Tag Archives: grain brain

Gluten Free Pumpkin Muffins

Happy Halloween!!

I hate to keep asking, but voting ends tonight for the NASM recipe contest and I am so close! If you have a free moment please vote here. I would really appreciate it!

Jaden was so excited about Halloween this morning. He wore his costume to a party over the weekend and can’t wait to wear it again tonight.

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My other son, Jacob, really wanted me to tell you guys that he ran 3.25 miles in about 27 minutes. He has been really getting into running lately, and I’m looking into a 5k for him to run. He’s really excited about getting his own bib to wear :)

Breakfast

Breakfast this morning was a gluten-free pumpkin muffin that I made yesterday afternoon and egg whites.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Muffins – makes approx. 8 muffins

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • handful crushed pecans – optional
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips – optional
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp. almond butter
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • Pecans and pumpkin seeds to top muffins – optional

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Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin tin with liners.
  2. Mix dry ingredients in a medium bowl – almond flour, baking soda, sea salt, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pecans.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together wet ingredients - pumpkin, eggs, vanilla, almond butter, and honey. Whisk until combined.
  4. Slowly whisk dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Stir in chocolate chips.
  5. Pour batter into muffins liners and top with pecans and pumpkin seeds. 040
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for approx. 20-25 minutes.

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These were so delicious! I ate one when they were done and consumed it in about 30 seconds! :)

Today’s Workout

  • Stretching
  • Full body workout

Danny has the day off today, so we were able to go to the gym together this morning.

Stretching it out.

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I look terrible when I workout. :)

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I am going to Jaden’s Halloween party at his school later this afternoon and then it’s trick-or-treating time! Hopefully the rain will stop!

Have a great Halloween!

  • Do you have any plans for tonight?

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Filed under Breakfast, Fitness, Halloween, Recipes, Working Out

Gluten Free Pizza Crust

Yesterday, I received my last Goodies box in the mail – for some reason, the company decided to cancel the service.

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I was excited to see that there was two gluten-free items in the box. Perfect timing!

Gluten-free pizza crust:

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I love that the bag says “foolproof”. :)

The was also an Enjoy Life gluten free S’mores bar:

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Of course, I had to use the pizza crust right away and made it for dinner last night. They were right – it is foolproof. You just add water and olive oil and mix it together.

I added sauce, red pepper, green pepper, red onion, broccoli, mozzarella and feta cheese. It was delicious.

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Speaking of gluten-free foods, I am happy that Larabars are gluten-free, GMO free, dairy-free, soy-free, vegan, and kosher. They do have carbs and sugar, so I plan on eating them in moderation.

Today’s Workout

  • Hip, glute, and quad stretches
  • Bridges, one-legged bridges, and walking lunges
  • Ab exercises
  • Arc trainer – 20 minute

I went to the gym this morning and got about an hour-long workout done. Danny has the day off tomorrow so I look forward to going to the gym with him in the morning before going to Jaden’s Halloween party in the afternoon!

If you have a free moment, could you please vote for my guacamole recipe on the NASM Facebook page – Heather’s Recipe. Just click “Love It”. I would really appreciate it! I think you might have to “like” the NASM Facebook page in order for your vote to count. Some people are having a hard time getting the vote to go through. Please vote if you get a chance!

Have a wonderful afternoon!

  • Favorite pizza topping?
  • Are you excited for Halloween tomorrow?
  • Squats or lunges? I pick squats all the way!!

 

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Filed under Dinner, Fitness, Working Out

Gluten Free Pecan Pumpkin Pancakes

Yesterday, I started the 28-day Grain Brain Challenge. Basically, it’s gluten-free, lower carb diet, low sugar eating. I say lower carb because I am definitely eating a lot less carbs than I used too, but I wouldn’t exactly call it low-carb. Just lower carb :)

I went to Whole Foods and the regular grocery store over the weekend to pick up some food items. I was excited because I found a recipe for gluten-free pumpkin muffins and gluten-free pancakes using almond flour/meal.

I didn’t buy the almond flour at Whole Foods because it was so expensive and I’ve seen it at our local grocery store for less. So, I stopped at the grocery store to pick it up and it was sold out. Oh, well. So, I went to another grocery store and they didn’t even carry it.

Yesterday morning, I went to Target to get almond flour, and they were also sold out. I  was just getting aggregated by this point. Three stores and no almond flour?!

I finally found almond flour at a different Target last night. I used it in a pancake recipe this morning.

Some of the things I picked up at the store:

  • Udi’s gluten-free bread
  • chunky peanut butter
  • pumpkin seeds
  • almond and pecans
  • flaxseed
  • canned pumpkin
  • romaine lettuce
  • baby greens
  • celery
  • green pepper
  • cucumber
  • broccoli
  • zucchini
  • gluten-free pizza sauce
  • mozzarella cheese
  • Muenster cheese
  • eggs
  • baking powder and baking soda
  • organic olive oil cooking spray
  • flakers – flax seed “crackers”

Yesterday wasn’t too hard – my meals seem smaller, so I think I am going to have to eat more smaller meals or bigger snacks so that I don’t get hungry.

I had one piece of Udi’s gluten-free bread for breakfast with peanut butter and egg whites. I have never had gluten-free bread before so I wasn’t sure what to expect but it was delicious! I could see myself eating this on a normal basis…I just wish it wasn’t so expensive.

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Something that was not good? The flackers.

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The first bite I tried wasn’t too bad. I poured some out onto a plate with some sliced cheese and tried to eat them. I couldn’t. I can’t even describe the taste, but it was bad. Sorry flackers. I had to throw my plate away. But this point I was pretty hungry and needed something quick to eat, so I grabbed celery sticks with chunky peanut butter.

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I think I am going to have to get some more food because I was a little hungry yesterday.

Breakfast

Since I was able to find the almond flour yesterday, I made almond flour pecan pumpkin pancakes this morning for breakfast.

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Gluten-Free Almond Flour Pecan Pumpkin Pancakes – Makes approx. 6-8 small/medium pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tbsp. crushed pecans
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup almond milk

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Directions:

  1. Mix together almond flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and pecans in a medium bowl.
  2. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin, and almond milk.
  3. Slowly whisk dry ingredients into wet ingredients.
  4. Pour batter on a hot skillet and cook 1-2 minutes per side.
  5. Add your favorite topping – peanut butter, maple syrup, fresh fruit – and enjoy!

This was my first time having almond flour and while I found the texture to be a bit different than regular pancakes, I still thought they were good. I topped mine with peanut butter but I think they’d be much better with maple syrup!

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Today’s Workout

  • Stretching – 10 minutes
  • Butts and Guts Class – 60 minutes

I debated going to Butts and Guts this morning because of my hip/quad pain but I really miss that class, so I went and just took it a little easier than normal. According to my heart rate monitor, I still burned 522 calories. Not bad!

Have a great afternoon!

  • Did you workout today?
  • Have you ever had almond flour?
  • Pancakes, waffles, or French toast? I think I would pick French toast!

 

 

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Filed under Breakfast, Fitness, Recipes, Working Out

Working Out, Eating, and Pumpkin Crafts

Today’s Workout

  • Total body strength training
  • Stretching
  • Practiced warm-up and back tracks from BodyPump

I feel like I got a really good workout in at the gym this morning. I have been practicing BodyPump so much lately that it was nice to do something different.

I did some strength exercises and incorporated some plyometric exercises. Some of the exercises I did included:

  • single leg bridges
  • sit-ups
  • walking lunges with a torso rotation
  • squat jumps
  • biceps curls
  • triceps extensions
  • jump roping
  • push-ups on the bosu ball

I finished up by practicing two BodyPump tracks and did a little bit of stretching. I was nice and sweaty by the time I was done, and that’s always makes me feel like I got a good workout in!

I wore my new workout jacket that I got JCPenney to the gym this morning.

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I saw this jacket a few weeks ago and feel in love with it…but it was $60. I thought that was a little too much for a lightweight jacket for the gym, so I passed. But when I went to JCPenney a few days ago, it was on sale for $26.99 so I knew it was meant to be mine :)

It’s the Xersion Hooded Moto Jacket and I love how it zips to the side.

Grain Brain Challenge

I have been looking for some foods and recipes for the grain brain challenge. The good thing is that there are gluten-free and low-carb recipes everywhere – other blogs, Paleo websites, Pinterest. Whole Foods even has a 27 page list of all the gluten free items in the store.

I don’t think I’ll have a problem finding food to eat, I just need to find things that are fast and easy to make. I don’t mind cooking but I don’t want a recipe with 47 ingredients that requires me to spend tons of time in the kitchen.

I’ve had a few ideas so far:

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  • Cucumber sandwiches – hollow out the cucumber and add cheese, veggies, and toppings
  • salmon and veggies
  • veggie omelets PicMonkey Collage
  • taco salads, minus the tortilla shell
  • gluten-free muffins
  • eggs in a pepper
  • spaghetti squash with veggies and marinara sauce

I am going to try to stick the eating as well as I can but gluten-free is all new to me, so I might not eat perfect.

Breakfast

I’m trying to eat up all my cereal and oatmeal in the house, so for breakfast today I had some peanut butter Puffins. I just discovered these and I already have to give them up!

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One 3/4 cup serving just doesn’t cut it, so I had about a serving and a half with almond milk. I usually eat a small breakfast because I workout out in the morning and can’t eat a lot right before I workout. I always have a snack right after I workout. So, I look at it like I am splitting my breakfast up into two mini breakfasts.

Pumpkin Art Fun

I just had to share this cute pumpkin craft that I made with Jaden and my niece.

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I saved two coffee creamers bottles and washed them out. Then, we colored the cap green for the stem, added orange paint and shook it around, and glued on a pumpkin face!

Easy, cute, and the kids loved making them!

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Have a great afternoon!

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Filed under Breakfast, Family Fun, Fitness, Fun, Halloween, Recipes, Working Out

Grain Brain Challenge

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on the behalf of Brain Grain.

Disclaimer: As a FitFluential Ambassador, I was given the opportunity to participate in the four week challenge based on the book Grain Brain by Dr. David Perlmutter for compensation. After much consideration, I decided to participate. The Grain Brain Challenge is about lifestyle changes that you can make to keep your brain healthy and vibrant. The challenge includes eating gluten-free and taking certain supplements. Although I am doing this challenge for the health benefits, the possible weight loss is a nice perk. I do much better with programs when I am being held accountable to someone else (weight loss challenges, DietBet, etc.) which is why I decided to participate in the challenge.  I am not a doctor or a nutritionist. All opinions are 100% my own.

Grain Brain

Grain Brain is a book by Dr. David Perlmutter. Dr. Perlmutter is part of the American College of Nutrition, the president of Perlmutter Health Center, president of the Perlmutter Brain Foundation, and a medical advisor to Dr. Oz.

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The basis of his book is that the fate of your brain is in the food that you eat. Many brain conditions are caused by inflammation which can be triggered by carbs, especially those containing gluten and high sugar levels.

Good fats are important in our diets and our brain is 70% fat. Good fats such as DHA omega-3 help reduce inflammation and vitamins A, D, K, and E require fat in order to be absorbed in the body. According to Dr. Perlmutter, we need 200 to 300 milligrams of DHA daily and less than 25% of Americans consume this amount.

Dr. Perlmutter’s book describes the affect that gluten and carbs have on the brain, why our brains thrive on fat and cholesterol, and how you can spur the growth of new brain cells at any age.

The Grain Brain Challenge

Dr. Perlmutter’s plan is broken down into four week.

  • Week 1 – Food: Shifting your body way from relying on carbs for fuel and adding brain health supplements. These supplements include resVida – enhances blood vessel dilation and supports healthy blood flow, Omega-3 Fish Oil – helps maintain heart, vascular health, and brain health, and DHA – a polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acid the body needs and important for brain health. 007
  • Week 2 – Incorporating a fitness routine
  • Week 3 – Getting restful, routine sleep seven days a week
  • Week 4 – Establishing a new rhythm to maintain these healthy habits

Of all these weeks, Week 1 will be the hardest one for me. I have no problem exercising and I usually get enough sleep. Week 4 is about tying all these components together.

Basically, the challenge will consist of eating gluten-free, low carb, and low sugar for four weeks. After reading Grain Brain and learning about the affects that gluten and carbs have on the brain and body, I am willing to try and follow this plan for 4 weeks. I’m not saying that I will be gluten-free or low-carb for life, I am simply saying that I would like to see what kind of changes I can notice.

A sensitivity to gluten is actually a problem that affects many people and even people that aren’t sensitive to gluten can benefit from a gluten-free diet. Symptoms include bloating, headaches, constipation, fatigue, etc.

In case, your not sure what gluten is, it’s a protein composite that acts like an adhesive material, holding together bread products and plays a role in letting bread products (crackers, baked goods, pizza dough, cereal, etc.) rise. I also helps cheese spreads and margarines keep their smooth texture, and prevents sauces and gravies from curdling. Pretty much gluten is everywhere and can cause many unwanted symptoms in people.

This four week plan isn’t just about eating gluten-free, it’s about eating healthy. Just because a product is gluten-free doesn’t mean that’s it’s healthy. It’s about eating whole and “real” foods, relying on fats instead of carbs and eating low sugar.

I will admit that I am a little nervous about starting this challenge but part of me is also excited. I seem to thrive when I am being held accountable to someone other than myself. I did a weight loss challenge about a year and half ago and came in first place. I did the Biggest Loser program at my gym and lost another 11 pounds. I participated in and won three DietBets. But on my own, I seem to just eat a lot of yummy food :)

I am excited to see how this challenge will benefit me and will try my hardest to stick with it for four weeks  – it starts Oct. 28th and is set to end right before Thanksgiving.

Foods Not Allowed:

  • Gluten including whole-grain and whole-wheat forms of bread, noodles, pasta, pastries, baked goods, and cereals
  • Processed carbs, sugars, and starch – corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, chips, crackers, pastries, muffins, pizza dough, cakes, doughnuts, ice cream, jelly, processes cheese spreads, juices, honey, sugar, corn syrup
  • Packaged food labeled “fat free” or “low fat” except for things like water, mustard, balsamic vinegar
  • Margarine, vegetable shortening, cooking oil
  • Soy – soy burgers, soy nuggets, soy hot dogs, etc.

Maybe you’re thinking what the heck can you eat then?! I thought the same thing when I was going through the list. But there’s still tons of good and healthy foods to eat.

Foods Allowed:

  • Healthy Fats – extra virgin olive oil, sesame oil, coconut oil, organic butter, almond milk, avocados, nuts and nut butters, cheese (except blue cheese) sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds
  • Herbs, seasonings, and condiments
  • Low Sugar Fruits and Vegetables – avocado, bell peppers, cucumber, tomatoes, zucchini, pumpkin, lemons, limes, leafy greens and lettuce, spinach, broccoli, onions, Brussels sprouts, green beans, celery, garlic, asparagus
  • Protein – whole eggs, wild fish, grass-fed meat, fowl, poultry, pork

I am not really a meat eater besides fish so the majority of my protein will come from eggs and salmon.

Foods Used in Moderation (once daily or a couple times a week):

  • carrots
  • cottage cheese and yogurt
  • cow’s milk and cream
  • beans, lentils, and peas (exception: hummus)
  • non-gluten grains – buckwheat, rice, mille, quinoa, oats
  • sweetners – natural stevia and dark chocolate
  • whole sweet fruits – berries, melons, pineapple, etc.
  • wine

I definitely think that this will be hard and take some getting used to but I think as long as I can come up with a meal plan it will make things a lot easier. I plan on going grocery shopping this weekend and would love any suggestions for gluten-free, low carb recipes.

Eggs play a big part in this challenge especially because you can buy DHA Omega-3 cage free eggs and there is a great egg recipe from the Grain Brain book that I can’t wait to try out!

Huevos Rancheros Recipe from Grain Brain

This classic Mexican dish has been modified so instead of eggs served on tortillas, they are prepared over a bed of fresh greens.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
  • 4 Gold Circle Farms DHA Omega-3 Cage Free Eggs
  • 4 cups coarsely torn frisee
  • 2 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 4 tablespoons salsa
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Add butter or olive oil to skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Crack eggs into skillet and cook for 3 to 4 minutes for runny yolks, more for firmer yolks.
  3. Serve eggs over a bod of frisee and top with cheese, salsa, and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper.

 

  •  Thoughts?
  • Are you gluten-free?
  • Any good gluten-free or low-carb recipes to share?

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Filed under Book Review, Recipes