Hey there friends!

Firstly, thank you so much for all of your kind words and congrats on Monday’s race recap post. You guys are the best! But what I really loved reading about was all of your goals and ambitions for this year. I’ve said it before, but one of my favourite things about blogging is getting to know YOU! Your comments were so inspiring and if there’s anything I can do to help you achieve whatever it is you’re setting out to do, I hope you’ll let me know!

If you haven’t yet had a chance to enter my Vega #FuelYourBetter giveaway, make sure you get on it ASAP because I’ll be announcing the winner on Friday. And speaking of Vega, today’s featured recipe stars Vega Sport Performance Protein. I hope you’re thirsty!

1. Recipe of the Week: The sunshine-y days are now in full swing, as are the cravings for cold fruity drinks.  It’s been a while since my last smoothie recipe and for the first time in a very long time, this one is not green. *Gasp!*

diced pineapple

When I was a kid living in Edmonton (my home town), I remember waking up to weekend family breakfasts. We’d make bacon, eggs, toast, and fruit salad, and the entire house would smell awesome – well, if you like the smell of those things.

pineapple and orange

Our family beverage of choice was smoothies. My mum would make a great big pitcher of what I think was usually oranges, bananas, and whatever sort of juice we had on hand. It was so basic, but so good and those breakfasts are one of my favourite childhood memories.

pineapple slices

This Sunshine Smoothie is a more amped up version of that old favourite, and I’ve incorporated some ingredients that boost its nutrition profile. Pineapple contains bromelain, a mixture of enzymes that can aid in digestion and I love the tropical flavour that this juicy fruit adds. The protein powder helps to repair muscle damage after longer workouts, but if you’d rather, feel free to add in yogurt. Greek yogurt in particular is really high in protein and will do a similar job. Maca root, ginger, and a tiny bit of turmeric are also in the mix to help decrease inflammation and speed recovery

The Sunshine Smoothie - Eat Spin Run Repeat

Head to Greatist for the recipe!

The Sunshine Smoothie - Eat Spin Run Repeat

2. A Minigarden modular vertical planter. I have been SO excited to tell you guys about this ever since I bought it on the weekend. Yes, this is another not-so-true Try Something New Tuesday recap because technically I put my new toy together on the weekend, but I’m so in love with it that I couldn’t resist sharing.

shopping for herbs and greens

As you may already know, one of my goals for this year is to successfully plant a patio garden. I go through more produce than anyone I know, so I figured if anyone should know how to grow their own food, it’s me. On Saturday, I went to a local nursery and bought a whole bunch of herbs, greens, a few flowers, and this absolutely amazing contraption:

minigarden vertical planter

You’re looking at a modular vertical planter by Minigarden, a company based in Portugal. Since I live in a condo with a small patio, I wanted something that would allow me to grow a variety of herbs and greens without taking up too much space. I found this planter at a fabulous local nursery, along with all the things I planted in it. But I’ll get to those in a minute – first I want to tell you about Minigarden!

Thanks to Google and Facebook, I learned that Minigarden is exceptionally eco-conscious. I love this little blurb from their Facebook page – pretty much sums up the way we live today:

Urban life has removed us from the pleasures of the land. We live surrounded by concrete and contact with natural things is being relegated to the occasional weekend. There is little space, little time and the conveniences of cities make us forget that we are intimately linked to plants and that we need them to live, above all if we wish to feel a sense of well-being. Minigarden was conceived to put some green back into our lives.

Along with the vertical planter that I bought (which can be extended past the 3 tier system shown in my photos), they’ve also got basic and corner planters, drip irrigation systems for the corner and vertical units, as well as plant nutrition products.

The vertical unit came with picture instructions (think Ikea, but no tools – just white plastic donut-shaped thinggies with grooves on the sides), but it only took a few minutes to figure out. I simply slid the grooves over 6 spots on each of the 3 tiers, as shown here:

empty minigarden vertical planter

Next I filled the 9 spaces with potting soil, leaving a bit of space at the top.

minigarden vertical planter

After transplanting my herbs and greens from their small containers to the spots in the planter, I filled in the gaps with more potting soil and gave everything a big  drink of water. I let the tiers sit out in the sun for a day to give all of the plants plenty of sunshine, then stacked them.

minigarden vertical planter

They now look like this:

minigarden vertical planter filled with herbs and greens

Here’s what was planted:

  • Top row: basil, lemon thyme, peppermint
  • Middle row: rosemary, Italian parsley, Greek oregano
  • Bottom row: romaine lettuce, lettuce mix, bok choy

herbs in minigarden vertical planter - eat spin run repeat

The white containers have angled drainage holes in the bottom, so excess water from the top drips down to the lower layers and into the base plate. I didn’t buy an irrigation system or anything fancy for it because my trusty watering can seems to be doing a pretty good job so far. The planter was super easy to put together, and I’m currently fantasizing of having a whole bunch of them stacked on top and side by side to make a great big living wall. How wicked would it be to have this in your backyard??

(Source)

(Source)

In addition to the Minigarden planter, I also bought a big winter-safe planter which now contains rainbow chard and mesclun mix…

rainbow chard and mesclun mix

… as well as this really cool 3-pack of plants, the ‘Juicing Blend’, which consists of wheatgrass, kale and spinach. I’m told that kale grows like a weed, so I’ve moved all 3 into a larger pot.

juicing mix

kale spinach and wheatgrass

Oh, and some dahlias, just for a little bit of colour!

pink dahlias

So far, we’ve been getting heaps of sunshine and things are looking really good. I’ll take some progress pics towards the end of the month once the plants have all grown some more, and hopefully soon I’ll be enjoying salads straight from the garden!

So tell me…

  • What are your smoothie ingredient staples? For me, it’s Vega Performance Protein and some sort of greens. I didn’t use any in the recipe above, but 90% of the time, I pack great big handfuls of them into my Vitamix!
  • Have you experimented with vertical gardens, either with planters like this one, or a DIY solution? I’d love to hear about it!
  • Did you do/try/eat/see/experience anything new yesterday?