Mini Protein Coffee Cakes

FullSizeRender (32)

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!

 

 

 

Key Lime Pie Cups

Oh hello!  I have been slacking on my recipe sharing lately so I thought that I’d share my most recent creation: Key lime pie cups!  I was put in charge for Easter dessert this weekend so I went with something simple, quick, and delicious of course.  These are actually mini yogurt cups but key lime yogurt sounds weird.  Without further ado below are the ingredients and instructions!

What you need:

Nonfat yogurt (I used Siggi’s Vanilla)

Graham crackers (I used low fat Honeymaid)

Honey

Lime

Liquid Stevia (optional)

What to do:

Take 150g nonfat yogurt (an individual container is this size) and place in bowl

Zest lime and add a squeeze of lime juice

Add 1/2 tbsp honey

Add 1 drop liquid stevia (optional)

Blend ingredients

Pour 1/2 yogurt into cup

Take 1 graham cracker and smash up in Ziploc bag

Pour 1/2 cracker crumbles on top of yogurt

Layer on the other 1/2 of yogurt

Pour the rest of the cracker crumbles on top

Add additional lime zest and wedge for presentation

IMG_3317

 

1F/29C/16P 198 Calories!  Could also get away with less cracker per cup I just personally am a fan of extra crunch 🙂

Healthy lunch ideas for the corporate worker

Because is that tiny Tupperware container of straight Spinach really cutting it?  I couldn’t help but notice an abnormal amount of “salads” in the office fridge last month.  If that cup of lettuce with nothing added to it is really cutting it for you and you are truly satisfied then props to you but I am going to bet my money that you have been spending your afternoons unsatisfied and hangry.  Getting back on track for the new year doesn’t have to involve packing miserable salads every day for lunch.  In fact, there are a lot of healthy and easy to pack lunches that won’t leave you day dreaming about having a second lunch at 12:05pm.  I’ve decided to share 5 of my favorite healthy lunch ideas below:

 

1. Low carb sandwiches

fullsizerender-19

I am a huge advocate for sandwiches or wraps!  Unfortunately the majority of restaurants use higher carb breads or wraps so the calories can add up (even whole wheat).  For example, whole grain wheat bread from Au Bon Pain is 280 calories, whereas 2 slices of Sara Lee multigrain bread is 90 calories (45 calories each!).  There are several brands out there that make low carb breads such as Sara Lee, Pepperidge Farm, and Joseph’s (pitas and wraps).  While these brands are healthy, if you want to keep it 100% clean Ezekiel sprouted grain bread is also a great option!  The simple decision to switch to low carb bread can make a difference of hundreds of calories in your lunch while keeping you just as satisfied.

 

2. Burrito Bowls

fullsizerender-20 Let’s just be clear that I am all for a Chipotle or Boloco lunch and there are plenty of healthy options when ordering out (perhaps a new blog post topic) but if you want to save yourself some money and a few extra cals a homemade burrito bowl or taco salad is my personal favorite lunch!  I typically will use a generous base of lettuce cause #volume and then add either brown rice or riced cauliflower, black beans, salsa, tomato, low fat cheese and either ground lean beef or turkey (cooked with taco seasoning) topped with Bolthouse ranch yogurt dressing.

 

3. Salads with more than spinach

img_2294

I might have taken a page out of Sweetgreen’s book here.  My point is that a salad doesn’t have to be just lettuce grilled chicken and veggies!  Pictured here is lettuce with turkey bacon, sweet potato, fruit, and grilled chicken.  Sounds like an odd combination but top this with some vinaigrette dressing and you got yourself a nice harvest salad!  A few other game changing salad toppings include sliced apples, slivered almonds, avocado, or tortilla strips (portion within reason)!  Speaking of portions, another thing to keep in mind is choosing your dressing wisely.  A lot of dressings are high in fat so be aware of your portion size and either make your own dressing, or choose a brand lower in fats.

 

4. Burgers

fullsizerender-22

I actually wrote a blog post over the summer full of healthy burger recipes . Choosing lean beef and cooking your own burger at home, even if it’s on a “normal” roll, will still save you a lot of calories from fat.  Pictured here is my breakfast burger made with a lean beef burger (96%) topped with an over easy egg, turkey bacon and laughing cow swiss cheese sandwiched between two slices of Ezekiel Sesame toast.  This entire burger is only 13g Fat, 30g Carbs, and 38g Protein. Compare this to a Five Guys bacon cheeseburger: 62g Fat, 40g Carbs, 50g Protein, essentially 3x the amount of calories and 3x more likely you’re going to need an afternoon nap.  I am also a big fan on burger salads or using lettuce wedges or portobella mushroom caps for your sandwich base.

 

5. Crock pot meals

fullsizerender-21

It’s crock pot season, at least here in New England.  There’s no easier way to prep food than throwing a bunch of ingredients into a pot and letting it do its thing.  I am a huge turkey chili fan but other easy meals to make in the crock pot include chicken noodle soup, stuffed peppers, or even a lean meatloaf!  The crock pot can even come in handy just to prep your protein for the week.  I recently made lean turkey meatballs with whole wheat bread crumbs, reduced fat parmesan cheese, onion and garlic tossed them in the pot with low salt tomato sauce and let them cook on low for a few hours.  I’ve also made pulled chicken in which I literally just threw a few chicken breast in the crock pot with water and seasoning and let it cook overnight on low (7-8 hours), drained, then pulled apart with 2 forks, put back in pot (I sometime add buffalo or low sugar bbq at this time) and let cook on low for another 30 mins.  I also swear pulled chicken stays fresh longer than grilled or baked chicken.

So there you have it!  Added a few more than 5 meals here but the point I am trying to make is that you can recreate healthy alternatives to a lot of typical lunch foods and don’t need to stick to plain spinach or plain grilled chicken and veggies every day.  Yes you may have to take a few extra minutes to prepare your meal the night before but those few extra minutes are worth it.  If you have a go-to healthy and satisfying lunch idea I would love for you to share in the comments below!

Finding balance: Where I am at

Balance

After competing in two bodybuilding shows last year I set a goal for myself to hang up the heels for a while (most likely indefinitely) and focus on finding a healthy balance in my life.  For those who aren’t a regular follower, I have been a bit more active with blog posting and Instagram lately, particularly with the “fitstagram” posts.  I have been a bit more active for two reasons. The first reason is to motivate.  More people have been asking me for workout advice or healthy meal ideas and while I am no PT I love to share whatever I can!  The gram or my blog are both great ways for me to keep track of my recipes and have reference points to share with others or to even revisit myself!  The second reason is to hold myself accountable.  If I have a certain “fitness” goal in mind it is often helpful for me to share my journey with the public (aka like my mom and 3 friends).  So aside from this larger goal of *balance*, I recently set a mini goal for myself to cut down for an upcoming fitness workshop and photo-shoot + my trip to Vegas where Mr. Olympia is hosted, but I have found myself slowly losing motivation.

I want to look dope AF at this workshop and in Vegas where I will be surrounded by some of the most well known athletes in the industry, but at what point will I just be happy with where my body is at?  I have come a very long way this year when it comes to self image/ self love/ balance/ whatever people want to call it these days but it’s weeks like these that I realize I am not quite there yet and that this isn’t just a situation where I am going to wake up one day and be like “Fuck yes I will never have a negative thought about my body ever again”.  Lately I’ve just felt tired.  Tired physically.  Tired mentally.  My 5am lifts have turned into 9am lifts, or no lifts.  My daily cardio has significantly dropped (side note I don’t need to be doing a ton of cardio I just used to really enjoy doing it).  And my “diet” is starting to feel like a diet and well, I am just tired of feeling like I am always on a diet.  For anyone who has ever tracked macros before, aka “flexible dieting”, you’ll realize that once you know the science it is always ingrained in your head even when you try not to track.  Can’t a girl just get a healthy acai bowl for breakfast which is filled with superfoods and micronutrients and not worry about the fact that half of her suggested carb intake for the day will be used up?  Maybe it is the heat, or maybe it is the fact that I haven’t started my new job yet and my usual routine is off, but right now my motivation is in hideout.  I know if I were to just throw in the towel, stop working out, and eat like shit I would feel 100x worse after about two days so that is not going to happen.  However, this lifestyle is tricky and the motivation isn’t always there for me.  Hoping once I get back to my regular routine this week I will feel refreshed but in the meantime I would love to hear if other people trying to live the healthy grind have went through this same type of funk, and how they decided to handle it 🙂

Greek Yogurt Banana Bread

BananaBread7.11

I always buy too many bananas at once and didn’t want to freeze my extras like I usually do so I decided why not throw together banana bread for the first time ever!  I modified an already “healthified” recipe from Pinterest and was thrilled with how it came out!  Plenty of flavor and very moist (yeah I said it).  Had to share the recipe right away mainly because writing this post is a distraction from me eating the entire loaf of bread.  Here’s what you need:

2 large  bananas

1 whole egg

1 egg white

160g oat flour (I blended quick oats)

30g all purpose flour

1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt

1/4 cup maple syrup (I used Walden Farms)

1 tbs almond butter

2 tbs dark chocolate chips

2 tbs ground cinnamon

1 1/2 tbs baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

3-5 packets Stevia (to your desire)

 

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350F

Mix dry ingredients and place aside

Mix wet ingredients with mashed banana

Mix all ingredients (leave chocolate chips out)

Pour batter into bread pan and mix in chocolate chips

Add extra cinnamon to the top

Bake for 35-40 mins

 

The loaf makes 12 servings 108 calories per slice! (3F/18C/4P)

 

I might even go wild and make a protein icing to top this with.  To be continued…

Tips and Tricks on Satisfying that Sweet Tooth

dessertperson2

My biggest struggle by far when it comes to keeping a healthy diet is the fact that I have a major sweet tooth.  I’ve had a lot of people recently comment on my “will power” and I just want to point out that I don’t always have will power when it comes to my diet and to be honest lately all I’ve wanted to do is crush Ben & Jerry’s before bed.  I get the sense that many people have this same sweet tooth struggle so I thought I’d share a few tips and tricks that have helped me over the years!  And to keep this a bit more entertaining I decided to throw some New Girl memes in the mix 🙂

1. Coffee and/or Tea 

I instantly want dessert after dinner. It’s clockwork.  Something that helps me is making an after dinner coffee or tea.  If you own a Keurig, Bed Bath and Beyond actually has a variety of dessert kcup flavors (chocolate doughnut is currently my favorite).

nickcoffee

2. Healthy dessert alternatives

There are a lot of ways to make your own delicious desserts without all of the excess carbs/fats.  Some of my favorite creations include the protein ice cream (some may call this protein sludge) protein brownies, mug cakes, waffles (my black bean prownie recipe is posted here).  There are also a few low calorie ice cream brands that you can find in your local grocery store such as Arctic Zero however, I have found that my own ice cream creations are actually more tasty than Arctic Zero which tastes a little too “icy” for me (just my opinion).  However, if you’re a Greek yogurt fan I HIGHLY recommend Yasso frozen treats or Light & Fit Greek yogurts.  Every single flavor I have tried has been amazing for both of these brands!

Coachmoist2

3. Sugar Free Gum

There is pretty much every flavor sugar free gum out there at this point.  A recent find that I really like is the Project 7 Birthday Cake gourmet gum.  I’ve found this brand at Target and Walgreens.  Extra also has their “Dessert Delights” flavors which have a longer lasting flavor compared to most other SF gum brands that I’ve tried.  Couldn’t find a bubble gum related meme but this is close enough…

NickLessDoughnuts

4. Fruit

This could be filed under “healthy dessert alternatives”but fruit is a great snack that can help satisfy that sweet craving with natural sugars instead of added sugars or “fake” ingredients which provide much less nutritional value.

Winstonstarteating

5. Just eat the damn dessert

I am not saying go house an entire jar of cookies every night but treating yourself in moderation is perfectly healthy.  Completely restricting yourself is just not the way to live and could lead to stronger cravings and further problems down the road.  For me, balance has been key from a physical and mental perspective.  Unless you are prepping for a competition or something, treats here and there should certainly be welcome 🙂

Schmidt Fatkid

 

So there you have it!  I’d love to hear what has helped you all curb those sweet tooth cravings!

5 Skinny Cocktails To Try This Summer

So summer is officially here.  Beach season.  BBQ season.  Booze season.  You’re constantly stuck in the “kind of want to look good in a bikini kind of want to crush margaritas” dilemma.  I hear you.  I definitely exceeded my calorie intake last month due to one too many cocktails and my body was certainly not happy about it.  #Noragrets though cause I had fun.  Unfortunately, the reality is that if you are trying to lose fat, excessive alcohol intake doesn’t exactly help your case.  With that said, this doesn’t mean you should be spending your summer skipping out on social events and avoiding that margarita you’ve been craving.  It’s all about moderation.  I’ve done my fair share of skinny cocktail experimenting and I’d like to think I’ve found a few solid, easy recipes that will save you some calories with the same delicious taste!

1. Blueberry Mojito

Mojitos are a sneaky cocktail that can be loaded with sugar from all that simple syrup.  Try this:

Blueberry Mojito

 

1-1.5 oz Bacardi Wolfberry Rum

Club Soda

Mint

Blueberries

*Muddle mint and fruit for flavor blend

 

 

2. The Skinny Margarita

Margaritas are my all time favorite summer drink, maybe even all time favorite drink.  Unfortunately, they are loaded with calories!  Here is an easy and delicious way to create your own margarita with half the calories of your standard bar marg:

SkinnyMarg

1-1.5 oz Tequila

Club Soda

Lime Juice

Agave

 

 

 

 

3.  Real Strawberry Daiquiri

Pinterest inspired, and not sure how I didn’t think of this before but it is basically as it sounds:

strawberrydaquiri

1-1.5oz light rum

1 cup strawberries

A handful of ice

1/2 or 1 packet of Stevia (depending on desire of sweetness)

Puree and enjoy!

 

4. For the Whiskey lovers

Whiskey+sour mix= a ton of calories and sugar….try this for a lighter option (via Cheetah is the New Black):

whiskeysour

1-1.5 oz whiskey

Pineapple flavored Coconut Water

Lime

 

 

 

 

 

5. Watermelon Vodka Slush

Inspired by ‘The Skinny Chick’s Cookbook‘, would be great to bring a larger batch to a summer bbq:

WatermelonVodkaSlush

2 cups sliced watermelon

1 cup ice

¼ cup watermelon flavored vodka

Blend/puree and enjoy!

 

 

If creating your own cocktail isn’t your thing, other go to “healthier” options are your standard vodka soda (NOT tonic), or essentially any vodka drink without excessive juice/mix that will add extra sugar and calories.  Typically if you ask the bartender for the “skinny” version or “light on the syrup” they should have no problem accommodating.  Last and final thing…  Be careful what you read and/or are told on nutritional labels.  Some of these “low carb” drinks (cough cough Spiked Seltzers) actually have just as many if not more carbs than your standard light beer.  #Buzzkill  …But in all seriousness as I mentioned before, it’s all about moderation.  Hopefully this post was more helpful vs. hurtful 🙂