2016 was NOT the year of health and food, in fact, it was the year of baby. I spent January through September pregnant and the other three months taking care of a newborn. In other words, I had cravings, nausea, loss of appetite, out of control appetite, and to top it off an intense 8 weeks of trying to take care of a newborn and recover from a c-section, blah. That said, 2017 IS the year of health, BUT I live in Africa, so the recipes I used in 2015 are not really possible here. So what does that mean? Well, follow along as I venture through cooking from scratch without a whole foods around the corner.
So for my first recipe I have my go-to sweet snack. I'm trying desperately to cut back on sugars, but I'm still craving a little something, so these are perfect for hitting that sweet tooth and loading up on fiber. Plus, they are super easy to make!
No Bake Oatmeal Balls
- 2 cups of oatmeal (our oatmeal is really small, so you may only need 1 cup if you are using oatmeal in the states)
- 1 cup of smooth peanut butter
- 1 tsp. of vanilla
- 100% cocoa, I just add to taste, but I'd start with 1/2 cup, I've also skipped the cocoa and just added chunks of a dark chocolate candy bar as well.
- 1/2 - 1 cup of coconut, again depends on your coconut. Some of them are super fine and others not, so I add to taste. Also, I can't get unsweetened coconut here, but if you have access to it, I'd recommend using that instead of the sugary stuff.
- 1/3 cup of honey, again taste it and see if you want more.
Mix all ingredients in a bowl then form balls and place in fridge. If the ingredients won't stick together, try sticking them in the fridge for 30 minutes before forming the balls.
I'm still trying to find some other go-to sweet fixes, for instance, I make protein shakes. I cheated and brought a mix from the states and I just add non-dairy milk and frozen fruit. As part of this new year I really want to be held accountable for my health. As part of my 2017 goal planning my word was intentional and that fell into four categories: spirituality, community, and health, creativity. You can read more about it here. So join me as I attempt to eat health and exercise in Africa. I know it's going to be different and provide new challenges, but I want to look back in January 2018 and be able to say, "I did it." I'm tired of starting each new year over with same goal. Also, if you are like me and wanting to focus on your health but have a love-hate relationship with food, I encourage you to read "Made To Crave." I'm only a few chapters in but it's kicking my butt.
And for exercises I'm currently walking/jogging 5-6 times a week. We reserve Saturdays so we can skype with our families, but the other days we load up the baby in the stroller around 5:00pm and head out into the neighborhood for at least 30 minutes of walking and running. Three days a week we have been doing an app called running for weight loss. It gives you an interval workout for 36 minutes. However, once the hot season sets in around March, I'll have to switch up my workouts. My current plan is to start Focus T-25 (something I've had for a few years and tried before) that way I can put the a/c on in the living room and get a workout in, I just hope my downstairs neighbors don't mind.
So there we go, my plan to get healthy in 2017. I'd love to hear from those of you who have the same goal, what are some of the things you plan to implement to make it happen.