Shamrock (Protein) Shake

(Repost from last year because this recipe is that good)

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  Do we shorten it to St. Patty’s or St. Paddy’s? I don’t know which so I’ll stick to the full name of this completely invented holiday.
Around this time of year, McDonald’s sells its famous Shamrock Shake. Now, Shamrock Shakes are pretty good! Especially since they’re only available for a short time – it kind of adds to the mystique. But honestly, if I want a shake, I’m going to In-n-Out. And I’ll ask them to leave me a little bit of room at the top of my vanilla shake so I can put a little bit of root beer in it.

But I digress! The Shamrock Shake has cult status in the US (international friends, let me know if you’ve got these in your countries, too). But let’s not waste calories on a mediocre treat, let’s make it a delicious post-workout drink!

Shamrock Protein ShakeHere’s how I made it:

  • I blended two handfuls (handsful?) of spinach in some water with the Nutribullet
  • I added half a cup of cottage cheese and blended again
  • Then I blended in a packet of Vanilla Shakeology and a tablespoon of stevia
  • Finally, I added two teeny tiny drops of peppermint extract, a teaspoon of vanilla extract, and some more water, then – you guessed it – blended that too

Shamrock Protein shake, Shakeology, protein shake recipes

The spinach makes it green without using food coloring. From Previous Experience, I know that you’ve got to be careful with the peppermint extract because it’s powerful stuff! I added in vanilla extract and stevia to make it even sweeter.
I suppose you could use a vanilla whey protein for this shake, but I sell Shakeology so there you go.

Shamrock Protein shake nutrition

this is much healthier than green beer

Do you have any plans for St. Patrick’s Day? Is it St. Paddy’s or St. Patty’s?


Sunday Set Up

I’m shamelessly stealing co-opting this idea from Eat, Run, Repeat.

Here’s her list of Sunday preparations to get ready for the upcoming week, and what I plan to do:

  1. Meal Plan – Since I’m in a hotel, I have to wing this a bit. I’m eating is what’s easy to keep in a tiny hotel room fridge. And I may have other snacks here and there or a meal out occasionally, as long as I’m not eating out I’ll swell and blow up from eating all the sodium in restaurant meals.
    • After workout: Pure Protein shake – the 16-day supply tub is crazy convenient for travel.
    • Breakfast: eggs and cottage cheese at the breakfast buffet
    • Lunch: PB&J and veggies
    • Afternoon snack: protein or nutrition bar (Target had a ton of these on sale so I brought several boxes with me)
    • Dinner: Soup and cheese and crackers
    • Bedtime snack: Shakeology
  2. Workout Plan – I’m really, really trying to get back into running, and I’ve abandoned weightlifting for now since I hurt my shoulder
    • Monday, Wednesday, Friday: P90X3 Pilates (love that workout)
    • Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday: running. I ran 6ish miles today on Paseo de la Reforma and really enjoyed it, so I’ll do it again next week.
    • Every Day: I am also trying to walk at least 15,000 step every day with my FitBit. This should be easy; Mexico City is an extremely walkable city and my office and hotel are in a great location for walking to the Zocalo or the Independence Monument after work. Or both. As long as I get those steps in there.
  3. Grocery shopping – I went to Costco last weekend and got what I needed for ~2 weeks so I’m covered for a while. I’ll probably go back to Costco next weekend and get veggies for one week only, since I don’t really know when the work will be done and I’ll return home.
  4. Chop/Prep – I do this at night. If I chop my veggies all at once, they get slimy and go bad. I make my PB&J at night, too.
  5. Have a great week! This should be pretty easy.

And just so there’s a photo in this post, here’s a shot of the Metropolitan Cathedral that I took yesterday in the afternoon sunshine.

Metropolitan Cathedral, Mexico City

How was your weekend? Do you do anything to prepare for the upcoming week?



Tasty Tuesday – What I Ate Yesterday

Good morning!
My Beachbody coach challenged our accountability group to take pictures of everything we ate on Monday (let me know if you’d like to join our accountability group). I thought this would be a smashing idea for a blog post (my poor neglected blog). So here goes!

For breakfast, I whipped up some black coffee (pumpkin spice!) with some non-fat milk.

black pumpkin spice coffee with non-fat milk
I made an omelet with a cup of liquid egg whites, mushrooms and salsa verde (my omelet-flipping skills need work). I also ate half a cup of plain oatmeal. Sometimes I add frozen berries or pumpkin pie spice to my oatmeal, but I like it just fine plain, too.

Kirkland Egg Whites, mushrooms, quaker oats

For lunch I had vegan Tropical Strawberry Shakeology. My glass doesn’t look like the one on the package because I added a cup of spinach and two giant frozen strawberries.

Shakeology Vegan Tropical Strawberry

This was my afternoon snack: a very sad banana and a piece of Babybel cheese.

afternoon snack, sad banana, babybel cheese

When I got home from the gym, I had a protein shake. I added spinach and frozen strawberries to this, too.

CytoSport 100% Whey Vanilla

For dinner, I had veggies, hummus, and cottage cheese. I love me some Trader Joe’s cottage cheese.

red peppers, cherry tomatoes, hummus, Trader Joe's cottage cheese

Before bed, I had a casein shake. You guessed it – I added frozen strawberries to this, too. Of all the protein shakes I drink, casein is definitely the one that needs stuff to be added to it.

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Casein

Here are my totals for the day:

fitbit, food tracking

Four months of hotel buffets and I need to start counting calories again, so I logged into my Fitbit account. I like the Fitbit food tracker because it works backwards – you determine how much of a deficit you want, and then you eat according to that. This works great for me since I do a lot of exercise – I can add in more food for days when I’m famished. Today I came in way under budget (I’m trying for a deficit of 750 calories each day), but I felt pretty satisfied.

What’s for breakfast?



My Current Skincare Routine

I have a lifetime of experience with difficult skin. I had cystic acne from the age of 8 until I was 24, and now in my 40s I have melasma and occasional breakouts. But in the last couple of months, my skin has never looked better! People actually tell me that I have a nice complexion and are surprised to hear my age. I don’t think they’re blowing smoke up my you-know-what, so my current skincare routine is working a treat. Here’s what I’m using:

1. An old-fashioned Dove Beauty Cream Bar. I use this in the morning to wash my face and at night to wash off my makeup. Dove Beauty Cream Bar

2. Giovanni D:Tox Purifying Facial Cleanser – I use this at night after I’ve washed my makeup off. I reviewed it here.
Giovanni D:Tox Purifying Facial Cleanser

3. Giovanni D:Tox Purifying Facial Scrub – I use this every morning in the shower. It’s not so abrasive that I can’t use it everyday, yet grainy enough to be effective.

Giovanni D:Tox Purifying Facial Scrub

4. Makeup Artist’s Choice Mandelic Acid Toner – This has made a huge difference with my skin tone. The melasma on my cheeks has faded quite a bit. I reviewed it here.
Makeup Artist's Choice Mandelic Acid Toner

5. Lucy Minerals Ambrosia Serum – I still think it’s strange that I put oil on my face when I’m already oily, but heck, it works at keeping the wrinkles at bay.
Lucy Minerals Ambrosia Serum
6. Avon Ideal Flawless CC Color Corrector Cream – I didn’t love it when I first got it, but then I started using it daily. I put this on my face right out of the shower, no moisturizer, no primer, just this. It’s not enough coverage for me on its own, but it’s fantastic as a base for my mineral makeup.
Avon Ideal Flawless CC Color Corrector Cream

7. Shakeology – I have always resisted the idea that what you eat has an effect on your skin (because nothing I ate or didn’t eat made a difference with my cystic acne), but a daily dose of superfoods sure does make my skin look nice. The vegan Tropical Strawberry is my favorite flavor. Shakeology Vegan Tropical Strawberry

What’s your current skincare routine?


Thirsty Thursday – Protein Shakes


Remember when you were in college or grad school and Thirsty Thursday meant keggers on the quad? Yeah, me too. Never in my life did I imagine Thirsty Thursday would be a blog post about protein shakes because I never thought I’d be someone who’d be into fitness, but here we are.

I’ve been in Mexico for two months now. I brought about 10 pounds of protein powder with me, even though I forgot my sun hat and spare contacts. Priorities!

Here’s what I packed:

My Protein Impact Whey Protein Vanilla Raspberry
I reviewed Impact Whey Protein here – it was a nice gift from a PR company to introduce me to the brand. I didn’t realize it when I received it, but this bag in a smaller size is really handy for travelling. I was drinking this in the morning after my workouts, but I ran out after a month.

Optimum Nutrition casein protein powder in Peanut Buter Chocolate
I only started drinking this Optimum Nutrition casein protein powder when I ran out of whey. Casein is slow-releasing so it’s good at night. It’s not bad-tasting, but casein has a gritty texture. When I drink this at home, I usually add some peanut butter to it to smooth it out.

Shakeology Vegan Tropical Strawberry, Chocolate Shakeology, taking Shakeology to the airport
12-hour days in a foreign country with high altitude – I prepared by bringing two bags of Shakeology. I may or may not have had an extra screening while going through security at LAX (the Vegan Tropical Strawberry bag was already opened), but I guess that’s why I get to the airport early.
I’ve been trying not to eat past 7pm, so I was drinking my Shakeology for dinner.  When I ran out of whey protein, I started drinking Shakeology after my morning workout and drinking the casein at night instead. I’m not eating too terribly well here, so I’m glad I have this because I really need the nutrition.
You can buy Shakeology (from me) here.

I also brought my old Hamilton Beach blender with me – it’s not powerful enough to blend in fruit but I do have nice frothy protein shakes.

Do you drink protein shakes? Any recommendations for me?