SUPER SHAKES: How to Build the Ultimate Smoothie

Looking for something that is convenient, nutritious and not to mention delicious? Try a Smoothie!

Smoothies are great because they are so versatile, you can literally make any combo you want, and are jam-packed with nutrition. But, buyer beware! The smoothies you see at Juice Bars and Fast Food restaurants are often packed with sugar, clocking in a more calories than a meal and will add inches to your waist, not help take them away. The best part about making your own smoothie is that you are in control of the ingredients and the portion sizes, and you can take them with you when you’re on the go. Keep on reading to find out how to make your very own SUPER SHAKE! You will also find my go-to recipe at the end. Happy blending!

*A ‘good’ blender is very helpful when making smoothies. A good blender will make sure all the food you put in the smoothie gets blended up and will crush ice without a problem. I use a Ninja Ultima – one of the best purchases I’ve ever made!*

Choose one or two items from each step below:

Step 1 – Choose a liquid:

  • Water
  • Milk (dairy or non-dairy, use unsweetened when possible)
  • 100% real fruit juice

Aim for ¾ cup to 1 cup of liquid (enough to blend). Less liquid = thicker shake, more liquid = thinner shake. You can also add ice cubes (in addition to the liquid).

Step 2 – Pick your protein:

  • Whey, casein, rice, hemp or pea protein (one or two scoops, choose serving size accordingly)
  • Greek Yogurt

You will want to make sure that the protein you use is easy to digest, tastes good and mixes well. If using a powder that you are unfamiliar with, mix with water or milk first and take a taste/mixing test.

Step 3 – Pick a veggie:

  • Dark leafy greens: Spinach (tasteless) or kale
  • Carrot
  • Beets or beet root
  • Cucumber or celery
  • Pumpkin (pairs well with vanilla flavours)

Use 1-2 handfuls. Option to use a powdered greens supplement.

Step 4 – Add your fruit:

  • Any kind of berry
  • Banana
  • Dates (pits removed)
  • Pineapple
  • Pear
  • Apple

Use 1-2 handfuls or 1 cup. Fruit can be fresh or frozen.

Step 5 – Pick a healthy fat:

  • ¼ an avocado
  • Flax/hemp/chia seeds
  • Nut butter

This is a small serving – 1 or 2 thumb sized servings

My Go-to ULTIMATE BERRY SMOOTHIE

  • ½ cup water and ½ cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt and 1 scoop Neolife Shake or ½ scoop Veg Essentials
  • 1 handful spinach and 1 cup frozen mixed berries
  • ¼ avocado and 2 tsp chia seeds
  • Plus enough ice cubes to create the desired consistency

Blend all ingredients together and enjoy! Smoothie is pictured.

Enjoy,

Shannon

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WHAT’S COOKING?: Chili Covered Chicken (over Quinoa Pasta)

Hi everyone!  Brr…..this super cold weather in Toronto has me feeling a bit “chili” (pardon the pun).  Temperatures, like -35C, leave me craving hot comfort foods, which led me to make one of my favourite recipes: Chili Covered Chicken!

Just like the name says, this chili covered chicken is easy to make, not to mention, very delicious and healthy! This is also a great recipe to make when you have vegetables that you need to use up.  The vegetables that I used are listed in the recipe below; however, feel free to add or omit any of the vegetables.  I layered the chicken over quinoa pasta (you can use any kind or rice, if you’d like) to make this a more filling meal.  This recipe can also be cooked in a crockpot and is great as leftovers the next day (Tip: shred the remaining chicken and make Sloppy Joes).

Enjoy,

Shannon 🙂

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FUNDAMENTALS: Why You Need to Brace Your Core

Bracing your core is a really important, but quite often overlooked, aspect of weight training.  Recruiting/bracing your core will help you lift more weight, have better form and most importantly help you avoid injury!

So how do I brace more core? In just four simple steps, you can have a strong and stable core.  Check out the video below by Randy at Strength Made Simple, starring yours truly, to learn these steps! And, trust me, bracing your core is not easy, but once you master the technique, you will see your PRs go up and the low back pain you feel when you squat might also be gone too!

Also, check out Randy’s blog for more great training tips at strengthmadesimple.wordpress.com!