Green (smoothie) With Envy

Finished Green Smoothie

Breakfast, man. Love it or hate it, you have to eat it. Or maybe, you don’t. Some studies are now saying that breakfast actually is NOT the most important meal of the day. Others say that you have to eat it to get your metabolism right. I know that if I don’t have breakfast on a weekday, I’m going to be one hangry B by the time 10:00 rolls around.

So the trick is, how do I eat a breakfast that is healthy, yummy, and something I can eat either on the way to work or on a quick break at my desk at work? Because I guarantee you that if I have to wake up earlier than the 5:30 that I should be waking up now to get a breakfast in before I leave the house, you’re going to see one hangry lady…

In my research for some healthy breakfast options, I’ve been reading a lot about green smoothies, made green by the addition of leafy greens like kale, spinach, or collard greens. The greens add healthy vitamins without adding any taste (so to keep the taste out, avoid things like Arugula!). Adding some fruits will bring some of that yummy sweet smoothie flavor, and using a healthy liquid base will really bring this full circle to be a filling, fiber-ful, easily digestible morning meal that will keep you full and increase your intake of fruits & veggies with little effort!

Preschooler Approved
This smoothie is preschooler approved! And that’s saying something.

The smoothies differ from juicing in that all of that fiberful veggie & fruit pulp is kept in the beverage. However – if you are on a specific diet plan, you will want to see the plan’s fine print regarding blending up your fruits & veggies. Weight Watchers Smart Points, for example, add up for fruits & veggies if they are made into a drink rather than ate whole. And while there are skeptics out there that doubt the benefits of these as a staple, well, it’s still better than grabbing a donut on your way into the office!

The first time I made these, I will admit I was a little nervous to try it. My Target cheapo blender does a great job, but the appearance of a green beverage with darker flecks of green floating in it didn’t have me clamoring for a straw. However, the reception was positive! My four year old daughter said, “Mmm – this is the most delicious smoothie ever. Thank you for making it for me, mommy!” And coming from a bed-headed grumpy 4 year old who doesn’t like most of what we put in front of her, I consider that a 5 star review!

Smoothie Ingredients

Here’s the recipe that will make your pals green with envy:

Green Smoothie!

  • 1.5 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 large handful leafy greens, such as kale
  • 1 – 2 cups fresh fruit, such as bananas, strawberries, kiwi, apples, berries, melon…
  • 1 tbsp flax seed
  • 1 tsp Stevia powder sweetener, or sweetener of choice to taste

Blend together, and then serve either over ice or blended with ice.

That’s it! Super easy, super nutritious, and super yummy!

Finished Breakfast

Beauty from the Kitchen – strengthen your hair with a quick trip to the fridge

Hair Mask Titled

I blinked, and it’s nearly the middle of June – meaning more than half of 2016 has passed (nearly). Holy cow! Why is summer always the busiest month?

My husband and I celebrated our 10th anniversary at the beginning of the month. 10 years of marriage, and 14 years of being together. Sheesh! So we decided to go big and went to Jamaica!

Jamaica

Like that photo? I hope so – I had to pay the resort $15 for it (ugh).

This is the first time I’ve gone to a resort/beach vacation like this, unless you count the time that we drove across the country to spend a day in the frigid Atlantic ocean. Or the time I was 13 and spent 2 days in Florida with my church’s youth group. It was nice to spend some days just lying on the beach in the sun, but I was glad to come home. I missed my kiddo, and if I had to spend another day with sand everywhere – including my hotel room bed – I was going to freak out.

Beach Bound

Ahh – my little trip to paradise. I may have enjoyed the sun and the salt water and the ocean breezes, but my hair did not. My hair wasn’t in the best of shape from being colored, but it was absolutely wretched after that trip. I would brush it and hear all of the strands snap as my brush got stuck in the snags. My hair is thin enough as it is – I can’t afford to lose any hair to unnecessary breakage! Even using my deep conditioner and Olaplex formula did not help.

I was pleased last night to try out this hair mask I’ve had on my to-do list, and was so happy with the results! My hair is soft again, and I can brush it with minimal tangles and breaks. The protein helps to build stronger hairs, and the oil is so moisturizing. The best thing is that this took about 3 minutes to prepare using ingredients I had in the kitchen.

Hair Mask Titled

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp honey

 

Whisk these ingredients together and apply them to wet hair. Leave in for 30 minutes, and then wash out and follow up with your normal conditioning ritual.

That’s it. It truly is that simple & easy. My husband would point out that while I was letting it rest, not only had I put a grocery bag over my hair to keep it all contained, but I was unaware that the receipt was still in the bag and didn’t realize it until seconds before getting into the shower… You may choose to leave the receipt out of your mix – it is optional 😉

If you have long hair, or very thick hair, I would recommend doubling the batch. I used the amounts above, and for my thin, mid-back length hair, it worked out well.

I will definitely be making this a part of my hair care routine – anything that is as natural and simple as this really makes my day!

As for life in general, I like to say I’m going through a 1/3rd life crisis. Look for some changes to happen – including an option to shop for some of the homemade bath & body products I’ve been having a blast making lately!

Bath Bombs

Me time is SO IMPORTANT! It’s in high demand and short supply in my home. So every Sunday night, moments after the little one is put to bed, I spend some time on just myself. I fill the bath with water as incredibly hot as I can stand it (and even more so, meaning I have to ease myself in with strength and muscles I didn’t know existed). I bring out all of my pampering products – face and body scrubs, masks, washes, deep conditioners… And most of all, I love using bath bombs!

If you’ve ever shopped at Lush, you’ve no doubt seen them. They are colorful and beyond wonderful smelling. I could go through and pick out 5 – 6 of my favorites in seconds, filling my basket and heading to the register. I don’t know why it took me so long to realize how much I was spending on them (probably denial), but those suckers are around $6 each! That’s $6 a bath, not counting the other myriad products I use as well. But as a one time use indulgence, I had to find a better way. Continue reading

Lotion Potion

Ladies – is there a better feeling than having freshly shaved legs, and slathering on the lotion so that they’re oh so soft, and then getting into bed with freshly washed sheets? Do you ever just roll around so you can feel the sheets run over your dolphin skin smooth legs? Also, is there ever a RARER occurrence? Clean sheets AND freshly shaven legs? That’s maybe happened twice in my life. But – it’s such a wonderful sensation that I can vividly picture and describe it from just two occasions in life.

In an earlier post about dry skin, and how to treat it, I eluded to a recipe for a homemade lotion bar that’s free of icky dyes, fragrances, chemicals… Well it’s time to deliver! Continue reading