Green smoothie

For me, smoothies are the best way to sneak in some additional fruits and greens into my diet each day. Sometimes I’ll add protein powder if I’m going to be exercising or peanut butter if I want it to be more of a meal replacement. But, sometimes I’m just craving something sweet and feeling those afternoon munchies creeping up on me.

This is a great smoothie to make if you just want something to tie you over until your next meal. It’s really low in calories but packed full of great nutrients and super flavorful!!

Ingredients

1/2 banana
1 cup organic baby spinach
1/4 cup fresh orange juice (make sure this is NOT from concentrate. I only buy 100% pure orange juice where the only ingredients is ORANGES)
1/4 cup almond/coconut milk (or yogurt or whatever)
6 Ice cubes

Blend in your blender until completely pureed and smooth.

Enjoy!!

“Baked” cinnamon apple for one

I love fall. The changing weather, the festive decorations, and the amazing food are all things that make me so in love with this season. I try and take full advantage of all of it while it lasts so cooking with pumpkins and apples definitely makes my “to do” list!

Baked apples are such a great dessert that can be really figure friendly if you make it right. This recipe is super “skinny” but definitely super delicious! I think it has just become one of my favorite desserts! It is so easy and I know you all will love it!!

Ingredients

1/2 honeycrisp apple, cored
1 Tbl brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 Tbl granola (mine was a maple, walnut, and chia seed flavor)
Vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt

In a microwave safe bowl, place apple cut side up and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Place in the microwave for 2 minutes (I ended up cutting my apple up into pieces so it would cook faster). Remove from microwave and top with granola and ice cream.

Enjoy!!

More lunch ideas

Here are more ideas for lunches to take to work or school. I hope these help you guys when you’re trying to figure out healthy and filling lunches to make for yourselves.

1. Fruit salad that has peaches, blackberries, raspberries, grapes, and banana sprinkled with one packet of Truvis. (I obviously did not take this enormous portion of fruit to work. I made all of this for the week and take about a 1/2 of a cup of it a day)
2. Non-fat plain Chobani with one packet of Truvia to eat with my fruit
3. A peanut butter and reduced sugar jelly sandwich on 50 calorie whole wheat bread
4. Trader Joe’s pumpkin pie granola bars (amazing!!)
5. 1/2 of a honeycrisp apple
6. Dark chocolate covered cranberries and walnuts for dessert

I don’t have any veggies in this lunch like I normally pack, but for my breakfast I am having some scrambled egg whites with spinach and broccoli which should give me a full serving of greens.

What I pack for lunch

Last week, I shared a picture of what I took to work for lunch. I thought that since a lot of you are working and/or in school, that it might be helpful for you to see what I pack on an average day to give you some ideas for your own lunches. I always bring my lunch to work because I know that if I eat what I pack for myself, I will be eating a healthy and filling meal that won’t leave me feeling guilty and sluggish.

This is the lunch I just packed for my long day of work tomorrow. I try and incorporate different flavors, textures, and nutrients in my lunches so that I don’t get bored. I also try and pack lots of foods that will give me energy and keep me full at work. The worst thing to do is to pack a small lunch (or no lunch at all) and then start snacking on all of the unhealthy choices your job offers for food.

1. non-fat plain Chobani yogurt
2. Raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries which I will mix into my Chobani
3. Low fat/low sugar granola with one packet of Truvia to mix into my Chobani
4. A leftover 1/2 of a chicken breast with mashed sweet potatoes
5. Grapes and some broccoli slaw that I’ll eat with some balsamic vinegar
6. (not pictured) Kashi Pumpkin Flax granola bar (I eat this as my midmorning snack to tie me over until lunch)

This is the perfect amount of food for me and its something that will keep me full for a while. This lunch may be a little bit big for some of you though. I am eating a little extra during lunch tomorrow because it has to keep me going until 7:30pm. Right after work tomorrow I am heading to bootcamp so I will need lots of energy to keep me going until 7:30pm when I’ll finally be able to eat some dinner.

I also recently bought a BPA free reusable water bottle that I constantly refill throughout the day to keep my hydrated. I am trying to incorporate a lot more water into my diet and the plastic water bottle has been helping!

As of today, I have started a one month challenge for myself to see if I can go without drinking diet soda (or any soda) for the entire month of October. I know that drinking soda is so bad for you and as health conscious as I am, I should know better and not drink it. But, it is my weakness and I am acknowledging that I have a problem with it. I am going to take it day by day and see if I can eventually eliminate it completely from my diet. Thank God I am not doing this with coffee. I think I would die if I couldn’t drink that anymore!

I will keep you all posted on my progress!!

2 ingredient brownies and pumpkin pie frosting

This is literally the EASIEST brownie recipe ever.

I’m just going to go ahead and say you’re welcome in advance.

I also just want to go ahead and tell you that these brownies are not like “normal” brownies. They are definitely fudgey and extra definitely delicious, BUT their texture is slightly different. I promise you though, once you try these you will be amazed at how great they are!

These brownies are also super healthy!! The pumpkin replaces the oil and egg that you would normally put into the brownie mix which makes these a great go-to healthier brownie recipe!!!

Ingredients

1 box of brownie mix (I used Duncan Hines)
1 15 oz can of pumpkin

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9×9 pan.

Combine brownie mix and pumpkin and mix until combined. Pour into pan. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until set. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

At this point, you can frost these with this amazing pumpkin pie frosting I made, or you can leave them plain. Either way is extra delicious (but this frosting is pretty darn tasty).

1 box sugar free/fat free instant vanilla pudding mix
3/4 cup milk (I used almond)
1/2 container of sugar free Cool Whip
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Combine milk and pudding and whisk until thickened. Fold in Cool Whip, pumpkin, and pumpkin pie spice. Refrigerate for an hour.