Thursday, August 30, 2012

Clean Eating Banana Protein Bread!

I have a guest post up on Hellawella.com and you definitely want to check it out because I came up with the most amazing banana bread... a must try!!



Wednesday, August 29, 2012

What I Ate Wednesday

I'm not sure if it's because we have a 3 day weekend coming up and I'm excited to escape the heat for a while, but MAN this week is going by slowly! I am glad it's Wednesday though because I'm taking my mom to see what I think is my new #1 wedding venue choice. As we all know I'm horrible at making decisions, so I'm hoping she will love it too, and it will make it that much easier. I don't know how I'm ever going to pick a dress... ahh I don't even want to think about having to make that choice!

Anyway, I digress, as usual. On to WIAW!


We start off with the usual- egg whites scrambled with spinach, mushroom, onion, and jalapeno. Actually, I take that back, it's a little different because I did add in a yolk this morning, for good measure :) I also grabbed my usual on the way to work: Trenta unsweetened, no water green tea. Have you ever watched the folks at Starbucks make green teas? I swear it's like half water! 
Meal 2 was the usual again too-- cottage cheese with cinnamon and Truvia and a handful of almonds. For lunch I had an awesome spinach salad topped with salsa chicken, black beans, greek yogurt, and tapatio. For snack I had turkey meatloaf with carrots, and dinner was clean pizza. We are a little addicted to that right now! Before bed I had the usual casein pudding, and I added a little bit of peanut butter. Yuuuum. 
Off to finish up the rest of this long week and spend some vacay time with B! 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Almond Milk: Why Drink It?

If you've been clean eating for a while now, then you know it's better to use Greek Yogurt instead of sour cream, almond milk instead of regular milk, and Ezekiel bread instead of wheat, but do you know why? I think it's really important to not only eat clean, but know why you do what you do. Over the next few weeks I'll do my best to explain some of the reasoning behind the food choices we make. Today we'll have a quick chat about almond milk.

Many people look to milk alternatives only if they are lactose intolerant, meaning the body doesn't produce enough of the lactase enzyme which is responsible for digesting the lactose (sugar) in milk. This was the case for me, but as it turns out cutting regular milk out of your diet can be very beneficial whether you are lactose intolerant or not. The biggest reason to make the switch is because of the sugar. To keep belly fat at bay, I try to keep my sugar intake under 30 grams a day, including any fruit I may eat. Sugar is the number one culprit for belly fat, so if you are struggling in that area it may be something to look in to. Even skim milk has 12g of sugar per 8 ounces... that's more than 1/3 of what I have in an entire day just in 8 tiny ounces!

You don't have to worry about missing out on the vitamins you get from cows milk, because almond milk is full of calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium just to name a few. You're also not consuming any sugar, and less than half the calories of skim milk. (Just make sure you're buying the unsweetened version.) I won't lie, Almond milk took some time for me to get used to. At first it just tasted a little funny to me, and I would rather not do milk at all than have it. But, as I started incorporating it in little bits here and there, it started to grow on me, and now, well I think the picture speaks for itself :)


My favorite brand is Blue Diamond, Almond Breeze and I always get the unsweetened vanilla. It's great for oats, baking, protein shakes, coffee, and of course chugging straight out of the carton which I admittedly do at least once a day. I love it! 

Do you drink a milk alternative or stick with cows milk? 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Fitness and Alcohol

I've been asked a lot lately about alcohol, so here is a quick video on what my take is!


 Please keep in mind this is what works for me and of course nothing will work universally across the board, but I do believe you can indulge in alcohol every once and a while and not set yourself back. Just as with everything else, a little alcohol in moderation is not the end of the world and as long as it's not happening too often, it's not something you should beat yourself up about.

After watching the video I realized I might be a little confusing, so I just wanted to clarify. When I say I allow myself to drink on vacations, holidays, and special occasions I'm referring to more than just a glass or two of wine. This is a night out with friends, a day at the pool etc. Just thought I would clarify my definition of "drinking" versus having a "drink". Hopefully that makes sense!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What I Ate Wednesday!

Finally back on board with WIAW! I've skipped the last few weeks, but it's great to be back in the party... make sure you check out every one's posts over at Peas and Crayons! [Warning: You will be there for the next 3 hours, so make sure you clear your schedule!]

I'm lame and totally forgot to take a picture of breakfast, but don't worry it was just the norm: egg whites with jalapeno, onion, and mushrooms topped with low sugar ketchup and 2 slices of Ezekiel bread with a thin layer of coconut oil, cinnamon, and Truvia. 
My first snack of the day was cottage cheese with oats, cinnamon, and Truvia. I also put a splash of almond milk just to keep a good consistency. For lunch I had leftover clean pizza which was supposed to be B's lunch yesterday but he (thankfully) forgot it, so I swooped it up! I made a new little concoction for my afternoon meal, well it's really just Jamie Eason's turkey muffins with zucchini instead of celery and baked in a loaf pan. This will last me all week, so it will be my afternoon snack along with some sort of veggie... and topped with low sugar ketchup of course! 
I made some quick and easy fajitas for dinner and topped them with a dollop of Greek yogurt, then before bed I had a coconut flour/almond flour pancake. I mixed 1T coconut flour with 1T almond flour, 3 egg whites, about a table spoon of protein powder, and cinnamon. Cook like a pancake and I topped mine with a tiny bit of sugar free maple syrup. Tastes like dessert! 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Clean Eating Strawberry Banana Protein Muffins

While we were in San Diego we did go to the gym a few times, but it was about a 20 minute drive and let's be honest, we wanted to spend as much time as possible laying on the beach! Anyway, since it was so far away we just bought the protein shakes from the gym, and unfortunately they didn't have any egg white protein which is what I've been using for my shakes. They did have Dymatize Iso 100 in strawberry flavor, so I went with that and it was SO good! I was craving the strawberry shake on Sunday, so I picked up some fresh strawberries from the store to add to my post workout shake... and then they inspired me to make some new muffins! I basically mimicked my apple oat muffins with just a couple changes. 


Ingredients
1 ripe banana
6-8 strawberries, sliced
2 cups rolled oats
2 scoops vanilla whey protein powder
4 egg whites
1/2 cup non fat Greek yogurt
6 packets of Truvia 
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt


Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
2. Place all ingredients in mixer and mix well. 
3. Place batter into prepared muffin tin and bake for 18-20 minutes. 

These are going to be a little higher in sugar because of the fruit so they are absolutely perfect for pre or post workout! I've also had a lot of questions over the past week about nutritional information and portion sizes on my recipes. I've touched on this before, but the reason I don't usually list nutrition info is because of the possible variation in ingredients, for example protein powders, greek yogurt etc. If you are interested in this information, I encourage you to go on to a site like myfitnesspal.com and use their recipe calculator so that you can calculate the nutritional info for YOUR recipe, using YOUR specific ingredients. You can then use the calculator to divide the recipe into as many portions as you would like so that it fits your macros and calories for the day. 

Let me know if you have questions! :)



Monday, August 20, 2012

Getting Back on Track

I'm back! I'm hardly awake right now-- Monday is hard enough, but Monday after a week vacation is extra rough! I promised a pre-vacation picture, so here I am after my last workout before heading out.



I just (tried) to get all my cardio sessions in and replaced starchy carbs with yams and veggies. I didn't quite get those upper abs back, but I felt great, and I'm definitely excited to have my shakes, oats, and Ezekiel bread again! I'm also going to stop counting calories and just follow portion size and use my best judgement. I tend to go through phases of being super strict with counting calories, and I have been this way since starting James' program 11 weeks ago, so I think it's time to relax a little and trust that I know what 1500 calories looks like. I'm also almost done with round one of the Body Earned program, and once I finish that up I'm going to start on weeks 13-26! I can't wait!

That's my plan moving forward, I'll be sure to let you know if anything changes :) Here are a few vacay pics... I want to go back!








Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Guest Post: Vanilla Bean Lean


Hi Everyone! I'm having an amazing, relaxing time in San Diego but I wanted to make sure things stay up and running on the blog so I asked my friend Electra to do a guest post! She is amazing and if you haven't visited her blog yet, it's a must-- Vanilla Bean Lean was actually one of the first blogs that got me hooked on clean eating :)

Well Hello there Little B’s fans! I am HONORED to be guest blogging for Brittany since I think she’s a total rockstar!
***
I’m Electra and I blog over at Vanilla Bean Lean! Come on over some time and introduce yourself! I’d love to get to know you, any friend of Little B’s is a friend of mine!


Even just over the course of time from when I started blogging until now, let alone before that, my fitness and nutritional approaches have evolved. I’ll change it up in a bigger way a few times a year and tweak things here and there all of the time to ensure I’m heading to where I want to be and to make sure that the actions I’m taking and the choices I’m making are aligning with the goals I have for myself.
In order to get started, to do well, and to continue with this fitness and clean eating lifestyle, learning that change is not necessarily a bad thing is important. Changing the right things at the right time can truly make the difference between staying where you are or reaching your goals. These changes may be small or large, and I’d love to share with you how I’ve utilized change to my advantage.
When I shared My Staples & Nutritional Approach, I talked about how I’ve tried many different nutrition styles, from keto/no carb to high carb and everything in between. To quote my own post, “…the conclusion I have come to is this: You have to eat in a way that makes your body feel satisfied and energized. There is NO one right way. … The “RIGHT WAY” is the way that produces results, that you feel good about, and that you can truly make a lifestyle!” –Electra Liontis. Just as I’ve tried many different nutrition styles, I too have tried many fitness approaches, everything from organized sports to cardio bunny to bodybuilder-style lifting (low reps high weight). After much trial and error, and what felt like scientific experiments with my own physique, I have built a very good base and have produced an individualized fitness and nutrition lifestyle approach that I have dedicated myself to, and that works for me.
Now you want to know how you find what works for you, right? Although some of it is trial and error, you can learn large lessons from those that have already walked the experimental path. I have found that Switching It Up is very important to keep your body guessing and progressing, and that ensuring you fuel your body with the correct nutrients to perform well in the gym is a must.
Here are the best pieces of advice I can give you to help find what type of a lifestyle will work best for you!
  • Find Fitness You LOVE. Do you like the thrill of lifting heavier weights than some of the men in the gym? Have you fallen in love with running races? Do you like the camaraderie of group fitness classes? Do what you love. It then won’t feel like it’s a burden, and you will instead wake up or leave work ready to KILL it in the gym or in front of your TV with Shaun T on the Insanity DVD. Whatever it is you love, do it.
  • Now you ask, can I get specific results from many different programs? As you can tell by all of the amazing olympic athletes, different training results in different physiques. If you have a very specific physique goal, you will have to perform specific training to reach that goal, and that’s where research comes into play. If you’re looking to in general: lose body fat, gain a bit of muscle, and improve your health – you’re in luck that you can do what you love and accomplish that.
  • Eat In A Way That Satisfies You. Eat enough to fuel your body through your workouts, to gain muscle, and to provide you with enough energy for your daily life, but not too much to where you feel bloated and gain excess fat. I generally find that eating a small meal about every 3 hours consisting of protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats makes for a very general nutritional plan that works.
  • Whatever You Try, Give It 4 Weeks. What I mean by this is just that. If you try a new type of exercise regime or nutrition plan, give it at least one month to decide if you are seeing results. Anything less than four weeks will not provide you with enough evidence to decide whether that was something that will work for you, your goals, and your lifestyle.
  • Be consistent, have patience, and have dedication. Without consistency, it’s hard to gauge what is working, and what isn’t. If you want to know if a lower carb, higher fat nutritional approach works for you but you have higher carbs a couple times a week, whatever results you get will be tainted and will not be able to tell you whether that approach will work for you or not. Without patience, you will get frustrated. Having patience allows your mind and body the time it needs to change without stopping before you see the change. Without dedication, you will make this something you do if it’s convenient, instead of making it something you will do as a lifestyle.
  • Don’t Forget Your Mind. The mind is just as important as the body in training and in nutrition. Without a sound mindset that will allow you to push yourself outside of your comfort zone with training and that will allow you to make hard choices in terms of nutrition that will take you towards your goals whether or not it’s the “fun” choice, it will be an internal battle. Don’t make this a battle, or as James Wilson would say, a “life sentence,” make it a lifestyle.
  • Keep It Positive. Make it a lifestyle because of your love for it and your love for what it does for your body, mind, and life. Don’t do it because you “have to,” do it because you “want to.” And remember, no one is making you go to the gym or eat clean. You’re doing it because of the results it will give you and how amazing it will make you feel. Don’t focus on what you can’t have or what you have to give up, focus on what this lifestyle gives you and what joy you get from it.
  • You can do it! And whenever you’re having a lull in motivation, Little B is fantastic and always full of tons of motivation, and I’m always over at Vanilla Bean Lean, posting on Instagramtweeting, working out & blabbering on youtubefacebooking,pinningin your blog reader, or on linked in ready to help you rock your day! I can’t wait to hear from all of you!
***
Coffee Talk!
  • What nutritional approach do you take?
  • What fitness approach do you take?
  • What is your favorite part about the fitness/clean eating lifestyle?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Oxygen Magazine No Bake Peanut Butter Bars

I don't think it's possible to go wrong when you combine chocolate (or carob) and nut butter. You just can't. Thankfully, there are a million ways you can combine the two to create some pretty awesome treats. My quest to keep the fiance's belly full of clean foods instead of the bad stuff continues, and when we were on our flight to California last month B pointed out this recipe in Oxygen and suggested I try it out. Fast forward 6 weeks later... I finally got around to making it! Don't tell him I told you, but B has been teetering on falling off the clean eating wagon. It's mostly just because he's busy and most of his days are spent traveling in the car, which makes it hard to pack and eat meals. Most of my grab and go recipes are made for him so that he can have something to snack on while running around, this one is no exception!



Ingredients
2 cups oats
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
2 scoops vanilla protein powder
1 T ground flaxseed
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup carob chips



Directions
1. Combine everything in mixer and mix well.
2. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet and smooth mixture out.
3. This mixture is really sticky, so I took a lid to tupperware and used that to flatten out the dough.... hands were just too sticky!
4. Place in freezer for 30 minutes. Remove and cut!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Clean Eating Carob Chip Protein Muffins

Thank you all so much for the sweet comments on my engagement party pictures! We had such a good time and felt so blessed that everyone was able to be together to celebrate. Speaking of how much fun we had... we may or may not have had a little too much fun. As I'm sure most of you know, I try to only drink on holidays, special occasions, or vacations so naturally I had a few drinks at our party on Saturday. The too much fun came in after the party when we decided to go out to dinner with about 20 people from our party, and from then, well the night just continued and continued.... and continued. Sunday morning I quickly realized why it is I don't party like I did when I was 21 (and unhealthy) anymore, because it is painful! I tend to take pride in the fact that I take really good care of my body and always try to make the healthiest choices possible, and when I do something to throw my body off, it let's me know in the worst way.

I kid you not, only today do I feel back to 100%. I literally had a hangover for 3 days. I'm so glad you only get engaged once, because I am positive I wouldn't survive another one! Anyway, even though I felt like absolute death on Sunday I still had to do food prep, and I wanted to make the easiest thing possible for B's grab and go snacks. I was scrolling through my recipes and remembered how much he loves blueberry protein muffins, but I didn't have any blueberries so I switched up a couple minor things and made these awesome muffins. It's almost like dessert for breakfast!



Ingredients:
- 1 1/2 c oat flour
- 2 scoops vanilla protein powder 
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 6 packets Truvia
-2 egg whites
-1 c unsweetened almond milk
-1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
-2/3 c non fat greek yogurt
- 1 handfull of carob chips or unsweetened dark chocolate chips


Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl and mix well. 
3. Pour batter into prepared muffin tins and bake for 20 minutes. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Our Engagement Party in Pictures





Sisters <3


Mom and Dad 


Since I know you're all wondering... I was dreaming about the coconut cupcakes since we ordered them, so I had one bite and then handed it off :)



The B's!






The whole new family


Monika and I showing off our new bling! We both looked at this picture and went "Ew! We're so veiny!" haha silly girls.

We had so much fun and I'm so happy everyone was able to get together and celebrate with us! 


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Vlog: Getting Beach Ready!

I know today should be What I Ate Wednesday, but I decided to take a break and do a quick Vlog instead. In this video I cover what I'm doing over the next couple weeks to make sure I'm bathing suit ready! 

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