Super Easy Low Carb Chili

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Chili is so easy to make, and it typically lasts a long time too! Such a great comfort food for winter!

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Ingredients

  • 1 pack extra lean ground beef
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 chopped green pepper
  • 1 can mixed beans
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1.5T chili powder
  • 1T paprika
  • 0.5T cumin
  • salt & peppers

Directions

  • saute onions for ~3 minutes
  • add beef and brown
  • add remaining ingredients and bring to boil
  • turn down heat and let simmer for ~2 hours

Mixed Berry Protein Pancakes

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I love having protein pancakes for breakfast! Here is a purple version I came up with this weekend.

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I layered these guys with vanilla greek yogurt and banana slices, and then topped them with strawberries, pancake and chocolate syrups.

Ingredients

  • 2 frozen strawberrys
  • 1/4 cup frozen blueberries
  • 90g egg whites (~1/4 cup + 2T)
  • 1.5T vanilla whey
  • 1T almond flour
  • 1.5T coconut four
  • 2T almond milk
  • 2T cottage cheese
  • 1/4t baking powder
  • 1/4t vanilla
  • 1/2 pack stevia

Directions

  • Melt strawberries and blueberries in the microwave for ~1 minute
  • Blend all ingredients together and cook on medium heat (I used coconut oil in the pan)
  • Top with favourite pancake toppings and enjoy

Macros (pancakes only)

Cals: 236

Fat: 6.4g

Protein: 25.9g

Carbs: 17.3g

Peanut Butter Banana Protein Fudge

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Peanut butter and banana is another delicious combo! Here I put them together in an easy, protein-packed fudge recipe that includes psyllium husk for a little extra fiber.

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Ingredients

  • 3 scoops vanilla whey
  • 2T coconut flour
  • 2T natural creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup + 2T almond milk
  • 2T psyllium husk
  • 1 ripe banana

Directions

  • Melt banana in the microwave for 1 minute
  • Add peanut butter and almond milk, mix well
  • Add remaining ingredients and pour into greased pan layered with tinfoil or wax paper ( I added extra banana slices to the top)
  • Form into a rectangle and place in the freezer for ~2 hours
  • Remove, let sit for 5 minutes and cut into 12 squares
  • Store in the freezer! When you want a piece, remove and let sit for a couple minutes

Macros (per square)

Calories:70

Fat: 1.8g

Protein: 9.6g

Carbs: 4.4g

Mushroom – Cauliflower Beef Meatballs

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I love adding veggies to ground meat recipes. It bulks up the recipe, and it’s a good way to sneak more vegetables into your diet.

Here I used cauliflower and mushrooms to bulk up some beef meatballs.

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Ingredients (makes 24 small meatballs)

  • 1 pack ground beef (~450g)
  • 1 egg
  • 2T oat flour
  • 1 cup steamed cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 cup (~4) mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1/2T mustard
  • 1/2T hot sauce
  • 1t Mrs. Dash
  • 1/2t salt
  • 1/2t pepper

Directions

  • Mix beef with the veggies, egg and oat flour
  • Add the seasonings and form into 24 small balls
  • Bake at 350 for ~8 minutes, flip them and bake for another ~5 minutes.

Macros (per meatball)

Calories: 48

Carbs: 0.8g

Fat: 3.1g

Protein: 4.0g

I served mine over steamed cauliflower with marinara sauce, my husband eats them with pasta and marinara sauce. It’s all about balance!

High Protein vs. High Fat Snacks

I’ve already summarized a study comparing low-carb to low-fat diets, now let’s look at snacks!

  VS  VS. 

This study compared appetite control and satiety following high-protein vs. high fat snacks in healthy women.

Methods

Twenty pre-menopausal women were included (average age 27, BMI 23.4). Authors excluded smokers, participants with food allergies, eating disorders, diabetes, recent rapid weight loss/gain or were on any medication that would alter appetite.

Participants were randomized in a crossover design to consume one of three afternoon snacks for three consecutive days.

1. greek-style yogurt (14g protein, 25g carbs, 0g fat)

2. crackers (0g protein, 19g carbs, 9g fat)

3. chocolate (2g protein, 19g carbs, 9g fat)

On the fourth day, participants consumed a standardized breakfast meal (18%P, 61%C, 22%F), and reported to the center for testing.

During testing, they consumed a standardized lunch, followed by their respective snack (3h later).

Then, they were asked to complete scales on how much they liked the snack, and on appetite sensations every 30 minutes until they requested dinner

Results

Post snack hunger was significantly lower at 90 minutes compared to the chocolate and cracker snacks.

Post snack fullness at 90 minutes was significantly greater than the chocolate snack, but not the crackers.

Consumption of yogurt snack delayed dinner eating by ~30 minutes compared to the chocolate snack, and ~20 minutes compare to the crackers. 

Dinner intake was approximately 100kcals fewer when participants consumed the yogurt snack compared to the others. 

Limitations of this study include the fact that they did not standardize or record what the participants ate during the initial 3 days along with the short time period and small sample size. Additionally, the authors used commercially available, commonly consumed snacks, to which they mention they were unable to tightly control macronutrient QUALITY (i.e chocolate had more saturated fat, simple carbs compared to the crackers).

Conclusion

A higher protein, greek yogurt-style afternoon snack is better for appetite control compared to chocolate and crackers!

Keep in mind that these snacks were very simple (I for one like to have a combination of macronutients for snacks, like a protein PLUS a carb or a fat – i.e. greek yogurt mixed with something). Also, it was interesting to me that post snack fullness was not significantly different between the yogurt and cracker groups. Overall, I would say if you’re just looking for something simple to snack on to keep you full until dinner (and make you eat less at dinner time!) it looks like greek yogurt is the winner here!

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Citation: Ortinau LC, Hoertel HA, Douglas SM, Leidy HJ. Effects of high-protein vs. high- fat snacks on appetite control, satiety, and eating initiation in healthy women.Nutrition Journal 2014;13(1):97. doi:10.1186/1475-2891-13-97.

Strawberry Banana Protein Pancakes

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For this recipe specifically: http://www.llrnfitness.com/strawberry-banana-protein-pancakes.html

In my opinion, strawberry-banana is one of the best flavour combinations. They go together so well! So I decided to try it out in pancake form! 2015-01-18 10.05.11 Ingredients

  • 1T ripe banana (I used frozen)
  • 1 strawberry (I used frozen)
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 2T coconut flour
  • 1T ground flax
  • 1/4 scoop vanilla whey (I used kaizen)
  • 1/2t baking powder
  • 1/2t vanilla

Directions

  • Melt the strawberry and banana in the microwave for 1 minute (they should be fairly liquidy after)
  • Add the coconut flour and mix (kind of aggressively, you want to disintegrate the fruit)
  • Add remaining ingredients, mix well
  • Pour onto medium heat on a lightly greased skillet until bubbles form, flip and cook other side
  • Enjoy!

I topped mine with a peanut-protein glaze (1/2T peanut butter, 1/2T vanilla protein powder and water mixed thoroughly), some sugar free chocolate syrup, and a half a square of a Lindt chocolate bar 🙂 Macros (pancakes only) Calories: 197 Fat: 6.1g Protein: 20.1g Carbs: 17.9g

Spinach Zucchini Chicken Burger Patties

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These are super low carb and paleo-friendly. They’re also easy to bake in the oven as a part of meal prep, BBQ or fry on a skillet for a quick healthy meal!

Here is one I had for lunch today covered in avocado and hot sauce.

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Ingredients (I made 9 burgers)

  • 1 pack ground chicken (~500g)
  • 1 medium sized grated zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped spinach
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 minced garlic glove
  • 2T egg whites
  • 1T coconut flour (can sub almond flour or oat flour – oat flour isn’t paleo though)
  • 1/2T mustard
  • 1/2T marinara sauce (or tomato paste)
  • 1/2t salt
  • 1/2t pepper
  • 1t Mrs. Dash

Directions

  • mix all ingredients together, form into 9 patties
  • Bake at 350 for 10 minutes per side (until cooked through)

OR

  • Fry on medium heat for ~6 minutes per side, or until cooked through

Macros

Calories: 146

Carbs: 1.9g

Fat: 8.0g

Protein:16.1g

Healthy Mexican Beef Casserole

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I made this casserole last Sunday for an easy dinner option and it turned out delicious, and kept well in the fridge all week!

I based the recipe off of one I found on cleaneats_kenzie’s instagram – she has two awesome ebooks full of recipes, check her out!

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Ingredients

  • 450g (1 pack) extra lean  ground beef
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 bell pepper (I used a yellow one because that’s all we had)
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can unsweetened corn kernals
  • 1 jar salsa
  • 1/2T chili powder
  • 1/2t cumin
  • 1/2t paprika
  • 1/2t crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2t onion powder
  • 1/2t garlic powder
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1t salt
  • 1t pepper
  • 1 corn tortilla
  • scant 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • NOTE: you could also use half a pack of pre-mixed taco seasoning instead of the above spices

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • wash and chop onion and pepper
  • cook onion on medium heat on a lightly greased skillet for ~ 2 minutes
  • add beef and spices, and saute until brown
  • add pepper and saute for ~2 minutes
  • drain and rinse corn and beans
  • layer x 2 in a casserole dish:
    • beef mix
    • light sprinkle of cheese
    • corn
    • beans
    • salsa
  • Top with ripped up pieces of corn tortilla and last bit of cheese
  • Cover, and bake for ~35 minutes
  • Uncover and bake for another 5 minutes
  • Let cool and enjoy!