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Spinach, Superfoods, Spirulina and Smoothies :)

Wow, today was definitely a day full of delicious foods…

After my yummy oatmeal breakfast, I drank some water, ate half a banana an hour later and headed to the gym for an intense cardio day.  It should have also been a weight day, but my body was still tired from Jillian Michaels anddd the hill climb I did with my mom yesterday.  My poor legs 🙂  So, in order to make sure my time at the gym was worthwhile, I hopped on the elliptical on the random setting for 40 minutes. During the time on the elliptical I psyched myself up for a little bit of running if I was still feeling great afterwards.  My new life goals (as seen in the About Me section) include running a half marathon by the end of this year, and the best way to get there from here is to start running!  So, without further adieu, I ran a mile after my elliptical workout. Total burn?  About 600 calories.

This doesn’t seem like much, but it’s hard to do not only because I haven’t run very far in the past year, but also because my legs were EXHAUSTED, and it was after already working out for a while.  Despite all of this I pushed through the first 5 minutes (which I remember from my cross country days as always being the worst) and it ended up being completely satisfying.  I’m going to increase my runs by a couple minutes each cardio day, gradually working up to a 3 mile run and then start my half-marathon training schedule (as defined by John Bingham in his amazing books).

After the gym, I quickly drove back to the apartment and made smoothies for my roommate and I before picking her up after class and running errands.  My smoothie consisted of:

  • 1/2 medium ripe banana (50 calories)
  • about 1/2 cup almond milk (40 calories, ish)
  • about 1/2 cup OJ (55 calories, ish)
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seeds (yum!)
  • 1/2 scoop Designer Whey Protein (50 cals)
  • 1 cup frozen berries (strawbs, blueberries, raspberries) (60 cals)

And, as promised earlier:

1/2 serving (.5 tsp) Spirulina powder (maybe 5 calories)

Mine is the sludgy looking one on the right side 🙂

I will admit that I was apprehensive.  A green powder that smells reminiscent of fish food isn’t the ideal ingredient I’d add to any smoothie concoction.  However, the amount of nutrients that exist within this superfood is equivalent to a serving of fruits and vegetables in the amount of B-carotene it provides.  Other benefits of Spirulina include high protein content, lots of iron, helps reduce cholesterol and gives you increased energy.  For more info on the type that I purchased, check out Earthrise’s website.

Now I’m not sure if this is a direct correlation, but after eating the smoothie (which tasted relatively like the normal ones I consume) I did feel a little groggy and weird.  I remedied the situation by toasting a piece of multigrain toast and slabbing on a little bit of cream cheese.  Problem solved.  My guess was my body was getting used to the new nutrients.  I’ll try it again tomorrow and see how it goes.

After dropping my roommate back off to her last class, I picked up another friend and we took a short run to Starbucks (our favorite place) and grabbed coffee.  And as usual, I got a tall soy misto (one of their cheaper drinks since I’m relatively poor lately)…

Mine is on the left 🙂

…and I couldn’t resist a little dark chocolate pick-me-up, so we munched on a small piece from this yummy bar…

Mmmm...dark chocolate! Perfect remedy for a little (or a lotta) sweet tooth 🙂

Sorry the picture isn’t that great, I was in the car waiting for her to run back from the bank.  After this, we ran a couple errands and finally got back to my apartment so I could make dinner!

After watching Rachael Ray’s show this morning that was DVRed from Monday, she was making a Spinach, Artichoke Chicken Penne.  And it looked amazingggg. So if you can’t guess what happened next, I decided to make it for dinner.

Yum 10 times over. This was so good, and my friends seemed to love it.  Perhaps not the healthiest concoction, but I did use whole grain pasta 🙂

Post-delicious comfort food dinner, my friend and I were still craving something sweet. So, as seen on the Healthy Tipping Point blog by Caitlin, I decided to try her pumpkin yogurt concoction. In mine, I added:

  • 1/2 cup Chobani plain, nonfat greek yogurt (70 cals)
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin (20 cals or so)
  • 1 tbsp Agave (60 cals)
  • a pinch of brown sugar
  • and a dollop of Cool Whip Lite (JUST what the doctor ordered)

Yum.  A protein-filled dessert that reminded me of a healthy pumpkin pie, sans fatty crust.  This will definitely be eaten on a more regular basis.  Check out Caitlin’s post for the nutritional benefits of pumpkin!

Phew, I feel like these posts have been jam packed lately.  I suppose that’s a good thing for all of you 🙂  The last activity of the evening consisted of watching 500 Days of Summer with my foodie friend while simmering two servings of steel cut oats for a quick breakfast before work tomorrow morning.  One of my new favorite blogs, Eat, Live, Run by a woman named Jenna (weird, I know) had a good recipe on her FAQ’s section for making yummy steel cut oats.  For mine, I brought 1/2 cup oats and 1 and a half cups water to a boil, simmered for 20 minutes, added lots of cinnamon and vanilla, let them cool.  Then, I split the batch into two servings and added Goji berries to soften for tomorrow’s breakfast serving.

I’ll let you all know how it turns out!

G’night 🙂

Jenna

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4 thoughts on “Spinach, Superfoods, Spirulina and Smoothies :)

  1. Ok so I totally saw the same episode of the Rachael Ray Show and thought I have GOT to make that pasta! I love spinach artichoke dip and there are ways to make the pasta pretty darn healthy. i will definitely be trying that!

    I love Eat, Live, Run. It was one of the first blogs I started to read over a year ago 🙂

  2. Pingback: Souper(!) acorn squash « Eating Green, Staying Lean

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