Double Chocolate Protein Pancakes

I love pancakes and waffles and although I have given up many of my favorite treats, I found I can still enjoy my favorite foods by just making some simple swaps or finding healthier versions of them. It was in this instance that I was inspired to create Double Chocolate chip pancakes. I always liked Ihop’s Double Chocolate Chip Pancakes but with a whopping 550 calories and 18 grams of fat that’s a clean eating NO, NO.  In my recipe, I substituted Protein pancake mix, Protein Powder and Cocoa nibs.

The recipe is as follows

1 c. Kodiak Cakes Powercakesm Whole Grain Buttermilk.

1.cup water

1 Scoop Body Tech Whey Protein in Rich Chocolate or any Chocolate Protein Powder you prefer. This was the one I had on hand but next time I would use Whey Isolate (less Calories, Carbs).

1/2 tsp Trader Joes Dark Chocolate Cocoa Nibs, Chocolate Chips can be used if macros allow but I decided this would be healthier.

Mix together and put in a heated griddle, till pancake browns on the sides and is ready to flip. Makes about 6 4″ pancakes.

I topped mine with 2 Tbsp of Plain non-fat Greek Yogurt, strawberries and Walden Farms zero calorie, Sugar free Chocolate Syrup. So yummy! Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Recipe Notes: Kodiak Cakes have 14 grams of Protein if only water is added but for added Protein egg and milk can be added in lieu of water for added protein up to 21 grams.

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Snacks At Your Fingertips

Many of those who are into clean eating and living a healthy lifestyle are usually planners, we plan our meals, snacks, workouts, cheat meals, etc. It seems like Snack and food companies have recognized the demand and popularity that clean eating isn’t a fad it’s a lifestyle change and have created opportunities for those who choose to eat healthier to have the option at their fingertips, or snacks by mail with companies like Bulu Box, and Graze leading the pack.

Bulu Box’s concept is simple,  the company offers a membership fee of $10 a month and each month you will get a new box with 4-5 premium samples to try, you can choose from a general or weight loss box, or create your own mix of products. Once you recieve your products in the mail, you will get a card with all the product descriptions and be asked to review them. For each review you write, you earn points to go towards another Bulu Box. The option to cancel is good at anytime.  Another company with a similar concept is Graze.

Graze was created by seven health concious friends who wanted a better way  to snack without the guilt, the outcome Graze, it gives customers different boxs to choose from with 4-5 samples but over 90 choices to pick and choose from should you not find your desired option, options include a variety or sample box, a sweet box or savory box, It gets rid of the boredom, and repititiveness of eating the same snacks every day while still eating healthy. I’ve enjoyed getting food from both these sites, and both offer promotions and deals from time to time to make the expense even more affordable. It’s a way to try something new without the commitment. I suggest giving these sites a try. Let me know what you think. http://www.bulubox.com and http://www.graze.com

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A Quest for Smore…

Although, I am little late to the party, I am finally reviewing Quest Nutrition’s latest protein bar creation, the Smores bar. When one envisions a smore pictures of campfires, graham crackers and melted chocolate and marshmellows melting over your hands and mouth are what probably come to mind. As much as Quest has tried to capture this, I wouldn’t say they yielded the desired result, but a good one for the product at hand. However, if one is expecting the bar itself to taste like a smore from your hey days you’ll be disappointed. The bar itself had a good texture, it seemed softer and more pliable than other Quest bars, it had a good ratio of marshmellow and chocolate, but the graham cracker pieces seemed to be lacking. The marshmellow flavor was mellow, not overly sweet which I liked since I’m not a huge marshmellow fan but the globs of chocolate got me they created the perfect balance and I’m a chocolate lover at heart.  Like many of the Quest bars, this one tastes best warmed in the microwave or oven for a few minutes to bring out it’s texture and softness.  I tried the bar, because I enjoy the Quest products and  frequently use their bars post workout so when this flavor came out, I knew I had to try it but although I know some might disagree, the bar leaves  a lot to be desired and just leaves you wanting smore….

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Weighty Issues : Weighing in on “Reality” Tv

Weight Loss is a billion dollar industry and with the average size being a 14, and the media has capitalized on this by making it acceptable to be overweight and has both glorified it and has made a mockery of those trying to help themselves and objectifying them in time of weakness and vulnerablity. Some may say yes they signed up for this, but the question is why for money or fame, or to be inspiration and with shows like ” The Biggest Loser”, “My 600-lb Life,” “Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition” and Lifetime and TLC’s newest shows “Big Women, Big Love” and ” My Big Fat Fabulous Life” all these emotions and scenarios are evident and have come to light.  Coming from a place where I can identify and have compassion for these individuals because I’ve been there and know what a hard process it can be not only physically but most importantly mentally but I can’t say I have sympathy for all of them.

In regards to shows like ” The Biggest Loser” where it seems like controversy reigns supreme for it’s outrageous methods of training and challenges as well as the controversy on how the weight loss occurs, past contestants Kai Hibbard and Suzanne Medoconda have spoken out against the show stating weigh-ins didn’t occur weekly, fake scales were used, contestants were told not to drink water 24-hours before a weigh-in and worked out for over eight hours a day in a room with no air conditioner. There is also the controversial weight-loss of Rachel Fredrickson the 2014 winner who lost 60% of her body weight weighing a frail 105 a shock to the audience and trainers alike which also brought the show under fire once again. Weight Loss, shouldn’t be a competition and the only person you should be competing with is yourself. It has also come to light that many of these losers have regained more than half their weight and that the ” Biggest Loser” and their methods can’t be sustained because it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle and in order to succeed in weight loss or life the biggest muscle you must train is your mind.  Shows like Extreme Weight Loss Makeover edition, haven’t faired much better but there methods seem a bit more humane and trainers Chris and Heidi Powell more compassionate, although whether it be physical or internal factors many of those contestants have regained the weight, showing that weight loss is a never ending journey to those who struggle with food addiction or emotional eating. In my own experience, those weren’t my issues, mine were due to medical issues that slowed my metabolism and poor food choices with limitted exercise but when I made my mind to change I didn’t look back, I only want to continue to move forward in attaining the body I’ve always wanted. There were times like on these shows like ” My 600-lb Life”, “Big Women,Big Love” and ” My Big Fat Fabulous” life where the victim mentality is widely used and exploited the “Why Me” and I too was in that place but I think there comes a time when you have your “breaking point” where your tired of being tired and upset by your circumstances and realize there’s is nothing you can do to change it unless you set your mind on changing yourself.  Every episode of “Big Women, Big Love” has show titles involving food or shows them constantly eating or choosing the wrong foods, I am not saying they don’t but I think editing has a lot to do with it, and I think the show itself is fat-shaming the women for ratings, because not everyone who is overweight eats a lot, I didn’t even if I chose the wrong food at times. They seem to highlight the women’s most vulnerable or embarassing moments rather than happy ones. Granted, the show just started so hopefully it turns around for the better but I don’t see it being likely.

On the other end of the spectrum, is Whitney Way Thore, the subject of TLC’s ” My Big Fat Fabulous Life”, this is the one show I have the biggest issue with. Thor who used to be a trim 115lbs growing up, steadily began gaining weight in college due to Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome,  I can attest to her sentiment that PCOS can make it incredibly difficult to lose weight but not impossible because I have it and to date I have lost 109lbs and have kept it off for over a year and half so it is possible. I also know others who were on weight loss shows like Extreme Makeover Weight Loss edition who struggled with the same issues and kept the weight off as well.  My issue with her and the show is she blames all her weight gain on PCOS and not as much on her lack of exercise and food choices in the episodes, I’ve watched so far she’s eaten pizza and wine, drank beer and eaten banana and mayonaise sandwiches, even though her family tries to help her make healthier choices. Thore who became famous on YOU TUBE for being called “Fat Girl Dancing” has become famous for it, hence the premise of the show, Thor says she loves dancing and wants to use it to help her lose weight for her health because it’s something she’s always done but then she says she’s happy being fat and loves her body. I think that’s contradictory and hypocritical. When dancing doesn’t seem to work, she tries working out with a trainer and seems defeated after the first workout. Thor has done interviews saying she lost 100lbs and then regained it back. I think again, it comes down to mindset and how bad you want to change and what your willing to do to change and weighing what you can accept and what you can’t in Thor’s case I think she’s capitalizing on the fame of her youtube channel to gain fame herself and is using the victim mentality to get viewers to sympathize with her but as much as I wish her success if weight loss is what she wants I can’t agree with her reasoning and sympathize with how she got there. ” What the mind believes, the body can achieve”.

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A Set Point

In the past few years going through my weight loss journey of actually losing the weight and hitting the goal or number many people have told me, you’ll have plateaus, and your body has a set point that your body wants to be at. I understand where these people are coming from and there is probably a lot of evidence to support their statements. However, I have become passionate about health and fitness and have done my own research and know that people can go beyond their “Set” point in a variety of ways some may be healthy and some unhealthy. I have chosen to do it the healthy way by being meticulous with my diet and exercise and just continue to tell myself that in the end ” Failure is not an option” a friend told me that a long time ago and every time I face a difficult goal or situation I remember that. I also remember and want to point out that these people even with their good intentions, are not me, they don’t know what I’ve dealt with, been through, or what I am capable of handling. When I have a goal, my mind is made up and I will do whatever it takes to make my goals happen, because I believe in myself, in my abilities, in my capabilities and know that at my core my inner strength, mind and heart and determination are the strongest muscle I have, and no one decides my “SET POINT” but ME! I am in control of my life and what makes me happy. So before, you berate me or enslave me with your words of negativity, disgust, or “concern”  know that I know myself better than you. I am a strong, fit, determined woman who has dreams and a passion to become the best she can possibly be and I see nothing wrong with that. So let live and let learn and don’t let society, their standards or opinions, influence what you are, what you are capable  of and what you become.

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New year, New Goals

Being a Virgo, a perfectionist and organized I always make a to-do list so to make a list of my new year’s resolution seems like a no-brainer, so here’s my to-do list for 2015.

1) Get my degree and certification in nutrition and health coaching.

2) Get certified as a group exercise instructor

3) Get my Body fat down between 10-12%

4) Run a 5k in 25 minutes or under.

5) Run a 10k or do a spartan race.

6) Meet Amanda Latona

7) Win the lottery (Let’s hope for lucky#7)

8) Blog more often

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