Cherry Vanilla Protein Smoothie & Bob’s Red Mill Giveaway

Cherry Vanilla Protein Smoothie
After hot, sweaty Summer runs the only thing I crave is a smoothie. Most morning’s I will walk directly to the kitchen following a run to whip up a breakfast smoothie bowl even before taking a shower. Recovery from both the heat and the workout happen much faster if I eat something with carbohydrates and protein within thirty minutes of completing a workout.

Bob's Red Mill Vanilla Protein Powder

When the teams at Fit Approach and Bob’s Red Mill challenged me to showcase how their protein powders help me find balance among the summer chaos, I knew a quick, delicious and refreshing smoothie would be the perfect recipe to share with you guys. Since this smoothie takes just a few minutes to make from start to finish, it’s easy to make for breakfast, an afternoon snack or as a post-workout powerhouse. The box I received from Bob’s Red Mill included protein powder (chocolate, vanilla and chai) as well as a protein & fiber nutritional booster.  Each flavor of protein powder is plant based, gluten free, vegan and includes not only powder but also chia seeds, probiotics and amino acids.  The nutritional stats for the vanilla protein powder. which I used in this recipe. are quite impressive – 180 calories, 20 grams of protein, 12 grams of fiber and only 3 grams of sugar.

Smoothie Bowl

Cherry Vanilla Protein Smoothie 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup frozen or fresh (pitted) cherries
  • 1/4 cup ice
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 cup Almond Milk or your choice of liquid (milk, water, etc)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup Bob’s Red Mill Vanilla Protein powder
  • 1 scoop Vital Proteins or other collagen peptides
  • Optional toppings – goji berries, shredded coconut, granola or cherries

Directions

    • Add first eight items to blender and pulse or blend until you reach desired consistency.
    • Pour into bowl
    • Top with your favorite optional toppings. I suggest some dried goji berries and Purely Elizabeth granola.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you to Bob’s Red Mill and FitApproach for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are my own. 

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30 Minute Treadmill Workout & Cincinnati Eats

Hi guys! As promised, I wanted to share a sneak into the rest of my trip in Cincinnati.

green smoothie

On Tuesday and Wednesday, I ensured that I had a healthy breakfast and lunch as well as limited snacking so that I could enjoy dinner or happy hours with my colleagues. Tuesday morning I was delighted to see that Ingredients, the restaurant in the Westin Cincinnati, had a green smoothie on their menu. I ordered it to go, sipping it while I walked to the office. The thick, cool smoothie included almond Milk, Kale, Spinach, Banana and protein powder. Our catered lunch included sandwiches and chips so I did my best to choose a healthy option that would also not leave me starving – half a turkey sandwich, a handful of plain chips, celery and carrot sticks and a dollop of hummus. Since we had to be in meetings first thing Wednesday morning, I wanted something I could eat while walking to the office. Our group met at Starbucks to grab coffee and while there I picked up my old favorite – Starbucks Egg White Feta Wrap, banana and skim cappuccino.  Instead of waiting in the long buffet lunch line on Wednesday a few of us dashed down the block to The ‘Wich, a delicious, downtown sandwich and salad shop. Each time I go here for lunch I’m amazed by the flavors and price as their 11 huge salads are less than $8.99 and include one of the side items. If you like Greek salads their dressing is delicious!

The Wich Cincinnati

Tuesday night our team dinner was at Nada, a popular Mexican restaurant in downtown Cincinnati that has been open for eight years. While many other downtown have changed over the years, this fun and funky Mexican restaurant seems to still be going strong. Even though the menu changes more frequently than the seasons, the guacamole and margaritas are always delicious. After a long day of meetings and lots to celebrate with the team, I toasted with one of their house margaritas before enjoying the chips, guacamole and the El Jefe salad. This entree salad includes mixed greens, grilled chicken, shredded queso Fresco, avocado, pico and creamy like dressing – yum!

Nada El Jefe SaladThe highlight of the meal were their thick, perfectly salted chips. It’s a good thing they don’t sell these by the bag!  Any time I fly out of the Cincinnati airport I often stop at Chick-Fil-A as it is such a rare treat. I wasn’t in the mood for another salad so I ordered their Grilled Chicken Sandwich and shared a small order of waffle fries with my colleague.

Workout wise, I almost skipped Wednesday’s workout in favor of more sleep, but I knew that a quick run would give me a lot more energy than 30-minutes of sleep especially since I would be sitting for 11 hours during our conference. I find that treadmills are far less boring if I have an interval workout that keeps things changing the entire run.

30 minute treadmill workout

This 30 minute run was inspired by Mile High Run Club as it combined hills and speed. Since it was 3.1 mile it also served as the perfect opportunity to do my first Rock’N’Roll Virtual Run 5k – Making A Band.

Making A Band 5k Run

Thumbs up for a healthier than normal business trip to Cincinnati! Moderation is truly the name of the game for me, as I do not want to sacrifice toasting the group with a margarita nor find myself snacking aimlessly.

Your turn – Team Chick-Fil-A grilled chicken or fried chicken? I’m grilled all the way! 

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Staying Healthy While Traveling

Good morning and happy Tuesday friends! I hope you guys are having a good week.

This week I am going to try something a bit different. I am going to go back to my blogging roots in order to help me stay accountable. As you all know, I believe in finding healthy moderation in order to live a healthy, happier life. This week as I am in Cincinnati for three days of business meetings and then heading back down to Avalon for a few more days at the beach, checking in with you guys more frequently during the week, on a more personal level, will help keep me accountable and continue to make strides with this month’s goals of getting back to a place of strength and confidence.

When I landed in Cincinnati yesterday at 12:45pm I headed directly to the Cincinnati Airport’s food court in search of a healthy lunch option. The new Chick-Fil-A Grilled Market salad was a great solution as the fresh berries provide a burst of Summer flavor and the cabbage provides some fun crunch. Even though the salad is only 320 calories, the 14 grams of fat and 26 grams of protein helped keep me full until dinner. Since I knew my afternoon would involve back to back meetings, I grabbed a medium fruit cup to snack on later in the afternoon.

Chick-fil-a market salad

When our meetings ended at 5:30 a group of us walked a few blocks to Igby’s for happy hour with some of our fellow team members. Due to the bar’s large size, we were able to snag a space for our group in the back that made our happy hour feel more like a private party. Their $5 happy hour was the perfect way to end the day and kick off a few days of team meetings.

Sotto cincinnati

After happy hour my friend Amy and I headed next door to Sotto for dinner. It’s always wonderful to catch up with my best friend when I’m in Cincinnati for business since she lives and works in our Cincinnati office. Due to multiple meetings and conventions in Cincinnati this week, we weren’t sure Sotto would have any availability. But, luckily since we were a party of two, we were able to sit at their chef’s bar.  The atmosphere of Sotto is what I would call intimate Italian chic and the service is top notch. The chef we spoke to from across the chef’s bar was able to recommend a dish from every section based on our love of seafood and desire to sample a few of their signature dishes. We each sipped on their Nebbiolo wine while sharing three dishes:

  • Baby bibb – apple honey dressing, croutons, olives, feta, pignoli
  • Squid ink linguine – rock shrimp, tomato, spinach, spicy breadcrumbs
  • Wood-fired branzino w/ swiss chard & grilled lemon

Unexpectedly, the branzino dish stole the show. I am still thinking about how Bo and I can recreate the flavorful branzino dish at home. The swiss chard was perfectly seasoned and paired perfectly with the lemon branzino. The fish was tender and flaky while the skin was grilled to a perfect level of crisp. While the meal was not cheap, every single dish was five stars and executed perfectly. I will definitely return to Sotto again soon!

By the time I checked into my hotel around 8:45 I could barely keep my eyes open. Instead of staying up and doing work I collapsed in bed. I decided that I would be more efficient after a good night’s sleep even if that meant setting my alarm for 4:45 AM.

This morning I woke up after eight hours of sleep feeling like a new person! It’s amazing what sleep can do for the body. Since my calf is still in quite a bit of pain due to the road rash from Sunday’s fall, I opted to do a hotel room workout instead of running outside. I skimmed over my hotel room workout board on Pinterest before settling on a combination of these two workouts:

hotel room workout

I am going to be in non-stop meetings today so my two goals are to stay hydrated and avoid falling into the “meeting food trap.” Our catered meetings at the office tend to have lots of desserts and sweet treats which I would rarely eat during the day. Since I know we have a delicious team dinner tonight, I am going to stick to small, healthy, protein-filled meals throughout the day with some fruit for sweetness.

Your turn – What is your favorite way to work out when traveling? Do you have a favorite travel or hotel room workout? 

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