Tag Archives: AIP smoothies

Green Mango Smoothie

Green Mango Smoothie | AmandaNaturally.comI’m going to be honest with you, I’ve never been a big smoothie fan. When I started down my health journey, I had a smoothie every morning for breakfast for about 2 years, then hit a wall and haven’t enjoyed them in years. However, so many people love them, and they are a great healthy option for fast and on-the-go meals, so I’ve always kept them in my arsenal when working with clients.

Recently, smoothies have totally been my jam. This is for a few reasons:

  1. It’s summer, crazy hot and I am 7 months pregnant
  2. My stomach is small so a liquid breakfast allows me to get in more nutrition right now
  3. I have a lot of appointments so I often come back from the gym, have a half hour turn around and am out the door to the chiro or midwives. Or I’m seeing clients of my own. So even though I’m not a big fan of eating on the go (it’s important to relax in order to digest friends!), taking a smoothie in the car has been a life saver some mornings.
  4. It’s hot. I’m hot. Smoothies are cold and therefore taste AMAZING. For breakfast, lunch or dinner. Did I mention I’m hot? (#pregancyproblems)

If you haven’t read my detailed post on How To Build a Healthy Smoothie – go read it now! It also has a recipe for a chocolate smoothie – which is great for moving kids (or adults) over to a real food breakfast when they’re used to sugar-filled ones. 

This recipe for my Green Mango Smoothie has been my go-to this summer. The tropical flavour combination is so delicious, and it’s a great opportunity to get some extra veggies in, as well as collagen protein (one of the amazing nutrients found in bone broth, that is critical for bone/connective tissue development – key for pregnancy, and healing in general)! Not to mention protein when my stomach is feeling small, haha.


Choosing a Protein Powder

This can be a bit of a learning process to find your favourite. Here are some of my suggestions:

  1. Collagen Peptides by Vital Proteins – hands down my favourite. No flavour, incredibly good for your entire body (gut, joints, bones, skin, hair, nails – pretty much everything.). It’s often available on Amazon.ca but as of pressing publish on this post (July 14/16), it’s out of stock right now. Alternatively, Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen Hydrolysate is a good option and can sometimes be found at health food stores like Healthy Planet. 
    1. safe on the autoimmune protocol
    2. great for kids
    3. not a complete protein, so not a good post-workout option (at least not on its own), but great as part of a balanced diet that includes whole protein sources like meat, fish and eggs.
  2. Organic, Grassfed or New Zealand Whey – the most bioavailable, easy to use protein, BUT made from dairy. So if you do not tolerate dairy, this is not an option for you. If you do tolerate whey protein, getting a plain, high quality protein is your best bet. My favourite brand is Prairie Naturals because it’s much more local than New Zealand whey, but nutritionally they are on par.
    1. SIDE NOTE: it took me 5 years of strict dairy-free and epic amounts of gut healing before I was able to reintroduce whey protein.
  3. Hemp Protein – I like the Manitoba Harvest brand because they use coconut sugar to sweeten, instead of stevia like most other natural brands (which can be a gut irritant for some). It’s a little grainy, so I often recommend using a half dose in combination with a scoop of collagen.
  4. Pumpkin Seed Protein – the only brand I have seen is Omega Alpha. It’s similar to hemp in that it’s grainy, but it has no other ingredients.
  5. Brown Rice Protein – this is my least favourite, personally, because it tastes like sand to me. But it’s my husband’s favourite. He thinks it’s less grainy than hemp or pumpkin, and doesn’t tolerate whey. His go-to is the Prairie Naturals brand (full-disclosure, he formulates products for them, so has a slight bias towards the company. But he also works for them because he loves their products and values as a company!)

Things to avoid in protein powders:Green Mango Smoothie | AmandaNaturally.com

  • aspartame, sucralose and acesulfame-potassium (all artificial sweeteners)
  • artificial flavours
  • colours
  • pea protein, a common component of most plant-based/vegan protein powders (very cheap, incredibly hard on the gut)
  • soy protein (unless it’s organic, it’s guaranteed to be GMO and covered in RoundUp, not to mention soy can be very estrogenic, which can be useful under the direction of a practitioner, just don’t go it alone)

Green Mango Smoothie

Green Mango Smoothie
Serves 1
Healthy, nutrient dense and tastes like the tropics!
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Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
  1. 1 cup frozen mango pieces
  2. 1 small banana (or ½ a ripe avocado)
  3. 1 handful of spinach
  4. ¼ cup full-fat canned coconut milk (preferred brand: Aroy D)
  5. ½ tsp vanilla extract (omit for strict AIP)
  6. pinch of sea salt
  7. ½ - ¾ cup water (depending on desired thickness)
  8. 1 serving of protein (approximately 15-25g)
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender.
  2. Blend until the spinach is thoroughly broken down.
  3. Enjoy!
Protein Powder Options
  1. MY FAV: 1 scoop Vital Proteins collagen + 1 scoop Prairie Natrurals whey or Manitoba Harvest hemp
  2. AIP: only use collagen (1-2 scoops)
  3. POST-WO: whey, hemp or brown rice
Amanda Naturally http://www.amandanaturally.com/

Chocolate Smoothie (with hidden spinach!)

Chocolate SmoothieAh the smoothie. The breakfast that always sits on a pedestal. Even if it’s full of crappy ingredients, the word “smoothie” always brings to mind healthy, fit individuals. Is that legit? Well, in some cases maybe – so let’s sort out all the info.

Benefits of Smoothies

  1. Fast.
  2. Can be made ahead.
  3. Easy way to get additional fruit and veggies in.
  4. You can sneak in super foods like collagen and any supplements you might want.
  5. If you’re dealing with major digestive distress, smoothies can be helpful because less digestive function is required. 
  6. Helps people shift away from the traditional North American breakfasts of refined grains on sugar on pasteurized dairy.
  7. Great for the whole family (bonus if you have a large blender, you can make everyone’s at once!).
  8. Great to send in kids lunches (especially in lieu of crappy yogurt drinks).

Downsides of Smoothies 

  1. Some people don’t register the liquid calories in a smoothie as a meal, so it can leave them feeling hungry.
  2. By not chewing food, you fail to start the digestion pathway. Chewing is essential in releasing amylase in your saliva and triggering the stomach to start secreting stomach acid. 
  3. Smoothies allow you to eat standing up or on the run, which does not allow you to get into proper rest and digest mode. This means you won’t digest your food properly, which can lead to nutrient malabsorption and gut problems like dysbiosis and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. 
  4. Most people do not design them properly! I usually see smoothies fall into one of the following categories:
    1. All fruit + water/almond milk. The problem with this is you’re getting a massive hit of sugar, with no fat or protein to sustain you. You’ll burn through that smoothie in 90 minutes or less, storing much of the sugar as body fat, and then be reaching for a snack.
    2. Protein + water. This combination is way too low calorie to be a meal. At 100-120 calories, heck it’s barely a snack! The only time this is appropriate is if you need a post-workout protein hit. But even then, it should contain carbohydrates to replenish muscle glycogen.
    3. Crappy protein powders. So many proteins contain fake junk. Ingredients like artificial sweeteners (aspartame, sucralose, acesulfame-potassium), food dyes and artificial flavours should be avoided at all cost. Whey protein, while ideal from a bioavailability standpoint, can cause problems in the large percentage of the population that has trouble tolerating dairy. And plant-based proteins are often primarily pea protein, which is a poor quality protein that is notorious for causing major gut irritation.
    4. Random, unnecessary ingredients. So I pretty much added this bullet to address flax. Both the seeds and the oils are completely unnecessary and yet so many people add them to their smoothies! What’s your reasoning for adding flax? Here are the 3 common ones I hear all the time:
      1. Chocolate Smoothie (with hidden spinach!) | dairy free, vegan, paleo | AmandaNaturally.comOmega-3’s! I hate to break it to you, but the type of omega-3 found in flax seed is ALA and unfortunately, that’s not the form our bodies need. We need EPA and DHA. Sure we can convert some ALA to the usable forms, but at the rate of 0.5-2%. So yeah, not very efficient. One bite of salmon gives you the same amount of omega-3’s as a whole whack of flax.
      2. It keeps me regular! Then you have a GI issue that you need to work on. If flax seeds are keeping you regular, it might be that you’re not getting enough fibre. Add spinach, berries, apples, pears, pumpkin, sweet potato etc. to your diet and get back to me! Not working? Likely there’s something that is causing constipation (a food allergy, gut overgrowth, poor digestive function).
      3. They’re so healthy! Well that’s debatable. They’re not a great source of omega-3’s, the fibre can be irritating to the gut in some cases, and most importantly, they’re highly estrogenic. So if there are any hormonal imbalances that need to be addressed, flax shouldn’t be consumed on a regular basis.

So to sum up, if drinking a smoothie is going to prevent you from swinging through Tim’s for a bagel with cream cheese, go for it! Just make sure it’s properly designed (see below). Also, make sure to give yourself 10 minutes to sit, relax and actually enjoy your smoothie – to aid in digestion!


Creating an Awesome Smoothie 

So how do you make a smoothie that’s good for you and an actual meal?

Use the following equation:



fruit and starchy veggies



pumpkin puree (for pumpkin pie!)



baby spinach (my preference because it blends easily and doesn’t add any flavour)

cucumber, fresh herbs, kale, celery etc.


Grassfed/organic whey protein is the best from a bioavailability standpoint (Prairie Naturals Organic Whey, or New Zealand Whey are my favs).

If you don’t tolerate dairy, my other favourites are Manitoba Harvest Hemp Pro, Brown Rice Protein by Prairie Naturals or Sun Warrior and Pumpkin Seed Protein by Omega Alpha.

If you are on an autoimmune protocol, there aren’t any great options for complete proteins. However you can use the Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides. It’s not a complete protein, but 2 scoops gives you 18g of protein AND gut/joint healing awesomeness. So just make sure you eat other quality proteins during the day to balance it out!



Key to keeping you full! Yes protein helps keep you full, but fat does a much better job.

Plus the body likes to burn fat as fuel, if you let it.

¼ cup canned coconut milk (full fat!)

½ avocado

1-2 tbsp almond butter or other nut butter

¼ cup cashews




don’t waste your money on almond milk, it’s just expensive white water with no nutritional value, synthetic crappy vitamins and some gut irritants (carrageenan, guar gum)



vanilla extract

peppermint extract

sea salt

cocoa powder (carob powder for AIP)

spices (cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice)

chilled coffee or tea

scoop of kefir (coconut or dairy if tolerated)


collagen protein (not just for the autoimmune protocol! I add a scoop to every smoothie to support my gut & joints. Not to mention support my skin, hair and nails!)


Chocolate Smoothie (with hidden spinach!)

This is one of my favourite recipes for sneaking veggies into kids’ breakfasts. Ok if I’m being honest, I fully use this with adults too since many people are weirded out by a green-coloured smoothie (get over it people!). Cocoa covers up the green colour beautifully!


Chocolate Smoothie
Serves 1
A dairy-free, well-designed meal that is delicious and manages to hide some veggies!
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Prep Time
2 min
Total Time
2 min
Prep Time
2 min
Total Time
2 min
  1. 1 ripe banana
  2. handful of spinach
  3. 2 tbsp cocoa powder (carob for AIP)
  4. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  5. pinch of sea salt
  6. 1-2 scoops protein powder and/or collagen
  7. handful of ice
  1. Combine all ingredients.
  2. Blend and serve!
  1. 1. This can be made ahead and refrigerated or sent in a lunch box with an ice pack.
  2. 2. Protein powder options are (a) grassfed/organic whey, if dairy is tolerated (b) hemp seed, pumpkin seed or brown rice protein for plant-based options and (c) 2 scoops of Vital Proteins collagen peptides for a super gentle & healing protein or AIP option
  3. 3. Try not to add additional sweetener to this smoothie. It's not a super sweet, chocolatey milkshake, but the flavour is rich. If your kid refuses to eat it, add 1-2 of raw honey or real maple syrup, and over a few weeks reduce the amount until you're not putting in any.
Amanda Naturally http://www.amandanaturally.com/


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