Smoothie love (infographic)

Hey Family!

Awhile back, I spoke about the love I have for smoothies, specifically green smoothies. I have one or two almost daily packed with spinach or kale, a banana, almond milk, and super foods like cacao, coconut oil, chia, flax and hemp seeds.

I usually supplement my healthy-ish meals (hey, sometimes you need a little cake!) with my smoothie and other times, I take it with me as I run errands or in between church services. It fills for a bit and keep me out of fast food land. This infographic, courtesy of superskinnyme.com, gives you a great idea on different types of smoothies and their effect on your body. Take a look and let me know if you have questions!

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Goin’ green

Hey family!

While everyday should be one for love, I know February is the official love month (well at least it up until the 14th). In honor of the occasion, I’d like to share some of the very things I love.

Some of you know, while I do like my goodies, since I am over 19 now, I do try to eat healthy meals 80% (or better) of the time. This has two benefits: I can eat and enjoy other things (in moderation) when I go out, on holidays, birthdays, etc. Also, and moreover, once you start eating better, you really do not desire the junk as much. I did not think I’d see the day when I could not wait to get home to my spinach. Yep, I said spinach–it’s a favorite! Let me tell you one way I enjoy this versatile green.

A cup of spinach in every sip!
A cup of spinach in every sip!
I am a huge fruit smoothie fan, but just got brave enough to try a “green” smoothie thanks to simplegreensmoothies.com. They had a 30-day green smoothie challenge last month I was too chicken to try, but I decided to take the plunge a few days ago and have had two smoothies almost every day. The site has some good tips, testimonials and even an ebook with smoothie recipes for $5 (for the time being). Investing the few dollars in the book will ensure your smoothies will taste good and you’ll want to drink it. What’s that? Do you taste the spinach? Not a bit–the fruit in the smoothie masks the greens taste! And you don’t need a second mortgage to get started.

Fruit: Fresh or frozen (organic, if possible) your choice

Greens: (organic, if possible) spinach, kale or romaine lettuce and uncooked, of course.

Liquids: almond, soy, rice or cow’s milk, water (filtered or boiled and cooled) or coconut water.

Blender: I use a Hamilton Beach I purchased from Kmart for $20 or so.

On average, it’s a 60/40 ratio of fruit to veggies. Since the green smoothies are packed with fiber and nutrients, you are full for a couple of hours. These make a great snack when you have to be in the car for awhile or you’re running errands. I will eventually move past the spinach and try the other greens, but I believe in a slow hurry sometimes (that’s code for fraidy-cat). 🙀

Bottom line: Trust me, I am a Red Velvet Cake head. If I can do a green smoothie and love it, anyone can! Try it out and let me know how you like it!

Love,

Blen

2 Forks -Part Deux

Hey family,

I received some FANTASTIC feedback on my “2 Forks” segment—thank you! I have another installment that may give you some more health food ideas. Yes, the fried chicken and smothered pork chops are good, we just can’t eat like that all the time. Try these on for size! As previously mentioned, I shopped at Trader Joe’s for many of their brand items. Similar healthy foods from other manufacturers like Kashi can be found at the health food section of your local market.

Breakfast
–I haven’t done frozen breakfast foods since my now-grown daughter was little. Since a loaf of bread would likely wither from lack of attention in my house, I decided to try Trader Joe’s French Toast.

French Toast and eggs...sound good, huh?

This all-natural wheat French toast goes from freezer to toaster to plate in minutes. Drizzle a little agave nectar, and if you want, scramble an egg and top with salsa for a filling and nutritious start to the day!

~This one I haven’t tried, but a wonderful older woman from my church says she sautées yellow squash and zucchini together in a bit of canola oil,and scrambles and egg to go with the veggies–that keeps her going. Sister Rita says that vitamin “punch” first thing in the morning does your body good! I can see it in her face–she has pretty skin, clear eyes and a fantastic smile. Y’all know I bought those veggies, right? LOL!

Grilled Portobello Mushroom and friends

Lunch/Dinner–As promised, I grilled Portabella (or Portobello) mushrooms and LOVED them! After I washing them, I doused them with my garlic olive oil and a little sea salt and threw them on a hot George Foreman grill for about 10 minutes or so. The chewy texture reminds you of meat, so it’s as tasty as it is satisfying. Optimally if you can soak the mushrooms in your oil and seasoning choice for hour, you’ll get more flavor. I just did about 2 minutes… I was ready to eat! Lolol! With my trusty asparagus and baked fries (oh, man–baked fries drizzled with garlic olive oil–SO good! Can you tell I LOVE that stuff)?

I branched out and tried Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah), this week as well. According to an article on Buzzle.com: 


Quinoa (
pronounced Qin-wah) is always thought as a type of grain. The truth is contrary to this general belief, as quinoa is not a grain but seeds of a leafy plant related to spinach! It is considered to be a pseudocereal or pseudograin. This means it is not a true grain or true cereal. Quinoa is an organic food grown in the Andes mountains of Ecuador. It is a small, round, yellow grain, that can be cooked in under 12 minutes. It has a very crunchy, light, fluffy texture with a slight nutty flavor after cooking. It was known as ‘the gold of the Incas’ as they had discovered one of the important quinoa nutrition facts. This fact helped them learn that consumption of this grain-like seed, increased the stamina of their warriors. They called it ‘chisaya mama’ that is, “mother of all grains...'”

WOW! These impressive little seeds boast helps with diabetes, weight loss, migraines and relaxing blood vessels. So I cooked it like rice.. 1 cup Quinoa to 2 cups veggie broth in my rice steamer. I liked it–I need to up my flavor game, though. I liked it better topped with veggies or beans, so I’ll be sure to add more herbs and spices to the next Quinoa batch. It is a keeper!

Snacks- Y’all know I love my snacks! Trader Joe’s has a cereal bar called “A Blueberry Walked Into A Bar” (cute, huh)? Chock full of blueberry goodness and selenium, this bar makes a fantastic in between snack or quick breakfast.

Snack time! Baked Pita Chips, guac & salsa...mmm!

I bought TJ’s Pita Bites and Triscuits crackers for my snack cravings! The tasty baked wheat squares are a great source of my favorite–FIBER!! I also bought a container of guacamole to accompany my crackers. Avocado/guacamole has so much nutrition, “good” fat, and flavor, it’s a tasty way to get healthy. Sometimes, I add some salsa for a little kick and extra vitamin C.


Dessert
–I bought some Silk brand Coconut Milk (next to the refrigerated Almond Milk), frozen organic berries (blueberry, blackberry and strawberry medley) and bananas. I put a glass of milk in the freezer till after dinner and then poured the really cold milk, a handful of frozen berries, added a banana and a little agave nectar in the blender for a few pulses. After a sip, I was instantly hooked!

Yea-ya...Fruit smoothies ROCKS!

I have one almost every day.  Warning: Coconut milk is a little high in fat, it’s supposed to be “good” fat and if you are eating well most of the time, you should be all right drinking it. I will likely reserve it for when I want a treat, using Almond or Hemp milk   (yep, I said Hemp Milk) as a smoothie base. This is a great snack or breakfast as well.

Well folks, that’s it for this 2 Forks segment. Stay tuned to see what’s cookin’ in Blenblogs kitchen!

Thanks for reading and God bless you!

Blen