Have I told you lately how much I love muffin pans?!?!? No I haven't? Oh ok, you're in luck! I freaking love muffin pans!!!! I have found so many uses for them, albeit some ideas came from Pinterest, however I've become somewhat creative on my own as well.
As with most moms, I'm always looking for inventive ways to get my kiddies to eat healthier alternatives of food as well as wholesome food. They LOVE my zucchini muffins, made where? in my muffin pan of course!!! I would like to share with you my recipe:
I essentially have taken the recipe here and modified it:
Here's what I use:
2-3 small zucchini (green or gray)
1/4 or a little more of a healthy oil, I use olive oil, but some people might find the taste a little bit much. Smartbalance has decent oils as well
1/2 cup raw sugar- I use turbinado sugar
3 tsps vanilla (pure, not imitation)
1 tsp baking soda- you can use 2, but I find the muffins become more dense if I use more
2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flower
1 tsp nutmeg
3 tsps cinnamon
pinch of salt (1/8 tsp)
I've also tried adding the following:
2 to 3 over ripe mashed bananas for banana/zucchini muffins
Chia Seeds- few tablespoons
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder for chocolate muffins
ground flax seeds - few tablespoons
1 cup old fashioned oats
Really, the sky's the limit here. There's so many items you can experiment with adding.
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Take your muffin pan and use a spritz of oil in each of the wells. Set this aside.
Mix all dry in a bowl (whisk together), and mix all wet ingredients (including zucchini) in another bowl. Once both bowls have been mixed thoroughly, add the dry ingredients to the wet. Don't dump it all in at once, but rather slowly mix until they are fully incorporated with one another. Once they are mixed, scoop the mixture into your muffin pan. You will want to fill the tins up to the top or close to the top.
I typically bake mine from 20-30 minutes. I will check them at about 25 minutes. If you place a fork in the center of one, and it comes out clean, they're done!
These muffins are excellent to make in large batches. They freeze extremely well, and they are great for when you are on the go.
So I had a minor setback this past week with my workouts. I started having pain in my foot that had progressively gotten worse over the past week. I haven't been to the gym in a week :( I eventually went to the doctor and had an x-ray done to rule out any fractures. It turns out that I have a pretty significant heel spur, on top of that, I'm having middle/side foot pain that seems to be plantar fascitis. The old me probably would have thrown my hands up in the air and said screw it and had a piece of cake to drown my pain and sorrows. However, the new and improving me decided this week, since I needed to rest my foot, I needed to step up my game on my eating. Over the past 6 weeks, I've gradually reduced my carbohydrates at my dinner meal, and this week, I finally said bye bye to them! Guess what happened??!?!? I'm down 12 lbs and 13 total inches total!!! **Happy Dance** I lost 2 more pounds since my last weigh in.
Now the old me would have probably said....I should celebrate with some pasta because I've earned it. Yet again, this new and improving me says, hell no! I'm gradually learning that food isn't a reward, it's nourishment and fuel for my body. I'm learning that I need to find other methods of rewarding myself for the hard work and effort that I'm putting in to better myself. So, I created a non food rewards list. For every 10 lbs I lose, I'm rewarded items from my list. With every 10 lb increment, the rewards get better and better. (well at least in my mind) In celebration of my first 10 lbs, I went this weekend and got a manicure/pedicure for a little pampering. I have to say, I've had many many mani/pedis over the years, but this one I am most proud of. I'm looking at my nails as I type, admiring how cute they look as well as reminding me why I got them done..My other non food rewards include things like: a 1 hour massage at a spa, a haircut/dye makeover, new pairs of jeans, a new purse, a 2 hour pamper session at a spa, a weekend getaway ,and ultimately my end goal of 115 lbs lost reward of a tropical vacation so I can wear a swimsuit :) These rewards may change as time goes on, but for the time being I'm sticking to my current rewards schedule.
I received an awesome reward on Monday when I visited my cardiologist for my follow up appointment. He suggested in August of last year that I seriously consider weight loss surgery options. I was a bit nervous going in there because I wanted to have lost much more weight than I have currently. I explained to him what I've been doing, the positive changes I'm making, and how I've been carrying out my promises to myself thus far. He told me that he can tell a definite change in my demeanor. He said I'm carrying myself differently, in a more positive way. I told him, I feel GOOD. I can't say when's the last time I've felt internally happy about my health. I finally feel like I'm doing everything in my power to get myself on track. He agreed with me! This is a big deal for me because honestly, for the first time in as long as I can remember, I feel like I'm back in charge of my health.
So what are your non food rewards???
Anyone want to take a guess at who is down 10 pounds and 13 inches?!?!?!
I finally hit my first goal of 10 pounds down and I'm feeling fantastical. I'm also down a total of 13 inches off my body (arms, thighs, calves, hips, and belly). That makes me super happy to type :)
I've made it a point to tell pretty much everyone I come in contact with that I'm on a journey to bettering my health. The first question I get asked is, So, what are you doing to lose the weight???? I'm not going to lie, that question throws me off. My response is usually something like this..."Um, well I, um am eating better and exercising". That just sounds so boring to me. I feel like people want something like "Well, I'm doing this new thing where you drink milk between 3 and 9 am, and only on Wednesdays, during a full moon" However, the fact of the matter is, I'm really just eating better and exercising. Now that leads me to my next thing, what have I tried in the past for "lifestyle changing" AKA dieting??? The question should be, what haven't I tried!
Here's a brief list of some of the things I've tried, in the past 10 years,to lose weight, along with a brief description of my thoughts about them (strictly my opinion, I do not want to persuade or dissuade anyone from these).
- Weight Watchers = works well if you stick to it, finally after my 6th go round with it, I realized it wasn't going to work for me. Also, this works best if you have a friend or a group of friends who are in this with you.
-Quick Weight Loss= lose weight quickly is exactly what happens, putting it on even quicker is what my results entailed. I think this program can be good for many people, but it just didn't work for me. Most of their supplements contained artificial sweeteners, which I do not tolerate well, so I couldn't take full advantage of what the program had to offer.
-Personal Training= definitely helpful. I lost 20 + pounds doing this, however I hit a major 6 month plateau which made me quit, not to mention my favorite trainer left my gym.
-Nutrition Counseling= This is the best thing I could have done for myself. It taught me what I should be doing......Now, whether or not I followed it, that's a different story.
-Cabbage Soup Diet= Ah yes, eating cabbage soup and bananas on the daily....Needless to say....this one didn't pan out, but hey, desperate times call for desperate measures.
-Carb Cycling= This concept is awesome, and yet again.......if you follow it, you will lose.....they key there is "follow it"
-Juicing= After watching the documentary: Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, I would do juice fasts for 3-5 days every other month. This lasted for quite a while, and I felt great doing the fasts, however, the weight loss results are short lived. It's mostly water weight that goes. I do love the detox aspect of juice fasts.
Ok I won't bore you with anymore of my list, I'll most likely do a full review of these attempts in future blog posts. So back to the original question....What am I doing now??? Here's my shortened answer: I'm pretty much doing an eclectic mix of the above , as well as applying other dieting tips I've learned over the years. This go round I'm trying to do more focusing on the mental aspect of weight loss and healthy living, rather than the physical aspect of the scale budging. I go to the gym 3-4 days a week and do cardio (elliptical, or treadmill) and strength training (weight machines). Nothing really fancy smancy but it's working for now. My eating habits have done a complete 180. One of my nutritionists told me before, losing weight is 90% nutrition, 10% exercise. I food prep, I plan my food, I make it a point to make it all my new, permanent, habits. Deep down I feel this is the way to go for me. To each their own, and what works for some may not work for others. With that said.....What are you doing????