Monday, April 24, 2017

{Protein Cookie Dough}


Hello cupcakes!

I have a huge sweet tooth if you haven't already noticed. I am not a huge fan of pizza or fries, but give me all the brownies, cookies, & doughnuts!

Growing up, I loved helping bake cookies. One of my favorite parts was getting to lick the cookie dough off the beaters. It's funny how simple things in life can bring back such great memories. I decided to create a healthier cookie dough that could easily fit into my macro budget for the day. 

Here is what I came up with:

Ingredients
24 g Challenge Butter (lactose free)
10 g Splenda Brown Sugar
17 g Good Karma Flax Yogurt 
1-2 tsp sugar free, fat free Vanilla Jello pudding mix
10 g whole wheat flour
10 g {Anthony's Goods} Coconut Flour
15 g {NUZEST} Vanilla Protein Powder
unsweetened almond milk
10 g Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips


*Please note, you can substitute different butter, protein, & yogurt for the recipe, but keep in mind it may change the macros for the recipe*

Directions:
Combine yogurt, butter, & sugar in a bowl. Mix until combined. Next add pudding mix, whole wheat flour, coconut flour, & protein powder. Mix until combined. Add almond milk to the batter until your desired consistency. I made mine a consistency that allowed me to roll the dough into balls so I could keep track of a serving. Lastly, add chocolate chips and stir to combine. 

Serves: 4

Macros for 1 serving: 104 calories, 5.3 g fat, 9 g carbs, 5.1 g protein

If you want to learn more about why I choose to bake with Nuzest as well as see other recipes I have created,  follow these links:

Some quick facts:
-Nuzest is pea protein powder
-Free of gluten, dairy, soy, and GMOs which makes it perfect for people with food intolerances or allergies
-100% natural vegetable protein
-Easy to absorb and digest
-Complete protein for energy, recovery, & repair
-Mixes smoothly
-comes in vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, cappuccino, and natural

As always, you can use the code "thesweetlife" at Nuzest check out to get $ off your order 

Follow this link if you want to get some for yourself: {Nuzest Shop}

NOW GO MAKE SOME COOKIE DOUGH!


Later Taters

"It's a beautiful day, don't let it get away."

Sunday, April 23, 2017

{Quest Protein Cookies}


Happy Sunday Cupcakes!
I hope everyone is having a great weekend. I love to create and bake on the weekends, and of course I am always craving cookies. These protein cookies turnout so similar to the consistency and texture of normal cookies (which is sometimes hard to do with healthy cookies). I ate half of this cookie before my workout this morning. Okay, now you probably want the recipe so here it is...


Ingredients:
28 g Challenge Butter (lactose free)
10 g Brown Sugar Splenda
17 g Good Karma Flax Yogurt, plain
1 egg white
10 g old fashion rolled oats
20 g whole wheat flour
10 g Anthony's Goods Coconut Flour
1/2-1 tsp sugar free, fat free instant vanilla pudding mix
1/4 tsp baking powder

Frosting:
30 g Quest Cinnamon Crunch Protein Powder
water

Directions:
In a bowl, combine butter, yogurt, and sugar. Mix until combined. Next add in egg white and pudding mix. Stir until combined. Then add in the oats, wheat flour, coconut flour, and baking powder. Mix until a dough forms. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lay foil on a baking sheet and spray with oil. Scoop the batter onto the baking sheet in 4 rounded cookies. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes or until the cookies are cooked through and starting to turn golden on top. Let the cookies cool for a few minutes while you make the frosting. In a bowl, add the protein powder. Add 1 tsp. of water and stir. Keep adding water a little bit at a time until a frosting consistency forms. Next, top the cookies with the frosting. 

Serves: 4

Macros per serving: 125 calories, 5.3 g fat, 11.5 g carbs, 7.6 g protein

*Feel free to substitute with different butters or yogurts, just note it may change the macros on the recipe*


Here are some tips for baking when you are tracking macros:

1) Get a food scale. I bough mine off of Amazon for about $13 dollars. This will make your measurements more precise (that's why the ingredients are in grams)
2) If you create a recipe, write down the ingredients & then enter them as a recipe in Myfitnesspal and you can easily add the serving to your daily food log & macro budget.
3) HAVE FUN! Macro budgeting is like a puzzle. I love playing around with different food choices until I reach my daily macro allowance.
4) If you are creating recipes while using macros, you may need to use artificial sweeteners to keep the carbs lower. This is not a bad thing, anything in moderation is fine! If you want to know the science behind artificial sweeteners & how your body processes them, you can watch Dr. Layne Norton's video in the Avatar Nutrition Video Resources. Basically he says consuming small amounts of artificial sweeteners will not kill you! 
5) Share your recipe with others!

As always, if you make my recipe tag me in your creation photo @toriswholelife #thesweetlife

Instagram: @toriswholelife
Facebook: The Sweet Life Diary of a Health Nut @toriswholelife

Also, I created a Facebook page where I post the links to my blog posts. I will be running a giveaway on that page, so head over and Like/follow the page so that you have a chance to win!  I will also be running a giveaway on my Instagram, so head over there & follow!

Later Taters 
"It's a beautiful day, don't let it get away." 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

{Protein Buckeyes}


{PROTEIN BUCKEYES}

I don't know about you, but during the holidays my family loves to make buckeyes. These peanut butter and chocolate candies are one of my favorite treats. Let's be honest, anything with chocolate and peanut butter is my favorite! 

I wanted to recreate buckeyes and make them healthier. I came up with this recipe:

Ingredients:
2 scoops {NUZEST} Vanilla Protein Powder 
(Use the code "thesweetlife" to save some $)
40 g. or 2 1/2 T of Crazy Richards Creamy Peanut Butter
1/4 cup+ 1-2 T. of coconut milk or milk of choice
1/4 c Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips
1 tsp. coconut oil
Crazy Richards Creamy Peanut Butter for drizzling

Directions:
Mix together Nuzest, 40 g of peanut butter, & coconut milk in a bowl. You can add more milk if needed, but the batter should be dry enough to roll into balls but wet enough to stick together. Next, roll batter into 7-8 balls. Place balls onto a plate. Next, melt the chocolate and coconut oil. Once melted, stir to combine. Top each ball with chocolate so that they are evenly coated. Drizzle more peanut butter on top of the chocolate. Place the balls in the freezer for 10-20 minutes or until the chocolate is hardened. 

YUM!

These are the perfect, healthy treat or dessert. I like to store mine in the refrigerator for when I have a sweet tooth. 

If you make the protein balls, please tag me @toriswholelife and #thesweetlife so I can easily see your creations!
Happy Baking!

Later Taters

"It's a beautiful day, don't let it get away."  

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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

{4 Ingredient, Macro Friendly, Protein Mug Cake}


Hello cupcakes! 

Back at it again with another macro friendly recipe. 

Before I tell you the recipe, let me tell you there is only 4 ingredients. Here are the macros:

159 calories, 1 g fat, 8 g carbs, & 30 g protein

Now...  the moment you all have been waiting for... THE RECIPE!


Ingredients:
50 g egg whites
1 scoop (30 g) of Quest Peanut Butter Protein Powder
60 g canned pumpkin puree
1/4 tsp baking powder

Directions:
Mix all ingredients together into a mug or small microwave safe bowl. Once combined, scoop about 1/4 c of the batter out and save it to use as a topping. Place the mug cake into the microwave & cook for 1 -1 1/2 minutes or until mug cake is set. Remove from the microwave & top with remaining batter!

Serves: 1


There you have it! A simple, easy, & macro friendly mug cake. I love to have this about an hour before bed because it helps keep me full throughout the night. You can experiment with different toppings if your macros allow for it (or if you are not counting macros). I would add things like PB, crushed up cereal, cinnamon, pecan pieces, ice cream, cream cheese, etc. Have fun with it! 

If you do recreate the recipe, tag me @toriswholelife and use #thesweetlife so I can see your creations.

Avatar Nutrition Update:

If you have followed my journey, you know this is my 4th week counting macros with the help of Avatar Nutrition. I love the accountability and the community that comes with this service. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Avatar, its a macro coaching system that allows you to put in your info, goals, etc. and it adjusts your weekly macros based on your weekly weigh in. 

Things I have noticed since starting:
1) I am more accountable for the food I am consuming. 
2) The good habit and strict counting is really starting to sink in on week 4 (makes sense based on habit research)
3) I love creating macro friendly recipes
4) Watching Youtube videos and interacting with the Avatar Facebook community is so helpful!
5) I am starting to lose inches even if the scale isn't moving much
6) Even though I am in a moderate cutting phase, I still have so much strength and energy in the gym
7) I know that my macros are going to decrease over the next couple weeks, but BRING IT ON!
8) Create staple meals in Myfitnesspal or whatever app you use to count. This makes it easier to plan ahead. I have meals that I truly love eating, so I am always looking forward to eating. 
9) Meal timing is everything when you are cutting macros!
I will keep updating you all! Hopefully I will post some progress photos soon. Also, my plan is to cut for another 4-8 weeks. Once my cut is over, I will begin a slow reverse diet phase with Avatar to increase my metabolism.

Later Taters

"It's a beautiful day, don't let it get away." 



{Dairy Free Chocolate Chip Cookies}

Dairy Free Chocolate Chip Cookies


Hello cupcakes! 

I threw together these cookies the other night and they were a huge hit. My boyfriend said, "These are probably my favorite cookies you have ever made!"

I was so excited to hear him say that because I have made him many things in the past. That's how good these cookies are! I think the coconut milk fat makes the cookies so flavorful!

YOU HAVE TO TRY THESE! Here's how to make them...

Ingredients:

2 eggs
1 can of coconut milk** read below before starting
1 c sugar of choice (I used white sugar because that is all I had)
1 1/2 c Anthony's Goods Almond Flour
1 c whole wheat flour
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking powder
dash of salt
1/2-1 c chocolate chips 
(I used Trader Joes Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips because they are lactose free, but you could also use Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips which are dairy free)

Directions:

**Place coconut milk can in the fridge overnight. The next day, remove and open the can. Use a spoon to scoop the coconut milk fat off the top. This is what you will use for these cookies. Save the actual milk portion for coffee or smoothies.**

In a bowl, combine all ingredients. 
Mix until incorporated. 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Grease a baking sheet.
Scoop cookie dough onto the baking sheet.
Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the cookies start to golden on the tops.

Makes 12-15 large cookies

Later Taters

"It's a beautiful day, don't let it get away."

Monday, April 17, 2017

Nuzest Protein Pancakes

Nuzest Protein Pancakes


Hello cupcakes! 

Who doesn't love breakfast food? My favorite meal of the day is breakfast. I sometimes will even have breakfast for lunch or dinner. I made my boyfriend these pancakes on Easter morning. 

These are full of protein & fiber to help keep you full. 


Ingredients:
2 eggs
1 scoop Nuzest Vanilla Protein Powder
1/4 c Anthony's Goods Cassava Flour
1 packet of Crazy Richards Pure PB Plus
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 c almond milk
2 tsp psyillum husks
1/2 (5.3 oz) container of plain Kite Hill Yogurt

And of course your toppings of choice!

 I used banana slices, Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips, Honey, and Crazy Richards Creamy Peanut Butter

Directions:
Combine all ingredients. Let the batter rest while you heat up a pan. Grease the pan and cook the pancakes. I made 5 pancakes with this batter. 

If you want to buy your own Nuzest Protein, use the code "thesweetlife" at checkout to save some $$.

Later Taters

"It's a beautiful day, don't let it get away." 
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Sunday, April 16, 2017

{Protein Cheesecake}

Happy Easter Cupcakes!

I have a fun recipe to share with you and guess what... it's lactose free:

PROTEIN CHEESECAKE


This is my fourth week counting macros with Avatar Nutrition and I am loving it. I love having the flexibility to add in some of my baked goods into my diet. Today I was craving some cheesecake, so I wanted to make a macro friendly version that also was lactose free. If you don't know already, I am lactose intolerant. I included the macros at the end of the recipe in case you are counting macros as well. 

Ingredients:

Crust-
20 g Anthony's Goods Almond Flour
20 g old fashion oats
8-10 drops stevia
35 g egg whites

Filling-
90 g Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese
1 oz plain Kite Hill Yogurt
30 g Quest Peanut Butter Protein Powder
20 g unsweetened almond milk

Directions:

In a small bowl, stir together ingredients for the crust. Spray a small baking dish with oil. Scoop crust batter into the dish and bake at 350 for 10 minutes or until the crust is cooked through. 



While the crust is baking, start making the filling. In another bowl, combine all the filling ingredients. The batter should be on the thicker side, but if needed you can add a little more almond milk to your desired consistency. 



Let the crust cool. Once the crust is cool, scoop the filling on to the top of the crust. Place the cheesecake in the freezer for 30 minutes or until firm. This will make the cheesecake easier to cut into pieces. 



Serves: 4 

Macros per serving: 132 calories, 7.6 g Fat, 6.8 g Carbs, 9.3 g Protein

Enjoy!

If you make the recipe please share and use the hashtag #thesweetlife

*If you are not lactose intolerant, feel free to use light cream cheese instead of the tofu cream cheese. Just note this will slightly change the macros for the recipe.

Later Taters

"It's a beautiful day, don't let it get away." 



Tuesday, March 28, 2017

{Nutpods}


Hello cupcakes!

Today I have a new company to share with you: {NUTPODS}

Nutpods are a dairy free alternative to half and half. There's no sweeteners, no GMO, no soy, no carrageenan, & no artificial colors or flavors. 

Also... if you are doing a Whole30 round... these are WHOLE30 APPROVED! Score!

The creamer is actually made from almonds and coconuts and the texture is super creamy. My favorite flavor is the french vanilla because I am obsessed with anything vanilla flavored. I like to use my french vanilla Nutpod in my oats. It adds a little flavor and makes the oats so creamy and dreamy. Other ideas for NUTPODS (besides for coffee): add to smoothies, use it to bake desserts, add it to banana ice cream, or add to chia seed pudding. Another tip: bring a nutpod with you to your favorite coffee shop. 

To read more about the story of Nutpods, follow this link: {About NUTPODS}




Now let me walk you through each product:

HAZELNUT:


INGREDIENTS: Purified water, coconut cream, almonds, natural flavors. 
Contains less than 2% of acacia gum, sunflower lecithin, dipotassium phosphate, gellan gum, sea salt.
CONTAINS TREE NUTS

I like the taste of this flavor because it is simple and not overpowering. I add it to my boyfriends espressos in the morning and he approves. 

ORIGINAL:


INGREDIENTS: Purified water, coconut cream, almonds, natural flavors. 
Contains less than 2% of acacia gum, sunflower lecithin, dipotassium phosphate, gellan gum, sea salt.
CONTAINS TREE NUTS

This flavor is the most versitle because it does not have a flavor. Instead, it makes coffee creamy without changing the flavor of the coffee. 

FRENCH VANILLA:


INGREDIENTS: Purified water, coconut cream, almonds, natural flavors. 
Contains less than 2% of acacia gum, sunflower lecithin, dipotassium phosphate, gellan gum, sea salt.
CONTAINS TREE NUTS

Now to my favorite flavor. I LOVE this one! If any of you are a big vanilla fan like me, you will be obsessed with this flavor. 


One serving of Nutpods is 1 Tablespoon. For 1 serving: 10 calories, 1 g fat, 0 g carbs, 0 g protein, 

RECIPE: Coffee Free Latte


Ingredients:
1 tsp honey (more if you like sweet)
1 scoop Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides
1 tsp Nutpods (more if you want it creamier)
1 tsp Fourth and Heart Vanilla Bean Ghee
1/4 tsp Anthony's Goods Ashwaganda Powder
1 cup of almond milk
1/2 tsp tumeric
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Directions:
Heat almond milk in a microwave for 2 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until combined. ENJOY!



I also wanted to let you know you can purchase Nutpods & Anthony's Goods Ashwaganda on Amazon. 

Later Taters

"It's a beautiful day, don't let it get away." 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

{Grocery Haul and Meal Prep}

Hello cupcakes! 

Welcome to my meal prep madness. First I want to tell you about my new produce bags! I am totally obsessed with them. 



These are sold on Amazon (use the link above). They are $12.97 for a set of 9 bags. I got the mixed set, so it comes with: 2 large, 5 medium, & 2 small bags. 


This year I am trying to reduce the amount of plastic, chemicals, and waste. Who else hates all those plastic produce or bulk bin bags? I added the picture below to show you each bag has a tag for how much it weighs. This means you can use the bags for the bulk bin purchases. 


I wanted to add a little from Purifyou's Amazon description because I truly believe in what this company describes:

  • UNIQUE: Our double-stitched bags can safely hold up to 11 pounds. Despite their strength, our bags are still see-through and light-weight (our largest is less than 0.91 ounces), saving you time and money at the register. With yet another time-saver, you can place your bag straight into the fridge, and the breathable fabric often extends the life of your produce. That equals more savings, less food wasted, and less harm to our planet. Win-win.
  • MULTI-PURPOSE: Our premium bags are not just for produce though, and with so many different sizes, you just might find all sorts of household items to use them for, from the little guy's Legos to Grandma's favorite stamp collection. They also work great for laundry delicates, small sports equipment, beach trips, gym clothes, school lunches, toys, office supplies, camping trips, road trips, and virtually any form of household organizing you can imagine. Did we already say win-win?
  • HELP SAVE THE ENVIRONMENT AND WORLD TOO: Because with every purchase, a portion of our profit is donated to help promote sustainable living around the world. Check out our new water well construction in Kenya! Plus, with our satisfaction guarantee you have nothing to lose, and a soon-to-be-favorite set of bags to gain. How about a win-win-win. So what are you waiting for? For a limited time, take advantage of our sale price -- subject to removal at any time.

Now for some meal prep.... 


Pictured above: rice cakes (caramel & regular), cooked brown rice, mini sweet peppers, carrots, Purifyou bags, tomatoes, lemons, psyillium husk pancakes, cucumbers, green onions, collard greens, oats, oven roasted brussel sprouts, almonds, and soaking cashews. 

I also cooked chicken breast in the crock pot with chicken broth, chili powder, cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper. I place all the ingredients in the crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Then I shred the chicken and add back to the crock pot. I cook the chicken for another couple of hours so the chicken soaks up the flavor. 


I use my rice cooker to cook the brown rice and steel cut oats. For the rice: I add 1 cup of rice & 3 cups of water. For the oats: I add 1 cup of steel cut oats and 3 cups of water. I use the white rice setting on my rice cooker. I like to add chia seeds and flax seeds to my oats. I bought little jars at Target to store my oats in the fridge. 

Brussel sprouts & carrots: I love oven roasted brussels and carrots. I preheat the oven to 400 degrees. I add oil to a baking sheet. I like to chop the carrots in half and the brussels in half. I add both to the baking sheet and top with Pink Himalayan salt. I like my veggies to get a little crispy, so I bake for around 45 minutes to an hour. 



Another thing I am starting to make is homemade Kombucha! This was my first batch and it turned out really well. I still want to experiment a little more and then I will share my favorite recipe with you. Kombucha is so good for your gut health. It is full of probiotics.

Homemade Almond and Cashew Milk:


I've recently started making homemade almond milk and homemade cashew milk. I am tired of buying nut milks that have other ingredients. Plus homemade tastes SOOO GOOD!

I like to soak 1/2 cup of almonds or cashews in water overnight. I usually soak almonds for two days to make extra creamy milk. Cashews do not take as long. After soaking, I rinse the nuts and add to my blender. I don't measure the water, but I fill my blender to the top. I think the line is 32 oz. Then I blend until my blender finishes (it is the smoothie setting on my blender). 


For almond milk, you will need to strain it. Cashew milk doesn't need strained. I use a nut milk bag I purchased on Amazon: {Nut Milk Bag}


Here is the left over almond pulp. You can save this an bake with it! You can dry it in the oven and use it as almond meal for recipes. 


I purchased this cool glass jug at Target and use it to store my nut milk. You can also blend dates, honey, cinnamon, or salt into the nut milks if you want to flavor them. One caution I do have is: you will need to drink the milk faster than store bought because homemade does not have any preservatives. I learned this the hard way because I prepped my oats for all week. By the end of the week my oats were sour because the nut milk was spoiled. I suggest drinking the nut milk in 2-3 days.  

Now after that long post, let me end with the meal plan I used for this meal prep:

Preworkout: Alphamine (PEScience)
Breakfast: steel cut oats with chia seeds, flax seeds, almond milk, and protein powder. I also have Amazing Greens powder with BCAAS in a shaker bottle. I take my Omega 3 supplement as well 
Lunch: Slow cooked chicken, brown rice, oven roasted carrots and brussel sprouts, and tomatoes. I also drink apple cider vinegar with water
Dinner: Collard green wrap: chicken, brown rice, spicy hummus or kite hill cream cheese, green onions, avocado, cucumber, and peppers. I also have my homemade Kombucha
Snack 1: psyillium husk pancake with almond butter. I also have lemon water
Snack 2: rice cakes with peanut butter

Other things about meal prep/grocery shopping: 
  • I went to Sprouts for my groceries this week. I love that they have bulk bins to get my almonds and cashews. They also have pretty good deals on produce. 
  • My weekly grocery bill ranges from $40-75 depending on what I have left over from the week before. 
  • I usually prep my breakfast, lunches, and snacks for the week on Saturday or Sunday. I usually make dinner when I get home from work with prepped meat. 


There you have it! A full week of meal prep! I hope you enjoyed learning about my meal prep and grocery haul. Please let me know if you have any questions. 

Questions for you:
1) What is your favorite meal to prep for the week?
2) How can you reduce the amount of plastic, chemicals, or waste?
3) What would you like to see next on my blog?

Later Taters

"It's a beautiful day, don't let it get away." 

Monday, March 13, 2017

{Freezer Protein Bars}


Hello cupcakes! 

I love having healthy snacks on hand. These are super easy to make & are full of healthy fats and protein.

Ingredients:

1/3 c peanut butter
3 scoops Primal Protein Powder, Vanilla Coconut 
1/2 c unsweetened coconut
1/2 T flax seeds
1/2 T chia seeds
2 T coconut oil
1/2 c Anthony's Goods almond flour

Directions:

Throw everything into a food processor and blend until incorporated. Scoop batter into a dish and freeze until firm. Cut into squares and enjoy! 

How easy are these though!? 


Now I am off to spend some quality time with my best friend, cousin, pup, and boyfriend! 

Later Taters

"It's a beautiful day, don't let it get away." 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

{Sweet Potato Brownies}


Hello cupcakes!

Who loves brownies as much as me? 

Brownies are probably one of my favorite desserts next to cookies. I've made many different healthy brownie recipes, but this one uses sweet potatoes! I have so many sweet potatoes at my apartment right now, and I am always up for a challenge of a new recipe. 

Here are the ingredients:


1 sweet potato, steamed and skin removed
1/4 c. Fourth and Heart Vanilla Bean Ghee
1/2 c. coconut sugar
2 eggs
4 tsp. Eating Evolved Collagen Hot Chocolate 
1 T. Organic Gemini Chocolate Smoothie Mix
2 scoops Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides
1/4 c. cocoa powder
1 T. Anthony's Goods Arrowroot Flour
1 T. Anthony's Goods Cassava Flour
1/4 c. Anthony's Goods Almond Flour
Pieces of Eating Evolved chocolate bar

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). 

In a food processor, combine sweet potato, ghee, and sugar. Blend until smooth. Next, add eggs and process until smooth. 

Add all dry ingredients to the food processor (cocoa powder, smoothie mix, arrowroot flour, cassava flour, almond flour, & collagen). Process until smooth and all the ingredients are incorporated.

Add batter to a greased baking dish. Top with Eating Evolved chocolate pieces. Bake in the oven for 15-25 minutes or until desired done-ness (Is that even a word? haha). Some people like their brownies gooey, so cook less. If you prefer more done brownies, cook longer. 


Who wants to see the finished product? 




One of my best friends is coming to California today, so now I have a little treat to welcome her! I can't wait to share some of our adventures with you.

Now to clean my apartment... I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.


Later Taters

"It's a beautiful day, don't let it get away." 

Saturday, March 4, 2017

{Primal Pumpkin Protein Cookies} + California Adventure Update

Hello Cupcakes!

I have another fun and exciting recipe to share with you...

{Primal Pumpkin Protein Cookies}



I am kind of bummed though because I took a lot of cool photos of these cookies and they did not upload to my computer... I already deleted them from my camera :( Oh well! At least I still have two pictures to share with you. 

Ingredients:
2 eggs
1 can pumpkin
1/2 tsp. almond extract
chocolate chips of choice

Directions:
Place dry ingredients in a bowl and stir until combined. Next add wet ingredients and stir until completely incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips (I used ghirardelli dark chocolate chips). Use an icecream scoop to scoop dough out onto a greased baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 12-14 minutes. 

*You can also top the cookies with unsweetened coconut shreds or pecans*

Makes approximately 12-15 cookies



One of my best friends and my cousin are coming into town in a week! I am going to put these cookies in the freezer and take them out while they are visiting. I always love to have treats for visitors!

You can click the link to each of the flours and protein in the recipe to buy some of the goods for yourself. Both are also found on Amazon:

*Cheaper on Amazon*


Also... update on some adventures:



This photo is from Potato Chip Rock in Poway, California. This hike is about 7.5 miles round trip and is also  has very heavily traffic because everyone wants their picture on the famous Potato Chip Rock. We hiked up the trail with our good friends Matt and Katie. They have been our hiking buddies since moving out to California. This trail was pretty fun and challenging but not super hard (if that makes sense). I always wear my heart rate monitor on hikes to see how many calories I burn. This one was over 2,000 calories if I remember correctly. 


Another hike we did was Cedar Creek Falls. This hike requires a permit. Oh and if I did not mention it before, Patch goes on all the hikes with us! He absolutely loves it! While I was researching this hike, I realized it is a bad idea to try to hike this one in the summer. It gets HOT! This hike was not hard at all when we went. If there would have been a little more rain we could have watched a waterfall at the bottom of the trail. This hike is located in Ramona, California. 



Patch stayed with some family in California while Cory and I went home for Christmas....I don't think he was spoiled at all! Haha! Thanks Sandy, John, Brandon, Alexis, Megan, and Jordan for taking care of Patch!



Once Cory and I got back from Indiana, we went straight out to the desert to meet our friends for New Years. This is Ocotillo Wells in California. We had the best time out there! It's kinda crazy because there is absolutely nothing for miles on miles. 


These are two of my girl friends, Maxine and Kali. Maxine, Cory, Patch, and I joined Kali's family and friends for the weekend. 


The picture above is Cory on a dirt bike. 


In January of this year Cory and I got to go to Disneyland. Our favorite was Radiator Springs. Disney did great at recreating this town from the movie. 


Later in January, my mom and Trish (family friend) came out to California from Indiana to visit Cory and I. This was my mom's first trip to Cali since I moved here last August. My mom wanted to go wine tasting in Temecula, California... so we went to two different wineries. Kali and Maxine also came with us! Our girls day turned out to be so much fun despite all the rain we had that day. 


Of course we had to take lots of pictures!




My mom and Trish also wanted to hike while they were here. We took them to Iron Mountain (which Cory and I hiked a few weekends before). Iron Mountain is about 5.6 miles round trip and is located in Powway, California. 


This is my mom and Trish towards the top of Iron Mountain. 


After our hike, we headed to Carlsbad to get Ice Cream at Sub Zero. I love this place because they have almond milk and coconut milk options! After eating our ice cream, we headed to the beach to watch the sunset. It was the best sunset!


I don't know about you, but there is just something so soothing and magical about palm trees. I think I love them so much because I did not grow up around them. I only saw palm trees on vacation. Now I feel like I am on vacation every day!



Our friends, Matt and Katie, invited us to hike THE HARDEST trail we have hiked so far. This one is called El Capitan in Lakeside, California. This hike is 12 miles round trip. We started off early in the morning to make sure we had time to hike the whole thing. It took us quite a while and the mountains and hills on this hike were so steep. I only wore my tennis shoes, but I would highly suggest actual hiking shoes for this hike. You need the support and grip of the hiking shoes. 


The hike was hard but also so rewarding. The view at the top of the peak was amazing. By the end of the hike I was so exhausted. Patch also came on this hike with us and he was so good the entire hike. What a trooper! He's an adventure dog.

Stay tuned for more adventures...

Later Taters 

"It's a beautiful day, don't let it get away." 





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