Peanutbutter Banana Protein Pancakes… (dairy free and gluten free)

Every weekend my husband asks me to make Pancakes. Today was no different, but I wanted to mix it up a bit. So here is our delicious breakfast for under 300 Calories, loaded with goodness.

Ingredients:
6 eggwhites (I use all eggwhites)
1 cup of quick oates finely ground
1 scoop protein powder – I used Sun Warrior Blend  it’s Vegan
2 tbsp of PB2
1 medium banana
Makes 3 servings of about 3.5 pancakes

Directions:
Whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks, then mush the banana with a fork and add all the ingredients to the egg whites. Fold everything together, don’t over mix, or the egg whites will loose their fluffyness and you will have a runny bater.
Then cook like regular pancakes.
Instead of syrup, I cook up some berries or Cherries with just a tad of water. And instead of butter, I put about 2 Tbsp of So Delicous Vanilla yogurt.
These pancakes are dairy free and gluten free

Nutrition for pancakes alone:
223 Calories,  30g carbs, 2.5g fat and 18.7g protein.

En Guete!
Claudia

Day 1 back since surgery

Today has been the first day back at the gym since my surgery on March 24. So almost 2 months later. I went early in the morning and it felt like I had never left. My workout was all upper body and inbetween exercises I walked the length of the gym, just to keep my heart rate up. I didn’t finish the workout as I had only 1hr.
I felt a bit weak, had to go down on some weights, but hey that happens when you have not worked out in over 7weeks.
My foot is doing ok. I wearing a compression sock now as I am opening a store on Saturday and I am standing a lot. I hit my step goal of 7500 steps every day. 😀 which makes me happy. The reason I wearing it is, beginning of last week, I had quiet a bit of swelling in my foot, especailly on the incision site. Which makes walking difficult.
I also noticed that after a day at work, I have to do lots of stretching and flexing and the incision hurts. There is still nerve damage that is healing, I hate the burning tingly sensation, but it is what it is. I am just glad I am able to workout again and life is good.

Happy Lifting

~Claudia

4 weeks post op and the struggle is still real…

as you know 4 weeks ago I had surgery to remove a bones spur on top of my foot, it had been agitating me for 4 years. Well we are 4 weeks in and I haven’t not made it back to the gym as my foot keeps swelling.  As you can see in the picture, that was Friday (sorry for the terrible pedicure, but Ihaven’t been able to go). I am trying to elevate as much as I can, but I have work that has to be done and with a store opening soon, this is really putting a damper on things.

My food is ok, I haven’t been logging which I am changing today and I am trying to be better at my water intake. I have neglected that as well. My weight is fluctuating between 246 and 243, after this weekend (I had a convention, brought most of my food, but made decent choices) I have to get back to it. I hate not being able to do what I want/need to do for work and my body. I am trying to stay positive and but I can slowly feel the depression creeping up and I don’t want that. 
Also Today, 4 years ago I decided to end a 4 yrs friendship with a woman that abused, my good nature and took bits an pieces of me. It has been a very long road to build myself up again. But I am getting there. I have a pretty successful business, I am about to open a store with an amazing business partner and go on a new adventure. 
This weightloss Journey has done wonders for me, my self confidence has become stronger, (work in progress) I actually like some pictures of me, like this one. It was taken at the Renaissance Fair with my husband and I don’t look like a beached whale.
I still have a long ways to go, but Rome wasn’t build in one day and trying to find what was lost is taking a while, but it’s getting better, I have more days that are bright and filled with laughter, then the dark grey ones. And that is the goal. I know I live with the depression and the anxiety (both caused by the stress of aformentioned friendship) but I can manage it and live with it. Also this healthy lifestyle has contributed to the healing and the process. So me not being able to work out and blow off some steam is putting a damper on, but this time I know I can do it. I have an amazing support netwok and cheerleaders in my camp. And that is what counts. 
So please #alwayskeepfighting cause you story is not over yet… 
Much love,
Claudia

3 weeks Post Op and I walked a 5K…

Yeah you read that right…

I had signed up before surgery to do the #RunForIt5K from To Write Love On Her Arms and was able to raise over $500 in the process. That money will go and help people like me, that suffer from depression, anxiety or any other mental health issue.

I ran for Jared Padalecki, cause one year ago he started the conversation, with this #alwayskeepfighting shirt campaign. I now own all the shirts from each campaign and wear them as a daily reminder that my story is not over yet.

My foot held up really well I had to slow down, it took my husband and I almost 90mins to finish it, cause we walked so slow, but who cares we did it.

I feel confident enough now, to actually get back in the gym and keep going on this journey of mine that I started seriously on November 1st 2015. I am down from my heaviest weight in August 2015, which was 288lb to now at 244lb. But My goal is 180lb and see from there.

Keep going and #alwayskeepfighting

Recover from Bone Spur Surgery

I had a bone spur in my ankle removed about a week ago. So far so good. Today I was able to put weight on that foot without pain.

I am going to my follow up Tomorrow. And I have no idea what my recover time is, what restrictions are and what not.
But there are things I know…

Before I went into surgery I made my meal plan and I went grocery shopping. I picked meals that were easy to cook for my husband and my Teenage Daughter. Also this time I really did rest and I am drinking lots of water.
I had gall bladder surgery 5yrs ago and my recover was ok, but not great due to me being me and trying to do to much to fast. (it might have also had something to do with the fact that my former Narcisistic best friend, guilted me into doing stuff to soon, but I digress)
My husband has been great, he reminds me to take it easy and slow, that might just be cause he wants me to be able to take care of him when he has his hernia surgery next week. Yeah my family does everything at once, you could think we get a discount.

But back to my plan.
My goal is to not gain weight this month as I am not able to workout as I would like. So food is Key. I have been doing ok, I haven’t logged, but not being able to go anywhere and not having junk food in the house makes that kind of sort of easy. I have broken my no eating starches after 3pm rule a few times this week, but hey, I just had surgery. LOL
I am almost off the pain pills. Instead of 2 I take on and I am down to taking one in the am and one in the pm. So far so good.
I have been drinking lots of water and this morning I got on the scale I was 244.8lb. which is exactly what I weighed the morning of the surgery. So it can only go down from here.

The reason I know this is going to work this time ( I quit the gym and caring after the gall bladder surgery) is I have backup. My husband is my biggest support. My trainer has been messaging me every day since the surgery and has been so encouraging. My kids cause they eat what I had planned and have no complaints, I think that is my biggest achievement as a cook, my kids love my food, they are not picky eaters and they eat healhty. Yes my son does eat at the cafeteria, but instead of a burger he picks the salad and fruit each day and my daughter usually takes leftovers. My husband makes his lunch salad every evening. We are in this together as a family.
So getting back to the gym should be easy. I plan as soon as I am allowed to do upper body.

So here is to a healthy future.

~ Claudia

Paleo Moussaka Lasagna

I got the original Recipe from here, but decided to change it up to fit our lifestyle and taste a bit better.

Ingredients:

1 Eggplant peeled and sliced
1 Zucchini sliced
1 clove of garlic diced
10oz. or 1lb of lean ground Turkey
1 28oz. can or Marzano Tomatos
2 tbsp Tomato Paste
2 8oz cans of organic tomato sauce
8 white mushrooms
4 cups of fresh spinach
1.5 cup of raw cashews (soak them overnight if possible, but a minimum of 2-3hrs)
1/2 cup unsweetened Almond milk
1 Lemon
3tbsp. Olive oil

In a sauce pan, heat half the olive oil and saute the minced garlic then add the turkey to it. While the Turkey is browning, cut the mushrooms and heat a frying pan with the rest of the olive oil. Add the Mushrooms.
When the Turkey is all the way cooked, no more pink, add the tomato paste, Marzano Tomatos and Tomato sauce. Mix, then season to your liking, I use pink salt, black pepper, basil, oregano and a tiny bit of garlic powder. Turn on low and let this simmer.
When the mushrooms are soft add the spinach and sautee until just wilted and put the mixture in a bow.
In a blender, put in the drained Cashews, a tsp. Lemon Juice, Salt, Pepper and some garlice powder and the Almond milk and blend until you have a smooth creamy paste. Mix that in with your spinach mixture.
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a 9×13 Pyrex pan, Put one layer of Eggplant. Then add 1/3 of the tomato sauce and on top of that spread half of the Cashew mix. Then add a layer of Zucchini and repeat with the tomato sauce and Cashew mix. Add one more layer of Eggplant and spread the rest of the tomato sauce. I happen to have some Vegan Cheese from Trader Joe’s so I spread that on top.
Put it in the oven and cook for 45 minutes.

Nutrition: 253calories, 15g fat, 22g, carbs, 3g sugar, 14g Protein

Enjoy!!!

Hitting a Rough Spot?

So I am 4 months into my fitness/weight loss Journey.

I am down almost 40lb. since August of 2015 and I do feel great. But this week has been rough.

I am fighting a bout with depression and some health issues, I made it to the gym yesterday and I am going walking today. Tomorrow the gym will be in the afternoon and I am going Saturday as well.

But here is what is bumming me out. I have a bone spur in my foot right in my ankle joint and it f*ing hurts. I had cortisone shots, but yesterday the decision was made to get it surgically removed. So surgery is scheduled for the 24th of March. Which gives me 4 more weeks to work out and loose more weight.  The bad thing is I am going to be in a boot for 4 weeks 🙁 Which bums me out, here is why…

In 2008 I had my nasal septum straightened, due to doing a faceplant when I was 5 and not being able to breathe. It was a real struggle to get back into the gym then. In 2011 I had my gall bladder removed, I had already gained some weight back by then, but that surgery and the stress of the friendship that started to crumble did me in, I quit working out and eating healthy and ended up 100lb. heavier then I was in 2007.

So now you can see where my dilemma is and what demons I am fighting. But I can’t stress how important it is to find support. I am very lucky to have a wonderful husband and 2 teenagers I can count on. They have my back and I am very blessed. I also have my friends and I build a wonderful online community for supporting each other in our Journeys.

I know you can do this on your own, but when it gets tough, it’s easier to have someone that tells you they believe in you. Or that will cook a dinner so you don’t go out and eat all the crap in the world. If you can’t find someone, got check out my Facebook page “Geeks Who Lift” and message me. I got your back. It’s just important to have support.

Thank you all that are supporting me and telling me already that I can do this, cause this time, I know what traps are laid out for me and I don’t have the Toxicity that was that relation ship in my life anymore.

Best,

Claudia

Rest Day is important and also a little rant…

I am really starting to enjoy this blogging thing. Cause I can write when something annoys me without getting a bunch angry people at me.

So rest Day… I do Active Recovery, where you are going for a walk, cause you cant take it any longer sitting at home, or a hike or do some other activity. Yesterday was technically a rest day for me, but I went to the Renaissance Fair and walked 4.4miles thru out the day. I am feeling it a bit.
You can also rest when you are really sore. I had to do that a couple of weeks ago, I woke up and was so sore I could barely walk, that is when my body told me, You need to stop for today.
Also drink lots of water, it will help flush the Toxins that were released during your workout. Also don’t forget to stretch and foam roll during your Rest day. It will help the recovery process.

Now comes my other rant… I saw someone post on Instagram their Food Prep picture and the caption was EAT FOR FUEL, NOT FOR FLAVOR.
This struck a cord with me. I wanna eat flavorful meals. I don’t wanna eat bland food everyday. I see those meal preps and I think to myself, how BORING… How can you the exact same food every single day for a week? Well I can’t cause I would not be staying on meal plan.
Healthy food and foods that are good for you do not have to be Boring or Bland. All the recipes I post for dinner don’t take more time then 30-45 minutes. Cause I wanna eat with my family and spend time with them after. I don’t wanna spend hours in the kitchen. So No you can eat healthy foods and they can be flavorful.
I eat about 1700 Calories a day. I love Pampered Chef’s Southwest Seasoning, I used it in my omelet in the morning, a half a teaspoon has 15mg of sodium. And that is all I put on my omelet, I use salt very sparingly. In my homemade Salad Dressing I use Pampered Chef’s Herb de Provence which has 0 sodium but tons’ of flavors.

Be adventurous, try new seasonings, I love dill on my salmon. I put mustard and paprika on my Pork Chops and Chicken, these are all things you can do to make your meals full of flavor.

As a Teenager I did not know how to cook or had any inkling of learning to cook and now I love it, heck I make up my own recipes. So the one thing I can tell you. Don’t be afraid to try a recipe and cook something.

Go and have fun in the Kitchen… it’s an Adventure.

~ Claudia

Convention Prep Part 1

I am going to a Supernatural Convention this coming weekend and I don’t wanna eat the hotel food or the fast food surrounding the hotel. I have been working to hard for the past 3 months to not eat better. I probably eat yummier food then anybody else with what I am preparing.

So this will be divided into parts, first part is Meal Planning. Make sure you pick foods that are easy put in a cooler or don’t need refridgeration. Salads in a Jar survive well in a Cooler, I know, it’s a staple when we work at the Renaissance fair and they last till Sunday afternoon easy and you have access to ice at the hotel. I plan for two, cause my daughter is going with me.
Plan meals that are easy and snacks that fit into your con bag, and if you don’t have a con bag your should check out SewGeekAustin’s Messenger Bags, they are perfect. So Protein Bars, nuts, fruits like Apples, Oranges, Cuties are great.
I have a lot of protein that I eat each day, so I am packing my Shaker and Protein Powder, now you can pre measure in separate baggies to save on space.
I know some of you are flying in. But you can definitely bring those snack onto the plane in your carry on. And a lot of hotels have small kiosks where you are able to buy fruits, or you can walk to a gas station nearby and get some there.
I also bring my water bottle as most hotels nowadays have water fountains and you don’t have to pay for bottled water.

Friday:
Lunch – Salad in a Jar
Dinner – Turkey Patty Lettuce wrap with Veggies and Hummus
Snacks – fruit, protein Bar and Protein Shake, also veggies are on hand

Saturday:
Breakfast – either a egg bake in loaf form, or egg and turkey filled Vegan Biscuits. (Not sure yet)
Lunch – Salad in a Jar
Dinner – this might be a going out, but not sure, if not I will have another Lettuce wrap with lunch meat
Snacks – fruit, protein Bar and Protein Shake, veggies

Sunday:
Breakfast – either a egg bake in loaf form, or egg and turkey filled Vegan Biscuits. (Not sure yet)

Lunch – Lettuce wrap
Dinner – Chili at home 😀
Snacks – fruit, protein Bar and Protein Shake, veggies
These are all easy things to make a head and that way I know what I am eating, how many calories are in there, the macros will fit mine. 
If you plan ahead you can have a successful con weekend too and you need to eat well and right so you don’t get sick after. I will also have Emergen C on hand.

Fish Taco Bowl…

I found this Recipe and the whole family love it.

Ingredients:
4 tilapia filets
Pampered Chef southwest Seasoning
1 Cup frozen Corn
1 cup red bell pepper (diced)
1 can black beans
1 red onion
2tbsp Olive Oil
2 Avocados
2 Limes

heat one tbsp (I used less) of oil and season the fish with the Seasoning, then put in the pan, cook for 3mins, do not touch then flip and cook again for 3 minutes until fish is done. and nice and crisp.
Put all the fish on a plate and cover to keep warm then in the same pan sautee the onions, bell pepper and corn and let it caramelize. Let it cook for about 5-10mins, add the beans and cook till beans are heated thru.

Serve over rice (I didn’t as I don’t eat starches in the evening) and the put the fish on top, add half an avocado and slices of limes.
You can add some cilantro.

Enjoy!!