It’s been almost a year since I’ve last written, and many things have changed since my last post (details to come in my next post).  I’ve fallen off the “clean” bandwagon, but I’m hoping back on – in fact, I’m the conductor of the bandwagon.  More to come… 

I once read that it’s nearly impossible to gain weight if, along with maintaining an active lifestyle, you consume a smoothie for breakfast and a salad for lunch…even if you eat whatever you want for dinner.  (Pizza, anyone?!).  This idea has stayed with me, and I’ve recently tried to incorporate the smoothie-for-breakfast rule with a twist, substituting a protein shake instead.  But not just any shake – THE shake.  It’s chocolately.  It’s nutritious.  It’s vegan.  And it’s breakfast in less than 5 minutes.  Score. 

I discovered the inspiration for this particular shake at Protein Bar – my favorite healthy, fast-fresh eatery near work.  I go there at least once a week to get the Wrigley Peeled shake, filled with fresh banana, almond milk and chocolate whey protein.  It’s addicting.   

Naturally, this led me to see if I could create something similar on my own, and the result was pretty darn good, if I do say so myself.  Great after a workout to help re-build muscles and will keep you feeling satisfied for hours.   Recipe and photos below.

Ingredients:

– 1 banana
– 1 cup almond milk
– 4 tbsp. chocolate flavored protein powder
– 2 tbsp. almond butter (all natural and more nutritious than your everyday peanut butter)
– 1 tbsp. agave nectar (a natural sweetener that can be used in place of sugar or honey)
– 1 tbsp. flax oil (healthy fat)
– 2 ice cubes

Simply combine all ingredients in your blender and mix to desired consistency (I like it with a little froth). 

And…

Voila. Breakfast is served.

Jogged along the lake with my fiance this morning.  It was a perfect start to the day. 

We like heading north – less crowded than going south past North Avenue Beach and more shade for a hot day like this one.  Luckily, my iPhone doubles as a camera / iPod (thank you, Steve Jobs), so I was able to capture some pretty shots along the way.

Flowers make me happy.

Loved this cool tree!

And my favorite – check out this view from Foster Avenue Beach.  Complete with a lighthouse. 

Enjoy your Sunday!

Loving that summer has officially hit Chicago!  In honor of the start of this sunny season, I’ve decided to take on a new project:  blogging.  More specifically, chronicling the ways I’m attempting to cleanse – mind, body and soul.  

I’ve cleansed several times before – everything from a lemonade diet to going vegan.  All quick fixes, but I now find myself focused on more of a lifestyle cleanse – getting healthy from the inside out.  Look for nutritional recipes, holistic inspiration and more.  With the once-in-a-while chocolate splurge. 

Hope you join me on my journey!

She’s a beauty