Month: July 2014

Mocha Chip No-Bake Cookies

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I’ve never been a big nap person. When given the choice between a nap or coffee ninety-five percent of the time I’ll go for the caffeine. I have a sneaking suspicion my nap-aversion might have something to do with FOMO (the fear of missing out). I cherish my sleep at night, but when it comes the the daytime, I often feel like there’s so much to do I can’t possibly take some time for a nap. And, God forbid I try to nap and end up laying there for an hour without falling asleep! What a waste!

Now I know that naps are thoroughly enjoyed by many and I’ve been told they are even beneficial to my health (which I don’t doubt), but until I learn to fall asleep during the day, I’ll be awake enjoying a little jolt of caffeine from my favorite cookies. Unlike naps, they never let me down 😉

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Healthy Mocha Chip No-Bake Cookies

Adapted from Chocolatecoveredkatie

Makes 14-16 cookies

  • 2/3 cup oat flour (grind quick oats in a blender)
  • 2 tbsp protein powder (I prefer plant-based like Sunwarrior)
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup quick oats
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp brewed coffee
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips

Combine first seven ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Add last three wet ingredients and mix to combine. Add chocolate chips and mix to incorporate. Prepare a baking sheet by laying parchment paper across the bottom. Form the dough into small balls and flatten to form into cookies. place on parchment and set in the fridge for 10 minutes. As the coconut oil chills the cookies will firm up.

Notes about ingredients:

  • If you don’t have any brewed coffee on hand you can substitute 1 1/2 tsp instant coffee and add 3 tbsp water to the recipe.
  • Any granulated sugar will do, but I prefer coconut sugar for it’s bonus minerals, nutrients and lower glycemic index.
  • I like to use oat flour because it has more fiber and is gluten free. You can experiment with other types of flour in this recipe, but I haven’t so I can’t speak to the results. I like to grind up a bunch of oats at one time and keep the flour on hand. I use it in most of my baked recipes.
  • Anytime you add protein to a recipe with sugar, it slows the insulin-spiking effects of eating sugar alone. You will see protein powder in a lot of my sweet recipes for this reason.

Let me know if you give this recipe a try! It’s super easy and delish!

Are you a napper of do you prefer an energy jolt?

Any tips for a non-napper? 😉

 

Xoxo,

Sam

Wanna Know a Secret???

“No amount of self-improvement can make up for any lack of self-acceptance.” Robert Holden

 

As a teenager I was a pent-up bundle of nerves. The pressure of school, fear of fitting in, out-of-wack hormones, little sleep and a tremendous dance school schedule made for a pretty manic little being. It also bred a lot of self-hatred.

What I remember of my high-school years is pushing myself so hard to be better that I was actually pushing against myself. I was in a constant battle with my body, my skills as a dancer, my self-worth and self-image and I found that the harder I battled with myself the more I hated myself.

It wasn’t until a few years later when I could look back with some perspective and conclude that my constant put-downs actually stunted my progress. I was fighting myself so hard! I thought that telling myself I wasn’t good enough would instill fear and panic to be better, dance better, look better. It never worked. I was constantly dissatisfied, frustrated and obsessed. Looking back, I feel bad for the teenager I was. I wasted so many years putting myself down that there was no possible way I could improve.

Years later I could look at the situation I put myself in and see that I quite literally stunted my own growth. I began to grasp that hatred toward myself didn’t help, but I didn’t really understand why, until recently.

We women are so good at beating ourselves up, aren’t we? We do it constantly and I can bet that you do it for the same reason I did it. We think that if we are hard on ourselves today, that we will be better, do better, perform better tomorrow.

Here’s the thing though; Shaming ourselves doesn’t make us change.

You can’t bully yourself into being better.

“No amount of self-improvement will work without self-acceptance. ” Robert Holden

When I changed my tactic and decided to try this self-acceptance thing, everything became easier. I discovered that it’s infinitely nicer to live with a Self that is my best friend than one that is my hated enemy. It sounds dramatic, but the voices in our heads often are dramatic and so was the shift that occurred when I began to practice self-acceptance.

This isn’t a little fluffy fairytale where I learned my lesson and everything is magical from here on out. Self-acceptance is a daily practice. It’s a tuning in to my body, my mind, my spirit and some days, yes, I catch myself in those old negative thought patterns. The difference now is that I chose not to believe what they are telling me. We don’t have to believe every thought that comes into our minds. We can pick and chose the ones that are going to serve us. Ah, the beauty of free will! The key is being aware.

The practice of self-acceptance is extensive, but I do want to leave you with some actionable ways of getting there yourself. These tools are what helped me. My hope is that they help you too.

1. Meditation.

This isn’t some hooky hippy stuff. It took me a long time to try it, but now that I have I can say for a fact that I will be doing it for the rest of my life. Knowing who you are is the first step towards self-acceptance. Think about it, if you don’t know yourself how can you accept yourself? Meditation is the most effective way I know of doing this. You don’t have to sit for an hour, or even 30 minutes. Meditate for 10 minutes in the morning and work your way up if you want to. There are plenty of resources on the Google if you want a little guidance. Trust me, the most profound lessons I’ve learned about life and myself happened on a little chair cushion under my bum on the floor of my room.

2. Movement

I want to preface this by saying movement has nothing to do with weight-loss or trying to change your body. That’s why I say “movement” and not “exercise”. While they do often overlap, I’m talking about the type of movement that feeds your soul, gets you intimately acquainted with your body and stirs your creativity. Any type of movement that leaves you feeling powerful and in awe of what your body can do is good. I urge you to discover your favorite type of movement and practice it regularly. Extra bonus points if you try something you’ve always wanted to do, but were afraid to. Hip-hop.

3. Study the Greats

If you don’t know how to begin to accept yourself, why not learn from those who have made it their life’s work to figure it out!? There is SO much wisdom out there. People have dedicated their entire lives to this subject and they really want to help you! Books, podcasts, videos and websites, no matter your preference there is a modality out there for you. My favorite books to get you started are “A Return to Love” by Marianne Williamson and “Loveability” by Robert Holden. My copies of both of these books are dog-eared and highlighted and totally beat up from constant re-reading. If you prefer a website that sends daily lessons and inspiration to your inbox check out Mastin Kipp’s Dailylove.com . If you want some truly great ladies that I learn from on a daily basis check out Gabrielle Bernstein, Marie Forleo and Danielle LaPorte.

To close, I want to share with you a prayer that I love and say when I feel I’m shifting into that negative space. It always seems to pull me back to center:

“O God, help me to believe the truth about myself no matter how beautiful it is.” -Macrina Weiderkher, a Benedictine nun

 

Now I’d love to hear from you. Do you struggle with self-acceptance? Which of these practices are you willing to try and why? Do you have some tips of your own? Tell me in the comments below. You may just help someone else by sharing!

 

Xoxo,

Samantha