Ask a Health Coach: Make GP’s Ultra-Healthy “$200 Smoothie” for WAY Less!

April 6, 2016
by Michelle Pellizzon for Thrive Market

Gwyneth Paltrow recently published her favorite morning smoothie recipe. It looks pretty weird. First, is it healthy? And second, is it possible to make it without spending $200 on ingredients? —Kelly

GP, as she’s lovingly called by Goop-ers, drinks this smoothie every morning, “even when she’s detoxing.” A quick scan of the extensive ingredient list and you can see why the drink would be totally fine to indulge in even on the strictest of cleanses—it’s totally vegan, very low in sugar, packed with antioxidant-rich powders, clean, and relatively low-calorie. And it has protein powder and a little bit of healthy fat from coconut oil and almond butter, which means it could be a good choice for some as a snack or meal replacement. Bottom line: It’s pretty freaking healthy.

Even though Gweny’s drink has a lot of our favorite smoothie add-ins, a few of those listed are astronomically priced. I’m with you—I don’t want to spend $200 grabbing ingredients for a smoothie (which ends up being around $11 per serving). And I have good news: Thrive Market carries every single product in this recipe, and you can get them for up to 50 percent off retail. Major score! After discovering this myself, I decided that we had to try making GP’s go-to drink.

The first few ingredients—almond milk, coconut oil, almond butter—are pretty typical. We used unsweetened almond milk, virgin coconut oil, and an almond butter without any added sugars, because WWGD? But that’s where the similarities between your usual morning smoothie and a celebrity's probably end. Here’s a breakdown of the slightly strange powders that make up the rest of the drink:

Maca

Derived from a Peruvian root, maca helps with mood regulation—so it could be useful for those with depression or anxiety—and can boost libido (bow-chicka-wow-wow). It’s often used to increase energy or “balance” hormonal levels, but there’s no scientific research to back those claims. The light taupe powder tastes a little grassy—some people detect a hint of butterscotch.

Ashwagandha

The name means “smell of horse,” and you’ll immediately understand that nomenclature when you pop open the jar. I’m not gonna sugarcoat it for you—ashwagandha powder looks and tastes like dirt. But it’s so undeniably good for you that you’ll wanna get over your aversion. Unlike maca, ashwagandha actually has plenty of science to support its claims. Traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine, it can help lower chronically high anxiety levels, decrease cortisol levels, and reduce the symptoms of stress like fatigue and temporary cognitive impairment. It may even help lower cholesterol by 10 percent.

He Shou Wu

A favorite of Chinese herbalists, he shou wu is traditionally prescribed for its anti-aging benefits. So far, science has really only been able to prove that it helps keep the immune system strong—it’s also known as Fo-Ti, which is what most studies call it—but hey, it’s been used for thousands of years to combat premature aging and weakness. Be advised, it’s been linked to liver damage when ingested in excessive amounts, so go easy. More is not better, but one teaspoon a day is safe.

Cordyceps

There’s tons of research on the medicinal properties of specific mushrooms, and cordyceps in particular has been examined for its positive effect on metabolic rate and exercise. It basically has energy-boosting properties, and you can even swap your morning coffee for a powdered cordyceps drink. (I tried it! Here’s how it worked for me.)

Lion’s mane powder and rhodiola powder

OK, so the original recipes uses a supplement called “Moon Dust” that’s supposed to help with focus—but two ounces costs a whopping $65. After checking out the ingredients, we realized we could make our own moon dust! A little Lion’s mane and rhodiola—both mushroom varieties that are believed to improve mental clarity—and we’re good to go.

Vegan protein powder

Unsurprisingly, Gwyneth goes vegan when it comes to protein powders. Makes sense—whey-based protein powders can cause GI distress, and if you’re sensitive to dairy, can even make you break out—so she sticks to a brown rice protein powder.

So how did it taste once it was all blended together? Press play on the video to see our reactions, and try the full recipe yourself for a super clean protein shake!

GP-Inspired “More for Less” Smoothie

Yields: 1 serving
Active Time: 1 minutes
Total Time: 2 minutes

Ingredients

1 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon almond butter
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 scoop brown rice protein powder
1 teaspoon maca
1 teaspoon ashwagandha powder
1 teaspoon He Shou Wu
1 teaspoon Cordyceps
1 teaspoon Lion’s mane powder
1 teaspoon rhodiola
pinch Himalayan sea salt

Instructions

Add all ingredients to blender, pulverize until smooth and enjoy!

Not gonna lie to you—I had a hard time getting over the slightly gritty taste of this one. But I won’t give up on Gwyneth. Next time I’m going to try adding more almond butter for a nuttier taste, half of a frozen banana for sweetness and texture, and a dash of cinnamon to bring out the caramel flavor. I can only hope that drinking this daily will help me look half as good as GP!

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This article is related to: Diet, Nutrition, Smoothie, Vegan, Recipe, Video, Educational

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  • Charles Joseph Christie II

    I despise coconut. Is there an alternative that still tastes good and has a good health benefit?