Eating Clean: Banana Pancakes

Banana based pancake recipe. No flour; only pure natural ingredients.

Pinterest is a great place to find recipes for just about anything. I came across a couple of pancake recipes that called for only two-ingredients: just an egg and banana. Notice there is no flour. You won’t find a pancake recipe that is any healthier than this.Flour free, sugar-free pancakes, and it tastes good? Yes, please! To be straight with you, they aren’t terribly filling but they do hit the spot for when you are craving pancakes. I don’t think I’ll ever make regular flour pancakes again.

I didn’t think that just egg and banana were enough, so I added cinnamon and I’m glad I did!  These were delicious and light! It’s okay. Be skeptical; you probably don’t think that this works. How would just those few ingredients combined create the consistency of a pancake? I don’t know but it does and it’s delicious.

INGREDIENTS:

1 Egg
1 Large Banana
2-3 shakes Ground Cinnamon (to taste)
*you can also added Sugar Free Syrup


Serving size about 4;  Calories: 170 Fat: 6g Total Carbs 26g Dietary Fiber: 3 Protein: 7g*

DIRECTIONS: Easiest pancake you ever make! 

– Peel and slice the banana. Add the banana to a bowl and mash it up to remove clumps.

banana

mash it up

– Add the egg and mix it until it is fully combined

add egg

– Add in cinnamon and stir again


mix

-Spray a medium-sized skillet with cooking spray.

-Heat on medium

-Fill a 1/4 sized measuring cup with the pancake batter or pour from bowl for desired size (less dishes to wash)

-Pour onto heated skillet.

– Add any toppings if you wish, now.

-Cook each side until lightly brown. It won’t bubble like a flour pancake but close and it will be solid enough to flip.

cook the pancake

Enjoy these healthy pancakes!!

ready to eat pancake

I am so excited to continue to make these for breakfast or after a good workout. They are so light and easy to make. Being that I don’t eat meat unless it is anti-biotic/hormone/GMO-free, this is a good source of protein for me. Maybe next time I’ll even add a drop of vanilla extract, or  blueberries, strawberries, chocolate chips, PB2, or pumpkin! I know, I’m just jumping on the crazy train over here, tonight folks! Add whatever floats your boat. It’s all delicious.
{If you make these at home, be sure to come back and let me know what you think! I’d love to hear your suggestions of any additional fix-ins too!}

*according to MyFitnessPal

** anyone else think of Jack Johnson when you hear “Banana Pancakes”?

I am not a dietician and don’t pretend to be. Please consult your Dr. for questions and nutritional advice. Recipes and comments are my take on Eating Clean recipes. I cannot guarantee that recipes are 100% Clean. They are loosely based on what I interpret or consider acceptable alternatives for this lifestyle.

Advertisements

Eating Clean: Kale Chips

I’ve been on a health kick lately. After experiencing completely natural, GMO/hormone-free meat in Tanzania, I realized I didn’t want to put those chemicals and preservatives in my body anymore, so I decided to give up all meat that didn’t fit the bill. However, I continued to eat processed pre-prepared foods. It hit me the other day that this is a contradiction and silly to only do half ass eliminating preservatives. I’ve also had trouble loosing those stubborn pounds lately so I decided to try completely “eating clean.”

What is Eating Clean? I think it means different things to different people. Here are the guidelines I’m going to attempt to follow:

  • Eating foods with ingredients that you can actually pronounce. If you can’t read it, don’t eat it!
  • Eating meats that comes from the butcher and aren’t pre-packaged or human manufactured. Also avoid farm fed fish.
  • Like your momma said, “Eat your fruits and vegetables!”
  • Avoid processed food like canned or frozen foods or anything you find in the chip aisle. Best to shop perimeter of the store. If it can spoil, eat it! (but obviously eat it before it spoils…)
  • Whole wheat does not mean whole grain. Stick to whole grain.
  • Basically, eat mostly foods that are off a tree, bush, plant or vine and you are in the clear. The goal is to get the food as close to it’s natural state as possible. But I’m not going to be fanatical about it.

In MHO, I think there is something to be said for all the chemicals and preservatives in our food and the challenges it poses for our body’s digestion and the increase in cancer statistics. So, I was on the hunt to find a clean snack. I’d seen kale chips floating around on Pinterest so I thought I’d give it a try. They hit the craving of potato chips but are so much healthier. That is, if you make them at home. Store-bought completely defeat the purpose as it is pre-packaged and loaded with preservatives. So opt for homemade! DELISH and super easy! Instead of 160 calories of Ruffles chips PER 1 oz. – Kale chips have about 34 calories per cup! (If you load them with cheese, it will obviously be higher…)

So let’s get to it, shall we?

Time: 10-15 minutes

Ingredients:

1 large bunch kale
1 Tablespoon olive oil (optional) or Pam Spray
Seasoning to taste: suggestions: garlic powder, cayenne, salt, paprika*

Instructions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 F.

Wash and dry the kale. (super important to dry!)

Remove the stem

Tear leaves into bite size pieces

Spread on cookie sheet and sprinkle lightly with oil or Pam

Lightly Sprinkle seasonings**

Bake 7-10 minutes or until crispy

*Use sparingly. Spices can be more pronounced than usual

** I made different flavors. I put garlic powder throughout. In one section only salt and olive oil, another batch with just olive oil and another with garlic powder and cayenne.

kale dried
Washing/Drying Kale
Kale Seasoned and ready to bake
Kale seasoned and ready to bake
ready to plate
Crispy & ready to plate. See how they shrunk?
YUM! snack time!
YUMMY! Snack time!

Verdict: The cayenne ones had a lot of flavor and were good for an occasional snack but I think the simple garlic, salt and olive oil was my favorite. It really hit the spot of replacing chips. It had the perfect saltiness for a healthy snack.

If you try the variations or your own concoction, let me know which is your favorite. Do you have any “clean” recipes you love and would like to share? Please do so in the comments below!

Enjoy!

 

I am not a dietician and don’t pretend to be. Please consult your Dr. for questions and nutritional advice. Recipes and comments are my take on Eating Clean recipes. I cannot guarantee that recipes are 100% Clean. They are loosely based on what I interpret or consider acceptable options for this lifestyle.

Giving up (red) meat and pop: the results -kind of like rejecting that gorgeous guy in a Porche.

We survived the 30 days.  In case you don’t remember, Mr. Boyfriend and I decided to give up all pop and red meat for the month of June.  I am happy to report, mission accomplished! We did it!

It has been a full month since we last had any kind of red meat and pop. Thanks to all of you who sent words of encouragement!  It definitely helped reinforce that this was a good idea and that it was worth doing.

Giving up red Meat:

A little side note – I am very picky about my chicken. I don’t like the texture and I think almost all chicken is dry, even if it’s dunked in sauce.  Unless it’s fried, because then it is Delicious, with a capital D.  So right off the bat, I faced a challenge of getting enough protein because I was left with really only 3 options: deli or ground turkey, fish and quinoa. Mr. Boyfriend had a bigger challenge ahead as he is a meat-and-potatoes guy.  He is from Texas so giving up red meat is virtually unheard of.  At first we debated what we could or couldn’t eat. Bacon? Pork?   Mr. Boyfriend’s theory was that if pork is considered “the other white meat,” and both bacon and pork come from a pig, then bacon is not red meat. But I disagreed.  I don’t consider ham or ribs to be white meat either.  The meat is literally red, and isn’t chicken or turkey, and is not good for you, so I consider bacon to be red meat. I know my reasoning might be faulty, but I’m sticking to it.  We even Googled bacon. We got mixed answers but most said it was indeed red meat, so I said bacon was on our hit list.  Would you eat pork and/or bacon if you gave up red meat?

This challenge was really good for us to realize just how often we ate it.  You know how pork is “the other white meat”?  Well, I have concluded that red meat is “the convenient meat.”  I didn’t realize just how easy it is to order, until now. It is the fall back option, the “oh, I don’t want chicken, might as well have red meat” option. And it’s everywhere! I think my biggest challenge was pepperoni pizza.

Some situations/places we were faced with challenges:

  • Arlington Race Track: Because of my dislike of chicken, I would normally automatically  have gotten a (Vienna) Hotdog. However, this time I opted for a pulled chicken sandwich and fries. It was surprisingly tasty (probably because it was slathered with sauce) and definitely the healthier option.
  • Mr. Boyfriends birthday dinner: My parents wanted to take him to dinner, and we usually go to this delicious steak house called Wildfire, but this time we opted for cuban. Last time we were here we got amazing steak, so this time we opted for the pork.
  • Summer Festivals: There are so many festivals with delicious food.  We had to remind ourselves of our June goal.  One specific summer fest is RibFest.  We have wanted to go for the past few years, but really, what would be the point to go this year? That would be pure torture.
  • Each Wednesday, dinner is provided at work for Mr. Boyfriend while he attends his masters class.  Unfortunately, the only legit option is usually meat. Italian beef, hamburgers, hotdogs, etc. are convenient and easy to order/serve to a group of people. There were nights he would come home and have to make dinner for himself.
  • When Lauren came to town for a business trip, I of course had to take her to get Chicago style pizza.  I always get low-fat cheese pepperoni pizza when I go to Lou Malnati’s (arguably the best deep dish in Chicago) but this time I actually had to read the menu! My vegetarian pizza was delicious, but it was no pepperoni!
  • One night, Mr. Boyfriend and I didn’t feel like cooking and we craved a pepperoni pizza.  I am proud to say, we went with a veggie pizza with spinach and mushrooms. Even though we missed our pepperoni, the pizza hit the spot and we were proud of ourselves for ordering a healthier meat-free option.
  • We had a lot of struggles with pizza apparently.  The best thin pizza is at a place called Barnaby’s in the northern suburbs.  My parents wanted to take us there one Sunday night but we had to force ourselves to tell them no. I was tempted to throw in the towel and say, “F’ It!” but I stood strong.
  • My cousin graduated from high school and the ceremony was held at Northwestern University.  If you are familiar with the area, there is a local hot dog stand in the parking lot across from the stadium.  We knew we had to eat beforehand, otherwise we wouldn’t eat until very late.  I walked in and instantly heard, Caryn, you know you want to eat me! I’m delicious! and don’t take a lot of time to prepare! You don’t want to be late to the ceremony! Eat Me! The Vienna hotdog was calling my name, but I resisted and went with a turkey burger.

Giving up pop:

I don’t drink pop that often to begin with, so this wasn’t all that difficult for me. I don’t need it for the caffeine and usually only drink it when I have a sweet tooth. Mr. Boyfriend, however, needs his caffeine and sugar fix more often than me.

  • When I order Subway, I almost always get chips and a drink with it. The sugary pop is a sweet compliment to the sandwich. It completes the meal. I usually mix half Diet Coke (they don’t have Pepsi) and half Cherry Coke. I only opted for water this month, and split the occasional cookie. What? Who doesn’t want something sweet after a sub sandwich?
  • The most challenging part of giving up pop was at bars on the weekends.  When I’m not ordering beer, I usually order a mixed drink of some kind, a Vodka Sprite or Whiskey Sprite or something similar. I chose to stick with beer all month. What drink do you order at bars?
  • Not often, but occasionally at work, I get a sweet tooth in the afternoon.  Instead of going to the vending machine for candy to get my sugar fix, I get a Pepsi. This month, I reached for gum when I needed to get my fix.

Result:

I don’t know if it is psychological or physical, but I feel better after doing this detox. This challenge was harder for Mr. Boyfriend than it was for me and we got different results.  On a scale of 1 -10  (10 being I can’t survive without it) I would rate this experience as a 3-4 but he rated it a 6.  I feel healthier, cleaner and definitely not as heavy.  While it might be a case of wanting what you can’t have, he said he now craves a pepperoni pizza but does admit that he is more aware of the fact that he needs to cut back on his intake of both products.  We both realized we consumed both products more often than we thought.  While  red meat is a good source of iron and protein, it does made you feel sluggish and heavy.  It is almost as if the salad is the angel on one shoulder and the filet mignon is the devil on the other.  I am convinced that red meat is the easy, convenient but dangerous choice. It is temptress of all meats. It is that man meat with rock solid abs, defined muscles and perfect dimpled smile that makes you want to be bad for just this once.  

I thought about having a pop yesterday, but stopped myself.   If I went this long without it, do I really need it now? This process made me realize  there is a difference in what we want and what we need.   We just need to use our self-control. Pop contributes to gingivitis, tooth decay, increases risk of obesity and decreases calcium in the body. The fact that pop rusts when placed in vinegar, totally creeps me out.  It makes me question, what exactly are we putting in our bodies?

While we won’t give either up forever, we will now make it a point to eat and drink them less frequently. Our bodies will thank us when we get older.  I want to live a long and healthy life, and I know that starts now.

Healthy Goal for June

I realize this post is three days late, but better late than never, right? In my defense, I did tweet about it on time! 


Mr. Boyfriend and I have decided to give up all red meat and pop for 30 days. 


Ok, so a little history: I used to be (lacto-ovo) vegetarian for a year and a half but really missed Deli turkey sandwiches.  Eventually, Mr. Boyfriend influenced me with his carnivorous ways to join the world of enjoying bacon and pepperoni again.  Because lets face it, they are delicious! I influenced him to eat healthier but we still eat more red meat than I would like.  It is easy to grill and more convenient since I don’t like chicken (unless it is fried)! But we realize we need to cut back and focus on being healthy again.  With all these summer festivals coming up, I know it will be difficult but we can do it! And our bodies will thank us later. 


We are calling it our Jewish-Lent. 


Already, we were face to face with the decision to stay strong! Yesterday, the only place around was a cute little hot dog stand. While the Vienna hot dog was calling my name, I opted for a turkey burger and tea instead. 

 Caryn Levy 

At the end of the 30 days, I will recap and see how we did and how we feel. How are you trying to stay healthy? What have you cut out or incorporated into your daily life?


Oh and P.S. and I would also like to go back to working out (it has been a while!) and resume practicing Yoga at least once a week.


Love, Caryn