Watching the movie Ratatouille with my family inspired my 13-year-old to want to do some cooking. I enjoy cooking for my family, even trying new recipes, but doing this task with my son was a true treat! AJ's first task was to choose a recipe. I was open to just about anything and he is willing to eat just about anything so the options were endless. He ventured into the notebook titled, "Traci's Favorites".Read More
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made a decision years ago to embark on the journey toward healthier eating. The philosophy I chose then and still believe in today is that of eating low-glycemic. I also chose long-term lifestyle changes rather than short-term diet fads. This has definitely been a journey of progress, not perfection! (If you would like to learn more about low-gi eating and the program I use and recommend, click here.) I am a simpleton when it comes to cooking. I thrive in baking more than cooking because I am good at following directions, but not so good at improvising with a little this and that in the kitchen.Read More
Whenever a commitment is made to remove something from our lives, it is important to find a positive alternative. I made the decision to remove sweets, treats, candy, and soda from my life beginning back on February 20, 2014. The cravings for candy bars, soda, and sugary treats are lessening for which I am very grateful! As part of this health journey, it is fun to find healthy treats that fit within the boundaries of my commitment.
I do not know the origination of the "No Bake Energy Bite" recipe. (If you do, please send me the info). The recipe was passed along through a friend on Facebook. Many good recipes have made their appearance on social media platforms. I hope you will enjoy this one and pass it along so others can enjoy it too!
Recipe: 1 cup slow cooked oats 1/2 cup ground flaxseed 1/2 cup peanut butter 1/3 cup honey 1 teaspoon vanilla 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (original recipe calls for 1/2 cup)
No need to bake. Simply refrigerate for 30 minutes and then enjoy. It may be helpful to store them in an air-tight container so they don't disappear too quickly!
Replacing old habits to keep us in line with our commitments is an important step to success on this extraordinary journey called life.
I love green. It's my favorite color. I love to wear green and I love to see green in the grass and trees in the summer. There are so many beautiful shades of green. I even like to eat green foods - celery, cucumbers, broccoli and spinach. In spite of all of this love for green I have never wanted to drink a green smoothie. Actually, I may have wanted to but couldn't get past the thought of it tasting like wheat grass. I know some of you love that, but I have a limit in eating things that taste too much like the earth. Personal problem, I know.
I decided to get over my fear and brave the green smoothie. I was very pleasantly surprised, in fact, a little shocked. Since my first green smoothie adventure I have tried a few varieties of the beautiful green drink. If you have not yet ventured into the world of green this is a great (and pretty tame) way to do it. If you are a green smoothie expert, please share your recipes below, on my Facebook page, or on my Pinterest Smoothie board.
I have included several "Traci Tested" recipes to get you started.
Very Green Smoothie #1 (this was the first recipe I tried) - Extra large handful baby spinach - Half an avocado - One cup frozen strawberries - Half a banana - 1 cup water
Super Berry Green Smoothie #2 - Extra large handful baby spinach - One scoop Vanilla Nutrimeal - Two scoops Orange Cream Nutrimeal - Half cup Bolthouse Farms Berries + carrot - Half cup water - Five ice cubes
Apple Blueberry Green Smoothie #3 (made by my sister-in-law, Naomi) - Large handful baby spinach - One cup blueberries - Half an apple - Ice - Water
The green smoothie world is a great, healthy adventure!
I am choosing to avoid refined sugars. I don't like to admit this, but I feel physically better when I avoid these sugars. I love sweets and want to keep eating them; however, sweets seem to like me quite a bit too. The reality, in this extraordinary journey, is that I must master this vice rather than letting it master me.
During my recent 90-day challenge, one of my victories was eliminating iPad and iPhone games from my daily habit. I made this a goal because I realized how much mindless time I spent playing these games during the day and late into the night. It was tough at first, but today (nine days after completing the challenge), I still haven't played a game. It has definitely become a new, positive habit in my life.
Mastering my iTime played a role in my decision to eliminate refined sugar. The other motivation and encouragement in choosing this new habit is the inspiring story of my son, AJ, completing a one-year, No Candy No Soda Challenge. Here's what AJ had to say, "Without doing challenging things (like this challenge), I wouldn't be ready or able to do other challenging things God has for me later." He's right! I want to be ready. I want to inspire, motivate, teach and coach. I don't want to be in this same space, working on this same vice five years from now. It is a challenge, no doubt, but it is worth it.
I strongly believe in replacing old habits with new ones, replacing iTime with new productive habits, and old sweets that don't serve me with new ones that do. Simply eliminating anything from our lives without replacing leaves a gaping hole that desires to be filled. The easiest thing to put in the empty space is the old habit I am attempting to eliminate. Therefore, I must fill it with a new healthy, positive habit that serves my long-term goals.
I want to thank my friend and blog editor, Sharilyn, for this awesome recipe. If you would like to see the original recipe from Texanerin Baking, click here.
This recipe is delicious and relatively easy (necessities for me to choose a recipe). Here are a few pointers: 1) Make this recipe! 2) Use a food processor. I do not currently have a full-sized food processor and I would highly recommend that tool for this recipe because the ingredients are fairly dry. (Magic Bullet, which can do wonders with so many things, didn't work well here). 3) Follow the instructions for "natural peanut butter". 4) Enjoy a healthy, guilt-free, sweet treat.
- 1¼ cups canned chickpeas, well-rinsed and patted dry with a paper towel
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons (165 grams) natural peanut butter or almond butter - room temperature
- ¼ cup (80 grams) honey (commenters have used agave and maple syrup with success!)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- a pinch of salt if your peanut butter doesn't have salt in it
- ½ cup (90 grams) chocolate chips (use vegan or dairy-free, if needed)
- Preheat your oven to 350°F / 175°C. Combine all the ingredients, except for the chocolate chips, in a food processor and process until very smooth. Make sure to scrape the sides and the top to get the little chunks of chickpeas and process again until they're combined.
- Put in the chocolate chips and stir it if you can, or pulse it once or twice. The mixture will be very thick and sticky.
- With wet hands, form into 1½" balls. Place onto a Silpat or a piece of parchment paper. If you want them to look more like normal cookies, press down slightly on the balls. They don't do much rising.
- Bake for about 10 minutes. The dough balls will still be very soft when you take them out of the oven. They will not set like normal cookies.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature (or in the fridge) for up to 1 week.
Don't want to bake but still want to enjoy yummy, healthy, sweet treats? Click here to see what I use and recommend.