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

Summer Roadtrip!

Hello, Blogworld!

This weekend, I was fortunate to spend time with family, despite the circumstances being sad. My great uncle passed away so I spent time in northern Iowa celebrating his life with relatives. There was a beautiful military memorial. A shout out to Meghann, Kelly, Monica, and Melanie for the blog compliments. It is great to see that my extended family enjoy the posts.

Today is Sunday, which traditionally is filled with church, relaxing, and preparing for the week ahead. This Sunday, however, I woke up extra excited because today is the day we leave for Savannah to see Evan!

My friends Nate, Sarah, Brianne and myself are all roadtripping down to Savannah, Georgia!

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(Photo Source)

According to the GPS, it should be about a 17 hour drive. Yikes! We are all planning on splitting it up with no major stops along the way. (I’m fairly positive Starbucks will be heavily involved.)

I will update you all once I arrive and begin exploring. Savannah is supposed to be one of the most haunted cities in America. Therefore, we are heading on a ghost tour! Spooky! Beyond the tour, we plan on eating well and hitting the beach! Summer vacations are the best. Plus I will finally reunite with my sweet boy. It’s a win-win 🙂

ImageRewind to this morning….I woke up and quickly threw on my running shoes. I don’t normally work out on Sundays, so I knew if I thoughts about it anymore, I wouldn’t actually end up running. I figured the exercise would help with the long drive later.

Upon arriving home from my run, I blended together a quick smoothie before I began packing for our Georgia excursion.

I call this smoothie…Mighty Mango!

Ingredients:

  • 1, 6oz container of Stoneyfield Farms Organic Peach Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup of frozen mango chunks
  • 1/2 cup of frozen sliced strawberries
  • 1 large handful of organic baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup of organic vanilla soy milk
  • 1 pinch of chia seeds. You can read more about the power of chia seeds here.

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Doesn’t look great but it tasted like something orange julius would make. Yummm

I hope you have a great rest of your Sunday! I will try and update on Savannah ASAP!

-Chelsey

End of School Year Celebrations

Hey everyone! (check out the About Me for a formal introduction)

Remember that excited feeling you had in your stomach during the last weeks of school before summer? When you woke up, you knew that the weather would be warm and a break would be close. I have that feeling right now, as I wait for my first year of graduate school to comes to a close. Over the past year, I have learned a lot about myself and the college students that I work with.

At my job, we are currently wrapping up the end of the school year, with reports and paperwork.  In class, I am submitting my final papers and giving my final presentations. Summer can’t come soon enough!

Yesterday marked our second to last final (and basically the most difficult exam). Therefore, my friend Brianne and I celebrated with a little ice cream from a downtown ice cream shop, Whiteys! Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough is my favorite 🙂

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Today began with work at 9:00am. Before work, I made myself a smoothie to help me power through my morning. I included frozen mango chunks this time, yum!

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Blueberry Mango Morning Smoothie

1/2 Frozen Banana

1/3 c. Frozen Organic Blueberries (the cheapest ones I’ve found are at Target!)

1/3 c. Frozen Mango Chunks

1 c. of Organic Baby Spinach – to amp up the greens

1/2 c. of Vanilla Chobani Greek Yogurt (My boyfriend calls it “Cho Bon-Bon” – bet you won’t stop calling it that)

1 teaspoon of Chia Seeds (to thicken and add omega-3’s) Learn more about Chia Seeds Here

a touch of natural vanilla extract, to add some flavor

Blend together and drink immediately. Best tasting with a straw 🙂

The weather in Iowa is unseasonably warm today (93 degrees ) Therefore, my boyfriend Evan and I took a walk over our lunch to get out and enjoy the sun! We were both feeling re-energized and ready to tackle the remainder of the work day after our walk! After work, Evan surprised me with flowers for my “birthday week”. (He gives me one gift/day for the week of my birthday. Such a keeper ;)) You can see Evan typing in the background of this picture too.

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Now that we are done with work, we are off to the gym. Typically, I like to work out in the morning but some days it just doesn’t happen that way–and that’s okay! I am planning on doing a circuit training set that I found on pinterest. I find that circuit training is the best way to incorporate major muscles and burn fat at the same time. Win, win.

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Comment and write about what time of day you find it easiest to exercise!

Enjoy your evening!

-Chelsey