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Finally Perfect Protein Pancakes and Erin’s Wedding

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This morning started out with a good Sunday morning breakfast…pancakes! With a little protein punch for some added staying power.

I have seriously been trying to create delicious protein pancakes for about 2 months.  They always come out too yogurt-y tasting, with no flavor, a weird consistency, or just somehow not right at all.  Well, today I did it…after two months of experimenting (and finally receiving my favorite protein powder in the mail!!) I came up with the most tasty protein pancake recipe yet!

Perfect Protein Pancakes

This recipe makes about 16 pancakes, so it is perfect for making on a Sunday so that you can save the rest for later in the week when you have less time!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of oat flour (or oats processed in a blender or food processor)
  • 1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 2 egg whites
  • 4 servings of Sunwarrior protein powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2-2 cups water (just add a little bit at a time until you reach the desired consistency)

Directions:

Heat a skillet on medium heat, and spray with nonstick cooking spray.  Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix until combined.  Once the skillet is hot, pour 1/4 cup portions of the batter onto the pan to cook for about 1-2 minutes per side.

I topped mine with 1 tbsp almond butter and 1/4 cup blueberries…but you can top yours however you want!

Nutrition per pancake…3 pancakes makes one serving:  

Calories:  67  Fat:  1g  Carbs:  14.5g  Protein:  7g

Erin’s Wedding

This past Friday, a life friend of Brian and a sorority sister of mine (Erin) got married!!  Here are some pictures of the wedding.  Everything about the weekend was elegant, beautiful, and so much fun.

Congratulations Erin and Matt!! Have fun in Cancun!!

I was asking the waitress what this was (the vegetarian option) and I thought she said veggies with the mother of the cheese….she actually said “mozzarella cheese”!!

Now, Brian and I are off to the gym, church, then the grocery.

What are your Sunday plans to help prepare for the week?

Not as Good as it Looks

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Happy Tuesday morning.

Tuesdays I teach my early morning spinning class, and this week I begin teaching more of my very own classes on Wednesday and Thursday mornings.  In order to kick-off summer I decided to have a little contest.

I am calling the contest the Super Summer Slimdown, and the way it works is that when someone attends a class, starting this week, they get to input their name in the jar for their class.  Then, during the first week of summer, the week of June 18, I will draw a name from the jar to win a fitness goody bag!  So, the more classes you attend, the better your chances are for winning. I always love looking for fun ways to spice up my group fitness classes, and celebrating summer seemed like the perfect idea.

Breakfast

When I got home from spinning, I was really looking forward to some protein pancakes.  I had never made them before, but after reading several different recipes I thought it would be pretty easy to figure out a good combination of ingredients…well I think I was wrong.

The texture of the pancakes was fine, they cooked up nicely, but the flavor was simply off, which was kind of frustrating and unexpected since they looked so good and tasty!  Honestly, I think it is because I have been using a protein powder that I cannot stand the taste of simply because I hate wasting things, and usually I am pretty good about being able to eat something even though it may not be my favorite….that was not the case with these pancakes.

I am still going to play around a bit in the kitchen to see if I can figure out where the heck I went wrong…but I think I may just need to suck it up and buy new protein powder…that I can actually stomach.

Questions of the Morning:

  • What do you look for in a group fitness class?  What keeps you coming back for more?
  • What is your favorite kind of protein powder??

The Day After

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I am sure that you all have heard that muscle soreness occurs the day after a workout, or that you can see the results of your workout the day after, but has anyone ever heard that you get extremely hungry the day after an intense workout?

Well, I had never heard of hunger striking the day after a workout, but believe me…today I felt it!  I felt like I couldn’t get enough food in my body…the entire day.  In fact, I still feel hungry.

While volunteering at the symphony I ate a full protein bar, rather than my usual half.

I then came home and had a large salad with tuna for lunch while clipping some coupons.

After the salad (and still clipping coupons) I was still hungry, so I mixed a little plain Greek yogurt, natural peanut butter, and sugarless jam.  Tasty….but I was still hungry.

Once my list was compiled, my coupons were clipped, and I was ready to head to the grocery store I made myself a small smoothie of 1/3 banana, 1 scoop of protein powder, 1 cup of unsweetened original almond milk, and some ice cubes.  Thankfully that held me over a little bit so I wasn’t soooo starving during my grocery shopping trip.

I then came home from the store, and as I was unloading the car I saw the UPS man arrive.  I had  been expecting a package, so I kindly asked if any of his packages were for Tara Deal…and one of them was!  This was a package from iherb.com.  iherb.com is a great site where I order my protein powder, certain grains, natural beauty products, and so much more!  This site is great because it has such a wide variety of items, gets orders shipped out promptly, is constantly offering different discounts, and always has a section on the web site dedicated to free trials.

This order included Plant Fusion protein powder which is a blend of pea protein, artichoke protein, organic sprouted amaranth powder, and organic sprouted quinoa powder, Maca Up which is a vegetarian energy protein made from pea protein, organic brown rice protein concentrate, organic maca root powder, and oat bran fiber.  Currently, I am experimenting with different types of protein to see what I like the best, and what my body likes the best.  I also ordered a jar of PB2.  Chocolate PB2 to be exact.  I have read about PB2 several times and have always wanted to try it, so I was very excited to finally receive it in the mail today!

PB2 is a peanut powder with 85% of the fat and calories removed without using chemicals.  All you do is simply mix it with water to get a peanut buttery like substance.  I am looking forward to making it a mix-in in my overnight oats and smoothies!

I also received a free trial sample of chocolate pea protein powder, digestive enzyme tablets, and kumquat jam.  I always love it when a freebie is thrown in.

Because iherb.com is so great, they have given me a special code to share with you.  If you use the coupon code OGA946 when you make your order as a new customer, you will receive $5 your entire order automatically!  Sounds like a great deal to me 😉

 

Once the groceries were put away, I was ready for dinner.  Since Brian was studying at the med school library, and I was on my own for dinner, I opted for my favorite meal of the day…breakfast.  I made some veggie scrambled eggs topped with the last of my mom’s homemade salsa.

Now, I am off to practice my Body Pump.  After all, I am making my Les Mills instructor debut tomorrow morning, and I want to make a great impression 🙂

Have a great evening!

Creative Protein Ideas

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Good Morning!

This morning I headed out bright and early to another BodyPump class.  I know it is best to give your muscles a day of rest when training, but last night at the Les Mills new release launch event we only did half of a BodyPump class…and I wanted the full thing, so I came back for more today.  I must say…the new shoulder track is killer!  But in a good way 😉

I had a startling experience this morning.  It was dark as I walked out to my car this morning.  Finding my car and remember where I have parked is always a little bit of a challenge…even in the day light.  So, this morning I walked out to my car, and I looked down and noticed that a hub cap was missing!!

Now, before I left for the cruise I had two missing hub caps.  While I was gone, my parents kindly replaced them for me, so when I looked down to see no hub cap my hear dropped.  How did this happen?  I couldn’t remember hitting any curbs lately.  I was baffled…until I looked at the body of the car and realized it wasn’t mine!  My car was parked next to this car, and they were both a similar color (and it was dark!).  I was sooo relieved that I had not lost a hub cap.  What a  dramatic way to start the morning!

Breakfast

After BodyPump, I headed home and it was time for breakfast.  A little overnight oat action is what I decided on for today.  Or should I say “in the morning oats” because I didn’t actually prep them last night.

Today’s mix-ins were half an apple, 2 tsp of homemade peanut butter, and Sunwarrior Vanilla Protein Powder.  It certainly hit the spot!

Protein Powder Ideas

Lately, I have been finding all sorts of ideas and recipes for protein powder.  Spark People has a list of 15 new ways to use protein powder, which definitely got my recipe creating brain thinking.  The recipe that intrigued me the most?  The protein cookie!  I am going to have to create a recipe for that.

Here are some of the ways I use my protein powder to make it a little easier to incorporate protein into my diet without having to eat a ton of meat.

Overnight Oats

Regular Oats

Smoothies

Peanut Butter Protein Balls

Homemade Protein Bars

 

Question of the Morning:

  • What are some of your favorite ways to use protein powder?
  • Have you ever walked up to the wrong car and thought that it was yours?
  • Have you ever lost your car in the parking lot?

Overnight Oats Tutorial

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I was first introduced to the idea of overnight oats through the blog world.  Many bloggers (myself included) really enjoy a morning bowl of the nutritious whole grain, and it seems as though we are always coming up with a new way to prepare them.  Overnight oats are simply your regular oats that you make oatmeal with soaked in twice the amount of liquid in the refrigerator overnight.  That is the basic formula, but the variations on this equation are ENDLESS!

How to Make Overnight Oats

Begin b by measuring out your oats.  I typically start with either 1/2 cup.  Then pour that into your bowl, or container of choice.

Next, measure out your liquid.  This will be double the amount of oats that you put in your bowl.  Now, this is where you can start to get creative.  Most of the time I just combine 1/2 cup of oats with 1 cup of water, but you could do 1/2 cup of milk (almond, cow, soy, etc…) with 1/2 cup of yogurt for extra thick and creamy overnight oats.  You could even use some pasturized egg whites to get some protein.  Do whatever your taste buds desire!

When I don’t use yogurt or egg whites, I mix in some protein powder so that I can get adequate protein in my morning meal.  Just one scoop will do!

I then like to add in vanilla extract, maybe some stevia, cinnamon, or other flavorings so that they can really soak through the entire bowl of oats all night.

The last step is to simply place in the fridge and wait until the morning! (This process can also be done in about an hour if you forget to do it the night before.)

In the morning, simply remove the bowl from the fridge and add your toppings.  My toppings are usually fruit and nut butter, but yours can be whatever  you want!  Crunchy cereal, nuts, granola, the possibilities are unlimited.

Cinnamon and Blueberry toppings

Cinnamon and Blueberry toppings

Apple topping

These oats are so simple, and great to make if you don’t have a lot of time in the morning.  If you love oatmeal for breakfast in the winter, but hate the thought of something hot for breakfast in the hot summer months, then overnight oats is a great thing to have in place of your regular hot oats.  This breakfast is a thick, creamy, delicious way to enjoy your morning bowl of oatmeal.

Other Overnight Oats Ideas:

Breakfast

Oddly enough, I did NOT have my overnight oats for breakfast this morning, I had a smoothie bowl 🙂

Strawberry Almond Smoothie Bowl:

  • 1/4 cup Vanilla Almond Breeze
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/3 frozen banana
  • 1 handful spinach
  • 1 scoop pea protein powder
  • splash of water
  • 3 ice cubes

Place all ingredients in the blender and blend away! Once my mixture was thick and creamy I added 2 tsp of crunchy Maranantha Almond Butter on top.  Delish!

 

 

Just Like Riding A Bike

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Guess what I did today?  Taught a group fitness class, and boy did it feel good to be doing that again!

Would you believe that it has been three weeks since I have arrived home?  That means three weeks since I have taught a fitness class, but I must say, it is just like riding a bike 🙂  I was a little nervous to teach since it has been so long.  I thought about forgetting things, not saying the right cues, and just making a fool of myself…but none of that happened.  I was worried for nothing…that never happens (just kidding).  I tend to worry and make situations worse than they need to be…oh well, we all have our faults!

Here is the workout we did today:

It was a great workout, that I feel really focused the muscles that are visible during warm weather season…shoulders, arms, abs, legs.  Completing this workout along with 30 minutes or more of cardiovascular exercise would be a great total body workout.

Before I taught, I did 35 minutes on the elliptical, but it is so nice today I may just have to break down and go for a run 😉  Can’t let the sunshine go to waste!

When I got home, I made myself a Blueberry Kale Smoothie for lunch, and it was delicious!  Although it did leave me feeling a little chilly…

In the blender:

Have an amazing rest of the day!

 

I still need your help with Easter recipe ideas…!!

Hunger Games Obsessed

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Last night, Brian and I stayed up a little later than planned reading The Hunger Games.  I feel like everyone I know has already finished to book, and if we didn’t have to sleep last night we could have easily finished the story.

My sister is also a Hunger Games fan and finished the book yesterday.  As an avid reader, she has always fallen into the trends with book series like Harry Potter

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and Twilight

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I, on the other hand, have never found interest in books that were currently topping the book and movie charts.  So, now that I am completely in LOVE with the Hunger Games, I am also excited that I am finally on trend with my reading 🙂  I can’t wait to read some more tonight!

 

Breakfast

I decided to switch up my oatmeal a bit this morning.  Here is what was in the mix:

  • 2/3 cup oats
  • 1 tsp World Berries Raw Cacao Powder
  • 1 scoop Sunwarrior Vanilla Protein Powder
  • 2/3 frozen banana
  • 2 tsp peanut butter

I like to call it Monkey Oatmeal Bowl…simply delicious!

It will definitely full me for my group fitness audition later this morning.  Have an amazing and productive Tuesday!

 

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