Homemade Breakfast Sausage Mix

Homemade Turkey Breakfast SausageI love sausage!  Especially when it’s part of biscuits and gravy.  That dish was my grandpa’s specialty and his love of it, made me love it too.

Unfortunately sausage is full of grease and is high in calories.  I know fat isn’t the enemy of all fitness, but sausage fat leaves an unsettled feeling in my stomach and affects my kids the same way.

It’s easy to make your own sausage from ground turkey.  It costs less than traditional sausage and has more protein too.

Breakfast Sausage Mix

1/2 t salt

1 t garlic salt

1 t black pepper

1/2 tsp sugar (or stevia blend)

2 t sage

1/8-1/4 t cayenne pepper

Use an electric mixer or your hands to thoroughly combine ingredients with 1 pound of raw ground turkey.  Chill overnight before cooking to allow the flavors to blend.  For maple flavored sausage, add 1/2 tsp real maple extract or 1 Tbs of real maple syrup.  After the flavors have blended you can brown it for bulk sausage or form patties.

Big Batch Sausage Mix

2 Tbs salt

1/4 cup garlic salt

1/4 cup black pepper

2 Tbs sugar (or stevia blend)

1/4 cup rubbed sage

1 1/2  t cayenne pepper

Makes 12 batches.  Use 5 tsp of mix per pound of sausage.

Brownie Mix

Brownies…..savor the thought for a minute.  They are the perfect accent for unexpected company, potluck suppers, afterschool snacks….any time really.  Had a baby?  Here’s a brownie.  Experienced loss? I’ll bring a whole pan. I can’t think of a time a brownie isn’t appropriate.

If you are gluten free, you can substitute all purpose gluten free flour blend for the flour as long as the mix contains xanthan gum.  In theory, xylitol will work instead of sugar in the mix and almond flour instead of all-purose flour for those on a fitness kick. (I’d be tempted to try 1/3 almond flour, 1/3 flax meal, and 1/3 oat fiber.) I haven’t tested these variations yet, so try it in a smaller batch the first time and report back how it went.

This mix can also be used for creative Pinterest recipes that call for brownie mix. 4 1/2 cups mix = a box mix that makes a 9×13 family size pan of brownies.

brownie mix

Brownie Mix

6 C flour

4 t baking powder

4 t salt

8 C sugar

1 8oz can unsweetened cocoa powder

Mix and store 10-12 weeks, makes about 15 cups mix

Brownies

¼ c melted butter

2 eggs

1 t vanilla

2 ¼ c brownie mix

½ c chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat over to 350.  Grease and flour an 8 inch square pan.  Combine melted butter, eggs, vanilla and mix.  Beat until smooth.  Stir in nuts (if using—or any other mix ins like chocolate chips, heath, peanut butter cups, or Andes pieces.)  Pour into prepared pan.  Bake 30 to 35 minutes, until edges separate from pan.  Sprinkle or frost with topper of your choice. Makes 16 – 2 in brownies.  Double this recipe for a 9×13 pan.

Chewy Chocolate Cookies

¼ c butter

2 eggs

¼ c water

2 ¼ cups brownie mix

½ t baking soda

¾ c flour

1 t vanilla

Pecan halves (Optional)

Preheat over to 375.  Grease baking sheets.  Combine butter eggs and water beat with a fork until blended.  Stir in mix, soda, flour and vanilla, add additional water if needed.

Drop by teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.  Put a pecan half in center of each cookie.  Bake 10 to 12 minutes, until edges are browned.  Cool.  Makes 36 cookies.

Lazy Girl’s Guide to Freezing Spinach

the lazy girls guide to freezing spinach

I love buying spinach at Costco in the 40 oz bags.  It’s good quality and cheap, and it’s a LOT of spinach.  I use it in my eggs, salads, lasagna, smoothies, stir fries, you name it.  Sometimes I still can’t get through the whole bag before it spoils.

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While the official method for freezing spinach involves blanching it.  I’ve had really good luck, just throwing the bag in the freezer.  (I just toss it in when I’m tired of eating spinach.) Once it’s frozen I mash the bag to break the leaves into pieces. Then it’s easy to throw into a recipe.

The idea behind blanching Spinach is to kill the enzymes that continue the ripening process. Freezing slows down but doesn’t stop or kill the enzyme process.  As long as you use it up within a couple of months and don’t try to store it for years, you’ll be fine.

The benefit besides the ease, is that it PRESERVES the enzymes that aid in the digestion process.  Now toss that into your morning smoothie :).

Some Cool Things

Today is a busy day.  This week I’ve gone through all my fabric (roughly 12 big tubs worth) and am letting it all go.  Well, almost all of it.  I’ve kept back just enough to fill 3 Sterilite tubs.  The rest needs to be cleaned, straightened, measured and marked for the craft show this weekend.  It’s supposed to snow!!!! I hope we have a good turn out anyway.

The idea is selling my fabric will help me reclaim my office and get us a little closer to baby step #3 (again.) At the rate we are going it will take us 7 years, but I have a goal to be done by this time next year.

Painting classes 4 kids

There are going to be some amazing vendors at the craft show, including my cousin who is offering $10 art sessions for kids while you shop.  If you are local, this is a must.

Before I run off to my sea of fabric, I wanted to share a couple of things with you.

I’ve been a crazy Facebook posting monkey.  If you haven’t liked me on facebook, you are missing out.  You should click like>>over there.  Then check out all the great frugal gift ideas that you have missed. (Plus we’ve talked about the best way to do winter Light Therapy; how to store silicone baking mats; and whether Pinterest ideas really make us feel inadequate–they don’t.)

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This app. Food logging couldn’t be easier or more fun.  I’m only upset I didn’t find it sooner.

I’m healthy enough to exercise now!  I’ve been walking for a couple of weeks, and now that my baseline of fitness has come up a bit, I’m starting in with the beginner exercises in this series.

I’m still eating the FYM way, but I’m also adding some recipes from this. I have an amazing recipe for skinny chocolate, and yes, it’s as good as it sounds.  If you twist my arm, I might share it.

Have you discovered anything cool lately?

Plexus Giveaway

Have you been hearing about an amazing pink drink?  I was curious about the reports of energy, weight loss and better sleep from those taking it, so when Laurell offered me a trial week’s supply in exchange for a review, I was pumped.

When she gave me the sample I was in a downward health spiral into adrenal fatigue from stress.  I volunteered for too much this summer right after a very stressful school year.  My body just couldn’t handle it.  I gained 6 pounds in 10 days at the height of the problem.  I was so exhausted I spent 18-20 hours a day in bed and was constantly sick.

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I started taking the drink and the accelerator the week I taught music at Bible school.  I was expecting it to be like a protein shake, but it isn’t at all.  It’s more like a Crystal light packet that you pour into a bottle of water, except it is sweetened with stevia and colored with beet juice, nothing artificial.  It tasted fabulous like pomegranate juice and had a slight aftertaste of chocolate.

The first day, I didn’t notice much.  The second day, I noticed a significant decrease in my morning appetite.  The Bible school staff brought me MM trail mix for snacks, and I didn’t care much about it.  That was a definite change in normal behavior.  My afternoon appetite was still pretty strong and I felt like a second pink drink would have helped with that.  The company does say it’s ok to take a second drink then if you need it.

I finished the whole week sample without any weight loss to report.  That’s not abnormal since it can take more than one week to see results, and my body was fighting a major system error that was blocking weight loss anyway.  It is going to have to heal before it will be willing to let go of fat.

BUT the next week after taking Plexus I went outside with a chainsaw and cleared a forest out of the last 20 feet of my backyard.

From this:

Backyard before

To this:

Clearing brush

That was significant.

Would you like to try it for a week yourself?  Laurell is giving that opportunity away to one lucky reader.  You can enter through rafflecopter below.  If you are too excited to wait on the 7 day trial, you can Sign up as a preferred customer here and order the plexus slim. Then you will be entered into an extra giveaway to win a month supply of plexus boost or accelerator to accompany it.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here’s Laurell’s personal story.

Ogle family

This is my Plexus story – I’m going to step WAY outside my comfort zone and share about how I’m feeling. It’s not really my cup of tea but here it goes… I got stuck, I lost the baby weight and stopped losing weight. I added in some awesome workouts and tracked my food and still nothing, the scale would not budge more than 3 lbs one way or another. To be honest, it’s been this way forever. I weighed this after getting married, before getting pregnant with baby #1, lost all that baby weight (55lbs) but got stuck at this weight, repeated that process with baby #2 and stayed stuck at this weight. I also felt constantly tired and irritable and kind of sad – I chalked that up to having a baby who got up 6+ times a night and a mommy who never got a full night’s sleep but once 9 months hit, that sweet little boy started sleeping through the night but this mommy didn’t feel any better. So I drank more coffee and still felt exhausted and then I read an article on The Better Mom called “I don’t want to be an angry mom, so I threw away my coffee pot”, so for no real good reason other than I read an article about a mom that threw away her coffee pot.

Fast forward a couple weeks, a friend from High School posted on her facebook about Plexus, it wasn’t a meal replacement or a miracle pill (I don’t believe it those anyways), it was a drink that helped stabilize blood sugar levels, helped decrease sugar cravings, and helped people have more energy and lose weight, so I thought sign me up!! Okay, so not really – I was actually very skeptical, we had really changed our diet over the past year and I did not want to go back to artificial fake stuff so I did a little reading on it because I felt like I was at a point of desperation with feeling stuck and I read literally hundreds of personal experiences, read some independent studies, went through the ingredient list and thought so what do I have to lose? And I decided I’m going to make my husband take it with me and give it a try (I made my husband take it because I read a handful of testimonies where it helped people with pain and inflammation – He will come home at night from a 12 hour shift and be limping from wearing 30 lbs of gear on his waist and his knee and joints will hurt) so we decided to take plexus slim and the accelerator (to speed up weight loss) and in two weeks, I was down about 6 lbs, which is amazing because I had been stuck here for almost 6 months with no scale changes! So to see those numbers on the scale move was huge! But – bigger than that is the way I feel. I can’t even put it into words but I felt like a new person (and a better mom). My biggest testimony to plexus is that I feel like myself again, happy, healthy, and full of energy. I’m even sleeping better at night and waking up refreshed in the morning and feeling fantastic. But my favorite part of all of this was that husband’s chronic pain was significantly reduced within 3 days. In all seriousness, three days into drinking plexus – he said, “I don’t hurt at the end of my shifts”. This is a guy that was in constant pain that pain relievers, ice and oils didn’t help much (and I LOVE my essential oils) I have NEVER seen anything work like this for him before.

So this is me being real – I wanted to share because it has literally made me feel like a new person. And I’ll say it again, I don’t believe in a “skinny pill” and I believe that health and weight loss are achieved through a healthy lifestyle including good food, exercise and…now plexus. And I am excited about it, just plain excited because we are real testimonies to how Plexus has helped us feel better!

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*Plexus update – So here is another BIG step outside my comfort zone! Not a big fan of personal pictures but here is the difference in me from April to June…I’ve lost pounds and inches but some the most important things are what you can’t see on the outside which is that I feel amazing! I have lots of energy with no crash! I’m getting up in the mornings to work out and sleeping better than I have in years! I don’t have these crazy sugar cravings anymore, the awful “mommy brain” or brain fog I used to get is so much better and for the first time in forever I have clear skin (and that’s what happens when you get your gut healthy) I am loving this journey I’m on!

What is Plexus Slim?

Plexus Slim is a drink mix that was originally designed to help people with diabetes regulate their blood sugar. When it was originally being tested it was noted that all the subjects also lost weight and had significant improvements in other areas of health. The pink powdered drink mix comes in individual serving packages. You mix it in a glass or bottle of water, drink it once a day and that’s it! This is something that can be a snowball to good health. There are no stimulants or addictive factors in Slim.

 

What does Plexus Slim do?

Plexus Slim is the most natural, healthy solution to help you lose weight and inches by burning fat, no muscle. Slim also helps keep blood sugar, cholesterol and lipids at healthy levels. In addition, Slim helps reduce binge eating and increases your willpower over food. Simply pour into a bottle of water 30 minutes before a meal, drink, and enjoy the results!

 

Who have I observed that seems to benefit the most from Plexus Slim?

*Those with blood sugar control problems (diabetics and pre-diabetics)

*Attention/focus problems

*Those with fatigue (very connected to blood sugar balance)

*Folks who want to lose weight

*People with low energy

*Anyone with inflammation issues

*Ladies with low thyroid issues

*People who want help with cholesterol and blood pressure issues

 

What is in Plexus Slim?

Proprietary health blend consisting of: Chlorogenic Acid (plant extract), Citrin K (Garcinia Cambodia), Alpha Lipoic Acid, Chromium (Amino Nicotinate GTF), Polydextrose, Citric Acid, Natural Flavors (pomegranate), Beet Root and Grape Skin Extract, Stevia Extract, Lo Han Extract.

Plexus Slim has no added caffeine and other stimulants.

 

60 day money back guarantee! So, you have nothing to lose by trying 2 months’ supply of Slim. On the other hand, you have everything to gain! You and YOUR health are worth it! Just visit my website to order. In addition, Plexus offers a few other products to promote good health. You can learn more on my website. Feel free to call, email, or text me with any questions! I am here to help you improve your health.

Laurell Ogle

Independent Plexus Ambassador #264707

816-308-0823

kansascitypink@gmail.com

www.kansascitypink.com

 

 

 

 

Chocolate Eclair Cake

chocolate eclair cake

It’s time for a little recipe around here.  And this one is totally inappropriate, since simultaneously I am waking up my CentsablyFit blog.  After 3 months of illness and getting totally out of shape, I’m super excited for Holly’s new challenge that starts on Monday. This recipe doesn’t fit in that plan (unless it’s one of the Planned Indulgences.)  But it can be lighter by using skim milk and sugar free pudding mix.

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If you want to use almond milk with instant pudding mix, you’ll be disappointed; it just doesn’t get thick.  Unless you add a tsp of glucomannan powder with it.  Have you ever heard of glucomannan?  It’s the dried ground up root of the konjac plant.  It’s pure fiber (so calorie free)  and is a great instant thickener for cold or hot foods.  It adds a bit of slick texture of it’s own that is something to get used to.  But I’ve used it to make broth gravy, pudding, jam, and thicker smoothies. When I make fitness food with it, it makes me feel fuller faster and longer.  I buy mine in bulk from netrition.com.  It also comes in capsules, but why swallow a pill when you can eat food?!

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Lick your spoon, good.

And easy.  Embarrassingly easy.  If someone asks you for the recipe, change the subject, if you have any pride at all.

I have no shame…so I’m sharing.

This recipe makes a 10×15 pan.  You could make a smaller batch, but why?

Chocolate Eclair Cake

Chocolate Eclair Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 box honey graham crackers (ooh, or chocolate graham crackers--that would be yummy.)
  • 2 packages chocolate pudding (any flavor is yummy)
  • 4 cups of milk
  • 2-8 oz tubs of whipped topping, thawed

Instructions

  1. Line the bottom of your pan with a single layer of graham crackers. Break the crackers as needed to fit.
  2. Combine milk with pudding mixes in a blender or with a whisk and blend just until it starts to thicken. Fold in one tub of whipped topping.
  3. Pour 1/3 of the pudding mixture over the graham cracker layer and spread it around until it is even.
  4. Repeat the graham cracker/pudding layers 2 more times.
  5. Top the whole thing with the second tub of whipped topping.
  6. Then chill for awhile, like overnight.
  7. You can eat this right away, but the longer it chills, the more the crackers soak up the pudding and taste more like an eclair.
http://www.groceryshrink.com/2014/04/chocolate-eclair-cake.html

If you are curious about Fit Yummy Mummy’s Spring Choose Your Challenge.  Pop over to Centsably Fit and find out more.

 

 

What you need to know about your threshold

When I was 12 years old, I was 30 lbs overweight and miserable.

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That’s 12 year old me all the way over on the right. My dad’s entire family was obese and even though my dad was normal and my mom was tiny, I was convinced that I looked the way I did because of genetics. Then one day, someone introduced the concept to me that I could be anything I wanted to be.  God put the potential inside of me and my hopes and dreams came from Him.  Genetics didn’t matter as much as my behavior did.

I started to study nutrition, calories, exercise, weight and height charts–anything I could find in the area of weight loss.  Then I attacked the problem with the knowledge I found.  The weight “fell off” over the summer (because of my serious hard work), and I went to 8th grade looking like a different person.

My struggle with weight didn’t end there.  I still loved food, and my body was pre-set to hold onto more fat than most of my peers.  I didn’t gain weight though, because I had developed a personal threshold.  I didn’t count calories, but I weighed every day.  I never punished myself with the scale, I used it simply to get information.  If the scale was up I ate a little less that day.  If it was down I ate a little more.  Day by day I monitored things always watching for that number on the scale that was completely intolerable for me.  If I hit that number, I got serious again until I was under my threshold.   I was determined to never feel the way I did in that picture again.

When I got pregnant with my first baby, it was all of a sudden OK to gain weight.  My threshold didn’t apply anymore and I packed on 60 lbs before Heidi was born!

My threshold, or lack thereof, also determined my success with savings, income, and spending. When I was in college, my checking account charged a fee if I allowed the balance to go below a certain amount.  If I got close to that amount, I stopped all spending until I had a cushion built back up.  If I had a cushion in there I spent it. Even now, I have an income threshold with my business.  If my income drops below my acceptable amount, I kick it into gear and get the numbers up again.

Here’s the downside of Thresholds.  They can keep us from reaching our real potential. If my bank account threshold is $100, then I’ll always have about that much in there.  I’ll spend and save in routine to keep me there.  If my weight threshold is 140, that’s where I’ll stay even though my ideal weight is 125.  It’s hard to set a new threshold that is far away from where you are sitting now.  With my personality, I have to put in a big push, all or nothing to reach the new goal and then set my emotions to the new ideal.

What about you?  Do you have thresholds?  How do you use them to reach your goals?

Coconut Crepes with Blueberries

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Oh, my.  That’s all I could say after one bite of these.
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You will never believe they are dairy free, sugar, free, and gluten free, and pack a decent punch of protein.  Usually you have to follow up a list like that with “taste free.”  Oh, not these.  Oh did I say fast?  They are fast to make and easy.  No kitchen required.

If you are a Trim Healthy Mama these are an S.  If you are a Fit Yummy Mummy, these are supportive. Very.

I don’t have a stove right now, or much of a kitchen.  If you are a new blog reader, click on the “kitchen remodel” tag on the right and catch up with our drama.

It’s hard to make crepes without a little non-stick pan and a stove.  But I’ve just proven it can be done…..in the microwave.

Oh don’t throw things.  Usually microwaved food is gross and some of you are convinced it’s poison.  (I’m aware.) But a girl’s gotta do what she can to survive.

This is survival food?  Really?

Coconut Whipped Cream

First you are going to make your coconut whipped cream.  Refrigerate a can of full fat coconut milk overnight.  (I just store mine in the fridge straight from the store so I’m always ready.) Open the can and carefully pour off the coconut water into a measuring cup, and scoop the thick cream into your electric mixing bowl.

Add a few dashes of nunaturals pure stevia extract or a few drops of liquid stevia sweetener.  And a tsp of vanilla extra.  Beat for 5-7 minutes or until peaks form.  I scooped mine into an old cool whip tub (Shhh–I know, but I don’t buy it anymore--as of today.)  Then chill until ready to use. Heat will make the whipped cream deteriorate so keep it cold.   Once you taste this stuff you are going to want to eat the entire batch with a spoon right then.  Let me just warn you that it has about 500 calories in the whole bowl–so save half for later.

Coconut Crepes

Next mix up your crepe batter:  You’ll need 3 eggs, 1/2 cup milk (Use the coconut water that you drained off the cream and add enough almond milk to make up the difference.); and 2 Tbs of coconut flour.  That’s it!  Beat it all together and press out any lumps with your fingers.  Make it smooth. A blender works even better.

Place a scant 1/3 cup of batter onto a large well-greased plate and microwave on high for 90 seconds.  Boom.

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Gently loosen it from the plate with a thin silicone spatula. And flip it over (the ugly side is on the bottom.) Let it cool a bit then top with whipped coconut cream and 1 cup of blueberries.  Fresh are awesome, but previously frozen (now thawed) are good too.)  Wrap up so the pretty side shows.

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Add FULL FAT canned coconut milk to your shopping list right now.  Go ahead, I’ll wait.  Dirty Don’s had some last week for $.75 a can.  I’m kicking myself.  I’m going to go back and see if they still have it, because  someone ate all my cream.

 

Coconut Crepes with Blueberries

Coconut Crepes with Blueberries

Ingredients

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk, chilled
  • A dash of Nunaturals pure stevia extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 lb blueberries
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk (coconut or almond)
  • 2 Tbs coconut flour

Instructions

  1. Drain off coconut water and place coconut cream in an electric mixing bowl. Beat in stevia and vanilla and then beat for 5-7 minutes or until peaks form. Chill.
  2. Meanwhile, blend together 3 eggs, 1/2 cup milk (use reserved coconut water for part of the milk) and 2 Tbs coconut flour until very smooth.
  3. Cook either in a crepe pan, or pour a scant 1/3 cup of batter onto a greased plate. Microwave on high for 90 seconds.
  4. Loosen crepe from plate and flip over so the ugly side is up. Fill with coconut whipped cream and bleuberries. Fold crepe over and enjoy right away.
http://www.groceryshrink.com/2013/11/coconut-crepes-with-blueberries.html

This post was inspired by the blueberry contest.  I was not compensated to write the post, I just really hope to win one of the prizes :).  For more blueberry inspiration go here.

Coconut Blueberry Muffin in A Mug

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It’s about time for a recipe around here.  And there’s nothing like a contest with a $2000 prize to motivate a little cooking :).  We sure could use the money on our kitchen project, but the lack of a kitchen makes testing recipes more of a challenge.  Ah, who doesn’t like a challenge?

I was hungry for a healthy snack this week while working on the menus.  As part of my job, I look at hundreds of pictures of food.  And it makes me hungry.  Even if I’m stuffed, 5 minutes of looking at gorgeous yummy pictures will convince me that I’m starving.

This little muffin filled me up and let me focus on working and had a nice healthy nutritional profile as a bonus.

With blueberries as the main ingredient, it’s full of antioxidants. It’s also dairy free, gluten free, sugar free and low carb. Has a good amount of protein.  And is ready in just 2 minutes. Are you in love yet?

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Coconut Blueberry Muffin in A Mug

Coconut Blueberry Muffin in A Mug

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbs Coconut Flour
  • 2 Tbs Almond Flour
  • 1 Tbs Coconut flakes (opt.)
  • Dash of pure stevia extract (like nunaturals) or 2 packets of truvia
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp coconut oil (up to 1 Tbs)
  • 2-3 Tbs milk or water
  • 1/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Instructions

  1. Combine everything in a large greased coffee mug, stirring in the blueberries last.
  2. Microwave on high for 2 minutes, or just until the center is set. Do not over cook.
  3. Serve with a dollop of coconut whipped cream or cream cheese frosting.
http://www.groceryshrink.com/2013/11/coconut-blueberry-muffin-in-a-mug.html

P.S.  Today is the last day to use your 50% off coupon for Freezer Week and Mix Week

 

 

Protein Rich Fudge Cookies

Protein Fudge Cookies

 

Things are super busy around here.  I’m trying to finish my menus today so I can join the family in 4th of July celebrations tomorrow.  But I thought I’d take a break and tell you I have a yummy recipe over at my fitness blog.   There are two version of these cookies, each with slightly different nutrient profiles depending on what your goals are.  But they are both sugar free and loaded with protein for a great snack that will support your fitness goals.