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High Protein Banana Muffins and My New Spin Playlist

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Last night, I made a pretty big accomplishment….

I took the pit out of an avocado…with just a knife for the first time EVER! Now, don’t get me wrong, as I have tried and failed many times before.  Seriously, it felt great to do that!!

Brian and I then enjoyed that avocado in some homemade guacamole in meatless Mexican salads.  I used the Morningstar Farms meal starters with some chili powder, garlic powder, salt, onion powder, and pepper (all unmeasured), and it tasted so good.

Snack Time

I am so excited for my snack today.  One of my favorite things ever to make is muffins.  I can remember being a little girl using the Jiffy Cornbread Muffin mix to help my mom out with breakfast (corn muffins are a guilty pleasure of mine!).  For some reason, muffins just have a special place in my heart.

On Saturday, I scoured the internet for some high protein muffin recipes, and found tons.  Many of the recipes were similar to each other, so I took some notes, put my creative hat on and came up with a delicious banana creation.  Keep in mind, they do have a slight “protein” taste, so I love them, but Brian thinks they need peanut butter on top 😉

High Protein Banana Muffins

Yields:  10 Muffins

Nutrition Information:  Calories-63.2  Fat-2.1g  Carbs-3.2g Protein-8.3g

Ingredients:

  • 1 large banana, smashed
  • 3/4 cup liquid egg whites
  • 1/2 cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup oat flour (oats ground up!)
  • 2 scoops of your favorite protein powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • sprinkle of cinnamon

 

 

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix until combined.  Scoop batter into 10 paper lined and greased muffin tins.  Bake for 15-18 minutes.  ENJOY!

Workout

This morning’s workout was my Tuesday morning spinning class followed by some shoulder and ab work.  I have been rotating the same three playlists and switching out various songs for quite some time now in my spinning class…so I decided to create a completely new playlist.

All of the songs totally got me pumped up and working up a sweat!  I loved it.  At the end of class, I asked for suggestions for next week’s playlist…so keep your eyes peeled for another great workout mix.

On that note, it is time for me to head into work, but first…

Question of the Morning:

  • What is your favorite workout song and why?

I LOVE the Black Pearl song from Pirates of the Caribbean.  For some reason, it just gets me pumped and thinking I can push through and do anything.  It also ALWAYS seems to play when I am getting tired and need that extra energy and confidence boost.

Something New…

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Happy Hump Day!

I always love Wednesdays because we are half way through the week, and almost to the weekend.

**Thank you to everyone who has entered yesterday’s One Year contest!! If you haven’t had a chance to enter yet, you have until tomorrow!!***

Yesterday, I had a very important errand to run while I was on my lunch break.  It was time for me to attend my eye doctor appointment.  I wear daily-wear disposable contacts, and I had literally one pair left….that I had been stretching for a couple of days.  I booked the appointment at the earliest possible time, and I was sooo thankful that it was yesterday, because my eyes were starting to notice that those contacts were gettin’ old.

The past couple of years I have gone to different eye doctors simply because of being in college, moving, and trying to find something near my current place of work.  That being said, I had a pretty good experience yesterday!

He helped me with all of my needs and gave me some daily-wear contacts to try, and is ordering me another type to try later this week so that I can get the most bang for my buck.  He also helped me with Brian’s problems…or at least attempted to.

Brian always complains that his eyes are burning and on fire due to his contacts by the end of the day.  The doctor explained to me that may be because he is reacting to the preservatives that he is keeping his contacts in at night.  I had never heard that before!  The doctor’s solution was to try preservative free storage with a hydrogen peroxide based solution.  He gave us a sample of Clear Care to see if that will help Brian’s burning eye problem.

I hope it works!

Ricotta Cottage Cheese Fruit Dip

In other news, on Sunday when I was prepping meals and snacks for the week, I created a delicious little fruit dip that I just can’t get enough of!

Lately, I have been trying to incorporate more fruit into my diet, especially during snacks and lunch time.  I just love dipping my apples into something and this dip is so perfect for just that!  I can imagine that it would be great with graham crackers too 😉

 Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup lowfat cottage cheese 
  • 1/2 cup lowfat ricotta cheese
  • 1-2 packets of Stevia
  • 2 Tbsp peanut butter
  • dash of cinnamon
Directions
Place all ingredients in the blender or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy.  Enjoy!
Makes 8 servings of 2 Tablespoons each.
Nutrition per 2 Tablespoons:
Calories:  55  Fat:  3.3g  Carbs:  2.2g  Protein:  4.6g

Meals for Today…Trying Something New

I have been wanting a food scale for quite sometime, and although I know that I would use it most days, I have been having a hard time bringing myself to spend $20 on one.  Luckily, for the time being, I don’t have to worry about that, because Brian’s parents have one that they don’t mind me using!

I really started using it, because I started something new last week regarding my meals and my exercise. Sorry for not going into much detail right now, but I plan on writing a post about it later in the week.  For now, I will just give you a peek into my suitcase  lunchbox as a little tease…

I hope you all have a great middle of the week!

Now for some afternoon reading…

Of Possible Interest:

Pre-Cardio Interval Snack

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Good Morning!

Today is day number 2 on the job, and I am really looking forward to it.  The hotel offers complimentary breakfast to our guests, and one of my supervisors suggested that I eat breakfast there today.  It should be fun!  At least I know they have fruit, oatmeal, and coffee.

Before heading to the gym this morning, I made myself a pre-workout snack to tide me over until my hotel breakfast.

It was like a mini smoothie!  In the mix was: 1/3 frozen banana, 1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup almond coconut unsweetened milk, 2 tsp peanut butter, stevia, and vanilla extract.  It was smooth, creamy, and the perfect pre-workout fuel.

Cardio Intervals

Thursday mornings, I teach Cardio Intervals.  I am really enjoying this class because it gets pretty intense and sweaty, and the group I teach is simply amazing!

Here is a look at the super sweaty cardio and strength training workout we did today:

Now, I am off to work!

After work plans:  attend and study Body Pump (it is one of our instructor’s last class!), make a delicious treat to bring into work on Friday…that is the best part of the job, someone to eat all of my treats 😉

Happy Thursday!

Zesty Black Bean Dip

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Yesterday truly was a lazy day spent by the pool just hanging out, so today I woke up with the mindset to get things knocked off the to-do list.

I started out the morning with a bowl of overnight oats.  This mixture had chocolate, peanut butter, a bit of protein powder, and Greek yogurt all topped off with a little bit of frozen banana.

With the weather being estimated at a high of over 90 today, hot food just didn’t sound appealing to me, but this did the trick at fueling me up for a productive day.

A Recipe

A couple of days ago, I was getting ready to make lunch for Brian and myself when I decided to get a little creative.  We had a can of black beans in the pantry that had been there for a couple of weeks, and I wanted to use it up.  Immediately, I thought to make some sort of black bean dip.  After rinsing the beans and placing them in the food processor with a little bit of this and a little bit of that I had come up with a deliciously easy dip!

Zesty Black Bean Dip

Yields: about 8 servings of 2 Tbsp

Ingredients:

  • 1 15.5 oz can black beans
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp green tabasco sauce
  • sriracha to taste


Directions:

Place all ingredients in the food processor and process until desired consistency.  The dip will be creamy, with a little bit of bean texture.  Serve with chopped veggies, tortilla chips, or crackers.  Enjoy!

Nutrition:

Calories:  57.5   Fat:  .2g   Carbs:  10.3g   Protein:  3.8g

This would be a perfect dip to take to a Memorial Day BBQ 🙂  I hope you all have a great extra day of the weekend!

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.

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!

 

 

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