Protein Black Forest Cake

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"A party without cake is really just a meeting" ~ Julia Child

"There's nothing better than cake but more cake." ~ Harry S. Truman

 "Love is when you have a really amazing piece of cake, and it's the very last piece, but you let him have it." ~ E. Lockhart  


Cake has always been a much discussed and celebrated food item, but this cake, is truly something to celebrate. Don't forgo your health and nutrition goals when it's party time. Here is an amped up version of a black forest cake allowing you to have your cake and eat it too and “Let’s face it, a good, creamy chocolate cake does a lot for a lot of people.” ~ Audrey Hepburn


Stay HAUTE and healthy,

Monica

Nutrition Facts:

Serves 10
Serving size: 1 slice
Calories: 177
Total Carbs: 17g
Total Fat: 3g
Protein: 20g

Cake Ingredients

  • 1 cup drained and cooked black beans (You can either use a bag of dry beans and do the whole soak and cook or purchase the no-salt added black beans that have been rinsed and drained) 

  • 1/4 cup of agave syrup

  • 1 cup egg whites  (I prefer using the egg whites from a carton but you may also use the real deal which is equivalent to 8-10 egg whites)

  • 1/2 cup chocolate pea protein powder or chocolate casein (casein is a slow-digesting protein, My favorite is SYNTHA-6 which conveniently comes in Chocolate Cake Batter)

  • 1/2 cup almond milk

  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder

  • 2 tbsp toffee stevia or your sweetener of choice

  • 1 cup oats (gluten-free or regular)

Topping Ingredients

  • 3 tubs of Greek yogurt (340g)

  • 1 8-oz. tub of Philadelphia light cream cheese

  • 1/2 cup of vanilla casein (or 1/2 cup of vanilla whey with 2 tbsp of coconut flour).
     

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 320 F

  2. Blend all cake ingredients together until they’re well combined and the batter is smooth.

  3. Bake at 320 F (160 C) for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

  4. For the frosting, mix all frosting ingredients together until you get a creamy thick batter.

  5. Let the cake cool completely before frosting.

  6. Cut the cake in half horizontally and fill it with frosting. For an additional punch of flavor, coat the middle layer with cherry jam or your favorite jelly.

  7. Frost the sides and top of your cake. Make additional decorations by using a piping bag. If you want, stay true to traditional black forest cake by adding shaved dark chocolate and cherries.

  8. Top with candles——close your eyes, make a wish and. . ."Qu’ils mangent de la brioche”—“Let them eat cake."! ~Marie Antoinett

No-Bake Frozen Granola Balls

 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Oatmeal

  • 1 cup Flaxseed (mill)

  • 1 cup nut butter (I used ½ PB2, powdered peanut butter and ½ natural peanut butter)

  • 1 scoop Vanilla Protein Powder  (optional)

  • ⅓ cup honey (⅔ cup honey  if using protein powder)

  • ½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut (optional)

Preparation

  1. Combine ingredients  in a large bowl.

  2. Spread in a pan, roll into balls or use my quick portion control method and fill mini muffin tins with a heaping tablespoon.

  3. Press down firmly to make sure your ingredients stay stuck together.

  4. Freeze for 1 hour, and slice into bars or serve as frozen balls or truffles.

  5. Keep stored in freezer.

 

Tips

Other optional ingredients could be chocolate chips, dried cranberries, raisins, sunflower seeds, you name it, they are yours to enjoy.

 

I love making my own granola.  Not only does it fill our house with an incredible mouth-watering aroma when baking but I control the ingredients and amount of sugar and can add anything I feel like my or my families diet may be missing. My daughter, simply devours it, that being said it is far too hot in the Low country to be baking anything!  Hence, Frozen Granola Balls were made.  They are a quick easy after dinner treat or even as breakfast as you make a sprint for the door and  i’ve also savored a few of their chewy pieces in my normally boring plain old yogurt.  I hope you enjoy them too!

G2 Breakfast

Ingredients

·      1 ½ cups of water

·      2 cups almond milk

·      1 cup egg whites

·      1 cup unsweetened applesauce (optional)

·      1 cup steel-cut oats (I was out so I used thick rolled oats)

·      ½ cup dried cranberries or cherries

·      ½ cup cranberries (optional)

·      3 tbsp brown sugar or 3 tsp splenda brown sugar

·      1 scoop vanilla protein powder or 1 tsp vanilla

·      1 tsp ground cinnamon

 

I liked the tartness of the fresh cranberries combined with the sweetness of the oatmeal, however my daughter did not. She literally ate 3 cups for breakfast the first morning I fixed this. So, if you have a any kiddos toddling around like my 2 year old they will like it just as much as you like how easy it is and nutritious. 

Groundhog Day

It’s Groundhog Day around here in more ways than one. Yes, it is actually Groundhog Day, February 2nd but Groundhog Day for me because here I sit connected to my Medela pump.

A lot of things in life are easier said than done, but I would’ve never thought that weening would be so difficult.

My goal was to breastfeed for one year and on January 16th our baby girl turned one!   YAY!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY CLAUDIA!! And happy day to me because I would finally be freed from my pump and all those beautiful nursing tanks and bras….yeah right.

Sweet Claudia holding her own bottle of which she refuses to do now.  She can hold a cup and drink through a straw but give her some milk and she demands it be in a bottle and you feed it to her.

Sweet Claudia holding her own bottle of which she refuses to do now.  She can hold a cup and drink through a straw but give her some milk and she demands it be in a bottle and you feed it to her.

Around New Year's day I began slowly decreasing the amount of time I pumped and the number of times I pumped a day.  I should mention now that around 8 or 9 months Claudia decided that a bottle was faster and easier for her and she refused to breastfeed (It was sad but perhaps easier in the long run because I would hate to be weening now and have to tell her “no”). That being said, I began solely pumping what seemed to be around the clock. I pumped all the time and everywhere such as while I was driving, feeding the baby, cooking dinner, at a wedding reception. I pumped almost every 3-4 hours to keep up with my production and nourishing the babes.

When Claudia was about 8 weeks old we began implementing bottle feeding to ourbreastfeeding routine.

When Claudia was about 8 weeks old we began implementing bottle feeding to ourbreastfeeding routine.

Here I am pumping during a wedding reception. Please forgive me Courtenay!

Here I am pumping during a wedding reception. Please forgive me Courtenay!

However, Last Monday I woke up and felt like I could finally go without pumping and so I did, up until today.  I went almost a week without pumping but my breasts slowly became engorged again to the point of needing some sort of resolution.  I searched and searched on-line and turned to my go-to breastfeeding site, Kellymom.com and still wasn’t quite sure what to do.  There is a ton of information out there about how to breastfeed, such as multiple ways to hold your baby or different methods to increase milk production, there are even support groups but there is not a lot of information about weening.  For me breastfeeding was pretty much a breeze, so i really shouldn’t complain because for a lot of women it is very difficult to the point that they can’t continue. However, after wearing tight sports bras 24-7, avoiding any stimulation (go ahead and laugh, because my husband isn’t) applying cabbage leaves to my girls, sucking on peppermint candy and taking Sudafed, I’m still lactating.

Hey what's under that shirt? An amazing cone bra like Madonna? Nope.  You guessed it, I'm pumping and driving.

Hey what's under that shirt? An amazing cone bra like Madonna? Nope.  You guessed it, I'm pumping and driving.

 At the risk of clogging a duct and developing mastitis I contacted the lactation consultant, Anita Fort at Roper Hospital. Roper has amazing services for pregnancy and newborn care including a breastfeeding support group like I mentioned before and a lactation consultant who was a HUGE help in the days immediately following Claudia's delivery when I wasn't quite sure if I was doing everything right! This time Anita assured me it would take time and possibly more time than I anticipated to completely stop producing milk but that all the methods I was trying should help.  Finally, she told me what I was afraid she was going to say, that I needed to pump.

So, here I am, Groundhogs day all over again, pumping.  Let’s hope this time really is the last time and I won’t pull a Bill Murray and hear that annoying errr urr, err urr sound from my pump tomorrow.

Stir Crazy

I know a lot of you all are snowed in and perhaps not able to make it to the gym and are bored out of your minds.  Well, don't let that be an excuse to not workout.  You can get in a great workout almost anywhere with little to no equipment.  Trust me, I have been doing this type of workout for awhile and especially now when my baby is napping or most recently when we were rained in, here in Charleston. The streets were flooded and snakes were venturing above ground, and if you know anything about me, it's that I'm deathly afraid of snakes!   I'll kill a spider with my bare hand, swim with sharks but put a snake in my facinity and I honestly cry with fear. Needless to say, I stayed away from the outdoors for awhile. Here's my workout that can be done indoors with the smallest of space and minimal equipment....also I've been searching for new and creative ways to play with Claudia because I'm not the only one going stir crazy. Below the workout you'll find a few things she loves to do that can be made from things lying around your house. 

STIR CRAZY AB WORKOUT  

Depending on the amount of time you have choose 5 to 10 ab exercises and repeat them twice. Do each move for 30 seconds and then quickly move onto 30 seconds of cardio of your choice, I like jumping rope with high knees.  You can download an interval timer app that you'll set to 30 seconds  work, 10 seconds rest for 10 to 20 sets, less or more depending on your fitness level. Sometimes I do longer intervals but 30 seconds is good place to start, plus it's so short that you can really push yourself to the limit with each move. Don't quit until the bell rings! 

Here are a few examples of some abdominal exercises you can do: 

  • Plank (Plank Jack, Plank with side kick, Plank March.....)
  • Bicycles 
  • Suitcase Crunches
  • Russian Twists 
  • Side Plank hip Dip 
  • Pike Up 
  • Leg Raises 

Here's a list of cardio options that you can do anywhere:

  • Jumping rope (pretend if you don't have one)
  • High knees
  • Butt Kicks
  • jump squats
  • Burpees
  • Jumping plyo lunges
  • Step ups ( when I'm at home I use my coffee table) 
  • Toe taps (I use the edge of my bed or sofa) 

STIR CRAZY BABY ACTIVITIES

BOTTLE OF ROCKS - Take an old water bottle and fill it with rocks or small pebbles or marbles that I had leftover from a flower arrangement. I then crazy glued the lid on and watched Claudia shake that bottle to death. Being loud and ruckus is something a baby must do! haha

DISCOVERY BOTTLE- aka the Black Sea. Similar to the bottle of rocks, you'll need another old water bottle but this time fill it partially full with water and the rest with oil now here comes the fun part, pick a food coloring of your choice and add a few drops. Seal the lid on with some more crazy glue and slowly a sea will appear as you tilt the bottle side to side. It's soothing to look at and as Claudia gets older it will teach her a little science ;)

WATER PLAY  - Claudia is like most babies and absolutely loves her tubby time so I wanted to find another way for her to enjoy her love of water besides getting in the bathtub every evening.  I gathered up bowls, basins and bins and filled them with water and bath toys.  I would definitely recommend keeping this activity to a tiled area like the kitchen or bathroom where you can put down towels because let me tell you, Claudia splashed and splashed till her heart was content and diaper was soaked from the outside in which is usually quite the opposite! 

POTS AND PANS BAND  - This is a great activity for when you've got to get dinner on the table and can't continue to entertain the baby.  Search your drawers for wooden spoons, spatulas, bowls, pans and Claudia's favorite, a wire whisk and let the noise, whoops I mean, music begin! 

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TUPPERWARE DRAWER - another great activity to keep your tike busy so you can cook or tidy the kitchen is let them play in the tupperware drawer.  Most parents have the kitchen on lock down with every safety latch and gate you can think of, but it's smart to leave at least one drawer, cabinet or cupboard open to your child where they can explore kid friendly kitchen items such as tupperware.  Claudia loves pulling everything out and putting it back in and to my husbands dismay mixing all the lids up so its an absolute mess, but honestly who cares....I've got way more important stuff to worry about then my completely unorganized tupperware drawer and it makes her surprisingly happy. 

SOCK SORTING - similar to the tupperware drawer trick, but this one is when you just need a few more minutes to get dressed or find the right pair of shoes and the baby is being less than patient.  The sock drawer offers ball like objects to toss and sort, and if your like Claudia she sits in front of them tossing socks over her shoulder, huffing and puffing, like she's working so hard.  It is the absolute cutest thing. 

SHEET SWING - My mom typically changed the sheets every Saturday and would come in while saturday morning cartoons were on, but I didn't mind the interruption because that meant I got to swing in the sheets! My mom would grab one end and my brother or Dad the other end while i laid in the center of a fitted or top sheet and got swung in my own personal hammock.  It's simple, but fun and Claudia loves it too. 

AGILITY COURSE - Once Claudia started crawling at 7 months I thought it would be fun to create a little agility course to help her learn how to maneuver over or under things just like an adult agility course but of course, less dangerous and she wasn't racing anyone but herself.  I laid out pillows, stacked and slanted with a few stuffed animals and I later incorporated a tube my husband, Brent got Claudia for christmas that she tunnels through like a champ. It's all a ton of fun!

Have fun and stay warm out there!