Pumpkin Protein Muffins

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I love the Summer with the longer days of sunshine and beach trips so it’s hard for me to say goodbye. The one thing that helps to make it better is pumpkin.☺️

I especially love baking with this fruit, yes, pumpkin is technically a fruit, crazy huh?  These pumpkin protein muffins do not disappoint!  They are nutritionally packed with vitamin A, fiber, protein and natural sweetness!  What this means is that you stay fuller longer so you have the perfect healthy snack-:)  WIN!

I decided to top my muffins with a cream cheese protein icing. I’ve included that recipe for you too:)

Oh, by the way, you could totally use this same recipe to make pumpkin protein bread.

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Ingredients

1 1/4 cups oat flour (read below for making your own)

1/2 cup oats

2 scoops vanilla protein powder

1/4 cup Stevia or 30 drops of organic stevia

1 tsp cinnamon

2 medium ripe bananas

1 1/4 cup pumpkin (no sugar added)

1 whole egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mash up the bananas and mix with wet ingredients.
  3. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
  4. Place batter in prepared muffin pan and bake for 12-15 minutes or until cooked through. If making banana bread bake for 20-25 min.

*Grind up oatmeal in a blender until it’s a fine consistency to make your own oat flour.

*I freeze these and keep some in the frig for a snack when I have craving for something sweet*

Cream cheese protein icing:

2 oz low fat cream cheese

1/2 cup of Greek yogurt

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

10 drops of stevia (1 Tbsp for powder stevia)

2 Tbsp almond milk (or whatever milk you have)

1/2 tsp cinnamon

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Crockpot Barbeque Chicken

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This healthy slow cooked BBQ chicken recipe is so good it will make you want to slap your mama!  It’s easy to make, budget friendly, and has plenty of flavor.  What I love about this recipe is that I always have leftovers so it helps me with meal prep for the week.

This is a family favorite in my home so I hope you  enjoy it just as much!

Recipe:

  • 5 Pounds of fresh Chicken Breasts (frozen is too watery)
  • 1/2 Cup  Light Italian Dressing
  • 3 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar “With The Mother”
  • 12 Ounces BBQ sauce *here’s my homemade recipe-https://healthyjustice.wordpress.com/2016/03/19/homemade-bbq-sauce/ or search for the lowest sodium and healthiest BBQ sauce
  • 1 Medium Yellow Onion
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper

How to Make Crockpot BBQ Chicken:

  1.  Trim the fat off the chicken breasts and cut them in half.
  2. Chop up yellow onion.
  3. Stir all the ingredients together in the slow cooker.
  4. Cook on High Heat for 3 hours.
  5. After 3 hours shred your chicken breasts with 2 forks.  Cook on high heat for 1 hour.
  6. Enjoy!

*recipe inspired by Derek Howes

Serving ideas:

  • Make a BBQ Chicken Sandwich
  • Make a wrap
  • Have it on rice
  • Put in on a salad
  • Have it with sautéed cabbage in coconut or olive oil with some sea salt and pepper.

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* Broccoli slaw would be great with a sandwich or a wrap.  Wellness Mama has a broccoli slaw that I love.❤️‍  http://wellnessmama.com/615/broccoli-slaw/

 

 

7 Strategies For A Sexy Physique

Strong women they inspire me, they make me want to grab the world by the lapels and go kick ass.  When I see a woman in the gym who has defined muscles and is throwing some serious weight around, I have immediate respect for her.  Sure, I respect the outer displays of strength, but mostly I appreciate the inner resolve that goes into achieving that level of physical success.

I was fortunate to get the opportunity to talk to such a woman, Wendy Heaslip, a 48 years old woman who backs up all that strength in the gym with being independent and charming.  

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She shared with me her strategies for creating a lean physique (along with a workout at the end of the article) and for the record, Heaslip is a mother, engineer,  photographer, friend and cares for her dad who has Alzheimer’s.  If she can do this with her busy life, you can too.  

Here are those strategies she shared for developing a fit physique.  

Secret #1  She wakes up early.

In her words;)  “I’m up at 4:30 AM and out the door to walk the dogs (2 ancient Chihuahuas and 1 young ‘ratdog’).  Then breakfast with my man, which he cooks.”  

Takeaways:  

🚶get in a few minutes of activity, like walking, to boost your mood and energy levels throughout the day.

😉 allow your man to make breakfast. New research shows that women find men most sexy when they’re working in the kitchen…Sounds like a win-win!

Secret #2  She meal preps for the week.

Heaslip is an engineer during the day and doesn’t get home until around 6pm.  How many of us can relate to this?  Walking the dogs and going to the gym doesn’t leave much time to make a meal, so her and her boyfriend, Richard, meal prep on Sunday.  

During the week all they have to do is a “quick warm up or veggie prep and dinner is ready.”  

Heaslip’s tip:  Focus your meals on protein.  She suggests investing in shaker bottles.  Protein shakes are good for supplementing when you can’t get enough protein with food during the day.  

Secret #3  She eats clean during the week and plans a splurge meal on the weekend.

Restrictive diets generally backfire so it’s important to plan a splurge and enjoy it without guilt.  When planning your splurge be clear on your boundary and eat a moderate portion.  

While food is wonderful, it’s important to find other ways to bring fun and sweetness into your life. For Wendy, she gets to play with her weekend job/hobby of photography.  

Secret #4  Meet yourself where you are.

Wendy said she got into lifting a few years ago after she read an article about the importance of resistance training to fight osteoporosis.  She said, “I found a fitness app with some beginner routines and started doing them at the gym. I’ve always loved to see muscles move in response to lifting something heavy. It appealed to me right away.”

Takeaways:  There are free resources available all around you so take advantage of those.  

⚫️Ask your gym if they offer a complimentary session with a personal trainer.  

⚫️Find out from your human resources dept. if they offer any wellness programs. I’m a health coach for Omada Health and many of my clients receive access to our program through their HR dept.  https://omadahealth.com/

Secret #5  Enjoy fitness with your family.

Around 2012 when Wendy started getting into fitness, her daughter, Tess, started showing interest too.  It was all fun and games until Tess got her personal training certification in 2014, and Wendy became her 1st client/guinea pig.  This is when her training was taken into a whole ‘nother ball game.  

Just another day at the gym for this powerful mother and daughter duo:)

IMG_6160Tess developed programs tailored to her mom’s personality and goals, which involved training like a powerlifter.  Wendy lapped it up!  Deadlifts, squats and bench she loved it all:)

These big lifts that stereotypically you see big bearish men performing in the gym became part of my routine.  The heavier I lifted the more I dug it.  I’m a little woman lifting heavy weights and there is just something so kick ass about that.”

IMG_6162While Wendy is extremely serious about her workouts I have often seen her on her phone and wondered what the heck she was doing;) She said that Richard and her text each other in the gym, sending funny memes or support to each other.

Secret #6 Make a bucket list.

Heaslip is training for a figure competition for Fall of 2016, and she said, “The competition is a bucket list thing for me right now.”  

A bucket list reminds you of what’s really important to you and brings some color and motivation into the regimented lives that most of us have Monday-Friday.  

The preparation is stretching Heaslip past her comfort zones.  Currently she is in the stage of bulking and this has been really challenging for her, as all of us women can understand.  Heaslip says, “it’s hard for me to wrap my head around (Gain weight? On purpose?), but I’ve been doing it for about a month now and have noticed larger, fuller muscles and I can lift heavier so I’m slowly getting on board.”

Takeaways:   Create a bucket list of anything and everything you’ve ever wanted to do, be or have.  

Secret #7 Get a workout plan that excites you.

Wendy shared her special leg/glute routine:

Barbell Squat 6×5

Straight Leg Dead Lift 4×10

Smith Machine Hack Squat 3×10-12

Single Leg Curl 3×20 each leg

Goblet Squat 3×12

Leg Extension 3×15 (dropset last set)

 Wendy didn’t start out with all these habits, she developed them over time.  Pick 1-2 small goals that you can do everyday and start.  No one is too busy to take care of themselves.  Everyone gets the same 24 hours a day.  We make time for what we really want.  The thing is, when you honor your health it makes room to give even more to the people and work you love so much.  

Tess Redsky Heaslip is a personal trainer in Houston, TX and this is her boyfriend, Brandan Lacatino, with Richard.  Talk about a #fitfam?!  I think if Pixar ever needed a modern day family for The Incredibles, this is the one!  lol

 

 

Supercharge Your Favorite Protein Shake To Boost Metabolism & Health

When it comes to getting muscle friendly & power packed nutrition, it’s hard to beat the protein shake.  It can be doctored up with a variety of ingredients to make it tasty or stripped down to protein powder & water to get on-the- go nutrition.  Whatever your goals, the protein shake can be adapted to meet your needs.

The protein shake is like a one stop shop where you can make additions that will burn fat, boost testosterone, load you up on antioxidants & speed recovery.

Take advantage of supercharging your protein shake with adding 1 or all of these hassle-free additions:

protein shake

Protein Powder:  Growth & repair of muscles

  • If you are active then you want to aim somewhere around 0.8-1 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight daily.
  • If you’re dieting and exercising, aim higher, between 1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of your bodyweight per day. As your caloric intake decreases, your protein needs will actually increase.

Muscle Milk or Gold Standard Whey are my favorite brands.

Egg whites:  Lean protein source

  • Egg whites are a top source of lean protein with absolutely no fat.  It also offers important nutrients like folate, selenium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.

Wheat Germ:  If your goal is to boost testosterone

  • Wheat germ contains zinc which keeps testosterone levels elevated during periods of intense training.  Testosterone is crucial hormone to both men & women for building muscle.  Wheat germ also contains selenium, which is involved in thyroid hormone production that keeps the metabolism running smooth.

*11x more test-boosting zinc found in W.G. than in chicken breast!

Add 1-3 TBS to your shake

Yogurt:  Digestive aid

  • The probiotics (good bacteria) aids in digestion and keeps you regular.

Chia Seeds:  Fights cravings

  • Can you believe the chia pet is a superfood?!  It definitely is with a whopping 11 grams of fiber/ounce.  The fiber in chia seeds swells & forms a gel in your stomach.  This gives you a feeling of fullness.  I use chia seeds in some of my recipes when I want to make a pudding type texture, see my “chocolate cherry bomb recipe posted 6/13/14.”

Add 1-2 TBS to your shake and I even put a TBS in my oatmeal.

Cinnamon:  Helps control blood sugar levels & eases aches & pains

  • ½ a tsp. of cinnamon daily can help keep blood sugars level, which prevents you from “crashing.” Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory compounds which can be useful in reducing pain and inflammation associated with arthritis, joint pain & muscle aches.

Glutamine Powder:  Prevents muscle breakdown

  • If you are lifting weights & experiencing a stressful time in your life, glutamine will prevent muscle breakdown.   It does this by fueling the immune system & others parts of the body.  This amino acid also speeds recovery, increases growth hormone, & will increase the storage of muscle glycogen to help you in hard training sessions.

AYURVEDIC Fat Fighting Tea See recipe in blog post “Get rid of stubborn fat,” posted 5/14/14

Add about ¼ cup to your shake

Fenugreek:  Increase libido & lowers cholesterol

  • Fenugreek seeds have been found to help increase libido for women & men.  It can also lessen the effect of hot flashes and mood fluctuations during menopause & PMS.
  • Studies show it can lower blood sugar after eating.  Some small studies have found that fenugreek can help with acid reflux. Because it’s high in fiber, fenugreek may help treat or prevent constipation.

Tumeric:  Anti-inflammatory 

  • It is a potent natural anti-inflammatory that works as well as many anti-inflammatory drugs but without the side effects.

Ginger:  Anti-inflammatory

  • Ginger contains chemicals that helps reduce nausea and inflammation.  It also can be used to treat heart burn & acid reflux.

Vegetable &/or Fruit Juice:  Load up on nutrients

  • Adding your veggies & fruits into your shake can help you get in the daily requirements of vegetables & fruits.
  • I don’t follow a specific recipe when making my vegetable and fruit juice.  I use whatever is in my refrigerator.  If I have frozen blueberries, strawberries, & raspberries, I will blend it in my Vitamix while gradually adding water to get my desired consistency.  You can follow this same process with your vegetables too.
  • I save my milk cartons to store my juices to make shakes throughout the week.  This makes it easy to whip up a protein shake in no time.

Add about ¼ to 1/2 cup of each for a meal replacement shake.