Flourless Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies {gluten free!}

My Daughter and I Flourless Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies 1

Jordan made these cookies the other day and we both thought they were great. They aren’t the prettiest cookies ever, but they were tasty and super simple to make. No butter, no flour, whipped up in one bowl in about five minutes! Why wouldn’t you give them a try?

My Daughter and I Flourless Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Flourless Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies {gluten free!}

Ingredients:
1 large egg

1 cup almond butter, we used crunchy, unsalted from Trader Joe’s

1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp. vanilla

3/4 cup dark chocolate chips or mini semisweet chips

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350F
Crack the egg into a medium bowl and beat it lightly. Add in the almond butter, vanilla, baking soda, and sugar and mix everything together well. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Scoop the dough onto a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet. I use a (1 3/4 inch) scoop, but you can use a tablespoon. Space the cookies well apart, and flatten them slightly with the back of a spoon.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Don’t overbake these, the cookies will look underdone, but they will firm up as they cool.

Let them cool for a couple of minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer them carefully to a cooling rack.

Because we used a crunchy almond butter the cookies had a definite “healthy” look to them. I loved the extra texture, but if you’d prefer a little less texture, I would recommend using a smooth almond butter.

Recipe found on http://www.theviewfromgreatisland.com

 

Cindy & Jordan

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60 Miles Later

Hey all- I kept meaning to post pictures from our backpacking trip way back in July, and kept forgetting. But here it is, an extra-long backpacking post- finally!

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^from left to right: Robin, me, my mom, Laura and Lori

In case you didn’t hear, my mom and I, and three other women, went on a backpacking trip on the John Muir Trail at the beginning of July. We covered about 60 miles in eight days.

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There was a ton of preparation for the trip- tents, clothes, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, backpacks, boots and food. We must have packed and repacked our bear canisters at least half a dozen times each, just to make sure that all of our food would fit inside. We made many, many trips to the outdoor section of Wal-mart, REI and Sports Authority and we talked to veteran backpackers and got lots of advice. Luckily for us, we were able to borrow a ton of our gear from friends, which made a huge difference in cost.

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Final cuts in what we were taking were made the night before we hit the trail, in a friend’s little cabin in Bishop. We pulled out absolutely anything that was not completely necessary- every ounce counts. We also adjusted straps and made sure that everything was packed correctly, and then we had our final weigh-in. My backpack came in at 37.5 pounds and my mom’s weighed in at 43 pounds- a bit above what we were shooting for, but we had to make it work.

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When we finally set out, I was kind of nervous- I didn’t know exactly what to expect, and I was tentative about the approaching challenges. We all got into a groove quickly though- setting up camp, cooking meals, purifying water, and attempting to clean up in a freezing cold stream (eek!) became second nature to us.

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There were definitely challenges. By the fourth morning, after an extra-long day the day before, I was done. It was the one time I cried on the trip, and the only real reason for it was that I was down-right tired. My body was sore from so much hiking and dealing with the altitude was getting to me. It was all up-hill from there though- somehow, your body begins to adjust to the constant movement and the heavy pack. There were many times when walking without a backpack on sounded like a dream, but that was all just part of the adventure.

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The beauty of the Sierra’s completely and totally made up for all of the physical and mental challenges. I’ve never been anywhere quieter or cleaner and I’ve never seen sky that blue or water that crystal clear. The beauty was indescribable- pictures don’t even come close to capturing it. God’s creation absolutely blew me away- if He put that much thought and detail and majesty in just the 60 miles I experienced, imagine how much more there is to explore!

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Another awesome part of backpacking is the people- only first names are given- on the trail, that’s all that’s necessary. Sometimes, we’d hear what a person did for a living, or what brought them to backpacking,  but 99% of the time, the topic of conversation was what we were doing at that very moment. Everyone had issues with their backpacks, everyone dealt with sore muscles and not getting enough sleep at night. But best of all, everyone was experiencing the same beauty and same accomplishments- those things bonded us.

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Before we left on the hike, Robin, who was the leader of our group, mentioned that she was itching to just get out on the trail again. I didn’t quite get it- what was the allure? I understand now, even if it’s still hard to describe. Since we’ve been home, I’ve been thinking about our trip. A lot. Despite how hard it was at some points, I can’t wait to go out again. There’s something about knowing that you’re carrying everything you need to survive on your back. And the accomplishment that came with knowing what I had just managed to do, instilled a huge amount of confidence in regards to my physical and mental capabilities. In the end, it was all completely worth it, and absolutely something I’d do again 🙂

 

Jordan

 

30-day Squat Challenge & New Adventures

squats

So this is our latest 30 day challenge- we’ve done a plank challenge and an abs challenge before, and we started this squat challenge a few days ago. I’m only on Day 9, and it’s already gotten hard- I’m actually thinking about starting over at the beginning of the month to stay on track. We’d love if you joined us for our May Fitness Challenge!

Speaking of challenges- my mom and I have a new adventure to prepare for! At the beginning of July, a group of us (my mom and I and three other women) are hiking a portion of the John Muir Trail. We’ll be on the trail for about eight days, and we’ll hike about 65 miles. The three other women we are going with are dear friends, so it should be an amazing bonding experience for all of us. It’ll be the first time doing something like this for three out of the five of us, so we are all super excited for all the challenges that lie ahead.

We’re starting to train by going on day hikes in elevation and running hills. Our driveway is very steep and long- quite a few people have commented that it’s a bit like riding a roller coaster when you drive down it 😀 Anyway, my dad suggested that we load up our backpacks and walk up our driveway 20-30 times. Every. day. Did I mention that we’ll have a 35 pound backpack on? Yeah. Exactly.

Despite my whining, I’m so excited. It’s a bit scary considering all the things we need to prepare and train for, but I’m ready to be stretched. I think if there’s one thing that working out consistently has taught me, it is that I can. Being someone who has never been overly confident in her own physical abilities, it’s been a huge growing experience for me. This hike is just another chance to be stretched. I know that it’s going to be hard. Beyond hard at times. But I’m so thankful to be blessed with this opportunity. And you know what? It makes me praise God that he’s continuing to work in me. Just a year ago, I can’t imagine doing anything like this, let alone being excited to do it. He is truly amazing and I’m continually blown away that he loves me and  he loves me enough not to leave me the way he found me. He’s working on me constantly, and wanting to see me like him. Even in the things like my own confidence, he’s interested and wants to grow me!

“In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” -Phillipians 1:4-6

Yes. I just went from a squat challenge, to a 65 mile hike, to God’s grace and love- in the span of 5 paragraphs. Sorry about that 🙂 Oh! Last but not least, as we’re preparing for our big hike, we’re going to be experimenting with some homemade trail food- so keep an eye out for new recipes!

Jordan 

Fashion Friday- Workout Edition

I think most people who exercise on a regular basis will agree that having cute workout gear is a huge plus to working out. Between that well-known fact, and the exercise related New Year’s resolutions that some of you may have made, I thought it would be a good time to do a workout themed Fashion Friday.

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The majority of my workout gear is from Old Navy– I love their Active brand- it’s all good quality and fits well.  They’re having a huge Active sale until 1/15- everything is 40% off right now. So a lot of my picks for this week are from Old Navy, with a few other brands mixed in, and a couple workout ideas for you to try. 

Compression Capris

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These pants are very similar to the Old Navy capris that I bought at least 9 months ago- the quality is excellent and they fit perfectly. I wear them practically every day and they haven’t stretched or pilled.

Tone Up Tight Workout

20130803182948-tone-up-tight-routineI tried this the other day, repeating the circuit three times like they recommend, and it felt like a really good workout. Their time frame is about right- it took me around 18 minutes, so it’s great if you don’t have a ton of time.

Padded Sports Bra

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Another thing I own and love- a perfect amount of support and super comfortable.

Sweaty Bands Chevron Slide

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My mom got one of these headbands for her last birthday and she loves it. It’s so cute and it stays in place during the workout.  And they have a ton of colors and designs to choose from.

Nike Air Cross-Trainers

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Since I got these for Christmas, I’ve worn them running, walking, hiking and to bootcamp and I love them! Travis said that it looks like Dr. Seuss threw up on my feet, but personally, I like the bright colors- they look really cute in person.

Give Me 50 Workout

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This looks like a good one.

Semi-Fitted Tank

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This is so cute- I love the colors and fit.

Side Mesh Running Shorts
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I’m wearing these very shorts as I write- needless to say, I love them.

Over Easy Workout Tank

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The Core Challenge Workout

20130803201027-the-core-workoutI sometimes wonder about the pictures that they put with these workouts- if I do the workout, will my abs look like this gal’s? 😉 Haha but seriously, this looks like a challenging and good workout.

Jordan

Happy New Year Fitness Challenge

Happy New Year! I’ve decided to do a 30 Day Abs Challenge. I went onto Tribesports.com and picked this out. It should be interesting – and difficult. I did a plank challenge last August and by the end of the 30 days I was holding the plank for 5 minutes. It can be done! The key is doing it every day and you will get stronger.

Are you a resolution maker? I don’t think I normally am – but I’m excited to try this and get a bit stronger. Anyone want to join me?

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Cindy