5 Healthy High Protein Smoothie Recipes

Happy Friday, friends! We made it through another week and it's time to relax and recover for the weekend, unless you're anything like me and you have family to attend to, friends to see, chores to get done and a race that's not going to train for itself! Weekends may offer a change from the routine but they often can be busier than the work week!

While weekends may be our chance to unwind a bit, don't let the freedom of the weekend derail all your health and fitness goals. While it is perfectly acceptable (and encouraged) to indulge once in a while to stay sane and happy, I try to keep my diet and exercise plan on track throughout the weekend, despite the craziness. 

5 healthy high protein smoothie recipes


One way to start your weekend off on the right foot is with a high protein breakfast. Consuming protein helps us stay feeling full and satisfied longer after we finish our meals. It is also necessary in order to breakdown, build and preserve lean muscle mass. If you are trying to lose weight adequate protein intake is essential. When you lose weight, you want to make sure you are losing fat and not muscle. Preserve muscle while you lose weight by Including resistance training in your workouts and consuming enough protein. Depending on your goals, aim for .5 to .8 grams of protein per pound of body weight. 150 lb person may aim for 75 grams (to preserve lean muscle) to 120 grams (to build muscle) per day. If you are getting considerably less than this now, start on the low end. 

Protein shakes don't have to be boring. I wrote a post over on my other blog and since I know all my readers don't subscribe to both blogs (but please do!) I thought I would share these healthy high-protein recipes for you. These are all personally taste-tested and delicious. 

5 healthy high protein smoothie recipes - save to Pinterest for later!

5 healthy high protein smoothie recipes - save to Pinterest for later!


Sneak in a serving of spinach, you can't even taste it in this classic green smoothie.

1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
1 small banana
1/3 cup plain Greek Yogurt
1 handful of fresh spinach
1 cup of milk or almond milk


Don't let the Girl Scouts have all the fun. Try this healthy high protein twist on the classic Thin Mint.

1 scoop of chocolate protein powder
1 banana
1 tablespoon of cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract
1 cup of milk or almond milk


Close your eyes and imagine a tropical vacation complete with little umbrellas in your pineapple flavored drinks.

1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
1 handful of fresh spinach
1/3 cup of frozen pineapples
a pinch of coconut
a pinch of sliced almonds
1 cup of milk or almond milk


While it is almost never appropriate to eat apple pie for breakfast, you can have this healthy, high protein alternative any meal of the day. 

1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
1 sliced apple
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 cup of milk or almond milk


Reminisce about the summers of our youth and the beloved ice cream truck while you sip on this delicious orange creamsicle smoothie. 

1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
1 medium orange, peeled
1/3 cup of plain Greek nonfat yogurt
 cup of milk or almond milk

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Merry Christmas From Lea Genders Fitness: Holiday Baking Recipes

Merry Christmas, friends! I hope your day is filled with time with loved ones today, so I will keep it brief. (Me? Brief? With writing? I didn't think that was possible. Ha.)

I just wanted to take a moment and wish you and yours a happy holiday and give you this gift. It's Precision Nutrition's Holiday Baking Recipe Ebook! 

Holiday baking recipes, traditional and healthy versions included. Save to Pinterest for later.

Holiday baking recipes, traditional and healthy versions included. Save to Pinterest for later.


The holidays are a time to enjoy, not a time to stress, feel guilt and over-analyze. So what do you do about all those holiday treats that are multiplying like wet Gremlins this time of year?

You enjoy them.

My philosophy is to worry less about what you eat between Christmas and New Years day and pay more attention to what you eat between New Years day and Christmas. Get it? It's what you do most of the time that matters. 

That's why I love this ebook from Precision Nutrition. There are two versions of every dessert, both are delicious. There is a classic version with traditional ingredients like butter, flour, milk, eggs, etc. Then there is a alternative version of the recipe made with less-processed ingredients. The idea is that you can enjoy both. We all enjoy a good dessert, especially me, so I am grateful to Precision Nutrition for this gift. 

It helps us all be a little more mindful in the holiday season. Enjoy the treat. Everything in moderation. 

No email address required to download the guide. You can add your email below in the footer if you want to be sure not to miss any future posts on nutrition, running and strength training, but not required to download this free gift. Just click below to download the PDF.


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Happy Holidays, friends!

I still have openings for my nutrition habits coaching program in January. Learn to ditch the food rules to lose weight and feel great without diets, deprivation or extreme measures. Sound interesting? Ready to make permanent, sustainable changes in 2018? The first month is 75% off to try! Click here to see if nutrition habits coaching is for you!

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Delicious Turkey & Spinach Portobello Mushroom Caps Recipe

Happy Friday, Friends! I was going to call this post Foodie Friday because it has a nice ring, but this is not a food blog and I am not a foodie. I wasn't blessed with domestic gifts; my husband jokes that he was short changed by marrying an Italian who can’t cook. Ha. 

I believe that healthy eating is the most important part of a healthy lifestyle, so even though I am not domestically-inclined, over the years I learned how to prepare some simple, healthy, quick and delicious meals. Since complicated recipes, hard-to-find ingredients and long cooking times aren't my thing, you won't find any of that here. 

I realized that the recipe section of my blog archive was lacking, so I am going to add some new recipes over the next few months. These are some of the meals that are on regular rotation in my home.

If you are just starting out and you only have the time, energy or motivation to focus on one thing, focus on healthy eating first. Working out is important too, but you can layer that on later. Get your nutrition on track. What does healthy eating mean to me? I define it as eating a variety of nutrient-dense foods mostly from nature that make you look, feel and perform your best, while still maintaining balance and enjoyment. 

Let’s get started with one of my favorites, delicious turkey & spinach Portobello mushroom caps.



1 pound of 100% natural lean ground turkey
2 large Portobello mushroom caps
5 oz. of frozen chopped spinach (steamed) 
1/2 cup of plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1/2 chopped red pepper
1/2 chopped green pepper
1 fresh jalapeno pepper (optional)
1/2 small onion
Grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste


Preheat the oven to 350

Bake the mushroom caps on a cookie sheet stem side down for 10 minutes.

In the meantime, cook the turkey meat in a skillet over medium heat and steam the frozen spinach in a separate pot.

Once the meat is no longer pink, drain the grease and add the steamed spinach, chopped peppers, onions, salt and pepper.

Continue stirring on the stove top until all is combined and heated through. Remove from heat, add the Greek yogurt and stir it up!

Once the mushroom caps come out of the oven, flip them over, cut off the stem (you can cut it up and add to your mixture) and scoop out the gills to make room for your toppings.

Spoon the turkey and spinach mixture into the mushroom caps and bake for an additional 10 minutes. I build mine up high and top with a little Parmesan cheese and Sriracha.

There you have it!  An easy, healthy dinner for two!  I'd love to hear what you think!

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One of the most challenging parts of living a healthy lifestyle is sorting through all the information and misinformation out there. Some say the "magic formula" for successful weight loss is to exercise regularly and eat healthy foods in a calorie-deficit. But what exactly does "eat healthy foods" mean? It can be confusing with all the mixed messages and misleading food marketing labels.

The most important thing to understand is that food marketing labels are sometimes intentionally deceiving. Many foods are marketed as healthful choices when in reality they are quite the opposite. 

This isn't intended to be a post about what you should or should not eat. Each person needs to make those choices for themselves, possibly under the direction of their doctor or registered dietitian (RD). This is a post about being aware of what you are eating, so that you can make the best decisions for yourself, your health and your family, based on reality, and not on misleading food packaging marketing.



Yogurt is one of the worst offenders of misleading marketing, often advertised as a diet food. Most flavored yogurts are very high in sugar and often have artificial sweeteners and/or high-fructose corn syrup. They can have as much sugar as a cup of ice cream, but people eat them and think they are making a good choice for their body. 

Try buying plain Greek yogurt, which is higher is protein and lower in sugar than traditional yogurt and then add fresh fruit or berries for flavor. If it is not as sweet as the yogurt you are used to, it is because it has a lot less sugar.


Protein bars are often advertised in health and fitness magazines by models with six-pack abs. Everyone knows protein is important for building and maintaining muscle, right? Right. But A lot of these packaged protein bars are nothing more than glorified candy bars with added protein. Check the ingredient list, sugar content and calorie content. They are often high in calories, sugar and are highly processed. I think they are OK in moderation but generally should not be consumed as a health food. I enjoy some protein bars, but consider them an occasional treat, not a healthy staple.

Try to get most of your protein from whole food sources like lean meats, beans, nuts and leafy greens.


Frozen diet dinners are often too high in sodium and processed ingredients and too low in nutrients to be considered a healthy food, but with labels like "Healthy Choice" and "Weight Watchers" we can be misled into thinking that they are a good choice for our body. 

Try meal prepping for the week with these mason jar salads for a quick, fresh lunch on the go. 


Let me let you in on a little secret. If the food label boasts claims of Fat Free or Low Fat, it is often a red-flag that the food is not healthy at all. You see they take out the fat, but then add more sugar and processed ingredients so it still tastes good. Read the nutritional and ingredient label to be sure what you're eating.

Our bodies need healthy fats. Reducing intake of healthy fats does not necessarily equate to reduced body fat. You need a healthy balance of protein, carbs and fat in your diet.


Watch out for buzz words on packaged foods like organic, gluten-free, and low-carb. While natural foods that are organic, gluten-free and low-carb are obviously just fine, processed foods with these labels are not any healthier than their counterparts. Organic junk foods are not any better for you than regular junk food. A gluten-free cupcake is still a processed low-nutrient food. Low-carb cookies are still cookies. When it comes to packaged foods, these types are labels are generally marketing labels designed to mislead you. (Obviously if you have celiac disease or a gluten intolerance a gluten-free label is helpful, but for the rest of the population it doesn't mean much in terms of the the health status of a food.)

Honorable mentions of junk foods disguised as health foods are dried fruits, trail mix, processed meats, veggie chips, sports drinks and cereal. Most of these have either too much added sugar or sodium to be considered healthy. Always look for the most natural alternative. 

I encourage you to ignore package marketing all together, read the nutrition label, take note of the calories per serving and number of servings in the package. Pay attention to the sugar content per serving and most importantly, the ingredient list. 

If you want to eat junk food then it's always OK to enjoy an occasional treat. It is actually healthy for us to have a balanced approached to nutrition (no one can eat 100% perfectly all the time). The idea is to learn to decipher between health foods and junk food, so that you don't eat junk food that you think is healthy. Eat healthful foods from nature most of the time and when you want to enjoy an indulgent treat, do it with your eyes open.

For any serious nutritional concerns please see a registered dietitian. Have questions? Leave them in the comments or be a part of my new series "Ask the Trainer" and have your questions answered in a future blog post.

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Coach Lea

I am a NASM personal trainer and RRCA adult distance running coach that specializes in strength training for runners. I offer in-person training in the Shredshed, online training and Fit to Run bootcamps. If you are interested in a more in-depth running or strength training plan, please contact me. Have questions? I'd love to help. 

While I am a certified personal trainer, I am not your personal trainer. Since I don't know your exercise abilities, injury background or medical history, please see your doctor before beginning any new exercise program. This is an opinion blog. No information in this blog is intended to be taken as medical advice or prescription. Please see your doctor and/or registered dietitian for any health concerns.




Pina Colada Protein Smoothie

Who doesn't love a Pina Colada? Since this is a health and fitness blog, I'll leave the alcoholic versions to your favorite bartender and I'll tell you about this delicious, healthy, Pina Colada protein smoothie instead! 

Fill the bottom of the blender with a handful of spinach. I do this for every protein shake that I make because you can't taste it and it is an easy way to add a serving of greens into your meal. 

Add a cup of Greek coconut-flavored yogurt, a handful of fresh or frozen strawberries, 1/4 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes, 1/2 cup of canned pineapples, a scoop of vanilla protein powder and water to blend. 

Blend it all up and serve!

Pina Colada Protein Smoothie

Pina Colada Protein Smoothie

This is a delicious post-workout recovery meal. Be sure to eat carbs and protein like found in this Pina Colada protein drink 30 minutes to an hour after a hard workout. 

Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Coach Lea