What are your health and fitness goals? Are they to lose some weight? Are they just to tone up? To achieve any of these goals the most important factor—the foundation—for success is your nutrition. The biggest misconception in losing weight is that you only need to eat less; however, the reality is the total opposite. It’s hard to wrap your head around the fact that you need to eat more to lose weight. Cutting calories will set you up for failure, as will skipping meals.
Why? Because when you starve your body, you body goes into a state to conserve energy by slowing down your metabolic rate. So to keep your metabolism fired up all day long you need to feed your body constantly (with all the right foods). Don’t forget: The most important meal is breakfast! It is also the meal many people tend to ignore and skip. When you have been sleeping for 8 hours your body is hungry! Your metabolism slows down. When you wake up you want to kick start your metabolism with a healthy breakfast. If you don’t, you go into energy conservation mood. Make small goals for yourself… Start by eating breakfast every day!
Health experts recommend increasing the amount of fibre in our diet. Check out this great recipe for apricot and pecan muffins from Best Health Magazine. The muffins contribute both soluble and insoluble fibre, which is good for digestion, and also helpful in controlling the fat in our blood.
2 1/4 cups (550 mL) all-purpose flour
1 cup (250 mL) packed brown sugar
3 tbsp (45 mL) wheat bran
1 tbsp (15 mL) baking powder
1 tsp (5 mL) ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp (2 mL) grated lemon zest
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
2 large eggs
6 tbsp (90 mL) light unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup (250 mL) skim milk
5 apricots, peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped, about 1 cup (250 mL)
1/4 cup (50 mL) chopped pecans
Preheat the oven to 375F (190C). Lightly coat a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray or line with paper baking cups.
In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, wheat bran, baking powder, cinnamon, lemon zest and salt. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and set aside.
In a large measuring cup, whisk the eggs until frothy and light yellow. Beat in the butter, then the milk, until well blended. Pour this mixture into the well in the centre of the flour mixture. Stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened. The batter will be slightly lumpy. Do not overmix the batter or the muffins will be tough. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in the apricots and pecans.
Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling the cups 3/4 full. Bake the muffins until they are peaked and golden brown, about 20 minutes. The muffins are done when a wooden toothpick inserted in the centre comes out almost clean, with a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 3 minutes before removing them. These muffins are best when served piping hot or within a few hours of baking.
Preparation time 25 minutes; baking time 20 minutes; makes 12 large muffins.