There’s an elephant on the blog, and I’m going to call it out. This is a couple healthy lifestyle recipes in a row. That requires some clarification. I am not an always healthy person. I’m a sometimes healthy person, but it comes in waves. Serious waves. For example, I ran a half marathon in June, but I’ve worked out less than 5 times since. Pretty sure I’ve eaten KFC more often than I’ve worked out in the last 4 months. And I have the tummy to prove it. Yikes!
y typical kickstart to a health wave is a need for control. Something in life is bad and I want to turn it around (start a new chapter! turn a new page! start fresh!), and getting fit and healthy gives me that control I crave, and the clear mind to conquer anything. But right now, I’m disgustingly happy. It’s seriously gross… I have probably the best boyfriend in the whole world, a happy puppy, and a roof over my head. Okay, there is a minor leak in my roof, but the rainy season has subsided, so I’m still going to say that things are unbelievably good! That’s why I’ve been doing such a good job becoming fat and happy. But now, on to a new wave – fit and happy. Hooray!!
I’ve decided to give lifting a try. Strength is sexy. Skinny is cool, too. But the soreness from working specific muscle groups is so much more satisfying than an hour on the elliptical. If I can feel the results before I can see them, maybe it’ll help keep me motivated?
I’ve had the same gym routine for years. Cardio, cardio, cardio. Then a little bit of an arm workout, a little bit of an ab workout, then stretching. Lots of stretching. But abs are my favorite part. Sore abs are what makes me feel like I worked out. So after doing arms last week on our first day back to the gym, I asked Adrien if he wanted to do some abs with me. Of course not! He has a routine, too, and Tuesday was arm day. Not ab day. No exceptions. Okay fine. But then I was out of town and we didn’t go for a week, and the next time we worked out it was arm day again. Um… wait, what? I demanded that as I say the days of the week, he tell me what “day” that is. If we don’t plan to work out because of football, so be it. It went like this:
Friday: Happy Hour
Oh geez. We are going to look SO goofy! Big ol’ arms and poofy chests and weird un-toned legs and bellies? Unacceptable! But hey, at least we’re doing something, getting a little more active, and taking baby steps. And I’ll do a little abs at the end of each workokut for good measure ;)
Oh, and one more thing – after I finally got Adrien to tell me what all the football days would be, it turns out that there isn’t even an ab day. Ain’t that somethin’??
Strange how getting back to the gym makes me crave healthier food. Almond butter is one of those snacks that feels like cheating, but in small(ish) quantities, it is really good for you. Plus it’s a gateway food to other healthy stuff like apples, celery, oh and might I recommend pretzels?
Just almonds and a little salt, a food processor, and a little bit of patience, and you have homemade almond butter. I have no idea why I’ve waited so long to start making my own almond butter. Most of the ones you get in the store are all natural anyway, so you aren’t necessarily avoiding preservatives by making it at home, but you do get to control the salt content and the quantity you make, plus you know it’s super fresh. The thing is, this is so dang easy, I don’t think I’ll ever buy it again. It’s also cheaper to make at home, especially if you can get a decent deal on almonds. The step-by-step on spaghetti squash was well-received and I think it helped show the simplicity of the recipe, so here’s a breakdown of the almond butter making process and what it looked like at each stage.
Ok, so this couldn’t get any easier. But the patience part is important. Good thing I’m a very patient person. HAHA oh man, yeah right. I won’t lie (anymore)… the first time I did this, I stopped at the 5 minute mark and figured it was almond buttery enough. But then I went back to it, let it warm up a little (maybe the motor was getting a little hot), and around the 8 minute mark, magic happened! The oil from the almonds finally released, and all of a sudden it was smooth and creamy and amazing! Here’s a step-by-step. I used a pretty high-powered chopper, but of course this works in a normal food processor. This. Is. So. Good!! Make it, make it, make it, and put it in a mason jar because they are super cool.
When all is said and done, you’ll end up with about half as much almond butter as you had almonds (ex: 2 cups nuts makes 1 cup butter). This will keep in the fridge for about a month, but if you add in flavorings, that may shorten the shelf life a bit. So next time you go to the store, grab some almonds and give this one a try! Then be really proud of yourself, because your kitchen is just a little bit more homemade. Cheers!!
Nutrition Info (2 tablespoon serving)