We’ve Been Using This Superfood For Glowing Skin and Gorgeous Insta Pics!

tone it up algae superfood healthy recipe

We’ve been all about gorgeous greens on Instagram lately. The entire HQ was obsessed with this teal superfood smoothie, and we’re still dreaming about that mermaid toast. It was magical! The beautiful blue-green colors come from an algae called spirulina. We’ve been using it so much lately, and today we’re telling ya all about the amazing benefits! Spirulina and its close cousin chlorella are algae that can brighten your skin, decrease your body fat percentage, and protect your heart. Both are actually live organisms that grow in fresh and salt water and are extremely nutrient dense. These superfoods are incredibly easy to add into your Tone It Up Nutrition Plan meals and all ya need is about 1 tsp. a day! And those colors…get ready to snap some pics!

Check out all the deets below!

tone it up spiraling superfood


Spirulina is a blue-green algae that comes in powder or tablet form. Just 1 tsp. contains 2 – 4 grams of protein and enough B12 and vitamin A for an entire day! The color that makes smoothie bowls look so Insta-worthy comes from the antioxidant powerhouse phycocyanin. It decreases inflammation in the bod, which keeps your skin looking fab. The antioxidant also reduces oxidized LDL (bad) cholesterol, which has been linked to heart disease.¹ And spirulina is so easy to add into your meals, especially as a #TIUgirl! Check out our new fave superfoods smoothie bowl!

Superfoods Smoothie Bowl

Serves 1


1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk

1 scoop vanilla Tone It Up Protein 

1/2 frozen banana, sliced

1/4 cup unsweetened greek yogurt

1/4 cup pineapple, cubed

1/4 cup mango, frozen

1/4 tsp. spirulina


1 kiwi, sliced

1 Tbsp. unsweetened coconut flakes

Fresh mint leaves


1. Blend the smoothie ingredients together until smooth.

2. Top with kiwis, unsweetened coconut flakes, and mint leaves.


Chlorella is a close cousin to spirulina. It also comes in a tablet or powder form. We like using the powder for both because it’s easier to stir into smoothies and recipes. Research shows that daily chlorella intake decreases body fat percentage and lowers fasting blood glucose levels!² Because it’s high in antioxidants like beta-carotene and vitamin C, chlorella also protects your beautiful skin from free radical damage.

Colorful Chia Pudding

Serves 2


1/4 cup chia seeds

1/2 cup unsweetened greek yogurt

3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 tsp. chlorella powder


1. Combine all ingredients except for the chlorella in a bowl. Separate mixture evenly between three bowls.

2. In the first bowl, add 3/4 tsp. chlorella. In the second bowl add 1/4 tsp. chlorella. Leave the last bowl as is. Cover and let sit in the fridge for 30 minutes.

3. Put half of each mixture into two separate jars. First start with the darkest green mixture, then add the lighter mixture, and end with the white. Top with your fave chia seed pudding toppings! We love unsweetened coconut flakes, cacao nibs, and fresh fruit!

We want to see your beautiful creations! Share with the hashtag #TIUteam. See ya on the ‘gram!


1. HEALTH BENEFITS OF BLUE-GREEN ALGAE; Journal of Medicinal Food.


Want even more science-backed info to help you reach all of your fitness and health goals?! Join the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan! It’s packed with thousands of totally yum recipes that use nothing but the best ingredients!



  1. Love spirulina! I’ve recently been using it in a face mask (plain yogurt, spirulina, honey) – it’s so great for your skin!

  2. Will be having the colourful chia pudding for breakfast tomorrow! Yum! Might have to add a banana in there to sweeten it up a little though!

    1. I haven’t eaten it straight but it does smell like pond algae lol. After adding it to smoothies you cant taste or smell it at all!

    1. I just tried it for the first time tonight… Definitely a fish food taste/smell! I didn’t want to commit to a smoothie bowl (don’t think it would hide the taste enough) so I made up what I call a “swamp shooter”. About 6 ounces of pomegranate juice and 1/2 tsp is spirulina. Mix and toss it back! I’ll work up to a tsp then maybe venture to a smoothie. The shooter is quick though!

      1. We have spiralina in our juices at work! We call it a “storm” juice, its pear, apple, Pineapple and 1 flat tsp of Spiralina with mint on top. you can’t even taste it! just makes it a dark green colour :)

  3. You should have also mentioned barley grass powder. I tried chlorella and it did not work for me, but barley grass did wonders. I drank 1dc each morning and evening before meal and in a month my blood results were better, it reduced inflammation in my body. I was diagnosed with rheumatism when I was 15, it came back when I was 22 and it was when I tried barley grass powder and it helped me not only reduce the inflammation in my blood and in my joints, but my nails were strong and long and I had a lot of energy, especially when I woke up, I started to wake up very early and on my own. I have not taken barley grass for several years but bought it this weekend again because I am very tired for a very very long time, so hopefully it will help me again.

    1. I’ve read so many great things about barley grass juice powder! Spirulina and BGJP are supposed to be great for vegans especially. That’s awesome it helped with your rheumatism, I have fibromyalgia so I’ll definitely check it out :-)

    2. Which brand of barley grass powder do you use? and how much do you take a day. I want to see if it will work for my digestive issues.

    1. If you can’t find it anywhere near you (I’d try any local health food stores near you) Amazon sells it :-)

  4. I love the pure Hawaiian brand, I got it off Amazon- I use it in the Superfood Smoothie from the nutrition plan- it’s my absolute FAV and go-to smoothie!!!! I have all the ingredients for the smoothie bowl at home- cannot wait to make this for breakfast tomorrow :) :)

    1. the recipe says to use a scoop of spirulina (superfood smoothie). do you use the same scoop as the protein powder or do you use something else (like a teaspoon)? a protein powder sized scoop seems like a lot!

  5. Yay! I love spirulina! I also have the Pure Hawaiian brand! I can never get the teal color though – maybe adding .5 a teaspoon at once will make it not too green. Thankfully it doesn’t have a taste to it when you add it to smoothies – though if you take a big whiff it does smell like pond algae. But like i said, there’s no taste when I added it to my smoothies. (: thank you K+K for this article ~ i’m going to be making this smoothie bowl tomorrow! <3

    1. Updating my own comment — I tried this today and it was good! Couldn’t taste the spirulina!

  6. Tried the smoothie with spirulina today! So yummy! I live in a small country town and never thought I’d eat algae ;-) thank you ladies for expanding my horizons!! <3

    1. Did you try it in a specific smoothie or do you think it will go well in any smoothie?

  7. Hi girls! I’m looking for more 7 day slim down breakfast ideas (other than the pancakes of course ;)). Are smoothie bowls like this one slim down approved??

  8. With the tablets, you should be able to crush them up right? I just ordered some chlorella ones

  9. I work in Neuroscience research and used to work with people who researched some of the neuro-cognitive benefits of Spirulina! It is truely an awesome superfood! If you’re interested in some science about Spirulina, check out Dr. Paula Bickford’s research about the benefits of Spirulina!

  10. Has anyone tried the spirulina + chlorella mix powders and/or the “superfood” powders (that also include the barley grass, wheat grass, etc.)? If so, would those be just as good in these types of recipes?

  11. Was wondering if the powders wouls be fine in ANY smoothie or specific ones? Would love to try this out!

  12. Would this still have the same consistency if a vegan yogurt was used instead of the greek yogurt? It should be an even swap, right?

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