WIAW #9: New Protein Bars & Easy Side Dish

I’m linking up with Jenn again for What I Ate Wednesday and posting my eats from yesterday!

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My day consisted of mostly the same old same old but with a couple newbies that I had to pass along.

Breakfast

Sweet breakfast scramble.

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Snack

Apple and peanut butter, duh!

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Lunch

You may have seen this on Instagram the other night, but I posted this to show how easy it can be to make a delicious side dish.  I melted coconut oil in a pan, then added a veggie mix from Trader Joe’s (already chopped!) and their 21 Seasoning Salute, which you have to try!  It was super easy and really tasty.  I paired it with roasted chicken and repeated that meal for lunch yesterday.  My mom gave me the idea to put a whole chicken in the crock-pot for 6hrs on low on Sunday, then we would have roasted chicken for almost the entire week.  It’s been really nice to not have to worry about cooking meat every night!

20131209181514686 (1)Snack:

A new recipe for Pumpkin-Coconut Protein Bars that I found here.  I think I may have found my new favorite recipe and bonus for them being grain-free!  Sorry, I neglected to take pictures but I think you get the idea. 🙂 I made a couple of small changes to the original recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • 6 egg whites
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder
  • 4 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1-2 tsp stevia
  • 1/4-1/2 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

Mix dry ingredients together.  Mix wet ingredients together then whisk into dry ingredients.  Pour into a greased baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.

Dinner:

Nothing special to report….fish and veggies. Sorry, I was really bad at taking pictures yesterday!

Have a great day!

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 #2: Almond Milk Latte, Happy Hour & Everything In Between

It’s that time again!  WIAW: numero dos.  Thanks again to Jenn for hosting!

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And by Wednesday, I mean Monday. 🙂

Breakfast:

I was in a hurry to get out the door on Monday, so just grabbed some trail mix and a Homemade Protein Bar to save time.  Ok, so really I just wanted to have enough time to stop and get a latte on the way to work.  Priorities, people.

IMG_20130923_074626Meet my Monday saving grace: Sugar-free Caramel latte with Almond Milk.  Doesn’t it kind of look like the heavens are shining down on my coffee in this picture?  I’m now a regular at Kaldi’s when it’s in close proximity to me, solely for the fact that they have unsweetened almond milk AND they put two shots of espresso in the tall latte.  In the words of Carrie, hello lovahhh.

Mid Morning Snack:

It goes without saying that I was hungry a couple hours later so I grabbed the apple that I brought with me to work and dipped it in this Trader Joe’s Unsalted Peanut Butter.  I’m usually not a crunchy peanut butter fan, but I like the extra crunch with the apple.  I also was really skeptical about this unsalted business.  I wouldn’t suggest eating it straight from the jar with a spoon, but when paired with something sweet, like an apple, or on a rice cake or celery, I can’t really tell the difference.

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Lunch:

For lunch, I had leftovers from lunch on Sunday– buffalo chicken salad.  Delish.  I also had about a cup or two of grapes.

DSC01249Mid Afternoon Snack:

Non-fat vanilla Greek yogurt topped with chopped walnuts and chia seeds.  I swear, it never gets old. 🙂

IMAG0116Dinner:

Now THIS was the highlight of my day!  I had plans with some of my best friends for happy hour at one of our favorite new spots, EdgeWild Winery.  It’s a great atmosphere and with half off wine, wine slushies, and all appetizers…we’re hooked.  I will preface this by saying that when we go to happy hour, we all know we are going to splurge.  I’m pretty sure it’s required for any and all girls’ nights, no?

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IMAG0118Margherita Flatbread, Steak Bruschetta, Olive/Artichoke/Goat Cheese Flatbread and Goat Cheese dip were our apps of choice.  Yes, it was as good as it looks.  Annnd now I want to go back…

 

We’re halfway there!  Have a great rest of the week. 🙂

 

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!

Homemade Protein Bars

Lately, I have been trying to make protein bars from scratch, instead of buying the pre-packaged kind at the store.  Although I have found a few store bought brands that I love (Zone, Balance, Pure Protein), I figured, if I’m making them at home, I know exactly what’s going into them, and I eliminate most of the sugar and ingredients I can barely understand. 🙂  Obviously it’s a little more work, but I think it’s worth it in the end. I’ve tried many different recipes, but this is the one I’ve been sticking with lately.  I found it on Pinterest, and the original link doesn’t work, but it looks like it came from Runner’s World.  I have adapted the original recipe.

They don’t look too appetizing, but I promise you they are!  I use a 9 x 11 pan and cut into 10 bars.

Protein Bars

Homemade Protein Bars

7 Scoops Vanilla protein powder (or 7 servings, depending on your protein powder)

2 c quick oats (I actually use 1 cup. They are pretty gooey, but it eliminates a few of the extra carbs)

1/4 c mini choc chips ( I tend to go more towards 1/2) 🙂

3 T honey

3 T natural Peanut Butter

1 T Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (optional, can also use chocolate protein powder)

*You can also add in other ingredients, such as dried cranberries, cinnamon chips, chopped nuts, etc.  The original recipe called for 5 T of sliced almonds.  Be creative!

Mix all ingredients together, add water to good consistency and press into a sprayed baking dish. Bake at 350 for approx 5-7 min. ***NOTE: The original recipe called for 15 min.  I like them a little on the gooey side, but 15 min was still waaay too long for me. I only bake them for about 6 min.