Cinnamon Bun, 5 Minute, High Protein Mug Cake

Mug Cake Monday again!

Today we have a high protein, 5-minute cinnamon bun mug cake.

China-bun Mug Cake

5 minute, high protein, cinnamon bun mug cake!

Just like last week’s mug cake, this baby can be made in the microwave in just over a minute and they are a great pre workout meal. (If you missed last weeks, we had a double chocolate peanut butter one you can go check out here.)

I am a big advocate for fueling your workout. Optimally, 1-2 hours before your workout you should have a meal that consists of carbs and protein.  In most cases 25-50 grams of carbs, 15-30 grams of protein and less then 10 grams of fat. This mug cake fits the bill.  Plus, it is freaking delicious.

This mug cake has 14 grams of protein, for those who need more pre workout, a scrambled egg white or a glass of skim milk is a perfect accompaniment.

By supplying your body with fuel before your workout, you are more likely to work out harder and in turn get a better workout, than if you were to do it fasted.  Multiple studies have shown there is no great benefit to fasted training. [1][2]

Again, I used Kodiak Cakes power cake mix since it is higher in protein.  You can use any pancakes mix that you want, just know it will alter the nutritional breakdown.  I have even made these with Enjoy Life’s allergy free pancake mix and they came out great.

5 min Cinnamon Bun Mug Cake

Cooking spray

½ cup Kodiak power cake mix

1 tsp coconut sugar (any sweetener of choice will work here)

½ tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp salt

1 tsp melted coconut oil

¼ cup cashew milk (and dairy like beverage would work)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp coconut sugar

½ tsp cinnamon

 

  1. Generously spray the insides of a large microwave safe mug with cooking spray.
  2. Mix in pancake mix, 1 tsp sugar, ½ tsp cinnamon, and salt.
  3. In separate microwave safe cup mix milk, oil and vanilla. Heat in microwave till coconut is melted.
  4. Add the liquids with dry ingredients. Gently mix till just combined, making sure in mix in all the dry power off the bottom of the mug but do over stir!
  5. Top with additional cinnamon and sugar and cut in with a knife.
  6. Microwave at 75% power for 90 seconds.
  7. Let stand for 1 min, then enjoy!

 

Nutrition for one mug cake:  275 calories 41 carbs 8 fat and 14 protein

 

Works Cited

[1]Paoli A1, M. G. (2011). Exercising fasting or fed to enhance fat loss? Influence of food intake on respiratory ratio and excess postexercise oxygen consumption after a bout of endurance training. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab, 48-54.

[2]Schoenfeld B., A. A. (2014). Body composition changes associated with fasted versus non-fasted aerobic exercise. J Int Soc Sports Nutr, 54.

5 Minute, High protein Cinnamon BunMug Cake

 

Raising Healthy Eaters

Lately, I have been having a lot of people tell me that their children are the reason that they cannot eat healthy.  “I can’t eat that because my child won’t eat it” or “My children have to have the goldfish. And I just can’t control myself when those snacks are in the house”.  Part of our jobs as parents is to help our children become healthy eaters. Having two picky eaters myself, I know how unbelievably frustrating it can be to get them to eat healthy.  Now, while we cannot make our children be healthy eaters, but we can help them learn to make healthy decisions. Instead of letting our children keep the whole family from eating healthy, let’s make this a family affair and work on eating healthy together. Below are some tips for encouraging your kids to make better food choices and in turn eat better yourself.

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No Clean Plate Club

First off, absolutely DO NOT make your children finish their plate. I know how tempting it is to tell them they need to eat all their food, especially when you just spent the last hour making it.    When we force a child to finish their plate, however, they do not learn proper self-restraint around food. Researchers found preschoolers, whose parents forced them to clean their plates, did not learn self-control of food amounts.  One study showed that children who had been made to clean their plate at home, would request twice the amount of food when away from home.[1]  Trying to use force to get kids to do things sets us up for a power struggle. The last thing you want is to be part of a bartering match at the dinner table.  Anyone who has attempted to barter with a child knows it’s hard to win.  Instead, ask them to check in with themselves while reminding them once this meal is over, there will not be food again till the next snack or meal time.  For a younger child you might ask “Check in with your tummy.  Is it full? Remember once breakfast is over, we won’t have food again till we get home from the library.” They may get it wrong sometimes and not eat enough, but that is ok. That is how they will learn their own internal fullness cues.

No Bribes.

Do not use food bribes to get your child to eat other food.  None of the “I’ll give you dessert/ fruit if you eat all your whatever it is that you clearly don’t want to eat.” Instead just encourage them to taste the offending food.  Explain they do not have to eat it; they just have to taste it.  For young children you can ask them to lick or kiss the broccoli (or whatever the offending object might be).  Generally, the sillier you make it, they more likely they will give it a go. The more exposure they get to different foods (even ones they do not like now) the more likely they are to eat them later on.

Things do taste different to them.

Ever wondered why things you hated as a kid you like now?  Things really do taste different to children.  Children can have up to two times more taste buds then adults. This makes food taste stronger to them. Keep this in mind when you are flabbergasted that they don’t like your delicious dinner.  So be respectful, encourage them to taste it and leave it at that. Just because they do not like something now, doesn’t mean they will always dislike it. Keep offering the offending foods and one day you may be surprised.

Offer something they do like.

When you plan dinner, make sure it has at least 1 thing that everyone likes.  Include one food option that you know each child will eat. That might mean there is chicken for Betty, sweet potatoes for Sam, and peas for George, or whatever the dynamic in your house is. In our house this means there is always sweet potato or white potato, plain meat, a bland veggie and plenty of ketchup. Worst case scenario, there is at least one thing for each of them and everyone will eat something even if it isn’t the balanced perfect meal you envisioned. Remember though, keep offering different foods.  If they hate broccoli now, do not quit offering broccoli.  A lot of children do not like to try new or unfamiliar foods.  (Which is good thing, anthropomorphically it kept us surviving as a species. Imagine if our early ancestors’ children ate anything and everything they came across? Poisonous berries or mushrooms? Uncooked meat?) Kid’s preferences can change.  Just because they don’t like something today doesn’t mean they will continue to dislike it down the road. My kids commonly go through an “only meat phase”, or the ever painful “it has to be orange phase”, but these phases pass and they move on (sometimes to an even more annoying phase).  Just no fuss when they do turn up their nose at something, which is difficult when you just spent all afternoon making what was once their favorite food.

The Snack time hold out.

Some kids will learn that they are given more exciting foods at snack time and will hold out for them.  Ever notice your kid is never hungry at mealtimes but when snack time come around they can pack it away? The easiest fix for this? Get rid of the snacks. This is especially key if your child’s snacks are a trigger food for you.  (A trigger food is a food that you have a hard time controlling yourself around.) For the snack time, you can try offering what was left over from the prior meal. When they don’t finish a meal wrap it up and put it aside.  When “snack time” rolls around, offer them the previous meal.  Only do this, however, if you know the meal offered was something they like. You don’t want to try and trick your kids into eating foods they don’t like.

Kids will not starve themselves.

Studies show anywhere for 10 to 50% of parents believe their child is a picky eater, however majority of those children continue to grow and mature at a normal rate.[2] If, however you are worried there are red flags, go meet with your pediatrician express your concerns and have them show you your child’s growth curve.  Most likely your Dr. will reassure you that your child is still growing ok.

Keep them involved

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A brave shopping trip with my youngest and the “cart of doom”.

Let the kids help pick out the meals.  Ask them if they have any requests for meals. Then let them help make the meal.  They can assist you in finding the ingredients at the grocery store. I know, shopping with kids is a nightmare, so you might as well give them a job to do and keep them occupied. If you are feeling really patient, let they use those miniature kid carts (or as I call them the “the miniature carts of doom”) Also, let them assist in preparing the meal.  Depending on the age they can help up put together a salad, stir, add ingredients to a pan or bowl, or even start chopping food. Not only will they enjoy spending time with you, but they also are more likely to try the foods if they had a hand at helping to make them. Just stock up on a lot of paper towels and have the broom nearby.

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My kids helping make a salad for dinner.  They didn’t eat it much of it, but they tasted it.

Don’t let them see you sweat.

While they can’t really smell fear (or can they? Mine seem like they pick up on my apprehension quickly) they are watching us like a hawk. Children learn from observing us. They learn how much to eat, what to eat, if they should try new foods, and how fast they should eat.  Make sure you are setting the best example you can.

Food is not love.

Feeding our children is nurturing act, and the line between food and love can get blurred.  Sometimes, parents give children extra food and treats in order to obtain affection.  You may also see this when extended relatives, like Grandparents, visit. This can lead to a very unhealthy relationship with food. Both the child and the parent can become dependent on this relationship of giving extra food and treats to get more affection. Love is love. Food is not. Use empathy and affection to show love, not food and treats.

Healthy eating is a lifestyle not a diet. By involving the whole family everyone is more likely to succeed in the long run. Not only will you raise healthy eaters but you will maintain your goal of living a healthier lifestyle.  Plus, you are setting up your child with important food skills that will last them a lifetime. By involving everyone in the planning and prep, by not pushing or bribing, by respecting taste differences and offering different foods you are setting your children up with a lifetime of healthy habits.  When the whole family is on a mission together everyone is more likely to succeed.  It won’t always be easy, but really what about parenting is easy?

References

[1] Brian Wansink, P., Collin Payne, P., & Carolina Werle, P. (2008). Consequences of Belonging to the “Clean Plate Club”. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med., 162(10):, 994-995.

Brown CL, P. M. (2016, Nov – Dec;). Maternal Concern for Child Undereating. Acad Pediatr., 777-782.

Christina Ong, K. Y. (2014, April). Managing the ‘picky eater’ dilemma. Singapore Med J.(55(4)), 184–190.

Robert A. Pretlow, R. J. (Br J Nutr., September). Similarities between obesity in pets and children: the addiction model. Br J Nutr., 116(5): , 944–949.

[2] Wright CM, P. K. (2007, october). How do toddler eating problems relate to their eating behavior, food preferences, and growth? 120(4, 1069-75.

Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa and Turkey

The standard rice in this dish is replaced with the superfood quinoa.  While we eat quinoa like a grain it really is a seed. It is closely related to beets and spinach. Keep in mind it is covered in a bitter substance called saponins, so when you prep it make sure when you give a good rinse it first. Quinoa is naturally gluten free and decent source of protein, calcium, potassium, zinc, iron and vitamin E, hence why it gets to be called a superfood.

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Superfood Quinoa

By dicing the veggies small they are less likely to be picked out or noticed by the pickier eaters.  Keep in mind, though, bell peppers are a strong flavor and young palates may not eat them.  But that is ok, there are still 2 servings of vegetables hiding on the inside.  If you or any of your eater do not like feta you can leave it out completely, or just sprinkle it on top of some of the peppers.

You can make this dish any time of year, but it is fun to turn them into pepper-o-lanterns around Halloween! If you do carve them, do it before you stuff them and keep the oepenings small.  You may want to plan some extra time to make this; it takes about 30 minutes to prep and then another 30 in the oven.  (You can prep it ahead of time, and throw it in the oven at later point.  Just note it may need a little extra cook time if the peppers are cold from the refrigerator.)

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Stuffed Pepper-O-Lantern!

Stuffed peppers with Turkey and Quinoa

½ cup quinoa

1 cup chicken broth

6 bell peppers (any color you prefer)

1 Tb olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 small onion, chopped

1 small zucchini, diced

1 lb ground turkey.

2 tb Worcestershire sauce

½ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

1 can fire roasted crushed tomatoes

1 Tb fresh oregano chopped

3 oz feta crumbled

Heat oven to 350. Combine quinoa and chicken broth in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce and simmer for 15 minutes.  Quinoa is cooked once all the liquid is absorbed and they looked unwound.

Cut the tops of the peppers and set them aside. Remove the seeds and any white ribbing inside (If you are carving them, do that now.  Keep the openings small, you don’t want all the insides to fall out when cooking). Place peppers in a baking dish.  Discard the stems from the peppers tops and dice.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. When hot, add garlic, onion chopped pepper tops, and zucchini. Cook till soft about 10 minutes.

Add turkey, Worcestershire, salt and pepper. Cook until meat is browned, about 8 minutes.  Add tomatoes and oregano.  Stir in quinoa and half the feta (if mixing inside the peppers.  If you have picky eaters, skip this and just top some of the peppers with it)

Fill peppers with meat mixture, and top with feta.  Cook for 30 minutes. Makes 6 servings.

 

Nutrition for one pepper: 291 calories, 12 grams fat, 24 carbs, 21 protein