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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?

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Strawberry 3 Times!

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After showering and getting ready at the gym this morning, I tried something new.

A Tropical Strawberry flavored Shakeology drink.  I received the sample in the mail a couple of weeks ago and thought now would be as good of a time as any to try it out.  I simply poured the mix into 8 oz of water in my bottle, shook it up…got a little on my shirt and drank it on my way to work.

It tasted pretty good!  I think it would be better mixed in things like protein pancakes, smoothies, or bars simply because of the slightly gritty texture due to the rice bran protein, but I enjoyed it and drank the entire thing!

Although the ingredients list is long, there are a lot of nutrients, vitamins, and super foods crammed into that little packet.  It was a tasty treat that I will have to consider getting more of.  I wonder how the chocolate flavor tastes??

Lunch

I must have been in a strawberry mood, because I have had them three times today!

For lunch, I mixed chopped strawberries, chopped mixed nuts, reduced fat feta, red onion, canned salmon all on top of some green leaf lettuce.  I then drizzled the tasty salad with a little bit of balsamic vinegar.  Seriously, I think I have a new favorite summer lunch.

I hope that your day is going well, time to get back to work!

It Tasted Like French Toast!

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Good Morning!

A short week is always a good week in my book.  So, although it feels like Monday today, it is in fact TUESDAY.

Tuesdays are when I teach my 6am spinning class, and although I am a morning person and don’t have trouble getting out of bed before the sun, sometimes I have to do a little self pep talk in order to make sure that I am cheery and peppy for my class.

For whatever reason, driving makes me extremely tired, add to that a lack of sun, a warm sweat shirt, lack of caffeine, and on days like today rain….and by the time I get to the gym I am ready for a snooze!  On days like today, I have to just sit in the car for a couple of minutes, mentally prepare, then enter the gym and say hi to everyone.  Seriously, I don’t know if it is the act of smiling or talking or both, but that is what gets me going!

Workout

After teaching spin, I always like to do a 30 minute strength workout, and today I focused on shoulders.

Upright Row:

source

Arnie Press:

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Single Arm Dumbbell Front Raise:

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Shoulder Rotation:

Step 1

Step 2

This workout left my shoulders fatigued.  Each week, I try to increase my weights by just a little bit so that I can keep that burn coming after each workout.

Breakfast

Breakfast this morning was a bit of an experiment.  One of my friends who has similar interests in nutrition and exercising as me told me that she often cooks her oatmeal in the morning with egg whites for an added boost of protein rather than using protein powder.  I thought about trying it, but never actually got around to it…until this morning.

Boy, was that a great decision!  The oats tasted like french toast to me because of the slightly eggy flavor.  I will definitely be doing this again 😉

Egg White Oats

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 packet stevia
  • a sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract

Directions:

Combine all ingredients together in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave on high for 1 minute.  Remove from the microwave and stir, then cook for 1 more minute.  Once you are ready to eat, you can eat them as they are or top with your favorite toppings.

Today’s toppings: frozen peaches, and 1 Tbsp of crunchy peanut butter…delish!

*2 egg whites adds in about 8 grams of protein with only around 32 additional calories!!

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What Do You Eat After?

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Hey Team!

That is what I call my group fitness classes 😉  Today, I am in total Group Fitness mode!  I am teaching three classes today at three different facilities.   Luckily, I have had several hours between each class, so I am not rushing around.

I taught Pilates at noon, and did a quicky arm workout afterwards.  Whenever I teach during a meal time, I feel like it kind of throws my eating schedule out of wack a little bit.

I knew that I needed to eat lunch afterward, but I wasn’t really craving anything.  My mom had the great idea of eggs…perfect!  So, I sauteed some broccoli, cauliflower, and onion in water.  I then added in 4 egg whites and a slice of pepper jack cheese to give the eggs a little spicy kick.  Once they were cooked all the way through, I topped the eggs with a little bit of salsa.

It is important to eat a good balance of carbohydrates and protein after a workout.  The veggies provided me with carbs and the egg whites and cheese provided me with protein.

While I was eating, I decided to do a little research on some more post-workout meal/snack ideas and I found a great article on the ACE Certified Professionals archives.

Some of ACE’s post-workout meals included:

  • Graham crackers, peanut butter, and chocolate milk–Nancy Clark MS, RD, CSSD submitted this idea because the carbs from the graham crackers and chocolate milk refuel the muscles, while the protein from the peanut butter and the chocolate milk aid in muscle repair.
  • Yogurt, an orange, and red bell pepper–Suggested by The Nutrition Twins, these are easy to grab and eat on the go when doing a workout midday, or when on the run.  The orange and bell pepper are high in water, which helps to rehydrate after an intense sweat session.  The yogurt provides the carbs needed for refueling and the protein needed for the repairing and rebuilding of muscles.  The calcium and potassium in the yogurt also help to eliminate muscle cramping.
  • Smoothie made of plain nonfat yogurt, pineapple, mango, cinnamon and toasted wheat germ–Emily Ann Miller MPH, RD suggested this tasty treat because of the rehydrating properties of the fruit, the carbohydrates from the fruit and the yogurt, and the protein from the yogurt…everything that your body needs post-workout.

Question of the Afternoon:

  • What are some of your favorite post-workout snacks?

I love smoothies, homemade protein bars, and overnight oats made with a bit of Greek yogurt and protein powder.

Completely Delicious Chocolate Protein Muffins

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Good Morning!

One thing I love about Thursday?  It is almost time for the weekend!  Which can often make it hard to focus on specific tasks that need to get done before the weekend.  This Thursday in particular just happens to be the day before my birthday!  Even though I will be spending most of the day studying for my BodyPump certification, I still have one more present to open from my parents, and Brian and I have a fun night planned together.

Anyways…back to today!

I started this morning off with my final BodyPump class before the big weekend.  It was hard work, but amazing….as usual.  I find that the hardest tracks for me are:

  • Biceps…seriously are killer.  It is a shorter track, but no matter what weight I have on the bar, my arms are shaking by the end…which is a good thing 😉
  • Shoulders.  I LOVE working my shoulders because I love the way defined shoulders look on a female, but this track is a tough one.  It’s a love hate relationship.

Breakfast

I then came home and my breakfast already prepped for me:

Overnight Peanut Butter Cookie Oats and Oat Bran

Mmmmmm....

In the bowl:

Mix all of the above ingredients together until well combined.  Allow to sit in the fridge overnight or for 30 minutes.  When  you finally remove the oat mixture from the fridge, stir in 1/4 cup of plain nonfat Greek yogurt to make them extra creamy.

These are completely delicious and taste like peanut butter cookie dough!

 

And as I promised yesterday, here is a delicious snack recipe!

Chocolate Protein Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup oat bran
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 scoop vanilla pea protein powder
  • 4 packets of stevia
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup organic unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 Tbsp of organic raw cacao powder (or unsweetened cocoa powder)
  • 1/4 cup sugar free jam (I used blackberry)
  • 1/2 cup of water

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Mix the dry ingredients (flour, vanilla protein powder, baking soda, salt, stevia, and cacao) in a large bowl.

Mix the wet ingredients together in a separate bowl (egg whites, applesauce, jam, and water).

Add the wet and dry ingredients together.  Place in 12 prepared muffin tins (either sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, or lined with paper muffin tin liners).  Bake 20-30 minutes in the oven.

Allow to cool, and refrigerate to store.

Nutrition per muffin:

Calories:  43.7  Fat:  .5g  Carbs:  10.1g  Protein:  4g

These taste great with a little peanut butter on top!

Peanut Butter Protein Balls

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Here is a healthy and quick little snack idea incorporating one of my favorite ingredients…Peanut Butter!

While I was making peanut butter cookies the other day, I decided to experiment a little bit in the kitchen and came up with these little beauties.

Peanut Butter Protein Balls

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 2 scoops protein powder
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Combine all ingredients in a large mixer bowl.  Mix until combined.  Roll into 16 balls and place on an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes.  Allow to cool for 10 minutes, and ENJOY!!!

Nutrition Information (per ball):

Calories:  112.7g  Fat:  8.7g  Carbs:  4g  Protein:  7.5g

Finally Back on Track

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I was finally able to sleep semi-normally through the night.  I went to bed around 9-9:30pm, had a little wake up at 2am and then I officially woke up at 5am.  I know that sounds early, but while working on the cruise ship I was waking up at 4:30am…so I guess my body is back on track!

I jumped out of bed feeling great and ready for the day to begin, which was a much needed feeling since I have been so jet-lagged the past couple of days.

Immediately I started my day with a bowl of oats with Sunwarrior protein powder mixed in with some apple, strawberries, and a little bit of peanut butter. Lately, I have been experimenting with pea protein supplements, but I have read so many things about Sunwarrior protein that I had to give it a try, and I like it!  It has a slightly different after taste than the pea protein, but both are very low in carbohydrates and fat so that we are only getting the protein from the powder and we are able to get the carbs from foods like fruit, vegetables, and oats and fats from things like nuts, seeds, healthy oils, fish, and avocado.

I have never been one to have protein powder, and was always very skeptical and did not understand the reasoning behind eating protein powders when we could get things from our food.  After asking Claire from Fitting It All In what her opinion was on protein powders and why she used them, she gave me a very simple and clear explanation.  She uses it because she likes to eat foods (smoothies, oatmeal) that don’t have a high protein content, and this just gives those foods a little boost and help where needed.  That totally makes sense!

While I was on the cruise line, I did a lot of experimenting with my exercise routine and eating habits.  I have always been one for eating tons of fruits and veggies and things that are “healthy”, but I have never had a very structured diet in the sense of how many carbohydrates, proteins, and fats I was actually eating versus how many my body actually needs and my energy expenditure.  Once on the ship, I adopted the regiment of eating breakfast as my biggest meal to fuel me for the day within one hour of waking up to kick start my metabolism, and have 5 or 6 small meals throughout the day.  So far, I have found that this diet, along with an increased emphasis in strength training is changing my body in ways that I have never seen before!  I am building muscle, strength, and overall fitness and totally loving it!

I can’t wait to experiment with new recipes that focus on the balance of carbs, protein, and fats, and to share my new outlook on fitness and health with you!

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