Dominate your Monday

Chances are your alarm went off this morning and a few things came into your head.

  1. S*** it’s Monday and I can’t sleep in
  2. Traffic is going to be brutal
  3. I’m really tired can I just lay here for a while?

Those are just a few samplings I have heard and experienced. Feel free to add you own. Then you can re-create from the sounds of it, a “beautiful and empowering morning!” (I am still getting used to this blog thing. So that was sarcasm if I didn’t lay it our clearly. 🙂

This isn’t going to be a rah rah rah you’re the best and Monday’s are awesome speech. Even though I am capable of delivering it. If you need one let me know!

It’s about using the tools you already have to alter your mind set and create greatness whenever your mind or body want to create doubt. We can bathe in self-depreciation and doubt all day because it is easy. What are you left with at the end of the day? A feeling of exhaustion, less self worth, and an overall bad attitude?

Make small changes to your mindset and self talk to create an unstoppable you. Instead of casting doubt on your talents, abilities and how terrible your week will be. Start your day with a positive affirmation and smile. You will be surprised how much different you will FEEL. The way you FEEL will dictate your day and the best part is. YOU can CONTROL how you FEEL!

Don’t believe me? Try one or all five of the following things when you wake up feeling crummy, stuck in traffic, just got into an argument, etc, you get the idea.

  1. Smile (It’s really that easy)
  2. Say OUT LOUD 3 things you are thankful for in your life. Insert them into the following sentence “I am so happy and thankful for…..”
  3. Put on your favorite good mood song and sing along to the whole thing!
  4. Think about what makes you happy everyday (children, spouse, pet, your car) Say out loud “Driving in my awesome 2004 Sebring makes me feel like a total badass”
  5. Find a quite spot and breathe easy for 5 minutes. Each inhale focus on your breath. Each exhale smile

Life is about feeling. You can change yours in one minute or one second. Remember, you can only truly control you and your thoughts. So why not take those thoughts and make them positive? Make them life altering. Give your thoughts power to make you feel amazing and unstoppable! We are all full of greatness, don’t be afraid to dig deep and find yours.

For the betterment of you and everyone in your life….Dominate your DAY!!

Make it the best day!

-K

(I do realize I used some all caps words up there. Normally I stray away from that. However, those words are important and I would yell them at you if we sitting in the same room 🙂

A Simple Experiment

A few days ago, I made a decision. Yes…I made a decision!!!

I thought it was time to start listening to more podcasts and see what all of the fuss was about. Driving over 80 miles a day gives you a chance for some self reflection and personal growth. In my new found desire to be on the podcast train I came across the entrepreneurs section. There were a lot of choices. I went with one featuring Seth Godin.  the podcast was insightful, pleasant and motivating.

Halfway through the interview he said everyone should write a blog for 365 days and see what happens.

I thought about that for a second and then two, three and four seconds.

everyone should write a blog for 365 days and see what happens…

everyone should write a blog for 365 days and see what happens…

everyone should write a blog for 365 days and see what happens…

everyone should write a blog for 365 days and see what happens…

Seth’s reasoning was it will challenge you, drive you, and when you look back there will be a lot of information to look on for growth and knowledge.

Most likely not every post will be New York Times worthy. Nor will it be perfectly punctuated. There are few things I can promise this blog will do.

  1. Utilize the full capabilities of the Performance Movement brand
  2. Encompass not only personal fitness thoughts, but marketing ideas, struggles, achievements, and positive affirmations
  3. I hope it will motivate the reader to pick up some new habits and do something that is challenging in their own realm
  4. Look at everyday as a blessing and ask yourself “How can I make this the best day I have ever lived?”
  5. Finally, have fun. The topics I write about will be all over the board. The thoughts might not always flow so congruently but it will be fun. IT WILL BE FUN!!

Please subscribe and follow along. Every day might not be Aristotle, Seth Godin or Steve Jobs type gems, but if you can pull something small out of it. Then this little experiment will have been well worth it.

Make it the best day!

-K

 

It’s fall, let’s get cooking!

After a brief hiatus we are back! Given the fact that the weather and the leaves are changing, now is great time for a fall recipe.  This is one of my favorites for those colder days and it won’t hurt your waistline.

The list of ingredients looks long but don’t let that scare you off, it is pretty simple. This dish is essentially a two pan wonder. Squash is just about to be in season so you should be able to find some for pretty cheap at your local store. For the sausage you can use any kind you would like, pork, chicken, etc.

Ghost curry powder is a new specialty curry powder and it is pretty hot. You can sub this out for your favorite curry and still have a great meal. I would tend to stay away from a green curry as it won’t pair too well with the apples. Now let’s get cooking!!

Finished Product

Squash & Sausage Ghost Curry

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium Butternut or Acorn squash (around 2 lbs.)
  • 6 to 8 Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 lb. mild Italian sausage, ground
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 1 tsp. fresh minced ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. dehydrated minced garlic
  • 3 Tbsp. or up to 5 Tbsp. Ghost Curry Powder
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, cored and small diced
  • 1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • ½ lime, freshly squeezed
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint leaves

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut squash in half, remove seeds, brush flesh side lightly with 1 Tbsp. oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place flesh-side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 30 to 45 min. until just tender and easily pierced with a knife. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet (cast iron works great) or Dutch oven. Add onions, ginger and garlic, and cook for 5 min. until soft.

In a small bowl, mix an equal amount (3 to 5 Tbsp. depending on desired heat level) of Ghost Curry Powder, vegetable oil and water together to make a paste. Stir curry paste into onions, then add apples, broth, cider and coconut milk and bring to a medium simmer.

Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a separate skillet, add sausage and cook until browned.

Meanwhile, peel skin from cooled squash and cube into ½- to 1-inch pieces. Stir sausage and squash into curry, bring to a simmer and cook for 5 to 10 more min. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice. Top with fresh mint before serving.

Time saving note: make the squash ahead of time and cube it, so that you can add it quickly to your dish when the time comes. 

You can serve this on top of wild rice or quinoa if you would like. If you use ghost curry using one of these two options would help cut the heat as well!

This meal cooks up quick (after you bake the squash) and tastes great right away. However, for an extra little treat the leftovers provide great flavor. As the curry sits over night it just gets tastier. So make sure you make some extra!

There will be plenty more fall dishes and fitness tips and tricks as we move forward into winter. Stay tuned and thanks for reading!

Bored of your routine? Change it up!

Change is a good thing!

Chances are if you have been working out for an extended period of time you have gotten stuck in some sort of rut. It happens to all of us. You get comfortable with the same movements and weights that you do each week and thus lose the progression factor of your program.

It is important to make changes every four to six weeks and if you are an advanced lifter then it might even be every three to four weeks. We are not saying that you need to change your routine every time you get into the gym. Performing the same routine for a month is beneficial because your body learns the movement and you will most likely see and increase in weight that you can lift. However, it is important to challenge yourself every time you hit the gym.

If there is one thing I see often from clients who I train once a week, it is the fact that they don’t challenge themselves on the weight when they lift on their own. If your goal is 10 repetitions for three sets and you have done 10 reps for all three sets during your workout (the reps were all clean with no struggling) then it is time to move the weight up. That doesn’t mean jumping 5 or 10 pounds. It could just be a 2.5 lb increase. The important thing here is progression! Even little improvements in weight will lead to results throughout the year. That is the goal if you are a regular gym goer. It will not be to have large jumps each session but incremental increases throughout the year. Those will add up to big gains from day one to day 365.

How to know when to progress?

A general rule for progression is listed above. Once you hit all reps for your prescribed sets with good form you should increase the weight. It is ok if you increase the weight on say your dumbbell chest press and then for 2 weeks you can’t hit every rep clean, so the weight stays the same. Remember progression is NOT linear.  You might increase in other movements but some might stay stagnant. That might require a little program tweaking to get you over that hump, but you will not increase in every movement, every week, for the entire year.  Don’t get discouraged it is normal.

When doing a set when you get to your last rep you should be fatigued. If your goal is 10 reps and you get 10 and think you had 3 more reps in you with good form. Then the weight should be increased. If you stop and know you have more reps you are not challenging the muscle fibers enough and you will not achieve the progressions you seek. When you do your workout, come prepared to work! Challenge yourself and you will very happy with your results.

How many reps and sets should I be doing?

I get this questions very often. The simple answer is, it is different for everyone depending on your desired outcome. The one thing I see often is 3 sets 10 -12 reps. If you choose this path or any path make sure you vary the reps every four to six weeks. Many times people will do 10-12 or 10-15 reps for months on end. Your body has adapted and you need to challenge a different energy system to see more progression. My personal favorite is take clients from that program to a program of 4 sets 5-8 reps. This changes the intensity and volume of the program greatly since you will be lifting heavier weights for shorter periods of time. Don’t be scared of heavy weights!! You will not turn into Arnold or Hans and Franz from Saturday Night Live.

Lifting heavier weights will challenge your creatine phosphate energy system (short term strength system). That means lifting heavier for shorter bouts, which will result in getting stronger and making your muscle more ‘solid’. In short there is no perfect sets and reps for everyone. Consult a fitness professional is you need help getting started and they will point you in the right direction. Once you have done that, change your routine by varying the reps and sets. Make sure you lift heavy for certain periods of time, then decrease the weight and hit higher reps then back down again! Make it fun and keep challenging the different energy systems your body uses for exercise.

What are some variations I can do for my current exercises?

It can be tough to think of new movements once you are in a routine. To help you out with that I have listed a common movement and some alternatives to it that will challenge different muscle groups! Feel free to substitute these movements into your routine, just remember to start light and progress up from there!

Bench Press:

Incline dumbbell chest press

Flat dumbbell chest press

Single are flat or incline chest press

Lat Pull-down:

Seated row with a wide grip

Seated row with a narrow grip

Palms toward you lat pull-down

Single Arm lat pull down (use one handle, and one arm at a time)

Pull-ups! Assisted or bodyweight.

Leg Press Machine:

Walking Lunges

Step ups on to a bench with weights in your hands (the higher the bench the harder it will be)

Split Squats with weights in your hands

Pushups:

Weight your pushups with a weight on your back

Change your hand position (wide, narrow, offset)

Spiderman Pushups

Those are just a few suggestions for a few movements that are most commonly seen in the gym. There are of course countless variations of movements and ideas out there! Remember to change up your routine and try not to get stuck in a rut.

Little changes lead to the biggest results!

Be creative and if you are looking for something in particular, don’t hesitate to contact us!

Thank you for reading this week, it’s time to throw a curveball into your routine. Go ahead and try something new!

The Best Things To Do Before You Exercise

If you have a trainer that you meet with regularly or not so regularly you know it is important to get the most out of your time and money that you have invested. All too often clients come in unprepared to get the most of our their session. It essentially turns into wasted time for the client and the trainer.

It can be a myriad of factors some out of your control and some within your control that lead to not being 100% for the session. Today we are going to look at a few things that are crucial to getting the most our of your training. These will be tips to best prepare your body and also how to get the most out of your trainer when you are training.

These tips also apply to your workouts with friends or your own personal workout. It is important to be properly fueled and prepared every time you exercise.

Come to your session prepared, mentally and physically.

Sleep – It is always important to get a good nights sleep. I know it can be tough with things out of your control. However, if you shoot for six to eight hours your body will be rested and ready to take on the challenge of your workout.

Ideally the following hydration and food recommendations would occur up to two hours before your planned exercise session.

Hydrate – Drink water before your session and take sips about every 15 minutes while you are exercising. This is easier if you workout in the afternoon or evening. If you workout really early in the morning (Good for you!) try drinking a full glass of water once you wake up.

Drink the water...drink the water
Drink the water…drink the water

Proper Food – You can eat some healthy carbohydrates here. The following are some good options that are on the lighter side, low-fat or fat free greek or regular yogurt, oats, banana (add a little peanut or almond butter to it), a piece of whole grain bread with lunch meat.

If you only have a 5 – 10 minutes to eat something go with an apple or banana. Those fast digestions carbohydrates will help fuel your workout.

Foods to Avoid – You want to avoid foods with fats and also foods with too much protein. These foods take longer to digest and may make your stomach uncomfortable during intense exercise. Once you start exercising with a high intensity your blood flow goes to your muscles that are working. Thus, leaving the high fat food just sitting in your stomach like a rock. There is reduced blood flow to the stomach to break down this food while you workout.

Warmup – Get a warmup in before your session starts. They are important to making sure your body is ready to handle the demands you are about to place on it. If your trainer has you do specific movements to get ready, do those before you meet. This will save 5 minutes at the beginning of the session and you can be ready to jump right into the workout for the day! The warmup should get your heart rate up and maybe even have you sweating a little bit. It can be anything from walking up an incline, riding a stationary bike or running at a moderate pace.

Take advantage of every second with your trainer by getting this out of the way before your designated time slot!

Things to do during your workout.

Hydrate – As mentioned earlier it is important to stay hydrated! I recommend my clients take a small sip of water every 15 minutes.  With this time table they stay hydrated but don’t drink so much water at once that they feel like there is an ocean in their stomach. We have all been there and that is not good when you are on your last ab set!

Ask Questions! – I encourage all my clients to ask questions about certain movements or as to why we are doing things in a certain order. If you have a trainer and you ask questions and they don’t know the answer……change trainers! You are paying for the session so use us as a knowledge base. Did your friend show you a great ab exercise and you want to know if it is effective? Ask! We are in this business to help educate you and help you along your fitness journey. Bring questions of all types and pepper some into your workout.

Stay Focused – It can be very easy to get sidetracked and begin talking about your weekend plans for 5 minutes. We have all done it and sometimes it just happens. However, try to keep that conversation as succinct as possible during your breaks. We program a lot of your workouts based on rest intervals so it is crucial you stay as close to those as possible to achieve your results.

HAVE FUN!!!

Sparkle Shirt Optional
Sparkle Shirt Optional

Exercise is about feeling good and having fun. So meet up with your trainer or your friend or get in by yourself. Whichever method you choose, enjoy it! It is the hour of the day you get to focus all on yourself! Take advantage of the time to yourself and get healthy at the same time!

Fuel up and take on your workout!

Find Your Routine

Sustainable food, why not sustainable exercise?

How regular is your fitness routine? Do you find yourself going 1, 2 or 3 months to the gym then falling off? Things get too busy, weather changes, travel is too much, kids? The list is endless. 

There has to be a way to have an exercise program that you can fit in when you are on the go or you just don’t have access to equipment. Good news, there is and it is not as difficult as you may think!

The key to staying active and healthy when life gets hectic is to find small pockets of the day where you can fit movement in. The key word here is movement. It doesn’t have to be exercise in the way that everyone thinks. If you can get your body moving for as little as 30 minutes a day you will see feel the changes.

How do I fit in 30 minutes is a question I get a lot during the day. If you are really strapped for time you can break it up into 10 minute segments that will total your 30 minutes.  For the best results you need the three 10 minute segments to be at an equally high intensity. You have to get your heart rate elevated enough to give you benefit (over 65% of your heart rate max).

The following are some simple ideas to get in more movement without going outside of your daily routine too much. These are lower intensity movements that can be applied in addition to the 30 minutes of higher intensity movement.

If you drive to work, park farther away in the lot. I know people say this a lot but trust me it makes a difference!

Walk to lunch if it is under a mile away and there is a sidewalk or nice walking path available. Not only will it get the blood flowing before lunch. It will aid in digestion after you eat. I don’t think anything is more pleasant than a nice post lunch walk! 

If you have a choice between and escalator and stairs and you’re only going up a couple flights, take the stairs. This is another example of the little changes in your routine make a big impact.

Oh those stairs look good.
Oh those stairs look good.

MAKE TIME!!

Your health is one of the most important things that you are in DIRECT control of. Use that to your advantage. Be selfish here, think of yourself first. Schedule time before work, at lunch or after work. If it is only 30 minutes it will still have a positive impact. During these 30 minutes is when you want to crank up that intensity. You’re going to sweat here so get a towel!

– Interval Sprints (Look at our Dynamic Duo post and you can do that by yourself)

– A six exercise circuit. Pick six full body exercises and do them without a break for 15 repetitions and repeat 3 times.  After you complete the circuit rest for two minutes.

For example here is quick routine.

1. Pushups

2. Bent Over Row

3. Squat to Overhead press

4. Walking lunges

5. Jumping Jacks (30 seconds)

6. Step up with Bicep curls

Use tools to help you achieve your goals.

There are a bunch of great apps out there (Map My Run, Strava, My Fitness Pal) and also fitness tracking gadgets (Fitbit, Jawbone, Old Fashioned Pedometer).  The more accountability you have the more likely you are to see achieve your daily goal. You can set a step goal for the day and try to reach it by the evening. In my experience if you are 700 steps short and it is a nice summer night, you will go for a walk to get those last 700 steps. Instead of sitting on the couch because the work day has wiped you out. It is that feeling of accomplishment that will keep you on track everyday.

All of these apps have the ability for you to connect with friends.  Even if you do not have a trainer to see everyday you have a friend or family member to keep up with. If you are having trouble sticking to your routine challenge a friend! It will keep you both going strong and give you both something fun do during the week.

Accountability can go a long way in creating habit.

Now that you have been armed with easy to use information, get up and use it! Walk to the water cooler, do a few laps up the stairs, or just go walk to lunch!

 

Pump Up Your Playlist

We can almost all agree, the music we choose sets the tone for our workout. A recent study showed that participants who got to listen to music of their choice performed better in their workouts. Over the group who either listened to no music or the group who listened to music they didn’t like.

In essence we need our music or genre to drive our success in the gym on most days!

So below is a list of songs you may or may not have heard of. I have sorted them by genre to make it a little easier to choose what you might like. That way you don’t have to plug and play all of them to find out what kind of jam it is!

I hope you enjoy these songs and perhaps you will find two, three, or ten songs to add to your playlist! I have tried to pick songs you might not already be rocking out to.

Rock:

Adelitas Way – Invincible

Anberlin – Self-Starter

Anberlin – Someone Anyone

Arctic Monkeys – R U Mine?

Beware Of Darkness – Howl

Greek Fire – Down in Mexico

The Raconteurs – Salute Your Solution

West Water Outlaws – Caught in the Headlights

Wolfmother – Woman

Wolfmother – Joker and the Theif

Hip Hop:

Eminem – The Monster

Fort Minor – Remember The Name

Kanye West – POWER

Lupe Fiasco – Around My Way [Freedom Ain’t Free]

Travis Barker ft. Pharrell and Lupe Fiasco – If You Want To

X-Ambassadors – Jungle  – (Personal favorite, 2014 World Cup Song)

Dance/Electronic:

Kaskade ft Neon Trees – Lessons in Love

Pendulum – Crush

Pretty Lights – I Know The Truth

Ratatat- Loud Pipes

Sleigh Bells – Comeback Kid

Swedish House Mafia – One

Best Song to Run to:

Woodkid – Run Boy Run (Instrumental)

Those are some of the tracks that I have been recently turning up to 11. Whatever song gets you going is the best one for the day. So hit the play button and turn it up.

What songs get you motivated? What genre drives your workouts?

 

 

 

Finish The Week Strong

It’s only Thursday?

Does this feel like you today?
Does this feel like you today?
You feel like you want to sleep until the weekend? Do you want to walk back and forth to the copier while staring at the floor both directions? Or will you just post to Facebook about how it’s only Thursday and this week sucks?

There are a lot of options here. How about one that hasn’t been mentioned.

Turn it around!!

The worst feeling in the world is not getting enough sleep and knowing you have a 10 hour day laid out in front of you. You are tired, cranky, and feel worse then this guy.

Don't be this guy.
Don’t be this guy.

So here is a list of surefire ways to turn your day around, and since I like things to be organized it’s an easy to follow list!

1. Smile. Even if it just to yourself at your desk, while you stare at the wall.

2. Say good morning to people. This goes a long way to losing those grumpy pants. Most people will smile in return thus getting us back to step one!

3. Listen to your favorite song song. Optional extra credit is to sing or dance along. It will get those feel good endorphins going and put you on the path to mood boosting.

C2C – Happy

4. Send a random and weird picture to one of your best friends.  The response will be priceless. Most of the time.

Bat-cat?
Bat-cat?

5.  Stand out in the sun for five minuets. This is a great one to pair with number three. SUNSHINE boosts levels of serotonin – the body’s natural happy hormone. That’s why we tend to feel happier and more energetic when the sun shines.

6. Say “Thank You” to someone who holds the door for you or does anything that was a pleasant surprise. Most likely a smile will follow and using manners is always wonderful.

7 “When you can’t change the direction of the wind, adjust your sails”

– H. Jackson Brown Jr.

I love this quote. It gives you the power to make your day better even if what put you in a crummy mood is out of your control.

8. Find something that smells good. Then smell it! Things like lemon, fresh fruit, just mowed grass, or basil.  Anything fresh and bright will do. It will wake up your brain and bring a smile to your face.

9. Eat some of the following foods. They have been shown to beat stress and a grumpy mood. Eggs, dark leafy greens like kale, pumpkin seeds, fish rich in omega 3 such as salmon, flaxseed, and dark chocolate.

10. Stuck at your desk or you can’t seem to do any of the above. Watch this Video (you’re going to need four minutes) or tune into your favorite funny video.

11. Workout! It will increase your blood flow and give you more energy to make it through these last few days of the week.

Whatever method you choose, whether it’s from the list or not OWN IT! Make it turn your day around. Have it empower you to smile and make other peoples’ days that much better. Instead of being the office grump be a day maker.

Use your powerful energy to make the most out of any situation. With just a few simple tricks you can turn that frown upside down. Sorry I had to put that in here somewhere.

Foil Grilled Greatness

Today we have a quick and easy recipe that will spice up any dish you choose to make along with it. It is easy and there can be as many subtractions or additions as you want. This makes a great supplement to any summer BBQ or mid week meal since it is so easy to make. This healthy side dish will make you want to experiment with foil packets every time you fire up the grill!

Main Ingredients:

4 Plums quartered

1 Large peach quartered

1 Small red onion (cut into half moons)

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar

Dash of fresh pepper and salt

Handful of fresh thyme or basil (I used basil for the packet that is pictured)

All the ingredients mixed together before they enter the foil packet.
All the ingredients mixed together before they enter the foil packet.

After you have mixed all the ingredients, make a foil pouch. I had to use two big sheets to fit all the ingredients. The grill heat should be medium, if you hold your hand over the coals it should be able to be there for about 3 – 4 seconds before becoming too hot. Cover and let grill for about 10 -15 minutes.

Patience please, goodness happening inside.
Patience please, goodness happening inside.

Once it is done, be careful taking it off the grill for it will be hot! You can open up the packet to let it cool for a short time before serving. Feel free to tear a few pieces of fresh basil or thyme to top it all off.

Finished product topped with fresh basil.
Finished product topped with fresh basil.

It can be served by itself or along side a protein or main dish to supply a great flavor punch and freshness to any meal!

Served with a steak for a light side dish.
Served with a steak for a light side dish.

Serve it up warm and enjoy!

Not Your Average Smoothie

My go to Smoothie Starters
My go to Smoothie Starters

It can be tough to have a good breakfast in the morning or even a snack throughout the day. You have to factor in time restraints and portability issues (Looking at you bowl of cereal.) Given all of that, there are still ways to make healthy options available to you and have them prepared quickly.

Let’s look at the smoothie. Grabbed from any smoothie emporium they can be loaded with sugar and calories that you didn’t expect. However, making them one your own will let you control the ingredients, save you money and also save you time.

Step 1: Ingredients

The best part here is you can throw anything in and make it taste pretty good. I usually start with a pretty consistent base of ingredients.

  • Plain Greek Yogurt ( 1 cup or less. It will provide you with protein to keep you satisfied longer)
  • Half or whole Banana (depending on how much I am looking to make)
  • Flax seeds
  • Almond or Peanut Butter ( 1 tablespoon, it will add about 100 calories. So you can omit this if you’re trying to make a low-calorie option)
  • Spinach (I love greens in my smoothie, but it is a taste thing for some people)
  • Water (4-8oz)

Now here is where it gets fun. You can add anything you want. It can be more veggies, more fruit, a protein powder, or even a couple chocolate chips to add to the flavor profile! Below is just a small list of extras that you can add, but ultimately the only limit is what you can fit in your blender, or what taste good. 🙂

  • Apple
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • Milk (almond, soy, regular, splash of chocolate for a great chocolate banana thing going on.)
  • Kale
  • Ginger
  • Peaches
  • Cherries

You get the idea, anything you want! This is a great time to sneak those pesky veggies into your smoothie. See if you can sneak in some to get your daily allotment in early. Just be mindful of the amounts you are using with fruit and milk. If you are not careful you can turn one of at home smoothies into a smoothie chain store monstrosity.

Step 2: Fill it up

This part is pretty simple. Put it all in the blender! I always start with my liquid on the bottom and I do not use ice. Mostly because I freeze the fruit that is in season so I can use it later. If it doesn’t seem to be mixing well, you might need to add a little more water or liquid of your choice.

Step 3: Fire up the Blender

The fun begins! Watch as the colors blend and make an appetizing bright green, red or blue! Or perhaps it has turned a shade of brown….don’t worry that still might taste good do not lose hope!

Step 4: Pour and Enjoy

Here is the beauty of it all. If you put a good amount of ingredients in chances are there is about 32oz of smoothie frothing before your eyes. You can dump half of that into your to go cup and deposit the other half in the fridge. Now you have snack for now and other for later, amazing! If you are at work all day maybe pack it all up and drink half now and half around 2:00pm when you just want to crawl under your desk and nap. It will give you little energy boost and be great tasting!

Recap

  • Be creative
  • Experiment with ingredients
  • You can make all these with no dairy or nuts
  • Make enough for two snacks
  • Sneak in your veggies
  • Enjoy!

For a quick example, say you started with the smoothie starter in the amounts I listed at the start. Then you added a scoop of protein powder and a few handfuls of your favorite fruit. You would be stuffing about 40 grams of protein in that smoothie. Split into two meals that gives your a snack with 20 grams of protein per snack! If you omit the protein powder you will be around 18-20 grams of protein for your whole smoothie. Which is still great.

If you don’t do dairy, don’t worry. Any favorite protein you have can be added in and the yogurt just gives it a touch more thickness. So you won’t be losing too much there.

What are some of your favorite smoothie concoctions? We would love to hear about them and try them out! Tweet me or leave a reply! The more ideas we have in our arsenal the better tasting our meals and hot summer days can be!