Again, on a search for the perfect on the go protein bar has proven on the difficult side. I love My Simply Bars, but wanted to try another hyped up product out there: Quest Bar. Not only do they look amazing, everyone says they taste incredible too! My turn :)
Do you like brownies? Strawberry cheesecake? Peanut butter? Chocolate in any form? A lemon pie? Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? Crunchy almonds? Well then listen up. No - this isn’t false advertising. It’s the real deal.
First off, a little about the company:
If you could eat candy all day and get lean, you probably would. Most likely, you’re just like us here at team Quest; to feel good and look great you have to work hard. And the last thing you want to do is throw that hard work away by eating other nutrition bars or meal replacement bars that are little more than thinly disguised candy.
After years of development, Quest has been able to produce the world’s first truly low-carb protein bar that uses only high-quality proteins and no simple carbs of any kinds, no harmful sugar alcohols, and no glycerin - only perfect nutritional ingredients.
Quest bars have the best nutritional profile of any protein bar on the market bar none. We’ve got 20g of protein, 2-6g Active Carbs and no junk! Most importantly, our bars taste better than any other bar. We’re so confident that you’ll agree that we let people order a single bar to try without having to commit to buying an entire box.
Quest bars were designed for anyone who cares about good nutrition and a leaner body.That’s really all it takes to become part of the Quest team. It doesn’t matter what your specific quest is, just that you have one. So, whether you’re trying to lose a beer belly to pick up more chicks, trying to get SHREDDED and lean for a competition, or you’re looking to add some lean muscle mass so you can whoop Michael Phelps’ ass the next time you see him down at the Y. Quest Bars are going to give you exactly what you need to be successful at any goal you strive for.
Okay, we get the idea. These apparently taste amazing and have bomb ingredients. Let’s find out.
So they claim two big things here that sparked my interest. One - sugar.
They have two different lines - the original line and the natural line.The original line has sucralose (uh oh) but no sugar alcohols and the natural line is sweetened with stevia but has sugar alcohols.
Why sugar alcohols? Well they do have an explanation. This comes from erythritol, officially classified as a sugar alcohol. They explain though that erythritol is different.
1) It does not cause upset stomachs. This is the main complaint against sugar alcohols and it’s one of the reasons we chose to use Erythritol. You can eat many Quest Bars in a single sitting with no ill effects.
2) Erythritol contains almost zero calories (0.2 per gram to be exact, or just over a single calorie per bar), unlike other sugar alcohols, which are MUCH higher.
3) It has almost no impact on blood sugar. This makes it very popular for diabetics and others who don’t like to, or can’t, consume sugar.
Better than other alternatives and it hasn’t affected my pretty sensitive tum tum. It doesn’t have any aftertaste or fake sugar taste.
And their original line -
Sucralose - the last ingredient. Sucralose is an artificial sweetener with no calories. Splenda anyone? I stopped using splenda because it is not natural - it is modified from sugar’s original form. My mad-scientist-geneticist-cancer survivor father always told me when I was younger to stay away from it, that is was a carcinogenic. Although there is no real proof that it does, there are many warnings to stay away from fake sugars. Read Tosca Reno’s post here - a guideline I use everyday. Keep in mind, it is the last ingredient in this product and I haven’t had any adverse affects ie stomach issues which I get from Splenda and aspartame products such as Equal and Sweet N’Low.
Overall, ingredients are okay I say. 8/10. Decide whether or not you mind having a bit of sucralose (the original line) or if you’re okay with Erythritol. I go with the later. I would rather stick to my stevia!
Now, I am sure you are curious about their claims about carbs. Doesn’t the package say 24g carbs? No - you aren’t blind. When they say low in carbs, they mean ACTIVE CARBS. Active carbs are found by subtracting fiber from carbs. A lot of people claim that we really should just pay attention to active carbs - fibrous carbs. The carbs that your body doesn’t absorb from fiber is what is left over - those are your active carbs! I don’t fear good carbs though - and this bars carbs doesn’t come from bad sources ie sugar and instead comes from nuts!
Okay, what you’ve been waiting for. Taste.
First off, there are a lot of flavors.
Peanut Butter Supreme - I love my nut butters. SO. MUCH. So a guilt-free peanut butter protein bar? Score. So good!!
Vanilla Almond Crunch - “CRUNCHY” is the best way to describe. Lots of little chunks of almonds. Loved this - especially dipped in some hot coffee.
Chocolate Brownie - I am not really a big chocolate brownie person, so I let Mitch try this one. He loved it! Like all the bars, warm them up in the microwave for 20 seconds. Topped with some cold greek yogurt - holy chocolate yum (I did have a few bites hehe)
Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar - I liked the Peanut Butter Supreme better, but for the natural line, this was really delicious. Perfect combination of chocolate and peanut butter!
Coconut Cashew - A clear winner in my books. My second favorite by far! It tastes like a pina colada sort of thing (haha wow). Creamy, coconutty, with some nuts. Perfect.
Peanut Butter and Jelly - Weird, I know. But AMAZING. My favorite original line bar. Seriously, tastes like a PB&J. I don’t know how they do it! And with little crunches of peanuts. Ahh so good.
Lemon Cream Pie - Not a huge lemon flavor fan, but it did taste like pie :)
Apple Pie - Not my favorite, but it was great warmed up with some cottage cheese on top! If you like apple pie, it’s a winner!
Mixed Berry Bliss - I know. Why a fruit bar when we are all searching for the sinfully delicious flavors of chocolate, coconut, peanut butter brownies etc? Well, don’t shy away from this one. So good. Big boost of fruity flavor.
Strawberry Cheesecake - MY FAVORITE. Oh my. Seriously - tasted like cheesecake. And you when you heat up, the texture turns cookie-ish. No words to describe. Definitely buying these ones!
Cinnamon Roll - Another favorite. Tasted like a hot and sticky cinnamon roll. Perfect for Cinnabon cravings :)
Overall, flavor gets a 15/10 (again, yes - I can do that haha). So. Good. And so many flavors to choose from. I think that is the best part. You can’t go wrong if you have choices - which I really like. I will definitely be buying more of the Strawberry Cheesecake, Coconut Cashew, and Cinnamon Roll. And SO SHOULD YOU!
They now sell them at GNCs and on their website, as well as a variety of different sites - definitely give them a try! I want one now….Comments
My heart truly goes out to everyone that has been affected by the hurricane. Most in DC were pretty lucky and didn’t get hit too hard. Lots of naked trees outside though!
If there was one good thing that came out of my days at home, I got to play around in the kitchen more than usual for my meals (since these are really Tuesday eats hehe) and find the best way to curb any Halloween candy cravings I was naturally having this time I year!
For breakfast, I warmed up with some Almond Joy Oatmeal!
One of my biggest cravings on Halloween are those mini chocolate candy bars. I could eat a million of them. But they add up! Therefore, I needed to find a clean and healthy fix. Why not make my favorite meal of the day reminiscent of a chocolate bar? Almond Joy chocolate bars are one of my favorites! Those crunchy almonds and sweet coconut, covered in a creamy milk chocolate. Okay, I am salivating.
What you’ll need:
1/3 Cup oats (I use Bob’s Red Mill Old Fashioned Rolled Oats)
1 cup water
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa (Ghiradelli’s is delicious!)
2 tbsp lite coconut milk (or unsweetened vanilla almond milk works, just some creamy liquid, even milk if you’d like!)
1/4 cup egg whites
2 tsp almond extract
1 packet stevia
1/2 tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut and cocoa almonds for topping!
Cook your oats on the stove top using the water and oats. Once they are cooed and most of the water is absorbed, add the coconut milk, cocoa, almond extract, and stevia. Once everything is combined, lower the heat to med-low and add the egg whites, mixing so that the eggs don’t clump up. After the eggs looked cooked throughout (your oatmeal should not have any white clumps!). Pour into your bowl and top with whatever you’d like! I added a bit more coconut milk, and then topped with unsweetened coconut and some of my favorite cocoa roasted almonds for a treat. Perfect power breakfast!
For my mid-morning snack, I had a delicious and juicy Asian pear that I got at the farmer’s market last week. Fruit is a great substitute for any sugar cravings you’re having during the holiday. Try a different fruit to keep your sweet buds guessing. I don’t remember the last time I bought a pear, and I am glad I did.
On the side, a handful of raw almonds that I roasted in the oven. I kinda had a roasted nuts party by myself while stuck inside the past few days. Such a great way to eat raw almonds and amke them taste more like the unhealthy versions in the store!
For lunch, my new favorite thing. I love anything pizza. Seriously, who doesn’t. So I decided to make my own clean version of course.
After baking 2 Ezekiel Corn Tortilla’s in the over at 350 F for about 5-7 minutes, I topped with my homemade red sauce and 1 oz of almond cheese. Put back in the oven under the broiler to make that almond cheese bubbly and crispy! With a huge green salad on the side, this has become my favorite new lunch!
I posted here last week how to make my tomato sauce! I put this on everything from spaghetti squash sauce, to my chicken, my quinoa, and even my eggs! So versatile and easy!
I even store in a cute little mason jar :)
For my mid-afternoon snack, something I bought as a clean Halloween treat for myself and obviously an “essential” perishable item for hurricane survival: Chocolate Super Cookies. Say what?
100% raw, 4 ingredients - all listed right there on the front, nothing hidden: Super cookie indeed!! They are crunchy, sweet, chocolately, seriously the best thing I’ve bought for hurricane and Halloween candy survival. There are lots of different varieties I can’t wait to try out - Carrot Cake and Marsala Chai to name a few!
Pre-workout, I had my go-to Peanut Butter Chocolate Protein Balls that give me a great punch of energy! I LOVE them!
Post-workout - a green protein smoothie! I’ve been loving adding cups of raw spinach to my smoothies to get my greens in. Also helps pump up the volume (can’t complain about that!)
For dinner, I tried genius Laura’s Cinnamon Flax Baked Chicken and a generous side of oven roasted brussel sprouts and broccoli. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this gal thinks of everything! I have a few more of her recipes bookmarked to try next week. I cannot wait!
Verdict? Delicious. I cook my chicken the same way every week. Fried up with Smart Balance cooking spray and lots of Mrs. Dash no salt seasoning. It does get old. So I am always looking for new ways to cook my chicken. Check out her recipe! You won’t regret it!
Before bed, my usual 1/2 cup Lactaid 1% cottage cheese and a handful of almonds. Perfect way to end the day!
How do you cook you chicken for the week?
How did you fight Halloween candy cravings?
What were some essentials you bought for the hurricane?Comments
As hurricane Sandy started to reap havoc on the east coast, I was forced to think of what perishable things I could make sure I had prepared in case of any power outages. Naturally, I think of protein. My egg whites and chicken won’t last too long! And I am almost out of protein powder (#fitgirlproblems).
DING DING DING
I do have lots of PROTEIN BREAD :)
When I first saw people blogging about protein bread, I said in my head really? Protein bread? Gross. The thought of my sweet protein powders made into something resembling bread baffled me, yet naturally sparked my curiosity! MUST TRY THEM.
So I got this giant package in the mail. LOTS OF BREAD.
2 loafs of bread and 2 packages of bagels. SAY WHAT? I freakin love bagels. Honestly, I would love to eat bagels all day everyday.
Anyways, a bit about P28.
- 28 grams of Protein per two slices (or one bagel)
- 100% Natural
- 100% Whole Wheat - Made with Oat, Flax Seed, Sunflower Seed, and Millet
- Made with 100% Whey Isolate - The highest quality source of protein
- A rich source of 8 essential Amino Acids that your body needs for growth, energy, and vibrant health
- Cholesterol Free
- A Good source of Fiber
- Contains Omega 3’s
Looking good so far. Jammed packed with protein and make with whole wheat. No multi-grain, random white flour in here product. I like it.
Let’s look at the bread a little closer.
Looks pretty good! Whole wheat is on the top there, sweetened with what seems to be a variety of things (some good, some okay). Molasses is a great natural sweetener in moderation (Tosca approves!!) and they have the stevia in there. But the word that jumps out at me is SUGAR. Just sugar? Wait what? Ya, a little disappointed there. But it is lower on the list.
So, what did I decide to make with my BOX of BREAD?
Beautiful breakfast creations. Egg whites, almond cheese, spinach.
Healthified french toast!
Lunch bagel sandwich! Chicken, almond cheese and veggies. Yum!
Mitch’s runny egg sandwich? Food porn right there.
As you can tell, I LOVED the bagels. Mitch did too :)
Taste - 15/10. Seriously. And yes, that is allowed!
So good. Especially toasted! They were the perfect amount of heartiness. And the slices/bagels are HUGE!!! No skimping on the quantity department.
Since they sent me so much to try, I had to freeze a bag of each. Also, a way to test their ability to withstand being frozen.
After a slight defrost and a pop into the toaster, good as new.
Overall, I definitely recommend this product. Boyfriend approved too! This product really is great, especially if you are looking to add more protein in your diet. This is a great pre-workout or even post-workout meal - a perfect balance of carbs and protein. And if you love bread (who doesn’t), the taste is fantastic!Comments
Earlier this fall, I received a nice package from the people over at The Simply Bar. I had seen these bars all over the place - even ordering a package of my own a few months ago. Then, they came out with CHIPS! I immediately bought some Chili flavored ones and loved them - they were delicious, crispy, perfect.
Well, I was so curious the try the Herb flavor as well as a few of the other Simply Bar flavors that so many bloggers have always said were so divine!
First, a little about these products.
A little blurb from the company:
It is unique in that it has the most protein for the least calories. What’s best about all our high protein snacks is that they are all gluten-free, vegan, kosher, all natural, and suitable for a variety of dietary needs. They are easy to digest and are perfect for celiacs, athletes, mothers, and vegans.
Yes. You read that right. They are gluten free, vegan, KOSHER, no added sweeteners, no high-fructose corn syrup, no maldexidontknowwhatthisis ingredients!
I don’t like to eat a lot of pre-packaged protein goods. You never know what you’re eating. And when you read the back to find out, it often doesn’t make what you’re eating any clearer!
These are different.
Here we have the nutrition facts for the Caramel Peanut - one of my favorites!
We’re talking pretty good bang for you buck here. For only 160 calories, you get 16g of protein! Looking at ingredients, it is from a soy protein isolate. Not too shabby! I typically like to stay away from brown rice sugar, as it is not as good as more natural sweeteners such as honey. But much better than certain fake sugars such as aspartame or even just plane SUGAR.
As far as the chips go, pretty good as well!
Protein from pea protein isolate - I like. The only thing that I do not like is the Natural Cane Sugar. Like I have said in posts past, I am trying to stay away from my sugar intake. Sticking to stevia and honey, and of course fruit, has been really working for me! But again, this bag has 2 g of sugar. Sugar in very little moderation is okay! And these are freakin delicious. Just don’t eat a bag everyday if you’re concerned about where your sugar is coming from!
Now - about the flavor.
I have to say, my favorite bar is the Cinnamon Pecan!!
Before trying it, I had my doubts. I really love the chocolate peanut - which I had tried before. I’ll admit, I am a chocolate, peanut butter, caramel girl. But honestly, this flavor takes the cake! Seriously, tastes like cinnamon toast crunch in a bar. And healthy. I am going to buy my own box of these, crumble them up and put in almond milk, just like cereal. I promise you it wont disappoint. LOVE THEM.
As far as the chips go, after trying both flavors, Chili still turns out to be my favorite!
The perfect kick of heat and tang of sweetness. A lot comes in a bag - can’t beat that! They are also great toppers for salads and in soups. So versatile!. And, they are boyfriend approved. I don’t like to eat pre-packaged protein sources everyday, so it did take some time to try out every flavor. Well, everyday I swear Mitch was asking if he could have the last bag of these. Everyday. He loves them!
Overall, The Simply Chips and Simply Bars are the real thing. They are great for not only a clean eating lifestyle, but for people trying to watch those ingredients!! They are great for on the go snacking, traveling, or everyday if that is for you! I give them 10/10 for taste and 9/10 for what’s in them (simply due to sugar sources - that’s it!).
Go grab your own over a their website. I promise you, you will not be disappointed!Comments
How to make my Monday more marvelous?
Sometimes I just have the case of the Mondays. Some weeks are harder than others! I made it a goal for myself to start thinking more positively about a new week. Making weekly mini goals to myself - pushing extra hard this week at the gym, no extra finger dips in the peanut butter jar, drinking more water.
I decided this week to start switching up my daily eats! I love what I eat, but variety is not only great for the body but also to help wean off cravings.
Enter Food-Prep Sunday - making my Monday’s meals super marvelous :)
Starting with the far left. BLACK BEAN BURGERS. I love veggie burgers - love, love, love them! But I have struggled to find a brand that doesn’t have a million things in it, doesn’t have over 30g of carbs (I like to spread mine out throughout the day!), and packs on the protein!
Well I hit the jackpot with Hungry Runner’s recipe. Just a few tweaks - and these babies turned out so delicious.
What you’ll need:
1 16oz can of black beans
1/2 red pepper
1/2 big tomato
2 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp oat flour
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp onion powder
pinch of salt and pepper
pinch of cayenne for a kick!
I don’t have a food processor, so I prepared the beans with a fork in a big bowl! Mush all the beans together, forming a thick black bean paste. Then I added in all the other ingredients (except the oat flour) and mixed together. Then I gradually added the oat flour. I formed into 4 patties and put on a baking tray in the oven set to 350. After about 12 minutes, I flipped them over. Let them bake another 7-10 minutes (depending on your oven) and voila!
I just had one for lunch :)
Each burger comes in at 143 calories, 4 g of fat, 24 g of carbs, and 7.5 g of protein! This may even become a mid-afternoon snack with some avocado. Definitely try this out if you like your veggie burgers - and add in what you want! Maybe come corn?
I also prepped some homemade tomato sauce by cooking 1 8 oz can of non salt added tomato sauce with 1 big can of chopped tomatoes (NO SALT ADDED of course!). I simmer the two together with lots of basil and oregano, and about 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast to give it a nice cheesy flavor. Then I canned it up and put in the fridge for the week! Tastes great with some quinoa (also on my prep list this week) and ground turkey. My own clean spaghetti!
And another new and exciting item on my menu for Monday? GARLICKLY KALE.
As you know, I have been really trying to up my veggie in take, and as much as love my kale, I was getting a bit bored finding ways to eat it raw! Well, if anyone has been to Whole Foods for dinner (where Mitch and I love to go!!), I am sure you’ve tried their Garlicky Kale. If you haven’t, shame on you. It’s DELICIOUS. Garlicky - yes. Perfect base to a big salad (no need for more dressing) or a mix in with other ingredients (I love mixing it with their beet salad and chopped carrots!). Well I decided there must be some way to make it myself, right? Whole Foods is great about sharing recipes, so I found a few modified versions in the blog world. Brittany’s looked the best to me and luckily I had all the ingredients!
What you’ll need:
1/2 bunch of raw kale
1 tbsp tahini (sesame paste)
1 tbsp Bragg’s liquid aminos (or soy sauce, tamari etc)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (also a Bragg’s must have!)
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp nutritional yeast (This should be a Bragg’s commercial!)
2 tbsp chopped garlic
Mix all the sauce ingredients together (they recommended using a blender, but I just forcefully mixed it with a spoon. Make sure the tahini isn’t clumpy).
Then massage is into your kale. Yes. Massage. I have read a lot about massaging kale, and how it releases more nutrients. It also helps to soak in the flavor.
MMMM so. identical. I cannot wait to have tonight in a big salad. GO GREENS!
Speaking of greens..of course. I have made it my purpose in life to make my meals more GREEN (and yes - I mean the color). On the menu for my marvelous Monday?
Blueberry banana spinach green smoothie goodness.
1/2 frozen banana, 1/2 cup frozen strawberries, 2 cups spinach, 1 cup kale, 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (since this will be post workout!!), 1 cup unsweetened almond milk.
How are you planning to make your Monday marvelous?Comments
Its Wednesday - HUMP DAY - half way - woot woot! Here are my eats for What I ate Wednesday (from yesterday teehee).
Breakfast was a deliciously random concoction of all things drool-worthy - peanut butter, chocolate, oat bran, and egg whites!
Cooked up in some coconut oil and topped with unsweetened chocolate and stevia. Yumm! And a side of NATS water - because I wont be at the game today!
Mid-morning, I had a tasty farmers market honey crisp and 1 tbsp unsalted almond butter. I ate this too fast to take a picture (#ilovefood).
I miss apples - and since starting clean eating, I have really been watching my sugar intake. I got a little crazy and minimized my fruit intake to a small serving with breakfast and a 1/2 banana with my post-workout shake. Why cut out something so beautiful, delicious, healthy, and full of good things for my body? (slapping face). This month is about not just meeting my macros, but first eating those beautiful greens and naturally sweet fruit that the world makes us!
For lunch, a P28 BAGEL with melty almond cheese, grilled chicken, lettuce and toms. A side salad of all things green complimented this perfectly!
Not only do you NEED to purchase some almond cheese to make a healthy heaven like this (Whole Foods, Yes! Organic for those in DC!!), but these P28 protein bagels are so freakingly delicious! Remember they sent me that huge package last month? Well I froze one package of bagels and one of the bread to see how it would last. Well this baby was fresh out of the freezer and I couldn’t even tell! YUMM!
For a mid-day snack, I opened up my first Quest bar from my sample package Quest Nutrition graciously sent me to try out.
First off, after I go through all the flavors, I will report back with a full review. But for a tease.
Drooling? Okay - strawberry cheesecake = dynamite. I was told by every living soul on instagram to heat the baby up for 20 seconds in the microwave. Well boy were they right. Holy amazing. Seriously - tasted like a strawberry cheesecake cookie/cake/unhealthy hot thing in my mouth. AHH I cannot wait to try them all out!!!! And these are sweetened with stevia, no artificial nothing! Talk about music to my clean eating ears. More of this to come this month!
For my pre-workout boost, I made some new balls! Remember my post about my protein balls? Well these are better due to a few changes. One - chocolate and peanut butter. Why do I love this combo so much? Two - honey.
Again - I have shyed away from eating honey. Why? Calories, sugar, blah blah. Well I have been reading a lot about Striking Sugar in Tosca Reno and Christina’s posts recently and they lay out perfectly what are good sugars and bad sugars. Their goal in September was to strike out all added, bad sugars. But keep in those natural, good ones (in moderation) and learn to love them!
Check out Christina’s chart that lays out what is and isn’t allowed in the strike sugar world. Guess what is on the allowed list? Honey. Well, in moderation of course. Don’t go eating a gallon of honey because it says it’s allowed! Fruit is also on there - and Christina says the same thing as I did. Why not allow some fruit in our diet? WE LOVE FRUIT and its healthy and nutritious.
So back to my balls.
These taste like they are SOO BAD FOR YOU but perfectly suitable for a pre-workout (tr)eat.
Peanut Butter Cup Protein Balls
What you’ll need (makes 6):
1/4 cup peanut flour (I don’t use PB2 anymore because of the added sugar and salt, but use instead Byrd Mill’s Light 28% Fat variety here or at Netrition.com!)
1/2 cup oats (or you can use oat flour)
1/4 cup oat bran
1 scoop chocolate protein powder
1 tbsp flax meal
2 tbsp honey
1-2 tbsp water
Mix all together, form into balls, and refrigerate.
Each ball comes in at 113 calories, 16 g of carbs to get you through your workout, 3 g of healthy fat (flax is one of the only fats I will have before a workout!), 8 g of protein, and 5g of sugar - all from your delicious and approved honey!
I eat mine about 1 hour-45 minutes before I get to the gym - and it gives me that little boost I need!
Post-workout - my usual 1/2 frozen banana, 1 scoop protein powder, and unsweetened almond milk. Never gets old!
Dinner was a medley of good!
I never have sausages because of all the random things they stuff in them, but I found a great red pepper variety from Applegate Farms that has no added NOTHING just real meat in there baby! I had those with some no sugar added ketchup (tastes like reallll tomatoes!), spaghetti squash with cinnamon, and roasted broccoli!
Yums all around!
What are some sugars you can cut out this month?Comments
It’s that time again. A loving lately post - all about what I am loving lately.
Two wonderful bloggers - Kasey and Heather are busy bees spreading the word about PLANT power, greens, and promoting using the sources of plants for our protein! I will be the first to admit, I am obsessed with getting the right amount of protein in my body everyday. But that has led me to forget about the simpler greens that I used to fill my body with. Instead of focusing on their value, I have become slave to making sure I have more CHICKEN and protein powder. Sure, It isn’t a bad thing. But I have come to the realization I need to kick up my greens :)
Exhibit A. Farmers Market pick-me-ups. I love the farmers market. Not only can you try a million types of apples (I picked out some honey crisp yummmm), but you get the most fresh and local produce around!
I picked out some swiss chard, spinach, kale, and some hot peppers for the man friend.
I could not stomach these if I tried. But he surely can.
Back to the greens. Greens - especially the dark leafy greens I bought this weekend - are super nutrient dense. Full of vitamins and minerals, but also healthy carbs and protein. I eat broccoli A LOT (because its cheap-ish and easy to cook - I usually bake in the oven at 400 for about 15-20 minutes!). Did you know broccoli has more protein than a steak? Yes - one steak will have more protein than a few pieces of broccoli, but you get a better bang for you buck calorie, nutrient, vitamin wise. 3 cups of broccoli has 11 g of protein - and 100 calories. Sure, your steak has 11 g as well, but we’re talking a lot more calories and fat. Green wins!
Check out Kasey’s post on greens for some awesome Green Kale Pesto. MUST make this!
Moral of story? Embrace your greens. Instead of iceberg lettuce, get some leafy romaine and spinach. Sautee up some kale with lots of garlic and add to your usual stir fry. Or make some delicious kale chips! The possibilities are endless for PLANT POWER!
You all know by now I love my nut butters. I used to never buy peanut or almond butter because I thought there was WAYYYY too much fat. On every “diet” or program I have been on, I have always shunned away from fat - why would I want to waste 5 weight watcher points on a tablespoon of almond butter? Since eating clean, I have really learned to embrace healthy fats. From avocado to coconut oil, I have 30% of my daily caloric intake from healthy fats.
Now, my nut butters have also become a nemesis of mine. When I “cheat’ on my diet, I eat nut butter. When I come home a little drunky from a night out, I go straight to my almond butter jar. Good and bad I guess. One of my goals this month is to stop sticking my finger in the peanut butter jar - and instead enjoy in moderation. Like a tablespoon on a fresh, farmers market honey crisp apple.
Match made in heaven.
And for those wondering what kind to buy? Always unsalted people. You don’t need all that added sodium and junk. Look at the ingredients. It should list peanuts or almond as the one and only ingredient. I usually go to Whole Foods or Yes! Organic market and grind my own. But when making a splurge, I always go for this jar of heaven:
Its $9.99 at Yes! Organic Market - which is usually why I stick to peanut butter as it is cheaper. But this is honestly the best tasting thing in the world. DO IT. Eat your fats. Healthy fats help you burn fats. Don’t be scared!
I love pancakes!!!!
Just look at this foodporn.
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Protein Pancakes - SHABANG!
What you’ll need:
2 tbsp peanut flour (or PB2)
2 tbsp of gluten free flour of your choice (I used 1 tbsp coconut flour and 1 tbsp almond to give it a fluffy but nutty texture - but use what you have, even oat flour!)
2 tbsp brown rice flour (same idea as above! I just love the texture of the three flours combined!)
1/4 tsp banking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup egg whites
Mix all together and cook up in some coconut oil. I topped with 1/2 a banana and some chocolate protein frosting (1/2 scoop chocolate whey and water).
Ahhh I can just taste it now! So freakin delicious. This was my pre-workout fuel for Saturday morning, so I stayed away from real peanut butter (which absorbs/digests slowly so is not beneficial from some quick energy for a workout!)Comments
Those last few weeks before bikini season? Those few days before you birthday? That cute body con dress you so want to wear but feel bloated?
Story of my life.
I am guilty of constantly trying to look perfect for events or occasions in my life. So sue me.
But what I am realizing more and more, is that when I shoot to tighten up for an occasion, I lose sight of my long term goals - to be a super fit healthy balanced bittay!
Well, it’s Mitch’s sisters wedding this weekend. And guess what I have been stressing out about? What can I do to make sure I look that much better on that one night?!
Let’s think about what happens after that event hits. Boom. CHEATING. And by cheating I mean OVER indulging on TOO many bad things :) I am not saying a piece of cake or a couple handful of chips, I am talking binge type behavior!
So, Instead of trying to prep for an event, I have decided to start prepping for life.
Instead of being super tight on my diet and putting in extra hours at the gym, I fixed my macros a bit and just decided to eat super clean. Mind you, I eat clean 85-90% of the time. But this week, its 100% on like donkey kong. And its not for this event. It’s for life. Instead of doing it for that little dress I want to wear, I am going to do it to for the rest of the year!
I have upped my healthy fats a bit and lowered my carbs. I noticed how carbs were making me super puffy and bloated. It is all about learning how your body reacts, and let’s say I have felt a huge different. Now, I am at a 40% protein, 30% fat, and 30% carb macro profile.
That means yummy “treats” like this for dinner -
Big honking salad with avocado, olive oil, and grilled chicken. Yum.
And yummy homemade protein bars like this - SUPER clean
Pumpkin sweet potato protein bread anything? Hello all my favorite things in one sentence. Check out the recipe here! I tweaked it a bit - replacing the greek yogurt with more applesauce and adding a scoop of Sunwarrior Protein Powder.
And lots of fresh veggies -
Sunday night traditional dinner for me. Tofu “french toast” and roasted brussel sprouts. Probably my favorite food ever.
Moral of the story. Don’t keep restricting/pinching/stressing to look amazballs for one day. Enjoy eating, nourishing, strengthening, and loving your body for life. Believe me, It’s taken me some time to think this way - and I will admit, I am not there yet. But who says we can’t start now!?Comments
What defines September?
Is it that pumpkin spiced latte at Starbucks that the blogging world is raving about?
Is it that fall wool cape you’ve been dying to bring out of the closet (ding ding ding ding)?
I don’t think I consciously realized it was September until I started putting pumpkin in everything that crawled into my mouth.
My breakfast was no excepted. I am definitely on some type of oat bran kick (fall flavor anyone?). I must admit, I was getting kinda bored of oatmeal everything, and oat bran is a great substitute! I have been making oat bran egg white oats that have turned out super creamy, but I always fall back on my favorite breakfast item - pancakes. There is something so devious about pancakes.
Pumpkin oat bran pancakes anyone? And topped with creamy, nutty, freshly ground almond butter. Holy schmoly. Seriously. These guys taste like corn muffins or corn bread. I just love the grainy, crispy texture of oat bran and these pancakes I whipped up took the cake.
It’s super easy too!
1/3 cup oat bran
1/3 cup egg whites
1 tbsp pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling!!)
1/2 tsp xanthan gum (I did this because the batter needed thickening)
1/4 tsp baking powder
Mix and fry these babies up! I then topped with 1 tbsp of almond butter.
So good. I want more. Now. These may actually fall into a snack category later this week :)
For my mid morning snack, can I say fall again?
Homemade brown rice pudding. Although the photo doesn’t do it justice, this was incredible. I loved rice pudding as a kid. I love the texture of it, along with tapioca pudding eeee (note my chia fix), and decided why not? Plus, the bake option on my oven has been broken for the past week so baking my homemade protein bars for snacks was out of the question.
I adapted this from Brittany’s blog, adding some more egg whites to make it protein filled and delicious, and cut out the maple syrup which although I would love, too much sugar for me!
Brown Rice Protein Pudding
What you’ll need:
1 cup cooked brown rice
2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
6 tbsp egg whites
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp stevia
3 tsp cinnamon
In a small pot, simmer on low your brown rice and almond milk for about 20 minutes, stirring every so often so that it doesn’t stick. Then, add the rest of the ingredients. Cook for about 5-10 minutes and then take off the heat and let it sit/steam.
Now, don’t go eating the whole think! I halved it and it came out to 175 calories, 4.3 g of fat, 24.9 carbs, NO sugar, and 8.3 g of protein. Perfect morning snack to fuel you through the day!
For lunch, I had a delicious cold salad made with wheat berries, chicken, sauteed spinach, grape tomatoes, cucumber, and onions. Topped with a splash of rice vinegar!
On the side (yes, another salad on the side hehe) I had a fresh salad of some local and colorful farmers market tomatoes. I got 3 cartons for 10$. You should see the big bowl of these babies in my fridge! I eat them like chips :)
For a mid-afternoon snack, my go to is Simply Bar’s amazing protein bars (note again that my oven is NOT working for homemade goodies!) But these are just are great! This cinnamon pecan has to be my new favorite. I can just image this as a cereal too. Maybe next time crumbled in some almond milk will be the way to go. MMMMM.
For some post-workout amazingness, I read about this new protein powder that I just had to try. Its a tri-part protein (ie soy, pea, and rice) so no whey (which tends to bloat my tum tum sometimes!). And just look at that flavor? Music to my ears. And with Spirulina - a natural energy source - you cannot go wrong. I mixed a scoop of this (which rings in at 99 calories!!) with unsweetened almond milk and 1/2 frozen banana. Perfect post-workout snack!
For dinner, I served up a clean and carb free spaghetti.
Some roasted broccoli, half a bag of miracle noodles, 4 oz of lean ground turkey, and some homemade pasta sauce (made with salt free canned tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and lots of oregano, basil, and nutritional yeast to give it a cheesy flavor). Love it!
What a great day of eats!
And just look what showed up on my doorstep last week?
P28 Protein bread! The great people at P28 were nice enough to send me some to try out! Yes, they sent me protein bagels and bread. Come back tomorrow for a review!! You don’t want to miss out on this stuff :)
What makes you excited about September?
What is your fall food favorite?Comments
Two of my favorite things.
Kidding. Okay, well partially. I will get to this in a bit…
Today’s eats all packed to go. I am telling ya. Fail to plan, plan to FAIL. I hate to say it, but diet is seriously everything. I am learning more and more from my current program that you can’t outwork an unhealthy diet.
Here I have meals 2-4 and my pre-workout BALLS.
For my mid morning snack, I had my Fage 0% with 1 tbsp freshly ground peanut butter (not pictured) and some new granola I decided to try. I have decided to try and cut out as much gluten in my diet as possible and see how it affects my sore, bloaty tummy. So far so good. There are a lot of great products out there!
I bought Udi’s bread the other day and decided I should also try their granola, because who doesn’t love granola?
And just look at those ingredients. Well there are three. And I know what they all are. Clean eating right there!
For lunch, I had my BBQ Crock-Pot Chicken heated up with 1 oz almond cheese and over shredded lettuce, tomatoes, and red onion. Clean BBQ chicken salad yumminess.
For mid-day snack, I had a new concoction I have been trying out - sweet potato egg white mash. Trying to kick my protein powder habit a little bit - leaving it only for one meal a day. Whole foods are better for many reasons, but also because your body burns more calories digesting that food versus a protein powder - which is already broken down. I basically sautee 3-4 oz of cooked sweet potato and 1/2 cup egg whites with some cinnamon and sometimes some coconut oil. MMM so good.
Like I said before, my pre-workout FUEL comprised of some nutty balls.
I am serious.
And I have to say - my workout was BOMBTASTIC. It was the perfect combination of carbs and protein.
Peanut Butter Oat Protein Ballz
What you’ll need
1/4 cup peanut flour (I used Protein Plus but PB2 works the same)
1/2 cup and 2 tbsp gluten free rolled oats (or rolled oats of any kind)
2 tbsp gluten free brown rice syrup (or you can use agave - but the brown rice syrup has less sugar, you can find it by the honey and the agave!)
1/2 scoop protein powder of your choice (I used pea protein and a bit of chocolate whey!)
1 tbsp of water
Vanilla or almond extract to taste
Mix together with your hands and form into 6 balls - I used a tbsp to help make the form and that size worked great!
Put them in a fridge for a bit and you’re finished!
Boyfriend approved :)
I had two before my workout today and I felt so great! No bloating, no over-fullness, perfect amount of energy!
Stats per ball: 94 calories, 14 g of carbs, 2 g fat, 7 g protein
Next time, I plan on adding some almonds, maybe some unsweetened cocoa, carob and coconut. So many ideas…
And while on the subject of my favorite food **cough cough** peanut butter..I made the greatest thing ever tonight. I know I say that about basically EVERYTHING but seriously, this is god-sent.
Well actually, its Laura-sent. My favorite blogger over at Sprint2theTable (who I have mentioned a million times) posted this TODAY and when I saw it, I had to try it. TODAY.
Low-Fat Peanut Almond Butter
Usually I would say slab on that full-fat peanut butter. I love healthy fats - we all need them. And I have 20% of my daily calorie intake from healthy fats. But somethings/all the time, I want to eat an ENTIRE jar of peanut or almond butter in one sitting. Many times, I have come close! Its addictive. And that low fat junk you see in stores. I am sorry, but they have so much added sugar and other junk. Stick to the real stuff in moderation. BUT now you can have it all…
What you’ll need (I doubled Laura’s recipe):
1/2 cup almond flour
6 tbsp peanut flour
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (I splashed some chocolate in too!)
12 drops liquid vanilla stevia
Cinnamon to taste
Mix all together and put in the fridge to thicken a bit.
Well, I licked the bowl. And the spoon. AND ITS AMAZING. Make it. You will not regret it. I plan on eating this a lot and its quite okay!
Stats per tbsp: 32 calories, 2.2 g fat, 1.6 cabs, 5 g sodium, .8 g fiber, .3 g fiber, 2.3 g protein
Next time, I may add some other “treats” in the mid. Like some chia seeds or some carob chips. The possibilities are endless!
Laura - you are a genius. All credit goes to her! Check out her blog for many more creative clean eats!Comments