Traveling through life with a timer and sneakers

Posts tagged “shake

When you just can’t ignore the sweet tooth

It’s been a rough couple of weeks in our house and through it all, I’ve fought to stay in my Healthy Solutions Box (aside from when I had Strep last week and could barely get down water, forget a veggie or entree!). I know it’s been rough because my fruit consumption has drastically increased over my veggies, as I’ve been choosing berries over broccoli in my emotion-clouded mood. Don’t get me wrong, I know fruit is awesome and it’s not a terrible choice. But I also recognize I just wanted something sweet because I associate sweet with happier times.

With one shake left to get in my minimum prescription tonight, I opted to have a special treat saved only for that rare moment when I need an extra kick to keep me in the box. And yes I call Benefit Bars “candy bars” – because it helps to remind me they are a “sometimes food” – a tool but more energy dense and addicting than other HMR foods.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Candy Bar Pudding

  • HMR 70 chocolate shake packet
  • 1/2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tbsp PB2
  • 1 tbsp Torani sugar-free salted caramel syrup
  • 2-3 oz cold water
  • HMR peanut butter Benefit bar

Mix the shake, cocoa and PB2 together in a bowl. Add syrup and slowly add cold water. The amount of water is a personal decision depending on how thick you want the pudding. Normal HMR pudding is 2oz but with the additional dry ingredients it can be more like a dough.

Place in freezer to expedite the thickening. While it chills, chopped up Benefit bar. Mix into pudding. I actually throw the bowl back into the freezer so I end up with a pretty solid pudding with frozen chunks of candy bar.

This is a more caloric way of enjoying your HMR foods – so I don’t have it often. However it is an easy and relatively quick way to prepare a sweet treat when you need something special.


HMR Healthy Solutions Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Bars

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A couple of weeks ago I went camping and trail running – all while staying in the HMR Program Healthy Solutions Box. However I had to plan ahead and prepare foods that would be supportive of both the HMR program, but also of the endurance activities I would be participating in. With no way to heat up my normal oatmeal in the morning, I got creative!

These bars are a higher calorie food that are relatively compact in nature. While I wouldn’t make them every day, it was a method of combining foods I use to fuel before long runs in a portable manner. My normal oatmeal with a tbsp of PB2 and a side of banana would have been much higher in volume, and I honestly wouldn’t have had the shake because I would have already been full. However this worked for me for fueling for the trail half and also gave me some additional snacks to enjoy during the weekend when other people were recovering with bagels and beer.

HMR Healthy Solutions Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Bars

  • 1 HMR Oatmeal
  • 1 HMR 70 Chocolate Shake
  • 1 tbsp PB2
  • 1 tbsp Fat-Free Sugar-Free Banana Pudding Mix
  • 1 small ripe banana
  • 4 ounces water

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mash the banana in a mixing bowl and add the dry ingredients to it. Slowly add the water in until you get a cookie dough consistency (you may not need all of the water depending on the size and ripeness of the banana – both of which will impact overall moisture of the batter).

Scoop out dough on a cookie sheet lined with a silicone mat. I shaped the dough like bars, but you could easily just put scoops out and end up with cookies.

Bake for 15-20 minutes (will depend on your oven calibration and moisture content of your dough) until your bars are baked through. They may still be slightly soft on the underside, but I found flipping them on to a paper towel will allow them to cool while the steam escapes. Leaving them on the hot pan could cause textural issues as the steam tries to escape and is trapped.

One recipe made 4 bars. I doubled the batch for the weekend I went camping and it was plenty for fueling and recovery (it was super delicious to pair a bar with a shaken HMR chocolate shake over ice post-run).


Almond Joy Hot Chocolate

I have fallen into a morning routine. Every morning I turn the kettle on and fill a giant Contigo with a white herbal tea. I have a second Contigo where I pour a hot shake. And then I blend up a cold shake for my morning commute. Then throughout the day, regardless of how hectic it is, I have several warm drinks I can sip on. My cold morning shakes all week have been the Decision Free Butterfinger Shake (but made with the 120 Vanilla since I am in Healthy Solutions and only about 6 pumps of syrup because my sweet tooth has subsided).

And my hot shakes have been a take on an Almond Joy bar. I like mixing up the syrups and using the extract because the flavors build on each other. If you like it less sweet, I bet you could easily use coconut extract instead of syrup, but I haven’t tried it personally.

Please note that my ratios are for a large Contigo thermos that holds 24 ounces, adjust proportions accordingly if you need a small fit.

Almond Joy Decision Free Hot Chocolate

  • One HMR chocolate shake
  • 4 pumps Torani sugar-free Almond Roca syrup
  • 3 pumps Torani sugar-free coconut syrup
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 20 ounces hot water

Blend all ingredients together and enjoy! I find blending super fast at smoothing it all together without lumps, although you can use whatever method you use to make hot shakes.


Toffee Apple Cider – a warming HMR shake on a cold day!

The weather has turned colder in sunny California and that means more hot HMR shakes to stay warm and full during the holiday season.

This one is easy and perfect to sip from a thermos while heading out in the evening to see holiday lights.

Toffee Apple Cider

  • 1 ounce Torani Sugar-Free English Toffee syrup
  • 1 packet Alpine-Spiced Sugar-Free Apple Cider mix
  • 1 serving HMR Diet Vanilla Shake
  • 15 ounces hot water

Put everything in the blender and blend on low to help everything dissolve and come together (always be careful blending hot liquids). Pour into a large mug or thermos for a warm and filling beverage!


HMR Diet Hack: Starbucks Snickerdoodle Hot Chocolate

Let’s start with a confession. Outside of making lattes with my HMR Program shakes, I have had very few hot shakes. I would occasionally try a hot chocolate, but that was about it. However, as I have made it a goal to focus on losing my marathon weight gain, this means incorporating more shakes and entrees to off-set outside foods and one of the ways I was successful in Phase One, was playing with my HMR food to try new things, often trying to hack a food I might have eaten pre-HMR, in order to keep it interesting (while still staying safely “in the box”). So I am trying out a variety of hot shakes in an attempt to stay warm and full this winter.

During the holiday season, I had a chance to try a kid size Snickerdoodle Hot Chocolate at Starbucks. It was super sweet and a fun treat, but the calories were insane! Even for the tiny thimble they call kid size. Well I loved the flavors so much, I asked if it could possibly be turned into a latte to amp up the volume. But I was told it was just made with milk, white chocolate syrup, and cinnamon dolce syrup, and that it wouldn’t translate well into a latte.

However this week I decided it would translate very well into an HMR shake! And while I haven’t had a Starbucks version to compare it to (nor do I plan on it) — this is a sweet and filling beverage that only has the calories from the shake. It’s in the box for both Decision Free and Healthy Solution folks while being the perfect cold weather pre-portioned meal for Phase Two folks too!

HMR Snickerdoodle Hot Chocolate

  • 1 HMR Vanilla Shake (I used the 120)
  • 1 tbsp Torani Sugar-free White Chocolate syrup
  • 1 tbsp Torani Sugar-free Belgian Cookie syrup
  • 10 oz. hot water

Mix hot water and syrup together. Slowly whisk shake powder into the liquid. I use an Aerolatte travel milk frother (it’s inexpensive, comes in a travel case, and prevents clumping!). Enjoy! You could even shake a little cinnamon on top for a pretty garnish.


HMR Healthy Solutions Chocolate Cherry Ginger Shake

This shake contains a secret ingredient. One I CANNOT believe I ever put in a shake. But I did it. And have done it a number of times with a variety of fun combinations I can’t wait to share!

When my Phase Two health educator suggested putting frozen cauliflower in a shake instead of ice, I thought she was crazy. She claimed you couldn’t taste it. “Ha!” I thought. “It seems just weird enough that it might be true!”

It took me several months before I dared to place a cup of frozen cauliflower into my Vitamix. But with a serving of frozen fruit in there and an HMR shake, she was right! Plus as it melted, it didn’t water down the shake like ice. And for only 25 extra calories I was getting another serving of veggies with all the fiberous nutritional goodness that comes with it.

So here’s one of my combos that isn’t overly sweet but is super refreshing after a workout.

Chocolate Cherry Ginger Shake

  • 1 cup frozen cauliflower
  • 1 cup frozen cherries (make sure there is nothing but cherries on the ingredient list!)
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ginger
  • 1 HMR chocolate shake
  • 1.5 cups of water

Blend until smooth and enjoy! If you like it sweeter, I would suggest adding some Torani sugar free Black Cherry syrup.


HMR Decision Free Butterfinger Shake

Although I have transitioned from Decision Free through Healthy Solutions and from Phase One into Phase Two, I still find shakes to be an important part of my daily life. A blended shake with an HMR 500 packet is only 100 calories but is incredibly filling for a relatively long period of time. When I was in Decision Free, I couldn’t imagine that I would still enjoy and drink as many shakes as I do, but I am still playing with recipes and enjoying shakes and mousses!

This shake is inspired by two classmates who transitioned to Phase Two when I did. I can’t believe it took me this long to hear about their Butterfinger shake but with some easy alterations, I made my own. Their shake used SF FF pudding which I don’t keep in the house due to the sweetener used, so I needed to figure out my own version. They also add Molly McButter for some extra butter and salt but I didn’t for mine.

This ratio blends enough in my Vitamix to fill my venti double-insulated Starbucks cold cup to the top.

HMR Diet Butterfinger Shake

10 pumps of SF Butter Rum syrup from DaVinci

1 cup of cold water

1 packet of HMR 500 vanilla (you could probably sub in your favorite vanilla HMR shake)

1 tbsp PB2

12 ice cubes

Blend all ingredients except the ice on low to dissolve the powders. Add ice and blend on high under smooth and fluffy. Enjoy!


Almond Roca Mocha Frappe

I have been working out every morning since I started teaching at summer debate institute. I figure it will help transition me into the school year while allowing me to beat the heat. And when I run in my local neighborhood, I end the run with a special treat! I get a trenta (aka really big!) unsweetened passion iced tea from Starbucks to enjoy on the walk back to my apartment. While I am there, I also pick up a tall (aka small) black coffee.

After drinking the iced tea, I have a perfect vessel to carry a homemade blended coffee beverage to work, which I make right after I shower and get dressed for the day!

Today’s shake was so delicious I had to share right away!

  • 1 HMR Diet Chocolate Shake (I use the 800)
  • 12 oz black coffee chilled (I throw my cup in the freezer while I shower and get ready)
  • 2 oz Torani SF Almond Roca syrup
  • 8 ice cubes (or the amount you want for desired texture)

Blend away and enjoy! A perfect sweet treat to jump start your day!


Vanilla Rose Peach HMR Shake Recipe

Our health class this week was a party! No, it wasn’t just a fun class but an actual party. To be more specific, it was a condiment potluck where we all brought some of our favorite condiments to share with our classmates. I swapped some condiments as well as went out and bought some new ones — feeling totally inspired!

And just in time for a really hot weekend!

This shake uses rose water which adds floral notes and a level of complexity to the shake that I can’t explain but it really does elevate the meal. Play around with the amount you use as I tend to enjoy strong flavors but rose water, like the lavender extract, can be overpowering. So if you like more subtle flavors, start with half the rose water.

Vanilla Rose Peach Shake

1 HMR 800 Vanilla

2 ounces Torani SF Peach syrup

2 tbsp rose water

1 cup water

8 ice cubes

Blend liquids and shake mix together. Add ice and blend until smooth and fluffy.


HMR Diet: Spiced Rum Muffins Recipe

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As I have worked to increase my physical activity, I have found myself needing to fuel on-the-go. This combined with the travel demands of the job have left me playing with ways to increase the portability of the HMR shakes and cereals. This is one of my go-to recipes. It’s important to remember that these would be a low volume food — I make sure to have at least 8 ounces of water with each serving in order to help with the volume of the meal.

Spiced Rum Muffins

3 HMR Oatmeal packets

3 HMR 70 shakes – vanilla

1/4 cup DaVinci Sugar-Free Chai syrup

1/2 cup DaVinci Sugar-Free Butter Rum syrup

1 and 1/2 cups water

2 tsp baking power

Preheat oven or toaster oven to 350 degrees. Use nonstick cooking spray quickly over mini muffin tins (I find the silicone mini muffin tins to be the easiest).

Begin by mixing the oatmeal, syrups and water in a large microwave safe bowl. Heat for two minutes. Stir and let cool for about five minutes. At this point the oatmeal will have cooked and soaked up much of the liquid but will still be warm. Add the shakes and baking powder by folding them in. The heat from the oatmeal will begin to activate the rising agents and over stirring will deflate the batter. You want those air bubbles being created in order to have fluffier muffins!

Gently spoon batter into muffin tins. Bake for 20-30 minutes depending on your oven calibration – you want a nice brown color on top and a slight firmness to the muffin when you gently touch the top. After removing the pan from the oven, you will want to work to release the muffins from the pan relatively soon after baking or you risk the temperature issues between the heat of the pan and the cool air above causing the muffins to collapse. I like to use a butter knife if I have trouble just popping them out and then I put them on a rack to cool.

After muffins have cooled, I divide the muffins into 9 equal servings. Depending on which pan I use, I either get three or four mini-muffins per serving. I am on HMR Decision Free 3/2 with the 180 shakes, so 1/9 of this recipe counts as half of a shake for me (1/9 of the recipe is like a half an oatmeal or one 70 shake calorically). I then put the servings into snack bags and put them in either the fridge or freezer depending on when I plan on consuming them.


HMR Mocha: On the Go and In the Box!

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If you haven’t read my blog before, you may be unaware that I am always on the go. Which means I don’t always have the luxury to make shakes in the comfort of my kitchen.

That said, I love fancy coffees and giving up those special treats was difficult. Luckily, with the help of my travel milk frother, I have been coming up with some on-the-go specialties!

This one is the easiest and is a favorite staple in my current rotation. Order a medium black coffee in a large coffee cup (in Sbux speak that’s a grande in an venti cup!). That gives you room to add an HMR chocolate shake packet and optional sweetener (none for me). Then froth that baby up! The travel milk frother breaks down the shake powder and blends inside the coffee cup while adding a light froth on top. Enjoy!


Traveling on the HMR Diet

I have been on the HMR Decision Free Diet for almost 16 full weeks. During those 16 weeks, I have flown away for weekend work (and one personal trip) for 8 weekends and spent another 4 weekends at regional competitions. With 12 weekends away from the comfort and safety of my home environment, I have quickly learned some skills for traveling on the HMR DF Diet and I am looking forward to sharing some of them now!

First, let’s dispel some rumors. I have carried entrees and shakes through airport security every trip and have never been stopped. However, I would always recommend carrying some documentation of your medically supervised diet just in case you get a TSA agent with his britches in a bunch claiming HMR chili is a liquid.

Second, the majority of hotels I have encountered have been amenable to placing a mini-fridge and in most cases a microwave in my hotel room free of charge provided I show the medical necessity (same documentation). Many never needed to see it, I just needed to ask and explain.

Third, if you haven’t already figured it out, many of the entrees can be eaten cold. I will be honest… I am NOT a fan of most of them at room temperature. My stand-by is Five Bean Casserole (add a packet of salt and a packet of pepper and maybe a squeeze of mustard from an airport food court and you’re golden). I will also do the chicken parm and the ravioli and the lasagna. It’s up to personal preference.

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Two great on-the-go shaker bottles… liquid included!

When I am checking a bag for a longer trip, I like to travel light with the carry-on. This means packing as compactly as possible. First, I fold up two of the 800 packets and one 70 packet into my standard Blender Bottle along with a plastic spoon. This prevents the wire ball from bouncing around, saves space, and gives me an easy pudding and two shakes!

I also pack at least one Mio or Crystal Light squeeze bottle for easy to-go flavoring in my liquids bag. Great for making shakes different flavors and perfect to add to a club soda on a plane for a “fancy” drink!

However, I hate cleaning when traveling and thus when I get through airport security, I am often on the hunt for one of the stand-by beverages pictured above. It makes a perfect disposable shake container. Just swirl your shake powder before shaking or the powder may all end up in the lid!

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This was my HMR meal at the San Diego Zoo. Just drink half the bottle, add shake mix, swirl and shake to your desired consistency! Mmmmm Chocolate Lemon Goodness!

I am also a big fan of mixing up the flavors of my entrees and having other savory options available to me is a big way I have managed to stay “In the Box” while “On the Road.” I always have a couple of bouillon cubes in a snack bag (to keep the smell contained) as well as a couple of tea bags for on-the-go hot beverage choices. I also carry a travel milk frother (mine has a cute carrying case!) which I use to whisk hot liquids for soup and hot chocolate shakes.

Additionally, I carry a menagerie of seasonings in a travel pill case (pictured below) which I place in a sandwich bag (because I am paranoid about spills but haven’t had one yet!). You can put all of your favorites in here! These are just some of my standards.

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Turn your pill case into a travel condiment container!

Another way to make travel easier and make you feel included when others are eating carby goodness, is to make some HMR muffins (I make these without the frosting) ahead of time. I don’t do this often because I want to avoid over-relying on low-volume foods. However I have found packing these can save me in a pinch when everyone else is noshing on trigger foods plus these don’t require preparation. This is one I save for super high stress weekends (I also make these using a mini-donut pan that fits in my toaster oven which makes them smaller – I get more and they are easier to pack!).

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Make muffins ahead of time for packable meals.

Traveling can be difficult on the HMR diet, or any diet, because of the temptations that lie in the Gap and all of the fabulous looking foods that abound. It is much harder to control your environment and at some point in the future I will talk more about how I prepare mentally for travel. However in the meantime, I hope these travel tips are helpful for those who have travel in their future!


HMR Decision Free Pumpkin Pie Shake

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I love to cook. I love to consume a variety of flavors and textures. And one of my biggest fears of starting the HMR Diet was that I would not be able to cook.

This is my third week of the diet and I am happy to say that I have been playing in the kitchen!

The first week of the diet I started looking up recipes online. Many of the HMR recipes appeared to be for Healthy Solutions or involved major manipulations that made me uncomfortable as I didn’t want to veer too far off from the basics until I knew the program and myself.

However after ordering a number of sugar free syrups, zero calories extracts, and spices galore — I have been amassing a number of recipes I want to record to use down the road.

I have a Vitamix blender. I got it before I started HMR but it has been a total lifesaver. It is the easiest to clean ever and makes my smoothies amazingly fluffy and smooth. I say this as a preface because results may vary if you try this with a different blender at home.

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Pumpkin Pie Decision Free Smoothie

1 packet HMR Vanilla 800
3/4 to 1 cup of water
6 pumps Torani Sugar Free Pumpkin Pie syrup
7 to 9 ice cubes
Pumpkin Pie spice

1. Blend water, syrup, and powder on low for 20-30 seconds.
2. Add ice cubes and 2-3 dashes of spice to the blender.
3. Blend on high for 20-40 seconds (the longer I blend, the fluffier it gets!)

Enjoy!