Ok guys, I’ve kind of had to buckle down a little. I know in my blog Why Paleo? I mentioned how much I hate counting a tracking. And that’s still true. It’s not my favorite thing. But in my quest to know myself and truly understand what does and does not work for me, I’ve realized that I need some more definite boundaries in order to find the results I’m looking for. In the past I’ve counted macros and played around with carb cycling and I must say…the results were fabulous. The down side was I allowed it to create some anxiety and obsessiveness in me that eventually lead to some bingeing. Hence why I abandoned this style of eating for some time.
When I decided to re-devote myself to wellness and start focusing on my business again, I wanted it to be about finding balance and eating foods that nourished me without restrictions. And for a time it was working. I still feel like I had it right with the finding balance and eating foods that nourish me part. But I think I misconstrued the “without restrictions” part. Deep down I equated restrictions with boundaries and I’m realizing that they are two different things. Restrictions take my freedom of choice out of the equation. Even if it’s an imaginary limit, it’s still the mentality that I CANNOT do something. Boundaries on the other hand simply map out what works and what does not BUT the choice is still mine to make and I have to freedom to stay within the boundaries or travel outside them. I just know, that if I stay outside for too long, I won’t see the results I want.
So, I’ve mapped out some familiar boundaries by giving myself a macronutrient ratio that has worked for me in the past. And it’s working again, very quickly, I might add. I’ve noticed better performance in my workouts and I wake up every day feeling leaner than the day before.
But I am approaching them differently this time. Instead of using any ol’ food to reach my macronutrient goals, I am sticking to “using foods that nourish me”. This means limited grains with vegetable starches and fruits taking priority, high quality protein, lots of veggies and healthy fats. But even though I am eating many of the same foods as I was before, I do have to be a little more creative about how I put them together. I am eating A LOT more protein that I was before and it can be a challenge to figure out just how to get enough in at each meal. Especially breakfast.
Luckily, I have one recipe that supplies me with adequate protein, some high quality carbohydrates and even the option to add in some healthy fats. Plus, it’s SO delicious!
They’re my Sweet Potato Protein Pancakes! And they are BOMB!
They are so simple to make too, using very few ingredients! They are simply mashed sweet potatoes, high quality protein powder, eggs, baking soda and cinnamon if you like! That’s it! So easy.
A few notes about the ingredients:
The sweet potatoes should be roasted and then mashed. If you boil them they will likely be too watery and give you pancakes a weird texture. Plus, roasting them makes them a little sweeter so you don’t need to add sugar!
I use egg whites. I think they make for a fluffier, less dense pancake. In pretty much every other scenario I prefer whole eggs, but for this recipes I dig the egg whites. Plus, it gives me the option to add fats, like nut butter, on top of my pancakes. But if you have room for more fat in your macros or prefer the taste/texture of whole eggs, go for it!
For protein powder I use a grass-fed whey protein that has minimal ingredients and natural sweeteners. I use vanilla flavor because I think it pairs well with the sweet potatoes, but whatever flavor you dig would likely work. If you don’t do well with whey or dairy products, a vegan protein would likely work as well! Just remember, quality matters.
Alrighty then! Let’s get to the recipe…
SWEET POTATO PROTEIN PANCAKES
1/2 cup mashed sweet potato
1/2 cup eggs or egg whites
1 serving (roughly 40 grams) protein powder of your choice
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
Coconut oil cooking spray or oil of choice
Nuts or nut butter
Pure maple syrup
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place whole sweet potatoes, with skin, on the baking sheet. Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes or until tender and easily pierced with a fork.
Remove sweet potatoes and allow to cool completely.
Once cool, peel the skin and mash the flesh in a bowl until smooth. You can store the mashed sweet potato in the fridge for up to a week and use for multiple recipes.
In a small bowl, combine all pancake ingredients and whisk until smooth.
Preheat a skillet over medium heat. Grease with coconut oil cooking spray or oil of choice.
Pour batter into pan into 1/4 cup portions. This should make roughly 5 smaller pancakes. You may need to work in batches.
Allow the pancakes to set up on one side until edges are cooked and they begin to bubble, roughly 5 minutes.
Carefully flip the pancakes with a spatula and cook on the second side until cooked through, roughly another 3-5 minutes.
Serve immediately with toppings of your choice or as is! Enjoy!