Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Best Healthy Cookie Pie You'll Ever Eat.

Dear bloggers...

I've fallen in love with a cookie. It's delicious. It came from this link: Deep-Dish Cookie Pie.
However, I've made several modifications to make it sugar-free and full of fiber. Here is the recipe as I have modified it.

  • 2 cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • 1 cup wheat bran (can be found at health food stores)
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1-2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • ~ 1 cup sweetener
  • 1-3 oz. package of hershey's sugar free chocolates (chopped, dark or milk works)
  • ~1/2 cup water
I understand some of these items may be a little foreign, as they were to me before my dad introduced them to me. You can do your own research about each of them, but here is what I understand about some of them:

Wheat bran is basically pure fiber. I use it to add structure to the cookie pie as the original recipe used oats. The reason I replaced the oats is because they are high on the glycemic load, which I'm trying to keep down. To be honest, it looks a little like Rocko's cage bedding. But it's edible. 

I replaced the applesauce with chia seeds because chia seeds are a super food, full of vitamins and more fiber. Once they are hydrated they also serve as a wet ingredient. 

I use Truvia for the sweetener to make it sugar-free. I have used the splenda/brown sugar blend, but this is not calorie free. Either way works so I'd rather not fill up on the calories. 

You can use Hersey's sugar-free dark chocolates like I do, or if you can find sugar free chocolate chips, more power to you. 

All right folks. Here's how it works.
  • Place all the ingredients (except water and chocolates) into a food processor. (I use the Ninja and it works like a charm.)  
  • After several good pulses, I like to pour the pulsed ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix them up. 
  • Then place them back in the processor so that everything is evenly processed. I add the water as needed to liquify the ingredients a little more. You may use less than 1/2 cup, 1/2 cup exactly, or more. Just enough so that the "dough" is thick but wet looking. 
  • Pour your thoroughly processed "dough" back into the mixing bowl and throw in your chopped chocolates or your chocolate chips. 
  • Grease a round cake pan (I think mine was 8") 
  • Pour your ingredients into the pan and smooth out the top. Throw that in your oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. 
  • Let cool in pan for about 10 minutes. Then tip it onto a plate. Cut into 8 pie slices. 
According to my own calculations followed exactly as I made the recipe:


Please enjoy. These are delicious both warm and room temp. And delicious the second day as well. Just store properly. :) Enjoy!

DISCLAIMER: I am not a dietician, nutritionist, doctor, nurse, or any food professional of any sort. Everything above is based off of my own opinions and my own daily diet. Consult your own doctor or dietician if you have any questions or concerns. Obviously "healthy" is really determined by your own needs. This pie is simply healthier than a traditional cookie pie made with foods full of sugars and starches. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Glycemic Load Diet

I just have to tell everyone about this book I read.

Click here to see this book on Amazon.
I loved it!  This book just plain makes sense. It is written by Dr. Rob Thompson. Lately I feel like I've been gaining weight even though I've cut calories, been exercising, etc., so naturally I was feeling a little frustrated. My dad ordered this book a week ago and him and my mom have been following it ever since. They suggested that I read it as well. Basically, this "diet" (if you can even call it that) eliminates all starches, processed flours, sugars, etc. It focuses on eating carbohydrates in good forms (fruits and vegetables). He explains that our ancestors rarely had any starches. They had meat from hunting and fruits and vegetables from gathering. Starches were not a part of their diets. Over time, starches became very inexpensive fillers, so more and more food companies started putting them into their foods to save money. However, our bodies were not accustomed to handling this much starch, causing a "glycemic shock". This causes our bodies to secrete enormous amounts of insulin, causing us to gain weight.

In this book, Dr. Thompson also explains that approximately 40% of people are insulin resistant. Not necessarily diabetic, just more sensitive to starches causing these huge amounts of insulin to be secreted. He says if you are overweight, you are likely to be insulin resistant, and most people don't even know it. By eliminating starch, you no longer have cravings. Basically, to follow this book, you try to eat meals that have a glycemic load of under 100 (a potato has over 200, just to give you an idea of how much starches affect your body), and you try to keep your daily glycemic load under 500. This keeps your blood glucose level out of the "shock" range and your insulin is secreted at a normal rate.

A 1-1/2 oz slice of whole wheat bread has a glycemic load of 170, while 2 slices of 1" squares of semi-sweet chocolate has a glycemic load of 25. Pretty crazy, eh? So this diet allows you to eat chocolate! (Lowglycemicload.com)

I've been following this book for 4 days now. I feel so much better. (You've probably noticed my 87 billion cauliflower Pins on Pinterest. Who knew you could disguise cauliflower in so many ways?! My dad makes awesome fried cauliflower "rice".) Anyway, that is my vague summary. I suggest you read it whether you're fit, overweight, or somewhere in the middle like me. :) Even if you just have an interest in health and nutrition. It was a really good read. It only takes about 2 hours total to read. It includes a huge list of the "glycemic loads" of several foods, and several recipes. I have just felt so enlightened. Hahaha.

Read this book.

I'll keep you updated on how I've been feeling in the next couple weeks.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Saturdays.

Saturdays are indeed special days. I often go home because it's only like 40 minutes away. Sometimes...I spend the nights on Fridays here...And I look like this:

In response to Reagan's comment, "You know people can SEE that
picture right?" Yes Reagan, that's the point. 
And then I wake up looking like this:

Hahaha I hope you're enjoying all of these heinous photographs. Anyway...Saturdays then proceed to providing me with lots of Diet Coke...and today in particular I was blessed with a pan of peanut butter bars provided by Reagan. I accidentally ate most of the pan. I feel it wasn't my fault that these particular bars were a nutty, chocolately combination of delicious. And it was my birthday 3 days ago... All right. It was my complete lack of will power. I would stand up from my workplace, cut off a smallish piece and go back to my workplace. Then I would eat the said piece....then it would be gone. And I would be sad...and so I would return back to the pan. This process repeated itself until I hated myself...Then I continued anyway. Here's a link to these delicious morsels:

Peanut Butter Bars

Ok, I am cutting to the best part of today. So my sister Reagan and I like to take pictures. :) We're not professionals or anything but we think it's pretty fun to take pictures of each other and I also have an extreme love of editing. So here are some of the results that came out of today. (Notice my attractiveness range goes from heinously ugly [see above photos] to...not. And Reagan is just always beautiful.)

This is one of my favorites. :) She is
just too dang cute.

And sometimes she is just plain stunning.

One thing you should know is that, while I like just regular ol' editing that make pictures look good, I also like funky editing that make pictures look cool. I love Adobe Lightroom. It has some presets that are really fun. And it's also just a good editing tool. Here's an example of some of the fun editing I like to do. :)




I couldn't decide which I liked better. They were both quite different so I chose to put both up. Here's an example of some "normal" editing. Chris got me the red glasses for my birthday. I'm rather fond of them. :)

Sepia tones
Color. I feel like I was very "in my element" here. 
 It amazes me how different you can make photos look from the originals. Here is an example of a before and after.

I used a similar filter as above, but I edited some of the colors. I increased the brightness, saturation, and exposure of my eyes using the brush tool as well.
Here's another example of a before and after:

This photo was so much fun to take. I had Reagan flip her hair on the count of three and this is what we got!
It's different, but I love that. And she was able to maintain her sassiness throughout the flip. ;)
Here's another before and after of Reagan. A little more normal editing for this one. I love Reagan's sassiness. :) 
Here's one last photo:
Sepia tones again

Let me know what you think!

Like I said, Saturdays are always fun. I love being able to see my family. We've always been close because we are quite a small family. :) And because we kind of like each other. I guess that's important too. ;) But I also love Rocko. I get to see him every weekend. Here is a picture of him.

He's majestic. 
He's getting old. Haha. But today I took him out of his cage to play with him and his little fingernails were WAAAY too long. So my mom had this master plan that we would put him back in his cage and I would bribe him to climb up on the bars of his cage to eat a carrot while my mom clipped his nails that were on the bars. So I went to get him a carrot. And I have never had to hold onto a carrot so tightly. Guinea pigs really enjoy food. And they suddenly have teeth of steel when they want to steal away food. Unfortunately, Rocko won the fight, got his carrot, and only had one nail clipped. I should have known. We had this guinea pig named Browney (yes, spelled with an "EY") years ago...he was really fat and we used to feed him Ritz Crackers and Nilla Wafers. I would try not to feed him the entire cracker...but he was somehow able to grab onto the cracker and pull without breaking it, and he managed to get the entire cracker into his cage and devoured it before I even realized what had happened. He was talented. Anyway...Have a wonderful Sabbath and a wonderful first week of March! :D

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Big Two-O!

That's right world. I turned twenty. A whole two decades. Four half decades. Five more years and I'll be a quarter century old. Ok...that was going to far. I'm not that old. But let's face it. I'm the worst blogger on the face of the planet. I haven't blogged since I got that super awesome purple dress with the pockets that I still love to wear all the time. But anyway, that's beside the point. I'm sure you've all established that I'm the worst at blogging by the lack of blog posts. So I didn't need to tell you that. Let's get to the good stuff. So today, February 27, 2013, is my birthday. Let me just tell you how amazing the people in my life are. First, my grandfather emailed me last night with two iTunes gift cards. He also sent a package from Amazon, which was an awesome Bose stereo that I can plug my iPhone right into. He's the best. And that's that. My wonderful parents let me go shopping for clothes, which is one of my favorite things to do. And I even got that gift early because I went shopping in Boise last weekend while we were in town for the Carrie Underwood concert. That was a good weekend. Here is a picture of Reagan and I waiting for the show to begin.

Reagan is beautiful. I look childish. But I was still 19
so give me a break. ;)
We also went out to dinner tonight. Continuing, my beautiful friend Rachel gave me this awesome pair of yoga pants that have super cute blue details. She always knows what I like. :) And Elise was Superwoman for the past few days. This girl has been working her tail off making cupcakes and decorating for my birthday, all while preparing to leave for Europe for a whole month! She is awesome. Here is a picture of me with one of her super awesome cupcakes.

It already has a bite taken out of it.
They were delicious. She made yellow and chocolate cakes with vanilla and chocolate icing. Those are also her super cute pink pompoms in the back behind my head. :) Let's face it, my roommate was just a rockstar this week. It was my turn to teach today for the after-school program. The kids today were the sweetest. Everyone wanted me to sit by them, they all told me happy birthday, and I got a handful of pictures that they had colored. Kids sure know how to make you feel good. Then, there was my sweet boyfriend/kinda fiance 'cause we're planning a wedding except he's still gone, Chris. That boy got me glasses with the cutest frames! They are a pinkish red.

I had just woken up when I put them on.
No, I'm not embarrassed of my face. Or
hair. Or anything else that looks publicly
unacceptable about this photo. 
He also got me a beautiful coral scarf. He's a good scarf picker-outer. I've gotten a lot of Italian scarves over the past year and a half and I've enjoyed every single one of them. He also plotted this little extravaganza.............

Those are six HUGE bouquets of flowers. 
 Unreal, right? So he gave his mother "strict instructions" that I had to have a bouquet that had stargazer lilies from him. This is his bouquet:

So pretty! Some of the lilies haven't bloomed yet.
It will be a wonderful day when they do. :)
And then, the other five bouquets were from each of the girls in his family.....

Holly, his sister

Jami, his sister-in-law

Shellie, his mom

Salem, his sister-in-law

Amber, his sister
Isn't that just the sweetest thing? I cried a little. I'll admit it. :) And then, to top off the entire day, so many of my wonderful friends came over and sang happy birthday and Mike even caught this picture....

To be honest, I'm not sure what to think of this. What
on Earth was I doing?? (Banner in the back: Elise)
But it's ok because I got this........

video
That boy stuff three whole cupcakes in his mouth at the same time. Mike sure is a treat. During the party, people also signed a poster board card. :) I got some really nice notes. And Nate came over and brought me a delicious Cocoa Bean cupcake that had a pink candle in it. :)


After people started to trickle out, it was just Elise, me, and these four handsome men.

I look like a shrimp. Josh, Brian, Mike, and Joe. (Left to right)
We went to McDonald's and got Shamrock shakes. I had never had one.

Brian talks too much...we still love him, but that is why his is
still mostly full. Josh also let me have his cherry. That is true friendship.
And he bought mine, because he's awesome like that. 
Then Brian raced Elise home while driving my car. Needless to say, between his driving expertise and my car, we won. Then we spent the rest of the night watching Duck Dynasty. I'm not sure why. I don't really care for the show, but apparently everyone else did. I was just perfectly content being in the presence of such awesome people.

Marisa, my beautiful roommate even posted this lovely collage of us on Instagram. She has a package for me that I will get soon. :) She's in Australia at the moment just soaking up the sun.

Gator jacks indoor picnic, thong cookie night, FHE in
the summer time, and the Color Vibe 5k. What would
I do without this girl?!
I, of course, cannot forget about all of the awesome friends that sent me texts, called, or posted on my Facebook wall. You all are incredible. Thanks for making me so happy today. :) I appreciate each and every one of you.

February 27, 2013 was an awesome day to say the least. I have never felt more like a princess. I love birthdays but this one just felt especially special. Thank you to everyone that made this day so perfect.