Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Smoothie Tips

Smoothies are definitely one of my go-to breakfasts when I'm looking for something quick and filling.  Here's a few tips on how I save a little time and money by making them at home:

Frozen spinach.  Some might say fresh is best, however with my schedule I don't make time to go to the market every week.  There have also been times when the produce I did have went bad before I had a chance to use it.  One solution I have is to buy bags of frozen spinach.  I can usually get these for a $1 or less on sale, so I always stock up.  I've also found that the microwavable bags of spinach are usually frozen in little balls.  They double as ice without making the smoothies watery, and I get a serving of vegetables in before the day really begins.

Protein pack.  I've never liked the taste of yogurt by itself; however, Greek yogurt has become a must for me in smoothies.  With all the protein I can make it the entire morning without any snacks, making smoothies both filling and creamy.  While I only like peanut butter with apples, adding a tablespoon of a nut butter is another great way to add a bit of protein and "good fat." 

Ice trays.  These have definitely become a secret weapon.  Especially in the winter months when some of my favorite fruits aren't as available I came up with this little hack. When they're on sale I buy cans of peaches and pineapple in juice (not syrup) and freeze them in ice cubes.  This makes it super easy to portion out a few of each right along with the "spinach balls" and is a life saver when I don't have fresh fruit.  Because frozen fruits and veggies are flash-frozen at their peak ripeness, they're also just as good if you don't have fresh.  I also freeze bananas to prevent them from going bad before I have a chance to use them.  I just break them in half and wrap them in plastic wrap.  This also helps me to be mindful of servings sizes because while fruit is good for you the sugar adds up fast in smoothies and juices.

Get creative.  This might raise an eye brow or two but I've been known to drop a cup of apple sauce, fruit cup or even a dollop of sorbet in the blender when I'm running low on ingredients.  Again while fresh is best not all canned or packaged fruits are "bad," and sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do!

While this full size blender has been served me well for the last few years, I'm already a big fan of this new personal sized blender I picked up on sale from Target.  It takes up a lot less space and since the smoothie is blended in the travel cup there's no transfer.  It makes cleanup quick and easy, and the travel cups are sold separately if you want a spare.

Update: Get the NutriBullet over everything.  It's so much better.


What are some of your favorite smoothie tips and combinations?  I'd love to hear about your favorite breakfasts on-the-go!

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Saturday, February 20, 2016

ootd: Layered Look

Statement Necklace (J.Crew) Sweater (Zara) Flannel (Old Navy) Utility Jacket (Old Navy)

I'm not particularly proud of my morning routine as of late, so I've been working on reestablishing some old habits, one of which is outfit planning.  Since I've been known to hit snooze multiple times, up to the point where I'm making it to class just in time, I've been going back to putting together multiple outfits for the week.  The above look wasn't one of them.  While in worked in theory, I just didn't feel comfortable in what I originally picked out for the day.  Does anyone else's style change depending on your mood?  I don't know what my mood was this day, but after what I originally planned just didn't work, I literally pulled together a bunch of things in a similar color palette, and voila!  I had a new combination with some old pieces that just somehow worked.  Bottom line: be flexible.  Most of us have plenty to wear, it just's a matter of going with the flow and not overthinking it.  If you can shop for staple pieces that you can mix and match, but at the end of the day just "work with what you got."

Here's a few of my fall staples:
Flannel
Sweater
Utility Jacket
Skinny Jeans
Blanket Scarf

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