Monthly Archives: May 2014

Summer Smoothie Spectacular!

I don’t know about the rest of you, but it’s getting HOT here! Like, H.O.T. hot! 😉 Do you know what that means? It means you’re going to want to cool down with some deeeelicious cold beverages. Now, I think the rest of you are with me when I say, “Ohmygod I love Slurpees, Frozen Yogurt, Italian Ice, Ice Cream” and all things just..freaking..amazingly cold and sweet!

But, sadly, as much as we want to deny it, those things aren’t healthy for us. They’re good, in moderation. Though, if you’re anything like me and swear that you’ll only have ONE SERVING and then eat it all anyway, that can be a *bit* of a problem.

This semester, with it being my last, and I have to say with it also being the hardest semester of my time in college, I have managed to just sort of stop caring. About me, about my body, about anything except homework. And it has had some consequences. I worked so hard to lose weight for my wedding, and I’ve gained back all but 7 lbs. Sitting endlessly in lectures, in front of the computer doing hours of programming, staying up late, snacking on whatever is nearby when I get hungry, giving in to my cravings….yeah. It has been a rough semester. Fall wasn’t too bad, but ever since Spring swung around, it has just been downhill.

So here I am, almost a week from graduating, and ready to get back on the horse and whip my butt into shape – literally! (sans the whipping, because…ouch) Plus, now that I won’t have homework anymore, I have time to go running, or take yoga, or do Zumba, or all of it! I can have a life!! I have downloaded an app called “Couch to 5k” by Active.com (the same people that sponsor the Color Run and other shenanigans), and also one called “Just 6 Weeks” that teaches you to do crunches, push ups, etc., in 6 weeks. I have started logging my food on MyFitnessPal again, and have, for the most part, stayed on the straight and narrow for the last week or so. I have lost about 5 lbs, buuut I think it’s mostly just water. I have also had a couple of bad days (can you say someone had a cookout and made bbq chicken, burgers, and grilled corn on the cob? Ohmygod), but I’m not terribly angry at myself over it.

What does this have to do with smoothies? Well, I was browsing Pinterest (because who needs to study statistics when there’s Pinterest?), and I kept seeing recipes for smoothies. Mean green smoothie, flax smoothie, glowing green smoothie, delicious smoothie, smoothie this, smoothie that. I pinned  bunch of the pins, but I wasn’t totally sold on any specific one that I thought I’d just love. So, I decided to kind of make up my own going off of other peoples’ recipes. And here we are. I don’t have anything to call it (like a snazzy name), but it IS good, and GOOD FOR YOU. I sat down and worked out all of the nutrition information (perks of taking a nutrition class, yaaaaay), and it’s loaded with nutrients. I’d recommend making it in the mornings, so you have a great way to start your day! My recipe includes green tea, which has caffeine in it. So there’s that benefit as well!

Are you ready? Let’s make a smoothie!

Yesterday, I went shopping for a bunch of fruits and some spinach (I’m taking baby steps – I know I like baby spinach, so I’m starting with that first), and brought them home and washed them. I usually just kind of scrub off my food before I eat it with water, but since I knew I was going to be slicing, freezing, and then storing my fruit, I figured I should give them a proper scrubdown. So I mixed 6 cups of water with 2 cups of white vinegar (3:1) and EWWWWWW! Check it out:

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That came off MY FOOD THAT I PUT IN MY BODY! When I poured it out there was brown sludge at the bottom of the bowl that looked like mud. Yeah, never just rinsing under water and rubbing with my hands again. Gross.

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Also, look how shiny everything was! 😀 I set my fruit out on the counter to dry and got busy with studying.

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I also made a container of green tea. It was exciting, because the first container I made, I just laid on its side in the fridge, but the hot water (I boiled water, steeped the tea, removed the bags, put on the lid, and stuck it in the fridge – but my fridge is stupid and things as tall as that container don’t fit, so I had to lay it down) caused pressure against the lid and BOOM! My kitchen and fridge were suddenly overflowing with green tea. It was amazing. T___T Not. Though, when I grabbed a nearby towel out of storage to clean up with, I found a $25 Bed, Bath and Beyond gift card, so all is not lost. I bought a serving bowl and a picture frame. Booyah. Anyway, I made this NEW container of green tea and left it on the counter all afternoon into the evening to cool down before I put it in the fridge. Lesson learned (for those of you wondering: one kettle full of water, 4 tea bags, steep 3 minutes, remove. Add a little honey if you want and mix).

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After all the veggies and fruit were dried off, I chopped them up and stuck them in the fridge on a cookie sheet and cutting board to get hard enough to put in bags. I also bought and chopped three different kinds of pears and grapes. The nutrition info I will be providing is strictly for the recipe with strawberries and blueberries in it.

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Once everything was frozen, I put them in their own bag for later use. The smoothie is much more smooth if your stuff is frozen. 🙂

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Meanwhile, you will also need some delicious yogurt. I prefer Chobani because it has less sugar and sodium than other brands, more protein, and important probiotics for your digestive system. Plus I think it tastes yummy. You can use whatever you want, though.

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Finally, you’ll need some protein powder. I make The Ryan protein bars for his workouts, and we have this sitting around. We prefer soy to whey, but whatever you wanna do, do your thing. That’s the nice thing about smoothies – there’s really no wrong way to do it.

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(Yes, that’s a Game of Thrones cup. Yes, that’s house Stark. Winter is Coming; Though Tyrion is my favorite. I haven’t read all the books, don’t tell me if he dies, I would lose it!)

When you’re ready, combine:

  • 2 tbls agave
  • One serving protein powder (for us that’s 2 tbls)
  • 1 tbls ground flax seed
  • 2 cups baby spinach, tightly packed
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/3 cup greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup sliced cucumber
  • 1 cup green tea

Throw it in the blender and process. NOMNOM. This recipe makes 4 cups, and I define one serving as 2 cups. Don’t worry, the other 2 cups will fit nicely into a mason jar. Add a little lemon juice to the leftovers and give it a whirl in the blender to help slow down oxidation, fill your mason jar all the way to the top to keep air out, and put a tight lid on it. VOILA, now you have one for later too! Stored in your fridge, it should last up to 24 hours. Check it before you drink it, though!

One serving of this smoothie as written contains:

  • 18.5g of protein
  • 31g sugar
  • 154mg sodium
  • 5.5g fiber
  • 57.5% DV of Vitamin A
  • 16% DV of Calcium
  • 108.5% DV of Vitamin C
  • 19.5% DV of Iron
  • 887mg of Omega-3 fatty acids
  • 287.3mg of Omega-6 fatty acids
  • 1% DV of Vitamin E
  • 24% DV of Vitamin K
  • 6% DV Thiamin
  • 1.5% DV Riboflavin
  • 2% DV Niacin
  • 3.5% DV Vitamin B6
  • 6% DV Folate (especially good for you if you’re pregnant!)
  • 3% DV of Vitamin B5 (Panthothenic Acid)
  • 28% DV Magnesium
  • 6.5% DV Phosphorous
  • 12% DV Potassium
  • 4.5% DV Zinc
  • 10.5% DV Copper
  • 44% DV Manganese
  • 2% DV Selenium
  • 12.5 mg Caffeine
  • And amazing antioxidants and probiotics!!

So there you have it, why wouldn’t you start your mornings with this from now on? What are you waiting for? Go get started!

(P.S. I would like to shamelessly plug my Ninja blender, which I got for Christmas. I LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE IT!! It makes things nice and smooth mmmm)

 

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Walking While Fat and Female – Or, Why I Don’t Care Not All Men are Like That

Read this and thought she made some good points. It’s not just Seattle where this happens, I can tell you some stories of my own.

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Short Update!

Happy Thursday, everybody! Alas, I have no new food for you today, however I DO have some stellar news, so I’m going to just do a short update!! There’s a lot going on in our life right now, the most exciting of which (for me, at least) is that in 12 more days I will take my last final, and in 15 more days, I will be walking to GET MY DEGREE! 😀 I have worked very hard for this, and it’s almost surreal that it’s actually going to happen. I’ve got my cap and gown, and I’m actually working on a project as we speak. The cool thing about programming stuff is that when it runs, it can take a while. And while that while is happening, you have free time to just watch it do its thing while you wait to see if it works 100% or not.

So here I am, running a Python script I’m putting together for a final project, and typing to you lovely people. First thing’s first: Good news numero uno! Baby Cambria, who I announced to you back in December had neuroblastoma cancer, has been deemed CANCER FREE as of March 28!! 😀 Yaaaaaaaaay!! We had a “Kicked Cancer’s Ass!” party a couple weeks ago, and whatta ya know? MOMMY AND DADDY S ARE PREGNANT AGAIN! Cambria is going to be a big sister!! 😀 That’s exciting news #2!

ImageDon’t you just LOVE this cake? 😀 Myself and the hostess with the mostess, Dawn, designed it together with the cake people. Local Marylanders, check out Kake Korner, they are incredibly talented and lovely ladies to work with! They did this cake, Mommy S’ baby shower cake, and our wedding cake! And it’s sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo *gasp* ooooooooooooooooooo yummy!!!

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The little lady of honor herself! Hanging onto the present I got her (a Peter Rabbit book that has all sorts of different textures she can feel), that she will probably drool all over! 🙂 Because that’s what babies do.

The next set of exciting news comes along with the Ryan and I yet again moving. BOOOOOO for moving, because it’s a pain in the ass, but YAY because it’s into a house!! 😀 We found a lovely townhouse in a really nice neighborhood, and while we’re only renting, I’m looking forward to being a part of the community. Sans the HOA, though. Blegh. Anyway, we’re in the process of painting the house, so I’m going to give you a few before and after shots to keep us motivated! Pardon the fact that it’s sort of a war zone, we ARE working, after all. We are repainting almost the entire house: the living/dining area, the kitchen, and the master bedroom. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you realize that the house is 3 stories and there are walls for DAYS in the stairwell (which we have to paint also), you’ll see how much work it is. The homeowner painted the *entire* downstairs and stairwell this horrid green color that was a nice minty green color in the morning and morphed into this olive brown green baby vomit monstrosity in the afternoon. So, we’re changing it up a bit and lightening things up.

First set – the bedroom (and you can see the icky vomity green brown whatever in the hallway/stairwell in the first shot here):

Before:

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After:

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I loooooooooooooove how the bedroom came out! Crappy cell phone pictures aside, it’s really gorgeous. And I have since put all of the face plates back on the wall. They are presently that weird eggshell off-white beige color, but when we update some of the wiring, I’m going to switch them out for a nice bright white to match the trim. The wall color is exactly what I imagined, which is super fantastic because I had only seen photos of it on the computer. It’s Valspar’s “Wet Pavement” color, which is much more, erm…grey? on the swatch. It’s lovely, though. We’ve got dark furniture and vibrant sheets, so our bedroom is going to look FANTASTIC when all of our furniture is in there. 🙂

Next up how about just the whole downstairs, haha. You can see the green color like whoa here:

Before:

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Yes, that’s my husband with his face in the closet. 🙂 There’s storage under the stairs. Love it!

So far (I say so far because it’s primed/half painted, but it is not in any way finished!!):

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Yes, it’s a hot mess. 🙂 But there is some GOOD news out of the mess, the kitchen and bay window are painted. I picked Sherwin Williams’ color “Latte” for those rooms, and had it mixed at Lowes so I didn’t have to spend $50/gal on paint. 🙂 And yes, I’m going to get rid of those heinous light fixtures. Grossssssss!

After:

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So there you have it, our progress so far. I am loving the latte color, and I adore the bedroom! I am super excited to have gotten some paint on the walls and seen the actual color over the primer. Already the whole house looks brighter and more welcoming! The living room and stairwell are/will be Sherwin Williams’ color “Kilim Beige,”, and I think it will make the kitchen and bay window really pop once it’s on the walls. This project has been very hard, physical work so far (I found muscles in my thighs I didn’t even know I had until I spent all Saturday running up and down the stairs), but it will be totally worth it! After we’re all moved in and settled, I will update with more photos! I have an area rug picked out, and some other things that I think will make the house look so much more cozy when we’re finally in, and I am looking super forward to showing you all!

Meanwhile, don’t forget that Sunday is Mother’s Day! 🙂 Cook your mama a nice meal, take her out, buy her flowers, and be nice to her! She brought you into this world. 😉 To all the mommies out there: I wish you a fantastic day on Sunday!

 

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