muddy footsteps

Healthy Protein Peanut Butter Cups

Posted in exercise, Food & Recipes, Health/Nutrition by nicolejanaye on September 22, 2012

I’ve been in a flurry of moods craving some sweetness back in my life and also getting in the kitchen to whip up some new recipes. I was browsing through youtube channels and a recipe caught my eye, these healthy protein peanut butter cups. Sounds intruiging, right? Michael Kory at Lean Body Lifestyle came up with this recipe for these delicious, protein-packed cups. Through some trial and error, I would recommend either spraying/oiling your muffin pan paper liners with a little bit of coconut oil to help the cups pop out when they are finished. Normally, if you were just melting and freezing regular chocolate, you would have no problem with pulling the liners off the cup, but with this recipe it’s a little bit more challenging. Either way, these puppies are delicious, packed with protein, have barely any sugar, and are great post-workout (because of their quick digesting whey protein) and before bed (because of their slow digesting micellar casein and minimal amount of sugar).


Serving size: 2 cups


  • Muffin pan paper liners
  • 2 small bowls
  • wisk
  • 1 scoop protein (* I use Pro7ein Synthesis chocolate powder)
  • 2 TBS PB2
  • 1 TBS cocoa
  • 1 tsp stevia
  • 1/8 cup water + 1 TBS
  1. Mix the protein, cocoa, stevia, and 1/8 cup of water in a bowl. (It may seem like there isn’t enough water, but continue mixing and there should definitely be enough).
  2. Take half of the chocolate mixture and pour into 2 oiled muffin pan linings. (Think of a peanut butter cup, there is chocolate on the bottom, sides and top. You want to make sure that a decent sized layer is covering the majority of the liner. I pour in a small amount and pick of the liner and tip it so it coats the entire surface.)
  3. Let freeze for 30 minutes.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix PB2 with 1 TBS of water. Continue mixing until a creamy consistancy results. Divide the pb2 mixture in half and place one scoop in each of your cups. Freeze for 20 minutes.
  5. Finally, add the remainder of chocolate on top of your pb2 and freeze for 20 minutes. I like to store the cups on a plate or baking sheet while freezing, and I bang the sheet down on the table a few times before freezing to make sure there are no bubbles and the layers lay flat.

Stats for 1 cup: 106 calories, 5g carbs, 0.5g sugar, 1.5g fat, and 20g protein.

I hope they turn out for you guys just as great as they did for me!



Chocolate Fudge Pie

Posted in Dessert, exercise, Food & Recipes, Health/Nutrition by nicolejanaye on November 20, 2011

The holidays are creeping around the corner. This means time spent with the family, memories to be photojournalisticaly documented, and forks digging into all the rich, decadent food. The nipply, bone-chilling weather tends to push the crowds indoors huddled against a fire with repeated comforting movies on the tv. A mug of coffee or hot chocolate for the kiddos isn’t rare to find during these winter months.

My family during our reunion last weekend.

This is all so wonderful and a favorite time spent for many people, however, it also goes hand in hand with the freshmen 15 gained during the first year of college. The weather gets too chilly for people to run outdoors, the food is peaked at its highest caloric density, and exercise and health seem to drop in priorities. This isn’t to say that you can’t spend quality time with family during the holidays or even dig in to some delicious treats, but there is a more efficient way of doing it that will keep you fit and fierce throughout the holidays.

First things first, a reachable goal is best to keep you motivated and healthy during these tough months. Recently, I read an article on Runner’s World about a Holiday Running Streak. What better way to stay motivated than set a goal of running every-single day from Thanksgiving to New Years. It can be indoors, outdoors, 8 miles or even 1. It’s something to keep you motivated and determined to stay healthy through the holidays. For me, when I’m feeling tired, lazy, or craving some guilty treats I try to head outside for a run to help push aside those negative cravings. 9 times out of 10 I come back ditching my original thoughts and head for something healthy. If I still crave something sweet, then heck, I’ll give myself a treat. But making a goal with the Holiday Running Streak is a commitment to myself that I will stay healthy and in shape during the holidays. Who’s with me?! If you’re in the twitter loop, #RWRunStreak is the hashtag to keep your followers updated and motivated to get out and get healthy.

One big hurdle for most people during the holidays are the desserts. They’re hard to resist, tend to be homemade from relatives (guilt trip to caving in) and so rich and chocolately. I understand that the holidays aren’t year round (wouldn’t that be nice) , so most people like to dig in and enjoy, normally wiping out all the calories burnt in your morning workout plus adding an additional 300. Well what if I said you could fill your sweet tooth and keep your slim figure? Your ears perked yet?

Let me introduce you to this mouth-watering, delicious dessert.

Chocolate Fudge Pie. It’s thick, fudgey, rich and sweet in oh so many ways. Best thing about it, it’s so much healthier than any chocolate fudge pie you can find at the market or most recipes online. This recipe is filled with fiber, antioxidants, and plenty of protein. What’s more not to like?



  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/3 cup water; ice-cold
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup vanilla soy yogurt
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 4 packets stevia*
  • 1 tablespoon flax-seed meal
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


  • 1 package of firm tofu
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk
  • 2 packets stevia
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

*I’ve been switching up original sugar with stevia lately. I’ve heard some people don’t care for the flavor but it works for me and I feel happier with my sweeter decision. I find that I can use much less stevia than traditional sugar. I found a wonderful website  that has a conversion chart for sugar to stevia. If you decide to switch up your sweetener, I would recommend checking this site out.


Pre-heat at 395.


  1. Combine all dry ingredients in a food processor.
  2. Add wet ingredients and process until fully combined.
  3. Take half the dough and mold into a smooth ball with your hands.
  4. Take a long sheet of plastic wrap and spread across a smooth surface.
  5. Place the dough ball in the center of the plastic wrap and top with an additional, equal-sized plastic wrap sheet.
  6. Press the ball gently down with your hands and form into a small circle. Take a rolling-pin and gently roll out the dough until you have a desired crust size. I like to do mine fairly thin. The plastic wrap is a trick my dad learned when taking a cooking class. It makes the process so much easier and uses no excess flour to roll out the dough.
  7. Place the dough into your pie mold and press against the bottom and sides making sure not to tear the dough.
  8. Add parchment paper and ceramic pie weights or dried beans on top of the pie.
  9. Cook crust covered for 10-12 minutes
  10. Uncover and cook for 5-10 minutes until you achieve a golden crust.
  11. Let cool.


  1. Melt the chocolate chips on the stove top or in the microwave.
  2. Combine melted chocolate with the remaining ingredients in a food processor.
  3. Process until smooth.
  4. Pour into pie crust and let chill in the fridge for an hour. It can be eaten within an hour or so, but I recommend letting it sit overnight. It firms up into a wonderful chocolate fudge consistency.

I can’t take credit of this pie without the incredible influence of Katie from Chocolate Covered Katie and Kathy from Lunch Box Bunch. Not only are these two women incredible in the culinary field, but they are making meals, digging into them and sharing recipes in the kindest manner; being vegan. Katie’s website is truly what it says; chocolate covered. It’s a dessert blog with a healthy twist. She shares a plethora of recipes that you can bet are all incredible. I tried out her chocolate fudge pie and was instantly hooked. If you are looking for desserts and want to keep them on the healthier side, head over her way. Kathy shares an endless amount of vegan meals, inspiring interviews as well as ideas for meatless-mondays. The photographs posted on her website kick your taste buds into hyper gear. If you’re hungry, bored, or need a good meal to make, no doubt you can find a great one on her site. I found one of my favorite websites through her blog, Finding Vegan, which coincidentely is creating by Kathy herself. It showcases mouth-watering recipes on the homepage with direct links to the recipe and the blog. I’d recommend giving it a look.

I have to admit that mid-way through writing this post I creeped into the kitchen and ate one or 8 bites of this pie. It is so much better than I thought. It’s been in the fridge since yesterday and has been able to firm up. The flavors are stronger and work so well together. I have to say that this has been my best dessert I’ve made to date. Best because the flavors are incredible, the pie is thick and rich, and the guiltless pleasure you can partake in as you find your way digging in with chocolate and crumbs covering your face.

I had extra dough for one pie so I made one more pie crust and two small tartlets. You can use the extra dough to make a thicker crust, or cut it into fun shapes and add on top of the pie, or make a lattice design on the top of your dessert like an apple pie. Have fun and experiment with ideas. I added raspberries and made a raspberry liquor sauce to drizzle on top. I’ll save that for another post.

What’s your favorite holiday dessert? Write a comment below and I will pick the best one and veganize it with a healthy twist!

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Posted in Breakfast, coffee, exercise, Food & Recipes by nicolejanaye on October 30, 2011

Currently the kitchen table is flooded with an assortment of things I’ve stacked on. Multiple water glasses, cup of rooibos tea, a sheet of paper with a few new recipes, a vase full of red roses, a handful of colorful highlighters and my computer.

This morning seemed to follow in the footsteps of my previous morning; good  vibes, delicious food, and friendly conversations. My best friend, Jaclyn, came into town today and headed to my place. We talked, laughed, ate some homemade pizza and discussed our plans for the summer. A road trip is in order and we couldn’t be anymore excited. We began working out some details, but decided to save a majority of the planning for winter vacation. We are still in school right now and that needs to be the focus. Once winter break hits, it’s time  for fun and time for planning.

I woke up this morning, laced up my shoes, and headed out the door for a 3.5 mile run. An hour later I sat in the kitchen, showered and began digging into a fresh grapefruit.  I’ve found myself in a grapefruit craze, trying varieties from all over the city. I’ve tasted ones that I picked right off the tree, I’ve tried ones fresh from the farmers market, ate them from Henry’s grocery store, and sampled from other local growers. They all seem to have a unique flavor in themselves. Some are plump and juicy. Those that are, spray a rainstorm of fruit juice on the countertops. Some are dense, making it difficult to puncture in, even if you are using a serrated spoon. Some are just so perfect that you must go back for seconds.

Music plays on and the sun keeps migrating.  I’ve been drowning myself in tea and water. I ate a small slice of homemade vegetable pizza. The herbs were from the garden, the sauce- homemade, and the pizza cooked with a thin crust. I spent time in Italy this summer and I know when I taste a good pizza. The crust must be thin, the flavors standing strong, the ingredients minimal, and it all must be fresh. A plate and napkin are optional. A hand can do the trick. It’s even okay if some of the sauce drips off the pizza and slides down your hand. Food doesn’t always have to be proper, eaten delicately and wiped up with a crisp, white napkin. Just enjoy it.

The clock ticked and lunch seemed to crawl right on by. I seemed to be too lazy to make a salad, not interested in anything warm or cooked, and had a craving for cucumbers. A sandwich solved the problem. Rich sourdough bread, homemade sun-dried tomatoes, pungent mustard, peeled cucumbers, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, and a light spread of tofutti completed my sandwich. Nothing too fancy, but just right.

You know those peaceful days where your house is shaded by the large oak trees. Where the wood floors in the living room bring a sense of comfort. When the soundtrack to your day is Bon Iver and artists with similar voices. Where a gentle smoke is rising from a warm, earthy tea steeping in a blue mug. When even though you’ve already ran, showered, and started your day, you end up back in pajamas. When your conversations are nothing but good thoughts, future plans and filling each others lives with hope. When the food is good, homemade and healthy. Today was like this..and I couldn’t be happier.







Salted Maple Walnut Scones-Gluten Free

Posted in exercise, Food & Recipes, gluten-free by nicolejanaye on June 6, 2011

Before we get to this incredibly delicious recipe I should re-cap this past weekend!

I ran my first half marathon ever! I trained with ‘Team in Training’ for 6 months building my endurance and preparing myself for this day. I raised $1,700 for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to find a cure for cancer! The morning started not so bright and early at 3am. The San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon is one of the biggest races in the United States with over 26,000 runners, walkers and wheelchair athletes coming from all over the country. The course runs through downtown San Diego, Fiesta Island and ends at Sea World. One of the best parts of the race was running on the 163 freeway. It was a unique and exciting experience that not many people have the opportunity to do.

Now, let me tell you, I’m not the typical runner. I don’t really enjoy running, I prefer more physical contact sports like boxing, football and softball. When I did running in the past, it was short sprinting distances. However, running and training with TNT has brought a new light of running to me. I think the more you do it, the easier it becomes and the more you enjoy it. I never would have assumed that it was possible to run without an iPod. Hah. But I’ve developed into a runner that can truly enjoy hitting the pavement with only my thoughts going through my head. I now understand the relaxing and meditative type of feeling that regular runners feel.

I wanted to start the race out at a slower pace so that I wouldn’t get burnt out through the end. I wasn’t running to beat a time or qualify for any other races. So why shouldn’t I slow down a little and take in the entire experience? There were times when all I could do was tear up. There were times when I closed my eyes and took in a deep breath. There were times when I high-fived onlookers as well as other runners. Many athletes write on the back of their jersey’s who they run for; in honor of, in memory of… I wrote in memory of my grandfather who passed away from cancer. It was nice to be able to read the shirts and see why all of these people were out here. Some of the most inspiring shirts were the ones that read SURVIVOR, and even 3x SURVIVOR. It gave me the extra push to keep running. To be in all honesty, I never was tired. This isn’t to say I wasn’t running hard, because I was. But I was distracted from the scenery, the people , the crowds, the hundreds of volunteers and families cheering me on. I ran a negative split in my race and was able to finish faster than I started! I actually had enough in me to sprint the last mile and a half.

It was an incredible experience to be out there with thousands others doing this all for one reason; to kick cancers butt! This was my first race, but definitely won’t be my last. Team in Training raised $9,000,000 alone this year! This drastic and deathly disease will soon be cured! Soon there will be no parents having to bury their child, soon their will be no widows of husbands who lost their battle, soon we will beat this!

Now, I’m not using this post as a way to advertise but I have $245 left to raise to meet my minimum goal of $1,700. With your help, I could get there. I’ve worked my butt off training for this race and fundraising, it would be incredible to hit my minimum and help catalyze the cure for cancer! That is the link to my fundraising page where you can read a little of my story and make an online donation. Anything is appreciated! Now let’s get back to the food.

I’ve always had a yearning for the combination of sweet and salty. Chocolate covered pretzels were not a foreign treat in my childhood. Salt is added to most dessert recipes to help bring out the flavors. It is no wonder that salted caramel or other salted flavors are taking over! For those of you that eat meat, have you ever noticed that dipping your bacon or other breakfast meat in with your maple syrup from your pancakes is surprisingly delicious? It’s this satisfying combination of sweet and salty that makes your tongue dance with flavors. I created a gluten-free salted maple walnut scone. Not only is the title a mouthful but yours will be too after making these!

I had a gluten-free muffin and scone mix in my cabinet that I wanted to do something with. I want to experiment a little on creating my own scone base, but for now I’m sticking with this. I used the brand ‘Gluten-Free PANTRY’ mix and added in my own set of ingredients to transform this dull package of flours and powders to a mouth-watering, finger-licking scone. Let’s take a look.


  • Gluten-Free PANTRY muffin & scone mix
  • 1 TSP kosher salt
  • 1 Tbl dark brown sugar
  • 3 Tbl chia seeds
  • 3 Tbl ground flax
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 3/4 cup soy milk


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine all ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl.
  3. Scoop by 1/4 cup measure onto parchment-lined cookie sheet.
  4. Sprinkle brown sugar and kosher salt on the tops of the scones.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden.
  6. Once removed from the oven, drizzle extra maple syrup on the tops and serve warm!