Tag Archives: clean eating

Green Smoothies: Frozen Veggies Better Than Fresh?

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Okay, so now that I’m on the “eating clean” game, I’m trying to incorporate green smoothies into my diet. In the past, I found it difficult to be consistent as I HATE grocery shopping weekly to get fresh produce … and I never have enough time to do all the rinsing/washing/ peeling/de-stalking, etc. that is required. So, stuff inevitably spoils and has to be trashed (I HATE being wasteful of my money and food even more than I hate grocery shopping).

So, when someone suggested I use frozen veggies in my smoothies to eliminate the need for ice, I had an “Ah Ha” moment!! Forget not using ice. From what I’d read, frozen veggies might be even better than fresh!!

via LiveStrong.com

The nutrients of fresh vegetables begin to deteriorate from the instant they are harvested. Results from the Institute of Food Research presented in the NY Daily News reveals that fresh vegetables such as green beans lose 45 percent of their nutrients; broccoli and cauliflower, 25 percent; carrots, 10 percent; and peas up to 15 percent after 16 days of storage. With fresh vegetables, you never know how long it has been since they were picked and the amount of nutrients that were lost en route to the market unless you are buying from a local farmer. With vegetables that are frozen in their prime, you can savor most of the nutrients that were present at the time of freezing.

As much as I use frozen veggies to supplement my Lean Cuisines, I don’t know why I never thought to use them for smoothies! DUH!!!! I mean, they are frozen at the peak of ripeness, hence nutrient rich. They are already washed and cut. They can last for months in the freezer!! And most of the time, they cost far less than fresh produce!! How much more economical, quick and convenient can you get?!?!?

That being said, I picked up some frozen spinach (which I always keep in the freezer) and kale at the grocery store last week and whipped up the green smoothie above last Saturday! With protein, fiber, Omega-6, potassium and a variety of other vitamins and minerals, it was a perfect post-workout recovery meal!

SPINACH, KALE, BANANA, PROTEIN GREEN SMOOTHIE RECIPE

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8 oz. water

6 oz. almond milk (30 cal)

1 lightly thawed frozen banana (100 cal)
(suggestion: PEEL first, then freeze! LOL!)

1/2 c. frozen spinach (15 cal)

1 c. frozen kale (25 cal)

1 tbsp flax seeds (47 cal)

1 scoop Nectar Strawberry Mousse Whey Protein (100 cal)

Total:  317 Calories

HEALTHY and DELICIOUS!! 

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Do you use fresh or frozen veggies in your green smoothies? If you use both, which do you prefer fresh and which do you prefer frozen and why?

28 Day Fitness Challenge: Days 22-28

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Day28

YES!! I did it!! I worked out for a minimum of 10 minutes a day for 28 consecutive days!! And, I’m feeling so good, I plan to keep it going for another 28!! I’m really on a mission to lose this weight maaaaaang!!! LOL!

On the diet front, I was really challenged food-wise this weekend too. If you don’t know, I am a massive buttercream icing FIEND!! Like, I’ve eaten it straight out of the tub #dontjudgeme. So, I’m not kidding you when I tell you I had to exercise great will power to not indulge in even one slice of the desserts that abounded at my sister’s house this weekend. I went down for a surprise going away party for my bro-in-laws best friend on Saturday night and a girls’ book club meeting on Sunday. I knew that this would be a real test, but I was dedicated to succeeding as I felt this week 4 was so critical for me in regard to staying on the path to losing this weight. So, I did not partake of the carrot cake, carrot cake cupcakes, banana pudding, vanilla cupcakes or red velvet cake. Okay, wait, I did eat one spoonful of my sister’s low fat banana pudding … no cookie in it though. But that was it!! On Saturday, I mostly ate fruit and veggies and took small portions of shrimp, a spoonful of an Asian chicken salad, two turkey meatballs and two spinach balls. On Sunday, it was fruit and veggies again, one small boneless BBQ wing and the insides of two roast beef, grilled onions, pepper and arugula sandwiches.

Why did my sister make me take the cake to bring to work?!? She’s killing me!!

So yeah, as of this morning, I’ve lost 9 pounds. Woot! Woot!! Have you ever noticed that the same exact weight looks and feels different on the way down versus on the way up? When I’m gaining weight, it is “sloppy,” because I’m inactive and eating badly. So, my stomach protrudes, my posture isn’t great and I’m bloated. When I’m losing weight, my body starts getting tighter, my posture is better because my core is getting stronger and I don’t retain as much “water weight.” So the same exact weight that felt sucky on the way up, feels so much slimmer on the way down. Go figure!!

Anywho, getting through the first 4 weeks of exercising and diet is so critical for me. From here on out, it should get a little easier as I’ve gotten used to the morning exercise routine, I’m getting in bed by 11 pm, I’m not hungry all of the time and I feel good!! So, yeah, I’m pretty psyched and feeling really motivated!! C25K Week 4 starts today and I’m going up from 9 minutes of running to 16 though!! Dang!! They just changed it up on a sista!! But, that’s okay. ‘Cuz, I’m gonna get ‘er done!! 😉

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Time for 28 Day Fitness Challenge, Round TWO!! Who’s with me?!?!

28 Day Fitness Challenge: Days 15-21

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c25K_workMy hair fell out of the bun. I can’t stand my hair
down when I’m exercising.

Still going strong!! I’m very happy to have week three of my 28 Day Fitness Challenge under my belt. I’m down 6 pounds now, which is an average of 2 pounds a week. This is great for me as I usually don’t see the scale move much my first month of exercising and getting my diet back on track. I’m not feeling tired like I was the last time I did this challenge and I think that has a lot to do with morning work-outs … and getting in bed by 11 pm (sleep is sooo important). So I don’t foresee any problems taking it all the way to the end this time! Yea!!

And, here are Days 15-21 in pictures!!

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On a diet note … despite encountering these for $0.99 at the register of Panera on Friday night …

Panera_RedVelvetCookies

Red Velvet COOKIES?!?! Are you kidding me?!?!

I walked out with this, as planned …

DELISH!!

Fuji Apple Chicken Salad. DELISH!!

A little trick I use to take the calorie count down on this salad is request the half-size salad portions of the nuts, cheese and dressing. By doing this, I shave 165 calories off of the salad, taking it from 550 to 385. All the flavor for 2/3 the calories!! WIN!! Oh, but I earned a free bakery treat the next time I go to Panera … so, I can’t make any promises that I won’t walk out with one of those cookies the next time …

And to wrap this up, on a hair note, I washed the mop and FINALLY did a two step henna/indigo this weekend!! I actually did a full head, full strength henna treatment, which I haven’t done in over a year. So happy to be done with that as my roots were looking CUH-RAZY!!

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Sorry, no after pics yet. I set my hair in braids on Saturday night and released them late on Sunday to bun it. My wash day went down almost exactly the same as the last one, which I ran down here, except I did the henna/indigo treatment after shampooing/detangling and set my hair in braids instead of twists. Other than that, the steps and products were the same with one other exception that I think made a HUGE difference in my detangling session this weekend. It was a BREEZE and I was so ecstatic! I’ll be sharing what I did differently with you guys very soon in a post about detangling techniques. So, stay tuned for that ;)!!

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I’m starting C25K Week 3 this morning!! How did my 28 Day Fitness Challenge ladies doing or any of you who are working towards health & fitness goals?

28 Day Fitness Challenge: Days 8-14

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Hair

Alright, I know this is a hair blog, so I’ll open this with a little hair update. LOL!! I’ve been doing the least as my priority right now is getting my body/health back in order … hair is secondary. But, it still has its needs ;). So, last weekend, I did the following:

  • Pre-pooed with Vatika Oil mixed with Aubrey Honeysuckle Rose conditioner overnight.
  • Shampooed with diluted Shea Moisture Raw Shea Moisture Retention shampoo.
  • Conditioned and finger detangled with Herbal Essences Hello Hydration (HE HH) and rinsed.
  • Deep conditioned with Jessicurl Weekly Deep Treatment with added EVOO, JBCO and VCO.
  • Cooled and sealed with diluted HE HH.
  • Applied a modified kimmaytube leave-in conditioner (2 tbsp KCKT, 2 tbsp AVJ, 2 tsp JBCO/EVOO).
  • Set my hair in 8 twists (I think … I’m going off memory at this point).

On Monday, I wore my twists up and on Tuesday night, I removed them to stretch my hair further by placing it into 6 braids. Tuesday, I wore my hair in a low bun. On Wednesday, I placed it in a mid-height bun using a banana clip made two big twists, and wrapped and pinned them around the banana clip. I wore my hair like that through this past Sunday, re-setting it twice.

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It stayed well-moisturized, which was a relief. My ends in the back crown had been feeling rough and dry lately, so this was a welcome result. I’m definitely back to the kimmaytube leave-in and protective styling … oh yeah, I was supposed to be extending that bun challenge to right about now, wasn’t I?!?! LOL!! Well, it continues.

Oh, and I didn’t wash it this weekend … had the henna thawed for the second time in two weeks … but, just wasn’t feeling like dealing with an all day hair event and didn’t even feel like washing it period. I will definitely have to do something this weekend … henna may not make the cut again however, even though it’s sorely needed. But, for now, I put it in four braids after henna and it’ll be in another bun for the week … maybe even the same one! I should try to be more creative though, shouldn’t I? *shrugs*

Health & Fitness

Okay, now to my real focus for the week :). I’m at the halfway point of my personal 28 Day Fitness Challenge!!! I’ve lost 5-5.5 lbs since starting 2 weeks ago and I’m feeling better and motivated. Morning work-outs are definitely a necessity for me right now as I am so burned out after work. I know that although I might start the day with the best intentions, at the pace I’m going right now, there is no way I’d have the energy or motivation to get it done after work. It also feels really good to be done exercising shortly after starting my day. The one thing that sucks is that I can’t workout longer when I’m feeling good as I have to get to work. Right now I’m getting up at 5:30 a.m. to give myself 30 minutes to get my cup of coffee in and wake-up. But, I always end up taking 45 minutes to get it together. So, I may need to get up a little bit earlier if I want to get a little extra in.

Anywho, here is how week 2 went down (click on pics to enlarge and read captions). If you follow Hairscapades on Instagram or Facebook, you can skip this part as you’ve seen these already ;).

Okay, that was the fitness, this is the health. For me, weight loss has always required both exercise and a good diet. They work hand-in-hand and I think contribute equally to allowing me to reach my goals. This is because mentally they are tied together for me. If I’m not eating well, I don’t exercise … if I don’t exercise, I don’t eat well. So, I’ve definitely been focused on making certain that I eat breakfast every day, bring a healthy lunch and snacks to work and eat a balanced dinner. I’ve also been drinking a protein shake and taking my vitamins with my cereal post my morning work-out.

The thing is, because my body has gotten used to more calories, I’m hungry, so I’ve incorporated a few snacks that I’ll eventually wean out.

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The Bakery on Main Gluten Free Granola is to die for!! OMGosh, this stuff is so good … and so easy to overeat with a serving being only 1/3 of a cup (140 calories/6-7 g of fat). The Cranberry Orange Cashew tastes like crunchy nuggets of Fruity Pebbles!! Ooooooh weeeeeh!! But, I’m trying to keep it together … I wasn’t even planning on buying anymore of this stuff … until I saw it in the line of Marshall’s for $1 less than it cost me in Shop-rite! DANG!! Oh, and the dry roasted edamame is about the same calories, but with a lot more fiber. Also, it’s not so sweet and delicious, so it’s easier to control my serving size. That’ll be my longer term snack as it doesn’t set off my sugar/carb addiction!

Blueberry, Banana, Strawberry Mousse Protein Smoothie

And finally, I want to start incorporating some smoothies, especially green ones, into my diet. I don’t think I’ll do them daily, but I can at least make time to mix some up a couple of days a week. This Sunday, I made a nice strawberry, banana, blueberry protein smoothie to power me up for hot yoga and it was awesome!!

proteinsmoothie

8 oz. almond milk (40 cals)
8 oz. water
1 scoop Nectar Strawberry Mousse protein powder (100 cals)
1 banana (105 cals)
1 c. frozen Dole blueberries (70 cals)
1 tbsp whole flaxseeds (47 cals)
2 ice cubes
Total: 362 calories

I debated throwing some frozen spinach into the mix, but didn’t want to take the chance that it would make it nasty. But, I’ll give it a try on a smaller batch on another day. In fact, this was a LOT of smoothie, more than 2 large cup fulls. So, I can definitely half the recipe and save some calories! I need to hit the grocery store (should have done that yesterday) to get some fruit and veggies with which to experiment. I’m going with frozen as much as possible as I like the convenience and shelf life. More importantly, I’ve also read that frozen fruits and veggies tend to retain more nutrients as they are picked and frozen at the peak of ripeness, whereas fresh fruits and veggies are picked early to allow them to make it from farm to shelf without spoiling.

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Alright, I’m starting C25K Week 2 this morning!! How did my 28 Day Fitness Challenge ladies do this week? What day are you on? Are you feeling better? Seeing any changes?