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vita mix ice cream!

During the Vita Mix demonstration at the Big E, we saw them whip up some delicious, quick treats, including Ice Cream!

It is so simple and easy!  And, you can basically mix up whatever ingredients you want.

This week, I was craving something cold and sweet, so for breakfast one morning, I whipped up some ‘ice cream’ using the Vita Mix!

Vita Mix Protein Ice Cream

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup frozen mango chunks
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 scoop SunWarrior protein powder, vanilla
  • dash vanilla
  • 2 tbsp honey or sugar of choice

I added some protein to the mix because I am definitely trying to get more protein in my diet these days!

Turn the blender on and use the plunger to push down all of the frozen ingredients into the blades.  Trust me, it works!  After about 30 seconds, 4 peaks will form.

And, you will have creamy, cold ice cream.  Ok, maybe it doesn’t taste like ice cream, but more like frozen yogurt.  Either way, it is cold, creamy and sweet!  Just what I wanted.

Made in 1 minute, and all for me!

Check out the texture – it’s so smooth.

Topped with a little granola for crunch…and to make it feel more like breakfast, 🙂

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elysian, poppy & hotel andra – seattle, wa

Sunday was definitely our busiest day of vacation!  We packed so many things in.

In the afternoon, we headed over to the Capital Hill district for happy hour and dinner.  We hit up the Elysian Brewpub on the Pike/Pine Corridor for Brant to try some Seattle brews.  He was in heaven!

Brewpubs are huge here in Seattle (and in Portland, OR).  Multiple smaller breweries have restaurants/bars where you can try their beers and order food.  Its great!

There were a lot of beers to try.

After happy hour, we headed further into the Capital Hill area to meet some friends for dinner at Poppy!  I heard about this restaurant from another friend and knew that I had to try it when we were in Seattle.  It’s quite the place!

Poppy has a very cool way of serving their meals.  They serve a daily Thali, which means “plate” in Hindi.  A thali is a selection of different dishes, usually served in small bowls on a round tray. (Source)

They offer a variety of thali’s each day, including one with seafood, one with meat, and one vegetarian.  The main dish is a bit larger which is served with about 7 smaller complimentary dishes.

Sample menu from the website:

Personally, I love this idea of the small plates!  It is kind of like tapas, except that they chose the complimentary items for you.  I tried a vegetarian version of the thali with some delicious items.

Clockwise from the top:

Chard handkerchief pasta with walla wallas, sage and hazelnut; Melon-anise hyssop pickle; Radish, grilled spring onion and purslane salad; Broccoli rabe with spices; Corn soup with lemon basil; Roasted beets and huckleberries with lemon thyme; Nigella-poppy naan

All in all, this was great!  My favorites were the pasta, corn soup, purslane salad and naan!  I would definitely go back there!

After dinner, we headed for some dessert at Molly Moons, a homemade ice cream shop.

Then for drinks.  Thanks for a great evening, Hannah & Drew!!

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For our first 2 nights in Seattle, we stayed at Hotel Andra – a funky boutique hotel in downtown Seattle.  The decor was definitely modern, but with a clean vibe.

They had a great lobby with a nice restaurant/bar/lounge that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.  It was a great hotel and very close to downtown and Pike Place Market!

saratoga springs, ny

We have been having a tremendous time away in Saratoga Springs!  Good food, good fun and good company.  Since we are heading out to another show tonight, I will leave you with some photos of our first day of eats (Friday).

Before heading out, I went on a quick 40 minute run to move my legs (about 4.5 miles).

Then, we  mixed up some smoothies and headed out of town…

My smoothie contained:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup frozen mango
  • 4 frozen strawberries
  • 1 scant scoop Vega chocolate protein powder
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds (for iron)
  • 1.5 cups coconut water

All blended up and ready to go.

Once in Saratoga, we checked into our Bed and Breakfast and set out to walk around town and find some lunch.

We decided on Wheatfields, a fun restaurant that uses all local ingredients!

If you can’t read the sign because of the Fedex truck (!), it says: from local fields to your plate!

I chose the chopped salad with romaine, tomato, cucumber, chickpea, Gorgonzola and a fruity vinaigrette that I requested on the side.  It was delicious.

After lunch, we hit up Betty’s Cakes for a Cupcake Sundae!  They were handing out $1 off coupons on the street, so we had to try it out.

Bettie’s is a bakery set up as a 50’s style diner!  I loved it.

We decided on a Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcake Sundae – a cupcake topped with vanilla softserve, whipped cream, sprinkles and a cherry!

We split it…and we killed it!

For dinner, we went to The Local Pub and Teahouse!  A pub and teahouse?!  What could be better!

We loved the logos.

And, the atmosphere and food were awesome!  We are considering hitting this place up again before we leave…

I ordered the veggie burger.

This was not just any veggie burger…it was a stack of grilled eggplant, roasted red peppers, avocado and mozarella cheese!  With balsamic vinaigrette for dipping.  It was out of this world.

Then, we headed to the Dave Matthews band show at SPAC.

No cameras were allowed inside, but we had fun!

We walked all over Saratoga yesterday – and too and from the concert.  In total, it was probably about 6-7 miles of walking!  Phew.

red sox game

We headed to the Red Sox game tonight.  It was a gorgeous night in the city, not too hot with a cool breeze, so it was perfect for a game.

We had awesome seats behind home plate.

I love the energy at Fenway Park.  Everyone is always so excited to be there.  But, the game tonight was pretty boring.  Kansas City got 7 runs in the 4th inning which set the tone for the rest of the game.

It sure was fun to be there, though!

Before the game, I obviously ate some dinner.  I got home from work too late too meet Brant and his cousins for dinner, so I grabbed a quick Almond Butter & Jelly Sandwich on whole wheat before heading out.

I had a few minutes to kill once I got over to Fenway and I was still hungry, so I stopped by UFood Grill.

I had never been there before, but the concept is pretty cool.

From the website:

Real food — it’s that simple

The most important thing at UFood Grill is taste, hands down! Our chef has designed a broad menu of better-for-you versions of traditional favorites and innovative original creations. We take a back-to-basics approach to tasty, healthful cooking, where everything we serve is rooted in quality—from choice meats, to natural and organic ingredients, fresh produce, whole grains, and light cheeses and dressings. All of our menu items are baked, grilled or steamed. Nothing is fried—we don’t even have fryers in our restaurants!

They serve all sorts of stuff – wraps, panini’s, burgers, soups, smoothies, frozen yogurt and salads.  I was really excited to try it out, but tonight I was just in the mood for some veggies to pair with my PB&J and I needed something really quick!  Luckily, they have a lot of sides to choose from and they are all $1.99.  I ordered a side of the steamed veggies and vegetarian black beans.

Don’t let the photo fool you, these sides are small!  But, they were so good!  The veggies were steamed just right…not soggy and limp as many steamed veggies are in restaurants.  And, the black beans were so flavorful.  It was a great compliment to my sandwich.  It is great to have an option for healthy foods as ‘fast food’.  These were real veggies and beans.  I would go back there in a second to try something else (or just for the sides again!).  It was good to get some more food before heading into Fenway where the healthy options are quite limited.  Luckily, with a full belly I didn’t crave a big soft pretzel!

After the game the cravings hit and we took our guests to J.P. Lick’s for some ice cream!  I had a small with the Chocolate Fudge sorbet, which was super chocolaty.

Yay for 3 day weekends!

a full day

It was another gorgeous morning in Boston, but definitely a little cooler that yesterday – perfect running weather!  I encountered many signs of spring on my run.

Being able to run while it is light out in the morning!  I started as the sun was rising…

The water fountains work again!

And, blooming flowers on trees!

It was a great 7 mile run in the sunshine!  I finished 7.28 miles in 60 minutes.

Then, I dug into breakfast – cereal with fruit and yogurt.

My concoction contained 3 different cereals – Uncle Sam’s, Museli & Granola.

And, instead of yogurt, I tried this drinkable yogurt this week.  It is between a milk and a yogurt.  I enjoyed it.  I liked the change.  I think it is like Kefir, but I am not sure.

Cereal underneath, with granola and banana on top.

With cantaloupe.

Lunch was another salad that I threw together.  It had random flavors, but worked together really well!

Baby spinach with carrots, chickpeas, kaia foods sprouted sunflower seeds, avocado and tangy tahini dressing.

Remember a few days ago when I said I didn’t like to eat carrots raw? Well, I still don’t love them, but they worked ok in my salad today.  I liked having something crunchy paired with the creamy avocado and dressing!  I try to get a variety of colors and veggies into my lunches, so the carrots worked today.

This salad was so easy to throw together – I had chickpeas in the fridge, had chopped up the carrots and pre-washed my spinach over the weekend.  Last night as I was packing my salad, all I did was throw the different components into my bowl.  I topped it with 1/2 an avocado when I was ready to eat lunch.  See – it IS easy to eat your greens and have a well balanced lunch!

With a side of Cheese-y Quackers!

Later on, I snacked on a granola bar and an apple.

Love these Honest Food Bars!  They taste fresh and chewy and REAL!  There ingredient list is small and stuff that you will know, and they are made with almond butter.

Then, dinner was out!  At PICCO (Pizza and Ice Cream Company) in the South End!  It was so warm in Boston today – it reached 90° – that they tables were set up outside.

But, we sat inside!  This is a great restaurant.  It looks like an old fashioned pizza parlor – I loved the atmosphere.  You can see into the kitchen, which is awesome because you can see everything the chefs are making.  It is all made to order.

I started with an Allagash White – it was a beer kind of day.

Then had the Red Pepper, Arugula & Goat Cheese PizzaChopped tomatoes, salsa verde & organic arugula salad tossed with aged Manodori balsamic vinaigrette.

This pizza was awesome!  The crust was crispy, but still chewy on the inside.  There was just enough goat cheese and the arugula was a great touch.  I ate 2.5 pieces – yum.

After dinner, it was time for homemade ice cream!

Brant and I split the ice cream sampler with 3 flavors – Dark Chocolate, Pistachio Chip and Coffee.

So good – rich, creamy and delicious.  The dark chocolate was definitely my favorite, but the others were great as well.

Now, I’m stuffed and it’s time for bed. Good night!

lots of liquids

It was an early Saturday morning for me!  We were up late watching the Olympic Opening Ceremonies(!!) and up bright and early to head up skiing this morning!

I started the day at 5:30am with a slice of whole grain seeded toast with maple almond butter (my absolute favorite) and a pineapple chobani.

I also packed lots of fluids for our ride to Loon.  I drank a little too much wine last night and needed some replenishment – big time!  I started with a cranberry pomegranate emergen-c, then packed a coconut water and some oriental moon tea.  YUM!

After 2 hours in the car, we finally arrived at the mountain!!

We immediately got out on the slopes and had a full day of skiing.  Mid way through I snacked on a Tropical Fruit Tart Larabar we stopped for a refreshment. 🙂  I love this Larabar flavor and I love Blue Moon.

I am really glad that I had this larabar in my pocket.  Otherwise, I would have been eating something unhealthy for a snack in the lodge!  More to come on snacks in my weekly tip post on Monday.

Then, we were back out on the slopes for a bit.  Here we are having fun!

We stopped home for a quick lunch.  Homemade turkey chili (by mom!) and beer bread (also made by mom!).

I just had a really really small bowl to hold me over, since it was such a late lunch!

Then, we were off to the bar for apres ski.  So much fun, and a packed bar!  I refrained from drinking…I needed to save up for wine at dinner (and be able to stay awake!)

We came back to the house for apps and dinner!  Lots of cheese, crackers, chips and salsa!

My favorite combo was the herbed goat cheese on pita chips.

Dinner was delicious!  Dad made shrimp and pesto risotto topped with parmesan cheese, and I threw together a garden salad with carrots, tomatoes and black olives.  Both were served along with some hot and crusty ciabatta.

Very yummy!  Perfect comfort food after a full day of skiing.

Risotto is not the healthiest meal choice, but everything in moderation, right?  You can’t see and smell fresh homemade risotto without eating some!  I love to eat healthy.  I love healthy food and how it makes me feel.  But, that does not mean that I won’t indulge every so often.  When I do indulge, I’ll try to give tips on how to make it healthier!  Like this:

I filled half of my plate with salad, then added a scoop of risotto and a slice of ciabatta with a teaspoon of butter.

Served with some great wine.

On to more unhealthy food – ice cream sundaes!

Sorry for the really bad photo – not sure what happened there!  A scoop of Mocha Almond Ice Cream with hot fudge sauce.  Hit the spot.

Time to get back to the Olympics!