Quick & Easy Smoothie Recipe

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Back at it again with a recipe for a smoothie I’ve been making so much lately before work. Its pretty quick and easy and satisfying for anyone on the go. I WILL mention that I’ve never really been a fan of bananas IN things other than banana bread. I don’t like the taste of bananas in smoothies, ice cream, pies, pudding….but this is so good, I don’t even mind the taste!!!

Try it out and let me know what you think.

1 banana (ripe or frozen– either works)

2-3 pitted dates that have been soaked in water for 20 minutes (this is optional based on how sweet you want your smoothie)

1/2-1 scoop of vanilla protein powder (I use the EAS Lean 15 Vanilla Creme) (Link Below)

1 tbsp chai tea mix (Link Below)

1 tbsp Honey (use only dates if you are a Vegan!) (Also, this is optional based on how sweet you want your smoothie)

1 cup (roughly) of vanilla soy milk. (Feel free to use the milk of your choice!)

Cinnamon. I didn’t put a measurement because I just sprinkle it in until I feel content. Start light and you can always mix in more!

Ice

I have a Ninja Auto-IQ Blender (link below), that comes with a smoothie attachment, so I fill the cup with enough ice to get almost to the top, but with enough room that I can put my blending lid on.

Blend!

Its so easy! I love the creamy texture, the spice of the chai, and the sweetness of the honey and dates. Try it out and let me know what you think!

 

Have a good one y’all,

Sarah Montana

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Links for products

Vanilla Cream Protein Powder

Chai Tea Mix

Ninja Blender

October 2015

Hey guys and gals! Just wanted to check in to say hello. I started working full time, at a new store (same company) and I am in school part time, so my free time isn’t as copious as it once was. So for this month, here’s what I’m up to!

Eating / faster. Not as much time to make meals as I had when I wasn’t working. I need to go to the grocery store for more produce. I hardly go once a week now, when I used to go 3/4 times!
Drinking / Lots of water and tea and unfortunately some Diet Pepsi… I have been needing caffeine in my life, and coffee doesn’t agree with my stomach. Some teas with a lot of caffeine also mess me up and give me palpitations, so its back to DP when its needed.
Practicing / studying! I haven’t colleged in 8 years, so I’m trying to get back ok the ol’ studying bicycle.
Mastering / time management.
Learning / LOTS in school. I’m taking Biology and Abnormal Psychology.
Trying / to stay focused, but its hard with my ADHD. Maybe I need to get some medication….as much as I am against taking long term medications….
Playing / the new El Ten Eleven cd Fast Forward on repeat.
Finishing / assignments early and turning them in. Feels good!
Reading / my bio book and my psych book.
Remembering / as much as I can in my bio class. Its tough- the 2nd chapter was about chemistry and I’ve never taken a chemistry class before!
Wearing / Flats to help my knee. Layers always. More contour on my face.
Cooking / When I have time.
Working / on trying to assimilate into a new team and with a new store manager.
Traveling / to nowhere. Just working
Wanting / to go to Iceland. Nothing new here, folks haha.

Have a good one y’all,

Sarah Montana

(Thanks to bleubirdblog for the neat survey thingy to fill out!)

On life lately…

Hey guys! Just wanted to update you all on how things are going in my world.

I started work on Monday; but not full time. I am only allowed (per my doctor) to work a maximum of 3 hours per day, and I’m not allowed to lift, squat, carry things…. Its kind of a pain, but it is what it is. I am doing what I need to do to transition as easily back into work as I can. I am going to physical therapy 3 days per week, and am trying to supplement my workouts by doing things at home. I have a stationary bike and treadmill in the basement that I am using more, and just broke out my Wii Fit last night. My physical therapist recommended I use my Wii Fit to help with balance, strength and overall wellness. I had a lot of fun on it, and look forward to many more virtual workouts!

Today, I went to my college campus to fill out some forms to change my residency status. When I applied to school, I hadn’t lived in Philadelphia for at least 12 consecutive months. Now, I’ve been here for almost 18, so I am trying to get everything straightened out so I can go to school part time to work towards my associates degree. I am hoping next week to be able to meet with a counselor so I can set up my (associates) degree path and change my major if need be. I am currently majoring in Psychology, but want to change it to something more science-based so I can transfer to a college and major in Dietetics. I very much am looking forward to NOT working in retail (and I think my knees feel the same way!) Its going to be a long process to get my schooling finished. I have to work full time (to pay my bills), so I can only go to school part-time, so I expect it’ll take me 2 years to finish my associates. I know its not going to be easy working retail full time and going to school part time. And also trying to balance my life with my pets, my working out and, most importantly, my boyfriend. I am very motivated to become a better, stronger and more educated person, so here’s hoping that I will muster up the strength and courage to plow full steam ahead to achieving my dreams.

I am thinking up ideas for my next YouTube video, and think I have one in mind that I’d like to do. I’m hoping to do it Friday before I go to work at night so stay tuned!!!

Have a good one y’all,

Sarah Montana

My Whole30 Rebellion….

Now that I’ve had a few days away from the strict rules of the Whole30 program, I’ve got a few thoughts. During the program, you are NOT allowed to weigh yourself. The reason is simple: the founders don’t want the concept to be all about losing weight. Makes perfect sense to me. But then again, I feel like a majority of people go on these fad diets solely for the weight loss factor. Yes, there are many people who are trying to have healthier eating habits and honestly want to ‘quit sugar’. There are also those with health issues that could benefit, say someone with diabetes. But for the general population of people, such as myself, who want to lose weight but eat healthier, I feel like there are other options than such a strict regimen of what you can and cannot eat.

In the 10 days that I played the game, I lost 5 pounds. Thats pretty good! I haven’t been at this weight in quite a while. Especially after my surgery, I gained a few pounds, lost a few and then now I’ve lost 5 more. I will say that there is some merit to this diet if you are looking to lose weight. But I also feel like I can watch my sugar intake, and still eat more of the foods I want, such as a bowl of cereal. And if you’d seen my twitter account in the last week, you saw that I’ve been talking about how I would’ve done some things in order to have a bowl of Fruit Loops (Froot loops?) So when I was in the cereal section of Target the other night, I started checking my labels. I was looking at the ‘healthy’ and ‘organic’ boxes, and each serving had between 5-10 (10!) grams of sugar per serving. I then grabbed a box of good ol’ Cheerios and checked: only ONE gram of sugar per serving. ONE! Not to mention the whole grains that are contained in those beautiful tiny o’s. I’ve had a bowl of Cheerios the past few mornings with organic milk and a banana and I feel great. The carbs I get from the Cheerios and the banana give me enough energy to start my day, or help me through a little in home workout, like I did this morning. Starting your day with a healthy cereal (or oatmeal!) is great to keep you full, so long as you are also having some sort of fruit and/or protein with it so you aren’t eating empty carbs.

For lunch and dinner last night, I stuck to the W30 program for the most part. Steak, brussel spouts and baked fries for dinner, franks red hot chicken drumsticks and red potatoes for lunch (with a sprinkle of cheddar cheese- Its ALL about moderation!) I just got a 40oz water bottle from Target, and have had either water or LaCroix to drink, and tried to stick to fruits and veggies for between meal snacks. (Dessert last night was a navel orange and 2 thin mint girlscout cookies. (The serving size is 4, and I think the serving size amount of sugar is 5 grams….not bad!)

So yes, I am still glad I left the diet. I did lose 5 pounds while on it, but so long as I stick to being W30 compliant 50% of the time (or more!) and continue working out at physical therapy, on my stationary bike in my basement, or hopefully joining a gym soon, I will be able to lose some weight, tone my muscles, and build muscles in my leg to protect my knees from further injury. (If I hurt my right knee one more time, I’m going to scream…..)

Ps. If you want to be friends on the ‘MyFitnessPal’ app, my username is: SarahMontana666!

Have a good one y’all,

Sarah Montana

Whole30: Why I am glad that I actually quit! (Yes! I did!)

I would like to say that I broke my Whole30 diet on day 10 (so typical) in the best way possible: I went to Federal Donuts and had a strawberry lavender donut and a vanilla spice donut. Fresh. Not that Dunkin Donuts crap, but one of the best donut bakeries in Philadelphia. (I had never been). And you know what- I have yet to feel an ounce of guilt. After that, we had lunch at Sam’s Morning Glory Diner in South Philly and I had the most beautiful veggie and hummus and pita plate. Hummus and pita bread were shunned by Whole30, and yet I ate it as if it were very healthy and nutritious. Freshly made (from scratch) hummus is good for you! Check out this page from Huffington Post where they give you 10 reasons why we should all be eating more hummus. Pita bread, maybe not be the BEST thing to eat, but its certainly better than a few pieces of white bread. So you know what, I’m ok with this. And I want to let you know that I DO plan on eating healthier than I did before I started the W30 journey. I, in fact, bought 2 new cases of LaCroix (grapefruit and orange). I plan on eating many W30 approved recipes when I have the time to make them. I think reducing your sugar intake IS VERY important. When I was at Target, I was in the cereal aisle. (Cereal is very easy when its 8pm and you had a late lunch and you don’t want to spend 45 minutes making 2 baked chicken drumsticks and roasted veggies). Every box I grabbed, I read the label and took home a big box of Cheerios- they have whole grains (good for you) and only 1 gram of sugar per 3/4 cup. Compared to the other ‘healthy’ boxes of sugar (at 8-10 grams per serving!) I think Cheerios is a pretty good snack. I also drink Organic Milk, exclusively, and have for years.

My friend Andrew today said the best thing that is most relevant to this situation: ‘I guess you could say going to the extreme helped you find balance’. This is the truth. I know before I was out of control. I ate more garbage than I care to admit, and yet it was still healthier than most people I know. I want to watch the sugar levels, substitute more fruits and veggies for snacks when I am hungry. But I just want to be able to eat a bowl of oatmeal in the morning, or make some whole wheat or cornmeal pancakes once in a while.

To me, W30 is a fad diet similar to Atkins- remove the thing you want to eat from your diet and you’ll loose so much weight. Everything in moderation. Carbs, sugar, pizza…. Just make smart choices and drink lots of water and move your body around from time to time. I can do this, and so can you- without removing everything you could want to eat and being miserable.

Seems fitting to be watching Happyish while I write this. They would tell me its good idea to eat what I want, so long as I go overboard.

Anywho…. I am rambling.

Have a good one y’all,

Sarah Montana

Whole30 and why I am on the verge of quitting….

I haven’t updated my meals from yesterday and today because I have hit a wall. I’ve heard about anger, and headaches, and the 1/3 of the way bloating, but I didn’t know that my depression would get worse. So far, the only benefit I have seen on this diet, is better bowel movements, but honestly, I don’t feel like I’ve lost weight, I don’t see my skin getting ANY better, I still have allergies, my joints still hurt like hell…. so whats the point?! I even watched a video from Nightline and a dietitian was talking about the missed nutrients while on this diet. Calcium. Its super important for everyone, especially women. And tonight I learned you need to eat an entire package of spinach in order to get the same amount of calcium as in 1 glass of 2% milk. WHO THE HECK WANTS TO EAT AN ENTIRE PACKAGE OF SPINACH AT ONCE!? I know its good for you. I know I need more greens in my diet, but if you’re anything like me, I get tired of eating the same thing day in and day out. I burned myself out on eggs by day 3. I am ok with eating them now, but thats because I took a break and had some smoothies. I even looked up a list of 20 foods that have calcium in it and, aside from greens, there was sardines (ew), cheese, yogurt, tofu, edamame….all things I can’t eat. I understand eating for my health, but is mental health not important too?! Before I started this, I ate a decent diet. Not the best. But not the worst. I don’t eat McDonalds. I try to eat a lot of organic stuff. I was just going to do this for the ‘OMG WOW’ factor that I’ve read about. I feel like this is a diet similar to Atkins or Paleo or whatever the latest fad is. And when people get through the 30 days, I feel like most people (not all) will fall back into their old habits. For me, my old habits weren’t the worst, and I certainly want to make sure I am incorporating more fruits and veggies in my diet, but I honestly think it might be best to slowly transition back into more foods. Going out to eat is a nightmare and an inconvenience. I HATE being a pain in the ass. Its embarrassing. But I think if I make smart choices with the food I eat, and get a tiny box of froot loops when I am craving them, instead of a big box, I won’t think to myself ‘well I don’t want to waste that whole thing’. I am not about to run to the kitchen to grab peanutbutter and chocolate just yet, but I am going to think about this long and hard. But as of right now, I think I am going to be ‘that guy’ and quit on day 10/11- the days where most people quit. I’ll let you know……

Whole30 Day 7/30

Howdy again folks! I can’t believe that I’ve almost gotten though a week without chocolate! And bread! Oh sweet and soft and squishy and tasty bread. Every day, I’ve been thinking about all the foods I haven’t been able to eat, and then eating something thats better for me as a replacement. Today, I’ve had two navel oranges. And one yesterday. Maybe all those years I spent in Florida are causing me to crave citrus fruits. I’m not complaining. In any case- Douglas came home today! Woohoo! So I will make this episode short and sweet for y’all so I can get back to snuggling.

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Breakfast 9:45AM

This morning, was a very monochromatic breakfast. 2 scrambled eggs, 1 navel orange and a mango pineapple Nestle purelife water. Delicious.

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Lunch 12:00PM

I had leftovers today because they were simple and still delicious. Salmon, potatoes and some watermelon. I haven’t had much watermelon this year, because honestly, I haven’t found much that looked appetizing. I hit the jackpot with these slices of awesome. They hit the spot.

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Dinner 6:00PM

Shrimp has been my favorite thing to eat during this Whole30 diet. Something about them tastes so buttery and wonderful. I had some garlic sauteed spinach and then strawberries and pineapples on the side with an iced peppermint tea.

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And this heavenly baby is the pizza I made for Douglas for his welcome home meal. Cheese stuffed crust spinach, tomato and goat cheese. No sauce. I even brushed the crust with olive oil and sprinkled extra garlic powder on the sides. Real love is making your partner a pizza full of everything you can’t eat, and not sneaking a piece of cheese. I will admit-I grabbed a piece of his pizza to get a good smell. It was magical. I do miss pizza. Especially one as beautiful as this one.

I am happy I started this journey. I am proving to myself that I can live without sugar and treats and junk food and be ok. Its pretty empowering!!! If I can do it you all can do it!!!

Have a good one y’all,

Sarah Montana

Whole30 Day 6/30

Where to begin on my day. Lets just say that today was not the day for me. I woke up to get ready for my 9:30am physical therapy appointment. I made myself breakfast and got all the pets fed and taken out for a potty break. Grabbed my water and headed out the door- only to find that my car would not start. UGH! After trying to be patient and let it sit for a few minutes, I tried again and no dice. So, physical therapy had to be cancelled, and AAA had to be called. The tech came out, checked my battery and the battery works! BUT! My starter was dead. Double UGH! I called my mechanic immediately while the car was running (the AAA tech banged my starter and got the car running) and drove it straight up to him. $300 later, my car runs and I was able to take care of the oil change I’ve been meaning to get to all at once. Ugh. I was then racing home to shower and do my hair and makeup for a very important appointment that was a 30-40 minute drive away. I left the appointment still in the funk leftover from this morning, hit the grocery store for some protein and headed home for dinner. I made a new YouTube video (for those of you who want to watch it, go here.) And then I listened to the Boston Crusaders perform their show Conquest at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indy via the internet. (My brother marches Baritone- EAT EM UP BOSTON!) Anywho. I got the great news that Douglas will be coming home TOMORROW and not Monday, so I am very excited to see him. 6 1/2 weeks on the road (minus the 12 hours he got to come home)- I sure am ready to see him!

Now lets get to the pictures of my meals and get on with our night…. haha

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Breakfast 8:30AM

Smoothie (pineapple, strawberries, cranberry juice) and a scrambled egg. Enough to keep me full until later.

12:00PM Apple Pie Larabar. Thank goodness I threw some of these in my bag before I rushed to get my car fixed. I would’ve been grumpy!!!

Lunch 2:15 PM

No picture because I literally threw my two leftover Aidells sausages into the pan until they were warm enough and ran out the door and had to eat them plain while I drove to my appointment. Glad they were easy (and pre cooked!) It was enough to get me through until dinner.

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Dinner 6:30PM

Baked salmon, leftover baked red potatoes and fruit salad (banana and navel orange) and Cherry Lime LaCroix. Very tasty.

I will note that I found myself longing for a pizza the most today to somewhat nurture myself because of how crappy the day truly was for me. Its nuts how we turn to food to make us happy!

I was talking to my Grandma on the phone today and she asked how my Whole30 was going. I told her that there are some habits that I am really enjoying and will continue when my time is up, but I honestly can’t wait to have a few naughty things and I can not WAIT to bake some new things and taste test them all.

Have a good one y’all,

Sarah Montana

Whole30 Day 5/30

I’m 1/6th of the way done! Wahoo! (I’m celebrating the little things today-haha).

Well. So far so good. My headaches have gone away. My emotional rollercoaster has evened out. My cravings are still there, but I am able to maneuver around the grocery store with less temptation to dive head first into the “fresh” donuts. I have to chalk up a lot of my success so far to the fact that I’ve been home for the last 8 months, so I have the ability to cook fresh meals for myself when I am hungry. I don’t have to prep anything or figure out how to make something to-go. I am grateful for that opportunity at the very least. Its also easy when my boyfriend is away. While I selfishly wish he were home to snuggle with and hang out with, since he is not doing the Whole30 with me, its easier to fight temptations for pizza when he is gone. With that said, hes coming home (hopefully!) next week, so I will have to be tough and not want to go eat all the bad things. I am lucky in the fact that he is very open minded when it comes to food, and will eat almost anything I make, so, when he’s home for dinner, he will eat what I make, but might have a beer or two. (I don’t drink alcohol so thats not a big dealio for me). I just hope that we can find a restaurant or two that will cater to my restrictions so we can enjoy a meal (or two!) out together when he gets home.

I also have a few things I’ve learned about the W30 program that don’t sit well with me. For one, we are supposed to eat 3 meals per day and try not to snack. I’ve NEVER been able to do this in my life. I am a small meals person, and graze throughout the day. This, as studies have shown, is better for your metabolism after all! I understand the psychology of ‘snacking’ but I am pretty good at limiting the quantity of food I eat when I snack, and stick to (obviously) compliant things (like a piece of fruit or some raw almonds or some carrot sticks). So I will continue to snack when I need to, but I will certainly keep drinking water (as sometimes you may THINK you’re hungry, but you’re actually dehydrated!)

And two, they aren’t to keen on smoothies. This I don’t understand; but for someone who got sick of eggs by day 3, and doesn’t think of chili as a good idea for breakfast, I’m gonna keep having compliant smoothies. And actually, yesterday’s smoothie held me tight until lunch- I didn’t actually eat that banana (from the picture) until lunch time! So I will also take that as a win for the smoothie team. In any case- Whole 30 has rules which (in my opinion) can be broken. So long as I stick to compliant foods and snacks and drinks, I’m gonna keep on this path to self-righteousness.

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Breakfast 9:30AM

I had the tiniest smoothie ever. (Strawbs, almond milk, cranberry juice, coconut cream). I was out of fruit so this was all I could get. Thats an 8oz glass and about half full. I had to supplement with a scrambled egg so I wouldn’t tip over from hunger. (I made a grocery run after breakfast!)

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Lunch 12:00Noon

After the failed sausage attempt at the bad grocery store the other day, I put my smarty pants on and went to the grocery store I usually shop at. And much to my amazement, they carried the Aidells sausages. And they had SO MANY CHOICES. I wanted to cry from happiness, but instead, I grabbed a pack of the chicken apple sausages and went on my way. OH. MY. GAWSH. You guys- whether you are into Whole30 or not you are going to LOVE these guys. In fact, they were so good, I made a second one after finishing the above pictured plated). So 2 chicken apple sausages, kale chips a kiwi and a cherry lime LaCroix. I was so happy with my lunch today.

2:30PM I got hungry for a snack, so I had one of the most perfect navel oranges I’d ever had in my life.

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Dinner 6:00PM

I made a wee little steak and roasted some potatoes (enough for leftovers!) and had a Nestle Pure Life sparkling water. (And more regular water!) It was hearty and manly and delicious. I ate early enough that I will probably have a snack before bed. I’m thinking one of the new bananas I got look pretty tasty right about now!

Anywho. Thats it. 5 days almost complete. September 1st will be here before you know it. (Thats my birthday month!)

(I keep thinking about what I want to eat for my first non-compliant food. Right now its between German chocolate (that I get specially delivered from my favorite German), Icelandic chocolate (because I’m obsessed with Iceland and can get it at Whole Foods) or donuts. Maybe all of the above. I’m going to dangle the idea of those things in front of my face as I plow through the next 25 days.

Have a good one y’all!!!!

Sarah Montana

Whole30 Day 4/30

So today has been a little better (and less of an emotional rollercoaster as yesterday!) I’ve had my cravings for sweets, but, oddly enough, they’re not as strong as they were day 1/2/3. Progress! I keep trying to stay hydrated. I carry my nalgene around the house with me so I keep drinking water. I also had physical therapy, so that always helps me drink a ton of water.

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Breakfast 9:30AM

Another smoothie. Pineapple, frozen strawberries, coconut cream, cranberry juice, chia seeds, almond milk. (Blended up chia seeds get stuck in my teeth. I’m really hot when I smile while drinking this- good thing I’m home alone!)

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Lunch 1:00PM

I made some pretty fantastic drumsticks today for lunch and I am proud- so I’m gonna share the recipe with you. It is NOT fancy, but it tasted better than lunch yesterday. Anywho…

Preheat oven to 375*F. Spray cookie pan with coconut oil spray. Set drumsticks on pan. Drizzle on EVOO. Salt, pepper and italian seasoning. In the oven for 30 minutes. Pour spaghetti sauce on top (leftover from last night). OVen for 20 more minutes. Then pop these babies into a skillet with ghee and roast until they’re nice and crispy on the outside. Boom.

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Heres how they looked and boy were they fantastic.

4:45PM I had a lemon Lara bar because I just needed something. (I don’t know why they say not to snack. Its good for your metabolism to eat every few hours….I’m all about small meals instead of large ones. I can’t eat too much in one sitting. I ALWAYS need a doggy bag when I go out to eat!)

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Dinner 6:00PM

I heated up some drumsticks and sliced a potato and baked it into ‘fries’ and put some hot sauce on top. Water with dinner.

I find myself craving food at night a lot, so lately at night I’ve been having some cinnamon apple chips by Bare or a spoonful of almond butter or some raw almonds. Again, I have to eat a little bit here and there so I don’t tip over and faint- I feel like that constantly if I don’t get some food in me every so often!

Anywho, another day down….one step closer to 30!

Have a good one y’all,

Sarah Montana