Tuesday

Almond Flour Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies ( Gluten free, Vegan, Paleo, Egg Free)

This is for all of you who have been asking me about the cookies I made for my kids to celebrate Chloe's 18 month birthday and Lyla's first day at preschool.  I didn't have a whole lot of time to spend and I have an abundance of Almond flour and Agave that I wanted to use up.  So I looked through Elana Amsterdam's cookbook to find a simple cookie recipe.  This cookbook is called the "Gluten Free Almond Flour Cookbook" which can be found at Elana's Pantry website. She has wonderful gluten free recipes for the whole family.

Lately there has been some controversy about the use of agave.  I am on the fence and may give it a rest once I finish my stash.  At the moment I am using Organic Raw Agave minimally.

Elana has also been getting some feedback from people concerned with using Agave. So she came up with this recipe below to substitute the Agave.  I have never tried Yacon but I think I will look in to it and give it a try.  Here is the recipe that she has on her website for these cookies.  Since I am always trying to cut sugar, excessive amounts of oil and a little salt, I will show you the changes I made in the recipe below in red. I have to say the cookies still turned out incredible!

Chocolate Chip Cookies with Yacon  from Elana's Pantry.





Chocolate Chip Cookies with Yaconprinter friendly
2 ½ cups 
blanched almond flour
½ teaspoon 
celtic sea salt ( 1/4 tsp of Himalayan Pink Salt)
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup 
grapeseed oil (I used 1/4 cup of Olive Oil (ran out of grape seed oil and 1/4 cup of unsweetened apple sauce)
1 tablespoon 
vanilla extract
½ cup 
yacon syrup ( I used 1/4 cup organic Raw agave)
1 cup 
dark chocolate chips 73% cacao ( I used 1/3 cup of dark chocolate chips 73%)

  1. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl
  2. Stir together wet ingredients in a smaller bowl
  3. Mix wet ingredients into dry
  4. Form ½ inch balls and press onto a parchment lined baking sheet
  5. Bake at 350° for 7-10 minutes (I ended up cooking mine for almost 13 min since I didn't flatten them to much.)
  6. Cool and serve



I highly recommend you check out Elana's website and cook book.  Elana is very creative with her recipes and so far the ones I have tried have all been delicious.  She has also starting using coconut flour which is a new favorite of mine as well.  With any recipe you can always make plenty of modifications.  For special dietary needs you can easily lower the salt, lessen the sweetener, and even use a different type of oil, etc..  Most of her recipes are Paleo and Primal friendly. She even has vegan recipes.  Don't be scared to play with it and create something for yourself that suites your personal health goals. 

Enjoy!  

Time To Face A New Challenge (Part 2)

Continuing on...     August 4, 2010      JUST RECEIVED THE NEWS
(I added this in the post below, but here it is for those who got confused on the date and who are still asking me what the prognosis is)

Yesterday I had an MRI but left with no answers.  This morning I woke up feeling hopeful since the swelling in my knee was a little bit better.  I spent the morning playing with my 17 month old.  We played, then she watched me do some weighted pull ups, push ups, pistols on my right leg, seated presses, and seated rope waves.  Hey I am trying to make the best of it.  I was feeling pretty good.

Okay so I have had quite a few emails from people so far with words of encouragement.  Thanks so much to all of you.  You guys are amazing.  Also many of you wise ones mentioned that if it's a meniscus tear it's a fast recovery.  If it's the ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) which is the primary stabilizer of the knee,  it's a very LONG recovery, 9 - 12 months until I can do everything again. 

Today the doctor looked at the MRI, brought in a skeleton knee and immediately started discussing  Reconstructive Surgery.  That's right folks I have a COMPLETELY TORN ACL! Not the words I was hoping to hear.  Am I surprised?  A little.  I did hear and feel a pop.  I was hoping it was my imagination, but it was real.  He said when athletes use the term "blown out knee"  this is it.  I have a blown out knee and will be needing surgery at some point in the near future.  I guess there goes my plans for wakeboarding then dancing at the clubs on my birthday, no snowboarding this season, and definitely no Krav Maga for awhile.  However, I will be able to do some modified kettlebell exercises which is a good thing as long as I'm super careful.  Next week I was scheduled to film Volume 3 of my UBSC DVD series.  This one was suppose to be the best out of all of them.  I have the most amazing location, coolest set up, and best workouts planned for this.  So the question is do I do it anyway and just modify the exercises I can't do? And have my workout partners do them instead?  Or do I wait several years to do this after I go through the surgery and rehab?  I'm aiming for sooner than later and doing what I can since I've been very anxious to get this DVD out for my peeps.  ;-)  Hopefully that wont be a problem for people.


This is definitely going to be quite an adjustment for me. The fact that I can't do what I am use to doing has not quite settled in yet.  Once this all hits and I adapt I will try and keep everyone posted.  Be well and be healthy. 

Lots of Love,

Lauren

Monday

Time To Face A New Challenge (Part 1)

It's a bit ironic how the last blog I posted, I wrote how thankful I am for having a pain free, mobile, and strong body.  Now I sit here a little sad because I can't say the same.  I can say that I am thankful to have the inner and outer strength I have.

This past weekend I went through a vigorous 6 hour Krav Maga test.  It was serious, nerve-racking, with tons of adrenaline.  It was one of the harder mentally and physically challenging events in my life.  To make matters worse I over rotated on my knee doing a round house kick.  My front foot was suppose to pivot allowing my whole body to turn.  However, that's not how it happened.  My entire body, including my knee turned with great power to kick the pad, but my front foot stayed planted.  "Pop"is what I felt and heard.  My left knee was blown out and I came crashing down to the ground during the "serious" part of the testing phase.  I gave out a yell and laid on my back in disbelief holding my knee shaking.  I slowly got up with some help and tried to keep myself together. The last thing I wanted to do was quit, not finish this test and let my partner down.  I was given the okay and encouraged from the instructors to test at another time, since they saw I was hardly able to stand in my fighting stance any more.

I had no intention of quitting.  Even if it meant I would fail the test, I still felt I needed to try. If I were in a real fight and blew out my knee, I don't think the attacker would give a shit, so the only way to survive would be to keep on going.  Am I wrong?  Needless to say, I jumped back in to the testing but my strong focus was definitely gone.  I had so many emotions going through my head and body that I didn't know how to control it.  With my knee not working, all that was going on in my head was all the events, my video film day coming up, and workshops that I was going to have to cancel.  It was time to do inside defenses and I was so focused on my knee that I let my partner punch me in the face.  I didn't even feel the pain since I was more focused on the fact that being in my fighting stance was hardly possible .  My life revolves around my body being mobile and healthy, so I was devastated.   I am not a person who cries often.  The only times I have cried in the past few years were over death and births.  So once the faucets of tears turned on it was a huge challenge to turn them off.

Now let's get to the good news. The good news is I still passed the Krav Maga test, with one working knee.  I have an MRI scheduled tomorrow so I will have a definitive answer by Wednesday or Thursday.  From what the doctor felt on my knee he is 90% sure I have a Meniscus tear and 70% sure that I also have an ACL tear, which mean surgery.  So with all of this happening I have to delay many events and plans I have had in the near future.    The bright side of all of this is I will become great at weighted pull-ups and seated presses.  Once I see the MRI this post will be continued......




Continuing on...     August 4, 2010      JUST RECEIVED THE NEWS

Yesterday I had an MRI but left with no answers.  This morning I woke up feeling hopeful since the swelling in my knee was a little bit better.  I spent the morning playing with my 17 month old.  We played, then she watched me do some weighted pull ups, push ups, pistols on my right leg, seated presses, and seated rope waves.  Hey I am trying to make the best of it.  I was feeling pretty good.

Okay so I have had quite a few emails from people so far with words of encouragement.  Thanks so much to all of you.  You guys are amazing.  Also many of you wise ones mentioned that if it's a meniscus tear it's a fast recovery.  If it's the ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) which is the primary stabilizer of the knee,  it's a very LONG recovery.

Today the doctor looked at the MRI, brought in a skeleton knee and immediately started discussing  Reconstructive Surgery.  That's right folks I have a COMPLETELY TORN ACL! Not the words I was hoping to hear.  Am I surprised?  A little.  I did hear and feel a pop.  I was hoping it was my imagination, but it was real.  He said when athletes use the term "blown out knee"  this is it.  I have a blown out knee and will be needing surgery at some point in the near future.  I guess there goes my plans for wakeboarding then dancing at the clubs on my birthday, no snowboarding this season, and definitely no Krav Maga for awhile.  However, I will be able to do some modified kettlebell exercises which is a good thing as long as I'm super careful.  Next week I was scheduled to film Volume 3 of my UBSC DVD series.  This one was suppose to be the best out of all of them.  I have the most amazing location, coolest set up, and best workouts planned for this.  So the question is do I do it anyway and just modify the exercises I can't do? And have my workout partners do them instead?  Or do I wait several years to do this after I go through the surgery and rehab?  I'm aiming for sooner than later and doing what I can since I've been very anxious to get this DVD out for my peeps.  ;-)  Hopefully that wont be a problem for people.


This is definitely going to be quite an adjustment for me. The fact that I can't do what I am use to doing has not quite settled in yet.  Once this all hits and I adapt I will try and keep everyone posted.  Be well and be healthy.

Lots of Love,

Lauren