Don’t “Diet” – Eat to Fuel Fitness & Health Goals

Today’s post is sponsored by Smoothie King, but my content and love for their Meal Replacement Smoothies is all my own! Take the challenge as part of a low-calorie diet and daily exercise program.  Weight loss depends on individual needs. 

Smoothie King #ChangeAMeal Challenge Meal Replacement Smoothies -- over 20 options under 400 calories and at least 10g protein.I can’t believe it’s already 2017, the New Year snuck up on me before I had time to formalize my goals and best intentions for the next 12 months. I’m not so much a fan of “resolutions,” per se. Somehow that implies a certain past wrongness and need for fixing! But goals are a good thing, and I like to set them high – that way, when and if I fail, I most likely have achieved above and beyond par. Find out why I don’t diet and how snacks like Smoothie King helps me fuel up for and recover from workouts and fill my nutritional gaps.

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6 Life-Changing Avocado Hacks + $25 Visa Gift Card Giveaway

Getting more avocados in your life is a good thing! Avocados are an excellent source of fiber and protein and pack an array of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants – they are a super star in the world of super foods and are so beneficial in the diet of a runner, stand-up paddle boarder, CrossFitter, mountain climber, yogi, gymnast, obstacle course racer or other active person. Oh, hey, I just described myself!Avocado Pineapple Smoothie

This nutrient-dense fruit regularly stars as guacamole at my house, but also makes a rich and creamy addition to salads, soups, and even baked goods. Plus, have you ever had avocado in a smoothie?  It’s soooooo good!  I’m totally loving the new Veggie Avocado Pineapple Smoothie from Smoothie King, more about that in a second – let me tell you about these Avocado Hacks that will make dealing with the sometimes fragile, fussy and fake-out ripe avocado.

Six Amazing Avocado Hacks That Will Change Your Life.

1) Avocado Dicing for Dummies – Simply cut in half crosswise, remove seed and, key point, leave the skin on! Use a paring knife to make cuts across and down, without piecing the peel. If fairly firm, the avocado will “pop” out of the skin when pushed, or if riper, use a spoon to coax the dices out. This is sooooo much less messy than peeling and then cutting.How to Score Avocado

2) Use Avocados Instead of Butter: Swap out avocados for butter in your baking at a 1:1 ratio, you’ll save lots of calories and get all of the nutritional benefits of avocado. Of course, you can also spread on your toast too – apparently that’s a thang!

3) How to Freeze Guacamole – It’s a rare day that leftover guacamole is left at the bottom of the bowl, but it can happen. More likely, there’s a big sale on avocados and something need to be done with them before over ripening – make a huge batch of guacamole and freeze it! Yes, you can do that – just smash it up with a little lemon juice and freeze in a zip-top plastic bag. When ready to use, just thaw in the fridge! And, the same concept goes for avocado slices – find out How to Freeze Avocadosfreezing guacamole in zip-top bag

4) Prevent Avocado from Oxidizing Overnight – Coating with lemon juice is a popular method, but what if you don’t want that tart-puckery taste to linger around? Simply pour a layer of milk on top of your avocado slices or guacamole and then chill (literally and figuratively)! When ready to get your guac on, simply drain of the milk and stir or mash. Or, you can also set an avocado half cut-side down on a big slice of onion and keep airtight in plastic wrap! These methods will keep your avocado looking pretty good for a day, maybe a little longer.

5) How to Ripen an Avocado in 10 Minutes: Turn a rock hard avocado into creamy, edible goodness by slicing and tossing with lemon juice and baking at 300 F degrees for 10 minutes or until just softening.

6) How to Ripen an Avocado Overnight: If you don’t need to eat your avocado ASAP, then stick it in a brown paper bag with a banana or apple and leave on the countertop. Overnight, the fruit’s ethylene gases will soften your avocado to perfection.

Veggie Blend Smoothies at Smoothie King - thefitfork.comOkay, back to the avocado in smoothies? Have you ever tried it? It sounds weird, but blended beverages are blessed with a super creamy taste. In fact, nearly everything from the produce section is good in a smoothie – when I don’t have time to make my own, I swing by Smoothie King for one of their Veggie Blends – these veggie-packed smoothies are deliciously blended to help fuel my health and wellness goals and I love the fact they are so transparent with their nutrition details, so I can pick and choose which one is going to work the best to optimize my “fuel” needs for the day.

I’m not on a calorie-restricted diet. In fact, as an athlete, I’m often looking for ways to get filled up without scarfing down junk foods. The new Veggie Avocado Pineapple Smoothie has more calories and fat content than the other Veggie Blends (Carrot Kale Dream, Berry Carrot Dream, Apple Kiwi Kale) – but offers a long-lasting, satiating boost of nutrition is what I need to power me through an intense workout without making me feel bloated and filled up with a heavy meal. A 20-oz drink has 6 grams of fiber to fill me up and is naturally hydrating, providing me the electrolytes I need for a sweat session.

In fact, all the Veggie Blends at Smoothie King are hydrating and healthful – some even have a “Make it Skinny” option.  You can check out the nutrition info on all the green smoothies and other menu choices either on the Smoothie King web site or in the store.

Win a $25 Visa Gift Card at TheFitFork.comI’m hosting a $25 Visa Gift Card giveaway so one of you readers can load up on veggie smoothies or whatever your heart desires at Smoothie King or anywhere!

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More Fun, More Flavor – Mixing Up Health and Fitness Goals #changeameal

My only New Year Resolution for 2016 is to work towards my nutrition and fitness goals by doing more of what’s good for me and less of what’s not. How’s that for vague?!  I took a quick stop to Smoothie King this morning to grab a smoothie and swipe in some notes on my phone to flesh it out plans, that’s as formal as I’ll get.

Jennifer Fisher paddle board december 2015In terms of fitness, I’m focusing on activities that are fun for me like obstacle courses, yoga and stand up paddle boarding on the lake, and saying “no” to workouts that feel like punishment or fear/guilt driven.Yes, I am still training to be competitive as a master runner (not hanging my Altras up anytime soon), but have found that looking less at my watch (or not even wearing it) and listening more to my body is what works for me and has kept me injury free.Smoothie King has 20 meal replacement blended beverages to help fuel your health and fitness goals.

In terms of nutrition, I’m also doing more of what’s good for me and less of what’s not. I’m sticking with the higher protein diet that has kept me lean and at my racing weight for years. Even though I eat pretty clean, I’m all about being creative and adding tons of flavor with herbs, spices, produce and whatever I can find — no plain ole chicken breasts here. And I’m going to make a serious effort to kick my diet soda habit, pretty much my only vice. I think we can all agree that flavorful smoothies are such a better choice, filled with vitamins, minerals, fiber and quality protein and carbs to fuel the day.

healthy living inspiration -

I’m a big fan of Smoothie King, to help me meet these health and fitness goals (plus, it’s super yummy). Like me, this smoothie shop look at food as fuel to power a person through the day – and my day is filled with workouts, running and all sorts of kid craziness.  I’ve always been a fan of smoothies, especially those packed with protein. With my higher protein diet, I aim for 20g to 30g of protein, about four times per day.

On busy days, grabbing a healthy blended beverage at Smoothie King is a quick and convenient way to work toward achieving my protein goal and helps me to refuel taxed muscles right after a workout while keeping the “hangries” away until the next meal or healthy snacking opportunity.

Smoothie King Lean 1 Chocolate

I don’t drink smoothies to lose weight*, rather to fuel my fitness goals.  However, Smoothie King makes a wide array of blended beverages that can be used as for meal replacement – abundance of protein and fiber keeps you feeling full longer. Most 20-ounce serving, come in under 400 calories and a minimum of 10 grams of protein and 35 grams of quality carbs (a few specific smoothies vary off these benchmarks).

Smoothie King #ChangeAMeal

Today at Smoothie King I was almost overwhelmed with the huge assortment of meal replacement smoothies included in their healthy #ChangeAMeal promotion. Twenty smoothies are in this creamy, delicious line-up including Gladiator® Chocolate, Gladiator® Strawberry, Gladiator® Vanilla, The Activator® Chocolate, The Activator® Vanilla, Lean1® Chocolate, Lean1® Strawberry, Lean1® Vanilla, Lean1® Tropical, Vegan Dark Chocolate Banana, Vegan Mango Kale, Greek Yogurt Pineapple Mango, Greek Yogurt Strawberry Blueberry, Greek Yogurt Peach Papaya, The Shredder™ Chocolate, The Shredder™ Strawberry, The Shredder™ Vanilla, High Protein Almond Mocha, High Protein Banana and High Protein Chocolate. Here are some of the 20 choices:
smoothie king smoothies

Guess which healthy protein smoothie I picked?  The Lean1® Chocolate made with protein, banana and almonds with no added sugar – the 20-ounce  rich and creamy smoothie had 310 calories with 19g protein. Seriously, it could have been an ice cream shop milkshake, it was that decadent tasting!

Change a Meal Challenge Smoothie King #ChangeAMealENTER TO WIN!  Share your 2016 health and fitness goals, showing how you creatively #changeameal with Smoothie King. The more smoothie selfies or social comments you post with this hashtag (between December 28 – March 31, 2016), the more chances you have to win awesome prizes like Smoothies For A Year, a gift card to Southwest Airlines, a YMCA membership and more

Get started on your own tasty health and fitness journey with a $2.99 smoothie coupon by joining the e-kingdom.  Plus, download the free loyalty app and earn loyalty rewards every time you #changeameal.

*Please Note: *Weight loss is dependent on each individual’s needs and is based on a low-calorie diet combined with an exercise program. Consult your physician before beginning any diet program.*

What are your health and fitness goals? How are you fueling them? What is your favorite flavor smoothie?  Please share in the comments below, XOXO — Jennifer