Healthier Peanut Butter Pie

Happy Friday, y’all!

Can you believe it is the first day of JUNE??

For me, this means my beach trip is only a number of days away and I cannot wait!!

Today I am sharing with you a peanut butter pie I made over Memorial Day weekend last week. I wanted something like this, but less in calories, sugar, little to no dairy, etc.

I think this pie turned out great and it seemed to be a hit with the parents too!

Healthier Peanut Butter Pie

Ingredients:

-1 pie crust (pre-made graham cracker OR the kind you have to bake first…I used a gluten free crust.)

-1 8oz container of cool whip of choice (I used this kind)

-8 oz vanilla Greek yogurt (I used 5 oz vanilla Greek and the other I used a vanilla almond milk base yogurt)

-1/2 cup powdered peanut butter (can add a tablespoon or 2 of regular PB if you want)

-Chocolate chips to top the pie with (I used these)

Directions:

1. IF using pie crust that you need to bake, follow instructions and let cool COMPLETELY.

2.Next, mix together the cool whip, yogurt, powdered peanut butter (and/or regular PB) all together.

3.Spoon mixture into pie shell and sprinkle with chocolate chips of choice.

4. Place + store in freezer until ready to eat!

When ready for a slice, let the pie sit out of the freezer 5-10 minutes to soften just a little, and it should be ready to cut!

Question for you: What is YOUR favorite kind of pie??

Memorial Day Recap + Eats

Happy Tuesday!

I promise I’ll be better at posting more consistently!

I hope everyone had a fantastic Memorial Day weekend and were able to enjoy it with friends, family, good food, and fun! 🙂

Yesterday morning started with training a couple clients, and afterwards I headed to my gym for the Memorial Day “Murph” workout!

I munched on some dates on the way there and finished up my morning coffee.

We had a great group to show up for the workout. When you have class times spread throughout the day, you don’t always get to see everyone.

”Murph” is a workout in honor of Lt. Michael Murphy, who was killed in action in 2005 in Afghanistan.

(Before + After)

My friend, Amber, and I split up the workout. It was both our first time to do this workout so we decided to run the miles together and split it into rounds and take turns: 5 pull ups, 10 pushups, and 15 air squats. Those pushups got to me more than anything, even with me having to do a modified pull-up.

It was rainy the whole morning, so we ended up getting pretty wet by the end. We finished in 51:50 and I say we rocked it! It was tough, even splitting it up, and my arms are so sore today!

Haley, Amber, and Me. I’m not resting in the squat position, i promise. Lol

Austin beat his Murph time from last year and it was my first time!                B

I had a protein shake + a rice cake with nutural peanut butter on it before going out to eat with the family.

We decided to go to Cheesecake Factory instead of grill or smoke anything.

Dad and I split the Beet + Goat Cheese salad. Mixed in with arugula was beets, goat cheese, and pecans. I love both beets and goat cheese, but it’s usually a distinguisged taste for others.

For my main meal, I actually ordered a turkey burger and decided to skip on the bread and take my side salad home for dinner.

I ended up taking a nap when we got back! Dreary, rainy weather always makes me want to nap….

I woke up close to 4, made myself a cup of coffee, and finished my Halo Top (dairy free) Birthday Cake ice cream. This is one of the BEST dairy free ice creams out there…besides Ben + Jerry’s dairy free. I love anything birthday cake flavored and this even has sprinkles in it!

For dinner that night I had my green salad I took home from lunch. I added more lettuce to it, and mixed in a packet of garlic + herbs tuna for more protein and healthy fats.

I ended the night watching more Supernatural and munching on a few of some Fig + Olive crackers I found at Trader Joe’s the other week. (I forgot to snap a pic and since I finished them up, I threw the box away!)

It’s still another rainy, wet day…thanks to Alberto. I plan on working more on blog posts, doing laundry, and running an errand or two before the gym tonight…and as we speak, the lights just went out. Woohoo!

Stay safe today and dry as possible! 😀

Mother’s Day Recap, Eats, + a Mug Cake Recipe

Happy Monday!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and were able to spend it with loved ones, especially your mom!!

I had a good day spent around my mom and my Granny.

These two ladies have my heart! They are so special, strong, and encouraging. This picture was actually taken last weekend at my church’s ladies luncheon.

I may not be a mom, but I am a DOG mom. I love my Jack, but he doesn’t like pictures…

I started the morning with my coffee and a couple of these peanut butter protein bites.

Later I made a smoothie and drank it while getting ready for church. It had banana, strawberries, spinach, almond milk, and vanilla protein powder.

For lunch, we got ribs from Full Moon BBQ and I paired mine with a small spinach salad.

After lunch we all sat around and talked, and I enjoyed some coffee while Granny found a Hallmark mystery movie. 😊

Even though it was hot, I wanted to get out for a little bit, and I grabbed this lemon luna bar out the door.

Dad and I sat outside talking + just enjoying each other’s company. He’s loving being retired, and I’m loving it too! Lol

For dinner I was feeling an easy dinner, so I whipped up ground turkey + egg whites. Plain I know, but sometimes that’s what I’m craving!

I did want something sweet after, so I made a mug cake with Enjoy Life dark chocolate chips. Heres what I did:

-2 1/2 T almond flour (or whatever you want to use)

-1 T stevia/truvia

-1/2 tsp baking powder

-pinch of salt

-1 large egg white

-1/2 tsp vanilla

-1/4 cup almond milk

-sprinkle of chocolate chips

I mixed all ingredients in a mug I sprayed, and cooked it in the microwave for about 2:30 minutes, checking it after each minute.

Do you have a favorite quick dessert you enjoy whipping up when your sweet tooth hits??

Let me know! 

Dark Chocolate Reese’s Cups

Holla if you love chocolate + peanut butter!

WOOOO! 😀

Anything that’s a combo of chocolate and peanut butter is my favorite sweet treat. The two are literally made for each other, no doubt about it.

My absolute favorite candy is Reese’s (go figure) LOL

Since I love baking and I love my chocolate and peanut butter, I decided to whip up a batch of home-made Reese’s cups, with a little healthier twist.

The great thing about this recipe, is the fact you need minimal ingredients!

These are dairy free, grain free, and gluten free.

Let’s get to the recipe!

**Ingredients**

chocolate layer:

-1/3 cup natural peanut/almond butter (you want the kind with ONLY peanuts (or almonds) and maybe salt too, as the ingredient. But any nut butter can be used. 

-3 T Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

-2 T coconut oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 T honey, or maple syrup, or agave

peanut butter layer:

1/3 cup nut butter

2 T coconut oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

optional: 1/2 to 1 scoop protein powder 

other:

mini muffin tin 

mini muffin tin liners 

Directions

1. Melt your coconut oil  and mix in with your cocoa powder, peanut butter, and other ingredients for the chocolate layer.

2.Once mixed well, spoon out a chocolate layer in each lined mini muffin space, leaving room at the top for the peanut Butter layer.

3.Place in freezer about 5 minutes to set. While in freezer, mix your ingredients for the peanut butter layer.

4.Take chocolate layer Reese cups out of freezer and spoon peanut butter mixture on top of chocolate layer. Place back in freezer at least an hour.

5.store in freezer, and pop one out when ready to eat! 🙂

Meal Prep + Weekly Goals

Happy Sunday guys!

Hope you all were able to enjoy the beautiful sunsine this weekend. Spring is getting closer and closer! 😀

Today after church and lunch, I decided to do a little meal prepping for the week. I don’t like to prep all meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner), but I like to keep some things consistent and ready to eat throughout the week.

This week I decided to have my lunches roughly the same + to have them prepared.

I had some leftover baked chicken, so I decided to brown some ground turkey to change things up day to day.

(And yes, I know there’s pink in the meat…I finished cooking it) 😀

I was going to patty out turkey burgers, but decided against it.

I also roasted brussel sprouts and made sweet potato fries (which are my fave)

For the brussel sprouts I cut them in half, drizzled with olive oil, + sprinkled them with salt and pepper.

For the sweet potato fries, I decided to sprinkle cinnamon on top.

I baked both of these on the same pan at 350 for 20-30 minutes.

I was going to cook some rice, but I’ve been having some of that recently, so I opted to cook quinoa again. Quinoa is one of the acquired taste foods in my opinion, but seasoned with garlic salt + pepper (and mixed in with other food) it’s not too bad!

To end things, I made another batch of my peanut butter oat balls, but this time I made them with way less chocolate chips, and used almond butter instead of regular peanut butter. I also added 1 scoop of a cappuccino flavored protein powder for extra protein and flavor. I was a fan of how they turned out!

I didn’t make out any breakfast items. I’ve been on a scrambled egg kick lately, but after a couple weeks of that I crave other foods. This week it’ll probably be protein shakes, smoothies, or oatmeal.

My breakfasts, lunches, and snacks will be fairly similar, but I like to be open for whatever and to have dinner free for different things. Sometimes I’m out for dinner or someone else cooks, so I like to have that variety. Balance, ya’ll! 🙂

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Weekly Goals:

-Go to gym 4-5 days

-Run 2-3 days

-Vlog at least once

-Write down 1 thing I love about myself every day this week

-Laugh, smile, + love a lot <3

Honestly, most of these goals are going to be part of my weekly goals for a while…and the last goal for as long as I live <3

Peanut Butter Oat Balls

Happy Monday everyone!

Yesterday I was in the mood to make a little snack that would be quick to grab and be a little on the sweet side. 😀

It’s been a while since I’ve made these little PB Oat balls, but they are always SO perfect when I want something quick and easy to grab for a snack, pre workout, or even as a dessert.

These are no bake and only takes 4 ingredients (3 if you don’t want chocolate chips)

Peanut Butter Oat Balls

Ingredients

-1 cup oats (I used quick oats)

-2/3 cup peanut butter of choice

-2 T of honey

-Chocolate chips (optional…but a great choice)

Directions:

1.Place oats in a mixing bowl and melt peanut butter.

2.Mix melted peanut butter and your honey in with the oats. Let sit a few minutes, and add in your chocolate chips.

3.Place bowl in fridge and let chill anywhere from 30 minutes, an hour, or overnight if you prepare at night.

4.When ready, roll oat mixture into bite size balls. Keep in fridge, and when ready, pop them out to enjoy! 🙂

Sunday Eats + Putting Myself Out There

Happy Monday everyone!

Weekends just go by too fast, don’t they??

Im sharing with you today the foods I ate yesterday, and then going into my next project and what it means to me by putting myself out there.

Breakfast, along with the usual coffee, was 1 whole egg + egg white scramble (I added in spinach) and a side of sliced strawberries.

Went to church with Dad and enjoyed a great service of praise, and a wonderful sermon from our pastor.

Came home for lunch and heated up another chicken burger I placed on top of spinach, and had a side of sweet potato. I’ve been loving this combo lately and has been one of my meals the last few days. I’ll be switching things up this week.

I worked on some blogging, put together clients’ workout, worked on my new project, and took a break for some coffee + a banana with almond butter.

While I enjoyed my coffee, dad and I watched Men in Black on Netflix. It was my first time ever seeing it and I loved it! I’ll have to catch the second one now.

I didnt know what I wanted for dinner, do I threw some veggies and quinoa together in a bowl. It was good, but a couple hours later I was hungry again, so I got one of the Costco versions of the Quest bar before headed to bed.

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The new project I am working on is getting back into YouTube videos! Last year I tried my hand at a few videos, and while I was enjoying it, part of me felt awkward and a little scared putting myself out there like that.

It’s one thing to write blog posts for you guys, but it’s a whole other world when it comes to videos and vlogs.

I am nervous + scared, but super excited to try videos out again to provide more content for you guys. I will share videos on my blog, depending on what they are, but I won’t post every video on here (you will have to go visit my YouTube channel!) 😀

I plan on keeping my healthy lifestyle thing going, but with my videos, I will doing some random + fun ones, and even some “day in the life” videos.

Putting yourself out there with something you are passionate about can be an exciting + exhilarating, but also scary, uncomfortable, and even nerve wracking.

Someone important to me told me it’s good to do things that make you uncomfortable. It’s like conquering an obstacle and coming out better as a person after it. 😀

I sure have faced my obstacles, and I can say that what I’ve been through has allowed me to come out stronger, happier, and better as a person. Why not strive to keep that going?

emichelefit will be my YouTube channel name.  I plan on getting my first video together it upload by the middle of the week. So, be looking out for that!

Healthier Takeout Pizza?

Pizza is one of those popular foods, that just about everybody loves. At a young age, we see pizza serves in schools, at classroom parties, birthday parties, sleepovers, trips, etc. It is just one of those staple foods that is such a good go-to and is usually delicious.

Even as I am older, I still love me some pizza, but I don’t always feel like eating the classic pepperoni + cheese, Hawaiian, or meat lovers.

Some days I am craving pizza, but just want a little bit healthier version of it, and I don’t always want a frozen pizza, either.

Never fear, though! Pizza places are offering more and more options where you can make your pizza just a little bit healthier.

The pizza above is from Pizza Hut, and is thin crust, no cheese, lighter sauce, spinach, onions, and pineapple. I made my own and customized it to how I wanted it.

When a pizza can be that customized, you know the pizza company wants to accommodate what you need/want. Some people are lactose intolerant, and can’t do cheese. I can’t do a lot of it, so I opted for none.

You can pick and choose what you want as your toppings. Don’t like pineapple? No problem! Want only a certain meat and one veggie? Or maybe regular crust? Go for it!

Over the weekend when pizza was ordered at my parents, they got a regular pizza meat lovers and I ordered my (above) pizza. You bet I enjoyed a slice of that too, along with 2 slices of my own…and maybe half a cheese stick! (Balance, am I right?)

So don’t feel like you should take out pizza all together if you are on a healthy lifestyle journey, because you can definitely keep it involved!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU:

-what’s your all time favorite pizza?

-if you were to customize a healthier pizza, how would you make it? 

3 Reasons Why Diets Don’t Work

We are not even one week into 2018 and I am already so sick + tired of seeing all of these diet + weight loss ads being advertised.

Yes, a lot of people have goals at the first of the year to lose weight, tone up, or just be healthier; but with all of these companies promising you quick weight loss if you eat this, count this, or buy their product, it’s no wonder people get confused and/or fall off the bandwagon shortly into the year.

(Strawberry smoothie from Neighborhood Brew, off Valleydale)

I’ve fallen into diet traps before in my lifetime, researching different approaches, eliminating certain foods, and of course, calorie counting. All of these got me in bad places and was NOT good for my health, both physically and mentally.

Our bodies are incredible machines. I mean, God made us, how could they not be?

Food is fuel to our bodies. We need it not only for energy, but for our bodies even to be able to function. We must feed our organs too! Food is also meant to be enjoyed.

(Buffalo Wild Wings: Wings + bacon cheese fries)

It is important we have a balance of exercise, feeding our bodies nutritious food, but also feeding our bodies food for pleasure. It can confuse our minds if we fall into all of these diet traps. I am practicing every day to follow more of this healthy balanced, intuitive eating lifestyle, and each day with each step forward, I am finding it more freeing

(night time cereal combo of Vanilla Chex + Fruit Loops)

So, why do diets NOT work?

I’m here to give you 3 reasons why.

1.Diets essentially slow down the process of losing weight. 

But, wait! Aren’t diets supposed to help us lose weight faster? NO. When we put our bodies through any kind of “diet”, it is actually a stressor to (and on) our bodies. Our bodies tend to fight against us when we are going through something like this. That should be our first clue! Extreme dieting, eliminating food groups, and being so restrictive is not what our bodies were made to do or be put through. Dieting just causes our stress hormones (adrenaline + cortisol) to increase.

So, all this time you were thinking going on a diet would relieve some stress? Think again.

(Salad I put together with leftover chicken tenders + orange pieces)

2.They usually don’t work long term/Aren’t always sustainable.

If someone goes on a diet to lose “X” amount of pounds, and they had to eliminate a food group, be restrictive, sacrifice going out with friends + family, and maybe even had a to take a certain company’s product, what happens when this person reaches their goals?

Are they going to continue to miss out on enjoying dinner out with family + friends? Are they willing to continue to pay for the product or eliminate a certain food group the rest of their life?

Realistically, it doesn’t always work.

In many cases, people end up gaining weight back after reaching their goal and getting off the diet, but their happiness may be through the roof if they are able to enjoy things they missed out on before.

Of course, I say everything in moderation, but we must also consider our happiness. Want to enjoy a date night with your significant other and enjoy a good meal + dessert? Go for it!

A lot of this falls under intuitive eating, which I will talk more abut in future posts. All in all, think about going through a particular “diet” for the rest of your life. I’m sorry, but I don’t want that for my life!

(Panera Bread: Side salad, Butternut squash soup, and baguette)

3.Diets usually are NO FUN!

Let’s be real…when has a “diet” ever been rainbows + unicorns? NEVER. There may be some excitement in the beginning, because, hey…I have goals and I want to reach them…but soon that dies off when you are craving a piece of bread, a glass of milk, or even a piece of chocolate. Nine times out of ten, when you eliminate something and tell yourself you aren’t allowed to have it, the cravings for that will only get stronger and stronger. So much strong, that you just might give in, ruin your “diet”, you get down + frustrated with yourself, and you feel you have to start over.

Who wants to live like that?

I used to think I ruined things if I gave in to eating something that I truly wanted. I no longer want to be like that. It DID stress me out, I got frustrated with myself, and it’s not worth it. If you want a food, it should be enjoyed!!

Having a balanced lifestyle of both healthy + nutritious foods, and those foods that give us pleasure, is what it’s about. I am 4 year out from 30 (oh lawd) and I am at the point where I want to give my body the nutritious food it needs to function, but also enjoy foods I love, try new things, and NOT be stressed about it.

(Ice cream of all kinds is good. I have always enjoyed Arctic Zero for a healthier option)

So before you sign up for this “diet” or buy this product, think twice about long term and your happiness and health.

If you need someone to guide you through it, or need someone to help reach your goals without going on a diet, please contact me! I am starting this year as a health coach and I want to help you get where you want to be without falling for these gimmicks and false hopes.

Whether it is for personal training or health coaching, you can always email me at toloveandliveblog@gmail.com.