The Gym Can’t Cut It

Ask almost any fitness professional and they will tell you that no matter how much you workout out, if your nutrition stinks, you will never reach your goals. I once had a boyfriend in high school as me, “How in the world do you eat so much?”

Now, if anyone asked me that, my answer would probably be, “Because most of what I eat is green.” But back then I said, “I workout so that I can eat whatever I want.” It’s true, for a few dreamy years you can eat nearly anything you want. Your waist may not show it, but your heart will.

In fact, this weekend, my husband and I came across an article that proves my point. An average size girl who ate nothing but chicken nuggets for 15 years, collapsed due to malnutrition. She wasn’t fat, she didn’t really over eat, I don’t know how much exercise she did. However, your body craves the nutrients that your Creator prescribed in the first place.

I love to experiment in the kitchen. A few of my favorite resources are Eating Well and Clean Eating. Usually, I start with something they suggest and modify it until I have something only remotely similar.

Kale is my new favorite find. I don’t know how many times I passed it in the grocery store, not knowing exactly what it was or what to do with it. Now, I have two giant bags of it in my fridge and Patrick keeps finding it in everything (:

Try this one, courtesy of the 21-Day Kickstart Vegan, a fantastic App available for the IPhone.

Southern Beans and Greens

1 C vegetable broth

3 C drained cooked or canned beans (you chose) my favorite was actually chickpeas

1/2 tsp crushed garlic

4 C chopped fresh kale, stems and center ribs removed (I skipped this step)

1 tsp olive oil

sea salt to taste

pepper to taste

Tabasco to taste

Combine beans and broth and garlic in a large saucepan. Place chopped kale on top of beans and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until kale is tender, about 15 or 20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in olive oil, salt and pepper and Tabasco to taste. I topped my serving with feta cheese.

I think I served this to Patrick once and then decided to eat all the leftovers myself. It is delicious!

Starbucks Has Nothing On Me!

Hands down, my favorite recipe right now is my morning protein shake. Now, before you go back to reading someone else’s blog, or back to your email or to make yourself a sandwich – take a look at this scrumptious concoction. I admit, the first publication of this recipe was not a protein shake.

Eating Well, a wonderful website and even better magazine, published this recipe as a frozen mochaccino, an excellent (and cheaper) version of Starbucks Frappuccino. Being a vegetarian, I’m always on the prowl for more protein that is NOT cheese, egg whites or tuna. And, being a former Starbucks employee, having lost my discount there, I am always on the prowl for yummy drink substitutions.

I have provided a link to the original Eating Well recipe, here, but if any of you are even moderate health-nuts with a tub of protein powder in your pantry, at least try my version.

Abby’s Protein Shake (that I literally drinks every single morning, and would like to drink 2 a day!)

1 Cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk [I use Almond Breeze]

2 packages artificial sweetener

1 scoop of protein powder (vanilla or chocolate depending on your preference) [I use Isolyze]

1 Tbs. cocoa powder or PB2 if you like peanut butter and who doesn’t?

At this point, if you want to add some pizzazz, you can add a Tbs. or so of Davinci flavored syrup

And NOW for the secret ingredient: frozen coffee ice cubes. The day before, save your left over coffee, add a Tbs. or so of instant coffee to double the strength and freeze in an ice cube tray. I add 8 cubes + 1 regular ice cube to my mixture.

It’s so easy. One blender – toss it all in and blend like crazy! The longer you blend, a whey protein will tend to thicken and volumize. I love that it usually overflows one Eskimo Joe’s cup and I get to drink the rest straight from the blender.

If you make this recipe as I have listed above, and use a sugar free flavored syrup, your drink (the whole thing) will have about 190 calories. It doesn’t get better than that!