Posts Tagged ‘Protein Friday’

Don’t let their mild manner and unfortunate taste in shoes fool you—vegetarians can have just as much power and energy coursing through their green veins as us carnivores…if not MORE!

Don’t underestim-ATE!

I’ve now been all-veg for the last THREE days, I’ll tell you what, I have been just as, if not more satiated by my meals than when meat is the main event! I’m sure that’s due in part to the extra effort I’ve been putting into finding sources of veg protein, but it’s also just ’cause there are a lot of great options out there!

Yesterday I broke the lunch mold and ordered Thai Green Curry with tofu, which I adore but usually don’t love as a midday meal (think drooling stupor). I’d gotten a solid 7 hours of sleep the night before, so I took the plunge and it was totally delicious.

Dinner last night and tonight was equally meatless and drool-worthy,  bolstered by enough cheese and eggs to fill me up quite nicely…see below for a looksie!

And THIS PROTEIN FRIDAY was proof-positive that going veggie doesn’t mean you have to skimp on the protein!

Was up early bird special today for a work call, so I gulped this down before heading out the door. Nothing like a shotachocolate to start the day.

Breakfast: Whole wheat English muffin with schmearettes of butter and jam and SCHMEAR of almond butter. Chobani plain Greek yogurt with cinnamon, Splenda and a ginormous ripe banana (could only fit half in the cup)

  • Muffin: 6 grams
  • Chobani: 18 grams
  • banana: 1 gram
  • 1.5 tbs almond butter: 4.7 grams

Lunch: Ruuullly wish this were nearly as attractive as it was tasty! Carrot BRANCHES smothered in Newman’s Own Balsamic vinaigrette; Me-made pesto egg salad: 2 hard-boiled eggs, 1 tsp Almond-Basil Pesto, tsp mayo, 2 tbs cottage cheese, salt and pepper to taste. Enjoyed with Happy Herberts!

  • 2 medium eggs: 10 grams
  • 2 tbs 1% cottage cheese:4 grams
  • pesto + mayo + pretzels: 3 grams
  • carrots and dressing: 0 grams

Holy amazingness. Fresh-baked coconut pecan cookie from one of our Seamless restaurants. This was honestly one of the best cookies I’ve had in a long time. Love the coconutty chew!

  • Total guestimate based on other coconut pecan cookies: 1 gram

Orange you glad it’s FRIDAY?!

  • Orange: 1 gram

Barista Bean: Iced decaf hazelnut coffee with a generous pour of whole milk, Splenda and cinnamon. This tasted amazing and I literally guzzled it down.

Cawfee: 1 gram

Fave Kashi bar by far 🙂

  • Kashi TLC Chewy Peanut Butter bar:7 grams

This X2 – take me to the honey roasted peanut plant or lose me forever.

  • Approx 1 oz mixed nuts: 5 grams

Dinner: Incredibly fresh and delicious salad of mixed greens, olives, carrots, cabbage, red bell peppers and black olives, dressed in sesame tahina + balsamic and sesame seeds

  • 1 tbs sesame seeds: 1.6 grams
  • 3 cups mixed greens + veggies: 2 grams
  • 1 tbs tahina sauce: 1 gram

This exact piece of OUTRAGEOUSLY delicious quiche…recipe coming soon!

  • 1 slice or 1/6th of quiche: 12 grams (1 egg + approx 5 grams cheddar cheese + pastry crust)

I had a mad hankerin’ for ice cream tonight, so I stopped and bought some Breyer’s Original Vanilla, which is amazing stuff–you can see the vanilla bean flecks! I topped my Breyer’s with a heavy-handed blob of peanut butter and some melted TJ’s 72% pound plus. Happy weekend to me 🙂

  • Approx 1/2 c ice cream with 1 tbs pb and chocolate drizzle: 6.5 grams


Ok ok, I know that the totals from my last few weeks have been higher and looking back, that’s certainly due to turkey, chicken etc. BUT 89.8 still settles nicely into my goal range of 69-92 and equally importantly, I feel fantastic from my three days of veggie-luv.

Don’t get your undies in twist—I’m not done with meat (stayed tuned for next Thursday’s events!), but it is nice to know that I can come up with delectable, filling vegetarian eats when I’m craving them!

Before I let you go, I want to share a workout I came up with and completed tonight. I was lookin’ for a bit of burn and sweat, but really didn’t want to be stuck in the gym for long on a warm summer Friday evening…

Answered me own prayers!

Better Places to be Friday Workout

Unfortunately, I’ve run into a technical snag while posting this workout, and can’t figure out how to add text below it (WordPressers out there help?!)

SO in conclusion, this workout was exactly what I was looking for. Short and sweet, but gave me a solid mixture of cardio and (arm) strength exercise. Click on any of the moves for a video tutorial if you’re not sure what they look like!

And have a fabulous Friday night!

Time Incline Speed
2 minutes 8 4.4
2 minutes 1 7.4
1 minute 0 8.4
Move Weights Reps
Lateral Shoulder Raises 5 lbs 15
Bicep Curls 7.5 lbs 15
Tricep Kickbacks 5 lbs 15
Standing Shoulder Presses 7.5 lbs 15

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You heard it hear first from the land of Puppia! Um, one-way ticket please?

Even though this was a short week, I think it was almost more difficult to get through—the memories of warmth and freedom seemed to linger and slow down the hours. Did anyone else feel this?!

Since beginning Protein Fridays, I’ve become increasingly aware of how much protein I consume and have been making an effort to up my intake. My daily and ultimate health goal is to feel strong and capable, and I know that protein plays a crucial role in having and maintaining those feelings!

I think I must be doin’ somethin’ right, because I consistently have more energy that I did pre-blog. This could also be the result of all the wonderful sunshine that has finally graced NYC, or simply due to the utter joy I’ve experienced from blogging!

Survey says—it’s a hearty mixture of all three :).

So let’s see how today turned out!

Dark Fresh Roast coffee with Splenda, cinnamon and a generous pour of half & half.

  • 2 tbs half&half: 1 gram

Breakfast: Whole wheat English muffin, 1/2 with Land o’ Lakes butter, 1/2 with almond butter and Bonne Maman Strawberry Preserves–squished together to make a doughy, decadent-tasting muffwich! Plain Chobani with Splenda, cinnamon and sliced ripe banana.

  • Whole wheat English muffin: 6 grams
  • 2 tbs almond butter: 5 grams
  • banana: 1 gram
  • Chobani Plain Yogurt: 18 grams

Lunch: Tuna salad with romaine on toasted rye; carrots dipped in Newman’s balsamic vinaigrette

  • Two slices of rye: 5.4 grams
  • Approx 1 tuna pouch (like Starkist): 18 grams
  • carrots, lettuce and balsamic all negligible in the protein department

Uber-fudgy brownie—a delightful discovery in the Firm kitchen!

Office sun-substitute

  • Medium orange: 1 gram

Through thick and thin. This allllways tastes good to me!

  • Approx 2 tbs chunky pb (had another dollop before heading out on the train): 7 grams
  • Happy Herberts oat bran pretzels: 1.5 grams

I wasn’t able to document my dinner eats, because they took place at my friend Brenna’s gorgeous wedding shower, and I’ve managed to hold onto the slightest bit of propriety since starting my blog.

No. 1 Stunna Brenna and the Bean—early in the blog, but not too early to have developed a discomfiting relationship with an inanimate object.

The shower was held at a private women’s club called The Colony Club on Upper Park Avenue, and somehow an iPhone hovering over my frisee just didn’t seem right.

So here’s a list of what went down the gullet!

  • 1/2 mini baguette with butter: 0 grams
  • frisee and mixed greens salad with spiced walnuts, pears and blue cheese: (approx 3 tbs walnuts: 3.5 grams; 1/2 oz blue cheese: 3 grams, 2 cups mixed greens: 1 gram)→7.5 grams. This was sooo scrumptious!
  • Chicken breast sauteed in some fabulous hoisin-y tasting sauce, mashed potatoes, broccoli rabe and baked tomato half: (breast: 26 grams; approx 1/2 c mashed potatoes: 2 grams; broccoli rabe: 1 grams; tomato half: o grams)→29 grams. *Note: Research shows that broccoli rabe is a surprisingly good source of protein: it was served as a garnish on our plates, but 1/2 cup is three grams of protein!)
  • Berries and a few “nibbler” sized cookies: 1 gram

The day’s tally = 101.4 grams!

Feelinnn’ good people, feelin’ REAL good. I’m happily over my calculated range of 69-92 grams! My friend Wesley at thewayhomeblog.com recently pointed out that the majority of my protein still comes from meat and Greek yogurt, as opposed to vegetarian foods, and unfortunately she’s spot on. I would love to incorporate more veg protein into my eats, but I’ve had a tough time finding sources that give me the same sense of satiety. Any advice/ideas would be much appreciated?!

The shower tonight was lovely—I had a blast with my girlfriends, and it was such a treat to see Brenna absolutely glowing with excitement for her big day—but it definitely left me with a hankerin’ for my bed! So that’s where I’m headed now :).

I have some exciting news for y’all tomorrow, so stay tuuunnnedd!!!

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We Made it! Happy Memorial Day Weekend aaaand Protein Friday Everybody!!!

To take a little pressure off my wallet before all these weddings, I decided to stay here for the long weekend!

Honestly, I prefer NYC when it empties out a bit. I have never opted into a group summer house like many of my friends, partly to save cash but partly because I truly enjoy having a few weekends alone to wander around and explore the city. Plus, it’s the perfect time to try restaurants that are otherwise impossible to get into!

I have dinner plans with a friend tonight, but I’ll try to get as much of my protein count down for ya before I head out, and I’ll update you with the rest tomorrow.

The timing of these posts is actually quite apt as we head into a string of hot, festive weekends!

Get it, Martha!

To avoid the potentially disastrous repercussions of drinking on an empty stomach, remember to include some form of protein in each of your meals and snacks as you celebrate.


Going for Gloss: Honey Cinnamon Almond Flax Butter on top of a buttered muffin. Couldn’t decide between the two, and probably never will again!

Didn’t feel full after eating the bowl and English muffin, so schmeared the remaining banana half with another blob of AB. YUM.

  • Whole wheat English muffin: 6 grams
  • 2 tbs almond butter: 5 grams
  • banana: 1 gram
  • Chobani Strawberry Yogurt: 14 grams

I don’t eat the flavored Chobanis very often because of their high sugar content, but every now and again it’s a nice treat! Loved the Strawberry flavor.

Hail Caesar (wrap)! Haven’t had one in forever but it just sounded deee-liteful.

  • Large whole wheat wrap: 5 grams
  • 1/2 c grilled chicken: 18 grams
  • 1/4 avocado:1 gram
  • /12 c Carrots, Caesar dressing, pesto mayo: 1 gram
  • 1 square Trader Joe’s 72% Pound Plus dark chocolate (unpictured): 1 gram

This lunch was tasty but reminded me of my issue with wraps—too much wrap, never enough filling! The slice reigns supreme.

  • Organic Cameo apple: nada protein, lotta fiber!

Pic from last week. Not much changed.

  • Kashi Chewy Peanut Butter Granola Bar: 7 grams

We had a glorious 3:30 dismissal from the office today! On my walk home from Grand Central, I stopped at Food Emporium to pick up a few things and noticed that Jell-O sugar free instant pudding was on sale for 99 cents from the usual $1.86! Hello 1-2-3 Cake as far as the eye can see!

I natch grabbed a box of Vanilla, but then the Pistachio flavor caught my eye as well. At 99 c? I’ll live a little!

I was hungry again by the time I got home, and knew exactly how I wanted to use my newest purchase.

Luck of…me?

  • 1/2 cup plain Chobani mixed with sugar-free instant Pistachio flavored pudding: 15 grams
  • Approx 1 tbs raw cashews: 1 gram

Well slap me sideways, this combination just beats all! I forgot how much I adore the almond-y flavor of pistachio, and coupled with the cool creamy texture of the yogurt, I am a smitten kitten! So glad I picked this up.

Ok kids, I’m off to go get ready for my dinner date tonight (deets to come), but at this point I’m up to 74 grams of protein—already solidly within my 69-92 goal range. AT-A-BEAN!

I’ll be back tomorrow to post the rest of today’s protein count, but I expect I won’t see a few of you till Monday. In which case, have a fabulous, SAFE holiday weekend!

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Welcome to another edition of the New and Improved Protein Friday! I can already tell that this new plan will be significantly easier for me to accomplish!

If you missed last week’s post: On the new and improved plan, I will document the protein content of my Friday edibles to see if I am meeting my required daily intake → 69-92 grams! [please keep in mind that my numbers are approximations based on my research]

This will allow me to review my meals with some objectivity and see where I might be lacking, as well as offer you some ideas on how to fuel yourself with the proper protein. Everybody wins.


The UVA Club party last night was lovely and much tamer than I expected (bonus). I enjoyed a delicious glass of Riesling and caught up with a few friends that I hadn’t seen in forever!

Letting loose: the post-grad years

Despite the low-key night,  I woke up this morning in need of serious fuel to get me through the day. Natch started with a STRONG cuppa coffee–I drooled the first sip onto my pants, but the rest was smoooooth-sailing.

I’d estimate that I added about 1 tbs of whole milk to my cup, which clocks in at a solid gram of protein. Every bit counts!

Breakfast came through in a clutch:

A Dairy Delight!

  • Whole wheat English muffin: 6 grams
  • 1 tbs cream cheese: 2 grams
  • Chobani 0% plain yogurt: 18 grams
  • Medium banana: 1 gram
  • cinnamon and Bonne Maman strawberry preserves for flavor power!

I battled with myself a bit when ordering lunch this morning, because I know that eat sandwiches most days and it’s probably super boring for you guys to see.  I really gave the other options (Mexican, Thai, salads, sushi, pizza etc.) a looksie, but when I saw that my favorite restaurant on our menu was offering my favorite special sandwich, I couldn’t resist!

“Dover Special” from Bruckners Good to Go: All natural chicken breast,arugula,ripe avocado,dill havarti cheese, (sans tomato for me), fresh pepper and our house sun dried tomato dressing on fresh artisan whole grain bread

The creamy avocado and dill havarti pair perfectly with a slight crunch from the grainy bread. You can tell that this was a properly-fed chicken–the meat is so moist! And the homemade  sundried-tomato mayo? Fuggedaboutit.

This was so delicious, I actually emailed the Bruckners owner to tell him how much I enjoyed it! Figure it can’t hurt to encourage them to keep up the good work!

  • 3.5 oz sliced chicken breast: 25 grams
  • slice dill havarti cheese: 6 grams
  • 1/8 avocado: 0.5 grams
  • 2 slices whole grain bread: 8 grams
  • 1/2 cup carrot sticks (unpictured): 1 gram

Holla! Coming in hot so far.

Mrs. Field mini chocolate chip cookies. These are out-of-control–essentially cookie dough disguised as a cookie. Not gonna fight it.

Negligible protein for the Nibblers!

Because morning isn’t always enough.

  • Grande Iced Coffee with a splash of whole milk: 1.5 grams

Shot o’ sunshine

  • Medium orange: 1 gram

SOUP-er drippy, just the way I like it!

  • Happy Herberts dipped in 1.5 tbs (ish) peanut butter: 8 grams

Forgot to snap a pic, thank you ‘net!

  • Kashi Chewy Trail Mix Granola Bar: 6 grams
  • small handful almonds: 2 grams

By the end of the workday today, I was COMPLETELY zoinked from the long week. A night in and another outrageously delicious eggy dinner were in order!

Can you give us a minute?

  • 100% Whole Wheat Bagel Thin: 6 grams
  • 2 large eggs: 12 grams
  • 1 slice Gruyere cheese: 8 grams
  • pesto mayo to take it over.the.top
  • Steamed veggies with a generous dollop of healthy fettuccine alfredo sauce (spared you a photo of this oogly concoction): 5 grams

I have a knack for this thing called dessert, and I didn’t disappoint myself tonight!

Chocolate 1-2-3 cake drizzled with Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter and Frozen Banana slices

  • I paired the above with about 1 cup milk, and the whole shebang clocks in around 10 grams

PHEW! Guys, I was a protein POWERHOUSE today….128 GRAMS!

Holy fuel! I haven’t been keeping track of my protein intake long enough to know how typical this is of me, but I certainly didn’t put any extra effort (that I’m aware of?!) into getting more protein today than I have been recently.

Pretty dern cool. I think my protein intake today suggests that I should always be striving for the higher end of my above-mentioned range, since I didn’t feel incredibly stuffed or weighed down by my meals. So it’s 92 or bust for this chick!

Before I hit the hay, I wanna share an awesome nail color I discovered this week…

Silken Cord by Essie

My dollbaby future sister-in-law Mary Kathryn aptly described it as watermelon! Summer staple for sure.

Okie dokie! Hope you enjoyed this PF edition and have a safe, fabulous Friday night!

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Blogging is a learning process, and a huge part of that process is making mistakes, picking yourself up by the bootstraps, and trying somethin’ else.

On that note, I have to admit that I bit off more than I could chew with Protein Fridays.

Irritable Bean Syndrome

I feel so strongly about the importance of protein for woman, and I want a way to convey this on a regular basis. However, I’ve found that trying to come up with a different vegetarian protein source each week that I am knowledgeable about will be nigh impossible. I also don’t have enough control over my schedule to know that I’ll have time to complete such a post at the level of quality that I demand :).

But I won’t admit defeat! Protein Fridays don’t need to disappear, they just need a makeover.

The bottom of my fruit bowl yesterday–from drab to fab! How beautiful?!

The daily protein requirement for the average adult woman is 46 grams.

However, this number can and should vary widely depending on your age, body type, activity level, fitness goals etc.

At 26, 5’9 and physically active, I need  1.5/2x the average requirement. (69-92 grams)

To determine how much protein YOU need, here are a few calculators/methodologies that I found online.

The New Plan:

Every Friday, I will research (to the best of my ability) and post  how many grams of protein I eat throughout the day, with several goals in mind:

  • Increase my awareness of my own protein intake
  • Motivate myself to reach the recommended amount each day
  • Document/be inspired by a variety of protein sources by reviewing my previous posts
  • Offer YOU ideas for ways to incorporate protein into your nutrition
  • Encourage YOU to reach your recommended daily needs and your general health/fitness goals!

It certainly won’t be an exact science, and there will be certain meals that I just can’t even guestimate, like my dinner last night (girls’s gotta LIVE people)!  But I’ll do my darndest to calculate as much as possible, and hopefully give you a sense of how much I’m takin’ in!

So here’s wuddigot for the first new and improved Protein Friday! [note: numbers are approximations based on my own online research]

Breakfast: 27.75 grams

  • Whole wheat English muffin: 6 grams
  • Chobani plain 0% Greek yogurt: 18 grams
  • banana: 1 gram
  • 1.5 tbs almond butter: 2.75 grams

Of champions, for champions

Lunch: 30.5 grams

  • Turkey sandwich with avocado, lettuce and honey mustard on multigrain bread: 28 grams
  • 1 c raw carrots, broccoli and peppers drizzled in pesto: 2.5 grams

‘Pologies this is such a close-up, not sure how it happened but I dove in too quickly afterwards to notice!

Dessert: 2 grams

Unreal brownie ordered from one of our Seamless Web restaurants. I promise I don’t eat brownies every day. Dark chocolate yes, brownie no. Just one of those weeks :).

Snack 1: 0

Granny Smith and cinnamon–foolproof deliciousness

Snacks 2 and 3: 12 grams (probably had about 2.5 tbs total)

Old as water, good as gold! Oat bran pretzels dipped in PB

Pre-Dinner Total: 72.25 grams!

Not too shabby, methinks!  The heavy hitters? My morning Greek yogurt, lunchtime turkey and pb globs.  Feels great to know that at this point in the day, I was already in my prescribed total range for daily intake! I’m actually pretty pumped to keep track of this at least once a week going forward.

At this point in the day, I took of my geek goggles and headed into the city with my sweet friend/coworker Emily for a girls’ night and sleepover! I made reservations for us at my favorite tapas restaurant in the city, Alta.

Work friends = best kind of bonus

The food, drinks and lively atmosphere have proven to be consistent and fantastic over my years in NYC, and I knew it would be a perfect place to take Em (coaxing her to move do it do it!).

Everything we ordered was delicious, per usual! Here’s what went down the gullet:

Signature dish and for a reason: Crispy Brussels Sprouts with fuji apples, creme fraiche and pistachios. This was Em’s FIRST time trying Brussels sprouts, and I got ‘er hooked!

House-Made Pizza porcini cream, Fontina, crimini mushrooms, fried garlic, aleppo

Lawdamercy, this picture doesn’t do this flatbread justice. I’d never ordered this before, but I’ll never dine at Alta without it again!

Whipped Deviled Egg vanilla scented tomato coulis, frisee, lemon omani, aleppo pepper

Avocado Relleno with crabmeat & shrimp, frisee, and orange segments

We also ordered the Braised Short Rib of Beef: Beet-Barbaresco taglierini, fresh grated horseradish, which I forgot to snap–it was good but didn’t wow.

Torija: Marcona Almond Croquant, Mandarin Sauce, Lebne sorbet and grapefruit air. I know not what any of that means, but the ice cream had cornflakes in it, and that’s all you need to know.

Molten Chocolate Cake. Because one dessert is never enough.

All of this goodness got washed down with white wine and their POTENT Ginger Mojito! Proceed with caution.

Emily and I had an absolute blast at dinner. This really is the perfect restaurant for a girl’s night. We briefly debating going out afterwards, but we were content and mojito food coma-ed out, so we headed back to my apartment and enjoyed a great night’s sleep!

Off to soak up some sun on this fabulously warm Saturday!

How do you think you do in terms of meeting your daily protein requirement?

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I hope everyone has fun and festive plans for Cinco de Mayo/the weekend! (incl. but not limited to raucous baking sessions)

Quick aside, did anyone else know that there is a stunningly beautiful plant called a Mexican Hat?

Get it?! I didn’t.

So I’m hoping you know what today is on my blog, but if not, I’ll give you a hint with this bangerang breakfast sandwich I had for lunch today:

Two over-medium fried eggs, muenster cheese and strawberry jam on a doughy Portuguese muffin. Try it to believe it.

Wow, you read ahead nailed it! It’s PROTEIN FRIDAY!

Yesterday, as I decided on the below for my newest treat, it dawned on me how integral of a role almonds play in my daily nutrition. I’ve wearied your eyes glorifying Justin’s Maple Almond Butter, they’ve been the key ingredient in four of my recipes thus far, and I’m just gettin’ warmed up!

For convenience, taste and ability to satiate, almonds are hands-down my No.1 go-to protein source.

Please take your sombreros off for today’s Protein Friday Star!

We charge by the hour.


The daily protein requirement for women is 46 grams. I’d wager that between my homemade almond butter, my pb&j bars and snacking on them whole-roasted, I’ve consumed at least 1/2 – 2/3 cup of almonds every day this week. That’s around a third of my necessary daily intake!

Aside from their incredible protein power, almonds are tasty, gluten-free and extremely versatile. I love them in the buff, in butter form, and Almond Breeze almond milk is probably my favorite non-dairy beverage.

Just last night, I added another almond-based delight to my repertoire, in the form of Coconut Cherry Pie “Larabars”!

I count myself among the many LÄRABAR suckers fanatics, but I don’t enjoy shelling out almost $2/bar (cheapest I’ve found is $1.59 at Trader Joe’s).

Good thing I don’t need to! Most Larabar flavors contain less than five ingredients and several have less than three–facts which the evil Larabar geniuses display proudly on their website.

The umlaut gets them every time.

Yesterday I realized that I already had the ingredients in my pantry to make one of my favorite flavors, Cherry Pie!

This recipe is delicious and deliciously easy. I decided to add coconut for some extra healthy fat and texture, but I’m sure they’re fabulous without as well.

Coconut Cherry Pie “Larabars”

  • 1 1/4 cup Medjool Dates; pitted and chopped
  • 1 1/4 cup dried cherries (I use and adore the brand Kirkland)
  • 1 1/2 cup roasted almonds
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Process the dried cherries, dates and coconut until they turn into a semi-gooey paste–you want to maintain some small pieces of dried fruit. Empty the mixture into a large bowl and set aside. Now pulse your almonds into a course meal. Again, it’s nice to keep it a little chunky for texture. Don’t let it turn to flour! Empty your almonds into the bowl of dried fruit.  Knead the dried fruit and almonds together until combined and evenly distributed. Press the mixture into the bottom of an 8-inch or 9-inch square pan to about 1/2-inch thickness. Refrigerate the mixture for at least 30 minutes or overnight.  Invert the pan’s contents onto a cutting board and slice to desired size. Makes about a dozen bars, depending on your individual preference.

Coconut curveball + fresh ingredients + fatter wallet = LB 2.0

These taste exactly like store-bought Larabars, only better in my opinion ;). The scrumptious mixture of fiber, carbs and protein makes them a perfect pre or post-workout snack!

There are countless other ways to incorporate almonds into your diet:

  • Add a dollop of almond butter to your morning oatmeal or smoothie. Nuke some in the microwave or thin by mixing with a bit of milk and drizzle over cereal
  • Spread AB on toast,  fruit, crackers or raw veggies (swear it’s yum!).
  • Cup for cup, dairy milk has more protein than almond milk. However, if you’re like me and feel dubious about the majority of dairy milk distributed to our grocery stores and you enjoy the taste, go for almond or drink a mixture (like I do). Obviously, this is also a great alternative for those with a lactose-intolerance.
  • Use AB as a binder or chopped almonds as an ingredient in granola and granola bars.
  • Use as a crust in dessert/snack bars like my pb&j ones. Make them lemon; add some cocoa powder and create brownies–get creative!
  • Experiment with almond flour and almond meal in baked goods, which has a fabulously moist and dense texture
  • Toss raw almonds with a sweetener or oil of choice–something that coats/sticks–and cover raw almonds with a mixture of your favorite spices. Roast at 350 until slightly brown and fragrant.
  • Substitute coarsely-processed almonds for breadcrumbs in savory recipes
  • Don’t forget those conveniently pre-sliced almonds! I love them as a topping for salads, yogurt, pudding and ice cream.

For more almond inspiration, here are a few links you might wanna check out!

You can also read more about the killer nutritional benefits of almonds HERE.

I’d love to hear more from you guys, so feel free to leave a note in the comments section about your favorite way to eat almonds/almond butter.

Have a fantastic and safe Friday night!

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Guess what?!

I’m spending SIX hours on a bus tonight! WHEEE!!!

Have I lost it? Did I make it to Friday in body only?

Nope! I’m pumped for this bus ride, because it’s taking my booty down to Richmond, Virginia to spend the weekend with two of my best friends in the world! You met Berkley last weekend, and this trip to VA was prompted by her engagement party, which will take place tomorrow night at her family’s beautiful farm.

I’ve also mentioned Kathleen before briefly, but a refresher can’t hurt!

Playing Eloise in a luggage rack. Completely normal 24-year-old activity.

Kathleen is one of the wittiest people I know, shares my habit of perpetual nail-biting, and we have been known to turn down social invitations because we are so thoroughly enjoying sitting in silence together, chewing away.

Hurts so Good

Dunno how I got so lucky, but Berkley and Kathleen live together, and I cannot wait to get there and give them both enormous hugs!

In case ANYONE remembered my Protein Friday promise from last week–I haven’t forgotten!

But first, I just have to share my awesome eats from yesterday, which inspired this week’s protein focus. Everything was lipsmackin’ good from start to finish (snacks not included).

Better than melted butter on warm bread? I defy you. Whole wheat English muffin (lightly toasted so innards stay doughy :)) schmeared with butter and honey, plain Greek yogurt with Splenda, cinnamon and sliced ‘naner!

Cannot get enough of this house-cooked, uber-rare melt-in-your mouth roast beef. On whole wheat with provolone, lettuce, pepper and mayo. Veggies on the side.

Leftover Parmesan Baked Chicken Tenders on a whole wheat tortilla with sliced Gruyere, hummus and a drizzle of the tender recipe balsamic vinaigrette. THIS WAS CLOSE YOUR EYES WORLD IN SLOW MO GOOD.

Spinach salad with a low-fat Chipotle dressing that I got for free at work and red pepper flakes

Freebie dressing – I was NOT a fan of this. Sickly sweet and didn’t have nearly enough Chipotle flavor

1-2-3 Cake with Protein Frosting 2.0, minus the cool whip and with a tsp cacao powder added! Several spoonfuls of each made a detour to my mouth before I could assemble this.

My delectable breakfast and dessert and my not-so-delectable ranch dressing imposter inspired me to make GREEK YOGURT the topic of this Protein Friday!

Trifecta of my favorite brand.

I have touted the magic of Greek yogurt briefly before on this blog, but it is SUCH a nutritional powerhouse, especially in the protein department, that I decided it deserves more thorough attention.

Greek yogurt is yogurt which has been strained in a cloth or paper bag or filter to remove the whey, giving a consistency between that of yogurt and cheese while preserving yoghurt’s distinctive sour taste. Removing the whey results in a higher protein and lower sugar content (Wiki).

One serving of plain or unflavored, fat-free Greek yogurt provides 80 to 100 calories and 15 to 18 g of protein!!! (LIVESTRONG.com (a site I use frequently and have found to be reliable/informative):

The daily recommended amount of protein for women is 46 grams–2 servings of (some brands) of Greek yogurt, and you’re basically there!

And a looker t’boot!

I realize that not everyone enjoys the somewhat sour taste of Greek yogurt, BUT its protein punch is only matched by its versatility, and plain Greek Yogurt is a marvelous base for an endless variety of recipes.

I have found that with the right additional ingredients, you can completely mask the sourness and simply enjoy its creamy texture and nutritional offerings.

To jumpstart your creative juices, here are some of the ways that I like use/doctor Greek yogurt to keep things tasty and exciting!

  • Frosting/cake batter pudding: probably my favorite way to eat GY :). For the simplest version, just add two teaspoons of sugar-free instant Vanilla Jello pudding to a cup of yogurt and mix thoroughly. This is amazing globbed on top of baked goods, or just eaten straight-up with a spoon. If you wanna get fancy, you can check out my official recipe for Protein Frosting 2.0. If you like protein powder, you can check out the original Protein Frosting recipe as well.
  • Sour Cream: if you do not have an aversion to its unadulterated flavor, GY makes an excellent substitute for sour cream. I recently used it on my Furritos, but it will do the trick in any instance where you’d normally use sour cream.
  • Mayonnaise: GY also does an excellent job moonlighting as mayo! Feel free to get creative and add whatever spices/condiments you like. Add dijon mustard and sweet paprika for egg salad, or honey mustard and a pinch of ginger with chicken salad. Mix with sweet chili sauce, BBQ sauce or pesto to provide a protein-rich and creamy base for your favorite deli sandwich. Sky’s the limit!
  • Veggie Dip: You can create an infinitely better ranch dressing the the one I sampled above–just add 1-2 tsp of ranch seasoning from a packet to a cup of plain GY and stir. So delicious as a dip for veggies, pretzels, you name it. This also works with taco seasoning if you have a hankerin’ for Southwestern flavors. Or just add a bit of salt, pepper, squeeze of lemon juice and dried dill to taste–equally delicious and great on crackers with smoked salmon.
  • Breakfast’s best friend: I often use GY as the main protein source in my breakfasts. Throw it into a Green Monster or other smoothie–this also adds a lovely thickness. Add a bit of sweetener (agave, honey, Splenda, jam, pumkin butter), and top with dried or fresh fruit, whole-grain cereal, nuts or granola. I almost always include a generous dash of cinnamon, which is a natural sweetness-enhancer, and I love grapes and bananas as toppings because of their naturally high sugar content.  Strange as it might sound, try mixing 1/3 c GY (doctored to taste) with 1/2 c cooked oatmeal or quinoa. Super yummy and satisfying! Lastly, you can also swirl in a scoop of peanut or almond butter–this is fabulous on apple slices.
  • Oil or butter in baked goods: Greek yogurt can be a healthy alternative to oil and butter in many recipes for cookies, cakes, quick breads etc. It provides the same  (if not more) moisture, while drastically reducing the saturated fat and skyrocketing the protein content. It is not always advised to replace at a 1:1 ratio (e.g. 1 c butter should be replaced with 1/2 c butter and 1/4 c yogurt), so do some research before making any changes to the recipe!
  • Frozen yogurt, the real stuff! I haven’t tried it yet, but I recently stumbled upon a recipe for raspberry frozen Greek yogurt that sounds phenomenal. Just throw one cup of plain GY, one cup of frozen raspberries and 2 tbs of powdered sugar in your food processor and blend! I’m sure this would work with other frozen fruit as well. I also stumbled upon this awesome recipe for chocolate frozen GY, which I’m definitely trying soon!Let me know if you try either of these and I’ll certainly do the same!

I hope some of these ideas were helpful, and have inspired you to add more protein to your diet through delicious variations on Greek yogurt!

I’m heading off into the highway sunset, so have a fabulous weekend, and I will report back on Monday with my Richmond adventures!

What is your favorite way to eat Greek yogurt?

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