A Protein-Filled Wednesday + a Snack Giveaway!

Snacking is the new name of the game for me.

 

Yesterday I revealed my new fitness goal to you all – to compete in a figure competition.  This means HUGE change in my plant-based diet.  Now I have to focus more on protein than plants, and I’m eating constantly… but my goal is to to keep to a vegetarian protein diet.

 

The Basic Plan:

  • 7 “meals” per day (I eat every 2 hours)
  • 20-25g of protein at each meal
  • 120 oz of water daily
  • 1 serving of fruit for the first 2 meals, and at meal 7 (“dessert”)
  • 1 serving of veggies for meals 3-6
  • 1/2 C carbs at meal 1, 3, 5, and 7 (beans, lentils, and sweet potatoes count as carbs)
  • Limited fats – flax at meal 1, nuts at meal 2, olive oil at meals 3 and 5

 

The good parts: no calorie counting or macro tracking; I get a cheat day once a week; I already love protein shakes

The hard parts: only eating 1 serving of veggies at a time is hard; eating that much protein on a veg diet is REALLY hard; eating all the time sounds fun at first, but I am really never hungry (except for when I wake up); eating every two hours take a ton of planning; all of that water has me running to the bathroom every 30 mins.

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Jenn’s What I Ate Wednesday theme of “Sensible Snacking” this month is just perfect for my new plan.  I am snacking all day!

 

Check out a day in  the food life of a wanna-be figure competitor; then click here to hop on to Jenn Peas and Crayons to see everyone else’s day of eats!

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Meal 1:

Janetha hipped me to the fact that I was appropriately celebrating National Chocolate Pudding Day at breakfast

I made a chocolate-peanut butter protein pudding/spread to top my Ezekial bread.  This was accompanied by 1/2 cup of cherries (good for inflammation/muscle recovery).

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pudding:

  • 1 T GNC Soy chocolate protein powder (check out the review here)
  • 1 T peanut flour
  • 1 T ground flax seed
  • 2 T unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla extract

Meal 2:

It’s blueberry season!  They are so sweet right now, making of an especially tasty shake… even if it did splash on my brand-new white shirt.  Note to self: don’t drink smoothies and drive.

Blueberry-Ginger Smoothie

  • 1 scoop Vega vanilla protein powder (see review here)
  • 1/2 C blueberries
  • 1 in piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 C spinach (I “cheated” and added veggies… I can’t help myself!)
  • 1 T sunflower seeds
  • Ice + water, to taste

 

 

Meal 3:

Leftovers!  Some of you may have seen the vegan quiche I posted on Instagram.  With a chickpea flour base, this high-protein dish made 6 slices which I will be bringing for lunch all week.  I enjoyed it with a side of sprouts.  For those that asked, I promise the recipe will come tomorrow!

 

While the quiche is high-protein, it’s not quite high enough.  No worries – it gave me an opportunity to have dessert with my meal.  A little sweet and a little savory, I loved this cardamom-laced treat!

Cardamom-Cinnamon Cottage Cheese Mix

  • 1/2 C cottage cheese
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp cardamom
  • 4-5 drops NuNaturals orange liquid stevia
  • 1 T unsweetened So Delicious coconut milk

 

Meal 4:

Here is where it gets hard to keep eating.  At this point I’ve downed 60g of protein and I’m feeling satisfied.  However, I’m not even half way through my daily meals!

Remember this seitan chorizo I made a couple of months ago?  I froze what I couldn’t eat for future uses.  I’m beyond happy I did that!  It gave me the protein I needed for the meal, re-heating well and retaining its flavor and moisture.  It was fantastic with the last of my Ultimate Veggie Trail Mix.

 

Meal 5:

I had an appointment with my trainer at 8p (more legs – OMG), so I wanted my dinner-time meal to be easy to digest.  That can only mean on thing.  Liquid Sweet Potato Pie-Shake.  Meal 5 requires veggies, carbs, and protein.

Since sweet potatoes count as a carb, I ate a side of celery sticks as well.

 

Meal 6:

This also served as my post-workout recovery meal.  It was also my favorite meal of the day!  This rendition of overnight (over-day?) oats was cool and refreshing after a excruciating really hard workout.  If you’re from Georgia, you know it doesn’t get any better than peaches and cream this time of year.

Creamy Peach-Ginger Overnight Protein Oats

  • 1 peach, mashed
  • 1 scoop GNC Whey vanilla protein powder (see review here)
  • 1/3 C unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/4 cup raw oats
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 4-5 drops vanilla liquid stevia
Stir it all together and allow to chill for at least 1 hour, or overnight.

 

Meal 7:

I cheated.  I ate meal 7 as meal 6 (fruit, carbs, and protein).  Truth be told, I’m having a really hard time working in 7 meals.  I am hitting the protein goal of 150 grams, so I’m not going to worry about it until I’m told otherwise.  :)

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Now for the part you really wanted to hear about – the giveaway!

I was contacted by Special K just before heading to Chile with an opportunity to try their new granola bar.  I don’t eat a lot of processed foods/bars, but I was intrigued by their new concept.  They sent me the samples just in time for me to pack these up as a tasty plane snack.

Of course, I shared with my concierge, Kim, who was in love with the sweet treats.  She couldn’t believe that the bars are just 110 calories and contain only 7g of sugar.  Perfect for sating your mid-afternoon sweet tooth.  They also deliver 4g of fiber and 4g of protein.

 

My favorite part? The Special K Granola Bars come in my favorite flavors – Dark Chocolate and Chocolatey Peanut Butter.  The chocolate-peanut butter will rock your socks off.  

Yes, they are processed and they have more than 5 ingredients.  If you’re that isn’t a problem for you, you will be really happy with these bars.  They have a great crunch and won’t leave you feeling weighed down.

 

The lovely people at Special K have offered to let one reader try a box of each flavor.  Here’s how to enter to win:

  1. Follow me on Twitter or Subscribe to the Sprint 2 the Table RSS feed or email
  2. Tweet: You could say something like: I’ve entered to win 2 boxes of @SpecialKUS granola bars at @sprint2thetable http://wp.me/p16jDn-1po #giveaway
  3. Be Social: Twitter Follow Special KPinterest Follow Me and/or Pin Something of MineInstagram Follow Me
  4. Comment: What is your favorite sweet tooth satisfier?

Please leave a *separate comment* for each entry!

 

Contest ends at 11:59pm EST on Monday, July 2nd.  The winner will be announced on Tuesday, July 3rd.

***

And again with the sore legs/glutes.  Thank god the counter is close enough to my toilet to provide support for lowering down.

Do you prefer to eat 3 solid meals, or snack throughout the day?

What is your favorite protein-rich meal?

 

5 on Friday + Vanilla Chai Frappuccino

Life gets crazy.

 

I have about a million things that I ran out of time to do this week.  There are pictures on my computer of things I’ve been meaning to share with you all for weeks.  It’s embarrassing.

 

This Friday I am going to begin to catch up!  Here are 5 things I’m digging lately:

 

1. Dandy Blend

I won a bag of Dandy Blend in a giveaway from Tiffany @ Como Water.  It’s an herbal dandelion powder that supposedly has a coffee-like taste.

You know what?  It does!  Granted, it’s no replacement for your fancy Ethiopian blends… but for you non-fancy coffee drinkers and herbal drink lovers, I would recommend it.

 

 

The bag says to mix 1 rounded tsp with a mug of hot water.  That didn’t cut it for me.  I had to use 2 heaping tsp to get that coffee taste.  Hot “coffee” is good, but my favorite way to drink it was been mixed into other things.  Namely, mixed into a vanilla chai frappuccino.  (Recipe at bottom.)

Speaking of the frapp below…

 

2. Vanilla Chai Vega Nutritional Powder

Vega’s re-formulated Vanilla Chai also had a starring role in my  vanilla chai frappucchino.  I have previously tried Vega’s plant-based protein powder and didn’t care for it.  They did a great job on the reformulation!  I loved the 15g of protein to keep me full, and that it only contained 2g of sugar.

 

 

With many powders I find that the flavors are either too diluted or leave an artificial aftertaste – the new Vega doesn’t commit either crime.  It made an awesome chai-spiced cold drink to start out the crazy-winter-balmy 75 degree day!

 

3. Super Me! Wrist Cuff

This rockin’ cuff was ordered from Horse Feathers several weeks ago.

(Side note: Does any one else think “finger cuffs!” every time they hear the word cuff?  Chasing Amy reference?  Any one?)

 

 

Check out the website here.  They sell a bunch of different items and other cuffs with various quotes.  Mine says: “If I gotta be me, I’m gonna be super-me.”

They shipped fast and it arrived in a cute blue bag.  Sold.

 

4. So Delicious Chocolate Dairy-Free Ice Cream

This deliciousness is almost sugar-free – only 1g of sugar!!!  It was on sale (mind you, on sale meant it was still $5 a pint) at Whole Foods, so I treated myself.  My expectations were low… but OMG it is delicious!!!

 

 

 

5. YOU

You guys have been making me smile all week.

One of my new favorite bloggers, Lauren @ Oatmeal After Spinning made a variation of my Chili Nutty Tofu and declare it “perfection.”  If you haven’t tried baking tofu yet… you should! :)

Click here for my version (pictured below):

 

Click here for Lauren’s variation.

 

 

Gina @ Running to the Kitchen (Our blogs’ names should get married – no wonder I love her!) made my Vegan Goat Cheese-Stuffed Tomatoes.

I’m not one to brag (ok, I can be one to brag…), but these were damn good:

 

Click here to see Gina’s post, which includes some killer pics!  Read: much better than my iPhone efforts.

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Vanilla Chai Frappuccino

  • Vega Vanilla Chai protein powder
  • 2 heaping tsp Dandy Blend (or instant coffee, to taste)
  • 2 big kale leaves (optional)
  • Handful of wheatgrass (optional)
  • 1/2 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Ice

 

Toss everything in your blender of choice, mix until smooth, and happily slurp away!

I topped mine with a few cacao nibs.  Whipped cream would have also been good. ;)

***

Crossfit update: I’m so sore that I actually did yoga yesterday.  I hate yoga.  It helped.

What’s the best new food/product/recipe you’ve tried lately?

Has anyone tried any of the above products?  I’d love to hear your opinions!

 

Butternut Squash-Cherry Bomb +WIAW

We’re half way there… whoaaaa, livin’ on a prayer…

Last Wednesday I shared with you all that 2 friends and I began the Standard Process Cleanse.  Which means this is another super-clean What I Ate Wednesday (WIAW).  And by Wednesday, I mean Tuesday. :)

10 days in to the cleanse (half way – woot!), I can honestly say that I haven’t been hungry one time.  Veggies are really filling!  Admittedly, eating and plant-based diet with no processed foods or breads is more time consuming.  The key is to be sure you are prepared.

For instance, on Sunday I roasted beets, butternut squash, and spaghetti squash.  Easy fixin’s for smoothies, salads, and “pastas.”

Don’t forget to check out Jenn’s blog to see what everyone else at this Wednesday during this veggie-centric month!

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Breakfast:

Ice cream isn’t legal, but that didn’t stop me from a Neapolitan smoothie.

It didn’t stay so pretty after it was fully mixed… but these things happen when you mix green, red, and orange.

Trust me, it tasted better than it looks here:

Butternut Squash-Cherry Bomb Smoothie

  • 1 C spinach
  • 1/2 C butternut squash, roasted
  • 1/2 C black cherries
  • 1/2 C unsweetened vanilla coconut milk (a la So Delicious)
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 5-6 drops vanilla stevia
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp guar gum (optional)
  • Shake of allspice
  • Shake of salt

Looks bad, taste good. :)

Lunch:

The deliciousness below is brought to you by a new (to me) blog: The Vegetable Centric Kitchen.

Rande makes some delicious-looking, vegetarian dishes.  This is her Zucchini Pasta with Lemon Tahini Sauce and Roasted Crimini Mushrooms.

Since I don’t have a spiralizer, I used the nifty orange tool picture below to peel my zucchini.  I’m not sure what it’s called other than a peeler with razor teeth, but thanks to OXO from gift from the FoodBuzz Festival!

My tweaks:

  • Used a mix of crimini, oyster, and shiitake mushrooms
  • Sautéed my mushrooms and onions in coconut oil
  • Edited the sauce: 2 T tahini, 1/2 lemon juiced, 1 garlic clove (pressed), heaping 1/4 tsp sriracha, S+P, and a bit of water to thin it out.

I’ll be making this on the regular – especially that sauce.  It’s going to be making an appearance as a sauce for broccolini tomorrow night!  Thanks, Rande!

Snacks:

More veggies(Try to hide your surprise.)

This dip was ah-mazing with my celery and flax cracker (flax seeds are cleanse-legal!).  Recipe to come! :)

 

Pre-dinner snack was another shake – this time with avocado!  Nothing earth-shattering in this one…banana, avocado, protein powder, almond extract, cinnamon, vanilla stevia, water, and ice.  You’ve seen it all before… I’m scared my shakes are going to bore you! :)

Dinner:

I mentioned yesterday that I had some super-cool Valentine’s Day plans cleanse dinner with by best friend!  And her baby boy.  And her mom.  These are some of my favorite people in the world, so it was actually a really nice way to spend Valentine’s Day.

This un-photogenic brown soup was my contribution.  It’s a Sweet Potato-Pineapple-Eggplant Curry soup served over wild rice.  I’d had it pinned to try for a while, but it was just ok.  I’d try again to tweak it to my liking… but honestly it was so time-consuming I don’t think it’s worth it.  That takes A LOT for me to say.

More delicious was the raw French green bean salad Mallory made.  She tossed them with olive oil, lots of lemon, dill, and a few other herbs.  It was fantastically light and the dill was wonderful.

Note to self: use dill more often!

Lastly, I received the nicest surprise – Mallory’s mom brought us both flowers!  I was the lucky Valentine’s recipient of a gorgeous bouquet of white tulips.

Overall, it was a nice V-Day.  Even if it was chocolate-free.

***

I’m driving to AL for a client meeting with my boss.  It’s my first one to lead in this role… nervous!!!

What was the best Valentine’s treat/dish you had yesterday?

Do you prep food for week on Sundays?

Top 11 in 2011

2011 was a big year.

 

 

I began this blog at the end of 2010 (yes, I missed my blogiversary), and I cannot believe how much my life has evolved since.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of the wonderful bloggers out there.  You have inspired me in so many ways – introducing me to new foods, pushing me to think of new flavor combinations, motivating fitness and healthy living by example and through kind comments.

 

Resolutions aren’t my cup ‘o tea – I like to tackle goals as I think of them throughout the year.

In lieu of posting those and in honor of a rockin’ 2011, I decided to list the top 11 posts for the year.

 

Often I see bloggers comment that they don’t necessarily agree with the top posts… but in this case I largely agree.  There are a couple of soups/stews not on the list – but you guys apparently like breakfast and dessert (and I have no room to judge)!  Out of these 11 my top 3 are #1, 2, and 7.

 

Top 11 in 2011

1. Sparkling (Champagne) Cake Balls (these would be great to bring to a NYE party – toast with balls!)

 

2. Peach Cobbler Chia Pudding (with an overview on the benefits of chia)

 

3.  Sweet Potato Pie Oatmeal

 

4. Rosemary Lemon Shortbread Cookies

 

5. Coconut Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies (with an overview on the benefits of coconut flour)

 

6. Coconut Milk Greek Yogurt (with PBJ Vegan Yogurt recipe)

 

7. Cherry Balsamic Chickpea Salad (this was one of my favorite meals of the year)

 

8. Biscoff Cookie Dough Balls

 

9. Liquid Sweet Potato Pie

 

10. Garam Masala Daal (this post also includes my favorite Banana Cashew Chia Pudding recipe!)

 

11. PB&J Pancakes (gluten-free and vegan!)

Thank you to everyone who has read this blog, left a comment, passed along my link, written an inspiring blog… I am honored to have you all in my life and wish nothing but the best for us all in 2012!

***

I stopped posting on weekends… but check back tomorrow for a special Saturday post that might come in handy this weekend.

If you are a blogger, are your “most viewed” recipes the one you like the most?

What is your biggest hope or goal for 2012?

 

Sweet Potato Pie Oatmeal + WIAW

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

 

This was the drama club’s “quote” in high school.  You know, the one that everyone had written some where.  I think there is even a video of the club reciting it in unison post-curtain call.

Yes, I was a drama dork.  Not the cool kind that was the lead in musicals.  I did make up backstage.  Secretly, I wished I could act.

 

Having given up on drama (as an art and a personality trait I avoid like the plague), on Jenn’s infamous What I Ate Wednesday I use this quote in reference to breakfast.

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Breakfast:

A breakfast soooo good I didn’t want to take the last bite because that would mean it was over.

Sweet Potato Pie Oatmeal is by far my new favorite winter breakfast.  It was like having dessert for breakfast.  If only I’d had marshmallows on hand to top it off properly!

Recipe at the end!

Lunch:

In preparation for the Christmas party catering gig this weekend, I’m focusing on making as much room as possible in my fridge and freezer.

No grocery shopping.  Eating frozen meals and cookie muffin creations to clear freezer space.  Thai food.

Lunch today was a Chicken Enchilada Evol Bowl.  It wasn’t too bad – especially with the Tabasco I “borrowed” from the office fridge.

The bowl microwaved evenly and wasn’t as salty as many frozen meals out there (just over 500).  They used corn tortillas - far superior to flour, IMHO - making it gluten-free.

 

I remembered a pic just in time!

 

Speaking of salt, did you hear that the FDA is considering putting a limit on the amount of salt restaurants use?  Apparently the average American eats 11 CUPS of salt in a year.  Gross.

 

Dinner:

Next to my kickboxing gym there is danger a Whole Foods.  As a treat I sometimes stop in after class for a Hot Bar  Trash Can (a hodge podge of food that exemplifies my inability to choose just one or 2 thing from any menu).

 

I know it included kale-apple saladsweet potato-cashew hash, buffalo-garlic tofu, seitan in some tasty red sauce, eggplant-zucchini-asparagus-onions in another tomato sauce, bowtie pasta, ancient grains, lemon-roasted carrot slices (these were REALLY good)… and a ritual… I always reserve a little corner spot for a teensy scoop of that glorious iced chocolate brownie.

 

Snacks:

I only managed pics of 2 of today’s snacks.

Multi-Green Kombucha on the drive in to work.

 

 

Late-night chocolate chip cookie and almond milk (see earlier remark regarding the necessity of clearing out my freezer).

 

Unpictured: peanuts (I eat like I’m on a plane even when I’m not), Pure Protein bar, coffee, and a pre-workout FRS drink (which I swear does work!).

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Sweet Potato Pie Oatmeal

Sweet Potato Pie Oatmeal

  • 1/2 C oatmeal (I used Bob’s Mill gluten-free)
  • 1/2 C unsweetened vanilla coconut milk (a la So Delicious)
  • 1/2 C water
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 T sweet potato puree 
  • 1/2 tsp chia seeds (optional)

 

Cook the oats according to package instructions, adding spices and extract once boiling.  

When almost done (1-2 mins to go), add sweet potato and chia seeds.  Taste (careful not to burn your mouth like I did) and adjust flavors as needed.

Topping ideas: pecans, walnuts, marshmallows, maple syrup, brown sugar

Makes 1 serving.

***

Most of today’s pics were tricked-out thanks to my new love – Instagram.

What is your favorite photo app?  Do share!

Do you concern yourself with salt intake?

 

Weird Holiday Flavors + WIAW

40% of the items in a grocery store are new each year.

 

I'd rather have an actual Oreo Blizzard

 

According to what Michael Pollen found in his research.  I doubted this until I realized that new flavors and formulas count.  Think about all the variations done on Oreospeanut butter, mint, 100 calorie packets… it’s endless.

 

An article on So Good Blog called out food-makers for going too far on the holiday variations.  Specifically cited is Chocolate Eggnog (agreed – but I don’t like nog) and Pumpkin Cream Cheese (he’s crazy… pumpkin was practically born on a bagel).

 

On my list is peppermint-flavored items.  I like peppermints, but please don’t add the flavor to perfectly good food.  Like coffee.

 

 

Enough about bad foods.  It’s What I Ate Wednesday!

 

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Pre-Workout Breakfast:

When I workout first thing in the morning I usually don’t eat anything more than a nibble of peanut butter or a date.  That is unless I wake up STARVING!  After the killer workout yesterday I must have been burning food like a mad man woman in my sleep!

 

 

I heated a Van’s Organic Blueberry Waffle in the oven and topped it with banana, cinnamon, and sugar-free syrup.

Perfect for my needs… I did a solid hour with some heavy weights.

 

Post-workout snack:

Since the pre-workout was only a waffle, I was ready for more after I finished in the gym.  My post-workout 20g of protein (must-have to build muscle!) came in the form of a (green) sweet potato protein shake.

 

Sweet Potato Protein Shake

  • 3 T sweet potato puree
  • 1 C spinach
  • 3/4 C unsweetened vanilla coconut milk (a la So Delicious)
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 2 tsp ground flax seeds
  • 1 tsp maca
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of guar gum (to thicken)
  • Shake of salt
  • Ice + water, to taste

 

*Normally I add Stevia or banana to sweeten my shakes, but the So Delicious and the sweet potato provided enough sweetness on their own!

Lunch:

If you read my post yesterday you may have seen a lovely salad.  So lovely that I had a repeat for lunch today.

 

 

Those carrot patties are really incredible (hot or cold) and I love having my Basil Walnut Pesto creation (also on yesterday’s post) in the salad mix.  The sweet bursts from the pomegranate seeds make for a fun salad.  (Read: Trying to avoid staining the shirt I wore to work.)

 

 

 

Dinner:

This barley-based “risotto” was even better than I expected!

 

 

This recipe will come tomorrow, along with a special feature

I scored an interview with Chef Cindi Avilia, who works in recipe development for Lightlife!

 

 

Snacks:

I had a little biscuit-baking fail… and snacked on my misery while deciding that yes, they really were un-servable (is that a word?).

 

There was also a citrus Kombucha involved.  I love Kombucha.

Old pic... same drink, sans jerky

 

I made 100 Sparkling Cake Balls (cake balls made with sparkling wine, in case you missed it) for orders received (so exciting – people are BUYING my food!)… which called for a little pairing experiment. ;)

***

Head over to Peas and Crayons to celebrated the Humpty-Hump on Jenn’s What I Ate Wednesday.

Have you seen any crazy holiday flavors?  Which ones do you like or dislike?

What’s your best holiday baking fail?

 

PB&J Protein Shake + WIAW

The times, they are a changin.’

 

 

I am fully aware that the time changed Sunday, but I am still adjusting.  My brain does NOT like 6 pm darkness, resulting in me shutting down when I’d normally be gearing up to have some fun.

Maybe that’s what is making this week fly by?

 

Despite the fact that I thought it was 10pm at 6pm tonight (it doesn’t help that I keep forgetting to change the clock on my microwave), I began holiday experimentation/baking this evening.

My dinner may have included 2 cookies.  And dough.  Lots of dough.  Quality control is important in this house.

 

Expect some deliciousness to be posted soon!  For now, here’s my contribution to Jenn’s wonderful What I Ate Wednesday with a childhood favorite turned shake.

Fabulous photography courtesy (mostly) of laziness the iPhone Hipstamtic app.

 

Breakfast:

During After an early morning conference call, I whipped up some Vanilla-Coffee Oatmeal.

 

 

 

 

It doesn’t look that impressive, but it was a flavorful bowl!  In my Vanilla-Coffee Oats:

  • Unsweetened Vanilla Coconut Milk (a la So Delicious)
  • 1/4 C coffee (brewed strong)
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Salt

 

I was craving some fruit, so I had a little grapefruit.  Literally – this was the smallest grapefruit I’ve ever seen.  All the while diligently taking notes – multi-tasking, FTW.

 

 

 

Lunch:

Today during lunch I had to go to the dentist.  No cavities, but I have some enamel erosion and need to get a couple of teeth bonded.  My first old-person dental procedure.

News that was deserving a treat/comfort food.

 

 

Whole Paycheck Foods hot bar trash can.  Trash can because I just kept layering item upon item.  I can’t begin to name what all was in there; I assure you it was tasty.

 

Dinner:

In case you’re new, you should know that I have an obsession with Indian-inspired food.  This creation involved a new squash – Carnival – and was amazing.

 

 

The lentils I used were also different.  They were orange!  I can’t say this wasn’t influenced by my disdain for trying to make pics of brown food look appetizing.  

It was a Curried Lentil Carnival in my bowl.  Recipe to come tomorrow!

Snacks:

On the way to the dentist I had a Think Thin bar.  I used to love them, but no longer recommend these because they changed the recipe without asking me.

 

Post-workout was a MUCH better snack: PB&J Protein Shake!

 

 

This one is going in my regular rotation.  Today’s workout was the P90X Biceps and Back DVD, followed by Ab Ripper X.  I’ve been stepping up my game with weight lately.  This workout left me shaking and in desperate need of protein.

 

My PB&J Shake hit the spot.  I loved the whole strawberries (frozen work just fine this time of year).  My Valencia Peanut Butter is just runny enough to blend perfectly, and with a big scoop of vanilla protein powder the whole thing was a satisfying 23g of protein.  (Recipe at the end)

 

Just before bed I conducted another quality control test with a glass of almond milk:

 

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PB&J Protein Shake

 

  • 2 T peanut butter
  • 1/2 C frozen strawberries
  • 1 C spinach
  • 1/2 C unsweetened vanilla coconut milk (I used So Delicious)
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  •  1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 4-5 drops vanilla stevia
  • Shake of salt
  • Shake of Guar gum
  • Ice + water, taste

 

Place everything in your blender of choice and mix until smooth.  Bottoms up!

***

As always, check out Peas and Crayons to see the ever-growing collection of what everyone else ate today!

Have you ever had teeth bonded?  Is it a big deal?

Do you make holiday dishes beforehand to “test” them?

 

Pumpkin Zucchini Muffins

Love Muffins.

 

I mean, I really love muffins.

Great for a quick breakfast, I often make a dozen and keep them in the freezer.  All you need to do is pop them in the microwave for 30 seconds and run out the door.  Time permitting, I “ice” them with a nut butter.

Tip: remember to grab your muffin from the microwave BEFORE running out the door.  That was an incredibly disappointing moment…

 

One of my standards has been a 92 Calorie Zucchini Protein Muffin, but this week I made a new favorite: Pumpkin Zucchini Muffins.

The zucchini and the pumpkin puree make this super-moist pumpkin bread-esque breakfast muffin.

 

Muffins for breakfast are usually more of a “treat” food for me because they are SO high in sugar.

If I eat a lot of sugar for breakfast, I crash hard a few hours later at work.

 

These muffins are a different story.  I have been experimenting with Xylitol and managed to get the sugar content down to only 5g!  Xylitol is a naturally-occuring sugar substitute derived from berries, mushrooms, and other fruits.

Xylitol can be hard to find – I stumbled upon it by accident while checking out a new (to me) natural foods store.  I recommend ordering it online if you can’t find it at a local store.  It’s well-worth the shipping/extra effort because this stuff has no sugar in it AND is doesn’t have that fake taste so many other sugar replacers have.*

*It also means they aren’t super sweet.  If you like a sugary breakfast muffin, try adding a few dates to the mix for a natural sweetener.

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zucchini pumpkin muffin

Pumpkin Zucchini Muffins

  • 1 C whole grain pastry flour
  • 1/2 C spelt flour (or protein powder)*
  • 1 C quick-cooking oats
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 3/4 C Xylitol (or regular sugar)
  • 1/4 C brown sugar, packed 
  • 1/3 C unsweetened vanilla coconut milk (I used So Delicious)
  • 1 egg (or flax egg)
  • 1 C pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 C coconut oil
  • 1 C grated zucchini (1 medium)

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease 12-muffin tin with cooking spray.

In a large bowl mix dry ingredients together.

In medium bowl mix together milk, egg, and pumpkin.  Add oil, stirring quickly so it doesn’t solidify.

Add wet ingredients to dry, stirring until just combined.  Mix in zucchini.

Divide evenly among tins and bake for 20 mins.

Notes:

  • If you don’t have spelt flour, you could use protein powder.  I like Growing Naturals.
  • You can replace the xylitol with white sugar or another sugar replacer.
  • The coconut milk can be replaced with regular milk or another milk-like substance.  If you don’t use vanilla-flavored, add a teaspoon of vanilla to the wet ingredient mix.
  • Use a flax egg to makes these vegan.

Approximate Nutritionals (for 1 muffin): 150 calories, 7.5g fat, 18.9g carbohydrates, 2.2g fiber, 5.3g sugar, 2.9g protein. 

***

Special thanks for the Buzz yesterday – and welcome to new readers!!!

Do you use sugar replacers?

Is anyone else going to the FoodBuzz Festival this weekend?   I’d love to meet up!

 

Coconut Milk Greek Yogurt + WIAW

Jen’s WIAW is becoming my favorite weekly feature.

 

 

I get SO many great ideas reading other people’s posts!  Head over Peas & Crayons to check them out.

 

Breakfast

I was fortunate enough to receive samples of the new So Delicious Greek-style yogurt.  The flavors include blueberry, raspberry, chocolate, and plain.  Made with coconut milk, the Greek-sytle yogurt is VEGAN.

 

The nutritional information overall is good.  The fiber contect is awesome – 8g!  For those who prefer flavored yogurt, it only has 11g of sugar.  That’s a lot for my taste, but it is pretty low compared to others on the market.  It also have a ton of Calcium, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, and Magnesium.

Admittedly, I was a bit disappointed with protein.  One of the reasons I love Greek yogurt so much is the high protein content.  This coconut version only contains 2g.

 

I tried the blueberry version first.  While I did like it… it was very different than Greek yogurt.  The texture wasn’t as creamy and it didn’t have the tartness.

Recognizing that this may be a plus for some of you (especially if you don’t like/have never had Greek yogurt), I like the “real” thing better.

 

Had I tried it expecting a traditional yogurt, I would have been happier.  I think it’s better than “regular” yogurt!  (Disclaimer: I don’t like regular yogurt.)

 

I gave it some more “oomph” with my new love: Peanut Flour.  Why didn’t you guys beat me over the head to order this sooner?!  It’s life-changing!!!

 

It’s incredible.  Just add a little liquid and salt and you have a protein and fiber-rich peanut butter substance with less fat.  Did I mention it’s also gluten-free?!  I cannot wait to make pancakes and cookies with this.

I’m not sharing – order your own here: Protein Peanut Flour (woo hoo for this hometown Georgia company!)

From a galaxy far, far away...

 

PBJ Vegan Yogurt Deliciousness

  • 2 T Peanut flour
  • 2 T So Delicious unsweetened vanilla coconut milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 container So Delicious Blueberry Greek-style yogurt

 

In small bowl, mix together first 3 ingredients to form a peanut butter-like substance.  Swirl in yogurt.  Inhale bowl of deliciousness.

 

 

Lunch

Moroccan Carrot Salad is even better a day or 2 later!  I made some extra so I could eat it through0ut the week and I thoroughly enjoyed it in a wrap today.  I used a Rudi’s spelt tortilla and stuffed it with hummus, carrot salad, cucumber, celery, spinach, and green pepper.

With lots of water throughout the day in my Georgia Tech glass.  (16 days until the beginning of the GT football season!!!)

Insert 4 mile, music-less run here.  Silly Shuffle was out of juice. :(

Do you see that sweat?!  It was so flipping hot.  No music.  630pm.  I think I ran fast just to get ‘er done.

I fantasized thought about dinner the WHOLE way.

Dinner

More carrots!  This time with Shirataki tofu noodles and peanut sauce (yes, more peanut flour!).

Tomorrow you get more details on this!  This post is getting loooong… it was a fantastic throw-together-meal.  You should check back.  Everybody’s doing it.

Snacks

I cannot believe I FORGOT to take a pic of my snack today.

 

Pinkberry yogurt.  Sheer deliciousness.  I got the watermelon (only in stores until August 19th!) with mango and toasted almonds on top.

I also sampled the Salted Caramel.  It was good, but I prefer yogurts in fruity flavors.  “Dessert” flavors (like chocolate and caramel) are reserved for ice cream treats.  Clearly I don’t mind a fruity tart!  (That’s what she said.)

 

My nighttime snack doubled as dessert – a chocolate-peanut butter protein shake.  With spinach, of course.

Almost forgot the pic.  Lucky me – I was chatting with the famous Jen while drinking it and remembered just in time.

In my shake:

  • 1 scoop chocolate casein protein powder
  • 1/2 C spinach (I ran out!)
  • 1/2 C unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 T crunchy peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of guar gum (helps to make the texture more shake-like)
  • Ice + Water, to taste

***

I have dinner plans tonight and it’s making the day dragggggg.

Do you have dessert preferences in terms of what you like fruity vs. chocolate-y?

What is the best thing you’ve eaten so far this week?

 

Overpronation, Procrastination, and WIAW

Active.com is a great resource for runners.

 

I enjoy their weekly emails with tips on issues such as: how to fuel your body, preventing various injuries, and working out in sweltering heat.

 

Today’s email included an interesting article on overpronation.

Overpronation is when one’s ankles roll inward too much.

 

 

It is widely believed that this can lead to over-use type pain or injury (shin splints, joint pain).  Many people (myself included) get specially fitted for running shoes and/on inserts in hopes to correcting the “problem.”

 

Today’s article from Active asserts that corrections for over pronation should not always be made.  They say:

“…doing so can and often does result in one symptom going away and another, usually a more complicated one, developing elsewhere.”

 

Here’s what really resonated with me:

Often over pronation is the symptom of another problem.  Most common is a lack of normal ankle range of motion.  If the foot/ankle isn’t bending properly, the knee is restricted and can’t “travel forward enough for the body to move its center of mass over the foot.”

The result?  Overpronation.  That pronation causes the knee to drift to the midline, which means the hip turns excessively inward.  Snowball.

Correction through shoes and inserts either a) doesn’t work or b) makes the underlying cause worse because the overpronation “is a needed compensation for a lack of mobility elsewhere in the body. Taking this compensatory element away without first addressing and correcting the true underlying cause will inevitably force compensation (frequently accompanied by pain) in another part of the body.”

 

So what should you do?

See if you over pronate with a squat test.  Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and attempt a squat.  Are your knees bent 90 degrees or less?  Are your heels still on the ground?  Are your feet still forward (not turning outward)?

No?  If you can’t do the squat correctly, the article says your foot pronation is likely “due to inflexibility of your ankles and that is what should be corrected.”

 

Bottom line: Before you go out and buy special shoes or inserts, see a professional to have a complete evaluation (pelvis, hip, knee, ankle and foot) done by a professional.

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On to my actual Wednesday eats in honor of WIAW.

1 day later than usual due to procrastination/over-sleepiness rather than the pursuit of true Wednesday eats.

 

Breakfast

Banana Green Smoothie

  • Vanilla protein powder
  • Maca
  • Banana
  • All-Bran (lots of it!)
  • Peanut butter
  • Spinach
  • Coconut milk
  • Cinnamon
  • Vanilla
  • Water + ice, to taste

Lunch

Lightlife Buffalo “Chicken” wings, celery, and cucumber
Salt + Pepper Pop Chips – how did I wait so long to try these?!

Snacks

Kombucha, plum… and a BlackBerry

Similar to breakfast, but with a chocolate casein protein powder

Dinner

 

I made spaghetti squash and topped with tomatoes AND…

 

Angela @ Oh She Glows’ Creamy Avocado Sauce.

If you haven’t made this before, you are missing out on some serious creamy deliciousness.  Sooooo good.

 

My modifications:

  • Added red pepper flakes, nutritional yeast, and red onion
  • Subbed 1 T of coconut milk for the EVOO
  • Used just 1 clove of garlic
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Don’t forget to enter my Exceed earbud giveaway!  These are pretty awesome – I’ve never even felt like they were going to fall out.

 

It’s my birthday eve!!!  The bad part about being an adult is that I still have to work all day.

What do you think about pronation?

Do you over or under pronate?  Have you even been evaluated?