Single Serving Chocolate Cake: high carb + low fat

It’s Friday night and you’re itching for some chocolate. Still slightly full from a tasty Thanksgiving dinner, you need a sweet treat that won’t throw you completely off track for days to come.

You are not alone. So many times, I’m hit with a crazy craving for something chocolatey, chewy, and delicious but have zero options in my apartment. Cookies and crackers are not in my apartment, so on the occasion that I want something in the baking realm, I get creative.

This recipe is the result of chocolate craving I had a few weekends ago. I hadn’t gone grocery shopping and had to make due with the things in my pantry (so all those fancy Pinterest recipes were not gonna work).

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Three protein balls: recipes + macros

If you never know what to eat pre or post workout or get so hungry after you finish your lifting sesh that you eat everything in sight, then you need to keep on reading cuz these protein balls are just what you need!

Even as a personal trainer and nutrition coach, I have a hard time getting food on board before working out. Let’s just say, at 5:30am, I’m sure as hell not feeling a protein shake or egg whites and veggies. When I’m well-prepared and in good habits, I’ll have a serving of my favorite protein bread or a couple protein bites. Recently, in case it’s not clear, I have not been following the best habits, instead, starting my workouts in a fasted state.

So, when my air conditioning unit went bust and I couldn’t leave my apartment for a few hours on a Saturday, I decided it was time to get back to my protein ball/bite roots by creating brand new recipes.

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Your Secret to Fat Loss: Veggies

Whether you are a lover of all things green or you can barely eat vegetable tempura, you know they’re good for you. Whether or not you like veggies, they are a super important part of your diet, full of micronutrients, antioxidants, and vitamins.

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BUT do you know how important they are for fat loss? In fact, it’s probably the first thing a nutrition coach will tell you, EAT MORE VEGGIES. Why? It all comes down to one fact.

There is one secret to fat loss. Veggies. Veggies will change your life and fat loss journey.

They are nutrient dense but not calorie dense. 

For every calorie of vegetable you eat, you get a LOT of nutritional value. Think about how much vitamin c, calcium, and fiber are in just a two cups of spinach. Compare that to the nutrients you get eating a donut. The donut has tons of calories but not a lot of good-for-you stuff.

And because they’re not calorie dense, portion sizes are So. Much. Bigger. Using the spinach and donut example,  27 cups of spinach has the same number of calories as a standard, 3-in diameter donut.IMG_3072

Why does nutrient density matter?

If you are aiming for fat loss, satiety is the name of the game. Being hungry kind of sucks, so ideally you will find a diet that doesn’t leave you ravenous the entire time you’re working towards your goals.  You’ll be trying to eat a lot of nutrient dense and non-calorie dense foods. This will allow you to eat more AND make sure you aren’t missing out on any key nutrients. In layman’s terms, low calorie density = large portion size.

This is why I recommend my clients eat at least one serving of veggie at every meal and snack. This is a lot of veggies, especially if she’s been following the standard American diet, and we’ll work up to it, as needed.

Now, even if you know veggies are important, how do you increase your intake? Here are three tips to get in your veggies.

Tip #1: eat the rainbow

If you’re new to paying attention to your veggie intake, just focus on a colorful plate as much as possible. Your plate should not be shades of brown but rather covered in different colors. Ideally, each meal should have a colorful fruit or veggie AND a dark green one. This ensures you’re getting a variety of nutrients and balances out your day.IMG_3374

Tip #2: start strong at breakfast

If you start your day with a meal that supports your goals, you’ll find it’s a lot easier to stay true to them all day. This is why breakfast is sooo important. But, it is also challenging to add veggies to your breakfast. This is when you’ve gotta get a little creative. Some of my favorite ways to add veggies to my breakfast?

  • Add frozen spinach to a protein shake (you won’t even taste it)
  • Canned pumpkin or cauliflower rice in your oatmeal
  • Grated zucchini can be added to any sort of pancake, waffle, muffin, or even oatmeal
  • Roast veggies like zucchini, broccoli, or bell peppers to bring out their sweetness and serve with eggs and toast
  • Mix veggies, eggs, and egg whites into a veggie scramble

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Tip #3: one salad per day

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know one of my daily nutritional rules is to have a #BAS once a day. This helps keep you full throughout the day due to the high volume of food you can eat.

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Just be careful with more calorie dense toppings, like nuts, dried fruit, and cheese. Load up your bowl with as many fresh veggies as you’d like, top with protein, and your favorite dressing.

New to salads? Start with a “beginner” salad, like a Caesar salad with chicken or a cobb salad. Build the habit, then make it a little healthier. You can grab this at any restaurant or fast food joint, too.

I hear from women all the time that they have a hard time eating on the go. Drive-thru’s, happy hours and travel can botch even the best intentions for healthy eating. SO, I put together this super simple cheatsheet for dining out and how to stay consistent with your nutrition wherever you go. No crazy meal plans, just the handful things you need to implement daily to eat moderately, completely stress-free. Grab a copy of the FREE #ConsistentNutrition Cheatsheet below.

What’s your favorite way to eat veggies? 

Chocolate Chip Protein Bread Recipe: Pre-Workout Nutrition

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved morning workouts. Roll out of bed, grab my clothes, and get started. It’s so much easier to motivate myself to get moving when the day’s trials haven’t left me pooped. I also love my morning workout because nothing can get in the way. If I set my alarm, I’m good to go.

Although working out in the morning is fantastic for your willpower and routine, it can be difficult to get your pre-workout nutrition on point. When you’re getting up super early to fit in your workout, the idea of getting up thirty minutes earlier to make a pre-workout snack just sounds awful (and exhausting!).

There are a number of ways around pre-workout snacks if you work out immediately upon waking.

  • Have a portion of your carbohydrates in your bedtime snack. This will ensure your body has glucose available in your early workout.
  • Sip on BCAAs throughout your workout.
  • Fuel up on carbs immediately after your workout.

Since moving to Texas and starting my blog/fitness coaching business, my morning routine has shifted a bit, giving me almost an hour between waking up and starting my workout. When I started feeling jittery during my lifting sessions, I realized it was time to make a change and was inspired to create this recipe! It’s inspired by Jill Coleman’s Cookie Dough Bread. I modified a bit to decrease the fat content and to fit the ingredients I had in my apartment.

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I eat a small slice (half the regular serving, AKA 1/16th of a 9 inch loaf pan) before my workouts now. It’s great because you can make the loaf on a Sunday and it’ll last you well it throughout the week, even into the next.

If you're looking for an awesome pre-workout snack. with lots of protein and carbs, my chocolate chip protein bread is perfect for you!

Let me know if you try it and what you think! If you’re looking for a guide of how to incorporate these yummy treats into your day, be sure to check out my restaurant eating guidebook. I break it all down for ya so you can be consistent wherever you are.

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What’s your go-to pre-workout snack?

{Guest Post} Healthy Snack Ideas

Hey there friends! Happy Friday! Today, I’ve got a special treat for you: a guest post from one of my dear friends, Zoe. Zoe and I met at the Radiance Retreat in Los Angeles in May and connected right away. She’s an incredible woman AND health & happiness blogger. Enjoy her delicious snack recipes, and be sure to connect with her! 

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As Katherine mentioned, we met at the Radiance Retreat in Venice, California, and we immediately clicked – she is such a sweet girl, and it is so refreshing to meet women who are as empowering and as caring as she is. I was thrilled when Katherine asked me to write a guest blog for her 14 day challenge. I hope you love what I have put together for you all!

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Protein Cookie Dough Recipe for One

This is the snack I eat every time my sweet tooth hits. Gluten free & sugar free recipe!

Happy Friday! How did your week go?! I hope the short week treated you well 🙂 Today, I’m sharing a yummy snack that’s great for those Friday nights when you’re wanting something sweet.

If you’re anything like me, sweets can be your downfall. You can handle the whole day, eating on plan, getting in all your veggies and protein, but by 5pm, you’re looking for something to fill your sugar cravings.

When this craving hits, you’ve got a few options that won’t hinder your progress.

Grab a piece of fruit (or frozen berries, my fave)

Eat half a protein bar (Quest or Clif Z-Bars, yum) 

Eat just a square of dark chocolate

OR, try my protein cookie dough made with my favorite protein.

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I prefer my cookie dough because volume. There’s something satisfying about a food that lasts more than a few bites. Don’t get me wrong. I love my dark chocolate but that’s “over” way too fast. With this cookie dough, you get 1 protein and 1/2-1 carb serving, and that leaves me feeling very sated.

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It’s a super basic recipe that you can tweak to your cravings, too. Add chocolate chips, frozen berries, or shredded coconut to your protein cookie dough. Anything you want: just be sure to measure those add-ins. This will make sure you don’t go overboard.

Today, I'm sharing a yummy snack that's great for those Friday nights when you're wanting something sweet. Gluten free and sugar free recipe!

 

Let me know if you try it! In addition to being a great cravings buster, it’s an awesome pre or post workout treat 🙂

Oh, if you are looking for ways to fit this yummy protein cookie dough into your diet, head over to my instagram to see how I #mindthemiddle in all nutrition situations. It’s totally possible to have your cake and eat it too, I promise!

What’s your favorite “healthy” snack?

Warm Sweet Potato and Kale Salad Recipe

Looking for a quick recipe for dinner tonight? Try my warm sweet potato and kale salad recipe.

Right before leaving for California, I accidentally ordered a delivery from Blue Apron. Oops. It worked out though–I cooked about half of the food and froze the rest.

One of the dishes was a delicious sautéed purple potato dish. The potatoes were lightly seasoned and cooked with granny smith apple. This was a combination I never expected…that also blew my mind.

I was then inspired to create my own version of the dish based off the ingredients I had available and my preference for any type of kale salad.

Sweet Potato and Kale Salad Recipe

I subbed sweet potatoes for purple potatoes, added shaved brussels sprouts, and created a light multipurpose vinaigrette. As always, please take all of my recipes as suggestions. Amounts are definitely not exact!

I was then inspired to create my own version of the dish. I subbed sweet potatoes for purple potatoes, added shaved brussels sprouts, and created a light multipurpose vinaigrette. Try this sweet potato and kale salad recipe!

Serve this salad with chicken, fish, pork, or steak. It is a great recipe to make ahead of time and eat all week. The flavors honestly get better after sitting together over a few days.

Alternatively, you could also sauté cubed chicken breast with the potatoes, garlic, and onion for a one pan meal (my fave).

Let me know if you try it! I would love to know your modifications too!

What’s a recipe you’re loving lately?

Chili Recipe: Turkey and Butternut Squash

Sharing a yummy meal for those random spring nights that feel a bit more like winter 🙂 

I’m not sure how the weather’s been where you are (let me know in the comments!) but in Texas, we’ve been dealing with a pretty crazy storm. Flash flood warnings, thunder, and lightening have been filling our days. When weather like this hits, I start craving comfort foods. Something warm, filling, and topped with copious amounts of cheese 🙂

A few weeks ago,  I decided to make up a new chili recipe. I’ve made chili (successfully) before but wanted to add a little more nutritional value without also adding additional prep work. Using frozen and pre-chopped veggies, this recipe makes a complete dinner.peppersandonions

 

I used my slow cooker to up the easy factor but you could just as easily use a regular pot. If you do, be sure to combine all ingredients and simmer for at least an hour to meld all the flavors.

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As you mau know, I don’t do a whole lot of measuring when I’m cooking, so the seasoning amounts are total approximations in this chili recipe.

Be sure to taste as you go, adjusting salt, pepper, and chili powder to your preferences.  Try it out, and let me know how it goes!

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Bonus! The chili becomes even better the next day, so it’s the perfect recipe for leftovers.

I decided to make up a new chili recipe. I've made chili (successfully) before but wanted to add a little more nutritional value without also adding additional prep work. Using frozen and pre-chopped veggies, this recipe makes a complete dinner.

What’s your favorite slow cooker recipe?

Copy cat mighty muffin recipe

A couple weeks ago, I saw one of my favorite IG trainers snacking on a Flapjacked mighty muffin. Needless to say, I was SO excited to try a new healthy treat, so I headed to Amazon to pick up a few. When I got to the sell page, I noticed the price tag: $5 per tasty little cup.

After balking a bit, I added a couple to my cart and checked out. By that point, I was already too curious NOT to buy them. Maybe they would be so life-changing that I could justify the muffin that cost more than my morning coffee.

When they arrived at my apartment, I immediately opened the box and made one. Even as I enjoyed the chocolatey goodness,  I knew I had to find a way to make them at home. Although they’re super delicious and have a great macro profile, they cost almost as much as my favorite can of wine! Just no.

Look. I’m all about convenience and making meal time stress free. I’m the queen of “not cooking,” easy meal prep, and prefer my recipes to be completed within 20 minutes (don’t believe me? Here are my 5 healthy dinner recipes that’ll be on the table in less than 20 minutes flat). But at the same time, healthy eating should be available to everyone, so expensive supplements and shortcuts aren’t always my jam.

So, to make healthy eating easier, wherever we are, I put together this super simple cheatsheet for dining out and how to stay consistent with your nutrition wherever you go. No counting, measuring or stressing required, just the handful things you need to implement daily to eat moderately. If you’re in, my #ConsistentNutrition Cheatsheet shows you how.

That’s why I had to make the copycat mighty muffin: so we can all have a healthy treat that’s quick, full of protein, and relatively low in carbs. This super simple recipe is tasty and won’t bust all your healthy eating goals.

After a number of iterations, I’ve created a recipe that I think is pretty close to the original, in both taste and nutrition!

Why do I like it?

  • This muffin has a great balance of carbs & protein for post workout.
  • It’s got less than 275 calories, making it an easy snack for throughout the day.
  • The ingredient list is super simple. You probably have all these in your pantry.

The only ingredient that may be less common is coconut flour. Still, don’t click away! Although I love coconut flour because of the fiber and the mild taste, it’s not absolutely necessary. So, if you don’t have it, sub in regular, whole wheat, oat, or almond flour. And as always, look at my recipes as guidelines! If you’re inspired, free to riff on it, changing up the flavors and toppings too!

Copycat mighty muffin recipe!

Looking for a healthy-ish treat? Try my copycat mighty muffin recipe.

How to use the copycat mighty muffin in your nutrition

While this isn’t health food, per se, it’s definitely not on the same level as having a slice of cake. That’s why the copycat mighty muffin is a perfect example of how to use my #mindthemiddle framework.  Instead of restriction or aiming for perfection (I’ll never aim for perfect again-see why), we focus on moderation and minding the moderate middle in every nutrition decision. To mind the middle, we take each eating situation and pick the moderate option.

As as example, maybe we’ve got balanced breakfast, lunch, and dinner down pat. But by the time 8pm rolls around, we’re craving something sweet and our willpower is shot (if willpower is tough for you, don’t miss my five lifestyle tips to boost your willpower and learn to lose weight WITHOUT it).

In that case, we’d pick an option that’s not the best but also not the worst. Instead of having a bowl of ice cream or nonfat plain greek yogurt, maybe we whip up my chocolate mug cake or this mighty muffin!  Is it the best option? Heck no. But it’ll also keep you satisfied and less obsessed with your next treat. #mindthemiddle is my favorite was to eliminate nutrition stress in my day. (see how to stop stressing about food here)

I hear from women all the time that they have a hard time eating on the go. Drive-thru’s, happy hours and travel can botch even the best intentions for healthy eating. SO, I put together this super simple cheatsheet for dining out and how to stay consistent with your nutrition wherever you go. No crazy meal plans, just the handful things you need to implement daily to eat moderately, completely stress-free. Grab a copy of the FREE #ConsistentNutrition Cheatsheet below.

What’s your favorite daily treat?

Customizable Protein Bite Recipe

Here’s a quick, healthy snack you can throw together in no time and use for the whole week!

Hey folks! We’re so close to the weekend, I can almost taste it! Doing anything fun?! I’m considering finally buying a TV so I can watch Netflix and write/edit video/work/etc, so that and church on Easter Sunday are on the docket for me.

Often, I hear people struggling to maintain their balanced/on plan/healthy eating over the weekend. It IS hard when you’ve been sticking to your diet all week and begin to feel like you deserve something extra.

My preferred way to attack this problem is to eat towards satisfaction all week long! (If you’d like some more strategies, my friend and trainer, Paige, wrote an AWESOME post on this. Check it out.) What’s that mean? For me, it’s:

  • Sipping a glass of wine on Tuesday night *gasp*

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  • Having dark chocolate every day

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  • Adding some parmesan cheese to my salads

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  • Finding protein bars I enjoy and eating them 1/3 at a time when a craving strikes
  • Making these protein bites and snacking on them throughout the week!

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I love this recipe, because I can modify it 1,000 different ways and get a whole new taste. Craving mint-chocolate flavors? Add chocolate chips, cocoa powder, and a little mint extract. An oatmeal raisin cookie? Decrease the coconut flour, add oats and raisins. Not a fan of the applesauce? Add peanut butter, just be aware of the increased fat content. The possibilities really are endless. For this version, they were a little sticky/wet, so I rolled in unsweetened, shredded coconut.

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Please, don’t take this recipe-or any of mine for that matter-as set in stone. They are guidelines! Play around and see what works best for you. But be sure to let me know how it goes too 😉

What’s your favorite quick snack?