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.
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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?

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?

I’ve lost 10 lbs this month, so what’s changed?

I know “they” say that the number on the scale doesn’t matter, but for those of us with some serious weight to lose, yeah it kinda does.

I’ll preface this by saying that I’m also taking measurements and also going by how my clothes fit and all that jazz, but regardless of the amount of muscle I have, I also have weight to lose.  And let’s face it, 10 lbs is a milestone to celebrate.

So woo hooo, here’s the celebration.

I feel like I’ve been trying to shed some body fat forever, but it’s been stubbornly hanging on despite my attempts.  I really did feel like I was doing everything in my power, and nothing was working, but about a month ago I had a pretty frank heart to heart with myself and realized that nutritionally I was simply failing.

Just knowing what to do, how to eat, and what sorts of foods to put in your body is not enough.  I actually needed to do that.  Like, more often than not.  Ideally all the time.

After that firm reality check, something just sort of clicked.  It reminded me of last year when I completed a Whole 30 and didn’t stray from the program once.  My mind was made up then that for the next 30 days I just simply wouldn’t eat junk.

This time, however, it’s a bit different.  My mind is made up 100% that INDEFINITELY I don’t want to put crap in my body.  At first it was really challenging, and I found myself fantasizing about pizza and ice cream, but after a week or two of telling myself that I could eat them if I wanted after I had a big serving of veggies and some protein, the cravings started to level out.  Shockingly (or maybe not at all), I never did end up eating the pizza or the ice cream.

I’m not saying I won’t ever, but I am saying that at the moment I’m really happy with my progress.  I’m never hungry, I have tons of energy, and I’m seeing results.

Has anyone else had any success stories lately?  Let’s hear ’em!

Breaking the Thursday Cycle

Is anyone with me on this?

Monday I start out super motivated for the week.  I’m usually coming off a nice long ride on Sunday and a great relaxing day with the hubs, so I’m ready to eat healthy, train hard, be as active as possible and reach my goals baby!

I hit it hard and my nutrition is perfect.  No booze, great job at Paleo.  Monday is a great day.

Tuesday rolls around and I’m a bit sore.  But Tuesday is the day I weigh myself (spare me the lecture) and the number goes down.  Now I’m even MORE motivated.  YES!  I’m awesome!  I can do this.

So I have another strong day of training and nutrition.  I even avoid a glass of wine with dinner, even though I wannnntttt one.

Then we get to hump day, and I’m SORE.  I make sweet love to the foam roller, and embarrass myself with sex faces and grunts while I do it.  I still drag myself to the box, but I complain.  A lot.  The coaches threaten to flog me if I don’t show up, and because they’re all insanely attractive, I consider letting them.

My nutrition is pretty good, but I succumb to my wine craving with dinner.  What?  It makes the muscles not hurt so bad.

And then it’s Thursday.

I wake up and want a doughnut.  If I eat one, I spend the rest of the day in my sweatpants reading trashy vampire books and eating the rest of the dozen.  If I manage not to eat one, I still spend the rest of the day in my pajamas fantasizing about eating them.

I don’t make it to the gym.  I have grand plans for a nice easy recovery bike ride in the afternoon, and then hope and pray it rains.  And if it doesn’t, I hope it’s windy.  Or that something comes up.  Or give myself a million other reasons not to ride.

Then we go on date night.  Which usually involves sushi.  Or something fried.  And lots of wine.  Because my muscles still hurt of course.

By the time Friday rolls around, I feel like I’ve killed any chance at being healthy with thursday so I carry my sloth-ness through the weekend to finally snap out of it on Sunday.

Well today is Thursday and I had eggs for breakfast.  I cleaned my house and went to the gym with Blondie, who helped me kick my butt at some running intervals.  I ate a healthy lunch, worked a few hours for the hubs, and have a hot date planned with some burpees later.

Today I’m breaking the cycle.

Tell me I’m not the only one.  What have you overcome this week?

What happens in Vegas…

I would absolutely love to update ya’ll on the past week, but sadly for you, I rang in the New Year in Vegas.

And you know what they say about Vegas.

So apparently, I can’t talk about it.

Or at least, I can’t talk about the “fun” parts of it.

Ok screw that, it isn’t how I roll.  Truth is, I have three opened suitcases laying on the floor in my living room with clothes spilling out of them, I can’t find half my toiletries, and my jet lag is pretty darn intense causing me to stay up until 3 a.m. and not wake up until 11 the past two days.

So basically, I’m all screwed up.

Once I get myself sorted out, however, I’ve got great stories including one about a UFC fight, the best Greek food I’ve ever eaten, some interesting folks we met at a blackjack table, and shopping!  Let’s just say there was a little blue bag from Tiffany’s that made its way home with me.

So stay tuned.  Lots of entertainment to come!

And Happy New Year to all!

Big surprise, the fat kid is obsessed with food

cookie-monster-cookies-orig

I am obsessed with food.

Obsessed. 

I think about it all the time.  If I’m not eating, I’m thinking about what I will eat next.  Whether or not it’s healthy.  If I’m going out to eat I pep talk myself ahead of time about food I will avoid because it’s “bad,” and then I usually end up ordering it because it’s all I’ve thought about all day.

Over the course of the Whole 30 it’s been a bit better.  There’s an approved list and anything outside of that I can’t eat.  But now, with less than a week left to go, all I can think about are all of the “bad” things that I “can” eat one week from today.

This can’t be healthy.

In fact, I know it isn’t.  This thought process is the exact reason why I have so many issues with my weight.

I once went to a shrink who talked to me on end about my “relationship with food.”  I remember thinking at the time how freaking dumb that sounded.  It’s FOOD.  I don’t care about the cow’s feelings, I just want to eat it.

In hindsight, maybe she had a point.  It doesn’t matter how the cow felt, it matters that, when I devour the cow in mass ground up quantities topped with cheese, bbq sauce and bacon, I FEEL better… if only for a moment.

Then, the reality of the situation sinks in and I feel guilty.  I regret the choice as I know it’s not great for weight loss.  I know if I want to physically look like I believe that I want to look, I need to eat things that aren’t “bad” for me.  And so the negative self-talk continues and my obsession with food grows and grows.

Why is it “good” or “bad?”  Why can’t I just eat moderate portions of what I want, enjoy them, exercise, and be healthy?  Does it really REALLY need to be this complicated?

I don’t have a good answer.  Heck, as someone who is literally manically plotting what my first “cheat” meal will be after my 30 days is up, I think it’s pretty clear that I’m about the furthest thing from an expert on this subject.

What I DO know is that I probably need to keep examining the WHY behind all of this, hopefully without making myself even more crazy.  I’ve said it before and I’m certain I will say it again many many times, but if I can at least understand why I’m doing something or behaving in a specific way, I’m one step closer to potentially changing that pattern or that behavior.

I don’t want to be obsessed.  At least not with food.  I would rather pick something mutually beneficial… you know, like sex.