Mother’s Day Giveaway!

We are installing a pool and cannot wait to swim!

We are installing a pool and cannot wait to swim!

It’s amazing to realize that Mother’s Day is coming up and we are almost in summer mode! Our weather in Ohio was absolutely horrendous this winter, so I am eager for consistent Spring weather and the start of summer. And guess what?!? We are installing an in-ground pool in the backyard! I am so pumped, and the kids can’t wait to swim every day this summer. We are hoping the pool is finished by next Friday.

In honor of Mother’s Day, I am holding a giveaway for YOU — fellow fit mamas and friends. I’ve had the opportunity to review a great stroller hook and yummy protein powder just for mommies. And, of course, I will add your choice of my Fit Pregnancy or Body After Baby DVD for the winner.

photo (20)

This makes trips to the shopping mall and grocery store much easier!

Have you ever been walking around the mall, park, or grocery store and struggling to carry you purse, plus diaper bag, plus gym bag, plus groceries, plus — and the list goes on. I know I have! Well, the Baby Bubz stroller hook is perfect for adding an extra hand. The stroller hook rotates and secures to your stroller or shopping cart with strong velcro straps. I can now leave room in my grocery cart for groceries versus my diaper bag, and purse!

Happy Mother’s Day — I want to extend a 40% discount to anyone who wants to purchase this stroller hook on Amazon. Please use the following coupon code: PQ6MUHDW. The package comes with two hooks for only $9.99. 

I also had the opportunity to enjoy some Mommi 3-in-1 protein powder in my shake this morning! I am still nursing Cole, so this is a great way to get some much-needed protein, essential vitamins, and nutrients I need to fuel my day.

Mommi_3-in-1_Launch Photo

Here is some info below from the Mommi company’s official press release.

“Most women who are pregnant or nursing aren’t aware that they need an additional 25 grams of protein daily, or between 70-95 grams in all,” said Dr. Yvonne Bohn. “It can be a challenge for women to manage weight while ensuring they are getting the extra protein, essential vitamins and nutrients they need – like DHA for the baby’s nerve and brain cell development. Mommi 3-in-1 is an easy way to get everything nutritionally women need during pregnancy in one place. It is essential for giving women and their babies a strong, healthy and wonderful start.”

Miss Emma enjoyed the protein shake too!

Miss Emma enjoyed the protein shake too!

You can purchase Mommi 3-in-1, order a sample, and get delicious recipes, weekly pregnancy tips and more, by visiting mommi.com. You can also connect with Mommi on Facebook at facebook.com/MommiLife, on Twitter at twitter.com/mommihealth, on Pinterest at pinterest.com/mommihealth and on Google+ at plus.google.com/+MommiLife.”

The package instructions said to add the powder to milk. However, I crushed up some ice, threw in a bit of water, a scoop of peanut butter, the protein powder, and had a delicious shake. Miss Emma and Baby Cole loved it to and referred to it as ice cream.

So, here’s how YOU can win the protein powder, and a copy of either my Fit Pregnancy or Body After Baby DVD!

Leave a comment on my blog for each of the actions you complete below:

 

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Eat Clean Challenge Update

Week 1 (left) versus Week 3 (right). Can you see some progress?

Week 1 (left) versus Week 3 (right). Can you see some progress?

It’s been nearly four weeks since the hubs and I started our eat clean challenge. If you remember, I created an “approved” and “unapproved” foods list for us to follow. The intention was to do a “sugar detox” of sorts to get sugary treats and junk food cravings out of our system, and focus on a high protein, high fat, low carb meal plan. The approved list was very close to Paleo, but had a few “extra” items.

So, here’s a little update for you. Days 1-3 were hard … but doable. When I set my mind to something, it’s fairly easy to stick with it the first few days. In fact, I was barely even craving sugary treats since I had made up my mind not to eat them.

Then day 4-6 happened.

Wow — super rough.

On day 4 I started craving carbs like crazy. I also hit a low-carb wall and began feeling a lot of muscle fatigue while I worked out. Carbs turn into glucose and are stored as glycogen in the muscles. And the worst part was — my mood turned sour. See — carbs increase happy hormone levels in the brain.

When I hit the low-carb wall, I started to think that maybe the eat clean challenge was a stupid idea. And then I did an ab check on Thursday evening. WOW — I was already starting to see some definition. In fact, my progress after just four days was pretty significant. Also, because I cut the processed junk food out of my food intake, I wasn’t feeling gassy or bloated in the least. Seeing and feeling some good progress on day 4 got me through day 5 and 6.

We built in a cheat day on vacation!

We built-in a cheat day on vacation!

On days 5 and 6, man I was feeling the need for some treats. We made a sugar-free peanut butter cookie on Saturday evening — not very tasty. Then we made some sugar-free peanut butter cookie dough no-bake bites on Sunday with ingredients from my “approved foods” list. Holy goodness — super delish!

Since the first week, it has been far easier to eat clean! I haven’t really been craving sweets or whole grains much at all. Prior to our challenge, we had been eating pop corn and ice cream every single night. Now, I barely even think about it — success! I think my body is getting more used to my new eating routine, and I find that I’m not hungry in between meals either. I’m only drinking one cup of coffee per day, and making it a point to drink lots more water. I am finding that I am craving water versus coffee even in the morning.

One of the most significant improvements that I’ve seen is a little more subtle. Baby Cole caught a cold at church the weekend we started the challenge. He’s been dealing with a nasty cold ever since (poor guy). This entire winter, I was getting sick immediately after the kiddos got sick — there was literally no hope for me and it seemed like my immune system was totally shot. Now that I’ve completely taken out sugar and processed foods in my diet, I’ve been able to avoid catching Cole’s sickness. Coincidence? Not a chance. It’s because I’m not in taking immune-killing sugary treats on a regular basis.

The hubs and I are both feeling GREAT!

The hubs and I are both feeling GREAT!

I truly believe that the hubs and I are already looking and feeling better as a result of our eat-clean challenge.

Also, this Saturday I plan to build in a cheat-day, and we’ve built-in a few throughout the challenge (especially on vacation).  I am a huge proponent of balance and moderation, so now that we’ve re-set our systems a bit and gotten rid of select cravings, we will add some items back into the “approved foods” list. Here’s the list for the next couple weeks with new items bolded:

Approved foods:

  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Steak
  • Chicken
  • Tuna
  • Spinach
  • Green beans
  • Green pepper
  • Cucumber
  • Onion
  • Lettuce
  • Oats
  • Sweet potato
  • Almonds
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Sugar free hard candy and popsicles
  • All-natural peanut butter
  • Fruit (one serving per day)
  • Dessert item (one serving per week)

Unapproved foods:

  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Butter
  • Sugar and treats
  • Carbs (except complex carbs from approved foods list)
  • And anything NOT on the approved foods list

I have not lost any weight on the challenge. My goal was to redistribute weight a bit, and get some definition in my midsection. I don’t own a scale, but happened to weigh myself on vacation last week, and I am exactly the same weight as before I had Cole (5 or 6 healthy lbs heavier than before I got pregnant with Emma).

Overall, I feel GREAT, and plan to continue this lifestyle long after the challenge is over!

eat clean challenge

Eat Clean Challenge: Approved and Unapproved Foods

eat clean challenge

Brandon and I decided to start an eat clean challenge.

The hubs and I decided to start an “eat clean” challenge this week. I am running it in combination with my online boot camp program which runs for another 5 weeks. The goal is not to lose weight, but to tighten up our eating and become less dependent on sugar. I am also hoping to redistribute my weight a bit  — basically, I want to be able to see my abs for bikini season.

On Sunday, we created a list of “approved” and “unapproved” food items. We also went grocery shopping and did some food prep including my favorite egg casserole. You can find the recipe on this post from my pregnancy with Cole.

Here is my list of food items for the week. I will also include a sample meal plan at the end. Please note — this is not a diet plan for you to follow. It is simply a listing of what foods I am focusing on this week. I do not count calories. I eat when I am hungry and to satisfaction. I am not working to drop pounds, (I don’t even own a scale) but rather removing nutrient void foods from my diet.

Approved foods:

  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Steak
  • Chicken
  • Tuna
  • Spinach
  • Green beans
  • Green pepper
  • Cucumber
  • Onion
  • Lettuce
  • Oats
  • Sweet potato
  • Almonds
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Sugar free hard candy and popsicles
  • All-natural peanut butter

Unapproved foods:

  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Butter
  • Sugar and treats
  • Carbs (except complex carbs from approved foods list)
  • Fruit
  • And anything NOT on the approved foods list
eat clean challenge

Sunday food prep with Baby Cole.

Here is an example of what my food log looked like yesterday:

Tuesday Food Log: 

Breakfast:

  • Egg casserole
  • Black coffee
  • Water

* I did have half an avocado as well 

Mid­-morning snack:

  • 10 almonds
  • Water
eat clean challenge

Yum! I am loving the egg casserole for breakfast.

Lunch:

  • Chicken breast
  • Sweet potato
  • Water

Mid-­afternoon snack:

  • 10 almonds
  • Peanut Butter with celery
  • 2 sugar-free popsicles
  • Water

Dinner:

  • Steak
  • Broccoli
  • Water

Evening snack:

  • Smoothie: 1 cup spinach, 1.5 cups of mixed berries, ½ water, 1/2 banana
  • Water

* I added the smoothie because I am finishing off my berries (even though fruit is on the “unapproved” list for the week. Here is a great article referencing the importance of not eating too much fruit. Eat high carb fruits in moderation (ie: bananas). 

eat clean challenge

What to Eat While Pregnant

I am pleased to feature Kishana Sainte as a fit mom guest blogger. Read Kishana’s article on “What to Eat While Pregnant.”

Are you pregnant? If you are expecting a new addition to your family, this is an incredibly exciting time of life. Not only is this a time of change, love and family, but it is also a time for looking after your health and making sure that you are doing what is needed to help your baby be a bundle of joy.

One of the best ways that you can help your baby and yourself stay healthy during the pregnancy is to eat healthy. How? Continue reading to learn more on what to eat while pregnant…

Vegetables and Fruit: when it comes to eating that which the earth has provided for us, consuming plentiful amounts of organic fruits and vegetables is of high importance. A growing mom should eat around five portions of fruits and vegetables each day. You can consume these in various forms including juicing, dried, frozen, canned, or fresh. Although it may take more time to prepare fresh produce, fresh fruits and vegetables do contain a higher vitamin and nutrient content. Also, juices can be high in sugar content, so if possible, try to always eat the fresh variety when applicable.

Healthy Protein: for ladies that are supporting an unborn fetus, you are burning through your calories like there is no tomorrow. To help keep energy levels high and to give your baby growing power try to consume healthy protein. What does that mean exactly? Consume animal-sourced proteins such as chicken, fish, lean beef, and eggs. If you are vegetarian or vegan, try getting your protein in the form of Quinoa, tofu, beans, lentils, legumes, nuts, seeds, nut butter and soy products.

Calcium: Calcium is of high importance for pregnant ladies. To get your daily allotments try consuming foods such as low-fat milk, organic cheese, or Greek yoghurt. For those that live a vegan lifestyle, you can get your calcium in foods such as soybeans, bok choy, broccoli, collards, mustard greens, kale as well as calcium infused soy milk and tofu.

Fiber: Super important for pregnant ladies, as it assists with regular bowel moments, fiber also helps you avoid obesity, constipation and hemorrhoids. To get your fill of fiber try eating foods that are made with whole grains. Other foods that offer fiber include wild rice, whole grain pasta, vegetables and fruit. Try to have at least one meal be focused on fiber, such as a salad for lunch or whole grain toast for breakfast.

About Kishana

Kishana Sainte writes on health and lifestyle, as well as diet and fitness articles on behalf of MyDocHub.com, a trusted online doctor reviews and medical information website.

A Personal Trainer In Your Back Pocket: Limited Time Offer

Have you ever had an exercise or nutrition question and not been sure who to ask? Have you ever typed a fitness question into a Google search and gotten conflicting or one-size-fits-all generic answers?

Purchase my DVD or schedule a fitness and nutrition consultation and have a direct line to ask me any fitness or nutrition questions!

Purchase my DVD or schedule a fitness and nutrition consultation and have a direct line to ask me any fitness or nutrition questions!

Wouldn’t it be great to have the direct line to a fitness professional who could answer your exercise and nutrition questions? If your answer is YES, then keep reading!

For a limited time, I am offering to be the “Personal Trainer in Your Back Pocket” if you purchase my Fitness DVD ($14.99) or schedule a one-time Fitness and Nutrition Consultation (I conduct most consults via FaceTime, Skype, or Phone). Also for a limited time, a portion of the proceeds will go to a charity benefiting the victims of the Boston Marathon tragedy this past week.

Check out a sneak peek of my Fitness DVD.

 

One of the best parts about my job is getting the opportunity to meet new clients! I enclosed my business cards in the DVD pre-orders, and I have gotten several great questions via email from ladies that I have never met. So far, they have some great questions about both exercise and nutrition, and they have really appreciated hearing answers back from me almost immediately.

I have also been enjoying some fun one-time fitness and nutrition consults. Most women come to me after doing a good bit of research on their own, and often, they have been frustrated or confused by misinformation or generic answers that they find on the web. The important thing to remember is this: every woman is different. There is no one-size-fits-all nutrition or fitness plan. I am able to tailor a fitness and/or nutrition plan per individual after an hour-long consult and food intake analysis. In most cases, I keep in touch with these women and are able to answer questions down the line as well as they transition into different life stages. SO GREAT!

I would absolutely LOVE to meet you and help you reach your fitness goals! Let me know if you have any questions at all!

Pregnancy Weight Gain

Pregnancy weight gain continues to be a hot topic that I receive questions about regularly from pregnant clients and/or visitors to my site. First, an update on my own pregnancy weight gain, and then some answers to my most commonly asked questions.

27 weeks pregnant with Emma (left) and Baby Boy (right). Can you tell a difference?

27 weeks pregnant with Emma (left) and Baby Boy (right). Can you tell a difference?

I am nearly 27 weeks pregnant with Baby Boy, and I have gained roughly 16.5 lbs. I am right on track to gain a healthy 25 lbs this pregnancy. When I was pregnant with Emma, my pregnancy weight gain capped off at 28 lbs, however, I was slightly under-weight prior to conceiving Emma, so I had a little ground to make up in the first trimester.

Here are some frequently asked questions regarding pregnancy weight gain:

Q: If I lose weight in the first trimester because of nausea and sickness, should I track my pregnancy weight gain from the lowest weight I was during pregnancy, or the weight  I started at pre-pregnancy?

  • A: I would track pregnancy weight gain from your starting weight prior to pregnancy.

Q: What if I am not gaining 1 lb per week like my doctor recommends? (more or less)

  • A: The 1 lb per week pregnancy weight gain rule of thumb is too generic, and misunderstood. Technically, 1 lb per week would put you at a 40 lb weight gain, which in most cases, is too much. Some weeks you will gain more than 1 lb (especially in the second trimester), and some weeks you will gain less. I tend to gain 3-5 lbs in the first trimester, around one pound per week in the second trimester (give or take 1 lb), and then level off in the third only gaining a few lbs.

Q: How to I prevent excess pregnancy weight gain?

  • A: Eat healthy and exercise regularly. If you are maintaining a healthy, balanced diet, and a fit pregnancy, your body will take care of the rest. Don’t stress over pregnancy weight gain if you are sure that you are living healthy and doing what is best for your body and your baby.

Q: Can I safely lose weight during pregnancy?

  • A: I get this question from women who got pregnant prior to committing to a healthy lifestyle. I always wish that I was able to train these women before they started trying to get pregnant, because the absolute best time to get fit and commit to a healthy diet is pre-pregnancy. NO, do not try to lose weight during pregnancy. However, if you are overweight or obese prior to pregnancy, you will likely gain less weight during pregnancy versus an average or underweight woman if you are eating healthy and exercising (closer to 18-25 versus 25-40).

Do you have any questions of your own about pregnancy weight gain? If so, fill out the form below.

LÄRABAR Review and Give-Away

larabarsI am always on the hunt for healthy snacks that I can easily grab on the way to work or the gym. Since starting the Paleo lifestyle, it has been harder to find quick and easy snacks. About three weeks ago, I tried LÄRABARs for the first time. To my surprise and excitement, a marketing rep from LÄRABAR contacted me later that week to offer a give-away for my readers. Awesome! I was sent several LÄRABARs to taste test, and I am thrilled to offer you the opportunity to win a caddy of 16 mixed LÄRABAR flavors!

My favorite flavor!

Apple Pie: My favorite flavor!

In the past three weeks, I have tried a TON of LÄRABARs. I am a huge fan of the Apple Pie, Cashew Cookie, and Banana Bread flavors. One of my favorite aspects about LÄRABARs is that they are 100% clean. The ingredient list on the wrapper is usually two or three ingredients. For instance, I ate the Cashew Cookie yesterday, and it had the following ingredients: Cashews, Dates.

LÄRABARs have proven to be the perfect healthy snack for me between clients at the gym, mid-morning at work, or simply when I want something healthy to satisfy my sweet tooth. With the exception of cappuccino (my least favorite by far), all of the LÄRABARs I tried were the perfect amount of sweet and tided me over until my next meal.

My least favorite flavor, but I know some girls who love it -- so try it!

Cappuccino: My least favorite flavor, but I know some girls who love it — so try it!

So, how can you win the caddy of 16 mixed LÄRABAR flavors? Please do one or more of the following to enter the give-away. Leave a comment on this blog post for each action item that you complete. I will pick a winner on Friday, Feb 8, 2013.

1. (Required) Leave a comment telling me why you would benefit from winning a caddy of 16 mixed LÄRABAR flavors.
2. Pin a photo from the blog post with link back to this post to share the give-away.
4. Share the giveaway on Facebook
5. Share the giveaway on Twitter
7. Follow Fit Pregnancy and Parenting on Twitter
8. Like Fit Pregnancy and Parenting on Facebook

Pregnancy Update Week 16: Paleo and TMI Alert

Baby bump at nearly 17 weeks!

Baby bump at nearly 17 weeks!

It’s been a while since I did a pregnancy update! I just entered my 17th week of pregnancy, and I feel GREAT! The second trimester has proven to be far less dramatic and uncomfortable as the first trimester of this pregnancy. In fact, I hardly feel pregnant at all. TMI alert (wow, that was early in the post). I LOVE the 13-17th weeks of pregnancy because I don’t really look pregnant to most outsiders, but I have all of the good benefits that come from being pregnant. Ie: my girls are about 2 sizes bigger than normal and look great, my hair is extra shiny and full, and I have a great excuse to shop for some new fun leggings and shirts for the winter.

I started the Paleo diet/lifestyle a few weeks ago. I can honestly say that I absolutely LOVE it! Read more about Paleo here. I have a wheat sensitivity that started soon after I had Emma, and I have also been feeling like I might have some lactose intolerance. The Paleo diet is exactly what I needed to tighten up my eating and feel great for workouts and daily living. It is a high protein, high fat, low carb lifestyle. One of the best parts about trying this diet is that I have been cooking for the first time in my life. It’s fun to experiment with new foods and recipes. The best part is — I don’t feel guilty about eating the baked goods because I know all of the ingredients are clean. Check out some of the recipes I tried this past week:

Dark chocolate walnut Paleo cookies.

Dark chocolate walnut Paleo cookies.

Another TMI alert! One of the worst parts of my first trimester (besides the nausea and exhaustion) was that I was extremely constipated. I mean like awful. And you can imagine all of the *other* fun things that come as a result of being severely constipated. But here’s the deal — ever since I started Paleo, I have been very regular again. It was like a switch turned on and my body started working properly again. Praise the Lord! That was not a fun couple months.

I mentioned the Paleo breakfast casserole above. I have made this twice so far, and my second attempt tasted a lot better. Here’s what I did:

Paleo breakfast casserole

Paleo breakfast casserole

Ingredients:

  • Sweet potato
  • 9 eggs
  • Turkey sausage
  • Bacon

Directions:

  • Soften the sweet potato in the microwave. I usually put a wet paper towel around it and spear it.
  • Peel and shred the sweet potato
  • Cook and chop the turkey sausage
  • Cook (almost all the way) and piece apart the bacon
  • Whisk the eggs together
  • Combine everything
  • Place in a 9×9 greased pan.
  • Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees

I have really enjoyed my breakfast casserole. It’s a great way for me to start the morning!

So, what have my workouts been looking like for the past few weeks? Here is my normal weekly routine:

  • Day 1: 3 mile run outside
  • Day 2: 2 hours of cardio machines, plyos, and strength training with clients
  • Day 3: 3 mile run outside
  • Day 4: 3 hours of cardio machines, plyos, and strength training with clients
  • Day 5: 3 mile run outside and ab workout
  • Day 6: 2 hours of cardio machines, plyos, and running with clients
  • Day 7: 1 hour of cardio machines with a client, and 3 mile run outside

So far, I haven’t had to scale back my workouts or modify anything. This week, I did a HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout at home, and strained my back a bit. I think that was due to lack of warming up versus being pregnant though. I’m feeling good and really taking advantage of it now in the gym! I hope this intensity level lasts for a while!

Give-Aways and Paleo Pancakes

"Sweating for Two" shirt for our give-away next week!

“Sweating for Two” shirt for our give-away next week!

Did you enjoy the “Healthy Christmas Gifts” give-away partnership I ran shortly before Christmas (including those cute Under Armour running shoes)? Well, I have great news for you! I have partnered with several FitFluential ambassadors again, and we are brining you a series of give-aways next week to get you excited about working out in 2013!

Most of the gifts will be for fit pregnancies, but stay tuned, because we will likely have a few gifts that you can use if you aren’t pregnant. Of course, you could also enter and give the fit pregnancy gifts to your friend who is pregnant. After all, us pregnant ladies like gifts too, and sometimes feel slighted when the only thing we receive for birthdays is baby clothes.

The photo to the right is a little sneak peek of one of the shirts we will be giving away from For Two Fitness. So cute, right?

I am currently sitting in the guest room with Emma early on a Sunday morning, and I can smell the Paleo pancakes my hubby is making for us downstairs. That’s right — Paleo pancakes! I have been hearing a ton from my FitFluential friends about the Paleo diet this year, and I decided to give it a try while Brandon is out-of-town for the next two weeks.

Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post to see the three ingredient recipe and a photo of the Paleo pancakes.

Small filet, brocoli, and sweet potato for dinner on Friday night.

Small filet, brocoli, and sweet potato for dinner on Friday night.

I started researching Paleo on Friday, and ate a small filet, sweat potato, and brocoli for dinner. Yum! Yesterday, we had a LOT of eggs,  bacon, veggies, fruits, and water. I felt really good all day — versus Friday where I felt bloated even though I was “trying” to stick to a wheat free diet. I think my body will respond well to removing dairy, and I’m very excited to see how I feel after two full weeks of Paleo.

So, what is Paleo? Here is an ultimate guide that sums it up nicely.

The-Ultimate-Guide-to-Eating-Paleo

Three ingredient Paleo pancakes. Delicious!

Three ingredient Paleo pancakes. Delicious!

Ingredients:

  • 2 bananas
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon of nut butter (almond butter is preferred)
  • Optional (a touch of cinnamon)

Directions:

Mash the bananas in a bowl. Add the egg and almond butter. Mix until combined. I also opted to add a tough of cinnamon. Heat the frying pan on medium heat and use 1/4 cup measuring cup to pur each pancake. Once you start seeing bubbles on the pancakes, flip them.

I topped them with a tiny bit of local honey, but they are great plain too. Delish!

S.P.A. Casserole (Sweet Potato Apple Casserole)

Sweet Potato Apple Casserole

Sweet Potato Apple Casserole

Try this great (and healthy) recipe from Jill. Follow Jill’s blog for more updates and recipes. Let me know if you try it and what you think!

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ pounds Sweet Potato, peeled and chopped into small cubes (970 cals, 0g fat)(about 3 medium-large sweet potatoes)
  • 1 ¼ pounds Macintosh Apples, cut into quarters and core pieces taken out (280 cals, 0g fat)(about 4 medium apples) *If you substitute apple type make sure it is a soft semi-tart apple*
  • 1 teaspoon Salt (0 cals, 0g fat)
  • 2 tablespoons Brown Sugar (90 cals, 0 g fat)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Pumpkin Pie Spice (0 cals, 0g fat)
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon (0 cals, 0g fat)
  • 2 tablespoons Whipped Butter (100 cals, 12g fat) (if you don’t have whipped butter, use 1 tablespoon of regular butter)
  • 3 tablespoons Water (0 cals, 0g fat)
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract (0 cals, 0g fat)
  • 2 teaspoons Lemon Juice (0 cals, 0g fat)
  • 2 tablespoons Sugar Free Syrup (20 cals, 0g fat) (or 1 teaspoon Maple Extract)
  • ¼ cup Fat Free Half and Half (80 cals, 0g fat) (can substitute 2% milk, but avoid skim if you can!)

Nutrition: 1540 total calories, 12g total fat, 12 servings at 128 calories and 1g fat!*You will need a LARGE Crock Pot/Slow Cooker for this recipe!*

Peel and chop your sweet potatoes

Peel and chop your sweet potatoes

Instructions

  1. Peel and chop your sweet potatoes into small cubes (1 to 2 inches).
  2. Place them in your slow cooker.
  3. Quarter your apples and take out the core pieces. Keep the skins on, they will be discarded easily later! Place the apple to the side for now.
  4. Next add the salt, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon to the slow cooker and stir the dry ingredients so that they evenly coat the sweet potato cubes.
  5. Add the whipped butter and sugar free syrup. Make sure the butter gets cut up into small bits when stirring these ingredients into the sweet potatoes.
  6. Next add the water, vanilla extract, and lemon juice to the slow cooker. Do not stir after this. This is just enough liquid to allow the sweet potatoes to steam and get soft, do not add anymore liquid than this!
  7. Arrange the quartered apples on top of the sweet potatoes with the skin side facing up.

You are now ready to start the cooking process.

Set your slow cooker on the 8 hour setting. DO NOT open the slow cooker at anytime during the cooking process!

After your apples finish the cycle your apples wil look like this.

After your slow cooker finishes the cycle your apples will look like this.

After your slow cooker finishes the cycle, your apples will look like this:

The skins should be completely shriveled and will be easy to manually remove. You should be able to pinch at the apple skins and peel them away. Then they will look like this:

Apple skins are shriveled.

Apple skins should be shriveled.

Depending on the texture you desire, will determine your next step. If you prefer a more chunky style (as I do), simply grab a large fork and start smashing everything up manually. If you prefer a more creamy texture, you can use a mixer.

Add the fat-free half and half as you are mashing, bit by bit, to make sure it all gets evenly incorporated.

It’s ready! There is a ton of sweetness from the apples. You could add nuts to this if you wanted a nutty flavor as well. It’s not traditional … but it sure is good and sure is healthy!

Your Sweet Potato Apple Casserole is Ready!

Your Sweet Potato Apple Casserole is Ready!