If at first you don’t succeed…

I woke up grumpay this morning.  For one thing, I felt groggy and tired due to not being in bed until late last night.  This left me not wanting to go runnning, despite the sunny weather. 

Despite my grumpy Monday mood, I rolled myself to the kitchen to make a nice hearty bowl of a yogurt mess. 😀

  • 6 oz. plain, non fat yogurt + 1 T. flax mixed in
  • 1 c. Kashi Go Lean
  • 1 banana
  • 2 T. almonds
  • small handful of raisins

With my belly nice and happy, I decided to give myself an hour or so to digest my meal, and then see if I could make a run happen too. 😉


My motivation was still running a little on the low side, so I made a deal with mysef.  I’d go out for two miles and if I still wasn’t feeling it, I could turn around.  At least I could say I tried, and it would at least get me up and out.

I halfheartedly ran through the first mile, but once I was out, it happened.  The “it” that I needed.  The monday morning mood lifter.  I sort of just zoned out, and ran the 4 miles that I had planned on running in the first place.  I stomped out the grumpies, once and for good, returning home with a whole new mood and attitude. 😀

My post-running snack was the last of the homemade chocolate chip granola bars and an iced coffee.  This was such a refreshing combo.  😀


I had a dentist appointment this afternoon so I planned on making an earlier lunch.  I headed to the garden for some inspiration! 😀

Inspiration found!


I picked three large ones, which gave me a ton of beet greens to be used as well. 


And, surprise, surprise…I was rewarded with this gorgeous coloring after cutting into them. 😀 


I had so much fun putting this lunch together!!  I don’t think anything pairs with roasted beets quite like goat cheese does, especially when they’re together in a salad.  YUM!

  • mesculin greens
  • cucumbers
  • red onions
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1/2 c. kidney beans
  • roasted beets
  • goat cheese
  • Annie’s Raspberry Viniagrette

Loved this meal!


I made it complete with kashis on the side.  😀


Then I was off to the dentist.  I always hate going, but I love leaving with that oh-so-fresh feeling. 😉 

When I came home, I noshed on these grapes while reorganizing the mess that I had left in the kitchen, as I had hurriedly made my way to the dentist.  I fed the compost pile all the scraps, conquered the dishes, and tidied up the kitchen, leaving everything spotless and shiny. 😀


My afternoon snack was a reminder of how much I love cottage cheese. 😀

  • about 1/2 c. whipped cottage cheese
  • 1/2 c. kashi go lean
  • handful of raisins
  • cinnamon


For a while I thought my tastes had changed and that maybe I didn’t like cottage cheese after all.  Weird.  Then I realized that it was just the cottage cheese curds that I don’t like.  That problem is solved when I buy the whipped cottage cheese–all the flavor, minus the curds! 😉


Now we’re approaching the title of this post…because if at first you don’t succeed (with zucchini muffins)…


try, try again! 😉

I wasn’t going to let this zucchini go down without a fight.  I had 1/2 of the large zucchini left to experiment with. And now I had two recommended recipes to try out: the first was from a reader, Jenny, who recommended this recipe.  And then April recommended a recipe as well.  I couldn’t decide which one to choose.  They both sounded absolutely wonderful.  So I sort of, in a way, went with both. 😀  I blended them together and tried to focus on not messing up my zucchini muffins this time! 😉

First, I scooped out some of the large zucchini’s seeds…


…and drained some of the liquid out of the shredded zucchini.  I think this was the first mistake I had done with my first attempt.  This zucchini in particular was even more watery then normal, which left too much liquid!  Draining it solved the problem! 😀


One of my favorite parts of April‘s recipe was her addition of bananas!!  I loved the fact that these would really sweeten up the recipe so that I could cut back a little on the sugar.  These bananas weren’t at their peak of ripeness, but they were sweet enough to do the trick!


Already I was feeling better about this recipe then the last one.  It looked more…normal! 😉


Voila!  Out they came from the oven…looking plump, golden, and smelling oh so heavenly.  The real question: how did they taste?

…You’ll have to wait until tomorrow when I try one! 😀  But my parents both ate one, telling me they were fabulous.  And if they say the muffins were wonderful, then they are.  Thankfully, they are always honest. 😉  But you can bet I’ll be including these into my morning meal, so stay tuned for my review too!

Zucchini Banana-Nut Muffins—adapted from April’s recipe and Kalyn’s Kitchen

2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. almond extract
1/4 c. honey
1 1/2 cups grated zucchini (squeezed, then packed into measuring cup)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground mace—nutmeg can be used
1/2 c. walnuts
1/2 c. raisins

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grate zucchini by hand or using a food processor, then gently squeeze grated zucchini to remove some of the water. Measure 1 1/2 cups (packed) zucchini for this recipe, and if you have extra, freeze it for another time.  Mix zucchini with mashed bananas.
In a medium-sized bowl, beat egg, then add almond extract, and honey…mix to combine. Stir in the grated zucchini, then the oil. Sprinkle baking soda, baking powder, and salt over the top of this and mix in.

In a smaller bowl, combine whole wheat flour, cinnamon and mace or nutmeg.  Make a well in middle, and add wet ingredients.  Stir just until moist—avoid overmixing.  Then fold in chopped pecans and raisins.

Spray muffin pan or individual muffin cups with non-stick spray, then divide batter evenly among cups to make 12 small muffins. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.



It felt so funny to be having a cookout on a Monday night!!  Usually this happens over the weekend, but since everyone was doing different things over the past couple of days, and there was little time spent at home, the cookout happened tonight.  😀

Dad got the grill started and cooked the bison burgers–which I topped with sliced tomato, red onion, chopped beet leaves and ketchup—while toasting the organic whole wheat rolls.

On the side, I grilled a large green bell pepper.  This was super easy and super tasty.  I simply blanched the pepper for about 2-3 minutes (drop in boiling water,) added 1 tsp olive oil, and sprinkled with salt and pepper.  Why don’t I do this more often?  It tasted heavenly!  And last, but not least, was the sweet potato fries which were amazing as always. 😀


Dessert: almond buttah on dark chocolate squares.  Oh my! 😀


My usual chiller of the night! 😀  I was wondering to myself why this came out more soupy then usual.  It was still thick, but not the consistency of fro yo.  Then it hit me that I had thrown in an entire banana, rather then the usual half, and left out a few icecubes.  I actually enjoyed the change in consistency. Sort of like a berry fruit soup. 😉 

(p.s. The addition of dates is now a regluar thing in my smoothies. 😀  I don’t know if it’s just because my blender is super old, or if this is just what happens when you chop up dates in a blender.  But little tiny chunks are left, which means every once in a while, you get a nice chew factor going on.  It’s especially tasty at the bottom of the bowl, where little bits of granola and date can be found mingling together.  Mmmm… 😀 )


I’m feeling rather scatter brained right now.  Part of me wants to continue watching the CMA awards on tv and the other part of me wants to hit the hay.  I think I’ll go with the second option, after remembering my moody monday morning.  Can’t let there be a repeat of this tomorrow, especially since I don’t have a scheduled run to stomp it out. 😉

I hope you all have had a wonderful Monday back!  Tomorrow is September 1st!!!

Exercise: 4-mile run + 4-mile post dinner walk

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About One Beautiful Life

Hi and Welcome!!! I'm a 30 something year old who loves Jesus, nutrition, green tea, my family and my tuxedo cat named Humphrey. I enjoy photography, cooking and working at the local hospital as a Registered Dietitian. Thanks for stopping by!

19 thoughts on “If at first you don’t succeed…

  1. those muffins look amazing! mmmm…i want one right now!

    the color of beets also makes me sooooo happy – it is the most unique color, and i swear its one that can’t be replicated (just like the color of the sky). yay for endorphin flows to get out of funks and bbqs on monday.

    happy september!

    • Keep looking! It took forever for the grocery stores around me to start selling the whipped version. Although I have heard that some people simply buy the regular cottage cheese and whip it in the blender themselves. 😀

  2. so much I want to say!

    Glad the run helped- exercise is pretty miraculous, no?

    Second…goats cheese rocks my world. As does cottage cheese. As do muffins. Hmmm…can I come for dinner? 😀

    How do bison burgers taste? I was so tempted to pick some up the other day…*intrigued*

    have a great Tuesday!

    • The bison burgers are wonderful! I prefer them over regular hamburgers now, as I think they’re so much more flavorful. And as long as they’re not overcooked, I find them to be juicier too. 😀

      Oh, and come for dinner any time…hehe. 😉

  3. I just love how a run can turn it all around!

    If you soak dates in water for a little while they’ll soften up and will blend in smoother – but it sounds like you digging the date chunks so don’t let me get in the way of that with my nosy suggestion! 😉

    Zucchini muffins look totally fab, I would eat that RIGHT now if you set it down in front of me.

    And my parents had those same plates, I felt a little twinge of home when I saw them!

  4. I love how running can give you that “high” feeling. Endorphins kick in and you just have a bright day!
    Love all your meals girl! Keep them up!
    Happy sept. 1st :]

  5. Your muffins look great!! I can’t wait to hear your verdict!

    I’m the same way about cottage cheese.. but since they don’t sell the whipped stuff I just whip mine myself in the food processor!

    and that salad looks sooo good! I absolutely love beets.. I could eat them any time of the day probably! I’ll have to try it with cheese though.. it looks fabulous!

  6. Well done on getting out there and getting your run done!

    Your home-made granola bars looked really nice. I would like to try and find a decent granola bar recipe. The last ones that I tried were not too good.

    I love beets! I like how they kind of taste like dirt – I know that sounds weird, but its true!

    Have a great day.

  7. As others have said already – it truly IS amazing how a little bit of exercise can turn your day around! So glad that helped!

    The muffins look SO good 🙂

    And thanks for the bison reminder! I need to pick some more up! 🙂

  8. Pingback: Zucchini Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins «

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