5 Reasons to Own a Vitamix (or just a really rockin’ blender)

There are a few kitchen appliances and utensils that had gone completely undervalued early on in my life, and the blender was one of them.  Maybe it’s because I didn’t have a huge need for blending things, or maybe it’s because I didn’t know what a VitaMix was until my mid-twenties, but let me assure you, I value it now.

vitamix blends

Here are a few reasons why you should buy yourself a VitaMix for valentines day, or just rekindle your relationship with your neglected blender.

1. Juicing (fruits + vegetables) and blending shakes is super simple, and the blades crush the ice like nobody’s business.

2. You can grind your own grains, beans + nuts to create your own reserves of gluten-free flours (you might want to look into getting the dry blending blades if you want to do this on the regular).

3. Green smoothies + shakes with healthy protein powders are incredibly quick and easy breakfast and snack options.

4. Waste less food and/or have a solution for the days when you realize you don’t have enough of anything to make a normal meal (see below for my 3pm kitchen scrap-fest).

5. Shenanigans: If you decide that you hate having energy, that all of my blending options are rubbish, and you dislike putting vitamins and minerals in your body, you can just make margaritas.  It’s a worthy cause, and you can always come back to your senses the next day…or the day after.

protein blend

This week I’ve been doing some blending, some tweeting about blending, and then more blending.  This afternoon at about 3pm my energy started to fade and the afternoon hunger games kicked in.  I hadn’t had very substantial breakfast or lunch options since I taught and took Pure Barre this morning, so I was ready for something with a little more nutritional content.

When I get midday hungry and have a little time, I usually get these grand ideas of the culinary masterpiece that I am going to create, but the reality of my steadily decreasing enthusiasm and the lack of food stores in the fridge quickly changed the plan.  New plan: a shake.

Step 1: Ice + Fruit.  I put in a cup of ice, one banana (I usually like these to be frozen, but I haven’t gotten to that phase of my kitchen organization this week), and the last little handfuls of fresh blueberries and blackberries.

this isn't disney, and there are no hidden messages.
relax: this isn’t disney, and there are no hidden messages.

Step 2: Greens! I added in the last of a bag of spinach that was sitting lonely in the produce drawer.  For the non-believers on the leafy green front, you will not taste spinach once you hit blend.

leafy greens will make you hot. I promise, so eat them.
leafy greens will make you hot. I promise, so eat them.

Step 3: Protein Powder! I had not (past tense) found a protein powder that I liked, which is largely why I believe I had an estranged relationship with my blending appliances, but after 28 years of disappointment and rejecting the overly hyped and chemical laden powders of yore, I have found a winner.

fuel sweat grow protein powder SFH
stronger faster healtheir (.com) all natural, grass fed, real protein.

Dar had told me about this brand last summer, and early in the fall during a visit in to get my butt kicked at Fight Gone Mad HQ in Charlotte I saw that they were selling it.  Enter: the stronger, faster, healthier proteins into my life.  Dar and I both use the Daily Balance Whey Protein powder (vanilla), and for having such different tastes and protein needs it continuously amazes me that we both like it, but I digress.

Step 4: re-fuel.

fuel sweat grow protein shake
see, it’s purple. not green.
yes. I use big green straws. and I recommend the same to you. it's a game changer.
yes. I use big green straws. and I recommend the same to you. it’s a game changer.

And that’s the story of my midday shake, and why the VitaMix is a stellar valentine, if you keep your wits about you and don’t get too grabby with the blades.

I’ve been tweeting a bit this week about blending, the SFH proteins, and the endless combos therein.  Here are a few flavor combos that were developed and personally tested by the Fight Gone MAD co-owner/founder + MAD Scientist Himself.  And you better believe after going through the Franchising process (and BEING APPROVED this week), with a newborn at home, this kid understands energy needs.

Here are some of his MAD blends this week:

MAD tweets #vitamix MAD tweets #vitamix MAD tweets #vitamix

Cliffs Notes:

Buy a VitaMix (or blender), put things in it that have grown in/out of the ground, add protein if you so desire, but know what you’re putting into your body.

Sunday Meals + the Leftover Meal Plan

One of my main goals each weekend is to make enough good, real, food to have leftovers in the fridge for the next week’s on-the-go meals. Since I had done some prep chopping and cooking on Saturday, it made for a much faster cook time on Sunday.

I still had one of the flank steaks left over from my Whole Foods trip, so it went directly on to the grill.  And per usual, it came out to perfection.

flank steak

WFM flank steak grilled - fuel sweat grow

Steak is one of my favorite leftovers to add to all meals, and  with these big cuts there are always leftovers.  My other absolute favorite carb filler and gluten-free side is tiny (or fingerling) potatoes.

fingerling potatoes

Sometimes I’ll broil/roast them, but on Sunday I sautéd them in coconut oil and dusted them with my favorite sea salt and rosemary seasoning from Feast.

tiny potatoes in pan roasting

I set the dial to a mid-level so they soften and brown in the coconut oil, just stirring occasionally.  The rosemary + sea salt combination adds a great flavor to the potatoes, and makes them an even more valued leftover to add to salads, eggs, or even vegetable sautés.

tiny potato sauté

Since no meal is complete in this house without avocado, the second side was made up of tomato, cucumber, avocado, with fresh mozzerella added to the ‘dairy-allowed’ side of the plate.

tomato mozz salad

Salt, basalmic vinegar and light olive oil finished the salad off.

tomato mozz salad

The main dish was a combination of what was left in the produce drawer (and not a repeat from yesterday’s zucchini/mushroom/spinach pasta), so broccoli made an appearance.

food blog - broccoli

I threw the broccoli, some more mushrooms, and steak tips into the wok, and once it was all tender and cooked, tossed it together with some brown rice spaghetti.

steak broccoli mushroom pasta

A pretty large meal for a sunday night, but as planned, the leftovers filled several separate and portioned tupperware containers for early in the week grab-and-go midday fuel.  Monday through Wednesday are my most chaotic days of the week, and with early starts at Dar’s Bootcamp M-W-F followed by morning classes at Pure Barre, by 11am these leftovers save me.

complete meal - fuel sweat grow

The first round of the meal was also an awesome way to finish off the weekend. I thought my eyes had far exceeded my stomach when I sat down, but after a busy day that included teaching and taking Pure Barre, I needed to replenish my energy.  And I did just that.

This week I’m also playing with the VitaMix, and the Daily Balance whey protein powder from Stronger Faster Healther that Dar picked up from the guys at Fight Gone Mad a few Charlotte trips ago, so stay tuned for different ingredient combos and reviews to come for great breakfast and midday quick fuel options. Spoiler alert: they’re all pretty tasty.