Banana Nut Muffins

Who doesn’t love muffins!? One of my favorite things about making these and then creating this post has been how many times auto correct wanted to change “nut” to “butt” – these are not banana butt muffins! You could call them that though and they’d still be equally as tasty.

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I’m all about making and baking things that I won’t feel guilty about – that are extremely yummy but that don’t make me feel sick – baked goods that come from whole ingredients. With the exception of some brown sugar, these are just that.

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Nanananananas

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I wanted to eat this with a spoon. #confessions

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These are a great snack to make when you’re having that evening sweet tooth. The recipe makes six little muffins so you won’t have to worry about eating 12 of them – it’s a legit concern – BEEN THERE.

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Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A desire for something sweet
  • The patience to pre-heat the oven
  • The will power to not eat the raw muffin batter
  • 2 ripe bananas – the more ripe they are, the sweeter your muffins shall be
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt – or just a pinch
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp sliced raw almonds

Directions:

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Mash together bananas and egg. Add in remaining ingredients. Grease 6 muffin pan tray (I like to use coconut oil). Evenly distribute the batter. Bake for around 20 minutes or until tops are golden brown.

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These muffins are DENSE (and not like that girl you knew from High School). They are so flavorful and moist (ugh I’ve always hated that word – soft, squishy, dewy and humid in muffin way?) you get the point.

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LOOK AT THE DENSE-NESS!!!

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Enjoy these with a cup of your favorite tea at night. It’s the perfect bedtime snack 🙂

Nutrition facts below.

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Fit Cupcake Giveaway!!! A Thank You to All of You!

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Today I thought it would be a great day to try my hand at Fit Cupcake’s first official giveaway as a way to say THANK YOU to all of you who read, follow, and comment on my blog and Facebook page. I’m trying to make it as easy as possible. Please read the FAQ below. To enter, simply visit the Fit Cupcake Facebook Page here and comment on the giveaway photo on Facebook (it will be the same photo that is shown below) by answering the question provided on Facebook.

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What is the giveaway?

  • I have an extra copy of Jillian Michael’s Killer Buns & Thighs DVD that will be mailed to the winner

Why are you doing a giveaway?

  • No other reason than I want to say “THANK YOU!” to all of my friends, fans, and followers 🙂

Do you sell this product or get a profit from this?

  • Absolutely not. I just love Jillian Michael’s workouts and think that my followers might enjoy it, too!

How can I enter the raffle/giveaway?

When does the contest start and end?

  • The giveaway starts at Noon (EST) on Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 and ends at 11pm (EST) on Sunday, July 20th, 2014.

When will the winner be chosen?

  • The winner will be announced on Facebook during the day on Monday, July 21st, 2014.

How will the winner be chosen?

  • The winner will be chosen at random by entering everyone’s name into an online tool I use called Random Thing Picker

How will the winner be notified?

  • The winner will be announced on Facebook (first name only) and contacted via Facebook message to provide their mailing address.

Are there any limitations to who can win?

  • The only limitations are that this is a Facebook giveaway and I can only ship the DVD within the United States at this time.

I don’t have a Facebook account – can I still enter the giveaway raffle?

  • For my first giveaway, I am trying to keep it simple and am only using Facebook. In the future, I may do different giveaways with more options on how to participate and enter.

I live outside of the United States – am I eligible to win?

  • At this time I will only be able to ship the prize within the United States.

What will do you with my mailing address and contact info if I win?

  • Your mailing address will be kept confidential and will only be used to mail you your prize!

What if I win but want to give the prize to someone else who entered?

  • The prize cannot be transferred. If you decline the prize after winning, I will choose a new winner at random. I want to keep things as fair as possible 🙂

How To Spice Up Your Kitchen With Contact Paper!

My husband and I recently moved across the country from Seattle, WA to Maryland. You can read about that adventure here. I love the place we rented but I wasn’t too thrilled about the kitchen cabinets. I also knew I couldn’t paint them and wanted an easy, affordable (and removable) way to make the kitchen our own and a little less dark and gloomy.

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It’s not that the kitchen was awful before but sometimes, ya know, you just want something different. Here’s the before:

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Those giant fluorescent lights never help either – but I’ll have to find a way to take care of that later 😉 Like any project I’ve attempted, I usually just dig right in – often without thinking – which has led to cuts, scrapes, and a lot of me yelling “holy $&@# are you serious?!” However, this project wasn’t too bad lol. I started by removing the cabinet knobs – super easy to just unscrew them from the back. I actually put the contact paper on the first cabinet by leaving it attached – which worked, but it was awkward.

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For the next panels, I decided to remove them so I could lay them flat on the floor and really take my time and make sure I got them perfectly smooth.

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I made sure that there wasn’t anything sticky or super dirty on the front of the wood but for the most part I just started applying the contact paper and didn’t worry about trying to get them perfectly clean and then letting them dry. You’ll definitely want to take the extra time to remove any knobs and then punch them back through the paper later.

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The contact paper comes with easy directions on the back of each roll.

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I found the easiest way to apply it was to carefully peel off the two end corners and edges and then line them up with the top of the shelf. I then just slowly puled down and did my best to firmly flatten it down as I went. You could use a sharp book edge to help you avoid air bubbles.

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Most of the time when I ran across an air bubble, it was pretty easy to slowly peel the contact paper back off and go at it with another run. Unlike self-laminate – it’s not like you’re totally @&#%ed the minute it touches the dry surface.

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If you do come across an air bubble and it really feels too late to salvage, simply take a need and pop it and then smooth down. It’s hardly noticeable, especially if it’s pretty small. Here’s the finished project with the before and after!

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I still need to put knobs on them. I want to go to a craft store and find some cute clear ones to attach. It will be super easy to remove the contact paper again when we move in a few years. I’ll he honest, this specific design wasn’t my first choice but it was cheap at the Navy Exchange (few dollars a roll) and I figured if I hated it later, I could always invest in something totally different. For now though, I’m really loving it, it’s different and gives the place a country feel.

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Then add your other special touches to make the kitchen cozy, unique, and your own!

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Happy crafting!! DIY projects always give me a sense of accomplishment no matter how they turn out. I feel like I learn something and even more about myself in the process. It’s fun knowing you’ve put your mark on any place you go to make it your own. To make it feel like home ❤

 

Peanut Butter Love Fudge

The other night I was having a major sweet attack. I wanted cake and sprinkles and rainbow frosting. But I knew that just wouldn’t do. So I looked through my kitchen and decided to experiment. I have officially created a monster – if you can make it through this post without wanting to make these then more power to you!

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I love fudge and for most of my life I’ve made it every Christmas but there’s always SO MUCH sugar that by the time I’m done licking my fingers I feel sick to my stomach with a tummy ache that lasts for hours. That’s not how fun food should be! Nothing should make you feel that sick. And while this recipe does use chocolate chips and honey, I can tell you that even after devouring the entire recipe upon realizing how amazing it is, I didn’t ever get that same painful sick feeling I have with refined sugar.

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One of my favorite things about this recipe is that it only has 4 ingredients. It’s so incredibly easy and delectable, you’ll want to make it all the time – and in bigger batches! Sidenote: I’m seriously leaving my computer right now to grab a spoon of peanut butter – I CAN’T HANDLE all these pictures!

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Here what you’ll need:

  • 3 well rounded TBSPs of peanut butter
  • 1 TBSP coconut flour – I used Nutiva’s Organic Coconut flour – it smells amazing and 1 TBSP of it has 4g of fiber, crazy right?!
  • 1 TBSP Pure Honey
  • 1 TBSP chocolate chips

Directions:

In a bowl, combine peanut butter, coconut flour, and honey. Pour into a small dish lined with wax paper. The smaller the dish, the thicker the fudge will be. Put in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. Next melt the chocolate chips in 15-20 second intervals in the microwave and then pour over the fudge. Put back into the freezer for at least 45 minutes (if you can wait that long).

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I took mine out and let it sit in the fridge for 10 minutes or so before I cut it into 4 pieces. It made it a little gooey and slightly soft. The creamy texture and sweet taste are a perfect combo.

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Nutrition info below. Let me know how you like the fudge!

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Triple Berry Smoothie

Who doesn’t love berries?! Not only is this smoothie a rich full purple color but it’s also delicious and filled with 18g of fiber!

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Round up your ingredients:

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Blend spinach, water, chia and flax seeds first. Then add the berries! What you’ll have is a 300 calorie smoothie that will keep you full all morning.

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This was my fuel for the morning after a rough T25 workout!!

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What a treat!!

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Tropical Blend Smoothie & Solo Dance Parties

Take a minute to think about what makes you happy. It has a lot to do with how you feel doesn’t it? This may seem obvious but how often do you take time to make yourself FEEL great? I spend a lot of time finding reasons why I shouldn’t feel great – I need to lose weight, I’m job searching, the house is a mess. It’s easy to get into this cycle. But with that being said, what if the next time you were starting to get down on yourself, you instead, found a reason and a way to make yourself feel great!

This is what a lifestyle change is all about. You have a choice with every meal you make or eat, with every opportunity you have to workout or get some exercise in, with going to bed at a decent hour, etc. Each decision we make can make us feel better or worse. It’s why I try my best to make healthy choices; eat foods that make me FEEL GOOD and do things that make me feel STRONG, encouraged, determined, and legit awesome.

It’s also why more often than not, I’m blasting music and throwing solo dance parties. My husband hasn’t caught me yet, but when he does someday, I hope he joins me. Yesterday I blasted one of my favorite tracks and just went nuts. Jumping, moving, dancing however I felt and let me tell you, after just one song, I felt so amped up and excited about life! I was so inspired I decided to throw on my heart rate monitor to prove to you how a solo dance party can do as much for your body as it can your mind.

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In just seven minutes I burned 70 calories! Is 70 calories a lot? Not really but it’s something! It’s about being active when we can. A body in motion STAYS in motion. The more you decide to be active and alive, the more you’ll WANT to move!

Now onto those other choices that make us feel good.

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A smoothie a day is one of the easiest ways to boost your weight loss and feel amazing! Here’s one of my new favorite smoothie recipes:

What you’ll need:

  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 TSBP chia seeds
  • 1 TBSP ground flax meal
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1 cup frozen mango

Directions: Blend the spinach, water, and seeds first to ensure you don’t have any leaf chunks. Then add in fruit. Blend until smooth and pour into your favorite glass or mug.

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Then get ready to rock your day!

Ultimate Banana Pancakes

Sometimes I want breakfast for dinner. More importantly, sometimes I want pancakes – ok I ALWAYS want pancakes. But what I don’t want is a bunch of syrup and butter and that horrible sick and shaky feeling I get after inhaling a stack of them.

So here comes lovely option B 🙂

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There’s tons of recipes out there for protein pancakes filled with tons of protein powders and what not, but I tell you something – that’s just not for me. You don’t need excess protein (especially from powders) to get enough in your diet. Plants have protein, too! And you don’t need as much as you think to build muscle. Plus so many of them have sucralose and other fake sugars and chemicals in them – yuck! But that’s a topic for another time.

Today I want to talk about pancakes and making them clean and healthy.

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What you’ll need (makes 3 medium sized pancakes – that are oh so filling):

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/4 cup whole grain oats
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 date, pitted

Optional toppings:

  • 1 TBSP peanut butter
  • 1 TBSP shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 TSBP sliced almonds
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries

Directions:

Heat up your skillet over medium heat. Chop pitted date into tiny pieces. Mix/mash together banana, oats, eggs, and date. Pour into 3 medium sized pancakes in greased skillet. Top with lid. Don’t worry if you don’t get all of the banana completely mashed, it’s fun to bite into a glob of it in the middle of the pancake when they are done. Cook on each side for 3-5 minutes or until cooked through.

Tops with peanut butter, coconut, almonds, raspberries or any of your favorite ingredients.

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These were super filling and amazing. The peanut butter melts into ooey gooey heaven. The mixture of everything together is the perfect amount of sweet and indulgent.

 

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The pancakes alone net around 345 calories, 5.6g of fiber and 16.9g of protein. Additional toppings add varying calories.

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Enjoy!