Chocolate-Cherry Run Recovery Smoothie

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Happy Thursday, all! Can you guys believe it’s already Friday tomorrow? This week flew by! As you know, yesterday I got up and crushed an early morning run. Post-run, I made an awesome antioxidant-filled smoothie for recovery. It was AMAZING. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but in real life I am a scientist, and there’s usually a method behind my madness. I enjoy doing my research and finding the reasons WHY certain foods are good for you. It’s exciting to find out the amazing properties and health benefits of the bioactive compounds contained in the foods we eat and love. It’s always fun to learn something new about your environment, right? So, today I’ve outlined the reasons I included each one of the components of my stellar smoothie below:

Cherries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries provide antioxidants, vitamins A, C and E, and all sorts of other bioactive compounds. In fact, one landmark study shows that just one cup of berries provides all the disease-fighting antioxidants you need in a single day.*

A scoop of vegan protein powder helps you feel energized, keeps you full longer, helps to refuel after your workout, and helps you hit your daily value of protein per day, especially if you eat a plant-based diet like me.

Flaxseeds are an fantastic way to fulfill your recommended daily intake (RDI) of omega-3s of 1.1 grams; one tablespoon of flaxseeds contain 1.8 grams of omega-3. Flax also contains fiber, some of which is broken down in the body into lignans, which may slow down the progress of certain breast cancers and other types of cancers that need estrogen to thrive. Additionally, all that fiber helps make you feel full, promotes regular digestion, and may have other heart-healthy benefits. Researchers believe the fiber in flaxseed binds with cholesterol in the intestine and prevents it from being absorbed.**

Soy milk is fortified with calcium and vitamin D, and 1 cup of soy milk contains 45% of your recommended daily value of calcium. It also has 8 grams of protein, no cholesterol, and is low in saturated fat.

Cinnamon is my favorite spicy addition to any smoothie, overnight oats, baked goods, or just about anything. Cinnamon slows the emptying of your stomach to reduce sharp rises in blood sugar following meals, and improves the effectiveness, or sensitivity, of insulin. It’s like a tiny powerhouse: just half a teaspoon of cinnamon a day has previously been shown to significantly reduce blood sugar levels, triglycerides, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and total cholesterol levels in people with type 2 diabetes. It also has tons of bioactive and flavonoid compounds that have positive effects on your metabolism – basically, it’s an all-around health gangsta.***

Cacao powder is full of antioxidants and tastes like chocolate – enough said.

Bananas are a very good source of vitamin B6 and a good source of manganese, vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber, potassium, biotin, and copper. And they taste delicious and help bring a creaminess to your smoothie.

Run Recovery Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup of mixed frozen berries (cherries, blueberries, blackberries & raspberries)
  • 1 cup of soy milk
  • 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder (I use Vega)
  • 1 Tbsp flaxseeds
  • 1 Tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Directions

Blend all ingredients until smooth and enjoy! πŸ™‚

I hope you enjoy this smoothie as much as I did – it was so delicious, and full of good things.

Happy Thursday!

With warmth,

L

Wooohooo, it’s SpRiNg BrEaK!!

Don’t worry, I won’t type this whole post in dELiA’s/sixth grade AOL Instant Message profile quote font. Promise. πŸ˜‰

spring break

It’s SPRING BREAAAAK!!

Dude, who did not LIVE for MTV Spring Break back in the day?! πŸ™‚ If you want to take a little trip down memory lane, here’s this:

Top 40 Most Iconic MTV Spring Break Performances

I know you’re loving it. πŸ˜‰

Okay, anyway – I got a little off track there. B & B is participating in Spring Break V, basically one big blog party organized by Aileen at Morsels and Moonshine, and everyone is invited. It involves less red Solo cups and string bikini tops, and is more of a week-long collaboration where a whole bunch of your fave vegan and veg-friendly bloggers post some super dope spring break-themed recipes, travel/fitness tips and fashion advice. If you’d like to know more, you can read about it here.

Wooohooo! Let’s do some shots! πŸ™‚

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Okay, okay it’s Monday morning – no shots. πŸ˜‰ Over here on B & B, I’ll be kicking it off by sharing my new fave Go-To post-workout smoothie. It’s cool, refreshing, and the perfect way to start your day or refuel after an intense workout. It’s vegan, gluten-free and full of protein, fiber and antioxidants to start your day off on the right foot.

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L’s Purple Power Smoothie

L’s Purple Power Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries
  • 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder (I use Vega)
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp flax seeds
  • 1 tsp matcha
  • a few shakes of cinnamon
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla hemp milk

Directions

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Enjoy! πŸ˜€

Nommmmmsssss! I had one of these after my uber intense Sweaturday workout and it was so delicious. It’s the perfect breakfast on the go (or second breakfast, as it was in my case). I hope you enjoy it!

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My arms were so tired from my workout I did not feel like holding my liter-sized mason jar. #lazypants

I definitely needed something great to refuel as I was up way too late and dancing my socks off at the Galactic concert at the House of Blues in Boston on Friday night. They are a really sweet funk band from NOLA, and have an amazing vocalist touring with them. It was EPIC (and it got prettyyyy funkyyy, so I was really feeling it Saturday morning). If their tour stops at a venue near you, I highly recommend checking them out (I had a BLAST, they have great energy and a rad vibe). You can see a short clip of their music on my Instagram. Also, check out more info about them/their tour stops here.

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Galactic at House of Blue Boston

It was also my nephew’s first birthday party on Saturday! My sister put together an amazing St. Patty’s Day themed spread (my nephew is a St. Patty’s Day baby) for the party. She made a vegan Apple Spice “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”-themed birthday cake (recipe to come!) and had tons of healthy party snacks, in rainbow order:

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Rainbow themed healthy snacks (wagon wheels and Cheerios as “pots of gold”), and E’s Very Hungry Caterpillar first birthday cake πŸ™‚

I hope that you guys had a stellar weekend! What did you get up to? Anything epic? Tell me all about it in the comments. πŸ™‚Β 

Hope you all have a great Monday today! Happy Spring Break, woo woo!!

With warmth,

L ❀

xoxox

Matcha Green Tea Smoothie

helpme imsore

Pretty much sums up how I’m feeling right now.

Good morning, darlings! I am literally so sore from my intense workout yesterday, and on top of that went to Sarah’s boot camp this morning, which she deemed “not so intense” while R and I gave her the side eye. Even after having a special moment with my foam roller last night (also giving me an excuse to vacuum the living room rug), my legs are still wicked sore. When your workouts include doing anything “to failure” (in this case it was shoulder press and burpees – and let’s hope it doesn’t snow a lot because these shoulds won’t be lifting much in the next few days) it’s pretty intense, at least in my opinion. πŸ˜‰ However, it felt GREAT (as per usual, I feel like Queen of the Bros after any of Sarah’s classes). I’ve been going to these fitness classes for almost two years, but have really amped my game up over the past year or so and it’s incredible to think of how far I’ve come. I couldn’t hold a plank for a minute when I first started, and I would quit halfway through our HIIT cardio drills. Now I think of how strong I’ve become, and I’m not ashamed to admit I’m really proud of myself! I really wish I was more of a douche bag and snapped more gym selfies in the past, because I would love to show you guys a “gun-show” comparison (don’t worry though, my bro-y douchiness starts now because I was feelin’ myself so much this morning I cracked and posted one on Insty – don’t judge me too hard! Haha!). πŸ™‚ πŸ˜› I am really proud of all of my hard work, though.

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Which way to the gym, bro? I am feelin’ super strong today! Woo!

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Britney knows.

Anyway, the actual reason for this post is not to make my arm sore from patting myself on the back, but to share with you an AMAZING matcha smoothie creation that is the perfect post-workout treat (or just anytime treat – I often make myself smoothies for dessert if I’m concerned about how much protein I’ve ingested that day/I just want one). Ever since I picked up some matcha, I’ve been heming and hawing on what to do with it, and I came up with this simple, fresh and delicious green tea protein smoothie. No lie – it tastes exactly like green tea ice cream! Yum.

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The ingredients for L’s Matcha Green Tea Smoothie: banana, protein, matcha, almond milk & ice. So simple.

Matcha Green Tea Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp matcha
  • 1 1/2 bananas
  • 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder*
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • a handful of ice cubes

Directions

Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy! πŸ˜€

*Side note: Vega (my new fave vegan protein powder) makes their protein powder in a box of 10 individually sealed single-serve packets. It’s a great way to try out a new flavor. Instead of being stuck with a 1 lb tub of protein, you can sample it – or if you don’t like it, give it away. Plus it’s packable for travel! Woohoo! It’s a win-win.

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L’s Matcha Green Tea Smoothie – YUMMMM.

It’s always fun to try out new protein smoothie creations. The matcha is great flavor change up from the usual suspects (fruit, spices, etc). It was very refreshing and light, but still tasted creamy and dessert-worthy.Β Delicious! I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I did. πŸ™‚

Also, in unrelated yet very exciting news: Bubbles and Booyah will be participating in Spring Break V!! In the words of my darling blog friend Aileen at Morsels and Moonshine, “Spring Break V is a collaborative project that is designed to showcase the best vegan blogs for spring break.” Woohooo! It starts March 22, 2015 and rages on for a full week until March 28, 2015, in which M&M will do features on posts from participating blogs on veganism and spring break. Get pumped – this is sure to be fun, and I am super stoked to be a part of it. πŸ˜€

spring breakI hope you guys all have a great day today – sending you lots of love! ❀

With warmth,

L

xoxox

Friday Faves *Woot woot*

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Happy Flannel Friday!! Lipgloss goes with flannel, right?

Woooohooooo! We made it to Friday! I am so glad it’s *almost* the weekend! I completely owned it in spin class this morning, and the positives vibes and good energy are overflowin’. This has been my first full week back since vacation, and it’s FLOWN by. I can’t believe it’s already time for Friday Faves (my not-so-secret favorite post of the week)! Here is what I’ve really been feelin’ this week:

1. Flannel

the-original-lumbersexual…Because it’s Flannel Friday. I’ve already expressed my love for the flan and its’ lumbersexual connotations, but seriously people – you should all participate in Flannel Friday. It’s warm, functional, and totally bada**.

2. Sprouting Lid for Mason Jar

DSCN0809I just started sprouting recently, and it’s like having a little science project right in your kitchen. And the best part is, you get to eat the results (unlike most science projs). I purchased these sprouting jar lids (from Amazon! AND they’re Prime!) that attach right onto a wide mouth mason jar (super convenient); they come in three sizes and are stellar. Why are they the dopest? They have three sizes (small, medium, large), so you can progressively change the lids as the seeds grow. The small is great for super small seeds like alfalfa, and the medium is great for larger seeds like mung beans and lentils. The largest is fantastic because it allows you to drain the husks away from the sprouts. Once the seeds have grown to have a 3/4″ ish sprout, I switch to the red jar lid, and gently agitate while rinsing under water. The husks rise, and you can decant them right off away from your sprouts. Curious for more tips? You’ll get to read all about it next week when I post my sprouting “How To”. Stay tuned! πŸ˜€

3. Lavender Bitters

WigglesRosemaryLavenderFront900_grandeI’ve had so many great cocktails recently that have been made with lavender bitters. YUM. I decided to go out and snag some for myself to play around with. Verdict: amazing. Here is one of the concoctions I created while playing around with my shaker last night (and waiting for my stewp to simmer to perfection):

L’s Luscioustini

  • 2 Oz Gin
  • 1/2 Oz Lime Juice
  • 1/2 Oz Simple Syrup
  • Splash of Cranberry Juice
  • 2-3 Dashes Lavender Bitters
Pour ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well and serve with a lime wedge. Serve in a cocktail glass to really get your Carrie, Samantha, Miranda or Charlotte on. πŸ˜‰
Additionally, you can add a dash or two of lavender bitters and some frozen fruit right into a flute of champagne if you’d like to mix it up. My sister does this for special occasions (and sometimes just for fun) and it’s fabulous! Cheers! It’s Friday. πŸ™‚ *clink*clink*
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4. Lululemon Free To Be *Wild Bra

LW2731S_4278_2This sports bra is SO cute, I almost don’t want to sweat in it. I recently treated myself to a light pink with darker hot pink strap version (boohoo, I can’t find it online to show you the actual pic and forgot to take one), and I’m mildly obsessed with it. It’s great for ladies with small girls (if you know what I mean) and for low impact activity. I will be wearing this to yoga every chance I get, and can’t wait until I can wear it under tanks and flow-y tops in warmer weather. It’s like a tiny bit of spring hiding under your yoga tank. Love. ❀

5. Aveda Hand Relief and Foot Relief

0511_05I don’t know about you, but my skin becomes like the Sahara if I don’t take good care of it in the winter (it’s your biggest organ! You’ve gotta show it some love). The indoor heating and outdoor cold temperatures (along with associated low humidity) here in Boston zap the moisture right out of my skin. I work with my hands, and wash them at least 20+ times a day (no joke) and so moisturizing is a must (I use the hand relief throughout the day and it’s the last thing I put on before bed, after turning on my alarm). As a runner, I am often very mean to my feet and so I like to treat them extra nice when they’ve done some hard work (before bed/after showering on the weekends, I slather the foot relief all over my poor tootsies, give them a good rub and stick them into thick socks to soak up all the goodness). Several years back, my mom found this lotion at her Aveda salon in New York, and since then we have been addicted (there’s a travel version in my purse, and one on my bedside table – I don’t leave home without it!). These are the best hand and foot lotions I’ve found. Not only do they work like a charm, but they smells INCREDIBLE. They’re a bit on the pricey side, but the upside is that you don’t need much to reap the benefits.

6. Hemp MilkΒ 

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I had hemp milk for the first time in a long time last night when I made an amazing dessert smoothie. Um, I don’t know if it has gotten better with time or what, but that shiz is DELICIOUS AS SIN. I don’t know why I’ve only been sticking true to almond and coconut milk, but I am so glad I saw this in the store and grabbed it. It has a richness to it like coconut milk, but a much milder flavor like almond milk. Hemp seeds are rich in the plant-based omega-3 fatty acid ALA, and some brands add additional hemp oil into their hemp beverages, so you still get the omega-3 benefits. Look for a brand that is fortified with calcium/vitamin D, and make sure you aren’t depending on it for protein because it has very little (2 g of protein per serving versus 7 grams in soy milk). YUM. I definitely recommend giving it a shot if you want to try something a little different. Have you guys ever tried hemp milk? Tell me all about it in the comments.
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My bomb smoothie from last night.

That smoothie I made last night was so good, the recipe is a must share. Here is what I blended up last night:

L’s Bomb Smoothie

  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup mixed berries
  • 1 scoop Vega chocolate protein powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp almond butter
  • 1/2 Tbsp chocolate hazelnut butter
  • Several shakes each of cinnamon and cloves
  • 1 cup hemp milk

Blend until smooth and enjoy! πŸ˜€

Um, delicious. I hope that you guys have a great weekend! What are you guys up to this weekend? I have a long run on the books for Sunday, an early morning workout tomorrow morning and brunch. It’s supposed to snow here on Saturday and I’m secretly excited. I hope I get to run in the snow on Sunday! Don’t tell anyone, the New Englanders get all mad at my Western New York-iness when I get excited about snow. πŸ˜€
Take care, and happy Friday! ❀
With warmth,
L xo

Weekend Recap!

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PS: Here is a pretty dope panorama I took in Florida I forgot to share – just in case you’re in need of some sunshine today!

Hi Darlings! Happy MLK Day! I hope that you all, unlike me, have today off and are reading this in your PJs on the couch. This weekend was especially great, coming off of vacation and squeezing out just a *little* more relaxation before the week started. Here’s what I was up to:

Friday

Friday night was super mellow yellow for me, and I got some extra R & R (because I obviously was in dire need of some after vacationing in Florida the week before πŸ˜‰ ). It always feels great to get laundry, grocery shopping, all the non-fun chores done on Friday and then enjoy a good meal. I cooked up a batch of my delicious Green Goddess Bowl and experimented with the sauce. This time I made it a little differently:

Green Goddess Ginger-Tamari Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 inch ginger root, peeled and chopped
  • 4 heaping tablespoons of tahini
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of chopped garlic
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon of tamari sauce
  • 1 drizzle of sesame oil

Directions:

Place all ingredients into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.

I will perfect that dang sauce if it kills me. I think I’m getting a little closer to a better melding of the flavors. The extra lemon really gives it a nice pop that it needs. It almost tastes a little hummus-esque with all that tahini, lemon and garlic (and who doesn’t love hummus)! It’s pretty fantastic. My favorite thing about cooking is trying something new, playing around with it and perfecting it until it’s just right. I could do it all day. I hope you guys give it a shot and like it as much as I did! πŸ™‚

I paired the Green Goddess bowl with a nice glass of Malbec and good company (and did my laundry simultaneously, L for the win!). It ended up being the perfect mellow Friday night. That dish is seriously so good I’ve had it three times this month and am not sick of it yet. Mmmmm!!

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L’s Green Goddess Bowl – so tasty! πŸ™‚

Saturday/Sweaturday

I got up and did my usual thaaang on Saturday – two classes back to back, spin and BodyPump, and I felt fantastic! I saw all my peeps there, too! It’s great to connect with people at the gym. I mean c’mon – when you go early mornings or to the same classes week after week, you’ll see the same faces of a core group of people. It’s really nice, and gives you something to look forward to when you don’t want to get out of bed at 6 am on Saturday morning. So nice to laugh and joke around with people before class (so there’s your shout out ladies! πŸ˜€ ). After that I made my fave Berry Booyah Smoothie with Vega Chocolate protein powder, (plus a tablespoon of milled flax/chia seed blend and some spices) and it was amazing (as always). Then, I did my favorite Saturday afternoon activity – I hit up Lulu to see what was new! I of course got sucked into trying on a cute outfit as always (the girls there know my likes/dislikes as much as any of my BFFs) so they set me up with the Breezy Tank in black and Wunder Under Leggings in Alberta Lake (such a GORG color! Obsessed!). If you’re a looligan/Lulu obsessed like I am, I’m sure you’ve heard of the see-through legging scandal last year. Even now some of the pants material doesn’t pass the “bend test” (yep, it’s exactly what it sounds like) but these pants were thick, opaque and super comfy (which is exactly why I buy this stuff). Love it. I also tried on a pair of the High Times Pant – basically a legging with a high waist and 7/8 length – the short length is perf for shrimps like me and would look SUPER cute on the Talls like my bffae B and my sister. Lovingggg it. It comes in great colors too! I love the Black Cherry and Inkwell. Okay, enough about Lulu (although you know I could go on forever).

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Oh hi there – don’t mind me just taking selfies of this super cute Lulu outfit!

That afternoon, I met up with a friend at the Met Back Bay in Boston – a super cute neighborhood-y bar with an extensive cocktail menu and an “okay” beer selection (who cares bc I only drink the cocktails anyway). I got a Met 75, a cocktail with gin, lemon, lavender and cava. I need to find some Lavender bitters STAT so I can recreate this concoction. So delicious! I love bubbles cocktails *duh* and this one was fantastic. Mmmm!

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The Met 75 cocktail at The Met Back Bay – yummmmm!

Later that evening, I went to another great vegetarian hot spot in Central Square, Cambridge called Veggie Galaxy for Girls’ Night with two of my sorority sisters. It’s an all-vegetarian restaurant with all of your fave diner food – veganized! I got a super stellar Club sandwich with marinated tofu and tempeh bacon (on my list to recreate as well) and it was PHENOM. Because I’m me, I never say no to the dessert menu (dude, when you’re treating yourself, you just have to take a peek sometimes). There was an enormous selection of vegan desserts – cakes, ice cream sundaes – anything you can think of that you would get in a diner, but VEGAN. Who can say no to that?! We ordered (and promptly devoured) a slice of chocolate peanut butter cake and two scoops of coconut “nice” cream with Taza hot fudge and coconut whipped cream. Holy balls, it was FAN-FRIGGIN-TASTIC!!! YUM! The best part of the meal, by far (and the other part was damn good, so that’s saying a lot).

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Vegan desserts from Veggie Galaxy in Cambridge, MA: Coconut “Nice” cream Sundae and Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake. Yes, please.

Sunday

Sunday was “long run” day for me! I only ran 6.5 miles, 4 miles of which was “normal” and mostly flat, and the final 2.5 miles were up and down some seriously steep hills to get my legs fired up for my half. It felt great, and my legs were sufficiently conked out. I spend the remainder of the morning maxin’ and relaxin’. Other Sunday highlights include starting mung bean sprouts (stay tuned – a great “How To Sprout” by yours truly will appear on this blog in the near future – I’m stoked!). I’ve officially achieved a new level of crunchy hippie status because I’m growing my own sprouts like a boss (Mom would be proud). Wheat grass, I’m looking at you – you’re up next! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜›

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Time point = 0 of sprouts (Sorry, it’s hard to de-science sometimes. Nerds unite! Excuse me while I go write my observations in my lab notebook). πŸ˜›

Another highlight was tweaking my Green Citrus Smoothie by adding a bunch of frozen pineapple and trying that on for size. I was all about playing around in the kitchen this weekend, and I even whipped up an AMAZING dish which I will post tomorrow. I can’t wait – it was delicious, filling and super flavorful! All my favorite things in one. πŸ˜‰

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An updated version of the Green Citrus Smoothie with Cara Cara blood navel oranges, baby spinach, frozen pineapple, coconut milk and cinnamon. Perfectly refreshing post-run. πŸ™‚

So, to summarize – lots of delicious veggie food, with plenty of treats sprinkled in. Basically, the perfect January weekend! I hope you guys had a great weekend too – what did you get up to? Tell me all about it the comments! πŸ˜€ I’m dying to know.

Happy Monday! I hope you all have a great start to your week! πŸ™‚

With warmth,

L

xoxox ❀

Green Citrus Smoothie

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Good morning!! Happy Hump Day – we all made it halfway through the week! As some of you know, I will be traveling to Florida in only two days time and I couldn’t be more excited. Since I am obviously a mermaid (*hair flip*), you can understand why my return to the Gulf is so exciting. πŸ˜‰ This week (my first week of Veganuary!), I did something out of the ordinary – I bought oranges at the grocery store! Probably the only food that weirds me out (beyond the creepy mushrooms my sister sometimes buys) is PULP. I don’t love it. If I am faced with eating an orange, I will “vampire” the juice (a la Bill and Sookie) and spit out the languid, pulpy wedge (so ladylike, I know). Oddly enough, I LOVE citrus juice. For years, my cocktail of choice was a screwdriver (and I have all the abandoned Nalges with a faint odor of orange juice and vodka, that no amount of dishwashing will remove, to prove it. Hey, when you’re a girl who doesn’t like beer, you’ve gotta be resourceful). I dislike pulp so much that I would rather give a mimosa the side eye than drink it, if it is made with pulpy orange juice (why would someone do something that unspeakably cruel to me, I do not know. I loooooove mimosas!).

So now that we’ve established the depths of my hatred for pulp, you can understand how surprising it is that I would pick up a few oranges at the grocery store. I decided it was high time for me to overcome this aversion and hostility – one baby step at a time. I figured I can start off slow, by blending them into my favorite thing on Earth: smoothies. We all love smoothies, they are clearly the best. By now, you may know that I have a little bit of a problem with smoothies (and all of the many varieties). To create this particular smoothie, I blended the orange together with three things I really like: baby spinach, unsweetened vanilla coconut milk and cinnamon. It sounds like an unlikely combination, I know, but it was AMAZING. The coconut milk gives a smooth creaminess, the baby spinach is very mild and the orange gives a gorgeous pop and brightness to the smoothie. The cinnamon, of course, is the little spice that could – it makes everything better, and here it lends a little spicy kick. This smoothie was just what I needed – healthy, full of nutrients and flavor, and the orange makes you dream of sunshine and sand under your toes, even when it’s 15 degrees outside. It’s so simple, and it’s vegan, gluten-free and DELICIOUS!

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The five simple ingredients you need for L’s Green Citrus Smoothie: Spinach, oranges, cinnamon, unsweetened vanilla coconut milk and dates (optional – if you need a little extra sweetness).

Green Citrus Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 orange*, peeled
  • handful of baby spinach (~3/4 cup)
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup of unsweetened vanilla coconut milk
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Β Directions

  • Add all ingredients into a blender and mix until smooth. Enjoy! πŸ˜€
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All of the “dry” ingredients in the NutriBullet before blending. I stuffed as much baby spinach as possible in there.

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The amount of cinnamon I added for reference. I never really measure this, but guesstimate – I loooooove cinnamon, so I would add whatever suits your tastes.

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I added quite a bit of unsweetened vanilla coconut milk, probably more than half a cup. Adjust the amount depending on whether you like your smoothies thick or more juice-like – totally up to you! πŸ™‚

*I used Cara Cara oranges. They are a red-fleshed navel orange, sweet and low in acid with a flavor profile more complex than regular navels. Wikipedia says they “[have] been described as evoking notes of cherry, rose petal, orange, and blackberry.” Oooookay, Wikipedia, whatever you say – all I know is they are DELICIOUS, and so sweet that I didn’t need any additional sweetener. If you chose a different variety and your smoothie comes out a little bitter, throw one or two dates in there. That should sweeten it right up for ya. πŸ™‚

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The smoothie after blending πŸ™‚

Um, this smoothie is amazing. It’s so easy and probably takes 30 seconds to make once you peel the orange (and then your hands will smell lovely and orange-y for a bit). The flavor impact is unreal; when I blended it and had my first sip I actually said, “Wow!” aloud in my kitchen even though it was just me and the Nutribullet. The best part? You’ve fulfilled your Vitamin C requirements for the day, half of your Vitamin A, a quarter of your potassium and a third of your dietary fiber. Rock on. It’s fresh and deceptively filling – a great snack, breakfast smoothie or just for a special, fresh treat. Yum.

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Pour that sucker into a mason jar, stick a girthy straw in there and you’ve got yourself a winner. πŸ˜€

I hope that you guys enjoy this creation as much as I did – it is amazing (and if you close your eyes, you might just feel the sun beaming down on you, in the middle of January).

Sending you lots of sunshine today! Happy Wednesday! πŸ˜€

With warmth,

L ❀

PS: I went for a run last night in 18F and snow showers. It was fabulous (dead serious – I actually had a great run!). I recently got a bunch of run accessories to increase my nighttime visibility (both my friend and my bro-in-law called out my all black Ginga Ninja non-reflective winter run gear, and they were totally right – visibility is key in the winter!). If you’re interested, they will be making an appearance in my Friday Faves post. πŸ˜‰

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Rocking my sweet new gear. Also, my nails match my run pullover bc I’m cool like that. Happy Hump Day, all! πŸ˜€

How to Fix a Sh*tty Smoothie

PicFrameSometimes, even with our best intentions and springboard from which to start, our best-foot-forward effort ends up in an undesirable mess. Such as it goes with life, and with smoothies. I recently sent my bff B a step-by-step dissertation of how to fix a sh*tty smoothie via iMessage (emojis and all). It all started because I wanted to try a new vegan protein powder. I usually use whey to prot-ify my smoothies, but the guts can’t hack whey powder AND a Greek yogurt in the same day (no bueno). So I turned to my friend Amazon Prime (since I have no time to go peruse a natural foods store during my lunch break, when I would rather just eat my lunch) and checked out their vegan protein powder selection. Wow! I was impressed. Unsurprisingly, they literally have EVERYTHING. Amazon, you’re killing it! The Amazon reviewers however: you are in the doghouse for leading me astray (“Great tasting and it blends well!” and “I have tried several other protein powders and this is the best one by far.” —> Um, no. You cray!). I had three criteria for the vegan protein powder when I was ordering: a) is not ridiculously expensive; b) does not come in anything larger than 1 lb in case I hate it and c) reviewers gave it 4 stars or higher. I chose two brands, one was phenomenal (which I posted about in the Vegan Pumpkin Protein Power Muffins) and the other one was BAD. Like, really bad. Chalky, no vanilla flavor (instead a very unappealing flavor in its place), bleh – literally wanted to spit my smoothie out. It was that bad. Like a lot of my peers (that’s you guys!), my grandparents grew up during the Depression so wasting food is a major sin in my household. Unless it’s literally rancid, it’s going to get eaten and not wasted. Thus, Operation Smoothie Saving was in order.

photo 1

The start of the smoothie fail. Before I even knew just how bad it was.

To start, the following ingredients were in my smoothie:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup of frozen mixed berries
  • 1/4 cup of pureed pumpkin
  • 1 scoop of the evil vegan vanilla protein powder
  • A few shakes of cinnamon
  • Unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • Flax seeds

(Pretty legit start, right?? You would think that this smoothie would be awesome, since I’ve posted my love for this combination previously, and generally speaking, it f**king rocks. But you would be wrong. The chalkiness of the protein powder overwhelmed all the other flavors. BIG womp).

Operation Smoothie Saving to the rescue!

Step One: Add spice. I already had cinnamon in there, so I added even more cinnamon, as well as cloves and nutmeg. I then re-blended the smoothie.

photo 2

This is the “beginning” smoothie phot. I added even MORE cinnamon, plus cloves and nutmeg. Still – awful.

Result: I can still taste that f-ed up protein powder! Whaaaat.

photo 3

You think this would be amaze-balls, right? Wrong. It was horrendous.

Step Two: Time to bring out the big guns. Add Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder AND cayenne pepper. Throw in a few chunks of crystallized ginger (I had no fresh, but fresh ginger root would be even better!) – because, why not. At this point, it can’t get any worse.

photo 4Result: Much better. Aaaaah, smoothie nirvana achieved. πŸ˜€

photo 5

Lucky for us, dark chocolate cocoa powder, cayenne and ginger are a fantastic combo. And, if enough is added, they completely and utterly negate any sh*tty vegan protein powder aftertaste. Praise the powers that be!

So, life lesson of the day. Do not give up on your sh*tty smoothie. Fight to the bitter end.

photo

Top that puppy with some cinnamon and call it a day. Operation Smoothie Saving = success! πŸ˜€ After all the additions, this smoothie ended up being MAJ.

With that, it’s ALMOST Friday! Wooohooo! I hope you all are smiling today. ❀

xoxox

L

PS: Mom, I know I’m killing you with all the swears right now, but I can’t help it. Blame Dad. πŸ˜›