Recipes


What Protein Powder is Best?

Hello! Happy September! (I know, it’s a little late for that–sorry guys!)

I love getting fitness questions from my clients and friends. I recently got a great question from Leslie about protein powders. Specifically, she wanted to know what types are best for recovery, satiety, and purity of ingredients.

Protein Powder Breakdown

If you have any dietary concerns, the first issue to address is the source of the protein powder. Whey, cassein, egg, and beef protein are animal source protein powders. Vegetarians would want to consider a protein powder made from soy, peas, hemp, and rice. Soy has gotten a bit of a bad rap in the past few years due to claims of effecting testosterone levels in men, and rumored breast cancer concerns for women. There has also been some controversy regarding arsenic in rice products. However, the FDA has released a report claiming the levels of arsenic in rice powders are too low to cause “immediate health damage”. As for soy, I’ve never seen anything definitive about any side-effects. This short article from cancer.org sums up there findings on the soy-cancer connection.

My personal preference has always been for whey protein, which tastes the best, and since it absorbs into the digestive system quickly, is a popular choice for people post-workout. Casein is the other milk-derived protein and absorbs more slowly into the digestive system, so it may be preferable for people who are using it for weight-loss or control. Personally, casein shakes are too rich for me, so if I do use casein, I like it blended with whey.  PS, I have nothing against veggie protein powder except for the taste, which is awful.

alpacinoproteinpowder

 

Kefir

If you’re looking for a pure, whole-food protein source for your skakes,  you should definitely try Kefir. I loathe the phrase “super-food” but if I had to use it, it would be to describe kefir.

Kefir is a fermented milk drink from India, famous for it’s tart taste and impressive levels of gut-loving probiotic bacteria. A cup contains 10 grams of protein, so I also add about a 1/4  scoop of protein powder just to bump that amount up a bit. I recommend getting plain and then adding frozen fruit and a little maple syrup for sweetness, rather than the pre-sweetened varieties. If kefir is too tart, you can sub it out with greek yogurt and some milk instead.

Once I blend it with frozen fruit, my kefir/yogurt shake reminds me a lot of the taste of the frozen yogurt from Red Mango or Pinkberry. Kefir also has a lot of naturally occurring vitamins and minerals (vitamin A, D, iron, magnesium, and more) so I feel pretty darn good about myself after I drink a shake–and I don’t just throw around words like “darn” without meaning it.

Amy Smoothie

Feeling great about this shake. *healthy glow provided by Instagram

 

Probiotic Health Shake

The kefir and cherries in this shake are great combo for muscle recovery. I love this shake after deadlift day! 

1 cup plain kefir (or 1/2 cup of greek yogurt + 3/4 cup milk)

1/4 to 1/2 scoop of vanilla protein powder

1/2 frozen banana

1/4 cup frozen cherries

This shake comes out super thick, you can thin it out with a splash of milk or eat with a spoon 🙂

So, now you know, Leslie. Kefir + a little whey+frozen fruit=a perfect breakfast, snack, or post-workout recovery meal. If you give this recipe a try, please let me know what you think!

Tweet me at AmyBlitz1. Check me out at Insta: blitzyourbody or Facebook.com/blitzyourbody

 

My Gift To You: A Workout…and an Eggnog Protein Shake!

weight gift

This month DO NOT Blitz Your Body. Instead…Blitzen Your Body!  To honor my favorite reindeer, I have created a quick and easy-to-remember circuit, that will get you in and out of the gym in 30 minutes. You’ll burn calories, boost strength and endurance, plus get your endorphins flowing right in time for the holiday. And then, once the New Year comes around, you will already be ahead of the workout game.

Oh, and as an added bonus, I have included a special EGGNOG PROTEIN SMOOTHIE recipe at the end. Try it after your workout to aid in muscle recovery.

5 minute warm up

1/4 mile treadmill run at moderate pace – Don’t like running? That’s fine. Substitute any treadmill running portion of this workout with a treadmill hill walk, 5 minutes of stairmaster, or 1 minute of jumping jacks combined with 1 minute of mountain climbers and another 30 seconds of jumping jacks. This is the cardio portion, so just get your heart rate up for at least 2.5 minutes.

15-20 push ups: Works chest, triceps, back and core muscles.

15 side lunges (per leg) Works glutes and thighs

15-20 of any type of row. I love TRX rows, but you can also do a bent over dumbbell row. Works the muscles of the middle back and biceps. 

Plank for 30-90 seconds. Works the core stabilizing muscles and shoulders.

50 bicycle crunches. Works the obliques and abdominals

10-20 Forward lunges with a bicep curl AND an overhead press. This is the move that will get your heart pumping again after the core work. Grab a set of light to moderate weights. With the dumbbells in both hands, step forward into a lunge. With your back knee hovering above the ground, do a biceps curl, ensuring that you keep your elbows close to your torso. Flip your grip so that palms face forward and perform an overhead press. If you are a beginner  then just perform the curl. Lower your arms and step your back leg forward. Repeat on the other side. Works legs, glutes, biceps, shoulders, triceps and core muscles.

Rest for 1 minute or more if necessary. Go back to the treadmill or the cardio of your choice. Try to increase the intensity of the cardio portion by either going a bit faster or increasing the incline/resistance. Repeat weight circuit.

Do this circuit 2-3 times. If you have extra time at the gym, add some small muscle group exercises like triceps extensions and lat shoulder raises at the end.

And now for the NOG!

Blitzen’s Eggnog Protein Smoothie

1/2 cup Silk Nog (this will provide the eggnog taste without the egg nog fat and calories)

1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 TB chia seeds (optional)

1 scoop Designer Whey Vanilla Protein powder

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 banana (frozen is best, but if you only have a fresh one, add more ice)

1 dash ground cloves

1 dash ground nutmeg

1 dag ground cinnamon

2 ice cubes

Combine Soy Nog and almond milk in your blender. Add chia seeds. Allowing the chia seeds to soak in this liquid for a few minutes will make your smoothie extra thick. Add the rest of your ingredients and blend, adding a bit more almond milk if it becomes too thick for your taste. If you need more sweetness you can add a bit of honey or liquid stevia, just adjust calories accordingly. I like it as is.

Serve over ice.

Serves 1. With chia seeds: 300 calories. 7 grams fat. 11 grams fiber. 7 grams sugar.

Mother Funkin’ Pumpkin

pumpkins

Now is the time when everyone goes pumpkin crazy. Pumpkin lattes, muffins, cookies and of course, pies are all over the place. Unfortunately, most of these foods are loaded with sugar. The good news is that with a can of pure pumpkin puree and a little effort in the kitchen, you can create yummy pumpkin treats that are tasty and good for you. Since after Thanksgiving they’ll be practically giving the stuff away, it will also save you a few dollars that you can spend on gifts for your favorite personal trainer…or your child, whichever you prefer.

Pumpkin is a high fiber, low calorie food. This means that adding it to your recipes will help keep you fuller for longer.  Once opened, your can of pumpkin will last in Tupperware for up to a week, which is why I’m sharing three pumpk-tastic recipes.

Pumpkin Smoothie

Pumpkins are loaded with iron, magnesium, and potassium, minerals that promote muscle recovery. A smart addition to a post workout smoothie!

8 oz Unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 scoop French Vanilla protein powder. Designer Whey is my favorite brand since it tastes great and mixes well.

1/4 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 banana

1/2 tsp of vanilla extract

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1/8 tsp ground cloves

Or just use pumpkin pie spice, if you happen to have that.

Ice

Honey to taste

Blend it all up. Boom. Done. Serves 1.

Pumpkin Protein Pancakes

One of these days I'll learn how to make a perfectly round pancake

One of these days I’ll learn how to make a perfectly round pancake

These are so good, I may never make protein pancakes without pumpkin again. The combination of pumpkin, eggs and oats makes this an incredibly filling meal. Additional bonus: they will make your kitchen smell good.

1 whole egg, plus 2 egg whites, beaten

1 tsp vanilla extra

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp sugar

1/4 cup pumpkin

1/4 cup or 1 package of Instant Oats. I like Arrowhead’s organic blend of oats and flax.

Mix ingredients in the order listed. Heat up a pan with 1 Tb. of coconut oil. Divide batter so that you are making two pancakes. Resist the urge to just make one mega pancake. It will be nearly impossible to flip and will cause you unnecessary stress. Let one side cook on moderate heat for 3-4 minutes. Flip, press it down a little and give the second side another 3 minutes or so. Serves 1.

I like to top mine with all natural peanut butter and a drizzle of maple syrup or honey.

Pumpkin Chia Seed Pudding

Eleven grams of fiber from the chia seeds plus the three grams from the pumpkin, pretty much means that you’ll never be hungry again after eating this snack.

1/4 cup chia seeds

2/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or water), Plus a few extra splashes as you go.

1/4 cup of pumpkin

1 tsp vanilla extract.

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1/8 tsp ground cloves (pumpkin pie spice)

1 tsp or to taste of honey, agave or any sweetener you like

Gently blend mixture, adding the extra liquid as needed. The pumpkin will thicken up really fast. Transfer mixture to a mason jar, then refrigerate. Give it a shake after ten minutes, and again ten minutes after that. Let it chill for at least a few hours. To document the making of this pudding, I made an awesome slideshow with music. You check out my masterpiece here: Pumpkin Chia Pudding: REMIX!

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