How to Make Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Protein Cookies

Since finding out about my gluten allergy, I don’t eat cookies all that often. I was puttering around Pinterest one day and saw a gluten free, grain free chocolate chip cookie recipe. I was intrigued and thought, “sounds easy enough”. Then I got the crazy idea to use some protein powder and make them into a protein cookie. The result: an amazingly delicious, gluten free cookie that is low in sugar. img_7176.jpg

You may have seen Lenny & Larry’s protein cookies. They have been all the rage, but they are NOT gluten free. I’m also not a huge fan of their nutrition. High sugar, high calorie and high carb. Not much better than a normal cookie. So I set out to make a gluten free, lower sugar, protein cookie. 

These gluten free protein cookies turned out much better than expected and did not last long. I gobbled them up quicker than I expected. I was looking for excuses to eat these! They are great as a snack or a dessert. img_7171

In this recipe, I used my favorite protein powder, Vanilla Milkshake from Quest. One thing to remember when cooking with protein powder is the kind of protein can really change the recipe. Feel free to substitute your protein powder of choice, just know that it may alter the recipe a bit. 

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip
Protein Cookie Recipe

prep time: 20 mins
cook time: 15 mins
total time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:
1 cup almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons coconut oil (if your coconut oil is a little melty, put it in the fridge for about 10 minutes or until firmer, like softened butter. If you use melted coconut oil, the dough will be greasy)
3 scoops Vanilla Milkshake Quest Nutrition protein powder
6 tablespoons natural almond butter – make sure it has no added sugar!
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
A few Tsp of water, if needed

Directions:
1. In a mixing bowl, mix almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl with an electric hand mixer, beat together coconut oil and the protein powder until well combined. If you use coconut oil, it may not come together easily. If needed, use your hands to combine it and then beat another 20 seconds.
3. Beat in the almond butter and vanilla extract & mix until combined. Beat in the egg on low and mix well.
4. Stir in the flour mixture until well combined. Then stir in 1/2 cup chocolate chips. 5. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for about 1 hour or until the dough is firm.
6. Preheat the oven to 350 °F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.
5. Roll the dough into approx 12 balls. Place on baking sheet.
6. Bake for 11-14 minutes or until browned and the center of the cookie is no longer raw.
7. Let cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

NOTES:
1. You can also roll cookies into smaller balls but this will effect the bake time.
2. The bake time will also vary based on protein powder used & your oven. Start with 11 minutes and check cookies. With Quest protein, it took 15 minutes, however this does vary based on oven.
3. If you wish, flatten cookie ball slightly before baking for a more traditional cookie appearance 🙂 

Adapted from TexanErin

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Life Lately: 3 Ways to Feel like Yourself Again

When I started this blog, it was to talk about my weight loss and sharing workouts, recipes and resources to help support others in their weight loss journey. The blog has become part of my life, and like my life, it moves and changes with me. As I got into running, I started blogging more about running. Occasionally I throw in some fashion posts and share pieces of my life, cuz why not? My long time blog readers are my tribe, a community. I love sharing my life with them, so at times I feel called to share something a little more personal and that is what today’s post is about. None of us are perfect, we are all vulnerable and have struggles, and I am no different.

Have you ever had a tough moment in life; times where you don’t feel like yourself? Lately, I’ve been in one of those. Unfortunately it has lasted longer than a moment. I have good days and I have bad. At times there seem to be more discouraging days than good.

Overwhelm is real, and I find myself feeling like I can’t seem to move forward. Some of these feelings are entrepreneur struggles; trying to create and do a lot of things single handedly is not easy. The other part of it is some personal things I am dealing with. It’s disappointing because I feel like I have so many great things in my life, but they get overshadowed by sadness.img_6574

It’s okay to feel sad, but if you let it consume you and rule your life, especially when we have so much to be grateful for. Naturally, I am a happy and upbeat person who finds a lot of joy in life. It’s not fun when I don’t feel like myself. When I am having a bad day or the problems feel like too much to handle, there are a handful of things that I do to get my “mojo” back and today I’m sharing 3 ways to feel like yourself again. 

3 Ways to Feel Like Yourself Again

1) When in doubt, WORK IT OUT

This is my go to, especially when I am in a funk! Sweat it out! Go for a run, lift some weights, do some relaxing yoga. The endorphin rush is amazing and it also helps relieve stress & anxiety. I can’t tell you how many times a workout has made my day better or given me a different perspective on a problem.  img_6979

2) Reach out to a good friend

Or family member! Sometimes just talking with someone can help so much. You don’t even have to talk about the problem. Connecting with a good friend in person or over the phone recharges you with positive energy. When you spend time with someone who knows you really well and loves and cares for you, it’s good for the soul!img_7403

3) Gratitude – appreciate your life

Take a moment to be grateful for everything that you have. Even if it is not exactly as you would like it to be, or if you are feeling frustrated with your situation, you still have so much to be grateful for. Start with appreciating the air your breathe & the fact that you get to live another day. Take a few deep breaths and fill your heart with gratitude. Remember who you are and what you stand for. quote gratitude

Other ideas:

  • Take a bubble bath
  • Go shopping! You don’t even have to buy anything, just browse. 
  • Get some quality “me time” i.e.: get a massage, read a book, get a blowout, or do a fun work out
  • Engage in your favorite hobby 

When you don’t feel like yourself, acknowledge it.

It’s okay to be in a funk sometimes. However, don’t let yourself stay there. I’ll admit, this last time I let myself sit there way too long. Like longer than a few days long. Life is too short, and I have too much to be grateful for and too many ambitions to allow myself to stay in a funk. When you realize you don’t feel like yourself: Acknowledge it. Reclaim yourself by using one of the steps above. Go kick ass!

How to Rock Your Runs with Pink Aftershokz this October!

Disclaimer: I received a pair of pink Aftershokz as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Can you believe it is already September?! This year is flying by!! Fall is near and that means October is right around the corner. October is when we bring out all the pumpkin stuff, and it’s also breast cancer awareness month. One of my favorite companies, AfterShokz is joining the fight against breast and ovarian cancer by going (Bright) Pink with some pink Aftershocks headphones! unspecified

Aftershokz created some limited edition open ear Trekz Titanium Pink headphones that are only available now thru October 31st. My long time readers know I love the color pink, so when Aftershokz told me about this campaign, I was SO EXCITED! I already have a pair of Trekz Titanium, and love them, I take them on almost every run with me. When I found out they made pink Aftershokz,  I was very excited to get some in my favorite color. img_7230

Besides being my favorite color, these pink Aftershokz headphones support a great cause. For every pair sold on aftershokz.com from September 1st to October 31st, 2016, AfterShokz will donate 25% of proceeds to Bright Pink, a non-profit that focuses on breast and ovarian cancer awareness. How cool is that?! 

The Trekz Titanium from Aftershokz are amazing. Here is what I love:

– open ear design allows you to be aware of your surroundings while you enjoy your music and/or calls
– wireless, so you won’t be tangled in cords
– sweat resistant
– they don’t go inside or over your ears, so you don’t need to worry about them falling out while running 
– a single charge gets you 6+ hours of listening time!
– extremely comfortable
– you can turn your jams up as loud as you want without damaging your hearing! Because these headphones are bone conduction and not in your ear canal, it won’t affect your hearing. cool huh?!
added bonus: a portion of proceeds raised from each unit sold will go back to Bright Pink to spread awareness about breast and ovarian cancer!!

For more info, you can read my previous review of them HEREimg_7196

#AwareWithPink

Since I love social media, I think it’s super cool when a social media post can help do some good. Check this out –> Every time #AwareWithPink is used on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, AfterShokz will donate an additional 25 cents to Bright Pink to extend the awareness. Spreading the hashtag will fund Bright Pink’s ongoing efforts to educate and drive awareness about how being proactive can make all the difference. HOW COOL IS THAT?!?!  img_7280

Gift with Purchase

If you purchase a pair of PINK Aftershokz, be sure to use the code “PINK” at check out and receive a free small storage case! This storage case is very nice and not included normally. unspecified-2
 
If you are looking for a great pair of bluetooth headphones for running, you will NOT be disappointed with Aftershokz. Be sure to check them out! 

Half Marathon #10! The Inaugural Iron Horse Half

The inaugural Iron Horse Half Marathon was a beautiful run; I am so glad this was the way I got to celebrate half marathon #10! My two year run-iversary for running my first half marathon is coming up, and I cannot believe how far I have come in just two years. I ran my first half marathon in October of 2014 and just ran my tenth half marathon this last weekend. Another crazy fact: eight of those ten were run within the last year! 
 
The Iron Horse Half  was a point to point course on the Iron Horse Trail & the Snoqualmie Valley Trail. What makes this half marathon unique is that the course is nearly all downhill at a steady, gentle grade. I was very excited about this course and will share more about that experience later in the recap. IMG_7103

start line

Because it was a point to point course, the start line was 13-ish miles away from the finish. You were encouraged to park at the finish and take a shuttle to the start line. You could have someone drop you off at the start line, but there was no parking there. IMG_7086
 
Race morning, I parked at the finish line, picked up my packet and bib number and hopped on a shuttle with zero issues! It was very smooth. Once I got dropped off at the start, I checked a small bag in gear check & headed up a small hill to the start line. I wanted to use the port-a-potty really quick, but the line was UNREAL. I knew there would be a few along the course, so I decided to wait. IMG_7087
 
They did the race start in waves that were spaced 15 minutes apart to avoid crowding on the trail. I thought this worked extremely well. Before I knew it, I was off and running! 

the race 

The course was promised to be a slow and steady downhill course, and it was! There were a few sections that were flat and a few that were slightly steeper and allowed you to build up speed. It was not a ton of downhill that causes you to get shin splints or feel uncomfortable, it was very pleasant and made for ‘easy racing’.

The course was also unbelievably beautiful. It was all trails, which was a nice change of pace from a normal road race. It was full of green trees and bushes, rivers, beautiful landscapes and some sweeping views.  


The weather on race day was the perfect blessing, especially for August. Slightly overcast and not too hot. The trail had lots of shade, but did have some sections that would have been full sun if it wasn’t for the light cloud cover. I was glad I brought my handheld water bottle, although they did have plenty of aid stations along the course. 


Remember how I skipped the port-a-potty line earlier? Well somehow I missed the first port-a-potties on the course, so by mile 5 I was peeing my pants and had to become one with mother nature. Thankfully this was the perfect course to have this happen as there were lots of chances to dip into the woods and take care of business. Of course I didn’t want to have to do that, but you gotta do what you gotta do! 

Considering I had been slacking on long runs, it was no surprise to me that the last 3 miles were pretty difficult. I survived, but they felt long. I was so happy to see the finish line in the distance! I was about half a mile away from the finish line & all of a sudden a heard a buzz and a sharp pain in the middle of my back! I thought to myself, ‘did I just get stung by a bee?!’ I didn’t see a bee, but what else could it be?! It hurt so bad!! As soon as I crossed the finish, I headed to the medical tent & sure enough I did get a bee sting. Thankfully I was fine. There is a first time for everything right?! It was quite the memorable finish. 😉  My time: 2 hours 8 minutes.

Run it OR Skip it?

RUN IT! The course is beautiful and the slight downgrade the whole way is so refreshing compared to the other Seattle race courses with hills. Like every Orca Running race, it was well organized and had everything you could want. Amazing post race BBQ, great medals and fun swag. I definitely recommend this race! 

Check out future Orca Running Races and use code SWEETFIT to save 10% on any race/distance!!

My Feet Earned This!

Disclaimer: I received a pair of OOFOS to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Since I started running, when I go get a pedicure, someone almost always makes a comment about how beat up my feet are. I don’t think my feet look that bad, but I do get the occasional blister or bruised toenail & I get more calluses than an average person. #RUNNERPROBLEMS. When you are logging #allthemiles, it can take a toll of your feet – not only aesthetically on the outside but also on the inside. Thanks to OOFOS, your feet have some help to recover from a hard workout too. 

Post race recovery usually includes compression, self miofascial release, or even take an ice bath. None of these techniques, however, address one of the body parts that may need some attention: your feet! No matter how comfortable your running shoes are, after a long run or race, your feet need some relief. I remember when I finished my first marathon, my feet felt like they weighed 100 pounds. I couldn’t wait to get my running shoes off!

My Feet Earned This – OOFOS Sandals

I usually just bring a pair of flip flops with me to change into post race.  Now that I have a pair of OOFOS sport sandals, I make sure to bring my OOFOS instead of my everyday flip flops. Why?? Because OOFOS are so much more comfortable! They have special cushion that absorbs impact and make your feet feel AHHHMAZING! It is literally like walking on air, especially after a long run. See what I am talking about in this 53 second video: 

How I use my OOFOS Sandals

While OOFOS sandals feel amazing post run, they are also great for everyday use. Since it is summer, I try to be in flip flops as much as possible. I have worn my OOFOS to take my dog on a evening walk.

 I have worn them out and about post run. 


I have even used them to go to the lake and stand up paddling board. 

Fun Fact: My mom tried my OOFOS on and liked them so much she almost didn’t give them back to me. Now I know what to get her for her birthday!! LOL.

OOFOS are extremely versatile and not to mention comfortable. These sandals are biomechanically engineered to alleviate foot stress and soreness… how cool is that?! 

Interested in learning more?

They have men’s and women’s styles, lots of fun colors and you can even choose between a slip-on and a flip flop. Check out OOFOS Sport Sandal (the one I have). I also really love the OOlala Sandal.

I am thankful to have OOFOS as another way to help me bounce back into my next workout quicker and keep my feet a little happier! 

Get Your Greens: Summertime Mango Coconut Smoothie

love green smoothies. They are quick, easy to make and take on the go, & extremely nutritious. If you are not a huge fan of eating greens like kale or spinach, a green smoothie is a very delicious way to get your greens in. I love to have them for breakfast, an afternoon pick me up or even a meal replacement. They are also super refreshing post workout. 
 
A few weeks ago at a Flywheel event, Zico Coconut Water prepared a green smoothie for us to enjoy post cycle class. It was so yummy and so refreshing, I had to share the recipe with you!FlyWithZico-56
 
 This particular smoothie is perfect post workout because you have the hydrating coconut water combined with the fruit. You get the carbs and electrolytes you need after a good sweat. You could add in some vanilla protein powder and it would perfect!IMG_5802

Get Your Greens_-2Summertime Mango Coconut Smoothie

Ingredients:
1 cup Natural ZICO Coconut Water
½ cup frozen mango
½ cup spinach
½ cups ice
½ banana
*optional* 1 scoop vanilla protein powder 
 
 
Directions:
Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend until smooth. ENJOY! 
 
FlyWithZico-45

Running Essentials You Need to Survive Summer

The summer weather and heat makes running outdoors uncomfortable and even difficult at times. I have rounded up 7 of my favorite summer running essentials that make those warm runs easier. If you are training for a fall or winter race, running & training thru the summer is a must. I am not a huge treadmill fan, so I do all my runs outdoors. There are several things that I have found make running in the heat more tolerable. 

Summer Running EssentialsSummer Running Essentials 

1) Handheld Water Bottle 

This is a must, especially on shorter runs. Even if it is only a few miles, you will be thankful that you have some liquids with you, especially on hot days. My favorite handheld is the Hydraform by Amphipod. I love it because it is a 20oz bottle and has a huge pocket that fits a cell phone, keys and even some run fuel. I won’t use any other handheld!!  If you prefer a smaller size, it also comes in 16oz bottle

2) Electrolytes!

sipping Ultima in my Orange Mud

Hydration is important year around, but it always seems to be top of mind in the heat. After a good sweat, you need to replace the fluids and the electrolytes lost. Electrolyte imbalance and dehydration are very serious things and not problems I want to be dealing with. I use  Ultima Replenisher every day post workout. I will also fill up my water bottle with it to sip on during the run. It’s delicious & they recently updated their formula so it’s not only zero sugar and zero artificial ingredients, it’s also zero calorie! 

3) Buff 

 Sweat running down your face on a run is not fun. That is where the Buff comes in! I love to use mine to wipe off the sweat. You can also get you Buff wet with cold water or stuff it with ice and use it to cool off! They can be worn all different ways and are very versatile. This is easily one of my most favorite running accessories that can be used year around.  

4) Hydration Pack

I honestly don’t know how I survived long runs last summer without a hydration pack. I LOVE the Orange Mud Hydraquiver. It is comfy, doesn’t bounce, and it doesn’t cover a huge part of your back, so you don’t get super hot. It also has pockets to hold phone and other important running necessities & the water bottle is very easy to clean. You can also check out the Hydraquiver Vest Pack and the Endurance Pack from Orange Mud. Their products are great, you won’t be disappointed. 

5) Body Glide

Chaffing is no bueno. It’s uncomfortable and can really ruin a run. Use Body Glide to prevent chaffing in areas that can rub together like thighs or arm pits. I also have some running friends that put Body Glide on their eyebrows to keep the sweat out of their eyes… GENIUS! 

6) Sunglasses

If it’s sunny, I have a hard time running without sunglasses. On short runs, I like to run in a pair of sunglasses I have from a few years ago. For long runs, I like the XX2i sunglasses – they are super light weight, comfortable & polarized lenses make super bright days easy to tolerate. 

7) A cool, sweat wicking tank

It helps if it’s stylish too, because #RunMatchy!! 😉 One of my favs that is not only super cute but also practical is the Brooks Ghost Racerback.  It’s sheer, super-soft DriLayer® moisture-wicking fabric is very light,  contains a touch of linen, and is perfect for warmer temps. It comes in so many fun colors & it’s on sale!!!  Brooks Running Women's Ghost Racerback Size: Large 592

8) A Comfy Pair of Flip Flops

After a long, hot run, I need to get my running shoes off ASAP! I  always bring along a pair of flip flops to slip into post run. If it is a long run, or super hot, my feet get a little swollen, so throwing on some open shoes like flip flops makes all the difference. I am loving the OOFOS Sport Sandal. It is super cushiony and feels like a dream!  It’s also biomechanically engineered to alleviate foot stress and soreness. It’s perfect for post run or running errands.  FullSizeRender-1