Monthly Archives: December 2014

What Are YOU Going To DO?

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It’s that time again – time to set new goals and time for a fresh start!  I personally am giving up sweets and taking a minute from shopping for the duration of January.  I plan to put a few extra bucks in my pocket and take a few extra lbs off my body!

WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?  

Here are some tips for you to start off this year right and hopefully stay motivated to keep these goals soaring all the way through the year…

-Give something up, take something on.  Give up sweets, sugar or a clutch that you have.  Maybe take on something – a new goal, try for a 5k or a half marathon, volunteer more, get a big brother/little sis.  Give something up and in it’s place find something to work towards or something that will make yourself better.  In the end,

-Find healthy replacements.  As many of you know – I have a sweet tooth.  A big one.  Huge one.  So, giving up baking and sweets is a big move for me!  It’s about finding alternative, healthy ways to satisfy those cravings.  Since I have found Quest bars, my life has changed because those really curb my cravings for sweets.  Here are a few healthy options

Sweets – replace with a Quest bar – 20 grams of protein, 2 net carbs and 1-2 grams of sugar!!!!  Grab an apple or orange for a natural sweet taste.  If you need something before a workout – try a Gu or a Chia packet – these are filled with carbs and nutrients to help fuel a workout – especially a long cardio session!

Salty – Quest chips – my favs are BBQ and Salt and Vinegar, almonds.

*You can get the Quest bars and chips at Vitamin Shoppe (cheapest I’ve found), GNC or a local supplement shop usually.  You can find the Gu’s and Huma Gus at Fleet Feet

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-Go Natural.  This kind of goes against my previous tip about Quest bars and such…but any time you can eat natural, cook natural and bake natural – it’s better.  Our bodies were meant for food from the earth.  Watch out for sugar, additives and processed foods – try to minimize this.  Veggies and protein, veggies and protein, veggies and protein!!!!

-Set a realistic goal.  it’s all about baby steps!  Don’t say – I’m going to go to the gym 5-7 days a week and work out.  Say – I’m going to go 2-3 days a week.  Start there.  Once you accomplish that, then bump it up. It’s a mind fudge if you overcommit and then end up not being able to take it all on.  This is how you maintain!  Build a foundation and then work on it from there

-Treat yourself!  Okay, you’ve set yourself a new goal – go buy some new running shoes or a new workout top!  (Unless you’re giving up shopping for January!) Everyone needs good shoes, so go by Fleet Feet in Green Hills or Cool Springs and get fit for some shoes depending on your specific goal.  Head over to Lululemon and find a new shirt or pair of tights to make you look good.  Look good, feel good, play good!  If that doesn’t suit you, then maybe you treat yourself AFTER you’ve achieved your new goal.

-Do something you’ve never done before.  Whether that’s sprint a little faster, run a half marathon , or go sky-diving.  DO IT.  We have one life, one chance and this is it.  So, go for it.  You won’t regret it.

This year – challenge yourself, get uncomfortable because thats when change really happens, set a goal and GET IT.  Make this year, this day, this moment – something to remembered and something special.

“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes                                                        sweat, determination, and hard work.”–Colin Powell

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Paleo Banana Bread with Not So Paleo PB and Chocolate Coconut Drizzle

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I mentioned I’m giving up sweets and shopping in January, right?!  Well, after the Chase-caspade with baking pb banana chocolate muffins, I had a bit of leftovers that I discovered tonight and still 2 mushy nanners that needed to be used.  GET IT OUT OF MY HOUSE!!!

I’m actually good with having stuff around and not being tempted.  Once I set my mind to something it’s a done deal.  But, who’s to say that you can’t enjoy it a bit before you give it all up?  🙂  So, I adapted this recipe from Bakerita and made it my own!  This only made 5 or 6 small loaves, so if you want more, double the recipe!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 bananas mashed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup of honey
  • 1/3 cup of peanut butter (or any other nut butter)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt

Chocolate PB Coconut Drizzle

  • chocolate chips 1/4-1/3 cup
  • peanut butter chips 1/4 cup
  • 2 tbs coconut oil

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Grease one 9″x5″ loaf pan or a multi-loaf pan as I did, and preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. In a large bowl or mixer, combine the mashed bananas, eggs, honey, coconut oil, vanilla extract and nut butter until fully combined.
  3. Add the coconut flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and sea salt to the wet ingredients and mix well.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes until the center comes out clean.  Cook more if you’re using a loaf pan.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for about 1/2 hour. Flip out onto a cooling rack to finish cooling.
  7. While the bread is cooling – heat the coconut oil, chocolate chips and pb chips over medium heat while continuously stirring until smooth.  Once smooth and almost melted, remove from heat and keep stirring.
  8. Drizzle over bread!!!

2014 in Review

Thank YOU for being a part of my blog, reading, and hopefully being inspired by my blog this year.  From starting my own personal training business to this blog to cuts by Rascal Flatts and The Swon Brothers to falling in love – 2014 has been the best year yet.  Here’s to another amazing year ahead!

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 15,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

One Last Hoorah with Flourless PB Banana Chocolate Chunk Muffins and Chase Tucker

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Soooooo – for New Year’s I’ve decided to pose a challenge to myself and to my clients and to anyone else who wants to jump on the gravy train… (drumroll please)… to give up sweets and shopping for the month of January.  You heard me – SWEETS and SHOPPING.  You guys know that I have a sweet problem and shopping problem (mainly Lululemon), so I said to myself – self, you have everything you need, what can you do to start the year off right, save money and pose a challenge to both you and your clients?  And well, that was what I came up with.  We will see how it goes…

Naturally, I have to get rid of all of the chocolate in my house, so my friend and and fellow BBC instructor Chase had asked to come be my sous chef and talk Barry’s and fitness sometime.  I told him – well, it’s now or February!!  He chose now.

Chase came over and I was armed and ready with a recipe I found from Detoxinista to combine and get rid of my mushy bananas, peanut butter chips and chocolate chunks.  We chatted about goals for 2015, Barry’s, and chocolate while I whipped up these beautiful little nuggets.  And then Chase ate about 10 of them.  Okay, more like 6. No, maybe 10.  (And he took some to go). Needless to say – hot out of the oven – these are winners!  Add a glass of skim milk and it’s heaven!!  As you can see Chase quite enjoyed them!

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I couldn’t think of a better way to have my last baking session of 2014 than with a friend over good conversation, peanut butter and chocolate!

Happy almost 2015 everyone!!  Watch out for some new blogs coming that I hope will inspire to start off this new year right!

Ingredients
  • 1 cup natural organic peanut butter
  • 2 very ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup mashed)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 whole eggs
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ cup honey (or stevia, to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Optional add-ins: ½ cup chocolate chips, or 1 cup fresh raspberries, or ½ cup dried raisins or cherries, or 1 sliced banana
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F and prepare a muffin tin with 12 paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients mix until smooth. At this point, you can fold in one of the optional add-ins, if desired.
  3. Scoop the batter, using a ¼ cup, into each muffin liner.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes at 350F. The resulting muffins should be firm, and lightly golden.
  5. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before removing from the pan.
  6. Serve immediately, or store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week!

Pumpkin Chai Bread with Coconut Chocolate Drizzle

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I have a few problems… chocolate and Lululemon are among 2 of my biggest “problems.”  So, I decided last week to put them together!  I love all of the amazing people that work at this wonderful company.  Many have become friends.  To me, It’s so much more than just a clothing store – it’s a lifestyle, and it’s a brand that you can count on.  I immediately walk in and feel at home.  (Probably because it is like my second home!) But the people, the clothes, the atmosphere and the brand are just simply amazing.  I decided to try out this recipe that I found on PaleOMG (and of course add chocolate) and take it to the sweet people at Lulu!  I think…I hope it was a hit!

Ingredients
  • 1 cup almond butter (or other nut butter or seed butter)
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • ¼ cup honey (optional- i like it sweeter)
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 2 chai tea packets (tea spices removed from packets)
  • 3 tablespoons coconut flour
  • ½ tablespoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt

Chocolate Drizzle

  • 1/2 cup Chocolate chips
  • 1-2 tbs Coconut oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together almond butter, pumpkin, banana, and eggs.
  3. Cut open the two tea bags and remove all the tea spices from the tea bags and add to almond butter mixture.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until well combined.
  5. Grease a bread pan and then line it with parchment paper.
  6. Pour batter in pan and place in oven. Bake for 45 minutes. Let rest.
  7. When the bread is finished, take 1/2 cup of chocolate chips in a skillet over med/low heat and combine and with coconut oil.  Stir and keep stirring.  When it is almost melted completely, take off heat and stir until smooth.
  8. Once the bread is cool, drizzle over and enjoy!

 

Paleo Pumpkin Donuts with Tempur Vegan Dark Chocolate Frosting

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So, today I was out running errands – going here and there and everywhere after training people to tie everything up before the Christmas holiday.  I was at one of my favorite little shops in Germantown – Pieces, and Ashley the owner told me about the new chocolate shop around the corner….  Well, naturally, I hear the word chocolate and my ears perk up…  I mean, you guys know that anything I make I usually dump in a handful (or 10) of chocolate chips.  I’m a fan if you can’t tell.

So, I moseyed on over to Tempur Chocolate Shoppe, and was greeted with wonderful smiles, free samples and AMAZING chocolate.  They had everything from vegan truffles to chocolate covered rice crispy treats to pretzel sticks…and more.  Let’s just say I walked out with a very full, satisfied sweet tooth and belly and a box of 15 chocolates…oops.

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Naturally I had to come home and use the chocolates for something other than just popping one at a time in my mouth.  So, I went for it and came up with this recipe!  I actually like putting them in the fridge so that the chocolate sets.  They are even better the next day!  If you like DARK chocolate, then this is the recipe for you.  And if you don’t feel like baking, then do yourself a favor and pop by this precious shop!  It’s great for you or for a gift for someone special!!

INGREDIENTS:

Donut:

Dry –

  • 3/4 cup almond meal or flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

Wet:

  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 TBS coconut oil, melted
  • 3 TBS tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 eggs

Frosting

  • 6-8 Tempur Vegan Dark Chocolate Truffles!!!
  • coconut oil or spray

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease your 6-mold donut pan with coconut oil or coconut spray.  (I love Trader Joe’s brand of coconut spray).
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. In another medium bowl combine all of the wet ingredients.
  3. Mix the wet with dry and pour or spoon the batter into the donut pan.
  4. Equally distribute the batter between the 6 donut molds. Smooth out the tops of each donut. Bake for 12-15 minutes until lightly golden.
  5. Allow the donuts to cool, remove from pan and then chill in the fridge for half an hour.
  6. While the donuts are cooling, in a non-stick pan over medium heat, add a bit of coconut oil or what I did was simply spray the pan with coconut oil spray and and tear up or cut the chocolates into smaller pieces so that they can melt equally.
  7. Keep stirring and remove from heat when almost completely melted.  Continue stirring until smooth.
  8. Pour the melted chocolate into a shallow bowl. Dip or ice each chilled donut in the chocolate, then immediately chill for 30 minutes until the glaze hardens.  The chocolate wasn’t completely smooth because of the truffle, so I chose to keep it thick and just “ice” the donuts with a knife instead.
  9. Put what you don’t eat (If there are any left) in a plastic baggie and refrigerate!  ENJOY!!!!!!!!!!!!

A Holiday Gift

So, many of you know that aside from baking and training and bootcamp teaching, I’m also in music.  I get paid to yell at people, and sing to people, and write music for people – I’m not complaining.  I decided this year to go in with my duo partner and partner in musical crime – Shane Hines and record a song for everyone for Christmas and for the holidays.  We call ourselves Paperhouse.  We’ve opened it up for a FREE download so that you can enjoy it (if you like it) this holiday season!!  I wish you all a wonderful, safe and very blessed holiday!!!

 

If you want to check out more of my music and Paperhouse – you can go to:

http://www.meganconner.com

http://www.facebook.com/meganconnermusic

http://www.facebook.com/paperhousemusicpage