Magical Kale Smoothie and a Kick-Butt Interval Workout

Today I am sick and I don’t know why. My tummy hurts! Being sick means cinnamon toast and other foods that are all, unfortunately, the same color. My lovely brother took care of me and brought me an “Island Smoothie” from Tropical Smoothie a little bit ago. Two things happened. First, it hit the spot. I couldn’t drink the whole thing, but what I did drink was deee-licious. Second, it reminded me of the homemade smoothie I’ve been making lately. Here’s the recipe:

Banana Kale Smoothie
1 frozen banana
1 branch/leaf/whatever that thing is called of kale
5-8 slices of frozen peaches
1 small container vanilla Light & Fit yogurt
1/2 to 1 cup of milk (depending on how thick you like it, and how much liquid your blender needs to mix it)

Toss everything into the blender and blend until smooth. You don’t want kale leaves floating around in your drink (or maybe you do?)

This recipe makes a lot, definitely enough to serve 2 people, but I don’t usually have anyone to share with and end up drinking it all myself. No complaints here! Yummy! It looks green and tastes like banana. Get a serving of veggies and the only evidence is the color.

Because I wasn’t feeling well today I missed my workout (better than throwing up on the machines I always say) but I’ve been thinking of what to share with you to make up for it, because if I can’t workout someone’s got to do it for me!

This can be done walking or running, inside on the treadmill or outside in the sunshine. You can walk the “recovery” stage and jog/run the more intense parts, or run the whole thing. I’ve read in more than one place that doing a 20-25 minute interval workout can have the same benefits as a longer 40-45 minute constant cardio workout (although both should still be utilized). Interval workouts are also nice when you’re a little short on time. Try this one next time you want to spice up your cardio session:

Interval Cardio Workout
5-10 minute warmup
1. High-intensity pace for 90 seconds
2. Sprint for 30 seconds
3. Recovery Pace for 120 seconds
Repeat steps 1-3 as many times as you can or have time for. Each set is a total of 4 minutes. Give yourself a slight cool-down at the end.

So maybe your sprint is the fastest walk you can do, or your sprint is a jog and your high-intensity pace is the fastest walk you can do. Or maybe you’re intense and you’re going to run the whole thing. Maybe it will be harder than you thought and you can set a goal for yourself to not walk through any of it. Maybe you’ll have to start with only 3 or 4 sets, but want to work your way up to 7 or 8 sets. Or maybe you woke up late and need a good cardio workout in a shorter amount of time than your long run (look into Tabata for a solution also).

Whichever way you decide to do it, be thankful that paying attention to the minutes help time fly by. Before you know it, your workout will be done!

Have you tried running/walking/working out to something other than music? Pick up an audiobook for your iPod of that book you’ve been meaning to read but just can’t find the time for, or try a podcast. Check out the library for some good books on tape you can load onto your iPod. I’ve found audiobooks and podcasts to really help pass the time, especially when I wan’t in the mood to workout in the first place.

Good Things 🙂


Smoothies and Mood Boosts

As I start writing this post I do it partially because I feel guilty for not posting a Weekend Challenge for those who follow it (or make their best effort to). I also do it just because I feel like it’s time to share something new. I want that something to be smoothie knowledge, not that I have very much, but I do love making/drinking smoothies and I know they are SO good for you. So what I’ve just decided to do while writing this last sentence is to chat about smoothies and then try something I haven’t before that will hopefully motivate you and/or make you feel silly and happy. So. Topic 1.

Smoothies are a great way to disguise the veggies you don’t like to eat. Like carrots. And spinach. They’re also a yummy way to get a serving of fruit, and usually dairy as well. I keep lots of frozen fruit in my fridge, including bananas and fruit that I bought from the produce section but couldn’t finish before it went bad. I don’t measure anything. I add the fruit (and veggies) that I’m in the mood for, say some strawberries, or peaches, or both. I dump in a 6 oz. container of fat-free vanilla yogurt and some milk. More times than not a spoonful of JIF Natural Peanut Butter mysteriously finds its way into the blender as well. I have yet to figure out how. Usually with all of the frozen fruit I put in I don’t have to add ice, but sometimes I want my smoothie really cold, so ice helps. I figure the great thing about smoothies is you can mix together a bunch of fruit and it won’t taste bad. You can guesstimate measurements and it won’t taste bad, either. You can camouflage vegetables you’re not in the mood to eat, add protein powder after a workout, become your own chef. I’m ranting about smoothies like they’re so inspirational. I guess they’re just healthy, delicious, and nutritious! Try them. Peanut butter and banana, strawberry banana, peach, pina colada (virgin of course) and banana. Because they’re such a popular thing right now there are many, many recipes floating around the internet if you’d like to follow directions the first few times you make one. And here’s a very helpful added bonus for you: After you’ve finished making your smoothie, rinse your blender with water, then fill it with water and soap. Blend. And now it’s clean! (And you’re not cutting your fingers on the blades) Go make one you can slurp on while you read the rest of this post…


Good Things 🙂