Spring-Ready Smoothie Bowl

Procrastination.

Heard of it? Yes.

Experienced it? Yes.

Regretted it? Yes.

Learned your lesson for next time? No.

Unfortunately, this relentless noun is pretty much the only excuse I can offer for why I haven’t blogged in four months. That, and the fact that the plastic blue dishes in my apartment don’t exactly scream “photograph me.” For some reason, amidst my cost-conscious dishware shopping, I didn’t think to consider the Instagram-worthiness of my purchases.

However, there’s good news. I decided to procrastinate procrastinating (think about that) AND I recently saved enough money to buy a $4.99 ceramic bowl from Target that’s much more photogenic than its plastic cabinet-mates. So, I am now ready for my comeback post.

When I was trying to decide what recipe to feature, I considered a few different options:

A paleo pizza? Those buckwheat pancakes that I can’t stop (and won’t stop) posting on social media? The delicious smoothie bowl that I’ve been making for dinner after my work-outs? Then I remembered that I hadn’t yet found the funds to purchase the matching ceramic plate at Target, so my selection was quickly narrowed to recipes requiring bowls… thus my choice was easy.

BOWL-OF-PALEO-PIZZA.

Just kidding… even though I am now very intrigued by the idea of a pizza bowl. Maybe next post.

Until then, I bring you my new dinner staple. The green smoothie bowl.

Benefits of eating a smoothie out of a bowl instead of drinking from the glass? For one, it lasts longer. I can’t tell you how many times I have made a smoothie, poured it into a glass, sat down, chugged it, stood up, and shamelessly opened the refrigerator. Eating a smoothie out of a bowl with a spoon forces you to slow down and you feel like you’re eating a real meal (which you are). Second, pouring a smoothie in a bowl allows you to sprinkle on an infinite amount of toppings. These toppings not only make the smoothie 10 times more awesome and pretty, but they also give you that satisfying crunch that you need. Granola, nuts, seeds, fruit, cacao nibs, coconut… the possibilities are endless. So without further ado…

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Green Smoothie Bowl:

  • 2 Big Handfuls of Leafy Greens (Kale/Spinach/Romaine/Arugula)
  • 1 Spoonful of Tahini (or any Nut Butter)**
  • 1 Scoop of Plant-Based Protein Powder
  • 1 Cup Nut Milk
  • 1 Serving of Fruit (1/2 Frozen Banana, ½ Apple, 1 C Blueberries, 1/2 C Strawberries, etc)
  • Ice, as necessary
  • Toppings: A sprinkling of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, granola, unsweetened coconut flakes, sliced almonds, cacao nibs, dried fruit, chopped fruit, etc.

** Note: I use Tahini because if I buy a jar of any nut butter, I dive my spoon right into the jar and it’s gone in 3 days.

Now, for those of you shaking your head and beginning to plan what toppings you’re going to get on your burrito bowl for dinner… I urge you to reconsider. Yes, I know people usually prefer something savory and substantial for dinner – like salmon, broccoli, and a sweet potato. Or a hearty salad. Or Chipotle. But think about it – after you eat your savory dinner, how long before you’re craving something sweet for dessert?

Guilty.

With this smoothie bowl, it takes away the craving to indulge in a sugary treat before bedtime, and it also satisfies your craving for something savory when you add a drizzle of nut butter or roasted/salted nuts and seeds (my favorite are pepitas and sunflower seeds).

So, what are you waiting for? Spring has sprung. Bathing suit season is upon us. And let’s be honest, your winter jacket probably isn’t the only thing you’re eager to shed.

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My 3-day, No Food, Just Juice Extravaganza

Last week, I was introduced to my best friend and worst enemy – the juicer.

During one of my visits to my health counselor, she suggested I try a short juice cleanse. I said I was familiar with the concept, and she explained that juicing allows your body to detox, gives your digestive system a rest, and also allows the body to absorb the nutrients in fruits and vegetables much faster and more efficiently than simply eating them or blending them.  With this advice in mind, I had been researching various juice cleanses over the last few weeks, but had not committed to going out and buying a juicer just yet. Juicers themselves are pretty expensive, and although I was eager to try something new and challenging, I didn’t want to spend my money just to realize I didn’t much like the taste of homemade juice.  Fortunately, an unexpected monetary reimbursement arrived at my doorstep last week, and since it was conveniently addressed to me, I found myself driving to Bed Bath & Beyond the very same day to buy the juicer of my dreams… or maybe nightmares.

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I made my first juice right when I got home, consisting of some sort of peach, strawberry, apple, and ginger combination.  It was then that I decided my plans for the upcoming weekend. I decided to do what any average college student would do over a summer weekend — a juice cleanse. I researched online and finally found an abbreviated 3-day juice cleanse endorsed by juice guru Joe Cross and also recommended by Doctor Oz.  It consisted of 5 juices a day, each juice containing a variety of different ingredients (all fruits and vegetables) that you could play around with and substitute if needed. With their convenient ready-made shopping list in hand, I ventured to the grocery store last Friday night to select my produce.  I could barely fit all of the fruits and veggies in the fridge, but after pre-bagging the ingredients for my five juices into five separate bags the night before, I was ready.

Day 1: I started off strong and excited, but after the 3rd juice, I was getting pretty sick of having to clean the juicer every single time I used it. By the time I finished cleaning the kitchen of the mess I had created from one juice… it was time for the next juice. And I wanted a sandwich.

Day 2: I had less cravings and actually only ended up drinking 4 of the juices because I was pretty busy and didn’t have time to be at home hanging out with my juicer all day. Also, my feelings escalated, and I began to utterly despise the cleaning of the juicer.

Day 3: I pre-made my juices in the morning since I was going to be nannying the whole day, and my cravings were horrible because I was around all the crappy food that the kids eat.  By the end of the day, my stomach was hurting and all I could think about was some amazing sandwich that I could not eat.

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And finally… 14 glasses of juice later, my cleanse met its end.

Transitioning back to food has been a little tricky because I am getting fuller much faster, so I’ve had to be extra careful when I’m eating meals to not stuff myself just because I normally eat more.  Overall, I’m glad I did the cleanse and would recommend it to someone who has lots of time and patience for the constant juicing.  Almost all of the juices that I made were really delicious, and I only felt hungry a few times – the rest I knew were just cravings. I noticed that my skin looked much better while I was juicing and I also noticed that I had more energy.  The only basic downfalls were the amount of time and energy put into the prep and cleaning of the juicer, as well as the food shopping beforehand.  The juicer is being put away for now, but I think that I might just have to try another weekend cleanse at the end of the month before I go back to school. Gotta get my money’s worth!

To read more in-depth about the exact cleanse I did, here is the link: Joe Cross’ 3-Day Reboot