Greek Yogurt Pancakes

Happy, Happy weekend blog readers!

I hope you are enjoying your day so far! I woke up this morning and wanted to accomplish a run before I changed my mind.  I ended up having a great run and am loving my Map-My-Run App through my ipod touch. It calculates my mile and pace time with it’s GPS capabilities. Every mile I run, it dims my music and announces my progress. Love it!

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Lately, I have been cooking up a storm in the kitchen. As with every new chef, some recipes work out better than others. Here are a couple of my latest that I would recommend to you.

Baked Edaname

When I first started making this recipe, I  wasn’t even positive what edaname even was. Come to find out, it is a shelled soybean and is known for its rich protein content. For individuals who enjoy meat-free sources of protein, this can be a great entree to a healthy lunch or dinner. It also stores well and can be eaten as leftovers. I love the crunchy, nutty taste that keeps me full for hours.

  • 1- 10oz package of frozen edamame
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1/3 cup of mozzarella or Parmesan cheese
  • garlic salt or salt and pepper to taste

1) Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees and lay frozen edamame in the bottom of a baking dish

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2) Drizzle top with olive oil and sprinkle cheese and any spices

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3) Bake for 13-15 minutes and enjoy!

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I enjoyed this dish for a couple of my work-time lunches this past week. It was excellent paired with yogurt and fruit to complete a meal!

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Greek Yogurt Pancakes

I woke up this morning and knew I wanted something for breakfast with major staying power. I whipped up a batch of greek yogurt pancake and was ready to tackle my day.

  • 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup any flavored yogurt (doesn’t have to be greek)
  • 3/4 cup plain oatmeal
  • 2 egg whites or 1 whole egg
  • cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin spice, etc to taste

1) Blend all of these ingredients together and pour onto non-stick skillet.

2) Cook each side for about 1.5 minutes before flipping

3) Top with your choice (Berries, Nut Butters, Syrup, Jellies, etc.)

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Question: What are your favorite things to make in the kitchen?

Have a great weekend!

-Chelsey

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Nutrition 101

Happy Tuesday! I hope the weather is sunny wherever you are. In Iowa, we have had a few severe storms lately that fizzled away to bring more sunshine!

I had a great workout yesterday and hope to do the same this afternoon. In light of all the talk surrounding exercise, I wanted to provide my blog followers a chance to hear more about the nutrition component behind healthy living.

When I began training for my first half marathon in 2009, I was surprised at the lack of change in my body composition. I figured that running 10+ miles every week would result in some sort of noticeable difference. Below is a picture of me finishing my first half marathon.

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What I didn’t realize was that what you eat has much more of an influence on your weight than exercise alone. Therefore, proper nutrition paired with a exercise routine is the key for success…

I know that eating healthy can be both simple and complicated. Many people seem to fall into the trap of “eating healthy” by consuming primarily fruits and vegetables. Without much thought, this diet can quickly become monotonous. Other people can become obsessive and count their calories, which can lead to individuals feeling deprived.

So what are we supposed to do? I have found through studying nutrition as part of my undergraduate degree that focusing on a balance of macronutrients is the key ingredient to happy heart and body. What does the term “macronutrients” mean? It’s much more simple than it sounds. Macronutrients can be broken into three main categories of: carbs, fats, and proteins. All three are equally as important to fuel your body and provide energy for your day.

Carbohydrates (Carbs): Made up of various sugar structures, which turn into glucose. Glucose is a sugar that your brain and muscles use as fuel. Have you noticed that you find it hard to concentrate or  feel light-headed when you haven’t eaten? That’s your body’s way of saying that it’s missing sugar. To think that carbs feed our brain makes the bad rap they have diminish in my mind. It’s true that we need a particular amount of carbs and that excess can be converted into fat. However, the same rule applies with protein and fats. Society just blames carbs because of the abundance of food products they are found in. (ex: Snack items, breads, cereals).

Fats: Comprised of three different structures and can be broken into lay terms such as “good” and “bad” fats. “Good” fats are mono/polysaturated and unsaturated. Examples of good sources are: olive oil, avocados, and nuts. “Bad” fats are saturated and trans. Sources of these come from animal products (ie: whole milk) and vegetable fats (ie: packaged snack foods).  Everyone needs fat to survive. Not only does it provide insulation for our organs, it also helps chemical reactions in our body to speed up and ultimately run more efficiently. A common myth is that consuming fats makes you fat. The same principle above applies to fats. When you consume too much fat, it can be converted into literal body fat. However, by not consuming fat, your body will actually do the reverse and begin storing any fat eaten. The reason being that you put your body goes into survival mode and assumes you are starving. (The old caveman situation).

Protein: Helps keep us full and rebuild our muscles after exercise. Proteins are made up of amino acids. In order for your body to absorb the protein efficiently, you must ensure you are consuming a complete protein. Sources of complete proteins can be found in low-fat animal products, soy, and certain grains such as quinoa. If you are vegan or do not like animal products, you can learn about protein pairing here.

Many people argue on the proper ratio of these three macronutrients. I have found a plate through www.choosemyplate.gov/ that details a suggested balance.

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I hope this helps you understand the basics of nutrition. I am by no means an expert, nor did I go into much detail.

Ultimately, I have learned that moderation is the best thing you can practice in your health. I try to eat healthy 85% of the time. But occasionally, I will not turn down a cupcake (like I was given today at lunch!)

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Have a great day 🙂

-Chelsey