The Best Winter Shake Recipes

I don’t know about you guys, but winter is definitely a struggle for me when it comes to food. With all the holidays and baking and treats, it can be really hard to fuel your body with the right foods while resisting the wrong ones.

I have to admit, eating healthy has never been my strong point. I have always struggled with sticking to a diet and cutting out sugars, carbs, and highly processed foods. I think many people struggle with finding a balance between flavor and healthy food choices. For me, when I start to see results, that’s when I really commit to trying to eat better, but I can’t expect results without making small changes.

Recently, I started Shakeology. I replaced one meal a day (breakfast) with a shake. One thing I love about making shakes is that you can make a shake that tastes good without it having negative health benefits on your body. For instance, I love baked goods. Cookies, pastries, cake, donuts…you name it. With Shakeology, I can make an apple spice shake and still get all of my nutrients without sacrificing flavor.

It doesn’t have to be Shakeology, you can use regular protein powder or even skip the powder and go with just yogurt and fruit or spices.

Here are some of my favorite shakes for winter-

 

 

  1. Chocolate Cherry

1 cup of chocolate cashew milk (can be any kind of milk)

3/4 cup of frozen dark cherries

1 container of plain greek yogurt

1 tbs of cocoa powder

1 scoop vanilla shakeology

handful of ice

 

 

        2. Snickerdoodle Shakeology

1 cup almond milk

1 scoop vanilla shakeology

handful of ice

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp peanut butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp honey

 

 

        3. Candy Cane Shake

1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 scoop vanilla shakeology
½ tsp. pure peppermint extract
1 cup ice

You can also add cocoa powder to this if you want a chocolate peppermint flavor!

 

 

        4. Chocolate and salted caramel

1 cup almond milk

1 scoop chocolate shakeology (or vanilla with 1 tbsp cocoa powder)

1 tsp caramel extract

pinch of sea salt

ice

 

 

        5. Caramel apple

1 cup almond milk

1 cup ice

1 scoop vanilla shakeology

½ cup unsweetened applesauce

1 tsp pure caramel extract

(You can also add a tsp of apple spice powder for more flavor)

 

 

        6. Gingerbread shake

1 cup almond milk

1 scoop shakeology

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger

1 tsp vanilla extract

ice

 

Extra tips- I always use unsweetened milk to cut calories and sugar. Also, you can do a half cup of milk and a half cup of water if you would like to cut off even more. Many of the recipes call for a scoop of chocolate shakeology, but I always buy vanilla because it goes with more and you can add cocoa powder to it. I like to add

-Many of the recipes call for a scoop of chocolate shakeology, but I always buy vanilla because it goes with more and you can add cocoa powder to it. I like to add

-I like to add mascarpone cheese to my shakes to make them more creamy but keep in mind you can add the cheese or yogurt to any of the recipes for a creamier texture.

If you try any of these let me know! Also, you can play around with the recipes and add or take out ingredients. I’ve found that I use more spices and less of everything else. I also find that the extract goes a loooong way.

Happy shaking!

 

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Let’s Talk About Support!

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Fun at the mud run!

Something that has really helped me sustain my journey with health is the people I look to for support. We all decide to be healthy and active for ourselves, but I also know how motivating and encouraging it can be when you have someone who struggles and succeeds alongside you or someone who just believes in you.

There are so many ways I have found support.

First of all, I have my two “sister friends” that I have been friends with since before high school. They walk with me and are involved in the same kind of programs I am. We also get to talk, vent, challenge and encourage each other. They are always commenting on my social media and it really makes me feel supported to have people who encourage me so much.

I also have Sally, who is my best friend. She works out with me and has for years. She used to go to the gym with me first thing in the morning, and there was no workout or program she wouldn’t try. She not only is hysterical, but she is also fearless when it comes to trying new things. That was good for me because she pushed me by being encouraging, but also by suffering with me and I admired her for her hard work and determination.

Having support from friends is a great way to help you start changing into a healthier you. I have been blessed with friends who make fitness fun and relaxing. I have done mud runs, I have done charity walks, I have taken fitness classes, all with my friends or daughter. It’s nice to complete something and have someone there to share that satisfaction with you. And now, when I walk with my friends, I notice how beautiful everything is and how good it feels to be outside. If it weren’t for our walks, would I go outside and enjoy the scenery and release stress or talk about what’s going on in my life? Probably not! And that would be a shame because it feels so good!

I am also part of an online group through Beachbody. The group is full of people just like me. They offer tips and encouragement when I am struggling and they help me stay on track. Fitness and changing your lifestyle can be hard, and it can be scary. I always beat myself up when I make unhealthy choices with food or don’t work out, but my group helps me remember that one bad day doesn’t ruin all of my progress. The important thing is that I get up and make an effort the next day, which brings me to my next point.

Having a goal is one of the best ways to support yourself in your journey. Print out pictures or write down what you want, and then look at it every day. Make a list of things you can do to reach your goal. See yourself reaching your goal. This helps me stay focused and it lets me know that it’s possible for me to have what I want. I see improvements and I know they will stay consistent as long as I stay consistent.

If anyone needs a push, someone to vent to about how hard these changes can sometimes be, or just someone to offer friendly encouragement, please reach out to me. I would love to help you on your journey!

 

Why I Exercise

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Exercise has many health benefits, and if you are looking to find a few of the many you can check out the list of ways exercise improves your life and health here.

But for me, I keep at it for some very specific reasons.

1.I mentally feel better afterward.

Having anxiety and a nervous mind, exercising gives me an outlet to release that energy. I not only feel calmer but more at ease.

2. It puts me in a better mood.

Which EVERYONE appreciates. Trust me!

3. I feel stronger.

I think as moms sometimes we get so caught up taking care of everyone else we forget how much we can do for ourselves. Also, when I’ve struggled with my weight it always surprises me how much my body can do after I’ve spent an extended amount of time resenting it. My body surprises me and takes care of me even when I don’t give it the credit it deserves.

4. Working out makes my clothes fit better.

Need I say more? Who doesn’t love that feeling?!

5. I drink more water.

Water is so important to our health. When I stay active I stay thirsty, which helps me drink the amount of water I should be drinking every day.

6. I make better food choices.

Suddenly, when you see yourself getting toned and dropping pounds, you don’t want to jeopardize it by eating crap. Or at least I don’t anyway. I want to fuel my body with foods that will help me get to my goal faster and make me feel better in and out of the gym.

7. It feels good to invest in my future self.

I know it’s hard to believe at times, but the best person you can invest in is yourself. I need to be strong and healthy and well in order to teach my kids, they are worth the same self-care. I deserve to be proud of myself and invest in my strength, mental wellness, and health.

We all deserve to be the best we can be, and we all deserve the little time and changes that it takes every day to reach our goals. What are some of your reasons why you exercise?

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Finding The Best Exercise For You

Raising my children, I was always on the go. I had a husband who worked constantly, (mostly out of town) to provide for his family. I was a hockey mom, a pageant mom, a horse show mom, the maid, the driver, the keeper of our home, and I worked part time. Needless to say, I didn’t make much time for myself. I struggled to keep up with taking care of my kids, my mom who has dementia, work, bills, and life. Time management was hard for me, so of course, I struggled to get to the gym.

When my kids were small I had a treadmill. I was on and off faithful to my treadmill, as I think most moms are. Later, I walked with my friends in the park, my kids in a stroller or on their bikes. At one point, when the kids were older, I was going to the gym at 5 am every morning and doing cardio or taking a fitness class.

I have struggled for years to find a fitness routine I stick to. I’ve tried it in my home, with friends, with a trainer and on my own in a gym. Now, I walk with my friends and do yoga. I also have cardio equipment in my home. Something I have learned is that no matter what kind of exercise I am doing, I always feel better once I am done.

It has taken years, but for me, I have realized I feel best being outside. I like the sun, nature and feeling fresh air. I also like to take time to do yoga because I feel strong and I also feel relaxed. For someone who struggles with constantly being on the go and having a pretty high case of anxiety, it’s important for me to slow down. Walking with my friends, my dogs or doing yoga helps with this. I am getting my exercise in while also being mindful of my surroundings and calming my mind.

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I think the best thing is finding out what you enjoy, and it may take some time. I was always so focused on trying to be skinny I think I missed out on finding what made me feel the healthiest. I always felt better after a workout, but I feel the best when I can get in a mindful workout. Do you enjoy the intensity of kickboxing or the quiet room of yoga? Do you find dancing to be a fun workout to let loose, or do you prefer a run with your headphones in?

There are so many ways to exercise, and they aren’t all in the gym. My husband used to play hockey with my son in the park, our family took swing dance lessons for a while and my daughter loves to hike. I have a niece that is an avid runner and a neighbor who is a trick rider. There are so many ways to get the physical and mental benefits of being active. If you struggle with finding a workout you can stick to, ask yourself what you need and enjoy the most? Do you want more social time, where you can walk with friends or do you need the quiet to unwind? Is an intense workout something that makes you feel strong and helps you push your limits what you crave or just something fun like Zumba? Fitness doesn’t have to be weights and cardio machines. There’s a whole world of options out there to help you get healthier!

What works for you?