Pumpkin Protein Pancakes Recipe

Are you struggling with how to get enough protein in your diet each day? I have found that starting the day with a breakfast high in protein can really start you off on the right foot. You will stay full longer and have more energy without the dreaded mid-morning crash. I used to wander around about 10:00 and hope something was left in the copy room at school to munch on. I tend not to have that problem if I have a breakfast that is high in protein. (And I don’t have that problem any more at all now that I’ve found Plexus!) But eating eggs every morning gets old and it takes time to make cook them. I prefer something I can make ahead of time and freeze. That way I can grab it and go.


This week I had a friend over to try out my Pumpkin Protein Pancakes. I’m playing with different ways to use protein powder in cooking.  She has an egg allergy and I was experimenting to see if I could make a version that she could eat. The experiment was a success. These pancakes were made with pumpkin and I used chocolate protein powder. If you’ve never put those two things together then you don’t know what you are missing! My wedding cake was pumpkin chocolate chip and it was Ah-mazing!

IMG_1639With a little whip cream and mini chocolate chips, even the kids were into my protein pancakes! Here’s the recipe:

Pumpkin Protein Pancakes

3 eggs*

1 cup pureed pumpkin (use the can stuff, don’t be fancy)

1 cup oats

1 scoop protein powder

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

3/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (or use nutmeg and ginger)

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

splash of vanilla

Grind dry ingredients in a blender to make a powder. Add wet ingredients and mix together. Pour onto preheated griddle or pan and cook like pancakes. Top with sugar free syrup (or whip cream and mini chocolate chips)!  This will make a large patch. Freeze the leftovers in separate freezer bags. When you’re ready to eat, just pull them out and pop them in toaster. Sometimes I will top them with a little peanut butter if I am eating on the go.

If you are dealing with an egg allergy, substitute 1.5 tbs vegetable oil, 1.5 tbs water, and 1 tsp baking powder for each egg. This will give you more of a crepe-like consistency. The pancakes do not rise as well, but you can roll them up and they are easier to eat on the go!

Chocolate Covered Blueberry Protein Shake

Protein Shake Recipes

I’ve been getting a lot of questions from friends lately about how much protein we need to get and how to get it all in. Protein is so important, but especially if you are trying to lose weight. The fact is that the American diet is a very carb-based diet and most of us just don’t get very much protein at all. A low estimate is that you need 0.5 grams per pound of body weight. Obviously if you’d like to gain muscle and are an active person you will need more. I shoot for 0.7 grams per pound of body weight. So since I weigh 173 pounds, 120 grams a day is my goal. That’s a lot of protein!

Most people think that if you want to get protein in that means you have to stuff yourself with meat and eggs. While that is definitely an easy way to get it in, there are certainly other sources out there. Get creative! How do you feel about cottage cheese? Yeah, me too. I can only stomach the stuff in small doses. Chia seeds have protein. How about some broccoli or brussel sprouts? Here’s a secret. Chances are the only way to truly hit that protein goal every day is to add in a good protein powder.

I use Precision protein powder. I buy it at Vitamin World. With their rewards card it’s usually buy one get one free, so about $45 for two huge tubs of it. It’s not a bad price. I would typically prefer a plant-based product, but I’ll be honest with you. When it comes to protein powder plant-based usually means chalky taste. This one is a whey isolate so it is derived from milk. I’m ok with that.

After a workout I usually just have one scoop in about 8 ounces of water. Shake it up in a blender bottle and chug. But let me tell you about the treats I make with it! I have discovered that it is possible to make this protein powder taste like a milkshake! Boom! Here’s the recipe that is my current favorite.

Chocolate Covered Blueberry Protein Shake

8 ounces almond milk

1/2 cup frozen blueberries

1 scoop chocolate protein powder

fill with ice and blend in a blender

It really couldn’t be any more simple than that! I have found that when I get that late night call for something chocolaty this little shake does the trick and I don’t have to feel bad about it at all! It comes in under 250 calories and with all the protein I know I’m treating my body well. Later this week I’ll be posting another shake recipe and a way to make protein powder pancakes! Say what?! How do you use your protein powder?


Another Woman’s Daughter by Fiona Sussman


As the racial tensions of South Africa during apartheid being to explode, Celia Mphephu realizes she is no longer able to keep her young daughter safe. For years she was a black servant working in the white suburbs and led a somewhat comfortable life, but her employers decide to flee to England and they make Celia a proposal she can not refuse. They want to take young Miriam with them. The choice is heartbreaking, but she knows it will provide her daughter with a life full of opportunity.

Miriam must grow up in a world in which she does not belong. In her new English home she faces racism at every turn. This world is not the fairy tale her mother imagined. Another Woman’s Daughter follows the story of these two women as they struggle to find themselves and hold their ground in a world of turmoil and tension.  Eventually Miriam knows she must return to Africa and find her mother to understand who she is and the secret she holds.

It has been a long time since I read a book in one sitting, but I could not put this book down. The story is beautifully written and fast moving.  It is a testament to the strength of women, and a tribute to mothers and daughters.  My heart ached for both women. Fiona Sussman paints a beautiful landscape and touches you with her writing in the place that connects all humans to each other.

How about that Sugar Detox?

FullSizeRender (6)

Who quits sugar at the end of the school year when cupcakes abound and thank you gifts are full of chocolate and other amazingly delicious treats appear before your eyes? This girl. Right here. That’s me. Timing is not always my strong suit.

I wanted to fill you in on how the first week without sweets went for me. One word. Amazing! I’m serious. I didn’t want any of it. None. I even brought my favorite cupcakes to a retirement party, took home the leftovers over night, and returned them to work the next day without binging on them while I got caught up on Scandal. It’s amazing to me how one little pink drink can have that much effect on my cravings.

From the very first day I drank Plexus I simply didn’t want sugar anymore. I poured that little packet of pink powder in a glass of water before I ate breakfast and the rest is history. So what next? Continue reading “How about that Sugar Detox?”

Summer Slow Down


All together now….ahhhhhh. That is the collective sigh of all the teachers in my area. School is out for summer. We have a few work days to do, but that’s nothing. There is something really special about being surrounded by adults, eating at your own pace, and using the bathroom when the mood strikes. It’s so refreshing! If you’re a teacher and you aren’t out yet, hang in there. The end is near.

This year has been fuller than usual. I’ve been trying hard to grow myself as a teacher leader and exploring what that might mean. That meant some extra time away from my family and not a lot of time for myself. Recently some opportunities have been brought to my attention that I have been thinking on, praying on, ranting on (thank you to my family and friends for tolerating that). I’ve been feeling a lot of pressure to make some decisions about the direction I want my career to take. I thought I knew exactly what I was doing. I was going to take a summer position that would allow me to experience being an administrator and then in the fall I was going back to school AGAIN to get my endorsement in administration. And then all of a sudden I wasn’t.

It all started with some ice cream. This weekend my daughter and I spent some time together, just the two of us. We went places on a whim and had long conversations about nothing (she’s four, the conversations are truly about nothing). At one point when we were leaving the gym she asked for ice cream. In the spirit of the weekend I said yes. Then she asked if we could walk there. I almost said no, but I stopped and thought to myself why not? Let me tell you. When she put her hand in mine and told me how much she loved to just walk with me, I could have cried. We followed the cracks in the sidewalk and talked about the clouds and my heart was so full. I kept thinking to myself, I almost missed this. If I had been in a rush, I would have missed this.

So when I went in today for the last official work day of the year I knew what I had to do. I put all those opportunities on hold. You see, time is moving fast. There will come a day when she doesn’t want to hold my hand anymore. A time will come when she wants ice cream with her friends and she’ll ask me to just drop them off there instead of coming inside. But today all she wants to do is walk with me and talk about clouds. And I can’t say no to that. The opportunities will always be there in one way or another, but I’ll never get this summer back.

So teachers, mamas, and especially the teacher mamas I hope you can see the summer for the gift that it is. Take a little time for yourself. Slow down. Take a breath. Follow the cracks in the sidewalk. Hold a little hand. Recharge your soul and reconnect with the ones you love. The time to work hard comes again quickly. But for now, just say yes to slowing down.

Deciding to Beat My Addiction


I have an addiction.  Are you picturing me hunched over some horrible drug, shaking with withdrawal, willing to fight anyone that comes between me and my fix? Well, you wouldn’t be too far off. I’m coming clean.

What’s my drug of choice, you ask? Sugar. What?! Sarah, that’s not a drug! Oh, I beg to differ. Actually sugar affects the neurological receptors in your brain. In fact studies have shown that sugar can be as addictive as many illegal drugs and the withdrawal symptoms can be quite severe.

The withdrawal symptoms of sugar can include headaches, insomnia, moodiness, stomach issues, among other things. I experience all of these when I try to kick the habit. Every single time I try to clean up my diet, sugar is my downfall. About a year ago, I had kicked my habit of consuming sweets daily for about two months. I felt amazing! Then someone brought cupcakes to work. I decided just one wouldn’t hurt after all the time I had gone without them. So I ate it. Then I ate another one. Then my body began to shake and I felt sick to my stomach. With trembling hands I turned to Dr. Google to search for a way to reverse what I had done to myself. The only suggestion was to drink water and wait it out. Unfortunately the damage was done. That night I ate some candy and jumped back on the sugar express. I’m still trying to get off it. Continue reading “Deciding to Beat My Addiction”

Christmas Cards as Prayer Reminders

IMG_0539 (2)

I love photo Christmas cards. Every year around the holidays I eagerly check the mailbox and find my friends and their families smiling back at me. The pictures are lovely and it genuinely warms my heart to know they have thought of our family and wanted to share a little piece of themselves with us at Christmas.

As a side note, I don’t send Christmas cards. I always imagined I would be that kind of person, but I have never been able to get myself together enough to make it happen. I hate to admit it, but we’ve never even had a family portrait done, much less put on on a card! Maybe one day….

So anyway, as the holidays end and I am rushing to de-Christmas my house I always feel a little sad about taking those Christmas cards down. This year I decided to come up with something to do with them that would be meaningful all year. I decided to hang all of mine in the laundry room. Let’s face it, it’s the one room of the house where I am usually alone and can have a moment to think. Each time I am doing a load of clothes, I choose a few families from the wall and pray for them. If there is something major going on in their lives that I know about, I specifically pray for that. If not, then I just pray generally for their family and their health. It might seem a little strange to see all my friends taped above my washing machine, but I don’t typically take guests in there so it’s rarely seen.

If you look around on the internet you’ll find lots of ideas for ways to store Christmas cards and use them as reminders to pray. I can’t take credit for the laundry room idea, but sadly I can’t remember where I read it either.  I pulled a few other ideas together for you too in case you don’t like the idea of your friends watching over your dirty laundry.

  • keep them in a pretty box and pull them out while you pray
  • punch a hole in them and connect them with an O ring
  • stash them in your Bible
  • store them in a dollar store photo album and flip through occasionally to pray
  • place them in a large jar and pull them out one per day
  • place them in an envelope and pull them out one per day
  • glue the heads of each person to a popscicle stick and have your kids help you pull one out each night and pray together for that person

I love the idea of saving the cards and I could really use the reminder to pray for others. So often I find myself centering on my own family or praying for others only when there is an urgent need. This one little change is making me much more mindful of my prayers.

Do you have any ideas for old Christmas cards? Or for prayer reminders?

Five Ingredient Molten Chocolate Cake


I know it’s still January and everyone is still clinging to their New Year’s resolution. But I need you to do something for me. I need you to do something for yourself.  Put down the green smoothie. It’s National Chocolate Cake Day!  Run, don’t walk, to the kitchen right now and make this cake. You will not regret it. Life is about balance.

I was scrolling through Facebook today when one of those sponsored ads came up. This one was for Blue Apron. Typically I ignore those things, but this one caught my eye. I was just thinking how I’d like to make a chocolate cake (did I mention it’s National Chocolate Cake Day?!) with my daughter. She’s three and can’t think of anything more amazing in her life than baking with her mom. I am aware this will change. But for now, I try to make the most of it. So I needed something easy and something that would not feed an army. For some strange reason my husband is totally oblivious to chocolate. He honestly could care less and I don’t understand it. Anyway, at just that moment the ad came across my newsfeed. It’s almost scary the way that happens. Oh Facebook, you are just too good. It was advertising a recipe for a Five Ingredient Molten Chocolate Cake. 

Here are the reasons why I love this cake and need to share my love of this cake for the world:

  1. It’s chocolate.
  2. Just as the name implies, the center of the cake is like runny, gooey, warm chocolate goodness. I am a lick the bowl kind of girl. The middle of this cake is lick the bowl consistency.
  3. It makes two small servings so it’s really a one shot deal for you and someone you love. It won’t totally destroy your diet because there won’t be any left to eat again tomorrow. Now, if you make it again tomorrow then I can’t be held accountable for your actions.
  4. Toppings can be choose your own adventure. There’s no icing for this cake so you can eat it plain or get creative. We topped ours with Cool Whip, blueberries, and a handful of mini chocolate chips. Raspberries would be delicious. Or ice cream!
  5. It only has five ingredients. Yes, they are not the most amazingly healthy ingredients. However, I am a big supporter of butter and if you use high quality or even dark chocolate that could step it up a notch. As I said before, life is about balance. And if the occasional small homemade chocolate cake is wrong, then I don’t want to be right.
  6. It takes five minutes to whip up the ingredients and twelve minutes to bake. Boom.

Here’s the link to the recipe. Thank me later. Or cuss me out because I ruined your sugar-free, grain-free, fun-free diet. Just know that I meant well and I’m only trying to share the love and support completely ridiculous made up national holidays.




5 Steps to Winter Exercise Motivation


Overcast sky. Drizzle. Fog. None of these things make for a very motivating weekend. When I got up today, I knew I had to find something that would get me moving. I immediately hit the internet and began searching.

How do you get yourself through the winter slump and find a reason to run? Let’s be honest, the whole “Summer bodies are made in the winter” will only carry you so far when all you really want in the world is a Snuggie and muffin.

Here are my steps to finding winter exercise motivation.

  1. Pick a really great race.  I searched for races that fit the timeline I was looking for and were located in cities I’d love to visit. I narrowed it down to something far south so I could be sure to hit that warm spring weather. Choosing a race in a spring break location lets me build a fitness goal around a vacation. More bang for your buck! So this April I’ll be chasing that sub two hour half marathon goal around the streets of Savannah Georgia!
  2. Enlist all your friends. After I chose the race, I sold it to all my friends. I called up running buddies and those that aspire to run. What better way to encourage someone to pursue their goals then by promising them you’ll suffer and celebrate together? I ended up with a great group of people to take on this adventure with me. You never know who might go all in with you if you don’t ask!
  3. Build in other fun. It doesn’t have to be all about the race. Savannah is a gorgeous city. My girlfriends and I will be running the Savannah Women’s Half Marathon, but our husbands will be coming along as support crew. Plan to take a couple extra days for the trip and you’ll have time to really bask in the glow of your accomplishments. Studies show that planning and anticipating a vacation has the same amount of stress reducing qualities as actually taking the vacation.
  4. Dig out your favorite gear. January is a great time to freshen up your running gear. Lots of stores are having sales and you may even have a little extra Christmas cash laying around. Take stock of what you have that is in good shape and make a note of what you might need to purchase to get you through your winter training. And while it’s all laid out for you to see, slip into your favorite running tights and go!
  5. Hit the road! There’s no better time to start than right now. You’ve spent all this time making plans and now you’re ready to put it into action. Get out there! If you still need a little help, Spotify has just added a great new feature. You can “Run the January Blues Away” by choosing the adaptable playlist. The app asks you to begin running and after it determines your beat per minute pace it matches you up with a playlist that will keep you steady.

What are your tips for winter motivation?

What city is THE city you’d love to run? Me? It’s Savannah- this is bucket list stuff right here!

What Do You Need to Start Over?

IMG_0313 (1)

Change is hard. You know what else is hard? When you go backwards. I mentioned recently that I was trying to get myself back on track after taking quite a break from my typically healthy lifestyle. I’ve got the green smoothies going and I’m focusing on my health, but the part I’ve been dreading is heading back to the gym.

Why? What?! Sarah, you love all things fitness and exercise! It’s what fuels you! Well, sort of. Among other things. But here it is. I have a pretty major character flaw and I’m really coming to terms with this lately.

If I don’t think I’m going to be really good at something right away, I just won’t do it.

There I said it. Something that has been a burden on me for pretty much my whole life. If I have even the slightest fear that I may fail at something, there is a pretty good chance I won’t even give it a go. In most cases I can manage this flaw, even use it to my advantage, but there are times where I am starting to see it as crippling. This was one of those times.

I like to do Crossfit and run. I like lifting really heavy things over and over. I like having the ability to use a small amount of gymnastic skill and do pretty neat stuff at the gym. I really like lifting really heavy things. But the problem with taking time off is that those skills and strengths can fade quickly if they aren’t used. When you take time off, you simply aren’t able to do what you know you could do before. And that feels like failure. So the longer I took off, the harder it was to tell myself I could do it again, and the harder it was to go back.

But in the spirit of getting myself together, I sucked it up and hit the gym today. After all, this is the place where I first learned to fight that fear of failure. This is the only place where I allow myself to try and fail and try again. This was the place I went from unable to do a sit up after my baby was born to full-blown, tough-girl pull-ups.

I wish I could tell you a story of triumph. I wish I had hopped back in there and never missed a beat. The fact is, I quit the workout halfway through after having been at it for an hour. That workout was a beast and I had dinner to cook and my kid was missing me and blah, blah, blah. The point is that today I stepped outside my comfort zone again and did something hard.

And you know what I found out?  There were a lot of people waiting there, happy to see me make a come back, cheering me on, and understanding the struggle. A friend gave me a necklace with the Southside Power and Endurace Company logo on it that she had been holding for me during my hiatus. She was hanging on to some of my other stuff for me too. She knew I’d be back, they all did.

Starting over can be just as hard as starting in the first place. But you can do it. I promise. What is it in your life that you’d like to get back to, but you’re just scared? Go for it. You’ve got this.

And if you don’t have someone waiting for you, holding your stuff, hand it over to me. We’ve got this.