Proof in the {Banana Bread} Pudding

by Sara on January 24, 2013

Hi friends! How’s your week going? It’s been fuurrrreeeezing here in Washington, DC, which means that besides bundling up in five layers of clothing each day, I’ve been staying toasty by ensuring this happens every night.

Taking photos of the bathtub: totally normal 😉

Bubble baths. Ohhhh yesss. One of my favorite things in the world. Until I was forced to take showers in college (could you imagine what dorm bathtubs would be like? Eww!), I had to take a bath every day. Now, bubble baths are typically a once or twice a week luxury—with the exception of cold winter nights, which deem them a necessity.

Are you a bath person or a shower person?

I’ve also been warming by body by drinking lots of coconut milk hot chocolate, which I’m convinced is one of the tastiest winter beverages of all time.

1/3 cup full fat coconut milk/3/4 cup almond milk/3 T. cocoa powder/1 T. stevia

Add a dash or three of cinnamon, a few mini marshmallows, and you’ve got perfection in a cup.

Anyway. We were chatting about the weather. After five days of spring-like temperatures last week, Old Man Winter decided it was high time to reclaim authority in Washington DC. He reared his ugly head Monday evening—just in time for the inaugural ball.

I learned two lessons that evening: 1) never ever wear a short gown to a formal event if you plan on walking 10+ blocks in 10-something degree (F) temperatures, and 2) lace may look sexy, but it’s also itchy, and itchy isn’t sexy.

Other than those two minor snafus, I had a wonderful time dancing to the likes of Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, Jennifer Hudson, and several members of the Glee cast. It was a fabulous evening!

I woke up the next morning with a slight fever and a scratchy throat, and realized that it was time to push the reset button. After enjoying a weekend of little rest and many gloriously delicious restaurant meals and sweet treats, my body was feeling a bit off.

I had no food in the house except eggs, Puffins, peanut butter and bananas, but I wasn’t in the mood for dry cereal, so I turned on the oven and got to work on a recipe I saw on Pinterest a few weeks ago.

Twenty minutes later, a warm bowl of banana bread pudding was ready for eatin’! I enjoyed an egg + egg white, cooked over-easy, on the side.

This breakfast was warm, sweet, doughy and satisfying. So good, in fact, I’ve been enjoying it for breakfast since Tuesday. It’s beginning to look like I’m entering a banana bread pudding breakfast food phase.

More than any other meal, I go through phases with breakfast. A few weeks ago, I was all about baked cinnamon bun oatmeal.

Then, I entered a yogurt bowl phase

which was followed by a hard-cooked egg and sweet potato phase.

I’m glad I’ve snapped out of the latter, because, let’s be honest, it was borrrring.

Do you go through breakfast phases?

Banana Bread Pudding (grain-free, gluten-free, Paleo-friendly)

1 large banana, mashed (the riper, the better!)

2 egg whites (or 1 egg)

2 T. coconut flour (you could probably substitute 1/4 cup oat flour, but I haven’t tried it)

1/4 t. baking powder

1/4 t. cinnamon

several drops of liquid stevia (or sweetener of choice)

2 T. chopped walnuts (optional, but recommended!)

1. Preheat oven to 350. Mix banana with egg whites in a small bowl; set aside. In another bowl, combine coconut flour and baking powder, then slowly whisk it into the banana mixture, and blend until all ingredients are incorporated.

2. Pour batter into a small baking dish, sprinkle with walnuts, and bake for 20 minutes.



It’s been over three weeks since I began bulking up my meals, so I’m long overdue to let you in on how I’m doing.

Overall, things are going well—or at least as well as they can when you’re eating larger-than-you’re-used-to amounts of food every 2-3 hours. 😉 I took a break from my plan over the weekend, which was really really nice, however I found that eating less frequently left me feeling ravenous every single hour of the day! It goes to show that my body has adapted to the new schedule, AND that eating more–and more often–has increased my metabolism. A speedier metabolism means one thing, if I want to keep making progress: I have to add even MORE food to my plate.

Case in point: this was my Fitbit’s reading two days ago—a REST day. Besides a short 20 minute stroll outside, I spent most of the day cooking, studying, and hanging out with friends.

don’t let the time confuse you–I pulled up the former days’ screen yesterday, which happened to be at 3:45 pm

I hesitated to include this image, because I’m really sensitive about comparison issues, but it offers valuable proof that no woman should fear eating well on rest days—and most definitely not on gym days. I need to exceed these numbers each day by several hundred calories, and as you can probably imagine, the tally is even higher on days I’m lifting weights in the gym.

I’d be lying if I said eating 2600 + calories is easy, because it’s not. As I’ve mentioned before, I am full ALL the time. However, I’m also physically satisfied, which is emotionally satisfying as well.

That said, watching the scale creep up is both exciting and,—during vulnerable moments— terrifying. I’ve gained four pounds since the end of December, which is the rate I’m shooting for, and I feel it. I feel stronger; I feel empowered; I feel proud; but I also feel a bit…err, puffy. A little water retention is expected during a “bulk,” so I’m doing my best to embrace my bigger belly, but I’m not sure it’s ever possible to enjoy bloat. 😉

Some days I fall short, and some days I want to throw in the towel. However I know I’m doing the right thing for MY body and health right NOW, which makes the journey 110% worth it.

You are FREE to be anything, do anything or try anything. Who do YOU want to be?

Celebrate the you of now, but remember that your dreams and goals TRULY ARE within your reach. Don’t be afraid to take that first step.



I want to know…

Do you go through breakfast (or any other meal) phases? If so, what are you loving right now?

Baths or showers?

What’s your favorite warm winter beverage?

What are YOUR current goals?

  • Khushboo Thadani

    Ah you look stunning in the black dress, Sara..and the night sounds SO awesome! I was in awe watching the YouTube of Beyonce singing the Star-Spangled Banner! I love the sound of the Banana Pudding- reminds me a bit of baked oatmeal! Have you tried Paleo Two-Ingredient Pancakes with just eggs & banana? At first it sounded very strange but I am sort of tempted to try it now…I might just do so for dinner tonight :)!

    As for actual breakfast, I go through obsessions too! For a while it was overnight oats with chocolate Sunwarrior, pomegranate & almonds; then cottage cheese bowls and now I can’t get enough of yogurt bowls with an egg-white omelet on the side! I wonder what my next obsession will be!

    Congrats on bulking- I am so glad you are seeing results and that your efforts are paying off. You are an inspiration to many, my friend!

    • Taylor

      I’ve tried those banana pancakes and all I can say is….YUM! Although I make mine with 1 egg and a 1/4 cup of eggwhites, but I eat my other egg over easy on the side 😉

    • Sara Stewart

      Yes, I LOVE two-ingredient Paleo pancakes! I’ve made several variations, adding coconut flour and flax as well. They’re hard to flip with just the banana and egg, so a little extra bulk from the flour/flax really helps! You should try them!

  • Meg @ A Dash of Meg

    SISTER I am so happy you posted about your weight gain!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You already know how proud I am of you, but obviously, I need to say it again – I AM CRAZY PROUD OF YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You deserve ALL the good in the world and nothing is more rewarding than to see this hard work paying off and trust me – I KNOW THIS IS HARD WORK! Full time job – Art just said that to me yesterday!

    Sorry your dress was itchy :( not fun!!

    Your baths sound so intriguing! It got really cold here in London, too!

    I love that you used a pinned recipe! I have so many pins and FAIL miserably at using them :( !!!!!

    We need to talk about this Fitbit thing!!!!!!! Is that just an app!?!? 😮

    My favourite winter bevy? TEA :)

    I am definitely going through a quinoa and cottage cheese phase right now 😉

    Love you so so much sis

  • Danielle @ itsaharleyyylife

    Did you meet anyone famoussss?! That is one problem when it comes to New Years you always want to wear short dresses and look cute but it is always so cold! New Years should definitely be during the summer time don’t you think?! haha. That banana pudding looks delicious! I’m pinning it!

    • Sara Stewart

      I totally agree–let’s petition for New Year’s to be during the summer! 😉 Heck, all holidays that require cute dresses, yeah? I unfortunately didn’t meet anyone famous, but I was just 20 feet or so from the president and performers!

  • Claire

    Oh my goodness I love hot baths! I’m such a shower person, mainly because of time constraints and a chilly flat but I love a good fragrant bubbly bath with candles. Coconut milk hot choc sounds amazing, will have to give it a go. And of course marshmallows go without saying 😉 Well done for the gain and thanks for sharing about rest days, it is hard to ‘do nothing’ sometimes but we’re always burning more than we think.

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin

    It’s freeeeeeezing here too. I can’t stand it! I need to take a cue from you and start taking bubble baths. I haven’t had one in ages, but I used to love just sitting in the tub with a good book or magazine!

    You look amazing in that dress – bummer it was so itchy though. :(

    I don’t go through meal phases so much as just one giant rut. I’ve been on an egg white banana oatmeal kick for the past year straight haha!

    And that’s so awesome about your progress! Congrats girl!!! I’m so glad your plan is working so well for you. :) My current goal is to get my leg muscles strengthened so I can get rid of this knee pain and get back to running. That means doing my physio exercises every day, which is a pain in the you know what, but I know it’s necessary to healing!

  • Sam @ Better With Sprinkles

    I can’t even remember the last time I had a bubble bath. That may have to happen this weekend!

    I definitely go through phases with breakfast. Back in the fall I was eating protein pancakes almost every day for breakfast. Right now, I’m in on an oats-and-eggs kick. So….we’ll have to see what happens in a couple of months.

    Congrats on your progress! You must be so excited! Right now, I’m just working on building muscle and using the gym to keep myself sane during a stressful semester.

  • Min

    I used to be a bubble bath person..come to think of it, what happened to that person?!?! I feel like I don’t have time to relax so I just jump in the shower for a quick wash. I need to learn to love myself more and to have some “me” time. You look so gorgeous in your dress! Your legs….wowza. 1o degrees…I can’t imagine what that feels like. I feel like it would hurt haha. What a fun, exciting evening! DC is such a neat place.

    The banana bread pudding recipe sounds so simple and delicious! I must try it. You know, I usually wake up so excited to eat bfast, but lately that just hasn’t been the case. I wake up bloated and feeling like a jigglypuff…My eating pattern is so off. Where did my appetite go?
    It’s so wonderful to hear that your bulking up plan is going well! Keep up the good work, my love! I believe in you!!

  • claire @ live and love to eat

    Definitely trying that banana bread recipe, sounds amazing for breakfast! You looked FAB for the ball, itchy or not! 😉

  • Amanda @ .running with spoons.

    I can’t even remember the last time I took a bath, but I could really go for one right now because I’m absolutely freezing and no amount of hot tea seems to be helping. Brr. Maybe some hot chocolate would do the trick? With coconut milk and marshmallows? Yes… that sounds wonderful 😀 And that bread pudding sounds wonderful too! Seriously loving the idea of doughy banana goodness first thing in the morning… or any time, really.

    I love that you’re so committed to your goals, Sara! Diet changes are never an easy thing to deal with, especially when they’re accompanied by physical changes, but you’ve proven your strength and determination time and time again, and there’s no doubt in my mind that this experiment will turn out well for you <3 <3

  • Devon @ Health in Equilibrium

    Haha, minus a few weeks of greek yogurt bowls at Christmas, I think I have been in an oatbran phase for several years now. I just love it so much I can’t help it. I switch it up, don’t worry. Love that dress too! You seriously have great legs, show ’em off!

  • HealthyDiva

    SO proud of you Sara!!! Good for you for gaining and doing so well!

    You looked SUPER hot! I love that dress! I am sure it was itchy and that does stink and no fun being freezing! I do not like being cold!!

    I want to make that banana bread bowl, looks fabulous!! I would be eating that daily too!

    Love you and hope your week is going great! <3

  • Lillian McTernan

    The banana pudding sounds great – and I love the idea of baking with coconut flour (as a Celiac, I’m all about the GF flour options). And girl, the cold here in DC is utterly ridiculous. I seriously can’t handle it. I’ve been wearing two pairs of gloves and two pairs of socks in order to get from the Metro to my office, and no amount of hot tea is helping me stay warm. If I were allowed to come to work wrapped in a down comforter, I’d do it. :-/ It’s supposed to warm up next week, though, so we have that to look forward to!

  • Tara @ Sweat like a Pig

    Yay! So proud of you!! I’ve never used a device like a Fitbit to figure out how much I’m burning. I should probably try it! You looked gorgeous at the ball :) Moving to London and going out in dresses during the winter was a huge shock to my body. I have to be in a cab – I don’t know how girls walk around in tiny dresses!!

    • Sara Stewart

      I LOVE my Fitbit! You should definitely order one–it’s fascinating to see how many steps you take/calories you burn/times you wake up during the night etc.!

  • Emily @ Glitz Glam Granola

    I haven’t taken a bath in forever but my roommate all through college loved baths- she’d take them in the mornings sometimes too which always amazed me! I’m much more a nice hot shower kinda girl. I need to make that hot cocoa though- it looks delicious and like the perfect thing to warm up with! You looked absolutely gorgeous at the ball- how fun that you got to attend! Sorry about the lace issues though- I learned the same lesson with sequins two years ago on NYE! I ended up with scratches all over my body and was bleeding at times! Lesson learned- sequin dresses are fierce 😉 I’m so proud of you and your amazing positive attitude…. I needed to hear that about my dreams today so thank you for the reminder. You are such an inspiration! PS YES please let’s play when you are in the bay!! Let me know when you are coming! xoxo

  • Brittany Lesser

    Holy moly, I neeed that banana bread pudding! It looks to die for. I’m definitely a shower girl! I don’t have the patience for baths haha. You look gorgeous!

  • Taylor

    Sara – your talk about making your gains/everything that goes along with it all….it’s so inspiring and I’m super proud of you!

    Breakfast phases? Hmm….brown rice wraps topped with egg, avocado, onions, mushrooms, and kale! So yummy!

    I love taking hot baths in big, claw-foot bathtubs….but I have to say, not much beats a hot shower after a long run or something (not that I take those lately!).

    I am such a black coffee drinker it’s not even funny haha (yet I laugh?!) – but I also love tea!

    • Sara Stewart

      I love the sound of your brown rice wrap! That may be my next breakfast venture. 😉

  • Taylor

    Also, my goals….pretty similar to yours, girlie! 😉

  • Lisa

    I’m just so gosh darn proud of you my friend! You are doing amazing. I know it can be tough to get in the whole gain mindset and still eat a lot of calories, but just know you are doing your body good!! I’d totally love to try out a fit bit or something to see how many calories I’m burning, that stuff fascinates me. I’m currently looking at the same goals you are for sure! After talking to my nutritionist/Doctor. I still need to put on a little more weight, it’s annoying but necessary haha. You look absolutely stunning at the event! Just gorgeous. Um, yes I go through major food phases haha, it’s pretty bad. Your banana bread pudding sounds so good!

  • Carley @OptimisticHealth

    That recipe is on the hit list for breakfast tomorrow. I’ll give it a shot with some oat flour!

    Atta girl! I feel you on eating wayyyy more than comfortable. It’s good though because like you said it is freeing and a builder of confidence.

    Favorite winter beverage is coffee!

    Goals: grow some muscles!!!

    • Sara Stewart

      Let me know if you try the banana bread pudding with oat flour! You might need to use up to a half cup–not sure! Coconut flour absorbs SO much liquid, so replacing it with other flours requires some experimenting. :) I love your muscle-growing goal!

  • Lindsay @ Conscious Cravings

    That banana bread pudding looks out of this world. I’m definitely going to have to make it soon. I am such a bath person, although I mainly take showers. I just don’t have time to enjoy a leisurely bath like I would want to.

  • janetha

    I am so a shower person! I don’t think I have taken a bath since.. oh.. 2005? I don’t remember the last time I had a decent bath tub in my house! And my current one we converted it to a huge shower and took out the bath.

  • Sally

    Showers every morning, but hot baths at night when I just can’t get warm…like the past two week of 0 degree temps (fun seeing that familiar shower curtain in your photo!). This week I’ve been loving overnight oats with cinnamon and bananas! I think I should try your banana bread pudding recipe. Do you think I’d like it?

    • Sara Stewart

      Yes, I think you’ll love it! :)

  • Cassie @RedLetterDaye

    Definitely showers. I staye din there for like 30 minutes last night trying to warm up! And I definitely get on food kicks. Currently, I’m all about egg scrambles topped with a dippy egg, and toast– for dinner. :) That banana bread pudding looks great, too! A good alternative for my usual eggy oats.

    I actually just bought a HRM to better gauge how much I’m burning and help me with my goals. I’m trying to both lose fat and gain muscle, and so far, so good! :) Eating more was actually key to this.

    Fantastic dress, btw! I love black lace dresses!

  • Angel

    Hmm, I wonder how accurate those fitbits are though!

  • Brittany

    I like baths, but the tub HAS to be clean or I can’t do it. Showers are just as nice. You look adorable in that dress, even if it was itchy and cold! I love tea and coffee YEAR round!

  • Rach

    Oh girl, I definitely go through breakfast phases. I’ll go months with eating the same thing every day and then suddenly I am done with that and switch to the next thing, haha!

    Also, you look amazing in that dress even if it wasn’t the best thing to wear for the weather. Still gorgeous!

  • julie!

    LOVE this! haha also i can’t take baths because i’m too big for the tub! doesn’t that suck? i wish i could fit in it and then i would probs totally love them but some day hopefully i’ll have a GIANT hot tub and then i can take baths but for now i’m just a shower girl!

  • AnnaTheApple

    I’m a shower person really through and through, with my long hair it really has to be the way! But when I’m ill I always have a bath as it’s the best way to feel better. But I find myself getting a bit bored just lying in the bath and I’m terrified if I trie dto read I’d drop my Kindle in the bath haha.
    Banana pudding looks AMAZING. I don’t have coconut flour anymore (*sobs*) but I do have oat flour, so I will give this a go for sure I think.
    You look so pretty in your dress! :) But yes, I can imagine the lace being a bit annoying. But beauty is pain… 😉
    Well done on your weight gain as well! I’m so impressed with how much you eat. I mean in theory it sounds amazing, but in practice I can imagine it being a bit umcomfortable at times :-S

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