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cooking, EAT, Weight Loss, WIAW

Homemade Coconut Creme Larabars, WIAW & Weigh In Wednesday

Guys. This is freaking brilliant. So, I’ve know that making “lara bars” seemed relatively easy. I liked regular Lara Bars, but it wasn’t until I tried the Coconut Creme ones that I was hooked. I’m pretty sure the only reason I survived my last week of Whole30 was because of those puppies. Thing is, at $1.25ish a piece… I was droppin a lot of dough on these little treats. So I decided to try to recreate them at home… and man oh man, they were spot on!

homemadecoconutcremelarabars

Homemade Coconut Creme Larabars

Yield: 10 bars

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Medjool Dates (pitted)
  • 1 cup Almonds (I used raw almonds)
  • 3 tablespoons Coconut Butter
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetend Shredded Coconut
  • Coconut oil

Instructions

  1. Pit the dates, soak in water for 30 minutes if they are dry or hard.
  2. Put almonds in the food processor and process until crumbled.
  3. Add dates and process until you get a smooth mixture.
  4. Add in coconut butter and shredded coconut and mix until fully incorporated. I ended up mixing these in by hand because my food processor ran out of room.
  5. If you're feeling a little crazy, add some enjoy life chocolate chunks.
  6. Press into an 8x8 pan greased with coconut oil (or use parchment paper, I didn't have any)
  7. Refrigerate or freeze until well set (Mine were in the fridge for about 4 hours but could have gone longer)
  8. Cut up and wrap in individual servings. Mine made 10 bars.

I did a ton of food prep on Sunday so that we would be well prepared for the week. Since feeling confused about my eating I realized I do better with a plan. Also with running the CrossFit we are gone most mornings, then have to come home and jump right into our “day” jobs then we are gone a lot of evenings too – when we come home and have to eat dinner later than I’d like. So I’ve been prepping lots of breakfast food like breakfast casserole and protein waffles

foodprep

With the hubs on a quest to gain muscle and Little P on some kind of huge growth spurt eating kick, the breakfast casserole lasts about 3-4 days. It is seriously so good. Pop it in the microwave for about a minute, add some tabasco, tomato and avocado… the perfect breakfast in a pinch. and my kitchen stays clean. win-win.

breakfastcasserole

For dinners I’ve been keeping it simple lately. For awhile I got all fancy with my meal planning and was trying something new (and most likely complicated) almost every night. Between coaching CrossFit classes, making sure my 3 year old gets to bed at a decent time, and school/house work I just don’t have the time for that. I’m relying on the crock pot a lot. I used one of my old favorites last night, Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken.

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken

Instead of making it on a bun I put mine over roasted cauliflower and ate it with celery. Fulfills my buffalo chicken craving without the breaded and oil friend boneless buffalo wings.

I’m also trying to make an effort to keep most dairy out of my diet. I have been using canned coconut milk since the whole30 – and then I found this beauty and had to try it…

coconutmilkcreamer

I’m not sure what makes this “Barista Style” different from the other coconut creamer I’ve tried… It seems a bit smoother. I noticed this one has pea protein and the regular one didn’t. Either way – It’s good!

Since we talked about all this amazing food, let’s also take a minute to talk weight. I know the scale is a lying whore. I also know that the last 2 weeks of food choices have been less than stellar. That is one of the reasons i’m trying to get more on board with prepping/planning so I don’t make bad choices. Since my last Weigh In Wednesday Post where I shared my Whole30 Results, I’m up 3 pounds. So, yup. I’m back to 190. I know, After eliminating dairy/grains/legumes for 30 days and then essentially bingeing on them is going to cause weight gain. Now I’m just striving to find balance. And pushing SO hard to get to my next mini goal of 175. Why are these 15lbs SO. DANG. HARD. to lose? UGH.

Linking up with Erin and Alex for Weigh In Wednesday and Linking up with Jenn for WIAW

Do you love LaraBars? Do you food prep? What have you been eating lately?

 

 

cooking, Nutrition, Whole30

Whole 30 April: Week 3 Recap (Link Up!)

whole30linkup

Ok- Since sugar isn’t allowed on the Whole30 I’m not going to sugar coat this… This week was tough. My thoughts on the First 3 weeks of the whole30:

Week 1 – It’s new and exciting – we can do this!
Week 2- The newness wears off and it is hard. The end seems so far away.
Week 3- Longest. Week. Ever. End is near.

I expected it to get easier, but it has just been dragging on. I’m still making good eating decisions, but almost begrudgingly. The week wasn’t too bad. I prepped some food to have on hand like hard boiled eggs and an egg bake for breakfast. Sadly, the egg bake doesn’t taste good, but I don’t want to waste food so I keep eating it.

Friday we went out to a brazilian steak house to celebrate our CrossFit opening. It’s one of those places they bring out all different kinds of meat on swords. I had a lot of meat. It was good. Some of the meat had sauces on it, that most likely had added sugar, but it wasn’t a lot so I let it slide. I also had a bite of a fried banana and immediately felt guilty about it.

Saturday was the hardest day by far. I was just stressed out. I’m struggling to find a new “normal” with the changes in our schedule. We had a busy day of training new clients, school started up again this week, Payton had a birthday party (where I didn’t eat the cake… but ate dates I had in my purse), and I was lacking in patience (mostly due to a certain time of the month… TMI I Know…) and all I wanted was wine and ice cream. I refrained from both. But I found myself increasingly irritated, tired, and just wanting to be done.

Sunday I had a long run on the schedule for my training for the Pittsburgh Half Marathon. After going through the GO! STL Half Marathon a few weeks ago I knew I needed some fuel during the run. I had some Clif Shots and Nuun, not whole30… but I didn’t want to try to do it without since I’ll be using them for the race. I felt good during the run. I could definitely tell I was feeling lighter on my feet!

8miles

(ignore that nasty cold sore. apparently the stress of this week decides to make itself known in the most irritating way possible)

I have seen amazing progress so I will press on another week!

whole30progress

I have no plans of going crazy on day 31 and beyond… but I will for sure add in some things that I’ve been missing. Like dessert. and Paleo Pancakes.

How Did Your Week Go? Link up if you’re doing Whole30!



cooking, Nutrition, Whole30

April Whole30 Check In: Week 2

First of all I wanted to say THANK YOU all for your response to Friday’s post on Friendship– It is SO refreshing to know I’m not alone in this struggle. Hopefully we can all just learn to be friends to each other and no one will have to be lonely anymore! Als0- Don’t forget to enter the U Design Jewelry Giveawy!!


THE HALF WAY POINT!!! WHOOO! So I’ve officially made it half way through the Whole30! And let me tell you, it has NOT been easy. I seriously thought I ate “pretty clean” before this, but I gave into my cravings far more than I realized. There are a ton of other bloggers doing the Whole30 this month, so this is a place to link up and see how others are doing, to find ideas and inspiration, and to know you’re not alone.

whole30linkup

So this week was tough. Tougher than week 1, I think. Week 1 I was all hyped up and “This is going to be amazing hooray!” Then I ran a half marathon – and when I do that I usually want to eat everything I see. I stayed on track and felt fine on Days 8-9. Kinda boring. Then comes Day 10.

Day 10 deserves its own paragraph. Because it was that miserable. I was constantly hungry. I was emotional. I was exhausted. I wanted everything I can’t have. Chai Latte from Starbucks, creamy latte, Chocolate Chip cookie, muffins…. I wanted it all. I had a hugely emotional moment of telling myself I “deserve” it and that having something – anything- would satisfy those cravings. I had black coffee… tried to make my own chai latte with my homemade almond milk (it wasn’t nearly as good without the sugar), had some rasins and cashews… nothing was cutting it. I ended up laying down for a bit in the afternoon and it helped. But I was still kinda cranky.

I thought week 2 was supposed to be kick butt awesome?! Day 11 was tough too, but not nearly as bad as day 10. I realized that I have, in fact, been sleeping way better. I know when I wake up and am utterly confused as to what day it is and why my alarm is going off that I have slept good. Things with my schedule have recently changed and now I’m working out at 7am instead of 5am and let me tell you those extra couple hours make ALL the difference. I have been sleeping deeper (according to my Sleep Cycle app) and longer. My body is thankful.

Now for the food! I have been staying true to the spirit of Whole30 and sticking to the program as much as possible. I have not, however, been worrying about the sourcing. I try to get organic and local as much as possible but when it comes to meat sometimes that isn’t an option. I have been eating breakfast meat like bacon and sausage that is not technically whole30 approved…. but that is just a small detail I’m willing to overlook for the results I want to get. As much as there are so many technical Whole30 rules, there are certain things that you have to decide for yourself if they will help you reach your goals, and for me eating those kinds of meats is fine.

whole30week2

Power Steak Bowl from Panera – Spaghetti Squash with Meat Sauce – Salad with Oil/Vinegar dressing – Eggs, Sausage, Broccoli, Spinach & Mushrooms, Tomatoes – Bison Burger topped with Homemade Avocado Dressing on a bed of Spinach, Asparagus, Broccoli – Roasted chicken and veggies – Lettuce Wrapped Chicken Breast with Bacon & Guac, Sweet potato fries from Red Robin – Breakfast bowl with eggs, broccoli, tomato, avocado, bacon – Texas Chocolate Chili with Avocado

We did eat out a lot more this week and I felt good about the choices I made. I stayed away from any processed sauces/dressing and picked mostly meat and veggies. I’m not sure what kind of oil the sweet potato fries were made it… but they were good. ha.

Overall I’m feeling good about my body. I am noticing myself looking smaller in the mirror. Mostly, I just miss the aspect of community when it comes to food. We are very much social eaters. While we still have been going out we have avoided some of our favorite places to go with friends because there would be too much temptation for me. Speaking of temptation – when we went out on Friday the hubs and daughter split a piece of cheesecake. It looked amazing. I was SO tempted to have just a bite. But I didn’t. HUGE points for that one.

I’m ready for week 3. I hope there aren’t any days like Day 10 – I want to be smooth sailing from here on out! If you are doing Whole30, link it up!



How are you doing? How do you deal with those days you struggle with making healthy decisions?