NOTICE

At the time of publication, all recipes were free of the allergens listed as being free of in the title (i.e. soy-free, milk-free, etc.), and all other information shared was accurate to the best of my knowledge.
Though I strive to update outdated information quickly and work diligently to make sure you have the most accurate information possible at all times, it is your duty to double check labels EVERY TIME to ensure that the ingredients you use are SAFE FOR YOU.
DO NOT RELY SOLELY ON THIS INFORMATION AS INGREDIENTS AND INFORMATION DO CHANGE.
Your doctor or allergist should also be your first go-to for information on how to handle your medical needs. That being said, if you DO notice an error, please send me an email letting me know (tell me what page or recipe the error is on, what the error is, etc.), and I will correct the error ASAP.
Thank you so much!

Please Be Advised:
I make sure all of my recipes use foods that are free of the allergens they say they are free of. You will need to do the same. For help with this, please see the appropriate "Alternative Names" page for the allergen(s) you need the recipe free of.

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Monday, October 14, 2019

Weekly Weigh In: Week 17, October 14, 2019

I have decided that this feature will now run indefinitely, and will replace the My Quarterly Report feature.  It will go live every Monday, and it will be a weigh in that will share how I'm doing health-wise, and it will give me more accountability with my health.


Here is my seventeenth weigh in:

1. The Selfie: The selfie is me as of today, October 14, 2019.  

2. Weight: My weight stayed the same again.  I'm definitely not going to complain about that, but hopefully I'll have a weight loss to share next week.

3. Health News: I was only able to average over 7,500 steps per day again last week.  I am glad I was able to do just over the minimum, but I'd like to do more.  I should be able to reach my 6,000 daily step goal minimum this week, too, but it is unlikely that I will be able to do more.

Despite how helpful the cherry juice is, my insomnia is back.  It is no where near what it has been in the past, however.  Also, I can definitely confirm that insomnia and my migraines are linked.  I have been dealing with a migraine for a few days now.  Thankfully, ibuprofen and some black tea have kept the pain away, and it has been more minor in terms of migraines for me in general.  I've basically had the brain fog that lingers on even when the pain is gone, but no nausea, vision issues, etc.  

The flavored, no calorie, carbonated water is definitely not as helpful as the non-flavored, but it is still helping a little with the water retention.  I will take any help I can get, though!  Still no bad side effects that I can tell, so there's that.  I will probably be adding both this and the cherry juice to my "med" list soon.

Other than the migraine/insomnia, I'm doing pretty good! :)  I think once the weather stops fluctuating so wildly I'll do much better.  We'll see.

4. Diet News:  Oh my!  Epic fail this last week.  It is amazing that I didn't gain any weight.  I feel like my appetite came back with a vengeance, and I made some awful choices.  I'm going to really work on that this week.  I am sure my dietary choices haven't helped the insomnia or migraines.  You'd think I'd learn a bit quicker...  *sigh*  Here's hoping I get this week's eating choices right!

Intermittent fasting is still helping.  I'm sure it is why I didn't gain weight.  It is pretty much habit now, so that's great!  I am probably going to add this to my food "do"s and "don't"s list soon.

5. Other News: Yep, another busy week this week.  Missions Conference, Driver's Ed (part 2), school, doctor's appointments...Yes, I think I'll need a vacation when this week is over! LOL :) All in all, it should be a great week, and I'm really looking forward to the conference.

If you think about it, please be in prayer for some special unspokens.  I have a lot on my heart and mind that I cannot share publicly, but those things do require prayer.  Thank you!


How are you doing?  Do you have anything you want to weigh in with?  Any health progress or goals you want to share?  If so, please leave a comment below (with a link to your post, if you have one and wish to leave it), and I'll respond ASAP.

Have a great week!

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pecan Muffins (Wheat, Fish and Milk-Free, Can Be Nut, Soy and Egg-Free)


I like to cook seasonally when I can, and nothing says "autumn" to me like pumpkin.  My favorite combination for autumn is pumpkin and pecan.  This recipe incorporates both of those while also being free from wheat, fish and milk (if all your ingredients are), and can be nut, soy and egg-free, too (see variations).  I find the flavor reminds me a bit of pumpkin pie, and the pecans add a nice, buttery richness and crunch.  If you love pumpkin, you'll want to give these muffins a try!

Note: The gluten-free flour I recommend does not technically contain soy, but it does contain xantham gum (see "Soy-Free" under variations for more details) which can cause issues for people with soy sensitivities or allergies.  Also, not all gluten-free bread crumbs are soy-free.  For these reasons, I will not claim that this recipe is soy-free.  I will share a soy-free alternative in variations, though.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pecan Muffins

4 Cups gluten-free gluten-free flour
(We normally use and highly recommend Namaste Gluten-Free Perfect Flour Blend.)

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoons to 8 teaspoons gluten-free pumpkin pie spice
(We normally use and highly recommend McCormick brand.)

1 Cup chopped pecan pieces

1 Cup extra virgin olive oil

1 Cup white sugar
(We always use and highly recommend white cane sugar.)

1 Cup brown sugar
(We always use and highly recommend brown cane sugar.)

1/2 Tablespoon to 2 teaspoons gluten-free vanilla extract

4 eggs

1 can (15 oz.) pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)

pecan halves for decorating (optional)

  1.  Preheat oven to 325oF.
      
  2. Line muffin tins (30 to 36 count) with liners.
      
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and pecan pieces and set aside.  (Note: Most spices are gluten-free by default, but you'll want to double check to make sure that your pumpkin pie spice is.  Also, the amount of pumpkin pie spice you use is based on personal preference.  We prefer the 8 teaspoons, but if you find that too much spice for your liking, use the 2 Tablespoons or even go down to 1 1/2 Tablespoons, if you wish.)
      
  4. In a large bowl, mix together the olive oil, sugar and vanilla until well-blended.  (Note: The amount of vanilla you use is based on personal preference.  We prefer the 2 teaspoons.)
      
  5. Add the eggs and pumpkin to the sugar mixture and mix until well-blended.
      
  6. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix until well-blended. (Note: You do not want to over-mix this.  I generally mix it until all the flour is moistened, and then stop.  It is ok if there is some bits of flour visible, but you don't want large streaks of flour.)
      
  7. Evenly distribute the batter between the lined muffin cups and then top each muffin with a pecan half, if desired.  (Note: I find that 30 muffins is perfect for this recipe, but if you want to make the muffins slightly smaller, you could definitely stretch this out to 36 muffins.  Also, if you want the muffins to have a smoother appearance, then smooth out the batter before baking.  I am ok with a more rustic look, so I didn't do that with mine, so it definitely is not necessary.)
      
  8. Bake muffins for about 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick stuck into a center muffin comes out clean.
      
  9. Cool muffins in pans on wire racks for 5 minutes before transferring the muffins directly to the wire racks to finish cooling.
Makes 30 to 36 muffins that can be enjoyed hot, warm or cold with equal deliciousness.


Variations (Please keep individual allergen and dietary needs in mind when using variations.  Thank you!):
  • Soy-Free: Namaste Gluten-Free Perfect Flour Blend does not claim to contain soy, but it does contain xanthan gum, which can cause issues with people who have soy sensitivities and allergies.  For this reason, I will not claim that this recipe is soy-free.  You can use a soy-free flour (if you can have wheat/gluten) or soy-free, gluten-free cup-for-cup of your choice.  Keep in mind that if your gluten-free flour doesn't contain guar gum or xanthan gum, you may need to add between 1 to 4 teaspoons of ground flax seed, guar gum or xanthan gum to help with textural issues, too.  You'll have to make sure all your ingredients are soy-free, too.
      
  • Other Nut or Nut-Free: You can sub walnuts or pumpkin seeds for the pecans or you can leave the pecans out entirely if you can't have nuts.
      
  • Egg-Free: Use an egg replacer in place of the eggs.  For ideas on what to use in place of the eggs, check out my ingredient substitutions page.  The flax seed "egg", pumpkin or applesauce replacement would be a good fit with these muffins.
      
  • Mix-In Ideas: If you like chocolate chips with pumpkin, you can add a Cup in (Enjoy Life is a great allergy-friendly chocolate).  If you like cranberry with pumpkin, you can add a Cup of dried cranberries (such as Craisins) in.  You could use either or both of these, and even use one of the nut substitutions above.  Pick your fancy!
      
  • Loaves vs. Muffins:  If you are more a fan of loaves vs. muffins, you can turn this recipe into loaves.  Just grease two 9x5 loaf pans, evenly distribute the batter between the two pans, top with pecan halves for decoration (like a line down the middle length-wise) if desired, and bake for 6o t0 75 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.  You will need to rest the bread loaves in the pans for 5 minutes before attempting to remove them from the pans, and then remove them from the pans and cool the loaves on wire racks before enjoying.

Looks yummy, right?
    

It's autumnal deliciousness at its finest!  Mmmm!

Have a great weekend!

Monday, October 7, 2019

Weekly Weigh In: Week 16, October 7, 2019

I have decided that this feature will now run indefinitely, and will replace the My Quarterly Report feature.  It will go live every Monday, and it will be a weigh in that will share how I'm doing health-wise, and it will give me more accountability with my health.


Here is my sixteenth weigh in:

1. The Selfie: The selfie is me as of today, October 7, 2019.  

2. Weight: My weight stayed the same.  I'll take it (because it is better than a weight gain), but am hopeful that next week I'll have a weight loss to share.

3. Health News: I was able to average over 8,500 steps per day again last week.  I am thrilled!  I am not sure I'll be able to get that this week, but I am going to do my best, and I should be able to reach my 6,000 daily step goal minimum.

Tart cherry juice is definitely helpful.  It has improved my sleep pattern, and had basically no insomnia for the majority of the week last week.  I am dealing with a more minor case of insomnia right now, but am hopeful it will pass soon.

The carbonated water is helping with the water retention a little bit.  I couldn't find that non-flavored this last time at the store, so I bought some flavored that was no calorie, no sweetener (basically carbonated water and flavoring) to try.  I am not sure if it will work as well, but we'll see.  I am finding that I do have to drink the full recommended serving size to see any benefit at all with it, but there doesn't seem to be any awful side effects thus far.  Pray it stays that way!

Well, the issues I was having due to the herbal water pill are definitely done.  I also definitely did have an issue with that new laundry soap, and am mostly recovered from that (until I end up wearing an item I thought I re-washed and didn't).  I still have some other issues that are probably just related to getting older :), but those are sorting themselves out bit by bit.  

I appreciate your prayers for all my weirdness. :D  The last 2 years feel like my health and body have morphed into something new.  Things I could once eat I cannot anymore, things I could once wear/use (i.e. make-up or soap) I cannot anymore, etc.  My 40s are not going well! LOL :)  Maybe it will be like March - "In like a lion, out like a lamb."  Here's hoping! :D

4. Diet News:  Hmmm... I'd say that I did pretty good with my diet for the most part.  The biggest issue has been that I have just not been hungry very often, so I have been forcing myself to eat just to keep from becoming mad and sassy (AKA hangry).  Unfortunately, sometimes that has meant eating things that aren't the best for me because those were the only things that tempted me to eat.  I am going to work on eating the things that work best for me instead of what is tempting this week (assuming this lack of hunger continues or even if my appetite comes back).  Wish me luck!

I was more consistent with the intermittent fasting times this week, and I think that is also helping my sleep patterns.  I also have realized that sugar and anything caffeine containing cannot be consumed by me after like 3pm without it causing sleep issues for me.  I am also finding that eating or drinking anything other than water after 6pm (I did that once this last week), gives me heartburn when I lay down to sleep, so I'm going to make the rule that food  and liquids other than water after 6pm just cannot happen for me no matter when I started eating for the day.

5. Other News: The busy train has not slowed one bit, and may even have ramped up, believe it or not.  Not sure when it will slow down, but maybe by January.  We'll see. :D  Maybe I'll get some moments to catch my breath between now and then.  Also, if you think about it, I have some unspoken things that I could realize use some prayer for if you wouldn't mind being a prayer partner with me.  Thanks!


How are you doing?  Do you have anything you want to weigh in with?  Any health progress or goals you want to share?  If so, please leave a comment below (with a link to your post, if you have one and wish to leave it), and I'll respond ASAP.

Have a great week!