Abby Phon

Holistic Health and Wellness Coach

"Kool Kale and Minty March" Edition

Posted on April 3, 2012

Happy March!

Abby“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” 
Michael Pollan

It's National Nutrition Month!

My favorite month has arrived...MARCH! It's Irish American Month, St. Patrick's Day (and really who doesn't like the color green!), the Jewish holiday of Purim (where you get drunk and dress up in costume ... a combo of St. Patty's Day & Halloween! what's NOT to like?!), Music in Our Schools Month (as a singer, I appreciate this) and National Peanut Month ( home made peanut butter cups! See my October newsletter on my web site for the recipe!) and the 2nd week is National Bubble Week (and I LOVE bubbles!), to name a few (yes, seriously, there are MANY more! I told you March Rocks!) but the real reason it's so special to me is because I was born in March.
It's really no wonder that the actual day of my birth, the 8th, is also International (Working) Women's Day and Popcorn Lover's Day because, in fact, I love popcorn and I am a woman! March is also National Nutrition Month. As a health coach, nutrition is my 'thing' so, there you have it! I was destined to be born this month!
As I reflect on the years past, I not only feel unbelievably grateful but like a really good wine. I just get better with age! Some things I eat every day that make me feel great, full of energy and helps me to stay youthful are fresh fruits and vegetables. My favorite vegetable is kale (which is GREEN! Do you see a theme for this month?). :) Recently, the health and wellness site MindBodyGreen published my article, "Why Kale Is The Koolest Vegetable." For more about kale, preparation and recipe ideas, click here!

As I mention in this article, you can put kale in smoothies. Green smoothies are a great way to get your greens in a yummy way with minimal prep, not much time and are super easy to make. They are good for your health and a great energy booster. Perfect for a busy on-the-go lifestyle! The best kind is the one you create yourself! Use what you have in your kitchen and whatever you like. For a sweeter version (or if you’re new to this…) use more fruit and/or liquids. The options are endless! It’s a much better way to celebrate St. Patty’s Day than a Shamrock Shake!

Check out my "Make-Your-Own GREEN Smoothie" recipe below. Have fun, be creative, enjoy and have a drink for me!

Cheers to good heatlh!

~ Abby

Make-Your-Own GREEN Smoothie Recipe

Ingredient Ideas:

Greens - use about 2 big handfuls (approx 2 oz).

  • kale
  • spinach
  • lettuce

Fruit– makes it sweet so the amount is to taste.

  • bananas (fresh or frozen) – they are used for creaminess too! (½ - 1 whole)
  • frozen fruit – strawberries, blueberries, mango, peaches (½ cup – 1 cup)
  • Apples (pears) (about ½ of the fruit)

Fat– makes it creamy and more filling.

  • A handful (about a ¼ cup) raw nuts –cashews, almonds, walnuts
  • ½  avocado – will give you a thicker smoothie
  • Coconut oil

Optional Add-Ins (about 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon).

  • Ground flax seed
  • Maca powder
  • Chia
  • Lemon
  • Bee pollen
  • Cacao powder/ nibs (for a chocolaty version)
  • Ginger
  • Stevia (for a sweeter version - use only a few drops!)

Liquids - Add enough liquid to blend (enough to cover, 1 – 1 ½ cups).

  • Water or Coconut Water
  • Almond, Coconut, Rice or Hemp Milk


  1. Put all ingredients in your blender. (Vitamix is my preferred choice and I HIGHLY recommend it!)
  2. Add liquid of choice.
  3. Happy blending!
A quick note: If you don't have a Vitamix or BlendTec Blender, omit the nuts.

 Recipe of the Month:
Abby's "Not-so-Thin" Mint Cookies

(Vegan & Gluten Free)
In celebration of my birthday (because I LOVE chocolate!) and St. Patrick's Day (although these are not green, they sure are minty!) here is my version of the cookies I used to sell door-to-door growing up (in the green box!). Thanks to my sister Cindy for the inspiration!

1 1/2 cups Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Baking Flour
1 cup raw cane sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cacao powder
1/4 cup arrowroot
1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup melted refined coconut oil
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons organic vanilla extract
2 cups chocolate chips (vegan gluten-free, if you prefer)
1-3 tablespoons mint extract (depending on the quality - mine was a high quality so I only needed 1 tablespoon)


  1. Preheat the oven to 325° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cacao powder, arrowroot, xanthan gum, baking soda, and salt. Add the coconut oil, applesauce, and vanilla and mix until a thick dough forms.
  3. Drop the dough by the teaspoon full onto the prepared baking sheets.
  4. Gently flatten each mound of dough, smoothing the edges with your fingers.
  5. Bake for 7 minutes, rotate the baking sheets, and bake for 7 minutes more.
  6. Let stand on the baking sheets for 15 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, combine the chocolate chips and mint extract in a glass bowl over a small saucepan of simmering boiled water (use medium heat). 
  8. Stir until the chips are just melted. Do not overcook. Remove from heat.
  9. Dunk the top of each cookie into the melted chocolate and place in a single later on a platter.
  10. Refrigerate the cookies for 30 minutes, or until the chocolate sets.

Makes 30 cookies (one cookie is a serving).

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