5 ingredient protein pancake (gluten and dairy free)

afitmess
March 21, 2017

If you follow me on Instagram then you know I’ve been enjoying protein pancakes quite a bit lately. Today I’m sharing my favorite way to prepare a simple and tasty breakfast that’s packed with protein and healthy fats plus just the right amount of sweet!

 

This five ingredient pancake it easy to whip up (especially if you haven’t been to the grocery store) and is a great way to start your day or refuel after a workout. You may also like that it’s gluten and dairy free and low in sugar. I’ve included the nutrition breakdown below in case that’s helpful. I hope you enjoy it!

 

A Fit Mess

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons of pumpkin
  • 1.5 tablespoon of vanilla protein powder (I use SunWarrior)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
  • cinnamon (a few shakes)
  • optional: 1/2 teaspoon of honey or maple syrup

 

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl.
  2. Coat a medium-sized skillet with non-stick spray (or coconut oil) and place over medium heat.
  3. Pour batter into the skillet and cook for approximately 2 minutes per side (watch so that it does not burn).
  4. Top with nut butter and fruit or whatever else you’d enjoy.

 

A Fit Mess

 

Nutrition breakdown (without sweetner):

190 calories (26 grams of protein / 6  grams of fat / 5 grams of carbohydrates)

 

3 benefits of taking probiotics + a vanilla almond overnight oats recipe

afitmess
March 9, 2017

Hey there. Thanks for stopping by! Today’s post is about bacteria…the good kind, that is. I’m talking about probiotics – the healthy strains of bacteria found in your belly. They are extremely important to your overall health and well-being. Probiotics are found in many foods and can also be taken as a supplement. I thought I’d offer some of the benefits I have noticed from probiotics and share a delicious and easy way to get them in your diet (overnight oats!). Please remember, I am not a doctor and I would recommend speaking with your health professional before starting a new diet or supplement plan.

 

Importance of Probiotics

Your stomach contains tons of bacteria – some beneficial and some harmful. Your lifestyle, diet, and other factors, like stress and exercise, all impact the delicate balance of this bacteria. As you can imagine, healthy lifestyle habits promote good bacteria and negative factors (like smoking, stress, and poor diet) promote harmful bacteria. This harmful bacteria can lead to inflammation and may interfere with your body’s ability to think clearly (and positively), ward off illness, and recover from workouts.

 

One simple way to increase the amount of good bacteria in your stomach is by consuming probiotics – healthy strains of live bacteria. Probiotics are found in fermented foods (like yogurt, sauerkraut, and kombucha) and in supplement form. We enjoy all kinds of fermented food in our house, but since I don’t eat them every day, I choose to supplement with a daily probiotic (the girls take a children’s probiotic, too!). I’ve noticed a positive difference from taking a daily probiotic supplement and adding fermented foods to my diet.

 

3 benefits of taking probiotics

 

1. Strengthens your immune system – A large portion of your immune system is found in your digestive track. Probiotics help promote good bacteria (your body’s first line of defense) and inhibit the growth of bad bacteria. Many of my friends and co-workers can attest that I rarely get sick (of course, being a parent means my kids share their illnesses with me quite often, but I’m rarely down and out for more than a few days). I’m sure one of the reasons I tend to stay healthy is because I regularly take my probiotic.

 

2. Aids digestion and nutrient absorption – This is probably the most widely known benefit of probiotics. Many people suffering from IBS or some other digestive disease may find relief from some symptoms by taking probiotics. Probiotics are especially important for anyone who regularly exercises since they assist with nutrient absorption and muscle repair. Because I have dealt with malabsorption and nutrient deficiency issues in the past, I take a probiotic so that I can be sure my nutrients are adequately being absorbed.

 

3. Regulates mood – Your stomach is often referred to as your “second brain” due to its ability to influence behavior and mood. The majority of the neurotransmitters that control mood and cognition are found in the stomach. Serotonin, the neurotransmitter known for regulating happiness and satisfaction, is created almost entirely in the stomach (source). An imbalance of bacteria in your stomach has been shown to impact your thoughts and behavior.

 

I take Proflora Excellence by the Poliquin Group and the girls take the chewable form (which tastes like cherry). We always keep our probiotics in the fridge to preserve their freshness.

 

Okay, so we know probiotics are good for us and we know we need to incorporate them into our diet. So here is one of my favorite overnight oats recipes, made with greek yogurt and almond milk. The vanilla and almond flavors blend really well together and create a sweet and tasty treat. It’s a great meal to start your day and a simple way to get some good probiotics into your diet.

 

A Fit Mess

 

Vanilla almond overnight oats

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup of vanilla yogurt
  • 1/4 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract
  • sliced almonds for garnish

Directions:

  1. Combine everything (except the sliced almond) into a jar or bowl. Stir well.
  2. Cover and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours. Will last for several days as long as it’s kept in the fridge.

 

ENJOY!

 

 

Simple nut-free pumpkin granola (kid safe)

afitmess
March 7, 2017

 

This pumpkin granola may just be the easiest thing you will ever make. With around seven ingredients, it’s simple to throw together even on the busiest of mornings. Plus, it’s gluten-free, dairy-free, and nut-free which makes it a great (and safe) choice for school snacks. If your child does not have any nut allergies, you can toss in slivered almonds or chopped cashews. Try adding some dried fruit, like raisins or blueberries. 

 

A Fit Mess

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of gluten free rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup of honey (or maple syrup)
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons of pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, slightly melted
  • 1 tablespoon of sunflower seed butter
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine coconut oil, sunflower butter, vanilla, and pumpkin. You may need to heat these up slightly in order to incorporate everything.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the oats and mix well.
  5. Spread granola over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool before serving.
  8. Store in fridge for maximum freshness.

 

A Fit Mess

 

Enjoy!

 

 

{Recipe}: Baked honey garlic chicken wings

afitmess
March 1, 2017
A Fit Mess

Hey, there. I have a delicious and simple recipe to share with you guys this evening. It’s a variation of the Buffalo chicken wing recipe I posted last year, but…I must confess…I love this one way more! The combination of the sweet honey with the savory garlic is a match made in Heaven.

 

If you follow my weekend recaps then you know that most weekends include chicken wings, wine, and occasionally GF pizza. Unlike traditional chicken wings, these are oven-baked and marinated in a coconut oil base. The result is crispy, crunchy, and perfectly cooked wings. It’s definitely a step above your average chicken wing, yet so easy to prepare. I hope you enjoy these as much as I do!

A Fit Mess

 

Ingredients:

  • 24 chicken wings
  • 1 batch of garlic honey sauce (see below)
  • salt and pepper (for seasoning)

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat over to 400 degrees and place baking rack at the top of the oven so it’s right below the heat.
  2. Remove wings from packaging and season with sea salt and pepper.
  3. Bake for 50 – 60 minutes until wings are crispy and a golden color.
  4. While the wings are baking, prepare the honey-garlic sauce.
  5. After the wings are finished cooking, remove from the oven and toss in the sauce.
  6. Allow to cool slightly before eating.

 

Garlic honey sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 tablespoon of mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed

 

Mix all the ingredients together in a saucepan and heat over low-medium heat until all the ingredients have been combined.