Red White and Blue Protein Pancakes

Happy 4th of July!  I’m sitting on our patio writing this post and can’t believe I’m not sweating my you-know-what off.  70 degrees, sunny, and less than the usual 99% humidity we usually have here around this time of year.  I’ll take it!

This morning I decided to get a little creative in the kitchen and whipped up a batch of protein pancakes.  I of course had to go with a red, white, and blue theme because…why not?  At first bite, Matt thought these were “legit” (his words) pancakes, meaning unhealthy. Much to his surprise, they are actually paleo.  I love it when I trick him like that. ;)

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Strawberry Coconut Protein Pancakes

(serves 2, makes 5-6 pancakes)

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup pureed strawberries
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup crushed walnuts (optional)
  • 1 tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut
  • toppings of your choice!

Directions

Whisk together wet ingredients then add dry ingredients and mix well.  Pour batter onto heated griddle/pan using 1/4c measuring cup.  Flip when batter starts to bubble and firm up.  Add toppings of your choice! Today I used blueberries, honey, coconut and almond butter….and a little syrup.  Hey, it’s a holiday.

 

I hope everyone has a fun and safe holiday!

Organic Matcha Green Tea

Over time, I’ve become quite the coffee lover (or dare I say, addict?) but there is a part of me that wants to be a tea addict, mainly for the health benefits…and because it doesn’t stain your teeth. :) So, when I was given the opportunity to review Kiss Me Organics’ Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder, I was excited to give it a try.

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Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder is 100% organic, tested for purity, and contains more than 137 times the antioxidants in regular brewed tea. Yes, 137x!  This Matcha powder is only available on Amazon and comes with a recipe guide that they give all first time customers.  You wouldn’t believe all of the recipes they came up with that can use the Matcha Green Tea Powder…everything from smoothies to salmon. No joke.

I decided to try a smoothie first (recipe below).  I have to admit, my first attempt tasted a little too strong for me and it was hard to get past the green tea taste.  I decreased the amount of powder in the next one and that helped a lot!  I paired it with eggs for some protein for breakfast and it was really refreshing!

The next recipe I decided to try was a green tea latte (recipe below). You know how I love my lattes. :) Some of the recipes I’ve found call for boiled water and frothed milk but I took the easy (ahem, lazy) way out and just heated up the liquids in the microwave.  It was still delicious!  It gave me the energy I needed, without the crazy-caffeine feeling. Don’t get be wrong, I’m not saying I’m giving up my coffee, but it’s nice to know there is a good alternative out there!

Some of the other benefits include:

  • Increased Metabolism
  • Increased Focus
  • Improved Skin Health
  • and hellloooo Antioxidants!

You can read more about the benefits of Matcha here.

I love that it comes in powder form, so you can literally add it to almost any recipe for the antioxidant benefits.  The free recipe guide was a great added bonus because it has a ton of recipes I would never think of that include this Matcha Green Tea Powder.  Also, each serving size is only about 1/2-1 tsp (depending on the recipe) so this bag will last me a while!

A big thanks to Kiss Me Organics for the opportunity to try their product!  Now head on over to Amazon to get your own matcha powder! :)

Matcha Green Tea Smoothie

DSC02036Ingredients (makes 2 servings)

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 green apple
  • 1 heaping handful spinach
  • 1/2-1 tsp Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder
  • 1 cup coconut milk

Directions

Blend and enjoy!

Matcha Green Tea Coconut Latte

DSC02153Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1/2-1 tsp Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder
  • 3/4 cup hot coconut milk
  • honey or sweetener (optional)

Directions

Heat water on the stove or in the microwave.  Whisk green tea powder with water then add milk and heat again, add sweetener.

Homemade LaraBars

I hope you all had a great Memorial Day weekend!  I know I for one really enjoyed an extra day of R&R. :)

When I did the Whole30 I was introduced to LaraBars.  Although “bars” are really supposed to be used sparingly during the Whole30, they were great to have on hand when I was in a bind because they are made of all natural and whole ingredients; no preservatives or ingredients that are impossible to pronnounce.

Since trying more of a paleo-esque lifestyle and especially after the Whole30, I’ve really learned to appreciate “whole” foods and how they affect my body in a positive way.  That means I look at foods that I used to consider staples a bit differently; one of which is protein bars.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with a protein bar and/or whey protein, I have just learned that my body doesn’t react the same way to those ingredients as it did before.

I used to avoid snacks like LaraBars like the plague. So you’re saying there isn’t any protein in this? Thanks, but no thanks.  Now, I appreciate food with the least amount of ingredients as possible and since my meals consist of a little more “umph” of the right things (namely more good fats), I don’t have to default to processed protein-packed items like I used to.  That being said, I am on the search for a protein powder with little ingredients because I miss my protein shakes! :)

Since LaraBars can get a little expensive I decided to search for a homemade recipe I could easily make at home.  I mean, how hard can it be if all of the ingredients are natural, whole foods that essentially you can find at any grocery store, right? Right!

I found the best base recipe here and have already made many different combinations, depending on what ingredients I have on hand.

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To make 12 bars, here’s the basic breakdown I follow:

  • 2 cups nuts
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1 cup other dried fruit (I always look for unsweetened and unsulfured.  Trader Joe’s has a few good options.)
  • 1 tsp spice

One of my (and Matt’s) favorites was my take on LaraBar’s Cherry Pie flavor.

Ingredients:

(makes 12 bars)

  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup dates
  • 1 cup cherries
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened coconut (optional)

Directions:

Combine everything in a food processor and pulse until combined and all ingredients are finely chopped. Then, either press dough evenly in small cake pan and cut into bars or form into balls then refrigerate.

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Enjoy the short week!

Once a Fan, Always a Fan

I’m baaaaack! Did you miss me?

Well, dry your tears my friends. I’ve promised myself to get back in the blogging groove so to start things off again on the right foot, I’m going to share two of my favorite things with you – Football and Fitness!

Although it’s only May, the recent NFL draft has me in the mood for a little football in my life; specifically St. Louis RAMS football!  I love everything about game days, even in my cheerleading after-life…..whether I am watching from the comfort of my own home or cheering with a crowd of 60,000 people, it doesn’t get much better than football Sunday. :)  Once a fan, always a fan.

RamsWhat? Too much?

When I heard that the St. Louis Rams created the Lady Rams membership program, I jumped at the opportunity to join! Combining 3 of my favorite things- football, fitness and fashion? Winning.

Lady Rams Logo

For a $35 Annual Membership Fee, you get exclusive access to Rams events, the opportunity to mingle with players, cheerleaders (<– my personal fav, obviously) ;) , personnel, merchandise, gifts and more!

Here’s what the membership includes:

  • Lady Rams t-shirt (<– to complete your Game Day wardrobe, perhaps?)
  • Membership packet
  • Monthly newsletter
  • Monthly drawings for autographed items, tickets, special experiences, etc. (<– I mean, who doesn’t love prizes?)
  • And the best part – Exclusive invitations to special Lady Rams-only events

All of that for $35?  Believe it!  If you are a female and you love football, you still have time to sign up!

There are 3 events coming up in St. Louis that you don’t want to miss:

Lady Rams Launch Event

When: June 12th

This event will be held at Ballpark Village and includes Complimentary food and beverage, along with the opportunity to meet Rams personnel and get to know other Lady Rams members. (Since we all share the same love of football, fitness and fashion, I have a feeling we will be fast friends) :)

Ladies Night at Training Camp

When: July (exact date TBD)

You will get an up-close look at the 2014 team at this private event.  If you haven’t been to an NFL training camp before, I would highly recommend it!  It’s a rare chance to see the players in their element, that up-close and personal.  Plus, all of the anticipation for the upcoming season makes for a really exciting atmosphere!

Girls Night Out

When: September (exact date TBD)

GNO. Enough said.  This event will be complete with food, drinks, a fashion show and guest appearances throughout the night…any guesses?

I also want to mention that a portion of the proceeds from the membership fees will benefit local St. Louis charities.  One of the many reasons why I am so proud to have been involved with the Rams, and continue to do so.  The organization is incredibly community-oriented and is constantly doing anything and everything they can to give back to the city and it’s fans.

You can find more information on the Lady Rams and sign up for your own membership here: http://www.stlouisrams.com/fans/ladyrams.html

If you want to stay connected with the Lady Rams, join us on social media:

Now, in the spirit of football and fitness (are you sensing a theme here?) I’ve created a workout you can do while watching the game on t.v.  I know, I know, football season is still months away but you can keep this one on the back burner, or even modify it to be 10 rounds of 10 until Sundays in the fall.  That will do the trick!

Football-Fitness WorkoutOk, now go on and get yourself a Lady Rams membership! :)

Have a great weekend!

 

The St. Louis Rams invited me to preview Lady Rams and provided me with a complimentary membership. 

5-15 Minute Plank Workout

Well, I did it again…one more injury to add to the list. I decided to go for a 5 mile run on a whim with my mom (my multi-marathoner mom, that is) two weeks ago. I actually thought I did pretty well and felt good, considering I don’t think I’ve run more than 3 miles since my mud run last October. :) Took it easy the next day but then when I attempted to run two days later, my foot had other ideas. I’ve never had a stress fracture before, but this felt different than any other pain. I got an x-ray and turns out I don’t have a fracture. This is good news…except that I the only thing to do now is sit back and “relax” (ha, not a word that comes up in my vocabulary often) until whatever it is heals. As you can probably imagine, the past two weeks have been pretty frustrating but I’ve tried to convince myself that my body is telling me to take a break and I should try to embrace it. Easier said than done, but in the meantime I’m doing more low-impact/upper body/ab workouts and will get back to the running and burpees in due time…ok, so maybe I’m not in a bug rush to get back to burpees. ;)

Here’s a plank workout that’s easily done at home.   One time through adds up to 5 minutes, so this can be a 5, 10, or 15 minute workout, just depends on what you are feeling!

10 Min Plank Workout
Plank Pulses

Plank Dips

Plank Toe Touches

Superman Planks

Plank Push-Ups

Spiderman Planks

Cookies ‘n Cream Puppy Chow

After posting so many health-ified recipes lately, I think it’s about time for a good ‘ol cheat day recipe, no?  This is not Whole30-paleo-low-carb-sugar detox-Jillian Michaels approved.  Sorryimnotsorry.  So put on your stretchy pants and let’s get this party started.

My office had a “food day” to celebrate the Cardinals home opener on Monday.  Naturally, I signed up to bring a dessert and headed straight to my Pinterest board to find a recipe I have yet to try.  The lucky winner? Cookies ‘n Cream Puppy Chow.  Oh. My. Goodness.  I have since found that it is actually physically impossible to stop eating this stuff.  Trust me, the struggle is real.

IMG_20140406_195658There are a million recipes on Pinterest for this but of course I had to make a few edits….which basically means I doubled the amount of chocolate.  What’s the point if every single morsel isn’t drenched in chocolate-y goodness anyway?

Ingredients:

For “cookies”:

  • 1/2 box rice chex (about 6 cups)
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 10 Oreos, crushed

For “cream”

  • 1/2 box rice chex (about 6 cups)
  • 1 24oz pkg vanilla almond bark
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 10 Oreos, crushed

Directions:

(You will repeat this process twice, once for cookies and once for cream.)

Melt chocolate in a double boiler (like this) on the stove, stirring frequently (for a makeshift double boiler, place a smaller pot inside a slightly larger one with a small amount of water in it and heat on the stove, this helps prevent burning of the chocolate).  For an less complicated option, slowly melt the chocolate in a bowl on low in the microwave, stirring frequently.  Be careful, as chocolate burns easily.  Place the chex in a large bowl and pour the chocolate on top, then stir until combined.  Place the powdered sugar and crushed Oreos in a large ziploc bag.  Pour the chocolate covered chex into the ziploc bag, close it and shake until the sugar/cookies are distributed evenly.  Repeat for the other half of the batch.

Combine the “cookies” and “cream” into a large container.  Crush the remaining Oreos (I used a family size package for this) and mix in with the chex.

Now for the most important direction – Eat your little heart out!