Monday, May 12, 2014

Strawberry Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Butter Cream

Hello everyone, so even though I am eating healthy and changing my lifestyle doesn't mean my whole family is doing everything I am.  I made during the winter, we had some snow going on and I thought these were so much fun to make with the girls.  They had a blast and so did I.  Sometimes we all need a cupcake to boost our spirits.  I hope you get a chance to try these because they are so yummy, sinfully yummy.  Ok let's get right into the recipe shall we?


1 pint of strawberries
3 cups of flour
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
3/4 teaspoons of salt
1 1/2 sticks of softened butter, I use unsalted
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of almond extract
1 1/4 cup of milk
3 eggs

Ingredients for Butter-cream:

1/4 cup strawberries mixed with sugar
1 cup of softened butter
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 teaspoon of almond extract
4 cups of powdered sugar
2 tablespoons of milk


You do not need a stand mixer for this but if you have one use it.  Before you begin start cutting up your strawberries, cut up the whole pint except leave 24 whole and off to the side to put on top of the cupcakes.  After your strawberries are diced add 1/2 cup of sugar to them, stir and put aside.  Now at this point you can start mixing your butter and sugar together.  Now add your eggs one at a time.  Add in your extracts and mix.  From here grab your strawberries that are in sugar and run them through your blender.  Add 1/2 cup of the blended strawberries to your mixer too.  In a medium mixing bowl mix the flour, baking powder and salt together.  Alternate adding the milk and flour, I usually start with the flour mixture and end with the flour mixture.  Once everything is mixed, grab a muffin tin and cupcake liners and start filling them about 3/4 of the way full.  Bake on 350 for about 20 minutes.  The cupcakes are cooked when you poke the centers with a toothpick and the toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool before frosting them.

Butter cream Instructions:

In your stand mixer add in the butter and let that whip up until creamy.  Then add in powdered sugar and let the sugar and butter cream together.  Now slowly and gradually add in the strawberries mixed with sugar from the blender you will want to add about 1/4 cup.  From here add in the extracts and milk. Gradually add in the powdered sugar.  I usually just add the sugar a little at a time mix it and then add a little more. Once finished chill it in the fridge until your cupcakes are ready for the frosting.  
Top each cupcake with a slice of strawberry on top and you are ready for a yummy dessert!  

Thank you all for stopping by.  Heather

Friday, May 9, 2014

The Secret is Out!

So I have finally fessed up and talked about what my secret is.  For those of you who do not know I am choosing to have gastric bypass surgery.  The above picture is me taken about 3-4 years ago.  I am sharing this picture because it was this picture when I saw a different person in that picture than how I felt.  I didn't feel any different, but when I saw this picture I knew I needed to start taking my life seriously.
 Now it was a long road from 3-4 years ago to now where I am making the decision to have surgery. For 3 years I put in so much effort, and I did lose weight, but it always came back.  It wasn't until this last year when I gained most of my weight back that it became more of a mental thing for me than anything else.  As women we put so much pressure on ourselves to put our families, friends and God first.  To always put ourselves last and that is what I did.  I couldn't possibly believe that if I put myself first and made myself a priority that my family and friends would be happy. I was DEAD wrong!!!!!  First of all how responsible is it of me to maintain a lifestyle that would cause me to be dead before my children have their children?  How responsible is it of me to ensure that my mother buries her only child before her?  How responsible is it of me to continue living mentally and physically unhealthy?  In order to take control over your life you have to live your life like a boss. Period.  You want your kids to adopt healthy lifestyles?  Live what you preach!  Yes I am having surgery its not an easy solution and for the past 3 years I have worked out all my brain demons, I have parted ways with my love affair with carbs and picked up a new love of working out.  I have parted ways with sitting on the couch, watching TV and noshing on junk.  Instead I may still watch my shows while kicking my own ass with resistance bands.  Instead off cookies and ice cream, in my life its frozen Greek yogurt and granola bars and fruit.  Instead of candy, cakes and pies, its natural peanut butter, chocolate soy milk and cottage cheese.  This is my life now and has been my life before I thought about surgery.  When a close family member was also trying to change her life she opted for surgery and I saw her wanting different things and choosing activity over inactivity and I wanted that for myself too.  The easy part is making the decision to have surgery or not.  The hard part are the damn requirements and there are many.  While I understand why they have the requirements they do, to make sure you are committed for a change for the rest of your life!  
The first part is pretty easy, just go to a meeting.  You will get the nuts and bolts of the surgery, what would be allowed vs what isn't allowed.  I promise you that you do not have to eat anything weird or strange unless you want to just broaden your health food horizons.  You have to eat a lot of protein and you have drink a shit ton of water.  If you are hungry still you can have fruit and veggies and make sure you get those whole grains in too.  With all of that there isn't much room for anything else.  However this is a tool it will only work if you follow exactly what the Drs tell you.  They give you this information for a reason, and that is to educate you on how to use your new tool for success.  
Now I will be honest here obesity runs in my family, I am obese and obese is different than overweight.  Obese means you have health problems associated with your obesity they are called comorbidities.   Some people have a lot I was fortunate to have just one, high blood pressure that started as pregnancy induced to something I will continue to have until I have surgery.  So are you guys ready for the requirements I must complete just to be considered for surgery?  

This is coming from Central Maine Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence:

History/ Physical Including, pap, breast exam, 3 year weight
Upper Endoscopy
Sleep Study
ABG's Blood test
Chest X Ray
Bilat. Venous Duplex
Hemoglobin A1C (another blood test)
BMP (not sure but I did it lol)
LFT (?? I think its blood work)
CBC with Diff
Fasting Lipid Levels
Iron/ sat
Vit. B12
Vit. B1
25- Vit. D ( which I am deficient in)
H.Pylori test
Hemoccult (this is disgusting!  its a poop card sample thing)
Psych Evaluation
Sports Medicine Consult
plus 6 months of nutrition classes, it depends on your ins though some only require 3 mos mind of course requires 6 mos. 

I started this in October and as of last week I have been approved for surgery from the team of Drs I have been working with. However I still need approval from my ins.  Chances are it wont be until August when I have the surgery.  I have completed everything on this list, I am currently on my 4th nutrition class.  Next month will be the 5th one.  There are days when I am so excited about my future new life for myself and more importantly for my kids.  There are days when I don't really feel like working out and I feel down.  Lately the things that get me down is something that may or may not prolong the surgery.  I am ready for this, I am ready for the changes.  I have gone through the food cravings and adjusted I have gone through aches and pains of working out and I work through them and work harder.  I am ready to be released from my own personal prison and live my life.  Thank you for being a part of my journey.  Change is only profound if you are willing to put in the work.  If you are not mentally ready to do anything it wont happen until YOU  are ready!  

This is me just two days ago: