A Clean Christmas Treat!

First of all I want to apologize for my lack of posts lately, life gets a little busy at times and I vowed to myself when I started my blog that I wouldn’t publish a post I wasn’t proud of. I want to give you my best, ALWAYS! But even though I wasn’t blogging I was certainly in the kitchen (it’s inevitable), and wanting to prove to myself (and others ;)) that you can make a clean Christmas treat, that not only tastes AMAZING but is easy and no one would ever guess it was clean. So I got to thinking of something I missed around the holidays, and even though I don’t have a huge chocolate sweet tooth, I LOVE turtles. In tribute to the turtle, I created something a little like a turtle and mostly like heaven. I think I can actually enjoy these, lets call them Chocolate Almond Clusters, because I know they aren’t full of preservatives, sugar (the bad kind anyways ;)) and a whole lot of ingredients I can’t pronounce.

My husband actually asked me not to make them again until after our holiday, because he can’t stop eating them. So I won’t blame you if you only make one a time ;).

Chocolate Almond Clusters

010

6 squares 70% or darker baking chocolate

Almond milk (about 1/4 cup)

1/4 cup almond butter

2-3 tbsp honey (organic if you can)

5 pitted dates (soaked in hot water for about 5 minutes)

Muffin tin lined with cups (I used silicone ones, and they are awesome!)

1/4 cup chopped almonds (I just put them in a Ziploc back and smashed them into small pieces)

 

1. Blend almond butter, honey, dates, splash of hot water from the bowl the dates were soaking in. Set aside.

2. Melt chocolate in a small saucepan, and add slowly stir in almond milk until you get desired consistency (should be creamy).

3. Place a small dab of chocolate on the bottom of the muffin cup.

4. Add enough chopped almonds to cover the bottom of the muffin cup (or more if you would like).

5. Add about tbsp of almond butter mixture on top.

6. Lastly, add enough chocolate on top to cover the entirely. Place in freezer for 1-2 hours, and serve!

Enjoy! If my directions have confused you in any way, please feel free to contact me. I promise you (if my instructions are straight forward enough) these are very simple, and VERY delicious!

I also wanted to share another recipe with you. This one I didn’t create, but posted on my Facebook page yesterday and made today. I haven’t had one of these since I started eating clean, because I didn’t know how to make it without mayo, and this recipe didn’t disappoint. I highly recommend you give it a whirl!

Healthy Egg Salad Sandwich

015

I found this picture on Pinterest and loved it. I think it describes a lot of people that decide to choose a healthy lifestyle. I know I will never be perfect, but I do know I am on a journey in life to make myself the healthiest being I can, and to help those around me achieve this too!

perfect

 

 

MOTIVATION MONDAY: Preparing is the Key to Success!

Alright, it’s Monday and I know we all need a little motivation at the start of the week! So today I wanted to share a few things that I have learnt on my journey that have helped keep me successful and on track! I believe being prepared is key when beginning or continuing to live a healthy lifestyle. I

The first is my Crock Pot. Thank the Lord for this thing! It can create a lot of food with minimal work and time. I use it to make everything from my Sweet & Sour chicken to steel cut oats. I just turn it on before bed, and in the morning have a delicious meal. When preparing chicken, chili, oats, roast or whatever you decide to make, make it worth it and cook lots. If you know you are going to have busy week ahead, freeze whatever won’t be eaten with a few days and take it out as needed. If you have children, it is a great way to have meals prepared and prevent having to visit the drive-thru.

The second, is my Vitamix. Although it is a little pricey, it has paid for itself over and over. I use it to make smoothies, oat flour, almond flour, almond milk, dips, batter, chopping almonds,  almond butter, juices, ice cream, the possibilities are endless! It enables me to make my own food, so I know exactly what ingredients are in them! Even my husband has agreed he couldn’t live without it!

You don’t need to run out and buy a Vitamix, you can use any high-powered blender to create delicious smoothies and other recipes!

The third, is my rice cooker. I use it for the times I don’t have time to make sweet potatoes. It has saved me MANY times. It does all the work for me, and I can prepare other things without having to sit over the stove top and watch it.

The fourth, is my vegetable steamer. I love any handy inventions where I can just set the timer and do other things.

All of these tools make it easier in the kitchen for me when I am needing to prepare meals for the week ahead. They are tools that you can set and go on to do other things. Use them to your full advantage, make lots of food that will enable to grab a pre-made container, throw it in your or your families lunches and send them out the door!

Here is my husband preparing Jamies Turkey Meatloaf Muffins.  He ended up making 48 muffins and froze half of them to use later in the week. He used them for his morning and/or afternoon snacks! I put them into plastic baggies for him, so he could just grab them and go.

We use no excuses when it comes to eating healthy. We do whatever it takes to stay on track and be prepared.

FFIT TIPS

1. If you aren’t able to make it home for lunch during your work day or have limited time on your break, take your snacks and lunch with you to work, or have lunch pre-made in the morning. If you commute after work, bring your supper along with you in your cooler. This way you won’t either have the urge to stop at the drive-thru on the way home or when you arrive home you won’t be tempted to eat whatever is readily available.

2. If you go to the gym after work, take a pre-workout snack along with you.

3. If you have children to pick up from school and take to their after school activities, bring snacks along for them and yourself. Don’t rely on vending machines for snacks.

4. If you have running around to do, bring snacks or your lunch along with you. Even when I have a hair appointment, which is a half an hour highway drive from my home, I bring my lunch and snacks along with me.

5. If you are traveling bring a large cooler along with you. Pack snacks, sandwiches, homemade granola bars, fruit, vegetables or anything that will prevent you from having to stop at the next gas station for lunch or snacks.

I always pack my lunch the night before, so I can ever use the excuse “I don’t have time”. I take 15 minutes before bed to pack everything I need for the next day, and can just grab and go 🙂

Not only does being prepared make living a healthy lifestyle easier, it always saves you money!

I know I have said this before, but it is still scary to post pictures of myself! The thought of my picture being out there for people to judge and criticize are daunting. But I am SO thankful to everyone that reads my blog, and Facebook page for their overwhelming positivity and encouragement. I share pictures, because I want to be able to share my journey and transformation with others. I share them for those reasons only. I want to show others, that if I can do it, anyone can! I can honestly say I LOVE blogging and sharing my journey. My blog is a place where I can come and share the information I have gained with others. A place where I feel safe in sharing my opinion, pictures, recipes, ideas and whatever else I feel like sharing that day :), and I hope others can feel the same way. Below is a picture I had recently taken of me. The reason why I wanted to get pictures done, is to document my journey. Remind myself of the hard work I have put in and to once again step out of my box. Once again, it is scary to share new pictures, but I knew my blog would be the perfect place to share them. I am so glad I was brave enough to do it, as it was one of the best experiences of my life. I would like to thank Kris Josef for making it that kind of experience for me. He is an amazing photographer, that does amazing work!

Once again I have done something that terrifies me! But was it worth it? Absolutely! I would do it again? In heart beat. I believe in documenting your journey, and experiencing some pretty cool things along the way :). I hope one day I will get over this fear, but for right now, it is just part of who I am :).

I hope you all have wonderful Monday!!