Sorry for my long absence.

Yeah, yeah.  I know.  I sometimes forget about you.  Please don’t take it personally, it’s not you – it’s me.  But I’m here now and I brought a peace offering:

PB2 Banana Muffins!

Now that Lent is over, peanut butter, almond butter and PB2 have moved back in – YAY!  BFF and I made it (barely).

These bad boys are deeeeeeeelish and the stats rock too!

      Whole Wheat Flour, 1cup
      Bob’s Red Mill Wheat Bran 1 cup
      Bell Plantation PB2, 4 tbsp
      Baking Powder, 1.5 tsp
      Arm & Hammer Baking Soda, 0.5 tsp
      Banana, fresh, 2.5 cup, mashed
      Egg white, 3 serving
      Applesauce, unsweetened, .33 cup
      Chia Seeds CHIA POWER Navitas, 2 tbsp
      Chobani 0% greek yogurt non-fat plain, .5 serving
      ***BSN Syntha 6 100% Whey Protein – Vanilla Ice Cream, 2 serving
    Stir together the flour, bran, PB2, Chia seeds,  baking powder and baking soda.   In another bowl, mix your mashed bananas, applesauce, yogurt and eggs.  Mix the wet ingredients into the dry and scoop into muffin tins.  Bake at 350 for about 18 minutes. I got 16 this time around……
    ***The protein powder is sweet enough for my taste so I don’t add any additional sweetener, but 1/3c dark brown sugar would be plenty for this recipe if you like yours sweeter.  Also, there is almost NO fat in here, make sure you prep your muffin tin well or they WILL stick.  I used muffin liners and sprayed them with cooking spray.  If you wanted to add a little fat, use regular PB.  Just mix it in with the wet ingredients and good to go!
    • Amount Per Serving
    • Calories: 102.6
    • Total Fat: 1.4 g
    • Cholesterol: 5.1 mg
    • Sodium: 62.9 mg
    • Total Carbs: 20.0 g
    • Dietary Fiber: 4.6 g
    • Protein: 6.1 g
Sooooo…….we good now?

    Day 2, post 2. hey I’m on a ROLL!

    Hey peeps!

    I’m in a TON of pain this morning.  I started doing a pull up program at the beginning of the month to try to work up to 10 consecutive pull ups (not chin-ups which I’m WAYYY better at) and I hurt my neck.  Somewhere around the 2nd vertebrae.  I can’t walk without hunching forward.  I look ridiculous.  And I can’t Zumba today.  Crap.

    So I made Banana Zucchini Bread!

    A few months ago I shredded and froze a 2 lb zucchini.  This recipe used the last of it.  Deeeeeelish!  This is my go-to recipe, comes out perfect every time.  I like to tweak things here and there for what I have on hand, it’s very adaptable.

    Preheat your oven to 350 and prepare your loaf pan (or muffin tin)…

    2c Whole Wheat Flour

    1tsp Baking Soda

    1/4 tsp Salt

    1/2 tsp Cinnamon

    Whisk these together in one bowl.

    1/4 cup room temp buttery spread (I used Smart Balance Light)

    1/4 cup Unsweetened Applesauce

    3 super ripe Bananas

    1/3c Dark Brown Sugar

    3 egg whites

    1/2c Zucchini – shredded, do not drain!

    Cream together butter, sugar and bananas.  Add in egg whites and blend well.   Pour this mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients. Mix well then fold in zucchini.  I topped this one with 2 tbsp of granola….

    Pour into your waiting loaf pan (or muffin tin) and bake for 60-65 minutes (25-ish for muffins) until a toothpick comes out clean.

    • Servings Per Recipe: 12
    • Amount Per Serving
    • Calories: 156.7
    • Total Fat: 3.6 g
    • Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
    • Sodium: 164.2 mg
    • Total Carbs: 30.3 g
    • Dietary Fiber: 3.7 g
    • Protein: 3.7 g

    I also wanted to show you last night’s dinner.  No recipe for this one, just kinda eye-balled everything till I got what I wanted:

    In this bowl, 2 Laughing Cow wedges, 2 oz spinach, tsp garlic and 3 sun dried tomatoes (not in oil) chopped up

    Mix it all up and spread on your [flattened] chicken breast.  Roll em up.

    Bake them at 350 for 25 minutes.

    Seriously good.  Stupid easy.

    Enjoy!

    Thanks for holding.

    Hey folks!

    Sorry for the long absence, I’ve been taking care of Moms for the last week and haven’t been able to sit at the computer for an extendended period of time.  She finished her last radiation treatment this past Thursday and I’m happy to report today that she is finally starting to feel a bit better.  Please keep your fingers crossed – thanks!!

    I wanted to give a big shout out to Miss Mia and Miss Ella who had a birthday yesterday!!!  The BIG #1

    Ahhhh!!! Aren’t they adorable??!!! ♥♥♥♥♥

    And another big shout out to my sisters’-in-law, Angela and Lynda whose birthday is today:

    I bet you’re wondering how I enjoyed my first taste of Peanut Butter on Easter morning…….

    Well, it was a tad anticlimactic:

    Best rice cake EVER.  I had about 3 tbsp of PB in the morning and then OD’d on some Blue Diamond Cinnamon Brown Sugar almonds that night ☺

    The kids’ Easter morning looked like this:

    We went out to brunch with Officer M’s grandparents (his Mom & Dad were in Boston with his sister and the new baby), and my family came over later in the evening for some ham and potato soup and homemade cornbread.  Pretty low-key, which I love.

    Well, I gotta get a move on.  Hopefully I can post the rest of the stuff I had planned on later today or tomorrow.  Have a great Tuesday!

    Chia Seeds. Not just a cheesy Secret Santa gift anymore!

    No not this:

    This:

    Now before you go thinking I’m crazy to be eating this stuff, let me give you some examples of the health benefits these little seeds carry.

    •  30% of the chia seed’s oil is Omega 3 oil. 40% of its oil is Omega 6 oil. This provides the nice balance those who take supplemental Essential Fatty Acids are looking for. The chia seed’s substantially dense percentage in alpha-linolenic fatty acid also makes this seed a healthy dietary source of fatty acids.
    • You do not need to grind the Chia Seeds to digest it. It is a relatively easy to digest seed, whereas flax seeds are not. Often, one has to grind flax seeds to be able to process them in their digestive system. That is not the case with chia seeds.
    • The chia seeds are great for athletes because they are highly hydrophilic. Being hydrophilic means it absorbs large amounts of water. Chia Seeds can absorb over 10 times their weight in water making them a great enhancer in hydrating our bodies. They absorb the water we drink holding it in our system longer.
    • Studies show that eating chia seed slows down how fast our bodies convert carbohydrate calories into simple sugars. This leads scientists to believe that the chia seed may have great benefits for diabetics.
    • The chia seed gels when becoming wet and this gel, when in our digestive systems, helps prevent some of the food, hence calories that we eat from getting absorbed into our system. This blockage of calorie absorption makes the chia seed a great diet helper. Eating the seeds also helps dieters by making them feel fuller faster so they will be less hungry!  (check out www.mariahealth.blogspot.com for a really cool pudding recipe!)
    • Chia seeds provide antioxidant activity
    • Chia is a great addition to a detoxification program. Chia seeds are high in fiber and in healthy oils making them an excellent addition to many detox programs.
    • Mix Chia seeds into yogurt, sprinkle them on cereal in the morning, add to salads, or even add them to your baking. There are many ways to add chia seeds into your daily routine!  Mine go into my daily bowl of oat bran!

    Read more: http://healthmad.com/nutrition/the-health-benefits-of-the-chia-seed/#ixzz1K45wEefU

    They are pretty much tasteless, and added into my oat bran, they have a subtle crunch very similar to a poppy seed.  Go ahead, give em a try.  What’s the worst that could happen?

    Oh, and in case you were wondering….

    4 Days until BFF and I can have Peanut Butter!!!!

    I’m stocked and ready:

    Oh nuts, no nuts!

    Did I tell you the BFF and I gave up nuts and nut butters for Lent?

    Yes? No?  Well whatever, we did.  It’s become a tradition for us.  We actually almost look forward to it – ALMOST.  It’s like 40 days of detox!

    Because of this I find myself looking for suitable substitutes.  My biggest issue is probably granola.  I have a specific brand that I ♥

    But, alas, it has almonds.  😦

    So I’ve been scouring the supermarkets looking for something that meets my 3 criteria:

    #1.  No nuts.

    #2.  As few ingredients as possible

    #3.  Price – I refuse to pay $8 for 12oz of granola!

    Low fat/calorie is a bonus.

    This has been difficult to find.  Mostly because of #3.  I’m very cheap cost conscious.  So I sucked it up and made my own:

      Cinnamon, ground, 1 tsp 
      Canola Oil, 1 tbsp 
      Applesauce, unsweetened, 2 tbsp 
      Maple Grove Farm Maple Syrup (sugar free), 0.33 cup
      Optimum Nutrition Whey, 100% Gold Standard, Vanilla Ice Cream, 2 scoops
      Quaker Oats – Quick 1 Minute – Dry, 3 cup
      Bob’s Red Mill Flax Seed, 2 tbsp (ground)
      Vanilla Extract, 2 tsp

    Preheat your oven to 275 degrees.  Mix all your dry ingredients together and then add in the wet.  If you are using quick oats the mixture will clump.  If you choose to use old-fashioned oats it shouldn’t clump at all.  Bake low and slow for 45 minutes, stirring it every 15-20 minutes until it gets nice and crunchy!

    • Servings Per Recipe: 12
    • Amount Per Serving
    • Calories: 121.1
    • Total Fat: 3.4 g
    • Cholesterol: 5.0 mg
    • Sodium: 22.8 mg
    • Total Carbs: 16.4 g
    • Dietary Fiber: 2.6 g
    • Protien 7g

    Kicks bootay on top of yogurt!!

    On todays agenda? 

    P90X and Insanity fit tests!  Yup it’s been 3 months since I started my hybrid program – I can’t wait to see the results!  Also, gotta take the guppies to the pool.  Remember, I’m cheap cost conscious.  Dolla Dolla bills ya’ll.  Holla!

    Have a super Sunday!

    To summarize: Snow, Eggs, Seeds & Paint.

    Whasshakin?

    I’m sure you’ve noticed the slight change of direction this blog has taken over the last couple of months.  I hope you don’t mind.  Being trapped in the house makes for boring workouts.  Also, it forces me to actually look at the house.  The more I look, the more I want to change (read: fix).

    And, having borderline OCD, when I start something – like spring cleaning or a craft project – it tends to consume me.

    So today it is snowing.  Again.

    The kids haven’t really been able to enjoy the snow so much because of lingering colds, but today everyone seems good…fingers crossed. 

    Oh, just so you know, Officer M decided on White Bean Chicken Chili the other day.  While that was simmering away, I made  Egg, Spinach & Cheese Bake.  Easy Peasy.

    8 egg whites

    1/2 c milk (I used 1%)

    10 oz pkg frozen Spinach (thaw and drain)

    1/2 c Sargento Reduced Fat 4 Cheese Italian Blend (or Cheddar)

    Pepper

    Onion Powder (real onion would be better)

    Garlic Powder

    Yeah, so mix everything together, pour into a prepared 8×8 pan and bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.   Bacon bits would rock this.  Ahhh, hindesight.

    Stats:

    • Servings Per Recipe: 4  (yeah.  more like 2 for me!) 
    • Amount Per Serving
    • Calories: 103.1
    • Total Fat: 2.8 g
    • Cholesterol: 6.5 mg
    • Sodium: 280.8 mg
    • Total Carbs: 4.5 g
    • Dietary Fiber: 0.5 g
    • Protein: 15.9 g

    We also made the bird seed feeders:

    Here’s what we used:

    3/4c Ap Flour

    1/2c Water

    1/4c Light Corn Syrup

    Mix these well. 

    Then we added in whatever we had on hand, which was:

    Flax Seed

    Walnuts & Almonds (ground up a bit)

    Raisins

    Oats

    Sorry no measurements on those.  Just keep adding until you get a pretty dry mixture. 

    Spray a baking sheet and cookie cutters with non-stick spray and stuff in the mixture:

    Using a straw, poke a hole through the feeder so you can add a string:

    Now if you are a patient person (which I am NOT), you can leave these out to dry overnight.  I baked them at 170 degrees for 1.5 hours, flipping them once.  If you bake them, make sure to remove your cutters and straws first!  No-I don’t think you are stupid, but we all have those days 😉

    Fun stuff.  We pakaged up a couple as gifts and hung one out on the deck.  Which the dog promptly ate.  I’m not sure what all that flax is gonna do to her……

    In between the bird seed and cooking I managed to finish painting the bedroom!!  Yay!!  Ugly chailrail GONE!  Soothing grayish-blue color IN!!

    Here is my dilemma though.

    I was gonna paint the armoir and headboard Antique White, but the more I look at the wood next to the new paint, the more unsure I am:

    (Sorry-had to use the flash, all the lamps were unplugged)

    Here’s the headboard again:

    So last night I convinced Officer M we needed to bite the bullet and get new dressers.  I picked out these from Raymour and Flanigan:

    These are done in a Cherry Finish.

    So I’m thinking if we get these new dressers, I will paint the headboard and armoir. 

    Taking votes here, what do you think?  Seriously, I need some input!!

    OK.  Gotta get off my rear and get my P90X on.  Later!

    I can’t STOP!

    It all started with this:

    This homely, piece of crap coat rack.  We’ve hated this thing FOR-EV-ER.  So I got the idea to purty it up:

    For a little leftover paint and $4 in knobs – not too shabby.  Or maybe Shabby Chic?

    Then I got the painting bug.  And I needed to do the living room:

    Blah.

    Ahhhh….

    A little paint and some new accessories (that I already had) and voila!  Not so vanilla anymore!

    Here’s a few more:

    And that metal scroll-y chandelier-y looking thingy that was over the fireplace?  That got a fresh new look and a nice new home:

    It’s now hanging over Miss P’s bed.  Just gives her even more reason to believe she really is a princess….

    I didn’t forget about Bugga.  I made him a growth chart outta some leftover MDF from my secret project (more on that very soon):

    I have some cars ready to be glued onto this, but I have a feeling Bugga would try to pry them off.  He likes to put this on the floor and use it as a race track.

    There are some other things going on too, but I need to make some progress before I post them.  I will however show you the FAN-FREAKIN-TASTC headboard my Dad and I found at the flea market for $5!!!!!

    I L♥ve, L♥ve, L♥VE this thing!   

    I really wanted to make an upholstered headboard for the bedroom, then I saw this beauty!  How could I pass it up for $5????   So I dragged Ivy to the fabric store with me yesterday afternoon and now I have a PLAN – mwahahaha!!!!! 

    Anywho.

    I have been keeping up with my workouts in case you were wondering.  Not doing 2-a-days frees up some time.  The only thing that sucks about doing P90X as my primary workout is that my cardio is taking a nosedive. 

    I know, I know.  I’ve read all the articles about how cardio is bottom of the pyramid for weight maintenance/loss, but kickboxing and the E got hard!  I haven’t set foot on the treadmill at all this year either…..

    Speaking of kickboxing.

    Either I’m hardcore – or I bruise like a week old pear:

    I’m gonna go with the latter…

    So today’s agenda is a double-P90x this am and Kickboxing tonight.  I skipped Chest & Back yesterday to go to the fabric store.  Gotta say, the fabric store was WAYYY more fun!

    Right now I’m fueling up with this:

    3 egg whites, La Tortilla Factory wrap, 1 oz deli turkey and Chipotle Laughing Cow Wedge.  TONS of protein.

    I gotta get my workout done early cuz my Momma’s coming over.  She asked me to help her with some weight training (that and she wants to use my E and treadmill).

    Ta-ta for now homies!!

    *****OH WAIT!!  I ALMOST FORGOT THE BIG NEWS!!!******

    If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you know Officer M studied for the Sergeant’s exam for like 6 months and finally took the damn thing in October.  Well, the results came in on Saturday.

    Officer M was the ONE AND ONLY person to pass the test!!!!!

    OHMYFREAKINGGOD!!! 

    So proud of my hot policeman- you rock honey!!!!

    I wanna go back to bed.

    I’m sick. 😦

    Damn it.

    Officer M and the kids all had it and got over it.  I thought we made it through….

    I think my good deed of blood donation yesterday may have bit me in the ass.  I was feeling iffy about an hour after donating but brushed it off as a side effect of being a quart low.  I had a Christmas party to go to and decided it was all in my head.  The party was a blast and even though I know you aren’t supposed to drink alcohol, I did imbibe (not a lot).  By the time I got home at 11:30 I had body aches and was shivering. 

    Crap.

    And on top of that, Reese woke up from the garage door opener so I had to soothe him back to sleep before I could hit the hay.

    Both kids ended up in my bed during the night but I was too tired and achy to care.

    This morning’s weather mirrors the way I feel.

     

    I’ve had 5 cups of coff-tea so far today (made with only 1/2 spoonful of coffee), and Protein Packed Oat Bran to get in some protein.  When I’m sick all I want is carbs.

    The kids are still in jammies at 2pm.  I took a 20 minute HOT shower and put jammies on.  I also won a Snuggie at the Christmas party last night and it came with these kick ass socks:

    At least Officer M has the night off so he can help me with the kids.

    I’m so rarely sick that I’m actually annoyed!  Hopefully I’m better by tomorrow….

    LOOOK!

    I know, it’s only a dusting – BUT WE”RE GETTING THERE!

    I cannot wait for our first big snow.  Don’t groan at me!  Being a stay-at-home Mom makes snow fun again!

    A frosty day like today calls for COFF-TEA!  

    BFF’s sister came up with the idea of putting a tea bag into her black coffee to make it more palatable (she does figure competitions and has to restrict things like milk and sugars).

    Now, if you’ve read my bio you know I hate hot tea.  Passionately.

    BFF insisted I try it at her house one day.  She made me a cup of coffee with some gingerbread flavored tea and IT. WAS. AWESOME.  [all caps and underlined for em-PHAS-sis]

    Needless to say, I picked up some tea during my last grocery store trip.

     L♥ve

    Steamy…☺

    Brrrrr…..

    Oh, today’s random mug shot.   (haha, get it? MUG SHOT?  Police mug?  I’d kill at stand up!)

     ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦

    On to the exercise portion of today’s blog.

    Speaking of exercise – I know how to spell the word, so why is it some days it looks completely wrong?!?  Thank god for spell check.

    Sorry, back on topic.

    I wanted to go for a run with Ivy today, but she can’t go till much later.  I have an appointment to give blood at noon (I know, I’m a good girl) and I don’t think it would be smart to run when I’m a quart low.  Insanity and lifting are both out, my right wrist is aching.  That leaves the treadmill and the E.  Both sound boring to me today, but they will have to do.

    Happy Weekend Folks!

    ~Fabulous Friday~

    TGIF huh folks!

    FIRST AND FOREMOST!  Exciting news!!  Lauri Watson (author of Red Head Recipes) has been poking around my blog!  I see her as a celeb-blogger.  She has a fantastic site with unbelievable recipes that just call to me – see ‘Squash Tuesday’ post.  As a novice blogger, I think it’s awesome she took the time to leave a message! 

    🙂

    I am in pain this morning.  The good pain though.  The ‘I really pushed myself’ pain.

    Ivy and I went to the Y yesterday and did bi’s, tri’s and back followed by a 2 mile jog on their AWESOME treadmills.  I think today will have to be a rest day…..

    Today is also going to be a soup day!  I LOVE soup.  I actually miss it in the summer.  Last night I made a huge pot of cabbage and bean soup with the chicken stock from Sunday’s roast chicken lunch.  Just 8 cups of stock, 1 head of shredded cabbage, lots of onion and garlic, canillini (sp?) beans and curry powder.  It made about 10 cups, so I’ll be eating it all week. 

    Tonight I’ll be taking the kids to the Rag Shag parade.  It’s so cute.  The kids get dressed in their Halloween costumes and we line up at the town hall.  The police close off a portion of the main street and we walk – parade style- 1/8 of a mile to the looooong drive leading up to the boys and girls club.  There they have games and music and treats.  It’s safe and really geared for the smaller kids who don’t really ‘get’ Halloween yet.

    Time to get my butt in gear.  Starting with Protein Oat Bran and granola!

    Have a fab Friday!