It’s summer! And as a mom, I’m always looking for fun and creative ways to increase my kids’ fruit intake. This NutriBlast is a household favorite (not only with my four kids, but with my husband and myself, as well!) because of its soft-serve consistency. I actually call it ice cream and the kids believe me! One of the things I love the most about the NutriBullet is its ability to create different consistencies depending on the ingredients. The NutriBullet can make a juice Blast, a veggie Blast, a smoothie, a sauce, a soup, a dressing, a marinade, you name it! And I have now discovered that you can also make soft serve! The secret ingredient to making soft serve a la NutriBullet? Are you ready…? Frozen banana! Actually, it’s any frozen fruit or frozen ingredient. Once the NutriBullet extracts the frozen ingredient, it creates that soft serve consistency.

Freezing bananas is tricky, though. It’s ideal to freeze them when they are just past optimal ripeness. This is when their carbohydrate content is highest and their flavor enhanced. Once you notice your bananas getting spotted, peel them, (DO NOT freeze bananas with the peel on), and break them into pieces approximately 3 inches in length. Then you’re ready to freeze!

Ingredients

  • 1 frozen banana
  • ½ cup frozen mangos
  • ½ cup skim milk
  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder

Directions

Place frozen banana pieces in NutriBullet. Pour milk over them (this softens them slightly). Add mangoes and top with protein powder. Blast! Spoon into small ice cream bowls and enjoy with a spoon!

This recipe is ideal for kids because what child doesn’t love soft serve? I also recommend this to many of the athletes that I coach as a recovery snack because it offers protein, carbohydrate, fiber, potassium, vitamin C and the cool temperature of soft serve assists in lowering body temperature post-exercise. It’s a summer time crowd pleaser!

NYC Photo

-Jenn Giles

It’s very refreshing to be able to sit back and examine life with an attitude of gratitude and thankfulness. I hadn’t done that in a long time and when I examine my life, I find myself in profound peace. It’s a very humbling experience.

I’ve found that I don’t have to wait until I’ve accomplished all my goals in order to assess my life. There is still a lot to learn, a lot to overcome and a ton of things to do. Folks talk about having a “mid-life crisis” and make it sound so negative! I’d much rather have a mid-life introspection and look at the life around me with heart-filled appreciation.

One of the things that I’m grateful for is my positive outlook on life. I am a naturally optimistic person, but I haven’t always been this way. I remember being stressed out, beat down, and constantly in survival mode. I was not the carefree, silly person that sees the glass half full today. Those “tough girl” layers were peeled back and discarded a long time ago.

My family knows all of my quirks, antics, and goofs, too. We poke fun at each other, but our unconditional love is real and that’s something that stays deep within my heart.

As a former workaholic, I’m thankful to shred that former life and be employed at a place where my personality and life experiences are applauded. I no longer have to leave my life at the door or take my work home with me, and that is very liberating. I’m grateful for those regular paychecks, too!

I’m thrilled to meet people from all over the world in my backyard, where we can share life experiences, unique perspectives and tons of belly laughs. I’m happy to share my life with family and friends.

Even though I haven’t accomplished half of what I want to do yet, it is liberating to sit back and reflect on who I am as a person and on the people around me. My life (warts and all) is absolutely beautiful and it is something that I embrace with an attitude of gratitude!

-Delores McCarter

thank you

30 day squat

I’ve been doing The 30 Day Squat Challenge for the past two weeks.

I’m writing today because it’s a rest day and I feel the strength to type. If you haven’t heard about the challenge, allow me to enlighten you.

It is torture.

But I’m building a good habit and that can’t be bad.

I’d been trolling Facebook, checking out updates, and noticed a friend posted about doing her squats and that she was “catching up, but still on board.” I was intrigued and checked into the squat challenge. Since I’ve recently had surgery that limited my exercise, I thought it sounded pretty good; all legs and plenty of booty, made easier by using an exercise ball to help me with my form.

The challenge begins with a *simple* 50 squats on the first day, 55 the next and 60 on the third day. Then you can rest for a day. I honestly worried about just doing 50, but when I’d done them in less than 5 minutes, I thought, “Wow, this isn’t too bad.” As each of the days progress, you do more, no plateaus, and sometimes the number jumps in a way that makes you anxious.

My son was kind enough to give me the exercise ball tip because, without it, I was so concerned about my form that I kept messing up counting. I saw that full squats, which I actually do naturally all day at work, are acceptable, too and now I switch between them. I’ve just completed Day 11, 110 squats, which I needed to break up into two groups of 55. My legs have that “I’ve been roller skating and just took my skates off” feeling, plus they shake like I’ve just seen a ghost at the North Pole.

Now, for all you “helpful friends” who let me know that, by adding a leg lift, weights, a twist, or a one-legged version, I could improve my workout, understand this simple and heartfelt message: PLEASE SHUT YOUR PIE HOLE.

I mean this in the nicest way possible, of course.

I’ve got this, thank you very much. It’s enough for me right now and I’m succeeding so far.

And that’s the thing about exercise; when you’re ready to hunker down and do it, you don’t need anyone telling you can do better, because that can feel defeating. Think about this when someone you know is challenging themselves to be better. Being supportive is the best thing you can do to help someone you care about succeed. It’s far too easy to give them advice when support would mean so much more.

When I complete this challenge, I’ll be ready to accept additions to my new found regimen (I’ve heard there is an AB CHALLENGE, too!), but until I’m confident enough to know I’ll finish this, please accept my apologies in advance for any rudeness on my part.

-Suzanne Hetrick

My NutriBullet rarely gets a break and why should it? The benefits I’ve seen using it on a consistent basis include better immune function, increased energy, weight control and looking and feeling better. If I’m not preparing a NutriBlast for myself, I’m making something tasty and healthy for my husband or for company. I travel with it whenever possible and I even get asked to bring it with me when I’m an invited guest to someone’s house!

NB-Unit-wFood1

Like so many people, I’ve purchased household gadgets that end up either collecting dust somewhere or on a shelf in a cupboard until I have a garage sale or decide to re-gift. Dare I mention that I have a family member who literally begged me to buy her a NutriBullet because she was suffering from stress and weight-related health issues, and, after 6 months, she hasn’t even taken it out of the box? Yet, she continues to complain about her health! I’m sorry to report that the one thing the NutriBullet cannot do is go shopping and place the ingredients in the extractor cup for you. If you want to try and feel better, there is some effort required on your part. I’m glad that I did make the effort because I’m now reaping the rewards of a healthier lifestyle, which is probably why I always sound like I’m holding pom-poms and standing on the NutriBullet goal line.

In addition to being an amazing product, I believe that the NutriBullet distinguishes itself from others by taking a personal interest in each customers well-being after purchase… really! They truly want their customers to be healthier and provide them with access to new recipes, the latest information on diet and nutrition by health experts, suggestions on how to address specific health issues, and a social networking site, allowing NutriBullet owners to interact and share challenges and successes with o

ne another. Other products that are in the same category do not offer what I feel is this extra special advantage.

I have learned a great deal about nutrition from the NutriBullet social networking site. I now understand how certain foods aid in reducing or eliminating symptoms and even some controllable medical conditions.

So, NutriBullet community, I encourage you to continue your efforts in reaching your health goals and to certainly take advantage of the additional benefits that extend past just the use of your product. It’s right there, available for you to use as a wonderful resource for many of our health-related concerns.

-Shari Pack

Are you looking for ways to purchase fresh produce while staying on a budget? Many of us are looking for a good variety of fruits and veggies without putting a big dent in our paychecks.  Here are a few tips that I’ve learned along the way.

1.    Weekly sales flyers: I used to toss those flyers straight into the trash can, but now I scan the produce section to find any good deals first in my local grocery store.

2.    Produce co-ops: These organizations are becoming more and more popular. Basically, you pre-pay for a “mystery box” of produce and arrange to pick it up at a set location. It can be an inexpensive option, if you don’t mind not knowing what you’re getting until you pick up the box. Consider trying out a small co-op and see if it’s a right fit for you.

3.    Farmers’ Markets:  This is the go-to spot for farmers and it’s a great option for everyone else, too. Note: Some farmers only sell in bulk, so you may want to take along a friend. Farmers usually let your taste the food before buying, which is a great perk, especially when trying new things!

4.    Community Market: A gathering of community-inspired vendors that sell produce, fresh meat, freshly baked bread, and all types of goodies in an urban setting. This is a great option for folks in the city; they can get the farmer’s market experience on a regular basis when something like a farmers’ market isn’t conveniently accessible.

5.    Road-side markets: These small fruit-and-vegetable stands sprout up in the Spring and Summer before harvest time. You can usually find a good deal on the produce because it’s usually ripe and ready to be eaten. These markets are usually found through word-of mouth, so ask around and see what’s in your local area.

6.    Festivals: Some communities sponsor special events where produce vendors are invited to sell their harvest in support of that particular festival (i.e., peach festival, strawberry festival, okra strut, etc.) These events are usually filled with live music, great food, and friendly people.

Today, there are a variety of options for getting produce at a low cost, so you can stretch your dollars a little further.

-Delores McCarter

farmers market