Mango Smoothies with Coconut Water

I like to mix things up around here.

Some people have asked me if my blog has an angle or a niche, and my answer thus far has been no.

I probably should have one, and maybe I'll discover it one day, but for now I'm content posting the full range of what I'm cooking and eating and thinking.

This is why I'm bringing you a recipe for a healthy smoothie the week after I tantalize you with a sugar/butter coma-inducing dessert. It's just how it goes.

The beginning of this week, as you know, was full of indulgences, including rich meals, lots of leftover chocolate peanut butter birthday cake and a couple free birthday desserts.  To balance all that out, I’ve been drinking smoothies, eating variations of superfood salad for lunch, running, and hitting my yoga mat.

I love my yoga studio in Charlotte. I did yoga sporadically at the gym in college and attended a hot bikram hot yoga class with a friend in Connecticut, but it wasn’t until I attended Y2 yoga that I really fell in love with the practice.

I started practicing yoga a little over a year ago after a car accident left me extremely sore and made walking painful.  I still wanted to do some exercise and thought some stretching might help my muscles recover.  Y2 yoga was right around the corner, so I tried it.

I’ve been hooked ever since. (I even follow the blogs of Jen and Katie, two teachers at my yoga studio.)

Before I go any further, I want to make it clear that I am no die-hard yogi.  My budget and schedule usually only allow me to go once a week. I cannot do crow, or a handstand, or any pose that involves lifting a majority of your body weight off the ground with your arms. I was really excited the first time I could hold side plank for longer than ten seconds. Sometimes I still lose my balance when doing basic poses. I have one lululemon tank top that I bought with a gift card from a friend, and I’m honestly a little self conscious about how my back fat looks in it.

None of this deters me from going to yoga.

The classes I got to are usually ashtanga/vinyasa style yoga, and they are hot.  I enjoy hot yoga, but not because I think I’m sweating out fat through my pores. (Some people seem to think that.) I enjoy it because it brings up the intensity of the workout, and I think the heat relaxes your muscles, which helps you reach some of the poses more easily.

As I have repeatedly tried to explain to my yoga-bashing husband, vinyasa yoga is essentially a series of planks, lunges, and squats all mixed in with other stretches. It’s definitely helped me build muscle, but that's not the reason I love it.

I love yoga because it is grounded in gratitude for you body.

Many women, myself included, have engaged in exercise out of a desire to punish our bodies. We've listened to exercise instructors who confirmed this and at times allowed our mental dialogue while exercising to focus on tearing ourselves down rather than building ourselves up.

Yoga feels so different from this.  Every yoga class ends with savasana, also known as corpse pose.  You lie on the ground, palms open, and let every muscle in your body relax, focusing only on the deep inhale and exhale of your breath.  During this time, my yoga teachers frequently ask us to have gratitude for the strength of our bodies that brought us through the practice.  Sometimes they lead us in a small mediation, and then, for three blessed minutes, it is completely quiet.

I go to yoga for those three minutes of silence.

The room is hot, but there is a cool, lavender scented cloth on my forehead.  I am covered in sweat, and, after being pushed hard for fifty minutes, all my muscles just let go.  Everything is still.

In our world, there is so little time for stillness. Even when I am "relaxing," I am watching t.v., checking facebook or instagram, reading a blog or a book. I never really let my mind slow down.

Of course, my mind does wander during those three minutes. Sometimes I'll think about school or what I have to do the next day, but for the most part, I'm just giving thanks for my body and all that it gives and possesses.

It's a beautiful thing, friends. You should try it too, yoga or no yoga.

The real point of my yoga lovefest was to tell you about this smoothie.

After a hot yoga class, rehydration is key.  Lately, I've been rehydrating with coconut water, most likely because any time I drink it I think about this:

I bought this from a man selling coconuts out of the back of a pick-up truck after Adam and I hiked the Napali coast in Kauai, Hawaii.  I want to go back.

Anyway, coconut water has received a lot of buzz lately and there's been some debate about its benefits. It does contain sugar, but much less than what you'd find in something like Gatorade. It's an acquired taste for some people, but I think when blended with frozen mango, honey, lime juice, and greek yogurt, it makes a refreshing tropical drink.

Also, if you're looking for refreshment of a different kind and have an inclination to add to add some rum here (maybe of the coconut variety?) that would not be a bad decision. 

Mango Smoothie with Coconut Water

2 cups frozen, chunked mango
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon honey
1 ½ cups coconut water
juice of one lime

Beginning with the mango, put all ingredients in blender. Pulse until desired texture, adding more coconut water if necessary.

Makes two large servings.

Adapted from Whole Living 

1 comment :

  1. Yum! This makes me want summer to be here ASAP! I wish I lived near a better grocery store that had mangoes!