Healthy Brownies!!!

No joke. I don’t joke around about the sweet nectar of life brownies.

Alas, my waistline triples in size when I start chowing down on brownies. . . Which is my fault. They’re like frickin’ Pringles! You CAN’T have just one!!!

So imagine my utter delight when I found a recipe for a healthy treat, that when added enough chocolate, tastes like brownies!!!!! EEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!! that’s me squealing with joy

So without further ado:

photo from NiaShanks.com

 

Nia’s Brownie Balls!!

  • 1 cup raw nuts (Nia said she uses 1/2 cup almonds, 1/4 cup pecans, and 1/4 cup of walnuts, but that it’s really easy to experiment with other nuts and combos)
  • 3/4 cup raisins or dried dates
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder (seriously, go for more like 1/3 cup. Plus an extra few.)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon (approx) water

Put the raw nuts and raisins/dates in a food processor. Blend on high until everything is chopped/mixed together well.

Add in the cocoa powder and vanilla extract and blend/pulse until the nuts are finely chopped and all of the ingredients have combined.

Add in a teaspoon of water. This allows the mixture to bind together. Add very little water and only add more as needed. You just want the balls to hold their shape, but not be wet.

Once you’ve attained the proper consistency, divide the mixture and form them into little brownie balls.

Nia said she puts them in the fridge for a couple hours, but that’s like actually making brownies from the brownie batter: a foreign concept. 😉

for more recipes and ways to be a bada$$ chick, hang out with Nia at NiaShanks.com

Look out! Changing topic! 😉

I have a little secret: I’ve kept my son home from school today, simply because I wanted to. We went on a field trip yesterday to the Natural Bridges Tide Pools, so my son and I were both exhausted by the time we got home in the middle of the afternoon. (I’ll do a post later about the tide pool adventure)

23 wild, crazy 7-year olds. (the one on the far right is my little man)

So this morning when the alarm went off, I made the executive decision that Kael and I were going to have a “family day.” We were both tired from yesterday, and sometimes, you just need a mental health day! I even told the attendance office that we were having a family day. Oh, I guess that means it’s not a secret then. Hm. Oh well. hehe

I love love love my little man!

So after we run our errands, I’ll be running while my son rides his bike. (read: probably not a very successful run)

Anybody else take “family days” from school? my grandma used to check my mom and my uncle out from school early because she was bored and wanted some company at home. My mom never did that with me. I guess it skipped a generation. 😉

Try the brownie balls recipe and let me know what you think!! eating clean doesn’t have to be boring and gross!

When dinner is spelt S-U-G-A-R

I don’t know about you, but I can’t go a week without hearing about eating 6 meals a day… eating every 2 hours… protein at every meal… don’t let yourself get hungry… blah blah blah blah blah

You wanna know what I have to say?

Here’s my dinner:

delicious and nutritious

You are looking at home-made ganache and white wine. It’s okay to be jealous right now. I understand.

What I don’t have a picture of is the rice pasta that was on the stove, the turkey meatballs that were in the oven, and the tomato-basil sauce simmering while I took this picture. It’s all a matter of perspective, right?

While I did eventually get around to an amazing dinner (sans veggies. bad, heather, bad girl!), it was late and I was already feeling the wine…

But I had a totally good excuse for not eating when I first got hungry:

My grandma just got 2 kittens, so I took my son over to her house to meet them. The one my son is holding is Basil (pronounced Bazz-uhl. We’re British, just go with it) and the other one (sadly, not pictured) is Neville. We are all completely in love with GG’s (great-grandma, GG, get it?) kittens.

So much so, that I’ve told my son the he can have kitten.

Yeah, feel free to tell me “I told you so” in a bit.

So here’s my two cents:

1. eat what your body is craving, but when it craves ganache every hour, send it to rehab.

2. kittens are awesome ❤

size DOES matter

I learned something about myself over the weekend… Apparently, I am THAT kind of parent…

 

It all started last May, when we got a Saint Bernard puppy. At 7 1/2 weeks old, he was already 20 pounds. Of course, with my geeky personality, he was immediately named Chewbacca. Chewie for short. 😉

*insert cooing noises here*

 

My son and Chewie became bestest buddies!

picking up my son from school

 

From a wittle puppy (hey, I was raised with horses. A Saint Bernard IS little) to a big fluff-ball, my son and Chewie are inseparable. Partly because Chewie won’t leave him alone, but that’s beside the point… 😉

give...

and take!

 

Now, from these pictures, you’d think I coulda predicted what would happen next… but, alas, I am a true blonde…

The other night while we were in the car, I heard a muffled scream coming from the back seat. Here’s where my parental priorities may be a bit skewed… While dying with laughter, I had to get photographic proof…

 

Yes, I have become THAT parent. At least I can admit it, and that’s the first step to recovery, riiiiight?  😉

 

And now, back to reality…

I did the Max Interval Training DVD from the Insanity workout program last night. It’s all plyometric, and it’s not really “interval.” Someone at BeachBody needs to get their workout dictionary out… It’s more of plyometic circuit training. A series of exercises (about 4 of ’em) done in 45 second chunks, with a 30 second break after the set. Repeat.  A lot. (See? NOT interval. That’s circuit training, people.) But oh well, it was a hard workout, and I’m glad I did it!

Today, I’ll be running. Maybe. I’ve been avoiding running lately, so we’ll see if I actually follow through today. I do want to get down to the cliffs to see what the surf is doing today, so that’s a bit of a motivator. It’s a gloomy day today, and we all know Heather’s a “weather weenie”… I’ll keep you updated on what happens. Who knows, this may end up being a 2-post kind of day! 😉

 

What are your workout plans for the day? Or is today your rest day? 

my soggy run

Question: does Heather run in the rain?

Answer: the jury’s still out. 

true story.

Before today, the answer would have been “Hell NO!” So what I did I do today? Ran in the rain. Not went out running and got caught in the rain, nooooooooo. Actually went outside while it was raining and started running. Someone needs to call the men in white coats, cuz something is wrong with my mental capacity today…

If you've seen The Lost Boys, or listened to the Beach Boys, then you know the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk... here's the less tourist-y view...

I ran along the levy (the “sidewalk” created by the city to run along the San Lorenzo River that flows through town), and I had never run there before. Partly because it runs through some pretty boring scenery, but mainly because that’s where the homeless tend to hang out. And geese. They hang out there, too, and they’re evil. 

I pondered a few things while I was running today:

my lungs hate me. I’m coughing up all sorts of crap my body was storing while I was sick. Awesome. 

As long as I’ve got a hat, I probably don’t hate running in the rain (pfft, who am I trying to fool?! it was drizzling, at best.)

NorCal definitely needs more rain. There’s almost no water in the river. 

Why in the world would someone put a bean bag chair on their roof?! 

damn straight I had to stop and take a picture!!

All in all, I ran 2.25 miles, averaging a 9:37 pace. Not bad. I stopped at 2.25 cuz that’s where I met up with my mom at PetSmart and we walked for another 2.25 miles. I didn’t track the time on the walk, but I don’t care. I was just walkin with my momma, enjoying the awesome company and cursing the weather. 

So, today, if you haven’t worked out yet, get your butt outside and go for a run, go for a walk. Just get outside and enjoy some fresh air! ❤

Wild Card Wednesday 3/28

Wednesdays are going to be the “anything goes” days. I’m feeling last night’s workout from CrossFit Santa Cruz (love that box!). The WOD was:

10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 Kettle Bell Swings and ring dips. Rest 5 mins. 1 min AMRAP front squat. 

I used a 35# kettle bell, and did purple band pushups in 9:27. I did 18 front squats at 42#. Not great. Blah. I guess taking 3 weeks off from CF was not the way to go. Oh well, I’ll work my strength back up.

I saw a post the other day from Confessions of a (not-so) Domesticated Newlywed that I thought was pretty cute, so here goes: 

26 things you will probably never need to know about me: 

i'm the classy one in the middle...

A is for age: 27. Ask me again on the 31st and I’ll tell you 28 😉

B is for breakfast today: English tea. I’m not a big eater in the morning…

C is for currently craving: chocolate chip cookie dough

D is for dinner tonight: breakfast! Eggs over medium, whole grain toast, turkey sausage. 

E is for favorite type of exercise: CrossFit, running, step aerobics, Pilates, yoga, ballet, kickboxing… do I have to pick just one?! 

F is for an irrational fear: being kidnapped by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I had a nightmare when I was 5 that this happened. Apparently I’ve never gotten over it. 


G is for gross food: mushrooms, olives, ginger

H is for hometown: Surf City, California! 

I is for something important: My family. Not just blood relatives, but my friends, too. Without them I’d just some weirdo talking to myself and the walls…

my son, Kael Desmond, and my grandpa, Desmond John ❤


J is for current favorite jam: “Start a Fire” by Ryan Star. 

K is for kids: My son, Kael Desmond, the light of my life ❤

poor guy got a lot of my genetics... ❤


L is for current location: NorCal!

M is for the most recent way you spent money: Shopping at Lululemon. Hey, it was for my birthday, I totally had an excuse!

N is for something you need: The brain capacity for Financial Accounting. I was so not meant for this…


O is for occupation: Personal training and group exercise teaching pay for my career: being a mom! 

P is for pet peeve: Oh, I got lots, but rude people take the cake. 


Q is for a quote: “No man can swim ashore while carrying his baggage” 

R is for random fact about you: I have a mole on the back of my thigh in the shape of a heart. I’ve had it checked out, and since it hasn’t changed shape and the edges are solid and the color is uniform, it’s safe! Yay!

S is for favorite healthy snack: carrots and edamame hummus

T is for favorite treat: If it’s got sugar in it, I’ll eat it. But if brownies are on the table, you better believe I’m going to those first! 


U is for something that makes you unique: aren’t we all unique…?

V is for favorite vegetable: Broccoli and green beans! But I really love all veggies =) 

W is for today’s workout: yoga and teaching ballet and Pilates

X is for X-rays you’ve had: skull, thoracic and cervical spine (twice), chest, both feet.


Y is for yesterday’s highlight: my son running through door yelling, “Mommy, I missed you!” (it had been 8 hours since I dropped him off at school…)

Z is for your time zone: Pacific, dude! 😉

So now hopefully I’ve provided you with some distraction from the dull drum known as Wednesday 🙂 And hopefully you didn’t lose too many brain cells in the process… 😉 

What are your plans this weekend? How far in advance do you typically make plans?