The Best Cauliflower Crust Pizza Recipe

The Best Cauliflower Crust Pizza Recipe

The best damn Cauliflower Crust Pizza.

I have am addicted to cauliflower crust pizza. It is my go-to meal on a Friday night. And the best part… it’s not even a cheat meal!

You can eat the whole damn pie and not feel guilty.

Cauliflower Crust Pizza - Fitness with PJ

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

1 medium head of cauliflower, washed and dried

1/4 tsp salt

1.5 tsp Italian seasoning

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 cup low fat mozzarella cheese, grated

1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated

1 egg *

2 tbsp almond flour

Pizza sauce (I use tomato sauce and mix in my own garlic and herbs)

Toppings:

Roma tomatoes

Fresh basil

More mozza for topping

However, you can add whatever topping floats your boat – but I highly recommend fresh basil. It’s so good!

Directions:

  1. Place your pizza pan in a preheated 450 degree oven. You want to place your pie on an already hot pan.
  2. Wash and dry cauliflower and cut into florets.
  3. Pulse in a blender or food processor until you have rice consistency. You won’t need the stems at all. FYI: this part is very tedious if you don’t own a food processor – which I don’t. So, if there are any food manufacturers who are reading this may I suggest you start selling riced-up cauliflower. I would be a customer for life!
  4. Place cauliflower in a microwave dish, cover and cook for 4-5 minutes.
  5. Let the cauliflower cool (I put mine in the fridge) and then scoop it into a clean towel and wring out as much water as you can. This is crucial if you want a crust that will stay together.
  6. Place the cauliflower back into the bowl and add all the ingredients (with the exception of the toppings) and mix well.
  7. *If your cauliflower does not form a tight ball after this step you may need to add some liquid egg whites, in addition to the egg. It really depends on how big your cauliflower is… cause size does matter with this recipe.
  8. Form your crust on a sprayed piece of parchment paper.
  9. Place parchment on the pan that was heating up in the oven and bake for 20-minutes.
  10. Remove from the oven and flip the crust. This is my secret to getting a crisp, bread-like crust! I simply place another piece of sprayed parchment on top and flip the pan.
  11. Place back into the oven and bake for another 10 minutes. Keep an eye on it, though. You want it golden brown.
  12. Once browned, pull from the oven and add your sauce and toppings and then place back in the oven for another 5-8 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and is all bubbly and yummy looking.

Nutrition Facts (for crust only):

Calories: 404

Fat: 19g (high due to the almond flour)

Saturated Fat: 5.5g

Sodium: 1216 mg (a little high due to the cheese)

Carbs: 38.7

Fiber: 13g

Sugar: 11.7 g

Protein: 33.6g

The crust on a cauliflower crust pizza is really the bulk of the calories if you only add a 1/4 cup of sauce, and use the toppings that I suggest. If you follow those instructions you will be eating a whole pie that is under 600 calories.

Pretty damn good considering a medium cheese pizza (that’s with no toppings) from Panago is 1,680 calories.

Cauliflower Crust Pizza - Fitness with PJ

 Cauliflower Crust Pizza - Fitness with PJ

 

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8 High Protein Breakfast Recipes

8 High Protein Breakfast Recipes

8 High Protein Breakfast Recipes

Healthy High Protein Breakfast Recipes To Help You Lose Weight

In last week’s blog I revealed one tried, tested and true method to help you eat less throughout the day – eating a high protein breakfast.

A higher protein breakfast has a lower glycemic control on the body meaning your blood sugar levels will be more stable, which in turn will lead to the desire to eat less through the day.

All of this then translates to a slimmer and trimmer you.

8 High Protein Breakfast Recipes

To help you get the recommended 25-35 grams of protein every morning I have put together eight of my favourite high protein breakfast recipes (each recipe serves one woman – so adapt for kids and men).

1/ Egg Whites with Feta and Spinach 

1 cup egg whites

2 tbsp crumbled feta cheese

1/2 cup chopped spinach

Pepper to taste

Directions: Scramble egg whites with feta and spinach until cooked, adding pepper to taste.

Calories: 173

Protein: 31.1 grams

2 / Berry Banana Protein Pancake

1 scoop protein powder (I am in love with this brand!)

1/2 ripe banana, mashed

1/4 cup blueberries

1/3 cup large flake oats ground in blender or food processor until it becomes a fine flour

1/2 cup liquid egg whites

1 tbsp ground flax seed

1 tbsp unsweetened almond milk

Cinnamon to taste

Directions: add everything in a bowl and mix together. Spray a medium-sized skillet with nonstick spray, then place on medium heat. Pour the batter in and once you see tiny bubbles on top of the pancake, flip. When each side is golden brown breakfast is ready!

TIP: I like to make 5 of these at once and freeze them individually. The night before you want to eat one pull it from the freezer and toast it in the AM. Try topping with smashed raspberries, or almond butter or jam.

Calories: 380 (this depends on your protein powder)

Protein: 39.7 (this depends on your protein powder)

3 / Breakfast Bento Box

2 hard-boiled eggs

1.5 ounces goat’s mozzarella (or whatever cheese floats your boat)

20 almonds (about an ounce)

Half-cup of grapes, or a small orange, or small apple

Directions: prep it the night before in a container and BOOM, breakfast is waiting for you in the AM. This is a great breakfast idea for those of you who do not like to eat first thing in the morning and instead would rather wait until you got to work.

Calories: 400

Protein: 25 grams

4 / Avocado Toast with Cottage Cheese and Tomatoes

2 slices Ezekiel bread

1/4 cup cottage cheese

1/4 of an avocado

A few slices of tomato

Pepper to taste

Directions: toast your bread, spread the cottage cheese on top, layer with avocado and top with tomatoes and pepper.

Calories: 400

Protein: 31 grams

Super food selection for health diet in porcelain bowls over distressed wooden background.

5 / Apple Cinnamon Yogurt Parfait

1 cup 0% fat Greek yogurt

Half an apple, chopped

One ounce walnuts, chopped (about 14)

2 tsp raw honey

Cinnamon to taste

Directions: combine everything in a bowl and stir.

Calories: 419

Protein: 29 grams

If you have trouble choking down anything but coffee in the a.m., stop feeling guilty – you aren’t going to kill your metabolism by skipping breakfast. Instead, enjoy your cuppa joe and have your breakfast mid-morning.

6 / Brownie Batter Overnight Oats

1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/2 cup 0% fat Greek yogurt

1/2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (or more to taste)

1 pack of stevia (more or less to taste)

1/3 cup large flake oats

1/2 scoop chocolate protein powder

Directions: in a small bowl mix everything together, cover and store in the fridge. In the morning give it a stir, add some more almond milk if you it’s too thick for you and enjoy!

Calories: 245 (depends on your protein powder)

Protein: 28.3 (depends on your protein powder)

High Protein Breakfast Recipes - Fitness with PJ

7 / Berry Protein Shake

1.5 cups of water

1 cup raw spinach

2 cups frozen berries

1/2 cup 0% Greek yogurt

1 scoop of vanilla protein powder

Directions: Put all your ingredients in a blender, blend well and enjoy!

Calories: 354 (depends on your protein powder)

Protein: 27 grams (depends on your protein powder)

8 / Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

1 heaping scoop of chocolate protein powder

1/4 cup natural peanut butter

1 ripe banana, mashed

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup quick oats

1/2 unsweetened coconut

2 egg whites

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mash banana and add remaining ingredients and mix until smooth. Spoon onto a parchment paper lined tray and bake for 15-minutes. Should make 6 cookies.

Calories: 184 (per cookie)

Protein: 10.5 grams (per cookie)

 

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The Best Vitamins You Should Be Taking

The Best Vitamins You Should Be Taking

The Best Vitamins You Should be Taking

In a perfect world we would consume all of the needed nutrients for good health through diet alone.

However, this is far from a perfect world.

Our diets are not nourishing us like they should be, and this is due to a number of reasons.

Why we need vitamins

First, most of us don’t eat “clean” 100% of time. We don’t always eat the recommended servings for fruits and vegetables and we have been known, on occasion, to eat from a box instead of a home-cooked meal.

Second, the foods today do not possess the same nutrients that they used to (due to poor soil quality and GMOs), and third we are not getting the variety of foods, on a daily basis, that we should be to cover the gamut of nutrients we need to function our best with.

All of these leave gaps in our diet that need to be filled by vitamins and supplements.

This does not, however, give you free rein to eat what you want because you can supplement good health.

You will always get more from a vegetable and a piece of fruit than you will from a pill.

The best vitamins you should be taking

To find out what the best vitamins and supplements most people should be taking on a regular basis I consulted with Halina Kwiatkowska, owner and operator of Ladner’s sweetest little health store Parsley, Sage and Thyme.

I wanted to know if there were certain vitamins that we should be taking, and if so, do these recommendations change as we get older.

For all ages Kwiatkowska recommends a:

– A good multi-vitamin

– A probiotic

– Omega-3

(Note: These are general recommendation. Grab a more detailed and specific recommendation for your health by visiting Parsley, Sage and Thyme).

Multivitamin

She explains that a multivitamin is a “foundational supplement” containing vitamins and minerals (and in some cases other nutrients as well), considered necessary for our daily functioning.

Think of a multivitamin as our “insurance”. A little extra added protection for our health.

You can also buy multivitamins specific to your gender, as we well as your age group and other specific conditions like prenatal or active multi’s for athletes, tailoring your multi to your life and lifestyle.

I am in love with this brand of multivitamin and I buy the over 40 women blend.

Health is like money. We never have a true idea of its worth until we lose it. #Truth Click To Tweet

Probiotics

Probiotics are recommended for a healthy digestive tract and gut. They are the healthy bacteria keeping our gut, and our health, happy.

Unfortunately, our modern North American diet, accompanied with overmedication and over-sterilization, has stripped us of essential, beneficial bacteria in our gut and we need to supplement with a probiotic to counteract this.

Probiotics will help to keep our digestion and absorption going, not to mention help support our immune system so we can fight off infections, flus, colds and other illnesses.

Probiotics can be found in fermented foods such as:

Sauerkraut

Kimichi

Kosher pickles

Tempeh

Kombucha tea

Miso soup

Kefir

Yogurt

These are not foods a lot of us eat on a regular basis, though, which is understandable why they are a recommended supplement.

Local peeps! If you need a kick in the a** to get your diet and waistline back in order sign up for my 30-Day Diet Bootcamp. You get the plan, weekly coaching and support for the 30 days.

Omega 3’s

Omega-3’s are essential to our health as well. However, as essential as they are our bodies we cannot produce them. We have to consume omega-3 rich foods and supplements from our diet.

Omega-3’s protect our cells from inflammation. They are able to envelope every cell of our body, giving them the protection they need from the stresses of daily life.

These stresses and inflammations can be brought on by a poor diet, a high stress life, an active lifestyle (yes, exercise is inflammatory), as well as current disease and sickness.

Omega 3’s can also be used to combat diseases like arthritis, as well as the prevention of Alzheimer’s.

Omega 3’s are most abundant in cold water fish, as well as in some seeds like chia, sacha inchi and flax.

When supplementing, look for an Omega-3 that has a higher EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) to DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). In addition, talk to your physician before adding them as a supplement to your diet as they can interact with some medications.

Over 40 vitamin recommendations

As we get older, into our 40’s and 50’s, Kwiatkowska recommends adding an adrenal support supplement, vitamin D3 and magnesium to our daily diet as well.

Adrenal support is particularly important for women in their peri and menopausal years, as well as anyone who has high levels of the stress hormone cortisol floating through their blood on a daily basis.

How do you know if that’s you?

Some classic signs of adrenal exhaustion are:

Fatigue

Depressed mood

Irritability

Unable to drag yourself out of bed, yet in the evening you can’t fall asleep

Brain fog and poor memory

You rely on sugary snacks and caffeine to get you through the day.

If that’s you, you need to start taking care of your adrenal glands and begin making some lifestyle choices that will lower your cortisol levels.

Vitamin D3 is important because it is involved in regulating the levels of the minerals calcium and phosphorus. It also boosts our immune system and is used for conditions of the heart and blood vessels, including high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

In addition, vitamin D3 is used for diabetes, obesity, muscle weakness, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, bronchitis, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and tooth and gum disease and certain skin conditions.

It’s lack in our bodies has been linked to every cancer ever known.

Health Canada has recognized the importance of D3 and recently raised the daily intake of vitamin D3 to 8,000 IU (International Units) per day, even in the summer months.

Magnesium is an important supplement as we age as it is needed to help combat diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma, osteoporosis, and liver disease to name a few.

Magnesium will also help curb anxiety and panic attacks, relieve insomnia and reduce muscle cramping (important if you are active).

The Best Vitamins

Best time to take your vitamins

When the best time to take your vitamins?

Most supplements are best taken in the morning, but some require to be taken twice or even three times a day.

Most multivitamins are twice a day, with the first one always in the morning and the second one in the afternoon, but not too late in the evening.

Other supplements that are specific to a condition may vary on when the best times are to take.

For example, most minerals should be taken in the evening as they absorb better when you are sleeping.

Take your vitamins with or without food

Multivitamins, minerals and most supplements should be taken with food to help ease their digestion and absorption.

Kwiatkowska explains that in the presence of a snack or a meal, your vitamins will be broken down as part of that meal and enter the bloodstream slowly.

This will prevent a stomach ache, burping (which can be a tad embarrassing when out in public), or a digestive upset.

Taking your vitamins and supplements with food will also slow down the uptake of nutrients into the bloodstream.

In the end, though, it’s important to first eat real food, second supplement when you need to and third live an active and healthy lifestyle – no matter what age you are.

Parsley, Sage &Thyme Natural Health Store has been part the Delta/Ladner community since the early 1970s. www.parsleysagethyme.com

 

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Branched Chain Amino Acids

Branched Chain Amino Acids

Branched Chain Amino Acids

and why you need them…

I remember the first time I read about branched chain amino acids (BCAAs). At first I ignored them because I didn’t really do a lot of supplementation with my diet (other than a few vitamins every morning).

However, as I started getting older and researching deeper into finding ways to train the over-40 body (for optimum health, fitness and physique), I knew supplementation was needed.

So, I researched branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) again and here I am today using them as a regular, and daily, part of my diet.

What are BCAAs

First, a little back story about BCAAs.

These particular BCAAs that I am talking about are not a subsidiary of the BCAA Insurance Agency (FYI: this joke is only gonna work with my British Columbia readers).

They will do absolutely nothing for you if your car breaks down, other than perhaps give you the energy to run to the gas station for help.

Instead, these BCAAs (leucine, isoleucine and valine) play a very important role in muscle and energy production during exercise.

Fuelling our muscles

BCAAS are amino acids that the body cannot produce. We must ingest them through food or supplements, and when put to work it’s their job to fuel the muscles whenever our muscles need to contract.

They are main drivers for energy when we exercise and they are also crucial in building and maintaining lean muscle mass.

For those of us 40 years and plus this is great news.

You see we start to lose lean muscle mass in our early 30’s. This decrease in lean muscle tissue is one the reasons we have a harder time maintaining our body weight as we get older (hello middle-aged spread).

As we get older we also have a harder time building muscle.

BCCAs help with both building and maintaining our lean muscle mass as we age.

Studies have shown that older individuals who supplement with a BCAA after their strength workout (and one with a higher ratio of the amino acid leucine), build lean muscle 145% better than those who don’t!

fit-looking-older-man-running-Fitness-with-PJ

What else can they do?

BCAAs also enhance endurance performance and decrease fatigue. I supplement my water with 10 grams of BCAAs on the days I do cardio in a fasted state. They help keep me going.

When it comes to aging there is also some great evidence that BCAAs can have an anti-aging effect.

Researchers believe it’s because BCAAs increase the formation of new mitochondria.

Mitochondria are the powerhouses within our cells. They are the compartment of the cell that convert the energy from food into a form that that cell can use.

Mitochondria are found in our brains and our muscle fibres, and when they are plentiful and working optimally we are healthier because of it.

Another benefit to BCAAs is they will reduce your post-workout muscle soreness, thereby allowing you to train at a higher intensity and more frequently.

funny-quote-after-workout-soreness

Can you get BCAAs from food?

Absolutely. BCAAs are found in foods containing protein, with the highest concentrations found in:

  • Chicken
  • Beef
  • Salmon
  • Eggs
  • Whey protein

The most popular form of BCAA, though, is powdered.

Because it is recommended to have BCAAs before, during or after your workout most people find it easier to ingest some powder with their water.

My favourite BCAA brand is “PVL Essentials BCAA Powder”.

This particular brand also has a higher ratio of leucine, which is the more beneficial amino acid of the three. Word of caution though, I find the unflavoured BCAA powder pretty nasty unless you are mixing it with something flavoured. Try the orange instead, it isn’t bad.

You can also buy BCAAs in pill form. However, this is more expensive than buying the canister and you cannot utilize its effects while you are working out.

Branched-Chain-Amino-Acids-Fitness-with-PJ-blog-photo

How much do I need

How much BCAA powder should you consume? 5-10 grams is recommended, with the most crucial times either pre, post or during your workout.

When I am training I drink 10 grams while training and then I add another 10 grams in my protein shake post-workout. In addition I also drink 10 grams as soon as I get up in the morning.

Long and short, having BCAAs in your diet can help support muscle size, strength, and performance and perhaps turn back the hands of time.

Learn more about protein and protein powders here.

A Trainer’s Weekly Menu – Week 12

A Trainer’s Weekly Menu – Week 12

A Trainer’s Weekly Menu – Week 12

 

This was a great week for meals. Even loving husband has been tolerating the less-meat-more-veggies-bender that I am currently on.

 

With the exception of Monday night.

 

Last Monday I made the most awesome maple bean dish (from my fave blog Oh She Glows), and when we both sat down to eat it loving husband immediately went on a mission.

 

He pushed the beans around investigating every square inch of his of the bowl. Like he was searching for something. Something he just could not believe would NOT be there.

 

When he didn’t find what he was looking for he looked up and asked me “Where’s the rest of the dinner?”.

 

I told him the “rest” of the dinner was my love. He said he would have preferred some beef or bacon instead.

 

Nice guy, that loving husband.

 

Healthy Meal Plan

 

If you need to get yourself back-on-track I urge you to join me with my meal plans. All of the recipes that I choose are low in sh*t and high in nutrients.

 

I also plan my healthy meals so that they fit in into my busy life. My prep is basic and there are no long-winded recipes that only Martha Stewart would love.

 

Just basic meals, using whole-foods.

 

What a trainer eats - week 12

 

Catch Up On Previous Week’s Menus

 

 

FIT TIP: As we age one of the reasons our tendons and muscles get stiffer is due to the lower water levels in the tissue. This makes it even more important that we drink enough water throughout the day. Aim for 2-3 litres a day – and sorry, that does not include coffee, tea or wine.

 

Week 11 Healthy Meal Plan

 

SUNDAY PREP

 

  • Protein pancakes made for the week
  • 3 lemons, cut in half for my daily detox drink
  • Cucumber, peppers, carrots, snap peas cut for side dish munchies for lunches
  • Pumpkin Maple Baked Beans made, ready to re-heat for Monday night dinner
  • One Pot Quinoa Veggie Dish made for lunches Mon-Thurs (Friday is leftover day)

 

BREAKFAST

 

  • My daily detox drink. Click here to get the recipe.
  • Protein pancakes. I made 5 (to last Mon-Fri) and froze them.
  • Each night I grab one from the freezer, thaw it overnight and then re-heat it in the AM by toasting it.
  • For toppings I spread a little almond butter or P&B on top, depending on my mood, and then drizzle some heated raspberry jam on top of the nut butter. Y.U.M.
  • This is the recipe I use, however I wanted to add some super seeds to it this time so I also be added 1 tbsp of ground flax seed and 1 tbsp of chia seeds to the batter.

 

LUNCH

 

  • One Pot Quinoa Veggie Dish, without the chicken. Instead I added a can of black beans for my protein.
  • Cut up veggies (carrot sticks, peppers, cucumber slices, snap peas and grape tomatoes) as my side dish.

 

PREP TIP: When making quinoa, double the batch and freeze the leftovers in single serving ziplock baggies. That way when you need a quick side dish you got one ready to go.

 

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DINNER

 

Monday

 

  • Pumpkin Maple Baked Beans Cornbread Casserole. This recipe rocked, even loving husband wanted more (he knows nothing of the pumpkin in it though so shhhh…), however as mentioned above he was perplexed that there was no meat accompanying it.
  • I didn’t make the cornbread topping, as per recipe. Instead, I went the lazy gal’s route and bought Bob’s Red Mill GF Cornbread mix. The mix is pretty good, but next time I make the beans I think I will go even lazier and just forgo the cornbread altogether.

 

Tuesday

 

  • Salmon Caesar salad. Instead of croutons I use roasted chickpeas. I love this brand.

 

Wednesday

 

  • Fried egg sandwich with smashed avocado. I get home late on Wednesdays and I hate eating a meal that late.
  • BUT, with that said I am also starving when I get home, so I need something filling but yet won’t bloat the hell out of me. Hence a fried egg sandwich using Squirelly Bread, with half of an avocado smashed between the two slices.

 

FOOD TIP: Need to ripen an avocado ASAP. Food bloggers swear by this 10-minute hack: wrap your avocado tightly in tin foil so absolutely no air gets out. Set it inside a baking dish and pop it into the oven at 200°F. Check the fruit’s progress at 10 minutes (or even sooner depending on its current degree of ripeness), and keep it in the oven until it’s perfectly ripe. Together, the heat of the oven and the ethylene gas that is released when the avocado ripens will work to soften the fruit.

 

Thursday

 

Loving Husband and I filming a workout Loving Husband and I filming a recent YouTube workout.

Friday

 

  • Chicken Pesto Pitas and Kale Salad. This is a real easy recipe to make.
  • Buy a cooked BBQ chicken from the deli, some whole-grain pita bread, spinach, mozza cheese slices (or provolone is good too), roasted red peppers and pesto sauce.
  • Assemble the sandwich by spreading 1/4 of the pesto inside the bottom of one pita half, add cheese, then chicken slices and roasted pepper strips, top with baby spinach and enjoy!

 

FIT TIP: People with fitness goals succeed because they know where they are going.

 

Saturday

 

  • Pizza! Loving husband will be filming a long and hard workout with me so I need to show his stomach some love.
  • I also want to go hiking on Sunday and if he eats lots of pizza he will want to hike too so he can work on his bikini body (his words, not mine).
  • Of course, he could just NOT eat the pizza. But, he loves pizza and we have been happily married for over 21 years because we both know when to push and when to back off. Pizza, M&M’s and Coke are where I back off.
  • Cauliflower Crust Pizza for me. I am going to try this recipe, while also adding a few tablespoons of almond flour to help hold the crust together.
  • I will forgo the meat that’s in this recipe and add Roma tomatoes and fresh basil instead.
  • The recipe also claims it feeds four. I say NOT LIKELY. This whole pizza will be eaten by yours truly, in one sitting.

 

Funny pizza quote

 

Sunday

 

  • Slow Cooker Bison Stew. If we go hiking I want something that is hot and ready for us when we get home, and this recipe looks delish.
  • This recipe is also from a new food blogger I just started following, The Inspired RD, let’s see how her food tastes.

 

 

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