Berry Mud Power Smoothie Bowl

Berry Mud Protein-Packed Power Smoothie Bowl

I was doing smoothie bowls before smoothie bowls were cool. I was always making too much smoothie for a glass and making them way too thick. So, I started putting them in a bowl and eating them with a spoon. I kind of thought I was weird. I just quietly made my smoothies super thick, poured them in the bowl, topped them with yummy stuff and, mmmm. They've been a favorite breakfast for years. I didn't even know they were a thing until they started popping up all over Pinterest.

Well, then, no quiet smoothie bowl consuming here! Oh, the recipes I have to share. Let's start with the first one I started with years ago. The Berry Mud Power Smoothie Bowl...

Berry Mud Power Smoothie Bowl


This power smoothie bowl is very thick, very satisfying, packed with nutrient-dense superfoods, and oh so good!


How to Make a Smoothie Bowl


Berry Mud SuperFood Smoothie Bowl

Ingredients


1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla cashew milk
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup frozen sliced strawberries (I find these easier to measure than whole frozen)
Smoothie Bowl Ingredients

Directions


Blend cashew milk, whey protein, and frozen blueberries in your blender. Then, add the frozen strawberries slowly. It will be very thick. If you don't have a great blender you may need to add a bit more CashewMilk to this to get it to blend well.

Top with whatever you'd like. I did sliced fresh strawberries, fresh blueberries, and Organic Chia Seeds. Try also with Coconut Flakes, chopped nuts, Cacao Nibs, or sliced bananas.


Berry Mud SuperFood Smoothie Bowl


Let me know if you try it!




FitViews Valentine's Day Fit List Gift Guide

FitViews Valentine's Day Fit List Gift Guide

I have a confession. I order my own gifts sometimes. Maybe, a lot. While that might sound weird it's actually quite freeing for hubby and I. He's never been one to pick up on hint dropping and he really wants to get me something I'll really love. I'm not great at hint dropping, and I'm maybe, kind of, a wee bit...picky. So, it works for us. I either just send him a link to something or flat out order it myself. He wraps it up pretty and squeal, what a perfectly thoughtful something I love, thank you so much, gift. Hey, it works for us.

If you're the order your own gift type too, or if you don't know what to get your special someone, or your special someone doesn't know what to get you...I have a few healthy, fit, and fun Valentine's Day gift suggestions. 


POPSUGAR Must Have Box Subscription


POPSUGAR has sent me their Must Have Box to try the last few months and it's so much fun. I just love it. The box says "Happiness Delivered" on the inside and it really is! It's always packed with really fun surprises every single month. I completely stalk my mailbox when I know it's coming. This was January's box contents:

POPSUGAR Must Have Box January 2017

And this was December's:

POPSUGAR Must Have Box December 2016

Good subscription boxes make such amazing gifts. You can choose how many months to give and they keep getting fun surprises beyond just Valentine's Day! You can't go wrong with this one. Use code SHOP5 to get 5 bucks off their first Must Have Box.


Activity Tracker


I LOVE my Garmin activity tracker. IMHO everyone should have a tracker. I don't know many that wouldn't love one as a gift! These are some great choices...




OK, if you're going to go the old chocolates and flowers route, at least make it healthier! Find some good dark chocolate without a lot of junky ingredients. TAZA chocolate is what I might have ordered myself for Valentine's Day last year. It's amazing!

From their site:

At Taza Chocolate we make stone ground chocolate. Cacao is so complex in flavor that we want to let it shout loud and proud. That is why we do less to bring you more. We stone grind organic cacao beans into perfectly unrefined, minimally processed chocolate with bold flavor and texture, unlike anything you have ever tasted.



A photo posted by Kerri Olkjer (@kerriolkjer) on


I love all things TAZA, but these are favorites:





And last on my list...Nothing says love like KitchenAid. No. Really.





What's the best Valentine's Day gift you ever received?



Mock Green Tea Frapp Protein Power Smoothie

Copy Cat Green Tea Frapp Protein Power Smoothie

I LOVE me a Starbucks Green Tea Frappuccino. I craved them like nobody's business when I was pregnant with Baby O. I still splurge on the real thing once or twice during the summer, but you know I would love to have them all. the. time! I am however trying to lose weight, so that's a no for me.

I've been playing around with a Healthier Green Tea Frappuccino Swap Recipe for years and I think I finally have it just right. These, now these, I can have every single day!

No, it's not exactly the same as the real thing. You might not be fooled in a blind taste test, but it's a pretty amazing healthier version. And? It's really, really good! 

This Mock Green Tea Frapp Protein Power Smoothie is packed with great ingredients and has far fewer calories and sugar than the real thing. Plus, it's got an added protein punch. Win-win.


Matcha Green Tea Protein Power Smoothie


Green Tea Frapp Protein Power Smoothie

Ingredients


1/2 cup Unsweetened Vanilla CashewMilk
1 heaping cup frozen honeydew melon 
1 packet stevia or Truvia(optional)


Mock Green Tea Frapp Protein Power Smoothie


Directions


You'll want to be sure to freeze the honeydew melon the night before, or at least a few hours before you want to make this. Then, simply blend all ingredients well in your blender. About a minute. Top with a little spray whip if you'd like. Makes one x-large smoothie, or 2 medium sized. 


Healthier Version Starbucks Green Tea Frappuccino


Notes


The sweetener is totally optional here. I prefer it without, but some may want to add a packet or even 2. A Starbucks Frapp is definitely sweeter.

Also, if you're not a big matcha fan, you may want to use 1/2 teaspoon. I love it with the teaspoon, but hubby prefers it with a 1/2 teaspoon.

If you want a little thicker, more frappuccino-like consistency add a couple of ice cubes. 


YUM! Let me know if you try it.


Copy Cat Starbucks Green Tea Frappuccino





30 Easy Prep and Pack Whole30 Lunch Recipes

30 Easy Prep and Pack Whole30 Lunch Recipes

The Whole30Program is amazing. I highly recommend it. Every time I've done a Whole 30 I have felt AMAZING by the end. It's a very empowering experience. It is not however an easy one. Mostly because the food prep can take much more time if you're used to grab and go options. A little planning ahead and you can definitely make it through the 30 days.

When it comes to Whole30 lunches, 3 things worked best for me:

  1. Quick and easy salads.
  2. Prepping food on Sunday.
  3. Cooking too much at dinner and eating leftovers for lunch the next day.

I thought I'd share 30 of the awesome Whole30 lunch recipes I've found from my favorite bloggers (and a few from me!). I've included all three options I listed above. Some quick and easy salads, some to prep an entire recipe on the weekend and then portion them for lunches that week, and some to be cooked for dinner and the leftovers packed for lunch the next day. Play around and see what works best for you.

This list of 30 Whole30 Lunch Recipes should help you cruise right through your entire Whole30!


Whole30 West Coast Chicken from A Family Feast

Awesome Bacon Apple Chicken Salad from Today's Mama

Three-Ingredient Lemon Garlic Chicken Skewers from What The Fork

Whole30 Garlic Bacon Avocado Burgers from The Pike Place Kitchen

Summer Steak Salad With Champagne-Shallot Vinaigrette from Nutritioulicious

Easy Carrot Celeriac Spiralized Salad from Cotter Crunch

Salmon en Papillote from Living Well Kitchen

Easy Turkey Meatballs from Fashionable Foods

Paleo Whole30 Chicken Salad from Jay's Baking Me Crazy

Paleo Whole30 Sheet Pan Chicken from Jay's Baking Me Crazy

Whole30 Smoky Grilled Pineapple Burger

Smoky Grilled Pineapple Burgers from FitViews

2-Minute Paleo Tuna Salad from FitViews (if you don't want to make your own may for this and the chicken salad listed next try a Whole30-friendly ready made option like Primal Kitchen Paleo Approved Avocado Oil Mayo

Easy Paleo Chicken Salad from FitViews

Italian-Style Meatloaf from FitViews

Turkey Bell Pepper Scramble from Simple Swaps

Thai Shrimp Salad With Almond Dressing Whole30 Lunch Recipe


Thai Shrimp Salad With Almond Dressing from Physical Kitchness

Paleo Tomato Basil Beef Goulash With Eggplant From Physical Kitchness

Lebanese Beef Zucchini Boats from Physical Kitchness

Easy Paleo Greek Chicken Skillet from Physical Kitchness

Slow Cooker Harvest Chicken from Run to the Finish (just omit the honey)


Peach Salad with Fermented Kale Dressing Whole30 Lunch Recipe

Peach Salad With Immune-Boosting Fermented Kale Dressing from The Grateful Grazer (omit the optional maple syrup in the dressing)

Easy Egg Wraps from The Lean Green Bean (these are amazing and so easy, make them a million ways filling with Whole30 friendly ingredients)

Avocado Chicken Burgers from The Lean Green Bean (simply serve in leaf lettuce instead of a bun)
 
Hawaiian Tuna Burgers from Healthy Helper

Paleo Tuna Melts on Sweet Potato Toast from Healthy Helper
5-Ingredient Taco Paleo Stuffed Sweet Potatoes Whole30 Lunch Recipe

5 Ingredient Taco Paleo Stuffed Sweet Potatoes from With Salt & Wit (just make sure you use a Whole30 friendly taco seasoning mix likePrimal Palate Taco Seasoning)

3 Ingredient Mexican Lime Chicken from With Salt & Wit (ditto thePrimal Palate Taco Seasoning)

Fresh Salmon Summer Salad With Lemon Vinaigrette from Go Dairy Free

Grapefruit and Avocado Winter Salad from Go Dairy Free

Skillet Chicken Fajitas from The Recipe Runner 



For more Whole30 recipe ideas check out my post on 30 Whole30 Dinner Recipes and my Whole30 Board on Pinterest.




Happy Whole30-ing!




Purple Monster Protein Smoothie Recipe

Purple Monster Protein Smoothie Recipe

Smoothies are such a tasty way to add protein and nutrients to your diet. I love adding berries, greens, whey protein, veggies, and whatever else I have on hand that will improve my daily nutrition. They're the perfect nutrition hack for my often crazy schedule lately. 

I'm a total smoothie addict. I love them for breakfast, post-workout, snacks... smoothies, smoothies, smoothies! For the nutrition of course. I suppose it doesn't hurt that the way I make them they taste more like a dessert!

This is my favorite protein smoothie recipe lately. There's just something about the Creamy Vanilla protein and berries together that is absolute perfection. I especially love it post workout, and it's really bright purple, which is fun. Hey, real food can be fun too.

This Purple Monster Protein Smoothie is packed with protein and provides 2 of your daily fruit servings. It makes a great post-workout protein shake, dessert swap, or it can even serve as a protein-packed meal replacement. It's also delicious and so easy to make. 

Purple Monster Protein Shake

Purple Monster Protein Smoothie

Ingredients


1 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Coconut Milk (or CashewMilk)
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup frozen strawberries

Directions


Blend all ingredients well in your blender. I like mine super thick, so sometimes I add an extra frozen strawberry or two. It's seriously more like ice cream that way. Yum!

Purple Monster Smoothie


Enjoy! Let me know if you try it.


Purple Monster Protein Smoothie Recipe



Sweet Chocolate Mint Protein Shake Recipe


Sweet Chocolate Mint Protein Shake Recipe

I've talked in the past about how I do better when I up my protein a little. It seems like my workouts and recovery go more smoothly and I just overall feel better. Upping my protein (and fat) and lowering my carbs also seems to help me feel more satisfied and keep my blood sugar stable, which of course helps in the long run with weight loss.

Yet, somehow, I always wind up back at not eating enough protein. I'm finding that I really have to be mindful about it. So, I'm refocusing on upping my protein a bit and for me that means whey protein. In a shaker cup. In protein smoothies. In protein shakes. All the whey protein! It's just a quick and easy way I can add more protein to my diet with my already busy day. Plus, it's pretty tasty if you make it right!

People ask me a lot which whey protein is best. Wild Foods recently sent me some of their products to try out and I'm pretty smitten with their Wild Whey. It's super clean and I really love the taste. The Creamy Vanilla is probably my all-time favorite whey protein flavor. It's super yummy. Ingredients are extremely important to me in a protein powder, but I have to like the taste too! Who wants to choke down their protein shakes? No whey (you know I had to...). Unfortunately, I have found that often it's a trade off. You either get good clean ingredients or good taste. Well, Wild Whey just may be the unicorn of protein powders because it has both!


Sweet Chocolate Mint Protein Smoothie

This Sweet Chocolate Mint Protein Smoothie Recipe is a new protein shake combo I'm loving a lot lately. It's not only yummy, but it's also low in sugar, calories, and carbs! (Totals don't include optional whip pictured). I love it post-workout, but it also makes an amazing dessert swap. This clean recipe has 193 calories, 7 grams carbs, and 30 grams protein. It makes 1 extra large smoothie or 2 medium smoothies (size shown here).


Sweet Chocolate Mint Protein Smoothie


Ingredients


1 cup Unsweetened Vanilla CashewMilk
3 or 4 ice cubes
Peppermint Flavorto taste - I do 3 to 4 drops
1 packet stevia or other low carb sweetener (optional)


Ingredients Chocolate Mint Protein Shake

Directions


Add all ingredients to your blender and blend until smooth.

Go ahead, add a little spray whip for a special treat! As long as you track it...

Chocolate Mint Protein Shake


Let me know if you try it!





Sweet Chocolate Mint Protein Smoothie Recipe

To Track or Not to Track + Free Tracking Printable

Tracking for Weight Loss Success

Do you track? To track or not to track that seems to be a popular question these days. 

Studies have shown that people that keep a diet and fitness journal have better results. It's been observed time and again that people who simply write down what they eat and drink have greater success in weight loss than those who don't. Tracking appears to be an integral part of any successful weight loss plan.


But why?


Tracking can be quite enlightening. Simply writing down what we're already doing can cause many a light bulb moment. Tracking will shine a light on our eating and exercise habits. It's amazing how we think we eat and move and how we really eat and move can be completely different. Many people are amazed at the reality of their diet and exercise situation once they've simply started tracking their days (myself included). 

Turns out we're terrible estimators. It's amazing how wildly different what we think 4 oz is and what 4 oz really is can be. Same with the amount of calories in beverages. People will guess way fewer calories than a drink actually contains. From how much we really eat, to how big portions should be, to how many calories or carbs are actually in foods we consume, we tend to guestimate far off the mark.

Tracking can also show us patterns we may not have otherwise realized. Like emotional eating during stressful times, binging after certain foods or sleep patterns, and overall sedentary habits. Tracking gives us the information we need to make changes. 

Even once we're making healthy changes tracking is an amazing tool. Tracking keeps us accountable to ourselves. It keeps us mindful. It keeps us focused. It gives us the data we need to look back on to figure out what has worked and what hasn't. Tracking creates a personal record of what works best.


How to track for weight loss success


My experience with tracking


I go back and forth with tracking. Sometimes I use an app, sometimes I use pen and paper, and sometimes I don't track at all. One thing I know for sure though is that when I'm trying to lose weight I do a billion times better when I'm tracking. OK, that number may be a slight exaggeration, but I consistently see better results when I track. Currently I'm back to tracking (for a 66 day streak).

To help us all with our tracking efforts I've created a free printable food and fitness tracker. This tracker has everything you'll need to keep you on track (ok, pun intended). Whatever your goals and whatever your program I've designed this tracker to be a helpful tool. It's a daily tracking page complete with food tracking, water tracking, supplement tracking, exercise tracking, daily calorie and step totals, and even space to journal. I recommend printing a month and putting them together in a binder.

Click here to print yours (Oh, yes, and no annoying email newsletter to sign up for. Just click and print!)


Free Food and Fitness Tracking Journal Printable

How to use this Free Printable Tracking Journal

  1. First, write the date at the top of each journal page as you use it. I've found it's really helpful to not just track, but to have dated tracking to look back on. Whether I'm experiencing a plateau and wanting to really look at what I'm doing or I'm wanting to look back and see what was working well during times I had great results, it helps to have dated tracking.
  2. Track all of your food. Meals, snacks, bites and nibbles. We need the full picture. Optional here you can add calories for each meal and snack at the end of each description (or carbs or protein, whatever you want to pay attention to according to your plan).
  3. Water. Check off each 8 oz of water you drink.
  4. Track any and all supplements you're taking.
  5. Daily totals. There's a space for your total calories, carbs, and protein. I recommend using all three.
  6. Next, track your specific workouts here. Weights, runs, workout DVDs. Everything. Also, consider jotting down specifics like weights used or pace and distance of your runs. The more data you have to look back on, the better.
  7. Journal. If you need more space here use the back of the page too. Journal anything related to this journey for you. Your thoughts and feelings that day. Episodes of emotional eating. Low energy levels? Feeling like superwoman? Capture it all here. Again, a priceless resource for looking back over time.
  8. The last entry is for total daily steps. I highly recommend an activity tracker. I have been amazed at this data over time. It's so important to track our overall activity and not just our workouts.
Printable Fitness Tracker


There's no perfect tracking method. Try some. See what works for you. Test some paper journals, some printables like this one, some different apps... The best method of tracking is the one you'll do consistently!


Do you track your food and activity?





Why Tracking Works + Free Printable Journal