Monday, May 4, 2015

You can have a cookie.

I don't believe in zero treats. A world devoid of birthday cake would be sad. Thanksgiving without pies? Ugh. Every September when we pick apples or visit the cider mill, I'll have a single donut and hot cider. Lots of sugar and fat, so it's a treat once a year. I balance it out with healthy eating the rest of the day, and we skip the boxed deals and buy single donuts. Boxes of donuts beg to be eaten. So we just don't buy them.

While I enjoy treats, I won't eat cheesecake (probably one of the worst calorie and fat choices out there), or have desserts on a regular basis. That is to say, I don't eat the mammoth 5-person brownie special heart-attack-in-a-dish type of dessert at restaurants. I don't eat the packaged sweets at the grocery store, the little yellow cakes with white filling that used to be in my lunch box in the 70s. No store bought mass market cookies, cakes or pies. I took a picture once of the display of such products at the grocery store. I think it symbolized the problems with our health and fitness in this country. It was front and center when entering the store, begging to be noticed before the fruits and vegetables nearby.

I don't put whipped cream on my hot beverages. Many of those Starbucks drinks are too decadent for every day consumption and I can't fathom the empty calories in them. I don't drink the sugared sodas; Zevia is an occasional treat and I enjoy a small amount of alcohol a few times a year. (Wine has its heart benefits but women should be aware of frequency due to breast cancer connections.)

But every day, I have a cookie. It's as healthy as a cookie could be, with no added butter/oil and full of grains and fiber, and careful choices of sugar. My husband makes up a lot of them at once, so when you see the multiple cups of sugar and chocolate chips listed here, note that it makes approximately 76 cookies. So those ingredients are spread out among quite a few cookies. He has tweaked the recipe over the years, with flaxseed being a recent addition.

Wheat Germ Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
triple batch, serves 76

1.5 cups unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup Egg Beaters or other egg substitute
3 eggs
2.5 cups organic sugar*
0.5 cup molasses
4 tablespoons water
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1.5 teaspoons salt
2 cups powdered milk
3 teaspoons baking soda
3 teaspoons cinnamon
4.5 cups whole wheat flour
5 cups oatmeal
1 cup wheat germ
1 cup wheat bran
1 cup flaxseed
2.5 cups sliced almonds
2 cups dark chocolate chips (we use Hershey Special Dark and have used the Ghirardelli dark chips, but they're a bit on the large side)

The applesauce is a trick for oil replacement that we learned years ago. At one time we used all Egg Beaters but 3 eggs spread across an entire recipe isn't a harmful amount, unless there's an allergy or moral reason to skip eggs. We have found egg replacer ingredients but haven't experimented with them yet in this recipe. As for the eggs themselves, we use either eggs from locally raised free range chickens, or the Eggland's Best, both of which are supposed to produce eggs with lower cholesterol. *The organic sugar we use is called Wholesome Sweeteners evaporated cane juice organic sugar. The green package has fair trade and non-gmo labels on it and lists it as having no pesticides, herbicides, chemicals, and non bleached. So for granulated sugar, it's minimally processed... but still sugar. As for the non-gmo buzzword, disclaimer... yes I do buy non-gmo when possible as I feel the jury is still out on the health effects of modifying crops, and organic whenever possible because I just don't know the effects of a lifetime of eating pesticides on food, so I try to minimize that impact on myself whenever possible. I am not a nutritionist or otherwise expert in the food field, but I am a consumer who reads labels and follows the news as much as possible, on the things that affect our bodies. We do what we can do, right?

Now for how to make those cookies!

 Combine applesauce, sugar, molasses, eggs/Beaters, water and vanilla in mixer bowl.
In separate bowl, combine baking soda, salt, milk powder, flour, wheat germ, wheat bran, oatmeal, flaxseed and mix. Slowly add contents of dry bowl to mixer bowl on low speed.
Stir in almonds and chocolate chips.

Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto baking sheets covered with parchment paper.
Bake at 350 for 12-14 minutes or convection bake at 335 for 12 minutes.
Cool 1 minute on tray.
Remove from tray and allow to cool on rack.
Eat and enjoy!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Last Hoopdance Classes of 2014

December is typically a very busy month for many, but it is the season of giving, so give yourself an hour to have fun in a hula hoop and improve your fitness at the same time. Classes are available for December in single sessions. Sundays December 7, 14 and 21, and Wednesdays December 10 and December 17. Pre-registration is required in order to hold class -- no drop-in available. Registration closes 12 hours prior to class time, to avoid last-minute disappointments. Program revamps for 2015 -- stay tuned to news and improvements!

More information about the classes can be found on the Hoop Fitness tab.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Hoop class skill recaps

The recap videos we shot for the hoop skills students have been learning in class are slowly making their way to Moxie's "Inner Circle" website. There are an estimated couple dozen videos taken over the last several months with the intention of sharing them on the Inner Circle as a way to help practice along in between class meets. It is expected that the clients for whom they're intended have already learned and tried the move in class, so the format is a recap and less detailed than a tutorial would be, for example. Of course, if hooping is new to you and you want to try it, you are welcome to join us at any point in a series. I add skills as we go but we're not merely trying to nail a move once, but rather develop a smooth proficiency, so we revisit moves often.

If you want to be notified when more recaps are posted, subscribe to the Inner Circle and you shall be kept in the hoop!