3 Simple Tips to Help You Stay on Track with Your Eating

Friday, February 26, 2021


Hi family and friends! 👋


I wanted to do a quick share on three of the simple tips I use to try and stay on track with my eating (two actual tips, one more of a splurge tip- all three good!). Although they seem small, these little habits put into a routine of practice do have a direct result on my overall goals. I'm sharing them with you today because it could either help you stay on track with your goals or inspire you to come up with your own.





1. Try to Use a Small Plate


If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen me share this recently. RP Strength reposted my post on their page too, so you may have seen it twice!

I generally always use a small plate and/or bowl for my meals. Yes, my food is falling off the sides and doesn't always fit well, but it makes my brain *think* that I'm eating more with a full plate. It's amazing what you can train your mind into thinking! I always feel like I'm having a lot, and 9/10 my food does all fit onto the smaller version. I track my food, but if I didn't, my portion size would be more exact with a small plate vs using a normal size plate, so there's not too many situations where I would need to adjust to a different size.





2. Salad Dressing on Your Fork, Not Your Food


I personally don't use dressing on a salad often, maybe blue cheese with a steak salad once or twice a year. I just prefer a lemon squeeze or avocado if I'm making my burrito bowl with lettuce. However, this could also be incorporated with pizza and other things you use dressing with (which is where I get on board most often!). 

We can still be friends if you don't eat your pizza with a fork too, that's totally okay! 


Steps:

  • Dip the fork into the dressing
  • Stab the fork into your food
  • Eat
  • Repeat  


When you're finished, take a look at how much dressing is still in the ramekin. Then think about how all of that could be stuck to a lettuce leaf and consumed if you mixed it in. You still taste the dressing, but consume so much less! I highly encourage you to try this at least once. I bet it becomes one of your favorite tips moving forward as well.






3. Sugar Free Jello and Fat Free Whip


We all have cravings. You're human, and it's going to happen. I look at myself as a very disciplined individual, but even I give in at times. This is completely normal and should be 100% expected. If you're looking for a sweet treat that won't do damage to your bottom line, sugar free Jello and fat free whip is amazing!  


Example:

(Servings per container is 8)

Amount Per Serving:

Calories 10

Protein 1g

Fat 0g

Carbs 0g


What I'm saying here is you could ultimately pig out on the entire bowl and be at 80 calories.. and you're going to feel like you ate a ton at the same time. For those moments and/or days this is truly needed, you're welcome for this one! 


That's it for now! :) 


I hope this post was helpful. The best way to say thank you is to share, comment or pin any of the photos in this post. I appreciate you all so much. Have a wonderful weekend!







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8 Surprisingly Simple Ways to Eat Casein

Friday, February 19, 2021

 *This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you). Read my full disclosure policy here.


Best Casein Protein Recipes


I see a lot of people wanting to use casein protein powder as a late night meal option, but they aren't really sure the best way to prepare it. So, I did some research to find out why casein is so beneficial and put together some of the ways I'm seeing people rave about it!


WHAT IS CASEIN?


Casein is a type of protein, most often found in milk and is an essential ingredient in cheese.


WHY DO PEOPLE USE IT AT NIGHT?


Casein is slow digesting, so people often take it before bed to help with recovery and to reduce muscle breakdown while they sleep. A lot of times people view it as a way to gain muscle while you sleep.

I personally like casein because it's light and keeps me full throughout the night. I also use chocolate casein, so it helps with my sweet tooth and cravings. (My favorite casein recipe is listed below.)


CASEIN BENEFITS


  • Contributes to Muscle Growth and Retention
  • Aids in Recovery after exercise
  • Slow Digesting
  • Greater Fat Loss
  • Reduces Cravings
  • Improved Performance
  • Contains Essential Amino Acids


WHAT IS THE SIMPLEST WAY TO DIGEST IT?


I've tried many casein recipes, and the simplest/most easiest way to consume casein is to make a shake! 


Depending on my macros, here's how I make mine:


Casein Milkshake

  • Casein Protein
  • Vanilla Almond Milk
  • Peanut Butter (can do a chocolate/peanut butter casein if macros are tight)
  • Banana (generally only get a little, but it makes a big difference)
  • 100% Cocoa Powder (for a little more chocolate) 
  • (Have additional macros available? Try sugar free whip or sugar free chocolate sauce on top!)


I just throw it all in a blender, and wa-la! So simple, and incredibly delicious! I use chocolate casein, so this helps with my sweet tooth (and wanting to eat it ALL) at night.



WHAT ARE THE BEST CASEIN RECIPES?



Below are some of the creative ways I see others preparing casein outside the usual bedtime shake! Most of the casein is a full scoop, and water is just enough for consistency. The rest can really be altered to your macros allotted! Plug it into what you have available for proteins, fat and carbs to see if you can create your perfect combination. I'd love for you to share in the comments below or tag me on @dumbbellsnotblonde if you found the perfect casein recipe match.


Casein Waffle

  •     Casein
  •     Egg Whites
  •     Water
  •     Sprinkle Baking Powder
  •     Peanut Butter
  •     (Have extra macros available? Add sugar free pudding or syrup to the mix!)


Casein Ice Cream

  •     Two bananas (cut in chunks/freeze)
  •     Blend with 2 1/2 scoops casein
  •     Add a little almond milk 
  •     (Extra macros available? Add sugar free pudding or syrup to the mix!)


Casein Mug Cake

  •     Scoop of casein protein powder
  •     Peanut Butter
  •     1 whole egg
  •     Water
  •     Mix without water with a fork, add a little water and continue mixing until it's a sticky texture
  •     Microwave for 90 seconds
  •     (Have extra macros available? Add fat free whip cream on top!)


Casein Cookies

  •     20g Casein
  •     2 1/2 Peanut Butter or creamy honey almond butter type spread
  •     1 tsp Baking Powder 
  •     1.25 tbs Water
  •     Mix Casein and Baking Powder first
  •     Add Butter
  •     Add water and mix
  •     Add chocolate chips
  •     Roll into balls/press down a bit to make them more cookie like
  •     Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes

 

Casein Pancakes

  •     Casein Protein Powder
  •     Egg Whites
  •     3 tbsp Water
  •     Peanut Butter
  •     Whisk eggs and water, then add powder and peanut butter. Medium heat on the pan, and flatten them down a bit. Flip when ready. 
  •     (Have extra macros available? Add fruit or your favorite fat free whip on top!)


Casein Brownie

  •     1 Scoop Chocolate Casein
  •     1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  •     Add water until brownie batter consistency
  •     Microwave 3-5 times in 30 second intervals
  •     (Have extra macros? Top with Peanut Butter or your favorite sugar free whip on top!)


Casein Pumpkin Pie

  •     Cinammon Bun Casein
  •     Canned Pumpkin Cinnamon & Pumpkin Pie Spice 
  •     Add water to make like a thick pudding
  •     Refrigerate for two hours   
  •     (Have extra macros? Add a little sugar free whip on top!)


I hope this helps with a general casein understanding and provides some inspiration for your first (or next!) bedtime meal. If you find just the right concoction, please share in the comments below or tag me on Instagram @dumbbellsnotblonde. I'd love to try your creation. :)


If you haven't tried casein just yet, are you going to be adding it into your bedtime routine? I want to know, so make sure to comment!







*This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you). Read my full disclosure policy here.

The Best French Toast Recipe

Sunday, February 14, 2021


Hi friends!

I'm super excited to share this one with you today, as it's one of three recipes that I actually typed and printed for our kitchen. We make it every time someone comes to visit and spends the night at our house. Although not healthy, you'll definitely be thanking me for this one. It's SO GOOD!


THE BEST FRENCH TOAST RECIPE



RECIPE


4 Eggs

1 Cup Whipping Cream

2 Thick Slices of Bread, cut into 3 Strips

Powdered Sugar

Maple Syrup


NOTES


Step 1

Place a little oil in the skillet. Beat eggs, cream and pinch of salt. Dip bread into batter and allow batter to soak in. Fry bread in skillet until brown, turn and fry on the other side.

Step 2

Transfer to cookie sheet and bake at 325 degrees for about four minutes or until puffed.

Step 3

Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with maple syrup.


TIP: To make it healthier, you can use a low calorie bread and sugar free syrup!





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I hope you love this French toast recipe as much as we do! When you try it out, I'd love for you to comment below to tell me what you thought. You can also tag me on Instagram @dumbbellsnotblonde.



The best compliment to say thank you for my post is to comment, share or pin! Thanks again for stopping by! 







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How I Built a Compact Home Gym

Friday, February 12, 2021

*This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. This means that I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you if you make a purchase through a link. Read my full disclaimer here.



Have you ever wondered what goes into building a home gym?

The answer is ambiguous of course, but if you were like I was a little less than a year ago.. I knew some of the key pieces of equipment I wanted to have initially, but had no idea how the space was going to look and what my initial budget would actually cover. If you're sitting there scratching your head on where to start, I'd love to show you what I did below if you want to pull any ideas or inspiration from my recent experience!

Why I Built a Small Home Gym

I have always wanted a home gym for as long as I can remember! There's just those days that you can't make it across town, you have a sick child or other reasons where it's just nice to jump into the garage and get some movement in. 

Now my dream gym is a full room with weightlifting and cardio equipment, motivational posters, big TV. My list could probably go on and on. However, that's not what I'm working with over here, so for now those dreams will live on Pinterest

Let me walk you through my small yet functional home gym, as it's complete (for now). 😉

Compact Home Gym

Assessing The Space

I'm going to be honest, I have a three car garage. We do have space. The left side of our garage is a DeWalt factory. Lol. We have a tool bench, other tables, tools, etc. We also have custom cabinets. That literally takes up a full car area. The middle of the garage is open, right now for the kids to run their bikes around, and where their bikes and wagons live. We also have a two person stroller that also takes up a ton of space. We put them all in the middle, and the kids make a track around them. Custom cabinets line the back of the garage. That leaves us with the right side! We used to have a standup bike rack, which was space saving but wasn't getting a lot of use. We also have ladders and storage on the right side. In such a huge space, this seemed like the best place to add my home gym. We put the bikes in the shed and started measuring.

Like I said, my dream setup against this wall would look something like a Bay Club or Equinox Gym in a smaller version, but I knew I didn't have space for that. So, I had to figure out two things: How to use the least amount of space but still have a fully functional home gym and figure out what equipment to purchase initially.

Compact Home Gym

How to use the least amount of space but still have a fully functional home gym

I initially was looking at something that mounted to the wall. This would allow it to be pushed against the wall at any given time and would allow for both cars to fit in the garage if need be. Makes sense, but it didn't really allow for any progression or growth. If my goal is to do a muscle up, I'm going to eventually hit the wall with my feet if it's that close. My tip for you when accessing your space: make sure to plan for future goals and usage so you don't outgrow your space. For us, it was purchasing something like the wall unit, but could be placed farther from the wall if need be (and ours already is). My husband just got his first muscle up last week, so already we purchased the right equipment for our lifestyle and fitness goals.

Once I chose the space saving half rack, it was time to check the rest of the space to see how it would all fit. We put two horse stall mats right in the center and measured where the half rack would sit, which ended up on the right side and mat. Since it's been less than a year since purchasing it all, that's where we're still at today.


What equipment to purchase initially

Now for the fun stuff! I had a few lists going at first. I started with everything I initially wanted (it's fun to dream, right?), and then reviewed the basic pieces I would need initially. For me, my initial list I ended up purchasing was this:

(I linked these items to give you an idea of what they all are. Some of them I personally own, some I own different brands of.)

- Floor Mats

- Rack 

- Barbell

- Clips

- Initial starting bumper plates

- Storage for weights

- Storage for bar

- Dumbbells 5lb, 10lb, 20lb

- Kettlebell

- Box

- Wall Ball

- Gymnastic Rings

- Dream Item: Echo GHD


I also knew I needed:

- Booty Bands

- Bands

- Gym Chalk

- Hand Grips (I have the orange/black two hole version in size small)

- Squat Pad 


What's nice about all of these items, is that most of them are compact and can be moved around easily. Since they all fit in the space well and can be moved/put away, I don't feel like it's too crowded at all. Of course, I have the middle of the garage to work with if need be, but generally I can do burpees under the rack, and box jumps on the side. I actually feel like the space works out really well. It feels good to have a small space that's still completely functional for fitness.

Is a home gym ever really complete?

If you've ever made a home gym because you're "trying to save money", you'll know that this doesn't work out. Eventually, you have to just stop. There's always something else you "need" for your home gym. In the future I would LOVE a rower, assault bike, additional weight, timer, whiteboard, etc. Like I said, there's always something. However, I'm really enjoying having a space along with the functionality we still have in the garage. So for now, all the cardio will have to be taken outside on the pavement (although I'm currently eyeing this option that would turn my bike into a machine: Sportneer Bike Trainer Stand).

Hopefully this helps if you're looking to build a similar small gym in an area of your own home. I can say that it was totally worth it, and I love that it's open 24/7- no excuses. Feel free to reach out or comment if I can help with any questions! 







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Be Game Day Ready with this Healthier Frozen Peanut Butter Bananas Recipe!

Friday, February 5, 2021

 

*This post may contain affiliate links. This means that I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you if you make a purchase through a link. You can read my full disclaimer here.


Frozen Banana Bites for Game Day Football Superbowl


Frozen Peanut Butter Banana Game Day Bites



These Frozen Peanut Butter Banana Game Day Bites are a healthier take on a tasty little dessert! They are made with bananas, nuts'n more toffee crunch, thin chocolate coating and a dab of frosting. When you bite into them, you get the frozen banana taste with just a hint of the protein superfood and chocolate shell. The frosting on top is icing on the cake for an all-around bite sized dessert. Make sure to share or bag individually, as they are easy to keep eating! 


Frozen Peanut Butter Banana Game Day Bites Recipe Inspiration


Who doesn't love frozen bananas with peanut butter and chocolate?! I will admit, this is a trio that I could eat every single day. (Chocolate Peanut Butter Casein with a banana thrown in is also my favorite bedtime shake, which is just a healthier liquid version.) Since game day usually requires an abundance of chips and dip, soda, pizza... and really anything else that you eat too much of, I decided to find a healthier alternative that still allowed me to participate in the food festivities. This one didn't disappoint, so I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!


Game Day Bites Ingredients



Ingredients Notes


For the peanut butter, I use a fun toffee crunch spread (they also have birthday cake, cocoa hazelnut, white chocolate, cookie dough, salted caramel peanut butter and more). Of course, regular peanut butter would also work well. For the chocolate dipping candy, I have the kind that hardens immediately, so it's very smooth and easy to create the footballs out of icing. I haven't tried regular chocolate, but I'm sure it could be a great substitute as well. The frosting is just a very small tube, but a larger one should work too. This is such a simple recipe that can be adjusted for macros and ingredients. Feel free to follow my exact recipe or create something similar on your own! 



Recipe Equipment


The equipment is simple for this recipe. The only other thing you may want to prep is a place for the mini baking sheet in your freezer.

From here, you just slice the bananas, add peanut butter in the middle of two, dip and coat in chocolate and top with some frosting in a football design! See below for my exact process, as I freeze them two separate times.



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I hope you love these easy to make game day bites! When you try them out, I'd love for you to comment below to let me know how you like them. You can also tag me on Instagram!






    (DETAIL SUMMARY WITH INSTRUCTIONS LISTED BELOW)

Frozen Peanut Butter Banana Game Day Bites


These Frozen Peanut Butter Banana Game Day Bites are a healthier take on a game day treat. They are made with bananas, peanut butter, milk chocolate and frosting. The center is just the right taste of banana and peanut butter with a chocolate shell.

EQUIPMENT


  • Parchment Paper
  • Mini 1.5 quart Crockpot
  • Spoon
  • Butter Knife
  • Small Baking Sheet
  • Toothpicks


INGREDIENTS


  • 4 Bananas
  • Peanut Butter/Protein Superfood
  • Chocolate Dipping Candy
  • White Frosting

INSTRUCTIONS


1. Spread out the parchment paper
2. Cut the bananas into small pieces. The smaller you make them, the more bites you can make (although I make mine a little bit thicker).
3. Add peanut butter on top and make a sandwich with two banana slices as pictured
4. Freeze for one hour
5. Heat the chocolate in a Crockpot
6. Take a toothpick, and dip the frozen bananas and peanut butter pieces into the chocolate, covering as much as you can (the bottom usually has very little).
7. When finished, they should all be hardened, and you can top with a little frosting before putting them back into the freezer for an hour.
8. Serve, eat and enjoy!

NOTES


  • This recipe makes around 20 bites (more if you cut the banana pieces smaller
  • I left the pieces on the baking sheet open until I was ready to eat, but you could also bag them if needed. Keep in mind that the frosting on the top doesn't freeze, so be careful not to mess the football design up
  • Feel free to store for up to three months sealed, but they usually go pretty fast once you start eating them!

I'm usually pretty good at the macros, but I'm on maintenance and decided to make the healthiest treat possible for game day, but also give myself the day to relax a bit on the numbers. However, because there's only four ingredients, this should still be very easy to track if needed!





Thank you for stopping by!

The best compliment to say thank you for this recipe idea is to comment, share or pin. I appreciate your support, and look forward to seeing you back for more next week! 





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