Fitness, Food and Photography

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Kale Protein Shake Recipe

 

kale protein shake

My hubby and I have been making protein shakes for breakfast for about the last 6 months.  We started out putting Spinach in them, which is great.  I love spinach.  But have you heard about the health benefits of kale?  It is the most nutrient dense of all the veggies!!  It’s packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber.  Why wouldn’t you want to start your day with that?

One cup of kale has only 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, 180% of your recommended daily requirement of Vitamin A, 200% of Vitamin C, and 1,020% of Vitamin K, according to WebMD .

Carotenoids and flavonoids are the antioxidants that have been are touted with reducing your risk of cancer.  There are over 45 different flavonoids in kale.  In addition to the antioxidants and the anti-cancer nutrients in the form of glucosinolates, there are also anti-inflammatory nutrients.  It will turn the ordinary protein shake into a powerhouse breakfast!!

So enough about kale, let’s get to the recipe ….

2 scoops chocolate protein powder (I prefer the cookies and cream flavor)

1 Tbsp ground flax seeds

1 Tbsp PB2 (optional)

1/2 banana (optional)

1 cup frozen blueberries (or other fruit of your choice)

2 cups kale  (YES!)

about 1 cup water

about 1 cup ice, or enough to get it to your desired consistency

Throw all the ingredients in the blender and blend til smooth.

Makes 2 servings.

ingredients

I think frozen blueberries are best because they change the color of the shake to a brown-ish purple.  Especially, if you are trying to sneak the kale in on your unsuspecting spouse.  If you don’t mind the green color, frozen strawberries work well too.  Probably any frozen fruit would be good, but I try to stay away from those that are high on the glycemic index such as mangoes or pineapples.  Don’t get me wrong, I love mangoes and pineapples.  I have them occassionally.

frozen bananas

Quick tip on bananas —  If you have some on your counter that are about to get brown, just peel them and throw them in the freezer.  Being frozen actually helps the consistency of the shake.

Bananas are also high on the glycemic index, meaning they create a spike in your blood sugar levels.  We don’t do bananas every day, but if we do, we limit it to 1/2 a banana per 2-shake recipe.

Two secret ingredients.  PB2 adds that PB flavor without all the fat and calories.  And flaxseeds give you the Omega-3s you need.  I could probably write a whole post on Flaxseeds too.  Love these things!

kale protein shake

You could probably throw in any veggie.  Once it gets blended, you don’t even know it’s there.  In fact, my hubby slipped eggplant in there and I didn’t even know it.

Blend and enjoy!!  🙂

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I’m Back! … with Eggplant!

I must apologize – I’ve been MIA this week.  It’s been a crazy busy week with school starting and getting back into a normal routine.

I even missed the ‘What I Ate Wednesday’ post, which I really hated to do!  I love doing the WIAW pictures.  This Wednesday, my firm hosted a seminar on Healthcare Reform for our clients.  (Don’t even get me started on Healthcare Reform – maybe I’ll save that for another post another day).

It was a catered event so there were the usual pastries, muffins and cereals.  Carb overload.  So I refrained.  I was going to take a picture of the buffet for you, but I was too busy talking to clients.  Because I had skipped breakfast, I was starving for lunch.  I scarfed my salad down before I even had time to think about taking a picture of it. But it looked something like this:

homemade salad

That’s Thursday’s salad.  I ate it at my desk while I worked.  Then on Thursday night, the hubs made us some amazing fish tacos:

homemade fish tacos

But all of that wasn’t too exciting.  It was what I did on Friday that I’m excited to share with you.  I had the BEST day on Friday!!  I don’t know what it was.  Maybe I finally got the hang of the new school routine.  Maybe it’s because I was wearing jeans.  Or maybe it’s because my hubby snuck some eggplant into my kale shake.  Yes, you read that correctly.  EGGPLANT.  In a Protein Shake.  It sounds disgusting, right??  He didn’t tell me until I had drank the whole thing.  And I couldn’t tell anything different.

(Kale Shake recipe here)

In fact, I had just gotten to work and as I sat down, I had an email from the hubs asking me if I liked my shake.  I replied yes.  To which his follow up question was, “Could you tell what the secret ingredient was?”  I had 3 sips left, so I took a big swig, swirled it around in my mouth, furrowed my eyebrow and responded “No.  What is it?”  And then he dropped the bomb.  Eggplant.  Seriously??  We had leftover grilled eggplant in the fridge from dinner two nights before.

grilled eggplant

Not being the kind to waste food, we like to use our leftovers rather than throwing them out.  But he’s never gone so far as to put leftover grilled veggies in our breakfast shake.  Weird.  But it worked.  And eggplant is brain food.  So I really think it helped me have the most productive day I’ve had in a really long time.  I was even offering to help other people get their work done.

I had so much energy by 5pm, I went for a run after work at my favorite place:

Lakeshore Park

Lakeshore Park

It was a beautiful day, but still so very hot.  I remembered why I don’t like to run outside in August!!

So that was the end of my week.  I apologize for being absent for the last couple of days.

I’ll leave you with a sunset picture and a promise….

I promise not to miss a post next week, especially the WIAW post!!  (It’s my fave).  Oh, and stay tuned on the 31st when I reveal my foodie pen pal box!!

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WIAW – 7/16/12

I’m a day late posting What I Ate Wednesday.

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Had the usual shake on my way work.  You probably get bored with me talking about kale shakes, but I certainly don’t get bored drinking them. They are sooo yummy!

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I started getting hungry around 11:30 so I grabbed a handful of almonds.

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Salad from home.  Ate at my desk. Shh… don’t tell – that’s a big no-no at work. Silly, I know. 🙂

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About 4pm, I had a sweet craving. After decidedly avoiding the usual Atomic Fireball, I reached for a piece of sugar-free gum. Have you tried this flavor?? Oh. My. Word. It really does taste just like apple pie. How do they do that??
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That’s my dinner. The usual wrap. Boring, I know. I’ll try to get more creative next week.
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And half a peach for dessert. Yum!!

I was able to stay under my calorie goal and my carb limit for the day!! Yay.

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