Blueberry Pumpkin Pancakes

Blueberry Pumpkin Pancakes

I wanted some pancakes this morning, but I didn’t have any Greek yogurt on hand for my usual recipe and came up with this one instead!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 Cup Oat Flour
  • 2 Large Egg Whites
  • 1/4 Cup Pure Pumpkin
  • 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract

Directions:

  • Mix all of the dry ingredients together.
  • Mix all of the wet ingredients together and then mix in dry ingredients mixture.
  • Cook pancakes in pan on stovetop then stack, top with desired toppings (I used a few fresh blueberries and Walden Farms Pancake Syrup) and enjoy!

Macros:

  • Calories – 195
  • Protein – 13g
  • Carbs – 31g
  • Fiber – 7g
  • Fat – 2g
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My Week of Workouts (July 22-28, 2013)

So after getting a few requests/questions on my workouts, I wanted to share my workouts for this past week. One of my best friends and I use the Catch Notes app to log our workouts in a shared space to give each other ideas for workouts and exercises and also, to track our progress in how much we can lift for different exercises. Sometimes I will post these workouts from Catch on IG:

But I wanted to share a full week of my workouts in this post. If there is anything listed that you are unsure about how to perform, you can Google, check out BodyBuilding.com or another great database for exercises, ExRx.net. If you are just getting started or are looking for a good, consistent program to follow, I highly recommend Jamie Eason’s LiveFit Trainer program.

Jamie Eason LiveFit

It’s a 12-week program with daily workouts, links to exercise descriptions on the BodyBuilding.com website, information on nutrition with a sample meal plan, tips and advice on completing the workouts along with much more useful information. Definitely worth checking out! This is the program that my friend and I started last Spring that got us out of our comfort zones and into weight-training in the first place!

Anywho, here are the workouts I did this week [format of listed exercises: exercise name (sets x reps, weight)]. I also did morning cardio about 3 times last week…I might try to change this up in the next few weeks, but I haven’t decided yet! Please note with my workouts below that I wanted to list the weights I used to act as guidelines, but you should use a weight that allows you to finish each set but one that makes it VERY difficult to finish the last couple of reps!

Dos Equis Man

Try to rest just 60-90 seconds between each set to help keep your heart rate up. Also remember that it’s important to stretch, warm up for at least 10 minutes (I prefer to do an incline walk or jog on the treadmill, walk on the stair climber or do a short circuit to get my muscles ready for the workout) and also stretch AFTER your workout…something that I have been really bad about lately but am going to try much harder to make sure I do after EVERY workout! An extra 10 minutes after each workout worth it to avoid super-tight muscles.

Mon, 7/22/13: BACK

▶Assisted Pull Ups (1 set to failure)
▶Deadlifts (4×8, 95lbs)
▶Wide Grip Lat Pull-Downs (3×10, 65lbs)
▶V-Grip Cable Row (4×12, 55lbs)
▶Face Pulls (4×8-10, 30lbs)

▶Plank (1 to failure)
▶Back Extensions (2×20)
▶Push Ups (2×20)
▶Chair Leg Raises (3×15)

Tues, 7/23/13: LEGS

▶Barbell Squats (2×10, 95lbs; 2×8, 115lbs)
▶Single Leg Extensions (3×10/leg, 40lbs)
▶Walking Lunges (4×16 steps, 25lb plate/hand)
▶Glute Kickbacks (3×10/leg, 35-40lbs)
▶Smith Machine Lunges (3×10/leg, 115lbs)
▶Stiff Leg Deadlifts (4×10, 60lbs)

Wed, 7/24/13: SHOULDERS

▶Dumbbell Overhead Press (3×8-10, 25lbs)
▶Dumbbell Front Raises (3×10, 15lbs)
▶Cable Side Lateral Raises (3×8, 5lbs)
▶Rear Delt Machine (3×10, 40lbs)
▶Dumbbell Side Lateral Raises (4×10, 12.5lbs)
↘SS Barbell Upright Rows (4×10, 30lbs)*
▶Chair Leg Raises (2×20)

Thurs, 7/25/13: BICEPS & TRICEPS

▶Narrow Hand Push Ups (2×20)
▶Skull Crushers (4×10, 30-40lbs)
↘SS Alternate Dumbbell Curls (4×10, 20lbs)*
▶Barbell Curls (3×8, 40lbs)
↘SS Dumbbell Hammer Curls (3×8, 15lbs)*
▶Dumbbell Incline Curls (3×10, 12.5lbs)
▶Rope Tricep Push Downs (4×10, 20lbs, last set drop set)
▶Assisted Tricep Dips (3 sets to failure)

▶Chair Leg Raises (3×20)
▶Back Extensions on GHD Machine (2×16)

Fri, 7/26/13: CHEST

▶Wide Push Ups (3×10, SLOW & controlled)
▶Chair Leg Raises (3×20)
▶Barbell Flat Bench Press (3×8, 65lbs)
▶Dumbbell Incline Bench Press (3×10, 25lbs)
▶Pectoral Fly Machine (4×10, 35lbs)
▶Smith Machine Incline Press (3×6, 70lbs)
▶Stiff Leg Deadlifts (4×10, light – 40lbs)

Sat, 7/27/13: LEGS

▶Chair Leg Raises (3×20)
▶Back Extensions (2×20)

▶Barbell Squats (1×10, 95lbs; 3×8, 115lbs)
▶Seated Leg Curls (4×8, 50lbs)
▶Smith Machine Lunges (3×10/leg, 100lbs)
▶Glute Kickbacks (3×10, 40lbs)
▶Narrow Stance Leg Press (4×10, 180lbs)
▶Calf Raises on Leg Press (3×10, 180lbs)

Sun, 7/28/13: REST DAY

* SS = superset (complete 1 set of first exercise and then 1 set of second exercise and THEN rest for 60-90 seconds – that’s 1 superset)

I’m trying to incorporate more daily core exercises into my workouts so I’m going to continue to do a few sets of things like back extensions, chair leg raises, planks, and push ups on days that I work out to help strengthen my core.

Don’t be afraid to lift weights! And lift HEAVY!

What lifting actually does for women

(by the way, that’s one of my favorite fitness models, Savannah Rose Neveux, aka Muffin Topless, on the right…she’s awesome!)

Mexican Chocolate Casein Mug Cake

Mexican Chocolate Casein Mug Cake

My new favorite casein mug cake! Thanks to Brittany Eats Clean.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Scoop Casein Protein Powder (I used Dymatize Elite Cinnamon Bun flavor)**
  • 1 Tblsp Coconut Flour
  • 1 Tblsp Unsweetened Cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 Egg White
  • 1/4 Cup Unsweetened Almond Vanilla Milk (could sub in water or other desired milk)

Directions:

  • Mix all ingredients together.
  • Pour into nonstick sprayed coffee mug.
  • Place paper towel over mug and microwave for about 1 1/2 – 2 minutes.
  • Flip cake onto plate and top with desired toppings (I topped mine with 2 tablespoons of chocolate PB2 mixed with 1 tablespoon of water and 1/2 tablespoon unsweetened carob chips).

**You can use any brand/flavor casein you like!

Macros for cake without topping:

  • Cals: 200
  • Protein: 30g
  • Carbs: 14g
  • Fat: 4g
  • Fiber: 5g

Egg White Muffins

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What’s better than a simple, tasty, easily transportable, veggie-packed, lean protein-full recipe? NOTHING! Big thanks to Little B for sharing her Egg White Veggie Muffins months ago because for some reason, still unbeknownst to me, I never thought of baking my egg whites into cute, convenient little muffins. Don’t get me wrong, I love my boiled egg whites…..however, I despise the boiling and peeling process! My mother even bought a little egg timer for me that goes into the pot with the eggs to let you know how far along they are. Unfortunately, either user error or crappy, old, NYC gas stove top leads to insanely-hard-to-peel boiled eggs every time!

Anyways, off of that tangent and back to the Egg White Muffins. So easy and simple to make (thus the reason why I will make a batch every single week….easy and simple are the words to use to make my heart swoon).

Ingredients

  • 2 dozen eggs (or 3 cups liquid egg whites)
  • Spinach (torn into small pieces)
  • Mushrooms (sliced)
  • ANY other veggies you want to add!

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Sauté or steam veggies (other than spinach – I have been using spinach and mushrooms in my muffins and usually sauté my mushrooms until completely cooked before adding them to my muffins.)
  • Spray muffin tin with nonstick spray.
  • Fill each muffin tin 1/3-1/2 way full with veggies.
  • Add 2 egg whites (or 1/4 cup liquid egg whites) to each muffin tin.
  • Bake for 20 minutes.
  • Promptly remove muffin tin from oven and take egg white muffins out and place onto plate to cool (I think this is the way to prevent soggy muffins!)

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Ta-da! What did I tell you? Simple and easy. Enjoy with some oatmeal in the morning, some brown rice, sweet potato or quinoa for lunch, or as an afternoon snack. Hope you like!

Paleo Coconut Muffins

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I’ve been intrigued by coconut flour for quite some time now and finally decided to buy some to try out Spoonful Of Fit’s Fluffy Coconut Pancakes (which….I still haven’t tried yet…maybe this weekend!). Anywho, as my obsession with muffins continues, I decide to try out a coconut muffin. Success! I think I still prefer my Egg White & Oats muffins for breakfast, but these Coconut Muffins would be great with a fresh jam, as an accompaniment to some turkey chili or just as a little warm biscuit spread with a bit of coconut oil….mmmm, biscuits.

So here’s how I made them!

Ingredients (makes 12 muffins)

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Mix, mix, mix those ingredients.
  • Divide batter into 12 nonstick sprayed muffin tins.
  • Bake for 20 minutes.
  • Remove from tins, let cool a little (so you don’t scorch your mouth) and eat or store in the fridge and microwave for about 30 seconds when you are ready for a muffin!

Muffin macros:

Macros

Egg Whites & Oats Muffins

So, anyone who follows me or knows my clean-eating-style knows that I’m all about ease and convenience – the simpler the better. Honestly, a recipe with more than 6 ingredients kind of scares me. That being said, a classic clean breakfast is the “egg whites and oatmeal” combo. Since I started eating this meal at work a couple of months ago, I started thinking that I wanted to come up with a way to transport it more easily (for a little while, and sometimes still, I would bring my uncooked oats, some egg whites in a container to cook at work – eggy oats…that’s for another post – my fruit, nut butter or whatever else I felt like topping my oatmeal with….yeahhh, lots to pack and bring!). So then on one Sunday food prep afternoon, I thought…”why not just bake this into muffins?” (for those of you who aren’t aware, I’m ob-sessed with muffin-izing things). Thus, these Egg Whites & Oats Muffins were born.

Ingredients (makes 12 muffins):

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Mix oat flour, baking powder and cinnamon together.
  • Mix egg whites in.
  • Divide batter into 12 non-stick sprayed muffin tins.
  • Bake for 20 minutes then remove and let cool.

Yep….that’s IT! Fair warning, as I mentioned in my original Instagram post (linked by the picture above) – I’m currently trying to stay away from artificial sweeteners if possible so these are UNSWEETENED. But you could add a sweetener or maybe some fruit (blueberries, banana, strawberries, etc.) and/or do like me and top with your favorite nut butter…everything is always better with a little peanut or almond butter on top! In my world at least.

Here’s how I had my egg whites and oats muffins this morning – topped with 2 tablespoons of reconstituted PB2 (powdered peanut butter – learn more here!) with 1/2 tablespoon of chia seeds mixed in and a side of sliced strawberries. So convenient and satisfying!

Sweet Potato Protein Muffins

So, one thing you guys will learn about me is that I like to keep things simple when it comes to eating. I’ve found that this works best for me. Moving to NYC this past August (after selling our cars back in Texas) made grocery shopping a bit of a challenge. Luckily though, a few months ago, a couple of girlfriends introduced me to Fresh Direct, online grocery shopping that’s delivered right to your door! Definitely makes for easier grocery shopping in the city and besides a few things here and there, I do most of my grocery shopping through Fresh Direct.

Honestly, recipes with a ton of ingredients cause a bit of anxiety for me. I start thinking…”How much of that ingredient do I need now?”…”Where am I going to store all of this stuff?”…”How long will that ingredient last?” You see…our kitchen is a little…limited.

Kitchen

It definitely causes some difficulties and requires some clever maneuvering on my part, but I make things work. No excuses!

Anywho, back to the reason why I introduced you to the fact that I favor simplicity in the kitchen:

Sweet Potato Protein Muffins Recipe

I first tried this recipe out as a pancakes recipe a few weeks ago and they were delicious and a perfect post workout meal! Another thing I favor along with simplicity is convenience. I am a little obsessed with making my foods into muffins right now. Cases in point – egg white muffins and egg white and oat muffins. Having my foods perfectly pre-portioned out and ready for me to heat and eat (rather than weigh out, heat and eat) just makes things so.much.easier. So, naturally, had to turn these pancakes into muffins.

Ingredients

(makes 22 muffins)

  • 16 ounces cooked sweet potato (I baked mine whole, pierced several times with a fork, at 400 degrees for 45 minutes and then peeled and let cool.)
  • 4 scoops vanilla whey protein (I use Dymatize Iso-100)
  • 2 cups liquid egg whites
  • 1 cup spinach (packed)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and then throw everything into a blender.

Blender

Spray your muffin tins with a non stick spray and pour away. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove. Top with your favorite nut butter. Enjoy.

Individual Muffin

Macros (will vary based on type of protein powder used):

MFP Macros

How I Got Started

I’ve been asked by several friends, family members and awesome IG followers about how to learn more or where to start to transition into a healthier lifestyle. While I did not really start focusing on eating clean and lifting weights until just a couple of months ago, I’ll never forget the reason why I started learning more about this lifestyle in April 2012. A friend of mine pinned (Pinterest lingo) a link to the BodyBuilding.com transformation story of an amazingly fit and super inspiring woman named Kelsey Byers. This featured body transformation story on BodyBuilding.com was an interview of Kelsey’s story, why she got started and how, complete with a meal plan, workout schedule and workouts with exercises linked to the website’s detailed exercise instructions. I was so interested in learning more about this “clean eating” stuff because of Kelsey’s amazing and inspiring transformation.

Kelsey's Transformation

A little later on, again on Pinterest, I stumbled upon insanely fit and super inspiring fitness model, Jamie Eason, and her LiveFit Trainer program.

LiveFit Trainer

Through Jamie Eason’s program is where I really started learning more and more about the different types of lifting exercises that I now know today! One of my best friends and I decided to start following this workout program, however, we didn’t exactly follow Jamie’s meal plan and approved food list. I could definitely tell that I was building a little muscle, however, without the proper nutrition, I was not seeing the results that I could have started seeing back then. I’ve learned so much more over the past year that eating right is what is going to reveal your hard work in the gym.

I can’t even count how many amazing, fit men and women I follow now that inspire me every day, but one more that I have to address in this first post is Ashley Scott: The Skinny-Fit Girl.

Ashley Scott

I have been following this girl since last May, right after she started on her fitness journey in April 2012. She has been the most helpful person I follow…and I follow a lot of fit, amazing and totally inspiring people on Facebook! Go check out her Facebook page to see her amazing transformation from beginning up until now (above picture is from a recent, and her first, photo shoot). She posts regularly to give daily motivation, she has shared all of the things she has learned over the past year, she’s amazing with answering questions you might have, and her page is organized in a way that makes it so easy to learn and find things.

Like I said, these are just a few of the inspiring women who introduced me to and got me eager to learn about this lifestyle, however, there are so many other people I follow who motivate me daily. I will work on the “My Inspirations” page of my blog this week to share!

Clean Eating

Okay, so back to one thing that is always on my mind…food! Here is a list of just some of the clean foods that are in my usual rotation (a much more complete list can be found here on Jamie Eason’s LiveFit Trainer site):

Lean Proteins

  • Chicken Breast
  • Turkey Breast
  • Egg Whites
  • Tilapia

Fatty Proteins

  • Avocado
  • Raw Almonds
  • Peanut Butter (all natural, just ground nuts!)
  • Almond Butter (all natural)
  • Salmon

Complex Carbohydrates

  • Oats (not the flavored/sweetened oatmeal – look for steel cut, rolled/old fashioned or quick oats)
  • Oat Flour
  • Brown Rice
  • Brown Rice Cakes (salt free)
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Ezekiel Bread Products

Vegetables

  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Carrots

Fruit

  • Apples
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Blackberries
  • Bananas
  • Grapefruit

Dairy

  • Nonfat Plain Greek Yogurt
  • Unsweetened Plain Almond Milk

Supplements

  • Whey Protein Powder
  • Casein Protein Powder
  • Quest Protein Bars

Like I said, this is by no means a complete list of clean foods – these are just ones that I buy on a very regular basis! As I’ve already tried to emphasize, the food that you put into your body is going to have the most significant impact on the results that you see from eating right and working out. This is one of my favorite quotes (because I am bound and determined to get some ab-progress by the end of this summer!):

Abs are Made in the Gym, Revealed in the Kitchen

I will try to make a more in-depth food post in the near future (which will include a more complete list of clean foods) and I definitely plan to share some of my workouts. If you would like to see some examples of my meals since I started focusing on clean eating or examples of workouts that I’ve recently done, please check me out on Instagram!

Lastly, I just wanted to take the opportunity to point out the irrelevant, but still awesome, fact that fit girls, Jamie Eason & Kelsey Byers are both native Houstonians!

Jamie Eason & Kelsey Byers

What y’all know about them Texas girls?!