How to Make Cookies Healthy

HOW TO MAKE COOKIES HEALTHY, PLUS A LITLE INSIDER ON SUGAR, AND A YOGA MAT WINNER! So....let's just get real for a minute.

The past 2 weeks, Sugar has been on display in my home, community, and thoughts.

Let's start with Sugar in my HOME.

As I mentioned previously, we skipped Halloween this year and went camping as a family.  So I literally had zero candy! WIN for me! But, that week of Halloween, I took my husband grocery shopping with me, and he saw that the ice cream was on sale. So I agreed to buy ice cream and we left the store with not one, but two 1/2 gallons of ice cream, (buy one get one was the sale).

In the past 6 months of my life, my eating habits have been awesome. I can confidently say that I am sticking to an 80/20 diet, and the best part is, it has become a way of life, not just a diet, or a way to "lose weight."  So, even as a person who loves chocolate, cake, candy, sweets, the list goes on, I have found my healthy alternatives for when I am needing something sweet.  My go-to is frozen, Greek Yogurt with Granola and dark chocolate chips.  I love, love, love it, and it really has been just what I need when I'm wanting a sweet snack or dessert.  THEN.....my husband bought ice cream.  And I'm not going to lie, secretly I was okay with it, and kind of excited.  It wouldn't have been bad if I would've just eaten one bowl, but NO...I had one bowl every night for the next week and a half, until the ice cream was GONE!

Sugar in my COMMUNITY.

This past week my husband sent me a link to a podcast about healthy-living.  When I went to listen, it was an author who has written books about sugar.  She wrote about detoxing from sugar, and how it affects people's lives.  Their attitudes, feelings, and energy levels.  It was very intriguing.  On the same day, my sister told me that she bought a sugar detox book.

Also last week, a fellow blogger that I follow wrote about her experience during her month long sugar detox.  Jessica from the Fit Switch confessed to giving in to some fudge, and then talked about the downward spiral that happened after giving in to a little sugar.  Once she rationalized for some sugar, her body seemed to want it more and more, and she continued to rationalize.  It's a great read on how sugar affected her.

Sugar in my THOUGHTS.

After having my downward spiral experience with ice cream, sugar has been haunting me all week long! After eating a meal, not 30minutes later I feel like I need more food! I sincerely feel like that is attributed to the hunger for sugar my body is feeling after I fed it so much with the ice cream I was eating.  I understand that sugar is in more foods that just sweets, but for the most part, I have those other foods under control.  It's those sweets that seem to CONTROL ME when I give in even a little. So when I'm just home, and not staying busy, it seems that all my thoughts are focussed on either trying to find sugar, or trying to fight the urge to get sugar!

Secondly, after listening to the Podcast, finding a common ground with my sister, and reading the Fit Switch's post, I have been juggling with the thought of detoxing from sugar.

WOAH! I know that's a shocker!

I mean if I said I wanted to detox from sweets, that's a different story.  For me though, it would take a lot of research to find out what all has sugar in it.  I am positive there are so many things that I eat on a normal basis that I don't even realize how much sugar are in them.  Like my go-to granola that my husband and I love.  I have found that to be one of my favorite snacks, and a healthy alternative to other sweets, but to detox from sugar would mean no granola for me.

I wonder if I could actually do it. I wonder if  I could be SUCCESSFUL at a SUGAR DETOX!?!? 

Honestly....It Scares Me to Try!

So, I'm not quite going to commit to a sugar detox yet.  But I will commit to being MORE AWARE!

For the next few days/weeks, I commit to being aware of what foods I eat on a daily basis that have sugar in them.  I commit to being aware by limiting the foods I eat that have high sugar levels.  And I commit to being aware by doing more research on sugar detoxes.  Obviously I don't want to commit to a sugar detox just to FAIL! So before I go all-in, I want to do my research, and set myself up for SUCCESS!

Until then...NO MORE ICE CREAM IN MY HOUSE! I've decided if my husband needs to fulfill his craving for Ice Cream in the future, then he can go to Sonic or Dairy Queen, and get a personalized serving.  And I will stick to my frozen Greek Yogurt!

In the mean time, I'm finding better ways to bake some sweet treats in my house and keep them as healthy as possible.  I still need to look into the sugar levels of these cookies, so don't think they are SUGAR FREE, but these are just some substitute tips on how to make cookies healthy!

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-Replace sugar with honey!

For the first cup needed of sugar, use equal amounts of honey to sugar. Beyond the first cup of sugar required, use 2/3 of honey to each cup of sugar.

-Substitute most, if not all of butter with mashed bananas! 

Using butter when baking adds a whopping 1,600 calories and 177 grams of fat per cup used. Don’t use a banana measure-for-measure. Start by adding half a mashed banana, then judge the batter, adding a little more until you get the correct consistency. Some recipes may need a tablespoon or so of butter added back into it to get the best results.

-Use Dark Chocolate over milk chocolate or bittersweet chips

Dark chocolate is just the better choice of chocolate when eating it as candy or baking with it, so just start buying dark chocolate and your tastebuds will get used to it.

Cacao Nibs are an even better alternative! You can buy them HERE online.  I haven’t found them in stores near me yet, but I plan to look at a Natural Grocers soon.  Lot’s of other Fitness Bloggers suggest this for baking and smoothies as well!

-Substitute Coconut Oil for Vegetable Oil

Coconut oil is the oil of choice to use when baking or stir frying.  When baking with it, use equal measurements for the oil amount that it calls for. If it is a solid coconut oil, melt it first, then measure it out.

-Add protein powder or nuts 

Add some extra nutrition by adding some protein powder or nuts to your cookies! I added almonds to these!

I hope this helps.  We had a friend over helping my husband build some stuff today, so I decided I wanted to bake cookies from my favorite Christmas Cookie Cookbook.  So I baked these.  Part of it might have been my need for sugar, still coming off the sugar addiction from the ice cream, so I made some changes to make these a little better for me.

This is also a great way for me to practice healthy alternatives for when my son gets bigger and wants cookies, or needs them for school! I want him to still be able to enjoy some of the yummy foods in moderation, but why not make the healthy versions the NEW NORM for our family!

Now, for the WINNER!

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CONGRATS TO Anna Huynh FOR WINNING YOUR CHOICE OF A YOGA MAT FROM AFFIRMATS!

Take a look at their website, and email me which mat you want and your address to naturalnesters@gmail.com!

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