Spring into Strange (But Good)

I always look forward to spring.

Except the pollen.  Who knew San Diego had pollen?!

Spring food is the best.  Don’t get me wrong, I love a roasted winter squash and the orange glow that comes with it.  The lighter, fresh spring fare has my heart though.

Today’s #strangebutgood is a round up of some of my favorite spring recipes.  Some stranger than others.  All good.  In my not-so-humble opinion.

Berry Chia Pudding

Berry Chia Pudding… 

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Cookies & Cream Zero Carb Protein Smoothie

I love me some protein.

Bro.

I also love cookies.  If you can combine protein and cookies, you have a winner.  When Isopure sent over their cookies & cream zero carb powder with 50 grams of 100% pure whey protein isolate I couldn’t try it fast enough.  It was perfectly timed too – after being on he road for a week I was ready to get back in the gym!

Workout… 

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It’s About Time You Try Protein Powder 3 Ways

Peanut Butter Yogurt Bowl. Mocha Concrete Protein Shake. Pumpkin Cake Pancakes.

That’s my kind of ménage à trois!

If you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time, you know I’m a protein powder enthusiast.  When About Time sent over a dream team of protein powders for me to try, I jumped at the chance.  Birthday cake, peanut butter, cinnamon swirl… I was like a kid in a candy shop.

About Time Protein Review… 

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Red Velvet Protein Shake [Recipe] + Santa Speedo Run

I ran down the street in my underwear this weekend.

It was Christmas underwear…. which makes it totally acceptable…

Atlanta holds a Santa Speedo Run every year.  I’ve always been curious and had friends who’ve run… but this year curiosity killed the cat.  I paid money to run down Peachtree Street in my undies.  Thankfully, it was a pretty warm day and the “race” was only 1.5 miles.  And it was for charity!  It was a fun way to stay active and donate to a good cause on the holidays!

ATL Santa Speedo Run… 

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Pumpkin Pie Protein Ice Cream + WIAW

Winning is my favorite thing.

Really… everything is a competition.

I saw this sign walking to a meeting yesterday and literally laughed out loud.

I was wrong

Sometimes being wrong isn’t SO bad.  I’d decided never to date again.  Vegas has ruined me.  So… I admit it.  I was wrong.

But I am still never, ever having babies.  Take that, Universe.

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This WIAW I ate a whole lot random food after getting stranded an extra day out West.  First time in my life I missed a flight!  Didn’t feel like a mistake after I made it though. 😉

WIAWbutton

Read on for my eats, and then check out Jenn’s blog for everyone else’s delicious creations!… 

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Blueberry Cheesecake Protein Shake + WIAW

Water makes me pee.

As it should.

I drink a TON of water.  In addition to it being a standard part of any competitor’s diets, I live in the South and it’s August.  Cold water is like gold.  There are many benefits of drinking a lot of water – I did a post on it.

5 Benefits to Drinking Water

Someone commented on last Wednesday’s post asking how many times I got to the bathroom with all the water I drink.  I’m sure she was kidding… but I took the opportunity to count.

Yesterday I peed 15 times…. 

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Blend Your [Growing Naturals] Protein

My Blends are Strange.

But oh-so-good.

Today I am in Utah for the annual Blend Retreat!  I look forward to this retreat all year… and I feel especially lucky because I get to represent Growing Naturals again this year.  I wish I could share them with everyone (but scroll on down for a sweet freebie offer).  You should all come to Blend next year!  If you can’t be there this year, be sure to follow along on Twitter and Instagram for the live action.

Last year they were a huge hit with the other bloggin’ ladies, but here are a few reasons I personally love them:

Reasons I love Growing Naturals:

  1. Not chalky
  2. Great flavor (not fake-tasting)
  3. Super-clean (vegan, soy-free, and gluten-free!)
  4. Low in sodium, sugar, and carbs
  5. Their staff rocks – they are passionate about their product and committed to health!

Growing Naturals truly is my favorite protein to use. I love to use it in all the things!  It’s fantastic raw in smoothies like my favorite Mocha Beet Frapp and Carrot Cake Batter Shake, or baked into Plantain Ginger Bread.

Plantain Ginger Protein Bread

Rather than one of my own #strangebutgood creations this week, I wanted to feature some favorites from my Blends who use Growing Naturals!

My “original” Blend, Sarah, is the first blogger I met in real life.  We will miss her this year, but will celebrate her strangeness today with her Strawberry Pineapple Cilantro Smoothie:

Strawberry Pineapple Cilantro Smoothie

Strange creation #2 comes from a Blend who I basically invited myself to visit… having never met her… in Switzerland!

Lucie is one amazing woman.  I wish she could make it to Blend, but I guess coming from Europe would be a little pricey.  Instead, we should all make her Green Protein Pancakes in her honor! 😉

Green Protein Pancakes

Last (but certainly not least) is a Blend I will get to see tonight!  My brother from another mother, Lindsay!

This lady knows more about fueling with food and gut health than anyone I know.  I’m so glad she’s agree to share 3 strange but healthy recipes today!

Grain-Free Superfruit Bread

Superfruit Bread

Orange Dream Machine Smoothie

Orange Dream Machine Smoothie

Mexican Chocolate & Walnut Healthy Balls… errr… Bites

I have made these, only I subbed sunflower seeds for the walnuts.  They rocked my balls off.

Mexican Chocolate & Walnut Healthy Bites

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How have you enjoyed making co-workers, friends, or family stare with strange but good creations this week? The link up rules can be found here or by clicking on “Strange But Good” in the menu bar above. In short, I want to see what concoctions have earned you weird looks from co-workers, family and friends! Post your Strange But Good creations, grab the logo below for your blog, and link up here.

If you’re not a blogger, you can still share your recipes on Instagram with the #strangebutgood hashtag.

Sprint 2 the Table

 

 

Remember to use #strangebutgood in any Tweets and Instagrams of your creations. :)



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Want to try Growing Naturals for yourself?  Sign up to be a Growing Groupie and enter discount code sprint2thetable at checkout for a free bottle of Simply Soapberry (their natural laundry detergent) and a free 1lb container of protein powder. Offer expires 09/06/2014.

What is your favorite protein powder recipe?  

What was the last recipe you tried from a Blend?  (Blend = Blogger + Friend)

Strange But Good: Hemp Protein

Lately it seems all of my friends are moving to Colorado.

 

For reasons that are not hemp-related.

I want to move to Colorado too – not for the recent legalization, but for the healthy vibe people have and the amazing skiing.  In the meantime, I’ll gladly enjoy my hemp down here in Georgia thanks to Onnit.

Onnit sent over an awesome package of their hemp-based products for me to try out via a FitFluential campaign.  (FYI: hemp will not get you high and it won’t cause you to fail a drug test).  I received Onnit’s Hemp FORCE in Cocoa-Maca and Vanilla-Acai, the Walnut Almond Cashew & Macadamia Cacao Cherry Nut Butters, and a canister of Earth Grown Nutrients.

Onnit

 

I’d been lucky enough to meet a couple of the Onnit team members and try them out at the Blend Retreat last year.  Their Walnut Almond Cashew Nut Butter left a lasting impression (I may have absconded with a jar).

Needless to say, I didn’t waste anytime devouring opening that jar.  It was fabulous atop a #strangebutgood protein cake for breakfast!  This creation was based on the protein loaf Debbie linked up.

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My favorite was the Coca Maca.  I live for chocolate.  I mean… it’s all about the health benefits!  Cocoa in antioxidants and helps regulate blood sugar levels.  It’s even thought to relax sore muscles.  Many of you know about maca already; it helps boost the endocrine system and libido.

I’ve been using a scoop mixed with almond milk and a little cinnamon in healthy desserts.  I mix it together in a teeny bowl and microwave it for 10-12 seconds to make a hot, fudg-y topping.

This one was particularly good – sweet potato cubes, a diced Arctic Zero ice cream bar, and the aforementioned hot fudge.  Strange?  Yes.  Good?  Most definitely.

Sweet Potato Coco Maca Protein Bowl

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The Vanilla-Acai protein powder surprised me.  I’m normally not a big fan of fruity-protein powders but this one had a fantastic taste – not fake or processed.

I couldn’t resist making a #strangebutgood combo with it (recipe at the bottom).  It has tofu in it.  Don’t freak out.  If you’ve ever tried my Carrot Cake Batter Shake, you know that tofu makes for an amazingly thick ‘n creamy smoothie.  Besides texture, I added it here for the extra protein.  The only downside to this protein powder is that a serving is only 15g of protein.

Vanilla Acai Hemp Protein Smoothie (Bowl)

Vanilla Acai Protein Smoothie (Bowl)

 

Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender (I use a Vitamx) and blend until smooth.

Transfer to a cup or bowl, top as desired, and enjoy!

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How have you enjoyed making co-workers, friends, or family stare with strange but good creations this week? The link up rules can be found here or by clicking on “Strange But Good” in the menu bar above. In short, I want to see what concoctions have earned you weird looks from co-workers, family and friends! Post your Strange But Good creations, grab the logo below for your blog, and link up here.

Sprint 2 the Table

Remember to use #strangebutgood in any Tweets and Instagrams of your creations. :)



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Don’t take my word for it – try it for yourself here using coupon code FitFood10 for 10% off any Onnit product!

Do you like hemp?  (The protein.  Don’t incriminate yourself. 😉 )

What’s the strangest thing you’ve eaten this week?

 

Top 13 in 2013

You guys like dessert.

I guess that’s why we get along?

Happy New Year!!!

As I looked back at the top posts of 2013, I knew there would be a lot of sweeter dishes.  But whoa.  Of the top 13 2013 posts, 6 were sweet recipes.  What I didn’t realize was that the Work It Out posts are popular too!  I’ll do a better job to writing more of those in 2014 – I’ve been pushing it at the gym, but slacking on the writing.

Thank you to everyone for all of the visits, comments, and many, many laughs in 2013.  I’ve loved getting to know so many awesome people this year, and look forward to continuing these relationships for years to come.

Enough much!  Here’s the lucky (top) 13 to start out ’14…

Top 13 in 2013… 

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Marvelous Smoothie Crack: Mocha Beet Frappuccino

Crack is whack.

Thank you, Whitney Houston for that insightful quote. 

After a long hiatus, I am jumping back into Heather‘s Meatless Monday link up!

MMAZ

I would never expose you to something whack, so this post isn’t actually about crack.  It is a super-energizing smoothie though!

This week’s MMAZ link up is about making someone else’s recipe.  Unfortunately, I am unable to follow recipes (or directions).  Rather, I took inspiration from someone’s recipe.

Sarah created this vegan Mocha Chip Mousse last week.  I loved how she used tofu to create a protein-rich healthy-ish dessert.  It made me remember my favorite Carrot Cake Batter Shake, where I used tofu to get a milk shake consistency.  Why hadn’t I done it with chocolate?!  And coffee… this was a frapp waiting to happen!  There may have been some strangeness too… I’ve been loving chocolate-beet smoothies lately and I carried that idea over to make this a Mocha Beet Frappuccino. :)

Mocha Beet Frapp

Recipe for this crack-like creation at the bottom…

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First I have to share some marvelous!!!  I had the pleasure of dining with one of my favorite ladies: Sarena!  She invited me over for dinner with her family.  I’d never met her crew before, but felt like I already knew them thanks to social media.  Tony (her husband) said he felt like Instragram was coming to life.  :)

Sarena dinner

If you’ve never tried any of Sarena’s gluten-free baked goods before, let me assure you this stuff is the jam.  She made a loaf of gluten-free bread that was better than most of the “real” bread I’ve had.

We started with a salad, then for dinner enjoyed succotash, grilled pork, and homemade bread.  And more bread.  I wish I’d gotten a pic of the Pavlova Sarena made for dessert too.  It was fantastic!

 

Also marvelous was a sunny Sunday run up Stone Mountain.  Remember those booty building incline sprints?  I’m back at it. :)

While we’re talking about booty, I finally picked up a pair of the Nike Pro booty shorts I see everyone on Instagram wearing.  They are actually amazing – comfy and breathable.

I shamelessly wore them all day long.  Including to 2 grocery stores.

New Nike Pro shorts

Killer bicep/tricep workout, followed up with more crack.

Check out what else is marvelous in blog land this week in Katie’s link up!

Marvelous Monday

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 Mocha Beet Frappuccino

Mocha Beet Frappuccino

  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • 1/2 serving (1.5 oz) tofu
  • 1/4 C roasted beet (or 1 tsp beet powder)
  • 1 T instant coffee granules
  • 1/2 T cocoa powder
  • 1/4 inch piece fresh ginger
  • 1 cinnamon stick (or 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon)
  • 5-6 drops vanilla liquid stevia
  • Pinch of xanthan and guar gums (optional)
  • Ice and water (adjust according to thickness preference)

Toss it all in the blender and mix until smooth.

Inhale.  Bounce off the walls.

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Why don’t I ever remember that it’s a bad idea to run up mountains the day before leg day?!  Doh.

Do you run around in your gym clothes all day?

Do you even gluten-free products even though you don’t have an allergy?  I like trying all the foods!