Reese’s Protein Pancakes

IMG_0752-smallOne good thing I ate over the weekend were these Reese’s Protein Pancakes.  I made this recipe last weekend and was telling my mom about the recipe over the phone.  Even though I wasn’t sure of this recipe was blog worthy, my mom encouraged me to share it.

IMG_0751-smallI mean, who doesn’t love chocolate and peanut butter?!  It’s probably the best flavor combination of all time.  I threw a little honey and a few slices of bananas on top for good measure.  If you are feeling a little adventurous you could add a few bits of bacon on top too… just a thought. :)

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5.0 from 1 reviews

Reese’s Protein Pancakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 1
 

Ingredients
  • 1 heaping tablespoon almond meal
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 egg
  • ⅔ mashed banana
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 drop of liquid Stevia
  • Splash of almond milk to loosen batter
  • honey
  • crunchy peanut butter (or nut butter of choice)

Instructions
  1. Combine almond meal, cocoa powder, egg, vanilla extract and stevia in bowl.
  2. Add mashed banana to the batter and use a splash of almond milk to loosen the batter if needed.
  3. Pour batter on a skillet over medium heat. Cook each side of the pancake for 3-5 minutes.
  4. Top the pancake with crunchy peanut butter, honey, and a few slices of banana.

 

Instead of using protein powder for this recipe, I used almond meal once again.  Almond meal is becoming a staple in my recipes these days.

IMG_0760-smallI also used 2/3rd of the banana instead of half and the pancake turned out a little more substantial which I enjoyed.  I used the remaining banana slices as toppers.

IMG_0758-smallYup, that’s a paper plate! The migraine I had Sunday really threw my blog schedule for a loop.  Normally I create recipes for the blog on the weekend, and I just didn’t have time for them this week.  Lucky for me, I take pictures of just about everything I eat, and do, for that matter.  Who else do you know who takes pictures of her migraine experience?!  Probably just this crazy person…

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Attention all Migraine Sufferers

Originally I had a different post planned for today, but over the weekend I got a migraine. The last time I had a migraine was about 6 months ago when I visited my Grandma in the hospital after she broke her back.  Sometimes I get migraines when I’m under a lot of stress but other times I get them from eating junk food.   While I normally allow myself one cheat day or meal each week, this weekend I went a little overboard.  I had a protein wrap from In ‘n’ Out, Italian pizza, and ice cream.   These foods are not conducive to a healthy migraine-free head!

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According to the Migraine Research Foundation, about 36 million Americans suffer from migraines.  That’s nearly 1 in every 4 households has someone who get migraines.  Unfortunately, I am one of those people.

Typically my migraines start with blurred vision which last about 30 minutes.  After my vision returns, a sharp pain will start on one side of my head, usually behind one of my eyes.  The pain will last anywhere between 2-6 hours.   During this time, I will begin to feel nauseous.

I have been suffering from migraines since my teens, and I have learned a few tricks to cope with the pain and nausea, which I thought I would share in hopes of preventing someone from even a little bit of pain.

  1. Once your vision beings to blur, take your prescription medication straight away!  You will want the meds to kick in before the sharp pain starts.  (Maxalt is the best migraine medication I have found, but speak to your doctor about what is best for you).
  2. Drink a full glass of water once you feel a migraine coming on.  Sometimes I get migraines because I am dehydrated.  Also, the water helps with the nausea.
  3. If you can, sleep! Sleeping is one of the best ways to shorten the life of a migraine. Wear a sleep mask or find a dark place for light sensitivity.
  4. Take a bath.  It relaxes the body, and I think it helps relieve pressure in my head.
  5. If you are at work or school, find a quiet place to sit and call someone to pick you up. DO NOT drive with a migraine.  I have done this and thrown up in my car.  It’s just not safe.
  6. The best way to fight the nausea, is to sleep on your back with a few pillows under you head.  However, that doesn’t always work.  I hate to admit this, but sometimes it just feels better after you let yourself throw up.  I have also tried flavored mineral water and crackers which sometimes helps.

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It is my theory that hormones play a big role in migraine sufferers.   Many women get menstrual migraines which result from fluctuations in estrogen levels, and it is said that estrogen adversely influences the brain receptors.  Food also has been known to throw our hormones out of balance.

Migraine Triggers to Avoid:

  • Cheese
  • Processed Meat
  • Pickles
  • Olives
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Chocolate
  • Food additives

WebMD list more foods to avoid and the reason for avoidance.

One good thing about migraines… quality time with Thing 1 and Thing 2.  They were definitely my standing army during yesterday’s migraine.  I also find it amazing how dogs know something is not quite normal.

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How have your fur babies been there for you during rough times?

“Target Practice” Friday

Thank you all for the anniversary wishes! I loved reading all the comments yesterday! The Bear and I had a fabulous dinner at the Melting Pot.

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Fondue is so much fun!  I think we need to have a fondue party in the Fall.  Also, it turns out I really like pork.  The meat was so tender and delicious.

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Now for “Target Practice” Friday, where I share my progress on short term goals. Remember when I borrowed stole the idea for this series from the ladies over at Fit.Fun.Femme.

Duathlon – Last Sunday, I road my new bike for the first time. Everyone told me that I would fall down while learning how to ride in clipless pedals. Well, they were right! I fell right after I entered my driveway on the first ride.

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After my fall, I got back on the bike Monday for a 9 mile ride. On Wednesday I rode for another 9 miles and then ran 3 miles. I’ve got this duathlon in the bag!

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Improve Pace – I couldn’t run on Monday because my knee was still hurting, but the Wednesday run was a tempo run. I ran 2 minutes faster than my normal pace.

50 Push Ups – Guess what?! I did 35 push ups! I met with my personal trainer on Tuesday and he really pushed me to 35 push ups. We started our workout with a modified CrossFit workout, which was intense so I thought I would share it.
CrossFit Workout

Half Marathon – I ran with the Pasadena Pacers on Saturday for 8 miles, plus the 3 miles on Wednesday.

Eating Clean – Eating clean went well this week. I have a new obession with figs! They are so darn good. Luckily my neighbor’s tree is full of fruit.

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Today I will be riding with a friend, so hopefully I can learn new tips about increasing speed on a bike. Next week I will be shooting for 40 push ups… I’m so close to my goal of 50 push ups I can taste it!  Anyways, I’m off to start the weekend.

Have a good weekend everyone!

Hawaiian Anniversary Cookies

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Four years ago today, I was married to the most incredible man!  The Bear and I were married in an elope/destination style wedding on the beach of Oahu, Hawaii.  Our wedding was so special. We were surrounded by close friends, family, and nature. I wouldn’t change a thing about it looking back.

0612_smallWedding Photography by Stephanie Fay

Our wedding cake was the most delicious cake I have ever eaten.  It was coconut flavored cake with a pineapple filling!  It was also beautiful…

0729_smallIn honor of our anniversary, I made Hawaiian Anniversary Cookies.   Since our wedding cake was flavored with coconut and pineapple, I decided to take these very Hawaiian ingredients and turn them into cookies.

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4.0 from 1 reviews

Hawaiian Anniversary Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 16
 

Ingredients
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • ¼ cup Truvia for baking
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 dash salt
  • 3 eggs
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil, melted
  • ⅓ cup pineapple puree (blend pineapple chunks in a blender until smooth)

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375.
  2. Combine in a large bowl all the dry ingredients: shredded coconut, coconut flour, Truvia, baking soda, salt.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients: eggs, coconut oil, and pineapple puree.
  4. Slowly whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
  5. Using a tablespoon, create 16 balls out of the dough.
  6. Flatten the balls onto a foil lined cookie sheet.
  7. Bake for 15-18 minutes

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Before and after baking. The Bear sneaked a cookie before I could get the after shot…

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The Bear and I happen to share the same anniversary as my Grandparents, whom I’m very close to.  Today is my Grandparent’s 60th wedding anniversary!  Happy Anniversary Grandma and Grandpa!!! You have set a great example of a loving, happy marriage.

971158_10200309968736771_2073284140_nSixty years later they are still smiling!

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I look forward to the day the Bear and I celebrate our 60th anniversary. The last four years have been filled with love, happiness, and new adventures. On our wedding day a turtle came up to wish us good luck! I think it was an omen to a loving, lasting marriage!

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Time to celebrate!

One the night of our engagement, the Bear took me to a fantastic fondue restaurant in La Jolla.  Over the years, it has become our little tradition to dine at a fondue restaurant on our anniversary.  Since we have fondue about once a year, I’m so excited for the Melting Pot tonight!  I’ll try to sneak a few photos to share on Instagram!

Pistachio Brussels Sprout Salad

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Most people do not really care for brussels sprouts.  I’m probably one of the rare exceptions who actually loves brussels sprouts.  Growing up my mom would saute them with butter until they turned golden brown.  They were absolutely delicious but not very healthy once the butter was added.

I got the idea for using the brussels sprout leaves as lettuce in a salad a few years ago watching some cooking show on TV.  The idea really stuck because I have been making salads this way ever since.

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Today I’m going to share one of my favorite brussel sprout recipes.  I have been eating this Pistachio Brussels Sprout Salad for about a year.  The ingredients are so simple, yet pack a big bang flavor wise.

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5.0 from 1 reviews

Pistachio Brussels Sprout Salad
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 1
 

Ingredients
  • 7 large brussels sprouts
  • ¼ cup pistachios
  • 2 tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese
  • ¼ onion, diced
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil

Instructions
  1. Cut the stem off of each brussels sprout and gently remove all the leaves.
  2. Over medium heat, add one tablespoon of grapeseed oil and diced onion to a hot skillet. Cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Add brussels sprouts, lemon juice, and remaining tablespoon of grapeseed oil and saute for 3 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and top with pistachios and shredded parmesan cheese.

 

Only saute the leaves for a few minutes so they remain crisp and fresh.  Wilted leaves are icky.  FYI, this recipe does not make good leftovers.  I know from experience.

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The pistachios parmesan cheese add a saltiness to the salad while the lemon makes the salad light and refreshing.

Questions of the day:

What vegetable did you hate as a kid but love now?

How do you enjoy eating brussels sprouts?

Surf Town Duathlon

Guess what?! I registered for my first duathlon this weekend!  I know… you are probably thinking, “This girl is crazy. What is this girl doing? Didn’t she just run her first 10k?”   If you are thinking those things, you are probably correct.  At times I can be a bit impulsive, but I normally do the research.  I have never done things slowly.  For example, we bought our house within 6 months from the start of our search, I read the Millennium series within a week, and lastly, I started this blog after 5 months of changing my lifestyle.  Like I said… impulsive, but I would not change a thing.  My impulsiveness leads me on new adventures…

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…One being the Surf Town Duathlon.  After doing a little research, I decided this long term goal needed to become a short term goal.   I discovered that not all duathlons are created equal because there are sprint and Olympic duathlon lengths.  The Surf Town Duathlon falls in the sprint category.  I will be running one mile, then biking 9 miles, and finally running 3 miles. See!?  It’s doable.  I can already run 8 miles.  Every week I enjoy spin class and/or ride the beach cruiser for 15 miles.  I’ll be fine. :)

Duathlon map

The Surf Town Dauthlon is in August, which means I only have a month to train.  I know I won’t be winning this race by any means, so it’s the perfect beginner race to get my toes wet, and learn about the transition between running and biking.  Unfortunately duathlons are not very common in the area, so I did not want to miss this opportunity.

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Instead of buying a designer handbag over the weekend, I bought a road bike.  Isn’t she beautiful?!  It was love at first sight!  This Trek Lexa SLX bike was made for the female body, yet is still a speedster.  This bike will be perfect for getting me through the next few years of duathlons and triathlons.  If I ever decide that I want to be competitive, I’ll upgrade to a triathlon bike.

Since I am already training for a half marathon, I had to adjust my training plan to accommodate the duathlon.  Below is my plan to get me to the duathlon on August 25.

Duathlon Training

I’m very luck to have a husband who is so supportive of my passions.  The Bear is even considering buying a hybrid bike to ride with me!  So cute!

Question of the Day:

Would anyone like to join me for this duathlon?!

 

 

“Target Practice” Friday

Happy Friday Ladies and Gents! We are almost to the weekend! It’s been a long week for me. Work has been busy and work(outs) have been lacking… which leads me to “Target Practice.”

Remember when  I borrowed stole the idea for this series from the ladies over at Fit.Fun.Femme.

Improve Pace – None, nada, zip. I just wasn’t feeling a speed run on Monday.  Not to complain but I twisted my ankle in Vegas, which needed to be iced and rested. (Damn you heels!)  Normally I would give you some kind of HIIT workout routine here, but I didn’t do one so you get a quick gym workout.

Quick Gym Workout

Some YouTube videos for you:

50 Push Ups -  Still doing 32 push ups. Tried for 33 but it just wasn’t happening. Fun Fact! My face turns bright red after doing push ups. Oh yay.

Half Marathon – I will be running with the Pasadena Pacers tomorrow for 8 miles.  I got about 4 miles in on Wednesday.

Eating Clean -  Went to hell! Vegas didn’t help and I wanted pizza on Sunday night because I wasn’t about to cook after the long drive home.  Whenever something is wrong with me, pizza is my reward.  Hurt foot = pizza :) Other than the weekend, my eats were clean.  I ate a lot of Trader Joe’s salads for lunch…

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I will be sticking to my new training program for the half marathon in the upcoming week.  I’m excited to run with the Pacers tomorrow. I am in need of a long run.  Next week’s focus will be speed runs!

Tonight I’m going to an Anaheim Angels game with the Bear!  Baseball games always bring me back to my childhood.  My dad took my brother and I to San Diego Padres games and let us get the biggest hot dogs.  I would cover mine in mustard and onions. Yum! (and gross at the same time).

Anyways, what are your plans for the weekend?!

Sesame Lemon Drop Balls

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There are a lot of cookie balls and protein balls floating around the blogosphere these days. Before I left for Vegas, I decided I would take another crack at it.  In the past, I had made protein balls to no avail.  I either used too much cocoa powder, protein powder or burnt the coconut!  My poor coworkers, friends, and husband (a.k.a the Bear) were the taste testers.  But they were all troopers!

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I wanted to tackle a new type of protein ball. One without any protein powder.  I have said this before and I will say this again; the Bear simply does not like protein powder. I needed another ingredient…that’s when it clicked!  Almond meal has protein! It has 7 grams per 1/4 cup to be exact. And the Bear likes almonds!  It was perfect.

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Lemon desserts are some of my favorites. I absolutely love lemon coconut bars, so I decided to roll with the lemon/coconut flavor for these protein balls.

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Sesame Lemon Drop Balls
Prep time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 4
 

Ingredients
  • ¼ cup almond meal
  • ¼ cup shredded coconut
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 8 pitted dates
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • juice from ½ lemon
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Instructions
  1. In a food processor combine almond meal, shredded coconut, honey, dates, and lemon juice and zest.
  2. Pulse ingredients until it has a sticky crumb texture.
  3. Use a tablespoon to scoop out 8 balls.
  4. Roll in both hands to make the perfect ball shape.
  5. On a small plate or cutting board, roll each ball into the sesame seeds.

I thought these little balls needed something extra so I rolled them in sesame seeds. The seeds added a bit of a crunch and even more protein.

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Turns out the Bear likes almond meal!  I mean, he really likes it. I will make a double batch next time I make this recipe.

Spooktacular Half Marathon

It’s official! I have registered for my first half marathon.  I cannot believe I will be running 13.1 miles in a few short months!

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For the last few weeks, I was debating between the Spooktacular Half Marathon and the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon. Both are Halloween races, which is perfect because you all know how much I love Halloween. The deciding factor came down to the medal.  I will always be a girl who loves her accessories!  The Spooktacular medal is a Dia de los Muertos skull which is pretty fantastic!  Even if it is just going to sit in the back of my closet in a box, I had to have this medal.

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I have also heard good things about the course. The venue is around the Puddingstone Reservoir with a variety of paved and trail terrain.

half marathon map

Since I have four months to train for my first half marathon, I have plenty of time to mix up my training program.  Each week I have decided to incorporate one speed run, one medium length run, and one long run.  The runs will be sandwiched between strength and cross training on non-running days.

training plan

One super exciting factor about this race is that there will be a costume contest.  I love dressing up for Halloween.  Last year I went to the Ellen Show with my Mom as a Ballerina Stormtrooper, while my Mom was Princess Darth Vader.  Did I mention I’m somewhat of a geek? Love all things fantasy!

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I guess I better start thinking of costume ideas for this year.  It needs to be something I can run in. The Bear thinks I should be Super Girl, which could be a fall back but I want something a little more creative.

Question of the day

What should my costume be for the Spooktacular Half Marathon?!?

Sin City Gone Good?

Sin City Gone Good? Nope!

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The plan was to write a post with a healthy spin on my trip to Las Vegas… that lasted about two hours on my first day in Sin City!  I should have known better because this is the third time I have gone to Vegas with Hosanna and Ashley.  It is becoming an annual ritual, and I always look forward to spending time with the girls shopping, sunbathing, and dancing!

Although the weekend was not exactly healthy, I managed to get a 5k run in on Friday morning.  Let me tell you! Running on the strip is hard.  There are soo many stairs.  These little legs were burning after mile one.  And it was HOT!  One nice thing about running on the strip was that there is music playing almost everywhere you run, which was convenient since I forgot my earphones.

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After the run, it was time for breakfast so the girls and I went to Society Café.  The food was delicious and they actually have some very healthy options like fresh Acai juice.  In addition to ordering Acai juice, we split some muffins, fruit, and a breakfast panini.  Yum!

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Breakfast was followed by shopping at the outlet malls.

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Maybe one day I will be able to afford to shop at these stores!

By the time we were done shopping, it was dinner time.  We returned to a favorite restaurant called Firefly, which is just off the strip.

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Let’s be real here! It can be hard to eat clean dinners on the strip.  We thought the food was healthy, but then we looked at the pictures the following morning with a clearer state of mind.  Regardless, the food was amazing and the Sangria was even better!

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Before and after dinner, there was much gambling by the ladies.  I lost a whole dollar during the trip!  I’m not much of a gambler, what can I say.

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The dress I’m wearing above sounds like rain when I walk! I call it my shimmy shimmy dress.

We woke late Saturday morning and decreed it a pool day! Hosanna left us for a few hours to watch a soccer game with her husband and his friends who happened to be in Vegas as well.  Hosanna is such a good wife!

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Ashley and I got some more shopping in at the Caesers Palace after the pool, and we stumbled upon Max Brenner.  Hosanna met up with us there, and we ordered a few cocktails.  Hosanna had the Chocolate Martini while I had the Satisfaction Guaranteed (castries peanut liqueur, caramel liqueur, milk chocolate.)

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Dessert cocktails? Yes please!!!

The Bellagio is one of our favorite casinos.  Their flower décor is like no other and the water show is always fun to watch.

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Saturday evening we went to Fiamma Trattorria for a mouth-watering Italian feast. Even the Italian, Ashley, said the food was good and she is a tough critic.

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The grilled salmon was good but the pear martini was amazing! I’m sure you are sensing a theme now…

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Later we put on our dancing shoes at Surrender.

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The shimmy shimmy dress made another guest appearance. Ashley rocked it well, and it was just too cute not to be worn two nights in a row!

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We definitely danced the night away.

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Sunday was uneventfully other than driving back to Los Angeles.  It was nice to have a break from my typical routine.  I think having a few splurges on desserts or greasy food is fine every once in a while, but only in moderation.  Now that I’m home, it is time to get back into the groove of things.  That means eating clean and training for a half marathon.