Saturday, May 23, 2015

A Bit Overdue

I mentioned a while ago that I would post pictures from completing 21 Day Fix Extreme.  It's been a while, but I just came back from vacation (what better reason to do a 21 day program?) so now I'm getting around to it.

I liked the exercises in 21 Day Fix Extreme.  You definitely get in, get out, and it's done, and every workout worked my muscles.  But, as we all know, nutrition is key.  I was hoping to get some definition of a 6 pack (it didn't have to be obvious, but definitely noticeable).  Here's what I ended up with.  What do you think?  I think I could have done better with the nutrition piece, but it's what I could do.  Maybe next round I can clean it up even more.

In any case, we went on vacation soon after and enjoyed ourselves.  Because we've been eating relatively cleaner this last year, we didn't overindulge.  Don't get me wrong, we did eat dessert every night (we were on a cruise), and we definitely enjoyed the food (it was much richer than we've been used to on a daily basis).  However, we could've also eaten a lot more and ordered a lot more, but our bodies just didn't want it.  Both the hubs and I were pleased by that.  We also brought our Shakeology with us and had it for breakfast.  We weren't allowed to bring blenders, so we just shook them up with water and we were done.  I think having Shakeology every day also helped us with our nutrition...we didn't feel the need to snack.

Here is a picture of me and the hubs. 

This last picture is of just me.  I did not want to post this picture, as it's not something I'm comfortable sharing.  However, I am proud of what I accomplished, so here it is.  Set your mind to it, be consistent, and it can happen.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Sweet Potato Cookie

I happened upon an article online that talked about breakfast cookies.  Cookies and breakfast together?  How can that be healthy?  Intrigued, I read on, and found a couple of recipes that I thought was interesting.  What was most interesting to me was the Sweet potato cookie.  (If you don't know why sweet potatoes are healthy, you can find more info here.)  The recipe is Paleo friendly, as it contains no grains whatsoever.  A cookie without flour?  I had to try it out.  Mind you, we are not a Paleo family, but as I'm learning more about it, I thought it wouldn't hurt to try out some recipes.  And as my kids are into sweet potatoes right now, why not make them a "treat" that was healthy at the same time? 

This recipe is adapted from one I found on here.  I actually made the original version first, but found that two eggs made the final product more cake-like and VERY moist.  I couldn't hold up the cookie without it drooping on itself.  The taste, however, was superb!  So after browsing around some more, I decided to use one egg instead of two.  The result was a cookie that held up to being held up.  :)  It didn't have the crispness that I'd want in a cookie (I like crisp and chewy cookies), so it won't pack well, but again, the flavor was yum.  Try it out!  You won't be disappointed.  At the very least, if it doesn't hold up, just use the crumbles like you would for a brownie sundae, but with half the guilt.  Haha.  You can always change the fixins' too (the last 4 ingredients on the list) to make it even healthier.

Be warned: the cookie concoction is runny, but don't worry, it'll puff up in the oven.  No need to add any flour into it.  Also, I find this to be good enough as a desert.

Makes about 18-20 cookies
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 cup sweet potato purée (I baked a whole sweet potato in aluminum foil for about 40 minutes on 350 degrees F while I was baking sweet potato fries for the kids—scooped out and mashed the insides)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. finely ground salt
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter chips
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
1)  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2)  Beat together the almond butter, sweet potato, maple syrup, eggs and vanilla with a rubber spatula.
3)  Add in the baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt—stir until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
4)  Fold in the peanut butter chips, chocolate chips, walnuts and dried cranberries. Carefully pour small circles of batter onto a lined baking sheet (roughly 1 1/2 teaspoons each, though I pretty much just eyeballed it).  I used parchment paper the first two times around and it held up.  The third time (yes, I've made this 3 times already), I used both parchment paper on two baking sheets, and then a silpat on another baking sheet.  The silpat had the most solid cookie-like results in terms of stability).
5)  Bake for 10-15 minutes until lightly browned on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes before diving in. Be careful removing the cookies from the pan—they can be fragile. Store in an airtight container for 5 days and enjoy as a breakfast treat or on-the-go snack all week.

Final disclaimer: I am not to be blamed by how many cookies you end up eating.  I'm having a hard time keeping myself from eating them.  :)  I'm thinking these aren't 21 Day Fix Extreme approved.