A Little Something Sweet

As is the case with most girls out there, one of my biggest weaknesses is chocolate. It’s the one of the few foods that I do start to miss after a while. So, I’m always on the lookout for a healthy option to kick those cravings. This week I stumbled upon the perfect thing. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites.

Okay, technically it’s Raw Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites. And, technically it’s not actual cookie dough. I promise, it is tasty, though. Made from a blend of cashews, oats, agave, syrup and chocolate chips, it’s just enough sweet to get you past those moments when you really want something chocolate.

If you’ve never tried recipes like this, you’re probably really skeptical. I was the first time I tried this kind of a recipe, and I’ll admit it’s not quite the same as a freshly made chocolate chip cookie. That being said, don’t rule it out. Give this a try, and I bet you’ll like it. After all, it’s all about adjusting you’re taste buds to new things.

You can find the link here. (This website actually has a lot of other great recipes, too!)

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Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe

One of the ways I’m maintaining healthy eating is by making just about everything I eat myself, including my salad dressings. One of the dressings that I love is the Balsamic Vinaigrette I make. So, I thought I’d share it with you. I took a recipe I found, but tweaked it a bit because I originally found it too bitter. I love it now! And, it makes the perfect portion for an individual salad. Hope you enjoy!

Balsamic Vinaigrette

1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar

1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard

2 Teaspoons Lemon Juice

1/2 Teaspoon Agave Nectar

Whisk all ingredients together and drizzle over salad.

What I Ate

If you enjoy reading a lot of different blogs like I do, you may have seen many bloggers do a “What I Wore” post. In these posts the blogger posts snapshots of different outfits they’ve worn throughout the week to give their readers ideas and inspirations for outfits of their own. Well, I’m going to do something similar, except with meal ideas – a “What I Ate” post. I’ll update you at the end of the week with pictures of different things I’ve eaten throughout the week so as to give you ideas of delicious meals you can try yourselves.

Below are some of what I ate this week. Hope it gives you some inspiration!

Turkey Meatballs w/ Spinach in Chicken BrothSalad made of Arugula, Romaine, Spinach, Carrots, and Garbanzo beansTurkey Meatballs w/ Green Beans and Roasted Red Pepper StripsHomemade Tomato SoupStir Fry Veggies – You can try this with any combination you like!“Brownies” These are from the recipe previously mentioned. I tried pressing them in a pan instead of rolling into balls, but it didn’t quite fill the pan.Mixed Greens Salad w/ Hard-Boiled Egg Whites and StrawberriesCurried Chicken and Quinoa Salade w/ Apples, Celery, and Raisins served over Fresh Spinach

 

Becoming a Yogi

Yoga has quickly become one of my favorite forms of exercise. I know a lot of people are under the impression that it’s a not a great workout, but I promise you – it is! While not a fast-paced workout, yoga is great for building strength and producing lean muscle. And, you will burn calories. When you have to hold your entire body weight in downward dog, I promise you’re going to feel it and you’ll see the results. After a few weeks, even a few days, of doing yoga I felt my body becoming stronger.

I, personally, love yoga for it’s stress-reducing qualities. After a long day, it’s one of my favorite ways to unwind. When I’m done with a great yoga workout my body feels so relaxed and I feel stronger. Throughout yoga you have to concentrate on your breathing and holding your body in all sorts of weird positions, so it’s a great way to clear your mind from the stresses of the day.

Now as much as I love yoga, I also know that it’s not the highest-calorie-burning workout. I use it in conjunction with various cardio. The cardio will burn the calories and help you lose weight, while the yoga works to build muscle.

If you’ve read my blog at all before, you know I’m a huge Bob Harper fan. So, it’s not surprising I’d recommend his workouts. Here are links to a couple of his workouts. If you’re just beginning I like the video he did for The Biggest Loser. It’s a great workout, but quite as intense as the other. Hope you enjoy! Namaste 🙂

The Biggest Loser: The Workout – Weight Loss Yoga

Bob Harper: Yoga For The Warrior

For That Sweet Tooth Craving

If you all are like me, the one thing you will miss when trying to eat healthy is something sweet. I can’t even tell you how long it had been since I’ve had something chocolate…until this weekend. I saw this recipe on Pinterest and was kind of skeptical, since it’s a “brownie” recipe mainly comprised of dates, but I decided to try it anyway. I was really missing chocolate :) .

Well, it was wonderful. You simply blend dates, cocoa powder, walnuts, and a splash of vanilla in a food processor, roll into balls – and voila! Brownies. Kind of. While not really, truly chocolate, these tasted wonderful. Now maybe it’s just because I haven’t had anything sweet in about a month, but I think they tasted pretty close to real brownies. So, I wanted to share this with y’all for when you, too, are missing a little something sweet. Be careful though – only one or two at a time. Those dates do have sugar in them. Below is the recipe for exact ingredient measurements.

Healthy Sugar-Free Cookies | Triumph Wellness

Start with the Basics

The first time I went shopping for all this new “healthy” food, I was quite overwhelmed. There were so many new things I needed, and I didn’t even know where to find half of them in the grocery store. However, after than initial trip to the grocery store it’s been much easier because I’ve realized there a lot of things that you can and will use over and over again. Here are some basic items that should be a staple in your kitchen:

  • Olive Oil!! – I can’t tell you how often I use this. Almost every time I cook I begin by spraying my pan with olive oil, and I toss just about every vegetable I cook with olive oil and herbs. It’s a much healthier substitute for other oils you may use.
  • Greek Yogurt – This is an awesome source of protein, which as I’ve mentioned before is a huge staple of any healthy diet. It’s a great go-to breakfast item when you don’t have time to cook. Pair it with a cup of berries, and you’ve got a great start to your day. It’s also a good choice for a snack.
  • A collection of your favorite herbs and spices – Use these to add flavor to vegetables, chicken, whatever you like. Remember, we don’t want our food to be dull or we won’t keep eating it.
  • Agave – Agave is a natural sweetener that can serve as a substitute for sugar. It is quite sweet so you can use much less of it. For instance, you can 2/3 cup of agave for 1 cup of sugar. I like to use it to sweeten oatmeal, and I also use it when making vinaigrette dressings.
  • A fresh supply of fruits and veggies – It’s good to always have these things on hand so that you’re always ready to have a healthy snack or prepare a healthy meal. One of my go-to recipes for dinner has become stir-fry veggies because it’s quick, easy, and delicious. If I didn’t have these things on hand, however, I wouldn’t be able to just whip this up whenever I wanted. It’s all about reducing temptaion. If you don’t have fruits or vegetables in the fridge, those potato chips will be much more tempting.
  • Eggs – I use eggs ALL the time. Omelets for breakfast. Hard-boiled eggs for a snack or with lunch, Frittatas for dinner. You get the idea. Just remember, we’re primarily going to be eating the whites.
  • A great set of knives! – Okay, not a grocery item, but SO essential! You’re going to do a lot of chopping with all those vegetables you’re going to be eating, so you need a nice set of sharp knives.

It’s really all about preparation. Have a healthy supply of food on hand at all times. That way when unhealthy temptations come creepin’ you can reach for something else.