Cherry Smoothie

Today’s smoothie:

cherry smoothie

1/2 cup plain 2% Greek yogurt
1/2 cup frozen cherries
2 cups mixed baby greens
1/2 of a banana
1 Tbps flax seeds, ground
Water

248 Calories / 7 g fat / 16 g protein / 19 g sugar

This was my first time using frozen cherries. They weren’t very sweet or flavorful, even by themselves. I’m guessing the lack of flavor is a due to the low quality of fruit and it being frozen, which mutes flavors on things. So I added banana instead of more cherries.

How am I getting all of these fruits? Target has the best selection of frozen fruits for cheap. I didn’t know you could buy frozen mangoes, pineapples, peaches, or cherries. During the spring and summer, I try and stick to my farmer’s markets. Up here that means only berries, pears, or peaches. Now that I have discovered Target fruit, I went all out with frozen, non-organic tropical fruits. It’s the little luxuries in life.

Great Stuff at Nike Sale

This is not a sponsored post, it’s just a heads up to my fellow shopaholics. The hot Nike clearance sale is back! Right now there’s a code to net you an extra 20% off clearance items: BESTINGAME.

There are some of the super popular LunarGlide, FlyKnit, LunarRacer models in there but the prices are still kind of high. My picks for the best deals in the clearance section:

The cute & unique Studio Wrap for $24. Right now I wear Nike Free for kickboxing but these look very practical. I can’t quite do the spinning hook kick correctly with shoes on.
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The sneakerhead-approved Roshe Run in suede for $44. I’ve been wanting a pair of Roshe for months. I’m supposed to be cutting back on shopping and now they go on supersale? Ugh.
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And for the runners, the sleek pink & gray Air Max for only $56 (that’s 40% off). I love the pink and gray so much.
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Happy shopping

Blueberry Protein Smoothie

I make green smoothies a few times a week when I can get my shit together in the morning. It started by trying Kimberly Snyder’s Glowing Green Smoothie and then I moved on to doing my own thing. Adding lettuce or spinach to your smoothies is doesn’t make a big difference in the flavor. Any time you can add more vegetables to your diet is a plus, and it makes me feel good to know I’ve already had a salad by breakfast. Another benefit is that the added fiber makes you feel fuller. I don’t even have an expensive Vitamix or Ninja; I can get it smooth with just my average blender.

Usually I just throw ingredients together and mentally guess at keeping the calories and sugar low. I think I should start keeping track of my recipes and actually look at nutritional breakdowns.

Here is what I made today:

blueberry protein smoothie

3/4 cup plain 2% Greek yogurt
1/2 cup blueberries
2 cups mixed baby greens
1 Tbsp flax seeds, ground
water

236 calories: 23 g carbs / 8 gm fat / 20 g protein / 12 g sugar (I don’t count the calories in the lettuce)

I always eat fat yogurt because it’s more satisfying and the extra calories are not killers. I’m not sure if I should switch to nonfat for smoothies though, since I am getting fat from the flax seeds. The Cabot Greek Yogurt I tried this week was very sour tasting. I didn’t taste the shake until I got to work and it was too sour so I had to add a packet of splenda. Since 20g protein is rather high, I could adjust it to only 1/2 cup Greek yogurt + 1 cup blueberries, which would bring it to:

233 calories: 30 g carbs / 7 gm fat / 14 g protein / 17 g sugar

I’ve only recently started using flax seeds. Question for you: when a recipe says “ground flax seeds” am I supposed to measure the tablespoon and then grind it? Or grind it first, then measure it out?

Natural and Cheap Alternative to Protein Powder

This may seem like a no-brainer, but as I was thinking about how to add protein to my smoothies without processed, chemical-filled, expensive protein powder, it dawned on me that yogurt is a perfect substitute for protein powder. Why didn’t I think of this before? Because I was brainwashed!

To compare:

1 serving of Perfect Fit Protein Powder = 15 grams of protein for 70 calories.
1 single-serve container of nonfat Greek yogurt = 15 grams of protein for 80 calories. 

And yogurt is ridiculously cheaper. Perfect Fit, which is organic, costs over $1.30 per serving at its cheapest. A 32 oz tub of organic yogurt costs $4 which would be around 63 cents per serving. So-called health companies are tricking you into believing that their products are special and you need them, but as usual, whole foods can deliver the same benefits. Making a smoothie takes more effort than mixing a shake but you don’t truly “need” the entire smoothie production. You could just swallow a damn yogurt and get the same amount of protein. Chugging plain unflavored yogurt doesn’t sound any worse than chugging chalky, gritty ass protein powder.

Ditch your protein powders and buy organic, plain, no-sugar-added yogurt.

Beets and Goat Cheese with Pasta or Cabbage Noodles

The pickings at the farmer’s market are slim this time of year but the root vegetables and squash are still available. There are always beets available, but every time I look at a beet, I think about the work it takes to peel them, the mess they make, and the time they take to cook. I also only know a couple of ways to eat them. Tonight I found a new way to cook them: Spaghetti with Beets and Goat Cheese. It’s a new variation on the usual old beet & goat cheese salad.

I wish I had found some miraculous solution to how much work it takes to cook beets, but I did not. My beets were a little soft from being in the fridge so thankfully they were easy to peel. Shredding them was not fun but at least there wasn’t too many to do, and it made them cook very quickly. The recipe called for 10 ounces of goat cheese (!) but seriously, I used half the amount and it tasted just fine. What’s neat about adding lemon juice is that it mimics the sour taste of cheese, so you’re kind of faking the flavor of cheese without having to add a ton. If you are trying to eat low fat or stretch your budget, try adding lemon juice or mustard to recipes that involve melty cheese sauce.

Brian got the original beet pasta recipe. Doesn’t it look wild?

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I made a version for myself with cabbage noodles. It looks more like zombie guts but it was still yummy.

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I’ve been eating a lot of cabbage lately – it’s plentiful at the farmer’s market even in February, keeps for a long time in the fridge, has a lot of savory flavor, and fills you up. The best thing is to eat cabbage with a delicious meat like corned beef or ham but I can’t do that every day so I’ve been making a lot of cabbage “noodles” for easy dinners. Cabbage noodles are so much more satisfying and filling than zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash.

To make cabbage noodles: Cut the cabbage in half, then slice into thin strips. Then saute or lightly steam until the shreds are soft. Since cabbages are usually so large, you can make a lot at once and use it throughout the week.

The day before I made this beet dish, I topped the noodles with marinara sauce and “meatballs” made out of lentils. Other things I’ve done with cabbage noodles: baked with eggs and parmesan for “spaghetti pie“, made Asian-ish sesame peanut noodles, and subbed for noodles in a cheesey casserole.