Watch Me Whip (Up a Smoothie To Fuel Your Day)

Fuel up the kids for a day of learning and moving with this award-winning smoothie recipe from a Fuel Up To Play 60 Ambassador! Made with bananas, chocolate milk, yogurt, oats and sweet potatoes, it’s full of nutrients and tastes fantastic! Healthy | Breakfast | Chocolate | Low-fat

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by American Dairy Association Indiana and the NFL’s Fuel Up To Play 60 Program. Through a series of posts, I’ll be sharing information about Fuel Up To Play 60 and how you and your kids can get involved.

Just as we’re headed into the season where getting our kids to stay active gets tricky, local schools are working hard to inspire kids to get moving. You might remember last spring I wrote about Fuel Up To Play 60 (FUTP60), a partnership between the NFL and the National Dairy Council to encourage kids energize their bodies and minds by eating healthy, and to pledge to play 60 minutes per day. My local FUTP60 representative, Andrea McMurtry, answered all my questions and more about how to get involved with FUTP60.

I learned even more a few weeks ago when I attended FUTP60 Training Camp at the Indianapolis Colts practice facility. I know how hard it can be to get my own kids moving sometimes, especially when the weather turns foul and the siren call of technology is strong. I’d never really given much thought past my own struggles, but as I sat in a room filled with Physical Education, Wellness and Home Economics/FACS teachers, I realized the enormity of the task they face getting an entire school moving and eating well.

Fuel up the kids for a day of learning and moving with this award-winning smoothie recipe from a Fuel Up To Play 60 Ambassador! Made with bananas, chocolate milk, yogurt, oats and sweet potatoes, it’s full of nutrients and tastes fantastic! Healthy | Breakfast | Chocolate | Low-fat

While there were stories of what makes their job difficult, there were even more inspiring examples of how they partnered with other teachers, students and parents to make a difference in the health and wellness of their communities. Kids are coming up with fantastic ideas on how to positively influence their peers’ eating and exercise habits. In the process they’re learning valuable life skills, such as presenting their ideas to school boards, budgeting, working with adults and peers, and leading by example.

The best part about it all? The kids are having fun. Last summer, Andrea and one of her Fitness Council students were selected to represent Indiana at the FUTP60 Student Ambassador Summit in Chicago. Not only is it a big honor, it gave Andrea and her student a chance to learn, play, and come back with a treasure trove of ideas to impact the health and wellness of local kids. While there, Andrea and her team won the Smoothie Contest. Beyond bragging rights, the winner also got to bring back a big fancy blender for their school. (FYI, the Food Services staff at Fishers Junior High LOVES Andrea McMurtry!)

Fuel up the kids for a day of learning and moving with this award-winning smoothie recipe from a Fuel Up To Play 60 Ambassador! Made with bananas, chocolate milk, yogurt, oats and sweet potatoes, it’s full of nutrients and tastes fantastic! Healthy | Breakfast | Chocolate | Low-fat

I had to know more about this award-winning smoothie, so I begged Andrea to share her recipe with me. One taste and you’ll understand why they walked away with the win. Beyond making your belly happy, it will fuel you up for the day. So are you ready to “Ooh watch me, watch me” whip together the award winning Choco-Nae-Nae Whip Smoothie?!

Choco-Nae-Nae Whip Smoothie

4 cups vanilla yogurt
1 cup chocolate milk
4 frozen bananas
¼ cup sweet potato puree
½ cup rolled oats

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and no chunks remain. Pour into individual glasses and top with a swirl of chocolate syrup or granola if desired.

Fuel up the kids for a day of learning and moving with this award-winning smoothie recipe from a Fuel Up To Play 60 Ambassador! Made with bananas, chocolate milk, yogurt, oats and sweet potatoes, it’s full of nutrients and tastes fantastic! Healthy | Breakfast | Chocolate | Low-fat

This makes 4 servings, so if you can’t finish it all try this handy trick: freeze it! I love freezing smoothies in these Ball plastic freezer jars. They’re perfect for stashing extras, and especially nice for those of us who aren’t always ready to operate the machinery required to make smoothies first thing in the morning!

Fuel up the kids for a day of learning and moving with this award-winning smoothie recipe from a Fuel Up To Play 60 Ambassador! Made with bananas, chocolate milk, yogurt, oats and sweet potatoes, it’s full of nutrients and tastes fantastic! Healthy | Breakfast | Chocolate | Low-fat

Last spring Eli’s school wasn’t participating in FUTP60, but this school year they are, and the kids are pumped. Eli came home with a Game Planner (sporting a picture of one of our very favorite Indianapolis Colts, Coby Fleener) a couple of weeks ago. This activity book, provided by the NFL Play 60 Challenge and the American Heart Association, encourages kids to get 60 minutes of exercise every day. He’s been diligent about recording his active minutes in and out of school. As a bonus, he’s motivated to move more if he finds he hasn’t gotten his 60 minutes of play in for the day! No active FUTP60 program in your school? No problem! Any student can join. Just visit FuelUpToPlay60.com and click “Join.” Looking for another dairy-filled treat to fuel you up after a day of play? Check out my fun and easy no-churn cake batter ice cream!

Fuel up the kids for a day of learning and moving with this award-winning smoothie recipe from a Fuel Up To Play 60 Ambassador! Made with bananas, chocolate milk, yogurt, oats and sweet potatoes, it’s full of nutrients and tastes fantastic! Healthy | Breakfast | Chocolate | Low-fat

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A Vitamin a Day Keeps the Barks Away

White dog with pink nose

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Milk-Bone. Dogs give us so much love that they deserve more than ordinary treats. They deserve treats with benefits. Milk-Bone’s Good Morning Daily Vitamin Treats provide beneficial nutrients not found in most dog foods, with a taste your pup will love. Milk-Bone made Gus’ day with a box full of treats and toys, and while he may be easily swayed with food, all thoughts and opinions here are mine.

As you know from my recent post on working out, I’ve been trying diligently to swap out healthy habits for some of my bad ones. Something I’ve struggled with for years is taking my vitamins. I’m embarrassed to admit how many times I’ve engaged in the wasteful cycle of knowing I need to take vitamins, spending a chunk of change on vitamins, taking vitamins haphazardly, letting vitamins expire, and throwing vitamins away. Time will pass and then I’ll tell myself I need to make taking vitamins a priority and I do it all over again.

Once again, Gretchen Rubin and her fabulous book about habits came to the rescue. Rubin suggests using the Strategy of Pairing to form a desired habit. In this strategy, you couple two activities together: one that you need or want to do, and the one that you have difficulty doing. You don’t do one without the other, and in that way you accomplish two things that you need to do at the same time.

I decided to use my deep and abiding love for a cup of coffee first thing in the morning as the pairing companion for taking my vitamins every day. I moved my vitamins from their usual spot in the pantry (out of sight and out of mind) and instead placed them right next to the coffee maker. Now I have to stare at them while I make my coffee, and it’s working! Ever since I paired my morning cup of coffee with taking vitamins, I haven’t missed a day.

Milk-Bone Good Morning Daily Vitamin Treats

In a study of pet owners, Milk-Bone found that 1 out of 3 owners are concerned that their pets are not getting enough of the nutrients they need in their dog food alone. I hadn’t really thought about it before, but it makes sense. Like most pet owners, I already supplement Gus’ diet with treats. By switching a couple of those daily treats with Milk-Bone’s Good Morning Daily Vitamin Treats I can supply him with nutrients he’s missing, like glucosamine to support healthy joints or DHA to supplement overall wellness.

Unlike his humans, Gus doesn’t need any encouragement to take his vitamins. But I’m using the very same strategy of pairing to remember to give Gus his daily dose! There are two times a day which I have, ahem, some difficulty getting Gus to come inside: first thing in the morning and last thing at night. He’s not much of a barker during the day, and with our invisible fence, I’m often able to let him play outside for long stretches without worrying about him annoying the neighbors. But at the crack of dawn and right when everyone is settling down for the evening? Barky McBarkerson. He runs laps around the house, telling every chipmunk, dog and neighbor that HE IS HERE! BEWARE! We keep a jar of treats at the back door, and during the day, simply calling his name and shaking the treat jar brings him in. For whatever reason, those treats aren’t worth anything for his first and last outing of the day.

Milk-Bone Good Morning Daily Vitamin Treats

The day after his package from Milk-Bone arrived, I tried something different. When he was barking his head off at 6:30 a.m. I opened the back door, shook the container of Good Morning Daily Vitamin Treats, and called, “Gus! Vitamins!” And there he was, at the back door in a jiffy. Works every single time. It’s perfect – he needs two vitamins a day, and I need him to come inside quickly two times a day!

Milk-Bone Good Morning Daily Vitamin Treats

I’d love to hear from you – have you ever used the Strategy of Pairing in your own life to form a healthy habit? If not, can you think of a current situation you might improve by invoking the Strategy of Pairing?

Thanks to Milk-Bone for making Gus a happy pup, but especially for helping me solve a problem that was driving me crazy twice a day! For more fun and interesting information about pets and how they affect our own physical and emotional health, check out the infographic below.

Healthy dog healthy humans Milk-Bone Infographic

 

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An Update From the First Family of Fantasy Football

Disclosure: This post is part of a yearly series in partnership with Netflix. As a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam, I’ll be sharing ideas throughout the year on some of the best Netflix titles to stream with your family. The content, as always, is whatever streams through my own mind! Hope you enjoy!

“God bless fantasy football. There are many things a man can do with his time. This is better than those things.”      The League

If there’s one thing I learned in my inaugural fantasy football season last year it’s this: there is no such thing as 2nd place. You’re just the winner of the losers. I made it to the playoffs and ended up losing. Mike took home the trophy, which just added insult to injury. But despite the agony of defeat and the many, many lost hours of productivity from September through December, I’m hooked and back for another season.

Speaking of another season, this is the last season of a show that is near and dear to my fantasy football converted heart: The League. The show follows a group of friends as they compete against each other for ultimate glory in their long-standing fantasy football league. Mike and I were oblivious to the show until a friend on Twitter clued us into it. Apparently we reminded him of Jenny and Kevin, the married couple on the show. Let’s just say their relationship hits a little close to home. In Season 2, Kevin and Jenny record a warm holiday greeting for their friends that includes this heartfelt message:

kevin and jenny's holiday message the league

“Yes, we are so blessed to have not one, but two teams in the playoffs. I mean, some homes don’t have any!

And so from the first family of fantasy football to your family at home: suck it!”

I’m sure sending a similar message to our league will just completely endear us to our friends and neighbors. And yet, should we find ourselves in the same situation this year? I’m so doing it.

katie aselton shiva

The winner of the league takes home the Shiva, a monstrosity of a trophy named after (and prominently featuring) the high school valedictorian Kevin lost his virginity to while listening to Aerosmith.

We don’t have our own Shiva yet, but as the lone female in the group who has been around the Pinterest block a time or two, that’s about to change.

Fantasy Football Shiva Gnome

The question is, what shall we call him?

You don’t have to love, like or even play fantasy football to appreciate The League. But you do need to get caught up to enjoy the final season. Luckily Netflix has you covered, and you can stream seasons 1-6 now.

Do you play fantasy football? If so, you have to share your team name – one of my favorite parts of this ridiculous pastime. I’ll start! My team name, for the 2nd year in a row, is Schefty Approved. And (of course) this fantastic photo of Adam Schefter and me is my avatar:

Adam Schefter NFL Combine Tweetup

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