Homemade Larabars

I’m kind of laughing at myself for even sharing this ‘recipe’ because it is probably the easiest thing I’ve ever made, well, besides hardboiled eggs in my Instant Pot and I’ll be sure to share that later.

What you’ll need: 

  • 50 pitted dates
  • 2 cups cashews

See what I mean? Super easy.

So you’re gonna take the dates and put them in your food processor. I love my Hamilton Beach 14-Cup Food Processor.

Then you’re just going to turn on and chop the dates up. 

Next you’re going to add the cashews. And keep chopping and mixing. 

When everything is mixed you’re going to dump it onto some parchment paper. Mold into a large ball. And grab a rolling pin to flatten. 

I flatten mine to about 1/4 inch thick. I cut the sides off and then cut into bars. 

I repeat this process until I’ve used everything. 

Place in fridge or freezer. 

And you’re all set! 

Beef and Sweet Potato Chili- Whole30

So, you guys, I have to tell you I first made this chili to impress my new boyfriend. 

For those of you who know me, you know the kitchen isn’t my most favorite place to be, but I didn’t want him to know that just yet, and so I found this recipe and I went for it. 

Turns out, it’s one of his favorites. And I don’t think he’s just saying that. 

What you’ll need:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1lb lean ground beef
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 medium Serrano chile, seeded and finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 can (28 oz) Whole30-compliant fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 1/2 cup Beef Bone Broth or Whole30-compliant beef broth
  • 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch chunks 
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp ground chipotle chile pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add ground beef, onion, Serrano chili, and garlic. Stir frequently and break up meat with a wooden spoon. Cook for about 5 minutes or until meat is brown. 

Next stir in the tomatoes with their juices, broth, sweet potato, peppers, chili powder, chipotle and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sweet potato is tender. This takes about 30 minutes. 

And that’s it. Super easy. And super tasty. Let me know what you think. 

 

Classic Pork Meatballs- Whole30

Oh. My. Gah. 

I have seriously died and gone to heaven. These meatballs are amazing. And the best part? Even my kids love them! 

What you need:

  • 4lbs ground pork
  • 2/3 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes 
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp baking soda

You’re gonna want to preheat the oven to 425*F. Go ahead and line to baking sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil. 

In a large bowl, combine pork, parsley, garlic, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes. In a small bowl mix the water, cream of tartar, and baking soda. Add water mixture to the meat mixture and mix to combine. I found it easiest just to use my hands. 

Next grab an ice cream scoop and scoop out meat. Shape into 1 inch balls. Place meatballs on the prepared baking sheets and bake for about 20-25 minutes. Be sure to rotate the pans front to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking time. Bake until brown. Let cool. 

Store in airtight containers or resealable plastic bags in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. 

Whole30- Halfway Point

On January 2nd I decided to try out this ‘Whole30’ deal. I’ll be honest, I was a bit of a skeptic.

I had always been a firm believer and supporter that you should be able to eat whatever you want as long as you were working out, exercising. 

I used that attitude to justify my addiction to gummy bears and doughnuts. 

Because I was working out. I was working out 6 days a week for at least 2+ hours a day. 

And while, I had noticed a huge difference in my body, I was still kind of stuck where I was. 

I was desperate for more muscles. A more toned look. And I wanted to feel better. 

So, I thought, what did I have to lose? 

Turns out. A lot.

I truly believe that anyone can do this for 3o days. I know it may seem intimidating. I know that when you check out the rules and guidelines, you’re probably going to think ‘well, what am I supposed to eat?’ 

I know that because I thought the same thing.

Sugar was what consumed me the most. I loved sweets. I loved snacks. I loved picking off the kids’ plates. 

But as I committed to 30 days, I decided to take it just one day at a time. 

And so I did. 

I’m not going to lie. That first week was hard. I was lethargic. I was grumpy. I had cravings like you wouldn’t believe. My body wanted sugar. Desperately. It would try to convince me that I needed it. 

I missed my doughnuts and my gummy bears. I missed the convenience of what it meant to eat those foods. I missed the immediate satisfaction. 

I was restless. I had hot flashes. Headaches had become a normal daily routine. 

My workouts suffered too. Suddenly things that I had been doing for months were hard. I couldn’t workout as long. And I couldn’t lift as heavy.

But, I really started paying attention to my body.

And then, it passed. 

Well, most of it. 

I stopped craving sugar. I suddenly didn’t miss the doughnuts and the gummy bears. 

I enjoyed being in the kitchen and really making a connection with the food I was about to eat, instead of just grabbing something and putting it in my mouth. 

It was almost as if I was tasting food for the first time. 

I stopped needing coffee. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I still drink it because I’m obsessed, but I didn’t need it anymore. 

I’m still working on the gym part. Without that boost of energy from sugar, I still struggle with my workouts, but I’m learning to listen and address what my body needs. Instead of just ignoring it.

And then there’s the physical changes. Clothes are looser. I had to tighten the strap on my watch. Those medium pants I bought in November, you know the size I hadn’t worn since middle school, well, now they’re getting loose too!

I can see more definition in my body. 

I’m not bloaty anymore.

But most important, well, in my opinion, I kinda dig what I see when I look in the mirror. 

So we’re halfway through. I’ve made it further than I thought I would. But the thing is, I don’t think I’m gonna go back to my old habits. Even though it’s only been 2 weeks, it’s been amazing. I kind of want to see what 6 weeks, 8 weeks, 12+ weeks might look like. 

And if you’re interested in taking the Whole30 challenge, I’d love to help you if I can. I’ve learned that doing this with someone, is way easier than tackling it alone. So, we should talk!