Cookie Dough Bites

You don’t even have to hide when you’re eating this cookie dough. No shame here! These are tasty and healthy and will satisfy your sweet tooth. And the best part is that they taste JUST like cookie dough! 🙂

The inspiration for this recipe comes from a website: www.adashofcompassion.com, but the original recipe posted there was a little high in calories for me. So I took it to my test kitchen to see if I could come up with an alternative that still tasted delicious. And I did! It worked! It really tastes just the same as the original recipe, but with HALF the calories! Yay! So here is the recipe. Enjoy!

Dark Chocolate Cookie Dough Bites    cookie_dough_bites

1/3 C. raw almonds

1/3 C. raw walnuts

1 C. rolled oats

¼ t. cinnamon

1 pinch sea salt

¼ C. honey (or agave nectar)

2 t. vanilla

3 T. dark chocolate chips (chopped coarsely)

Directions: In a food processor or blender, process the almonds, walnuts, oats, cinnamon and salt to a fine meal. Transfer to bowl. Add the honey and vanilla, and mix. Next, add chocolate chips and combine. Wet hands and roll into 1 tsp.-sized balls (should make about 15) and place them on a cookie pan lined with foil or parchment paper. Place the pan into the freezer for about an hour to firm up. Store balls in a tightly covered container, or Ziploc bag in the freezer.

Each bite is 78 calories.

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This is BIG News!

I bought a bikini!  bikini

Now…I didn’t say that I was going to wear it, but the mere fact that I bought it speaks VOLUMES!

I was trying to recall a time when I wore one of these suckers, and I think I can remember wearing one maybe twice! Even back in the day when I SHOULD have been able to wear one with confidence, I just didn’t. I’ve always been a pretty self-conscious person, so it’s just never been in my comfort zone. BUT, I’m envious of people who are so self-assured, no matter what their body looks like, that they can step out confidently in whatever what they wear!

Adding to my negative body image and lack of self-confidence, I’ve had 4 C-sections 2 of which went TERRIBLY wrong and left me with really gnarly scars! I’m extremely self-conscious and hyper-aware of one in particular, and it bothers me to no end. I dread the thought of anyone seeing it. 🙁 Now…if you look back through some of the before/after pictures, you will see what I’m talking about. It runs down vertically from my belly button. The inside of that scar adhered itself to my abdominal wall, leaving two bulges on the sides. No matter how much belly fat I lose, it’ll always look like this. 🙁 My dear sweet children tell me that it looks like a “butt”. I can’t believe I’m even writing that sentence down to be read by anyone and everyone. We all have our “issues” right? Well, this is mine. But maybe it’s like a Band-Aid? Maybe I just need to rip it off, let the world see what’s underneath, and get over it!

My confidence is building, each and every day. I’m getting close to feeling like I could do it! I’m talking myself into not caring if anyone notices my flaws and/or scars. This health and fitness journey has been very empowering for me, and has boosted my self-esteem more than any time I can remember! More important than losing weight and building muscle is the fact that I’m building my confidence. When you become more confident, you are just more comfortable in your own skin. When you’re comfortable, you’re happy. And when you’re happy…anything is possible. You can do anything! You might even wear a bikini. 🙂

*Want to start you own health and fitness journey. Join my next 30 day challenge! Want more information? Click “30 Day Challenge” at the top of this page.

Sweet, Spicy and Satisfying!

soup_for_you Lucky for us, my husband had a bit of a dental emergency this past weekend which was the driving force behind this soup. It needed to be something that was easy to eat (no chewing), tasty AND satisfying. He’d begun to grow weary of smoothies and oatmeal. I came up with this delightful recipe. And though he groaned and doubted the tastiness, and potential to satisfy…when dinner time rolled around he RAVED that it might be the most delicious soup he’s ever eaten; a new favorite!  AND the kids liked it, too! It’s a little sweet, a little spicy and a LOT delicious! 🙂

Lentil, Sweet Potato, Carrot, Apple Soup

2-3 T. coconut oil, olive oil (or butter)
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup lentils
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh (or dry) ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 pinch cayenne pepper (or to taste)
4 cups vegetable broth
water
plain non-fat Greek yogurt

Directions

Melt the oil or butter in a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Place the chopped sweet potatoes, carrots, apple, and onion in the pot. Stir and cook the apples and vegetables until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes.
Stir the lentils, ginger, ground black pepper, salt, cumin, chili powder, paprika, and vegetable broth into the pot with the apple and vegetable mixture. Bring the soup to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the lentils and vegetables are soft, about 30 minutes. Puree about half of the soup with a standard OR immersion blender. You can leave the half that’s in the pot as it is, or mash it a little with a potato masher (until it’s at your desired consistency)

Return the pureed soup to the cooking pot. Bring back to a simmer over medium-high heat, about 10 minutes. Add water as needed to thin the soup to your liking. Serve with yogurt for garnish.

Enjoy!

322 calories per serving – Makes 6-8 servings

Little Things Mean a Lot

HOLDINGON_blog

So 13 years ago today, a very tiny person came into my life. So tiny in fact, that she weighed less than a pound. She weighed 450 grams, she was 15 weeks early and she needed to fight for her life for the next 5 months. She was given a 0% chance of surviving. ZERO.  Boy, were they were wrong!

So that person is my daughter, the oldest of my four children. As you can imagine, those 5 months were incredibly challenging, scary, sad (we lost her twin brother after only 3 weeks), and overwhelming. I wasn’t able to hold her until a month after she was born, and she was so tiny and fragile, it was terrifying! I would cup her back with one hand, and her bottom with the other hand, and press her against my chest. When I held her like this, you could barely see her head above my hands. To say she was little, is an understatement! kangaroo1

But she was everything!  The next five months, she would teach us many things! She endured so much more than anyone could ever imagine: four surgeries, daily IV’s and heel pricks, numerous blood transfusions, infections, set-backs, etc. Today, she is covered in scars, though the doctors promised us they would go away with age (she doesn’t mind that they didn’t). She was TOUGH as nails through it all; this tiny little person…HOW did she do it?

Peri_blog

I’ll never know HOW she did it. The doctors don’t understand how she did it! We were told she was the smallest baby born in Chicago to survive at that time (the year 2000)! She is a miracle to be sure!

She has taught me that anything is possible in this life. If you want something bad enough, you can fight for it, you MUST fight for it! She has taught me to take nothing for granted. You never know what is going to happen tomorrow, but you have today. Take advantage of every little opportunity, appreciate every little thing that you have, and live every moment to its fullest!

Celebrate the small things! Look for victories, and opportunities! Don’t let this life pass you by without giving it all you have! Start each day with a determination to make it the best possible day you can. Love the people around you who lift you up every day and support you in all that you do. Return the favor; hold someone’s hand when they need it. Enjoy life, because every second is a gift. Be present and see the magic that exists in everything. Every little thing! Those little things turn into BIG things in the blink of an eye!

Today, my daughter is 13 years old (my FIRST teenager!) and she is 88 times bigger than she was the day she was born! Now, her foot is bigger than her whole body was at birth. She has scars and glasses and she is perfect. She is the biggest, little thing that ever happened to me! And she is a living reminder that there is JOY, love, hope, and promise in the little things. Seek them out, celebrate them, and embrace them every day!

Happy Valentines Day!

This MIGHT be for YOU!

BB_opportunity

So, if you read my last post…then continue on now. If not, I’ll give you a minute to go and check it out….

….OK, Now, you’ve seen my before and after pictures. The first picture was taken in August 2012, just a few weeks before I decided to go for it as a Beachbody coach. And the second picture is me now, in February 2013, having too much fun to even call my job ‘work’. I’m 5 months in as a coach now, getting in the best shape of my entire life and getting paid on top of it! I get to pay it forward too, and help other people who are on their own journeys. I get to share health and fitness with my friends and family, which has been so fun and rewarding! It wasn’t a step I was totally sure about taking at first. I had some doubts and reservations, but after the first step, I started sprinting! And I haven’t looked back or regretted it for one minute.

If you enjoy helping others…If you like the idea of getting paid to get fit…If you LOVE the idea of being able to work from home, be your own boss and set your own hours…If you would enjoy earning some extra income WHILE helping to end the trend of obesity…than you should check it out!

If you’ve ever considered coaching, or just want to hear more, I’m doing a quick webinar tomorrow night @9:00 EST. It should only last about 30 minutes. I’ll tell my story, and explain a little bit more about what coaching is, and what I do, and how you might enjoy it, too! You can register here: http://www.anymeeting.com/PIID=E953DE8587473D

“See” you then! 🙂

My Journey Out of the Rut

Before & After I decided to be a Beachbody coach
Before & After I decided to be a Beachbody coach

Five months ago, I didn’t know a lot of things. I didn’t know what Instagram was. I didn’t know that I was stuck in a rut. I didn’t know that I had 20 pounds to lose. I didn’t know that I was capable of getting a group of friends or family members together that wanted to get fitter and healthier. I didn’t know that I could be a more confident person. In September, I took a step that changed all that! That was then…

This is NOW…

I became a Beachbody coach. Now, I not only know what Instagram is, I have followers: over 400 people who are interested in the pictures I take and the things I have to say! Who knew? I had Instagram on my phone in the past, but I just thought it was a nifty picture-taking app. I had no idea that it was a social network! I like it quite a bit! I am a very visual person, so I like seeing what other people post. I get good, practical ideas about health and fitness, and other topics. But it’s so much more than that! I like to follow other people who are on their own health and fitness journeys. It’s kinda fun! You can follow me @AngieinProgress! I’ll follow you back. 🙂

Except for 4 pregnancies with mandatory bedrest, I have worked out, almost every day, for YEARS! BUT…I used to do pretty much the same workouts, the same way. I was in a rut. My body wasn’t changing, and I was complacent about it. I thought that was the best I could do. I even KNEW that the body adapts and stops responding after about 30 days of the same exercise routine, but for some reason…I didn’t change what I was doing. Then, I became a coach, and in the interest of “being a product of the product” I decided to give Turbo Fire and ChaLEAN Extreme a 90 day try. I did a hybrid of the two programs. What fun! I started looking forward to my workouts, instead of feeling obligated to do them. My body started responding a very positive way. My workouts were different! And every 30 days, by design, the workouts changed a little, and my body responded again. It was like magic! I dropped 16 pounds and 14 inches in those 90 days! I was shocked and THRILLED, and out of my rut! I like it better out here. 🙂

Since then, I switched up my routine yet again. Now I’m doing a program called Les Mills Pump that I am really enjoying! Again…my body is changing and I’ve lost another 4 pounds! Now here’s the thing…I had no idea that I had 20 pounds to lose 4 months ago. I would have been happy with 10 actually! But just last night my husband said the nicest thing to me: “Ang, you are in the best shape of your life! You look amazing!” WOWZA! This coming from a man who has known me since I was 15. So I’ll take it. 🙂

The biggest perk of my new job is that I get to work with groups of other people who are trying to get fit and healthy, too! I get to tell them that they can do it, too! Health and fitness is for everyone who wants it. You’re going to have to work for it, it’s not always going to be easy, but if you want it…it’s yours for the taking. And the rewards are worth it! You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who regretted the decision to get fit and healthy. I’ve had groups with my closest friends in life, my family members, and people I’ve never met in ‘real’ life, but have been motivated by something I posted on social media to make a change. I love that! These challenge groups are so fulfilling for me. I love reading about the successes that participants are having. It is so rewarding to see them overcome obstacles and get results! I feel so grateful to be part of the process. Now I’m sharing the coaching opportunity with other people who are interested in additional accountability for themselves to continue on their journey to health and fitness, while paying it forward to other people. AND the additional income isn’t bad either! This does not seem like work to me! I look forward to it EVERY day!

I have a more confidence now than I’ve ever had before. I’m letting go some of the negative body images I’ve had in the past. I don’t focus on the ‘flaws’ that used to jump out at me every time I looked into a mirror. I’m not saying that I’m cured 100% from my self-consciousness…I don’t know if anyone ever could be, but it’s a million times better! I used to run from anyone holding a camera. I HATED having my picture taken! My flaws seemed magnified through a camera lens somehow. Now, you just have to look at my Facebook page to know that I don’t have a big problem with that anymore. But if you had told me 5 months ago that not only would I have a new profile picture, but even more pictures of myself available for the world to see, I’d never have believed you. In four short months, I’m healthier, happier, confident-er and fulfilled-er than I was when I was down in my rut.

If you’re in a rut, personally or professionally…I encourage you to come on out! Take a risk. Leave your comfort zone. Be the change you want to see. Start today.

Interested in joining a Challenge group? Click on “30 Day Challenge” at the top of this page. Interested in coaching? Click the “What is Coaching” link at the top of this page or fill in the form below to receive more information.