“Magic” Microwave Muffins

Very quick and easy microwave muffin recipe for those of you who love bready things…this recipe makes ONE very large muffin that is a complete BFL meal.

Ingredients:
(Basic muffin)
4 1/2 T. protein powder (chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry)
4 1/2 T. oatmeal (can be whole or ground)
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2-3 packets of Splenda to taste
1/2 c. water (Cut this down to 1/3 c. if your muffin comes out too
mushy, overflows your cooking container, or if you add fruit.)

(Optional Add-ins–mix and match)
Fruit: 1/4 c. fruit fresh or frozen (peaches, cherries, strawberries,
blueberries, mixed berries all work well)

Nuts: 1 T. ground almonds or walnuts

Flavoring: 1/2 t. cocoa (to boost chocolate flavored protein powder)
or 1/2 t. vanilla or almond extract (to boost vanilla or strawberry
protein powder)
——————
Preparation:
1. Mix all of the Basic Muffin ingredients together in a 2-3 cup glass
or ceramic container (I use a 2 cup Pyrex measuring cup.) Plastic
causes the mix to heat up too quickly and overflow.

2. If you want to add a bit of texture, flavor, and healthy fat, you
can mix and match ingredients from the optional Add-ins area, but
don’t choose more than one item from each category. Stir in your
extra ingredients.

3. Microwave the mix for 2 minutes on high. The “muffin” will climb
the sides of the container, so you might want to put a plate
underneath it.

4. Wait for the muffin to cool and deflate to normal size. 🙂
Ignore the lopsided look of the muffin and dig in. Enjoy!

Combinations I’ve tried:

a) Chocolate protein, mixed berries, walnuts, and cocoa
b) Vanilla protein, peaches, almonds, and almond extract
c) Vanilla protein, peaches, walnuts, and vanilla extract
d) Strawberry protein, blueberries
e) Strawberry protein, strawberries, ground almonds and vanilla extract
f) Vanilla protein, blueberries, walnuts, and vanilla extract
g) Chocolate protein, cherries, almonds, and cocoa

Nutrition stats for the basic muffins if you use Myopro Whey are: 166
calories, 17g carb,
18.5g protein, 2.9g fat (1.1g sat fat), 2g fiber

No-Bake Nutrition Bars (From Stella’s Kitchen)

I HIGHLY recommend adding Equal or Splenda to this recipe and using
her 1/4 c. raisin, cranberry, and/or nuts substitution for 1/4 cup of
the oats. The plain bars (no sweeteners or other interesting textures)
taste like sawdust with a faint peanut butter binder. If your goal is
to prevent yourself from snarfing down 5 of these at a time, by all
means stick with the original recipe. You’ll be lucky to
make it through one without a lot of fortitude and a will of steel.

Otherwise, go with the sweeteners and extra modifications. These
aren’t going to compare to, oh…a S’mores flavored Luna bar, but they
are at least as good as a (bleah) Balance bar.

If you don’t want to pay extra for oat flour, you can just grind up
about 2/3 c. of regular dry oatmeal (cheapies!) in the blender and use
that instead. Using 1 full cup of dry oats makes the bars a bit too
lumpy and hard to mix from my experience.

Maggie

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No Bake Nutrition Bar Recipe by Stella Juarez

If you don’t like the additives in store-bought nutrition bars or hate
paying $3 for a meal replacement bar or protein bar snack, you’ll
appreciate this recipe. My friend Sara passed a recipe on to me from a
Body-For-Life message board and I’ve modified based on some kitchen
testing. These are quick to make and make for a nice little snack,
too. Best of all, they contain healthy dietary fat, are no-sugar added
and do not contain glycerine or other unnatural ingredients. Be
sure to keep them refrigerated and don’t eat the whole batch at once!

Ingredients:

5 tbsp natural peanut butter (chunky or smooth)
1/2 cup dry oats or whole grain hot cereal (uncooked)
1/2 cup oat flour (double the oats if you do not have oat flour OR

better yet, grind up 1/2 of regular oats in your blender and use as a
substitute)
6 scoops chocolate whey protein (~132 grams protein)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons flax seeds (optional)
1 cup non-fat dry milk
1/2 cup water (depending on what type of protein you use, you may need
to add more)
(optional) 4-6 packets of Splenda or Equal to taste

Directions:

Spray an 8×8 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Combine dry
ingredients in a medium size bowl and mix well. Add peanut butter and
mix – the mixture will be crumbly and dry. Add water & vanilla.

Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, everything until a dough
forms. The dough will be sticky. Spread dough into pan using a clean
wooden spoon or spatula that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking
spray. Refrigerate a few hours (or freeze for an hour) and cut into 9
squares. Wrap bars individually (use sandwich bags or plastic wrap) or
store in covered container between sheets of wax paper.

Keep refrigerated.

Modifications: Use vanilla protein and replace ~1/4 cup of the
oatflour with a variety of nuts, seeds, or dried berries. Chopped
almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, peanuts, flax seeds, sesame seeds,
pumpkin seeds, raisins, or dried cranberries would all work well.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:

197 calories, 21 g protein, 7.2 g fat (8% saturated), 13.7 g
carbohydrate, 1.6 g fiber

Cats, Cottage Cheese, and Why I Hate Ghetto-Mart

Stupid Cat Moment of the Day: I had to make a quick breakfast of cottage cheese and blueberries since tai chi class ends so late. While I was nuking my bowl of frozen berries, I left the container of Wal-Mart Great Value Fat-Free Small Curd Cottage Cheese sitting open on my counter. When I turned around, Neville Longbottom, my younger tabby cat, had his entire kitty face buried in the cottage cheese and was noshing away. He had white stuff clinging to his whiskers when he looked up. What a weird cat.

What a pain it was to get that CC, too. I had to go to Super Ghetto-Mart last night around 9:45 pm after getting lost in the Universal Studios area trying to find the apartment of a Freecycle gal who was giving me her fake bonsai tree. I knew I wouldn’t make it to Publix in time to pick up the absolutely necessary CC once I’d finally acquired my new faux bonsai, so I popped into the Super Wal-Mart on Kirkman and Metrowest for some. I grabbed three big containers of CC ($0.21 cheaper each than Publix!) and headed to the checkout lanes only to make the mistake of getting into a “self check-out” line. I thought it would be faster.

I was so wrong.

People, if you are completely hopeless at working with technology, following basic instructions, and locating barcodes on your items, please stay the hell out of the self check-out lines! Go give a check-out girl in the full-service line something to do besides fluff her circa 1985 mall hair with her 3″ long fingernails. It took the two people in front of me a total of 17 minutes to check out because, quite frankly, they were idiots. Here’s how to tell if you aren’t ready for self check-out: If you still get confused at an ATM or need 30 minutes to complete a transaction at a pay-at-the-pump gas station, you are NOT ready for the “user-friendly Wal-Mart self check-out” experience.

The moron in front of me (who, sadly enough, was trying to purchase a flat of Maruchan Instant Noodle Cups) last night acted like he was in a godawful rush by grabbing a bag while the doddering grandpa in front of HIM was scratching his head over his own transaction, and then proceeded to be even more of a traffic jam in the highway of discount commerce by trying to scan the same cup of noodles over and over instead of putting the thing in the bag on the digital scale.

Oh, didn’t you all know that the self-check out lanes at Wal-Mart have scales hooked up to the bag holders to make sure that you are putting the actual items you ring up into the bag, and not dumping 10 cans of cat food into the bag and paying for just one? After each item is scanned, the system waits for you to place something of the correct preprogrammed weight into bag on the scale before you can ring up the next item. Mr. “I’m In A Hurry” failed to realize this even though the computerized voice told him to put his crap into the bag! I figured this out immediately. He kept trying to scan the same stupid item over and over for a good 3-4 minutes before he finally put it in the bag. Then he tried the whole thing again with another noodle cup.

Hello? Didn’t we learn anything the first time?

Sigh.

If that wasn’t bad enough, he had to RE-COUNT each rung up item on the computer display after he scanned another cup. He didn’t even trust himself to scan the right number of noodles. I sincerely hope the guy doesn’t have any kids. The thought of someone so brainless actually breeding gives me the chills. Of course, given the number of noodle cups this guy was buying instead of real groceries, he’s probably a sad-sack bachelor anyhow.

There’s nothing like a trip to the local Ghetto-Mart to make you feel 100% better about your own life.

Just in case anyone was wondering, I scanned and checked out in 1 minute, 22 seconds. I thought the people behind me would applaud, but they were too busy screwing up their own check-out.

BFL Journal C2W5D4

Thoughts: I got to tai chi class again today right after a very strenuous cardio run. I meant to get on the elliptical machine, but for some reason my legs carried me to the treadmill row. 🙄 I raised three of my interval speeds today to 6.4, 6.9, and 7.4 mph and ran my max at 10 mph for 30 seconds, and 9.5 mph for the remaining 30 seconds. The most amazing thing about all of this is that I was wearing long pants when I did it. I HATE running in long pants. My legs and feet always feel like they are burning up. I only wore the pants today because doing tai chi in shorts looks ridiculous.

The things I do for the sake of vanity…

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Nutrition (1300-1400 day)
1: Blueberry cottage cheese
2: Oatmeal tuna with lettuce and peach

3: Strawberry raisin bar
4: Cottage cheese and strawberries
5: Oatmeal tuna with broccoli in oyster sauce and 1 slice pumpernickel toast
6: Chocolate banana shake

Supplements:
Multivitamin with iron
Calcium 500 + D
1 T. flax seed oil

Calories eaten and deficit for yesterday = 1771/ -253 (target -337)
Water: 12 cups
Ratios: 40% carb / 40% protein /20% fat

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Workout:
7:30 am cardio at the fitness center: Treadmill run

Warm up- 4 mph / 5% incline / 2 minutes
HIIT – 4.5, 6.4, 6.9, and 7.4 mph / 0% incline / 4 sets
Max – 9.5 mph / 0% incline / 1 minute
Cooldown – 4.5 down to 3 mph / 0% incline / 3 minutes

8 am tai chi class / 1 hour

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The Awful Truth:
1. Didn’t get an unbroken block of sleep last night because I fell asleep on the couch playing Animal Crossing again.
2. Substituted some cereal and raisins for the brown rice at dinner.

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Brownie Points:
1. Made it to tai chi class this morning 🙂
2. Raised my top three regular interval speeds by 0.2 mph each to 6.4, 6.9, and 7.4 mph, and STILL managed to do my level 10 interval at 9.5-10 mph. 😯

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Short-term Goals:
1. Stay away from Animal Crossing.
2. Make a schedule for evenings and stick to it.

BFL Journal C2W5D3

Thoughts: I’m running out of workout and food-related BFL chit chat to put in this “Thoughts” area. Heh. I think it’s another sign that I

  • A) am automatically doing BFL without conscious thought, and
  • B) need to find other things to do now to fill my time! (A friend of mine recommends some kind of martial arts where I can kick the hell out of something/one since my legs are becoming monstrous.)

Oh, I guess there are two things to report. I did LBWO this morning and went back to dbell squats to let my upper spine/neck/spinal cord rest and heal. I still felt some pressure in my cranium, but not nearly the amount that I felt with the Smith machine barbell. I’m going to stick with the dbells for another 2 weeks. The second item I have to report on is the terrible form used by the other woman on the ladies’ free weight floor with me. She was on the Smith machine with 95 lbs total weight, and she didn’t even come near 90 degrees when she did her squats. She also bounced them instead of controlling the weight up and down. What’s the point of even doing them if you are going to cheat your body like that? No wonder she had toothpick legs with no muscle tone.

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Nutrition (1800-2000 high day)
1: Chocolate banana shake (3×1 veggie omelette with pumpernickel toast)
2: Tuna stir fry with apple (PB shake)
3: Strawberry raisin bar (PB shake)
4: Cottage cheese and strawberries
5: Tuna stir fry with brown rice
6: Chocolate banana walnut muffin

Supplements:
Multivitamin with iron
Calcium 500 + D
1 T. flax seed oil
1/2 serving GNC Creastack

Calories eaten and deficit for yesterday = 1259/ -891 (target -337)
Water: 11 cups
Ratios: 40% carb / 41% protein / 19% fat

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Workout:
7:30 am LBWO at the gym

9 am steady-state run at 5 mph / 0% incline / 10 minutes

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The Awful Truth:
1. Substituted other choices for meals 5 and 6 last night: Veggie omelette with toast for meal 5 and shredded wheat and raisin cereal with a scoop of protein powder for meal 6.

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Brownie Points:
1. Did my dishes this morning before heading out to the gym.
2. Swapped out about half of my LBWO exercises.
3. Bought most of the items in my grocery list yesterday except for CC, which was completely out of stock because the store was throwing out all of their frozen and refrigerated foods following the hurricane and hadn’t restocked yet.

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Short-term Goals:
1. Stop by store AGAIN for CC.
2. Complete one tutorial each day for Paint Shop Pro 9, Satori FilmFX, or Painter 8.

BFL Journal C2W5D2

Thoughts: I am quite annoyed. Somehow, my photo gallery at my blog site got messed up and two of my albums–Challenge 2 and The Great Creatine Experiment–became corrupted and were no longer accessible via my Gallery PHP script. Grr… I installed another album script called Coppermine, but I’m not too crazy about either one at the moment. I uploaded my C2 photos again to the first gallery at http://maggiewang.com/photos as well as the new one at http://maggiewang.com/pictures
. I’m just peeved because I had to rename the album in the “Photos” link, which means that the links I posted this weekend to my photos won’t work anymore. 👿

I still don’t know what happened to the Gallery script, unless my webhost had some issues with my server and restored from an older back up without warning me. All in all, Coppermine might be easier to deal with since it is database-driven while Gallery uses some stupid system of locked files to track permissions and associations. The only problem with CM is that it doesn’t let you re-order your photos once they are uploaded. There’s a hack available to add this functionality, but it looks like it will take the better part of an hour or two to implement. I’m not sure that it’s worth the trouble.

My Handspring Visor PDA’s batteries died yesterday, too, which really capped off a bad technology day for me. I didn’t have any spare AAA’s around either, just a handful of depleted rechargeables! Fortunately, I’d hotsynced my data just 2 days earlier, so I didn’t lose too much data–just 2 days of food and exercise logs–unlike the last time this happened when I was out 7 days of information.

It’s time for me to change up my exercises, but I haven’t had time to sit down and plan my new sets yet. I’ll get that done tonight when I can refer to my handy-dandy Supervixen book as well as the BFL exercise pages. I’m keeping the squats, though. I wuv them, even though I’m still getting those weird headaches from them.

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Nutrition (1300-1400 day)
1: Chocolate banana raisin walnut muffin
2: Oatmeal tuna with spicy cabbage and zucchini and a peach
3: Strawberry raisin bar
4: Cottage cheese and strawberries
5: Tuna stir fry with brown rice
6: Chocolate banana shake

Supplements:
Multivitamin with iron
Calcium 500 + D
1 T. flax seed oil

Calories eaten and deficit for yesterday = 1473/ -465 (target -337)
Water: 10 cups
Ratios: 46% carb / 37% protein /17% fat

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Workout:
8:00 am cardio at the fitness center: Treadmill run

Warm up- 4 to 4.2 mph / 5% incline / 6 minutes
HIIT – 4.5, 6.2, 6.7, and 7.2 mph / 0% incline / 4 sets
Max – 9.5 mph / 0% incline / 1 minute
Cooldown – 4.5 down to 4 mph / 0% incline / 1 minutes

8:50 am steady-state recumbent bike / level 6-10 / 20 minutes

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The Awful Truth:
1. 1/2 c. shredded wheat and 1/4 c. raisins as an evening snack. I swear I don’t need candy anymore, but cereal is my fatal weakness. It doesn’t even have to be kiddie cereal with sugar…just any kind of grainy stuff in a plastic-lined cardboard box.

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Brownie Points:
1. Still 100% on workout attendance!
2. Haven’t experienced any kind of freak out yet, even after 4 months on BFL.
3. Did my extra cardio in the morning so I can’t skip out on it again when I get home from work. 😉

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Short-term Goals:
1. Stop by the store for more CC, eggs, shampoo, and conditioner.
2. Finish and scan commission piece.

BFL Journal C2W5D1

Thoughts: I survived yet another hurricane with no damage to myself or my stuff. 🙂 The tabby twins and I made it through just fine, and I even stuck with my planned meals.

Of course, this isn’t such a difficult thing to do when one has no junk food left in the apartment and can’t leave to purchase junk food anyhow due to 55 mph winds outside the door.

Since I lost my Internet connection again at home, I can only post from the office for the time being. This was a blessing in disguise, because it forced me to be productive instead of just whiling away the hours of boredom cruising through my favorite online tech, clothing, and book stores for more stuff I don’t actually need. I dusted off my sewing machine, grabbed a pile of clothes that hadn’t been worn in ages and sewed like a third-world sweatshop worker.

Maggie’s Clothing Alteration Totals:

  • 1 pair of oatmeal-colored jeans from Vicky’s Secret that never fit right–converted to cute shorts
  • 3 pairs of pants taken in 4″ at the waist
  • 2 pairs of workout bottoms taken in and elastic folded down once and stitched so they fit AND don’t look like granny clothes
  • 1 XXL Gold’s Gym t-shirt sliced up and turned into a fitted chick tank top
  • 1 pair of jeans that needed to be hemmed up by 1.5″
  • 9 knit shirts that had stretched out of shape, were too boxy or cut for shorter-waisted women, or flat out too big at size L trimmed down by an average of 4″ at the waist and torso

I now have a bunch of “new” clothes that fit me perfectly at no extra expense to myself. I LOVE my sewing machine!

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Nutrition (1300-1400 low day)
1: Chocolate banana walnut muffin
2: Chinese chicken salad with apple
3: Oatmeal tuna snack with peach and sauteed spicy cabbage and zucchini
4: Cottage cheese and strawberries
5: Thai chicken pasta salad
6: Chocolate cheese with a peach

Supplements:
Multivitamin with iron
Calcium 500 + D
1 T. flax seed oil
1/2 serving GNC Creastack

Calories eaten and deficit for yesterday = 1343/ -333 (target -337)
Water: 13 cups
Ratios: 38% carb / 40% protein / 22% fat

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Workout:
7:30 am UBWO at home (Gym was closed)

8:30 pm mat pilates level 4 dvd

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The Awful Truth:
1. I had to substitute the fruit in my salad with a slice of pumpernickel with PB and SF jelly because I had a MAJOR PB&J craving yesterday!

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Brownie Points:
1. Fixed a bunch of clothing. I feel like I have a whole new wardrobe.
2. Prepped lots of meals.

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Short-term Goals:
1. Draw some more!
2. Finish the Vogue skirt on my drafting table.
3. Draft answers for 4 week jumpstart packet (which still hasn’t arrived!)
4. Complete one tutorial each for Paint Shop Pro 9, Satori FilmFX, and Painter 8.

BFL Journal C2W4D7

Thoughts: I’ll say this much for the series of hurricanes that have hit Florida recently–at least most of them manage to rip through without disrupting my workout schedule or meals. Charley tore through from 9-10 pm on August 13, so I was able to get UBWO and cardio done the next day without any problems. My power was only out for about 24 hours as well, and I was well-stocked with shakes and bars. No problems with food there. Frances took her time arriving and leaving, but wasn’t at all severe in my area. I lifted weights at home on Friday, went to the ex’s apartment’s fitness center for my cardio run on Saturday, Sunday was a rest day, and by Monday I was doing my next weight training workout back at my apartment again.

Now Jeanne is ruining another Florida weekend, but fortunately, she’s striking on Sunday, my rest day. If the projections are accurate, she’ll be out of our hair by tomorrow, so once again, I’ll be on track for lifting. There’s no telling if the gym will be open, though, so maybe it’s just as well that my father hasn’t come by to pick up my Danskin weight bench set for my mother. (Did I mention that Mommy Wang is taking up weight training, too? My entire family is now on the fitness wagon. I’m trying to convince her to get an inexpensive elliptical trainer for cardio as well. Too many years as a skinny-fat person have taken their toll on her knees and endurance. When menopause hit her, she found herself suddenly packing on the pounds as her metabolism slowed without the help of a decent amount of muscle mass to keep it at a decent level.)

I’m going to spend the day eating clean at the regular times, drawing, working on the computer as long as I have power, cooking, sewing, and maybe playing some video games. I’m not sure how long the electricity will last, so I’m going to go take care of the cooking part first. It’s going to be a heavy salad week for me. Publix had Romaine lettuce on sale for 69 cents a head, and I went a bit overboard on stocking up. Spinach and mushrooms were super cheap, too, which translates into lots and lots of leafy green thingies for me over the next 5 days.

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Nutrition (1300-1400 low day)
1: Banana raisin walnut muffin
2: Chocolate banana shake
3: Thai chicken salad with peach
4: Chocolate banana shake
5: Chinese chicken salad
6: Cottage cheese and blueberries

Supplements:
Multivitamin with iron
Calcium 500 + D
1 T. flax seed oil

Calories eaten and deficit for yesterday = 2019/ -93 (target -337)
Water: 10 cups
Ratios: 41% carb / 40% protein /19% fat

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Workout:
None planned

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The Awful Truth:
1. I had a bowl of shredded wheat with raisins and milk last night when I realized that my written plan was going to be around 300 calories short of my target, then had to chug down 1.5 servings of protein powder with water to make up for the carb overload. 😉

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Brownie Points:
1. Still didn’t spend any money on frivolous things despite being cheated out of skinny clothes shopping day by the hurricane.
2. Took my 4 week pics and ordered prints from Snapfish already.
3. Met my high day calorie target even though I didn’t really have a free day.

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Short-term Goals:
1. Make a pair of pants!
2. Draw.
3. Do NOT give into temptation to sleep the day away despite foul weather outside.