Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Paleo Muffins... Just Like the Cavemen Ate....

So, just like most over-30 moms who hate exercise, I am sick and tired of being overweight and sick and tired.  :)  Ok, Ok... I'm 40... but that still puts me in the "over 30 crowd, right!?  Poor Lizzie can't yet be lumped into that group... she just turned 29 yesterday!  (Happy Birthday, Blogging Buddy!!!)

So... it's time to take action!

Back before the New Year, a group of neighbors formed an alliance to help each other through thick and thin (literally) while we all try to fight the battle of the bulge.  Everyone chose their own paths {two started on the HCG diet, one is on Weight Watchers, one is on MediFast, and I decided to try the Whole30/Paleo route}.  It's been really cool, and at least for me, the fact that we all check in with one another at least weekly via Facebook makes me want to make sure that scale number continues to drop.

I read a tiny bit about Whole30 online at whole9life.com, but I will readily admit I am not sticking to it WHOLEheartedly (ba-dum-bump).  Instead, I'd say I'm trying to follow a Paleo lifestyle, but I've done pretty well at also cutting out all sweeteners (yes, that means sugar, artificial sweeteners, honey, agave, etc.)  I haven't had many grains in 21 days!  Plus I'm mostly free of dairy, sweeteners, legumes and alcohol.  Yep, not-a-single-glass-of-wine in three weeks.  That's hard to do in wine country.  {Notice the "mostly" and "many"... I have cheated a couple of times}

It's been tough passing on my daughter's birthday cakes (yes, two) and on pasta when we went out to eat and on chili and dessert at our church's Chili-Cookoff last night.  In fact, I had to enter the cook-off simply so I had a Paleo option to eat (no beans)... I didn't win, much to the chagrin of my kids, but there was no "Paleo" category and it's hard to beat really good chili.  :)

However, the change has been worth it!!  As of this morning, I am down 8 pounds from January 1.  Not too shabby since I am not really starving myself, just changing the way I eat.

In just three weeks, I've noticed:

  • Absolutely NO digestive issues, no cramping, no pain, no growling, no nothing when I adhere to the plan perfectly.  (The one day I had corn chips at the movies... oh, I paid the price for that!)
  • Amazingly good sleep habits (and for me, that was becoming a serious issue).
  • Clear skin 
  • Weight loss
  • Less headaches (I could get daily migraines when in a bad spell)
  • Energy (at least lately... not sure if it's from finally being able to walk again or just eating better)
  • Less cravings/hungry-feeling, especially with sweets

So... it's working, that's for sure.  Now, how long can I keep up with this.  Cookies and cake still tempt me... not sure how long I can last without them.  

Until last week, I didn't eat one single baked good...no cookies, no bread, no muffins, no waffles, no cake, no cupcakes, nada.  Then my co-teacher, Kameron, handed me a muffin to eat.  After saying no, she informed me that it was made of almond flour.  Aha! I forgot I could eat that!  It was such a nice relief to straight meat, fruit and veggies.  Gotta love my coworker, who can keep me on my toes regarding all things food-related!  Usually I hear what I shouldn't be eating... for once it was refreshing to hear I was forgetting something!  :)

So, I was determined to find some muffin to eat when the "sweet cravings" attack.  Granted, I must admit... it's not often since being off sweeteners for 3 weeks.

I found this recipe at Lauren Lately.  Usually I find I'm without some strange ingredient and end up substituting somehow, but alas, I had them all so I followed it to a T.

Apple Walnut Muffins

2 cups almond flour
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 T cinnamon
2 t baking powder
1/2 t sea salt
2 eggs
2 apples 
1/4 c coconut oil
1/2 c almond milk

Set the oven temperature to 325.

First begin by peeling, chopping, and cooking the apples for about 10-15 minutes with a little cinnamon (I used about 1 t).  Then puree them in a food processor.

Then mix the dry ingredients (almond flour, walnuts, cinnamon, baking powder, salt).

Mix the remaining wet ingredients in a separate bowl and then mix into the dry ingredients.

Fill up a muffin tin.  The above recipe made approximately 12 muffins, when filled 3/4 full.  I used muffin liners to make it easy to clean the pan.

Bake for 15-20 minutes.  I think mine took about 18 minutes, but our oven tends to go quicker than most recipes say.

Yes, these were some kind of good!  Granted, you must like nuts.  :)  There's a lotta nuts in there!  I could only eat one muffin two muffins today.  I also think next time I would probably add another apple and only cut it up to small pieces (no cooking or pureeing) to allow some chunks to be in the final muffins.  It might add a little extra sweetness to the muffin with a little more texture.  BUT, even as is, I found these to be a wonderful addition to my mostly Paleo diet.  

The Paleo diet is often referred to as the "Caveman Diet" since it entails what a person could hunt and gather in paleolithic times.  Think the cavemen ate muffins a lot?

There are several more I have "pinned" to my Healthy Me board.  I need to wait till I add honey in another week.  Then my sweet cravings options will multiply.  :)  (If you go to to my board, you'll see there are non-Paleo options on there, too, from my pre-Paleo decision... FYI.)

Stay tuned... I may add my favorite Paleo chili soon!  I've eaten it so much these last two weeks... I need a little breather before making a big pot again.  :)

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