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Posts tagged “Smoothie

Healthy Smoothie Recipes

If you’re following me on Instagram {@Moicontrelavie} you’ve likely witnessed my love of green smoothies – They’re my usual breakfast/post workout recovery meal Mondays through Friday when I’m at the office.

I get lots of questions about my go-to smoothie concoction, what protein powder I use, whether I believe in “superfood” ingredients etc. So I’ll start this post with my favorite morning smoothie and then share some great recipes that I’ve found lately.

  • Apple
  • 1/2 – 1/4 Roasted Sweet Potato
  • Couple Handfuls of Spinach or Kale
  • Lemon juice or water
  • Sun Warrior Protein Powder {Vanilla – Raw, Vegan & Gluten-Free}
  • Navitas Naturals’ Wheatgrass
  • Cinnamon

While I LOVE a sweet smoothie and virtually any variety with fresh or frozen berries in it, I really like the energy boost and filling nature of a smoothie filled with greens. Better than coffee! 🙂

CookiesNCreamSmoothie

One of the most important things about smoothies is finding the right protein powder for yourself – I’ve tried dozens and finally settled on Sun Warrior a few years ago. Depending on your needs, allergies, and preferences you could try whey, hemp, brown rice… Reading reviews can be extremely helpful in making your choice so check out Chef Amber Shea’s PlantFusion Cookies ‘n Cream Protein Powder.

If you want to learn more about green smoothies and all the healthy, creative varieties you can come up with than defer to an expert and read Green Thickie’s Turbo Nutrient Booster: Vegetable Smoothie Vitamin Powerhouse Recipe.

Easter Candy got you down? Why not try The Fitnessista’s Butterfinger Smoothie and get your delicious sweet fix without the calories and sugar crash that come from a candy binge.

Want to add some powerhouse ingredients to your morning routine? Mixing them into a smoothie is a great way to work them into your routine – My Superfood Smoothie Stash from Carrie On Vegan.

ChiaSeedSmoothie

If you’ve read about chia seeds and want to give them a try but aren’t sure how best to add them try a smoothie! FitSugar’s Antioxidant Power: Chia Berry Smoothie is a great choice.

Green Monsters can be intimidating so if you’re interested but want to ease yourself into this healthier routine try a green juice to start – Detoxifying Green Lemonade from Hitha On The Go.

Have you tried smoothies as a way to pack fruits and/or veggies into your diet? What’s your favorite recipe?


Links You’ll Love

Health & Fitness:

Sweet potatoes are a great addition to any healthy diet so you should definitely try out some of these nutritious recipes from Shape Magazine – 10 Healthy Sweet Potato Recipes.

fall detox salad 7422 thumb   Fall Detox Salad + Hurricane Sandy Fundraiser Update

OhSheGlow’s Fall Detox Salad is a must try – Filled with Brussels Sprouts, carrots, apple, celery, sunflower seeds, and raisins, it’s as nutritious as it is delicious {also check out this salad as part of the Thanksgiving Recipe Round-Up}.

Eating well and living a healthy life doesn’t have to mean giving up all sweets and desserts, you just need to make healthier, smarter choices when you want to indulge – Try FitFluential’s Five Healthier Desserts which include amazing choices like Raspberry Chocolate Chips, Dark Chocolate Nut Butter Pretzels, Fruit & Yogurt Parfaits, Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes/Muffins, and Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries.

Do you want model-worthy skin? Refinery 29 has the goods – The Surprising Secret To Model-Worthy Skin.

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Finding a great, healthy snack that you love and that’s easy to make is wonderful – One of my favorites recently is Choosing Raw’s Cinnamon Caramelized Cauliflower.

Fashion:

Interested in spicing up your daily makeup routine? It’s always fun to see what other beauty products are out there and the sort of routines that women go through on a daily basis, so let’s check out how blogger Trop Rouge has set up her makeup routine – Makeup Monday.

Top 9 at 9: A Model’s Must Haves with Lonneke Engel gives you all of model Lonneke Engel’s Fall 2012 picks – From workout gear to sweaters to what her favorite shoes are for Fall.

Ulyana Sergeenko’s dramatic, eye-catching clothes are the perfect pieces for this dreamy Moscow-based photo shoot in the most recent Carine Roitfeld Fashion Book issue – Moscow Walk.

Oxblood is everywhere for Fall 2012 and if you’re not sure whether it’s the trend for you, trying beauty products and nail polish are great choices – 3 Chic Ways To Do Burgundy Beauty.

The Fall 2012 Collection for J.Crew is pretty phenomenal – It’s filled with great outerwear, fun, printed pants, and killer accessories. And none of those accessories are better than the Lulu Frost’s Capsule Collection – Shop It Now: Lulu Frost For J.Crew Holiday.


MCLV Mange: October Smoothie Challenge

As I mentioned in my September & October Round-Up posts, I participated in a modified version of the Green Thickies October Smoothie Challenge. I decided on a week-long cleanse consisting of a smoothie for breakfast, a smoothie for lunch, raw snacks when needed, and a healthy, nutritious dinner.

I tend to favor green smoothies first thing in the morning – I get up early and the blended spinach, ginger, lemon, and apple is practically a shot of espresso in the energy department. Here are my two basic recipes for my smoothies, though it’s easy to mix up the fruits and veggies based on what you have fresh on hand or in the freezer.

Green Smoothie:

  • Spinach or kale
  • Apple
  • Fresh ginger
  • Lemon juice
  • Cinnamon
  • Wheat grass powder
  • Sun Warrior protein powder {raw, vegan, gluten-free}

Fruit Smoothie:

  • Spinach or kale
  • Frozen or fresh berries {strawberries or blueberries primarily}
  • Lemon juice
  • Cinnamon
  • Wheat grass powder
  • Sun Warrior protein powder {raw, vegan, gluten-free}

I’m an avid snacker, sometimes work is too hectic to sit down for a full meal so I frequently count on snacks to keep my energy and blood sugar at optimal levels. Crudite and hummus is nearly a daily occurence in my office and/or house – carrots, cabbage, sugar snap peas, celery, radishes, they all go perfectly with whatever my hummus-of-the-moment is. Fresh fruit is another good choice at the office, I will eat virtually anything other than mango. Weird, I know.

{Sautéed kale, zucchini & kale with quinoa, sweet potato with protein hummus, and Tuscan Baked Zucchini}

I’ve found that if I eat large, carbohydrate heavy meals close to bedtime, I wake up starving, so I try to keep my dinners on the light side. Sweet potatoes, squash, and zucchini are always in my fridge or freezer and I like to include them when I can. I usually chop veggies & make a big batch of quinoa or lentils on Sundays {for details see Sunday Prep} and I use those in my meals throughout the week.

Early in 2012 I did a juice cleanse {The Juice Cleanse} and while I’m not a huge proponent of fasting, cleanses, or detoxes in general, I have to admit that I enjoyed positive results from both the juice cleanse and my recent smoothie challenge. We put a lot of stress on our systems not only with unhealthy diets, but with stationery lives and not enough, or the right kind of exercise. By blending fruits & vegetables you’re breaking down the thick cell wall and making the nutrients more readily available thereby saving your body the trouble – i.e. energy that it takes – to break down the foods once you consume them. By reducing the stress on your system you’re able to use more of the energy from the foods that you eat and give your digestive system and internal organs a much-needed break.

If you’re interested in learning more about smoothies or other meal replacement options like soups, blended salads, or green juice, check out some of these articles:

Have you ever tried a cleanse or detox program before? What sort of goals did you have going in and what results did you see?

Disclaimer: Please note that I am not a doctor, dietitian, or nutritionist. I recommend speaking with a professional prior to making any dramatic changes to your lifestyle, diet, or exercise regime to ensure that any changes you make are done safely.


Links You’ll Love

Health/Fitness:

Intervals are key! Check out the 400-Calorie Tush-Toning Interval Workout or Tabata Workouts To Burn Fat Fast from FitSugar.

kale-juice-smoothie

A great way to cram veggies into your diet is by adding them to smoothies in the morning. You can easily add fresh, healthy, and easily digestible source of vitamins. Refinery 29 agrees – 5 Reasons Why Kale Is The Ultimate Look-Gorgeous, Feel-Amazing Food. Not a fan of breakfast? Try JL Goes Vegan’s Creamy Kale Miso Soup for a great source of nutrients.

Interested in getting back to basics or implementing an organic training program? Check out Charles Poliquin’s Train Like Your Ancestors: Tips to Achieve Optimal Health and Body Composition.

Even if you only have a few minutes you can still squeeze in some energy-boosting moves:

Fashion:


 

If you’re looking for a way to spice up one of your accessories for Summer I have some fabulous ideas for you – DIY: Neon chain handbag from Crimenes de la Moda and/or DIY: Floral Bangles. The end results of both of these Do It Yourself projects are fun and chic – Can you have a better combination?

Are you a fan of maxi dresses? I love the light feel and fun silhouette of maxi skirts and dresses during the warm weather months. See Olivia Palermo’s picks for this summer – Let It Flow.

Not in a place to replace your wardrobe each season? Me either. Check out Chictopia’s East Coast to West Coast: 5 Pieces That Will Complete Your Summer Wardrobe featuring the amazing Late Afternoon and Song of Style bloggers.

Sometimes a sleek ponytail is just the finishing touch that an outfit needs. A Cup Of Jo shares her tips for the perfect Sleek Parted Ponytail.

Need a project? Try out FabSugar’s DIY: Give Your Collared Top a Gypset Style Twist!


MCLV Mange: Energy Bites

Before making the delicious vegan, gluten-free mac n’ cheese two weeks ago I broke out my food processor and threw together some quick & easy energy bites.

These delicious, chocolatey little balls are somewhere between Choosing Raw’s Five Minute Raw Cacoa Snack Bars and OhSheGlow’s Dark Chocolate Cherry Energy Bites.

 

The main ingredients for these flavorful little bites are cashews and pitted Medjool dates, and then you can flavor them as you like by adding whatever additional ingredients strike your fancy – Coconut flakes, chocolate chips, cacao nibs, peanut butter, carob powder, nuts, dried fruit…

The options are endless!

 

What did I use for this batch? Well I’d just spent some quality time with the bulk bins at Whole Foods so I went with the tasty mixture of carob powder, maca, and mini carob chips.

So. Good.

You mix the cashews and add the dates, and then the rest of your ingredients. Easy peasy!

At that point you can either make them into bar form like Gena from Choosing Raw or in ball form like Angela from OhSheGlows. After you decide you just pop them in the freeze – et voila!

Quick. Easy. Delicious. What’s not to love?

Since I made these I’ve experimented with some other mixtures and ingredients, trying to find the tastiest and healthiest combinations that I can, and I’ll plan to share even more healthy snack bite options with you soon.

Stay tuned for the next MCLV Mange installment or check out previous posts from this series to see what you’ve missed so far:


Gym Goddess – Part III

Welcome to week III of the How to Become a Gym Goddess series (if you need to catch up, here are Week 1 and Week 2).

Source

Note: Check with a doctor before beginning a few fitness routine to avoid injuries.

 

Day 1:

15 minutes of intervals on the elliptical (30 seconds as fast as you can, 1 minute 30 seconds at a fast but manageable pace, repeat for 15 minutes)

100 walking lunges (each knee touching the ground is 1 – try to keep moving for the whole 100 even if you do have to slow down)

20 burpees as quickly as possible (How To – Do level II or III if possible, there are also other variations on burpees that we’ll try later one)

3 x 20 mountain climbers

Stretching

Day 2: CORE!!!

1o minutes of cardio, any machine, moderate pace

5 rounds of:

  • 1 minute plank
  • 30 frog crunchies
  • 30 squat jumps (bend knees, touch ground, jump up, clap at top, repeat)
  • 30 leg lifts
  • Row 100 meters as fast as possible

* Rest for under 1 minute between each round

10 minutes of cardio – Warm down

Stretching

Day 3: HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) – Pick a machine and go-go-go

5 minute warm up

  • 30 seconds as fast as possible
  • 1 minute 30 seconds recovery – moderate speed
  • 30 seconds as fast as possible
  • 1 minute 30 seconds recovery – moderate speed

Repeat for 15 minutes of intervals

Switch machines and repeat for an additional 15 minutes

5 minute cool down (i.e. walking on a treadmill etc)

(Same) Weekend Mini Workout:

To be completed at any point Saturday or Sunday (***Bonus points if you get a workout buddy to join you and race!)

Sprint the length of the street, walk back to your starting point, 5 burpees (how to) – Repeat 10x

Starting w/ your feet together, jump as far as you can & repeat for the length of the street. To the end of the street and back to your starting point = 1, complete 5x

Results: This week wasn’t about change, it was about creating a consistent fitness routine and really trying to make time a couple of days a week to go to the gym even when you’re tired and/or busy. Squeezing in just a small workout can improve your mood and productivity, which is especially important as the holiday season is starting to gear up and your schedule will get more and more hectic.

How do you stay motivated for your workouts? Any tips that always work for you? I like to workout first thing in the morning because in addition to giving my metabolism a little burst, it sets a healthy tone for the day and encourages me to stay on track. I also have to have a great playlist to keep my workouts upbeat. My brother got me the Nano for Christmas last year which is great because it has a clip and it holds such a small number of songs that I update it at least once a week. As for long-term goals, I’ve found that it’s all about giving myself something to look forward to. Like, say, a weekend trip to the Lululemon on Union Square.  (Rachel agrees, clearly) Not only do the promise of Lulu’s keep me going, once I have them I’m doubly motivated to hit the gym because I can’t wait to show them off!

As your workouts are progressing and you’re beginning to feel (and see!) results, you should start thinking about your recovery time. We’ve talked about stretching and rest days to help you stay loose and prepare for your next workout, but your choice of foods immediately before and after a workout can also affect your performance (as, obviously, your food throughout the day can affect your fitness goals in general). Shape shares their tips here, Women’s Health shares their top fitness food picks here and fitness guru to the stars David Kirsch shares his post-workout recovery smoothie here. And if this topic interests you and you’re heading to a book store, definitely pick up any of Brendan Brazier’s Thrive books which discuss this in-depth.

Stay tuned for Week IV!


Motivation

 

Personally I find an external motivator to be great incentive to keep up with an exercise regime. I wish I could say that I have all the internal motivation that I need in order to meet all of my goals, but unfortunately I don’t. Sometimes on days when I’m tempted to skip my planned workout, knowing that I’ll have to admit my failure aloud to someone else is usually enough incentive to push through.

Usually. 🙂

I’m registered to run the San Francisco Half Marathon on July 31st and haven’t run consistently for months, so I need to begin training, um… Now! It just so happens that one of my best friends is training for the Death Ride (which I lovingly call The Ride of Death) a 129 mile bike race with 15,000 miles of climbing through the Sierra Nevada’s near Tahoe. Her race is July 9 and although we’re training for different types of races in different cities (she’s in Sacramento), she has been acting as an unofficial sponsor and motivator for my last-ditch training efforts.

Monday mornings I email her my proposed workouts for the week (subject to scheduling changes) and each morning I send her a confirmation of what I accomplished the previous day. I’m going to include various types of exercise in my training program in addition to running, specifically circuit training and Pilates.

Below is a draft of a proposed schedule for one of the weeks of training:

Monday:

  • Run to work (1.3 miles)
  • Mini cardio session (2 miles stationary bike & 1 mile elliptical trainer)
  • Pilates Mat class (5pm – 6pm)

Tuesday:

  • Jog to work
  • 15 minute circuit training workout
  • Run (pm)

Wednesday:

  • Walk to work
  • High intensity interval training on the elliptical
  • Pilates Mat class (5pm – 6pm)
  • Yoga Flow (6pm – 7:15pm)
  • Walk home

Thursday:

  • Walk to work
  • 25 minute circuit training workout
  • Run (pm)

Friday:

  • Jog to work
  • 15 minute circuit training workout

Saturday & Sunday – Rest & stretching (maybe a massage if I can be convincing enough) and long walks or a hike

Hooking up with a workout buddy who you can share your plans with or a like-minded friend who you may not workout with but who has similar goals, can be a great motivator.

If the idea of sharing your workout goals/plans with someone else isn’t appealing, or if you’re just getting started and want to hold off until you feel like you’ve made some progress, there are other external motivators that may help you when the odd lazy day rears its ugly head.

(1) A kick-ass play list can do wonders. Put a super charged playlist on your MP3 player or blare it over your computer/sound system. Everyone has their own style and different beats that get them pumped up, and I personally refresh my Nano weekly, but here are some artists/bands that never fail to get my heart rate going, regardless of my mood: Panic! at the Disco, Fall Out Boy, Chemical Romance, Finger Eleven, Breaking Benjamin, My Darkest Days, Jason Derulo, Lady Gaga, Bon Jovi, K$sha, Katy Perry, Beyonce, Sean Kingston.

(2) Sign yourself up for a class on a day when you don’t think that you can make yourself do a work out. You’ll feel guilty not showing up after having reserved a spot in the class and even guiltier when you see the charge on your credit card! The two days of the week that are the hardest for me to get off my booty are always Monday and Wednesday, so I’m getting into the habit of doing at least a Pilates class at Glow Yoga  each of those days. And now that I’m getting to know the other students and the instructor, there’s even more motivation not to play hooky!

(3) If you have a movie or a book that you find extremely motivational, that can be a great way to get yourself going. If hearing Jillian’s commanding voice shoots you out of your seat, start your workouts with some Shred, even if you don’t plan to do the video it can give you the push you need. Personally I’ve found that popping in a dance DVD before my 5:30pm after-work runs or reading a few pages of Born To Run are a sure-fire way to get myself going.

(4) Finally, one of my favorite pieces to read when I need to stoke my motivational fires is The Better Man, about the (then) 75 year-old fitness guru & health nut Don Wildman (my friend Jim sent me this YEARS ago and I saved a PDF in case of emergencies). This always gives me the kick in the pants that I need to get off of the couch.

Good luck getting yourself onto the trail, treadmill or into the gym. Make me proud!