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!

DSC01487

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!

DSC01481

DSC01482

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.

DSC01485

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!

DSC01491

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!!!

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. 😉

DSC01390

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:

WIAWbutton

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!

IMAG0143

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.

IMAG0150 IMAG0148

The fill the rest of the cups with egg whites.

IMAG0151 IMAG0154

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.

IMAG0145

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.

WIAWbutton

 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.

psl IMAG0128

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.

DSC01286

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). 🙂

DSC01272

DSC01274

DSC01282

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!

DSC01277

 

That’ll do it for today!

Question:

What’s your favorite pumpkin recipe??

Burpee Bonanza & Green Protein Smoothie

Yesterday, my day started like it usually does- half awake at the gym.  I started out with 10 minutes of light intervals on the Stairmaster to get warmed up.  Then, I got to work on the ladder workout below.  Here’s how it works: Start out with 20 Burpees, 10 V-Situps, 20 Air Squats, and 10 Push-ups.  Then, 18 Burpees, 9 V-Situps, 18 Air Squats, and 9 Push-ups, and so on….basically the exercises that start with 20, you go down by 2 each time and the exercises that start with 10, you go down by 1.  I started out trying to do everything at 20 reps and down, but I quickly realized that, #1 I was going to run out of time before I needed to go home and get ready for work, and #2 I might not make it through the entire workout because my body wasn’t havin’ any of that.  I also realized early on that when you don’t do burpees for a while, your mind/body forget how hard they are; aka, your selective memory blocks them out of your mind, for obvious reasons.  I haven’t incorporated burpees into my workouts in a while because I’ve been trying to let my hamstring heal. It was starting to feel better, so I thought I would give this one a whirl.  Turns out, with this workout you end up doing 110 burpees!  Might have been a little aggressive, but I made it through…barely. You can always modify this by taking everything down to 10 reps and decrease by 1 each round.

Burpee Ladder Workout

After my workout, I made one of my breakfast staples- a Green Protein Smoothie.  I had always heard about putting greens like spinach and kale into smoothies, but never believed anyone when they said you can’t taste it. Lettuce in a smoothie? Yeah right…well, I was wrong.   I swear, you really can’t taste the spinach, and as long as it is blended thoroughly you won’t even notice it is there.  By adding spinach, you get the added bonus of the antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and other health benefits it provides.  The recipe is below, feel free to substitute whatever fruit or nut butter you prefer!

DSC01027

 There you have it!  A delicious green- er, grey- smoothie…I promise it tastes better than it looks.

DSC01031

Green Protein Smoothie

(makes 2 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2-1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1-2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 servings whey protein powder (I usually use chocolate, obvi)
  • 2-4 cups spinach (I don’t usually measure this, just fill the rest of the blender with spinach)

Directions:

Blend together and enjoy!

 

Also, if you haven’t already, click the link below or the button on the right side of the page, to follow my blog with Bloglovin, along with all of your favorites.  It’s a great site that allows you to see all of the blogs you follow in one place, and you can also get a daily email letting you know of new posts from those blogs.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

 

Fighting that cardio boredom…

Hey there!

I started off my morning yesterday with a little 5:30 am workout, per usual.  I have to admit, I wasn’t really in the mood to “get after it” like I usually am but hey, I figured I’m there, might as well make the most of it right?  My hamstring is STILL giving me issues, so I decided to take it easy on the cardio.  I started off with 10 min on the bike, 10 min on the elliptical, then my boredom got the best of me, so I decided to do a quick 10 min Tabata workout to switch things up, before I finished with 10 more minutes on the elliptical.  On it’s own, this Tabata workout only adds up to 10 minutes, but paired with extra cardio and a workout like the 24 x 24 Leg Burners, it’s a quick and easy way to break a sweat and avoid the boredom.

Timely Tabata

Plank Spider Squat

Start in straight arm plank position.  Bring your right foot up next to your right arm, come back to starting positions.  Repeat on left, come back to starting position.  Then, jump both feet to squat position, keeping hands on the ground.  Return to starting position and repeat continuously until the time is up.

 DSC01040DSC01039 DSC01040 DSC01041 DSC01042 DSC01043 DSC01044

 P.S. I got these adorable monogram Nike running shorts as a bridesmaid gift last weekend.  Note to brides out there: LOVE this idea! It’s not another tote to add to the collection, and obviously something I will wear time and time again. 🙂  Thanks Kelly!

DSC01045

One of my latest obsessions is protein pancakes.  I’ve tried a million and one recipes out there and, I have to say, most are pretty darn good!  This recipe is a combination of some of the recipes I’ve tried.  I just opened up my pantry and decided to give it a go. If you haven’t gathered this by now, I’m a sucker for anything and everything low carb, and I think these fit into that category so I have a little extra love for them. 🙂

Protein Pancakes

 If you make a smiley face with the syrup, it tastes better. 🙂

Protein Pancakes

Mix together the following ingredients:

1 whole egg

2 egg whites

2 tbsp oats

1 tbsp almond flour

1 tsp (or more) cinnamon

1 tsp (or more) stevia

1/8 tsp baking powder

Optional add-ins- chocolate chips, chopped walnuts, dried cranberries, etc.

Makes one large pancake.  I usually top it with a little peanut butter and sugar free syrup.