7.13.2015

Perfect Protein Pancakes

fluffy, moist, yummy protein pancakes


Breakfast is a hard time for me. When I wake up, I'm starving and it's hard to wait to create a high-protein meal from scratch. Cereal and milk just seems so much easier, especially after 20+ years of conditioning to eat cereal every morning. That's why I love to make a big batch of these high-protein pancakes to get me started on the right foot.

On my quest to make the perfect protein pancake, I have had flat, dry, rubbery, and almost inedible protein pancakes and waffles all titled "best protein pancakes" and the like. I felt discouraged when every recipe would puff up nice, and when flipped it would completely deflate.

Enter casein protein. I have found this to be the secret ingredient in creating fluffy, moist, and normal-tasting protein pancakes. (In fact, my husband says he prefers the taste of these over normal pancakes!) Casein lends itself much better to baking than whey protein. It takes longer to digest, so it is great for meals to keep you full longer. Whey digests quickly, so it is better for pre- and post-workout when your muscles are hungry for protein.

So try out these delicious, gluten-free, moist, fluffy, high-protein pancakes and start your day off right!

PERFECT PROTEIN PANCAKES

Yield: 6-8 4-inch pancakes

INGREDIENTS
1/4 cup fat free cottage cheese
1/2 cup egg whites
1/2 cup oat flour
1 scoop casein protein powder (I like Optimum Nutrition Vanilla Creme)
1/2 cup almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp butter extract
1/2 dropper stevia (optional)


DIRECTIONS
1. Blend egg whites and cottage cheese in a blender until smooth.
2. Whisk together dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl.
3. Add almond milk and egg white/cottage cheese to dry ingredients. Mix together. Will be thick, almost like oatmeal! You can add more almond milk if you want thinner pancakes.
4. Drop 1/4 cup batter onto griddle over medium heat.
5. Spread the batter so it will be thinner and round.
6. Flip when edges start to lift from pan.
7. Remove when cooked through.
8. Serve with your favorite healthy toppings.

Macros for 6 pancakes: 1 pancake= 80 calories - 8g carbs - 1g fat - 9g protein - 1g fiber

6.02.2015

50 Fiber-Rich Foods (With Printable!)


In the fitness world, it is well-known that protein and healthy fats can help you stay full and on-track for your caloric goals. But with all the lack of carbohydrates, you may be lacking fiber that is crucial to keeping you full, as it digests slowly. Check out this printable of high fiber foods and pick a few to incorporate into your diet!

Download the printable here! 50 Fiber-Rich Foods Printable Infographic

What other fiber rich foods do you love?

5.19.2015

Pumpkin Pie Cake for One



After throwing out all my sweet things (even, Nutella...), there comes a time when a girl just needs a treat. I've been gluten free (for my psoriasis) and mostly dairy free (for my nursing baby's milk protein intolerance), so treats are few and far between. I COULD buy some gluten free cookies or some such, but that just means I would probably EAT them all... Negating the no sugary stuff in the house. (My daughter cried hysterically when I told her all the sugary stuff was gone.)

In comes Pumpkin Pie Cake for One! (Or two, if you count the fact that my daughter took half of it.)

This is gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, sugar-free, and yet so easy and delicious. Takes about 5 minutes to make, so you really gotta want it!

PUMPKIN PIE CAKE FOR ONE

INGREDIENTS
3 T oat flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp cinnamon
dash nutmeg
1/3 scoop eggwhite protein powder (I like NOW Foods Vanilla Creme, or just sub eggwhites)
1 T egg white
1 T almond milk
1/4 tsp vanilla
3 T pumpkin puree
Stevia to taste (optional)

DIRECTIONS
1. Combine all ingredients well using a fork.
2. Transfer to a single serve ramekin (or a mug) sprayed with cooking spray.
3. Cook on high in microwave for 45 seconds.
4. Top with Reddi-Whip (optional).
5. Enjoy!

145 calories - 20g carbs - 2g fat - 12g protein - 4g fiber

4.22.2015

How to Make Your Perfect Fitness Plan: Part 2



This is part of a two-part series. Missed part 1? Read it here.

Now that you've got your SMART goal, let's get planning your exercise routine.

Plan Your Start to End Date

I like to start with an overview calendar of what I'm going to do to get to my goal. If you're doing a year-long goal, you may just want to focus on 6 to 8 weeks of planning at a time. From start to end date of your goal plan the following:
  • What exercises you will do in general (run, bike, swim, lift {body part}, groupX class)
  • What days you will exercise and when you will rest
  • What time of day you will exercise
    • This is so important to have a more set time so that life doesn't get in the way of you achieving your goals

Plan Your Individual Workouts

Next, plan out how you're going to improve on each workout. For instance:
  • time or distance of runs, swim, cycle
  • sets, reps, and weight amount
Plan on increasing your time, distance, weight, or how often you workout, slowly over time. Consistency and slow increases will yield better results and keep you from getting injured or burned out.

Download my Exercise Planner

Keep Track of Your Progress

Charts are seriously my best friend. I have a chart for pretty much everything I want to achieve in life. They remind you, motivate you, and encourage you based on the progress you've made. Figure out a way to log your progress so you can see how far you've come.

You can download my Exercise Log and Weight Lifting log.

Photos can also be a helpful way to keep track of your progress. The scale isn't always a great indicator of your progress because a pound of muscle weighs the same as a pound of fat, but takes up much less space in your body. You can lose 5 pounds of fat, and gain 5 pounds of muscle; the scale will show ZERO PROGRESS but your pictures will show a tighter, more toned body. 

Get Support

Make sure your friends and loved ones know what your goals are. They can help support you and make sure you reach them. They can remind you when you are starting to slip (although this can be annoying :) ). They can offer encouragement and validation that you deserve!

Give Yourself Rewards

Reaching your goals is not easy. Even if you've reached your goal, it may not feel like much of a climax. That's where rewards come in to play. Figure out a way to reward yourself when you reach important milestones in your progress.

For instance, after I completed 100 of my 200 days, I rewarded myself with some new Nike Frees. Since you're workin' on your bod, why not reward yourself with a nice getaway (hello, swimsuit and beach!) or a de-stressing massage or pedicure? Find out what turns your crank and then work hard to get it!

Share Your Success

Once you reach your goal, make sure to share your success with others. This is not bragging. It is so inspirational to others who are ready to change. My friend from college had lost a LOT of weight and completed a sprint triathlon. At the time, I was living in California and hadn't been in touch with her in a while. I was training for a sprint triathlon myself, but was feeling nervous that I wouldn't be able to complete it. When I saw her post on Facebook about her triathlon I thought, "Wow, that is awesome. She is awesome. Way to go!" She gave me the courage to go through with my goal. And now I can share my success to inspire others.

Put it Into Action

Now you're all planned for the next 2-3 months. It may take a few hours over a few days to get it all planned, but then you don't have to waste a single second while you're working out. Plus, you'll always know if you're stalled or progressing toward your SMART goal. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail me or leave a question in the comments. I'm here as a support to you. Good luck! 

What are your fitness goals for this year? Let me know in the comments!

4.13.2015

How to Make Your Perfect Fitness Plan: Part 1

Plan for the gym


Have you ever walked into the gym thinking, "Hmm... What shall I do today? I know I should do some cardio. Maybe I get on the treadmill. I should probably run, maybe 30 minutes." After 20 minutes you may feel tired and decide to stop. Then you spend a few more minutes fumbling around the weight room, doing what you see other people doing, using the same weight amount you always do.

Plan to Make the Most of Your Workout

If this is you, stop! As PowerHouseWives, we don't have time to waste. Every minute away from our kids and/or husband is so precious and we want to maximize it. To do this, you'll need a plan.

Of course, everyone's exercise plan will be a little bit different. It all depends on your goals. 

Oh, goals you say? What goals? I just want to look great and I know I need to exercise to get there.

Create SMART Goals

You need SMART goals to help guide and maximize your exercise time.
  • S - specific
  • M - measurable
  • A - achievable
  • R - realistic
  • T - time-based 
For example, in 2013, I set a SMART goal to exercise 200 days that year. 
  • Specific: Exercise for 30 minutes or more for 200 days from Jan 1 to Dec 31, 2013.
  • Measurable: Each day of exercise counted
  • Achievable: Not "Exercise Every Single Day" - This is not achievable due to sickness, vacations, etc.
  • Realistic: Going from zero working out, 3 to 4 days a week was more realistic for me than 5-6 days a week, but still a challenge.
  • Time-based: Over one year's time.

6 Fitness Goals that Might Fit the Bill

Here are some possible goals you might consider:
  • Participate in and complete [Race or competition] on [date]
  • Exercise [# of days] for [amount of time] this [month, year]
  • Lose [# of pounds] by [date] 
    • I don't recommend this one, as it is hard to achieve this in a time-based format. If you do go this route, make sure to give yourself AT LEAST one week for every pound you want to lose.
  • Decrease body fat % to [amount] by [date]
  • Be able to [run/bike/swim] [distance] in [amount of time] by [date]
  • Be able to lift [weight amount] by [date]

Got your goal ready? Stay tuned for Part 2 to start planning your exercise routine.
What are some of your fitness goals? Let me know in the comments!


3.26.2015

Baby Bella Mushroom Meatloaf



This ain't your mama's meatloaf! Mushrooms replace half the beef in this recipe. Not only do the mushrooms cut calories, they also add a unique and delicious flavor that even your kids will love. Plus, mushrooms are so nutritionally dense! 1 serving of mushrooms provides:
  • 36% Vitamin B2 and Riboflavin, 29% Niacin : maintains red blood cells and nerve function
  • 29% Pantothenic Acid: important for mental perfomance
  • 36% Biotin: helps with healthy hair and skin
  • 100% Daily Vitamin D: helps with bone health
  • 53% Chromium: helps with blood glucose control

Baby Bella Mushroom Meatloaf

  • Yield: 4 Servings

  • INGREDIENTS
  • 1 lb baby bella mushrooms
  • 1T olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 T dry sherry or apple juice
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 oz ground beef (90% lean)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Cooking spray
  • SAUCE:
  • 1/4 cup lower-sodium ketchup
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 1 tsp dry mustard powder

  • DIRECTIONS
  • 1. Preheat oven to 375°.

  • 2. Place half of mushrooms in a food processor; process until minced. Place minced mushrooms in a bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining mushrooms. Rinse and wipe processor clean.

  • 3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add mushrooms; cook 7 minutes or until liquid evaporates and mushrooms begin to brown. Add sherry; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in thyme. Cool slightly.

  • 4. Combine mushroom mixture, panko, and next 4 ingredients (through egg), mixing until well combined. Shape mixture into a 7 x 3-inch free-form loaf on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes. 

  • 5. Whisk together the ketchup, brown sugar, and dry mustard powder. Remove meatloaf from oven; brush with half of ketchup. Bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160°. Remove from oven; brush with remaining ketchup. Cut into 8 slices.

3.16.2015

Workout Zero to Fitness Hero: 10 Tips to Start Exercising Consistently


Tomorrow's the day. You will start your exercise regimen tomorrow. But then tomorrow is today, and you're still saying, "tomorrow."

We've all done it — putting off the work it takes to get the results we want. Starting a new habit to be more active isn't easy; that's why it's called a WORKout!

We've all started a new exercise or diet program with lots of enthusiasm, only to fall off a few weeks (sometimes days!) later, going back to our old habits. But if you do what you've always done, you'll keep getting the results you've always got.

The problem is, starting, stopping, and starting again halts your momentum. All the work you put in
starting your fitness journey has to be redone if you stop for a long time (I'm not talking about a few days or even a week off.). This can be discouraging and downright disheartening if you wanted results, like.. YESTERDAY.

After I graduated from high school, I dabbled in P.E. classes and going to the gym every once in a while. Once I started working and got married, I did a workout DVD when I started feeling fat. But I wasn't getting fat loss or muscle gains because I wasn't CONSISTENT.

It wasn't until almost a year after I had my first daughter that I made a goal to exercise 200 days in one year's time. It didn't have to be much, and I started by doing nearly 3 months at home with exercise DVDs and YouTube videos during her nap. As she started to nap less, I realized I needed some dedicated time to workout UNINTERRUPTED and decided to invest in a gym pass with childcare (best investment of my life!).

When I got pregnant with my second daughter a few years later, I vowed that I would keep working out because I didn't want to have to start all over. Of course, I had to make some modifications for my burgeoning belly, but I was able to stay consistent and all but 5 pounds of the baby weight melted away rather quickly.

My point here is to get CONSISTENT.  Progressing forward each day and week through small actions. So here's 10 tips to help you build your exercise consistency and achieve your fitness goals.

1. Determine Your Goals


What is it you want to achieve through your exercise? Ideas include fat loss, muscle gain, increased energy, increased cardiovascular endurance, being able to do push-ups or pull-ups, completing a race, being able to play tag with your kids or race them up the hill, etc.

Your goals will help guide you in which exercise forms to choose, frequency, duration, and intensity.

2. Pick a Plan—But Not Just Any Plan


Choose or create a plan that is geared toward achieving your goals. However, try to pick one that promotes healthy, sustainable lifestyle changes. Very low-calorie diets and extreme exercising are not sustainable. Good luck staying on those for more than a week!

Look for something that is going to build progressively, allowing you to gain strength (and strength of will) over time. You'll need to start slowly and then you can really take off!

3. Start Slowly — I Mean SLOW!


One of the most common things I see with inconsistent exercising is going to hard right off the bat. We all want results NOW and figure if we can just go crazy with diet and exercise, we can get results faster. While this makes sense in theory, very few have the mental tenacity to make this work in reality.

Start slowly; build your exercise over time in these areas:

  • Frequency: How often you exercise each week
  • Intensity: How much effort you exert during exercise
  • Time: How long you exercise each session
Bootcamps, P90X, Insanity are great for those who have hit a plateau and need a boost in intensity. If you are rolling off the couch to start the DVD, these are not the plans for you! (YET) By the end of the first week, you're too sore to walk or climb the stairs or pick up your toddler that you take a much needed week off. Find something that is going to take you from nothing to something slowly. Think, Couch to 5K-esque.


4. Trust in Your Plan


After a few weeks, you may or may not see results. (I didn't get positive comments from friends until after I had been consistently exercising for over a year!). Don't get discouraged. You might feel like you will get better results if you were more intense, but have faith that slow and steady DOES win the race.

5. Measure Your Progress — Not Just with the Scale


Replacing muscle with fat can make the scale barely budge! A better way to measure your progress is by measuring body part circumference, taking progress photos, and seeing how your clothes fit. If you are very serious about muscle to fat ratio, a body fat caliper will help you monitor your progress.

6. Workout at a Time that Works for You


There is a lot of research about what time of day is best for your workout. Here's the real truth: The best time of day is the time when you will GET IT DONE. It can even vary from day to day (or night as the case may be.)

So make a time that works for you. (For instance, early a.m. is NOT for me — I always want to sleep longer!)  I say MAKE A TIME  because you are not going to just "find time." If this is a priority for you, make it a priority in your schedule.

7. Share Your Goals with Others


Sharing your goal verbally or on social media forces you to think it out and make a plan. Otherwise, it will just be a wish or a dream. It also gives you accountability for when you run into someone and they ask, "Oh, how is (your goal) going?"

This can also be a HUGE resource of support. If your family and friends know what you've set out to accomplish, they can help you by encouraging you and reminding you of your goals. (And by not bringing a plate of cookies over!)

8. Have a Buddy — Or Not!


Some people really do well when they have someone else to be accountable to. Whether it's a friend, a spouse, or even a personal trainer, knowing someone is counting on you can be a big motivator to get up and get it done.

I personally love to do my own thing, on my own schedule. If I planned to do a morning workout and don't do it, I can still get it in in the afternoon. Not having a buddy works for me. Do what works for you and motivates you.

9. Don't Beat Yourself Up if You're Not 100% on Diet and Exercise


Healthy diet and consistent exercise is a winning combination. But it can be hard to get both under control at the same time!

If you're going for a super-lean look with 6 pack and huge muscles, yes, diet is definitely crucial. You have to be super careful what you eat. But if you are looking to feel healthy, happy and energized, exercise goes a long way! If you are exercising consistently, you can eat whatever you want (just not as much as you want!)

If you exercise but don't meet your calories for the day, the day is NOT a complete waste! You still built muscle and cardiovascular health. Work for progress, not perfection, and you'll feel a lot less stressed.

10. Focus on Lifestyle Changes, Not Quick Fixes


Even if you get "quick", amazing results from a 21 day program (or 30, 60, 90 day whatever), it will not last unless you are willing to take on that "challenge" forever. This is why dieting gets yo-yo results.

Focus instead on making small changes each day toward a healthier you. Pick salad instead of fries. Choose grilled chicken instead of fried. Opt for a Greek yogurt parfait instead of ice cream. Park farther away from the grocery store. Walk with your kids to school. Choose exercises that challenge you but don't immobilize you the next day. (If this happens, as it does to everyone, just remember to scale back a little next time.)


What other ideas help you stay consistent in your exercise goals? Post in the comments!

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