How to…Make a Smoothie

Happy, Happy Thursday blog readers.

Thank goodness it’s Friday tomorrow. This week has thankfully flown by. Evan and I are thrilled to be heading home for a whole week tomorrow. The perk of still being in school means holidays are a guaranteed break from work. We will be hitting the road shortly after class tomorrow…

Lately it’s been getting colder but my desire for breakfast smoothies has grown stronger. What’s easier than throwing a bunch of healthy stuff in a blender and then having a drinkable and nutritious breakfast? Answer: Nothing.

I have been sitting down with some students at work as well as family/friends to discuss how to make a good smoothie. It appears that many feel overwhelmed about how to make a “good” smoothie. Sure, you can purchase smoothies from convenience stores and even fast food restaurants. Unfortunately, those are typically packed with sugar. You know where sugar gets stored? …as belly fat. I personally will be consuming enough sugar in Christmas cookies. So, I’ll try and skip it in my breakfast.

You have also probably seen depictions on Pinterest or other sources that seem to complicate the issue….

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….What? This is a result of googling “how to make a smoothie” This girl seems nice and all….but how is that helpful?

I hope to provide a quick and simple template to allow you to implement into your own lifestyle. Additionally, I will tag recipes that I have previously shared on my blog as a way to round up recipes.

Step 1: Start with a base

  • Fat-Free, Plain Greek Yogurt

Don’t roll your eyes. I get it. This stuff tastes like sour cream by itself. The fruit you add will sweeten it up enough that you won’t even notice. Trust me, vanilla or flavored yogurt is just adding unnecessary calories and sugar. And we know where sugar gets stored… Additionally, greek yogurt is less processed and has more protein (which will keep you fuller longer!)

Step 2: Add your frozen fruit

  • Frozen anything–berries, mangos, cherries, bananas, peach, kiwi, pineapple, pumpkin.

The great thing about the Midwest is that people are nice. The bad thing about the Midwest is the weather. Fresh Berries in November? I’d rather not pay $11 for a three inch carton, thanks. BUT frozen fruit? Lasts longer, just as tasty and equally as nutritious! Score!

Step 3: Add your veggies

  • Throw in a handful of organic spinach or kale

For all you nutrition novices out there, spinach is tasteless  in a smoothie. I swear, put it in there. If you can taste it, I’ll send you $5 for trying! If you’re feeling daring, add some kale. You can taste it a little bit, but it adds a nutrition kick that is unbeatable. (Hint: think smooth complexion and healthy eyes from the Vitamin A)

Step 4: Add your milk

  • Throw in a few splashes of your favorite milk (any kind)

Step 5: Include some *healthy* fat

  • Adding a tablespoon of a nut butter or some raw nuts can thicken the smoothie up as well as keep you fuller longer. Eating fat does not make you fat. Rather, eating too much of anything will make you fat.

Step 6: Nutritional booster (Anything on top of this is just overachieving. But, I believe in you! Do it!)

  • Ground flax seed–easy to find in your grocer’s natural section. Cheap and super good for you. It contains omega-3’s which is difficult for most individuals to consume. I recently had a doctor tell me that omega-3’s have been known to fight the winter blues….cue the Mid westerns rejoicing.

  • Protein powder– this gets tricky. I get nervous walking into supplement stores. I feel like I immediately am “outed” by my lack of huge biceps or knowledge of complex supplement terms. You can always use a little cottage cheese if you’re not into supplements. Or you can research non-scary protein powders. My favorite is from Trader Joe’s. It looks like this…                                                 Image (Image Source)

  • A little stevia for sweetness. Stevia is one of the only artificial sweeteners that has been shown to not have sketchy effects on things such as our pancreas and hormone functioning.

Blend together above ingredients and voila! I hope you enjoy! You can mix and match with different combinations to find the best fit for you. These smoothies will typically run around a few hundred calories and keep you full until lunch (or at least mid-morning snack). Plus, they incorporate low-glycemic carbs, healthy fats, and protein so your whole body feels in balance.

Linked below are recipes I have featured in the past…take a look around and as always, let me know if you have questions.

Comment below and let me know what your favorite smoothie is!

Thanks for reading. 🙂

Chelsey

White Chocolate & Key Lime Protein Smoothie

Whew—the title is a mouthful. I am excited to share my new smoothie concoction. It is unique, delicious, and satisfying. The new mixture was inspired by the new Chobani Flip yogurts that I enjoy so much. Image

I created this smoothie when I woke up on Monday morning. I typically begin the week by attempting to think of something more than the long week ahead. (Grad school won’t last forever, right?) For me, excitement begins by creating healthy and SIMPLE recipes. Just like that, a smoothie was born 😉

 

White Chocolate Key Lime Protein Smoothie

  • 1/2 of a 6oz Key Lime Chobani container (using 1/2 allows you to cut down sugar and make another smoothie later)
  • 1/4 cup of plain, fat free greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk of your choice
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 cup fresh kale or spinach
  • 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder OR 1/4 cup FF cottage cheese
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of white chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp of group flax (optional)

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Just blend all ingredients and enjoy!

Stay dry and warm on this gloomy Wednesday evening…two days away from the weekend 🙂

Chelsey

The Proposal: Our Story

Happy weekend, readers!

I have some particularly exciting news to share. Last weekend, Evan and I became engaged! It truly was an exhilarating and love-filled weekend. Now that things have settled down, I wanted to share some of the details of our story.

The Setting: La Crosse

Last Friday, Evan and I traveled back to the place where we attended college and met.  I didn’t think anything of our homecoming since it is a typical occurrence to visit family and friends in Wisconsin. The weekend started off like any other. I began my Saturday morning by enjoying coffee with an old supervisor. After coffee, I figured I would call Evan to see what his plans were for the day. My expectations were to casually stroll around town, visit family and friends, and maybe enjoy a special dinner. It turns out that Evan had MUCH different expectations for the day. When I called Evan to meet up, he claimed he was “busy” (righttt). He informed me of an envelope under a mat in his car that I should open. Confused, I discovered a manilla envelope discretely tucked under a mat in his trunk. It was labeled “Chelsey Marie” and included the following contents:

  • A letter
  • A homemade passport with 4 pages, each listing a location on top

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The letter informed me to arrive at my first location within the passport. I felt a wave of indescribably intense emotions flood my body as I began to realize exactly what was happening. Evan and I had discussed getting engaged previously, but I hadn’t expected it to be this day at all.

The Cast: Laura, Jess and Us

The first location listed on the passport was a local nail salon. As I arrived, I noticed my friend Laura was waiting nearby. Laura has been friends with both Evan and myself since my sophomore year of college. Confused, I questioned what she was doing in La Crosse (she currently lives in Milwaukee). She laughed and replied, “Well, are you ready to get your nails done?” That totally didn’t answer my question. As we got our nails done, I was able to relax a little bit and enjoy my time with a dear friend. Later, Laura handed me another envelop. This second envelop contained information informing me of what to do next.  The hand-written letter inside described that he knew how much I loved grabbing coffee and shopping with friends. Therefore, my next task was to grab coffee and shop. Well, you don’t have to tell me twice. I excitedly headed into the Gap nearby and purchased a new outfit. Laura and I also grabbed lunch at Panera quickly before I headed to my next location.

The Next Step: Campus

My next task was to head to the UW-La Crosse clock tower. The clock tower marks the center of our beloved undergrad campus. As I rounded the corner to to the clock tower, I saw my friend Jess in the distance. Jess has been our friend since my first year of college. She was my RA when I was a freshman living in the residence halls. Our friendship has grown over the years and I have continued to look up to her as a phenomenal mentor and friend. We took a stroll around campus and reminisced on our years on campus together as well as our current lives. ImageJess has a way of making anyone feel calm and confident.  I was thankful to have her be part of the day to calm my nerves, even only for a moment. As our time together grew to a close, she handed me the final envelop which included a final letter from Evan. Nervously, I hugged Jess and began my trek up to my final location: Grandad’s Bluff.

The proposal: Grandad’s Bluff

If you have ever visited La Crosse, you are aware that the city is in the Mississippi River Valley. Meaning, both sides of the city are lined with bluffs and the Mississippi River is interwoven throughout. The design of the city makes for a particularly gorgeous fall destination.  However, my vote for the most gorgeous spot in the whole city is on top of Grandad’s bluff. The view from the top allows you to see the city and the river bends for miles. You can even see the beginnings on Minnesota off in the distance.

As I drove to meet Evan on the top of Grandad’s Bluff, I began to notice the weather changing. It had been pouring rain earlier in the morning during my time with Laura. As I began my walk with Jess, the rain has subsided to sprinkles. However, as I turned my last corner to get to the top of the bluff, I saw the sun break through the clouds and beams of light shone down, making the river and city visibly sparkly for miles. I lost by breath for a moment when I realized just what was about to happen. I parked my car and began walking towards Evan. If you’ve ever seen the TV show, The Bachelor, it looked similar to the show’s finale where the woman giddily walks towards the man who may or may not be proposing. Thankfully, I knew the outcome of our day’s finale.

As I approached Evan, he immediately began to say nice things that I have since blacked out (so overwhelmed). Something about feeling like he is on top of the world when he’s with me (makes sense from our view at the time), and, oh, the question “Will you marry me?” I literally don’t even remember saying “yes”. All I remember is sobbing and hugging my now future husband. As the minutes went on, I started to hear a clicking noise. I realized that Evan had hired a professional photographer who was a friend of ours to capture our special moment. (all photo credit goes to: Megan!) It truly was the best day of my life.Image

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We later met with up with family and our friends who had been involved that day. As I reflect, I am still overwhelmingly thankful for all of the love and support that has been shown by everyone for our engagement. I can not thank you all enough for reading and for your well wishes! We are truly blessed–let the wedding planning begin!

Love,

Chelsey and Evan

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Now at last they were beginning chapter one of the great story no one on earth has ever read, which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”

-C.S. Lewis

Latest and Greatest

Hi, readers! I hope you are enjoying a sunny Sunday!

Quick update on life happenings…

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A quick and easy way to store your jewelry. I purchased the decorated cork board from Hobby Lobby ($20.00) and the thumb tacks from Target ($1.00) I have since hung this up in my bathroom. It’s a great way to both store and display your jewelry. I personally forget about some necklaces, earrings, etc. It also is an easy way to be able to see everything at once.

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This dang cat. I love him so much, despite the 6am wake up calls from his face rubbing against mine. This picture was taken after many others where I was literally laughing out loud. I think his confused head turned-sideways look is a response to my laughing over how cute he is. Oh, Mac  🙂

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Bread Garden is my new favorite lunch place! It’s like a local version of the Whole Foods salad bar! You can grab a plate and choose from various salads or dishes. At the end, your plate is weighed and you pay per pound. I had tilapia, couscous, cabbage, kale, and bread pudding for dessert. Yum! Highly recommend.

That’s all I have time for now–lots and lots of homework! I plan on updating you all soon with my latest creation–healthy pumpkin bread. In addition, I am looking to write a piece on the most effective ways to grocery shop.

Have a great rest of your weekend.

Chelsey

Cookie Dough Cupcake

Rain, Rain, Go Away…It has been rainy and gloomy all day. Normally, it would be slightly depressing, but we truly need the rain. Lately, it has been in the 90’s…for September? This Wisconsinite has been hot!

On the bright side, the rain makes for a perfect excuse to actually get homework done. Eight more months until graduation!

Yesterday, Evan and I decided to check out the NewBo City Market in Cedar Rapids. It’s located in a cute area of town (the new Bohemian Art District) and offered a great chance to explore local foods!ImageOutside, the market was full of temporary vendors that gave off the feeling of a farmer’s market. The outdoor vendors are only present during warm weather and particular days of the week. Evan and I snagged some green beans and Kale to make with dinner tonight.ImageInside, the space was filled with permanent vendors who offered prepared food with daily specials. Our favorite indoor vendor included a cupcake place creatively titled, “That One Cupcake Place”. The flavors of cupcakes ranged from Red Velvet to Rumchata and everywhere in between. I was truly impressed. I looked at Evan and he knew what I was thinking…we HAD to try them out!ImageI ended up choosing the Cookie Dough Cupcake. It left me speechless–the huge cookie dough dropping on the top tasted exactly like real cookie dough! For $2.00/cupcake, both my wallet and sweet tooth were happy! 🙂ImageIn regards to my previous post on Motivation, I realized that exploring a new place aided in pulling me out of the rut I discussed earlier. Seeing and doing new things can also be a motivator and way to encourage growth and new thoughts. Thanks to everyone who commented, emailed, text etc. in support of the post. I am so lucky to have such a loyal base of readers and friends.

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday and have a great start to your week!

Chelsey

Daily Question: Comment and share your favorite kind of cupcake 🙂

Motivation!

I’m backkkkk!!

I’m back in the blogging world after a much too long break and a few minor life bumps. I hope you have been doing well and I appreciate your continued support. The reader e-mails and comments from friends keep me motivated to blog. Which brings me to today’s topic–motivation. But first, it wouldn’t be Healthy Chelsey Lately without a few life updates and pictures, right?

First off, school is back in session. I recently embarked on my second and final year (for now) of grad school. The assignments and readings have been manageable, but I have noticed a change in my motivation. <–The key word today.

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Secondly, I have moved to a new location and acquired a cat in the process! Mac is our new cat and I have been loving him to pieces. He keeps our hearts full as we trudge through the long days working and attending class on campus. Plus, he is super cute, right? Maybe I’m biased. 🙂Image

Finally, Evan and I are enjoying visiting home together. I love living in the same state as him again (after a summer in Savannah, GA). We recently went back to Milwaukee and took a stroll along Lake Michigan. ImageSo getting into the bulk of today’s post. I am curious how you stay motivated? No, really! Has there ever been a more complex topic? I am currently enrolled in a class surrounding a topic called “Motivational Interviewing” which is a set of micro-counseling skills used with clients who are interested in changing a health-related behavior. The class is extremely applicable as a health educator in my work with college students. However, the topic of motivation extends to all of us and our various facets of life.

I started analyzing where I receive my sources of motivation from. I surprisingly had a hard time coming up with ideas. After much to do, I realized that a lot of what I have been doing in the past few years have been related to habit but, how did I get there? I came up with this list, but still felt stuck…

  1. Feeling of accomplishment
  2. Rewards/Incentives
  3. Positive reinforcement from others
  4. Positive results
  5. My family
  6. My friends
  7. Evan
  8. My work and students I work with

I have to be honest, with the start of a new school year and some recent medical health issues, I have been feeling ambivalent about a lot of things. So I guess I’m looking for a lot of feedback from you. Where do you get your motivation to be healthy or even just to get through daily life? Does it come from inside or out? What renews your energy and keeps you going? Whatever it is–keep it around. It’s important.

As always, thanks for reading. & eat something healthy for me 🙂

Chelsey

Breakfast Always.

You guys…this is starting to become a problem. I have been obsessed with making breakfast always. Lately, I’ve been having breakfast for breakfast… and lunch…and dinner. I apologize for the lack of variety in my blog recipes because today’s will be no exception.

I had an idea on my week off of work to discover a truly healthy muffin recipe. I have been inspired by multiple pinterest recipes but each one lacked an ingredient or two that I was missing in my kitchen. Eventually, I combined a few to make up these healthy, filling, and absolutely delicious muffins. My mom had one for breakfast that kept her full for a few hours. At 150 calories a pop, you can even afford a couple for breakfast. Or lunch. Or dinner.

Dark Chocolate Pecan Health Muffins

  • 2.5 cups of old fashion oats
  • 1 cup of plain greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp of vanilla
  • 1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips (optional, but delicious)
  • 1/2 cup of pecan pieces (optional, but scrumptious)

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2) Blend the oats into a fine grain in the blender. This will probably take about 20 seconds on high. Set aside oats in separate bowl to blend in later.

3) Blend the remainder of ingredients in the blender until they become a fine paste, this will take about a minute on high. Slowly add oats into blender until the batter is completely mixed. Fold in chocolate chips and nuts gradually.

4) Pour muffin batter evenly into 12 lined or greased muffin tins and bake for 17-19 minutes at 400 degrees.

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YUM.

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In other news, my mom and I completed our first race together this morning. We had a great time and I think it was a great motivator for both of us to exercise more together.

We followed our race up up a brewery tour. 🙂 The race took place in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin which is the home of Leinenkugal’s Brewery. We enjoyed our free samples on the patio afterwords. Overall, it was a relaxing and fun morning spent with one of my most favorite people.

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The rest of the weekend will be spent hanging out and getting ready for the upcoming week. I hope you have a great rest of your day!

-Chelsey