Simple Banana Protein Muffins

My kids eat fruit like it’s their job. In fact, just to get Nolan to sit and eat dinner I put out a “fruit appetizer” to get him to start eating and then cross my fingers he continues to eat once dinner is there as well. One favorite of theirs are bananas, but of course when I buy more than usual it’s the week they don’t eat them! So yesterday morning I realized we had 3 bananas left that were almost completely brown and I personally need a perfectly firm yellow banana or I won’t touch them. So I decided to experiment and threw together a bunch of ingredients and hoped for the best. I have to say, they came out pretty good!

I do want to also say that I don’t give my kids protein or supplements, so I left the protein powder out until after I used half the batter. Just my personal preference.

As I always say, I don’t measure unless I’m baking and following a specific recipe. But when it comes to flour and staple baking ingredients it makes sense. So these are 90% exact quantities today.

Banana Protein Muffins

(Yield: about 16 muffins)


3 bananas (mashed with a fork)

3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1 heaping tbsp peanut powder

1 tbsp unflavored protein powder (I use Realist Lifestyle ghost protein)

1/4 cup virgin coconut oil

3/4 cups plain Almond milk (or vanilla for sweeter taste)

1 egg

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 cup maple syrup

handful of dark chocolate chips



Combine all ingredients except for chocolate chips and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl and beat on medium speed, about 3 minutes or until combined and smoother. If you are making them for kids too, leave out protein powder too.

Stir in chocolate chips

Place in muffin tin lined with papers. Mix protein powder half the batter if you are sharing with kids

Sprinkle cinnamon on top of each

Bake on 400 for 18-20 minutes





Garlic shrimp tacos with cilantro lime dressing



I was having a serious craving for seafood tacos this week, so even through we had tacos earlier this week I made them tonight! I’ve always loved a yummy lime taste in them so I used some fresh cilantro I had bought earlier on the week and threw together a “sauce” using Greek yogurt.

Sidenote-although I like almost everything, I have never been able to eat yogurt. Everything about it makes me gag. But I really want to like it! I force myself to try things with yogurt constantly but can’t do it. Greek yogurt still isn’t my favorite but mixed in smoothies and dressings I’m okay. 


Anyway, here’s what I did. And as usual, all measurements are approximate!

Cilantro lime dressing:

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup fresh cilantro

juice of 2 limes (plus I used about 1/2 tsp zest of the lime)

1 clove garlic,grated or minced

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

blend all ingredients in a food processor and set aside

Garlic shrimp

1/4 cup olive oil

a few tsp of the following:


old bay

ground black pepper

cayenne pepper

1 garlic clove minced

juice from 1/2 a lemon

about 20 large raw shrimp

Place shrimp and all ingredients in large plastic bag and toss so they are coated

marinate at least 15 minutes in fridge

empty contents into frying pan on medium heat

continue to turn shrimp until cooked through

top with diced tomato, sliced avocado, slaw, and lime dressing from above on your favorite taco shell (I used whole wheat tortillas)

Garlic shrimp taco
Diced tomato avocado and slaw
Sautéed garlic shrimp
Cilantro lime dressing





Fitletic HydraPalm Review


So I haven’t really mentioned it here yet, but I am officially signed up for my first FULL marathon! It will be Chicago in October, but I am already in full on planning mode! Along with cleaning up my diet and reading up on training plans, I am starting to figure out what equipment will best help me not only during the marathon but on all the long training runs…especially in the summer heat!

I am not the best when it comes to drinking water, but I know that hydration will be a huge factor in not only my performance in Chicago but also during the training. So when Fitletic sent me a HydraPalm, I couldn’t have been more excited to try it out! Even though I am not running super long distances at this point, it’s great to get a head start.

One of the features that caught my eye about the Hydra Palm is that you “hold” the bottle in your hand the whole time. I feel like for me this was great, because I’m always holding something anyway…keys, snacks for the kids, or my phone. The shape of the bottle molds to your hand and it’s kind of just like wearing a glove. There’s a thumb hole too which I thought made it even more comfortable to hold. The cap of the bottle is great too, I did not need to use my other hand to take a quick sip!

Another thing I liked was that there’s a separate piece where I can put my phone. Usually during training runs I hold my phone in case of emergency, or it’s just easier to change whatever song I’m listening to or pause my GPS if I use the app on my phone. During races in the past I’ve worn an armband so I don’t have the convenience of accessing my phone easily while running, plus starting and stopping the music/GPS is tricky at the beginning and end of the race. And the touch window works perfectly too! (The case holds up to an IPhone 6 Plus, I have a 6). I actually took the case off of my phone thinking it would not fit, but it bounced around in the extra space so I ended up leaving it on!  There is also a separate pocket for your ID (so important!), to stow away cash, or even keep a car or house key safe.

The material is soft, but also reflective, which will be perfect for those super early or late runs I have to fit in. The bottle is dishwasher safe, which is always a bonus for busy mamas like me!

I have been wanting to try one of these “handheld water bottle thingies” as I called them for a while now and I’m really happy with the HydraPalm. The company is great too, I read a little bit about how they started and was not surprised to find out that the founder was also a busy mom trying to make her runs more convenient. They have a lot of other great products as well like hydration belts, head lights, and reflective gear…all things I will be trying out as I get closer to my journey of running my first full marathon! (I still can’t believe it!)


#runhappy (and hydrated!)



Pesto Potato Salad


I am definitely not a traditional potato salad kind of girl, but when I came across the recipe for one using pesto in one of my favorite cookbooks, Run Fast Eat Slow, I was intrigued! I have not tried their cashew pesto yet, but made my own version yesterday. The results did not disappoint! Here’s another simple take on an old classic. (And remember…I am not a measurer unless I’m baking so it’s all approximates and you can adjust to your own taste!)

For the Pesto:

2 cups fresh basil

1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

3 cloves garlic (grated)

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

juice from 1/2 lemon

1/2 cup pine nuts (or walnuts, etc)

sea salt/black pepper to taste


Combine all ingredients in a food processor until desired creaminess


For the Potatoes:

1-2 lbs. small red potatoes

sea salt


Wash potatoes and slice into halves or quarters (depending on size and preference)

Place cut potatoes in a large pot and fill will water to about an inch above potatoes

add about 2 tsp sea salt to the water

bring pot to a boil, then turn to medium/ low and simmer for about 15 minutes (you can make the pesto during this step!)

Test them with a fork to see if they’re soft enough, then drain in a colander, return to pot and after a few minutes toss with pesto. (You will have enough pesto left over to use for another day, or I had spread some on salmon that I baked to have with the potatoes for dinner) 

As I was making this my husband questioned whether it would really taste as good as I was anticipating. He regrets doubting me now! 




Garlic Roasted Brussels Sprouts

I know a lot of people aren’t a fan of these wonderful little cabbages, but I cannot get enough! Even back in the 80’s when they were just boiled and served, I loved them. But one of my absolute favorite veggies are roasted brussels sprouts. They’re ridiculously simple too! Not to mention believe it or not a good source of protein, fiber, and many other nutrients, including vitamin C! Here’s an quick and easy recipe.

1-2 lbs Brussels Sprouts (washed and halved)

about 2-3 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1-2 tsp Sea Salt

1-2 tsp Black Pepper

1-2 tsp Paprika (or whatever “red” spice I’m feeling that day-chili powder, etc)

1 large clove garlic (grated)


Preheat oven to 425

Place all ingredients in a large plastic storage bag and shake/press together

Empty the bag onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (does anyone else love those pre-cut sheets?)

Bake in oven for about 20 minutes. After 10 minutes turn sprouts to get that nice brown color on all sides.

turn after 10 minutes to get all sides crispy and brown
mix all ingredients together in a plastic storage bag








That’s it! They look and smell so good that my anti-sprout husband tries them just because he wants to like them so bad! I don’t mind not sharing these though, they are just too good.




Sun-dried Tomato Hummus


Another week of meal prep is under my belt and I am really loving it! Last night I made hummus, like I have been each week but I tweaked a few things and decided to add some sun-dried tomatoes as well. It really kicked the flavor up and I think it is my new favorite! Hummus is so simple to make and I love that I can use organic ingredients and not worry about all the added preservatives. Here’s what I did:


1 box organic Garbanzo beans (or can) 15-16oz

4 or 5 sundried tomatoes

1 large clove of garlic

1/4-1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (I use organic)

1-2 TBSP Lemon juice (I squeeze half a lemon)

a pinch of sea salt



Drain and rinse Garbanzo beans

Using kitchen scissors, cut tomatoes into small pieces

Put beans, tomatoes and oil into food processor.

Grate garlic into processor

add lemon juice and salt

Blend/chop until desired smoothness. (I usually add more oil as needed)


That’s it! As part of my meal prep I then divide it into small containers for a quick snack with veggies at work. The rest I keep in the fridge to spread on sandwiches, or dip at home.

I have also used this recipe without the tomatoes if they aren’t your thing.




Sweet Potato Banana Protein Bites

So here we go! It’s a new year and I’m back. Not just to writing here, but the healthy, motivated me is back.

The new year is always a time to reset and reassess our goals, and the new year could not have come at a better time for me. December was a little rough…2 biopsies, my first ever case of the stomach flu, and a surgery. I missed a lot of work for medical reasons, and working out and eating right became nonexistent. Add in the holiday treats and it was a recipe for some dark times in my kitchen. And although it’s never about the scale for me, 10ish extra lbs. showed up there too. I just needed to get through the year, and now I’m ready to get back on track!

One of the main things I plan on doing this year is meal planning. I hope to share a lot of how I’m doing that here, but for today I’m just going to share one recipe I put together last night.

I was making sweet potato fries for the first time (so good!), and had some leftover potatoes since I am the only person who will eat those yummy orange spuds in my house. I have always wanted to try baking with them so it seemed like a good time to start! While my fries were in the oven, I wrapped  2 medium sweet potatoes in  foil and baked them at 375 for an hour. After dinner, they were ready to mash and I am so happy with the outcome of the recipe.

Realist Lifestyle had just sent me a sample of their ghost flavor protein powder, and I have been trying to come up with ways to add it into my food/shakes. This seemed like the perfect time to give it a try and I have to say it did not affect the taste or texture of the bites! Perfect option to give these an extra boost of protein.


Sweet Potato Banana Protein Bites

For 12 Mini bites:


1 large (or 2 medium) Sweet Potatoes (baked)

1 Large Banana

1 Egg

2 TBSP Peanut Protein (optional)

2 TBSP Realist Ghost Protein Powder (optional)

1-2 TBSP Coconut Water (or water) to desired texture

handful dark chocolate chips (or whatever seeds, nuts, dried fruit you like)


Preheat oven to 375

Mash together baked sweet potato and banana with hand masher

Add egg, water, powders, and chocolate chips and stir until combined. img_5297


Spray a mini-muffin tin or line with wrappers


Drop spoonfuls of mixture into muffin pan



Bake for 20-ish minutes

Enjoy! (Keep extras in air tight container)

That’s it! I mashed the potato right out of the oven so the batter was warm but it did not affect the outcome. If you try these, let me know what you think! I was hesitant about the texture from the banana but if you really mix it, the batter will be smooth.

(Like I’ve mentioned before I’m not a big measuring person when it comes to cooking. I go by what looks right, so these quantities are approximates and you can change the amount based on your own preference of texture and taste. The sweet potato is more than sweet enough even for me, but you can add sugar, honey or agave)

Happy Baking, and Happy New Year!