Get the exclusive (almost) Weekly Digest.

    Other Thoughts

    Seven Quick Takes on Power Smoothies, a New Podcast, Making Tea, and More!

    August 7, 2015 by Brandy Vencel

    Seven Quick Takes

    :: 1 ::

    Today, I thought I’d share my THM {S} Chocolate Power Smoothie recipe with you. This is my lifesaver, my standby, and my almost daily treat. I ♥ it. My secret ingredient is green powder. It’s my fave. Because of my thyroid issues, I try to avoid green smoothies that use a lot of dark leafy green plants that are goitrogenic. Thankfully, sea vegetables are super nourishing, but beneficial to the thyroid.

    There are basically two versions of this recipe: the peanut butter version, and the coffee version. I’ll write out the peanut butter version and then explain at the end how to alter it to make it coffee instead.


    • 1-2 Tb. heavy cream + amount of water necessary to make 1 cup total
    • Scant 1 tsp. of THM Sweet Blend
    • 1/2 tsp. glucomannan {technically optional, but I don’t love it as much without it}
    • 1-2 tsp. peanut butter {the no-sugar-added kind — check the label}
    • 1 Tb. cocoa powder
    • 3 Tb whey protein concentrate {I am super picky about whey because so many whey products are derived from badly sourced milk, heat processed, denatured, and then filled with additives, so I like this exact one I linked to — Michele introduced me to it and it is also the best deal I’ve seen}
    • 1.5 tsp. Pure Synergy green powder
    • ice

    I put all of this in my blender cup and mix it up. It was fast and easy once I decided on my recipe.

    For the coffee option, I omit the peanut butter and replace the water with cool or cold coffee.

    :: 2 ::

    If all has gone as planned, today is supposed to be the launch of Allison Burr’s new Cultivating the Kingdom podcast. I plan to subscribe!

    :: 3 ::

    This week’s links collection:

    :: 4 ::

    This month in 2010:


    Most of you know that my one handicraft is making cakes {mostly birthday cakes for my children}. So, back in August of 2010, this blog was only five years old, and I gave a brief tutorial on making a monkey cake.

    {For those of you just joining us, in anticipation of my upcoming 10th blogoversary — a decade of blogging!! — I’m celebrating by sharing old posts from the same month of a past year.}

    :: 5 ::

    Q-Age-Eight loves coffee and tea, but we’re not comfortable with her having caffeine all the time {much to her chagrin}. Our children are always allowed coffee or tea on major holidays — Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving. Daughter Q. really wants more, though. Our recent compromise is nettle tea. She can brew it herself {1 tsp. of loose nettle leaves in a tea strainer steeped for 4 minutes}, or she can cold brew it {same formulation, just no heat} overnight in the fridge. It gives her something to look forward to, and I know it’s good for her.

    I really don’t want her drinking my beloved oolong tea as it can boost metabolism and she has trouble keeping weight on as it is, so this has been a helpful solution.

    :: 6 ::

    I told you all I’d keep you posted on prices for Visual LatinIt’s 30% off until the August 12, 2015! Compass Classroom is my source for that, and also Grammar of Poetry, so you might want to hop on over if you still need it for lessons this year.

    :: 7 ::

    Answering Your Questions:

    • Question: Do you have any suggestions for how to take a field guide and use it for nature study?
      • Answer: I am still not great with field guides, but I will say that I find it helpful to have separate guides for separate kinds of things, and then focus on one kind of thing when we are out. So: birds. Trees. Whatever. Use one field guide for a while, focusing on that one kind of thing, while you are learning to use it. Once you get the hang of it, then you can try a new kind. It’s hard! It took us quite a while, and there are still some of our guides that we haven’t fully figured out.

    Get the (almost) weekly digest!

    Weekly encouragement, direct to your inbox, (almost) every Saturday.

    Powered by ConvertKit


  • Reply Julie Z August 8, 2015 at 8:20 am

    So speaking of healing with light, have you heard of Biontology? I have been seeing a Biontologist here in St. Louis for the last month. The verdict is still out if we are going to see results, but the concept that we could heal with light is so intriguing, that I wanted to try it.
    All the articles are interesting, but I found the first most helpful.

  • Reply Kathy W. August 8, 2015 at 7:42 am

    Someday I’ll have to talk to you about the salary thing. It’s fascinating to me, and I’ve learned a lesson about it from experience.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel August 8, 2015 at 8:22 am

      I would love to hear what you’ve learned, Kathy! Maybe in Seattle? Of course, I know you’ll be a bit busy — and so will I…but maybe? A girl can dream, anyhow. 🙂

  • Reply Rebecca August 7, 2015 at 7:53 pm

    Can you elaborate a bit more on oolong tea? What benefits do you have with it? (Maybe you’ve posted on this before and I’ve missed it?)


    • Reply Brandy Vencel August 7, 2015 at 9:47 pm

      Well, honestly, I drink oolong because I like it. 🙂 But it is supposed to be very similar to green tea in the sense that it speeds up metabolism and produces heat in the body.

  • Reply Claire August 7, 2015 at 6:38 pm

    Wow, is $70000 really a middle-class wage in the US? That’s like, AUD100,000 or something!
    I read Henry Ford did a similar thing. He figured if he paid all his workers an exhorbitant-for-the-time salary of $5 per week, they could all afford to buy Model Ts. I bet plenty of people didn’t like him doing it, either, but it didn’t put him out of business afaik. Of course, he probably didn’t have a brother taking him to court at the time.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel August 7, 2015 at 9:50 pm

      Supposedly, $70,ooo is average, but I really think it depends on where you live. There are huge discrepancies in the cost of living. I remember talking with my husband’s cousin from Ohio, and she seemed to think that paying $50,000 for a house was a lot. But here, five times that would be the low end of average! $70,000 is quite a bit more than our combined household income for the three jobs my husband and I have combined!

  • Reply Mystie August 7, 2015 at 6:47 am

    “health on the level of quantum physics rather than biology/chemistry” — Brandy, you are basically awesome. I am not even sure what that means!

    I have an Ott lamp that my mom gave me for Christmas a couple years ago. She has loved Ott lamps for years and years – she does all her stitching under hers. I have mine with my stitching stuff that comes out about twice a year. 🙂 Maybe I’ll make myself a little Ott lamp station! I never knew anything about where they came from, though. What a cool story!

    • Reply Brandy Vencel August 7, 2015 at 3:16 pm

      Not awesome. It’s just something I’ve been thinking about ever since my husband treated my twisted ankle with a laser at his clinic. I hadn’t really considered the theory behind harnessing light and using it to cause a healing effect in the body. I really resonated with Ott’s idea that light is a nutrient — I have often thought that while Vitamin D is cool, it’s probably reductionistic to think that the sum total of our benefit from the sun is a single vitamin.

      I am intrigued that you have an Ott light! I keep wondering if there is some sort of attachment I could use to turn regular lighting into Ott lights…

      Of course, most of the time the easy answer is “go outside.” 😉

      • Reply Heather August 8, 2015 at 10:06 am

        Back when I lived in The Place With No Sun (or so it seemed), my mom bought me a bunch of Ott light bulbs. I put them into my regular fixtures in all the rooms of my house where I spent the most time.

      • Reply Elizabeth August 25, 2015 at 10:45 pm

        Ok, that laser light thing has healed my kids many a time – abcess, warts, psoriasis,,, it is amazing! I need to check into the Ott lamp – i always wanted one of Doc’s at home!

    Leave a Reply