This thrive smoothie packs a punch nutritionally and it totally gives you an energy and mega brain-boost when you need it most! It contains the 5 to thrive (always) with protein, healthy fat, fiber, dark leafy greens and coloured cellular carbs (whole foods with their cell walls still in tact like the banana in this recipe). My mocha mousse has been in our rotation for years and it tastes like a decadent, fluffy mocha mousse dessert! Don’t let the cauliflower or greens fool you though – I promise you won’t taste them while reaping their beautifying brain benefits. I have formulated this smoothie to balance out your blood sugar, increase your insulin sensitivity, curb cravings, calm hunger hormones, feed your good gut buddies (microbiota) and help you to feel alert. Let’s kick-start your day with clarity and confidence. Sound like a good deal?
Feel like geeking out on some cool science? Let’s talk about cacao for a moment. Cacao contains polyphenols (a class of phytochemical) that help to reduce inflammation and are anti-aging. Cacao in its unadulterated state has the highest amount of phenylethylamine (PEA’s), which is a chemical/ neurotransmitter produced in the brain released when a person falls in love. It also contains small amounts of anandamide an endogenous cannabinoid found in the brain and like PEA’s it is also a neurotransmitter, however you would need to consume several kilos for it to have a similar effect on the brain as THC, the active ingredient in cannabis. Finally, cacao contains the flavonoid epicatechin that has been found to have twice the antioxidants of red wine and up to three times found in green tea! Cacao flavonoids have been used in clinical trials to boost blood flow to key areas of the brain. Finally, it is rich in magnesium, or natures de-stressor (also found in dark leafy greens) which helps with muscle recovery post workout. If you don’t do well with cacao you can try carob as a substitute in this recipe.
Cauliflower is in this smoothie because it contains sulforaphane found in cruciferous vegetables (100 x more potent in broccoli sprouts). Sulforaphane increases glutathione and helps to activate our Nrf2 detoxification pathway. Glutathione is key in optimising immune function, detoxification and reducing inflammation. The Nrf2 protein lives inside every cell of our body and is responsible for switching on genes as a master regulator of anti-oxidative responses.
Emerging studies in the scientific literature show the promising effects on sulforaphane as researchers discover that it may reduce risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease and possibly neurodegenerative disease. These diseases are associated with ageing. Nrf2 helps to deactivate the genes involved in inflammation and activates antioxidant genes, which slows the ageing process. YES please! It prevents DNA damage and our cells becoming senescent.
For the healthy fat I have chosen avocado for this recipe. Cashew butter works well too. I always make this with avocado simply because they contain fat and fiber – bonus! Healthy dietary fat helps to raise CCK a hunger hormone that helps you to feel satiated and calm after you’ve consumed food. Another hunger hormone leptin is elevated with healthy fats too, which tells your brain to put down the fork. Conversely, the hunger hormone, ghrelin (sounds like a gremlin because it is) makes you ‘hangry,’ which is why it’s important to have weight in your stomach from fiber to tell your brain you are full. If you don’t have acacia fiber on hand feel free just to add 2 Tbsps of chia seeds (thicker smoothie), or ground flax, or psyllium husk (thicker smoothie). Fiber is food for our good gut buddies in our microbiota to get them proliferating and thriving. When they thrive so do we. It is indeed a symbiotic relationship!
The 20g of protein powder is important because this helps to shut down NPY which has us craving fast-release sugary carbs and makes us want to snack. I want to smooth out your blood sugar curve which will make you feel balanced and protein is the big player in that. I don’t recommend swapping out the spinach in this recipe for any other greens simply because spinach has no flavour and you cannot taste it in this smoothie – I do NOT want to taste greens with my coffee and chocolate thanks! It’s like magic because you will get all of the vitamins, minerals, micronutrients from the greens, but you won’t know they are in there. The Sulfoquinovose (SQ) found in dark leafy greens also feeds our good gut bacteria just like fiber does. A double whammy gut-feeding-frenzy to optimise your health! Cheers to that!
Finally, feel free to use whatever coffee you have on hand to your taste. If you prefer to give the caffeine a miss , no problem – do you! You can use de-caffinated or leave the coffee out for a chocolate mousse thrive smoothie plus all of the happy brain PEA’s. I hope you enjoy this decadently delicious drinkable mocha mousse and THRIVE!
Looking for other varieties that are Thrive Smoothie approved? I have 7 VERY different and absolutely delicious Thrive Smoothies that have been formulated using the science to help balance your blood sugar, increase insulin sensitivity, regulate your hunger hormone, feed your good gut-buddies in your microbiota, curb sugary cravings and keep you feeling full for hours. Here are the 7: Thrive Smoothie OG, Resort-Reset Thrive Smoothie (fruit free), Berry-Basil Thrive Smoothie, Masala-Chai Thrive Smoothie (fruit-free), Choc-PB-Nana Thrive Smoothie, Matcha-Mint Thrive Smoothie (fruit-free) and this one! Don’t forget to tag me if you make this recipe on my Instagram at @thrivewithpriscilla – I love seeing your creations! Happy thriving.