I had some extra chickpeas (recipe for fan-freakin-tastic Pumpkin Hummus coming soon!) that needed to be used up, so a lightened up dessert was of course the option I went with!
Snickerdoodle Protein Blondies
- 1 cup chickpeas (canned, cooked – Brand matters.. get the most creamy brand possible. I recommend Cento.
- 2 tsp Cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/4 c Maple Syrup (I use Walden Farms Sugar-Free.. but you do you)
- 3 T Egg Whites
- 2 T Coconut Oil (melted)
- 1 scoop (yummy) Protein Powder, like Snickerdoodle or Cake Batter
- Chocolate chunks (optional.. but I like to use Libby’s No Sugar Added)
Preheat oven to 350F, and spray a loaf pan with cooking spray. Using a high speed blender (preferred) or food processor, blend all ingredients except Coconut Oil, Protein Powder and Chocolate. Once combined, slowly add in Coconut Oil, then once that’s mixed in, the Protein Powder. Pour into pan, and spread out evenly. Sprinkle Chocolate on top. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Try to let cool for 10 minutes or so.. but it’s going to smell fantastic.. so good luck with that ;). Cut into 8 bars.. or less, but that’s what the nutrition fact below are for.
After a hectic few months of travel I’ve been getting my eating back on track, so of course that means coming up with healthy treats to satisfy my ridiculous sweet tooth! I use to make something similar years ago when I was prepping for my first fitness competition. Was really happy with how this turned out, and hope you enjoy too!
- 3/4 cup Pumpkin
- 1/2 cup Milk (I used Unsweetened Cashew)
- 2 Eggs
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 2 T Protein Powder (I used Cake Batter Whey.. essential to use a good tasting brand)
- Stevia, to taste
Preheat oven to 350F. Mix all ingredients together, with the Protein Powder, then Stevia last. Pour into 2 ramekins that have been sprayed with cooking spray (coconut oil is my fave). Place on a cooking sheet at bake for 45 min. Enjoy hot or also good cold. Topped with ice cream.. always a great choice!
I made these last weekend, and had a few requests for the recipe, so figured I may as well post here!
What I love about this one is that there are so many options! I used chocolate chip cookie dough, but you could use peanut butter, sugar, SNICKERDOODLE (yup I screamed it) cookie dough, and any favorite ice cream. Go crazy 😉
No-Bake, Cookie Dough Ice Cream Sandwiches
- Cookie Dough (edible) – Make your own (overachiever), or go my route and just by some! Eat Pastry has an awesome gluten-free, vegan option
- Ice Cream – I used my favorite dairy-free option, NadaMoo, but again, you choose!
- Chocolate Chips – A few of my favorites that are Lilly’s (stevia sweetened) and Enjoy Life (vegan, dairy-free options)
1. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Rollout cookie dough to desired thickness (~1/4″ is good). It may help to actually put a second layer of parchment on top of the dough while you roll to prevent sticking.
2. Stick in the freezer for ~30 minutes. You want it solid enough to cut but not too frozen.
3. Use a cookie cuter or pastry ring to cut out cookie dough circles.
4. Place back in the freezer for another hour.
5. Let your ice cream thaw for a few minutes. Remove your cookie dough from the freezer and start assembling! I used a cookie dough scoop but whatever works to place even rounds of ice cream on a cookie, top with ice cream, then another cookie. Press down lightly.
6. Once you’ve assembled all your sandwiches, place back in the freezer for another hour.
7. Melt your chocolate according to the package directions, but I recommend doing it in a small enough container so you have room to dip the sandwiches.
8. Remove your sandwiches from the freezer and quickly dip into the chocolate. Place back on the parchment covered cookie sheet and put back into the freezer one more time. The chocolate will quickly harden, but you’ll want to freeze a bit longer to make sure your ice cream isn’t too melty.
First off.. this isn’t a sad post..
What makes me cry?
Apparently country songs and Jerks. No, not like the mean person kind of jerk, but Jerk as in the Olympic weightlifting kind.
Last time I posted I wrote about “being ok” with where I was at. It had been a tumultuous few months, but turns out that was the beginning, because not long after is when I learned my dad had cancer, and he passed away less than 3 weeks later.
The last 6 months has been challenging, with more “real life” shit than I’ve ever had to manage before.. but I am 31, so that’s pretty fortunate right there. With everything that happened, I’ve been trying to summarize, to have something to say.. not for the sake of a blog post, but for myself. To make a little more sense of it all, and try to learn from it. I’ve said it before, but I’m a big believer in things happening, and meeting people, for a reason, whether it’s obvious at the time or not. So I’ve been letting it sink in.
And my conclusion is..
Perspective. And specifically letting things be a part of your life vs. be your life.
Yesterday we had 1-RM (rep max) Jerks programmed into our workout. Bear with me.. I really do have a point that isn’t just CrossFit related..
I haven’t maxed out on this lift in ~1.5 years, and haven’t had even close to that weight above my head since long before I had surgery on my wrist last summer. Honestly, with all the ups & downs of the last 7 months, inconsistency with training, doubts about the roll CrossFit would/could have in my life, etc, there were many times I assumed I might not ever be back there. But a funny thing started to happen over the last two months, since my dad died.. I started having fun in the gym again. And when I say ‘again,’ oh I’d say it has been about a year.
I was so far from where I wanted to be fitness-wise, where I had been not too long before, that I finally just said fuck-it. I love to workout because it makes me happy, and I’m making myself miserable with these comparisons. Just go, keep going, appreciate the suck, because well.. dammit, I get to do it.. enjoy all the flipping amazing people I get to train with, and what comes will come.
A lot has change, you know the sad, but there’s been a lot of really good too! Really good things that make it difficult to always be consistent or put in the same volume I have in the past, but I’m so thankful for the new opportunities, and I wouldn’t change it. So why I am f’ing my head up over something I love, because I get to do other things I love? Yeah. Silliness.
But I’ve always been so good with the extremes, and habits are hard to break. What can I say, I’m excitable and passionate and sometimes I don’t draw the line so well. I loved gymnastics and it became my life. I did well in school because when I was young my parents said I could keep doing gymnastics if I got good grades. Ok, done. I got into fitness competitions, then started a health coaching company. Got into yoga, became a yoga teacher. Got into CrossFit, and it wasn’t long before my goal was to compete in the CrossFit Games. I find something I love and I let it become my life. I don’t think this is a bad thing, but it’s not always the right thing. It sounds so silly to have to “realize” that I can do something for fun.. just for fun.
Yesterday I was on a bar with a group of some of the most bad ass woman you could ever meet, taking turns working up to our 1-RM. I ended up tying my previous PR, but with a couple tries, missed setting a new one. After I was done, I was watching the girls finish and fighting back tears. I imagine it looked like I was upset about not making the lifts but it was the opposite (though a new PR would have been nice…). I was really happy. I was happy to be hitting numbers I wasn’t sure I’d get back to, but I also was thinking ‘see dad.’
Jerk Miss @ 220 from Alyson Boyd on Vimeo.
I wrote this post at the beginning of the CrossFit Open, where I told a little story of teasing my dad that it was a good thing I’d been lifting all those weights because it allowed me to help him in his the final days. The whole story is that when I was really getting serious about CrossFit, he started watching it when it aired on ESPN. It must have been the Clean & Jerk ladder from 2013 CrossFit Games, or maybe the Overhead Squat max from 2014.. but either way. His exact words were “I don’t know about those woman lifting 200 pounds above their head.. I don’t think I want to see you do that.” My response was of course “too bad”.. because.. well.. I tend to be a little smart ass like that.. fortunately he was even more so.
But this post isn’t meant to be another sad one at all! Sports really are a fantastic analogy for life. Yes this example is all about CrossFit, but at different points in my life I could have written the same thing about a person. Ever fall for someone and suddenly they’re you’re everything, then it starts going south, and your world crumbles, and you forget what it was like to be happy before? No? Really? Well, damn you should be the next Tony Robbins, Oprah, or something.But really..
I’m sure I’ll let myself get swooped up by something or someone again, that’s just a part of life, but maybe it’s also a part of life to better realize when you’re doing it, so you can appreciate the whirlwind at the time, and know that the low will also pass when it comes. And then there will be another lesson learned.
Ok.. got a little too woo woo there, but.. ah fuck-it 😉
Side Note 1: Even though my wrist surgery was the least big deal ever, it left me with a disproportionately legit scar, which just so happens to serve as a perfect reminder of all this.. and I dig that!
Side Note 2: It is really awesome to be surrounded by people who believe in you more than you do, when you need it most.
Last week I attended Facebook’s Women’s Leadership Day. It’s deserving of a full post, but to summarize, it was phenomenal and inspiring. One of the things that struck and inspired me the most was the bravery the speakers displayed through their candidness and vulnerability.
I have a whole lot of partially written blog post drafts because I never seem to feel I’ve completed the thought. So I’m going to hit publish on this one whether I finish it or not..
As soon as I was given the go-ahead after surgery last fall, I went to yoga. It had been years since I’d had a regular practice, that coupled with a lot of weight-training, and (purposely) easing up on stretching, resulted in me not being able to get into a lot of poses that had previously been available.
But I noticed something almost right away.. I was ok with it.
Yes, that is an epic realization. For the first time in my 31 years, I was ok with being “not as good as I had been.”
Now.. if you’ve been to yoga, you’re probably thinking ‘isn’t that how it’s suppose to be?’ Well, yes… but.. have we met?
When I first started yoga it was all about ‘what’s next?’ If I was in class and saw someone add any extra handstand or arm balance, I thought I was slacking. If I skipped a chaturanga (push-up to up dog then down dog), I worried the teacher would think I wasn’t trying, or that I missed a chance to get better.
Over time that faded a bit, but it wasn’t until I came back to the mat, after so much time off, that I noticed my mindset completely changed.
I pushed my wrist, but when I felt like it had had enough, I backed off. When I couldn’t get into binds (a way you clasp your arms behind your back) because my shoulders were larger and tighter than years past, I was ok with it and went as far as I could.
After a few months, my wrist could take more, I could handstand again, and even started to get back some of my shoulder flexibility.
At the same time, CrossFit training was not going so well. Between time off after the CrossFit Games, time off for surgery, and inconsistent training, I lost way more strength and conditioning than I’d expected. My performance in the gym was disappointing me, and I was (perhaps, am) really struggling to keep a positive attitude for more than a few days at a time.
Then in the middle of a yoga class it occurred to me.. why can’t I have the same attitude with CrossFit? Why can’t I pushed myself, and be happy knowing that I did everything I could do? Why do I have to beat myself up for not meeting expectations created by past results? Why do I care so much about what everyone else thinks about my performance, and overwhelmed by worry that they’ll think I’m not trying?
The answer is..
I don’t know. This isn’t a post saying ‘I figured it out, and I have this fantastic positive attitude all the time, and rainbows and butterflies and sparkles!’ 🙂
This is the post a few before that when I say, ‘I know this isn’t quite right.. but it’s interesting to me.. maybe I’ll figure it out.. or at least move the right direct.’
Very related, I’m loving this poem right now and I don’t know where it came from..
There is always risk in being yourself. In following your true nature. Your innermost voice.
The risk is that you can lose things. You can lose parts of yourself that no longer fit. That crack off like old branches in the wind.
You can lose ground that you thought you had conquered as you realize that you need to rework it but this time with bare feet and with less urgency and more absorption.
You can lose people whose ears and hearts cannot hear the frequency of your rhythm.
It’s ok. The risk is the way our innermost self calls us in. It is what all nature asks of itself.
Go ahead. Your truth is worth the risk.
Photo by Caleb Kerr
I’ve made these 3 times in the last couple weeks, so figured y’all might like to try them too! These are incredibly easy to make, and sneaky addictive. I do have to give one big warning.. the type of protein powder you use makes ALL the difference. Depending on which you go with you’ll either and up with a delicious pumpkin style bar, or bland cardboard. The two I’ve tried that work really well are Quest’s Vanilla (easy to find and not too expensive) or my personal favorite, Muscle Gauge’s Cake Batter (often out of stock, so grab it when you can!)
Pumpkin Pie Protein Bars
- 1 cup Pumpkin puree
- 2 scoops Vanilla or Cake Batter whey protein powder (isolate or blend should work)
- 1/3 c Egg Whites (equivalent of 2 egg whites from whole eggs)
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
- Sweetener to taste (I like ~10 drops of Stevia extract)
Preheat oven to 350. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray. Mix all ingredients in the same bowl with an electric hand mixer. It’s important to do this to get out the protein powder lumps and get the right texture on your bars. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown and the center is set. Be careful not to over cook. Delicious warm or cooled. These also reheat well (15s in the microwave).
I like to make them plain then add toppings later. My favorite is almond butter, a light-sugar maple syrup, or maybe even while warm, top with a few dark chocolate chips.
Makes 4 large bars or 8 small. Nutrition Facts are for making the large.
I’ve been in a funk to say the least for the last month or more. I realized very recently that the cause was pretty simple. I burned the candle at both ends throughout the CrossFit season trying to balance training and work. Although I took a couple weeks off from training right after the CrossFit Games, between having surgery, catching up and traveling for work, moving, a birthday, and the tornado of a perspective check that happened when a great friend & teammate was injured, the result was never letting myself recover mentally.
So I tried some new things (mainly channeling my inner Ronda Rousey.. get punched in the face for the first time and realizing that I kind of love grappling.. ‘it only takes what to put someone to sleep?!’), and got back into other favorites (yoga!). I took a step back, remove expectations I’d place on myself and remind myself of why I started CrossFit and why I still love training. Hint: it’s not to make the CrossFit Games, or even to compete at all. I’ve been an athlete, of some sort, the majority of my life, and my motivation has always been intrinsic.
Then came a friendly reminder:
Don’t ask ‘what do I want to do?’. Ask, ‘how do I want to feel?’
I do all these things because they make me feel good! They’re fun, and there’s a unique joy that comes with knowing that you gave everything you have to be your personal best. The reward is not standing on a podium, making a team, or having a top score on the whiteboard for the day. Yeah those are great if they happen, but they mean nothing if that’s what it takes for you to feel good, to feel good enough.
I forgot that for a minute (or many minutes) recently.
I’ve very glad I’ve been reminded.
[Cheesy.. yes. True.. completely.]
In case you missed it, I LOVE dessert. Seriously. Love. There is nothing too sugary, gooey, rich, period. This at times conflicts with my fitness goals. But apparently chocolate cravings don’t care. So, I’ve always loved coming up with healthier options to satisfy me. This lightened up dark chocolate pudding tastes anything but light. It’s gluten-free, no added sugar, and would be dairy-free if it wasn’t for the butter. It’s rich, delicious and .. yeah I’m going to go eat more now.
Dark Chocolate Pudding
3 T Hershey Special Dark Cocoa
2 T Arrowroot Powder
2 c Unsweetened Cashew Milk (Silk brand)
1/2 t Vanilla Extract
10-20 drops Stevia Extract
1 T grass fed Butter (like Kerrygold)
Combined Cocoa and Arrowroot Powder in a saucepan. Add Cashew Milk, and bring to a boil over medium heat while stirring consistently. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat and cook for another 3-5 minutes until it thickens to a yogurt-like consistency. Remove from heat. Stir in Vanilla extract, Stevia and Butter. Poor into individual dishes and chill for at least 3 hours without disturbing. Enjoy!