Fuel Cookies + REAL TALK

November 29, 2012

Have you ever looked at one of those lists on health websites called “100 Surprising Snacks Under 100 Calories”? Let me tell you: there is NEVER anything surprising on there.

1 fig newton with 1 teaspoon of peanut butter? Girl, please. Shoot me now.

BUT, I promise these easy to make, homemade, power-fueling cookies will surprise you. Check it out.

[Phenomenal] Fuel Cookies

1 c. pumpkin
2 medium carrots, grated
2/3 c. applesauce
1/4 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. whole grain oats
1 tsp. baking powder
4 tbsp. powdered peanut butter
1 scoop protein powder (I used Plant Fusion Vanilla)
8 drops liquid stevia (or 2 packets dry stevia)
1 tsp. cinnamon
dash nutmeg

Optional:
1/2 c. vegan chocolate chips
1/4 c. goji berries

Preheat over to 350 degrees. In medium bowl, grate carrots and add applesauce, pumpkin, and liquid stevia. Stir together. In separate medium bowl, mix all dry ingredients. Whisk or sift dry ingredients to make sure there are no clumps. Mix in wet ingredients. Batter will be thick, similar to cookie dough. Spoon balls of dough onto cookie sheet and press out, since batter will not naturally spread. (I placed mine in the oven and then pressed down after about 15 minutes). Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and quickly remove from pan. Let cool and enjoy!

Check out this baking pan – if you don’t have one, get one now. New French manufacturer – cookie pan comes with this gel-like cover, and NOTHING sticks to it. No cooking spray needed. Never have to wash the pan. http://goo.gl/LXONP

Makes 16 cookies without add-ins, 18 cookies with add-ins.

Nutrition facts [without add-ins]:
48 calories
3 grams protein

Nutrition facts [with add-ins]:
85 calories
4 grams protein


I made half without add-ins and half with add-ins. My husband honestly thought the ones with chocolate chips and goji berries were just homemade cookies! Little did he know: 85 calories, 4 grams protein, no added sugar. Unreal.


You are going to love these. So healthy, so tasty. I had one of these along with handful of raspberries before my morning workout – talk about power fuel! Perfect combo of carbs and protein. 
#proof

Honoring my progress!

Although I am now one of those people I used to hate, I can honestly say that weight loss is no longer my goal. Then again, when my jeans get looser and my muscles get stronger, it’s nice to have the scale agree with me. I’m back below by pre-Thanksgiving weight, just one week post-holiday! Lowest weight since March 2012. More importantly, I went up in almost all my weights today! Squats, dead lifts, leg curls, and lunges. BRING IT. #getafterit

And do you know what? I didn’t do it by restricting my intake, or by punishing myself with workouts. I did it with hard work on things I love – exercises I enjoy – and with CLEAN EATS. And on those days when it gets tough? I did it with love – love for my body, love for my mind, and love for my spirit. 

Heather at For the Love of Kale said something that totally inspired me. It was something along the lines of: we have all these layers of hatred, anxiety, depression, self-loathing, anger, and jealousy, BUT when we peel back all the layers, all that’s left is love, baby! And LOVE ALWAYS WINS! As I’ve sat and meditated the past couple days, repeating to myself “I forgive my past, I forgive my present, and I forgive my future, because God has already forgiven them,” I have released so much of myself in exchange for something better. SO CLEANSING.

As I embrace this spiritual reality, my physical reality becomes more cleansed every day. It’s a beautiful thing. In honor of this, I made a fantastic salad the other day. If I may say so, most all of my salads are fantastic, but this one hit a special spot.

If you’ve ever had Trader Joes’ Eggplant Garlic Spread, you’ll like this even better.

I’ve added this to salad, spread it on toast with guacamole, dipped raw veggies in it, mixed it with hummus, and used it as a chip dip. So versatile and so delicious. It has some sugar in it, but not much, and all other ingredients are WHOLE FOODS. 
Collard greens, spring mix, roasted butternut squash, sweet potatoes, grape tomatoes, yellow bell pepper, red lentils, avocado. Topped with Trader Joes’ Red Pepper Spread and a drizzle of Trader Joes’ Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette.

Unbelievably tantalizing. And yes, I do sometimes eat my HUGE salads out of serving bowls. So sue me.

Cheers,
Avocado Athlete

For those of you who have been reading, I am in the process of revamping this blog, as it has gotten a lot bigger and more public than I had anticipated. Thank you all for the wonderful support and keep on reading!

EnjoyingNOW

November 28, 2012

Man oh man. The past few days have been so good for me. I’ve taken intentional actions to cleanse my mind of stress and anxiety, and it has had unbelievable results. I’ve been practicing turning my phone and wifi off when I’m at home studying – it was the most amazingly wonderful feeling of being completely alone. It has allowed me to stop thinking about the next thing – tomorrow – next week – next month – next year – and focus on the things that I am enjoying NOW. My husband put up a beautiful Christmas tree for us this past weekend, and the last two days I’ve poured my [Trader Joes’ Pumpkin Spice] tea and just sat down to enjoy it.

I’ve found that with a mind cleansed of all outside sources of stress, I am able to fully enjoy the beautiful things in my life now – our beautiful home, my big kitchen, and a bounty of fresh organic vegetables that was delivered to our door yesterday for just $29! Really nothing has changed with my circumstances, but I feel much more at peace as I shift my focus to God and, as the old adage goes, count my blessings.

From left to right: chard, lettuce, spring mix, sweet potatoes, mung bean sprouts, avocado, green bell peppers, carrots, celery, collard greens, and potatoes. YUM!

I was also lucky enough to receive my new pasta in the mail yesterday! We ordered black bean spaghetti and mung bean spaghetti – the only ingredients in both of these products are beans and water. They have 187 calories and 20.5 grams protein per serving! The best part? They’re delicious and much more versatile than normal pasta.

I got a little creative in the kitchen last night and threw this together for dinner:

Black Bean Asian Pasta
1/2 package black bean spaghetti
6 brussel sprouts
1 1/2 c. chopped broccoli
1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 c. vegetable broth
1/4 c. vegan cream cheese
1 tbsp. vegan mayo
1/3 c. spicy southwest sauce
2 tbsp. miso
1 tbsp. ketchup
3/4 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
dash cayenne pepper
1 tsp. arrowroot powder (or corn starch)
wheatgrass, for garnish

Boil noodles according to package directions. While boiling, place brussel sprouts and broccoli on medium sauté pan with some cooking spray (I use coconut oil spray from Whole Foods). Let vegetables cook for 3-5 min. and then add vegetable broth. When heated through, add cream cheese, mayo, southwest sauce, miso, ketchup, and all spices. Let simmer 5-7 minutes or until it starts to thicken. Add arrowroot powder for additional thickening if necessary. After straining noodles, place in bowl. Top with sauce and fresh cut red bell pepper. Garnish with wheat grass.

Makes 2 servings.

Nutrition facts:
375 calories
26 grams protein

This was pretty delicious! I think the noodles would be good with plain old spaghetti sauce, but it was fun to try something more asian inspired. I also think they’d be a great base for pad thai or peanut sauce.  Also, you can really throw whatever veggies you have on hand in there.
——————————————————————————————————————
Last, but not least: check out Heather’s blog, For the Love of Kale! She promoted PV Body, this awesome company that stocks deluxe sportswear at seriously discounted prices. You answer 10 questions about your style preferences, and every month they send you a fun new workout outfit! If you don’t like it, you can send it back. Shipping is free, and you can cancel at any time. I signed up and paid $32 for a new workout top and bottom, along with a bonus free tank top! If you are in need of new athletic gear, there’s no better way. Give it a shot.

I’ll let you all know what I get when it arrives!

Til next time,
Vegan [Wanna-Be] Housewife