Monday, May 30, 2016

Product Review: Quest Labs Keto Milk Chocolate Bar

If you keep up with the protein buzz, you might have heard of Quest Labs. It's a program you have to sign up for and you gain access to purchase some of Quest Nutrition's upcoming products. I was super excited because I love Quest bars and protein products and have been purchasing them for years. They had a little slip with the formula change a while ago, but I think they're back on track.

I immediately "applied"(?) and was accepted into the program. After that, I waited a while because I was hesitant to spend money on experimental products lol! After reading a few positive reviews, I finally caved and bought the Keto milk chocolate bar, one each of the three new flavors and one each of the protein crunch bars (reviews to come).

Here's what I thought about the Keto milk chocolate bar:


Immediately upon tasting, it had a weird, somewhat gritty texture and an odd flavor. It was some sort of chocolate flavor, but not your typical milk chocolate flavor. However, I did feel compelled to eat another piece, and another. Weird. It's very sweet and TOTALLY reminded me of something I've eaten before but I cannot, for the life of me, put my finger on it! Ah well. 


So, if you're a chocolate addict and following a Keto diet or low sugar diet, then go for it. It's pretty tasty. On the other hand, if you don't follow a strict diet and you want some silky smooth, rich chocolate, I'd go with Lindt lol! 

Macros for entire bar:
240 calories 23f/12c/6p and No Sugar!

Rating as a chocolate bar: 5/10
Rating as a keto/no sugar friendly chocolate bar: 7/10

Happy Slappy Not My Birthday Protein Cake


Dear Sweet Delicious Cake, 

I am going to eat you. I am going to eat all of you. 

I've been really enjoying baking some protein and macro friendly goodies lately. It's a fun way to get in protein without always having a protein bar, I'm always just afraid that it won't turn out great, however, no huge, inedible flops as of yet! 

So with Slappy Birthday protein powder in hand, I knew a funfetti protein cake of sorts was in order. It had a really good typical cake flavor but it was a little dry. Then, I looked at the ingredients I had planned out and I had planned for 1/2 cup of almond milk but I only actually used 1/4 cup. If I make it again, I'll probably try a little more liquid, so feel free to adapt or experiment with this recipe and let me know how it turns out!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Kodiak Cakes protein pancake mix
  • 1 scoop Slappy Birthday Slap nutrition protein powder
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk 
  • 1 egg yolk (yes, the yolk!)
  • 1/8 tsp imitation butter flavor
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder 
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp rainbow sprinkles
Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a ramekin with non stick cooking spray. 
2. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and mix. I used a hand mixer to eliminate lumps and work. Pour batter into the prepared ramekin.
3. Bake for approximately 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let it cool. 
4. Devour. 



Macros for half the cake:
196 calories 4.6f18.4c/21p and only 3.5g sugar, sprinkles included!
 
Cream Cheese Icing:

  • 1/4 cup fat free cream cheese
  • stevia or alternate sweetener to taste
  • about 1 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk 
  • 1/4 tsp imitation butter flavor
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract 
Macros for half the icing:
31 caloies .1f/3c/4p

Now you really can have your cake and eat it too!

P.S. Imitation butter flavor is off the chain.


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Hump Day with a Broken Foot

So I broke my foot a few weeks back without even realizing it. I thought it was just sprained so I kept running and using it like normal. Finally, I realized I needed to go to the doctor. A few X-rays later (seriously, I probably have superpowers now due to all my radiation exposure) and here we have a broken foot.

I've had to do some adjusting to my workout routine, obviously. Lifting and running are off the table for the time being, so I've been using the stationary bike for cardio - can you say sweat factory??

But what do I do for hump day? Pilates style moves are getting me through. I've been experimenting around and here's what today's workout consisted of:

3 x 8 each leg banded kickbacks

Circuit 1:

15 standing kickbacks
15 standing donkey kicks
15 single leg DB deadlifts

Circuit 2:
15 each leg split lunges
15 squats
15 weighted hip thrusts
15 leg curls (lying on stomach)

Circuit 3:
15 bridges
15 single leg bridges each leg

Circuit 4:
15 leg sweeps each leg
15 donkey kicks on ground each leg
15 each side lying clam raises (I used a band)
15 each leg straight leg hydrant pulses

I did each circuit 3 times and finished up with 10 minutes of abs.

I really try to focus on squeezing the muscle groups and maintaining my form especially since I'm using such low weight.

https://www.spreadshirt.com/camel-hump-day-guess-what-day-it-is-A13563145

Happy hump day! Remember, mind over matter.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Peanut Butter Fudge Brownies and NuNaturals Review

I just don't want to die one day and not know when the last time I had chocolate was. #chocolateeveryday


Alas, Peanut Butter Fudge Brownies with a peanut butter swirl and peanut butter protein frosting was born. And consumed. Um, anyway! These are sooo dense and fudgy. No cakey brownies here. They feature a real peanut butter swirl and are gluten free and macro friendly.

I used NuNaturals Cocoa powder and Nunaturals vanilla drops to make these brownies and was very pleased! I've been absolutely loving the NuNaturals cocoa syrup so I'll probably top one of these with some of that too! NuNaturals has a line of baking products and sweeteners that are plant based and all natural. There's no bitterness or aftertaste (yeah, I'm looking at you, cheap, generic bag of stevia from the superstore). The cocoa powder was very rich (milk chocolate lovers be warned lol), perfect for brownies, in my opinion. I might try some chocolate muffins next.


Now on to the recipe!

Peanut Butter Fudge Brownies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup egg substitute or 1 whole egg or 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup almond milk 
  • 1/2 scoop (15 g) peanut butter protein powder
  • 150 grams greek yogurt (I used vanilla yoplait greek 100)
  • sweetener to taste
  • 1 tsp baking powder 
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter of choice (I used Naturally More Valencia peanut butter)
Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. Prepare an 8x8 baking dish. 

Combine all ingredients except the peanut butter in a blender and blend until smooth. 
Pour the batter into the pan.

Depending on the texture of your peanut butter, you may need to heat it up in the microwave so it's runny. Drop spoonfuls of the peanut butter on top of your brownie batter and swirl it!

Bake for 20-25 minutes and let them cool! Seriously, they're so fudgy, they really need to cool before you can dive in. 


Makes 16 small brownies. Macros per brownie:
59 cal/2.7f/5.3c/3.6p


Peanut Butter Protein Frosting

Ingredients 
  • Dannon light and fit greek yogurt 
  • 1 scoop peanut butter protein powder
Directions

Stir, baby, stir. That's it! You can add sweetener or powdered peanut butter if you so desire. 







Recipe adapted from: Sally's Baking Addiction



Working On My Fitness: Shoulders and lats and biceps oh my!

Working on my Fitness 

I have really been loving working upper body lately especially since, hey! I broke my foot. Yeah. I break bones like a player breaks hearts. Take care of yourself people! So I've had to put squats and deadlifts on hold while I modify with more Pilates style booty workouts and things that don't put pressure on my foot. I've also kept up with my upper body routine. I felt great after my at home upper body workout today so I thought I would share it. I'm open to suggestions and advice! 

I started with 
4x12 pull ups with an assistant band 
Superset with 
4x15 hanging leg curls 
4x10 push ups 

Then a series of small circuits: 

Circuit 1: 4 rounds 
Db shoulder raise x 15 
Lateral side raise x 15
Front raise x 15
Hammer curl x 15

Circuit 2: 4 rounds 
Bent over DB rows x 15
Rear delt raise x 15
Single arm row x 15 

Circuit 3: 4 rounds 
Prone Lat sliding pulls with DB 
Prone Lat sliding pulls no weight (squeeze your back) 
Decline bench flys 
Decline bench DB chest press 

And finished off with a set of 10 push ups because I like to make sure my arms don't work anymore. 

If you're using lightweights like me (5lb for most) focus on your form to really get the most out of your workout. 

With bent over rows, squeeze your lats so you don't just use your bicep to pull them up. Think of bringing your shoulder blades together and slowly bring the weights back down. 

With any type of raise, you will feel it more if you go slow; don't just crash your arms down, don't arch your back or strain your neck. Stay safe friends!

Do you have any tips or workouts you like to do at home? Let me know! 😊

Monday, May 9, 2016

Chocolate Protein Cake Experiment and YouFreshNaturals Muscle Frosting Review

My bank account suffers due to the fact that you can now pay directly through paypal. Click, click, done. Whatever, now I have muscle frostings which I had been dying to try. I love frosting. I love frosting more than cake. In fact, frosting is the only reason I eat cake. Seriously. So I had to try this product, obviously. Youfreshnaturals also had a great promo going so I got a free jar of White Chocolate Cashew Coconut Butter and I'm excited to try that as well!


Cookies and Cream Muscle Frosting
I needed something to put underneath my muscle frosting besides my spoon so I decided I would attempt a protein cake. However, recipe after recipe called for ingredients I didn't have on hand. I decided to mix together some things and see what happened. Miraculously, it was not only edible but also had a good texture, fluffy with a molten chocolate center, and a good flavor, rich dark chocolate, not overly bitter and not overly sweet - the perfect base for my muscle frosting.

Naked Cake
This may have been a fluke, who knows? I'll probably try again with different flavors of protein and whatnot. We shall see!

Ingredients:

1 scoop chocolate protein powder (I used Slap Nutrition)
1/2 cup kodiak cakes protein pancake mix (or baking mix of choice)
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
Sweetener to taste (I used about 5 drops of nunaturals)
40 g very ripe banana
1 1/2 Tbsp Walden Farms Marshmallow dip
2 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup egg beaters
Pinch of baking soda (approximately 1/2 tsp)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Combine ingredients and beat with a mixer until well combined. Pour into a sprayed 6" ramekin. Bake for 15-20 minutes. The top should look shiny and bounce back when you touch it.

Allow to cool (or don't) and frost with muscle frosting!



The cookies and cream muscle frosting was perfect. It has a nice fluffy frosting texture with tons of cookie crumbs! I didn't detect any protein aftertaste and it worked perfectly with my protein cake. I can't wait to try the cookie dough flavor!


Macros Without Frosting for 1/2 cake"
196 calories/2.2f/23.7c/23.6p

Have you tried muscle frostings? Or any other protein nut butter products? What are your favorites? Let me know and let me know if you try this recipe!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Some Days

Some days I look in the mirror and I'm disgusted, some days I'm content, some days I'm proud, some days I'm unsatisfied and some days, I don't look in the mirror at all. 

 I think most people go through this. Some days we feel positive about our bodies and other days, not so much. It may be due to something completely unrelated that changes ,y attitude and skews my perception of my self. I was having one of those negative days and thought to myself, the body is an amazing gift. What gives me the right to be so critical of it? 

I have eyes that can see colors, shapes, rainbows and stars. I have ears that can hear tones, pitches, melodies and voices. I can taste sweet, savory and salty. I can speak and sing poorly. I can walk and move and exist. All these things are part of the miraculous gift of life. I can never earn or deserve these gifts. And I can use these gifts to affect others. I can write a card to cheer someone up. I can tell them a joke to make them laugh. 

Think how small of a speck we really are in this grand universe of universes. Think how great this life really is. Sometimes, I need a perspective check. I'm not saying it stops the bad days or the negative self image, but reminding myself of how blessed I Truly am helps me to adjust, take off my pity party hat and and develop my attitude of gratitude. Cheer up, chin up and maybe eat a pickle, I dunno. 
http://guysfromandromeda.com/galaxy-background-jpg-2/