Routine Smoutine ~ Happy Summer!

    So here I am on a Friday after work at my computer. I've mixed up a delicious blender drink (yes, using the Master of Mixes Strawberry) and am writing this blog. Definitely not something that would happen in the middle of February but we are in the middle of a heat wave here East Coast and this feels right ~ but definitely not routine! So in summer is it then that we abandon all 'good for you' routines and say, "Routine smoutine, screw it!"
      This is definitely the way things can go. Summer is the time for more entertaining, vacations, staycations, picnics, barbecues, weddings... anything but the routine. So the exercise routines, grocery shop 'typical' list, weekend routines can be thrown right out the window without a second thought. You can then hear yourself in September say "it was summer & I was so busy, how could I possibly have gained five pounds? Shouldn't I have lost weight?" Well, anything is possible especially if your routine goes to smithereens. So maybe you take a different approach for a few months; mix it up & still have continued success.
     Maybe it's the extra foods you eat or maybe exercising in 100 degree heat index temps isn't your thing & you just skip a few days. Where exercise is concerned, getting off the routine even for a day can derail the best of us. Some ways to circumvent the obstacles is to view from a different perspective: First approach can be to embrace the 80/20 rule mindfully and with the week as a whole. Say, "I will stay on track with my healthy eating options, watching my liquid calorie intake 80% of the week and then feel guilt free the remaining 20% of the week that may include a barbecue or a visit to the beach... you get my drift. You can't all of a sudden come upon Saturday and go, "Dagnabit, I wish I behaved after dinner this week, oh well..." Another option is to behave as best as possible and consider the 1000 calorie a day option for 2 days of the week (referred to as calorie cycling - see link below). If you stick to your exercise/eating routines for 3 of your days and eating approx. 1000 calories for two, that leaves you the freedom to enjoy your weekend away with no worries. Studies are showing that these 2 calorie restricting days can get you out of a dieting plateau & rev your metabolism. With the abundance of fresh summer veggies and some lean proteins you can still fill up while eliminating calories. The key in any scenario is to treat the week as a whole and think ahead considering all your plans.
    Good luck with your new approach to your routines, have fun, enjoy and see you in September with no remorse!

Summer Cocktails Made Easy

   Absolutely nothing makes your summer party, picnic or vacation more delicious than a blender drink or fruity cocktail. I don't often crave a frozen cocktail in the colder months so it is time to take advantage of these hot temps and blend myself (and friends) a treat.
   Sure you can only use individual ingredients or you could make it easy on yourself. I am a huge fan of the Master of Mixes brand of mixers. 

These are alcohol free so you have versatility in the alcohol or virgin drink you blend (and yes, it is cheaper than the premixed with alcohol brands). You can usually get a large 33-oz. bottle for about $3.50. Okay, they are loaded with sugar calories but for the handful you have over these few months, it's so worth it because they are delicious. (And yes, there are Lite lower calorie choices too). I am a big fan of all the flavors really: pina colada, margarita, mango, strawberry, sweet 'n sour and the newest flavor peach. The line also includes the extras like grenadine, simple syrup & triple sec that you may use in many cocktail recipes. (There are also LARGE buckets you add alcohol, stir & freeze ahead of time.) Each bottle has recipes printed right on them or you can use your imagination. You can just mix with your liquor of choice and add a slash of seltzer at the end for some fizz and fewer calories. One of my favorites is mixing the sweet 'n sour with a bourbon whiskey and then adding a splash of grenadine at the end. The red grenadine will sink to the bottom of the glass (until stirred) and makes a very easy, delicious, pretty cocktail. Add garnish of choice like lemon, orange, mint, maraschino cherries. Follow the recipe suggestions on the label for blender drinks made with lots of ice. I like to mix the pina colada with the mango for a change up. Throw banana, strawberries, watermelon, peaches into the blender too for a healthy (ier) recipe. With so many flavors, the sky's the limit!
   No one wants to spend oodles of time this summer mixing up cocktails for your crowd, so make it easy and delicious with mixers. Happy Fourth of July & Cheers!