8 Great Protein Sources for Vegans

Some people claim that vegans and vegetarians cannot consume enough protein per day to gain muscle or even support a healthy body. I beg to differ! Having been a vegetarian for twenty-one years, I know just how easy it is to get enough protein into your daily diet. It comes down to making smart choices about what you choose to put on your plate! If you’re new to being a vegan or vegetarian or are considering going vegan or vegetarian, there are a variety of protein options out there for you! And they don’t have to be boring!

Quinoa
Quinoa contains eight grams of protein per cup. It is considered a “complete protein” because it contains all nine essential amino acids. The body uses these amino acids for growth and repair. Our bodies cannot create these amino acids on their own, so they must be consumed in our daily diet. Quinoa is very versatile and can be used in a variety of hot, cold, sweet and savory dishes!

©MuffinToplessNuts and Nut Butters
Depending on the nut or nut butter you choose, the protein grams will vary. Almonds and pistachios, for example, contain five to six grams of protein per ounce. Keep in mind that although nuts and nut butter can be a great source of protein and healthy fats, they do tend to run high in calories, so moderation is important. When searching for a nut butter (or even nuts) look for a brand that contains as few ingredients as possible. Natural nut butters typically have oil resting on top and the only ingredients should read “peanuts” or “almonds” and maybe salt. Avoid brands with hydrogenated oils or added sweeteners.

Lentils
Just one cup of cooked lentils contains eighteen grams of protein. Lentils are considered a legume and are incredibly versatile. You can use them as a side dish or cook them in a soup. There are a wide variety of recipes online for lentils, so don’t be afraid to surf the web for one you or your family might enjoy!

Tofu and Tempeh
Both tofu and tempeh are high in protein and can make a great addition to a vegan diet. Tempeh contains about fifteen grams of protein per serving, while tofu contains about twenty grams. Tofu comes in a variety of textures, which makes it incredibly versatile in vegetarian and vegan cooking. Some people avoid both tofu and tempeh, as they are more processed than other natural protein sources. But that doesn’t take away the powerful protein punch these two pack!

Beans
There are a wide variety of beans available: pinto beans, black beans, white beans, kidney beans (the list goes on). The great thing about beans is that they can be bought canned, which makes them relatively cheap and easy to make. Two cups of kidney beans contains close to twenty-six grams of protein! Black, white and pinto beans rival this with big numbers of their own.

Protein Powder
There are a variety of Vegan/Vegetarian protein powders on the market today. There are pea proteins, brown rice proteins, hemp proteins and vegetable proteins available. If you’re concerned that protein powder will make you pack on the pounds, don’t. It takes an excess of calories in general to gain weight… no one single food can do that so long as it’s eaten in moderation! Protein powder is great for building and maintaining lean muscle, providing satiety over long periods of time and keeping hair, skin and nails healthy! Most vegan protein powders contain anywhere from fifteen to twenty-five grams of protein per scoop!

Vegetables
Some might be surprised to hear that a cup of boiled peas contains nine grams of protein. A cup of cooked spinach has seven grams! Believe it or not, vegetables can be a great source of protein, even for individuals who do not follow a vegan diet! Fill your plate with leafy green veggies and rest assured, you will be getting a protein boost in your daily diet!

Milk Pour

Non-Dairy Milk
Some people find they simply don’t want to eat as much as is required to get their daily dose of protein… luckily, there are liquid alternatives! These can be great additions to a vegan diet, so long as you watch out for tricky labeling! Before picking up that tempting vanilla soy milk, turn it around and check the label! Many flavored varieties of non-dairy milk contain high sugar content. Soy is also not the best type of non-dairy protein source for women as it has added hormones. More often than not, it’s best to stick to the plain flavors. Soy milk contains about four to eight grams of protein per ounce, whereas hemp, rice and almond milk contain as little as one gram per cup.

A Side Note for Vegetarians
If you are a lacto-ovo vegetarian, there are a variety of dairy products (ie. milk, greek yogurt, whey protein powder and cottage cheese) and egg products that can help boost your protein intake significantly!  Since this post is for vegans, I won’t go into these particular protein sources. But if you are a vegetarian and are trying to put on muscle (and aren’t allergic to dairy), these are a wonderful addition to your diet!

So as you can see, there is no need to fret about not getting your protein intake for the day. It’s completely doable so long as you include these foods at each of your meals to boost your protein total for the day!

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Testimonials

“I have been following you for over a year now I absolutely love the workouts and meal plans! You are such an inspiration and the fact that you are ok to admit you are human and imperfect is so humbling to me. I needed to know other gorgeous girls that were fit could still eat and be happy and look great! I really enjoy exercise… Of any kind! So when my eating disorder kicks in and makes me feel useless as a person, I always go back to this website and get some guidance and courage back that it’s ok to eat and live healthy and being skinny is not what it’s all about. I wanted to thank you for being so amazing and inspiring me everyday to be a better me!!! I do your workouts everyday and love every minute of it. I’m at a healthy weight now, and my goal is to be stronger and leaner instead of just “skinny.” – Hayley Pierce

“I really want to thank you for what you have done for me. Though you don’t even know it you truly did save my life. Before I found your Instagram account I was completely destroying my body both physically and mentally. I was eating 500 calories or less a day and drinking large amounts of alcohol to cope with things. I have always been so self conscious of my weight and mainly the number on the scale. But after being in and out of the hospital I found you IG account and it opened my eyes. You truly are my role model and thanks to you I have purchased your Bikini Body Challenge and have completely taken the steps to change my life. I know the road ahead won’t be easy but I strive everyday to better myself thanks to you. I can’t wait to see my body transform, in a clean and healthy way, to what I have always wanted and dreamed of. Thank you for the motivation and helping me change my life. I can’t wait to start my new journey.” – Lindsay Phillips

“I stumbled upon your Instagram page which lead me to your website and I have to say I’m so glad I did. I was at a point where I was feeling low about myself and no matter how hard I was working out or dieting I wasn’t losing any weight and I wasn’t seeing a difference in my body. I started following your meal plan and I was amazed at how great I was feeling and how quickly I was see results! I just wanted to give you a heartfelt thank you for being a motivational figure for me, you made me believe in myself again, thank you xoxo” – Tami Goodson

“I just want to say thank you. For years I’ve tried to change my lifestyle and eating habits. But I was dealing with bad depression which made me a chronic over eater. (thats just how i dealt with it) so everything was harder. Finally I’ve been motivated to change my life around in all aspects of it, and give it all I’ve got. Your blog really motivates me, and is a huge part of why I’m eating better and exercising. Thank you so much. Words cannot describe how great full I am. I stumbled across your blog at the exact moment I needed to”. – Hailey Christensen

“You have honestly gave me the nudge I needed. I read your blog as if its a book on my nightstand, and then I’ll reread it while I’m doing my cardio at the gym. I’m addicted the high I get at working out, and I have you to thank. You have given me the inspiration and motivation I need. And you have given me so much that I have been helping those around me here in Morgantown, WV To practice healthy lifestyles, especially in college. I’ve gained… A wolf pack of gym rat friends, I guess you would say. It’s an incredible feeling. And knowing how big the fitness family/community is truly inspires me. I just want to give you my thanks for all the pushing you’ve given me! It’s not only been working, but it’s given me the kick in the ass I needed. And I honestly love sharing my success stories with those around me on campus to try to help them. Again, Thanks!!!” – Kayla Lipscomb

“I have trouble eating healthy in my everyday life at home and while I’m away from home as well. I’ve always had trouble making healthy choices, but your blog has inspired me to make better choices all the time, and has made me excited about doing it! I’m about to start a weekend job as well at an outdoor area with absolutely no refrigeration and your grocery list has helped me make a list of healthy items that don’t need to be cold so that I can eat healthy while I’m there! Thank you!” – Tandy

“I recently completed a 90 day fitness dvd set. I worked my butt off, counted calories, ate 10 cupcakes, beat myself up, and started again! After the three months were over my body looked the same and I had only lost 5 pounds. I was devastated!!! I came across your blog a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been hooked ever since! Thank you for showing me I was doing it all wrong!! I have been eating clean for only a week now and I already know THIS IS IT! I weighed myself this morning and I’ve already lost 5 pounds! I know you say not to track progress based on the scale alone but I believe that was just the push I needed to start believing in myself again! I’m so happy I stumbled upon Maguire Fire Fitness! This is only the beginning for me! Thanks for getting me PUMPED!!! :)” – Savannah Myers

“I saw your blog about a week ago and as soon as I got paid I went to the grocery store and followed your shopping list. For the last week I have been eating lean meats and sticking to a healthier/clean diet. I also began a weight training schedule from bodybuilder.com, the female fitness training bible. I know it is very early to tell if this combo was the exact cause but I think it speaks miles that I can say I lost 4 pounds this week. I used to run 11 miles in one trip and use that as an excuse to eat at Chipotle. Your blog has taught me a lot about how I need to change my lifestyle to become healthier and a better runner and cyclist. Keep up the great work, I look forward to showing you a before and after picture later this year!” – Ashley Mann

How to Deal With Negative People

All too often I receive messages from followers about people in their life who are unsupportive and negative about their newfound, healthy habits. It may be anyone from their boyfriend/girlfriend to their parents to their friends, or even their co-workers. The good news is, there are ways to help these people see how positive your new lifestyle really is! First and foremost, make an effort to understand where they are coming from… Once you have pinpointed the reason for their remarks, it makes it easier to find a way to approach them. The reasons behind negative remarks about a lifestyle change typically stem from one of the following: concern, jealousy or misunderstanding.

Is It a Place of Concern?
Keep in mind, change can be a very scary thing to some people. Many individuals appreciate consistency and continuity in their lives and the behavior of others around them. It’s comforting! When that continuity is broken and that consistency becomes disrupted, people are left unsure and wary. These feelings can be exacerbated if they think that someone they care about may be doing something harmful or something they deem “extreme”.

How to Deal – If their remarks stem from a place of concern, take some time to patiently explain to them the positive benefits of your new lifestyle. If they are able to see all the GOOD things your new habits are doing for your health and your emotional wellbeing, they may back off because they will see that there is no need to worry. For example: “Eating these foods and exercising the way I do gives me so much energy! I feel refreshed, happy and confident. I love the way eating well and working out makes me feel.”

Is It a Place of Jealousy?
Jealousy can be a very ugly emotion. It can bring up a lot of negativity and toxins in others that you may not have known existed. When someone sees you improving and doing something positive with your life, they may become angry. This anger has nothing to do with you and everything to do with their own insecurities. They may be angry because they are reminded of their own shortcomings. They might be insecure about their own unhealthy habits and the way it makes them feel. They may want to keep you down because it boosts their own self-esteem.

How to Deal – If this person has continuously harassed you despite your attempts to explain your new lifestyle to them and despite your efforts to explain the way their words hurt you, you may need to take a step back and reevaluate the relationship. Are they toxic to your wellbeing? Are they bringing more negativity and stress to your life than happiness? A REAL friend, someone who TRULY cares for you would not continually hurt you or try to bring you down. I have had to remove some of these toxic friends from my life… and I will tell you honestly, it was worth it. But that is a decision you will have to make for yourself. It’s obviously more difficult to cut a person like that out if they are a family member or a spouse. If you don’t want to cut this person out of your life, consider limiting your exposure to them, or simply avoiding the topic of health and fitness.

Is It a Lack of Understanding?
Sometimes when people don’t understand something, they mock it or pick it apart. It isn’t necessarily because they don’t like it… it may just be because they don’t get it.

How to Deal – Patiently explain to this person why you do what you do. Depending on that particular person, they may actually find the health benefits behind eating clean and exercising on the human body interesting! Or maybe they are a person that does better with actually engaging in the activity. Ask them if they’d like to tag along with you to yoga class or invite them to try some of your healthy recipes. You will have to use your own knowledge of the individual to find the best way to approach them! If you find, however, that despite your efforts to explain or engage them in your new habits, they still mock you, tell them how it makes you feel! Be open about your hurt feelings. If that person cares about you, they will not want to hurt your feelings!

Tips for Success:

Focus on You – When explaining to others how their negative remarks make you feel, don’t attack them. I know, easier said than done in some cases.. but there are better ways of expressing yourself. Using the words “me” and “I” instead of using the word “you” will greatly increase the chance of them hearing you out. By saying things like “YOU do this”, “YOU do that”, they may become defensive and refuse to hear what you have to say. Instead, turn the focus onto yourself. Say things like “It makes ME sad when I am told my food is weird” This illustrates your feelings and your thoughts without creating a tense and potentially hostile environment.

Be Respectful and Expect It In Return – If you show others respect, you deserve it in return. Remember that and do not settle for anything less. Treat others the way you wish to be treated. It would be unfair to mock or degrade others, only to turn around and criticize them for mocking you for your own lifestyle. Make sure you are not, in fact, doing what you accuse others of doing.

Create a Support Network – Reach out to people with similar interests and lifestyles. It might be tough at first if you are not naturally outgoing. But in this day and age, social media makes it easy to make new friends without that awkward initial “hello”. Try to step out of your shell at your next yoga class or spin cardio and talk to the person next to you. You’re more likely to meet people with a similar lifestyle if you reach out to individuals who are engaging in activities you enjoy.

Rid Yourself of Negative Thinking – It can be hard to do and may take some time, practice and extra effort… but creating a positive mindset is KEY to being successful at your health and fitness! The next time you catch yourself thinking or saying something negative, STOP, and immediately make yourself focus on something positive about the situation. Like I said, it will take some time and extra effort, but if you put in the work, it will be worth it.

I’ll leave you with this quote as food for thought: “You teach people how to treat you by what you allow, what you stop and what you reinforce.” – Tony Gaskins

Chocolate & Banana Protein Sandwiches

The other day I was craving a frozen sweet treat. Since I was planning on heading to the gym an hour and a half after my meal, I wanted to fuel up with a clean carbohydrate and protein. This recipe is SUPER simple and easy! Kids will love it just as much as adults and it could make for a fun family kitchen experiment! =)

Chocolate & Banana Protein Sandwiches

Ingredients:

  • 1 Scoop Protein Powder
  • 3 TB Sugarfree Coconut Milk (this will need to be adjusted depending on your protein powder)
  • 1 TB Natural Peanut Butter (optional)
  • 1 Small Banana

 Directions:

In a bowl, mix 1 scoop protein powder and the sugar free coconut milk (if you’re using peanut butter, combine with these two ingredients as well). Keep in mind that if you’re using a casein protein, you will need more liquid than if you use a whey protein. (Either one is fine!) Mix until protein and coconut milk are a thick consistency. Slice up a small banana. Make mini “sandwiches” using the sliced banana and protein powder mixture. Put on a small plate and pop in the freezer for about 20 minutes or so. Enjoy!

Healthy with a kick Sweet Potato Fries

Since I began my fit lifestyle, I have tried a wide variety of healthy recipes. I usually end up forgetting an ingredient or adding something that wasn’t supposed to be in it (oops). Sometimes those recipes turn out absolutely terrible… while on other occasions, they turn out fantastic! This Healthy Sweet Potato Fries recipe, just so happened to be one of those GOOD accidents!  Healthy and Spicy Sweet Potato Fries

I don’t know about you, but I think sweet potato fries are amazing!  These are awesome paired with just about anything.. Today I had them alongside steamed asparagus, and broiled chicken topped with salsa!

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 Large Yams
  • 1/4 Cup Liquid Egg Whites (or 2 Egg Whites)
  • Tsp Chili Powder
  • Tsp Garlic Powder
  • Tsp Oregano
  • Tsp Ground Cumin
  • Tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/2 Tsp Ground Black Pepper

 

DIRECTIONS:

Pre-Heat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Chop yams or sweet potatoes into classic french fry shapes. Try to keep them an even thickness or they won’t cook properly (ie. make sure some aren’t super thick while others are slender). Mix spices in a small bowl. Put uncooked yam/sweet potato into a large bowl and add the egg whites. Toss the yam/sweet potato until it is coated in egg white. Next, sprinkle the mixed spices on top and toss until all fries are lightly coated with spices. Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick spray and spread the fries out evenly. Bake for about 20 minutes (keep an eye on them so you don’t over bake). Flip the fries and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until they reach a desired consistency (less time = softer fries, more time = crispier fries). If you like them really crispy, turn your oven to broil for a few minutes after the full 35 minute cook time is up. Keep an eye on them though so they don’t burn! Serve warm and enjoy!

These gluten free chocolate, chocolate chip banana muffins can be served as a snack, for breakfast, as a healthier dessert, or grab one when you’re on the go (without feeling too guilty) – because they contain almost 9 grams of protein.

These gluten free chocolate, chocolate chip banana muffins can be served as a snack, for breakfast, as a healthier dessert, or grab one when you’re on the go (without feeling too guilty) – because they contain almost 9 grams of protein. They’re also made without oil or butter and contain very little added sugar!

In fact, if you want to make them healthier still, you can cut back on the sugar (even though there’s only 1/4 cup in the whole thing). In fact, you can omit it entirely, if you like. Though I do try and use the least amount of sugar possible to please my taster’s palates. (And they’re apparently enjoying these a little too much because I’ve had to hide the ones pictured here just so I’d have something to photograph for my site!

 

GLUTEN-FREE CHOCOLATE BANANA PROTEIN MUFFINS

INGREDIENTS:

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray muffin tin.

Measure and whisk together the GF flour mix, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, protein powder, sea salt, cinnamon, and sugar.

In a separate bowl, blender or standing mixer measure the eggs, milk, applesauce and diced ripe bananas and give it a whirl until its thoroughly smooth and well blended. Then add to the dry ingredients and stir until there are no dry bits remaining.

Spoon into the muffin tin, filling them about 2/3 – 3/4 of the way.

Bake for approximately 18 – 20 minutes (toothpick should come out clean). Oven temperatures may vary, so be sure and keep an eye on them. Cool them on a rack and then keep them covered. They may be frozen if placed in a well sealed container.

Makes 12

For more great recipes like this one, check out http://www.JaniceAmeesGlutenFree.com

Gluten- Free Chocolate Almond Cookies

 

Ingredients:

  • Almond Flour – 2 cups (or finely ground almonds)
  • Coconut Sugar (Sucanat, Organic Cane Sugar or Brown Sugar) – 6 Tablespoons
  • Baking Soda – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Sea Salt – 1/8 teaspoon
  • Chocolate Chips (Dark or Semi-Sweet) – 2/3 – 3/4 cups
  • Coconut Oil (Unsalted Butter or Unsalted Vegan Butter) – 6 Tablespoons (gently melted)
  • Egg – 1 or *1/4 cup Egg Replacement

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray cookie sheet.

Measure and whisk together the dry ingredients, including the chocolate chips. In a separate bowl, whip the egg and oil together before adding to the dry mixture. Stir well.

Scoop a spoonful into your hand and shape into a round, flattish dish. Place on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake 12 – 14 minutes. Oven temperatures may vary so keep an eye on them. Cool slightly before removing from the tray. Makes approximately 20 cookies (depending on the size you make them).

Enjoy!

 

*To make an egg replacement: Measure 1 Tablespoon chia seeds or ground flax seeds and 3 Tablespoons hot water. Stir together and allow to gel before treating as you would a regular egg. If you don’t want dark speckles in your cookies, I suggest using white chia seeds. 🙂

Getting help

Studying some Psychology in college gave me a newfound appreciation and understanding of the importance of therapy and mental health counseling and a positive mindset. If you or someone you know is suffering from  depression,eating disorder, self-harming or if in general, you feel as though there are things in your life you can no longer handle on your own, I hope you will take a moment to look through the links I have listed below. There is absolutely NO SHAME in seeking help. It takes courage to reach out!

If this is an emergency, or if you are worried that you or someone you know may be at risk for suicide, please call your local authorities (911), contact a mental health professional, or call and talk to someone at 1-800-SUICIDE. 

HELPLINES:

National Hopeline Network (U.S.A.) –  www.hopeline.com – 1-800-SUICIDE

S.A.F.E. Alternatives –  www.selfinjury.com – Self Abuse Finally Ends

National Domestic Violence Helpline –  www.ndvh.org   – 1-800-799-SAFE

Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network –  www.rainn.org – 1-800-656-HOPE National Sexual Assault Hotline

National Eating Disorders Association – www.nationaleatingdisorders.org – 1-800-931-2237

The Trevor Project is the only nationwide, around-the-clock crisis and suicide prevention helpline for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. All calls are confidential and toll-free from anywhere in the United States, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 866-4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386)

FIND TREATMENT OR COUNSELING:

 American Psychological Association – counseling services locator

AAMFT – counseling services locator

Befrienders Worldwide – treatment and counseling services locator

SAMHSA – substance abuse treatment center locator

SAMHSA – mental health services locator

For Help with SELF-INJURY:

S.A.F.E. ALTERNATIVES is a nationally recognized treatment approach, professional network, and educational resource base, which is committed to helping you and others achieve an end to self-injurious behavior.”

Self Mutilators Anonymous – www.selfmutilatorsanonymous.webs.com – “Self Mutilators Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other, that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from physical self-mutilation.”

For Help with EATING DISORDERS:

National Eating Disorders Association – “non-profit organization dedicated to supporting individuals and families affected by eating disorders.”

FINDINGbalance – Faith based help for eating and body image issues.

For Help with ADDICTION:

HBO – “The Addiction website brings together many of America’s top addiction experts to demystify this much-misunderstood disease.  To find help now, or to learn more about the latest breakthroughs in treatment, select a link.”

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.” Meetings can be found in Australia, the UK and USA.

Al-Anon/Alateen – “Offering hope and help to families and friends of alcoholics.”

Narcotics Anonymous –  an international, community-based association of recovering drug addicts with more than 33,500 weekly meetings in over 116 countries worldwide.” Visit their website to find a meeting in your area.

Additional Information:

International Foundation for Research and Education on Depression

Teen Advice/Support site – TeenHelp.org

The Jed Foundation – The Jed Foundation works nationally to reduce the rate of suicide and the prevalence of emotional distress among college and university students.

Mental Health America – Resources promoting mental health nationwide.

Help Guide… for information on: abuse, addiction, depression, eating disorders, mental health and trauma

For more information on Specific Mental Illness’ visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness

To Write Love on Her Arms – “To Write Love on Her Arms is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide.”

**DISCLAIMER** I am NOT a dietician, counselor, personal trainer, doctor, or any other healthcare related professional. I do not mind giving advice or suggestions, but please keep in mind that I have NOT been trained in these fields. If you ask me a question I will answer it to the best of my ability.

SHEET PAN MAPLE MUSTARD ROASTED CHICKEN

Sheet-Pan-Maple-Mustard-Roasted-Chicken-2.jpg
PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES
COOK TIME: 30 MINUTES
TOTAL TIME: 40 MINUTES
SERVINGS: 4 SERVINGS
AUTHOR: THE CHUNKY CHEF

Make dinner easy with this maple mustard roasted chicken with butternut squash and Brussels sprouts, cooked together on a single sheet pan!

Print

INGREDIENTS

    • 1 1/2 Tbsp grainy Dijon mustard
    • 1 1/2 Tbsp Maple syrup(don’t use imitation, the flavor won’t be as deep)
    • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
    • salt and pepper, to taste
    • 4 bone in, skin on chicken thighs
    • salt and pepper, to taste
    • 2-3 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
    • 2 large shallots, peeled and quartered
    • 2 cups brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise
    • 1 Tbsp olive oil
    • salt and pepper, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place pan (mine is 15″x11″) in oven, and preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Make sure to leave pan in the oven as it preheats.

  2. In a small mixing bowl, add mustard, syrup, rosemary and salt and pepper.  Whisk to combine.

  3. Add butternut squash, Brussels sprouts and shallots to a mixing bowl and toss with salt, pepper, and 1 Tbsp of olive oil.

  4. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper and brush a thin layer of maple mustard sauce over the skin side of the chicken.  Reserve sauce for later.  Carefully remove pan from oven (remember, it’s HOT), and add chicken thighs, skin side down, to the pan.

  5. Spread veggies in an even layer around the chicken thighs, careful not to overcrowd the pan, or they won’t roast, they’ll steam.  Make sure Brussels sprouts are placed cut side down for maximum roasted flavor.  If desired, use a pastry brush to dot little amounts of the maple mustard sauce over the veggies.

  6. Return pan to hot oven and bake for 15-18 minutes.  Flip chicken over and return to oven for another 10-15 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and at an internal temperature of 165 degrees F .

  7. Brush chicken with reserved maple mustard sauce and broil on high for a few minutes for a crispier skin.\

    Recipe and Photo courtesy of The Chunky Chef

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love taking photo’s. I would be the one with a super fancy Canon Camera always on hand. When I was at my biggest weight it was a different ball game. I did take a ton of pictures but not a lot where that of me.  If I had any photos they would be from the waist up with baggy clothing so it would hide how big I actually was.  Luckily being the height I am my weight didn’t show much but I could see it in my face and knowing what my body was like before. I knew that I wasn’t happy with myself after gaining almost 100lbs during my pregnancy and I did something about it. We are all capable of transforming our bodies to be the best that they are made to be,all it takes is work and determination. If I can do it so can you!www.facebook.com/maguirefirefitness