I spent some much needed time in my little garden this morning and was so happy to see a little baby bell pepper starting to grow!  I'm not to sure if they normally look this deformed at first but I'm just excited there's something growing.  Hopefully it has a chance to get to a normal size before the bunny that loves to poop all over our backyard gets to it.
A little mutated but I'm rolling with it.

I spent the rest of my morning at my grandparents house enjoying the warm weather and picking fresh avocados and oranges.  I just purchased a new lens for my camera so if you can't tell I'm a little excited about taking pictures of random pretty things.
These are seriously the best oranges ever.  I swear theres nothing better than homegrown citrus fruits and nothing in stores can even compare.  I made sure to pick plenty to share!  The entire bottom of this basket was packed with avocados as well. They take about 5-7 days to ripen though so I have to be patient.  Perhaps there will be some avocado recipes in the near future.

Lately I've been looking into ways to get more nutrients into my diet through natural powders and other strange sounding supplements.  I've never been one to drink protein shakes or use protein powder so I knew that was not the direction I was headed in.  I do understand the importance of protein, but a processed and isolated source of it wasn't really what I was interested in.  Instead I read more into a powder (or tablet) called Spirulina.  It's a blue-green mircoalgae superfood that contains over 94 minerals, boosting energy levels naturally and promoting longevity.  Spirulina is not only great for athletes because it contains plant protein, but is also linked to a decreased time of fatigue after exercise and an increased rate of fat burn.

When you are looking for a Spirunla supplement, make sure it is all natural, organic, and free from any pesticides, herbicides and GMO's.  I chose Pure Hawaiian Spirulina Pacifica in powder form.  You can take Spirulina supplements like I mentioned earlier, but the "energizing" effects won't occur for about an hour.  However this is probably the more convenient option if you aren't a smoothie or juice drinker.  I went with the powder because I figured it would be easy enough to just add a teaspoon in my morning smoothies, and the beneficial nutrients are instantly digested.  Pick whichever suits you better, just make sure its all natural.
(excuse the iPhone photo)

Add 1 teaspoon to your daily juice or smoothie and gradually you may start to consume more.  You can even add the powder to water, but I tried this yesterday and it was one of the more unpleasent decisions I've made.  If you don't have taste buds- go for it.  Otherwise you will probably want to throw up on the spot.  The good news is you can't taste it at all in a smoothie, so try it out!  Everyone could use some extra vitamins and minerals and maybe someday you will live forever because you were that weirdo who drank deep sea algae.
I first tried raw cacao "nibs" for the same reason most people probably do- how can you pass up a raw superfood that tastes (slightly) like chocolate?  It's obviously not quite as delicious as what most people consider "real" chocolate, but it is definitely much more real than any Hershey's bar could ever be!

Cacao ("ka-cow") seeds are basically chocolate in its raw, purest form.   Rich in magnesium, antioxidants (as long as they have not been roasted), and blood-sugar-regulating fiber, cacao can actually increase the amount of neurotransmitters in the brain, leaving you with a more positive and balanced outlook.  When chocolate is made, the cacao seeds are roasted and stripped of most these nutrients, and then mixed with sugars and fats to make a sweet and addicting treat.  So in a way cacao is a healthy chocolate, although it isn't quite as sweet.  There isn't any sugar in cacao, so eating it on its own is more like eating a coffee bean then biting into a delicious bar of dark chocolate, but you can definitely taste the cocoa flavor.  When you add cacao to a naturally sweetened substance like fruit, the bitterness is gone and you are left with a chocolatey flavor and a little crunch.  It's definitely worth a try!
My favorite way to eat cacao is on frozen bananas, or on top of a smoothie.  It is also great with fruit and yogurt if you eat dairy (that used to be my go-to snack after the gym!)  You can buy cacao beans at health stores either whole, powdered, or in "nib" form (nibs are just broken up pieces of the seed).  I have only tried the nibs, but am interested in trying out the powder to add to smoothies as well.  I'll let you know how that goes if I ever get around to it.  Also as a tip, if you are going to buy raw cacao nibs try finding them in bulk (or prepackaged bulk) in Sprouts or Jimbos, it is a lot cheaper than buying a package off of the shelf which can cost up to ten dollars for a very small bag.

Like I said I love using cacao as a crunchy topping on my smoothies.  Lately I've been adding a little cacao and a little homemade granola along with some frozen fruit on top of my favorite green breakfast smoothie and it is so yummy!!
Tell me that doesn't look delicious.

Here's what I use in my Green Breakfast Smoothie:

1 handful of kale
1 handful of spinach
5-6 stems of fresh parsley
1 slice of fresh ginger
1/2 frozen banana
5-6 frozen grapes
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2c- 1c water or almond milk

Blend that up, adding more water or almond milk if you need it, and you'll have yourself a delicious and energizing breakfast!
I always use parsley in my juices and smoothies.  It may seem weird because you've probably only seen it used for decoration on a dish but it's actually full of benefits!  Parsley helps clean your kidneys and rid the body of harmful toxins, not to mention that it is full of fatty-acids, chlorophyll, vitamin B12, K, and C.

The best thing about smoothies is the fact that the possibilities are seriously endless.  Leave out the ginger if you don't like the taste, or maybe try chocolate soy milk instead of water!  You can mix in nearly anything (my boyfriends favorite is peanut butter- its amazing) to make your drink more sweet or savory.  For this smoothie, if you are not used to green drinks I would recommend using a whole frozen banana until you are used to the taste.  I personally think a half is fine, however I also do love the taste of vegetable juice and eat carrots when I have a sweet tooth so clearly I'm not one to take advice from.  But bananas really do help mask some of the stronger flavors so just keep adding fruit and liquids until you get the taste and consistency you want.  I tend to torture my blender to make the thickest smoothie possible, its like healthy ice cream that you get to eat for breakfast! 
This morning I added frozen organic raspberries, homemade granola, and raw cacao nibs.  Always use frozen fruit on top of your smoothies- I learned this from a local cafe that makes amazing acai bowls- the frozen fruit helps keep your smoothie cold, and for someone like me who is all about thick smoothies, this is essential!  Frozen berries are really just sweet little yummy ice cubes.  How cute.