Monday, October 5, 2015

Flat and Chewy Honey Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Not the greatest pic, but I don't have time to whip out my nice camera and take glorious photos of food.
Not at this stage in my life, anyway!
I've been on a quest to make cookies with less refined ingredients with additional power ingredients (like chia seeds) to make them somewhat healthier with a boost of nutrients...but hey, it's a cookie! It's supposed to be a treat :-)

Here's a recipe I've been tinkering with and I have a couple of good versions. This one creates a flat cookie that's SUPER chewy. I actually haven't tasted it yet, since I've doing a trial version of the Whole30 diet (no sugar, grains, dairy, etc.) but I'm probably only going to do a Whole15...HA! I'm still nursing, and I'd feel much better about eating less meat and overall just following my intuition when it comes to what foods I feel my body needs. Which, yes, includes a little bit of everything banned by the Whole30 diet.

Flat and Chewy Honey Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 C liquid coconut oil
3 T room temp butter (optional. Added for crisp)
1 egg
2 T ground chia seeds
1/2 C liquified honey
1 T vanilla
1 C coconut sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 C spelt flour
1/2 C rolled oats
1 C chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

  1. Mix liquid ingredients together
  2. Add chia powder and mix well
  3. Combine dry ingredients in separate bowl, mix, then add to wet ingredients
  4. Mix all ingredients well and fold in chocolate chips
Bake for 15 minutes. Cool on pan for 2 minutes then transfer to wire rack to cool completely (they will be floppy unless cooled properly). Of course you can eat them warm, too!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015



Adapted from and photo credit by BodBot

warm up: split stance pec mobilization with staff
2 x 8

warm up: walking pull backs
2 x 8

warm up: overhead lunge walk
2 x 8

3 x 20 seconds

hand stand (or shoulder-press) push up
4 x 8

kneeling hip extension
4 x 8

side bridges - straight arm, elevated leg, isometric
3 x 20 seconds

isometric no-equipment bicep curls
4 x 20 seconds

running - 70% sprints
3 x 400 meters

cool down: calf wall stretch
2 x 25 seconds

running - 100% sprints
4 x 100 meters

cool down: standing quadricep stretch
2 x 25 seconds

cool down: lunge stretch
2 x 25 seconds

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Body-Weight Barre Workout

I've been getting into Barre workouts lately. And by "getting into" I mean trying YouTube videos in my living room :-)  However, I did formulate this workout below especially for my Fitness Friday peeps: 
  • First position: heels together, toes 2-3 inches apart. Each exercise x 30.
    • Squat half-way down and come up (playground ball between legs recommended) 
    • Squat pulses - "down an inch, up an inch" 
    • Swivel hips (hula) from standing to fully lowered position and return to standing 
    • Repeat hip swivel in a fixed seated position 
  • Fourth Position: like 1st position, but one leg behind the other with heel to toe. 
    • Squat slowly all the way down and return. Repeat x 30
  • Leg Series; hands on bar. Each exercise x 15. 
    • "Deli Slicer": 
      • From standing, open right hip to place knee and ankle at approx parallel (knee slightly higher than ankle)
      • Move right knee to bar (or elbow) with toes pointed. 
      • After leg reaches bar/elbow, extend leg behind you
    • Leg Press:
      • From standing, bend right knee and press behind you to straighten (ankle flexed)
    • Straight Lift:
      • From standing, flatten back (more space between body and bar), and raise right leg and extend behind you. Full range of motion encouraged. 
    • Straight Pulses: 
      • Same as previous lift, but pulse at raised position; "down an inch, up an inch"
    • Hamstring Bend and Reach: 
      • From standing, bend right knee and reach leg behind you from raised to lowered position; toes pointed. "Swooping" motion. 
    • 90 Degree Pulses: 
      • From standing, raise right leg behind you and form 90 degree angle with your knee. Pulse: "down an inch, up an inch"
    • Repeat series with opposite leg.
  • Arm Series; legs in pliĆ© squat position. Engage/contract arm and core muscles. Each exercise for 60 seconds, total = 5 minutes.
    • Cross punches
    • Rows (slight forward bend)
    • Triceps (extensions and presses behind you)
    • Biceps (uppercut and hook punches)
    • Scarecrow: Arms extended to the sides, 90 deg angle, rotate wrists up and down, keep elbows fairly stationary. 
  • Finale!
    • "Spiderman" push-ups
      • In, regular push-up/plank position, bring right knee to right elbow while bending left elbow. Repeat with left knee to left elbow while bending right elbow. Repeat 15 times, pausing for rest if necessary. 
  • NOTE: During squats, tract the knees over 1st and 2nd toes.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Pumpkin choc chip cookies

It seems that I try a different pumpkin chocolate chip cookie recipe every year (thanks to Pinterest) and I tried a recipe last week that is calling me, begging me, to make a second batch very soon. Like today. Or tomorrow...I'm also waiting for a baby, so whichever one comes first.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
{my new favorite}

Slightly adapted from this delicious recipe.

1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup brown sugar (I used coconut sugar)
1/4 cup sugar (instead of this, I used 4 drops liquid stevia, 2 T coconut flour and added 2 T water or milk...weird, I know :) 
1/2 cup oil (I used coconut oil)
1 egg
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups chocolate chips (I used a combo of semi-sweet and Hershey's milk chocolate chunks). 
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I omitted these)


Mix wet ingredients (including pumpkin) in large bowl.  Stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and baking soda in smaller bowl. Add dry ingredients slowly to wet ingredients & mix well.  Add chocolate chips and stir until well combined. 

  1. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a baking sheet. Bake at 350* for 9-10 minutes. Let cool on pan for 2-3 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool entirely. Store in a sealed container...if they last that long :)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Morning Glory Muffins {clean - healthy - delicious}

Alright, here is a recipe that I have been tampering with now for awhile. I think I finally reached the "I don't care about texture anymore" point, because I'm ready to write it all down and call it final! The taste is always delicious, and the texture is finally to a satisfactory consistency (vs. sticking to the muffin pan, being too mushy or crumbly, etc.).  
Morning Glory Muffins
adapted from this recipe

Makes ~2 dozen muffins 
TIP: Freeze half for later!

  • 3 cups almond flour (3 C almonds pulverized in my Blendtec)
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 generous T baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 T cinnamon
  • 4 cups shredded carrots
  • 2 large tart apples, peeled, cored, and grated
  • 1.5 cups raisins
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 3 T chia seed or flax seed meal mixed with 3 T water to form a thick gel-like paste
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup coconut oil
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F and grease muffin pan WELL
  2. Mix everything in a food processor (you may have to mix in batches, depending on size of processor) or you can just throw everything into a bowl and mix well.  I like to put liquids in first and then add dry ingredients. 
  3. Mix thoroughly!
  4. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until your kitchen starts to smell like cinnamony-muffin goodness. 
  5. Remove from oven and allow the pan to cool for a good 10-15 minutes. Once cooled, store in airtight container in the fridge (or freezer). 

Puffed Wheat Squares

If you like rice krispy treats (or even if you don' my husband!), chances are that you'll like these puffed wheat squares. I made them a couple of times over the summer and they are a perfect sweet snack/treat. Whether it's a breakfast munchie, lunch box treat, or tide-you-over until dinnertime snack, these always seem to hit the spot.

Puffed Wheat Squares 
Adapted from this recipe
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder (use more or less depending on how chocolatey you prefer them)
  • 1/2 cup honey or corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 8 cups puffed wheat cereal

Butter a 9X13″ baking pan and set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the honey/corn syrup, brown sugar, cocoa and butter and stir until combined and butter is melted.

In a large greased bowl, measure out the puffed wheat cereal.

Bring chocolate sauce to a boil, lower the heat, and let bubble and boil for 1 minute. Stir in vanilla.

Pour the chocolate mixture over the puffed wheat and stir until coated.

Pour into the buttered pan and using a wet hand, pat the puffed wheat down firmly in the pan (or pat with parchment paper). Let cool completely before cutting into squares and serving.


Monday, September 8, 2014

I'm back...with news!

Well hello there.  It's only been, what....6 months since my last post?  Here's why I decided to take a little break from the hobby blog:

and BOOM. I'm suddenly very pregnant :) It wasn't really a decision to stop blogging; it just sort of happened. Unfortunately for this Balance Blog, here's where it lies on the totem pole of priorities:

1)  Take care of Little C and her hard working daddy (make meals, clean house, errands, etc.)
2)  Write on the family blog (documentation--gotta do it!)
3) Fitness Fridays (yes, I've still been able to run the Friday workouts with my ladies! woot). 
4) Be lazy in first trimester...and second trimester. 

So, #5 it is. I'm finally getting back into the swing of writing on here now that I'm in the 3rd trimester (33 weeks!), but I have a feeling that it won't last when a newborn (another baby girl!) joins us shortly (end of October!).  In fact, I have several projects to finish before she arrives, so I will just do my best to add a little snippet of something exciting here on the Balance Blog every now and then. 

Just for kicks, here are some tid-bits from my pregnancy journey thus far: 

I announced my pregnancy around Easter, like this:

and when we found out the gender of the baby, we had a good friend bake us "surprise" cupcakes (she knew the 20 week ultrasound results and we didn't!):

Pink for another GIRL! <3
Needless to say, we are very excited :) 

I hope to keep the posts rolling over the next few weeks along with managing the other (and higher!) life priorities!