I know. I just shared my chai-spiked pumpkin milkshake. A glorious thing, you all agreed. A few of you asked for the pumpkin smoothie I make. I am currently enjoying these on vacation, so here it is!

We enjoy these smoothies in the morning.

Basil enjoys the sunshine in the morning.

Basil looking out over Elliot Bay.

He finds his patch of sunshine and will follow it along the balcony all morning…

You know he’s wondering if his smoothie is ready yet

pumpkin smoothie

serves two

vegan, gluten free, dairy free

4-5 handfuls spinach (a VitaMix full!)
2 cups water
3 scoops vanilla protein
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
2 tablespoons sweetener (agave)
ice cubes (optional)

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend; add ice cubes for icy cold smoothie. 

These are easy to make on vacation – you know I travel with my blender. Bring a couple cans of pumpkin with you, and since this road trip was only a few hours drive, I brought my own spinach, too. I always travel with protein powder (I think even if I forget to pack it I have a couple sample packages in my handbag at all times) and pumpkin pie spice is easy enough to pack.


Do you bring food on road trips?



When I was a kid, I got to walk around on Halloween night with The Hulk.

My best friend’s dad was a body builder, and each year he would paint his upper body and face green, and wear a tank top. As far as I recall, he simply wore regular pants, nothing ripped up Hulk-like. He loved walking around with all us kids, and we were obviously safe with The Hulk walking around with us.

I always thought that was pretty neat back then, and looking back now, I appreciate it even more. He was definitely one of my favorite ‘parents of a friend’ – he had the best sense of humor and always cracked me up. I used to go to church with their family, and he would purposely make me laugh by pretending to nod off snoring.

But that’s a story for another day.

Today’s smoothie is a recovery drink a bodybuilder or The Hulk would enjoy – from tart cherries which provide natural anti inflammatory properties to protein and these Ormus Greens – wow. They give me more energy! You all know I like my nutrients and minerals from the real deal – spinach and kale and other fruits and veggies – but these Ormus Greens really boast some great stats and I like to use this after a workout or as a snack. Ormus Greens is where the peppermint comes from, too.

chocolate cherry mint smoothie

a.k.a “The Hulk Smoothie”

serves one

1 1/4 cup water
2 scoops Sunwarrior raw chocolate protein
1 scoop Sunwarrior Ormus Supergreens
1 tablespoon maca
1 tablespoon chia
large handful frozen tart cherries 

All into the blender – Blend! Pour! Enjoy!

The first time I made this, as I was throwing the cherries in I thought “this is not going to taste good” but I was pleasantly surprised. The cherries are more of a tartness than a strong flavor, the chocolate is… well, chocolate, and the mint is a nice strong flavor.

Did you know any parents who would dress up on Halloween?
Did they also goof off in church? ;)

*Last I checked, my pepper jacks were in first place!! If you have not already voted, I would so appreciate if you did! Those who have – thank you Thank You THANK YOU again! 



Happy Monday! I hope everyone is enjoying an extended holiday weekend, I know we are. This morning I am organizing and rearranging my photography room, preparing for the differences in daylight that will soon be upon us. I have a West facing window I will be utilizing for morning shots in addition to the East facing window I currently use. I can’t wait to get in there and move things around, take photos and test the lighting.

As soon as I finish first breakfast – this smoothie.

I like my smoothies ice cold. I don’t like to water down the flavor with ice, preferring to use frozen fruit. Jason wanted a smoothie this morning instead of fresh juice, and this impromptu smoothie was created entirely of what I found in the freezer. Well, with the exception of protein powder.

protein berry smoothie

vegan, gluten free, dairy free

serves two

1/2 cup frozen organic apple juice concentrate
1 cup frozen blackberries
1/2 cup frozen raspberries
1 frozen banana, sliced
1 1/2 cup coconut water
juice of 1 lemon
2 scoops vanilla protein powder 

Combine coconut water, lemon and protein powder in blender. Add juice concentrate, berries and banana, blend on high until smooth.

This smoothie is full flavored, an icy cool blend of tart and sweet. The protein adds the oomph to last through a workout, until second breakfast.

Speaking of photography, this morning I had some help with editing:

Is today a holiday for you? Doing anything fun?



Peanut butter and Chocolate. Always a classic combination, even if the recipe isn’t so classic. or even a recipe, really.

I am still reeling over my amazing weekend, and will recap every detail soon. I’m still on a plant-based high with a goofy grin, and there are some people still in Portland for a few more days so I’m spending time with new friends!

I managed to develop quite the sweet tooth as a result of all the amazing food we enjoyed this weekend. In three days. I crave sweets now, wanting dessert after dinner. Breakfast and lunch too, if I’m being honest.

Today I have the honor of guest posting for my friend Eden – whose blog I love for many reasons – she makes me laugh, inspires me to think, and instigates many fun comment conversations. So when she asked me to guest post, I put my thinking laptop on to come up with something fun.

This satisfies that sweet tooth.

The breakfast one.

The theme is “not on my blog” – visit Eden to see what I have to say.

What is your favorite chocolate peanut butter combination?



As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemakers program, I recently received a large box of California Avocados. I know. I was excited.

I eat a lot of avocados, so to focus on them and come up with dishes to include them in was fun. You know, instead of standing at the kitchen sink with a knife, eating the avocado slice by slice.

We enjoyed avocado smoothies. Quick and easy –  Chocolate Sunwarrior, avocado, ice cold coconut water, blend. Yum.

I made my Thai sweet potato wrap into an avocado quinoa bowl. Cool avocado with the warm Thai spices – a perfect pairing.

A sanswich with avocado sauce. I love these. Cool, refreshing summertime snack. Avocado sauce is versatile and tasty.

Then there is this sauce.

Another “recipe” or assembly I use avocado with is my standard quinoa bowl with the amazing garlic lemon sauce. <– eek, a very um… vintage post. The sauce is that good I had to share, and it’s good to see the change in my photography.

My bowl: quinoa, black beans, about 3/4 avocado, two chopped roma tomatoes, generous amount of garlic lemon sauce. I will never get tired of this – great flavors, filling, fast!

Jason’s bowl is the vegetarian version of mine, topped with Greek yogurt and cheddar. Generous pour of sriracha!

Big Thanks to the California Avocado Commission – these avocados were beautiful, and absolutely a great perk of the Foodbuzz Tastemakers program.

Do you like avocados? What is your favorite way to enjoy them?



Yep. I sure did. and it was good.

I had some of the freshest, sweetest peaches the other day. So sweet I thought adding some spicy to them would be a good thing. This recipe couldn’t be easier, and you could take it in a couple directions – add protein powder for some staying power, or add some vodka for a refreshing summer cocktail.

I’ll be out in the pool when you finish making the second one, okay?

jalapeno peach smoothie

2 fresh peaches, pitted
2 green apples
2 jalapenos

Juice both apples and one jalapeno. Slice peaches and remaining jalapeno (remove seeds) and add to blender. Pour apple / jalapeno juice into blender and blend.

This was exactly as I imagined and hoped it would be. Sweet, tart, with a slight spicy kick. I can absolutely see a big icy pitcher full of this tasty goodness at our next pool party. A second pitcher for mine the spiked version.



I am not complaining at all, but it has been unseasonably cool here in Portland. I’ve been wearing my long sleeves on our morning walks, and the pool is just sitting there, ready to be jumped into. After a week of cold weather and even rain, summer is returning! We are going to a wedding this evening and over the weekend are planning to grill and maybe even have that pool party.

This morning’s smoothie includes a fruit that for me, just screams summertime – cantaloupe. I am almost always transported to my grandparents house, hot summer days of playing outside, watching Grandpa Z fill the hummingbird feeders, eating frozen grapes and wedge after wedge of cantaloupe to cool off. 

Can I go back there just for one day?

Today’s is a very simple recipe – three ingredients – and it is quick to put together.

cinnamon cantaloupe smoothie

serves two, or me

1 banana
1/2 cantaloupe, chopped
1 tablespoon cinnamon 

Blend at high speed and enjoy. Preferably on the deck in the sun with your favorite dogson dachshund.

Which, in Grandpa Z’s case, would be Hansel, the dachshund I grew up with.

Grandpa & Grandma Z, this is for you.

It is also being shared with Wellness Weekend – go check out some fantastic recipes!



It’s summertime, and my Tuesday nights have a new activity. After my weekly #fitblog chat, a small group of us go on a #fitblog walk.

I heard about this last week, and was invited by my dear friend Kris to join in this time, and she, Deb, Jules, Mo, Foodie McBody and now Basil and I keep up the momentum of fitblog and we go for a walk afterwards!

Now I can take you all along, too – here we go!

Hmm, which way?

Started out through our side yard…

Basil, following the wise words of my favorite Grandpa Z, stopped to smell the flowers…

Over the bridge,

and I stopped to smell the flowers, too.

We walked the perimeter of the golf club on the other side of our property – it was a beautiful summer night.

When we came home it was time for Dinner Number Two.

blueberry protein shake

serves two

3-4 large handfuls fresh blueberries
2 scoops protein powder (Vega vanilla chai)
1 1/2 cups almond milk
ice cubes

Blend! Smile at the flavor trend you seem to be on, and enjoy!

Do you use protein powder? What is your favorite brand?