Browsing Category:

Food

Food Recipes

Funfetti Cake Batter Breakfast Cookies

IMG_20150312_110739

Cookies for breakfast? Yes please.

IMG_20150312_110739

Here are the 3 things that came together as the perfect storm, bringing me to this amazing idea of cookies for breakfast:

1. Have I mentioned how much I love food? I’m not one of those girls that skips a meal or orders a garden salad for dinner. Never have been. I’m from an Italian family that has history in the resturant and bakery business. I was born and raised to think about dinner as soon as I wake up in the morning.

This means I’m also thinking about dessert in the morning.

2. Add to that the fact that I’m always late. Always. So I’m constantly running out the door to work, grabbing whatever I prepped that week.

Sometimes I leave myself enough time to cook a big breakfast. But, when I’m on the run I’ve been known to throw a pancake in a plastic container- syrup and all- and eat it while driving. {Not an easy task, but well worth it.} Either way, I’m not one to deprive myself of a delicious first meal of the day.

3. And lastly, I’m obsessed with 2 foods right now: Kodiak Cake Mix & anything that involves cake batter.

These 3 factors resulted in 18 colorful, batter-y, filling breakfast cookies.

What makes them a breakfast cookie you ask?

Well, the main ingredient is a flap jack mix. So they taste almost like a biscuit, which is very satisfying in itself. On the other hand, they’re also sweet and much more moist than a regular biscuit. Plus…sprinkles.

I guess you’ll just have to try ’em and find out what they’re all about.

Funfetti Cake Batter Breakfast Cookies
Save Recipe

Ingredients

  • Funfetti Cake Batter Breakfast Cookies
  • 1 1/2 cups Kodiak Cakes mix
  • 3/4 cup applesauce (I used unsweetened- if you want a sweeter cookie obviously you could go with sweetened and adjust the macros)
  • Sweetener of choice (I used vanilla Sweet Leaf drops)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup egg whites
  • 1 package sugar-free, fat-free vanilla pudding
  • 2 scoops vanilla or cake batter protein powder
  • Sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Being the lazy cook that I am, I just mixed this all together and plopped 'em on a baking sheet. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 9-12 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack. Store in the fridge- trust me, you'll thank me later.
http://www.fearonfire.com/food/funfetti-cake-batter-breakfast-cookies/

20150311_194147

 

Food Recipes

Maple Bacon Brussels Recipe {And How to Break Up with Bitter Brussels Forever}

20150222_150644

I know that many people when they hear the words “brussels sprouts” think of bitter balls of ickyness covered in butter.

If you’re one of these people, or even if you’re a brussels connoisseur, you MUST try this recipe.

Does this look bitter and icky to you? {If you answered yes, fine. Just scroll on by this recipe. But seriously. They’re good. And they’re covered in bacon & syrup…just sayin’.}

20150222_150644

First rule of Breaking up with Bitter Brussels: DON’T buy them in the freezer section. Brussels sprouts in their best form are fresh from produce. Buy a whole bunch.

Rule number two: Slice ’em super thin. This takes a while, but you want to slice them as thin as possible and rinse them off well. The thinner they are, the less bitter they are.

Third. Cook them for an {akwardly} long time on low heat. To really soften the brussels, we need them to cook on low for at least 20 minutes, being careful not to let them burn.

Fourth rule of Breaking up with Bitter Brussels: READ through all the directions below. The technique is important here. This time you are not allowed to skim through my writing. Please and thank you.

Ok. So now that you want to try these delicious little sprouts, here’s the nitty gritty. (Full recipe at the bottom)

You’ll Need:

4-6 slices turkey bacon

1 tsp olive oil

A big bag of fresh brussels sprouts

1/4 cup sugar free maple syrup

Salt & Pepper

Water

1. Fry up some turkey bacon in a pan. Remove, let cool, then chop into smaller chunks.

2. Leave any bacon fat in the pan- there’s not much in turkey bacon- we’ll keep it! Add 1 tsp olive oil and let it get nice & hot.

20150222_143914

3. Slice the brussels thin & rinse. Be patient, this takes a little time, but the thin slices are worth it.

20150222_144005

4. Sauté the brussels in the pan for a few minutes. When everything is warming up, add 1/4 cup water. Any time the brussels start to brown, add a splash of water to keep them from burning.

20150222_144521

5. Turn the heat down to low and cook on low about 20 minutes, watching to be sure they aren’t burning and adding water as needed. You can add the bacon about halfway through cooking time.

6. When they’re all nice and brown, add some salt & pepper.

7. Top with syrup while still warm.

20150222_150547

8. Thank me for sharing this amazing recipe with you.

Maple Bacon Brussels Recipe {And How to Break Up with Bitter Brussels Forever}
Save Recipe

Ingredients

  • You'll Need:
  • 4-6 slices turkey bacon
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • A big bag of fresh brussels sprouts
  • 1/4 cup sugar free maple syrup
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Water

Instructions

  1. 1. Fry up some turkey bacon in a pan. Remove, let cool, then chop into smaller chunks.
  2. 2. Leave any bacon fat in the pan- there's not much in turkey bacon- we'll keep it! Add 1 tsp olive oil and let it get nice & hot.
  3. 3. Slice the brussels thin & rinse. Be patient, this takes a little time, but the thin slices are worth it.
  4. 4. Sauté the brussels in the pan for a few minutes. When everything is warming up, add 1/4 cup water. Any time the brussels start to brown, add a splash of water to keep them from burning.
  5. 5. Turn the heat down to low and cook on low about 20 minutes, watching to be sure they aren't burning and adding water as needed. You can add the bacon about halfway through cooking time.
  6. 6. When they're all nice and brown, add some salt & pepper.
  7. 7. Top with syrup while still warm.
http://www.fearonfire.com/food/breaking-up-with-bitter-brussels/

Food Recipes

The Cinnabon Experiment

20150301_083059

It was Sunday morning, and I had some extra time to make breakfast. My mind started drifting to cinnamon rolls. If I bought them from the store, I could start my day with just ONE. But…what if I could make them macro-friendly? {Insert Mad Scientist laugh here.} I was up for the challenge.

My mission: Make a big, fat cinnamon bun that melts in your mouth and is covered in frosting MINUS the white flour, butter, and sugar.

Too bad that’s exactly what a cinnamon bun is made out of.

Cinnabon Cinnamon Bun: 36f/127c/13p/2fiber

Cinnamon Bun Macro Makeover Cinnamon Bun: 1f/22c/13p/7fiber

Now that’s a serious trade off. You would think it wouldn’t be as tasty. {You’re kinda right…I mean…I called this the Cinnabon Experiment, not the Cinnabon Magic Trick.} It is obviously not quite as good as Cinnabon, but it helped my cravings & was a delicious way to start a Sunday!

Now that I have you hooked, here are the directions:

Mix together to form dough:

3 cups Kodiak Pancake Mix

1 cup milk (I used almond milk)

1/4 cup applesauce & a splash of apple juice

Roll flat on a floured surface.

<3 <3 <3

In a separate bowl, mix together:

2 tbsp cinnamon

2 tbsp apple juice

2 tbsp apple sauce

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

Spread onto flattened dough.

20150301_075650

Roll the dough up and slice. Place slices on baking sheet and bake in a 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.

20150301_080109

Top with icing while buns are still hot. Here’s what I used, but I would use milk or yogurt instead of cream cheese next time. {See chunky frosting in the pic down below? Tasted good, looked gross.}

Icing:

4oz softened fat free cream cheese

1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder

1/4 cup sugar-free maple syrup (or sweetener of choice)

1 tsp vanilla extract

———————————————————-

20150301_082557

 

They were filling & easy to store. I’ve been popping them in the microwave for breakfast all week. Be sure to check back- I’ll keep changing the icing recipe until it is the perfect balance between YUM and PRETTY. 🙂

The Cinnabon Experiment
Save Recipe

Ingredients

    Mix together to form dough:
  • 3 cups Kodiak Pancake Mix
  • 1 cup milk (I used almond milk)
  • 1/4 cup applesauce & a splash of apple juice
  • In a separate bowl, mix together:
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp apple juice
  • 2 tbsp apple sauce
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • Icing:
  • 4oz softened fat free cream cheese
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1/4 cup sugar-free maple syrup (or sweetener of choice)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Roll dough out on a floured surface using a rolling pin. Spread filling evenly on top of dough. Roll dough up and slice. Place slices on baking sheet and bake in a 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. Drizzle with icing and enjoy!
http://www.fearonfire.com/food/the-cinnabon-experiment/

Food Recipes

{Guilt-Free & Simple} Sham-Rockin’ Minty Oreo Truffles

Truffle4

I’m in love with the truffles. 😉

You know…the ones people make around Christmas time for cookie exchanges- the ones made with a package of Oreos and cream cheese, covered in melted chocolate. Yummmmmm….

When I love a food, I’ll either have it in moderation or try to recreate it in such a way that I can enjoy MORE of it for the same amount of macros. I’m pretty proud of how these little truffles came out.

Easy to make, easy to store in the freezer or fridge- and the best part? Check out these MACROS:

{If you make 40 truffles with a swirl of chocolate topping}

Each Truffle: 1f/9c/2p

Seriously. What a perfect way to use up those carbs after dinner!

Here’s how it’s done:

1 package chocolate graham crackers

1 8oz package fat free cream cheese

White chocolate chips

1 tsp peppermint extract

{About 1/4 cup milk or water}

{Mint Oreo cookie toppings/sprinkles/etc. optional}

<3 <3 <3

First…

We need to smoosh up those graham crackers. I used a food processor to get the crumbs pretty fine. You could smash ’em up by hand, but the truffles may be a bit chunky that way. I did leave a few chunks in mine.

Toss the crumbs in a mixing bowl and mix well with cream cheese and mint extract until starting to form sticky chunks. I had to add a few splashes of milk to get mine to be the right sticky consistency. Water would work too.

Form the mixture into small balls & freeze for at least 30 mins. This way, if you decide to cover them in melted chocolate, they’ll be easier to deal with.

Truffle1

I had the full intention of making these a little more heavy macro-wise by dunking the whole truffle in melted white chocolate. {Microwave the chocolate chips 1 min and use a fork to help you cover the truffle.}

But, I quickly realized this was messy & time consuming & would add a lot to my macro count. So I covered a only few completely.

With the remaining truffles, I decided to use a frosting bag to add a melted chocolate swirl. If you’re going to do this, you could use a squeeze bottle to just do a chocolate drizzle. You could also make a cream cheese frosting rather than melted chocolate. Either way, just add green food coloring to make it decorative.

Truffle8

If you’re heading to a St Patty’s Day party, you could definitely get fancy with this. Green sprinkles, chocolate drizzle, crushed mint Oreos…whatever you’d like.

I’m a lazy baker, so I opted for the simple chocolate swirl. Here’s some more pretty pics of these delicious little bites. 🙂

Truffle3

Truffle5

 

10965356_10100101802738812_566795229_n

Food Recipes

Big Ol’ List of Breakfast Ideas

PhotoGrid_1424442601927

Ok. So I thought I’d round up a bunch of breakfast ideas for when you want to start your day off right. Some I’ve tried, some I think I invented, and some are on my list to try. Hope you’re hungry!

PhotoGrid_1424442601927

{Links & descriptions below}

1. The Classic

You can’t go wrong with this- back to basics- cheesy eggs, turkey bacon, hash browns. I eat it just about every morning. When I’m out of hash browns, I substitute toast & PB2.

2. The Classic as a Muffin

Or chop up all of ingredients, toss in a muffin pan, bake on Sunday & have breakfast ready for the week!

OR. If you’re like me and forget to prep on Sunday, just throw this stuff in a mug and microwave for 2 minutes. Microwaved eggs taste just like stovetop eggs. #promise

3. For the Sweet Tooth: Cookie Dough Brownie Batter Fudge Mug

1 scoop chocolate protein powder / 1 tbsp cocoa powder / 1/4 cup light cottage cheese / 1/4 tsp baking powder / 1/4 tsp vanilla / 1/4 tsp butter extract / Blend and top with… 1 tbsp sugar free chocolate syrup or sweetwner / Cookie Dough Quest Bar microwave 30 seconds 10f/30c/54p/18fiber

4. Overnight Oats

If you’re dreaming of breakfast the night before, you could put some overnight oats in the fridge. I picked out Peanut Butter Cup, but you could make a fruity version. I would use PB2 in this recipe to reduce the fat content. My tummy is a little sensitive to oats, I’d probably cut them with chia seed. There are tons of recipes out there. Check out www.myoatmeal.com for the tastiest oats IMO.

5. Protein Pancakes

I know this is a pretty obvious choice. However, I’ve tried a lot of gross protein pancake recipes. Some, when done incorrectly, produce some sort of weird cooked MUSH. This can be highly disappointing, especially when the pictures online looked perfectly fluffy and round. And I hate to waste protein powder…so I usually just throw some syrup on & begrudgingly eat that mush.

For this reason, I think a pancake mix is the best recommendation because it will yield the most consistent pancake result. You can still add whatever you’d like to the mix to jazz it up. The most popular brand seems to be Kodiak Cakes, which you can buy online or find at Super Target or Fresh Market.

PS…they can also be formed into waffles with a waffle iron. Just sayin’.

6 and 7. Make-Ahead Breakfast Burritos and Breakfast Sandwiches

I’m about to tell you something that may freak you out a little. These recipes are for FROZEN breakfast burritos and premade breakfast sandwiches. There’s something about a frozen, cooked egg that gives me the creeps, but let’s just process this for a second. Here’s another breakfast that could be prepped ahead of time, and you could grab one on your way out the door, pop it in the microwave, and eat it on the way to work. AND it would be a really satisfying breakfast to go, not something wimpy like a granola bar. A nice, hearty breakfast to go. {You could write the macros in sharpie on the wrapper.}

I would change the recipe to egg whites & use one my favorite Tumaro’s Low Carb Wraps for the burritos. Be sure to click the breakfast sandwich link! She has amazing pictures & shows a quick way to prep them all at once using the egg muffin method & an indoor grill. Drool-worthy.

8. Protein Pumpkin Butter English Muffin

This isn’t the most beautiful breakfast you’ve ever seen {sorry for the lame pic on a paper plate}, but it is pretty delicious and could be made a variety of ways.

I mixed pure pumpkin with vanilla protein powder and spread on a toasted muffin. But what about whipping some nonfat cream cheese & mixing in pumpkin or banana or cinnamon? Or chocolate? Or PB2? This is a great way to get your “bagel” and spread fix.

If you’re totally hooked on bagels, you can fit them in. Here’s a more macro-friendly bagel– full size and everything.

9. Banana Splits

Yeah. For real. It’s Greek Yogurt + Banana + Strawberry + Sprinkles. I’d add some protein powder or PB2 because I’m obsessed. It’s quick, it’s easy, it’s good. I say top with sugar-free Hershey’s syrup or mini-chocolate chips too if you’re feeling crazy. That will put you in a good mood for sure on a Monday morning!

10. Kale Frittata

I just kept getting this picture when I would search for breakfast ideas, and I couldn’t resist. I made this a few weeks ago for dinner when we desperately needed groceries. Here were my substitutions:

*Use fat free mozzarella. It doesn’t exactly brown up unless you brush it with egg whites, but it melts just fine and tastes fantastic. Sprinkle a tablespoon or two of parmesan cheese on top to get the same salty effect without using mostly parmesan.

*I would use egg whites and skip the olive oil or just use a teaspoon. You can use baking spray & it won’t stick- saves on fat per slice.

*Substitute turkey bacon or turkey pepperoni for salami/pepperoni. Listen. I love salami as much as the next Italian girl, but I can live with turkey. If I were making it for dinner, I might also chop up a slice of salami and throw it in there. Indulging in small doses makes the most sense here.

This is so filling and just wonderful. Breakfast in pie form. Can’t beat it.

Here’s to hoping these 10 breakfast ideas help you start your week or your day off right!

 

 

 

Recipes

Cheesy Mac{ros} n’ Broccoli

20150219_115702

 

I’m a true sucker for Mac n’ Cheese. Growing up in an Italian family, we knew how to use up pasta and veggies in any kind of sauce you could imagine.

My dream dinner is a big bowl of random ingredients topped in some sort of cheesy wine sauce. With french fries on the side.

Today I’m on February break, it’s not even dinnertime, and it’s a balmy 20 degrees outside. My friends are all posting pics of their vacations and I’m over here craving a warm, hearty bowl of cheesey goodness.

I decided to create a much lighter, macro-friendly version to satisfy my craving. #treatyoself

And it was delish. So…I’m sharing. 🙂

20150219_115624-1-1

 

Screenshot_2015-02-19-12-10-00

Advice Food

Tracking a Big Breakfast in 2 Minutes

3cfdb1187c529952c2d29193c46b57f8

Ok, so. I eat a huge breakfast every morning. I measure it, I track it, and I like starting my day that way. I pretty much eat the same thing every day: Hash browns, egg whites with cheese and sometimes veggies, and turkey bacon. {Although sometimes I’m in the mood for something sweet & I eat a mug cake.}

I also go to the gym in the morning, and I have to be to work by 8.

Am I going to let that stop me? No way!

Have I cut it pretty close to 8am getting to work? Um yeah. But it’s so worth it. A big breakfast puts me in a good mood & prevents me from getting hangry. {Combo of hungry + angry = not pretty}

Someone once asked me how I eat this big breakfast and track it in such a short amount of time.

So I decided to challenge myself to a race! How quickly could I make breakfast and track it?

3cfdb1187c529952c2d29193c46b57f8

I had everything tracked and on the stove in 2 minutes. Plated in 5 minutes.

Here’s the proof…but first…a few disclaimers.

1. I sped the video up…so it shows me moving at lightening speed in 1 min. 🙂 I can’t actually move that fast…that I know of.

2. If I’m in a real rush I throw the eggs and cheese and bacon in a mug, microwave for 2 mins, and eat it in the car. I’m serious about this hangry issue.

3. My zero button is not working on my scale- that would’ve cut time down even more.

4. I couldn’t enter anything in my app for obvious reasons. I did that after the video. Add 30 seconds?

5. I had 3 dogs watching me.

See? Tracking isn’t too bad. If I can do it, you can do it! Crazy to think I was just guessing about what I was putting in my body for 30 years…

 

FAQ Food

Please Don’t Ask These 5 Things.

Picture 3

As I’m starting my journey with fitness and flexible dieting, I love the questions I’m getting from friends and family. It’s fun to talk about, and it’s exciting to spread the word about these healthy choices.

On the other hand, there are things people keep saying over and over that force me to take DEEP BREATHS before I respond….mostly because they are widely misunderstood beliefs. If people took the time to really think about them and break them down, they would fall apart.

So, here’s my sound off. Ready? Please don’t ask these 5 things:

1. Can you have {insert food} on your diet?

That’s kinda the whole point. I can have whatever I want to have. It’s not a restricted diet, it’s a flexible diet. I’m not “on a diet”. Here’s a few of the meanings of the word diet according to dictionary.com:

Picture 3

The thing is- the way I’m eating is not a list of prescribed foods. It’s not even a limitation on my selection or the amount I eat.

It’s a diet {the food choices I make each day} based on the needs of my body at that current moment in time. The needs of my body are calculated by my coach- he considers my amount of activity daily, my goals, my food preferences, and the way my metabolism is used to functioning. Based on his calculations and closely watching my body’s reactions, I aim to meet certain measurements of macronutrients {protein, fat, carbs, fiber}. These numbers are changed or adjusted constantly.

2. Aren’t you going to measure that? Do you have to bring your scale with you?

Yes, when I’m home- I measure. When I make meals ahead of time- I measure them. I want my macro count to be as close and accurate as possible to my daily goal. Am I going to immediately gain weight if I don’t measure something once in a while when I’m out? No. That’s the part that makes the most sense for my lifestyle. I measure so much every day, and I know my body so well now, I can make choices about my food and portion sizes based on my own understanding of the science behind my food decisions.

There’s no such thing as “falling off the wagon” because I always make a conscious decision, even if it’s the decision to eat a huge bowl of french fries at a pub. I know exactly what’s happening in my body if I eat something that doesn’t fit into my day, and I know how to account for that.

3. Oh, so it’s kind of like Weight Watchers?

Ugh. No. I don’t know. I’m not a Weight Watchers expert- but to me, it seems like a lot of money to have someone give you information you should be able to figure out on your own with a little time and dedication. The figuring it out on your own is exactly what makes this a lifestyle. It’s not a subscription that expires. It’s a way of life- a way of getting to know what YOUR body needs and wants, not what works for some people. It teaches you to listen to the needs of your body and gives you the knowledge to meet those needs appropriately.

4. Well, I’m doing the Arbonne/Beachbody/AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge, have you tried that?

I didn’t believe in that stuff before I started tracking, and I don’t believe in it now. Any company that wants you to fork over money with a promise of losing weight is functioning on a few basic, accurate beliefs that will lead to results, even without their product:

1. If you stick to anything for more than 21 days, it becomes a habit.

{That’s why it’s a 24 day challenge- you’re more likely to keep buying after sticking with it 21 days. You could achieve the same effect by sticking with tracking your food for 21 days.}

2. If you have the support of a community of like-minded people, you are more likely to remain successful.

{You will feed off of talking to other people doing the same thing, whether it’s one of these programs or not. So find other people thinking about the science of food!}

3. When you make a drastic change in your eating choices, you will see a change in your body’s reaction.

{Many meal replacement shakes and supplements force you into a caloric deficit. Of course you’ll lose weight! You’ll also gain it back when you’re done. You may pick up on some healthy habits along the way, which is great. But it seems to me that making a change in your choice and knowledge about food science will be more lasting, more meangingful, and it will cost less! Not to mention if you train your metabolism, you can eat the foods you want and add calories back in, forcing your body to use up all that energy.}

4. When you spend money, you are more likely to work toward a goal to get your worth out of your investment.

{You can get your motivation from another source. Motivate yourself by reading about successful people. Find out what they’re doing, and do that! And by the way, they probably aren’t drinking meal replacements. They might promote supplements, but you better bet they’re using them alongside educated food choices and hard work at the gym, just like your coaches do with these programs. Education first, supplement later…if needed.}

5. If you have the mindset that you CAN make changes in your eating and exercise, you will.

{Tell yourself you can do it. You got this! You don’t need some fancy schmancy powder to do it. Set your mind to it, and learn about what’s best for you.}

All of these 5 things can be achieved without any supplements at all. Find a community of like-minded people, online or anywhere. Read and research about the science behind food. Believe you can make a change, and do it. Then, if you want to add a supplement to increase your protein or fiber or whatever your goals are, make that choice based on your knowledge, not on a sales pitch.

5. All I see people posting with the IIFYM tag is junk food. Don’t you think about the health of your body? Shouldn’t you be eating clean?

A. Doesn’t one definition of eating clean vary from another? How would your body define “eating clean”? B. Of course they post junk food! They find ways to fit the foods they love into their food choices without the guilt. That’s worth celebrating.

YES. I do care about the health of my body. That’s one of the best things about counting my macros- I can read and research about processed foods and make choices that I feel comfortable with. I don’t have to rely on a list of predetermined foods- the choice is all mine. And if I want to eat ice cream, be it soy or fro yo or full fat Ben & Jerry’s, I know how it fits into my day, and my body will utilize every calorie.

Making the choice to eat more whole foods with ingredients you understand and know is a popular choice that I happen to agree with. But that doesn’t mean that mindlessly eating two heaping bowls of broccoli and quinoa for dinner or throwing a scoop of almond butter in a smoothie is a free-for-all because it’s “clean”. You’ll want to know what the breakdown of the food is and how much your body needs of each macronutrient. Many times that may mean adding in more of a different food, like a lean meat or even full fat yogurt.

I love you for asking me questions, I really do. I love answering them! But these are arguments that are engrained in people based on what they read online or watch on TV. Most of them are money-making arguments for big companies. I’d like to see people use their own discretion and education to make choices that make sense for a lifetime based on their natural tastes and habits. Now that makes sense.

Advice Food

Behind the Scenes #porncakesundays

20150214_095351

Since I’m just starting my fitness journey, I started following a lot of fitness people on Instagram. I was quickly launched into a world of new hashtags.

That’s when one, simple, amazing hastag came across my feed: #porncakesundays

If you’re not familiar with this hashtag, do a quick instagram search for #porncakesundays or @fitness_iq. You’ll find picture after picture of pancakes stacked up a mile high with frosting and chocolate syrup and pretzals and candy and Oreos crushed over the top. Peanut butter, bananas, Nutella.

I’ll give you a minute to stop drooling over the pics.

So…I decided to try my hand at one of these! What better way to have a delicious Sunday breakfast and gain a few new followers?

Not so easy. Here’s the real truth behind #porncakesundays.

I spent the week thinking of an idea that would be new and fresh for the hashtag. I wanted to really stand out. Everyone seems to be excited about Red Velvet Oreos- so I planned the perfect pancake. Red Velvet pancakes with white cream cheese frosting and crushed RV Oreos on top…drizzled with chocolate, obviously.

I went out & bought all the ingredients. I was ready.

That morning:: Wake up:: Check my Instagram:: Someone posted those exact pancakes:: They looked phenom.

Oh well. Back to square one.

I didn’t have time for the grocery store, so I checked my kitchen stash. It was Valentine’s Day, so there had to be some sort of pink.

Strawberry syrup? Nope. Pink food coloring? Nope. This was starting to look hopeless.

Luckily, I happened to have marshmallows, fluff, and pink sprinkles.

Perfect! I’ll melt it all together. I’ll make some baby pink frosting layered with white/pink pancakes covered in pink sprinkles. It’ll be so cute…no one will be able to resist. Then, we can eat ’em.

Fast forward. Two hours later.

The kitchen’s covered in sticky, pink marshmellow:: The pancakes are close to falling over:: I have fluff:: Everywhere. Dishes:: Everywhere. Matt fell back asleep an hour ago:: My stomach is growling:: The dogs need to go out:: I feel like I’m on an episode of Cupcake Wars.

20150214_095351

After some careful stacking, about 5 batches of pancakes, and playing around with toothpicks, I was finally able to snap a few pics of the delicious mess.

20150214_092631

IMG_20150214_094211

I think they turned out pretty cute, and it was fun to try. But, they were MUCH easier to make in my mind. And…by the way….we couldn’t even come close to eating them all! Happy #porncakesunday!

20150214_095328

Food Products

Grocery List

20150103_122446

I am lucky enough to be able to grocery shop with my nutrition & strength coach. We spend a ridiculously unnecessary amount of time in the grocery store because we’ve made a game out of reading labels.

The challenge? We’re trying to find the best foods that will taste good & help us get the most enjoyment out of our macros. But seriously. The employees there must think we’re nuts. We literally spend hours- it’s very exciting stuff. Like the time we discovered Fat Free Cool Whip.

20150103_122446

But, don’t worry. You don’t need to spend hours at the store. We’ll help you!

We do have very different opinions when it comes to choosing food. I tend to pick foods based on their health benefits & macros while Matt goes for taste & macros. There isn’t one food list out there that will work for everyone. You’ve got to figure out your numbers and buy what works for you.

So. If you promise you won’t think this is what you MUST eat and that this is some sort of MACRO DIET THING…then I suppose I can share some of our favorite grocery store staples. Hopefully you’ll see something you like!

{If you still think this is a diet…please go back to my Flexible Dieting Overview!}

Produce

We basically live off of “taco bowls” because we can fill huge bowls with the stuff & it hardly shows up  when we track macros. So we always stock up on peppers of all kinds, onions, lettuce, tomato, and avocado. We also eat a ton of zucchini– zucchini with pizza toppings, zucchini lasagna, spaghetti squash- you name it. I’m a huge fan of sauteed brussels sprouts, Matt…not so much.

Deli

We buy Boar’s head turkey or chicken– no slimy stuff for me! Nothing out of the ordinary here.

I love my sandwiches on these tasty wraps– low carb, high fiber. Perfect.

2f/13c/7f/5p

Tumaro_Wrap_IB

{www.tumaros.com}

Matt is more of a bread guy. He likes Country Kitchen. 0.5f/17c/4f/4p in 2 slices

Turkey Pepperoni also makes the deli list- high in protein, low in everything else. Processed, but I don’t really care. It’s tasty. And we can make pizza with it.

Meat

In the meat section, we stick to lean meat. Fish, 99% lean ground turkey, turkey breast, chicken breast, and once in a while we treat ourselves to 96% lean ground beef.

Al Fresco chicken sausage is YUMMY in the morning and for dinner. They have WAY more to choose from online than they do in our local store. {Hey, Hannaford, can you stock up? Thanks.}

buffsaus

1 link = 5f/2c/13p

We like turkey bacon. I make it everyday for breakfast & throw it on my turkey burger too. It takes some getting used to if you like regular bacon, but it’s delicious and packed with protein. Check the label for the best macros- Applegate Farms has 1.5f/0c/6p in a slice.

Canned Goods

I generally like to stay away from anything super processed. But, there are a few items I can’t live without.

Salad Dressing. Gotta have it. It also makes a good marinade. Our fav? Maple Grove Farms.

FF_balsamic vinaigrette

0f/3c in 2 tbsp

While we’re at it, we like Maple Grove Farms syrup, too.

sf_12_maple

0f/12c in 1/4 cup

Grab some tuna, some hot sauce, I like bubbly water, quinoa’s good, now let’s talk about pizza sauce.

TIME OUT. This has nothing to do with macros! I just wanted to tell you that this is the best canned pizza and spaghetti sauce I’ve ever tasted.

don-pepino-pizza-sauce

www.donpepino.com

Moving on to the Freezer section.

We stock up on Fat Free Cool Whip because it is delicious in between 2 chocolate graham crackers with mini chocolate chips! Just be sure to stick to a few tablespoons, and that’s a pretty macro-friendly dessert.

Picture 2

 

For nights we won’t have much time to cook, we get our french fry fix with Alexia Sweet Potato Fries.

sweet-potato-julienne-fries-large

 

I’m a HUGE french fry fan, but not a big fan of freezer fries. No matter what I do, they always seem to come out soggy instead of crispy…but not these! They crisp right up & taste gooooood.

On to Dairy

We pick up Simply Potatoes for breakfast along with egg whites. I love my nonfat, plain Greek Yogurt for a snack. (Mix in some mini chocolate chips & protein powder…tastes like cookie dough.)

Full fat cottage cheese is my go-to after-school snack. I throw it on some lettuce with grape tomatoes, fresh ground black pepper & balsamic dressing to hold me over until dinnertime.

Cheese is debatable. We buy both fat free mozzerella and reduced fat cheddar. This gives us some choice and control at the end of the night about how much fat we want to use on cheese.

…last, but not least- I Can’t Believe its not Butter spray butter! I’m not sure about the health benefits of this stuff, but adding a buttery taste without the fat content of real butter works for me.

Online

Our local Hannaford is a pretty good source for everything we need, but we do buy a few things online. Check out www.bodybuilding.com for protein powder & Quest Bars. I can’t seem to find Kodiak Cakes locally, although they do list Target as a retailer. If you love oatmeal, check out www.myoatmeal.com.

48f716bace964fddff7506d3391bc2ac

Checking Out

I’m certainly not a nutrition expert, but this is my starting point. For the first time, I’m not grocery shopping based on random recipe lists. I’m making conscious choices about the foods I’ll be putting into my body that week. The more I shop, the more foods I fall in love with. It’s about becoming aware of a food’s impact on your daily functions and making smarter decisions.

Happy Shopping!