Microwave Protein Cookie + WIAW

Lifting weights will not make you bulky.


It drives me NUTS when I hear women say they don’t want to lift because they are scared they’ll get bulky or look “manly.”  Women don’t have the hormone levels men do, so it’s just not possible to gain like a dude.  It takes a TON of work to significantly grow muscle.  I should know.



It is especially important for women to have a strength training program.

A few of the benefits include:

  1. Body Fat Reduction – As you increase lean muscle, so does resting metabolism.  This means that you burn more calories all day long.  Studies have shown that for each pound of muscle you gain, you burn 35-50 more calories each day.  That’s as much as 18,250 calories in a year!
  2. Decreased Risk of Osteoporosis and Heart Disease – Women are at an especially high risk of suffering from this disease.  Weight training can increase spinal bone mineral density, and – combined with adequate calcium – can be one of the best defenses against osteoporosis.  Cardio is important in heart health; however, lifting can help to lower “bad” (LDL) cholesterol, increase “good” (HDL) cholesterol, and lower blood pressure.
  3. Improved Athletic Performance – Research continually proves that strength training improves athletic ability.  It enables you to increase endurance, improve technique, and decrease the risk of injury.
  4. Improved Mood and Fights Depression – A Harvard study found that 10 weeks of strength training reduced clinical depression symptoms more successfully than standard counseling did!  Strength training often helps women feel more confident and capable, both important factors in fighting depression.
  5. Physical Strength – This may sound obvious, but strength training is important for daily activities – chores, chasing after kids, carrying groceries… basic, daily tasks will be much easier.  And how nice is it to be able to open ajar unassisted?



Strength training isn’t the only factor though.  I’m trying my best to gain as much as possible before my November competition.  Just as important as lifting is diet.  Healthy fats, complex carbs, and a lot of protein are key to gaining mass.  As much as I’m taking in, I’m still not She-ra…. but I am making gains!

A few people have asked for progress pics.  I wish I’d done a better job to tracking and taking pics from the same angles, but here’s the best bicep progress pic I have:



Still a long way to go, but I think there are some changes!


Speaking of strength training (nice transition, right?), this fall’s  What I Ate Wednesday theme: “Fall Into Good Habits.”


Check out my healthy fall fuel below, and then click here to head over to Jenn Peas and Crayons to get ideas from others’ fall eats!


Meal 1:

I probably bore you all with my morning cocktail, but this day started out like every other day with a mix of Apple Cider Vinegar, Glutamine and Fitmixer Aminos… with some kombucha and water.  This week I had a lavender-rosemary homebrew to mix in.  Good for the digestion, skin, and overall energy!


30 mins later I noshed on a random concoction:

A Morningstar veggie sausage scrambled with egg whites and topped with cilantro, 1/2 a grapefruit, and a slice of Ezekial bread with sugar-free strawberry jam.  Not super creative, but it was the jam on this rainy morning.



Meal 2:

If it’s going to rain, at least my food can be bright!

There’s no shame in microwave baking!  Especially when it is an iced Sunbutter cookie. 


This cookie is incredibly easy.  I was going to bake it, but that seemed too time-consuming.  35 secs in the microwave for this baby!  I blended together cottage cheese, stevia, and apple pie spice as the icing and arranged golden kiwi slices on top.

Recipe at the bottom.


Meal 3:

Monday night’s dinner was a healthy version of Crab Eggs Benedict.  I remade it for WIAW because it was so delicious.  I’d probably be eating it again right now if I wasn’t out of my local farm fresh eggs.

However, I’m a tease.  The recipe will be shared tomorrow… sorry, but I felt it deserved its own post. :) 



Meal 4:

Tilapia again… but I did prepare it differently!  I’m working on a project making my own (salt-free) spice blends.  This was cooked in a grill pan with my Mexican blend and fresh lime juice.  On the side was roasted broccoli slaw and brussels, topped with more of my blend, rice vinegar, and nutritional yeast. 



Meal 5:

I’m trying not to Instagram everything before I post it on WIAW… but I couldn’t help myself last night.

This pizza combo knocked my socks off.  I toasted a low-carb tortilla as the crust, then slathered it with a sweet potato mashed with lemon juice, cumin, and chili powder.  Meanwhile, I sautéed asparagus and chopped fennel in a splash of garlic-infused olive oil.  That saute, arugula, and pre-cooked salmon topped my pizza.

I put the whole thing in the oven on broil for a few mins, finish with freshly ground pepper, thick balsamic, and cilantro… and viola!


Total foodgasm.  ♫ The neighbors complain about the noises above… ♫



Meal 6:

An old favorite… with a new twist.  Remember my Carrot Cake Protein Batter?  I made it chocolate. 


This Chocolate Carrot Cake Protein Batter was basically the same recipe, but I added 1 T cocoa powder and use almond extract instead of vanilla.

Side note: Did you know that 1 T of cocoa powder has 1g of protein?



Meal 7:

In the interest of honesty… this happened:


I get an extra cheat each day in effort to gain weight… although this may not be what my trainer had in mind…

It was delicious though!  Terrapin is a Georgia brewery, and their Pumpkinfest beer is fantastic. It combines two styles – pumpkin beer and Oktoberfest – to create a spiced pumpkin beer that isn’t overly sweet.


Never fear!  I got my protein in too: 


A maple-casein version of my 150 Calorie Microwave Protein Cake topped with fresh figs.



Micro Protein Cookie steps

Nutty Microwave Protein Cookie

  • 2 T peanut flour
  • 1 T water
  • 1 T Sunbutter
  • 2 T egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 5-6 drops liquid stevia


Mix ingredients in a small bowl.  

Coat small, microwave-safe plate with cooking spray.  Spread dough on plate and microwave 30-40 secs.  

Serves 1.


Protein count for the day: 191.3g from fall clean eats!

Do you do any strength training?  Why or why not?

What foods have you been loving the most this fall?



  1. says

    I agree with you that women just aren’t’ going to get bulky like men. I didn’t do any body building style weight training, but I early this year I emphasized weight training & did body resistance training in combo with heavier weights 5 days a week (alternating muscle groups to give rest days). Even then, after months of doing that, I had definition, but didn’t *look* bulky. It wasn’t until I stopped that regimine almost 2 months ago (& since have lost a muscle mass) & my pants & clothing are looser, fit better, that I realized that I did “bulk” up a bit. I didn’t look bulky, but it did add inches to my thighs (primarily) & biceps. I’ve lost an inch or two from losing muscle mass–no biggie for me, since that’s not a priority for me right now, & I’m actually quite happy with my current state.

    (those biceps are looking pretty toned, way to go!)

  2. says

    oh gosh yet again so good. I need to get my hands on some protein powder. I can’t believe the strength gains and muscle gains you have made, I am so inspired by that and wish I could kick my butt into gear!

  3. Khushboo says

    Gah that drives me crazy too…even if we wanted to bulk up, we’d need to be doing a lot more than weights…ahem steroids!! Never thought I’d say this but I actually prefer weight training to cardio- sounds cheesy but lifting weights is very empowering! I just finished a lower body session and lord knows I am not looking forward to tomorrow ‘s soreness!!

  4. says

    Do you ever post full body shots? I’m so intrigued by what you’re trying to accomplish. My husband is a bigger guy, and he is constantly concerned about his protein intake, so I understand that aspect. I weight lift, but for some reason I rarely seem to eat animal protein anymore…like 4-5 meals a week, maybe? The other night we had steak for dinner, and I swear the next morning my nails were longer! Protein is definitely needed for growth in many ways! Happy WIAW, Laura!

  5. says

    I worked at GNC for four years while I was going through college and I could NEVER get through to women on this! They would get an image in their head of this totally steroid-pumped he-she and wouldn’t even hear the words that were coming out of my mouth! I don’t know what it is that has so many women confused…I mean seriously, just stop and think about it! Testosterone vs estrogen…it’s NOT freaking rocket science! And funny (in the way that it made my eye twitch) thing…I was just reading a magazine last night (can’t remember which one since I went perusing in the my department’s waiting room and grabbed like 1/2 a dozen) but they actually have Jennifer Anniston quoted saying, “If you don’t want to bulk up, wait an hour after a workout to eat.” WTF?! Luckily, the magazine editors knew their stuff and pointed out that this was a BIG mistake, but still, all I could do was shake my head!

    I LOVE lifting weights! Before, I was always into more circuit training/body weight exercises before I made my leap over to the “boys section” at the gym, but after lifting regularly for months now, I wouldn’t go back to my old way of working out if you paid me! And you’re right, it really does boost confidence. I did shoulders and abs today and while I was doing my dumbbell shoulder presses, I was watching my form in the mirror and couldn’t help but notice a few cuts coming through. I have to admit, seeing that I’m getting definition AND gaining strength kinda makes me feel badass! 😉

    And speaking of badass, crab eggs benny?! I’ve wanted to try eggs benedict for a LONG time now, but I just couldn’t find the right recipe that wouldn’t leave me feeling heavy and blah. I KNOW you’ve got something that’s delicious and nutritious! Can’t wait for the recipe!

    Need to try that cookie too! Microwave baking rocks! Well, most of the time…I’ve made some pretty cardboard-esque things in there too! Lol!

    • Laura says

      You would think the women coming into GNC would be more knowledgeable! Wow. And Jennifer Anniston… don’t EVEN get me started. That women drive me nuts. For the record, I never like the “Rachel” hair do.

      I want to see another progress pic from you! You are a total bad ass. :)

  6. says

    Love this post! It’s so funny because how many women do you see lifting weights….and how many do you see that look like shemen?! That right there should tell you it’s NOT gonna happen, but everyone still has this stupid idea in their heads. I actually train a MAN who doesn’t want to get bulky….hahaha. He refused to lift heavy weights when he met me, but oh how the times have changed! Your biceps are looking awesome!!

  7. says

    you are a machine in the kitchen lately girl! i bought the can of crab the other day at TJs – inspired by you and now it’s sitting in my fridge – hahah i think i need to use it tonight! my lunch is actually i guess ’tilapia eggs benedict!’ kiiind of. and you look great – you can TOTALLY see the progress!

  8. says

    Girl…your arms are intimidating. But in an awe-inspiring way.

    Thank you for that musical reference. I would have liked it as a footnote, but who the heck can figure out how to make footnotes in WordPress? [Not me. Not me.*]
    *That was a minor allusion to the cheerleaders from SNL. Just FYI.

    I want that protein cake thingamajig. I just am too lazy. I KNOW it is easy. But I feel lazy about it.

    You might not think it is creatve (it is) but heck girl, you get so CRAZY with everything else, I’m pretty sure you have a pass.

    If we lived next door to each other I’m pretty sure our blog eats would take over the world with their crazy weird awesome tastebud-boggling deliciousness. [You can make everything and then I’ll just scoop on random flavors of Nutty Butter.]

    The End.

    PS I have like 4,000 of your posts to catch up on. I love you even if I haven’t checked in except on IG. If you are engaged or something let me know directly. :)

    • Laura says

      Awwww… thank you. :) I’m in awe of all your running!

      I didn’t want to infringe of your patented footnoting moves. #nuttynoter

      Please pass the random flavors of nutty butter. How about nutty bendict? 😉

  9. says

    I love the way my body looks and feels when I’m weight training – even though I hate doing it! I hate that I can’t do it at all right new until 6 weeks post-op. I am losing tone and I hate the idea of starting over! You were and are totally my inspiration to lift! Keep it up girl!

  10. says

    Love that recipe and thank you for posting not to be afraid of strength!!!! Too many women just want to “tone” with lighter weights and it just seems so ineffective to me! You will not get “bulky” from lifting heavy!!!

  11. says

    I am bad at strength training. You need to help me! It’s not so much that I’m afraid of bulking up, because I’m not at all, but I think I lift too lightly in an effort to have better form. Not sure if that’s good or bad!

  12. says

    I need to have you as my trainer because when I lift weights I get bulky, haha. Maybe I need to change what I am eating more. I do tend to be a little lacking on the protein side. I have been better about it in the past few months! I get especially “bulky” in the ass/thigh area, probably because I start out with rather curvy hips to begin with.

    I completely agree that strength training is a good part of working out though, definitely helps your body burn more calories and boost the metabolism!

    • Laura says

      Can I borrow some of your ass? LOL! There is some genetics to it, but try doing more reps with lighter reps. Diet adjustments can also help – low fat, high protein.

  13. says

    Yay for strength training! i just started getting more serious about strength training this year and I love the results! I beat both my brother and my dad in push up competitions :) Your arm muscles are looking great! I’m sure you will rock your show in November! On a food note: I can’t wait to see the crab recipe and I never thought of roasting broccoli slaw before!

    • Laura says

      That’s so awesome – I LOVE push ups! Way to go!

      Thank you so much for the encouragement. Crab recipe will be up in a few hours. :)

    • Laura says

      I brew it with jasmine green tea and add things like fresh ginger, fresh rosemary, dried lavender, cinnamon sticks, cayenne pepper… and whatever else I have laying around. I want to try orange next!

  14. says

    Wow! LOVE all the food – I seriously want you to visit and walk me through a day of your eats in person! Well done! That with the lifting is certainly showing – way to go, Laura! Real gains!

  15. says

    Hunnie, you are such an inspiration. The transformation you’ve made so far has been incredible. You are going to do awesome @ your competition come November! I wish you nothing but the greatest of luck <3.

    Ohhh & of course all of your meals look wonderful, but don't they always??

  16. says

    Ohh, I get in so many stupid arguments with women about the whole “bulking” up thing–and then how many walk away saying, “I’ll just stick to cardio/light weights so I can burn more calories and tone up.” Arrrrgh.

    Things that don’t make me go arrrgh? That cookie. I WILL be making that soon. As soon as I think I’ve made a dent in the list of recipes of yours I have to make, here comes another 😉 And I hear beer is a great source of healthy carbs, right?

    Loving your progress, too. You can definitely tell the difference in definition! Yeah, biceps!

  17. says

    Arghhh I hate it when my friends pull a shocked face at me and state “You lift weights, youll get huge” – its so annoying! I actually prefer lifting weights to any cardio ive done in the past – i love seeing strength results! Your eats all look delicious, you wouldnt think that I eat cleanly due to my blog (chocolate is only consumed on cheat days for reviewing) haha!

  18. says

    I don’t think my comment posted !? :'(

    Everything looks great, love.

    I am so impressed with your gains. I know you say you have more to make, but wow! I see major progress and you have kept very lean in the process! WOW!

    I really hope we can chat soon, sis <3 I am in need of a good talk!

    I love love LOVE the looks of that tortilla pizza!

  19. says

    Wow, you are making really great progress! I too get so annoyed when women see me working out in the weight room and have to comment they won’t do it because they don’t want huge muscles. They are also the same women that say they wish they had legs like mine. And who spend an hour on the stationary bike reading a magazine and never break a sweat.
    Anyway, I made your protein cookie for breakfast a little bit ago, and it made me quite happy! :)

    • Laura says

      Hahaha! That’s such a good point. I love when women ask how to get better arms and then turn their nose up when I tell them. *sigh*

  20. Your Trainer says

    The beer definitely is not what I meant by a cheat meal. BTW, we have a saying in our gym, we don’t do “girl” push ups, because none of my girls do their push ups on their knees. Laura, you are definitely getting stronger and only getting better. Keep it up girl.

  21. says

    Hey friend…I’m back. 😉 Heck ya I do strength training. I don’t shoot up like Arnold, but I try to strike a balance between light to mid range weights with high reps. I can keep my gluttonous lifestyle and don’t develop bulky muscles that interfere with my golf swing.

    Thanks for the tip on that pumpkin beer. I’ll be on the look out for it in NYC.

    • Laura says

      Come on back… we will pump you up! 😉

      Tiger said once that he like to do high reps with lower weights to keep those muscles long and lean. You should be well on your way to the PGA.

      Let me know if you see it in NY! What’s your favorite seasonal these days?

  22. says

    There is NO shame in microwave baking! Now there’s a girl after my heart! Seriously, when I need a treat…I NEED a treat! Sure, I’m like a 2 year old, but who cares. I know how to get to the good stuff fast! You are looking incredible!!! I’m so proud of you! I can see the changes and I’m just so happy for you! Is this competition here in town or are you traveling? I know you will do great! I think it’s good to go into it as a tester! I’m considering volunteering at a race this October. I’m actually doing a 5k the week before, but I want to support races in general and this one is super close and or a great cause. I think participation in the things you love in any capacity is a great thing and practicing your events is great too!

    Ok, I got my berries! PB&Jeggs is happening tonight! Treats! Is it wrong I want a cookie on top too?

    • Laura says

      Thank you! The frist one is in NC, but the one in March is in ATL.

      Which race? I want to get out and do that too! I always really appreciated the energy volunteers/random spectators provided.

      PB & Coggs (cookies)? YES!

  23. says

    Yes! Your eats all look amazing as usual. I love the yolk porn. Your bicep looks great you look like you’ve cut down fat too, the veins are much more visible on the current pic. Way to go :) you’ve got this!

    I love strength training! I do 3-4x a week. Today was leg day and I loved it.

  24. says

    Your gains so far are incredible! Looking fabulous! You can clearly see improvement!
    I’ve been trying to get into strength training more, well lifting heavier. I’m still quite weak in my arms, but I’m getting there. It takes a lot of hard work and lots of calories. I may wait a little longer to really life heavy, and get my weight to a more appropriate level. And that tortilla pizza looks amazing!

  25. says

    I know I need to strength train more, but you just reinterated all the good reasons why it’s so important. I also love that you mentioned we need good fats and complex carbs in our diets. I think this is so important and easily overlooked. Onto you arms, they look amazing, and you can definitely see a difference. Hard work pays off!! And your pizza looks so good. I too had a strange pizza on my WIAW post, and it was fabulous.

  26. says

    Love strength training! I used to be a strictly cardio girl but when I started lifting I noticed changes in my body that about 4 years of running hadn’t been able to do. It’s definitely the way to go.

    And that cookie looks so good! I’m a cookie freak so if I can make a 40 second healthy version, I am in heaven. :-)

    • Laura says

      Funny you say that – my trainer told me that I had literally “run my ass off” over the years. I definitely wasn’t going a glute workout like I needed to!

    • Laura says

      Good for you!!! One way to increase it to write down your max and try to add 5 lbs every other week. Changing up your routine – even if it’s just the order in which you do your exercises – is huge too.

  27. says

    Wow! Your arms look amazing!!! It’s so true though, why be strong for a women if you can just be strong. No we females don’t have all that testosterone so we don’t bulk up but we do get stronger. I’m still jealous though 😛 My arms look toned when I work out but wow yours are just so muscular 0.0

  28. says

    Okay, this is my third comment on this post, but you can, in fact, make this with PB2 instead of the peanut flour and it’s absolutely delicious.

    • Laura says

      Thanks for reporting back! I’m glad you liked it… and that I finally posted something simple enough for you to try!!!! 😉

  29. says

    I need to take progress pictures! I just started crossfit 3 weeks ago and I would love to log my progress! What an awesome idea! My motto is strong is the new skinny! Even though I have been doing crossfit and getting stronger I don’t feel bulky at all. I feel definitely sexier!

  30. says

    Girl, look at those biceps! DANG!

    I love strength training. It wasn’t anything I got that into until I started doing the LiveFit program. I liked strength training but I didn’t really LOVE it and now I look forward to my strength training days – and I have one tomorrow – yippee!!

  31. says

    Hey! I just cam across your site, and after reading the “about me” section I knew I was going to enjoy it (the go-to friend/family member for new and interesting recipes?)..Its quite clear from this first post I just read that you are incredibly creative with your healthy food. A tortilla pizza with mashed sweet potato as sauce? Genius! Looks like you are making some progress with building some good lean muscle, and you still have a long way until November. I agree it’s important to include strength training, and since I’ve been sticking mostly to cardio these days, with little improvement in my body, my friend and I decided to try CrossFit starting next week, maybe I’ll get some biceps like yours!

    • Laura says

      Thank you so much for the compliment, and for stopping by and commenting! Let me know how you like Crossfit. I tried it for a few weeks, but I’m always drawn back to the weight room. :)

  32. says

    Great post! Of course I love the SunButter recipe since I blog for them, but as a fellow devoted weight trainer, I love your explanation of the benefits. I’m continually hauling other women in to my fave barbell classes, and if they get through the first few days of soreness (actually I thrive on that healthy muscle building feeling!), they are converted. Can’t wait to pass on your post. And, of course, to try your recipes! Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Laura says

      Thank you so much! I’m glad you like the recipe. I love my Sunbutter. It’s amazing mixed into Greek yogurt with bananas and cinnamon too – a go-to high protein snack for me.

      Way to go with the lifting, and encouraging other women to get on it. :)

  33. says

    I have started a little bit of weight training this year… mostly for injury prevention (I am a runner!)- squats, lunges, and deadlifts. However, since I’m at the weight rack anyways, my arms have been getting a little bit of a lift on too, haha- although I cannot really appropriately name what I am doing (bicep curls? tricep dips? I think?)


  1. […] loving that I’m actually making what I’ve been pinning!!!  I made Laura @Sprint2TheTable‘s Microwave Cookie today!! I subbed pumpkin for the sunbutter, and then topped it with […]

  2. Weight Training 101 & Arnold Strength Workout: Act Like A Lady, Lift Like A Boss | candies & crunches says:

    […] Source […]

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