Wednesday, March 19, 2014

TheFitBaldman's Paleo Banana Pancakes

My cousin and I decided to take the paleo challenge for lent, and it is proving to be extremely difficult for me, especially when it comes to breakfast.  I don't really like eggs.  I can handle them in small doses, but with paleo, I was eating them almost everyday for breakfast.  It got really old, really fast.  So when I woke up this morning and saw a post on @thefitbaldman on Instagram for paleo banana pancakes, I just had to try it!  I adjusted it a little bit for myself based on some comments to the post on his blog and my own preferences, so what I will post on here is what I chose to do rather than the original recipe.

2 whole eggs
1/8 c. coconut flour
1/4 mashed banana
1 t. vanilla extract
1 T Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips

Ingredients before mixing
I didn't really mash up the banana before I mixed it with the other ingredients, but I would suggest doing it to cut down on time a little bit.
I just mixed everything up with a fork until it was pretty smooth.
I added chocolate chips to my recipe, because what is better than banana chocolate chip pancakes?  Plus I'm a girl, and I love my chocolate.  The Enjoy Life brand is dairy free, nut free, and soy free, so they are okay for paleo!
Mixed in the chips.
My mixture made 3 small pancakes.  In TheFitBaldman's original recipe, his looked much larger and made about 4-6, but I halved his recipe for less calories.
Cook like regular pancakes in a pan sprayed with cooking spray or coconut oil.
These pancakes don't bubble when they are ready to flip, so just watch the bottom edges to see when they get a little golden before flipping.
For toppings, I used the rest of the banana and some Walden Farms pancake syrup, which isn't necessarily paleo, but it's zero calories.
Finished product!
These tasted a lot more like regular from the box pancakes than my protein pancakes do, so it was a nice change.  I really like the cake-y texture and fluffiness of them as well.  To be honest, I'll probably be making them again very soon!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Candy Substitute Bites

Who here loves movie theater candy?  Everybody raise your hand.  If your hand isn't up, you're lying!  Candy is delicious, especially while watching a Hollywood blockbuster.

I have done a post before about cookie dough bites, but these reminded me more of the candy I used to love.  Plus what is the harm in trying out a lot of recipes and picking out the best ones?

This recipe comes from the Instagram of @mindovermunch.  She has a TON of awesome looking recipes, so I will probably post about her again.  I think this is the first recipe of hers that I have tried (I may be wrong), and I did find it to be quite complicated.  However, the complications were probably totally my fault as I did not follow her instructions exactly, but we'll get to that later.  Without further ado, here is the recipe:

1 can chickpeas/garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed well (also make sure they are pretty dry after you rinse them off)
3 T peanut butter (@Mindovermunch suggests to use 1 T of regular natural peanut butter and 2 T Better 'n PB to cut down on calories and fat.  I chose to do as she suggested, using Peanut Butter and Co. White Chocolate Wonderful as my natural peanut butter.)
1 t vanilla
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Salt to taste
1 T honey
Stevia/Splenda to taste
1 T mini dark chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life chips, and I probably used a couple of tablespoons if I'm going to be honest!)
Unsweetened almond milk if necessary to reach desired consistency (I didn't need any almond milk.)
2 oz. dark chocolate chips (for melting--I used Enjoy Life chips again, and I probably used way more than 2 oz.)

1. Combine chickpeas, peanut butter, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, honey, and Stevia in a food processor.  I used my Ninja and blended the chickpeas up until smooth first before adding the rest of the ingredients, because I hate when the chickpeas don't get blended enough and leave chunks.
2.  Add milk if necessary.  Again, I didn't need any milk.
3.  Stir in the tablespoon of mini chocolate chips.  This step can also be omitted to save some calories, but why would you ever omit chocolate?!
4.  Chill the mixture for 30 minutes.  @Mindovermunch isn't clear as to whether this is in the refrigerator or the freezer, but I put my mix in the freezer just to be safe.
5.  After the mixture is sufficiently chilled, roll 1/2 teaspoon of dough into a small ball and place onto a plate.  Repeat this step with the rest of the mixture.  Here is where I made it more difficult on myself.  I took a full teaspoon of the mixture to roll into dough and then chose to cut them in half after they were frozen, but they mostly broke apart.  Therefore, definitely follow the 1/2 teaspoon rule even though it will take a while to do this for the whole recipe.  Also, the batter is very sticky due to the honey and peanut butter, so be prepared for your hands to be covered.
6. Return plated balls to the freezer to chill for ten more minutes.
7. Right before removing the cookie dough balls, microwave the melted chocolate chips in a small bowl at 30 second intervals, stirring often.  This ensures that the chocolate doesn't burn, and it all gets melted.
8.  Remove cookie dough balls from the freezer and drizzle the melted chocolate over the bites.  Again, here is where I made it more difficult.  I cut my teaspoon size balls in half and covered the flat part with chocolate.  For the balls that didn't break up into pieces, this worked well, but it took FOREVER!  I got impatient and decided to just cover the rest in chocolate, similar to the way the real candy is, which also requires a lot more chocolate than 2 ounces.  Therefore, I totally negated the healthiness due to my difficulties and impatience.
9.  Chill the drizzled chocolate covered bites in the freezer again for another ten minutes to set the chocolate.

@MindOverMunch's Macros (per bite, yields around 144)
7 calories
1.1 grams of carbs
0.3 grams of fat
0.2 grams of protein

Macros for my version (per bite, yields about 45)
22 calories
3.2 grams of carbs
0.6 grams of fat
0.8 grams of protein

If I were to make these again, I would follow @Mindovermunch's recipe more closely, and now that I've tried two kinds of cookie dough bites, I may be testing out my own!  Check out @Mindovermunch's Instagram for a better picture of her bites creation and more awesome recipes!

I have a recipe for PB&J protein pancakes and a review of the new Quest Nutrition Cookies and Cream flavor coming up.
As always, happy eating!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Cinnamon Raisin Peanut Butter Cake

If you have been following my blog or know me even a little bit, you know I have certain flavor combinations with which I am obsessed.  I cannot get enough of these flavors!  For example, my all time favorite flavor combination is any mix of chocolate, peanut butter and banana.  Delicious, right?  My second favorite flavor combination is cinnamon and raisin.  This is a new favorite for me, since I was introduced to Cinnamon Raisin Ezekiel bread and Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Peanut Butter and Co. peanut butter.  So I updated my previous cake recipe, which can be seen here, to appeal to this second favorite flavor combo!

1 c. oats
2 scoops vanilla whey protein powder
1/2 c. Stevia or other natural sweetener
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. sea salt
1 t. ground cinnamon
1 c. pure pumpkin puree
9 T. liquid egg whites
1/2 c. unsweetened almond milk
4 T. Peanut Butter and Co. Cinnamon Raisin Swirl
1/4 c. raisins

Preheat the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  In a food processor like a Ninja, process the cup of oats until it is to a flour consistency.  Then, add the rest of the dry ingredients: protein powder, Stevia, baking soda, sea salt, and cinnamon.  Process the dry ingredients until they are well mixed.  Next, add in the wet ingredients: pure pumpkin, liquid egg whites, and unsweetened almond milk.  Process this.  Be sure to have a spatula handy to scrape the edges of the bowl to make sure everything gets mixed.

Melt the 4 T. of peanut butter in a microwave safe bowl.  I microwaved my peanut butter for about 30 seconds.  Add the melted peanut butter to the batter and process.

Pour the peanut buttery batter into a greased 9 x 9 dish.
Now for my favorite part, take the 1/4 cup of raisins (you can add more if you'd like) and sprinkle them all over the top.
Take the spatula from earlier and swirl it around in the batter to mix the raisins throughout, so they aren't all on top.
Bake the cake for roughly 25-30 minutes.  Mine took about 30 minutes to bake fully.  It is a very moist cake and a little spongy when it is done.  Just be sure that when you stick a toothpick in the center it comes out clean.

Macros per 1/16 of the cake:
74 calories
1.9 grams of fat
8.9 grams of carbs
1.3 grams of dietary fiber
3.4 grams of sugar
6.4 grams of protein

This recipe has now officially been dad approved!  Try it out and substitute your favorite flavor combinations.  You could add in chocolate chips instead of raisins and a plain or white chocolate peanut butter as well.  I may be trying that one next!
Happy eating!!!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Seven Day Raw Food Cleanse

It has been awhile since I have had the opportunity to post due to my current retail position and the busy holiday season, but I am back!  With January in full swing, many of you out there have probably made the New Year's Resolution to lose weight.  I know I have!  This seven day raw food cleanse that I'm about to share with you is a great way to start a new diet and cleanse your system of any toxins that all of that sugary, fatty holiday food may have left behind!

I have done this cleanse twice and have had great results both times.  It has given me greater amounts of energy, and I lost between three and five pounds each time.  Courtney Prather, fitness model and trainer, is the originator of this cleanse.  You can read more about her on her website at or on Facebook.  She has been a big motivator for me throughout my journey, and I am currently using her five day workout from, which I will probably share in another posts.  Cut and Jacked is a great website to look at for new workouts if you're looking for a change.  You can check out example workouts from various fitness models and bodybuilders.

In looking at exercise, while following this cleanse, it is important to remember that it is very low in calories as many cleanses are, so you should only do it for seven days at the most and not work out heavily during those days.  Yoga, Pilates, light weight lifting, and walking are good forms of exercise from which to choose.

Follow this meal plan as closely as possible to get the best results:

  • Upon rising, drink two cups of room temperature water with a squeeze of lemon juice.  (I prepared this the night before and put it on my night stand, so I had easy access when I awoke the next morning.)

  • Meal 1: Lean Green Juice- 1/2 cucumber (peeled), 2 stalks of asparagus, 2 cups of romaine lettuce, 1 leaf of kale, 1 pear (take out stem and seeds), 1 stalk of celery, 1 inch of ginger root (can omit), and some parsley (also can be omitted)

-When I did this cleanse the first time, I borrowed a really nice Jack LaLanne juicer from a friend in order to make this juice.  When I started the second time, I bought my own Bella juicer, which is cheaper and works just as well.  I would suggest borrowing one for the first try, because drinking vegetables does take some getting used to!

  • Meal 2: Fruit Smoothie- 1 cup of coconut water, 1 cup frozen raspberries, 1 cup fresh mixed berries, 1 tablespoon coconut oil, 1 scoop of vegan vanilla protein powder, and 1 tablespoon of Sun Warrior Ormus Green

-This smoothie is made in a blender.  I used my Ninja with the single serve smoothie cup.  The vegan protein powder and Sun Warrior Ormus Green can be found at a natural foods store.  The first time I tried this cleanse I got soy protein powder and omitted the Ormus Green, because I couldn't find it.  The second time I just used regular whey protein powder, but I did not achieve as good of results as the first time.

  • Meal 3: Large salad- 6 cups of greens with homemade ginger lime dressing (2 T extra virgin olive oil, 1 t minced ginger, 2-3 T lime juice, and agave nectar to taste).  Any additional veggies will do as well.

-I used spinach and cucumber.  Courtney says that she uses spring mix lettuce with carrots, cucumbers, sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower and chick peas.  If you need the variety, I would suggest following Courtney's lead rather than mine.

  • Meal 4: Snack- 2 cups fresh veggies with 1/4 cup of hummus or 1/4 of an avocado

-This was my favorite meal of the day, because I love hummus and carrots/cucumbers/celery.  Red pepper hummus is my favorite, but again if you like variety, try a bunch of different flavors!  Be sure to check the ingredients list and find a fresh hummus rather than one with preservatives and nasty chemicals.  The less items in the ingredients list, the better!

  • Meal 5: Another large salad like meal 3
  • Meal 6: Lean Green juice again, like meal 1.  Also, on the side, drink 1 scoop of the vegan protein powder you add into the smoothie with coconut water for added protein.

-I tried to do this right before bed, so I went to bed with something in my stomach.

If you are a meat eater like me, this cleanse will be difficult, but you'll get into the habit after a couple of days.  It is also a GREAT jump-start to any weight loss diet!  Start your New Year's resolutions off right with this cleanse.  I wish everyone good luck in keeping those resolutions throughout the year!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Breakfast of Champions: Chocolate Protein Donuts/Muffins

For the last month or so, I've had the same thing for breakfast: an egg white and sausage sandwich, because it just hasn't gotten old.  However, yesterday I used up the last of my liquid egg whites and didn't have time to go to the store, so this morning I had to get a little creative with breakfast.

After scrolling through Instagram, I happened upon a chocolate protein donut recipe that looked delicious by Sarah Bakian (@sarah_bakian).  I had all of the ingredients but don't have a donut pan, so I turned mine into muffins!

1/8 c almond meal/flour
1 scoop chocolate whey protein powder
1 T unsweetened cocoa powder
1 T unsweetened natural applesauce
1 t baking powder
1 egg white
1 t vanilla extract
Stevia to taste

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Mix batter together.  I just mixed it with a fork, but I would suggest using a small food processor or blender as I still had little chunks of almond meal after baking.  Mixing it with a processor will create a smoother batter.  Also note that this batter will be extremely sticky!

3. If you choose to make donuts, spray a donut pan with cooking spray and pour the batter to make 4 donuts.  If you make it into muffins like I did, spray a muffin tin, and it will make 2-3 muffins.  I would suggest not using paper muffin cups, because the batter is so sticky that once cooked, the paper is very hard to get off.  I'm pretty sure I ate some of it!

4.  Bake for 9 minutes if you are making donuts and 11 minutes for muffins.  Keep a close eye on it though as most ovens are not the same.  Be sure to stick a toothpick in the center to see if it comes out clean.

5.  I frosted my muffins with PB2 that I mixed with water, but Sarah made a mint frosting which I will definitely be trying the next time I make these.  For the frosting, mix 1/2 scoop of vanilla protein powder and 1 T Duncan Hines Mint Chocolate frosting creating powder or mint extract.

Macros for all of the batter minus the frosting:
241 calories
8.1 grams of fat
13.7 grams of carbs
4.8 grams of dietary fiber
31.6 grams of protein

***Keep in mind your macros will vary based on what type of protein powder and other ingredients you use.  I suggest using a tracker like myfitnesspal.  You can put it in the recipe section with your ingredients to get your exact macros!

I can't wait to get a donut pan to actually make these as donuts, because they were kind of chewy as muffins.  However that could also be because I used chocolate egg protein powder instead of whey protein powder, but I was desperate!  It was all I had!!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is my favorite pasta substitute.  It is a great low carb alternative.  If you ask my mom, she fed it to me when I was little with cinnamon and sugar, but I don't really remember this.  I was reintroduced to it as a dietary alternative when I started watching what I ate in order to lose weight.  If you're like me when I first started cooking with my health in mind, you have no idea how to cook or season certain vegetables, and spaghetti squash was one of them.  I did some research when I first made it, and like most of my other recipes, I found the answer on Instagram!  Instagram has basically become my go-to for food ideas.  Anyway, I thought I'd share with my small blog following how I prepare my spaghetti squash.

1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Take a spaghetti squash (pictured above) and cut in half lengthwise.  This is extremely difficult if it isn't fairly ripe.  I used a fairly large knife for this giant squash.  Be very careful so as not to cut yourself and if necessary, cut one side and then the other.

3. De-seed the center of the squash.  It looks a little stringy with pumpkin-type seeds.  Pull all of that out and toss.

4. Place the two halves facing up in a pan with an inch or two of water.

5. Bake for about 30-35 minutes depending on the size of your squash.  This big one took about 45 minutes.  When it is done a fork should be able to easily be inserted and pull away strings of the squash that look like spaghetti noodles, hence the name.
Scrape all of that yummy goodness from the squash shell.  A serving of this deliciousness is one cup!!!
Once the squash is baked and forked out, you can prepare it exactly like pasta.  I have used it instead of noodles with marinara sauce or Alfredo sauce.

Experiment and make it your own.  Sweet or savory.  Whatever you want!!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

End of Live Fit Trainer

I have been dreading writing this post, because it means I have to admit I failed.  I quit the trainer after 10 weeks.  I can say that the reason was because I was gaining too much weight and the trainer wasn't working.  However the real reason is that I let my mind get the better of me.  I let negative thoughts over power the positive, and I lost control.  I did learn a lot about myself through this process though in that I learned where I need to improve.  Over the last four years, I have continuously gone through cycles of crash dieting and binge eating.  When I thought I failed and gave up on the trainer, another cycle of binge eating began, like eating an entire box of cookies for dinner.

All in all, I was just mentally and physically drained.  I wish I would've completed the last two weeks of the trainer; however, I don't regret giving myself a break either.  My focus has shifted from losing weight to improving my relationship with food and myself.  My focus is now on my health.

I have started a new program that will help me learn how to intuitively eat and also increase my metabolism.  Throughout all of those cycles of crashing and binge eating, I believe that I have messed up my metabolism, so I will be working to build it up slowly as well.  I am trying IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros).  For more information, you can check out  Basically what I am doing is reverse dieting.  I am starting at crash diet level and slowly building up my metabolic tolerance, so to speak, increasing carbohydrate, fat, calorie and fiber intake.  My protein intake will be the same throughout the whole 22 week process.  I am able to eat whatever I want with no restrictions as long as it fits into the day's macros in grams of fat, protein, carbohydrates and fiber.  I also must stay within my calorie intake.  My intake has been personally calculated based on my size and needs.

It will definitely be a process, but I truly believe that this will help me get out of my cycle.

If you have been keeping up with my posts about the trainer, I am not saying that it doesn't work at all.  All diets and workouts work differently for every individual person.  I loved the workouts and will continue to use them throughout my reverse diet.  Also, my cousin chose to do the trainer with me; however, she chose to intuitively eat healthy.  It worked for her, so I would definitely suggest trying the trainer, especially if you are new to weight training and want to learn more about working out.

Thank you all for reading and being so patient with me.  I won't be doing daily posts anymore, but I will be posting again soon with spaghetti squash cooking instructions and hopefully progress and more recipes!