Light recipe of the month- Apple Pecan Muffins
Apple pecan muffin.jpg

Apple Pecan Muffins

 

Have you ever fallen into the droopy-sleepy-yawny-have-no-energy trap? When both the middle of the morning and the middle of the afternoon feel like bedtime? Ugh. I have. Back when my breakfast consisted of mainly grain-based cereals or processed and refined breakfast pas- tries. Add to that a cup or two of sugar-sweetened coffee in the morning and a couple of corn syrup–sweetened caffeinated beverages in the afternoon, and I was left with a roller coaster of inconsistent energy levels.

All of that changes when you started avoiding refined sugars and processed and packaged breakfast foods. Dips in your energy evens out into one steady stream of reliable energy. What a difference a consistent pep in your step makes!

I contemplated naming these “All Day Energy Muffins,” because these moist morsels give you wings—more so than any energy drink I’ve ever tried. Check out the ingredients and you’ll see what I mean: flax, almonds, eggs, banana, apple, pecans—I doubt you could find a muffin recipe with more goodness crammed into it than this.

No really, don’t waste your time looking—just make these and enjoy!

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

Servings: 12

Here’s what you need

  • ⅓ cup flax meal
  • ½ cup Almond Meal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup apple, finely chopped
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 12 apple slices
  • 12 whole pecans

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flax meal, almond meal, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, and cinnamon. Mix well.
  3. In another large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, raw honey, and mashed banana. Mix well until no large lumps of banana remain.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until fully combined. Fold in the chopped apples and pecans.
  5. Fill each muffin cup three-fourths full. Top with an apple slice and a pecan. Bake for 18–20 minutes, or until golden and set.
  6. Let the pan cool for 5 minutes, then transfer the muffins to a wire rack to cool.

Nutritional Analysis

145 calories, 10g fat, 11g carbohydrate, 6g sugar, 318mg sodium, 3g fiber, and 4g protein.

I hope that you get a chance to give this recipe a try this week. Remember that I’m only a call or email away to assist you in all things fitness. And if you are not yet one of my prized clients then call or email me now to set up your first workout – I’d love to help you achieve your best body ever!

Thomas Miller
You've let yourself go

It happens to the best of us. That moment when you realize that you’ve let yourself go, and you need to get back on track.

It may happen when you’re looking in the mirror or when you glance at yourself in a recent photo.

Your first thought is to go on a ‘diet’ but as quickly as that enters your mind the ghosts of a hundred diets past return…along with all the frustration.

Then you wonder, why bother?

The weight will come back, as it always has. Then you’ll be back in front of the mirror as discouraged as ever.

The answer is not to go on another diet.

The answer is to change your lifestyle.

Making the Change.

It’s time to lose your ‘all or nothing’ mentality. Embrace simple, small changes that will add up to big improvements in your lifestyle. An ongoing healthy lifestyle that supports your ideal body weight.

These are your 2 areas to change:

What You Eat. Let’s face it, most of the foods you eat aren’t the healthiest. Some are downright terrible (the burger and fries you had last week). While others are simply excessive (the snacks you eat while watching TV).

The solution to cleaning up your daily diet is NOT to go back on a ‘diet’. In fact, I never want you to go on a ‘diet’ again. (Yes, you heard me right!) Instead I want you to make permanent healthy changes to your eating habits.

Here are some practical examples:

  • Choose salad over chips or fries
  • Don’t add butter to your food
  • Eat fresh produce with every meal
  • Purchase fat free dairy products
  • Limit desserts to one or two per week
  • Cut out mindless snacking
  • Drink water, not soda

I don’t expect you to eat a perfect diet every day of the week – that’d be ludicrous. You should, however, make MORE healthy choices every day than unhealthy ones.

How You Move. Exercise is a huge component to a healthy lifestyle, and quite frankly you’re not getting enough of it. How often does an entire week go by without you ever lacing up your workout shoes? Don’t disregard the importance and power of a good workout.

Your new healthy lifestyle means exercising on most days of the week. This may seem tough, but I have the perfect solution – my training programs were created for busy people just like you who only have so much time to dedicate to exercise.

I understand how hard it is to find the motivation to stay consistent and to push yourself. Make exercise a no-brainer—contact me to get started on a lifestyle enhancing program today.

Here are simple ways to move more:

  • Watch less TV
  • Stretch stiff muscles every day
  • Play at the park with the kids
  • Go for a jog
  • Do some pushups every morning

While none of the above are meant as substitutes for a solid exercise routine, they are great ways to become more active and to improve your lifestyle.

Your lifestyle is the balance of all the choices that you make regarding your body. Swing the balance in your favor—make a majority of your choices health conscious.

So the next time you’re in front of the mirror you won’t worry about your weight.

You’ll relish it.

Are you ready to transform your lifestyle and body? No more beating around the bush. The time is now.

Drop me an email at tom@lifelightfit.com , or give me a call at 925 400 7171 and I will be glad to help you get back on track!

Thomas Miller
Have you cooked like this before? (so easy)

Getting healthy meals on the table each night is one of the biggest challenges that my clients are faced with – maybe it’s a challenge for you too – so I was really excited to come across this amazingly simple cooking technique that dramatically reduces the fat and carb count of your favorite recipes!

I’m referring to the foolproof technique of baking in parchment paper packets, also called “en papillote.” Meat, veggies and flavors are wrapped together in parchment paper and then baked in the oven. Steam is trapped inside of the parchment packet to magically produce very moist and tender meals.

Here are the top 4 things to love about cooking en papillote:

It’s SUPER healthy!

There’s no need to add fat or oils to your en papillote dinner, since steam is used to do the cooking. Reducing the added fats is a great way to lighten the calorie count, helping you to lose fat and lean out quicker! It’s also quite easy to create a complete en papillote meal without the grains, added starches, or calorie-filled sauces that your favorite take-out meal contains. Keeping it light and tight!

It’s REALLY easy and quick!

Cooking en papillote is really simple enough for a child to make. All you do is wrap the ingredients up in parchment paper and place it in the oven. The whole process is incredibly quick and painless!

The variations are ENDLESS!

There’s no limit to the combinations of ingredients and flavors that you could create while cooking en papillote. As you’ll discover below, designing an en papillote meal is as simple as picking your favorite protein, veggies and flavors. You’ll have fun coming up with new flavor combinations to try!

The clean up is FAST!

You know those days when you really don’t want to do dishes, and so you use paper plates for dinner? Cooking en papilote is the culinary equivalent to eating on paper plates. Since each portion is individually baked in parchment paper, the pan doesn’t even get dirty. Once you’re done enjoying your meal simply crumble up the parchment paper and throw it away!

Alright, now you understand why I’m so jazzed about cooking en papillote, and you probably want to give it a try. I’ve given you an exact recipe for Dijon Chicken with Sweet Potato and Green Beans to try below, and I’d also like to give you the simple 5-Step process for designing and cooking your own, unique en papillote dinners.

Step One: Choose Protein

Chicken is an obvious choice for cooking this way, since the steam injects so much moisture into the meat. When cooking chicken, always pound out the chicken, for a thinner breast and quicker cook time, or use thin fillet chicken. Chicken cook time is 30 minutes.

Shrimp is also a fantastic protein choice to be cooked en papillote. It gets plump and juicy and absorbs much of the flavor that you choose to combine it with. Shrimp cook time is 15 minutes.

A fillet of fish – either salmon or white fish – is another wonderful light choice for protein cooked en papillote. This is a great way to get some natural fish oils in your diet. Fish cook time is 20-25 minutes, depending on how thick the cut is.

It’s entirely possible to cook a really satisfying vegetarian meal en papillote. For protein you could use canned beans or tofu. Vegetarian cook time is 15 minutes.

Step Two: Choose Veggies

The sky is the limit when it comes to selecting veggies to be cooked en papillote. You could probably cook any veggie this way. Sweet potato, green beans, zucchini, butternut squash, broccoli, canned beans, mushrooms, cabbage, bell peppers, onions, cauliflower, kale, collards or spinach are all wonderful options.

Be aware of the size that you cut your veggies, as it needs to be able to finish cooking in the same time that the protein cooks. Thicker veggies like sweet potato, bell peppers or cauliflower need to be cut small in order to cook all the way through.

It’s possible to get creative with your veggie prep by shredded it like rice or running it through a spiral slicer to create veggie noodles!

Step Three: Choose Flavors

This is the fun step, adding the flavors and sauces that you love most. Think of the flavors of your favorite dinner recipes like BBQ sauce, teriyaki or Dijon, and combine one of these with a variety of fresh herbs and spices.

It’s important that your ingredients include enough moisture to create steam. Some veggies naturally contain enough moisture (like zucchini or butternut squash) while others (like sweet potato or green beans) will not contribute liquid to the packet. If you’re working with drier ingredients then make sure to add plenty of sauce or a tablespoon or so of liquid to each packet. You could drizzle a little chicken broth or a bit of wine.

Step Four: Wrap It

Cut four 12-by-16-inch pieces of parchment paper and fold each in half. Open the parchment paper and arrange ¼ of the veggie mixture in the center of the top half of each parchment. Generously season with salt and pepper. Top with the protein and flavors.

Fold the bottom half of the parchment paper over the protein and veggies. Start folding and crimping the parchment paper ends together from one end all the way around to the other end, creating a sealed envelope. Fold the end under the packet. The packet should be fully encased, with no breaks in the parchment paper for steam to escape – we need that steam as part of the cooking process! Place the packets on a pan.

Step Five: Bake It

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and calculate the bake time based on your protein choice above. There’s no way to check if your meat is finished cooking, since it’s wrapped up, so it’s better to cook it a little longer than not long enough. Serve the packets on plates, tearing them open just before serving.

I hope that you enjoy this healthy and fit cooking method and that you give it a try the next time that you plan to make dinner at home. Consistently eating light meals like this is the way to lose fat, build muscle, increase your energy and to feel awesome all around!

I’m here to help you get into the best shape of your life. Call or email me now to get started with one of my custom fitness programs.

There’s no reason to continue waiting on your health and wellbeing – let’s get your stunning body transformation started now!

Thomas Miller