Archive | August, 2012

Quest Bar Review!

28 Aug

So a few weeks ago Quest Nutrition was so kind and sent me a box of their amazing protein bars to try!  I want to to give them a big THANK YOU for providing me with these amazing bars because quite honestly they are probably the best I have ever had! No joke!  The box included all of their delicious flavors including: chocolate brownie, apple pie, cinnamon roll, strawberry cheesecake, lemon cream pie, chocolate peanut butter, vanilla almond crunch, coconut cashew, mixed berry bliss, peanut butter supreme, and peanut butter and jelly.

Each flavor was on point with flavor and they all tasted great! The secret to making these bars taste even better is popping them in the microwave for about 20 seconds…you end up with a warm, soft brownie like treat! To die for!  I usually had a bar after a hard workout or after dinner as a treat.  Whats so great about these bars that make them so guilt free is their extremely high fiber low carbohydrate content.  Each bar has around 17-18 grams of fiber leaving each bar with anywhere from 2-6 active carbs.  Not to mention a whopping 20grams of protein packed into these babies!

May not be the prettiest of pictures but this was the apple pie flavor that I broke in half and popped in the microwave.  Literally tasted like a warm apple pie..so so good! Definitely one of my favorite flavors.

Another favorite! I am a peanut butter addict and I’m a female who loves chocolate so this was perfect!

Cinnamon roll is a microwave must! Once again the flavor did not let me down! I picked up a box of this flavor they had my local vitamin shoppe last week..worth every penny!

Vanilla almond crunch was not one of my favorites but it was still delicious!

Peanut butter and jelly was absolutely amazing! Tasted exactly like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and had my taste buds dancing.  Now that  I have tried these bars..I have fallen in love! I highly recommend Quest Bars to anyone who is watching their carb intake, looking for a good source of protein after a workout, or just looking for a guiltless treat!  These bars can be purchased at your local vitamin shoppe, GNC store, or online at www.questproteinbar.com

So go give them a try!  I promise you won’t be dissapointed!

Tres Pancakes

25 Aug

Most of you who follow me on Instagram know I have been slacking with posting recipes.. especially my past few breakfast posts which are…pancakes obviously. So here are the three that I have recently come up with that are pretty bomb if you ask me!

 

Banana Chocolate Chip Quinoa Pancakes


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 2 tbs quinoa flour
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp stevia
  • 1/2 tbs mini dark chocolate chips
  1. Combine egg whites and almond milk in a small bowl and mix well
  2. Mash half of the ripe banana with fork and add to egg white mixture
  3. Combine remaining dry ingredients (not chocolate chips) in a small bowl
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix well
  5. Heat a non-stick pan on med-high heat and coat with cooking spray
  6. Add half of chocolate chips to each pancake
  7. Cook pancakes on each side for about 3min
  8. Remove from pan and top with remaining half of banana and chips

I added some pb2 to mine..which brought everything together and tasted amazing! Obviously you can top these with whatever your little heart desires but I recommend pb2 or all natural peanut butter.

 

 

Pumpkin Protein Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tbs unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 2 tbs pureed pumpkin
  • 1 tbs ground flaxseed
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp stevia
  1. Add egg whites, almond milk and pumpkin to a small bowl and mix well
  2. Combine remaining dry ingredients in a small bowl
  3. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix well
  4. Heat a non-stick pan to med-high heat and coat with cooking spray
  5. Cook pancakes on each side for about 3min
  6. Remove from pan and pile on those toppings!

Topped mine with pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, pecan butter and Walden Farms calorie free syrup. Holy Yum!

 

 

Chocolate Almond Mocha Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 2 egg whites
  • 3 tbs unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 2 tbs almond flour
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 1 tbs dark cocoa powder
  • 1 tbs ground coffee
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp stevia
  1. Add egg whites and almond milk to small bowl and mix well
  2. Combine remaining dry ingredients in small bowl
  3. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix
  4. Heat non-stick pan to med-high heat and coat with cooking spray
  5. Cook pancakes on each side for about 3min
  6. Remove from pan and plate em up!

My pancakes are filled with “mocha cream” which is extremely easy that I came up with really quick. All it is is 1/4 cup of 1% milk fat whipped cottage cheese with a tablespoon of brewed coffee, 1 tsp of cocoa powder, and a dash of stevia. I topped them off with crushed cocoa roasted almonds and Walden Farms calorie free chocolate syrup. These literally tasted like dessert and heaven! Eating healthy does NOT have to be boring by any means and this proves it!

Have an awesome weekend everyone! 🙂

The Simply Bar Review

22 Aug

So a few weeks back I got in contact with The Simply Bar and they were so kind and sent me a little package of samples to review! I received a small box filled with four of their top bars including: Peanut Butter Chocolate, Caramel Peanut, Cinnamon Pecan and Lemon Coconut.  As well as two small bags of their new Simply Protein Chips made from pea protein!

What’s so great about these bars is that they are all around 150-160 calories, have about 15 grams of protein per serving, under 5 grams of sugar and are fairly low in carbohydrates compared to other bars on the market.

First one I tried was Peanut Butter Chocolate and it was a hit even though it wasn’t my favorite out of the bunch.  The taste wasn’t too over powering and the consistency of the bar is just right..kind of reminded me of a crisper rice krispie treat. Probably would taste great dipped in coffee..yum!

Second was Cinnamon Pecan and this one was a favorite! Crispy, not too sweet and it definitely reminded me of a cinnamon roll… a crispy version of course.

Third one was caramel peanut which I packed as a snack while I ran some errands last week.  It was pretty hot out that day and when I got back to my car I ripped the bar open to find a somewhat mushy caramel peanut crispy treat and the taste did not let me down! But my favorite out of the bunch was the lemon coconut.  This bar has 4 grams of fiber and only 3 grams of sugar.  It was light, refreshing and reminded me of the tropics.  Lemon coconut flavor is perfect for those who aren’t too big on chocolate.

Onto the chips…

Each bag of these chips have 140 calories and 15 grams of protein! Chips with protein?! I’m a fan!  Flavors included herb and chili which are both a combination of spicy and slightly sweet.  Not to mention they have alot of crunch which is always a plus!  These chips are made with under 10 ingredients including pea protein isolate, dehydrated potato flakes, potato starch, salt, calcium carbonate, canola oil, natural cane sugar and seasoning.

I highly recommend these products to anyone looking for a bar or snack that is packed with protein, low sugar and tastes great!

Check out their website and try some for yourself! www.thesimplybar.com 

And don’t forget to like them on facebook!  http://www.facebook.com/SimplyBar

Innovation & Motivation

16 Aug

Everyone hits a rough patch in life at some point…and this past month I hit it.  Fortunately I’m hanging in there and trying to look on the bright side of things and stay true to what my Grandfather always said “keep smiling”.  Well it’s been a few days but Happy Thursday everyone! If you follow me on instragram you’ve probably noticed that I’ve been posting a few new recipe ideas so I will start with these delicious little concoctions..

Coconutty Peanut Chia Porridge 

This can be used as a low-carb alternative to oatmeal, a snack, dessert…whatever it’s damn good!

Ingredients 

  • 2 tbs coconut flour
  • 2 tbs PB2
  • 1 tbs chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp stevia
  • 1 cup vanilla unsweetened almond milk (may need more or less depending on the consistency you like)
  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and let set in fridge overnight

After setting in the fridge overnight it should be creamy and resemble a custard. I popped mine in the freezer for about 20 min and topped it with some blueberries.. it was cold and kind of reminded me of ice cream..delicious!

Cookie Dough Coconut Butter

Beware this is highly addictive..

I didn’t really measure ingredients out on this one but I’ll give you my best shot.

Ingredients

  • 1 bag of lets do organic shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 2 tbs coconut oil
  • 1 cup of cocoa roasted almonds
  • 1 tsp stevia
  1. Add the coconut to a food processor and process until fine.
  2. Add coconut oil, almonds, and stevia.
  3. Processes until creamy and smooth
  4. This may take a while depending on your food processor.. 10-20 minutes

Unfortunately I haven’t gotten a polar ft watch yet..but I have discovered some awesome apps that do the trick in a pinch.  Like this one.. gps + pedometer ultimate.. you enter your weight, height and measurements and it seems to be tracking pretty well but I still need that Polar watch!!

It’s happening within the next week!

And then there’s Nike Training Club which has a ton of awesome workouts..cardio, toning and strength. Perfect if you don’t have access to a gym or just want to get a good workout in at home.

 These workouts definitely work up a good sweat!

Only you have the power to make yourself the happiest you can be.

Have an awesome weekend everyone! 😀

Green Monsters, Ups & Downs and Macaroons

14 Aug

Monday…is everyone’s favorite day of the week..NOT! Unfortunately I haven’t been feeling 100% due to the fact that my workouts haven’t been as great as they usually are and my eating hasn’t been as clean as it usually is but we all have our ups and downs, good days and bad.  No one is perfect.   Anyways I cannot wait for the new semester to start at school where I will be surrounded by new faces and filling my brain with what I have become so passionate about..nutrition.  It also doesn’t hurt that I will be back in a real gym again!  Pumped!  These past couple weeks I have been communicating with some awesome companies who pride themselves in distributing awesome, healthy food products that I have had the opportunity to sample! Pretty sweet!  I’ve also been playing around with some clean, healthy recipes as usual. So here goes…

 

Green Monster Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs coconut flour
  • 2 tbs protein powder
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 tbs unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp stevia
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • handful of spinach or kale
  1. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend for a few seconds
  2. Heat a non-stick pan and coat with cooking spray
  3. Add batter to pan and cook on each side for about 2min
  4. Serve with whatever toppings you prefer & dig in!

I layered and topped these bad boys with homemade blueberry chiaseed jam and crushed cinnamon roasted almonds.

Blueberry Chiaseed Jam

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbs stevia
  • 1 tbs chiaseeds
  1. Heat blueberries and water in microwave on high for 2 min
  2. Add stevia and chiaseeds and stir well
  3. Let cool for about 10 min
  4. Cover and put in fridge overnight

Simple and perfect for breakfast time!

 

 

Oh so you’re probably wondering where the macaroons come in right? Well an awesome company called Hail Merry sent me a sample of their AMAZING chocolate macaroons! All of their products are made from raw ingredients, vegan and gluten-free.   I can’t say I have ever really had a macaroon before but after trying these I definitely will be indulging in them again.  These macaroons rep many health benefits without being too sweet..two thumbs up! They are hand made with organic shredded coconut, dark cocoa, organic expeller pressed coconut oil, pure maple syrup, organic Mexican vanilla and sea salt.

 

When I opened up this little package I was skeptical of the appearance but I really shouldn’t have because these are nothing less than amazing.  Not too sweet and you can actually taste the ingredients..no artificial garbage here! Perfect  little after lunch or dinner treat.  Most of their products can be found in Whole Foods or local health food stores.

Check em out online at www.hailmerry.com 

Banana Chocolate Chip Protein Muffins

10 Aug

Most muffins or baked goods are filled with fat, sugar, carbs, garbage, carbs, sugar, fat, and more sugar.  This recipe has zero added sugar..minus the dark chocolate chips cause they don’t count ;-).  Everyone likes something with their coffee.. well maybe not everyone but I know do and these are the perfect pairing or just a great on the go snack.

 

 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup Oat Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Quinoa Flour
  • 2 Scoops of Vanilla Whey Protein Powder
  • 1/4 Cup Stevia
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Egg Whites
  • 1/4 Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  • 2 Ripe Bananas
  • 1/3 Cup Non-Fat Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/3 Cup Natural Mini Dark Chocolate Chips
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Walnuts

 

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 F.
  2. Spray a 12 muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Combine all dry ingredients in large bowl.
  4. Mash bananas with a fork in a bowl until smooth.
  5. Add egg, egg whites, milk, greek yogurt, and vanilla to mashed bananas until smooth.
  6. Add the wet ingredients to dry and mix well.
  7. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts evenly.
  8. Evenly distribute batter into your muffin tin.
  9. Place in the oven and bake 25-30 minutes.
  10. Remove from oven.
  11. Gently remove muffins from muffin tin, place on a cooling rack for a few minutes.
  12. Enjoy!

 

 

Oatless Oats & Sweat

10 Aug

I have been hearing so much about oat-less..yes oat-less..oatmeal that I decided to give it a go yesterday morning.  It exists and is totally paleo friendly and approved.  I am not paleo, although I have been contemplating doing the whole30 or at least trying it. Come September it may be a very big possibility but we’ll see..anyways here is the recipe for OATLESS oatmeal.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 Tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Whisk together egg whites and milk
  2. Add in flaxseed, cinnamon, mashed banana, and vanilla
  3. Whisk until completely combined
  4. Pour mixture into a medium saucepan and cook over medium-low heat
  5. Constantly stir the mixture and scrape the bottom of the saucepan until you reach a cooked oatmeal consistency. The cooking should take no more than 5 minutes.
  6. Scoop into a bowl and top with toppings!

Without any toppings it comes out to be around 200 calories.

Circuits are my favorite absolute favorite kind of workout and I’m always up for trying and creating new ones.  The other day I came up with this one which is a combination of strength exercises using a medicine ball with some jump roping in-between each move.  This workout is about 30 minutes long and definitely gets your heart rate up!

Larabar Review!

7 Aug

This was my first time trying Larabars and let me tell you I have become a huge fan! I just want to say THANK YOU to Annie at Larabar for being so kind and sending me these awesome samples to review! So here’s what i got…

What makes these bars so perfect is that most of them are made with anywhere from 2-7 whole, natural ingredients. No processed ingredients, chemicals or fake stuff here! Definitely a super clean and healthy snack, post or pre-work fuel, afternoon pick me up or dessert!

The first flavor I tried was Ginger Snap and it was a huge hit! It tasted exactly like a gingersnap cookie and the spices were just right not too little or too much. Made from dates, almonds, pecans, ginger, cinnamon and cloves. Perfect!

Peanut Butter & Jelly..really? This one is probably going to be one of my favorites. It tasted exactly like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and the only ingredients are dates, peanuts, unsweetened cherries and sea salt. Can’t get anymore natural than that!

Next flavor was chocolate chip cookie dough. I mean come on who doesn’t like cookie dough? I left this one in my car as a mid morning snack to munch on after I ran errands…and well the sun kinda melted the chocolate chips but oh my goodness was it good! Yet again tasted exactly like the name and totally guilt free. Made from cashews, dates, chocolate chips and sea salt. Two thumbs up!

Cappuccino…I love my coffee although I’m not the biggest coffee drinker coffee flavored anything is usually a hit in my book. Made from dates, almonds, cashews, coffee and vanilla extract. So simple and so good!

These next two I am saving for afternoon pick me ups..they both are made from only three ingredients and I’m sure I am going to love them! Banana Bread is made from dates, almonds and unsweetened bananas and Peanut Butter Cookie is made from dates, peanuts and sea salt. I mean really how much cleaner can you get? This is why I love these bars and after trying them I am now HOOKED. If you like finding healthy snacks or food products definitely check these out! You can find them at most grocery stores, Trader Joes, Whole Foods, Wal-Mart, Target etc.

Check out their website for more info at www.larabar.com

Coconut Flax Pancakes

5 Aug

Pancakes have become somewhat of an addiction this summer..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 2 tbsp vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1 tbsp ground flax meal
  • 1/2 tsp stevia
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp coconut extract

 

  1. Combine egg whites, coconut milk and extract in small bowl
  2. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a small bowl and mix
  3. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix well
  4. Heat a non-stick pan on medium high heat and coat with cooking spray
  5. Spoon batter onto pan and cook for about 2-3 min on each side
  6. Top with favorite syrup, nuts, seeds, fruit etc!

*without any toppings these pancakes have about 200 calories per serving

Progress and Creativity

5 Aug

Cardio…can be beyond boring.. running on a treadmill staring at a wall is not my idea of a fun workout and lately I’m all about circuits.. circuits and more circuits. They keep my body guessing and lifting weights will not make you big and manly ladies! I repeat will NOT make you big and manly.  Ever since I started weight training with light to moderate weights I have seen a significant difference in the way I look and feel.  Joining a gym, using expensive machines, lifting heavy weights is what people typically think strength training is all about..WRONG. A good workout can include pushups, jump squats, lunges, mountain climbers etc.  More calories are used to make and maintain muscle than fat, and  strength training can boost your metabolism by 15 percent..that can really jump start a weight loss plan.

6 Reasons to Add Strength Training to Your Workout Plan

1. Strength training protects bone health and muscle mass.

2. Strength training makes you stronger and fitter.

3. Strength training helps you develop better body mechanics.

4. Strength training plays a role in disease prevention.

5. Strength training boosts energy levels and improves your mood.

6. Strength training translates to more calories burned.

Yes..I have little baby muscles but I like it that way. I know I will never be a female body builder nor would I ever want to look like one.  So for me this is just about right.. Mom and sis are observing in the background if you didn’t take notice 😉

Before I left for vacation I needed  a fast, simple, clean breakfast…like this one.  Yeah it doesn’t look very pretty but it was actually pretty delicious and only 150 calories..I kept it small because I knew I would be indulging later on that day. So here goes…

Ingredients 

  • 1 slice of ezekiel bread
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp sugarfree strawberry jam
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 tbsp coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  1. Toast the ezekiel bread
  2. Top with chias and jam
  3. Crack 3 egg whites into a bowl
  4. Add coconut milk and cinnamon and beat well
  5. Microwave on high for about 2-3 minutes
  6. Top it with calorie free syrup and TA DA!

150 calories of fiber, protein and carbs for a quick..healthy breakfast