Sunday, December 18, 2016

Almond Joy Protein Cookies

I have not been this pleased about a new sweet recipe in a LOOOONG time. Guys, these seriously knocked me over. They taste sinful, and yet they are really not too bad in calories. And a little punch of protein helps too. Both my kids liked them, and they are pretty critical judges.

They both are into Food Network shows like Chopped, so they now feel they need to critique my cooking (which sometimes makes me lose my cool admittedly). So when they give a healthy recipe two thumbs up and eat TWO, umm yeah. It is a winner. You can take these to non-health nuts and they will be just fine ;)

Banded kneeling clamshell - you have got to try this ASAP, ladies! For me this small tweak of kneeling, it really hammered my gluteus medius 🍑 be sure to switch sides. Palpate to really hit those glutes hard!

Pretty sure my muscles were popping from my love affair with stuffed peppers lately. They're magical muscle food ;) this one is 5 oz lean taco beef stir-fried with a few handfuls of cabbage, onions, and spinach all chopped. (Handy for chopping up and using whatever meat or veggies you have on hand!) Mix in a tbsp of tomato paste and 1/2 cup cooked rice then plop into a pre-cooked bell pepper. Top with 1/4 cup of cheese, because duh. They have been coming out around 450 cals and about 35 grams of protein!

Super shoulder burnout with plates - did this as a finisher this morning and it burned so good!
*lateral + front plate raises 5 each
*full front plate raise - slow eccentric 10 reps
Do for as many rounds as you can with good form. I did 4!

I have been really seeing some good changes in my delts this year trying to incorporate every plane of motion for shoulders most workouts along with mixing heavy reps with burnouts and slow eccentrics.

My MIL got me these cool shoes a while back for my bday! If you prefer minimalist shoes like me, these are the jam. I have worn them to lift in my gym during a cold spell, then running errands around town with my leggings. So comfy, like socks with a light sole. Think she said she got them Amazon, maybe. I am a fan!

Onto the recipe... I *think* you could get away with doubling the protein powder if you want to up the protein to calorie ratio. But my goal here was taste primarily, so I played it safe so that they would be closer to the real deal ;)

Almond Joy Protein Cookies

Makes 9 cookies

1 medium, Bananas, raw (ripe is best, I used a previously frozen banana that I defrosted)
1/2 cup Flaked Unsweetened Coconut
1/2 cup, Semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 scoop, vanilla Whey protein (I used Slap Nutriton)
1/3 cup, unsalted whole almonds (lightly chop them)
1/4 Cup, Egg Whites

Preheat the oven to 325*F. In a medium bowl, mash the bananta with the egg whites and vanilla whey. Stir in the coconut, chocolate chips, and lightly chopped almonds. Using a tablespoon, place the cookies onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes until the batter is set. (Mine took 12 minutes.) Enjoy!

Nutritional Information

Nutrition Facts
Servings 9.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 126
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8 g12 %
Saturated Fat 4 g20 %
Monounsaturated Fat 2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 3 mg1 %
Sodium 28 mg1 %
Potassium 134 mg4 %
Total Carbohydrate 12 g4 %
Dietary Fiber 2 g8 %
Sugars 4 g
Protein 5 g11 %
Vitamin A0 %
Vitamin C2 %
Calcium3 %
Iron4 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Greek Yogurt Berry Bark

I saw a video on Facebook of someone making a variation this Greek yogurt bark and thought to myself, "How clever!" They called it breakfast bark, but I love eating my Greek yogurt for dessert at night. Just have never thought about it in a bark format. When I made this the other day, the interesting thing about it was that all that chewing -- or something -- made me fuller than normal. I could not even finish it! And normally, unfrozen, these amounts would be a normal dessert for me, Interesting, huh?

Trying to figure out a way to do back extensions in your home or gym without a glute-ham device? This is the only way I have figured out how to rig something similar in my home gym. Not perfect, but better than nothing ;)

Got out and pounded the pavement on foot to see my new neighborhood. Getting outside to exercise is good for more reasons than you might think. Air quality indoors in notoriously higher in carbon dioxide and other pollutants (indoor plants help, try for 1-2 per room). So while you are out there, be sure to take some DEEP breaths! Secondly, being in sunlight helps your body with vitamin D production. Some reports say that up to 2/3 of women are deficient! It will also help you get in your 10K steps per day, and usually walking will reduce your appetite! 

Our Christmas palm tree; we thought it appropriate 🕆 😎🌴❤🌲🍭🎄🎁🕆

So here is the super easy recipe! I can think of so many other variations I need to try, namely something with peanut butter LOL

Greek Yogurt Berry Bark

Serves 1 (or 2 normal eaters)


  • 1 cup plain, fat-free Greek yogurt, divided
  • 1 tbsp cocoa power, I used dark cocoa
  • 4 tbsp stevia powder, or sweetener of choice, divided
  • 1/2 mixed berries, I used frozen
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 10 almonds, chopped
Line a plate or small serving dish with foil or parchment paper, spray with nonstick spray to be safe. In a small bowl, mix 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt with 2 tbsp stevia. Drop onto foil. Put the remaining Greek yogurt in the bowl and stir in cocoa power and remaining stevia. Drop onto foil and spread evenly. Drag your spatula through it like a hashmark to marble it.  Top with berries, coconut, and almonds. Place in freezer for approx 2 hours until frozen. Pull the foil out of the pan, and allow to sit at room temperature for 5 minutes. Use a pizza cutter or break into pieces. Enjoy!

Nutritional Facts per Serving
262 cals
27 g protein
24 g carbs
8 g fat

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Bacon and Egg One Skillet Hash

Oh man, this stuff is amazing! I have made it twice since we discovered it earlier this week. This whole family loves it! And it is super easy- one skillet alone and with items you probably keep around ;) Plus you can make it for breakfast, lunch, OR dinner. Can I get a heck yeah?!

So this month completely got away from me. We were on vacation (and the shoot happened!) for a week at the start of the month, then gone for a wedding, then we hosted Thanksgiving at our house for the first time ever. *snap* and like that November was over LOL

Here is a sneak peek from the shoot that week, don't have the pics all back yet!

Love getting all gussied up for dinner!

This was our view everyday! That was our room in the top left corner!

We did a lot of eating and drinking on vacation, as any good vacation should include ;) Most importantly, I got to spend a lot of quality time with my 3 BFFs- my hubby, Jenny, and Erin.

But we played a lot too! Lots of beach volleyball, gym sessions, and even some beach tennis got accomplished. We were super active for at least 2 hours a day.

After a week of scantily clad photos from all the angles, I felt it was my duty to remind you that there are bad pictures! It's OKAY! Everyone has them, even models and fitness professionals. Bad lighting or bad angles can completely distort how you look. I put all these pics in order of the dates they were taken so you can see the one that is "bad" to me. (First is on the right, last on the left, and all were taken within a few days.) Instead of thinking I look like a busted can of biscuits and throwing a fit (which I would have done in the past), I just see a bad pic and shrug it off. It didn't ruin my vacation. No pity party needed! And most importantly you see my body isn't perfect either, and it's FINE! Let's be real and honest ;)

I don't normally post before and after photos, mostly because it is hard for me to find "before" pictures. I hated how I looked and avoided the camera. I also destroyed most of them because I was so ashamed. The "before" on the right was about 2005, and I was 21. I probably weighed about 175 at 5'9" and was a size 12-14, struggling with my weight since about age 11. I transformed my life and body with Venus in 2012 and have never looked back, except to show you a before pic ;) The "after" was Nov 2016 at age 32 in Playa del Carmen with my handsome husband who always encouraged me. I am now a size 4 and weigh 148. If I can do it (and keep it) so can you!

So let's get to that recipe, shall we?

Bacon and Egg One Skillet Hash

Serves 4

1/2 large Onion, diced
4 slices, Bacon, cooked and crumbled
8 large, Eggs
1 cup, shredded, Cheese, cheddar
2 cup, Hash browns (can do dehydrated ones or fresh!)

In a large skillet sprayed with cooking spray (I like my large cast iron for this) start sauteing your onion and hash browns, When browned, sprinkle over crumbled bacon. Make 4 little holes in the hash mixture and crack your eggs inside. Cover with a lid for a few minutes until eggs are cooked to your desire. Sprinkle over cheese and enjoy! I like to serve mine over a bed of spinach and top with Sriracha ketchup :)

You can use either one, or both!

Cannot wait to eat it!
I microwaved my bacon this time; last time I cooked it in the cast iron skillet and used the dripping for the hash browns!

I just did one egg for each of the kidlets instead of two!

So great over a bed of spinach and topped with Sriracha ketchup!

Nutritional information

Nutrition Facts
Servings 4.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 427
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 24 g37 %
Saturated Fat 11 g54 %
Monounsaturated Fat 8 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 413 mg138 %
Sodium 490 mg20 %
Potassium 206 mg6 %
Total Carbohydrate 27 g9 %
Dietary Fiber 2 g8 %
Sugars 0 g
Protein 26 g52 %
Vitamin A17 %
Vitamin C45 %
Calcium30 %
Iron16 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.