It seems like every season, a new must have item hits the shelves of health food stores. Just when you think you're at the top of your smoothie game, BAM, there's something new and life-changing that Gwyneth has been drinking for yonks and you're only just finding out about now. Thanks for cluing us in, GOOP! (We love you.)
Maca is a new (to us) miracle plant that's grown at high altitudes in Peru. It's part of the radish family and has been called "Peruvian Ginseng." It's so effective, you're not supposed to have it every day. Just a tablespoon (and you should build up to that, starting with half a teaspoon) every second or third day.
It's great for your skin and is rich in vitamins, but the real kicker here is how beneficial Maca is for women. It helps with menstrual issues and menopausal issues, stabilizing moods and alleviating pain. It also give you a sustained boost of energy. Some of that energy being focused... in the bedroom. Yes! It's widely used to boost libido and increase endurance (for men and women). So if you need a boost in that department (hey, we've all been there), maybe you can slip some Maca into your honey's milkshake.
There are a few Maca no no's. Don't mix it with anything hot or it will lose its benefits. Don't consume if you are pregnant or nursing, or if you have serious pre-existing conditions. Basically, if you're already seeing a doctor about something, ask her/him if it's ok to introduce Maca into your diet. It's a bit complicated, but it sounds, and so far feels, like it's worth it.
And all this when we literally JUST got the hang of Chia seeds. Um, did anyone else experience near Death By Chia Seeds? We added them to a delicious smoothie – almond milk, berries, half a frozen banana, vegan protein powder... Yum, right? We blended everything up and took a big gulp, then had to suffer through choking down a mouth full of splinters. Yeah, we kept drinking it, even as we pictured a thousand tiny shards of Chia wood poking holes in our esophagus. We were hungry and it was the only edible thing in the house! Since then we've learned to soak the chia seeds in almond milk a few hours before smoothie time, then stir the resulting pudding into the smoothie AFTER it's been mixed. Unless you really like the sound of a splinter shake, then go for it! ;)