Motivation Monday: “Suck it up now and make healthy choices so you don’t have to suck it in later.”

The other day, I was organizing files on my computer and came across this photo. I was speechless to say the least. Although I strongly dislike seeing photos of myself at my heaviest, I cannot hide what I looked like for many years of my life. This is what shaped me and my character, and gave me a completely different outlook and goal in life. I thought I would share this photo as a reminder of all of my accomplishments. Even if I fell off that wagon a few times, I have come such a far way and love my new lifestyle! Take a moment to acknowledge all of your healthy accomplishments, whether it’s taking the stairs instead of elevators, switching from refined grains to whole grains, or hitting a milestone on your weight loss journey. You should be so very proud of yourself. As I always say, all of the little things help you reach your goal!
Before & After

With that being said, it’s time for a healthy version of a not-so healthy favorite! Ahhhh yes. ‘Tis the season of Girl Scout Cookies. It seems as though this year those adorable little ladies have made it even easier to find those scrumptious cookies with their cookie finder iPhone app and “find cookies” locator on their official website. Refrain!
PUT DOWN THE THIN MINTS!
Coookies. why. must. you. be. so. addicting?

I thought I would bring back one of my favorite smoothie recipes to help you guys get through this cookie season sans weight gain! As usual, this one has an extra special ingredient: spinach! A tasty take on the green monster!

Thin Mint Protein Smoothie
Girl Scout Cookie Smoothie: Thin Mint
Serves 1

1 cup frozen spinach (or 2 cups fresh)
1 cup almond milk
2 scoops chocolate protein powder
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/8 tsp peppermint extract

Toppings:
1 Tbsp walnuts
1 Tbsp 70% dark chocolate chips

Combine the almond milk, spinach, protein powder, rolled oats, and peppermint extract in a high powered blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to a glass and top with walnuts and chocolate chips and enjoy with a spoon!
Note: If your blender has a hard time blending certain things, start by blending the milk and frozen spinach first and then add in the oats, followed by protein powder and peppermint extract.

Thin Mint Protein Smoothie
The Rabbit Food Pyramid Breakdown
Produce: spinach
Whole Grain: rolled oats
Protein: protein powder
Plant Based Fat: walnuts and dark chocolate chips

What healthy accomplishments have you made? Let me know in the comments! xo
Thank you so much for all of your awesome veggie restaurant suggestions for me while I’m here in Denver! I am so excited to try them!

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36 Responses so far.

  1. I dont buy the flavored protein powder i buy just the plain i wonder how it would taste with plain whey with cocoa powder or cacao nibs in it.

    Response from Rebecca
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    • Hi Rebecca! I’m sure unflavored protein powder and a couple tablespoons of cacao or cocoa powder would be delicious! Let me know if you give it a try! Some readers also tried this recipe with mint leaves and loved the flavor :)

      Response from Catherine
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      • Just letting you know I tried it today with kale instead of spinach and unflavored protein powder with a tablespoon each of cocoa powder and cacao nibs. It was very bitter so I added a couple of teaspoons of pure maple syrup and 4 ice cubes. The verdict was omg yum!!!!!!

        Response from Rebecca
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  2. Even at your heaviest, you were still gorgeous! I like your outlook on your body, that even though you don’t like looking back, you realize that body shaped your personality. I am struggling with weight gain again. I lost the amount of weight to reach my goal, then was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and pcos. Needless to say, the weight piled back on. I am hoping to find a common ground of loving me where I am at, but still continuing to fight to regain my figure and confidence. You rock, lady!

    Response from Jane
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    • Thank you so much Jane! I can relate 100%! I gained 20lbs very quickly due to my Hypothyroid and PCOS. Body image is tough. Especially when we are surrounded by the media telling us that beautiful is unhealthy thin, and that we have to be perfect. Body acceptance is something that I still struggle with, but I’ve noticed that when I eat healthy, I feel better about myself and my choices regardless of my weight. Start with little changes and hydrate hydrate hydrate! If I can do it, you can too. I’m here to help you through it! xo

      Response from Catherine
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      • Oh my gosh, I 100%, completely agree about what our society recognizes as being “beautiful,” and how damaging that is to the self esteem of the average woman. I guess I didn’t realize you struggled with the thyroid disorder and PCOS as well. Sounds like we are two peas in a pod. Wow, you amaze me. I have been to so many doctors who make me feel like I have no option, but to hit the gym 5 hours a day to see any results. Now, they want to put me on Metformin to help regulate my PCOS, but I really want to try to regain my health without the meds. Thank you for responding to me. I love your posts and positive attitude. Keep up the good work. Ladies like me, need you! :) Grabbing a glass of water now. Hugs!

        Response from Jane
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        • It’s absolutely terrible what message they are sending out to young girls (and women!). I was diagnosed with both Hypothyroidism/Hashimotos and PCOS this past fall. I was really struggling to maintain even an ounce of energy and keep a stable weight. I am now on Synthroid which has helped me tremendously. It took a few months to get my levels regulated, but I feel amazing now. I have so much energy and found myself losing excess weight without trying extremely hard. I am the same way as you, I don’t really want to take a medication if I can better my health on my own, but Metformin can be a really great tool to help get your PCOS regulated. One of my best friends takes Metformin for a pretty severe case of PCOS and it has helped her immensely. There are tons of books on PCOS/diet which usually recommend a low GI diet. Something else to look into: there are some recent studies about gluten and it’s effect on thyroid function. I really want to look further into that! xo

          Response from Catherine
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          • Thank you so much! I am going to look into the gluten free diet, as well as the Metformin for PCOS. Made the appt with the doctor now. :) I also just started Synthroid not too long ago. Miracle drug, if you ask me. I haven’t lost the weight from it yet, but my energy level has changed from that of a zombie, to a “normal” person. I appreciate your response and will keep you posted on the progress. Have an awesome day.

            Response from Jane
          • That’s great! I’m so proud of you for making these steps! Talk about motivation :) Let me know how everything goes! xo

            Response from Catherine
  3. Reading your success story is so encouraging :) I’ve been struggling for a long time with my body image and it’s so refreshing hearing how you were able to take charge and get healthy!! You’re my inspiration!

    On a side note: what kind of choc. protein powder do you use? There are a lot of options out there and I want something without any added ingredients that don’t need to be there. Suggestions?

    Response from Anna
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    • Thank you so much Anna! I’m so happy that you found my blog and find it inspiring :) My favorites are Sunwarrior Raw Vegan Chocolate and Vega One Chococolate Nutritional Shake which are both available at Whole Foods and most health food stores as well as online. One of my friends is an Herbalife distributor, so I have been using the chocolate Herbalife protein powder recently!

      Response from Catherine
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  4. Love this and cannot wait to try it! I could eat a whole sleeve of thin mints in the blink of an eye! Seriously- why are they so addicting! I also wanted to say how inspiring you are! I’ve loved following your blog over the last couple of weeks. Thank you for the motivation you give us!

    Response from Molly @ Toffee Bits and Chocolate Chips
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  5. You are so inspirational and have been one of the reasons I have changed my lifestyle. You are the happiest girl ever and inspire many people. At your heaviest you were still absolutely beautiful!! You have come such a long way and truly are amazing ! I love reading your blogs and seeing pictures of things you come across throughout your day. Keep up the good work and the recipes coming ! Xoxox Amanda, Staten Island,NY

    Response from Amanda
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  6. I was super intrigued by reading this, because I was just thinking the other day as I pulled out my thin mints and asked myself why are these things so addictive! I live a very healthy lifestyle and also have a motivational apparel line so for me to look and live healthy surrounds me on a daily basis. Not that I don’t indulge once in awhile, but I was thinking the same thing as to this season girl scouts are trying to make us fat! LOL! Congrats on your healthy living lifestyle and you look awesome!

    Response from Sabrina Kolling
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    • Thank you Sabrina!

      Response from Catherine
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  7. First–love the pic! You look great and very happy!!
    Second- I cannot wait to try this recipe. So far, I’ve resisted 2 sets of squealing girl scouts at the grocery store.

    Response from Lauren @ LaurenPhelpsCoaching
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    • Thank you Lauren! Oh my gosh I have been dodging the Girl Scouts too! They are just so cute and sweet, making it even harder to say no!!!!

      Response from Catherine
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  8. I love your before and after photos! They are really inspiring and motivating. Just curious what were the approximate weights from the before photo to the after photo?

    Response from Nicole
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    • Thank you Nicole! I will definitely find some more old photos to post to keep the motivation going for you guys! The before picture I am probably around 192 lbs and the after about 120 lbs.

      Response from Catherine
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  9. The thin mints are the best Girl Scout cookies in my opinion and this seems like a great way to bust the mint chocolate cookie cravings! However, I just started the Paleo diet in attempt to starting a healthier way of eating. I was wondering how I could alter the recipe in order to fit into what I’m doing. (Diet consisting of fruits, veggies, nuts, and meat only) Its basically eating as cleanly and simply as possible just like cave men did. I really think this recipe would be delicious but I want to tweak it to fit the paleo lifestyle. (So in that sense no protein powder or oats.) Thanks :)

    Response from Breanne
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    • That’s great Breanne! Hmm let me think! Maybe you could do:

      1 cup frozen spinach (or 2 cups fresh)
      1 cup almond milk or maybe coconut milk for more thickness
      1 banana – for sweetness since the cocoa powder is unsweetened
      2-3 Tbsp unsweetened cacao or cocoa powder
      2-3 fresh mint leaves
      1/8 tsp peppermint extract or 2-3 mint leaves
      5-6 ice cubes for thickness

      I am wondering if coconut milk would help in place of almond milk? I would also try adding a banana for both sweetness and thickness. Let me know if you give it a try! It could be a complete disaster ahhh but at least those are some ideas haha

      Response from Catherine
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  10. my accomplishment this week is FINALLY making the steps to lose this weight. I have about 30 lbs to go , and I need all the motivation I can get!

    Response from kristen @ livinlifeinlouie
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    • Get it girl! I’m proud of you :)
      Mind over matter, you can do it! You can always checkin on my blog or Facebook community for support! xo

      Response from Catherine
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  11. YOU LOOK AMAZING!! Such an inspiring person truly. I also have hypothyroidism and it sucks watching what foods you can and can’t eat and having a slow metabolism, but I know that making healthy choices is good for me no matter what kind of body I have. I can’t wait to try this Thin Mint smoothie!

    Response from Sierra T.
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  12. Good for you! I too hate seeing photos of myself at my heaviest and sometimes feel the urge to delete old photos of me from my Facebook profile pictures, but I keep myself from doing it. That was who I was for a long, long time, and I’ve found that people are inspired by seeing my progress. Inspiring others makes it a lot easier.

    And this recipe looks AMAZING.

    Response from Ash
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  13. Oh. My. Word. I just had 5 thin mints. It’s like you knew that I had them in my hand.

    Response from Rhea
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  14. I started your diet 2 weeks ago, and I am already down 6 lbs. I have tried weight watchers, Atkins, and other fad diets. This has been the most successful I have ever been on any diet. I love how I feel! I am so energized, and I physically feel healthier. I ran my first mile yesterday, and I am on my way to running a full 5k! I am so glad I found your site! You are so inspiring and I absolutely love your recipes! I am so excited to work towards my goal wait! You and your diet actually make me believe I can make it! Thank you!

    Response from Libby
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  15. I agree- you were a total fox even when heavy! Still, I am sure you feel much better now and I would like to make similar changes in my life. Hypothyroid is the worst for body image.

    Response from Naomi
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  16. do you use any frozen spinach? Do you have a favorite brand? Is it cooked then frozen?

    Response from amar
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  17. I bet you could even use real peppermint leaves in this instead of the extract! Love your blog, so glad to see you’re back! :]

    http://www.chopstick-chic.com

    Response from Siobhan
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  18. I’m so excited to try this! I’ve actually been beating myself up these last few weeks because I’ve been going on these cookie binges; I won’t tempt anyone by naming all the delicious kinds but I felt like the cookie monster. You’re a lifesaver!

    Response from Jessica
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  19. This looks so yummy! Can’t wait to try it later today :) I do have a quick question though-I use EAS Chocolate Soy Protein Powder. I’m just wondering if soy is ‘better’ than whey? I feel like the soy is better for my heart and such, but I’m just wondering if you had any other thoughts on this. Thanks!

    Response from Jess
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  20. I love love love ya for posting this recipe! It’s like melted chocolate chip ice cream! I made a variation based on your recipe & have made it every morning this whole week :) I posted it on my blog and linked back to you to give you credit – I hope this is ok! http://www.newbieyogi.com/2013/05/16/mint-chocolate-green-smoothie
    Have a great day!!

    Response from Katie
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  21. Do you cook the oats before putting them in the smoothie? Thanks! Can’t wait to try it :)

    Response from Lauren
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    • Hi Lauren! Nope, I use dry oats!

      Response from Catherine
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  22. I just found your blog and am trying the recipes. So cool!! I’m excited, I am sharing a link with my group of ladies that keep each other on track. And do people tell you that you look like Eva Longoria in these photos?

    Response from Amy
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