2 of My Favorite Fast and Easy Protein Recipes

Protein Powder Snack Recipes
Vanilla-Peanut Butter Protein Dip

Protein shake for dinner! Who’s with me?

I hate cooking. Hate’s a strong word, but I strongly dislike cooking, so it’s an accurate way to describe how I feel about it. I don’t think it should take longer to make something than it should take to eat it. It’s just not right!

So that’s why I love my BlendTec and my protein powder. Because when the hate to cook overtakes my will to eat, at least I can turn whey’s way for a fast meal. (And if you drink a smoothie too fast it will punish you with a terrible headache!)

The folks at DailyBurn asked me to share my favorite protein recipes on my blog even though I’ve been an absent blogger. Isn’t that nice?

One recipe I want to share is a fruit dip that I am pretty sure I am the first to invent (probably not, but just let me believe, okay?). The other is a smoothie, which I didn’t invent, but wish I had. I’ve altered it a little over time, though, to make it my own.

Vanilla-Peanut Butter Protein Dip

This dip goes great with apples, and is super easy and fast to make. It’s not good with strawberries, though. Just a heads-up. I’ve also tried using chocolate protein powder to a make it because peanut butter and chocolate. Right? But that was not good times, so don’t waste your prot powder on that! The other thing: Your vanilla protein powder matters. Some powders have thickeners in them and other things that leave a weird taste in your mouth. Choose your powder wisely.

1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt (use whatever fat content you want)

1 thumb* of natural peanut butter

1 scoop of vanilla protein powder

Put all the ingredients in a bowl and stir until mixed. It will be thick like frosting (depending on how thick your protein powder is). If you want it creamier, add a little yogurt or a splash of water. Then, eat with apple slices for a healthy and filling snack!

 

Chocolate Cherry Almond Protein Smoothie**

8-12 ounces liquid (I use water, but almond milk works well, too)

2 heaping scoops chocolate protein powder

A handful of frozen cherries

A fistful of spinach (you can’t taste it)

1 or 2 thumbs* of walnuts (I also used almonds)

1-2 drops of almond extract (careful—too many drops can overpower everything else)

A few chocolate nibs***

1 cup of crushed ice

The thing about smoothies is that the order you put in the ingredients matters. I only know this because I worked at a smoothie place in college. First, put in your liquid (or liquids—water and yogurt or ice cream, what have you), then your powder(s), next your fruit, veggies and nuts, then the ice. It’s actually better to blend everything before you add ice. Just makes your smoothie that much smoother. J

So, put in your water, then your protein powder and extra chocolate (nibs or natural cocoa powder). Next the cherries and walnuts (or almonds). Blend for about 60 seconds. I just use my smoothie setting on the BlendTec. Then, add the spinach and top with the crushed ice. Blend again for 60 seconds or until it’s as smooth as you like it (I just use the smoothie setting on my BlendTec again). Pour into your fave smoothie cup and drink!

There you go, two great ways to get extra protein into your nutrition without cooking!

One last thing: This is not a sponsored post, but DailyBurn did ask me to write it. They’d also like you to check out their Fuel-6 protein page if you’re interested in learning more about their protein powders.

*This is just one of the great tips I learned from Precision Nutrition. Use your thumb as a guide for your fats. Your thumb is the best guide because it’s a serving size that’s in proportion with your own body. My thumb equals about a Tablespoon-sized serving.

**The original recipe is from Precision Nutrition and does not include almond extract (or use almonds). Makes about 24 ounces.

***I can’t find these to save my life. I just sprinkle in some natural cocoa powder.

This Post Will Not Help You with Your Fitness Goals or Tell You the Answer to that Dress Question

I don’t want to write this blog post.

There are like a crap-ton of other things shitty things I’d prefer to be doing other than writing this. In fact, I’d rather wash a sink full of dishes that have been sitting in sink at a Las Vegas Crapplebee’s for a week, or scrub a gas station toilet with my bare hands…in New Orleans, or watch 3 minutes of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.”

But, in a moment of stupidity on Facebook, I was all, “Who wants to follow my progress when I restart ‘The New Rules of Lifting for Women’?” And I think there were about six of you who said you wanted to.

You bastards.

Since then, the guilt about not posting anything has been tugging at my shirt hem like your kid does when you’re trying to have a phone conversation about where to send this annoying child during the day. Relax, I’m kidding.

I actually have written a couple of posts, but they literally put me to sleep while I was typing them. Not kidding.

In fact, I just woke up from my coma today. What day is it? Where am I? Why is a hideous dress going viral on the Internet?

Credit: http://www.viralglobalnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Grumpy-cat-meme.jpg

I only want to tell you guys the truth. And that is that I don’t want to write this blog post.

If you still insist on following my progress because you aren’t a good listener, sign up for DailyMile or Twitter. (To annoy my husband, which is my life’s purpose, all of my DailyMile posts automatically post to Twitter). You guys, if you really care about not putting me into another coma, then you will follow me in one of those two ways.

Because I just can’t write about my workouts anymore. Hearing about other people’s workouts is like listening to anything Dakota Johnson has to say. Yeah. Don’t care.

I suppose if you are learning about something new, it is mildly interesting to see what someone else is doing. Thus, DailyMile and Twitter, people.

But, because we are here, unfortunately—this is what I’m going to do for you. I’m going to give you what I’ve been doing in an eggshell (slightly bigger than a nut).

  • I lift heavy weights approx. 3x/week using “The New Rules of Lifting for Women” (right now)
  • I use lighter dumbbells for Metabolic Effect circuits 2-3x/week
  • I run at a moderate or slower pace approx. 2-3x/week (one of those being a long run)
  • I do short (5, 10 or 15 min.) metabolic sprints on a treadmill, bike or stair machine 2-3x/week (example: 30 seconds hard, 60 easy)
  • I go for cortisol-lowering walks when I can find the time (not very often)
  • I POST IT ALL ON DAILYMILE/TWITTER

My workouts are usually between 30-60 minutes. For food stuff, I follow Precision Nutrition for common-sense, healthy ideas about what food and how much of it to put into my body.

And, dude, there are about a gazillion qualified people to get health and fitness advice from on the Internet. My favorite legit ones are Jen Sinkler, Jill Coleman, Nia Shanks and Molly Galbraith. Go forth, and read their wisdom.

Because I really don’t want to write this blog post. And I doubt there will be anything worth reading past this point.

By the way, I am running the Seattle Hot Chocolate 15K on Sunday. I’m looking forward to seeing friends and eating the chocolate fondue at the end. And getting a pretty sweatshirt.

Told you!

Tina Fey was right. People really don’t listen.

Everybody’s Been Asking Me Where I’ve Been*

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If you have visited this site in the past, you may be wondering where I’ve been. If you have not visited this site before, then welcome! Welcome to my space on the Internet where I impart my slightly correct and partially extensive knowledge of running and fitness. Now, I shall tell you where I have been.

I haven’t been anywhere, dummies. I’ve been where I normally am: at home, at work, at the gym and at the froyo place down the street. (Yogurt store name withheld.) So if you haven’t looked for me in those places, then you’ve looked about as well as my husband looks for his keys before asking me 12 seconds later where they are.

So. Where have I been?

Well, unlike your mom, I haven’t been on the streets.** When it comes to keeping my body in tip-top 37-year-old-with-a-desk-job shape, running just won’t cut it. So I’ve been at the gym hitting the weights. Like literally hitting them. With my head. I’m pretty sure I gave myself a concussion on Tuesday. I mean, I think I did…I can’t really remember.

I love the gym. I could hang out there all day if I didn’t have other pesky things that have to get done like parenting.

And I’m getting stronger. Unfortunately, you can’t see the results as well as you should be able to because, besides the gym, I’ve been hitting the cookies pretty hard. And, by cookies, I also mean wine.

It’s safe to say, unless there’s a runner-murderer hiding behind my couch right now, weightlifting has officially taken over my workouts. I try to run more than two times a week, but it doesn’t always happen.

Sometimes I do my moderate cardio on my bike trainer instead while watching educational television programs, such as Clueless, a nostalgic take on what high school life was actually like in ’90s!

I gotta say, I thought I would miss running a little more than I do. But I don’t. Ask me about it in March when it’s time to run a 15K with my friends.

*Not really.
**I’m sorry, I do NOT know what got into me there.

Nuun Giveaway Winner

Quick pop-in to tell you who won the Nuun Giveaway!

The Nuun Giveaway Winner is (chosen by Random.org): #13 – Tiffany! Lucky 13! Please email me at Kerrie (at) sanitydepartment (dot) com, so I can get you your Nuun!

In other news: I bought the binder from Precision Nutrition. Making my way through it, and started incorporating some of the things I’ve learned. I’ll share more later. For now, enjoy your Wednesday night TV…whatever is on. I watch everything on DVR or Hulu…

You don't need to run to be fit

Do You Have to Run to Be Fit?

Dudes. In short, no. You don’t have to run to be fit.

If you love to run, which I do love to run…sometimes, then by all means, do it! But it always baffles me when people are like, “Oh, I should run,” or “I should start running to lose some weight,” or “I want to get in shape so I guess I should run, but I hate running.”

If you hate running, then why do it? If you hate it, are you going to stick with it? (I’ll give you a hint: no.) Because you don’t need to run to lose fat. (Fat loss is really the goal. We can all agree on that now, right? When you lose weight, you want/hope it’s fat you’re losing, not muscle.)

Me, I do love to run…when I’m in love with running. And when I’m in love with it, I’m really in love with it! Can’t get enough. But, I eventually burn myself out because running puts stress on my body. I’m no spring chicken (what is a spring chicken anyway? I’m picturing a little yellow chick with springs on its feet). It also takes a ton of time.

Which is why I haven’t been running for over two weeks. But no big deal. I’m not even worried about it. I don’t need to run to stay healthy. I don’t need running to help me reach my fitness goals.

Right now, I want to be strong. I don’t feel like running. I have no interest in running. I am interested in getting fitter, though. And anyway, if I want a lean body, running doesn’t help me achieve it. Okay, well short sprinting sessions do. But not distance running.

That is just me, though. Everyone is different, of course. Anyway, I thought it might be interesting to show you what I am doing (not running) and how it’s affecting me.

Here’s what I have been doing for exercise and nutrition:

Weights 3x/week. Workouts are all done at home with dumbbells and consist of a 20-minute Metabolic Effect circuit, or a Lift Weights Faster challenge from Jen Sinkler (usually less than 10 minutes), or another similar circuit with heavy weights (like one from this article from Precision Nutrition).

Walking. I try to walk at a minimum 30 minutes a day, and longer on non-weights days. I’d like to get in an hour or more. Sometimes this is hard to squeeze in, so I do 15 minutes here, 10 minutes there, etc.

Nutrition. Since I’m working out less, I don’t need to eat as many carbs as when I’m running. I’m trying to drink more water: aiming for a 100 ounces, but have been getting about 80. A typical day of eating looks like this:

  • Pre-workout (6:15 a.m.): BCAA drink
  • Post-workout (7 a.m.): A small piece of homemade protein bar (mix of whey protein powder, peanut butter, Scottish oats and almond milk)
  • Breakfast (8:30 a.m.): egg white omelet with spinach with some cheese and a piece of Ezekial toast with water and/or small black coffee
  • Snack (10 a.m.): Celery or apple with peanut butter or nothing depending on whether or not I’m even hungry before lunch time
  • Lunch (noon): 2 cups of romaine, a bunch of grape tomatoes, red onion, 1/4 of an avocado, meat (leftovers or ground turkey I cooked up on Sunday), 1T sour cream, 1/3 cup salsa. 1-2 squares of dark chocolate and a small cup of black coffee
  • Snack (2 p.m.): Celery or apple with PB if I didn’t eat it before, but I’m not usually hungry yet
  • Pre-dinner snack (4 p.m.): Sliced red bell pepper dipped in Wholly Guacamole. Or some more of my homemade protein bar. Or almonds.
  • Dinner (6:30 p.m.): I try to make it centered around a lean protein (like chicken or ground turkey) with vegetables (been making the frozen Normandy blend from Costco lately) and sometimes a small amount of carb (like brown rice or a sweet potato or quinoa). And I’ve been having a lot of froyo after dinner lately it seems like.

And here’s what’s happening with my body:

  • I’m not hungry all the time.
  • Cravings have decreased dramatically.
  • I get hungry, not OMG-I-need-food-now hangry (except sometimes in the morning).
  • Stomach/”love handles” beginning to shrink.
  • I noticed today, that I could easily buckle my belt with the next hole.
  • I’m getting more sleep.

Here’s what’s happening mentally:

  • I’m not thinking about working out all the time.
  • I’m working harder during my workouts.
  • I’m enjoying catching up on TV while walking on the treadmill. (OMG ANTM Boys & Girls Season 20 marathon FTW!)
  • I have more time to play with my son.
  • I’m meditating (what?).
  • I’m happier, in general.
  • I’m relieved I don’t have to run in the dark in the early morning hours.
  • I’m happier with the way my clothes are fitting.

So, if you find yourself feeling burnt out on running, have not fear! Switch it up with weights and walking, and don’t stress.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Why if you didn't run anymore? A runner's identity crisis

What if You Didn’t Run Anymore? A Runner’s Identity Crisis

I haven’t run in over two weeks.

Are you injured?

No.

Too busy?

Nope.

Too tired?

Nah.

So, what’s your problem?

I don’t know. I just don’t feel like running.

Do you ever get like this? This is not the first time I’ve gone through this, and I’m still not comfortable with it. I just feel weird about it.

WHY DON’T I WANT TO RUN? I AM A RUNNER!

I was listening to a podcast I love, TheFitCast, and the host Kevin Larrabee was interviewing Molly Galbraith of Girls Gone Strong. She’s a trainer and a lifter. But last year, she hurt her back and couldn’t lift. She suffered from chronic back pain, and she said, an identity crisis.

On the  podcast (Finding Moderation with Molly Galbraith), she explained how she felt not lifting. To prarphrase, she said: If I’m not the strong girl, if I’m not the lifter, then who am I?

Holy shit, that’s me, I thought. Just insert running instead. If I’m not signing up for running races, if I’m not the running girl, then who am I?

See in 2009, I started running to get my body back. To feel like the athlete I once was again.

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In July 2009, a couple of weeks before I began my comeback (running).

I started to lose weight and I quickly came to identify myself as “a runner.” I’ve been the runner for 5 years now.

But, what if I didn’t run anymore? Because I just don’t feel like it right now.

Which is why I’m a little…lost.

I still want to be fit, and I’m working out (with weights and walking) and being healthy. But in the back of my mind, I felt like I was letting someone down.

Who?

Me.

The problem is how I was identifying myself. As a runner.

But, guess what? That’s not a very balanced life. I’m more than a runner.

I’m a wife. I’m a mom. A daughter, a sister, a friend. I’m a creative person. A writer. I’m a hugger. An over-thinker. A reader. A movie-quoter.

And I’m an athlete because I enjoy lots of athletic activities, not just running.

Maybe it’s time for me to stop thinking of myself only as a “runner.” Maybe it’s time to focus on my being as a whole, not just one side of it–to do whatever makes my life happier and healthier. Maybe it’s time to just be…Kerrie.

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Last week on 1+ weeks of no running. Unnecessary detail alert: picture taken before I went to my neighbor’s house to witness the wedding of two strangers in his back yard…on a Wednesday.

What do you do when you feel lost with running?

Wait! Don’t go before you enter my Nuun giveaway. :)

Nuun giveaway

Nuun Hydration Now at Costco! (Giveaway)

Nuun Hydration now at Costco!

You guys know how I feel about Nuun. Great product, great company, great people.

So I was super happy that they got Nuun into Costco to make it easier for me to buy it since I’m at Costco basically every other day, plus it exposes the product to more people.

Here are a few things I picked up at Costco recently:

Costco now carries Nuun Hydration!

Veggies, organic canned tomatoes, Nuun…and butter. Don’t judge!

Nuun is available at Costco locations on the West Coast for the time being (CA, OR, WA), but if lots of people buy it, maybe Costco will pick it up nationwide.

The Nuun box at Costco contains SIXTY-THREE TABLETS for only $18.99. Dude. That is a steal. The box has 21 tablets each of lemon+lime, tri-berry and strawberry lemonade.

In case you’re not familiar with Nuun…it’s an electrolyte tablet. You simply drop one into 16 ounces of water (or break it in half–it’s perforated–and put half in 8 ounces if you like), and let it dissolve. Voila! Electrolyte drink FTW.

Nuun comes in all sorts of flavors (my favorite is probably strawberry lemonade if you held a gun to my head and made me pick, but let’s hope that day never happens because…well, fruit punch and grape are pretty freaking good, too).

Nuun also has no sugar, only about 8 calories and tastes amazing after a run. The best part is that it doesn’t get all sticky when you spill because you still suck at drinking while running.

Visit Nuun.com for more info, nutrition FAQs and all that stuff. Okay, now for a giveaway! It’s been ages, people.

Who wants some Nuun? Share this post (via Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, handwritten letter or face tattoo) then leave me a comment letting me know you did (face tattoo people need to send me a photo, though).

Giveaway will end Monday, Sept. 22 at 11:59 p.m. (PST). US residents only.

Full disclosure: Nuun gave me a Costco gift card to purchase my box, which was super awesome. But, c’mon. Who are we kidding? We all know I was going to buy it anyway.