Monday Recap

Good afternoon!

Let me recap my Monday for you:

Breakfast was the same (irish oatmeal, stevia, pumpkin pie spice), but the smoothie I made differed a little bit because the peaches haven’t ripened yet (they are camped out in a paper bag to expedite this process) and I am trying to use up the baby food in the fridge to make room for even more delicious healthy eats 🙂

Monday Green Smoothie

– 2 leaves kale
– 1 spear pineapple
– 1 jar apple, banana, peach baby food
– 2 Tbsp chia seeds
– ice & water

Neil wasn’t going to get up as early as I did, so more smoothie for me!!

I had leftover casserole for lunch and walked around since it was such a nice day outside!  I had to make a trip to the post office to mail out the wedding invitations invitations I put together on Sunday.  There seems to be a discrepancy between the post office that I went to and the one Neil’s parent’s went to, because they each told us different postage amounts.  Hopefully none come back in the mail!

Neil’s parent’s got nice wedding themed 66c stamps, while I was told the postage would be 86c.  I didn’t even know they made 86c stamps! Apparently the only design they had in that amount were these lovely puffins:

I hope our guests like birds.

After work, I headed to the gym because it was LEG DAY.  I love leg day because it is my favorite set of muscles to make sore.  I did my 10 min running warm up and then about 50 min of leg exercises.  I focused more on my hamstrings and butt since the other days I worked more on my quads.

I wanted to do more since I didn’t really have anything planned last night, but I started to feel a twinge in my hip, so I begrudgingly did only what I thought was reasonable.  I am a little paranoid now about listening to my body after my injury, so even though I felt like I could do more, I played it safe.  My hip doesn’t usually affect my leg workouts anymore, but I think the long run I had on Sunday may have made it a little more susceptible to being overworked.

I wobbled my way back to the car and drove home for even more servings of the delicious casserole and 2 slices of Ezekiel bread with Earth Balance spread on them.  I mixed in the leftover avocado from Sunday as well:

I am loving this bread!  Good thing Neil doesn’t like it and I can have it all to myself.  I am excited to sample the other kinds they have too.  Now about this Earth Balance spread…
I was raised on butter and butter alone.  No margarines or any other kind of butter substitute.  I hated the taste of margarine and would demand all places everywhere serve me butter on a silver platter.  When I was little, my mother told me that I even ate part of a stick of butter from the table when my parents weren’t looking.  Don’t get me wrong, butter is DELICIOUS, but I am trying to find alternatives since the health benefits of butter are, well, not good (but delicious).  It is beneficial for my stomach as well with the whole lactose intolerance thing.  
Enter Earth Balance.  I have two tubs of this spread in my fridge from almost a year ago when I was using it to bake.  (I tend to bake feverishly as soon as the weather turns from summer to fall and then winter.  Something about the smells and the warmth?). Anyway, this is the first non-butter product that I have tried and actually liked.  It seems sacrilegious to say this, but I can’t tell the difference when I spread it on toast or other things.  It even melts like butter and is super smooth out of the container.
So what is Earth Balance, you ask? It is a blend of different oils that results in creamy deliciousness on my bread.  I don’t know how they made it taste like butter, but I guess that’s why they have the company and I don’t.  Here are other added benefits of this spread:
– vegan
– lactose-free
– gluten-free
– 0 g trans fat
– casein-free
– non-GMO
I haven’t had any issues baking with it either so basically wherever you use butter you replace it with this spread.  They make many more products than they did when I first discovered it, so check them out here.  I can’t believe I ignored this gem for so long. Shame on me!
After I ate my dinner, I was craving something sweet.  I had just finished my Healthy Cookie Bites the night before, so I looked for another recipe to satisfy my sweet tooth.  I would have just made those again, but my bananas weren’t ripe enough.  I found a recipe for flourless chocolate cookies and happened to have all the ingredients on hand, so I set out to make a batch. You can find the recipe here.
So they turned out fine and delicious, but I had a bit of a spaz attack in the middle of making them.  First off, here is a picture of the flax egg:
1 T ground flax seed + 3 T water

I know you can make both a flax egg and a chia egg, but I don’t know what the advantage is for one over the other (if there is one).  My instinct tells me that a chia egg would more closely resemble an actual egg since the seeds become gelatinous when mixed with water, but I don’t know.  If anyone has any insight on that, let me know.

Here are the dry ingredients (forgive the camera quality):
Wet ingredients (homemade almond butter!):
I added dry + wet (forgot to take a picture). Now this is where I started to panic because this batter is pretty thin and not cookie-like at all.  When I spooned it on the baking sheet, it kind of just oozed off the spoon.  Rather than read the name of the recipe again (FLOURLESS chocolate cookies), I decided that I needed to thicken up the batter.  I grabbed approx a half cup or more of oats and threw them in (no longer gluten free cookies).  
Dry + wet + oats:
I still was not satisfied with the thickness of this batter so I picked the next thing I knew to thicken things up which were chia seeds.  I dumped probably like 2 Tbsp in there like a crazy mad woman.  By this time the first batch (no alterations) was done, so I took them out of the oven:
They were a little thin as to be expected, but still tasted great.  They were also a little crumbly, but I may have just needed to add a little more batter.  There wasn’t much difference between the first and second batch except that the second one held together a little better.  I wonder if a chia instead of a flax egg would have been better?  I also used more batter per cookie on the second batch so I think that helped out.
The second batch are closer to the front and the first batch is towards the back.  There’s really not a huge difference in appearance and they both taste delicious.  I only got about 12 cookies because the batter itself was tempting me.  Since there were no raw eggs, I could eat as much as I wanted!
I promptly ate 3 of these cookies, had my tea, and went to bed.  
Stay tuned for more adventures!
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