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!

Lower Body, Cardio and Ab Interval Workout

Happy Friday ! Yesterday’s workout was a killer one!  My legs are still feeling it today especially when walking up stairs.  I thought I would share with you this killer workout.  I hope you all give this workout a try.  You can do it at home or at the gym.  Have a great weekend!  

Things you will need for the workout:

  • Weights 
  • Mat
  • Water
  • Towel (you will be sweating)

Lower Body and Ab Interval Workout

Warm Up:  

  • Jump Rope Series (we did not have ropes, so we faked them)
  • Regular Jump Rope 15 Seconds
  • Single Leg Jump Rope Right 15 Seconds
  • Single Leg Jump Rope Left 15 Seconds
  • Gate Swing or Air Squats 30 Seconds
  • Single Leg Swings 30 Seconds Each Leg
  • Alternating Side Lunges 30 Seconds

Complete exercises in each circuit for 30 seconds each.  Repeat 3 times or more if you would like.

Circuit 1

  • Skaters 
  • Squat with Alternating Side Kicks 
  • Single Leg Back Lunges Right 30 Seconds with weights
  • Single Leg Back Lunges Left 30 Seconds with weights 
  • Plank Pull Across (in plank pull weight across the body)

Circuit 2

  • Burpee with 8 Punches (come up from burpee stay low and jab right and left) 
  • High Knees
  • Weighted Goblet Squat
  • Push Up to a Side Plank add in a Knee Crunch or Just Regular Push Ups

Circuit 3

  • Squat Jacks
  • Sumo Squat with Alternating Leg Lifts (hold weights in front of chest or on shoulders) 
  • Weighted Abdominal Side Bends Right 30 Seconds
  • Weighted Abdominal Side Bends Left 30 Seconds

Core Circuit

  • Plank Jacks 30 Seconds
  • Forearm Plank (hold for 30 seconds)
  • Mt. Climbers
  • Forearm Plank (hold for 30 seconds)

Cool Down and Stretch (2-3 min)

Chocolate PB Chia Pudding

A few weeks ago I started a new meal plan with Gauge Girl Training.  I have been in a slump and I wanted to change things up a bit with my eating.  I was always feeling hungry and my body fat was creeping up.  It may have had something to do with the fact that I LOVE LOVE LOVE peanut butter.   So I heard about the custom meal plans with Gauge Girl Training, so I thought I would give it a try.  I got my meal plan and I noticed there were a lot of protein shakes on it.  I do get a bit tired of the plain old protein shake, so I tried a new twist on my protein shakes.  I made it into a protein chia pudding and now I am addicted.  So I wanted to share my recipe with you.  I eat it as post workout breakfast or in the evening for a little dessert treat.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Chia Pudding (serves 1)

1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds

½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (you can use any milk here)

2 Tablespoons PB2 or other powdered peanut butter

1 scoop or 1 serving of chocolate protein powder (I use the chocolate flavored Orgain)

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl or jar and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  I like to leave mine in longer.  Enjoy!

Here is the nutrition breakdown based on my recipe:

Calories 270, Fat 9.2 grams, Carbs 24.5

*Note:  I have tried this with a whey isolate protein powder as well and it was a bit runny, so you may need to adjust your milk ratio a bit and use less if you have a different type of protein powder.  It still tasted great!  FullSizeRender

30 Minute Insane Bootcamp

Happy Monday.  I have not been posting as much last week because I have had some major sleep trouble.  I don’t know what is going on but I am so tired.  I can fall asleep fine, but wake up in the middle of the night and cannot go back to sleep.  I have tried all types of remedies meditation, calms forte, essential oils….you name it I have tried it.  So I am hoping to start this week off better.  If anyone has any ideas that are natural and help with sleep I would love to hear from you.  Tomorrow morning is going to come very early.  This time change throws me off.  So my 5:o0 AM boot
camp class has to be ready to go and get the blood flowing.  We are going to do a weights and cardio workout.  The workout will start off with a 2-3 minute dynamic warm up and then we will complete cardio and weights for 30 seconds no breaks unless they are needed.  We will repeat it 3 times or more if we have enough time.  Here is what I am planning for Thursday.  I hope you guys have a great week!

Dirty 30 1

Sport Cookies

I have a major sweet tooth!  I love baked goodies, but I don’t make them or I would eat them all.  So my mom always comes up with healthy alternatives for me.  I think these are super tasty and would make a great treat or snack for your kids lunch box.  You could even eat them before your long run or a workout.  The recipe is below.  Have a great weekend!

Sport Cookies

  • 3 Ripe Bananas Mashed
  • 1 cup chopped datessport cookies
  • 3/4 cup chopped almonds
  • 2 cups oats
  • 2 TBS vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 TBS hemp seeds
  • 14 chopped prunes (you could sub another dried fruit)
  • 10 chopped dried apricots
  • 2 TBS melted coconut oil

Mix all ingredients together and bake at 375 degrees for 18 min.  The recipe makes 30 cookies about 2 tbs per cookie.  Approximately 98 calories per cookie (I entered the recipe in my fitness pal).

Hill Repeats

Today I started my new training plan for the Sawtooth Relay,  Idaho’s most famous race which is in the beginning of June.  I have a love-hate relationship with hills.  I love them when I am done and hate them while I am running.  Hill repeats are good to incorporate into your training schedule for a variety of different reasons.  It can improve your endurance, power, speed, and helps with your overall strength.  Since my upcoming relay is a hilly run I want to make sure I am ready for it.  Today a group of friends and I got together to run some hill repeats.  We killed it!  Running with friends makes even hills fun!

Here is what we did today:

Warm Up:  1 mile easy
Hill Repeats:  5 x (run up the hill pushing yourself and jog down or walk down).  We had a long hill.
1 Mile Run at a comfortable pace
Cool Down (walk) and Stretching

Here is a link to race information. The scenery is beautiful.  http://sawtoothrelay.com/

Below are some pictures from last years relay.

Coming Soon:  My race training plan.

Peanut Butter Protein Rice Cereal Treats

Do you remember those yummy rice crispy treats you ate growing up or maybe you still do?  I loved those when I was pregnant with my 2nd daughter and one time I ate an entire pan.  OOPS!  Leave it to my mom to find a healthy alternative to those yummy treats.  She is a baker by profession and has been adapting recipes for me to fit into my healthy eating plan.  So I thought I would share this recipe.  It’s super easy and it has only 4 ingredients.  You could have it as a pre-workout snack or even dessert.  And my kids LOVED them too.  These would make a perfect lunch box snack.

Peanut Butter Protein Rice Cereal Treats

  • 5 Cups Crisp Rice Cereal (can use brown rice cereal)
  • 1/2 Cup Honey (adjust to your taste)
  • 1/2 Cup Peanut Butter or other Nut Butter
  • 4 Scoops Vanilla Protein Powder (I use Orgain) (approx. 1/2 cup)

Melt the honey and peanut butter and stir together until creamy.  Add the cereal and protein powder and mix well.  Scoop into a pan.  I used coconut oil spray to make sure they didn’t stick.  Press down into the pan (9×9) and let sit.  Cut into squares.  I cut mine into about 19 small squares.  You could also use chocolate protein powder as well.

Here is the nutritional breakdown.  I entered it all in My Fitness Pal.  Your numbers may vary depending on the size of your squares and type of protein and nut butter used.

114 Calories Per Square    4 Grams Fat     17 Grams Carbs     4 Grams Protein 

treats

Ladder Boot Camp Workout

Today’s workout was a challenging and fun one.  I like to change things up and keep my class participants engaged with a lot of variety in my workouts.  Today we did a ladder boot camp workout.  Ladder Bootcamp

It was about 45 minutes total including a warm up and cool down.  Weights were used for the strength exercises.  Start with a warm up of 2-3 minutes of jogging, jumping jacks, squats, toe touches or side lunges.  You could also bike or incline walk to warm up.  You will do 1 set of each exercise for 6 reps, 2nd set will be 12 reps, 3rd set will be 8 reps and the final set will be 16 reps.  Complete all sets in each block before moving on to the next block.  Always cool down and stretch following your workout.  Try this workout to change up your routine.

A Healthier Ice Cream Option

So it’s Saturday night and you are watching basketball with your family and you want to eat a pint of Ice Cream. Am I the only one who does this? I remember when I was a teenager my best friend Lisa and I would each buy a pint of some yummy ice cream and eat the entire pint. I could do that back then when I had the metabolism of a 16 year old. Now I have to be a little more cautious. So I decided to give Arctic Zero a try. I had some friends tell me about it and I was skeptical. I have seen it at the store but had not ever tried it. So we picked up a pint of the cookie dough flavor. I let my husband pick this time or I would have tried the cool mint chip. We turned on the game and tried our “ice cream.”

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Here is our review of this treat (we are not getting paid for this, I wish). The texture was not really ice cream like and there was not enough cookie dough for me. I like cookie dough! It isn’t really sweet, which is ok with me. I really liked it. It is low in calories, non-gmo, lactose free, and you can eat an entire pint for only 300 calories. I split it with the hubby this time though. We did sprinkle a little PB2 on top of it, which in my opinion made it even better. Overall, I would totally try it again. They have some yummy flavors like key lime pie, salted caramel, and the one I want to try next is chocolate peanut butter. I would recommend this if you are trying to stick to your macros but have a sweet tooth like my husband and I do.