FILLING & FUELING: PROTEIN PANCAKE VIA TONE IT UP

I'm excited and proud to announce that I am becoming a Weight Loss Specialist via the National Academy of Sports Medicine! Weight loss - and weight maintenance - can be a challenge and a struggle for many of us, and it's something I've become truly passionate about. In the past few years, I've been very focused on my own weight loss journey and now I'm thrilled to be able to help others in this capacity.

I know breakfast can be a source of frustration for a number of reasons. For most of us, the first meal of the day, especially during the week, needs to be convenient more than anything else. However, much of what is convenient (donuts, bagels, breakfast sandwiches, etc.) is devoid of nutritional value. (And by the way, moderate indulgence is a huge part of who I am. I am all for a donut for breakfast on special occasions.)

For me, breakfast needs to be two things: filling and fueling. By my definition, a filling breakfast is one that is satisfying both in in taste and volume. A fueling breakfast is one that makes me feel good and keeps me going. A bagel might make me feel full, but chances are it won't energize me. And while a tasteless egg dish might fuel me, I probably won't enjoy eating it. Yes, breakfast can be good AND good for you!

Last week I got some request for the protein pancake recipe I use. The ingredients, method, and nutritional facts are below! (Note: I adapted this recipe from Tone It Up. If you have different protein powder on hand, I'd definitely recommend giving this a go anyhow!)

- 1 scoop Perfect Fit Protein (70-80 calories and 15 grams of protein)

- 1/2 mashed banana (53 calories)

- 1/4 cup liquid egg whites (33 calories and 6.7 grams of protein. Most liquid egg white brands have these stats. I find these work much better than using actual eggs; plus this way you don't have to waste the yolk!)

- 1-2 TBSP Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (2-4 calories)

- dash of cinnamon

Mash banana completely with almond milk. Stir in egg whites, protein powder and dash of cinnamon. Spray a pan with cooking spray or melt small pat of butter (about 36 calories) - your choice. Pour the pancake batter into the pan and cook over medium heat. When you see bubbles form, flip very carefully. Mine often falls apart (see above photo!) but the good news is that this is delicious no matter how it ends up looking!

My favorite toppings:

- 2 TBSP real maple syrup (about 100 calories)

- 1/3 cup fresh organic blueberries (about 25 calories)

- 1/2 cup sliced strawberries (about 25 calories)

This means you could have maple syrup and either of the berry toppings and your breakfast would still clock in at under 300 calories! Pretty rad!

So there you go. A breakfast that's filling and fueling and perfect for anyone looking to indulge without the bulge. Enjoy! :)

P.S. Short on ingredients? My friends at Peapod are offering new clients $15 off their first order.