My all-time favorite breakfast

Fun fact I haven’t yet shared with ya’ll, I’ve been doing some writing for a few different websites lately, including www.shakeforshape.com.  You should check it out, it’s totally me only more professional and with less sex comments and poop jokes.

Anyhow, this past week or so the admin hasn’t posted any of my stuff because apparently there’s issues, but usually there’s 2-3 articles a week that go up over there with health, fitness, beauty and nutrition content.  Good stuff.

A few weeks back I wrote out a recipe for my 4 ingredient protein pancakes that I eat pretty much every single day for breakfast, and I wanted to share it with ya’ll here because they are just too darn good to keep a secret.

Now I know what you might think when you first read this- ew eggs and bananas, right?  Please, try them.  If you like bananas, this is seriously the tastiest thing ever.  They’re sweet and fluffy and filling and oh-so-tasty.

Give ’em a try and let me know what you think in the comments!

Banana Protein Pancake

Ingredients per serving:
1 banana
2 egg whites
1 tsp of ground cinnamon
1 oz crushed walnuts (or pecans)
Cooking spray (or coconut oil)

Directions:

  1. Spray small frying pan with cooking spray
  2. In mixing bowl, whisk two egg whites together with 1 tsp of cinnamon.
  3. Add banana and smash with a fork.  The banana should still be somewhat chunky, but broken into very small pieces.
  4. Whisk mixture again ensuring banana is covered with egg whites.
  5. Pour mixture into pan.  Set to medium heat and cook 2-3 minutes each side or until golden brown and egg is cooked through.
  6. Once plated, top pancake with crushed nuts and enjoy!
Nutrition Facts:
Calories 324.4
Total Fat 19.5 g
Saturated Fat 1.9 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 13.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 2.5 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 112.2 mg
Potassium 655.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate 31.3 g
Dietary Fiber 5.0 g
Sugars 15.6 g
Protein 12.8 g
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

No, Crossfit didn’t make me fat

About five months ago, I quit Crossfit.  Prior to leaving my super duper awesome box, I had been WODing for nearly two years, and loved every minute of it.

But since leaving Crossfit I’ve lost a shit ton of weight.  A few months ago it was enough that people were starting to notice, and at this point it’s enough that strangers are starting to comment on it.  I look good.  Damn good if I do so say myself, and I’m working my ass off for it.

Interestingly, there seems to be a camp of people who believe that Crossfit was holding me back/making me fat/made me gain weight/limited my potential the entire time I was doing it.  They have no problem pointing out to me time and again that it’s only been since I stopped doing Crossfit that I’ve found the weight loss and physique results that I was looking for, and truly believe that Crossfit was the “problem.”

So here I am to set the record straight folks.  Before one more naysayer jumps in and feels the need to spread their drivel let me clarify to the world:

CROSSFIT DID NOT MAKE ME FAT.

When I quit Crossfit I took a long hard look at the things I was doing from a fitness and nutrition perspective and made the decision and commitment to really overhaul  my lifestyle to make lasting changes to get the results I wanted.  I didn’t cut out Crossfit because it was a change I felt I needed to make to be successful, nor did I think it was holding me back.

I WAS HOLDING MYSELF BACK.

Crossfit isn’t what kept me from reaching my goals.

These things are:

  • Alcohol- I was drinking most every night, and not just one glass of wine.  The calories in the booze combined with the effect it had on my metabolism, and the poor nutritional choices I made as a result of being buzzed contributed to my unhealthy weight.
  • Poor Nutritional Choices-  As I mentioned above, I wasn’t great about making good choices.  While I certainly knew HOW to eat well and to fuel my body properly, I was also just as likely to justify a cheeseburger and fries BECAUSE of the really hard workout I had earlier in the day.
  • Eating too Much-  Calories are weird little buggers.  Sure you can eat 100% Paleo for several days straight, but if that involves gobs of bacon and avocado and not so much in the spinach and greens department, you’re not going to see weight loss results either.
  • Making Lots of Excuses-  Any time I deviated from the nutritional guidelines I knew I should have been following, I always had a really good reason why.  If I had spent that much time and energy convincing myself to just stick to the healthy choices, I would have been much further along.

Moral of the story is:  to achieve your goals you need to work towards them every single day in every action you take and every choice you make.

I’m not perfect, no one is, but over the past 5 months I’ve made great choices every chance I’ve had and am seeing great results because of it.  It’s not because I quit Crossfit, it’s because I quit making excuses and prohibiting myself from being successful.

So to the Crossfit smack talkers- piss off.  I still love the sport, I love my box, and have a lot of respect for the people who do it.

And regardless of what fitness plan you follow, get out there today and kick some ass.  Who’s with me?

My Birthday at The Ritz

Good morning friends!  Oh, what do you mean it’s 12:30 in the afternoon?  Well, it’s morning for me since I’m just now scraping myself out of bed.  See yesterday was my birthday and hubs decided to go all out in the spoiling me department, which was awesome and made for a very late night.

Because I want to remember every detail pretty forever and ever, and because I know you’re all dying to live vicariously through me, check out my birthday in pictures!

bday sign with champagne

We had a 7:30 reservation at The Ritz Carlton Sarasota.  It was an absolutely beautiful night out there, so when we arrived we were seated a a romantic table for two with a view of the water and this nifty little birthday sign.  I figured they were trying to tell me something so I promptly ordered a glass of Champagne.  Might as well start the evening off right, eh?

bday pic of me with sign

The menu had me absolutely drooling over pretty much everything on it, so hubs suggested we order a few things and share them so that we could have a bite of everything that sounded good.

bday menu

They started us off with fresh out of the oven home made “brown bread,” just like what hubs grandma used to make.  Yum!

bday brown bread

In addition to the amazing food, Jack Dusty is also a craft cocktail bar.  This means super yummy drinks that are totally different than what you would find at your standard TGI Fridays.  One look at the menu and the “Siren” was calling my name.

bday siren

Not only was the drink tasty, it was BEAUTIFUL!  It started with a very lemon-y flavor, but as the flavor infused ice cubes melted it became sweeter and infused with the different fruit flavors that had been contained in the cubes.  How awesome is that?

bday siren drink

Being a whiskey drinker hubs wanted to give the “Smoking Jacket” a try.  The presentation of this drink was so so cool.  It came out with the glass over a bed of warm applewood chips effectively “smoking” the glass before the large hand carved chunk of ice was added and the tasty cinnamon-y whiskey poured over the top.  Yum!

bday smoking jacket presentation  bday smoking jacket

 

 

 

 

For food we sampled the Pear and Blue salad, the Lobster Bisque and the Calamari, all of which were delicious.  The salad was fresh and crisp with enough large slices of pear and cheese to have my taste buds happy.  The bisque had a coconut cream base, giving it an absolutely delicious sweet twist.  The calamari where seasoned and breaded to perfection, and we so fresh they practically melted on our tongues.

bday salad  bday bisque

When it was time to order the entree we were both already really starting to fill up, so we opted for the Beef Short Ribs and asked to split the entree.  These were absolutely amazing.  Served over a bed of real mashed potatoes (that were still a little chunky, I LOVE that) and with a sautéed veggie medley of brussels sprouts, golden beets and carrots, it was the perfect entree to compliment our selections for the evening.

bday entree

As we were winding down from our meal and considering our after dinner drinks (Taylor Tawny 40 year Port?  Yes please!) our server brought us a special dessert sampler hand made by the pastry chef.  Apparently they take your birthday pretty serious at The Ritz.  The sampler included bites of Red Velvet Cake, a Gourmet S’more, a doughnut hole, Fried Peanutbutter and Jelly, and a shooter of Key Lime Pie.  By this time I was so full I couldn’t imagine eating another bite, so I just had one taste of everything.  It is my birthday after all.

bday dessert

After all of that, hubs pretty much had to roll me out the front door and take me home to tuck me in.  What a memorable and fantastic night.

Does any body else have a birthday coming up?  Any special plans?

Time to Break Out the Crock Pot

It’s October ya’ll.  It doesn’t matter that it’s still 90 degrees today in Florida, it’s time to break out the crock pot and make something hearty and delicious.

Hubs doesn’t eat chicken (go ahead and gasp in shock, it’s a pretty common reaction… ok ya done?  Moving along…) so I’ve adapted a few different classic slow cooker chicken noodle soup recipes into something he has no problem devouring by the bowlful.

This soup is seriously tasty, packed with veggies, and can be Paleo if you were to just leave out the noodles.

chicken noodle soup

Slow Cooker Turkey Noodle Soup

Ingredients:
1/2 Bone In Skin On Turkey Breast (usually about 2-2.5 lbs will do it)
2 c. sliced carrots (I buy the pre sliced ones)
2 c. chopped celery
1 c. chopped onion
3 c. egg noodles (or none if you want to keep it Paleo)
4 c. veggie broth
Salt
Pepper

Directions:
1. Add carrots, celery, and onion to crock pot.  Place turkey breast on top.  Add 4 c. veggie broth and 4 c. water.  Season with salt and pepper (maybe 3-4 tbsp salt, 2 tbsp of pepper).

2.  Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or high 4-6 hours (you know your slow cooker better than I do, so you be the judge).

3.  Once cooking time is up, yank that turkey out of there and transfer it to a cutting board.

4.  Throw the noodles into the slow cooker, cover and let them cook for 20ish minutes (or until they get soft).

5.  While the noodles are doing their thing, go to work on that turkey.  Discard the fat and bones, and shred the remaining meat with a fork.  It should literally just fall off the bone for you.  Tasty tasty.

6.  Once the noodles are done, skim any fat off the top of the soup and throw your shredded turkey back in.  Give it a stir and a quick taste test.  Add salt or spices if need.

7.  Nom the shit out of that soup, because it’s seriously delicious.

Who else has a great soup recipe for fall?  Share it below or link me to it on your blog!  I wanna know!

Yummy food swaps that keep me from killing someone

I hate the word “dieting.”  I think most people do.  It has this nasty connotation of depriving yourself of everything that you like, and most folks believe that a “diet” will inevitably fail and you will just gain back the weight you’ve lost.

Sound like you?  Yeah, me too.

All that said, if I’ve learned anything over these past 9 weeks and 25 lbs of weight loss, it’s that what I put in my pie hole will directly affect my fitness and physique results.  So as much as I hate the idea of “dieting,” I’ve really had to adjust my diet to ensure I get all the nutrients I need without all the crap I don’t.

In order to not go crazy with deprivation and start shoving in doughnuts like they’re going out of style, I’ve made a few food swaps that allow me to still eat the stuff I really love, but to enjoy it in a way that won’t hinder my progress.

Instead of Pasta try Spaghetti Squash 
I’m a super pasta whore.  I make an amazing meat sauce from scratch about once a month and have enough to freeze for 5 more meals.  Meat sauce isn’t really worth eating without pasta, right?  WRONG!  Try topping a generous helping of roasted spaghetti squash with your famous pasta sauce and you’ll find a delicious and healthy way to still enjoy it.

Instead of Chips or Crackers try Carrot Slices
Guacamole and salsa are my jam.  I could put them on most anything and think that it would make it more delicious.  One of my favorite ways to eat it is as a dip, combining a fun crunch with the awesome flavors.  Tortilla chips aren’t part of my get fit plan, what with the deep fried GMO corn and all, but carrot chips work just as well.  They have a satisfying crunch, and are just as convenient.  You can buy a bag pre sliced at the grocery store for less than a bag of chips, and get an extra serving of veggies in while you’re dipping!

Instead of Mayo try Avocado
Chicken salad and tuna salad are pretty much weekly staples for me.  I make a big batch early in the week and have easy lunches and snacks ready to go.  Store bought mayo can be a problem for those of us watching our nutrients, and the fat free or reduced fat versions are even worse with added sugar and chemicals.  Enter the mighty avocado.  Try mixing half of an avocado with a can of tuna and enjoy!  The creamy texture adds moisture, and as a great source of healthy fat it packs a nutritional punch.

So readers, what are your favorite swaps?  How do you beat your sweets cravings?  How do you make your meals more nutritional?

Mexican Chicken Veggie Bowl of Nom

Check out one of my weekly meal staples that is super fast and easy, and so so satisfying!

For the record, I totally intended on posting a picture of this oh-so-scrumptious creation, but sadly this is one of those dishes that kinda comes out looking like baby vomit even though it’s a total mouth-gasm.  So you’ll just have to take my word for it, this is GOOD stuff.  Even better, it’s paleo, gives you a heaping serving of veggies and protein with a nice dose of healthy fat too.

You’re welcome.

Mexican Chicken Veggie Bowl of Nom

Ingredients:

1 lbs ground chicken breast
1 large white onion
1 large package sliced mushrooms
1 large package spinach
Guacamole (make your own or use a gluten free store bought version)
Salsa (make your own or use a gluten free version)
Salt
Pepper
Chili Powder
Cumin
Crushed red pepper
Cayenne pepper
Tabasco Sauce
Coconut oil (for cooking)

What to do:

Grease a large pan with enough coconut oil for cooking to prevent sticking.  Dice onion and cook a few minutes until it’s translucent.  Add mushrooms, salt and pepper to taste.  Cook until mushrooms soften.  Lastly add spinach on top of cooked veggies, turn down heat and cover.  Cook until spinach wilts.

In a second pan, grease with coconut oil and add ground chicken (or chicken breast if you prefer).  Season with salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, and peppers to taste.  Stir frequently and cook all the way through.  Once cooked, remove from heat and stir in about a tablespoon of Tabasco Sauce (I like the green kind).

Now put together your bowl.  Layer a large scoop of your scooped veggies with a portion of ground chicken, top with guacamole and salsa.

And if you’re like me, then stir it all together so everything gets super spicy and delicious… and looks like baby vomit.

Enjoy!

 

Meal Prep Mondays

Lately I’ve been asked time and again what’s going in my pie hole that’s helping me to see such great weightloss results?  Apparently “covering my mouth with duct tape whenever there is pizza around” isn’t the answer most folks are looking for, so today I wanted to take a few minutes to walk through my meal prep for the week.

Before we begin though, I’ll let you in on a little secret.  I am not about to tell you anything you can’t read a thousand other places.  Losing weight isn’t rocket science.  You need to eat whole, healthy foods 95% of the time.  I follow a mainly paleo/primal approach not because I think cavemen were all that bright, but because the emphasis is on REAL food.  One of my Crossfit coaches used to say, “if it has an ingredients label, don’t eat it.”  For my approach, that about sums it up.

All that said, Monday’s are my favorite day of the week lately.  I’m fortunate to be “retired” and have the luxury of doing my meal prep while the hubs is at work and I can blast Ed Sheeran radio and sing and dance in the kitchen in my underpants while spending an hour getting my shit together for the week.

I eat 4-5 times per day, and include veggies with every meal.  In order to keep from being blindingly bored, I try to have a lot of options in the house.  On Monday’s I usually sit down and think through total servings I will need for the week and slice, dice, roast and portion accordingly.

This week, Monday Meal Prep was as follows:

  • 2 lbs carrots roasted in coconut oil
  • 1 lbs brussels sprouts roasted in coconut oil
  • 5 lbs spaghetti squash roasted
  • 2 large cucumbers peeled and chopped
  • 6 portabello mushroom brushetta cups (sautéed onions, garlic and tomato, mixed with basil baked in mushroom caps)
  • 5 servings of homemade meat sauce (made with grass fed ground sirloin)
  • 4 grilled chicken breast
  • 1 dozen eggs boiled

I did the carrots, brussels sprouts and squash all at the same time.  While they were roasting I browned the ground beef and got the sauce going.  Once the veggies came out of the oven I made the brushetta mixture and threw in the mushrooms while grilling the chicken and boiling the eggs.  All told it took just over an hour and I am well stocked for the week.

This way, any time I’m hungry I have lots of healthy options to choose from.

Now it’s your turn!

What are your meal plans for the week?  What’s your favorite meal prep recipe?