For Autumn: “Oh My Pumpkin Pie” Frozen Breakfast Smoothie

Quick update for Week 6 of our campus fitness team progress: The Rampaging Regionals —

  • Only 5 lbs of weight loss for the entire group (6 lost by 1 person, 1 gained by another!) Not to worry – increased activity levels and muscle building could be part of the cause (& 1 of the members going on a biker trip to Florida could be another! haha!)
  • 2,281 minutes of physical activity logged. (On a more serious note, 1 of our team members lost someone very close to her this week, yet she tried to maintain physical activity for her mental well-being. Prayers & hugs going out to her.)

With the crisp fall weather and Halloween sneaking up on us, I thought I’d share a “warm” frozen smoothie recipe for those of you looking for ways to get good protein for workouts without sacrificing taste.

Jody’s Honey-Caramel Pumpkin/Banana Protein Shake

/or/ better known as:

Oh My! Pumpkin Pie Frozen Smoothie

Another morning pick-me-up filled with “the good stuff” – only, this time, I’m offering you a warmer taste to your frozen smoothie – Pumpkin Pie!

Pre-Warning from Redd Foxx :
“Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing.”

Preparation Preface:

If you’ve ever read my previous recipe comments, you know I take the easiest route possible whenever possible in the kitchen. (So if you’re in my advanced smoothie learner group, you can just skip ahead to the Ingredients section. If not, I’ll clue you in, so you can progress from the beginner level pretty rapidly.)

I use an instant blender cup to mix this frozen fruit smoothie concoction (because I hate doing dishes & this blender cup serves a dual “serve-it-up-on-the-fly” purpose)…but you can use a full-size blender and your own fancy glass, for all I care. 😉

I have taken care to calculate the calories & grams of protein for you (according to the measurements provided & the brands I’ve used use, if specified in any place where I thought these could drastically change). Sorry – you’re on your own if you want carbs, sugars or anything else along those lines.

Hint: When the information isn’t available on a package, I can usually look up almost any ingredient (by portion) through MyFitnessPal, an application I use on my iPhone. You can also log your daily caloric intake and output through exercise here.

I use frozen yogurt for a couple of reasons. First, this is how to get the “smoothness” like pumpkin ice cream – without chunky pieces of ice (along with the frozen banana piece). Next, low-fat frozen yogurt has oodles of protein and isn’t too bad on calories.

pp6

This image contains the ingredients from “Oh My Pumpkin Pie” smoothie, including the individual blender cup example.

pp3Here is the main ingredient difference in this protein shake:

I used GNC’s Pumpkin Spice Lean Shake 25 Protein mix (This is simply the brand I’ve found for an acceptable calorie count for me. I’m not promoting particular brands or companies.)

Are you ready for this extra bit of fun info? The scent of Pumpkin Pie has been listed as one of the Top 10 Aphrodisiacs by the Science Channel. Who would’ve guessed?!

So HANDLE this one WITH CARE!!!

Ingredients:

Calories

Protein (g)

2 oz.  Cranberry juice (organic, pure, non-sweetened)

18.80

0

1 Tbs ground flax meal

30.00

2.500

2 tsp L-Arginine powder (optional for pre-workout vascularization)

¾ scoop GNC Total Lean 25 shake – Pumpkin Spice flavor

75.00

9.375

1 scoop GNC Women’s Ultramega Maximum Nutrition – vanilla crème

50.00

3.000

1/3 small frozen banana (peel it & freeze it the night before- in a freezer baggie)

30.00

0.367

1 Tbs raw honey (best if gotten from a hive in your area) 60.00 0
1/4-1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup Yoplait low-fat Honey-Caramel frozen yogurt (1/4 small package)

130.00

7.000
Fill remainder of blender cup with water
(approximately 4-6 oz. if using large blender)

TOTALS

12 oz = 393.8 calories(8 oz.= 262.53) 22.242 g

                                                   

pumpkin_smoothieProduces a 12 oz. protein shake that tastes like a delicious frozen pumpkin pie smoothie – oh, that’s because it IS a delicious frozen pumpkin (pie flavored) smoothie! 

(Color variations will occur based on the ingredients used, especially fruit coloring variations.)

…and, yes, once again, I dirtied a real glass for demonstration purposes…just for YOU! 🙂

Quick (and much abridged) health rundown of contents:

  • Pure cranberry juice helps flush out the toxins/waste products in the liver & kidneys, while providing a rich antioxidant/phytochemical (good heart) fruit source.
  • Flax seed – rich in Omega-3 (‘positive’ fat) and lignans (anti-cancer, anti-diabetes, good heart), with the addition of fiber when seed or ground meal. (Of course, you may substitute the flax meal for flax oil BUT in this case, I wouldn’t! The flax meal provides the extra benefit of a pie crust-like texture for your frozen pumpkin pie treat.)
  • L-Arginine – this is one way to get it without consuming meats that will have added fat. Great as a pre-workout for increased vascularization. (More waste product removal, high immunity and good heart.)
  • Protein helps the body to recover more quickly during workouts & rebuild its musculature after being broken down from work-outs.  Protein supplements can also replace other protein sources (e.g., meats) that would come with ‘negative fats.’ I have to go to work a few hours before workouts, so I want to start my day with a good dose of protein at this time and then add some immediately after workouts. You may need to investigate this according to your schedule & daily needs. (i.e., I use less than what many would, especially if you are male and/or a high metabolism athlete, like my teenage son. He uses a much higher caloric product with more grams of protein – and adds peanut butter, to boot. Oh, to have his metabolism – and 8 pack! J) The recommended daily intake of protein for healthy adults is ~0.75 g of protein per kilogram of body weight, or about 45 to 56 g of protein a day. (Some sources will say 1 g per pound; many will argue no more than 0.55 g/lb.)
  • Added nutrients – whether you’re swallowing pills for vitamins, adding in a power (like I do), or adding a liquid multi-nutrient, this is the easiest place to work them in (and a great way to start your day!)
  • Banana – I use the frozen variety for a couple of reasons. First, I can get them all year and store them easily. Secondly, this is how I get a frozen smoothie that’s truly “smooth” – without chunky pieces of ice! You’re already starting your day well on your food chart by adding some fruit!
  • Cinnamon – has been shown to help regulate blood sugar & lower cholesterol (good heart!), reduce flair-ups of arthritis (which athletes often develop in their joints early), and has shown some cancer-reducing and Alzheimer’s/Parkinson’s benefits. And it just smells good.
  • Raw honey – besides offering a natural sweetener to your shake, it’s packed with natural nutrients, promoting digestive health, immunity, wound & allergy healing; rich in antioxidants & enzymes, is anti-inflammatory, along with a ridiculous host of other great benefits. (Important Note: Do NOT share your shake with infants less than 1 year of age, whose immune systems cannot fight off any potential botulism that could be present in raw honey.)
  • Nonfat yogurt – rich in calcium, protein & probiotics, oh my! (as well as potassium that can help flush too much sodium out of your body) – and frozen with a little caramel just makes it yummy-delicious!
  • And speaking of flushing…I can’t think of a better way to flush out the body than with H2O.
    Adding Water helps you to control your caloric intake, balances your body fluids, energizes muscles to work out, & helps get the bad stuff flushed out. (You can add some orange juice in place of ½ the water if you want more flavoring, but never just drink OJ alone – else your blood sugar will spike – always dilute it (or chase it) with agua. Oh, and adjust your calories.)

For any changes to the above “recipe,” just remember to make any necessary caloric & protein adjustments, if you’re counting. (Remember, these amounts meet my particular protein & calorie breakfast goals.)

Also, feel free to change around your fruit or go green by throwing in some spinach leaves to add a veggie component.

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Important Disclaimer: I am not a Nutritionist, nor am I representing any company. In the case where brand names have been provided, I am simply expressing to you what I am using at the moment in an attempt to fulfill my own personal dietary goal (and so you can make a comparison of caloric and/or protein amounts in any substitutions you decide to make). I also didn’t add what I consider to be negligible calories.

Here’s to your health, -jody

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Workin’ It: My Enticement Advisement

Regarding the great hamster wheel of life…

I’m so far behind, I think I’m ahead!!!!

Week 4 of our Campus Fitness Initiative has long passed. I do want to mention that all of our teams received a “progress report” for this particular week.

Our team, the Rampaging Regionals, came in 2nd place for overall fitness minutes. (No one’s officially announcing their weight loss totals yet, though, so who knows how it’s all going to “shake out in the wash” by semester’s end?)

I was never good at that whole secret-keeping thing, sooooo….

As for our team, let me give you a little (belated) update on how it unfolded for us during Week 4:

  • 1,748 minutes (29.13 hrs) of fitness exercise logged, for a total of 128.61 hrs. in the past month
  • and…I THINK only 2 lbs. of weight loss. (I’m not sure if 2 of our members actually reported in.)

The weight loss report may seem discouraging, but it’s not all bad. We’re coming to a time when some may have more muscle mass to gain than unwanted pounds to burn. Fitness & Health are the important key issues here.

However, one of our members was injured this past week and is now in a boot. She’s had to rethink some of her own exercise strategies (such as modifying to upper body weights and feasible core work-outs). It’s also been a difficult week with all of us going in several different directions, without the opportunity to take our 1-month comparison photo or (more importantly) to cheer one another on with encouragement.

That being the case, it’s been more essential than ever for me to think of ways to entice myself to stay on track (literally & figuratively – as in my literal figure!). 🙂

After one month of dietary changes, there are two important issues to address:

  • First, I can’t become complacent, satisfied that what I’ve done is “good enough” (thus allowing poor dietary habits to creep back in). I’ve just reached a habitual threshold of 31 days – when changes have a higher likelihood of maintenance.
  • Secondly, I can’t fall into the trap of being so regimented and legalistic that my dietary changes become burdensome and I resent them. (I have a tendency to be a little rebellious when surrounded in legalistic, rules-oriented environments. Bet no one else can relate to that, huh?)

That’s why I’m going to look for ways to psychologically program myself to maintain good habits. The best part is that, even having a conscious awareness that I’m doing this, it still has great likelihood of success! (As a consumer – of foods, in this case – I’m taking a cue from advertisers.)

Enticement Creates a Powerful Emotive Response.

I’m going to purposefully entice myself with positive visual stimulation designed to build upon my strategies to reach my goals.

Assurance that the minute my refrigerator door opens, I'm tempted by a variety of colorful eye candy!

Assurance that the minute my refrigerator door opens, I’m tempted by a variety of colorful eye candy!

Case A: Having a 15-year-old son who can consume 5,000 calories per day and still manage to unintentionally lose weight can be beyond irritating, exceeding the bounds of exasperating if we weigh in at the same time. It can be downright dangerous. I can avoid his high-calorie protein shakes that remain sealed tightly on the bottom shelf of our pantry. But all those other sweets and treats that he likes to sit on the middle shelf at eye level can become too tempting and tantalizing after a long day at work, a growling belly, and dinner still an hour from being completed.

Exhibit A: This week, I rearranged the pantry. I placed his snacks on a lower shelf, out of my eyesight, in specific deep bins according to what they were. He knows where to find them; my eyes don’t have to be drawn to them. Conversely, I rearranged my refrigerator bins to assure that the beautifully best and most colorful health options sat in the front, where the eye was drawn to them when the fridge was opened. And then…I purposefully took a variety of those fruits from the fridge and moved them into a beautiful dish, front and center, on my countertop – hoping not only to tempt me, but anyone else with a snack craving, to be enticed to have a health-enhanced encounter.

Working it to tempt all passerby tastebuds with tantalizing treats!

Working it to tempt all passerby tastebuds with tantalizing treats!

Case B: We had a church picnic one evening this past week, in which barbecue pork was the main dish and everyone was asked to bring a side dish and a dessert. First, I knew I wouldn’t be eating the pork, so I had to rethink my protein options. Secondly, I know how those side dishes and desserts turn out. Just as I’d predicted, they were full of sugars, dairy, gluten – and plenty of mayonnaise – along with plenty of tempting invitations to try each one. Had I not thought ahead, it would’ve been a frustrating meal.

Exhibit B: I wanted to be sure to entice myself (while also providing for my needs – both dietary & psychological), while enticing others to possibly have some healthier options (thus, providing for their needs – we have many diabetics & other health issues among members of our congregation). For dessert, I sliced a seedless watermelon that was deliciously sweet. It went over big, since everyone knows that melons are leaving us for awhile, as our season changes. For my “side” dish (my main dish), I made a Strawberry Spinach salad, substituting the sugar with Stevia (which no one seemed to be able to tell any difference – I asked).

ss salad

Did I do my job in enticing you to want something better?

If so, then here’s the recipe to get you going!

Sight-Stimulating Strawberry Spinach Salad

SS salad ingredients

Dressing Ingredients:

1/3 cup Stevia-in-the-raw
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 Tbs poppy seeds
2 Tbs sesame seeds
3 tsp minced onion
1/4 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 cup Olive Oil balsamic vinegar dressing
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Stir together in a bowl, seal & refrigerate(for at least 2 hours, if possible (to set the flavor), though the wait time is not required.

Finishing touches  (these are negotiable, according to what makes your tastebuds tingle!):

In a large bowl, mix together:

2 pkgs. (or 1 very large pkg) fresh spinach
As many strawberries as you dare! (probably about 2 pints)
1 pkg (or less, if you prefer) sliced honey-roasted almonds (these are in the produce/salad section at my store)
~1/2 pkg reduced-sugar Craisins

Add the dressing & mix together for a scrumptious protein/veggie/fruit treat of a dish!

Serving Hint: Once you add the dressing, the spinach will get weighted down & will “compress” in your bowl. If you’re taking it somewhere & want the freshest presentation, you may wish to wait until you’ve arrived to stir in the dressing. Your choice. Either way, it’s going to be delicious!

Serving Size: 1-1/2 cups

Approximate Calories: ~175

Awesomeness! (It’s All in Your Presentation)

Week 2 of our Campus Fitness & Weight Loss initiative (okay, friendly competition) has come to an end.

What if I told you that one of our team members lost 1 pound & logged 329 minutes of exercise?
You’d probably politely say, “Cool. Keep up the good work.”

But what if I then told you that our 5-member team, the Regional Rampagers, lost a total of 12.5 pounds this past week and logged 2,009 minutes (or 33.5 hrs.) of exercise?
Now THAT should strike you as somewhat impressive.

Then what if I added in my presentation to you that, in the past 2 weeks, this same team has lost a total of 37.5 pounds & logged 66.85 hours of exercise?!
I hope you’d say “That’s AWESOME!”
Well, I think it’s AWESOME, anyway!

That’s the most awesome thing about looking at the What-Ifs & the Do-It-Togethers of life. Sometimes, difficult things seem less challenging & become more “do-able.”  I’m sure that’s why the challenge was PRESENTED to the entire campus for support teams to be formed – and why so many people accepted!

It’s All in the Presentation.

That’s something I’ve come to recognize in my dietary choices too. I eat much healthier and my food seems much tastier when I take time to consider the presentation. (Well, yeah, the calories too!)

Let’s start with this simple example. I have 70 calories to “spend” on a snack.  Looking around my house, let’s see what I can find to compare for my caloric “purchase”:

quick snacks

Hmmm. Here are 3 readily available choices.
First, there are 2 mini candy bars that I can pop into my mouth and swallow before I’ve even savored much flavor (without much nutritional value – please don’t tempt me by trying to fake me off with that dark chocolate health benefit thingy). I know me. I’ll just go back for 2 more after that. 🙂

Next, there’s this package of fat-free cottage cheese (not a terrible choice for 70 cals) & I also run across a serving size of packaged peaches (not a horrible choice either, but they are processed). Either would be gone fairly quickly, though, because I’ll eat them straight out of their packages. Not too satisfying like that, I’d say…

As I continue to browse my virtual-about-to-be-sentient-in-my-mouth shopping area, it dawns on me that I may have an altogether better option (at least I think so). I can put together a

Zesty Frozen Blueberry Yogurt Parfait.
Can you say from Hmmm to Yummm?!

I grab out 1/2 cup of frozen blueberries (35 calories) and add 1/4 cup non-fat Greek yogurt (35 calories), sprinkle in a little Valencia orange peel (1/2-1 tsp) for some “wang” (I’m out of lemon today for lemon zest), add 1 tsp of Stevia to make it a sweet treat (0 calories), & stir it around to make it like a frozen “ice cream-type” treat. By now, my mouth is watering & I’m ready to enjoy this treat, but…why stop there? I’ve already told you…

It’s All in the Presentation.

Knowing this, I go get a stemmed, fluted glass, spoon my yummy frozen concoction into it, and Viola! I feel like I’m getting a fancy dessert that’s been prepared especially for me with great care!

blueberry yogurt

Here’s the bonus: I have to take additional care while eating, so my spoon can fit down into it as I carefully scrape the sides, – causing me to slow down and ENJOY its special goodness. I truly do get to Savor the Flavor!

Why stop there? It dawns on me that I can make my next lunch meal especially beautiful (and low calorie too) to encourage me to savor it, as well.

The next day, I grab up that small container of no-fat cottage cheese, along with 1/2 of a REAL peach (instead of the processed package, because 1/2 peach is also worth 1/2 the calories of the peaches-in-a-pack & is just as filling). I add a couple of pieces of Romaine lettuce together with it on a simple, white cafeteria plate from work. For 140 calories, I could’ve grabbed up the cottage cheese container & the processed peaches container & have been done with lunch in 2 minutes or less. But look what happens when I use my Yummy Presentation Method:

cottage cheese & peaches

A mere 124 calories of beautiful bliss that I’ll spend more time digesting with my eyes than my tummy because it’s so colorfully luscious! (And I’ll hate tearing it apart after I’ve built it.)

From there, I figure…why wouldn’t I want to share this amazing new presentation talent of mine with my entire team?

So…one of our team members scheduled a Lunch & Learn session this week, where we each brought something healthy to share while receiving a learning presentation. After all…

It’s All in the Presentation, Right?

I decided to bring my EZ LO-CAL SWEET ‘N SPICY CHICKEN FAJITAS (my recipe will follow). However, as tasty as I think they are, I really wanted them to LOOK especially appetizing for my guest partakers. For this, I brought a couple of dishes (made in Spain) to accent our fiesta!

fiesta platter

You tell me…did this make for a great presentation (enhancing the bright colors of the peppers), or what?!

This is even an AWESOME dish to share with non-dieting family members. They can add sour cream, guacamole, lettuce, tomatoes, tortillas (I suggest whole grain), black beans & rice, if they’d like – while you can feel satisfied with your entire serving being filling at only 237 calories!

Here’s my recipe, if you want to give it a try. I’ve added it here because I want you to be sure that its tastiness (and life) is definitely enhanced when you seek to assure that it’s

All in YOUR Presentation!

 JODY’S EZ LO-CAL SWEET ‘N SPICY CHICKEN FAJITAS

fajitas cooking

 Ingredients

(1)         16 oz. pkg. chicken breast strips for fajitas

10 oz. (~1-1/2 cups) sliced mixed bell peppers (Green, Red, Yellow.    Orange Pepper? Sure. Go for it!)
 Hint: I get these pre-sliced in produce when I want to save time

½ Onion, chopped or sliced
1 tomato (optional)
 Another hint: consider buying pico de gallo, instead, already prepared in produce
½ tsp garlic powder (or use minced garlic to your taste) chopped or sliced
½ tsp coriander
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp ground red pepper
½ tsp Mrs. Dash Southwestern chipotle

Directions

  1. In a large non-stick pan, add all of the above ingredients! (Pretty simple, huh?)
  2. Add a few Tablespoons of water to the bottom of the pan & cover.
  3. Heat stovetop to a medium-high setting and allow items to steam for about 10 minutes, stirring around once at 5-6 minutes.
  4. Remove cover & stir fry for about 5 minutes.
  5. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until water has dissipated and you approve of the consistency. You’ve seen my version. 🙂

Yields 3 servings

 ~237 calories per serving

(Left-overs can be placed in freezer bags & saved for the near future!)

Hope you’re enjoying your own awesome life presentation!

-jody

moonshine

http://yeahwrite.me/moonshine-127/

Related Article:

Rampaging Regionals: Hoo-ah!!

Recipe for Baking Earth Pie – in honor of Earth Day

I thought I’d rerun this, in honor of Earth Day:

Carl Sagan is credited with saying, “If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.”

So I thought, ‘Who isn’t up for a good geography lesson on the earth’s layers – while hanging out at the dinner table, eating a worthy illustration made of ooey-gooey pie?’ I figured we could have our pie and live on it too!

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Brick oven in South Sudan

Insert two parts core.

Center, magnetize, stir

at faster rotational pace.

Layer mantle. Use

Easybake oven, circulating heat.

Add crust.

Thin, crispiness of

Continents, ocean floors,

oozing volcano pie.

Serve on tectonic plates.

Yei, South Sudan

Here’s to earth pie in your eye! -jody

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The ingredients & recipe for Earth Pie were originally written in response to:


Trifecta’s weekend Trifextra Writing Challenge forty-nine: As you’ll recall from your elementary science class days, the structure of the earth can be divided most simply into three sections: core, mantle, crust.  (Diagram is below.) Give us 33 words from it.  Interpret the prompt however you wish–literal, metaphorical, or somewhere in between.

Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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And while we’re talking about the Earth, did you know there are still people dying on it every 60 seconds from a disease that is strictly related to poverty and that is both treatable & preventable?

That disease is malaria – and it especially strikes out against young lives. Of the children who die under the age of 5 in Africa, approximately 1 in 5 of those is from malaria. (The photos above were taken in South Sudan, where many of these children live – and die.)

Just $10 could make a difference in saving that 1 life. Here’s a little more information, if you’re interested in celebrating Earth Day on behalf of people who struggle to survive on it daily:

Imagine No Malaria – Break the Cycle

“Peppermint Patty’s Protein, well…Whatever Creation”

aka Jody’s Frozen Thin Mint Treat

It’s that time of year again – when everything begins to look and feel more green. As a matter of fact, the most intimidating of sales forces begins to multiply and show up in droves at the fronts of grocers and mini-malls, in church halls and neighborhoods, wearing their greens with a plethora of cookie sales badges that could weigh them down as much as the calories they’re hoping to add to your dietary intake. If you’ve not encountered one of these midget gangs of temptresses, then your region has undoubtedly been Girl Scout-deprived. For those of you trying to figure out how to deal with those dozen boxes of thin mints in your freezer and still consider yourself healthy, let me assist…

A Word first from my treat’s namesake, Peppermint Patty:
“Subtraction is the awful feeling that you know less today than you did yesterday.”

(Or maybe it’s the great feeling that you have less fat today than you did yesterday!)

I’m big into protein supplements – but NEVER where you feel the need to throw a chunk of foul-smelling powder into a shaker-cup with some water and hold your nose to get it down. Yuk! That’ll last about 3 times max, for most of us, and then we’re just going to the freezer for the sleeve of thin mints.

So here’s a better option for you to get your protein in, along with your thin mints – and convince yourself to make the cookies last for the year (until the Girl Scout pack comes around again next spring to refill your stock).

Admittedly, this is a TREAT for me. (It’s more caloric intake than I normally allow myself for one protein shake.) You’re going to have to consider your caloric needs and adjust accordingly.

Preparation Preface:

I use an instant blender cup to mix this “milkshake substitute” (because I hate doing dishes & this blender cup serves a dual “serve-it-up-on-the-fly” purpose)…but, as always – this is YOUR treat. You can use a full-size blender and your own fancy glass to make it more special. 😉

I’ve calculated the calories & grams of protein for you (according to the measurements provided & the brands I had on hand to use. If I’ve specified brands of products, this means these counts could drastically change, so you may need to recalculate based on your stock). Sorry – you’re on your own if you want carbs, sugars or anything else along those lines.

Hint: When the information isn’t available on a package, I can usually look up almost any ingredient (by portion) through MyFitnessPal, an application I use on my iPhone. You can also log your daily caloric intake and output through exercise here.

thin_mint_ingredients

Ingredients:

Calories

Protein (g)

1 individual serving container Healthy Choice Frozen Yogurt – Vanilla Bean flavor

100

4

1/2 scoop GNC Total Lean 25 shake – French vanilla

50

6.25

1/2 scoop Iron-Tex Whey protein powder – Natural Chocolate flavor

70

13.5

1/8 tsp Peppermint Extract

1 scoop GNC Women’s Ultramega Maximum Nutrition – vanilla crème

50.00

3.000

2 Thin Mints Girl Scout cookies

80

4

1 Tbs raw honey (best if gotten from a hive in your area)

60

0

Fill blender cup until 3/4 full with water (approximately 4-6 oz. if using large blender)

2 substitutions to consider:
May exchange water for low-fat milk, but will have to recalculate calories.
May wish to add green food coloring to make more colorful.

TOTALS

                        410

30.75

thin_mint_shakeProduces an 8 oz. Thin Mint Milkshake substitute that is delicious!

(Color variations will occur based on the ingredients used, especially if food coloring is added.)

…and, yes, I dirtied a real glass for demonstration purposes…just for YOU! 🙂

Note that this is about twice the calories I might normally consume in an 8-oz. protein shake, but I’m also getting twice the protein I normally get – so this is a trade-off that is MORE than a simple treat, if I time it well (such as after a vigorous work-out when regaining that protein is essential and the calories aren’t detrimental).

Quick (and much abridged) health rundown of contents:

  • Protein helps the body to recover more quickly during workouts & rebuild its musculature after being broken down from work-outs.  Protein supplements can also replace other protein sources (e.g., meats) that would come with ‘negative fats.’ I have to go to work a few hours before workouts, so I want to start my day with a good dose of protein at this time and then add some immediately after workouts. You may need to investigate this according to your schedule & daily needs. (i.e., I use less than what many would, especially if you are male and/or a high metabolism athlete, like my teenage son. He uses a much higher caloric product with more grams of protein – and adds peanut butter, to boot. Oh, to have his metabolism – and 8 pack!) The recommended daily intake of protein for healthy adults is ~0.75 g of protein per kilogram of body weight, or about 45 to 56 g of protein a day. (Some sources will say 1 g per pound; many will argue no more than 0.55 g/lb.)
  • Added nutrients – whether you’re swallowing pills for vitamins, adding in a power (like I do), or adding a liquid multi-nutrient, this is the easiest place to work them in (and a great way to start your day!)
  • Frozen lowfat yogurt – Yogurt is rich in calcium, protein & probiotics, oh my! (as well as potassium that can help flush too much sodium out of your body). By using a frozen variety, I can get a creamy shake taste.
  • Raw honey – besides offering a natural sweetener to your shake, it’s packed with natural nutrients, promoting digestive health, immunity, wound & allergy healing; rich in antioxidants & enzymes, is anti-inflammatory, along with a ridiculous host of other great benefits. (Important Note: Do NOT share your shake with infants less than 1 year of age, whose immune systems cannot fight off any potential botulism that could be present in raw honey.)
  • Peppermint extract – has a calming (de-stressing) effect to the body, assisting in halitosis and sometimes nausea, may relieve a sore throat, GI tract bloating, and peppermint contains antioxidants!
  • Water is essential to the body, helping control your caloric intake, balances your body fluids, energizes muscles to work out, & helps get the bad stuff flushed out. (You can add low-fat milk in place of the water, if you want more and a creamier flavoring, but adjust your calories.)

For any changes to the above “recipe,” just remember to make any necessary caloric & protein adjustments, if you’re counting. (Remember, these amounts meet my particular protein & calorie breakfast goals.)

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Important Disclaimer: I am not a Nutritionist, nor am I representing any company. In the case where brand names have been provided, I am simply expressing to you what I am using at the moment in an attempt to fulfill my own personal dietary goal (and so you can make a comparison of caloric and/or protein amounts in any substitutions you decide to make). I also didn’t add what I consider to be negligible calories.

In the coming weeks, I’ll continue to try to add some more of my family’s favorite protein shake recipes we’ve adopted or created, so let me know if you have any particular flavors you like & if we have any recipes on hand (or decide to create one), I’ll try to incorporate those first. 🙂

Here’s to positive subtraction that’s “worth a mint”, -jody

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“Sweet as Georgia Peaches” Frozen Breakfast Smoothie

aka Jody’s Honey/Strawberry/Peach Protein Shake

Thought I’d share a great pick-me-up that I use to begin my day with “the good stuff.”

Pre-Warning from Mark Twain :
“Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.”

Preparation Preface:

I use an instant blender cup to mix this frozen fruit smoothie concoction (because I hate doing dishes & this blender cup serves a dual “serve-it-up-on-the-fly” purpose)…but you can use a full-size blender and your own fancy glass, for all I care. 😉

I have taken care to calculate the calories & grams of protein for you (according to the measurements provided & the brands I use, if specified in any place where I thought these could drastically change). Sorry – you’re on your own if you want carbs, sugars or anything else along those lines.

Hint: When the information isn’t available on a package, I can usually look up almost any ingredient (by portion) through MyFitnessPal, an application I use on my iPhone. You can also log your daily caloric intake and output through exercise here.

HSP_smoothie_ingredients

Ingredients:

Calories

Protein (g)

2 oz.  Cranberry juice (organic, pure, non-sweetened)

18.80

0

½ Tbs ground flax meal

15.00

1.250

2 tsp L-Arginine powder (optional for pre-workout vascularization)

¾ scoop GNC Total Lean 25 shake – French vanilla

75.00

9.375

1 scoop GNC Women’s Ultramega Maximum Nutrition – vanilla crème

50.00

3.000

1/3 cup frozen strawberries (non-sweetened)

16.70

0

1/3 cup frozen peaches (non-sweetened)

26.7

0

1 tsp cinnamon

1 Tbs raw honey (best if gotten from a hive in your area)

60.00

0

1/8 cup non-fat vanilla yogurt

23.75

1.375

Fill remainder of blender cup with water (approximately 6-8 oz. if using large blender)

TOTALS

                            285.95

15.0

HSP_smoothieProduces a 12 oz. protein shake that tastes like a delicious frozen smoothie – oh, that’s because it IS a delicious frozen smoothie!

(Color variations will occur based on the ingredients used, especially fruit coloring variations.)

…and, yes, I dirtied a real glass for demonstration purposes…just for YOU! 🙂

Quick (and much abridged) health rundown of contents:

  • Pure cranberry juice helps flush out the toxins/waste products in the liver & kidneys, while providing a rich antioxidant/phytochemical (good heart) fruit source.
  • Flax seed – rich in Omega-3 (‘positive’ fat) and lignans (anti-cancer, anti-diabetes, good heart), with the addition of fiber when seed or ground meal. (Of course, you may substitute the flax meal for flax oil. You should get used to the slight taste difference in your shake very quickly.)
  • L-Arginine – this is one way to get it without consuming meats that will have added fat. Great as a pre-workout for increased vascularization. (More waste product removal, high immunity and good heart.)
  • Protein helps the body to recover more quickly during workouts & rebuild its musculature after being broken down from work-outs.  Protein supplements can also replace other protein sources (e.g., meats) that would come with ‘negative fats.’ I have to go to work a few hours before workouts, so I want to start my day with a good dose of protein at this time and then add some immediately after workouts. You may need to investigate this according to your schedule & daily needs. (i.e., I use less than what many would, especially if you are male and/or a high metabolism athlete, like my teenage son. He uses a much higher caloric product with more grams of protein – and adds peanut butter, to boot. Oh, to have his metabolism – and 8 pack! J) The recommended daily intake of protein for healthy adults is ~0.75 g of protein per kilogram of body weight, or about 45 to 56 g of protein a day. (Some sources will say 1 g per pound; many will argue no more than 0.55 g/lb.)
  • Added nutrients – whether you’re swallowing pills for vitamins, adding in a power (like I do), or adding a liquid multi-nutrient, this is the easiest place to work them in (and a great way to start your day!)
  • Frozen (unsweetened) fruits – I use the frozen variety for a couple of reasons. First, I can get them all year and store them easily. Secondly, this is how I get a frozen smoothie that’s truly “smooth” – without chunky pieces of ice! You’re already starting your day well on your food chart by adding some fruit!
  • Cinnamon – has been shown to help regulate blood sugar & lower cholesterol (good heart!), reduce flair-ups of arthritis (which athletes often develop in their joints early), and has shown some cancer-reducing and Alzheimer’s/Parkinson’s benefits. And it just smells good.
  • Raw honey – besides offering a natural sweetener to your shake, it’s packed with natural nutrients, promoting digestive health, immunity, wound & allergy healing; rich in antioxidants & enzymes, is anti-inflammatory, along with a ridiculous host of other great benefits. (Important Note: Do NOT share your shake with infants less than 1 year of age, whose immune systems cannot fight off any potential botulism that could be present in raw honey.)
  • Nonfat yogurt – rich in calcium, protein & probiotics, oh my! (as well as potassium that can help flush too much sodium out of your body)
  • And speaking of flushing…I can’t think of a better way to flush out the body than with H2O.
    Adding Water helps you to control your caloric intake, balances your body fluids, energizes muscles to work out, & helps get the bad stuff flushed out. (You can add some orange juice in place of ½ the water if you want more flavoring, but never just drink OJ alone – else your blood sugar will spike – always dilute it (or chase it) with agua. Oh, and adjust your calories.)

For any changes to the above “recipe,” just remember to make any necessary caloric & protein adjustments, if you’re counting. (Remember, these amounts meet my particular protein & calorie breakfast goals.)

Also, feel free to change around your fruit or go green by throwing in some spinach leaves to add a veggie component.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Important Disclaimer: I am not a Nutritionist, nor am I representing any company. In the case where brand names have been provided, I am simply expressing to you what I am using at the moment in an attempt to fulfill my own personal dietary goal (and so you can make a comparison of caloric and/or protein amounts in any substitutions you decide to make). I also didn’t add what I consider to be negligible calories.

In the coming weeks, I’m going to try to add some more of my family’s favorite protein shake recipes we’ve adopted or created, so let me know if you have any particular flavors you like & if we have any recipes on hand (or decide to create one), I’ll try to incorporate those first. 🙂

Here’s to your health, -jody

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Recipe for Baking Earth Pie

Carl Sagan is credited with saying, “If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.”

So I thought, ‘Who isn’t up for a good geography lesson on the earth’s layers – while hanging out at the dinner table, eating a worthy illustration made of ooey-gooey pie?’ I figured we could have our pie and live on it too!

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Brick oven in South Sudan

Insert two parts core.

Center, magnetize, stir

at faster rotational pace.

Layer mantle. Use

Easybake oven, circulating heat.

Add crust.

Thin, crispiness of

Continents, ocean floors,

oozing volcano pie.

Serve on tectonic plates.

Yei, South Sudan

Here’s to earth pie in your eye! -jody

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The ingredients & recipe for Earth Pie were written in response to:


Trifecta’s weekend Trifextra Writing Challenge forty-nine: As you’ll recall from your elementary science class days, the structure of the earth can be divided most simply into three sections: core, mantle, crust.  (Diagram is below.) Give us 33 words from it.  Interpret the prompt however you wish–literal, metaphorical, or somewhere in between.

Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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