Saturday, November 30, 2013

Stick With It Saturday-Week 3

Another good week.  If it wasn't for back pain that seems to get worse each day I would just be so happy.  It's hard to be happy when you are in constant pain.  I lost over 1 lb this week AND I officially went back to Weight Watchers.  It was GREAT to go back and see people that I haven't seen since February.  I had lost 14 lbs since my last meeting.  I have decided on a goal weight that will put me at lifetime membership so I won't have to pay anymore.  I have about 5ish pounds to go.  At some point I might want to lose more, but this seems like a pretty reasonable goal that I can maintain.

 Took a much needed nap this afternoon.


I had really hoped to exercise today but between cooking a turkey, writing a blog post, a dentist appointment and a trip to Walmart it just never got done. (not to mention my back pain...ugh)


Down a lb today.  Did The Big Burn today.

I went back to Weight Watchers today.  LOVED it. 


Stayed completely on track today and didn't even use any of my weekly points.  When I got up today I was back at a normal weight (BMI) and didn't want to spoil it.  I have been hovering above it for so long.  It was very exciting.  First time in about 25 yeas that I was not overweight at Thanksgiving!  I can tell you that kept me out of the candy!  Success is motivating.

After dinner we went to the beach (it was COLD...about 31 degrees).  Rob took the kids to the playground and I walked.  My goal was to get 10,000 steps for the day.  When we left the beach I had about 6,000 so he dropped me off 2 miles from home and Jenna (8) and I walked the rest of the way.  I ended up with over 13,000 steps (and I didn't even put it on until lunchtime so I had a lot more because I was on my feet cooking and preparing pretty much all morning.)


My reward for being so good yesterday was being up on the scale a bit.  Oh well...that's the way it goes. Put 11,000 steps on the pedometer today despite tremendous lower back pain.


Same weight today but I am down 1.4 for the week.  Very pleased with that. No formal exercise planned but I am wearing my pedometer so I am shooting for 10,000 steps.


Goals for the upcoming week are just to follow my WW plan and exercise at least 3 times this week or get 10,000 steps each day. 

Trying to lose weight this holiday season?  See my list of tips for losing weight this holiday season!

Link up your own diet/exercise post at Stick with it Saturday

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


I have seen a lot of thankfulness posting on Facebook.  I am just not disciplined enough to come up with something different to be thankful for each day.  I figured I could do it all at once.

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1. I am thankful for the free gift of salvation.  Thank you Jesus for saving ME.

2. I am thankful for my husband.  We have been married 22 years...all of them good.

3. I am thankful for my children. Rebecca, Erin, Rachel, Kaitlyn, Ryan, Connor, Emma, Jenna, Ellie and Sadie.  Each unique, adding something different to our family.

4. I am thankful for my home.

5. I am thankful for heat. (If you know me, you know that I am always this one is big!)

6. I am thankful for air conditioning (Ironic considering #5 but I can't stand really hot, humid weather)

7. I am thankful for good friends.  I have a lot of good friends both IRL and online.

8. I am thankful for my piano.  I love hearing my children make music on it.

9. I am thankful that we were blessed with a son with Down syndrome.  It is a blessing.

10. I am thankful to live in the USA.

11.  I am thankful that I live near the ocean.

12. I am thankful that I can read and write.

13. I am thankful for the internet.

14. I am thankful for my extended family.

15. I am thankful for my husband's job.

16. I am thankful that I am able to homeschool.

17. I am thankful for electricity (on this very windy day I am hoping we don't lose it!)

18. I am thankful for running water.

19. I am thankful for food.  (I do love food.)

20. I am thankful for my electronics. (computer, iPod, Kindle etc.)

21.  I am thankful for a bed with sheets, blankets and an electric mattress pad (see #5)

22. I am thankful for our vehicles.

23. I am thankful for rain and SNOW.

24. I am thankful for sunshine.

25. I am thankful that I live in a place where we observe the change of seasons.

26. I am thankful for clothing including a nice warm winter coat (and a rain coat for days like today.)

27. I am thankful for music.

28. I am thankful for quiet mornings with a cup of coffee. (Yes, I drink coffee now and love it..this is new for me.)

29. I am thankful for my health (and our health and dental insurance).

30.  Again-so thankful for Jesus and for all He has done for me.  Bless His Name!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

10 Tips for Losing Weight This Holiday Season

I was in the store recently talking to a friend and she said, "I just need to get through the holidays and THEN I will go back to Weight Watchers."  Do you know how much weight the average person gains between this week and the first of January?  No?  Me either.  HA!  No, seriously I've read different numbers, but many gain anywhere from 5-10 lbs over the holidays. Don't let this happen to you.  At  the very least you should be able to maintain your weight.

Last year I lost about 7 lbs over the holidays.  It CAN be done.  This year I would be absolutely thrilled with that amount of weight loss but as I am nearing my goal weight it's much more slow going.

Ten Tips for Losing Weight this Holiday Season photo PicMonkeyCollage1_zpsedfea27a.jpg

Here are some tips for losing weight (or maintaining):

1. Don't wait until January 1st.  Don't even wait until tomorrow.  Start with the next meal.  Make healthy choices.  If you are someone like me and have portion control issues....write down what you eat...count something...calories or points or whatever.

2. Every event does not have to be an eating event.  If it's not a sit down meal, no one will even notice that you aren't eating.  Either eat before you go and don't eat at the event at all OR eat a bowl of soup or something else light so you are not ravenous and will make better choices.  If you know ahead of time what will be on the menu think through exactly what you want to eat.

3. Choose ahead of time WHICH events will be eating events.  You don't have to skip the goodies you love on Thanksgiving or Christmas.  PLAN and DECIDE ahead of time what things you love and would feel completely deprived of if you didn't have.  Have some and move on.

4. If you eat more than you intended to....see #1.  Don't let this derail you. Start again right away.

5.  Make the time to exercise.  It doesn't have to be every day but wear a pedometer, do some extra walking, run, pop in an exercise DVD.  It doesn't take that long and you will be glad you did. (This one is for me!  I needed a little pep talk!)

6. Have a meal plan.  You don't have to stick to it 100%, but have some guidelines. It's much easier to stay the course if you have a course set out!

7. Don't waste calories (or points) on beverages.  I don't drink alcohol, so that is not even something I think about, but there are plenty of other calorie laden beverages this time of year...eggnog, hot chocolate, mulled cider, punch, soda etc.  If it's a once a year treat and part of the list of things you decide you have to have, then have ONE.  Calories in beverages can add up quickly so be careful of that.

8. Don't skip meals.  If you know you are going to an evening event don't skip lunch and/or breakfast to save calories.  That never works.

9. Find healthy, yet good tasting foods to replace those that are too caloric. If your family balks then just add an extra dish or two just for you! For instance, I am planning to make Sweet Potato Casserole from Dashing Dish and a Sweet Bacon Green Beans from Keep Crockin'.(review and giveaway on this fantastic book coming SOON!) I may end up being the only one eating these (though I doubt it) but, I'll be happy and more likely to stay on track with some dishes just for me.

10. Enjoy celebrations without guilt.  This may sound contrary to the other tips but it really isn't.  With a little planning ahead and good decision making you will be well on your way to starting the new year off without regrets.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Whole Food Breakfasts for Weight Watchers

I am not even sure that I can express how happy I am about being back to counting Weight Watchers Points.  When I left Weight Watchers early this year, one of the things I was looking to do was eat a more whole foods diet.  When I recently wrote a post about why I left Trim Healthy Mama to go back to Weight Watchers, I received a comment on it that stated, "I can understand leaving THM - nothing works for everyone, but Weight Watchers? That is a horrible eating program. I'd encourage you to reconsider." I just disagree with this statement so strongly that I wanted to say so here and not just respond in the comments.

First of all, there are so many versions of what a healthy diet is.  I have spent so much time recently trying to figure out what the best way to eat is.  I have come to the conclusion that there isn't just one way.  Weight Watchers encourages healthy eating.  Is it going to fit everyone's idea of healthy?  Nope....NOTHING will.  However, each individual can CHOOSE how they want to eat on the Weight Watchers program so I feel that someone that would say Weight Watchers is a horrible eating program just doesn't understand it.

Some of these recipes will undoubtedly not meet YOUR personal health standards and that is OK.  You can easily substitute what you feel is good or skip that particular recipe. There are recipes included with all kinds of sweeteners.  Use what you are comfortable with and adjust points accordingly.  Also, use the dairy products you are comfortable with, if you prefer higher fat cheese or a non-dairy milk or whatever...use it!

When I was originally on Weight Watchers I always tried to keep my Points at 4 or less for breakfast.  I usually had a 3 Point breakfast.  I think this was a mistake.  Most of the breakfasts I am sharing with you today are higher than that.  I find if I eat a large healthy breakfast, I have a better eating day.  If you haven't tried that, consider giving it a try.

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Enough talk!  Here are the recipes:


I never ate oatmeal growing up.  My mother didn't like it, so she never had us eat it.  I was an adult when I forced myself to eat it.  I ate it regularly until I could bear it.  Now I LOVE it...especially steel cut oats.  They are fabulous!

Peanut Butter Banana Steel Cut Oats 6 PTS+ (This post has a great recipe builder and more ideas, definitely check it out!)

Baked Oatmeal with Blueberries and Bananas  6 PTS+

Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal 3 or 5 PTS +

Baked Blueberry-Peach Oatmeal 7 PTS +

Baked Cranberry-Apple Oatmeal  6 PTS + (This is absolutely fabulous.  I mixed this up the night before using almond milk and baked it the next morning.  It is great re-heated too.)

Baked Oatmeal with Pumpkin and Bananas 6 PTS +

Cream of Millet add 1 tsp. butter and fruit 5 PTS+

Cream of Brown Rice (follow directions for Millet) add 1 tsp. butter 4 PTS+

Apples and Cinnamon Breakfast Quinoa 8 PTS +

Quinoa Cereal for Breakfast

Crunchy Coconut Granola 4 PTS + (without the dried fruit)  add 1/2 cup Greek 0% yogurt (add 2 PTs+) and berries or fresh fruit

Pumpkin Pie Granola (4 PTS +)

Here are a few others that look good but don't have points plus values figured out.  If you have a chance to figure them out, I will add that information if you post it in the comments. Banana Bread Baked OatmealWinter Blueberry Almond Baked OatmealStacy's Baked OatmealToasted Sesame Rice Hot Cereal


The incredible edible egg.  Eggs are 2 Points + each and egg whites are 1 Point + for 3.  I think a nice compromise for getting some whole egg but not using too many points is to have a couple of whites with a whole egg.  But again, you could have 2 whole eggs for only 4 PTS + or even 3 for 6 PTS+, add some fruit and you have a nice filling breakfast.

Here are a few recipes to try:

Sausage, Egg and Cheese Hashbrown Cups* 3 PTS +

Crockpot Breakfast Casserole*  6 PTS+

Quick Breakfast Burritos 5 PTS +

Western Omelet (about 5 PTS + without cheese, will depend on the ham used)

Fluffy Cheese and Greens Frittata 4 PTs+ (per serving when cut in 4) 

Quiche Lorraine Light 6 PTS+

Giant Frittata 3 PTS +

Baked Eggs 2 PTS+ (for each egg plus whatever you add)

*If you are opposed to using pre-packaged hash browns it is easy enough to grate your own potatoes.  You could even try substituting grated turnip or zucchini!

If you are not opposed to Egg Beaters this is another great option.  You could try a Pizza Egg Mug (3 PTS +) or this Quick Egg and Toast (Egg is 2 PTS+, toast will vary). There are tons of recipes online for recipes using egg substitute ( you could easily substitute egg whites if you don't like eggs in a carton).

Pancakes, Waffles and French Toast

I love to top my pancakes, waffles and french toast with fruit.  One of my favorite things to do is take some frozen mixed berries and heat them up with some liquid stevia.  I don't even try to thicken them...I just pour them over and enjoy. You can use sugar-free syrup if you are so inclined or real maple syrup at 1 PT+ per Tablespoon.

Cottage Pancakes 4 PTS + for 1/3 recipe (these are sooo good-made with coconut flour!)

Protein Pancakes 1 PT+ per pancake

Carrot Cake Protein Pancakes 4 PTS+

Gingerbread Pancakes 6 PTS+

Baked Pumpkin French Toast 8 PTS +

Ezekiel Bread French Toast 5 PTS+

Stuffed Ezekiel French Toast 8 PTS +

Banana Bread French Toast 3 PTS +


This is probably my least favorite breakfast.  I enjoy one once in a while though.  I prefer to eat my points rather than drink them. When I make a smoothie I usually make it thick enough to eat with a spoon!

Protein Shakes (from Dashing Dish) I have tried many of these.  SO yummy!  (PTS + values vary)
(Some good ones to start with: Blueberry CheesecakeGingerbread Cookie, and French Toast)

Muffins and Baked Goods

Oh, how I love baked goods.  I have to be careful with these. :)

Sue Gregg's Blender Banana Muffins 4 PTS+ (using 1 T. each butter and oil, 1/2 cup nuts-16 muffins)

Sue Gregg's Carrot Bran Muffins 5 PTS+

Moist Pumpkin Protein Muffins 1 PT +

Baked Maple Donuts (grain free)  3 PTS +

Banana Bread Protein Muffins 1 PT+

Mini-Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins 1 PT +

Lemon-Blueberry Coconut Flour Muffins 3 PTS +

The following recipes will require some substitutions to make them healthier but I thought they were worth sharing:

Cranberry Banana Bread 5 PTS+ , Three Berry Scones 3 PTS+, Low-fat Blueberry Scones 6 PTS+ 

I hope these breakfasts will keep you fueled and help you to stay on track.  It has been great fun pulling all of these recipes together and I can't wait to try them all myself!

Linked with Totally Tasty Tuesdays @ Mandy's Recipe Box, Fat Tuesday @Real Food Forager, Serenity Saturday @Serenity You, In and Out of the Kitchen @Feeding Big, Teach Me Tuesday @Growing Home, Titus2sdays @The Time Warp Wife, Wonderful Wednesday @Ducks in a Row, Wonderful Food Wednesday @All She Cooks, Cast Party Wednesday @Lady Behind the Curtain, Read Food Wednesday @Kelly the Kitchen Kop, Show and Share Wednesday @Mostly Homemade Mom

*Photos from Photography credit to: tomatogo (eggs),  MeiTeng (pancakes) and Lajla (oatmeal)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Menu Plan Monday

It's always good to have a menu plan especially for busy weeks like this one.

Sunday: Leftovers

Monday: Sue Gregg's Turkey Meatloaf and Apple Slaw

Tuesday: Chicken Alfredo over spaghetti

Wednesday: Pizza

Thursday: Thanksgiving

Friday: Turkey Tetrazzini and leftover sides from Thanksgiving

Saturday: Potato Lover's Soup with Crispy Bacon

Link up your own menu plan at
(Or just find great ideas from other bloggers that share their menus.) This week is found here

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Stick with it Saturday-week 2

Another week done....didn't get much exercise in but a good week overall.  I'm down about 2 lbs this week and just feeling good about it even though I haven't been able to exercise.  Hoping for a better week this coming week but my back is really bothering me and it's a BUSY week even though we don't have school...yay for Thanksgiving vacation!!!

I had a great eating week!  I feel so happy having left Trim Healthy Mama to go back to counting WW Points

Starting this week down 3 lbs from my 8 lb gain going off an extreme low-carb diet.


Down .2 this morning. Even though I don't feel well I managed to do 2 miles (miles 2 and 3 with the warm up and stretching) of Leslie Sansone's 5 Really Big Miles. The first one was with a resistance band and the second mile was a "fast mile".  I am enjoying doing these workouts.  I don't feel like I am going to die at the end (like I did when I was doing Jillian Michaels in the spring).


Down .6 more lbs today. Really not feeling well.


So excited to be down another 1.2 this morning.  I didn't exercise today but I did put 10,000 steps on my pedometer. YAY


Down another .2 this morning.


Back up a little today, but to be expected at this point in my cycle.


Same weight today.  

Goals for the upcoming week are just to follow my WW plan and exercise at least 3 times this week. I think I might go back to WW meetings starting this week.  I haven't decided for sure but I am leaning toward that.

Thanks Sam for doing this again! Link up your own diet/exercise post at Stick with it Saturday.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Three Things Thursday

Linking up again with 3 things about me:

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1.  I love to bake.  I have been baking for as long as I can remember.  I think my favorite thing to bake is bread but I also love to bake cookies, cakes, name it.

2. I didn't start drinking coffee until about a month ago and now I am hooked.

3. I used to be a chair-side dental assistant.  I was trained "on the job" but I did have to take a course to be certified to take x-rays.

Each Thursday, you can join in the fun with Three Things Thursday. Share 3 random facts about you on your blog, then link up. Visit other blogs and make new friends - or learn fun things about your friends that you didn't know before!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Stick with it Saturday

It has been ages since I have done one of these and I am so happy that Sam is doing this again.  It is good for my accountability and helps me to keep track of what I have done.
Starting this week a full 8 lbs up from my lowest weight...all gained within the last week or so coming off a low-carb diet. While it was discouraging to see the scale go up,  I didn't panic.  It is not possible to gain that much fat that quickly and so I think my body is just adjusting with fluid.  So excited to see what happens this week.  Last week I said I was going to start counting again on Monday but decided "why wait?" and am starting today. 


Still thrilled to be back on Weight Watchers and counting points.  Today was the first time in FOREVER that I have exercised.  I have been having trouble with a low body temperature. I've always had a low body temperature, but lately it has been extremely low.  I think I have a metabolism problem.  I am hoping that exercising is going to help with that.  My temperature went up over a degree just from the short workout I did today.  Share in the comments if you have any experience with this. 

Today I did a beginner level of Extreme Obstacles XRT.  I really love this app.  So much fun.

The scale moved down about .6 from yesterday.  I'm still way up...but headed in the right direction. 


Down 2 more lbs today.  I think I am shedding the water weight that I gained quickly after quitting the low-carb diet. It feels great to see the scale moving back down.


Down another .8 today.  Did Leslie Sansone's The Big Burn workout.  Enjoyed it!


Back up yesterday's .8.  No workout.


Didn't weigh today.  Did Extreme Obstacles XRT again. This is a fun app workout....doesn't take too long either. 


I am back down that .8 from Thursday.  I've lost about 3 lbs this week.  

This has been a fantastic week!  I feel so happy having left Trim Healthy Mama to go back to counting WW Points.

Goals for the upcoming week are just to follow my WW plan and exercise at least 3 times this week.

Thanks Sam for doing this again!  Link up your own diet/exercise post on Stick with it Saturday.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Three Things Thursday

I thought this link up looked like a lot of fun.  So here are 3 things about me:

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1.  I am a musician, but I rarely listen to music (except for music we make here in our home).  I prefer quiet (rare around here).  My first instrument was guitar.  I started taking lessons when I was 8 and continued for 5 years. When I entered junior high school I started playing the oboe (I miss this!)...later I also played the alto sax and the flute.  I was never good at the flute and really only played it because marching with an alto sax is for the birds!  (Too heavy).  My first love though is to sing.  I have been singing for years...solos, in choirs etc.  I am the choir director at our church and I enjoy that too.

2. I LOVE Christmas and everything about it.  I do NOT have a problem with Christmas things being out in the store before Halloween.  It just extends the season (rather than making it feel rushed...see if you only have 4 weeks to enjoy it THEN it is rushed. :) )

3. I am NEVER bored.  I do not believe in it.  (There is always something to keep you busy.  ALWAYS)

Each Thursday, you can join in the fun with Three Things Thursday. Share 3 random facts about you on your blog, then link up. Visit other blogs and make new friends - or learn fun things about your friends that you didn't know before!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Thanksgiving Bible Study

On Monday I found out that Good Morning Morning Girls was starting a 2 week Thanksgiving Bible Study and thought this would be a great change for my morning devotions.

Since I absolutely love playing on PicMonkey and I use the KJV Bible I thought I'd make a Word Art picture of this week's memory verse.

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Coming Full Circle: Why I Left Trim Healthy Mama to go back to Weight Watchers

Earlier this year I wrote this post about why I was leaving Weight Watchers. I still agree with most of what I wrote in that post HOWEVER, here I am again.  I know that counting points works and nothing else I have tried this year worked.  The only weight I lost this year was when I combined counting points with Trim Healthy Mama.  When I tried to just follow the plan, I didn't lose. As a matter of fact, I even gained when I first started.

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I faithfully tried Trim Healthy Mama for over 30 weeks.  I was a moderator for the Facebook page and worked with the other moderators to help others in their weight loss journey as well.  I posted my meal plans and recipes here. I really convinced myself that this was THE way to eat. I thought it was the healthiest way, but I ended up food obsessed and afraid to eat certain foods or eat foods in certain combinations.   Even though I lost had over 85 lbs eating crossovers (prior to coming to THM), crossover meals are not considered weight loss friendly.  (Crossover meals are those that include fats and carbohydrates.) I did have that in the back of my mind, but I still thought this was the healthy way to eat and having reached a plateau earlier this year I was desperate to continue losing weight.

After gaining a few pounds and trying the plan for about 8 weeks, I decided to combine Trim Healthy Mama with counting points and I was able to lose some weight.  I reached my mini-goal of losing 100 lbs and went on to lose a bit more.  After a couple of months, I decided to try a fuel cycle and drop point counting.  I pretty much stopped losing after that.

After not losing, it was suggested that I might lose weight if I started eating 3 full days of FPs a week (FPs are meals that are low in both carbs and fats). Unfortunately, this didn't work for me either.  At that point I started looking into other things from Paleo/Primal eating to really low-carb.  This led me to try an Atkins induction (SO HARD) and got back down to my lowest weight, but as soon as I stopped the induction (and I don't mean pigging out...just normal eating) the weight came right back with a little extra and that is where I am now...ready to leave THM and low-carb diets behind. (I stepped down from being a THM moderator in late September, so really I moved on from it several weeks ago and now I'm leaving the low-carb lifestyle behind as well.)

The bottom line is that Trim Healthy Mama just did not work for me and turned me into a crazed, panicked dieter. I want a more balanced extremes, no food fear, no obsessing.

I also want to include a bit of a confession and the reason why I think Weight Watchers stopped working for me and why THM appealed to me so much.  The reason?  Gluttony.  One reason I originally switched from calorie counting to Weight Watchers was that fruits and vegetables are 0 Points Plus.  In my mind, this meant "free".  Weight Watchers does not really teach this, but it worked for me in the beginning so I just ate as much fruit as I wanted to.  Eventually however, I was eating too much fruit.  I knew it, but I wasn't willing to change it and keep doing the program.  THM made it seem as though you could eat as much as you want as long as you don't mix fuels.  This really is NOT true.

I still remember how upset I felt when I was told that I needed to cut back from eating so much heavy S.  (Heavy S meals are those that are high in fat.)  I was told to eat less nuts and cheese and that the cheeseburger pie was something to be eaten infrequently.  Some of the recipes were created by Serene for when she was nursing but the book never tells you this.  Many of the recipes have no serving sizes and none have nutritional information.  On page 434, in reference to a fuel cycle it says, "You can enjoy our homemade Skinny Chocolate in liberal quantities since it is made from coconut oil." My definition of liberal is a large amount...much larger than what the authors would consider liberal.    I didn't get to be morbidly obese by eating small portions. I need portion control. Weight Watchers gives this to me, THM did not.  I am now at a point (having done lots of low-carbing) that  I am willing to limit fruit and not overeat it just because I don't have to count it.

I could list other examples but I think you get the idea and I didn't set out to bash THM.  It works for some people and I truly believe that Pearl and Serene want to help women lose weight. Please note, this is the reason why I, Karen @ The Fruit of Her Hands is no longer following the THM lifestyle.  If it works for you, then please, by all means continue.  My advice about weight loss has always been to find something that works for you and then DO it! (see my tips for losing weight {scroll down}...I should have followed my own advice.)

This struggle I have with my weight has been and will continue to be a life long journey.  I have no idea where it will take me but I look forward to seeing how things will go following the Weight Watchers plan again.  At this point, I am not going back to meetings (though I do miss my friends there).  I may or may not go back at some point.  I plan to keep sharing my journey here so stay tuned.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Pumpkin Cake Roll

This is the second original recipe I have made using Swerve as a sweetener.  I took 2 pumpkin roll recipes I found online and converted them into one fabulous sugar-free, grain-free cake.

Pumpkin Roll photo PumpkinRoll_zps9d32ad6c.jpg
3 eggs
1 cup Swerve granulated
2/3 cup canned pumpkin
¼ cup coconut flour
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 T. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. baking powder

8 oz cream cheese, softened (regular or 1/3 less fat)
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup Swerve confectioners
1 tsp. vanilla

Additional Confectioners Swerve for dusting

Beat eggs and Swerve together in an electric mixer until thick and light yellow in color.  Mix in pumpkin and lemon juice then add in dry ingredients.  Mix until well blended.  Pour into greased and waxed-paper (or parchment) lined jelly roll pan. (Or use a silicone jelly roll pan like I did.) 

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Bake in pre-heated 375 oven for 11-14 minutes or until done. Let cool about 15 minutes.  Sprinkle surface of cake liberally with Swerve confectioners.  

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Flip cake onto tea towel.  Sprinkle other side of cake with Swerve confectioners and roll up cake.  Place in fridge for about 1 hour to cool. 

In the meantime, combine all of the filling ingredients.  Mix well.

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Remove cake from refrigerator, unroll, spread with filling and roll back up.  

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Use the towel to help roll the cake back up.

Wrap in the towel or plastic wrap and allow to cool for at least an hour (longer is better).  When ready to serve, remove from fridge, unwrap, dust with confectioners Swerve , slice and ENJOY!


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Thank you again to Swerve for this Sweetie Pie package.  I am having a great time using it!

If you like this recipe, you might also like my sugar-free, grain free peanut butter cup squares.

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Linking up with Stacy Makes Cents on her  Centsibly Sugar-Free and Grain Free Link Up.  Today she is sharing a recipe for Breakfast Pizza. Also linked with Slightly Indulgent Tuesday @Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, Totally Tasty Tuesdays @ Mandy's Recipe Box, Gluten Free Fridays @Vegetarian Mama, Cast Party Wednesdays @Lady Behind the Curtain

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Menu Plan Monday

After several weeks of trying to figure out how I want to eat that included an extremely low carb diet I have finally decided to count Weight Watchers Points again.  I started today.  It feels like freedom.

I also started using Plan to Eat for meal planning.  I think I am in love. :) See this review for more info.

Monday:Apple Marinated Pork Chops with Cabbage and Cauli-Rice

Wednesday: Roasted Spaghetti Squash with roasted vegetables

Thursday: Dinner Out

Friday: Spicy Sweet Potato Corn Chowder with Ham

Saturday: Spice Rubbed Vinegar Glazed Chicken and vegetables

Link up your own menu plan at (Or just find great ideas from other bloggers that share their menus.) This week is found here. (will update tomorrow when link goes live)

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Stick With It Saturday

It has been a long time since Stick with it Saturday has been posted (or that I've linked up)  BUT I heard today that it is coming back next week and I can't wait to link back up.  It's just what I need as I move along in my journey.

My weight is up a few more pounds than I would like. Clearly, the low-carb lifestyle has NOT worked for me.  Monday morning I am going back to Weight Watchers (just counting points...not actually going back to meetings though the thought of that HAS crossed my mind).  I am still having back trouble so I can't run (boo-hoo), but I could go back to my goal of 10,000 steps a day.  Not sure yet...but I am more than ready to go back to counting points alone...not mixing with anything else.

So come back next week for an update on how I am doing!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Happy Heart Day

12 years ago today, Connor had open heart surgery to repair a complete AV canal defect and a VSD. He was also born with a PDA but that had closed on its own by the time of his surgery.  He was just over 4 months old at the time of his surgery.

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Sedated EKG and echocardiogram the day before surgery

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post surgery

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Much more comfortable after being extubated.  

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we brought pictures of the other kids to personalize his space

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Rob and Connor

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Still feeling kind of miserable here

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Happy already

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Home again.

Though this was a very stressful time in our lives I wouldn't change any of it.  It's part of who we are. Connor is as healthy as can be expected and only has to visit the cardiologist every 3 years.  At some point, he may need another heart surgery but so far, so good.  I am SO thankful for him and for the medical advances that allowed him to live and be healthy!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Peanut Butter Cup Squares

I grew up in a family that always had homemade candy and fudge around the holidays.  I love making it and I love(d) eating it.  When I received the Sweetie Pie Package from Swerve I started to think about recipes I could convert and this one has the honor of being the first since it is one of my favorites.  (I have made other things with Swerve, but they weren't MY recipes).

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These are easy to make and delicious!

The original recipe made an enormous batch and I just don't need that much candy so I reduced it to 1/4 of the original and converted it to something healthy that I can enjoy at the holidays (or anytime) and not feel deprived.

Peanut Butter Cup Squares
Yield: 3/4 lb

Peanut Butter Layer:

1/4 cup healthified graham cracker crumbs*
1/4 cup natural peanut butter (I used Smuckers)
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup Swerve confectioners

Chocolate layer:

3 oz sugar-free chocolate chips**
1 tsp. butter

Melt butter and add peanut butter, graham cracker crumbs and Swerve confectioners.  Mix thoroughly and press into a loaf pan lined with wax paper. Place in refrigerator for about an hour or until firm.

Melt chocolate chips and butter together, spread over the top of the peanut butter mixture. (I removed it from the pan to do this by lifting up the wax paper.) Score with a sharp knife.  Place in refrigerator until set, then cut on the scored lines.  

*I made the graham cracker crumbs by making the linked recipe above.  I had trouble with the recipe though and had to add water to it.  In the end, they tasted good.  She has another recipe here that might work better.

** I used Hershey's sugar-free chocolate chips.  If you would like to avoid using maltitol sweetened chocolate you could try substituting this chocolate or melt a Lily's chocolate bar over the top.


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First I had to make the graham crackers.  

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The graham crackers made into crumbs.

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Mix melted butter, graham cracker crumbs, peanut butter and sugar together.

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Press into wax paper lined loaf pan (9" x 5") then refrigerate for an hour or until firm.
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lift chilled peanut butter layer out of pan, then melt chocolate chips and butter

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Spread chocolate over top
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Score top with a sharp knife and place in refrigerator until firm.  Cut on score lines.

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If you like this recipe, you might also like my sugar-free, grain free pumpkin cake roll.

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Today she is sharing a recipe for Southwestern Frittata.

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