Breakfast burrito recipe swap

I’ll be the first to tell you I’m no recipe whiz. I consider myself more of an assembler of food more than a cook. Occasionally I’m a baker, too, but that seems to be a whole different category of making.

Every year, it seems like, my goal is to improve my kitchen skills, introduce a few new recipes into my highly limited repertoire, and also get better at meal planning and prepping. The results have been middling.

So, when we decided to do a community recipe swap presented by Eggland’s Best eggs, I gamely signed up, knowing that participating would be just the accountability I needed to inch myself closer to those goals. I got paired up with Sara from Nymph in the Woods, an amazing blogger, jewelry designer, and human being, who I had the pleasure of meeting at BlogFest last year. <3

Sara sent me exactly what I needed (she’s clearly psychic): a not-too-complicated recipe chock full of protein that also nets you a ton of freezer meals.

Her recipe for breakfast burritos is here. I mostly stuck to it, with a few edits: this being Texas, I made tacos instead of burritos, because I don’t think I’ve even seen burrito-size tortillas here. I also had to halve the recipe, more or less, because I didn’t realize until midway through that there was no way my largest pan could accommodate 24 eggs. I did, however, use 100% of the cheese the original recipe called for. 🙂

It’s an easy recipe that yields a ton of returns: you do a bunch of chopping, cook the egg mixture with all the delicious fillings you desire, including sausage, peppers, onions, cheese, and salsa, and then wrap and freeze burritos / tacos to your heart’s content.

I used this kitchen adventure as an excuse to test out some of my new food photography skills (here’s the free course I took).

My biggest challenge with food photography is lighting. My kitchen lighting is, well, just plain awful. Look at what should be a bright, fresh pan full of bell peppers and onions, made sickly and fuzzy in the fluorescent light:

egglands best

Don’t let the lighting fool you: these nutrient-rich Eggland’s Best yolks are vibrant and beautiful!

I’ll spare you other pictures of the prep work; the food and recipe are beautiful, and my kitchen lights do not do them justice!

Once my burritos were prepped, I staged a few on our patio where I could at least get some natural light and a non-shiny background:

I’m still no professional but at least the lighting is much improved.

Sara recommends letting the whole mixture cool before you wrap and freeze, so during that downtime, I served my family breakfast. They were a hit! Everyone from my parents (especially my dad) to my 2-year-old loved them.

breakfast taco recipe

And since we were eating them fresh, we added some avocado we had on hand. Big bonus: the avocado added some extra color for photos.

Once the mixture cooled, I started wrapping them… and promptly got fired from the job. My dad said, you know, I could do that better. And I was all too happy to let him finish wrapping up and freezing tacos. 🙂

Even after halving the recipe and feeding 5 people breakfast, I still ended up with about 15 tacos in my freezer—a pretty amazing return for just an hour or so of work. I’ll definitely be making these again, and experimenting with fillings; it seems so easy to customize the recipe based on what you have on hand.  I think I’ll definitely make a batch or four of these before the baby comes—what a perfect breakfast to have on hand.

Thanks, Sara, for this delicious kitchen adventure, and Eggland’s Best, for encouraging the community to connect this way! 🙂

 

How to get protein when you have meat aversions

How do you get enough protein when you don’t eat meat?

This is a question our vegetarian and vegan friends get asked all the damn time, and I don’t know a single plant-based person who isn’t sick to death of explaining quinoa and lentils to curious carnivores deprived of access to common sense or Google.

When you’re pregnant and not eating meat—whether by choice or because of extreme aversions to flesh in all forms— it’s the same story, only with a few fun twists.

First, everyone and their unqualified coworker cares about what you put in your mouth, like all of a sudden when you became a vessel for new life you became public property to be fondled and judged indiscriminately for all of your choices.

Second, there are professionals asking you how you’re doing, diet-wise, on a near weekly basis, and in my experience most of them have extremely high standards for the amount of protein they want you consuming. I’ve heard quotas between 80-100 grams of protein per day while pregnant. As a point of reference, that’s:

  • 13-16 eggs (6g per egg)
  • 6-8 cups of black beans (12g per cup)
  • 10-12 cups of quinoa (8g per cup)
  • 4-5 scoops of protein powder (20g per scoop)

In other words, A LOT OF FOOD.

Third, if you have meat aversions or are experiencing pregnancy nausea, you probably also hate quinoa and eggs and black beans and other typical, healthy, non-meat sources of protein.

What’s a well-meaning, potato-chip craving pregnant woman to do? (Besides, of course, posting pictures of beautiful salads you’ll never eat to Instagram to prove what a #fitpregnancy you’re having. All’s fair when you’re cooking a human, folks).

I’ve spent quite a bit of time trying to crack this code, mostly so I could get back to my potato chips without further interruptions. Here are my four ninja ways to get protein into the kinds of foods you’re likely willing to eat, especially during nausea-time.

Sorry, plant-based friends, these involve sneaky animal products; you’re on your own for getting up to that 80-100g threshold.

This seems like a good time to insert my eternal disclaimer: I am not qualified to tell you how to be healthy, during pregnancy or not during pregnancy. Ask someone who is. 

Add collagen to your beverages

Whatever it is you’re drinking, add collagen. I find it works really well in lemonade and limeade (two drinks I could reliably stomach during first trimester). There’s no flavor change, and you turn your empty-calorie drink into 11 grams of protein.

how to get more protein when you have pregnancy meat aversions

Now that I’m able to drink coffee again, I have been adding collagen into my coffee, and that is similarly tasteless and effortless and also makes my hair ah-mazing.

how to get protein when you have pregnancy meat aversions

If you’re getting most of your hydration from non-water sources (I certainly was during first trimester, when water was right up there with raw chicken) you could easily hit your 80-100g goal on just boosted beverages alone.

Progress toward your goal: 10% for each drink.

Cook your rice in bone broth

There was a period of time when steamed white rice and soy sauce was all I could muster, and it drove my husband crazy that our baby’s earliest development was fueled by nutritionally vacant calories and sodium.

I called it survival.

We compromised: he made me rice in bone broth, and as long as I didn’t witness it, I could douse that rice in enough soy sauce that I never knew the difference. Based on my casual googling, I *think* a cup of rice cooked in bone broth has ~9g of protein. That’s about twice what you’ll get from rice cooked in water.

Progress toward your goal: 9%

Whip some collagen into your cream cheese or potato soup or other white semi-solid food

My first pregnancy, bagels and cream cheese were my jam. During the first few weeks of my second pregnancy, I only ate potato soup. Specifically, this potato soup:

how to get protein during pregnancy meat aversions

Needless to say both foods are on my no-fly list now, but they are both excellent vehicles for a dose of collagen. Just stir or mix a scoop, or a handy travel pack, into whatever soup or spread you’re able to stomach, and boost the protein by 11g.

It also works great in yogurt, if you’re into that.

Progress toward your goal: 10% for each boosted white food

Make homemade gummies, or get someone to make you some

Photo: Fitful Focus

Sour or gummy candy was surprisingly helpful for me with managing nausea, especially on the go; even just a quick sugar boost or something to suck on would get me through some rough moments. There are tons of easy, DIY home-made gummy candy recipes out there on the internet; this one from Nicole looks especially delicious. And because they include gelatin, they have protein in them!

Progress toward your goal: 5% for ~15 gummies (not much, but hey, candy)

 

And there you have it. If you strategically combine these tactics over the course of the day, you can get away with eating whatever you can keep down, and also supplying your baby with the amount of protein your caregivers recommend. Plus, of course, all of the other health benefits of collagen, gelatin, and bone broth: healthier and stronger skin and nails, healthier and more flexible joints, and improved athletic performance. Those are all major side benefits to the very basic goal of getting enough protein, especially during a time in your life when your rapidly changing body seems to serve up fresh surprises and betrayals with every new day.

I will say, too, that my sudden reliance on collagen for protein has my skin and hair looking radiant. Especially for winter.

If you’re ready to hop on the collagen wagon, you can save 20% at Great Lakes Gelatin with the code GLGLife20, valid until 3/15/18.

This post is sponsored by Great Lakes Gelatin in partnership with Fit Approach and the #SweatPink community. All opinions are my own. I so appreciate your support of the brands who partner with my first baby, Fit Approach. Thank you. <3 

Is your refrigerator running?

You know what’s super fun to come home to after a week away? A dead refrigerator.

You know what ups the fun factor even more? You have to wait 5 days for the repair person to even show up.

And then … everyone’s just a little sniffly and hoarse. My baby sounds like she’s spent her entire life on two packs a day. We could all use a little TLC and a lot of Vitamin C.

We stocked our cooler with a few essentials (milk, beer) and are otherwise making it work with takeout, non-perishables, and the (occasionally mysterious) contents of our freezer, which, praise be, is still functioning.

It turned out this was the perfect time to really commit to a new, not mysterious section of my freezer: my Daily Harvest meals. We’d received them shortly before we left town, and I tetris-ed them into the freezer and quickly got distracted by downloading every Daniel Tiger episode I could find, in the misguided hopes it would keep my tiny adventurer occupied on the flight.

The smoothies are the perfect complement (alternative?) to takeout pizza and breakfast tacos, because, hello, nutrition. I gravitated first to the Mango + Camu smoothie (immunity! That’s exactly what we need!), and whipped it up so we could all try and partake.

It’s so easy. SO, so easy. I’m a big fan of the easy part. Also, tons of ingredients that I would either buy a big thing of and then only use once and lose at the back of my pantry and have to toss years later when I rediscovered them, or that I didn’t know existed (I’m looking at you, camu).

Look how pretty – green confetti!

You either dump the smoothie back into the cup, which has an integrated straw hole (genius, I’m telling you, genius) or pour it into a wine glass because everything tastes better in a stemless.

I liked it. Mac liked it.

My husband drank most of it. That’s a big fat endorsement from someone who is still convinced that french fries are vegetables.

Another crowd pleaser was the Pumpkin Overnight Oats, and by crowd, I mean Mac: she destroyed that bowl of oatmeal.

I’ll be honest, it wasn’t my thing, but I am chronically boring when it comes to oatmeal. I like it with some almond butter and nothing else. Maybe some hemp hearts if I’m feeling wild that morning. But, objectively, the pumpkin overnight oats were really good. If you are a normal human and enjoy healthy, delicious flavors in your oatmeal, you will like these.

My favorite smoothie so far is the Blueberry + Hemp one. What can I say, I’m a berry kind of gal.

 

Also, they manage to incorporate kale + spinach without it tasting yucky. That’s a good recipe right there!

Want to try Daily Harvest for yourself? They were kind enough to give me a code to share with y’all: FitApproach will get you THREE free cups!

It’s good, y’all. A great way to (easily!!) spice up your meals, even if your refrigerator needs chasing. 😉

I got to try Daily Harvest for free! #ILoveMyJob . All opinions are my own. If you try it for yourself, I hope you’ll let me know your opinions, too. 🙂 

 

A decadent holiday

Whew. You guys. I’m still coming down from a really lovely, relaxing Thanksgiving. This one was so different from years’ past, when Nathan and I hosted (and he cooked) the whole shebang. This year, we teamed up with my parents for a simpler version. We made things easy by transforming the day from a one-chef show into a potluck, switching to a smoked turkey (just heat’n’serve, peeps!), and organizing an unofficial Turkey Trot.

turkey trot thanksgiving 2016

No parking hassles, no crowds, just our little gang of runners out on a crisp, clear morning by the lake.

2016-11-23-06-50-54

After our Turkey Trot, we had everyone come back to my parents’ house for a simple breakfast. We made challah toast drizzled with sweetened condensed milk (sounds odd; tastes heavenly).

sliced challah loaf

Coffee. Mimosas. And, my special Toffee Smoothie.

toffee smoothie designer protein

You see, every year, for as long as I can remember, my mom has made English Toffee for the holidays. I LOVE that stuff. I could eat it all day long.

english toffee

Of course, now that I’m no longer 10 years old with a hardy stomach, I hurt myself if I eat it all day long. So I decided to bring those flavors into something that wouldn’t kill me with sugar overload, but would also help me feel like I was indulging in more toffee. TOFFEE ALL THE TIME TOFFEE.

2016-11-23-11-15-31

I whipped up a decadent smoothie with my Designer Protein Gourmet Chocolate Whey, and was kind enough to share it with my fellow turkey trotters. Sharing was not easy, friends. I had to muster all my holiday generosity to not down the entire blender’s worth myself.

designer protein

CHOCOLATE ALMOND TOFFEE SMOOTHIE RECIPE: 

  • 1 scoop Designer Protein Gourmet Chocolate Whey
  • 1/2 cup yogurt, or 1/2 banana (I’m not a banana person, but that will also give this a creamy texture)
  • 1 spoonful of almond butter
  • Optional: dash of cold brew coffee
  • 1 cup liquid (milk of any kind, water, whatever floats your boat)
  • Handful of ice
  • Top with: whipped cream, toffee crumbles

 

designer protein gourmet chocolate whey

One of the great things about this recipe is that it uses all those almonds and chocolate chunks that fall off the toffee and can sometimes go to waste. We usually save those crumbles as ice cream toppers; they also (surprise!) make amazing smoothie toppers.

This Thanksgiving was exactly what the doctor ordered. What with our current chronic sleep deprivation and general fatigue, keeping it simple was just the thing. Even when we have this whole baby parenting / sleeping through the night thing figured out, I think we’ll stick to this lower stress version of the holiday.

Make it yourself:

Amazing discounts below. I couldn’t recommend the Gourmet Chocolate Whey highly enough; it’s got a nice creamy milk chocolate-y taste, has none of those downsides you usually associate with protein powders: it has a smooth texture, no weird aftertaste, and, BONUS, it’s really light on calories for the amount of protein you get.

  • Designer Protein is offering 30% off everything at DesignerProtein.com with the code SWEATPINK30
  • AND, check out their Facebook page for 12 days of giving, going on through 12/6/16. Each day, they have a special promotion, and 12% of proceeds will go to the San Diego Food Bank to help feed the homeless during the holidays.

A day in the life, Tahoe edition

sweat pink sparkling detox

If you follow me on insta (@alysemb), you’ve probably seen that we’ve been spending quite a bit of this summer in Tahoe. It’s our way of escaping the Texas humidity—we Californians are just not cut out for that kind of heat—and also getting to spend some time much, much closer to family and friends.

weird workout prana

My husband and I are so, so fortunate that we can both work remotely and swing our Escape-From-Austin-in-August plan. And we’ve done our best to make sure that our summer takes full advantage of all the beautiful nature around us.

Here’s what a day in the life typically looks like:

5:30am-ish: Mackenzie wakes up for the day. I hit the baby version of snooze (give her one of the many toys floating around our bed) and let her talk to it as long as possible while I resist actually waking up. I surreptitiously check my email on my phone and respond to anything that came in overnight.

mac chewing on coaster

6am: Playtime! She chews on various things, such as a sweat pink trucker hat, or one of her books. I down coffee, water, and sneak a few bites of breakfast.

sparklingdetox

Once I’m a functional human, I put her in her carrier so we can do dishes or laundry, and take a walk down to the lake so she can talk to the waves and the trees.

sweat pink sparklingdetox

7:30am: on a good day, it’s nap time.

On a normal day, she’s convinced that only babies need to nap, and she is definitely NOT a baby. We keep playing.

Yes, that is a dog toy in her mouth. It's for the immunity, people.
Yes, that is a dog toy in her mouth. It’s for the immunity, people.

8am-1pm: Mac hangs out with the babysitter and I power through work, with intermittent nursing breaks.

1pm: Gather up ALL the things you need to leave the house with a baby. Restock the diaper bag. Change her diaper and clothes. Stagger out to the car with baby items dangling precipitously from every part of my body, only to realize my keys are nowhere to be found.

Wait, where do you put the baby, again?
Wait, where do you put the baby, again?

1:30pm: Successfully in the car! Nathan, Mac, and I head out for a hike or other outdoor activity. While Nathan drives, I alternate between entertaining the baby and secretly answering emails on my phone.

We aim for at least one new spot a week, and rotate in our favorites on other days. That’s one silver lining to being dog-free right now: there is a whole new world of dog-unfriendly trails to explore.

hiking gerolsteiner

Mac loves hiking in the ergo, most days. She gets a ton of attention on the trail, and she loves talking to the trees. It’s the most reliable way to get her to take a  nap, too!

It’s so dry up here that I drink a ridiculous amount of water every time we so much as step out the door. Hydration is my constant goal.

sparkling detox

4:30pm: Back home, dusty and thirsty and hot. I convince Nathan to hang out with the baby so I can jump in the lake.

prana wetsuit tahoe

It’s like an instant refresh button. Oh, and more hydration.

gerolsteiner kayak

Hydrate hydrate hydrate!

gerolsteiner lake

5:30pm: (Because, yes, life after baby is not so different from life as a senior citizen.): Attempt to eat dinner.

mac nathan drinking

That means one of us shovels food in our mouth while the other distracts the baby, and then we trade places.

Do I have yogurt on my face?
Do I have yogurt on my face?

5:35pm: Family playtime. We all hang out on the floor for some tummy time and book reading (aka book chewing).

chewing on paper

Nathan and I alternate being engaged with Mac and getting some work done.

6:45pm: the beginning of bedtime. Mac starts cluster feeding, fussing, feeding, squawking, feeding, fussing… until ….

8pm: She’s asleep!!

naptime

8pm-8:23pm: I crack open the computer and hustle to get back to work.

8:23pm: Just as soon as I’ve gotten my teeth into whatever project I’m working on, she’s up and its time to feed her again.

8:40pm: back to work.

9:30pm: Fussy baby = more nursing.

11pm: to bed I go.

1am: Mac’s midnight snack.

1:30-530am: bleary blur of half-sleeping, fussing, feeding.

… and then we begin all over again!

Other than the lack of quality sleep, our lifestyle this summer has felt really healthy and balanced. I love getting outside every day with our family, and I am convinced the exposure to nature and people is helping Mac’s brain develop in healthy ways and setting a good example for a lifetime of healthy habits. (Right? Right.) The only thing that’s missing is a dog (hint, hint, husband).

dancer pose tahoe

I’ve also been laser focused on hydrating this summer. Between Tahoe’s extremely dry air, the high altitude, and round-the-clock breastfeeding, I’m perpetually parched.

A video posted by Alyse Mason Brill (@alysemb) on

That endless task has gotten a lot more fun since Gerolsteiner sent me all the water I need for the #SparklingDetox (I confess, I’m already breaking into my supply… 🙂 ) #canstopwontstop

If you want to join me and the #sweatpink community on the most fun detox ever, here are all the details:

Gerolsteiner #Sparkling Detox

September 12-16

Drink only Gerolsteiner Mineral Water for the five days of the detox: no other beverages.* That’s it!

* Not to worry, smoothies are a food, not a drink. 😉

Simple, right? I’m already dabbling with this challenge by incorporating more and more Gerolsteiner into my day, and am loving how I feel so far. I’m excited to see how I feel after a full, dedicated week of healthy party time in my cup.

Come join us in the dedicated Facebook group to get advice, support, and recipes & workouts you can do during the challenge.

Gerolsteiner Mineral Water is available nationwide (here’s a store locator), and… just between us, there might just be a HUGE giveaway coming up in which 300 people will win a case of Gerolsteiner. Stay tuned for more on how to enter that… Enter here! 🙂

In the meantime, go say hi to Gerolsteiner around the internets, and join our Facebook group!

Gerolsteiner Mineral Water website
Gerolsteiner on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram
#SparklingDetox Facebook Group

This post is sponsored by Gerolsteiner Mineral Water. I so appreciate the brands who support the #sweatpink community, and as always, all opinions are my own.