Goji Cacao Bites

I know you’ve missed me. I’m sorry I’ve been spending very little time with you lately, it’s just I’ve gotten so busy with work and other obligations…I know, a pathetic excuse. The only way left to show you how sorry I am is with chocolate.

All is forgiven? Fantastic! I knew you couldn’t stay mad at me for long.

I’ll get the cons of this recipe out of the way, if you want to call them that. The first thing you should know is that these little guys need to stored in the fridge or freezer, or this happens:

Granted, these were sitting outside in 95 degree temperatures for several minutes while I took pictures. They won’t melt like that in your house (unless your house is 95 degrees, and I’ve been there…), but they will definitely soften. Coconut oil is not to be trusted and will melt at just above room temperature, so these must be cold. The great part is that they don’t taste or feel very cold, even if stored in the freezer. Even when “frozen” they’re still soft quite an enjoyably edible texture, almost just like a cool, firm but melty inside of Lindt chocolate truffle, only…different. Apparently it’s all very hard for me to describe accurately, so it’s probably best if you try it out for yourself.

Second “con” of this recipe: ingredients. If you want these to be superfood chocolate bites, you need to have actual superfoods on hand. And they’re not cheap, either. Organic raw cacao powder, organic dried goji berries, and raw, unfiltered, local honey are all classified as superfoods, meaning they’re chock-full of crazy nutritional power! However, their inexpensive, processed alternatives (baking cocoa powder, dried cranberries, processed honey) are on the opposite end of the superfood spectrum and contain little or no nutritional benefits. I don’t know about you, but I want the power! That’s the whole point of these babies! Coconut oil is irreplaceable, too (and full of health benefits). If you don’t believe me, try using olive oil and you’ll see what I mean.

It’s all pros after that. These will satisfy any chocolate craving and are just bursting with all kinds of amazing nutrients. If you’ve already invested in some of these superfoods and were wondering what to do with them, well, it’s Becky to the rescue! And did I mention that these are super simple to whip up? I think you’ll agree that it feels great to feed your sweet tooth (or chocoholism) with something so wonderfully healthy!

Don’t believe that chocolate can be so incredibly good for you? Check out some the health benefits of raw honey, raw cacao, and goji berries. And though not technically a superfood, cashews are mighty good for you, too!

Let the chocolate-eating commence.

 Goji Cacao Bites

1/3 cup virgin coconut oil
1/3 cup raw cacao powder
2 T raw, local honey
3 T chopped raw cashews (I love them salted for this recipe)
3 T chopped dried goji berries
1/4 t pure vanilla extract
1/8 t pure stevia powder (or more, for added sweetness. If you don’t have stevia, add more honey if it’s not sweet enough for you)
1 T raw coconut butter (optional, keeps it from getting melty longer)
A few cranks of sea salt (optional – a must for me!)

Heat the coconut oil and coconut butter (if using) in the microwave until just melted. Stir in the cacao powder, honey, vanilla, stevia and sea salt until smooth. Pour into some sort of mold – I used an ice cube tray for the first batch and mini cupcake liners for the second (you may notice a lack of cashews in the second batch because, unfortunately, I ran out). I also poured some into a plastic dish shaped like a candy bar and now have a big ol’ chocolate bar in the fridge. Awesome. Sprinkle on the goji berries and cashews, put them in the freezer, and let harden for at least an hour. You now have a week’s worth of healthy chocolate for whenever the craving hits! JOY!

The plan is the get back to our regularly scheduled programming around here. As I mentioned, both Elesha and I have been insanely busy lately, and something very exciting has happened: I got a new job! What’s even more exciting about it is that Elesha is the one who informed me about the job opening and we now both work at the same law firm! It’s awesome to work for the same company, even if we are in different cities. We talk and email constantly and see each other at least once a week – it’s great! We’ll keep you posted on what’s going on behind the scenes. We’re apologize for our absence and hope you’ll stick around – there’s more to come! In the meantime, be healthy and eat your chocolate. :)

~ Becky, a skinnyfat girl

Italian Seitan Sausages

If you’ve been hesitant about experimenting with homemade veggie meat thus far, I suggest you take the plunge and give this recipe a try. It’s delicious and you won’t believe how easily and quickly it all comes together. Super simple – great for beginners. And it’s really tough to screw up seitan, so you’re practically guaranteed success. These are spicy, flavorful, and the hubs goes bonkers over them. You’re gonna love ‘em, too.

This recipe is taken from Post Punk Kitchen, a great vegan recipe resource. I left out the beans because I didn’t have any cooked, but I’m anxious to add them and amp up the nutritional value. I simply subbed extra vital wheat gluten and nutritional yeast for the beans and it worked perfectly. I also took out the fennel seed because I’m not a fan. These are going to be wrapped in foil and steamed, so you’ll need some sort of steaming apparatus. I have a rice maker/steamer that works really well.

Italian Seitan Sausages
Original recipe found here

Ingredients

1 cup vegetable broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce (I use Bragg’s liquid aminos)
1 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Several dashes fresh black pepper

Instructions

First, get your steamer ready by bringing the water to a full boil.

Have ready 4 square sheets of tin foil. In a medium bowl, mix dry ingredients together. In another bowl, stir together the broth, olive oil, and soy sauce and mix with the dry ingredients. Divide dough into 4 even parts (an easy way to do this: split the dough in half and then into quarters). Place one part of dough into tin foil and mold into about a 5 inch log.

I realize the resemblance to dog vomit here is unmistakable. I won’t deny that (unfortunately, I’ve seen my fair share of the stuff lately). But don’t let that deter you! When they’re done they’ll be perfectly cute sausages. Wrap dough in tin foil, like a tootsie roll.

Place wrapped sausages in steamer and steam for 40 minutes. That’s it! You can unwrap and enjoy immediately or refrigerate until ready to use.

~ Becky, a skinnyfat girl

Get Well Salad

I don’t know about you, but I don’t get sick. Never, not ever. So we’re gonna call whatever I’m experiencing this weekend simply me “feeling under the weather”. That works for me. I will admit to sickness when I’m throwing up, hacking up a lung, or delirious with fever. I’m not any of those things today. Still, it’s really no fun feeling under the weather. I slept ’til 10, woke up, made breakfast, and went back to bed ’til 2. Probably sounds like the average weekend for high school students, but I’m generally up and at ‘em at 8 on Sunday morning. Also, my nose is raw and red from wiping all the stuff that won’t stop pouring out of it. TMI maybe, but that’s what’s happening around here. And did I mention my head feels like it’s going to explode at any moment? Yuck.

For dinner, I decided the smartest thing would be to throw all of the healthiest, vitamin-rich, healing foods in my kitchen in a bowl. I have a sneaking suspicion that I’ll feel like superwoman in the morning!

Get Well Salad
Serves 1 under-the-weather person

Ingredients:
2 cups chopped kale
1/2 cup purple cabbage, chopped thin
1/3 cup shredded carrot
1 small granny smith apple, cored and sliced thin
1/4 cup slivered almonds

Dressing:
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 very small clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp minced ginger
1.5 tsp raw local honey
1.5 T freshly squeezed orange juice

Make the dressing first by combining all ingredients. Let it sit for about 10 minutes and strain, discarding the ginger and garlic pulp. Combine all salad ingredients and toss with dressing. Serve immediately.


~ Becky, a skinnyfat girl

Cocomocha Brownie Sundae

It’s Sunday.  Incidentally, I am also posting a recipe for a sundae.  Coincidence?  I should think so, since sundaes aren’t just for Sunday, they are for every day of the week!  Of course, if you must use Sunday as your excuse, by all means.  You can also use the fact that these sundaes are about as easy to make as sandwiches.  So would you like a sandwich or a sundae today?  What a dilemma!  I can promise when you have this decadence melting in your mouth, you will not be thinking about how much you wished you’d opted for a sandwich.  As a matter of fact, you will likely forget all other foods exist.

The inspiration for this sundae is the The Deathstar sundae that Becky and I adore from a local vegan spot, Spiral Diner

So what would a sundae be without ice cream?  Well, in this case, it would be just a brownie.  Good, but not the best.

Coco Cocoa Ice Cream (no ice cream maker required)

  • 1 can coconut milk (full fat)
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder (I used raw cocao powder)
  • 2-3 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract or vanilla

Mix ingredients together and freeze. 

I suggest that you keep some of this ice cream in your freezer at all times.  I mean who really wants to wait for ice cream to freeze every time you feel like a decadent treat?  I sure don’t.

The next step is to make the brownie, of course.  This is my favorite part of the recipe because it takes less than 5 minutes to make and then it’s ready to eat!  Yep, it’s the truth.

Microwave Brownie in a Bowl

  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon oil or butter (I like to use coconut oil)
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (I prefer it, but you can also use vanilla)
  • 2-3 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1 dash salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder (I used raw cacao powder for this as well)
  • 1/4 cup white wheat flour

Mix together liquid ingredients then add dry ingredients. 

Mix well and pour batter into an oiled microwave-safe bowl or cup. 

Microwave for 1 to 1-1/2 minutes.

Now if you have decided to make this and don’t have the patience to wait for the ice cream, I completely understand.  I too was faced with a similar dilemma.  I cracked.

It was definitely delicious straight out of the bowl without the ice cream.

The second time I made it, the ice cream was ready, so I got to enjoy the entire package, which was even better. 

Cocomocha Sundae

  • Coco Cocoa Ice Cream
  • Microwave Brownie in a Bowl
  • 1/4 cup espresso or coffee
  • Whipped cream (coconut, preferred)  – optional

You’ll want to transfer the brownie from the bowl you microwaved it in to another serving dish.

Top the brownie with ice cream and whipped cream.

All that’s left is to pour that espresso on top and let your taste buds have at it! 

I had this sundae about three separate times in the past week.  You know, only because I wanted to perfect the process and all. 

Yeah, right.

~Elesha, a skinnyfat girl

Wasabi Tofu Salad

It has certainly been an interesting spring thus far. Temperatures had already reached 90 degrees in March, Tuesday brought at least 14 tornadoes to our area, and because there was no winter, the bugs all stayed alive and there are giant flying things taking over my LIFE. Last night I went to lay in bed and found a dead earwig. I threw it away, went to lay down again and found an inchworm crawling across my pillow. What is going on?!?

But there are beautiful things happening, too. Yesterday I took a leisurely walk at sunset across our expansive, freshly-mowed lawn with the puppies trailing behind me chasing butterflies. It was as perfect as a picture. The big tree out front is already almost completely green and surrounded by irises in full bloom – the perfect setting for Sunday morning brunch. Strawberries are back in season again and I’ve been feasting on them with reckless abandon. Elesha and I have been basking in each other’s company regularly, sharing dreams and possibilities and gelato. Oh, and I’ve made some life-changing discoveries: 100% cocoa butter as a skin moisturizer and lip balm that works wonders, delicious and UHHMAAAZING Chocolove dark chocolate bars that contain just three organic ingredients, and Dr. Bronner’s soap.

Ooh ooh ooh, and this salad!

I’m always excited about a new salad. You’ll notice we have a growing list of salads under the recipes tab, and I’m just tickled to be adding another. This is much more hearty than an average side salad, and because it contains tofu and rice, I consider it a meal all by itself. Salad as an entree? Yes, please. Salad with wasabi? Mmmhmmmmmmm.

Wasabi Tofu Salad
Adapted from this recipe (just barely, and I highly recommend the original recipe as it is quite tasty as well!)

Ingredients
1/2 cup wild rice

14 oz. block extra firm tofu
2 tsp. coconut oil
2 tsp. soy sauce or Braggs liquid aminos
fresh ground pepper

4 cups chopped kale
1 cup shaved carrots
2 cups broccoli, cut into very small pieces
3 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
Handful of chopped cilantro
Handful of thinly sliced green onion

Wasabi Dressing

1 – 2 tsp wasabi paste (available at large grocery stores)
2 Tbsp. agave nectar or brown rice syrup
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 T white vinegar
1/4 cup minced white onion
Juice of half an orange
Freshly grated ginger (optional)

Instructions:

1. Start by cooking your rice, because that takes longest. I use a ricemaker, which makes this step really quick and easy.

2. Cut your tofu into 1-inch slices and press between paper towels until most of the water is absorbed. You want to get the moisture out so more flavor will be sucked in. Then chop the tofu into cubes.  Heat the coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat and sauté the tofu until crispy, 5 – 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Once crispy, sprinkle with the liquid aminos or soy sauce and sauté until it has dried up and the tofu is golden. Take the pan off the burner, add a few twists of fresh black pepper, and set aside.

3. Wash, chop, and prepare your vegetables and toast your sesame seeds for just a few minutes over low medium heat.

4. Whisk together the dressing ingredients.

5. By this time your rice should be finished. Combine all ingredients and serve immediately, while tofu is still crispy. Yum!

~ Becky, a skinnyfat girl

Seitan Gyros with Whole Wheat Pita

For the past month or so, the hubby and I can’t seem to get enough Greek food into our systems.  I guess it all started when we had the most amazing hummus at a tiny Mediterranean restaurant near our home.  It’s all I can think about!  Fortunately, hummus is fairly easy to make and so is whole wheat pita, otherwise we’d be going broke right now! 

Since Becky already posted the World Creamiest Hummus, I won’t be giving you another hummus recipe, though I will mention that I like adding Greek yogurt to the aforementioned.  However, I don’t want to just give you the pita recipe and be done with it (even though the pita is definitely delicious enough to eat on its own).  Therefore, I’ve decided to make seiten gyros! 

I’m not going to give you a specific seitan recipe as they all tend to follow the same basics.  Feel free to use your favorite recipe or Becky’s version.  The main differences between recipes are how you season them and you should feel free to do this however you like.  Once you’ve cooked or boiled the seitan, cut it into thin strips, as thin as humanly possible.  I would have tried using a cheese peeler, if only I had one.  You can crisp them on a frying pan with some olive oil, if you so desire.  Here is what mine looked like when I was done.

The whole wheat pita could not be simpler.

Whole Wheat Pita

Preheat oven to 500 F

  • 4 cups whole white wheat flour (or whole wheat pastry)
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/4 cup warm water

Sift 2 cups of the flour and the yeast into a mixing bowl.  Stir the warm water and salt into the flour gradually.  Once water and flour have mixed add the final cups of flour.  Knead the dough until flour has mixed in completely.

Form dough into small balls and roll flat with a rolling-pin.

Place the pitas straight onto your oven grill and let bake until they puff up. 

It only takes a short amount of time for the puffing to occur (less than 2 minutes), so turn your oven light on and watch it. 

Once the pitas have puffed up, take them out of the oven and let cool.

While you’re waiting, you can whip up some delicious garlic cream sauce.

Garlic Cream Sauce

  • 1/2 can full fat coconut cream (it’s best if you use a can that you can’t hear the liquid in it when you shake it.  That means it’s creamed up and ready to go)
  • 2-3 roasted garlic cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon guar gum (if not thick enough)

Blend ingredients in your blender or food processor.  I will warn you, if you use your food processor, be sure to cover up the hole on top, otherwise you will have a mess on your hands. 

Once the pitas have cooled down, cut in half and expand the pocket if  not completely hollow.  Stuff the pitas with seitan and top with your garlic cream or hummus. 

Yum!

~Elesha, a skinnyfat girl

Spicy Roasted Potatoes with Collard Greens and Thyme

Although I cook nearly every day, I only use my oven about once a week. Most of our meals are either made on the stovetop, griddle, or aren’t cooked at all. See, the hubs and I are thrifty, and if I’m going to use enough electricity (a.k.a money) to heat my oven for an hour it’s gotta be totally worth it.

Some things that are totally worth it:

Creamy Roasted Tomato Soup.

Chocolate Chip Blondies.

Homemade Focaccia Bread.

Roasted Garlic Parmesan Toast.

And now this.

Potatoes all by their lonesome are one of the tastiest veggies out there, but the addition of sweet potatoes, red onions, greens, fresh herbs, and a kick of spicy serrano take this dish to a whole new level. It really irks me is when people give potatoes a bad rep; a potato is not equal to a french fry in nutritional value! Potatoes are actually a good source of vitamin B6, vitamin C, copper, potassium, manganese, fiber, and also contain phytonutrients that have antioxidant activity. That should shut the potato-haters up!

And don’t even get me started on collard greens…good grief. After king kale, they’re the most nutrient-dense leafy green out there. Just a cup of these bad boys provide you with – wait for it – a whopping 1,045% of your daily value of Vitamin K and 308% of your daily value of Vitamin A. Collard greens actually contain over 80 nutrients! 80!!! I enjoy them in salads and green juice often, but this is the most flavorful way I’ve ever eaten them.

In fact, I’ve been roasting up this recipe at least once a week since I found it. It’s so simple to put together, delicious, nutritious, and filling…yep, all the makings of a great meal! Oh, PLUS – you get to use fresh thyme, which is an added flavor bonus to any meal. Just a winner of a recipe any way you look at it.

Roasted Potatoes with Collards and Thyme
Recipe adapted from My New Roots (one of my top five favorite blogs!)

4 medium red potatoes, diced into 1/2” pieces (leave the skin on) 
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2” pieces 
2 medium red onions, sliced
1/2 bunch of collard greens, stems removed and chopped into small pieces
2 – 3 T olive oil
1-2 tsp minced serrano pepper (optional if you’re not a fan of spicy food)
2 cloves of garlic, pressed or minced
1 tsp minced fresh thyme
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Heat oven to 400 F.

2. Place diced potato, sweet potato and shallot in a mixing bowl, breaking up the shallot rings just a bit. Toss with oil, sea salt and a couple pinches of ground black pepper. The potatoes should be glistening and evenly coated.

3. Spread evenly on a baking sheet (I like to use parchment paper for easy clean up) and roast for 30 – 40 minutes, tossing once after about 15 minutes.

4. When the potatoes have about 5 minutes left, heat a little butter or olive oil in a large saucepan or skillet over medium-low heat. Add garlic and serrano, if using, and let it cook until fragrant, but not browned, 1-2 minutes.

5. By this time your potatoes should be done. Remove from the oven and add to pan with oil, garlic, and serrano, giving it a quick stir. Throw the collard greens on top, raise heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally until greens begins to wilt but are still bright green. Add thyme and let cook 1 minute more. Feel free to add other fresh herbs if you’ve got them. Serve and enjoy!

Vitamin K never tasted soooo good.

~ Becky, a skinnyfat girl

Amaretto Strawberry Pudding

Make that Amaretto Strawberry Coconut Pudding.

Don’t you love simple and fast recipes?  These days, where it seems like I need to schedule time to breathe, they are precisely what I need.  This recipe is simple, fast, healthy, and delicious.

What you need:

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk (I suggest you buy a few cans, put them in the fridge unopened, and forget about them for while.  When you decide to use them, the liquid will be separated from the cream.  All you have to do is drain and you are left with the thick, rich, drool-worthy coconut cream)
  • 1 package firm silken tofu (I use organic Mori-Nu)
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • Strawberries (you decide the amount, I used about a cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon guar gum
  • Shredded coconut (I don’t consider this optional, but it’s to put on top so you decide)
  • Food processor

Step 1:  Blend all the ingredients in your food processor.

Step 2: Put in a pretty glass.

Step 4: Top with coconut.

Step 3: Take pretty pictures.

Step 4: Put it all away.

Step 5: Oh, who am I kidding?  EAT IT!

On another note, I have to say a special thank you to my dearest and darling-est (it’s a word now) friend, Becky, for keeping Skinnyfat Girls alive while I have been MIA.  I especially love her post for Skinnyfat’s birthday, as she summarizes perfectly our health journey this past year. 

Have a happy week!

~Elesha, a skinnyfat girl

Roasted Garlic Parmesan Toast

This is a post about toast. A toast post.

I realize that you probably think toast is boring. Dry. Crumb-y. Crummy? Heck, I thought the same thing. But this toast is a delicacy! It puts regular old garlic bread to shame. To shame! This is a recipe you’re gonna want to make with every Italian meal you eat from this point forward. And it’s almost too simple to even be called a recipe. It’s more like a suggestion. An inspired idea that I highly recommend. Whatever. Just trust me and make it!

Part of the incredibleness of this toast may be the bread itself. I can’t vouche for other bread, but I’m guessing that your favorite crusty french bread will do just fine if you’re not up for bread baking. But I really hope you are up for it, because there’s nothing more satisfying than slicing into a piping hot loaf of homemade whole wheat bread.

Maybe it’s the comfort of knowing that it contains only five simple ingredients, none of which are additives, preservatives, or processed ingredients. But I think the biggest reason I love baking my own bread is because of what I call ‘the Little House on the Prairie factor’. I like to pretend I’m Ma kneading bread dough in a log cabin with a hot pot of stew over the fire while the girls play with their corn husk dolls.

You do that, too, right? I figured.

I’m fairly certain that everything in the world tastes better when covered in smashed up roasted garlic. Maybe even mustard greens (*shudder*). Still, I think I’ll let you test that one out. I’m sticking with bread for now. Oh, ALSO – if you’re feeling extra experimental, roast some halved cherry tomatoes along with your garlic and pile them on top of the finished product. Let me know how that goes, because I’m almost as obsessed with roasted tomatoes as I am with roasted garlic.

Roasted Garlic Parmesan Toast

Basic Whole Wheat Bread
Adapted from this recipe

Ingredients:
2 cups warm water
1 T yeast
1 T olive oil
1 T honey or agave
2 t salt
5 – 5.5 cups white whole wheat flour (or regular whole wheat)

For the toast you will need:
1 head roasted garlic (or more, 1 head will cover 2 pieces of toast)
Butter or alternative
Olive oil, for drizzling
Parmesan, for sprinkling
Freshly ground black pepper
Sea salt, optional

Instructions:
1. Dissove yeast and honey in warm water in a large bowl; allow yeast to proof (or foam) for about 10 minutes.

2. Add salt, oil, and 3 cups flour; beat for 2 minutes. Then, stir in the remaining 2 cups flour to form a stiff dough.

3. Knead until smooth and elastic; about 10 minutes (this is when you can pretend to be Ma).

4. Place in oiled bowl, turn dough to coat all sides, cover and let rise until doubled.

5. Shape dough into a large loaf and place in an oiled bread pan. Let rise for about a half hour in a warm place – preferably a place your puppy can’t get to! Thankfully, I caught this sneaky girl sniffing before she had a chance to get a taste.

6. Cut diagonal gashes on top of loaf and bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes. You can roast the garlic at this time too.

7. To roast the garlic, cut the top off of the head so the raw end of each clove is exposed. Cover the exposed ends in olive oil and wrap the entire head in aluminum foil. Roast for about 45 minutes until completely soft. I like to roast several heads at a time because it disappears quickly!

8. After the garlic has cooled, squeeze all of the soft cloves into a container and mash with a potato masher or a fork until it forms a slightly chunky spread, or longer if you want it to be completely smooth.

9. After the bread has cooled for about 15 – 20 minutes, cut into slices. Turn a frying pan or a griddle on high heat and lightly butter each side of the slice of bread. Grill until each side is crisp and golden.

10. Spread the smashed garlic onto the toast and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with parmesan, pepper, and salt, if desired. Eat slowly and savor every delicious bite.

This recipe came about by chance (or fate) last Sunday after I had baked bread and roasted some garlic for tomato sauce.  In the midst of the hustle and bustle of Sunday cooking I got the munchies and put the toast together on a whim…and was completely blown away. My life will never be the same.

I tend to exaggerate at times. This is not one of those times. You’re looking at life-changing toast.

Roasted, toasted, posted. BOOM.

Oh, one last thing! I can’t feature a picture of my girl puppy without also featuring one of my boy puppy. That would be favoritism. What kind of mother do you think I am?

~ Becky, a skinnyfat girl

A Skinnyfat Birthday!

That’s right, our blog is officially one year old! The time has flown, and it seems like just yesterday we wrote our very first post. But in that short time, we have changed so much. And I mean so, so much.

Fortunately, we still celebrate birthdays with cake. That’s one of those things that should never change.

When we created Skinnyfat, we had an entirely different mindset about food than we do today. Not just food, but life. Elesha and I have both grown so much, it’s almost as if we’re completely new women. It’s been a wonderful experience to share.

Just one year ago, eating was about restriction. It was about always being on a diet. It was about feeling guilty when we ate “bad” food. This blog was basically created because we saw ourselves as “too fat” and we thought we needed some type of food journal, a way to be accountable and “keep us in check”.

But this blog became so much more. The challenge of experimenting with new, healthy recipes created a deep appreciation and respect for simple, whole ingredients and the amazing health benefits that come along with them. Now, food is freedom! Healthy, life-giving whole foods are no longer something we eat because we have to or because we want to lost weight, but because they nourish our bodies, are delicious, and bring us true joy. No bad feelings are associated with food, and certainly no guilt, even when indulging. We have never felt so alive.

So even though Skinnyfat Girls was created in what I now consider a rather negative context, we are both grateful for what it evolved into and the positive effect it has had on our lives. Beyond that, it has positively impacted the lives of our families, friends, coworkers, and many of you faithful readers who have shared our health journey along the way. Thank you all for a wonderful year, and we’re excited for another one full of more great recipes!

If you’re celebrating a birthday soon, give whole wheat cake a try. It feels great to indulge without all the processed junk. Try subbing out ingredients in your favorite cake recipe: whole wheat flour for white, stevia, agave, and other natural sweeteners for sugar, coconut oil for butter, and so on. I “frosted” this cake with neufchatel cheese, firm silken tofu, banana, strawberries, and stevia all thrown into the food processor until smooth. Light and delicious!

And if you’re intimidated by layers, well, don’t be! It’s easy as pie! Though, I’m not sure the person who coined that phrase ever tried to make a good pie. Good pie is no piece of cake. Aaaaand we’re back to cake. If any of you would like this particular cake recipe, let me know and I will search for it. See, this birthday post was intended to include the recipe until I lost it. Fail.

I promise to be back next time with a brand new recipe for all of you. Until that time, eat cake and celebrate life! :)

~ Becky, a skinnyfat girl

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