The 2 Best Decisions Ever & Banana Bread Mini Muffin Recipe { Macro Friendly }

On Saturday I made the best decision of my life. I bought a mini cupcake tray.

On Monday, I made the 2nd best decision of my life. I bought Quest’s Banana Cream protein powder.

Don’t get all “eww” on me about a banana protein powder. I’ve been extremely curious about Quest protein powders ever since they announced the new product line months and months ago, but because I didn’t bake often with protein powder, I passed on trying it.

I’ve recently, within the past month, have really enjoyed making macro-friendly snacks or meals with protein powder; protein donuts, protein pancakes, protein bread, etc, and it was my mission to find the best protein powder to bake with. Lucky for me, GNC carries the single serving packets of Quest protein powders, making it possible for me to test out the flavors before committing to a tub. I was so impressed with the banana protein pancakes that I made last week with Quest protein powder, Kodiak Cakes pancake mix and MuscleEgg whites, that I bought the tub on Monday.

imageThe pancakes that I made with the banana cream Quest powder were literally the best protein pancakes that I have ever made. They were thick, decadent, and tasted exactly like banana bread. They weren’t dry at all. I had been wanting to buy a mini cupcake tray for honestly, probably close to a year, but never did. I found a cheap priced tray at Walmart for probably $6, and bit the bullet.

This is the easiest recipe to make, and the quickest and most painless recipe to bake. Even better, you can make two batches at once, since the batter makes enough for 12 muffins, and there are 24 slots! 🙂

imageBanana Bread Mini Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 38 grams (1 serving) Kodiak Cake Buttermilk & Honey pancake mix
  • (1 scoop) of Quest Banana Cream protein powder
  • 46 grams of MuscleEgg Cake Batter liquid egg whites (regular egg whites will work too)
  • Baking powder (use your desired amount)

Directions:

  1. Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl and pour in 12 sprayed mini muffin tins
  2. Bake at 350 for about 8 minutes

This recipe yields the most adorable little muffins, and they are just as moist as the pancakes were. Mini muffins will probably be my new go-to instead of making protein pancakes for the ease of baking. Plus, I can throw these in a tupperware container or a baggie and just pop them if I’m out running errands, on a plan, in a meeting, etc!

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Which form would you prefer these in… mini muffins, muffins, donuts, waffles or pancakes?

Macro Friendly Single-Serve Banana Protein Pancake Bread

I’m a lover of all things banana. Banana pudding, bananas straight-up, bananas in cereal, bananas with peanut butter, but especially banana bread.

Over the weekend I was browsing for new cookware and found a mini loaf tin for $4. I immediately thought that this would be the perfect size for baking for 1. While baking a big batch of cookies or bread in a regular sized pan is the normal thing to do, for me, I would then have to do extra calculations for the macros per slice, and honestly, that’s just a headache for me.

Since I’m back on my Kodiak pancake mix kick, I immediately wanted to try to turn pancake batter into a bread! My favorite breads are banana, zucchini and pumpkin bread, but I was craving banana bread at the time. I didn’t have banana protein powder in my pantry, so I added banana extract to the batter!

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Not only is it the simplest recipe, but it’s also quick and easy to prep and bake. Pancakes you have to stand over and watch, then flip when they are just right, but this bread, you just have to pour into the tin, stick it in the oven, and check on it when it’s done!

Ingredients:

  • Serving size of Kodiak cake pancake mix – I used the Buttermilk & Honey box – 38 grams
  • 20 grams protein powder of your choice
  • Banana extract
  • Baking powder
  • Water – use enough to get the consistency that you desire

You can alter the grams used for the protein powder and pancake mix. If you want it to be higher carbs, use more pancake flour, and vice versa with the protein powder. Ignore the fact that I used cookies & cream protein powder. I’m trying to work through the powders that I have before buying a new tub of vanilla for baking purposes.

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Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350
  • Mix all of your ingredients together & pour into a mini bread tin that’s sprayed
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes.

I baked mine for 8 minutes, but it could have stayed in another minute or two. The top in the middle was still uncooked, but I also like when the bread is a bit gooey, so this didn’t bother me too much.

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You can eat it cold, warmed-up, with butter, maple syrup or a nut butter smeared on top! The possibilities are endless! Next time I want to add chocolate chips to the batter!!!

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Macros for the entire loaf: 25 g carbs / 3 g fat / 26 g protein

What flavor protein powder would you use?

What’s your favorite baked bread?

Day in the Life & What I Ate Wednesday

Are you guys ready for this post? I’m super excited because today you’ll get a double whammy of my two favorite types of blog posts. A “Day in the Life” and “What I Ate Wednesday” post. I took yesterday off from work and used a vacation day, which I never do! I rarely take time off from work, and after a busy week of traveling and moving, I just wanted to relax in the sun and get some color… so that’s what I did!

My morning started at 5:37 a, but then I thought to myself, sleep in a little longer, so when my alarm went off at 6:10, I rolled out of bed to start my day. I immediately went into my kitchen to prepare my drinks for the gym. Pre-workout goes in a water bottle so I can just dispose of it at the gym, and my BCAA’s, which I now swear by, goes in my actual water bottle.

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I owe my coach a check-in with pictures, so after weighing myself, I throw on my progress picture bikini and take 3 pictures: front, back and side. Once I’m happy with the pictures, I change into my gym clothes, throw a towel in my gym bag, grab my drinks and head out the door.

At the gym I focused on Cardio (20 minute HIIT run)/Chest/Shoulder/Glutes. I follow a program on bodybuilding.com, so I just follow that every day at the gym. It tells me what to do for how many reps and sets, and it allows me to enter my weight, reps, and my resting time between sets. I LOVE it and would be lost without it! If you friend/follow me on bodybuilding.com, you can follow my workouts! My username is alewis19. 🙂

imageSo that’s what I did for my workout! I left feeling and smelling rather ripe, which is a term that I just learned about yesterday haha.

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Once I made it home, I immediately showered, but only used soap and a tiny bit of conditioner since I knew I was going to sweat again very shortly. Once I was dressed, I went into my kitchen to whip up a batch of protein pancakes. I wanted to treat myself to a delicious breakfast since I’m usually eating breakfast at my desk every morning.

Protein Pancakes from scratch!

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup cashew milk
  • 2 egg whites, or about 60ish grams of liquid egg whites
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 serving of protein powder
  • 1/4 cup of cottage cheese
  • pinch of baking powder

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I prefer the pancakes with my Protizyme Vanilla Cake protein, but I left that at my parent’s house. That protein makes it taste like lemon cake… the Slap Protein is better in shakes… but that’s just my own opinion! My above grill can also be turned into an open-faced griddle (love!), so I whipped up my pancakes and then topped them with 1 tbsp of peanut butter and Walden Farms maple syrup. I uploaded my progress pictures and then sent my check-in email to coach Ashley, before packing my day bag and heading to my parent’s house. {Eaten around 9 am}

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All I wanted was a day off to lay in the sun and read. I hopefully temporarily lost Eat, Pray, Love, which was the book I was reading, so thankfully I had checked this book out as well at the library. It’s a crime novel, and so far it is ADDICTING! I always read while lying on my stomach.

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I’d prefer to get color on my front side, but just lying there can be so boring, and then I remembered how obsessed everyone is with the Serial podcast. I grabbed my phone, downloaded a few episodes and quickly found that I’m obsessed too!

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This little man got plenty of frisbee action, until he tore it apart, and then I just kept throwing balls for him to fetch.imageWhenever I’m in the sun for long periods of time, it typically suppresses my appetite, so around 1 pm I went inside to dig into the lunch I brought over. 5 oz of grilled chicken, 115 grams of roasted red potatoes, honey mustard and ketchup.
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After that, it was more reading outside, before I headed in for good around 2:30. I showered, folded the laundry that I did, and then got to work on this post. The Block Island organic sunscreen is my go-to for days like these! It’s the same sunscreen I brought to the beach.

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LOVE Sparkling ICE drinks! Drank this while getting ready for the rest of my day.
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Random mid-afternoon snack around 3:40 was a salad topped with tuna salad, which I’ve been craving for weeks now!

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Nessie gets lots of kisses from me. She has a fever so she’s been sleeping a lot, but hopefully her trip to her vet will have her back to her crazy self soon!

Nessie

Around 4:15 I left my parent’s house and headed out to run a few errands, before prepping food for Thursday, and enjoying a mini Larabar. I was craving something sweet, so this bad boy fit my macros perfectly!

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Around 7 I cooked up dinner and continued reading for a few more hours.

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And for dessert, around 8:30 I enjoyed 1.5 tablespoons of peanut butter to round out my macros spot-on for the day! Such a delicious day of eating! 🙂

peanut-butterWhat was the best thing that you ate yesterday?

The burger!… even though I failed with my cheese and forgot to put it on while it was finishing on the griddle 🙁

WIAW: Cheeseburger In A Bowl & Bye Peanut Butter

Halfway through the work week… I could totally get used to having 3 day weekends! Since today is Wednesday, I of course want to celebrate What I Ate Wednesday. Before food pictures, I need to tell you that I’ve decided to take 1 week off from peanut butter. I feel like I’ve hit a plateau the past few weeks, and I’m ready to challenge myself in new ways… aka giving up the heavenly pb. My goal is to find a few new snacks that are just as fun instead of my go-to peanut butter english muffin, along with seeing how my body responds to no peanut butter. I know I won’t notice a huge difference in one week, but it’s only 7 days, so challenge accepted!

{{Update: I have gone 1 day without peanut butter with ease and no crazy Allie moments occurred.}}

Moving on, here are some of my favorite meals and snacks from yesterday!

Lunch yesterday was ground turkey sautéed with asparagus, squash and mixed with a little bit of A1 sauce.

imageWith a side of cinnamon sugar toast. I made the topping with ground cinnamon and Truvia (sweetener packet). Tastes just like the cinnamon sugar in a packaged bottle! SO GOOD!cinnamon-sugar-toastDinner last night was a cheeseburger in a bowl. Oh. My. Gosh.

Cheeseburger In A Bowl

  • 96/4 beef
  • 2 cups of spinach
  • 84 grams of squash
  • Mixed in 1/4 cup shredded cheese once it was finished
  • Topped with 2 chopped pickles and a squirt of ketchup.

Make this. Right now!

cheeseburger-in-a-bowlI tried this Pure Protein Chewy Chocolate Chip bar for a snack yesterday, and it legit tasted like I was eating cookie dough. This is my newest addiction.

pure-protein-chewy-chocolate-chipAnd dessert before bed was 2 slices of toast; 1 topped with cinnamon sugar and the other with Honey Pecan cream cheese, with a side of watermelon and cantaloupe! Eaten on the back deck because eating outside > eating inside.

toast-fruitWhat’s your favorite topping for toast?

JAM! And peanut butter.

Do you like cheeseburgers?

It Felt Good To Really Laugh Again & Breaded Scallops

I find a lot of things odd and funny, but one thing that always baffles me is how you can be in a funk for a bit, or 2 days for me (Monday & Tuesday), and then magically, *poof* the funk just vanishes. That happened to me on Tuesday.

I had wanted to cancel my Tuesday night plans because I was feeling just so out of it, but the moment I saw R’s face, that funk just disappeared. I hadn’t seen R in about 8 months, and right from the first “hi” it was as if we picked up where we left off. We met at Republic Cafe in downtown Manchester, and spent the evening sitting outside talking and laughing the night away over beers. I hadn’t laughed so much or so hard in what feels like months, and it just felt so nice to feel that again. 🙂

Republic

I wore my go-to outfit that fits again! I couldn’t get that vest to button for over a year because of CrossFit, but I refused to get rid of it because I’m obsessed with it. I love the way it fits my body and I feel like it’s really flattering. It’s also great to wear when you’re feeling fluffy because it’s like a fancy and comfortable corset. Haha!

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And now to some pictures from yesterday! Wednesday morning I always scroll through Instagram and Facebook while I’m getting ready for the gym, and at 5:30 am, my neighbor had posted her 3 mile run that she did at 4:30 am. Lisa instantly motivated my run that I had planned. I ran 3 miles, and increased my speed each mile. The run flew by thanks to the treadmill TV —  HGTV!

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Bigelow Cranberry Apple tea… I am obsessed! Our work has a big tea and coffee selection in our kitchen, and I go through 2-3 cups of this tea a day. It helps with cravings, which is always a plus. {{I’m not artsy… I just always drop the string in the cup.}}

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I went for a feminine flirty look for work yesterday. I typically wear my lace top with a bright tank top underneath, but I wanted to wear my leopard flats, so I went for a black tank top and really loved the look!

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I also decided to be my own #WCW yesterday because you don’t need a man to tell you that you are worthy of being liked. I love myself, and therefore I am my own crush… the men are more than welcome to have a crush on me, but my opinion matters over theirs… unless it’s Bradley Cooper, then I will overanalyze every thought and opinion he has of me. <3

imageDinner was breaded scallops, which I had been looking forward to all day!

breaded-scallopsThese are so simple to make!

  • Wash scallops; pat them semi-dry, and put scallops in a sandwich bag
  • Measure out bread crumbs & pour them into the bag (I use 14 grams or 1/8 cup)
  • Shake shake shake until the scallops are covered
  • Since it’s just me, I heat a mini pan with 1/2 tbsp of EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil), and cook the scallops for just a few minutes… and then pop in my mouth!

breaded-scallopsThose measurements are for 6 oz of scallops and are geared towards my macros. You can alter the measurements for olive oil and bread crumbs based on whatever you prefer! 🙂

What’s your favorite breaded meal?

Who is your woman crush?

I would totally have to choose Jennifer Aniston (because she’s amazing AND also engaged to hottie mchottie Justin Theroux).

 

The Best Double Chocolate Chip Protein Donuts

This past Saturday I woke up knowing that I wanted to make a comforting breakfast. I wanted pancakes. Then I wanted to turn the pancakes into mini muffins. Then I realized I didn’t have a mini muffin baking pan, but I did have a donut pan! While waking up in bed, I started brainstorming what ingredients to use; more so what protein powder to use. I knew one thing: I wanted to included mini chocolate chips. Heck, I had bought a bag the night before in anticipation of this breakfast.

I thought of vanilla donuts with chocolate chips, which would have been good, but double chocolate cannot be beat! I whipped up THE best batch of protein donuts that I have ever made! Moist (don’t “eww” me), decadent and delicious!

Double Chocolate Protein Donuts

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Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup Kodiak Cake Buttermilk & Honey Pancake mix
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/3 cup water, or more depending on the consistency that you want
  • 1/2 scoop chocolate protein powder (I used Adaptogen Science)
  • 1/2 scoop cookies & cream casein (MusclePharm)
  • 15 grams mini chocolate chips

Now, I normally would just 1 scoop of protein powder instead of 2 different kinds, but I was trying to balance the carbs in the proteins, which is why I split it into two brands.

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees & spray your donut pan with cooking spray to prevent the donuts from sticking to the tray.
  2. Mix all of the ingredients together, adding the chocolate chips at the very last minute.
  3. Pour the batter into the donut compartments and bake for 13 or so minutes.
  4. Eat!

double-chocolate-chip-protein-donutsI didn’t need any toppings for these and found that they were perfect freshly out of the oven when the chocolate chips were still warm and gooey!

What is your favorite donut?

Chocolate glazed or strawberry frosted with sprinkles!

Protein Pancake Squares

Okay, so last week when I was sick, Ger said he was going to whip up a batch of his protein pancakes for us to eat for dinner. I was more than on board! If you’ve followed by blog for awhile now, you’ll know that I love making protein pancakes, so to find a guy that loves them just as much as I do, well, it’s pretty much the perfect set-up.

So Ger and I worked as a team to make the mix. He eyeballed all of the ingredients, and I just mixed. I think the idea to make these as squares instead of pancakes was out of pure laziness, but I’m so glad he went that route, because the squares were so good! It didn’t taste like cake, but I felt like I was almost eating cake. We topped them with regular and blueberry maple syrup. One word. Heaven.

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Friday and Sunday I spent time in the kitchen recreating this for both dinner and breakfast since I didn’t want to have to wait for Ger to have these again. Since I was making for 1, there was a lot less batter. I considered using a smaller pan, but I just went for it with the 8X8. There was only a thin layer of batter in the entire pan, but that was a blessing, because it made the crunchiest squares ever.

protein-pancake-squaresI had used a pancake mix with jimmies for my choice of flour/oat, and I loved how festive it made the bottoms of the squares. I think that helped a lot with the crunch factor, because on Sunday I made the same batch, but the sprinkles had dissolved in the batter over night and there was no crunch.

protein pancake squares

Are you ready for the easiest recipe ever?!

Protein Pancake Squares

Ingredients:

  • 1 scoop protein of choice
  • 2 tbsp PB2 (powdered peanut butter)
  • pinch of baking powder
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 44 g of pancake mix or oat mix of your choice
  • Sliced bananas (optional –  but awesome)

Directions:

  • Set oven to 350 degrees
  • Mix all ingredients together. If the mix is too liquidy, keep adding the dry ingredient of your choice, whether it be flour, protein or PB2
  • Bake for about 15 minutes, or until it’s cooked to your liking

protein pancake squares

 

And that is what I have been chowing down on for this week’s WIAW!

What’s the best recipe you’ve baked with protein powder?

I Buy Too Many Nuts & Meatlover’s Paleo Chili

First and foremost, I need to wish a happy birthday to my wonderful Dad! I love this man so much and hope he has the best day ever!

dad and i

***

If I’ve learned one thing over the past year, it’s that meal prepping will save your soul. I’ve put myself in the position where I have no meals prepared for the current or next day, and I end up binging on whatever I have, and it’s usually not pretty.

Ever since going Paleo, I have an even bigger need to make sure I have enough different meals prepped for the week to keep from reaching for unhealthy foods. If I break my sobriety, I know I will just eat jar after jar of peanut butter. I’m not trying to compare sobriety to slipping off of Paleo, but it would literally have the same downward spiral, if I did.

Crockpot meals are a huge savior for me. Not only are they painless to make, but when you’re cooking for one, you get SO many meals out of it. Take for instance this past weekend. I was craving my Dad’s chili, but because he loads it with every single type of bean known to Mexico, it’s completely off-limits for me. That’s when I decided to be a man and make my own chili. (Anyone else associate chili making with men?)

This bad boy is loaded with meat and veggies, and sits so happily in my stomach. Topped with creamy, avocado slices, this is the perfect cold weather meal.

Meatlover's Paleo Chili

Meatlover’s Paleo Chili

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef, 93% lean
  • 1 lb ground turkey, extra lean
  • 1 zucchini, cut in small chunks
  • 1 sweet onion
  • diced up baby carrots
  • 1 can of beef broth
  • 1 can of chicken broth
  • 2 cans of tomato paste
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • chili powder (as much as you want)

Directions:

  1. Brown the meat, set aside when done
  2. Wash and cut veggies (size is your preference)
  3. Pour both broths into the crock pot, and add veggies. Let cook for a few minutes
  4. Add ground meat and other wet ingredients.
  5. Let cook on high or low until the chili reaches the consistency of preference

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Speaking of food, I need to stop buying nuts, and going to Target on my lunch hours. I somehow wind up there multiple times during the week, and I’m so going to go broke if I keep it up. Every time I buy a jar of nuts, I always open it up in the car and eat half of it on the drive home.  Of course by the time I’m home, I’m more than ready to portion control the nuts into bags, but man, that drive home kills me!

Anyone else feel the need to instantly open a jar of nuts upon purchasing it?

I go on these benders and I can’t be stopped.

Breakfast is easily my favorite meal of the day, and I typically eat something breakfast-ish for 2 meals of the day. B-fast casseroles are one of my favorites for dinner, because either leftovers are waiting to be eaten after a day of CrossFit/running and work, and because they’re typically sweet, which is what I crave in the evenings.

I made a hamburg casserole on Sunday evening, in honor of my favorite pizza. I LOVE hamburg and mushroom pizza (my FAV), but since I really can’t have pizza on the Paleo Challenge, which ends today, this was the next best thing. Trader Joe’s had a good deal on hamburg, and since it was 93%ish lean, I grabbed that.

Hamburg Casserole

This casserole is full of hamburg, which is layered on the bottom and top for a nice crunch, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, sweet onions, and a little bit of broccoli.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 sweet potato, diced
  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced
  • 1/2 container of diced mushrooms, diced
  • 12 eggs
  • 1 lb 93% lean ground hamburg

Directions:

  1. Peel sweet potato, microwave for several minutes, depending on size, and dice into cubes the size of your preference
  2. Heat coconut oil in a large pan, and sautee onions, mushrooms and sweet potatoes
  3. Cook hamburg in an additional large pan until cooked through
  4. Whisk 12 eggs in a large bowl, add veggies in
  5. Layer 1/2 to 2/3 of the hamburg on the bottom of a greased tray
  6. Pour egg and veggie mixture on top
  7. Top with remaining hamburg, and bake at 350 for 40 minutes, or until cooked through

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This bad boy is so easy to make, and so delicious. I cut this into 4 large pieces, which will get me almost through the end of the week. Loving it!

I’m also loving these Reebok running shoes that I came across on Sunday in the outlet store. They are SO light and extra flexible, which I love. I’ve been researching for more information and reviews, but I just might cave and purchase these. This would be the first time I’ve ever cheated on Nike, and although I feel pretty bad for that, these seem like a GOOD pair! I know they’re not the speciality running shoes, but sometimes you have to go with your gut.

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We all know that I am obsessed with Nashville, so yesterday I rented Nashville the tv show on DVD so that I can get into it.

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Yesterday after work I immediately crawled into bed and watched 2 episodes before I met a friend for tea/coffee in downtown Manchester.  My plan is to watch this show and fall in love with the city, visit it this summer, and then decide if I want to move there. You think I’m joking…. My friend from work is going there this week and I’m excited to hear his thoughts on it. Juicy Pear if you’re reading this, pack me in your suitcase!

I go on these benders and I can’t be stopped.

Do you watch Nashville?

2 episodes and I’m already addicted!

I Go Out of My Way to Step on a Crunchy Leaf

There is nothing more annoying than someone being in your favorite bathroom stall at work. Nothing worse.

What’s better?

Dippy eggs, with sugar snap peas and country-style chicken sausage. This makes breakfast fantastic.

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Going for a quick lunch-hour stroll around downtown. I typically go home on my lunch since I’m 8 minutes away, but yesterday I decided to stay at work and do blog work. On my last 15 minutes, I was getting antsy, so I headed out. It was chilly and cloudy, but the walk was great. I freaking LOVE crunchy leaves, and will go out of my way to step on a crunchy one.

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Stopping by Fresh Market after work. Left empty-handed, but the outside fall display put a smile on my face.

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Dessert: Coconut greek yogurt + mangoes. This was after I ate half of it, but it was such a good mix!

IMG_3225New oversized sweatpants. My brother bought me a pair of our colleges’ sweats back in 2006, and I’ve been wearing them ever since. They kept ripping in the crotch, and I kept sewing them. A few weeks ago, I stepped in, but caught the hole, and completely tore a ginormous, unsewable hole going from the crotch to the thigh.

Even though I am on a new strict budget, sweatpants in the fall and upcoming winter are necessary. I cannot wear shorts around the apartment in the cold. Awesome new Reebok sweatpants for $19.99 at Marshall’s. Seriously love that store, and the band on these suckers!

reebok sweatpants

Pumpkin recipes on a Friday.

pumpkin mugcake with peanut butter

Pumpkin Mug Cake with Peanut Butter

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 scoop chocolate protein
  • 1/2 scoop cookies & cream protein
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tbsp almond flour
  • dash of baking powder
  • dash of cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Spray a mug
  2. Mix all ingredients together in mug and microwave for 1 1/2 minutes
  3. Top with nut butter of choice

And the best thing?

Losing 1.4 pounds in a week thanks to eating even cleaner and finally figuring out the best workout plan ever.

I lied. And it’s almost the weekend, which means life is good!

Do you get a high from stepping on crunchy leaves?

Plans this weekend?

I’m going to my college best friends’ wedding and apple picking!