Happy new year everyone! I hope that 2018 is turning out to be everything you wanted it to be. I have a few goals this year to accomplish. One is to be more consistent with my blog posts. Another is to practice more of what I preach to others, and I also want to be successful in a new venture I'm on. As you can tell by the blog title, I recently became a health and fitness coach. I know you are probably thinking the same thing I was when I decided to do this "why the hell would anyone who is trying to lose weight, is obese, and struggles themselves try and coach others????" Well the answer is simple...at least for me.
One of the biggest struggles I have with the health and fitness world is the lack of anyone really and truly understanding the struggle of an overweight person. When you have more than just the typical 10-20 pounds to lose, when you have a medical condition that makes it feel like it's impossible to lose weight, or you just aren't born naturally thin, it makes it difficult to find the right person to help you with your goals. With the exception of 1 personal trainer I've met, I've never had trainers or nutritionists who were previously extremely overweight or had true weight problems. One thing that I've experienced over the years with personal trainers and nutritionists is they NEVER understood where I was coming from. I was lucky enough this past year (after many many years of trying) to get linked up with a great nutritionist and fantastic personal trainer. Unfortunately, my nutritionist moved away and personal training gets expensive over time. While I was having great results. It was something that I knew wasn't sustainable for me. I had to reevaluate what I was doing, why I was doing it, and what my new focus would be. If you read my last blog, I was quite frustrated.
I've decided to put all the frustration I was having into something that is actually worth while. I decided that in order to make myself accountable, keep myself accountable, and to really and truly stay motivated, I need to really put myself out there. I needed to be an example. I decided to become a health and fitness coach for all those reasons. I've been forced to stay on track because I have an audience, I have others that depend on me and are looking at me for guidance. It's much like sponsors for AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), Narcanon (drug rehabilitation) , and so many others where many of the leaders are recovered alcoholics or substance abusers. They need to stay accountable. They get a sense of self worth by helping others, and that is exactly why I'm doing this. If you need help staying accountable, staying motivated, need guidance, I can help!!
Q- What are you selling because I'm not buying it and don't try to sell me stuff
A- I'm NOT trying to sell anyone anything. I've found a program and a product that I'm absolutely in love with that I will tell everyone about. If you want to buy it, you can, if you don't, I'm not pestering you :P I'm NOT a salesperson, I'm just passionate about things that help me.
I have a free fit group I run every month for 21 days that anyone is welcome to join. You can follow me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mommybehealthy, on Twitter @mommybhealthy, on Instagram @mommybehealthy. If you feel inspired you can check out my coaching page here: mysite.coach.teambeachbody.com/?coachId=1484718&locale=en_US
***Foul language is here....you have been forewarned***
After nearly 3 years of starting this blog, starting this "journey" I've been on, I've hit a big damn brick wall that is the size of the fucking moon. The past few months have been exceptionally hard for me to get myself out of this hole I've dug myself into. Truth be told....I've gained most of the weight I've lost, over the past 3 years back. I've pretty much gained about 20 lbs since July of this year. Why? Well...that's a very good question.
There's a lot of whys. None of them are very good excuses, but nonetheless they are my reasons. I set out 3 years ago with a pretty large goal in mind. It was simple, I needed to lose 115 lbs to get to my "ideal weight" Over time, that goal kept slipping and slipping. I continued to plod on, learning so much more about health and wellness than I thought I could have. My journey in a nutshell of the past few years has been.....ooh lost 30 lbs, gained some back, lost some more, gained some back, got sick, gained some more, got better, lost some that I gained, got sick again, gained more, got better, lost some, got sick for almost 6 months, gained a shit load, got better, lost a shit load, got sick again, gained some more, then I gave up. Looking back on this roller coaster, I started feeling like what's the point?
I'm no stranger to getting advice from others. I'm sure you aren't too. I have everyone and their fucking mother telling me what I should/shouldn't do. Eat more vegetables, eat more fruits, don't eat too many carbs, eat in moderation, severly limit your carbs, don't severely limit your carbs, cut out dairy, cut out meat, become a vegan, eat more fiber, add chia seeds, weigh your food, log your food, and the list goes on. Seriously.....I get it!!! I KNOW what I SHOULD be doing. It's not a matter of not knowing what I should be doing. It's also not a matter of being uneducated and not understanding how my body works. While I get that many people want to offer advice for what's worked for them, what's worked for them may not work for others. I also totally understand that people just want to help, but here's my issue......No one can help me but myself. I have to be the one who makes the choices to get my shit back together and decide my next steps. There have been times lately where I seriously want to just scream "shut the fuck up!" when I'm being told all the things I need to do.
I'm almost done venting....I swear. I'm thinking to myself....what the hell should I do now? Do I start back logging my food? Doing my fitbit challenges? Going to the gym 5 days a week? Working out with a trainer? Going to a nutritionist? Eat more protein? Eat less carbs? Get bariatric surgery? Go to counseling for food addiction? Eat less sugar? Eat more seeds? Don't eat more seeds? Cut out dairy? Cut out meat? Eat vegan? The answer? I don't fucking know at this point. What I DO know is this. I'm at an all too familiar place at the moment. It's my own little party I'm throwing for myself. A Pity Party- party of 1. I don't intend to drag others into my party, I'm definitely not inviting anyone either. Probably one of the most difficult things about being overweight is the constant feeling of being watched and scrutinized. Going out to eat, you feel like others are watching, and judging every bite I take. Dissecting my food choices, wondering why I picked the white toast over the whole wheat toast. Why I'm eating a chicken leg instead of a breast. You get the picture. Sometimes you just want to eat some fucking cake!
Ok my vent is over. I'm working hard on ending this pity party. It's going to take some work, but I'm hopeful that as I'm getting closer to the new year, more exciting ideas will pop into my mind. I've done this to myself, I can undo it as well.
December of this year marks 11 years since I took the plunge into the world of anti anxiety bliss. From the time I was 8 or 9, I remember being a relatively anxious child. I didn't know at the time, but I know now that I was particularly obsessive and compulsive about things. I now know that what I was experiencing was symptoms of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). For many people, this in and of itself, can be extremely debilitating. Years afterwards, especially during puberty and those awkward adolescent years, I became even more anxious, but now let's add in a little depression to put a cherry on top. I went from therapist to therapist being told that most of my anxiety and issues stemmed from my obesity. Which I had always held ground that it was NOT! It wasn't until I was about 15 that I finally found a therapist who listenend and actually helped.
Fast forward to early 20's and I'm finishing college, about to get married, and take about a billion leaps of faith in life. AHHHHHHHHHH (My spiral downward!) I went to my general practitioner and told her that I was feeling a bit overwhelmed. She wrote me a prescription for Lexapro (anti anxiety/depression med) I tried it and it for maybe 2 days and quit. Why? Because I'm prideful, I'm "strong", and I'm a super woman who doesn't need medication. A year later, doc asks how I'm doing, I tell her I'm better but still on the struggle bus. We talk about Lexapro, and now I leave with a prescription for Paxil. (another anti anxiety/depression med). I took this for about a week, felt completely numb to everything, and my friends asked if I was high because my pupils were as big as my entire eyeball. Again...I stopped the meds. Why? Because I'm prideful, I'm "strong", I'm a super woman, and I started to just not care about anything. (are you seeing the trend here?) Fast forward to May, 2006, when my life changed forever. I just started a new job (literally...it was my first day) , I left for lunch, and I almost didn't make it back. I was hit by a Jeep that was going about 60 in a 35mph zone. The driver hit another car, flew up in the air and landed just inches from crushing the top of my car....and my head. To say I was luck is a complete understatement.
The physical pain I had as a result from this accident, failed in comparison to the mental anguish. Physical: 4th-5th degree whiplash, cervical disc herniation, bulging discs, seatbelt stopped me from going through the windshield (no airbag deployment because I was hit from above) caused my diaphragm to be permanently pushed up into my lung, cracked/missplaced rib, thoracic spine herniation/bulging discs, 3 rounds of steroid epidurals for sciatica and the pain from my herniations, 12 weeks of intense physical therapy, 8 of those weeks I couldn't turn my neck, and much more. To this day, I have so much scar tissue, nerve issues, and many lingering issues from the physical ailments. I was hit so hard , that the bumper flew off the back of my car. The BACK!! For months after my accident, I had nightmares, increased phobias, and an intense, like SUPER intense fear of dying. I became agoraphobic (fear of open spaces), I couldn't be alone because I was so afraid of panic, I constantly worried about my family and friends. Most friends had no idea what I was going through, as I'd make excuses of why I couldn't do things, why I couldn't hang out, etc. Needless to say, I lost friends. I had reoccuring nightmares of my accident, incessant "what if" scenarios played in my mind. What if I hadn't stepped on the breaks when I did, what if I went to another place for lunch, what if I hadn't accepted that job offer....the list goes on. I couldn't sleep, and I remember when I did fall asleep, I had hoped and prayed that I wouldn't wake up. I was the only person who walked away from my vehicle that day, while the others survived, I was the only one not taken out of my car with the jaws of life. I finally reached my breaking point in December that year.
I started a new adventure and I have so much to talk about! For now I will talk about a couple of incidents that occurred that left me with questioning what do I do now???
I was watching the documentary on Netflix called What the Health (it's good, you should watch it), and I started to question so many things! If you've read my blog in the past, you will know that I was a vegetarian for many years. If you haven't read it, you can find it here: www.mommybehealthy.com/mommy-be-healthy/that-time-i-was-a-vegetarian I've never tried a fully plant based diet though. While watching this documentary it sparked memories of 2 events that happened to me at the doctor's office. The first was about almost 9 years ago when I found out I was insulin resistant. I remember getting a call from the doctors office and having to go in and go over my results. I sat in the office asking the doctor a million and 1 questions, NONE of which she could really give me good answers on. The main question I asked what how can I help it. Basically she told me to not eat as many carbs and start taking Metformin (insulin regulating medicine). I remember leaving out of there with a sense of emptiness, and a million questions spinning in my head. I thought What do I do now???
I'm a HUGE promoter of advocating for yourself especially when it comes to your health. I did the first thing I could think of and went to the library. I found books on insulin resistance, syndrome X, and pre-diabetes. I checked out every book I could find on the subject and read them, took notes, studied them like my life depended on it (it kind of did). The one thing I found was that if you have insulin resistance, your body will crave carbs, but to help insulin resistance you have to severely limit carbs. Can we say "damned if you do , damned if you don't?" I remember going back to my doctor for a check up and talked to her about all I had found out and told her if she could suggest maybe a nutritionist or someone she trusted to help me. She shrugged her shoulders and said she'd refer me to the American Diabetes Association Website for recipes, and ideas and articles. Again.....I read the articles, I became more and more understanding of what exactly my body was doing, and I kept on taking my metformin. Kept on exercising, kept on eating "healthy" and kept on constantly craving carbs. Viscious cycle all over again. In the interim I visited with personal trainers, nutritionists etc that I had found through my own scouring and gleamed whatever I could from them.
The second time I had that question of What do I do now? was when I was seeing my cardiologist (I have an enlarged heart and palpitations), and he said to me that I needed to lose weight. Well...duh, I didn't really need a doctor to tell me this but ok. I explained to him my struggle with PCOS and insulin resistance, I explained to him my struggle with finding a reputable nutritionist who has dealt with someone like me. I then asked him if he could recommend someone to see. His response......"Well we don't really do that, but I can get you the website for the American Heart Association" *Facepalm* I AGAIN left out of that office not knowing what the hell I was going to do. I guess it was just back to the drawing board of reinventing myself, of educating myself etc. A few months later I went back for a check up and he suggested to me to consult with a weight loss surgeon for bariatric surgery. All the while, in my mind I'm thinking to myself....that will not educate me in changing my habits, it will not educate me in understanding my body, but it will help me lose weight. I started looking into the process and while looking into the process, I self educated myself more and more on the human body, they physiology of how it works, and what will help me.
It wasn't until recently that I found a great nutritionist who actually listened to me and treated me as a whole person and not just as another fatty who walked in to see her. She listened to all of the things I had tried and failed at, and what my main struggles were. I also started training with an amazing trainer who treated me again as a whole person. A couple of months ago, I wanted to start sharing with others more of my story and I wanted to try and impact others on a grander scale. I decided to become a health coach. Can you imagine? Me? a Health coach? I know... I said the same thing at first, until I found the answer. How in the world can someone who is plus sized become a health coach. Well for me, the answer was simple. I've spent many many years being passed around from doctor to doctor, I've spent nearly my whole life struggling with my weight and health issues, BUT I finally am at a point, in my mid 30's, where I feel the healthiest I've ever been. I've educated myself, I've motivated myself, and I now want to do the same for others. If I can do it, anyone can. I want you to do it with me. We can become the best we can be together! So if you are wondering "What do I do now?" The answer is, contact me. I will be your personal cheerleader to help you get where you need to be.
Alright, let's take a moment and talk about activity trackers. Years ago I was watching the Dr. Oz show and I saw him talking about the original Fitbit that came out and I wanted it!!!!! I had been using pedometers for years and always wanting to hit those 10,000 steps everyone talks about. I don't know what it was about the Fitbit in particular that made it so appealing to me, but for the next couple of years I kept promising myself that I would invest in one.
Fast forward to a couple of years after my first encounter with seeing a Fitbit on TV I am trying this and that fad diets plans still, but of course not getting anywhere. I also at this point had invested in about 100 pedometers that I had lost. It got to a point where I was going around constantly searching for where my pedometer fell off in the grass, in the car, at my work desk, in the kitchen, bathroom etc. It also annoyed the ever loving crap out of me that most times when I sat down in a chair, the pedometer would hit the chair and reset itself!!! ALL those steps were lost. *queue sad music*. Finally in 2014 I felt that I owed it to myself to finally purchase the beloved Fitbit that I had been wanting for years now. I took the leap of faith and bought one. It was the absolute BEST birthday present I gave myself....EVER!!! I first bought the Flex, which was very basic. I upgraded the following year to a Charge, which was awesome because it had some fancier features, like bluetooth (text messages, calls etc would display) , and it just looked cool. Finally this year I upgraded to an Alta. I absolutely love my Alta the best.
For me, it's been very accurate in tracking my activity. It helps me stay moving throughout the day. I have a desk job, so sometimes you forget to get up and stretch those legs. Every hour it buzzes to remind me to get up and walk. Also, it has a silent alarm that I use for morning wake ups. It buzzes on my arm, and gently wakes me up from my sleep. It beats the heck out of the BONK BONK BONK!!!! of traditional alarm clocks, and the crazy sounds that come out of my phone alarms. It also tracks how many hours I sleep, am awake during the night, and how restless I am. This has been awesome because I realize that the mornings I'm really exhausted and think I didn't sleep well, I have the validation from my Fitbit tracking to tell me that I really didn't sleep well, what times I was restless and how long the total was. I've been able to take that information over time and find what might be triggering a poorer night's sleep than others. Therefore, my Fitbit definitely helps me get better night's sleep. The last and most awesome thing about Fitbit, is you can join challenges with others who have them and this has by far been the best motivator. After 2.5 years, I'm still participating in weekly, daily, and special challenges.
If you've been on the fence about getting an activity tracker, jump off that fence, get to your computer and order one!! Below is the link to Amazon where you can purchase a few of my favorites. If you don't need too many bells and whistles, the Flex is a cheaper more basic option. If you want a little bit bigger display, then go with a Charge model, but if you want sleekness and a smaller,less flashy design, I'd recommend the Alta, which is what I currently have.
I don't have time, I can't keep up ,kids have practice, I'm too tired, It's useless.......These are just a handful of excuses I've made for myself to not plan ahead with my food choices. I always think it's just too much work. I'm so dead wrong when I think that! It's just me getting inside my own head trying to psych myself out, and it's doing nothing but setting me up for failure.
I've found that planning ahead of time is the key to my success thus far. If you are prepared for various situations, you will be able to stop yourself from falling into poor eating traps. Last weekend I brought a protein bar with me to a birthday party to eat in lieu of cake. I started eating the bar right before "Happy Birthday" was sung, and I was able to resist the temptation to eat the cake. I went to lunch with co-workers on Friday, and I planned out my meal prior to going. I knew exactly what I was going to get prior to going to the restaurant, I made sure not to let my mind change and waver to something else (which most likely would have been a spur of the moment, I'm super hungry, give me whatever, type of choice). Instead I stuck to my guns and ordered what I planned.
I've also made Sunday my meal prep days. I grocery shop, and I plan what I will have for the week ahead. I make sure I always have ready made salads on hand, protein bars, almonds, and Greek yogurt, on hand for quick and easy snacks. Plain, non fat, Greek yogurt with a table spoon of granola has actually been satisfying to my sweet tooth. I make up snack bags with a variety of nuts and seeds for quick healthy snacks. I also put in a teaspoon of mini dark chocolate chips in the snack bags for a little chocolate fix.
One things I've been looking for is something to satisfy my chocolate cravings. I mean, what woman doesn't crave chocolate??? One thing I bought recently was cacao nibs. What are cacao nibs? They are essentially raw chocolate. They are the result of taking the cocoa bean and processing it to the point where the next steps would be to make it into a chocolate bar. They are super good for you and they actually taste good. They are more for the bitter chocolate lover (I love dark chocolate), but despite them being yummy, they have a lot of health benefits. Here's an article with some of the benefits laid out: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/08/02/cacao-nibs_n_3695571.html
Here's to another week of success!! Please feel free to share your tips and tricks about prepping meals/snacks etc in the forum.
Some pictures from my food prep from this week :)
A common phrase I hear in relation to health journeys is "What's your Why?". I finally sat down to take a deeper dive into what exactly that phrase means to me. Two and a half years ago I started on a journey to bettering my physical and mental health. There was an obvious turning point that lead me to get super serious about the state I was in, but was that my why?
Over 2 years ago, my beautiful princesses gave me the weight loss wake up call I desperately needed. The weeks leading up to my wake up call, my oldest had been making comments about what things could help me lose weight, "Mommy, maybe if you do this" or "Mommy, I just want you to be healthy". She had mentioned something prior regarding me trying to go onto a TV show as well. While watching TV, an ad for Weight Watchers came on and my oldest looked at me and said "Mommy, I think that might work for you!" These were profound statements coming from a 6 year old. It wasn't until about a week later, my princesses were playing on the iPad and asking Siri questions, and the question that came out of my little princesses mouth hit me like a ton of bricks. "Siri, why is my mommy so fat?" to which my oldest adds "but she's such a nice , really really nice mommy" Ummm......can we say OUCH! I realized in that moment, while trying to be the best mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend etc that I can be, I forgot somewhere along the way to take care of me. I pride myself on how healthy my kids are, and I find myself always saying to others "If I ate the same way my kids do, I would be skinny!"
While these scenarios were hurtful, the thing that made them hurtful was that they were true. I decided at that moment to take charge of my life. It's been 2.5 years, and I'm still working on goals. What I've realized along the way is , there's no finish line. This is an ongoing process, this is a forever process. I'm working daily to continually battle issues that might side track me, but I'm also progressing. Even if it's sometimes 2 steps forward 5 steps back, the most important things is to keep going. Giving up is not an option, I'm on an adventure to become the best me I can be. So what is my why? I don't think anyone has just one why that gets them going, but rather, your WHY is a combination of tons of smaller whys. My wellbeing, my mental state, my physical comfort, my kids, my confidence are all just some of my whys to make up my WHY.
So tell me, what is your WHY?
I've spent almost a year and a half now on this journey, and I'm nowhere near where I'd thought I would be. I gave myself a goal and wanted to reach it within a year. Whelp......that certainly didn't happen, but guess what??? I DID finally hit 30 lbs lost!! *Happy Dance* I've made quite a few changes the past month, which I was scared to do, but have actually helped.
The first change I made was I added back gluten to my diet. I had initially given up all breads, pastas, rice, potatoes, etc in July of 2015. I mainly did this in hopes of cutting down on inflammation in my body, and specifically to help with my heart palpitations, or PVCs. After 10 months with minimal to no real improvements to my palpitations, it started to become clear to me, that this was not the answer. Also, I found giving up gluten made me crave more sugary things. I had NEVER been much of a sugar eater, I was always a bread and pasta addict, but cutting those out for nearly a year drove me to sugar. I found that I was eating more calories in sugar than I should have been . The second change I made was, I started eating more calories. I had been consistently eating around 1100- 1250 maximum calories in a day for over a year. I've bumped this up to about 1400 per day. Another change is, I stopped working with a trainer. I wasn't seeing the results I had hoped for , and the time and money commitment was more than I was willing to continue to sacrifice for 0 results. After making these changes, I FINALLY hit 30 lbs lost.
I've learned so many things over the past year and a half. I've learned how to become extremely patient with myself. I've learned that physical and mental changes are equally important. Both changes do not come quickly and there's not a timeline to the changes. What works for me may not work for you and vice versa. I cannot honestly tell you that logging food will guarantee you success, but it might. I cannot honestly tell you that giving up carbs, sugar, and everything you might love to eat will guarantee your success, but it might. What I can tell you is, you are an individual, you aren't comparable to anyone else, your goals will be accomplished as long as you don't give up. While it may take me 10 years to get where I wanted to be in 1, I'm not stopping now.
Hello ladies....guys, you may want to skip out on this blog as it will talk about hormones, and hormones, oh....and hormones...you have been forewarned. *evil laugh*
Ok, now that I've gotten the disclaimer out of the way, I will proceed. The past couple of months have been very trying on my motivation. Over a year ago I took off on this journey, and in that time period, I've seen others lose, and lose, and lose, and reach goals, surpass goals, and lose some more....meanwhile, I'm stuck here at 29lbs lost. While to most that might seem like an accomplishment, however, given the amount of work I'm putting in, I'm definitely not getting the results a normal person would get. When I say normal, I mean someone without PCOS. What is PCOS? Great question! Other than being a beotch, it's one of the most common endocrine disorders in women. Women may experience a multitude of symptoms as a direct result of this disorder. Some symptoms include: infertility, cystic acne, excess hair growth on the face, menstrual irregularity (lack of menstruation, excessive menstruation) , obesity, depression, anxiety, type 2 diabetes, and the list goes on. Overall, it's an absolute pain in the rear to deal with. Not all women experience the same symptoms, but for me, I do have the following: insulin resistance, thinning hair, cystic acne, skin tags, migraines, anxiety, heart palpitations, obesity (obviously) , excessive cycle lengths (2 weeks out of a month, EVERY MONTH!), high cholesterol, high triglycerides, and I could go on...but I will spare you !
I guess I was diagnosed around the age of 17, and placed on birth control pills to help with my horrible monthly cycles. I remained on the pill for about 8 years, which is when I became pregnant with my first daughter. I was absolutely thrilled that I could even get pregnant, seeing as how I was told by multiple doctors that I would have to use fertility drugs to assist in pregnancy. Shortly after having her, I was diagnosed with insulin resistance. I had such an incredibly difficult time losing weight. I was put on Metformin (a drug to help your body regulate insulin levels, usually prescribed to type 2 diabetics). I've been taking the med every since then, continuing over the years to try to lose weight, fail , give up and start the vicious cycle again. I've not been on birth control since my second child, mainly due to the fear of blood clots. I'm already at a high risk with my obesity, as well as, family history of stroke, but I'm seriously considering going back to them. It will help 3 things for me, my acne, my cycles, and my excess heart palpitations from my hormone fluctuations. To put a visual on weight loss for someone with PCOS, it's like this: Imagine the steepest hill you can think of, now imagine you're climbing up that hill, with roller skates on, now make the hill a muddy hill.....it's pretty hard to climb up isn't it?
Am I frustrated? Oh hell yeah!!! I've worked much too hard, and have sacrificed too much to go back now. I'm in for the long haul, and while I may get repeatedly frustrated, I have to bounce back. It's a fight I'm much too stubborn to lose.
It's only Tuesday , and this week has already exhausted me! Over the weekend I decided to be adventurous and finally try a recipe I've been wanting to attempt. There are days I crave chocolate like there's no tomorrow, and most recipes I find to try, I adapt in some way to make it the way I like. The recipe I tried comes from a great blog site that I've been following for many years, chocolatecoveredkatie.com/. I was super excited to try her recipe for unbaked brownies. Her recipe can be found here: http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2016/03/07/the-ultimate-unbaked-brownies-raw-vegan/
Sunday morning rolls around and I decided that was the day to make these delicious looking bad boys. I had all of the ingredients at home, except for walnuts. I used what I had instead, which was almonds. A few years back, I bought a Vitamix. I absolutely LOVE my Vitamix and use it almost as much as I use my muffin tins. I've been able to chop, puree, and pulverize just about anything. Well....Sunday morning my Vitamix met it's match! DATES! Of all things, who knew these sweet, innocent , overgrown raisin-looking , sweet pieces of fruit could be so evil!! I poured 1 cup in the Vitamix at a time, the first cup went smoothly. The second cup...not so much. I began smelling the sweet aroma of the dates, mixed with the stench of an over worked piece of plastic. After about 30 minutes of fighting with my Vitamix to hold on for one more minute while the dates were fully pulverized, I gave up. I figured the dates were squished enough, I should just get started on the almonds. I mixed the almonds in a food processor, with the remainder of the ingredients, and then added all to the date mixture, and mixed by hand. Once thoroughly mixed, I moved the mixture to a greased glass container, and proceeded on the topping. This was much , MUCH easier, considering the drama that ensued with the dates. This was my final product (WARNING, it looks NOTHING like what I was hoping for, but I'm sure that's just user error)
So next was the taste test . While they didn't look how I had hoped, they have to taste decent right? For me, they tasted like......dates that had cocoa powder and almonds mixed in them, and they were far from tasting like anything remotely like a brownie. I decided to do the ultimate taste test and let the kids try. They were eager to see what the end result would be. My little princess took a bite , made a face like someone had just passed a serious amount of gas, and then proceeded to the garbage can to spit out her bite. She then handed me the napkin that had the remaining piece in it, and said "that's ok, I'm not hungry". My older princess, the seemingly more diplomatic one took a bite, smiled, and said "oh wow these are good!" I said "really?!?!" the excitement swelled in my voice as I thought , YAY I did it! 1/2 of the kids like it, that's a win in my book.....Then she answered my excited "really?!?!" with an empathetic...."Well, honestly, I've eaten cardboard that tasted better than this" and she proceeded to walk to the trash can and spit out the remnants of her bite. Back to the drawing board.....Let me know if you are , have , or will be trying this recipe. I'd love to see others results! Until next time!