Mango Banana Smoothie Bowl

Hello friends! This mango banana smoothie bowl will keep you cool no matter the weather… and here in Philippines it’s HOT. Around December through the end of February I always get a little smug feeling inside and think to myself, “Oh, I’ve lived here so long now I’ve acclimated to the heat.” And then March 1 hits… and with it a wall of heat that can make me lie down and wish someone would bathe me in icy cold towels.

Hello friends! This mango banana smoothie bowl will keep you cool no matter the weather… and here in Philippines it’s HOT. Around December through the end of February I always get a little smug feeling inside and think to myself, “Oh, I’ve lived here so long now I’ve acclimated to the heat.” And then March 1 hits… and with it a wall of heat that can make me lie down and wish someone would bathe me in icy cold towels.

So I don’t eat hot foods anymore. I even let my coffee cool off before drinking it, because why start the day overheated??

But this smoothie bowl is everything you need to keep you cool. It’s made from 5 simple ingredients: local mangoes (the best in the world, in my humble opinion,) local bananas (sweeter with a more intense flavour than our American Cavendish), a chunk of pineapple to give it some zing, caramel protein powder (again from a local source- and they deliver right to your door!), and a splash of soy milk.

That’s it! That’s all it has. Couldn’t be simpler… unless you make it even easier and make up a few baggies of pre-measured frozen fruit & protein powder to keep in your freezer. Then when you want a smoothie bowl, just dump it into your blender, add the soy milk, blend, and away you go.

It’s delicious plain, but of course I like to add extras… in this case it was toasted coconut flakes and one of my pumpkin oat cookies. It’s a great flavour combo, but lots of things would work- toasted almond flakes, cacao nibs, sliced fresh strawberries… the sky’s the limit, my friends!

If you can’t get good mangoes where you are, I am truly sorry for you… however, that probably means you can get amazing peaches, and that would be a great substitute.

Just want everyone to be able to beat the heat this summer (whenever summer happens to be for you!) Cheers, friends!

My Great Smoothie Adventure

Hello friends! Recently I had the great good fortune to receive a huge box of goodies from RealFood… a local store here in Alabang that opened a little over a year ago and specialises in healthy, locally-sourced, “real food” products.  This store is such a wonderful addition to our grocery options here.  Prior to their opening, we could get a) expensive imported products, or b) regular grocery store items. RealFood is committed to providing healthy products from local vendors at fair prices, and they do an amazing job.  They carry everything from sustainably-produced protein powders to chia seeds, cacao nibs, every coconut product imaginable, healthy snacks, locally-made energy balls, tempeh, vegetarian products, gluten-free products, free-range, organic meats, and much more. …

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Raspberry Protein Smoothie Bowl

Hello friends! This raspberry protein smoothie bowl will fill you up with sweet summer berries and the staying power of protein, no matter where you live.

When I arrived in the US on June 13, I vowed to eat berries of some sort every day of my 6 week home leave.  And so far I’ve held true to that promise.  It’s just so eeeaasy here!!! …

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Blueberry Protein Smoothie Bowl

Blueberry Smoothie Bowl

This blueberry protein smoothie bowl has had to wait 5 days and as many writing attempts before finally coming to you… but life is sometimes messy like that… very much like this smoothie bowl!  But that doesn’t mean it isn’t still good… the smoothie bowl, I mean… and life too!

These past 2 weeks have been a bit rough at my house, …

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Pumpkin Pie Smoothie Bowl

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie Bowl

Hello friends, it’s pumpkin season!  (At least it is in North America!)  And actually, in Philippines, it’s pumpkin season all year long… Philippines has beautiful local pumpkins called kalabasa that are a bit softer and milder than “jack-o-lantern” pumpkins.  I do everything with them, from roasting slices with cinnamon & curry powder, to cubing them up in curries, to pureeing them for pies……

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Green Smoothie Bowl

Green Smoothie Bowl

The hotter it gets here, the more refreshing a green smoothie bowl tastes, especially after a workout!  But I promise you, it’s fantastic even if you don’t work up a sweat beforehand.

Green Smoothie Bowl

I realize I’m late to the smoothie bowl train… what’s new?  But in my opinion, this train is parked at the station, and smoothie bowls will never go out of style, at least not for me.  First of all, a smoothie is just a drink… but a smoothie bowl… well now, that’s an EAT. …

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What I Ate Wednesday & Christmas Presence

Hey friends, it’s Thursday afternoon, a good 36 hours after I usually give you “What I Ate Wednesday”…

Breakfast: green smoothie bowl with random toppings

Breakfast: green smoothie bowl with random toppings

This is due to:

a. Baking a bazillion (ok, a few dozen) sugar cookies with my kiddos.  These particular ones are a big tradition in my family, and I’ve baked them with my kids ever since they were old enough tho wrap their sweet little hands around a cookie cutter.  It’s something we wouldn’t ever think of NOT doing.  But halfway through, Tommy looked up and thanked me for always doing it anyway.  For him (for all of us!) it’s a tradition that really makes it seem like Christmas.  I love that he would be conscious of his gratitude for this simple thing, and love even more that he would express it to me.

Cookie making collage

Then we laughed about how they should really be thankful that I’m still making them “normal” and not putting “weird stuff” like zucchini or chickpeas in them!  Lol, my kids know me too well!

b. Playing an epic game of Risk with the kids that spanned over 2 days.  This is the best kind of family game- alliances, camaraderie, battles, strategies, competition… I love it!  It was Sara’s first time to play and in about 5 turns she owned half the board…

Lunch: tofu quiche, brown rice, cabbage salad, green beans... the smiley face happened all on its own, I swear!

Lunch: tofu quiche, brown rice, cabbage salad, green beans… the smiley face happened all on its own, I swear!

c. Taking a surfing lesson at Club Manila East with Philippine Surfing Academy with Tommy and a bunch of friends.  This was our first time to try, and I was mightily impressed.  For a surprisingly small price, the 6 of us had 3 professional surfing coaches who had us all standing up on our boards on our first or second tries.  It was exhilarating!

Surfing

Surfing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

d.  Seeing the premiere of Star Wars, which hasn’t even opened in the U.S.  It was awesome.  Enough said.  I won’t spoil it for you.

Dinner: pasta with roasted veggies, feta, & fresh basil

Dinner: pasta with roasted veggies, feta, & fresh basil

As I did all of these activities with my family over the past 3 days, Wednesday’s unwritten post hovered somewhere in the back of my mind like unfinished homework.  The more compulsive side of me wanted to get all nervous about it, but I’m doing better about keeping that bad boy down.  I’m reminded that in all seasons, presence is worth so much more than accomplishment. And at Christmastime especially, when it’s easy to get all wound up in gift-buying and wrapping and “need-to’s,” maybe it’s time to just step back, make a cup of hot chocolate, and play a good game of Risk with your kiddos.

Dessert & random snacks throughout the day: chocolate-dipped cranberry pecan kisses!

Dessert & random snacks throughout the day: chocolate-dipped cranberry pecan kisses!

Chocolate pecan kisses certainly don’t hurt either, and they only take about half an hour to make… just sayin’.

Happy Thursday before Christmas, folks!

What I Ate Wednesday

Although it’s December, and snow has fallen several times for my family in Colorado, here in Philippines it’s still hot, hot, HOT!!!  Which means I usually can’t bring myself to eat cooked oatmeal, no matter how high I crank up my air-con.

Smoothie bowl

So today I had a smoothie bowl.  I’ve been really into these lately!  It’s my regular green smoothie, but with a scoop of Vega protein powder and about half the amount of almond milk.  That makes it thick enough to hold up all my toppings: almond flakes, homemade cranberry orange relish (made low-sugar with chia seeds instead of all the sugar!), papaya from our very own tree, hemp seeds, & dried coconut.  It’s cold, it’s creamy, it’s beautiful… I think I’m addicted!

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In today’s workout we ran 6k at a pretty good clip.  I love this new addition to the weekly schedule- the steady pace run is so different than our normal high-intensity bootcamp.  I drank about a litre of water when we were finished, and ate this banana oat cookie with almond butter, a sliced strawberry & a sprinkle of dried coconut on my way out the door to Bible study.

Yes, we brought out the Christmas plates!

Yes, we brought out the Christmas plates!

When I got home, I was absolutely ravenous.  While I made my lunch, I ate 2 rye crackers with basil hummus without thinking to take a picture.  Then I sat down like a normal human being and had a few polenta squares with goat cheese & tomato chili jam.  These were leftover from Friday night’s party & I added fresh mint and more chili jam to pop them up a bit.

Shredded beetroot & carrot salad

I also had a big shredded beet & carrot salad, dressed with a maple orange dressing.  I threw some hemp seeds on top to add a little protein & crunch.

Christmas mall lights

The mall was hardly crowded at all- amazing!!

After lunch I felt fortified enough to brave the mall for some Christmas shopping.  This can be a bit dicey in Philippines at this time of year- you should really try to be finished by September 30 at the latest to avoid the crowds.  I’m serious.  But I did well!  Meaning I crossed at least 5 things off my list!  And kept smiling for 3 hours!!  I’m so proud of myself.

Vegan cookie sandwich

I finished just in time to wait 45 minutes at the bus stop, because apparently the kids were stuck in the crowds that I managed to avoid at the mall.  So by the time we all got home I was starving.  Again.  And even though I admonish my children “Don’t ruin your dinner!” with a late afternoon snack, I broke my own rule with this double chocolate peanut butter cookie sandwich.  It was totally worth it.

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Pasta with goat cheese & pine nuts, roasted pumpkin with chili jam, & green beans

Obviously, by the time dinner rolled around 2 hours later, I wasn’t hungry, whoops.  I couldn’t finish my food.  I pushed it around on my plate and tried to eat my vegetables.  At least!!  I scolded myself for setting a bad example for my children.  It happens sometimes!

Sara's Egyptian pita bread

But then after dinner we baked Sara’s beautiful Egyptian pita breads for her “Culture Cafe” project at school.  And who could resist those?? We all had to sample one and they were absolutely delicious.  Sometimes you just gotta break the rules!!!

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

What I Ate Wednesday

“What I Ate Wednesday” (WIAW) is a very, very common feature among food bloggers, nutritionists, dietitians, and the like.  Maybe seeing what other people eat appeals to our voyeuristic nature, I don’t know.  Maybe blogsPintrestInstagramFacebookTwitter appeal to our voyeuristic nature… probably more like it.

I like this feature because it gives my readers a realistic picture (literally!) of how I eat, day in, day out.  It’s not perfect by any means (take a look at what I ate on vacation), but in general it’s a pretty consistent plant-based, whole-foods diet, with a little lot of dark chocolate thrown in there for good measure.  Please notice the quantity and frequency of my food intake… I am not starving myself here!!  I get hungry a lot due to all the working out and kids’ activities and whatnot, and, as my family will attest, “Momma is not a good hungry person.”  …

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