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June 2015

Sriracha almonds? Say no more!

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds.

Blue diamond srirachaSince I am a Blue Diamond Tastemaker, I get fairly regular shipments of almond products that I'll use for recipes and blog posts.

My latest delivery was a two-pack of Sriracha Blue Diamond Almonds, and frankly, this is the only recipe you need:

  1. Open can.
  2. Enjoy.

I mean, seriously? Why mess with perfection -- these almonds have just the right kick of heat to keep things interesting and provide their own "satiety shut-off." Turns out, making foods spicy can increase satiety. (HERE'S a link to the medical mumbo-jumbo.)

For the most part, I keep a few cans or the big bag of Low-Sodium Blue Diamond Almonds in the pantry most of the time but these little stunners will join the lineup for sure.

Vegan Green Tea Chai Smoothie

Green tea chai smoothie labeled

I never thought I'd become a plant-based protein powder convert, but I've been making and ordering vegan smoothies since early in the year and I love 'em. My dietitian had me switch because plant-based protein powders are easier to digest, and since we were "detoxing" so to speak, it is dairy free. 

There are a few brands I've been buying regularly, and one of them is Nutrition53's Vegan1 smoothie mix. It gives you 20 grams of plant-based protein from peas, potatoes, and chlorella, but it's more than just a protein powder, as it has 10 fruits and vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, carrots, and apricots, as well as 22 vitamins and minerals, 7 grams of dietary fiber, probiotics, and enzymes. It does have 6 grams of sugar from organic cane sugar and it's not gritty or "pea soupy" at all.

Nutrition53 sent me a sampler package with all the Vegan1 flavors, which was great because until now I've only tried the vanilla. In addition to vanilla, there's chocolate, banana and chai.

It's one of the few protein powders that can make a decent smoothie with just water, but I pretty much never do that. 

Here's a smoothie that I've been enjoying the past few mornings. I had gotten some Aiya Matcha to Go green tea packets that are great for adding to smoothies, and the combination of matcha and chai is so perfectly Zen for the morning. You can use whatever milk substitute floats your boat -- I used unsweetened coconut milk, which made the smoothie extra creamy.

Green Tea Chai Smoothie

  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (or your favorite "alt milk")
  • 1 packet Nutrition53 Vegan1 Chai protein shake mix (or 2 scoops if you buy it in the big container)
  • 1 packet Aiya Matcha to Go (or 4 grams of matcha green tea powder)
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup crushed ice

Blend and enjoy!

Nutrition53 sent me a variety of smoothie mixes. No other compensation was given. All opinions are my own and delicious.


I've found my training inspiration!

I've been going to the gym really regularly for a few years now, but the extent of my gameplan has been "upper body today, lower body Wednesday, everything Friday."

At first I saw progress, but I haven't really seen much progress lately.

Then today, I decided to work out and lose weight FOR something. 

This fall's high school marching band season.

(But wait, aren't you a 53-year-old mom?)

Yes I am, but I have a son in marching band, and my husband and I recently stepped up our band parent game and joined the board of the band parents association. The past two seasons our participation consisted of mainly watching the games with the other parents, but our high school band is also stepping up its game and likely will be needing more help in the field crew, ie: band parents who schlep equipment around the fields.

Here's video of a field crew (not ours) in action:

If you haven't watched a marching band halftime show lately, it's far more than a bunch of kids marching in circles playing music. There are platforms, huge drum sets, speakers, marimbas, props, and screens involved, and the parents are the ones doing the work.

I've found my inspiration. 

This fall, I will not be sitting on the sidelines. I'll be schlepping.

Livefit trainer
I downloaded's BodySpace app to my phone and scheduled Jamie Eason's LiveFit workout schedule to it. Today was Day 1 and it was great to have a plan to follow. The workouts start off with four a week, then five, and finally six. The great thing is the app and the plan are free.

There's an eating plan, too, but I haven't looked too far into it yet. It's basically clean eating, which is what I'm already doing. 

It occurred to me that perhaps I need a reason to get the weight loss going again, and this summer training plan is just the thing.

I've just been going through the motions with no real reason or goal in sight, and now I have one!

Band parent shirt in a smaller size this year!