Thanks to everyone who contacted me about the enzyme series.  Your compliments mean a lot, but also your feedback helps me to craft the conversation moving forward.  If there is anything you’d like my opinion on in future posts, please tag me in your comment or message me directly to get the conversation going!  I’m “AVPRuss” on Facebook and Twitter and “WorldHealthHub” on Instagram and YouTube.

To follow up a fairly detailed series, I’d like to do a fun post on a topic that comes up a lot–smoothies.

I mentioned previously that smoothies are excellent to get more complete nutrition.  The tiny particles created by blending are much easier for our bodies to digest and absorb.  Additionally, there are a lot of super food powders now that are “raw” and contain much or their original enzymes, vitamins and minerals too.

How do I “use” smoothies in my daily routine?

  1. As a meal replacement.  A well conceived smoothie can have everything a well-balanced meal does.  Healthy fats, complex carbs and easily digestible proteins.  It’s a good strategy to give your body a break from digesting big meals all the time.
  1. As a pre-workout energy/endurance booster.  Put the right ingredients in to hit the gym with tons of energy!  Eating a full meal before the gym may compromise the full potential of your workout.
  1. As a post-workout recovery enhancer.  It’s not all about protein.  Our cells need a variety of nutrients to recover and build lean muscle.

My favorite thing about smoothies is that there are a million ways to make them.  Whatever your favorite flavors are, you can figure out a way to incorporate them.

I like to add bananas to most smoothies because they add a creaminess.  Try peeling bananas and freezing them to chill your smoothie without any ice.  That’s also why I use frozen fruit.  I use plant milks like coconut, almond and rice milk for blending.  *I use organic ingredients whenever I can.

Peanut Butter Cup Smoothie:

Banana, 2 tbsp Peanut Butter, 2 tbsp Cacao, 1 tbsp Maca, 1 tbsp lucuma, 1 serving chocolate rice protein.  (if pre-workout, try adding some ground coffee)

>>> This is a great pre-workout smoothie.  Maca is an endurance super food, and the theobromine in cacao helps to open up circulation.  Ground coffee can add that caffeine kick in a sustained fashion.

Anti-Oxidant Berry delight:

Banana, blueberries, strawberries, maqui powder, goji powder, pomegranate, 1 or 2 servings vanilla pea protein.  (if post-workout, try adding some super greens)

>>> Berries are a food that tends to be higher in anti-oxidants calorie for calorie.  Working out creates a ton of free-radicals in your body associated with detox, and anti-oxidants help to neutralize them.  The vitamin C content is great for assisting in rebuilding joint tissues.  Greens are very alkaline which helps to neutralize lactic acid, shortening recovery.  (certain) Pea proteins offer amino acid ratios that closely match human muscle.  What better for recovery?

Omega 3 muscle builder:

Banana, coconut cream, pineapple, mango, 2 tbsp hemp seeds, 2 tbsp sprouted chia seed powder, 2 tsp NutraVege omega 3 oil, 2 servings of vanilla pea protein.

>>> Frozen pineapple, mango and hemp seeds need a high power blender to pulverize completely.  Omega 3s, specifically DHA and EPA are very important to building strong muscle tissue and recovering quickly.  The fatty acids in coconuts are excellent building blocks for the hormones your body creates for tissue growth and repair.  Again, the pea protein has an excellent protein profile.

Some people like to add spinach or kale to their smoothies to blend in greens that they wouldn’t be eating otherwise.  I have done this as well, but I prefer to use super greens powders because of the variety and totality of nutrition they provide.

Couple things to consider when drinking a smoothie as a meal replacement.  Add a good source of fat.  This will help to keep hormones balanced as insulin will tend to spike with carbohydrate and protein rich smoothies.  Quality fats will balance this out and create a feeling of satiety much longer.

With many super food powders, the fiber has been removed by the juicing and freeze drying process.  Not necessarily a bad thing, but adding a quality source of fiber back to the smoothie is very beneficial.  I love sprouted chia powder.  It’s an excellent source of fiber and omega 3s.  Flax powder is good too, but I don’t use flax too much because it may contribute to aging us faster (google aromatase).  That’s an issue for another post.

*A former beach volleyball pro, Jason Lee works with a company called Growing Naturals.  They make some of the highest quality protein powders I have tried.  Their pea protein is my absolute favorite protein to supplement with.  The rice proteins are amazing too.  Whether you eat meat or not, I feel that plant proteins are better all-around than whey proteins which are most prevalent on the market.

I believe that Vibrant Health’s Green Vibrance is the most comprehensive greens supplement I have found.  Supporting total body health, I have been using it for years.  Greens powders are generally good, no matter which one you consume.

For the vegetarians, Ascenta’s NutraVege is a fish-free omega 3 oil that’s easy to use.  If you are looking for higher levels of omega 3, fish oil is an excellent source, but there are huge quality discrepancies, so trust your source.  Again, that’s a topic for a future post.



Russ Marchewka’s commitment to better nutrition has earned him the nickname “Mr. Healthy” on the tour. He has spent the last eight years studying how nutrition affects his volleyball game. For more, visit his website, or connect with him on Facebook,

Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 7.44.18 PM

The products and the claims made about specific products on or through the AVP site have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.

The information provided on this post is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging.

You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or as a substitute for medication or other treatment prescribed by your physician or health care provider.