Starting A Healthy Lifestyle // Step 4 // Eat Cookies, Take a Nap-Plus-Oatmeal Raisin and Chocolate Cookies

Hello Friends!

Today is the LAST and final Step for the series:

To catch up on the previous Steps, check out the following links:

Where Do I Begin // A Healthier New You // A Happier New Year!

Step 1 // Start Small // Be Consistent

Step 2 // Fall In Love with Exercising

Step 3 // Be Prepared

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Step 4 is titled:

Eat Cookies, Take A Nap

I’m going to keep this short and sweet…Stop Dieting.

The reason that I’ve been so successful in living a healthy lifestyle is because I’m made health a LIFESTYLE…Not a diet. I’ve done the non fat, fat free, no calories, low calories, sugar free, no carbs, bla bla stuff, and YES, you can loose weight this way. But seriously…Who wants to count calories the rest of their entire life?!?

Who wants to turn down a cookie every once in a while because it will over exceed your calorie limit for the day? Not I. Definitely not I! (Let’s point out I’m not saying everybody should take their bras off, grab a gallon of ice cream and go to town on a nightly basis…)

The thing that keeps living a healthy lifestyle do-able is that you allow your self to LIVE, Enjoy, Breath, and be Happy. Trust me…Happy people eat cookies.

 

80% of the time I eat really fresh wholesome foods, and the other 20% is foods that aren’t  ‘the healthiest’. Some days it’s 50/50. And when it’s that time of month well it’s… 0%/100%…

The point I’m trying to make is that if you are doing your best to eat wholesome foods on a daily basis, and you are exercising regularly, then eat a cookie every so often! Live a little.. 🙂

Now…How about a cookie recipe? It’s about time I posted a recipe on here right??

 

I’ve always loved healthier cookies, especially these! Perfect to cure those sweet cravings when you don’t feel like FULLY indulging :). Also, for those with kiddos, they are a much better choice than chips or candy to satisfy their taste buds! These cookies have oats, dark chocolate, raisins, coconut oil &  natural sugar! They are a chewy, but crumbly and delicious all at the same time!

Enjoy!


4.3 from 3 reviews
Chewy & Crumbly Oatmeal Raisin and Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
Ingredients
  • 2 c. oats*
  • 1 c. Oat Flour-from ground oats-May sub another flour
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • ¾ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ c. coconut oil, softened at room temp
  • ½ c. coconut sugar, can sub brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temp**
  • 1 TB. vanilla
  • (1-2 TB. milk if dough seems too dry)
  • ½ c. raisins
  • ½ c. dark chocolate chopped
  • *Can sub gluten Free Oats*
  • **Can use 2 flax eggs**
Instructions
  1. Preheat Oven to 325.
  2. In a medium bowl add the dry ingredients; flour, oats, spices, and baking soda. (The flour is made by grounding 1 c. of oats in a food processor until it turns into flour. If you don't have a food processor or blender feel free to sub another flour, 1c.) Whisk the dry ingredients, and then set aside.
  3. In a mixer, beat together on low/med speed, oil and sugar for about 2-3 minutes. Next beat in eggs and vanilla.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and beat until just combined, do not overmix! (If the mixture seems to dry, add a few TB. of milk)
  5. Fold in the raisins and chocolate.
  6. Scoop cookies using an ice cream scoop onto a prepared baking sheet. Flatten cookies on top a little bit using your fingers.
  7. Bake at 325 for 10-12 minutes.
  8. Remove carefully from pan immediately with a a flat spatula, and place cookies on a cooling rack to cool and harden.
  9. Enjoy!
  10. From the Diva Dish, xo

 

THANK YOU so much for allowing me to take time to post all about Starting to Live a Healthy Lifestyle! I’m always here if you need any tips, recipes, advice, etc.!

I have some great things planned for The Diva Dish this year, can’t wait for all the things to come!

Homemade Hamburger Buns

I never thought I would be the kind of person to make homemade hamburger buns.

But since I’m in the works with lowering my grocery budget, (the posts are coming soon!), I’ve been making more things from scratch to save some money.

I’ve noticed that the foods we go through the most like milk, cheese, eggs, bread, etc. are the most expensive. One of our favorite loaves of bread is roughly FIVE to SIX dollars! Ain’t nobody got money for that!

Unless you’re like rich. Then most likely your funds are sufficient for your bread needs.

This was my first experience at making these buns, and I honestly thought It would be the most difficult thing in the entire world, and I would have the hardest time convincing you guys to try it. I will say that there are a few steps, and it takes some time, BUT….

My husband told me it  was the BEST burger i’ve ever made! This is huge my friends! I don’t consider myself a very good ‘manly meat’ cooker. I’ve tried to make steak and burgers for my husband, but he’s very particular and doesn’t like his steak like a leather wallet.

That picky man.

So knowing that he had 2 large chicken burgers made me feel like I was on cloud nine! But don’t worry…

My two year old threw that confidence feeling right out the window when she told me she wouldn’t eat bread that had little bugs on it…while chucking it across the kitchen table.

GEEZE! Haters gonna HATE!

Well, more carbs for me.


Homemade Hamburger Buns
 
Serves: 12 buns
Ingredients
  • 2¼ tsp. yeast
  • 2 TB. warm water
  • 4 TB. melted butter or coconut oil
  • 1 TB. honey
  • 1½ c. milk room temperature, whole milk or full fat coconut milk
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 2 cups (+) bread flour
  • 2 cups (+) whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • olive oil
  • (For the egg wash)
  • 1 egg + 1 tsp. water
  • sesame seeds, or other preferred toppings
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl whisk together yeast and water. Let sit until it becomes frothy and bubbly. I usually let mine sit for a good 10-15 minutes.
  2. Using a kitchen aid mixer bowl, whisk together butter/oil, honey, milk, and egg. Whisk together until combined. Add in yeast mixture and combine.
  3. Next, attach the bread hook and add bread flour and whole wheat pastry flour. Knead the dough together, and slowly add more flour if needed. Only ⅛ cup at a time. You know the dough is ready when it doesn't stick to your hands or the side of the bowl.
  4. Continue to let the dough knead for about 5 minutes.
  5. Next coat the dough in a little olive oil, then the bowl. Add the dough to the bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
  6. Let the dough sit in a warm place and let it rise until it's double in size. This took about 3 hours for me. (I know this is a long time, but in my house there aren't very many windows and the sun wasn't shinning!)
  7. Once it has doubled in size, remove dough onto a floured surface.
  8. Cut the dough into 12 pieces, and roll them into tight balls.
  9. Place balls on a baking sheet fitted with parchment paper. Cover w/ greased plastic wrap and let rise for about an hour.
  10. Preheat oven to 410. Brush tops of buns with egg wash and sprinkle with topping.
  11. Bake for 15 minutes.
  12. Remove from oven and let cool. Cut into buns and serve!

Adapted from Food For My Family

One thing I’ve learned with making yeast bread is to take your time and not rush. I usually start my bread after breakfast and let it rise for multiple hours, and usually by the afternoon it’s ready to go, (when I’m about to make dinner.)

This was a perfect Sunday activity since we are mostly home all day, besides church. But if you had to go to work, you could let it rise the first time overnight, and then let the rolls rise while you are at work the next day!

And just so you know, if you are making homemade bread, watch your carb intake during the day. Most likely when that fresh bread comes out of the oven you will will consume 4-7 rolls…

Have you ever made homemade hamburger buns, or your own homemade bread?!

Did your two year old chuck it across the dinner table?

Discuss amongst yourselves…

Chicken Spring Rolls with Crunchy Almond Butter Dipping Sauce

I’ve been asked a few times where I get inspiration to create some of my recipes. I wish I could say that it just pops in my head as I’m scrubbing the kitchen…(Scrubbing=Chocolate Crumbs=Chocolates Good= But Veggies are Good Too- CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI MUFFINS!!) Nope. Not that brilliant.

Honestly a lot of the food that’s published on this site has to do with memories.

There are moments in my life that I specifically remember the way a type of meal/food had tasted. I’m talking some of my earliest memories are triggered by my taste buds, like lemonade at my grandparents house.

Or throwing up a corn dog from Hot Dog on a Stick at 3 years of age…

I’m not sure if that means I was meant to be a food blogger all along, or if that I just had to learn early on that hot dogs are the nastiest thing on the planet. Either way, food and the way it tastes has always left an impression on me. Good OR bad.

This summer we took our, what felt like, first vacation in forever to the beautiful Hawaiin Islands. While there I ate a lot of food.

The end.

A lot of our time was spent relaxing by this beautiful pool at the hotel. By the pool was this restaurant that you could order drinks and food pool side. They had this milkshake there….

Every time we ordered food there I got these Chicken Spring Rolls. I’ve had spring rolls before, but these were so memorable. They were so refreshing with a touch of mint and super light, which made it nice when you are eating in your bathing suit.

Ever since then I’ve wanted to make them at home, but I HAVE NOT been able to find rice paper. I don’t know if the city of Las Vegas in anti-rice paper, but it just hasn’t happened. So in desperation I used egg rolls, but if you are lucky enough to live in a pro rice paper community then by all means, use it! It definitely adds to the ‘lightness’ of the dish.

(Note: If you use rice paper, don’t bake them! Just fill and enjoy!)

Printable Recipe Here: Chicken Spring Rolls with Crunchy Almond Butter Dipping Sauce

My husband and I fought over these, along with who could get more of the dipping sauce. I love when he approves of the food I make!

My picky three year old wasn’t thrilled about trying them since she has a problem with food that is touching, but she did love dipping her chicken in the sauce!

Now if only I could recreate the situation in which I first ate these spring rolls, well then…That would be awesome.

 

 

Mini Chocolate Banana Zucchini Muffins

Let’s talk about life.

How come life can be so incredibly fast at one moment, and insanely slow the next?

For example…A workout on a tired day seems like an ETERNITY. Running errands with two babies seems like a lifetime. And trying to make my husbands 11 hour work days go quickly is practically impossible…

Then I realize that in just ONE day my sweet Boo will be attending Preschool three times a week for THREE hours. What? 3 days…3 hours…But she’s only a baby! If there’s anything that I wish could slow down it would be the rate my babies are growing up!

Sometimes I feel like the most amazing moments in life go by so quickly, and if we aren’t careful, we miss them. Which is why I’ve decided to put boo back in diapers and start feeding her bottles. It’s the only way to keep her young…

Or I could just make her chocolate muffins for her little pink lunch pail that fits neatly in her tiny pink backpack…And as I send her off to school I will make sure to hold on to that moment forever. Because before I know it I won’t be packing a tiny pink lunch pail anymore…Instead she will be asking for 20 bucks to go get Starbucks with her girl friends.

On second thought…Diapers and bottles sound a lot better to me.

Recipe adapted from :HowSweetItIs

Printable Version:Chocolate Banana Zucchini Muffins

Now If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go wrap my three year old in a blanket and rock her to sleep like she’s 3 months old. 🙂

 

My Husband’s Favorite Salad-Mexican Grilled Chicken Quinoa Salad

Don’t let that incredibly bright and charming sexy smile fool you…

My husband is one of the pickiest eaters I know. But in HIS defense, he is picky in my standards and probably not real life standards. I will say that he’s really easy to please when it comes to what he likes to eat. The problem is his wife who likes to make it all that more difficult for him.

You know…Just fulfilling my wifely duties of making easy things hard.

He’s like, “Wife, just make me frozen tacquitos for dinner topped with melted cheese.”

And I’m like, “Are your frackin crazy?! I will definitely not make that! I’m just going to make tacquitos from scratch, but a vegan version, and we will top it with salsa…k?”

Don’t even get me started on picking a place to go out to eat.

Hubs is like, “Babe. Taco Tuesday at Del Taco. Right now. Sounds amazing!”

Wifey is like, ” Ha in your dreams lover boy, I don’t do drive throughs! Let’s go to that sit down place that serves expensive organic food and bring our two screaming children…k?”

We were definitely meant to be.

So besides being partially the worst wife ever, I do try and please my husband occasionally and feed him the food he loves. BUT in MY defense, he eats out for lunch every day. So you have to understand he gets his taco tuesday, hamburger wednesday, and chicken wings thursday…

So I don’t feel so bad when it’s, “Welcome home lover buns! Hope you like vegetables!!”

Printable Recipe for Chicken:Seasoned Grilled Chicken

Printable Recipe for Pico De Gallo:Pico De Gallo

Printable Recipe for Salad:Mexican Grilled Chicken Quinoa Salad

Also, Check out our favorite salad dressing topping : Copycat Chili’s Salsa. Recipe from Chef in Training! Bonus, this is my hubs favorite restaurant. Bonus #2: He likes to mix a little with ranch for his salad dressing.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that in marriage…the main thing is to be selfless. And don’t you think it would be selfish of me if I didn’t share with my husband all my favorite foods?!

Good. I’m glad we are on the same page.

 

All about Green Drinks 101

**Update:  I have had a lot of questions regarding the type of blender I use to make green smoothies. I’ve always used a Vitamix. Click HERE to see the Vitamix. If that one is too pricey, I’ve also successfully used my Magic Bullet Blender for years, link HERE .”** (affiliate links)

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The thought of eating vegetables can be gag-worthy to some…

But the idea of DRINKING your vegetables can sound just down right repulsive.

If you would have asked me 5 years ago to drink a green smoothie I would have laughed in your face than had nightmares for 6 months after that. They are down right scary.

Oddly enough, not only do I now eat my veggies, but I drink tons of them too. Trust me. I gots me lots a friends….(And good Engrish too…)

And if somebody asked me what is ONE thing they could do differently to adapt a healthier eating lifestyle, I would beg them to drink a green smoothie everyday. It’s the one thing that I believe can have a major impact on your diet and change the way you feel.

But what exactly are the benefits of drinking green?

Improved digestive system

Better energy

Opportunity to give your body nutrients it most likely wouldn’t receive on a regular basis

Being able to eat raw veggies(w/o a cup of ranch dressing on the side.)

-Weight loss

-Fight off sickness

-Sleep improvement

-Rid your body of toxins

-Essential vitamins, nutrients, and minerals

-Helps your kids (and hubby’s!) get their veggies

-Fast to make AND healthy!

The list goes on and on….

But sometimes the benefits are not enough to convince somebody to drink green. Sure it’s good for you, but is it really worth stomaching something that can taste so freak nastay?

That’s where your wrong my friends…Because I am here to tell you I have never tried a green drink I didn’t like.(And trust me…I’ve had my fair share of green drink varieties.) With the right ingredients, knowledge, and helpful perks, green drinks can taste more like a regular smoothie(even a dessert one) without even noticing the hint of any vegetables!

First, let’s start with the veggies:

Spinach is an obvious choice when it comes to drinking greens. It’s a very mild tasting green, so a lot of people love to use it. On top of that, it’s a familiar ingredient. People are scared of it, but not too scared since they know a little bit about it. I think spinach is a GREAT green to add in smoothies, but I think sometimes we get stuck in a rut of ONLY using spinach. There are SO many other veggies out there that have different types of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that our bodies need.

Here are my favorite veggies to use as of right now:

Spinach

Kale (no stems, just leaves. Stems are stanky!)

Rainbow and Green Chard

Collard Greens

Dandelion Greens (Just a little, it can tend to me strong)

Mustard Greens (just a little, it kind of has a kick.)

Cucumbers

Carrots

Beets

Avocados

Pumpkin Puree

*Remember to wash your greens to get rid of dirt and yucky stuff! (Yes, I said yucky. So professional.)

And to store greens properly, I just wash them, dry, and then put them in labeled zip lock bags with a paper towel.

Perfect for portioning sizes for smoothies and what not!

Next Step: Add your fruit!

Veggies aren’t the only thing that you can add to your green drink. I especially love adding fruit!

Fruit is a great way to add a natural sweetness to your drink, giving it a ‘smoothie’ like taste, and hiding the taste of some of those veggies. Not too mention fruit is another great way to get in some extra goodness like antioxidants and fiber!

Here is some of my top fruits to add in smoothies. And fruit will do, it just depends on your liking. For more tropical flavors choose things like mangos, oranges, pineapples, etc…

Bananas (GREAT sweetener! Also does well hiding those veggies!)

Cherries

Strawberries

Blueberries

Blackberries

Raspberries

Mangos

Pears

Pineapples

Peaches

Orange Juice (Fresh squeezed)

Pomegranates

Grapes

Apples

Next, give that smoothie some VA VA- VOOM!

Here is where you can go above and beyond a strawberry banana smoothie, and move onto a sweet almond cherry coconut bliss smoothie. The world is your…green drink? That made no sense, but are you catching my drift? There are many little things we can add to our green drinks to give them that extra flair that will make them more desirable to drink. No one ever said no to a chocolate PB drink! And if they did, well then…I’m speechless. 🙂

Here are some things to add to those green drinks to give them some extra OOMPH!

Nut Butters (Almond Butter, Peanut Butter, Walnut Butter, Sunflower Butter…etc. Great source of protein and healthy fats!)

Nuts (Don’t have the butta’, then just throw in a few nuts!)

Cocoa Powder (Chocolate…Heck yes!)

Carob Powder

Oatmeal (Bring on the hearty breakfast grains!)

Almond Extract

Vanilla Extract

Spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger)

Mint Leaves

Basil Leaves

Coconut Milk

Orange Juice (If you combine coconut milk and Oj, you get a creamsicle taste!)

Cocoa nibs

Dark chocolate chips

PB pong balls or Fudge Balls or S’more Balls

Apple Butter

Pumpkin Butter

Lemon, Lime

Ginger

Don’t forget those added bonus:

Every green drink needs those few added bonuses that will boost their nutrient value even more!

Here are my favorite little added bonuses:

Chia Seeds

Ground Flax seeds

Protein Powder (I love to use a plant based protein powder. My favorite brand is Sun Warrior!)

Choice of Liquid (whether it be non dairy milk, reg. milk, water, etc.)

Lastly if needed, add a sweetener.

I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t usually need a sweetener, especially if I have loaded it with fruit. But the more stronger tasting veggies like beets, I tend to add a little bit to sweeten the drink to my liking.

Here are my favorite go-to natural sweeteners:

100% Pure Maple Syrup

Agave Nectar

Raw Honey

Dates

Stevia

So where to begin?

Start simple. Add ingredients you are familiar with, and slowly each time add in different things to get used to. You will adjust smoothies to your taste buds preferences, and in time find what is right for you!

Here are a few recipes to get you started!

 Beginners Green Drink

1 C. non diary milk

2 C. spinach

1 frozen banana

1 TB. Chia Seeds

1 tsp. Sweetener of choice

1tsp. vanilla

Ice

Optional: Peanut Butter

 Tropical Cream Green Drink

1/2 C. fresh OJ

1/2 C.-1 C. coconut milk

1 C. spinach

1 C. kale

1 frozen banana

1/2 c. frozen pineapple, mango, or peaches

1 tsp. vanilla

2 TB. coconut flakes

ice

Red Velvet Smoothie

1 C. non dairy milk

1 medium beet peeled, steamed, and chopped

1/3 c. frozen raspberries, cherries, or strawberries

1 frozen banana

4 TB. cocoa powder

4 pitted dates

1 TB. chia seeds

2 tsp. sweetener of choice

1 tsp. vanilla

ice

PICTURE

Green Smoothies are great for breakfast! Baby Boo has one pretty much every morning, it’s her favorite thing to have!

Here is a typical smoothie for Boo. It’s loaded with healthy fats, protein, greens, and tons of vitamins and minerals!!

Princess Bliss Avocado Green Smoothie

1 C. milk of choice (I used coconut-from a carton, not a can.)

1 frozen banana

1/2 frozen avocado

1/2 c. kale

1/4 c. oats

1/4 c. vanilla yogurt (soy or reg.)

1 TB. Chia seeds

1 TB. almond butter

1 tsp. vanilla

1 TB. maple syrup (Boo really doesn’t need a sweetener because she can’t tell the difference, but for older kids you could add a little more than 1 TB.)

ice

Then this morning for breakfast the three of us split this smoothie:

My husband said it was the BEST smoothie he has ever had…And trust me, those words don’t always come out of his mouth…

SHOCKER! 🙂

Chocolatey Chocolate Green Smoothie

1 c. milk of choice

handful spinach

handful kale

handful chard

1/4 c. dandelion greens (just the leaves)

1 frozen banana

handful frozen cherries

4 spoonfuls cocoa powder

2 TB. almond butter

1 TB. chia seeds

2 TB. agave nectar

2 c. ice

A lot of times I make more than enough smoothie, so I just freeze the extra in an ice cube tray and use them for another day! That way, when I am in a hurry I just throw some in a blender with some milk and voila!

Whew! That was a LONG post! Don’t be afraid to try a green drink! If anything, you won’t regret the way it will make you feel on a regular basis. 🙂

For additional recipes, just go to my recipes tab underneath the header and click on green drinks!

Have a great day!! 🙂