Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Peanut butter banana bites recipe

I just made these yesterday for the first time and they are definitely going to be a staple in my rotation. These are freaking delicious and even calm the rage that goes along with breastfeeding hunger. I'm always hungry, I swear.

Plus these are much healthier for me to have with my morning coffee than donuts or other treats and they are enough to help get me through my workout :)



Original recipe:http://www.thecookierookie.com/peanut-butter-banana-no-bake-energy-bites/

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter -I use the Old Fashioned brand because there is no added sugar
  • 1 banana, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 2/3 cup coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seed- the baby bullet came in handy here. I used the milling blade to ground up the flax seeds.
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips-all I had were Nestlé dark chocolate chips so I used those. 
  • 1 tablespoon honey
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Using a fork, mash and stir until all ingredients are well combined.
  2. Place bowl in fridge for about 30 minutes. This will help in creating the bites later.
  3. Remove bowl from fridge and roll "dough" into 1 inch size balls.- I  found rolling didn't really work. I had to squeeze them into balls in my hand instead. 
  4. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. 
Nutritional info:


Friday, December 30, 2016

Tasty Homemade Granola Bars!

My husband found a recipe on YouTube for homemade granola bars. This recipe is close with a few tweaks. While not refined sugar free  (because of the chocolate chips), this can be modified by using Lily's chocolate chips.

You can really make this recipe your own by choosing your ingredients. The main components you really need are honey, coconut oil and oats. The rest is up to you! 

Here's what  I like to use in mine: 
4 cups of oats
Protein powder to taste. (I use 2 scoops of chocolate pro formula, which is sugar-free)
1/2 cup of almond or coconut milk
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup walnuts
2 cups dried cranberries
2/3 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
*honey and coconut oil may need to be adjusted depending on if you add other or different ingredients. 

Mix it all together and then throw it in the freezer for 30-60 min before cutting. I keep them in the freezer just to keep them set. 
Enjoy! They can be addicting so just watch how much you eat to monitor your sugar intake. 



Monday, December 19, 2016

Holiday recipe swap-peanut butter balls-free from refined sugar!

I've written a few times about my sugar cravings and with Christmas coming up, it's sure to be difficult. I found this delicious recipe for chocolate covered peanut butter balls that can be free from refined sugar and they are delicious! You can find the original recipe here.


INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  • -I used Skippy, but you can use the brand Old Home, found in the refrigerated section that has no sugar! 

  • 2 1/2  tbsp maple syrup

  • 1/4 cup coconut flour

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

  • sea salt

  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips or 2 dark chocolate bars (at least 80% cacao)
  • -I found that half a cup wasn't enough to cover all of the peanut butter balls. The second time I made this,  I used about 3/4 instead and I was able to cover them all.

  • You can also use Lily's dark chocolate chips, which has no refined sugar. 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Combine peanut butter, coconut flour, maple syrup and melted coconut oil in a bowl and mix until well combined.
  2. Make quarter-sized balls with the peanut butter dough and place on a plate. Sprinkle with sea salt, if desired.
  3. Add balls in the fridge to harden for 30 minutes.
  4. To make chocolate coating, melt the chocolate over low heat in a sauce pan. I added a bit of coconut oil the seconomy time around, which made the chocolate even smoother.
  5. Dip the peanut butter balls in the chocolate, and roll them around until they are fully covered.
  6. Place covered balls onto a plate.
  7. Add to freezer for 30 minutes, then take leftover melted chocolate and drizzle on the balls. 

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes (in fridge)
Total time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Servings: 16

Nutritional info
With Skippy and Nestlé dark chocolate chips:

With Old Fashioned peanut butter and Lily's chocolate chips:



Thursday, November 3, 2016

Breaking Up with the Sugar Monster

They say that breaking up is hard to do. This is never more true than when you're attempting to cut sugar out of your life. It always finds a way to weasel its way back in.


Sorry, sugar, you and I are through. I want nothing more to do with you! 

I've been having a hard time recently with sugar cravings in the morning. I fell into this trap where I want sugar with my morning coffee {which, giving up coffee may be a battle for another time, but not today}. I would have cookies or banana bread...anything that had sugar in it. While the ones I've made are paleo, it's still not a good habit to get into. The chocolate chips in those still make me crave more. I'm ashamed to say that the last few days, I've taken to just eating a handful of chocolate chips to get my fix because I don't have any baked goods at the moment. I decided to stop doing that as of today. How desperate am I? That's not a good sign. Sugar addiction just further breeds sugar addiction and I'm over it.

I realize that this is coming at a hard time of year. Candy season is in full swing, but for me added sugar is a slippery slope that I need to do my best to avoid if I want to be healthy. Also, if I can do it now, I should be good the rest of the year. It's going to be hard though. I've done it in the past. I know if I don't start in on the sugar, I can do better at avoiding it. But just one piece, one cookie, one whatever, will make me want another and another. Well, it's time to knock that off. Here goes nothing!

What do you like to do to avoid sugar? Any tips or recipes? Good luck to everyone in this season of sugar!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

The Workout that's Been Working For Me- Bikini Body Mommy!

So I just got back to my pre-pregnancy weight a couple weeks ago {woo-hoo!} and baby girl just turned 6 months. I wanted to share what I've been doing and what's been working for me. Before going through fertility treatments, I was put on metformin and lost 10 pounds. Many of those with PCOS {or diabetes for that matter} know that metformin can be a nasty drug that really messes with your stomach until you get used to it. This weight, and therefore the weight I am now, isn't as far down as my goal, but it's a start. I really wanted to have a baby, so I did the metformin in an effort to speed things up. I had been stuck at 10 lbs heavier than this for a year. PCOS is a jerk like that.

I was really careful throughout most of my pregnancy and worked out for the majority of it, except for some rough times in first trimester when I was nauseated and toward the end of the third trimester. I also didn't let myself just eat whatever I wanted, even though that's what a lot of people tell you to do! I wanted to change my diet, with PCOS in mind, before giving birth and then, in theory, have an easier time afterwards. It's worked so far. I credit the combination of my diet, interval workouts and breastfeeding in my weight loss success.

My diet could still use some cleaning up. It's a constant battle against sugar, caffeine and naughty food cravings, but I try to succumb to those as little as possible.. or at least keep it in check as best I can! Cheat day, and coffee, are things I should probably eliminate, but I think those keep me sane, honestly.

I just have to share this, because this is how coffee makes me feel sometimes.. old 90's reference for the win, anyone?

*Disclaimer, I'm not advocating coffee for PCOS. Caffeine isn't supposed to be good for you. This is one vice because of a baby who still wakes up every few hours at night.


I just love that so much. Wow.

Anyway, what has worked for me in the past was P90X, when I was able to keep up with the schedule and had the time to put into an hour long workout everyday. With a baby, that is no longer the case. I'm lucky if she gives me 30-45 minutes to workout and that is why I love Bikini Body Mommy. At most, with abs, you're looking at about a 30 minute workout.

I've had many days where I don't feel like working out and argue myself into it because it's that short and it's effective. The interval training is awesome and seems to work well for me. You don't need to buy anything, although she does charge extra for meal plans and ab workouts. I do pay for the abs, but haven't dived into the meal plans at all. As with anything, nutrition is important and working out alone won't do it for you. If you find yourself at a loss for time, I highly recommend trying Bikini Body Mommy.






Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Super PCOS-Fighting Protein Shakes

These are seriously my favorite "meals" of the day. These recipes can always be tweaked to your liking! That's how I came up with them in the first place, but just monitor what you put in to keep the sugar low!

Post-Workout Smoothie

Ingredients

1 frozen banana
1 cup Greek yogurt
1.5 TBS flaxseed-good for balancing blood sugar!
1 TSP cinnamon- also good for balancing blood sugar!
1 to 1.5 cups of unsweetened almond milk- no sugar!
1 scoop Pro Champ chocolate protein powder-this is one of the few powders with no added sugar! The instructions say two scoops, but I found that to be too strong, so I stick with one.

I make a shake in the mornings now as well because I can no longer stomach eggs at 5:30am!

Morning Smoothie

Ingredients

1 frozen banana
1/4 cup of oats-also good for stabilizing blood sugar!
1 to 1.5 cups of unsweetened almond milk
1 scoop Pro Champ chocolate protein powder
2 tbs of peanut butter
I use this one because there's no added sugar!


Both of these shakes clock in at just over 400 calories, so they do stick with me for a while (2-3 hours.. pretty good seeing as I'm breastfeeding and CONSTANTLY hungry!)


Thursday, September 22, 2016

Mama Baker-Paleo Almond Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

I came across this recipe a few weeks ago and it is delicious. The only refined sugar is in the chocolate chips, but you can avoid that depending on what chips you use. Any other sugar is just from the bananas!

Paleo Almond Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins, found here: http://www.bakerita.com/paleo-almond-butter-chocolate-chip-banana-muffins/

Ingredients
  • 3-4 medium bananas (I used 3)
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted (I used to melt it in a pan, but that's such a pain! Then I started using my husband's trick of putting the entire container in the sink with hot water to melt it. SO much easier!)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup almond butter to add to batter and then 12 teaspoons to add into each muffin
  • ⅓ cup coconut flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
Directions
  1. Line a 12 pan muffin tin with paper liners and preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. In a large bowl or mixer, combine the mashed bananas, eggs, coconut oil, vanilla extract and ⅓ cup almond butter until fully combined.
  3. Add the coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt to the wet ingredients and mix well. Fold in the chocolate chunks.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon of batter to the bottom of each pan. Add a heaping teaspoon of almond butter to the center of each muffin. Divide the remaining batter evenly into the muffin cups.

  5. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for about ½ hour. Flip out onto a cooling rack to finish cooling.

Notes
The first time I made these I used this almond butter and it was a pain. I know it can separate, but you should be able to stir it together. This stuff was oil on top and cement on the bottom. It was pretty much impossible to mix together. 

I would recommend using this brand instead:



As you can see, it has a great consistency:

Nutritional info from MyFitness Palm