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Who am I? Wife. Mother of 2. "Newbie" to fitness. Personal Trainer-in-training. Lover of health. Fitness. Religion. Family. Gluten and refined sugar intolerant. Welcome to my journey. Learn with me.

Monday, February 27, 2012


This post is dedicated specifically to Brittany Henderson!

I discovered that one of my absolute favorite things in the world is, of course, SMOOTHIES! I am completely addicted to Jamba Juice and when we found out we were going to be getting a substantial tax return I invested in the best kitchen appliance I ever dreamed of owning:

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that is the Blendtec Total Blender. Saw it. Loved it. Had to have it. GOT IT!!!

I have a smoothie every single day, usually for lunch as a meal replacement. And I am not talking about smoothies that are packed with sugar or sweeteners or anything. I am talking about good, nutritious, packed with health smoothies. I am talking Green here people! Fresh fruits, fresh veggies, LOTS of goodness.

It seemed rather daunting to me to dedicate several posts to different smoothies so instead I am going to give you several of my current favorites in one list. I am sorry that there aren't any pictures... but maybe I will add them later? It is hard for me to think about snapping a picture of my basic lunch... anyways... Ready? Okay let's get to the goodness!

(This is the smoothie I USUALLY have for lunch every day)

1/2 cup acai juice
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (you could also throw in an apple)
1/2 frozen banana
1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
2-3 handfuls of baby spinach leaves (almost filled to the top)
Add pebble ice depending on if you want it more juicy or more smoothie-ish (you can buy it at Sonic for $1.71 a bag)

Add ingredients in order listed above and blend until smooth! Makes 1 large smoothie. (This is the direction for all smoothies, unless there is something "special" about the blending process I won't mention this again.)

(Because right now I am out of acai...)

3/4 cup almond milk
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 banana
1 6 oz. container of blueberry yogurt*
2-3 handfuls of baby spinach leaves

*Yoplait yogurt is NOT a good idea! It has SOOOO much sugar! I buy the Pure brand from Sam's Club that only has 9 basic ingredients. The best yogurt you could get would be Greek yogurt. You can also buy it in bulk at Sam's club in "flavors."


3/4 cup almond milk
2 oranges, peeled and quartered
1 cup baby carrots
1/2 frozen banana, optional

(I like this just as listed but it may not be sweet enough for some people... if you want it to be sweeter then I would definitely add the banana and 1 or 2 tsp of a sweetener of your choosing. I choose Stevia.)

From Blendtec Lifestyles Cookbook

1 orange - peel and remove seeds
1/3 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt
1 cup strawberries - leave stems*
1/2 banana - peeled
1 cup ice

*Why do we leave the stems? Because they are good for you! The blender will take care of them so don't even worry about it!

From Blendtec Lifestyles Cookbook

2 cups grapes
1 cup orange - peeled
1/2 cup grapefruit - peeled
1 Tbsp sugar (or honey or Stevia or agave nectar... etc.)
2 cups ice

From Blendtec Lifestyles Cookbook

2 kiwis - peeled (or not... I don't)
1 large pear - seeded
1 Tbsp lime juice
2 Tbsp sugar (This is a bit sweet for me but you can use that much of a sweetener if you want)
1/3 cup water
1 cup ice

(This is a very different flavor of smoothie but it is delicious!)
From Blendtec Lifestyles Cookbook

1/4 cup cream of coconut
1/8 cup milk
1/4 tsp mint extract
1/4 cup pineapple
1 1/2 cups ice

From Hell if I Gnaw (Site: http://www.hellifignaw.blogspot.com/2012/02/slammin-sunrise-smoothie.html)

2 - 3 cups organic spinach
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1-2 cups frozen strawberries
1 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 frozen banana
2 Tbsp flaxseeds (This smoothie is still delicious without the flaxseeds, just not AS good for you. But still good for you!)

From Allrecipes.com (Site:http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Heavenly-Blueberry-Smoothie/Detail.aspx?ms=1&prop25=77299861&prop26=WhatsCooking&prop27=2012-02-16&prop28=PhotoArea2&prop29=Photo_1&me=1)

  • 1 frozen banana, thawed for 10 to 15 minutes
  • 1/2 cup vanilla soy milk (or normal milk)
  • 1 cup vanilla fat-free yogurt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons flax seed meal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
  • 2/3 cup frozen blueberries

From Maria at Two Peas and their Pod (Site of recipe: http://www.zupas.com/2012/02/pineapple-mango-green-smoothie/)

1 cup almond milk (or milk of your choice)
1/2 banana, frozen
1 cup chopped mango
1/2 cup chopped fresh pineapple
2 cups fresh spinach
1/2 cup of ice


And there you have it! These are the ones we usually make or have tried recently. I will post more as I go along but I wanted to jump start with a whole list. You probably noticed the use of spinach is quite prevalent... don't be afraid! It is delicious and you really can't taste it in the smoothie. You can buy a big box at Sam's Club for about $3.50 and it is SOOOO wonderful! Do it... you know you secretly want to!

Love, Shayla

Monday, February 20, 2012

Best Spanish Rice

This is a huge go-to side dish in our house. I LOVE this recipe and we frequently have it with all of our Mexican dishes. It is super easy too. I make mine in our pressure cooker but I am sure you could do it in a rice cooker or a normal pan as well. I do several things differently than the original recipe but if you want to see the original you can find it and the source of the picture at this site here: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/best-spanish-rice/detail.aspx

From Allrecipes.com

1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups uncooked white rice
2 cups chicken (or vegetable) broth
1 cup chunky salsa

Place all ingredients in rice cooker. Stir twice and cook as you would normal rice.


Place all ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cover. Cook, COVERED, for 20 minutes - DO NOT LIFT LID!

Fluff with fork before serving.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Potatoes Plus

This was a delicious vegetarian meal that was fairly easy to make. The only problem that I had was that we had a hot spot on our barbecue that I didn't know about... one of our packets got severely burned after cooking as it says. Just keep a close eye on your flame. Make sure it isn't licking one packet more than the others. You may want to rotate the packets when turning as well.

Also, if you don't want this to be a meatless meal you can easily add sliced sausage or another meat of your choice.

This picture and recipe are courtesy of Taste of Home and can be found here: http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Potatoes-Plus

From Taste of Home

  • 4 medium red potatoes, cubed
  • 1 medium onion, cubed
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper, cubed
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon each dried basil, dill weed and parsley flakes
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
Combine vegetables and seasonings; divide among four pieces of heavy-duty foil (about 12 in. square). Dot with butter. Fold foil around vegetables and seal tightly.

Grill, covered, over medium heat for 15 minutes on each side. Open foil carefully to allow steam to escape. Yield: 4 servings.