Joe is Ready for Playoffs! Are you?

Joe Vandal is preparing for the Mascot Challenge playoffs!! The voters have spoken and Joe is one of the top mascots in the challenge! Let’s get prepared for the playoffs – things are a little different so we need to be ready in order to beat our fierce competition! Let’s cover the playoff voting rules…

As announced on the Capital One website, the major difference in the playoffs is that there will be NO TEXT VOTES during the playoffs. As of November 22nd only online votes count! Bookmark the voting website for easy access: CAPITAL ONE MASCOT CHALLENGE VOTING WEBSITE

Remember, voting online is UNLIMITED. You do not have to vote for all of the match-ups. You can simply use “Joe” as the required Nickname and you must enter the CAPTCHA security code to ensure a valid vote. If you cannot read the words it gives you just refresh the code by clicking on the circular arrow icon in the CAPTCHA code box. Each match-up lasts 1 full week so be sure to check back and VOTE EVERY DAY!!

This week’s match-ups are not over yet so Joe’s official playoff ranking is not determined. The playoffs consist of the top 8 mascots and a loss is an automatic elimination. So, JOE MUST WIN TO CONTINUE ON!!! The Quarterfinals start Monday Nov 22nd with Joe facing up against UTEP’s Paydirt Pete for the second time this season. Our previous bout with Paydirt Pete was an intense one that stayed close all week long. Joe Vandal accumulated over 100,000 votes that week!! We must rally voters over Thanksgiving break and make sure we tell everyone to GO ONLINE TO VOTE!!

Thank you to everyone who has sent in votes for Joe during this challenge! It’s a fun competition that has really given Idaho and Joe some good publicity. Keep showing your spirit! GO VANDALS!!

Green Smoothie Goodness!

I’ve introduced something new into my life this week- thanks to my dear friend in Montana who is also a brilliant holistic nutritionist. I’d seen her mention these concoctions on her Facebook page and wondered…what is this delicious sounding smoothie she speaks of? So I asked…and boy am I glad I did!!

Apparently Green Smoothies are pretty popular- and there are many different ways to make them but I adhere to the guidelines my friend sent me since I trust her nutritional knowledge far more than random articles found through a Google search. I’ve followed her guidelines all week (4 days so far) and each time the result has been a delicious, nutritious, filling, and fun creation!

So the point of doing these smoothies for me personally was to pack in some nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and energy that I am not getting enough of through my current diet and that my body is depleting more now that I run. I imagine most people would cite a similar reason. I see them also as a tasty way for picky eaters (or children) to get certain foods. I also think a smoothie form is much easier for digesting and absorbing all the goodness found in these foods.

Okay- on to the guidelines and a recipe to try!! All you need is a simple blender to make these smoothies- nothing fancy. You will want to cut pieces up and introduce them slowly so you don’t overwhelm your blender though. And as my friend pointed out, you will want to blend, blend, and blend some more and then blend more on top of that!

To start: Begin with a cup of filtered water in your blender. Add to it some kind of water-based food such as cucumber, melon, or celery and blend it up. This is like your base that the rest is built on top of and provides you with a nice liquid start.

1st Round of Ingredients- The Greens: Choose 2 1/2 –3 cups from the following: Kale, Collards, Beet Greens, Dandelion Greens, Parsley, Mint, Fennel, Avocado, Cucumber, Zucchini, Spinach, Romaine Lettuce, Green Cabbage, Turnip Greens, Celery, Sprouts (Pea Shoot and/or Sunflower sprouts recommended). Any green in season or growing in your garden will do!

2nd Round of Ingredients- Fruits/Sweet Veggies: 1 fruit/sweet veg or about 1-1/2 – 2 cups from the following: Apples, Bananas, Pear, Blueberries, Strawberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, Pineapple, Papaya, Mango, Pomegranate, Cranberries, Kiwifruit, Figs, Watermelon, Lemon, Carrots, Sweet Potato, Beets, etc…

3rd Round of Ingredients- Superfoods: 1 tsp – 1 Tbs of 3-4 of these:
Raw Cacao, Flax Oil, Hempseed Oil, Walnut Oil, Almonds, Goji Berries, Dates, Coconut oil, Bee Pollen, Coconut (fresh or dry), Hempseeds, Chia Seeds, Spirulina, Ginger, Cayenne, Raw honey, Sesame Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Nut/Seed Butters are good options if you have a weaker blender.

Optional Additional Liquids: Ice (if you like it cold), Vegetable Juice (100% veggie), Coconut water (not to be confused with coconut milk), Nut or Seed Milk, or Herbal Tea (such as peppermint or ginger tea). You can also add water to create a consistency you prefer- I have never had to add to mine but it’s a personal preference of course!

Day 1 Easy Green Smoothie Recipe:

1 cup of filtered water
Cucumber (mine was a small one, 3 inches in size)
Handful of Spinach
Leaf of Kale
Couple leaves of Chard
1/2 cup of frozen Raspberries
1 banana
a few slices of carrot
a few chunks of diced beet
1 T coconut oil
1 T hempseeds
1 capsule Bee Pollen (*allergy precaution!)
1 T honey (raw, local honey)
1 T almond butter
crushed ice

That first smoothie I had was absolutely delicious! I hope you try it and become as hooked as I am! I’ve since made a different one each day this week and I’ve loved every single one. That one was pink/red in color due to the beets and raspberries. Today I had one with blueberries and pomegranate so it was purple in color. Others I’ve had and used Apple and Lime which turned out a perfect green like the photo at the top of this post. You can really get creative- and as my friend pointed out, if you concoct something that isn’t so yummy, just feed it to your garden! It has a less discriminating palate! 😛

I encourage you to try the sample recipe and then have fun experimenting to create your own favorites…and most of all, share the smoothie joy with others!! In the short time I’ve been doing these I’ve already had about 4 or 5 people contact me asking me how to do it! Look for natural food stores in your area as well- it’s important to use organics if at all possible. And, I would suggest keeping your ingredients to RAW foods…no canned fruit (eek!), no milk products, no sugary juices, etc. Trust me, the recipe above is DELICIOUS without any of those products.

Good luck- HAVE FUN and feel free to come back here and share some of your favorite ingredients or mixtures you discover!

We Love Joe Vandal!

The Vandal Nation showed its love for Joe again last week! Joe ended up beating LSU’s Mike the Tiger by ~10,000 votes. This win kept Joe in 6th place but strengthened his vote total which is VERY important in these final weeks leading up to the playoffs.

This week Joe has an intense battle against Montana’s “Monte”. Monte fans have brought over 100k votes THREE TIMES so far during the challenge and Monte currently sits in third place overall. Joe and Monte have been trading leads this week but Joe is currently (Wednesday) behind by about 1500 votes. Nothing insurmountable but we really need to encourage more people to vote for Joe!! Remember, you can cast UNLIMITED votes online at It is important to know this website because for the playoffs the only form of voting will be ONLINE voting- no text voting in the playoffs (which is in just a couple weeks!).

With all this exciting talk of playoffs we can’t get ahead of ourselves…let’s take a look at what challenges Joe still has to face in the regular season. This week is the tough competitor Monte, next week Joe faces the equally tough (just behind Joe at #7) Cincinnati Bearcat followed by the also fierce Tennessee (sitting at #8 currently). That brings us to the end of the regular season and Joe will have to be ranked in the top 8 to continue on. Each of these remaining battles will be TOUGH and probably very close. SO TELL EVERYONE YOU KNOW TO VOTE FOR JOE!!!

The “strategy” for the remaining weeks is to remain in our #6 spot (or move up). This means we have to keep our eyes on those just behind Joe- UC Bearcat, Tennessee, Big Red of WKU, and Vanderbilt’s Mr.C – we want to see these foes lose in the next few weeks while we pull out wins. That way we will stay ahead of them by Win/Loss records. We also need to beef up our total vote count in case we find Joe tied with any of them in Win/Loss. This week we sit at 5-4 which is tied with Bearcat but we are luckily ahead of them in votes by nearly 100,000. They are posting big vote #s this week against Ohio State though. So- don’t give any votes to these competitors in the coming weeks – UC, WKU, Vanderbilt, Tennessee. And do keep in mind that Ohio State supported us heavily against UTEP (and continues to do so) and might make the difference for us in the coming weeks so we need to return this favor!! Especially this week as they take on the UC Bearcat. A loss for UC and a win for Joe would boost us ahead in the Win/Loss record and give us a little bit more confidence in making the playoffs. So- VOTE FOR JOE and VOTE FOR BRUTUS!! They ARE doing the same!

I continue to encourage all you fans out there to post the  weekly Joe Vandal Mascot Challenge banner image in your Facebook profile and set your status update as a Vote for Joe reminder to all your friends! We need to show our spirit everywhere we can and that includes online spaces like Twitter and Facebook!! Please share with us any creative things you do to help spread the word! We’d love to hear about your love for Joe!!