Category Archives: Tips, Tricks, and More

Hopefully helpful stuff.

How to Make a Big Green Smoothie

image

Delicious! That cup is about the height of a hand, by the way.

So good, it can put a smile on your face when you wake up on an April morning greeted by snow. This is one of my favourite breakfasts, and actually, meal options if I’m craving something sweet. It’s packed with nutrients and fills you up, but not in the icky kind of way that a box of donuts does. For a fresh and healthy start to the day, and a sneaky serving of veggies, here’s how I make a BIG, green smoothie.

The fruits and veggies:
-1/2 avocado
-1/2 green apple
-Handful of baby spinach or kale or any other green leafy vegetable (you won’t taste it I promise!)
-1 kiwi(adds a bit of a sour zing to it)
-If you have a big appetite, you can also add 1/2 a banana, but note the high starch content)

Cut up into pieces that will easily blend.
The Protein:
-1 scoop of your favourite protein powder (I usually use either Sunwarrior Brown Rice Protein Blend or Vega Vanilla Protein Smoothie Mix) 

OR

This is another option that is more wholesome though the protein blends above are very good:
-1 tbsp. Shelled Hemp Hearts
-1 flat tspn. Ground flax meal
-1 tbsp. any nut butter (almond is my favourite, and you can use the coated spoon to eat the smoothie with for an extra treat)

The Blending Agent:
-A dash of milk, almond milk, soy milk, Kefir (liquid yogurt), etc.
– If you like your smoothies you can always add water as you wish, but I like mine thick and creamy, sort of like ice cream!

Extra  (metabolism boosters):
Pinch of cinnamon
1/2 tspn. Honey
1-2 tbsp. Coconut oil

The Final Step:
Throw it all in a blender and enjoy!
(We have a Magic Bullet so I can eat it straight from the cup after blending it.)

I know it might seem like a long list, but I’ve written A LOT of different options here that you can mix and match. I tell you, it is worth it, and these are just guidelines to help you tailor your own ultimate smoothie! Hope you like it and what do you like in your smoothies?

Thanks for reading,
thebookybunhead

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Filed under Ballet, Oh Life, Tips, Tricks, and More

7 days of healthy snacks

This post is dedicated to my friend at greenembers.wordpress.com, who has convinced me to write about a few of my favourite snacks. As one of many dancers, I love snacking because it lets you pace your hunger throughout the day. Of course, the healthiest choices are raw and unprocessed foods, but we all know how to enjoy fruit salad, veggies with dip, or some almonds. However, there are different ways to fix and combine them with other products. So here is a countdown of my favourite snacks to eat that are simple, healthy, and above all, delicious:

7. My favourite smoothie

When my mom first made green smoothies, I was skeptical. That was a first impression that didn’t last long. Because fruits and vegetables lose lots of volume when they are blended, you can fit a lot of good stuff into one smoothie. I believe the one I drink has: half an apple, half an avocado, a kiwi, brown rice protein powder, flax meal (ground up flax seeds) or hemp hearts, almond milk, and one serving of vegetable – usually a handful of pea or broccoli sprouts. You can also use water and whey protein as the liquifier, and substitute the veggies with whatever you have, kale, bok choy, you name it. Trust me when I say you don’t taste vegetables here, so it’s an awesome way to sneak in your veggies! You can adjust the amounts of ingredients to your liking and hunger as well. Smoothies condense all sorts of nutrients and are powerhouse snacks ( and breakfasts too)!

6. Dried seaweed chips

If you are craving something crispy and salty, but are trying to stay away from those deep fried potato chips, here’s a new idea: seaweed chips! They are light, surprisingly addicting, and will give you an extra portion of greens without you realizing it. You can get these in sheets, or in smaller “snack-pack” versions; they are becoming more popular and I can understand why – they’re good! If you like sushi, you’ll probably like this, and if you don’t, you’ll probably still like this.


5. Dark chocolate stuffed raspberries

Chocolate stuffed raspberries

Yup, it’s as simple and tempting as in the picture – chocolate chips and raspberries. I like 70% or more dark chocolate; anything less, especially white chocolate which is basically pure sugar, does not give you the full benefits of cocoa. Of course, you can eat dark chocolate chips alongside other berries as well. They are a potent shot of antioxidants and a refreshing blend of chocolaty fruitiness!

4. Trail mix with natural sweets

A handful of nuts, seeds, and dried fruits is a yummy way to get pure protein and healthy fats. I often pair the following: dates and almonds, dried/dehydrated apple rings and walnuts, pumpkin/sunflower seeds and craisins. Raisins are good with everything, and other good trail mix elements are hazelnuts, cashews, and brazil nuts. I have a friend who makes candied pecans by adding agave syrup (a sweeter than sugar natural sweetener) and cinnamon; that kind of counts as a trail mix too, I guess. Sorry if you’re allergic to nuts, but this is an easy, fast snack option that is perfect for on the go!

3. Granola with all the fixings

Any granola. Because it is processed, just be sure to buy some that doesn’t contain so much sugar. You can eat it as cereal, but my favourite way is with yogourt. Add a few crushed almonds or walnuts, or raisins if they don’t already come in the granola. And top with lots and lots of berries for the antioxidants! For an immune system boost, you can also add a drizzle of honey and cinnamon. Use Greek yogourt, or if you’re feeling adventurous, try using yogourt from goat’s or sheep’s milk as they are generally ‘cleaner’ than ones from cows, and cause less bloating. This is also a great breakfast that is sure to keep my energy up until lunch!

2. Baked Cinnamon Plantain

It’s basically dessert. Cut ripe plantain into slices and lay them out on a baking sheet (use coconut oil to stop them from sticking). Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake for about 10 minutes or until browned at the bottom edges, then flip the slices, add more cinnamon and bake for another 10 minutes. Perfectly delicious, one pan will be gone in minutes.

1. Almond butter

almond paste and butterYou know how people eat spoonfuls of peanut butter or Nutella? Well,that’s me with almond butter. I really do live off this stuff – it’s so tasty (and a healthy substitute for the other two)! Make almond butter and jam sandwiches, mix it into oatmeal, or just eat it plain – it’s rich, filling, and packed with protein. It is also easier to digest because the almonds have been ‘ground up’ for you, so it’s good for quick energy. I love this one so much, I gave it up for Lent (only one more week, so excited!).

Please leave any questions or comments you may have – this is my first food post and I hope you enjoyed and decide to try some of these if you haven’t already. Happy snacking and conquering those munchies!

Thanks for reading,
thebookybunhead

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Filed under Oh Life, The happenings, Tips, Tricks, and More

5 quick ways to relax (and stop panic in its tracks)

Life is not a straight, flat road which is good since that would be awfully boring. But sometimes it can get a bit too hectic mentally or physically, so here are a few easy ways to catch those runaway emotions, collect yourself, and relax quickly in times of dire stress.

breathe
1. Breathe deeply, very deeply

We are always breathing, but we do not always think about it. Our bodies need oxygen so take in some deep breaths to fill up your entire lungs and bodies like Aunt Marge in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Go outside if you can, sometimes fresh air is all you need.

2. Immerse yourself in music

Grab your iPod and those headphones and blast your favourite tunes. Whether it is your angry, sad, or optimistic playlist, listen, really listen to the music for a few minutes escape from reality to refocus your head.

Girl talking on the phone about a boyfriend, 1951 by Gordon Parks. S)
3. Vent it out

Talk. It is much more efficient than texting and there is something very satisfying in hearing your own voice spew out all the thoughts that have been occupying your subconscious. Just be sure to pick a good listener whom you trust so there is no holding back in clearing your head space.

4. Drink something

It is amazing how much energy is drained from stress, so water is best to hydrate your body. Make a quick cup of tea, drink a  good ol’ glass of tap water (Toronto’s is very good, by the way) or even splash some water on your face for some extra refreshing effects.

Focus

5. Direct your energy

When there is no time, concentrate every particle in your body on the task at hand. Don’t think, just do. Acknowledge your troubles but set them aside, and use any negative energy to do a simple, random task. It will release the bad vibes and you also get to check something off your to-do list.
(Like for literalism!)

It has been a very long day not short of some rough spots. It was a day of big tests and big rehearsals – my brain and my legs are fried. Some of these really helped me today and I don’t want to forget them, so that explains the unexpected advice post. I hope it was somewhat helpful.

Thanks for reading,
-thebookybunhead

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Filed under The happenings, Tips, Tricks, and More, Words of No Wisdom

Fellow dancers, meet your new best friend:

These babies are the best stretching/massaging/strengthening partners you will ever get. The roller club in my class has definitely gained some new recruits this past month and I’m not surprised, it’s muscle relief at its simplest and I love mine. Just a couple of rolls on your tight muscles and miraculously they feel like Jell-O as you stand up. They’re easy to use too, and there’s so many exercises for almost anything – you just have to look it up on that other friend, the world wide web.

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