Banana Oat Protein Pancakes Recipe

Hi guys, I hope you are having a great week.  I am totally looking forward to the weekend.  I made the best pancakes today in my Vitamix blender.  I basically just threw in a bunch of ingredients hoping it would turn out ok and it was delicious!  These were very filling too.  I would say it makes about 2 servings but today I was extra hungry after my workout so I gobbled all of these up with some peanut butter on top.  I was not hungry at all until lunch.  Now, it does make about 4 pancakes, so you do not have to eat them all like I did!  Unfortunately I didn’t have time this morning to take a pic of them but I am planning to make more this weekend and keep them in the fridge for the week. 

 

Banana Oat Protein Pancakes
Serves 1
Gluten Free Protein Pancakes
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Cook Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 Ripe Banana
  2. 1/2 Cup Egg Whites
  3. 1 Scoop Protein Powder
  4. 1/2 Cup Gluten Free Oatmeal
  5. 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  6. 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until the mixture is smooth. Pour onto a griddle or pan and cook until golden brown over medium to low heat. These can burn easy so be sure to watch them closely.
Notes
  1. Top with Greek yogurt and berries or your favorite nut butter and a drizzle of honey (optional).
http://4livingthewrightway.com/

Day 10 Planks and Tanks Check In

Happy Monday everyone!  I hope you all had a great weekend and Mother’s Day.  Tomorrow will be day 10 of the planks and tanks 30 day workout! How is everyone doing on the challenge? If you haven’t joined in on the planks and tanks (tops) challenge you should!  Day 10 through 20 we will start increasing the time for each exercise.  Feel free to increase the time more if you feel you need that extra challenge!  Or if you need to decrease the time or modify your plank and drop to your knees that is fine too!  The plank is one of the best exercises we can do to strengthen our core! Why not add in some arms too.  You wont find just planks in the next 10 days of the workout. Here is a link to the entire workout: http://4livingthewrightway.com/2016/05/01/planks-and-tanks-30-day-workout/ 

The video below will show you the next set of exercises.  Have  a great week!   

 

 

Quick, Healthy and Easy Breakfast Ideas

breakfast ideasHappy Friday everyone.  I am definitely looking forward to the weekend and of course Mother’s Day.  One of my favorite meals of the day is breakfast!  Most of the time I work out super early in the morning so I am starving by breakfast time.  If you need some inspiration or want to change  your typical breakfast I thought I would share some of my favorite breakfast meals and recipes with you.  I am in no way a chef!  I like to watch cooking shows, but I don’t consider myself a gourmet cook.  These are some of my favorite breakfast recipes that I make and from around the web that are not only healthy but quick and delicious as well.  Check them out!  Have a great weekend and Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!!!!!

3 Ingredient Pancakes

There are a lot of recipes for these out there.  I personally like to mix 1 ripe banana, 2 eggs or egg whites, 2 tablespoons of coconut flour and cinnamon.  I cook them long and slow in some coconut oil spray.  The seem to do better for me on a lower heat for a longer amount of time.  Top them off with some nut butter, Greek yogurt, or fresh fruit and you have a yummy breakfast.  You can easily make a double batch of these and keep them in the fridge for the week.

Overnight Oats:  This is one of my favorite recipes.  I love a lot of the recipes on her blog!  Overnight Oatshttp://www.oatmealwithafork.com/2013/09/02/peanut-butter-cookie-dough-overnight-oats-dairy-free/

 

 

Kodiak Cakes:  This is a pre-mixed box pancake mix.  While I usually try to make my own pancake mix this is a convenient option.  This is a pretty clean mix.  100% whole grain wheat and oat flour and they have 7 grams of protein per serving.  I just saw that they have new flavors coming out:  Chocolate, Crunchy Peanut Butter and a Gluten Free Option.  I can’t wait to try the peanut butter!  I buy a giant box of this at Costco! http://www.kodiakcakes.com/mixes/

Eggs and Avocado Toast:  Super simple and quick.  Eggs cooked however you like with some toast topped with a dollop of mashed avocado, sea salt, and cracked pepper.  If you like spice, you can sprinkle a bit of hot sauce on top too.  My fave!

Smoothies and Smoothie Bowls:  You can’t go wrong with a smoothie. Here is one of my favorite recipes:

Maca Superfood Powder

 

Breakfast Burrito:  My hubby makes these for our daughters and they are easy to store in the refrigerator for a quick healthy breakfast.  He likes to make them using egg whites or whole eggs, turkey sausage, cheese and veggies.  You can customize these any way you like and they will be delicious.

Baked Oatmeal:  I love oatmeal in general but to make it easier and quicker I whip up a batch of baked oatmeal and eat it throughout the week.  This is my favorite recipe.  Sorry I don’t have a picture I ate it too fast before taking a photo!

Apple Blueberry Baked Protein Oatmeal

⅓ cup        Egg whites

½ cup       Unsweetened applesauce

2 ¼ cup    Unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 scoop     Protein powder (vanilla or unflavored)

1 tsp         Vanilla extract

4 cups      Gluten Free Old Fashioned Oats

1 cup        Blueberries

Liquid Stevia to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Whisk the egg whites, applesauce, almond milk, protein powder and vanilla extract until combined.  If you choose to use stevia whisk that in as well.  Stir in oats until well combined.  Fold in blueberries gently.  Spread mixture into baking dish and bake for approximately 30 to 40 minutes until set.  Store in the refrigerator or freeze individual portions for a quick and easy breakfast.

201 Calories    3.6 grams fat    33.5 grams of carbs  9.1 grams of protein *these numbers are approximate, I entered them in to myfitness pal.

I hope you all have a great weekend.  If you have a breakfast you love please feel free to comment and share.  I am always looking for new yummy ideas.

 

Spring Clean Your Workout Routine

Spring Clean Your Workout Routine Have you ever felt like you were in a workout routine rut?  I know I have.  Just like spring cleaning your house (which I need to do badly) I think it is important to spring clean our workout routines as well.   Being a group fitness instructor for the past 20 years, I know the importance of changing up routines.  To keep my participants engaged and coming back to my class I am always looking for new ideas and ways to change things up. However, we can get stuck in a rut.  We get accustomed to certain things and just stick to our day-to-day routines and never change.  Here are some signs that you may need to spring clean your workout routine.

  1. You hit a plateau or stop getting desired results.
  2. You are bored with your current workouts.
  3. You keep getting injuries or are always sore.
  4. Working out becomes a chore and not as enjoyable as it has been in the past.
  5. Your workout is not longer challenging.

If you feel like you need to change things up, here are a few tips and suggestions to start fresh this spring and change-up your workout routine.

  1. Set a goal like a 5k or a new race.  In the past I have done a triathlon to change things up and it was a fun and new challenge.  I am currently starting to train for a Spartan which is going to be a lot of fun as  well.
  2. Find a personal trainer or a workout partner who can motivate and push you.
  3. Try a new fitness class.  Recently I have been trying out Orangetheory and Hot Yoga.  So much fun and challenging.
  4. Get outside!  If you have been logging tons of miles on the treadmill or indoor cycling, move your workout outdoors.
  5. Re-evaluate your goals.  I feel that setting goals can help you stay focused and motivated.
  6. Create a new playlist! For my classes I change my music each day.  Getting some new music or even adding music to your workout can really be motivating.  Nothing gets me going like a little Salt N Peppa during my run!
  7. When strength training.  Remember to change your sets, reps, and/or weights if you have been using the same size weights and the same reps for more than a month you are due for a change.

One of my favorite poster quotes on my classroom walls is this:

If you always do what you’ve always done you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten!

 

 

Planks and Tanks 30 day Workout

Hi Guys,  for the boot camp class I teach we are starting a May challenge.  I chose to call it Planks and Tanks.  Kinda catchy huh.  Not Army tanks, but tank top arms.  Summer is right around the corners and some of my participants have upcoming trips to Hawaii and other fun vacations planned.  So we are going to be focusing on upper body and core.  We will still be doing our total body workouts each day but we will be adding in this fun challenge.  In this challenge I am trying to avoid the challenge where you hold plank for a certain amount of time.  I am focusing on more variety and incorporating upper body strength as well.  The goal is to try to increase time toward the end of the challenge and most importantly to push yourself.

A few notes on proper form.  I see a lot of people in my classes who do not have the proper form when doing plank and other exercises.

Here are a few tips for great form when doing planks:

  1. Keep your body in one straight line.  Your body should be aligned straight with your ears, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles all in the same plane of your body.
  2. Tighten your midsection.  Imagine a wet towel and you are wringing out water.
  3. Don’t let your hips sag and your butt lift up into the air.  Keep your core tight.
  4. Make sure your elbows are positioned directly under your shoulders, look down at the floor, and keep your fingers spread wide.
  5. If you cannot perform planks or push ups with proper form for the amount of time suggested feel free to modify by coming to your knees if needed or doing wall push ups.

There are several videos out there on YouTube if you still need to work on that perfect form.

  • Day 1        Low Forearm Plank
  • Day 2        Side Plank (do both sides)
  • Day 3        Push Ups
  • Day 4        Extended Arm Plank
  • Day 5        Reverse Plank
  • Day 6        Plank Up Downs
  • Day 7        Tricep Dips
  • Day 8        Plank Shoulder Taps
  • Day 9        Low Forearm Plank with a Hip Dip Each Side
  • Day 10       Tricep Push Ups
  • Day 11        Spider Plank (plank with a knee to outer elbow each side)
  • Day 12        Plank Jacks
  • Day 13        Wide Push Ups
  • Day 14        Side Plank with added leg lift (both sides)
  • Day 15        Plank Hops
  • Day 16        Power Push Ups
  • Day 17        Extended Arm Plank Hold
  • Day 18        Forearm Plank Hold
  • Day 19        Push up and rotate to side plank (each side)
  • Day 20       Reverse Plank
  • Day 21        Plank Up Downs
  • Day 22        Tricep Dips
  • Day 23        Plank Reach (extend opposite arm and opposite leg)
  • Day 24        Low Forearm Plank with a Hip Dip Each Side
  • Day 25       1 Push Up 2 Plank Jacks (45 Seconds)
  • Day 26       Spider Plank
  • Day 27       Power Push Up (narrow and wide)
  • Day 28        Plank Knee to Opposite Elbow
  • Day 29       Forearm Plank Hold
  • Day 30       Extended Arm Plank Hold

For the first 10 days you will perform each exercise for 30 seconds.  For the next 10 days 45 seconds and the final 10 days 1 minute.  Depending on your fitness level you may want to increase or decrease your time.  Be sure to challenge yourself.  Remember CHALLENGE BECOMES CHANGE!

Plank and Tank
Planks and Tanks Challenge

How to sleep better: My tips and tricks

happy birthday to you

Can we talk about sleep for a minute?  I have been really struggling for the past month or so with my sleep.  March was a rough month.  There were nights when I was barely getting 3 to 4 hours of sleep per night.  This is not healthy for anyone especially if you have a past history of seizures.  I tried taking some natural treatment like calms forte and melatonin, but these did not work for me.  So I had to resort to a sleeping aid to get my body back on track (doctor’s orders).  I do not like taking any type of medication, so this was a struggle for me.  Now that I am back on track with my sleep I am going to work on better sleep hygiene.  It’s just like working out, it’s something we need to do for our bodies and minds. Here are some tips and suggestions if you have trouble sleeping or bouts of insomnia.

First off relax!  If you are like me and you have a few nights of no sleep you can easily get anxious or stressed out.  Just relax.  If you always associate negative feelings with going to sleep and worry that you may not be able to sleep it will keep you awake.  Try writing in your journal before bed, listening to mediation guides (I love sleep ezy tonight on youtube), or pray.

I take some supplements to help me sleep as well.  Magnesium supplements can help the calm your nerves and lessen anxiety.  I take my supplement Magnesium Glycinate about 1 hour prior to going to bed.  It can also help with muscle soreness.  If you prefer you can take an Epsom salt bath with some lavendar essential oils to increase your magnesium.

Limit caffeine.  This is a big one for me.  I cannot even have decaf coffee after a certain point in the day.  I make sure I drink my coffee before 10 am.  I am very strict about this.   I only drink two cups per day.

Eat!  Don’t go to bed hungry. However, don’t eat a large meal too close to bedtime.   If you are hungry eat something small before bed that contains tryptophan.  Like turkey slices, eggs, or sip warm milk.  I like to steam a cup of almond milk with some cinnamon and turmeric and sip on that before bed if I am still hungry.

Exercise.  Be sure you are getting enough exercise.  Include a variety of daily exercise including interval training, strength training, yoga and walking.

Make your room a comfortable sleep environment.  If I get too hot I cannot sleep, so I keep my room cool.  The ideal temperature is between 60-67 degrees.  I prefer 64 degrees.  Use blackout curtains if your room is too light and make sure you have a comfortable bed and pillows.

Get some down time.  For me I have to have at least an hour before bed for some down time to just relax and so something to calm your mind and body.  Maybe you watch HGTV like I do or maybe you read a book.  Do what you need to do to wind down before bed.

One last note about technology.  Try to avoid using technology too close to bed.  Stay off your computer and your phone if you can.

One last thing (I really need to work on this one)!  If you can’t sleep get up and go to another room and try to relax.  Maybe read a book, meditate, or make a list of what is on your mind.  If you lay in bed and stare at the clock you will just become anxious and stressed and then you really will have trouble falling asleep.

I am still working on a lot of these areas in my own life.  I hope that these tips will help you get a good night’s sleep!

Of course I am not a doctor and these are merely tips and suggestions that work for me.  Always seek your doctor’s advice before starting any type of supplements or sleep aids.

Do Not Be Afraid

Good morning!  I am getting ready to meet up with some friends for my Sunday run.  This weekend was a cold and rainy weekend.  Last night the hubby and I cuddled up with a bit of popcorn, wine and a movie.  This ,is a bit of a side note but I love popcorn!  I could eat a giant bowl all by myself.  My favorite way to enjoy it is when my hubby makes it the old fashioned way using a giant pot on the stove with coconut oil.  I sprinkle it with sea salt and it is sooooo good!

Many of you may not know that I was diagnosed with epilepsy about 8 years ago.  This has been a real journey for me.  I am planning to share bits of my story on this blog hoping that it helps with my healing process and inspires other people as well.  I suffer from catamenial epilepsy which is when your seizures happen around your menstrual cycle.  This form of epilepsy is unique and for me difficult to understand.  Sharing my story and my condition has been very hard.  Some of my close friends do not even know I have it.  I have been thinking long and hard about sharing my story and the thing that stands out in my mind is fear.  I have decided it is time to get over this fear!  In the Bible the phrase “do not be afraid”  is written 365 times.  I need to remind myself that I need to live my life every day without fear and know that God has a plan for me and I need to trust it.  Have an amazing Sunday!  I am off for my run with friends, which basically is my therapy session.

 

Chocolate Brownie Energy Ball Recipe (Raw, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, and Grain Free)

Happy Friday and Happy Earth Day!  My youngest daughter’s Birthday is today!  You may recall that my older daughter had a Birthday last week too.  So it’s been a bit crazy around here and we have had a lot of sweets showing up in the form of cupcakes and cake.  So I whipped up a batch of my healthy brownie bites today to curb that sweet tooth and avoid devouring too many cupcakes later at her party!

I have been experimenting with a lot of healthy brownie alternatives lately. Can you tell I have been craving brownies? I am a big fan of Larabars for my pre-workout energy, but they can be pretty spendy depending on where you buy them. So I started making my own which is much more budget friendly. They are super easy and quick to make and you can keep them in your fridge for a quick pick me up before your workout. My friend Wendy gave me a recipe for a brownie bite, so I made a few tweaks and came up with this recipe. Give these a try and let me know what you think!Brownie Energy BItes

Chocolate Brownie Energy Ball Recipe

(Raw, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, and Grain Free)  Makes 16 Balls (1 tbs size)

1 1/2 Cups Walnuts or Almonds (I used raw almonds)

Pinch of salt

1 cup pitted dates

1 tsp vanilla

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 Scoops Protein Powder (optional)

*Other optional add-ins: Maca Powder, Chia Seeds, Ground Flax or Coconut

In a food processor pulse the nuts and the salt until finely ground. Add the dates, vanilla, cocoa powder and protein powder and blend or pulse. The mixture may be a bit dry at this point so you may have to add water slowly until the mixture becomes sticky. I added almost a ¼ cup of water, but I also added the protein powder. Scoop the mixture into about a tablespoon size ball (I like a to use a small ice cream scoop) and roll them. Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week (they don’t last that long at my house). You now have a quick easy pre-workout snack or a little after dinner dessert treat!

Healthy Brownie Bites Vegan and Gluten Free

Happy Monday!  It’s been a Birthday frenzy at my house.  Both my daughters have Birthday’s in April and while I love cake, especially frosting, I cannot eat cake for every party we have.  I did indulge a bit in this beautiful cake my mom made for my daughter Chloe, but I paid the price later.  I am pretty sensitive to dairy and this cake had a whipped cream frosting, which was very yummy!  I cannot eat a lot of dairy or I pay the price.  So I searched the internet and found a few recipes and made a few tweeks and came up with a super yummy brownie bite recipe.  These brownie bites feature 4 simple ingredients and are quick and easy to prepare.  I will say that if you are used to eating the “real deal” brownie bites, this is not going to taste the same.  Depending on the protein powder you use it will change the taste and texture.  One of my daughters ate 3 of them, the other did not like them at all.  I really enjoyed them, but I don’t usually eat a lot of super sweet foods.  My hubby plans to top them with a bit of peanut butter or real whipped cream!  So next time you have a party or an event and need to bring a dessert give these brownies a try. Or just make a batch when you have a major chocolate craving!

Healthy Brownie Bite Recipe (Vegan and Gluten Free)

Makes 15 Brownie Bites (I used a mini muffin tin)

3 Ripe Bananas

½ Cup Nut Butter (I used almond butter)

4 Scoops Orgain Protein Powder (2 Servings)

4 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder

Optional:  Stevia to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a muffin tin or 9×13 pan with non-stick coconut oil spray.  In a food processor or mixer blend bananas, nut butter, protein powder and cocoa powder until smooth and fully incorporated.  Scoop the mixture into your pan and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool and enjoy!

Maca Superfood Powder

If you are not familiar with Maca it is a root that is an adaptogen and is getting a lot of buzz lately. I learned about it from my naturopathic doctor and started incorporating it into my diet.   Maca has a lot of benefits.  I am not a nutritionist, but here are a few things that I have noticed while incorporating it into my diet.

Benefits of Maca

  • Can help with PMS symptoms
  • Hormones and Sexual Health
  • Energy, Mood and Memory
  • Antioxidant

Now you are probably curious about how to incorporate it into your diet.  There are many ways to use it.  You can even make a drink out of it (I have not tried that).  My favorite ways to use it are in smoothies, stirred into oatmeal, topped on yogurt or smoothie bowls with a bit of granola, and I also mix some into my energy balls recipe I make (recipe link below).

Here is a link to my energy ball recipe:  https://livingthewrightway.wordpress.com/2016/02/18/pre-workout-eats/

Chocolate Banana Nut Butter Smoothie (1 serving)

1 Cup of Milk of Your Choice (I like unsweetened vanilla almond milk)

½ Small Frozen Banana

2 Tablespoons Nut Butter (I like peanut butter or almond butter)

1 Handful of Spinach

1 tsp maca powder (I use healthworks maca powder on Amazon)

1 scoop protein powder of choice (optional)

Ice (optional)

Blend all the ingredients together.  Pour into a glass and enjoy!