Healthy Protein Cookies #recipe

Your cookie fix for this month is a healthy one. Protein cookies are something that I have been working on for a while now, knowing that I have a picky eater on my hands who will eat just about anything in cookie form.


1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup applesauce or fruit puree {I used strawberry lentil, homemade)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup softened butter
1 egg
dash of vanilla
1/4 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup chocolate protein powder (add more if you'd prefer it to be more chocolatey)

Preheat your oven to 350F.

Mix dry ingredients, including the protein powder, in a bowl. Add your softened butter and apple sauce, then egg and vanilla. Mix well, then add your white chocolate chips.

Drop by the spoonful onto your cookie sheet (or use a cookie scoop)  and bake for approximately 11-13 minutes. Check your cookies after 11 minutes and if you feel that they aren't quite finished, leave them in a little longer, checking every 2 minutes.

Allow to cool for 3-5 minutes on the cookie sheet, and then transfer to a wire rack.

I like to keep out 6 of these cookies, then freeze the rest in small wrapped batches. When Owen's having a particularly rough eating patch, I pull out a pack, let them thaw and then offer them to him. He gobbles them up and is none the wiser!


New Year New Me: A cuppa Folgers

At BlogHer, BabyShmizz and I hopped over to the Folgers booth for an afternoon pick-me-up and while I am not a coffee drinker {save for a cappuccino or caramel macchiato now and then} I was really impressed by the richness of the brew.

Later on at home, I noticed that there were a few of these beauties in my swag bag.

Here's my recipe for a healthy breakfast smoothie that will give you a little pep in your step!

500ml COLD water
1 pack of Black Silk instant Folgers coffee
1 scoop of Chocolate Shakeology

Put it all into a blender and blend on the puree setting until you see that the coffee has been blended. {that's a whole lot of blending going on right there!}

Pour into a glass and enjoy.

The flavour is out of this world. It is rich and creamy, and tastes just like a coffee house iced mocha. Certainly, you could add some ice cubes or even make some ice cubes from a brewed batch of the Black Silk.


Calories: approx. 140 per 500ml


Chocolate Shakeology Coconut Oat Cake Recipe

I've been looking for new recipes to use my Chocolate Shakeology so that I can get that awesome nutrition in other ways than just my morning shake. I was looking at recipes for baked goods, since we always have cookies or muffins in the house and thought

I can totally develop a recipe on my own!


Preheat oven to 350F

2 cups quick oats
1/2 cup Shakeology
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup honey
1 cup water
3 eggs (or egg whites)
1/4 cup coconut

Mix everything in a bowl, then pour into a springform pan. Bake at 350 for approx 18mins, then cool completely in the pan. Once cool, cut into wedges. Makes 16 servings.

Optional: sprinkle with additional coconut prior to baking

You can definitely trick your guests with this one - it's a light and airy oat cake, with no flour and a subtle chocolate taste. Serve it with vanilla bean sorbet or gelato and you've got a healthy, and impressive, dessert!


New Year New Me: Renewed Determination

10 day rut be gone!! After meeting up for coffee with two of my fitness pals, Natasha and Michelle, last friday night, I took a look at my motivation.

What was happening to me!? I only had {then} 16 or so days left...why was I so stuck at Day47?

We chatted at length, and I talk to Dara, and we boiled it down to the fact that I was bored. Yep...I was finding Insanity boring {who says that!?}. But...I am determined to finish, so very much determined.

After spending last Saturday with so many empowering women, I took a long hard look at myself. I am so proud of what I have accomplished so far, and I know that I can finish! I absolutely can!

So what did I do? I worked. HARD.

See that determination? I write this today, after having completed Day50 and skipping the Day49 rest day. Yep! I didn't rest, that's just how determined I am. Instead of taking a rest day and risking falling into a slump, I did my first test.

Do you know what that means?? If you've done Insanity or heard about it, you probably know exactly who I'm talking about when I say the name Tanya. Well, on Wednesday I beat Ms. Tanya in Low Plank Obliques and PushUp Jacks, and matched her in Power Jumps.


For the first time if my entire life, I feel like me. I feel proud of what I have accomplished, and I see the end in sight. And I even took a video of part of my workout from today, Day50.


If I can push through fifty days of this craziness, you can absolutely do something...30 Day Shred, Weight Watchers, MediFast, Les Mills, Shakeology, Hip Hop Abs.

Something. Anything. Let's set a positive and glowing example for our kids to get up and move!

*Disclaimer: I am provided the Shakeology shakes by my Beachbody coach Dara Distel for the purposes of getting healthy, and blogging about the product.


New Year New Me, Week 7

I think I've lost it.

Are you asking what? I'll tell you. My motivation.

I step on the scale and it's the same number within about 2 lbs consistently no matter how hard I try. I think my body may have plateaued, and likely needs a kick in the booty right now.

It doesn't help that it's grey grey grey outside. It makes me want to lay on the couch and do nothing all day, but that's simply not an option.

You see this guy? He watches everything that I do.

If it weren't for the fact that his little eyes are watching my every move, I'm not sure that I would be this close to finishing the Insanity program. If it weren't for him cheering me on, giving me high fives and saying 'Good Job Mommy!' I may have thrown in the towel by now.

That's what it's all about, folks. It's so much more than getting healthy for myself.  It's about getting healthy for him and setting a positive example.

So, my motivation? With these grey dreary days, it's hard to find the get up and go. It may have actually got up and went! But looking at his little face and seeing his smiles when I've done a workout with him around {piggy backs included} makes it all worth it.

It may not be a workout every day, but I'm so close to finishing this round of Insanity. How am I going to get through the next 15 days? What's my motivation?

I need a reward. I need to give myself something that I've longed for, for quite some time.
I'm going to give myself my tattoo.

Do you reward yourself? How do you stay motivated??

Last week, I promised you a Shakeology snack recipe. My coach Dara shared this one with my accountability group and I couldn't wait to try it. They're super yummy, and I don't feel guilty one bit eating them!

 Shakeology Peanut Butter Cups

2 scoops Chocolate Shakeology powder
splash of almond milk
squirt of honey

Mix together to a pudding like consistency and drop a teaspoon of the mixture into a mini muffin pan. Add a teaspoon of all natural peanut butter, then cover with more of the Shakeology mixture. Freeze for about an hour or until firm.

Now, they froze so solid that I had to get my Hubs to get them out of the tin, but am I ever thankful that he did! They're fantastic, and definitely satisfy that craving for sweets when it raises its ugly head!


*Disclaimer: I am provided the Shakeology shakes by my Beachbody coach Dara Distel for the purposes of getting healthy, and blogging about the product.


New Year New Me...Week Off

It's been a full week now since I've worked out and done an Insanity circuit. Between taking care of a very sick toddler over the weekend, and doing what I can to help my Husband mend from his chest cold, it was only a matter of time before I too got sick.

I've really been listening to my body, and have given myself a break. Do I feel bad? No. What good would it be to push myself through a 59 minute Insanity interval, when I can barely catch my breath after blowing my nose?


I have, however, kept drinking my Shakeology and it has really been helping me to have more energy in having to chase around a toddler while sick, and kept a full blown flu at bay.


It's all the holistic nutrition behind Shakeology.

Seriously, the stuff is that good for you. I choose to have it as my first meal of the day. My favourite is to mix it up in the blender with water, almond milk and some frozen strawberries. It makes me feel good about what I am putting into my body, which sets me up for making healthier food choices throughout the rest of the day.

It also promotes healthy weight loss, and I found it interesting that while I haven't done Insanity in a week now, I still have lost another 2lbs. Shakeology is helping me achieve my goals, feel good about myself, and I love knowing that there are zero chemicals {not even fructose or sucralose!} going in my body as I start a new day.

Can you say the same about your breakfast?

Beachbody coach Dara distel, before and after Shakeology

*Disclaimer: I am provided the Shakeology shakes by my Beachbody coach Dara Distel for the purposes of getting healthy, and blogging about the product.


New Year New Me...and I'm sick

That's right folks, I'm sick. Hubs came down with a nasty chest cough over the weekend, and I started to feel sniffly and gross on Saturday. I plowed through my Insanity Max Recovery on the weekend, which was really frustrating to me {will explain in a moment...}, and by Sunday exhaustion had set it.

Thank goodness for the healthy nutrition in Shakeology!
Month 2 of Insanity is so much harder than the first. How in the world am I going to get through this?

One word: determination.

Yes, I'm sick and my sinuses are disgusting, but my Shakeology is is helping my immune system and helping me to have the energy to push through. The healthy ingredients in the shakes are like no other product on the market. I love that it is holistic and allows me to start my day on a healthy foot, which means that I can push through whatever is in may way, sickness or not. I get up, I take care of Bear and do studio work, and I workout during his nap. Every day.


Because of that. He sees what I'm doing, the choices that I'm making, and getting a high-five from him when I'm done and sweaty and gross is the best feeling in the world.

Now, last week I mentioned that I would share some of my favourite healthy eating recipes. I've already told you what my healthy breakfasts are with Shakeology, so now we need to cover off Dinners.

Top R clockwise: Chicken meatballs w/longgrain rice and broccoli, chicken/swiss chard/muffins, roasted veggie muffins,
spinach and swiss omelette
Spinach and Swiss Omelette - 1 egg, 3tbsp egg white substitute, 1/2 cup chopped baby spinach, 1 slide light swiss cheese cut into tiny pieces

Chicken Meatballs with Long Grain Rice and Broccoli - lean ground chicken, onion flakes, garlic powder, crushed pita chips. Bake at 425 for 20mins.

Chicken with Swiss Chard and Roasted Veggie Cornmeal Mufins - cook chicken in the crockpot with whatever spices you like (I used lemon pepper and onion flakes)

My favourite are these tiny little mini Roasted Veggie Cornmeal Muffins. They have roasted antipasto veggies in them, and are small enough for toddler hands; Owen LOVES them!

1 c. cornmeal
1/2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2/3 c. skim milk
1 c. roasted vegetable puree (aka homemade baby food...roasted antipasto veggies - zucchini, red and yellow pepper)
2 tbsp. oil

Mix all ingredients together. Pour into paper lined muffin cups (2/3 full) and
bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes for full sized muffins or 15mins for mini muffins

Now, my frustrating moment this past week was during Max Recovery. I had made it through the crazy fit test and max interval circuit, but when max recovery hit, for some reason it felt like my body had shut down. I had done so well with keeping up in these 43-59 minute circuits that I was really disappointed in myself when I struggled doing the high-low plank during Max Recovery.

I actually sat on the floor and cried a little. Then I took a moment, picked myself up and kept trying.

I kept pushing.
I kept trying.

While I still can't do them, I learned alot about myself and the high expectations I have on myself. I chatted with my coach Dara about this, and what she said really resonated with me. We as women expect so much from ourselves and when we struggle with something, we get really down on ourselves. Why? What's the point? There's zero reason for it.

The only thing that matters is that I got up, and I tried again.

And when you try again, you leave room for amazing achievements like this.

The day I did REAL pushups!
How are you doing with your journey? Are you struggling? Let me know in the comments!

*Disclaimer: I am provided the Shakeology shakes by my Beachbody coach Dara Distel for the purposes of getting healthy, and blogging about the product.


New Year New Me, Recovery Week

Oh Recovery Week...I thought that it was going to be easier than the rest. One thing that I have definitely learned in this whole BeachBody Challenge and doing Insanity is that it never gets easier, you only push your body harder.

While the moves on recovery week were a little slower, more focused on the core and strengthening your balance and centre, it was still really difficult! By the end of the week, I could get through the hip burners with only having to stop once, but my oh my! If you've had a baby and had your hips spread, be prepared for them to almost seize when you're doing the hip burners! It did not feel good, but nevertheless, I pushed through.

Another thing I learned this week was about fueling my body properly. Going into month two (Day37 today! woot!) I knew that I was going to need more fuel, but I didn't realize just how much. {ps: I'll share some of my favourite meals next week to fuel your body for these crazy workouts}

That's right...on Day36 of Insanity, I faced not only the fit test (450cal) but also my first max interval circuit (800+cal). Insanity sure lives up to its name! Pushing through was incredibly difficult, and I may have ended up in a pile of sweat on the kitchen floor, but I am SO happy with my fit test results!! I even beat Tanya the Machine (if you've done or are doing Insanity, you know exactly who I'm talking about...and have a love/hate relationship with her as well) on one of the moves! Even my coach Dara was impressed!

See!? You CAN do it! It's totally possible to get better, to focus and to challenge yourself. This isn't about anyone but me, and I know that I can do it; I'm already over halfway there!

Oh and the -3lbs weight loss over the week isn't too shabby either.

How are YOU challenging yourself to get fit and focus? Link me up in the comments!

Beachbody Coach, Dara Distel
*Disclaimer: I am provided the Shakeology shakes by my Beachbody coach Dara Distel for the purposes of getting healthy, and blogging about the product.


New Year New Me, Week 4

That's right friends...I've finished a full month (28days actually while I'm writing this) of my positive change, healthy living, Beachbody Insanity Shakeology challenge.

After last week's challenges, I have to say that this week was so much better, and largely in part due to having an amazingly supportive coach. Last week was a +2lb change on the scale, premenstruration, and just an overall feeling of being  failure. I hadn't taken stock in just how much I have accomplished, and how many of you I have inspired and changed just in being open and honest.

I chatted with Dara about the weight gain and she suggested that I start tracking my input and output in an app. I have Map My Run on my phone from a while back, and it's been a sanity saver over the past week. Each morning, I wake up and start fresh. I log in my Shakeology and whatever additions {more on that below!}, log in snacks, water in take, and then log in my workout and how long it took me to do it. Thankfully, it has Insanity in their system so it knows just how many calories I am burning, based on my weight, height and age.

It has given me so much peace of mind and power to log my foods into the app. It was such a fantastic coaching moment in my journey, and I am really thankful to have Dara right there at my finger tips on Facebook to connect with when I'm struggling.

Now that i know what my caloric expenditure is, I see that I was actually not fueling my body enough. Sure, I was putting amazingly healthy nutrition in with Shakeology every morning, but then I wasn't drinking enough water and I wasn't eating enough to burn all of the calories and keep my body going. Lesson learned! Eat more, but eat well!

Now, I have two weeks of Shakeology under my belt and I have been experimenting with my recipes. I have to say, they're all pretty amazing!

Chocolate coconut - 1/2 cup almond milk, 1 cup water, 1 scoop Chocolate ShakeO, 2-3 drops coconut extract
Chocolate mint - 1/2 cup almond milk, 1 cup water, 1 scoop Chocolate ShakeO, 2 drops of peppermint extract
Chocolate covered strawberry - 1/2 cup almond milk, 1 cup water, 1 scoop Chocolate ShakeO, 1/2 to 1cup frozen strawberries
Chocolate covered cherry - 1/2 cup almond milk, 1 cup water, 1 scoop Chocolate ShakeO, 1/2 cup frozen cherries
Peanut Butter Cup - 1/2 cup almond milk, 1 cup water, 1 scoop Chocolate ShakeO, 1 heaping tbsp fat free peanut butter

I absolutely love starting my day and getting out of bed is now something I enjoy. Within about five minutes of drinking my shake, my energy level goes through the roof, I have more focus and I am actually feeling in control. Knowing that I'm starting my day with healthy nutrition give me alot of power to avoid overindulging later on the in the day; my cravings have dwindled to almost nothing, especially my carb craving.'s been a full month since I've been on this whole journey; I bet you're wondering what the results are.

No joke
Same mirror {and the one in our little condo that makes me look wider than I am}
Pure determination and results

Are you on your own journey? Link it up in the comments so I can give you a virtual high five!

Beachbody Coach, Dara Distel
*Disclaimer: I am provided the Shakeology shakes by my Beachbody coach Dara Distel for the purposes of getting healthy, and blogging about the product.


New Year New Me, Week 3

Well, this week was not without its challenges and I am so thankful for my coach Dara for being there to chat with when I was feeling down.

All in all, it went great. I've had more energy since starting Shakeology, and have definitely felt a difference in how my body functions after having a shake. I have alot more focus, and feel....strong and powerful. I'm not sure that will make sense, but truly after I have a shake for breakfast, I feel like I just poured so much good nutrition into my body that I feel strong and like anything is possible in that brand new day.

Top r - coffee cubes, banana-choco shake, enjoyment and fulfillment,  new ingredients!, choco-strawberry, cherry-choco

In tears on Day19

Then, mental and emotional exhaustion hit me on Day 19. Was I nuts for doing this? I'd noticed a few changes over the past week, like a lifted bum, less of a double chin, and slender shoulders...but was focusing on my flaws. It didn't help that it's that hormonal time of the month, but on Day 19, I found myself having to stop my workout twice, and sit and cry.

Then I wrote to Dara and her Beachbody support group that I was having a hard time with the mental aspect of things, and my team rallied to make me feel so much better.

In three weeks, I have improved my nutrition with Shakeology every day, have lost a crazy amount of inches, have size10 shorts that are too big, and have had to get new underwear and a new bathing suit. I know that the number on the scale doesn't matter a whole lot, so why was the mental game so difficult this week?

Slender shoulders and lifted bum, working out with a toddler,
Week1 to Week 3 comparison, exhaustion, heismans and
feeling accomplished

Post-Partum Depression. That's why. I am still struggling 2.5 years later since PPD from time to time, and having a  moment to cry and reflect on the past three weeks was actually a good thing for me. I was able to take stock in my accomplishments and look at my new coping strategies. Shakeology has provided so much mental clarity for me, alot more focus and I'm able to push through my very busy schedule without sacrificing my health. Insanity helps with the focus, and sense of achievement when I push through ever day and finish a workout.

How do you deal with the mental aspects of being a busy, exhausted and mentally drained mom? Shakeology and Insanity are my answer, along with the support of my awesome coach Dara.

Beachbody Coach, Dara Distel, after Shakeology - can you believe she has a 17month old!?

*Disclaimer: I am provided the Shakeology shakes by my Beachbody coach Dara Distel for the purposes of getting healthy, and blogging about the product.


New Year, New Me...Week 2!

So how did Week 2 of the Beachbody challenge go?

Well, I can absolutely say that I have seen huge changes in my body. The top left photo is a comparison of week 1 and week 2. The inches are coming off and I am so much stronger already!

What I learned....I've learned that I don't always have to keep up with everyone on the workout. This is about my limits and my boundaries, and me pushing them. I've learned that I love working out in my yoga tights and a sports bra {never ever ever thought I'd say that!} and I've learned that I need new bras and underwear as mine are TOO BIG!

Day 1 Fit Test (left), Day 15 Fit Test (right)

I've also learned that I love the Heisman, football drills, sprints, hurdle jumps and still really hate burpees. I'm not sure that I will ever love them. And I learned on Day15 that I have made some serious progress in terms of my strength, speed and overall cardio health.

My proudest moments over the past week were getting through Plyometric Cardio without tears (see b/w photo of me smiling in the first collage) and having Owen run up to me after a workout yelling "Good Job, Mommy!" It also felt pretty darn good to be complimented and hear the words "thin", "lost alot of weight", "you look great" and "hello, skinny Shannon!"

I know that I still have alot of work to do, and it's only Day 15 of Insanity as I write this. I know that I will have some challenges ahead - like facing the scale and it's dirty mind tricks (even though there is a drop in weight -3lbs since Christmas) - but I also know what I see in the mirror, and what I feel in my heart; positive change.

I also started on Tuesday with Shakeology, which I will be having each and every morning as breakfast for the next 30 days, and the incorporating into my daily routine to remain healthy, get the proper nutrition to set up for an excellent day, and curb the cravings that have plagued me for most of my life {hello, chocolate and bread! I'm talking to you!}

I also have learned that even with the amount of determination and motivation that I have, I still fall every now and then, and my emotions can get the best of me. This is when having a coach like Dara is so important. I am so thankful to be able to send her a quick message saying Ok, so I don't feel so great about myself today and for her to remind me just why I am doing this, and how much I have accomplished in just two short weeks.

Next week, I'm going to experiment with some Shakeology recipes and test the waters to see what I like. So far, it's a such rich and yummy chocolate shake that I absolutely love starting the day with - it's seriously like having a milkshake and getting a chocolate fix all at once. My craving is satisfied, and I know that I'm putting incredible ingredients into my body to help fuel it for a busy day. Stay tuned!! Next week is all about Shakeology and how it can help you attain optimal health, without chemicals, and embracing positive change into your life!

On your own health journey? Setting positive examples for your kids? Let me know in the comments!!

Beachbody coach Dara Distel, before and after Shakeoloy

*Disclaimer: I am provided the Shakeology shakes by my Beachbody coach Dara Distel for the purposes of getting healthy, and blogging about the product.