Previous month:
March 2015
Next month:
May 2015

April 2015

A nutty apple pie smoothie

Nutty apple pie smoothie labeled
This post is sponsored by Almond Breeze Almondmilk.

Right now I am all about the smoothie.

(OK, I've always been all about the smoothie.)

I started going to a dietitian a couple months ago, and she initially had me using smoothies for two of my three meals a day, which is totally fine with me because I love smoothies.

But when you make all those smoothies you need to switch things up – and not just for boredom. My dietitian (Meryl Brandwein, RD) suggests that you switch up the ingredients at each meal to get a variety of nutrients. If you’re using hemp seeds at breakfast, use flax seeds at lunch. Blueberries for breakfast? Peaches at lunch – you get the drift.

After I exhausted the variety of frozen fruit at the grocery store, I spied a can of apples on the closeout shelf (I love the closeout shelf!). Specifically, it was a can of Comstock sliced apples packed in water, and yes, they’re pretty darn bland. But here’s what I did – I drained the can and spread the apple slices on a foil-lined cookie sheet and stuck it in the freezer. After a few hours, I put the frozen apple slices in a plastic bag and had another fruit to play with for smoothies.

I also had another “alt milk” to play with when Blue Diamond sent me its unsweetened Almond Coconut Almond Breeze. Unsweetened milks aren’t great for drinking straight up but they’re fabulous for smoothies because you’re also putting lots of other ingredients in the mix. The combination of coconut and almond is a creamy, slightly coconutty milk that goes with pretty much anything you dream up for your next smoothie.

Since I had my frozen apples, I came up with an apple pie-inspired smoothie that was a welcome change from my usual.

Nutty Apple Pie Smoothie

  • 1 cup Almond Breeze unsweetened Almond Coconut Almond Breeze
  • 1 scoop vanilla or cinnamon protein powder (I used Perfect Fit Cinnamon Roll protein by Tone It Up)
  • 140g frozen apple slices
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • ½ cup crushed ice

Blend and enjoy!

All that and NOT a bag of chips

Blue diamond honey almonds
This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds.

I have a teenaged boy who is blessed with the metabolism of a cheetah. Seriously, the guy eats pretty much whatever he wants and his 30-inch waist stays intact.

But that doesn’t mean I let him eat garbage.

Amid the occasional chips and cookies, I try and keep the snack stash pretty healthy. So when Blue Diamond sent me its Honey Dijon and Honey Roasted Cinnamon almonds, I knew it would only be a matter of time before …

Hey, where’d they go?

I’d love to show you the lovely snack combinations I came up with (the Honey Roasted Cinnamon go great with apple slices), but, alas, the almonds disappeared in a flash. This, friends, is life with a teenaged boy.

But, hey, I’m not mad – the kid got protein, healthy fats, fiber and other great nutrients. You don’t get that in a bag of chips.

If you’re concerned about portion control, buy those little Ziploc snack bags and portion out an ounce at a time – I find that when snacks are in separate portioned packages, I’m much less likely to overeat them.

Sure, there’s a little added sugar, but overall they’re not much more calories than a regular ounce of almonds, and a much better choice than other sweets.

Of Sam Smith, snacking and a smack upside the head

I just got Amelia Freer's book "Eat. Nourish. Glow." in the mail over the weekend. I first learned of the British nutritional therapist when I saw Boy George raving about her on Instagram, so I was intrigued and preordered it back in March.

I flipped open the book and stopped on this very page:

Stop snacking

Oh, holy moly, you got me, lady. It was like a smack upside the head.

Hi, I'm Gail, and I'm a snacker.

Aren't you supposed to eat every 4 hours? Or is it 3 hours Or every couple hours? Yeah, that's my problem, especially after lunch and all the way up to bed.

Snack, snack, snack.

Now, I'm not talking Doritos or ice cream bars. No sir. We are snacking HEALTHY. Apples and almond butter. Protein bars. Maybe some more almonds. A salad. A can of sardines (Who eats sardines as a snack? Only the healthiest eater in the world!!!). Some hummus and baby carrots. Hummus and my index finger. 

Get the picture?

Then I hopped on the bike at the gym this morning and saw this:

ABC Breaking US News | US News Videos

OK, OK, I'll read the book!

I knew that Sam Smith is also a client of Amelia Freer and he's been looking fantastic. This morning he was on "Good Morning America" talking about his relationship with food and his weight. Imaginary Gay British Boyfriend, I can so relate. I have those chubby kid photos, too. 

Today at my dietitian appointment, I handed over my Fitbook for her perusal and she agreed -- too much snacking.

So my latest task is to not restrict at meal time so that there's no need to snack. I still have that diet mentality of keeping mealtime calories under a certain number of calories. I haven't been counting calories for a couple months now and it's sooooo freeing! But I still tend to restrict myself somewhat  at mealtime. But all that does is leave me hungry. 

Meryl's suggestion is to look for ways to nutritionally supercharge my meals to keep my insulin levels from see-sawing and increase satiety. So it's all about the healthy fat and fiber. Today at lunch I added a tablespoon of Nutzo and a tablespoon of uncooked oatmeal (seriously, it's great!) to my smoothie. Oatmeal is one of my "magical foods" that keeps me full for ages. (I've got a recipe coming up this week that'll show off one of my new favorite breakfasts.)

We're also working with circadian rhythms and making lunch the biggest meal of the day. So I added a chicken breast alongside my smoothie. (Update: It's now 6:11 p.m. and I have absolutely no interest in making or eating dinner.)

So tonight I'll be settling down with "Eat. Nourish. Glow" and perhaps a Sam Smith album as inspiration.

Time to reset my clock (and a lot of other things, too)

image from
Gotta punch in earlier.

Yet again, I find myself staying up way too late and waking up way too late. Sure, I get in my 7 to 8 hours of sleep but it's too late in normal human sleep cycles and that's not good.

If that study I just linked to is too "tl;dr" for you, here's a snippet:

"Late sleepers went to sleep at an average time of 3:45 am and woke up by 10:45 am, ate breakfast at noon, lunch at 2:30 pm, dinner at 8:15 pm and a final meal at 10:00 pm. Normal sleepers on average were up by 8:00 am, ate breakfast by 9:00 am, lunch at 1:00 pm, dinner at 7:00 pm, a last snack at 8:30 pm and were asleep by 12:30 am.

The study showed that in addition to the number of calories consumed each day, the timing was important. Those who ate after 8:00 pm were more likely to have a higher BMI, even after controlling for sleep timing and duration."

I'm not as bad as those 3:45 folks, but I have been averaging around 1:30 a.m. 

As I have said countless times before, this changes now.

Perhaps a better way to state that is that I've gotten off track and I'm getting back on that track today. 

Pushing all my waking hour stuff to the afternoon and evening has been making me feel very unproductive. I'm basically wasting the morning, which makes me start to slack off in other things like hydrating and food journaling and getting to the gym and ... everything.

It's one of the perils of working from home. I can set my own hours! 

Or reset my own hours.

Here's another peril of working from home. Behold, my dining room table:

Messy desk

This makes me crazy because I am a neat freak, and this is NOT neat. 

So while I should have been at the gym hours ago, I'm sitting at my dining room table getting caught up on emails and posts and tasks.

... which tomorrow I'll be doing AFTER my morning workout and WITH a big bottle of water at my side, enjoying the post-workout glow of productivity.