Are all protein powders created equal?

Protein powders equal

Hell no! If you want to get more protein in your diet using a protein powder you need to know what the heck is in that big tub you bought. Don’t assume it’s just loaded with nutrients. Many of the protein powders are loaded with sugars, artificial sweeteners, dyes, pesticides, harmful chemicals…….and oh my gosh, your body does not know what to do with that crap. I am also a huge believer that eating real food, mostly plants is the best way to go.

So be mindful. READ THE LABEL. Not the front, not the side, but the actual INGREDIENT LABEL. If we are adding protein powder to something, most often (if not always)  we are trying to be healthy. So lets choose wisely. Think of it this way. When you buy bread and want to be healthy to you buy Wonder Bread, Enriched Wheat Bread, Wheat Bread with 30 ingredients and you can’t read half of them, Whole Grain Organic Bread, or even you make your own Sprouted Spelt bread. Are they all the same? Does Wonder Bread have the same nutritional benefits as Whole Grain Organic or fresh baked Sprouted Spelt?

The same goes for protein powders. You can get crappy protein, high quality plant based protein and everything in between. Here are my recommendations.

  1. WHEY AND CASEIN PROTEIN: These proteins come from milk. So they need to be organic and even better is organic and from grass-fed cows. Other wise your protein is coming from cows who are loaded with antibiotics, eat cheap feed with harmful pesticides, and the cows cortisol (a stress hormone) levels are high because they are squished and living on a feed lot instead of roaming on grass. Unhealthy cow equals unhealthy protein.
  2. SOY BASED PROTEIN: Must be organic or it is loaded with harmful pesticides.
  3. ARTIFICIAL SWEETENER: Leave it on the shelf. Studies show that artificial sweeteners can damage your body the same way natural sugar does and leads to sweet cravings. Names to look out for are sucrolose, splenda, aspartame, acesulfame potassium, cyclamate, erythritol, glycerol, hydrogenated starch hydrolysate, isomalt, lactitol, maltitol, mannitol, polydextrose, saccharin, sorbitol to name a bunch.
  4. MONO & DYGLICERIDES: Leave it on the shelf. Too controversial. I avoid this highly processed ingredient.
  5. ARTIFICIAL COLOR, FLAVORS OR PRESERVATIVES: Leave it on the shelf.

What protein powder should you buy? Here are a few recommendations. Keep in mind you get what you pay for. If you want a quality protein it will most likely cost more.

Garden of Life ProteinGARDEN OF LIFE: A plant based protein that is my personal favorite. I like all the flavors. It does have the stevia leaf extract so if you want to avoid that buy the unflavored.

vega proteinVEGA PROTEIN: Plant based protein with added greens

Hemp ProteinNUTIVA HEMP PROTEIN

terawhey proteinTERAS WHEY: Organic Whey Protein

Sun Warrior ProteinSUN WARRIOR: Sprouted and Fermented

For me, when I want more protein I usually try to amp up on my nuts, bean, legumes, seeds, wild caught fish and greens. I like getting protein from my food instead of a powder. HOWEVER……life is busy and crazy and sometimes we just need to be able to scoop some protein in a shake. When doing so try and remember—-All protein powders are NOT CREATED EQUAL.

xoxo,

tiffany & mary

 

Build a perfect Salad

So salads have a bad name. It’s “a side” or something you should eat on a daily basis because you were told they were healthy. But we want to change your mind on what a salad should look and taste like. We want you to learn to build the most perfect, delicious and filling salad you will crave every single day.

First, Some pictures to inspire you!!!    …

egg salad

…and filling
harvest salad and beautifulstrawberry salad

Now introducing

tiffany holding salad

 

 

THANKS TIFFANY!

start with
something green

I KNOW! That’s ROMAINE. sorry, it’s “static” and the blonde got the best of me :/ SPELL CHECK

Okay, so next fresh herbs

Thencrunchy

don’t forget!cheesy

sweet

THIS IS GETTING GOOD but the next could be your biggest game changer

something warm

AND MEAT! You really do not HAVE to get a protein on there but how ’bout the first picture? Baked salmon and a fried egg. (OMG so good) Or grilled chicken, shredded meat and whatever you are making for dinner. Honestly, make this salad your WHOLE PLATE and then add 3 ounces of protein. You have a plant based, delicious salad.

Dressings are hard. Because you have something salty, sweet, cheesy, proteiny (new word), warm, crunchy, the dressing will not be the big game changer. NO NEED FOR HEAVY RANCH NOW! woo hoo. It is delicious as is.. but our dressing recipe brings a bit of acidity to the salad which balances every part of it out.

blonde dressing

Now go volunteer to make a salad and blow minds!

Happy warm weather

Mary

Zucchini Fritters for Life

 

5-Ingredient-Zucchini-Fritters--550x413

The picture is from http://www.thewhoot.com I adapted the recipe from there. My total inspiration, thank youuu!!!

Move over zucchini pasta, let’s talk delicious, crispy zucchini fritters.

We call them zucchini pancakes. My weird daughter likes to put maple syrup on them. If you like that idea, go for it. But I like savory food, especially for dinner.  I whipped together garlic aioli recipe that I use as a dipping agent for many recipes. It is the perfect creamy touch to dip the fritters in. Take note that I prefer sour cream or whole fat plain yogurt instead of mayo in the aioli recipe I just tagged. Whole yogurt has a lighter, more fresh taste than a mayo base.

Stack these babies up and have them as a side dish, main course, or an appetizer. I do suggest serving them hot while they are super crispy.

Don’t stop when you read you have to shred the zucchini..

Shredding the zucchini may seem daunting but it is ridiculously easy and a little bit fun. Get your cheese grater out and go at it. I raced my son in a zucchini shredding contest because I am an intelligent mom ;)   It may take 2 minutes or less.. I added a random picture to make sure everyone know what this looks like…

grater

Sweet. Here is the full recipe.

Zucchini Fritters for Life
 
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Don’t complicate this one. If you have other herbs or ingredients you want to add, go for it. These fritters are an open book.
Author:
Serves: 13

Ingredients
  • 4-5 cups of shredded zucchini
  • ⅔ cup of organic flour ( I use bob mills gluten free)
  • 2 eggs. beat the crap out of them
  • coconut oil
  • salt,
  • pepper
  • garlic
  • ⅓ cup scallions

Instructions
  1. set the shredded zucchini aside for a few minutes. I like to take a paper towel and try to get the liquid out if possible. you want them dry. But it is not a big deal. Sprinkle some salt on it and put it to the side. Salt helps sweat it out a bit.
  2. Beat your eggs.
  3. add the flour, eggs, pinch of pepper, pinch of garlic, and scallions in a large bowl. Mix and then add the zucchini.
  4. In the mean time, heat up your frying pan to medium high with your coconut oil in there. You want to make sure the pan is WELL COATED with the coocnut oil. Be liberal with it. Yes, these are fritters.
  5. After mixing the ingredients together, take a spoon a dallop about a heavy tablespoon of mix for each cake. Push them down a little bit so they are not balls. They are more like cakes.
  6. Cook on each side for about 2-3 minutes. When cooked, put on a paper towel. Serve with extra scallions on top.

 

xo, all the blondes! You guys, if you did not see the announcement on the facebook page we would like to congratulate our girl Rachel. She brought the most beautiful baby boy to the world! We love you.

Vegan Coconut Banana Muffins

Looking for the perfect dessert that “tastes” like it’s made with all the bad stuff but is actually NOT! Welcome to the coconut banana muffin.

Vegan banana coconut muffinsPhoto: Courtesy of Don’t Mess With Mama.

So these little precious gems will hack your sweet cravings. Make a big batch and you can munch on up to four per serving. If you have a bunch of leftovers, just freeze them in a ziplock. So now comes the recipe. And if you’re not a vegan you’re probably wondering what the heck is a flax egg!? Yeah, I hear you. I never heard of a flax egg in my life either. But this is all you do PER EGG: One tablespoon ground flax and 2 1/2 tablespoons water and mix for 5 seconds. Let sit for 5 minutes and it will look like the consistency of an egg. Done.

Flax EggTHE FLAX EGG!

Vegan Coconut Banana Muffins
 
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Author:
Serves: 44 mini muffins

Ingredients
  • 4 medium ripe bananas
  • Half cup of local honey or organic brown sugar (the only not so good ingredient)
  • ¼ cup melted organic coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
  • ¾ cup organic sprouted spelt flour
  • ¾ cup organic almond flour
  • ½ cup organic rolled oats
  • 2 flax eggs for vegan option (or 2 eggs)
  • ½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  • ½ cup mini organic chocolate chips (if desired)

Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F and lightly grease mini-muffin tin with coconut oil.
  2. Prepare flax egg in a large mixing bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Add banana and mash, leaving a bit lumpy for texture.
  4. Add brown sugar, baking soda, salt and whisk for one minute.
  5. Stir in vanilla, melted coconut oil and mix.
  6. Add flour, oats, chia, and chocolate chips and stir with a spoon or spatula until just combined.
  7. Put in mini muffin trays. Don’t forget to spray.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes.
  9. If you’re feeling it, sprinkle with extra shredded coconut.

So big thanks to my niece Jelly for bringing this recipe into my life and her vegan friend Brittney who made them for her. Check out Brittney’s Instagram, Plant Based Bird for more vegan recipes.

xoxoxo,

Tiffany and my cohort in baking, cooking, laughing, and once in a blue moon….working, Kitty.

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