I've been looking for recipes to make either muffins or cookies that included protein powder. Most of the recipes I found used vanilla and all I have right now is chocolate, so I had to come up with my own concoction. I'm delighted they turned out as good as they did! My boys LOVED them. I would like to make some more adjustments to try to make them a bit healthier and eventually make these a breakfast staple (instead of cereal!)
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa (I used Hershey's brand)
2/3 cup flour
2/3 cup chocolate protein powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3 cups Old Fashioned Quaker Oats Oatmeal
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
Preheat over to 325 degrees. Add the softened butter to your mixer and whip until creamy. Add the eggs and vanilla. Once it's well combined, add the cocoa, flour, protein powder, baking soda and salt. Mix until combined then add the oatmeal and chocolate chips. Place spoonfuls of dough on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 8-10 minutes (do NOT over bake otherwise they'll be too dry!)
It was my son's 7th birthday and he wanted a Lego themed party. So immediately, I rushed to pinterest to find all the party ideas that would go along with the theme. I was instantly overwhelmed and knew I wouldn't have time to pull all of it together. His birthday always sneaks up on me and I always feel like he gets the short end of the stick. Last year I promised him a big summer party, and I never came through on that promise. Instead his brother got the big party. (My excuse is that my youngest son's birthday is in June and it's so much easier to have a big party in the summer, than it is in April when you don't know if it'll be 65 degrees or 20 and snowing). So, I felt obligated to make this year's birthday extra special.
This is when Party like Paula walked in to my life! I went to junior high school with Paula and she has recently moved back to town and started a party planning business. And guess what one of her party themes is for kids? LEGOS!
She brought me a tub full of goodies and a wonderful centerpiece (straight from the world of pinterest!)
Confident I could rock this party look, I went out the night before, stayed up way too late and probably drank too much (but I had TONS of fun!). I was even more thankful for that tub full of goodies when I woke up Sunday morning and knew I had to clean the house and prepare for the party. Luckily, getting ready for the party was pretty painless. The biggest obstacle was debating with my son about where the decorations should go. He wanted to hang the table runner on the ceiling! (No amount of caffeine after a night of drinking will make you ambitious enough to start hanging runners from the ceiling! I commended his enthusiasm and creativity, but overruled him).
Paula included everything:
As luck would have it, it was a beautiful day and all the kids wanted to do was go outside. They did build legos for awhile, but those cute backpacks never got decorated :( Most importantly though, it was a great birthday, the kids had a blast and I wasn't stressed out.
For more information on Party Like Paula, visit her website, www.partylikepaula.com. AND the kids' packages are all on sale until the end of June and they now include the CAKE!! Only $99 to have your party "Paula" style!
I have officially fallen of the wagon of eating well. Ever since spring break I have eaten terribly and every night I go to bed and think, I'll do better tomorrow. Then tomorrow comes and I do well until mid afternoon, when I start to crave cookies, cake, chocolate, ice cream, really anything sweet. I've been giving in to that temptation, overindulging and it's time to STOP!
Someone once told me that how you look is defined by 70% of what you eat, 20% exercise and 10% hereditary. Now I realize that I've been blessed with good genes and I know I've got the exercising mastered, but the biggest portion of that is what I need to work on. I know I can do it, I've done it before.
For almost 3 weeks I successfully gave up sweets and I experienced what "great" felt like. I wasn't cranky from sugar crashes, my thighs were definitely thinner and my stomach flatter. I'm determined to get back to that point. So I'm making a contract with myself. And if I stick with it I'm rewarding myself with a new swimming suit or maybe a new summer outfit!
BINDING CONTRACT WITH ME, MYSELF, and I
1. Don't self sabotage. You know how you go to the store and your kids talk you in to buying those Oreos, and you're the one that eats them all? Yea, I do that ALL the time! I'm not allowing it anymore because I know my will power sucks, so I can't have it in the house. In fact, I usually let my kids have 2 sugars (or desserts) a day. I'm cutting theirs out too (or at least decreasing what they get) - I'm sure they'll be thrilled, ha!
2. Plan your meals. If I take the time to plan out what we're eating for dinner all week and specifically what I'll eat each day, then I don't have to think about it the rest of the week! And if I know that we're going out to eat 2 days, then I can plan for that and eat well the rest of the week.
3. Save the sweets for a special occasion. It's ok to have a treat here and there, just not an entire box of cookies or tub of ice cream. And a special occasion does not mean, "it's Monday and the cupcakes are on sale," or "the suns out, lets get ice cream". When I give up the sugary sweets and then I eat one, I usually get a terrible stomach ache - a CLEAR sign, that my body shouldn't have it!
4. Eat because you're hungry. When I get a craving for something sweet, I need to take a drink of water, walk out of the kitchen and decide if I'm actually hungry or if I'm just wanting to eat to procrastinate. I tend to emotionally eat, especially if I'm stressed or have a lot going on. So, I need to address this and remove myself from the kitchen! It's mindless eating and that really packs on the calories!
5. Find your inspiration! I'm tearing out a page from Athleta and putting it on the fridge! I'm also going to put a sign that says, "nothing tastes as good as skinny feels."
(Now I know I'm not over weight and I don't really NEED to lose weight, but after losing the sugar puffiness and enjoying my thinner thighs, I want that back! I don't want to be "skinny" I want to be athletic, lean and healthy).
6. Keep a food journal. This is a great way to keep myself accountable for the calories I'm eating. I use an app on my phone called "MyFitness Pal". It's awesome and has almost every thing you'd eat already listed in there.
7. Exercise 5 hours a week. This will get much easier as it starts to warm up and I can take the boys on bike rides, walks around the block, playing soccer in the back yard, etc.
8. Acknowledge failure but don't dwell on it. I know I'm not perfect and I know I'll give in to temptation, but I'm not going to dwell on it. I'm also not going to allow it to take over for weeks on end like it has. I'll get right back on track the next day.
9. Get someone to do it with you. It's always easier to do these things with others. I know I have a couple friends I can call to talk me out of eating something I'll just regret later. And knowing that I'll have to check in with someone every week on how my eating went, will also keep me on track. I'm also going to get my husband involved, he'll smack those cookies right out of my hand - his will power is a lot better than mine!!
10. Life isn't about food, it's about having fun and making memories! Don't let family and friend gatherings revolve around food. This will also get easier as it gets warmer. Go outside and play with the kids, go for a walk, DO something instead of just EATING something. No more standing in the kitchen around the food and snacking before dinner is even served!
This contract may not be suitable for everyone, but I hope it will at least inspire you to make your own contract with yourself and stick to it. Let me know what helps make you successful in this never ending battle of saying no to processed foods!
I'm often reminded to live in the moment and cherish what I have by what's happening around me. A couple days ago a young man by the name of Michael Collins, died from injuries from a car accident. He wasn't driving, he wasn't doing anything wrong, he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. At just 22 his life was cut short because of a drunk driver. These are things no parent can ever control, but is a parent's nightmare!
I didn't know Michael personally, but his story broke my heart. I'm reminded that life is precious and shouldn't be taken for granted. But it's easy to do... life flies by because we get busy with work, school, activities, etc. We forget to tell those we love why we love them, we forget to treat others like we'd like to be treated and we forget that we all have one thing in common - our lives can be taken away from us in an instant.
This post isn't meant to depress you, it's suppose to remind you about what matters most in life and to LIVE IT, CHERISH IT and ENJOY IT! Take a moment and hug your loved ones, tell your significant other you love them, send a friend a note to let them know how much they mean to you. Put down your phone, step away from your computer and engage with your children the next time they call for you... it is these moments they'll never forget.
Michael Collin's family started a Facebook page called "Pay it Forward for Michael Collins" and if you haven't liked the page, you should. It's a constant reminder that there are good people out there and that "good deeds" or "paying it forward" go a long way! And what a great way for Michael Collins to live through all of us!
Now go enjoy your day a
I have been an athlete my whole life, so it's no secret that I do enjoy working out. (Go ahead, roll your eyes, I know that's not "normal") I don't necessarily love it when I'm trying to get 5 more push ups in and my arms are killing me, but I LOVE the feeling afterwards. You feel so accomplished, strong and energized to take on the day. And the best part? I feel much more confident in myself!
I feel like the most important thing about exercising is to find people to do it with you. They'll hold you accountable, pick you up when you're down and it's just more fun! Finding the perfect fit with a group of people or gym can sometimes be a difficult or scary step and it may take you a couple gym "tryouts" to finally find the right fit for you and your goals. In the end though, YOU are totally worth the time and effort!
This picture was taken about 2 months before I had my second son (four years ago). I don't think I allowed anyone to take my picture after this point because I was as big as a HOUSE!
After I had him, I had about 40 pounds to lose. Once he was 3 months old, I was determined to get back into my pre-pregnancy clothes before our trip to Disney world, 3 months later. My dear friend told me about MyLeanBody Boot Camp and she recommended I try it. The owner, Emily was so nice and very attentive to what my goals were. I started boot camp, working out 3 times a week and keeping a food journal. I quickly began to see the weight drop off and when I actually gave up sweets for 2 weeks, I dropped the last 8 pounds right before vacation! It felt awesome to not have to go buy bigger clothes for the trip! I quit about 3 months later because I had one of those lovely babies that never slept and getting up at 5:30am was killing me (not really, but I sure did turn in to a bitch!)
This is me and my oldest (then 3) at our first Disney Trip, just 4 months after the birth of my second son.
Fast forward 4 years and I'm back at MyLeanBody Boot Camp and have been for the last 7 months. After having been to other gyms and loving those gyms too, I wasn't finding that my body was changing despite my hard workouts. I don't know what Emily's magic is, but there's definitely some magic in her program. After 2 babies and my relentless efforts to lose an inch off my thighs, it finally happened! I went on spring break this year and actually had to tie my swim suit bottoms tighter because they were falling off!
The interesting thing is that I still weigh the exact same.
This picture shows why. Look at the difference between the fat and the muscle!! I had no idea that my swimming suits wouldn't fit because the number on the scale hadn't changed. Lesson learned: don't go by the number on the scale, go by how your clothes fit or take your measurements. My reward: I treated myself to a new pair of skinny jeans :)
Nothing feels better than feeling good in your own skin.
If you haven't found your home at a gym or you're just not getting the results you want, I encourage you to come try boot camp with me. We are a great group of women, very positive, encouraging and of all ages!
Melissa Ash - mom of 2 energetic boys, wife, and business woman. Just trying to "do it all".