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Pumpkin Spice Latte Protein Smoothie

As August makes it’s slow start I can feel the air shifting, waking Fall.  I love Autumn, it’s my favorite season, from pumpkins to Halloween candy everything about Fall pulls on my heartstrings.  I know there are people thinking “please calm down, it’s only August,” but I know Fall is coming.  And with Fall comes everyone’s favorite: the PSL(Pumpkin Spice Latte for all my non-basic bitches).

I was a lover of pumpkin long before the Starbucks and Paneras of the world decided to make their delicious fall beverage.  I have an honest confession: I’ve never had a PSL from Starbucks.  Trust me,  I’m a coffee lover, but I can count on a single hand all the times I’ve actually been to a Starbucks.  They’re just not my cup of tea…or coffee.  I’m not here to tell you all the reasons I don’t like Starbucks but I am here to share with you my new delicious recipe.

I’ve started going to the gym in effort to reach a better me, one I can be happy with.  I’m always searching for easier meal options, because let’s face it, I can’t go back to getting breakfast sandwiches every day.  As much as I love a breakfast sandwich, I want those to be a once in a while treat.  Breakfast for me has to be easy, convenient, and as the latter part of the name suggests: fast.

I took a Friday off since I worked on my birthday(August 2nd).  I wanted a little me time and just a break.  I figured my morning off was the best way to get up and get going.  Even though sleeping in sounded nice, I have this thing where if I stay in bed past like 7:30am I feel like I’m wasting my day.  I was all ready to take Willie for a walk, and then I looked outside:

It was not an inviting sky, not in the least bit.  And I’m glad that I decided to wait a little bit before going out because sure enough right after this picture the sky opened up and started down-pouring.

It has been raining on and off and thunder storming most of the night, so I wasn’t surprised.  It continued to storm most of the day, Willie never got his walk.  Every time I thought it was going to clear up it would start storming again.  It just wasn’t in the cards to be outside at all that day.  What better way to spend a rainy morning than creating a new breakfast drink?  The cool air had me feeling all the fall vibes and I had some pumpkin I just knew I wanted to incorporate into a protein smoothie.  I also hadn’t had any coffee yet, so espresso was a must.

I recently bought some Garden of Life Raw Organic Meal.  Even though I’m not vegan, I was looking for a plant based protein. I’ve linked to Vitacost but I actually bought mine from a local GNC.  We have a health insurance card that we get a little money each year to spend on health related things, this year it was some stuff at GNC and a new FitBit, happy birthday to meeee.

Excuse the coloring in these photos, I just could not get things looking great.  They sky was so dark so I had very little natural light.  And honestly it’s been a long while since I’ve done any photo editing, as I’m sure it shows.  This smoothie has got it all though, protein, sweetness of a banana, deliciousness of pumpkin, ice and almond milk.  The best ingredient of all, let’s not forget: espresso.

We bought a little espresso machine a few months back. It cost around $100 and trust me, it was the best $100 ever spent.  It’s so convenitent and as a former barista I just love making my own lattes.  There’s a milk frother and everything.  There’s plenty of days where we still stop for iced coffees on the way to work, but this little machine in my best friend on the weekends and days off.  Looking no further than my own kitchen for a delicious coffee is lovely.

Every great smoothie starts with some ice. All the friction of blending things, and the hot espresso will heat things us, so I wanted to keep this smoothie cool and refreshing.

My flash went off making the pumpkin look EXTRA orange.  I cheated and used canned pumpkin, because it’s still too early for pumpkins.  Last fall I did make my own puree and used it in some overnight oats and a pasta dish, I plan on doing that when pumpkins are in seasons again.

Although the color doesn’t seem so very appetizing, it was super delicious.  It wasn’t as sweet as I was thinking it would be, which could easily be cured by adding some Agave but I wanted to keep the calories down, and I’m trying to retrain my taste buds.  If you’re looking to revamp your morning protein smoothie, I highly suggest trying this!

 

 

Pumpkin Spice Latte Protein Smoothie

Ingredients:

5-6 Ice Cubes

1 Medium Banana

1/2 cup Pumpkin Puree

1 Scoop Vanilla Protein Powder(I used Garden of Life Raw Meal)

1 Cup (8 oz) of Unsweetened AlmondMilk (you can use sweetened, or vanilla if it’s what you have)

Espresso

Pinch of Pumpkin Pie spices (cinnamon, ginger, all spice, cloves and nutmeg)

Instructions:

I added everything to the blender in this order: ice, banana, almondmilk, protein powder, pumpkin puree, spices and then espresso.  Blend on high.  Transfer to your favorite cup, sip and enjoy!

Snack Flag Reborn

2017 has got to be better than 2016, and I have to be better too. It’s been coming up in conversation quite frequently lately that I majored in English-Creative Writing in college. Strangely people seem excited to hear that and curious what kind of writing I’m doing now. Years of being made to feel foolish for going to school for writing have left me barely writing anything creatively. Unless you count trying to poetically formulate a referral I’m writing at work….

I became kind of bitter about writing after school ended, I never felt pushed hard enough or encouraged during my undergrad. The student loans hanging over my head like a dark black cloud of doom made me settle for the first job I could get and there was zero writing involved. I was reduced to asking “Chips, Bread or Apple for your side?”  At 22 I wasn’t rushing home from work to get some writing done, I was rushing home to change and get to my second job, slinging coffee at a local coffee shop.  After my second shift was over I was usually headed home to get just enough sleep to do it all again the next day, or indulging in $1 PBR night and trivia or Sunday Buckets of beer at the local watering hole.

For four years there wasn’t much time or energy to write.  It was easier to make excuses than spend any energy putting words to paper. I kept playing music though, I never gave up on that for creative release.  I even found a few people to play with me, adding a few sharks to Baby Shark.  It never felt like a job playing shows and we even made a few bucks(like maybe $27) here and there and there were plenty of free drinks.  Once I knew my way around Rochester I was quite the social butterfly, so in-between working a lot and going out I wasn’t really home much to dedicate my time to writing.

In 2013 I moved to the Buffalo area.  According to a post I had moved from the 4th worst city to the 3rd worst city(the original article has been updated but Buffalo still makes the cut).  I didn’t know anyone here except my boyfriend(who I was living with) and my mom’s cousin and his family(thankfully my 2nd cousins were both around my age and they’re a riot to hang out with).  I went from having a pretty vibrant social life in Rochester, to not much of a social life at all, but I still wasn’t writing.  My excuse being that I started at a computer screen all day doing data entry for a customs broker and I didn’t want to come home and stare at a screen again.  Staring at the TV screen and watching Netflix was just fine though…

As a larger lady, I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with foods, and let’s be honest it was always more love.  In an effort to consume less and consume better I found myself often recipe searching and getting a little innovative with different things.  “I could share this with people….” I thought to myself.  I know there are tons of people out there just like me with weight issues, body image issues but who also just love good eats, I’m working on finding the balance.

So begins my journey. My friend and I just signed up for gym memberships and are holding each other accountable.  So far so good, except for a twisted ankle right before leaving for the gym(damn you laundry and stairs!) and an “It’s my birthday and I’m sad” excuse, we’ve been making it to all out planned workouts.  We’ve even attended a few classes, and I have a confession: I LOVE ZUMBA.  Have you ever tried it? It’s amazing.  So, follow along and share in my journey.