Mini Protein Coffee Cakes

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Turns out I bake when I am anxious and usually I am anxious on Sunday nights before my work week.  Tonight’s anxiety baking experiment was coffee cake!  These were super quick to prep and bake and are easy snacks to take on the go!  Here’s what you need:

40g oat flour (I blended my oats)

10g coffee grinds

1 scoop whey protein (I used Pro Jym Caramel Machhiato, Vanilla will work just fine!)

1 whole egg 2 egg whites

1/2 Banana

1 tbsp Baking Powder

Cinnamon

1 tbsp apple sauce

1 packet stevia

 

Directions:

Preheat over 350F

Mix dry ingredients in a big bowl

Mix in wet ingredients and mashed banana- add water for consistency if needed

Spray muffin pan (I use coconut oil spray) and fill slots 2/3

Top muffins with sprinkle of oats

Bake for roughly 12 minutes

Once baked, let cool for 5 minutes

I added extra “frosting” using 1/2 scoop protein powder, water, cinnamon sugar (can use ground cinnamon)

 

This made 6 muffins total at 80 Calories  2gF/9gC/7gP per muffin

FYI these are caffeinated in case that wasn’t clear.

ENJOY!

 

 

 

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How to combat motivation slumps

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In my last blog post (written months ago) I discussed my struggle with staying motivated and how I simply felt burnt out.  Since then I have taken several steps to work myself out of that slump.  At this time of the year a lot of people decide to throw in the towel and “start fresh” in the new year.  New year new you right?  Maybe this is true for those who are truly, internally motivated to change but perhaps not for those who are externally pressured to “get fit”.  Or maybe you are someone like me who was in love with the grind but lost that spark somewhere along the way.  Wherever you may be in your journey, below is a list of things to consider as you work to revive that love for the grind:

 

1. Reevaluate your priorities

Working out has been a numero uno priority for me for years and this year it finally hit me that I needed to prioritize other things in my life aside from the gym.  I still kept working out as a top priority, just not number one.  Perhaps you have other things going on in your life that are more important to you right now and the gym may need to get stood up an extra night or two.  And that’s okay!  Being realistic with your priorities can at least help you justify why your gym visits have slowed down.  Maybe you’re not motivated to go to the gym because you just simply don’t want to be at the gym!  You’d rather be helping your best friend get ready for her wedding, or working an extra couple of hours for that raise.  Whatever it is, just be honest with your priorities and own it.  When getting fit is truly a top priority you’ll make the time and you’ll make the visits worth it.

2. Switch up your routine

Having the same lifting routine, using the same cardio machines, and even going to the same gym can get boring.  I had been doing the same lifting split for months and just simply got bored.  I decided to actually write down my new split and plan to change it every 4 weeks.  This kept some structure in my routine (which I need) but it was a new structure and knowing that I was going to switch it in 4 weeks gave me that sense of deadline like “hey next month you may not be doing kettlebell swings so you better swing the shit out of that kettlebell”.  Maybe (definitely) I am the only person who thinks that way.  Either way, even just writing down my plan gave me a sense of direction and goal which motivated me to follow through.

3. Ditch the cardio machines

Maybe you are one of those people that loves cardio machines and props to you if you are but I honestly get bored AF most of the time.  I’ll still do the stairmaster every once in a while but the thought of getting on the treadmill, bike, or elliptical… snooze city.  Here is a list of ways that I have been getting in my cardio that doesn’t involve a machine:

-Real stairs: Pick up 25lb plates and go up and down the stairs at your gym a few times.  If your gym doesn’t have stairs use a step and do a few rounds of step ups

-Sleds: Throw a couple of plates on a sled and give that baby a push in between your lifting sets.  This is by far  one of the quickest ways to get your heart rate up fast.

-Bodyweight HIIT circuit: You can literally make up your own circuit and just go hard for 30-60 seconds and rest for 30-60 seconds.  An example would be burpees for 30 seconds, rest 30 seconds, box jump 30 second, rest 30 seconds. 20 mins of HIIT is a quick and effective way to burn dem cals.

-Battle ropes- Pick these up and slam them on the ground a few times, feel the burn and repeat.

…Jump rope, boxing, supersets, medicine ball slams, swimming, tire flips.  You get the gist.

 

4. Try a new gym or activity

In addition to switching up my lifting split I also switched back to my old gym.  You’d be surprised at how much just a change of scenery can make a difference.  And if it’s just the whole idea of a gym that makes you want to puke, try a yoga or tabata class with a friend, go for a hike, try something new that’s active!

 

5. Give your body a rest

Maybe you feel unmotivated because you are just as exhausted physically as you are mentally.  Sometimes you just need to take a step back.  You’re not going to *lose all of the gains* if you take a little gym vacation.  You may be surprised with how your body responds to rest.  Even if you get a little fluffy after some time off, that time off may be just what you need to reset and refuel that energy.

If you have struggled in the past with staying motivated, please share in the comments below what steps you took to gain your motivation back!

 

Tips and Tricks: Savory Edition

I recently wrote a “tips and tricks” post for people with a sweet tooth so I thought I would do a part two for those who are more into savory.  A lot of my “mindless eating” used to be from savory snacks such as chips, crackers, etc.  I would find myself at work snacking on pretzels in the middle of the day just because they were convenient.  Unfortunately that mindless snacking will add up.  Here are a few tricks and alternatives to help satisfy your savory craving:

 

1. Condiments/Seasonings

Finding the right condiments or seasonings are total game changers.  There are a lot of great low sodium seasonings (ex: Flavorgod, Mrs. Dash) that can transform your meals. Trying to choke down plain veggies and chicken all week just sounds miserable.  I’ll typically add hot sauce or reduced sugar ketchup if I go with a “basic bro meal”.  Other condiments or toppings that I like that are super low-calorie include mustard, salsa and laughing cow cheese wedges!

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2. Rices Cakes and Almonds

Rice cakes come in a variety of flavors both sweet and salty.  These are great lower carb options if you are looking for something crunchy that isn’t loaded with fat.  I typically enjoy rice cakes with peanut butter for sweet or laughing cow cheese wedge for salty.  My favorite flavors are white cheddar and apple cinnamon!  Almonds on the other hand are a great source of healthy fats.  Like rice cakes, almonds also come in a variety of flavors both sweet and salty.  My favorites are Blue Diamond Wasabi Soy and Toasted Coconut!

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3. Low Carb breads

If you haven’t tried Joseph’s pita bread or whole wheat lavashes you are missing out!  Joseph’s makes 60 calorie pita and 120 calorie wraps.  These are not only great for wraps or sandwiches but also make a perfect low carb base for homemade pizzas!

Other low carb bread brands that I like include Sara Lee and Pepperidge Farm (45 cals/slice!).

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4. Get creative with your veggies

This kind of overlaps with condiments/seasonings but you don’t have to load your veggies with olive oil to make them taste good!  I have recently been snacking on veggies dipped in low-fat garden vegetable cream cheese.  As long as you don’t eat the entire cream cheese container this is a great alternative to chips and dip.  Veggie chips are also an easy way to get those micronutrients in with the same crunch as chips!  And give me all the salsa with that because there are basically no cals in salsa.  Lastly, apparently cauliflower can do anything you want it to from pizza crust to rice.  I have never tried cauliflower crust but I have tried riced cauliflower, mashed cauliflower, and buffalo cauliflower and I was very impressed with everything!

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5.  Just eat the damn chips

Finishing my list the same way I finished my Tips and Tricks on Satisfying that Sweet Tooth post.  If your cravings are that bad just allow yourself to have the chips and guac.  It’s about moderation, balance, and portion control.  As I mentioned before, totally restricting yourself from certain foods can potentially lead to further problems down the road so try not to completely deprive yourself.  Be mindful and ask yourself do I really need another handful of chips or am I just eating them because they are there?  This is something I still struggle with!

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If you have additional tips and tricks I would love to hear them in the comments below 🙂 

Slow Cooker Stuffed Peppers

Crockpot Stuffed Peppers

Since the nights are starting to get cooler I decided that it was time to dust off the old Crock pot.  Thanks to my wonderful mother for sharing this recipe!  These are not only extremely tasty and filling but also super easy to make!  Below are the ingredients and recipe:

Ingredients:

5 peppers

1.25 pounds extra lean (99%) ground turkey (allow 1/4lb per pepper)

1 1/2c instant brown rice

Diced quarter of an onion

Dash of Salt, pepper, garlic powder

1 can tomato soup

Couple squirts of ketchup(optional)

Recipe:

Mix ground turkey with diced onion, salt, pepper, garlic powder and one third can of tomato soup.

Cut off tops of peppers and clean out insides.

Stuff each pepper with turkey mixture.

Put another third of the can of soup into the bottom of Crock pot with 1/4 cup water.

Place peppers into Crock pot and add remaining soup on top.  I like to squirt ketchup on top also.

Cover and cook til peppers are soft (on low for 7 hours or on high for 4-5 hours).

You can use same recipe and cook in 350 oven covered for an hour-hour and half.

Another side note, if you own a slow cooker but do not own slow cooker liners(pictured above), go purchase them now!  Makes the clean up 10x faster.

Nutrition per pepper include:

227 Calories, 2.4g Fat, 26g Carbohydrates, 24g Protein

…Did I forget to mention this is super low in fat? 😉

Now go dig out your Crock pot and enjoy yourself these delicious peppers!

Zucchini Lasagna, The Guilt-Free Comfort Food of Choice

Zucchini Lasagna

Lasagna is one of my favorite Italian meals but the calories can certainly add up and leave you feeling like a useless couch potato for hours.  Okay so that might have been a little aggressive but I know that I personally have a hard time with portion control when it comes to lasagna.  I mean, what is really a “slice” anyways?  I was lucky enough to grow up with the fabulous cooking of my mother and never actually cooked my own lasagna before because why mess with mama’s cooking!  With that said, I have been on a serious zucchini kick lately.  Zucchini wheels, zucchini pasta, zucchini oats, you name it.   With plenty of zucchini and lasagna essentials in the fridge, I decided to experiment in the kitchen!  The taste exceeded my expectations and kept my tummy full and happy!  1 serving (1/4 dish) is only 285 calories ( 7g f, 18g c, 40g p).  I would also like to mention that 1/4 of this dish is a VERY generous serving size.  Below are the ingredients and recipe:

Ingredients:

2 medium zucchini

12 oz extra lean ground turkey

1 1/4 cup fat-free mozzarella cheese

3/4 cup skim ricotta cheese

1 can Del Monte diced tomatoes with zesty green chiles

1/2 can tomato paste

 

Recipe:

Cook the turkey on medium in a skillet and set aside.

As turkey is cooking, slice zucchini vertically to create thin zucchini strips as “noodles”.

Once turkey is cooked, add diced tomatoes and tomato paste and continue to cook on medium-low for 3-5 minutes or until consistency of bolognese sauce is created.

Preheat oven at 350F.

Layer baking dish starting with zucchini, then add sauce and cheese.  Repeat this layering until dish is almost full. (I like to add extra mozzarella on the top).

Bake at 350F for 28-30 minutes.  Let sit for at least 20 minutes to let juices settle.

 

Enjoy!