Happiness Project-Day 2

It’s Day 2 on my quest to journal what makes me happy and inspire those to find the happiness in their daily lives.

It’s only mid-day here in Central TX so I still have a lot more opportunities to add Happiness in my life today, but here are some that I have already experienced.

  1. Woke up without the use of an alarm and made my family breakfast!  This may not seem like much but since my surgery last Thursday afternoon, I have had the help of either my mother, husband, or kids to wake me up as well as preparing meals for themselves. Making breakfast for my family and seeing my kids off to school are some of my most important daily activities.  Knowing I am providing my family with a nutritious meal to see them through their morning and having my kids arrive safely at their school makes me extremely happy!
  2. Gathered up more items for our neighborhood garage sale-WOOHOO!  Most of my family and friends know I dislike clutter and “stuff” so when a garage sale opportunity arises, I get so excited to purge the excess from our home.
  3. A very close friend, I haven’t seen in awhile, brought me lunch and wanted to check in on me.  I hold friendships very close to my heart and it means the world to me when someone I respect takes the time out of their day for me.
  4. It’s another beautiful Fall day in Austin, TX: clear blue skies and 80 degrees.  Not too hot and not too cold.  As Goldilocks says “it’s just right”!

So, what are some of your Happies today?


Gluten Free Banana/Chocolate Chip Muffins

I like to lovingly refer to our household as “The Bubble”.  My husband is allergic to all poultry and egg yolk except when it is in baked goods.  My daughter is lactose intolerant and I have gluten and lactose intolerance.  So, meal planning and preparation is ALWAYS an adventure.

Since I am the one who mainly does the grocery shopping, meal planning and prep, I try to make my life as simple as possible and stick with foods you find in their natural state.  When we do need food items that are not naturally grown, I look for the least processed foods and try my hardest to stay away from gluten containing products.   So, it was in this vain that I found myself searching for some healthy snack and breakfast options.  In my quest, I stumbled across “Cooking for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet” by Erica Kerwien.  This book contains recipes that are sugar-free, gluten-free and grain-free.  I was stoked!!!

Since I have been sick the past few days I haven’t had the energy to cook or bake much.  However, my new cookbook was laying on the kitchen counter anticipating my return.  Yesterday, I had enough energy to use the Banana Bread recipe as a template for MY modified Gluten-Free Banana/Chocolate Chip Muffins.  Muffins are much more enjoyable to my young children than a loaf of bread.

Gluten Free Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Gluten Free Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

The recipe in the book called for olive oil so I chose to use a Blood Orange Olive Oil that I purchased at my local specialty olive oil and balsamic vinegar store, Con’ Olio.  I knew this olive oil would give a nice citrus essence to the muffin.  I also added a handful of good quality dark chocolate chips and white chocolate chips to the batter since I knew my children would enjoy the surprise.

Gluten Free Banana/Chocolate Chip Muffins


3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

3/4 cup almond flour

1/4 cup coconut flour

2 tablespoons olive oil or any other type of cooking oil (I used blood orange olive oil)

3 eggs

2 very ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)

1/4 cup honey (I used a local honey, Round Rock Honey)

Handful of white chocolate/dark chocolate chips (optional)

  1. Preheat Oven to 350°F/175°C.  Line muffin pan with paper liners or grease pan.
  2. Using a whisk (fork is a good stand in), blend “dry” ingredients (baking soda, salt and flours) in a medium mixing bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix “wet” ingredients together (oil, eggs, mashed bananas, and honey).  Add the combined “wet” ingredients to the “dry” ingredients.  To make sure the batter is thoroughly blended, use an electric mixture.

    Combined Ingredients

    Combined Ingredients

  4. Stir in chocolate chips.
  5. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup or a small ice cream scooper,  fill muffin cups to 1/2 to 2/3 full.  This recipe was enough to fill 10 cups of my muffin pan.  I filled the other 2 cups with water measured to the same level so that the muffins would evenly brown in the oven.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes, or until sides and top are browned and toothpick inserted in the middle of the muffins comes out clean.

    fresh from the oven

    fresh from the oven

  7. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then transfer to cooling rack to finish cooling.



  8. To store, cover and refrigerate for up to a week (if they last that long) or freeze for up to a month

These muffins are great warmed up and topped with a little coconut butter, real butter, almond butter or even a drizzle of olive oil.  Serve with a warm cup of hot chocolate, tea or coffee and a side of fruit.  

My children loved them as their after school snack and again for breakfast this morning.



Tropical Paradise Smoothie

I always like to start off my family’s day with a smoothie full of healthy ingredients.  Today, we enjoyed a Tropical Paradise Smoothie.

Tropical Paradise Smoothie

8 oz Water
4 oz Non Dairy Beverage (unsweetened almond or coconut milk)
2 Tbs Chia Seeds
1 Small Naval Orange (peeled and halved)
1 Small Banana
1 Carrot (washed, peeled, and quartered)
4 Frozen Strawberries
4 Frozen Pineapple Chunks

Blend and Enjoy!

Tropical Paradise Smoothie