Fitness in the Kitchen

Fitness in the Kitchen

Workouts & recipes fueling a busy, healthy life.

Grain Free Cranberry Maple & Spice Muffins

Muffins…they are my test of a good bakery. If they have moist, plump, tasty muffins they get my vote. 

I also adore baked goods with fresh cranberries. If said bakery has a fresh cranberry muffin, I’m sold, even if I’m not hungry. ;) 

Fresh cranberries remind me of the holiday season. They are perfectly tart, and the taste just pops in your mouth. Cranberries are naturally low in calories, but watch the labels when buying the dried variety, as often they have added sugars. They are also high in fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin E! 

Cranberries go well with lots of flavors including citrus, lemon, lime, orange, but also pumpkin, and savory dishes as well. 

So, about these muffins. 

I wanted to make a grain free muffin that was moist with light texture, but also full of spice and cranberry goodness! These are pretty much what I was looking for. They hit the spot with a hot cup of tea on these cold, late October evenings. 


Grain Free Cranberry Maple & Spice Muffins

1/4 cup coconut oil, room temperature
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 eggs
the juice of half a large lemon

2  2/3 cups almond flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. nutmeg
3/4 tsp. baking soda
dash of sea salt 
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (you can chop them if you like, I just threw them in whole)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and fill a muffin tin with paper liners; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer blend the coconut oil, applesauce, and maple syrup. They will blend better if you warm the applesauce and maple syrup slightly in the microwave. Then as the mixer is going add the eggs one at a time, blending well after each one. Finally add the lemon juice, and vanilla, beat again. 

In a seperate bowl combine the almond flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt. Add to the wet mixture and mix well, scraping down the sides of the bowl if needed. 

Finally stir in the cranberries by hand. 

Fill each muffin tin with a heaping 1/4 cup of muffin batter, and sprinkle with a little extra cinnamon if you like. (yes please!) Bake for 22-25 minutes or until the middles of the muffins are set. Cool and enjoy! 



Hope you had an amazing weekend, and are ready for the week ahead…I know our week is SUPER busy, and not only have I been fighting a cold, but being 37 weeks and 6 days is kicking my booty. :) Yet, being busy passes the time much quicker, so I can be grateful for that!

What is your measure of a good bakery? When you walk into a bakery where do your eyes wander first?

~ Liesl 



Liesl October 22, 2014 Leave A Comment Permalink

37 Weeks – Workouts, Pics, and Gratefulness

Two days ago marked 37 weeks that little boy Hypki has been growing inside of me. Whew. That’s a LONG time.

Long enough for baby to be around 6.5 lbs, and about the length of a decent bunch of swiss chard. MMmmm, I love swiss chard wraps. Also, sources say that many healthy providers consider the baby “full term” as of 37 weeks! Exciting news, he can now safely be born at any time, “common baby.” Momma is ready. 


Me at my baby shower last Saturday. Sometimes I feel like my little guy is already sitting on my lap, because he literally is. ;) 

How I’m feeling: Heavy. I don’t quite know how else to describe it. I’ve officially been packing on the 3rd trimester pounds, and so has he, and I feel it. Spending the morning on my feet doing laundry, cooking, baking, cleaning the house, it’s taking a painful toll on my back these days. I keep telling myself, 3 more weeks, and begging God to surprise me with a quick delivery. ;) 

Emotionally I’m getting a little anxious you could say. The more I learn the more I’m like “wow, crap could really hit the fan in the delivery room.” haha But, I’m trying not to think about it too much. I know God is in control and I have prepared in the ways I thought best for me and for the baby, so we should be ready. 

I had Pete read a birth story on a blog today, just so he could kind of hear the gruesome details told by real people, the hard stuff, and the good stuff. Well, what he remembered was that they brought coconut water for her to stay hydrated, and a cooler with sandwiches. So yeah. We should be ready. ;) 


There he is. Love you honey! 

Sleep: I’ve actually been getting decent sleep, but I don’t know if Pete can say the same. He says I’ve been snoring a little more, which is unsual for me, but as far as getting up to go to the bathroom at night, usually once, a bad night would be twice. That’s about the same as I get up when I’m not pregnant, so no complaints there. 

Food: Still loving my salty foods, pickles, olives, cheese, and my dairy, cottage cheese and yogurt in the house! But for the most part all of my aversions are gone, I even drank a smoothie the other day! Granted it was made with fresh tart cranberries, and lemons. haha 

We rented a movie the other night and Pete picked up this amazing gelato that I saw at the store when I was grocery shopping. Can I just say…yum! It was delicious. I’m still trying to keep my healthy habits when it comes to eating sugar though, because regardless of how good it tastes, it never makes me feel good. So, it’s best kept to a once in a GREAT while indulgence. Which I totally believe in, but make sure it’s something you really love!! 

Baby Shower: My Mom and sister-in-laws hosted a lovely baby shower for me and baby Hypki last Saturday! More than 50 ladies came out to bless us, and love on baby boy Hypki! 



 It was a grand time, with lots of delicious brunch foods, mini quiches, tart apple meatballs, veggies and dip, mini scones in pumpkin, coconut, and apple spice flavors, pumpkin nutella puppy chow, olives, and of course pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting, decadent and completely homemade by a sweet Italian friend, Eve Caliendo. 


Each guest made my baby a birthday card for 1-5 years of age, so when we are out, and isolated in the mountain village I can read him his sweet birthday wishes from so many of our loving friends! 



We were showered with many gifts, and blessed beyond measure! And my dear prayer warrior and friend Sara gave a wonderful devotional challenging me in all ways of motherhood and wife-hood. 



My Mom, myself, and my sweet little niece Lainey who helped me with all of my gifts. :) 

It was a wonderful day, and an exhausting one.

Preparations for baby: Since we are in a little one bedroom apartment for baby’s birth there is no nursery to decorate, but we are keeping busy with prepping everything else. Pete has put together the diaper changing table, stroller, car seat, and bassinet, and I’ve stocked the diapers, wipes, washed and folded all his cute little clothes for 0-3 months, and assembled a book, toy, and stuffed animal basket. 



This week we were planning on packing our hospital bag, but I only got as far as the baby’s things…but we’ll get there. I have a little list of what I need at least. ;) 

Weirdest thing someone said to me recently: So, I’ve never been a huge fan of preggo belly pics of ladies, but some women just really dig them I guess. Anyways, someone said to me a week or so ago “I just love watching your belly get bigger.” Why? Should anyone ever love watching that…I guess it’s not something that I love, but to each his or her own I suppose. 

Workouts: I can’t say it’s been easy, but I’ve been trying to workout/move every single day. Not only does it keep me sane, and feeling a little more like myself, but it’s great for labor, delivery, and a quick recovery or so they say. ;) 


I’ve been walking 1.5 miles most mornings with Pete and the pooch, and then getting in a 30-40 minute workout in the day at the gym or at home. 

Lifting weights still feels awesome, better than most other exercises. And like a said before I keep reminding myself that I’m on the home stretch, and after the birth and my recovery, it will be so much easier to bounce back if I’m strong going into it. 



It’s almost like I stuck one of those kettlebells under my shirt!  



Just some fun gym selfies for all my friends that love belly pics! 

Some other thoughts: As I write this post I’m ready to have my baby in my arms, because I’m terribly uncomfortable 85% of the time, and also because I’m ready to meet the little guy. I’m ready to learn what it’s like to care for another human being that is utterly helpless, and most of all I’m ready to show him how much his Daddy and I love Jesus, and to teach him to love Jesus too. 

But, I also just want to say that I’m so grateful I’ve had a healthy pregnancy. That baby Hypki  has grown, and stayed inside me to full term, and that I have been able to stay healthy as well. God is SO good. I am reminded of this especially these last few days as I watch dear friends of ours in California ask God to protect and preserve their dear little baby girl that was born at 25 weeks. She weighs 1lb 11oz, but there is hope, because we serve an amazing creator God, and because His love and His plan are always perfect. 

Our hearts and love are with you Sandi and Kyler, and we are praying for baby girl, for strength, and for His perfect peace. 

Hope you enjoyed reading the update. We are off to Milwaukee this weekend, our last weekend traveling until the baby comes. I’m ready just to be home and settle down a little bit. 

Until next time, and happy weekending!

~ Liesl



Liesl October 18, 2014 Leave A Comment Permalink

Freezer Meals – Eggplant Curry

So…living in a one bedroom apartment for the first 6 months of baby’s life, and then planning our trip back home to the mountains of Mexico doesn’t leave much room for “baby prep” so to speak. 

He doesn’t have a nursery really, there has been VERY limited decorating in the area where he’ll be sleeping, and as far as gear goes, baby Hypki will have the essentials and that’s about it. But, it’s good, learning to have the minimum at a young age, hopefully we won’t raise a hoarder. ;) haha

But, one thing I can, and have wanted to do (hello 36 weeks here) is to make some healthy meals to have ready in the freezer for post baby. 

Pete is great at taking the reins in the kitchen. But, with sleepless nights, and a busy schedule ahead of both of us, we know it’s best to have something that just needs a quick heat up on the stove and we have dinner! 

Welcome back into my life slow cooker! This is an awesome kitchen tool that is not supported on our solar electric system out in the village because of it’s constant heating element…and other complicated reasoning that I don’t understand. :) So…I’m excited to be able to use one for a few months during our time in the states! 

This eggplant curry literally took me 20 minutes to throw together, and made our little home smell AMAZING! 

Here’s what I did:

Slow cooker Eggplant Curryimage

Grease the bowl of your slow cooker with some olive oil, and add:

1 yellow onion, diced
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 small eggplants, cut in large cubes
1-15oz. can organic diced tomatoes, drained
2 cups vegetable broth, (I use this kind)
2 tsp. hot yellow curry powder
2 tsp. sweet yellow curry powder
2 tsp. garam masala
1 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. granulated garlic
sea salt to taste
2 bay leaves




 Stir everything together and turn on high for 4 hours. Leave to cook while you go and do all kinds of other important stuff. Like wash and put away baby clothes, organize the changing table, clean the bathroom…

Or some of this…which is what I wanted to be doing. 


Once 4 hours is up, let the Eggplant Curry cool, and put in freezer safe containers or ziploc freezer bags, and freeze! That’s it!


A yummy meal ready to go…except our next trip to Trader Joes might involve the purchase of some whole wheat naan! YUM!

Let me know if you try the recipe! You could easily make it on the stove top too…just simmer until the veg is tender.

What is one of your favorite recipes to make in the slow cooker? How often do you use your slow cooker?

~ Liesl



Liesl October 13, 2014 Leave A Comment Permalink

Update on life, baby, and the blog

Tomorrow is the 10th of October, seriously, where does the time go?

Even though…today marks 36 weeks pregnant, I find myself wondering, several times a day, if the time could possibly go any faster. I’m totally ready to be carrying this little dude on the outside, or pushing him in his AMAZING all-terrain stroller, (courtesy of my Grandma…love you) rather than carrying around a 6 lb. extension to my stomach…and that’s just his weight! 


 Just a pic of me and a friend, Emily, who is due exactly 1 week before me. Look at how differently we are carrying? Craziness. 

So, I’m sure you are wondering…have I still been working out? The answer is yes. And I had some great posts for you with preggo workout inspiration, but I’ve been having some SUPER annoying media uploading problems with the blog. And as frustrated as it makes me to talk about it, things still aren’t resolved. Grrrrr….

I have indeed kept up with workouts though…because even if I don’t feel like moving, I know, yes know, that I will feel better the rest of the day if I do. What a novel idea that the concept would be same during pregnancy as it is when not pregnant. :) 

I’m still getting in some sort of a strength training workout 4-5 times a week, and doing more walking on top of that. Usually twice a week I incorporate some HIIT intervals into my strength which helps to get my heart rate up and keep me conditioned for after baby. 

A week ago we did a free trial at our local Anytime Fitness, and wow, did I ever get the looks. Who is the crazy 8 month pregnant lady doing burpees in the corner? The fact that I was doing burpees was probably more astonishing, as the American gym culture is still very isolated strength training focused, at least in those kind of places. 

So yeah, I’m definitely feel TONS heavier…like TONS. And it just feels more awkward to move if that makes sense. I’m still feeling strong though, and still cooking 3 meals a day, and tying my own shoes so that’s a victory that I’m grateful for! 

It is lovely to be back in Wisconsin!  image

 Not only is fall my favorite season, but spending time with family again has been really great! It’s been a long time. 

I had a cozy baby shower down near my in-laws last weekend, which was lovely, and baby Hypki was blessed beyond measure. This weekend is a shower at our home church, I’m looking forward to spending time with lots of dear ladies that I look up to and consider friends. 

We are also finally settling into our 1 bedroom apartment…we still felt like we were on the go until this week. It’s a cute place, right next to the river (above photo), and our dog Radley is enjoying chasing the squirrels every morning on his walks by the water. 


We are attending birth education classes on Wednesday nights and just had a tour or the birthing center at the hospital where we have chosen to give birth! It’s cozy, small, and perfect. Not that I’m hoping to spend alot of time there. ;) 

Have my 37 week appointment next week with the midwife, and we’ll see how things are going. It could really be anytime now! :) 

So, thanks for reading, and I’m hoping to have my blog media problems solved this week so I can post pics of the shower, and more easily write and share workouts. Thanks for sticking with me. And, I have no idea what to expect, but once the baby arrives there could be a lull in blog posts for awhile as we adjust to sleepless nights, and the adventures of parenthood. But I will share, what and when I can! 

Until next time, enjoy fall, make something pumpkin, and get out and enjoy the nice weather before the chill of winter sets in!

~ Liesl

Liesl October 9, 2014 Leave A Comment Permalink

My Travel Workouts – Weeks 30 & 31

August 30th baby Hypki hit 30 weeks…

on the same day we left the mountain village where we live to begin our 20 day road trip to Wisconsin. Crazy.

Traveling while pregnant isn’t so bad, the worst has been the back pain after several hours in the car, but otherwise I have nothing to complain about.

I have been determined to keep up my pregnancy workout routine while on the road, and so far, so good. Of course, it has taken creativity to come up with workouts, and sometimes a walk is the way I get in my movement for the day, but the exercise helps me sleep better, feel better, and gives me extra energy…and who doesn’t need some of that in the 3rd trimester. :)

Here’s a short little summary of the workouts I’ve been doing while we’ve been traveling:

Thursday 8/28
Since we left the village today I took a rest day. I had every intention of taking a nice walk once we arrived on the coast, but 95 degrees with seriously intense humidity quickly changed my mind.

Friday 8/29
Today was SUPER busy…didn’t get time for a workout per se, but did some bodyweight strength throughout the day. Pushups, squats, planks, etc. You can seriously get in exercise whenever, squat while your laundry is drying, do pushups while noodles boil, etc. No excuses! :)

Saturday 8/30
Today I went to the gym and completed a 40 minute total body workout. Ah, the gym I haven’t been in so long and it was nice to go and be a part of that crowd again.


On the coast we have a gym membership that never expires and is good for 30 visits whenever you want to go…it works out perfectly for us! Hooray for Mexico, and it’s amazing deals!

I wish I would have written this workout down, because I really loved it…but alas’ between traveling and meeting with people daily it has already slipped my mind. 

Sunday 8/31
Today woke up with stomach pains, went on a 3 mile walk anyways… and the 12 hour flu bug ensued just a few hours later. So sick. Spent the day in bed.

Monday 9/1
Still felt super weak today…you know that day after flu feeling. Blah. Took a rest day, and hoping to feel stronger and like real food tomorrow.

Tuesday 9/2
Woke up early an I was SO hungry! Ate some toast with almond butter and banana super early and then headed to the gym for a leg workout. I was feeling much stronger so I pushed through a legs workout that I usually do HIIT style, but I forgot my interval timer, so I did it by reps instead.

Here’s the workout if you’d like to try something new:

Lunge in' Legs Tabata

I did 12 reps of each exercise, still 3 rounds of each Tabata, instead of the timed HIIT intervals. Still a great workout! 

Wednesday 9/3
Travel day = rest day
We were in the truck for about 11 hours today, and amazingly I felt pretty good.

Thursday 9/4
This morning I went with one of my favorite travel workouts, my 30 minutes bodyweight workout.

It’s a perfect workout for anywhere a park, hotel room, living room, kitchen, wherever you can find to workout.

Friday 9/5
This morning I was feeling the need to sweat out some salt…whenever we travel and eat at some many different homes I always end up consuming more salt than my body is accustomed too. However, a good morning sweat usually does the trick to start cleaning out my body! :)

Because I’m not traveling with weights, I used my full backpack complete with computer and books to do this pyramid countdown lower body workout:

Complete the following 6 exercises one after another and then countdown your reps each set. For example the first set 14, then 12, then 10, etc. Try not to rest between sets and see how quickly you can finish the workout.

Walking lunges – holding the backpack
Jump squats
Plank with heel raise
Deadlift & row – with the backpack
Jumping lunges

Saturday 9/6
I have been staying up entirely too late these past few nights and definitely didn’t get up early enough for a workout. We then hit the road to our next destination, so it was a rest day for me.

Sunday 9/7
We are staying in a small hotel room for the next few days so I came up with a Hotel HIIT Workout to get my sweat on. It is a complete bodyweight workout, so if you are looking for a great total body workout for while traveling this is it.

Here’s the workout:

HIIT – 20sec on/10sec rest – 8 rounds
Squat jumps
Jumping jacks
Speed squats

Strength – Round 1
Plank bird dogs – 10 each side
Mountain climbers – 20
Squat thrusters – 10 w/heavy backpack or duffle bag
follow with another set of the HIIT above

Strength – Round 2
Tricep pushups – 10
Tricep dips – 15
Crab toe touches – 10 each
Pushups – 10
follow with another set of the HIIT 

Strength – Round 3
Squats – 10, holding a backpack or heavy duffle
Pulsing squats – 10, each leg holding a heavy backpack overhead
Glute lifts – 10, heel on a chair
Plie squat jumps – 10

Cool down! Whew!! 

Not only have I been working out in the hotel room, but we’ve had some pretty fun hotel room picnics…ah traveling. 


Monday 9/8
Was feeling a bit sore from my workout yesterday so did a quick bodyweight workout in the hotel room. 
It’s a fast and effective workout, 12 exercises, 12 reps, as many rounds as possible in 30 minutes.

Here’s the workout: (psst…it’s great for traveling!)
Squat jumps – 12
Squat jacks – 12
Pushups – 12
Straight leg situps – 12
Plank jacks – 12
Reverse lunge w/kick right – 12
Reverse lunge w/ kick left – 12
Plank up & downs – 12
Plank shoulder taps – 12 each side
Jump lunges – 12 each leg
Plie squats – 12
Tricep dips – 12

Complete as many rounds as possible in 30 minutes! GO! 

Tuesday 9/9
I was up at 4:30 for another long travel day, but before I hit the shower I pumped out 50 quick squats and 50 pushups. It always makes me feel better to get in something rather than nothing, especially when I know I’m going to be in the car for 10 hours.

Wednesday 9/10
We are staying with friends, and they have a nice little workout space in their loft room upstairs.
I wanted to do a total body workout with some HIIT, so I visited one of my favorite workout inspiration blogs, the fitnessista. She put out a fun and fabulous workout calendar for the month of September and is also doing a squat challenge which I think is SUPER cool…but enough of that, I took this Strength & Tabata Workout from the calendar and got to work.

I used 15lb dumbbells for most of the strength exercises, and adjusted the HIIT exercises a bit to meet my 3rd trimester pregnancy abilities. ;)

Thursday 9/11
Today was another travel day for us…a little shorter one, but I got my bootay out of bed early and got in a 3 mile walk before we hit the road.

Whew…that was a long post…I’ll try to do better with the workout updates this coming week, but I just wanted to encourage others of you out there, just because you are traveling doesn’t mean you can’t get in some sweaty, fat burntastic workouts! Hopefully this post inspires you to get out there, wherever you find a place a hotel room, parking lot, patch of grass, sidewalk, and get your workout on!!

Cheers to a great weekend…and hello cold weather!!! It is supposed to be 45 degrees tonight here in Missouri where we are staying! Wowzers!!! It’s bonfire time! :)



Liesl September 13, 2014 1 Comment Permalink