Healthy Shamrock Shake

 
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That’s right, it’s that time of year again, the Shamrock Shake shimmies its way back into the Double Arches for a limited time. I can’t tell you how excited I used to be for the announcement to be made, so I could roll through the drive-thru and pick up one of my most coveted treats.

This was typically as wrestling season was winding down; it was the perfect way to celebrate the season ending (oh, and not having to weigh-in every single day) and spring being just around the corner… can you hear the birds chirping and the sun shining yet?

Oh, how ignorance is bliss…

Now that I’m older, more educated on what solid nutrition is, and pay much more attention to being healthy and keeping my family healthy through nutritious eating – I sneaked a peak of those Shamrock Shake nutrition facts straight from the McDonald’s app on my iPhone. HOLY LUCKY CLOVERS, BATMAN! You’ve GOT to be KIDDING ME!

You may ask, why are Shamrock Shakes unhealthy?

A few highlights for the small, 16oz Shamrock Shake:

460 calories

15 grams of fat

74 grams of carbs (mostly sugar)

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There are plenty of kickers, but to me, the biggest kicker is the sugar content; a small Shamrock Shake is 63 grams – that’s one gram short of a ½ cup of sugar! Whew! Tell me, when was the last time you dumped ½ cup of sugar in your beverage? The only thing I can think of coming close is the old Kool-Aid days. I vividly remember the first time I actually watched how much sugar went in the pitcher… and honestly, at that point, I thought it was fantastic, but I do remember thinking it was A LOT of sugar.

To further put this into perspective, the American Heart Association recommends no more than 25 grams of added sugar for women and 37.5 grams of added sugar for men per day. It is safe to say indulging in a small Shamrock Shake will be giving you a few days-worth of your sugar allotment!

The good news, I haven’t had a Shamrock Shake in years.

The better news, I decided to take this to my kitchen to experiment to find a healthy solution.

The best news, it was a success and I’m so excited to share with you!

For ingredients, the more whole food, the better, in my book! I wanted to make this as nutritiously packed as I could without compromising the minty goodness of the Shamrock Shake. Oh, and it just HAD to be green! I decided on using almond milk, banana, spinach, avocado, mint extract, ice, and the grass-fed whey vanilla cake protein powder. I’m telling you, you won’t be disappointed!

As a busy wife, mom, coach, etc., I am all about simplicity! The beauty of making smoothies is you just throw all the ingredients in the blender, push start, and BAM, in seconds, it’s a delicious meal replacement or snack.

I hope you find this healthy shamrock smoothie recipe an awesome way to celebrate the Shamrock Shake season; cheers to healthy choices!

Rachael’s Shamrock Smoothie

Ingredients

1 1/2 c Unsweetened Almond Milk

1/2 frozen banana

1 c raw baby spinach

1 tbsp avocado

1/8 tsp mint extract (I used Frontier Organic Mint Flavor)

1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I used LadyBoss LEAN)

6-8 ice cubes

Instructions:

1. Place all ingredients into blender

2. Blend until smooth

3. Enjoy!