10 Interesting Facts About Love You Probably Don’t Know, According to Science banana bourbon muffins A Dozen Banana Recipes To Make You Healthier And Happier

                                Trending in Food and Drink

                                117 Acid Reflux Remedies That Are Natural and Super Effective 2The Ultimate List of Superfoods 3How I Lose Weight, Get to 9% Body Fat and Build Muscles with Vegan Diet 4Muscle Building Diet: How to Eat to Lose Fat and Build Lean Muscle 525 Tasty and Healthy Kids’ Lunch Ideas for Home or School

                                Read Next

                                Advertising
                                Advertising

                                Last Updated on June 15, 2018

                                What Really Works: How to Relieve Lower Back Pain Effectively

                                What Really Works: How to Relieve Lower Back Pain Effectively

                                Eight out of ten adults experience lower back pain once in their lifetime. I am one of those people and I’m definitely not looking forward to my participation award. I know how it feels like to step out of bed and barely being able to put on your socks. Having lower back pain sucks. But 9 out of 10 patients that suffer from lower back pain don’t even know the primary cause of it.

                                Video Summary

                                Back Pain? Blame Our Evolution

                                Once upon a time in our fairly recent past, our ancestors felt the urgency to stand up and leave our quadruped neighbors behind. Habitual bipedalism, fancy word for regularly walking on two legs, came with a lot of advantages. With two rear limbs instead of four, we were able to more efficiently use our hands and create tools with them.

                                Sadly, life on two legs also brought along its disadvantages. Our spine had four supporting pillars previously, but now it only got two. The back is therefore naturally one of the weak links of our human anatomy. Our spine needs constant support from its supporting muscles to minimize the load on the spine. With no muscle support (tested on dead bodies) the back can only bear loads up to 5 pounds without collapsing [reference Panjabi 1989]. With well-developed torso muscles, the spine can take loads up to 2000 pounds. That’s a 400-fold increase.

                                Most people that come to me with a history of a herniated disc (that’s when the discs between the vertebral bodies are fully collapsed, really severe incident), tell me the ‘story of the pencil’. The injury with the following severe pain usually gets triggered by picking up a small, everyday object. Such as a pencil. Not as you may think by trying to lift 100 pounds – no, but by a simple thing – such as a pencil.

                                This tells us that damage in your back adds up over time, it’s a so called cumulative trauma disorder. Meaning back pain is a result of your daily habits.

                                Sitting Is the New Smoking

                                Whenever I sit for too long, my back hurts. In fact, 54% of Americans who experience lower back pain spend the majority of their workday sitting. But isn’t sitting something that should reduce the stress of your back? No, just the opposite.

                                The joints between the bones of the spine are not directly linked to the blood supply. These joints instead get nourished through a process called diffusion. Diffusion works because molecules (such as oxygen, important for cells) are constantly moving and try to get as much space for themselves as they can. A key element for diffusion therefore is a pressure difference. In the image below the left room contains more moving molecules than the right, that’s why the molecules from the left are moving to the right. This way nutrition gets transformed into the joints, whereas toxins are transported out of the joints.

                                Advertising

                                Sitting puts a lot of pressure on your spinal chord. The diffusion process therefore can’t function as efficiently. Nutrition and toxins can’t be properly transported, the joints get damaged.

                                  Sit Properly

                                  If sitting can play such a huge part in the creation of your lower back pain, how do you sit properly then?

                                  Is it better to sit with a straight back or should you rather lay back in your chair? Can I cross my legs when I’m sitting or should I have a symmetrical position with my feet? These are questions that I hear on a daily basis. The answer might shock you – according to recent science – all of them are right. The best sitting position is an ever-changing one. An ever-changing position minimizes the pressure on certain points of your spine and spreads it on the whole part.

                                    Credit: StayWow

                                    Stand Up More

                                    Even better than a sitting position is a stand up position. Standing dramatically reduces the pressure on your spine. If you’re forced to work on a desk the whole day though, you have two options.

                                    Advertising

                                    Take breaks every hour of about 2-3 minutes.

                                    Set an alarm on your phone that goes off every hour! In that time you stand up and reach to the ceiling, on your toe tips with fully extended arms. You’re inhaling during the whole process. You do this activity for 20 seconds. Afterwards you’re walking through the office for the next 2 minutes. You might grab a healthy snack or some water in that time. The exercise relieves the pressure on your spine, while the walking makes sure that the joints on your spine are properly used.

                                    Or get a standing desk.

                                    One of the best companies on the market for Standing Desks, according to my research, is Autonomous. Autonomous offers a rather cheap Standing Desk, with the ability to change the height. Which means you can start the day standing and switch to sitting if you’re tired.

                                    Exercise for Lower Back Pain

                                    Sitting is an immobile position. Your joints are made for movement and therefore need movement to function properly. If humans are moving, all moving parts: e.g. the joints, bones and muscles get strengthened. If you’re in a rested position for too long, your tissues start to deteriorate. You have to get the right amount of activity in.

                                    But not too much activity. There’s a chance that going to the gym may even increase your risk of lower back pain. I know plenty of friends with chiseled bodies that suffer from pain in the spine regularly. Huge muscles do not prevent you from back pain. In your training you should focus on building up the muscles that are stabilizing your back and relieve pressure. Squats with 400 pounds don’t do the trick.

                                    The more weight you carry around, the more weight your spinal chord has to bear on a regular basis. That’s one of the reasons why huge, muscular guys can suffer from back pain too. One of the most important goals of your exercise regimen should therefore be weight loss.

                                    Here are some important tips for you to consider when starting an exercise regimen:

                                    Make sure you implement cardiovascular training in your workout routine.

                                    This will not only help you lose weight, it will also make sure that your arteries, which flow to the tissue next to your spinal discs, are free of placque and can therefore transport nutrients properly.

                                    Advertising

                                    Important: If you have rather strong back pain, maybe even an herniated disc, don’t start running on a threadmill. Running is an high-impact exercise. Which means there are continuous, reocurring high pressure points on your spine. Your endurance training should therefore either be fast-paced walking or a training on the elliptical trainer for the beginning, because both have little to no stressful impact on your backbone.

                                    Focus on developing your whole core if you want to minimize your pain.

                                    There are some people that do hundreds of sit ups a day. While sit ups are a good exercise for your abdomen, it also puts pressure on your spine due to the bending movement. A sixpack workout routine is one-sided. Your abs may become overdeveloped in comparison to your back muscles. You’ve created an imbalance. A great way to train your abdominal muscles and back muscles simultaneously, is holding the plank position.

                                    Stretch only if you have tight muscles.

                                    I remember stretching every morning after I woke up. I took 10 minutes out of my day to just work on my flexibility and prevent injuries. Little did I know that I was actually promoting an injury, by doing so.

                                    Contrary to common belief, stretching is only partially beneficial to treating lower back pain. Stretching makes sense if tight muscles (such as the hamstrings) are forcing you to constantly bend your back. Stretching to treat pain doesn’t make sense if you’re already on a good level of flexibility. Hyper-mobility may even enforce back pain.

                                    If you found out that you had tight muscles that you need to stretch, try to stretch them at least three times a week. Don’t stretch your muscles right after you wake up in the morning. This is because your spinal discs soak themselves up in fluid over the nighttime. Every bending and excessive loads on your spine is much worse in that soaked-up state. Postpone your stretching regime to two-to three hours after you’ve woken up.

                                    Where to Start

                                    The key to improving your habits is awareness. Try to get aware of your back while you’re sitting down, laying down or lifting an object next time. This awareness of your body is called proprioception. For example, you have to be aware whether your back is bended or straight in this very second. Trust me, it is harder than you might think. You may need to ask a friend for the first few tries. But the change that this awareness can make in your back pain is absolutely fascinating. This consciousness of your body is one of the most important things in your recovery or prevention.

                                    Here are a few behavioural tactics that you need to be considering:

                                    Advertising

                                    If you’re leaning forward more than 30 degrees with your upper body, support your spine with your arms.

                                    Ever tried to show a colleague of yours a complex issue and found yourself awkwardly leaning forward on their desk, pointing with your fingers to his paper? If that ever happens again, make sure you’re using the not-pointing arm to support yourself on the desk.

                                    Keep a straight back.

                                    Be it while exercising, stretching or standing. If you’re bending your back you’re putting stress on small areas of your spinal chord. A straight back redistributes the force to a bigger area. You’re minimizing the pressure. Remember this whenever you’re at the gym and reracking your weights, focus on having a neutral spine.

                                    Put symmetrical loads on your spine.

                                    I used to play the trumpet when I was a child. The instrument is pretty heavy. The trumpet gets transported in a big, metallic suitcase – with no wheels. Being the nature of suitcases, you only carry it with one arm, on one side of your body. This forced me to constantly lean on the other side with my upper body, while transporting the instrument from A to B. Not really the healthiest activity for your spine as you can imagine.

                                    If you have to carry heavy objects, carry them with both arms. Put the object in the middle of your body and keep it as close to your mass of gravity as you can. If this is not possible, try to carry the same amount on the left side than you do on the right side. This puts the stress vertically on a fully extended spine. The load is much better bearable for your spine.

                                    Stay Away From the Back Pain League

                                    Our world is getting more sedentary. We will continue to develop faster transportation, more comfortable houses and easier lives. While our technological progress definitely has its amazing benefits, it sadly has its downsides too. The danger for back pain will continue to rise on our ever-increasing motionless planet. It’s time to raise awareness.

                                    Read Next