Wednesday, February 27, 2013

1-Minute Chocolate PB Protein Mug Cake

It's about time I post a healthy dessert! Especially because sometimes I truly believe I have the world's largest sweet tooth. I've seen "cakes" like this around Pintrest but never tried one... Until last night. Clearly it made such an impact on me that I felt the need to blog about it today! It is packed with protein, has no "guilty" ingredients in it, and TOTALLY satisfied my sweet tooth and filled me up! Not to mention it took 1 minute to prepare and 1 minute to 'cook'... Ladies and gentlemen, I think we have found ourselves a winner. Thanks to my friend Steph for passing this recipe onto me! Introducing:
1 scoop Chocolate Protein Powder
1 T. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 t. Truvia (or sugar)
1/4 t. Baking Soda
pinch salt
1 egg white
2 T. Unsweetened Almond Milk
1/2 T. Peanut Butter (optional)
 Before! Mix, Mix, mix!
1. Combine all of your ingredients in a mug (except the PB) and mix well until smooth
2. Add in your scoop of PB and cover it with the batter
3. Microwave your mug for 1 minute. Watch it incase it overflows (pulse yor microwave and push down the cake periodically until the 1 minute is up)
Chocolate PB Protein Mug Cake
And just like that, it is ready to enjoy! So easy, so delicious, so filling.

Now I know my photography skills don't make it look all that appetizing, but give it a whirl and you'll taste the amazingness. It honestly tastes like a moist cake, maybe not quite as sweet, but chocolatey and delectable.
Warm, chocolate, gooey, YUM
238 Calories 
6.5g. Fat
12g. Carbs
2g. Sugar

Without PB- Nutrition:
190 Calories
2.5g. Fat
10g. Carbs
2g. Sugar

(I used chocolate whey protein, 1/2 T. all-natural nothing-added peanut butter, truvia)
Ready to enjoy it? It is delicious! And I would have never come up with this myself- ALL props go to for her creativity! 
<3 Morgan

Sunday, February 24, 2013

My "Not-So-Secret" Health Regimen

These last few weeks have been a whirlwind. I accomplished by dream of becoming Miss Boston after so much hard work! This has left me feeling so humbled, blessed, and even MORE ambitious to share my platform: Fit for Success. Lets make America a healthier place to live!! So... back to the blog :)
Hard work pays off! Lifestyle & Fitness winner at Miss Boston! :)
 Over the past few weeks and months, I've received several messages about my "secrets" to staying healthy. I truly believe health is always a work in progress, but I'm happy to share what has worked for me thus far! However... I'm here to tell it straight forward. Everything you have EVER heard about eating right and exercising... is true. Plain and simple. Now, you just need to abide by it and watch your body change! I'll be honest, a few years ago when I really became dedicated to living a healthy lifestyle, I thought it was my way or the highway. I'd happily enjoy my cookies and junk food (but hey, it was only once a day), and I wondered why my body wasn't changing:

"Where is the magic fairy dust?" "I started exercising- but why don't don't I have a 6-pack yet?" "Well, I wasn't going to have sweets today... but that can start tomorrow!" Are thoughts I often had, yet I was still sitting, wishing, and waiting for my body to 'feel better.' Isn't it AMAZING that once I started listening to the tips I've heard for my entire LIFE (eat right, exercise often, in every single health class every single semester) I FINALLY began to notice changes?!

This is what it is all about. Unfortunately, you will NOT notice differences in your body, until you start putting effort forth. There is no magic fairy. There is no magic pill. There is no one that can burn calories for you. You get ONE body. ONE life. Are you ready to start living it the way YOU want it?! I'm here to tell you:

YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Now that the 'crabby' part of this blog is over (sometimes you just gotta be a little harsh to get the point across!), lets get on with the show. Listed below are the changes I've made to my lifestyle over the past 2 years. Honestly, this was a full 2-year gradual process. It took time, effort, and learning for me to make these changes. I don't believe it is possible to make one large, drastic change at once. It takes time for your mind and body to adjust, and it is important you set realistic goals so that they are attainable.

Morgan's "Not-So-Secret" Regimen:
A good start is switching from eating 3 large meals a day to 5-6 smaller meals. This is important to keep your metabolism going throughout the day! And of course- NEVER skip breakfast! (how many times have you heard this?) Kick start your metabolism first thing in the AM. I've never gone longer than 4 hours without eating- Starving yourself is never ever the trick.

My Diet: limited sugar, carbs, and dairy (upsets my stomach). All-natural carbs like oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and fruit.  Protein is important at every meal (egg whites, protein shake, lots of chicken breasts), 2-3 fruits per day and as many vegetables as possible (especially green ones). I aim to ingest my 'sugars' (fruits/carbs) in the morning so it doesn't turn into fat overnight. No dressings besides balsamic vinegar and I use herbs to season my chicken breasts instead of dipping sauces! Minimal cheeses- possibly a low-fat mozzarella cheese stick occasionally. A majority of my fats come from raw almonds, olive oil, avocados, all-natural peanut butter. And of course: TONS of water! Water ALL day!
A Typical Day of Eating
Breakfast: 2 cups coffee with 1 T cream and 1 T unsweetened almond milk. Unsweetened plain oatmeal with a diced banana and cinnamon
Mid-Morning snack: protein shake if I worked out, otherwise Greek yogurt, or plain rice cake with PB, egg whites, fruit
Lunch- salad with a protein (chicken)
Mid-Afternoon snack: almonds, carrots/peppers and hummus, an apple
Dinner: protein, vegetables, sweet potato, salad

I've completely eliminated: sweets, pasta, rice, (unless it is brown, whole wheat, or quinoa), all chips, candy, soda, any beverage besides water (and coffee in the morning), sugar cereals/oatmeal, frozen meals (sodium central), granola bars, pizza & junk, added salt

Exercise- 5 days a week. More if I'm lucky enough to find time before running around at my job at My Gym Children's Fitness Center on weekends! Variations of cardio (I love to run! At least 3 miles/day), weight lifting, and total-body exercises throughout the week. Usually at least an hour at the gym per day, consisting of 30-40 minutes cardio, alternating between arms/legs/back/abs each day, and mixing it up with 'total-body-workouts in between; stretching at the end) Lean protein shakes afterward.
I track every single meal with "My Fitness pal" which enables me to count the fats/carbs/proteins I've ingested each day, and helps me to figure out which nutrients I still need to eat in my day! It is a wonderful way to stay on track.

And of course: I ALWAYS have a cheat meal during the week! So yes, those "eliminated foods" certainly come into play for my cheat meal! Everything I read and hear stresses the importance of a cheat meal. It jump-starts your metabolism, confuses your body, and gives you some extra calories to fuel you through the week! I LOVE cheat meals, and the only time you can ever get me to skip one is the week before a pageant :)
Once again, it took me two years to progress to my current diet. It definitely is a learning experience! I PACK ALL OF MY MEALS AND SNACKS! Yes, salad in tupperware, balsamic vinegar in a mini-tupperware, raw almonds in baggies, you name it. This has been the only way I've been able to stay on track- plus you're saving money from avoiding eating out! Bored? Chew on some sugar free gum and sip water! Aim for a gallon of water a day (128 ounces- I fill my water bottle up over 5 times)! Lastly, I strive to stop eating 2 hours before bedtime.
All in all: put DOWN those chips. Everything that goes in your mouth will contribute to your body. Quit eating that midnight snack! Save it for your cheat meal! Don't even allow yourself to buy junk food at the grocery store! If you buy healthy foods, you will eat healthy foods. Stop making excuses. Start seeing results. Your body will feel SO cleansed, inside and out!

Now, don't be scared off by this. I KNOW you can do it! And if you need a supporter, let me be your first one! Go take on this world. Create the body you have dreampt of. Be proud and patient with yourself. LETS GET HEALTHY!!!
<3 Morgan

Sunday, February 17, 2013

46-Calorie Cookie?! Yep.

No sugar. No flour. No eggs. No oil. No butter. No sweeteners. 
This may be my best discovery yet. YUM! After really striving to live a healthy lifestyle, I often try to ignore my raging sweet tooth. Well, sometimes that is just not possible, but today I found a GUILT-FREE way to satisfy my need for sweets! I wouldn't even dare to consider this a cheat meal. With only 3 ingredients, a 5-minute prep time, and only 46 calories per bite-size cookie, I'm here to introduce:

46-Calorie Cookies
I found a variation of this on Pintrest and decided to put my own spin on it. These are the easiest "cookies" I've ever made and chances are, you probably already have all of the ingredients in your cabinets!

2 Large Old Bananas
1 c.Quick Oats
Sprinkle of Cinnamon

Add You Own Twist:
2 T. Dark Chocolate Chips
1 T. Slivered Almonds
Unsweetened Coconut
Dried Cranberries
The only 3 ingredients you need are the bananas, quick oats, and cinnamon. After that, you can add in any ingredient you desire- try to keep it healthy though :) I decided to add 2 T. Dark Chocolate Chips, and then to half of my batch, I added in 1 T. Sliced Almonds. 
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Mix all ingredients together
3. Stir in toppings
4. Lightly coat cookie sheet with cooking spray
5. Spoon bite-size spoonfuls of 'cookie dough' onto cookie sheet
6. Bake for 12-14 minutes
dark-chocolate chip version
dark chocolate chips + sliced almonds
I divided my batch into 14 bite-size cookies (thus yielding the 46-calorie measurement- nutrition information below) and it was the perfect size to cure your sweet tooth!
ready for the oven :)
finished product! fresh out of the oven
Keep an eye on the cookies while they bake. Depending on your oven, they will take anywhere between 12-14 minutes. It even makes your kitchen smell delicious!
aren't they cute?
Almonds, Dark Chocolate, and Melted= Oh My!
Ahhhhh, I am so satisfied and so happy to share this with my fellow health-freak friends!

Cookies + 2 T. Dark Chocolate Chips
14 Servings
Nutrition Facts for 1 Cookie:

46 Calories
1 g. Fat
9.5 g. Carbs
1 g. Fiber
2.8 g. Sugar
1 g. Protein

If I were to do anything different for next time, I might look for mini-dark chocolate chips so that they are more dispersed throughout the batch. Then again, the melty-heaven of the normal chocolate chips was delightful.Unsweetened coconut would be a delicious additive as well! 

Ready, Set, Enjoy!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Healthy Snack: Quinoa Pizza Bites

A healthy lifestyle can sometimes deprive you of your favorite comfort foods (especially if you're training for a pageant), so instead of binging on unhealthy bloating fatty foods, I tried out the healthy version of pizza: Quinoa Pizza Bites!
so. much. yum.
I found this recipe on Pintrest but decided to make it even more healthy! You won't feel an ounce of guilt snacking on these, but it sure will satisfy that "comfort-food" craving! This batch made 2 snack servings for me. If you want a lot of leftovers (or have multiple people eating them- they go quick), then double this recipe! You can also toss in 1/4 c. diced cherry tomatoes, mini pepperoni slices (unhealthy but yummy), diced peppers... get creative!
mixing the goods
1/2 c. uncooked quinoa
1 large egg
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. fat free shredded mozzarella
1 t. minced garlic
1 T. dried basil
1 t. dried oregano
pinch of salt
pizza sauce for dipping
time for the oven!
1. Cook your protein-filled quinoa! Boil the quinoa and 1c. water and cover. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes (until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender).
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all of your ingredients (except the pizza sauce) in a mixing bowl until it is well mixed.
3. Lightly spray the bottom of a mini-muffin tin with olive oil spray. Using a Tablespoon, scoop ~1T. into each muffin tin, it should fill almost all of them!
4. Bake them for 15-20 and let cool. Serve them warm with pizza sauce to dip in!
finished product :)
(One serving. This recipe makes Two!)
265 Calories
6g. Fat
33g. Carbs
18g. Protein
I only needed 1/8 c. pizza sauce (only 15 extra CALORIES!)
This simple recipe is sure to put a smile on your face :)