Green Smoothie FTW

I usually have to google acronyms like “FTW“, but I’ve finally started remember what this one stands for–mostly because I’m trying to live my life with more #ftw . Life is too short not to. And, life is too short to drink gross green smoothies.

I’ve been experimenting a lot lately with using up the greens in my fridge, putting them in a blender and whirring it around for a while. I’ve definitely had some fails (ex: I accidentally used a bag of ‘mixed greens’, which included mustard greens. If you’ve ever had raw mustard greens you know that they’re a bit spicy–that mixed with almond milk is kiiiiiiiinda gross, and not a pleasant surprise at 5:30am. OR, that time I used kale with all the stems on and couldn’t stop pooping–TMI, my bad, but really. Be careful.)

SO. I am no Registered Dietitian, but I love food, I obsess about nutrition and here are a few of the great things about green smoothies.

  • They are a great BLAST of nutrition first thing in the morning
  • You can add protein in it, so if you don’t like eating first thing in the morning these are a great option to sip on while you sip your coffee.
  • Fiber. See above, just be careful with HOW much fiber you’re consuming…
  • They can TASTE amazing. (I say ‘can’ because they can also taste like dirt.)

Here’s my favorite recipe so far:

1 big fist full of spinach (I’ve found spinach has less of an ‘earthy’ flavor than kale, and it’s what I had in my fridge this morning)
1/2 of a frozen banana (adds sweetness to cut through the grassy taste. I’ve also used frozen berries)
1 scoop of collagen protein amino acids (made from beef, tastes like nothing, I PROMISE)
2 table spoons of Jif Powdered Peanut butter (more protein, a nutty flavor)
1 cup of cashew milk
Dash of cinnimon and some vanilla extract
3 ice cubes
Throw all this in the blender and let it go for 3-4 minutes. I’ve found the longer you spin it around the better–especially if you’re using a heartier green, like kale. 

Enjoy the toxic green beverage out of whatever glass jar you have. I put mine in old peanut butter jars with a tight lid so I can bring it with me where ever I’m headed and enjoy it while I write or get settled at work. Let me know your favorite way to enjoy a green smoothie–I’m always up for learning more about these guys!

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I’m The Worst

Seriously. Trying to be committed to this getting this site up and going consistently is like starting a new health and fitness routine and then all the ice cream in the world is in front of you–I’m having a hard time, you guys.

By trying to prioritize TheSoleSearch has taken a backseat. To what?! You ask?:

-Binging on political articles
-Personal writing
-Work
-Sleep
-Watching as much Shameless as humanly possible
-Drinking with my neighbor and watching the Daily Show
-Trying to find sunshine in gloomy gloomy Chicago

So you see, really important things. I’m not going to post this as a re-commitment to posting every week (I’ll TRY, I promise), but I am posting this to remind you that I’m still here, that if you email me I WILL respond (I promise THIS).

How about a Wednesday nugget of wellness advice?:

Remember to disconnect. Remember that you do in fact have two hands (not one hand and another that has a phone attached to it) I would suggest not taking your phone when you run across the street to get a coffee. Turn the phone upside down when you’re having a conversation with someone. Go to the gym, or yoga, or whatever–sans device. Just try it. I, too, will be making a more conscious effort to dis-harbor myself from my i-phone.

Food Prep Sunday!

Happy Sunday! Whoa, where did this weekend fly off to? Amirite? I got up late this morning, drank a ton of coffee and read in bed for about an hour and then decided I needed to get productive at about 11:30–Then I decided I should make this day EXTRA productive by FINALLY do a post on my food prep process. It’s pretty easy, not fancy and takes about 90 minutes from grocery to finish.

First I should tell you the entire process including:

Outfit: yoga pants, tank top I slept in (I don’t control the heat, so my apartment is either FREEZING or as hot as Arizona in July–today it’s pretty toasty)
Beverage: Rotating between water and coffee.
Playlist: The Devil Makes Three  PANDORA station (I’m going to see them for my birthday in a few weeks, so gotta get my hippie/bluegrass dance moves down before hand)

Oh Hiiiiii!

Oh Hi. I’m still sleepy and gross, but it’s Sunday so it doesn’t really matter.

So first things first. I went to the grocery store with a plan. I always do, because if you don’t have a plan you’ll for sure forget something, buy something you already have, or go hungry–and we all know that grocery shopping hungry is a terrible idea. I got all the stuff I needed for my lunches, I also cook dinner at home so I got different veggies and proteins for those meals, but I cook those fresh each evening so no need to prep anything.

What I got specifically for my lunches this week:

-1 onion
-3 large yellow summer squash
-a few large handfuls of green beans
-1 pound of lean ground turkey

(Note: I already have EVOO, spices, rice…etc. The basics were covered. Also, I generally each week just chose two veggies and protein, this is what looked good; it varies due to mood, season, how late on a Sunday I get to the store… and therefore how picked over everything is.)

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This is about as stagey as I”m going to get for these pictures–the filter makes this look way more fancy than it was. Just a rough chop you guys. Nothing fancy.

I throw on some tunes that match my mood–today it was bluegrass, mostly for above reasons, and it always puts me in a good mood. Then I start chopping. I turn on the oven, throw the veggies in a pan and spray with EVOO. I got a Mister Mister to keep my olive oil use under control–it lets you use the oil of your choice in a misting manner. You can buy one HERE. I’ve had mine for about a year and only spent like $6 on it, I highly recommend getting one.

Everything goes in the oven, they only have two jobs and it’s to cook and make my house smell amazing.
I tend to use a lot of spices instead of sauces, keeps me in absolute control of what I’m putting in my body. On the onions and squash I used a little salt, garlic powder (mostly because I’m too lazy to chop up garlic,) and cumin. The green beans get some lemon pepper and that’s about it.

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Cook little guys! You can do it!

While those guys are partying in there I start on the brown rice. I have to look up the ratios every time and usually still mess it up–today was half a cup of brown rice to a cup of water, I think? Now I’m second guessing myself–just look it up, that ‘s what google is for. 

Anyway, I cook the rice and the turkey on the stove top–I add turmeric to the turkey for some added health benefits  and about half a cube of veggie bullion to the rice to add some flavor. Today I decided to mix the two after fully cooking each and I like the flavor outcome–this will definitely be happening again!

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Turkey and brown rice party–looks like fun to me!

(Keep in mind, I snack all day–this meal is not high in calories, for most it is probably not enough for a mid day meal sans snacks. This meal contains approximately 330 calories and a good balance of your daily macros. )

So, everything cooks pretty independently for a while. While it’s hands off I tend to clean as I go, dance around the kitchen and sip coffee. Eventually I taste test everything, take the kids out of the oven and let it all cool before divvying it up in my mismatched Tupperware, take a couple snap-chats and throw it in the fridge with a proud grin on my face.

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Final product–Not as pretty as some of the other food prep blog posts. But it’ doesn’t have to be! You just have to do it.

I’m sharing all this with you not to give you a recipe, not to tell you what to eat, not even to give you nutrition advice–I’m sharing this because I want you to know that making 5 delicious, healthy, cheap meals for the week took me less time than this blog post took.

Don’t get intimidated by those “how to” posts that end up looking like a page or two from Real Simple magazine. The prep should take 90 minutes (on the high end) and the finished product doesn’t have to look perfect. Mine don’t. But my co workers are always jealous of my home made meals that were cheaper, are healthier and probably taste better than whatever they got from the place around the corner.

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Pretty ugly. But delicious.

Try it out and tell me how it goes! Sloan.personaltraining@gmail.com