Saturday, August 31, 2013

Banana Bread Mini Muffins - 2 Weight Watchers Points Each

I just adapted an old Weight Watchers Banana Bread recipe into mini-muffins.  I always had the worst time trying to figure out how to cut the bread loaf into 24 equal servings.  This seems to do it.  Just a smidge over 2 tablespoons into each muffin tin (24) did the trick.

Here's one in my hand, and when I compare that to the NutriSystem Banana Nut Muffin here, it's just a bit smaller, but it's also a point less (on the old WW plan).  Mine tastes better though in my opinion and has no perservatives. ;)


2/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. butter, softened
2 large eggs
2 ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
1/2 c. fat-free buttermilk
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1-1/2 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. toasted wheat germ
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray mini muffin cups with nonstick baking spray.  With a wooden spoon, beat the sugar and butter in a large bowl until creamy.  Add the eggs, bananas, buttermilk, and vanilla.  Beat until combined.

Combine the flour, wheat germ, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in another bowl.  Add the flour mixture to the banana mixture and stir just until combined.

For mini-muffins:  Spoon the batter by about 2 Tbs. at a time into each muffin cup or fill an icing bag with batter and distribute evenly amongst the cups.  Makes 24 mini muffins.

For a loaf:  Spoon the batter into a loaf pan.  (To be cut into 24 slices)

Bake until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean...about 15-20 minutes for mini muffins (my oven is on the Fritz so start checking yours at around 15 minutes), and the loaf for about 45-55 minutes.

Cool the loaf in the pan on a rack and remove muffins to cool on the rack.

YIELD:  24 servings
SERVING SIZE: One loaf slice or 1 mini muffin
POINTS:  2 points

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION:  104 Calories; 4 g Fat (2 g saturated); 25 mg Cholesterol; 123 mg Sodium; 16 g Carbohydrates; 1 g Fiber, 3 g Protein, 24 mg Calcium

Greek Yogurt w/Fruit on Bottom

I take plain nonfat yogurt and strain it through a coffee filter to make Greek yogurt.  I let it strain overnight.  When finished, I transfer it to a container and scoop out individual servings in about 3 Tbsp. servings.  I add fruit on the bottom, top with 1 Tbsp. of honey, and a pinch of toasted sliced almonds. Delish!

Here is what it looks like once strained, i.e. nice and firm.

I adapted this from a Weight Watcher recipe into single-serving sizes so as to not waste any.  Only 2 of the 5 of us will eat this.

In this situation, I put strawberries and blueberries on the bottom.

(Excuse the mess in the background, my son's bedroom furniture is still in our dining room. We should be finished with his room tonight)

On the old Weight Watchers plan, this works out to 3 points per serving.

Friday, August 30, 2013

I'm baaaack.

I disappeared for a while, seeing how nobody was viewing this blog anyway. First, I found out that we would need to pay more than I paid for the NutriSystem food each month in health insurance premiums (ironic considering I'm trying to get healthy isn't it?) (and thanks Obamacare). At that point, I was getting tired of eating the same foods over and over again anyway.

I got a little cocky thinking I could combine NutriSystem and my old Weight Watchers plans and do it all on my own with my own food, but I couldn't continue to pay the plan fees and the new insurance premiums together. My insurance does not cover weight loss program fees. I did what I had planned for quite a while.

I also then underwent a medical procedure last fall that put my menopausal symptoms into overdrive. I was hardly getting any sleep, so I stayed up all night until the point of exhaustion when I was sure I would toss and turn less and not spend much time flat on my back unconsciously trying to cool off, which all exacerbates my degenerative back condition, but it happened anyway. In March, my back went into spasm and I was diagnosed with a sprained back. I looked like hell.  I went from hearing "You are really losing weight!" to "You have some serious bags under your eyes!"

At this point, I entered into that self-defeating place where I feel like I can't win for losing, that the universe is lined up against me, like I'm just treading water trying to keep my head above the water. Then I started drinking pop again on the run with the kids. When I started drinking the pop, I started skipping the meals again.

I tried some herbal supplements and remedies to deal with the hot flashes, but for some reason, it magnified them tenfold in intensity and frequency. I was miserable. I couldn't even put on make up because I could melt it off in a sweaty Freakin' instant. It actually became embarrassing enough that I avoided going out at all, quit volunteering at my son's school, etc. I was constantly lobster red and shiny. When you're heavy, that just looks plain bad, like you're about to have a heart attack.

I finally got an appointment, after calling for one months ago, and started a new treatment. I was very skeptical, but it's working. I'm day five in. My back is still very sensitive to certain movements and activities, so I have to remain ever aware of what I do until it heals to stay out of spasms. I'm sleeping better, feel like I'm tossing and turning less, and am definitely having fewer Flashes (only two, what I call, warm Flashes).

After a summer spent updating the house from hardwood floor refinishing to painting every room and what feels like eons of bickering, bored children (we didn't do anything with them during all this refinishing business and figured they'd live), and with school just around the corner, I'm feeling hopeful again that I can reenter the meal-planning phase for myself. I can wait to re-enter the workout phase for the physician's okay, but there is no reason to waste anymore time getting back to the weight loss in the interim.

I have at this point regained most of the weight I had lost over the last 10 months, sadly. This means I'm starting over, almost completely.  Not quite, but close enough.  Here I go!