Treat Yourself Tuesday: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Since this is not only my last day of class for my undergraduate college career and finals start tomorrow I thought I would link up with Treat Yourself Tuesday for the first time! For those of you who don’t know about Treat Yourself Tuesday, Becky over at Olivesanwine hosts this lovely day that is all about treating yourself.

treat yourself tuesday

I’m sure that you all know by now I believe in a balanced healthy lifestyle and sometimes that means that we treat ourselves to some not so healthy things! Because we all know that one piece of pizza or an ice cream cone is not going to make us fat, gain weight or set our goals and training back any at all!

So for Treat Yourself Tuesday I wanted to share a yummy recipe I tried out this past week for Easter desserts! Yes this dessert is kind of pretty healthy haha but it was non the less a dessert and hey a nice big scoop of ice cream on top would make it amazing!

Let’s start with the inspiration that came behind the recipe! When I saw Amanda’s skillet cookie over at RunningwithSpoons I had a big craving and desire for some cookies! I really wanted to make the skillet cookie, but two problems, one I don’t eat gluten because of an intolerance and two I didn’t have a skillet (normally yes I would have just went out and bought one but someone who hasn’t exactly figured anything out and graduating college doesn’t exactly have much money to spare). So what did I do? Well I decided to adapt a recipe to meet my craving!

I have always heard about using oat flour to make baked goods but had never quite tried it myself. I found this recipe for a Gluten Free Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie and decided to adapt the recipe and give it a try! Making your own oat flour I found is pretty simple and easy! This recipe is also vegan with enjoy life chocolate chips as well J.

This turned out great! I made it into a rectangle and cut into squares. I made 24 bars! They are little but mighty! They are a bit dense but hey for a cookie it was perfect! Mine were also a bit thick but that was because of the size pan I used. Needless to say I hope to get to bake these again! Just a warning the batter is quite thick and you will have to use your hands to spread it around!

Without further adue here is the recipe!

oatmeal cookie

2 ¼ – 2 ½ cups of oat flour

½ cup of natural peanut butter (I used smucker’s natural)

2 T sugar-free syrup

½ t baking soda

stevia to taste

3 T dark chocolate chips

1 container of vanilla yogurt (I used carbmaster vanilla from Kroger, you could use coconut milk or almond milk yogurt for vegan)

¼ cup greek yogurt

*All in all you need about 1 cup or so of yogurt so whatever you prefer

Combine all the ingredients except dark chocolate chips and fold them in. In a greased pan spread the batter evenly. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 10-15 minutes. Your toothpick should come out clean. Best eaten hot with some vanilla ice cream or yogurt on top and enjoy :)

How did you treat yourself on this Tuesday?

Fish Oil, Do We Need It?

For those of you who have been following me for a while I mentioned awhile back that I was taking a nutrition class at my University. Our final project for the semester was to research a supplement of some sort. After seeing all the hype about Fish Oil Supplements I decided to do some of my own research. We had to create an information form for our classmates as well, so I decided I would share some of the information I found with you guys. Below is the fact sheet I put together, hope you enjoy!

fish oil

What Is Fish Oil? And Why Do We Need It In Our Diet?

Fish Oil

Fish Oil can also be referred to Omega-3 Fatty Acids. These are one of the essential Fatty Acids that we must acquire through food.

Where can we find Fish Oil?

Fish Oil is generally foud in oily fish such as Tuna, Salmon, White Fish, Mackerel just to name a few. It can also be found in canola and flaxseed oil. Currently it is made in a pill form as well called Fish Oil Supplements.

What are the benefits of Fish Oil?

Fish Oil is related to reducing the risk of heart disease by lowering high triglycerides. It has been used in order to help individuals with dry eyes or glaucoma. Omega-3 Fatty Acids prevents the blood from clotting easily. They also are known to reduce pain and swelling or inflammation. Women have taken Fish Oil to prevent painful periods , breast pain and to prevent complications in pregnancy such as miscarriages and high blood pressure.

What is the recommended amount?

 The recommended amount varies currently as studies are still being done on the benefits of Fish Oil and how much you need to take in. The current recommendation is to include at a minimum 0.5 to 1 grams daily or including fish or the approved oils in your diet two meals per week. If you choose to take a Fish Oil Supplement, you should take at least one pill 2 times per week. You should look for pill with an EPA of 0.18 grams and DHA of 0.12 grams. Do not exceed 3 grams per day. And consult your physician before you begin taking them.

What are the Risks of Toxicity of Fish Oil?

 When you ingest too much Fish Oil in your diet you can suffer from increased bleeding, people with a history of bleeding disorders are more at risk for this. It can cause uncomfortable gas, bloating, belching and diarrhea. It can cause levels of LDL to raise. You can develop blood sugar control problems. The development of a “fishy” smell as well.

 

Spill It Sunday’s Family

First of all Happy Easter everyone! Although I am headed back to school today and don’t get to enjoy the day with family I did have quite a fantastic day with my family yesterday :) And what a more perfect Spill It Sunday’s this Sunday than family :) Well I am going to cut to the chase here is my Spill It Sunday’s FAMILY!

spill it

And my rather than selfie here is my sister selfie

sis

1. What is your most memorable family memory?

One memory that sticks out in my mind is a family vacation to Myrtle Beach. It was a girls trip, so just my sister, mom and granny. We went down for the week to kick back and relax at the beach and do some shopping. We had such a fun time, it was nice just being the girls (hey no complaining about the loads of shopping). We got to head over to a boardwalk shopping center and do some shopping and get some fabulous dinner!

2. What is a tradition sacred to your family?

One of the biggest traditions we have revolves around the Christmas holiday. Christmas eve always takes place at my grandparent’s house. We arrive for Christmas dinner/lunch, usually the same spread meal wise (turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, noodles, corn, rolls, and a chocolate pudding with graham cracker crust for dessert). After we eat we usually help clean up (to an extent). Then everyone opens presents. Christmas morning is always done at my parent’s house. We make the cinnamon rolls (yes those Pillsbury dough boys) in the morning while we open presents. By the time we are done opening them the cinnamon rolls are done (perfect timing right). My grandparents usually head on over for a little bit too and we have pretty much the same meal for lunch haha, what can we say we love our turkey

3.Funny family event/story/incident?

The last family bike ride haha. Ok this was not as funny now as it was when it happened. I remember this being the last family outing in the outdoors anyways and for a good reason. My parents and sister and I all went on a family bike ride on the bike path. Our bike path is just down the street from our house so instead of driving to a site we just ride our bikes to the path. Well on the way back my mom tried to be a dare devil and jump a pretty big curve. Now if you knew her you would understand why this is funny. She is generally not to athletic and small, quiet petite lady. Well she tried to jump a massive curb and well it ended with my sister going to get the car, mom sprained her ankle haha… Dare devil son!

4. Which TV family would you consider most similar to yours?

This was a tough one but I am going with the Simpsons. My dad is similar to Homer, or at least he reminds me of him :), he does the goofy stuff that you just don’t understand and although he doesn’t go to bars and what not he does crack open a pop as much as Homer cracks open a beer haha. My mom is Marge, she is the person holding everything together! My sister is Bart. She is the troublemaker of the family, always getting into some type of trouble. I would be Lisa, the goody two shoes that gets good grades. It takes me a little time to break out of my shell sometimes! And our two ferrets would be Maggie, or at least my parents tend to treat them like real people!

5.If you could trade families with one on TV, who would it be?

I would go with The Camden’s from 7th Heaven. They are so supportive of each other!

6. What does your family mean to YOU? 

My family to me is dysfunctional, but I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. They are all so supportive and honest with me. They help me when I need help and they are hard on me when I need someone to set me straight. They are amazing people and I don’t think I would be where I am today without them!

 

 

Thinking Out Loud #11

Thinking Out Loud

Today’s thinking out loud I wanted to dedicate to I’m Fit Possible! I recently became an ambassador for I’m Fit Possible and I am so excited to be apart of this wonderful community! For those of you who don’t know about I’m Fit Possible they are a community of health and fitness enthusiasts! It is such a great community that gives us the ability to meet even more people across the country that are like us! I love how although they want to help promote healthy and active lifestyles they emphasis that it is important to know that healthy lifestyles are about balance and knowing it is ok to miss a workout and it is ok to eat something that may not be the best for us. If you want to learn more about I’m Fit Possible or you think you are interested in becoming an ambassador then you can follow this link to check them out :)

im fit

So this Thursday I wanted to talk about ways I balance out my lifestyle!

1. I love to lift and all the benefits and strength that come with it but I always take two days in a row off of lifting. This is important to let my muscles rest and recharge.

2. Ever since I started IIFYM I always make sure I have at least one yogurt bowl with things I normally wouldn’t eat like reese cups, chocolate chips (lots and lots of chocolate chips), lots and lots of peanut butter (like an obsessive amount haha) and really just any kind of unhealthy chocolate bar or candy that I find or crave during the week.

reeseSource

3. Although sometimes I just don’t feel like it I give myself one cheat meal a week, where I don’t worry about what is in it, or how many of my macros it takes, just go for a craving and eat all of it!

4. If I am just not feeling a run I will just stop and walk, because sometimes it’s just not worth it to push through!

5. Tuesday was a perfect example! I was feeling stressed out and just plain not ready for the day. I knew there was nothing pressing going on in my classes so I took a ‘personal’ day and went to the mall. It was a great way to recharge and get ready to push through the rest of the semester and the rest of the busy week ahead.

grad dressmy purchase of the day :)

Well that is all I have for you today! Seriously though go check out I’m Fit Possible! And enjoy your Thursday!

Question: How do you balance out a healthy lifestyle? Do you have cheat meals?

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WIAW Weekend Addition

Like I mentioned last week, this week I wanted to do a comparison on what I normally eat on the weekdays and weekends. I don’t prepare my weekend meals ahead of time and have more time to cook them as I go so weekend meals always seem like a treat and an opportunity to try something new! So this is my full Weekend eats! Enjoy!

WIAW

Breakfast: I made some vanilla, butterscotch, butter toffee protein pancakes, topped them with some greek yogurt mixed with cinnamon and stevia, some heated raspberries and some WF syrup. This is a staple in my diet right now! Nothing is better than making something not so healthy that we love into something healthy! (I will be posting the recipe for these pancakes soon!)

protein cakes

Mid-Morning Snack: I didn’t snap a photo of this, but then again it was not so glamorous, just a banana cream pie carb master yogurt.

Lunch: This was a random lunch in an effort to get rid of some food before my Easter break that starts today! I had a piece of toast with reduced fat cheddar cheese, cucumber and tomato salad, some baked zucchini and cauliflower and some egg whites for protein with some mustard for dipping!

lunch time weekend

Mid-Afternoon Snack: I had some cottage cheese and since I was feeling a little under the weather some oats, but I couldn’t resist topping it with some peanut butter and a dash of dark chocolate.

oatmeal choco:pb

Dinner: This was so yummy and yet so simple, just some roasted broccoli, cauliflower and zucchini, topped with shrimp and a side of pineapple. I used some Mrs. Dash garlic and herb seasoning and sprayed some liquid aminos on top.

shrimp stir fry

Late Night Snack: The famous proyo! I had greek yogurt mixed with some Butter Toffee Stevia drops, then topped with some Peanut Butter and SunFlower Seed Butter a little WF chocolate syrup, then added some chocolate chips and rice chex mix. On the side not pictured is some popcorn (boomchickapop my favorite!)

proyo

Why We Need Those Things Called Carbohydrates

Macros! I mentioned on one of my Spill It Sundays I wanted to do some posts about macros for you guys! Macros are basically what makes up what we eat. These macros for those of you who don’t know are carbohydrates, protein and fat. The amounts we eat of each of these are so important but I wanted to talk about carbohydrates with you before I get to off topic!

Carbohydrates seem to be most people’s favorites! Foods high in carbs are rice, bread, pasta, starchy vegetables such as potatoes, squash (butternut, acorn, kabocha), and most fruit. It is no secret that people love things like pizza and cake, it almost like a comfort food kind of thing.

WCR

So the first question is what do we use carbs for? Carbs main job is to provide energy for your body. That is why many people will tell you that a great part of pre-workout meals are carb heavy. Carbs will help spare proteins (which can also be used for energy) so that it can preform a duty that a carb is unable to. Carbs are also a great source of fiber for your body, which you need for a healthy digestive system.

sweet taters

So now that you know the functions of carbs how much is enough? When it comes to your intake of carbs it is important that you get the right amount. If you are eating to much carbs you will gain weight and if you are not getting enough protein has to be used instead, which can cause muscle repair to slow. So how much is enough? As a general rule you should stick to ½ to 2 grams of carbs per gram of protein. This of course depends on activity levels but generally following this rule is a great guideline!

IMG_0897

What carbs should you eat is one of the most important questions! Choosing whole grain carbs for your breads and pastas it very important! Of course the best source is vegetables, this can include potatoes or starchy vegetables but you can also help fill your carb intake through other vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, or really any vegetable!

Regardless don’t be afraid of carbs! They are not only delicious but a very healthy and important part of your diet.

And just some carb humor to this lovely Tuesday :)

carb humor

Question: What is your favorite carbohydrate?

 

Marvelous In My Monday #2

Happy Monday! I know some of you are dreading it but it is just a three day week for me! My school goes on break on Wednesday after class, but luckily I don’t even have class on Wednesday’s although I will be working a full 8 hours but hey that’s ok with me! Since the weather was so gorgeous (it was 70 on Saturday and 80 on Sunday!) I wanted to link up for the Marvelous In My Monday that is hosted by the lovely Katie. If you want to learn more about the link up head on over to this link and check it out!

marvelous monday

Marvelous in my Monday was getting to go out to lunch with my sister on Friday :) Girl time and some Grey’s Anatomy time! I shared my new car and she shared her new apartment.

 greys anatomy(how we both feel haha)

Marvelous in my Monday was the 70 and 80 degree weather this weekend. Perfect for open windows and enjoying the outdoors.

 

Marvelous in my Monday was froyo with my mom and a little shopping trip! YES FINALLY GOT MY FROYO!

froyo

Marvelous in my Monday was the amount of protein cakes I got to consume. Topped with lovely greek yogurt and nut butters.

squash lunch

(had to recycle this one so I can save my Weekend Eats on Wednesday!)

Marvelous in my Monday was trying Trader Joe’s Sunflower Seed Butter. It is the perfect salty, sweet mix and pretty refreshing after having only peanut butter for a couple months. Also from Trader Joe’s dark chocolate with specialious cookie butter inside! cookie butter

sunflower seed butter

Marvelous in my Monday was some homemade proyo! I topped this bad boy with some peanut butter, sunflower seed butter, WF chocolate syrup, chocolate chips and some rice chex mix.

 

Marvelous in my Monday is hoping that this illness I got goes away soon :( Because no one likes being sick and using a whole box of tissues!

sick selfie

(Here is my sick selfie, booo)

Marvelous in my Monday is a three-day week! So excited and ready for a little break before the end of the semester.

And to end my Monday post some words of inspiration.

despicable quote

How was your weekend? What is Marvelous In Your Monday?

 

 

 

Spill It Sundays #3 Destinations!

spill it

This Sunday is all about a destination for 2014! This is such a hard decision for me there are so many places I want to see Australia, Italy, San Diego, San Fransisco, Maine, Boston, all in all I just want to travel the world like any other girl! But I would have to go with Hawaii, not a particular city but just the state itself!

Selfie!

selfie oatsMonday morning oats haha

1. Reason number one is easy! I love the beach, warmth, and tropical places. Nothing is more relaxing and nothing makes me happier than being on the beach and enjoying the sun with a good book. Listening to the waves crash against the shore. The smell of the sand and salt water. Laying in the soft sand with a slight breeze. The beach is just pure bliss. But that is not the only reason Hawaii since there are probably thousands of beaches around the world.

2. So reason number two is the terrain. Although I have never been to hawaii I did have a friend that had two sisters that went to college there. I have seen so many pictures of the islands, from the mountains, to the hidden water falls. All in all it looks like a adventurous place. I love to hike and with so many mountains and hills and valleys how could you ever get bored. I would love to go on a all day hike in the Hawaiian mountains.

3. And what would a post be if I didn’t talk about the food! So much fresh fruit is grown there and so many coconuts! I love the unique food they serve, from the rice to the pineapple to the sauces! It all sounds so good and what would Hawaii be without the seafood!

I have always wanted to take a trip to Hawaii and although it will probably not happen financially for me this year I am determined to travel there some day in the future :)

hawaii

Liebster Award x2

Happy Friday guys :) After a tough week I am ready to call it the weekend, kick back and relax until that dreaded Monday comes rolling around. I wasn’t planning on posting today but this week alone I was nominated for 2 Liebster awards! Needless to say I am feeling the love this week!

Liebester Award

For those of you who don’t know what a Liebster Award it is quite simple, it is an award to an up and coming blogger for this wonderful community to get to know her better! I have actually already been nominated for the reward before so I am not going to tag anyone again but I can never say no to a little question and answer! So I am going to answer all 20 questions from these two lovely ladies Lex over at Lexalicious and AnnMarie over at FitFoodieMama thank you guys so much for nominating me :)

  1. What was your first blog post?
    I honestly had no idea and had to look it up (can you say bad memory haha). My first post was about turning a bad day into motivation for the remainder of the day and week. Such an inspiration :P
  2. Morning or night person?
    I am without a doubt a morning person. Call me an old women at 21 but I normally am in bed by 10 or 11 (yes even on the weekends) and up around 5:30 or 6 on the weekdays but I do give myself till 7 on the weekends (such a rebel I know!)
  3. What super power do you wish you had?
    I wish I could be super speedy or teleport. I am very impatient and not a huge fan of long drives or flights, if I could just run to the beach everyday I would be a happy camper. Also did I mention I really don’t like to drive haha I only do because I have to!
  4. Favorite form of exercise?
    I am going to have to say playing soccer. I have been playing since I was four. I also played two years in college, and I currently still play indoor in the winters. There is nothing better than a friendly game of soccer in my book, not to mention the killer workout you get!
  5. Coffee or tea?
    Can I say both? I honestly can’t choose I love them both! I even love coffee so much I will drink it black! And tea oh don’t get me started I have yet to try one that I don’t like.
  6. Best date you ever went on?
    I don’t even know haha, I guess one of the best dates I have been on was one where I went to dinner at PF Changs, then got some coffee and did some shopping, movie time, and then cheesecake afterwards for dessert! Nothing beats that right!
  7. Worst date you ever went on?
    Worst date? Hmm I can’t say I have ever been on a terrible date before.. I know so boring you were hoping for a good story I’m sure!
  8. What is your spirit animal?
    Ahh I got asked this on my last nomination and yes I just went back to see what I got on the quiz I took and I got a crow… Not my favorite animal but hey it does say because I’m clever which I totally agree :P
  9. Where is your favorite place to blog?
    I wouldn’t say I have a favorite place to blog, but I love to just go to a coffee shop and plug my headphones in and write. It is so peaceful not to mention turning that phone off :)
  10. Share your favorite photo and tell us why you love it.
    IMG_0172
    I love this photo because it shows my man in it. This is Tony he is my first pet (that I purchased) and yes he is a unique pet, a ferret. Ferrets get bad reps of being dangerous and vicious but really they are the opposite. We got this guy when he was just 3 months old! He was so tiny and scared (he whimpered around for a fee days). He is so loveable and loves to get into everything! He is great for a bad day or good day or any day!

 

And now onto the next set of questions! Hopefully you guys are bored of me yet haha

1.  Where is your favorite place to travel and why?

I love to travel to any beach. I love the water, sun and sand. I could spend weeks on end just laying out in the sun with a glass of sweat tea and a good book just listening to the waves crash. Nothing is more peaceful than this.

2.  What is the last good book you read?

Since being in school I haven’t really been able to get into any books, so I am just going to share an old favorite that I read awhile ago. It is called Dear John by Nicholas Sparks. I loved this book, and in all honesty sometimes I get sick of books always ending in happy endings so it was quite refreshing!

3.  What did you want to be when you were little?

When I was little I wanted to be a Professional Soccer Player. Mia Hamm was my idol haha. I really looked up to her and wanted to be just like her, number 9 and all!

4.  What is your favorite way to be active?

I will go with soccer again!

5.  What is your go-to breakfast?

My go-to breakfast is egg white omelets and oats. I love eggs and oats and love the combination of the two!

6.  If you could eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it   be?

Haha peanut butter! I seriously crave this stuff every hour of every day! I guess maybe I should just say nut butter haha

7.  What are your hobbies outside of work/blogging?

I am huge on running and working out. I love to bake and cook. And well indoor soccer and outdoor when I can get a game in. I also like to do those lovely pinterest crafts!

8.  Would you ever be able to go a day without your phone?

Yes! I love it when I don’t have service for a day. It is so nice to just go out and not have to worry about where someone is or what they are doing and vice versus.

9.  Do you prefer to exercise in the morning or at night?

I am a morning person for sure. Getting a little sweat on in the morning not only wakes me up but makes me feel accomplished and ready for the day.

10.  What is your favorite thing about blogging?

I love not only interacting but being able to inspire others to live a healthy lifestyle and to tell my journey. I never thought I was a writer but I have really become to love writing.

Thinking Out Loud: Throw Back Thursday :)

Today I am linking up with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud Thursday! One of my favorite things that gets me through some tough weeks! This week I am doing a Throw Back Thursday style post with my fellow I’m Fit Possible Ambassadors (more to come on this next week :)). I was trying to decide the perfect Throw back that I wanted to share with you guys, so I decided to share my experience with my first half marathon. It was back in October of 2012 called the Spring into Spring. It was ran in Granville, Ohio , which is only about 10 minutes from my parents house, which was such a great thing! It was also a mid day race, I believe the exact time was 2 pm. I liked this because I didn’t have to get up super early and I had time to fuel up for the run.

Thinking Out Loud

When I first signed up for the race I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I didn’t follow a training plan and my longest run was only 8 miles. I woke up nervous! To get my mind off of things I ended up walking around a craft show with my mom and grandma for a little bit, I also thought walking around and getting my legs moving was a good idea. After the show I grabbed something light to eat. In all honesty I don’t remember what haha, then I began to get ready. It was a nice 60-degree day so I chose to wear just a breathable t-shirt and some running shorts. I also used an armband for my iPod, which I had put together a play list for the night before for at least about 2 hours and 30 minutes (I had no idea how long it would take me). My family came out to support me too! It was nice having them at the starting line!

I remember being excited, dreading it a little bit, thinking why the heck am I doing this, and at the same time so nervous I was not going ot be able to finish. Once the gun went off everything changed! My competitive side came out and I started off strong. Once I got so far down I decided it was smart to slow it down, again I had no idea how to pace myself. Luckily the trail was a out and back on a bike path, so once I hit the half way point I knew I had a lot of energy left, so I decided to take off. It was a bit of a risk but in all honesty I am so glad I did!

race results

I began passing so many women and a couple men here and there. I grabbed water and took a quick drink at the drink stations and about a third of the way back I took an energy chew. I felt on top of the world. In fact I was mad I had ran so slow in the beginning part of the run. Once I got to a fourth of a mile left I picked it up even more. Then I could see the finish in sight. I thought someone was behind me so I was in a full on sprint (there was no one even close haha). Once I crossed the finish I kept running a little bit and then finally came to a stop.

I forgot to check my time, as I was just so proud of myself for finishing. But my dad was right there with some water, a banana, and my time of 1 hour and 44 minutes! I was so proud of myself! It was one of the biggest accomplishments to date. Later on I also found out I received first in my age group! Although this was a small race I was so happy with my accomplishment!

Well that is all for this Thursday! So happy to remember such an incredible day!

Untitled 3

 

Question: Do you remember your first half marathon? What is your biggest fitness accomplishment to date?