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Black Bean Protein Brownies

This is a John-Approved desert that you can feel good about as you get 8g of protein per serving and far less sugar than any other brownie with only 8g. And these aren’t tiny servings; I calculated nutrition based on 9 brownies per 8×8 pan.

  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder (I used a single serving packet of Jay Robb)
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder for baking
  • 1/4 cup Truvia baking blend
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 TBSP honey
  • 2 TBSP maple syrup
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • optional cacao nibs and cinnamon to sprinkle on top

In a food processor or blender, mix all ingredients until smooth. Pour into a greased 8×8 pan and bake 18-20 minutes at 350.

I ❤ that the recipe uses stevia in combination with 2 natural sweeteners that actually have some nutritional value. These brownies are of the cakey variety and super delicious.

You are welcome. 🙂

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Nutrition calculated with My Fitness Pal.

Healthy Chicken Curry Masala

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  • Organic, air chilled, chicken with noses
  • Garlic clove, minced
  • Shallot, minced
  • 1-2 spoons of whole wheat flour
  • 1/8 tsp corn starch
  • Chicken curry masala seasoning
  • Light beer
  • Olive oil
  • 1 packet stevia

In salted and masala seasoned water, boil one chicken breast. Cube for quicker cooking. Shred and set aside.

In a skillet, saute garlic and shallot in olive oil until golden. Add 1/2 bottle of light beer (Shiner Light Blonde) to deglaze. Add flour, corn starch, salt, pepper, and masala sauce to taste. Stir. Mix in shredded chicken and continue to cook until the sauce has thickened. Add 1/2 packet of stevia at the end. (Stevia gives it the hint of sweetness found in many curries without the coconut milk.)

Serve over quinoa.

I EAT

To all the critics out there:

I EAT.

Not only do I eat, but I eat extremely healthy 95% of the time. The interesting thing about eating healthy is that it doesn’t generally add to your food stores AKA fat.

About 2 years ago, I started eating mostly vegetarian after watching a string of horrific food documentaries. Yes, Shanna (my semantic-crazed sister), mostly vegetarian. I eat fish regularly, and very occasionally I eat other meats. My diet is primarily vegetarian. And while I’ve cut out milk, I still do eat cheese and yogurt.

A lot of calorie excess goes away when you cut out meats. Some of that comes from the type of preparation and the sauces; some of that comes from the kinds of food you are cutting out. Despite that, I keep track of what I’m eating throughout the day. In the past I’ve used Lose It!, but I recently switched to MyFitnessPal as it has a better database for restaurant and supermarket foods. I don’t use these apps necessarily for the calorie counting but more for the accountability that comes from having to log a candy bar.

Along with the workout program, the P90X line of products comes with a nutrition guide that helps you know what to eat and how much. You answer a series of questions about your size, your daily lifestyle/energy expenditure, etc, and then it gives you a calorie level to aim for. As a woman of 130lbs or less, with a moderate activity level outside of working out, and wanting to maintain my current weight, I am allotted 1800 calories a day. Knowing that the average daily calorie consumption is estimated at 2000 calories/day and knowing that I am a fairly small girl with a slight frame to begin with, 1800 calories/day is a fair frame within to work.

The nutrition guide further tells you how many servings of protein, carbs, and fats you should have per meal or per snack. Throughout the course of the day, 50% of my calories should be healthy carbs (veggies, fruits, healthy grains), 25% proteins (for me through eggs, egg-white based protein powder, nuts, yogurt, etc), and 25% healthy fats (nuts, avocados, coconut and olive oils). Although I don’t follow the exact spreading out of each of theses servings like the guide suggests, my daily intake hits this almost exactly based on the diet analysis of MyFitnessPal… another reason I log everything I’m eating.

Here’s an example of my daily log:

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This is from today. I haven’t logged dinner yet as John is making fish tacos right now, but this gives you an idea. Based on the percentages from above, each day I am aiming for 225g of healthy carbs, 40g healthy fats, and 135g of protein. I probably won’t make it to my protein goal today, though I’m usually pretty good about meeting that on a normal school day. I’m already 3g of fat over, and my sugar intake was crazy high because of the maple syrup from breakfast. Plus, there was that bloody mary… 🙂

A normal day looks more like this:

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The numbers at the bottom are off as I had accidentally given MyFitnessPal the ability to determine my numbers, and it changed all my settings. This was pre-sushi dinner with John, so my protein numbers would have gone up dramatically, as would the calorie count. 🙂 My vegetable intake wasn’t as high as it usually is due to sushi time.

I’m not a numbers nazi, but I also think there is nothing wrong with knowing exactly what is going in. I definitely haven’t always held myself accountable to what I choose to eat, and there are still moments when we, say, visit In and Out Burger at 11:30pm. I have eaten an entire bag of cheese puffs in one sitting by myself. I can for certain do the same thing with a huge bag of Funions, and in a moment of extreme stress eating, I have allowed myself to consume a case of Butterfingers over the course of about a month… yes, a case… but we were getting ready to take the band to Seattle, and Jenna was pregnant… Let’s call it sympathy eating. 🙂 But now that I know what it feels like to eat healthy and in the right configurations, I feel gross and sluggish when I eat poorly.

When I graduated college I was 20lbs heavier. I lost a lot of that when I started cooking at home. My current weight has remained steady for about a year and a half which, yes Mom, is heavier than I was in high school. Interestingly, in the last year, my weight has remained the same yet I have gotten smaller and dropped a pant size… Science and nutrition tells us that I have converted fat to muscle. 🙂 Woohoo!

So, yes Mom, I eat. 🙂 You can cross that particular item off your list and worry about me for so many other reasons. 🙂

Zucchizza! – a recipe in pictures

I wish this was an original idea; I saw something like this online which inspired me!

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Preheat to 350.

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Cut off ends and split in half.

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Be sure to use PARCHMENT paper, not wax paper.

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Olive Oil & SPG

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Drizzle olive oil & season with SPG.

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Bake for 20 minutes or longer, depending on the size.

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Tomato paste (not sauce) & calorie/fat conscious cheese

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Spread tomato paste on fairly thick.

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Cook for another 5 minutes or until cheese is melted to your liking.

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Delicious!

Stay healthy!

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