This coming week, we will be experiencing the dog days of summer in southern Ontario. As the Humidex soars beyond 30 and even approaches 40, I find myself spending more time in air-conditioned comfort and less time preparing meals.

Not such a bad thing for a non-foodie, but I do have to eat. With one book released in June (A Season for Killing Blondes) and another to be released in August (The Coming of Arabella), I need to maintain optimum energy levels.

And to satisfy my Frugalista nature, I also wish to do it on a budget.

Here are some of my favorite go-to foods while I’m in the editing and promotion caves.

Super Easy

  • Start the day with a super smoothie. Puree in a blender until smooth: one banana, 1 cup skim milk, 6 ice cubes, 1 scoop of chocolate whey protein (strawberry and vanilla also work) and 2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds.

  • Place a scoop (or two) of cottage cheese on a luncheon plate. Surround with cut-up fruit. My favorites include cantaloupe, pineapple and strawberries.

  • Drop a Popsicle stick in a fresh cheese cup and freeze it for a cool snack.

  • Mix one-half cup of plain yogurt with one mashed ripe avocado, one diced tomato, and chili powder (to your taste). Serve as a dip for tortilla chips.

  • Pick your favorite berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc.) and wash them carefully. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper and place the berries in a single layer. Freeze the fruit and then store in freezer bags or airtight containers.

  • Add fresh grapes and toasted almonds to your favorite instant milk-based pudding.

  • Place a scoop of frozen yogurt between two graham cracker squares. Roll the edges in chocolate chips and freeze until firm.


Fruit and Ricotta Split


½ small banana

½ cup strawberries

½ cup low-fat ricotta cheese

Sweetener (to taste)


  1. Cut banana length-wise and open onto a plate.

  2. Top with ricotta cheese.

  3. Sweeten strawberries to taste and spoon over cheese.

Iced Coffee

  1. Brew a pot of fresh coffee using two tablespoons of dark-roasted ground coffee per cup. Add sugar or sweetener.

  2. Transfer the hot coffee to a carafe, and let it cool to room temperature.

  3. Refrigerate until cold, usually two to three hours.

  4. Pour the chilled coffee into glasses and stir.

  5. Optional: Add ½ cup of milk for increased calcium.

  6. Optional: Add crème de cacao or cinnamon schnapps for increased flavor.

  7. Note: I would not combine #5 and #6.

Funky Monkey Coffee Drink

This extra-special treat is chock full of calcium, potassium, and of course, caffeine. I found the recipe in Joy’s Life Diet by Joy Bauer []


¾ cup cold coffee

½ peeled medium banana, sliced and frozen

1 tbsp chocolate syrup

¼ cup non-fat vanilla yogurt


Place all ingredients in a blender and blend thoroughly. Makes one serving.

Where to find Joanne…


PinterestGoodreadsTSRA BLOG


Barnes & NobleKOBO




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