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Protein Lactation Bites

April 8, 2015

photo (75)

The first six weeks of life with a baby have been eventful, to say the least, and those weeks have thrown my eating for a loop! I had grand visions of eating a huge meal after delivery, but surprisingly I found myself barely able to eat for a day after delivery and, in fact, my appetite was dampened for a good part of the first week postpartum. Pair that with the fact that I got a horrible case of stomach flu when Ainsley was 4 weeks old that took away my appetite for a week and a half and my eating has been sporadic at best since she arrived.

I started to get a little worried about maintaining my milk supply after getting hit hard with the flu. The dehydration took a big toll on my body and I realized there was no way I was getting enough nutrients in my system to make up for the calories lost during breastfeeding. So when my sister-in-law, Amber, posted this healthy recipe for Protein Balls on her Instagram page, I thought it would be a great recipe to tweak in hopes of boosting lactation. I mean I love Lactation Cookies but I was looking for something a little healthier for frequent consumption. An added bonus? These bites are super quick to whip up and much faster than baking a batch of cookies.

I’ve kept a double batch of these babies in our freezer for snacks throughout the week when I only have one hand and a couple minutes to spare, which happens more often than I would have ever imagined pre-baby!

Protein Lactation Bites
Recipe type: Snack
Serves: 10
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
  • ½ cup chocolate protein powder
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 Tablespoon brewer's yeast
  • 1 Tablespoon ground flax
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  1. Combine all the above ingredients together in a food processor and process until mixture starts to come together. Roll into balls. Store in the refrigerator or covered in a plastic container.


More Smart Travel Eats

October 26, 2011
{Completely unrelated picture of Nutmeg in her new winter coat. She was feeling bad she hasn’t been on the blog lately.}

Since I’ve been doing quite a bit of traveling over the past few months, I thought I would share with you a few more of my favorite healthy eats while on the road and in airports. Although I wish I was the type of person who planned ahead of time and brought a lot of healthy snacks and meals with me, I’m usually rushing out of the house at the last minute trying to get as much done as possible.

Here are a few of my favorite stops and what I typically order:

1. Smoothie King
I wish every airport I traveled to had a Smoothie King. I grew up making frequent stops at this place with my dad and know I can always find something healthy and packed with protein.

Favorite Pick: The Vanilla Shredder (20 oz) is my go-to drink and has 283 calories, 36 grams of protein, and just 12 grams of sugar. I pair mine with either a banana or a granola bar for a bit more substance if I’m using it as a meal replacement.

2. Starbucks
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Starbucks comes through for me every single time. They recently rolled out a new line of salads in addition to their sandwiches, which can be a lifesaver when you need a dose of leafy greens.

Favorite Pick: In the morning, I always go with the oatmeal with fruits and nuts and pair it with a small soy latte. Side note: at hotels, I ask for extra packets of peanut butter to stash in my purse. It makes a great addition to oatmeal and adds a few grams of protein.

Runner Up: The Protein Bistro Box at Starbucks is my runner-up for when I’m craving something savory. It comes with a few wedges of cheddar cheese, a hard-boiled egg, whole grain pita, peanut butter and apples, all for just 380 calories.

3. Cosi 
You have no idea how desperately I wish we had a Cosi in Iowa! So whenever I’m in a city that has one, I never fail to stop by. Their soups, sandwiches and flat bread are all delicious and they offer plenty of veg-friendly options.

Favorite Pick: Their soups rotate every day, but my faves are the Three Bean Chili or the Moroccan Lentil Soup. It comes with an order of whole grain flatbread and I typically order a side of hummus for healthy dipping.

4. Panda Express
Things got really desperate a while back when Joey and I were on our way home from visiting my family in Idaho in September. Stuck in an airport terminal in Denver that had very few options, I was faced with either eating a protein bar from a new stand or Panda Express. Since Joey was eating Panda Express and I was really craving something warm (and some veggies) I went with it, too. I was pleasantly surprised at the options.

Favorite Pick: I went with a double order of steamed veggies (70 calories) and paired it with steamed rice (380 calories) and two veggie spring rolls (160 calories for two). Not exactly health food, but it hit the spot and was definitely more satisfying than a granola bar or trail mix.

What are you favorite places to eat while on the road? 


Protein Pancake

September 7, 2011

Lately on the blogosphere, there have been plenty of recipes popping up for protein pancakes. I absolutely love a good whole wheat pancake so the idea of a protein-packed version with fewer carbs and a more admirable nutritional profile seemed like the best of both worlds.

Last week I set out to make one of the recipes I found on a popular blog and was disappointed in the results. Maybe it was because the recipe called for a ‘scoop’ of protein powder, which is a pretty vague amount. But the results weren’t impressive. The second recipe I tried was equally as disappointing and left me wanting something that tasted more like a pancake and less like a bowl of oats.
So I decided to take matters into my own hands and whip up something that would pack in plenty of protein but would still taste like the pancakes I know and love. And trust me, we both love pancakes around here and know the taste and texture that’s just right. 
I used this recipe as a guide for the protein-packed version of my favorite breakfast and was pleasantly surprised with the flavor that the vanilla protein powder added along with the added sweetness from the Stevia. Of course, if you want even more protein, feel free to spread with a spoonful of peanut butter.
Protein Pancake 
Makes 2 to 3 Servings
*3/4 cup whole wheat flour
*1/4 cup vanilla protein powder
*3/4 teaspoon baking soda
*1 teaspoon Stevia or brown sugar 
*1 large egg, lightly beaten
*3/4 cup milk
*1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*Peanut butter (optional) 

*In a large bowl, combine the flour, protein powder, baking soda and Stevia. Set aside. In a second bowl, combine the egg, milk and vanilla extract.
*Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
*Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add batter to skillet. (This recipe makes enough for two or three pancakes/servings. See below for nutritional information for three servings.)
*Cook for two to three minutes, or until bubbles form at the surface of the pancake. Flip and cook one minute more. Serve with peanut butter, if desired.

Happy Cooking!