WIAW #8: New Recipes & Thanksgiving Tips

This week, I broke away from the usual eggs, protein bar and salad combos that tend to fill up my days.  I found a couple new recipes and decided to give them a try, so let’s get to it with this week’s What I Ate Wednesday (really, Tuesday).  Also, keep in mind, I do not list every single thing I eat, there is always a handful or two of trail mix, some Dove chocolate mixed in there.


Thanks again for hosting, Jenn!
Breakfast

I tried this Sweet Breakfast Scramble recipe out this weekend that I found over at Carrots ‘n Cake and really liked it, so I decided to repeat this week.  I followed the recipe, but I only used 1/2 a banana and added 1/2 cup of pumpkin.  It was nice to change it up for once!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • 1/2 mashed banana
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • topped with peanut butter and honey

Snack

While I was out running errands this weekend I spotted this protein pumpkin muffin mix at Home Goods and couldn’t pass it up.  Not too shabby for a packaged mix!

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Lunch

I found this recipe for Pumpkin Turkey Chili over at GiGi Eats Celebrities and had to give it a try, especially when they said you couldn’t taste the pumpkin.  I didn’t tell Matt what the “secret ingredient” was and he had NO idea. Winning.  It was so good I had to repeat it for lunch.

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Snack

Apple and peanut butter.  No pictures.  Enough said. 🙂

Dinner

I got home late so just decided to whip up an egg scramble complete with egg whites, spinach, low sodium ham and goat cheese.  One of my favs!  It doesn’t look like much in the picture, but that’s because I forgot to snap one until I was almost finished.  #bloggerprobs.  I also snacked on half of another protein muffin and I can’t forget my Dove chocolate!

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Since tomorrow is Turkey Day, I thought I would leave you all with a few tips to keep it a little on the healthy side. I will preface this by saying that I am a big believer in having everything in moderation, and holidays are no exception.  I try to eat healthy 80-90% of the time, so there is no reason I can’t live a little on days like this….or even on a random Thursday for that matter. 😉  I am definitely not going to tell you to go to Grandma’s house and only fill your plate with turkey and green beans.  If you have the willpower to do that though, more power to you!  For me, the key is portion control.

1. Workout Thanksgiving morning.  Trust me, you will feel much better about indulging if you already got in a daily sweat session.

2. Portion control. Portion control. Portion control.  Don’t skip the potatoes and pie if that’s what you’re into, but it’s all about the portions.  Fill up most of your plate with protein, veggies and greens and then take small amounts of “the good stuff”.  This way, you can have your cake (or pie!) and eat it too. 😉

3. Bring something you “can” eat. My mom and I are all about this.  Bring a dish that you know will provide a healthy alternative.  That way, you know there will be at least ONE dish that you can count on being semi-healthy.  You might be surprised how much everyone appreciates that too!

4.  Take a walk.  After your big meal and after getting a little couch potato/football-watching time in, bundle up and take a walk.  Invite your family members to come along; it would be a good chance to get outside, breath in some fresh air, and catch up with grandma.

5. ENJOY the day!  Holidays are about spending time with family and friends, it shouldn’t be about stressing over what you ate (or didn’t eat).  Sit back, relax and take it all in.  You worked hard for it!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Girly-Girl Weekend

This weekend was a husband-free weekend, as Matt was on a bachelor party trip to Oxford, Mississippi for the Mizzou vs. Ole Miss game (which, by the way, Mizzou won!).  What’s a girl to do, you ask?  Have breakfast for dinner, take on a Christmas craft and watch a Beyonce documentary, of course.

Friday night I tried out a new protein pancake recipe.  I found this recipe for a cinnamon coconut variety and made a few adjustments to make Chocolate Coconut Protein Pancakes.  They turned out pretty good! After breakfast for dinner I curled up on the couch and spent the rest of the night with my girl, “B”. 😉

Coconut Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 scoop protein
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened coconut
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • splash of almond milk

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together and pour into skillet.  Flip halfway through.  I topped mine with a few chocolate chips, a sprinkle of coconut and sugar free maple syrup.  Enjoy!

I spent all day on Saturday Christmas shopping with my mom.  Then my friend Kelly came over to do a little Christmas DIY project and watch the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy.  (Again, yes I still watch this show, 10 years later.)  We found our project on none other than Pinterest and spent over an hour at the craft store trying to find the right materials.  Halfway through the project we decided to save the rest for another day.  Enough was enough, this wasn’t quite as easy a task as it looked..as with all Pinterest crafts.

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The jury is still out on Kelly’s project.  We decided it was starting to look like her door hanging had a disease…

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DSC01472Could be a Pinterest fail waiting to happen but I have faith. 🙂  I completed my project on Sunday and I’m pretty excited about the final product!

Christmas Door Hanging

Oh, and how could I forget?!  Saturday night fro-yo was a must. No girls night is complete without it. 🙂

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When Matt got back on Sunday I experimented with a new dish- Paleo Coconut Shrimp.  I’ve been on a bit of a coconut kick lately, maybe because I have a lot left over from the Chocolate Coconut Brownies I made for Friendsgiving.

Paleo Coconut Shrimp

 Baked Paleo Coconut Shrimp

(Original recipe found here)

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp almond milk
  • 12 peeled and de-veined raw shrimp
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour
  • salt & pepper (to taste)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Pour coconut onto baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 3 minutes, until lightly brown.  Whisk egg and almond milk together.  Mix coconut, coconut flour, salt, and pepper in separate bowl.  Dip shrimp in egg mixture, then dip in coconut mixture and cover.  Place all shrimp on baking sheet and bake for 6-8 minutes or until fully cooked.

And that’s my weekend in a nutshell!  Now let’s get this short week started and get ready for a weekend full of FOOD!  🙂

Pumpkin Protein Bars

Happy Monday!

Matt and I spent the weekend in Columbia, MO for Mizzou’s Homecoming.  I always love going back to visit our alma mater and this time was no exception!  We spent Friday night visiting some of our favorite restaurants and bars and then Saturday was game day.  It was a tough loss against South Carolina but the highlight for me was dancing with the alumni Golden Girls.  Every year, the alumni dancers have the opportunity to come back and perform during pre-game.  It is so much fun to catch up with our coach and old teammates and even those who were there before and after me.  It’s an unspeakable bond we all have.  GG’s 4 Life. 😉

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When we got home there was a long list of things to do around the house, including a little meal prep for me.  I’ve started prepping most of our weekly meals on Sunday.  It makes the week go much more smoothly for me.  One of the snacks on today’s list was a new spin on my homemade protein bars.  You are going to be really surprised when I tell you the new ingredient….PUMPKIN!  Shocker.

Pumpkin Protein Bars

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 7 scoops vanilla whey protein powder**
  • 3 tbsp peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1/2-1 tsp cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together and add water until you get a good consistency.  Spread evenly in a 9×11 pan and bake for 8-10 min at 350.  Baking times may vary, depending on your oven.

**Feel free to adjust the amount of protein powder you use.  I take the nutritional content of mine and divide it by 10, because that’s how many bars I usually cut.

 

I made a couple other new snacks during my meal prep today too, so I’ll be sure to share those recipes soon!

Have a great week!

WIAW #4: Water Challenge & Egg White Muffin Recipe

Today’s What I Ate Wednesday post isn’t going to include as many photos as usual because, well, I wasn’t on my A-game today.  It happens, right?  I think you’ll get the drift. 😉

As always, you can find the link-up here:

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Water

I’ve been going to a chiropractor for about 2 years now for my scoliosis and am so glad I made the choice.  I’ve had scoliosis since I was young and never thought it would be possible for the curvature of my spine to improve.  My scoliosis wasn’t severe enough to warrant surgery or a brace and it honestly hadn’t bothered me until a few years ago.  I started having more pain in my lower back after walking for a long period of time and even sitting was getting uncomfortable because one side of my back was protruding more than the other, which caused one side to touch the back of a chair when the other wasn’t.  There were also visible signs that probably the average person wouldn’t notice but I certainly couldn’t keep my eyes off of the “obvious hump” on my left side…you know how that goes. 😉  Fast forward two years later and my spine is visibly straighter and the discomfort basically non-existent.  Anywayyyy, this long back story brings me to the first part of my WIAW post…water!

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It is National Chiropractic Health Month and to celebrate, my chiropractor’s office is doing a month long event called the Healthy Habits Challenge. Each week they will focus on a different healthy habit and this week, it’s water!  They challenged everyone to at least set a goal of adding 8oz of water every day.  My personal goal is to drink at least 64oz of water a day.  Monday I succeeded and yesterday I probably got 3/4 of the way there.  Baby steps.  I really do feel so much better when I am hydrated so I’m going to carry this goal past this week and make it an ongoing habit!

Tip: if you are feeling slightly hungry but aren’t sure if you are ready for a meal/snack yet, drink a cold glass of water.  Sometimes it’s your dehydration talking, not your stomach!  Obviously if you are still hungry after drinking the water, then dig in!

Breakfast

As you all know, I am always on the lookout for a new quick go-to breakfast option.  I’ve tried making different egg casseroles before but nothing has really stuck.  I made my second attempt at egg “muffins” and this time I think I’ve found a winner.  My first attempt included frozen spinach…I won’t be doing that again.  It made the muffins waaay too runny.  This time I used fresh spinach leaves and the texture is much better.

You can use whatever combination of vegetables, meat and cheese that you want.  I used chopped peppers, spinach, deli meat and shredded cheese.  I subbed the shredded cheese with goat cheese for some of them because I’m obsessed.

Start by spraying the muffin pan with olive oil spray.  Then fill the cups halfway with the veggies/cheese/meat of your choice.

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The fill the rest of the cups with egg whites.

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Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, depending on your oven.

Egg White Muffins

 

Lunch

My office provided pizza from a delicious restaurant in St. Louis called Dewey’s.  I had two small slices, one with goat cheese (see?!), artichokes and pesto and the other was a BBQ chicken variety.  I only ended up eating part of the goat cheese slice because the pesto wasn’t really doing it for me.  Luckily I also had some kale salad that I brought from home (so I wouldn’t fill up on pizza). 😉 I wish I had paused long enough to take a picture but anything that tries to get in between me and my pizza….

Mid Afternoon Snack

I’m trying to get back in the habit of eating only vegetables and cutting out the fruit after lunchtime.  Celery and peanut butter is a snack that satisfies my sweet tooth and still allows me to get in my veggies.

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Dinner

Roasted green beans and a black bean turkey burger.  Oldies but goodies.  Again, sorry for the lack of photos!  Apparently I was extra hungry today.

 

Have a great day!

 

WIAW #3: Pumpkin-palooza

Today’s What I Ate Wednesday post surrounds one thing and one thing only.  Pumpkin, my friends. Delicious, glorious, pumpkin.  Like everyone else, I’ve been incorporating pumpkin into my meals since the first day the temperature dropped below 70 degrees.

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 Thanks again to Jenn for hosting! 🙂

Obviously I didn’t eat/drink all of these meals in one day, more like one week, but it sure is tempting….

Pumpkin Spice Latte

You can’t say the words fall and pumpkin without a #psl, let’s be real.  I think it’s hilarious that the phenomenon that is the #psl has caused millions of  people to post pictures of their coffee cups like it’s their first born child.  Can’t say they are alone.  Whoops.

Tip: Make it “skinny-er” by asking for non-fat milk, no whip and only 2 pumps of the syrup in a tall.  If your coffee shop has almond milk- bonus!  I always try to cut the calories where I can and I don’t even notice the difference with a little less syrup.

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Pumpkin Protein Smoothie

This is one of my favorite smoothies to make in the morning.  It’s quick, easy and is a nice change from the usual fruit smoothie.

Pumpkin Protein Shake

Skinny Pumpkin Cookies

This is one of the most genius recipes I’ve ever seen.  Three ingredients, no milk, oil or eggs, and you won’t add an inch to your waistline by just smelling them.  When I say these are easy to make, that’s an understatement.  You can also substitute any other flavor of cake mix like my personal favorite, Devil’s Food, for a non-pumpkin-like cookie.

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Skinny Pumpkin Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 can pumpkin
  • 1 box cake mix (I used spice cake mix)
  • 1 cup (or more) chocolate chips

Directions:

Mix together, place on cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.  Cooking times will vary depending on your oven but I will say they are better when a little under cooked. 🙂

Pumpkin Spice K-cups

I found these K-cups at Target, for when I don’t have time to get my beloved latte.  Add a little stevia and almond milk or sugar free caramel creamer…it’s not the real thing, but it’ll do (and with a lot less calories, I’m sure). 🙂

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Pumpkin Protein Pancakes

One of my favorite breakfasts (when I have time on the weekends) is protein pancakes.  What’s better than protein pancakes? PUMPKIN protein pancakes.  Duh.  I found this recipe over at The Healthy Maven and immediately pinned it to try at a later date.  I like to top them with a little peanut butter or sugar-free syrup. I’ve now made these twice and I’m sure they will make their way into my meals many more times before fall is over!

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That’ll do it for today!

Question:

What’s your favorite pumpkin recipe??

WIAW: What I Ate Wednesday #1

After seeing many other What I Ate Wednesday (WIAW) posts around the blogging world, I decided to finally take part myself!  I love reading what other healthy living bloggers eat on a “normal” day and even though I do post recipes and some of my daily go-to meals, I haven’t posted an entire day’s worth of meals yet.  No better time like the present, right?  So, let’s get to it!

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Tuesday’s Menu:

Breakfast

I started out my morning with one of Matt’s and my favorites lately, non-fat vanilla Greek yogurt with fresh bluberries, chopped walnuts, and a little homemade Peanut Butter Granola.  I threw in a few chia seeds this time too, for good measure.

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Oh, and I can’t forget my coffee, complete with Stevia and unsweetened vanilla almond milk.  Anyone else love the fact that Target now has K-cups?  I went with the Caramel Machiatto flavor this time but I also spotted Pumpkin Spice, which you better believe will make it into my little red basket next time. 🙂

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Mid-Morning Snack

Fast forward a couple hours and per usual, I’m hungry again.  For a snack, I paired an apple with one of my new favs, Dark Chocolate Almond butter.  This stuff is no joke.

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Lunch

For lunch, I had had Kale Salad with grilled chicken and a few slivered almonds on top.  To top it off, I grabbed a small handful of trail mix and of course, no meal would be complete without a little dark chocolate.

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Gotta love Dove. 🙂

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Mid-Afternoon Snack

I really take this 5-6 small meals a day seriously, you guys. 🙂  A few hours after lunch, I grabbed a Homemade Protein Bar to hold me over until dinner.  This time, I used vanilla protein powder and added chocolate chips and dried cranberries.  Gooey and delicious, just the way I like them!

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Dinner

While I was cooking dinner, I snacked on a couple (seriously, just a couple!) of these new lentil chips I found at the store, with spicy hummus.  The chips were an interesting texture, but pretty good!

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When I was at Trader Joe’s yesterday, I spotted a bag of shredded brussel sprouts.  I always hear about these tasty recipes people come up with for brussel sprouts, but I just haven’t been able to jump on the bandwagon.  I thought maybe they would be better in the shredded form??  I sauteed them with broccoli, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and a little Italian seasoning.  I can’t say I’m convinced, but they weren’t too bad, especially after I added a little goat cheese on top.  Goat cheese fixes everything, let’s be real.  I paired the veggies with grilled chicken and a few dark chocolate acai berries for dessert (yum!).

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 Welp, there you have it!  Happy Hump Day!