Remember when I broke my foot back in November? I'm pretty sure almost every single person asked me if I was getting enough calcium in my diet. Of course, working at GNC, I have bags upon bags of those caramel calcium chews you can get samples of every time you walk in the store. So yeah, I totally take enough calcium. It wasn't until I learned about Natural Vitality's Natural Calm magnesium supplements that I realized it might have nothing to do with my calcium intake.
Magnesium is a cofactor for a lot (over 325) of enzyme reactions in our body, and while we can get it from our diet - leafy greens, nuts, cacao, etc. - cooking our food depletes a good amount of it. Sugar, coffee, and high amounts of protein can also deplete the levels you already have in your body. When you're deficient in magnesium, it can cause stress, digestive issues (IBS), fatigue, migraines, PMS symptoms, etc. As a pharmacy student, I have no lack of stress.. and being lactose intolerant, I have a good bit of digestive issues. Migraines, too! One of the most important things about magnesium, though, is that it balances calcium in our body. Without enough magnesium to balance the calcium, we can actually cause osteoporosis and kidney stones just from taking calcium supplements (which I sure do plenty of). Since I'm obviously pretty great at breaking bones (I mean, my kitten did it, after all), I'm thinking magnesium is definitely a supplement I need to regularly take. Because I still can't quite get off the calcium supplement bandwagon, I thought Natural Vitality's Calm Plus Calcium was the best thing to try out first.
The Calm Plus Calcium comes in original (unflavored) and raspberry-lemon. The raspberry-lemon, I just drink straight up with water, and I'm totally loving it. The unflavored, I knew I'd be having a lot of fun with. Since strenuous exercise depletes the body of both calcium and magnesium, a great post-workout milkshake sounded like the best idea to me. You obviously don't have to do a super hard work out to enjoy this milkshake, though - it's healthy, so you can have it anytime! :)
I love using frozen bananas to create an ice cream like treat - the creaminess is out of this world. Obviously, I'm a chocolate lover, so chocolate was a must for me. I added some protein powder to balance out the sugar in the banana and to add some volume (use your favorite - I used chocolate whey from Trader Joe's). Coconut milk adds a great creaminess and some healthy fats, and the Natural Calm Plus Calcium adds in the calcium and magnesium for recovery.
Usually, Alex doesn't like my post workout smoothies; I usually add spinach or kale, and he just can't deal with that. When I had him try this, he told me over and over how much better this was compared to my normal smoothies.. haha. And then he proceeded to drink an entire shake. I think we've got a winner, here (and Alex wants me to tell you that I used his beer glasses for the pictures - they were just too pretty not to! Probably the best gift investment I've made - I got them for him for Christmas).
If you're having this healthy milkshake as a dessert, feel free to add a handful of chocolate chips for a bit of indulgence. It's definitely worth it! :)
Stay tuned for more healthy shake recipes and soon, a chance to get some Natural Calm samples of your own!
Check out the next recipe for a cinnamon roll milkshake here!
Calming Chocolate Banana Milkshake (Dairy Free)
makes 2 servings
2 t original Calm Plus Calcium powder
1/2 cup water, hot
2 medium bananas, frozen
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
3 T cocoa powder
2 scoops chocolate protein powder (use your favorite protein)
1/2 t vanilla extract
1/8 t salt, optional
2 T dark chocolate chips, optional
Dissolve the 2 teaspoons of Calm Plus Calcium in 1/2 cup hot water. Place in the refrigerator to cool (and feel free to store it in the fridge until you're ready to use it). Once cool, place all ingredients in a blender (minus the chocolate chips), and blend until smooth. Add more coconut milk if you like it a little thinner. Add the chocolate chips, if using, and blend until chopped into small pieces. Serve immediately.
*If you don't have Calm Plus Calcium but still want to try this shake, just add 1/2 cup more coconut milk, and voila! No problem.
Disclosure: Natural Vitality sent me free samples of their products, and I was compensated for my time. All opinions are my own, and I was not paid or expected to write a positive review. I may be in pharmacy school, but this does not mean I am giving out medical advice - you should always check with your doctor before taking any supplements.