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…. 

Read More »

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

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

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. :)



***

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.

_______________________________________________________________________________________

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

 _______________________________________________________________________________________

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!

________________________________________________________________________________________

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. :)



***

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… 

Read More »

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…

________________________________________________________________________________________

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

________________________________________________________________________________________

 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.

***

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! 

 

Obnoxious Orders + WIAW

Lately there seems to be a streak of obnoxious.

 

Or maybe I’m having a streak of impatience?

We’ve become a nation of “have it your way.”  But has it done nothing more than turn us into entitled, bourgeois consumers?  We can have virtually anything we want almost instantly.

Take Starbucks.  Yesterday I ran across this article filled with the most obnoxious Starbucks orders.  At first I thought they weren’t SO bad… but keep reading.

Starbucks

My favorites:*

  • Decaf, Soy Latte With An Extra Shot And Cream → Soy, decaf… with CREAM?  And an extra SHOT?  I’m naming this “The Oxymoron”
  • Quad Grande, Non Fat, Extra Hot Caramel Macchiato Upside Down → Upside down?  This is coffee.  Not a cake.  And why bother with the non-fat after all the damn sugar you’re drinking?!
  • Caramel Macchiato, Venti, Skim, Extra Shot, Extra-Hot, Extra-Whip, Sugar-Free → You are aware that whip isn’t sugar-free, right?
  • Grande Chai Tea Latte, 3 Pump, Skim Milk, Lite Water, No Foam, Extra Hot → If you have a pump number specification, you miiiiight be high-maintenence.  And lite water?  As opposed to full-fat?

*All of this is in good fun… I’m sure people (read: my boss) think the way I order in restaurants is obnoxious.

 

It is rare that I buy coffee.  It’s rare that I even drink coffee.  That said, I do dig this Mocha Protein Frapp.  I know, I know, leave it to me to prefer a protein drink…

Mocha Protein Frapp

 

Who needs Starbucks when you can have a homemade protein mocha frapp with a fraction of the sugar?  Make this and save yourself $6 and 20g of sugar.

________________________________________________________________________________________

This day of WIAW eats was odd… there were some semi-fails and a wave of nausea… but  let’s face it, eating is always the best part of my day.

WIAWbutton

Read on for my eats, and then check out Jenn’s link up for everyone else’s delicious days.

________________________________________________________________________________________

Breakfast:

My morning cocktail (apple cider vinegar, water, Glutamine, and Fitmixer Aminos) happened, as usual.  I swear this is the biggest addiction in my life.

Breakfast was a pancake experiment… it’s not there yet.  Will keep working.  That said, everything is better when topped with bacon and peanut butter sauce.

Pancake experiment

 

Mid-Morning Snack:

I don’t buy packaged proteins very often, but I do like the Trader Joe’s Balsamic Chicken.  Its full of flavor and high in protein.  Perfect for busy weeks!  I ate it with raw corn and riced cauliflower mixed with hummus.

That sounds odd after typing it out loud… hmmm…

Chicken and cauliflower rice

 

Lunch:

My favorite: Sea Bass.  I prepare it during my Sunday food prep.  It’s simply coated with fresh thymerosemarygarlic, black pepper, and lemon, then I bake it on foil in the oven for 12 mins (400 degrees on convection roast).

I ate it with a side of veggies I pre-roasted on Sunday.  To reheat them, I just place them in the oven under broil so they get nice a crispy.

Sea bass and roasted veggies

 

Afternoon Snack:

The smoothie love continues.  After my workout this afternoon I made a strange… but strange… smoothie bowl.  I think it would have been fine if I hadn’t added so much wheatgrass.

 strange smoothie

In my smoothie:

  • Chocolate protein powder
  • Wheatgrass
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli slaw
  • Maple extract
  • Cinnamon
  • Fresh ginger
  • Liquid Stevia
  • Toppings: TruWhip, cacao nibs and raw oats

 

 

I had an awkwardly timed hair appointment after work, so I had a second snack to tide me over.  My favorite thing.

Kabocha squash!  I roasted it like I did in  this #strangebutgood post and topped it with a quick sauce of peanut flour, almond milk, almond extract, cinnamon, and a couple drops of stevia.  And cacao nibs (I think I’m addicted).

Cocoa Kabocha roast with peanut sauce

 

Dinner:

I went to get my mane tamed, and while I was in the stylist’s chair I got oddly nauseous.  It was so weird!  Suddenly I just felt like I might have to run to the bathroom.  I drank water, breathed calmly, and made it through the cut.

After I got home I wasn’t hungry, but I knew it was time to eat.  Cheese toast sounded good, so I made that with some Ezekial bread and sample packet of Dubliner cheese I found in the fridge (hope that wasn’t too old…).  Then I added a bunch of stuff.  Swordfish (just a bit for protein – seafood isn’t appealing when feeling puke-y), sugar peas, hummus, and roasted tomatoes with basil.

odd dinner

 

Dessert:

I still felt a little off, so I went with Greek yogurt hoping the good bacteria would work some magic.  A bit ‘o #strangebutgood always makes me feel better. :)

Popcorn is an awesome dessert topper.  I buy mine in the bulk bins and pop it in brown paper bags in the microwave.  This was topped with melted cherries.  The underbelly of this deliciousness was Greek yogurt mixed with 1/2 scoop of protein powder, carob powder, cinnamon, a little cayenne, and a few drops of Stevia.

popcorn protein geek bowl

***

After leg day on Monday, I am so sore today that just the thought of walking hurts.  Can that cause nausea??? ;)

What is the most obnoxious thing you order?  Mine is salad.  Basically I want to build my own.  I don’t want the cheese if it’s the crappy shredded stuff, I do want to add red pepper flakes, the dressing must be on the side, and – for the love of god – don’t salt anything.  Is that so hard?!

What do you eat when your stomach doesn’t feel right?

 

Back to Reality + WIAW

A smart blogger would have posted a “What I Ate on Vacation” today.

 

I got too excited and posted my favorites on Monday.

There are a few things I didn’t yet share from Napa (besides the wine – that post is coming!).

The thing that earned me the strangest look from Lisa was probably my extreme excitement over seeing GT’s Classic in the CalMart (not to be confused with Wal-Mart).  The Classic is the version GT’s was forced to quit selling at many major markets due to the alcohol content.  This is silly.  Kombucha is fermented tea… but there’s not even enough booze for a buzz!  I chose the Gingerberry and didn’t get drunk in the least.

GT's Classic Kombucha

 

This next item DID pack a punch.  A Maple Bacon Manhattan from JoLe.  It was bacon-infused rye, Carpano Antica, and maple syrup… with a side of candied bacon.

I was only going to have a taste… but holy yum.

Maple Bacon Manhattan

 

Lunch somehow was missed in my Monday food post.  Our driver in Napa recommended that we try a new concept called R+D Kitchen.  It’s owned by Hillstone, which makes it a chain (I’m morally opposed to eating at chains)… but we bit the bullet and tried it out.  So very glad we did!

As with Houston’s, the food and service were top-notch.  We shared toasts to start – one with hummus and one with goat cheese and figs.  The hummus was very good – heavy on the tahini, which is ideal in my book!

R+D Kitchen toasts

 

For my meal I ordered a omelette with spinach and goat cheese.  It may look funny, but the omelette was fantastic.  It was done french-style.  It’s difficult to find a good one, but they executed it flawlessly!

It also came with roasted tomatoes and a side salad.  Those tomatoes made the meal!

R+D Kitchen omeltte

 

I know this is getting long… but one more!!!  Remember the “scenic” walk to dinner I took my friends on?  I think this view at Sol Bar was worth it:

Sol Bar

 

Most of the meal was too dark to take pics of and we were in such a night place I felt wrong using a flash (*gasp* I do have some shame).  The entire meal was mind-blowingly delcious, and our server couldn’t have been more fabulous.

I did get one decent shot of my birthday dessert.  Chocolate Decadence with Ortiz Farms raspberries, soft cream, and cocoa nib dentelle. Words cannot describe.  It’s the last (30th) birthday cake I’ll have, I swear.

Sol Bar birthday cake

________________________________________________________________________________________

This day of WIAW eats was fun for me!  Monday morning I woke up to find that my fridge and freezer were not working.  After a brief panic, I managed to get a handyman out and have the thing fixed for less than $150.  It was also the perfect excuse to clean out my food stash and restock!  Restocking is the best – the farmer’s market didn’t know what hit it!  I was SO excited that I got home and did my food prep right then.  Snapper, cod, gazpacho, roasted kabocha, and bison burgers.  At 9pm.  :)

WIAWbutton

Read on for my fresh fridge eats, and then check out Jenn’s link up for everyone else’s delicious days.

________________________________________________________________________________________

Breakfast:

My morning cocktail (apple cider vinegar, water, Glutamine, and Fitmixer Aminos) is still going strong.  I am now so addicted that I brough the Fitmixer to Napa and purchased a bottle of ACV from the market there.

Something lit a fire under my butt, because I woke up in the mood to run sprints.  I can’t explain it.  Anyway, after the humid 30 minute run I couldn’t think of anything but a smoothie bowl.  Cold and now chewing required.  Does anyone else have a hard time chewing foods after workout?

Wheatgrass protein smoothie bowl

In my smoothie:

  • Vanilla protein powder
  • Wheatgrass
  • Spinach
  • Cinnamon
  • Fresh ginger
  • Lemon liquid Stevia
  • Cardamom
  • Toppings: plum and raw oats

Lunch:

I was so excited for this meal that I didn’t bother with my usual mid-morning snack.  During my Monday night food prep I roasted snapper with cilantro, fresh ginger, lime juice, pepper, and cherry tomatoes.  That was eaten for lunch along side a cup of gazpacho and a bag of veggie Pirate’s Booty.

Red Snapper and gazpacho

 

Afternoon Snack:

Despite having had a hearty lunch, I was still unnaturally excited for my afternoon snack.  Bison burgers!  I’ve been craving them for a long time.  This burger was so easy – I just mixed each patty with steak sauce and added red pepper flakes before cooking them in a pan.

I don’t use pre-made sauces often, but I did find this Robbie’s Naturals brand a Whole Foods that I love.  It’s low-sodium, low-sugar steak sauce.  (I also dig their BBQ sauce.)

Bison burger with Robbie's sauce

The side salad was also delish – red spinach, zucchini, asparagus (it’s been long enough to bring it back), shiitake mushrooms, thyme, lemon juice, and black pepper.

 

Dinner:

I’d been thinking of this all day long.  Sea Bass.  I think it’s passed swordfish as my favorite fish.  I ran home from my workout, coated it in thyme, rosemary, garlic, black pepper, and lemon juice before putting it in the oven for 12 mins (400 degrees on convection roast).

This gave me time to prep my salad: red spinach (nothing like spinach – it has a thick stem and is a little spicy), cherry tomatoes, and Persian cucumber.

Sea Bass and red spinach

 

Obviously I needed carbs after leg day, but I saved it for a little dessert…

Kabocha squash!  I roasted it as instructed in Friday’s #strangebutgood post and topped it with Peanut Butter Cannoli.

Cocoa Kabocha roast with peanut sauce

 

Dessert:

Nothing wrong with two desserts!  I almost had more roasted squash but decided to aim for variety.  And #strangebutgood-ness.

Shredded carrot, no salt cottage cheese, cinnamon, stevia, ginger, and vanilla topped with chocolate protein fluff made from vanilla protein powder, cocoa, beet powder, and stevia. Topped with massive blackberries and cacao nibs.  Just trust me.  It’s good.

***

Sorry for the picture-heavy post.  This was a lot… but I’m so excited about ALL the foods!  #lovemyinnerfatkid

Are there restaurants so nice you won’t take pictures?

If you could try anything in this post, what would it be?  I don’t think anything was terribly odd…

 

Sustaining My Energy + Giveaway

Forced rest is tiring.

 

This may be the understatement of the year.

Energy begets energy… sitting around does just the opposite.  Come 4 o’clock, my eyes have been glazing over and I am ready to be done working.  Since that’s not an option, I’ve been enjoying a new pick-me-up.

Designer Whey – the makers of my favorite whey protein powder – came out with a new Sustained Energy Protein Powder.  Thanks to Designer Whey and FitFluential, I received this package to try:

Designer Whey Sustained Energy

 

How is the different from the regular whey?

  • Each scoop has 16g of protein, 5g of fiber, 1g of sugar and 100 calories
  • The Endurance Blend™ is formulated to provide stimulant-free, sustained energy
  • Added fiber helps control hunger
  • High in vitamins A, C and E to aid in workout recovery, and in calcium and vitamin D for yer bones
  • 19 essential vitamins and minerals, including the B vitamins that energize your metabolism
  • Flavors are Vanilla Bean and Chocolate Velvet

 

I 100% love the taste of both the chocolate and vanilla.  I didn’t notice a sky-rocket effect on energy, but I did wake up after eating my smoothie bowl.  At 4p, this was a great snack to curb hunger and tide me until dinnertime.

Unable to simply mix powder with liquid and drink it, I created a Cardamom Cheesecake Protein Bowl for my afternoon snack.  With spinach… because isn’t everything better green?!  The cardamom and ginger made for a fun, refreshing flavor on a hot Atlanta afternoon!  (Recipe at the bottom)

Cardamom Ginger Protein Smoothie

 

Of even more interest to you…

Designer Whey is offering a giveaway!

SIX (6!!!) of you will have the chance to win your own Sustained Energy protein powder in either the Chocolate Velvet or Vanilla Bean.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A winner will be chosen on Thursday, July 4th, 2013.  Open U.S. to residents only.

 

______________________________________________________________________________________

New tasty protein powders and giveaways are obviously marvelous… so is the fact that Marvelous diva Katie, welcomed a new baby this weekend!  Congratulations, Katie!!!

Marvelous Monday

A few other Marvelous things:

I went to the Monday Night Brewery on Friday night.  They were the location Gather‘s launch party.  It was awesome.  Lots of good food, good beer… and beer rests in the bathroom.

Monday Night Brewing

 

Saturday I took shots.  Juice shots, that is.  This is called the “Grand Slam” at Arden’s Garden.  It’s shots of wheatgrass, ginger, lemon, and cranberry.  That ginger is intense.  They also gave me a little smoothie sample to chase it with.

Arden's Garden Grand Slam

 

Lastly, this girl’s recap of her visit to Atlanta and absolutely made my day.  I miss her already.  #bloggercrush 

______________________________________________________________________________________

Cardamom Cheesecake Protein Bowl

Cardamom Cheesecake Protein Bowl

  • 1 scoop Designer Whey Sustained Energy (or other protein powder)
  • 1 C fresh spinach (optional)
  • 1/2 C no-salt cottage cheese
  • 1/2 in piece fresh ginger (or /14 tsp grated)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp fresh cardamom
  • Ice, to taste

 

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.  Add additional ice to achieve thicker, ice cream-like consistency.

Enjoy!

***

This morning I have my follow-up with the surgeon.  He better clear me to workout!!!

What marvelous things did you do this weekend?

What do you do when you need a mid-afternoon pick me up?

 

Sweet Corn (Protein) Shake

Since discovering my love of corn, there is only one thing to do.

 

Besides simply “eat it.”

Turn it into a smoothie.  Duh.  You have to trust me on this one.  Corn seems strange, I know.  but it’s good.  I mean… have I lead you astray before?!  Don’t answer that.

Sweet Corn Protein Shake 1

 

Raw corn is super sweet.  Actually most raw veggies are sweeter to me raw than cooked.  This makes them perfect candidates for smoothies – Carrot Cake and Zucchini Bread smoothies happen weekly in my house – and you KNOW I add spinach to everything.

The avocado adds creaminess to the smoothie.  You could also use banana (I was out).  I never finish a whole avocado before it goes bad, so I eather bake with it or cut the leftovers into slices and store it inthe freezer for smoothies.

Sweet Corn Protein Shake 2

Lemon may seen weird, but that zestiness can actually bring out sweet flavors.  I added just a twist here!

Ginger also gives this drink it a teeny zing… you could leave it out, but remember it (and lemon) is a great detoxifier!!!

________________________________________________________________________________________

Sweet Corn Protein Shake

Sweet Corn (Protein) Shake

  • 1/4 C raw corn
  • 2 T avocado
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 6-7 drops vanilla liquid stevia (or sweetneer of choice)
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (or other liquid)
  • Ice, to taste
  • Optional: squeeze of lemon, xanthan and/or guar gum (to thicken)

 

Put everything in the blender and mix until smooth.

Slurp away! 

________________________________________________________________________________________

 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. :)


***

#StrangeButGood turens 30 this week!!!  And I turn 30 in 2 weeks.  Scary.  

"Age is just a number. It’s totally irrelevant unless, of course, you happen to be a bottle of wine." ~Joan Collins 

Do you drink more smoothies in the summer?  I can't get enough!

What are your favorite veggies to eat raw?  Do you ever use them to make them sweet treats?

 

What I Ate at Blend

Everyone in a while you meet total strangers who aren’t.

 

I swear that made sense in my head…

I hope I’m not the only one that feel like they “know” bloggers.  So many of the fabulous ladies I met at Blend this past weekend are bloggers I’ve been reading for so long that I felt like they were my “real” friends already!

First, I have to say a huge THANK YOU to Janetha, Lindsay (with credits for the following pic), and Katie for putting together another life-changing weekend!

Heather, Me, and Lindaay

Heather, Me, and Lindaay

 

Second, I owe a big thanks to Growing Naturals for sponsoring me at the retreat.  These guys are truly a great example of a small business offering good, clean products.

I was so thrilled to share their pea and rice protein powders and their protein drink mixes with my friends.  More on their products here.

Growing Naturals at Blend 2013

I know Bonnie was extra-excited to try this after the 9 mile run they did in the chilly Park CIty rain!

My friend Heather already used hers and shared a pic on Instagram:

Growing Naturals protein shake

It was also the start of my first post-workout recovery meal.

The vanilla rice protein was fabulous in my green smoothie (extra spinach!) topped with Muesli Fusion:

growing naturals green smoothie

Stay tuned – this fall they are coming out with a new addition to their protein/supplement line – yummy greens to throw into shakes!!!

________________________________________________________________________________________

Rather than a “traditional” WIAW post, today is all about What I Ate at Blend!  We were totally spoiled all weekend, and I’m still enjoying all the tasty schwag-bag selections at home. :)

WIAWbutton

Check out my eats with my Blends below, and then click here to head over to Jenn Peas and Crayons to get to see what delicious foods everyone else is enjoying!

________________________________________________________________________________________

Friday:

We arrived at the hotel excited and famished from travel.  Famished.  The schwag gods were smiling though… check out all the goodies we had to munch on: protein from Vega, Zevia, SoyJoys, a Lara Bar, muesli and granola from Bob’s Red Mill, Attune Foods chocolates, Healthy Bites (so in love)…. and more!

Blend schwag

 

After a photo ops, we gabbed, snacked… and headed to event #1: a pre-happy hour with Justin’s Nut Butter!  I was careful to sample everything, but stopped for a pic with one of the lovely organizers – Katie!

My top butters were: Maple Peanut and Chocolate Hazelnut.  They were even better on Attune Foods graham crackers.  All I needed was some apple juice.

Blend Justin's snack

 

The kind folks at Silk must have wanted to make absolutely sure the Blends were happy, so they set up a Happy Hour where we could unwind from travel and begin the photo-taking frenzy.  Heather was patient enough to take a gorgeous pic of her ginger-Silk drink.

There was also an amazing buffet of black bean cakes, veggie summer rolls, and cute veggie sticks in jars (how did they know bloggers like Mason jars?!).  Let’s pretend like I didn’t attack this… the temptation was too tasty and I couldn’t wait until dinner!  Plus, we all know it’s bad to drink on an empty tummy. ;)

Blend Silk happy hour

 

Dinner itself was off the chain.  It was a buffet… but a good buffet.  Normally I’m anti due to the rogue dirty hands and food sitting out too long.  That didn’t happen here.  My Blends were nice and clean, and the hotel staff couldn’t have done a better job and keeping the food refreshed.

There were salad options, quinoa patties, roasted veggies, chicken breasts, and lemon-y fish filets.  There was literally something for everyone!  And it was all good!

Blend Dinner 1

 

No dinner is complete without dessert!  there was Chobani panna cotta, apple pie, and berry tarts.

A few of us decided to split all 3… which I graciously finished off.  Starving kinds in Africa, you know.

I heart dessert

Thanks to Lindsay for this artful photo.

Saturday:

One would think that after all that I’d still be full… well, GPP Fitness fixed that with a little workout that left me waddling.  More on that tomorrow but let me just say 200 burpees (I did refuse to yell “Yay burpees!” after each rep as instructed) is a certain cure for lack of appetite.

The highlight of breakfast for me was getting to try a new granola – Muesli Fusion.  They have an “Athlete’s Fuel” mix that rocks my socks off.  NO added sugar or sodium, and 7g of protein per serving.  It’s like they designed it for me.  I poured my unsweetened Silk all over that!  There was a ton of fresh fruit (holy pineapple deliciousness), and a fabulously strong brew from Green Mountain coffee.

Blend breakfast - museli fusion

 

Then we had another workout!  Zoomba.  I’ll spare you the pics of this white girl shaking her thang… until tomorrow. ;)  Following that we did what any normal blogger does – we went to Whole Foods.  I totally failed at life and didn’t take a pic.

I DID take a pic of the snack break that followed – Onnit provided us with some amazing chocolate-banana hemp protein smoothies and rice cakes with cashew-walnut butter (totally crave-worthy). What’s better than these blogger staples?  Getting them handed to you by Miss United States!  Whitney is one of the sweetest girls I’ve ever met.  How cute is she?!

Onnit at Blend

 

And then there was dinner.  Calee, Michelle, Heather, Heather, Heather (that’s not a typo – there were 3 beautiful Heathers) found an amazing restaurant on Main St. in Park City called Riverhorse.  The food was incredible.

We started with a great Pinot Noir, chosen by fellow-wine lover Michelle (who I will gush about meeting later) and a beet salad served with micro greens, brie cheese, and a potato crisp with tarragon vinaigrette.  Calee and I split the Trio of Wild Game for our entrée.  It came with buffalo, venison chop, and elk over broccolini and asparagus with a port wine and huckleberry reduction.

I was nice and full… but when I saw the dessert menus I had to place one more order.  Peanut Butter Bread Pudding with caramelized bananas and a chocolate drizzle.  Can you blame me? :)

Riverhorse in Park City, UT

 

Every dish was near perfection.  Lucky because our server was terrible.  I swear I have the worst luck.  She basically ignored us all night, added 20% gratuity (for a party of 6 who was clearly spending money… WTF?!), and when Heather asked about the charge (there was NO warning note on the menu) she snatched the bill out of Heather’s hand and stalked off.  We tipped the man refilling our waters in cash on the side and spoke to the manager on the way out.

Like I said, the food was great.  That combined with the fantastic company made for a great evening and we laughed about our crazy experience all the way back to the hotel (the cab driver was thoroughly entertained).

 

Sunday:

Holy breakfast heaven.  This was the best breakfast out of any Blend Retreat.  They had an omelette station!!!  Protein at breakfast?!  Color me happy.  Thank you for this sponsored deliciousness, Chobani!

I got an egg white omelette with mushrooms, garlic, onions, and spinach.  And a Chobani yogurt pancake.  And fruit.  I wanted ALL the foods! ;)

Chobani Blend breakfast

Be sure to check the #blend2013 hashtag on Twitter and Instagram for more action from the weekend!

***

I snacked my way back to ATL with schwag bag goodies, and (obv) hit the Whole Foods hot bar immediatly after getting home. ;)

Soooo… are you all going to come to Blend next year with me?

Have you ever tried any of these fun products?  What are you loving right now?