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.


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. ;)


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


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.



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… 

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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!



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.


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.


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



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



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



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



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.  :)


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



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


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.


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


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…