What I Ate Wednesday – Week 1

Happy Wednesday all! While many fondly look forward to this “hump day,” or halfway point in their work week, I have to admit: my new work schedule has me looking forward to it for different reasons than I used to. While I’m working outside the home on Tuesdays and Thursdays as a trainer and on my blog, I don’t really look at Wednesday as the halfway point through my work week. I actually love the work I do and am looking forward to getting into a new “regular” work routine.

I spend my Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays with our girls, doing my #1 job: MOM! As anyone who stays home with their kids (either full or part-time) knows, any day I spend with them is equally awesome and exhausting (okay, some days are more of one or the other…). So, by Wednesday, I’m always most excited thinking about spending family time with the four of us. Ie. with dad home! Our girls love their daddy, and I do too.

However I’m spending my time during the week, finding time to prepare meals can be tough. Yet, maintaining healthy habits in our home is essential so I thankfully have some great healthy and easy recipes that I pull from. My husband regularly teases me for not repeating recipes. The truth is, I use a lot of recipes as a base and then make them my own by altering to fit what’s in our pantry or using our favorite ingredients, so they may not always taste the same.  I also love to find new recipes to try because I like to cook. But when meal planning, I typically make a the following “big picture” staples here:

  1. poultry with sides
  2. egg and veggies (casseroles, omelettes, etc)
  3. beans (either burgers or salads)
  4. vegetarian (casseroles, salads, sandwiches)
  5. fish with sides

Quite a few bloggers like to share what they’re eating on a regular basis and I’m deciding to share too. I’m putting in the time to plan these meals anyways and being transparent with my readers help hold me accountable. Plus, I know I’ve loved gathering recipes from some of my favorite bloggers.

I’ve shared my love for Kodiak Cake pancake mix before, and I’m sure I will a ton more. This stuff has a cult following and I can’t keep away. This week I whipped up some delicious blueberry muffins and chocolate peanut butter pancakes. I can almost guarantee I’ll make another dozen muffins before the week is up. But, here’s a more comprehensive look at what I’ve been (or will be) cooking around here this week.









  • Garlicky Roasted Potatoes
  • Sauteed Green Beans
  • Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Beets
  • Sauteed Broccoli, Asparagus, and Spinach
  • Fruit Salad

What are you eating this week? Share in the comments below. 

Easy & Healthy Protein Hot Chocolate

This winter has been all kinds of funky and cold this year. States who rarely see snow are seeing it, and lots of it! And temps have been bitterly cold all over. We’ve been enjoying a few snow days and when I think back to snow days as a child, one of my favorite traditions was homemade hot chocolate.

Who doesn’t love sipping on a cup of hot chocolate to warm up after frolicking outside in the snow? After spending hours outside sledding with my siblings as a kid, my mom used to make us a steaming pot of her own homemade hot chocolate. She served it a fun cat teapot, dressed festively in winter garb. It’s a tradition I treasure and still think back on whenever I have hot chocolate as an adult. Though I’ll admit, this summer loving girl can enjoy sipping her cocoa sans playing outside.

My protein packed hot chocolate recipe uses a few simple ingredients: milk, cocoa powder, vanilla, maple syrup, a pinch of sea salt, and Promix whey protein powder. This recipe takes hardly any time to make, has a whopping 20 grams of protein, and is super tasty! It’s the perfect snack or after meal treat. Yum!

Before you get started, I’ll share a warning. Use a kitchen thermometer to watch the temperature of your hot chocolate! You only want to heat the milk to steaming, or about 100 degrees Fahrenheit to keep the protein powder from curdling. I promise, this temperature is perfect for sipping your beverage!





Protein Hot Chocolate

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


  • 1 cup of milk (any will do, but cow’s milk will provide 8 g of protein)
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 scoop Promix chocolate whey protein powder (12.5 grams of protein)


  1. Combine all ingredients in a pan and heat over medium high heat, whisking frequently.
  2. Heat only until steaming, or to 100 degrees Fahrenheit*.
  3. Add in your favorite extras (marshmallows and whipped cream?) and enjoy!

*Watch the heat, steaming the milk to just 100 degrees Fahrenheit! WARNING: If you heat the milk too much the protein powder will cause your drink to curdle.

**You can always swap all of the hot cocoa ingredients for your favorite store bought mix too and just add the protein powder.

What are your favorite snow day traditions? Share in the comments below! 

Healthy Snacks That Satisfy

It’s no secret, when it comes to being healthy, diet is important. Diet isn’t a word I ever use as a means to lose weight. I actually hate when people say, “I’m on a diet.” It’s something I don’t let my clients say (at least around me).

Why am I such a hater about this word? Probably for the same reasons most of your favorite fitness professionals agree with me. When we’re on a diet, it’s like a short term commitment. Our regular diet should be exactly that–things we eat on a regular basis. When my clients are making diet changes, I am always asking if they are missing something. A favorite treat? And then we address how they can either reincorporate a particular item back in, or find something similar that won’t wreak so much havoc on their goals.

Today I’m sharing some of my favorite healthy snacks that support my health and fitness goals. These items are staples in my diet. I would say I eat at least two of these options each day. When I think about a snack I try to keep my added sugar intake low. Then, I always eat some protein and typically, I add in a carb and I definitely make sure I’m eating some fat too.

Some people still balk when I emphasize that they must have fat in their diets. But low fat is not the healthier trend. If you didn’t know this yet, I’m so excited to educate you.

I remember a news story came out recently about soy and how soy products have been labeled as heart healthy, per approval by the FDA. The FDA has now taken a step back on their approval to label soy products in this way, instead saying soy MAY be heart healthy, but it’s no sure thing. A woman being interviewed said she was so confused by this change and ultimately about what were smart grocery choices for her family. She goes to the store and reads the labels and feels like the best choices are always changing. It was at that point in the feature story that I started yelling at the TV.

Another thing that drives me nuts is how so many people are educated about what’s “healthy” by reading the boxes and containers at the grocery store. Those packages are labeled by marketers, not nutritionists.

This method of education is exactly why so many people believe low fat (or even worse, no fat) is one of those smart choices. In reality, fat is an important of any person’s diet. Fat helps absorb essential vitamins and minerals. Fat supports cell growth. Fat helps with important hormone functions in the body. And fat leaves you feeling satisfied for longer because it takes longer to break down in the body.

I understand we are busy, but doing just a little independent research regularly about what you put into your body is so important. Think about how many times we feed ourselves in a day. And the number of times we feed our family.  Even if we only eat three times per day, that’s almost 1100 times we make a choice about what to put in our body. Aside from sleep, I argue we eat more than we do anything else in our lives. If we can make seriously smart choices even 50% of the time, that’s a lot of opportunities to be healthy and be that best version of ourselves.

I won’t get into it here, but some feel so strongly that fat is the most essential part of their diet that they are on “keto” or ketogenic diets. So their diets consist of foods that are mostly high in fat. I personally opt for a more traditional diet balanced in carbohydrates, protein, and fat. But fat is an excellent source of energy and when consumed in moderation, it can certainly help maintain a healthy body weight–and support your ideal body composition too.

So yes, all of the snacks here have a mixture of nutrients, including fat, which is really why I think they’re so satisfying. Meaning,  you normally won’t be running back to the cabinet for another handful of chips an hour later. I also love that these snacks are easy to grab and go with. It seems I’m always on the move, either chasing after my baby, running errands, or exercising. These snacks require minimal prep and most even keep well in your purse or backpack.

Here are some of my favorite snacks. Nutrition information is from MyFitnessPal:

Veggies with Hummus – I use whatever veggies I might have in the fridge. Some of my go-to’s are carrots, cucumbers, celery, tomatoes, broccoli, and radishes. The veggies are full of healthy carbs and protein (yes, veggies have protein too!), and the hummus packs even more protein and fat.

One cup of assorted veggies + 2 tablespoons of hummus = 180 calories/7 g fat/14 g carbs/8 g protein


Kind Bar + Apple – This is such an easy snack to grab and take on the go. I keep Kind bars in my purse for when I’m running errands and hungry. I also almost always grab a piece of fruit like an apple, orange, or banana on my way out the door in the morning.

Kind bar + apple = 270 calories/15.5g fat/38 g carbs/6.5 g protein


Protein Muffins + Clementine– As I’ve shared before, I’m often using Kodiak Cake Pancake Mix to make food at our house. Various protein muffins are a staple around our house. I often make a few dozen and throw them in the freezer. The muffins featured here are pumpkin chocolate chip. Sometimes I have one. Sometimes I have two. I almost always combine my serving with a piece of fruit to get an extra bit of sweetness.

One pumpkin protein muffin + clementine = 215 calories/7.9 g fat/32.4 g carbs/6.3 g protein


Salad – One of my favorite snacks lately has been prepackaged salads from Costco. They have a kale salad, and now this tasty organic “Mediterranean Crunch Chopped Salad Kit.” Holy yum! I mix this up and grab scoopfuls for a couple days. You can easily make this a meal by adding some grilled chicken or fish.

2 servings of Mediterranean Crunch Chopped Salad = 300 calories/20 g fat/26 g carbs/6 g protein


Trail Mix – This particular trail mix is the kind with the M&Ms. Not organic, but seriously the best. We get a giant bag of this from Costco and love it. I regularly get trail mixes from Marshalls and TJMaxx too and those have more dried fruit and no candy. Still tasty, but sometimes I like to indulge a little (ie. I love chocolate).

3 tablespoons of trail mix = 160 calories/10 g fat/12 g carbs/5 g protein


Plain whole milk yogurt + vanilla extract + granola – Here’s one of my full fat dairy products! This is either a great snack, or sometimes I make it breakfast too. Adjust the serving size to suit your needs.

Instead of buying vanilla yogurt which has tons of added sugar, I flavor my own yogurt with vanilla extract. It has no added sugar, little to no calories, and I actually think it’s much tastier. Sometimes I add a pinch of cinnamon too. This particular granola is from Love Crunch and it’s their Dark Chocolate Macaroon flavor.

1 cup plain whole milk yogurt + 1/4 cup granola = 440 calories/21 g fat/44 g carbs/12 g protein


Not pictured, but other favorite snacks of mine include:

  • avocado with salsa in the middle
  • a scrambled egg and sprouted grain toast
  • 1/2 a cheese quesadilla + fruit (sometimes I add black beans or shredded chicken)
  • a cheese stick and veggies
  • sprouted grain crackers with guacamole and tomatoes

What are some of your favorite snacks? Share in the comments below! 

Mexican Kale and Corn Quinoa Salad (Plus a Pregnancy Update)

The first post of this week will feature a recipe. I want to post a workout, but I won’t lie. My workouts are tapering down. This disappoints one part of me, while exciting another.  I can physically continue exercise, but not without bringing on contractions. So, I’ve been doing lots of found exercises throughout my day. A few sets of squats here, some push ups there. Rows, side planks, walking lunges. I’m walking like crazy too. But I do miss my heavy lifting sessions!

Tomorrow I go to the doctor for my 36 week check up, and I’m interested to see if they think I could actually be close to go time. I never went into labor with Isla. Since she was breech, I had a c section. They did tell me the day of the scheduled surgery that I probably would have been in the hospital in labor very soon with the contractions I was having the day she was born, but this pregnancy has just been so different. I feel like I’m getting close to delivery time now, but am I really? You name the pre-labor symptom–I probably have it! And I have for about a week. I would be nervous since I’m not even 37 weeks, but myself and all of my siblings were born 1-3 weeks early and were very healthy. So, we’ll see what tomorrow brings. As long as this baby is healthy, mom is ready!

I’m shocked to say I have barely gained any weight in the last several weeks. I am maybe up 26 pounds now, only one pound in the last several weeks. Again, I would be concerned, but my belly is growing (so clearly the baby is). I am also eating lots, and sometimes, not always the most healthy things. My body is craving all the carbs and while I try to be smart about my choices (and portions), I am indulging a little more.

Some of my favorite foods have been a little more ice cream, Annie’s chocolate bunnies with peanut butter, and I’m also enjoying some kettle corn or veggie sticks (the processed kind, not the fresh kind). I know it’s important the baby grows in these last few weeks, and my body needs the calories to facilitate that growth. So I’m eating up, but it looks like I might not make it to 35 pounds of weight gain. I won’t complain, haha. I thank Isla for keeping me so darn busy!

In this last trimester, I’ve also been struggling emotionally. While I am eternally grateful to be pregnant, I see the finish line and am really looking forward to relishing those baby snuggles, while not feeling the intense pressure of a human being and all that grows with it in my belly. With a history of infertility, I think I will always struggle with the guilt when I think about wanting pregnancy to end. I remember the intense longing for a baby. I wanted nothing more than to be pregnant. And to stay pregnant. To be a mom. In these last weeks, I’ve been trying so hard to acknowledge the gift of being pregnant, while also giving myself permission to feel ready for the journey to be over. I think it’s natural that we’re all ready to not be pregnant anymore. I want to meet our baby. And being pregnant comes with it’s discomforts. I think we’re supposed to want pregnancy to be over, so we will do whatever it takes to birth our babies. This is how I rationalize the back in forth in my brain and heart.

But, enough about the baby on board and mom’s emotions and onto the recipe! This recipe satisfies that carb craving I’ve been dosing. But it’s made using healthy carbs! One of my favorite dinner sides is quinoa with veggies. I usually use whatever veggies are fresh and in season. Some of my favorites from various seasons include kale and butternut squash; spinach, sweet potato, and apple; and this one–kale and corn cut right off the cob.


This dish incorporates kale from our garden and fresh corn from our farm. Corn has been so delicious in the last month and I’m sad it will be gone soon. Sure, we can get frozen organic corn at the grocery store. But let’s not kid ourselves. Nothing beats some local, fresh corn.

Isla loves it raw. I’ll be shucking the corn and next thing I know she’s reaching for a piece and biting into the sweet kernels, without even cooking them. Yum, yum, yum. For the last three weeks, we have gotten a dozen ears in our CSA share. And we haven’t had an ounce of trouble tucking those ears of corn away, filling our bellies with all that summer veggie goodness.


This recipe incorporates some other simple ingredients. It starts with a base of some sauteed onion and garlic. Then the kale and corn. Next comes quinoa and cumin. And finally, it’s topped with some fresh lime juice and crumbled cotija cheese. The cheese is optional, but it takes this dish to a whole new level. I love the salty, strong flavor of cotija cheese. It’s like feta, but in my opinion, even better.

This recipe, like all of the recipes I make, is quick and easy, and healthy! The task that takes the longest is cooking the quinoa. And if you will be short on dinner prep time, you can even make the quinoa ahead of time.


Mexican Kale and Corn Quinoa Salad

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tbsp of coconut OR olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 bunch of lacinato kale
  • 2 ears of corn, cooked
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 lime
  • Cotija cheese, crumbled (optional)


  1. Cook the quinoa according to package instructions. Let cool as you begin to cook the veggies.
  2. Chop the onion, garlic, kale, and cut the corn off the cob.
  3. Heat oil over medium heat. Add onion to pan and saute for 3 minutes.
  4. Add garlic to the pan and heat until fragrant.
  5. Add the kale and cook until bright green. Then add the corn.
  6. Once heated through, add the quinoa and cumin. Stir to combine.
  7. Remove from heat and top with lime juice and cotija cheese.

What is your favorite summer vegetable? Share in the comments below. 


Super Easy Pollock Burger Fish Tacos

The week is almost through and we’re zipping our way into the upcoming holiday weekend! Oh yeah! Any extra time with my hubby and daughter is reason to celebrate in my book, so I’m excited for the days ahead.

Thinking about more family time, I often think about dinner. The goals are to spend less time cooking and maximize the time we eat together at the table. All while still eating healthy and delicious foods. Since having Isla, it is often stressful to prep dinner. Why is dinner (and the lead up to it) during the dreaded witching hour? I swear, one hour (if not managed properly, or let’s face it, no matter what) can exhaust me more than four. Enough exhausting evenings means I’m now the queen of quick and easy meals that don’t require too much time to prepare. Plus, they’re still extra tasty. All in the name of avoiding meltdowns.

Today’s recipe has quickly become a favorite in our house. Last summer, our local Costco had a super sale on some wild pollock burgers. I scooped them up, unsure what I was really going to do with them. I knew we could at least use them as a quick protein with some tasty veggies on the side, but lately we’ve been turning these burgers into the most delicious fish tacos. With baby number two on the way, I love that everyone will eat these tacos. That they’re good for us. And that they’re so easy. Win, win, win!

You can either grill, bake, or pan fry the burgers. And just a sprinkle of chili powder and cumin, combined with all the fixins, makes a tasty meal. We chose to eat these with Mexican street corn the other evening. Corn has been incredible around here lately. It was the perfect side to these simple and delicious tacos. Read on for details.

Pollock Burger Fish Tacos

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 4 frozen wild Alaskan pollock burgers (we bought these from Costco)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 4-6 flour or corn tortillas (whichever you prefer)

Garnishes (pick whatever you’d like):

  • salsa
  • sour cream OR greek yogurt
  • shredded lettuce
  • chopped tomato
  • sliced radishes
  • chopped jalapeno
  • cilantro
  • lime


    1. Sprinkle the frozen burgers with the cumin and chili powder.
    2. GRILL OR BARBECUE: Preheat to medium heat (350°F). Cook for 4 to 5 minutes on each side. CONVENTIONAL OVEN: Preheat to 400°F. Place frozen burger(s) on lightly greased baking sheet, cook for 9 to 10 minutes on each side. PAN-FRY: In lightly oiled pan, cook over medium heat 4 to 5 minutes each side.
    3. While the burgers are cooking, slice all of your garnishes* and heat the tortillas.
    4. Remove burgers from heat and slice.
    5. Combine all ingredients to make your favorite tacos. Feel free to also omit the tortillas and enjoy this as a taco salad.

*We serve these with a salsa crema, which is just a simple combination of salsa, sour cream/yogurt, and lime juice. You can combine these items in a ratio that meets your taste. We love to enjoy the leftover crema with tortilla chips as a snack the next day.


Zucchini Carrot Protein Pancakes

Happy Friday world! Today’s day is jam packed with cooking, cleaning, and errands galore. At the finish line is dinner with some friends and all of our babies. After a quick trip to Target–a store that even Isla loves already–and a quick lunch, it’s now naptime and I’m here logging in to share one of my favorite recipes just in time for your weekend: zucchini carrot protein pancakes.

Everyone in our house loves these pancakes, and any time that happens we have a serious reason to celebrate. I love that I can incorporate some veggies into these pancakes because most of us can use an extra serving or two of veggies. I also love that they have some extra protein since the base is Kodiak Cake protein pancake mix. Chris and Isla both just like how they taste.

This mix is a whey protein based mix. I buy it in bulk at Costco. And when I say I buy it in bulk, I really mean it. Each box comes with three bags and I normally buy four boxes at a time. Maybe I should be embarrassed, but I’m definitely not. It’s such a good deal and we use this mix as a base for not only pancakes, but muffins, breads, fritters, and more. It’s really versatile and tasty. Win and win.

I make a giant batch of these pancakes every time I whip them up. I then freeze then flat on a cookie sheet and stash them away in the freezer to heat them up individually. We heat them in the toaster, but you could always microwave, bake or fry them too.

First, you start with the wet ingredients. Eggs, banana, applesauce, and vanilla.

Then add the pancake mix, cinnamon, shredded zucchini, and shredded carrot.


And fry them up!

This recipe below makes about 32 pancakes, measured out with a 1/4 measuring cup. This batch gets us through at least two weeks, depending on how many we all feel like eating. For me that means less dishes less often, and nutritious breakfast, dinner (who doesn’t love breakfast for dinner?), or a snack!

Zucchini Carrot Protein Pancakes

  • Servings: 16 (2 pancakes per serving)
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 2 eggs
  • 1 mashed banana
  • 1/3 cup applesauce (1 prepackaged cup/pouch) – optional
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups Kodiak Cake Pancake Mix
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini (about 1 medium zucchini)
  • 1 large shredded carrot
  • 2 cups milk of choice (or less if you like a denser pancake)
  • 1/2 cup raisins – optional
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips – optional


    1. Combine wet ingredients together in a large bowl: eggs, mashed banana, applesauce, and vanilla.
    2. Add pancake mix, cinnamon, and shredded veggies.
    3. Add milk and stir gently to combine.
    4. Fry on medium low, flipping once bubbles begin to pop. The second side cooks for about 1-2 minutes depending on your stove.
    5. Keep warm in the oven*, serve, and freeze leftovers.

*Keeping the pancakes warm in the oven (200°F)  will also help keep the pancakes dry. Zucchini is a very wet veggie. We don’t mind the texture of these pancakes when finished, but if you want a pancake that is a little more dry, reduce the amount of milk OR squeeze some excess water from the zucchini after shredding.


Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

No fitness blog is complete without a smoothie recipe. At least, I think that’s how it works.

I’ve always been a big fan of smoothies, though I’ll be honest; I fall in and out of the habit of making them. Currently, a teething toddler (seriously, this girl is working on her 14th tooth and she’s not even 13 months!) and some serious protein cravings for this 31-week pregnant mama has brought smoothies back into our kitchen. Today’s recipe is one of my favorites, and it has been for years. Peanut butter, banana, and a hint of chocolate from one of my favorite protein powders. YUM.

Smoothies do NOT always need to include protein powder, but lately mine have. While I don’t have an issue using protein supplements occasionally, I will say I’m perfectly picky about which ones I will and will not use. This recipe can stand on its own without the protein powder by replacing it with cocoa powder and it will still pack a nutritious punch. But for those times I’m using a whey protein powder, I’m a huge fan of Promix. Their grass-fed chocolate whey protein powder is my go-to.

Side note: Many ask if I feed this to Isla. The short answer is, yes. The long answer is, Promix literally contains four ingredients. One of those is whey protein and this is the only ingredient I really questioned giving Isla. However, after much research, there are toddler formulas on the market that include whey and we actually use a whey protein pancake mix to make her pancakes and muffins that she enjoys almost every day (watch for another post). So, I started small and since the addition of protein powder here and there does not upset her stomach, we use it. Anyone who feeds a toddler knows how tough it can be, especially on a day when eating is painful on her sore and raw gums. So, I think some extra protein in the form of whey powder is A-OK (of course I’m not a doctor, so feel free to consult your pediatrician before doing the same).

Now, onto the smoothie. A lot of my smoothies start with a banana base. Bananas are higher in carbohydrates with one large banana coming in at about 31 grams of carbs. They are also higher in sugar. One large = about 17 grams of sugar. I honestly don’t count these things normally, but I try to be aware. As a trainer and mom who does not sit still for long, I am really trying to get some extra calories and energy through my smoothies, so I don’t mind these stats a single bit. If you are trying to limit your carb or sugar intake, you might want to consider eliminating bananas from your smoothies. You can always try thickening a smoothie with something like cauliflower believe it or not. You can barely taste it! I’ll post more about that later too.

For now, sticking with something a little more mainstream, to make your own peanut butter banana smoothie follow the instructions below.

Blend together:

  • 1 large banana
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup liquid (almond milk, cow’s milk, water–your choice)
  •  2 heaping tablespoons of PB Fit or PB2
  • 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder AND/OR 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 2 kale leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon flax
  • 1 handful of ice cubes

You can easily mix or swap in other ingredients like spinach, nuts, or coconut. The options are endless. But this smoothie has been, and continues to be one of my favs, and clearly Isla’s too!

What’s in your favorite smoothie? Share in the comments below!