gluten free almond-banana muffins, certified health and wellness coach, maureen kemeny, buffalo ny.

Gluten Free Almond-Banana Muffins

  I’m fortunate to live in a beautiful little town called Lewiston, NY. We’re 10 minutes north of Niagara Falls, along the Niagara river and only 9 miles from lake Ontario.

Lewiston truly is a hidden gem.

Winter in this part of the country can be tough, but during the other half of the year there isn’t a place in this world I would rather be.

It’s spring and people are out and about. Our main street has come alive. I’m seeing faces I haven’t seen since last fall. 

One of my favorite local hangouts is Mangia Cafe and Bakery, located on Center St.  I love to drop in for lunch with friends. 

gluten free almond-banana muffin, maureen kemeny, certified health and wellness coach, mangia cafe and bakery, lewiston, ny

A real bonus for me is that I can find gluten free options on the menu.  I have celiac, so gluten free is not a choice, it’s a MUST.

Rebecca Poletti, owner of Mangia, is kind enough to share one of her recipes with us. These muffins are delicious and easy to make.


  • 2 cups almond meal (ground almonds, also called almond flour)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup ripe banana
  • 1 cup fresh cooked squash, pumpkin, or sweet potato
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Optional: chopped walnuts, blueberries, cranberries, pumpkin pie spices, lemon zest               


  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Place unbleached muffin papers in muffin tin.
  3. Combine almond meal, salt, and baking powder in a bowl. 
  4. In a separate bowl, beat eggs until creamy.
  5. Process the banana, squash and oil in a food processor or blender or beat them by hand.
  6. Stir them into the eggs. (All wet ingredients, including the eggs, can be processed, however eggs beaten by hand or with a mixer will add more loft.)
  7. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix.
  8. Stir in any optional ingredients.
  9. Fill muffin tins to very top. Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes.

I have a feeling you’re going to love this recipe! Try it, and let me know in the comment section or on Facebook (you can follow me here) if you used any of the optional ingredients.

Avoid Sugar! Eat More Fat to Get Thin.

It’s hard to believe isn’t it?  After being told for so long that FAT is the culprit for expanding waist lines, research now confirms  it’s………………..

sugar, fat, maureen kemeny, holistic, health, nutrition, fitness, coach, buffalo,

A nutrition advisory panel that helps shape the country’s official dietary guidelines just released new official limits on the amount of added sugar that Americans should consume. The panel has also lifted its previous restrictions on fat and cholesterol.

Yes, that’s right, they are encouraging the addition of fats into the American diet!                  

Why Is Sugar Making Us Fat?

The low-fat diet introduced in the 1980s drastically changed the way we eat. Lowering fat intake meant replacing the fat calories with fillers like bread and processed foods, which all break down into, yep, you guessed it, sugar. The more sugar we eat, the more addicted to it we become.

Some Sugar Facts

It’s estimated that in the 17th century people had 16.25 teaspoons or 65 grams of sugar throughout the course of their lifetime. That’s the amount in a single coke.

It’s estimated that Americans now consume 22-30 teaspoons of sugar a day, and a large proportion of that comes from drinks.

And it’s making us FAT

sugar, obesity, fat, health, maureen kemeny, holistic, health, nutrition, coach, buffalo

How much sugar should you eat?

The panel is recommending that Americans limit sugar to no more than 10 percent of daily calories  because of its link to obesity and chronic disease. That means roughly 12 teaspoons, or 48 grams a day. That’s still a very generous amount of sugar.

EAT MORE FAT TO GET THIN Healthy Fat that Is!

healthy, fat, obesity, health, nutrition, mauren kemeny, wellness, coach, buffalo

We need to focus on eating more fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains and fish. Members of the panel said they want Americans to focus less on individual nutrients and more on overall patterns of eating.


Here are 3 strategies to help avoid processed sugar:

  1. Overcrowding: add more good stuff to crowd out the craving.
  2. Replace refined with more gentle sweeteners  like raw honey, molasses, lacuna, maple syrup, coconut sugar
  3. Eat high quality fats like fish, nuts, seeds, avocados, coconut oil.

Like any addiction, it can be hard to do it on your own. I WOULD BE HAPPY TO HELP YOU. Contact me at and we will create a personalized plan to help you kick your sweet-tooth and start you down the path to a healthier, happier you!

Let me know in the comment section if you have a helpful strategy to avoid sugar.

To your health,

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3 Reasons Lucuma Powder is the Superfood to Lower Your Sugar Intake (And Lose Weight!)

We all know that eating too much sugar  isn’t healthy. Sugar is linked to weight gain and various diseases like obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

But oh it tastes so good. We love sugar. We crave sugar, and no wonder. Sugar releases dopamine in the brain, triggering addictive tendencies. It can explain strange behavior, like running out to the store late at night to feed that craving.

So how can you reduce your consumption without going crazy?

Try Lucuma Powder As A Sweetener

lucuma powder is a sweet, healthy superfood that can be used as an alternative to sugar. Low on the glycemic index so helps with weight control. Maureen Kemeny certified health, fitness, wellness coach Buffalo NY


Lucuma is an amazing sweet and delicious superfood.  It’s a fruit that is found in Peru, Chile and Ecuador. Peruvians use it in their baking and are famous for their lucuma flavored ice cream.

The pulp of the lucuma fruit is dehydrated to produce the lucuma powder, or flour.

Why is it considered a superfood?

1. It’s Healthy:  Lucuma provides 14 essential trace elements, including a considerable amount of potassium,  sodium, calcium (keep bones and teeth strong), magnesium and phosphorus (bone and protein formation).

2. Low On The Gycemic Index Scale:  Which makes it a wonderful alternative to sugar. It doesn’t cause spikes in blood sugar and this makes it a good choice for diabetics and anyone trying to lower their sugar intake.

3. Taste Is Sweet and Delicious:   It adds a nice caramel flavored sweetness to foods.



What is the Glycemic Index?

The Glycemic Index ranks carbohydrates based on their rate of conversion to glucose. Glycemic Index uses a scale with higher values given to foods that cause the most rapid rise in blood sugar. Pure glucose serves as a reference point, and is given a Glycemic Index (GI) of 100. You want to pick foods that are 55 or lower on the glycemic scale. These foods are less likely to cause large increases in blood sugar levels. You want to avoid foods that are 70 or more on the scale. These foods cause a rapid rise in blood sugar and are more likely to cause weight gain and chronic diseases related to obesity such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

You can find the glycemic index of any food at

The Glycemic index number for Lucuma is about 25, way below the suggested value of 55 that is recommended to keep blood sugar low.

Where to Find It:

I’m fortunate that I can buy lucuma powder at our local grocery store, Wegmans. If your local grocer doesn’t sell this product, you can also find it  on Amazon. The brand I buy is Navitas Naturals. It’s organic, non gmo, gluten free and raw.


How to Use It:

I like to put 1 to 2 tsp in my morning smoothie.

You can find a lot of yummy recipes at

Here’s one of my morning smoothie recipes using Lucuma!

Maureen's Morning Smoothie, certified health and wellness coach. Buffalo NY

I would love to hear if you use lucuma powder or another healthy sugar substitute. Let me know in the comment section.

Best Health,