It's a Twinderful Life

Looking For the Silver Lining in All of Life's Clouds

The hunt for red (or pumpkin?) October

We’re mid-way through the week, friends! Go ahead and brush your shoulders off.

Can you believe that Bre is having a baby?! I am SO excited! Seriously, it’s probably not even healthy how stoked I am to have a niece/nephew from my twin sis. Since she told me the news our conversations have been centered around pregnancy, cute baby clothes, and nursery decor ideas. I can’t get enough!

I’ve also been wondering if I’ve been experiencing some pregnancy symptoms along with her. For example, since she’s been battling morning sickness for the past couple of months the only thing that sounds good to her is junk food. Oddly enough, my will power to resist the things I shouldn’t eat had completely diminished for a while. I couldn’t say no! Luckily, I’m back on the wagon on that front.

Then, a few days ago, she sent me an instant message at work telling me that she was craving October. You see, October is Bre’s favorite month out of the entire year. She’s loves the crisp mornings, changing leaves, and the smell that’s in the air. She’d start decorating for Halloween right now if she could. Then, she said that she was especially craving autumn leaves. I didn’t think anything of it until she specified that she craved them as in she wanted to EAT them. That’s right, folks, I said EAT. She said that she’d been wanting them for a few days and had chalked it up to a bout of PICA, a disorder that some pregnant women experience that make them crave dirt and chalk and things like that.

Well, yesterday, I was sitting at my desk at work, minding my own business, when I suddenly had this uncontrollable desire (dare I say, craving?) for it to be October as well! I didn’t want to eat leaves like Bre, but I wanted to feel the crisp air, go to the mountains and hike through a grove of trees while the sun shone through the brilliant reds, oranges, and yellows of the changing  leaves, and eat something with pumpkin in it. The first two I had no control over, but the last one – that was something I could remedy. I picked up a can of pumpkin on the way home and before I knew it my house smelled and tasted like Autumn. I present to you, my Pumpkin Chocolate Muffins.

Unless you have a nut or coconut allergy, these beauties are extremely allergy-friendly. They are gluten-free, grain-free, vegan, refined sugar-free, and high in protein. They also qualify as paleo, which rocks my socks off.

I found the original recipes (here and here) at one of my favorite blogs (that I’ve mentioned before), Elana’s Pantry. Seriously, that woman is a genius! Her recipe called for eggs (which I can’t have) and grapeseed oil (which I was fresh out of) so I made a few substitutions and, voila – my little babes were born. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

Pumpkin Pie Muffins

  • 1 ½ cups blanched almond flour
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • ½ cup agave nectar
  • 2  flax “eggs”
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  1. In a large bowl combine almond flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the oil, agave, “eggs” and pumpkin until smooth
  3. Stir wet ingredients into dry
  4. Place paper liners in muffin pan
  5. Scoop batter into paper liners
  6. Bake at 350° for 35 – 45 mins.
  7. Cool
  8. Serve

 Makes 8 muffins

Vegan Chocolate Frosting

  • 1 cup vegan chocolate chips
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • pinch sea salt
  1. In a small saucepan over very low heat, melt chocolate and coconut oil
  2. Stir in agave, vanilla, and salt
  3. Place frosting in freezer for 15 minutes to chill and thicken
  4. Remove from freezer and whip frosting with a hand blender until it is thick and fluffy
  5. Spread onto the muffins (whilst trying not to eat spoonfuls of it at the same time)
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Conquering the bat wing.

Welcome to Saturday. I hope that you all had a fantastic week. We’ve had quite a productive Saturday so far – it’s only 1 PM and we’ve already met with our Realtor to officially list our condo! Woohoo! Now we just have a few odds and ends to take care of around here so that we can take some pics to add to our listing (which I will also put here). We’ve also been squishing our pups and treating a rib of mine that popped out of place in my sleep the night before last. “How the heck did that happen?” you may be wondering. You’re guess is as good as mine.  Apparently I like to do all sorts of crazy sweet dance moves in my sleep. Let’s just say that it’s pretty tender.

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My little Saturday morning cuddle bug – Sparky.

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A popped out rib’s best friends.

But enough about that. Let me tell about the fun I’ve been having at work. First, allow me to introduce you to my one of my coworkers and his “helpers.” Seriously, he was trying to work on a project and we decided that we would send in more resources to help, hence the “helpers.” Cracks me up.
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On Tuesday my coworkers and I were all chatting about health and food and exercise programs when an amazing thought entered my mind – we should have a “conquering the bat wing” contest. And no, we’re not talking about kidnapping a bat and doing something to their wing. For those of you who aren’t familiar with what constitutes a “bat wing,” allow me to illustrate:

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Yes, I love you so much I’m sharing one of my least flattering body parts to you.

Notice how the extra skin and fat located under the arm just kind of hangs there. If I were to wave my arm or write on a chalkboard, it would flap (hence the “wing”). I’m still not quite sure where the “bat” in the whole “bat wing” terminology came from…perhaps Bre can comment below since I first heard the term from her. This phenomenon may also be referred to as a “jello arm” or, in Utah, many know it as the “Relief Society arm.” Suffice it to say that it is not a necessarily desirably trait.

So, my team and I have decided to get rid of our bat wings (although I must admit that since I’m the only woman on the team this is going to be harder for me to get rid of then he rest of them since I’m not sure that what they have really qualifies as a “bat wing” in the first place):

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See what I mean?

For the rest of the world that doesn’t know what a “bat wing” is we’re calling the contest a “Biggest Loser” contest. I think most people know what the Biggest Loser is. Basically, whoever loses the highest percentage of their body weight wins. We started on Wednesday and the last weigh in day will be on Halloween, and I am looking forward to it! We weigh in every Wednesday. Most of us are shooting to loose those last 20 lbs. that are gently padding our beach body physiques underneath (or at least we hope so) so it should be pretty fair. In our experience, it’s so much easier to reach weight loss goals when you are working with a group of peers who will keep you accountable, so I’m predicting MAJOR success. We’re all using different strategies to accomplish this. A couple are going to follow the P90X program, some are counting calories, and others are exercising more. As for me, I’m going to cut back on my grains again to 3 servings/week and work out more consistently. Bre and I did this last Fall and it worked like a charm!

So, here’s the challenge – join us! We’d love to have you hop on our “trying to be more healthy” train. If you want, you can even e-mail me your results every Wednesday to stay accountable. You could take a “before” pic now and an “after” pic on Halloween and post them here in the comments. We would love to see them! I’ll send updates every now and again.

In the end, I’m looking forward to taking updated pics of the arms above, and, hopefully, there’ll be no “bat wings” to be found.

Have a fantastic weekend!

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