Happy Wednesday!

I'm still wishing we were in a four day work/school week like last week!  Although this time of the year means that summer is closing in on us, I still love that the weather is really nice and with the recent Labor Day, we got an extra day to relax.  Speaking of relaxing, I slept in until around 8:30 or 9:00 am a couple times last weekend which is really unheard of for me, as I'm usually up anywhere between 4:30 and 5:30 am during the school week.  We had a family wedding during the holiday and we danced until the DJ told us to scoot off of the floor around midnight.  Got some good sleep, went on a couple of 4-mile runs, and here we are, already half-way through to the weekend!

I've really been trying to get back into running just for a different routine for my body and it has been somewhat of a struggle.  Some days are good, and some are not so good.  Either way, I'm just really excited to get my body back in the groove and on the sidewalk again.  If you read my last post, you know that I've been working through a lot of health and physical issues and one of them has been running.  So, I've tried to be patient and just give my body time.  Regarding my last post...WOW - you all are awesome.  The feedback that I got on Facebook from sharing my "New Normal" was so great to see and I appreciate the support more than you know.  I'm really hoping that it travels far to others who need the support much more than I do.

With that being said, I'll still be posting things that everyone can eat with modifications, if needed.  Before all the food stuff, we had a lot of things going on in August!

We headed a couple hours Northwest to my man's hometown for his 15 year High School Reunion!  Always so good to see people and fun to reminisce!  We also took Miss Laila to the lake that he grew up by and she got to go swimming for the first time.  Very apprehensive but after a while she loved it!
Later in the month we celebrated my birthday...and surprisingly, I turned 23! Hard to believe, right? (Wink, Wink!) No, 29 is the actual number and I think I'm getting more ok with turning 30 next year!  I had a student in my yoga class tell me the 30's were the best so...bring it on!  I started my big day off by teaching early in the morning (4:30 am wake up call!) and then headed up to school to get caught in a torrential downpour.  Spending your birthday soaked was not how I imagined it, but you gotta go with the flow.  That night, my family came over for some Happy Hour Time!
Check out this spread! Some of my favorite things...and yes - I did give in to some cheese and some other things I've taken off my list.  Only because I was the birthday girl!
So much fun having my family over in our new home!

The next day, I snagged a hot birthday date to RoCA, 
one of the newer eats in Des Moines!

Every time we start a new month I can't believe how quickly this year has flown by...and its already the middle of September!  I am seeing Halloween decorations and I'm sure the Christmas decorations will be up before I get to the mall next.  Although the weather will start turning here right around the corner, I still rely on one of my favorite smoothies throughout the year, whether its a blizzard outside or it is sweltering hot!  I posted my first version of the Green Monster Smoothie here, but since then, I have made some changes due to what my body can or can't handle anymore.  The smoothie is a great source of protein and not to mention, delicious.  Something that I battle with Gastroparesis is the amount of food I can eat in one sitting, and this includes liquids.  I used to make my smoothies in the blender and I would fill up a big shaker bottle of it.  In the end, I would usually be miserable even if it took me over an hour to finish it.  Now, I've been splitting up the smoothie into two shaker bottles - storing one in the freezer while I enjoy the other and I sip sloowwwwllllyyyy...it's like waiting for paint to dry. Seriously.  But, it helps, and it makes me become mindful of what I am eating and how I am eating.  I also have a Magic Bullet Blender that has smaller blender cups that I use, which is included in the pictures below.

So, it goes like this: We've got a frozen banana, protein powder, almond milk, roasted sweet potatoes, almond butter, cinnamon and spinach.

My new find! I had to stop using my Orgain Protein Powder because of the brown rice blend in it and I was really bummed out.  Hello, Garden of Life!  Grain-Free, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free and Soy-Free Organic Plant Protein Powder.  

To be completely honest, its really good and I wish I could find a big tub of it!  They have some good flavors but my favorite is the Smooth Chocolate.  If you are interested check out the Garden of Life Website.  It's sold online on AmazonVitacost, or Thrive Market.  If you have a Whole Foods or Campbell's near you, I've found it there as well.
High in protein, low in sugar.  That's what I'm talking about!  Of course, there are so many options out there and everyone is different on what their tastebuds are, as well as what their body likes the best.  
Throw everything into your blender!  Or Magic Bullet, Vitamix, whatever.  (P.S. If you have a Vitamix I'm jealous!)

Add toppings if you wish.  This time, I added some cinnamon and blueberries on top.  I had this for breakfast today and I seriously wouldn't mind having it for dinner again.

What you need for my Favorite.Smoothie.Ever. (yes, that's the name for it)
  • Frozen banana (Peel bananas and cut up into baggies to freeze.  SO EASY!)
  • 1/2 cup roasted sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup spinach (Tear stems off and tear up into small pieces to digest easier)
  • 2 Tbsp Almond Butter 
  • 1 scoop protein powder (Your choice!)     
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • Dash of cinnamon
What you need to do:
  • Add all into blender.
  • Mix
  • Pour
  • Sip and savor!

Nutrition Facts
Servings 1.0
Amount Per Serving
Calories 548
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 26 g
40 %
Saturated Fat 2 g
8 %
Monounsaturated Fat 16 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 6 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
0 %
Sodium 643 mg
27 %
Potassium 1277 mg
36 %
Total Carbohydrate 59 g
20 %
Dietary Fiber 14 g
55 %
Sugars 31 g

Protein 27 g
55 %
Vitamin A
325 %
Vitamin C
50 %
53 %
55 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

A couple of notes:
  • Almond butter can be replaced by any type of nut butter.  Current obsession: Trader Joe's Creamy Salted Cashew Butter!  It's probably a very good thing that it doesn't come in a overly large jar, just saying...
  • Low FODmap diet (info on previous post) shows almond milk to be HIGH on the FODmap list.  I've been switching to Cashew Milk to see if that helps!
  • Dash of cinnamon can also be replaced by Pumpkin Pie Powder and just in time for the fall...
  • If you are looking to cut the calories, cut down on the nut butter.  Usually they are high in protein and good fats, but the cals can add up easily.
  • Add anything else! Fruit is easiest to add by freezing and adding in so no ice is needed.
I hope you give it a try soon.  What is your favorite smoothie or protein powder?  Comment below - its always fun to see what works for other people!

Stay Healthy.  


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