Hello! Thanks for all your sweet words of encouragement about my decision to go cardio-free! Your support means more than you know. Truly. Whenever I feel doubtful, I re-read your inspiring comments.
I know my posts have been sporadic lately, but there are only a few more weeks left before my 50-page research proposal is due, so I’ve been working nonstop! Whelp. Putting together a blog post after spending six hours writing a research paper doesn’t have quite the same appeal as it usually does, if ya know what I mean.
But reading your blogs most certainly does! In fact, blog reading is how I unwind and de-stress at the end of the day.
And baking most definitely does too.
I woke up yesterday morning feeling refreshed, revitalized and ready to kickstart the day!
Then I glanced at my alarm clock and realized why. I’d slept two hours later than I’d planned.
My first thought: How in the world do I sleep through three alarms?
My second thought: Breakfast time!
My third thought: My legs are saaoooore.
When I hired Tara to be my personal trainer, I knew she wouldn’t mess around. But I’m still feeling the effects of Monday’s lower body workout two days later. I guess when you spend an hour squatting, curling and lunging around a weight room that’s bound to happen.
I actually enjoy being sore because I know it means that the time and effort I’m putting into my workouts is making a difference. Tired legs also greatly decrease my desire to do run, which is very helpful as I transition from seven days of cardio to one.
My sore muscles need good fuel to assist with growth and recovery, so I’ve been diligent about drinking protein shakes after every strength workout.
I’m continuing to love my MRM Whey. If you’re looking for a new protein powder, definitely give this one a try!
I’ve also been eating mini meals like this…
(I Iove “snacky” lunches with lots of condiments for dipping and spreading!)
….every 2-3 hours, 6-7 times each day.
It feels like I’m always munching on something. (Because I am).
I’m giving my body what it needs, and that’s a bit more food than I’m used to. Even though I’ve loved adding more healthy fats to my meals (avocado, peanut butter and almonds are my best friends, yo), I’d be lying if I told you that increasing calories is easy peasy all the time. It’s a challenge. But it’s a challenge that I’m 100% committed to.
Less cardio+ more lifting + lots of great food is the prescription for feeling my best ever.
My focus has been on enjoying whole Paleo-esque mini meals, which are relatively easy to prepare when I have time to cook. However, when I’m on-the-go, the temptation to grab a packaged bar is high.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my Luna bars, however I’ve discovered that I can bake something that is far more nourishing and delicious than a bar that’s been sitting on a grocery store shelf for a few months.
These Chocolate Chip Coconut Banana Protein Bars combine an irresistible trifecta of flavors into one delicious bite.
Coconut, banana, and chocolate? Yes please and thank you.
Chocolate Chip Coconut Banana Protein Bars
Inspired by this recipe. Makes 16 small bars or 8 large bars
1/3 cup coconut flour
1/3 cup almond meal/flour
2 scoops vanilla protein powder (I used MRM, but any protein powder will work)
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
6 packets stevia (I used NuNaturals)
1 ripe banana, mashed
1 t. vanilla extract
1/2 cup coconut milk (from a can, not light)
2-3 T. mini chocolate chips
Optional: shredded coconut and extra chocolate chips for topping
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8×8 pan with cooking spray or coconut oil. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl, then add wet ingredients. Once everything is incorporated into a batter, stir in the chocolate chips. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean.
***After the bars are finished baking, you can top with shredded coconut and more chocolate chips and toast in the toaster oven for a minute. Or, you can add the coconut towards the end of baking.
Nutrition per small bar: Calories: 88; Fat: 4.9 grams; Carbs: 6.1 grams; Fiber: 2.3 grams; Protein: 5.3 grams
*THREE THINGS THURSDAY*
I want to share a few newsworthy items before I go.
1. Did you hear Mr. Quaker Oats had a makeover?
Apparently the new “Larry” is younger, leaner and trimmer (haircut!) than his old self.
2. Coconut wraps!
This is a new product discovery that I’m really excited about! Pure Wraps are a grain-free, gluten-free, raw alternative to tortillas, and they’re made with just three ingredients: coconut, coconut water and Himalayan salt. I ordered a few packages to try, and will be reporting back with a review soon!
3. I’m moving to a new house! I’ll have five roommates (including one of my best friends, Elaina), all whom I’m beyond excited to live with. But the best part may be gaining access to stove burners that light on their own without the assistance of a lighter. (!!)
How many alarms do you set? How do you de-stress at the end of the day?
Do you enjoy or dread muscle soreness after a strength workout?
Are you a “condiment queen” like me? What are your favorite condiments?
What do you think of Larry’s makeover? Do you want
him his oats more, now that he’s looking younger and leaner?