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4 Easy and Healthy Desserts | Get Healthy With Valentina

4 Easy and Healthy Desserts | Get Healthy With Valentina

Even if you do decide to treat yourself (with healthy desserts, at that), don’t beat yourself up, and don’t forget that it takes courage to be true to who you are in a world that is in such a hurry to judge you at every turn. Being the best version of yourself is not a one-time event. It is a constant decision that you make every day, so take care of your body, eat healthy and respect yourself. These easy and healthy desserts make it easy.

4 Healthy Christmas Desserts That You Can Make ASAP - Get Healthy With Valentina

4 Healthy Christmas Desserts That You Can Make ASAP - Get Healthy With Valentina

Apart from the pressures of choosing the right presents or catching up with friends and family, the holidays can also be a time of disappointment, financial strain, feuds, travel problems and being alone or far away from loved ones. Instead of enduring another stressful festive season, I'm sharing these amazing and healthy Christmas desserts to put the 'merry' back into your holiday festivities.

Healthy Apple Cookies with No Refined Sugar

Healthy Apple Cookies with No Refined Sugar

Here's the thing about cookies. Although they're the perfect dessert to share with others, it's hard to resist eating just one cookie when you make them for yourself. With simple pantry ingredients and less refined sugar, cookies can still be moist, delicious, and reasonably good for you. Feel free to eat more than one — you earned it!

Cookie Dough Overnight Oats for your Inner Cookie Monster

Cookie Dough Overnight Oats for your Inner Cookie Monster

D'oh! Your inner cookie monster needs a bit of a reprieve. Instead of opting for cookies, wake up in the morning to cookie dough overnight oats instead. Make this the night before, leave it in your fridge, and be greeted with oatmeal and cookies. You'll have ten extra minutes to relax and enjoy your morning with a bit of mindfulness. Soak up the sun or walk on sunshine. Do both. The world is your oyster. @beamingvegan's cookie dough overnight oats is really the answer to all your woes. It's naturally sweetened with dates, it's creamy, and it has a bit of a bite. It's packed with tons of fibre, too.

Wheat-free chocolate chunk cookies

Wheat-free chocolate chunk cookies

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I'm the kind of person who finds it very hard to say "no" to cookies. Can you blame me? They are without a doubt my biggest weakness. Being the cookie monster that I am, I came up with a much healthier alternative.
I'm pretty surprised that it took me so long  to health-ify the legendary chocolate chip cookie.  I guess I was a little afraid they wouldn't turn out so well. In all honesty, these babies are freaking amazing! They're just as good (if not better) than a regular cookie. So sue me.
Crispy and golden on the outside, soft on the inside, melty chocolate chunks...they're the stuff of dreams. I'm not stopping there: these cookies contain no refined sugar, no wheat, no oil, no eggs and no milk. They're naturally high in protein, and naturally high in everything that is good for you! The best part? You can pretty much eat the dough unbaked, as is.

Wheat-free chocolate chunk cookies

Ingredients
  • 1 can of chickpeas (257g drained)
  • 1/3 cup oat flour
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tbsp honey (agave or maple syrup if vegan)
  • 1 tbsp nut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Dark chocolate chips or chunks (I bought a sugar free dark chocolate bar and cut it into chunks myself).
Directions
  1. Drain and dry the chickpeas with a paper towel.
  2. Mix everything (except for the chocolate) in food processor or blender until a dough is formed. It should look just like a regular cookie dough, but the consistency's a lot lighter.
  3. Transfer the dough to a bowl and fold in your chocolate chips/chunks. You can use as many as you please.
  4. With the help of a spoon, drop some of the dough on a greased/lined cookie sheet, just the way you'd do with regular cookies.
  5. Place the cookies in the oven at 360° for around half an hour, or until edges start to golden. You can bring your oven to broil to make the top of the cookie golden, too.

wheat free gluten free chocolate chunk cookie recipe from the PumpUp Blog

And you're done! You can wait for them to cool, or risk burning your tongue by eating them straight out of the oven. Because that's what I did, and it was worth it.
Wheat free chocolate chunk cookies
This wheat-free chocolate chunk cookie recipe is by PumpUp member mariajumps. Keep her pumped on the PumpUp app here!

Introducing the cutest way to eat your fruit this Easter : cookie cutter fruit

Introducing the cutest way to eat your fruit this Easter : cookie cutter fruit

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We love a good cookie. If they're made healthier, that's even better. But sometimes we need to learn to put the cookie down (it isn't easy, trust).  If anybody ever told you that cookie cutters should only be used for cookies, they haven't tried it on their fruits. Not only are creatively-cut melons and apples a much more nutritious option to sweeten up your spring meals, they even look presentable enough to bring to a potluck. This idea from PumpUp member latinmarge is absolutely brilliant. Vibrant fruits and colourful shapes come into play as a festive and edible way to celebrate the advent of spring.

6 Pinterest-worthy cookie cutter fruit ideas

Fruit pops

cookie cutter fruit pops

These fruit pops from Bakers Royale will help keep you cool, whatever the weather.

Shamrock smoothie toppers

cookie cutter fruit kiwi

Recipe.com had the brilliant idea of using cookie-cutter fruit to top it's refreshing green smoothie recipe, and it literally made our lives. We would consider ourselves lucky to have a sip.

Fruit kabobs

Meat and vegetables aren't the only types of food that shine in the kabob spotlight. Let Mint in the Middle's cookie cutter fruit gleam brightly in the skewer spotlight by serving them as delightful kabobs.

Fruit infused water

cookie cutter fruit infused water

Make your water sparkle with a little flavour and a lot of wonderful shapes. Fruit infused water is perfect for a healthy and refreshing fourth of July celebration.

Fruit bouquets

Nothing says spring like a great bouquet! If you or your significant other is prone to allergies, try making a cookie cutter fruit bouquet instead. Bonus? It's edible. 

Fruit cookies

cookie cutter fruit cookies

 

If you're gonna go through the trouble of purchasing great cookie cutters, might as well serve the fruits themselves as cookies.

Best fruit for cookie cutters

Look for denser varieties and avoid citrus, as pulp makes it very difficult for cookie cutter blades incise most citrus fruits in a precise shape.

  • Watermelons, and other melons - Cut the watermelon into large, flat, round slices. Remove peel, lay slice flat on a cutting board, and gently trim into desired shape
  • Kiwi - Peel kiwi and slice into discs of equal circumference. Use smaller cookie cutters with kiwis (because when in your life will you ever encounter a kiwi as big as a watermelon? Didn't think so).
  • Apples - Peel and slice apple into flat pieces. Rub each slice with lemon to avoid browning. Cut with smaller, star shaped cookie cutters

What are your favourite ideas for getting creative with your cookie cutters? Let us know by sharing about it with the PumpUp community!

 

Why "just this once" incidents won't have power over me

Why "just this once" incidents won't have power over me

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On Monday I wanted a cookie. I wanted a cookie so bad. And there were so many just laying out in front of me. Some were peanut butter, which are my favorite. Others were chocolate chip, which are my ultimate favorite. In my mind, I told myself, “Come on. It’s just one cookie. It won’t hurt. You’ll still be on track to your goals.” But I’ve been at this point before.

You see, last week was my Spring Break and for half of it, I was out of town in Seattle, WA. Prior to my trip, I debated if I wanted to work out and stay on track while I was there or if I wanted to take a break from routine and just lay about. I had read somewhere before that if you take more than 3 days off, it’ll be hard to get back on track. I was afraid of that so, the week before my trip, I decided that I would have to get in some sort of fitness during my time away. I couldn’t afford to have a setback. My trip lasted from Saturday up until Wednesday afternoon. I decided that that Monday and Tuesday, I would work out and then, to make up for missing Wednesday, I would use the 5K fun run I signed up for my first Saturday back in Texas as my 5th workout session that week. That was that. It was a done deal.

My plan wound up working wonderfully and I stayed on track despite going out of town. Food, on the other hand, I deviated on. I broke my “No eating out during the weekdays” rule and ate out on Wednesday and Thursday. On top of that, I had sweets more than I would have liked. Needless to say, I was on a path of self-destruction. Truth is, I was stressed. Stressed about traveling. Stressed about school. Stressed about work. Stressed about graduating from college in May. And I was about to let myself succumb to that stress by eating sweets convincing myself each time that it would be just this once. How many “just this once” incidents does it take for me to realize that it really isn’t just this once? Usually, it would take several incidents. This time, it only took one. The cookies.

There I was, on a Monday, facing my enemy. Not the cookies. The enemy was myself. I longingly looked at the cookies trying to convince myself that it would be “just this once” but then the logical side came out of me and said, “No it won’t. Keep walking.” And I did.

Throughout my whole 'fitness journey' thing, I have learned that it’s me versus me. All those times I want to give up on running or all those times I want to eat a cookie or succumb to my cravings are classic examples of me trying to bring myself down. I’m afraid of my own abilities. I know that if I keep pushing myself, I will get better at seamlessly living a healthy lifestyle. I know that every time I push myself, it’s going to get harder. That scares me and I’m afraid of failure. But, in all of this, I know that it’s okay to be strong. It’s okay to gain new abilities over time. I won’t let me defeat me.

Check out Chelsie’s YouTube page here and keep her pumped on the app @ohmyitschels!

how i learned to put the cookie down

Healthy Christmas Desserts

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This post is part of a series of monthly posts by Valentina M. Follow her on Instagram @thehealthymexican9 and on PumpUp @thehealthymexican.

Cold weather makes me mad  (well, not really mad) but suffice it to say, I am not a fan of cold weather. Nevertheless, I am keenly aware of how happy this time of year makes me.  I am a Christmas maniac. Seriously, I am. I love Christmas. I am 23 years old, I do not have any children, I hate the cold, and yet, I am downright excited for this time of year. I am one of those people who constantly annoy others by reminding them how many days are left until Christmas. I believe it is the little things and the traditions about this season that keep me excited. 

People sometimes think that my winter wardrobe only consists of red and green. What’s more, I am unable to control my emotions every time I see my Christmas tree lit up for the first time.  I believe that, while I unpack mistletoe and tangled Christmas lights, I also unpack the feelings of years gone by. There also isn’t anything more heart-breaking that the day after Christmas.

I will not make a list about the things I love about Christmas because there are too many things, but one of my favourite parts of the year are the food and drinks we enjoy.  I search for healthy alternatives this year to continue  my journey toward a healthier life and chose the ones I liked the most. Enjoy these 4 healthy Christmas treats!

'Raw' Christmas Snowball Bites

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup raw pecans

  • 1/2 cup raw macadamia nuts

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews

  • 1/2 cup coconut (dried, shredded, and unsweetened)

  • 2 tablespoons raw honey

  • (For rolling) 1/4 cup coconut (dried, shredded, and unsweetened)

Directions: Process the pecans in a food processor to break up into little pieces. Empty these little pieces into a small mixing bowl to mix in later. Process the macadamia nuts, cashews, and coconut in a food processor until they resemble a coarse meal. Add in the honey and process until the mixture starts to form a sticky ball of dough. Transfer this mixture to the small mixing bowl with the chopped pecans. Incorporate the pecans in the dough mixture. Scoop rounded spoonfuls (either with a cookie scoop or with a spoon and then roll into balls in your hands) and roll each ball in the coconut. Quickly chill them for more immediate consumption in the freezer, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator to chill until ready to serve. Serve and enjoy!

Healthy Eggnog


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Ingredients

  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup Honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp cinnamon

Directions
Blend all ingredients together for a few minutes. Pour mixture into a pot (don’t let it boil). Simmer for about 15 min. Then chill mixture in fridge overnight. Serve and enjoy!

Almond Protein Cookies

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Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup of vanilla or unflavored whey
  • 2 tbsps (15g each) cashew nut butter or almond butter
  • 1 tbsp Sweet Freedom, agave, or honey
  • 1/8 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup of ground almonds
  • 1 tbsp orange extract (optional)

Directions

Get a bowl out and chuck all the above ingredients in there. (Feel free to also add any walnuts, chocolate chips, or if you want your cookies to be even higher in protein, add a couple of tbsps of protein crispies.)  Mix everything together until you get a soft cookie dough you can roll into balls with your hands.  Place on a cookie tray and flatten each ball using your fingers, a fork, or a cookie stamp like I did. Bake at 170 C (320 F) for 6-10 minutes or until they’re cooked through but not rock hard.

Grinch Treats

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Ingredients

  • Strawberry
  • Grape
  • Banana slice
  • Lemon juice
  • Toothpicks

Directions

Slice the banana and add a little bit of lemon juice to the slices to coat them and keep them from turning brown. Cut the top off the strawberry. On the toothpick, stack a green grape, a banana slice, and a strawberry (put it top side down on the banana slice).Push another toothpick down through the tip of the strawberry through the banana slice and into the grape leaving ¼” of the toothpick at the top. Add a mini slice of banana on the top (I saw this recipe with a small marshmallow on the top but I am not a fan of marshmallow so I put a mini banana silces on the top) boil.  Serve and Enjoy!

With Love,

Valentina