Something you don’t know about me…
I was once training to become a body builder.
It was a shortly lived dream though. The man I was seeing at the time didn’t like the muscles I was growing, so at his request, I stopped.
Lesson: never stop pursuing your dreams for someone else, especially over something as silly as the ‘man muscles’ I was growing.
Looking back, my time as an aspiring body builder brought on so many changes in my life:
- I found my passion for nutrition [albeit not the healthiest at the time]
- I learned that my body could be pushed so much farther than I ever thought possible
- I began a fantastic relationship with Repair cookies [Splenda, nut butter, and eggs]
A quick note on alternative sweeteners
You’ll see them branded as Sweet’N Low, Aspartame, NutraSweet, Splenda, Equal, NutraSweet, or Sucralose [I'm sure I'm missing some].
Claims to be the perfect sugar substitute: as sweet as sugar, but no calories, no surge in insulin, no side effects or long-term health damage.
Sucralose was stumbled upon in the late 70’s when British scientists were looking for a new pesticide formulation. :|
Why I choose not to eat it:
- It’s not a whole food, whatsoever. It’s completely man made, and has no nutritional benefits at all.
- Having worked with many diabetics and hypoglycemics I’m convinced that it does impact blood sugar levels.
- Studies have shown that the affects of sucralose can range from shrunken thymus glands, enlarged livers, kidney disorders, and a decrease in healthy gut bacteria.
- There have been no long-term studies conducted on humans… ever.
- Is able to cross the blood-brain barrier*
*The blood-brain barrier is designed to protect the brain from the invasion of harmful chemicals. The barrier allows our own neurotransmitters to cross, helping the functioning of our nerve cells. But, alternative sweeteners act like neurotransmitters in the body, so they’re given access through this barrier. Excessive consumption can cause poisoning and lead to brain and spinal cord nerve cell death.
On with the eats…
I had completely forgotten about my love for the repair cookie.
With all the training I’ve been doing lately, it was just a matter of time until my love returned.
Healthier, Splenda free, and tastier than ever.
Runners Repair Cookies
Gluten free, Dairy free
A soft banana flavor infuses each bite of these deliciously easy, high protein cookies.
- 1/2 banana
- 5 medjool dates, pitted
- 2 organic eggs
- 1/2 cup almond butter
- 1/2 cup Manitoba Harvest Hemp powder [I used pro fiber]
- 2 tablespoon ground flax
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 6 dried apricots, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- almond slivers for sprinkling [so they look a bit more appetizing]
- Preheat oven to 350F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.
- In a food processor or blender, combine banana, dates, and eggs. Pulse until dates are broken up, then pour into a medium sized bowl.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and stir until mixed. The dough will be very sticky, but don’t worry!
- Drop cookies onto cookie sheet and bake for 15-17 minutes [mine were perfect at 15 minutes].
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
Makes 12 cookies.
I don’t normally post the nutrition facts of my recipes, but at the request of a couple of you, I will for these cookies. I struggled with an obsession over calorie counting for years and have seen so many of my clients, friends, and family get consumed by it as well. Remember that calories are just a number, everyone’s body is different and requires a different amount of nutrients based on various factors. Balance and understanding what food best fuels your body is key!
Have you ever given up on a dream because others didn’t approve or support you? What did you learn from this experience?