Operation Nutrition

nutrition, fitness, motherhood, & everything in between

Category: Breakfast (page 1 of 4)

Vanilla Berry Smoothie

Happy Friday, everyone! I have a new smoothie recipe for you. It was delicious & very filling. But, the best part is that I tried a new-to-me ingredient (if you saw my post on Instagram, then you already know that it is frozen cauliflower). I’ve been seeing people use this in their morning smoothies, but I was really apprehensive to give it a try. It’s funny because this is the same way I felt when I first tried putting spinach in my Green Monster shakes. I was certain that I’d taste the cauliflower and be extremely grossed out, but I couldn’t taste it at all. IMG_6640Here’s the recipe for 1 serving:

  • 10 oz. milk (you can use any kind of milk you like, I used 2% dairy milk)
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I used “Tone It Up” vanilla)
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen cauliflower
  • 3/4 cup frozen cherries

Directions: Blend until thoroughly mixed & enjoy!

I’m pretty sure I’ll be adding frozen cauliflower to all of my smoothies now which is a good thing because it has so many health benefits. It provides an excellent source of vitamins & minerals (vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, folate, magnesium, & potassium). It’s high in fiber & antioxidants.

If you give it a try, let me know what you think. Smile

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Healthy Chocolate Breakfast Cake

Hi there! I haven’t made many new recipes lately because this household has been battling some nasty colds over the past month. We’ve resorted to lots of chicken noodle soup, miso soup, and pizza (because pizza make everyone feel better, right?). Smile I’ve also been dealing with toddler eating (or lack thereof). I think S’s eating has been all over the place due to cutting her 2-year molars, not feeling well, and overall sporadic eating patterns.  Now that we are all on the mend, I’m trying to get a little more creative in the kitchen.

This morning I searched the internet for  some healthy dessert like breakfast recipes. I found one that looked amazing. When I clicked on it, I was excited to see that it was actually written by one of my favorite bloggers, Amanda, from “Running With Spoons”. I knew it would be delicious! I pretty much followed her recipe, but made just a few modifications. I didn’t realize we were out of vanilla extract, so I omitted it. I also added just a few more chocolate chips and I used old-fashion oats rather than quick oats. You can check out her original recipe (and beautiful pictures) here.

Healthy Chocolate Breakfast Cake

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Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make 2 cakes:

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 medium ripe banana
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp. peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp. mini chocolate chips


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spray ramekins with non-stick cooking spray.
  • In a blender, blend together the oats, cocoa powder, and baking powder. Blend until oats become a flourlike consistency.
  • Add remaining ingredients (except for the chocolate chips) to the blender. Blend until smooth.
  • Stir in chocolate chips and pour batter into 2 ramekins.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted into the comes out clean). Let sit for about 5 minutes to cool.
  • Enjoy!


Look at how delicious & gooey this cake is! Yum! Toddler & mommy approved, too! Smile

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No-Bake Chewy Granola Bars

Happy Tuesday! I have a new (and so easy) recipe for you! The original recipe had the serving size at 12 bars, but that would make them super tiny. If you cut them into 10 granola bars, they’ll be the same size as a Kashi granola bar (I measured them). Smile

No-Bake Chewy Granola Bars


Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make 10 bars:
Recipe from Cooking Light

  • 1 1/4 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup grain cereal (I used crushed Cheerios)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup chopped unsalted pistachios
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter (or almond butter)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup chopped pitted dates

Combine the first 6 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl.

Combine peanut butter, honey, and dates in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook 3 minutes or until peanut butter melts, stirring frequently.

Pour peanut butter mixture over oat mixture; stir well to combine. Spread mixture into an 8-inch square baking pan. You can either spray it with cooking spray or place a sheet of parchment paper in the pan (to prevent sticking).

Press firmly to form a compact, even layer. Place pan in freezer for 10 minutes. Remove from freezer, and cut into 10 bars.

Tip: Place bars in individual bags and store in the fridge. Then you have a healthy snack that you can grab and go during the busy week.

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Tropical Smoothie

Happy Wednesday! I’ve fallen into a rut with my morning breakfast shake (spinach, almond milk, protein powder, and a banana). I needed something different for breakfast this morning, so I put together some ingredients I had on hand. Sometimes the best meals are those that are made on a whim. It turned out being one of the best smoothies I’ve made, so I figured I’d share it with you. An added bonus: there are 14 grams of protein in 1 serving!

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I really think the Oikos Toasted Coconut Vanilla Greek yogurt made this shake taste so great. The flavor screams “tropical”. 

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8-Week Bikini Series

Happy Monday! I hope you had a nice weekend.

I decided I wanted to change up my workout routine a bit. Normally I like to create my own workout plans, but this time I wanted the work done for me. Over the next 8 weeks, I’ll be participating in the Tone It Up 8-Week Bikini Series (from Katrina and Karena of Tone it Up). Their challenge officially kicks off today (Monday, April 13th). They provide you with 8 weeks worth of workouts, weekly prizes, and even a chance to win a trip at the end of the challenge (bonus: it’s free to sign up)! Be sure to check it out! If you decide to do it, let me know!

If you follow me on Instagram and Twitter, you’ll probably see a lot of my workout and nutrition photos during the course of this challenge (hash tags #BIKINISERIES #TIU). I’m not trying to boast, I’m just trying to stay accountable during the 8 weeks.

I’m mostly following my own nutrition plan, but following their workout plan. All of my meals for the week are planned and my snacks are prepped. Here’s an idea of what my dinners will look like this week:

  • Monday – Grilled Chicken and vegetables
  • Tuesday – Vegetable Lasagna
  • Wednesday – Grilled steak, grilled potatoes & vegetables
  • Thursday – Cheese tortellini and salad
  • Friday – Naan pizza
  • Saturday – Chicken fajitas
  • Sunday – Shrimp kabobs

Snacks for this week include:

  • carrots & hummus
  • roasted chickpeas
  • Glo Bars (from the cookbook “Oh She Glows”)
  • celery & peanut butter
  • strawberries & pistachios

All of my fruits and veggies are all cleaned and cut. I also made a batch of Glo Bars for the week.

If you’re participating in the 8-Week Bikini Series, I’d love to hear from you! Smile

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Protein Packed Scrambled Eggs

How is it Monday already?! This made me laugh this morning:


Lately, I’ve been trying to increase my daily protein intake. According to WebMD, “Adults in the U.S. are encouraged to get 10% to 35% of their day’s calories from protein foods. That’s about 46 grams of protein for women, and 56 grams of protein for men.

In addition, Lauren Antonucci, director of Nutrition Energy in New York City says, “Pregnant women need about 10 more grams of protein than they did before. Nursing women need 20 grams more protein a day than they did before pregnancy to support milk production.”

So, that makes my protein requirements to be 56 grams of protein a day (since I’m nursing…I’m not a man). Smile

I’m not sure where (probably Pinterest), but I came across a recipe for scrambled eggs. Well, it’s not so much a recipe, but another way to make scrambled eggs. It said to add cottage cheese to scrambled eggs. I’m not going to lie, at first I cringed at the idea. I love cottage cheese and I love eggs, but together…I wasn’t so sure.

I figured I’d give it a try. I placed the following ingredients into my blender (since I couldn’t stand the thought of having lumps in my scrambled eggs, I knew I needed them to be blended really well):

  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1/4 cup (2%) cottage cheese
  • salt & pepper to taste

I blended until smooth. Then I cooked the eggs like you’d normally cook scrambled eggs (except, I did stir them a little more frequently).

The verdict?  Oh my goodness! The eggs were the fluffiest and most delicious eggs I’ve ever tasted! I couldn’t really taste the cottage cheese and I couldn’t get over how fluffy they were! When I told my husband about this new (for me) way to make eggs, his exact words were, “EWWW”. He was a good sport though and tried them. He ended up loving them too.

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Total amount of protein: 18.8 grams!!!!! (not too shabby) Smile

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Carrot Cake Muffins

Happy Thursday! In case you missed last night’s post “What I Ate Wednesday”, you can check it out here.

It’s a beautiful day here in Maryland! It is unseasonably cool for August, so I am enjoying having the windows open. It almost feels like a fall morning (my favorite)! By the way, I had some help typing up this morning’s post:


I spent some time in the kitchen this morning making carrot cake muffins from Bill Phillips’ Eating For Life Cookbook. Since I go back to work next week, I thought it would be a good idea to make these and freeze them for a quick breakfast option.


Carrot Cake Muffins

Servings: 12
Serving Size: 1 muffin
Calories: 204
Fat: 1.6 g
Carbs: 28.9 g
Fiber: 3.2 g
Protein: 16.9 g

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for 12 muffins:
Recipe slightly adapted from Eating For Life Cookbook

  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 3/4 cup wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar substitute
  • 7 tbsp. vanilla protein powder
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 4 large egg whites, beaten
  • 2 cups carrots, shredded
  • 12 foil muffin liners (if you use the paper kind be sure to spray with non-stick spray)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients (whole-wheat flour, oat flour, wheat germ, brown sugar substitute, protein powder, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, & salt). Mix ingredients well.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine all wet ingredients (applesauce, almond milk, & egg whites).

Pour wet ingredients into dry & stir just until all ingredients are moistened (batter will be lumpy).

Gently fold in the carrots until evenly combined.

Spoon batter into muffin cups until each is full.


Bake until golden and a wooden toothpick comes out “clean,” about 18 minutes. Enjoy!


I hope you have a wonderful Thursday!

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A New Breakfast Idea

Happy Tuesday! Has anyone tried the workout I posted yesterday? If you have, I’d love to hear how you liked it! Speaking of workouts, I changed mine up a little bit this week. I’m making a point to do a 30-minute HIIT cardio workout first thing in the morning (well, after my cup of coffee…I need my caffeine). Then in the afternoon, I do a strength workout. So far I am really enjoying this schedule (I’ll see how it goes the rest of the week). This is definitely something that I could stick with when the school year starts back up.

Recently, I got into a breakfast rut. Actually, it’s more like nothing really appealing to me in the morning. I usually have my green monster protein shake, protein pancakes, or eggs, but I haven’t been enjoying them recently. So, I came up with a new breakfast idea. I really can’t call it a “recipe” but I thought I’d share it with you. It’s not very exciting, but I’m in love with the combination of flavors.

Here it is: One slice of toasted Ezekiel Cinnamon Raisin bread (other brands are good too, just make sure it doesn’t have HFCS as an ingredient because most cinnamon raisin breads do) topped with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, 2 sliced strawberries, and a teaspoon of pure maple syrup. Yum!


Calories: 197
Fat: 7.7 grams
Carbohydrates: 21 grams
Fiber: 5.3 grams
Protein: 7.5 grams
Have a great day today! Don’t forget to stay hydrated if you’re experiencing the summer heat today. Maryland is currently experiencing a heat index of 100-108.
Rule of thumb: Divide your weight in half and that is how many ounces of water you should drink daily.
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Protein-Packed Pancakes

Recently, I started taking on a new approach to my fitness routine. I began lifting heavy weights (everything that women are discouraged from doing because they’ll “bulk up”…simply not true). It’s sad that there are so many misconceptions about weight training for women. I will be posting an entry this week that is specifically dedicated to the benefits of heavy lifting (so please stay tuned for that).

Anyway, when you are trying to build muscles, it is crucial for you to include protein into your diet. Protein also helps your body build and repair tissue, maintain healthy cartilage, skin, bones, and blood. Another benefit to eating a well-balanced diet consisting of protein is that it helps you feel full longer. This leads me to today’s recipe…Protein-Packed Pancakes! These delicious pancakes have almost 47 grams of protein! photo (46)

Protein-Packed Pancakes

Servings: 1
Serving Size: 2 very large pancakes (without syrup)
Calories: 391
Fat: 5.4 g
Carbs: 37.7 g
Protein: 46.8 g

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for 1 serving:
Recipe adapted from Body For Life Recipes

  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup 1% cottage cheese
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1 scoop of protein powder
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Spray with cooking spray.

Blend all ingredients together until smooth.

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Pour batter into heated skillet. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side. Flip when you see bubbles forming.

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Load your pancakes up with your favorite toppings (I used 1/8 cup of pure maple syrup). Enjoy!

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Healthy Peanut Butter Cup Shake

Happy Saturday, friends! I came up with a new shake idea. I really love drinking shakes for breakfast, especially in the summertime. However, I needed a change from my typical breakfast shake. I decided I’d put two of my favorite flavors together (peanut butter + chocolate…can’t go wrong with that combo). This shake was delicious and it kept me full all morning. I didn’t mind that it tasted like a peanut butter cup either. Winking smile

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Peanut Butter Cup Shake

Servings: 1
Serving Size: 1 shake with protein powder
Calories: 358
Fat: 13 g
Carbs: 39.1 g
Fiber: 8 g
Protein: 27.3 g

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for 1 shake:

  • 1 scoop of protein powder (optional; but plays a major roll in keeping you full longer)
  • 1 tbsp. peanut butter
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tbsp. unsweetened dark cocoa
  • 1.5 cups unsweetened almond milk

Put all ingredients into a blender (I used the Magic Bullet) and blend until smooth.

Pour & enjoy!

Don’t forget, if you’re interested in either a personalized nutrition and/or fitness plan, email me at info@operationnutrition.com. To find out more about the packages I offer, you can check out the “My Services” tab on my homepage, or email me. I’d love to help you reach your goals.

Have a great weekend!

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