Cacao Peanut Butter Energy Balls

You guys… these cacao PB energy balls are the BOMB.COM. Is that still a thing? Bomb.com? Anyways, they’re so good so I’m excited to share the recipe!

I’ve been slacking on creating recipes lately, but finally had some free time this week to play around in the kitchen. This was inspired by my intense stress/PMS chocolate cravings I had lately *nervous laugh* because OMG it’s been bad. I am trying to stay on track but have had several days where I just HAVE to have something sweet. So I decided to try and come up with a new sweet treat that at least has some goods in there for ya too.

Overall, these are pretty clean since the only added sugar is in the mini chocolate chips (or whatever mix-ins you choose) and the applesauce but only because I accidentally got regular instead of unsweetened. Try and go with a natural peanut butter, as it has fewer ingredients than even the low-fat PBs. Honey is also optional, I just added a tiny bit for taste.

Cacao Peanut Butter Energy Balls

1 cup old fashioned oats, blended in processor for about 20 seconds (could also use quick oats)
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
2 tbsp cacao powder (can sub with cocoa powder)
1/3 cup applesauce (preferably unsweetened unless you’re like me and don’t pay attention lol but either works)
1 tbsp natural honey
2 tbsp mini chocolate chips (can use any mix-ins you want! raisins, nuts, etc.)

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl, until completely combined. Let sit in freezer for 20-30 minutes, then roll into balls. Store in airtight container in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

Please let me know if you try these and what you think! Hope you have the best day. Be kind to someone today!

XO beth

Advertisements

My Review of “What the Health”

*actual picture of the eggs I ate last night ^

I’m sure you’ve heard by now all the rave about the latest documentary on Netflix called “What the Health.” I certainly have, and was shocked at the response and number of people claiming they needed to instantly change their whole diet based solely on this documentary. So I immediately decided I needed to watch it and form my own opinions on it.

If you haven’t heard about it or seen it yet, this documentary looks at the link between our diets (mostly meat and dairy) and major diseases they can potentially cause. It is clearly produced by people pushing the vegan agenda, and it also completely discredits several major health organizations (like the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, etc.).

I will start by saying this: I do acknowledge and appreciate that the health of our nation is being discussed. We are certainly experiencing an obesity epidemic in this country, and it should be brought to light how to prevent it further. The majority of people need to start understanding how the type/amount of foods they are consuming is affecting their overall health. However, the way this film goes about it is not so much informative as it is simply one giant scare tactic with little valid research to back it.

One of the biggest red flags to me was that, throughout the whole 1.5-hour-long film, they interviewed only TWO Registered Dietitians, and one of those two only spoke for about a whole 20 seconds. The rest were mostly doctors who simply stated their opinions without backing it with hard scientific evidence. AND, at the end of the film, several of the doctors even admitted that doctors hardly get ANY nutritional education and know little about how diet affects the body… so then why are we taking everything they are pushing on us without questioning their research or validity?!

Here are my main points I wrote down while watching it that I want to share:

YES processed meat is not the type of meat you should be consuming for the majority of your meat choices… NO meat will not give you cancer, as long as you are choosing the right kinds! (Lean meats that are organically raised/fed are best, but this is not always realistic. It isn’t the meat that’s harmful, but the chemicals/antibiotics that are sometimes put in them.) I personally am not the biggest fan of meat but only because it’s a preference thing – I do still try to eat a serving of lean meat at least a few times a week.

YES a vegan/plant-based diet CAN work for people! Don’t get me wrong, I find nothing wrong with a plant-only diet, if you have your reasons for doing so. You can still get all the macro- and micronutrients needed from plants if you follow it correctly. But if you choose to do so because this video scared you into thinking meat of any kind at all is going to kill you? NOT a good reason. You do not have to rely on a plant-based diet to avoid disease. People on a plant-based diet can still get sick, just like people on animal-based diets can. Every body is different and handles food in its own way.

NO sugar alone does not cause diabetes… the main contributors to diabetes are genetics, lack of physical activity, and high energy (calorie) intake. So yes, a diet full of sugar is often associated with a high energy diet. Don’t let the wording of that whole diabetes conversation confuse you. And no, eating plants will probably not reverse your diabetes in a week or two like they imply. Food can certainly be the best medication in many circumstances, but it’s very complex and disease-dependent.

NO eating one egg a day is NOT equivalent to smoking five cigarettes a day!!! This one really pissed me off, to be honest. If eggs were as bad as smoking five cigarettes a day, I’d probably be dead or have cancer by now. It is also not equivalent to a whole egg McMuffin.

YES eggs have cholesterol in their yolks! NO it is not going to kill you as long as you’re eating them moderately, and yolks also have nutrients not found in the whites of the egg.

YES diets high in red meat (*note I said HIGH in red meat, not just eating a serving. A small amount in the diet won’t hurt you*) can be a risk factor for cancer… BUT this film claims that even lean chicken can cause cancer! Um, last time I checked chicken isn’t red meat so bye.

YES you can consume dairy and NOT DIE!!!! Let’s think about this… if dairy is terrible for us, then WHY IS IT A WHOLE FOOD GROUP?! Yes you should choose low/non fat options and yes you should not eat it in excess… but to go to the extent of saying that even babies don’t need milk? A bit excessive if you ask me. And if you’re reading this then I assume you pretty much asked me, so you can’t get mad at my somewhat sassy opinions. 🙂

YES you should try to avoid constant medications IF possible, but some people simply need them based on their conditions. So yes, the pharma industry is huge and all about the money, but some people can’t simply be healed by eating plants. If it were that easy then this would all be a different story.

YES some of the sponsors of these organizations do happen to have a conflict of interest, and I do find that odd and slightly off-putting. But at least the organization is there and is making the effort to do something about the issue. Before completely discrediting them, you should make sure your research is accurate.

Overall, I would not recommend this documentary to someone because it is so one-sided and misinformed that it is completely misleading people. My advice? Find what works for YOUR body, based on YOUR specific needs, and focus on a balanced, varied diet consisting of REAL whole foods, while also making healthy lifestyle choices. If you want to lose weight and trim fat? Energy in must be less than energy out… AKA eat less and/or workout more. Adequate amounts of protein, fat, and carbohydrate are key. Don’t buy into everything you hear, unless you know they are a valid resource back by scientific evidence.

Thank you for reading! If you disagree with my opinions, please know that I respect that and don’t mean to offend ANYONE! I simply want people to be informed of misleading information so that they know to make the best choices for their body/wellbeing 🙂

If you ever have questions about nutritional information, feel free to comment or email me!

XO beth

 

 

My Pet Peeve in the Health World

Hi! I know I kind of vented / voiced my opinions in my previous post, butttt… I’m about to do that again!

**Like I said before, I only go on rants if I actually feel they’re valid rants 😉

Let’s talk about my BIGGEST pet peeve in the health world.

The health world has become a world everyone and their mom wants to be a part of – which is fabulous! I love that so many people are hopping on the healthy train (or “healthy” train, if you know what I mean)! Obesity is getting out of control in our country, so it makes my nutrition-loving heart HAPPY to see so many people/restaurants/companies trying to watch calories/ingredients and whatnot.

BUT… (here comes the but).

NOT EVERYONE IS A TRUE NUTRITION PROFESSIONAL! I repeat – not EVERYONE is a nutrition professional!!!! So WHY are you listening to anyone and everyone on the internet?!

Here’s the deal. Anyone can go on the internet, find some ish on nutrition, do a little research, and BAM they can become a self-proclaimed “nutritionist.” ANYONE can do this! They could have NO idea what the difference is between a carbohydrate and an amino acid, and still try and tell you what/how to eat! To me, that is terrifying.

On the other hand, you have people (like yours truly) who spent four YEARS of intense studying, hard work, and hard @$$ chem tests to earn a degree in nutrition and actually know exactly what they’re talking about! Especially those people who go on to earn their RD (registered dietitian) after their degree. We didn’t go through all of those brutal chem labs and case studies for nothing, y’all.

So how do you know who to trust with your nutrition information?! Check their credentials FIRST thing. You should primarily listen to those who have their RD, this means they have done their internship and passed their RD test, and have extensive knowledge in food and nutrition, and are great if you’re seeking nutrition counseling! At the very least, find someone who has a degree in the area. And if they’re not an RD, check to see what other nutrition background they may have!

While I think it’s amazing how many bloggers out there are eating healthy and getting into great shape, many are not qualified in nutrition counseling. I get so frustrated when I see unqualified people trying to push THEIR diet plans (not recipes – but actual diet plans) on people who it may not work for or be good for! I am not bashing anyone for promoting their healthy lifestyle – some of these people DO have the qualifications! But before incorporating it into your own life, check their credentials and whether it would be a good HEALTHY fit for your body. Everyone’s body is different – and chances are your BMR is different, your activity level is different, your intolerances are different, than that of the random website you’re reading. Check your facts people! One of my all time favorite bloggers, Rachlmansfield.com, is a wonderful example of all this, because every time she promotes a healthy product or way of eating, she clearly states that she is a food blogger not a dietitian and that what she’s promoting is simply what’s good for her. And I love that!! Go Rachel! (She will probably never see this but I’m a huge fan- go check her out for amazing recipes).

I feel like I say this a lot but I really REALLY don’t mean to sound preachy – just feel like I’d be failing as a member of the dietetics world if I didn’t warn you guys, my dear followers, of this because I have seen it SO much lately!

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask!

xo beth

Pictured is Pesto Chicken Zoodles – one of my fav dinners lately. Recipe below!

I made this for 1 since it’s just me right now, so you can adjust the recipe for however many people you’re prepping for.

1 boneless skinless chicken breast
1 whole zucchini, spiralized
1/4 cup pesto

Bake chicken or cook in crockpot. I cooked mine in the crockpot with a little bit of pesto, pepper, and garlic powder (low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours, depending how much chicken). After zucchini is spiralized, transfer to skillet and sautee with the remaining pesto, about 3 – 4 minutes. Serve chicken over the zucchini noodles, and add a bit of extra pesto if needed. Parmesan would be great as a topping! Enjoy!

5 Ingredient Banana Pancakes

 

Happy Sunday y’all! I hope your long weekend is treating you SO well!

There’s something about Sunday mornings that just makes me want pancakes. And about 90% of the time, I resist the urge. But today is one of the days in that 10% where I just need pancakes. Neeeeeed them. So here we are. I made pancakes.

But these pancakes are quite a bit lighter than any regular pancakes from a restaurant or a box! Minimal ingredients, and minimal sugar! And the best part – you can add/remove whatever toppings or mix-ins you want! Today I chose mini chocolate chips, because well just because. 🙂 I went out to the beach early this morning with the team of volunteers to track sea turtles! Definitely one of the coolest things I’ve done – and this was the perfect way to fuel up after!

5 Ingredient Banana Pancakes

1 cup oats
1 banana, mashed
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla

I also added 1 stevia packet for sweetness (optional) and a tablespoon of mini chocolate chips! You could also add nuts, berries, raisins, etc.!

Mash your banana first. Then add in the remaining ingredients and mix together until combined into a batter. Heat up and grease a skillet or griddle to low to medium heat (I kept it low to keep the outside from getting too crispy). Once it’s hot, add batter and cook like normal pancakes! Top with natural peanut butter or syrup, and enjoy!!

Hope you guys have a wonderful Sunday! You are beautiful. Thanks for reading!

XO beth

Low-Sugar Chocolate Oat Cookies

Hi guys! Hope your week is off to a fabulous start!

I’ve been spending lots of time with friends and keeping super busy when I’m not! Lots of beach time as well, because, well I think I’m turning into a mermaid.

And now… I have a fun recipe to share with you! It has a pretty funny story behind it.

First of all, I don’t know who to credit for the original recipe for this, because I got it from my Nana, who got it from someone. However, I did tweak it a little bit and make my own version of it because I love doing that!

Last month I went to visit my Nana and Pawpaw. When I go see them, my Nana ALWAYS has some sort of sweet treat made for me. Ever since I can remember, she’s always had fresh cookies, brownies, or some sort of yummy treat waiting because she knows my love for sweets! Well this time, since she knows that I’m trying to maintain a healthy diet and enjoy finding new healthy recipes, she made me some healthy cookies similar to no-bakes (my FAV)!! How thoughtful is that?! Ugh she is the sweetest.

But when she told me about the cookies she made me, she said “Bethany, I made you these cookies because they’re healthier than regular ones and I know you’re eating healthy… but THEY ARE AWFUL!” Hahaha. So of course, when I tried them I loved them, and they were certainly not awful. *Disclaimer: we ended up making real no-bake cookies that weekend because we just needed the real thing too! Balance, right?* I just thought it was so funny that she thought they were so gross. She’s too modest – everything she makes tastes like heaven in your mouth.

That being said, these do not taste quite like no bake cookies. HOWEVER! They are not a bad alternative if you are counting calories or avoiding sugar! I honestly did enjoy them, and will definitely make them again. One of the main changes I made is adding a small amount of NATURAL sugar. When you look at most cookie recipes, there’s a minimum of a whole cup of sugar, so this still keeps them minimal sugar!

I’m not hating on normal cookies, but moderation is key! Sometimes ya just need a healthy alternative, especially with summer right around the corner!

Here is the recipe, including my changes I made:

3 ripe bananas
2 cups oats (I prefer old fashioned over quick)
1/3 cup peanut butter (I use natural!)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon honey
*If you still need more sweetness, you can add stevia.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mash the bananas. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Let the batter stand for 20-30 minutes. Drop spoonfuls onto baking sheet, and bake for 10-12 minutes. Enjoy!

I hope you guys have a lovely week! You are amazing. Thanks for reading!

XO beth

Zoodles 3 Ways

Hi guys! I hope you’re having the best day! I posted a couple of zoodle pics on instagram and got lots of questions about the recipes, so I decided to share a few of my faves!

Zoodles have become one of my current obsessions. I got a spiralizer last year and used it here and there, but lately I have been using it a ton. It’s so fun! Zoodles – zucchini noodles – are the perfect way to sneak some extra veggies into a meal without compromising a lot of flavor! And it saves a ton of calories!

So, I rounded up my three current, go-to zoodle recipes for you guys. They are easy, delicious, and light dishes that are perfect for a healthy lunch or dinner!

Sidenote – I have also gotten questions about the spiralizer I use, so I snuck in a couple pictures of it! Got it from Amazon 🙂

Zoodles with Tofu

There are several different ways to prepare tofu, but so far I think my favorite is just tossing them in some cornstarch (helps make them crispy) and cooking them in a cast iron skillet. I seasoned them with pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Season how you want though! Once you make the zoodles, just toss them in a bit of olive oil and sautee them briefly, until warm. Once the tofu is done, top zoodles with it and add sauce if you would like. You could add tomato sauce or soy saue; I’ve tried both and they add nice flavor!

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Spaghetti Zoodles

This one is probably the easiest of them all. Simply make the zoodles the same way as you did in the previous recipe. To make the spaghetti sauce, brown your meat (I use ground turkey but obviously you can use beef if you prefer!). Once meat is fully browned, add tomato sauce, a little garlic, and Italian seasonings. For added flavor, chop up an onion and cook it with the meat. Stir until thoroughly meat and sauce are mixed and simmer for about five minutes. Top zoodles with the spaghetti sauce and enjoy! (Top with parmesan if you like cheese)

img_1631

img_1632

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Pesto Chicken Zoodles

This is one of my all time favorites. Once you spiralize your zoodles, sautee them in a skillet with about a tablespoon of pesto; a little goes a long way! Two tablespoons if necessary. Remove from skillet and set aside. Dice up chicken breast into small pieces and cook in olive oil on the hot skillet. Season with garlic, onion powder, and pepper. While your chicken cooks, dice up a Roma tomato. After chicken is done, top your pesto zoodles with the chicken and tomato. I left it at that, BUT I think this dish would be great with some Feta cheese and olives on top as well!

I hope you guys enjoy! What are your favorite zoodle recipes?! Please share if there are any I need in my life!! Thanks for reading.

XO beth

Egg White Breakfast Muffins

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Hey y’all! I have been spending a lot of time in the kitchen lately, experimenting with healthy recipes and meal prepping! Now that operation honeymoon bod has commenced, I’m trying to take my meal prepping to the next level. Not that I don’t normally eat well regardless of upcoming tropical vacations, but I’m beyond motivated.

And we all know abs are made in the kitchen! Therefore, having healthy meals and snacks on hand helps avoid the temptation of less healthy options 🙂

Now don’t get me wrong… I still give in to those temptations here and there. But being on Team A to Z (the fitness team I joined in Nov. and have loved ever since) the last couple months has really helped keep me accountable and more motivated than ever! **if you have any questions about fitness/nutrition coaching by my trainer please let me know!**

So, I am a huge breakfast person. If I were to have to eat ONE meal for the rest of my life, I’d pick breakfast every single time. And now that I’m increasing my workouts, it’s really important to get plenty of protein! Enter these egg white breakfast muffins! They’re packed with protein and nutrients from the veggies and are so easy to grab on the go when you’re rushing out the door in the morning! Or as a post workout snack! Plus they can be super versatile – if you don’t like the veggies I put in mine, experiment and use ones you love! An easy way to add more protein/calories would be to line the muffin cups with a piece of ham!! I chose not to, but this is a great addition!

Egg White Breakfast Muffins
(Yields about 6 muffins)

1.5 – 2 cups egg whites
1 bell pepper
1/2 an onion
2 cups spinach (use as much or as little as you want honestly)
dash of garlic powder
dash of black pepper
shredded cheddar cheese, if needed (I left a couple of mine without cheese for myself but I like to add a little cheese to my hubby’s!)

Preheat oven to 375. Dice up your bell pepper and your onion. Cook the diced peppers and onions on a skillet until they’re tender and slightly browned; about 5 minutes. While that’s cooking, separate your egg whites if not using from a carton, add in the seasonings and stir, and pour into muffin cups. *If lining with ham, do that before pouring egg whites in! Roughly chop your spinach. Sprinkle a handful of peppers and onions into each muffin. Sprinkle in spinach. Top with cheese, if using. Bake at 375 for about 25 minutes, or until eggs are cooked! Enjoy!

Hope your Saturday is as awesome as you are!

XO beth

No-Bake Energy Balls

image

image

image

image

image

Happy Tuesday y’all. Hope your Monday was short and your week is off to a great start!

I go through phases with food, where I get addicted to something and eat it nonstop for a month or two. So that’s where I’m at right now with these energy balls. Holy YUM. Except this one isn’t just a phase, because I will probably be eating these for the rest of my life. They’re that good.

They make a great pre- or post-workout snack, because the peanut butter provides you with energy and protein, while the fiber and chia seeds keep you fuller longer! They’re easy to make, and it’s great to grab out of the fridge on the way out the door. Plus they just taste like dessert. I’m a big dessert person, so since I’m trying to tone up my beach bod, these are a great dessert substitute.

Here’s the recipe (yields about 13-15 energy balls):

1 cup oats
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1/4 cup honey
1-2 tablespoons chia seeds *can substitute with flaxseed
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips *can use regular choc. chips if desired; may also use raisins instead. add 1/3 cup if you want extra sweetness.

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until well combined. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour (if you’re impatient like me, stick ’em in the freezer!). Remove from fridge, have a couple sample bites if you want, and then roll into balls. Place in a sealable container and store in the fridge!

Hope you guys enjoy – let me know what you think! Have a great week.

XO beth

 

Chocolate PB Homemade Oatmeal

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

image

Hi and happy hump day! If you don’t know me personally, then I’m sure you’ve gathered by previous recipes that one of my favorite combinations is chocolate and peanut butter. If you didn’t know, now ya know. Obviously, that can be a dangerous obsession, so lately I have tried to find healthy, or at least lighter, ways to incorporate it.

So, I used my favorite meal – breakfast. Lately, I’ve seen all these fancy food bloggers posting all these amazing pictures of their oats, and I honestly couldn’t decide which one to turn to. Overwhelmed by the yumminess of them all, I decided to just wing it and create my own version. I didn’t use a recipe for this, I just kept trying different things until it worked how I wanted it. It keeps things interesting, right? ((complete recipe at bottom of post))

Just bring your milk to a boil, then add your oats. I use Quaker Old Fashioned oats. I usually turn the heat down about halfway, but not all the way to simmer. Stir occasionally; milk likes to stick to the sides/bottom of your pan if it sits hot too long so stirring is important.

After a minute or so, add a little brown sugar and cinnamon, and a stevia packet if you want. (I do!)

It takes about five minutes or so for the oats to get to the right consistency, but it all depends on how thick you like your oats. Use your own judgment there!

Once they are cooked how you want them, pour them into your bowl. Top with a tablespoon of *natural* peanut butter, a small handful of chocolate chips (it doesn’t take much), and any other toppings you want. I use chia seeds, sometimes chopped dates, and raisins would also be yummy! Let it sit for a hot minute, as everything gets all melty and wonderful. Then give it a solid stir, and all that melty, ooey gooey chocolate and peanut butter will mix up in there and your heart will explode. Enjoy! (You can also add more stevia if you want extra sweetness, but with the chocolate, you probably won’t need it!)

Oats:
1 cup milk of your choice
1/2 cup oats *your oats will have directions on them for cooking – the milk to oat ratio may be different for some! or if you are extra hungry, do 1.5 cup milk and 3/4 cup oats! just play with it*
2 teaspoons brown sugar
a couple shakes of cinnamon
Toppings:
1-2 teaspoons semi sweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon natural creamy peanut butter
Optional: nuts, raisins, chia seeds, etc.

I have loved this breakfast, especially after spin class! It’s so filling, and so tasty. Hope you guys like it!

XO beth