Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Smoothie

If you are anything like me, there is a good chance that you love chocolate and peanut butter. Really though, who doesn’t love chocolate and peanut butter? Peanut butter and chocolate are a winning combination and even more of a winning combination when it’s good for you!

I am a huge fan of smoothies for breakfast. They are perfect to eat while I’m running on the door and if I don’t finish it by the bus pulls up (gotta love public transportation), I can take it with me. Sometimes, chocolate and peanut butter is the perfect start to a Monday morning. Here is one of my absolute favorite smoothie recipes. This protein-packed smoothie will keep you going until lunch time!

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter
  • 6 oz. of Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup of almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon of agave
  • 3 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 large banana, peeled and frozen

 

Blend and enjoy!

Question for you:

What’s your favorite kind of smoothie?

 

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Overcoming an Exercise Slump

We all get into exercise ruts. Hence, why I started blogging again so that I can keep myself on track as I continue to sweat for the wedding. Sometimes I am extremely motivated to workout and other times I’d prefer to just hang out of the couch with a bowl of ice cream. This is completely normal. When this happens, it is time to rejuvenate your workout routine. It can help to get you out of that slump and get you on to achieving your goals!

Here are my tips to recharge your exercise routine:

  • Sign up for a new exercise class. Have you tried barre, hot yoga or even a strength training class? Do something that you have never done before. Time flies when you are sweating and trying something new! Group exercise classes can help you beat the boredom of exercising alone.
  • Switch-up your location. If you normal go to the gym, try getting outside and running or biking. If you normally visit a yoga studio, try switching studios. If you are a runner, switch your route.
  • Register for a race. Pick a fun race to run or choose a race that is for a cause that you really support. Even if you’ve never run a race before, this can be a lot of fun and a great workout. Register for your first 5k or first half marathon. Then, plan your workouts around training for the race. If you are not a runner, try downloading a couch to 5k app.
  • Don’t exercise if you are exhausted. Remember, it is okay to take a break. If you are sick or tired, opt to rest that day. Your body needs time to recuperate from exercise.
  • Get creative with your workouts. If you are at the gym, use multiple cardio machines to complete a 30 minute workout. Try 10 minutes on the step machine, 10 minutes on the elliptical and the final 10 minutes on the treadmill. Make your workouts your own. There are no rules for how you can and cannot workout.
  • Search for new workouts to keep things fresh. Use blogs, Pinterest, apps and fitness magazines to find new workouts to try. This is how I find many of the workouts I complete!
  • Create a fun, upbeat playlist. Great music can really help to fuel your workout!

How do you recharge your workout?

How to Avoid Office Munchies!

If you are work in an office, like me, it can often be hard to avoid the donuts, cookies, cakes, chips and other snacks that seem to pop up multiple times per week. My desk happens to be very close to were everyone leaves their cupcakes, brownies and other goodies. As a result, it is a must to practice self-control.

Cookies, candies and cupcakes do not to have to become a staple of your office eating.

Here are my tips for handling the goodies that are likely to pop up at your workplace at any given time:

  • Enjoy yourself, but don’t overindulge. Have a cookie, a few pieces of candy or a piece of cake and do not hesitate to enjoy it. Not eating it will make you want it even more; this can lead to overindulgence later on.
  • Bring your own snacks. Try to have a protein bar or a cup of yogurt with you at work. This can help you to fight cravings on days that you really have the munchies. Having a healthy snack, that you enjoy on hand can prevent you from searching the office kitchen for an unhealthy treat.
  • Keep the snacks out of sight if possible. Out of sight, out of mind. Offer to put the leftovers away. Your co-workers are likely to really appreciate the fact that you are willing to clean up the office. It’s much easier to avoid temptation if you do not have a giant plate of cookies sitting within your site.
  • Bring in a health dish. Offices often hold potluck lunches. Sign-up to bring a healthy dish so you know there is at least one healthy option you can enjoy. Fruit salads, hummus and vegetables or whole wheat crackers with cheese are great options.

What are your go-to, healthy office snacks?

 

May 2015 Bulu Box Review

Hi friends! Last month I saw a Groupon for a 3 month subscription to Bulu Box for just $7, which seemed like a deal I couldn’t refuse. I love getting packages in the mail! Bulu Box is a monthly subscription service that provides you with products that are weight loss, nutrition and health-related. You are supposed to get 4-5 premium samples. If you share yours thoughts on the products, you get $5 in reward points each month. I opted for the weight loss box, just because I was hoping that it might have snack products in the box to keep me full. The box is $10 per month. The first thing I noticed about the box was that I never received a shipping notification, it just showed up at my door. I don’t particularly like when this happens. If a package shipped and gets lost in the mail, I’d have no idea that it was lost or shipped for that matter.

When I opened the box, I thought it seemed a little sparse and the samples seemed less-than-premium.

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Inside was:

SK Energy Shots: These shots are a mixture of weight loss aids (such as caffeine from green coffee beans and B vitamins) to give you a boost of energy and raising your resting metabolic rate to help you burn more calories throughout the day. 12 shots are priced at $25.99. For me, this is an okay product. I’m not a big caffeine person, but I am willing to give this a try on a day that I do not get that much sleep.

Shapeology Burn Blend: This product had proven ingredients to mimic the effects of a high metabolism so that you burn more calories and lose weight more likely. It has a liquid delivery system, so you feel the results immediately. 60 capsules are priced at $39.99. The sample size is two capsules. The instructions say to take 1-2 capsules in the morning and 1-2 in the afternoon, so I am questioning whether or not you can accurately determine if you like the capsules. I keep hearing things about Shapeology, I am willing to try it, but weight loss supplements generally are not my thing.

KPAX Energy: KPAX energy are capsules that are packed with vitamins, amino acids, antioxidants and caffeine. They claim to give you more energy for your workouts or to start your day. 60 tablets retail for $44.95. Again, the sample is only 2 tablets. Instructions indicate to take 1-2 tablets per dose, may repeat up to three times daily. For me, 2 tablets is definitely not enough to determine if I like something. Again, I’m not a big caffeine girl.

Vital 4U Liquid Energy Ginseng Drink: This product is supposed to be for anyone who needs a boost of energy. It contains Ginseng, an herbal remedy for restoring and enhancing well-being. This product also contains caffeine and B vitamins. A 12 count retails for $17.00. The flavor I received is coffee, I do not like coffee at all. Therefore, I will be passing this off to someone who actually drinks coffee! Still, I’m not big on caffeine. I like my sleep too much to hype myself up on caffeine.

Youth Fusion: This powder drink mix contains no added sugars and just 10 calories. It contains a number of vitamins and minerals as well as Co-Q10 — to help boost heart health. A 30 count is sold for $40.99. I received the flavor tangerine, which I do not like at all! However, I am a big fan of drink mixes to spice up my water. If this were another flavor, I’d be very likely to enjoy this.

Overall, the theme of this box appears to be caffeine. I am not a big caffeine drinker at all. I am not super impressed with this box. The good news is that I did not pay $10 to receive it. I feel like larger sample sizes of vitamins and supplements are needed to determine if you actually like them.

Have you ever tried Bulu Box? What are your thoughts?

 

Sweating for the Wedding: The Start of a New Journey

I’ve been horrible at blogging ever since I made a career change. So, I’m taking my upcoming wedding and turning it into the opportunity to lead a healthier lifestyle — not that my lifestyle is particularly unhealthy, but I’d love to be consistently making healthy choices! I’m getting married in 365 days and just turned 30, so here’s to a healthier lifestyle! What better time than now to be in the best shape of my life?

How am I going to do this you might ask? My plan is not set-in-stone and is subject to change based on what is and what is not working for me! Here are some things I’m planning on sticking with and/or trying for the first time:

1. I love, love, love my FitBit. It is amazing how much that little thing can motivate me! I love challenging my future in-laws and my family to Weekend Warrior Challenges and the Work Week Hustle. It’s fun and motivating. My goal is to hit 100k steps per week. It may sound like a lot, but really it’s not hard. Getting off the bus a stop earlier and walking the rest of the way to work and taking a walk on my lunch break really help me to achieve this goal! It even helps to use the printer that is furthest from my desk at work. 🙂

2. Redeem Groupons that I’ve purchased for various fitness classes and have never used! Yep, I purchased a few Groupons in 2012 for yoga and barre classes and never used them. Surprisingly, they don’t expire until 2016. Needless to say, I’ll be attending yoga and barre two times a week for the next 6 weeks!

3. At-Home exercise. I own a couple of Tone It Up and Blogiates DVDs. These are perfect for toning up and building strength without having to belong to a gym. They are great for when you are looking to squeeze in a quick workout without having to drive to a gym or make it to a yoga class on time.

4. Fruits and Veggies. I am one who struggles to eat a lot of fruits and veggies, not sure why. I like them, they just don’t seem to make it into my meals before they go bad. I’ve made it a goal to go shopping for a weeks worth of product at time and eat it all before it goes bad. I’ve also really been enjoying adding kale and spinach to smoothies.

5. Smoothies and Protein Shakes. It took me the longest time to get recipes down to the point where I actually enjoy the smoothies and protein shakes I make, but I am finally getting the hang of it! I just ordered the Vega Protein Smoothie, which I am very excited to try. I did drink Shakeology for awhile, but I found overtime that I was getting a lot of headaches from it and it was just do expensive. I am hoping this will taste great and keep me full!

Questions for you!

1. What is your favorite brand of protein powder/meal replacement drink?

2. What is your favorite smoothie recipe?