Friday, 20 June 2014

Fresh Fridays #1: Green Smoothies by Ascension Kitchen

Welcome to Fresh Fridays, a new fortnightly series I'm trialling out to introduce some natural/healthy choices to my life. About a month ago I heard about an app called "Green Smoothies by Ascension Kitchen" created by Lauren Glucina. I was very interested because I love smoothies, they're so easy to make and you can whip one up fairly quickly when you're hungry. It's great to just chuck in whatever you have in your fridge but sometimes it doesn't always taste the best.. nor look the most appealing.. So I thought this app would be a great guide next time I'm feeling the munchies.


There are over 30 recipes split into seven categories so there's definitely something for everyone, whatever you happen to be craving. Lauren, app developer, author of "Raw and Sexy Sweets", and founder of Ascension Kitchen was kind enough to answer some questions I had in regards to why she created the app and some advice on living holistically.


Q. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what motivated you to create an app full of smoothie recipes?

Sure. I am a Holistic Health Coach and Raw Chef, and am currently expanding my knowledge further by studying Natural Medicine. I run a website called Ascension Kitchen where I share a lot of my plant based, raw and herbal recipes and remedies. After working in the corporate world for over ten years, I was run down, burnt out, and navigating my way through some chronic auto-immune conditions. Green smoothies were the first step in a return to wellness, so as you can imagine, I am really quite passionate about the benefits this simple breakfast ritual brings to the table. My little brother was the one that had the brainwave, he could never think of anything to put in his smoothies and defaulted to the same concoction every morning. He said an app would be so useful, so away we went!

Q. What’s your take on superfoods, and do you have any favourites?

I must say I do love superfoods although good health certainly does not depend on them. I actually believe these foods are best suited to those who live in that particular climate, though today we have such huge stressors in our lives that there is a place for them. I am more inclined to turn to what I call the ‘supersessibles’ – the everyday unsung heroes of your own backyard vege garden. Foods that are nutrient dense, and don’t cost the earth. However – if I did have to pick a favourite superfood I would say spirulina and hemp seeds :)

Q. What is the one ingredient or ingredients that you must have on hand at all times?

Dark leafy greens (my favourites are spinach and watercress), wild edible weeds (nettle and chickweed) and berries if we are talking smoothies.

Q. Do you have any plans to expand your app with combinations for juices or recipes for dishes, like the ones you have on your blog?

I will be adding some more yummy recipes in at some point, but it will stay a Green Smoothies app.

Q. The two occasions I really struggle to eat healthy are at restaurant with friends and on holidays. Do you have any tips for staying on track or ways to counteract the damage from giving into temptation?

Restaurants are an easy one – generally I find wait staff really accommodating if you ask nicely, I always seek out the dish prepared in the simplest way, and if something is deep fried I ask for it be steamed or roasted instead. I ask for simple dressings like olive oil and balsamic over creamy dressings or those full of sugar, and a basic garden salad can be dressed up if you ask for extra avocado and some olives for example. I love going out for pizza – a vegetarian pizza without the cheese is one of my favourites. Simple is always best. Ethnic cuisine generally has some lovely healthy plant based options. When traveling, you can take a bunch of healthy snacks with you on the plane – dates, raw nuts, vegetables with hummus, nori sheets, bliss balls for example. I always pack my blender (a little Nutribullet) and make a smoothie in the mornings with local produce. If you start your day on a good note like that you’re more likely to continue the theme for the day. You must remember though – balance is key – and holidays are about having fun and indulging a little!

Q. We know good skin must come from within, but this is a beauty blog so what skincare products do you swear by? 

Your skin is your biggest organ and will absorb anything you put on it – so I only ever use organic products to limit the amount of chemicals I am exposed to. I really love the Nude mineral range.

Q. Finally, what advice can you give to anyone thinking about adopting a holistic lifestyle?

Start with small little changes rather than trying to change your entire diet and lifestyle overnight. Small changes are far more sustainable. It is more about adding the good things in, and eventually crowding out the things that no longer serve you. And of course, starting your day with a green smoothie really is the simplest way to start your journey. Trust me – after a while you will start to crave greens when you walk past them in the supermarket! It’s good stuff :)

Lauren Glucina from Ascension Kitchen Q&A at PeachsBeauty

Green Smoothies by Ascension Kitchen APP               Raw & Sexy Sweets ebook

P.S. Here's my attempt at the Double Dragon smoothies, except I ran out of frozen berries yesterday which is why my bottom layer is just plain white instead of purple.. "/


My personal touch: add a few frozen mint leaves in the top layer for a seriously refreshing and delicious smoothie. YUM.

xo peachsbeauty