Category Archives: Weight Loss

Chocolate Coconut Energy Bars

Its’ confession time again, friends!

Since my running mileage has gone from 40+ miles a week during marathon training to a big ol’ zero right now, it’s taken some time for my mind (and belly) to realize that I don’t need the same amount of fuel. For the month of June, I continued to eat like I was training hard. Eating whatever I wanted. A month of over indulging in sweets and cravings of anything salty like chips and crackers. There was also a lot of “eating my feelings”  – mad about the results of the marathon, not being able to run afterwards and major stress from work. While I was still working out, it wasn’t the same intensity as running. Hence, I wasn’t torching as many calories. At the end of the month, I began to feel it. Lethargic, bloated, feeling blah and not like myself.

Not really the reason I love to run but it sure does help!

It was time to reign it it. Something had to change.

So I’m watching portion sizes. Staying away from mindless snacks and curbing the sugar which has been a little over the top. It’s so very true, you can’t out work a bad diet.

You’re probably wondering…what does this have to do with the title of the post?

After having a major craving for something sweet and chocolatey over the weekend, rather than grabbing a handful of dark chocolate chips (followed by another) I ended up in the kitchen experimenting. I wanted to come up with a snack/energy bar that didn’t have any added sugar, was full of real food but still gave me a chocolate fix. I love dates for their natural sweetness so I built on from there. (I ended up adapting from THIS recipe).

I give you Chocolate Coconut Energy Bars!

Chocolate Coconut Energy Bars - happyfitmama.com

Chocolate Coconut Energy Bars
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups dates
  • 2 cups almond meal
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup unsweetened dried coconut
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
Instructions
  1. Soak dates in warm water for approximately 2 hours.
  2. Drain dates and place in a food processor with almond meal, coco powder, dried coconut, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and sea salt.
  3. Blend till mixture begins to clump together.
  4. Place mixture in a parchment lined baking pan (8x8).
  5. Spread out evenly.
  6. Place in freezer for 3 hours.
  7. Slice into 12 bars.

The result? Ooeey gooey chocolate yumminess! An added bonus is that theses are no bake and are cold. Perfect for the hot, humid summer days when turning on the oven is not even an option.

Enjoy!

Side note: I have my first physical therapy appointment for my foot/ankle today. Fingers crossed we get to the bottom of this mysterious inflammation and correct it.

How do you reign yourself in after over indulging?

Sweet or salty? What do you crave more of?

Lately

Lately I’ve been…

Enjoying…The Spring-like weather we are finally getting. After having a snowstorm Friday morning, I didn’t think it was ever going to happen. I enjoy not having to wear a hat or gloves on a run. I enjoy the feeling of warm sunshine on my face. I enjoy hearing birds singing. I even enjoy the smell of mud season!

Springlike run - happyfitmama.com

In the bathroom a lotMiss A is rockin’ potty training! (What did you think I was going to say?) Hello Kitty undies and stickers are serious motivation for that girl. Her brother on the other hand, is quite content in his diapers still. Typical boy! :)

Potty Training - happyfitmama.com

Lathering…with Intelligent Nutrients Harmonic Shampoo and Conditioner. This stuff does not have any sulfates, parabens, silicones, ethoxylates, PEG, phthalates, and synthetic fragrances. And the smell? Yummy mint that wakes you up instantly. It even gives you a little scalp tingling. The conditioner also works great as a shave gel and the shampoo can be used as body soap. It leaves you feeling cooled and refreshed after a super sweaty workout.

Intelligent Nutrients Harmonic Shampoo and Conditioner - happyfitmama.com

Compressing…And elevating a lot for recovery post run. My calves have been tighter especially since I’ve been working on my gait to get rid of heel striking. Plus, legs up a wall pose just feels good no matter if it’s after a run or a long day at work on my feet. Pro Compression Argyle for the win!

Legs up a wall + Pro Compression Socks - happyfitmama.com

Educating…I recently learned about an app called Fooducate. It’s a great source for those who need help on how to make healthy food choices. Basically it’s a personal grocery advisor. Daily tips and tricks are given to help make you a better shopper of nutritious food. Topics like nutrition fact labels, hard to pronounce ingredient names, “health claims”, and other marketing tricks to watch out for at the supermarket. You can modify it to your needs – weight loss, heart healthy, non-GMO foods, Gluten-Free, etc. You can scan any bar coded item or search the lists to see what grade it gets. I’m excited to try it out with some of my more tech savy cardiac patients.

Fooducate - happyfitmama.com

What have you been up to lately?

I was provided a free Intelligent Nutrients Shampoo and Conditioner. All opinions are my own. All other products have been purchased with my own money. I just love ‘em and want to talk about it!

#Cathe XTrain: Tabatacise Review

Hey everyone!

When you don’t belong to a gym, you need to be inventive in finding ways to exercise. I prefer running, cycling and yoga but there are days when I can’t do any of those and need to either come up with my own workout or rely on a something like an exercise DVD. Recently I was sent Cathe’s Tabatacise, part of her XTrain series. I had heard great things about Cathe from others – she’s tough and makes you work so I was looking forward to a kick butt workout.

#Cathe Xtrain

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Tabata, it’s a short but very intense workout that improves your aerobic capacity. It’s generally eight intervals, 20 seconds each, of all out effort followed by 10 seconds recovery for a total of four minutes. It may not seem like that’s a workout but if you are truly putting in an all you’ve got, you should be exhausted when time is up.

Tabatacise uses this formula but adds to it with five different four minute Tabata workouts. After each Tabata there is what Cathe calls a “step recovery blast.” It’s the rest portion but an active rest to lower your heart rate.

A very nice feature of the DVD is that it’s broken down into Levels. You can perform level one and gradually work your way up to performing all five levels. Perfect for those just starting out with Tabata style workouts. There’s also additional bonus tracks for targeting the core, back, triceps and biceps.

#Cathe Xtrain - happyfitmama.com

After going through all five Tabatas, I see why everyone ravs about Cathe. I really like her style of teaching and she’s tough just like everyone says! Don’t expect her to take it easy on you. Lots of plyometric moves but the choreography is easy to follow. I was left super sweaty with legs quaking and shaking. The DVD does rely on a step with risers for the recovery blast and some of the bonus tracks. I don’t have a step but was still able to do the workouts just at a lower intensity on the floor. Now that I’m in the thick of marathon training, I won’t be doing as much plyometric work. It’s tough on my knees and kind of like another day of running. I don’t want to risk an injury. However, after May 26th I will definitely be using Cathe’s Tabatacise XTrain Series to add variety in my weekly workouts.

5 By The 5th Virtual Race Recap – March

Yesterday I got in my 3rd 5K “race” as part of Laura’s 5 by the 5th Virtual Race Series.

http://www.mommyrunfast.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/virtual-race-series-Jan-to-June.jpg

I’m using this series as a way to improve my 5K time on the treadmill. I’d prefer to run it outside but my early morning runs aren’t possible just yet and at least this way is consistent. If you’re interested, here’s January and February’s recaps. This month was the first that I actually ran the right distance (duh!) and did not have a race within 2 days of it. My calves were feeling a little tight and fatigued but other than that I was ready to better my time.

I did a gradual, easy warm up for 1.5 miles before clearing the treadmill. I’m finding that I do better with a warm up of at least that distance to get into the groove. My average pace was 7:50 and I finished in 24:19.

5 by the 5th Virtual Race - March happyfitmama.com

I’m still trying to figure out what my 5K pace should be. I find that I get in the long distance mind set – start slow to conserve for the duration. I will say that I’m happy with my improvement over the past 2 months. I feel stronger and am more confident in my running abilities. I finished the run off with an additional 1.5 miles for a total of 6 for the day. I’m hoping to reach at least the 24:00 mark for April.

I received the DVD for free to review. My opinions are completely my own.

Do you use workout DVD’s?

Do you prefer short or long distance running?