sizzlefish and cooking lindsay-ish style

October 14, 2014 in BLEND 2014, Blog, Dinner, Food, Review by lindsaymwright

I gotta tell you about this fish.

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And not only because I’ve met the owner, Rob and fell in love with him and his cedar-plank salmon at Blend 2014.  And not because one of my best friends works as the Social Media Coordinator for the company.  And also not because when you go to price this fish out, you’ll find that each filet comes out to about $5 – much less than if you ordered it at a restaurant – AND that’s including the shipping cost!

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I actually really just LOVE fish.

Good fish.

And having it once a year when we’re down in Destin, Florida just isn’t enough.

Sizzlefish offers perfectly portioned, frozen seafood right to your door!  If you’re like me and live at least 7 hours away from the nearest ocean, you’ll understand the hesitation that comes with ordering fish in the mountains.  My mind just doesn’t go there.  If I saw items like “Coho Salmon” or “Sablefish” on a local eatery’s menu, I’d probably make a “ehhhhh-face” and skip right to the cheeseburger (mmmm…cheeseburger….).

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Honestly, when I received a sampler pack of some of their filets, I panicked a little. I don’t cook fish (read the paragraph above).  My friend Katie told me to do something simple.  Something Lindsay-ish, she said.  Hmmm…Lindsay-ish.

So I plopped down on the couch and googled “Crockpot Salmon.”

Yes.  Yes, I seriously did.

To my great surprise, turns out there are like 600,000+ recipes out there for cooking salmon in a crockpot.  Go figure.  I almost went there but decided not to.  This fish is special and deserves better than a 2 hour soak in that little appliance.  Chili, yes.  Coho Salmon, no.

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All I did was pull out my Calphalon sauté pan, defrost two salmon filets (10 minutes in warm water) and then pan-sear them.  Just to get a little bit fancy (and because I’m 4 and like to dip my food into sauces and stuff), I whipped up a quick dijon topping (equal parts spicy dijon mustard and plain greek yogurt).  I served it all up with a side of my spaghetti squash/hummus/spinach creation and Travis and I sat down to a meal in less than 20 minutes.  We “mmmmm-ed” and “ahhhh-ed” through each flaky bite.

I was at the beach, you guys.  Except in my pjs and at my house.

Thanks, Sizzlefish!

**For the month of October, Sizzlefish is offering $10 off all orders. Use the code “OCTBONUS” at checkout.  Shipping is included in the price!**

QUESTION:  Do you like fish?  What’s your favorite kind?

splendid…lindsay

**Disclaimer: I received this product free for review but was not compensated for my time.  All opinions are my own!**

tips for surviving your first mud run

September 22, 2014 in Blog, Goals, Inspiration, Marriage, Races, Review, Saturday Fun by lindsaymwright

Last Saturday, Travis and I ran the Building Bridges Mud Run in Waynesville, North Carolina!  We had a muddy good time!  A FIT DATE, if you will.  Before I get into my tips for surviving your first mud run (this was actually our second), I’ll review a little bit about the actual race in case anyone might want to run it next year (you shouldwith ME!).

Building Bridges Mud Run – My Thoughts

PROS:

Organization

This race was VERY well organized!  All parts, from registration to chip timing to swag bags and the finish-line organization were on point.  Since this was the inaugural year, I was very surprised with how smoothly everything ran (it’s hard planning for 300 people).  There was even a guarded place for personal belongings (which was how I was able to take some of the pictures that I got on my phone!).

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Hard obstacles

If you’re going to sign up for a mud run, you expect two things: MUD and obstacles.  Travis and I were VERY happy with the difficulty of the obstacles.  There was a good variety that challenged us in various ways.  I believe this course had 13 (?) obstacles.  My favorite? The Monkey Bars!  (even though I fell crossing them because they were SO wet…landed with a huge splash in a mud pit!)

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Finish line perks

Not only did the finish line have a fun slip n’ slide to end the course with but we were also blessed with custom soap from the Hazelwood Soap Company, free water, free bananas and complimentary towels.  Perhaps the best part: being sprayed off with the fire truck hose!  My entire bottom half was caked with mud but the fire truck hose helped take almost all of that off (which made driving home much cleaner).

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CONS:

Course Distance

We were told that the course would be 3.5 miles long.  It actually ended up being right around 2.25.  Travis didn’t mind a bit.  While the hills and obstacles made it hard, I did feel a little shorted on the distance.

Course Obstacle Clumping

Nearly all of the obstacles were clumped together in one location.  I’m sure this had something to do with the land owner (they had to create a lot of mud pits on someone’s land) so it wasn’t really a big deal.  The race would have been better had the obstacles been better dispersed throughout the run.

Those were my only two complaints!

Overall, I highly recommend any locals to run this race (the 2015 date has yet to be released).  I know that Travis and I will come back for it! Smile  A big thank you to my mother-in-law for watching the kids while we ran!

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Now for some tips on running your first mud run!  Like I said, this was actually our second mud run.  The first was the 2011 Warrior Dash in Mountain City, GA.  Travis, Katy and I ran that race and had a great time.  A mud run is simply a race (usually 5k, but there are some longer distances) that involves obstacles and a muddy course.  People usually don’t race them for time but rather come for the atmosphere and energy that surrounds the race.  They’re just REALLY fun!  Here are seven tips that you should know before getting muddy!

7 Tips for Surviving Your First Mud Run

1.  Wear TIGHT fitting clothing!

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See those sweatpants.  Don’t wear those.  Worst idea ever.

One of the first “obstacles” was fording a river.  That part was easy.  Getting out of the water and then running with super soggy, non-wicking pants was the tricky part.  It literally felt like I was wearing 20 pound ankle weights (and if calf weights were a thing…those too).  Next time I’ll wear long pants or capris that fit snuggly!  A tight fitting top would probably be best as well – you don’t want it to get snagged on anything.

2.  Wear shoes & clothes that you can throw away.

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If you’re like me, you’ll want to wear items that you can easily TRASH or DONTATE when the race is over!  Sure, you could try to clean everything off and salvage the pieces but I don’t like putting mud into the washing machine.  We went to the thrift store and spent $4 total on our race outfits.  Buy items that you won’t mind getting muddy.  Wear the oldest pair of shoes you have too– many races actually collect the used shoes at the finish line and donate them!

3.  Be prepared to get muddy.

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Seems like a no brainer since you just paid money to play in the mud but you’d be surprised how many people tried taking the “non-dirty” route through some of the obstacles or on the race path.  Travis and I laughed at the start line as people were stopping in front of us to avoid some mud puddles.  Umm….you’re about to spend 30 minutes in the mud but you’re freaking out about your shoes a minute before the gun goes off.  It was funny.  The race will be WAY better if you get as dirty as possible! Trust me!

4.  Bring a full change of clothes + a towel for the ride home!

Even if you choose to keep your muddy race clothes, you’re still going to want a fresh change of clothes for the ride home.  We traveled 45 minutes to the race and I was so thankful for a new outfit (shirt, pants, undies, bra) and a pair of flip flops for the return home.

5.  Don’t wear jewelry.

Travis’ tip.  He wore his wedding band (didn’t want the ladies to get any ideas) and it nearly fell off when it got wet and muddy.  Leave your jewelry/keys/phones at the starting line!

6.  Do it with someone!

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If you can possibly avoid it, don’t race alone!!  The best part of running over tires, jumping over hay bales and crawling through tunnels is doing it WITH someone else!  You laugh, you cry, you get mud in your eyes and then there’s someone there to wipe it out.  Since you’re not concerned with keeping a certain pace or hitting a finish time, you can have fun out there.  Do it with someone else!  <-this is my philosophy on ALL fitness but that’s a different blog post.

7.  Come up with a team name/outfit!

In the same vein, come up with a creative outfit and team name for the race!  Building Bridges actually gave away prizes for the most creative team name and the most creative costumes (we didn’t win – I’m not really sure what our costume theme was.  Maybe ”Sweatpant-astic”?!?  Yeah that works).

Like I said, we went to the thrift store in search of a costume to wear.  It was slim pickins, my friends.  I think if you lived in a larger city it would be much easier to find cohesive pieces for a team costume but all we found were ratty shirts, old pajamas and sweatpants.  We just went with it and took some scissors to everything to “customize.”  Wish I’d had a Bedazzler…..

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Our team name??

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8.  HAVE FUN!

My last and most important tip:  HAVE FUN!!  You paid money to go run in the mud.  Have fun with yourself and your team.  Be silly.  Make up a song or team chant.  Do whatever you wanna do for 3 miles.  I PROMISE – you won’t be the most obnoxious person there.

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QUESTION:  Ever done a MUD RUN???  Any tips to add??

splendid…lindsay

smart coaching with the polar FT60

September 3, 2014 in Blog, Fitfluential, Goals, Review, Workout by lindsaymwright

The following post is sponsored by Fitfluential LLC on behalf of Polar.  All opinions expressed are my own.

“I just don’t have time.”

I hear this the most. 

TIME.

We have none.

It’s probably one of the biggest hurdles we encounter when it comes to exercising.  I totally get it.  Honestly, there’s just too many things that we’ve crammed into our day and when it comes down to finally finding a few minutes for ourselves…well…the couch looks way better than the stairmaster.  I’d rather exercise than do most anything else but even I have days where the hours have slipped by and I’ve yet to get that (veryneeded) sweat in.  I’ve learned that I have to MAKE the time (actually write it in my planner)…but it isn’t always easy.

So HOW do we maximize our efforts while reducing the amount of time we spend at the gym??

I personally use three tactics:  1) utilize high intensity interval training, 2) incorporate compound movements & complexes and 3) train with numbers, which is what I want to talk about today.

I get the most bang for my workout buck when I train with numbers.  Knowing my heart rate, my distance, my rate of intensity – all of those things push me just a little harder, which maximizes what little time I have.  I was recently sent the Polar FT60 Heart Rate Monitor to test out as part of a Fitfluential campaign.  I actually already own the FT40 and LOVE that model so I was excited to upgrade.  Polar heart rate monitors are more than just a watch and a band – Polar uses what they call, “Smart Coaching” to help interpret training intensity and add more dynamic to your ho-hum heart rate monitor.

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If you’re unfamiliar with the benefits of using a heart rate monitor for training, let me key you in on some of the cool features of the Polar FT60 (this won’t be a “how to” guide for use by the way – I’m going to tell you WHY you should buy this HRM).

Some of the “Smart Coaching” features for the FT60:

I’ll break these up into THREE parts:  pre-training, intra-training and post-training.

Pre-Training:

All you have to do before you start using the FT60 is enter a few parameters:  age, height, weight.  The setup takes only a few minutes and helps with calculating the number of calories expended during a training session.

Intra-training:

  • STAR Training Program – Shows users how hard and how much they need to train to reach their long-term goals.  It’s designed to keep users motivated all week and every week by using a personal guidance program that’s no further away than their wrist.  <-I geeked out at this because it’s like having your own cheerleader/personal trainer!
  • OwnZone: Knowing the right intensity to improve fitness can be a challenge.  OwnZone adjusts a user’s heart rate training zone to perfectly match their body’s current physiological condition.  By using OwnZone, users can be sure they’re training at an intensity that improves their aerobic fitness.
  • Smart Calories:  Calculates the number of calories expended during a training session based on weight, height, age, gender, individual maximum heart rate (HRmax) and how hard a user is training.  <-far more accurate than any piece of gym equipment (most of these OVERestimate that number of calories burned).

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Post-training:

  • Training Load:  This feature within polarpersonaltrainer.com displays a color-coded graph of a user’s cumulative training load, notifying a person when he or she has recovered enough for the next session, and accurately predicting training developments to prevent overtraining.  This data also provides intelligence to modify training sessions as necessary.
  • Fitness Test:  This feature gets a measure of users’ current fitness level in just five minutes.  By regularly comparing test results, users can see what progress they are making and how their fitness is improving over time.  <-SO easy to take this test!  I’ve done it twice now.
  • Polarpersonaltrainer.com:  An online exercise journal and social sharing community that provides guidance, tracks progress and set goals.
    • Create a custom training plan or individual personalized program using the built-in planning feature
    • Join the millions of people in the Polar community with Polar Challenges – based on miles, calories and more
    • Manipulate custom reports on Training Load, training volume and intensity
    • Share your exercise, and route map with your friends on Facebook, Twitter or Google+

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After your workout is finished, you simply place the Polar FT60 on the FlowLink and all your data uploads to your computer!

A few more observations:

  • If you participate in Crossfit, group fitness classes, bootcamps or even go to the gym and zone out on the eliptical, the FT60 is a great training tool!  If you’re an outdoor runner, you may want to also purchase the G1 GPS sensor and S1 foot pod to track speed and distance.  You don’t really need these additions if you’re staying in a building.
  • The chest strap cannot transmit through a baby.  I tried to track a hike we did on Sunday and Porter’s body keep messing up the transmission from strap to wrist.  Too much blubber. Smile
  • In using this HRM, I’m again HAPPY that my mind doesn’t connect exercise and food (i.e. “I burned this many calories so I can eat this donut” or “I ate this donut so I need to burn off this many calories.”).  I’m thankful for that!!
  • You can use this watch in the POOL!  I’d be interested to see how this works.

The price point on the FT60 is $179.99.  You can purchase your own FT60 here!  BONUS –> Use the code “FitPolarFT60” and get 10% off your monitor (expires October 11, 2014!)!

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In summary, I simply don’t have the time to dedicate to exercising like I once did.  (And thank goodness!  Exercise should enrich our lives…not BE our lives.)  Training with the Polar FT60 helps me get in, do the work and get home….all while wearing a super cute purple watch.

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QUESTION:  Ever trained with a heart rate monitor?  Thoughts?  What are some of the ways you “get in and get out”?

splendid…lindsay

training fun with muscle ropes {giveaway}

August 27, 2014 in Basement WOD, Blog, Bootcamp, Giveaways, Review, Training, Workout by lindsaymwright

I received this product in exchange for a review.  All opinions are my own (and I flippin’ LOVE these ropes!).

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Muscle Ropes recently sent me a few of their battle ropes to try out.  Oh my word.  Have you ever trained with ropes before??  It’s HARD.  Like really, really hard.  Not only do you work your muscles (these things weigh anywhere from 18 to 50 pounds!!) but they also test your cardiovascular endurance.  You can hop on a set of ropes and be completely winded and red-faced in a minute flat.

The company carries various sets of ropes, each with its own purpose.  I took the Aftershock rope (best for OUTDOOR use) down to the track and tested it out during a Track Stars workout.  We did a few fun circuits and everyone got to try them.  I’ve also been using the company’s Lightning rope (a lighter rope, great for indoor and outdoor use) down in the basement.  This rope works perfectly for high intensity, high speed drills.  All you need is something to hold the middle in place (we used the chain link fence down at the track and I have a support pole downstairs) – nothing else.

Then you go to town.

I’ll admit – I watched a few videos to see what types of moves I could try out.  There are SO many ways to train with this tool – one of my favorites is a “Side Shuffle.”  You’re doing a basic “Conga Drum” while shuffling your feet quickly from side to side.  It’s a quad (and arm) killer.  Go here for a library of workouts/moves (and see some of my Fitfluential buddies)!

GIVEAWAY TIME!!!

Lucky for you, Muscle Ropes has agreed to give away one of their Lightning ropes to an LL reader!!  PLUS they’re offering a 20% OFF discount for anyone interested in purchasing!!  Just go to muscleropes.com and use the code “LINDLIST914” for 20% OFF!!!  Offer ends 9/30/14.  This giveaway will run from now through Sunday – best of luck, friends!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

splendid…lindsay

loving lately with blue diamond

August 15, 2014 in Blog, Blogging, Blue Diamond, Lists, Loving Lately, Review by lindsaymwright

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds.  All opinions are my own.

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Oh my word – I’m so happy it’s Friday.  We’ve got a big weekend planned around here (Clara turns 4!).

I’m back with another edition of “Loving Lately!”  These are some of my favorite posts because I get to share a few of my latest finds.  When I see these on other blogs, I love reading about what everyone suggests.  It’s probably my number one place for getting ideas about where to spend my money/what to watch/what to wear/etc.

Here’s what I’m loving lately:

1.  The mere thought of FALL!

Fall has always been my very favorite season.  The crisp air, the changing of the leaves, the seasonal FOOD (pumpkin spice in everything…candy corn…oh yes!)!  I have big plans for all the fun Fall activities that I want to do.  One that I know of right off hand is a corn maze that our co-op is going to.  I’m probably more excited about that than the kids are…mostly because they haven’t a clue what I’m talking about when I say we’re going to meander through endless corn and find our way to the middle.

2.  This lotion.

Seriously.  If you’re in need of a new body lotion, try the Organix Moroccan Argan Oil.  It’s not too heavy (IMO) and the smell is WONDERFUL!!  (I also love their shampoo and conditioner.  I also hear they make BODY WASH, but haven’t gotten my hands on that yet.)

3.  Running!

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I signed Travis and I up for a mud run in mid-September (more news on that to come) so I figure I need to amp up my running game.  I go in and out of phases where I really, really love it and then I really, really don’t.  Right now, I’m loving the feeling of getting out there first thing (after Porter’s nursed – the boobs need to be scaled down a bit before any running happens) and getting some miles under me.  Travis absolutely HATES running so this will be a fun little adventure for us.

I actually need to buy some new running shoes – any suggestions?

4.  The Ibotta App!

If you’ve read my Couponing 101 post, you’ve heard about how amazing this smartphone app is!  Ibotta is an online couponing app that helps you save money.  In order to earn coupons, you take quizzes (like 1 second quizzes…nothing crazy), share on FB or Twitter, take a poll, etc.  Then you go to the store, buy and pay for the product and then take a picture of your store receipt (proving that you did indeed purchase the item).  All coupon money goes into your main account and you can cash it out at any time – transfering it to your Paypal account or purchasing a gift card (Starbucks, Whole Foods, ITunes, etc).  I’ve been using it for about a year and have $69.25 in my account – not too much but it’s something!  I’m not affiliated with them in any way – just really love this app!

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The best part is that you can layer regular coupons with Ibotta coupons.  I saved a total of $1.55 yesterday on these Laughing Cow wedges, making them 95 cents!

5.  New SNACKS!

As you guys know, I’m part of the Blue Diamond Tastemakers program . We recently received their two new flavors: Honey Roasted Chipotle and Honey Roasted Almond.

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My oh my – these are GOOD.  I haven’t met a Blue Diamond flavor that I didn’t enjoy, but these just take it to another level!  I brought them to the pool as a snack (for myself) and the kids gobbled them up fast.

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According to the company website, they also came out with nut thins and almond milk, all within the “honey” theme!  Read more about it here!  Oooooo…I can’t wait to try the honey almond milk out!

6.  My sister!

Lastly, I flippin’ love my sister.  Not only did she subconsciously make her body go into labor on the same day as me (resulting in two adorable cousins that share a special birthday) but she also just bought me a BOSU for my birthday!!!!

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Perfect for our home gym!!

In all seriousness, I’m going to cry when she goes back to work next Monday (she’s a teacher).   We’ve seen each other almost every single day since April 14th and I’ve been spoiled with her company.  We’ve always been pretty close, but having babies together just took it to a whole different level. I love you, Kate.

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For more Loving Lately posts, go here and here (pregnancy edition) and here.

QUESTION:  What’s one thing you’re LOVING LATELY??

splendid…lindsay

tips for saving time in the kitchen

August 14, 2014 in Blog, Breakfast, Dinner, Family, Favorites, Food, Lunch, Review by lindsaymwright

**I was sent free product by Flapjacked Protein Pancakes in exchange for this review.  All opinions are my own and I have/will used my own money to purchase this product before!**

We’ve all been there.

You open the fridge and there’s absolutely nothing to eat.  Or rather, there’s a yogurt, two sticks of celery, deli meat and a hunk of cheese that you vaguely remember buying last week.  Or was it last month.  Just scrape the mold off.  Cheese is supposed to be moldy and stinky.  I’ve been fortunate enough to have some freezer meals tucked away from after Porter’s birth (thanks to our church family!!!) but for the most part I still have to prepare food, three times a day, seven days a week, for this family of five.

Meh.

I want to like being in the kitchen.  I want to like preparing meals.  But I just don’t.  I don’t have that part of homemaking in me.  Luckily my clan is easy to satisfy: cereal for dinner (and lunch…and breakfast), casseroles, crockpot dishes, mac n’ cheese and microwave quesadillas.  Those are our “go-to’s.”

(Yes.  I said microwave quesadillas.)

Since I’ve yet to find a personal chef that will cook in return for a smile and one of Clara’s crayon drawings, I have to get myself in the kitchen and feed this family.  Here are some of my “go-to” tips for saving time in the kitchen.  SUPER applicable coming from the laziest mama around.

Tips for Saving Time in the Kitchen

1.  Prepare lean proteins in advance!

In an effort to eat healthy, we always buy a large pack of chicken breasts and grill them at the start of the week.  Money saving tip: buy the largest pack you can find (on sale) and then cut off the skin and de-bone at home.  You’ll save quite a bit of money over time and it doesn’t take that long.  I even use kitchen shears to cut the chicken into long, tenderloin-type strips so that they grill faster!  Once cooked, we store the chicken in the fridge for up to 3-4 days and incorporate them into our meals!  Thirty minutes to prep your meats will save you a lot of time during the week.

Other lean proteins that pair easily with steamed veggies or on a big salad:  baked/grilled turkey breast, hard-boiled eggs, diced honey baked ham.

2.  Aluminum foil is your friend!

In order to save time scrubbing grease and cooked-on particles from your baking dishes, line everything with aluminum foil.  Once your dish is cooked, you simply throw out the aluminum foil – no elbow grease required.  I also buy crockpot liners that function in the same manor.  (Coupons.com almost always has a $.75 coupon for Reynold’s wrap foil!)  Who wants to be stuck scrubbing dishes?!   Not I.

3.  Pre-cut your fruits and vegetables.

Whenever I prepare our grilled chicken for the week, I also take the time to cut up broccoli, cauliflower and carrots (we go through SO many carrots!).  I also make a large bowl of fruit salad (cantaloupe, peaches, blueberries and cherries are in our fridge now).  When healthy items like these are prepped (and put at an easy level for the kids to grab), we gobble them up much faster.

4.  Make breakfasts EASY!!

My last tip:  prep your breakfasts!  If there’s one meal that I rarely have time to cook, it’s breakfast!  This often results in us having cereal, but I’m really trying to mix things up and provide a little more protein at this meal.  That’s where Flapjacked Protein Pancakes help out!  With this easy to make (seriously, all you need is water), high protein, high fiber option, I can create a large batch at the start of the week and FREEZE them in ziplock bags!  I just pop a few in the microwave and serve them up!

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We like to add blueberries or chopped bananas and strawberries to the mix and then top them with almond butter and maple syrup.  I think the one thing I like the best is that after I eat these protein pancakes, I don’t feel like there’s a big glob of dough in the bottom of my belly – they’re light!!  One serving has just 200 calories and 17 grams of protein!  Waaaaaay better than a bowl of cereal.

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Flapjacked is having a BACK TO SCHOOL SALE (starting today and running through the 17th).  Take 20% off your total order by using the promo code: BACKTOSCHOOL!

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Go here to buy! You can also stay current with later sales by following them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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QUESTION:  What are some of YOUR tips for saving time in the kitchen?  (seriously – I’ll take any advice you can throw my way!)

splendid…lindsay