Monday, July 25, 2011

Purple "Green Monster" and 5 other things that I am LOVING right now!

I am absolutely head over heels in love with the "Green Monster" smoothie movement. Of of my favorite blogs in the world, Oh She Glows, has a separate blog JUST for green monsters and I totally understand why.

I will admit, even as a professional fruit and veggie lover, I was skeptical of Green Monsters at first. GREENS in my SMOOTHIE? That cannot possibly be a good combination.

But let me tell you. It is. And better than the taste is the amazing energy and stabilizing boost these smoothies give you.

So what is a "Green Monster"?

A GM (Not to be confused with Genetically Modified) is a greens, fruit, nut/seed and non-dairy milk based smoothie. With the right combination, it gives you a huge shot of vitamins, anti-oxidants, minerals and other delicious things that your body thrives on.

This particular GM smoothie is chock full of wild blueberries, flax seeds and, of course, spinach (my favorite of the greens family).

The recipe looks a lil bit like this (put ingredients in blender in the order that they are listed):
  • 1 Tbsp flax seed
  • 1.5 cups spinach
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/4 cup frozen wild blueberries OR fresh farmers market blueberries
  • 1/4 cup diced melon (I used cantalope)
  • 3/4 cup non-dairy milk (I like almond!)
  • 5-6 cubes of ice
Place the first 6 ingredients in blender and puree until smooth. Then add the ice and continue to blend until all mixed together. Top with some Trader Joe's Soy and Flax cereal (sounds gross but it is DELICIOUS) and be prepared to feel BOMB all day :)

I can't wait to try some of these GM smoothies with Acai and maybe even a vegan protein powder. So many delicious and nutritious options!

Aside from these Green Monster smoothies, there are about 5 other things in my life that are just totally rocking my world right now and because I get so excited about them on the daily, I thought I would just go right ahead and share. 

1. Widmer's Citra-Blonde

Summertime is best enjoyed with a light, crisp and refreshing beer in hand. Widmer's summer seasonal totally hits the spot for me. It is fruity and light but still kicks with a good hoppy flavor and well-rounded beer taste. It's more beery than the Blue Moon (my other summer fav) and has a distinctly different taste from Widmer's Hefewisen (their "go-to" summer beer).

Nothing finishes off a long day like a great vegan dinner and a cold, tall glass of Citra-blonde. Now if Oregon would just keep up with the sunshine, we'd be in business!

2. My New Used Patagonia Rainshadow Jacket

Since leaving Eugene and getting a job that pays me some real money, I have decided that I can finally afford to replace a couple of things that were lost stolen from me in the meth capital of the United States (Lane County). 

Obviously not me, but you get the idea.
While I absolutely loved my down Helly Hansen jacket, when it was stolen out of my car I decided I wanted something different (and also vegan-friendly). I've been tentatively poking around craigslist for the past couple of months and I finally found the perfect new (used) jacket!

I present to you, my new Patagonia Rainshadow Jacket! Thanks to the confused Oregon weather, I've worn it every day since purchasing it last week. It's been that handy.

Actual Retail Price: $179.00 at REI
Craigslist Value Price: $65.00

What can I say, I'm a bargain hunter!

3. HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training)

HIIT training is essentially a treadmill interval workout (alternating between medium and high intensity workouts back to back). It is one of the absolute best and most effective training tools I have ever used for running and I am completely addicted.

The workouts are structured something like this:

1.) 5-10 minute warm up (Usually a 4.0 MPH walk on an incline of 4)
2.) 1 minute at 6.0 on an incline of 2
3.) 1 minute at 8.0 on an incline of 2
4.) Repeating steps 2 and 3 for 10-12 sets or for 20-24 minutes)
5.) 5-10 minute easy walk with no incline (cool down)

Sounds simple, right? It actually is. But it is one of the best workouts I have ever had. HIIT workouts have me sweating harder than a 5 or 6 mile run in about half the time. 

Here's what wikipedia has to say about HIIT training:

"HIIT is considered to be an excellent way to maximize a workout that is limited on time."

"According to a study by King, HIIT increases the resting metabolic rate (RMR) for the following 24 hours due to excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, and may improve maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 max) more effectively than doing only traditional, long aerobic workouts."

Yep, HIIT workouts boost your metabolism for 24 hours after the work out. They make you faster, stronger and increase endurance. All that in about 40 minutes :) Follow with a strength and/or ab workout and be prepared to get in shape!

4. SpiritHood

Spirithoods are animal hats. Sounds ridiculous, I know, but they are crazy popular now!

I mean if Kesha, Chloe Kardashian, and even Snoop Dogg have SpiritHoods, they must be pretty hip, right?

I don't know. All I know is that it is an animal hood made out of entirely vegan materials that resembles my dog. Also art of the profits from each hood go to help a variety of animal related non-profit organizations.

Couldn't be any neater if you ask me.

Wyatt agrees :)

5. Freddy Guys Hazelnuts

I don't know how they do it but these are the best hazelnuts in the whole world. I never thought I
would discriminate on hazelnuts but after eating these and then trying others, I am never buying another hazelnut ever again! Plus they are local and can be purchased weekly at the PSU market. Win!

I love hazelnuts in the morning before I work out - they are a great source of protein, fiber, anti-oxidants and healthy fats and, paired with a half a banana, they are the perfect jump start to give me the energy I need before morning workouts. 

Check out Freddy Guys Hazelnuts out and see for yourself! Get the roasted nuts (versus the raw) - you won't regret it!

That concludes the 6 things I am loving on a daily basis right now!

Live long and prosper! And find something to get excited about every day!

1 comment:

  1. So I tried the GM smoothie recipe you put up! Mine did not turn out such a beautiful purple. It was green and when I added more blueberries it turned brown, ha ha :) It was yummy though, thanks. We have huge bags of frozen blueberries from the Farmer's Market flat that we purchased so this is a great way to use them. I did not have melon on hand so I just doubled the berries.

    When I made it a second time, I replaced the melon with cinnamon applesauce, and used skim milk instead of ryza brown rice milk. that made a huge difference in the tasty factor. Not because of the cow, but because of the natural sweetness it has compared to ryza. Also the applesauce is amazing in a smoothie, I am so surprised from my quick browsing I haven't seen it in a recipe yet. I have also checked out the GM smoothie web link, thanks!