Peanut Butter Protein Fluff

Peanut Butter Protein Fluff
Peanut Butter Protein Fluff

One of my favorite things to make when I have a lot of leftover protein macros to meet is PROTEIN FLUFF!  Protein fluff has similar ingredients to a protein shake but is much more voluminous and filling.   And when you are constantly STARVING despite eating over 2000 calories a day, you need to eat volume foods in order to help you stay full.

How is protein fluff different than a shake?  Well the answer comes down to one little ingredient: xanthan gum! Xanthan gum is a powder that is used to add thickness and volume.   It is sometimes used in shakes and drinks like frappucinos to keep them from separating.  Xanthan gum is also gluten-free so you can use it if you are sensitive to gluten.  Xanthan gum can be purchased at most grocery stores in the health or baking areas.

So now that we know what protein fluff is, let’s get down to how to make it!

Dessert is served
Dessert is served

Ingredients

  • 1 Scoop Protein Powder (I used Cellucor Peanut Butter Marshmallow)
  • 1 Tbsp Xanthan Gum
  • 1 Cup Almond Milk (or milk of choice)
  • 1 Cup of Ice

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to a blender.
  2. Blend for several minutes.   You will notice at first the fluff seems like a normal shake, but it will slowly start to thicken and expand.
  3. Top with toppings of choice!  I used peanut butter, a few dark chocolate chips and 2 mini oreos that I crushed up.
Close up of this deliciousness
Close up of this deliciousness

This recipe is highly customizable!  You can change it up depending on the flavor of protein you use and the toppings you add.   Sometimes I use cake batter protein with sprinkles, or mint chocolate protein with chocolate cookies and whipped cream!

If you would like to try some of the delicious protein flavors Cellucor offers such as Corfetti, Peanut Butter Marshmallow, Mint Chocolate, Red Velvet in your protein fluff, I still have a coupon code!

My favorite protein powder Use code "Cellucorfit" for 25% off!
My favorite protein powder Use code “Cellucorfit” for 25% off!

Cellucor C4 vs. BSN N.O.-Xplode: The Battle of the Pre-Workouts

Pre-workouts seem to be a hot topic lately. I personally choose to use them on occasion when I am feeling tired and would otherwise struggle with a workout.  I do not rely on them everyday, though.

The ingredients for each specific brand and blend are different (and not all of them contain caffeine or stimulants!)  The specific blend of ingredients usually helps to maintain energy, focus and muscle endurance.   Many also contain BCAAs (Branch Chain Amino Acids) which are absolutely necessary for muscle growth and used by muscles as fuel.  Using BCAAs helps to decrease muscle breakdown during tough workouts.  Finally, many pre-workout supplements include nitric oxide which can help reduce fatigue, increase oxygen to muscles, aid in quicker recovery and help with performance.

(http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/6-reasons-use-nitric-oxide.htm)

Usually just a half scoop will give me the drive to get through the workout and feel motivated. Whether you use them or not is a highly personal choice.  Though they should definitely be used with caution.   If you have never used one, you should start with a half scoop to assess tolerance.  Avoid pre-workouts if you have any heart issues.

There are many pre-workouts on the market at this point.  However two of the top competitors seem to be C4 and N.O.-Xplode.  After receiving a sample of Cellucor’s C4 I decided to see how it lived up to the BSN N.O.-Xplode that I had been using.

Cellucor-348g-C4-Extreme-Icy-Blue-Razz-0 index

Popularity

Both products are on the Bodybuilding.com Top 10 Best Selling Pre-Workout list.  Both are two of the more commonly used pre-workouts and are both sold in many locations.

Taste

The flavors that I tried were Blue Raspberry C4 and Fruit Punch N.O.-Xplode.  ( I have also tried Watermelon N.O.-Xplode and I prefer the Fruit Punch).   As much as I like my old favorite N.O.-Xplode, I have to say the taste of the C4 was better.   C4 has a pretty true Blue Raspberry flavor with no aftertaste.  Not too powerful.   The taste of N.O.-Xplode is also quite good but can be slightly overwhelming.

Ease of Mixing

I hate to say it, but C4 definitely won on this one.  It mixes quite a bit easier than the N.O.-Xplode.  C4 dissolves quite quickly while N.O.-Xplode usually takes a few minutes of stirring and still sometimes leaves residue.

The N.O.-Xplode does not mix quite as easily.
The N.O.-Xplode does not mix quite as easily.
The C4 mixes with little effort.
The C4 mixes with little effort.

Foaming

While this wouldn’t be something I would normally mention in a review, a few people I have talked to say they don’t like N.O.-Xplode because it foams up quite a bit and that takes a few minutes to go down.  The foaming doesn’t bother me either way so that is not something that sways my vote.

Clearly the N.O.-Xplode has quite a bit more foam.
Clearly the N.O.-Xplode has quite a bit more foam.

 

Overall Effectiveness

In my opinion both work about the same.  They both give me enough energy to get my workout done and to feel pumped.  I have heard some people say they feel C4 is more powerful but I didn’t necessarily notice that.

However, after all was said and done, I have to say the Cellucor C4 definitely won my love.  I am kind of in love with the Blue Raspberry taste and not getting little chunks of it that weren’t mixed made a huge difference to me.

If you would like to try Cellucor C4 for yourself, I have a coupon code for 25% off your order from www.Cellucor.com with code “CELLUCORFIT”

cellucor .

21 HEALTHY Halloween Recipes for Kids and Adults

Halloween can be a tricky time to eat healthy.  With candy absolutely everywhere and parties full of delicious treats it can be easy to not make the best food choices and to go overboard.  To help you and your waist line get through these troubling times I put together a list of 21 great Halloween treats to bring to parties or make for the kids!  I hope you enjoy!

 

Candy Corn Snack from Family Fresh Meals

Healthy Halloween Snack Candy Corn Fruit Cocktail - Family Fresh Meals

Pretzel Brooms by Cocinando con catman

 Escobas de Bruja de Queso. Receta

Carrot Finger Food by Chicanol

https://i1.wp.com/www.chicanol.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/carrot-finger-food-halloween.jpg

Stuffed Jack-O-Lanterns by Healthful Pursuit

Halloween Hummus Plate by POP Sugar

Honeydew Bats from Shaken Together Life

Honeydew bats at shakentogetherlife.com #shop

Monster Sandwiches from Jens Own Road

 

Veggie Pumpkin from Siriously Delicious

 

Halloween 5 Layer Dip by Stylishly Ever After

Apple Monsters from Cute Food for Kids

 

Orange Jack-O-Lantern Fruit Bowls by Frugal Coupon Living

orange-jack-o-lantern-fruit-bowls-frugal-coupon-living

Clementine Pumpkins and Banana Ghosts from One Little Project

Clementine Pumpkins and Banana Ghosts - This is such an adorable and healthy Halloween snack idea!

Halloween Pasta Salad from My Little Boob Cancer

Healthy Halloween Pasta Salad Healthy Halloween Pasta Salad

Jack-O-Lantern Sweet Potato Fries by Babble

Jack-o-Lantern Sweet Potato Fries

Frightful Fruit Kebabs from She Knows

featured

Crunchy Halloween Mummies from Betty Crocker

Crunchy Halloween Mummies

Carrot Rice Ball Jack-O-Lanterns by Apron Strings Blog

Rice Ball Jack o Lanterns

Other delicious ideas I found (not able to find original sources):

Evil smiles made with apple slices, peanut butter, and marshmallows

https://i0.wp.com/media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/73/1e/3a/731e3abeb4c18c5d263382009aa3ae43.jpg

Popcorn Hands

https://i1.wp.com/www.creatingreallyawesomefreethings.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/nummie-hand.jpg

Frankenstein Veggie Platters

https://i0.wp.com/www.creatingreallyawesomefreethings.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/022.jpg

25 Healthy Pumpkin Recipes

With fall in full swing in most places across the US, it is that time in which we all love pumpkin!  Many of you may be wondering how to fit some delicious pumpkin foods in to your diet without ruining your macros or calories.   So I put together a list of 25 great HEALTHY recipes I found that aren’t loaded with oil or sugar.  Hope you enjoy!

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal with Vanilla Whipped Cream from Barefeet in the Kitchen

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal with Vanilla Whipped Cream recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

 

Pumpkin Pie Breakfast Bake from Running with Spoons

Pumpkin Pie Breakfast Bake -- soft, doughy, and loaded with pumpkin flavour! || runningwithspoons.com #pumpkin #oatmeal #breakfast

 

Pumpkin Pie Energy Bites from The NY Melrose Family

Pumpkin Pie Energy Bites Healthy Snack Idea

 

Pumpkin Protein Pancakes from Live Fit Love Food

 

Pumpkin Spice Protein Shake from Brittsfit🙂

shake2blog

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting by SkinnyTaste

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cheesecake Cups from Ari’s Menu

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cheesecake Cups #glutenfree

 

Pumpkin Pie Protein Chocolate Chip Fudge by Purely Twins

healthy pumpkin pie protein fudge

 

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies by Ari’s Menu

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies #vegan #glutenfree

 

Light Pumpkin Cheesecake Mousse from PopSugar

 

Pumpkin Spice Baked Donuts from The Lemon Bowl

Pumpkin Spice Baked Donuts - The Lemon Bowl

 

Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes from Frannycakes

gluten free pumpkin spice cupcakes

 

Clean Eating Pumpkin Pie by The Gracious Pantry

Clean Eating Pumpkin Pie

Flourless Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies by Chelsea’s Messy Apron

Flourless + Secretly Healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies. These have received RAVE reviews!

 

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Dip by A Night Owl

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Dip - all the flavors of Autumn in one simple, super-delicious Pumpkin Peanut Butter Dip. | #recipe #pumpkin

 

Pumpkin Applesauce Muffins by Southern In Law

Healthy Pumpkin Applesauce Muffins - gluten free, vegan, low fat, sugar free

 

Skinny Pumpkin Pie For One by Back For Seconds Blog

Skinny Pumpkin Pie for One by Back For Seconds #singleserving #holiday #healthy

 

60 Calorie Healthy Pumpkin Bars by Undressed Skeleton

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Pumpkin Banana Bread from Skinnytaste

 

Paleo Pumpkin Cake with Cinnamon Vanilla Frosting by Paleonewbie

Paleo Pumpkin Cake with Cinnamon-Vanilla Frosting

 

Skinny Starbucks Pumpkin Scones by The Skinny Fork

IMG_6939.JPG

 

Pumpkin Truffles from My Whole Food Life

Pumpkin Truffles - My Whole Food Life

 

Pumpkin Baked French Toast from Chocolate Covered Katie

Pumpkin baked french toast- the perfect recipe for Thanksgiving breakfast!

 

Healthy Bacon and Pumpkin Pasta by Pinch of Yum

Healthy Bacon & Pumpkin Pasta

 

Pumpkin and Fried Sage Flatbread by Foodie Crush

Pumpkin and Fried Sage Flatbread from FoodieCrush

Hope you have enjoyed this selection I put together!  There are plenty of HEALTHY ways to enjoy pumpkin this fall!

 

 

 

What is IIFYM?

What is IIFYM?  What does it stand for?    How does it work?

@iifym_memes

IIFYM stands for “If It Fits Your Macros”.  It is a way of eating also known as “flexible dieting“.  This means that technically, you can eat ANY food you want if it fits your macros.

Say WHAAAT?
Say WHAAAT?

What are macros?  Macronutrients are fats, carbohydrates and protein.  ALL of which play important parts in our health.  Diets that cut out one of these groups are usually hard to sustain, unhealthy and lead to failure.  Why do we need ALL three?

  • Protein– We need protein to help preserve muscle!  Whether you want to be a bodybuilder or a regular Joe, muscles burn a lot of calories.  The more muscle you have the easier it is to lose weight.
  • Fat– Fats help us regulate our hormones.  This is important for both men and women.  People who do not get enough fat often notice negative changes in their skin, thinning hair, irregular periods, lack of sex drive, etc.  Hormones also play a big part in weight loss!
  • Carbohydrates– Carboyhdrates give our muscles glycogen which helps us work out and have energy!

Many of you may wonder what the difference is between counting macros and counting calories?  The answer there is simple.  Body composition and balance.  Counting macros ensures that you get enough of each group to preserve muscle, stay lean and have energy.   Most people who only count calories do not eat enough protein which means gaining muscle will be harder.  And the more muscle we have the easier it is to lose weight.

Though with IIFYM you can technically eat ANY foods you want and still lose weight, it is recommended for health purposes that at least 80% of your diet comes from WHOLE foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, etc .  This ensures you get the essential vitamins and nutrients for your body.

For people that have done many other diets this may sound too good to be true.  How can someone eat oreos and still have abs?  It doesn’t quite make sense when you look everywhere and see “motivational” posters telling you to “eat clean” or “put down the cookie”.

Hmmm I guess you haven't tasted good food.
Hmmm I guess you haven’t tasted good food.

I too used to have so many misconceptions about diet.  When I first decided that I wanted to lose weight I was convinced carbs were the enemy.  I did low carb for a while and was absolutely miserable.  Yes I lost weight, but I had no energy and after restricting for so long it made me want to binge on carbs any chance I could!

Ohhh that's not what it means?
Ohhh that’s not what it means?

After that I moved to clean eating.  Eating clean is great, it encourages you to eat many healthy foods that are good for your body!  However  I took it a little too far.  I got so obsessed with ONLY eating “clean” foods that it was extremely restrictive and there were very few items that I COULD eat.  I didn’t want to go out to eat with my husband or friends and was so afraid of eating anything.  I felt guilty if I had foods that were not “clean”.   On the weekends I would have my cheat days where I would go NUTS over any and all foods that I had made myself cut out on the weekends.   I was working SO hard during the week days but undoing it all during the weekends!!!

This used to be me
This used to be me

Around this time I heard about IIFYM.  I was both intrigued and amazed.  I didn’t understand how these people could eat oreos and pancakes and normal “unclean” foods and still look AMAZING.  I started to do research and read everything I could about IIFYM and the benefits.  I watched videos and talked to others on instagram who did it.  I was frustrated with my lack of progress doing clean eating, so I figured it couldn’t hurt to try!

So I went to http://www.iifym.com and looked up my macros.   Macros (macro nutrients) are fat, carbohydrates and protein.   IIFYM gives you certain numbers of each that you need to meet each day based on your weight, activity level and your goals.

At first I found this challenging to hit each number.   Getting enough protein was my biggest struggle.  Most people eat a LOT of carbs and even a lot of fats but most don’t eat enough protein.   I will admit it was frustrating at first trying to figure out the numbers and make it all work.  But it was SO rewarding to eat a dessert I wanted, go get a coffee, or have a nice dinner out with NO guilt because it FIT MY MACROS!  I had planned for that treat and worked it in to my goals for the day.

Benefits I have noticed from IIFYM

  • Chronic insomnia was IMMEDIATELY cured
  • Energy went WAY up
  • Hormones were more balanced
  • Cravings and binging went down
  • Self esteem went up
  • No food related guilt
  • Amazing muscle gains
  • Hair became thicker and stronger
  • Blood test results for many issues came back healthy after being abnormal for a long time
  • I can eat much more than I used to and not gain weight

After doing it for almost a year now, I continue to love this way of eating.   I can enjoy foods that I used to avoid (in moderation!).  I feel healthy and balanced.   Obviously how you eat is a personal choice but I am constantly being asked how I can eat what I do or eat as much as I do and stay in shape.   I hope this helps to answer some of the questions.

COOKIES
COOKIES

If you’re curious I suggest doing a Google search of “IIFYM transformations”.   You will be amazed.

Pumpkin Spice Protein Shake

shake2blog
Hello you little gem

Yes I went there.  I made 2 pumpkin recipes in a row.  Don’t act like you don’t love it.  I have been making these shakes for over a month now but just got around to taking some pics of them.   But it’s worth the wait.  Perfect little post workout fall treat.

EAT ALL THE PUMPKIN FOODS
EAT ALL THE PUMPKIN FOODS

Ingredients

  • 1 scoop Cellucor Cinnamon Swirl protein powder
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 /2 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Stevia (optional)
  • Ice
  • Whipped cream (optional)
NOM
NOM

Instructions

  1. Blend all ingredients.
  2. Top with whipped cream and extra pumpkin pie spice (optional)
  3. Enjoy.
Best fall treat.
Best fall treat.

EASY Pumpkin Protein pancakes

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If you’re like me, you like everything pumpkin.  Ok…LOVE everything pumpkin.   It’s basically an obsession.  In fact, yesterday I had 3 separate coworkers bring me pumpkin foods.  Basically the best day of my life. 

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So with this obsession I love when I find pumpkin foods that easily fit my macros! And one of these is my Pumpkin Protein Pancakes!  These are super easy to make…and protein packed!

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Ingredients
-1 scoop Cellucor Cinnamon Swirl Protein Powder (Vanilla is ok too but add extra cinnamon!)
-1/4 cup pumpkin puree
-1 egg white
-1 package Stevia
-1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
-1 Tbsp baking powder

Instructions
   1.  Mix all ingredients in a bowl. 
   2. Cook in coconut oil or cooking     
        spray in a pan on low. 
   3. Top with whipped cream, greek   
        yogurt, maple syrup or anything
        else you can think of!
   4.  Enjoy!

*Excuse the cell phone quality pics. Haven’t had time lately to photograph this recipe and I wanted to get it posted before fall was over!

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