A Life Hack for Meal Prepping

Happy Monday folks. It’s SUCH a Monday for me here, I don’t know why but I am dragging my butt around. I also have a midterm in two hours and 45 minutes…but who’s counting. Let’s make this post about saving time anyways!

You hear it all the time about how meal prepping saves time and money and all that jazz and I’m not denying it! Fortunately for you folks I’ve got a big meal prepping post coming your way, but for now I’m going to share the #1 fastest make ahead lunch I could muster.

So, have I ever mentioned I like smoothies?

Is anyone sick of the fact that I only ever bring up the same six foods?

Seriously guys- making your smoothies ahead and taking them for lunch was one the best life hacks I’ve come across! You can make as many as you want (or can, if you’ve got enough heavy duty water bottles) in less than 10 minutes. And you can jam pack them with so many good things- why pack a salad and fruit for lunch when you can basically have that in milkshake form?? (Yeah that doesn’t sound appetizing at all. Just trust me).

I found what works best for me is taking my smoothie out of the FREEZER the night before I want to bring it with me and put it in the FRIDGE OVERNIGHT. Then once I throw it in my backpack in the morning, by the time lunchtime rolls around it’s the perfect amount of thawed to dig in with a spoon or the same consistency of a freshly made smoothie!

Here’s what I used on my first three:

Smoothie #1: Vanilla Greek yogurt, vanilla protein powder, frozen spinach, frozen strawberries, flax seeds, skim milk

Smoothie #2: Frozen spinach, banana, frozen mango chunks, vanilla protein powder, ice, skim milk, flax seeds, chia seeds

Smoothie #3: Frozen mango chunks, frozen strawberries, vanilla protein powder, flax seeds, ice, skim milk, oatmeal

Okay so my ingredient list isn’t the most exciting thing on the internet, but it just goes to show that in under ten minutes you can a different lunch EVERY single day that will fill you up on healthy foods- and all you have to do during the day is let it defrost!

Has anyone else had luck with make ahead smoothies? I haven’t tried peanut butter yet but I want to; wonder how that would freeze!


DIY Acai Bowl

Acai Bowl: “the prettiest, most colorful breakfast option around. In short, breakfast porn…acai bowls are parfaits on chilled, tropical steroids” (The Art of the Acai Bowl)

That quote wasn’t enough to intrigue you on this Brazilian breakfast? What about this one:

“It’s a freaking fruit smoothie, filled with some organic soy and the most powerful super fruit in all the land: acai. Now, acai on it’s own is good. But when you top it with the perfect amount of crunchy organic almond flax granola AND strawberries AND blueberries AND banana? You might as well kill me now because I would die with a purple acai-stained smile on my face.” (Fit-Personality, Acai Bowls- A Love Letter)

How about some visual evidence? Click on the photo for the recipe

Convinced yet? Me too. It’s at the top of my list of new recipes to try as soon as I move into the new apartment! Check out this DIY Acai Bowl from Living Like Larz!

Is a smoothie in a bowl ice cream? Can you count this as ice cream for breakfast? If so, this is the healthiest freaking breakfast ice creams I’ve ever seen. Healthy breakfast ice cream sounds like a triple oxymoron, lets scratch that whole idea.  I’d love to hear if anybody has tried an acai bowl before!

In other news:

  • I’ve finished two out of my four finals (not including a final essay)
  • Two of my best friends are coming HOME with me on Friday!
  • I got my Vietnam assignment for the summer- I’ve be teaching English and coaching soccer!!
  • The blog is getting a new design! Can’t wait!

Alright, blogging break for me is over. Back to studying k byeeee.

Back At It {Food}

What a whirlwind (I wasn’t kidding when I said March Madness). I got back from Nationals two weeks ago, made it through midterms, and am home for spring break! I know I wasn’t blogging last week but I was still keeping up with my two favorite things- eating and working out! I’ve got two posts for you tonight, the first being a food update and the second being fitness! Here’s what I was fueling my body with during Midterm Week:

Like a lot of college girls out there, 90% of the time I am cooking for one! I love love love my veggies, but struggle with finishing produce on time before it goes bad and soggy. I think something about the nice warm spring days Iowa had got to my head, and I bought a massive container of spring mixed greens! It was huge. I made it my personal mission to finish it by weeks end, and I had to get creative let me tell ya. Also in the photo? Sweet potatoes. I have an obsessive love affair with sweet potatoes (if you follow me on Pinterest, you’ll definitely see signs of sweet potato madness!) I took FIVE of them and roasted them for the whole week to top my salads with.

Just a little olive oil and Greek seasoning does the trick! This means that the majority of my dinners last week looked like this-

Which, side note, was absolutely fantastic. I was making great headway on finishing my weekly greens. On days I felt I needed more protein I added both the greens and the sweet potatoes to an egg burrito!

Those other veggies on top were just from a little microwave steam container on sale for $1 at Hy-Vee; I grabbed quite a few for salad toppings, omelets, side dishes (and burrito fillings!) Outside of salads and fillings I managed to FINISH the greens stuffing them into smoothies every chance I got! I’m almost out of those pre-made smoothie baggies I made (which you can find here), so I’ll be looking for other things to try in my next batch of smoothie preparations! Speaking of smoothies, on a day I didn’t feel like berries I threw together something fast after a workout before studying-

Ice, vanilla protein powder, chia seeds, flax seeds, a banana, and skim milk made a sweet almost nutty-like flavor smoothie! I’ve been adding chia seeds and flax seeds to everything recently, and to be honest you can’t even taste them!

You are probably rolling your eyes at me right now. Oh sure, just another health/food blogger telling me “I won’t even taste it!” First kale, now weird seeds… BUT I PROMISE and to be fair I have never suggested anyone eat kale. I am tempted to try some in future smoothies, but I tried kale chips ones and I think they taste weird. I feel like I’m about to get shunned from the club of people that write about healthy living, but I did! They were weird and kind of just dissolved in your mouth like pop rocks. Or salt.

And my final food photo of the night is dedicated to eating the rainbow! I looove peppers (but not as much as I love sweet potatoes) and picked up this grab-and-go my last night in town before spring break. I wouldn’t normally buy pre-sliced produce as I have never minded much doing the prep work, but I was only in town for another few hours and knew I was going to eat them as soon as I walked in the door to finish off my humus too! It was a perfect procrastinating packing and studying snack- no clean up with a good dose of energy aka no sugar crash! Some people can’t STAND the taste of peppers (*cough cough David cough*) but hey, their loss! Means there are more for me (I just don’t cook with them much anymore).

That’s the eats update for now! I promise to keep things a little more up to date now that my schedule will be returning to (mostly) normal :)

Smoothie Prep!

I wanted to share a couple photos from one of the biggest things I’ve done in regards to menu planning! With a morning off last week, I stopped by Hy-Vee and stocked up on fresh and frozen treats. The goal was to create individual bags for painless smoothie making in the morning- most of the time I’d be running my magic bullet at 6am and drinking it on the way to my 8:30am class!

So what did I get?

  • Two cartons of fresh blueberries
  • Large carton of strawberries (already cut up in the photo)
  • Bag of fresh spinach
  • Bag of frozen mixed berries

I tried to give each one a slightly different ratio of goodies for different flavors!

After measuring them out in my to-go cups I put in them in plastic baggies (that I would re-use, don’t fret!) to throw in the freezer to grab quick in the mornings

Easy as that! I ended up with 12 bags total, and plan on using a couple a week. Since I froze everything, I haven’t needed to add ice cubes to anything. What have been adding? Skim milk or almond milk, vanilla protein powder, or almond butter!

Look at them all lined up in my freezer! Above my nice Tupperwares of Harvest Vegetable Soup some an earlier January post :) Who cares if it’s winter. Fruit smoothie all around!