No Bake Peanut Butter Protein Cookies

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I love cookies.  In fact, this Christmas alone I think i ate about 3 dozen of them, or atleast that’s what it felt like.  So now I am deep within the depths of a cookie withdrawal, which, honestly, is no joke…Remember Cookie Monster?

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Poor guy… anyway, here’s a recipe to help you with your imminent cookie withdrawal.  Instead of tons of sugar and white flours, these cookies are high in protein, fiber, and uses raw honey which has more vitamins and nutrients than sugar.

Ingredients

1 cup natural peanut butter

1 cup organic quick cooking rolled oats

1/2 cup raw honey

1 cup Chocolate Protein Powder

1/4 cup ground flax seed

Method

Combine peanut butter, honey, oats, flax seed and protein powder in medium bowl. Mix well. Roll 24 balls, each the size of 1 tbsp. Flatten each slightly so it takes on the shape of a cookie. No baking is needed.  I find chilling them in the fridge for a while helps them hold their shape a bit better.  Enjoy!

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Recommitting Myself to Fitness: My Journey From Couch to Coach

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I was sitting here this morning and I was going over my journey of the past couple years in my head.  At my heaviest, I was 250 +/- pounds, my knees constantly hurt, getting up off the couch was a task, and cleaning the house felt like a full on workout.  It was around this time that I decided that I was going to recommit myself to being healthy again.  I remembered that in highschool I was in fantastic shape.  I played field hockey, ran at least a few miles a day and had never smoked a cigarette in my life.  Fast forward 12 years and somehow I had managed to become a smoker, drink on a regular basis, and allow my body to become my own prison cell.  I knew I had to do something about it, so that’s what I did.  I figured, “piece of cake, i’ve lost weight before, this will be easy”.  I was incredibly wrong.  So, so, so wrong.  I really cannot emphasize how completely incorrect my assumption was.  Nearing 30, my body didn’t jump back the way it had so many other times I had decided to lose weight.  The weight seemed comfortable where it was and didn’t look like it was going anywhere, anytime soon.  I kept at it though.  When I started out, jogging in place for 30 seconds was exhausting (this isn’t even an exaggeration).  My trainer really boosted my self confidence, though, and helped me keep my head up and keep going even when I thought that was impossible.  That made me (even when I was still at my heaviest) want to become a personal trainer myself, because what she did for me saved my life and for that I am forever grateful to her.  When I moved back from the UK to the states (did I mention I was living in England? My husband is British and I lived there for 3 years, but that’s a story for another time) I was fortunate and found another FABULOUS trainer, and it was him who set my nutrition right and really increased the intensity of my workouts.  He also helped me pass my ACSM-cpt exam and took me under his wing as an intern for some time.  Now here I am, still not quite at my goal, but still kicking my own butt to get there!  I’m doing what I love, which is helping others achieve something they may have thought was never possible and i’m loving every second of it.  I am completely humbled and grateful for everything that has occurred in my life over the past couple years.  Hard work, dedication, and all the people that loved and helped me when I needed it the most have gotten me back to where I should be: happy, healthy, and most importantly, helping others.

Written By:

Shannon Benedetto ACSM-cpt

How to Make Your New Years Resolutions Obtainable and Beneficial!

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It’s that time of year; the time of year when we all decide that this year is the year.  It could be the year that you get that big promotion, or the year you take time out to go traveling.  One of the most common resolutions, however, is to get fit: lose weight, gain muscle, run that extra mile, or just deciding to walk more everyday.  Unfortunately, though these resolutions are made with the best intentions, most of them are made with the promise of making a HUGE change.  This leads me to my first point.

Choose an attainable resolution!

If you haven’t been to the gym in years, don’t expect to start up going every day of the week and keeping that up for 6+ months down the road.  You’ll burn yourself out! Start with a small, short-term goal.  Build on that short-term goal slowly, until  you reach your long-term goal (and you will!).

Pick something you enjoy!

Just because you want to increase your fitness doesn’t mean you need to start off by going to a grueling hour long TRX class.  Do something you enjoy to get you started, increase your confidence, and prep your body for the more advanced training that is to come.  Most gym offer taster classes, or beginner courses that you can try out, or find a personal trainer who will be able to guide you along your fitness journey.

Stick with it!

I won’t lie to you, some days its just going to suck.  It’s getting through those days, though, that make you realize that you CAN do this! You have the power to change your life, be healthier, have more energy and become a more confident person.  If you slip up and eat that piece of cake, it’s okay! Don’t decide that’s the end of the road because you ate poorly or skipped the gym a couple times.  Get back out there and give it your all!  Strive for your goals, dedicate yourself to YOU and anything is possible!

Written By:

Shannon Benedetto ACSM-cpt