Hi Friends! 😀
I wanted to introduce you to my favourite protein muffin recipe. One day I was just fiddling around on MyFitnessPal to see if I could make a recipe for a postworkout snack that not only hit my macros but also
didn’t taste like a tire tasted great and I came up with these babies!
Now, I’m obsessed with this recipe because I love all things banana, but these work well with other fruit options as well. In fact, I gave this recipe to someone else at my gym who fancied some apple action, so they baked them using unsweetened apple sauce instead of the banana and they thoroughly enjoyed them. Bonus points for flexibility! 😀 Anywho, these muffins contain very few ingredients, can be made in a very short amount of time and work great as a post-workout snack!
Now that I have teased you with a delicious treat, you will have to wait ’til the end of the post to unlock the recipe as I have some great news to tell (well potentially great news). So I had an interview today at a little nutrition store downtown Hamilton called GoodnessMe! It’s a great store filled with all sorts of things that would excite any foodie. You have your vegan protein powders, allergy-free goodies, superfoods, baking essentials and supplements galore! Tell me, whats not to love! Woo, calm down…Ok, back to my story. So the other day my boyfriend and I stopped in so I could grab a few supplements and by the end of our visit I not only had my goods, but both me and my boyfriend ended up applying for a job there. As it turns out, we both got call backs and have our interviews today! Now, I know you’re probably thinking that competing for the same job could get ugly, but to be honest, I’m really hoping that we both get hired and can just work together 😀
One reason that I would LOVE to work here is the opportunity to be exposed to and learn about all of the new products that come out on the market. I don’t know about you, but I strongly believe that supplements can do great things for the body if they are used properly. Currently, I have incorporated a few supplements into my daily routine, which I will share with you, but I am by no means an expert at this stuff yet so please feel free to share any information that you have!
So my daily ‘stack’ if you want to call it that includes:
- Calcium pills. Nothing too special, but I have been taking these my whole life due to being allergic to dairy throughout childhood. Although I can now eat dairy (if I pop a lactaid…or 4) I still continue to keep them in my diet as my bones are not the greatest and I want to try to maintain what I’ve got. I do want to mention that just because I take these supplements it does not mean that I don’t seek out and eat calcium rich foods on the daily. As I mentioned in my last post, supplements are not a replacement for food, they merely act as an accessory.
- Fish oils. Although expensive, I believe that everyone should take these for a few reasons. One, many people do not consume enough fish in their diets to get the recommended amount of essential fatty acids (EFAs) that our body needs. Two, even if fish makes a regular appearance on your plate, due to modern fishing practices (like farming), a lot of the fish we eat has reduced levels of these fatty acids. Finally, if you are taking in these Omega fatty acids, you have to consider the fact that a proper balance of these EFAs is important for our health. In fact, one concern that has gained considerable interest recently is the ratio between Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. Particularly, researchers are concerned that most Americans take in an Omega 6: Omega 3 ratio of 10:1 to 15:1 whereas it is recommended to be at 5:1 or lower. This skewed ratio is thought to be contributing to a number of long term health problems including cardiovascular disease, cancer and inflammatory diseases. With this in mind, researchers often support the idea of supplementation of Omega 3 EFAs to support good health (for more info, see source at the end of this post).
I jumped on the bandwagon about a year ago after a friend of mine (who is a personal trainer and owns his own gym) informed me of all the great benefits that these oils have to offer. As an example, some of these benefits include the promotion of a healthy immune system, stronger hair and nails, efficient cognitive functioning and sustaining proper blood clotting. (to see more of these amazing benefits check out http://www.omegascience.org/product_ingredients/fish_oil.aspx). For getting my daily oils, the brand that my friend recommended and the one I fell in love with was Barlean’s Organic oils. Specifically, I use the line of Omega Swirl that contains only Omega 3 EFAs and ever since I started taking them I have never gotten sick, not even a cold! I kid you not. These beauties are certified organic, GMO-free, sugarfree and taste so delicious you can sip it off your spoon! Of their 4 awesome flavours (Keylime Pie, Lemon Zest, Peach-Mango and Pina Colado) I would say that my favourite is their Keylime for not only taste, but also because it has the highest potency of the four (which saves you monnies!). I would totally recommend this brand, and if I could. I would try their other products as well including their flax oil based Omega Swirl and Greens lines. To learn more check them out at http://www.barleans.com/
- I’m also trying a new-to-me product, Spirulina, that I picked up the other day when I applied for the job at GoodnessMe!. I have been checking it out for a little while now and finally decided to go for it. Spirulina sparked my interest when I learned that it was great for alkalizing the body. Alkalizing??? Are we all familiar to the pH scale? Well, your body can get more acidic or alkaline (ie. basic) depending on certain environmental factors with one important factor being food. Different foods have different acid/base concentrations so when they are ingested they contribute to your body’s overall pH level. In general, most proteins, grains and dairy tend to be on the acidic side, while most vegetables (especially greens), healthy fats and some fruits are more alkaline. If you would like to check out a nice and simple list of acidic vs. alkaline foods check out http://www.energiseforlife.com/acid-alkaline-food-chart-1.1.pdf. Okay, so this is all great, but why does it matter what pH my body is at? Well, just like other bodily states, the body prefers to work under certain pH conditions, which happens to be more alkaline, and when you creep away from this balance, the efficiency of bodily processes can be compromised. It has been reported that most people are quite acidic and there is a growing concern that this acidic environment may be responsible for a range of health related problems including weight gain, low energy, cancer, heart problems, aches and pains, poor immunity, etc, etc. So what do I do to fix this? Well you could remove all “highly acidic” foods from your diet which means that you would have to give up all meat and dairy in addition to most grains, nuts and fruits. Power to you if you can do that, but this lil miss fitness freak just simply cannot. I could get by without grains and probably dairy, but things would get ugly if I had to give up my animal protein sources (muscle food!) and peanut butter. SorryI’mNotSorry. So, instead, I’m trying to help balance myself out another way by incorporating more greens into my diet daily (hooray for iron and calcium rich kale and spinach) and taking these spirulina capsules. Hopefully it does this lil body some good!
- Finally, the last supplement I include is protein powder. As I have mentioned, my collection of these tubs is extensive (a girl’s gotta have options) and I use them every day. Now I know that many people would disagree with my high usage and tell me that I need to get my protein from ‘real food’ sources, but this just works for me at the moment while I’m still learning. I’m at a point in my training where I’m trying to pack on as much muscles as possible so my protein needs are high. This means that I need a good amount of protein at every meal (ie. 6x a day). Could I realistically get all my protein from food? Yes. Would it be hard? YES! Let me explain. First, I’m lactose intolerant (but I can tolerate whey and casein) so unless I want to constantly be poppin’ lactaids, I need to avoid ingesting large amounts of dairy (so no greek yogurt or cottage cheese snacks for me). I could just eat meat all the time…but this would shoot my sodium and my grocery bill through the roof, so I avoid that too. Lastly, what about vegetarian meat sources? Well, their protein amount per serving is not as high as I would like and they tend to have more carbs than I want. Therefore, at this moment, protein powder is my best option for snacks and a lil protein boost here and there. I tend to use protein powders in my morning oatmeal, post workout (see muffin recipe!), afternoon snack and before bed snack (casein). At first glance this may appear to be a lot, but just know that the only time I use a full scoop of protein powder is at night (casein) or when my breakfast oatmeal is my pre-workout meal, in the other instances, its 1/3-1/2 a scoop due to being an add-in and not a meal in itself.
Generally speaking, this is my personal view on supplements and what I personally take in a nutshell. At the moment, this works for me, but I’m always looking to learn more and you can totally help lil me out by commenting on this post! 😀 So to conclude my interview story, I really hope I get this job (cross your fingers for me!) as it would not only be great for me, but it would also be fun times for you guys too as I will totally share all the latest and greatest goodies! 😀
Okay so I have blabbed on enough, lets make some muffins! Check’em out, simple eh?
Some additional tips:
- Want an ooey-gooey surprise in the middle of your muffin when you bite into it? To do this, save 4 (or 6) pieces of banana before you nuke it and when you are pouring your batter, pour half the batter into your tins, place the banana piece in the middle and add the rest of the batter on top. Delish!
- Depending on your protein powder, the consistency may be slightly different and you may need to adjust slightly (too dry, too wet). Also, if you protein powder dries them up too much, feel free to add more fruit puree!
- You can use any fruits you want, but make sure that you have some form of a puree in there to moisten it up or the protein powder will make your muffins taste like rubber. Blech!
I hope your enjoy these as much as I do, they are fast, convenient, tasty and they fit my macros. Unfortunately I have to have mine with a side of lactaids, but hey, for these lil babies, I will do the extra work. 😉
Have an amazing day!
The doctor of the future will give no medication, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.
– Thomas A Edison
- Simopoulos, A. P. (2002). The importance of the ratio of omega-6/omega-3 essential fatty acids. Biomedicine & pharmacotherapy, 56(8), 365-379.