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Tuesday, 10 January 2017

A Healthy Snack for the New Year ... Hello 2017

Day 10 January 2017

It's hard to believe that it is a new year already.  If you are like me you might have indulged a bit too much over the holidays and gained a bit of extra bulge. I hope that you kept on walking30 in December because that always helps keep things under control. 
What I find most frustrating is that once I climb on the sugar train at holiday get togethers I find it almost impossible to stop the cravings for more sugar. You know the drill ... all of a sudden your best intentions are down the drain and you start looking toward the new year for a new plan. 
As a partial fix for the holiday dilemma I put together this recipe a few years ago and I make up a batch every month or so and store them in the fridge for a quick nutritious snack with just a touch of sugar from the chocolate and bit of dried fruit. 
If you have any suggestions or comments please share them.

        Sue’s Healthy Chocolate, Seed, Nut Bars
 In bowl mix together:
2 cups ground almond meal
3/4 cup coconut flour
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut flour
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup hulled hemp seeds
1/2 cup organic cranberries
4 tbs organic cacao powder (or baking cocoa)
Handful of coarsely chopped walnuts
Handful of coarsely chopped almonds
2 tbs peanut butter powder

Substitute raisins for cranberries or other dried fruit

Melt in a sauce pan on a very low heat or in a double boiler:

150 grams of 70% dark chocolate (1/2 a large Presidents Choice bar)
3/4 cup coconut oil
When this mixture is liquid ... add to the dry ingredients and ...
Mix well  

Prepare a 33 X 23X 5 cm pan with foil lining (buttered)
or plastic wrap (make sure that you have extra wrap on both ends so that you can remove the bars easily when cooled).

Pour the mixture into the pan and pack it down evenly and firmly.
1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips can be scattered evenly over the top.
Next ...

Melt together:
75 grams of 70% dark chocolate (1/4 of a large PC bar)
1/3 cup coconut oil
Then spoon over the mixture in the pan evenly covering the chocolate chips.

Pop the pan in the freezer for an hour and then into the fridge until you are ready to cut into pieces. The bar should come out of the pan easily ... pull at the plastic wrap on the ends to release or flip it over on a cutting board if it has a foil lining. 

Remove plastic or foil ... cut into approximately 70 or 80 pieces.  There is usually a little bit of crumble left when you are cutting them up. If they are too crumbly you should be sure to add more coconut oil and/or chocolate to your next batch and be sure to pack it well into the pan before cooling.

These bars store well in the fridge for up to a month or so.
A serving would be one or two :)

Although it is very hard to eat just one or two! Good Luck!

That's it! ... I haven't done the math around calories ... but if you use good healthy ingredients and at least 70% dark chocolate along with portion control ... this can make a good bar to have before a workout or when the sugar bug bites you.
Walk On Strong!

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Day 29 ... One More Day!!

Day 29 The End of Our September Walk30 Challenge

... and the beginning of our October Challenge is just a day away. 
How did your 30 days of walking30 go?  Were there days that it just seemed impossible to get those 30 minutes in?  Where there other days when you started out on a thirty minute walk to find that it had stretched into and hour or more? 
One thing that I always like to remember about a challenge is that it is there to stretch us ... help us to be the person we aspire to be and live the healthiest life possible.
 The last few days have been soggy and dull.
I found myself out in the rain at 11 p.m. tonight because I had more walking to do.  I had a stressful day and spent a lot of time on the phone. By 5 p.m. I felt like having a long nap and there was a bit too much TV in the evening. Sitting doesn't get the job done when it comes to a challenge so we grabbed our umbrellas and the dog and walked. 

If you got out the door more this month ... give yourself a pat on the back and promise yourself that you'll come and walk30 in October. The great thing about the Walk30 Challenge is that every month you have a new opportunity. Thanks for walking with me and make tomorrow the best walk yet!

Walk On Strong,

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Day 22, 23, 24 In the Home Stretch for the WAlk30 Challenge

Day 22, 23, 24 In the Home Stretch for the WAlk30 Challenge

There are just five days left in the September walk30 Challenge ... how are you doing?
Getting out the door these past few days has been a lot easier with this outstanding Fall weather. This beautiful, clear, slightly cool weather makes this the best time of year for walking.

 There are many Saturday mornings that it is a real pain getting out of bed when the alarm goes off ... but I am always glad I did!  It was cool enough for a coat when we started out but the sun warmed things up quickly.
As you can see from the pictures here we saw a blue heron in the water near the University path. We are blessed with some great trails in Waterloo Region.

Take care and Walk On Strong!

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Day 19 and 20.. 10,000 Steps Versus Waling30

Day 19 and 20.. 10,000 Steps Versus Walking30

I wear a fitbit and I love it!  It helps me stay true to my 10 thousand step daily goal which in turn keeps me off my butt more during the day.  There has been a lot of research and talk lately about the dangers of sitting too long at your desk, computer or in front of the TV. Just putting in a few steps during a commercial or an hourly break can avoid or undo some of the damage done by the sitting habit. Check out this article about the sitting habit and its impact on your health from the Mayo clinic website:  What Are the Risks of Sitting Too Much? 
I have a voice that announces the hour on my computer so that I remember to get up and move... it doesn't always work but it helps:)

All that being said, getting 10,000 steps doesn't always mean that you are getting out the door for an old fashioned walk.  There is also an equal amount of research that touts the benefits of fresh air and nature for enhanced physical and mental health. Even if you break your walk30 into 10 minute walks you are still reaping that benefit and if your walk can take you to a park or past a tree ... all the better. Here is an article from The Globe and Mail: How Walking in Nature Changes the Brain.
A park in Paris ... that was a great walk!
 When you line up your day try to get some of that walking done outside if possible.  There are days when it is tough but there are always umbrellas and winter boots to help you out! 

So your step count goal can, and possibly should, include that walk30. We have been renovating the basement and it has been taking up a lot of time over the past few days ...  I still got in my walk30 and renovating took care of my 10 thousand step goal... life is good!

Walk On Strong!!

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Day 21 Dancing30 today!

Day 21 My first dance class of the fall session... a fun way to get those steps in!

I teach a crazy, fun dance class called a Chance2Dance and our first get together was tonight. It was an hour of good music and shaking your troubles away ... literally. So, along with a walk I got out my dancing duds and took to the dance floor.  There really is nothing better than getting lost in the music.

Remember to change up your routine occasionally ... it will keep you moving. That's it for day 21 ... only 9 days left in this Challenge ... keep it up!
Walk On Strong,

Day 16, 17, 18 A weekend away in Owen Sound!

 Day 16, 17, 18 A weekend away!
We were lucky enough to get a few days away to visit with some amazing friends in Owen Sound.  Just a scenic two hour drive through lots of southern Ontario small towns and villages on our way north.  Our friends live in an old Church that is a home and an art studio just a little bit out of the city. 
Friday was a challenge getting my 30 minutes in but when all else fails I just start marching around the room before hoping into bed.  
Saturday we followed tradition and went for breakfast at the Downtown market.  It is a small market but as you can see it is busy and bountiful!

Saturday was a very rainy day... I am never a huge fan of getting soaking wet... but with the help of a few umbrellas we did our walk30 on the Bruce Trail that runs right next door to our friend's little church. 
Here is a little information about the trail from www.ontariotrails.on.ca

The Bruce Trail is the oldest and longest marked hiking trail in Canada. It is 840 km long, with over 440 km of side trails. Every year more than 400,000 visits are made to the Trail as people walk, snowshoe, watch wildlife, take photographs and admire the glorious scenery of the Escarpment.
We were walking on one of the easier stretches of the Bruce but if you like hiking I highly recommend this trail ... it will keep you busy all year.
I have been out waking already today but an evening walk is still in the works ... hope you had a great Walk30!
Walk On Strong,

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Day 14 and 15 Walking the Dog

Day 14 and 15 Walking the Dog

Some days there is just one thing that helps me get out the door ... Annie our Newfoundland dog. There is really nothing more to report over the past few days aside from taking the dog out with the intention of getting my walk30 done and enjoying the evening. 
Noah and Annie ... quite a pair!

We took Annie for grooming yesterday and she also visited her step brother Noah ... what a pair of beautiful dogs ... and they help us get moving too!
We are half way through our Walk30 Challenge... keep on walking.
Walk On Strong!