♥ The Celebratory Cacao Smoothie

I haven’t run since early September. Why? Back-to-back surgeries. Lack of motivation. The thrill was gone. But, honestly, I haven’t been a “runner” for a couple of years now. And I miss it! I miss the rhythmic pounding of my sneakers on the shoulder of the road. I miss the intoxicating aroma of the wet pines in the winter and the flowering trees in the spring. I miss the sights and the sounds that you never experience while sitting within the confines of a car. I miss the first gulp of cold, cold water after a hot, sweaty run. And I miss the self-satisfaction and inner peace that comes from being a runner: “when your feet are in the right place, your mind will follow.”

I had that on my mind when I rose this morning. I allowed myself some gentle yoga while I thought about the limits that I used to push my body to (and beyond) just a few short years ago. I sat at the laptop with my morning cup of coffee and began to read through my e-mail inbox. A blog post about running caught my eye.  I read it. I clicked her links, and then a few more links. And then a miracle happened: I put on my long-neglected running shoes and my ratty old “Just Do It” t-shirt and I stepped on the treadmill. I fixed my determined gaze upon my motivational focal point: an old Bloomsday poster with a refrigerator magnet affixed to the metal frame. And I began to run!

I promised myself that I would only run 1 mile [Sidenote: technically, I am not medically cleared to run until my post-op appointment next week]. And, truthfully, I was more than happy to step off the treadmill after only 1 mile. But I did it! And while it was difficult, it was also an exhilarating victory (albeit a small one) for me. I can’t wait to climb back on and do it all over again. But for now, it is (celebratory) smoothie time.

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about the Cacao Bliss Smoothie at Free Bird in South Lake Tahoe. Since that trip, I have been on a mission to replicate it. While my version is not identical, it’s still pretty dang good. I added a banana to my version of the smoothie and I used the organic (but not raw) cacao powder that I already have on hand. I also added cacao nibs for an extra bit of yumminess. And, because it is a celebration of sorts, I enjoyed my cacao smoothie in a choc-tini glass.

♥     ♥     ♥

Cacao Smoothie

Makes 2 servings


1 cup coconut milk (or canned lite coconut milk)

1 ripe banana (fresh or frozen)

2 heaping Tablespoons cacao powder

4 Tablespoons almond butter

1 Tablespoon agave nectar

1/2 teaspoon sea salt (The Free Bird uses Celtic sea salt in their smoothie but I like Fleur de Sel because I think it pairs wonderfully with chocolate)

1 large pinch of cacao nibs (about 1/2 Tablespoon), optional

15 to 20 ice cubes (depending on cube size and the desired thickness of the smoothie)


Place the ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Serve immediately. Garnish with extra cacao nibs if desired.


4 responses to “♥ The Celebratory Cacao Smoothie

  1. Wow! This is great! One more reason for me to be happy that I wrote that post!

  2. Yeah – thanks for the motivation!

  3. Hello, Thanks for the nice comments about The Free Bird! Im glad to see that you are into the green smoothies as we have just added one to our menu. We use an organic blend of apple juice, mangoes, spinach, cabbage or kale, hemp protein powder, macro greens powder. Some nice add ins are flax oil (omegas), bee pollen (essential amino acids), or maca root powder (a good libido booster!) Try it out! Have a great week! Sincerely, Aaron Abrams

    • I ♥ Freebird! And I am happy to spread the word. I have been remiss in not rushing down there as soon as we moved into town for my smoothie fix (and the french lentil soup was awesome, too), but I am still chest high in boxes right now! The green smoothie sounds awesome, I will be down very soon to try it out. You had me at “libido booster”! Ha ha! 🙂

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