ChocoBananaNut Smoothie Recipe

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My friend from way-back-when, Jennifer Menzer, is in incredible shape. So much so, that it begs the question: “Girl, what do you eat?” As a Nutrition, Fitness, and Lifestyle Coach for Boston Health Coaches, in Boston, Massachusetts, there is no question that she is in peak form, in part, through exercise; however, it is Boston Health Coaches lifestyle approach that got my attention. They advertise the belief that “food, health, and life should be savored.”  How opposite to what we normally think about diet. Their approach is not about deprivation, but about making the right choices instead. Brilliant.

So back to the question about what she eats. This foodie wanted to know. She gave us this wonderful recipe for the ChocoBananaNut Smoothie. Visit her website at to learn more information and connect with Jennifer and her counterparts at Boston Health Coaches.

Makes 1 serving

1 frozen banana (freeze it with the peel off!)

1 tsp peanut or almond butter

1 tsp cocoa powder

1 tsp chia seeds

small handful kale

Cover with a bit of Almond Milk, blend, and enjoy cold.

As an aside, I served it to my kids, and they had no idea that they were drinking veggies. Bottoms up!

This is not not food…

bar article

I am not a breakfast person.  In the morning, time is at a premium. Kids are awoken, dogs are fed, lunches packed. The thought of sitting down to eat rarely crosses my mind.  For a while, I picked up breakfast on the way to work, but the options were so carb-y.  Roll and butter? Bagel? (I live in New York, that’s how we do.)  Even if I would indulge in such a bready breakfast, I would find myself hungry about an hour later.

Enter the protein bar. They come in all flavors and even resemble more of a food item than something an astronaut would eat.   Most days, I throw one in my purse and eat one on the way to work or at my desk.  But caveat emptor,  these little treats can vary vastly in nutritional content. There are bars packed with up to 20 grams of protein. These will keep you full but may be tough on the tummy.  Some are very sugary.  It’s important to read labels.  The following are some of my favorites:

Cliff Bars: These have a chewy cookie-like consistency, and the Chocolate Chip and Oatmeal Raisin flavors will have you swearing you are devouring a cookie for brekkie. They are packed with vitamins. Try Chocolate Brownie, too. They are high in fiber (20%DV) and packed with vitamins. 240 calories

thinkThin: This is the one packed with protein (20g) but it also has 0g sugar.  The Chunky Peanut Butter flavor resembles a peanut butter cup, and it’s coated in chocolate.  It’s also got some calcium (10%DV). 240 calories

Balance bar Gold: The Chocolate Mint Cookie Crunch bar tastes like a girl scout cookie (Thin Mint) and has 14g protein.  Additionally, it’s packed with vitamins and antioxidants.  200 calories

What healthy items do you enjoy for breakfast?

Half-Hour to Health

What if half an hour of exercise a few times per week could reduce your blood pressure and risk of stroke, calm anxiety, lift your mood, keep you within optimal weight range…? In short, save your life. Would you commit?

Our newest topic here, Fitness, is geared toward you, Mom. We know you can’t spend hours at the gym. Maybe you can and you don’t want to. That’s understandable.

Committing to short half hour sessions will make exercise more palatable.

To this end, we will be publishing exercise routines designed to fit in within a half hour by our associate, Fitness Beth.  Be on the lookout for those in the coming weeks.

Not as self-directed? Find a gym with classes that fits your needs.

Crunch Fitness has started a new trend, recognizing the needs of busy women on the go.  Make your health a priority. Whether you love kickboxing, fat-blasting Pilates, or a “Beach Body Boot Camp” that combines aerobics with light (think 5 lbs or under) weights, there’s a class just for you. The instructors offer modifications to suit all skill levels. You don’t have to be a professional athlete or dancer to take these classes. Only a half hour will leave you feeling inspired, excited, and proud that you invested 30 minutes in your health and well being. You owe it to yourself.