Shari Duncan

PERFECT Protein PANCAKES
Shari

by on Dec.25, 2015, under Egg and Main Course Ideas, Healthy Snacks, High Protein dishes, Recipes, Whey Protein Recipes

This is the fuel your body needs!  Perfect for breakfast or any meal of the day.

Per request… decided to repost this basic recipe. After many years, these pancakes are still one of my favorite “go-to” foods. Perfect grab and go pre-work out fuel.

Protein pancakes are quick and easy to make.  AND, these pack over 30 grams of protein per serving! … . For variety, substitute mashed banana, chopped apples (or unsweetened applesauce),  or 2 TBSP pumpkin/pumpkin spice  for the  berries.

Combine oats and low carb baking mix with protein powder.  Add egg whites, water, mixing well to desired consistency.  Add your choice of fresh/frozen fruit, sweetener and cinnamon for a nutrient packed meal any time of the day.

ü       1/4c dry oatmeal (Or Quinoa Flakes)

1/4c  Bob’s Red mill Lo Carb baking mix.

1/2-1 scoop protein powder of choice

ü       Table spoon agave/honey or 1 packet of truvia

ü       1 egg plus 1 egg white

ü       ~1/4c water –more or less to desired consistency (substitute Almond milk)

~ Ground Cinnamon to taste

1/4 cup adds 11 grams protein and 5 grams fiber!

ü       Dash vanilla or almond extract (optional)

Optional:Ground Flax Seeds – for added dietary fiber, Omega-3 essential fatty acids and protein.

Combine above ingredients in med bowl.  The basic recipe is easily increased using equal parts oats and flour to yield larger batches; be sure to also adjust protein accordingly. Keeps several days in the fridge. Reheat for ~20 30 seconds in the microwave

Add additional water or milk, if necessary to get to desired consistency.

ü       Fresh or Frozen Berries – Add berries or desired fruit to batter.

Heat about ½ tablespoon of coconut oil, if using (or no-stick spray) in small skillet.  Add one half of batter to heated pan and cook over medium heat until browned on bottom – until bubbles begin to appear, approximately 2-3 minutes.  Flip with spatula to brown other side. Cook through until firm. These are better a little “overcooked” than undercooked.

Use any brand/flavor Protein powder & variety of fruits for variety.

Use any brand or flavor Protein powder & different fruits for variety.

Makes 2 -3 NUTRITIONALLY PACKED PANCAKES!


Spray while warm with butter spray. Top, if desired with no (or low sugar) preserves, apple butter, or sugar free maple syrup.

PER SERVING:

~32 Protein Grams (more or less depends on type/amount of added protein powder)

~30 Carbohydrate Grams (more or less depends on type/amount of added fruit)

~4 Fat Grams (Cooking in coconut oil adds additional 5-7 healthy fat grams & flavor)

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EASY Basil Pesto Chicken
Admin

by on Feb.23, 2014, under Chicken and Poultry, Recipes

1 2 3  PESTO!

It doesn’t get much easier than this!  Spinach and tomato give this baked dish a fresh taste.

Ingredients:

  • 1 6 oz bag baby spinach

    FRESH and EASY!

  • 3-4 tblsp Basil Pesto
  • 2 Large skinless, boneless chicken breasts / halved
  • Fresh tomato slices
  • 2-3 green onions – chopped
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan-Romano cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Toss 1/2 the pesto with spinach abd 1/2 of the green onions.  Spread into bottom of glass baking dish.  Place halved chicken breasts over Spinach and brush with remaining pesto.  top each breast with sliced tomato and remaining green onions. Sprinkle with cheese.

Cover and bake approx 30 minutes or until chicken in cooked through.  Uncover, turn oven temp to broil.  Sprinkle with additional cheese if desired and continue to cook for a few more minutes until cheese and tomato slightly brown.

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Is Your Time in the Gym Time Well Spent?
Admin

by on Aug.10, 2013, under Fitness, Motivation, Natural Bodybuilding, Strength and Agility Training

How balanced is your training program?

Are you training chest and back as  frequently as legs?…  How much recovery time do you allow between workouts?…  Are your fitness goals written out and  are you progressing towards those goals?…  How do you know if you are getting in enough cardio hours… do you designate time each week for stretching, ab and core work?…
What about time management? Do you pace yourself,  and give enough time to recover in between sets, or perhaps spend too much time socializing with other gym goers?
This is why keeping a training journal can be most helpful.  Workout logs are beneficial for beginners as well as seasoned lifters.  I’d say they are essential if you are serious about achieving your fitness goals.

Why keep a journal?

  • Motivation. Looking back at where you come from is inspiring.
  • Awareness. You get an understanding of what works for you.

    Training logs provide accountability, progress, and motivation for your training sessions.

  • Experience. You learn from your errors: injuries, etc.
  • Confidence. You’ve got a plan when you go to the gym.

The process of writing down your loads, sets, reps, etc.  helps you to better remember the workout.  It’s nice to be able to flip back and see what weight you used and how many sets and reps you did.   The process of keeping a log enables seasoned lifters to critically analyze their programs and see if they’re truly delivering results.

Also, use your log to jot down important notes such as machine settings, how the set felt; (light, heavy), how you felt that day (energized, fatigued, hungry, sore).

Keeping a journal accelerates the learning process.

By writing down your workouts you are taking an additional few minutes to process what you have learned, repeat the concepts and terminology to yourself, and ingrain it into your brain.

If you are a beginner it is likely you will be able to beat previous efforst every week for several months. As you establish new routines, it is helpful to know what you did your previous workout and to have a specific goal for each training session. Logging workouts helps you remember the appropriate weights to use. Beginners struggle most with remembering not only which exercises to do, but in which order, how many sets, reps, etc.  because everything is new to them.  They’re not yet familiar with the names of exercises, the loads they used, etc. so training logs for beginners are essential.  I have been  journaling  for several years now and still write notes in the margins to remind me of proper set-up and/or form on certain exercises.

Tracking results and being able to check your progress lets you know if what you’re doing is or isn’t working.   If you make notes about your workout, you are also less likely to spend time chatting between sets or resting too long.   Seeing your gains on paper will reaffirm that you are progressing, and as a result motivation will likely increase or stay high.

The basic benefits of journaling

  • Faster learning
  • Remembering weights
  • Having information to analyze
  • Tracking progress
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BEST EVER Curry Chicken Salad
Shari

by on Jul.20, 2013, under Chicken and Poultry, Recipes

Please, Don’t pass on this one…

At first glance you may want to skip over this one…,because you are not a fan of curry, or of fruit or nuts in chicken salad… or Greek yogurt.. .   but once you try it, you will be hooked. You will make it over again; and your friends and family will beg you for this recipe!!

Did I mention, this is possibly the BEST ever chicken salad you will ever eat!

Play around with the quantities of fruit, nuts and veggies.  You really cant go wrong.

INGREDIENTS:

2-3 boneless,skinless chicken breasts- split.  Boil chicken breasts in water seasoned with chicken broth or bouillon and 1/4 tsp yellow curry powder. When cooked through, remove chicken from water to cool while you prepare the salad ingredients.  Once cooled, chop into bite-size chunks.

  • 1 stalk celery – chopped

    Chopped fruit, veggies and nuts.. and don't forget the Yogurt!

  • 1-2 green onions
  • 1/2 red apple chopped
  • handful of red grapes, sliced OR 1/4 c golden raisins
  • 1/4-1/3 cup chopped pecans, walnuts (or both!)
  • 1/4 c plain greek yogurt and “Dollop” of Light Mayo (to start)
  • 1/4 tsp (or more to taste) curry powder
  • Cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • Salt and Pepper.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl.  Add additional yogurt/mayonaise and spices to taste.  Cover and refrigerate.  Serve over crisp romaine lettuce.

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How to Have a Healthy Fry
Shari

by on Jun.08, 2013, under Fruits and Veggies, General Nutrition, Recipes

Who doesn’t love to indulge in a big plate of hot, salty French fries?

French fries are among the most popular menu items eaten by millions of people in fast food chains, cafes and bistros. We cant say no to the french fry though we know they are also among the most unhealthiest foods we consume.
These days many people are trying to be more health conscious when it comes to their food choices. The good news is it easy to make a satisfying and healthier fry without sacrificing taste.

There are healthier ways to satisfy your craving like baking instead of deep frying and swapping zucchini, sweet potato, eggplant or green beans for white potatoes.

Start by slicing your veggies. Use a ziplock bag and drizzle olive oil inside . Toss in your favorite seasonings – dont be afraid to experiment with spices and herbs for a variety of favors.

Roast the seasoned veggies at a high heat 425-450 degrees for 15-25 minutes   (depending on thickness of cut) Your “fries” will come out crispy and delicious!

Here is one of my favorites:

Parmesan Zucchini Fries

Ingredients

  • 3 medium zucchini-  Cut into thick matchstick slices

    Matchstick zucchini slices for oven fries

  • 1/2 cup wheat  flour
  • Seasoned salt, pepper, oregano and garlic powder to taste
  • 1 whole egg and 2 egg whites, beaten
  • 1- 1 1/2 cups panko or seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan/Romano cheese blend
  • Olive Oil
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

    Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spray lightly with olive oil or butter flavored cooking spray.

    Coat gallon ziplock with olive oil.

    Beat eggs in a shallow bowl.  In a separate bowl, blend together flour, breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese blend and seasonings.

    Working in batches, dip sliced vegetables first in eggs, then in breading to coat and place on baking sheet in single layer, without touching.

    Sprinkle with additional seasonings if desired.  Bake 15-20 minutes  or until breadcrumb coating is golden and crisp.

    Now… go ahead and indulge !  Guilt Free.

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    Mental Strength… Do you Exercise your Mind?
    Shari

    by on Mar.10, 2013, under General HEALTH, Motivation, Natural Bodybuilding, Strength and Agility Training

    Do you Train your Brain to be as Tough as your Body?

    Some may argue that toughness is found in soul, spirit and mind…  and not in muscles.

    Never underestimate the power of your mind…whether it is in sports, in business or in life.   Becoming mentally stronger may be the one factor that determines whether you realize your goals; or not.  It may be the one single factor separating you from being a champion or a runner up.

    When life gets hard, we tend to want comfort, not change.  Those who have learned the secret to mental toughness have learned that comfort now may mean pain later, but a little pain now can yield great rewards in the future.

    MIND POWER--Train your mind as well as your body

    When it comes to training; having mental strength is one of the most important pieces of sports equipment you will ever own.  Your physical workouts will strengthen you body,  but mental strength training provides the necessary conditioning to fortify your mind.  It provides you a psychological edge that enables you to be consistent; to maintain focus and determination to not only finish but perform at your maximum potential,  despite any difficulty or consequences.   More simply put: To Never Quit.   Being mentally strong directly affects your confidence.  As mental strength rises, so will your confidence.    If you want to become mentally stronger, you have to become tough about what you think.  What you think determines how you act.  Replace weak thoughts like “I can’t or I’m too tired” with positive ones;  I feel great; my body is strong.”

    Regardless of your fitness goals or where you are in your training you will be challenged many times to keep moving forward to achieve your desired goal.   Here are some common traits that make up mental toughness:

    Be resilient:

    Learn to bounce back from adversity, pain, or a disappointing performance. Realize and admit a mistake, understand a missed opportunity, embrace the lesson and quickly move on and refocus on the immediate goal ahead.

    Focus

    Focus in the face of distractions and unexpected circumstances.   Don’t avoid situations or make excuses for less than perfect conditions.  When your are dead tired, hurting and want to quit is the time to dig deep and focus.  Tell yourself to keep moving forward.

    Trust:

    Have faith in yourself   Trust that your body will know what to do when it is time to perform.  Trust in your training and your plan. Trust in your coach. Believe in yourself, even if there is no one nearby to boost your confidence.

    —-BE POSITIVE:  TALK TO YOURSELF: VISUALZE:

    GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE: BE PREPARED—

    “Strength does not come from physical capacity.  It comes from an indomitable will”  Mahatma Gandhi

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    Chicken Pesto Pizza with Feta
    Shari

    by on Jan.12, 2013, under Egg and Main Course Ideas, Recipes

    Make Friday Night (or any night)  Pizza Night!

    Yes, even pizza can be healthy, Without sacrificing taste.  Fresh and flavorful homemade pizza in 30 minutes .  Faster than delivery AND no tip required!

    Here’s what you’ll need:

    • One whole wheat pizza crust (Boboli)
    • 1 large chicken breast (~8 oz) diced

      Fresh Veggies, Chicken and Pesto....PIZZA NIGHT!!

    • 2 Tbsp olive oil
    • 3-4 Tbsp basil pesto sauce
    • 1 tomato, thinly sliced
    • Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
    • Feta cheese – grated
    • Shredded parmesan/ Romano cheese
    • Minced garlic
    • Italian spice blend (oregano, basil,garlic)

    Optional :  mushrooms, red peppers, spinach, artichokes, etc.

    Get as creative as you wish.

    Preheat oven to 450°.

    Heat olive oil and minced garlic in over med high heat.  Add diced chicken breast,season generously with italian spices.  Sauté over medium high heat stirring once or twice for 5 to 8 minutes until  brown and cooked through.  Remove from heat and set aside.

    Spread thin layer of prepared pesto sauce on base of pizza crust.  Layer sliced tomatoes followed by chicken, olives, and other fresh vegetables as desired.  ( I added mushrooms and sliced red bell peppers).  Top with grated feta, to taste and additional herbs.

    Bake on middle rack for 10 minutes. Then tue. Broiler to hi heat and cook an additional 2 minutes .  Remove from oven sprinkle with shredded Parmesan/Romano cheese blend

    Allow pie to set and cool on rack 2-5 minutes.

    Slice and enjoy!

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    Sweet and Spicy Chicken Thighs
    Shari

    by on Jul.29, 2012, under Egg and Main Course Ideas, General Nutrition, High Protein dishes, Recipes

    Don’t  be afraid to go to the dark side every now and then.

    Spicy, honey brushed chicken thighs are are seasoned with chili powder, cumin, garlic and cider vinegar.  Moist and full of flavor, this main course dish is easy to prepare either under the broiler or on the grill.

    Dinner is served:  in under 30 minutes.

    INGREDIENTS:

    • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
    • 2 teaspoons chili powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon paprika
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper

      Skinless thighs: ... can be a healthy alternative to chicken breasts.

    • 8 skinless, boneless (skinless) chicken thighs
    • Cooking spray
    • 6 tablespoons honey ( I used less)
    • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar  (I used less)

    PREPARATION:

    1. Preheat broiler.
    2. Combine first 6 spice  ingredients in a large bowl. Add chicken to bowl; toss to coat. Place chicken on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Broil chicken 5 minutes on each side.
    3. Combine honey and vinegar in a small bowl, stirring well. Remove chicken from oven; brush 1/4 cup honey mixture on chicken. Broil 1 minute. Remove chicken from oven and turn over. Brush chicken with remaining honey mixture. Broil 1 additional minute or until chicken is done.

    There has been longstanding debates over breast versus thigh; light versus dark meat. Skinless chicken breasts are often recommended for dieters because of their high protein and low fat content.  But chicken thighs can play a role in a healthy diet with portion control and the right cooking techniques. Skinless chicken thighs are also  high in protein, are higher in zinc and iron, and tend to be moister and more flavorful than breasts. They are also less expensive.

    Chicken thighs are higher in fat and calories than chicken breasts. Overall, they contain about 40 calories more per serving than the same size serving of chicken breast.     A 3.5-ounce serving of boneless, skinless chicken thigh meat contains almost 26 grams of protein compared to about 31 grams of protein for the same size serving of boneless, skinless breast.

    Whether you choose light or dark; breast or thigh, skinless is ALWAYS  best because it helps control calories and fat. The skin includes another 38 calories and almost 5g of additional fat, most of which is saturated.

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    Eat MORE Protein: For Fat Loss AND Muscle Gains.
    Shari

    by on May.26, 2012, under General Nutrition, Natural Bodybuilding, Weight Loss, Whey Protein Recipes

    The human body is built and rebuilt everyday from and by proteins.

    Protein plays an important role in any fat loss program. To lose weight you must restrict the number of calories you consume. However, when you cut down on what you eat, the body starts using muscle protein as energy – so it’s important to get enough protein from your diet to cover these losses. Among other important functions, protein is essential for

    Eat protein with every meal.

    stimulating cell growth and helping to repair body tissue.  Foods rich in protein help the body build lean muscle and can be converted into glucose for energy.  Because this method of

    energy is more time consuming for the body, the body burns more calories digesting proteins, and does not convert as readily to stored fat. (As with food rich in carbohydrates and

    fats)  This is one reason why high protein, low carbohydrate diets are popular for those attempting to lose weight and build muscle. And protein does a better job of filling  you up and keeping you full longer than carbohydrates or fats.

    Any type of exercise or physical training increases the body’s need for additional protein which is why athletes and those with very active lifestyles generally consume a higher daily intake of protein. Since protein is the building blocks for new muscle tissue, it is a staple for anybody (or any body builder) wanting to pack on a little (or a lot) of mass. Training alone will not make the body grow.  And a lack of quality protein will result in a loss of muscle tissue and tone, as well as reduction in the function of your immune system, a slower recovery rate, and a lack of energy. If you fail to get enough protein on a daily basis, you’ll quickly lose strength and slow down your metabolic rate.  The body will also breakdown

    muscle and conserve protein for basic, life sustaining needs and may not perform other duties such as healing and immune function if protein intake is not sufficient.

    Protein Shakes make an excellent snack or meal replacement.

    Proteins are found in all varieties of foods; however, some forms of protein are more healthful and beneficial than others. Choose foods that are complete proteins and do not contain high saturated fats or sugars. Fish and poultry are excellent choices of high protein foods, as are foods in the legume family including: beans and lentils.  Eggs, cottage cheese, yogurt (and other dairy); as well as various nuts and seeds are also protein rich choices.  Red meats contain a great deal of protein, but take care to choose lean cuts of meat, avoiding the extra fat.

    A Whey protein shake makes for excellent snack  or a meal replacement for those trying to lose weight. Most protein powders mix easily with milk, water or juice and will quickly add 25 or more grams of protein a day. And shakes are easy to make and very portable, making it simple to get your protein on the go.   Here is a “recipe” that combines 3 of my all time favorite flavors:  Chocolate, Coffee, and Coconut!

    Coco- Mocha Protein Shake

    1 scoop chocolate whey protein

    1 tsp instant coffee granules

    ~8 oz of coconut water (or unsweetened coconut milk)

    ice (3-4 cubes)

    Blend all ingredients for 1-2 minutes in a personal blender :  AWESOME!!

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    Chicken Margherita with Zucchini
    Shari

    by on Mar.17, 2012, under Egg and Main Course Ideas, High Protein dishes, Recipes

    Yes! You can eat Pasta.

    Fresh tomatoes, zucchini… garlic and herbs tossed with whole grain pasta and chicken make for a healthy, high protein meal.  Fast, Fresh and Easy…

    For the pasta:

    • 8-10 oz. dry whole wheat angel hair pasta
    • 1 pint ~(2-3 cups)  cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
    • ½ cup shredded fresh mozzarella
    • 1 medium zucchini

      A HEALTHY way to do Pasta. Lean chicken, whole grain pasta and fresh veggies.

    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 2 T minced garlic
    • 1/2 cup thinly sliced basil ( If you don’t have fresh, dried basil works fine)
    • Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes to taste
    • Extra Parmesan to sprinkle on top

    For the chicken:

    • 1 to 1.25 lbs chicken breast
    • Olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano (Italian Seasonings), red pepper flakes to taste

    Bring large pot of water to boil.

    1. Cook pasta according to directions. Drain. Set aside.
    2. Wash one zucchini and slice lengthwise into 4, and dice cut into ½ inch pieces.  Set aside.
    3. Combine tomatoes and mozzarella in a bowl. Add additional herbs, if desired.  Set aside.
    4. Cut chicken into strips. Coat chicken with oil and spices.  Preheat large sauté or fry pan on medium high heat, adding a little more olive oil to coat bottom of pan.  Saute chicken, turning once and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Remove from heat and let rest.
    5. In same pan, add a bit more olive oil, garlic and zucchini and stir fry, about 1-2 minutes, until vegetable browned but still crisp.
    6. Reduce heat. Return cooked pasta to sauté pan along with tomato and cheese mixture.  Stir in basil. Season with salt, pepper, and pepper flakes.  Finally return chicken strips to pan.

    Top with extra Parmesan as desired.

    Makes 4-6 servings.

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