A healthy, filling breakfast {Chocolate Chip Protein Pancake Recipe!}

Holy yum, ya’ll!

We all know it’s SUPER important to eat a healthy, filling breakfast right? Well, that’s great, but for me, it’s gotta be FAST & also super tasty. Well here ya go! I’m excited to share a new recipe with you that I’ve adjusted from a base recipe and perfected (at least to MY taste! I’ll tell you how to adjust if you have different preferences).

I make THESE beautiful protein pancakes in big batches, let them cool, wrap in plastic wrap individually, store in the fridge and hubby and I have SUPER easy, fast, and healthy breakfasts on the go for DAYS.

Looks tasty, right!?

Healthy chocolate chip protein pancake recipe

Without further ado, here’s the recipe:

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Scoops quality whey or whey & soy protein
  • 1 cup oat flour (use a magic blender, use old fashioned oats and BLEND to make oat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 egg whites (or equivalent if you use egg whites in a carton)
  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat greek yogurt
  • 1 tbs almond or coconut milk (regular will be fine if that’s all you have)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract *OPTIONAL
  • dark chocolate chips *OPTIONAL (but highly recommended!)

Mix dry ingredients together. Add wet ingredients and stir until mixed. Lightly oil a nonstick pan with coconut oil or olive oil. Warm pan to med-high. Drop 2 tablespoons or so into the pan for each pancake and spread slightly with the back of your spoon so they spread a bit. Place a few chocolate chips in into the batter of each pancake while the first side cooks. It takes about a minute to cook the first side. Flip gently and cook the other side for a minute or so until done. Let cool or enjoy immediately.

Here’s what they look like when you first put them in the pan & spread the batter a touch.

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TOP WITH: Pure maple syrup, fresh fruit, whole fruit preserves, or, my favorite, either a tablespoon of peanut butter or a mixture of 1 tablespoon peanut butter whipped with 1 tablespoon plain greek yogurt. You could also play around with all sorts of toppings…maybe a flax/almond butter mixture? Or coconut oil mixed with almond butter? Have fun. And let me know your concoctions.

**I said I’d help you adjust if you don’t like the kind of pancakes that I do. If these turn out too thick/dense for you, just cut back the oat flour a touch. If you want more flavor without having to use toppings, add a half a smashed banana into the batter – or a tablespoon of peanut butter. Or play with other extracts. If you like pancakes thinner…you’ll want  to spread the batter as you put it in the pan. Since it’s a little thick, it won’t spread on its own like regular pancake batter.

Hope you try these healthy chocolate chip protein pancakes and love them. Let me know in the comments! :)

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How to make it through holidays WITHOUT gaining weight

Studies show that the average American gains 1-2 pounds during the holiday season (webmd)(from Thanksgiving to the New Year.) That may not sound like a lot, but if you have been trying to lose weight throughout the year, gaining 2 pounds back in one month can make you feel defeated. Likewise, even if you weren’t actively trying to lose weight, gaining 2 extra pounds can still make you feel like crud.

I’m not here to tell you to NOT enjoy yourself over the holidays. I sure plan to! 

I want to share with you some of my best tips to help ensure you can enjoy your holiday season without gaining weight.

  • First, write down your favorite treats during this time of year. You know, those things you look forward to all year. For me, it’s Egg nog, chocolate silk pie, cookies, and peppermint bark. Write down the whole list, and then go through and pick TWO that you will not give up. (EGG NOG & peppermint bark for me!)
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Seriously, I couldn’t give this stuff up if you asked me to

  • Now, decide how much you’ll allow yourself of those items every week. I want you really think about this. Look at the calorie content and fat content and take it into account. Be real with yourself. This is what trips a lot of us up; we think…”oh this only comes out around the holidays, it won’t kill me to eat this every day”. And then you add that into your normal diet and you exceed your calorie needs DAILY for weeks on end. Of course we’ll gain weight! So be honest about how high calorie/fat some of these treats are and work it into your week, not into your day.
  • You may want to keep a holiday journal at this point. Write down all the GREAT things that you do, the things you love, what you’re thankful for and things that make you feel happy throughout the season. And also keep a little note of how often you ate those tasty things. This is not meant as punishment, just so you can be honest with yourself. Humans tend to underestimate these instances.
  • Now for the fun part, when it comes time for the big holiday dinners – Thanksgiving, Christmas, whatever you celebrate…eat the things you love then, too. But again, pick maybe one thing that you will eat and not feel guilty about. Then pile the rest of your plate with the less fattening things like veggies and protein. For me, this means I eat lots of baked ham, green beans, sweet potatoes (not casserole), and then the chocolate PIE is what I’m not giving up. So yes, I have that whole piece. And a glass of wine. Whatever.
  • Finally, don’t stop your workouts. Or if you’re not already working out, now’s the time to start. Summer bodies are made in the winter, right!? Since you’re allowing yourself some extra treats weekly – and this is probably in addition to the ‘normal’ treats your already allow yourself weekly throughout the year – now is a great time to add in a few extra minutes to your workout, or some intensity, or a few more reps. If you’re a regular visitor of my blog you know I do not condone long, steady-state workouts. Now’s the time to take that to heart. Do several HIIT workouts every week. Do several strength training workouts every week. They can be 30 minutes, just be INTENSE and raise that metabolism.

My bonus advice to make it through the holidays without gaining weight is…DON’T obsess over it. Be cognizant, yes. Be aware and honest with yourself. But. Do not obsess or beat yourself up. Stress makes it harder for your body to cope and can lead to weight gain. So take a chill pill, love yourself, and if you do gain a pound or two, it’s not the end of the world, right? We’ll lose it – together – in January. (I’ll start a SIMPLE series in January for ANY of us who need to lose a few pounds then, so stay tuned!)

I hope this is helpful. Please share below if you have any of your own tips to prevent weight gain during the holidays…or if you have any thoughts about mine!

Thanks so much for being here, friends, and happy holidays to you all!

 

 

 

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What’s holding you back?

So, what is it? What’s holding you back?

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Is part of it not knowing what to do or how to start?

If you’re like me, you can definitely feel overwhelmed by all of the ‘you should do this’ and ‘you should eat that’ that’s out there. Information overload and information misunderstanding don’t help.

You can easily find 526,882 different ‘diet plans’ if you google it.

But how do you know which one is right? Or at the very least, right for you? And isn’t it fun how they all have a boatload of stuff listed that you don’t even like? Then you’re stuck figuring out what a good alternative would be. Awesome.

So as a fitness coach, I often find myself helping people navigate this. Each person is different, we all have different caloric needs – we have different likes and dislikes, different goals, and different body types. So far I’ve just been doing this in a sort of ad hoc way. It’s helpful, but it could be better; better organized, easier to understand, easier to adjust and use.

So I’m  happy to announce, I am offering PERSONALIZED diet plans now. You can call it a nutrition plan. But I like to call it a game plan. Because it’s really a get-healthy game plan. It’s about what you should eat, shouldn’t eat, when to eat, and what exact things to keep in your pantry and refrigerator. I take into account your current state, your goals, and preferences and the output is a supercool blueprint about how to get there.

I do have to charge for this, it’s a real product! :) And because this does take a lot of my time and effort…and quite frankly I’ve done a TON of research and testing to figure this all out for you. Not to mention, this is extremely personal, so there’s plenty of understanding and followup – It’s definitely not a one and done. IF you decide to get a personalized nutrition plan (GAME PLAN!) from me, I’m then your coach, too. So use me as you need me! That’s what I’m here for.

Okay, want to see a sneak peek at what the game plan looks like? Check out the page for the plan, read a little more, and scroll to the bottom to see a snapshot of the first two pages of a sample plan. You can also order from that page if you’d like. It’s only $10, and it’ll definitely be worth it!

Check it out here!

Let me know what you think! I’m always open to feedback, so let me know in the comments  - or click “contact” at the top of the blog and send me an email. :)

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Meatless Monday – a healthy dinner option

Happy Monday y’all!
Thought I’d share our meatless Monday for today. It literally took 5 minutes to prep & was yummy & filling.

This is just a couple of corn tortilla warmed in a skillet, topped with meatless crumbles (I got mine at kroger), seasoned with taco
Seasoning & topped with spinach, plain greek yogurt, and black bean and corn salsa. So easy & really quite a good option. This made plenty, so we actually have leftovers for tomorrow too.

What do you think… Yummy??

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The Real Perfect 10 – A guest blog post you don’t want to miss!

This is a special guest post by Ashley Korff, contact information below. Thank you Ashley, for sharing your story of being overweight as a child and how you changed your life. Friends, please read her story, it’s about overcoming and really, about the things we all need to know to live healthy lives. But it’s an invaluable tool to help us help the young people around us to learn the same important rules to stay healthy. Don’t forget to check out the information for her book, below!

The Real Perfect 10 

Losing weight is never easy, but staying motivated & dedicated afterward is not an easy task, either. Kids and teens rarely eat healthy-but more and more are becoming overweight every day. I was an overweight kid for almost a decade, wearing women’s sizes by third grade. Finally, in eighth grade, I changed my life completely by losing 50 pounds on my own-no diet pills, no surgery, no doctor telling me what to eat-simply out of my own determination to be thin and fit. But it became so much more than that-it became about becoming a new person. I still work out every day and eat 100% healthy-I haven’t skipped a workout or ate junk food or sweets in five years and running. As a junior in high school, I wrote my book to reach out to other teens to get healthy not just to lose weight but for life. This isn’t about being skinny. This is about transforming your mindset and your life forever. I’ve never looked back. I want to combat obesity by sharing my experience with others and hopefully inspire others to follow my lead-at whatever age. I ended up doing a local book signing, being featured in my local paper, & most importantly was a guest speaker at my local middle school to the PE classes. Going back to the school to speak to the very age group I began my new life was incredible. I never imagined I would come this far-I hope you will do the same. I still continue to help others and share my story via social media and blogging, and will become a Beachbody Coach in the near future. Stay motivated & determined and see how far you can go!

Bloghttp://therealperfect10.blogspot.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/AshleyKorff

Facebook: www.fb.com/therealperfect10

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com – search “Ashley Korff”

Barnes & Noble book listing: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-real-perfect-10-ashley-nicole-korff/1111662940?ean=9781477210352

Amazon Book listing: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1477210350

News Releasehttp://www.newson6.com/story/19142932/teen-author-shares-her-secrets-to-overcoming-obesity?clienttype=printable

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Do you use fitness to help others? (+Swag Giveaway)

Anyone who has ever run in a ‘race’ probably knows that the money you pay to sign up is typically a donation to an organization to help a cause. The 5k my hubby, friends and I do every Christmas helps the Arthritis foundation, for example. You pay your race fee and you  have the opportunity to choose to raise additional funds by having friends and family donate to the cause for your run as well. It’s a nice way to help…you use your love for fitness to run for YOU, but also to help a cause.

I recently learned of a similar organization who goes one step further, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS). The LLS is a voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. They fund research around the world and provide free information and support services. (learn more about them at their website: www.lls.org)Their flagship fundraising campaign, Team in Training (TNT) is the world’s largest charity endurance sports training program. TNT has trained more than 275,000 and helped LLS fund more than $875 million in research to discover & deliver breakthrough cancer treatments. When you participate with TNT, you have a choice  of more than 200 accredited national and local endurance events worldwide. Participants raise funds, and in return receive 4-5 months of personal training from TNT certified professional coaches. So, you raise funds for the cause, AND you get personal training to ensure you do your very best in the race?! I’ll take it! That’s a great opportunity! If you want to learn more about Team in Training or get involved…or sign up, visit their site here: www.teamintraining.org

I mean, look how much FUN they have!

TNTLLS

Okay, so, you’ll learn plenty from a TNT coach if you choose to train with them and support the LLS, but here’s a few tips to get you started and get you across the finish line:

  • Always drink plenty of water. Before a race, you should focus on hydration the whole day beforehand. If your urine is a pale yellow, then you’re good! Have some water before a race, but don’t overdo it, or your belly will not be happy.
  • Warm up before any training run and before a race. You may feel like you’re wasting energy, but you’re not. You’re improving it…and ensuring you prevent injury too. Many agree the best warm up is a dynamic stretching routine. It only takes a few minutes, and you’ll be glad you did it!
  • Ensure you have the right shoes for your body type and running style. I can’t say this enough. Your shoes are what will make or break your training runs and races. Go to an actual running store where they know a LOT about running so that you’re fitted appropriately and find the correct type of shoe for YOU.
  • Drop all cotton. No cotton in your socks, shorts, pants, sports bras, or tops. Just ditch it, get polyester & other blends. Just no cotton. Cotton chafes. And you will NOT be happy. Also, the other blends will wick sweat away and ultimately keep you warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
  • If you’re just starting out, don’t overdo your training. Start out with jogging/walking for a mile. Go up no more than 10% in mileage every week.
  • And remember, for the sake of everything that’s sacred to you. Stretch after each and every run. Don’t just go through the motions, either. Get down in it, and do it well!

Alright, so now that you’re ready to start, and you know about the LLS and TNT, go sign up! You can totally do this – it’s an amazing feeling to complete an endurance race, to support a worthy nonprofit, AND to be able to train with a coach. You don’t have to be super in-shape to do this. They’ll help you! And…what better way to get started than to WIN a gift bag from Team in Training?

Did you see that? TNT is giving ONE of my lucky readers a gift bag which will include a shirt, pens, mug, and sunscreen. Use the mug for water before your runs. And make sure you use sunscreen when you run outside!

Do you want to win this? All you need to do is comment below, telling me if you’ve ever run a race, and if so, what you liked most about it…and if you haven’t run a race…tell me why you’d like to one day.

LLS Swag BagGood luck everyone….!

**Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by LLS and TNT.**

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Excuses. They’re what’s stopping us.

Have you ever wondered why you can WANT to do something. And mean to do it. And somehow keep putting it off? Or maybe even give up trying?

Many times, it’s our excuses that stand in our way. There’s no time. I’m too busy. I don’t like doing that. My husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend doesn’t think I should. People will think I’m crazy. I’ll probably fail.

They’re all excuses. And you can let go of them. Once you do, you’ll be free. You can do ANYTHING once you accept that you’re making excuses…and then let them go.

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When I think about it…my most common excuse for myself is that I don’t KNOW what to do. Well, I have to let that go. Do the research, figure out what to do. And do it. And if I fail, just do it another way…and another way…and another way, until I get it right. Never starting something because I “don’t know how” is no excuse. Not in today’s age of information and technology.

What’s your most common excuse?? And how can you let it go?

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A Clean Eating lunch recipe from me to you {Chicken avocado mash}

I’m always on a search for something I can make me and the hubs that is healthy, easy, and totally packable for lunches. Oh and that I don’t have to prepare nightly. Oh and it has to be filling. And did I mention healthy…? Clean eating can be easy, I promise!

Well here you go. This is it. I figured it out and I’ll share it with you.

mmmm….doesn’t this look ooey gooey, delicious? It is. Trust me.

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I’m sorry, I don’t have a ‘print recipe’ plugin that is available for this type of blog. Please do use the print button below this post, or from your browser to print – or copy/paste elsewhere to print…or of course PIN IT ~ there’s a handy button for that below this post too! :)

INGREDIENTS

4 Boneless skinless chicken tenderloins (can use tofu or white beans as an alternative)

1 ripe avocado

1/4-1/2 cup Nonfat plain greek yogurt

1 cup washed broccoli florets

1/2 cup sliced grape tomatoes

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (concentrate is okay)

salt, pepper, chipotle pepper to taste

Make It

Cook plain chicken tenderloins until no longer pink. Chop into bite-sized pieces. Cut avocado into small pieces. In a large bowl, smash avocado with a fork and add the chicken, lemon juice, broccoli, and tomatoes. Stir together. Add 1/4 cup greek yogurt and stir. Check the consistency, if you like your food a little less ‘saucy’, this is probably enough for you. If you want it creamier, add a little more greek yogurt. Add salt, pepper, and chipotle pepper to taste. That’s it.

Serve in a while wheat pita with a bed of mixed greens.

Yum.

This recipe is very forgiving. You can absolutely add more or less of anything. Replace stuff. Throw in red peppers. Capers. Whatever your heart desires. The more veggies you add, the healthier this becomes AND the more voluminous it is – which will make it stretch even further. I take the mashup and divide it into two large to-go containers…one for my hubby and one for me. We put it at in the fridge at work & just bring new pitas & mixed greens every day to assemble at lunch time. It usually makes about 4 lunches, so we each have 2 days of lunch covered for very little time and effort. I may just double the recipe next time so we each get 4 days of lunches. We’re not afraid of repetition, especially when it’s THIS delicious and healthy!

So there you have it, an easy, healthy, clean eating recipe for your lunches. Or dinners. What do you think?

Okay, now go eat! I know I just made you hungry…

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How to get fueled for your workout ## GIVEAWAY ##

So, you’ve probably had days where your workout felt awesome…you had plenty of energy and you felt great. And then there’s those days where you can’t hardly do it at all. And you’re completely exhausted before you should be. Maybe your muscles aren’t even feeling as strong as you know there are.

So what gives?

Well, sometimes we have off days. But most of the time, it’s an issue with water or nutrition. First, make sure you’ve eaten enough. But don’t work out right after eating. Let it digest some first! Working out on an empty stomach is okay for some people, but most of us need some fuel to really feel good. Water is of course VERY important, too. Drink water all day, every day. Cut out soda, diet soda, juices, etc. If you’re properly hydrated, that will help your energy level and your body’s ability to exercise.

Protein is very important as fuel for your workouts. Protein-rich foods are important, but a quick, liquid form of protein is even better because your muscles can use it much more efficiently and quickly. A protein shake is fine, but check the calories, sugar, and other ingredients. Then there’s other protein supplements, like gels and shots. I recently discovered a protein shot called FrogFuel. FrogFuel is hydrolyzed which means super fast absorption which means better performance and quicker recovery. It’s a collagen protein which is also wonderful for your hair, skin, nails, joints, and muscle tone. And of course, since it’s a shot, it’s extremely portable, and much easier than making a shake. My favorite part – there’s no sugar, carbs, gluten, or banned substances. Yay!!!

So. Having said all that…I’m bringing you a FrogFuel GIVEAWAY. Woo hoo, giveaways are always fun. One lucky reader will win 3 FrogFuel Protein Shots (1oz each) and 1 Elite Statue FrogFuel sticker.

Here’s what to do:

Go take the FrogFuel quiz with their app, and then scroll further down in this post on how to enter the giveaway.

Take the quiz here (make sure you take note of your result, you’ll need it for the giveaway!)

Here’s a screen shot of what the quiz will look like:

FrogFuel Blog App

Okay NOW.

Here’s the giveaway -

1) Mandatory entry: comment below with the results from your quiz

2) Bonus entry: “friend” me on Facebook (www.fb.com/avromero) and then comment HERE again, telling me you’ve friended me, include your facebook name so I can find you. If you’re already my friend on Facebook, just comment here and let me know that too.

3) Bonus entry: Follow my blog & then comment letting me know you’ve followed me here. If you’re already a follower, just comment below and let me know.

4) Bonus entry: SHARE this post by using the buttons below – then, you guessed it, comment again letting me know you did this.

So altogether, you have 4 entries available! Make sure you comment for each one…each COMMENT will be used as your entries.

The giveaway will start NOW and you can enter until 6/22/13. Then I’ll pick a random winner (blindly!) and the winner will get a prize pack from FrogFuel in the mail.

Okay, ready, go! (And share with your friends!)

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A calorie is a calorie. Nope. Not really.

You’ve heard that before, right? Losing weight is literally just about calories in vs. calories out. You burn 3500 calories more than you take in and you’ll lose a pound. Well, that’s true. But. Not so fast on the whole “a calorie is a calorie” thing.

It’s true there’s been people to experiment with this. There’s that guy who lost weight by eating twinkies only. He kept his total calories low enough to where he still lost weight. So yes, in the short term, this can work. If that’s all you’re looking to do is lose weight short term.

But if you’re like most of us – and you’d like to lose some weight, or lose some fat, or tone up, or get healthy, or get fit…and all those wonderful things…and you’re not looking for a short term fix…then here’s what you need to know.

A calorie is not just a calorie.

Here’s the deal. You still will want to keep your calories in check. You should figure out how many you should be eating, and shoot for it. But – 100 calories of a twinkie is NOT the same as 100 calories of greek yogurt. Or 100 calories of whole grain crackers. Or 100 calories of fruit. You get the idea.

Here’s why:

* Sugar, artificial colors, preservatives, etc slow your metabolism down, are processed like JUNK (which they are) and give you no nutrtition and no benefits

* Nutrients like protein and fiber that are found in fruits, veggies, whole grains are actually utilized by your body, help to raise your metabolism, keep you fuller, and on and on.

So if I ate a 100% whole grain bagel that was 300 calories, I would benefit from the fiber that it has that the 300 calorie white (or asiago cheese, or sesame, or ‘wheat’ that isnt’ 100%) bagel does not. The fiber will keep me fuller, and helps move food through my system, helps prevent diabetes and heart disease and helps aid in a healthy weight (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fiber/NU00033)

So even though both bagels are 300 calories, it is much more beneficial to choose the whole wheat one. (just make sure you don’t choose breads that say ‘wheat’. Those are 100% whole wheat!)

I hope that helps clear up the myth that ‘a calorie is a calorie’. While it’s literally true…it definitely isn’t a healthy way to look at your diet.

Eating in an overall healthy way, looking for nutrients and whole foods, is a much more healthy and sustainable way of life. Getting healthy isn’t about a quick fix, it’s about a lifestyle change and eating for fuel.

 

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