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I am all about easy Thanksgiving entertaining, and this year my theme is “Be Thankful.” Since my family lives out of state, I usually spend Thanksgiving with friends. I’ve put together some delicious fall recipes and free printables for a casual get together with my friends, and I can’t wait to celebrate!
Happy Labor Day to all my U.S. friends! I hope you have a fun and relaxing day planned.
Yesterday was so hot. I wasn’t expecting it, and my husband and I made plans to go to Governors Island. It’s one of my favorite places, but we spent the entire afternoon outside. The trip was super fun/miserable. Let’s just say that I couldn’t wait to crank up the A/C when we arrived home.
Hot, humid weather always makes me crave a cool drink. Iced tea is my favorite, and it’s even better mixed with something fruity. So when I bought some sweet, juicy peaches recently, I did a little experimenting and created this Mint Peach Green Tea Cooler.
I’m a huge green tea drinker, whether it’s iced in summer and hot in winter. It’s full of healthy antioxidants and even contains a natural chemical called theanine that provides a calming effect. On the flip side, I know that some people find green tea bitter and grassy-tasting. If that sounds like you, then you have to try this cooler!
It’s made with freshly brewed green tea that’s cooled off quickly with an easy trick (no refrigeration needed). Sweet peaches are blended with a bit of sugar – add more or less depending on your taste and the peaches’ sweetness – and then added to the tea. Mint adds fragrant finishing touch.
I made my tea in individual glasses, but feel free to make a big batch. Just remember to use a heat proof pitcher (ask me how I know that!).
Treat yourself to a glass of this fruity and refreshing Mint Peach Green Tea Cooler while we still have a little summer left!
One of my favorite classic drinks is the Old-Fashioned. I grew up in Wisconsin, where the Old-Fashioned is the unofficial state drink. It’s pretty much all my mom ever ordered, and our house always had a bottle of Canadian Club at the ready.
I tend to associate the Old-Fashioned with winter and old school Wisconsin wood-paneled bars, so a hot, humid summer doesn’t seem like the best time to enjoy one. When I happened to have some whiskey on hand recently, though, I I decided to do a little experimenting.
That’s how I came up with this Cherry Smash Cocktail.
My husband Joel’s best friend moved to London when they were teens. These two guys share a very unique sense of humor and are pretty much joined at the hip (still), so it was a little traumatic for them. Luckily, my husband was able to spend the whole summer in England visiting his friend. Doesn’t that sound like the best summer ever?
One of the things he was introduced to in England was the shandy, which is a beer combined with soda or carbonated lemonade. Shandies are low in alcohol, can be purchased ready-made, and are commonly served to kids. Joel served me the drink years later, and it was love at first sip.
Now I don’t recommend serving this to children here in the U.S., but if you are looking for a refreshing summer drink, then you’ve got to try my Lemonade Shandy!
I like to make shandies with an inexpensive, light-tasting lager or pale ale. My husband brought home Budweiser to make these, and it worked just fine.
Shandies traditionally combine beer with a carbonated beverage, but I like to use homemade lemonade. The result is a fresh-tasting, lemony, low-alcohol cocktail that I could drink all day long. Give it a try! I think you’ll love it, too.
It’s the first Monday of February, and that means it’s time for another edition of my monthly series, Motivation Monday. For me, healthy living is all about motivation. It’s about finding the motivation to cook instead of order takeout, go for a walk, or skip a second helping. Each Motivation Monday features easy tips and a healthy recipe.
Last month, my focus was on healthy snacking, and I actually did pretty well with this. For February, my goal is to establish a consistent exercise routine (see my tips below). Plus, I’m sharing a delicious green smoothie recipe made with Driscoll’s berries!*
Over the past year, I’ve gone from exercising 5-6 days a week to practically zero days, and I want to get back on track. I’ve had my reasons (weather, shoulder problems, etc.), but I need to stop making excuses. So, I’ve set a goal to exercise 4 days a week this month.
I live a couple blocks from Central Park, so barring another Polar Vortex, I’ll walk/jog a couple days a week, and on the other days, I’ll do some yoga or cardio. If I come into a few extra dollars, I’d love to try SoulCycle (that ish is expensive), too!
Are you in the same boat as me? Use these tips to develop your own exercise routine:
Schedule exercise dates. In the past, when I’ve written my workout dates/times in a planner, it made all the difference!
Mix it up. Exercise is more fun if you’re not doing the same boring routine every day. I enjoy a combination of walking, jogging, yoga, pilates, and cardio, and jump at the chance to try new things, too.
Pair up with a friend. It’s so much harder to skip a day when you know someone else is counting on you. If you’re in New York, I’d love a workout buddy (hint, hint)!
Don’t think about it; just do it. Set out your exercise clothes the night before. Put them on as soon as you wake up or get home from work. Don’t turn on the TV. Don’t eat a snack. Spend as little time thinking about it as possible, and just get out there and exercise!
My exercise mantra for February!
After exercising, I like to reward myself with a healthy snack! So I was excited when I was contacted by Driscoll’s* to develop a snack for my readers! I decided to create a green smoothie.
Green smoothies are everywhere these days, but I have to admit that I’ve been a little hesitant to jump on the bandwagon. I think it is the close resemblance to pureed grass!
I shouldn’t have worried, because after I blended up the berries and spinach, I couldn’t taste anything grassy at all (I promise)! As a matter of fact, it was downright delicious. My husband also loved this smoothie, and I think you will, too!
Cheers to your health! My Berry Green Smoothie is full of nutrients, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and lots of other good stuff. Read more about the health benefits of berries, spinach, and green tea.
Berry Green Smoothie
Serves 1 – 2
1/2 of a banana
1 1/2 cups Driscoll’s* mixed berries (I used blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries.)
1 green tea bag
2 cups spinach
1/2 of a pear
Start by covering a cookie sheet with foil. Peel the banana, slice it into rounds, and place the slices on the cookie sheet. Add berries to cookie sheet, cutting large berries (such as strawberries) into halves or quarters. Make sure everything is in a single layer so it doesn’t stick together later. Place cookie sheet in freezer and let sit until fruit is frozen, about 2 hours.
While fruit is freezing, bring 1 1/2 cups water almost to a boil. Pour water into a large mug and add the tea bag. Let steep for 3 – 5 minutes and then remove tea bag. Allow tea to cool to room temperature and set aside.
I used flavored green tea for my smoothie. This berry-flavored tea pairs perfectly with this recipe!
To make smoothie, add frozen fruit to a blender. Grab a large handful of spinach (about 2 cups) and place it on top of berries. Cut half a pear into large pieces and add to blender. Pour cooled tea over everything and blend until smooth, stirring if needed.
This recipe makes 1 large smoothie or, if you feel like sharing, two small smoothies.
Customize this Berry Green Smoothie to your taste:
Use any mixture of berries that you like (or just use a single berry).
Replace the berries with another fruit, such as apples, citrus, or pomegranate seeds.
Add a tablespoon of almond butter for extra protein.
Sweeten the smoothie by adding a chopped Medjool date, a little honey or maple syrup, or a touch of your favorite sweetener.
Replace the tea with milk (regular, almond, soy, etc.), juice, yogurt, or coconut water.
Spice things up by adding a little fresh ginger or a pinch of cinnamon.
Supercharge your smoothie with 1 tablespoon chia seeds or ground flaxseed.
Experiment with other greens, such as kale, collards, or Swiss chard.
What is motivating you this month?
P.S. Stop back Tuesday for a roundup of my favorite winter workout gear and Wednesday for my indoor workout essentials (for those days that it’s just too cold to go outside!).