Monday, May 30, 2016

Guest Post: Beauty In Christ

Happy Memorial Day! I hope you're enjoying a long and relaxing weekend and hopefully the weather is nice for all the outdoor festivities! If you're looking for some last minute healthy BBQ inspiration, I rounded up 20 recipes. There is something for EVERYONE- meat eaters, vegetarians, vegans, food allergy sufferers, you name it there's something in the roundup for them! Check out the round up here.

I'm excited to be continuing the guest post series and today's post comes from Emily blogs at Beauty in Christ. I've been blessed to get to know Emily some over the past number of weeks and the first thing I noticed is how genuinely kind she is. She has such a kind spirit and her love for Jesus is evident in everything she does. I'm super excited that Emily offered to share a post because she opens up about the struggles of living with an eating disorder and how she overcame it through her faith. I know so many people who struggle withe eating disorders so my hope and prayer is that Emily's post can be a blessing. 

Here's Emily:

First of all, HI everyone! I met Rachael via the blog world, and she did a blogger baking exchange with me. Well, this girl went WAY beyond the call of duty and made this HUGE box of granola, peanut butter, and cookies. It was amazing and I'm so honored that she gave me the opportunity to share a guest post for her blog. 

What do I blog about? Well, for about 7 years I struggled intensely with idolizing my body and food, before the power of God truly saved me from it, and my blog is that story. My blog is about freedom from bondage, freedom in Christ, freedom to enjoy good food, and freedom to live and love in God's awesome world and walk in communion with Him. I share the 'ugly, the happy, and the victory' because Jesus Christ has overcome all the power of Satan, the death, and sin, and He is my captain.

So I'm titling this post, 'Freed from Bondage,' because it is something that I feel so passionate about, and I hope it is a huge blessing to anyone struggling with bondage, as I know that the struggle is REAL. But God is greater!

Life is scary sometimes, isn't it? It's rocky. If you think that you are alone, it's even scarier. The Bondage (torment) of fear is a powerful human emotion that came into the world, when sin came into the world. Sometimes you look out in front of you, and you can barely see. Sometimes, you have chains to heave, chains of bondage, that almost have you laid flat on the ground. The way looks rocky, and the bondage of fear just grips you. You're afraid. You don't know what comes next. That's what an eating disorder, an idol, does. It taught me that there is bondage, but it also taught me that there is ultimate, freedom from that bondage, when you come to realize the truth, the truth about who you are and why you were made, WHO made you, and WHO saves you. 

This is my favorite thought that has been going through my mind this week, and I wanted to share that there is FREEDOM. There is not just life-long bondage. There is freedom.

An ED taught me that self-confidence didn't work, in a really powerful way. I couldn't save myself. 

ED want you to fear. The devil wants you to be in bondage, and he doesn't want you to see the way, the truth, and the life. He wants you to always keep trying, striving after the perfect body, the perfect diet, the culture's definition of 'perfect' instead of looking to the only One who is perfect. He wants to keep you in torment without hope.

The devil is the father of lies and his lies produced torment in my heart. They clouded my eyes for MANY year to the truth. I wasn't running to the truth. I was wallowing in the bondage that I believe had the power to overcome me, because all I could see was myself. 

What were these lies?

'You have to be a certain size to be loved.' I didn't remember that God's love is unconditional.

1 John 4:10-11 'Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and send his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.' 

'You have to spend your whole life consumed in exercise, because that means you are disciplined.' I didn't realize that the burden that God gives is easy and light. I was burdening myself, when Jesus had already set me free from the law of sin and death and idolatry. I wasn't realizing the beauty of the gospel, that the gospel truly does set us free from that fear that has torment. 

Those were just a few of the lies, but I am so grateful to say that today, I am much less fearful than I was even a year ago. 

It would be a lie, though, to say that I don't still struggle with feelings of bondage. So what do I do when I struggle with that bondage?

Well I tell myself truth, truth that God tells us in His Word. 

1. I still experience periods of bondage, but that's not necessarily bad. This means that God is still working in me. When God is working in me, He is showing me where I need the gospel in every area of my life, including that area of bondage. The times I fall into sin and idolatry, it points me right back to 1 John 2:1-2

'My little children, these things I write unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.'

He is showing me where I need the truth of Jesus Christ and His atonement for my sin to POUR into my life and cleanse me. 

2. I need to remember that even when I sin, I am no longer separated from God. I am his child. I can RUN back to the throne, confess my sin like a child running to their daddy, repent, and leave that burden there. Nothing can separate me from His love, and even when I sin, the gospel STILL cleanses me because it's God's power, not mine (Romans 5:1-2). 

The truth of you being a daughter or son of God never changes. That adoption was completed by the work of Jesus Christ at the cross. You were justified, adopted into God's family, and you will be with Him in glory. It's not because of you. It's because of God's power, God's plan that you are His child.

You don't work you way to heaven or into His love. He loved you before you loved Him.

Galatians 4:4-8 'But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath send forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; if if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.'

3. I was a slave to the law, but I'm not anymore. I'm in Christ Jesus. I'm not under the law's condemning tyranny, because Jesus fulfilled that on the cross, so I can't be in terror of the condemnation of the law. Now it is my delight to keep, to honor, to love God's love, but it is no longer a condemning power in my life.

Romans 6:14-15 'For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.'

This realization is truth. Speak truth to yourself. Speak the truth that Jesus Christ has overcome your sin, overcome your idols, overcome the lies, and the devil. And you will fly...because CHRIST is within you.

If you struggle with fear, dear sister or brother, ask yourself, 'What does God say about me? Who am I?' Don't look at what you're doing, but ask who you are, and your belief about who you are IN CHRIST will drive what you do. It's out of the heart that these things come. What is your heart believing? Are you believing that:

You are reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:21)

He counts the hairs on your head (Luke 12:7)

He knows you and ordains everything that happens to you (Jeremiah 29:11, Psalm 138)

He will supply all your needs (Philippians 4:19)

His gift to you through his Son Jesus is eternal life, and that was a gift, not earned. All you must do is believe (John 3:16, Romans 6:23)

Nothing can separate you from his love (Romans 8)

Last but not least, if your heart is thirsty, God fills the thirsty heart. Jesus came to bring SPRINGS of living water, and he will fill you. 

PICTURE- freedom from bondage

Psalm 42:11 'Why art thou cast down, P my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.'

Do you struggle with your identity? 

What are the truths that you repeat to yourself about your identity?

Where have you found freedom from bondage? 

Friday, May 27, 2016

Guest Post: Adventures with FitNyx

Happy Friday! I hope you've been enjoying the guest posts as much as I have- I'm definitely thinking I should have guest posts more often (thoughts?). 

Today's guest post is from Amanda who blogs at Adventures with FitNyx. Amanda asked wanted to share a post she did awhile on her blog and I readily agreed because I really, really liked the post. You know how we are often our own worst critic when it comes to body image and what we think we look like vs. how others look at us? That's what this post is all about and I think y'all are really going to like it!

Here's Amanda:

Last week I posted a review of some KEEPTIGHT clothing items, including a fitted tank top that I haven't found very wearable. My problem with the tank top was that it was a little too fitted, and I found my reflection incredibly unflattering. In my review, I briefly mentioned that my body shape is not what I'd like it to be, and that being able to wear the tank top with confidence is my new "weight loss" goal. I was proud of myself for having a weight goal that wasn't focused on some elusive number, and thought I was doing the right thing by making my weight issues more about comfort, feel, and appearance than about meeting an meaningless quantity measure.

I also posted a photo of myself wearing the apparel with the caption, "You can really see how clingy the tank top is here. Please ignore the belly rolls..."

A good friend of mine messaged me later that day and asked if I had time to talk- not just for one or two words, but to really talk. I was a little worried, we are both pretty bust and it's only for serious issues that we ever ask to "really talk." Had something happened to her? I made some time for a longer conversation and was surprised when she started to talk about my review. Specifically about my photo's caption. 

I've never been anywhere close to having a body type that could be considered "fat" -in fact for most of my life, I've been skinny past the point of healthy. This was largely due to the fact that I was a year-round athlete, playing soccer and lacrosse for up to five teams at a time, usually devoting every spare moment that wasn't needed for school (and sometimes moments that were) to practice or games. I was "living the dream," eating all the junk food I wanted and never gaining any weight. I lost the so-called "freshman 15." I quickly got used to having a pretty rocking bod. 

Then I hit grad school and sports were no longer an every day focus. I still found places to play, and usually spent my entire weekend on a soccer field, but I definitely wasn't playing at the same level. I started to gain weight. Not tons, just enough that my pants actually stayed up most of the time. I was staying active enough that I could mitigate some of the weight gain, and I even got very sick for a while which helped me shed all the excess weight (and then some). But then, life hit me hard, and after a series of even that I will share when the time is right, I ended up struggling to manage my weight.

Despite finally putting on enough pounds to be out of my personal comfort zone, I was never at any point "fat," but I started to feel very negative about my body image. My stomach was not longer concave, and in fact was starting to poke out and make my waistband uncomfortable. Rolls became a frightening reality. Dresses no longer struck me as sleek and sexy when I looked in a mirror. Sure, I had my husband and best friend who assured me that I still had a good body, but I couldn't see it. The old saying is so true: we truly are our own worst critics. 

Finally I hit my turning point a little over a year ago. Clothes weren't fitting mere weeks after purchase, and I suffered a serious breakdown. I lost out on a job opportunity because I couldn't stop crying over the clothes that didn't fit to dig for something a little loose and make it to the meeting on time. I returned everything I had recently purchased, and started sobbing uncontrollably when the cashier asked me the reason for the returns. I was miserable- but the picture above from my first trail run last year shows me at about the biggest I've ever been. To anyone else, I look like I'm in pretty good shape. But to me, I see only the tummy bulge and the shapeless arms. 

I couldn't bear it anymore, I had to do something. Over the course of the year, I really turned up my dedication to fitness and started to make some diet changes to help me get healthier, fitter and (hopefully) back to my old body. So far, I can tell progress has been made, but I am still a long way from my admittedly high expectations. I still have zero confidence in any of my old dresses, and half of my wardrobe is untouched because I can't stop focusing on my tummy bulge.

Why did I tell you all of this? Because my best friend was upset that I let my overly critical opinions of my body seep into a review that didn't need my self judgement. While I may not be drawing thousands of pageviews every day, I do still have quite a few readers who consider me to be fitness inspirational and readers who consider me to be a good example of a healthy body type. When these people, who are looking to fitness bloggers for advice, confidence boosts, inspiration, motivation, whatever- come to a blog and see the author body-shaming themself, despite being in pretty good shape....Well, what are they going to think about themselves? What example am I setting for readers who are still struggling with their own body-image or weight issues?

Truth be told, none of this ever occurred to me. I'm so used to looking in the mirror, getting discouraged, making some commentary to myself, and moving along. Yes, I'm working on increasing my dedication to fitness, and I'm still trying to make the right changes in my diet, but I'm still hyper conscious of those parts of my body that have grown over the past few years, because I see it every day. My body-image issues have become so routine that OF COURSE I'm going to make that commentary while I'm writing about the way clothes fit me.

My friend pointed out to me that the offending caption could easily have been written differently while still getting the point across about the shirts clinginess: I could have pointed out the way the capri waistline was well-defined by the fabric cling, without ever mentioning my "rolls." According to my friend/critic, the caption referencing my love handles drew her attention to something she hadn't even noticed in the photo because otherwise, she would have only looked at the clothes without passing any kind of judgement on the outfit's model.

There's so much going around these days about "fat shaming," and theres also a movement against "skinny shaming," but the reality is that most of us fall somewhere in between. I'm neither overweight or underweight, but that doesn't mean I am immune to body-image or weight issues. And I'm setting a very poor example by "middle shaming: on this blog. We are all working toward the same general goals in the fitness world: to manage out weight and body shape while having as much fun as possible. With this in mind, i am going to be making a more conscious effort to focus on positives and successes, rather than lingering on my negative perceptions. I want to set the right example, but I also know that I hinger my own success by holding myself back with negatives.

And I'd like all of you, my faithful audience, to keep me honest! This blog should have a positive impact on readers. If you see me getting stuck in a shaming rut, call me out! Comment sections are there for a reason- healthy debate fosters improvement. I have an open mind and (despite what my mother and husband believe) can handle some criticism, especially if it's spot on. Don't be shy about giving me feedback!

You can start right now- what are YOUR thoughts on "middle shaming?" Are those of us in the average body range setting the right kind of example? What can you change in your own approach to the body image discussion that would help make a dialogue a more positive experience all around? 

*Original posted on January 17, 2015. 
Link to original post:

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Guest Post: Creating a Better Tomorrow

Happy Wednesday! I am so excited to be continuing the guest post series today. Today's post I'm really pumped about because it's from Sarah who blogs at Creating a Better Tomorrow. Sarah talks about being a mom, which I know nothing about (babysitting is not the same I'm told), but her post is relatable for everyone- parents or not. 

Sarah is a pretty kick butt person- she has twin boys (who are teething- I about pulled my hair out babysitting a teething child), but she still makes time to workout and eat healthy. I love the post Sarah is sharing because it's about to-do lists. As a chronic list maker I absolutely love what Sarah shares about why to-do lists aren't everything.

Here's Sarah:

Are you a to do list maker? I sure am...nothing better than an old fashioned to do list where you mark through things with a sharpie. But you know what there are problems with to do lists.  Sometimes life just doesn't follow a to do list or at least not your own to do list. Having twins has shown me many problems with to do lists.

Balanced Mom 
Problems with To Do Lists

Don't get me wrong I still makes lists daily...I still LOVE (yes I use different color sharpies and all!) crossing things off my lists each day.  BUT having these two adorable babies I barely get to anything on my to do lists other than feed babies, change babies, hold babies, pump milk...oh and perhaps sneak in eating and exercising to keep me happy. So you see I had a list of blog topics to write and draft over this past weekend on my to do list.Then these problems with to do lists popped up...but the problem are quite pleasant problems. These pleasant problems are called life and family.

I chose to completely ignore my blog to do list (yes I know terrible admission for a blogger right?! :) ) and focus on enjoying family and these babies. My in laws stayed with us, we celebrated my grandmother's birthday, I just held babies and snuggled then for no real reason other than to enjoy them.

I chose just to stare into these adorable faces!

Sure my to do list satisfaction wasn't quite met...I didn't strike through anything I'd planned on doing the past few days. And I couldn't be happier. These babies are teaching me to let go of some of my type A tendencies (don't worry I'm still oh so type A, I said only SOME :) ). And though this post wasn't on my blog to do list schedule...I thought I'd share this simple post with you that sometimes the best to do list has some major not including ENJOY LIFE.

Lots of snuggles, enjoying long walks, and just being mom - all NOT on my to do list!

So I leave you with this one simple Creating Better To Do List item:

*Connect with Sarah at her blog Creating a Better Tomorrow, on Facebook, or on Instagram

Monday, May 23, 2016

Guest Post: Fat Kid Running

I am so excited for this post and for this week! I have asked a few fellow bloggers to share posts with you while I'm visiting my brother. Each blogger is going to bring something different and many share things I know nothing about which excites me. I love seeing things from a fresh perspective and learning from others. 

Today's guest post comes from Sabrina over at Run, Love, Yoga. I enjoy Sabrina's blog because she's incredibly honest. She's blunt about her past, struggles, and she's a pretty awesome person. She also just ran her first half marathon which is so awesome!

So without further ado here's Sabrina:

I've always been fat.

I've always struggled with my weight.

I wasn't lucky enough to be born skinny. My family's fat genes are prevalent and I've slowly learned to be OK with that.

It's a part of who I am but it does not define me.

As a child, I didn't start to get chunky until the first grade. My guess is that sitting at a desk at school all day coupled with being greeted at home by a lonely mom, I am an only child after all, with a bowl full of ice cream as an after school snack contributed to my childhood obesity. 

My poor nutrition wasn't the only reason I was overweight. One of favorite activities as a kid was watching TV. When we weren't watching one of my many kids shows, we were watching one of my mom's favorites. It was our thing. It's what we did together. Some parents tossed around a ball with their kids, my mom watched TV with me. As I got older I used to pretender I was sick so we could stay home to watch The Price is Right. I this a lot since I struggled at school and I had a hard time fitting in and making friends. It didn't help that I was very self-conscious of how much fatter I was than the other kids.

One of the worst things that I had to do at school at least once a year was run a mile. Nobody enjoyed doing it especially as the summer months approached and it was hazy, hot and humid every day, but for a roly-poly elementary school student whose [ants are always tight, it was even worse.

It should come as no surprise that I barely survived these yearly torture rituals. I have vivid memories of our gym teacher giving us 8 pennies and instructing us to run around a set of cones 8 times. Each time we reached the start we were supposed to give her a penny until we had none. I always started out alright, but it didn't take long for me to be huffing, puffing and sweating like a pig in the boiling sun. I was miserable. I hated those damn pennies, but they weren't the problem. 

I'm pretty sure there were several years that I technically didn't finish the mile because I gave up quickly and resorted to walking. Class often ended before I could walk my way to the finish. Needless to say, it was upsetting to me to always be last and to be known as the fat one when all of my classmates could finish the mile before class was up. 

I wish I could say that early on I was so upset by this that I confided to my parents and they started instilling some healthy changes, but that's not how the story goes. Both of them have battled with obesity for most of their lives so they were pretty unclear on how to go about it with their child. I know it upset my dad who was athletic as a kid having played football and basketball in high school. He tried to make me be more active but it just made me feel worse about myself. It was like admitting something was wrong with me. My mom, whose health suffers to this day thanks to her unhealthy and sedentary lifestyle, saw no problem with it. I was fat, unhealthy and lazy from an early age and that's just the way it was. 

Years later, when we had to repeat this mile challenge in high school I got it done in 18 minutes. I was dead last. Again. That number has stuck with me for some reason nearly 20 years after I graduated. Was I embarrassed? Absolutely. Did I change anything about it? Nah. Not really. Flash forward nearly 20 years and my fastest mile to date after 7 months of training, as a 38 year old I might add, is 9 minutes- half of the time it took me when I was much younger and my body could recover a lot faster. 

You have no idea what this means to the fat kid that is still inside of me.

Just the other day I went out on my first group run with my running group. It was an an easy 3 mile out and back course. Everyone was running at different paces. Some runners ran/walked. I was quietly reminded of those awful mile runs in school and the shame and guilt I felt about my weight and lack of physical fitness at such a young age. I was always in the back of the pack, struggling, sweating, and wishing someone would throw me a SunnyD and Devil Dog for recovery purposes. 

This run was different. I didn't know anyone really and they didn't care what my abilities were. We were all there to support each other. The plan was to run and then to celebrate with drinks after. It started easy enough. I popped in my headphone and started up my half marathon playlist. I had barely run all week so my legs were well rested and just want to run. I managed to get ahead of the pack early on and I just took off. I hadn't wanted to run all week. I was hoping this run would give me my mojo back. Not only were my legs strong, but my lungs were powerful. With every step I became faster. Every once in awhile I would look back to see where everybody was and they were far behind. In fact, only 3 women were in front of me out of their 30 plus women that attended. They ended up being too fast to catch, but that wasn't the point. I was running as fast as my legs could take me. I was running fast.

At the 1.5 mile mark we were to turn around and run back to where we started. When I did I ran by the other women in the group. 

And guess what? They smiled at me. They laughed. They cheered me on/ I think even one of them called me "speedy." Me, the fat, slow and lazy kid being called speedy? Wow. What an incredible feeling to be thought of like that by strangers.

But that wasn't even the best part. I was HAPPY just to run. Me, happy to run and not completely miserable wishing that the torture would end so I could go back inside and sit down. I enjoyed myself and what my body could do. There was no shame or embarrassment about what my body couldn't do. I was proud and in awe of all I had accomplished and all that I was capable of doing. I wasn't holding myself back anymore because I was the fat kid. I was running as fast as my body would take me that day. It was glorious. 

Even though I was never able to catch up with the 3 women in the front of the pack, I was the first person to arrive back to our meeting point after them. I enjoyed giving kudos to them and to the women who followed me. 

I've put in a lot of hard work during the last 2 months of my half-marathon training and even though this wasn't a race, I was incredibly satisfied to be ahead for once.

Guess what? That fat kid inside of me is a runner now.

*You can follow Sabrina on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Memorial Day Recipe Roundup

Memorial Day is right around the corner, which is hard to believe considering it feels like it was just snowing? Oh wait it did snow in May...

For most people Memorial Day weekend usually means BBQing, picnics, and time with family and friends. My family usually goes to plant flowers on a few relatives graves and afterward has a picnic in a local park. Most picnics I've been to have a main dish- usually some type of meat, lots of side dishes- salads, veggies, and of course there's always dessert. 

I wanted to keep things healthier this year, so with the help of some awesome fellow bloggers I've created a roundup of 20 recipes that are perfect for BBQ's and picnics. There's something for everyone- meat eaters, vegetarians and vegans, dessert lovers, and food allergy suffers. Fire up the BBQ and get ready for some delicious eats!

Main Dish

Lemon Pistachio Salmon

Grilled Pineapple BBQ Shrimp Kabob via All Roads Lead to Healthy

Hawaiian Tuna Burgers via Healthy Helper

Grilled Bison Burger via Simply Nourished

Copycat Panera Bread Sierra Turkey Sandwich via Healthy Helper

Meat Free

Not-So-Sloppy Joes via Om Nom Herbivore

Texan Caviar Couscous via Pumpkin and Peanut Butter

BBQ Cauliflower Steak via All Roads Lead to Healthy:


Jalapeno Peach Summer Salad via Made to Glow

Grain-Free Cauliflower Rice Salad via RachLMansfield

Easy Grapefruit, Corn and Mint Salad via Athletic Avocado

Mustard Greens Summer Salad via Bucket List Tummy

Side Dishes

Strawberry Watermelon Basil Summer Side Dish via Made to Glow

High Protein Potato Salad via Healthy Helper

Roasted Honey Mustard Carrots via Little Bits Of


No Bake Energy Balls

Three Ingredient Fudgsicle Bites via Healthy Helper

Chocolate Peanut Butter Coconut Bars via Joy.Food.Sunshine

Grain-Free Berry Crisp via RachLMansfield

Triple chocolate cookies (Death By Chocolate Cookies)

Thursday, May 19, 2016

How to Make a Smoothie Bowl

What's your go to food when you're feeling lazy and don't want to cook? My go to is smoothie bowls. I know a smoothie bowl technically requires some work, but really the blender does 98% of the work for you. Plus smoothie bowls are a great way to sneak in some extra fruit, veggies, and protein. I always have frozen fruit and protein powder on hand so I can throw together a quick smoothie. 

The key to making a super thick smoothie is frozen fruit. I always use a frozen banana as my base for a smoothie bowl. Even if you don't like banana you can mask the taste of the banana by adding other fruits, but the frozen banana will give you a super thick smoothie. I love adding strawberries, blueberries and peaches (all frozen) to give the smoothie a tropical taste.

If you have a picky eater and want to sneak in some extra veggies without them knowing it's a lot easier than you think. You have to add sweet fruit to mask the taste of the veggies. If you add spinach or kale use banana, pineapple, and maybe some berries or mango which will give the smoothie a very tropical flavor and aside from the color (it will likely be green) you'll never know there's veggies in it. 

I also love adding avocado in smoothies. Avocados are a great source of healthy fats and make smoothies nice and thick, plus you can't taste them. I've had so many taste testers be shocked to learn that there's avocado in a smoothie. 

If you're looking to have a smoothie for breakfast up the protein so you stay full longer by adding a scoop of protein powder, but make sure it's a high quality protein powder. You can also add fiber, which will also keep you feeling full, by adding oats in. 

You have to have some liquid to be able to blend the smoothie. I always use almond milk, but you can use any liquid you like- coconut milk, regular milk, cashew milk, etc.

Of course if you're going to have a smoothie bowl you have to have toppings! My favorite toppings are fresh fruit, a little bit of granola, chia seeds, and hemp hearts. Don't overdo your toppings because you still want your smoothie bowl to be healthy :) 

If you make a smoothie bowl take a picture, tag me on instagram, and use the hashtag #thesimplelife I'd love to see your creations! Don't forget to like my new Facebook page

What is your favorite smoothie bowl combo? What are your favorite toppings?

Monday, May 16, 2016

Chocolate Peanut Butter Blender Muffins (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

Happy Monday! I hesitate saying this, but I'm sort of glad it's Monday- it was SO COLD this weekend, so cold that it snowed. Yes SNOW in May, that's just wrong. The day before was sunny and in the mid 60's, I swear only in Michigan people. The crazy weather also cancelled our BBG meet up so I was bummed because I love seeing all the MI ladies! I shared the bodyweight workout I had planned here if you're interested.  

Another thing I had planned for my lovely BBG ladies chocolate peanut butter muffins. Yup that's right chocolate AND peanut butter, it's a match made in foodie heaven. The muffins are crazy easy to make- you throw everything in a blender, pour into muffin tins, and bake, and they're delicious. All of the taste testers LOVED these muffins and couldn't believe that they didn't contain flour or sugar. The honey acts as a sweetener and the pumpkin keeps the muffins nice and moist- they didn't even know there was pumpkin in the muffins. It's a delicious treat that anyone can enjoy, not to mention when it's warmed up it's gooey perfection! 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins:
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 Tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (or nut/seed butter of choice)
  • 1/3 cup honey 
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 egg or 3 Tablespoons liquid egg white
  • small handful (dairy free) chocolate chips 

Preheat oven to 375F degrees and line a muffin tin with liners or spray with nonstick cook spray. 

In a blender combine all ingredients except for the chocolate chips. Blend on low/medium until ingredients are completely combined.

Stir in chocolate chips (you can just add chocolate chips on top if you prefer). 

Pour batter into muffin pan filling tins about 1/2 full. I was able to fill all 12 muffin tins. 

Bake at 375F degrees for 18-20 minutes. Check to see if muffins are done by inserting toothpick in center of muffin, if toothpick comes out clean (no wet ingredients stuck to it) the muffins are done, if not bake for an additional 2 minutes and check again. 

Allow muffins to cool before removing from tins. Store in airtight container for up to a week or freeze for up to 6 months.

If you make these delicious muffins take a picture, tag me on instagram, and use the hashtag #thesimplelife I'd love to see your creations! Don't forget to like my new Facebook page

Nutrition per muffins:
Nutrition Facts
Servings 12.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 142
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8 g13 %
Saturated Fat 2 g9 %
Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 17 mg6 %
Sodium 109 mg5 %
Potassium 43 mg1 %
Total Carbohydrate 16 g5 %
Dietary Fiber 3 g11 %
Sugars 12 g
Protein 4 g8 %
Vitamin A48 %
Vitamin C1 %
Calcium1 %
Iron5 %