While smoothies are definitely the kind of thing that you can — and I personally think that you should — consume year-round, there really is something about a cold homemade smoothie on a hot summer's day that is refreshing as all get out. Not to mention that they come with all sorts of benefits like they can help to prevent dehydration, curb food cravings and, if you make them from scratch, they are better for you than juice because you're getting more nutrients since you're consuming its pulp. Not to mention the fact that smoothies are mad convenient if you're looking for a filling snack when you're on the go.
Today, I'm going to share 10 smoothie recipes. All of these feature fruits that are ripe during the summer season. As a bonus, they are also fruits that can help you with very special health issues or concerns that you may have. By the way, it should go on record that the cool thing about smoothies is you can go the dairy or milk alternative route or not. Sometimes I like mine to be thick like a shake and so I'll add some Greek yogurt. Other times, fruit, honey and crushed ice is all that I want.
No matter how you decide to customize your own smoothie, hopefully these will inspire you to go to the store, pick up some fresh fruit and treat yourself ASAP. Because y'all, a smoothie in the summertime is always worth it.
1. A HYDRATER: Sunrise Apricot Strawberry Smoothie
Another name for apricots is Armenian plums which may explain their tiny size. While they may be small, apricots contain their fair share of nutrients including fiber, protein and vitamins A, C, and E. Other reasons why they're so good for you is they are helpful when it comes to keeping you regular and protecting your skin from free radicals. Since apricots also contain a good amount of water (like most fruits do), they're a hydrating treat. As far as strawberries go, they also are full of fiber, along with Vitamin C, folate, potassium and antioxidants. They also have plant compounds in them like ellagitannins and ellagic acid which can help to keep bacteria at bay. Oh, and since the particular recipe that I've included calls for honey too, you can also feel good about getting your "sweet tooth fix" in since honey is proven to be healthier for you than sugar (by a country mile, chile).
Get the recipe here: Sunrise Apricot Strawberry Smoothie
2. A SKIN TREATMENT: Tropical Mango Smoothie
Hands down, mangoes are personally one of my favorite fruits. I like their sweetness, their texture — pretty much everything. Good thing too because they've got just about every B vitamin that you could think of, along with fiber, copper, vitamins A and C and folate. Mangoes are super good for you because they are filled with polyphenols (plant compounds that serve as antioxidants). That's good to know because polyphenols can slow down the signs of aging. The fiber in them can assist with digestive health and, since Vitamin C helps our body to produce collagen, mangoes can be a smart way to help your skin (and hair) to thrive as well.
Get the recipe here: Tropical Mango Smoothie
3. A NATURAL ESTROGEN ADDITION: Chocolate Cherry Smoothie
I don't know about y'all but, to me, a bowl of fresh cherries while sitting outside at sunset is something that I'm pretty much always down for.
The people I know who are either going through menopause or are post-menopausal, I will oftentimes recommend that they snack on some cherries. Since they're in season during the summertime, they can really help with hot flashes on a whole 'nother level because they contain phytoestrogens (which is basically a plant form of estrogen).
Cherries are also a good source of fiber, protein and Vitamin C. They've also got a good amount of anti-inflammatory properties, which makes them great to snack on if you're looking to decrease muscular discomfort after a hard workout. As far as the raw cacao powder that this particular recipe calls for, the flavonoids in it can help to lower your blood pressure and risk for high cholesterol levels. Plus, this recipe includes protein powder which is a delightful way to get more protein into your system; especially if you are a vegetarian or vegan.
Get the recipe here: Chocolate Cherry Smoothie
4. AN ORAL HEALTH SURPRISE: Blackberry Banana Bliss Smoothie
Blackberries are awesome because they too are full of fiber and Vitamin C (a lot of fruits are). Since they also have Vitamin K and manganese in them, you can trust that blackberries are the kind of fruit that will support strong bones and strengthen your immunity. What a lot of people don't know about blackberries is they're also a fruit that contains antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that fight off the kind of bacteria that leads to oral decay. When you add bananas to this already amazing fruit, you can get even more fiber as well as potassium, manganese, copper, fiber, protein and vitamins B6 and C. All of these nutrients work together to lower your blood sugar levels, strengthen your heart, reduce muscle cramps, improve digestive health and even aid in weight loss.
Get the recipe here: Blackberry Banana Bliss Smoothie
5. A BRAIN BOOSTER: Raspberry Lime Smoothie
While we're on the topic of berries, let's touch on raspberries for just a moment. To tell you the truth, it's kinda hard to find another fruit that has as much fiber in it as they do. Raspberries are also a good source of protein, vitamins C and K, manganese, antioxidants, and they also have vitamins B and E, iron, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus in them (crazy, right?). If you're looking for the kind of fruit that will slow down the production of cancer cells, raspberries have got your back. And, because they also contain anti-inflammatory properties, some health professionals say that raspberries can make arthritis much easier to deal with.
What I personally find to be dope is they are one of the fruits that can help to reduce oxidative stress. This is a bonus because that is the type of stress that ultimately leads to cognitive dysfunction. Add some limes into the mix and the amount of Vitamin C and antioxidants that are in them is pretty much off the charts! Also, since both help to increase immunity and the production of collagen while also helping to detoxify your system, why wouldn't you try a raspberry lime smoothie before the summer season ends?
Get the recipe here: Raspberry Lime Smoothie
6. A HEART AND KIDNEY HEALTH DELIGHT: Triple Melon Smoothie
It makes perfect sense that melons like cantaloupe and honeydew would be in season during the summer months when you stop to think about how light and refreshing both of them are. Cantaloupe's got vitamins A and C, folate, potassium, fiber and antioxidants. Honeydew contains fiber, protein, Vitamin C and potassium. Due to the high water content of both melons, they are super hydrating. The Vitamin C in both will help to fight off free radicals. And since both fruits are a good source of potassium, you can trust that every time you make a fresh triple melon smoothie (the third melon is watermelon and we already covered that), you'll be doing your part to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and strokes as well as prevent kidney stones.
Get the recipe here: Triple Melon Smoothie
7. A WEIGHT LOSS SNACK: Honey Plum Smoothie
I'm pretty sure that most of us know that prunes are nothing more than dried plums. Since a lot of us eat those in order to "stay regular", it's a given that plums are high in fiber. They also contain a fair amount of vitamins A, C, K, antioxidants and potassium. Because plums are low in calories and a good source of fiber, and staying regular can help to deplete your body of toxins that may be stored in your gut, that's what makes this particular smoothie good for weight loss (if you drink them in moderation because plums also contain a quite a bit of natural sugar [i.e., fructose]).
They're also cool because they can help to stabilize your blood sugar levels, promote bone health, lower your blood pressure and destroy the cells that can lead to breast cancer. Yep. Plums are certainly all that. Honey? It always does a body good because it's rich in antioxidants, can improve your cholesterol levels and, since it also has anti-inflammatory properties in it, honey can help to prevent you from getting heart disease or an autoimmune disorder up the road.
Get the recipe here: Honey Plum Smoothie
8. AN APHRODISIAC: Rosé & Watermelon Smoothie
Watermelon on a hot summer's day? There's not too much that tops it. The reason why it made the smoothie list is, honestly, watermelon deserves an article of its own when it comes to all of the health benefits that it provides. Watermelon is made up of over 90 percent water, which makes it an ultimate way to hydrate yourself. It has a good supply of vitamins A and C. It's got a plant compound in it called Cucurbitacin E which contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. All of this works together to help to keep your heart strong, bodily inflammation down and muscle soreness from bothering you too much.
What I really like about watermelon is it's also considered to be a natural aphrodisiac. The lycopene (a type of carotenoid) in it is great when it comes to maintaining prostate health. Also, since watermelon contains the amino acid called citrulline and it is good at relaxing blood vessels, including in the genitalia region, this fruit is nicknamed "natural Viagra" because it is able to help to intensify orgasms.
And y'all, the good feelings will only increase with the help of some Rosè red wine and sprigs of mint (which are both in this smoothie recipe) since wine is an aphrodisiac and mint helps your breath to smell nice and fresh.
Get the recipe here: Rosé & Watermelon Smoothie
9. AN ALLERGY RELIEVER: Peach Blueberry Oatmeal Smoothie
It's my personal opinion that a peach or blueberry-flavored anything is pretty close to being divine. The fact that both of them are uber healthy is literally the icing on the cake. Peaches are good for you because they have protein, fiber, vitamins A, C, E, K and some potassium in them. Plus, they're known for protecting your skin from damaging UV rays, boosting your immunity and also decreasing toxin levels in your system. However, what I truly dig about peaches is they can help to provide relief of allergy-related symptoms. That's because they contain properties that help to block the production of histamines which trigger things like sneezing and itchiness.
Blueberries are cool because they are an impressive source of vitamins C, K and manganese. They've got quite a bit of fiber in them too. Consuming these berries on a consistent basis can reduce DNA damage to your cells, help to lower your blood pressure and even help to fight and prevent urinary tract infections. Plus, since this particular recipe calls for oats, you'll be sure to get even more fiber, along with an unbelievable amount of manganese and a good amount of phosphorus, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc; this is really great since introducing oats to children at a young age can decrease their chances for developing asthma as they age.
Get the recipe here: Peach Blueberry Oatmeal Smoothie
10. AN AMENIA PREVENTER: Boozy Frozen Lemonade
Although lemons and limes are technically considered to be in season year-round, maybe it's just me, but they seem to be bigger during the summer months. Anyway, let's close this smoothie shout-out piece with a lemon smoothie that is sure to be a good time, thanks to the 2/3 cups of vodka that's in the recipe (for the record, vodka is able to increase blood circulation, lower cholesterol levels and reduce stress levels). Lemons are good for you because they're a great source of Vitamin C, they aid in the digestive process and, because they make it easier for your body to absorb the iron that comes from other foods that you eat, that makes this fruit something that can help to keep you from being anemic as well. So, if you're like me and you happen to like the taste of sour things, a boozy frozen lemonade could be the perfect way to end a hot summer's day. Enjoy!
Get the recipe here: Boozy Frozen Lemonade
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
Exclusive: Gabrielle Union On Radical Transparency, Being Diagnosed With Perimenopause And Embracing What’s Next
Whenever Gabrielle Union graces the movie screen, she immediately commands attention. From her unforgettable scenes in films like Bring It On and Two Can Play That Game to her most recent film, in which she stars and produces Netflix’s The Perfect Find, there’s no denying that she is that girl.
Off-screen, she uses that power for good by sharing her trials and tribulations with other women in hopes of helping those who may be going through the same things or preventing them from experiencing them altogether. Recently, the Flawless by Gabrielle Union founder partnered with Clearblue to speak at the launch of their Menopause Stage Indicator, where she also shared her experience with being perimenopausal.
In a xoNecoleexclusive, the iconic actress opens up about embracing this season of her life, new projects, and overall being a “bad motherfucker.” Gabrielle reveals that she was 37 years old when she was diagnosed with perimenopause and is still going through it at 51 years old. Mayo Clinic says perimenopause “refers to the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years.”
“I haven't crossed over the next phase just yet, but I think part of it is when you hear any form of menopause, you automatically think of your mother or grandmother. It feels like an old-person thing, but for me, I was 37 and like not understanding what that really meant for me. And I don't think we focus so much on the word menopause without understanding that perimenopause is just the time before menopause,” she tells us.
Photo by Brian Thomas
"But you can experience a lot of the same things during that period that people talk about, that they experienced during menopause. So you could get a hot flash, you could get the weight gain, the hair loss, depression, anxiety, like all of it, mental health challenges, all of that can come, you know, at any stage of the menopausal journey and like for me, I've been in perimenopause like 13, 14 years. When you know, most doctors are like, ‘Oh, but it's usually about ten years, and I'm like, ‘Uhh, I’m still going (laughs).’”
Conversations about perimenopause, fibroids, and all the things that are associated with women’s bodies have often been considered taboo and thus not discussed publicly. However, times are changing, and thanks to the Gabrielle’s and the Tia Mowry’s, more women are having an authentic discourse about women’s health. These open discussions lead to the creation of more safe spaces and support for one another.
“I want to be in community with folks. I don't ever want to feel like I'm on an island about anything. So, if I can help create community where we are lacking, I want to be a part of that,” she says. “So, it's like there's no harm in talking about it. You know what I mean? Like, I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change. I'm just getting better and stronger and more intelligent, more wise, more patient, more compassionate, more empathetic. All of that is very, very welcomed, and none of it should be scary.”
The Being Mary Jane star hasn’t been shy about her stance on therapy. If you don’t know, here’s a hint: she’s all for it, and she encourages others to try it as well. She likens therapy to dating by suggesting that you keep looking for the right therapist to match your needs. Two other essential keys to her growth are radical transparency and radical acceptance (though she admits she is still working on the latter).
"I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change."
Gabrielle Union and Kaavia Union-Wade
Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images
“I hope that a.) you recognize that you're not alone. Seek out help and know that it's okay to be honest about what the hell is happening in your life. That's the only way that you know you can get help, and that's also the only other way that people know that you are in need if there's something going on,” she says, “because we have all these big, very wild, high expectations of people, but if they don't know what they're actually dealing with, they're always going to be failing, and you will always be disappointed. So how about just tell the truth, be transparent, and let people know where you are. So they can be of service, they can be compassionate.”
Gabrielle’s transparency is what makes her so relatable, and has so many people root for her. Whether through her TV and film projects, her memoirs, or her social media, the actress has a knack for making you feel like she’s your homegirl. Scrolling through her Instagram, you see the special moments with her family, exciting new business ventures, and jaw-dropping fashion moments. Throughout her life and career, we’ve seen her evolve in a multitude of ways. From producing films to starting a haircare line to marriage and motherhood, her journey is a story of courage and triumph. And right now, in this season, she’s asking, “What’s next?”
“This is a season of discovery and change. In a billion ways,” says the NAACP Image Award winner. “The notion of like, ‘Oh, so and so changed. They got brand new.’ I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
"I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
She continues, “So I'm just trying to figure out what's next. You know what I mean? I'm jumping into what's next. I'm excited going into what's next and new. I'm just sort of embracing all of what life has to offer.”
Look out for Gabrielle in the upcoming indie film Riff Raff, which is a crime comedy starring her and Jennifer Coolidge, and she will also produce The Idea of You, which stars Anne Hathaway.
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Victoria Monét has had an incredible year. Thanks to the success of the widely popular “On My Mama” that went viral, the singer/ songwriter’s Jaguar II album debuted in the top 10 of Billboard’s Top R&B Albums chart. She also went on to headline her own sold-out tour. So, when the MTV VMAs happened in September, everyone was surprised to learn that Victoria’s team was told that it was “too early” for the “Smoke” artist to perform at the award show. However, a couple of months later, the mom of one received seven Grammy nominations, including “Best R&B Album” and “Record Of The Year.”
Victoria is currently in London and stopped by The Dotty Show on Apple Music and shared how she feels “validated” after being dismissed by the VMAs.
“It really does feel nice and validating because, in my head, the reason why I wanted to be a performer at the VMAs or award ceremonies like that is because I felt like I am at the place where I should. I would work really hard to put on the best show that I could, and I was excited to do so,” she said.
“And I guess the best way to describe it for me is like when you're like on a sports team, and the coach is like, ‘No, you gotta sit this one out.’ When they finally put you in, and then you score all these points, and it feels like that feeling. You're like, yes, I knew it wasn't tripping, but I knew I worked hard for this, and so it's been super validating to just have these accolades come after a moment like that, and I know the fans feel vindicated for me.
While her fans called the VMAs out on their decision, the “Moment” singer kept it cute and is still open to performing at the iconic award show. “I feel no ill towards them because it's just maybe that's just truly how they felt at the time, but I hope their mind has changed,” she admitted.
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