Saturday, November 26, 2011


As promised, today's post is featured around Apple Pie!

Apple pies have been around since the times of Chaucer (author of the Canterbury Tales).

Here is the original recipe for apple pie written in Middle English:

Despite the fact that they were being baked over 300 years before America was even discovered, apple pies quickly became an American symbol of prosperity and pride. Where did you think the phrase "as American as apple pie" came from?

Also, did you know that the earliest recipes did not contain sugar? One reason is that sugar used to be really expensive. Second, the English probably did not have as much of a sweet tooth as we do today...

So in the spirit of the original apple pie, mine is inexpensive and sugar free!

Low-Cal Apple Pie

Servings: 12 Calories: 93 Fat: 1g Carbs: 19g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 6g Protein: 2g


For the crust:
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • Water as needed (2 tbsp)
For the filling:
  • 650 grams apple*, peeled and sliced (about 8 or 9 medium apples)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp flour

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Mix flour salt and baking powder. Then cut in the yogurt and canola oil with a fork until it forms a crumbly mixture. Add water and stir until the dough begins to stick together and most of the flour mixture is absorbed. (I like to mix until a little bit of flour is left and I use this to roll out my crust and not add extra calories)
  3. Separate the dough into two balls, one slightly bigger than the other. Roll out the bigger ball and place at the bottom of an oiled pie pan (I used PAM).
  4. Peel and slice your apples then toss with the salt and 1 tbsp of flour.
  5. Layer into pie crust.
  6. Roll out second ball of dough, lay on top of apple slices and pinch the edges to seal.
  7. Cover the pie with a piece of aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, then bake for another 15 minutes or until the top is golden and the apple slices are tender.

Let me know in the comments if you try this... I like mine topped with a dollop of plain greek yogurt!

*Note: For those with super-sweet taste buds, add a little bit more salt if you want to stay sugar free (this will amp up the flavor). Other additions include cinnamon or a 1/4 cup of sugar if you don't care about it being sugar free. Either way, it will turn out wonderful!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


For those of you preparing to indulge in your Thanksgiving Day feast by bringing out your stretchy sweaters and fat jeans, STOP! You can eat healthy during this holiday season without over doing it and eating everything you enjoy.

 Source: Here

Here are three simple steps to a healthier and happier Thanksgiving dinner:

1. Eat your usual breakfast.
Do not skip any meals to save calories for later in the day. This will only make you overeat and will end up working to your disadvantage by making you consume more calories than if you were to eat all of your other meals like normal. Eating a breakfast and snack that is rich in protein and fiber will keep you full and satisfied until your big meal. (If your "big meal" is dinner, eat a healthy lunch and protein rich snack).

2. Chat up your friends and relatives to burn extra calories.
Nothing is worse than sitting around like a couch potato at holiday parties. Getting up and walking around burns more calories than sitting, which will help to offset the extra calories that you are going to consume. And, no matter your age, don't be afraid to participate in that game of pick-up football outside. If you can't throw a football to save your life and are the farthest thing from a social butterfly (like me!!) plan an exercise earlier in the day, or go Black Friday Shopping! You can burn about 180 calories per hour while shopping. If you shop for four hours, you could burn 720 calories. That could burn off my whole Thanksgiving meal!

3. Choose your food wisely and with moderation in mind.
Is sweet-potato casserole your favorite Thanksgiving side dish while you eat mashed potatoes just for tradition sake? Great! Instead of indulging in two fattening dishes just get one serving of your favorite and savor every bite. If there is a relish plate or fresh salad bowl fill half of your plate with these veggies to reduce the amount of unhealthy food you pile on. Next comes the meat. Should you choose turkey or ham? It doesn't matter, as long as you choose your slice wisely. Get white, skinless turkey breast to get the leanest cut. Watch your serving size for both meats however. Remember that a 3 oz serving is the size of a deck of cards. And as for dessert? Well, I can't tell you to just eat fruit like I am doing, so I will advise you to pick two desserts only. Maybe its one small slice of pumpkin pie and one cookie. Eat them until you are satisfied and don't be afraid to leave some crumbs (or whole cookies... whatever floats your boat).

If you prefer stricter guidelines, here is a good healthy example of some things you can eat for Thanksgiving without breaking the calorie bank:
- skinless turkey breast (120 calories, 1 gram fat) vs. ham slice (140 calories, 7 grams fat)
- mashed potatoes and gravy (125 calories, 5 grams fat) vs. sweet potato casserole (190 calories, 4 grams fat)

I also found a helpful link HERE for all of you dieters out there to easily count up your Thanksgiving Dinner in one big swoop (Plus it tells you how much to exercise to burn it all off... Awesome, no?)

Then, after the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, I will be posting a revision on the classic...

Apple pie.

Of course, Healthy Apple pie!

Meanwhile, here is a sample meal plan for Thanksgiving Day:


(or other high-fiber snack)


Sunday, November 6, 2011


I just recently finished a Sugar Free Challenge, hosted by Alex over at her sugar free blog.

Here were the rules of the Challenge:

Don’t eat any sugar for 10 days. This includes honey, molasses, syrups, artificial sweeteners (like Splenda), sugar alcohols (like maltitol or xylitol), and no refined sugar.

After reading this long list of don'ts, you may be asking yourself why anyone would ever give up sugar, but actually it's pretty easy when you have a great archive of sugar free recipes at your disposal from Alex. (It also helps that I've done this before for Lent...)

If you are still wondering: Why Sugar-Free? Here are a few facts about sugar that I have learned from my searches on Yahoo!

The average American consumes 180 pounds of sugar in a year.

Uhh.... wow! If that number is not staggering enough, think about this: There are two cups of sugar in a pound. Now do your mental math.

In case your mental math isn't the greatest, I'll help: 2 cups x 180 pounds = 360 cups of sugar per year.

That is almost a cup of sugar per day! And do you know how many calories are in a cup of sugar? Almost 800.

Now, let's move on to another statistic that may shock you. Approximately 32 percent of Americans are obese, which is up from the estimated 5 percent who were obese in the year 1890.

Guess how many pounds of sugar those people ate?


Still not great, but much more manageable with a 1/2 cup of sugar per day and only 400 calories. This shows that an increase of added sugar in our diets can definitely be considered as a cause of weight gain.

That is why I am doing this sugar-free challenge. Besides being totally fun, and of course A CHALLENGE, I wanted to go sugar-free so that I can improve my lifestyle. After this challenge was over I didn't stick with it, but I will definitely never go back to the huge amounts of sugar I used to eat a couple of years ago.

Before I tell you what I DID eat, I'll leave you with one more fact about sugar:

According to some of the leading nutritionists in America, the average person should consume no more than 40 grams of added sugar per day. This does not include sugars that come from fruit, veggies, grains or occur naturally in dairy products however. Added sugar simply means sugar that is not found in your whole foods from day one. To me, these sugars are white sugar, brown sugar, honey, agave syrup and molasses. (I don't count artificial sweeteners as sugars, but they are STILL not healthy).

So, after my ramblings of what I haven't been eating, here are some examples of what you can enjoy while staying sugar free:

Microwave spaghetti squash dinner!

Low-Fat Chicken and Dumplings

I plan on posting the recipes for the spaghetti squash and dumplings soon, but time seems to always get away from me, and I have found that my attention span is sometimes very short :) These recipes are worth the wait though.

And don't fear...

There is a recipe that I AM going to post tonight. It took many tries to perfect, but I am extremely happy with the final result. 

Sugar-Free Apple Date Bread

Servings: 16 slices

Adapted from my One Bowl Banana Bread

  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 60 grams pitted dates (or 1/3 cup)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 cup egg beaters (or egg replacement)
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil (can be ommitted)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 200 grams diced apples (or 1 1/2 cups)

  1. Dice the apples and set aside.
  2. Place the pitted dates and water in a small, microwave-safe bowl. Cover and microwave on medium heat for 2 minutes.
  3. While the dates are soaking, measure out the applesauce, egg beaters and canola oil in a medium bowl.
  4. Place dates (without excess water) in a food processor and blend with skim milk. Then combine with other liquid ingredients.
  5. Place one cup of flour in the bowl of liquids. Measure out the baking soda and salt on top. Add the second cup of flour and mix slightly.
  6. Next add the diced apple and mix the batter until all flour lumps are gone.
  7. Spray a large loaf pan with nonstick spray and pour in batter. Even out with spoon or spatula.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean.
At only 86 calories a slice, this apple date bread would be great for breakfast, accompanying a meal or just as a snack. My favorite way to eat this bread is with of course, peanut butter!