A foodie's quest to turn up the heat through strength and conditioning with whole food and a hungry mind.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

WIAW #21 Pumped Up Protein Summer Staples

The first day of another month means just one thing....a new theme for What I Ate Wednesday! Thanks to Jenn at Peas and Crayons for hosting this event and creating fun-filled themes like Summer Staples for August! Check out her blog for more info and to see her delicious recipes!

Chocolate Protein Healthy Dessert Dip with plain Greek yogurt and cocao nibs
Last week I mentioned I was taking a little break from blogging, but I have to contribute to What I Ate Wednesday. Otherwise, I'd have an empty void from not being part of this fun event for a week.  I'll keep it short, though, and I hardly have any new pics to share, so older ones will have to suffice.

My summer staples include salad (have a big one for dinner every night) with lots of veggies, lean protein, and homemade veggie puree or salsa "dressing" on top. But really, these things aren't limited to summer, I've been having salad almost every day in the fall and winter too. One thing that has turned into a staple for me this summer is protein.

Tuna, salmon, chicken, beans, lentils, Greek yogurt, peanut butter, dry-roasted nuts, tofu, and whey protein powder all appear in my weekly eats quite often. Now that I have changed fitness courses from endurance running to strength training, I look for more ways to included protein in my diet. Check out these healthy and delicious protein packed recipes I've posted recently for proof.
A version of my Chobani Pumpkin Protein Yogurt (I added banana) with Baked Overnight Oattmeal Crisps

One of my new found favorite protein creations is to combine, beans (black, white kidney, or garbanzo), veggies (winter and summer squash, spinach, carrots, and cauliflower), peanut flour, protein powder, stevia, and spices all in a processor or blender and puree. The result is nothing less than amazing!

Chocolate and Vanilla Healthy Dessert Dips with garbanzo beans, PB & Co Old Fashion Crunchy, unsweetened cocoa (for the chocolate version), peanut flour, whey protein, stevia, and steamed summer squash
Thick and creamy like Greek yogurt, but bursting with a variety of flavors; and it's all homemade!  These purees make several generous servings that I keep in a big container to just scoop my preferred amount out into a cup. Topped with frozen berries, yogurt, and overnight oats, the creation is healthy, tasty eating at its finest!
Strawberry Protein Jam - Strawberry puree with whey protein powder, Strawberry Zevia, and chia seeds
Oh, and Cayenne is my staple for all seasons!

Check out all of my protein recipes posted on Recipage here.

I have so many staple foods like quinoa, overnight oats, dehydrated okra, carrots, and drinks like tea and coffee.  In essence of keeping it short and not "breaking" my break, I'll wait for the second week of August's WIAW to share more summer staples!

Speaking of staples, lets move on to my day of eats and treats.

Happy WIAW!

Cut fennel and peppers for a healthy way to satisfy my need to CRUNCH! I used the crunchy veggies to dip into a tasty puree of white beans and veggies with crumbled goat cheese. Unpictured was the iced French Press Coffee I gulped down like water.

Cold Red Quinoa salad based off of my Quinoa Curry Salad Recipe; Kay's Naturals Jalapeno Mustard Protein Pretzels (new find!); green tea; more cut fennel; organic Pink Lady Apple (I saved the core for my pet turtle...his summer staples are fresh worms and apple cores)

These are pretty good, but leave messy hands. I'll try another flavor next time.
Hector munching on the apple core. Perfect dessert after a live worm dinner!
Dinner 1 - The Spicy and Savory
Summer Staple salad with mushrooms, brussels, tuna, homemade bean and veggie salsa dressing, and more brussels with beets

Dinner 2 - The Sweet and Comforting (but still healthy!)
"PB & J" Veggie protein smoothie (so sad when this was finished); a couple microwave protein oatmeal muffins; apple butter, pumpkin, and cottage cheese mix; unpictured is my cup refilled with the chocolate Healthy Dessert Dip from the picture above.

Microwave Protein Oatmeal Muffins - You can't have just one!!

Apple Butter from my July Foodie Penpal mixed with pumpkin, lowfat cottage cheese and lots of cinnamon. I added frozen blueberries later.
I've been struggling trying to find a good fitness routine that satisfies my craving to do it all! I want to strength train and get my heart pumping with cardio.  Since it drives me crazy not having som sort of plan, I decided to start the Supreme 90 Day DVD workouts. These use dumbells and stability balls with pretty fast circuits.
Hopefully the weights and circuits will give me what I'm looking for, but I also want to do a few days of barbell work and outside running.  I absolutely love running in the 100+ degree heat here in Texas.  People say I'm crazy, but after running 7 or more miles, the exhaustion is satisfying and cold protein smoothies are 10X better!
Kelley started the workouts with me too, so this will be a fun change of pace for the both of us.  At the end, lets see how "confused" our muscles are; that always makes me laugh.
If you're a runner, do you enjoy the eat or stay indoors when it's hot?  What about biking or another outdoor sport?  Let me know your ideas of a great routine, I'm always keeping my eye out for something new!


  1. Replies
    1. They are addicting! I'm having one....ok, a mixture of three, right now. Best nighttime snack ever! Thanks for visiting and commenting!

  2. Brussels AND beets?! Could the combo get any better?!

    1. Yes, mushrooms!! Which I did add later and never photographed. But Brussels and beets are perfectly fine without mushrooms too! Glad you think the same, most people around me just think I'm weird for liking (gasp) more natural, unprocessed food.

  3. Replies
    1. Glad you like the muffin pic, I totally recommend trying them sometime. Thanks for reading and commenting...have a great day!

  4. I love Kays Naturals products! I havent tried thos pretzels, but I've tried the cereal and its great! :)

    1. Oooo, and I haven't tried the cereal. Which one would you recommend trying first?

  5. Dips,dips,dips! I am such a dip-lover,don't you want to come over and make all those yummy dips for me? We can party in the end,it would sure be fun!
    Oh,and if yes,bring Hector along with you - he is SO adorable! :)

    1. I'm always happy to share the good taste of healthy food since so many people I know don't believe in it! And yes, dips are just pure awesomeness!

      Of course Hector can come along anywhere I go....it's the dog and two cats we have that I'm not so sure about. I love all animals, but the constant hair shedding drives me crazy. I think b/c I am always working with food...maybe?

  6. Ohhh I haven't had "The Heat is On" flavor of PB&co!!! I'm going to have to keep an eye out for it :)

    1. Oh yea, the heat really is on with that PB! I add several large doses of cayenne to most of my meals, but that pb is just hot.....but soooo good!

  7. I haven't heard of microwave muffins before, but those look really good! I officially need a microwave :P

    1. Yes ma'am, we should all have microwaves to make delicious treats like these muffins on a whim! Thanks for reading and commenting!

  8. How freaking cute is the turtle! OMG! love it! I am so into dips. All of the above look fantastic!! I actually just started taking up running (I know in the dead heat of summer of all times!) and am super hooked! I'm also into yoga a lot more lately since I have herniated discs in my back. It helps out a lot! Happy WIAW!

    1. I don't know what it is, but I am just a reptile lover...specifically turtles. They're just so cool and interesting....please stop and move one to the side of the road if you see one crossing!

      I actually saved a few turtles while out running before. Made the run that much better. I think I read one of your posts about running in the heat; like you, I love running at the hottest part of the day until I am just beat. The exhaustion makes anything and everything afterward that much better. Just sitting with water is bliss!

      Kelley really likes yoga and I went once....need to go again just b/c I need better flexibility. Happy WIAW to you, good luck on your running!

  9. love the protein-packed meals! i've been doing lots of kettlebell work and loving it. you can adapt it to cardio or strength training and kb swings are great total-body movements! really works your core- which you know is great for runners!

    1. Indeed, the kettle-bell workouts are a blast! I love incorporating them into a quick circuit with other weighted exercises. Whatever keeps fitness fun!

      Thanks, T, for commenting!