healthy food, Uncategorized

Healthy Muffin Tin Cheesecakes

Good morning and happy Saturday! I woke up way too early today. I guess my mini cheesecakes and coffee were calling my name this morning. We also are spending the whole day working in the house we just bought, so I am eager to get a jump on that!

For the past week or so I have had a huge craving for cheesecake. I wanted to make a healthy version, so yesterday I decided to use some simple, healthy ingredients to make this guilt-free indulgence. These are perfect for a snack, or breakfast (which is what I had them for this morning). The best part is that they are simple to make, and you can put any toppings that you like on top! My husband, who typically cringes at my healthy food, was so excited to eat them. That made me smile because it felt like a small victory for me.

Now on to the recipe!

INGREDIENTS:

For the crust:

  • 15 dates (placed in warm water for about 15 minutes to soften)
  • 1 cup of salted cashews
  • 1/2 cup of walnuts
  • Muffin tin

For the cheesecake filling: (The amount of filling is for 2 cheesecakes-I only make enough filling for the amount I am eating at the time to ensure that they stay fresh)

  • 2TBSP vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 2 TBSP whipped Greek cream cheese spread (I used the Kroger brand)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp of truvia (or sugar/any sugar substitute you like)
  • any other cheesecake toppings you like (I made one with fresh raspberries and another with almond butter and cacao nibs)

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Most of the ingredients I used (a few items not pictured).

DIRECTIONS:

  1. First you will make the crust. Take soaked dates (make sure they are drained of water), cashews, and walnuts, and place in a food processor, vitamix, or heavy duty blender. I used my Ninja blender and it worked great. Blend until completely mixed together.
  2. Once blended, separate the crust into mini crusts by placing an equal amount into each muffin tin. You will have to form the crust with your hands to ensure it holds together. 20170318_080231.jpg
  3. Once the crust is separated, place in the fridge while you make your filling.
  4. In a bowl, mix yogurt, cream cheese spread, vanilla extract, and truvia (or sugar of choice).
  5. Once the crusts have had some time to set, take them out of the fridge and remove one or two from the tin.
  6. Top the mini crust with cheesecake topping, then add any extras you like! I made one with fresh raspberries, and another with almond butter and cacao nibs.
  7. ENJOY!!!

This makes 12 mini cheesecakes.

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My finished cheesecakes, which I enjoyed with one (or maybe two) large cups of coffee.

These were so fun and easy to make! What a way to satisfy a sweet tooth, without all of the added guilt! I hope you make these and enjoy as much as my husband and I did!! Have a great rest of your weekend!

With love,

Carly

Uncategorized

Couple’s Workout Ideas 

Hello and happy hump day!! Here’s to the extra coffee getting us through our week (at least that is the case for me)! 

Does anyone have a significant other that can’t stand the gym?? Well, welcome to my life. My husband avoids the gym (he loves getting his fitness in by sports or anything outside, plus he has a physically demanding job). Getting physical activity in together (especially on the weekends) is super important to me. We have been trying to mix things  up, so I wanted to share some of the things we do to make it feel more like a fun date and less like a typical workout. 

We luck out that our gym has a rock wall because we have a blast. We like to race to the top (we are both pretty competitive).

Some other ideas include:

  • Basketball (play horse or other games)
  • Pushup contest 
  • Hiking (our favorite, but it has been way too cold)
  • Take a class together (we like boxing, spinning, and yoga)
  • Running races
  • Water basketball (we like to sit in the hot tub after)
  • Bike rides (and maybe stop for ice cream haha)

Those are just a few things we like to do together.  Then, we reward ourselves with a smoothie or brunch after!  

What do you do to make working out fun?? I’m always up for new ideas/challenges!

Have a great rest of your day! 

With love,

Carly 

Uncategorized

Fit Friday-Leg burnout plus abs

Happy Friday everyone! I hope everyone had a great week, and if not, at least it’s the weekend!

I typically workout before work, but this morning I decided to sleep in and do my workout after work. My motivation is much lower by the end of the day, but I knew once I got to the gym I would feel so much better (and I did). Tonight’s workout was a pretty high intensity leg workout, which kept my heart rate up the whole time. It is definitely a keeper.

The workout:

Start with 5-10 minutes on any cardio machine, just enough to get your heart rate up (I did a 5 minute treadmill build).

Do the circuit below 3 times before moving to the next one:

  • 12 barbell walking lunges
  • 10 barbell lunge pulses each leg (try to get as low as possible in the lunge, then pulse from there)
  • 16 lunge jumps (drop weights-or do light weights)

Do the circuit below 3 times before moving on to the next one:

  • 12 DB squats (hold the weight in front of you, up to your chest)
  • 20 DB squat pulses (get as low as you can, then pulse)
  • 16 star jumps

Do the circuit below 3 times before moving on to the next one:

  • 16 DB calf raises
  • 12 side bends with plate (both sides)
  • 20 plank jacks (get in a plank, the jump the legs in and out)

Do the circuit below 3 times

  • 16 weighted pikes (abs)
  • 12 leg extension
  • 20 mountain climbers
  • 12 leg curls

Well, that’s it! Try to spend a few minutes cooling down and stretching. My legs are already feeling the burn.

I hope everyone has an awesome, safe weekend!

With love,

Carly

Uncategorized

Easy taco pasta

Hi there! I wanted to share a favorite dinner recipe of mine. I found a similar recipe from Cooking Light and adapted it to what I had at home. I love that this is so easy, but still looks like it took a lot of work to make.

You will need:

2 cups of dry pasta (I used the spiraled whole wheat)

I lb. ground beef (I used Laura’s 92% lean)

I package of taco seasoning  (I used kroger’s 25% less sodium)

1 can of diced tomatoes  (I used fire roasted)

As much shredded cheese as you want

Any other add-ins you like (beans, corn, avacado to top, cilantro, etc.).

Steps:

Brown ground beef. Once it is cooked through, add in the taco seasoning, a little water, and the tomatoes  (also, if you have other add ins, now would be the time for those). Let simmer (covered) on low. While that is simmering, cook your pasta according to package.  Then add the pasta into taco mixture, top with cheese and simmer an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is melted! I served this with cornbread muffins and it was awesome. My husband loves this, too! Plus we always have leftovers for lunch the next day! Yum!!

Hope you enjoy!

Carly

Uncategorized

My first post

Hi there! I am not sure how many (if any) people will read this, but I am extremely excited to start this journey!

I wanted to share a little about myself and what I hope to accomplish through my blog. For starters, I have a love for coffee, fitness, food, and my wonderful family. I have a degree in English, and I love reading a variety of books and writing any time I get the chance. I work with Special Needs Kindergartners, and I just love them to pieces. I hope to share a lot about my life, while providing fitness tips, recipes, and so much more! I have two sweet cats that make me smile after a long day, and an amazing husband! We just bought our first home and are moving next month! I am thrilled and stressed at the same time!

I lost my dad in 2012 to brain cancer, which was the hardest thing I have ever dealt with. I struggled with self-esteem issues and anxiety. Luckily, through self-awareness and a lot of support from my family, I was able to become the fun-loving person I was before. I am proud of where I am, and my relationship with fitness and food is a healthy one!

That is all for now! I hope everyone has a fantastic week!

With love,

Carly