Fall Fitness Challenge update weeks 5-7

An update on how the past 3 weeks of my fitness challenge have been going for me! Or in other words, “finding clarity”. Fall Fitness Challenge update weeks 5-7 

So, I realize I forgot to update you on weeks 5 & 6 so I’m tacking on week 7 for this update. Check out my feelings from weeks 1 & 2 and from weeks 3 & 4.

Fall Fitness Challenge update weeks 5-7 (treatswithatwist.com)

Ok, so we left off feeling F-A-T, right? Ugh, shiver. Yes.

Something occurred to me. After a conversation with my TIU buddy, we both realized we had strayed from our goals. What were we working towards? What was the point?

After looking over our goals, things came back into focus. I wanted to better my yoga practice. I wanted to feel more confident and balanced. I wanted to focus on my health. This is more than just finishing the workouts every day, it’s a mindset.

*ding*

Bell going off…goals refocusing in my head. I really needed that realization.

I let go of the mileage mindset. The run till its done wasn’t a priority. And guess what happened?

I hit the #100byHalloween goal. In the middle of a run under the stars. A proud moment.

And I signed up for Advanced Yoga classes. I went, and felt SO strong and so accomplished. And I’m going to keep going, because feeling like a badass in a world where I didn’t know my body type could fit in, yet I love it so much, is just the best feeling ever.

And my husband made another brilliant point (after I called and made an emergency holistic nutritionist acupuncturist appointment to “fix” it all and almost made another appointment with my neurologist): it took my body 2 years to fight its way out of the depths of poor health, something my doctors told me probably just wasn’t in the cards for me. So what’s to say it won’t take a significantly long time to adjust back to “normal” and for my weight to naturally stabilize? Makes perfect sense if you think about it. He’s so smart. And I’m so lucky for some clarity. I’ll keep the acupuncturist appointment because I’m still curious about that realm of healing, but I’ll forgo the neurologist for awhile.

Progress: Accomplishing 100 miles and beyond!

            Working on yoga handstands in advanced yoga!

            Signing up for Race for the Cure, which I’ll be running on Saturday!

            Printing the fall update to the nutrition plan and making some YUM orange almond Brussels sprouts!

           

I can’t believe this next week is the LAST week of the challenge! I can’t believe we’ve done 8 weeks! I am psyched to see little kiddos come around for Halloween and not feel a need to hide all of the best chocolates beforehand, because it will really all be for them. I am excited to find another fitness goal to work on as the holidays hit!

I’m rewarding myself with a new Manduka yoga mat when it’s all done! Yay. 

 

Treats From the Week: 

Chai Tea Madeleines (and a Giveaway!) 

Chai Tea Madeleines (treatswithatwist.com) #glutenfree #cookies

 

 

Double Marshmallow Krispie Treats: 

Double Marshmallow Krispie Treats (treatswithatwist.com)

Double Marshmallow Krispie Treats

Double Marshmallow Krispie Treats are a softer, more delicious version than the original! You’ll never make Krispie Treats the same old way again. 

Double Marshmallow Krispie Treats (treatswithatwist.com)

This past weekend we a friend and his girlfriend visiting for the first time since we moved into our new house! Playing hostess was nerve-wracking yet so fun…

Except a small thing that keeps pinching at me…

Not to complain…

I made multiple meals. Our dishwasher is broken. I made a huge pot of green curry, and our friend said he had never had curry before earlier in the day. So needless to say I was really nervous, because curry is a take it or leave it food, but I knew that my method turns out darn-good results, so I knew I just had to go for it! Well, everyone ate all of it…but not a SINGLE word was said.

How terrible is that?! How much of a mess would you be?! I get not complimenting my scrambled eggs [though they are pretty darn fluffy and amazing if you ask me], though that bothered me too. But dinner went without a single compliment OR complaint too?

Maybe I’m a foodie and I think food is a bigger deal than it is…

Maybe I was raised by the Emily Post family crossed with the manners police family…

But that bothered me. And remember the dishwasher? Yes, I hand washed dishes for the whole weekend…without a single disingenuous offer to assist…

Call me crazy. Guess I’m nit-picking? Let’s just say that I guess I’m just so used to going to peoples’ houses, doing their dishes, gushing over their mad cooking skillz and then sending a thank you note when I get home. [invite me over!]

Ok, now that you hate me [and will probably never visit, though I promise I won’t be judging you after this learning experience]…

Double Marshmallow Krispie Treats (treatswithatwist.com)

I made Double Marshmallow Krispie Treats! [yes, for said weekend]

Covered in sprinkles!

Double Marshmallow Krispie Treats (treatswithatwist.com)

Double Marshmallow Krispie Treats (treatswithatwist.com)

These were totally inspired by Shelly, because after she posted these, I couldn’t get them out of my head. Then Amanda posted a picture of a fluffy marshmallow-packed Krispie treat too…HAD to do it!

These are super simple, so grab 2 bags of mallows and play along! I’m thinking of even making them to hand to parents of Trick-or-Treaters in my neighborhood. [Or will they just get thrown away because they’re not packaged and thus poisoned?] 

Double Marshmallow Krispie Treats
Double Marshmallow Krispie Treats are a softer, more delicious version than the original! You'll never make Krispie Treats the same old way again. (makes12-16)
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Ingredients
  1. 2 bags of mini marshmallows
  2. 6 cups krisp'd rice cereal (gluten free, you know the stuff)
  3. 4 Tbs. unsalted butter
  4. sprinkles (I used 1/2 a bottle...)
Instructions
  1. Spray a 9x13" dish with nonstick spray
  2. In a large (LARGE) pot on your stovetop, over medium heat, melt the butter. Add 1.5 bags of the marshmallows and stir until melted.
  3. Turn off the heat. Add the cereal and stir to combine, then add the last 1/2 bag of marshmallows and stir a few times to distribute them.
  4. Transfer it all to your prepared 9x13 dish. Spray your hands with nonstick spray and use them to pat down the Treats until level. Generously sprinkle the top with sprinkles. Wipe your hands off (so they're not greasy), and pat the sprinkles into the top of the Treats.
  5. Let set for 30 minutes. Cut, enjoy!
Notes
  1. These can also be made in the microwave.
  2. Krispie treats can be stored in an air-tight container on the counter for a week.
  3. (pictures may appear different than what you make because I added an extra cup of cereal, but to make them extra gooey just follow the recipe)
Treats With a Twist http://www.treatswithatwist.com/wp/
 Thank you for all of your entries into my cookbook giveaway

Chai Tea Madeleines (and a Giveaway!)

Chai Tea Madeleines from a new cookbook by Barbara Feldman Morse, Madeleines: Elegant French Tea Cakes to Bake & Share,  are a fun, super simple cookie. Plus, I have a chance for you to win the cookbook too! Yay! 

Chai Tea Madeleines (treatswithatwist.com) #glutenfree #cookies

This is a fun one!

Madeleines! Have you ever had them? I hadn’t until I started flipping through this beautiful book and realized how simple they were. I just had to make some.

Madeleines are those adorable little shell-shaped cookies. Sometimes they’re the classic clam shape, but sometimes they’re swirly shell shapes too. And, if they’re made in my kitchen, they’re shaped like blobs because I attempted baking them in a mini tart pan. They work in any pan, but they’re really so charming if you have a real Madeleine pan.

I don’t think I even really had a need to make Madeleines until I got this book. But, because of Barbara Feldman Morse’s easy 1 bowl method and charming stories (and TONS of flavor options), I knew I had been missing out. Plus, they all have minimal ingredients! I’ve never seen cookies with so few ingredients in the list. Good stuff.

I’d definitely recommend picking up this gift before the madness of Christmas cookie season kicks in. The recipes are so simple and there are so many variations, that you’ll definitely have your cookies tackled in no time.

I started with the Chai Tea Madeleines (and made them gluten free with a gluten free flour blend), but the Espresso Chip Madeleines, Joyful Madeleines (which are a spin on an Almond Joy), Peanut Butter and Jelly Madeleines, and Bananas Foster Madeleines are definitely all calling my name!

Chai Tea Madeleines (treatswithatwist.com) #glutenfree #cookies

Ok! Now for the good stuff. I have a super simple cookie recipe for you…and a chance to win a copy of this cute cookbook. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post (make sure your email address is included in your login) telling me your favorite cookie! That’s it!

Chai Tea Madeleines (treatswithatwist.com) #glutenfree #cookies

Chai Tea Madeleines (treatswithatwist.com) #glutenfree #cookies   

Chai Tea Madeleines
This gluten free version of Barbara Feldman Morse's Chai Tea Madeleines is so simple and quick that you'll be enjoying cookies in no time. These charming French cookies are perfect for a quick cookie fix or for gifts. (yields 15 cookies)
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Ingredients
  1. 6 Tbs unsalted butter
  2. ½ cup raw sugar
  3. 1 large egg
  4. 1 Tbs. honey
  5. 2 tsp. “chai tea latte mix”
  6. ½ cup plus 2 Tbs. gluten free flour blend (I used Trader Joe’s)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spray mini Madeleine or mini tart pan with nonstick spray.
  2. In a large microwave safe bowl, microwave the butter until melted. Use a whisk to mix in the sugar. Set aside for 5 minutes, until cool.
  3. Next, whisk in the egg until smooth. Add the honey, chai tea mix and gluten free flour and whisk until completely mixed together and smooth.
  4. Use a small cookie scoop to distribute batter into your mini Madeleine or mini tart pan (I ended up having enough batter for 15 cookies, so I used 2 pans). Bake for 12 minutes, or until the cookies look slightly domed on top and golden brown.
  5. Remove pan from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for a few minutes, then remove them from the pan (I used a small paring knife to make sure the sides were released and then used a small offset spatula to pop them out of the pans carefully).
  6. Serve them warm or let them cool completely then store in a ziptop bag.
Notes
  1. Cookies can be kept in a tightly sealed container for 4 days on the counter or in the fridge for a week. If you’d like to keep them longer, keep them in the freezer
Adapted from Madeleines by Barbara Feldman Morse
Adapted from Madeleines by Barbara Feldman Morse
Treats With a Twist http://www.treatswithatwist.com/wp/
 

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the cookbook for free to review as I please. The giveaway is sponsored by Quirk books. Open to US residents only. This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. Cheers. 

What I’ve Been Reading

It’s time to show you What I’ve Been Reading! I love sharing my latest book adventures with you and I hope it helps you add another book to your reading list. 

book review by treatswithatwist.com

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell:

I can’t say it enough: I LOVE Rainbow Rowell.

She is brilliant.

I don’t know how she does it, but she makes you love the male character for all of his awkwardness and extreme attractiveness so thoroughly. Through all of his faults. Or maybe I’m strayed too easily by the thought of a pretty face? But I truly love her characters and how she makes me feel about them (usually there’s a guy in a story and I have a “eh, he’s ok but I’ll play along” feeling about him).

Anyways, this one is about Lincoln, an emotionally bruised late-20s guy living in a small town (in his mom’s house), and he works in a newspaper. But he works at night. Reading company emails that have been flagged. Got it?

So, we’re also reading the email exchanges between two ladies he works with, Beth and Jennifer, and just like Landon, we get to peek into their lives and wish we knew them, even though we’ve never seen them.

Have you ever fallen in “love” with someone just based on their words? Based on a text or emails or FB status updates or anything like that?

I love this. I love that Lincoln is torn between how much he hates his job and how much he wants to keep reading Beth and Jennifer’s emails, and he hates that he’s basically dug himself in a hole (how do you meet someone in real life and tell them you already know them because you read their emails AND expect them to still want to get to know you? Tricky tricky).

READ THIS ONE. You’ll love it too. Plus, it’s super quick. It takes a couple days and you wish it could go on and on.

 

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn:

I’m pretty sure I was the last person to read this book, but if you haven’t (and you’re the last person), then this review is for you.

I get some sort of sick satisfaction from reading a book that messes me up mentally. The kid of book that you finish and think, “oh my God I must be a sicko because I felt BAD for that person, I was on their team until I really knew what was going on!!” I love when an author is THAT good, that I feel awful for defending a character and then I find out how very wrong I was. That’s good writing.

I’m sure you know the gist, based on movie previews, but all I can say is this book is told from two points of view. It’s about a man and a wife, and the wife goes missing, and the frantic search that ensues and mystery of the whole situation will suck you in and have you re-hypothesizing during almost every chapter.

It’s crazy.

My mom told me that she didn’t think she liked it but that she needed me to discuss it with her as I read it…well I loved it up until the last few chapters. I was screaming, basically. And at the end, I felt so worn out and stunned that I told her I didn’t know if I liked it anymore either even though I loved it (make sense?).

Oh, and yes, it ends. One of those. It ends and you’re left (if you’re like me), yelling “noooooooo!!!!!!” and making up your own ending just so you can sleep that night.

  book review by treatswithatwist.com  

The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith

This book took me by surprise.

My husband and I just bought our first house, and ever since then, I’ve been a mess, paralyzed by decorating ideas. I can’t seem to actually do anything, due to financial reasons and mental reasons. Yes, mental. I have a deep fear of things not looking like I hope they look in my mind, so walls remain blank and we have practically no furniture (we moved from a 1 room apartment).

I’ve been reading a lot of crafty books that follow my personal style, which only leads to more things crammed into my brain. This book really helped me work out some of my issues. Although I’m not particularly religious and the author clearly is, I could definitely see where she was coming from with all of her advice.

You may know Myquillyn from her blog, The Nester, but if you don’t, then this is a great read to get to know her and YOU. She kind of knocks on your noggin: hello, it’s only paint, they’re only nails, and wood is wood. Paint the walls (it only takes a couple hours out of one day of your life!), hang up pictures and rehang them if you have to (holes are not the end of the world…blank scared walls are), paint that old dresser that you hate because you’ve had it forever but you’ve never painted it because your mom told you “it’s good wood.” Um, if you don’t like it and you’re living with it, why not change it and make yourself and your space happy?

Her words were really encouraging and inspiring. It’s not so much a “in this room, do this” kind of decorating book, it’s more of a “here’s some therapy so you can do whatever your heart desires” book. Got it?

And if you’re a renter and you want to bang your head on the wall because you feel stuck (but you can’t do that because you won’t get your deposit back), she has amazing advice for you too! She and her husband moved SO many times and were dirt poor, and she collected the experiences and compiled them.

This book will give you some new-found hope for your space.

 

 

And that’s it! I’ve been reading a lot of cookbooks and home books, but I didn’t know if you’d consider that a “book” and if you’d want reviews. If so, let me know! If not, that’s cool too, we’ll keep this going (it adds balance to my food-filled life).

 

What have you read lately?! Has anyone read Lena Dunham’s new book? I’ve been contemplating reading that one next.

 If you want more suggestions, check out my other book review posts here…and here…and here

Note: this is not a sponsored post. Links are affiliate links through Amazon but just to show you which books I bought and read. 

Pumpkin Spiced Chia Pudding

Pumpkin Spiced Chia Pudding is one of those treats that makes you feel like you’re indulging, but really you’re getting in a nutritious snack (or dessert!). Chia seeds are packed with healthy omega’s and pumpkin is packed with vitamins, and the whole recipe is amped with fiber and FLAVOR! So go on, enjoy some pumpkin! 

Pumpkin Spiced Chia Pudding (treatswithatwist.com) #glutenfree #autumn #fall #vegan

I’m having a few random revelations, so bare with me. 

Or is it bear?

That was one. I could Google, but I’m feeling spontaneous. 

2. I’m so much stronger than I ever thought. Today (Tues) I took an advanced yoga class. I was scared sheetless {<– see what I did there?} to attend it and my social anxiety was in full gear, but my current yoga instructor (whom I would follow to the end of the Earth), told me to try it. She told me that I would really enjoy it because it’ll push me into the poses I’m most drawn to (inversions). So, I did it! And guess what: my yoga instructor was right there taking the class next to me! And I made it through the whole class, sweaty, shaky and so happy! I did it! I kicked its arse! {note: I’m not British, I apologize} 

3. I am sick of texting and driving. I’m sick of the random occurrences that I do it (shamefully), and I’m sick of seeing other people do it. I’m sick of trucks randomly swerving into my lane or going 20 mph too slow, only for me to pass them and realize they’re texting. 
I get it, trust me, I do. It’s so easy to do if  you’re a multitasking superhero like myself. And when you take road trips that last 6+ hours (like I do every few weekends), it’s easy to get caught up in how “good” you’ve gotten at it. But I really am tired of seeing it. I’m tired of my husband reloading ESPN.com to see the games get updated every 5minutes (or 30 seconds…depending on what day it is). 
This isn’t a big ol “it can wait” campaign, I have no horror story to relay to you (thank goodness), I’m just saying I’m annoyed. And 99% of it has to do with other drivers driving me nuts, because I have wicked road rage, but the other 1% is a true fear. 

Just had to let you know.

Pumpkin Spiced Chia Pudding (treatswithatwist.com) #glutenfree #autumn #fall #vegan

Pumpkin Spiced Chia Pudding (treatswithatwist.com) #glutenfree #autumn #fall #vegan

Ok! NOW on to some Pumpkin Spiced Chia Pudding! Are you a thoroughly jaundiced shade of orange yet? No?! Me either, so let’s keep working on it!

Chia pudding is so dang good. I’m a “snack pack” kind of girl. 

If you don’t adore the texture, blend all of the ingredients in a blender to get a smooth pudding after it’s set. Problem solved. 

The taste of this one is spot on. Like, dead ringer for some killer good pumpkin pie. You’ll love it. You just have to. 

And do I even have to mention the vitamins and minerals in this sucker?! Omega’s, fiber, vitamin A, beta carotene, anti-inflammatory and digestive aide…the list goes on and on. All of that just from this bowl of pudding. Now if that isn’t a reason enough to shovel this in, I don’t know what is! Enjoy! 

Pumpkin Spiced Chia Pudding (treatswithatwist.com) #glutenfree #autumn #fall #vegan

Pumpkin Spiced Chia Pudding (treatswithatwist.com) #glutenfree #autumn #fall #vegan

Pumpkin Spiced Chia Pudding
Pumpkin Spiced Chia Pudding is a vitamin, omega, fiber-packed treat that tastes just like pumpkin pie! No guilt here, only sweet nutritious autumn delight! (makes 2 portions)
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  2. ¼ cup chia seeds
  3. ½ tsp. cinnamon
  4. ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  5. ¼ tsp. allspice
  6. 1 Tbs. maple syrup
  7. 2 Tbs. pumpkin puree
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap. Let set in the fridge for 2 hours (at least).
  2. Take the pudding out of the fridge, stir, then put back in the fridge for another 2 hours or until you're ready to eat it.
  3. Serve it up (layer with more pumpkin if you want!) and enjoy!
  4. Makes 2 portions
Notes
  1. I recommend stirring the pudding after a couple hours. Even if you let it sit overnight without stirring it, it will have a liquid layer and a thicker layer or blobs. Stirring it after a few hours ensures everything gets evenly absorbed and much thicker!
Treats With a Twist http://www.treatswithatwist.com/wp/