Stuffed Banana Bread Protein Muffins

I love muffins. And coffee.

I really really REALLY love coffee.

I could drink it all the time. Black. Nothing added. Just coffee in its purest form.

But I digress. This post is about protein muffins. Basically a staple in my busy life. They are filling, great for on-the-go, and well, they go excellently with coffee.

I adapted this recipe from Nutritionist in the Kitch. If you haven’t visited her website, go check it out! Chrystal has some great recipe ideas over there! I haven’t made anything that I haven’t loved from her.

These muffins have three of my favorite things:almond butter, bananas, and coconut oil! They are also packed with protein and are gluten free!!! What more could you want?????? 

As with all good banana bread, you need REALLY ripe bananas. The more ripe, the better!


After mashing those bananas, I add melted coconut oil, vanilla, the dry ingredients, applesauce, and protein powder. After gently mixing it all together, I am ready to construct these delicious little protein power packs.


I spray my muffin tins with coconut oil cooking spray and then fill the cups slightly less than half full with muffin batter.


I then take my almond butter and put about a half teaspoon on the batter in each muffin cup.


I top off the batter in each cup, filling it up to the top.


The muffins are ready to bake at 350 for about 25-30 minutes, until golden brown and a tester comes clean.


These muffins are great hot or cold. The higher protein content and healthy fats keep you full for longer and make a great post workout snack. Oh, and they are also great with coffee.


But all things are good with coffee. :-) 



25 Things I ALWAYS Have in my Pantry

Lately life has been crazy. I feel like I am running around all day long wishing I had those 3 hour breaks I used to complain about. Except that means I am training more people and so I can’t really be upset.  That busy lifestyle is also the inspiration for this post. If I can manage to be super busy and still eat healthy, so can you! It just takes a bit more planning and a well-stocked pantry.

Because let’s face it, when its late and you are tired and hungry it is really easy to stop at the nearest fast food chain or grocery store and pick up something less than healthy to eat… like that double cheeseburger or bag of chocolate. We’ve all done it. But not anymore. 

Preparation is key to success. And so be prepared. Always have some healthy staples on hand. That way, there is no excuse to not go home and cook a quick, healthy meal instead of eating unhealthy because you are so hungry.

My 25 Staples (in no particular order)

1. Peanut Butter (all natural, chunky, no added sugar)

2. Old Fashioned Oats

3. Raisins

4. Apples

5. Bananas

6. Quinoa

7. Eggs/Egg Whites

8. Canned Beans

9. Sweet Potatoes

10. Frozen Stir Fry Veggies

11. Baby Carrots

12. Hummus

13. Ezekiel Bread

14. Frozen Fruit

15. Almond Milk

16. Protein Powder

17. Gluten Free Pasta

18.  Frozen Chicken Breasts

19. Coffee ( you don’t want to see me without it)

20. Maple Syrup (my sweetener of choice)

21. Plain Greek Yogurt

22. Lara Bars

23. Franks Red Hot Sauce

24. Cinnamon

25. Chia Seeds

There ya go :-)

What is a staple for you??


Key West Beef Stir Fry

I spend a good deal of my evenings getting home at 8:30 or 9 pm at night. I am in no way complaining. I LOVE my job. I love coaching. But my poor husband…I leave him many nights to fend for himself until I get home (hello peanut m&m’s ®) or he gets fast food (which breaks my heart just a little) or he gets eggs and toast.

Me man. Me need meat. 

Hence the non- breakfast post. I needed a meal hearty enough for a man that was healthier than fast food.

Lean beef. Peppers. Garlic. Rice.

This one is super easy. Super delicious. Super healthy. And husband approved. SCORE!

First I made the key west sauce. I don’t remember where I found the original recipe but I have changed it up a bit and it is one of my favorites. A little lime juice, low sodium soy sauce (GF), garlic powder, red pepper flakes, honey, and olive oil. mmmmmhmmm…. image

The rest is pretty simple: I cut up lean steak into strips and put them in my cast iron skillet with a little bit of olive oil. image

When they were almost cooked, I added half of the key west sauce and some pre-cut carrots, edamame, and mushrooms. I added a little water to the mix to keep it from burning and covered it with a lid to keep the steam in to help cook the veggies. image

When the veggies were almost cooked, I added my red and green pepper strips to the top and poured the remaining sauce on top. I steamed the peppers until crisp and then it was ready to eat. image

(By this time it was almost 9:30 at night and I really think my husband would have eaten burnt toast…. but the fact he devoured the left overs the next day means it had to be at least decent 😉 ) image

I had some minute brown rice that I made to serve with the meat and veggies. But you could easily eat it without rice or on a bed of greens.

Enjoy!!! And try not to eat all of it in one serving 😉


Key West Sauce

6T Low Sodium Soy Sauce

2T Raw Honey

1T olive oil

Juice from 2 limes + 1t lime juice

1 1/2 t garlic powder

Mix all ingredients together until blended.

Stir Fry Ingredients:

1 package of lean steak

1 green pepper, sliced

1 red pepper, sliced

1 bag of carrot slices

3/4 bag of shelled edamame

1 small package of sliced baby bella mushrooms

Healthy Alfredo Sauce

Pasta. It can be an athletes best friend. It can also wreck a weight loss plan in no time atall.

The two main problems with pasta is that most people eat more than a serving size of pasta in a single sitting AND we cover it with sauces,  oils, butter, cream and loads of toppings that are filled with calories and UNHEALTHY fats.

For the majority of American families and athletes, pasta is a staple in their diet.  I know it is a staple in my pre-race meals. But I don’t need or want all the unhealthy fats that come with most toppings. A typical jar of alfredo sauce contains 110 calories per 1/4 cup, 10 g of fat and 5 g of saturated fat. Thats 25% of your recommended daily saturated fatcalories. And who really only eats a 1/4 cup of sauce???? Not me!!

And so I give you- Healthy Alfredo Sauce. It’s made with cauliflower.Now before you run the other direction screaming – YOU CAN’T TASTE IT! And I promise this. My husband HATES LOATHES cauliflower. He won’t touch it. Not even newly-wed status can convince him to try it. So I secretly made this sauce one day and put it on his pasta. His reaction- this is AWESOME! Where did you get the sauce??   I kept the secret for a little while to make sure he really liked it first. And he still eats it.

So simple. So much better for you. And a guilt free way to enjoy that creamy sauce we all know and love.



First, using either frozen or fresh cauliflower, boil it in water to cook it all the way through, maybe even slightly overcooked. If you buy fresh cauliflower you will need to chop it into even sized pieces and make sure it is clean.



After cooking it completely, drain off most of the water and put the cauliflower in a blender. Add in a little more water or chicken stock (adds more flavor, but I usually make it without), your milk, cheese, spices, and garlic. Blend on high power until thoroughly blended.  Depending on your desired thickness, add more milk, water, or stock  and blend again. Add salt and pepper to taste.


Serve any way you desire. I served mine this time with white wine sautéed portobello mushrooms, asparagus, and turnips over pasta ( my favorite is Tinkyada Brown Rice Spirals with Rice Bran, Gluten Free, 16-Ounce Packages (Pack of 12)).


But it would be good in a variety of ways! Test it out and let me know how you fix your healthy alfredo on Facebook, twitter @traininthearena, or instagram @traininthearena!!


healthy alfredo sauce