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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Chocolate Chip Protein Pancakes

I really don't think I need to say much, the recipe speaks for itself.

It's AMAZEBALLZ!

Chocolate Chip Protein Pancakes

Ingredients:
- 2 scoops Vanilla Whey Protein
- 30g Organic Oat Flour (I used Arrowhead Mills)
- 6 tbsp Liquid Egg Whites
- 1/8 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
- 1 Banana, mashed
- 1/4 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
- 1/4 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 tsp Baking Soda

Toppings:
- 1 tbsp Dark Chocolate Chips
- 2 tbsp Walden Farms Pancake Syrup
- 1 tbsp Light Cool Whip  

Instructions:
- Combine the ingredients in a medium mixing bowl (I like to use one with a spout so it's easier to pour the pancakes).
*Tip* Use a ripe, more brown than green banana.  They are sweeter, softer, and easier to mash (you want to make sure you mash the banana very well so you don't have any chunks in your batter).  Also, research has shown  that the darker patches it has, the higher the immunity enhancement quality.
- Spray pan with non-stick cooking spray and heat on Medium-Low.
- Pour batter into pan and sprinkle 1/2 tbsp dark chocolate chips onto each pancake.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. 
- Top pancakes with Walden Farms Pancake Syrup and a dollop of Light Cool Whip. 

*This recipe makes 2 servings*
Serving Size = 2 large pancakes 

Nutritional Information:
with toppings
327 calories, 7g fat, 341mg sodium, 308mg potassium, 33g carbohydrates, 35g protein. 

without toppings
247 calories, 1.5g fat, 288mg sodium,  308mg potassium, 22g carbohydrates, 34g protein.


Enjoy :)
 
         


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Triple Chocolate Proats

It's no secret I have a super sweet tooth!  I'm pretty much a certified chocoholic :) lol!  So, this is an absolutely delicious breakfast, or perhaps a post workout meal, that I came up with to satisfy my chocolate craving I was having this morning.

I've been doing a lot of various proat recipes lately because they are so quick and easy to prepare.  I loving how nourishing and filling proats are.  They are very versatile too; you can pair oatmeal with any flavor of protein you desire and incorporate your favorite fruits, nuts, or seeds to suit your own taste.  Personally, my favorite flavors are chocolate, cinnamon, and peanut butter, so that's what's in this particular recipe <3

Triple Chocolate Proats 
w/ Banana & Graham Cracker Topping

Ingredients:
- 1/3 cup Quick Cooking Oats
- 1/8 tsp Cinnamon
- Water (depends on how wet or dry you'd like)
- 1/2 scoop Chocolate SRO Zero Carb Whey Protein
- 1/2 tsp Chocolate PB2
- 2 oz Chocolate Protein Rush Shake (liquid)
- 1/2 Banana, sliced
- 1/4 Organic Chocolate Graham Cracker, crushed


Instructions:
- Combine oats, cinnamon, and water in a bowl.
- Cook in microwave on high for 1 minute 30 seconds.
- Mix in Chocolate SRO, Chocolate PB2, and Chocolate Protein Rush Shake.
- Top with banana slices and crushed chocolate graham cracker.

Ta da! Super easy, and VERY yummy!


Serves 1
Nutritional Information:
233 calories, 3g fat, 5g cholesterol, 107mg sodium, 246mg potassium, 31g carbohydrates (5g fiber, 8g sugar), 20g protein

Friday, November 30, 2012

Blueberry Pie Proats

I've said it once, I've said it twice, I've probably said it a million times... 
DON'T SKIP BREAKFAST!!!

For me and many other health & fitness fanatics, breakfast really is the most important meal of the day.  I have read countless studies that confirm that people who eat a healthy balanced breakfast daily have lower body fat percentages than those that pass on a morning meal.  Why?  When you do not eat breakfast, your metabolism plummets.  If you are trying to lose weight, this is the last thing you want!  Eating a healthy breakfast helps you control your impulse to eat junk food when you're bored or stressed, prevents you from snacking between meals and overeating at lunch time, and jump starts your metabolism for the day, revving up your fat burning ability for enhanced weight loss!

While a nutritious breakfast is vital, eating an unhealthy, heavy breakfast can be just the opposite.  Avoid foods high in added sugars, sodium, saturated fats and calories. Cut back on sugary breakfast cereals, high-calorie pastries, and meats like bacon and sausage that are high in saturated fat and sodium.  Make sure you eat a well balanced breakfast containing protein, complex carbohydrates, and fiber.  My favorite is egg whites (scrambled, sunny side, hard boiled, omelet, however you like!) with added vegetables (onions, spinach, peppers, zucchini, etc.) and oatmeal with cinnamon, honey, nuts, fruit, the list can go on and on!  

So, speaking of oatmeal, let me stop my rant and start with my recipe!

Which by the way is under 200 calories and packs 17 grams of protein.

Blueberry Pie Proats
Protein + Oats = PROATS!
Proats are a quick and easy way to start a healthy day :) 
Just add your favorite protein powder to your oatmeal and voila! 

Ingredients:
- 1/3 cup Quick Cooking Oats
- 1/4 tsp All Natural Ground Cinnamon
- Water
- 1/2 scoop Vanilla VPX SRO Zero Carb Whey Protein
- 1/4 cup Lifeway Blueberry Organic Kefir
- 1/3 cup Organic Blueberries

Instructions:
- Mix oats, cinnamon, and water (the amount of water depends on how dry or wet you prefer your oatmeal) in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 1 minute and 30 seconds.
- Take bowl out of the microwave (carefully, it's hot) and mix in vanilla protein powder.  
- Pour blueberry keifer over oats and stir in organic blueberries.
- Sprinkle a little cinnamon or add unsalted nuts on top if you'd like ;)

And that's it!   It's as easy as... blueberry pie!! :) lol!

Question:
What is keifer?

Answer:
"Kefir’s tart and refreshing flavor is similar to a drinking-style yogurt, but it contains beneficial yeast as well as friendly ‘probiotic’ bacteria found in yogurt.  The naturally occurring bacteria and yeast in kefir combine symbiotically to give superior health benefits when consumed regularly.  It is loaded with valuable vitamins and minerals and contains easily digestible complete proteins.  For the lactose intolerant, kefir’s abundance of beneficial yeast and bacteria provide lactase, an enzyme which consumes most of the lactose left after the culturing process." 

References:  
http://www.kefir.net/what-is-kefir/

Serves 1
Nutritional Information:
197 calories, 2g fat, 2mg cholesterol, 51mg sodium, 95mg potassium, 28g carbohydrates (4g fiber, 9g sugar) 17g protein


Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Zero-Calorie, Zero-Carb, Gluten-Free - NoOodles

I've been hearing a lot of buzz about these zero calorie, zero carb, gluten-free "miracle" noodles lately and have really wanted to try them!  Lucky me, I stumbled upon an amazing deal on Groupon for NoOodle Shirataki Zero-Calorie Noodles.  
It was only $36.00 for 24 8oz. packs of these all natural noodles!  
Regularly, they would be $72.00.  Plus, I got free shipping. Cha-Ching!

The arrival!


One pack of NoOodles.

NoOodle's angel-hair pasta provides a healthy alternative to traditional noodles thanks to its complete lack of calories, net carbohydrates, gluten, fat, sodium, and preservatives.  Derived from yam flour, these high-fiber noodles require a simple rinse or dry fry to prepare before starring in your favorite soup, salad, or entree.

NO Calories... NO Fat... NO Net Carbs... NO Soy... NO Gluten... NO GUILT!!!

NoOodles Nutrition Label

So, now time to tell you my thoughts about these suckers :)

Upon opening the bag, there is a very foul fish like odor that is released *BLEH* they reek!  So naturally I did what I always do and Googled this stench right away.  I quickly found on the NoOodle website that this is a FAQ and the aroma does not mean the noodles are spoiled.  The smell is from a mineral called lime (calcium hydroxide, as seen the the ingredients above) which is apparently used in many foods and drinks as a firming and neutralizing agent.  It is harmless, but they recommend rinsing and draining the noodles to remove the smell prior to adding them to your recipes.

Speaking of recipes, this is the first meal I made using the "no guilt" noodles!


Ingredients:
- 4oz chopped grilled chicken breast
- 1 cup of steamed broccoli
- 4 oz NoOodles (drained and pat dry with a paper towel)
- 1 tbsp Walden Farm's Sesame Ginger Dressing

Instructions: 
Mix all of the ingredients together and microwave for 1 minute!

Easiest thing ever made?! Quite possibly!

As far as taste and texture goes, NoOodles are translucent, similar to Asian style noodles or angel hair pasta, and have no flavor.  So, you can add any of your favorite sauces or soups to your dish and the pasta will absorb those flavors. You can cook them with your favorite spaghetti or Alfredo sauce, or you can experiment with different vegetables and herb dressings until you find a dish that suits your taste and is delicious and healthy!

Enjoy!

Spicy Spaghetti & Meatballs

This just in... I made this dish last night for dinner!

Ingredients:
- 1 package of NoOodles (drained, rinsed, and dried)
- 1/4 cup diced yellow onion
- 1/2 cup diced tomatoes & green chilies
- 2 tsp Mrs. Dash Italian Medley seasoning

Instructions:
Spray pan with non-stick cooking spray, place all ingredients in pan and cook on medium-high heat for 2 minutes, turn heat down to medium and let simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Makes 2-3 servings.
Serve with 2 Turkey Muffins (recipe on my blog).

Bon Appetit!

Friday, November 16, 2012

French Thins

After looking at someone's Instagram photo of delicious french toast I really wanted, no, I needed, some french toast for breakfast! Lol!  So, after my cardio sesh this morning I scoured my kitchen in search of a few basic ingredients to make a healthy and delicious batter.  As for the bread, I used one whole Flax & Fiber Arnold Sandwich Thin, which, if you're counting calories, is only 100 cal per roll.  Also, they are high in fiber and pack 5g of protein, score!  Any who, this batter recipe below actually makes enough for two servings, meaning, it is more than enough to dredge 2 whole sandwich thins (4 slices) in!  You can make this breakfast for you and your boo, or do what I did and prepare the other French Thins for a tasty mid-day treat!

French Thins!
Banana Cinnamon Raisin Peanut Butter Stuffed Chocolate French Thins! (say that 5 times fast) lol!

Ingredients:
- 1/3 cup Egg Whites
- 1/4 scoop VPX SRO Zero Carb Chocolate Protein Powder
- 1/8 tsp Cinnamon
- Splash of VPX Chocolate Protein Rush
- 2 Flax & Fiber Arnold Sandwich Thins

If you're not a chocoholic like me *gasp!* then you can always sub it for vanilla protein and add some pure vanilla extract to the mix ;)

Instructions:
- Whisk the first four ingredients together in a bowl.
- Spray pan with non-stick cooking spray and heat on Low.
- Soak slices in batter.
- Cook covered until golden brown (about 1-2 minutes) on each side.

As you can see from the above picture I topped mine with two of my favorite foods, banana and peanut butter!  I sliced up half of a small banana and used 1 tbsp of Peanut Butter & Co. Cinnamon Raisin spread.  Amazeballz!  I also sprinkled some sunflower seeds on top for an added *crunch* :)

You can add your own toppings/stuffings to meet your nutritional needs and suit your taste buds.  Below I listed some suggestions I may have to try myself!

Stuffing Suggestions
- Apples
- Pears
- Peaches
- Berries
- Nuts
- Greek Yogurt
- Honey/Agave
- PB2

Nutritional Info (per serving): without toppings
140.3 calories, 1.1g fat, 259.8mg sodium, 92mg potassium, 21.3g carbohydrates (5.2g fiber, 2g sugar), 13.3g protein.

With the toppings it came out to about 285 calories and 18g protein.
Caloric Breakdown:
French Thins Batter - 40 cal per serving
Flax & Fiber Arnold's Sandwich Thins - 100 cal per roll
Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Peanut Butter - 80 cal per tbsp
Banana - 45 cal for 1/2
Sunflower Seeds - 20 cal

Hope this helps :)

And as always... I hope you ENJOY!




Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Easy Open Faced Egg White Omelette

I wanted to make a quick and easy breakfast this morning, and I did, so I thought I'd share it with you!  With just 5 healthy ingredients and only 5 steps, this recipe is super simple for my busy but health conscious fit fam.  Packed with 26.3g protein and only 158.3 calories, this high protein, low calorie, and low carb meal is the perfect way to start a healthy day!


Easy Open Faced Egg White Omelette

Ingredients:
- 3/4 cup egg whites
- 1/2 cup chopped baby spinach
- 0.5 oz low sodium turkey breast
- 1 oz low fat shredded mozzarella
- a dash of Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb seasoning

Instructions:
- Spray small pan with olive oil and heat on medium.
- Add chopped spinach and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Pour in egg whites and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
- Add turkey breast and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Sprinkle mozzarella and Mrs. Dash on top and cover with lid for 1-2 minutes.

And that is it!  You can always incorporate additional veggies such as; onions, peppers, zucchini, tomatoes, the list can go on and on!

Serving Size: 1
Nutritional Info:
158.3 calories, 3.4g fat, 11.2mg cholesterol, 378.3mg potassium, 1.7g carbohydrates, 26.3g protein.


Enjoy!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Baked Spinach Salmon Burgers



This is a great meal because the main ingredients are powerful SUPERFOODS packed with nutrients!  And personally, I love spinach and I love salmon, so why not mix them together and make a delicious recipe out of it? :)

But first, I'd like to provide you with a few facts about our two key ingredients:

Salmon -
As you may already know, salmon is a highly nutritious food. Of course, it is high in protein, and Omega-3 healthy fats. But did you know that a serving salmon provides a full day’s requirement of vitamin D, which is essential for the maintenance of bone density?  Salmon also contains over half of the necessary B12, niacin, and selenium, and is an excellent source of B6 and magnesium.

Spinach -
Low in calories and high in vitamins, spinach is one of the most nutrient-dense foods in existence.  One cup of the leafy green vegetable contains far more than your daily requirements of vitamin K and vitamin A, almost all the manganese and folate your body needs and nearly 40 percent of your magnesium requirement. It is an excellent source of more than 20 different measurable nutrients, including dietary fiber, calcium and protein.  And yet, 1 cup has only 40 calories!

So, here is another amazingly healthy, high protein (18.5g protein), low calorie (only 143 calories per patty!) recipe that is easy to make and only takes a few ingredients!


Baked Spinach Salmon Burgers
Serves 4

 
 Ingredients:
- 15oz of canned salmon, drained
   (I used 3 5oz cans)
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup chopped baby spinach
- 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
- 1/3 cup chopped yellow onion
- 1/3 cup egg whites
- Fresh black ground pepper to taste
- Lemon juice to taste





Instructions:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, combine ingredients and mix well.
*Tip* If mixture is too dry, add more egg whites, if mixture is too wet, add more oats.
- Spray baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
- Form mixture into 4 patties (should be about 1/2 inch thick) and place on baking sheet.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes in the oven (mine took only 10 minutes).
 

Now, I was making this meal for not just myself, but hungry boys as well, so I had to beef it up a bit!  I used a 5 Grain Flax Artisan Foldit Flatbread in place of a bun (one flatbread is 90 calories).  On the flatbread I spread all natural, no salt added, Stoneground Mustard.  Then I put a slice of Swiss cheese, added some fresh baby spinach, and chopped up a large tomato and red onion and placed slices on top.


Some suggestions if you are trying to reduce your caloric/carbohydrate intake:
* In place of a bun, use romaine lettuce leaves.
* Skip the cheese, or use low fat mozzarella instead.


Side Dish: Steamed Squash
As a side dish, I seasoned and steamed squash.  I washed and sliced 4 zucchinis then put them in a large Ziploc bag with a tablespoon of Mrs. Dash Original seasoning and shook the bag up real good to make sure all the slices were coated.  I let the zucchini sit in the seasoning while I was preparing the patties then popped em in my steamer for 7 minutes.  Voila!


Nutritional Facts: (per patty only)
143 calories, 3.6g fat, 304.4mg sodium, 76.4mg potassium, 9.2g carbs (1.8g fiber, 0.8g sugar), 18.5g protein

ENJOY!

References:
http://www.livestrong.com/article/408658-what-are-the-benefits-of-canned-pink-salmon/
http://www.livestrong.com/article/2700-facts-health-benefits-spinach/

Thursday, November 8, 2012

"The Tech of Sports" Interview

On Wednesday, November 7, 2012 I was fortunate enough to be interviewed on "The Tech of Sports" show on Netcast Studio by Rick C. Limpert!  Rick is an Atlanta-based freelance writer and columnist.  His works have been featured on Yahoo Sports, Yahoo News, Examiner.com, and in Sports Illustrated.  We discussed several topics including health & fitness, my modeling, and my clean cooking blog!





Feel free to watch and listen to the show above or by clicking the link below!


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Pudding Cake

If you haven't noticed already, I am quite a fan of peanut butter!  I could probably put peanut butter on almost anything and enjoy it :) 

Not too long ago, I purchased PB2 after hearing so much buzz about this amazing powdered peanut butter.  PB2 has the same consistency as full fat peanut butter with all of the natural roasted peanut flavor, but with nearly 85% less fat calories.  PB2 is made with high quality peanuts that are slow-roasted and pressed to remove the oil.  It is all natural with no artificial flavors or sweeteners, and no preservatives.  PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter is mixed with water to create a traditional peanut butter mixture.  It also works wonderfully in recipes that call for the use of peanut butter.


Since purchasing PB2, I have been looking for different ways to use it in my recipes!


And this folks, is an absolutely AMAZINGLY delicious recipe!

My Peanut Butter Pumpkin Pudding Cake is so moist and delicious, I seriously had to calculate all the ingredients and measurements several times to actually make sure it really was UNDER 150 CALORIES!!!  It is SO good I have eaten it for breakfast, before my workouts, and at night for dessert.  Yup, I may be slightly addicted to PB, but that's fine with me :)  


Peanut Butter Pumpkin Pudding Cake
Ingredients:
- 1/4 scoop Vanilla Whey Protein Powder
- 1/4 cup Pumpkin Puree
- 1/4 cup Egg Whites
- 1/4 small Banana
- 1/2 tsp PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter
- 1/8 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/8 tsp Cinnamon
- 1/3 Stevia Packet
- Pinch of Nutmeg
Topping:
- 1 tsp Sunbutter Natural Sunflower Seed Spread

Instructions:
Blend all of the ingredients together (I used my Magic Bullet) and pour into a small microwave safe dish.
Microwave on high for about 3 minutes depending on your microwave wattage.
*Tip* For more of a pudding consistency heat for less time, for more of a cake consistency, heat for longer.
While warm, top with Sunbutter.

Super easy!

Serving Size: 1

Nutritional Information:
136 calories, 4g fat, 15mg cholesterol, 130mg sodium, 319mg potassium, 15g carbs (4g fiber, 7g sugar), 13g protein
I KNOW you will enjoy!


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Overstuffed Bell Peppers

This was my first time making stuffed peppers and now I must say I am addicted!  I will certainly be making this recipe again, and soon!  It provides a perfect balance of lean protein, complex carbs, and veggies.  I used whatever I had in my fridge and pantry and this was what I came up with :)

OVERSTUFFED BELL PEPPERS

Ingredients:
- Organic Tomato Sauce (enough to cover the bottom of a casserole dish)
- 5 Large Bell Peppers
- 1/2 cup Yellow Onion, chopped
- 1.5 tsp Minced Garlic
- 1 tsp Mrs. Dash - Italian Medley
- 2 lb Extra Lean Ground Turkey
- 1 cup Organic Brown Rice (could sub quinoa), COOKED
- 1 cup Zucchini, diced
- 3 oz Fresh Mozzarella
- Ground black pepper to taste


Instructions:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Cover the bottom of the casserole dish with a thin layer of tomato sauce.
- Cut bell peppers in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes.

- Place in a casserole dish.
- Spray pan with olive oil and cook the onions until translucent (5-7 minutes). 

- Add minced garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
- Season ground turkey with Mrs. Dash then add the ground turkey and brown.
 

- In a large bowl, combine the cooked ground turkey, cooked brown rice, and zucchini.

- Scoop mixture into each bell pepper half.
- Sprinkle ground black pepper on top of each to taste.
 

- Bake, covered, for 30 minutes. If desired, uncover, sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top, and bake an additional 5 minutes.



- Scoop tomato sauce from bottom of the pan and drizzle on top to serve.


Serving Size:
1 serving = 1/2 bell pepper
Serves 10


Nutritional Facts:
177.8 cal, 4.8g fat, 66.6mg cholesterol, 133.1mg sodium, 172mg potassium,
11.8g carbs (1.9g fiber, 2.7g sugar), 24.1g protein


ENJOY!