Nutty Chocolate Smoothie recipe

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Puritan’s Pride through my Sweat Pink/Fit Approach Ambassadorship. All opinions expressed are my own. FDA Disclaimer: *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

As a blogger who focuses a lot on healthy living, I get the chance to try a lot of new supplements and products. The nice people at Puritan’s Pride sent me a box of new supplements, protein powders, and other nutritional goodies to try. They’re also giving away a prize pack to one of you! :)

There’s a certain nutty chocolate spread that we really enjoy in our house. My son loves it on a sandwich in his lunch or smeared on a warm crepe for a little treat. So good!  I wanted to see if I could recreate something like it in a protein packed smoothie that I could use in my Dopey Challenge training. So here’s what I came up with:

Nutty Chocolate Smoothie recipe - #proteinpowder #chocolate #smoothie #healthy #recipe


Nutty Chocolate Smoothie
Creamy and rich chocolate smoothie packed with protein
Write a review
  1. 1 cup of 2% milk
  2. 1 scoop chocolate protein powder (I used Puritan's Pride All Natural Vegan Protein in Chocolate)
  3. 1 tbsp almond butter (I used Barney Almond Butter)
  4. 1 cup ice
  1. Blend thoroughly and enjoy!
  1. I like the creaminess from the 2% milk but you can use any type of milk you like best
Healthy Disney Family

And a Giveaway!

Puritan’s Pride is generously offering one of you awesome readers a prize pack featuring the following FOUR products:

Puritan’s Pride All Natural All Natural Vegan Protein Chocolate with Quinoa and Oats

Puritan’s Pride All Natural All Natural Vegan Protein Chocolate with Quinoa and Oats

Puritan’s Pride All Natural All Natural Vegan Protein Chocolate with Quinoa and Oats – Made from Quinoa and Oats, this delicious chocolate flavored drink is dairy free and soy free, making it an ideal choice for those looking for a vegan protein option that is nutrient dense.
Each serving of this delicious protein powder delivers 17 grams of protein and 3 grams of dietary fiber to help fuel your body, aid in post workout recovery and help satisfy hunger.

Super Greens Powder

Super Greens Powder

Food Science of Vermont Superior Greens (023299): Superior Greens™ is a combination of nutrient rich vegetables, fruits, herbs, herbal extracts, Chlorella, Soy Lecithin, Royal jelly, Bee Pollen, enzymes and non-dairy probiotic cultures designed to support your body’s ability to cleanse.*

Puritan's Pride Giveaway -

Now Foods Carob Powder

Now Foods Carob Powder (056578): NOW Real Food® Carob Powder is a flavorful and versatile substitute for chocolate. Use in place of cocoa powder in your favorite recipes for delicious natural chocolate flavor without the fat, caffeine or theobromine found in chocolate.

Puritan's Pride Giveaway -

Barney Butter Bare Almond Butter Smooth (056913): Barney Butter is peanut free and made in an almond only facility! It contains no added salt or sugar with a traditional smooth and creamy texture.

Enter through the Rafflecopter below and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have a great weekend, friends!

– Denise

Here’s the Social links to follow Puritan’s Pride


Training and life balance

runDisney #DopeyChallenge training -

 Hi friends! Hope you’re having a great week so far :) 

I’ve been following Jeff Galloway’s Dopey Challenge training plan and it’s been going okay so far. The biggest problems for me are the scheduling of the runs – making it harder to balance running with family time, and dealing with the Plantar Fasciitis (PF) pain in my right heel.

I’ve been getting in a lot of mileage even with the PF pain. 55 miles so far this month on my Nike app, plus additional mileage I’ve been doing “unplugged”.  I worry I’m doing too much and getting into the dangerous territory of overtraining.

When I’ve trained super hard in the past, I’ve gotten injured every time. First it was my right hip when training for the 2013 Tinker Bell Half. I went to PT for a few months, did exercises, deep tissue massage, and recovered. Then I had a back injury following my first marathon that had me on painkillers and sidelined for weeks. Once I recovered from that (again more PT, exercises, and deep tissue massage), I had plantar fasciitis pain in my left heel and numbness in both feet. I got rid of the insoles that my PT recommended for me and the numbness in my feet went away for the most part. Rest from long distance running helped the PF pain go away, though I still ran shorter distances as I healed.

Which brings me to today. If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen the pics from our weekend getaway to Napa Valley. We stayed at Calistoga Ranch, a gorgeous resort that was absolutely what we both needed to rest and relax. We did a couples massage on our last day there. I had a deep tissue massage that was uncomfortable, bordering on painful because my muscles really needed it, but I ended up feeling relaxed afterward.

Since the massage and with using the other PF coping strategies I posted about before, my PF pain still exists but feels very different. It’s less severe and the pain has moved around a little like it did the last time I recovered from PF.

I had to stop at mile 7 of my 17 miler yesterday to put a band aid on a huge blister forming on the inside of my left heel. I don’t normally get blisters there and I’m in the same shoes, so it was related to my change in gait from the PF pain. That wasn’t my excuse to stop – I still had 10 miles to do. I took my pace slow, reminding myself that it’s time on my feet that I need with these training run/walks. I’ll be tired, sore, have blisters, etc during the Dopey Challenge and I can’t let any of it stop me.

When I finished, I had a blister on top of the original blister. I felt content that I did it, but also felt kind of blah and loopy. It was bad enough to make me look in my calendar on my iPhone to see just how many more long runs I’d need to do before Dopey so I could count them down and hopefully dread them a little less :)

I looked at the Galloway training plan and realized that he has filled up the Thanksgiving holiday weekend with running! 45 min on Thanksgiving day, 10 mile walk on Saturday and 23 miles on Sunday.

I was so mad at myself for not looking at it sooner!

For some background, when I training for my first half marathon I joined some Facebook fitness groups. Between the time I spent running, doing weights, working out, and chatting online – I wasn’t leaving enough time and energy for my family. 

Late last year, I put my family first and left the fitness chat groups I was in and a few months later, the Facebook fitness groups. I even deleted the Facebook app from my phone because I was on there way too much. 

After that, I promised myself that I would never let my running, fitness, or weight maintenance interfere with my family life again. My family matters more to me than anything and I am thankful every day for them! I refocused my efforts and took a break from long distance running for a while too. It made all the difference in feeling more balanced with my personal commitments to both my health and my family. When I started running distances again, I put my family first and it’s helped me to stay connected to them while still doing something for just me.

That’s also why I started my blog earlier this year. I blog, Tweet, and Instagram when I have the time. Some weeks I have more time and I post a lot. Other weeks I’m busy being a wife and mom, setting up our home, being the room parent for my son’s class, getting together with friends, and training for the Dopey and Glass Slipper Challenges. 

So that’s why I’m now looking at other Dopey Challenge training plans. We’ve been looking forward to spending that long Thanksgiving weekend together and have some really fun things planned. Two back-to-back double digit mileage days would have me in full “training mode” with hydration and fueling all weekend. Even if I moved the 23 miler to Monday – I’d still be obsessing about it all weekend. 

So now I’m looking at Hal Higdon’s plan.

His mileage is 3, 8, and 18 for the weekend. I know I could move the 18 to the following Monday and still enjoy the weekend with my family. Doing 7 fewer miles would be MUCH less strenuous on my body too.

I used Hal Higdon’s plan when I trained for the Portland Marathon last year and I finished that race feeling strong and happy. 


So I think I’m switching my training to this:


Have you every changed your race training midcycle? I did for the Portland Marathon (from Galloway to Higdon) and I liked it. 

If you’ve trained – or are training for Goofy or Dopey – which plans do you like?

– Denise

Hemp Hearts Review and Giveaway

Disclosure: I was sent a sample bag of Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts to try as a Sweat Pink/Fit Approach Ambassador. They are also providing a sample bag like I received for a giveaway for one of my lucky readers! All opinions shared are my own.

Hemp Hearts review and giveaway #SweatPink #ManitobaHarvest #HempHearts

As someone who watches what they eat and works out a lot, I’m always on the lookout for new products to support my healthy lifestyle. I heard about Manitoba Harvest’s Hemp Hearts through my Sweat Pink Ambassadorship and was excited to try a sample.  They are raw, non-GMO hemp seeds full of vitamins, protein, and omega 3’s. 

I poured about a teaspoon full in the palm of my hand and tried them on their own. They tasted a lot like chopped almonds, which I love! I had to have another few samples because they were so tasty! Troy tried them and liked them too. 

Aside from eating them on their own, I like to sprinkle them on my flavored greek yogurt. I usually have one or two greek yogurts a day while I’m training for the high level of protein, to help fill me up, and I really like the taste.  


I hadn’t noticed Hemp Hearts in the store before and now I’m seeing them all over the place. I even saw them at Bed Bath and Beyond the other day. I’m still using the bag I was sent but I’m running low now. I want to try them in a smoothie next!

The nice people at Manitoba Harvest want to send you a bag to try too!

Enter to win here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you’d like to order some #HempHearts directly, you can save 20% on your order at with coupon code HHSweatPink14 through November 30, 2014.

In addition to the giveaway, there’s also a contest! Manitoba Harvest is also offering a 5 lb bag of Hemp Hearts (yes, 5 LBS!) to one lucky winner!

To enter to win:

Get creative in the kitchen, tag @manitobaharvest, #hemphearts, and #sweatpink in your Instagram and/or Twitter post and you’ll be automatically entered.

Anyone is eligible for the contest – you don’t have to be a Sweat Pink Ambassador. Contest deadline: November 30, 2014

Have a great day :)

– Denise

Weight Loss Guest Post and training

Hi friends! Hope you’re having a great week :) I’m guest posting over at Through Heather’s Looking Glass today about tips for losing the baby weight. There’s general weight loss and maintenance tips too, it’s not just for new moms! 

I first discovered Heather’s blog when I was researching runDisney races. She writes detailed Disney race recaps – and wears some really great costumes when she runs! 

You can check it out here

Dopey Challenge training is going okay. I’m irritated about the Plantar Fasciitis pain in my heel but I’m still getting miles in. The 15 miles last Saturday was rough. We had to go furniture shopping for our new house and walked around a lot that whole day. I didn’t start the 15 miles until later in the evening and that was a mistake! I was tired, achy, and bored so I went sloooow. Trying not to feel too awful about it because I still got the mileage in and the time on my feet. The frozen golf ball is still my best friend for PF pain relief.

We’re on our way to a long weekend in the Napa Valley in California, one of our favorite places to vacation. We’re celebrating our anniversary at Calistoga Ranch – a quiet, peaceful resort we stayed at last year. 

Hope you have a great weekend too :)


Dopey Challenge training – week 14

2015 ruDisney Dopey Challenge - Galloway training


Hi everybody :) Hope you’re having a great week! If you’re following Jeff Galloway’s Dopey Challenge training plan like I am, you know we’re all putting in some serious mileage this weekend!

I ran yesterday and today is supposed to be a rest or cross training day. We have a lot of things to do this weekend so I had to adjust the plan a bit. I had to move the 5.5 mile walk up to today which means tomorrow I’ll be doing the 15 run/walk miles. 

Training is going pretty well, considering this dang Plantar Fasciitis pain in my right heel. I’m using the coping strategies for pain that I posted about last week. The frozen golf ball is still a winner. I’m rolling it under my heel right now as I type. I’m also doing calf stretches on the stairs and still rolling with the Moji and lacrosse ball too. The pain is no picnic but it feels better the longer I walk or run. Once my calf and foot muscles are warmed up the pain decreases about 80% and hurts again only when I stop moving. 

Working through pain is something I haven’t done for a while. In the not so distant past I took the advice of my former PT and stopped or dramatically decreased my activity at any sign of pain. I mean any. I think it became an easy cop out for me. My back hurts a little so I’d better skip my short run today. I’ll do it tomorrow. Doing things “tomorrow” and procrastinating does not work with a healthy lifestyle change. Some days I just feel achy and once I start working out, I feel better.  Or sometimes the run sucks but I feel some sense of accomplishment because I did it and know that the next run will likely feel easier because of it.

Which brings me to today…

I saved the Once Upon A Time premiere so I could watch it during my 5.5 mile training walk on the treadmill. I stayed at 3.5-3.7 for most of it, trying to take it easier and not push my pace because I need to conserve some energy for the 15 miler tomorrow. It’s my first time training for a back-to-back race challenge and I’m beginning to think it’s kind of fun! I like having an easier walking day and a long run the following day. It feels like I’m really training for Dopey now!

Weight wise, I’m maintaining the five pounds I lost through consistent exercise, portion control and food journaling. It’s amazing what a difference 5 pounds makes when you’re in the “normal” weight range for your height. I felt so much heavier and my clothes didn’t fit as well. I had to put a few pairs of pants away because they would zip up but were too tight to wear.

When I was over 200 pounds, 5 pounds lost or gained was not noticeable on my body. All of my clothes fit exactly the same and I didn’t look or feel any different. It’s sad because if I had seen progress by feeling or looking different, I likely would have tried harder to lose weight in the beginning. It’s when people have a lot of weight to lose that they need the most support – and it’s tough when no one notices, not even you when you look in the mirror. I don’t think anyone (aside from my husband) commented on my weight loss until I lost about 50 pounds. Then suddenly it seemed like everyone noticed.

Now with a five pound weight loss I notice a real increase in energy, I run faster with less effort, and my clothes fit much better. I’m still working hard to lose the last 10 pounds *again* before I go to Walt Disney World for Dopey.

This trip to WDW has been in the works for a long time. I have been planning it since 2012 when I first learned about the Goofy Challenge at WDW. I was training hard but hadn’t even run my first Half marathon yet. I knew if I kept training – I would go Goofy in 2015.

When I learned about Dopey it was a no brainer for me. I would do both to push myself and celebrate how running and fitness has changed my life for the better. Taking control of my health and wellness helped me to become more of the mom, wife, and woman I always wanted to be. I’m still a work in progress but really happy to be where I am today. 

And finally – after all the miles I’ve run and walked to get here – Goofy and Dopey are now just three months away! I can’t wait :) 

Hope you have a great weekend!

– Denise

5 ways to relieve Plantar Fasciitis

5 easy ways to relieve your Plantar Fasciitis pain -

Do you suffer from Plantar Fasciitis foot pain? I have twice in the past year – first in my left foot and now in my right. I’ve discovered some really effective ways to treat it. I’m sharing them with you so you can find relief from your foot and heel pain too!

1. Moji 360 Foot Massager – I was sent a Moji 360 Foot Massager to test out and it helped my foot feel much better. Zone 1 of the foot massager has smaller rotating balls that just feel really good on tired and aching feet. I use it on both of my feet alternately when I’m sitting at my desk or watching tv. Zone 2 has 2 larger massage balls and is good for pinpointing certain areas where you need deep tissue massage. You can use it with or without a sock – I do both.  The largest size massage spheres still felt a little too small for my arches so I kept looking for other methods of relief.

2. Lacrosse ball – I tried a lacrosse ball next based on this YouTube video I watched (starting at 4:00). This video has some really great tips and coincides with tip 3.

The size of the Lacrosse ball is perfect for rolling under my painful arches. A tennis ball would likely work too. I keep the Moji 360 and Lacrosse ball under my desk when I’m working from home and roll my feet out on both of them alternately. 

3. Stretch and roll your calf muscles – In the video, he also talks about stretching out and rolling your calf muscles. I use The Stick to roll out my calves. I bought the 19″ Sprinter version at the Portland Marathon expo a few years ago. It’s my favorite roller – and I’ve tried a bunch of different roller styles over the years.

I also do calf stretches on the stairs. In the How to Fix Plantar Fasciitis video (starting at 2:50) he does a good demonstration. 

4. Foot stretches and massage – The stretches and massage (starting at 3:10) in the Simple Stretching for Plantar Fasciitis video is really helpful too. Watching the entire video is good for understanding where the PF pain comes from. 

5. Frozen Golf Ball – My newest favorite tip for Plantar Fasciitis pain relief is a frozen golf ball! I learned the tip from my friend Colleen, the leader of a local running group I’m involved with. Rolling the frozen golf ball under my foot relieves the pain in less than a minute. The first time I tried it I was in disbelief at just how perfect the size was and how the good the icy coolness of the ball felt! 

I hope you’re able to find some Plantar Fasciitis foot pain relief from these tips too! Have you tried any of these before? What have you tried that has worked for you?

– Denise

Disclaimer: I was evaluated by my doctor and physical therapist for foot pain and these are the treatments that work for me. As always with any medical issue, please consult your doctor or health practitioner for a personal diagnosis and help as needed. Moji provided the Moji 360 Foot Massager to me at no cost in exchange for a review on my blog. All opinions expressed are my own.

1 2 3 12


Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers:

%d bloggers like this: