Energy Boosting Smoothie and a Treat!

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My kids and I blend fruit and veggie smoothies several times a week for breakfast or post-workout snacks. We go through a LOT of produce here! I’ve shared my smoothie combos on my Facebook page often but I thought I would share a couple of recipes my girls and I used this week.

The first smoothie is an energy booster that my older daughter has made twice this week because she’s having a hard time adjusting to early mornings in anticipation of school starting next week. (Full disclosure: She’s been a beast and school hasn’t even begun! This smoothie might need to be a regular menu item.)

Cherries provide an anti-inflammatory effect that can help reduce stress, and they taste yummy! The natural sugars in peaches provide energy and the flaxseed and oats provide filling, sustained energy.

IMG_2625Cherry Peach Energy Booster

1/2 cup cherries, fresh or frozen

1 medium peach

2 Tbs dry oats

1 Tbs ground flaxseed

Blend and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

The second smoothie is a little treat. With the fall season looming, I decided to join the pumpkin spice bandwagon. Instead of the high calorie commercial pumpkin spice treats, I decided to make my own.

IMG_2627Pumpkin Delight

1/2 cup pureed pumpkin (not pie filling)

1 tsp Pumpkin Pie spice

1 tsp maple syrup

1/2 cup almond milk (adjust this amount for the consistency you like)

Blend and enjoy!

 

 

 

P.S. Join my September Jump Start email list! The kids are back in school so its time to start a great new routine! The Jump Start will provide you with 4 weekly emails in September that outline a workout complete with full exercise descriptions. All workouts can be done in about 20 minutes with no equipment. Join here today!

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March is National Nutrition Month

*This post contains affiliate links
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The month of March is National Nutrition Month so here are a few resources to help you if you’re looking for healthy nutrition information.

Eatright.org is the website of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics who sponsor National Nutrition Month. This website has a number of resources including a search feature to find a qualified nutrition expert near you.

The T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies is an excellent resource for whole food, plant based eating. The website includes lots of articles, recipes and a guide to help you know exactly what types of foods fit into a plant based diet.

Simple Green Smoothies is a great book for getting started with healthy smoothies as a meal replacement or addition to your healthy eating habits. It even includes recipes geared towards kids!

Forks Over Knives is another great resource for plant based diets. The website has lots of recipes and a meal planner feature.

Rouxbe.com offers on-line cooking courses such as Culinary Rx and Plant-Based Cooking. These courses can be taken anywhere at anytime and several courses are self-paced.

Let me know if you have any other great nutrition resources.

Happy Eating!

Homemade Yogurt Tubes

I strive to have my kids eat healthy food most of the time. We always have plenty of fresh fruits and veggies and I pack their lunches and home cook dinner most nights so I know what I’m feeding them. I’m not perfect…in fact, they’re gorging themselves on Halloween candy as I write this! We have junk food and snack food and desserts but 85% of the time, we eat healthy.

My daughters both love Greek yogurt and are happy to eat it by the spoonful right out of the carton but…they also love those oddly colored tubes of yogurt that can be frozen and put in lunch boxes. I’m sure they love them for all the sugar that’s in them. After all, who wouldn’t love a tube of sugar?! I will not buy these sugar tubes for what I hope are obvious reasons despite the begging in the middle of the diary aisle.

But, I’ve recently found an acceptable solution. I found zip top plastic tube bags on Amazon that can be used to make your own yogurt tubes or popsicle treats. Score!

Yes, its obviously more work than just buying the ones in the store but I think its worth it. My girls love strawberries so I made strawberry yogurt tubes.

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I started with fresh strawberries and pureed them in my NutriBullet.

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Then, because the girls are weird about fruit chunks and seeds in their yogurt, I pushed the puree through a strainer. An extra, unnecessary step if your kids are not freaked out by a chunk of berry…

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Then, I mixed the puree with Greek yogurt until it was fully blended. If you’re brave, you can have your kids help you with this part but in my house this would just multiply my work exponentially. How to clean yogurt off the ceiling is a post for another day!

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Filling the tube bags can be a bit tedious but if you’re just patient and use a funnel and a ladle, you can have it done in no time. The girls ate some right away and LOVED it and the rest went in the freezer or fridge for snacks and lunches. Ta Da!

The kids are happy and I’m happy. What could be better than that?!

Happy Exercising!

P.S. Look for my Complete 10K Training Plan ebook on sale soon!

 

 

 

 

My New Favorite Book…Simple Green Smoothies

Simple Green Smoothies by Jen Hansard and Jadah Sellner is more than just a recipe book. The authors have written easy, real life guidelines and instructions for including whole delicious foods in your day. They make it so perfectly simple. They include practical information on washing, prepping and storing ingredients as well as info on different blender options. So helpful!

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Simple Green Smoothies by Jen Hansard and Jadah Sellner

The 10-day Challenge is the ideal way to get started with green smoothies. The ingredients are all recognizable and easy to find. No exotic fruits you have to travel all over town for! Jen and Jadah talk to you, the reader, throughout the book in a friendly conversational way which makes it easy to follow along. All their recipes are gluten and dairy free for those that want or need it.

This is not what you would think of as a “fitness” book but the authors promote a fit and healthy, and most importantly, balanced lifestyle. If you need to make nutritional changes in your life this book and the green smoothie lifestyle is the perfect place to start. There are so many great recipes and simple ingredients to choose from. You’ll never be bored drinking the same thing every day.

My own green smoothie recipes were perfect for me but hit or miss with my kids. The Kid Friendly chapter in Simple Green Smoothies solved that problem. We haven’t tried all the recipes yet but the “Banana Split” and the “Happy Monkey” are big hits. And the ice pop recipes are genius!

I love oats but I never thought to add them to my smoothies until reading the Fitness Fuel chapter. This is now my new favorite ingredient! This chapter provides recipes for pre- and post-workout drinks that are so much better for you and tastier than pre-packaged, processed drinks.

I like that they include recipes for making your own nut milks and nut-free milks. Coconut milk…yum! Certainly, it’s convenient to buy them if you can find them but Jen and Jadah’s instructions make it so easy to make your own and ensure that you know exactly what you’re getting in your smoothie.

I can’t say enough great things about this book! I’ve made smoothies at home for a long time but Simple Green Smoothies has re-energized my blender and kicked me out of my rut.

P.S. I checked the book out of the library before buying it but you can find it on Amazon.com here Simple Green Smoothies: 100+ Tasty Recipes to Lose Weight, Gain Energy, and Feel Great in Your Body

P.P.S. The above link is my Amazon.com Affiliate link…I have no financial affiliation with Simple Green Smoothies specifically.

Ditch Your Store-Bought Sports Drink

Do you drink a commercial sports drink after a workout? There are quite a few on the grocery store shelves in too many flavors and colors to count. They certainly serve their purpose and there is plenty of research to indicate their usefulness in replenishing your body after a tough, sweaty workout.

Research also says that sports drinks are useful for workouts that last longer than an hour. You generally don’t need anything more than plain water for shorter workouts.

I prefer to avoid the added sugar and artificial flavors and colors of commercial drinks even when I do need more than just water.

Enter…the homemade sports drink!

You’re probably thinking “It’s just easier to buy them.” “I don’t have time to mix drinks.” I have a super simple recipe below that only has 3 ingredients and you probably already have 2 of them in your kitchen.

The benefits to making your own sports drink:

  • Usually, it’s cheaper. Ok, sometimes you can hit great sales at grocery or big box stores but in the long run, I have found it cheaper to make my own.
  • General health reasons. I personally try to avoid chemicals, added sugar and processed foods in general. Even though sports drinks are associated with exercise and health, they are still highly processed. By making your own you can avoid unwanted ingredients and allergens.
  • Reliability. By making your own drink, you can tweak it to your exact preferences/needs and know what your getting every time.
  • Less wasteful. You can mix when and how much you need in your own containers and not have to worry about the added waste of plastic bottles or the concern of questionable chemicals in the plastic.

 

So, to create my own drink, I wanted simple, common ingredients that didn’t need a lot of prep. I did an hour or so of research and created a recipe using watermelon, plain water or coconut water and a little salt. I told you it was simple!

A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry showed that watermelon juice helped reduce recovery heart rate and muscle soreness after 24 hours. A naturally occurring chemical in watermelon accelerates lactic acid removal. This means you can recover faster and perform better.

Plain water is always a good choice and I don’t think that needs anymore explaining!

Coconut water is the clear liquid from young, green coconuts and contains easily digested carbs and electrolytes. It has less sodium and calories and more potassium than most commercial sports drinks. Various studies have shown that coconut water helps hydrate just as well as plain water or sports drinks. Make sure, when buying that you get plain coconut water. It will defeat the point of making your own drink if you purchase products with added sugar or juice.

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Watermelon Sports Drink: 3 Easy ingredients…water, salt and watermelon

The Super Simple Recipe…

1 c. cubed, seeded watermelon
1/2 c. plain water
1/2 c. coconut water
pinch of sea salt

Blend all ingredients and enjoy!

A couple of notes about the recipe:

* cubed watermelon can be frozen for those times of year when it’s not readily available (I have not personally had good success with this but I’ve heard other people have!)
* you can adjust the ratio of plain water and coconut water to your own taste. Some people don’t like the taste of coconut water or can’t easily find it at the store.
* I add a squeeze of lemon or lime juice sometimes to cut some of the sweetness of ripe watermelon

If you have your own homemade concoctions, please share in the comments!