Yum Yum Pancake Recipe

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Back when I was a lone wolf, and the only person I had to answer to was my dog Nash, I used to cook pancakes every Sunday morning.  It was a ritual and routinely old Nash would get a pancake or two in the process, boy did he think I was the bee’s knees when I did that.

Now that I’ve got a family of four, my poor dog doesn’t get as many pancakes as he used to but I still try and keep up with pancake Sunday, and now my wife and kids think I’m the bee’s knees when they get their pancakes.  I’ve tried a few protein pancake variations, but never found one that did it for me, that is until now.  Sean Hyson posted it recently here and I knew they would be good since he routinely puts out good content (he better, considering he is the editor for a few fitness mags).

So this past Sunday I decided to give them a try, and they were quite delish!  They have a bit of a different texture than regular pancakes but all in all I thought they were an excellent substitute.  I also found that I needed to cook them on a little bit lower temperature than I do regular pancakes so they don’t burn.  They also weren’t as firm as regular pancakes so I had to be a little more careful when flipping them over.

Usually I doctor up my pancakes with a bit of vanilla extract and cinnamon for extra flavor,totally forgot to do that to these, and it would have made them that much better.  Either way, I’ve posted the recipe below with a side by side nutrition comparison of other pancakes. Mmmm….. can’t wait for the next pancake Sunday!

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4 Whole Eggs

2 Bananas

2 Tbsp of almond/peanut butter

1 or 2 Tbsp of coconut oil to them in (I used about the equivalent amount of butter)

I threw all the ingredients in blender minus the butter and blended until smooth.  Heat your butter, then pour the mix in your skillet and cook like regular pancakes.  Usually pancakes bubble when they are ready to flip, I didn’t find that with these so pay a bit of attention to them when cooking, again so you don’t burn them.

Here are the macros for the regular pancakes we cook, and then the macros for these.  Now I don’t consume the entire portion so those calories need to be split based on the portion you eat, and you’ll need to add additional calories for anything you add like syrup etc.

Trader Joe’s Pancakes                  Protein Pancakes

Total Calories 1,009                      Total Calories 756

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Get Your Learn On 3.28

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Sooo it’s Friday, and only about a week away before I become a dad.  I must say it is one of the most exciting times in my life.  It’s hard to imagine that in just a few short days we will have another rugrat running around the house.

While I’m sure there will be many sleepless nights, coupled with a bit of stress, it sure will be worth it.  Things around the Fagala household will certainly change, and I can’t wait to teach, learn, and enjoy this time.  Enough about me, I’ve put together a great list of articles this week to expand your mind, so get to reading.

And if you didn’t have a chance to read my post on Tony Gentilcore’s site have a looksie here.  Otherwise enjoy the weekend.

82 Push-Ups You Need To Know About- Nick English

Seriously who doesn’t like the push-up?!  It’s one exercise that is probably grossly underrated and has so many benefits, and obviously so many ways you can perform/tweak it.  Now drop and give me 20!

11 Most Nutrient Dense Foods On The Planet- Kris Gunnars

Apparently I liked posts with number in them this week and this one doesn’t disappoint either.  If there aren’t a few of these foods in your nutrition plan each week you need to consider adding them.

4 Reasons You’re Not Getting Stronger- Dave Dellanave

Yep another post with a number.  Dave hits the nail on the head here and gives even a few more reasons to increase strength.  This post compliments mine from Tony’s site very nicely and between the two you should be able to act on a few of these an increase your lifts in the gym, which will make you more awesome, and ultimately a better human being.

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Exercising Isn’t A License To Eat Freely

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It’s funny as I sit here writing, there is some seriously twangy old school Hank Williams on the radio upstairs, and I totally dig it!  It seems the more I listen to this genre of music the more I like it, and I think it’s because those old country song writers just tell it like it is.

Now I’m certain that I just made some people cringe at the mention of Country music, I may have even lost some cool points, and the old stereotypes of lost dogs and ex wives probably come to mind too.  However, one of the main reasons I like those old country guys is because they were brutally honest.

And when it comes to today’s topic, the topic of eating, I’ve got to be brutally honest, we as Americans simply do too damn much of it!  I mean name a holiday that is celebrated without food or drink.  Seriously, we even celebrate Cinco De Mayo, which gives most folks a reason to run to the nearest mexican restaurant for margaritas and the never ending basket of chips and salsa, but has little to do with our own country.

There is certainly nothing wrong with celebrating Mexican heritage or celebrating with food on occasion, but if you’re at a Mexican restaurant or anywhere for that matter, look around and you’ll quickly realize we are a society OBSESSED with food.  The statistics give us a pretty clear indication that this obsession with food has had a nasty effect on our waistline.

One of the biggest misconceptions in the fitness industry to date has been that exercise can be applied as a means to help with our country’s weight problem, but that simply is not true, at least not to the degree that most would have you believe.  If there were a hierarchy of importance for fat loss, exercise does not top that chart, changing your eating does, and that means a nutrition plan that improves the nutrient density of your food, while providing less total calories.

The second misconception is that those who exercise can eat anything because the exercise cancels it out.  This line of thinking is probably one of the most dangerous to those looking for long term fat loss solutions, because it so very easy to overeat and takes much more time and energy to achieve the same calorie deficit through exercise.

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When working with clients, it’s like clockwork, once I mention that calories need to be the focus for fat loss they immediately ask how many calories they need to eat to lose body fat.  Of course I could figure someone’s calorie needs with a simple equation or you can find any one of a million websites to help you do this, but I always stress that we really need to start to learn/experiment enough on our own to discover that information.

Because quite frankly, that calorie recommendation equation could in fact be way off.  As an example, last fall I was focused on dropping a bit of body fat, and found that approximately 2000 calories was my deficit, that kept me from being too hungry, and still allowed me to enjoy some treats from time to time.  I didn’t feel deprived (I can’t say how incredibly important this is) and dropped about 20 lbs over the course of a few months, and didn’t change my exercise habits a bit.

However, using the harris benedict equation, a common equation used to determine calorie needs, it stated I could lose 1 lb a week while consuming 2600 calories daily.  If I would have chosen 2600 calories as my target I surely would have been frustrated by the lack of progress after a few weeks, as I’m certain I would not have dropped an ounce of body fat, due to the simple fact that I would have been in calorie maintenance.

I was very careful in my planning and portion control when I started my fat reduction plan and it paid off.  Trying to add in an additional 600 calories worth of exercise daily really wasn’t realistic for me as I’m already in the gym 4 days a week, but reducing my intake by 600 calories just took a little planning.  Now I know not everyone wants to count calories forever and I get that, so that is why it is so important to control your portion sizes, and not give into the mindset that exercising is like a get out of jail free card when it comes to food.

It is no secret that our portions are much larger than they used to be, and eating too large of portions means more calories and less success with your fat loss plan.  A historic look at a McDonalds value meal is pretty telling of portions alone.  Around 1960 the average McDonalds meal was approximately 590 calories, which isn’t bad for one meal.  However, the meals offered today are in upwards of 1,550 calories, almost 300% more than 50 years ago.*

Large portions and ultimately too many calories coupled with the mindset that you can eat whatever you want because you exercise,  is a recipe for lackluster results.  While exercising should be a part of your plan, the people with the most success will have been the ones who were able to control their calorie intake, and use exercise for what I think it should be, an endeavor that is fun and enjoyable, instead of a punishment for having a piece of cake.

So if fat loss is in your future, focus on your eating and educate yourself on your portions and total calories, because this is the first and most effective way to reduce body fat.  There are other factors to be considered of course and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the value of strength training and protein content when on a fat loss diet, but those will be topics to cover another day.

*And I’m certainly not suggesting one eat McDonalds either for obvious reasons:)

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Wendy’s Frosty Protein Smoothie

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My buddy Jared of Accelerate Health and Fitness posted this on facebook a few weeks back and it’s been made many times in the Fagala household since.  I mean really who doesn’t like a Wendy’s Frosty right?  Try it your taste buds will thank you.

Ingredients

3/4 Cup (6 Ounces) Almond Milk, I usually use regular milk which is equally as delicious

~ 15 Ice Cubes

1 Scoop Vanilla Protein Powder

1-2 Tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

Sweetener of choice (1/4 of a frozen banana or stevia)

The trick I’ve found is starting the blender with everything but the ice in it.  Then add the ice cubes one at a time until the consistency is where you like it.  Enjoy!

What I Ate Yesterday (In Pictures)

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It is so important to truly know how much food we eat on a daily basis, especially if we have any sort of goal focused on fat loss or physique development. Most of us are god awful at estimating the number of calories we eat in a day.  We either forget to add those small indulgences we had at the office, or outright simply have no clue what a 4 ounce portion of hamburger is.

So, I decided I would take a picture of everything that I ate yesterday and post it here today.  I also logged into myfitnesspal.com and logged all the calories too.  I’m currently in a maintenance phase with my goals which works well as my wife and I are expecting baby girl to be here in less than a month.

I’ve found that with my goal of maintenance, I can eat about 2500 calories daily, so that is more or less what I typically shoot for.  Now I’ll be honest, I don’t track what I eat everyday and I have a pretty solid idea of the portions that I eat.  I judge my calorie intake by eye at this point.

However, I don’t recommend everyone doing that.  I can fairly accurately judge how many calories I eat in a day just by sight, in large part because I’ve been devoted to learning the art and science of weight loss for the past 14 years.  Not only have I been at it a long time, but I also routinely eat a lot of the same foods, many of which are not too big on combinations, which makes it fairly easy for me to judge the calorie content.  The reason I don’t recommend most people do it this way is because if you haven’t been very in tune with what you eat for a very long time, we usually grossly underestimate our daily calories.

It just isn’t something that we do well with historically.  Most of the recent research I believe, points to us being off by as much as 50% when we recall our daily calorie intake.  I even read that a study done with registered dietitians, you know those folks who should know everything about food, still have a pretty big error when it comes to eyeballing.

The take home point, don’t just rely on eyeballing foods.  I’m not suggesting you log your food everyday the rest of your life, that’s not necessarily realistic either, but you should do it regularly so you have an idea of what your daily calorie intake is.  There may be a bit more to the story than just calories, but for now it’s the first and most important thing to focus on.

I typically start my mornings with a cup of coffee and a touch of cream, and I usually have a second cup at work.  Total Calorie Value = 124, Cumulative Intake= 124

IMG_2924Then I’m usually off to lift and after I have a shake with two scoops of whey and a half cup of oats with water.  Total Calorie Value= 450, Cumulative Intake= 574

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Then late morning, I eat three eggs, some cheese, spinach, and at times of random veggies in our fridge.  This also includes a pat of butter that I use to cook them in (an easy one to forget) Total Calorie Value=335, Cumulative Intake= 909

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Next, is lunch and yesterday it was an approximate 4 ounce hamburger with a piece of cheese and some carrots.  Then I got into some girl scout cookies, a roll of smarties, and a buckeye.  The sweets were at work and even the best among us can’t resist chocolate and peanut butter sometimes.  I also placed my burger next to my mouse at work, just for scale of the hamburger.  Total calorie value=604, Cumulative Intake= 1513

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Lastly, I finished off with a cobb salad from a local restaurant with a good friend of mine before heading to watch the Blues lose againse Dallas last night: This is one of those combination foods where you really have no idea the total calories.  This local chain doesn’t have nutrition information on their website so I guessed as best I could from the available data in myfitnesspal.com.  Total Calorie Value= 1160, Cumulative Intake= 2673.

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Pretty close to 2500 but I did go a bit over.  While being in maintenance going a bit over isn’t a big deal, but if you are working with a calorie deficit of 300-500 calories then going over 173 can derail a fat loss program pretty quickly.  Also, 2673 is just an approximation.  We can’t really ever know exactly what our intake was, so while my salad came in at 1160 calories it easily could have been 1500, and I have no way of knowing.

While taking a picture of your foods can help you be honest about what you’ve eaten, don’t get carried away with it.  The idea here is just to be educated about the foods you eat, not to develop some sort of obsessive compulsive disorder around your eating.

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Chicken and Waffles, Being Uncomfortable, and One Thing At A Time

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Chicken and Waffles…seriously who knew what an excellent combination of food this is?  My wife and I were on vacation in January, and I enjoy trying to find cool and new places to eat.  And find one we did!  Chicken and waffles was on the menu, and came highly recommended by more than a few reviewers, so of course I had to try them.  Let me tell you the syrup was buttery, the waffles were fluffy, and the chicken was tasty, and my first experience with chicken and waffles was a win.

Well played Fancy of Fancy’s Southern Cafe, you ma’am have a fan!  If I ever find myself in Fort Myers Florida again I will be back.  I’d highly recommend if you ever find yourself down that way that you check it out too.  Not only was the food excellent, but it was well decorated and just a cool little place.

Enough about food though let’s get to this weeks link love.  I have a couple of great articles and a recipe for chicken and waffles, albeit a healthier version than what Fancy’s offers.  In full disclosure I haven’t tried this recipe yet, but Neghar always has great content and I’m certain these are delish.

Chicken and Waffles- Neghar Fonooni

Dig in on your next Sunday morning breakfast and if this is your first chicken and waffles experience hopefully you’ll enjoy it.

Discomfort Builds Growth- Tony Gentilcore

I love Tony’s writing and he never fails to deliver.  He hits the nail on the head here, simply put you must get outside your comfort zone in order to grow.  I know personally some of the most uncomfortable times in my life, when I look back, are the times I’ve grown the most and prepared me for where I am today.  Closing my gym a few years ago was one of the most uncomfortable experiences I’ve ever had, but there were so many blessings and so much growth that came out of that time in my life.

Harry Potter, Coffee, Sex, And Other Things I Think About While Trying Not To Think- Nate Green

Wow how’s that for a title?  Nate gives some great advice about being tuned into the moment.  I think we all suffer from this at times.  It can be really rewarding to be fully in tune to what you are doing and enjoy the moment that you’re in.

Now get your learn on!

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Mythbusters: Nutrition Edition: “Bad” Food

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Have you ever been told “Don’t Eat That it’s Bad for you!”  I’ve heard it plenty, hell I’ve even said it a time or two to my clients.  And I’m here to apologize to those I said it to, and to admit I was wrong.

The word “bad” or “unhealthy” has such a negative string of emotions tied to it, and when fitness professionals tend to voice those words they oft times come off as judgement, which can be pretty harsh.  Now I’ve never been an in your face scream at you type of trainer, but I’m sure I’ve probably made some people feel bad about the food choices they’ve made, and I realize now I shouldn’t have.

You see I think one of the things that we as fitness professionals have done is to continue to perpetuate the idea that certain foods are in fact bad and we should never eat them.  The reality is, food is not in and of itself bad, and eating these so called “bad” foods will not instantly make you less healthy.

Food is simply food and the “bad” part is the association we draw from it, or the emotions that well up in us when we consume something we think we shouldn’t.  Many times when we eat these “bad” foods we start to feel “bad” about ourselves, then that whole negative self talk thing kicks in and we start to feel really crummy.  These feelings over time can start to cause a whole host of other concerns like disordered eating, body images issues, and concerns like depression, if you aren’t careful.

Now, If you think I’m giving you carte blanche to stuff your face with ding dongs, ice cream, and to wash it all down with a big gulp, then you are sadly mistaken.  There are foods that we should eat less of, and they are usually the foods that are low in nutrition and high in calories, like many of the aforementioned high sugar, highly processed foods.

(Sorry but I can’t help but think of the intro to Weird Al’s “Fat” every time I think of ding dongs.)

These foods eaten on a regular basis usually have a detrimental effect on your health, but it takes a long time for those negative health impacts to show up.  Think of it as dosing, just like we do with medication.  A correctly administered dose of the antibiotic gentamicin can help with infection, while an overdose can cause you permanent disability by destroying one of the components of balance.  So goes the dosing of food.

One twinkie or sweet treat occasionally that provides balance (pun intended) to an otherwise healthy diet is pleasurable, delicious and should be enjoyed, but continuously overdosing ourselves with low nutrition foods can destroy our health, much like that antibiotic can destroy our balance.

I’ve used it before and I’ll use it again but the 80/20 rule is as much in effect here as it is anywhere else, being that 80% of the time we should be eating mostly unprocessed single ingredient foods, the other 20% eat a bit more freely.  I’m not necessarily a pusher of the paleo diet, I’m not really a pusher of any so-called “diet”, but for ease of understanding a paleo style of eating is probably among the best ways to go, in my opinion.

Paleo is no magic bullet, and if you don’t drink the koolaid that some of it’s proponents drink, you can actually learn to eat quite well.  It also has roughly 2.5 drillion (yep totally made that number up) cookbooks on the market that can teach you some solid recipes and encourage you to try new and different foods.  But you’ll find some of it’s hardcore adherents will tell you that milk is the spawn of satan and that eating potatoes is akin to kicking puppies.  These are the types of people to avoid.

Whether you try a paleo style of eating, or some other plan don’t let someone brainwash you into thinking certain foods are bad, and don’t just “follow” the plan, actually educate yourself on nutrition and your food choices and what works for you.  I’d be remiss to say there aren’t some folks with legitimate medical concerns or sensitivities due to food, but for most of us that simply isn’t the case.

I could keep going, but I think I’ll leave it at that and turn this into a two or three part series.  The second part will be focused on arguably the most maligned macronutrient out there, fat, and why it’s totally misunderstood, like that kid in high school with the green mohawk and chain wallet.

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