Banana Protein Pancakes

This is a recipe that I’ve been meaning to post for awhile, but like most things, I haven’t gotten around to it until now.  I can sometimes be a slight procrastinator…

During Hurricane Isaac (in August – told you this recipe is a bit late) I was craving pancakes.  Not all too unusual because I do love a good pancake.  However, there aren’t many pancake recipes that are clean eater friendly – that don’t taste like rubber.   Hmph… This led to playing in my kitchen which ultimately resulted in these beauties!  {Insert trumpet fanfare.}

Banana Protein Pancakes

Banana Protein Pancakes

They were fabulous and fluffy, very banana-y, and oh so good!  With only a handful of ingredients, you, too, can be enjoying some protein pancake goodness.  So here’s the recipe low down –

  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I used RAW).
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 very ripe banana
  • 1 cup milk (plus more if needed to thin the batter)

Step 1: Mix together the dry ingredients.  In a separate bowl, mash the banana to smithereens, add the milk, then add the lightly beaten egg and stir everything.  Slowly combine the dry ingredients with the wet; stir just until combined.  Depending on how you like your pancakes, you may want to add some milk to thin the batter out a bit.

Step 2:  On a pre-heated skillet, drop 1/4 c batter and cook until the entire pancake bubbles.  The trick to these pancakes is to cook them low and slow (like medium heat).  With the addition of the banana and protein powder, these puppies take quite a bit longer than regular pancakes.  If you have the heat up too high, you cook the outside and have pancake soup on the inside.  LOW and SLOW, people! Got it?

Step 3:  EAT!!  This recipe makes 10 pancakes if you use the 1/4 c method.

Since I love all things peanut butter, I topped mine with natural peanut butter and pure maple syrup – they were divine! I’ve also contemplated using chocolate protein powder instead of vanilla for a bit more decadent pancake.  If you try that, let me know how it tastes!  You can also ditch the protein powder all together and just make some really yummy, kid-friendly banana pancakes.

pub

Tonight, my running buddies and I are meeting with a new running group.  And I. Am. Excited! The group meets every Wednesday at an Irish Pub.  They have a few different courses but after you’re done running you meet back up for drinks and appetizers.  Sounds fun, right?

Question: Are you a pancake lover? What’s your favorite topping??

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2 Week Sugar Detox….Mission Complete!

It’s official….My 2 week detox is over and this girl couldn’t be any happier!!  So how’d I do?  Well, the past two weeks have been a total mental game but I’m happy to say that I won!  If you remember, I started this challenge with just a few goals in mind:

  • To Reduce my cravings & getting my sweet tooth back under control…..CHECK
  • Clearer skin….Not really
  • Less headaches….CHECK
  • A much happier digestive system….CHECK
  • Eliminating the few pounds I put on during marathon training….CHECK
  • More energy!! CHECK, CHECK, CHECK

With the exception of clearer skin, I’m very happy with the detox results.   I guess with running so much, I’m just going to be prone to breakouts.  I really shouldn’t complain because it could be much worse; I’m just used to having a crystal clear face.

The main portion of this detox was centered around eliminating sugar and processed foods.  Here’s an idea of how the past two weeks have gone food wise:

Breakfast: LOTS of eggs. I don’t want to see another egg or egg white for a long time; I missed my cereal terribly.  I also ate lots of RAW multi-grain hot cereal and peanut butter toast.

Egg whites, spinach, turkey sausage, crumbled feta.

Egg whites, turkey sausage, orange bell peppers and salsa verde.

Lunch: Leftovers from suppers the night before, sandwiches of any kind and lots of vegetables. (Sorry, no lunch shots… I get rather hangry around lunch time and forget my manners.)

Supper: Pasta, soup, lean proteins (chicken/pork) cooked vegetables, brown rice.

Chicken and vegetable soup.

Whole wheat pasta with ground turkey.

Snacks: Cut up vegetables, hummus, cottage cheese, clean crackers and cheese, almonds and pistachios, and natural peanut butter.

Love this hummus!!

I may or may not have eaten almost an entire jar of natural PB.  Whoops.

After the detox, I feel better, sharper mentally and my headaches have subsided a bit.   Other than 2 cheats [gum (that’s for the benefit of others) and communion (it was maybe a tsp. of grape juice)] I am really pleased with how I did.

The Good:

  • I control sugar, not the other way around.  I have minimal sugar cravings right now; even the thought of something sugary sweet makes me cringe a bit. {Side note: I am excited to get my fruit back.}
  • I’ve retrained my taste buds to appreciate the natural sweetness found in vegetables.
  • I’ve learned I can live without adding honey to everything.
  • I realized just how much processed ‘healthy’ items I was relying on.

The Bad:

  • It messed with my running…badly.  Not properly fueling myself during the first few days of the detox left me feeling light headed and ill. There is absolutely no way I could maintain this detox any further into marathon training.  Especially once I get back into the high double digit runs and have to refuel during the run.  Carrots and snap peas just don’t seem like they’d do the trick on a 20 milers.
  • The sheer amount of time it took to plan/prepare my meals and snacks was ridiculous.
  • My diet wasn’t nearly as balanced or complete as it should have been.  I found myself eating same stuff again and again because I knew that food was ‘ok’.
  • Sugar is everywhere and in everything! It’s almost unavoidable.

What I’ll continue doing:

  • Drinking hot lemon water in the morning.  I fell in love with this!
  • Avoiding all refined/processed sugar while keeping a watchful eye on my natural sugars.
  • Treat myself occasionally.  Like last night… I had small piece of all natural dark chocolate and a protein smoothie made with pineapple, blueberries, ground flax, plain greek yogurt and RAW protein powder.  After a two week sugar detox and 6 miles of hill work last night, fruit never tasted so good!

What does this mean for the upcoming Turkey Day? Well, it means that I do not get a carte blanche pass to eat whatever I want.  I worked too hard to sabotage the benefits from these past two weeks so I will enjoy a clean Thanksgiving with my family.   Holidays are not an excuse to go crazy off a diet.  FYI: The average person consumes almost 7,000 calories on Thanksgiving!

With that being said, don’t deprive yourself, either.  Watch your portion size and if you want something, eat it in moderation.  For me, it’s not Thanksgiving without the French’s Green Bean Casserole.  Totally not clean, but I’m going to eat it anyway.  No need agonizing over a certain dish.  Tomorrow is a day to enjoy, to celebrate and to give thanks for the many blessings in life.  I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

RAW Protein Review and Giveaway

Last night was one of the scariest / most exhilarating runs ever! I met my running girls to do 6 miles with 3 miles of speed work.  Little did we know our speed work would come from having to run for our lives in a freak flash flood!  We’re used to running in rain and wind but the scary part came from the lightening strikes that were going on about every 20-30 seconds.  I’m happy to report that we’re not dead (What? You’re surprised?) and also that for the first time in a week and a half I actually feel like a real person and not some sick, green-slime producing zombie.  So in celebration of being alive and feeling human again, I thought I do a giveaway – yay! Who doesn’t love free stuff? If you failed to answer “I do” to that question, I think we cannot be friends anymore.  Just kidding! I love all my readers even if you don’t like free stuff. 🙂

It almost goes unsaid I’m always on the hunt to try new products that will increase my health and make my life easier so I was super happy when the wonderful people at Garden of Life sent me a container of their vanilla flavored RAW Protein to review. 

I’m not a vegetarian but I really don’t eat a ton of meat so I tend to fall short on my daily protein intake.  Shorting yourself on the protein intake may not seem like a big deal, but any athlete will tell you that protein is the basic building block of strong muscles.  And I definitely need my muscles to be a strong as possible to get me through the grueling 26.2 miles of the Marine Corps Marathon.  Oorah!

The first thing that I loved about RAW was the fact that it was completely clean, no artificial nothing in it.  (It’s also organic, vegan friendly, gluten free and dairy free.)  RAW is a sprouted brown rice protein offering 17 grams per serving and has a complete amino acid profile like you would find in animal protein.  It also contains probiotics which makes your digestive system happy. 

The first way I tried RAW was as a recovery drink after my 15 mile long run.  I mixed it with 8 ounces of skim milk and proceeded to slurp it down.  I was really surprised at the flavor. I normally have to mix protein powders in smoothies to mask their taste but RAW was just fine on its own.  I do have to recommend drinking it right away; I let mine sit for a minute and some of the powder collected at the bottom of my cup.  (No making fun of my pasty legs and purple compression socks.)

The next thing I wanted to try was cooking with it.  During Hurricane Isaac I was completely craving comfort food so I decided to make pancakes.  It took me a minute to figure out the measurements, but after a minute….Success! Whole Wheat Banana Protein Pancakes were born – yum! I slathered them in peanut butter and topped with pure maple syrup and they were magnificent! Definitely not an every day meal, but completely acceptable hurricane food.

Now that I’ve yapped on about the benefits of Garden of Life’s RAW Protein, I want you to try it for yourself! Garden of Life sent me an awesome blender bottle and sample packet of their chocolate flavor to giveaway to one of you.  I really want you to win, so you’ll have lots of chances to enter! (Contest open to US and Canada only.)

Mandatory entry:  Visit Garden of Life’s website and then come back and leave a comment telling me what flavor you would most like to try.

Extra entries (be sure to leave a separate comment for each):

  • Follow my blog via e-mail or RSS.
  • Follow me on Twitter @asphaltnosher
  • Follow Garden of Life on Twitter @gardenofliferaw
  • Tweet about this giveaway, “I want to win @gardenofliferaw protein from @asphaltnosher http://wp.me/p28bf6-fW”.

Ok, that’s 5 total entries! The contest will be open until Sunday, September 9th at midnight EST and the winner will be announced on Monday.  Good luck!

Disclaimer: While I received product to write this review, all of the opinions -good, bad, or indifferent- in it are my own.  I will never write a positive review for something I don’t believe in.