A watermelon-lime-kefir smoothie for a feel-better Monday

I've had a cold all weekend, and I'm hoping it goes away quickly because this weekend is BUSY! The kid has his spring band concert on Thursday, the band banquet is Friday and he has senior prom on Saturday.

Plus, I have not one but two dental appointments on Wednesday, and have you done that when you can't breathe out of your nose? Good times.

Anyway, here was my breakfast:

Smoothie and sudafed

The one good thing about cold medicine is that it completely kills my appetite so I really had to work up an interest in making breakfast. 

I had some leftover watermelon chunks in the fridge, which inspired me to make a smoothie based on an agua fresca. The combination of watermelon and lime is one of my favorites and I figured that a base of plain kefir would go with the sweet-tart flavors. I figured right. I also added a little agave syrup. If you use a flavored kefir (Lifeway makes a limited-edition watermelon kefir!) you can skip the agave.

Watermelon lime kefir smoothie labeled
Watermelon-Lime-Kefir Smoothie

  • 1 cup plain kefir
  • 1 cup watermelon chunks
  • 1/4 of a peeled lime wedge
  • 2 teaspoons agave syrup
  • 1/2 cup crushed ice

Blend everything together until the lime and ice are thoroughly processed.


Hemp, hemp, hooray for Stonyfield and PrAna!

As a member of the Stonyfield Clean Plate Club, I received products and coupons from Stonyfield and PrAna to write this post. All opinions are 100 percent my own.

Now that my mouth is pretty much back to normal, I’m adding back in some things that were off limits, like seeds. When you can’t eat things with chia seeds and hemp seeds, you realize just how many things you buy with chia seeds and hemp seeds.

Banana hemp yogurt labeled

I was inspired to make a little bowl of breakfast yum by a pair of prAna workout capris.

Chetan caprisHuh?

This month Stonyfield and PrAna are teaming up to celebrate #TheWholeYou, so I was sent a pair of PrAna’s Chetan capris, which are a blend of cotton and hemp (a ha!) They’re super comfortable and a little heavier in weight than my usual workout capris, so they’ll be great for wearing to more than the gym. They’re a warm charcoal gray and have cool diagonal piecing on the lower legs. They also have a handy little pocket sewn in the waistband. (Here's a detail shot of the capris at right. Are those my legs? I wish!)

I kinda live in workout clothes. Every morning I wake up and change into them because my goal is to get some work done, take a workout break and go back to work.

The past few weeks have NOT gone that way, what with dental surgery, vacation and IT band stuff, but yesterday I actually did that and it felt great to get back to my routine. Mouth doesn’t bother me, I’m caught up on work, I’m working through the IT band thing (curse you!) and I have a fridge stocked with Stonyfield yogurt, which REALLY came in handy when all I could eat was soft stuff.

Grassfed-greek-plain-24oz-1So what’s in my bowl this morning? Six ounces of plain whole milk Greek yogurt topped with a small sliced banana, a drizzle of honey and about a teaspoon of hemp hearts. I used to be really into flavored yogurts, but lately I'm all about the plain. You can add whatever you like, make it sweet or savory and use it in place of sour cream on things like tacos. It makes a great base for a super thick smoothie, too.

I was more than ready to celebrate #TheWholeYou, and you can, too.

PrAna is offering my readers 15 percent off using the coupon code WHOLES17GGG through the end of May.

I highly recommend the Chetan capris and may get a pair in another color!


Make it mushy: Notes from a post dental surgery menu (and a bonus smoothie recipe)

I've been off the Motrin 800 for more than 12 hours now, which means I might be over the pain hump of Wednesday's periodontal surgery. Some gross little infection had set up shop below a molar implant, and while it didn't hurt one bit, it was causing the bone around the implant to recede. Not good. 

So Wednesday, I had my gum split open (TMI?), every thing cleaned up and some bone graft packed in there. It was a fairly short procedure but the healing part is going to take awhile.

  • Nothing crunchy
  • Nothing spicy
  • Nothing too cold
  • Nothing too hot
  • No seeds
  • No straws

So obviously, all I want is sriracha and chia seeds -- the heart wants what the heart wants.

I've spent the past few days basically sacked out in the den with ice packs, soup and straw-less smoothies, brushing my teeth and rinsing with that gross antiseptic mouthwash multiple times a day. 

Hey, how was your weekend?

But I woke up this morning and am feeling like I can brave the discomfort without any meds. Feeling better, I whipped up this super simple smoothie that I poured into a bowl so I could eat it with a spoon because sucking through a straw might suck the stitches right outta my face.

A smoothie bowl! How trendy! But, alas, I couldn't decorate it with kiwis and chia seeds like all those Pinterest-pretty ones. Still, it was yummy and provided plenty of calcium and protein I need to regrow all that bone around the implant.

Super smooth mango smoothie bowl
Super Smooth Mango-Green Tea Smoothie

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup frozen mango chunks
  • 1/4 avocado (I keep my avocado wedges in the freezer)
  • 1/2 cup chilled green tea
  • Stevia to taste (optional)

Blend everything together (I use a Nutri Ninja to make sure it's super smooth) and enjoy.

Other smooth and mushy things I've been enjoying, in case you're going to have dental surgery:

  • Carrot ginger soup: Pacific Natural Foods makes a good one, as does Trader Joe's. I mixed in half a scoop of unflavored Quest protein powder to pump up the protein and surprisingly it blended well and didn't taste weird.
  • Campbell's Well Yes Tomato Carrot Bisque: Holy yum, this was good.
  • Pizza Loft's eggplant Parmesan: We threw an 80th birthday dinner for my mom and my aunt (they're twins), and the eggplant parm was the perfect mushy comfort food. If you live in South Florida, Pizza Loft in Davie is a longtime family fave.

Other less exciting things: oatmeal, avocados, yogurt, kefir, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and of course, smoothies. But I have to set aside my beloved Wyman's berry blend because SEEDS. Here's a list of what I came up with for smooth smoothie ingredients:

  • Mango
  • Peach
  • Banana
  • Cherry
  • Peeled apple
  • Papaya
  • Avocado
  • Smooth nut butter (none of that stone-ground stuff)

Yoo hoo -- here I am!

As a blogger, I think there's nothing worse than the "So where have I been?" post, but where HAVE I been?

No worries -- I've been kicking ass on the work and weight front.

I just wrapped up the 10 in 4 Challenge, which is an "anti-diet" plan to get your head screwed on straight(er) about weight loss and eating healthfully. It dovetails perfectly with what I've been doing via the Superfood Swap, in that there's a big emphasis on whole, clean foods and lots of vegetables. 

10 in 4 dinner
One of the dinners on the 10 in 4 Challenge.


It's a 4-week plan, which gives you recipes, strategies, daily emails and loads of support through a Facebook group, and while I didn't hit the "10" I did lose a little over 5 pounds, which for me is great. I also picked up a few new tools for my healthy toolbox that I'll be using from now on.

I don't want to give away too much about the plan, but trainer Dave Smith has you focus on vegetables first. Hungry in the afternoon? Vegetables. Looking to beef up your dinner portions? Vegetables. Lately I had gone a little fruit crazy, but this plan has me hitting the vegetable bin first now (and if you've never made carrot fries in an air fryer, you're missing out on a great snack!).

The other two people on the support team are Jennipher Walters and Kristen Seymour of Fit Bottomed Girls -- and speaking of FBG, I've been doing a lot more work at Fit Bottomed World -- not only writing, but editing, social media and graphics. That's what has been keeping me busy.

If you want to find out more about the program, you can read this post from Kristen. A new 10 in 4 Challenge starts May 1.

But, man! I need to prioritize the whole work-life thing. It's super easy to stay up too late, roll out of bed into workout clothes, start working and, ummmm, never get around to the working out thing. (Hey, at least I look the part!) And I need to schedule those workouts in because my right IT band has flared up something awful and I know it's NOT from working out. It's from NOT working out.

So I pulled out my PiYo program because I need something that'll work me out and stretch me out. I've had the program ever since it came out but never did it because I saw one pretzel-like move and thought "No way." Had I actually popped the DVDs in, I'd see that there are modifiers galore, so I'm finally going to give it a go.


Gimme a B (Corporation)!

I am a member of the Stonyfield Clean Plate Club and was a sent a selection of B Corp products for this post.

 

B corp stuff
I just got a care package from Stonyfield -- in addition to two containers of Stonyfield's new 100 Percent Grassfed Greek Yogurt (yum!), was granola, a toothbrush, fragrant hand soap, gluten-free flour, matcha tea, and a coupon for a carton of eggs.

Now, I suppose I could test myself and see what I could make with all the products (some sort of soapy granola yogurt tea parfait omelet?), but what these products REALLY have in common is that they're Certified B Corporations.

What is a B Corporation? The B Corporation website sums it up pretty simply:

"B Corp is to business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic certification is to milk."

(And here's a little video to further explain things.)

Turns out, many of my favorite companies are certified B Corps -- King Arthur Flour, Pukka Organic Teas, Method cleaning supplies, Pete & Gerry's Organic Eggs, Preserve Products (the toothbrush is made from recycled yogurt cups!) and my new favorite granola maker, Purely Elizabeth. That blueberry hemp ancient grain granola is fabulous -- especially sprinkled over the yogurt. 

Stonyfield b corp
Stonyfield says it felt a need to join forces with a like-minded group of businesses around the world who believe they have a responsibility to others. After poking around on the website, I'm not entirely sure what the "B" stands for, but the assessment has been developed to Measure What Matters and allows B Corps to compete to be the Best for the World, so my guess is that B is for Best.

I'm one of those persnickety shoppers who looks for things like organic, sustainable, Fair Trade, bee-friendly, etc., so this new certification is something to B on the lookout for when you shop for ethical products.


How 'bout a Breakfast Banana Split?

Breakfast banana split cover shot labeled

I partnered with Stonyfield and Woodstock Foods for this recipe.  All opinions are my own.

Hey! Long time, no see!

I've been doing a lot more work for the Fit Bottomed World of healthy-living blogs, which is great. It's a combination of graphics, copy editing, writing and back-end stuff, so that's been keeping me busy (and apparently away from the blog). 

I've also been hitting the gym more frequently and staying up far too late watching MSNBC. 

Another thing I've been doing is working with my teenager on cleaning up his eating -- totally HIS decision. I have a post scheduled soon at Fit Bottomed Mamas that goes into more detail about that, but even though he has zero weight issues, he doesn't want to end up with one, so he's making cleaner choices for his meals and snacks.

Lately he's rediscovered yogurt, something he hadn't eaten since he was a toddler. Grabbing a cup of Greek yogurt for a quick breakfast or an evening snack is a good protein-rich choice, and he can choose from a variety of flavors.

He hasn't gone hardcore, like I have.

I pretty much stick to plain yogurt -- be it Greek, regular, nonfat or whole milk. I've been cutting back on my sugar intake and I can honestly say I like plain yogurt now, maybe with just a tiny drizzle of honey or sprinkle of stevia, depending on what I'm eating.

Breakfast banana split watermark
Breakfast banana split ingredients watermarkedI came up with this idea for a fun breakfast or even a dessert. It's a healthy twist on the classic banana split, which uses Stonyfield Grassfed plain yogurt and Woodstock's almond butter and Hiker's Harvest Mix trail, which is a blend of organic pumpkin seeds, raisins, apples and almonds with no added oils, salt or sugar. I added a little drizzle of honey.

I had this for breakfast right after my photo shoot, but I think the kid will enjoy it, too.

Breakfast Banana Split

  • 1 medium banana, peeled and split lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup Stonyfield Grassfed plain yogurt (or any other favorite yogurt)
  • 1 tablespoon natural almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons Woodstock Organic Hiker's Harvest Mix
  • Drizzle of honey

Top banana with yogurt, almond butter, trail mix and drizzle the whole thing with honey.

Makes 1 serving.

 


I have seen the future and it tastes like vegetables

(Yeah, I know I said "coming Monday" but my blog platform ate my post, so here it is on Wednesday!)

Hey, it's 2017! Happy New Year! Time to start anew and all that. I've had the same resolution since about the age of, oh, 10, and you can figure out what that is:

Crouching woman hidden scale

(Seriously, what is up with this "woman crouching on scale" stock photo pose? That is not how you weigh yourself, and if you can squat like that on a little scale, then honey, you don't need to worry about a number on the scale.)

Here's where I veer off and do something differently than I've been doing lo these many years.

  1. I unloaded a huge pile of diet books, sticking some on Amazon for sale and donating the rest to the library's used-book sale.
  2. Threw out all the pitches for big, corporate diet plans that came in the mail and the email.
  3. Left various diet-related Facebook groups. Don't want to have too many different plans fighting each other in my head. It's an ongoing issue for me.

So what DID I do?

Fitness planner

Bought a cool new fitness-themed planner. Michael's had a massive sale on them so I got this kit for around $14.

Made a doctor appointment with a new primary-care physician who seems -- at least on paper -- to be more focused on preventive care and weight loss.

Decided I was going to follow the advice of Dawn Jackson Blatner, a registered dietitian who just released a new book called The Superfood Swap. It's NOT a diet; instead it's a non-crazymaking plan to eat dishes you like, only much healthier versions of them. There's no points, no calorie counting, no macro obsessing -- just good, healthy food. 

And a big part of that good, healthy food is produce -- vegetables to be precise. I can eat fruit all day long, but it's vegetables that don't often find their way into certain meals, like breakfasts and snacks.

So I kicked off Tuesday with this:

Spinach eggs

Buried under all that spinach is a couple of eggs, which I plopped on top of a couple pieces of sprouted grain bread topped with avocado. That breakfast held me for hours.

I ended the day with this:

Open face arepa
 That's an open-faced arepa at a new place near us. It was hard to get all the veggies and chicken to stay on the arepa so I just mixed everything up like a big salad and put bits of it on the arepa. 

I started and ended my day with a load of veggies. And my afternoon snack was one of Dawn's "produce and protein" combos -- 2 clementines and a 100-calorie pack of unsalted almonds.

How many calories were in this meal? My day? Don't know. Dawn says to be "calorie conscious" instead of running that calorie or macro calculator in your head all day. What I did when looking at my dinner was focus on the two things that would be the most calorically dense -- the arepa and the shredded chicken. Around 110 for each thing. The rest was vegetables and a little extra for the Latin cole slaw. 

(Check out this article from Dawn on how to free yourself from obsessive calorie counting.)

When I do calorie count I get hung up on how many I have left at the end of the day and end up trying to make up for any shortfalls at night, even if I'm not hungry. By not tallying up the day and instead being conscious of the relative total at each meal and snack, I'm far less inclined to eat what I am "allotted."

I did get on the scale New Year's Day and found that even with the little tweaks I made to my eating last week, a couple pounds came off pretty easily. 

As for the gym, my IT band issue flared up last week, and I'm guessing it was from NON-use instead of overuse, so I've been focusing on core, glutes and legs to strengthen and stretch the area with a day of rest between each workout. I got the discomfort down to one little spot on my quad, so whatever I'm doing seems to be working.

So to sum it up, 2017 is:

  • Lots of vegetables, with "produce and protein" snacks.
  • More time at the gym.
  • Playing with stickers and pens at night in my planner instead of eating.