smoothie time!

It’s no secret that my husband and I both have a pretty significant amount weight to lose.  We’ve both struggled with weight our whole adult lives, and I gained a lot with each pregnancy.  I was able to lose the pregnancy weight with both of the boys, but I haven’t really lost any of my pregnancy weight from my daughter…who is 2 and a half.  Ugh, I’m sick of my clothes not fitting and feeling frumpy and unattractive.  But I have had such a hard time getting going this time around.  As my doctor said, “You aren’t 24 any more.”  Thanks for pointing that out, Doc.

Anyway, we’ve been eating a lot of smoothies as meal replacements.  They can be so full of good nutrients, too.  We have them most days for breakfast and a lot of nights for dinner.

Here’s what I threw in to the ones we made tonight (all very rough measurement estimates):
3 cups frozen mixed fruit
1 cup plain greek yogurt
1/2 cup old fashioned oatmeal
1/4 cup pb2 (peanut flour)
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 cup baby kale, chard, & spinach mix

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It works best to put the yogurt and liquids in first, then the greens, and then everything else.  Then blend, baby, blend.  I let it blend several minutes, because I don’t like to be able to “chew” the greens.  If it isn’t blending well, add a little more liquid and stir it up with a spoon.  Once they’re very well blended, I promise, you really can’t taste them.  Also, if you’re new to peanut butter flour, it adds great protein and vitamins, without tons of calories.  I was worried at first that I’d have to be really careful to mix it with exactly the right mixtures of other things because of the peanut butter taste, but it really blends in with just about everything and the smoothies don’t taste very strongly of peanut butter.   If we do want to go for a peanut butter flavor, we usually use about 2 frozen bananas, plain yogurt, oatmeal, almond milk, pb2, and maybe 3 tablespoons of nutella.  Yum.

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Oh, and drink them cold.  I love the taste cold, but can’t stand the texture if they warm up at all.

experimenting with PB2 & muffin recipe!

I’ve been curious about PB2 for several years, and now it’s available at my Target, so I thought I’d give it a try!

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First, I used it in this recipe earlier this week, with rave reviews. This is one of our go-to lower cal desserts. Give it a try! (But, make sure you plan ahead, it has to freeze for several hours!)

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Then, I found this recipe on Pinterest. I wanted to try some PB2 muffins, but didn’t have any bananas (which pretty much every PB2 recipe seems to call for), so this is what I ended up with. I thought the recipe seemed a little bit unusual (no sugar, no oil). I think maybe it’s not an American blog, so perhaps their taste preferences are different (and healthier!) than ours.  So, I made some modifications, without compromising the health benefits of the recipe too much (in my opinion).  Here’s what I came up with:

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Pumpkin & PB2 Muffins

You’ll need:
4 eggs
1 c. pumpkin puree
1 T. vanilla extract
1 big squirt Stevia Liquid Sweetener (to taste, obviously!)
1 c. white whole wheat flour
1 c. oats
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
2 T. PB2
1 T. cinnamon
1/4 c. chocolate chips

Preheat to 375 and spray muffin pan with cooking spray.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs.  Stir in all of the other liquid ingredients until well blended.  Add dry ingredients, and mix just until blended.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Use an ice cream scoop to make 12 muffins, and cook for about 20-22 minutes, until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Reviews from my fam:
I think these are pretty good, and my husband and eldest liked them okay.  My middle child wouldn’t even touch them because they’re “lumpy,” and my youngest ate a few bites and then got distracted.  So – maybe 3 stars from our house.  A decent breakfast option to throw in the rotation, and pretty good on nutrients, etc.  I’d do a little bit bigger squirt of Stevia next time, I think.  Or  maybe agave or honey?  Or maybe some applesauce substituting for some of the eggs?  They needed to be just a little sweeter.

Anyone want to perfect this recipe for me?  Or have any great PB2 muffin recipes?  I am going to try some of the banana ones as soon as I’m able to keep bananas in my house long enough to let them get nice and ripe!

Choconananut Muffins

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This is a recipe I created a few years ago, and they are some of our favorite muffins! They’re only about 180 calories each, and lots of fiber and protein. Perfect for breakfast on days when we’re driving carpool, or for packing in lunches. I sometimes make a double batch and freeze half so we can enjoy them for a while.

Choconananut Muffins

You’ll need:
1 cup white flour
2 cups wheat flour
1.5 cups old fashioned oats
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2(+) tablespoons cocoa powder
4 small ripe bananas
1 cup chopped walnuts
2/3 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup brown sugar
1.5 cup plain lowfat yogurt
2 eggs
1(+) tsp vanilla

Combine dry ingredients and bananas and stir until mostly blended. Add everything else and mix well. Bake at 400* for 15 minutes. Makes about 28 ice cream scoop sized muffins.

fruit of the Spirit is self control

Here’s the picture that is currently hanging all over our church on the poster for the new Life Group that we’ll be leading. I realized after I sent that pic that I should have sent a current pic, because I am just making sure EVERYONE knows that I haven’t lost all of my baby weight yet, just in case they hadn’t already noticed. Sheesh.

I have struggled with my weight since I stopped playing soccer in high school.  I have gained and lost over a hundred pounds more than once.  I gained a lot of weight with each baby, and I did eventually lose all of it with the boys. I haven’t lost the baby weight from my daughter’s pregnancy yet.  Now that she’s one, I’m realizing I can’t really call it baby weight anymore!

I signed up with Curves, which was a splurge for us, and I was great about going at first, but lost my steam over the holidays and haven’t been able to get back on track.  As I was falling asleep last night, I thought, “I could go every day if I got up early…”  This morning, as we were waking up, my husband said, “You know, you could go every day if you got up early.”

Okay, okay, I get the message!  So, starting tomorrow (or maybe Friday, since my husband has a job interview tomorrow and I want to make him a good breakfast and be available if he needs me), I am going to get my plus-sized tush out of bed and get to the gym.  And start counting calories again.  It’s almost my birthday, and I’m 30 pounds heavier than I was on my birthday two years ago (when that picture was taken).  Hopefully I can be even thinner than that picture by my birthday next year!

The fruit of the Spirit is…self control!  I am going to work on it!  Are you working on it, too?  Tell me about it!