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Archive for the ‘Smoothie’s’ Category

I must share something, I have a New Food Love.  It’s with Wheat Berries.

But First Check out my New Tea Mug. It’s a wide mouth mason jar with a Cuppow Lid. I love it. I received the Cuppow lid in one of my Vegan Conscious Boxes. On a cold day the mason jar also doubles as a hand warmer.

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My new tea mug sure does complement my Oats in a Jar, Jar! I love jars, containers, bins, baskets and anything else that stores and organizes items. I love glass jars for food storage and serving food.

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So on to the Wheat Berries. I found these in the bulk bin section at Whole Foods and needed to try them out. I love grains and this is one I have not tried.

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After soaking them overnight, I drained and rinsed. Then add 2-1/2 cups of water and boiled for 35 minutes. NOTE: Just make sure that you do not let all the water boil out. Stir occasionally. I kept my eye on them the entire cook time, I made the mistake once and walked away while boiling rice, and all the water boiled out and I had a terrible mess in my saucepan. NEVER AGAIN.

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They are very chewy with a nutty flavor, they are now on my favorite list. Not sure why I waited so long to try them. Oh yeah, I know why…The closest Whole Foods is 40 some miles away from me and I have not found them anywhere else. Well now that I know, I can stock up and keep on hand. Win, Win.

I have been adding a 1/4 of a cup of cooked wheat berries to my Oats in a Jar Oatmeal.

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Here’s some helpful information I found on Wheat Berries over at The Food Network.

Wheat berries are a true whole grain! You may not recognize the name, but without these kernels, there would be no flour. Wheat berries are loaded with nutrients and are as easy as rice to prepare — perfect for a meal any time of year.

What are wheat berries?
Wheat berries are whole wheat kernels. They look like thick, short grains — similar to brown rice. Industrious folks grind them into whole wheat flour for baking; you may not have the time to regularly grind your own flour, but it’s a fun thing to try at least once.

When boiled, cooked wheat berries have a chewy bite and subtle nutty, earthy flavor. They’re sturdy enough to handle bold salad dressings and still delicate enough to taste delicious with some milk, honey and cinnamon.

If you like sprouts on salads and sandwiches, add a little water to wheat berries and you can grow your own wheat sprouts.

Why are wheat berries “Healthy Eats”?
Since the wheat kernel is left intact, virtually none of the nutrients are stripped away. A cup of cooked wheat berries has about 300 calories and is packed with fiber, protein and iron. Tasty sprouts are loaded with vitamin E, a cell-protecting antioxidant, and magnesium, which is good for healthy bones and muscles.

What do you do with wheat berries?
Look for wheat berries at a health food store or in the natural foods section of your local supermarket.

Prepare wheat berries in boiling water — just like other grains. Add cooked wheat berries to soups or even chili. Serve hot as a side dish with hearty mushrooms or cold for a satisfying salad full of flavor and whole grain goodness. Wheat berries have nutty flavor so they’re great with fresh vegetables and dried fruit such as cherries or cranberries.

Read more at: blog.foodnetwork.com

Now here some of my snacks from the week.

Kale Chips, always a favorite.

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Hail Merry Macaroons I received in my Vegan Conscious Box. Chocolate Craving CRUSHED by these little Macs.

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I made my husband this Decadent Apple Caramel Cake. He saw it while grocery shopping and added it to the cart. (?)

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It was good, but really sweet. He loved it, and that’s all that matters, sometimes you have to indulge on not so homemade, not so healthy items. At least I used my Egglands Best Eggs…

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* Since finding the Wheat Berries and cooking with them I have now located them at a Health Food Store NEAR my home! Dale’s Natural Foods Store in Flint Michigan. I shop here often and turns out they have carried them all along, I guess I just never looked carefully enough in the Bulk Grain Bin Section. Apparently my Observation skills are at an all time LOW.

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Recently I tried something new. Diana from Aloic contacted me to see if I would like to try their Aloe Vera Drink. I said Yes, Please. So she sent me a few bottles to taste and experiment with. But before I get down with a review, I wanted to share some information about Aloic with you from their Website. Check them out here. 

Here’s Their Story: This is taken directly from their website. At Epicurex LLC, we are devoted to sharing the exotic tastes of Asia with the rest of the world. We are proud to produce only drinks of the highest quality, freshness, and authenticity, using only the best all-natural, USDA organic ingredients that taste great and contribute to a healthy lifestyle.

That has been our mission since we started our company: to create superior beverages that taste like sea breeze and sunshine. And here in South Florida, we’re doing just that with Aloic™, a tasty fusion of certified organic aloe juice and pulp, with no preservatives, nothing artificial, and no high-fructose corn syrup – just plenty of flavor.

We invite you to get to know us – and our products – better. We think you’ll find that we’re just what you’ve been searching for: all natural, all delicious, and all about healthy living, wherever you are.

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Here’s some additional information taken directly from their webpage:

TOP REASONS TO DRINK ALOIC

Aloic™ is good for you — really, really, good for you. Aloe Vera can aid digestion, and even help you lose that pesky belly fat.

It also tastes great. The real aloe pulp in Aloic™ adds yummy texture, and you’ll know you’re drinking more of the good stuff that’s also good for you.

It’s all natural, too: certified organic aloe and pulp, no preservatives, nothing artificial, no high fructose corn syrup or fake flavors or colors. And Aloic™ is only 60 calories per serving.

Your kids will love the taste of Aloic™, and it’s a much better choice for them than those soft drinks or sugary fruit juices they usually go for. Tuck one into someone’s lunchbox, today — maybe even your own.

Another great reason to drink Aloic™? Aloe vera can help you to live longer. It’s true: Published studies have shown a 10 percent increase in lifespan, as well as beneficial effects on age-related illnesses. Aloe contains glycoproteins and polysaccharides, which aid the healing process and stimulate cell growth and repair, so you can start feeling good all over.

But the top reason to drink Aloic™ is the way you’ll feel when you make it part of your healthy lifestyle — but we can’t tell you about that; you’ll have to experience it for yourself.

So go ahead. Try it. Love it. And feel the benefits of real, organic aloe vera as they go to work for you.

So now to the fun part, reviewing Aloic.

I am not shy with my option and I must admit, I love to try new things! So first I tried Aloic right out of the bottle after a 45 minute walk on the treadmill. I was thirsty and my throat was dry. I immediately noticed the natural sweet grape flavor, and liked it very much, but what I really enjoyed was the pulp texture in the drink. So refreshing. So after a few swigs, my thirst was quenched, and I was ready for an after workout smoothie. So I grabbed some frozen fruit from the freezer and pulled out my smoothie blender, along with my favorite protein powder and of course the rest of my Aloic Aloe Vera Drink.

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Aloic Aloe Vera Smoothie

  • 1 to 1/2 Bottle of Aloic Aloe Vera Drink
  • 1 Scoop Protein Powder
  • 1 Handful Frozen Raspberries
  • 1/2 Frozen Banana

Blend for 45 seconds and enjoy. If using fresh fruit, just add 2 ice cubes.

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I so enjoyed trying Aloic, thank-you Diana you were right it really is a great replacement for soda and can develop into a healthy habit!

If your interested in finding out more on Aloic, go on over to Twitter @aloicdrink

I received two bottles of Aloic to sample from the company, and I am sharing my honest opinion in this post.

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Cheers.

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Leftover party at my house. I had some goodies stored away and thought why not pull them all out and have a mixed bag for dinner. So we had leftover Mayan Harvest Bake, Tofu Kale Lasagna and Polenta Pizza Snacks. 

I love having meals frozen that I can just thaw enjoy. I was so happy that the Tofu Lasagna thawed and reheated so well. I was worried it was going to be watery and mushy, but it was perfect.

I also took some fresh raspberries and bagged them up into snack bags and froze them. I always keep frozen fruit on hand for making smoothies. Here are a few of my favorite smoothies Recovery Smoothie, Kale Smoothie. Whenever a banana gets a bit brown in my house I jump all over it. I peel, slice and bag.

Strawberries also got sliced, bagged and stored for future use.

Piled high.

By freezing all my fruit I do not need to add ice cubes to my smoothies.

I have good news, the Swans on the lake have finally unveiled their Cygnet. I was not sure what the proper term was for a group of baby Swans, so I Googled it, and sure enough, it said a group of Baby Swans are called Cygnet. Thanks Google. The male swan did this crazy fly by over the entire lake. He was making a low honking noise, as if to announce the proud moment. After his flight he went back to the nest and proudly swan out with his new family. It was really one of the coolest things I have ever witnessed.

They are really protective of their babies and have stayed close to their nest which happens to be at the end of the lake where there is not much boat traffic. There are 4 babies, they are fuzzy and staying super close to mom and dad. So exciting to see them all together.

I also got a picture of Harvey our local Blue Heron. Since I have been perched on my deck with my camera waiting to get a picture of the swans, I was lucky to catch Harvey while he was looking for a place to fish. All the neighbors on the lake call the Blue Herons on the lake Harvey, it’s one of those things that sticks after someone says it.

I love watching him fly and land, he is very graceful. He is normally silent when he flies, but when he is mad after being disturbed by jet skiers or boaters he makes this prehistoric sound while flying away. Still cracks me up every time I hear it.

So I had a fun day, so excited that the Swans are finally here.

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Core Power has become a favorite of mine since attending the Blend Retreat. I have never purchased premixed protein shakes before. I remember trying a Slim Fast shake that a co-worker had years and years ago and still remember the tin flavor of the shake. So I guess I formed the option that all premixed protein shakes would all taste like that. Well Core Power changed that for me. The Core Power products are like drinking a milk shake, but with protein. I am really in love with the vanilla flavor, but the honey is right there behind it. It’s like getting a treat after working out, but this treat is beneficial and supports your recovery. They also have a chocolate flavor, but I did not get to try that flavor, but based on the other two I tried, I do not see how you could go wrong.

You get 26 grams of protein in each serving, and it comes with a healthy dose of essential amino acids. Core Power is a natural high protein muscle recovery drink for every type of fitness enthusiast. Created with your active lifestyle in mind, real milk protein serves as the base for this awesome tasting protein shake. Here’s the Nutritional Breakdown:

  • Protein: 26g of naturally concentrated whey and casein proteins
  • Calcium: 700mg of highly absorbable calcium
  • Vitamin D: Vitamin D works with calcium to strengthen bones, which may increase athletic performance

Check out their product description, it really sums it up.

Introducing core power high protein recovery drink: Don’t leave your workout unfinished.

Core Power Natural High-Protein Milk Shake, Vanilla, 11.5-Ounce Bottles (Pack of 12)

Sometimes we forget we need to fuel our bodies after working out in order to rebuild muscle and gain strength. You can find Core Power at Amazon.com  just follow this link. They are sold by the case and they also offer a Strawberry Banana Slim Version if you are looking to cut back on calories. The slim version offers 20 grams of protein.

Strawberry Banana 20g

Product Features

(Taken directly from the Amazon site.)

  • Pack of 12, 11.5-ounce bottles of Core Power Natural High-Protein Milk Shake
  • Made with fresh, lactose-free milk and real vanilla
  • 700 milligrams of highly absorbable calcium
  • 26 grams of naturally concentrated whey and casein proteins
  • Nutrient rich drink helps you recover faster and build lean muscle
  • 12 – 11.5 ounce HDPE bottles
  • 26 grams of protein; Optimum ratio of carbs
  • Core Power is a registered trademark licensed by Fair Oaks Farms Brands, Inc., and is a DESIGNER milk product
  • Lactose-free
  • Real milk and real honey; Great taste, simple ingredients

Did you catch the bullet that it is lactose free milk? I do not have any food restrictions, but I heard several attendees at the Blend Retreat state how excited they were that Core Power used lactose free milk.

Again Core Power can be found on Amazon.com. They also have a great website that features a Blog with tips and information on health. Core power is also available in some stores, to see if a store is near you Check Out This Link.

Question of the Day: Do you use protein shakes to recover and rebuild after working out?

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We had amazing weather this weekend. I did so much yard work and gardening. I’m sore, tired and hot. Here’s a few of the eats I enjoyed over the weekend.

This is not my first time adding Kale to a smoothie, a while back I did a post called Keeping Up with Kale.  I enjoy adding greens to my smoothie, you get a nice color and it adds a little texture.

Added to my Fitmixer protein powder, makes a nice think shake.

This is my third kale smoothie this week, yummy.

After blending the kale leaves become tiny flecks.

For dinner I used the rest of the kale for Kale Chips. I used my toaster oven, it works great for small batches, if I have a large batch I use the oven.

Kale Chips

  • Preheat oven to about 375*
  • Tear the leaves off the thick stems into bite size pieces. Spread out on baking sheet
  • Drizzle with about 2 tsp of olive oil
  • Season with your favorite spices
  • Bake for about 15 minutes, until edges are brown and kale is crispy
Also roasted up some Tofu and Cauliflower. I love this combo because they can be roasted at the same time. 425* for 25 minutes. We also had a side of Udon noodles.

We ate dinner on the deck again tonight, I love dining outdoors, plus I wanted to take in all the work I had done, I love doing yard work and gardening. I am really excited to pick out all my annual flowers for pots which I plan on planting over the Memorial Day Holiday.  I will be posting a lot of  flower pictures this summer.

Question of the Day: Do you eat outside on nice days?

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BEST BODY BOOTCAMP

Boot Camp Update, I am really getting into this, I am looking forward to what comes next, not to say that when I’m done, I’m not exhausted, starving and a bit sore, I am, but first and foremost I am doing it and having fun. I increased my hand weights this week on a few of the exercises.

Work has been crazy for me lately, I have had to work 10 plus hours extra this week alone, but I have made my workouts a priority. I tried to make a few meals in advance so that I could save time on the nights our Boot Camp took me longer to complete. Monday was a hectic day for me, I worked late, got home, I made my husband dinner, went and worked out, prepped my breakfast and lunch for the next day, then I finally sat down to eat my dinner at 7:30pm, but it was worth it. I took care of everyone including my self, and I didn’t make Any Excuses.

I had a nice glass of this Silk fruit and protein smoothie after my workout, it was just what I needed to give me a little boost. I loved the mango flavor, it was really taste.

Plank Club, I rocked a  50 second plank. That is a really good time for me, I am working on improving that time, but I am really happy starting with that as a base line, just 6 short months ago during a yoga class I could barely hole 30 seconds without violently shaking.

Dinner was one that I could put together in about 15 minutes, I love taco’s and I love shrimp, so we had Shrimp Taco’s.

Quick and easy was the theme here.

 

One of my favorite taco topping is guacamole and the little wholly guacamole packs are the best to just squeeze on. Plus they can be kept in the freezer and they thaw in minutes in a bowl of water, so I always have them on hand.

I know refried beans are not the prettiest to photograph, but I love them.

 

Question of the Day: What’s your favorite Bean?

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Completed Day #1 of the Best Body Boot Camp. Getting organized and prepped for it was really easy, Tina provided all the information, I just needed to put in the work, and work I did, wow it was a great workout.

So after my workout I wanted to really fuel my body, so I made a Recovery Smoothie with fruits and spinach.

Recovery Smoothie Recipe:

  • 1 Cup Coconut Milk
  • 1 Scoop Protein Powder
  • 1 Banana
  • 6 Large Strawberries
  • 1 Handful Spinach
  • 6-8 Pitted Cherries
  • 1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 Scoop Date Sugar
  • 2 Ice Cubes
  • 1 Handful Kashi Cereal (added to the top as a garnish)
Blended and served immediately.

The banana and spinach were fresh and the cherries and strawberries were frozen from my smoothie stash.

Today I added a little Swanson Organic Date Sugar into the mix, I really wanted to see if it would sweeten it up a bit.

Date sugar is a lower calorie and healthier option to brown sugar. Two of the little scoops are only 30 calories. I only used a 1/2 of the scoop, just to give it a try. Verdict, I liked it, and it did give the smoothie a sweeter flavor that it needed. I look forward to using in a muffin recipe that I plan on making.

I really love the little scoop that it came with.

Loaded  up the smoothie maker and let it run for about 45 seconds, I had to shake it up a bit and run it for another 30 seconds to really blend the ice cubes well.

This is just what I needed. This will hold me over until dinner tonight.

I also added a handful of Kashi Heart to Heart Cinnamon Oat Cereal.

Question of the day: What’s your favorite cold cereal?

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