Pumpkin Bread Guilt Free 

Pumpkin Bread is great for fall. Who doesn’t have a tough time with baked good temptations in the fall and winter holiday season?

My solution is to make those 250 + calories count for real nutrition rather than most of the calories coming as empty calories from sugars or butter.

This is my original recipe for a pumpkin bread that will double nicely as a healthy breakfast or daytime snack. I say daytime because I typically eat my carbs earlier in the day. Less likely for unused energy to turn to fat during daytime hours.


1 can Pumpkin Puree 15oz

3 cups plain Quaker Old Fashioned oats.

1 cup of egg whites

3 scoops of whey protein powder. (vanilla, toffee, caramel or unflavored variety works: I used Titan Toffee Macchiato)

Optional: 1 cup of zero calorie sugar substitutes for baking (recommend Truvia for baking or Splenda for baking.

1/2 cup of almond meal

2 teaspoons of pumpkin spice

2 teaspoons of baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of salt

NUTRITION: full loaf cake is 7 servings. 278 calories: 20 grams of protein, 31.7 grams of carbs, 7.7 grams of fat. Only 4.9 grams of sugars from the pumpkin. No added sugars.

Optional add ins if desired based on your dietary needs:

Chopped pecan pieces: 1/4 cup adds 20 calories per serving and 2 grams of fat.

Two snack boxes of raisins (1/4 cup) adds 25 calories of carbs from natural sugars per serving. Avoid if watching sugars! This little bit doubles the sugar content.


Mix oats in food processor until ground into coarse flour.

Mix all ingredients into large mixing bowl and stir together.

Heat oven to 325 degrees,

Spray loaf pan with a light spray of spray coconut oil. Dust with oat flour for a perfect non-stick if desired.

Pour batter into prepared pan and place in oven to bake 40-50 minutes. Cake should not be shloshy in the middle, but you do want it very moist. Do not over bake!! It should rise and be firm.

Enjoy at breakfast, brunch or even post workout with coffee or hot tea!

This healthy recipe has your heart healthy oats, proteins from whey and eggwhites. Healthy fats from almond meal and maybe pecans. Not to mention lots of vitamin A, plus Vitamins C, calcium, iron and fiber from pumpkin while avoiding empty calories that have no nutritional value from processed enriched flour, butters, sugars etc! Enjoy guilt free if you avoid adding butter or jams! Would it taste good with butter or jam? Sure. If you do add these traditional enhancers is it going to make you fat? Well, in short…yes. Yes it will. Not so much as a second bowl of ice cream and cake, but it does make a difference if you want a healthier lifestyle. Refrigerate and warm in the microwave or oven by the slice.  Eat the healthy.


What is the big deal with protein?

Protein is one of the three major macronutrients. Protein, Fats, Carbs(Carbohydrates). They are divided into those three categories because nutritionally the body needs each everyday, and they are fundamentally different enough that one cannot replace the other in a healthy diet. Nutrition professionals believe that a balance of these nutritients to be crucial to health and weight management.

To understand protein use in the body, first of all, understand what is protein. Protein is meat including beef and poultry. It is also fish and eggwhites. Whey/Milk/Soy/Vegan protein powders too. These are considered whole proteins or primary sources of protein. They have a complete amino acid profile and are leanest without significant amounts of fat and carbs.

Primary lean proteins chicken, Fish, turkey, Eggwhites!

Amino acids are biologically and nutritionally important compounds that are the protein molecules used internally by the body when the food is broken down during digestion.

Secondary sources have “some” protein including whole or reduced fat milk, beans, legumes, seeds, yogurt, peanuts, tree nuts, whole eggs, whole or sprouted grains and even broccoli. While a few of these have all of the amino acid profile of whole proteins,  most importantly they all also have other primary macronutrients to take into consideration. The trick to partial protein or secondary proteins is to balance all of your nutrients. If you rely on beans to get enough protein you may be consuming too much carb. Beans have both protein and carb. Nuts and nutbutters have more fat than protein. Whole eggs are high in fat and cholesterol. While some dietary fats are good for you, eating enough whole eggs to get a sufficient amount of protein will cause your fat to be too high. One egg has 30 calories from protein and over 40 calories from fat!

Secondary protein with carbs or fat too!

And broccoli? Well let’s just say it is near stomach stretching physically impossible to get a full serving of protein from broccoli and you still would not have a balanced source of protein compounds. One cup of Milk alone has 8 grams of protein, but also 13 grams of carbs with 12 of the 13 grams being from milk sugars like lactose.

Eggs are wonderful. Egg whites have protein without the fat, so I recommend that people in a high protein diet, eat more egg whites than whole eggs. One or two yolks is plenty of fat, yet you can benefit from another egg or two of the white part!

Why is protein important? While carbs and fat provide ready sources of energy, the protein molecule provides raw materials to feed cell regeneration. Carbs, or carbohydrates, are energy sources that always turn to fat if not burned off by the body’s activity level. Protein is first used for the raw materials for hair, skin, nails, brain cells, and of course muscle. Then the excess in one meal is converted to energy. This is why protein should be eaten in small meals throughout the day, while carbs and fats are timed for when the body needs the energy for exercise. Beware of using carbs and sugar for the energy to combat tiredness. Yes, that spike in sugar will spike alertness, but will also convert to fat if actual energy is not expended to burn it off!!

Nutrition Value of Snickers Bar
Mostly Sugar/Carb
Lots of FAT
Very little protein

Energy from mostly sugar that turns to fat.



Many people believe that protein is what bodybuilders use to get big. While muscle protein does come from dietary protein, it does not directly cause muscle growth without the weightlifting and specific exercise strategy to require additional strength!

During a dieting phase, protein maintains muscle while reduction in carbs and fats (reduction: not elimination) help to place your body in a calorie deficit. Too little protein with a calorie deficit below what the body needs to run for basic activity, also can cause your body to cannibalize the muscle protein to provide the raw materials for other functions!

Therefore bodybuilders do not so much eat tons of protein to get big, but eat regular consistent amounts of protein to maintain what they’ve built in the gym!

How can protein benefit you? Seeking weight loss, or a fitter look, it is important to get your required nutrients from protein and then low calorie, high nutrient vegetables like broccoli, spinach, green beans, and kale etc. These foods are highly utilized in the body without adding to fat stores.

Pro Bikini Competitors

While more calorie dense than lettuce and salad greens, protein not only performs the vital task of building the structure of your lean body it also has the effect of creating a more satiated feeling from food. From the act of chewing through the greater calorie expenditure during digestion the effect of processing proteins is that your body uses  more of the calories from this food.

Protein is a key macronutrient. It performs a different role in the body from fat and carbs.

To round out a balanced diet, next comes the energy required to do exercise. Depending on your energy expenditure from work, life, and exercise intensity add a carb for breakfast, before and after workouts, plus a healthy dietary fat at night for hormone balance with your proteins. These are some added strategies that a nutrition coach can help you with! Contact me for more information to help you get the nutrition you need, at the time of day it can benefit you the most, with the quantities you will need meet your specific goals!



References for further reading:







Protein Review: My top 10 and why.

All of my favorite protein drinks have one thing in common, they are primarily “Just the protein please.” They are not carbs, veggie replacements, or high in fat or sugars.  If you have been following my blogs, you know that I recommend whole food diets, and low sugar foods. I am a women’s Figure Competitor in the National Physique Committee with four shows to my credit including one First Place Overall in a 45 years old and up division. Continue reading

What kind of protein do I need?

The last post Weight Loss Nutrition 101 highlighted the need for additional protein in your diet. Even if you eat 3 or 4 meals a day with a lean protein source, you will likely still come up short of your daily protein needs. There is still room for added protein even with a lean, low fat and non-processed meat high protein diet. That is really the plan here, to get your best nutrition and reach your fitness goals!

There are seemingly no limits to the types of “healthy” protein products on the market. For this review, I am going to stick with protein drinks. Many fear using a protein supplement because they will become bulky or put on muscle or fat. Unlikely if you know what to look for. I have divided protein products into three categories: Gainers, Meal Replacement, and Protein Supplementation. Continue reading

Weight loss nutrition 101.

How to get your nutrition and lose weight 101. I started this blog post as a review, so bear with the next paragraph. I quickly realized that talking about how great a product is would be empty if my readers did not understand why it is important to use a protein!

MyProtein, the number one sports nutrition brand in the UK, is branching into international markets in the US. The folks there were kind enough to send me some of their products to review. I loved them, and want to share that information with you, and most importantly how these nutrition supplements figure into your fitness and weightloss plan. I will do specific product reviews and comparisons against some of my other favorites and how to chose the right protein supplement for you in my next blog. img_5625 Continue reading

New Year’s Fitness Resolution? Don’t forget Your Kitchen

Every resolutioner hits the gym and gets started with exercise. You may even get a new workout outfit. What girl doesn’t get motivated by a new outfit. I know I do!

In 2013 I was determined to lose weight. I was focused on exercise. I was like a hamster on a wheel doing classes a couple of times a week. Same effort as always, no weight loss even though I didn’t miss a class.

What I discovered is that with all this fitness going on it is too easy to lose track of what we are eating. Maybe we are not eating all of the sweets from the holidays, but if you are eating without a plan or eating unconsciously you may be silently defeating all of your hard work in the gym by over doing it in the kitchen. Continue reading

Lean Protein = Lean Body

http://www.fitatfiftysamantha.com/www.fitatfiftysamantha.comBeen trying to lose weight? Tone up? Fed up with that last bit of belly fat? You may be under the wrong impression that food and calories are the enemy.  While there is truth to that there is a lot of wiggle room.

Here are some facts.

  1. Too many calories above what your body burns in a day is going to make you fat.
  2. The average couch potato burn at least 1000 calories a day at rest.

Wait? How are you not losing weight?? You are eating low calories, and exercising. Right? What gives?

Here is a bit of truth. Lean Protein builds lean bodies. Candy, bread, cakes, and sodas, even high fat salad dressings, build fat.

I am questioned regularly by family and weight loss clients, “Should you/I drink a protein shake if not working out?”


“Samantha, are you going to drink that protein shake when you didn’t workout?”


Oh my gosh yes. Drink a low carb, very low sugar protein drink. Caution: Skip the carbs even fruit and especially juice.

Not all foods are created equal. We know that. That’s why we stay away from sweets.

Some nutrients are better than others. We all know about vitamins in vegetables. However, vitamins are micronutrients. The body needs them in smaller quantities to do very specific jobs. Macronutrients are proteins, carbs, and fats that do the big work. Getting this right is the missing piece of the puzzle in many diets.

While people like to think of all food as fuel it is not as simple as that. It is NOT all just “gas in the tank.” It takes a variety of these nutrients for optimum running. However, you need to be running a higher octane food blend and not a bunch of random low (or high!!!) calorie trash.

For example. Fats are more like the oil in your car. Not gas. You don’t need as much. You use some everyday, but just a little. They keep your body’s hormones straight. They can also be used by the body as energy.

Carbs are energy. This is the fuel. Extra carbs and extra fat are stored as body fat.

Proteins, on the other hand, are building blocks. It is over simplistic to say calories in vs. calories out, or that food is fuel. You body is a living being, not a car. Proteins do the body repairs, the tissue and muscle building. The body breaks down the proteins in foods into amino acids. A car does not have these guys running around inside keeping the structure held up.

The problem with how most people apply an Adkins style, high protein, diet is that they do not take quality of the protein into consideration. Bacon, hotdogs, sausages, and the like, are not lean protein sources. You are getting more salt, fat and chemicals than your body needs. (Stored as fat in your body remember?) To top that off, they often disregard the healthy vitamins and fats in things like broccoli and avocados.

So, should you drink protein shakes?

The truth may be different that you have conditioned yourself to believe, but the summary is, that the protein shake, when made with water, is going to be what you should eat instead of fries, weight watchers ice cream, plain potatoes, rice, wheat breads, wraps, cakes, 100 calorie cookies, candy and other treats if you are not working out.

Should I drink protein when not working out? How is that a question? I have never heard anyone say, “Should I drink a milkshake when not working out?” A milkshake is monstrously more bad for you. A Wendy’s small frosty is 340 calories with 80 calories from fat, 56 grams of carb, and 46 grams of sugar. Compare that to a 130 calorie protein shake with 20 or more grams of protein, less than 2 grams of sugar, and only about 5 grams of carbs!

The good news, there are quite a few proteins that are tasty treats and almost as good as a milkshake as well. Look for one with a low carb or at least a very low sugar content and you can add it to your diet as a treat or snack instead of a meal replacement!!!

A great tasting vanilla protein, like Beast Sports Nutrition Protein, is very versatile.

  • It can sweeten your smoothies.
  • Tastes great on its own with just water.
  • You can make it into a chocolate milkshake with a little unsweetened cocoa, ice chips and a blender.
  • Make an awesome latte by mixing thick, (less than half the water called for) then add to strong iced black coffee and stir or shake in a shaker.
  • Add cinnamon, nutmeg and even an egg yolk, or a small bit of (1/4 cup or less) pasteurized eggbeaters, for an amazing sugar free, low carb, eggnog!
  • All while helping you get the nutrition you need without packing on empty calories of unused energy!

The best skinny drink ever! Just remember, calories still count. Regardless of the source, simply put, too many calories will make you fat. Drink in moderation and skip the “diet” foods that have kept you fat!

Check out the article in “Women’s Health Magazine,” linked below, for more information on weight loss and protein!




Visit my website: www.fitatfiftysamantha.com