Dole Whip Smoothie

If you’re a Disney fanatic, Dole Whip brings sweet desire to your heart and tummy. The delicious pineapple treat is similar to soft serve and is a favorite among Disney enthusiasts young and old. Since it can only be snagged at a few locations around Disney World and Disneyland, I knew I had to find a recipe to recreate the treat.

Scouring the internet, I learned the most popular recipe for homemade Dole Whip consisted of lemon juice, lime juice, canned Dole pineapple with juice, heavy whipping cream, and sugar. Lots of sugar. On a mission to find a better alternative, I came across Detoxinista’s Pineapple Whip recipe and I was inspired.

I don’t have an ice cream maker and I was pretty impatient to haul my food processor out then wait for the treat to freeze, but I do have a pretty awesome immersion blender. Also, I was hungry. Really hungry.

Disclaimer: I’m the type of person to just throw things into my smoothie glass without being too particular with measurements. This is pretty good estimate of how much I used. I also use a HUGE cup, so you may have to make modifications,

Smoothie time.

  • 1-1 1/2 cups pineapple, frozen then thawed
  • 1/4-1/3 cup vanilla yogurt (I used a cup of Activia Light Vanilla)
  • Lemon Water (I just used Propel Zero Lemon water)
  • Honey (I used about 1 tbsp for a large cup)
  • Optional: 1/4 cup rolled oats to make it a really filling meal

Notes: If you don’t have any yogurt around, you could use almond milk and squeeze a little lemon or lemon juice in instead. The yogurt just gives it a creamier taste. If you’re using oats, I recommend throwing them in a bowl and have them soak in a bit of lemon water for an hour to really soften them up. I did this before I went on my run, then came back to make my smoothie after a shower.


Throw your thawed pineapple, yogurt, honey, and oats if using them in a cup or blender. Fill blender or cup with lemon water until the ingredients are almost cover by the water.


Blend until smooth.


This was probably the absolute best smoothie I have made. Probably because I’m taken to Disney World and paradise when I drink it. =)



The Middle of March: Vacation Survival and Injury Report

I apologize for the lack of posts! I’ve been in Minnesota visiting family for the good part of the month. I love vacation but get a little angsty about them at the same time. Going to unfamiliar restaurants while trying to change your eating habits can be intimadating, but it can be done! It’s getting a lot easier!

Here’s a little bit of what I ended up eating on vacation.

The hotel had free breakfast with hard boiled eggs, oranges, and bananas. I stocked up on bananas for pre-workout and I got up every other day at 5am to take advantage of the fitness center for an hour, then ate a post workout banana and egg. The days I didn’t exercise, I had an orange because I slept in late. On one of the days, I managed to pick up a sample of the Cookies and Cream Quest Bar for a pre-workout snack. SO GOOD.

If your hotel has a breakfast bar, opt to fill up on fruit if available. You can’t go wrong. Eggs, a couple slices of toast, and oatmeal are all really awesome choices.


Many of my lunches were salads I modified. (Asking for dressing on the side, etc.) They’re huge, filling, and I always feel good after eating them.

I found this yummy salad while at the Mall of America. Greens, cranberries, chicken, goat cheese, and pecans.

Cold Stone was one of our stops at the mall. As tempted as I was to get a huge Birthday Cake Remix, (and I would have been fine to, remember, MODERATION!) I saw they offered sorbet! I ended up with a delicious watermelon treat with fresh raspberries and strawberries mixed in!


Anytime I can substitute a side of fries for fruit or veggies, I do. Sometimes I get both! I wasn’t the best at remembering to take pictures, but we ended up at Applebee’s on of the nights. Their 600 calorie and under menu makes it a little easier. I opted for the salmon and veggies. Fuddruckers made a mean grilled chicken sandwich which I paired with a side salad. I had dinner with my grandparents at a nice restaurant which offered seafood choices! I had a lobster tail, (no butter!) a side salad, and a side of green beans. The picture below is a ham, turkey, tomato, and lettuce wrap that was offered at our hotel restaurant.

Remember to BE a “pain.” Ask for substitutions, no dressing or condiments, etc. You can enjoy vacation while staying on track. I went so far as keep my Pact apps pacts as is with food logging and veggies to help me make better choices. The only thing I changed was my GymPact, because the app can’t verify most hotel gyms.

I still made $2.75 for the week!


But sometimes.

You have to splurge. Remember how I opted out of Cold Stone?

I was saving myself for Mac’s.

Mac’s is a macaroni and cheese shop in downtown Wisconsin Dells. If you know anything about the Dells, you know the food is disgusting for the most part. But not Mac’s. I had been there once last October and was itching to go back to get my fill. Thankfully, we stopped on the way back home.

Behold, my friends.

Loaded Baked Potato Mac. The best mac and cheese in the world topped with bacon, sour cream, chives, and baked potato. Seriously. Runner. Carbs. Moderation.


The other part of my post is “Injury Report.” Remember how at the end of 2013, I hit 6 miles of solid running then sprained my foot in the middle of January? Well, I hit 6 miles around the beginning of March and guess what? I sprained my ankle the morning of vacation.

I have been so determined not to go back to starting my 10K app all over like last time, though I am more willing to. Instead of sitting around, I’ve been doing the elliptical. Which I HATE. At first, I set to no resistance and aimed for the number of strides similar to my running, but I felt like I was doing nothing. So I went for the interval training program offered on the hotel elliptical and went on for an hour. I burned about 100 calories less than I normally do running and I was a mile short, but MAN. I was sweating, my heart was going, and my muscles were WORKING. My ankles feels good now, but I have to be careful. I’m doing the elliptical for the rest of the week, then starting the running again on Monday.

Here’s to hoping I’ll be back to 6 miles within a few weeks! I want to start half marathon training.

Pizza Sloppy Joes

I love pizza. Everything about it. Even though I am well aware that I’m not fueled the best by pizza, I make room for the deliciousness once a week. Saturdays particularly, after a long morning run. I love moderation. I kind of cheated this week, however. In the best way possible.

I was craving meat and I was craving pizza, and it’s only Wednesday. Solution? Pizza Sloppy Joes, with a healthy twist, of course!

Around 450 calories for this super sandwich. Makes 4 generous servings

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 14oz jar pizza sauce
  • 1 onion (I used small)
  • 1 green pepper (I used about half of a whole medium pepper)
  • turkey pepperoni (around 50 slices)
  • oregano
  • basil (I used dry for both spices)
  • hamburger buns (I use Healthy Life 80 Calorie Whole Grain)
  • shredded mozzarella cheese (I use Kraft Fat Free Mozzarella)


Alright, first you’re gonna want to chop up the onion and green pepper, then throw it in a skillet. I like to cook them until the onions are almost brown.


Add in the ground turkey and cook the entire thing until the meat is brown.


While you’re waiting for the meat, chop up your pepperoni.


Add your oregano and basil to the browned meat and stir. I like to add a few good shakes of each. You could also use italian seasoning.


Now, add your pizza sauce and pepperoni and stir well. Reduce heat to low, cover your skillet, and simmer for 10 minutes.


Put 1/4 of the mixture on a hamburger bun and top with cheese. I like to throw the finished product in the microwave until the cheese is melted. Enjoy!



3.3.14-3.10.14: Monday to Monday and Fighting Fat Tuesday


I can’t seem to get out of bed on Mondays. I set my alarm for 6 and 7 this morning, laughed, and fell back asleep as soon as they went off. Around 9am, I realized I had to get up to throw in my pork loin into the slow cooker to make’s skinny pulled pork. (This is the second time I’ve made it. It’s INCREDIBLE.) I did my kitchen thing and settled onto the couch for with a Quest bar, Activia, and Harney & Sons Tropical Green tea. (If you’re a tea lover, you seriously need to check out Harney. They MADE me a tea lover!)

I broke the number one fitness rule and weighed myself after I ate but to my surprise, I’ve lost about 3 pounds in this past month, only with 3/4 of an inch around my stomach, so I can’t complain! More importantly, my eating has improved quite a bit and I feel a lot better during my runs!


On that note, I went to my favorite bagel place for lunch, but since I opted for a banana as a side, I was able to add another fruit to my newly made Veggie Pact for the week. I’ve only committed to 5 veggies out of a possibly 35 (or 5 veggies a day per week) so I can get used to the idea of eating more fruits and veggies and taking a picture of it.



Fat Tuesday? Not for this girl! I started the morning with a green smoothie. This day was kind of a snooze fest, but I did enjoy a nice session of yoga in the evening!



Today, I met one of my best friends for a lunch date at a pancake house in Plainfield. I couldn’t resist a fresh fruit topped waffle and egg whites! (Normally what I get at the Double Yolk too! What can I say, I’m a creature of habit!) We chatted for hours over good food and tea. She lives about an hour away from me, so it’s always a treat to see her!

After lunch, I picked up some more “Nothing Bundt Cakes” at the request of my momma since it was on the way home! Luckily, today was running day, so I treat myself and enjoyed every single bite! =)


Dinner was turkey tacos, so not the healthiest, but definitely lightened up! We use low carb taco shells, low sodium taco seasoning, and pile on the lettuce. It’s crazy how simple changes can effect your food and body! I eat a lot of ground turkey versus ground beef now and my tummy is definitely a lot happier.

My GymPact email came in for last week! I earned a little over $3! I’ve made just over $13 so far! I love this so much!



The rest of the week was somewhat unexciting, but I have to touch on the weekend. I get up early on Saturdays to get the gym session outta the way so I can enjoy the rest of the day with my family. The gym sessions have been killer this week because my feet are having a hard time healing from my new shoes, so I have to wrap and bandage them hardcore. My feet are mummies.


I also reclaimed my throne as mayor at my gym on foursquare. I was mayor for over a year and someone stole it (rude!) while I was out with my sprained foot.


I enjoyed Red Robin Saturday night with the family, (Opted for a plain turkey burger on multigrain bread with a side of broccoli and fruit!) then brunch on Sunday. The weather was FINALLY beautiful here in the burbs of Chicago, so I walked to the library and spent a couple of hours there. My dad and I spent Sunday night watching hockey and eating my cheat meal for the week, Papa Johns!


I DID IT. I set my alarm for 4am this morning to get to the gym before a busy day filled with babysitting, work, and epic car cleaning. I got outta bed, ate my Quest bar, and headed out.

Today’s run was supposed to run 30 minutes/walk 1 minute/run 30 minutes. I was feeling really good at the 29 minutes mark so I decided to run on and told myself if I felt like I needed to stop, then I could, so I kept going. The time suddenly became 20 minutes left, then 12, then 4 minutes?!?! I was going for the gold.

Finally, after a month in a half, I HIT 6 MILES AGAIN TODAY. I’m so excited I could scream. 6 miles before 6am?! DONE AND DONE. Beast mode. My plan is to run that a few more time until I’m really comfortable, probably for the rest of the month, then I start…HALF MARATHON TRAINING. I’m too excited.

I refueled after the run and finished my gigs for the day. My run is done, my work is done, my car is clean, and the “lightened up” tater tot casserole (ground turkey, low sodium cream of mushroom soup, fat free sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese, and tater tots!) is in the oven. Fantastic Monday!


RunDisney Musings:

Though I adore my job(s) and I’m putting away a little each week from GymPact, I need more cash for Disney, especially if my cousin and I decide to do coast to coast. I’m thinking about going back to my old place of employment if they’ll have me! I definitely need the cash. I plan on following the “Save Money for a Disney Vacation” pin you always see on Pinterest, but since I’m only saving for myself, I will do it by $2 increments. I can’t wait to see what they say. I miss working with kids and I miss the family-like environment there.

I also decided I want to complete a half marathon before Disney so I know what it’s like! From reading everything, there are A LOT of stops at the Disney Half, so it’s gonna be way different, but it’s still 13.1 glorious miles that I need to cover. I wanted to do a local one in November, but that sold out FAST, so I have to keep my eyes peeled for another!

2.27.14-3.1.14: Getting Closer and Dad Plays Hockey


I was in bed and out by 10:30pm, but I just couldn’t drag myself out of bed this morning. At 10am, I had a Quest bar, which is also my way of telling myself, “YOU ARE EATING A $2 PROTEIN BAR. YOU WILL GO TO THE GYM LATER NO MATTER WHAT.” Seriously, if I need any motivation, the money I spend (or what my momma graciously spent this time around) on Quest bars is that.


Around noon, I ate leftover taco pasta casserole, and headed to the store with my mom to do our weekly grocery shopping. I was super proud of myself because I had $20 worth of coupons this time around, so we saved a nice chunk of change. I am in no way, shape, or form an extreme couponer or stock-piler, but since I am home a lot, I like to do things to help out around the house since my parents let me live here rent-free. I spend a couple hours a week meal planning, looking for coupons and store ads, and matching them up to yummy, healthy recipes I find to save some cash. I’m getting better at it and I enjoy contributing any way I can.


Later on, I did make it to the gym. Today’s run (run 17 mins/1 min walk x3) went extremely well EXCEPT for the the last half of the last run. I felt like I could fly today which made it super tempting to go for the 60 minutes, but I’m glad I stuck to the plan. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m SO happy I made myself go back and start over. I would have still been beating myself up over only hitting a mile and a half or even 3 miles instead of feeling accomplished.


I also go my official GymPact email for last week. I ended up making $2.90, so about 50c more than last time for 2 extra days of food logging and 1 more day at the gym. Next week, I might attempt to add the veggie pact, and once I get into the yoga routine better, I’ll add an extra day at the gym.



After a quick home yoga session, I was ready to start the day. I threw together some apples, strawberries, pineapples, and raspberries in a cup and let my immersion blender do the heavy lifting. My favorite thing to do in the morning is sit down with a smoothie and mindlessly watch whatever’s on tv. Today, I added an Activia yogurt to my breakfast. I’ve always bloated pretty bad no matter what I eat, so I’m trying to incorporate more probiotics in my life. My mom and sister have had good luck with this yogurt with their digestive issues, so I figured why not try.


After a good lunch, I got to work in the kitchen. Today’s project included a clean, healthy recipe and a….not so clean recipe. I started the afternoon with filling our house with the glorious smell of my Nutella banana bread muffins, inspired by’s recipe! (all you have to do is add a half a jar of Nutella to her recipe!) I always try to “clean up” my recipes as much as possible, but there are some recipes that are best full fat, sugar, calorie filled goodness. Props to those of you who can make brownies and cookie dough out of beans. Blech. =) After the banana bread was in the oven, I started the clean fruit snacks by They turned out awesome!



I woke up at 7am and hustled to the gym. I was feeling confident today, so I up’d my run: 18 minute run/1 minute walk 3 times. I had to stop midway through my last run, but I felt great overall. I only restarted a week and a half ago and I’m already a little over midway through the program. I feel awesome.

IMG_2583 IMG_2584

It’s Saturday, so you know I had a delicious apple walnut salad from Portillo’s today, but dinner was my favorite. My “cheat” meal once a week is normally Saturday night and is usually pizza. My FAVORITE pizza place is California Pizza Kitchen BECAUSE THEY MAKE ME A MAC N CHEESE PIZZA. CARB LOVING RUNNER’S HEAVEN. (This is why I make SURE I do a good run on Saturday…so I’m able to cheat haha) I look forward to it because I normally *only* eat 3/4 of the pizza and have a couple of slices left over for dinner. =) It makes me super happy.

As mentioned in previous blog posts, my old man plays hockey for a league called, “OMG” or “Old Men’s Group” at the local rink. He’s been playing hockey since he was 11, so he’s really passionate. My dad’s a tendy and got a new mask for his birthday he made his own with some sweet decals. I play photographer and number 1 (and most of the time only) fan for the dads that take over the ice on Saturday nights. Tonight, we got to the rink early and watched the Hawks demolish the Pens from the snack bar until it was dad’s time to play gatekeeper. He did pretty well, but toward the end of the 90 minutes, he and the rest of the guys were exhausted. They put on a fun show, though!


After hockey, dad and I headed to Steak N Shake, order a salad and a Coke Zero (yeah, yeah, not the healthiest, but it kept me from ordering their new pizza burger!) and we looked through all the pictures I took. I didn’t get in bed until 1am, but it was worth it!


I’m ready to take on this next week!