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amazing muffins & my strength training plan

Healthy Pumpkin Banana Muffins adapted from Food.com

1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup old fashioned oats
1/4 cup wheat bran
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 overly ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp pumpkin puree
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup walnut pieces


Preheat oven to 350º F and line a muffin tin with liners, or grease individual cups.

Mix flour, oats, bran, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices together in a large bowl. Whisk until combined.

In a medium bowl, combine sugars, bananas, applesauce, pumpkin, and eggs. Mix the wet and dry ingredients, just until combined. Fold in walnuts.

Fill muffin cups 3/4ths full. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Yield: 15 large muffins.

Nutrition Information (per muffin): 175 calories; 4.3 g. fat; 29 mg. cholesterol; 241 mg. sodium; 32 g. carbohydrate; 3.5 g. fiber; 16.7 g. sugar; 2.3 g. protein

Result: If I’m being honest, these were the best muffins I’ve made to date…and I’ve made a lot of muffins. I’ve never heard of such a combination…banana and pumpkin, but between my craving for banana-nut something and my plentiful stocks of pumpkin, a Google search produced this match made in heaven. Anyways, the muffins were big, moist, nutritious & delicious. THE Perfect Muffin? I’m going with a yea! Edit: Mr. P walked in the door yesterday and said, “Those muffins were awesome…what kind were they?!” 😀


If you tuned in over the weekend, I confessed to NOT lifting weights or doing any form of strength training. Shame on me!! It shows, trust me! My once toned and athletic arms are looking more like a winged bat these days. Not okay!

We are lucky enough to have a home gym in our basement. Nothing fancy, but a treadmill in front of a TV hooked up with a DVR is a pretty beautiful thing. We’ve had our treadmill for nearly a year and I can honestly say that both of us use it several times a week, year-round. We also have a yoga mat, stability ball, Gym-in-a-Bag, hand weights (5# and 8#) and as of today, a mini stability ball and a 6# medicine ball. I. Am. Ready!

What helps keep me motivated with running is recording my workouts. That way, I can see progress…and lack thereof.

Last week there were a lot of “sick :(” notes on the days of the week I didn’t exercise. Typically, days read “hockey” or “X miles”, so I can easily track when and what I did. Obviously that’s working just great for cardio, but for weights I needed a new plan of action.

Enter printer paper, 15 minutes, and some markers:

Lower and upped body lifting routines. I’ll share the details tomorrow, but my GOAL is:

Lift upper body 1 day/week
Lift lower body 1 day/week
Upper & lower body 1 day/week

I reserve the right to change this up 😉 But this is what I’m going to attempt for the next few weeks and then reassess. Wish me luck (ugh!!)!

Questions: What keeps you motivated when it comes to exercise? And, what’s YOUR favorite muffin variety?

Have a super week!

Share With Your Friends!


  1. October 18, 2010 / 6:50 am

    I love the combo of banana and pumpkin in muffins – I have made them too and they seriously are the best.

  2. October 18, 2010 / 7:43 am

    I’m so with you – I’ve been neglecting weight training lately – and I used to LOVE it! I’m dedicating myself with you this week (at least). I’m starting with a “Group Power” class at the gym (kinda like Body Pump) – so at least something will be going on.

    Lately I’ve been motivated by signing up for a bunch of races (short distances), so I know I have to train.

    And fave muffin – cranberry orange!

  3. October 18, 2010 / 8:16 am

    I’m usually the opposite. I hate cardio so I’m more likely to neglect that instead of strength training. The charts are a great idea, though. Seeing what you did (or didn’t!) do each day will be a great motivator.

  4. October 18, 2010 / 8:35 am

    Wow– sounds like those muffins were a big hit!! Thanks for posting the recipe– I’ll bookmark it!

  5. October 18, 2010 / 8:44 am

    Fairly healthy and the BEST muffins you’ve ever made…whew, that’s a high standard. Definitely bookmarking this one! Thanks for sharing.

  6. October 18, 2010 / 8:48 am

    Sounds like a good plan. I really like weightlifting so it doesn’t take much to get me motivated. Cardio is a bit tougher to get me going on.

  7. October 18, 2010 / 10:55 am

    I’m copying this muffin recipe NOW! I heart banana muffins, and of course anything pumpkin flavored. Pumpkin muffins are definitely my favorite. ๐Ÿ™‚

    You are SO organized! I think that is great motivation. I’m definitely a chart/calendar/numbers girl. The thing that motivates me with workouts is downloading new music. There is something about listening to new music that gets me totally pumped up and excited!

  8. October 18, 2010 / 11:42 am

    Nice combo and it looks so delicious too…

  9. October 18, 2010 / 2:29 pm

    Banana and pumpkin definitely sounds like the perfect combination!
    I am not a huge fan of doing weight on my own so I make sure to go to classes. I love going to body pump classes. I think your schedule will give you a good start back into it.
    It is hard to say what keeps me motivated. Just knowing it will make me feel better once I have gotten it done. With weights, I love the idea of getting stronger.

  10. October 18, 2010 / 4:58 pm

    Oh my, now I need to make those muffins! The good thing is I actually have all the ingredients on hand — yay!

  11. October 18, 2010 / 9:41 pm

    My favorite muffins are lemon poppy….lately. But it changes a lot. When I’m in chocolate mode, it’s chocolate chocolate chip! And I love blueberry too, oh I just LOVE muffins ๐Ÿ™‚

    Strength training has never been hard for me to get into, I like how I look when I can see my muscles in the mirror, it’s me galumping on the treadmill – that is the sight I hate! I run like an injured rhinoceros. No joke!

    Georgie Fear RD

  12. October 18, 2010 / 10:06 pm

    Nice charts. Hmmm, what’s my motivation? Honestly, exercise is one of my main stress-relievers. Love the endorphins and I love feeling strong. Also, I feel that I can’t keep the weight off without it.

    I haven’t had any muffins lately but your recipe looks tasty.

  13. October 19, 2010 / 10:46 am

    I’ve never tried the pumpkin/banana combo–it’s worth a shot!

  14. October 19, 2010 / 9:27 pm

    I stay motivated and on track by having a structured training program. For example, training for a half marathon with Hal Hidgeon’s plan, and working through NROLFW and NROL. I really enjoy strength training because I feel like there’s always room for improvement and it’s up to me to challenge myself. GL!

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