Monday, 21 January 2013

Taking the Leap

Making positive changes in life is hard. Really hard. Even though you know these changes are for the better and will make you healthier and happier in the long run, in the short term they can just feel plain impossible. So what can we do when we want to make a change for the better? Especially when we're filled with doubt that we actually can do it and think that maybe it's all just too far in the distance for us to get there? I think it kind of comes down to what the nifty little picture above says: just make the jump. Instead of thinking about how far we have to go maybe we should just get started and stop dwelling on the negatives that bring us down.

In an effort to put this thought into practice I have started (trying) to eat better and have joined Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation in an effort to give myself a much needed kick up the butt when it comes to exercise. Eeek! The program is currently in pre-season so if you're interested there's still plenty of time to check it out.

So as I continue my little exploration into healthy living and exercising I'll be posting updates and recipes along the way- because accountability is one hell of a motivator! (And I hereby solemnly swear that I will never use the word "journey" in any of these blog posts. If I do, you have my wholehearted permission to shoot me).

In my pursuit of healthier treats that I could use to replace my usual sugar-laden ones with (hello red velvet cupcakes, donuts and tim tams) I stumbled across this fabulous cookbook called The Joy of Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Baking by Peter Reinhart and Denene Wallace. Apart from having the best name ever for a cookbook it's chock full of delicious recipes. We're talking the kinds of foods that are usually a no-go zone for the health conscious here: bread, waffles, muffins, scones, biscuits, cakes and even pretzels! The recipes use only nut meals so they are super low-carb and stevia is used instead of the usual tonne of sugar. 

These Cinnamon-Apple Muffins have a great hazelnutty flavour so you could even spread a little Coconut Chocolate Butter on them for healthy Nutella-ish substitute! Yummm. These muffins turn out super moist and have a texture just like a regular muffin, but better!

Cinnamon-Apple Muffins
by Peter Reinhart and Denene Wallace

Makes around 9-10 muffins.


3/4 cup hazelnut flour
3/4 cup almond flour
1/2 cup Splenda or Stevia (I used Natvia and it worked out great)
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 eggs
6 tablespoons milk (or soy milk or almond milk, whatever you like)
2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce (You can find jars of this in the condiments section of the supermarket)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp liquid stevia
1/2 cup coarsely chopped apple (about one apple)
1/4 cup chopped almonds, pecans, hazelnuts or walnuts for garnish


Preheat oven to 350F (177C).

1. Line a muffin pan with paper or foil liners, then mist them with spray oil (or omit the liners and mist the pan generously with the spray).

2. In a medium bowl, combine the hazelnut flour, almond flour, Splenda or stevia, baking powder and cinnamon and whisk until mixed together.

3. In a large bowl whisk the eggs, milk applesauce, vanilla and liquid stevia together until thoroughly blended. Add the flour mixture and stir with a large spoon for 1 to 2 minutes to make a smooth, sticky batter. Fold in the apples.

4. Spoon or scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups. The muffin cups should be just about full. Sprinkle the chopped nuts over the muffins.

5. Bake for 20 minutes, then rotate and bake for about another 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and springy when pressed in the centre. (But all ovens are different so I recommend checking on these well before they are supposed to be done).

6. Let the muffins cool in the pan for at least 5 minutes before turning them out onto a wire rack.

7. Inhale the muffins- just try and remember to chew occasionally.

Are you trying to un-glue yourself from the couch and be more active too? What kinds of things are you doing in order to be healthier? Do you have any favourite healthy recipes that you love to cook or bake? I'd love to know!

Have a beautiful week!



  1. Good luck in "making the jump" ... yep you just have to do it! It always seems like the hardest thing in the world but once you've done it, you wonder why it too you so long to do it! I have just gone through it with changing my diet/food! I feel so much better, healthier, happier and I'm losing a few kilos along the way! Hope it all goes well :)

  2. I have just followed you over from IG, starting to get to know everyone I follow over there aswell. Looking forward to following your adventure. Hey I joined a gym last week so I am the converted.

  3. "Making the jump" - just what I needed. I feel like there are so many dreams, but too much fear to really jump. I will work on that. And good luck to you on your journey!



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