Vegan Cacao Berry Protein Smoothie: Post-Yoga Smoothie #2

It's HOT out! Summer has finally arrived to San Francisco, albeit a month late. Sweating in the yoga studio and in the kitchen, nothing satisfies more than a nourishing Post-Yoga workout smoothie. Last month I really reigned in my sugar consumption, (per my doctor's orders, due to a sudden severe allergic reaction) cutting out all processed sugar AND foods with natural-occurring sugars such as dates, honey, bananas, maple syrup, pineapple (my usual smoothie go-to ingredients). I was also on a strict vegan/no soy/no gluten/no corn diet and enjoyed the challenge of making meals that fit the bill and still excited the foodie in me. 

That said, this Vegan Cacoa Berry Protein Smoothie* was created, very low in natural sugars, with healthy fats and protein to replenish after a sweaty workout and has brought smiles to omnivores and non-vegans alike. Enjoy a cool one today and feel good about having a low-sugar treat! 

VEGAN CACOA BERRY PROTEIN SMOOTHIE*
Serves 2 (because sharing is more fun!)

1/2 cup frozen blueberries or blackberries (or mix of berries)
acai berry packet, frozen & cut up into chunks
3 Tbsp hemp seeds
1 tsp flax seed oil
1 Tbsp almond butter
1 generous scoop Vegan Chocolate Protein Powder (if you don't have handy, use toasted carob powder or cacoa powder)
handful of icecubes
1.5 cups Coconut Hemp milk, unsweetened OR 1 cup almond milk + 1/2 cup coconut milk, unsweetened
handful ice cubes

OPTIONAL:
handful of spinach (will make the color of the smoothie a bit gray, still tastes yummy)

*After creating this smoothie, I discovered that the recipe is very similar to JJ Virgin's The Virgin Diet Shake, a meal-replacement shake that helps you lose weight. Bonus!