Friday, February 22, 2013

The Two-Ingredient* Cookie, a Total Pin-Win!

There's been a photo floating around Pinterest boasting a two ingredient (plus mix-ins) cookie.

That pin. That one up there. See how pretty it looks? See how freakin easy it looks??? It honestly was that easy.

I thought of this pin when I was at the grocery store, miserable because I couldn't find shredded coconut. So I went back to the hot cereal aisle, grabbed some quick-cook oats since I'm a rolled oats girl and didn't have any of the flaky kind at home and I was in business.

I won't bore you with photos of my cooking process as the ones in the pin and on the original blog are so much better, but I will show you my finished product!

So.. Darn.. Good.. I may have eaten 6.

I chose to mix in Guittard Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (my fave!) and some diced prunes. These cookies were SO YUMMY and I will definitely make them again!

2 Ingredient* Cookies [original here: The Burlap Bag] (15 cookies, ~20 min) 

3 olderish bananas
1 1/2 c quick-cook oats
5 dried prunes
90 Guittard Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (I actually counted out 90 of the little suckers, I like my nutrition info as exact as possible!)

Preheat the oven to 350
In a large bowl, mash together bananas and oats
Stir in mix-ins
Form into 15 cookies on a lined baking sheet
Bake for 15 minutes
Let cool before eating

Nutrition Info (obtained by entering ingredients into MyFitnessPal)
Per cookie: 72kcal, 15g carbs, 2g fat, 2g protein

*Obviously, this cookie has more than two ingredients, but it's a cute name!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Monster Leg Day

Today's workout was legs and glutes. I walked in to find an empty squat rack which changed my entire game plan. I used the heck out of that rack! Back squats, front squats and some overhead squats to boot!

Some guy was glaring at me for taking my time in the rack, but looked a little ashamed of himself after I failed an overhead squat and it was clear that if I didn't have those back safety rails, I would have dropped that bar on myself and gotten seriously hurt.

I look at it this way: I pay just as much to use that gym and equipment as anyone else so I have just as much a right to it as anyone else; if you want to work in, all you have to do is ask. I've never heard anyone turn that down.

After squats, stiff legged deadlifts, and some leg curls, I headed to the local high school for a leg day first. My boyfriend is a nutcase and will sometimes do a lap of walking lunges on the track... a full quarter mile of lunges. I made it my goal to do that today.

Quarter mile walking lunges checklist: crazy pants, water bottle, shoes with super flexible soles
I set my iPhone up with a crazy playlist and got to it. I counted my lunges in sets of 10 (one step each leg) for posterity's sake. It took me 220 lunges (that's 220 on each leg) to get around that track in 23 minutes and 36 seconds. You can bet that I took a bunch of breaks while doing this! Toward the end, and while I was slowly inching past the practicing track team (embarrassing), I would gasp "nineteen..... twenty" and I would just stand there breathing for about 10-20 seconds before starting in again.

Halfway through my lap, I realized what an awesome idea sunscreen would have been. I was very glad I decided to bring a hat along.

After finishing my lap, I rolled out the beach towel I brought with me to do a glute workout. I have a physical therapist friend who brought the fact that I have extremely weak glutes to my attention. Apparenty, this is a common phenomenon in weightlifters, weak glutes and an overcompensating piriformis muscle.

I had read an article from T-Nation about glutes called "Dispelling the Glute Myth" and decided that I should get started on those recommended exercises right away since I have been doing barbell hip thrusts but felt I wasn't doing them effectively.

That's how I came to be on a beach towel, on a high school track, doing glute bridges, bird-dogs, and fire hydrants.

Have you ever done fire hydrants in front of a bunch of high schoolers? I recommend it. It's hilarious.

Today's workout by the numbers:
Barbell Squat - 10 reps at 45lbs, 20 reps at 75lbs, 6 sets of 3 reps at 135lbs
Front Squat - 10 reps at 45lbs, 2 sets of 10 reps at 65lbs, 1 set of 10 reps at 75lbs
Overhead Squat - 4 sets of 10 reps at 45 lbs
Stiff Legged Dumbbell Deadlifts - 5 sets of 10 reps with 37.5lb dumbbells
Seated Leg Curl - 10 reps at 40lbs, 4 sets of 10 reps at 80lbs
Walking Lunges - .25miles, 220 lunges on each leg
Glute Bridge - 2 sets of 10 reps with a 5 second isometric hold at the top
Bird-Dog - 2 sets of 10 reps on each side with a 5 second isometric hold at the top
Fire Hydrants - 2 sets of 10 reps on each side with a 5 second isometric hold at the top

Cherry Banana Cake Batter Protein Pancakes

I have a very busy day today. I had a super intense legs and butt workout planned, I have to start packing up some boxes for my upcoming move, and my family is celebrating my Dad's birthday!

On weekends when I have a monster workout planned, I like to have some protein pancakes to start my day. I use Muscle Milk protein powder because it has a pretty phenomenal ration of carbs/fats/protein that keeps me satisfied for a long time. The recipe I use is based on a recipe that the fabulous Steph Turnbull posted on her instagram page a few months ago. You can find her original post here.

Cherry Banana Cake Batter Pancakes with Smart Balance and a little bit of Maple Syrup, mmmmmm.

Cherry Banana, Cake Batter Protein Pancakes (serves 2, ~15 minutes)
2 scoops of Muscle Milk Cake Batter Protein Powder
1/2 cup of rolled oats
3/4 cup of liquid egg whites
1/2 cup of water (I add some toward the end because the batter tends to thicken)
1 cup of halved frozen cherries
1 sliced banana
optional toppings: butter, smart balance, syrup, jam, yogurt

Preheat a 10 inch frying pan over low/medium heat
Mix the protein powder, oats, egg whites, and water in either a bowl or a protein shaker, I use a shaker bottle for the easy pour spout :)
Spray your pan with some non-stick spray
Pour out about 1/4-1/3 cup of batter and sprinkle with frozen cherries
Flip when the pancake is golden brown on the bottom
When pancake is ready, flip it onto a plate and put down a layer of banana slices, your pancake stack will have little layers of banana inside
Start the next pancake...continue til done!

Nutrition Information (without toppings):
370 cal, 50g carbs, 7.5g fat, 28.5g protein

They're absolutely delicious.

Since I had a huge day planned... I ate the entire two servings myself. :)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Baked Oatmeal Muffins

If you fail to plan... you plan to fail.

I've had a bit of extra stress lately and that has definitely been reflected in my meals. Carb and fat counts are creeping up, so I'm taking this Sunday afternoon to plan for this upcoming week! I also took a much needed trip to the grocery store to restock on fresh fruits and veggies.

My $45 grocery haul, flowers included. Baby carrots, bananas, a bell pepper, blackberries, blueberries, carrots, cottage cheese, eggs, egg whites, eggplants, plantains, rice cakes, sweet potatoes, and a zucchini!

My breakfasts have been a little lacking the past month or so, very boring protein/oatmeal shakes. I started looking for some fun recipes and got excited about baked oatmeal! I'm a huge fan of oats, so I'm excited to see how these taste.

I made a few substitutions to cut down on the amount of sugar and oil in the recipe. I used baby food in place of vegetable oil because I enjoyed it so much in a batch of brownies a few weeks ago.

I'm actually munching on one of the baked oatmeal muffins now... and they are delicious!

Baked Oatmeal Muffins (serves 12) ~50 min
inspired by this recipe:

3 cups rolled oats
10 chopped dates (I used a food processor)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup of liquid egg whites
1 cup of soy milk
1 4 oz jar of Gerber Apple Blueberry baby food
1 cup of fresh blueberries
1 cup of fresh blackberries

Preheat oven to 350ºF
Mix all dry ingredients with egg whites and milk in a large bowl. Stir in berries.
Spoon mixture into a pre-greased muffin tin. Bake for 40-45 min.

Nutritional Info: 119 calories, 22g carbs, 2g fat, 4g protein
*I calculated this by putting the ingredients into MyFitnessPal

Clean Eat Egg Quiche Muffins (6 servings, 2 quiches per serving) ~ 45 min
inspired by this recipe:

2 carrots, shredded
1 zuchinni, shredded
1 red bell pepper, shredded
14 egg whites
4 whole eggs
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon dried whole dill
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 375ºF
Shred your veggies!! Put them aside in a large bowl, hand mix them, and then fill pre-greased muffin tin 2/3 the way full with veggies, some will be leftover.
Mix together egg whites, eggs, nutritional yeast, dill, oregano, and pepper.
Use a liquid measuring cup as your ladle and slowly divide the egg mixture evenly between the spaces in the muffin tin. The egg mixture will slowly seep down through the veggies, so be patient!!
Evenly divide the remaining veggies between the muffins.
Bake for 30 minutes.

Nutritional Info: 117 calories, 6g carbs, 4g fat, 15g protein
*I calculated this by putting the ingredients into MyFitnessPal

Baked oatmeal on the left, clean quiche on the right

Having a food plan is a pain to get started, but it definitely helps keep you on track and it does get easier with practice!

Benefits of food planning include:
-easier to make sure you're fulfilling your macronutrients
-less stress because you've already decided what you want to eat
-less food waste because you have a use planned for everything you buy

I tend to plan out my breakfasts and lunches because I eat them at work and I don't want to be caught in the "hmm... where do I want to go for lunch today" because there aren't very many healthy choices in the restaurants near my workplace. Planning and cooking my breakfasts and lunches for the week ahead works well for me. I leave dinner unplanned so I have the opportunity to have some choice in my day so when I leave the gym on a Tuesday craving tacos, I can whip up some healthy tacos... mmm... tacos. :)

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Roasted Baby Carrots

This is the first year that my 49ers have made it to the big show in about a decade, so I am a smidgen excited. I was raised in a Giants/49ers household and I'm pulling hard to bring home the World Series and the Superbowl title home the same year.

Superbowl Sunday, in my family, is a yearly holiday in which we congregate around the tv and pig out for a few hours. This year will be no exception, but I'll be adding a fitness component to our tradition this year. I present to you, the "Superbowl Workout"!

For every touchdown: 6 jump squats
For an extra point: 1 more jump squat
For every interception: 10 high knees
For every flag: 5 pushups
For every coach's flag or challenge: 5 burpees
For every false start/offsides: 10 mountain climbers
For every foul: 30 second plank

Quick note, if you are a Ravens fan, you'll need to double all those numbers.

Original found here
We will be having the usual football snacks, but you can bet I'll also have some healthy options!

I'll be bringing my oven roasted baby carrots to dip in hummus (my favorite snack of late), a giant bag of clementines, apple slices, and a super rich Cake Batter protein shake to have on hand if I start craving something sweet.

Roasted Baby Carrots, 6 servings

2 lb bag of washed baby carrots
2 T honey
2 T balsamic vinegar
1 T ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400°F
Dump the baby carrots into a 9x13in baking dish
Drizzle with EVOO, honey, and balsamic vinegar
Sprinkle with ground cinnamon
Mix well with hands or a spoon (I like to lick my fingers afterwards)
Bake for 25 min

Let them cool before enjoying! I've been dipping mine in Trader Joe's white bean hummus or just snacking on them by themselves.

My snack from earlier this week at work... after I ate half the carrots. :) Too tasty to wait!
With just a peek at my ridiculous new favorite pants.

I love love love polka dots, so I just had to snap up these jeans. Check out those pattern matching skills!