Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies and a Treadmill Workout

Two things that don’t really go together… or do they…?

Anyone else feel that way about Pinterest sometimes?  I’m not a huge “pinner,” but when I am on Pinterest I always find myself pinning brownies… then a Tabata workout… then a crazy cupcake recipe… then an awesome strength training routine.  It’s so messed up!

That being said, if this is the kind of Friday where you are in the mood for both a dessert AND a workout, then you are in luck because that’s what this post is bringing you.  Last night I had a free night to relax (say whaaaa) and I decided I was in a baking kind of mood.  I posted a little poll on my Facebook page on whether I should make chocolate chip banana cookies or chewy caramel apple cookies.  The majority said apple, but I was craving some chocolate so I went with the banana chocolate chip.

I decided to play around with coconut flour and some other substitutions and just see what happens.  Note:  This is VERY unlike me because I am very by the recipe.  It drives Tim bonkers.  I’m terrible at “just throwing things together” when it comes to food.  I’m way better at just throwing together a workout.

I noted what changes I made from the original recipe below.

Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe inspired by Allrecipes.com, makes 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 2/3 cups coconut flour (instead of all-purpose flour)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup white sugar (the recipe called for 2/3 cup white sugar.  I used 1/3 cup and then 1/3 cup stevia instead).
  • 1/3 cup raw stevia
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (instead of 1/4 cup and 3 tablespoons butter)
  • 2 eggs (the recipe called for 1 1/4)
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 bananas, mashed (this was about 1 cup instead of 2/3 that the recipe called for)
  • 1 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Grease cookie sheets.
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda together, and set aside.
  4. Cream the butter (applesauce) with the sugar until light and fluffy.
  5. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
  6. Mix in the mashed bananas.
  7. Add the flour mixture, and stir until just combined.
  8. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  9. Drop by spoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets.
  10. Bake in preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes.

Results:  Tim thought these were a little too banana-ish, but he is not a huge banana fan like me so I thought the banana flavor was just fine, especially with the melted dark chocolate chips.  The cookies themselves were a little crumbly… it was hard to pick one up without pieces of it falling apart.  Is that how coconut flour gets?  I’ve never really baked with coconut flour before.  The cookies weren’t too DRY, maybe a teeny bit?  Just a bit crumbly.  I think next time I’d use an oil (coconut? extra virgin) as a butter substitute instead of the applesauce.  Comments and suggestions welcome!

Don’t fret though, friends.  A little crumble never hurt a cookie.

 

I still enjoyed them.

(I wrote that and then realized a good title of this post would have been “That’s the way the cookie crumbles.”  But then I’d have to change the beginning of the post and take out my someecard about contradictory pinning habits.  So I’m leaving it).

If you try this recipe, let me know what you switch up and how your version comes out!

Now onto the workout.  One of the cardio workouts in Best Body Bootcamp this week was to do a 25 minute cardio interval workout of choice.  I decided to give a treadmill workout a go, despite being a tried and true elliptical fan (hip injuries, foot injuries, etc.  You guys all know my story).  This was on Wednesday.  I ended up completing the following 25 minute treadmill interval workout before finishing up my time at the gym with another self driven plank challenge:

Any treadmill fans out there?  This was exactly what I needed on a day where I only wanted to do cardio (minus the plank) and didn’t have a ton of time to get activity in.  Was in and out of the gym in no time.

Oh, and I’m up to holding a four and a half-minute plank.  Go me!  I challenge you all this weekend to time yourselves and see how long you can hold an elbow plank for.  I guarantee it won’t be as bad as you think, especially if you have the TV on to distract you.

One last thing for today’s post… the winner of my Words to Sweat By fitness mantra jewelry giveaway!  Congrats Arlene Hittle!  Please email me at akaralekas@gmail.com to claim your prize.

For anyone who didn’t win… don’t worry!  Words to Sweat By is offering all F&F readers a 10% discount off any purchases from now until November 9th, 2012.  Just click over to the website, pick out your favorites, and enter the coupon code “fitnessandfeta” at checkout.

Happy weekend all!

Free Giveaway! Words to Sweat By Training Trinkets

Last year I won a giveaway over on Around the Plate.  I won two workout mantra t-shirts from a company called “Words to Sweat By.”

Super cute, right?  I wear these t-shirts all the time.  I love them!  When I received these in the mail, I also received a business card.

I reached out to Dana, the creator of Words to Sweat By, and we started a partnership for me to review the latest product line the company offers on F&F.

Introducing… training trinkets!

This hand stamped inspirational jewelry is the latest addition to the workout mantras already offered on towels, t-shirts, key chains, and note cards. Dana sent me “fit,” “lift,” and “sweat” and I honestly can’t decide which word I like best because clearly they are all fitting for me!

These trinkets are lightweight, cute, sporty, and intended to keep your fitness goals fashionable. I do like the smaller size charms better because they “clinked” less in Kickboxing class, but I really could barely feel them and all the words are just so fun.  The wrap is made of a soft jersey knit so there are no clasps and you can run with them, ride with them, workout, etc. and have that extra little motivation right there with you.  You can also change the colors up for whatever is fitting for your mood!

Words to Sweat By not only makes these bracelets, but necklaces and earrings too… some even come with a little mini dumbbell charm.  You can browse through them here.  Some of the other phrases that you can order inscribed on the various jewelry pieces are run, food is fuel, healthy/strong/happy, beast mode, fierce, eat your greens, be mindful, practice, faith, patience, eat clean, transform, and no excuse.  I think the only word they are missing is the word plank!  😉

Speaking of planks, I ran round one of this giveaway in my Circuit Training class last week.  I gave away the “lift” charm and two of the color wrap bracelets to the class member (Shawna) who could hold the longest elbow plank (three minutes and forty-five seconds!).

Check out my class rocking these planks!

Words to Sweat by would like to also offer one lucky Fitness & Feta reader the chance to win TWO training trinket bracelets from the website with a couple different wrap colors.

No planks required, but you must take a look at the current bracelet charm offerings on their website and then leave a comment on this post telling me:

  1. Which charm phrase & wrap colors you’d choose if you win
  2. What workout friend you’d be most likely to share your second charm with to “pay it forward” as the winner

You can receive up to three additional entries in this giveaway by liking both Fitness & Feta and Words to Sweat By on Facebook, following both Fitness & Feta and Words to Sweat By on Twitter, or linking to this giveaway on your own Facebook or Twitter accounts.  Just a reminder to leave a separate comment for each additional entry option you choose to do.

I will announce the winner of the giveaway on Friday morning.  Contest ends this Thursday night at 11:59 EST.

Good luck!

P.S.  Dana really is the nicest person ever… look what I was sent as a little “extra” as part of my delivery… so thoughtful!

Thank you, Dana!!

I’m on a Winning Streak!

Is everyone enjoying the weekend?  I had a nice low-key night in on Friday, a TON of fun hosting Jen’s good-bye party last night (more on this later!), and am now trying to be productive before heading to Tim’s for his Super Bowl festivities.  If you missed it, make sure to click over to this post and read all my tips on keeping tonight’s game watching somewhat healthy!

You know what’s really exciting?

In the past 2 months I have been the lucky winner of FOUR blog related giveaways.  Do you guys think I should play the lottery?  I’m on a winning streak!

I thought it might be nice to give a little thank you and shout out to the sites that ran these giveaways!

Around The Plate

You guys might remember me announcing that I was asked to join the Around the Plate community as a Recipe Guru.  If you haven’t ventured over to this site before, please do!  It’s wonderful.  Anyways, Kati (otherwise known as “The Girl Behind the Plate”) ran seven straight days of Healthy & Happy New Year’s Giveaways.  I entered every single contest, and I won the prize I wanted most!  Two “Simple Mantra” tees from a company called Words to Sweat By.

How cute are these?!

I love them!  You should definitely go check out their other products by clicking over to this link.  Love apparel that promotes a healthy lifestyle!

Big thanks to everyone at Around the Plate and Words to Sweat By who made this win possible!

Creative Soul in Motion

In December, Erin over at Creative Soul in Motion (same girl who guest blogged for me on Monday!) wrote a fantastic blog post on the benefits of sparkling/seltzer water.  She offered coupons for Poland Springs in a giveaway at the end of the post, and I won!  You guys know how much I love coupons…. score!  You rock, Erin!

Live Run Love Yoga

This one was SO exciting.  My blog friend Whitney over at LiveRunLoveYoga (remember her guest post on ways to make running fun?!) is running the Boston Marathon in April for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and was lucky to have several companies and people donate some sweet prizes to raffle off as part of her fundraising initiatives.  I donated $20 to Whitney’s cause because I wanted to support her, NOT because of the sweet prize packages.  And I won.  Amazing.  What did I win?

ALL THIS:

Ahhh!  Thank you, Whitney!

Salt, Sun, and Sanity

Lindsay is a new Fitness & Feta follower, so of course when I found that out I added Salt, Sun, and Sanity to my Google Reader.  A few weeks ago Lindsay was offering a giveaway for Melissa’s organic Garden Herb Croutons.  I don’t even LOVE croutons, but I am now addicted to entering every possible contest I can.  So I entered.  And I won.  Something to share with the boyfriend and roommates!  Thanks, Lindsay 🙂

Trading Up Downtown

This win was a little embarrassing.  Tina over at Trading Up Downtown (and same author of Carrots N Cake) was offering up two bags of pistachios as part of a giveaway in December.  I didn’t think I had even a shot at winning (Tina gets so many followers on both of her sites), so I left the dorkiest comment of all time.  Of course it’s when I write something AWKWARD for the world to see that I win!

“I love nuts (ha!) but unsalted cashews are my favorite. Pistachios and almonds are a close 2nd and third!!”

Perfect.  Thanks, Tina!

Do you guys enter a lot of blog giveaways?  Have you ever won anything?

You can take a look at some of the past giveaways I’ve hosted here:

And make sure to tune in over the next few weeks, I have a really exciting new round of products I’ll be giving away!  These are gonna be GOOD!