Friday, December 21, 2012

Healthy Holiday Baking

I have never been much of a chef. I don't really enjoy cooking. It is just not my thing. Several different times of the year, I will make a certain food or snack. Around Halloween, I will make a Popcorn Party Mix. I will make a pecan or pumpkin pie around Thanksgiving. During Christmas Break, Whitney and I always make Chocolate Chip Banana Nut Bread. Sometimes, we will bake an extra loaf or two for a neighbor or a teacher.

For the past year, I have been looking a food differently. As I was buying the ingredients for the chocolate chip banana nut bread, I decided to make a healthier version of my recipe. No white flour, less sugar, and dark chocolate chips.

This is the original recipe. I have no idea where it came from originally. It is hand written in my cookbook. But if I had to guess, I would say it came from a magazine article.

2 cups All Purpose Flour                                                             Calories 260
1 cup Sugar                                                                                  Total Fat 12.61 g
1 tsp Baking Powder                                                                          Sat Fat 3.74 g
1/2 tsp Baking Soda                                                                            Tans Fat 1.05g
1 tsp Salt                                                                                      Cholesterol 29.26 mg 
1 cup Mashed Ripe Bananas - 3 small bananas                           Sodium 178.34 mg
1/2 cup Crisco                                                                              Total Carbs 33.28
2 eggs                                                                                                   Dietary Fibers 1.22
1 cup Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips                                                     Sugars 19.17
1/2 cup Chopped Walnuts                                                             Protein 3.9 g

This will make 2 loaves, about 16 1-inch slices.

My New Improved Chocolate Chip Banana Nut Bread

2 cups Whole Wheat Flour                                                           Calories 205
1/2 cup Sugar                                                                                Total Fat 12.13 g
1 tsp Baking Powder                                                                           Sat Fat 7.38 g
1/2 tsp Baking Soda                                                                            Trans Fat 0
1 tsp Salt                                                                                        Cholesterol 26.44 mg 
1-1/2 cups Mashed Ripe Bananas - 3 large bananas                     Sodium 84.1 mg
1/2 cup Coconut Oil                                                                      Total Carbs 23.38  
2 eggs                                                                                                   Dietary Fiber 2.87 g
1/2 cup Dark Chocolate Chips                                                             Sugars 10g
1/2 cup Chopped Walnuts                                                             Protein 4 g

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottoms only of two loaf pans. In large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except chocolate chips and walnuts; blend well on medium speed. Stir in chocolate chips and Walnuts. Pour into prepared pans. Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until wooden toothpick comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pans. Cool completely on wire rack.

My pictures are out of order, technical glitch! Oh well

Walnuts & Dark Chocolate Chips

Whole Wheat Flour & Less Sugar

WW Flour, Full Sugar & Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips (Left) WW Flour, Less Sugar, & Dark Chocolate Chips (Right)

Before Baking

Before Adding Dark Chocolate Chips & Walnuts

Whole Wheat Flour & Coconut Oil

I was very pleased with the outcome! You can taste a difference. The original version is way sweeter.  I made 2 regular loaves, 2 low sugar loaves, and 2 loaves of banana nut bread only. I used whole wheat flour and coconut oil in all 6 loaves. Whitney could taste a difference in the low sugar loaves but had no idea of the substitutions in the other loaves.

Listen to ME, Life...I guarantee that even though Jeff's throat gets scratchy, red, and a little swollen; he will eat several pieces of banana nut bread. Pin It

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Half Marathon Training

Why do I let so much time pass between blog posts? I have no idea! It takes 21 days to develop a habit; and one of these days, I am going to make blog posting a habit.

So, I have fallen off of the fitness wagon. I haven't been running as much any. I have been eating sugar, sugar, and sugar. I gained about 4-5 pounds. I needed a swift kick in the butt. I needed a goal!

I read a lot. I came across an article on the Route 66 Marathon in Tulsa, Oklahoma several months ago, maybe September. It was a 5k, a half marathon, and  a full marathon. I really liked the finisher medals for the half marathon. I liked the theme. It was also within a reasonable distance of my house. Plus, I have family in Oklahoma that I could visit. It was in November 18, 2012. At the time that I read the article, I had not even completed a 5k. And at this point, it was only a little dream in the very back of my mind. Way Way Way Back!

I ran my 1st and 2nd 5k. I felt really good. The half marathon idea was slowly coming to the front of my mind. The Route 66 was a year away. I found the Big D Texas Marathon, Half, and 5K. It was April 14, 2013. It was in Dallas. It was the weekend after the county stock show. I knew that nothing should interfere with the race. I printed off a registration form and hung it on my dry erase board. It just hung there.

It was still hanging there through Thanksgiving and the sugar, and the laziness, and the 4-5 pounds of what I am pretty sure is fat. I knew that I have worked too hard to lose 50 pounds, which I had let slip to 45 pounds. I knew that I still have at least 30 pounds that I want to lose. Last Wednesday, I weighed and did not like the number at all. It had increased. I mulled over that number all day Wednesday. Thursday, I kicked myself and signed up for The Big D Half Marathon!

I have been reading a book by Hal Higdon and someone told me about Jeff Galloway's book HALF-Marathon You Can Do It. They have both been very helpful. I also downloaded Jeff Galloway's 13.1 app for my iPhone. He uses the run/walk method. I am using the Finish training plan. Time does not matter on this first half marathon. As I type that sentence, I know that in my head I can say time does not matter, but it does to me. BUT, finishing matters more on my first half marathon.

Yesterday, was my first running day since November 17th. It was so so so so so COLD! I don't even remember if the run was hard. I was NUMB! I think the temp was around 18 degrees with a wind chill of around 11 degrees. Today was better, no wind.

Listen to ME, Life...I am running a half marathon!!! Pin It