Pineapple Spinach Smoothie

My parent’s headed to California for the week to visit my brother. I picked them up to take them to the airport and they bestowed upon me an abundance of pineapple and, told me I had to eat it right away because it was about to go bad. With spinach already in my refrigerator, I googled pineapple spinach smoothies and went with this this recipe from Garnish and Glaze. It was the first one after the Smoothie King ads.
The ingredients are as follows:

  • 2/3 cup low-fat vanilla Greek yogurt.
  • 1 banana.
  • 1 cup pineapple.
  • 1 cup fresh baby spinach packed.
  • 1/4-1/2 cup apple juice or skim milk.
  • Ice optional.

I didn’t have any yogurt, so I left that out and filled in the space with two handfuls of spinach and lots of ice for a thicker smoothie. I also pulled the I am pregnant card and used my husband’s whole milk instead of skim!

This smoothie was alright. I was expecting more pineapple, but I had a very ripe banana and it overpowered the taste.

My version: 320 calories.
banana: 120 calories | pineapple: 80 calories | Spinach: 30 calories | Milk: 90 Calories

When I first read this recipe, I was shocked to see milk listed as the liquid. In combination with the other ingredients, I assumed a citrus juice over dairy. To satisfy my curiosity, I tried the smoothie again using orange juice. Awful idea. It tasted good, but, at times, was difficult to drink because there was nothing to cut the acidity … clearly, I am new to smoothie making … lesson learned. Also, I was left with the worst heart burn I have ever had and it would not go away. I have cut orange juice from my diet until I have my kid … However, I am assuming this is all just a pregnancy thing and the non pregnant version of myself would not blink an eye so I am willing to try again once I’m back to normal …. Three weeks to go.

Pipe Cleaner Smoothie inspired by Animo

Today’s smoothie was inspired by Animo, a Juice and Burrito bar across the street from my office, called “Pipe Cleaner”. Animo has delicious smoothies and burritos, but the service is tortuously slow. I can only go in there if I have ordered a head of time or I find myself getting irrationally angry at the poor hardworking staff.
The “Pipe Cleaner is from the “Specialty Blend lit” listed with the ingredients here and consists of:

  • Lemon
  • Apple
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Leafy greens
  • Banana
  • Psyllium husk

The was I made it, approximately 415 calories.
Apple: 60 c; Carrots: 30 c; Beets: 60 c; Leafy Greens: 15 c; Banana: 120 c; Pomegranate Pear Juice: 130 c.

The problem with taking a recipe from the menu is there are no directions, only a vague list of ingredients. So, I have to wing it a bit and that seems to have worked out well.

First, I unintentionally forgot the lemon. I had one and just forgot the put it in until I was drinking the smoothie … it was my intention to squeeze in the juice of an entire lemon. I added one medium honey crisp apple, a cup of carrots, and one chopped up beet. I used spinach as my leafy green …. about two heaping handfuls, a large banana, and I nixed the Psyllium husk because I did not plan ahead and didn’t have any, but it can be order on Amazon here. And, there was no liquid in the recipe … I need liquid to help blend and not break the blender. I know I could have used water, but I added Nantucket Nectar Pomegranate Pear Juice because I have had this smoothie before and knew what was coming … the taste of dirt. The juice was intended to dissipate the earthy taste. It didn’t work. I guess the taste of beets overtakes the smoothie and there is nothing I can do about it.

Warning: the smoothie looks the same going out as it does going in.

Black Cherry Spinach Smoothie

I guess this was my week of cherry spinach smoothies. I actually didn’t even notice until I started writing this post, but it really happened because of my love of Ciobani Black Cherry Yogurt! And because I didn’t feel like / did not have time to go to the store an used what was in my house, which was …

  • Spinach … about 2 large handfuls
  • Ciobani Black Cherry Yogert .. one single container
  • Banana … one medium
  • Orange Juice … 1 cup
  • Splenda packet … 1 packet
  • Ice

Calories: 375 ish
Spinach: 14 | Yogurt: 120 | Banana: 120 | Orange Juice: 120

I am proud. It was delicious and reasonable in calorie intake and I didn’t mess up the recipe because i made it up, however, all of the ice I used turned this into a three 12 oz cup servings … I just slipped slowly throughout the morning to get all of my folic acid in. This was actually my second banana of the day. I had a banana when I woke up because I had a crazy Charley horse last night that seemed to go on forever … my leg hurt all day and I was told bananas might help. Bananas, magnesium, staying active and good footwear. Magnesium is in my prenatal vitamin and I don’t want to overdo it, I’m very active and good footwear is out because my feet are so swollen two sizes larger … good thing for summer and a laid back work environment. So, more bananas it is.

My husband also showed me a trick he learned on Reddit to rinse the blender without scrubbing, which is to put water in the blender and run it … with the lid on. This might sound obvious, but I thought it was pretty groundbreaking information. It worked like a charm. So that is exciting.

I preferred this smoothie to me Cherry Spinach Almond, but I think that is because it was so sweet and the pregnant version of myself is dying for sugar … all of the time.

Cherry Almond Spinach Smoothie

To ensure my soon to be born baby receives enough folic acid, I rely heavily on spinach smoothies. However, there are only so many times I can sip on orange banana smoothie, which I consider the traditional smoothie, so I went to the internet for ideas …

I have always wanted to be on TV as a person who tastes food and comments on it. This has not happened yet so I am using my blog to share my thoughts and findings. First up, the Cherry Almond Spinach Smoothie from Meaningful Eats.

Ingrediants

  • 1/4 cup raw almonds, soaked in water overnight (or 6-12 hours)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 cup frozen cherries
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1-2 cups spinach

Smoothies have a lot of hidden calories. This one, about 484 calories because I figure …. almonds: 140; cherries: 120, small banana: 120; orange juice: 90; spinach: 14.

Healthy Extras: Optional

  • Chia Seeds
  • Hemp Seeds
  • Protein Powder

Full recipe and directions here. I made this smoothie twice. The first time, I forgot the banana so I used a fresh banana as a garnish. It was delicious. I also used vanilla whey protein, which I think gave a creamy texture. The second time, I dropped the protein powder, to cut 150 calories, and blended in a fresh banana, which brought out a nutty flavor … it was awesome.

I never soaked the almonds because I forgot, but they blended in just fine. I also used way more than the 1-2 cups of spinach. One cup of fresh spinach is one serving of vegetables. Pregnant people need 6 to 11 cups so I use two large handfuls, which looks about 4 cups. And, I forgot the water, which I am assuming just would have thinned out my smoothie so I am glad that I didn’t even realize until now. I am just the worst at following directions.

Warning: This smoothie turned out a funny green color. It tastes much better than it looks.

And then I got Pregnant …. Now what do I eat?

It has been a long time since I blogged! I think I needed a break, but not anymore and I am using this random day in February to start back up again! It’s not really a random day, it is the day before the Eagles are in the Super Bowl, however, it is random for this blog and I am telling myself now that I will make a conscious effort to keep up with it.

Anyway, it has been quite a year … I had an amazing bachelorette party weekend, the best wedding I ever could have asked for followed by an even better honeymoon to Hawaii! And, this just in, I am pregnant!! I am extremely excited, but don’t think the concept of having a child has registered enough to make me nervous … right now just none of my clothes fit and I feel like crap, yes, this means I am still only thinking about me, but also brings me to my next point … I feel that I may have blacked out or never have been paying attention when every other woman was learning how awful the first trimester is! For the last ten weeks, I have been exhausted, super bloated and felt like I am always going to get the worst period of my life tomorrow. Everyone else seems to have known this was going to happen, except me … I was completely blindsided. And, to top it off, I have been eating super super healthy, but learned at my doctor’s appointment, the fun appointment where you hear the heartbeat and learn your baby is zooming all over the place … I even started crying uncontrollably when my doctor handed me our first baby picture, that it does really matter what you are eating the first trimester as long as you are taking your prenatal vitamin … apparently the first trimester is considered a wash. It would have also been nice to have known that, but I was afraid to get any books in fear that I would miscarry or not have a heartbeat or something … That was silly of me.

I am sort of joking about all of this, even though it’s the worst to eat super healthy, but feel like I downed a large fully loaded pizza and a quart of ice cream, I still wouldn’t have come home to cheese steaks, pasta and cookies, it’s just not my style. And, don’t be fooled, I cheat all of the time, however, I do try and get these foods in daily:

  • Vegetables
  • Dairy
  • Avocado
  • Berries
  • Salmon (twice a week … no more that 12oz)
  • Lean Meat
  • Eggs
  • Grains
  • Legunes .. also twice a week
  • Dried fruit and nuts … I think I over did this in the beginning … hehehe
  • Water
    • From this diet … I have put on about 18 pounds. I have no idea how because it is pretty much what I was eating before … my nurse almost had a heart attack when I told her my starting weight … under her breath she said something about a nightmare, but then I learned she was the type to literally take her ring off when weighing herself … perspective! And, my doctor said not to worry and embrace it as long as I wasn’t eating a carton of ice cream and a box of girl scout cookies every night … I’m not, so in my head, we are cool.

      Anyway, this blog is about the first item on my list … vegetables. I am not going to lie, I am not really that good at eating the recommended 5 servings of leafy greens recommended a day. My mom is super good at roasting vegetables and eating them through out the week, but I didn’t seem to get that jean so I needed a new solution. Smoothies!! I found a lot of good recipes such as Joe Rogan’s Kale Smoothie, Ambitious kitchen Green Goddess and Fit Foodie Finds Detox Green Smoothie Bowl, however, I learned that I just like plain blueberrie and spinachm which I am sure many people do, but took me some serious time to figure out. I literally measure out six cups of spinach and one cup of blueberries and blend. I don’t even use water. Water was producing way too much smoothie and I think it was making me even more bloated so I just blend the blueberries first, leave the blender running and add one cup of spinach at a time and finish it off my blending in 5 ice cubes. This produces one 20 oz smoothies. Sometimes, I mix this up and do a banana and half cup of blueberries ro a cucumber and three cups of spinach or throw in some protein powder or chia seeds … It kind of depends on my mood. I know this is nothing fancy, but sometimes, I don’t want fancy, just healthy ūüôā

Yoga Schedule

I teach yoga now.  I only have one real class, but I love it.  It is my favorite thing I do:

C1: Corepower Yoga 1: Wednesday 6pm  @ Corepower Yoga: Walnut Street. 

C1 is a beginner vinyassa flow. ¬†It is the same every week as it is designed to build strength and flexibility. However, for beginner or experienced yogi’s, this is one hell of a workout.

I say only one real class above becasue i also teach John Paul a class every morning. ¬†We get up at 5:38, yoga in our yard starts at 5:45. ¬†Once I am more versed, we will offer classes to those in our neighborhood …. exciting!!!

200 Hour Teacher Training

I did it!! I am a certified yoga instructor! ¬† I have officially completed 200 hour training and Extensions at Corepower Yoga Walnut Street (CPY). ¬† Even more exciting, I am teaching¬†a beginner vinyasa flow once a week at CPY at 6pm on Wendesdays and a Wake Up Yoga class on Tuesday mornings in my office building. ¬†That’s right!

whole group

Here is our whole motly crew!

group and instructors

This is the extensions group with our stellar instructors!

The whole Teacher Training program at CPY was incredible. ¬†I learned so much about myself, gained strength, both physical and mental, and confifencce … I am more happy then I ever thought i would be. ¬†It helped that my whole group was fantastic … I love them all. ¬† When I began, I did not understand how emotionally attached I would get with all of these folks … It is a feeling like non other.

Teacher training was fun, but also very intense … 9 hours of class time, plus 60 yoga classes in 9 weeks on top of my full time job. ¬†I was exhausted, but, I am not going to lie, it was all worth it and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. ¬†It helped that my supper supportive fiance person cooked, cleaned, did laundry, picked me up from the train …. he helped me every way he could … I couldn’t have made it through with out him. ¬†I am one lucky chick.

One of my favorite parts of teacher training, was our Karma project. ¬† We built¬†kits out of donations from KIND for Our Brother’s Place’, a local shelter in Philadelphia, ¬† ¬†As we were building, I learned that the owner of Crossfit Center City, Wylie, founded UliftU, a program that teaches¬†unemployed, formerly incarcerated and homeless a job skill in the wellness world so they are able to go out in the world and be successful. ¬†We walked our kits over to Wylie’s CrossFit gym where we took a half hour yoga class with two of the UliftU participants. ¬†They were so .
getting ready
Building our kits!!
On the way there
On our way there …. it was cold.
Class
Yoga class with the members of UliftU!
All of us
 The whole group!!
My whole experience thus far has been completely amazing and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

Life after the Whole30 … The reintroduction process.

My body hates pizza.

I have been off Whole30 for a couple of weeks now and have had, in small doses only, beer, wine, cheese, peanut butter, other legumes and sugar,but not that much just cause I haven’t felt like it and also it ¬†so I might as well keep that habit going. ¬†None of these items have effected my weight or the way I felt. ¬†Then, I had pizza. … I still felt very full the next morning.¬† I weighed myself and to my horror, gained 7 lbs.¬† I only lost two pounds through this whole process … one in the thirty days and one more following.¬† So??¬† I am never eating bread again!! Okay, this is a lie and I do not believe in absolute statements, but I am going to try and stay away from bread as much as I can.¬† It’s just not worth it and so, I therefore, went on a quest to find pizza alternatives¬† sans bread.¬† I am not really into the idea of gluten free crust even though I have never tried it.¬† I have no basis for this opinion other than I just feel like it’s not the healthiest alternative.

Moving along, I found several inspirational websites such as Empowered Sustenance, Bustle and Hella Wella.¬† And, learned that pizza can be made on zucchini, mushrooms, eggplant, cauliflower (I feel like this is probably a tad bit tricky), spaghetti squash and the list¬† goes on.¬† This evening I attempted pizza on portabella mushrooms … it was so fantastic, easy and fun.¬† Even though, there are several recipes online, I just went to Acme and picked up what I felt looked good.groceriesMy ingredients:

  1. Olive oil (not shown)
  2. Onion
  3. Sweet sausage
  4. Portabella mushrooms
  5. Goat Cheese
  6. Kale
  7. Tomatoes
  8. Colby Cheese and Pepper Jack Cheese in the form of string cheese.  This happened because I initially was only going to use goat cheese, but then decided that was taking away from the pizza feel and i had turned my meal into bruschetta.  So, I ran down the block to Wawa and got the only cheese there i could melt.

To get started, I preheated my oven to 425. cooking in progressI cooked the onions and sausage in olive oil. Five minutes on each side.

mushroomsAt the same it, I sauteed the mushrooms in olive oil … also five minutes (ish) on each side.

Almost doneI layered, goat cheese, shredded kale, diced tomatoes, sausage and a mix of colby and pepper jack cheese over the mushroom. And put them in the oven for 5 minutes.

Finish MushroomThis is an awful picture of my finished product.  Clearly, I need to work on taking pictures.

Finished on a plateHere is another finished product picture.¬†¬† Still not that good, but better … sort of.¬† Regardless, I am beyond thrilled on how this turned out …. the meal was delicious, satisfying and light ūüôā¬† Plus, there is plenty of left overs for a scramble in the morning.
And finally, this is me with the food…..
selfieI took this picture with the intent to send it to John Paul to demonstrate how I was cleaning as I cook. However, after taking the photo, I discovered it does not look like I am trying to clean as I go at all.  My kitchen is a mess!! So, I kept this to myself.

 


 

Whole 30 Complete!! My journey!

I pretty much think of myself as a healthy person … I work out a lot, try and eat right and¬† have a blog about what I know about nutrition and working out. However, I am not perfect and when my soon to be sister in law suggested she, John Paul and myself try the Whole30 diet, I thought why not? The holidays were a little rough on my waist line and, even before that, I have been eating bread and having a drink at every meal, I could use a good detox!! So we embarked on our 30 day mission to exclude alcohol, grains, legumes sugar except in fruit, soda, and honey and no grains. What does that leave? Meat, seafood, eggs, a lot of eggs, so many eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats ie: oils, nuts and seeds. The three of us created a What’s app group called Whole30 squad and shared every meal … And, two weeks in, we gained a fourth squad member, John Paul’s Mom, Dianne. At first, Dianne tried adding cheese to her salads … we quickly rectified her ways and were soon all on the same page.

I honestly did not think I was going to be able to do it … I have done something similar before and gave up two weeks in. But, Whole30 was a piece of cake. I was never hungry. The meals we made, shared and learned were fantastic. And, I really bonded with john Paul and the women in his family through recipes, encouragement, comfort and creativity.

Chili
Chili
Fajita Tray ... we made this a lot. Sometime with Chicken and sometimes with Sausage.
Fajita Tray … we made this a lot. Sometime with Chicken and sometimes with Sausage.
We made this a lot too. Turns out I love butternut squash almost as much as I love peanut butter ... almost.
We made this a lot too. Turns out I love butternut squash almost as much as I love peanut butter … almost.
So many eggs!
So many eggs!
We took a lot of trips to the Acme
We took a lot of trips to the Acme
Snacks are better this way.
Smiley Face Banana

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yoga!
Yoga!
Food we wanted to eat, but didn't.
Food we wanted to eat, but didn’t.
Tea
Tea helped me through many afternoons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What I Learned.
Obviously, I eat too much. I know this is not a diet, but really? Who cuts sugar, alcohol, carbs, legumes, and grains from her diet for thirty days and only loses one pound? This chick. I did not cheat at all except for when I accidentally ate some barley on day 22. It’s ridiculous. I think I even eat more than John Paul … he lost 30 pounds. His sister lost at least 10 and his Mom is still going.

However, despite my lack of weight loss, I feel great!! I have a ridiculous amount of energy, I sleep like a champ, my skin is more clear, sort of,. The Whole30 people call this ‘non scale accomplishments.” Whatever they call it, I am sticking with it. ‚Ķ where, by sticking with it, I mean I am adding peanut butter and wine back into my diet ‚Ķ. Let’s not get crazy, I can‚Äôt live without those two staples. And every once in a while, I am going out to eat … I am not turning into a food obsessed lunatic. Other than that, everything else is staying out.

Additionally, I learned that egg yolk tastes ridiculous good with bananas, that I LOVE sweet potatoes,¬† that I crave donuts when there is no sugar in my diet …. donuts were literally the only thing I wanted and I don’t even really like them and that, it turns out, I really love black coffee and tea …. for years I convinced myself it was all about the cream.

I can also make delicious and creative new dishes.  .

It took 30 plus days for me to understand, Whole30 really and truly is not a diet. It is hard to comprehend at first as I restricted all the foods I love from my life and that to me means diet. However, instead of dieting, it is a way of life. A life where I simply excluded processed food and replaced it with real food. This is my new style and I love it all!!!!

First reintro food
First reintro food

Since completing our 30 days, John Paul and I have continued