Wednesday, May 15

Triple Chocolate Chunk Muffins

Hello all!! I have not written a blog post in FOREVER! Mostly because life around here in southern Maryland is about the same as always. Still working at Civista Medical Center which will soon be University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center.... such a mouthful! I am working part time though, so I have found myself with a little more extra time. I just wasn't enjoying my nursing career, it didn't fit me right and so it became very stressful for me. But you need money to live in this world, so I couldn't just quit... so I went part time with many ambitions for my new found time. I've always enjoyed writing, and so I thought I would write a book... turns out that is pretty hard... I will be continuing SLOWLY with the completion of the book, but don't be expecting to read it any time soon. I also wanted to be a better "housewife".... now those of you who know me KNOW I won't just be at home taking orders from the husband waiting on him hand a foot with dinner on the table when he gets home from work BUT I had become pretty slack on the cleaning and cooking of real meals. The stress of my job had turned into some weight gain and probably a touch of depression (especially in the winter months) had made me pretty lazy. So what am I doing about it? PINTEREST! haha ok, any of you pinteresters out there know that pinterest really probably just makes me more lazy due to its addictive qualities, but wait there is more! Back in March I completed my first half marathon (13.1 miles) I trained for 3 months building up my mileage and although it was mostly about completing a bucket list event and being proud of myself, I thought for sure I would lose some of the extra weight I had put on over the last three years of marriage (13lbs of what we will call "happy weight"). I was running 3-4 times a week and in three months I didn't lose one single pound!! Can you believe it? I finished my half marathon with a time of 2 hours and 4 minutes, and I was so proud and happy just to have finished (although my real goal was to finish under 2 hours)! It was a great event and I had so many people supporting me the whole way! But I still couldn't kick that feeling of not losing a single pound. I didn't eat super UNhealthy, although I'm sure more veggies in my diet couldn't have hurt. I was so confused! At that time I happened to come across and old friend on Facebook who had posted up some killer pictures of a toned, sculpted body. She looked great! So, at the risk of looking like a creeper/stalker, I contacted her and asked what she was doing and if she was training for an event? This is what she said:

Hey girl not weird at all I've had so many ppl asking about what I do! I am glad I can pass along the little knowledge I do have to others to better their lives! I'm honored!
A lot of it is diet to be honest I eat super clean! Look up Tasco's eating clean cook book that will give u a start. I workout everyday for 2 hrs. I focus on a different muscle group each day and lift weights. Follow it with 20 min of high intensity cardio ( ie stair master, running fast on treadmill etc..). And that's really it. My diet is set up for a fitness competition I'm doing in April so low carbs and high protein. Let me know if I can help more! Good luck

This is exactly what I was hoping she wouldn't say!! haha! I mean I wasn't terribly upset with the 2 hours in the gym thing because hey I just went part time... time is what I have!! The whole eating clean this was going to be a problem for me! I'd have to give up all my favorite foods including bread, mac and cheese, ice cream, potatoes.... you know all the obviously high carb/calorie foods!! But, I knew what she was saying was true because I had just trained for a half marathon and not lost a single pound. Eating right (most of the time instead of some of the time) was going to be what it takes! Although my friend was doing it very strict for a fitness competition, I thought I would start out part way. I downloaded the MyFitnessPal app and started counting calories, trying to eat high protein and less carbs, and less sugar. Not completely giving up some of the "bad" foods I loved, but eating them (and everything) in better portions! I gave up Coke (the drink) cold turkey! And started out my journey at the grocery store, staying on the outer perimeter to load up on fruits, veggies, lean meats, and whole grains! Honestly, you can eat a lot of food for lower calories if you pick the right ones. I still have my carb cravings, especially for desserts or chicken alfredo pasta, but for the most part it isn't as horrible as I thought!

So, I have been on this routine in the gym and/or running 4-5 times a week and eating right for about a month and half. And I am proud to announce I have lost 8 pounds!! I am training for my next half marathon and am on track to beat my goal of completing the race in under 2 hours. And I am just so excited to have a healthier body and mind! The last 5 lbs is proving to be tricky, but I'm not giving up! I'd like to thank my friend who gave me great advice! And she came in 4th place at her first competition!

Back to my point about Pinterest! I have been pinning and pinning AND PINNING healthy recipes for meals, snacks, and sweet treats and now I'm going to use the blog to post up reviews as I try them out!! Today I tried this recipe for Triple Chocolate Chunk Muffins. The pictures they have for the muffins make them look slightly more appetizing, but mine came out looking ok... I followed the recipe exactly, except their recipe yielded 12 large muffins, I did 18 smaller muffins (which decreases the calories per muffin from 95 to 58). I had to adjust the bake time, but basically bake until a toothpick comes out clean. They did suggest to use foil muffin liners, but I didn't have any so I used paper. Please use FOIL ones because the muffins stick to the paper ones! My review of this muffin is that it is good! It definitely satisfies the craving for chocolate, it is really rich. The muffin isn't smooth like a cake batter though, you can tell it is made with oats even though you grind them in the food processor. I'd give this muffin and 8/10 though and I think you could definitely get a kid on board! :) Please try and enjoy!

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