Peanut Butter Protein Smoothie

You guys. I cannot stop making this smoothie. How often do you have to crave/want/need something in your life to be considered an addict? Because I think I may be reaching the point of addiction here. 

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It’s peanut buttery without the added fat and calories, but packed–PACKED!–with protein thanks to this stuff.DSC06722

I first got Protein Plus Peanut Flour from iHerb about a year ago, but (stupidly) didn’t think to put it in a smoothie. I don’t know why, because it makes a mean peanut butter muffin, so the leap to putting it in, well, everything.


What’s awesome about the Protein Plus is that just 2 tablespoons pack an additional 8g of protein into my smoothie with only 55 calories and 2g of fat. I’d rather get my healthy fats from olive oil or avocado than peanut butter, so this is a great alternative for me. 

Peanut Butter Protein Smoothie

Serves 1-2

1 scoop vanilla protein powder
2 T. Protein Plus Peanut Flour
1/2-3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or whatever milk you like)
1 big handful of spinach
1 frozen banana 
2 handfuls of ice
pinch of salt
splash of vanilla extract
pinch of xantham gum (optional, for thickening)

Add first 4 ingredients to blender and blend until spinach is completely broken down. Add banana and blend. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. It will be extra thick, especially if you use the xantham gum, so I pour mine into a bowl and eat it with a spoon.

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Kashi GoLean Crunch on top–optional.

The Protein Plus is a little pricey–$5.79 for 1 lb.–but if you’re only using 2 tablespoons at a time, it lasts a long time. has the best pricing that I’ve found, and you can use this code for a little discount: AWO351 ($5 off your first iHerb order and $10 off if your order is $40 or more).

I tend to get into food ruts where I eat the exact same thing for days–or weeks–on end. I used to be so good about cooking new things all the time, but lately, I’m all about this smoothie, mixed cereal bowls, and my favorite vegan taco salad. Lame, I know. 

Anxiety Girl Strikes Again!

Once again, I have succumbed to peer pressure in blogland and jumped on another bandwagon.

Chia turtle

Against my better judgement, I went ahead and put chia seeds in my smoothie.

I’ve got to tell you–I was nervous. Apprehensive. Anxious.






You see, I’m not a fan of seedy things: Motels. Affairs. Bars. Jam.

Yeah, I don’t like seeds in my shiz. I don’t want seeds in my jelly, rye bread, or yogurt, thankyouverymuch. Pomegranates? That’s like, a whole fruit of seeds. I cannot handle such a thing. Pomegranate martini? Yes. Pomegranate seed? No.

But I’m getting off track.

Pomegranate martini

I’ve been reading for years about chia seeds and how good they are for you with their Omega 3s and blah blah blah. But I am into things that are good for me, and I did start putting spinach in my smoothies at the recommendation of blogland, so why not jump on the chia seed bandwagon, too, right?

Well, the seed thing, for starters. There’s nothing I hate more than crunching on a seed in something that’s supposed to be smooth and soft. Blech. Gross.

Still, I had heard about how chia seeds could turn soft and gel-like when mixed with water or other liquids, thereby making them more gooey and less seedy. So maybe I could stand them? Maybe they wouldn’t be quite as offensive as I’d made them out to be?

But then, there’s the commitment issue. I mean, chia seeds aren’t necessarily cheap. They’re not super pricey, either, but if I’m going to spend $10 on a grocery item, I want to love it. I mean really love it. Like slather it over everything and cover my body in it love it.


But I’m getting off track. Again.

A few weeks ago, the super nice and friendly Anthony at Swanson Health got in touch to see if I’d like to try a few of their products.


Free chia seeds? No risk? No nervousness or anxiety or fretting?



From the Swanson website:

Chia seeds really are a nutrient-dense super-food, and if it’s Salvia hispanica it’s just that–chia! We’ll make no outrageous claims about our Chia seeds, except to say that just one tablespoon of these tiny little white seeds delivers a daily dose of fiber, protein, calcium, essential fatty acids and more.

That all sounds pretty fantastic to me. So I did the damn thing and threw them into my usual green monster–vanilla protein powder, unsweetened almond milk, a frozen banana, a big handful of spinach, some ice, and a healthy pinch of xantham gum for thickening.

The verdict?

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No crunching or weirdness at all! They literally melted right into the smoothie and made it extra thick.

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Plus (and this could totally just be in my head), I felt like this smoothie kept me fuller than usual. Those chia seeds have some staying power!

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While I’m not ready to sprinkle them on my PB-covered english muffins, I’ll definitely keep adding them to my smoothies–and I’m totally trying them in “egg” form in something baked, so you can go ahead and get yourselves ready for that!

Did you ever have a chia pet?

I did not. But my child of the 80s self really wishes I had.

Where do you stand on chia seeds? Yay or nay?

Gotta tell ya–I think I’m a fan!

Disclaimer: Swanson Health let me try their White Chia Seeds free of charge, but all opinions here are from yours truly! Come on–you know me well enough to know that I wouldn’t say I liked something if I didn’t, right? Right.

The Awful Truth

I’ve been hiding something.  Over the last few days, all of my problems are due to the fact, due to the awful awful truth . . .

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that I left my running mojo in Virginia.

Sad smile

Since I got to Michigan on Saturday, I have run exactly 3 times, and every single run has been terrible.  I can’t breathe.  My body won’t move.  The runner’s high eludes me every time.  And I just feel like crap. 

The strangest part about it is that I still want to run.  Each time I lace up my shoes, I hope for a better run than the last—that my lungs will open up, that my limbs will move freely, that my runner’s high will kick in.  So far?  No dice. 

Even though Virginia is hot and humid, the humidity there doesn’t hold a candle to the thickness we’ve got going on in the air here in Michigan.  Honestly, I’ve felt more like I was swimming than running lately, and I am not all that into swimming.  I think my body just needs to acclimate to training here—but it had better happen fast!  I need to enjoy my workouts! 


The change in schedule is definitely a factor, too.  I’m not drinking as much water as I was when I was working, and I no longer have a set workout time.  I can run in the morning, the afternoon, the evening—whenever it fits in to my day—but there’s no regularity to it.  The plan is to be gentle with myself and try to ease into my running here, rather than going balls to the wall, so to speak.  Not easy for my type A craziness, but I’m going to attempt it!

In general, my energy level has been pretty low over the past few days as well.  I think it’s just the “coming down” phase from several hectic months of teaching.  I realized last night that I’ve only been sleeping 6-7 hours a night for many many months.  No wonder people keep calling me “ma’am!”


In order to recharge, here are a few summer goals:

  • Let myself rest.
    • I have a hard time just hanging out.  I always feel like I need to be doing something or I go a little nuts.  I’m going to try to just veg out this summer—pool time, naps, America’s Next Top Model marathons.  Bring it.


  • Drink more water.
    • I am great at drinking water when I’m working, but I tend to forget when I’m not on a regular schedule and then I get cranky.  And I can’t figure out why I’m cranky.  Duh.  This should also help a lot with running.

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  • Get 8 hours of sleep each night.
    • Probably the hardest thing for me on this list.  I love to sleep.  Love love love.  But no matter how tired I am, I have a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep, especially without taking anything.  I am pretty “anti-pill” in that I’d prefer to tough out a headache or have some protein to try to get rid of it before eating something.  Same goes for sleeping meds.  I don’t want to be dependent on them, but lately I can’t fall asleep without them.  I guess we’ll see.

crazy pills

  • Read more books.
    • I am a reader, but for most of the school year, I spend my evenings reading “kid books”—those that I buy for my classroom library and preview so I can tell my students about them.  This summer, I am going to read all the books I’m interested in! 

fortunes rocks

This is my all time favorite book—I read it every summer.  Anyone else read it?  Highly recommend that you do!

  • Don’t sweat the small stuff.
    • I am a worrier.  Things stress me out.  I have a lot to think about these days, and I do promise I’ll tell you all about it soon, but I’m trying not to worry too too much.  I don’t really know how to go about not worrying, but I’m going to attempt it. 


Also noteworthy, I made a gigantic smoothie this morning.


This bowl is roughly the size of my head. 

In the mix:

1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder

1 T. cocoa powder

1 T. peanut butter

1/4 cup coconut milk

1 frozen banana

5 strawberries

2 handfuls of ice

Being at my parents’ house, I got to use their fancy blender, which blends the pants off of my blender at home.  Must invest in a better blender.  There’s really no comparison.


I like my smoothies really thick and creamy.  Much trial and error has led me to limit the amount of liquid I add (usually 1/4 cup or less) and to add in ice and blend its brains out.  The ice adds volume, but you really have to blend it up or it’s too icy.  Does that make any sort of sense? 

OK, I need a nap.  Or an ANTM marathon.  Unfortunately, I will be back in the dentist’s chair this afternoon getting some of my teeth fixed.  Glad to hear so many of you have stupid teeth, too! 

fake tooth

And in case you were wondering, my fake tooth is my left front tooth.  It’s a custom made dental implant that had to be special ordered from Denmark of all places and took nearly 6 months to install (there are several steps to this process).  To the tune of $4K.  Wish I were kidding.  I’m leaving this thing to someone in my will.

How do you get your workout mojo back?

What’s the most you’ve paid for dental work?

Dough Monster

Happy Weekend, Blog Friends!

Is the sun shining where you are?  We’re on day 3 of gloomsville around here, and it’s seriously bumming me out.  I need the sun! Sad smile

It’s funny because I lived in the gray Michigan weather for 30 years before moving to sunny Virginia.  In less than a year, I’ve totally acclimated myself to the sunny skies and mild temps.  I think it’s cold when it’s 60* now!  And one gray day will put me in a funk, whereas gray days were the norm back there.  Crazy how quickly your body adjusts!  I don’t know how I’d survive if I went back there permanently!

Yesterday afternoon was a busy one, with a 13 mile run on the treadmill and then dinner and drinks with Danielle and Bryce.  Let’s discuss, shall we?

First, a quick update on this.



And I didn’t even ask—which is such a win because I hate confrontation.  Thank you to whichever neighbor of mine took care of it!  Open-mouthed smile


The run:

Before these 13 mile runs, I find myself really anxious, and I’m not sure exactly why.  I mean, it’s not like I haven’t done this before, right?  But I guess I worry that I’ll have trouble breathing, or my knees will hurt, or it will just be really hard!

At any rate, I always get through it, and it’s always fine, so I need to stop worrying about it!  I don’t get nervous before races, so I have no idea what this anxiety is surrounding my training runs.  What it boils down to is that I need to knock it the heck off and just do it!

I prefer to run outside for the longer runs just because I need a change of scenery to keep me interested, but the sky looked pretty threatening, and I didn’t feel up to getting caught in the rain in the middle of a 2 hour run.


Yep, I slogged through 13 miles on the treadmill.  It wasn’t the best; it wasn’t the worst.  I just did it.  However, because I don’t do hills on the treadmill, I wanted to push my pace a little.  It’s amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it!


These are my stats from my Nike +iPod.  I love how it’s a girl running! And check it out—9:43 pace!  Not too shabby, if I do say so myself!

To make it bearable, I had Ellen and The Wendy Williams Show on the TV on my treadmill, but I ended up listening to my playlist for most of the run.  Music pumps me up like no other!

Afterwards, my hip flexors and calves were both pretty sore, but I’m taking it easy today and plan to get in a good, long stretch with some yoga!

PS—I was completely disgusting after this run.  The humidity is so unbelievably out of control right now, and when I brushed out my hair after, it looked as if I had just gotten out of the shower.  Ew.

I made myself presentable, and headed out for dinner and drinks at Bar Louie.


Dear Humidity,

That’ll be about enough out of you. 


Melissa’s Hair

The Happy Hour specials at Bar Louie are fantastic, so we got in on some half-priced appetizers!


The hummus plate is the best!  Tabbouleh, tzatziki, and hummus with soft, pillowy pita and thinly sliced cucumbers.  We always get this to share!

I also ordered a California Chicken Club with fries—gotta replenish that salt I lost on my run! Open-mouthed smile


Not the most attractive presentation, but it tasted great!  Served on multigrain toast, the sandwich included a grilled chicken breast, lettuce, tomato, bacon, avocado, and pepperjack cheese!  I skipped the onion ranch sauce because my stomach was feeling a little funny after the run, and I didn’t want to push it.  Admittedly, I could barely tell there was any trace of avocado on this sandwich—bummer.  I liked it, but it would have been better with avocado!  Do you hear me, Bar Louie???  Just saying.

As is typical the day after a long run, I woke up ready to gnaw off my own arm.  Good thing I had the forethought to prep some ingredients for a Doughboy Smoothie a la Kath!

Last night before bed, I put 1/4 cup oats + 1/4 cup coconut milk into the blender.  This morning, I added another 1/4 cup coconut milk, a giant tablespoon of almond butter, some spinach, and a frozen banana, and whiled away for a Doughboy-style Green Monster.  A Dough Monster, if you will.


Dough Monster Smoothie

1/4 old fashioned oats

1/2 cup coconut milk, divided

1 heaping tablespoon nut butter

1 frozen banana

1 handful baby spinach

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

handful ice cubes (optional)

Add 1/4 cup each oats and coconut milk to blender and refridgerate overnight.  In the morning, add remaining coconut milk, nut butter and spinach.  Process until very smooth.  Add in banana and cinnamon and process again until smooth.  If you like your smoothies a little thinner, stop here.  If you want a really thick smoothie, add in the ice and process until it is fully incorporated—I give it a good 3-4 minutes.  That way, it’s perfectly thick but not too icy.  Plus, the extra ice helps to amp up the volume, which translates to a bigger smoothie. Open-mouthed smile


That Kath really knows what she’s talking about!  I don’t know how to describe this other than to say it really did have a great “doughy” quality to it.  Coconut milk also seems to really take my smoothies to the next level—it makes everything so super creamy and almost frothy.  I can’t seem to get enough!


Da-rip!  This reminds me of when we were kids and couldn’t eat our ice cream cones before they melted!  Mom would always tell us to “lick around!” to catch the drips!

Today is looking wide open.  I am running a 10K tomorrow just for fun, so I need to pick up my race packet at some point.  Otherwise, I’m planning on lots of fun randomness, like washing my sheets and painting my toenails.  I also really want to make a nice dinner . . . I wish I had someone to cook for.  Ah, well.  What can you do?

Hope the sun is shining wherever you are and that you have a wonderful day!

Do you like smoothies?  What are your favorite combos?