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Protein Pumpkin Pancakes

Protein Pumpkin Pancakes

Making protein pancakes and french toast back in 2009-2010 on the set of FtinessVTC

Making protein pancakes and french toast back in 2009-2010 on the set of FtinessVTC

Making pumpkin protein pancakes is instinctual as soon as the air gets a bit crisp.

The job that brought me out to California nearly a decade ago was content writer, nutritionist, and host of a virtual training fitness website called FitnessVTC. I made healthy pancakes, muffins, cookies, pretty much anything using staples, designed fitness & meal plans, and I still do.

I’m so grateful for the immersion into clean eating and fitness training/bodybuilding in my early 20’s, because it gave me structure and discipline around healthy eating. These days I don’t have to think about putting together healthy meals. It’s been wired in from all those years of practice- packing 5-6 small meals per day, cooking in bulk, reading up on clean eating recipes, writing and sharing them along the way.

Do you need help designing a custom meal plan? It’s part of my coaching program. Check it out!

When you’re busy and on a mission to do great things you need the right fuel to feel focused and energized. Eat seasonal, local, and delicious!
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So here’s a seasonal clean eating staple to try:

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Pumpkin Protein Pancakes

Ingredients:

2 cups of gluten-free oats (blended into flour)

1/2 tsp salt

1 scoop protein powder

3/4 can pumpkin puree

2 organic free range eggs

2 tbsp ghee

2 tsp Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar

1 cup of almond milk

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon & nutmeg

Directions

Add all ingredients to a high powered blender (I use a Vitamix) to make batter.

Heat a skillet on medium. Grease with ghee or coconut oil.

Add a dollop (depending on how large you want to make the pancakes) to the pan and wait 2-3 minutes until the top begins to bubble then flip and cook for about 60 seconds or so on the other side.

Repeat the process until you have a stack!

*You can also cook in buik by refrigerating the batter or freezing the cooked pancakes in a single layer to heat up another day.

Top with berries or bananas, walnuts or almonds, and drizzle maple syrup or local organic honey on top.

Enjoy!

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Chocolate Cherry Protein Smoothie for Workout Recovery

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Part of my nutrition philosophy is to eat the right foods at the right times. After a workout, especially strength training or high intensity interval training where you break down muscle tissue, it's essential to give your body the nutrients it needs to recover. Blend this smoothie up and enjoy within 30-60 minutes after your workout. 

Ingredients: 

* 1 cup of frozen pitted cherries
* 1 scoop of protein powder (opt for plant based or organic, grass-fed, cold-processed whey protein)
* 1 pitted date
* 1 TSP cacao powder
* 1 TBSP ground chia seeds
* 1-1.5 cups of water or almond milk
* 2-3 ice cubes

Blend all ingredients and enjoy! 

Improve Digestive Fire: Kitchari Recipe

Health is order. Disease is disorder. 

Disease and disorder happens when we are living out of balance with our true nature and environment. 

In eastern medicine such as Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine it is believed that all disease originates in the gut/digestive system. Issues with digestion such as constipation, bloating, or diarrhea is a symptom that something is out of balance. 

Maintaining a strong digestive fire is not just about what you eat, but how you eat it. 

It's not just about food either. 

Undigested thoughts and emotions and accumulated stress can greatly impact the strength of one's digestive fire. 

For tips on maintaining a strong digestive fire read my post A Zen Approach to Healthy & Mindful Eating. 

When your digestive system may be a bit of of whack nourish the digestive fire with warm hearty and healing Kitchari.

Please no juice cleanses if you're having digestive issues. Too much cold, raw foods can impair digestion further. Feed the fire with foods that are warm/hot, freshly prepared, and easy to digest. 

Kitchari is a balanced meal that helps bring balance to the body and mind. It consists of mung beans which are high in fiber and protein and basmati or brown rice, rich in complex carbohydrates. The spices cooked in ghee or coconut oil assist digestion, provide healing and nutritive properties, enhance flavor, and balances all individual constitutions. 

If you are having digestive issues you can try a kitchari cleanse as a mono diet, eating kitchari for breakfast, lunch, and dinner along with steamed or sautéed greens and/or vegetables and plenty of water and herbal teas in between meals. 

Balancing Kitchari Recipe

Serves 4-5

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Ingredients: 

1 cup yellow mung dal

1 cup basmati rice

1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped fine

2 tablespoons shredded, unsweetened coconut

1 small handful fresh cilantro leaves

1/2 cup water

3 tablespoons ghee

2 pinches of asafetida or "hing" (this herb is used in Indian cooking to help with digestibility of legumes)

1.5 inch piece of cinnamon bark

5 whole cardamom pods

5 whole cloves

10 black peppercorns

3 bay leaves

1/4 tsp turmeric

1/4 tsp salt

6 cups of water

Instructions: 

Wash the mung dal and rice until water is clear. Soaking the dal for a few hours helps with digestibility. 

In a blender, put the ginger, coconut, cilantro, and 1/2 cup water and blend until liquefied. 

Heat a large saucepan on medium heat and add the ghee, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, peppercorns, bay leaves. Stir for a moment until fragrant. Add the blended items to the spices, then the turmeric, salt, and asafetida. Stir until lightly browned. 

Stir in the mung dal and rice and mix very well. 

Pour in the 6 cups of water, cover and bring to a boil. Let boil for 5 minutes, then turn down the heat to very low and cook, lightly covered, until the dal and rice are soft, about 25-30 minutes. 

Plate and garnish with cilantro leaves and/or fresh squeezed lemon if desired.