Healthy Baking: Getting Ready

Since fall is officially here, I can feel the burning desire to BAKE! I love baking, love it. I like all the ingredients, I like the process, and I like the end results. One thing over the years that I have learned is that you can totally bake AND lose weight, its true. There are so many healthy options out there for even the most decadent baked good, have you ever read Chocolate Covered Katie?

Vegan Rice Crispy Treats

This winter is going to be a little harder for me, as I will be working in a cafe like atmosphere, that will be selling tons of baked goods. This just means I need to make sure I don’t feel deprived of these things at home. If I’m eating (in moderation) healthy baked goods at home, my desire to eat unhealthy ones at work will be much less (at least I’m hoping). In order to bake healthy treats though, you have to be prepared. A pantry stocked full of nutritious ingredients, and recipes ready to make! You also have to remember to portion them out, freeze leftovers, or giveaway anything that feels like something you couldn’t control yourself around.

Weight Watcher Pumpkin Cupcakes

So I figured in honor of the beginning of baking season, that I would make a shopping list, AND post some awesome websites, and recipes. (click photos for recipes)

WHAT YOU NEED TO BAKE HEALTHY:

  • Canned Pumpkin (Not canned pumpkin pie filling)
  • Canned Sweet Potato Puree
  • Salt
  • Baking Soda
  • Baking Powder
  • Xylitol (look it up)
  • Brown Sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Oat Flour
  • Maple Syrup
  • Shredded Coconut
  • Agave
  • Virgin Coconut Oil
  • Spelt Flour
  • Whole Wheat Flour
  • All Purpose Flour (I like Organic Non-Bleached)
  • Eggs
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Sugar
  • Apple Sauce (unsweetened)
  • Mashed Bananas
  • Rolled Oats
  • Quick Oats
  • Nut Butter
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Stevia
  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Garbanzo Beans
  • Pitted Dates
  • Cream of Tartar
  • Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • Canned Coconut Milk
  • Ground Flax Seed
  • Chia Seed
  • Brown Rice Syrup
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Fat Free Cream Cheese
  • Fat Free Pudding Mix
  • Ground Ginger
  • Ground Cloves
  • Honey
  • Nutmeg
  • Molasses
  • Evaporated Fat Free Milk
  • FRUIT!
  • Lemon Juice
  • Pam
  • Cornstarch

Skinny Apple Cobbler

Lighter Apple Pie Turnover

Some great healthy baking websites:

-Chocolate Covered Katie

-The Healthy Chef

-Skinny Taste

-Averie Cooks

-Eat Yourself Skinny

-Eating Well

-The Gracious Pantry

Healthy Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars

Skinny Sweet Potato Pie

Oatmeal Spelt Honey Scone

 

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Working For?

I got a new job! Yay! It wont really start until mid October, but I’m excited. It’s a pretty awesome job, and I’m very much looking forward to working there, however when they offered me a super low hourly wage, I definitely had to think about it. I talked it over with my mom and with Mr. Gaunt, and we all agreed that for me, the opportunity to do something I really like, be appreciated, and have flexibility in my schedule trumps poor pay. I know a lot of people wouldn’t have accepted the salary, but I’ve always been someone who prioritizes quality of life, personal happiness, free time and creativity over money. It’s why I’m always poor, but also get to do a lot of things I really like, and get to spend a lot of time with my family. This new job also has some opportunities for my personal business, including giving me a ton of free time in the summer to focus on weddings. It will also probably be a job that would work around a pregnancy/babies in the future, and that is very valuable to any mom! I wont be talking about the name of this business on my blog (for privacy and professional reasons) but if you know me in real life feel free to ask, it’s not a secret. (:

In weight loss news, I have been soooo good all week! No slipping up, no feelings of hunger, and lots of moving! Yesterday I hit 9,100 steps on my Pedometer! Today I’m at 7,000 and I accidentally left it at home while I ran a bunch of errands, so I’m at way more. I even made the conscious decision to park at the back of a parking lot and walk further, go me! I have my first weigh in tomorrow, hopefully it goes well.

EASY HEALTHY DINNER OF THE WEEK:

-Whole Grain (or low carb) bow tie pasta

-Olive Oil

-Fresh Zucchini

-Cilantro

-Fresh tomatoes

-Garlic

-Parmesan

-Salt, Pepper, and Red Pepper Flakes

 

 

Monday Night Football Snacks

Mr. Gaunt is a huge football fan. I pretend to be. Well, I wear the outfit every now and then, and say “GO BRONCOS” when the mood strikes, but the actual game is lost on me.

For our one year anniversary I bought him a Broncos house flag. I let him open it early for the first game of the year.

Last night we went to a friend’s house to watch the game (we don’t have cable). I decided to attempt some healthy football snack foods. I made Zucchini Tots and Skinny Buffalo Chicken Dip. The Zucchini tots I have made before, and they are really yummy! I recommend them for kids and men alike. The Buffalo Chicken Dip was a new thing, and Mr. Gaunt LOVED it. The Zucchini tots recipe is from here, and the Skinny Buffalo Dip is from here. The only changes I made for the Buffalo dip, was that I didn’t bake it after I mixed the shredded chicken in with the sour cream and such. I only had enough time to make crock pot shredded chicken, not to crock pot the dip, so I didn’t and it was still delish.  I also only did about half the blue cheese they recommend. Needless to say I would make this again and again!

You also eat so many vegetables with both these recipes. We ate a whole head of celery, a bunch of carrots, and two Zucchini! Excellent!

Fall Breakfast: Pumpkin Apple Oat Bake

I made this on a whim this morning. I planed to have Mr.Gaunt make Kodiak Cakes, but I had a couple of apples that I wanted to use, and anytime is a good time for pumpkin! I based it off this recipe, and followed it exactly except no Wheat Germ (what is that?), and no cranberries (as I’m not a huge fan of raisins or cranberries). It was really easy, it baked perfectly, and was one of the most delicious breakfast foods I’ve ever made. It’s also pretty healthy and very hearty. It makes 6 servings (at 6-7 weight watcher P+ each). I plan to try other fruits in baked oats this winter, its awesome.

 

Asparagus Prosciutto Pizza

I’m on day 3 of a pretty raging headache. It last all day, and I assume all night, as it is still there when I wake up. I’m thinking its allergy related, although I don’t really feel any other allergy signs. I started taking my allergy medicine again just in case. I’m a naturally headachey person, but 3 days non stop is just too much, it makes me bitchy.

I’m shocked it’s only Tuesday, the week already feels exhausting. I’m hoping yoga tonight will help me de-stress and chill out a little bit, because I’m feeling very annoyed. Yesterday we walked a 5k in the sun after work, which was so very nice. It’s suppose to be nice all week, which makes me NOT want to workout inside. I’m actually looking into the option of putting our (already paid for) gym membership on hold until the fall. I love to walk outside when the weather is warm, the gym just feels too cooped up.

Tonight for dinner I made Asparagus Prosciutto Pizza on Trader Joe’s Herb Pizza Dough. I sauteed mushrooms and garlic and olive oil with the Asparagus before cooking it. It was yummy, and 2 slices made me just full enough, but not too full to go to yoga tonight.

 

Busy, Sad, BLT

Yesterday we went out to eat with some friends, which turned in to too much money spent, too much food eaten, too much alcohol consumed. It was just too much.

I had the blues all day today. I know it stems from money and weight, and clothing not fitting, and thinking my hair is ugly. I’m also suddenly very busy with work and house chores, yard chores, small businesses, so I’m a little overwhelmed. It’s clock work though, every summer I take on too many projects and feel totally swamped with expectations.

No one buys paintings from us from Christmas through April. I begin to think no one ever will, but just like last year, Mothers Day signifies the start of our “painting season” and I had FOUR painting requests this weekend. I love doing paintings, I really do, but they take up a TON of time. Each painting takes me at least 6+ hours. I wouldn’t really say I make a descent hourly rate off them, but they do give me extra spending money. Last year I used almost all of our painting money for wedding stuff. This year I think I might sock it away to buy myself my dream camera for my birthday in September.

Needless to say I kept busy this afternoon in order to not feel sad. I worked in the morning with Mr. Gaunt, I did painting stuff in the afternoon, I took a nap in the yard in the sun and burnt my shins. I got coffee at 5pm, because I wanted to, and we ate steaks from the grill for dinner, with very bitter eggplant. We went for a long walk at sunset, and now I’m blogging, responding to emails, and hoping to watch some Vampire Diaries (my new guilty Netflix show!).

However I weighed myself today and felt sad, but I mowed the lawn and felt proud.

I did laundry and bought soap, and made lunches for work

Every day is not easy, or happy, or skinny (and yes, those three things are what make up a good day for me) some days are hard, and sad and fat. I also have had major jealousy pangs today. I’m jealous of everyone, their looks, their kids, their houses, their vacations, everything. I know it’s just a phase and that I’m just struggling with. I KNOW I have so much good stuff, and I’m making lots of good choices for my family, and I know what other people’s lives look like might not be reality. It’s that damn Facebook that always gets me!

This week I’m focusing on my health and my fitness, and my businesses, and my husband. Those are what’s important to me, and whats special, and whats good. The rest I will just have to let go, and not stress about.

I did have a nice mini-dinner party on Friday, and made Chicken Caesar wraps and this SKINNY BLT PASTA SALAD, that was pretty good. I thought I would share it, because it’s so easy, and it’s nice to change things up every now and then with a pasta salad. You should make it!