Tag Archives: Protein

the paleo waffle. perfected.

Hey y’all! I hope everyone had a good weekend. Saturday night was my last Delta Gamma formal :(. I can’t believe I am about to graduate. Honestly, I don’t feel like my time is up! I wish I could have the two years I spent at UCSB back so I could re-live them here at UCD. But then again, if I had never gone to UCSB, I probably would never have gotten to compete at collegiate nationals in triathlon. That was truly the experience of a lifetime. So, I’ll just tell myself that those 3 hours were worth the two years of the insanity that is Isla Vista.  Saturday night was a blast, and if you have ever been to a sorority formal, you probably know they can be quite the sh!t show.

But not to worry, we kept it pretty classy!

Sunday was spent studying for a bio midterm, memorizing MCAT physics flash cards, and writing a 23 page lab report on the effects of parasympathetic and sympathetic input to the heart. You know, from that lab where I showed you the picture of frog. Some of y’all didn’t like that very much…

Also as tradition on Sundays, I made waffles to freeze for the upcoming week. I have been working on this recipe for over a month now and I have finally perfected

the paleo waffle.

all dolled up with nowhere to go – except inside my belly.

and here they are naked

And do not fret if you don’t have a waffle maker! I bet these can easily be made into perfect paleo pancakes.

Perfect Paleo Waffles

Recipe: Makes ~7 waffles or 3 1/2 servings

Ingredients -

  • Sorry – this recipe has been removed until further notice!

Options:

  • for a gingerbread waffle, add a 1/2 tsp ground ginger, a pinch of nutmeg, and 1/2 tbsp molasses
  • for a maple bacon waffle, substitute the coconut oil for bacon grease and add 1 tbsp of maple syrup. Bonus points for also crumbling in crispy bacon bits!

 

Another nudie pic…

Seriously, these waffles are awesome. They required over 5 rounds of tweaking, but they are finally moist, fluffy, lightly sweet, and not a weird eggy texture. And they are grain free, sugar free, dairy free, and every other type of free you could possibly be. 

I consider 2 waffles (plus toppings of course!) a meal because each waffle packs so much protein and fiber. Check it!

So two waffles is 20 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber! Slap on a few tablespoons of nut butter and youve got yourself a meal!

So, since it is technically

I will start with today’s breakfast.

two paleo waffles (surprise!) with birthday cake cashew butter and toasted coconut shreds on 1, and Barney’s almond butter on the other

And lunch was another bacon grease salad.

This one was such a winner. It had romaine, onions, tomatoes, carrots, and sprouts tossed with honey mustard bacon dressing and topped with a ton of turkey, two slices of crispy bacon, and blue cheese.

FYI: Blue cheese and bacon were made for each other. And beef.

Snacks included an apple and a Kind bar. And dinner was another tossed together salad before CrossFit. The WOD was uhhhmazing.

  • 1 minute L sit
  • 800 meter run
  • 30 squat clean  (75 lbs)
  • 100 double unders
  • 30 headstand pushups (I used a box)
  • 100 double unders

Post WOD I made my nightly snack that I have been hiding from you all for months. I seriously eat this almost every night before going to bed.

Coconut Dream Bowl

Recipe: Serves 1. Only.

  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • couple drops of stevia
  • pinch salt
  • dash coconut beverage
  • a high fiber coconut muffin crumbled in (recipe to come!)
  • topped with: toasted coconut shreds, coconut macadamia nut butter, and/or sliced almonds

Directions – Mix together the yogurt, vanilla, stevia, salt and coconut beverage. Crumble in the muffin and top with toasted coconut shreds, nut butter, nuts, whatever!

Alright, I’m out. Have a wonderful day!

4 bacon grease salad recipes!

Happy hump day, yall!

To continue the story, I did end up going out on Saturday night, but only as the sober sista. I drove my friends downtown and hung out with them until about midnight (which was a riot) and then went home to bed. Sunday I was feeling better, but decided to keep resting and laying low. All in all, I took three days off from working out. While I did go a little stir crazy, I am glad I abstained. Working out definitely prolongs recovery from illness or injury. And bonus! I am no longer sore in any part of my body.

Actually thats a lie, because I hit the gym hard Monday and now my bum is sore. But now I know I can donkey kick two hundred and ten pounds. NBD.

Anyway, all my green monsters, cow livers, and kombuchas actually helped! I think three days is record timing for going from near death to feeling pretty good. If you’re sick, I definitely recommend choking down some liver. I had some leftovers today and as long as you only have a tiny bit at a time, it isn’t so bad. The after taste is bad though. Truly rank.

Lets cut to the chase food. For all of these delicious recipes below, I recommend you eat them with a good source of protein on the side. I usually top mine with shredded chicken breast or a crumbled burger. But eggs, turkey, or whatever on the side is fine too!

Each day you want to ideally aim for .7 – 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. 1 gram per pound is for people who exercise pretty hard and/or are trying to gain muscle. I go for at least 100 grams a day and typically eat 4 meals (or 3 meals and a large late night snack), so thats about 20-30 grams per meal. Many people will say this is too much protein but I don’t think so. From what I have learned in my biochemistry classes, physiology classes, and personal research, this is what I choose to go by. At least, it works for me. Everyone is different though, and we all have genetic and epigenetic differences. For example, I know some freakin’ ripped vegans that probably don’t get that much protein per day.

As promised, here is my great grandma’s recipe for bacon grease salad from the Depression era.

Wilted Red Leaf Lettuce with hot Bacon Dressing

 this picture is actually for the recipe after this one

Recipe: serves 1

  • 4 cups red leaf lettuce, shredded
  • handful baby tomatoes or veggies of choice, optional

for the dressing - 

  • 2 strips of bacon (nitrate free and organic if possible!)
  • 1 tsp brown sugar (white is fine too)
  • 1/2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp purple onion

Directions - Place the bacon in a microwave safe bowl. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the bacon is very crispy and most of the fat has pooled at the bottom of the bowl. Remove the bacon from the bowl and let the extra grease fall into the bowl. Set the bacon aside on a paper towel. Add the sugar, balsamic vinegar, and onions to the grease and stir. Press the onions into the dressing with a fork. Taste and adjust to preference. Pour the hot dressing over the lettuce, so that it wilts. Top with the crispy bacon crumbles.

Microwave free option: Place the bacon and onions in a pan and cook on the stove top. Let the onions caramelize in the grease. Once the bacon is very crispy and as much grease as possible is in the pan, spoon out the bacon and set on a paper towel. Scrape the grease into a salad bowl. Add the sugar, vinegar, and caramelized onions and stir. Add the lettuce toss. Top with the crispy bacon, crumbled. Enjoy!

Tart Cherry, Apple, and Blue Cheese salad with Bacon dressing

Recipe: Serves 1

  • 4 cups Romain lettuce, chopped
  • 1/2 apple, diced
  • 2 tbsp dried cherries
  • 2-3 tbsp blue cheese
  • crumbled bacon from the dressing
  • bacon dressing (above)

Oh and this next one is SO GOOD! And SO EASY! 4 ingredients. Get someeee. 

Bacon Honey Mustard Salad dressing

Recipe: Serves 1

  • 2 strips bacon (nitrate free and organic if possible!)
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar

Directions – Place the bacon in a microwave safe bowl. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the bacon is very crispy and most of the fat has pooled at the bottom of the bowl. Remove the bacon from the bowl and let the extra grease fall into the bowl. Set the bacon aside on a paper towel. Add the mustard, honey, and vinegar to the bacon grease and stir. Taste and adjust as desired. Put onto ANY SALAD COMBO and it will taste amazing. Top with crumbled crispy bacon.  (You can also do the microwave free option above).

Maple Bacon dressing

Recipe: Serves 1

  • 2 strips bacon (nitrate free and organic if possible!)
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar or white balsamic
  • pinch salt
  • you can also add a bit of mustard if you are feelin’ it

Directions – same as above!

Adios.

an amazing lunch

So, I started a Pinterest account.

Not because I want followers, not because I want to follow, but because I needed to do something about the sick amount of recipes I have bookmarked on my browser and starred in my Google Reader. It was getting ridiculous – and they weren’t even useful because the mass quantity of unorganized information was daunting. Plus, there were no pictures with the titles, only boring text – which is not inspiring in the least. (I realize this is something I need to fix with my own blog.)

Since this Pinning has started, my recipe-following has skyrocketed! One thing I have learned though, is that just beacuse something is published in print or online does not mean that it is actually going to taste good. Some recipes have bombed, some have been decent, and a couple have blown my mind.

This one is my favorite thus far and will certainly become a staple ’round hurr…

Chicken, Green Bean, Corn, and Farro Salad with Goat Cheese

Recipe: Makes 4 servings

slightly adapted from epicurious

  • 1 cup cooked farro (I used a quinoa mix!)
  • 2 large chicken breasts, cooked and diced
  • 4 cups green beans, cut and steamed
  • 2 cups cooked corn kernels
  • 1-2 green onions, sliced thinly
  • 2 tbsp minced marjoram [Yes, you must go out and find this. I bought dried but the original calls for fresh.]
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp minced shallot
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 4 oz. goat cheese

Directions – Mix farro, chicken, and green beans in a bowl. Add corn and green onions. To make the dressing, combine the oil, marjoram, and salt. Press with a spoon to release flavor. Whisk in vinegar, shallot, and mustard. Pour over salad and toss. Crumble in goat cheese and toss again. Season with salt and pepper.

Benefits

Corn * gets its yellow color from its antioxidant content, carotenoids! Also has a high fiber content, particularly insoluble, which aids in regularity!

Green beans * are full of carotenoids, flavonoids, vitamin C, and beta carotene, all of which have antioxidant activity and thus reduce oxidative damage. One study showed green beans to have potent anti-inflammatory action.

Marjoram * is rich in vitamin C, A, and antioxidants. It is also one of the richest herbal sources of vitamin K, which is very important for bone health!

Quinoa *  This super food has more protein, fiber, and nutrients than rice, oats, and almost every other grain.

Nom!

Also, just so y’all know, I have added a workout tab to the blog! It made me realize I haven’t posted my most recent lifting routine. I am actually just about to get my 90% hangover-recovered self to the gym to do it…(First and last Thursday night outing of the quarter – don’t judge!)

Full Body Lifting Workout

This takes me about 50-55 minutes, starting with a half mile warm up jog on the treadmill. Follow with a delicious whey protein shake!

Back squats – 145 lbs – 5 sets of 6 reps (always take a break if your form begins to slip! Remember: Duck ass!)

Pull ups – 3 sets of as many as possible

Dead lifts – 120 lbs – 3 sets of 8

Kickback machine – 190 lbs – 3 sets of 6 for each leg cheek

Lat pull down – 75 lbs – 3 sets of 8

Leg curl machine (hamstrings) – 75 lbs – 3 sets of 8

Tricep dips – bodyweight – 3 sets of 8 (or failure)

One legged lunges (with other leg on bench) with barbell over upper back – 50 lbs – 3 sets of 8 per leg

Hanging leg raises – 3 sets of 15+

Other ab work/pushups if you’ve got the energy!

Detox: Day 1

The detox today was quite the success! I woke up and decided to forgo my usual coffee. I do not think that coffee is “bad for you” because we learned in Food Science that the effect that coffee has on our heath depends on our genetics. People who are fast metabolizers of caffeine (AKA can fall asleep in class soon after drinking 24 oz of light roast nectar) will not suffer ill effects from drinking coffee. Those who are slow metabolizers (people who are bouncing off the walls for hours after a small) may have an increased risk of heart attacks. While I am definitely a fast metabolizer of caffeine, I do think that it contributes to my constant state of mild dehydration. I could fix that by drinking enough water, but water is so borringggg.

Basically what I did for the detox was eliminate dairy, caffeine, and refined sugar and emphasize veggies, fruits, and whole grains in a series of mini meals. (Except I forgot there is some parmesan in my pesto…) The switch to mini meals was really different for me since I usually eat three big fatty meals a day. This way of eating, though, is a bit hard on the digestion. I prefer larger, more lavish meals over lighter, more numerous meals simply because they are more satisfying and usually have more complex flavors.

My number one beef with normal detoxes and “cleanses” is that they are usually essentially protein-free. I am not down with that. Eating or drinking only vegetables and fruits or weird spicy lemonade drinks is basically asking your body to please please burn off my muscle. Dietary protein is not stored in the body; our only sources of it are what we eat while it is still in our system and our own muscles. Every day, the cells of our muscles, hair, skin, everything turn over. We are constantly breaking down our muscles and rebuilding them. Sure, some of the protein that we broke down goes back, but some does not, and we need dietary protein to rebuild our cells every single day. So, to prevent muscle loss (and thus a slower metabolism!), I made sure I got enough protein through both complete sources and complementary sources.

First things first to get things movin’:

1 mug of hot water with fresh lemon and ginger

Mini meal #1:

Superfood Smoothie Recipe

I have had this Vega stuff sitting in my kitchen for over a year now and have hardly used it. To be honest, it really does not taste very good. Very planty, with essence of earth. But the nutrition facts are out of this world and I like that it has lots of enzymes to help things along!

1 1/2 scoops vega vanilla chai powder

~3/4 cup frozen blackberries

a few drops NuNaturals vanilla stevia

handful ice

~3/4 cup almond milk

Directions – Blend away!

Mini meal # 2:

Fruit & spice infused bulgur cereal

 

Recipe: Serves 1

3/4 cup bulgur breakfast mix (recipe below)

~1/2 cup almond milk

handful pecans and walnuts, chopped

Directions – Pour the almond milk over the bulgur breakfast mix and heat in the microwave for about 20 seconds. Top with nuts.

Bulgur Breakfast Mix

Recipe: Makes 2-3 servings

1 cup bulgur

2 cups water

1/4 cup vanilla almond milk

a few drops NuNaturals vanilla stevia

1 tbsp dried cherries

1 tbsp dried blueberries

1 tbsp dried raisins

1/2 tbsp flax

1 tsp psyllium

cinnamon to taste (I also added a pinch of nutmeg)

Directions – Combine the water and bulgur in a pot and bring to a boil. Cover and remove from heat. Let sit for 30 minutes. Drain off any excess liquid. Pour into tupperware and add the almond milk, dried fruit, flax, psyllium, and spices. Seal and let sit in the fridge overnight.

30 minute run!

Mini meal # 3:

Kale & Carrot Salad with Honey Sesame dressing 

 

I didn’t realize it at the time, but this was definitely inspired by Natalie!

Recipe: Serves 1

1/2 bunch kale

1 large carrot

handful shredded coconut, toasted

1/2 tbsp white sesame seeds

for the dressing -

1 tbsp tahini

1/2 tbsp coconut oil, melted

1/2 tbsp coconut butter, melted

2 tsp honey

Directions – Heat the coconut oil and coconut butter in the microwave until melted, about 20 seconds. Mix all the ingredients together and let sit. Wash the kale and tear the leaves from the stalks into a bowl. Grate the carrot into the bowl. Toss with all of the salad dressing. Top with sesame seeds and shredded coconut.

Mini meal # 4:

4 hardboiled eggs  (minus a yolk or two)

1/2 slice of grain free banana bread (recipe to come!)

Bikram yoga class for the first time in a year!

Meal # 5:

Summer vegetable & white bean-quinoa salad with basil walnut pesto

 

 

Recipe: Serves 1

1/2 cup white beans, cooked

1/2 cup quinoa, cooked

1 small patty pan squash

1 small zucchini

1/4 small sweet onion

~2 tbsp basil walnut pesto (recipe here!)

Directions – Preheat the oven to 400. Slice the squash and zucchini and onion into small cubes and place on a baking sheet. Bake for one hour and remove the onion and zucchini. Bake the squash for an additional 30 minutes. Combine the quinoa, beans, and vegetables in a bowl and toss with the pesto. Enjoyyyy.

Mini meal # 6:

1/2 slice grain free banana bread

2 hardboiled eggs

Whew! I feel pretty darn good. ;)

My all time favorite go to snack..

I’ve been bad. I’ve been keeping a secret from you.

Or more, withholding one of my favorite recipes of all time.

The recipe is for nut bars that are out of this world delicious and incredibly nutritious.

They are high (healthy) fat, high fiber, gluten free, low carb, suga free, and the portion size is awesome.

The inspiration came from my obsession with Kind Bars. Unfortunately, my wallet is not so obsessed with them. The tanned hide actually cringes as I remove a 10 dollar bill for a measly 5 bars.

My favorite flavor is the Almond Walnut Macadamia protein plus bar. It has hints of vanilla and extra protein. May I present…

Positively Nutty Bars!

Recipe: Makes ~5 bars

1/4 cup cashews, roasted

1/4 cup peanuts, roasted

3 tbsp almond flour

1 tbsp pecans, chopped

3 tbsp puffed kamut

2 tbsp ground flax

1 tbsp shredded coconut

1 tsp sunflower seeds

1 tsp wheat germ (sub flax to keep them gluten free)

dash salt

Wet ingredients - 

2 egg whites

1 tbsp tahini

30 drops NuNaturals vanilla stevia, or to taste

optional: 1/8 tsp vanilla bean scrapings

About substitutions: Obviously there are a lot of ingredients, but that is because I wanted them to have a bit of everything, not out of necessity. Feel free to sub in and out different types of nuts for endless flavor combinations. If you don’t have stevia, you can use a bit of honey or maple syrup and a few drops of vanilla extract. If you don’t have almond flour, you can make it in the blender or food processor, or just use whole or chopped almonds. Substitutions should be okay as long as when you add the wet ingredients it can all be held together and is not too dry and not too wet. You want to be able to spread it in a baking sheet.

Directions: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix. Combine the wet ingredients in another bowl and mix until homogenous. Pour the wet into the dry and mix until combined. Spread into a greased baking sheet (that has walls) so that the batter is about as thick as your finger nail. Bake for  7-8 minutes. Let cool and slice and enjoy! Store in the fridge or freezer.

look at the chunks of nuts, all weaved into a blanket of protein and fiber ;)

Benefits:

Pecans * contains vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, protein and fiber! The fat in pecans is 90% monounsaturated and 70% monounsaturated (the good kind). Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant. Studies have shown that pecans can lower cholesterol and thus are heart healthy! They also have been linked to reduced risk of breast cancer and weight loss.

Peanuts * a great source of manganese, Vitamin E, tryptophan (calming!), niacin, folate, and copper! Peanuts also contain lots of healthy monounsaturated fats and antioxidants! They have been linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and have been shown to significantly lower your chances of getting colorectal cancer.

Almond flour * by subbing almond flour for regular flour, you are getting more healthy fats and less carbs in your bars. These are monounsaturated fats, which raise HDL (good cholesterol) levels and lower LDL (bad cholesterol) levels! Almonds also have fiber, manganese, vitamin E (another antioxidant), tryptophan, copper, B2 and phosphorous!

Cashews * may help prevent gall stones and are a prime source of copper, tryptophan, magnesium, and phosphorous. Low copper intake can lead to anemia, osteoporosis, elevated LDL cholesterol (bad), and join problems. Inadequate magnesium can lead to muscle cramps (the kind that wake you up at night in agony), headaches, high blood pressure, and fatigue. While obviously high in fat, most of it is monounsaturated and may help lower triglyceride levels and reduce risk of cardiovascular disease.

Coconut * coconut gets a bad rap because of its saturated fat content, but its fatty acids are mainly medium-chain triglycerides, not long-chain. The long-chain triglycerides are bad for our cholesterol levels, but coconut has been shown to improve cholesterol levels. Animal studies suggest that medium-chain triglycerides can increase metabolism.

Kamut puffs * a gluten free grain that has calcium, riboflavin, thiamin, niacin and iron!

In summary, make these bars!

Rockin’ the scrubs

The weekend has arrived! This week was incredibly hectic, but very rewarding. I began my internship at the fertility center on Wednesday. I have a very good feeling about it, and I am fully aware and prepared to do lots of filing and notsofun stuff. My feeling is that even if 80% of what I am doing is essentially busy work, as long as the other 20% leaves me feeling fulfilled and/or  like I have learned something, then it is completely worth it.

First day jitters

On my first day, one of the nurses gave me a tour and I was able to see the ultrasound rooms, the cryogenic freezer, the surgical rooms, the sperm donation room……and the room where embryos are literally made! The embryologist showed me the microscope that she works under to artificially inseminate the donor egg. It is attached to a TV screen so I will get to watch her make babies some time! I spent the rest of the time alphabetizing charts and paperwork, but even that was interesting. When I got home, I was ravenous and made a delicious dinner and dessert…

New Zealand lamb sliders on a whole wheat bun with Lori’s goat cheese brussel sprouts.

You have to make these brussels. The recipe could literally make dirt taste good. I only made one alteration because I didn’t have any juice, which for me is a huge deal seeing as I usually butcher recipes.

Balsamic Goat Cheese Brussel Sprouts

lots of brussel sprouts (for multiple servings)

1/2 sweet onion, chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

3 tbsp goat cheese (I used a bit more)

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (I just drizzled it everywhere, Im not sure if I used a whole 1/4 cup)

3 tbsp orange juice pomegranate cocktail mixer (hehe)

salt & pepper

Directions – Saute the onions in olive oil until soft and add the brussel sprouts. Cook until soft. Scrape into a bowl and toss together with everything else!

Dessert was another blog recipe! I have actually made Joanne’s Boston Marathon Cookies twice. Once following her recipe religiously, and once changing it up a tad. Both ways were tasty, but my changes made them a bit more dessert-like and less snack-like.

Who knew sesame seeds in cookies would taste so delicious?

This photo is from when I made them according to the recipe. If you wish to try them the way I made them, sub coconut oil for the olive oil, skip the dates and lemon zest, and use more vanilla extract and sesame seeds.

On Thursday, I had my 8am biochemistry lab until 1. Knowing it was going to be long one, I made a hearty breakfast…

2 slices whole wheat toast, cream cheese, 4-oz smoked salmon, tomato, onion, salt

In lab, we extracted DNA from our own cheek cells, purified the lactate dehydrogenase enzyme, and then ran it through an electrophoresis gel. It sounds really fancy, but it actually wasn’t so bad. I didn’t do anything drastically wrong, but I did throw away the girl’s next to me test tube of purified product. I had to dig through the trash to get it out for her. Unfortunately, the trash was filled with saliva from other peoples cheek cell extractions…… Yum.

Afterwards I went to the fertility center, for a few hours and mostly did filing. I got to talk to the head endocrinologist the last half hour of my shift and those 30 minutes of conversation left me feeling so excited and in awe. I shouldn’t jump to any big conclusions, but MED SCHOOL kept running through my mind. As soon as I got out, I headed to the gym and did my usual weight lifting routine and followed it up with this bomb protein smoothie:

I could eat this e’eryday. 

Dark Chocolate Cherry Protein Smoothie

Recipe: serves 1

1/2 cup frozen cherries

3/4 cup unsweetened chocolate almond milk

1 scoop chocolate protein powder (~25 grams protein)

ice

couple drops stevia + vanilla extract + pinch salt

Directions – Blend!

I am sorry this was more of a diary entry than a blog post. Hopefully it wasn’t too painful. I just got a package of vanilla beans in the mail (the envelope smelled of vanilla), so I’m thinkin’ sesame-vanilla bean cookies are in order!

Movin’ on up

Good morning! I am up at the azz crack of dawn because I have that dreaded biochem lab at 8am. Despite my lack of sleep, I shot out of bed this morning because I wanted to get this into my belly…

Smoked Salmon & Herbed Goat Cheese Quiche

20+ grams of quality protein per slice!

It was so delicious! That + coffee + an apple should be able to hold me over for the majority of the impending 5 hours of hell protein assays. I definitely recommend this recipe; it is simple, but so decadent!

On the fitness front – I upped my squat weight yesterday! One of the few other girls who lifts at the ARC (not that I really count) encouraged me to add an extra 10 pounds, so I did and I didn’t fall over! Score. So, now I am essentially squatting my body weight at 5 sets of about 10. Ladies, if you are afraid of lifting weights because you think you are going to get “manly” or “bulky” – don’t be! Ask a friend (or if you are weird like me, a near stranger) to help you get started, or hire a personal trainer one time to ensure that you learn proper form. I have felt (and dare I say looked?) much better since I started emphasizing strength training. When I was spending the most time doing cardio for triathlon training, I was the least healthy. If you need inspiration, check out these other lady bloggers who rock out at the gym. After my workout, I had really good protein smoothie.

That is actually a photo from my pumpkin pie protein smoothie, but they look almost the same. The Vanilla Sweet Potato Protein Smoothie was 1/2 cup baked sweet potato (almost frozen), a handful of ice cubes, 1 scoop cinnamon bun whey protein powder, and 1/4 cup milk. Its a great recipe because the caramelized sweet potato is fairly high GI and will help raise insulin levels after your workout. Ordinarily, you want to keep blood sugar stable in order to keep your insulin levels low, but a spike in insulin actually increases growth hormone production. After weight lifting, you want that insulin and growth hormone spike in order to build more muscle! The whey protein is an easy to digest and highly bioavailable source of protein for your body to use.

Oh, did you want that quiche recipe?

Smoked Salmon & Herbed Goat Cheese Quiche

Serves: 4

1 frozen whole wheat pie crust

1 1/2 cups egg whites

2 whole eggs

1/4 cup milk

3-4 oz smoked salmon

1-2 oz goat cheese

1 cup sauteed onion & leek

dill

salt

pepper

Directions – 1. Preheat the oven to 400. Chop up 1 leek and half of a sweet onion. Saute on the stove with a dash of olive oil until soft. 2. In a bowl, combine the egg whites, eggs, milk, and herbs. Mix well. Shred the smoked salmon and fold it in. Fold in 1 cup of sauteed leek and onion (total). 3. Pour the mixture into the pie crust. Top with goat cheese. Bake for ~40 minutes, or until cooked all the way through. Serve with salad and smear of sour cream or greek yogurt!

I love spring.

Benefits:

Eggs * the yolk is where all the nutrients are! It contains tryptophan, selenium, iodine, B vitamins, and phosphorous, many of which are necessary for optimal metabolism. The egg white has 6 grams of complete protein!

Dill * aids in digestion, is a relaxant, can help ease insomnia, and contains the antioxidants monoterpenes, which protect against cancer!

Whole wheat flour * unlike refined white flour, whole wheat flour has more B vitamins, fiber, folic acid, calcium, zinc, phosphorous, copper, and iron. Whole grains reduce your risk for diabetes and have also been linked to weight loss and maintaining a lower BMI.

Salmon * contain monounsaturated fats, calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, phosphorous, and vitamins A, D, B6 and B2. The omega 3 fatty acids raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels and lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. Also makes hair grow faster (from personal experience!) and your skin smoother.

Leeks * are a good source of folate, manganese, and vitamin C! They also contain the antioxidant kaempferol which help protects blood vessels.

How is your week looking? Have a wonderful Tuesday!