You’re the Apple of My Eye Smoothie

January 31, 2017
You're the Apple Of My Eye Smoothie - Apples sautéed in butter and spices. Topped with a creamy yogurt smoothie and a sprinkling of granola

“Earlier, watching her apply mascara with ritual concentration, he’d wondered just how beautiful a woman had to be before she believed it.”   ~ Alison Fell

Photo Credit: Instagram – @madewell

(This post may contain affiliate links)

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A couple of months ago, life offered a turning-point of sorts and along with it, recommended reading from a friend

“I knew I’d never treat a friend the way I’d treated myself; without mercy or kindness”     ~ Tara Brach  


Changing one’s mental tape-recorder?  Turns out it isn’t a job for sissies.  Therefore, I’ve placed sticky notes in strategic locations; reminders to take inventory  “Are you moving through your day with a spirit of kindness?”

The most problematic?  The bathroom mirror

“Hey, cool t-shirt”   (“Idk, it’s looking a little tight around the arms.  Maybe I should put on another”   Scratch that.. )  “It makes you look pretty.  Good choice”

“Yay to a clean house on Monday mornings!”  (“The grocery, you didn’t make it to the grocery.  If you had, there wouldn’t be errands to run today”  Scratch that ..)  “Thank-you instead for making (and taking) dinner to a neighbor who wasn’t feeling well”

I think of this often.  How many times have I remarked on a friend’s new dress, or their ultra-chic hair cut, but didn’t tell them that I think they’re big-hearted?  How many times am I with my family or my husband, and don’t say out loud that I think they’re amazing people?  Complement their character?

Complement my own?

You're the Apple Of My Eye Smoothie - Apples sautéed in butter and spices. Topped with a creamy yogurt smoothie and a sprinkling of granola

“Every time they say ‘Roll the clip’ I think, Oh God, what size am I going to be?” ~ Oprah

Throughout my forty-five years, I’ve been fat, thin, fatter, and pretty much every size in-between.

I think back to my twenties and thirties.  The decades I thought I could (and should) be everything to everybody, and hustled with everything I had.  The decades I ate my way through pregnancies, unfortunate marriages, addicted and wayward children, finishing college, building a career, building a house.  Never fear, I had a reliable bag of tricks when I needed to drop a few pounds

And then, somewhere around forty, a curious (and somewhat alarming) thing began to happen

All of the tricks that used to work; suddenly they didn’t(!)  I found myself in uncharted territory, not only with the size of my jeans but the size of my life.  Desperately I searched for my next bag of tricks, only to realize that maybe it was

time to stop

Instead of quick-fixes that only lowered the number on the scale, what if I shifted my focus ever so slightly?  To be the healthiest me with an awful lot of happiness along the way

“And this is the gift of mid-life.  The gift of mid-life is ‘something’s gotta go, and for the first time in your life you’re like .. and it ain’t gonna be me’ ”     ~ Brene Brown via Chase Jarvis Live

You're the Apple Of My Eye Smoothie - Apples sautéed in butter and spices. Topped with a creamy yogurt smoothie and a sprinkling of granola

“After all of your experience, what’s still vulnerable for you?” ~ Brene Brown

“Weight.  Discussing weight.  Not having conquered the whole weight struggle.  Figuring out what to eat next and what not to eat. The whole balancing what it means to be a strong, powerful woman in the world juxtaposed with trying to control what you’re eating. That’s still a vulnerable space for me”     ~ Oprah Winfrey via Living Brave with Brene Brown

And so

To the tape recorder.  The little voice who is as sly and slippery as they come.  The one who tells me I would be valuable if I were thin:

We’ve been constant companions over the years, you and I, although I’m trying my level best to change all that.  Did I mention I’m on a quest, not only for my health but self-kindness as well?  While I’d never admit it to you, it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

Most days, I feel as if we’re passing each other at the grocery.  We’re going opposite ways down each aisle at an oddly even pace ,and we keep meeting halfway down each row.  Finally, we’ve stopped in front of the meat counter, and over the hum of fluorescent lights you brazenly say

“You would be pretty if your face weren’t so puffy.  Oh, and those jeans?  Let’s just call it for what it is: muffin top city.  Sweetie, stick to the yoga pants.”

You wag your finger so close to my face I see double, but I know you’re pointing at me.  Amid the puffiness, one of my favorite things about myself?  My laugh lines.  In fact, they’re probably more pronounced because my husband had me nearly doubled over at breakfast with one of his customary one-liners.  He makes me smile every day.  I’ve earned those lines.

Come to think of it, the extra puff in my cheeks?  It’s probably because we were invited to our neighbors for dinner last night.  The main course?  Pork.  It’s a highly inflammatory food for me and causes me to gain five pounds overnight.  I’m not even kidding; I blow-up like a pufferfish

The muffin top?  I’m betting it’s more pronounced because the stories they told made me laugh so hard my ribs hurt.  I’m compensating today with a little bit of a slouch.

You're the Apple Of My Eye Smoothie - Apples sautéed in butter and spices. Topped with a creamy yogurt smoothie and a sprinkling of granola

I’m the eternal optimist, I realize, so bear with me.

There are a few reasons I’m guessing you might have decided it was your place to tell me about my body

You appear to be several years younger than me.  An age sweetheart, when losing weight is truly a breeze.  Your metabolism is humming along, you have all the time in the world to exercise, and can eat that chocolate cake without the slightest worry

Maybe you’re speaking from experience.  Perhaps you too were overweight at some point in your life.

Perhaps you too have been called names, teared up when people made fun of you, hid whenever a camera appeared, been dateless for the dance, or had someone pinch your muffin top in jest.  Perhaps you allowed yourself to believe the lie that someone would love you more, if only you were a size smaller or the scale read a lower number.  Perhaps you acted on it, shed a few pounds, and feel like you’ve got the world by the tail

Here’s the thing.  I’m older, and honestly at times terribly naive.  Maybe I’m not jaded enough to know that you might just be right (according to most people’s reasoning). Or perhaps someone convinced you that in order to be beautiful you had to be perfect.

If that’s the case, then I’m terribly sorry to be the one to break this it to you.  You’ve been misinformed

Photo Credit: Instagram – @madewell

My body is nowhere close to perfect.

In fact, I’m far from anyone’s standard of beauty.  But I consider myself lucky because most everything works and I’m able to go about my days

I have scars along my back because it was broken in a car accident when I was a teen.  Most people pause when they see them; to me, they represent living life to its fullest (it’s so terribly short).  I have a horrible tendency to slouch, which gives me something to work on at yoga class

My legs are far from symmetrical and look a bit funny in a skirt.  After the accident, I was in a hospital bed for a long, long time, and blood clots damaged a vein deep inside my left leg.  The lymphedema makes it swell, sometimes a lot, but I’m not complaining. They allow me walks with the puppies, kickboxing at the gym, and races at the park with my grandchildren

My eyes are blue, like my family’s.  I look at my children, and I see myself reflected in them.  I hope they never think of their intelligence, integrity, or curiosity are less important than how they look in the mirror

My tummy isn’t flat, nor will it ever be.  It’s often queasy when I’m nervous or under a lot of stress.  There’s a bit of sag and quite a few stretch marks.  It’s allowed me to birth babies, hold a plank for minutes at a time, and be a pillow for Harry when he’s worn out from an afternoon at daycare.  Within lies that inner voice ..

the super smart one that I’ve learned never to ignore

Photo Credit – Instagram – @daily_harvest

As we head into week two of the Live Healthy Iowa 10 Week Challenge, my tape recorder and I are in daily conversation.  Certainly, there are challenges for activity and weight loss, but I have to wonder if there isn’t a bigger story missing from the mix.

How amazing would we be if we took Tara Brach’s words heart?  If we approached this challenge (or any other) with the commitment to treating our journey with the same level of kindness, we extend to others on our team?

If we could try on a new filter?  One that lets us see our bodies as a vehicle for our unique human experiences, instead of something to be hated?  To stop precariously balancing our worth, starving ourselves to perfect, and spending time finding new and inventive ways to cover.

To see our bodies as strong.  Offering us opportunities to explore, to learn, to grow, to connect, and to reach out.  To once-and-for-all change the tape.

Because the truth is, we are enough.  Without covering anything up, without starving ourselves or obsessing over one too many cookies.  Without the never-ending sea of diet plans.  Without pinching at our muffin tops, or squeezing into jeans one size too small.

Our worth isn’t found in the latest pill or potion.  We won’t find it behind the Spanx at Target, or on the shelf at the health food store.  Instead, as I’m slowly discovering, it’s tucked gently inside of your humanity ..

just waiting to be discovered

You're the Apple Of My Eye Smoothie - Apples sautéed in butter and spices. Topped with a creamy yogurt smoothie and a sprinkling of granola

My progress report after week 1?

Total minutes of activity = 635.   It adds up quick! (a combination of walking, yoga, resistance class, and weight lifting)

Total pounds lost:  4.2

( .. to be continued .. )

— — —

A smoothie recipe today that’s a great breakfast or snack.

Apples sautéed in butter and spices.  Topped with a creamy yogurt smoothie and a sprinkling of granola.  It’s apple pie in a glass

From the look of the three-layered smoothie, it may seem a daunting task.  Never fear it’s (at most) a fifteen-minute job



ps:  I’m participating as part of the  Iowa Food and Family Project‘s blogger team in this year’s annual Live Healthy Iowa 10 Week Challenge. More stories from the Challenge can be found here  

— —

~ Adapted from Green Kitchen Smoothies by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl

You’re The Apple of My Eye Smoothie


  • Sautéed Apples
  • 1 Tbsp clarified butter (or coconut oil)
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored, and chopped into ½" dice
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger

  • Yogurt Smoothie
  • 1 apple, cored, and rough chopped
  • 1 ½ cups Greek yogurt
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • scoop of protein powder, optional (my favorite is from Dana James)
  • nut milk to thin, if necessary

  • Granola, for serving


  • Sautéed Apples
  • In a small to medium size sauce pan over medium heat, melt the clarified butter
  • Add the spices, followed by the apple pieces. Sauté for about five minutes, or until they're golden, tender and fragrant

  • Yogurt Smoothie
  • To your blender add the chopped apple, yogurt, and vanilla.
  • Blend on high until it's completely smooth, thinning with a splash of nut milk if the consistency is a little too thick for your liking

  • Assemble and Serve
  • To assemble, divide the sautéed apple pieces between two glass jars.
  • Pour the yogurt smoothie over the top; finish with a generous shrinking of granola and serve
Serves: 2
Nutrition + Show
Calories 292
Total Fat 6.3g
Saturated Fat 1.7g
Carbohydrates 41g
Fiber 5.5g
Sugars 29.3g
Protein 21.6g
Print This Recipe

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  • Reply Tania January 31, 2017 at 4:42 am

    I hear you sister! Oh man, I can so relate to everything you said about the changes that happen after 40. especially the old tricks that start failing. This smoothie sounds divine and good luck on the rest of the Challenge.

  • Reply Candy January 31, 2017 at 10:40 am

    We are enough. Loving your smoothie recipe.

  • Reply Belle January 31, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    That looks really good! My kids love apple; I have to try this!

  • Reply Jessica January 31, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    Girl, this post will change people’s lives and bring so much hope and encouragement! Love the yummy recipe…most important is the perception and thoughts we have of ourselves. Our entire world can change if we can retrain our brains! I’m gonna practice more. This is SO good!!!

  • Reply Katherine January 31, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    This looks fantastic! And anything with ginger is a win in my book!

  • Reply Kathy January 31, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    5 stars
    Love the recipe, and the post. I need to keep learning to think positive!

  • Reply Sharon January 31, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    I have been obsessed with smoothies lately and have just added this one to my list to try! Thanks so much for sharing xo

  • Reply Krysten January 31, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    I beat myself up all the time, it’s so hard to stay positive, but thank you for reminding me to keep trying to.
    This smoothie looks fantastic!

  • Reply Ana January 31, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    I still think that our imperfections make us beautiful and that car accident only served to make you the strong, creative individual that you are today. This smoothie looks amazing xx

  • Reply Melissa January 31, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    OoO! Looks yummy

  • Reply Meghan January 31, 2017 at 6:04 pm

    While your photos of the smoothie look amazing…I am sure it taste even better. I have got to try this out sometime!

  • Reply Kimberly January 31, 2017 at 7:09 pm

    This would make an awesome breakfast! I’m loving the granola in the pictures, too. It looks wonderful. You can’t beat a good smoothie.

  • Reply Leah January 31, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    Amazing story, I am going to love following along! I wish I could lose that much in a week! This sounds like the perfect treat for breakfast or a snack, yum!

  • Reply Rachel January 31, 2017 at 8:26 pm

    This looks SO good! I’ve been looking for healthier recipes, will have to try this one out~

  • Reply Ruthie Ridley February 1, 2017 at 1:03 am

    Love that quote by Oprah !! This is my kind of smoothie!! YES

  • Reply neha February 1, 2017 at 3:06 am

    4 stars
    Oh so lovely!

  • Reply Elizabeth O. February 1, 2017 at 6:20 am

    I love the message, we need a little more love for ourselves. Be kinder when you describe yourself while looking at the mirror and be more appreciative of who you are, just like you are of your family and friends. I think this apple smoothie is divine!

  • Reply Cait February 1, 2017 at 10:51 am

    Yum! This looks like the perfect, healthy, and delicious dessert. I’m looking forward to trying this smoothie soon!

  • Reply Mary February 1, 2017 at 11:17 am

    This looks so yummy! I love that you have the oats with the smoothie. I may just have to try making this myself!

  • Reply Bobbi February 1, 2017 at 11:36 am

    5 stars
    This sounds fabulous! I have got to give it a try!!

  • Reply Freya February 1, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    I must say, my favorite thing about this post is the quote you state at the beginning it’s beautiful and I’m tempted to get it framed!

  • Reply Bella February 1, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    Ok now this looks good! I am such a big apple lover. I need to try making this.

  • Reply Ashley February 1, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    YUM! This looks delicious! It would be perfect for breakfast on a grab and go morning!

  • Reply Maggie February 1, 2017 at 9:19 pm

    The Oprah quote is great! Love this smoothie. Pinning for later.

  • Reply Kusum February 1, 2017 at 10:45 pm

    That smoothie looks and sounds absolutely delicious! I love a good smoothie and will never get tired of trying different recipes.

    xx, Kusum

  • Reply Desiree February 1, 2017 at 11:14 pm

    Oh this looks so yummy! What a fun post!

  • Reply Chelsea February 1, 2017 at 11:46 pm

    5 stars
    We have to learn to speak about ourselves in a positive way. So important. Loved all the quotes, such a great topic.


  • Reply Savannah February 2, 2017 at 12:39 am

    Mmmm, this sounds sooo yummy! Do you think I could use coconut milk yogurt instead of greek yogurt? I bet this tastes like a delicious apple pie!! Thanks for sharing <3

  • Reply Anton February 2, 2017 at 6:40 am

    5 stars
    Looks terrific! I’ll add a bit of sugar and turn it to dessert when I try it 🙂

  • Reply Surekha February 2, 2017 at 9:37 am

    Those scars what makes us strong I believe. That smoothie looks delicious.

  • Reply Sabrina February 2, 2017 at 9:44 am

    I love when a recipe is accompanied by a real-life story! Food is all about that in the end! Good luck with everything and thank you so much for sharing it all with us!

  • Reply Catalina February 2, 2017 at 10:03 am

    Good luck with the Live Health Iowa 10 Week Challenge ♥. Can`t wait to try your smoothie recipe. It looks so yummm

  • Reply Katrina February 2, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    that looks really good. I’m saving this for later so I can try it.

  • Reply Joanna February 2, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    This quote, ““I knew I’d never treat a friend the way I’d treated myself .. without mercy or kindness” ~ Tara Brach ” YES!!! Plus, this recipe looks amazing:)

  • Reply Sarah February 2, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    Wow I don’t know how you come up with these but this one absolutely decadent.

  • Reply Ivelisse February 2, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    I love how vulnerable you are here, the way the post flows, and how you include images! Plus a recipe! I love it!


  • Reply Eugenia February 2, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    What an amazing smoothie recipe! I’d love to make it!

  • Reply Suchi February 2, 2017 at 8:30 pm

    This looks like an amazing smoothie! Loved it..I am gonna try it for sure!

  • Reply Annie B February 2, 2017 at 11:36 pm

    I’m a big fan of smoothies I just need to really prep and make one every morning.

  • Reply Tiina A February 3, 2017 at 3:14 am

    5 stars
    Looks sooo delicious, and sounds as well. I’m a heavy smoothie dan but never tried one with greek yogurt. That makes a perfect snack after a workout 🙂

  • Reply Suzanne February 3, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    5 stars
    I’ve been looking for new smoothie recipes and this one looks so delicious. Thank you!

  • Reply Ana February 3, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    5 stars
    Wow! that smoothie looks extremely tempting and incredibly delicious. Thanks for sharing the new smoothie recipe. Can’t wait to try it!

  • Reply Hannah February 4, 2017 at 9:58 am

    This looks so delish and absolutely perfect for breakfast!

  • Reply Angie February 4, 2017 at 7:42 pm

    This smoothie looks absolutely delicious! I’m always looking for new smoothies to make for breakfast. This looks perfect 🙂

  • Reply Борка Шаула February 5, 2017 at 7:02 am

    I was never fat in my life, but I often feel I am. It’s pretty much that problem when you want a perfect body, then you see someone who’s been fat their whole life that actually did something and now is more thinner than you. I admire them, but I feel like I don’t have a character at all. It kills me, because I could lose wait faster and not struggle as much, but I give up really quick.

  • Reply Sandra M. February 6, 2017 at 1:51 am

    This smoothie looks so yummy, I need to try that!

  • Reply Angie February 7, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    This sounds super tasty. I want some now!

  • Reply Claudia February 7, 2017 at 9:00 pm

    5 stars
    you are so beautiful, it shows in your words throughout this post, with your beauty going much further than just skin deep.
    I love your recipe!


    • Reply sexyveggie February 8, 2017 at 1:02 am

      oh Claudia .. thank-you for your sweet words

  • Reply kathryn Maher February 17, 2017 at 5:17 am

    Life can throw you lemons and frequently does ……..I guess its what you do with them that really counts. You make apple smoothies and are stronger for it. Well done!

  • Reply hannah February 22, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    This looks great. I don’t really drink a lot of smoothies

  • Reply Claire February 23, 2017 at 8:26 am

    Your recipe sounds right up my street . The post it’s in strategic places that is so me

  • Reply Jacqui Paterson February 23, 2017 at 8:52 am

    Mmmmm, that smoothie looks AMAZING! I love apples so this would make the perfect post-gym treat for me. x

  • Reply Ickle Pickle February 23, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    This smoothie looks delicious. Well done on your weight loss. Kaz 🙂

  • Reply Sarah February 23, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    What a fantastic post! Honestly. Also I love the sound of the smoothie, it looks incredible!

  • Reply Sarah February 24, 2017 at 9:36 am

    this looks lovely. I have some apples that need using up so might give this a go x

  • Reply chichi February 25, 2017 at 4:38 pm

    such an easy to do recipe, love the ones with less ingredients because getting all the ing together becomes a pain!

  • Reply Sarah Bailey May 5, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    This is so lovely, we all really struggle with that voice inside that tries to constantly tell us that we are not enough just as we are. It’s often a struggle to teach that voice that we ARE enough, to accept ourselves and love ourselves as we are. Keep battling that voice x

  • Reply Agness August 25, 2017 at 8:12 am

    This is my kind of smoothie recipe! Can’t wait to make it as a start the day! x

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