The Breakfast Smoothie Recipe That Will Replace Your Morning Cup of Coffee

Berries and Greens Breakfast Smoothie (Photo by Laura Lee Bloor)

This breakfast smoothie recipe will be the only one you ever need.

Most days, I enjoy a cup of coffee. It’s a comforting morning ritual. I have one 12-ounce cup with one sugar and one cream.

While I love my morning cup of coffee and believe in its health benefits, I don’t like the idea of becoming dependent upon caffeine to start my days. So, I started looking for other morning beverages that would give me an equivalent energy boost.

It was during this time that I discovered the almighty breakfast smoothie.

I used the think smoothies were unhealthy, especially most of the Jamba Juice ones because they’re pumped full of so much sugar and little real fruit.  Plus, how could a smoothie keep anyone full for more than an hour?

That was until I started making my “berries and greens” breakfast smoothie. Not only is it a meal in a glass and keeps me full all the way to lunch, it also gives me as much – if not more – energy as my usual cup of coffee.

See my breakfast smoothie recipe below.

The secret to a hearty smoothie is protein, and leafy greens pack more protein than most people think. The Greek yogurt is a good source of protein, too. The rolled oats I add have lots of fiber, which help to keep me full. I get tons of energy from all the vitamins and minerals in the variety of fruits, veggies and seeds.

Another perk is that if you’re running late, you can easily take it with you to go.

Try it for yourself:

My Berries and Greens Breakfast Smoothie Recipe

Makes 1 large smoothie or 2 small ones.

Time: 5 to 10 minutes

Ingredients: 

  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup rolled oats
  • 1 handful of blueberries
  • 1 handful of sliced strawberries
  • 1 handful of shredded carrots
  • 1 handful of spinach or kale
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1 tbsp. hemp seeds
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 3 to 4 tbsp. honey

Directions:

Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.

Frozen berries work just as well as fresh. Also, feel free to add, substitute or subtract fruits and veggies, as your palate prefers.

Helpful cleaning tip: After you pour the smoothie, fill the blender with a cup of water and pulse it a few times. This will prevent seeds from sticking, saving you annoying scrubbing and cleaning time later.

What did you think?

Reminder: Don’t miss my first, FREE teleclass, “How to Naturally Increase Your Energy,” at 6 p.m. PST, Thursday, September 29, 2011. For more information, click here.

Posted in Diet and Nutrition Goals, General Health Goals | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

Back-to-School Time: Could You Use an Energy Boost?

Photo credit: iStockphoto

Dreading back-to-school season? Learn how to naturally boost your energy in my free teleclass coming soon.

It’s back to school for kids tomorrow, but I’ve been back in school for several months now.

In May, I started my holistic health coaching program through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and about one month ago, I signed up for Pam Slim’s 30-Day Power Teaching Challenge classes.

I’ve never taught a class before, and I’ve always wanted to work with Pam, so I jumped at the opportunity.

Introducing My First Free Teleclass

One of the most common questions I hear from friends and family is, “Why am I so tired all the time? I wish I had more energy.” So I decided to create my first free teleclass around that.

The first teleclass will be at 6 p.m. PST (9 p.m. EST), Thursday, September 29, 2011. After that, it will repeat at the same time on the last Thursday of every month.

Go here for more detailed information on the class.

I know I have struggled with this off and on for years. Thanks to what I’ve learned and implemented through my health coaching program, I have made significant, lasting changes that have dramatically improved my energy.

It has made such an amazing, transformative difference that I want to share with everyone what I’ve learned so that you, too, can revamp your energy and accomplish more every single day.

Whatever your intentions are — escape from your cubicle job, build your business, spend more quality time with family and friends — having more energy will help you reach those goals faster.

What would a life full of energy and vibrancy look like for you?

How the Teleclass Will Work

I decided to go with a teleclass format to better accommodate our busy schedules. With a teleclass, students can attend from anywhere. Here’s some of what I’ve developed so far:

  1. Conduct an energy audit. I’ll find out where your current energy levels are so we know how to get you from point A to point B.
  2. Learn all the energy-promoting habits. We’ll go over all the tools you need to create optimum energy and avoid exhaustion and burnout.
  3. Create simple, easy action plans. These in-class action plans will be your guide to overcoming obstacles and ensuring you incorporate these energy-promoting habits into your daily routines.
  4. Get feedback. At the end of class, you have the opportunity to signup for a free follow-up session with me. I’ll check back with you in one week to see how it went and what tweaks we can make to keep you functioning at your best.

What do you think? What else would you like to learn and take away from this class?

Thanks for your help, and if you want to stay updated on this class, please sign up here, or click the FREE Monthly Teleclass link at the top of the page.

Posted in Diet and Nutrition Goals, Fitness and Exercise Goals, General Health Goals, Goals, Habits, Happiness Goals, Life Lessons, Productivity Goals, Stress Management Goals | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The ‘Wonder Drug’ You Need That Few Doctors Prescribe

The Wonder Drug You Need That Few Doctors Prescribe (Photo by iStockphoto)

Yes, a "super drug" really does exist ... it's just not a pill. (Photo by iStockphoto)

If you knew something was available to help you reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease and a host of other illnesses, would you take it?

(Of course!)

Awesome! Well then have I got some titillating news for you: Something like that does exist!

It’s called E-X-E-R-C-I-S-E.

Exercise is such a powerful prescription that it even helps cancer patients reduce their side effects from treatments and their risk for cancer recurrence, as you can read more about in this WebMD news article by Moira Dower. (Quick disclosure: I work for WebMD.)

So, if exercise is such a super drug, why aren’t more doctors prescribing it and why aren’t more people taking it?

What Is Exercise?

Well, for starters, most doctors actually do tell us to exercise if we’re overweight, but that’s about as far as the conversation goes. For many of us, if our blood pressure or cholesterol levels are high, the doctor recommends that we eat less and move more. The doctor also typically follows that with a barrage of prescription medications to choose from that will help us lower our blood pressure or cholesterol levels.

Now before you take the path of least resistance and hop on the statins bandwagon, stop and consider: What picture comes to mind when you hear the word exercise?

Do you visualize Olympic athletes sprinting down a track? A group of kids playing volleyball on the beach? Sculpted men and women grunting and lifting weights at a gym?

Don’t fall victim to the notion that exercise equals sports.

Too often people think exercise has to be a grueling, sweat-dripping, breath-stealing marathon session. If your goal is to be on a professional sports team or look like Jillian Michaels, then yes, that’s probably what your workouts should look like. If your fitness goal is just to be healthy, it’s time to redefine your definition of exercise.

Redefining Exercise

Did you notice in the news article that the medical officers included activities like “heavy cleaning” and “mowing the lawn” as exercise?

That’s right, half the time, exercise is crap you have to do anyway.

The other half of the time, think about activities you enjoy that don’t revolve around eating or drinking with friends. (Because I know that’s hard for me, here are a few examples):

  • Playing outside with your kids
  • Walking the dog
  • Cooking that requires a lot of prepping and chopping
  • Gardening
  • Dancing
  • Getting sexy with your significant other

For more fun exercise ideas, see this slideshow on Self.com.

The more you learn to make exercise fun and simple, the easier it becomes to make it part of your daily prescription for a long, healthy and happy life.

What are your favorite fun, easy exercises?

Posted in Fitness and Exercise Goals, General Health Goals, Goals, Habits, Happiness Goals | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Get Paid to Be You: The Free Trailblazer Webinar

Trailblazer free webinarHow many times have you thought, “There’s got to be a better way,” when it comes to making a living? Or, “How could I really make a living while making a difference in the world? Is that even possible?”

I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve had these thoughts.

It was these kinds of thoughts that led me to my mentor Jonathan Mead at Illuminated Mind. He’s been working tirelessly for years now helping people get paid to share their unique gifts with the world.

I’ve been following Jonathan for about two years now. He was one of my biggest inspirations to quit grad school when I knew it wasn’t working for me and move onto health coaching, something that merged my passions: health and psychology.

He taught me that passion will never lead you astray.

But figuring out how to turn your passion into a sustainable living can be a difficult process. Fortunately, we can learn from him.

Jonathan has put together a ground-breaking presentation on how to get your offer to the world right (so you can get paid to be you).

You’ll learn how to turn the gifts inside you to an offer the world needs, that attracts customers effortlessly, and gets you paid to do what you love.

You can reserve your seat here. (There’s limited space.)

This free webinar is at 6 p.m. PST, Wednesday, July 27, 2011.

As a proud affiliate of Illuminated Mind, I had the pleasure of getting a sneak peek at what Jonathan has in store for you.

The Trailblazer program will help you define your passion, identify ways that you can earn an income from it, and most of all, move you past the fear of surging forward with your work.

Worried about how to find the people who want to work with you and will pay you decently for your services or products?

Jonathan has the answers.

Scared you don’t know enough or don’t have the right tools to get started?

Jonathan has that covered.

You’ll have no excuses to bar you from immediately plunging into your new, passionate pursuit.

I did several of the Trailblazers exercises to ensure I’m on the right path, and it felt wonderful to receive affirmation that I am finally aligning my passion with a service for which I can get paid. I’m even more excited now to help people achieve healthier, happier lives.

Too often though, we see people get their offer wrong and wonder why they never make any progress.

Your offer to the world is really everything — it’s the foundation of your entire business and can make or break you. When this is aligned, everything just works. When it’s not, no matter how hard you work, little or nothing happens.

And quite frankly, we’re sick of seeing people stuck in work they hate when they could be helping others with their true gifts.

I don’t see anyone else teaching this stuff the way Jonathan is. So if you want in on this life-shifting presentation, reserve your seat here.

You have something beautiful to share with the world. We can’t wait to see what it is.

We know you are capable of more.

Posted in Career Goals, Financial Goals, Freelance Work Goals, Goals, Happiness Goals | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My No-Dairy Diet Experiment (With Accompanying Hellacious Meal Plan)

Doing a no-dairy diet was no fun.

Use my one-week no-dairy meal plan to test and see how your body reacts to not having dairy. You may be surprised.

In May, I started school … again. I didn’t go back to the MBA program I entered last year. I enrolled in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN). I am training to become a certified holistic health counselor, and I couldn’t be more excited! Finally, school is an enlightening, positive influence again (as it should be) instead of a frustrating, stressful chore.

One of the requirements of the IIN health counseling curriculum is that we work with our own health counselor. My health coach, Supreet Sandhu at Yuva Aesthetics & Wellness based in Calgary, Canada, has been helping me create a healthier, happier life.

In my first session with Supreet, we analyzed a typical day’s worth of meals for me. A normal day for me would be a fruit and veggie smoothie for breakfast and a cup of coffee, a homemade deli sandwich for lunch with some fruit, a Kind bar or some pistachios for a snack, if I needed one, and some veggie pasta for dinner with parmesan cheese.

The good news: I eat pretty healthy, overall. I incorporate fruits and veggies into most of my meals.

The bad news: I include dairy in every meal (or most meals). A little dairy is fine, but a lot of dairy can be hard on some people’s digestion, making them more sluggish and bloated, among other health concerns.

I told Supreet that one of my health goals was to have more energy. She suggested that for one week, I eliminate dairy from my diet. Then, on the eighth day, eat normally again and pay attention to how I felt.

Sure, one week of no dairy. No problem. I was prepared; I had a meal plan. Couldn’t be that hard, right? My non-dairy meal plan for one week.

It was atrocious.

Here are a few of my daily notes:

Day 1

  • Slept almost nine hours, yet found it hard to get up this morning
  • Tried rice milk; don’t like it
  • Didn’t drink coffee, just peach-flavored green tea and water
  • Walked for 40 minutes
  • Didn’t notice any side effects from going non-dairy

Day 2

  • Slept about seven hours; still found it hard to get up
  • Had one 10-ounce cup of coffee
  • Drank lots of water
  • Jogged for 40 minutes
  • Felt very sluggish and tired all day
  • Felt hungry most of the day; constantly felt as if I needed to eat more
  • Felt better after the run and great after dinner

Day 3

  • Woke up with dull headache, still hard to get up
  • Drank one 10-ounce cup of coffee
  • Drank four glasses of water
  • Went to Piyo class at the gym
  • Again, felt sluggish and tired
  • Again, felt hungry
  • Felt anxious and had difficult concentrating
  • Was sure I would have a terrible workout, but did great
  • Felt tired again after dinner though
  • Drank two glasses of red wine

The rest of the week’s sentiments echoed similar themes: I felt deprived, tired, irritable, and craved dairy even though I was drinking lots of water, getting at least seven hours of sleep and exercising.

I have quit smoking permanently, given up coffee here and there, given up alcohol here and there, and the willpower this required was more than all of those combined.

Interesting Findings From the No-Dairy Diet Experiment

Another thing I discovered is just how many delicious things have dairy in them! My “whole wheat bread” had milk in it, so I bought barley bread from Trader Joe’s. I couldn’t use any of our salad dressings because those all had buttermilk in them.

Thank goodness for Smart Balance butter: It is gluten-free and contains less than two percent of whey from milk. I also learned along the way that most coffee creamers are lactose-free.

Near the end of the week, I was fantasizing about my smoothies, pizza and gourmet cheeses from The Cellar. When I did eat all of these foods on the eighth day, it was glorious.

And I felt fine.

I’d be lying if I said I felt great, but that was probably because I wasn’t having just a little dairy, I was having a ton of dairy.

I discussed the results from my no-dairy experiment with Supreet on our next session, and we had a good laugh. We agreed that while dairy isn’t for everyone, my body needs it. Eliminating it did not give me more energy. In fact, it did the opposite. Plus, if I try to deprive myself of dairy, I overindulge when I do eat it, which defeats the purpose.

Now I’m back to moderation. I usually have a little bit of dairy in most of my meals. However, I try to have one meal a day that is dairy-free. Plus, I actually really like the barley bread, and I enjoy making my own salad dressings.

Have you tried a no-dairy diet experiment on yourself? What were your results?

Posted in Career Goals, Diet and Nutrition Goals, General Health Goals, Goals, Happiness Goals | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Go See the ‘Bodies’ Exhibit and Write a Thank-You Note to Your Body

One of the models from "Bodies, the Exhibition"

Go see "Bodies, the Exhibition."

Back in February, Mr. Man and I went to “Bodies, the Exhibition” while we were in Las Vegas. (We needed something to do after we blew all our money on booze, buffets and gambling.)

Joking aside, I had heard about the Bodies exhibit several years ago and had been eager to see it ever since. Mr. Man saw the exhibit in Pittsburgh a few years back and enjoyed it so much, he was happy to see it again.

Now, sure, the Bodies exhibit has its share of controversy, but to be that close to all our bodies’ intricate inner workings was truly fascinating and humbling. From the tiniest bone (the stirrup or stapes bone in your ear) to the roughly 28 feet of intestines, our bodies are marvels.

Perusing the exhibit, I became intensely aware of how much our bodies do for us. Constant subtle and precise work goes into the most basic of functions: hearing, seeing, digesting, breathing, walking, talking, thinking. Because so much of the work is automatic, we rarely stop to notice.

It made me think: When was the last time I thanked my body for all it does? Do I show my body respect and care for it as well as it cares for me?

Most of the time, yes. I aim for eight hours of sleep a night, I eat balanced meals, I brush and floss. I avoid processed foods, I exercise several times a week, I keep up loving relationships with others, and I try to keep my stress low. Again, the key words are “most of the time.” Sometimes, I drink too much, eat fast food and skimp on sleep.

I could do better. I could make one of my general health goals be to show more appreciation and respect for my body through my daily actions.

I could start on this goal by writing a thank-you letter to my body.

My Thank-You Note to My Body

Dear Body,

Thank you so much for your support. I am so grateful for all that you do. I love how you always know exactly what to do at just the right time. You give me the joy of interacting with the world through all five of my senses, which is an incredible gift. Without all your hard work, I wouldn’t be here.

To show my appreciation, I vow to take the best care of you that I can. I promise to love and accept you just the way you are, although I will push you to be the best you can be. I’ll give you plenty of laughter, love, rest and knowledge. I’ll give you nourishing foods and drinks and keep you strong through exercise and play. I promise to listen to you when you are trying to tell me something, such as when I need a break. My thoughts and emotions affect you, so I’ll try to keep them kind and gentle.

I will do my best to reciprocate the unconditional love you show me every day, as you are the temple of my soul.

Love,
Laura Lee

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4 Nuggets of Wisdom From the Dalai Lama

Photo courtesy of the Center for Living Peace

The Dalai Lama with Kelly Smith, founder of the Center for Living Peace. (Photo courtesy of the Center for Living Peace)

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of listening to the Dalai Lama speak at the Center for Living Peace. (You can watch the live video here.)

It had been one of my spiritual goals to hear the Dalai Lama speak for several years. (Another one of my spiritual goals is to see him speak in person some day and meet him.)

Although I couldn’t attend the actual event, I was struck at how the Dalai Lama’s playful energy came across just listening to him while I was at work. He brightened my entire day.

A few of my favorite pieces of wisdom from the Dalai Lama included:

Understand the Law of Causality

When you give positive thoughts and actions, you get positive thoughts and actions in return. Conversely, when you give negative thoughts and actions, you get negative thoughts and actions in return.

We Are All the Same

We are all human beings. Every one of us experiences greed, jealousy, and doubt. We can all relate to one another based on this commonality.

‘Warm-heartedness’ Is the Path to a Peaceful Society

For the world to be a better, more peaceful place, changes need to come from everyone. Politicians, educators, the media, business people, families — everyone has a responsibility to exhibit more peace and compassion.

Honesty and Truth Are Essential to Peace

A lot of anxiety is based in fear and distrust. If you stay honest and truthful, anxiety is reduced, creating a peaceful, genuine atmosphere. When you remain true and honest, you have less stress and anxiety and more inner joy.

Are you being honest and true to yourself and those around you? How do you create more peace and joy in your life?

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