Creamy Peanut Butter & Banana Smoothie

Happy almost Friday!

It has been one rough week over here and I am more than ready for the weekend. I woke up Monday morning with a stomach ache and welp, it was all down hill from there. I will just say I spent all Monday praying to the porcelain gods and hating life a little. Yeah, rough.

Today I thankfully feel back to normal and it’s about time too. It has been 7 days since my last workout, 5 days since I’ve eaten vegetables or drunk coffee and 3 days since I’ve had peanut butter. I’m not sure how I’ve functioned without all those things, but I can I assure it was not well.

black coffee and kale chips

 

I’m sorry coffee but you still make me want to puke a little. Give me a few more days and I promise I will be back to chugging you like a champ.

Luckily the rest of this week is looking up!

I have a (glorious!) 4 day weekend ahead of me, some much needed time at home (nothing makes you miss your parents more than being sick alone in your college apartment, good thing I have really awesome roommates who bring me ginger ale and applesauce) and some warm spring weather. Boone decided to be a poo-head and dump 8 inches of snow on us the past four days. I think someone needs to tell mother nature it’s officially spring because I’m not sure she’s gotten the memo.

snow on pants

 

I totally ate it on some ice on the way back to my apartment yesterday. No more snow please.

If you’re hoping for spring weather like I am, try making this smoothie, cranking up the heat and pretend it’s 75 degrees outside instead of 25, while you drink your smoothie and bask in the warmth. Just don’t blame me for your crazy how power bill.

Creamy Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothies (vegan!)

creamy peanut butter and banana smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1/2 package silken tofu
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice (I used almond)
  • 2 cups of spinach (or really as much as you can shove in your blender, the more vitamins the merrier)
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • a sprinkle of cinnamon (or much more if you’re a huge cinnamon lover like I am!)
  • ~1 cup ice, or until desired frozen-ness is reached

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients in blender
  2. Blend. Easy peasy.
  3. And don’t forget to clean out your roommate’s blender because she won’t appreciate you borrowing it if you leave green stuff in it. Though I don’t understand why not.

creamy peanut butter and banana smoothie


What are your go-to sick foods? 
Ginger ale and applesauce, and I remember growing up my mom always mixed juice and sprite together for me when I was sick, it was like the ultimate feel better drink.

Do you have any Easter plans? Is it sad that I really miss Easter egg hunts? Those things were awesome.

Things I Did This Weekend.

I had a busy weekend and lots to catch you up on, so list it is!

  • I helped move my brother into his dorm (it’s still weird, he can’t be that old), and came to the conclusion that boys are way more minimalist than girls. His load of boxes was last than half of my typical load. But, I wasn’t complaining while moving those boxes up flights of stairs.
  • Post-dinner my family had dinner at the Flying Biscuit. I love that place, vegetarian-friendly southern food? Count me in. I got a Tofu and Tater Salad:
  • Not my picture, I got hungry (source)

    • Mixed greens, scrambled tamari-marinated tofu, feta cheese and rosemary roasted potato (aka carby white potato heaven). I cried a little after not eating the biscuit (but I still snuck a pinch of one) but it didn’t stop me from enjoying their famous cranberry apple butter, straight up, with a spoon. I’m such a classy lady.
    • Fro-yo followed a couple of hours later. Tart with bananas, chocolate covered raisins, peanut butter and granola. Sooo delicious. Delicious enough that I forgot to take a picture. Not sorry about it.
    • Saturday morning I was going to go to another CrossFit class, but my mom was going to the farmer’s market, and sometimes family farmer’s market trips win out over CrossFit, especially when you’re moving back to school in a week. But I’m still hoping to catch a class one more time before I leave for Boone on Sunday! We got quite the haul at the farmers market: cantaloupe, watermelon, peaches, apples, blueberries, figs, yellow squash, zucchini, grape tomatoes, corn, beets, kale and black bean hummus. I think I’m set for a while.
    • I bought a new pair of flats the other weekend and I’m working on breaking them in, which means mad blisters in the mean time. Luckily, Hello Kitty band-aids have magical healing properties
    • I ran a 5K Saturday night! On the treadmill. I’m working my running endurance back up in time for some fall races. I’m ready for fall running weather. The summer heat is slowly killing me.
    • Who else watched the Olympic closing ceremonies? The closing made about as much sense as the opening, but I still loved it. Any ceremony with an interactive Freddie Mercury performance is fine by me. Though I think if Tupac got a hologram, he deserves on too.
    • Today I went through some serious Olympic withdrawals. I don’t even remember what I watched on TV before the Olympics. The Olympics should happen every year, or every month. I don’t know how I’m going to wait until 2016.
    • I went to a Basic Training class this evening and we did a kickboxing sequence on the ground, think Pilates side series but kickbox-y, my legs were burning! I’ll definitely have to incorporate into some of my own workouts.
    • Dinner tonight:
      Tofu, onions, bell pepper, and farmer’s market kale and beets cooked in dijon mustard. It was quite the yummy combo.
    • 5 am spin class in the morning!
    • What did you do this weekend?

      What’s your favorite restaurant meal? Mine is this sandwich from the Remedy Dinner in downtown Raleigh. But my salad from the Flying Biscuit is a close second.

      Does anyone know what Bob Costas does when the Olympics aren’t happening? Mystery.

    Apartment Shopping Extravaganza and Toughness

    Thursday (aka PAY DAY) I had an apartment shopping extravaganza. I have about a million things I’ve been needing to buy for my apartment and now that I’m down to two weeks before I move in, it’s about time I actually bought some of it. Armed with a freshly filled bank account, I headed out for a few hours of serious home decor shopping.

    But first I needed adequate fuel for my shopping adventures. Enter lunch:

    A tofu scramble with onions, spinah and marinara sauce. I was so hungry when I got home from work (early morning workout problems) that I might have exploded if I had to wait to press the tofu. Scramble it is.

    Fro yo is also great shopping fuel. Especially when it’s free. I filled up my frequent buyer card and was rewarded with $5 of free fro yo, I’m so generous I even let my mom get a cup. I got pineapple sorbet, taro (buried under the fruit) and tart. I kinda wish I had just gotten tart though. The pineapple was not my favorite.

    Then mass apartment shopping ensued. I hit up Bed, Bath and Beyond and Target and left with curtains, a curtain rod, cutting boards, a lamp, coffee mugs, school supplies, cleaning supplies, cups, bowls, plates, jars for bulk food and a new book bag. Bonus: I also found a $4 bra at Target, whatttt. It had been $20, I was proud.

    I still have a couple smaller things left to buy, but I made a good dent in my list (and bank account)! Now I just have to pack it all up…

    Friday morning I had an amazing workout!

    The state of my hair is evidence to how crazy (awesome) it was.

    I attended an early morning Basic Training class at my gym.

    Proof.

    The instructor set up a circuit style workout for us to do. I haven’t done a group circuit style workout since probably elementary school, and I’m not sure that counts, but it was so much fun and made the time pass so quickly! We did 1 minute at each station with 1 minute of plyometrics or running in between. We did three sets of suicides (killer, but oddly fun) then repeated the stations with different exercises. The stations included things like TRX exercises (I’ve never used them before and I loved them!), hula hooping (so much fun), medicine ball slams and sit ups, step ups, bench hops (mildly terrifying), walking lunges, squat jumps, glider exercises, and more. It was a fantastic way to start the morning.

    In the middle of medicine ball sit ups, I was thinking about how even though it was a tough workout, I was actually keeping up. I actually felt tough. Reading healthy living and fitness blogs it’s really easy to fall into the comparison trap. It’s so easy to compare my workout to someone else and feel that I came up short and honestly it can be pretty discouraging. But it’s important to celebrate your own fitness accomplishments and toughness, because everyone is tough in their own awesome way. It’s not fair to compare yourself to anyone but you.

    Speaking of tough, I’m attending my first CrossFit class today! There’s a box next to my work (literally right next door, you can hear the weights dropping during classes) and I just found out they do a free community class on Saturdays so I’m going to try it out! I’m both excited and a little nervous about it!

    What’s your most recent fitness accomplishment? 

    Any apartment shopping advice? Anything I might need that I wouldn’t think to buy? I’m worried I’ll move in and realize there’s still a million things I need! I’m not used to have a kitchen or my own room at school!

    (Kind of) Wordless Weekend.

    Kind of wordless, but not really. Here’s what I’ve been up to the past few days:

     

    Half eaten Friday night fro yo. Tart, bananas, dark chocolate chips, peanut butter sauce and Nutella. Pure. Heaven.

     

    I spent Saturday afternoon working on a loacl Habitat for Humanity house. It was hard, sweaty (It was 100 degrees) but rewarding work. I helped put up siding (there was none on the house when we started) and only hammered my fingers five times. Success! I now have a sunburnt scalp as a souvenir. For a pale person I’m horrible at putting on sunscreen.

     

    Purple smoothies are a good post-Habitat recovery beverage. Blueberries, banana, vanilla protein powder and soymilk. Purple is my favorite.

     

    Dinner was steamed kale, frozen mixed vegetables topped with salsa a crumbled black bean burger (recipe coming!). Simple but delicious.

     

    Just pressing some tofu for Sunday dinner. No big deal.

     

    So. Much. Sweat. Pre-work super sweaty 6 AM workouts are oddly addicting. So is making ridiculous faces. Can’t help myself.

     

    Two Moms in the Raw Cranberry Nut Bar from my Healthy Surprise box eaten in my cubicle at work. SO DELICIOUS. I could have eaten 5 more in the same sitting. But the wrapper was ridiculously hard to open, I actually had to use a box cutter to get it open. Don’t get between me and a tasty snack.

     

    My brother drew my portrait. Clearly he is an artistic genius.

     

    So many sales! Two Larabar Uber bars for $1 each, a PB&J Larabar for $0.63, a Good N’ Natural bar for $0.64 and a sprite melon for $1. What’s up Kroger bargains. You should know I carried all this in my arms to the car because I’m a hippie and hate plastic bags. And I didn’t even drop anything.

    Have you ever worked on a Habitat for Humanity House?

    What’s your favorite snack/protein bar?

    What did you do this weekend?

    Easy Peasy Meals.

    As a college student, and a busy (or let’s be honest, sometimes lazy) I definitely appreciate a quick and easy meal.

    I also like meals that dirty a minimal amount of dishes. Doing dishes sucks, and my roommate gets cranky if I let them pile up in the sink. I know what’s her problem?

    So to keep the peace, and quickly tame the hunger beast here are two easy recipes for yummy vegetarian, gluten-free and nutritious meals.

    They’re so quick and easy that calling them recipes might be a stretch, but let’s not worry about that detail.

    Eggplant Pizza  – Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Vegan (with modification)

    Ingredients:

    • 1 medium eggplant or 1/2 of a large eggplant
    • Approx.1/2 cup of pizza sauce (I just use Trader Joe’s Marinara sauce)
    • 2 cups chopped veggies of choice (I used bell pepper, onions and tomato)
    • Cheese to your hearts content (or Daiya if you want to keep things vegan)

    To Make:

    1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
    2. Slice the eggplant into about 1/2″ thick slices, it’s important that they’re fairly thick or they’ll turn to mush before the cheese melts.
    3. Place eggplant slices on a greased baking sheet and layer on the remaining toppings. I typically put the cheese on last because it holds the toppings on the pizza better, but that’s definitely not necessary. The topping possibilities are limitless, so layer to your heart’s content.
    4. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until all the cheese has melted and the eggplant has begun to soften. Dig in!

    Using half of a large eggplant I made a pretty hefty portion that was plenty for me. The serving size can be easily adjusted to fit your needs.

    This meal is a little low on the protein side, it could be nice to incorporate some tempeh, tofu or other plant based protein into the toppings.

    And if you’re not an eggplant fan, portobello mushroom caps make a very tasty substitution.

    Teriyaki Tofu Slaw Salad – Vegan and Gluten-Free (with slight modification)

    A light but satisfying salad, that I might have already made for lunch 3 days in a a row.

    Ingredients:

    • 1/5 block of Firm Tofu, cut into cubes
    • 1 cup Broccoli Slaw
    • 1/4 of a medium cucumber, cut into strips
    • 2 tbsp Teriyaki Sauce separated (head’s up, teriyaki sauce usually not gluten-free so if you have serious gluten allergies substitute with Tamari, or a similar certified gluten-free sauce)
    • 1 tsp vegetable oil (or oil of choice)
    • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
    • 1/2 tsp Sesame Seeds
    • 1/4 tsp (or to taste) Sage
    • Pepper, to taste

    To Make:

    1. Mix tofu with 1 tbsp teriyaki sauce and set aside to marinate (I’m impatient and only waited a couple of minutes, but it will be more flavorful if you let it sit a little longer)
    2. Place the tofu in a frying pan over medium high heat
    3. Flip the tofu every 5 or so minutes until it is browned on all sides
    4. While the tofu is cooking, in a medium bowl, combine the remaining teriyaki sauce with the oil, lemon juice and seasonings and whisk until combined.
    5. Place broccoli slaw and cucumber in the bowl with the teriyaki mixture and tossed until evenly coated.
    6. Add the tofu.
    7. Enjoy!

    This recipe is pretty wide open as far as flavors and vegetables go. I like how the teriyaki mixes nicely with the crispiness and freshness of the broccoli slaw, but feel free to have some fun with the ingredients. I don’t make anything that’s easy to mess up, because let’s face it, if I did I totally would.

    The recipe makes one serving, but can be easily scaled up.

    I’d be lying if I said I won’t have this for lunch again tomorrow.

    It’s important to mention that while I try to maintain a gluten-free diet, I do NOT have celiac’s and I’m not bothered by small amounts of gluten. If you do have celiac’s or any other serious gluten allergy, please be sure to double check that all of you’re ingredients are certified gluten-free.

    See? Easy Peasy.

    What’s your go to quick and easy recipe?

    Let’s Talk About Snacks (WIAW).

    It’s that time again!

    I love collages.

    Breakfast: Nothing new here. It was 90 degrees yesterday and  still ate hot oatmeal for breakfast. There might be something wrong with me. Also add in a scrambled egg, the extra protein helps hold me over until my morning snack and keeps the morning hunger beast at bay.

    Morning Snack: I had some edamame at work and a mini Luna bar at my internship. Despite the decent-sized breakfast I had, the hunger beast was out in full force the morning. Does anyone else get super hungry in the mornings? It tends to die down after lunch but I am a ravenous beast in the mornings.

    Lunch: Lunch was a little weird, I went to gym directly after work so I would have time to fit it in, so I stopped by Trader Joe’s on the way there for an apple. Yes, I stopped by the store for one apple. This happens more than I care to admit. I also paid the $0.70 total with my debit card because I couldn’t find enough change. This also happens more than I care to admit

    The post-gym portion of lunch was very delicious. Tofu with broccoli slaw, recipe coming at you tomorrow.

    Afternoon Snack: I made a peanut butter and banana smoothie it was super delicious but I was hungry approximately 10 seconds later. I love smoothies but they just don’t keep me full. Any advice?

    Dinner: A tofu scramble with tomatoes, tri-color peppers, onions and fresh basil off my mom’s basil plant(!). I usually like to mix up my protein options a little more, but I’m pretty low on groceries at the moment so I don’t have many options.

    Dear grocery fairy, please pay a visit to my house.

    Evening Snack: I signed up for summer dance classes and my first class was yesterday. It feels so good to be in the studio again! I had a peach and lots of dips in the peanut butter jar before leaving and a mini version of my breakfast and a second peach after I got home.

    Let’s talk about snacks.

    I love snacks, they are essential to my sanity and I’ve learned a lot about healthy snacking over the past couple of years. I eat at least two snacks a day and I could not get through the day with out them. I’ve found that snacking can set me up for a successful, healthy day.

    Some benefits of snacking? For me, snacking is great because I don’t like eating big meals. I can’t eat enough calories in one sitting to keep me satiated for more than 3 hours. I also don’t like the heavy feeling you get after a large meal, so snacking allows me to stretch out those calories over a longer time period. Nutritious, low-sugar snacks can also be a great way pull yourself out of the afternoon energy slump, I know I get cranky without my afternoon snack. Snacks are also great for bridging the gap between meals  and can help keep that metabolism revving. Plus snack food is the most delicious food.

    But there are some snacking drawbacks. It can be easy to get a little snack-happy. I think snack food is really delicious and I’ve been guilty of snacking when I’m not actually hungry. it’s really easy to grab a couple of snacks in the afternoon when you’re bored and eating to entertain yourself rather than in response to a grumbling tummy. I’ve definitely been guilty of this, but taking a moment to drink a glass of water, or waiting 15 minutes to see if that snack still sounds good. Also unhealthy snacks really do you no favors. Sugary/processed snacks can leave you feeling gross and set you up for a serious energy crash later in the day. Snack healthy guys.

    Being the snack-oholic that I am, I’ve definitely got some consistent go-to snacks that are healthy, easy, and can be easily shoved in a purse. Some of my favorite snacks include:

    • A piece of fruit, very healthy and great for satisfying a sweet craving. I almost always carry apples around with me because they’re easy and have a lot of fiber to keep me satiated  longer. Berries, bananas and grapes can be great options too. Actually, you can’t really go wrong with any fruit.
    • Raw veggies, I know not everyone is as keen on raw veggies as I am, but a baggy full of baby carrots or broccoli can really help tame the hunger beast and get in some extra nutrients. Healthy vegetable dips (greek yogurt, hummus, guacamole) can be make raw vegetables more palatable if they’re typically not your thing. Non-raw veggies are great too, recently I’ve been digging brussel sprouts for an afternoon snack, not very portable but great for an at-home snack
    • Edamame, this is a big one for me. As a vegetarian there aren’t many high-protein options that don’t involve some sort of protein powder (expensive) or dairy (not so portable). The protein in edamame keeps me very satisfied and gives me plenty of energy without the crash you get with some sugary snacks. They are also relatively high in fiber, another bonus.
    • Greek yogurt or cottage cheese, are other great protein-filled options. Though some brands of flavored greek yogurt can be high in sugar, which is something to be mindful of.
    • Protein bars, these are great because they are super portable and have a long shelf life so you can keep and emergency bar stashed in your purse/car/desk at all times if the hunger beast starts calling. You do have to be careful because some protein bars are just glorified candy bars. But a natural snack bar can be a great afternoon pick me up. I love Luna bars (the mini ones are especially great for a small snack that won’t hurt your waistline), Clif bars (these are pretty calorically dense, but they’re great when you have a large gap between meals), Clif Z bars, Larabars, Pure bars, Odwalla bars and ThinkThink bars.

    What are some of your favorite snacks?

    What I Ate Wednesday!

    My first What I Ate Wednesday! Or really what I’ve cooked since moving home for the summer.

    I’m still excited to be back in the kitchen. Nothing makes you appreciate having a kitchen at your disposal like eating out of a microwave for two semesters straight.

    I’m definitely not a cook, but I like to throw on food network and pretend I am!

    Breakfasts:

    Image

    Good old oatmeal, you fill me up like no other breakfast food out there. This bowl had half a melted banana, a small spoonful of peanut butter, soy milk and cinnamon. I like cinnamon a little bit, if you couldn’t tell.

    Image

    It looks like cat puke but I promise it’s not. Quinoa for breakfast is pretty tasty, it’s a nice change from oatmeal, but still filling and delicious. I don’t get much of a chance to eat it during the school year because you can’t cook it in the microwave so I have to plan ahead and cook on the weekends.

    Lunches/Dinner:

    Image

    Black beans, kale (farmer’s market!), onions, sweet potatoes, and sriracha, actually the sriracha ends up on everything, even if it doesn’t show itself in the picture. I’m obsessed and maybe have a little bit of a sriracha problem.

    Image

    Tofu, kale (I bought a hugggeee bag), onions, summer squash and tahini sauce.

    Image

    Kale (I told you it was a big bag!), tomatoes, tahini sauce and sesame seeds.

    Image

    Today’s Lunch! Quinoa, tofu, kale, onions, summer squash, tahini sauce and lemon juice. And I’m only about halfway through that bag of kale, it’s magical. It was probably meant to feed an entire family. Oh and it was only $2. I love the farmers market.

    Everything I eat kind of looks the same, but I’m okay with that. Veggies + plant based protein + pan = delicious. And easy. I’m a fan.

    Snacks:

    Image

    Okay this looks disgusting but tasted like magic. I grilled up some sliced banana (and maybe burned it a little, oopsies) and topped it with a drizzle of honey, a scoop of peanut butter and cinnamon. Soooo good. It takes the usual peanut butter and banana snack to a whole other level. Typing this makes me really want to make it again. But we’re out of bananas, boo.

    Image

    Air-popped popcorn sprinkled with cumin and cayenne pepper. It was good, except I didn’t put anything on the popcorn for the spices to stick, so the pieces at the bottom were supperrr spicy. Good thing I like things hot!

    So there’s my typical eats. Well, plus more snacks, I love snacks. Simple, healthy and tasty (or at least I’d like to think so!)