Should You Go For Weight Loss Shakes To Boost Your Morning Metabolism?

Woman with protein shake

This week’s post is by Katleen Brown.

Overview

Weight loss is a journey that most people wish could be made easier. All those intense workouts and dieting are not most people’s cup of tea. That’s why you will find most people looking for shortcuts through this journey. Take for example weight loss pills. Most of them don’t work. We know that pretty well, but still we go ahead and purchase them. Reason being we want an easier way out of this problem (weight) and spend that little fortune hoping the pills will work for us, even though they haven’t worked for other people. But why are we doing this? The time we are using rushing from one diet plan to another, one pill/ supplement to the other, that’s the time we should be spending in the gym reducing that weight. That is the time we should be using to change our lifestyle. After all, it’s the reason we added that weight.

You may have come across this hype about weight loss shakes that is going around. The promise is that if you take these shakes, then you are going to lose weight in no time. Well here is the sad news. A survey by the Canstar Blue Research Company showed that 25% of people who took these shakes added more weight instead of losing. Does this mean the weight loss shakes don’t work? Is there something these people were (not) doing that resulted in the weight gain?

Weight Loss Shakes at a Glance

Weight loss shakes are different meals in liquid form, which should provide one with sufficient amounts nutrients regarding minerals, vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates and fats. They are in liquid form for easier digestion. You will get some filled with proteins, high in fiber or caffeine. The idea behind them is to provide you with enough energy and keep you fuller for longer. This way you do not take in too many calories and as a result, you lose weight. You can obtain them from the stores, or you can make them at home.

Weight Loss Shakes As Morning Metabolism Boosters

Science will tell you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a bigger”, so the saying goes. It is true, and thus, you can’t take chances when it comes to what you eat during breakfast. Not unless you want to mess the rest of the day. Most people looking to lose weight will forego their usual morning meals for a weight loss shake. It will work in most cases for homemade shakes. For example, you can make a chia berry smoothie or a Vegan chocolate milkshake smoothie. With homemade shakes, you can be able to count the number of calories in them and also what nutrients they are offering. You can’t be able to do this with the commercial ones because you don’t even know what they contain. Also, you can’t compare the magic of real food with these shakes. Weight loss shakes will work greatly if used in place of your usual snack or a substitute for one the other two meals (breakfast excluded). It is because meals are better suited for morning metabolism than the shakes. If you take one of the shakes in place of a meal, you will decrease your calorie intake per day, and in the long term lose weight. It means that the weight loss shakes are great as a short term weight loss remedy, they won’t work in the long run.

weight loss belly fat

 

Make Weight Loss Shakes Work for You

The reason the shakes won’t work is because most people tend to see them as quick fixes for weight loss. They want them to make magically them burn fat and build muscle. With such a mindset, they don’t even take into account the total calories they are getting from them and other meals. The result is weight gain. So what can you do to make these shakes work for you? Below are tips.

1. Stop the poor eating habits.

They are partly why you added weight.  Eat more healthy foods and get rid of the junk foods. A high fiber diet, for example, will keep you fuller for longer and prevent you from taking in too many calories.

2. Consult a dietitian.

He/ she will give you a plan on how to take these shakes. If you work with a dietitian, you are more likely to get better results than a person who takes the weight-loss shakes on their own. The reason being they may tend to forego meals for the shakes, and the result is a poor attitude towards meals and development of eating disorders.

3. A Get a lifestyle change program and stick to it

Making changes in your lifestyle will be necessary if you want to lose weight. Knowing why you want to lose weight will be a step towards achieving your goal. Exercise more, get a positive mindset and overall aim to develop a healthy lifestyle. The reason being that weight loss shakes work better when incorporated with other weight loss remedies. Alone, they won’t work.

4. Eat more proteins

Proteins have been shown to take more time to digest than carbohydrates. This way, they burn more calories and keep you fuller for longer.

Conclusion

Weight loss shakes are like super juices for weight loss; they won’t work unless you incorporate them with other weight loss remedies. When used in the morning, ensure that you can tell exactly how many nutrients and calories they contain to ensure your metabolism is given the boost it requires. Don’t forget to work with a dietitian who will walks with you throughout the journey. Above all, don’t take weight loss shakes as quick fixes for weight loss; they only work in the long run. They should be taken in line with other meals.

 

 

Katleen Brown

Katleen Brown is a health, beauty and fitness writer. She loves to publish her articles on various health related websites. In her spare time, she likes to do research to bring awareness. Recognizing the unity of body, mind, and outlook, she helps empower women to tune into their innate & inner wisdom to transform their health and truly flourish.

Fast & Furious Back to School Bites

 

This week’s post is by Leah Kelley.

 

Every year about a week before school starts I start baking like a mad woman. I bake at least 8 dozen muffins, 4 dozen pancakes, and 2 dozen waffles. I also whip up a couple batches of granola bars and energy bites. Why do I bake like this you ask? I’ve learned over the past 5 years of having kids in school that mornings don’t always go as planned. You spend 20 minutes looking for a shoe that the cat was laying on then you spend another 15 minutes explaining why cowboy boots and a princess dress up costume is not appropriate for school. Before you know it, it’s almost time for them to catch the bus.

 

 

This is where my mad woman baking comes in handy. I can just pop a frozen muffin in the microwave for 45 seconds and voila! a healthy breakfast. I’m going to share my favorite muffin recipe with you. These freeze well and are delicious! To freeze them just put them in a Ziploc freezer bag and lay flat in your freezer.

 

 


These Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins from Designed Decor are Divine!

It’s also nice to have a few freezer snacks available for after school snacks. The kids can do their homework or chores while their snack thaws out. I’m going to share my all time favorite energy bite recipe. These don’t give the kids “I’m going to scale the walls then run a marathon energy”  they’re just a healthy snack bite.

No Bake Energy Bites from Cooking Classy are my Favorites!

What are your  fast and furious snacks and breakfasts for busy school days?

 

 


 

 

Meal Planning Monday ~ Easter Recipe Round Up

This week’s post is by Christine Luken.

Easter is less than a week away!  I love everything about Easter – colored eggs, chocolate bunnies, everyone dressed up in their Sunday best, and of course gathering with family to enjoy Easter brunch or dinner.  This year, I’m hosting my hubby’s family for brunch.  On the menu: breakfast casserole made with eggs, sausage, and shredded hash browns, plus bacon, fruit salad, bread for toasting, and some sort of dessert I haven’t settled on yet. (I’m thinking maybe some of the cute cupcakes below…)  I thought it would be fun to team up with my blogger buddies to bring you some fresh recipe inspiration!  Whether you’re hosting an Easter meal or just showing up at a relative’s house with a dessert to share, I think you’ll find a great new recipe or two to try.

Breakfast Casserole

From Your Strong Tower by Christine Luken

This crowd pleasing egg dish is delicious, and best when assembled the night before.  On Easter morning, just remove it from the fridge and pop it in the oven!

Bunny Basket Key Lime Cake

From The Experimental Homesteader by Sheri Ann Richerson

 You’ll impress adults and kids alike with this Bunny Basket Key Lime Cake! It’s as
tasty as it is adorable!

Chocolate Easter Hen Cupcakes with Yellow Butter Cream Frosting

From Savvy Saving Couple by Amy Desrosiers

 Not only are these cupcakes cute and delicious, but they are gluten-free!

Easter Eggs in the Grass Cupcakes

From Savvy Saving Couple by Amy Desrosiers

 Or maybe these adorable cupcakes are more your style!

Key Lime Cheesecake with Fruity Pebbles

From An Exercise in Frugality by Rose Siders

 If you’re a fan of cheesecake, try this Key Lime version that’s as colorful as a basket of Easter eggs.

What’s on your menu for Easter brunch or dinner?

Meal Planning Monday ~ Family Friendly Cooking

This week’s post is by Kimberly Bergeron of Extreme Coupon Professors.

Hi! I’m Kimberly. I’m excited to be a guest here on Christine’s blog chatting with you about some quick, kid and teen friendly, family meals. We have a pretty large family of 5 kids, youngest being 11, oldest being 15 and they are always hungry. I don’t know how it is in your house, but when my kids get home at 2:30 PM from school, their backpacks haven’t even hit the floor and they’re already asking what’s for dinner. Can anyone relate? I used to love making gourmet dinners but I got tired of them picking through the food to pull out bits of peppers, onions, mushrooms, etc. I came to the realization that most of my kids are pretty basic eaters for now and I needed to just go with the flow. That being said, I have one of their favorite recipes for you below. It’s quick, easy and tasty. I hope you enjoy it.

 

No Fuss Stuffed Shells

I call these No Fuss Stuffed Shells because you won’t have to fuss over making them. They’re very quick and simple to put together on a busy night and they’re great to make ahead or to freeze. These are not your traditional shells with Ricotta Cheese and kids won’t be fussing over bits and pieces of onions in them. Yet, these No Fuss Stuffed Shells are full of flavor and a family favorite!

Ingredients:

  • 1lb of ground beef or ground turkey, cooked
  • 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese + 1/4 cup reserved for top of shells
  • 1/2 cup of shredded parmesan cheese
  • 2 T Basil
  • 2 T Onion powder
  • 2 T Garlic powder
  • 1 T Salt
  • 1 T Pepper
  • 1-24 oz. Jar of your favorite pasta sauce
  • 14 Jumbo pasta shells

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375.

Boil shells according to directions and drain.

Mix meat, cheeses and herbs and 1/2 jar of pasta sauce in mixing bowl.

In a shallow casserole dish, pour the other half of the sauce on the bottom.

Stuff shells with mixture, I use a muffin scoop to fill them. Place shells on top of sauce in casserole dish.

Sprinkle the reserved mozzarella cheese over the shells.

Bake uncovered in oven 25 minutes.

We serve ours with sliced oranges, a diced cuke and tomato salad and, of course, garlic bread!

 

Another family favorite of ours, believe it or not is Quiche. Again, this isn’t your typical quiche with veggies and just 4 slices of bacon! This is a quiche recipe for you bacon lovers! I put this recipe together so that my family would like quiche and they love this recipe. Quiche is super to have for any meal. When I serve it as breakfast, I offer cantaloupe wedges with it. For lunch or dinner, I’ll make a tossed salad and sometimes some French bread.

If your house is busy on a school mornings like ours is, you’ll appreciate this breakfast recipe. Throw it together the night before and everyone will quickly be running down the stairs for breakfast! It’s a nice change from cold cereal or a breakfast bar on the run!

My next recipe is one that I’ve been making since I was probably 4 years old with my Gram. Anytime I slept over her house, I had the choice of whatever I wanted for dinner. Almost every time, I’d choose her homemade macaroni and cheese and we’d always make it together. Most time we make this as our main meal, but certainly you can use it as a side dish.

You’ll love this next recipe. We love grilling pizza. I live in New Hampshire, where it’s very snowy and freezing all winter. Yet we pull out our grill and throw together dinner in a jiffy when we make these crispy BBQ Grilled Pizzas! It’s a delicious recipe for  anytime of the year.

I’m a wife, mommy and a lover of life enjoying everything from playing board games to cooking to traveling. Finding deals for our family has allowed us to do the fun things in life with enjoyment and less stress. When I find a deal I’ll always share it on my blog, Extreme Coupon Professors. Hop on over to see all the ways to save!

 

Meal Planning Monday ~ Veggies – Fresh, Frozen, or Canned?

           We all know that we should eat our veggies.  However, there’s plenty of debate over the merits of canned, frozen, and freshly picked vegetables.  Personally, I think that each of these methods has their place in every cook’s kitchen.  Let’s explore the pros and cons of each.

            Canned ~ The big plus side of canned vegetables is their long shelf-life.  You can stock up on canned corn, beans, and peas when there’s a good sale.  Chances are, you’ll use them before they expire.  It’s hard to argue with the convenience factor of canned vegetables.  No chopping carrots, peeling tomatoes, or soaking beans, which can be your saving grace on busy week nights.  On a regular basis, I use canned black beans, diced tomatoes, corn, and artichokes.  However, because of the canning process, you’re typically not getting as many nutrients as you would if you had the same vegetable fresh or frozen.  There has definitely been an increase in popularity in home canning, especially of garden-grown veggies.  I think this is great, because there are fewer preservatives when you can your own veggies.

            Frozen ~ These vegetables are typically flash frozen at the peak of ripeness.  This may mean that they have as many nutrients (maybe even more) as fresh veggies.  If you have a decent size freezer, you can stock up on frozen veggies when you find a great deal.  Frozen veggies will typically keep six month to a year.  Just keep in mind that freezing vegetables does not stop breakdown of nutrients, it just slows it WAY down.  There are some veggies that I prefer frozen.  I use frozen spinach in quite a few of my recipes.  It’s cheaper and easier than buying fresh spinach, which I reserve for my salads.  I also buy vegetable medleys and stew veggies in the freezer section.  If a certain vegetable is out of season, buying frozen is a good alternative.

            Fresh ~ Most people would agree that fresh is best!  There is nothing like a fresh tomato in July…  but you usually can’t find a tasty one in February, which makes me sad. :(  Eating fresh vegetables (especially those in-season and locally grown) will give you the best bang for your nutritional buck.  I’m loving the fresh asparagus that is on sale all over town right now!  We’re eating it once or twice a week.  I also recently purchased a large bag of English peas in the pod from my co-op.  They were very tasty in yesterday’s beef stew, but time-consuming to remove from the shell.

        Some veggies are just a pain to prepare fresh!  Nick and I found that out with artichokes.  Let me tell you, they are high-maintenance to boil, pick apart, and eat!  Next time I make my spinach and artichoke dip, I will stick to the ones in a jar or can.  The big downside to fresh veggies is their limited shelf life.  I usually try to restrain myself at the co-op, because if I buy more than we can eat in a week, it will go bad and end up in the trash – which is not a good thing!

            No matter how you like your veggies – fresh, frozen, canned, or a combination of all three – be sure to eat up!  Vegetables are full of fiber and lots of great vitamins and minerals.  Here is my Meal Plan for the week.

Monday ~ Cilantro Lime Shrimp with black bean and corn salad.  I’ll be using canned beans and corn for this recipe.

Tuesday ~ Turkey and gravy in the crockpot served with mashed potatoes and the remainder of my fresh peas from the co-op.  Kroger had Honeysuckle marinated turkey breasts on sale last week, buy-one-get-one-free.  I froze one of them for later.  I’ll toss the turkey breasts in the crock pot with a jar of gravy for an easy meal.

Wednesday ~ Roasted Salmon with sesame garlic roasted asparagus.  I make garlic roasted asparagus quite a bit, but never with sesame seeds, so I’m going to give it a try this week.

Thursday ~ BBQ chicken with parmesan potatoes and cauliflower with cheese.

Friday ~ Breakfast for dinner!  I’m making my broccoli cheddar frittata with hash browns and some fresh fruit.

Saturday ~ Sometimes I make my Spinach & Artichoke dip with two cans of chicken in it and call it a meal!  My hubby LOVES it.

Sunday ~ Foil packets on the grill with chicken, mushrooms, diced tomatoes, onions, and asparagus.

 

Spinach & Artichoke Dip

  • One 12-ounce jar of marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • One 10-ounce box of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • ½ cup of reduced-fat cream cheese
  • ¾ cup of reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • Pita chips or tortilla chips for dipping

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Make sure that spinach is thoroughly drained of excess water.  (I do this by putting it in a colander and pressing paper towels down on it to remove as much water as possible.)  Mix all ingredients (except chips) until well blended in a bowl.  Spread into a small oven-safe baking dish.  Bake 20 – 25 minutes, or until the top begins to turn golden and bubble.  Serve warm with chips.  (If you are unable to find marinated artichoke hearts, you can use a can of artichokes drained, and add a tablespoon of Italian dressing.)

Meal Planning Monday ~ The Best of Christine 2012

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!  Happy New Year’s Eve!  I hope you have some fun plans to hang out with friends and family to ring in the New Year.  Today is my birthday, so I’m taking a break from blogging.  I thought I would highlight my favorite posts of the year, so be sure to check out any you might have missed.

            Next week, we’ll be back with new Meal Planning Monday posts.  I’m also working on some great guest bloggers you’re sure to love!  Here’s to a happy and healthy 2013!

 

 

 

Meal Planning Monday ~ The Best of Leah 2012

Only a week and a day until Christmas!  Like Leah and I, you’re probably busy, busy trying to finish up shopping, wrapping, cooking, and baking so you’ll be ready to enjoy your family when the big day arrives.  So I thought I would give Leah and myself a well deserved break from blogging for a bit so we can enjoy the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.  This week, we’re highlighting Leah’s best posts of the year, so be sure you check out any you might have missed.

            Next week, there will be NO Meal Planning Monday.  The last Monday of the month, will be “The Best of Christine 2012.”

 

Meal Planning Monday ~ Pesto Perfection

            Hi, my name is Christine Luken, and I’m addicted to pesto!  Really – I can’t get enough of that basil, garlic, and olive oil perfection.  And lately I’ve been eating it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Breakfast?  Yes!  It wouldn’t have occurred to me to put a smear of pesto on an egg sandwich until Panera debuted their Mediterranean Egg White sandwich several months ago.  It’s essentially a breakfast panini – bread, egg white, pesto, cheese, and sundried tomatoes.  It’s super-delicious, but not cheap!

            So I decided to make my own version at home!  First I cook my egg in a little bit of Smart Balance spread or butter.  I take two pieces of whole wheat bread, outsides buttered and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.  Once the egg is cooked, I add it to the bread with a smear of pesto on one side and some sharp white cheddar cheese and cook it like a grilled cheese sandwich.  My mouth is watering as I type this!

            Of course, pesto isn’t just for breakfast!  You can add it to your sandwiches for lunch instead of mayo or mustard.  And I love making a great pasta dish with a pesto-based sauce and a good glass of red wine for dinner.  Here are a few great recipes ideas for you fellow pesto addicts!

  • Warm Italiano Spread ~ This is one of my favorite appetizer recipes from Kraft!  It’s simple, delicious, and my party guests always love it!

  • Creamy Pesto Chicken & Bow Ties ~ This is a new recipe that I’m trying this week.  It’s a little different from my usual pesto and chicken pasta recipe and I’m excited to try it!  See recipe below.

  • Pesto Stuffed Crescent Rolls ~ Leah suggested I try these rolls for a delicious side dish for dinner.  Pesto and mozzarella cheese tucked into a warm crescent roll – what’s not to love about that?

  • Pizza ~ If you like to make your own pizza, why not top yours with pesto, mozzarella, and fresh tomato slices?

What’s your favorite way to enjoy pesto?

Creamy Pesto Chicken & Bow Ties (From CampbellsKitchen.com)

2 Tablespoons of butter

1 ¼ Pounds of skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into cubes

1 Can (10.75 ounces) of Campbell’s Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup 98% Fat Free

½ Cup of pesto

½ Cup of Milk

½ of a 1-pound package of bow tie (farfalle) pasta (about 3 cups), cooked and drained.

Heat butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat.  Add chicken and cook until browned, stirring often.

Stir in the soup, pesto, and milk and heat to a boil.  Reduce heat to low.  Cook for about 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.  Stir in the pasta and cook until the mixture is hot and bubbling.

Meal Planning ~ Breakfast for the Kiddos

           

           This week’s post is by Leah Kelley.

            My daughter starts school next week!  Recently we talked about fun lunch ideas to pack for your kids.  However, breakfast for the kids on a school day can be a real challenge!  It seems that school mornings are always a rush, so I try to either make things ahead of time or have a few fast recipes.  It’s nice to have some other options besides cereal and milk.  One thing I like to do is make a few batches of pancakes and freeze them.  That way in the morning they’re already made and all I have to do is pop them in the toaster to heat them up for the kids.  This week, I thought I would share a few of my favorite freezer breakfast ideas.

  • Mini Blueberry Muffins ~ My kids love these and they are way healthier than the prepackaged muffins you buy at the store.
  • Zucchini Bread ~ Everyone’s gardens are bursting with zucchini this time of year!  I freeze two slices of the bread per bag.  If I take a bag out of the freezer before I go to bed, they are thawed out by morning.  They can always be defrosted in the microwave, too.
  • Strawberry Muffins ~ These are delicious!  See recipe below.
  • Pancakes and Waffles ~ I love my waffle maker!  One way to spice up waffles is to place a few drops of food coloring into the batter.  You could make a few red waffles, a few blue ones, and a few purple ones.  My kids love this.
  • Sausage Omelet Cups ~ You could use bacon or ham in place of the sausage.  Also, you can throw in green peppers, onions, or other veggies of your choice.

 

Strawberry Muffins

Ingredients
1 large egg
1 cup nonfat milk
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup frozen strawberries
Topping
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup course sugar
Directions
            Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F; line 12 muffin cups with paper liners; set aside while you prepare the batter.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg until it’s light and frothy, about 2 to 3 minutes; add the nonfat milk and butter to the stand mixer; beat on medium speed until well combined.  In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  With the stand mixer running on low, add the flour mixture a little at a time, until it’s all just combined and moistened; add the strawberries and run the mixer on high for 20 seconds.  Now it’s time to fill the muffin cups.  Using a scoop (such an ice cream scoop or even a ladle), divide the batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups.  Slide the muffins into the preheated oven; bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean; the tops of the muffins should be a golden brown.  Allow the muffins to cool slightly before proceeding.  Once the muffins are cool enough to touch, put the melted butter for the topping in one bowl and the coarse sugar in a second bowl; dip each muffin first in the butter and then in the sugar; let the muffins cool completely on a wire drying rack before serving.

 

 

 

 

Meal Planning Monday ~ The Power of Breakfast

          We’ve all heard it.  “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.”  Why is that?  A good breakfast revs up your metabolism, gives your brain and body fuel for the day, and prevents you from overeating at later meals.  “But I don’t have time for a healthy breakfast,” you’re thinking to yourself.  Yes, you do!  Here are some fast and nutritious breakfast ideas that will help you power through your busy days. 

~ Pancakes or Muffins.  With a little planning, it is possible to have a piping hot stack of pancakes or a warm muffin in the morning!  On the weekends, I will make double batches of pancakes or muffins and freeze the extras in individual serving sizes.  During the week, all that’s needed is a minute or two in the microwave or toaster, and you’ve got a hearty breakfast.  Try my Power Pumpkin Muffins, recipe below.

~ Eggs.  Sometimes, when I am waiting for my dinner to cook, I will whip up a batch of hard boiled eggs for the next day.  In the morning, I will eat a couple of the eggs with whole wheat toast and peanut butter.

~ Cereal.  When I am really pressed for time, I’ll just have a bowl of cereal.  My favorite is Kashi Go Lean Berry Crisp.  It’s high in protein and fiber, plus it tastes great and keeps me full for hours.

~ Smoothies.  Smoothies are great because they only take a few minutes to whip up and you can drink them in the car on your way to work.  Our favorite smoothie in the Luken household is called “Vanilla Blue.”  I first tried it when I was on Robert Ferguson’s 6-Day Detox Drop.  It’s so good, that Nick and I have this one several times a week.  Recipe below.

~ Protein Bars.  I always keep a protein bar in my purse just in case I have to eat breakfast on the run.  There are a lot of great tasting ones on the market now.  My personal favorites are the Luna and Clif Bars.

 

Vanilla Blue Smoothie  (From DietFreeLife.com)

½ cup of crushed ice

1 scoop of vanilla protein powder

1 cup of blueberries (fresh or frozen)

1 small banana, sliced (fresh or frozen)

6 ounces of water

 

Put all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.  Personally, I use frozen fruit for a milkshake-like consistency.  You can also add a few teaspoons of ground flaxseed for extra health benefits.

 

Christine’s Power Pumpkin Muffins

¼ Cup Ground Flax Seed

1 ½ Cups of Whole Wheat Flour

½ Cup Evaporated Cane Juice

1 Scoop of Vanilla Protein Powder

½ tsp. of Salt

½ tsp. of Baking Soda

2 tsp. of Baking Powder

1 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice

1 Egg, Beaten

1 Cup of Canned Pumpkin (about ½ a can)

3 Tbs. Coconut Oil

½ Cup of Skim Milk

1/3 Cup of Chopped Walnuts

 

Directions:  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line muffin tin with cupcake papers, or spray with butter flavored cooking spray.  In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.  In a separate bowl, lightly beat the egg, and then add the pumpkin, oil, and milk.  Blend the wet ingredients, and then add to the dry ingredients, folding in the walnuts.  Batter will be thick.  Fill muffin tins 2/3 of the way.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Makes 12 muffins, 175 calories each.

Notes:  You can freeze leftover canned pumpkin if you’re not making a double batch.  It will keep frozen for several months.  I typically make these in large batches and freeze them.  You can also sub in pureed bananas for the pumpkin, and cinnamon for the pumpkin pie spice.