Gluten-Free Peanut-Butter Banana Muffins

Peanut Butter Banana MuffinsThere are some days you just crave a muffin, and that’s okay! Just make sure that muffin isn’t the size of your head and loaded with sugar and empty carbs. You know exactly which muffins I’m talking about. They are the ones that look amazing when you walk past the bakery section in the grocery store. The ones that I’m pretty sure have eyes, because I can feel them staring at me, trying to make eye contact and whispering “buy me”, as I walk past as fast as possible, trying to ignore them.

Let’s not even discuss the variety packs of 24 that warehouse stores like Sam’s & Costco sell…. sigh.

Just because we are eating cleaner, avoiding extra sugar and processed flour doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy a muffin with our coffee from time to time. In my most recent 7-Day Clean Eating Jump Start group, one of the members shared a recipe for Peanut Butter Banana muffins so I gave them a shot with a few changes.

Gluten-Free Peanut-Butter Banana Muffins
Yields 6
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Ingredients
  1. 2 Tbsp. Peanut-Butter (I used Sun-Butter which is a great nut-free option)
  2. 1 Medium Banana, Mashed
  3. 1/4 Cup Gluten-Free Oats
  4. 1/3 Cup Organic Applesauce
  5. 1/2 Cup Egg Whites
  6. 1 Scoop Vanilla Protein Powder
  7. 1 tsp. Baking Powder (make sure it is gluten-free. I use Clabber Girl.)
  8. Dried Banana Chips (topping)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, hand-mix all ingredients together except the banana chips.
  3. Place 6 muffin liners in a 12 count cupcake tray and spray a light coat of a non-stick cooking spray. (Do not skip this non-stick spray. The muffins will stick to the paper liners if you don't do this.)
  4. Fill each cup about 2/3 of the way full, until you are out of batter.
  5. Top each uncooked muffin with a few dried banana chips.
  6. Place tray in the center rack of the oven and allow to cook for approx 12 min or until they are golden brown.
Notes
  1. I used the applesauce to replace 1 egg since I didn't have any more. You could also use 1/3 cup of pumpkin puree instead of applesauce. If you want to take all of the egg out completely, mix 1 Tbsp of ground flax seed with 3 Tbsp hot water until it thickens slightly. You'll use the flax mix in addition to the applesauce or pumpkin puree.
Get Fit With Nikki http://www.getfitwithnikki.com/
 These muffins really hit the spot and you could have fun with them by changing the flavor profile with different nut-butters, using different egg substitutes (I’m not a pumpkin fan, but using the pumpkin puree with some cinnamon would probably make some you very happy) as noted or by adding some mini chocolate chips to them (if you have nut or dairy allergies, I highly recommend the ones by Enjoy Life). 

Remember, clean eating doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the things you love. It just means you enjoy them in a smarter way!

If you’re doing 21 Day Fix, you could enjoy these as one of your yellow container swaps!

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Simple Morning Smoothie for Back to School

Today my kids officially started school again. It seems like just yesterday they were excitedly waiting for the bus to half day Kindergarten, yet this morning they were off to 8th and 5th grades. Time sure does fly! Mornings around here can be pretty crazy. There is the battle to wake up the kids, the arguing over who gets the bathroom next (we have two bathrooms mind you, but NO ONE wants to go downstairs….sigh), lunches, clothes, homework, snacks, clock watching for the bus and of course, breakfast! Thankfully both of my kids like smoothies and what they like is easy enough for me to make while waiting for my morning dose of life….caffeine….coffee to brew. The “Simple Morning Smoothie” for them is one of three things, Banana, Chocolate Peanut Butter or Strawberry Banana, which is featured below. I also typically add a half a scoop of protein or Shakeology to their smoothie, depending on how they’ve been eating. (Shakeology is always included in the chocolate peanut butter one). Simple Morning Smoothie

In all honesty I used to hate dragging out the blender to make these up, especially because they NEVER agree on which flavor they want, however since Mike got me the Ninja with the single serve blender cups, I don’t mind at all. It’s actually nice to hear them ask for a smoothie for breakfast or an after school snack, instead of a Pop-Tart, some sugary cereal, chips or cookies. PLUS I get to hide things inside of these that are good for them, like protein and ground flax seed …which they would never agree to purposely ingesting.

As parents we need to get creative to ensure our children are getting enough vitamins and minerals. I know I slack in this area from time to time because I get tired of battling every little thing. I end up feeling like a shitty parent because of it, so it’s nice to have some simple & nutritious tricks up my sleeve that leave everyone happy and smiling.

Do your kids like smoothies? I would love to know what flavors they enjoy so I could try them with mine!

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Body Beast Banana Pancakes

Hi my name is Nikki and I am addicted to pancakes!

I have been eating pancakes almost every morning since I started Body Beast back in July and I am not tired of them yet.

There is just something comforting about them to me. They are like a nice warm hug for my soul and who wouldn’t like a nice warm hug to start their morning off, right?

Coffee + Pancakes = Perfection (to me)

Below, is one of my go-to recipes for pancakes, Body Beast Banana Pancakes, which is from the Body Beast “Book of Beast” nutrition guide. I don’t use this exact recipe everyday, but I do make these often. I also make a few variations to them since I have gluten sensitivities. I make sure I buy gluten-free oats and if I don’t have gluten-free flour on hand, I just blend up a cup of oats, until they’re a fine flour-like consistency and I always make sure my baking powder is gluten-free too.

Body Beast Beast Banana PancakesThis recipe also works AWESOME for meal prepping! I make multiple batches and keep them in the fridge, but you could store them in the freezer too (They just don’t last that long in our house).

Another go-to pancake recipe for me, are the Healthy Pancakes I started making while I was doing the 21 Day Fix. These are super quick and easy to make, plus they make a double batch so you’ll have breakfast for two days, while only cleaning up mixing bowls and pans once! Since I’m doing Body Beast now, I  add a scoop of protein powder to them as well.

Pancakes are really just a blank slate to me, which is probably why I haven’t become bored with them. They can be topped with syrup, fresh fruit, preserves, nut butters, and so much more! You can make a huge batch of them but still enjoy a different flavor profile everyday, which I think is what draws me to them so much. Currently, my favorite way to enjoy them is with some real maple syrup (make sure your syrup is real, people…no maple “flavored” high fructose corn syrup, okay?!) and a sprinkle of unsweetened, shredded coconut. Another favorite of mine is topping them with some peanut butter, sliced banana and a drizzle of raw, local honey.

How do you like to top your pancakes?

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Body Beast Fajitas

Messing around in the kitchen is one of my favorite things to do. It helps to calm me when I’m stressed and it’s actually just become part of my fitness routine. I spend a lot of time on Pinterest looking for new recipes to try. I own a lot of cookbooks and I love that all of the workout programs I own come with nutrition guides and recipe ideas.

So far, the nutrition guide that came with Body Beast, “The Book of Beast” is my favorite. I have tried just about every recipe in it and I have loved them all. As a matter of fact I have shared quite a few of the recipes already. They contain things that are important to me when picking a recipe; they are quick, easy and of course, they all work well for meal prep. This recipe for Body Beast Fajitas is perfect to have on hand for a quick lunch and it packs a lot of flavor!
Body Beast Fajitas

You could also easily substitute steak, shrimp or pork if you want to change things up and keep things interesting! Having basic recipes in your arsenal, that you can make simple changes to is so important when eating clean. Spices are such an important part of keeping things interesting and with a recipe like this, you can easily play around with amounts to suite your tastes. You could add jalapenos, cayenne or use a variety of pepper colors. Little changes like that can completely change the flavor of a dish and keep you from getting bored with your meals.

If you’re like me and LOVE eating at Chipotle, you should definitely try skipping the tortilla and making this with some cilantro-lime rice or as a salad. It would make a super quick dinner option (if for some reason you forgot to meal prep…but we don’t forget to meal prep, right?!) and as an added bonus, you get to skip the drive, looking for a parking spot AND that long ass line! Oh…and when you make it home, guacamole DOESN’T cost extra! SCORE!

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Chase Your Dreams

If you never chase your dreams, you'll never catch them

Once again I have been a slacker when it comes to writing here and honestly, I’m okay with that, because I’ve been busy chasing my dreams.

I was feeling a little bit lost in my life and what direction it should take, but I’m feeling much more focused now. I suppose it’s something we all go through at some point in life. When I lost my job a year and a half ago, I knew I wanted to switch my focus towards my passion, which was health & fitness. I spent some time deciding how I wanted to go about doing it and eventually decided to begin studying for my NASM Personal Trainer certification, as I’ve mention here before. I’m proud to say I completed it, however once I did, I didn’t know what I wanted to do next. I was never comfortable being in a gym and that is where most people start out once they are certified, so I sucked it up and went to meet with someone at a local gym about shadowing and learning the ropes. While I was there, I knew in my gut it wasn’t for me. NOTHING about it felt comfortable and after speaking with the trainer there, I knew in my heart I wasn’t going to be happy following that route. So I went home, cried and questioned everything I had been doing to this point.

That is when clarity took over and I realized that the answer had always been in front of me. I had taken steps down the path toward it in the past, but always got scared, worried about what other people were going to think and talked myself out of it.

You see, back when I completed my first round of P90X 4 years ago, I tried Shakeology for the first time and really liked it, however I really couldn’t afford it. I saw the nutritional value it offered, but I couldn’t get past the price tag. That is when my coach introduced me to Beachbody Coaching (Yes, I said Beachbody Coaching…please don’t run away now) and how I could get a 25% discount on Shakeology. I was very skeptical at first and I asked a million questions to everyone I knew who was doing the program on Twitter and I eventually decided to sign-up. While I was told I was inspiring and motivating by many people I met at that time, I wasn’t comfortable coaching anyone so I just enjoyed the Shakeology discount and if people asked me what I was doing to get in shape I would tell them, share a link and make a little extra money by doing so.

From time to time I would attend a local Beachbody event, because I loved the programs. Coaches I met there would try to talk to me into “working my business” but I refused to “drink the Kool-Aid” so I would just smile a nod. In all honesty I was intrigued by it, but I was also scared of it. I wasn’t a fitness professional and I was still trying to figure out all this fitness stuff on my own. How on earth could I possibly help other people reach their goals when I hadn’t even reached mine?! When I look back on this I was stupid and I was just scared. I was scared of leaving my comfort zone, scared of what other people would think and scared of failing. Now I know that failing at things is the way to grow in life. If we just sit back in our comfort zone, we aren’t living life to it’s fullest, and we certainly aren’t being as happy as we could possibly be.

Over the course of 4 years I have toyed with the idea of actually following this path and coaching others, on and off. I always allowed the fear to stop me but I never quit. I thought about it many times but for some reason I never called and cancelled my coach account and I never fully gave up on the idea of doing it. Why? I’m pretty sure it’s because the Universe wants me to pursue this. I know … I know… the Universe?! Yeah, well… I’m not religious but I do believe in a higher power. I wholeheartedly believe that we have a path we are meant to follow in life, and that people and events come into our lives to lead us to this path. When we ignore the path things will keep happening to redirect us towards it, and that’s what kept happening to me with coaching.

So, as of this month, I am officially applying myself with my coaching! I am chasing my dreams of helping others and paying it forward. I am no longer running from this opportunity to touch other peoples lives and pass along the knowledge that I have gained over the course of my 5 year weight loss journey. I was able to change my life and I know that YOU can too. If you have been scared to start, I want you to know that it is normal and it doesn’t mean that you can never do it!

Now that I have  finally, openly, talked about what it is I do, I hope that if you are ever up late watching TV and an infomercial comes on for P90X, T25, 21 Day Fix, PiYo or any other Beachbdoy program, you will wait to order it and come speak to me first. If you already own one of these programs but have struggled with them or never even got started, I would love the opportunity to coach you,  find out what your goals are and help you to reach them!

It’s time to chase your dreams and make them a reality!

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21 Day Fix Planning Tools

Recently I’ve been receiving a lot of requests for my 21 Day Fix planning tools. I didn’t share them on here right away because I wanted to test them and see if they needed to be tweaked at all. I’m happy to say the the people in my accountability group all found them to be very helpful and no one had any changes to them!

Below, you will find a weekly meal planner, shopping list and a worksheet that will help you to plan your week and stay on track with the program! As I’ve mentioned in my 21  Day Fix posts, planning is KEY with this program. If you don’t take the time to plan out your meals, grocery shop ahead of time and meal prep, you will find yourself scrambling for meals and most likely going off plan.

21 Day Fix Planning ToolsI used the above planning tools along with these Printable Tally Sheets, which I found on Pinterest. You can either print out 3 to get you through the 21 days or you can laminate the sheet (or slip it into a clear sheet protector) and use a dry erase marker to mark off your containers and then wipe it clean for the following week.

Another great tool some of used was using the Reminders app on the iPhone to create a tracking system. Here is a great tutorial I found on Pinterest for how to set it up and use it. It really came in handy for the times I was out and about.

This may seem like a lot of tools for a 21 day program, but they all come in really handy and help to keep you on track and organized. My entire test group loved these tools and said that they made the process of planning a lot easier.

If you have any questions on how to use them, please feel free to contact me!

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Body Beast ….Whatever It Takes!

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It feels like I just settled in to the 21 Day Fix but it’s over, which means the start of a new program for me! When I started 21 Day Fix in June, I made a deal with Mike that if he joined me for the 3 weeks, I would join him for a round of Body Beast. He kept his end of the deal (with great results) and I’m keeping mine!

In all honesty, I love weight lifting. I would much rather lift weights than do cardio. I feel more accomplished, stronger and like I’m doing something with purpose when I lift. I don’t know…it just makes me happy!

Now, for those of you who have never heard of Body Beast, it’s a 90 day Beachbody program (no surprise there…I adore their workouts and have been doing them for 5 years now) that combines weight lifting workouts, groundbreaking nutrition, and supplementation, all in one neat little package. This program does require a vast collection of dumbbells, a bench and a bar with weight plates but there are limited equipment options that use a stability ball with dumbbells in place of the bench and bar. You’ll also need a pull-up bar or resistance bands.

  • Body Beast includes 12 different cutting-edge workouts that fuse the best of old-school resistance training with a new breakthrough in sports science called Dynamic Set Training.
  • Increases in resistance, power, tempo, and volume lead to greater muscle gain and fast results.
  •  The Body Beast Eating Plan helps you increase in size, maintain new muscle growth, and cut up to be in competition shape.
  • Four new extreme supplements specifically designed to enhance growth and performance. (optional)

The Base Kit for Body Beast includes 12 workouts plus a FREE bonus disc called Lucky 7 when you order through one of the links here. This kit will take you through the 3 phases of Beast which are Build, Bulk and Beast. There is also a Challenge Pack option for this program that includes all of the Body Beast Supplements. I am only using the Hardcore Base Shake and Fuel Shot. Mike has added the Super Suma along with those and decided not to add any M.A.X. Creatine for this round.

In my opinion, one of the best aspects of this program is The Book of Beast, which is the program/nutrition guide. It is packed with information and will give you such a great understanding about fueling your body correctly to get the results you want! It also has some of the best recipes I’ve tried with a Beachbody program. I’ve shared the recipes for Sagi’s Signature Turkey Meatballs, Power Protein Balls and Beast Chili before, but there are so many others, including this Body Beast Power Turkey Meatloaf.

Body Beast Power Turkey Meatloaf
Yields 8
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Ingredients
  1. 2 pounds of lean ground turkey meat
  2. 1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs (I used GF oats that I slightly pulsed in the blender)
  3. 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  4. ground black pepper to taste
  5. 1 cup of all-natural salsa (whatever you like with chips)
  6. 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  7. 1 teaspoon sea salt
  8. fresh chopped parsley
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F.
  2. Combine the ground turkey, salsa, bread crumbs, eggs, garlic, sea salt, and pepper in a large bowl.
  3. Form into the shape of a loaf and place in a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan.
  4. Bake on the center rake of the oven for 60-70 minutes until no longer pink in the middle.
  5. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Cut into 8 equal pieces.
Notes
  1. Tip: Sagi says that leftovers freeze well, so even if you are doing this program alone, don't be afraid to make a whole batch and freeze the extra slices.
Get Fit With Nikki http://www.getfitwithnikki.com/
 I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed this recipe. I honestly didn’t even want to make it, since I associate meatloaf was colder weather, but I’m really glad I gave it a shot!

Mike and I are almost done with week one and I am really enjoying lifting again. I am as sore as anything and I might have posted this today on Instagram…

Body Beast…but I really am enjoying it and feeling the changes in my muscles already.

I know I have been a little bit of slacker here the past week, but I hope to post a Fourth of July weekend recap as well as a post of how to Eat Like A Beast soon!

Any ladies out there complete Body Beast of currently doing Body Beast? If so, I would love to know if you are using the supplements and what your thoughts are on the program.

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