Category Archives: Protein

Chocolate and Vanilla Protein Balls

We all know there are tons of different protein ball recipes out there (and plenty of ball jokes to go with them!), but these recipes I’ve got today are truly out of this world! Not only are they super tasty, but they’re also full of some really great stuff.

I found a recipe in a recent Oxygen magazine for Peanut Butter Protein Balls and I actually had all of the ingredients on hand, so I whipped up a batch. I made a few minor adjustments to the recipe and this is what I came up with.

Chocolately Peanut Butter Protein Balls (Makes approximately 15-18 balls)

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • 1 scoop cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup flax seed meal
  • splash of vanilla

1. Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl.

2. Take a spoon and scoop out a small amount of dough. Roll it between your hands to form a ball.

3. Repeat step two until you have used up all of the dough.

4. Eat one of the balls because they are absolutely delicious!

5. Place balls into a sealed container and refrigerate until you plan to eat them.

The extra chocolate flavor from the cocoa powder really adds some extra oomph! And I cut the amount of honey by a little bit from the original recipe because my protein powder is sweetened with xylitol and I didn’t want them to be overly sweet.

After enjoying this recipe for a few weeks, I was thinking the other day how great it would be to make a vanilla version. I had already planned on making some cashew butter, so I decided that would be the best base for my vanilla balls.

Vanilla Protein Balls (Makes approximately 15-18 balls)

  • 1/2 cup cashew butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 scoops vanilla protein powder
  • 1/4 cup flax seed meal
  • splash of vanilla

1. Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl.

2. Take a spoon and scoop out a small amount of dough. Roll it between your hands to form a ball.

3. Repeat step two until you have used up all of the dough.

4. Eat one of the balls because they are absolutely delicious!

5. Place balls into a sealed container and refrigerate until you plan to eat them.

This recipe is truly addictive. I just made these last night and have almost eaten half the batch! I was thinking that if I added some sprinkles, it would taste like Funfetti cake!! I’ll try that for the next batch and let you know 🙂

One Month Off

It’s officially been one month since I last posted. And wow, a lot has happened in that month! I have tons to fill you in on, so this post is going to be random, but you’ll get a great recipe at the end 🙂

First of all, going back a month to my birthday (or really, a few days after my birthday since my honey had to work that night). I found an incredible yellow cake with chocolate buttercream frosting recipe made with coconut flour. I halved the recipe, which was just enough for us to eat for a few days. It was actually super close in taste to a traditional yellow cake, so I was very happy with it!

I made my honey take a few pictures and sing me Happy Birthday 🙂

Then Titan wanted in on the cake!

Speaking of Titan, he has finally healed from his wound.

It has been an incredibly long month with him because he just hated being hurt and being limited movement wise. He destroyed 5 different types of cones/collars meant to keep him from licking his stitches. After he ruined the first one, he proceeded to pull out some of his stitches and open the wound back up. That meant we had to take another trip back to the vet to get new stitches and more medicine for him…and a new cone!

Here he is right after the initial stitches. He was so drugged up!

This is the first round of stitches. Sorry if it grosses you out! The noodle-looking thing is called a drain. It helps fluid drain out of the area.

And here is the “cone” that lasted the longest! Isn’t it cute? 🙂

Because he couldn’t run, he wasn’t able to wear himself out during the day. Therefore, he wanted to get up in the middle of the night. This of course threw off his entire schedule and ours. I can’t tell you how many times I was up in the middle of the night out in the freezing cold (and rain and snow sometimes!) with him just walking around because he wasn’t tired!

He’s finally back to his old self and is now free to run around. We ended up getting an invisible fence and that has been super helpful, especially considering he took off after another dog a few weeks ago and I had to chase him through the wooded hill behind our house. I’d say I probably ran a mile and a half trying to figure out where he went! It was less than amusing.

Moving on from the pup, I’ve made lots of changes to my life in the past month.

1. I’ve decided to go shampoo-free! It’s been awesome, but a little gross at times. I started out by just washing my hair every other day, trying to train my hair to not need washing every single day. I had a few really bad hair days, but now it is calming down a bit.

I decided to stop using shampoo for a few reasons. I am going to save a TON of money by not buying shampoo anymore (yes, I was buying semi-expensive Aveeno!), and I’m not going to be exposing myself to harmful chemicals anymore! I simply mix one tablespoon of baking soda with 8 oz of water (shake before each use). I used two old 10 oz jelly jars to store my new shampoo and conditioner in and just put them in the shower where my old stuff used to be. I pour a small amount on my hand and rub it into my hair and I also will pour a little right onto my hair. It definitely doesn’t suds up, and that took some getting used to, but I can definitely feel it in my hair, so I just use my fingers to “wash” my hair the same as I did with shampoo. I rinse it out and will sometimes follow up with a water/apple cider vinegar mixture as well.

To be honest, my hair  is much more manageable and much fuller. My hair has always just sort of laid there and not ever held a style (hence the reason for me keeping it so long!). But now, I can see and feel that it has body to it.

It’s really not hard to do and it is beneficial for many reasons, so I highly recommend trying it. I’ll try to keep you posted about my progress!

2. I’ve changed my eating habits…my honey’s aunt (the holistic nutritionist who has helped me become so much healthier! And gives me free eggs :)) has me on an anti-candida diet.

Now, there are many different versions of this type of diet, and lots of different opinions on what you can and can’t eat. The main focus for me is to eliminate all grains and all sugars (including most fruits and my beloved honey and maple syrup!!!). Mainly I am eating meat and veggies with some nuts and eggs thrown in. A few other things I had to cut out were potatoes and corn (starches), and milk (oh the horror!!!!!).

But don’t worry, I’ve gotten very creative and have come up with lots of great recipes I can have. One I’ll share today and another I’ll share later this week.

I’m on day 11 of the “diet” and I’m feeling great/stellar/stupendous/energetic/fantastic/amazing!! (seriously!) I still have another 18 days to go and I sorely miss my glass of raw milk every day, as well as eating all the fresh fruit I can get my hands on. However, I know that I’m healing my insides (and the rest of my body) by doing this diet/cleanse.

It is actually very similar to the Paleo diet, so in looking up recipes, I found two incredible websites that I want to pass along. The first is called Mark’s Daily Apple. He is the creator of the Primal Blueprint and has incredible information on his blog about healthy eating, the Paleo way. I highly recommend signing up for his newsletter and getting his free ebooks!

The second website I found is PaleOMG, which is a blog by a hilarious girl named Juli. She eats 99% Paleo and is a CrossFit coach. Her recipes are so out of this world that you won’t even notice there aren’t any grains!

If you’re interested in finding out more about candida and the diet, check out Whole Approach. They have a questionnaire you can take, as well as tons of information and recipes (in the forum).

3. I’ve gone back to yoga. I can’t remember the last time I picked up a weight to be honest! For some reason, my body is just tired of doing that, so I’m listening. I still feel incredibly strong, and in some ways stronger than before. Let me tell you, don’t underestimate the power of holding chaturanga to build up your triceps, chest and core!

I found some incredible YouTube channels with some excellent workouts and have been focusing on them. The Power Yoga with Bryan Jones videos are my favorite. Then, for short workouts, I turn to Flexible Warrior Yoga, especially the core one. I also love Tara Stiles, so I typically just search her name and do one of her workouts.

Things are going to be changing very soon though! I start with a new student personal trainer on Monday 🙂 I’m hoping to try out some new stuff with her, especially some CrossFit type workouts, but we’ll see what she has in store for me. I can guarantee it won’t be yoga though!

And finally…

4. I’ve enjoyed more time with the people in my life. Blogging is very time-consuming (especially when you work full-time!). Not only does it take time to put together a post, especially a well-written one with pictures, but reading others’ blogs and commenting on them also takes up a huge amount of time. The best way to get more readers to your blog is to read and comment on others’, so that’s what we bloggers do. I was spending a lot of my “free” time reading about other people’s lives instead of being present in my life.

Part of me absolutely LOVED it! I got to participate in discussions about topics that interest me and I gained a lot of knowledge from other bloggers (not to mention the copious amounts of recipes!! :)). The other part of me though felt like I wasn’t putting enough effort into my own life. Instead of making plans to meet someone for lunch at work, I would be reading other blogs or writing a post of my own. Instead of putting a lot of effort into making my direct-selling business successful, I was taking pictures of recipes I was creating, then editing them, then posting them. And most importantly, instead of spending time on the couch with my honey and my pup, I was commenting on as many blogs as I could just so they’d read my blog and do the same.

I just decided that I’d had enough. As much as I enjoyed sharing recipes and sharing my life, the time I was putting into it wasn’t worth neglecting the rest of my life.

The past four weeks of not blogging and not reading others’ blogs have been great! I found that I’ve been less stressed (except with Titan’s injury!) and I felt more present in my every day life. I’ve been able to reconnect with friends on campus since I have had a lunch date every week for the past month and have a few others scheduled in the next few weeks.

I have also enjoyed a lot more QT with my honey and pup (when they’re awake, that is! :))

I’ve decided to just blog about big events or when I have awesome recipes to share, and to not worry about staying up to date with other blogs right now.

This week will be a little different however. I do plan to post a few times, mostly recipes, but also a piece of exciting news!

The reason for posting today and this week? My honey is with some friends skiing in Colorado!!!!

I was just sent this picture:

Say a little prayer that he doesn’t get hurt (they’re skiing lots of black diamonds!) AND that he doesn’t get a tattoo…all the guys were teasing us women that they were going to, so we’ll see!

Now for the awesome recipe! Paleo and candida friendly 🙂

Green Crustless Quiche

A yummy change to my standard scrambled egg breakfast! Leftovers are great to heat up the next day, which makes for a super quick healthy breakfast to start your day. 

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup raw cream (yes, I can have cream, but not milk. The milk contains sugar, but the cream off the top does not!)
  • 1 small head broccoli, lightly steamed and chopped
  • handful of spinach, chopped
  • 1 inch piece of zucchini diced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
1. Crack the eggs into a bowl and add the cream. Whisk together until they are completely mixed.
2. Add in the veggies (substitute whatever ones you have one hand) and stir to incorporate.
3. Season to desired taste and add the Parmesan cheese, then stir once more.
4. Pour into a greased baking dish (round, square, rectangle…it doesn’t matter!). I have found that coconut oil works best for greasing my baking stones.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes until it has puffed up and no longer jiggles when you shake the pan.

Saturday morning run

I had a great run this morning! Even though it was hovering around the freezing mark, I bundled up and headed out.

There was a dense frost on the ground, but with the sun shining on it, it looked so beautiful! I don’t think these photos really capture it, but you get the idea.

I set out to do 4.5 miles and I didn’t care how I completed them. Usually I like to challenge myself to finish without stopping at all, but because it was so cold, I had to take a few short breaks.

I chose to run a flatter course than I normally do because it is hunting season. I typically run a nice hilly area on the edge of our property, but since we have people who hunt on the land, I decided to stay away. I ended up with an average pace of 9:19 a mile which is awesome for me, especially at that distance.

The run reminded me how much I miss running. I miss the solitude of a nice, long run, especially around here where I really don’t see anyone when I’m out running. It was nice to disconnect from technology for a bit (I might be attached to my phone just a bit…) and to just have time to think about stuff. I don’t really remember what I thought about, but I always do some good thinking when I run.

I really felt strong for most of the run, and I attribute part of it to my pre-run snack, which was also my breakfast. A square of my homemade granola bar, half an apple, and a glass of raw milk. It had enough simple and complex carbs, plus lots of good fats and protein to get me through it. My post-run snack/second breakfast was butternut squash pancakes. I seriously had these every day last week for breakfast. They are soooooo yummy! Again, they were loaded with good carbs, fats and protein to fill me up and repair my muscles.

After my run, I got a few things done around the house and then made a little money with my side job. It was a fun afternoon!

Now I’m about to eat dinner and take care my sick honey…he’s not really sick yet, but I need to make sure he doesn’t get all the way there. He is NOT FUN to be around when he doesn’t feel well. Maybe one day I’ll tell you all about the time I had to take him to the hospital shortly after we met….looking back I can laugh at how horrible he was, but in the moment, it was tough!

I’ve pumped him full of hot tea, veggies, water and supplements, so we’ll see how he feels in the morning. I really am looking forward to our hike tomorrow so I want him to feel better!!

What did you do today?

Pulled Pork Recipe

Before I get to my yummy recipe today, don’t forget that it is Tuesday Trainer day!!! You can head over to Lindsay’s and get to know the trainers better. Can you believe how nice the weather was this weekend for my video?! It was amazing!!

lindsayslist.co-tuesday_trainer

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Forgive me for not taking a picture…I’m pretty sure a screw was loose in my head when I made this because it didn’t even cross my mind to take a photo of it 🙂

When I visited my brother and sister-in-law in Minnesota a few weeks ago, my brother made pulled pork. I really haven’t eaten a lot of pork in my day, so I was hesitant to try it. Turns out, it’s not so bad! I knew my honey would like pulled pork sandwiches to switch things up a little, so I set out to try making my own.

I picked up a 2 lb pork butt at the store, which ended up being too much for just the two of us. Next time, I will freeze some and see how that goes so I don’t waste any leftovers. I looked up a few recipes and talked to my brother about how he made his, but I didn’t have liquor on hand, nor any barbecue sauce. The liquor helps to break down the meat, as does vinegar, so I opted for the vinegar. I decided to go with a very simple method of cooking the pork and then make my own sauce for it. It turned out amazing!!

Pulled Pork and Homemade Sauce

A simple recipe that you can easily adapt to make your own. The sauce is quick and uses items you probably have on hand. It is a little sweet and vinegary at the same time. 

Pork

  • 2 lbs pork butt
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (ACV)
  • bbq seasoning
  • buffalo seasoning
  • chipotle seasoning
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • water
  1. Heat crock pot on low.
  2. Put coconut oil in crock pot to melt. Add the onions and garlic, along with some salt and pepper.
  3. Put your cut of  meat on a plate. Pierce the meat in multiple spots with a fork on one side.
  4. Pour 1 tbsp ACV over it, making sure the whole side gets wet. Sprinkle generously with the BBQ seasoning, followed by a little less buffalo seasoning, then just a few shakes of the chipotle seasoning.
  5. Put the meat into the crock pot, seasoned side down. Pierce the other side of the meat with a fork, pour over the ACV, and season with the three seasonings.
  6. Pour water to cover just about half of the meat.
  7.  Cook on low for 4-5 hours. Test it at around 4 hours to see how easily it will pull apart.
  8. Remove from crock pot onto a cutting board. Use two forks to pull it apart to desired-size pieces.
  9. Put back into crock pot and pour on the sauce. Stir to combine and let sit in the crock pot on warm until ready to serve.
Sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 3 or 4 drops of Texas Pete (more if you like that flavor)
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
While the meat is cooking, go ahead and make the sauce. I recommend making it right after you get the meat in the crock pot. This will allow time for the flavors to really meld together.
  1. Heat a small saucepan on low heat.
  2. Add coconut oil to melt.
  3. Add the onion and let cook for just a few minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir. Heat for just a few minutes, then place the lid on top and turn off the heat.
  6. Let sit until you’re ready to pour over the meat. Or put it into jar and set in the fridge until you need it if you won’t be using it that day.

Serve the finished product on dinner rolls or eat it plain. Serve with a green veggie and Sweet Potato Fries (which are on the menu again tonight!!!).

Do you like sweet sauces or vinegar-based ones for your BBQ??

Butternut Squash Pancakes

Last week, Jenna over at Eat, Live, Run posted her favorite fall recipes. One of them stood out to me: Butternut Squash Pancakes.

At first, I was a little taken aback. Butternut squash in pancakes? But remembering that I had leftover roasted butternut squash (which I picked up from the farmer’s market last week) from making my cheesy rice casserole, I decided I’d give it a try.

I pureed up the roasted butternut squash and just went for it. I halved my pancake recipe (omitting the nuts because I forgot!) and added about 1/4 cup squash. The final product was excellent! However, I just made them even better 🙂

Butternut Squash Pancakes (inspired by Jenna)

This fall recipe will warm your heart and soothe the soul after a long day (trust me!!!!). The added squash gives the pancakes a boost flavor-wise, but also nutrient-wise with loads of fiber and vitamin A. Enjoy for either breakfast or dinner (like me!). 

1 cup GF baking mix/flour

1 tsp cinnamon/nutmeg blend or pumpkin pie spice

1/4 cup oats

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax seed plus 2 1/2 tbsp water, then set aside)

1 cup raw milk, plus a few tablespoons to thin it out to desired consistency

1 cup butternut squash puree

1-2 tbsp coconut oil

pure maple syrup

Make your flax egg and set aside. Mix together the dry ingredients. Add the flax egg, 1 cup of milk and the butternut squash. Mix well. Use a few tablespoons of milk to thin it out if necessary. Heat your skillet or frying pan over low heat. Wait until it is heated to pour on your first pancake. You want the batter to sizzle as you pour it on. After it is heated, drop a tablespoon of coconut oil in and let it melt and coat the pan with it. Pour the batter into the skillet and thin out with a spatula if too thick. Let cook until bubbles form around the edges. Make sure the coconut oil touches the edges of the pancake as it cooks. This will allow it to almost fry in the oil giving it a crispy edge. Trust me, the coconut oil is totally worth it and takes these pancakes to a whole new level!! Serve with a generous drizzle of maple syrup 🙂

I will be working on editing my pictures from the weekend, but I can’t help but share this one I took Saturday morning when I first got to see Ally again. That face will warm the heart and soothe the soul too 🙂 Enjoy!

Two recipe Tuesday- Easy peasy!

I made a super simple supper tonight and wanted to share the really easy recipes with you all. I apologize in advance for no pictures, but I am picking up a replacement battery for my camera tomorrow!!!

Plus, I’m going to assume that you know what sweet potato fries look like….they’re bright orange and in the shape of a fry 🙂 And hopefully you know what chicken and rice looks like…trust me it wouldn’t have photographed well, even though the flavors were out of this world!

Coconutty Sweet Potato Fries

1 large sweet potato

1 tbsp coconut oil, melted

garlic salt

pepper

Preheat the oven to 450*. Slice the sweet potato into large matchsticks, or any shape/size you desire. I did standard fry size (if there is such a thing!). Place fries into a large bowl. Drizzle coconut oil over fries, followed by a dusting of garlic salt and pepper to taste. Combine until all fries are well coated. Place fries on broiler-safe baking sheet in a single layer. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, turning once. Turn the broiler on hi and roast for just a few minutes or until they are golden brown. Serve with ketchup!

This was only the second time I’ve made sweet potato fries (last night was the first time :)) and let me tell you something…they will be a staple in this household this fall/winter! Absolutely delicious!

Rosemary chicken thighs with white wine cream sauce

This recipe sounds a lot fancier than it really is. It is incredibly easy to make and tastes delicious!

1 tbsp coconut oil

4 chicken thighs

salt and pepper

1/4 cup white wine

1 tbsp butter

1/4 cup heavy cream, raw if you have it

rosemary herb blend

3 cups cooked brown rice (I cooked a big batch last night and used the leftovers)

Begin by heating a large skillet on medium heat. Melt the coconut butter in the skillet and place the chicken thighs in. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and sear on each side until golden brown (3-4 minutes). Remove chicken from skillet and set aside. To the skillet, add the white wine and deglaze the pan. Next, melt the butter and add the cream. Add the herbs to taste and whisk together for a minute. Add the brown rice  and stir to coat. Next, add the chicken back in and coat with sauce as much as you can. Cover and let sit for a few minutes until the chicken is done. Serve alongside the sweet potato fries (and broccoli for extra fiber!).

This whole meal came together in less than 30 minutes. Talk about easy! Enjoy!

What’s your favorite easy peasy meal?

Vanilla Maple Oatmeal Walnut Butter Cookies

This morning on my way into work, I heard an interview with Dr. Oz on Elvis Duran and the Morning Show (a really funny radio show that is highly inappropriate most of the time!). I’ve never really had an opinion on Dr. Oz because I haven’t followed his career really. However, I can now confidently say that he is awesome!

He said two things that literally made me cheer out loud in the car.

1) America is not fat because we eat fat, America is overweight because we eat white flour, white sugar, and white rice.

2) Between skim and whole milk, which one makes you fat? The skim milk!!! Once you take out the fat from it, all that is left is sugar- which makes us fat (see number 1).

Can I get an AMEN?!? I just had to share this! These are things I have learned over the past year or so and I wish I had known them years ago! I’m just so glad someone as popular as Dr. Oz preaches this kind of stuff. Hopefully people are out there listening 🙂

Okay, onto what you’re really here for: cookies!

I’m sure you’ve figured out what you might need for this recipe and hopefully by now you’ve done the mental checklist to see if you have the ingredients on hand (or in your cupboard…you know, wherever you keep the stuff!) to make these cookies tonight (or right this second if you can!).

A few weeks ago, I got an idea in my head for some cookies. I often have these thoughts as I’m driving home from work (see my Raspberry Banana Muffin recipe from Monday for more proof!), and I just can’t stop thinking about it until I’ve made the recipe. This was one of those recipes.

I wasn’t quite sure what to call these, so I figured I’d just name the ingredients and see how that sounds.

Vanilla Maple Oatmeal Walnut Butter Cookies

This light and fluffy butter cookie packs tons of protein and lots of flavor! Super easy to throw together in a matter of minutes. They are super delicious and will disappear quickly!

1 stick butter, salted

2 flax eggs

2 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup maple syrup

2 3/4 cups Pamela’s GF flour

1 cup old fashion oats

1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts

Beat the butter until fluffy. Add the flax eggs, vanilla and maple syrup and beat for a minute or so until well combined. Add the oatmeal and 1 cup of the flour. Mix until combined. Add the other cup of flour and combine again. Finish with the last 3/4 cup flour, then add the walnuts and mix with a spatula. Once it is all combined, use a cookie scoop to make balls of dough and place on a cookie sheet. Bake in a 375 degree oven for  12-15 minutes, or until very lightly browned on top. Enjoy with a big glass of cold milk!

These were beyond belief! They were light and buttery with a chewiness from the oatmeal that made them last a while in your mouth. I told my honey they were little puffy balls of buttery heaven! Maybe that’s what I should name them??

Do you keep up with Dr. Oz? Have you read any of his books or watched his show? Thoughts on his comments are welcome!