Smoothie Bowls

Here in Southern California (and on Instagram) smoothie bowls have been trendy for quite awhile, see here and here. Personally, I find myself more and more sugar sensitive as I get older; and the first time I tried a smoothie bowl I needed a two hour afternoon nap after the sugar crash! 

Since I am on the road so often, and have little control over my schedule and meals, I try to focus my energy on eating foods that are nutrient dense and ultimately won't spike my blood sugar. Insulin peaks have been linked with chronic inflammation in the body and chronic disease.

With that in mind, I came up with some simple smoothie bowl recipes that have some protein, and an even mix of carbs and fat, to help keep blood sugar and energy levels steady! The awesome thing about making your own smoothie bowls is that you can also use frozen fruit if you don't have fresh options available, or would like to make a more cost-effective smoothie. You can also customize your bowls with a variety of toppings; I chose not to use granola here since it can have upwards of 20 g of sugar per 1/4 cup! See recipes and nutrition info below for the bowls pictured.


Tropical Mango-Papaya Smoothie Bowl, (pictured above):


1 cup Silk unsweetened cashew milk

1 scoop Quest vanilla milkshake protein
1/4 cup fresh papaya
1/4 fresh mango
2-3 large handfuls ice

Top with:

1 tablespoon sliced almonds

1/4 cup unsweetened cocounut
1 tablespoon chia seeds

Nutrition (approximate):

Calories: 449

Fat: 23 g
Carb: 36 g
Protein: 30.5 g

Chocolate-Hazelnut Smoothie Bowl (pictured above):


1 cup Silk unsweetened cashew milk

1 scoop Quest Vanilla Milkshake protein
2-3 large handfuls ice

Top with:

1/2 cup fresh strawberries

1 tbsp chopped hazelnuts
1 tbsp chia seeds


Calories: 282

Fat: 12 g
Carb: 17 g
Protein: 28 g


The White Mountains, AZ

I spent the last two weeks in the White Mountains, in northeastern Arizona, for work. Beyond the fact that the little towns sprinkled in the foothills sit at about 7,000 ft elevation, it felt like being back home in the Midwest for a time. The area northeast of Phoenix seems like a refuge for those looking to escape the heat in Arizona, and take the time to hike, fish, camp, kayak, hunt, or simply enjoy whatever your outdoor activity of choice may be.I didn't pick up a pair of custom cowboy boots while I was there (though I was definitely tempted). I jotted down a list of my travel musts, and how to best enable yourself to keep working out while on vacation/traveling for work/etc.

1) Book a hotel with a workout room.

This is huge to staying on track, many hotels that don't have an on-site workout facility will offer guest passes or discounted memberships to local gyms. Find out ahead of time, many hotels even list the equipment of their workout room (maybe even with pictures) on their webpage.

2) Bring your workout gear.

Whether it's just your running shoes and gym clothes, make sure you have everything you need. If you need music to stay motivated, make sure to bring headphones and a band for your phone/ipod. I like to bring a resistance band and sometimes my TRX suspension system with me. I also have a daily burn subscription, which is completely worth the $12 a month, considering how much I am on the road.If you ever watch Hulu, you may have seen their commercials. I highly recommend it for workouts on the go.

3) Something is always better than nothing.

Even if you only have time to take a 15 minute walk, or run 10 minute of interval sprints on the hotel treadmill, something is always better than nothing. Schedule the time for yourself, and try not to skip more than 2 consecutive days in a row, after which motivation and drive can weaken.

4) Be kind to yourself.

Traveling means not having access to the foods/regular meals times you may be used to. Focus on getting the macronutrients you need (protein/healthy fats/complex carbohydrates) and allow yourself some kindness. Slip ups are easy to fall into, and your favorite brand of protein bar might not be available at the corner convenience store. Do your best given the circumstances, focus on your overall goals, and realize that one indulgent meal cannot completely derail your progress unless you let it.

5) Drink plenty of water.

This goes hand and hand with nutrition on the road, but make sure you drink enough water and avoid dehydration to maximize energy levels. For men, the recommended daily intake is about 120 ounces, and for women about 95 ounces is recommended.

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