Fall Baking

I don’t know about you all, but I love to bake once Fall weather hits. There’s something about the crisp air and the seasonal flavors like pumpkin, apple, and more pumpkin that makes me want to be in the kitchen. So here I am adapting recipes and wanting to share them all with you. After all, that’s what days off are for…and I also didn’t post yesterday (please forgive me).

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I bought apples at the Sowa Market last week, but then quickly remembered that apples upset my stomach. Stupid sensitive adult stomach, I used to eat an apple every day, but no more. Therefore, I had some apples that needed to be used up because I just hate wasting food. Some Pinteresting led me to a recipe by one of my favorite recipe queens, Sally’s Baking Addiction. And so the baking began.

Step one, pull out the ingredients that I have and brainstorm for the ingredients that I don’t have. Luckily, Sally already recommended using double the amount of oil if you don’t have applesauce. Perfect. Except for the fact that I was out of canola oil. Great. Greek yogurt to the rescue because I always have SIggi’s yogurt in the apartment. I substituted about 1/2 cup Greek yogurt for the 2/3 cup of oil that the recipe called for. The next substitution was for eggs since I was saving the last few eggs I had for banana bread. Chia seeds it would have to be. To make a chia egg you simply combine 1 tbsp chia seeds and 2.5 tbsp water for each egg needed. The last change I made was to cut back on the sweetener in the recipe since it’s these little changes that can make a big difference for your overall health. Let the experiment begin.

The batter was VERY dense and difficult to stir. It seemed very dry, but everything finally mixed together and then the tiny diced apple slices lent some moisture. I was definitely skeptical, but once I tried the final product I was pleasantly surprised. Dense and chewy albeit a tiny bit gummy from the chia seeds (which went away as they cooled). Perfectly sweetened and satisfying. Everything that you want in a muffin.

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I assessed the nutrition profile of the muffins using one of my favorite apps developed by dietitians. The recipe perfectly made 12 muffins which equated to each muffin having 150 calories, 4 g protein, 3 g fiber, and 32 g carbohydrates. They’re a bit high in carbohydrates, but all muffins are so I would recommend anyone with diabetes having this with a bit more protein on the side to prevent a spike in blood sugar (hard boiled egg, nut butter). This is also how I would suggest pairing the muffin for a snack for any old human because protein is what keeps you satisfied and helps restore your muscles throughout the day. Nobody wants to crash after eating too many carbohydrates, diabetes or not. If you like having muffins for breakfast try having one with some yogurt and fruit or having two lathered with peanut butter for a balanced meal. These are just suggestions and all dietary interventions should be individualized based on medical history, personal preferences, etc.

Here is the original recipe: Sally’s Baking Addiction Whole Wheat Apple Muffins

And here’s my adapted recipe:

Chia Seed Maple Apple Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour (white or wheat)

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 2 tsp cinnamon or speculaas spice

  • 3 tbsp chia seeds and 7.5 tbsp water

  • 1/2 cup maple syrup

  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt

  • 2 apples, finely diced

How to:

  1. Combine the chia seeds and water in a bowl. Stir to combine and set aside to thicken.

  2. Combine all wet ingredients (maple syrup, Greek yogurt, and chia eggs).

  3. Add the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, spice, and salt).

  4. The batter will be dense and dry but keep mixing until combined. If needed add another scoop of Greek yogurt.

  5. Fold in the diced apples until evenly dispersed.

  6. Baked at 425 for 5 minutes then at 350 for 15-18 minutes until browned.

  7. Enjoy!

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Why do you workout?

Working out can be therapeutic, stress-relieving, or torture. It all depends on how you look at it. If you exercise for positive reasons you’re more likely to stay committed and actually see results because you want to move your body in a certain way. If you exercise soley for weight reduction reasons you’re likely to skip workouts, dread the act, and give up. So ask yourself, why do you exercise? If it’s because you enjoy it then keep doing what you’re doing. If not, then maybe you need to re-evaluate.

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In addition to the why of exercise, there’s the what to consider. If you find you enjoy the endorphins and what a good sweat does for you physically and mentally but find yourself dreading the actual activity then maybe it’s time to find something else. Do you thrive in group settings or alone? Do you like dark lights and bumping music or quiet on some trails? Do you prefer cardio or strength training? One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to exercising.

Furthermore, maybe your schedule doesn’t work for you and you need to change up when you workout. Some people like the 1 hour per day 5 days a week while others prefer to do a half hour every day of the week. Maybe you’re into 3 days a week. If the schedule doesn’t fit into your other commitments, you’re likely to quit, too. So take this into consideration and set yourself up for success! Don’t commit to six days a week if you have an unreliable schedule. Create goals you can commit to!

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Exercise, just like any eating plan, should be individualized and tailored to you to help you succeed. If you’re struggling to staying committed take a look at the why, what, and when of your routine, maybe some adjustments are necessary.

I workout for stress relief and because it makes me feel good. This never used to be the case and I thought of exercise as pure torture because all I did was cardio. Now I do a mix of cardio and strength training. My workouts are typically 30 minutes in length so I can do two a day and take days off as needed and I can fit it in before work. I also do BeachBody so I workout at home where I have no excuses not to workout and someone tells me exactly what to do. This is what works for me right now. Sure maybe I don’t always see physical results but there are so many non-scale victories for me now that I have an exercise routine that I enjoy!

Moving your body in a way that is both mentally and physically healing is a huge part of overall health. Sure it can lead to weight loss for some people but also increased HDL, improved cardiac fitness, decreased risk for chronic diseases, blood sugar control, etc. There are so many benefits that you may not see but are so important to your health. So find a workout plan that works for you so you keep putting your health first.

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It's okay to not want to date...

My sister is engaged. Literally everyone around me is getting engaged or married. There’s all this pressure to feel like I should be at that point, too. But I’m not.

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It’s not for lack of trying. I’ve been dating for the past few years and taking advantage of all that the online dating apps have to offer. It’s not always pretty. I’ve gotten hurt a few times, once pretty significantly. So I know I’ve put in real effort and thrown myself into the deep end, but now I’m wading back out of said pond. (Too much of a metaphor?) I think I may need a break, but then I feel like I’m tossing in the cards and signing up for life as a single cat lady.

A guy on Bumble was hinting at getting together yesterday and I just didn’t want to. I wanted to enjoy my day how I wanted. I wanted to go to lunch and to SoWa and enjoy my Sunday. I also have just not been looking forward to dates lately. I had a date last Thursday and I found myself dreading it before even getting there. Not a good sign.

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It could be that I simply need a break. Summer and Fall are my favorite times of the year and I frequently have plans with friends, family, and/or coworkers. And by frequently I mean once a week when I have the energy.

It could be that online dating is HARD. You don’t know what a person is truly like until you meet them face to face. Sure I’ve had some really great dates, but I’ve also had some not so great ones. It can be exhausting and truly frustrating.

It could be that I’m putting too much pressure on myself. My sister is engaged and yet I haven’t been in a true relationship for longer than a month. What’s wrong with me? Nothing. Why don’t people like me? They do, but I have high standards and refuse to settle. Why won’t it just happen already? You can’t force it. I guess it’s true that sometimes you just need to stop looking.

As my dear friend Maggie said it the best, it’s okay to be alone and it’s important to not put pressure on yourself to be at the same place in life that other people are. It’s not fair to yourself. And yet here I am putting pressure on myself every day. So I’m writing this dreadfully honest post about dating to keep myself accountable. I am taking a break for at least the next two weeks. I’m going to stay off the apps (I promise) and do things I enjoy! I’m going to live my life and love every minute of it…as the single and strong woman I am.

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Labor Day Weekend

I’ve never done much for Labor Day Weekend, usually I offer to work because I don’t have plans. This year Julie planned a 28th birthday adventure for us and it was everything I dreamed of. 

Unlucky for me it started with what I think was food poisoning so I was still recovering on Saturday as we headed to our summer house in Rome, Maine. I felt better on Sunday when we hung out with our parents, but still wasn’t 100%. Monday, though, I was back in the game just in time for some glamorous camping aka glamping! 

We got to Tops’l Farm at 2:30pm and were able to check in at 3:00pm. The check in store was super cute and of course I bought more beer and some cute camping mugs that we couldn’t live without. Julie bought what we actually needed like campfire wood.

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The campsite was perfect! We had our own little wooded path entrance and each had a double bed. The tent was adorable and so spacious, just what glamping should be. We got our stuff settled, ate a cheese plate, and lounged before walking over to the yurt.

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The yurt is on the other side of the property and was a serene walk given the slight rain. Julie and I had a private yoga class scheduled with Sarah. She taught the best class since she tailored it to our strength and had music that we knew, but was also calming. It’s been a while since I’ve done a yoga class and this was just what I needed with the candles, incense, teacher, my twin, and rain sounds on the roof. 

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The yurt itself is so cute and right on the water. If it wasn’t raining we’d definitely have had a drink by the water but we had to get back to cook dinner.

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The rain stopped just in time to cook dinner, the grass fed burgers that Julie reserves for us! Julie crushed the fire starting and I owned the whole cooking part. It was so fun to cook on a cast iron skillet over an open flame, I felt like such a natural!

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We ate on the porch since it had started to rain a bit more, the porch being covered. I love camping I’ve decided even if it doesn’t come with twin beds and full showers. Julie and I spent the evening talking in our beds and listening to the rain. I love having alone time with Julie, she’s my best friend and I miss her. I often need alone time with her, or a few beers, to be truly honest about all things life related. 

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Unfortunately in the morning all of our matches and paper were moist from the rain and overall temperature changes. Therefore, we couldn’t get the fire going to cook breakfast. Luckily we had eaten an evening snack of Humpty Dumpty chips, a Maine staple, so we lasted until about noon although this girl was getting hangry. 

Julie and I stopped for lunch at Mae’s Cafe in Bath. I devoured scrambled eggs, bacon and Brussels hash and some cinnamon swirl toast. We still had a few hours in the car so we bought some bakery items and this girl strongly enjoyed a peanut butter chocolate chunk cookie. It was gigantic but worth every single bite. Having been nauseous for the majority of the weekend Labor Day was my day to enjoy my favorite foods: breakfast, toast, cookies, and PIZZA! 

Thank you to Julie for the glamping experience and the company. I’d go on any adventure with you! You make life fun.

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Nutrition for Nausea

I woke up in the middle of the night on Thursday with nausea. I’ll spare you the details of what happened next, but I think you can connect the dots. It wasn’t pretty and kept me home from work, in bed, eating saltines, and drinking Gingerale.

So many people, my dad included, think that the job of a dietitian is to always educate people on and be a role model for healthy eating. But what do I do when I feel nauseous? Or when my patients feel nauseous? I sure as heck don’t tell them to eat their fruits and vegetables.

First and foremost, ditch the diet or rigid rules. If you force yourself to eat something nothing good is going to come of it. Focus on foods that sound good and are well tolerated, usually this includes bland foods and lots of carbohydrates (aka your body’s main source of fuel). I usually eat toast with butter, plain pasta, saltines, or peanut butter and jelly. But it could look completely different for someone else.

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Next, stay hydrated. It doesn’t need to be water because often that sounds and tastes disgusting, but maybe you can flavor it with some electrolytes like powdered Pedialyte or Liquid IV! I’ve come to love these products after a night of drinking and they work wonders after a night of…well, you know. I prefer bubbles so I drink seltzer water or diet soda. And sometimes it’s actual soda full of sugar, but it’s the only thing that settles my stomach. Accepted and moving on.

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My other advice is to capitalize when you’re feeling best. If you’re most nauseous at night then eat more earlier in the day or vice versa. Maybe you can’t stomach a meal, but snacks more frequently throughout the day do no harm. Listen to your body and do just that.

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Its okay to skimp on the fruits and vegetables for a few days. It’s okay to only eat carbs and butter. It’s okay to drink real soda. You’re giving your body something to heal when literally everything is fighting against you. Sometimes you have to think of food as medicine and sometimes you have to choose the medicine that will go down and stay down even if it isn’t the healthiest. But nutrition when you’re sick no matter what it is is actually the healthiest thing you can do. So just eat and save the fruits and vegetables for when you feel better, life will go on.