Friday, September 25, 2015

How To Start Your Day with Greens | A Quick, Helpful Tip

I've only been in school for two weeks, but one thing has become clear: Almost everyone knows which foods they should be eating more of and which foods they should be avoiding.  No one needs to hear that they should be eating more vegetables - we all know.  But sometimes we all need help figuring out how to eat more vegetables.

So this morning I'm sharing one of my favorite ways to get more greens into my diet and my top tips for keeping things delicious and simple.

Smoothies are amazing because you can basically hide your greens in there and not even know you're eating/drinking them.  Don't believe me?  You're doing it wrong.

Here's what you need to know:

1. Blend the greens before adding your fruit.
Put a handful or two of greens (start with a little bit of harmless ol' spinach if you're nervous) in your blender with 1/2 cup to 1 cup of liquid depending on how thick you like your smoothies.  Blend this up before you add your other ingredients. This helps to ensure that your greens are really chopped up and there are no chunks hiding around.

This is especially important if you are using a cheap, older blender.  No one likes chunky spinach in their fruit smoothie.  Or maybe you do... in that case, ignore this tip.

2. Freeze your fruit.
If you use frozen fruit, you don't need to use as much ice, or even any ice at all.  This keeps things nice and tasty and doesn't dilute the flavor of your fruit down with all that water.

3. Can't have dairy?  Like your smoothies to be creamy? Use a frozen banana.
Bananas are magical and basically turn into ice cream when you freeze them.  (Google it.)  I love that milkshake consistency in my smoothies and bananas are what do that for you.  Healthy milkshakes Yes, please!

Another awesome thing about smoothies is that they are so customizable, you can use whatever greens and fruits you have and choose the flavors you like to make a drink you love.  But if you're like me and need a recipe to start you off, here are two super easy ones to try.

Strawberry Banana Smoothie
~1-2 handfuls of greens (if you're nervous start small and slowly increase the amount you add)
~1/2 C - 1 C liquid (adjust to desired consistency) - you can use milk, coconut milk, water... whatever floats your boat, just maybe not soda)
~1 frozen banana
~5-6 frozen strawberries
splash of vanilla extract (optional)
1. Blend greens and liquid.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend again!
3. So quick and easy, right?

Almond Butter Cacao Smoothie
~1-2 handfuls of greens (Don't be afraid to change it up! Try kale or collard greens or a blend!)
~1/2 C - 1 C liquid
~1 frozen banana
~1 T cacao powder (where I buy mine)*
~1 T almond butter
~2 T coconut oil 
1. Blend greens and liquid.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend again!

* Bonus tip: This is also a really great way to add in some other super foods like coconut oil and chia seeds.  Just add a tablespoon or two to the blender and you're all set. :)

Sounds yummy, right?  Go try one!  Or try both!  Once you've made a couple you can experiment with different greens and fruits.  Add an avocado for an extra creamy smoothie.  Try some ginger or citrus rind.  Go crazy! :)

I'd love to hear about the smoothies you've created.
Share your favorite recipes with me in the comments below!

*Affiliate link

Saturday, September 19, 2015

2015 Resolutions: August Recap

It's that time again!  How did we do with our goals in August? 

1. Whole30

2. Get (and stay) pregnant
Nothing yet

Share the love, Mr. Stork!

3. Quit my job

As you know from my last recap, I didn't actually quit.  But both boys are in school now so I'm no longer needed.  I have been living up the Stay-At-Home Wifeness lately - I cleaned the bathrooms this week and today I even vaccuumed! I also started my health coaching studies with IIN this week. So yea, that's pretty awesome.  :)

4. Finish two books with Doad
Still reading Seven by Jen Hatmaker.  The end of August was kind of crazy so we got out of the habit of reading at bedtime a little bit, but it's still on the radar and I'm confident we'll finish by the end of the year. 

5. Read 24 books

I finished book #10 and am almost done with book #11 and #12.  I don't know why I decided to read 2 books simultaneously, but I came in a little shy of my 3 books in August goal.  That leaves me 4 months to finish 12 more books.  Hopefully, I can do it with the extra free time I have, but it's gonna be close!

Book #10 was Yes, Please by Amy Poehler.  I got this as a birthday present and liked it a lot.  It was a much lighter read than my usual and while she was super funny, I also found a lot of random nuggets sprinkled throughout her writing that made me want to go through again with a highlighter.  Way to go, Amy!

6. Marriage Conference

7. Cruise/vacation

See this post here for pics and recap!

8. Purple hair

Still purple :)

9. Keep up with Spanish lessons

This did not happen in August, but I am adding it to my daily routine for September.  I am bringing the CD's in the house and instead of listening to it in the car, want to put it on my phone to listen to when I walk the dog.  

10. Learn to drive stick shift

Ha! Totally forgot about this goal.  It didn't happen this month either.  Our weekends are looking pretty busy for the next month, so maybe I'll shoot to work on this in October.

Okay, so I have 4 out of 10 goals completed and 4 months left to finish up the others.  I'm confident about completing 2.5 of them haha.  Honestly, I'll be pretty happy about that.  I've been learning that it's not so much about the amount of things I check off my list.  I'm happiest when I take the time to realize and appreciate that I am still making forward motion.  I make these goals to help me become the person that I want to be and so that I can live the best version of my life. If some of those goals change or evolve in the process, that's perfectly fine.  

 As always, I hope this has been an encouragement and inspiration to you, fellow Dreamer.  Keep it up with those baby steps.  You can do it!

*Links are affiliate links.  This does not affect you in any way, but I have to let you know in case you don't want to give me credit for referring you to an awesome product. ;)

Friday, August 21, 2015

Breakfast at Tiffany's

My high school bestie's wedding is next month and I have the privilege of being her maid of honor.  It was a blast planning her shower with her awesome bridesmaids and, pardon my bragging, but I think it was one of the cutest showers I've attended.  Enjoy the photo dump below.  ;)

The bride-to-be with her mom and soon to be in-laws (Ben's sisters and Tiff's brother's fiancee).  :)

Fun note: Tiff is the only girl in her family (she has two older and two younger brothers) and Ben is the only boy in his (he has two older and two younger sisters).  They are both getting lots of new siblings! :)

The bridal party minus one.  Jaime, me, Tiff, Megan, and Kelly.

Tiff, I hope you had a fabulous time!  It was so much fun planning and celebrating with you.  :)

Friday, August 14, 2015

2015 Resolutions: July Recap

I'm looking at my calendar and trying to figure out what I did this July.  It appears that I spent most of this month at work or at doctor's offices.  


Apparently I also spent a little bit of time working on my goals.  Nothing huge, but here's what I've got for July.

1. Whole30

2. Get (and stay) pregnant
We can start trying again soon.  *fingers crossed!*

3. Quit my job

So technically I didn't quit.  But my tiny will be going to preschool this coming school year so I'll no longer be needed as of the end of this month.  This was definitely a kindness from God as I was planning to quit around this time anyway and now I don't have to have that awkward conversation.  Thank you, Lord. :)

4. Finish two books with Doad
We finally started our second book together.  Technically, we started in August - but I don't care, I'm putting it in the July update.  We are reading Seven by Jen Hatmaker.  I have a feeling it's gonna change us.  And I'm kinda scared and kinda excited all at the same time. 

5. Read 24 books

I did finish books #8 and #9 this month, but that means I have 5 months to read 15 books.  I don't know if I can average 3 a month - yikes!

I kind of went a little random this month, I read a book about haircutting and one about make-up.  I blame wedding season.  It stirs up the cosmetology interest in me every so often.  Here are the links if you're interested:

6. Marriage Conference

7. Cruise/vacation

See this post here for pics and recap!

8. Purple hair

Still purple :)

10. Keep up with Spanish lessons

I did listen to a couple lessons this month, but I am going to have to rethink this routine... or find a new one. The lessons are 30 minutes long and I don't have a commute that long anymore (and soon I won't have a commute at all!!) - it's hard to keep up and remember where I left off because the lessons are always overlapping depending on my driving time.

11. Learn to drive stick shift

So we did practice again and I drove home from the park - only a tiny bit farther than driving home from the pub lol.  We've been meaning to go out again soon.  Perhaps this time I will drive all the way to Walmart! :p

Alrighty, well I'm consistent with the "slow and steady" mentality.  I may not accomplish all of my goals this year, but I will definitely make progress towards them.  I hope this motivates you to keep reaching for your goals too.  Sometimes they happen little by little so the key is to keep moving and never give up.  

What is one thing you can do today to take a step toward your goal?
Let me know in the comments!