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Our Corner

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Say hello to our September Mom Of The Month, Katrina! This adventurous woman is mama to two cuties, Elijah and his soon to be newborn baby brother! Katrina is currently in the final weeks/days of her pregnancy, by the time you read this baby brother may already be here!

Where are you originally from?

I was born in California but have lived here for the last 30 years- so I consider Washington home!

When did you join FIT4MOM?

I joined in March 2019 when my son Elijah was 4 months.

What classes do you attend?

We mainly attend Stroller Strides right now. We do Monday and Wednesday at Bothell Landing Park and Fridays at Redmond Town Center. During Covid I also attended the Tuesday and Thursday Cardio class and have attended Stroller Strides 360 in the past.

Who is/are your workout buddy(ies) and their age(s)?

We meet new friends every class!!!

What is your favorite thing about FIT4MOM?

I love being able to have adult conversations with other mamas after class! The community is so encouraging, and supportive. I have learned so much from them. Of course getting in shape and being able to bring my little is right up there near the top! LOL

What is your current job? Or what did you do before staying at home (if you don’t currently work outside the home)?

Before I had Elijah I was in Pharmaceutical Sales and Management. I did that for 12 years and talked with doctors and pharmacists about diabetes. I was also a diabetes trainer for our company.

Share your thoughts on the concept of “it takes a village” – is it important for moms to join a village?

I think it is so important for moms to join a village! I don't believe anyone is born just "knowing" how to be a great parent. That's why we need a village! Parenting is a crazy journey of ups and downs and a village helps normalize that journey through support and encouragement. Becoming a parent for the first time can also be a very isolating season and having others to reach out to can make all the difference! I love that this village is quick to provide recommendations, answer questions, and donate everything from free clothes to baby gear and strollers. This village is generous and loving. That is what I appreciate the most!

What is your favorite beverage?

Non-alcoholic: A Caramel Macchiato

Alcoholic: A Mojito

What is your favorite dessert?

I have three! Chocolate lava cake, cheesecake or mint chocolate chip ice cream

You are given 4 hours of FREE babysitting. What would you do?

I would go to a spa with my favorite magazine and get a massage and mani/pedi and then sleep if I had an hour left! LOL

What is your ultimate child-free vacation destination?

The Maldives! My husband and I loving scuba diving and that is one of the best places in the world to go. In fact, we had even paid for a resort package and were planning to go this Fall when I found out I was pregnant with boy number two. WE WILL make it there- but it may not be for a few years :)

How has becoming a mother changed you?

Becoming a mother has given me a lot more perspective on what is important. It has helped me learn to stay more in moment and not worry as much about the little stuff!

I am happiest when....

My family is out on our small boat in the San Juan islands!!! We love the water and being together out in the islands hiking and camping. We have so many good memories from our time out there.

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Meet Maisarah, our mom of the month who found the strength to establish a workout routine AND start her own business as a florist. Inspiring isn't a strong enough word for how we feel about this mama!

Where are you originally from?

I’m originally from Penang, Malaysia

When did you join FIT4MOM?

January 2020

What classes do you attend?

Body Well with Katie Whitley (Mon/Wed 8pm)

Who is/are your workout buddy(ies) and their age(s)?

Malik (3 years old)

What is your favorite thing about FIT4MOM?

Meeting mom friends that I can relate to, where I can be ME without being judged!

What is your current job? Or what did you do before staying at home (if you don’t currently work outside the home)?

I’M YOUR LOCAL FLORIST! Most of my customers are from this village and I am so grateful for having them support me chasing my dreams.

Share your thoughts on the concept of “it takes a village” – is it important for moms to join a village?

When women support women, incredible things happen. It doesn’t have to be big, even the littlest thing counts. You will feel like you’re not alone. There’s always moms who will offer help when needed, you just have to ask.

What is your favorite beverage?

Watermelon juice!

What is your favorite dessert?

Durian Crepe Cake!

You are given 4 hours of FREE babysitting. What would you do?

Take a longggg bath.

What is your ultimate child-free vacation destination?

Bora Bora!

How has becoming a mother changed you?

I wasn’t very good with kids but now I have more compassion towards them. I start being kinder to myself, being patient and appreciating every tiny moment that I have with my family. Definitely there are some bad days but I always try to find the good in everything. I would say I’m now more mature in handling my emotions.

I am happiest when...

I get enough sleep!

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Meet Verity! Originally from the U.K. she grew up in New Zealand, eventually making her way to the eastside. She joined our village in 2019 when her daughter Madeleine was just a bitty baby! Now she and Madeleine enjoy Stroller Strides every week, Verity also joined Run Club and is enjoying the village of mother runners she has met.

Where are you originally from?

I was born in the U.K. but grew up in New Zealand!

When did you join FIT4MOM?

I joined in Fall 2019 when my daughter was around 3-4 months old

What classes do you attend?

Stroller Strides - it’s the big love of my life and one of the staple activities of my week! I’ve also recently started an obsession with Run Club which is full of incredible and inspirational women.

Who is/are your workout buddy(ies) and their age(s)?

My daughter Madeleine who just turned 2

What is your favorite thing about FIT4MOM?

I love how welcoming and understanding this community is, I love that I never felt like I had to pretend I had everything together and that I have always felt comfortable sharing my failures alongside my successes. When I wasn’t getting any sleep and my kid was screaming through class I knew I wasn’t alone, we were all doing it together. I always finish class feeling very uplifted.

What is your current job? Or what did you do before staying at home (if you don’t currently work outside the home)?

I’m a SAHM now and before having my daughter I worked insurance for a medical office, going forward I’m hoping to finally use my degree and get into teaching!

Share your thoughts on the concept of “it takes a village” – is it important for moms to join a village?

I do think it takes a village! I also think our modern villages look a lot of different ways. I know people whose villages are very small and those whose villages are vast and I think it’s important for new mums especially to have access to ways to build the village that will best serve them. FIT4MOM is such an important part of my village - it’s the part that keeps me healthy, happy, and sane!

What is your favorite beverage?

Current summer weekend favourite is a Paloma: tequila, lime, agave, and grapefruit - so good!

What is your favorite dessert?

Any and all cheesecake… closely followed by baklava (hmm, baklava cheesecake?)

You are given 4 hours of FREE babysitting. What would you do?

Right now I dream of a night out of the house - dinner, drinks, and a movie sound incredibly exotic

What is your ultimate child-free vacation destination?

Haha at this point in time I would take anywhere outside my house but I’ve also always wanted to go to Greece and nerd out at museums.

How has becoming a mother changed you?

I think motherhood has made me stronger. Physically and mentally kids are hard work and rising to the challenge every day, striving and surviving have given me a new appreciation of my strength.

I am happiest when...

We have a day of fun activities and adventure planned…and I don’t have to cook dinner!

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Meet mom of the month Sara. This outdoor-loving professor and mama of one has been a dedicated Body Well participant all through Covid and we love having her back in our in-person classes!

Where are you originally from?

I'm originally from Southwest Florida, a town called Naples - about as far from here as you can get in the continental US! I lived in Florida through college (Go Gators!). Since then I have lived in Seattle, Santa Cruz CA, San Diego, Norfolk VA and now back to the PNW - I've lived in Bothell for a little under 3 years.

When did you join FIT4MOM?

I started Fit4Mom in 2016 when I lived in Norfolk VA for a few years, after having my son Jack. I didn't know many people outside of work, and no one with small kids. That village was a lifeline during a difficult time and I still thank a friend in San Diego who suggested I look for a local franchise.

What classes do you attend?

I really jumped backed in during the pandemic and did Body Back / Body Well solidly for over a year! I also love regular HIIT classes, Cardio and my son has recently decided that Stroller Strides is his jam so we have been popping into the Friday Stroller Strides when our schedule allows.

Who is/are your workout buddy(ies) and their age(s)?

Jack - he's 4, almost 5

What is your favorite thing about FIT4MOM?

The community, hands down. I love that FIT4MOM is so judgement free and welcoming - it truly feels like a safe space. Also I love the question of the day - I even do that in the college classes I teach now because I feel like it is so fun and builds so much community!

What is your current job? Or what did you do before staying at home (if you don’t currently work outside the home)?

I am a professor at UW Bothell (just tenured - whoo hoo!) - I mostly teach environmental science and marine biology and my research mostly is on tracking marine species like sea turtles, sea birds, sharks etc to figure out how to protect them better.

Share your thoughts on the concept of “it takes a village” – is it important for moms to join a village?

Motherhood can feel so isolating - there is no way to do it alone. But it can be hard to feel like you are doing it 'right', so finding a community that supports you in the ups and the downs is so important.

What is your favorite beverage?

I am known for traveling with multiple beverages at all times. I drink a ridiculous amount of water and will sometimes be drinking coffee through the warm up of classes.... Besides water and coffee, though, I do love a good dark and stormy or margarita!

What is your favorite dessert?

Um, all of them....!

You are given 4 hours of FREE babysitting. What would you do?

In non-Covid life, I would go to the movies (rom-com or something feel good only), maybe wander around Molbaks and have dinner with my husband or friends. In Covid life, probably go for a hike.

What is your ultimate child-free vacation destination?

Somewhere I can surf and hike to my heart's content.

How has becoming a mother changed you?

It's put so much in perspective. I worry about half of the work things I used to worry about now because it all pales in comparison to worrying about the safety and happiness of my kiddo. And I feel a level of joy on a daily basis I never thought was possible. Also, I now go to bed at 8:30 haha.

I am happiest when...

I'm outside - hiking, surfing, gardening or just walking the neighborhood.

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Meet supermama Angie, our mom of the month for May! Not only is she studying to be a doula to help other mothers, she's also nannying and caring for her own two kiddos. Thanks for joining our Village for Body Well, Angie!

Where are you originally from?

Born and raised in the Seattle area

When did you join FIT4MOM?

2019

What classes do you attend?

In-person body well.

Who is/are your workout buddy(ies) and their age(s)?

Tyler, 15 and Rose, 4

What is your favorite thing about FIT4MOM?

The support and community!

What is your current job? Or what did you do before staying at home (if you don’t currently work outside the home)?

I am currently a nanny and studying to become a doula .

Share your thoughts on the concept of “it takes a village” – is it important for moms to join a village?

I think it’s so important to have support in motherhood and in creating space for ourselves.

What is your favorite beverage?

Sparkling water and wine

What is your favorite dessert?

Anything chocolate

You are given 4 hours of FREE babysitting. What would you do?

Go for a hike and then have a beer !

What is your ultimate child-free vacation destination?

El Camino de Santiago

How has becoming a mother changed you?

It’s changed Everything!!! In an amazing way

I am happiest when...

I am outside with family and friends

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Where are you originally from?

I am a native of PNW. I grew up in North Bend, WA and have lived in Bellevue, Seattle and Kirkland.

When did you join FIT4MOM?

I joined FIT4MOM in 2010 after the birth of my first child and was part of Stroller Strides.

What classes do you attend?

Run Club is the only class that I attend these days.

Who is/are your workout buddy(ies) and their age(s)?

I mostly workout alone because that is my "me" time. I like to listen to an audiobook or a True Crime Podcast and take an hour where I only have to be responsible for myself.

What is your favorite thing about FIT4MOM?

The amazing group of mamas and the unwavering support that they give. There is no feeling of competition amongst these women and we just build each other up.

What is your current job? Or what did you do before staying at home (if you don’t currently work outside the home)?

I am a trained Montessori teacher, but I am currently working as an instructional assistant with LWSD. I am also a full-time student earning a Masters Degree in Teaching Elementary Education.

Share your thoughts on the concept of “it takes a village” – is it important for moms to join a village?

I am FIRM believer in "it takes a village". I love that we are evolving into the idea that women should build each other up and not always be in competition with other women. I thrive because of the support that I have from my tribe and my kids and hubby benefit from it too!

What is your favorite beverage?

Morning: Coffee, Mid-day: Pamplemousse La Croix, Evening; Vodka and Cranberry Juice :-)

What is your favorite dessert?

Brownie with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

You are given 4 hours of FREE babysitting. What would you do?

Get a run in and then go to Yuan Spa for a soak in the hydro tubs and a deep tissue massage.

What is your ultimate child-free vacation destination?

Bora-Bora in one of those little huts over the water.

How has becoming a mother changed you?

I am more flexible and have had to learn that I cannot always be in control.

I am happiest when...

My family is happy and healthy.

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Meet one amazing lady, Pavitra. She joined us mid-pandemic for our virtual classes and has also helped other mamas discover our village. Thank you for being you, Pavitra!

Where are you originally from?

Bangalore, India

When did you join FIT4MOM?

July 2020

What classes do you attend?

Virtual stroller style classes and BodyWell

Who is/are your workout buddy(ies) and their age(s)?

Anyusha and Ayushman. They are 5 and 2 .

What is your favorite thing about FIT4MOM?

The coaches !! They are so amazing and dedicated and are there for you whenever you need them. The virtual classes offer flexibility to jump straight into a workout from your pajamas while your kids play in the background!

What is your current job? Or what did you do before staying at home (if you don’t currently work outside the home)?

I was a software developer for 8 years prior to being a SAHM.

Share your thoughts on the concept of “it takes a village” – is it important for moms to join a village?

I brought up both my kids all alone, away from my extended family in a distant land.

Without family around , it's the village of a common group of mammas who helped me in every stage of motherhood, it's so assuring to know everyone has been in the same phase and shared experiences. So it definitely takes a village to raise a child!

What is your favorite beverage?

I enjoy drinking just plain water and some days Indian spiced tea.

What is your favorite dessert?

Cheesecake

You are given 4 hours of FREE babysitting. What would you do?

Go on a date night with my spouse, and to the spa!

What is your ultimate child-free vacation destination?

Vegas!

How has becoming a mother changed you?

Motherhood has made a new me - Developed patience , survive on less sleep, multitask , be creative and above all taught me about living in the moment like kids do!

I am happiest when...

When am out with my family on a hike or playing in a beach with my kiddos! Just anywhere .. I am happier whenever I step out of the house ..haha

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Where are you originally from?

Anchorage, AK

When did you join FIT4MOM?

I started Stroller Strides when Brayden was 7 weeks old in May 2018.

What classes do you attend?

Body Well and Stroller Strides (when I’m on a break from school.)

Who is/are your workout buddy(ies) and their age(s)?

Brayden (2- almost 3!), Maddie (10 months)

What is your favorite thing about FIT4MOM?

My favorite thing is the support and encouragement this community of strong women provides.

What is your current job? Or what did you do before staying at home (if you don’t currently work outside the home)?

I am a 2nd grade teacher.

Share your thoughts on the concept of “it takes a village” – is it important for moms to join a village?

Absolutely! I couldn’t have made it through the past 3 years of motherhood without my mama village supporting me!

What is your favorite beverage?

Diet Coke

What is your favorite dessert?

Lady Yum macarons

You are given 4 hours of FREE babysitting. What would you do?

I would get a mani/pedi and go on a dinner and a movie date with my husband (post pandemic of course)

What is your ultimate child-free vacation destination?

Greece!

How has becoming a mother changed you?

It’s helped me slow down and enjoy the little things in life more.

I am happiest when...

I’m spending time with my kids and my husband

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I love oatmeal during the fall and winter! I get excited when I find a recipe I haven’t tried and it turns out great!

Oatmeal is filling and can be easily doubled or tripled for meal prep. It truly makes those hectic mornings a little less chaotic.

I made this as is and used unsweetened almond milk. I think any milk would be good here. I like using frozen blueberries and topping with either pecans or walnuts, plus hemp seed for a little extra pow of protein! Oh, and cinnamon.... lots of cinnamon. Enjoy, lovelies! xoxo

https://www.kimscravings.com/easy-blueberry-banana-oatmeal/

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This has been my go-to recipe for weeks because it’s super simple and works to eat right away, or for meal prep/leftovers! Costco and Trader Joe’s have some amazing chicken sausage links; I like the Aidells brand from Costco. The trick for this dish is to use veggies that cook at around the same rate. For example, I cook halved brussels sprouts, coin carrots and diced sweet potatoes on one baking sheet, and then the coined sausage, mini bell peppers and chunks of red onion on the other.

If I have baby spinach or kale, I’ll add that on top prior to serving. This is yummy over brown rice, quinoa or as is!

Enjoy!

https://gimmedelicious.com/20-minute-sheet-pan-healthy-sausage-and-veggies/

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Meet supermom Melissa! She's a working, pregnant mama with a toddler who teaches virtual middle school. Get to know this awesome lady!

Where are you originally from?

I lived a few places different places; Oakland, Guam, San Diego, and Spain, but spent most of my growing up years on Mercer Island

When did you join FIT4MOM?

I joined in January 2019

What classes do you attend?

I started out with Stroller Strides, then did 3 sessions of Body Well, then got pregnant again, so now I'm taking Fit4Baby classes!

Who is/are your workout buddy(ies) and their age(s)?

I have Ruby who is 2.5 and I'm carrying baby girl #2 who is due in April!

What is your favorite thing about FIT4MOM?

I love that the classes are accessible to everyone; that beginners can fully participate, but it's still challenging as your strength and endurance grows. I also love all the instructors and the community of friends I've made so much!

What is your current job? Or what did you do before staying at home (if you don’t currently work outside the home)?

I teach health and fitness to grades 7-9 in an independent school in Seattle (currently virtual.)

Share your thoughts on the concept of “it takes a village” – is it important for moms to join a village?

It is so helpful when things get tough to ask questions or just vent and know you're not alone. There is no one right way to raise a child and sometimes it's really helpful to bounce ideas off others and get affirmation that what you're doing is amazing as well as get some new ideas for ways to approach it.

What is your favorite beverage?

I'm a huge fan of ice cold water and mostly just drink that, but also love peach flavored iced tea.

What is your favorite dessert?

Ice cream!!!!! Favorites include Tillamook mudslide or Ben & Jerry's Half Baked

You are given 4 hours of FREE babysitting. What would you do?

Realistically, run kid-free errands or get home improvement projects done. Ideally, go to a DIY art studio of some kind and create something fun!

What is your ultimate child-free vacation destination?

I honestly would be sad to vacation without my kids, because I like to share new experiences with them. Plus, I don't like most adult-centered activities anyway...I'm kinda still a kid at heart, so having the kids around gives me an excuse to do those things.

How has becoming a mother changed you?

I am a bit more flexible about the ways things happen. I would describe myself as pretty opinionated and stubborn, and like things done a certain way, and while I'm still like that, I'm learning to let things go a bit more and am more willing to accept help from others.

I am happiest when...

My family is happy and I get to see my daughter learning new things and experiencing things for the first time.

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Where are you originally from?

Auburn/Federal Way, WA, not very far from Redmond/Bellevue.

When did you join FIT4MOM?

I think I joined summer 2018, once I was able to work out again after giving birth.

What classes do you attend?

I'm currently in Run Club, but I'm signed up for the next session of Body Well!

Who is/are your workout buddy(ies) and their age(s)?

My workout buddy is Kal (short for Kaladin), he is 2.5 years old. He loves fast feet and burpees!

What is your favorite thing about FIT4MOM?

The coaches are incredibly supportive and have created such a wonderful community of moms.

What is your current job? Or what did you do before staying at home (if you don’t currently work outside the home)?

I'm stay at home now, but I was a lab technician in a microbiology lab at UW before having Kal.

Share your thoughts on the concept of “it takes a village” – is it important for moms to join a village?

Yes, I think it's important. I'm not the most social of people, but even when I'm not actively participating it's reassuring to hear what other moms are going through and know you're not the only one.

What is your favorite beverage?

A latte with just enough eggnog that I can taste it and it feels indulgent, but not enough to be too rich.

What is your favorite dessert?

Strawberry shortcake or sticky cinnamon rolls

You are given 4 hours of FREE babysitting. What would you do?

Run, take a long hot bath, read or play video games. I don't get much uninterrupted time for those.

What is your ultimate child-free vacation destination?

Any place where my husband (Matt) and I could be intimate anytime we want.

How has becoming a mother changed you?

I'm tired all the time due to constantly being hyper aware of anything regarding my child. However, I balance that by being much more consistent with my health, especially exercise. I also had no idea how much love I'd have. I imagined it, but I really had no idea how intense it would be.

I am happiest when...

We (Matt, Kal and I) are all laughing together! Or when we're on a fun adventure.

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The holiday season is finally here! Part of the fun for me is finding new and fun ways to utilize those delish leftovers—some of my favs include turkey/veggie/rice soup, turkey/veggie pot pie, and turkey enchiladas. My all time FAVE is the leftover sandwich. It takes all the best parts of holiday meals and puts them in between two slices of bread. Here goes:

  • 2 slices of wheat bread or sandwich rolls
  • Leftover turkey meat or other meat
  • Cranberry sauce or other delicious sauce/sides you have on hand
  • Avocado mayo, salt and pepper

I like to toast my bread, but if I have leftover rolls I leave it untoasted. Spread a thin layer of mayo on both sides, add meat, a thin layer of stuffing and a thick layer of cranberries or sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste. There’s something magical about the how cranberry sauce cuts the savory bites of the meat and sides and adds a little kick to this sammy! I love mine with lots of fresh ground pepper. I love it so much! Yum!

Although the holidays feel and look different, may we count our many blessings and find gratitude in the gift of time we’ve been given to slow down and enjoy the magic of this season. So many hugs to you all!

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There is so much to say about this amazing mama. She is determined, dedicated, and a huge inspiration to so many women in our Body Back group! Meet Katie!

Where are you originally from?

I'm a SoCal girl at heart where I spent most of my childhood but I've lived my adult life in the PNW.

When did you join FIT4MOM?

I joined in 2016 when my daughter, Evelyn was 4 months old, I was hooked after that first Stroller Strides class!

What classes do you attend?

I'm addicted to the virtual Body Back and strength/core classes but I do miss Stroller Strides at the park with my girls.

Who is/are your workout buddy(ies) and their age(s)?

My girls are Evelyn(4) and Emily(20 months), they are my WHY.

What is your favorite thing about FIT4MOM?

The compassion, support and friendship I have found with the women in this village has been life changing. I have always felt that the classes and instructors have welcomed me no matter my fitness level throughout my postpartum journey but challenge me to become the best version of myself.

What is your current job? Or what did you do before staying at home (if you don’t currently work outside the home)?

SAHM

Share your thoughts on the concept of “it takes a village” – is it important for moms to join a village?

Every mother deserves to be part of a village like FIT4MOM, to be surrounded by other moms who 'get it'.

What is your favorite beverage?

Cold brew iced coffee

What is your favorite dessert?

Anything chocolate!

You are given 4 hours of FREE babysitting. What would you do?

Take a nap during a massage, get a man/pedi, finish with a salon blow out and have room service while binge watching my favorite shows on Netflix!

What is your ultimate child-free vacation destination?

Four Seasons Maui, give me all the blueberry mojitos beachside!

How has becoming a mother changed you?

It has taught me the most selfless form of love.

I am happiest when...

I am at the beach with my family!

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We love a good muffin in the Baer house and there are so many ways to incorporate healthier ingredients while still enjoying a yummy muffin as a snack! I typically double every recipe and freeze half of the batch in small ziplocks for a grab-n-go snack or for the lunchbox! Just pop in a frozen muffin and it will be defrosted by lunch. Plus, it can be used to help keep things cold;)

I made this recipe exactly as written, but subbed half of the oil for unsweetened applesauce! Using unsweetened applesauce for baking is an easy way to make your muffins a bit healthier! It is a 1:1 ratio swap —oil to unsweetened applesauce, or you can always sub part of the oil like I did! I also love that these are sweetened with honey with added Greek yogurt for a protein punch.

Luke is in heaven because he is a chocoholic! These muffins are moist and super chocolaty! Enjoy beautiful mamas! MUAH! xoxo

https://www.wellplated.com/healthy-chocolate-muffins/