Apple Cinnamon Recovery Muffins & Do it yourself Recovery Drank

I made these quick muffins and recovery drink to have on hand after my intense MommiesRfit Bootcamp workouts and after my training runs. (As Tony says, “The recovery drinks, that’s why I do the workouts.”) The muffins are about 50% carbs and 20% protein, the drink 100% carbs, (49 g carbs, plus sodium,potassium, and vitamins). A serving of the drink and one muffin total just about 300 calories.

Apple Cinnamon Recovery Muffins & Do it yourself Recovery Drank
Snack
12
 
Ingredients
Muffins
  • 2 bananas
  • 4 scoops vanilla protein powder
  • 1tsp soda
  • 1tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup oats
  • ⅓ cup flour
  • 1 individual container unsweetened apple sauce
  • Heavy sprinkle Cinnamon
  • 1 large apple diced
  • 3 tbl carob chips (optional)
  • ¼ cup walnuts (optional)
  • ¼ cup PB2 (optional)
Recovery Drink
  • 1 cup organic juice (pear, apple, watermelon etc)
  • ½ - 1 cup coconut water
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Mash bananas, add all other ingredients, stir with a wooden spoon, add splash of coconut water or non dairy milk if too dry. (Should be able to spoon mixture into muffin tin).
  3. Bake about 20 minutes, or until browned and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Drank
  1. Mix it up mama

 

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Piña Colada Protein Shake

To celebrate what feels like the start of Summer in VA, I whipped this up in the blender after a balmy 85 degree morning in the sun. Yummy and refreshing, it gets a whipped froth on top from the canned coconut milk.

Piña Colada Protein Shake
Drinks
 
Ingredients
  • ½-1 cup Frozen pineapple
  • 1 cup Coconut milk (canned makes it creamier)
  • 1 frozen banana
  • Scoop vanilla protein powder
  • Water
  • ice
Instructions
  1. Add pineapple, coconut milk, banana and protein powder to blender.
  2. Blend, adjust with water or ice to get preferred consistency.

 

CowgirlBeans Power Shake

I’ve had clients and friends use this ‘recipe’ for their whole families; as a quick breakfast or yummy lunch on the run, for kids before games, active teens, sick elderly relatives etc.  This is just a variation of our favorite, beneficial ingredients. You can read more about why I like this protein powder here.

CowgirlBeans Power Shake
Entree, Snack
1
 
This is an awesome milk shake for those looking to gain weight, supplement nutrition or as a meal replacement. Also great for kids and teens.
Ingredients
  • Handful Spinach
  • 2 tbl. flax seeds
  • ¼ cup Oats
  • 1 scoop Chocolate Sunwarrior Protein Powder
  • 2 Tbl. Almond Butter
  • 1-2 frozen Bananas
  • 2-4 cups Almond Milk
Instructions
  1. Blend until thick and creamy. You may need to adjust by adding more Almond milk or frozen bananas.

Sunwarrior Protein

Healthy Protein Powders: a review of Sunwarrior, NutriBiotic, Living Fuel & Now powders. Try one in my Mocha-Flax Protein Shake recipe!

There are so many types of Protein Powders on the market, it can be overwhelming to decide what is best for you. You want something easy to digest, as your body uses the amino acids in protein to continuously rebuild enzymes, tissue, hormones, and other important molecules.  Did you know most protein powders are created using chemical extraction? Many protein powders have been mechanically separated, heated to high temperatures, and processed using chemicals like hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide which can damage the amino acids like immunoglobulins (antibodies), and glycomacropeptides (help calcium absorbtion & boost immune systems). Just like with any food, the closer to the original form it is, the healthier, more nutrient rich and cleaner burning it is for your body. Something that tastes great would be nice too, right? In this post I have reviewed and pooled information on some great products that will help make your protein powder choosing easy and tasty!

Sunwarrior Raw Vegan Chocolate

Sunwarrior makes awesome stuff. All their proteins have 98.2 assimilation rate and are about 83% protein. One scoop of the chocolate is 15g of protein, 80 calories, 1 g of fat, 5g of carbs and only 1g sugar. And it’s YUMMY! I love it in my Mocha-Flax shakes (below) or just mixed until creamy with 1/4 cup almond milk like a protein pudding (or heat for 10 seconds and its like a warm pudding mouse mmm). Ingredients: Whole brown rice protein (Bio-Fermented Raw Sprouted Whole GrainBrown Rice Protein), Cocoa, Pectin, Xantham gum (Natural Bio-Fermented Stabilizer), and Stevia (all natural plant-based sweetener).

“By using a unique natural wholistic bio-fermentation process and by combining the sprouted endosperm and the bran from raw sprouted whole grain brown rice, (the result of this amazing process is) a massive increase in Lysine and all 9 essential and non-essential amino acids forming a perfectly balanced amino acid profile. At 80% pure protein, Sunwarrior has created the highest and first raw complete vegan, hypo-allergenic superfood protein on the market. Not only does it taste superb but it blends exceptionally well and is easy to digest. In fact our protein is so easy to assimilate that it has 98% correlation rate to mother’s milk and a 98.2% digestion efficiency rating making it one of the highest digestibility and efficiency ratings of any other protein source. Sunwarrior Protein is also naturally rich in Vitamins and Minerals and contains high amounts of Antioxidants, Tocopherols, Tocotrienols and other essential nutrients — such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, phosphorous, iron and potassium. Using Sunwarrior Increases the efficacy and absorption of vitamins and minerals. There has been a direct correlation between the use of Sunwarrior Protein and the absorption of vitamins. Because Sunwarrior Protein is so digestible it can be easily assimilated by infants, the elderly and adults — The World Health Organization may be using Sunwarrior Protein in the future to feed malnourished individuals because of the hypoallergenic profile and superior absorption that Sunwarrior has been shown to have.There is currently a clinical trial which shows promise that Sunwarrior Protein aids in the absorption of vitamins in Aids patients. There has been a direct correlation between the use of Sunwarrior Protein and the absorption of vitamins in Aids patients where other proteins do not provide such synergistic affects during the intake. Weight Loss – Clinical studies in Japan have shown that by providing Rice Protein as a staple in a diet it can act as a weight control vehicle. This is especially because of superior absorption rates. Cholesterol – Clinical studies have shown promise that Sunwarrior has cholesterol lowering potential and the USDA is currently using Sunwarrior in trials to see if it may help control high blood pressure.”

Sunwarror is our favorite.  So much so, that I joined their affiliate program.  If you’d like to order some, you can find it here.

NutriBiotic Prozone Vegan Vanilla Bean

http://www.nutribiotic.com

NutriBiotic kindly sent me a full size 22 oz. of their Nutritionally Balanced Drink Mix. “NutriBiotic’s naturally flavored Vegetarian Vanilla Bean ProZone is more than a supplement or “meal replacement” product. ProZone is formulated to contain the performance enhancing and healthy living balance of essential macronutrients: protein, fat, and carbohydrates.”  1 serving has 14g protein, 184 calories, 6g fat, 19 carbs, and 12g sugar. Ingredients: Enzymatically processed rice protein from whole grain, sprouted brown rice; pure crystalline fructose; medium chain triglycerides; natural vanilla flavor; guar gum; and xanthan gum.

“If you are on a weight-loss program, you may use ProZone Nutritionally Balanced Drink Mixes to replace two meals and one snack each day. ProZone can help create and sustain optimum metabolic function, which helps your body produce the right ratio of insulin to glucagon, so you’ll burn excess calories, release stored body fat, build lean muscle, and lose excess pounds.”

We thought this was pretty tasty and blended fine. When I tasted the first time I had to re-read the label to reassure myself it really was all natural vanilla and sugar as it tasted so sweet…we now tend to mix in a quarter to a half scoop of plain Pea or Rice protein with this one to cut the sweetness.

 

Living Fuel Living Protein

http://www.livingfuel.com

Living Fuel graciously sent me their full-sized can of their Living Fuel, “A revolutionary Protein and Fiber Formula derived from healthy plant sources, with 21 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber, probiotics, prebiotics, and enzymes”. I definitely think Living Fuel is on to something including their own natural sweetener blend and pro&prebiotics in all of their products (they also make the CocaChia bars and snack mix).  A serving has 21g protein, 140 calories, 4g fat, 10g carbs, and 1g sugar. Ingredients: Enzymatically and Mechanically Extracted Protein from non-GMO Organic Brown Rice & non-GMO Yellow Pea Proprietary Complex, Stabilized Brown Rice Bran, Xylitol (from organic hardwood trees), Natural Fructooligosaccharides (FOS), Mannitol, Organic Vanilla Extract and Stevia Proprietary Complex.

This is a great product with healthful, naturally derived ingredients but must be mixed with something else (unlike the Sunwarrior which is great on its own) because of the flavor or lack thereof.  Pea protein can tend to have a chalky mouth-feel and unpleasant play-dough smell and taste, so just mix it in the blender to make a fruit smoothie and you won’t notice!

 NOW Sports Pea Protein

 

http://www.nowfoods.com/

This was one of the first vegan protein powders I bought and I still have some left…like I said above, unflavored Pea protein has a distinct taste and smell so I don’t use it by itself. I usually mix this one with the vanilla or put small amounts (1/4-1/2 scoop in bars, oatmeal etc.) It has 28g protein, 130 calories, 2g fat, 1 carb, and 0g sugar.  Ingredient:  100% Pure Non-GMO Pea Protein Isolate[from yellow peas (Pisum sativum)].  Allergen-Free.

 

 

 

Mocha-Flax Protein Shake
1
 
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup cooled coffee
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 tsp. flax seeds
  • 8 oz milk (coconut, almond, or water)
  • handful spinach
  • ice cubes
Instructions
  1. Put all in blender
  2. Blend, add more liquid or ice as needed until creamy and milkshake-alicious!

 

Which bar do I choose? What are Snack, Protein, Energy, or Meal Bars? A review of CocoChia, Greens Plus, Nutrobiotics Fruit, Just Great Stuff, Purefit, Raw Revolution & MacroLife

You want something quick and easy to have on hand for your family. Snack bars that are healthy, with whole food ingredients you can not only name but identify. There are many good well-known brands of snack, meal and energy bars out there including LARABAR,  Luna Protein, Clif MOJO, Clif Kid,Clif C,  Odwalla, Kashi, etc. So in this post I have reviewed a few lesser known bars that could be a great addition to your lunch boxes and pantries including products from CocoChia, Greens Plus, Nutrobiotics, Just Great Stuff, Purefit, Raw Revolution and MacroLife.

Continue reading “Which bar do I choose? What are Snack, Protein, Energy, or Meal Bars? A review of CocoChia, Greens Plus, Nutrobiotics Fruit, Just Great Stuff, Purefit, Raw Revolution & MacroLife”

Nuun Hydration Tabs Review

“Nuun is a portable sports drink mix that contains the necessary electrolytes to keep you properly hydrated without all the sugars like most sports drinks.  It’s used by cyclists, triathletes, runners, hikers, yoga bods, just about anyone who’s active and wants to stay properly hydrated. Drop a Nuun in a bottle of water and you’re good to go.”  

Nuun kindly sent me 5 different flavor tubes of their electrolyte drink tabs and 2 water bottles to review. The little recyclable plastic tubes they came in are the perfect size to slip in your purse or running/hiking pack. The tabs themselves remind me of large sweet tarts, natural pastel colored using B2 & beet juice and scented lightly with each flavor. They contain four essential electrolytes: sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium; and vitamin C & B2. Electrolytes  are important for your muscles to contract correctly, so you don’t develop cramps or muscle fatigue. In our average day, most of us do not require added electrolytes. However, for strenuous workouts with much sweat loss lasting more than 2 hours an electrolyte like Nuun would be a good idea. You put one tab in 16 oz. of water, watch it fizz and drink.

We found that for our everyday tastes or tasks like working in the yard, usually half to a fourth a tab in a full bottle of water is a good amount. They even have a notch for breaking in half (think like on Rx pills). They have zero sugar,  or carbs (great for my diabetic friends and their children), are under 8 calories and do help keep you hydrated. For workouts at the gym including lifting, Step classes, Yoga, running and Zumba, or working at the barn & riding for a few hours in 90-something degree weather I found a full tab was great. I noticed less muscle soreness and less cramping which I tend to get in my stomach, under the left rib-cage when I run. They also are good in portable hiking packs/bladders like Camelbacs because with no sugar and a clean (not gritty) texture they won’t clog or inhibit the growth of yucky things. They would be awesome for hiking/pack trips if you used chlorine tablets to clean your water too (now I would prefer our MSR Autoflow Gravity Filter, but that review is later: ).

The flavors I tried were Strawberry Lemonade, Lemon-Tea, Tropical, Tri-berry and Lemon-Lime. My favorite was the Strawberry Lemonade and Tri-berry flavors. My friend liked the Lemon-Lime best. They do not compare in taste to anything I have tried before, definitively not like a sickeningly sweet sports drink or flavored water like Propel.  They have an almost effervescent taste and similar to a less sweet, watered down drink mix.

The only thing I’m not crazy about is some of the other ingredients including sorbitol, polyethylene glycol, and acesulfame. I think there are plenty of other natural ingredients (Stevia etc.) that could replace the extra overly processed ones.

 

Active Ingredients level (mg)
Sodium (carbonates) 360.0
Potassium (bicarbonate) 100.0
Calcium (carbonate) 12.5
Magnesium (sulfate) 25.0
Vitamin C 37.5
Vitamin B2 500 mcg

Other ingredients: citric acid, sorbitol, sodium carbonate, natural colors flavors, sodium bicarbonate, potassium bicarbonate, polyethylene glycol, magnesium sulfate, sodium benzoate, calcium carbonate, acesulfame potassium, riboflavin-5-phosphate.”

Nuun does make “U Natural Hydration Tabs” for lower intensity or everyday activities which have more Vitamins and minerals added and less “other” ingredients:

 “

Active Ingredients level (mg)
Vitamin A 1375 IU
Vitamin C 10.0 mg
Thiamine 330 mcg
Riboflavin 460 mcg
Niacin 5.5 mg
Vitamin B-6 550 mcg
Folate 110 mcg
Vitamin B-12 1 mcg
Biotin 66 mcg
Pantothenic Acid 2.0 mg
Magnesium 20.0 mg
Zinc 2.0 mg
Sodium (carbonates) 180 mg
Potassium (bicarbonate)  77 mg
Choline (bitartrate) 110 mg
Stevia Leaf Extract 41 mg

Other ingredients: dextrose, citric acid, natural flavors, vegetable juice color, sesame oil.”

 

Overall, I think these are a good product, but I would challenge Nuun to work on modifying their ingredient list to less “other” ingredients and more natural, whole ones (similar to their “U Natural Tabs” minus the dextrose).

A tube costs about $6 and includes 12 tabs.

Let me know if you’ve tried them and if you notice a difference in your performance, less cramping etc. and what is your favorite flavor?

 


Kim’s Chewy PB2 Cookies

PB2 is a 100% natural powdered peanut butter-or peanut flour. The creators: Bell Plantation, squeeze the oil out of the peanuts, taking 85% of the fat and calories with it. You just mix it with water to get a similar consistency and taste as peanut butter. It’s pretty tasty but not quite as thick and textured as the natural almond and peanut butter we eat. It’s really good for adding peanut butter flavor to baked goods and DELICIOUS in protein shakes. You can order it off their website or search for stores that sell it near you. My gym, Old Town Athletic Club, recently started selling jars of it as well as using it in their protein shakes.
I created these cookies after playing with a hodgepodge of recipes. I took the second-try-batch (minus 1 for the hubby) to women’s bible study and they were scarfed with great gusto…even the slightly over-crisp ones!

Makes about 2 dozen

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4-1/2 cup honey (depending on how sweet you like)
  • 1/4 c water
  • 1 c PB2
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • Peanuts for garnish (optional)

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Add all ingredients through flour.
Mix in standing mixer until creamy and fully combined. Taste, add more honey if needed.
Add flour slowly until fully combined.
Use 2 spoons to drop tablespoon size dough balls on cookie sheet.
Bake about 12 minutes, rotating pans halfway through.


Kim's Chewy PB2 Cookies
Dessert
 
Ingredients
  • 1 egg
  • ½ c brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼-1/2 cup honey (depending on how sweet you like)
  • ¼ c water
  • 1 c PB2
  • ¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • Peanuts for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Add all ingredients through flour.
  3. Mix in standing mixer until creamy and fully combined. Taste, add more honey if needed.
  4. Add flour slowly until fully combined.
  5. Use 2 spoons to drop tablespoon size dough balls on cookie sheet.
  6. Bake about 12 minutes, rotating pans halfway through.

Chewy Chocolate Chia Granola Protein Bars

These are so easy and versatile you will wonder why you ever payed $4-5 for a box. I know kids would love helping to make these too, they can dump all the ingredients in and stir away!

What is a chia seed you ask?

It’s a a small seed chock full of omega 3’s, fiber, protein and vitamins and minerals: calcium, phosphorus, manganese, copper, iron, niacin and zinc.  It was one of the main parts of the ancient Mayan and Aztec diets. Now, athletes such as endurance runners, bikers and hiker utilize it as it is lightweight and full of slow burning energy. If placed in a liquid (like a glass of water) it begins to form a gel within 30 minutes. Researchers believe this takes place in the body, slowing the process of digestive enzymes breaking down carbs and converting them into sugars. It has been said to be beneficial to people with diabetes for this reason as well. You can also throw them in any soup or other liquid you want to thicken naturally, without the use of cornstarch or a roux.

Cha-cha-cha-cha-CHIA!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Chewy Chocolate Chia Granola Protein Bars
Snack
8
 
These are so easy and versatile you will wonder why you ever payed $4-5 for a box. I know kids would love helping to make these too, they can dump all the ingredients in and stir away!
Ingredients
Sticky-yum
  • ½ C brown rice syrup
  • ⅓ C almond butter (or pb)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Filling-yum
  • 1 cup Rolled Oats
  • 1½ cups Kamut puffs (or any puffed cereal)
  • ¼ C chia seeds (or sunflower etc.)
  • ¼ C unsweetened coconut
  • handful chopped chocolate chips
  • handful chopped almonds
  • ¼-1/2 cup Pea Protein Powder (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
Toppings
  • kosher salt (optional)
  • cocoa nibs (optional)
Instructions
  1. Melt your nut butter, brown rice syrup and vanilla in the microwave for about 30 seconds, stir.
  2. Pour over all filling ingredients in a bowl, stir until coated.
  3. Press into an 8x8 baking dish
  4. Sprinkle kosher salt and cocoa nibs over the top, press with a fork or spatula.
  5. Stick in the fridge for about an hour to firm up, then cut into about 8-10 bars. We wrap them individually and have a quick snack for our lunch-boxes or on the run. I make double batches often and they turn out perfectly too.
You can add other seeds, nuts, dried fruit to make it your own. Let me know your favorite mix.

Breville Juice Fountain Review & Recipes

I don’t know who was more excited when I opened the Breville 900 Watt, Variable Speed Juice Extractorfor my birthday, my mother in law the gifter, or me. She was so tickled by my expression she laughed for a few minutes and knew immediately she didn’t need to give me the gift receipt.

From the Breville website:

ikon Multi-Speed Juice Fountain

BJE510XL

$199.99
Smart juicer that adjusts speeds to maximize juice and minimize waste. 5 speeds from 6500 to 12500 RPM for efficient juice output.
Easy-to-clean micromesh filter keeps the fibers out and the juice in. Beautiful stainless steel. Components are dishwasher-safe.

This is a nice machine! It is powerful, easy-to-clean and FUN (oh yea it makes delicious concoctions too). I even had the gizmo obsessed husband try it out and it was reminiscent of infomercials for the Troy Built wood chipper…this baby can devour anything in 2 seconds flat! However, it is relatively quiet; you can have a conversation while it is running. A friend, Elizabeth came over to have a juicer play-date and we created a few different juices with the following washed produce:

  • Carrots (cleaned of dirt)
  • Beets (cleaned, trimmed)
  • Kale
  • Apples (whole)
  • Cucumbers (skinned)
  • Ginger

Sunrise Sorbet
This made 35 fl oz and was gorgeous to boot!

  • 3 beets w/greens
  • 8 carrots
  • 1 large apple

The next 2 flavors were our favorites:

Apple Ginger Delight
23 fl. oz.

  • 8 carrots
  • 1 apple
  • pinky sized piece of fresh ginger
The Hulk:
20 fl. oz. of a refreshing bright green detoxifying juice
  • 2 cucumbers (made 15 oz. on their own)
  • 5 pieces kale
  • 1 apple

Cleaning:

The juicer cover, filter bowl surround, and pulp container are top rack dishwasher safe.
Remove the plastic top
Remove the basket

Place the basket in a sink of warm water while you finish cleaning up and it will be a cinch to clean.
Use a damp dishrag to wipe the motor base and powercord (mine stayed clean). Only excess/splatter from mine came out of the lid of the juice pitcher; we just placed a dishrag over the lid.

 

Now, what to do with all that pulp? It’s full of fiber and can be used easily in many recipes (and dogs and horses love it too). The easiest method is to place in a freezer bag and whenever you make soup, tomato sauce etc. break off a chunk and throw in.

Pulp to go into freezer

I also created a hummus-like bean dip using the carrot pulp and it was so yummy!

In a food processor I added:

  • beans,
  • carrot puree,
  • smoked paprika
  • salt
  • Greek yogurt

Blended till smooth and tasty- adjusting spices and ingredients and I went to get a creamy, yummy dip.

This was delicious on deli pretzel crackers

Happy Juicing!


Summer Coffee Drinks & Protein Milkshakes

Get your inocu-frappe for the summer heat!

Tips:
*Use Cold Brew Coffee (no bitter flavor): Fill a pitcher with water & coffee: ratio 1 cup coffee to 4.5 cups water. Stir to mix and put in the fridge overnight. In the morning, strain through a coffee filter or fine sieve.
*Pour leftover coffee from your morning pot into ice cube trays (or baggies) and save for making these blended frozen coffee Frappes or Iced Coffees….

 

 

Continue reading “Summer Coffee Drinks & Protein Milkshakes”