coco-cacao truffles + cookie dough memories 12.17.14

 

cocoa truffle cookiesever have one of those nights where you need chocolate? no, not like a little oh-chocolate-would-be-nice-right-now craving. i’m talkin’ a gimme-chocolate-now-or-else kinda craving.  yes, this compulsive chocolate craving struck this evening and wouldn’t you know: my ghirardelli almond sea salt dark chocolate squares, nowhere in sight. scharffen berger nibby bar with cacao, nada. a green & black organic 85% dark chocolate bar, perhaps? nope. even my little trader joe’s dark chocolate wedges, zilch. (trust me: this girl knows her chocolate.) but, apparently not well enough because a true chocolate lover never (and, i mean NEVER) would be caught empty-handed, especially when certain cravings strike. (hear me, ladies?)

so what does one do?
one rummages through the cabinets, that’s what one does.
and i, being the one in question, did just that.

tearing through the cupboards, i was a woman on a mission. a chocolate mission. as i tossed the ingredients together, adding a little bit more of this and a tad bit more of that, i would take a little taste. because what is making cookies without tasting the dough? (don’t worry, these are 100% raw and no eggs).

momma + me

and in an instant i had flashbacks of standing on a milk crate in the kitchen next to mom, dipping my fingers in the dough to taste it when she wasn’t looking, while she made her perfect little chocolate chip cookies.  still to this day, i’ve never tasted better. full of gluten, and even more butter, those warm little cookies melted in my mouth just as fast as the memories melt my heart. she always made them tiny, perfect little bite-size cookies only a tad bit bigger than a silver dollar. her trick was to up the temperature just at the last minute to add a golden brown crisp. my job was two-fold: 1) lick the beaters and 2) wait for the buzzer. see, like me, she was a busy little bee, scurrying about, never standing in one place. so about nose-height to the oven door, i was the perfect little perpetrator to watch the cookies bake (11 minutes per batch, to be exact).  and as soon as the buzzer would go off, i would scamper off to find her, wherever she was. folding laundry, watering plants, pulling weeds, whatever she was up to, i would get her attention.  together we’d hurry back to remove the crispy golden cookies, set them ever so gently on the foil to cool, and i was always the first to get to taste one. “just right, momma,” i’m sure i would say with a crumb-filled grin. and we’d do it all again, batch after batch.

the beautiful thing about life is that you may not even know when you’re making memories. more often than not, my mom probably felt guilty for being busy or pulled in too many directions. but oh what a wonderful mom she was. and little did she know, that even as she was running about to and fro, while i watched guard on the cookies, she was molding my little heart with moments that have lasted all these years.

so while there’s no gluten, no butter, and heck, not even an oven involved in making my little cookies, there’s just something about making cookies that always makes me think of home, and of her.

my heart is warm.
my tummy is full. 
my craving is cured.

enjoy.
the chocoholic

coco-cacao truffles
[no-bake, raw, all-natural, 10 ingredients + done in just 10 minutes!]

  • 2c unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2c almond flour
  • 1/2c cocoa powder
  • 2tbsp cacao nibs
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1tbsp vanilla
  • 1/2c pumpkin puree
  • 1/3c raw honey
  • 4 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  1. combine dry ingredients (first 6 ingredients) in a bowl + stir well
  2. add remaining ingredients + mix until smooth
  3. sprinkle a light layer of coconut on a cookie sheet or plate to place the cookies on
  4. using a small cookie scoop, spoon rounded balls onto the plate or cookie sheet
  5. sprinkle with a little bit of extra coconut just to make them pretty!
  6. place in the freezer for at least an hour + serve!
    **you can put in the fridge and serve just cold, but i love them frozen!

recipe serves: 24 

health(ier) holiday sips 12.15.14

 

holiday sips fitscaletake a peek at my health(ier) holiday sips that are guaranteed to be tastebud pleasers without being waistband expanders.   TIP: a great way to enjoy the holiday season without depriving yourself is to weigh your treats, sips + sweets. a few (extra) ounces here and there can add up!

now, here are my healthy tweaks on holiday sips!

festive frothy sips:
for the frothy beverages, i love my aeroccino milk frother but there’s a lower-budget one my brother swears by…either way, frothy makes it better!

  • (somewhat) healthier eggnog latte: froth 1/2c organic lowfat eggnog from horizon + 1/4c unsweetened vanilla almond milk, then add either 1/4c brewed coffee or 2 shots espresso…sprinkle with nutmeg!  note: eggnog is HIGH calorie, HIGH sugar…so this is the healthier option with only 140cals + 3g fat per 1/2c compared to ~200cals + 10g fat…but beware, it still packs in 22g sugar!
  • minty coco-cocoa: froth 3/4c SO delicious mint chocolate coconut milk + 1/4c unsweetened chocolate almond milk…then top with a sprig o’ mint if you’re feelin’ fancy. note: this stuff might be too good to be true at only 50cals, 2.5g fat, and (get this) only 6g sugar per 1/2c!  i add the chocolate almond milk to keep it from being too sweet. plus, it’s gluten-free + non-GMO verified.
  • homemade hot chocolate: in a small sauce pan, melt 1oz 70% dark chocolate and then add 1/2c nonfat milk (yes, moo milk) + 1/2c unsweetened chocolate almond milk…top with dark chocolate shavings or a few mini marshmallows. note: unless you’re lactose intolerant or just have a personal issue with milk, it’s chock-full-o-vitamins, minerals, and bone-building protein…plus, this little concoction is the perfect post-workout winter sip!
  • frothy caramel apple cider: heat up 3/4c  reduced-sugar apple juice in the microwave, mix in 1/4tsp each of allspice + cinnamon, and add a few drops natural caramel extract.  top with 1/4c frothed nonfat milk and sprinkle with a dash of cinnamon! note: apple juice is sugary, no way around that…but this all-natural option has only 8.5g sugar + 45cals per 1/2c – with no added artificial sweeteners.

healthier liquid libations:
looking for something a wee bit stronger this season? try one of these healthy concoctions!

  • mulled wine: pour 2 cups red wine into a sauce pan with some mulling spices (cinnamon sticks are fab) + 1tbsp honey and simmer on low.  this warm wine will ensure you sip slowly – a healthier alternative to guzzling multiple glasses!
  • hot toddy: brew a cup of black tea then add 1/2 tbsp honey, 2tsp lemon juice, + 1 oz whiskey or brandy.  not only will this drink warm you up, it’s perfect for fighting the common cold this winter!
  • not-for-kiddos cocoa:  add 1oz peppermint schnapps minty coco-cocoa or homemade hot chocolate (recipes above) for an extra kick o’ mint!
  • festive pomegranate champagne: feeling festive? pop open some bubbly and add some pomegranate seeds for a (pretty) holiday punch.  as always: sip in moderation!

remember: making healthy choices is important, but so is enjoying the holiday season. it seems at the holidays everyone likes to make it their business when it comes to what you eat or don’t eat.  remember to choose what works for YOU. not budging from your clean-eating-action-plan? yay you! be prepared to get flack from those with less willpower.  usually eat healthy and decide to sneak some treats? be ready to be called out by someone that is just waiting to prove that you’re not perfect.  repeat after me:  “i appreciate you’re so concerned with my dietary intake and i assure you i’ve got this under control.”  if you can’t tell, more than one holiday haggle has resulted from this topic of conversation!  [for more tips, here’s my holiday survival guide].

now i’m off to get a workout in – the “absolute must” in this holiday moderation equation. my tip: #move30 every day and then enjoy your holiday treats!

happy sipping!

angela

p.s. have a healthy twist on any of these or another one to add to the list? share!

merry #FITmas: a gift guide 12.10.14

2 weeks: that’s how long you have to wrap up your holiday shopping, people. i for one, am SO not even done. so rather than keep all my nifty fit gift ideas to myself, i thought i would share. sharing is caring.  still trying to find the perfect gift for the fitness lovin’ guy or gal in your life?  without further ado, i give you the 2014 merry #FITmas gift guide! (fitlosophy- approved, compiled by yours truly – and my elves.)

Merry FITmas blog header

for the traveler: i’m traveling for 2 weeks straight for the holidays, which means there often won’t even be a gym in sight! i always pack my running shoes and my fitkit so i have all my gear, on-the-go. these travel kits come with a resistance band, jump rope, and even a handy little case so you have no excuse not to get your workout on while you’re traveling. these are compact in size + make the perfect lil’ stocking stuffer for the jet setter on your list!

fitkit

for the paper lover: surprise, surprise….i heart paper. (go figure).  fitbook covers my fitness + food, but these 2 bound beauties complete the perfect paper trio. i start my day by jotting down my to do list + getting my priorities straight with my Day Designer planner. it was created by Whitney English, an entrepreneur, for the (type A) creative entrepreneur that still needs to put pen to paper. but even before i crack open my planner in the morning, i spend time in my prayer journal…and then end my day by reflecting in my gratitude journal, both from Val Marie Papers. yes, #paperrocks.

day designer val marie papers

for the fashionably fit: i’m pretty obsessed with our new fit gear line. we’ve had our little raceback tanks tops (super cheap on sale right now!!) for years , but i’ve always wanted to expand our apparel line. i’m so grateful we were able to do that this year for the holidays.  to be honest, i created them so i could wear them!  nothing inspires a workout like feeling (and looking) good. i’m not sure which saying is my fave: “goal-getter”…”fit happens”…or “no goal was met without a little sweat”!  and no, it’s not just for the ladies. we’ve stocked up on gear for the guys too!  what better gift for your buff beau than a sporty tee to flaunt his brawny biceps?

fit gear line up

for the goal getter: give them the gift of health this holiday season with new fitbook lite.  did you see the google hangout where i give you the 4 tweaks to lose 5+lbs in 6 weeks?consider getting one for you AND your accountability buddy so you can go after your goals together in 2015. it’s designed to work with digital fitness trackers too, which is a popular gift idea this holiday season. not in the mood to drop $100+? get our little red fitstep pedometer for <$10 that displays all the necessary digits: steps taken, calories burned + distance walked!

fitbook lite + pedometer

for the sweet snacker: need a healthy snack to leave for santa this christmas? these little coco-roons are raw, low in sugar, and made with all natural ingredients, which means you can have a couple without a sugar overload.  eating just one curbs sweet cravings + leaves me satisfied. tip: i keep them in the freezer…that way i eat them slower and they’re mentally a “treat”, not something i see every time i open the cupboard.  use promo code WR20 for a sweet little discount at checkout. (expires 12/31/14)

my cocoroons FITmas

for the foodie: with all the holiday parties and sweet treats galore this time of year, it’s super important to prep and pack healthy food so i’m making healthy choices the rest of the time. my friends at 6 pack bags make the absolute best products on the market – especially their new line of purses that discreetly (and stylishly) stash my food!  because they’re my buddies, they’re offering  fitbookers 15% off your order with promo code FITMAS15 at checkout – valid on ANY purchase so shop shop! (expires 12/31/14)

6 pack bags innovator mini

for the de-hydrated: i don’t love drinking water – if you know me, you know i prefer coffee…or wine…but not water. until now. our new fitfuser water bottle has me downing water like a pro!  i’ve tried orange + lime, strawberry + basil, and my current festive combo is cranberries + mint. since using this, i am easily downing 3-4 of these a day….a drastic improvement for moi!  research shows you consume fewer calories if you sip up before a meal – so make sure and guzzle the good stuff before holiday parties to keep from overeating!  this is a pretty awesome stocking stuffer for the fitness fiend in your life.  consider leaving santa a creative concoction in place of the milk this year!

fitfuserbottle

for the busy mom: the holidays can be overwhelming and stressful, especially when you have kids and are trying to sneak a workout in.  one of my favorite dvds for busy mommas are Erica Ziel’s after baby dvds.  whether you just had a baby or have little ones running around, these short, quick workouts will work you out in as little as 10 minutes a day.  pop one in the afternoon to get a quick + effective pilates workout while the kids are napping. even if you didn’t just have a baby, these workouts are seriously legit.  use code FITBOOK25 and get 25% off your order at knocked-upfitness.com! (expires 12/31/14)

knocked up fitness

for the faithful fashionista: not only do i love the creator of  Cross Training Couture, but i am a fan of her stylish apparel that proudly proclaims Jesus love.  i think i already own almost every tank top, but i’m hoping santa gifts me with this In It, Not Of It slouchy pullover to keep warm this winter.  i totally scored a discount for you too - enter promo code FITBOOK at checkout for 10% off – get shopping. (expires 12/31/14) 

in it not of it slouchy pullover

for the protein packer: healthy sources of protein help keep you more satiated and less likely to overindulge later.  stock up for a quick protein fix during your holiday travels – and get a few extra to stuff those stockings!  most natural bars out there either pack in the sugar with high fruit contents, or they’re a sad excuse for a protein bar. enter Rise Bars: with just 5 ingredients, they’re low in sugar, gluten free, non-GMO AND pack in 15g of high quality protein. psst…my fave is this one (lemon cashew) but they’re all tasty!  the company is also based out of orange county + have become friends of mine so they’re giving fitbookers 20% off all orders on their site with code FITBOOK20. (expires 12/31/14) 

rise bar lemon cashew

for the device diva: if you follow me on instagram (@fitbook) you might have see my sweet bytten giveaway.  i’m all about sporting my jawbone, and of all the trackers i think it’s the most stylish. but let’s face it, it’s not exactly my accessory of choice to go with my little black dress. until now. these stylish little  accessories  slide right on my jawbone, which means i can dress up my fitness tracker at a party and make sure i still get my steps in while i bust a move on the dance floor! check out their sweet selection too: gold, silver, red, blue, purple…almost every color for every occasion. perfect gift for that fit friend who always sports their tracker! (also available for fitbit)

bytten fitlosophy

for the procrastinator: sometimes it’s hard to find the perfect gift for the fitness lover in your life. and if you’re like me and tend to put things off a bit, you might be needing that you can get in your inbox, like ASAP. enter our fit gift cards: simply order, download + print…then your fit friend can shop til they drop!

fitlosophy fit card

remember: the holiday season is not just about the gifts.  trust me, i love giving gifts too…there’s nothing that brings me more joy than seeing someone’s face light up when i got them a thoughtful gift that makes them feel loved. and as always: let’s not forget the Reason for the Season.

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 9.39.44 PM

xoxo,
angela

6 reasons why i’m bailing. 12.01.14

fact: TODAY is exactly 6 weeks til’ my birthday in january.

and fact: i just finished 4 weeks of mental torture in an effort to heal my bod.  yes, what was intended to be 6 weeks to an #optimalbod has been abruptly halted by yours truly. why? here are 6 reasons why i’m bailing:

  1. OCDwell, because it’s my bod. it’s my blog. and i can. so there!  (sorry, got worked up.)
  2. no, but really. i am feeling SO much better. the whole cutting back on exercise and upping the physical therapy
    combined with my anti-inflammation eating plan is working wonders on the bod (read: less pain). note: i’m not bailing on the plan…but i am going to kick my workouts back into a high(er) gear. in moderation. (pinky swear)
  3. i really miss running. like a lot. and erica said as long as i ease back into it, i can start running again. woo hoo…yay…par-tayyyy!!!
  4. did i mention that today is 6 weeks til’ my birthday? so technically, as the birthday girl, i can do what i want. (man, i’m feelin’ sassy today!)
  5. let’s face it. i’m ocd. and i really really love that starting a new 6-week fitbook lite today gets me to my goals ON my birthday. like exactly. it’s so perfect, it’s meant to be, really.
  6. we’re launching fitbook lite (my latest creation) this week and it just makes business sense, ya know? to start a new one when i’m talkin’ it up all week? yes, this is a business decision.

have i convinced you? oh well, i tried.  any ideas on what i should do at the end of the 6 weeks to celebrate my birthday? i’m thinking a little fitlosophy photo shoot for our new fitgear, perhaps?  yes, perhaps.

stay tuned!
angela

p.s. wanna know what fitbook lite is? come play on instagram and subscribe to get notified when it’s available for pre-order. it’s pretty flippin’ awesome, if i do say so myself.)

the dairy dilemma. 11.18.14

traveling again this weekend, this time to colorado, i was shocked to land in my frigid cold home state and not experience the one thing that always greets me (other than my sweet family):  P-A-I-N. anyone with injuries knows that the cold just makes it that much more painful. (i’m just now realizing that i’m starting to sound old…wonderful.)

for years now i’ve just become accustomed to having a constant, aching pain in the tush (literally) when the temps drop. feeling no pain in the midst of the frozen tundra was my first realization that maybe, just maybe, this whole 6-week program i’m undergoing might be working. not that i doubt the experts to which i’ve basically given full rein over my bod, but patience is not a virtue that i possess so if i don’t see immediate results, i often bail. so after 3 weeks of not exercising near as hard, and eating completely gluten-free, dairy-free, no sugar, and limited alcohol (okay, except for my stint in nashville, where i got bucked off for a wee bit) – it’s encouraging to see some progress.

but that wasn’t my only ah-ha moment.

nails

settling in at the nail salon to get my french mani, the nail tech removed my blackish-purple vampy polish to reveal my naked little nail beds that sported white spots, common when you’re calcium deficient. now, those are rare for this dairy lover.  like one thing i’ve never had to take is a calcium supplement. only my mom and grandma took those viactiv chewy things (religiously). but when the sweet nail tech commented, i knew i might need to look into this a bit more.  health advice from my nail girl:

“you drink milk? you need drink milk. 1 glass in morning. you need drink milk. good for nail.”

okay, okay! i drink milk. but wait – dairy causes inflammation right? of course i had to dive into this dairy dilemma. note: erica didn’t say i couldn’t ever have dairy again, “elimination diets” just aren’t healthy or extended periods of time, but they are valuable in identifying food sensitivities and seeing how different foods affect your body.  [p.s. this is why we journal food!] and everything i’ve read, dairy does cause inflammation so erica wanted me to avoid it while we’re working to heal this injury.  her point being i was probably overdoing dairy so i’ll be able to re-introduce it, maybe just not quite to the extent as before.  which makes sense, i mean…i love dairy. let me count thy ways:

  1. non-fat milk: low-fat milk is fine for you too, i just prefer the taste of skim…mom called it my “blue milk”.  i do choose to use unsweetened almond milk in my smoothies because it has half the calories, which i don’t need when just adding to a protein shake. but remember: almond milk doesn’t have near the amount of calcium or protein as moo milk!
  2. cream in my coffee: i have just a tad now every now (compared to what i used to), but opt for this over fake creamers.
  3. greek yogurt: i heart my greek yogurt and miss it dearly – it’s such a quick way to get a high-protein snack!  tip: always choose plain with no added sugars.
  4. cottage cheese: not everyone loves ‘curds & whey’ but it’s a fab source of protein, calcium, and contains casein protein which help with muscle growth so it’s a perfect evening snack.
  5. froyo: oh, my beloved (sugar-packed) frozen yogurt…it’s a double no-no on my #optimalbod anti-inflammation eating plan and i haven’t had it in weeks, but as with all things, it’s not bad for you (in moderation).
  6. cheese: i avoid cheese in most restaurants unless i can see them shredding it freshly over my meal – because most cheeses aren’t really cheese at all, but highly-processed. avoid low-fat or fat-free cheese at all costs: they are just packed with chemicals and added sugars and frankly, they aren’t good for you! opt for sharp flavored, aged cheese.

because i have been harped on by my momma my entire life about getting enough calcium, it was only natural for me to quickly research this and get erica’s input on what to do. here’s what i found:

“moderate intake of low-fat dairy can actually guard against inflammation, whole milk or even two-percent is still high in saturated fat and could mean trouble. But a majority of adults have at least some difficulty digesting milk, so overdoing it could trigger a true inflammatory reaction.” [huffington post]

so here’s our 3-part plan of action to solve this dairy dilemma:

  1. eat aged cheese
    your body processes aged cheeses differently than highly processed, non-aged cheeses. bonus: it contains little to no lactose so even if you’re lactose intolerant, you can stomach aged cheese. plus it contains tons of nutrients like calcium (obviously), protein, zinc, vitamins A + B12, enzymes, and probiotics. opt for sharp flavors that have been aged for at least 3 months. try aged gouda, sharp cheddar, parmigiano, goat, and blue cheese.  erica recommends adding in just 1oz of aged cheese per day as i slowly introduce dairy back in.
  2. eat non-dairy calcium-rich foods
    dairy may be the most popular, but it isn’t the only source of calcium.  this list from greatist is healthy guide for a (surprising) dairy-free sources including: white beans, blackstrap molasses, kale, almonds, oranges, seaweed, orange juice (fortified)…and more. (just skip 16-18, not a fan of soy, sorry. #soysorry)
  3. take a supplement
    most women over age 19 need at least 1000mg calcium per day - and my wee little 1 ounce of cheese packs in only 150-200mg, so it’s important to add in a supplement. little known fact: your body can ONLY process 500mg of calcium at a time, so even if you take only a supplement to get your calcium (which i don’t recommend), take 500mg in the morning and 500mg at night. my mom was poppin’ both with her breakfast which was a waste!  split it into 2-500mg doses for maximal absorption into your system.  i like the rainbow light one multi-vitamin (200mg calcium, 100% natural and food-based, dairy-free, gluten-free + added probiotics) but i also like these gummy calcium chews  (500mg calcium) because, well i personally take them because they taste like candy. hey, whatever it takes!

track your calcium intake just for one week when you log your food. are you getting at least 1000mg per day? if not, you might wanna. i mean, i may be complainin’ about my aches & pains now like a little old lady, but i guarantee in another 30 years when my bones are strong and healthy, i’ll be glad i took the time to be healthy now. i am dead-set on being a hot little old lady (hey, a girl can dream), but being hunched over with osteoporosis is oh-so-not-sexy. just sayin’.

now, off to cut some cheese. (ha! i crack myself up.)

angela

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