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. =)



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!



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.

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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!

“Lightened Up” Taco Pasta Casserole

I love Pinterest because it provides inspiration for so many meals. More specifically, Pinterest links me to people who come up with amazing dishes. I was more than inspired by Curry and Comfort’s Taco Pasta Bake. I took her original recipe and made some simple swaps to lower the calorie content. (Which comes to about 375 calories per serving.) Now I use a lot of reduced fat/no fat ingredients when I cook dinner, but not because I’m so concerned about fat content, but because it tends to have lower calories. Many people worry about macros before calories. I tend to put calories first BUT have protein and carbs as a close second. I run a lot. I need protein and carbs to keep me full and provide me with energy. This method works for ME. Modify the recipe however you wish to fit YOUR needs. =)

Casserole will make 8 servings.

Alright, enough small talk, let’s get cooking:

  • 12 oz of pasta (I use Creamette’s 150 calorie per serving pasta or whole wheat)
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 onion (I normally use small to medium size)
  • 2 cloves minced garlic (1/2 tsp is equal to 1 clove)
  • 1 packet of reduced sodium taco seasoning (or 2-3 tbsp)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • lime juice to taste
  • 1 cup salsa (I like plain old mild, but pick your favorite!)
  • 1/2 cup non-fat sour cream (I use Kemp’s.)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • shredded cheese to your liking (I tend to use a cup. I like reduced fat Mexican cheese for this recipe, but I’ve also used fat free cheddar by Kraft)


First thing’s first, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and get your pasta cooking.


Next, chop up that onion and get it cooking in a nice, big skillet. I like to start on medium/high heat to get the onion cooked really well. Next, add your ground turkey and minced garlic. Cook until the turkey has browned.

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Next, add your taco seasoning and cumin. Mix.









Time to add your salsa, water, and lime juice. I like to add a little bit of lime juice all through out my skillet. Stir!IMG_2513

By now, your pasta should be nice and tender. First add your cream, stir, then add your pasta and mix well.



Spray your baking dish with cooking spray. You’ll need a big one! Add your Taco Pasta to the dish. Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Throw your casserole in the oven uncovered for 15 minutes or until the cheese is nice and melted.


I could probably eat the whole pan. I honestly always eat about a serving and a half. My family of 4 always has a nice bowl of leftovers, so I know lunch the next day will always be amazing. Enjoy!



Chunky Monkey Smoothie

This is so easy to make, it really shouldn’t even be considered an actual recipe. I love to make this because it is chocolatey, creamy, and really helps me recover after a run. Did I mention chocolate?

Oh, and if you use unsweetened almond milk, it comes out to just 300 calories.

So really, all you’re gonna need is:

  • Blender or immersion blender
  • 2 cups of milk of your choice (I LOVE unsweetened vanilla almond milk!)
  • 2 ripeĀ  frozen bananas (I let my bananas sit out until they get lots of brown spots on em, then I freeze them, and let them thaw until they are that perfectly cold but kind of soft stage)
  • 1 tablespoon (or so) of unsweetened cocoa powder


Throw in those bananas into your cup or blender.


Then cocoa! Remember, it’s unsweetened, but your ripe bananas should provide natural sweetness. I usually throw in about a tablespoon, but ya might have to play around with it to find a taste that works for you! =)


Milk! If you’re using an immersion blender, I tend to dump in only a cup first, blend a bit, then pour the rest in. It just makes it easier for me. Blend until smooth.

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Beautiful deliciousness.


Cookie Dough Overnight Oats

This is my go-to overnight oats recipe. It’s quick, easy, and super tasty. I love waking up knowing I have them in my refrigerator and starting my day with a bowl and a cup of tea.


You’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup old fashioned or rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup (or so) of milk (I use almond unsweetened vanilla)
  • 1-2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp chocolate chips (I like mini)
  • Food storage bowl or mason jar. Or just a bowl with plastic wrap.


Throwing it all together:

First, take your oats and dump them into your bowl.


Then mix in your brown sugar. As you can see, I’m not too exact.



Vanilla! My favorite.


Then the chocolate chips. I lied, these are my favorite.



Finally, add that milk and stir. Make sure your milk covers most of the oats.




Now put your oats into the refrigerator for at least an hour or overnight. Your oats will soak up the milk and became fluffy and delicious.


Now go to sleep. The sooner you sleep, the sooner you can wake up and enjoy! You can enjoy your oats warm or cold!