01/26/2013

Weekend Brunch: Whole Wheat Greek Yogurt Pancakes

Pancakes are one of those recipes I look forward to having during a delicious weekend brunch.  Throughout the week, I tend to stick to quick breakfasts that I can prepare with little time and not much thought before work.  On Saturday mornings though, I prefer to take my time in the kitchen.  I like to whip up foods I don’t usually get Monday-Friday and put a meal on the table that makes an ordinary, cold January day feel just a little bit more special.

When I do cook brunch I sometimes take classic favorites and try to make them a little more healthy.  Once you are on a sugar-rush at 10 a.m., it is hard to even out your blood sugar for the rest of the day.  I don’t know about you, but if I have too much sugar, too many carbs, and a lot of unsaturated fats in the morning I struggle to get full the rest of the day.  However, with these Whole Wheat Greek Yogurt Pancakes, I was able to enjoy a classic pancake breakfast that tasted delicious, gave me proper fuel, and left me feeling satisfied without the sugar headaches! 

wwgyp

Some healthy pancakes can be a little thin and lack that fluffy pancake texture so many of us hope to find when we eat pancakes.  These Whole Wheat Greek Yogurt Pancakes though made me forget I was in the comfort of my own home and not in the dining room at the local IHOP, or my local favorite The Golden Nugget.  There is nothing like eating easy to make, delicious pancakes while staying in your pajamas until late morning!

 

[gmc_recipe 130]

01/24/2013

Peanut Butter Lovin’

Peanut butter is a favorite food of mine that seems to make its way into my diet pretty much every single day.  Not only is it cheap and cost effective for my grocery bill, but it also has a simple ingredient list (typically just roasted salted peanuts), is a quick and easy choice when I need a snack, is nutritiously filled with all of those healthy fats and protein, and makes everything it is slathered on taste delicious.  I swear, sometimes it seems to be yelling “Eat me!” from inside the cupboard where it sits on my Lazy Susan just waiting to be consumed.

My absolute favorite brand of peanut butter is the Kroger Natural Creamy Peanut Butter, but I also like the Creamy Salted from Trader Joe’s, and the 365 Creamy Peanut Butter from Whole Foods.  What can I say; when it comes to my peanut butter I stick to the simple, money saving store brands.  I have actually yet to find a $5.00 jar that I prefer!

 So what is with my love of peanut butter on this random Thursday you may ask?  Well, today is January 24th, 2013 and it is National Peanut Butter Day!

Peanut butter is an ingredient you see all over the blog world, and for good reason!  It is one of those foods I used to think was off limits for someone wanting to stay fit because of the high calorie count and loads of fat grams.  However, I couldn’t have been more wrong!  After getting past the fear of peanut butter and choosing to add it into my meals, I quickly began to crave the healthy fats I had missed for so long.  My hair is extra shiny and healthy, I have more energy, and I don’t even feel those hunger pains anymore.  Some of my favorite ways to eat peanut butter are:

  • A Dollop on Top of Oatmeal
  • Smeared onto Apple and Banana Slices
  • Stirred into Greek Yogurt
  • Spread on Top of a Rice Cake, Slice of Whole Wheat Bread, English Muffin, or Light Tortilla
  • Added to a Smoothie
  • Mixed into Batters: Cookies, Cakes, Muffins, Cupcakes, Breads, etc.
  • Straight from a Spoon!

As you can see, peanut butter does not have to be saved for special occasions; it can be enjoyed at any time of the day!  Don’t be afraid to give it a try and throw a jar or two into your cart next time you’re at the grocery. 

Here are some blog recipes using peanut butter (even making peanut butter!) that have caught my eye:

Courtney’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Sandwiches

Ashley’s Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Overnight Oats

Brittany’s Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Peanut Butter

Averie’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Katie’s Peanut Butter Cup Protein Shake

Here are a few of my favorite peanut butter recipes from www.newlywifehealthylife.wordpress.com:

Peanut Butter & Oats Celebration Cookies

Peanut Butter & Oats Celebration Cookies

Last Year’s National Peanut Butter Day Recipe: Peanut Butter & Oats Celebration Cookies! 

Peanut Butter Banana Bread Oatmeal 

Peanut Butter Banana Bread Oatmeal

Peanut Butter Banana Bread Oatmeal

Banana Pecan Protein Pancakes with Peanut Butter Almond Syrup

Banana Pecan Protein Pancakes with Peanut Butter Almond Syrup

Banana Pecan Protein Pancakes with Peanut Butter Almond Syrup

 Honey Roasted Peanut Butter Cookies

Honey Roasted Peanut Butter Cookies

Honey Roasted Peanut Butter Cookies

 Craving peanut butter yet?  After all of those delicious recipes, how about one more!

 [gmc_recipe 212]

 Questions:

  • What is your favorite way to eat peanut butter?
  • Do you have a favorite recipe using peanut butter?  Feel free to link up!
  • What is your favorite brand/flavor of peanut butter?
  • Are you going to celebrate National Peanut Butter Day?  If so, how?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

01/23/2013

Wake Up Call

I woke up slowly and in a haze as my eyes slowly fluttered open and I saw a stream of light peeking in through our charcoal gray curtains.  For a split second I thought my days were off and perhaps it was Saturday morning, but before I could even form a complete thought I began to realize it was not the weekend like I had hoped.  Instead it was a cold, Tuesday in January and the sun should not have been shining before my 5:00 a.m. wake-up-call.  I quickly threw back the covers and checked my alarm clock: 7:35 a.m. 

I looked at my husband who was also beginning to realize that neither of our alarms had gone off.  For the first time in over a year since we had started living together, neither one of us had set our alarms on the exact same night

 Is this simply ironic, or just ‘a part of the plan’? 

I believe the answer truly lies in the eye of the beholder.

As I quickly popped out of bed and hurried over to the shower, I tried to piece together all that needed to be completed to get me out the door by 8:05 a.m. so I could still arrive at work on time.

  • Shower
  • Wash my hair (This must wait – besides, who doesn’t love a messy ponytail from time-to-time…?)
  • Make-Up  Clean Face (The natural look is in, right?  A little moisturizer and just a quick swipe of mascara will do the trick)!
  • Get Dressed (My clothes are already picked out and hanging in the closet…so happy I decided to be organized Monday night)!
  • Pack Lunch!
  • Make/Pack Coffee!! (A Necessity)
  • Start Car for Warmth!!! (9 degrees outside, and only about 25 degrees inside my garage!)
  • Grab Purse and Jacket
  • Head out the Door!

Early mornings tend to be my best time of the day.  I like to wake up early at 5 a.m., hit the snooze button for ten minutes and then take my time working out on our elliptical while watching an episode of Friday Night Lights.  (My newest obsession…Thank you Netflix)!  At around 6 a.m., I head to the shower and when I am finished I then proceed to get dressed, do my hair and make-up, and then make the bed and pick up any little item that may be out of its place and put it away.  I then go downstairs and eat breakfast, pack my lunch, put away dishes, check my email, blog/read blogs, watch the news, and spend a little time with Tim and Tebow.  From there I head upstairs again to brush my teeth and before I know it, I am saying my goodbyes and on my way to work.  To me, there is nothing like starting the day in a stress-free way!

Tuesday though, this was not the case.  I was praying for peace and direction for my day as I could feel the stress slowly starting to build in my body.  By 7:55 a.m. I had finished everything on my list except the last four bullet points.  I was doing well, but was still in a bit of a panic as I ran down the stairs.

As I quickly came around the corner, there was my sweet husband in the kitchen.  While I was upstairs he had packed my lunch, made the coffee, grabbed my coat and purse, and already started my car.  In that moment, I could feel my whole mood begin to shift as I felt the peace I was yearning for begin to comfort me.

Even in moments that may seem little in the grand scheme of things, God is there.  I could look at the fact that neither of us set our alarms as just an ironic coincidence, a burden, or a day spoiler.  Or, I could look at it as being part of the plan, part of God’s plan for us.  Because of this Tuesday morning chaos, I was reminded of how blessed I was to have such a great man as my husband.  Someone who was willing to put his own struggles aside to try and make my day a little easier.  Someone who chose to put his wife before himself.  Someone who reminded me what love really is during that moment.  And you know what?  I was pulling out of my driveway at 8:03 a.m. and even arrived to work a few minutes early!  Sure, my morning did not go as planned, but I was reminded of my blessings and even got to sleep an extra 2 ½ hours.  Win, win!

The next time you find yourself in a panic moment, I encourage you to stop, take a deep breath, and try and take a look at the big picture.  Look for the beauty and positives all around you.  I guarantee they are there just waiting to be found.

Jeremiah 1:2-4

Jeremiah 1:2-4

 

Questions:

  • What was the last ‘panic’ moment you found yourself in?  What do you do during those occasions to find calm?
  • Have you ever forgotten to set your alarm or overslept, and found yourself running behind?  How did you get back on track for the rest of the day?
  • What do your morning schedules look like?  Are you an early riser, or a night owl?