Saturday, November 30, 2013

Cashew Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

Phew!  The holidays are a blast. I really enjoy spending time with our friends and family, but I am exhausted! This past week, I worked, taught a ton at the gym (lucky for me I have an amazing assistant):



and logged tons of quality time with both friends and family. I also had a nasty allergic reaction to something. After I finished the Whole30, I started in on a few treats that involved foods I hadn’t touched in the past 30 days. Soon after, I started to itch and it got worse and worse, and I was covered in hives. I got going on a large dose of steroids and am finally feeling better.  I’m not 100% sure where the hives came from, but some signs are pointing towards milk. My MD gave me an epipen to be on the safe side.

For some reason, I didn’t take a lot of pictures over Thanksgiving. Here is one of my favorites from our pre-Christmas gift exchange last night:


A big thank you to Josh’s parents for having us over for the Thanksgiving holiday. We always enjoy our time with you!!

I finally got around to trying out Trader Joe’s new Just Cashew Meal:


I made paleo friendly cookies that turned out pretty darn well!




  • 3 cups Cashew Meal
  • 1/2 cup diced nuts (whatever you have on hand or you can leave out)
  • Sprinkle of salt
  • ½ teaspoon Baking Soda
  • Desired quantity chocolate chips or chunks


  • 1/3 cup Maple Syrup (could use honey)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Egg


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F

Mix wet ingredients in one bowl and dry in another. Stir together until combined. Use a cookie dough scoop or rounded tablespoon to place dough onto a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Flatten out dough. Bake for 15 minutes. Let cookies cool for ~5 minutes before removing from parchment and placing on cooling rack.

These really turned out yummy! Let me know if you give them a go.

As for today, I taught at the gym, ran errands, and then we got our Christmas tree!!


Tonight, we’re off to my Aunt/Uncle’s house to watch the USC/Clemson game.

What have you been up to?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Whole30 Review & Baked Goods

Hello Hello!

How is everyone doing? All good over here. Josh has been on travel all week and is coming home today. Kaylin, Frank & I are excited:


I’m also 2 days away from being done with Whole30. Whoop Whoop. I wanted to do a quick review (because I received a lot of questions). First off, I stated this before, but I am usually very anti elimination diets. I think that moderation is key. When most of us try to eliminate anything out of our diets…we just end up bingeing on said item. BUT, given my minor health issues and the fact that Whole30 is only (haha…only) 30 days, I figured I’d give it a go. Was I perfect? Heck no…but pretty close. So, the good, the bad, the future:

The good:

  • After about 2 weeks, I felt in the groove and started feeling like I had more energy
  • I started sleeping better around the 2 week mark
  • My skin cleared up
  • I feel like I am seeing more definition in my body
  • My tummy was functioning well and I wasn’t feeling bloated

The bad:

  • The first week…miserable..tired, cranky…
  • By the end of the 30 days, I started to feel a little low on energy again. The book mentions that you need to watch your carb intake if you’re super active. Since I teach group fitness classes and am training for a race, I was conscious of this. However…I still am feeling sluggish
  • I think the toughest part of the day for me is near bedtime. I always want a little snack and frankly the thought of eating more fruits, vegetables, or chicken/beef/eggs makes me sad haha

The future:

  • I can’t wait to eat pretzels or tortilla chips…just being real here. I thought I may not want these by the end of 30 days, but I do
  • I plan to keep dairy mostly out of my diet (with the occasional chobani here and there). I have known for a while that dairy doesn’t totally cooperate with my body. Given this, I will not completely eliminate it (see thoughts on elimination above), but I will keep it limited
  • I will bring some grains back, but mostly just in the form of quinoa or oatmeal. I’ve missed oatmeal a ton. I think there are great health benefits to both of these grains
  • Bring on some treats! Its almost Thanksgiving and I need a little sweet in my life

Would I do the Whole30 again? I never say never, but probably not a full 30 days. I think a good 15 day, mini whole30 would be great to do when I think my sweet tooth is getting out of control. Hope this answers all questions.

On a side note, do you want some sweets? Bid on my baked goods over at The Chic Life. We’re doing a fundraiser for the Philippines. Check it out- I’m offering to make bidders choice:


On a second side note, I hit a new running distance PR this week:


Exciting! What are you up to this weekend? I am teaching a couple classes, but otherwise? Plans are still a bit up in the air

Sunday, November 17, 2013

3 Cookie Recipes & USC

I’m 23 days into the Whole30!! I honestly will be thrilled for this to be over. Although I feel better, I am missing a lot of the “forbidden” foods!!

Saturday was a great, but busy day! I got up, taught Step, dropped the dog off at puppy camp, got ready, and then Josh and I headed to the USC game with my Aunt/Uncle/Cousin, Mom & Dad!

For the tailgate, I made three different kinds of cookies. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip:



Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip:


Oatmeal Chocolate Chip:


I also brought little waters and roasted vegetables:




My cousin cooked up tons of hamburgers, sausages & made pulled pork. My Mom brought a broccoli slaw and potato salad. Such great food! I was proud of myself for keeping with the Whole30. I had turkey sausage and lots of veggies.

Pictures from the day, Josh & my Dad:





The men loved their meat sandwiches:


All together:


Inside the game:


USC won!!!!


We decided to drive home after the game vs.. staying. It took us 3 hours to get home and my head finally hit the pillow at 2 AM!

Today, I ran a distance PR-18 miles! Super exciting.

What have you been up to?

A big thank you to Josh’s parents for watching the peanut!!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Whole30 & Lately

So…I haven’t been posting many recipes lately. A big reason for that is my food selections for the last couple of weeks have been less recipe based. 16 days ago, I started the Whole30.  I have had some minor health issues going on for years and decided to give it a go. I’m usually very anti elimination “diets”, but I figured for 30 days…I could TRY it.


So what does this mean? Well, for the last 16 days I have had (for the most part) NO added sugars (real or fake including honey, agave, maple syrup- all no nos), NO grains, NO dairy, NO legumes (including my beloved peanut butter). Basically, I’ve been eating a lot of meat, fruits & vegetables. For the first week, I thought I was going to take someone out. I was grumpy and miserable. During week 2, I started to feel much better and noticed some changes in my skin and overall health. Hopefully I can finish these last two weeks strong. I had a dream last night that I was eating a bowl of ice cream topped with pretzels.

What else has been going on? The usual- teaching at the gym, working, and spending lots of time with these two:

4 We took our Christmas card pictures today. It was a blast. We had an amazing photographer- Josh’s sister Jenny! More to come.

I’ve also been running a good deal. Starting to train for another race..TBD:


And I’ve been eating at Verde! I seriously love this place. They have the best salads.


 Christina, me & one of the owners, Jennifer:


Even Kay got in on the Verde action:

 IMG_5161  What have you been up to?