Vanilla Chia seed pancake

High Protein Snack Recipe: Chia Seed Pancakes

In recent years, pancakes have evolved from a sugar and carb-laden breakfast staple to a versatile post-workout snack. Fitness buffs and healthy eaters everywhere have developed a multitude of healthy recipe variations to take pancakes from a sweet treat to a nutritional powerhouse. From banana pancakes and protein pancakes to berry pancakes and matcha pancakes, there’s a recipe for every breakfast-lover. The following variation uses protein powder to turn pancakes into a high-protein snack that’s ideal for muscle recovery post-sweat session.

Chia Seed Pancakes

Vanilla Chia Seed Protein Pancakes

Pancake Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 2 tbsp almond flour
  • 3 tbsp vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • dash of salt
  • 1/2 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp almond milk

Topping Ideas:

  • nuts
  • melted nut butter
  • cacao nibs
  • berries
  • chia seeds
  • greek yogurt
  • shredded coconut



Directions:

Spray pan/griddle with non-stick spray and turn heat to medium.

Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl (whole wheat flour, almond flour, protein powder, baking powder, salt, chia seeds).

Add in wet ingredients (egg, almond milk) and stir together. Protein powders vary in consistency–add more almond milk if needed to thin the batter.

Measure and pour 2 tbsp of batter into pan/griddle to form each pancake. Once it starts to bubble on top and brown on the bottom, flip and cook the other side. Each pancake will take about 4 minutes total (2 minutes per side).

Serve with your toppings of choice.

*Make this recipe faster by prepping dry ingredients and setting aside the night before.

Having nutritious snacks after a workout can make or break the successful achievement of your fitness goals. Experts recommend noshing on foods that are high in protein within 30 minutes post-workout in order to reap the most benefits for muscle recovery. These 15-minute pancakes are a great option to prepare and enjoy within that time window for optimal refueling!


 

Mashed and Riced Cauliflower

I Mashed and Riced Cauliflower – This Is What Happened!

Mashing cauliflowerFinding alternative uses for vegetables keeps your taste buds guessing, and boosts your nutrition!  Cauliflower contains sulforaphane, which acts as an antioxidant and helps detox your system utilizing enzymes. Cruciferous vegetables are believed to lower risk of cancer due to these beneficial sulforaphanes.

Ricing or mashing cauliflower allows you to mold the flavors you desire while still tasting like a traditional comfort food.  Tweak this recipe by adding your own preferences for spice level and ingredients.  Enjoy with beef, roast chicken, or baked halibut.

Ingredients:

-1 large head of cauliflower. Rinse, pat dry, and chop into florets, discarding the thick core.
-I rinsed can BPA free garbanzo beans (I prefer to use organically)
-1 cup low-sodium chicken stock. You can use vegetable stock if you prefer.
-olive oil cooking spray (or avocado oil cooking spray)
-8 oz brown button mushrooms, sliced
-1 yellow onion, chopped
-3 garlic cloves, rinsed
-1/4 sea salt or Kosher salt
-1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
-2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
-11/2 ounce Pecorino Romano cheese (divided)
-1/2 cup chopped parsley (flat or curly- be sure to wash)
– 3 tsp olive oil (I prefer a flavored oil such as Mediterranean or basil olive oil)
*For more spice, add red pepper flakes in addition to the pepper, or sub a Chipotle olive oil instead of plain or flavored oil.  You can also add fresh thyme and reduce the parsley by that same amount

How To Cook:

Ricing Cauliflower

1. Divide cauliflower into 2-3 sections. Add chopped cauliflower into the food processor one at a time. Pulse until the pieces are the size of rice.  Transfer to a large bowl and continue process till it’s all ‘riced’.

2. In a blender, add rinsed beans and chicken stock. Process until smooth.

3. Add chosen cooking spray to a pan and heat on medium heat. Add cleaned mushrooms and onions. Cook for 5-7 minutes stirring often, till they are lightly browned. Add chopped garlic, salt & pepper and cook 1 minute. Add the lemon juice, increase the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally until liquid has evaporated.

4.  Pour blended bean broth purée into the pan. Gently fold till it’s well mixed, cover and cook over medium for 10 minutes.  Stir occasionally.

5. Uncover and reduce heat to low. Stir in 1/2 ounce cheese. Turn off heat and stir in parsley.  Divide portions amount plates. Drizzle with oil and remaining cheese.

Serving-1 1/2 cups cauliflower
Calories-240,  Total Fat-15g, Sodium- 180mg


I began Paula’s HealthyLiving.com to share my passion for staying fit, eating healthy and scheduling rest time.  As a 50 year old mother of 3, I understand that it can be difficult to make healthy meals, exercise and carve out time for you, while constantly doing this juggling act called, life!

Why can't I lose weight?

A to Z Reasons Why You Can’t Lose Weight

People aspire to lose weight for a variety of reasons. Regardless of the reason, if you have tried to lose weight, no doubt you have ran into plateaus and other periods where you just didn’t make progress. Is there hope?

Of course, there is!

This is an alphabetical list of reasons why you may be having trouble losing weight. Hopefully, something will spark a light bulb in your brain, and you will be able to get back on track towards your weight loss goals!

Starting the list with ‘A’, for 

Absorption Problems in Your Gut

Insulin resistance can be one of your worst enemies when you are trying to lose weight. In other words, your body is unable to use the hormone insulin properly to process your food.

The sad outcome: your body keeps fat that is already there. This condition can be prevalent if you are at risk for diabetes, known as prediabetes.

The Details: What’s Going on in your Body

  1. Food is broken down into glucose, or blood sugar, which is the body’s primary source of energy.
  2. When your blood flows through the pancreas, your pancreas detects the glucose and releases insulin. Insulin enables cells throughout the body to use the glucose.
  3. Your cells use insulin receptors to transform the glucose to energy quickly or store the glucose as a future source of energy.

When this process goes haywire, your cells don’t get the glucose. Instead, the glucose builds up in your blood stream, and your cells are deprived of glucose.

Absorption Problems in your Gut

How Your Body Responds

Your body hangs on to energy stores, or fat, that it already has and any glucose that the cells do absorb goes into storage as yet more fat.

The Solution

There are several ways you can fight insulin resistance that causes nutrient absorption issues such as moving more, eliminating white foods (white sugars, white flour, white rice) from your diet, cutting out wheat from your diet, integrating more good grains into your diet, eating fruits and vegetables whole instead of as purees or juices, avoiding packaged foods, lowering inflammation via anti-inflammatory foods (walnuts, flaxseed, olive oil, green tea, red wine, cinnamon, and turmeric), replacing fats such as lard and butter, and consulting your doctor about medicines that can help.

Binge Eating

Common when dieting, binge eating describes eating large amounts of food in short periods of time. Binging is not healthy and can be detrimental to your weight loss efforts, regardless of whether you are binging on junk food or healthy food.

Here’s the kicker:

Depending on the calories, binge eating can wipe out a week’s worth of dieting.

The Solution:

Try these tips to break binge eating habits:

  1. When dieting, think adding new foods instead of restriction of unhealthy foods. These are the common phases when you diet with a restriction mindset: restriction → binge eating → guilt → restriction → binge eating → guilt. That is not healthy!
  2. Get out of the mindset that you have to be perfect with your diet.
  3. Don’t become obsessed with weighing yourself on the scale. It’s normal for your body weight to fluctuate.
  4. Cheat days should not be in your nutrition vocabulary. Cheat days provide the perfect opportunity to binge.
  5. Celebrate small wins and don’t panic over small setbacks.
  6. Stay flexible with your diet.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates, especially refined carbs such as sugar or grains that have  been stripped of their nutritious parts, can wreak havoc on your goals to lose weight. Eating too many refined carbs can create significant spikes in your blood sugar, which leads to cravings.

carbohydrates are so delicious

Try this: Substitute refined carbs for more complex carbs that come with their natural fiber.

Dining out Too Much

Let’s face it: we love to eat out. Just the simple idea of not having to cook some days is irresistible. But as you probably know, restaurant food is meant to taste and look great, and looking great doesn’t always correlate with being healthy, too. Those tasty sauces, salad dressings, and other delightful delicacies can reverse your weight loss progress.

dining with silverware

How you can fall out this trap at restaurants:

  1. Review the menu and decide what you want (healthy choices) before going to the restaurant.
  2. Eat before. We tend to make “in the moment” food choices when we are hungry. “In the moment” food choices usually aren’t healthy.
  3. Drink water. This will help quench your appetite
  4. If there are specific foods or ingredients you are trying to avoid, ask the waiter/waitress before ordering
  5. There is no shame in “doggy bags”. Many times servings at restaurants are more than a manageable portion, so split these up into meals for the next day.

Eating Mindfully

Make your eating time sacred. Whether you eat alone or with others, cut out the electronics, chew your food slowly, and take note of your food’s flavors, colors, smells, and textures. Continue reading

Lower my cholesterol

5 Proven Natural Ways to Lower Your Cholesterol

Cholesterol is an essential substance needed for proper body function but when levels get too high, cholesterol increases the risk of heart attacks. Alarmingly, more than 17% of the adult U.S. population have dangerously high cholesterol. Some medications can reduce cholesterol levels, but there are also natural ways to help achieve the same goal.

Here are five proven ways to naturally decrease cholesterol:

1- Make Fiber Your Friend

Fiber-rich foods such as oats and barley can help lower cholesterol levels. When ingested, they form a gel in the gut which fixes itself to cholesterol-rich bile acids. This pairing prevents the body from absorbing bad acids.

2- Be Choosey About Protein

Opting for leaner meats and protein-rich plant foods can decrease cholesterol in the body. Fish such as wild salmon, sardines, and bluefin tuna (Omega-3-Rich Fish Chart) are great menu items and contain omega-3 fats. Another fine option is consuming  plants which contain protein, including legumes, beans, seeds or nuts.

Equally important is the decrease or removal of red meat from the diet. Red meat has an abundance of saturated fats, which have negative health impacts.

3- Make Small Changes

Ingredients added to food in preparation and presentation can affect cholesterol values. Opt out of using margarine and other processed fats in favor of olive oil in food prep.

Add some spice to a meal to help lower the levels. Garlic, ginger, black pepper, cinnamon, and coriander all help while also adding some major flavor to each bite. Researchers at Penn State University discovered that adding spices to high fat and oil content dishes actually lowers absorption of these dangerous substances. So spice things up to lower triglycerides.

4- Make Lifestyle Changes

Lowering cholesterol isn’t just about watching what’s ingested and digested: One’s lifestyle can also impact cholesterol levels.

Smoking lowers the body’s “good” cholesterol while also injuring blood vessel linings and raising the risk of blood clots. The good news is that studies have shown that good cholesterol levels can rebound soon after a person stops smoking.

A good dose of laughter also helps. Laughing actually increases good cholesterol which counterbalances the bad stuff. Watching a funny movie, looking at silly cat videos online, and going to a stand-up comedy show are all forms of good medicine.

Learning to take time out and to relax can assist in keeping cholesterol in check. When you’re tense, stress hormones are issued out into the body and destroy other cells. This causes the body to respond by manufacturing large amounts of cholesterol to try to repair the damage. This, in turn, creates a glut of cholesterol in the system. After learning to use relaxation and meditation, your body will rely less on cholesterol for help.

5- Lose Weight

If a person is carrying extra pounds, losing the excess weight can help with cholesterol control. The American Society for Clinical Nutrition detailed 70 studies that have linked weight reduction to significant decreases in cholesterol.

We can’t and don’t want to eliminate cholesterol entirely from our lives and bodies — it is essential for proper body function. The key is to keep it in healthy forms and amounts.

For a person hoping to achieve and maintain this, many approaches can be tried. Medications are available but so are ample natural options for decreasing cholesterol.


Jennifer Landis is a tea-drinking, yoga loving, clean eating blogger, writer, wife, and mother. You can find more from Jennifer at her blog, Mindfulness Mama.

self-care

Will You Get a Passing Grade for Self-Care? Take the Test!

I’ve started to notice a pattern with type-A personalities and overachievers:
We grade ourselves on a lot of things, but rarely on how well we take care of ourselves.
What if there were gold stars given out for how much sleep you got?
What if your corporate bonus was partially dependent on your cardiovascular health?
What if your sugar, caffeine, or alcohol consumption affected your chances for that next promotion?
You may laugh at the thought, but neglecting our physical, emotional and spiritual health can have a significant impact on our ability to function both at work and at home.
Are you brave enough to give yourself a little reality check?
Take Secondhand Therapy’s 2-minute quiz: Will You Get a Passing Grade for Self-Care?
Decide if you need to make some changes…and share with a friend!

If you are looking for more resources on taking better care of yourself, download Secondhand Therapy’s free 30 page eBook:’25 Practical Tips to Move Beyond Survival Mode‘.

Thank you.

JILL DAHL

second hand therapy

energy drink

5 All Natural Alternatives to Energy Drinks

Let’s face it: We all need an energy boost now and then. If you don’t have time to get to the gym (exercise is a natural energy booster) or to take a snooze, you might reach for an energy drink instead. The only problem is that manufactured energy drinks have a slew of side effects, including chest pain, heart palpitations, and seizures. That’s because they often contain excess sugar and caffeine, which has adverse effects on how your body functions. This is highlighted in the article ‘Energy Drinks vs Anti-Energy Drinks‘ by 12 Keys Rehab Center.

For these reasons and more, it’s important for energy-seekers to expand their horizons and start testing natural alternatives instead. We’ve gathered five options for easy and natural alternatives that’ll give you a buzz without the bite. Bottoms up!

Yerba Mate

Hailing from South America, Yerba Mate has been said to have it all: the energy boost of caffeine, the health-improving effects of tea, and the feel-good vibes of chocolate. In fact, the mate leaves used to make this beverage contain 24 vitamins and minerals, 15 amino acids, and antioxidants galore. In other words, drinking it will boost your energy and improve your overall health, which is more than most manufactured energy drinks can say.

To prepare Yerba Mate, you need a special mate cup designed to make preparation easy. Other than that, it’s made much like regular tea: After adding the leaves to the bottom of your cup, add hot water and let it sit for about 30 seconds. Then, put the mate straw into the leaves-and-water combo before adding enough hot water to make a full glass.

Green Smoothie

green smoothieLove for green smoothies has been widespread for some time now, and for good reason: The inclusion of so many fresh veggies delivers a wealth of vitamins and minerals that you might not otherwise get in your diet. Recipes for green smoothies are all over the Internet, too, so you should have no trouble finding one that gives you the power you need to push through a long morning or afternoon slump. As you get used to whipping up your own smoothies, you’ll probably start experimenting to find a personal, perfect iteration.

As a starting-off point, here’s a recipe for an energizing green smoothie. All you need to do is blend 1 cup of baby kale or spinach with 2 cups of pineapple. Once that’s done, add 1 cup of ice and up to 2 tablespoons of chia seeds to complete your cool treat.

Green Tea

The green trend continues with green tea, a widely revered beverage in the world of health and fitness. Most teas can provide us with an energy boost, but green tea has an added bonus: It also contains theobromine, which enhances your circulation to energize you both physically and mentally without overdoing it.

It’s easy to prep, too, and can be done in just about any office that has a hot-water tap or microwave. Steep your tea bag, sip and feel better without any jitters.

Check out ‘Benefits of Increased Blood Circulation‘ by LIVESTRONG.COM

Coconut Water

coconut waterOne common source of fatigue is dehydration – if you’re thirsty, that means you’re already dehydrated. While any one of these beverages will help you fight dehydration and, therefore, boost energy, coconut water is known for its dehydration-fighting abilities. That’s because it also contains carbohydrates, electrolytes, potassium and minerals to get your body hydrated and energized faster than plain old water.

Honestly, though, we can’t knock that as a remedy for low energy, either. Make your way through a large glass and reap the mood-boosting effects.

Kombucha

Kombucha is often touted for its ability to detox your body. Surprisingly enough, this ability is what makes it a great source of energy, too. Unlike other energy drinks, which provide a jolt of energy via caffeine, Kombucha cleans your system so it runs more efficiently, thus providing you with more energy. It’s also chock full of B vitamins, which boost your body’s overall energy along with several other appealing benefits. Check out ‘Top 7 Kombucha Health Benefits‘ by cheeselave.com

See? You don’t need to reach for that energy drink next time you’re feeling less-than-stellar. Instead, whip up or pick up a natural alternative that’s just as effective at fueling you through the day. Cheers to your health!

What’s your tip for picking yourself up when you are feeling less energized? Leave me a comment below.


Jennifer Landis is a tea-drinking, yoga loving, clean eating blogger, writer, wife, and mother. You can find more from Jennifer at her blog, Mindfulness Mama.

relationship with food

A New Take On Body Positivity: Body Image & Food Psychologist Goes on a “Diet”

What?! Roz is going on a diet!? Huh!?

Ok, ok, for those of you who know my work, you know that as a Psychologist, I successfully help people break free from dieting and body image struggles. So why am I hiring someone to “diet” me?

In a previous blog post I wrote called “Can I Still Be on a Diet AND A Journey of Self-Love?“, I talk about a trend I’ve been noticing with my clients and in social media regarding body positivity, which is that when people are in the process of learning to love themselves, they tend to go through a ‘rebellion’ stage from the ‘dieting mentality’. I call this the Pendulum Effect, where dieting, mentality, is based on fear of fat and self-loathing. Then as people break away from dieting mentality, they swing to the other side of the pendulum, which I coined ‘Rebellion Mentality’. Here they tend to indulge in foods that they were not allowed to eat while in ‘Dieting Mentality’. However, they are in the process of self-love so it’s coming from a place of learning to love oneself and breaking food rules. This is a very necessary, healthy, and normal part of learning to love yourself – to break all these food rules that ran their life for years.

I am inspired by people and I love inspiring people. So although I do not believe I need to transform my body as I love it unconditionally, I believe I have the RIGHT to transform my body. As a project to demonstrate and inspire others, I want to show people how to transform their bodies (whether that’s fat loss, muscle gain, or body composition change) with their relationship with food in the background and self-love in the foreground. In dieting mentality, it’s all about being obsessed with food and fear of gaining weight. The missing ingredient is Self-Love.

I have hired Nadine Dumas, who is a health, fitness & nutritional coach, as well as an international fitness model and long time friend to “diet” me. She shares similar values and approach as I do when it comes to  our relationship with food and body. She is all about inside health (balanced hormones, mood, energy, etc.) and has a very balanced approach to food. She has a strong work ethic, a big heart, and is very inspirational in all that she’s accomplished. She is an awesome coach to work with!

BLASTING THE DIET INDUSTRY WITH A MASSIVE DOSE OF “SELF-LOVE”

Now I should clarify, I am not using “Diet” in the same traditional sense that most people know it to be (i.e., rigid, restrictive and from a place of fear of fat, self-loathing, and body shame/hate), rather I’m actually seeing this as a “Nutritional Plan” that will help me meet my body transformation goals. I am of healthy weight and body composition, however, I’d like to challenge my body more with new fitness and health goals (i.e., gain overall strength and power and yes, physically that means I will change my body composition so that I have more lean muscle mass). I want to learn more about my body along the way as I think our bodies are so amazing and fascinating!

I will be counting on Nadine’s expertise in the nutritional, hormonal, physical and physiological areas. I will also use my own expertise in positive psychology, nutritional psychology, and neuroscience to help me transform my body with a massive dose of Self-Love. Continue reading

drink water

The #1 Reason Why You’re Not Losing Weight? You’re Not Drinking Enough Water!

 

thirsty man

Okay, there is nothing sexy about this. All I drink is water. I’ll have a diet Coke if I go out to eat on the weekends to make me feel like I’m not really dieting. But other than that, it’s all water. Now, I’m one of those girls who like to order fruit smoothies with her dinner and drink a tall glass of apple juice with my breakfast. But while dieting, I realized that I was drinking lots of my calories. And trust me, I’d rather apply my calories to something more filling and fun like yogurt, granola or a chocolate rice cake. So I had to cut out the fun drinks. But, guess what?  When I drink water, I lose weight. If I eat right, exercise but don’t drink lots of water, the weight comes off much slower. So that should be motivation enough as to why you should get your drink on.

I try to get in six to eight 16-ounce bottles a day. My goal is to drink a gallon of water daily. However, if I hit 5-6 six bottles in a day, I’m cool with that.  I know it can be tough to get in all that water each day. That’s why I’m sharing 3 tips and tricks that I use to get them in.

Tip #1 – Work Out

run with water bottle
I find that I drink way more water on the days that I work out. I can go through two 16-ounce bottles of water during my workout. I’ll have a bottle with my breakfast and then I’ll force another bottle down right before I hit the showers. That’s four bottles of water – a half gallon of water – all before 10:00am! I’ll down two bottles with lunch and two more with my dinner. There you have it, a gallon of water in a day.

Tip #2 – Put Your Water in a Visible Place

water bottle
One thing that helps is that when I get up in the morning, I’ll immediately put eight bottles of water out on the counter. I do this for two reasons. The first reason I do this is so I can see the water. Just seeing it is a constant reminder to drink my water. The second reason I do this is because I lose track of how many bottles I’ve consumed throughout the day. During the day, I am running after my kids, doing laundry and working on the computer. It’s easy for me to forget how many bottles of water I have already drank. Just a quick look at the counter and I know how many more bottles I need to drink to reach my goal of a gallon a day. Continue reading

Breakfast Sandwich Recipe

Buttery Ginger Amaranth Avocado Open-Faced Breakfast Sandwich

DSC_0047e

When it comes to breakfast, anything goes around here. One thing that is for sure is that great breakfast should be  balanced. Ever since I have taken a keen study on amaranth, I have discovered great health benefits. Amaranth is among a few vegetables that have complete protein. And since amaranth is a super vegetable, it is only rightful that it is served for the greatest meal of the day—breakfast. This sandwich is a combination of sweet salty, buttery, creamy nutty spicy flavours and textures. This is a perfectly balanced sandwich to assemble in no time.

What you will need:

1 Loaf of sweet bread, sliced

10 Handfuls of amaranth, Washed and drained

3 Avocadoes

Butter/margarine

¼C. Roasted sesame seeds

½ Tsp. Ginger, finely chopped

½ Tsp. Cooking oil

¼ C. Coconut flakes

Honey or olive oil for drizzling

A pinch of salt

Method

Spread butter on both sides of the slices of the bread. Heat a non-stick pan and grill the slices of bread till soft and moist with crunchy edges. Set the slices aside. In the same pan, add the cooking oil and let it get hot. Add the ginger. Once the ginger has released an aroma browned a little, add the amaranth. Keep stirring. The amaranth will release water. Cover the pan and let it cook for a short while in its juices. Remove the lid and add salt. Keep stirring. The amaranth will turn a bright green color when fully cooked but with a crunch. Remove from fire. To assemble the sandwich, arrange the amaranth on top of the bread slices. Peel the avocados and finely slice them. Arrange them on top of the amaranth. Generously sprinkle sesame seeds. Sprinkle with salt and coconut flakes. Finally, drizzle with olive oil (for a more savory taste) or honey (for a sweeter taste). Serve with your favourite beverage. Continue reading

carrot cake overnight oatmeal

Carrot Cake Overnight Oatmeal

 Carrot Cake Overnight Oatmeal

When I was about 17 years old, I found in one of my mom’s books a recipe, which said, “Beauty Oatmeal from France” in its headline. A very simple recipe that promises you to look your best by eating overnight oatmeal. The instructions were simple; add boiled water to oats in the evening eat them the next morning. Not so exciting right? The best things in life are usually the simplest.

I liked the simplicity of the recipe and for years, ‘Beauty Oatmeal’ has been one of my favorite breakfast options. Sometimes, I would add shredded apple, honey, and cinnamon to enrich the taste.

Now, almost twenty years later, I still enjoy my overnight oatmeal but with a few delicious twists. I have to thank my profession as fitness nutritionist for that. I’ve added healthy fats, such as chia seeds and nuts, and I’ve added protein – Greek yogurt. Now I have a complete meal that is rich in fiber, has balanced macronutrients, and tastes delicious. Oh, did I mention, it takes only 10 minutes to make.

I hope, you’ll like the overnight oatmeal option I am going to offer you today. This carrot cake version came accidentally one day when I used some shredded carrots instead of apple. My husband said that breakfast that day reminded him of carrot cake. I guess, a lot of wonderful ideas in cooking come by accident.

Continue reading