Recipe: Banana Nut and Oat Muffins

My Sundays tend to revolve around food: grocery shopping in the a.m., followed by food prep for the week in the afternoon and a yummy, home cooked dinner in the evening. I always look forward to fresh baked muffins during the week, so most Sunday afternoons you can find me mashing ripe bananas to make up a batch of muffins to get me through the week ahead.

This Sunday was no exception. The fiancé and I started our Sunday with brunch and Garfield cartoons on Hulu+ (our newest Sunday ritual), followed by grocery shopping, the weekly food prep and muffin making, obligatory homework, a long walk with the Piper dog and a game of chess before enjoying mahi-mahi and veggies for dinner. We’re not the worlds greatest chess players, but we’re learning as we go and have fun regardless. Even though Sunday is filled with work, we try to throw a little bit of fun in there too … ya know, since it’s supposed to be Sunday Funday after all!

Anyhow, back to those muffins I was telling you about. Banana nut bread has long been one of my favorite treats. To meet my dietary restriction and in an effort to eat a healthy and balanced diet, I make it into single serving muffins that are gluten, dairy and refined sugar free.

141 calories, 3.8g fat, 21.8g carbs, 3.1g fiber, 9.5g sugar3.1g protein, 138.7mg potassium each (without additional pecans)

141 calories, 3.8g fat, 21.8g carbs, 3.1g fiber, 9.5g sugar, 3.1g protein and 138.7mg potassium each (without additional pecans)

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My No-Poo Journey

If you’ve been following along on Twitter or Instagram you may have noticed that a little more than two weeks ago, I gave up my shampoo habit. Now, I know you’re probably thinking “gross, how can you not use shampoo?!” but hear me out … I gave up shampoo for two reasons: (1) I’m trying to reduce my exposure to chemicals; opting instead for natural cleaners and (2) since I was a kid, I have been plagued by oily hair. As a teenager, I had to switch shampoos every few weeks because it seemed like they would just stop working. I could wash my hair and when it dried, it would look like it hadn’t been washed in a week. Over the years, the issue seemed to level out, but I still couldn’t use ONE brand of shampoo, each time a bottle ran out, I would purchase another brand. And if I didn’t wash every day, I looked like I stuck my head in a bucket of grease (except for maybe the ends of my hair, which are super dry from washing every day). I have used everything from $1 to $40 bottles of shampoo, all with the same end results. I tried clarifiers, sulfate free shampoos, vinegar rinses to remove build up, I’ve scrubbed my scalp like a crazy women, let shampoo sit on my head for 5+ minutes and then scrubbed some more in an attempt to get all the shampoo residue out so that my hair would look clean, all to no avail.

Then I came across a pin on Pintrest about giving up shampoo, it’s called the no-poo method. Intrigued, I did some more research.

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Recipe: Two Birds, One Chocolatey Stone Cookies

Almost every week, I bake up a batch of cookies or muffins to serve as a healthy snack or dessert. And despite my best efforts, my chocolate cravings always seem to get the best of me and I end up picking up a bar of chocolate at the store mid-week. This week is going to be different because this week, I added chocolate to my cookies.

At ~95 calories each with 2.5g of protein, 3.5g fat & 13g carbs these cookies are a balanced snack that also boast 2.5g of fiber and 45mg of potassium each! Delicious and nutritious, these cookies definitely knock out two birds with one chocolatey stone! They’re also gluten free, dairy free and soy free!

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Beware the Gluten Eater: Shared Kitchen Tips

It’s a gluten filled world and for the 1 in 133 living with Celiac disease or the 6% of the US population dealing with gluten sensitivities, we are navigating our way through it very carefully. Some days are easier than other, some places are easier than others; regardless, we overcome each hurdle just as it is presented to us. At home, it is easy to let your guard down … unless you share a kitchen the kitchen with a Gluten Eater (or, gasp, multiple Gluten Eaters). A shared kitchen presents many of its own unique challenges, especially to those new to gluten free living. The kitchen habits you and your Gluten Eater(s) used to not think twice about, can become a risk to your health. Don’t believe me?! Consider this:

You’re chopping veggies for dinner, let’s say you’re having stir fry. You chop the garlic, onions, carrots, celery, broccoli, and ginger. Then, cleaning up your mess as you go, you put the cutting board in the dishwasher. Just as you’re putting your veggies in the wok to steam, you realize you forgot the red bell pepper strips. You pull the cutting board you just used out of the dishwasher, quickly chop up the red bell pepper and throw it in the wok with the rest of your veggies … And you possibly just contaminated your meal. 

Remember that glass of beer your Gluten Eater just finished. The empty glass was in the dishwasher, directly above where you had placed the cutting board. It dripped on your cutting board and you reused the cutting board … without washing it … because you had JUST put in the dishwasher after all. 

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Recipe: Breakfast on the go-go!

Well, it all officially begins tomorrow — my second year of grad school that is! And while on paper my schedule isn’t too hectic, that doesn’t mean things aren’t gonna get crazy, quick. Between classes, my TA position, internship search and home I’m quite sure I will be running around like a chicken with my head cut-off in no time. But then again, I thrive under that kind of craziness! So, to Spring 2013 I say: BRING IT ON! (insert Not Another Teen Movie response here)

Now, despite my enthusiasm at the beginning of every semester, it is all to easy to let my healthy eating habits go by the wayside after a few weeks. To reduce the vending machine lunch temptation, my weekly meal/snack prep will resume this afternoon. And for those mornings when I’m running out the door without having made time for breakfast, I am armed with yummy smoothie recipes to fill me up on the go without having to spend too much time in the kitchen. I know I’m not the only one who finds themselves in this predicament in the mornings, so I’m sharing three of my all-time favorite breakfast smoothie recipes after the jump!

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