I have a confession to make: this summer I slacked off on my workouts. I have talked before about my workout system that consists of a combination of cardio and strength training. I try to exercise six days a week, changing it up every other day. One day I focus on cardio and and the next I do less cardio and focus on weights and resistance, then repeat for six days, taking Saturdays off. (This is my personal plan and not right for everyone). This past summer I did a whole lot of running and walking and a whole lot less of the weights! I kept thinking I was still working out so I would be fine. Then I stepped on a scale a few weeks ago. Ouch! Five pounds had crept on and it was time to do something about it!
Now I am not advocating that anyone should judge themselves based on a number on a scale. It is only a number and not reflective of who you are. Unfortunately we get too caught up in these numbers and identify our self worth based on them. I know I am so much more than a number on a scale or on a tag in my clothes. I also know I want to stay within a five pound range in order to keep feeling my best. That gives me the flexibility to have small slip ups and still stay on track. When I was above the upper number I did not beat myself up or go into a depression. Instead I told myself it was time to get serious! I knew my eating habits had not changed drastically nor had my cardio exercise. What changed was my lack of lifting weights and challenging my muscles with some resistance. I signed up with a personal trainer to reboot my work outs.
This is my path to get back on track. Have you gotten away from your plan to meet your goals or to maintain healthy living? Only you can figure out the best way to get back on course. With the holidays fast approaching this is the best time to make a plan that you can live with before it gets tougher to find your way back. Remember that saying: Four months from now you will be so glad you started today!
Confession time is over. This is just between us, right?
I feel that part of being successful in eating healthy is not depriving yourself of a few indulgences. To be clear, eating a bag of Oreos is NOT what I am talking about! As a matter of fact, I do not like to have any highly processed, store bought sweets in the house. I prefer to control the ingredients in my choices of indulgences. I developed this recipe after reading a posting for vegan black bean brownies. I have been in the habit of adding a scoop of carob powder to my French press coffee maker to bump up my antioxidants and add more calcium to my diet. I decided to try it in these brownies. Carob has a distinct flavor. It is used as a substitute for chocolate, but it does not taste like chocolate. I enjoy the flavor but if you don’t, you could use cocoa powder instead. I also used turbinado sugar because it is less processed than regular table sugar and I feel the stronger flavor allows me to use less and still get a nice sweetness. (I have been doing a lot of reading about sugars. Look for a blog about that soon!). Adding black beans to your chocolate desserts is a great way to get some extra fiber and protein and to feel satisfied with less because they are so filling. I promise that these brownies do not taste like a black bean quesadilla gone wrong! They are fudgy, chewy delights!
Vegan Black Bean Carob Brownies
1 cup all-purpose flour
8 Tablespoons carob powder
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup turbinado sugar (a.k.a. raw sugar)
1 15-ounce can organic black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup non-dairy, unsweetened milk of choice (I used organic, unsweetened almond)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (or vanilla)