Tuesday things: running, cleaning, and baking Apple Spice Bread

Hello! Happy Tuesday!

I started off my morning with a beautiful run!


Okay, so, it wasn’t really beautiful – it was pretty darned cold, as a matter of fact.

But, I like cold so I wasn’t complaining.

Well, much, anyway. 🙂

And, honestly, my weekend of excess eating and drinking – okay, mostly drinking – really made the first few miles a little difficult.

But, it WAS a great weekend and excess, in moderation, is okay. 😉

Right? You should definitely agree with me.

Anywho, post run was some yummy Irish oats and a nice warming cup of coffee.



And then, I got down to business.

When I went out on Black Friday, I picked myself up the coolest. thing. ever.


No, it’s NOT a vacuum cleaner.

Sheesh, what do you think I am? Some kind of cleaning nerd? Pshh. Besides, I already have one of those.

This is a a Hoover hard floor cleaner!

It scrubs and then dries both my hardwood and tile floors!

Okay, so maybe I AM a cleaning nerd.

Don’t judge me.

I totally cleaned all the floors in my house this morning.

And it was SO EASY!

So much better than a mop and a bucket. Just saying.

And then, I totally had to make some bread!


This bread. Oh my. Apples. Cinnamon. Nutmeg. Brown sugar.

Heavenly smells and heavenly taste!

Apple Spice Bread
makes 1 loaf (about 20 slices)

1 cup shredded apple (about 1 medium)
1/4 cup non-fat plain Greek Yogurt or sour cream
2 egg whites
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray; dust with flour.

2. Mix apple, yogurt, and egg whites in a large bowl. Stir in remaining flour and ingredients. Spread into pan.

3. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan 5 minutes; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack before slicing.


4. At 45 calories a slice, enjoy one with a cup of afternoon tea and then with your coffee in the morning! Just try not to eat the whole loaf in one sitting. Om nom nom!


Question: (If you have one) Does your cat eat your plants/flowers/etc or is mine just weird?

– jennifer

Pumpkin Gingerbread cupcakes with Maple Greek Yogurt icing


Happy weekend!

In case you’re wondering, Karen was all talk.  She fell apart out in the Gulf on Friday afternoon. It is raining today but it’s definitely not Tropical Storm rain or Hurricane rain.


Yesterday was brutal though.  And I’m not talking about rain.

Pretty sure the humidity was at 100%.

It was disgusting.

I had a 13-miler on my schedule.

I called it quits at 11.


I had to take walk breaks, my feet were cramping up, and I was miserable.

NOT a good run.  But, it’s okay.  It’s only week 2.

Knocked out my burpees after I cooled down.

100 day burpee challenge – Saturday was day 5.

Saw stars after I finished them.


Check out this crazy spider that has taken up residence in the palm tree in my front yard.


This is about as close as I wanted to get.

Ew. Creepy. And apparently they jump. YIKES!

So, I made some Paleo/not Paleo cupcakes.

Yes, I’m a little confused. 😉


There’s a recipe for Sweet Potato Gingerbread Cupcakes with Maple Frosting in my Paleo Diet for Athletes cookbook.

Well, I didn’t have sweet potato but I did have pumpkin.

So, I made Paleo Pumpkin Gingerbread Cupcakes with non-Paleo Maple Greek Yogurt icing (I didn’t have any coconut butter for the frosting so I had to change it up. Cuz that’s what I do.) 🙂

They turned out pretty well!

The Greek Yogurt icing is pretty thin but you can add a couple tablespoons of cream cheese if you want it to be a thicker frosting.

Or, you could make the Maple Frosting that the recipe actually calls for.

I’ll give you the ingredients for both.

Cuz I’m cool like that. 🙂

Sweet Potato (or Pumpkin) Gingerbread Cupcakes with Maple Frosting (or Maple Greek Yogurt Icing)

Makes 12 cupcakes

1 cup sweet potato, pureed (or 1 cup pumpkin)
2 whole eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup almond butter
1 cup almond flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
Maple Frosting
1/2 cup Organic coconut butter
1/2 cup Organic coconut oil
3 tablespoons medium to dark maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Maple Greek Yogurt icing
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon maple syrup
2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened (if desired)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin pan with cupcake liners.

2. Mix sweet potato puree (or pumpkin), eggs, vanilla, and almond butter in a medium bowl.

3. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients and add to sweet potato mixture. Blend well for about 2 minutes, then fill cupcake papers 2/3 full.

4. Bake 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

5. Place on cooling rack and make your icing. When cupcakes are cool, ice and enjoy.

6. Om nom nom!

Question: How do you deal with a tough or disappointing run/workout?

– jennifer

Kitchen Sink Cookie Muffins



So, my sister created a recipe last weekend that she called kitchen sink cookie muffins. They actually looked pretty good! She called them that because she put everything but the kitchen sink in them. Pretty cute, huh? 🙂

But, then she made the comment that she would have me take a look at the recipe. Oh – WOOT! – free reign to tweak it, hungry runner style! It’s on!

Here’s her ingredient list:
1 1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 banana
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup pulverized almonds
4 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup raisins
3/4 cup craisins
1 cup peanut butter chips

Aaaannd, her recipe makes about 40 muffins.

Well, the first thing I needed to do was shrink that recipe down. I certainly don’t need 40 muffins! Of course, my sister has 4 hungry, growing, active and busy kids so 40 muffins makes sense. For her. Definitely not for me and possibly not for you.

The second thing that had to happen was cutting down on the butter. Don’t get me wrong – I love butter but it really has limited redeeming health benefits. So, I grabbed my trusty container of plain, nonfat Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is a great substitute for butter in a recipe because of its consistency (much thicker than regular yogurt) and it adds muscle-building protein that you wouldn’t normally get from butter. Plus, you’re really cutting down on the saturated fat. 🙂

The third thing was to cut out some of that sugar. She added raisins and craisins in addition to both brown AND white sugar. The dried fruit has a lot of sugar in it already. It just seemed to me that eliminating any extra/unnecessary sugar was just the right thing to do. So, I cut the white sugar and added a small amount of raw honey. No, you don’t have to go to a special store for raw honey. I got mine at Wal-Mart. Don’t know anything about raw honey? Read this.

The final big change I made was the addition of some peanut butter – natural, of course, with no extra sugars – in place of the pulverized almonds. Honestly, you can do either. I would have used almond butter but I ate it all already. And I’m too lazy to go to the store. If you opt for the almonds, I would cut it down to about 1/4 to 1/2 cup. It will change the consistency a little but it should be fine.

So, here’s what my recreation looks like.


Um, yes, they do taste as amazing as they look! They are light, moist, and delicious. Sometimes, using only whole wheat flour can really weigh a baked good down but not this time. Don’t be afraid of whole wheat flour! Using yogurt and mashed bananas really helps the muffins stay moist and the dried fruit adds a delightful sweetness without being overly sugary.

These are definitely a win!

Make these. Like now. Now.

Kitchen Sink Cookie Muffins
makes 12 muffins

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon raw honey
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with foil liners.

2. In large stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter, yogurt, and brown sugar together – mixture will be very liquidy. Add egg, honey, and bananas; mix to combine.

3. In separate bowl, stir flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt with a whisk. Add to banana yogurt mixture and mix until combined. Add oats and peanut butter; mix.

4. Remove bowl from stand and, using spatula, stir in raisins and chocolate chips. Batter will be very thick.

5. Divide batter among 12 muffin cups. It will look like too much but trust me.

6. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean. Cool in pan approximately 5 minutes; remove to cooling rack.


7. Gobble them up!

(Per the myfitnesspal app)
Calories 286; Fat 11g (saturated 2.4g, monounsaturated 3.2g, polyunsaturated 1.6g); Carbs 41g (fiber 4.7g, sugars 19.5g); Protein 7.5g


These muffins will make a delicious breakfast paired with some Greek yogurt and fruit. They’ll also make a great portable snack with a piece of fruit. Kids of all ages love portable snacks.

You don’t have to use bittersweet chips if you don’t want to. You could easily use semi-sweet or even milk chocolate. Those will increase the sugar some. Also, adding craisins (if you choose to) will also increase the sugar. Just be careful. Kids with energy can be fun but kids on a sugar high can be … ummm… less than fun. 😉

Question – what are your favorite baking substitions?

– jennifer