Thursday, February 16, 2012

Tough Love

You might recognize this face. If you do, it's accompanied by a voice yelling, "You can always push harder, you can always do more! So give it to me!!!" Yes, I'm talking about Jillian Michaels.

A little over a year ago, I had never heard of her. I also grudgingly ate a half cup of salad every evening during dinner, and glumly walked a half mile on the treadmill at the gym. But, there came a time, when that part of my brain grew up, making me realize that I wasn't being a good steward with the body that God gave me. Jillian Michaels has been a key part of my fitness journey, helping me to realize that healthy eating isn't a "diet", it is a lifestyle. Her workouts have been springboards, showing me that I can do more, and I can motivate myself.

That is my story, and I thank God for bringing me a responsible perspective on my health.

Well, most of you know about this part of Jillian...

...but not all of you may know about Jillian the cookbook writer...
If I could only keep one cookbook out of my entire collection, this would be the one I would pick. And that is saying something. The introduction to this cookbook is hefty and informative, giving you directions for cleaning your eating habits, an overview on hormones (and how they are effected by your diet), and lists of the best choices from different power nutrient food groups (ie legumes, berries, cruciferous vegetables, dairy). Jillian has a list of things not to eat, like hydrogenated fats (duh!) and high fructose corn syrup. In short, she is very reasonable, and her food could be easily cooked every day. It's simple. It's delicious. It's healthy.

I'd like to share one of my favorite recipes from the book, her banana blueberry muffins. I've made them about six times, freezing them for a convenient breakfast.

Jillian Michael's Blueberry Banana Muffins
Makes 12 muffins

2 very ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup non-fat plain yogurt
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 425 degrees, and spray 12-cup muffin tin with olive oil or line with paper liners. Mix bananas, yogurt, honey, olive oil, and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, stirring until just combined. Fold in blueberries. Spoon batter into muffin tin, place tin in oven, and reduce heat to 400 degrees. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until tops spring back when touched. Remove from oven, and let cool for 10 minutes. You can store them in an airtight container at room temp. for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
216 kcal each; fat 6.8g; protein 4.5g; carbs 37.1g; sodium 234.5mg

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