--I'm about to vent just a bit about diets and such, so if that's not your thing please skip over or just check out the recipe--even if you're not on a diet this banana bread is packed with flavor and a great recipe overall!--
So lately I've been trying to eat cleaner and pay better attention to what I'm eating. I am currently at my heaviest weight ever, and I gained most of it in a very short amount of time, which has been kind of freaking me out. I seem to care less about the weight gain and more about how I have a whole drawer of pants and entire summer wardrobe from last year that my butt refuses to fit into anymore... And since my dad's untimely death was probably greatly tied to unhealthy living and obesity, it was definitely a wake up call that I have to start doing something and paying better attention to my health. If nothing else, I am now in my mid-20s and probably will have to work a bit harder since my metabolism will inevitably start slowing. I'm currently trying to figure out a diet plan that works for me while also going to the gym for an hour five mornings a week. So far it's been almost a month with no results, and while it's frustrating I know it takes a long time to see any changes.
A foodie on a diet is a very complicated thing. So many factors to consider.
Here are the undeniable truths about my personal eating habits:
-I love food and want to somehow inject food into my career goals
-I will try any food once, no matter what (see: puffin from my Iceland trip)
-I do love veggies (SO excited for my farm share this summer!)
-I go in phases of loving a certain food or type of food and then over-do it and won't touch the thing for months (cold salad is currently on my do-not-want list after three weeks of mason jar salads for lunch)
-I have a never-satiated sweet tooth
-Booze on the weekends is a must, but I could probably restrict it to ONE weekend evening now that I'm no longer in college and suceptible to my Party Girl Ways, and the occasional glass of wine after a long day of work to unwind
-Dairy is delicious but too much makes my stomach turn
-Bread and pasta and other carby things are delicious too but they have a very similar affect to dairy
Many friends have sang the praises of the Paleo Diet, and my good friend and former science teacher actually is the founder of Stupid Easy Paleo and Healthy Happy Fit Life. While I don't think I could ever totally give up sweets and carbs, those last two list items up there do give me pause: dairy and wheat do not make my tummy happy. It just so happens that they are not present in a paleo diet, so I find myself looking more and more into paleo recipes when I want to ensure a clean day of eating that won't make me feel gross afterwards.
So far, the paleo fried rice is a win, as are these banana bread muffins. If a recipe tastes good and doesn't upset my stomach, it's a-okay in my book :) My current diet plan is to push wheat and dairy into "sometimes foods" and limit my sugar intake while exercising more and eating more veggies and lean proteins. Hopefully I'll see some improvement if I keep at this for a while.
Bonus: I put the recipe into a calorie counter, and each muffin comes out at about 75 calories each. So if you're going the calorie counting route, they are a great snack! I have been bringing these to work to munch on when I need a sweet fix and they really hit the spot.
Almost-Paleo/Gluten-Free Banana Bread Muffins
(adapted only slightly from Peanut Butter Runner)
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 3/4 cup almond flour (or ground almonds)
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 2 tbs melted coconut oil
- 2 eggs
- 2 very ripe bananas, mashed
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup spiced pecans
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips (dark is more "paleo friendly" but milk chocolate is more "Ashley friendly")
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line or grease cupcake wells (alternatively, a 9 x 5 loaf pan also works, but takes a little less time so watch it closely).
In a medium bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients, leaving out the pecans and chocolate chips. In a separate small bowl, mix together wet ingredients, including bananas. Slowly add wet ingredients to the dry mix together until just combined. Carefully fold in pecans and chocolate chips.
Pour batter into liners to 3/4 full and bake 50 minutes to an hour or until set in the center (springs back upon touch) and a toothpick comes out clean.