Three Fruit Smoothie

One minute is all it takes  to make this Three Fruit Smoothie with CocoaVia® Cran-Raspberry supplement packs for your daily dose of cocoa flavanols.

IMG_3636_edited-1Disclosure: I was asked to participate in the CocoaVia® #HeartMonth campaign as a member of Healthy Aperture Blogger Network.  I received samples of CocoaVia® product mentioned in this post and I was compensated for my time. 

Call me a preservationist. Call me high maintenance. The upkeep of my body is a priority, but I DON’T mean in a primping kinda way. (I’m the gal who six out of seven days,  opts for a ponytail over a self imposed blow-out.) While waxing, polishing and shellacking would probably help make me look more  like I have it together, I tend to work things from the inside out. So I invest my time in eating right and exercising daily.

If you’ve been reading my blog, you know I love muscles. In my post on  10 Reasons Why You Should Care About Muscle Maintenance,  I explain it’s not just about being bigger and stronger. More than any other single factor, muscle loss is responsible for the frailty and diminished vitality we associate with old age. But did you know your heart is also a muscle? Yep, and I ‘m just as passionate about preserving my ticker, as I am in preserving my biceps! February is the perfect month to talk about matters of the heart, so today I want to encourage you to give yours  little extra TLC everyday with CocoaVia® cocoa extract supplement.

It ‘s well documented in the scientific literature that the benefits of chocolate  come from the cocoa flavanols. The published research shows that beginning about 200 mg,  cocoa flavanols can begin to have a positive effects on the vasculuar system.  Here’s what you need to know:  CocoaVia® cocoa extract supplement delivers the highest concentration of cocoa flavanols (375 mg of cocoa flavanols per serving of CocoaVia® supplement)  which are scientifically proven to promote a healthy heart by supporting healthy blood flow.†three fruit smoothie

The cocoa flavanols in CocoaVia® are backed by two decades of scientific research that suggests these powerful plant-derived nutrients from cocoa beans may play a valuable role in cardiovascular health.

If you’re asking, ‘Why not just eat chocolate?’, you’re asking a good question! Chocolate is a fabulous treat, but it’s not a reliable way to get sufficient quantities of cocoa flavanols. Traditional cocoa processing, which includes drying, fermenting and roasting of beans, destroys many of the flavanols naturally present in the cocoa bean. CocoaVia® supplement isolates the “good stuff” in chocolate in a convenient, versatile form, without all the calories and fat.

It’s a cinch to integrate CocoaVia® products  into your healthy lifestyle. Packaged as  convenient  powdered ‘stick’ packs makes it simple to add one to your favorite beverages or foods everyday. They come in three delicious flavors: Unsweetened Dark Chocolate, Sweetened Dark Chocolate, and Cran-Raspberry. I’m crazy about the  dark chocolate flavors  mixed with  milk or smoothies (like my Banana Cream Pie Smoothie).  They’re also good with hot or chilled  coffee, oatmeal, and yogurt. Cran-Raspberry mixes well with water, smoothies, yogurt, and  iced tea. After my run today,  I made this crisp refreshing  recovery drink by mixing the   Cran- Raspberry CocoaVia®  with skim milk and orange juice and serving over ice…three fruit smoothie It provides fluid, electrolytes,  carbohydrates for glycogen replacement, protein for muscle building and repair, and of course, cocoa flavanols to support healthy blood flow.†

Evidence strongly suggests, your health (and ability reduce age related decline) depends on the combination of your genes and your lifestyle. Join me in adding CocoaVia® to your daily routine! To learn more, be sure to check out the website<rel=”nofollow”/a> and find more delicious recipes using CocoaVia® Brand here .

three fruit smoothie†  This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This produce is not intended to diagnose, treat , cure or prevent any disease.

Three Fruit  Smoothie

makes 1 serving

by Diane Boyd

Prep Time: 1 minute


  • ice cubes
  • 1 packet of CocoaVia® Cran-Raspberry supplement
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 cup orange juice


1. Fill a drinking glass with ice. Set aside.

2. In a 2 cup glass measuring cup, combine milk, orange juice and  CocoaVia® supplement packet. Stir the drink to blend. Pour over ice and drink immediately.

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The Complex Cranberry + Cranberry & Cilantro Quinoa Salad

Cranberries are rich in polyphenolic compounds (i.e. flavonoids) and they taste terrific anytime of year! 

Cranberry & Cilantro Quinoa Salad

Disclosure: The Cranberry Institute has sent me research updates, cranberry tips, some seasonal recipes as well as dried cranberries. In exchange, I’m  sharing  this information with you.  I was not financially compensated to write this post. Opinions are my own.

Cranberries. What’s the first thing that crosses your mind? For me it’s urinary tract infections (UTI’s). (Pardon my honesty). I personally like cranberries for this reason and  I can cite several studies that indicate their ability to lower the recurrence of UTIs.  The active ingredients in cranberries, proanthocyanidins or  A-type PACs  interfer with bacterial adhesion in the urinary tract. In other words, if the bacteria cannot stick to the urinary tract, they will not grow and cause infection.

However, my husband is quick to point out the other side,  there are a number of studies finding null results between the tart berry and prevention of urinary tract infections.

Truth is, understanding how cranberry exerts its health effects is evolving. Although  the majority of  over 350 research and review articles published about cranberry have focused on the berry’s effect on urinary tract health,  emerging science shows cranberry may have some other possible benefits including:   cardiovascular health, reducing oral diseases including  cavities and gum disease, and gastrointestinal health.

About now you’re asking, how much?… Cranberry juice?.. Sauce?…  Or dried cranberries? Here’s the  caveat:  No one can recommend exact form, dose, or duration of cranberry consumption.  Why then do I advocate consumption of this tiny tart fruit for health benefits?  I have learned to accept the limitations of science. I understand that reference intake values of pythochemcials have not been established, but there is growing concensus that they possibly contribute to promoting health and reducing the risk of disease. Berry fruit, including cranberries,  provide a rich source of phenolic acids and flavonoids that are associated with health benefits. My recommendation is to  choose a broad array of fruits, including berry fruits, to increase intake of these bioactive compounds along with a balanced diet.

That said, I love this fresh, gluten free, vegan salad for spring and summer from the Cranberry Marketing Committee that exemplifies my support for cranberries as part of a healthy diet. Make it for your next pool party, picnic or backyard bbq!

What’s your favorite way to eat cranberries?

Cranberry & Cilantro Quinoa Salad

Cranberry & Cilantro Quinoa Salad

adapted from the Cranberry Marketing Committee

Ingredients (serves 8)

  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup minced carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 3 Tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of ground red pepper


1. Toast quinoa in a  skillet over medium high heat stirring frequently until quinoa is fragrant and make a continuous popping sound (about 5- 7 minutes).

2. In a small saucepan, bring water and pinch of salt to a boil over high heat; stir in toasted quinoa, reduce heat and bring to a low simmer. Cover pot and cook until all liquid is absorbed (about 15 minutes).

2. Remove from heat and transfer to a medium bowl. Cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

3. To the bowl of quinoa, stir in cranberries, carrots, red and yellow peppers, red onion and cilantro until mixed.

4. In a small bowl, mix together lime juice, oil, salt and ground red pepper and pour over quinoa-cranberry mixture; toss to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving. Does not have to be served cold.

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Nutrition Information Per Serving: Calories 150, Calories from Fat 30, Saturated Fat 0g, Trans Fat 0g, Total Fat 3.5g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 115mg, Total Carbohydrate 29g, Sugars 11g, Dietary Fiber 3g, Protein 3g, Vitamin A 40%, Vitamin C 45%, Calcium 2%, Iron 6%

The above recipe has a Southwestern twist, but by swappping out a few basic ingredients you can take cranberries global:
Asian: Swap out red onion, cilantro and lime juice, for scallions, ginger and soy sauce.

Greek: Swap out carrots, cilantro and lime juice for tomatoes, olives and chickpeas. Make it even better- add feta!

Indian: Swap out carrots, peppers, cilantro and lime juice for winter squash, sweet potatoes, pecans and curry paste. Add an extra kick with cayenne pepper!

American: Swap out peppers, cilantro and lime juice, for celery, turkey breast and thyme. Who knows, this could become your new favorite Thanksgiving leftovers recipe.

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