sprouted pumpkin seed salad with curry balsamic dressing + hemp-y “orange julius”

{This post is part of a new series, Fit Fridays, where I share my journey in shedding the 50 pounds extra weight I gained from my last pregnancy.}

I haven’t exercised much this week.

It was partly due to a car accident on Wednesday, nothing major (just got rear ended–so dealing with a little whiplash) & it’s just been an overall busy week for both me & Joseph.

Despite only exercising a few times this past week, I still lost 2.8 pounds.

Which further underscores the fact that weight loss is so much more about what you eat, than how much you exercise. Don’t get me wrong, exercise is important for so many reasons, but it’s not the number one factor for weight loss.

Beginning weight, 1/16/2014: 204 lbs.


2 weeks ago, at 188 lbs. 


Current weight, 3/7/2014: 183 lbs. 


I’ve lost 6 inches at the waist, and 2 at the hips & thighs.

I’ve said this before, but I’m sheepish about posting pictures of myself. Mostly because I don’t want people to get the wrong idea.

Getting to a healthy weight is not about achieving a certain size, or looking a certain way. I think those are fringe benefits, but it’s about being healthy, of not having to carry around extra weight which can weigh you down, and put you at risk for a multitude of potential health risks now & later on.

I post these pictures to illustrate that I am, in fact, losing weight. And it’s exciting. I feel great. I always love it when I’m in weight loss mode because for the most part, I have increased energy, don’t have to sleep as much, and with each pound lost, I feel lighter & more like my old self.

I’ve been doing my fitness plan (I outline what I’m doing in detail in my Fit, Strong, Lean: The Fitness Plan ebook, which I hope to launch soon!), but more importantly, at least when it comes to losing excess weight, is eating, and eating the right kinds of foods (all the details in my Fit, Strong, Lean: The Diet ebook).


Yesterday I went shopping at Costco.

It had been two months, so we were low on everything except dried beans and oatmeal. You should have seen the looks I got–me pushing around a cart filled to the brim. In fact, in the end, I filled two carts and spent $900 (but saved nearly $100 with coupons!). Joseph & I have come to terms with the fact that with our growing family of seven, we’re just going to have to spend more money on groceries each month.

As always, Costco dazzled me with a few new items that I just couldn’t resist.

Two in particular:


I had never tried either and my brain was swimming with the possibilities.

I decided I would first try it in a salad, so this was my lunch today, with a hempy “orange julius” (you know, the yummy, overpriced shakes that they sell at the mall that are not dairy-free?) for dessert.

The avocado oil has a delicious, warm, and neutral taste, and the sprouted pumpkin seeds add such great texture to the salad.


These are the kinds of foods that make me happy, are awesome for weight loss (because they fill you up on fewer calories and deliver a ton of needed nutrients).

I added a little hemp protein powder (it’s my fave protein powder, thanks to the recommendation of one of my favorite bloggers & friend, Gena) to the smoothie which gives it a little protein boost.

Filling, light, colorful, & delicious.


sprouted pumpkin seed salad with curry balsamic dressing

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 8 cups

Serving Size: entire recipe

Calories per serving: 355

Fat grams per serving: 13

sprouted pumpkin seed salad with curry balsamic dressing

Light & fresh salad


  • 6 c. spring mix greens
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1/4 c. sprouted pumpkin seeds
  • 4 celery stalks
  • 2 TBS. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. avocado oil | or cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. curry powder


  1. With kitchen scissors, coarsely cut greens. (I like to do this because smaller pieces makes it easier to eat and it's easier for dressing to coat greens.)
  2. Peel & grate carrots.
  3. Cut celery stalks in half lengthwise (down the middle of the stalk). Chop into small, bite size pieces.
  4. In a small cup, wisk vinegar, oil, and curry powder.
  5. Layer greens, carrots, celery. Add pumpkin seeds. Drizzle with dressing and toss.

Additional nutrition info: 14 g protein, 17 g fiber, 48 g carbs; 8 WWP points

hemp-y “orange julius”

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 3 cups

Serving Size: 1 recipe

Calories per serving: 155

Fat grams per serving: 5.5

 hemp-y “orange julius”

a vegan, protein & vitamin c rich smoothie


  • 1 c. almond milk (30 calories per cup brand)
  • 1 large orange
  • 2 TBS. hemp protein powder
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 3 packets stevia or 1 TBS. agave
  • 8-10 ice cubes


  1. Blend all ingredients on high until smooth. For an extra orange boost, add an additional orange.

Additional nutrition info (based on using stevia & one orange): 17 carbs, 10 g protein, 6 fiber; 4 WWP points

For more recipes great for weight loss, and all the details on how I’m losing weight, check out my new ebook: Fit, Lean, Strong: The Diet.

Happy weekend, ya’ll!






  1. Katrina
    on March 25, 2014 at 1:26 pm said:

    Made this smoothie today for lunch. YUM!!!!!

  2. Katie Lorsch
    on March 10, 2014 at 5:18 pm said:

    You look so awesome Janae! Keep it up – I love reading about it. 🙂

  3. Joya
    on March 10, 2014 at 4:15 pm said:

    Great job with the weight. You are quite an inspiration!

  4. Heather @ The Soulful Spoon
    on March 7, 2014 at 11:11 pm said:

    Congrats on the weight loss Joy!:) I LOVE hemp protein, and it’s my go-to simple vegan protein if I don’t use Sunwarrior Warrior Blend (top fave). I love this salad too! Pumpkin seeds are a favorite of mine!:) Plus, anything with greens is a GIVEN for me:) You should be so proud of yourself! Your body is obviously responding very well to what you’re doing, so keep it up! You’re such a talented lady and beautiful inside and out<3

  5. Lisa C.
    on March 7, 2014 at 8:31 pm said:

    I’ve seen the avocado oil a few times but haven’t tried it yet. Maybe I will pick it up next time!

  6. Emma (This Kind Choice)
    on March 7, 2014 at 7:35 pm said:

    The salad and smoothie both look amazing! Beautiful colours.

    Is hemp protein powder different from crushed hemp seeds? The stuff I have are the leftover pulp from making hemp oil (I chose that one because it’s cheaper :P) and it tastes good but the texture is very gritty. Is this the case with hemp protein powder too?

    • Janae Wise
      on March 7, 2014 at 7:42 pm said:

      Hemp protein powder just looks like green powder. It has a pretty fine consistency. I was trying to make smoothies before with just hemp seeds, and it’s not the same as the protein powder! I much prefer using the protein powder over seeds. As I mentioned to Katrina, the straight up seeds have a strong taste & you have to use twice the amount of seeds as you do powder to get the same amount of protein, or something along those lines. Point is, protein powder has more protein for the calories. I hope I answered your question….

  7. Katrina
    on March 7, 2014 at 6:10 pm said:

    You look GREAT!! Very impressive! Quick question about the hemp powder. Any reason you don’t just put a few whole hemp seeds in the smoothie? What is your favorite hemp protein powder? The one I have I don’t love. Thanks, and looking forward to the fitness plan!!

    • Janae Wise
      on March 7, 2014 at 6:23 pm said:

      Thank you!

      Great question about the hemp protein. I wondered the same thing. I don’t particularly like the taste of hemp, I mean, it tastes, hemp-y, if you know what I mean. The thing with the powder, is that it shouldn’t have as strong a flavor as just dumping seeds. It also has a bit more protein, less fat, for the same amount of calories as the seeds. More concentrated protein with the powder, I guess is what I’m trying to say. I tried Mantiboa Harvest, then Nutiva and I prefer Nutiva, I found the flavor to be less strong. I have to make sure to add enough other flavors though, otherwise regardless of brand, the hemp flavor is too strong for my taste.

      Also, I haven’t gotten a chance to respond to your last email yet, but I was going to say regarding bananas–I found myself doing the same thing, which is why I started counting fruits past a certain serving. And bananas can actually be quite calorie packed–the larger ones closer to 200 calories each! That can add up quickly. Don’t get me wrong though, I usually have at least one banana a day 🙂

  8. Gabby @ the veggie nook
    on March 7, 2014 at 4:11 pm said:

    mmm i was concocting a similar recipe with my orange- great minds!

    you are looking so great hun, keep up the good work!

  9. janet @ the taste space
    on March 7, 2014 at 3:43 pm said:

    I love it when I find new ingredients at the grocery store, too. How different do the sprouted pumpkin seeds taste compared to regular pumpkin seeds? I also prefer hemp protein powder, too, although it is pricier, unfortunately.

    • Janae Wise
      on March 7, 2014 at 3:45 pm said:

      Sprouted pumpkin seeds have a nice texture and flavor. Not sure quite how to describe it…smoky maybe?

      I get my hemp protein from Amazon in bulk. Very decent price.

  10. Emma
    on March 7, 2014 at 3:15 pm said:

    You’re down 11lb already?! Congrats! You’re obviously doing all the right things
    I’ve been meaning to try avocado oil for some time so glad to know it’s tasty. Your salad looks like a great lunch, especially paired with the smoothie.

    • Janae Wise
      on March 7, 2014 at 3:24 pm said:

      Actually, 21 pounds, but who’s counting? 🙂

      Of course at least 5-7 of those pounds was water weight.

      I never would have tried the avocado oil, had it not been at Costco. This is why they get all my money :).

      • Emma
        on March 7, 2014 at 3:30 pm said:

        That maths tuition clearly paid off! 😉 Haha.
        Even better!