Purple Monster Protein Smoothie Recipe

Purple Monster Protein Smoothie Recipe

Smoothies are such a tasty way to add protein and nutrients to your diet. I love adding berries, greens, whey protein, veggies, and whatever else I have on hand that will improve my daily nutrition. They're the perfect nutrition hack for my often crazy schedule lately. 

I'm a total smoothie addict. I love them for breakfast, post-workout, snacks... smoothies, smoothies, smoothies! For the nutrition of course. I suppose it doesn't hurt that the way I make them they taste more like a dessert!

This is my favorite protein smoothie recipe lately. There's just something about the Creamy Vanilla protein and berries together that is absolute perfection. I especially love it post workout, and it's really bright purple, which is fun. Hey, real food can be fun too.

This Purple Monster Protein Smoothie is packed with protein and provides 2 of your daily fruit servings. It makes a great post-workout protein shake, dessert swap, or it can even serve as a protein-packed meal replacement. It's also delicious and so easy to make. 

Purple Monster Protein Shake

Purple Monster Protein Smoothie

Ingredients


1 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Coconut Milk (or CashewMilk)
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup frozen strawberries

Directions


Blend all ingredients well in your blender. I like mine super thick, so sometimes I add an extra frozen strawberry or two. It's seriously more like ice cream that way. Yum!

Purple Monster Smoothie


Enjoy! Let me know if you try it.


Purple Monster Protein Smoothie Recipe



Sweet Chocolate Mint Protein Shake Recipe


Sweet Chocolate Mint Protein Shake Recipe

I've talked in the past about how I do better when I up my protein a little. It seems like my workouts and recovery go more smoothly and I just overall feel better. Upping my protein (and fat) and lowering my carbs also seems to help me feel more satisfied and keep my blood sugar stable, which of course helps in the long run with weight loss.

Yet, somehow, I always wind up back at not eating enough protein. I'm finding that I really have to be mindful about it. So, I'm refocusing on upping my protein a bit and for me that means whey protein. In a shaker cup. In protein smoothies. In protein shakes. All the whey protein! It's just a quick and easy way I can add more protein to my diet with my already busy day. Plus, it's pretty tasty if you make it right!

People ask me a lot which whey protein is best. Wild Foods recently sent me some of their products to try out and I'm pretty smitten with their Wild Whey. It's super clean and I really love the taste. The Creamy Vanilla is probably my all-time favorite whey protein flavor. It's super yummy. Ingredients are extremely important to me in a protein powder, but I have to like the taste too! Who wants to choke down their protein shakes? No whey (you know I had to...). Unfortunately, I have found that often it's a trade off. You either get good clean ingredients or good taste. Well, Wild Whey just may be the unicorn of protein powders because it has both!


Sweet Chocolate Mint Protein Smoothie

This Sweet Chocolate Mint Protein Smoothie Recipe is a new protein shake combo I'm loving a lot lately. It's not only yummy, but it's also low in sugar, calories, and carbs! (Totals don't include optional whip pictured). I love it post-workout, but it also makes an amazing dessert swap. This clean recipe has 193 calories, 7 grams carbs, and 30 grams protein. It makes 1 extra large smoothie or 2 medium smoothies (size shown here).


Sweet Chocolate Mint Protein Smoothie


Ingredients


1 cup Unsweetened Vanilla CashewMilk
3 or 4 ice cubes
Peppermint Flavorto taste - I do 3 to 4 drops
1 packet stevia or other low carb sweetener (optional)


Ingredients Chocolate Mint Protein Shake

Directions


Add all ingredients to your blender and blend until smooth.

Go ahead, add a little spray whip for a special treat! As long as you track it...

Chocolate Mint Protein Shake


Let me know if you try it!





Sweet Chocolate Mint Protein Smoothie Recipe

To Track or Not to Track + Free Tracking Printable

Tracking for Weight Loss Success

Do you track? To track or not to track that seems to be a popular question these days. 

Studies have shown that people that keep a diet and fitness journal have better results. It's been observed time and again that people who simply write down what they eat and drink have greater success in weight loss than those who don't. Tracking appears to be an integral part of any successful weight loss plan.


But why?


Tracking can be quite enlightening. Simply writing down what we're already doing can cause many a light bulb moment. Tracking will shine a light on our eating and exercise habits. It's amazing how we think we eat and move and how we really eat and move can be completely different. Many people are amazed at the reality of their diet and exercise situation once they've simply started tracking their days (myself included). 

Turns out we're terrible estimators. It's amazing how wildly different what we think 4 oz is and what 4 oz really is can be. Same with the amount of calories in beverages. People will guess way fewer calories than a drink actually contains. From how much we really eat, to how big portions should be, to how many calories or carbs are actually in foods we consume, we tend to guestimate far off the mark.

Tracking can also show us patterns we may not have otherwise realized. Like emotional eating during stressful times, binging after certain foods or sleep patterns, and overall sedentary habits. Tracking gives us the information we need to make changes. 

Even once we're making healthy changes tracking is an amazing tool. Tracking keeps us accountable to ourselves. It keeps us mindful. It keeps us focused. It gives us the data we need to look back on to figure out what has worked and what hasn't. Tracking creates a personal record of what works best.


How to track for weight loss success


My experience with tracking


I go back and forth with tracking. Sometimes I use an app, sometimes I use pen and paper, and sometimes I don't track at all. One thing I know for sure though is that when I'm trying to lose weight I do a billion times better when I'm tracking. OK, that number may be a slight exaggeration, but I consistently see better results when I track. Currently I'm back to tracking (for a 66 day streak).

To help us all with our tracking efforts I've created a free printable food and fitness tracker. This tracker has everything you'll need to keep you on track (ok, pun intended). Whatever your goals and whatever your program I've designed this tracker to be a helpful tool. It's a daily tracking page complete with food tracking, water tracking, supplement tracking, exercise tracking, daily calorie and step totals, and even space to journal. I recommend printing a month and putting them together in a binder.

Click here to print yours (Oh, yes, and no annoying email newsletter to sign up for. Just click and print!)


Free Food and Fitness Tracking Journal Printable

How to use this Free Printable Tracking Journal

  1. First, write the date at the top of each journal page as you use it. I've found it's really helpful to not just track, but to have dated tracking to look back on. Whether I'm experiencing a plateau and wanting to really look at what I'm doing or I'm wanting to look back and see what was working well during times I had great results, it helps to have dated tracking.
  2. Track all of your food. Meals, snacks, bites and nibbles. We need the full picture. Optional here you can add calories for each meal and snack at the end of each description (or carbs or protein, whatever you want to pay attention to according to your plan).
  3. Water. Check off each 8 oz of water you drink.
  4. Track any and all supplements you're taking.
  5. Daily totals. There's a space for your total calories, carbs, and protein. I recommend using all three.
  6. Next, track your specific workouts here. Weights, runs, workout DVDs. Everything. Also, consider jotting down specifics like weights used or pace and distance of your runs. The more data you have to look back on, the better.
  7. Journal. If you need more space here use the back of the page too. Journal anything related to this journey for you. Your thoughts and feelings that day. Episodes of emotional eating. Low energy levels? Feeling like superwoman? Capture it all here. Again, a priceless resource for looking back over time.
  8. The last entry is for total daily steps. I highly recommend an activity tracker. I have been amazed at this data over time. It's so important to track our overall activity and not just our workouts.
Printable Fitness Tracker


There's no perfect tracking method. Try some. See what works for you. Test some paper journals, some printables like this one, some different apps... The best method of tracking is the one you'll do consistently!


Do you track your food and activity?





Why Tracking Works + Free Printable Journal


Low Carb Strawberry Cheesecake Pancakes

Low Carb Strawberry Cheesecake Pancakes

I'm building quite the little collection of low carb pancake recipes! And, if I do say so myself, these Strawberry Cheesecake Pancakes are a seriously tasty addition. They are a quick and super easy breakfast option for your low carb diet. Whether you're getting bored on your egg fast or just a low carb or keto style eater these are for you! With only 6 grams of carbs for the ENTIRE RECIPE they'll fit nicely into your plan.

This recipe makes 3 or 4 decent sized pancakes and comes in at 348 calories according to my tracking in My Fitness Pal. I generally eat the whole thing and double the batch if hubby wants some too. It easily doubles or triples or quadruples...to feed however many you'd like. I love to make a giant batch on Sunday and have them ready for the week. Just reheat in the microwave and go. Though, I personally kind of like these cold, straight from the fridge. They taste like little slices of cheesecake that way.


Strawberry Cheesecake Pancakes

Yes, yes, I know. If you're doing an egg fast strawberries are technically not allowed. But, for me, if I'm on day 3 and ready to lose my mind... 2 strawberries are no big deal. Of course you can omit the strawberries if you'd like. This recipe is 340 calories and 4 grams of carbs without them.


Low Carb Strawberry Cheesecake Pancake Recipe
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For this recipe you'll need:


A mixing bowl (I like to use a large glass measuring cup to easily pour the batter in the skillet), a hand mixermeasuring spoons, a small non-stick skillet (I love my Non-Stick Ceramic Skillet), and a spatula that won't scratchyour skillet.


Sugar-Free Strawberry Cheesecake Pancakes


Ingredients


2 Eggs
2 oz Cream Cheese softened
1/4 tsp Vanilla
2 Packets stevia or other low carb sweetener (I used Truvia)
Ghee for the skillet
2 Medium Strawberries, sliced. For topping.

Directions


Add all of the ingredients except the ghee and strawberries to your mixing bowl and blend well with your hand mixer on medium, working up to high. The batter should be smooth with no bits of cream cheese visible (though I've been impatient and made them this way and it was fine, just with bits of cream cheese in the finished pancakes obviously). Preheat your small non-stick skillet to medium-low (3 on my stove top) and add a little ghee. Pour just enough batter into your skillet to cover the bottom. If you add too much batter they can be hard to flip. Wait until bubbles appear and pancake appears set. Flip. Cook on other side until done, about 30-60 seconds.

Strawberry Cheesecake Low Carb Pancakes

Serve with the sliced strawberries on top!

Notes

  • The cream cheese will blend better if it is softened. You can either just let it sit on the counter for a while or soften it in the microwave for 30ish seconds. 
  • Also, this batter will be very runny. That is normal. This version of my low carb pancake recipe tends to be tougher to flip. The cinnamon and cocoa powder in other recipes act a bit like flour and make the consistency of the other recipes easier to handle. This recipe is worth the effort though!

For a special treat try topping them with a little heavy whipping cream whipped with a little Truvia (this isn't included in the calorie count above).

Keto Strawberry Cheesecake Pancake Recipes

These Strawberry Cheesecake Low Carb Pancakes are completely delicious and an amazing option if you're tired of traditional low carb ways to have eggs. They will be very thin, maybe a tad bit crepe-like in consistency... They're kind of like little slices of fried cheesecake filling awesomeness. Definitely not the consistency of a traditional wheat flour pancake, but an amazing treat when you're egg-fasting, low carb, or keto!

Strawberry Cheesecake Pancakes




A Month of Whole30 Dinner Recipes Your Whole Family Will Love!

A Month of Whole30 Family Friendly Dinner Recipes

If you're doing a Whole30 chances are your whole family isn't doing it with you. In the past I've found that this can be a bit overwhelming when it comes to food prep. Making every meal completely separate is just a lot to do. One solution I have found is to make family-friendly Whole30 dinner recipes. That way, at least for one meal, I was just making one meal that everyone would eat. 

I thought I'd share some of the great Whole 30 dinner recipes I've found from my favorite bloggers (and my own recipes are in there too!). 30 Whole30 dinner to be exact! This list should help you cruise through an entire month of Whole30 with great family friendly dinners.


One Month of Whole30 Dinner Recipes


Crock Pot Sweet Potato Chipotle Chili from Cotter Crunch


Ancho Beef Chili Stuffed Sweet Potato Skins from Cotter Crunch


Healthy Vegetable Packed Pale Salmon Cakes from Cotter Crunch (without the optional honey)

Easy Paleo Tuna Green Chile Zoodle Casserole from Cotter Crunch


Whole30 Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas from Physical Kitchness


Burrito Bowl Stuffed Peppers from Athletic Avocado


Lemony Cucumber Mint Pesto Chicken Kebabs from Athletic Avocado


Pistachio-Stuffed Chicken Breasts from Nutritioulicious


Whole30 Sloppy Joe Bowls from Physical Kitchness (While I believe white potatoes are considered technically Whole30, I swap the white potatoes for sweet potatoes here)


Paleo Turkey Sweet Potato Meatballs from The Lean Green Bean


Crock Pot Chicken Fajitas from My Natural Family


Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala from My Natural Family


Slow Cooker Beef and Sweet Potato Stew from FitViews


Ground Chicken Italiano from FitViews


Smoky Grilled Pineapple Burgers from FitViews

Whole30 Smoky Grilled Pineapple Burgers

Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti With Homemade Meat Sauce from FitViews


Super Easy Turkey Taco Salad from FitViews


Slow Cooker Beef With Broccoli from FitViews


Roasted Chicken and Root Vegetables from FitViews


Mom's Meatloaf Paleo-Style from Healthy Perspectives


Paleo Portobello Burgers and Baked Sweet Potato Fries from Healthy Perspectives


Vegetable Pancakes With Homemade Sriracha from Food Pleasure & Health


Rosemary-Lime Salmon Skewers with Zucchini and Bell Peppers from Go Dairy Free


Hearty Beef Stew with Roasted Winter Vegetables from Go Dairy Free


Coconutty Butternut Squash and Kale Soup from Run to the Finish


Easy Oven Baked Paleo Meatballs from Jay's Baking Me Crazy


Paleo Barbecue Chicken Casserole from Jay's Baking Me Crazy

Paleo Chicken Fajita Bowl from Jay's Baking Me Crazy

Roasted Vegetable Medley With Sausage from Jay's Baking Me Crazy



Enjoy!


Is this your first Whole30? What's your favorite Whole30 dinner recipe?

I'm Going Streaking on Snapchat

Why you should ditch the resolutions and try a STREAK instead

I suppose it's that time of year again. The time of year we welcome in the shiny New Year filled with hopes and dreams for a fresh start. We sit down and make lists. Resolutions. Things we're going to do different in the coming year. 

We make our New Year's Resolutions.

Unfortunately, let's be real friends, we don't tend to follow through with these New Years Resolutions.

I'm all for goals, but we all know that the majority of people promptly break their New Year resolutions within 2 weeks or so. 

But not us dear reader friends. Not this year! 

No, we'll go ahead and make a goals list. I think those are fabulous for focus. For direction. For setting our intentions. I make them all year round. But then, we won't stop there. Let's choose not to be in that percentage that gives up. Let's take those goals and turn them into actions. Actions repeated. Then repeated again. On and on and on. For 66 days.

Let's try a STREAK!

It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.
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Why a streak instead of resolutions?


Well, resolutions are usually generic "shoulds". Like, I want to "lose weight" I should "get healthy" I'm going to "make more money" and on and on. Which are all great goals, but they're too vague and often times overwhelming. They're not action-inspiring. 

With resolutions we start out filled with energy and motivation from the New Year hooplah and then fritter out into hopelessness again shortly after.

A streak however is action. Action focused on building the habits that will get us to our goals. Instead of focusing on a big, vague, sometime in the future event or occurrence a streak focuses on tasks. Actions we can take NOW. It's a complete shift in mindset that I view as a game-changer.

A streak builds instead of trailing off. A streak builds momentum instead of losing it. It builds upon itself. Builds energy and motivation with each step taken, each day x'd off. A streak builds confidence. It doesn't focus on numbers on the scale or zeros in the checking account. A streak focuses on tasks completed. The mindset shift is empowering. It's addicting in the best way possible. It's self-perpetuating. It's a game-changer.

But why 66 days? Of course you can streak for any amount of time you'd like, but I was reading in The ONE Thingby Gary Keller that, contrary to the 21 days or even 30 days that we hear, it actually takes an average of 66 days to build a habit. Hence, the 66 day streak!

Streaking vs Resolutions. Why goal streaking will change your life.

But what to streak? Well, start with a goals list. Keep it relatively short. 2, 3, maybe 4 things you want to focus on this year. Focus on those things that will make the biggest impact on your life overall. Take your time and really think this through.

Next, take that list and figure out what you need to do every day to reach those goals. Boil them down to the littlest things. The daily actions.

So, for example if your goal is to lose weight. Too big. Well, you need to change your eating habits and move more. OK, still too big. What exactly does changing your eating habits mean to you? Do you need to eat more veggies, count your calories, count your carbs, do a Whole30, measure your portions, drink more water... Those are your daily actions that you can turn into a streak. Same with exercising more. What does that mean to you? You want to choose things that are doable, actionable. Do you want to walk a mile every day, increase your overall daily steps, do a thirty minute workout DVD... Those are your actions. Now turn them into a streak!


I definitely recommend getting a paper calendar where you can actually make x's for the 66 days.



Again, I want to say you want to choose things that are doable, for you, and actionable. So, if you want to start running and have never ran before, choosing a 3 mile a day run streak probably wouldn't be your best choice. But, you can walk daily moving into walk/run intervals. Also, if you want to lose weight, choosing "lose two pounds a week" for your streak isn't really an action. It's an outcome. You want to focus on actions. So, if you want to lose weight your streak could be counting your calories every day.

For me, my goals are to lose weight, get back to running 5ks this year, keep my kitchen clean, and make more money with my writing. So, I've broken those down into doable action steps that I can turn into a streak. I'm not focusing on the entire year even, but on each 66 day chunk. 

For the first 66 days of the New Year I will:

  • Run at least a mile for 66 days straight. Slow as it needs to be. Easy. Not stressing my body, but consistent.
  • Track my food in whatever app I settle on.
  • Move so that my step tracker reads at least 10,000 daily steps at the end of the day.
  • Write (non-blog writing here) at least 15 minutes a day.
  • Load my dishwasher and wipe down the kitchen counters every night.
  • Work on one blog related thing each day. Even just a small thing like an image for a blog post, answering an email, or testing a recipe as part of a regular meal.



And? For accountability I'm taking that all a step further. I'm going streaking on Snapchat!

Beginning January 1st, every day for 66 days, I will share a snap showing that I've done each thing on this list.

Who's up for a streak? What one thing can you do every day? Want to take it over to Snapchat too?


Add me on Snapchat! Username: kerriolkjer https://www.snapchat.com/add/kerriolkjer






Best Last-Minute Gifts


FitViews 2016 Holiday Fit List: Last-Minute Shopper EditionWhen I first met my husband he did ALL of his Christmas shopping last minute. I mean, wandering around the mall at 6 PM on Christmas Eve last minute. It drove little-miss-budget-plan-ahead here nuts. Well, this year I find myself doing a little last-minute shopping. Ah well, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em!

Blood Type Coffee

If you've waited until the last minute and are feeling a bit of the stress this time of year can bring (and your blood type may or may not currently be coffee like mine) I'm here to help! Here's my list of BEST last-minute gifts for your wife (or mom, sister, BFF, aunt, cousin, neighbor's grandma's step-daughter)...


POPSUGAR Must Have Box

POPSUGAR sent me their Must Have subscription boxes to try out for October, November, and December. I whole-heartedly recommend this! Their subscription box is flawlessly curated and filled with fun surprises every month. You can choose one month, three months, or six months of this fun box and your loved one gets Christmas on and on and on. So much fun. And I have to say for the price they're a steal. SO much great stuff in each and every box. The December box:

POPSUGAR Must Have Box December 2016

Use the code SHOP5 (which never expires) to get $5 off their FIRST Must Have Box!

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Amazon

If you're ordering online last minute, you just can't beat Amazon, especially if you're a prime member. I KNOW she'll love one of these:



In-Store

OK, if you really want to go out and brave the crowds, more power to you. The one spot I would recommend to finish up that last-minute shopping is Barnes & Noble. I could spend days in there and they really have something for everyone on your list. They have books of course, but also the most beautiful journals, adult coloring books (that means intricate, not naughty...ahem), a great variety of Garmin activity trackers...

Garmin at Barnes & Noble

...and so much more you may not realize. My kids got Nooks (it's OK, they don't read my blog) and I just know they're going to love them. Plus, you can get Starbucks while you shop (and maybe a cute mug and some Christmas blend...just sayin'). For most women I know, you can't go wrong with a BN gift card if you absolutely can't decide.


OK, who's last minute shopping? What's your favorite place to do it?



Let's Have Coffee and Chat...




The end of 2016 has been a crazy blur for me. It's been work, work, freak out a little, work harder, repeat. I thought I'd just take a moment to grab a cup of coffee and chat. I always see bloggers do coffee date posts and think, "What a fun idea! I should do that." Then never do. So, if we were having coffee together...

I would probably promptly blurt out that I'm a little scared (I'm good like that). Finances have begun to look bleak since hubby's job loss. Don't get me wrong, I have total faith. I KNOW we will be fine. I KNOW good things are coming. I KNOW a door is just itching to open for me. But every once in a while I feel a little fear. I look at the bank account and feel that grip. That constricting in the pit of my stomach. A tiny little doubt tries to whisper in my ear. I'm human.

Of course then you'd hug me and agree that there is a door just itching to open for me and we'd smile together hopefully...



Then I'd tell you I'm working on my fiction writing again. I know I have stories to tell and now seems like an amazing time to suss them out. I'm the queen of excuses for why I'm not writing.

I'd share that I'm planning to work on A Promising Place more. As time permits of course, but I want to work on sharing my family's story like I'd originally intended. We had a summer of ups and downs and I really want to share all the fun.

For a while I'd probably ramble on about running. I am working my way up to a runstreak January 1 and I'm so excited for it! I think I'm most looking forward to feeling the feels of how it feels to push myself again. Strangely I look greatly forward to that. Running has always been my therapy. Now seems a great time to make time to focus on it again. To make sure I'm taking care of me in all the craziness.

Also, I'd tell you how excited I am to revamp my You Tube Channel for the New Year. My to-do list is kind of long, but I'm really hopeful that this gets done. I miss connecting with everyone over there. I'm pondering whether I want to vlog through programs again, do my things I'm loving videos, a book club, live videos, or maybe some 'coffee date' type videos. Not sure what the exact schedule will be yet, but I have lots of ideas floating around.



I also might confess I've always wanted to do a podcast, but have never decided on a topic. At this point I'm sure you'd give me a friendly talking to about over-filling my plate.

Last, if we were having coffee I would chat with you about my upcoming plans for FitViews. I'm currently planning out and starting to work on content for January. For the first time in a long time I love this here blog again. I know that sounds weird, but lately I click over here and think, ya, I like that. 


So, dear reader friends, if we were having coffee together what would you share with me??

Also, I would love your help with my 2017 content planning. What would you like to see more of here on FitViews and over on my You Tube channel? (If I judge strictly by traffic ya'll want coffee, food, and Jillian. Ha, ha, OK, who doesn't?) Any feedback is hugely appreciated. Feel free to comment below or email me at fitviews@gmail.com.

Maybe we should make these coffee dates a regular thing...