PB and J Smoothie courtesy of Sarah Fit

I check in on my favorite bloggers almost daily and recently a post by Sarah Fit, a Boston-area blogger, caught my eye. She shared the recipe to one of her favorite smoothies and now I’m currently indulging in a PB and J; smoothie, that is. If you want to follow the original recipe directions, you can check it out on her blog.  However, because I’m doing this whole Dietbet thing, I decided to decrease the caloric content and increase the veggies.

Here is my own version of the PB and J smoothie that is gluten-free and dairy-free…great for vegans and those of us with leaky guts alike.

The ingredients:

2 handfuls of spinach
1 cup of So Delicious Coconut Milk
1 scoop of Designer Whey Protein Powder
2 tablespoons of Just Great Stuff Powdered Peanut Butter (I have the chocolate/PB blend)
1/2 cup of frozen berry medley
1/2 cup of water
5 drops of liquid stevia
Ice Cubes (I used 5)
Nutrition info:
Calories: 195
Protein: 25g
Fat: 3g
Carbs: 28g which consists of 16g of Sugar and 12g of Fiber
Here is a little info on some of the more exotic ingredients. First off we have my protein powder of choice, which is Designer Whey Protein Powder in French Vanilla. I buy mine at Trader Joe’s. 100 calories for one scoop, which is pretty good in my book! I like it better than the Plant Fusion Protein Powder I also have on rotation at the moment. Its a very allergy friendly protein powder.
Next we have a version of the ever famous, PB2. Since I was unable to get PB2 in the grocery store, I was just as happy to discover they have recently started stocking another powdered peanut butter called Just Great Stuff.
Peanut Butter powder is certified gluten-free, organic, 100% natural, and only 40 calories for two tablespoons.  It is in no way going to satisfy you the same way that actual peanut butter does, but I think if I’m just going for peanut butter flavoring, this is a much better alternative (as its about 160 calories less for the same amount). Plus, I’m not like…a crazy peanut butter person. I know, its weird.
Lastly, we have the newest addition to my family, liquid stevia.
I have moved away from sweeteners like Splenda over the last several years in order to incorporate Stevia into my life. Its a zero calorie all natural sweetener made from the stevia plant.  However, a month ago, I went to the grocery store to replenish my stevia stash and to my horror, not a single box of stevia was left in the building. Out of despair and angst, I wound up buying a box of Splenda.  Well, thanks in part to a documentary I watched today on the food industry, in conjunction with a facebook post that started a very long conversation, and an increased number of stomachaches, bloating, and trips to the bathroom (I am technically diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, although I feel like that can’t be the complete story), I decided to ditch those nasty little fake sweeteners and once again sing the praises of stevia.  I wanted to try the liquid version for kicks and giggles.  So far, so good.
Well there you have it folks! I hope you enjoy the recipe! For the full flavored version, stick to the one offered by Sarah Fit (roughly 100-250 calories more dependent upon protein powder and using real PB, but unparalleled in taste).  I hope all of you were able to stay warm and comfy in the snow, shield your self from the rain down south, OR, just enjoy the sunshine, like you always do…San Diegoans. Lame.
Let’s chat:
Do you have any good smoothie recipes you want to share? 

Committing to change

A long weekend always fills me with a little regret. Most of you would think it was because I have to say goodbye to the freedom of the weekend, but I’m more upset because of my indulgent habits on Fridays and Saturdays. After leaving a Pats playoff game yesterday at a friend’s apartment, I realized that something needed to change.  I want to be more dedicated to the craft of running, but find it so difficult with all of the social events Chris and I go to, especially because many of those events are still so focused on consuming junky food and celebratory drinks.

I was reading through the Athletarian‘s blog recently, in which she posted a campaign by Vega called #onechange. It describes different snacking habits that ruin your diet and make it impossible to reach your goal.  I am most definitely the Weekend Splurger.

Vega suggests that:
Your best healthy-eating intentions crumble without the structure of Monday to Friday. By Sunday night, you feel like you need a weekend to recover from your weekend. Between late nights, sleeping in, social outings with friends, and catching up after a busy week, it seems impossible to eat right. Monday is your day to reset the dial

That is me, to a T! Its so frustrating. I do so well during the week, and then I get to Friday and things fall apart. When I was laying in bed last night, I decided that this habit needed to change. It seriously has to go, because I have so many other goals that I want to accomplish as compared to imbibing and eating cheese dips. Vega suggests that my #onechange should be eating before I head out, so that I don’t eat when I’m with friends.  I’ve actually tried that strategy before and it doesn’t work.  I think I eat because I can be so awkward in social situations, that I turn to food as something to do, and drinks to loosen me up. Sigh… I think I’m going to need to work on that.
Moving forward, I’m making up a shopping list today and calling it quits on the gross feeling weekends. I headed over to Skinnytaste in order to dig up a few recipes to start me off this week.  You can officially call this a rebirth, because things are going to change from here on out. I’m tired of this feeling.  
This is probably the most important part for all of us, because in order to get there, we need to make lifestyle changes. Unfortunately, they can come at price as they might impact your social life, relationships, and friendships. But for me..I think the most important part is to make sure that I feel my best, work towards my goals, and make my life look like the one that I want. 
How do I get there?
1. Make a commitment to the Saturday morning long run.  
No more excuses, Lauren. You’ve never had a Friday night out that’s replaced the way you feel after a good long run.
2. Look for social events that incorporate health and wellness.
I think the only way you can make a change, is if you surround yourself with the lifestyle you want. Instead of turning a long day of drinking into an event, maybe we could suggest hiking, biking, snowshoeing, etc., to do on our lovely weekend days off.
3. Plan ahead for weekend meals like I do during the workweek.
The only way I’ve been successful with my eating during the week, is when I have an eating plan in place.  I typically make a big casserole or a slowcooker recipe that I eat throughout the workweek, so that I don’t have to cook when life gets busy.  I need to set myself up for success on Fridays as well. I’m wondering if I force myself to go to the gym after work and then have fun planning a healthy dinner for Chris and I, or for friends. I need to learn how to make my own kitchen fun.
4. Learn how to say “NO”.
The simplest strategy is just learning to say no to a drink, when I don’t actually feel like drinking or putting down the chips and dip after my first round.  Believe it or not, there is still pressure to drink and eat at the age of 30, but I need to be ok with saying no. I won’t deprive myself, but I don’t want to indulge Friday and Saturday each week. Just remember how you woke up feeling this morning. 
Let’s chat:
Do any of you have stories of how you changed your lifestyle to meet your goals? Were you met with success and support, or frustration and disappointment?