Since I have still been struggling to write about food (<- thank you, pregnancy nausea!), I figured it may be a good time to have a coffee date and catch up on things! So grab a cup of iced coffee or tea, and join me!
We managed to bake some Christmas cookies this weekend, amidst all the hustle and bustle.
These were in no way “healthy.” There are lots of butter and sugar in these puppies!
For those of you who are interested, I used the Martha Stewart spritz butter cookies recipe. Plus I added 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract just for funsies! I cannot help myself. I am always tweaking the original recipes!
They are not just for Christmas cookies either! I have made Valentine cookies and springtime flower cookies with this same device. You can also make cheese straws. It is a fun little gadget.
I let my little buddy “help.” He loved using the cookie press, but I think he like dumping the sugar even more.
And he liked eating the finished product best of all!
After we finished there was dough and sprinkles EVERYWHERE. But the memory was worth all the cleanup. I just made one pan of cookies with little man “helping,” and I saved the rest of the dough in the fridge to use later.
I also managed to make a trip to Costco this weekend, so I thought I would share my latest grocery haul video for y’all. It was a zoo, by the way! Holiday shopping is in full swing. There were people EVERYwhere.
Have you finished your Christmas shopping yet?
Do you make Christmas cookies?
Have you ever used a cookie press?
I don’t usually rant about things, but I have felt this post brewing for a while. I know that not everybody will agree with me, and I am okay with that.
Last week a certain celebrity oiled herself up and bared all of her bits for all the world to see.
It has many of us wondering: Why did she do it?
- To prove to the world that she’s hot?
- To prove to herself that she’s hot?
- To break the internet?
She is not the first person to make a spectacle of herself in this way. It seems to be pretty common these days. And every time somebody does it, I cringe a little inside.
I cannot pretend to know somebody’s intent for doing something like this, and it is not really fair for me to do so. I am sure Kim had her reasons, whether I agree with them or not. But her intent has nothing to do with what I am about to say.
My points are really about the aftermath. A whole range of reactions and emotions erupted at her display: disgust, shock, judgment, praise, criticism, ogling, gawking, laughter, etc.
My reaction may be a bit surprising: I was heartbroken.
I feel bad that she (or any woman) was convinced into thinking it is a good idea to do this. I feel bad that she traded her body for something that she felt was more important (money? validation? attention?).
And I feel even worse for all of the unspoken messages that are being sent with images like this.
Hear me when I say this does not come from a place of jealously or judgment. It comes from a place of compassion and concern. I am concerned for my fellow sisters. I am concerned for our kids and what images like this communicate to them.
There are several lies/ myths/ messages perpetuated by images like this, whether intentional or not.
Myth 1: The greatest thing any woman can aspire to be…is “hot.”
Oh my my dear sisters! You are worth so much more. There is nothing wrong with caring for yourself and wanting to look nice. But when it becomes The All-Consuming, Driving Purpose of your life, it will leave you heartbroken.
Why? Because beauty is fleeting. And perfection does not exist. And trying to live up to some unattainable ideal will leave you exhausted, defeated, self-loathing, empty and heartbroken.
This is true on SO many levels beyond the extreme of taking your clothes off. Many of us strive to make our outside beautiful. We obsess over our hair, skin, clothes, weight. And we somewhat objectify ourselves by doing so. I mean no judgment by this statement. I struggle just as much as anybody else.
Chasing perfect beauty is not a worthy goal. We are much better served to pursue kindness, humility, goodness, patience, joy, peace, gentleness and self-control.
Think ahead to lying on your death bed. Are you going to regret that you never made yourself hot enough?? I highly doubt it.
Myth #2: Attaining beauty will help us find true love.
Oh sisters, this one is a big fat LIE. Looking nice is one thing. But being overly-focused on our looks ironically could lead us to attract romantic partners who are Shallow Hals. Yep, you could end up with somebody who might leave you if you do not maintain your hotness.
And that is NOT love.
Myth #3: Using your body is a powerful way to get what you want.
Your sexuality is very powerful, and very beautiful. BUT! Used in the wrong context it becomes ugly, demeaning, cheapened and undignified. Whether that is your intent or not, it happens.
Your sexuality is best served in the context of true love and lasting commitment. And that is the truth.
Myth #4: Showing your body voluntarily is modern, edgy and/or feminist.
No, sisters. No, no, no! For the love of all that is good…Do NOT believe this! Taking your clothes of is literally The Oldest Trick In The Book.
There is nothing new or edgy about being publicly over-sexual. This is a lie used to…*surprise*…get women to take their clothes off. Do not believe it for one second! There are plenty other ways of expressing yourself that do not involve giving over your body.
So, In Conclusion…
1. Ladies, let’s keep our clothes on, please.
2. Let’s not become consumed with pursuing perfection in outward beauty.
3. Let us use our intellect, talent, ambition, compassion, grace and love to put out positive images and messages into the world. Let us make it a priority to leave a meaningful legacy of love and kindness.
4. Let’s teach our sons and daughters what is truly valuable, meaningful and important in life.
5. And last but not least, let’s show love and compassion to those who have made the mistake of trading their bodies for something far less valuable. None of us are perfect, and we have all made mistakes.
So my messages of encouragement might go something like this…
Kim K – we already knew you were hot! You don’t have to get naked and break the internet to prove it. 🙂 And even though you get criticized for being famous for doing nothing…I would love to see you prove ’em wrong. I know you’ve got some talent in there somewhere. Let’s see it!
Miley – you have a beautiful voice and a lot of talent. You are a beautiful girl, and you do not need to lick things or twerk to prove your hotness. Don’t let any greedy entertainment executive tell you otherwise. You are better than that.
To the mom who feels like pregnancy wrecked her body – don’t be so hard on yourself. You brought life into this world. Focus on healthy, not perfect. And reflect on the miracle that you just participated in – bringing new life into the world.
To the lonely single girl – don’t become obsessed with trying to look a certain way to land a man. Focus on finding and pursuing your talents and passions. When you are out in the world pursuing your passions, the result will be relationships based on meaningful things like love, trust, common values, etc.
To the aging woman who feels like a lost cause – Youth and beauty are fleeting, so stop chasing them. Your value is not limited to your looks. You are so much more valuable than you know! Work to find other ways to be proud of yourself.
Let us love and encourage one another to become the best version of ourselves!
I am stepping off my soap box now. Don’t worry, I’ll be back to talking about food tomorrow, y’all. 🙂
I welcome comments! Yes, even those who think I am an old fuddy-dud and don’t agree with me. But keep it respectful, please.
I am so excited to share my chocolate brownie cookies with y’all today! Every once in a while you just need a little something sweet. I am not going to try to pass these off to you all as a health food, because they clearly are not.
But they are a delicious little treat that won’t set you back TOO far. At 2 PointsPlus on Weight Watchers and only 80 calories a piece, you can enjoy one of these without feeling too down on yourself.
These taste like a cross between a cookie and a brownie, and they are so good! My husband and my toddler happily gave the stamp of approval.
I am starting to experiment with coconut oil more in my cooking. I used it in these cookies, and the results were pretty good. I do detect a very faint coconut flavor, but it does not bother me in these cookies. I wondered to myself if I would have even noticed, had I not made them myself. If you are anti-coconut, feel free to use butter instead.
This recipe was inspired by Cooking Light’s Cocoa Fudge Cookies. I stayed pretty close to the original recipe, except for using coconut oil and greek yogurt, rather than plain yogurt. I also prefer using a silicon baking mat, rather than cooking spray.
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons organic unrefined coconut oil
- 7 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2/3 cup white granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup Fage 2% plain Greek yogurt
Mix the flour, salt and baking soda in a bowl and set aside.
In a large saucepan, melt the coconut oil over medium heat until fully liquified.
Remove oil from heat, and stir in sugars, cocoa and vanilla until well-combined.
Stir in Greek yogurt.
Mix in dry ingredients until well-combined.
Form dough balls (about 2 tablespoons) and place on a cookie sheet lined with a silicon baking mat or parchment paper.
Press each dough ball in a criss-cross pattern with a fork.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 8-9 minutes.
Cool for about 3 minutes on the cookie sheet, and then transfer to wire rack to cool for a few more minutes.
A nutrition label generator was used to calculate nutritional information, and all information is approximate.
This recipe was adapted from Cooking Light's Cocoa Fudge Cookies
Be sure and let me know if you try these chocolate brownie cookies! Leave me a comment.
If you really like this recipe, please pin and share it!
Welcome to my What I Ate Wednesday post, where I link up with Jenn each week and share a healthy(ish) day of eats! If you want to see my WIAW archives, check that out here. I always include Weight Watchers points for all of you fellow Weight Watchers out there.
This particular day was hectic, and I did not take the world’s best photos! I took a day off work this week to do grown up stuff like shampoo my carpets, clean out my closets, shop for fall clothes and vote!
So my breakfast photo was the only typical photo taken in my dedicated space.
I had cinnamon vanilla oatmeal (6pp) with berries on top, plus coffee with half and half (1pp for two cups).
Lunch was on the go. I was out shopping, so I grabbed the Greek salad with grilled chicken from Zoe’s Kitchen (estimated 16pp).
Shopping was successful, and I just have to share a little non-scale victory (NSV): I bought two items that I would not have dare even attempted this time last year – skinny jeans and knee high boots. Neither of which you can see very well in the grainy picture below…but still! Score!
Whenever I am feeling depressed about how I have not lost any more weigh in a long time, it feels great to reflect on a little NSV! I am proud that I have managed to keep off what I lost…so yay!
For snack I had an iced coffee (1pp) and a reese’s cup (3pp)! Eeeek! Not so healthy, but nobody’s perfect, right?! We need to give away this Halloween candy, y’all! I cannot resist when it is around.
Dinner was easy – store-bought rotisserie chicken since I was running errands all day.
I had 4 ounces of the chicken (4pp), jasmine rice (3pp) with a little real butter (1pp) and green beans. Another blurry photo, but like I have mentioned before – needy toddler and no natural light (thank you time change!) leads to bad pictures.
I also ended up using a few weeklies, but I also earned some activity points to help offset that.
What is your go to “easy” meal when you don’t have time to cook a typical dinner?
Which Halloween candy is your weakness? Mine is most definitely those Reese’s cups!
Our friend Tim is the bass player for a group called Act of Congress, and they are just so talented and amazing. Love them! Do yourself a favor and check them out. They played with the Alabama Symphony on Friday night, which was just. SO. Good.
Saturday we hit the pumpkin patch at Old Baker Farm in Harpersville, AL.
It was a great idea, but the day did not go like I envisioned.
The farm itself was fun, and I would recommend it. It was my dear sweet child that was the problem! Mostly because the terrible twos tantrums struck, and most of our visit consisted of my child melting down. I would like to apologize to anybody who was within earshot to us! It was so bad. At one point we almost just bailed without even getting our pumpkins. Siiiigh.
Y’all. These tantrums may be the death of me.
But enough about that. Y’all probably came hear to read about food, right?! Let’s get back to that, shall we?! I’ve got a new grocery haul video for you today!
My poor YouTube channel has been so neglected lately! Mostly because I am overwhelmed and overcommitted, and my weight loss has come to a screeching halt. Plus, I am still so slow with editing videos on my new Mac with iMovie.
But much to my surprise I picked up quite a few followers while I was away. So THANK YOU new subscribers! I am so happy to see you subscribing to my channel.
So I will stop rambling now and show you the video. There were many recipes and other items of interest mentioned in the video. I will link all of those below:
1. My homemade roasted garlic hummus recipe
2. Pumpkin Spice Bread recipe
3. Sweet potato fries recipe
4. Grilled chicken breasts recipe
5. Chicken salad recipe
6. Jillian Michaels podcast on thyroid issues and iodine consumption
7. WW Pasta e fagioli soup
Now most of these days show a pretty great day of eats. This particular day was not so rosy. It started out good, but it took a slide downhill about mid-afternoon, which happens to be my worst time of day.
Breakfast was a slice of my homemade banana bread (4pp), one egg (2pp), some fruit and coffee with half and half (1pp).
Lunch was my healthy chicken salad (4pp) on nutty whole grain bread (5pp) and a side salad with spinach, tomatoes, artichoke hearts (in water), mozzarelle cheese (1pp) and my homemade balsamic vinaigrette (1pp).
I had my usual iced coffee (1pp) after lunch.
Then mid-afternoon hit. I grabbed a string cheese (2pp), which wasn’t too bad.
A bit later I spied these Sun Chips in my panty, and I just HAD to have them. I am thankful it was a single size (6pp)!
As the stress of the afternoon piled on, I also ate (but did not photograph) two spoonfulls of maple almond butter (6pp) and a piece of chocolate (1pp) and a few mini nilla wafers (1pp).
Ugh! I was so mad at myself. Mostly because it was eating out of stress, rather than true physical hunger.
I just tracked it and moved on. It’s not pretty, but it is what it is. And I wanted to share a true day with you guys, struggles and all!
Dinner was pot roast (6pp), mashed potatoes (3pp) and green beans.
Many of you are well aware that my weight loss has stalled out lately. This afternoon snack habit has been happening a lot lately. And it is sabotaging my weight loss. I can be good all day and then un-do so much of it in like 30 minutes’ time. It is so frustrating!
I know I am not the only one who struggles with this!
Do you have a bad time of day that is the hardest for you?
Do you eat out of stress or boredom?
How do you break a bad habit?
I hope everybody is having a great week! Today is What I Ate Wednesday, where I link up with Jenn and share a day of my healthy eats. I include Weight Watchers PointsPlus for all of you Weight Watchers out there.
Let me just say that you do NOT have to be a Weight Watcher to enjoy my meal ideas and recipes.
I eat everything, but I mostly stick to clean eating as much as possible. I almost hate to even use that phrase because (a) it means different things to different people and (2) I am not perfect. You can read more on my food philosophy, in case you are curious.
Anyway, on to the food!
For breakfast I had my pumpkin spiced oatmeal (5pp), plus some walnuts (1pp) and coffee with half and half (1pp). It was so warm and delicious!
I knew that my work schedule was going to force a late lunch, so I had half of a vanilla protein shake (3pp) to tide me over. I included half a banana and about 3 frozen strawberries to bulk it up a bit.
Lunch was leftover vegetable beef soup (points estimated at 5pp), plus a grilled 2% American cheese (1pp) on light wheat (2pp) with a little Kerrygold (real) butter (1pp).
Oh yes, and hot sauce in my soup is pretty much a given. I love this stuff!
Not pictured: I had my homemade iced coffee (1pp) and a piece of dark chocolate (1pp).
Since lunch was so late, I did not want an afternoon snack. For dinner I attempted to healthi-fy a family favorite: chicken spaghetti casserole. I used a recipe for replacing canned condensed soup, which worked okay. The sauce was a little runny, so I may tweak it a bit next time. I also used whole grain noodles. A serving is 8pp.
What does “clean eating” mean to you?
What is your food philosophy?
Today I share a healthy grocery haul to one of my favorite stores – Costco. I include Weight Watchers PointsPlus.
Grocery shopping can be a challenge, especially when you are trying to improve your food quality. I was not thrilled about buying traditional ground turkey, but I bought it anyway to avoid having to go to another store. I try not to stress over it too much. I am choosing to be encouraged that stores are offering more and more organic options.
In related news – Birmingham is getting a Trader Joe’s in early 2015! I can barely contain my excitement. So get ready for more grocery haul videos! I am thankful that we will have yet another option for healthy grocery shopping.
I am mostly so excited because I have heard that Trader Joe’s has great bargains on organic options. And budget has been one of the challenges of eating healthier. Stores like Costco and (I have heard) Trader Joe’s help us out by making high quality food more affordable.
Do you shop at Trader Joe’s?
Do you have a Costco membership?
What is your favorite place to grocery shop?
*This post contains affiliate links. Shopping through these links supports A Pinch of Healthy at no extra cost to you. THANK YOU for your support!
Hello friends! Today is What I Ate Wednesday, where I link up with Jenn and share a day of my healthy eats.
I continue to use WIAW as a chance to work on my food photography. Hopefully you guys can see improvement in my images. I have worked so hard to learn and improve.
It hasn’t been any one thing, but a combination of tips from my Food Blogger Pro membership, reading Plate to Pixel, my new MacBook Pro Retina, my new camera lens and upgrading to Photoshop for editing.
I even had my first photos posted to foodgawker this week (a food sharing website). Squeeeeee! I was WAY excited about that.
Breakfast was a quick protein shake (5pp) and two cups of coffee with half and half (1pp).
I had a long conference call right at lunch time, so I ended up eating a second breakfast: an everything bagel thin (3pp) with two wedges of laughing cow (1pp) and veggies on top.
It was so good, but it was pretty messy to eat! I had some raspberries with it.
I also went ahead and had my iced coffee (1pp) a little bit earlier in the day.
I ate lunch at about 1:30, which was very late for me. I used what I had in the fridge to put together a yummy lunch salad.
I think this one might need its own recipe post! Coming soon! It was so good and 9pp.
For dinner I made baked shrimp (3pp) served over stovetop garlic parmesan cheese grits (5pp). We also had some broccoli on the side. Over half of that piece of bread was eaten by my toddler, so I estimate I ate 1pp worth.
What healthy meals are you loving lately?