Chocolate Protein Brownies

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Got the craving for something sweet? Something chocolate? After all your efforts of maintaining healthy nutritional habits, all of a sudden it hits you! The dreadful test of willpower to reject your Hershey bar another night and opt out for a protein shake, nut butters, and raw veggies that by now are tasting like mud and hay.

Well how about we try and use that protein powder and see how dynamic we can be with it. Lets crush the sweet crave and march forward with our head help up high and a smile on our face because you are about to make and taste some amazing chocolate protein brownies!

Lets get started!

Dry Ingredients:

  • 2 cups quick oats grounded
  • 2 scoops protein powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tbsp cocoa

    Wet ingredients:

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup Splenda
  • 8 oz of berry purée
  • 4 oz of water or chocolate almond milk (increases carbs and calories)

    Directions:

    Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients. Different types of protein powders can change the taste, and nutrient profile. I suggest to use a protein powder that is low calorie, low fat, low sodium, in either vanilla or chocolate. You already been experimenting baking or cooking with protein powder you will find that vanilla is more dynamic. For this recipe I used my usual chocolate protein because its the best tasting, and one of the cleanest protein powders i can find, and I was satisfied with the outcome. Heres a picture of the protein I use.

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    After mixing dry ingredients, proceed to mix wet ingredients to a frothy consistency. The berry purée replaces our normal butter and oil and will enhance the chocolate flavor. You can experiment with different types of berry or fruit purée from apple sauces to even baby food. Depending on how moist you like your brownies the additional 4 oz of fluid will moisten the texture. Today I used water because there’s no calories, but you can also use almond milk.

    Mix dry and wet ingredients and prep your 8×8 glass Pyrex dish with non fat cooking spray. Pour in the magic chocolate concoction and pop in the oven for 25-30 min. When done set aside for 5-10 min to cool and cut into 16 squares. Serve and enjoy the magic!

    Nutrient profile:
    Serving 2 bars
    96 calories
    1.4 grams fat
    12 grams carbs
    10 grams protein

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  • Friends’ Impact On Weight Loss

    Friends may have our backs, but their health and fitness habits can literally shape our backsides. How do friends help—or hurt—your healthy habits? Learn more from Martina M. Cartwright, PhD, RD, adjunct faculty member at the University of Arizona, independent biomedical consultant, author and nutrition counselor in Scottsdale, Arizona.

    When Dietary Awareness Is Out to Lunch

    The desire to copy people close to us is thought to enhance bonding and act as a social superglue (Lakin 2003). When we mimic each other’s eating behaviors, we form positive, subconscious bonds with our dining companions. What people do, rather than what they think, may be why obesity flourishes among friends.

    The average person makes over 200 food decisions every day (Wansink 2006). Deciding what and where to eat are just two pieces of the dining puzzle—the other is with whom. Commiserating with pals or engaging in animated conversation over a tasty meal is often good therapy, but it can lead to distracted dining. Focusing on the conversation rather than the food often results in overeating (Hetherington 2006; Wansink 2006). Also, those who eat together subconsciously model each other’s eating styles. Normally light eaters consume more when munching with a group, while heavier eaters eat less when dining with companions (Bell & Pliner 2003). If you want to lose weight, you may find it easier if you hang out with friends who eat healthfully and exercise.

    Hitting the Gym With a Friend

    Motivating yourself to exercise can be challenging. Did you know that nonexercisers are more likely to get moving and stick with activity programs if supportive friends are involved? As a whole, social influence is positively associated with exercise behaviors, intentions and attitudes. Gabriele et al. (2005) explored social encouragement, which focused on positive reinforcement and statements such as “people important to me encourage me to exercise.” Positive social encouragement like this improved exercise motivation, but social constraint or negative reinforcement reflected in statements like “people will be disappointed in me if I quit exercising” were not helpful. Surrounding yourself with positive pals may keep you moving in the right direction.

    SIDEBAR: Workplace Weight Gain

    The workplace can be a minefield for people trying to shed pounds. Desktop candy jars and office celebrations provide a steady stream of sugary indulgence that can sabotage the most strident dieter’s efforts.

    While coffee breaks and corporate parties can foster camaraderie, they entice mindless eating. Here are a few tips for taming workplace temptation:

    Put a lid on goodies. Covering them with foil or a lid will curb mindless munching (Wansink 2006).

    View the veggies: Leave these uncovered to promote healthier grazing.

    When dining with a co-worker, split large portions.

    Socialize and celebrate without food.

    Limit happy-hour drinks/alcohol.

    Avoid desktop dining.

    Limit the “office feeder” influence.

    Set an example: Bring in healthier snacks like fresh fruit, and replace the candy with dried fruit or nuts.

    Support co-workers who are trying to lose weight.

    References
    Bell, R., & Pliner, P.L. 2003. Time to eat: The relationship between the number of people eating and meal duration in three lunch settings. Appetite, 41 (2), 215–18.

    Gabriele, J.M., et al. 2005. Differentiated roles of social encouragement and social constraint on physical activity behavior. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 29 (3), 210–15.

    Hetherington, M.M., et al. 2006. Situational effects on meal intake: A comparison of eating alone and eating with others. Physiology & Behavior, 88 (4-5), 498–505.

    Lakin, J.L., et al. 2003. The chameleon effect as social glue: Evidence for the evolutionary significance of nonconscious mimicry. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 27 (3), 145–62.

    Wansink, B. 2006. Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think. New York: Bantam.

    Happy Leg Day!

    15 min dynamic warmup

    Pre lift isolated muscle activation
    3 sets of 15 x 20 reps

    Abductor machine
    Adductor machine
    Glute machine
    Quad extensions
    Lying leg curls
    Calf raises
    Box jumps

    Strength workout
    4 sets x 8 reps
    Barbell front squats
    Barbell Bulgarian split squats from clean position
    Heavy Leg Press
    TRX single leg Pistol Squats

    Abs
    3 x 12 reps
    Weighted Hanging leg raises
    Decline abdominal transverse sit up
    Cable crunch

    Cardio Finish
    1:1 high / low intervals on bike 20 min

    Food log:
    7am
    1/2 sweet potato
    1 cup diced grilled veggies
    8 oz chicken
    1 multi vitamin, 1 fish oil, 1 probiotic

    9am
    4 oz chicken
    1/4 cup almonds
    Animal Flex (joint support supplement)

    12 pm
    1/2 sweet potato
    1 cup diced veggies
    8 oz chicken

    2-4pm Workout
    BCAA Drink

    4pm Post workout
    2 scoops whey
    1 pixy stick

    5pm
    1/2 sweet potato
    1 cup diced veggies
    8 oz chicken

    8pm
    2 cup veggies
    8 oz protein

    10pm BCAA drank!