End of Summer Recipe — Pineapple-Mango Green Smoothie

I have been on a crazy smoothie kick lately after taking a break (I was SMOOTHIED OUT). It helped having my wisdom teeth pop through my gums and make solid foods really hard to eat.

This smoothie is a perfect taste of those last few weeks of Summer. It is tropical, fruity and all kinds of refreshing (and HEALTHY). I prefer to drink my fruits and vegetables and this drink has really helped me do so. Don’t think it’s just limited to summer either, you can drink this whenever you are craving a taste of the tropics. (Don’t worry, Fall Lovers, I’ve got you covered with a smoothie recipe soon).

GUYS, this is so good.

Recipe:

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  • 5 Full Cubes O’ Ice
  • 3/4 Cup Baby Spinach
  • 1/2 Cup Frozen Mango
  • 1/2 Cup Frozen Pineapple Chunks
  • 1/4 Cup Frozen Strawberries
  • 1/2 banana
  • 3/4 Cup Non-Pulp Orange Juice
  • 3/4 Cup Water
  • OPTIONAL: Chia Seeds, Honey and Granola

Directions (VERY EASY):

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  1. Prepare all of your ingredients. I have a specific order of adding things in (this works well if you have a Nutribullet, If you don’t.. I’m not totally sure it matters). This is the order: ice, spinach, mangos, pineapples, strawberries, banana, liquids. Throw them all into the blender.
  2. BLENNNNNNNNND. I usually let it go a solid 2 minutes to make sure all the ingredients have fully blended for a perfectly smooth smoothie. If you notice it’s struggling or too thick, add a little bit more orange juice or water.
  3. Pour into a glass, or into a bowl to top with granola, chia seeds, bonus fruit and nuts (smoothie bowl!)

FINISHED PRODUCT:

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You will have ALOT to drink. This is about 1 & 1/2 Smoothies. I always drink it all, but if you can’t.. save the rest in the fridge!

I hope you guys enjoy this recipe and try it out

-Emily

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How I Stay Energized Without Coffee (From A Former Caffeine Addict)

    About a year ago, my daily routine included waking up and going for a Starbucks black iced coffee. I would go to class, get whatever else I needed to get done and then end up going for another cup. The typical routine for a college student (especially in the busy city). It was great for a while; I felt like a superhero able to do whatever I needed. I had extra energy to work out and stay up all night to finish homework.  I went to Starbucks so often that I had earned the privilege of the almighty GOLD CARD (a special gold, glittery card with your name on it which gives you a free drink after 12 purchased drinks).

I thought everything was great until I noticed that the stimulant had started stimulating.. but way too much. It triggered my anxiety disorder and had me shaking and in full-blown panic mode. I knew I had to kick it to the curb. Not only were my poor teeth suffering from the heavy staining of black coffee, but my nervous system just couldn’t take it anymore. I was pretty upset that I had to let it go; there is nothing I love more than a fresh brewed cup. But now, a full year later, I am doing completely fine without it.


Here are some ways that I keep energized WITHOUT coffee..

1. TEA

If there is one thing I could hype up to everyone.. it’s tea. Not only are a good amount of teas really healthy for you, but most of them taste really, really great. There are plenty of caffeinated options such as green tea and black tea that range from 25-70 mg which is plenty to give you a buzz to keep going; brewed coffee has 200 mg of caffeine (and if you’re anything like me.. beware). When I’m really not feeling caffeine at all, Rooibos tea is great caffeine-free option and they have the best flavors.

2. EXERCISE

It may sound backwards, “how can putting out more energy make me less tired?” But, believe it or not, working out is one of the best things you can do to feel more energized. Even if it’s as simple as a walk around the hood or a bike ride with your guy/gal (or even your dog if you have a basket) you are getting your heart pumping and body moving which is enough to make you feel better.

3. DIET

Nobody’s perfect: I can’t say this enough when it comes to eating. Especially if you’re from the Midwest like I am, you understand that we love food and no one can stop us. But if you substitute your deep dish and everything Portillo’s for some healthy alternatives you will notice a serious shift in your mood and energy levels. When the body is getting the nourishment it’s supposed to be, you will feel it from the inside. Start your morning with a healthy breakfast instead of a few donuts and notice the difference. It truly speaks for itself.

4. SLEEP MORE THAN 4 HOURS

I know.. so hard, right? If you live a busy life you know how hard it can be to get a good nights sleep. But, try your best to not put sleep on the back burner. Your body needs at least 6 hours to be able to function properly throughout the day (even though 8 is recommended). So, if you can, cut your night out on the town a few hours early (if the sun is coming up you’ve probably over done it) and get that needed sleep time. You will feel way more energized than you thought possible.

5. KEEP BUSY

If you have a full day agenda, you will keep moving and keep focused which in turn keeps you from sitting around and feeling sluggish. Start a hobby, join a club, make plans with friends you haven’t seen in a while and get going! There is a good chance you’re not as tired as you think you are.

If you guys can relate to the coffee blues, then try out some of these tips and you will no longer be reaching for that cup o’ joe. 

“I’m not a stick anymore, but I’m doing okay”

“Hey I didn’t know a whale was coming to the pool tonight,” said a little boy to me as I passed a group when I was 10 years old at our local swimming pool– the first person to ever make me feel self conscious.

To sum up some history before we begin…..A few years ago, I took a trip with my close friends Sam, Michele and Zack. We went on a lovely tropical vacation to Punta Cana and it will forever be one of the best memories I will have. I was fresh out of high school and excited for the future. But, one thing was still holding me back and causing me serious torment: the voice in my head telling me my body was wrong. I went on my trip, had a great time and came back home to look through the tons of pictures we took. There was only one thing I could focus on..my weight. I could barely stand to see myself in these pictures. I have always been a junk food queen because of my pickiness in foods that I actually like but I hadn’t realized how far I had let myself go. To others I was ‘normal’ weight but I couldn’t just be ‘normal’. I didn’t feel comfortable. So I started dieting and exercising. From October 2012 – June 2013 I lost a total of 36 pounds. To be quick.. I went to school in the city, stopped working out, drank a lot and ultimately stopped caring about my “fitness”.

My self-esteem quickly plummeted. I no longer felt confident in clothes, my skin wasn’t shining like it used to, but ultimately I felt okay. I was back in control of my life and there was no constant voice telling me to count calories and exercise.

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My first week at college

Fast forward to today, leaving those habits over two years in the past, and I’m doing okay. I still exercise now and then (not everyday) but not to the point of overexertion. I try to eat healthy but I’m human and also I have a chocolate addiction so I’ve gained a little weight. My arms aren’t the rock hard muscle machines that I made them anymore and my stomach has gained a little pudge leaving behind the toned tummy I once had. I can’t lie and say sometimes I don’t get discouraged and even upset about myself but I’ve learned to know my body and I know this will help me become who I want to be.

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Today (i’ve gained 10 pounds)

I’m not fat, nor do I think I’m fat. I’m a healthy weight. I still get called “tiny” and “small” and guess what? I don’t go to bed starving anymore.

To those who sometimes don’t feel comfortable in their skin.. this is my advice to you:

1. You Can Be Beautiful and Confident At Any Size

I know.. hard to believe this when media is shoving skinny and toned down your throat (and if you ARE skinny and toned good for you, girl!! that’s awesome) but..there are other body types aside from slim and tiny. I am a firm believer in shining from the inside out. If you get yourself in a good place mentally anything is possible physically.

2. Do NOT crash diet.. PLEASE. 

If you want to lose weight the healthy way, put yourself on a natural, whole food diet change. Replace the processed foods America loves for things from nature, or close to nature. I’m talking fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seeds, nuts, legumes, and low fat dairy. If you stick with these foods and don’t overeat.. I can 100% guarantee you will see a difference in your reflection within a few weeks. ALL THOSE OTHER DIETS OFTEN END IN BINGE EATING AND GIVING UP.

3. Do Not Go To Tumblr and Instagram For Your ‘Thinspiration’

Especially under that hashtag. Most of those girls (and boys) are suffering from real, severe eating disorders and should not be administering diet advice. There is no reason you should eat a total of 200 calories a day (half of which are crackers and diet coke). The pictures you see are seriously ill people and should not be idolized.

4. Understand Your Body Type

Each body is constructed differently. Some girls can NEVER have a thigh gap, sticking out collar bones or that new asian thing where you wrap your arm all the way around your back to your waist to see if your skinny or not (if you don’t know what I’m talking about feel free to look it up). I’m sure there are other wacky ideas for what makes you ‘thin’ out there: Ignore them please and find your own ‘what makes me feel good’

5. Being Curvy is ‘Acceptable’

As sad as it is that we have to wait for something with our image to be ‘acceptable’ in modern society, guess what girls? Boobs, butt and thighs are in.. and bigger than ever (literally). Nicki, Beyonce, Kim and more have been flaunting their good goods and giving us the green light on saying yes to that bowl of pasta and maybe even a doughnut without tons of regret.

So no matter how you look, no matter what you’ve been through (or maybe if you’re going through something now), no matter what anyone has said to you..

  • Realize YOUR beautiful
  • Know your limits
  • Keep yourself healthy

Perfect Summer Breakfast: Blueberry Acai Smoothie Bowl

Chances are you’ve heard of these Acai (HOW DO YOU PRONOUNCE IT?!?) bowls. I was a little skeptical to give it a try because they looked like purple mud, but it is now one of my absolute favorite things. They are incredibly filling and keep you full and happy well into lunch. Here is the recipe and process for my own personal Acai Bowl:

Ingredients for blender:

  • 1 Pack of Sambazon Unsweetened Acai Smoothie (They come in a pack of 4. I get mine at Whole Foods)
  • 1 Banana (The more ripe, the better. Even if they’re brownish)
  • 1/2-3/4 a cup of Frozen or Fresh Blueberries (if you prefer more, do more)
  • 1/4 Cup of Water
  • *2 Tbsp of Honey if you like it sweeter*

Toppings: 

  • 1/2 Cup of Honey Almond Granola (got mine at Whole Foods) or any Granola you love.
  • 2 Tbsp of Chia Seeds (THEY KEEP YOU VERY FULL AND ARE SUPER GOOD FOR YOU)
  • 1/8 Cup of Raisins
  • Extra blueberries
  • *you can literally top these with whatever you like such as Peanut Butter, Banana, Strawberries, Pineapple, Chicken Tenders… knock yourself out*

RECIPE:

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  1.  take your Sambazon Acai Smoothie Pack and run it under warm water for 5 seconds to loosen it up. It’s impossible to get out of the plastic without this step. Then, empty contents of the pack into your blender, NutriBullet, or Ninja. Break your banana in half and throw it in. Drop in your blueberries. Pour in your water. It should look like the picture below.

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2. BLEND. If you run into a little difficulty with blending, add a bit more water. Continue until smooth (about a minute). Then, pour your smoothie into a bowl. It should have the consistency of a smoothie, not a soup.

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3. Top your smoothie bowl! This is really where the creative, personal choice comes into play. I top mine with granola, raisins, blueberries, and chia seeds and I LOVE the taste. If you want an Instagram-Worthy photo op, line your ingredients as neatly as you can. If you don’t really care, just sprinkle them on top like a wild animal (MOSTLY WHAT I DO because I am INDEED a wild animal). IMG_1392

AND HERE IS THE FINAL PRODUCT:

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I hope you guys give this recipe a try, or even make it your own and switch it up.