Must Have Mango Green Smoothie Bowl

Every wonder what is in the bright green smoothie bowl that just loves to pop on my Instagram every few weeks. My mango green smoothie bowl is one of my favorite morning pick-me-ups and a great way to start the day feeling fantastic. I love starting the morning with a serving of fruits, vegetables, and healthy fat already under my belt. It almost takes a little pressure off for the rest of the day (not that I don’t try to get in fruits and veg the rest of the day… I just feel a little more confident in meeting the 5-a-day recommendations!). In my eyes, you can never have enough green in your life 🙂

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My mango green smoothie is super easy and super fast to whip up and enjoy. My toppings of choice typically are:

  • sliced bananas
  • whole or slivered almonds
  • chia seeds
  • frozen berries such as blueberries or raspberries
  • a little high-protein granola

I usually stick with 3 or 4 toppings unless I am feeling super creative (or a little extra hungry!). For the smoothie, you will need:

  • 1/2 banana, frozen or unfrozen
  • 1/4 of a medium avocado
  • 2 large handfuls of fresh spinach
  • ~ 1-1.5 cups frozen mango chunks
  • ~1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Place all of your ingredients into a a good blender (I use a Ninja) and blend until smooth. Make sure you stop after a few seconds and scrape down the sides to assure all little bits of spinach break apart and blend.

*Tip — Always add your liquid first so it is in the very bottom of your blender. It help the blending process quicken and gives you a smoother consistency faster!

Once your smoothie is blended without lumps or chunks, place into a large bowl and add the toppings of your choice. I always like a little crunch on my smoothie bowls! Enjoy and keep being creative in the kitchen!

 


Focus on Feeling Fantastic…

Happy November 1st everyone! November is a busy month, and now even more busy that I have additional family! Today is actually my dad’s birthday, tomorrow is my husbands, mine comes around next Friday (the 6th… for those of you wanting to send some warm wishes my way!), and my mom finishes up the start of November with her birthday on the 13th. Actually, I shouldn’t say finish, because we also have other family members with November birthdays as well… talk about a month of celebrating!

I thought I’s start out this month with some positive thinking and putting the whole concept of “healthy eating” into perspective.

I hear it on a weekly basis… “Eating healthy is boring; I want to actually enjoy my food; Vegetables don’t have any flavor; I’m just not a fruit and vegetable person.” The list could actually go on much further, but I don’t want to waste a positive post with negative thoughts. The reason I point out these comments is because people tend to lose sight of why we should eat healthy in the first place. No, I don’t wake up every morning and think “Now how am I going to get in my vegetable servings today?” or  “I wonder how many artificial flavorings or colors are in this cereal….maybe I shouldn’t eat it.” I enjoy a greasy chicken wing or a big old scoop of full-fat ice cream just as much as the next person, but with my focus being “I want to feel the best I can each day,” the chicken wings and the ice cream tend to take a back seat more often than become the driver of my meals.

Focus on feeling fantastic.

Try this. One day, eat the way you know you should, and by that I simply mean: 1. Eat a fruit or a vegetable with each meal, heck… why not have both? 2. Drink mainly water. 3 Cook your own food; use as little processed food as necessary. 4. If it comes from the ground, give it a try! 5. Choose lean protein and maintain variety. See how you feel at the end of the day. My bet would be you feel: energized; awake; light but strong; happy.

The next day, go ahead and eat what you feel “tastes good” or what you desire the most. Whether that be a big old burger, a pizza from your favorite mom and pop shop, a bowl of chips and dip during the big game, or a soda to wash down your meal. Do the same observation at the end of the day. If all goes as it should, you should feel a difference and not a great one.

When we focus on feeling fantastic, the desire to eat foods that don’t contribute to this feeling lesson. Why taint a good mood, a good feeling, or the energy to do what you need to do with your best effort? It just doesn’t seem worth it. Fruits and vegetables provide antioxidants, phytonutrients, fiber, and so much more that is like liquid gold to your body. Pair your plant-based food choices with lean, organic, or minimally processed protein choices and you’ve given your body a map to success.

Focus on feeling fantastic and focus on being your best you! That is healthy living.


Stretching a buck… How to shop smart & keep your healthy lifestyle!

With healthy eating becoming a new and exciting trend, more and more popular health food stores and markets seem to be popping up every couple of blocks. It doesn’t take much to find a spot where you can get local produce or a wide selections of fruits, veggies, and organic products. Maybe you’re really in to buying organic or maybe you just want really, really fresh and tasteful produce. Whatever your motive may be for shopping “healthy”, I’m sure there was a time or two when you’ve walked out of a market or grocery store thinking “how in the world did I spend that much money?!”

Grocery stores do a great job of making you think that they are giving you a great deal on “local” or “organic” produce. Pay a little more attention the next time you browse through the isles of your favorite health food/grocery store and really crunch some numbers in your brain.

“Apples, $0.69 each!”

“Almonds for $3.99.”

“Medium sized bag of chia seeds, only $6.99!”

Now go back and think about that…

Apples for $0.69, sounds great right? Let’s say 5 apples=1lb. Actually, in reality 5 apples is probably closer to 1.5/2 lbs, but we will stay with 1. That means you are paying $3.45 for 5 apples… that doesn’t seem as great when you can get 1lb of grapes for the same price right? How about the chia seeds? A little over-priced as well. Yes they are good for you, but you will use what…. a Tbsp/day max? Why are you paying $6.99 for something that you will barely use?

There was a period of time when I was spending a ridiculous amount of money on groceries. I remember walking out of a grocery store having spent $75 and only had 3 bags in my hand (mind you this was when I was vegetarian as well, so that does not include meat). It was then that I realized I needed to become a little smarter about spending and how I was shopping. Today, I’m going to share with you a few tips for shopping healthy on a budget. Now I spend anywhere from $25-35 dollars each visit to the grocery store, and yes… that does last me over a week AND includes a few chicken breasts here and there. Try using some of these tips and see if it help you shrink your spending instead of shrinking your wallet…happy shopping!

1. Look for a bulk-foods section. Often times you can find a bulk foods section in a grocery store, especially those that are marketed to sell local, fresh, or organic products such as Whole Foods, Sprouts, and even Kroger or Fry’s. This is where I purchase things like chia seeds, almonds or other nuts, and even sometimes trail mixes or specialty granola. Nuts, such as almonds, commonly run from $3.99-$5.99/lb. I typically never get a full pound, I get what looks right to me and what I think will last me about 1 month. When you compare this to that miniature can of almonds for $3.99, you will be shocked at just how much money you were wasting for very little product. This is also a great spot to get sugar, flour, nut butters, etc.

2. Freeze, freeze, freeze and take advantage of a current sale. No, this doesn’t work for everything but it can make a big difference when you do it right! I mainly use this concept with fresh fruit. When fruits like blueberries, strawberries, pineapple, etc. go on sale for “$0.88/pkg” I am all over them. I grab about 3-4 packs, take them home, wash them and cut them if I need to, then put them in a tightly sealed baggie or container and pop them in the freezer. A bag of frozen fruit can cost you anywhere from $2.99-$6.99 depending on the fruit. Make your own and save yourself some dollars!

I also use this concept with bread, bagels, tortillas, or other grain products as well!

3. Feel your fruit and veg. Sounds a little strange I know, but don’t get in the habit of just popping a few cucumbers into a bag or grabbing a bag of apples without feeling it first! If something has even a little bit of give, it will go bad within 3-4 days tops. Don’t waste your dollars just by being lazy! Look for firm skins, bright colors, and few brown spots or bruises to get the longest life out of your produce.

4. Don’t waste your time buying organic if it isn’t necessary. Yes, we’ve all heard of the “dirty dozen” and the “clean 13”. Well those lists were made for a reason! Buying organic just to buy organic isn’t going to help you become a healthier person, it is just going to burn a hole in your pocket that will have little to no repayment health wise. Why do you need an organic pretzel? I can answer that easily for you… you don’t!!

5. Look for the store brand. Most stores that are know for being “healthy” or “fresh” have a store brand. For example, Whole Foods has 365, Trader Joe’s has a store brand, Sprouts has a store brand, Kroger or Fry’s has Simple Truth. Look for store brands when buying packaged, bagged, or caned foods such as cereals, crackers, breads, pastas, dressings, etc. The store brand will usually save you at least $2 vs the other big name competitors.

6. Last but not least and probably my most important tip… eat something before you go shopping! If you don’t believe me on this one, test it out one time. Typically a hungry mind buys more and buys things that are unnecessary or uncommon to their usual grocery list. Don’t allow the tummy to shop for you!