If you ask me what it’s like to be an Army officer candidate and a law student at the same time, I’ll give you these responses . . .
I love that there’s a cup of coffee in that photo because I’m totally guilty of caffeinating while stressed. The goal is to be jittery and motivated enough to conquer a mile-long to-do list while sleep deprived.
Don’t get me wrong. I like school and have come a LONG way in terms of analytical thinking abilities, but sometimes I just want to pull my hair out due to the non-stop mental gymnastics. Logic is so hard (and NOT logical) at times.
And when I’ve reached the point where I’m literally about to go insane, I turn to exercise, including yoga and my favorite practice songs.
So without further adieu, here’s my biggest +Spotify yoga playlist to date. It’s a good mix of slow and upbeat songs. It’s perfect for hot yoga, power yoga or a fast-flowing vinyasa. Find the playlist HERE. Enjoy! 🙂
P.S. The playlist is TWO images. Make sure to pin both if you’re adding the playlist to a Pinterest board. Also, if you like this playlist, follow me and my other playlists on Spotify and Pinterest.
Images by Brianna Kolota
P.S. I pay $5 per month as a student to have access to a bazillion songs with zero ads. I have the ability to follow and make as many playlists as my heart desires. It’s TOTALLY worth the money. 🙂
Temperatures across the U.S. are really starting to heat up!
Although it’s been hot in Florida for a while now, places like Seattle and New York City are finally seeing weather in the 80s. Given my days at Panera Bread last summer, I know people will soon be trading hot cups of coffee and tea for one thing . . .
These cool, refreshing drinks have been a breakfast staple for me since January, but I somehow manage to make at least one new smoothie flavor every week.
Given my obsession and the warmer temperatures, I’m declaring this week smoothie week on Hungry Gator Gal.
I’ll be sharing at least three new slurp-able, spoon-able recipes this week. Feel free to challenge yourself and join me in making at least three new-to-you smoothies between today and next Saturday. Also, don’t forget to check HGG often to make sure you’re not missing out on the creamy, dreamy deliciousness.
With that said, here’s my inaugural recipe. Enjoy! 🙂
A six-mile round-trip bike ride to Target and Publix Thursday morning left me with burning legs, a grumbling stomach and sweat dripping down my back. A nice cold lunch was definitely on the menu, and this smoothie certainly hit the spot! Here’s a rundown of my thoughts:
- Texture: The combination of coconut milk, almond milk, yogurt and frozen banana makes this drink creamy but not as thick as my Banana Vanilla or Healthy Thin Mint Smoothies. It fills you up without weighing you down.
- Flavor: The drink features a nice balance of almond, coconut and chocolate flavors. None overwhelms the drink, but you could definitely increase one flavor by adding extra toppings. The dates and banana add a simple, natural sweetness and disguise the spinach.
- Nutritional Profile: Where do I even begin? Coconut, almond butter, dates, spinach, protein powder and plain Greek yogurt makes this smoothie a powerhouse!
- Look: My photography skills aren’t the best, but I think the toasted coconut looks pretty yummy.
- Overall: The smoothie is a drinkable version of the Almond Joy candy but not as sickeningly sweet. I’m definitely making it again soon.
Total preparation time: Two to three minutes
Difficulty: If you can open a can, you can make this smoothie.
- 1/2 cup lite canned coconut milk
- 1/3 cup milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk.)
- One tablespoon creamy almond butter
- 1 heaping tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 pitted dates
- 1/2 frozen banana
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used Cabot Lowfat Plain Greek-Style Yogurt.)
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- One large handful fresh spinach
- 1/2 cup ice
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 scoop protein powder (I used Body Fortress Super Advanced Whey Protein, chocolate flavor. A half scoop of this powder is 70 calories. Feel free to use more, if desired.)
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut (for topping)
- Spray a pan with cooking spray. Spread coconut in an even layer on pan. Broil coconut in the oven or toaster oven for about five minutes. (Warning – watch the coconut carefully to ensure it doesn’t burn!)
- Remove coconut from oven when golden-brown. Set aside.
- Shake the can of coconut milk before opening. Pour one cup of the milk in your blender. Store leftover milk in a sealed container in the fridge.
- Add all ingredients except the toasted, shredded coconut to blender.
- Blend and stir/scrape the sides until fully smooth. (Note: I have a bullet blender and find it’s best to “pulse” on and off for a minute or so.)
- Top with toasted coconut and any additional toppings.(I.e. your favorite chocolate chips or chocolate shavings; chopped almonds; simple, healthy homemade hot fudge; coconut butter magic shell.)
- Do you prefer Mounds or Almond Joy?
- Do you ever ride your bike instead of driving or taking public transportation?
Related HGG Posts:
Banana Vanilla Power Smoothie
Healthy Thin Mint Smoothie
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter and Coconut Cups
Of Possible Interest:
Dark Chocolate Covered Almond Drops from living.on.purpose
Homemade Twix Bars from Chocolate-Covered Katie
Mounds Candy Bar from elena’s pantry
Spring is my favorite time of year in Florida.
The blooming flowers, fresh produce and warm-but-not-yet-humid weather make every day a bit brighter, literally. However, I always feel a bit sad when spring has finally “sprung” because it means one thing is gone for the year . . .
Girl Scout cookies!
I must admit – I only enjoyed one box of Samoas this year. My roommate’s boyfriend bought them for her, but she hates the flavor. Naturally, I stole the box. 😉
Even though I got my coconut fix, I never made it to the store during cookie-selling hours to pick up my beloved Thin Mints. Apparently 11 a.m. on a Monday is too early, and 7 p.m. on a Friday is too late. Hmmph.
Given my bad luck, I found a way to infuse some of my favorite recipes with the “Thin Mint” flavor. You might remember these pancakes.
However, now that cookie season is finished, I rely on my handy dandy bottle of peppermint extract to satisfy cookie cravings. Aside from cooking these flapjacks, I’ve been blending the flavor into my favorite breakfast as of late – smoothies!
A healthy slurp-able breakfast drink that’s packed with protein and healthy fats? I think yes.
Healthy Thin Mint Smoothie
Total Preparation Time: Two minutes . . max
- 1 medium-sized frozen banana (fresh works too, but frozen makes the smoothie thicker)
- 1/2 of a small avocado or 1/4 of a large avocado (This ingredient is the key to creamy smoothies!)
- 1/4 cup milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk.)
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (I used Chobani non-fat vanilla.)
- One teaspoon vanilla
- One to two drops pure peppermint extract (Don’t use more than two! The flavor is incredibly strong.)
- One huge handful of fresh spinach
- One heaping tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 scoop Body Fortress Super Advanced Whey Protein – chocolate flavor (1/2 scoop of this brand is 70 calories; if you’re using a different brand, feel free to use more or less powder.)
- Handful of ice
- Add the spinach, milk, yogurt, vanilla, peppermint, whey protein and cocoa powder to a blender. Blend for 20 seconds. I find it’s best to stop and “pulse” every few seconds.
- Add the banana, avocado and ice to the blender and blend until all ingredients are well combined. The amount of time this takes depends of the quality and type of blender you own. I have a bullet blender, so it normally takes about 10 to 15 seconds of pulsing to ensure no spinach leaves and ice chunks remain.
- Your smoothie should be pretty thick at this point. Add more milk to make the smoothie thinner, if desired.
- Sip through a straw, eat with a spoon, or add to a travel mug and enjoy on your way to work or school.
- What is your favorite thing about spring?
- Do you use protein powder in your smoothies?
Related HGG Posts:
Tropical Mango Avocado Smoothie
Homemade Panera Bread Smoothie