Banana Blueberry Protein Muffins

Today is IM Louisville and my athlete Faith is competing. Since I can’t be there in person, I’m glued to my phone/computer watching and making muffins. Yum.  And I have to share on here, she just got out of the water in a 1:42!!! I am so proud of her and her hard work. A few years ago she didn’t know how to swim. With some swim lessons, underwater videotaping and then her determination, she’s just completed an IM swim, of 2.4 miles with 38 min to spare.

Faith is the kind of athlete coaches dream of having. Someone who is eager to learn, determined to succeed, positive, listens and follows her workouts to a T. I’ve been lucky to know her for the past 4 years, but I’ve only coached her for the past 2. Even though I live in Baltimore now, I can coach her remotely. Thankfully when I was teaching her to swim, I lived in Oregon so we could work 1 on 1. As a coach, watching someone go from not knowing how to swim, never having biked on more than a hybrid and never having raced triathlon, to competing in an IM is such an amazing feeling. It’s her hard work that got her there, but being able to assist along the way is fantastic. Her day is about overcoming obstacles and succeeding. Thankfully I’m not working today, so I can stay glued to my technology and watch her cross that finish line before 12:00am.

But, I can’t literally watch her online, the tracker is slow to update and of course it’s not splits every minute. So, I decided to help another athlete and make them blueberry banana protein muffins. Something to up the amount of fruit in their diet, in addition to providing a good pre-workout snack or snack anytime.

I made these muffins with 100% whole grain flour, however if you’re gluten free, or don’t want whole grains (why not?) you can use a gluten free flour or all purpose flour. I haven’t made these with either choice, however feel free to give it a whirl and tell me how they came out. My suggestion for a gluten free flour would be to cut it down to only 1/2 cup and you might need more liquid depending on which flour you used (rice, almond, coconut). Additional add in’s could be a 1/4 cup of nuts or 1/4 cup of ground chia/flax seeds-more liquid might be necessary.


Blueberry Banana Protein Muffins-12 muffins

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup of vanilla whey/Vega or other plant based protein (add 1 tsp vanilla to wet ing. if not using a vanilla protein)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large, or 3 small/med bananas, mashed and ripe (should be turning brown with spots)- I used 3 for this
  • 1/3 cup of oil
  • 1/4 cup of honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries thawed
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and grease or line a 12 muffin tin
  2. In a small bowl, mix the dry ingredients from flour through salt.
  3. In a large bowl, mash the bananas. Add the oil, honey, egg and vanilla if not using a vanilla protein powder. Stir together.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture and fold gently to combine. About 10-15 strokes, no mixers.
  5. Gently stir in blueberries, but don’t over mix
  6. Fill muffin cup almost to the top of the cup liner
  7. Bake for 20-25min, checking at 20. Mine were done at 20, however each oven is different.
  8. The muffins are done when a tester (I use spaghetti) poked through the muffin comes out clean

The nutrition info per muffin:

  • 150 calories
  • 20g carb
  • 2.5g of fiber
  • 5g of protein
  • 6g of fat


Turkey “Meatloaf” Cups

Even though it is still  pretty hot here in Baltimore, I wanted to bake something in the oven. I like making meals that you can spend time up front, then you have that meal for several days/meals. I know some people don’t like leftovers, but I love leftovers. They are quick to heat and sometimes taste even better than the first day you made them. That usually happens with soups and muffins.

You’ll have to excuse the terrible pictures I take with the iphone. I don’t have a “real” camera and photo’s are not my specialty.

These also may not look that appealing, but they are pretty tasty. Some things to note, this recipe made about 20 mini meatloafs, so you’ll need 2 muffin tins. Spray or butter your tins, as they will stick to them. Clean up also isn’t that much fun, but if you have a dishwasher, it won’t be too bad. Brett is our dishwasher, so we just soaked them over night first.

There are a lot of veggies in these cups and if you have a food processor, feel free to use it. I currently don’t have one, so I just chopped them up as small as I could get them.

With this recipe you can use almost any veggie you want, and I actually had more veggies than meat. Some might not like this and might want to add additional meat. I do not mind this, in fact I’m a fan of more veggies. The meatloafs did not fall apart and you can tell they are still made from turkey. So, in my mind, they are delicious and perfect with the amount of veggies. I might use more next time. I think mushrooms and spinach are other good veggies here. The picture does not show a topping, however like traditional meatloaf, you can add a bit of ketchup or BBQ sauce for extra tang. These are low in fat, high in protein, provide a good amount of veggies and are pretty low in calories. We had roasted asparagus on the side.


Turkey Meatloaf Cups, (20 cups, with a serving size of 2-4 cups per person)

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 zucchini, minced
  • 1 red pepper, minced
  • 1 pound of lean (93or 99% lean) ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa-I would make more and save it for another use
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • Salt and Pepper and any additional spices to taste-more garlic or onion powder would be a good choice
  • Ketchup or BBQ sauce for a topping if desired (go easy, there’s added sugar in both)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. This is the ideal temp for roasting other things, so you can put in a veggie for a side dish while these are cooking. Spray or butter 2 muffin tins. Since you might not have enough meat loaf to fill all the cups, fill the empty muffin cups with water.
  2. Mince or process the garlic, onion, zucchini, and red pepper. Place in a large bowl.
  3. Add the ground turkey, quinoa, eggs, Worcestershire, mustard and spices. Mix with your hands until combined. It will be a little wet, but this will firm up in the oven.
  4. Fill the muffin tins 3/4 or all the way to the top of the cup. Top with topping if desired.
  5. Oven’s vary, however I baked mine for 25 minutes. If you use less, they may be done sooner, if you use more, they may take longer.

Nutrition for 3 cups per serving:

  • 185kcal
  • 10g carbohydrate
  • 8g fat
  • 19g protein
  • 2 g fiber

Stopping GI Distress-The Pre-Race Meal(s)

My dad is racing the Peasantman tri on Keuka Lake this Sunday, so my mom and I have been discussing what to have for meals in the days leading up to the half ironman. My dad has his nutrition dialed in and is very consistent with his race fuel plan. Still though, I’m helping my mom to tweak other meals in the days leading up to his race. He generally races 5 half ironman a season (Jun-Oct) and so has plenty of practice.

Your meals leading up to your races (I’m speaking of endurance events here), whether they are running or triathlon can make a huge impact on your race day. Cyclists are certainly in the endurance world, but generally don’t have the same types of GI distress as runners/triathletes. Some athletes have iron stomachs, and others very sensitive stomachs. This post is for everyone, but most certainly those who have experienced GI distress on race day.

GI distress can be caused by several things:

  • Too much fiber in the days before
  • Eating too much before your race
  • Eating too close to your race
  • Eating too much during your race
  • Stress
  • Dehydration
  • Taking in too much sugar without plain water (always take a gel with water)
  • Fast intensities
  • Not having practiced your fueling plan before the race or at race pace intensities
  • Your overall diet

*As you can see, there are many factors that can contribute to GI distress, and this isn’t even every possibility.*

When thinking of your race week, you’ll want to work backwards from race day. If you’re race is on Sunday, you’ll want to have a plan for the 2-4 days pre-race. Most athletes don’t need to worry about much more than the day or two before the race, however if you are an athlete that has experienced GI distress, a few more days can be helpful.

So what should you eat in the days prior to the race? The best way to think about this, is to eat the opposite of how you “should” be eating normally. Normally, I would advise you to eat lots of whole grains, high fiber foods, beans, legumes, raw fruit and veggies, etc. I recommend 25-40g of fiber per day. Think the opposite for the days before. You’ll be looking for a low residue diet and less than 10-15g of total fiber per day. The only food I might add to the list is dairy. If you think dairy causes issues, avoid that as well. But up to 2 cups of “smooth” dairy is allowed with a low residue diet.

Low Residue= Low Fiber

Here are some things to look for:

  • White products-white bread, pasta, crackers, bagels, pancakes, rice cakes
  • Cooked fruit and veggies- applesauce, fruit cups (except canned pineapple), potatoes (without skins), beets, carrots, squash, green beans
  • Lower fat foods
  • Lean Protein-avoid deli meats and tough meat

Other foods to avoid:

  • Dried fruit-raisins, dates, figs, prunes
  • Raw fruits and veggies
  • Seeds
  • Caffeine
  • Popcorn
  • Spicy foods

Here are some examples of meals to eat in the days leading up to your race-Think bland:

  1. Pancakes/waffles with an egg and fruit juice
  2. White bagel with jam/honey
  3. White toast with jam, an egg and fruit juice
  4. Low fiber cereal- rice krispies, corn flakes, special k with a banana
  5. Applesauce with protein powder and a banana
  6. Sandwich with turkey, mayo, a fruit cup and chicken soup
  7. Tuna sandwich with mayo, applesauce, crackers
  8. White rice/noodles/ pasta with cooked green beans and  baked chicken
  9. Lean ground beef, turkey, chicken with a baked potato and white bread
  10. Tender meat with white rice, cooked carrots, white bread

Due to cutting your fiber intake, you’ll want to make sure you are upping your intake of water and you will have less bowel movements. It’s important to practice your pre-race meal before race day. So before your pre-race simulation workouts, plan your dinner the night before and then your breakfast the day off. Eat dinner at least 12 hours before you race, and breakfast 3-4 hours before your race. In addition, make sure you are practicing your race day nutrition at the same speeds you will be racing at, this can and will affect your digestion.

If you’d like help with your nutrition for race planning, feel free to drop me a line.



Recovery, 7 Weeks Out

This week Brett, Rogue and I have been visiting my family in NY, and have gotten to see a lot of great friends. Living on the West Coast and even in Baltimore, has made it hard to see NY friends and family, and that’s tough. Seeing everyone has reminded me how blessed I am to have such a great family and good friends. Even after not seeing some for 6 years, it’s like things haven’t changed. I’m very thankful for that.

My 6 week  check up, everything is looking good and on track

My 6 week check up, everything is looking good and on track

And yes, while I’m still on crutches and a brace, I’m slowly weaning off them. I even drove the car! Currently I’m able to walk maybe 10-20 feet sans crutches, without having any issues. I do look like I’m a penguin as I kind of rock back and forth, but that’s ok, I’m getting better.

I’m hoping that maybe by next week I’ll be not using the crutches, but at the same time, I don’t want to push it. I keep being asked how I’m being patient, or how can I not be stressed out by it already being 7 weeks and not really being able to do much. My answer is simple,  it took a year and a half to figure out what was wrong. That was a very hard time in my life. The not knowing what was wrong, being in constant pain, having doctors tell you they don’t see anything wrong, etc. Now that I’ve had the surgery, and we found the problem, I’m on the road to recovery. I certainly want to get back to training and racing, but will not push it, it’s not worth it.

This journey will take many more months, but it will be ok. Most runners/triathletes will be injured at least once in their life. Please, for your sake, don’t push through it. Have patience and know that you’ll be ok. Just don’t try to push through it to be “tough.” There’s a time to push through good pain, but you know the difference between good and bad pain. Don’t be a hero, just stop, take a break. Your overall health is much more important than one race/season.

Another thing to I want to mention is how important it is to be your own advocate. As I look back, I’m realizing how many doctors gave up on me. They said I was fine, they couldn’t find anything, it must be in my head, etc. Well, it wasn’t! It took me finding at PT and a physiatrist who wouldn’t give up on me, and a research study in Australia, to figure out what was wrong. If I hadn’t have kept pushing to see another doctor, to try another procedure I might still be in undetermined pain. I’m in pain still, but we know why, the surgeon cut me! If you have an injury you’re not sure how to treat, and you aren’t getting the answers you want, keep pushing, you are your own best advocate. Only you know how you feel and only you know your body. Even if you feel crazy, keep pushing till you get there.

PT for the hamstring starts at the 3 month mark. I’m very excited to get started, and especially to use the Alter G treadmill at the PT clinic. Where else can you take off 100lbs in a day (well, maybe surgery). But the Alter G is pretty awesome, so I’m excited. For those of you that can, happy training, I’ll see you soon.