Here's a little treat for ya!! We posted about these in our Instagram stories earlier last week but here's the recipe again. They were SOOO good and honestly tasted just like a Girl Scout Samoa...seriously...I couldn't believe it. Don't be fooled, these are NOT protein bites and to be honest, most of the ones you find on Pinterest aren't either because the fat is higher than the protein....so we'll just call these like they are: Chocolate Coconut Fat Balls.
These will make a great little treat to help you curb your sweet tooth! You don't have to be worried about crappy ingredients which is nice. But... there's always a but, right? I would advise that you are aware of the calories and limit yourself to 1, max 2 per day! Well that's unless you are working your tail off to gain weight, then go ahead and eat all 1,600 calories, maybe!
MACROS- This batch made 8 balls.
14 g of fat
13 g of carbs
6 g of protein
3 g of fiber
It's hard to find someone that doesn't like chocolate. In our online accountability groups that we run we are always talking to people about how and what kinds of chocolate can be a part of a healthy diet. Yeah there is a way and we will get to that.
When the candy industry got their hands on the delicious cocoa bean they figured out a way to take a superfood and turn it into something super dangerous. They stretch the cocoa powder so far and add so much milk and sugar to their concoctions that chocolate as most people know it becomes a sweet treat. That is where the danger comes in to play. Sugar is addictive. (1) Consuming it leads to consuming more of it and your tastes begin to become altered. The amount of sugar it takes to sense "sweet" increases. (2)
This all equates to you needing tremendous amounts of willpower to control the quantity of eating these types of food. Guess what... that's a losing battle!
I mentioned above that the cocoa bean is a superfood! Let's talk about that and how you can choose chocolate that improves your health and doesn't lead to the damaging effects of consuming the candy industry's version of chocolate.
7 Health Benefits of Consuming Chocolate
1. Nutrient Dense - Chocolate from a micronutrient standpoint is very dense. It provides a large amount of iron, magnesium, manganese, and copper. It also provides potassium, zinc and selenium. The fiber content of dark chocolate is one of the best benefits of consuming it. Fiber is a missing piece is a lot of people's diets and important for the health of your gut and blood sugar.
2. Controls Blood Sugar - One of the secret ingredients in chocolate that doesn't show up on a nutrition label is a phytonutrient called flavanol, particularly epicatechin. This compound has been shown to improve a person's insulin sensitivity. Therefore making your insulin work more effeciently and regulate blood sugar better.
3. Lowers Blood Pressure - Staying on the flavanol theme, this amazing little phytonutrient also increases the levels of nitric oxide in the blood which relaxes your blood vessels and therefore lowers blood pressure. (3)
4. Source of Antioxidants - You've maybe heard of the ORAC rating, it is a way to measure the antioxidant power of different compounds. Guess where chocolate lands when measured... yup you guessed it is right at the top of the list with some other amazing foods. Antioxidants are important, especially in whole food form, to regulate the levels of free radicals in our bodies. The less free radical damage that occurs in our bodies the lower overall inflammation throughout our body and increased health. (4)
5. Improves Cholesterol - Dark chocolate has been shown to increase the amount of "good" HDL cholesterol. It has also been shown to limit the amount of LDL cholesterol that oxidizes. This is due to the previous point about it being a powerful antioxidant. LDL cholesterol isn't inherently bad, our bodies actually need more of it than HDL. The problems with cholesterol arise when the ratio of HDL/LDL gets out of whack and/or it becomes oxidized and therefore inflamatory. (5)
6. Improve Brain Function - Better brain??? Yes please! Dark chocolate can improve brain function from a couple different aspects. First, blood flow, as mentioned above dark chocolate and it's powerful flavanols help with overall cardiovascular health and therefore better blood flow. A couple other powerful components in dark chocolate include theobromine and caffiene. These compounds are stimiulants that have both been shown to improve brain function. (6)
7. Improved Skin - Those same flavanols that we've talked about also help with protecting your skin from UV rays. This doesn't mean you should just lather up with melted dark chocolate instead of sunscreen, but it's fun to know that that treat you have can help in this area too. (7)
Hopefully I've made a case for why and how chocolate can be can considered a health food. Don't stop here though and go grab the nearest Hershey bar thinking you are improving your health. Let's talk about how you can select chocolate that actually improves your health and doesn't harm you.
Selecting the Right Kind of Chocolate
The candy industry has a pretty good hold on chocolate production. This past summer we made a stop in Hershey, PA to check out Chocolate World!
Chocolate World should probably be renamed Sugar World. By weight I'm guessing a standard Hershey bar contains more sugar than cocoa. We had to search pretty hard to find some true dark chocolate in the big Hershey store. Even the dark chocolate we found was less than desirable according to what I consider healthy.
Here is a simple equation that I created that you can use determine whether or not the chocolate you are eating is health food and will provide all the benefits listed above, somewhere in the middle, or straight up candy and the negative effects outweigh the benefits.
In general the higher the percentage of cacao the healthier the chocolate. In order to get into that moderately healthy category you should be looking for at least 60% cacao but most likely you will need 70%. Once you start getting over 80% that is typically when your chocolate starts becoming health food.
One thing to close with is that consuming chocolate can improve your health if you choose the right kind but it is also a calorie dense food since most of it's calories come from fat. Don't take this information as an opportunity to go hog wild on dark chocolate thinking that because it is healthy it can't affect your weight. A typical chocolate treat for us is usually 2 squares from a dark chocolate bar or about 1/2 of what a serving size is supposed to be according to the packaging. This is enough to give us the health benefits along with our chocolate fix without consuming a huge amount of calories.
We hope this information helps you understand chocolate a bit more and how it can and should be part of a healthy diet. We encourage you to share it if you think it is something your friends need to hear.
1. Evidence for sugar addiction: Behavioral and neurochemical effects of intermittent, excessive sugar intake
2. Reduced dietary intake of simple sugars alters perceived sweet taste intensity but not perceived pleasantness.
3. How do dietary flavanols improve vascular function? A position paper.
4. The total antioxidant content of more than 3100 foods, beverages, spices, herbs and supplements used worldwide
5. Plasma LDL and HDL cholesterol and oxidized LDL concentrations are altered in normo- and hypercholesterolemic humans after intake of different levels of cocoa powder.
6. The effect of flavanol-rich cocoa on the fMRI response to a cognitive task in healthy young people.
7. Long-term ingestion of high flavanol cocoa provides photoprotection against UV-induced erythema and improves skin condition in women.
So unless you are living under a rock you've most likely heard of the program 21 Day Fix. The concept behind the program is that you combine exercise with a portion control system using color coded containers. The difficulty that some of our customers have had is how to you go from ingredients to meals using the containers. Fixate is the answer to that.
Fixate is a cooking show that will air on Beachbody On Demand. The show will be a cooking show where Autumn's brother who is a professional chef will teach you how to put together meals in a healthy way using the container system. I'm a sucker for cooking shows so I'm pretty excited about this plus I know it will help so many people have more confidence with the container system that is proven to work if it gets used. Each episode/recipe will be 4-7 minutes long and include downloadable instructions and grocery lists. This is scheduled to go live on August 19th, 2016.
“It’s so easy to get stuck in a cooking rut,” Autumn explains. “We designed Fixate to help people get more creative with their healthy, portion-controlled eating plans, so they can try new recipes as well as learn to make and containerize the foods they already love.”
We want to help people get healthy and lose weight and we know sometimes a little incentive is a great way to get people started. Let me explain in a little more detail what we are offering. If you purchase any Challenge Pack (workout + month's supply of Shakeology) you will also receive a free copy of Autumn's cookbook, Fixate. With this Challenge Pack purchase you will also receive a free 30 Day membership to Beachbody On Demand which will give you access to Autumn's new cooking show! Oh and over 400 different workouts if you feel like dabbling with something else.
The other option if you aren't sure if any of this is right for you is to sign up for a FREE 30 Day Club Membership. For 30 days you will have access to 400+ workouts, Autumn's new cooking show, and some other great resources. If on day 30 you haven't used it or didn't like it you can cancel no questions asked. Well we might actually ask you why you didn't like it but just for feedback purposes... :) If you choose this option you will be entered into a drawing to win a copy of Autumn's cookbook Fixate!
We believe in these products and know that they can change lives but they can only do that if you have them and use so hopefully this will be that little push to get you started.
Carrot cake is straight up my jam! Hands down, best cake! I love the sweet and spice! I would eat it all the time if it was available.
Given my new gluten free life, I have had to make some sacrifices and cake is one of them. Just this past weekend at my nephews birthday party I was forced to pass on the delicious Mickey Mouse cake. As hard as that was I was just glad I didn't have to say no to carrot cake. That would have just been tough. Avoidance has been my main course of action. Recently though I just had a craving for carrot cake. Maybe it was the fall weather but something made me think of it and that led to a google search... "Gluten free carrot cake recipe"
Low and behold I found a really good one and we had all the ingredients so I decided to do some baking. I usually don't bake, that is more Laura's area of expertise! Measuring is tough! I did it though and this muffins turned out awesome! The recipe that I found and tweaked was on a website, Primarily Inspired. Hats off to Kelly for the inspiration for this recipe! We just did the muffin/cupcake recipe but she has an icing that goes along with these too if you want it to be even more desserty, that's a word right???
The following morning Laura was scrolling her IG feed and stumbled across a pic from a local coffee shop and how they do a Orange, Maple Latte. She tried hard to convince me to drive 30 minutes to go get a coffee. I fought hard and told her I would just make her one instead. Since we don't really do dairy either we opted for a "keto coffee." Although given the maple syrup in it, we probably can't call it a "keto" coffee but oh well you get the idea, it has butter in it and other delicious things. This was super simple and super tasty. I have no idea how it compares the the coffee shop latte but we will do this again. It paired perfectly with the carrot muffins too. Pure breakfast bliss!
If you've followed us for a little bit you've seen us use some fun hashtags to connect some of our posts. I wish I could say that we did it for you guys but the truth is, doing #weirdvegwednesday or #weirdpushwednesday kept us accountable to go out and try some new veggies and it made us think of new ways to do push ups. If it helps you great. So often we can get stuck doing the same things over and over and our decisions become mindless. I think a lot of people that eat unhealthy foods don't do it necessarily because they enjoy those foods incredibly, but because it is a habit and it is easy.
So with that we have a new hashtag and we hope it will help bring some creativity to your meals.
Why Monday??? Well because we like alliterations when it comes to our hashtags, that's it. For the next 52 weeks my goal is to come up with a new, fun, healthy recipe that we will try out and we will share with you. We would love it if you used the same hashtag to tag your posts. You don't have to type up full recipes unless you want to, but use the hashtag as motivation to try some new meal ideas. It will also be a great resource for everyone to use to go find inspiration to try some new things.
We will post these recipes on our Facebook Page, The Cook & The Coach on Mondays so feel free to follow us over there. If you want to make sure you get all of these recipes delivered to your inbox just plug your email address into the section below and we will email you once a week with our recipe from that week along with any other blog posts we put out.
Does anyone else use the app Timehop? Yep...I do and it's so much fun. I love to see what I was posting about 1 year ago, 2 years ago or even 6 years ago on Facebook or Instagram.
Healthy Version Ingredients
Healthy Version Directions
Unhealthy Version Ingredients
The Cook & The Coach
Healthy is a LIFESTYLE.
Not a destination.
We want to help you build that lifestyle which will then help you
** have CONFIDENCE
** become STRONG (mentally and physically)
** lose fat
** have more ENERGY
3 Day Refresh
Baby Led Weaning
Do It Yourself
Life On The Road
Pressure Cooker Meals
Restaurants To Try