livingthewrightway

Living my life the right way!

My blog is moving!!!!

So I finally bought my very own domain name for my blog.  I am super excited to share my passion for fitness, healthy food, family and faith.  So book mark my new web address and join me on my new site.

http://4livingthewrightway.com/

Coming May 1st the planks and tanks (not Army tanks, tank tops) challenge!  I will be posting the 30 day plan on my new site.  I hope you guys join in on the fun!!!!!

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Chocolate Brownie Energy Ball Recipe (Raw, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, and Grain Free)

Happy Friday and Happy Earth Day!  My youngest daughter’s Birthday is today!  You may recall that my older daughter had a Birthday last week too.  So it’s been a bit crazy around here and we have had a lot of sweets showing up in the form of cupcakes and cake.  So I whipped up a batch of my healthy brownie bites today to curb that sweet tooth and avoid devouring too many cupcakes later at her party!

I have been experimenting with a lot of healthy brownie alternatives lately. Can you tell I have been craving brownies? I am a big fan of Larabars for my pre-workout energy, but they can be pretty spendy depending on where you buy them. So I started making my own which is much more budget friendly. They are super easy and quick to make and you can keep them in your fridge for a quick pick me up before your workout. My friend Wendy gave me a recipe for a brownie bite, so I made a few tweaks and came up with this recipe. Give these a try and let me know what you think!Brownie Energy BItes

Chocolate Brownie Energy Ball Recipe

(Raw, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, and Grain Free)  Makes 16 Balls (1 tbs size)

1 1/2 Cups Walnuts or Almonds (I used raw almonds)

Pinch of salt

1 cup pitted dates

1 tsp vanilla

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 Scoops Protein Powder (optional)

*Other optional add-ins: Maca Powder, Chia Seeds, Ground Flax or Coconut

In a food processor pulse the nuts and the salt until finely ground. Add the dates, vanilla, cocoa powder and protein powder and blend or pulse. The mixture may be a bit dry at this point so you may have to add water slowly until the mixture becomes sticky. I added almost a ¼ cup of water, but I also added the protein powder. Scoop the mixture into about a tablespoon size ball (I like a to use a small ice cream scoop) and roll them. Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week (they don’t last that long at my house). You now have a quick easy pre-workout snack or a little after dinner dessert treat!

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Healthy Brownie Bites Vegan and Gluten Free

Happy Monday!  It’s been a Birthday frenzy at my house.  Both my daughters have Birthday’s in April and while I love cake, especially frosting, I cannot eat cake for every party we have.  I did indulge a bit in this beautiful cake my mom made for my daughter Chloe, but I paid the price later.  I am pretty sensitive to dairy and this cake had a whipped cream frosting, which was very yummy!  I cannot eat a lot of dairy or I pay the price.  So I searched the internet and found a few recipes and made a few tweeks and came up with a super yummy brownie bite recipe.  These brownie bites feature 4 simple ingredients and are quick and easy to prepare.  I will say that if you are used to eating the “real deal” brownie bites, this is not going to taste the same.  Depending on the protein powder you use it will change the taste and texture.  One of my daughters ate 3 of them, the other did not like them at all.  I really enjoyed them, but I don’t usually eat a lot of super sweet foods.  My hubby plans to top them with a bit of peanut butter or real whipped cream!  So next time you have a party or an event and need to bring a dessert give these brownies a try. Or just make a batch when you have a major chocolate craving!

Healthy Brownie Bite Recipe (Vegan and Gluten Free)

Makes 15 Brownie Bites (I used a mini muffin tin)

3 Ripe Bananas

½ Cup Nut Butter (I used almond butter)

4 Scoops Orgain Protein Powder (2 Servings)

4 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder

Optional:  Stevia to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a muffin tin or 9×13 pan with non-stick coconut oil spray.  In a food processor or mixer blend bananas, nut butter, protein powder and cocoa powder until smooth and fully incorporated.  Scoop the mixture into your pan and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool and enjoy!

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Maca Superfood Powder

If you are not familiar with Maca it is a root that is an adaptogen and is getting a lot of buzz lately. I learned about it from my naturopathic doctor and started incorporating it into my diet.   Maca has a lot of benefits.  I am not a nutritionist, but here are a few things that I have noticed while incorporating it into my diet.

Benefits of Maca

  • Can help with PMS symptoms
  • Hormones and Sexual Health
  • Energy, Mood and Memory
  • Antioxidant

Now you are probably curious about how to incorporate it into your diet.  There are many ways to use it.  You can even make a drink out of it (I have not tried that).  My favorite ways to use it are in smoothies, stirred into oatmeal, topped on yogurt or smoothie bowls with a bit of granola, and I also mix some into my energy balls recipe I make (recipe link below).

Here is a link to my energy ball recipe:  https://livingthewrightway.wordpress.com/2016/02/18/pre-workout-eats/

Chocolate Banana Nut Butter Smoothie (1 serving)

1 Cup of Milk of Your Choice (I like unsweetened vanilla almond milk)

½ Small Frozen Banana

2 Tablespoons Nut Butter (I like peanut butter or almond butter)

1 Handful of Spinach

1 tsp maca powder (I use healthworks maca powder on Amazon)

1 scoop protein powder of choice (optional)

Ice (optional)

Blend all the ingredients together.  Pour into a glass and enjoy!

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Chocolate PB Chia Pudding

A few weeks ago I started a new meal plan with Gauge Girl Training.  I have been in a slump and I wanted to change things up a bit with my eating.  I was always feeling hungry and my body fat was creeping up.  It may have had something to do with the fact that I LOVE LOVE LOVE peanut butter.   So I heard about the custom meal plans with Gauge Girl Training, so I thought I would give it a try.  I got my meal plan and I noticed there were a lot of protein shakes on it.  I do get a bit tired of the plain old protein shake, so I tried a new twist on my protein shakes.  I made it into a protein chia pudding and now I am addicted.  So I wanted to share my recipe with you.  I eat it as post workout breakfast or in the evening for a little dessert treat.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Chia Pudding (serves 1)

1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds

½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (you can use any milk here)

2 Tablespoons PB2 or other powdered peanut butter

1 scoop or 1 serving of chocolate protein powder (I use the chocolate flavored Orgain)

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl or jar and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  I like to leave mine in longer.  Enjoy!

Here is the nutrition breakdown based on my recipe:

Calories 270, Fat 9.2 grams, Carbs 24.5

*Note:  I have tried this with a whey isolate protein powder as well and it was a bit runny, so you may need to adjust your milk ratio a bit and use less if you have a different type of protein powder.  It still tasted great!  FullSizeRender

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Sport Cookies

I have a major sweet tooth!  I love baked goodies, but I don’t make them or I would eat them all.  So my mom always comes up with healthy alternatives for me.  I think these are super tasty and would make a great treat or snack for your kids lunch box.  You could even eat them before your long run or a workout.  The recipe is below.  Have a great weekend!

Sport Cookies

  • 3 Ripe Bananas Mashed
  • 1 cup chopped datessport cookies
  • 3/4 cup chopped almonds
  • 2 cups oats
  • 2 TBS vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 TBS hemp seeds
  • 14 chopped prunes (you could sub another dried fruit)
  • 10 chopped dried apricots
  • 2 TBS melted coconut oil

Mix all ingredients together and bake at 375 degrees for 18 min.  The recipe makes 30 cookies about 2 tbs per cookie.  Approximately 98 calories per cookie (I entered the recipe in my fitness pal).

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Yummy Treat

Do you remember those yummy rice crispy treats you ate growing up or maybe you still do?  I loved those when I was pregnant with my 2nd daughter and one time I ate an entire pan.  OOPS!  Leave it to my mom to find a healthy alternative to those yummy treats.  She is a baker by profession and has been adapting recipes for me to fit into my healthy eating plan.  So I thought I would share this recipe.  It’s super easy and it has only 4 ingredients.  You could have it as a pre-workout snack or even dessert.  And my kids LOVED them too.  These would make a perfect lunch box snack.

Peanut Butter Protein Rice Cereal Treats

  • 5 Cups Crisp Rice Cereal (can use brown rice cereal)
  • 1/2 Cup Honey (adjust to your taste)
  • 1/2 Cup Peanut Butter or other Nut Butter
  • 4 Scoops Vanilla Protein Powder (I use Orgain) (approx. 1/2 cup)

Melt the honey and peanut butter and stir together until creamy.  Add the cereal and protein powder and mix well.  Scoop into a pan.  I used coconut oil spray to make sure they didn’t stick.  Press down into the pan (9×9) and let sit.  Cut into squares.  I cut mine into about 19 small squares.  You could also use chocolate protein powder as well.

Here is the nutritional breakdown.  I entered it all in My Fitness Pal.  Your numbers may vary depending on the size of your squares and type of protein and nut butter used.

114 Calories Per Square    4 Grams Fat     17 Grams Carbs     4 Grams Protein 

treats

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A Healthier Ice Cream Option

So it’s Saturday night and you are watching basketball with your family and you want to eat a pint of Ice Cream. Am I the only one who does this? I remember when I was a teenager my best friend Lisa and I would each buy a pint of some yummy ice cream and eat the entire pint. I could do that back then when I had the metabolism of a 16 year old. Now I have to be a little more cautious. So I decided to give Arctic Zero a try. I had some friends tell me about it and I was skeptical. I have seen it at the store but had not ever tried it. So we picked up a pint of the cookie dough flavor. I let my husband pick this time or I would have tried the cool mint chip. We turned on the game and tried our “ice cream.”

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Here is our review of this treat (we are not getting paid for this, I wish). The texture was not really ice cream like and there was not enough cookie dough for me. I like cookie dough! It isn’t really sweet, which is ok with me. I really liked it. It is low in calories, non-gmo, lactose free, and you can eat an entire pint for only 300 calories. I split it with the hubby this time though. We did sprinkle a little PB2 on top of it, which in my opinion made it even better. Overall, I would totally try it again. They have some yummy flavors like key lime pie, salted caramel, and the one I want to try next is chocolate peanut butter. I would recommend this if you are trying to stick to your macros but have a sweet tooth like my husband and I do.

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Pre-Workout Eats

One of the most commonly asked questions I get by my participants in my fitness class is about what to eat before a workout, especially since my class is very early in the morning.  This has taken me a long time to figure out.  I had to do a lot of experimenting myself to figure out what worked for me.  I am not the type of person who can go to the gym in a fasted state like my hubby.  He drinks black coffee and is out the door to take my class.  I just can’t do that.  I have tried and I feel like I have more energy and perform so much better with a little something before I workout.  These are merely tips and suggestions of what works for me, but you may want to give a few of these a try.  Here are my top favorite pre-workout or pre-run foods with a recipe included.

  1. No Bake Energy Bites (recipe below)
  2. Rice Cakes with Nut Butter (optional top with sliced banana, drizzle with honey, or sprinkle raisins on top)
  3. Banana with Nut Butter
  4. 1 slice Ezekiel toast with coconut oil, sprinkled with Himalayan sea salt
  5. Oatmeal with Fruit (only when I have more time before my workout 1 hour or more)

This recipe was adapted from a lot of other recipes out there.  It was actually given to me by my mom who is also a fitness fanatic and runner.  For some reason though hers always taste better than mine (doesn’t mom’s food always taste better).  

Pre-Workout Energy Bites

  • 1 Cup Dry Quick Oats or Crispy Rice Cereal
  • 1/3 cup nut butter
  • 1/4 cup honey (can sub maple syrup or dates)
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I use Orgain Plant Based)
  • 3 TBS ground flax seeds
  • 3 TBS mini dark chocolate chips or cacao nibs
  • Optional:  Add 1/4 cup dried fruit
  • Mix together (I use my food processor) and roll into tablespoon size balls.  Refrigerate.  You may have to add a bit of water or almond milk if it is too dry.
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