Healthy snacks

Boy, its been a rough few weeks. My grandmother has stage 3 breast cancer, my oldest has pneumonia which on top of her asthma is just a shit show, pardon my French…

I manage to get kids decent food but I definitely do not take very good care of myself when kids are down, who does?

I usually stock up with healthy, organic snacks for kids. But on my last grocery trip, I threw in Got Snacks? roasted coconut chips and my fatigued lethargic baby tore the package off my hands and the 4 year old joined in, I was left with nothing! But hey, it was the only thing she wanted to eat in days and let me tell you, it was absolutely delicious. Amazon is currently out of stock but check your local stores. Its slightly sweet, crunchy and a lot healthier than any other chip out there. And kids love it! Ingredients: coconut meat & nectar, sea salt. Done.

91WYm-kGbML._SY679SX429_SY679_CR,0,0,429,679_PIbundle-12,TopRight,0,0_SX429_SY679_CR,0,0,429,679_SH20_

Baby, its cold outside. In April!

I cannot believe we might get snow again tonight. Where were those flakes around Christmas time when I was singing “I am dreaming of white christmas..” around the clock? My poor daffodils are frozen to crisp outside.

Do you all use Pinterest? I didn’t for the longest time but am totally obsessed now as it helps me keep all the images and ideas organized. I recommend to all my clients to spend some time looking over the images and pinning the ones they like, so we can get a better sense what appeals to them. You can see what pieces you already have and what you need to buy and when getting ready, its great for a quick refresher for what to wear.

Here’s my Pinterest picks for this weekend. All pictures are from here.

Joyride – indoor cycling aka spinning

I am fairly skinny but not in a great shape. I am not strong and I’d like to be. I also wouldn’t mind having some abs and arms a la Jennifer Aniston. I tried tennis which was great, I really enjoyed it, way more fun than gym. I do try to do Tracy Anderson DVDs (highly recommend) and now have ventured into HIIT training (will review later) but cardio I hate. I am not a runner and I sort of feel like Im wasting my time when I just walk. A friend dragged me into Joyride Wilton and I really liked it.

What is it? You are in a dark large room, well ventilated, about 30 bikes on different levels in front of a mirrored wall. So if you are like me, you go the back row in hopes no-one sees you but fear not, its really dark in there save for multi-colored disco lights and most people have hard enough of a time to stay on a bike to be watching you. A very very energetic instructor will lead you through the class to some pumping music, there are essentially 3 different positions: sitting, standing (hands on the bar in front of you), and standing while holding onto the handles furthest from you so you are in a climbing position. Instructor tells you the speed, position and resistance (if you get too tired, turn it down). You end the class with some arm work (1-3 lb weights) and stretching.

joyride-bikes-620x400

Photo from goodmorningwilton.com

What to watch out for? 

  • make sure that someone comes over with you and helps you set up a bike. If it doesn’t feel comfortable, have them adjust it for you and remember your numbers. I felt like I was slipping off a bike for a while and turned out the adjustment was needed.
  • do not be an energizer bunny – I constantly see women who completely ignore the instructions, the pace and the rhythm, and just petal like energizer bunny as fast as they can. I get especially annoyed if they are shouting out Whoo-hoo’s while the rest of the class is petaling hard AND actually using resistance. You have to use some resistance, it’s hard to get a good workout without it. This isn’t just a random cycling event, the intensity and intervals are carefully calculated to give you the best workout you can have and to keep you safe on a bike.
  • be aware of your position: your elbows should be relaxed, arms shouldn’t be tight and in 3rd position, stick your butt out. Always keep your head up and shoulders down – I have a hard time with my shoulders but its so important.
  • have water and drink it: before, during and after, even when you do not feel hydrated. Its a tough workout. They give you a towel and at the end of the class everyone uses sanitary wipes to wipe down their seat and handlebars.
  • wear comfortable workout shoes and I even bought this sexy, padded piece to wear. Feels like a giant diaper but my butt hurt less.

 

61yYnNhxDjL._SL1500_

Bicycle padded pants $25.99

Why do I like it? It burns a ton of calories as any interval cardio would. I like the fact I can go sit down, its dark and anonymous (though the ladies I talked to were really nice), do it and get out. Instructor tells you what to do so you don’t even have to think, just show up and do it. It is convenient as they have classes throughout the day every day of the week, so you can easily squeeze in your 50 minutes. It works your legs, arms and core. Plus, I am a child of late 70s, I enjoy the disco lights, loud music and anyone who cheers me on!!!

Delicious and healthy oat and coconut cookies

Both my daughters have a huge sweet tooth and they are forever hungry for snacks. I’ve been coming up some really great recipes for healthy baked goods that are toddler approved! Not as easy feat, I assure you, as they are so picky. Olivia screamed out loud when I made zucchini muffins: I see squash!!!!!!! See, the mistake I made was not shredding the zucchini more. Lesson learned!

These cookies are healthy, sugar-free and can be made dairy-free as well. You can substitute to your taste as these are very forgiving.

IMG_0101

Oat and coconut cookies:

  • 1 cup of oats
  • 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 cup coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup flaxseed
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup raisins and cranberries
  • 1/2 cup kefir or buttermilk
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 ts baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Mix dry ingredients (feel free to use almond flour instead of coconut flour, I also use oat flour which I make by running oats through a food processor). You can also add chia seeds, protein powder, other dried fruits, dark chocolate chips, etc.

Mash banana, whisk an egg and mix the wet ingredients; add dry to wet and mix. I used ice-cream scoop to get even amount of batter. Cook at 350 degrees for 12-15 min.

I use maple syrup instead of sugar when baking. Sweetened coconut and raisins add additional sweetness. I like to use kefir (easier to have at hand when buttermilk, most stores carry it now right in the dairy isle) but you could greek yoghurt or apple sauce.

Kids absolutely loved these and kept asking for more!

IMG_0102