Here’s the second version of my delicious, protein-packed snack bars – get excited, y’all! ^_^
Here’s the second version of my delicious, protein-packed snack bars – get excited, y’all! ^_^
If there’s one snack I’m constantly in need of, it’s protein on-the-go. It took a few weeks of tinkering, but I finally perfected these no-bake protein bars that come together in less than 10 minutes.
In case you weren’t already aware, blueberry and lemon are best buds. They should always hang out together, because they are a dynamic duo. Sweet blueberries against the tart freshness of lemon – it just doesn’t get any better in my book.
I call this a breakfast cake, because I more often than not eat this at breakfast or lunch. Really, you can eat it anytime. No one’s going to stop you!
For the dry base of the cake, combine almond flour, oat fiber (not oat flour – there is a difference), whey protein isolate (for a protein kick), baking powder, salt, and Pyure or THM Gentle Sweet. I used both oat fiber and whey for two reasons: 1) I wanted to give the cake a sturdy texture and 2) I wanted to tone down the sometimes aggressive flavor of the whey.
For the wet base, combine the almond milk, vanilla, melted coconut oil, zest of 1 lemon, and juice of 1/2 the lemon.
Combine the two bowls of ingredients, whisking until there are no lumps.
Next, prepare the blueberries. I used frozen berries, because it’s what I had on hand but you could use fresh if you like. Combine the frozen berries with 1 Tbsp of coconut flour and toss them together.
This helps create a little flotation device for the berries that helps them to stick in the cake batter without sinking to the bottom once the cake bakes. [It is so annoying when that happens!]
Prepare an 8×8 baking dish with coconut oil spray and a square of parchment paper in the bottom.
Pour the batter in, and bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.
As you can see, the top of the cake doesn’t brown as much as the sides. Make sure you look there for doneness first, and check the middle with a toothpick start around 30 minutes of bake time. It’s OK if it puffs a little, it will reduce as it cools and you can (gently) press it back down if needed.
Let the cake cool completely, then prepare the glaze.
Beat together the cream cheese, Pyure or THM Gentle Sweet, lemon juice, and vanilla until the mixture is slightly fluffy. One tablespoon at a time, add the almond milk until the mixture is thick, yet pourable. Pour it right over the top of the cake, letting it go down the sides and wherever it pleases. Just gently spread it with a spatula so that all sides are evenly coated.
Serve immediately, or refrigerate for future use.
The cake is perfectly moist with tiny bursts of blueberry throughout. The glaze is smooth, velvety, and zesty with the fresh lemon. It’s the perfect breakfast or snack time pick-me-up.
This is your go-to guide for fueling your workouts on the Trim Healthy Mama (THM) plan.
The journey to where I am today began first with my passion for fitness. I joined my local YMCA when my daughter (now 4.5) was about 6 months old. I started going to swim as my workout, and soon got into group fitness classes. Strength training, Zumba, yoga, cycling, TRX – you name it, I was trying it. At first, I was losing weight consistently, but a few months later I plateaued even when I was working out more.
After being frustrated and stuck at the same place for months, I began my journey with THM. Around that same time, I became a fitness instructor (AKA working out a LOT more). It took a few months, but I finally hit my stride with being a fit, trim, AND healthy mama.
1. Timing is everything. We all know we’re supposed to be eating every 3 hours, and with fitness that rule is even more important. You should have a meal 1-2 hours prior to working out, and have a replenishing meal or snack within an hour of working out.
My go-to post workout snack is a Vega Sport Protein smoothie. Vega is a vegan protein, and its flavors are stevia based. The stats for a half scoop are 1.5g fat, 1g net carbs, and 15g protein. I place a half scoop into a Blender Bottle with water after my workout and shake it right up. [*NOTE: I believe Vega is still considered a personal choice because the peas are not sprouted. In this instance, I take it because I believe it will do more good than not in my case.]
2. Match your fuel to your workout. This one is really important – in order to perform your best during your workout, you need to know what type of fuel will be best.
For cardio-heavy workouts such as cycling, running, tabata, etc. an E meal will give you the most energy during your workout. You don’t want to feel weighed down while doing cardio, the heavier carb ratio helps fuel your muscles and increase endurance during your workout.
Oatmeal is FANTASTIC for cardio workouts. I have multiple recipes for overnight oats, which are all E’s and easy to throw together with a little prep. If you’re OK with dairy before cardio, then cottage cheese, yogurt, or a kefir smoothie are also great E options with lots of protein. I like to mix a Tbsp of fat free cottage cheese into an Oikos 000 yogurt and have sprouted toast with jelly and fruit on the side with coffee or green tea.
For more strength-based or low impact workouts (such as weight lifting, yoga, barre, pilates, or similar), go for a Deep S meal prior to your sweat session. Dairy-heavy S’s can cause bloat during a workout, so try to avoid them.
My go-to meal prior to low impact exercise is eggs, bacon, avocados with nutritional yeast, and coffee with collagen. I do have half and half in my coffee, but it’s not enough to weigh me down during my workout (and I usually consume this over an hour before my workout).
For a combination of strength and cardio, I find it best to go with a FP protein shake. It’s light, but filling, and keeps my energy levels up while I get my sweat going. This meal type is also good if you’re someone who wakes up early and goes to workout first thing in the morning. My rule is not to workout on an empty stomach, but there are a few days during the week where I’m up early to sweat and my stomach hasn’t quite caught up with me. On those days, a shake is just enough to get me going.
My basic skeleton recipe is 1 scoop of whey protein isolate, 2 Tbsp fat free cottage cheese, fresh or frozen fruit of choice, vanilla, 1 scoop of collagen, water and/or unsweetened almond milk (I usually do about 1/2 c of each), and sweetener of choice to taste. It’s the perfect pre-workout energizer for early mornings!
3. Know how to recover. Just like fueling prior to your workout is important, recovering and re-fueling post-workout is equally important.
Carbs fuel your muscles for hard work, and they also help your muscles recover while boosting your energy. After a tough cardio and/or strength workout, I go for a big E meal with lots of protein. The protein helps you recover, while the carbs build your muscles and give you an overall boost of energy (after you come down from that post-workout endorphin and adrenaline rush).
Like I said – pack. in. that. protein. What many people miss with E meals is the protein, then they end up feeling hungry an hour later. My post-workout lunch is a sandwich on sourdough packed with turkey, Dijon mustard, lettuce or sprouts, tomato and onion with a pickle wedge, fruit, veggies or other on-plan sides (pictured is 1 c of salted Skinny Pop and 2 Tbsp of my FP Everything Bagel Dip with grape tomato dippers), and a big Good Girl Moonshine (pg. 397 of the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook). Hydrating is important for muscle recovery as well, so make sure you get those fluids in to prevent soreness tomorrow.
If the end of your workout is an hour or more until your next meal, go for an S meal to fill you up. There are many ideas you can go with for an S meal, and the same basic rules apply: pack in the protein, get a mix of fruit and veggies, and sip that water/GGMS.
There you have it! My guide for fueling your fitness with THM. These make seem like small tweaks, but trust me when I say they will make all the difference in your routine.
You will not believe how ridiculously easy (and tasty) this dip is!
During my latest trip to Trader Joe’s, they were displaying the Everything Bagel seasoning along with some other seasonal items, and it jumped out at me. The ingredients are very straightforward: onion, garlic, seasame seeds, salt, and poppyseeds. I had some reduced fat sour cream sitting in my fridge at home waiting for a purpose, and *click* purpose found.
Can a dip really be this easy? YEP.
Mix an entire 16oz container of reduced fat sour cream with about 3 Tablespoons of the Everything Bagel seasoning. If you want to add a little freshness to it, add a fresh herb of your choice: parsley, chives, dill, or scallions. Chop up a few tablespoons, toss it in with your dip and some salt and pepper. That’s it!
Leave it in the fridge for about an hour for the salt crystals to break down and all the flavors have a chance to combine.
This dip is a THM FP up to about 3 Tablespoons (which would be 4.5g of fat). If you’re enjoying this with an E meal, be sure to watch the other fats in your meal to keep within the limits. There were no carbs in my reduced fat sour cream, so if you’re in S mode you can pile on as much as you like (yay!).
Serve with your favorite crudités: zucchini sticks, celery, cucumbers, grape tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, mini sweet peppers, Parmesan Whisps or other cheese crackers.
Throw this together before a party or brunch get together, and all your guests will rave! Or, you know, just throw it together for yourself and you’ll have your own little rave. ^_^
This recipe made me so happy! Not only did it work on the first try, which can be rare for baking, it was easy to throw together before Sunday morning breakfast. This was my first gluten/sugar free coffee cake, and I could not be more pleased with the result.
If you have all the ingredients, this cake is quick and simple to throw together. I liked using protein as a big part of the base here for 2 reasons: it makes the cake texture more like coffee cake (sturdy and slightly dry) and it adds more protein to the cake (making it a great snack or finishing complement to an S breakfast or lunch).
Next is your wet ingredients: eggs, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, melted coconut oil, vanilla bean paste, and vanilla extract (yes, I like both because I like vanilla, however you can leave out the paste if you want.) Stir it up.
Then whisk the wet into the dry. The consistency is pretty wet, like runny pancake batter.
Get your pan ready, and make sure your oven is preheated to 350. I prepped my 8×8 baking dish with coconut oil spray and a square of parchment paper. I did it this way because I wanted to make certain the cake would slide right out of the dish. With the parchment in there, each piece came out perfectly, and the dish was easy to clean.
Prepare your topping by combining softened butter, cinnamon, Pyure or THM Gentle Sweet, and nuts. I chose to use sliced almonds but you could use pecans, hazelnuts, walnuts, whatever you fancy. It’s going to look like a paste, that’s OK.
Pour half of your cake batter into your prepared dish, dot it with half of the nut topping, then pour on the other half of cake batter and dot the top with the rest of the nut mixture.
If you want more of a streusel-like topping, you can add some coconut flour to the mix to dry it out and make it more crumbly but I do like how this turned out. The butter melts, making the cake moist and you still get the crunch of the nuts with the cinnamon sweetness.
Bake the cake at 350 for about 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown delicious on top.
All of that topping sits just under the golden brown surface.
Gorgeous! Let it cool slightly before cutting.
Slice it into 9 pieces, and have you a piece, girl.
See? All that cinnamon, sweet goodness floating throughout the cake. The cake has flecks of vanilla bean and a crunch factor from the nuts. The cake is fluffy, sturdy, and slightly dry – making it the perfect partner with your coffee or tea.
This is a perfect make-ahead snack for the week. I’ve sent pieces with my husband to work, and heated it up as a snack. Just store the pieces in a large gallon zip-top bag in the fridge.
These Brownie Batter oats are so rich and chocolatey, you won’t believe they’re an E!
I’m a chocoholic, I admit it. If I have a dessert choice, it will almost always include chocolate in some form. Honestly, chocolate is good any time – breakfast, lunch, snacks, or dessert. These oats are so decadent, you could enjoy them as a filling E dessert and not feel like you’re missing any richness.
The prep for overnight oats could not be easier – combine the oats, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, whey protein isolate, Pyure or THM Gentle Sweet, vanilla, Lily’s chocolate chips, unsweetened cocoa powder, and salt in a wide mouth mason jar with a small spatula. Pop a lid on it, then set it in the fridge for at least one hour, or overnight. You could even make this up to 5 days in advance, if you’re looking for a grab-and-go snack, breakfast, or dessert. I prefer the wide mouth jars for these overnight oatmeals because it’s a little easier to get the ingredients into the jar and really get them combined, however you could use anything that will hold the ingredients and has a lid.
Once the oats have a chance to soak and become soft, the chocolate chips actually break down slightly and almost create this pudding-like thickness. I enjoyed these as an afternoon snack, and I really felt like I was eating a completely rich pudding or sinful chocolate dessert.
These oats are so versatile, they could pass for breakfast, an afternoon snack, or a protein-packed E dessert. And, really, who doesn’t want a decadent chocolate grab-and-go meal?
Another fresh, flavorful overnight oats recipe is coming your way!
Blueberries are one of my favorite fruits to have in the morning. However, blueberries by themselves day after day can feel a little redundant. So, in my efforts to welcome Spring (back) to Georgia (because the weather this week has not been Spring-y, AT ALL) I combined my favored blueberries with fresh, zesty lemon.
The blueberry-lemon combo is incredibly refreshing and light – it’s almost like blueberries with a splash of sunshine. Just the thing to get you energized for the day ahead!
The preparation is exceedingly quick and easy – assemble the oats, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, whey protein isolate, vanilla, Pyure or THM Gentle Sweet, salt, chia seeds, frozen blueberries, and the zest (plus a small squeeze of juice, if you like) of 1 small lemon in a wide mouth mason jar and stir it together with a small spatula. Pop a lid on it and place it in the fridge, then forget about it for at least an hour or overnight. You can even prep multiple versions of these using my other overnight oats recipes days in advance for your weekday mornings. With a full scoop of whey protein isolate, these oats are a meal unto themselves. However, if you need some help feeling full you could enjoy them with some egg whites or other E-friendly proteins.
I used chia seeds in this recipe because it had virtually zero fat (which is great for an E), and I wanted to add a superfood element. Chia seeds are rich in omega-3s, and get slightly gelatinous when they’re soaked. I used a scant Tablespoon in this recipe, which only added about 3-3.5g of fat. Of course, they aren’t vital, so you could leave them out if you don’t have them on hand. You could also add a dollop of fat free Greek yogurt or cottage cheese for a little creaminess.
In the morning, you have these beautifully creamy oats with soft blueberries and a little pop of freshness from the lemon and chia seeds. If you need a recipe to get your rear in gear in the mornings, this is the one!
Here’s another great Chipotle fake-out recipe – salsa verde.
Verde salsa is usually considered mild, however this salsa at Chipotle comes with a *bite*. It’s smooth, a little smoky, and kicking with jalapeño heat.
Best of all? This recipe is so EASY. Just 5 ingredients and you’re on your way to spicy salsa goodness.
The base of this salsa is tomatillos. Tomatillos look a lot like green tomatoes, but they have a husk and their skin has a slightly sticky feel to it. They have a mild flavor, and become very soft once they’re cooked.
The easiest trick to getting the most flavor is to roast the tomatillos, jalapeño, and onions together.
Leave the tomatillos whole, as well as the jalapeño, and cut the onion into large slices. Roast under a broiler for about 10-12 minutes on each side. The skin will get a little black (that’s fine!), and the vegetables will soften.
Once those are done in the oven, place them all into a heat-safe bowl and cover with foil or plastic wrap. This helps to finish cooking the veggies, and it releases the skin from the flesh of the vegetables, making them easier to peel.
When the vegetables are cool enough to handle, lightly skin the tomatillos (it’s OK if some of it stays on, the skin is very soft) and remove the seeds and ribs from the jalapeño.
Place the vegetables, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper into a food processor and pulse until your desired consistency is reached. I ended up adding some water to the mix to help get things a little smoother.
It’s that easy!
Next up is salsa’s best side kick, tortilla chips.
These take barely any time at all! Start with gluten free tortillas.
Take a small stack of the tortillas, and cut them into 8ths.
Fan them out into one layer on a large baking sheet lined with parchment. Spritz them with coconut oil spray and season with salt.
Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes until golden brown and crispy.
I told you it was easy!
These chips are an E, but the salsa is FP.
If you liked this recipe, check out my fake-out Chipotle guacamole!
I love quick, easy salads that I make one day, and eat for lunch all week. I usually go for chicken salads of some sort, but sometimes I go for something a little simpler.
This egg salad is creamy, delicious, and filling. And it only takes a few minutes to prepare!
The base starts with hard boiled eggs, of course. My trick for easy-peel boiled eggs is to sit them in ice water after they’re done cooking. I boil (really, that’s a loose term. It’s more like “rapidly simmer,” because if the eggs are bouncing all over, they’ll crack.) the eggs for 12 minutes, drain the hot water, place a few handfuls of ice cubes (in the same pot, because one dish) around the eggs, then cover with water. Let that sit until the eggs are cool enough to handle.
To peel, I crack the egg on all sides until I can easily get to the membrane. Set the egg down in the ice water and move along the membrane to remove the shell. Easy peasy!
I chop just the whites to begin, leaving the yolks whole, off to the side. Once they’re all chopped, I dab the pieces gently with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture (nobody likes wet egg salad). Then I add mayonnaise, Dijon mustard (or yellow mustard works too), chopped fresh chives, a little Cajun seasoning or a few dashes of hot sauce. The Cajun seasoning and hot sauce are just for deeper flavor. You can choose one or the other, or both (that’s what I did), whatever you like. Mash up the yolks with the back of a fork, and add them to the mix. Finish by seasoning with a little salt and pepper, and you’re done.