Banana Chocolate Protein Pancakes

pancakes

Being back in the kitchen and experimenting with protein powders and whatever I can find in my pantry feels great. Of course it takes effort on my behalf (mostly leaving work immediately and heading home to the kitchen). Needless to say today I did just that! I left immediately and came home to make protein pancakes. I had bananas, some chocolate whey protein and whole wheat pastry flour= TA DA!

Here are some ingredients I used:  products

Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat Pastry Flour, Trader Joe’s baking powder and soda, bananas (also from Trader Joe’s); Kerry Gold organic, grassfed butter; Dymatize ISO 100 Chocolate Whey Protein; Fairway organic grassfed whole milk; Bragg’s raw organic apple cider; and eggs.

RECIPE GOES AS FOLLOWS

WET INGREDIENTS

  • 1 MEDIUM BANANA (mashed until smooth)
  • 3/4 c. of organic grassfed milk
  • 1 whole egg (beaten)
  • 1 tbsp. melted organic grassfed butter
  • 1 tsp. raw organic apple cider

DRY INGREDIENTS

  • 1 c. whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4-1 scoop of chocolate whey protein

Extra butter for cooking and maple syrup or coconut nectar to serve.

Mix and beat the wet ingredients. In a separate bowl mix the dry ingredients. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until smooth (pancake batter consistency).

mixture- pancakes

Pour pancake mixture in large dollops (I use a large spoon) onto a heated skillet oiled with a tsp. of butter. Flip pancakes when holes appear (this indicates that they are cooked on the bottom side). Once pancakes are flipped and look a golden brown they are ready to be consumed. Serve with your choice of syrup or jam (I used organic Maple syrup).  Photo shown above.

I hope you make these! I eat them for dinner mostly, not enough time to make them in the morning as I rush out of my house, straight to get coffee and then to the subway! Please comment if you make them or plan to.

Stay fit and fun,

Sasha G.

AND I AM BACK! Oh, what a hectic schedule.

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Reunited, and it feels so good! I’m finally back on my blog. I’ve revamped it. I’m going a totally new direction (well, not completely new). I’m still planning on updating you on my fitness goals and routines, and recipes I conjure up, but also on other aspects of my life; like affordable fashion, and living life as a NYC public school teacher.
So here’s a recap, like a new episode let me quickly update you on what has been going on in the season so far:
♦ I’m still hitting the gym.
Yep. I’m still working out. I’ve managed to keep the weight off. Everyday is a struggle because everyday I’m combating exhaustion after teaching 52 kids all day in Brooklyn. I’m tired and don’t want to go to the gym but I get dressed and get my ass to the gym at least 3x a week and 4x on a good week. I weigh 150lbs and have for the past year or so. I started my journey weighing a whopping 200lbs so yes, I am still proud of myself. :-)
♦That’s right! I’m a full-time NYC middle school classroom teacher.
I teach 7th and 8th grade English and History in a Brooklyn charter school and am exhausted about 99.9% of the time. It’s my first full year teaching and I have been learning so much; not only about the chaos that is inevitable when teaching in East New York, Brooklyn but also about myself. My future mostly. Like where I eventually want my career to take me, whether it’s the classroom or not. So far I love every obstacle I’ve overcome and how ridiculous my life can be sometimes. I’ve convinced myself it builds character. Ha!
♦ I graduated from NYU. Master’s degree? DONE. Boom.
Holy shit NYU was difficult. Half of me feels I bullshitted my way through my super intensive one year Master’s degree and the other half of me feels as if I worked my ass off and deserve every little piece of that degree. Was it difficult? Not so much, as I was actually studying what I love to do (Literacy Education) but most of the time I felt like my head was in a bubble… and not in a good way. So many tears shed. So many sleepless nights. And now you know WHY I abandoned my blog.
No worries, I do not plan on leaving for so long again! I’m more committed than ever and am excited to see how this blog unravels.
Ciao!

I hope I’ve enthralled you to continue reading my blog and follow me on my pursuit to being fit, dressing fabulous on a budget, and balancing LOVE, A CAREER, AND A NYC TEACHER LIFE.

Motivation and Desire to be FIT! (a return from my hiatus)

I take my boxing face very seriously.

I take my boxing face very seriously.

HI! I’ve been gone for quite some time– I’ve been so busy with the usual, you know, LIFE? And have unfortunately placed this blog on the back burner for far too long. Also, I couldn’t decide on what to write about. What ELSE can I say about my fitness journey? I feel as if I’ve said it all but this is far from the truth. Upon asking my close friends on a topic for this post (a return from my blogging hiatus) I keep getting asked the SAME darn question: HOW DO YOU STAY SO MOTIVATED? And although I’ve addressed this before (scroll down a few posts), I thought I’d address it again in a different way.

When you embark on a fitness journey, trying to constantly push and discover your own physical limitations you begin to realize that it’s a mental thing too! I hate to say you are your own worst enemy but it couldn’t be more right and one day you may find your motivation and desire dwindling. Believe it or not it has happened to me. But  you somehow summon (at least I hope you do) the courage to push through and continue to ignite that fire that made you even think about becoming a better, MORE FIT you!

Yes it’s true that once your body becomes accustomed to working out a lot you miss it when you don’t. In fact I feel like a slob when I don’t hit the gym even for a day! Crazy, right? But I realize that I’ve been working out like I do for about 2 years already so…. this comes with time. It’s difficult for me to think back and remember when I first started working out but as everyone always says “you gotta start somewhere,” and once again, this is VERY TRUE.

Yesterday I attended a writing workshop (because I am pursuing a writing career) and the teacher replied to an inquiry about staying motivated to write with an “give yourself wimpy goals” and I believe this pertains to fitness too! Meaning, be realistic with your goals. They are immediate goals not your dreams or aspirations. Your goals should be something you should attain so if you HATE working out (and there are people who hate it) don’t give yourself the goal of going to the gym everyday. Unsurprisingly, you WON’T achieve it and you’ll feel bummed out and discouraged. Don’t do it to yourself. Instead tell yourself, “I’ll go to the gym 3 times this week” or “I’ll attend kickboxing at the local YMCA on Tuesday after work;” these things are doable and surely you can make more ambitious goals as time progresses. You better believe I wasn’t working out as intensely as I do now in the beginning. There’s no way.

I guess the point is that you work up to your ultimate goal. Baby steps. No one goes from 0 to 100 in a day or a week or even 6 months! Give yourself time, set achievable and realistic goals, and tell yourself “I can do it!”

Pumpkin Pecan Pancakes– a fall treat.

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I must apologize for my absence! I’ve recently began graduate school (recently? It’s been almost 2 months already!) and I’ve been a slave to NYU and trying to balance romance, school, work, and a social life without losing my head. Crazy. I have been eating clean MOST of the time but I can’t lie– with my hectic schedule it is NO easy task. I have, however, been keeping up with my workouts (they’re a major stress/frustration relief). The gym has become such an important part of my life I now understand why people become addicted. Anyway, despite the massive amounts of homework that eagerly awaits me, I have managed to create this recipe and upload it!

Because it’s autumn here in NYC– I have created these fluffy & delicious pumpkin pecan pancakes I hope you enjoy as much as I do. I eat them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Pancakes are freaking awesome.

Makes 8-10 medium-sized pancakes (in my house, this is 2 people) :-) 

INGREDIENTS

Dry:

  • 1 c. whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon or pumpkin spice mix
  • 1/2 c. chopped, roasted pecans (This is mixed into the mixture)

Wet:

  • 1/2 c. canned pumpkin (I use Trader Joe’s Organic)
  • 3/4 c. almond milk
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. egg whites (I use Trader Joe’s carton)
  • 1 tsp. raw organic apple cider vinegar

Mix all dry ingredients except the pecans in a mixing bowl or large measuring cup. Then add in all wet ingredients and mix with fork vigorously until clumps disappear. Stir in the pecans. Cook on skillet or griddle (I use Earth Balance spread to cook) approx. 5 minutes of each side or until toasted brown and bubbles appear on top (this means time to flip!) I eat this with Raw Coconut Nectar (Coconut Secret brand) as a syrup but feel free to use any other “clean” syrups like: brown rice syrup, agave, maple, etc. I also put a dollop of 0% Greek yogurt atop! YUM.

ENJOY!

And if you make this, please feel free to leave feedback. :-) 

MOTIVATION! MOTIVATION! MOTIVATION!

The gym has become a sanctuary for me.

A question I get asked often is: HOW DO YOU STAY SO MOTIVATED?! And it really does make me think, “Huh, how do I stay motivated?” After given it much thought I came up with this list simply stating what I deem is necessary to spark an intrinsic motivation to keep going! To keep exercising & eating clean!

1. Your weightloss/ healthy lifestyle journey should be ABOUT YOU!

This seems simple enough oftentimes it’s one of the hardest things to do. Your weightloss journey should be about you discovering yourself, pushing your boundaries, and taking control of your life, NOT about you fitting into your bikini or those jeans you bought 3 sizes too small (this comes eventually, do trust). I started exercising because I yearned feeling like I had control of my body and trust me: it’s one of the BEST feelings.

2. Don’t lose hope. 

Here’s the thing. When you start exercising and eating clean you will NOT be perfect! You might have a bad meal, a bad week, hell even a bad month! But do not lose focus of your ultimate goal and DON’T QUIT! You evaluate your actions and BOUNCE BACK even harder. I never ate clean in the beginning of my lifestyle change and when I did I messed up a lot but I never stopped exercising or reminding myself of why I had even started.

3. Wear hater shades. 

Ha-ha. No really. People can be real haters– unless your friends/acquaintances are perfect (doubt it) people will talk about your sudden lifestyle change and it will rub some the wrong way. In the beginning it will be: “you’re obsessed,” or “you’re overdoing it.” You’re not. And once you start seeing REAL results those snark comments tend to transform into “You look amazing!” or “What is it that you’re doing?!” But of course you’ll have people who think you’re simply popping magic pills because for some odd reason some people just don’t get that: exercise & eating well actually works. 

4. Try different exercises. 

Not all exercises work for the same people. Personally I HATE Zumba but I did begin my journey dancing Zumba. After awhile I just didn’t find it appealing anymore and moved onto kickboxing WHICH I LOVE! So try different exercises, whether group or individual, to really see what you can stick with. However, versatility is good so add new things to your workouts whenever you can! AND WOMEN: do not be afraid of weights!! I learned this too long after I began exercising so I cannot stress it enough! There’s a misconception that weights will bulk you. THEY WILL NOT. In fact, I leaned out a lot using weights!

& lastly:

5. GYM CLOTHES! 

Here’s the deal: New gym clothes will inevitably motivate you to work out! They will make you feel good and ready to take on a tough work out so do not underestimate the power of good workout gear! At first I worked out with old, ripped t-shirt and crappy pants and I usually felt “BLAH” during my work outs. THEN I started investing in work out gear that made me feel good and my attitude changed drastically!

I hope this brief list helps you stay focused on your goals and motivates you to keep going when the going gets tough! You should always remember that accomplishing something for yourself is an amazing feeling that you should not deprive yourself of! 

Coconut Cinnamon Protein Pancakes!

Topped off with banana slices and unsweetened shredded coconut.

To stay on my “all things coconut” theme, I came up with this protein pancake recipe this morning. I’m definitely a breakfast person, as I’ve said before, so having a huge and hearty breakfast is absolutely necessary for me (and always needs to include coffee! Unless I’m sick…). I made these and topped them off with coconut nectar as my syrup, shredded unsweetened coconut, and slices of banana. Absolutely divine. As with all my recipes, feel free to make them your own. If you abhor bananas, for instance, so add blueberries or whatever other fruit you love! :-)

INGREDIENTS: (makes about 10 medium sized pancakes)

DRY:

  • 1 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tbsp. flaxmeal
  • 1 tbsp. coconut flour (sifted)
  • 2 scoops of protein powder
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon

WET:

  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 cup. of mixture warm water & almond milk (I used only two tbsp. of almond milk)
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tsp. vanilla ext.
  • 1 tsp. almond ext.

Topping:

  • half of banana, sliced
  • 2 tbsp. of unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 tbsp. of coconut nectar

Non-stick spray or coconut oil can be used for the griddle.

INSTRUCTIONS:
In a large bowl, sift all dry ingredients except the flaxmeal. Mix until fully incorporated.
Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk all wet ingredients together really well. Pour into dry mix and use a fork to mix it until it is clump-free. (Forks work better than whisks for this). If you think the batter is too thick, feel free to add more almond milk or water.

Cook until golden brown on both sides. Serve warm with coconut nectar atop. YUM!

Cake-like Coconut Crepe (w. blueberries & raspberries)

This crepe was born due to my severe PMS symptoms. BLAH. I’m always craving sweets and in an effort not to indulge and overdo it, because I’ve already been having a bad week eating-wise, I came up with this! Now I’m sure a variation of this exists somewhere BUT I’ve tweaked it and have made it super delicious! Feel free to use any fruits you have if you don’t have berries. This recipe uses all things coconut: flour, nectar, and oil. When making this everyone in my house thought I was making cake- Whomp, whomp, whomp. :-)

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 tbsp. melted coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp. almond milk
  • 1 tbsp. warm water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 5 drops of liquid stevia
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour, sifted
  • 1/8 tsp. baking powder

Non-stick spray for crepe pan. 

Filling: 

  • 1/2 c. 0% Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 pint raspberries
  • 1/4 c. blueberries
  • 1 tbsp. coconut nectar

INSTRUCTIONS (crepe): 

Whisk together all liquid ingredients really well until smooth. Sift in dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Add more warm water to reach desired consistency if too thick.

Heat pan on medium heat with spray and pour in mixture. Be sure to spread it out evenly. Cook on both sides until golden brown.

(Filling): 

In a small saucepan, cook nectar and berries for about 5 minutes. Once it is cooked and semi-cooled (3 minutes), mix 3/4 of it with greek yogurt to fill your crepe. Use the remaining 1/4 of sauce to top off crepe.

ENJOY! This crepe tastes just like cake and you can add whatever clean toppings you’d like! It’s hard to believe it’s a clean-eating dessert.