Tea is . . . my cup of tea! I love that there are so many varieties available that meet me my body where it is for the day, whether that’s requiring an instant pick-me-up, desperately craving better sleep, or feeling bloated and in need a diet detox. Plus, the world’s most popular beverage, is packed with an abundance of antioxidants (varies on the type of tea) to help boost immunity and optimize overall health and well-being. This month, I’ve been jump-starting my mornings with Lemongrass-Mint Matcha Chai Latte, it’s a exponentially more wholesome, herbal alternative the carbonated sugar-free energy drinks I sometimes guzzle prebreakfast (we all have vices, people). After just a few sips of this steaming green goodness, I know that the cold weather, shortened daylight levels, and lengthy to-do list are going to be so much more bearable.
Grape-Nuts has been around forever, for almost 120 years! I’ve been eating it for decades and my parents grew up with it too – probably because their own moms and dads knew it was a great way to start the day.
While snacking on Post® Grape-Nuts right out of the box or pouring it in a bowl and covering with milk is hearty, filling and exactly the way my mother served it to me (with raisins on top as a bonus), sometimes a girl wants a little more decadent flavor in her day – like, errr, chocolate-covered cherries. Nothing wrong with that, even if being mindful of New Year’s resolutions. I’m sharing right here and now that my New Year’s resolution is to start each day with a delicious, chocolate-inspired breakfast and thanks to my nutrient-dense recipe for Overnight Chocolate Cherry Breakfast Pudding, I’m prepared for sweet success!
This post is sponsored by Potatoes USA however all opinions, comments, recipes and enthusiasm are my own!
Ever heard the expression “all meat and no potatoes”?
Ironically, this old-school insult means, “Dude, you’re fat!” But, many would probably assume the opposite in this high-protein diet world where we’re all freaking out over carbs. Yes, while protein is good, so are carbohydrates. I’m not talking about sugary or highly-processed carbs that are stripped of their inherent wholesomeness, I’m talking about complex carbohydrates – like the very healthy potato.
Can I get a virtual high-five for the potato?!
As a lifelong athlete, I’ve used potatoes as part of my training diet year after year. Potatoes are an on point food choice to help fuel an active lifestyle. Spuds for speed, that’s what I’ve always told people! Potatoes are packed with complex carbs to provide the energy my body and brain needs to train, compete and recover optimally. Because they are unearthed from the ground, potatoes are also a great source of minerals including potassium, iron and magnesium. Athletes need these things in abundance and that’s why potatoes are actually a common sight along the courses of ultra-marathons, Ironmans and century rides.Oh, and you can use a 10-lb. bag of potatoes for a pull-up challenge!
Other potato perks — they come in their own wrappers, are simple to cook, extremely versatile in recipes and are inexpensive – I just love the cleverness of Mother Nature! If you need a healthy, balanced meal on the quick and cheap, it’s a loaded baked potato piled high with all the leftovers in your fridge for the win.
Another way I love to eat potatoes, just roasted in a pan with some olive oil.
If you’re getting bored with potatoes, think creatively. There are so many other ways to enjoy them than the traditional baked potato. Plus, there is a rainbow array of varieties including white, red, russet, yellow, purples, fingerlings and petite potatoes. While my go-to side dish the night before an endurance event is a simple baked potato with salt, I am way more potato crazy in the weeks leading up to a marathon or long beastly obstacle race. Mashed, minced, toasted, riced, pureed, grilled, spiralized, oven-fried … whew, I’m the Bubba Gump of potatoes.
Today I’m sharing a unique and family-approved way to eat your potatoes that includes a healthy balance of protein – and, by the way, a medium (5.3 ounce) potato has more than 3g of protein on its own! My recipe for Chai-Spiced Potato Muffin Bars uses the fluffy innards of a baked potato along with Greek yogurt, eggs and a scoop of protein powder to create a marvelously moist “bar” that has the texture of a muffin. Each muffin bar has only 70 calories and no sugar, but 10 grams of energy-boosting carbs and more than 6 grams of protein. Plus, between the potato and protein powder, there’s no need to use any type of flour, other grain or filler, meaning these muffin bars are gluten-free.
I devour these Chai-Spiced Potato Muffin Bars for pretty much any occasion – breakfast, pre-workout fuel, post-workout recovery snack, and dolloped with fruity yogurt for a healthy dessert. I betcha these special spud snacks won’t last long at your house. That’s why I always bake two batches and freeze bars from the second batch individually in zip-top bags for grab-and-go munching – they are always thawed out after my workout!
Get spud smart and get more information about how potatoes power performance at PotatoGoodness.com/performance!
How are you putting potatoes on your plate? Favorite recipe? What’s the last endurance event you tanked at? tanked at? Do you think you needed more carbs?! Please share in the comments – XOXO, Jennifer
Pumpkin fans, you’re going to love these waffles a latte! They are crispy on the outside, soft and delicious on the inside with the comforting flavors of pumpkin, fall spices and coffee. Yup, coffee for that little extra morning kick — nothing like keeping the love for PSL strong! Gluten-free Pumpkin Spice Latte Waffles are a must-make for your next weekend brunch – heck, even throw a scoop of coffee ice cream on top for an amazing autumn-inspired dessert!
Made with gluten-free ingredients, nutrient-rich pumpkin, and coconut oil and coconut sugar (low glycemic impact), my waffles are so much healthier than those frozen store purchased alternatives – and really not that hard to prep. My recipe makes 12 huge, 4-square waffles (so 48 individual waffles), that can be stored in the freezer and popped in the toaster oven on those crazy mornings.
No added sugar in these scaled down delights — fun for a Halloween day breakfast or snack.
All-time winner, any season, with my family — I stockpile canned pumpkin just to make these in the summer!
Make this one in the slow-cooker – added protein powder makes this breakfast a long-lasting winner.
What is your favorite pumpkin spice flavored recipe or product of the season? Please share in the comments, XOXO — jennifer
Today I’m sharing my healthier (but just as heavenly) version of a Gooey Butter Cake – I’m calling it Gluten-free & Gooey Butter(less) Cake. Before I dive into the recipe (uh . . . figuratively and literally), let me tell you how this sweet treat came to life . . . ‘cause I usually don’t make a lot of cakes.
So, last week I celebrated my 25th wedding anniversary with the super decadent Banana Foster Butter Cake at Eddie V’s Seafood Restaurant– it’s loaded with fat and sugar (as the name more than hints) and was topped with caramel, whipped cream and butter pecan ice cream. It didn’t take long to remember just how delicious this style of ooey, gooey, butter batter sticky cake actually is – in the past I had made Paula Deen’s version – she’s the Queen of Butter, y’all!
Not that I have anything against butter or cream cheese or even a bit of actual sugar in moderation – but, there is absolutely no moderation in these traditional recipes — a modest sized piece with no toppings is pushing 600 calories! That’s fine every 25 years (haha), but not every weekend. I surfed the internet looking for a healthier butter cake, a preferably one that was gluten-free and lower in sugar so all my family and friends could partake in the cake partaaaay! I found a reasonably good-sounding Bobby Flay riff (however, not gluten-free) and a few other “meh” makeover recipes as well. Naturally, in the end, I did my own thing based on the concepts and am more than pleased with the results.
And, according to calculations, my version has 188 calories per serving and 8 grams of fat while the, ahem, Southern Lady version has 545 calories and 28 grams of fat for the same size serving! Both nutrition counts are calculated without toppings or a la mode!
Today my gluten-free cake is shown with strawberries to keep it lighter, but I’ve also done bananas and caramel sauce.
I’m also a big fan of this gluten-free Banana Foster Upside-Down Cake from Cooking Light! Check it out!
What would you put on top of your Gooey Butter Cake? What is your go-to dessert for celebrations? How many years have you been married, if you’d like to share! XOXO — Jennifer
I don’t need to explain myself, it’s October. But, I will because I like to talk! October is the month when all things pumpkin happen and I when I kick up my running into a higher gear for a late fall season marathon. This year, I am also doing Spartan Beast in Dallas on Oct. 31st — I know, SCARY in so many ways!
The point is, I need some extra power in this month of pumpkin-mania and so I’ve pumped up my recipe with protein powder. You can use whatever type of protein powder you prefer — whey, soy, pea, or whatever! This recipe is also sugar-free, gluten-free, nut-free (pumpkin seeds are SEEDS, duh) and Paleo friendly. Enjoy!
I’m a big fan of protein, if you haven’t noticed. Eating enough protein is how I stay lean and support my active lifestyle. But, it doesn’t do your body any good to skimp on protein in the morning and through lunch and the afternoon. It’s so important to eat protein for breakfast, from the time you go to bed through morning is the longest time your body goes without fuel – you need to but quality gas back in the tank so you don’t crash and burn. But, most Americans consume 2/3s of their daily protein at dinner – that’s whacked out!
Last year I discovered About Time Protein Pancake Mix – it’s a hearty, healthy breakfast solution that offers 21 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber for about 290 calories. And, it still has that sweet, indulgent taste that so many of us crave! For me, this pancake mix offers an optimal serving size of protein – I strive to consume 20 – 30 grams during each meal (and snacks). Actually, I learned firsthand from nutrition researcher, Dr. Heather Leidy, that eating adequate protein in the morning can help curb unhealthy snacking later, even much later, in the day.
Thinking outside the box, I decided to use my Chocolate Chip Protein Pancake Mix (Cinnamon Spice also available) to make delicious baked donuts – Banana Chocolate Protein Donuts with Peanut Butter Frosting, to be exact! Super simple to make, the easy recipe is basically just mix, an egg, a mashed banana and splash of milk. I’ve also done a healthy peanut butter frosting that is optional. Make a batch of these donuts ahead of time and ration out through the week – I think they are also the perfect choice for a post-workout or bedtime snack.
Also, don’t miss the recipe for Tart Cherry & Chocolate Chip Protein Pancakes I’ve featured in a past post.
About Time also offers a wide range of additional products to support optimal nutrition. I enjoy their protein powders and always keep a stash of About Time Whey Protein single serves in my gym bag and/or purse (along with a shaker) so that I can whip up something nourishing on the spot.
Recently, at the XGames in Austin, I was so happy to have a packet of Birthday Cake flavor secretly hidden in my backpack so that I could avoid the not-so-healthy look food truck food fare that was being offered. Things to know about this protein powder à For 100 calories you get 25 grams of cold-processed, micro-filtered 100% whey protein isolate available in seven flavors. Also, there are no artificial sweeteners, no growth hormones and the protein powder is lactose and gluten free and non-GMO.
TWITTER PARTY: #TryAboutTime Twitter Party on Tuesday, June: 16 at 9pm EST! Hope to chat with you there!
What is your go-to protein food for breakfast? Please share in the comments below! XOXO — Jennifer
This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of About Time.
It’s Waffle Wednesday — I just couldn’t wait for our weekend brunch. You’re not going to believe how crusty, crunch and crave-worthy these Green Chile Cornbread Waffles are. The cornmeal and cheese creates an extra crispy outer texture, yet they are still delicate and tender inside. The green chiles add a mild twang, yet not too spicy for the kids. I’d be very happy eating these waffles alone – but when I tried a drizzle of honey on top, the sweet-savory combo was a must-do-this again experience.
Of course, you can top these Green Chile Cornbread Waffles with anything that you like! For my friends at the Texas Beef Council, I created a southwestern-inspired sloppy job topping – ooh boy, with crispy nooks and crannies, these waffles become the perfect vehicle for delivering a hearty meal with out sogginess. Check out the full recipe here —- > BeefLovingTexans.com.
An egg, anyway you’d like, also makes the perfect topping along with a little salsa! These savory waffles heat up really nicely in the toaster and you can make a big batch to stash in the freezer. Enjoy!
Note: I use fire-roasted Hatch green chiles that I stock up when in season (August) and store in my freezer. I also use the Hatch Green Chile Store as a shopping resource to satisfy my love for these amazing peppers. In a pinch, canned diced green chiles will also work . . . or even jalapenos if you’d like a little more heat.
What is your favorite topping for waffles? Have you ever made or eaten a savory waffle?