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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Cinnamon Chocolate Protein Pancakes with PB & Banana Topping

If you follow me on any of the social media networks (which I suggest you should) ;) You probably know by now I'm all about pursing progress.  Personally, I feel as if there is always room for improvement when it comes to almost anything in life.  I'm striving to be the best me I can possibly be, persistently trying to better myself every day.

This is relative to my cooking as well.  I'm constantly questioning; How can I make this recipe healthier? Can I substitute any ingredients to make this meal a clean eating choice? Is it possible to reduce the calorie content? What can I do to make this recipe even more delicious?  I can go on and on, but I think you get the point! Lol!

So, in seeking to make my protein pancakes even better, I came up with this wonderful recipe!  Cinnamon Chocolate Protein Pancakes with PB & Banana Topping!

Cinnamon Chocolate Protein Pancakes with PB & Banana Topping

- 1 scoop Chocolate Whey Protein (VPX SRO Zero Carb)
- 1/4 cup Quick Cooking Oatmeal
- 1/4 cup Egg Whites
- 1/8 cup Fat Free Cottage Cheese
- 1/8 cup Unsweetened Applesauce
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

- 1 tbsp Natural Peanut Butter
- 1/2 Banana (sliced)

1) Blend all ingredients together (I use my Magic Bullet).
2) Cook pancakes on Low heat on a pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
3) Spread half tbsp Natural PB on first pancake while warm.
4) Place second pancake on top and spread remaining Natural PB on top.
5) Top with Banana slices.

Serving Size: 2 medium sized Protein Pancakes
Nutrition (includes the topping!): 370 calories, 33g protein, 9g fat, 282.5mg sodium, 36g carbs, 6g fiber

These came out great!  They were thicker and much more moist than the original recipe.  I really like the addition of cinnamon as it boosts metabolic rate and flavor.  Also, I'm very happy I was able to reduce the calories from 467 to 370!  Tastier and healthier for the win!

 Enjoy! :)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Cloud 9 Cakes

I often get asked what brand of protein powder I use in my recipes, well, here it is!
VPX SRO Zero Carb
I love using this protein powder in my recipes because it's only 80 calories per scoop, packed with 20 grams of protein and ZERO carbs!  Also, it tastes great ;)

Now, on to some simple clean cooking!

I have been trying to figure out different ways to use the ever so fabulous PB2 and so far I haven't had much success... until now!  Woo hoo!  

If at first you don't succeed... try, try, again!  

With hints of chocolate, vanilla, peanut butter, and cinnamon, these protein pancakes were SO scrumptious.  They remind me of fluffy clouds and everyone thought they looked like a cake, hence, Cloud 9 Cakes :)  I was pleasantly surprised with the texture, they came out incredibly moist.  And as far as taste goes, I'm glad I kept trying cause these cakes are heavenly!

Cloud 9 Cakes

- 1 scoop SRO Zero Carb Chocolate Protein Powder
- 1/4 cup Quick Cooking Oats
- 1/4 cup Fat Free Cottage Cheese
- 1/4 cup Egg Whites
- 1/8 cup Unsweetened Applesauce
- 1/2 tablespoon PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter
- 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 packet Stevia Pure Via

- 1/2 cup All Natural Fage Greek Yogurt
- 1/2 packet Stevia Pure Via
- 1/8 cup Cocoa Almonds

- Blend all of the ingredients together (I use my handy dandy Magic Bullet).
- Cook pancakes on Low heat on a pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
- In the meantime, mix Greek Yogurt and Stevia together.
- Spread half of the topping in between cakes and the other half on top.
- Place Almonds on top.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Simple Snack - Strawberry Peanut Butter Sammie

Strawberry Peanut Butter Sammie & Baby Carrots

Like me, I know a lot of you are short on time.  I often find myself saying "If only there were more hours in a day!".  Well, I wanted to share with you this SUPER simple low calorie snack idea that anyone (even kids) can make when pressed for time!

We're taking it back, old school style, with a slight twist on the staple PB&J sandwich ;)

- 1/2 of an Arnold's Multi-Grain Sandwich Thin
- 1 tbsp of Jif Natural Peanut Butter
- 1/4 cup of Sliced Strawberries
- 3 oz of Baby Carrots
- 2 tbsp of Walden Farms Ranch Dressing

This heart-healthy meal contains 7 grams of protein and is under 200 calories total.  It is a great balanced meal that incorporates essential protein, good carbohydrates, fruits, and vegetables.

Ingredient Information:

Arnold’s Multi-Grain Sandwich Thins
  • No high fructose corn syrup
  • 0g trans fat
  • 11g whole grains per serving
  • Cholesterol free
  • Excellent source of fiber
Jif Natural Peanut Butter
  • Low sodium
  • Made with five simple ingredients
  • Available in Creamy or Crunchy
  • Nutrient-rich and packed with antioxidants (like vitamin C)
  • Promote eye health and aid in cancer prevention
  • Help to improve skin’s elasticity and resilience
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Help lower the risk of breast cancer, lung cancer and colon cancer
  • Contain vitamin A which improves vision and skin tone
  • Beta-carotene helps the body to fight against free radicals
Walden Farms Salad Dressings
  • Zero Calorie
  • Zero Carb
  • Zero Sugar
  • Fat Free
  • Gluten Free


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Pumpkin Protein Bars

I stayed home from work today because I was feeling under the weather :(  If you know me personally, you know I'm not the type of gal that can just sit around and do nothing all day.  So, when I was at Publix picking up my prescription, I saw cans of pumpkin and I knew immediately that I had to make Jamie Eason's Pumpkin Protein Bars.  I have made these once before and they were absolutely delicious!

Pumpkin Protein Bars are perfect anytime of year, but they are especially wonderful during this lovely autumn season.  Get the taste of fall when you bite into one of these bad boys.  But there's no need to feel guilty, cause these babies are made with simple and healthy ingredients that produce cake like consistency treats! Enjoy one with a nice cold glass of almond milk as a sweet snack or delicious dessert :)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Spray a 9 X 13 Pyrex dish with non-stick spray.
  3. Combine first 11 ingredients and mix well.
  4. Add the final 3 ingredients (4, if adding walnuts), and mix until incorporated. Spread batter into the Pyrex dish and bake for 30 min.
  5. Makes 24 squares.

Nutrition Facts:
Nutrition (without walnuts): 1 square = 47 calories,.7 g fat, 8 g carbs, 3.7 g protein
Nutrition (with walnuts): 1 square = 63 calories, 2.3g fat, 8 g carbs, 4 g protein


Monday, October 15, 2012

Turkey Muffins

In preparation for upcoming photoshoots and fashion shows, I decided to alter my eating and become more strict with my meals.  Therefor, I decided to make fitness model (and my personal role model) Jamie Eason's Turkey Meatloaf Muffins (click for her recipe) which I found on one of my favorite websites,

This is a picture from my first time making her exact recipe!
I like my food caliente, but if you are not into fiery foods (or can't stomach spice).
I recommend cutting down on the chipotle pepper because they are pretty spicy!

Turkey Muffins make the perfect grab and go snack!

When I went to go make my turkey muffins for the week last night, I realized I did not have all of the same ingredients, but, I made it work!  So this is my recipe below.

  • 2 lbs lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup egg whites
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 tsp Mrs. Dash Original
  • 1 tsp Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb
  • 1 tsp Mrs. Dash Extra Spicy
  • 2 tsp yellow mustard
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp garlic 
  • 2 celery stalks (chopped)

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Spray muffin pan with olive oil.
  3. Mix all your ingredients together in one large bowl.
  4. Roll the mixture into balls and place in muffin pan. Muffins should be about the size of a racquetball.
  5. Bake for 50 minutes.
Makes 12 muffins.

Serving Size:
Women: 2 muffins
Men: 4 muffins

Enjoy! :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Spaghetti Squash

I'm always looking for different low-carb foods, cause let's face it, who wants to eat the same thing over and over again.  I sure don't!  So, my mom suggested spaghetti squash as an alternative to pasta.  The squash can be baked, boiled or microwaved. Once it's cooked, you can pull a fork lengthwise across the flesh and it will fall into strands that resemble spaghetti.  Pretty awesome!

Nutrition wise, a 1 cup serving of cooked spaghetti squash has 42 calories and 10 g of carbohydrates.  It is very low in fat and is a great source of dietary fiber.  Spaghetti squash also contains many nutrients, including folic acid, potassium, vitamin A, and beta carotene.

When it comes to taste, spaghetti squash can be quite bland. To spice up my squash, I lathered both halves with extra virgin olive oil and chopped garlic.  I tend to use garlic a lot when I'm cooking and not just because of the amazing aroma and fabulous flavor!  It’s the best overall plant for stimulating the immune system, the best anti-clotting herb, one of the best anti-fungals, and potentially useful for preventing heart disease and cancer.

“People have known garlic was important and has health benefits for centuries,” said Dr. David W. Kraus, associate professor of environmental science and biology at the University of Alabama. “Even the Greeks would feed garlic to their athletes before they competed in the Olympic games.”

So... why not eat like a Greek Olympian? :)

- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the insides.
*Tip* The seeds can be saved and roasted just like pumpkin seeds!
- Spread 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil on halves.
- Spread 1 tablespoon of chopped garlic on halves.
- Place squash on baking sheet and bake for 45-60 minutes (mine took about 45).
- When squash is done (tender) run a fork through the flesh lengthwise.

And there you go!  You can save 180 calories and 33 g of carbohydrates by eating a cup of spaghetti squash instead of a cup of pasta ;)


Grilled chopped chicken, spaghetti squash and mixed vegetables, for the win!


Monday, October 8, 2012

Warm Carrot Cake Oatmeal

This recipe is absolutely perfect for fall!

I was so excited to try it out and was blown away by how scrumptious it was!  Inspired by a recipe posted on which used quinoa, I decided to try quick cooking oatmeal instead.   It's wonderful because it incorporates fruits and veggies for a delicious balanced breakfast.  I made it as a hearty snack to satisfy my sweet tooth.  Using basic ingredients, it is super simple to prepare, taking only about 10 minutes total!  Wow!

Warm Carrot Cake Oatmeal  
(Serves 2)


- 1 cup Cooked Oatmeal 
  (Cook according to directions, you only need 1 cup COOKED, should be about 1/2 cup uncooked)
- 2/3 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk (I used Vanilla Almond Breeze)
- 2 tablespoons Raisins
- 1/2 cup of Shredded Carrots (I shredded mini carrots in my VitaMix)
- 1/2 tablespoon of Stevia
- 1/2 tablespoon of Cinnamon (I probably used more like 1 tablespoon because I love cinnamon)
- 1 wedge Laughing Cow Smooth Sensations Cream Cheese Spread Classic Cream 1/3 Less Fat
- 1/4 cup walnuts or slivered almonds (optional topping)

- Prepare oatmeal according to directions.  
  (I used quick cooking oatmeal which took about 2 minutes in the microwave).
- In a small pot, combine almond milk, raisins and shredded carrots.
- Heat for about 5 minutes or until the raisins are plump.
- Add in the cooked oatmeal, Laughing Cow wedge, cinnamon and Stevia.
- Stir until the Laughing Cow Cream Cheese is dissolved.
- This recipe yeilds 2 servings, but, I broke it down into 3 servings to share with my parents!
- Top with your favorite chopped nut (I used walnuts of course).

Be prepared for euphoria in your mouth :)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Three Step Tuna Snack!

I was planning on having good ol' tuna and broccoli for my meal two today, but, I accidentally grabbed my Tupperware filled with green bell peppers instead of broccoli when I was heading out the door this morning!  So, it was time to improvise!

*Open-faced green bell pepper topped with tuna and chopped walnuts*

For this tasty little (and when I say little I mean big) snack I only used 3 ingredients!

- 1 3 oz can of Chunk Light Tuna in Water (I used StarKist)
- 1 large green bell pepper
- 1 handful of chopped walnuts

Health Benefits:
Tuna is an incredibly nutrient-dense food. It's rich in protein and an excellent source of minerals such as selenium, magnesium, and potassium; not to mention the B vitamin complex, and of course, the ever so important omega-3 essential fatty acids.
Nuts in general have a variety of nutritional benefits. They contain plenty of high-quality protein that can substitute for meat; vitamins and minerals; dietary fiber; and they are dairy and gluten-free.  "Walnuts rank above peanuts, almonds, pecans, pistachios and other nuts," Joe Vinson of the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania said in a statement. "A handful of walnuts contains almost twice as much antioxidants as an equivalent amount of any other commonly consumed nut."
Green bell peppers are low in calories, fat-free, and low in carbohydrates, so they make a great addition to any diet plan. Also, they are high in in fiber, Vitamin C, and many other vitamins and minerals.

Now, if I was at home in my own kitchen I would have had more ingredients to work with and I probably would have added some chopped celery, onions, olive oil, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt and pepper.  But, I was at work and this was what I had.  Luckily, I always carry nuts around in my purse just in case ;)
Anyways, I personally enjoy eating tuna plain because I am used to it from competition dieting.  However, I know most people would prefer a little more zaz!  It's common to prepare tuna salad with mayonnaise, but mayo tends to be high in fat, saturated fat, and of course calories.  Therefore, I would encourage you to cut the fat and calories by trying a few simple substitutes.

Nonfat plain yogurt has about 120 calories for an entire cup, is fat free and has 12 g of healthy protein. Also try Greek yogurt, it too has about 120 calories and 16 g of protein. Both have a creamy consistency like mayonnaise but are high in bone-building calcium.

Half an avocado contains 145 calories and 14 g of fat. Unlike the fat found in mayonnaise, avocados are high in monounsaturated fats, which studies have shown to lower cholesterol levels.

Hummus is made primarily from chick peas, which are high in protein and fiber. Two tablespoons have 70 calories and 6 g of fat.

Tuna can be dressed simply with oregano, salt, pepper, and some fresh olive oil.

Tuna also pairs well with onion, parsley, capers and tomatoes.  These are all low-fat, high-flavor options.  You could also try mustard, ginger, sesame oil, honey, soy sauce and garlic.

You can also add a tablespoon of Walden Farms dressing, which is calorie free, sugar free, fat free, carbohydrate free, gluten free, and cholesterol free!  They have numerous flavors such as Honey Dijon, Sesame Ginger, Balsamic Vinaigrette, Italian, and Ranch!

- Wash your green bell pepper and cut so it is open faced without any seeds.
- Open can of tuna and drain water, scoop tuna on to pepper.
- Chop up walnuts and sprinkle on top of tuna.

Easy! Enjoy! :)


Monday, October 1, 2012

Chocolate Protein Pancakes with Peanut Butter & Banana Topping

This is my FAVORITE meal to make! And for numerous reasons; 
It's quick, easy, uses minimal ingredients, healthy, and of course, delicious!

You can always experiment with different ingredients and toppings ;)

Recently, I added spinach and vanilla extract to the pancake batter and it was amazeballz!

Ingredients: Chocolate Protein Pancakes
- 1/4 cup Quick Cooking Oats
- 1/4 cup Low Fat Cottage Cheese
- 1/2 cup Egg Whites
- 1 scoop VPX SRO Chocolate Whey Protein

Ingredients: Peanut Butter & Banana Topping
- 2 tbsp All Natural Peanut Butter
- 1 medium Organic Banana

- Blend all protein pancake ingredients in a blender (I use my Magic Bullet) until mixture is of pancake batter consistency (this should take less than 30 seconds).
- Spray pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- Pour half of the mixture into pan and cook on Low heat for about 2 minutes on each side.

*Tip* When air bubbles form on top that is a good indicator that you should flip your protein pancake!

This recipe produces 2 medium sized protein pancakes.

Spread 1 tbsp of peanut butter on each protein pancake when warm for a gooey syrup consistency.

Slice banana and layer half on one protein pancake and half on top.

If you are watching your sugar and carbohydrate intake be advised that peanut butter and bananas are high in both.

Enjoy! :)