Sep 14, 2014

Healthy Peanut Butter and Jelly Cups

Okay, really there isn't any jelly in these, but peanut butter and jelly sounds better than peanut butter and strawberries. And strawberries are healthier.


I "came up with" this recipe (I'm sure there are a million similar recipes out there, but this rendition was born in my brain) because I had a hankering for sweets but I'm trying to stick to a new rule where I have to make treats at home if I want them. It keeps me away from the vending machines, see. And the bakery. And the cafeteria. You get the idea.


Gather makes 12

For the chocolate:
3/4 cup coconut oil, liquid form
3 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp honey (or maple syrup)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt

For the peanut butter and "jelly":
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
1 tbsp honey
pinch of sea salt
8-10 strawberries, sliced (or jelly if you'd rather)
1 tbsp milk (I used coconut), as needed
drizzle of coconut oil, as needed


Make

Before you do anything else, fill a muffin tin with liners and stick it in the freezer to chill.

Grab a bowl. Whisk the coconut oil and the cocoa powder in the bowl. Add the honey a little at a time until it tastes sweet enough to you (the less you use, the darker it tastes).



Whisk in the vanilla and salt. The end result will be runny like a sauce. That's good. You want that.

Pull the pan out of the freezer and spoon just enough chocolate in each liner to coat the bottom. Then put the pan back in the freezer.


Now for the PB layer. In a different bowl, mix the peanut butter, honey, and salt together with a fork. If the mixture is really thick, add a drizzle of coconut oil or a tablespoon of milk or both. I added both. Then divide the PB into each liner (the first layer should be solid by now) and spread it to cover the chocolate. 

 
Cover the peanut butter with sliced strawberries. If you want them to taste more like a healthified Reese's cup (or you don't like strawberries), skip this step.


Cover the strawberries with the remaining chocolate.


Pop the tray back in the freezer until the chocolate forms, then devour!



These are best kept frozen or at the very least refrigerated or else the coconut oil will melt and you'll have a gooey, albeit delicious, mess on your hands. Literally.

Sep 4, 2014

A Conversation with Sam

Sam: They're paleodontics, that's what.

Me: What?

Sam: Paleodontics.

Me: What, pray tell, are paleodontics?

Sam: They're paleodontics.

Me: Paleodontics are paleodontics?

Sam: Yup.

Me: And what do paleodontics do?

Sam: They study paleodontism. Duh.

------------------------------------------------------------

No, she wasn't trying to say "paleontologist." She was just making up a profession and sticking to it with conviction. This is what I deal with on the daily, people.

Sep 3, 2014

#feminism

“[He] should hold his applause because our walk to work is not there for him to comment on. It’s not a red carpet, it’s not a Fashion Week runway — it’s a sidewalk. And believe it or not, getting the horny clap of approval from any guy does not improve my day, it actually creeps me out. So guys, get some impulse control, ‘cause I got some SHIT TO DO.”

Jessica Williams, The Daily Show

Sep 2, 2014

September Goals



I'm not much of a goal maker, but there's just something about September (probably the 20 years I spent starting a new school year in September) that feels fresh and new and makes me want to set goals and then surprise myself by reaching them. And there's also the fact that today, September 2nd, marks exactly 6 months until my birthday. There's so much I can accomplish in 6 months! Like losing 40 lbs of weight, for instance. It seems a little lofty considering it took me about a year and a half to lose 40 lbs last time, but it's definitely possible. It's sounds even more possible when I consider that it's only 7 lbs per month. I can do that!

But I also don't want the next 6 months to be just about weight loss. We're entering my favorite stretch of months with the cooler air (and end of humidity!) and crunchy leaves of autumn that lead right into Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and my birthday all in a row and I intend to fully enjoy it. So here's a list of 10 September goals to get me started.

1. Go apple picking.
Because I haven't been in years and I am serious about my apples. I rarely buy them out of season because if an apple isn't fresh and crisp, it's useless to me.

2. Follow the POP Pilates 30 day beginner calendar and videos. 
Because I need to workout regularly. I'm only on Day 2, but so far it seems like an easy way to set a routine. It's free, it requires no equipment (so far) other than a yoga mat, and it hurts so good. My goal is to not skip a single day!

3. Finish 4 books.
Because I am always reading, but it takes me forever to finish a book as I'm always starting a new one.

4. Make an apple pie from scratch.
Because it's apple pie...

5. Blog more!
Because I love you and I love writing and it just makes sense.

6. Set up and follow a budget.
Because I owe more on my student loans now than I did when I graduated. #WTF?

7. Start Christmas shopping. 
Because it'll be here before you know it (!!!) and the sooner I start, the less money I spend.

8. Do yoga 3x a week.
Because my old bod needs it.

9. Buy an alarm clock (with battery backup, of course).
Because I don't like that the last thing I look at before I close my eyes is my phone screen and that the first thing I look at when I open my eyes is my phone screen.

10. Lose 7 lbs. 
Because we've been over this.

Check back soon, K? BYEEEEE

So Long, Summer


It's here, it's here! The cicadas are gearing up for their finale and I, for one, couldn't be happier.

Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer which doesn't mean much in the District because it'll be hot here until October but the end is near and that's enough for me to start getting excited! 

Aug 29, 2014

Motivation in Vanity

Hello and how are you? I'm good. I just got over an internal death of sorts (bathroom stuff) and I was off work for two days. It sucked but I returned to the office just in time to work a Friday before a 3 day weekend. You know how much work gets done around here on a Friday before a 3 day weekend? Not a lot. So I ended up on Facebook, as you do, and I was looking at old pictures of myself, as you do, and I was seriously flabbergasted when I got to the late 2012/early 2013 photos. I really mean it. Straight up FLABBERGASTED. God, that's a great word. Because DAMN. I looked great. I don't care if that's vain. (Okay, maybe I care a little. I swear I'm not shallow!)

I just ordered prints of the following photos for my fridge. These were all taken when I weighed close to 200 lbs (after losing 40 lbs over a year and a half). At the time I knew I'd lost a significant amount of weight but I was disappointed that I didn't look like I'd lost more. But looking at these pictures now? I DID! I DID look like I lost a lot of weight!


Above and below: I'm actually wearing several layers in these pics! Even better!


I miss that dress.

I miss that scarf. 

I still have that dress. It doesn't fit.



Is it sad that the most motivation I've felt in a long, long, long, loooong time has come from looking at pictures of myself? I don't even care. I can do that again and better. I know I can. And I'm actually excited about it! Like, I want to go for a run! Okay, maybe that's a bit much.