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Peanut Butter and Jelly Beet Smoothie

27 Apr

I received free samples of the Barlean’s products mentioned in this post. All opinions are my own; I was not compensated for my time.

Most Americans grew up eating peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. Whether for breakfast, lunch or a last-minute run-out-the-door to your extracurricular activities dinner, PB&J was, and still is, a household staple.

If you asked younger Christina how to make the most perfect PB&J sandwich, she’d tell you it had to be on squishy soft bread, though a whole wheat variety is fine as well. The CREAMY peanut butter (no chunks here, folks!) had to be layered on thickly – something to sink your teeth into. And the jam, which was almost always homemade jam from my Oma (her strawberry-raspberry mix will always be my favorite), had to completely cover the peanut butter foundation. Slap on another slice of bread (not toasted, mind you), cut into two triangles, and there you have it! The ideal PB&J sandwich.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Beet Smoothie |

These days, however, I know better than to consume that amount of sugar and empty carbs for breakfast, or any meal for that matter. My bread is much more wholesome, the peanut butter is natural, or it might even be almond butter, and the jam is used sparingly, just to get a taste. I’m more apt to use fresh, sliced berries, or perhaps chia jam.

But if that all sounds like too much work, and too messy for your half-hour morning commute to work, this smoothie is just for you! It’s loaded with peanut butter and jelly taste, without all the added sugars and morning-slump-causing empty carbs. The beet juice goes unnoticed, except in color. (Trust me on this – I hate beets and would never propose you make a recipe wherein you can taste the beets!) The protein powder adds a nice boost to get you through the day, or to refuel after a workout. Finally, the Barlean’s Digestive Blend lends all the fiber, omega-3’s, antioxidants, vitamins & minerals that your body needs to keep things moving, and keep things clean, if you catch my drift.

In fact, Barlean’s Digestive Blend is a combination of all the good things you might find hard to work into your diet otherwise: flaxseed, quinoa, chia seeds, coconut, and a blend of warm spices. It’s also vegan, organic, kosher, GMO-free, and gluten-free!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Beet Smoothie |

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway! The prize pack is valued at over $200, and one lucky winner will get it all! This giveaway is open world-wide except where prohibited. Update: the Rafflecopter giveaway has ended.


Peanut Butter and Jelly Beet Smoothie

Serves 1

  • 3/4 C cold water
  • 1/2 C prepared beet juice
  • 1 frozen, sliced banana
  • 1 C frozen blueberries (preferably wild blueberries)
  • 2 tbsp powdered peanut butter (or you could use real PB)
  • 1 scoop vegan vanilla protein powder
  • 1 heaping tbsp hemp seeds
  • 2 tbsp Barlean’s Digestive Blend

Add all ingredients to your blender and puree until completely smooth. I find it’s best to use the “ice crush” setting first, to break down the frozen fruit.

Serve in a glass, and enjoy cold!

Is it Time to Eat? Guest Post + Roasted Tofu with Roasted Vegetable Puree

20 Apr

Picture this: it’s 10 PM and you’re so hungry that your growling stomach is sure to keep you from falling asleep. So you grab some chocolate, or a handful of trail mix, or pretzels. Sound familiar?

But is 10 PM really the right time of day to eat? Most would argue it’s not wise. But do you understand the science behind it?

Today’s guest, Kevin Jones, shares how to determine when you should be eating. The recipe that follows is a great example of what you should be eating – a healthy, high-protein, dairy & gluten free dinner that’s perfect following a workout or simply a busy day at work!

Is it Time to Eat? Guest Post + Roasted Tofu with Roasted Vegetable Puree |

Breaking Down the Details on the Best Times of the Day to Eat

About The Guest Author: Kevin Jones writes for a number of sites across the web, sharing his wisdom and expertise in the health and fitness industry. He has written extensively for NordicTrack and ProForm, offering out-of-the-box workout plans and nutritional advice. During his free time, he likes to be very active with his wife and two children, hitting the slopes of Park City, Utah or chasing down Salt Lake City’s Korean food trucks. Connect with him online; LinkedInTwitter.

My grandmother – a very opinionated woman – has always been very vocal about the way you should eat, and when. Her philosophy, passed to me in my formative years, was that you eat heavy in the morning, heavier in the afternoon, and light in the evening. “And none of that silly no-fat nonsense…give me my butter, or lose a hand!”

For a long time I ignored these lessons, eating with the gusto and carefree nature of youth. Now that I am older, and I have to think of weight gain, heart health, and indigestion, I have started wondering if she was right.

We all know that healthy food is good food. But what are the best times to eat it?

Is it Time to Eat? Guest Post + Roasted Tofu with Roasted Vegetable Puree |

Erratic Diets and The Harm They Do

Eating irregularly is bad for you. That might seem like a drastic statement, but it has been shown to be true again and again. A study by Harvard University found that just a few days of eating on an opposing schedule could cause serious sugar and insulin spikes where none had been present before.

Another study done by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that nighttime eating could cause an increase in weight gain. Still another found that late eating impacted circadian rhythms and disrupted sleep patterns.

So, to recap, eating late at night, or just in a way that is different than your usual pattern of meals, can screw with your blood sugar levels, your sleep, and even make you fat. That seems like a pretty serious thing to me.

Eating Post Workout

Another factor to keep in mind is when working out. Exercise taxes the body, eats up all the food-provided energy in the system, and puts strain and tears within muscles that need to be repaired. Protein rich snacks or meals following intense activity are crucial for the body to function properly.

But did you know dehydration may keep you from getting the nutrients you need? Long distance runners are familiar with runner’s trots. But anyone can experience diarrhea following a workout, often sparked by improper hydration.

Is it Time to Eat? Guest Post + Roasted Tofu with Roasted Vegetable Puree |

What All This Tells Us

We can make a couple of assumptions about diet based on the above facts. First, eating late at night is a no-no. Second, proper hydration is crucial for proper nutrient retention. Third, our bodies are delicate tools that have to be properly balanced.

Eat well, eat often, and don’t eat too late. Oh, and keep drinking water. While the eight glasses a day rhetoric may be a myth, the need for keeping ourselves nice and hydrated is not.

Is it Time to Eat? Guest Post + Roasted Tofu with Roasted Vegetable Puree |

With that in mind, here’s a protein rich meal that’s great for dinner! Tofu’s texture is not for everyone, but when pressed and roasted, it’s much more palatable! Pair this with a simple puree of roasted vegetables, and you’ve got dinner in the bag. Enjoy!

Roasted Tofu with Roasted Vegetable Puree

Makes 4 servings

  • 1 block firm tofu, drained
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 large stalks of celery, chopped
  • 4 whole cloves garlic
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • Olive oil, salt and pepper – to roast
  • 1/2 C vegetable stock, warmed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 dash cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Roasted pepitas, to garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line two rimmed baking sheets with foil and spray with oil.

Wrap the drained tofu block in a clean tea towel and place a heavy object on top of it, like a heavy pan or book. Let this sit while you prep the veggies.

Chop all the veggies – neatness doesn’t count in this recipe! Lay them out on one of the baking sheets with the garlic and tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper. Stir a bit and make sure the veggies are in a single layer. Roast at 400 for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Slice the pressed tofu into long, thin strips. Place in a single layer on the second baking sheet, and bake for 20 minutes, until dry and crispy. It’s best to put the tofu in the oven 10 minutes after the vegetables have been in.

Once the vegetables are roasted, transfer them to a blender, along with the warmed vegetable stock, seasonings, and vinegar. Puree until smooth, taking care to let steam escape from the lid by removing the middle piece and holding a towel loosely over the top. Taste and adjust as desired.

Pour the vegetable puree into four bowls. Top with the roasted tofu strips and garnish with roasted pepitas. Enjoy hot!

34 Post-Race Recipes and “First Call” Half Marathon Recap

10 Apr

Yesterday, I ran my fourth half marathon! It was a completely gorgeous day – mid-60s and sunny.

34 Post-Race Recipes and "First Call" Half Marathon Recap |

Unfortunately, despite following a solid training plan, my time was rather terrible. My feet started hurting in the 6th mile, my left leg began to hurt in the 10th mile, and I was battling some pretty awful negative inner voices. But, I did it – I finished upright, on my own, and with a smile on my face. My parents and Chris wished me luck at the start, and they brought my grandparents along to see me cross the finish line! Their support has again been incredible ❤

34 Post-Race Recipes and "First Call" Half Marathon Recap |


34 Post-Race Recipes and "First Call" Half Marathon Recap |

Run Long & Prosper 🙂


34 Post-Race Recipes and "First Call" Half Marathon Recap |

Glad my parents could see me start and finish!

34 Post-Race Recipes and "First Call" Half Marathon Recap |

This was the first race that Oma and Opa could come to see me finish – it was so lovely to see them at the end ❤

After a post-race beer and peanut butter bar was devoured, Chris took my friend and I out for lunch at a nearby burger joint (yay for veggie burgers!). We then came home so I could shower and relax.

34 Post-Race Recipes and "First Call" Half Marathon Recap |


34 Post-Race Recipes and "First Call" Half Marathon Recap |


Cue the unquenchable hunger. 13.1 miles is quite a distance, and it does a number on the body.

Aside from a cold glass of much-deserved beer, and a delightfully refreshing banana, post-race nutrition can be a tough thing to tackle. Do you gorge on all the unhealthy foods you want? Do you keep it conservative and make a simple eggs & potato dish? Do you whip out all the protein powders and healthy ingredients that are in your pantry? For every one of my longer races, we have gone out for brunch/lunch upon crossing the finish line. I usually order whatever egg dish is on the menu because I’m craving salt and protein, and nothing sweet. Yesterday’s burger did have a fried egg on it 🙂

But the rest of the day? Now that’s totally up in the air. Rather than simply grazing through your fridge and pantry (that can end up to be a total stomach ache!), it’s important to have foods ready to eat, or items that your significant other/best friend/parents can make for you as you sit and recover with all the compression gear you own.

Post-race recovery is super important. It helps your muscles get back on track, satisfies your stomach, and aids in a faster turnaround time so you’re not tempted to spend a week away from running – or moving, for that matter. Sure, a few days off the road after a long race is a good idea, but any more than that and you’ll risk losing the desire to run and muscle memory of doing so.

33 Post-Race Recipes and "First Call" Half Marathon Recap |

Of course, fresh produce is always a wise choice. An apple with nut butter makes a great snack, as does a piece of whole grain toast with butter and scrambled eggs. But if you want something more substantial, creative, and delicious, you’ll love this roundup of 34 post-race recipes! There’s everything from no-bake bars, healthy baked goods, bliss balls and smoothies, to savory meals and snacks that will help you recover throughout the day, and even week, following a big race.

Balls, Bars & Baked Goods

33 Post-Race Recipes and "First Call" Half Marathon Recap |

Apple Cornmeal Protein Muffins, from Eat, Drink, Be Healthy!

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Muffins, from Suzlyfe

Coconut Chocolate Chip Quinoa Bars, from Healthy Helper

Espresso Hemp Protein Bites, from The Fit Cookie

Gluten-free Oat Bites, from The Fit Cookie

No-bake Chocolate Chip Oat Bars, from The Fit Cookie

Peanut Butter Blondie Brownies, from Healthy Helper

Rainbow Bliss Balls, from Casey the College Celiac

Tropical Protein Baked Oatmeal, from Eat, Drink, Be Healthy!

Vegan Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake, from Healthy Helper

Zucchini Bread Protein Loaves, from Eat, Drink, Be Healthy!

Smoothies & Bowls

33 Post-Race Recipes and "First Call" Half Marathon Recap |

Banana Ice Cream Parfait and Zucchini Bread Ice Cream, from Casey the College Celiac

Blackberry Walnut Protein Smoothie, from Eat, Drink, Be Healthy!

Cherry Limeade Recovery Smoothie, from Suzlyfe

Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Black Bean Smoothie, from Eat, Drink, Be Healthy!

Creamy Blueberry Orange Smoothie, from The Fit Cookie

Honey Roasted Rhubarb Smoothie, from Eat, Drink, Be Healthy!

Orange Creamsicle Avocado Protein Smoothie, from Eat, Drink, Be Healthy!

Orange Turmeric Smoothie, from Marathons & Motivations

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie, from Eat, Drink, Be Healthy!

Strawberries & Cream Breakfast Quinoa, from Eat, Drink, Be Healthy!

Sweet & Spicy Triple Berry Smoothie Bowl, from Marathons & Motivations

Trifecta of Smoothies, from Ilka’s Blog

Wild Blueberry Avocado Protein Smoothie, from Eat, Drink, Be Healthy!


33 Post-Race Recipes and "First Call" Half Marathon Recap |

Avocado Egg Salad, from Confessions of a Mother Runner

Chilled Southwestern Sweet Potato Bowl, from Eat, Drink, Be Healthy!

Curried Oatmeal with Scrambled Eggs, from Eat, Drink, Be Healthy!

Fajita Frittata, from Eat, Drink, Be Healthy!

Oil-free Sriracha Roasted Walnuts, from Healthy Helper

Vegan Portuguese Kale & Soy Chorizo Soup, from Suzlyfe

Vegan Pork n’ Bean Mac & Cheese, from Healthy Helper

Vegan Quinoa Black Bean Salad, from Eat, Drink, Be Healthy!

Vegetable & Egg Pita Pizzas, from Eat, Drink, Be Healthy!

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