My Favorite Morning Post-Workout Smoothie Recipe

I don't know where this recipe originated but it's been my go-to for a while now. While I do love a good fruit and berry smoothie every once in a while, this one is more of a cookie batter variety, if you will. It's easy, delicious, and extremely flexible with all kinds of potential add-ins. Plus it has a lot of protein (give or take around 25g). Bonus!

Easy Post-Workout Morning Smoothie

1 handful spinach (around 1 cup. Go nuts, you won't taste it)
2 scoops vanilla protein powder (my personal favorite is arbonne but a lot of people like Vega and Perfect Fit too)
1 tbsp peanut butter OR almond butter
1/2 frozen banana
1 cup almond milk (more or less, depending on how think or thin you like your smoothies) or other milk of choice

That's it! Blend, pour, drink, enjoy. Need some variations? Here are a few I've tried:

-adding 1 tbsp cacao powder
-subbing 1 tbsp coconut oil for the nut butter
-adding 1 tsp maca powder
-swapping kale for spinach
-adding a tbsp or two of coconut flakes

Let me know what you think! What's your favorite smoothie recipe?

#TastetheSeason at Sweetgreen

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you probably know I'm a big fan of Sweetgreen, a healthy take-out restaurant with several locations in Boston/NYC/DC/etc. In addition to having delicious locally-sourced food, they were the ones who kindly hosted my Boston Marathon photo exhibit last April-
Last night I was invited to a farm-to-table dinner hosted by Sweetgreen at Ward's Berry Farm in Sharon, MA to celebrate their new seasonal fall menu and bring the Sweetgreen "family" together. Nice idea, huh?? I went with my new friend Jackie of South Shore Saturdays and met up with a few other fitness buddies like Sarah, Christina, Eliza, and Caroline, plus Rachel who had put the whole event together. 
The evening started off with popcorn and a hayride where we got a tour of the farm which is huge! Sweetgreen uses a lot of the farm's produce in their menu items so it was cool to see where the ingredients come from and learn how they're grown. We even tried some sweet corn on the cob (raw!) and it was amazing. 
 When we returned to the farm, we had some appetizers, hot toddies and Downeast Cider (based in Charlestown) which was new to me and I loved it. For dinner, we all sat at long tables in one of the greenhouses and passed large bowls of food around family style (to encourage conversation) - veggies from the farm, roasted brussels sprouts, hummus, and several of the new seasonal items from the restaurant. Each dish was better than the last and I can honestly say I enjoyed everything. I had tried the new "Rad Thai" salad with shrimp, red cabbage, and spicy cashew dressing a few days before when I stopped in their Fort Point location but all of the other dishes were new to me.
I love Sweetgreen because they make healthy food fun and interesting and they also promote community involvement and bringing people together. I will always make a point to visit one of their locations when I'm downtown and maybe someday they will make it to the South Shore! Fingers crossed!

Fitness in Boston: Healthy Noshing at Cocoanuts Boston in the North End

When I heard about a chocolate tasting at local candy shop, Cocoanuts Boston, I was not expecting it to be a very healthy evening. Turns out that Tara, the shop's owner, had three vendors lined up (two were Boston-based, one was from Brooklyn) who each had different healthier approaches to their candy-making. All three companies boasted handcrafted, chemical-free products and brought lots of samples to prove that candy can be just as delicious (if not more so!) without the junk.
Brooklyn-based Raaka is certified organic, certified fair trade, soy free, nut free, and vegan. A great gift for the sustainability-conscious or people with food allergies.
Pure 7 just started less than two months ago! Even at 87%, their dark chocolate was surprisingly not overly bitter which owner Carrie attributed to the fact that it is sweetened with local honey as opposed to granulated sugar. 

McCrea's Candies creator and "Caramel Scientist," Jason McCrea, was interested in creating a caramel that had no high-fructose corn syrup and used all USA-made (locally sourced when possible) products, including the cellophane the candies are wrapped in!

All three had a passion for their products and mission statements I could really appreciate. 

Another thing I loved about the shop is how they put up bios of their vendors next to their product displays! It's a great personal touch and I always enjoy learning about the stories behind the goods.

Thanks to Tara from Cocoanuts for hosting and Jen from Blog & Tweet Boston for organizing a delicious evening!
28 Parmenter Street
Boston, MA 02113