Sunday, October 7, 2012

Candy Cravings! Almond Joy Oats and Cake Batter Protein Pancakes

Hi everyone! It’s Sunday. Working another 8 hour shift of overtime today. Although my job is not very physically taxing and really is quite pleasant for the most part (who can complain about blogging, reading, texting, playing video games and watching films all while at work?), working 48 hour weeks is taking a toll on me. At least I am making money and getting closer to being able to sign up for the NASM personal training certification course. That is what is keeping me going: imagining my possible future that all of this extra time I am working will help me pay for. Have to work for what we want!

I’m sitting here typing this and sipping on some pumpkin spice coffee and trying to think of topics to discuss. Nothing is coming to me! I need you guys to give me some feedback on what types of things you would like to see me discuss on here. Leave me a comment and let me know some questions or things you would like me to talk about. Of course, remember that I am not an expert and anything I say on here is strictly personal experience and what works for me.

I have been trying to experiment with combinations of food. One of my favorite things to do is to take a bunch of different veggies with (or even without sometimes) a lean protein and mix them together.

I was in the mood for pineapple chicken quesadillas, so I made a big batch of pineapple, 
low sodium (also well rinsed) black beans, chicken breast, tomato, kale, red bell pepper, jalapeno, 
and sweet onion that I can use in burritos/quesadillas/eat as is! 

Sometimes if you have no idea what to eat is to look what you have, and just throw things together! 98% of the time I love the turn-out and then you know another meal you can make if you’re lacking in creativity or ideas on a particular day. We all have our creative slumps, with a clean eating lifestyle it is so important to keep things interesting and not eat the same things every day.

For breakfast the other morning I basically had a candy bar… No, not an actual candy bar, but it was delicious enough to be!! I was craving an Almond Joy so badly, so I made some Almond Joy Egg White Oats!

What you’ll need:
½ cup of whole grain rolled oats (cooked in 1 cup of water on medium heat)
2 large egg whites
2-3 packets of raw stevia (or more depending on how sweet you want your oats)
1 tablespoon of coconut manna (1/2 for in the oats, 1/2 for on top)
1 1/2 tsp of unsweetened natural cocoa powder
¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tablespoon of shredded unsweetened coconut flakes (for on top)
6 almonds (for on top)

Cook your oats like normal in water, adding the cocoa powder, ½ tablespoon of coconut manna, and 2 egg whites about 1-2 minutes before the oats have finished cooking. Then mix in your stevia (or natural sweetener of choice) and a bit of unsweetened almond milk. Top with the second ½ tablespoon of coconut manna, coconut flakes, and almonds. I like to pour a bit of unsweetened almond milk around the edge of the bowl. This turned out so lovely and pretty that I had to share it with you guys! Definitely a nice pick-me-up.

At work I have been reading a book I recently purchased on me Acer Iconia Tab Tablet ($200, GameStop) written by Michael Pollan called The Omnivore’s Dilemma.  I was told that I should read Pollan’s books by a friend. The book is so interesting and informative. I never knew that the history of Corn was so fascinating and rooted in our society. I like it so much so far that I have ordered one of his other books from Amazon called In Defense of Food. If you are interested in food and nutrition, I highly recommend his books. His writing style is fantastic.

Since I am so interested in nutrition and health, I am trying to start reading more books about the subject so that I can be more informed (especially for when I become a personal trainer, and hopefully nutritionist). One of the best things you can do if you have a question about a topic or just want to be more educated in a realm of study is to do research! Understanding of a topic does not just happen. Seek to learn as much about a subject as you can so that you can make informed decisions! If you are new to a healthy lifestyle and feel lost and confused, look up some things! I frequent health, fitness, and bodybuilding blogs daily to help me learn more. There is an endless stream of information available to you right at your fingertips, so use it! Read some books and studies. We all started somewhere!

When I woke up this morning I thought about how I have not had protein pancakes in a while. I went to Wegman’s yesterday and picked up some new goodies to try out. One of the purchases was some gluten free yellow cake mix from Betty Crocker:

Although it may not be 100% “clean” it is one of the better cake mixes without a ridiculous list of ingredients. Thanks to Heather who has some recipes using this brand of cake mix, I picked it up after seeing it on her blog.

I made cake batter protein pancakes with banana frosting! These are the prettiest and most colorful pancakes I have ever made. They really cheered me up and got me ready for my shift today.

What you’ll need:
For the pancakes
½ scoop vanilla ice cream optimum nutrition whey protein
2 tablespoons oat bran
2 tablespoons coconut flour
2 tablespoons yellow Betty Crocker gluten free cake mix  
2 large egg whites
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/8 tsp of baking soda and also cream of tartar
a bit of rainbow sprinkles (optional)

For the frosting
 1/3 of a mashed large banana
1 tablespoon of unsweetened almond milk

I mixed the dry ingredients and wet ingredients for the batter prior to combining. Mix well. Add the sprinkles last and don’t mix them in too much or all of the color will come off. White they are cooking on a non-stick sprayed pan, make the frosting. My recipe made 5 smaller pancakes. I topped the pancakes with my banana frosting and bit more sprinkles. It was so delicious! I love fun colorful food. Nothing wrong with some sprinkles once in a while. I hope you guys have and/or had a great day and enjoy your Sunday!
Meg x

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