Protein Banana Pancakes!

I am super excited to tell you about……… BANANA PANCAKES! Say WHAT???? I can’t even begin to express how happy I am about these.

I recently started doing Pilates through a website, this girl is seriously awesome! Her name is Cassie Ho. Anyhow, she is all about clean eating and eating what is right for your body. She had this recipe of Banana Pancakes that I just tried today and it was awesome, so I wanted to talk about them to you today. Her recipe is as follows:

1 banana, 2 eggs, olive oil or coconut oil

Blend the eggs and banana together (I used a blender!)

Cook on olive oil-ed/ coconut oil-ed pan!

TA-DA Banana Pancakes!

But what I did that was a little different was I added some protein powder to my banana pancake mix as well. About a scoop of protein powder. Now its full of vitamins and protein and it is also very filling. Instead of syrup, I spread some sugar free strawberry jam over them! Unfortunately I ate the pancakes way to fast and didn’t even think to take a picture of them for you to see!  But seriously, its delicious, and filling. And you can make them and have extra for the next morning!

Guys, you don’t even know how excited I am about these pancakes right now.

You can check her video out for yourself here

The Banana Pancakes Recipe Video!

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Clean Eating Broccoli and Cheddar Soup (Panera Bread Copy Cat)

Good evening!

I’m here to share with you my delicious recipe for Broccoli Cheddar soup that tastes exactly like the one from Panera Bread! Its SUPER EASY and only takes about 30 – 45 minutes. Also, the ingredient amounts can be adjusted to whatever amount you want to make.

Ingredients

2 – 3 bunches of organic broccoli

3 large organic carrots

1 large onion

5 – 6 cloves of garlic

1 cup organic half and half (or almond milk)

8oz block of cheddar cheese

3 – 6 tablespoons organic salted butter

3 – 6 tablespoons organic wheat flour (or any substitute)

Spices: onion powder, garlic powder, kosher sea salt, black pepper

First, chop up your veggies. I am picky, so I leave the onion and garlic cloves whole, and then I fish them out at the end. If you prefer, you can dice them up. Dump it all in to a large pot. Fill the pot with enough water to cover the veggies (about 2 -3 cups). Sometimes I find myself adding extra water throughout because some of it evaporates. Let the veggies boil for about 15 or 20 minutes until they are as tender as you prefer.

Once the veggies are nice and tender, start up your roux in a separate pot (about medium sized). Now, the amount of butter and  flour you add is up to you depending on how thick you want your soup to be. I like mine to be thick so I use 6 tablespoons of butter and 6 tablespoons of flour. Which ever amount you choose, just make sure the butter and flour are equal parts. Melt the butter on medium heat and when it is completely melted, whisk in the flour slowly.

Next pour the roux into the large pot of veggies and stir. You can keep the burner on medium heat. If its too high the soup will start to burn on the bottom.

Let this slowly bubble as you cut up the cheese in to small cubes (or you can use a cheese grater, but thats too much work for me). Before I add the cheese, I make sure to take out the onion and garlic cloves. Now add the cheese cubes and stir often to allow them to melt fully. If you want, you can add other types of cheese for variety. The final step is to add the spices. You can choose how much you add, just be sure you are doing taste tests.

Finally you’re done. Enjoy! Save the rest in a large bowl or tupperware container and keep in the fridge. It generally lasts up to one week!

Let me know what you think in the comments! And please don’t forget to subscribe!

Vega One Nutritional Shake

I love love love this stuff! I will recommend this to anyone and everyone.

I normally blend up a smoothie with frozen strawberries, 1 banana, greek yogurt, a splash of milk, and about 5 ice cubes. After its all mixed together in the Magic Bullet, I toss in a scoop of the Chocolate Flavored powder. I struggle with trying to get enough veggies in my day, so this plant-based powder gets them in there for me!

Here is the information taken from Vega One’s webpage:

Made from real, whole food ingredients, Vega One All-in-One Nutritional Shake has the good stuff you’d choose if you had the time – all in one delicious scoop. With everything you need, Vega One gives you:

  • 20 grams of complete, multisource, plant-based protein
  • 6 servings of greens
  • 50% daily intake of food-based vitamins and minerals
  • 25% DV fiber
  • 1.5 grams of Omega-3s
  • Antioxidants
  • Probiotics (1 billion CFU)
  • Low-glycemic with no sugar added
  • Only 160 calories per serving

Vega One is free from dairy, gluten and soy, and contains no added sugar, artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners. Vega One is also Non-GMO Project Verified.

Available in Berry, Chocolate, Vanilla Chai and Natural flavor.
Enjoy Vega One shaken with water, juice or a non-dairy beverage of your choice, and as a delicious, nutrient-supplementing addition to your favorite smoothie recipe.

Did I mention it tastes amazing?! Those of you who are vegan, you can replace the greek yogurt and milk with appropriate substitutions of your choice. Or you can mix the powder by itself with some water or almond milk. Your choice! I think it tastes just as good with plain water, but making it into a smoothie is like a delicious frozen treat.

I generally have this as a lunch replacement 3 or 4 days a week. It is plenty to fill me up until dinner time. Although I like to have little snacks here and there anyway (almonds, fruits).

They also have single-serve sizes so you can try it out before buying the large tub. Give it a try and let me know how you like it in the comments section!

More Budget Shopping at Whole Foods

Hi everyone! I’m here to share another Whole Foods Receipt with you!

2 bakery rolls – $1.50

1.5 lbs of organic broccoli (3 bunches) – $4.66

1 bunch of carrots – $2.49

1 pint organic blueberries – $2.99 (SALE!)

1 lb organic stawberries – $3.50 (SALE!)

1 large vidalia onion – $1.28

1 lock of sharp cheddar – $2.49

16oz organic salted butter – $4.49

1 jar peanut butter – $2.79

1 pack of chicken breast – $7.03

1 cantaloupe – $2.99 (SALE!)

Total with Tax (and reusable bag refund) = $36.00

Normally I’ll buy a few apples to have as my mid-day snack, but lately they have been giving me a belly ache after I eat them. So instead I got a few different fruits to make a fruit salad! I can have this for a snack every day this week.

The carrots, broccoli, onion, cheddar, and butter are for homemade broccoli cheddar soup (Panera copy-cat). I’ll post the recipe for you when I make it later this week! It is absolutely delicious! Also, the rolls are for me to dip in the soup. This will make a yummy lunch for about 5 days.

For my breakfasts I already had bread, but I’m running low on PB so I grabbed a jar.

For dinner, I picked up some more chicken. I have a few bags of frozen veggies already.

And there you have it. I am set for the week!

Feel free to comment or email me if you want any budgeting or meal planning advice!

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Budget Friendly Shopping at Whole Foods

whole foods

I always hear people say they want to “get in shape” and “go on a diet” and they say that one major barrier for them is the cost. They tell me they can’t afford a gym membership and they can’t afford to shop at Whole Foods. They don’t want to spend tons of money on something if they won’t see immediate results.

Just a friendly reminder that diets DON’T WORK. I could go on and on about this topic, but I’ll save that for another time. What you need is a lifestyle change. You need to change the way you think about food and learn to respect your body.

So today I’m here to tell you how to can afford to buy healthy and organic foods on a budget!

I’m a grad student and I only work part time, so money is tight for me. But like I said in a previous post, I was tired of feeling like crap. One day I decided to finally take a stroll around Whole Foods and wow, was I surprised!

Yes, some items can be expensive but the majority of the items are a reasonable price. Even if you are spending a little bit of extra change, you are getting a quality product that is definitely worth it. Read more about the Quality Standards at Whole Foods here.

Look! Here is my receipt for this week (for one person):

Large Brown Cage Free Eggs – $2.99

1.5 lbs of fresh Organic Broccoli – $4.69

1 Bag of Organic Carrots – $1.69

4 Bananas – $1.12

2 Organic Golden Potatoes – $2.03

4 Organic Fuji Apples – $6.76

1 Block of Sharp Cheddar – $2.49

1 Loaf of Organic Wheat Bread – $3.99

Total with tax = $29.70

That is what I bought today. I already have a lot of other ingredients to prepare my meals for the week. My total is normally between $30 and $50 depending on what I get. Mind you, some items I only have to buy once a month.

This is what my menu normally looks like:

For breakfast I’ll usually have peanut butter toast or eggs with toast. For lunch I’ll either have baked chicken with vegetables or in a wrap. On my days off from work, I’ll have a strawberry banana smoothie with greek yogurt and Vega One powder for lunch instead. For dinner, I’ll have baked chicken or baked fish with vegetables or pasta with tomato sauce and meatballs. Snacks throughout the day are normally an apple, an orange, and a homemade granola bar.

I do try to mix it up as much as I can. For example, I make homemade soup a lot (broccoli cheddar or potato bacon cheddar), and it normally lasts 4 to 5 days. Other times I’ll get salad fixings, but I get bored of salad really quick. I gotta say, Pinterest is my favorite place to find clean eating recipes. You can follow my Healthy Living Recipes board here!

Please, take a chance and wander around Whole Foods and see that you can get great deals (and free samples)! You won’t regret it! Even if you decide to only do some of your shopping there, it is a step in the right direction.

One word of caution, however. Stay clear of the middle aisles! Prepackaged snacks and foods are expensive there. I’m talking about granola bars, cereals, boxed meals. Try to make it homemade by yourself with whole ingredients. It will be cheaper and healthier! I will be posting tons of recipes, such as for my soups, granola bars, and breakfast muffins.

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So You Want to Be Healthy?

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About half a year ago I was tired of being tired. I was feeling physically fatigued and depressed. My skin would constantly break out. Without health insurance, I really couldn’t go to a doctor to get any blood work to diagnose my symptoms. So I chose to take matters in to my own hands and started experimenting with my lifestyle choices to see if anything changed.

1. CUT THE CRAP

I was drinking coffee daily and eating junk food nonstop. McDonalds for lunch, pizza for dinner… anything that was quick and easy. I was constantly snacking on sugary treats.

The first thing I cut out was coffee. It was a tough choice but I had to do it. The withdrawal headaches sucked, but I made it through. Now I didn’t plan to never drink coffee again. I allow myself to have a nice toasty cup once a week, generally on the weekend when I can relax and enjoy it.

The next thing I cut out was processed food. I began reading about Clean Eating and decided to give it a shot. I began food shopping at Whole Foods and never looked back.

The third thing I am still struggling to cut out is sugar. Sugar is my number one weakness. If you hand me a cupcake, I will devour it and ask for a second. It’s a problem. I have reduced my sugar intake, however I still have moments of weakness.

2. ADD SOME VITAMINS

I wasn’t getting proper nutrition and my body was trying to tell me that through aches and fatigue. Now I take a women’s multivitamin, omega-3, vitamin A, and chaste berry extract. These have improved my overall physical well being. I actually feel good!

3. WATER WATER WATER

I don’t drink anything else except green tea and spearmint tea. When I can, I’ll cut up some lemon slices to add. It is great for digestion and hydration. No more soda or juice, and I rarely have the desire to drink those. Sometimes I do enjoy the occasional beer or glass of wine.

4. GET ACTIVE

Humans spend too much time sitting down these days. I drive 45 minutes to work, just to sit down for 8 hours, and then drive home for another 45 minutes. Then I would just sit around at home until it was bedtime. You have to get up and move around. When I’m at work I try to walk around or stand as much as possible. Then I do the same thing when I am at home.

Now I am trying to incorporate more exercise in to my lifestyle. I try to go for one long walk/jog/hike a week. I do yoga at home 2 -3 times a week. I use tiny 5lb weights every other day.

5. LOVE YOURSELF

No one is perfect. Working in the mental health field, I see people break down over one setback. So what if you had pizza for lunch? So what if you didn’t hike this week? So what if you drank a couple beers? SO WHAT? Don’t be so hard on yourself. You are a human and you deserve to indulge. The important thing is moderating how often this happens.

Like I said before, I have one cup of coffee a week. I also allow myself to have one junk food meal each week. The sugary snacks…? Well sometimes I can go a whole day without it, and other days I crave it. So that is something I am still working on. But hey, I’m not hating on myself for it!

Can you imagine a life where you never got to have coffee, cookies, alcohol, pizza, cheeseburgers again? We would all be miserable!

The bottom line is: Reduce the processed food, increase the clean food, take supplements (if needed), get active, and love yourself!

Thanks for reading 🙂

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