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I am a former career girl and am now a stay-at-home-mom to 2 amazing little girls. Exercise and "dieting" have never been easy for me. But now more than ever, I am determined to adhere to a more active, healthy lifestyle. I am not dieting - just making smarter, more natural food choices. I want to set a great example for my girls. I starting running last year with the Couch-to-5K running program. I've lost over 35 pounds since last year and I want to lose 60 more. I completed my first race (a 5K) in October and I running a 10K by this summer. My long-term goal is ultimately to run a half-marathon in 2012. I've created this blog to put it all out there and most of all - to keep me honest. I include a tested recipe & inspiring workout song on each post. I am also hoping to inspire and be inspired by you! I would love for you to join me for this journey and become an official follower of this blog!

Friday, August 26, 2011

And the Winner is... Whole Wheat Zucchini Muffins...

It's late. I've written the standard weekly items (song, random tip and recipe) but haven't had a chance to write the weekly meat of the blog. BUT I don't want to hold it up getting this blog post out (as it might take another week if I do), so I'm sending it out as is. 

Hope you are well! I can't believe summer is almost over. I've been running at least 4x per week and have my eyes set on an upcoming race. I've been maintaining my weight (not gaining) but am looking forward to really ramping up my losing. Have a great weekend everyone!

PS - I did want to share with you my favorite running tank tops. They are comfortable while still being fitted. They are v-neck (which I also really like) and have fun sayings. I like to support the Run Like A Mother crew when I can. They have helped me in so many ways (mentally, advise wise etc.) You can check out the tanks here. I have both the hot pink and blue :). I'd love for them to make additional versions but we need to support them so they will consider it. 

SONG THAT KEPT ME RUNNING THIS WEEK: "Dirt Off Your Shoulder" Jay-Z.  Random fact: Coldplay played this song on their Viva La Vida tour over the speakers right before they started their concert. I've loved it even more since. And it's good to run to...
RANDOM TIP OF THE WEEK: I know I've said this before but eat your walnuts! Almonds always tend to get the good vibe but walnuts are proving to be a step up. Among their other amazing properties... they provide 2x the amount of antioxidants than other nuts. It's best to find them raw and unsalted (I get mine from Trader Joe's). I often toss a small amount in a salad. 
THIS WEEK'S RECIPE: Whole Wheat Zucchini Walnut Muffins. This is a recipe that is easy for your kids to help you with. My 3.5 year old made these with me and as a result I think she enjoyed eating them more. Zucchini is in season right now in my area - big time. And I keep getting loads of it in my CSA. I put it in spaghetti sauce that I make and freeze it and tonight I made a giant savory zucchini/angel hair pasta "cake". I am always looking for recipes to use zucchini in and these muffins were a hit all around...

Whole Wheat Zucchini Nut Muffins
1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini (about 1.5 large zucchini)

1 cup whole-wheat flour

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2/3 cup granulated sugar (I used evaporated organic sugar cane)
1/3 cup dark brown sugar (not packed)

1/2 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

3 tbsp. light whipped butter or light buttery spread 

3 tbsp. crushed walnuts, divided

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
 (i use a small microplane grater, you can notice the difference! if you are using regular nutmeg make sure to only is 1/2 tsp)
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, combine both flours, sugar, dark brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
In a separate medium bowl, mix together the zucchini, egg substitute, applesauce, butter, and vanilla extract. Slowly add this mixture to the first bowl, and stir until thoroughly blended. Mix half the crushed walnuts (1 1/2 tbsp.) into the batter.

Line 9 cups of a 12-cup muffin pan with baking liners. Evenly distribute batter among the 9 cups. Top each cup with a sprinkling of the remaining 1 1/2 tbsp. crushed walnuts. Bake in the oven for 22 - 25 minutes, until a toothpick poked into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let cool and enjoy!

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