PB&J Smoothies for Two

PB&J smoothies for two! Keep it simple or try topping with granola and a peanut butter drizzle (yes, please!)

This post was sponsored by MegaFood. All opinions—as always!—are my own. I appreciate your support of the brands that make this blog possible. 🙂

The other day as we were making breakfast, Joe turned to me and asked, “Is it ratchet that I like peanut butter better than almond butter?” [insert cry-laughing emoji here]. It is true that in the wellness world over the past few years, almond and artisanal nut butters have been getting all the attention while peanut butter has been almost shunned as the less healthy step-sibling. Lest we forget how delicious peanut butter is in the era of homemade almond-hazelnut-cinnamon-matcha-elderberry butters, here’s a PB&J smoothie recipe. Because almond-hazelnut-cinnamon-matcha-elderberry butter and jelly (AHCMEB&J) just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

PB&J smoothies for two! Keep it simple or try topping with granola and a peanut butter drizzle (yes, please!)

These PB&J smoothies for two are simple to make (just five ingredients), but I’d encourage you to get creative with the toppings if you’re looking for a more filling breakfast. I topped mine with fresh strawberries, granola and a peanut butter drizzle. So. Good.

PB&J smoothies for two! Keep it simple or try topping with granola and a peanut butter drizzle (yes, please!) PB&J smoothies for two! Keep it simple or try topping with granola and a peanut butter drizzle (yes, please!)

I love MegaFood’s Daily Nutrient Booster Powders for adding to smoothies (you can check out other recipes I’ve posted using them here, here and here). I added their Daily C-Protect to today’s smoothie because immunity support never hurts during a change of seasons. This booster powder is made with organic oranges from Uncle Matt’s Farm. It contains FoodState® Vitamin C and farm-fresh blueberries and cranberries, providing phytonutrients such as bioflavonoids and anthocyanins which function as powerful antioxidants.* In addition, it contains organic Astragalus and Schisandra Berry. These herbs have been traditionally used for their immune-supportive properties.*

PB&J smoothies for two! Keep it simple or try topping with granola and a peanut butter drizzle (yes, please!)

PB&J Smoothies for Two

Yield: 2 smoothies

PB&J Smoothies for Two

Ingredients

  • 2 cups frozen strawberries
  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk (unsweetened)
  • 1 banana
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 scoop Daily C-Protect
  • Optional toppings:
  • Granola
  • Fresh strawberries
  • Peanut butter drizzle

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and combine until smooth.
http://pumpsandiron.com/2017/10/01/pbj-smoothies-two/

PB&J smoothies for two! Keep it simple or try topping with granola and a peanut butter drizzle (yes, please!) PB&J smoothies for two! Keep it simple or try topping with granola and a peanut butter drizzle (yes, please!)

*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Quick HIIT Workout for Upper Body and Core (13 Minutes)

Quick HIIT Workout for Upper Body and Core (13 Minutes) - free video included so you can follow along at home!Lately I’ve been making a concentrated effort to incorporate more push ups into my workouts. I sometimes get frustrated that I *still* struggle with push ups after years and years of working out, but it’s my own fault—I avoid them! (Anyone else guilty of avoiding exercises at which you’re not that great??) Today’s quick HIIT workout for upper body and core includes a couple different push-up variations for that very reason.

Quick HIIT Workout for Upper Body and Core (13 Minutes)

This workout is broken up into three, four-minute superset HIIT circuits. You’ll rest for 30 seconds in between each circuit. For each HIIT circuit, you’ll do six rounds of 30 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest, alternating between two exercises.

EQUIPMENT I USED:

Quick HIIT Workout for Upper Body and Core (13 Minutes) - free video included so you can follow along at home!

SET 1

Low Push Up Jacks | Lower down to a low push up position and hold there with your body hovering off the ground, abs held in tight. Holding here, jump your feet out wide and then back to the starting position. Press back up to high push up. If you need to modify, drop your knees into a modified low plank hold and then straighten your arms, and once arms are straight, lift your knees up into your starting plank position. If you’d rather do a tricep push up (elbows in tight to the sides of your body) that’s an option as well.

Plank Jump to Marching Plank | Start in a high plank position. Jump your feet up towards your hands, bringing your knees toward your chest. Immediately hop them right back out into high plank. March down to forearms, one arm at a time, and then back up to high plank one hand at a time. That’s one rep.

SET 2

Full-Body Crunch with Twist (use weight) | If a Russian Twist and a Sit Up had a baby, this would be it. Start laying on your back with the weight overhead in outstretched arms and your legs extended. Legs and arms should be hovering. From here, you’re going to crunch your knees into your chest as you lift your torso up to meet them and bring the weight to the outside of your right knee, twisting to that side (so you’re balancing on your tailbone at the top of the crunch). Reverse back to starting position and repeat, this time twisting and crunching up to the left.

Scissor Kicks | Lay on your back with your legs outstretched, hovering off the ground. Your shoulders should be crunched off the ground as well with your hands lightly behind your head and elbows out wide. Holding this position, scissor kick your legs over and under each other.

SET 3

10 Mountain Climbers 1 Push Up | Start in a high plank position. Do 10 Mountain Climbers (5 to each side) and then one push up. To modify, drop to your knees for the push up.

Leg Lift to Toe Touch | Start laying on your back with weight held above your chest and legs straight to the ceiling. From here, lower your legs to a hover and then back up. Crunch the weight up towards your toes.

Quick HIIT Workout for Upper Body and Core (13 Minutes) - free video included so you can follow along at home!

WEARING | Alo Yoga Moto Leggings (also available in high waist) // Zella tank c/o Nordstrom // adidas UltraBOOST sneakers c/o Finish Line

If you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel so you never miss a video! I’ve got a new recipe one coming your way Sunday and another workout next week. 🙂

And if you like this workout, I’d suggest giving this similar workout a try (more upper body, similar format).

Enjoy your weekend!

Links to outfit details and equipment are affiliate.

Why I’m Going Plant-Based

Why I'm Going Plant-BasedA few months ago, I wrote a post about how I’ve been *slowly* transitioning towards a plant-based diet. (In that post I talk about the judgement I often feel in doing so—if you’re interested in reading it, click here.) In that post I didn’t dive into why I’m going plant-based, so that’s where we’re going today. It’s happening EXTREMELY gradually, with the process starting years ago and animal products slowly dropping from my diet as they stop being appetizing to me.

I suppose it’s a little odd to write this post now because as of last week, I was still eating eggs and occasionally fish. I never put any pressure on myself to eliminate things from my diet, and it’s just happened naturally. Last week, for whatever reason, I was ready to part with eggs and fish. I sat down to eat avocado toast with a runny fried egg on top and just thought, “You know what? Eating eggs no longer serves me.” Maybe this post is a bit premature, but I feel myself continually being drawn towards a 100% plant-based diet and know in my gut that whether it’s now, or I eat scrambled eggs tomorrow and it doesn’t happen for another month, I’ll eventually be there.

I’m not a dietitian or nutritionist and therefore not qualified to give specific dietary guidance. That being said, this is a health and fitness blog, and even if I’m just sharing my personal experience with these things, I know that many readers take it as advice. For this reason, it’s really important to me that I emphasize that I do NOT think a vegan diet is necessarily the healthiest diet for everyone. We are all different, and there is no one-size-fits-all way to eat. I think plants should make up the bulk of each meal, but I also believe high-quality animal products can be part of a healthy diet.

As with all things health and fitness, you need to find what works for your body. You need to tune into what makes you feel your best, notice what foods don’t agree with you, and get better at listening to your body and getting to know yourself.

For that reason, you’ll notice that “health” is missing from the list below of reasons why I’m going plant-based. Do I feel great eating this way? Yes! But would I also feel great eating mostly plants and occasionally eating animal products? Yeah, probably! I flat-out don’t like meat, but if it weren’t for the moral and environmental conflicts I have with it, I’d probably continue to eat fish and eggs.

Because this transition to a plant-based diet has been so gradual, I honestly can’t tell you I’ve noticed much of a difference in my overall health as I’ve eliminated animal products. I’ve been blessed in that I’ve never had any major chronic physical issues in my life. My skin is better without dairy and I don’t experience bloating as often as I used to, but other than that, I don’t have miraculous tales of physical improvement to share with you all.

What I can say is that eating plant-based just feels right for me. Emotionally, morally, physically—it works. I feel so good about it and the direction I’m moving in, and all signs point to this being the right fit for me. I see going plant-based as one component of a larger shift towards a more mindful lifestyle. How are my choices affecting the world around me?

Why I’m Going Plant-Based

When I started cooking for myself, meat became increasingly unappetizing.

When a steak comes cooked, beautifully prepared and served to you on a dish, you’re getting an end product that’s far removed from the state in which it started. Meat was never my favorite food growing up (I was a pasta kid), but I would regularly eat it. We had venison a lot, chicken dishes, the occasional pork tenderloin. But my mom did all the cooking and I just saw and ate the finished product.

When I stared to cook for myself in my 20s, meat became a lot less appetizing. The smell. The slime. The blood. The globs of fat hanging off the chicken like boogers. The texture of that raw chunk of meat as you cut it up. It all totally grossed me out! At first I just stopped cooking it but would eat it on occasion at restaurants, but eventually I couldn’t separate the raw, slimy cut of meat from the cooked dish. I don’t have this reaction to fish and shellfish—probably because I’m accustomed to eating them in their raw form anyway.

The older I get, the more I love animals and feel morally conflicted in eating them.

You guys. The whole “biological clock ticking” saying is TOO REAL. As I approach 30, I’ve found that I just fall apart at the seams with emotion when it comes to babies and animals. And oh man don’t even get me started on baby animals. My hobbies these days include watching @thedodo videos and sobbing—it’s getting out of control. BTW this is not me dropping hints that I’m going to have a human baby any time soon, but I should probably adopt a dog like yesterday (lollol). Anyway …

The morality of eating animals is a complicated topic to breach. There are a lot of layers to it, but I want to start out by emphasizing that I don’t see people who eat meat as morally corrupt animal-haters. I have a couple items in my closet made from leather, I have a cow hide rug in my apartment—I’m really not one to talk! I’m conscious about buying animal-friendly products now, but I don’t necessarily feel bad about wearing these products I’ve bought in the past.

I also grew up in a family of outdoorsmen and bow hunters. Great preparation, skill and patience would go into the scouting and hunting process. The entire deer would be utilized, nothing going to waste. These family members love nature, are way more in tune to it than I have ever been, and feel the most at home when they are living—to a certain extent—in sync with this natural world. I have a lot of respect for that.

The point I’m trying to make is that this isn’t about ranking morality based on what you eat. Depending on how you see the world and your place in it, your view on eating animals will vary.

For me, I look at a hamburger and see a cute cow in a field and feel sad. I see bacon and picture a momma pig surrounded by cute little piglets and lose my appetite. It’s harder and harder for me to separate the living being from what’s being served on my plate.

Again, I see my hypocrisy (i.e. leather shoes). But instead of calling out each other’s hypocrisy (we’re all hypocrites to some degree, let’s be real here), I choose to focus on progress. It’s not about perfection. It’s not about the route chosen, the speed or the number of roadblocks you hit—it’s about the forward movement. I can feel good about where I am now and want to get better at the same time.

That’s one of the reasons why I love the Rich Roll Podcast and find it so inspiring: He advocates for a plant-based lifestyle without judgement, shame or scare tactics. He honors where everyone is in his or her journey. Highly recommend listening if you’re interested in going plant-based or just overall wellness in general (he has non-vegan guests on, too!).

I want to reduce my negative environmental impact.

Like with my previous point, there’s some admitted hypocrisy on my part here. I’m sure if someone came to my apartment to assess my carbon footprint, there’d be a laundry list of things I could improve. While eating less (no) meat is just one of the many ways I can live a more environmentally-friendly life, I do think it makes a difference.

The livestock industry accounts for a big percentage of greenhouse gas emissions (yes, there is actually some substance behind all those cow fart jokes), and biodiversity has been affected by the changing landscape for food production. This is a great article from BBC.com on the subject. It discusses the environmental benefits of the world going vegetarian but also acknowledges the negative effects it would have on developing countries and certain climates which rely on livestock to survive. It concludes by saying a reduction of animal consumption (particularly red meat) rather than complete worldwide vegetarianism is the best solution, which I find encouraging.

When it comes to the environment, it’s easy to feel discouraged that your individual choices won’t make an impact. What’s the point of little ol’ me recycling when massive factories are continually spewing pollution?! But you can and do make a difference. And you don’t have to be perfect!

The way I see it, I’m privileged to live in a developed country, in a bustling city that offers lots of plant-based options, and I have the financial means to not stress about buying food. I can eliminate animal products from my diet without any great inconvenience to my life, and in turn will be doing my part (albeit small) to reduce both my carbon footprint and contribution to animal suffering. So why not?

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I think what it all comes down to for me is eating more mindfully. When I stop to really think about what I’m putting in my body, the process it underwent from its original form to my plate, and the impact of my food choices on the world around me, I no longer want to eat animal products.

I’ve heard stories of people going vegan for years and eventually going back to eating meat citing low energy or other health issues from it. I’ve been eating very little animal products for years without such negative effects, so I don’t foresee this last little step in the plant-based direction to change that. That being said, I’ll continue to listen to my body and if I ever feel that my diet is negatively affecting me, I’ll make some changes. I think people tend to overcomplicate going plant-based (OMG you’ll never get enough protein!!!!!! The horror!!!!) but I also acknowledge that, as with any way of eating, you can’t be lazy about it if you want to feel your best.

If you guys have any questions for me or thoughts on the topic (dissenting opinions always welcome, too!), leave a comment!