Sunday, October 30, 2016

Kodiak Pumpkin Protein Pancakes with Pumpkin PB and Berry Syrup


That, my friends, is pumpkin kodiak cakes topped with pumpkin PB and berry syrup. And they are fantastical. Macros are as good as they taste too.


The hubs and I did our part earlier this week ✔and voted early. He wanted a picture of just his sticker on his chest though LOL good thing my Olive Marie always loves a pic ❤ and this is proof I am not always in gym clothes with my hair in a ponytail haha!


My grocery store finally got in more Halo Top Creamery flavors! My sis-in-law JUST told me that I need to try strawberry since it is her favorite; so, I go by the store last night and BOOM! She was right! Yum and love those macros, like always!


Been a bit since I broke a personal record. I am on the last week of a 12 week cutdown and some days, I try but I just don't have it in me. HOWEVER today I hit 250 lbs on my 1 rep max for hip thrust. Best yet! Photoshoot is ONE week from today and cannot wait to see my progress since last year! ✔πŸ‘ hoping for booty-ful ;) ha!


Here is a way to ante up your lateral lunge AKA side lunge- add a weight and a bench. This makes it a weighted deficit lateral lunge, and I bet your inner thighs will be sore the next day ;)



Soooo back to the recipe... we recently bought a HUGE box of Kodiak Cakes mix. This stuff is amazing all by itself with water.

Since it is open season on pumpkin and all things pumpkin spice, I thought I would try a pumpkin bent on them! (...And then I ran out of pumpkin from all my pumpkin antics in the kitchen, need to go get more STAT because I am already needing some more of these!)


Kodiak Pumpkin Protein Pancakes with Pumpkin PB and Berry Syrup

Serves 1

Ingredients
0.25 cup Kodiak Cakes - Power Cakes mix
1 large Egg
1 tbsp  Peanut butter
0.5 cup Frozen Mixed Berries (126g)
0.75 cup Pumpkin Puree, divided
0.33 cup water
0.25 tsp pumpkin spice

Directions
In a mixing bowl, mix together the Kodiak mix, 1 egg, pumpkin puree, pumpkin spice, and water until smooth. Put a small skillet on the stove over medium, and make 2-3 pancakes with the mix.

While the pancakes are cooking, take 0.5 cup of fresh or frozen mixed berries and heat them until they form a syrup. I did mine in the microwave for 1 minute from frozen and stirred in a little stevia to sweeten.

In a small bowl, mix 0.25 cup of pumpkin puree with the tbsp of peanut butter until smooth. I added a smidge of pumpkin spice and stevia too.

Top your pumpkin pancakes with the pumpkin PB and berry syrup. Enjoy :)





Nutritional stats per serving 

(1 serving with pumpkin PB and berry syrup)

  • 372 cals
  • 43 g carbs
  • 16 g fat
  • 19 g protein
  • 339 g sodium
  • 16 g sugars

Sunday, October 23, 2016

No Bake Protein Pumpkin Cheesecake


Nothing says, "fall is here" quite like pumpkin does. For our first fall here on the island, it does not feel like fall at all so the pumpkin helps ;) I love that pumpkin is packed full of nutrients and is low calorie. So you know I have been experimenting in the kitchen! This recipe tastes like the real deal, decadent and rich!


Coffee- my breakfast, lunch, and snack today as I am doing an Eat Stop Eat style 24 hour fast. Regardless of whether I am doing a 24h fast or not, it is my breakfast 99% of the time. Why? Because the earlier you eat in the day, the higher your daily calorie total- almost always. It is like breaking a hunger seal. I am usually the hungriest in the evenings, so why not allocate most of my calories for then? Play it smart and do what works for you. I am 2 weeks out from my next shoot so almost back to maintenance land!



So addicted to this Superfood Stuffed Pepper recipe! I think I have made it every day all week long. I subbed 3.5 oz of leftover trimmed brisket for 4 oz lean ground beef in the recipe to keep the macros about the same. (422 cals and 35g protein) OMG! SO good! Serious flavor bomb. AND it is chock full of veggie goodness! Recipe from last week here - http://venuscrossing.blogspot.com/2016/10/superfood-stuffed-bell-peppers.html



I have learned through experimentation that I prefer to do my banded clams on a bench. It gives your lower leg more range of motion so you can really feel it in both glutes. But still swap sides, of course ;)

...So onto the recipe. I made you a video again!


No Bake Protein Pumpkin Cheesecake

serves 1

Ingredients:
1 tbsp(s), Granular Stevia (or sweetener of choice)
0.25 cup (122g), Canned Pumpkin Puree
0.25 cup, Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal (could sub graham cracker crumbles too)
0.25 tsp, Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 ounce, Neufchatel Cheese (can sub Greek or Low Fat Cream Cheese too)
0.50 Scoop (32g), Vanilla Whey Protein Powder
2 oz, Fage Plain Fat Free Greek Yogurt

Directions:
In a bowl, mix together softened neufchatel cheese with Greek yogurt and pumpkin puree. Stir in protein powder, stevia, and pumpkin pie spice. In a tall glass, pour in half the cereal then top with half the pumpkin cheesecake mixture. Repeat with other halves of cereal and pumpkin cheesecake mixture. Garnish with whipped topping if desired. Enjoy!





Nutritional info:

per serving
Nutrition Facts
Servings 1.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 244
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 11 g16 %
Saturated Fat 6 g32 %
Monounsaturated Fat 1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 47 mg16 %
Sodium 243 mg10 %
Potassium 21 mg1 %
Total Carbohydrate 20 g7 %
Dietary Fiber 3 g13 %
Sugars 9 g
Protein 21 g41 %
Vitamin A156 %
Vitamin C4 %
Calcium15 %
Iron11 %
* 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.

I am thinking this would be good in a chocolate and peanut butter combination too.... off to the kitchen ;)

X-Liss

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Superfood Stuffed Bell Peppers




I had a date with the camera this week to make a recipe video. Not going to lie, I had my kitchen rigged up like a redneck haha! But the recipe turned out even more amazing than I expected. Guys, this stuffed pepper is delicious and makes a huge plate full of food (and you know how I am about volume).




My 10 year old daughter made this collage for art and remarked how pretty all the parts were before she combined them and that it looked kind of ugly together. It reminded me of something that I learned from one of my Venus sisters. "You pick all the best parts from beautiful people but together they are not as beautiful as one individual the way God made them." Don't pick and compare your parts to other's best parts. Become the best version of YOU! She decided to write that down at the bottom of her art πŸ’œ 



Here is a little twist on reverse hyperextensions for you that extends the glute areas worked πŸ‘Reverse Hyperextension Frog Kicks πŸ‘ I have a mini band around my knees! When you come down, go outward with your knees. I didn't think my bench would be high enough for these long legs, but I was pleasantly surprised!

But back to the recipe, I think you are going to love it enough to make it more than once! I also love how there are plenty of veggies packed into this recipe but it doesn't taste like a salad. And finally, it makes one pepper but it is super easy to scale up to feed a family!


Superfood Stuffed Bell Peppers

Serves 1

Ingredients:
1 red bell pepper
4 oz lean ground beef
1 tbsp taco seasoning
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 tbsp diced chili pepper
1/4 cup chopped broccoli
1/4 cup shredded kale
1/4 cup spinach
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/4 cup rice, cooked
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided

Instructions: Take the top and seeds off the bell pepper and microwave for 5 minutes. In a cast iron skillet over med-high heat, add your ground beef and taco seasoning. Then add your onion and chili pepper. Stir frequently until meat is browned. Stir in the broccoli, kale, and spinach. Then stir in the tomato paste, rice, and half the cheese until incorporated. Plate the mixture in the skillet over the cooked bell pepper and top with remaining cheese.






Nutritional info for 1 serving: 

422 cals, 18.2 g fat, 30.1 g carbs, 35.4 g protein

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Malissa's Bacon Ranch Crack Chicken and Supplements



So I posted this recipe from my friend Malissa a few weeks ago, but I had not had time to make all her variations at the time I posted it. I made the Taco Crack Chicken recipe she had shared with me, and was super impressed. Recipe here - http://venuscrossing.blogspot.com/2016/09/malissas-crack-chicken.html

This week, I finally made the "original" variation of her Crack Chicken, which is bacon ranch. Ummm WOW. This is the best one yet. It tastes and sounds indulgent, but the macros are spot on.


The next day, I served the leftover crack chicken on a flatbread with some spinach. It was MMmmmm good! You cannot go wrong with this stuff!


I had a busy week, and got a lot accomplished.


#rxbar haul! My sis-in-law told me I needed to try these a while back and I finally made it by the store here that carries them! While the calorie to protein ratio is not ideal (most are ~200 cals and 12 g protein), the taste is mmmmmm good! Reminds me of a Larabar. And the ingredient list is short, sweet, and all whole foods. I tried the Pumpkin Spice bar first, duh! It was two thumbs up. Think we will be buying these on the reg. Was not impressed with the peanut butter flavor though, so skip that one.


I am four weeks out from my next photoshoot! (Need to get this hair done STAT!) My favorite pre-workout is in this poodle mug (it's Olive Marie!) that I am holding. Coffee with a teaspoon of plain creatine monohydrate powder with a little stevia and a tablespoon of half and half. It's not fancy but it gets the job done. I have tried plenty of other pre-workouts, and I either hate the taste or they do nothing for me. This is cheap and easily accessible. It helps that I love coffee ;)


Figured I would talk about supplements since I talked about pre-workout ;) specifically what I take on a daily basis and WHY. Everyone is different but here are my reasons (from left):
1) multi-vitamin with 100% DV iron - if you are a menstruating woman, chances are high that your iron levels are low. A multi is an all around insurance policy to make up for dietary gaps.
2) fish or krill oil - fights inflammation in the body from multiple sources and improves brain function if you do not get enough DHA and EPA in your diet
3) calcium, magnesium, and zinc - I take an extra serving of this before bed when in a caloric deficit to prevent cramping (I get charlie horses from hell when I diet, some people don't)
4) probiotic - look for lots of strains and high CFU (at least over a billion). Rotate this every bottle because variety is key to a functional gut. People who have well-functioning guts lose weight faster and keep it off.
*I tend to rotate brands on everything.





I also use protein powder as a supplement, but I don't hardly ever make it as a shake. Instead I prefer to add it to my oatmeal or pancakes to boost the protein. My favorite brand (for a while now) is Optimum Nutrition's Gold Standard Whey. The chocolate and vanilla flavors are amazing.





Some small tweaks for your next workout that you can help increase glute activation:
Top) leaning back during seated banded hip abductions. Hits your glutes a bit differently, I feel it deeper!
Bottom) planks with banded hip extensions. Love multitasking, effective movements. Bonus: you are more unstable so it increases core activation as well!

Sooo onto the recipe. I have tried it with salad and by itself. My kids have enjoyed it on a sandwich and as the filling in a quesadilla. It would be great on a pita or a baked potato too.


Malissa's Bacon Ranch Crack Chicken

Serves 8

Ingredients:
2 lb(s), Tyson Chicken Breast (I used frozen but you can use fresh)
2.50 tablespoon, Ranch Dip Mix (Or 1 packet)
8 oz, Cheese, neufchatel (You can use regular cream cheese, used because the calorie count is lower)
4 slices, Bacon, cooked

Directions:
Spray crock pot with non-stick spray. Put in the chicken breasts, cream cheese, and ranch seasoning. Cook on low 6-8 hours or high 4 hours then shred and add bacon. If you prefer, you can bake in the oven at 425 for 45 minutes, then turn down to 275 for 2 hours. Shred and add bacon. Reduce your cooking times if you are using thawed chicken.








Nutrition Information

(per 5 ounces)

Nutrition Facts
Servings 8.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 289
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 12 g19 %
Saturated Fat 5 g27 %
Monounsaturated Fat 4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 122 mg41 %
Sodium 509 mg21 %
Potassium 93 mg3 %
Total Carbohydrate 3 g1 %
Dietary Fiber 0 g0 %
Sugars 1 g
Protein 39 g79 %
Vitamin A5 %
Vitamin C0 %
Calcium3 %
Iron5 %
* 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.

6 Weight Watchers Smart Points per Serving

X- Liss