A Little Behavioural Change and Cookie Baking Scheduling

A Little Behavioural Change and Cookie Baking Scheduling

I gotta say, cookies make me happy! 

A few weeks back, I started to lose track of ‘Lockdown Groundhog Days’ because all days seem to blur into one.  I began to feel unmotivated.  I didn’t want to go for another run or do another yoga class. I was also bored, irritable, and agitated. While I’m all for acknowledging my unwelcome feelings and letting people know about them, after a few days, I wanted those feelings to stop. I knew from my past experience of ‘behavioural change’ and becoming a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist, I had to find something different to do, something that brought me a ‘reward’. 

I searched my memory for these ‘things’ that might bring a sense of reward, and it didn’t take long for my grandmother and cookies to pop up.   My grandmother was a star. She would let me help her make the family favourite Chocolate Chip cookies and her own recipe Lemon Snowflake cookies.  

I’d stand next to her on a step stool, and she would let me beat the eggs with a hand-powered beater, and taught me how to measure flour and other dry ingredients by levelling off the filled measuring cups with the back of a knife.  She taught me to ‘pack sugar’ and whip butter until light and fluffy.  When it was time to clean up, my grandmother would leave a little more batter in the bowl than was necessary so I could lick the bowl clean before it went into the sink. 

When the cookies finished baking, I helped her put them in the huge airtight container ready for the family’s ‘cookie attack’. The cookies never lasted long.  This made me and my grandmother very pleased.  A job well done!

This makes me reminisce about simple family time with my grandmother, learning and practising a ‘craft’, knowing my family loved the results.  All these memories made me dig out my beloved Kitchen Aid mixer, search out recipes, start baking, and even sparked a quest to develop my own cookie. This holds value to me. I felt my motivation returning.

Now, I schedule cookie making on a Sunday mid-morning. It leaves me with a cheery smile and continuously talking about food science for the rest of the day. Two kitchen shelves have become home for every type of flour imaginable, different % dark chocolates, all types of sugar, and oils whilst the fridge is stocked with unsalted butter. I know a cookie passes the taste test if my son asks could I make it again. 

Now, just so you know, I do watch what I eat.  Basically, I watch what I eat, so I DON’T HAVE to watch what I eat.  I don’t eat all the cookies in the cookie jar,(I honestly probably eat more of the dough than the finished product!). I play around with ingredients, and I enjoy eating nutritionally.  I like to provide my body with what it needs to function and function well, hence cookie recipe development to satisfy all my needs. 

That’s just me. 

I’m not suggesting you bake cookies all day long; what I am suggesting is that if you happen to feel unmotivated, irritable, agitated, or just bored, think about what you used to enjoy, what used to make you smile, what brings value to your life, then go do it, or adapt it during lockdown, noting how you feel after.  Do you walk around with a cheery smile? Is your mood that bit brighter?  You never know, you may just find your sense of motivation returning. 

If you would like to know more regarding Behavioural Change and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, please get in touch via the form here I’ll be happy to chat.

PS. My son’s favourite home-baked delight: Paleo Coconut Flour Banana Bread!

Rochelle

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Banana bread! A delicious quick recipe using paleo coconut flour

Banana bread! A delicious quick recipe using paleo coconut flour

I love quick banana bread baking, because… it’s QUICK! I also love a quick-bread because having a homemade delicious product that is a delight to taste, touch, and smell, in under an hour definitely makes me happy!

I adore the smell that fills the kitchen, and actually, the whole house! It immediately relaxes me, and if there are others in the home, I’m guessing it relaxes them too. As far as touching goes, getting my hands messy whilst measuring out the ingredients reminds me of times I spent helping my grandma bake, and how much I learned from her. It’s soothing.

I also love the sense of creativity a quick-bread allows; you can vary the ingredients and make it: gluten free, dairy free, egg free, add different chocolates, nuts, and or fruit. You can let your imagination run wild and experiment!

PLUS, there aren’t many bowls or utensils to clean up! PERFECT!!!

I can definitely vouch for ambitiouskitchen.com Paleo Chocolate Chip Coconut Flour Banana Bread! (That was a mouthful!).

It is a moist, gluten-free, flavourful, nutritious, light, no added sugar delicious bread that I have happily been eating to fuel my early morning exercise whether it be running, yoga or strength training. My son has happily been munching on it for an afternoon, before and after dinner snack.

Why did I use Coconut flour? We are fortunate enough to have access to such a diverse range of foods with so many nutritional benefits that I give ‘everything a go’ to hopefully receive those benefits!

Potential health benefits of coconut flour are: controlling blood sugar, avoid gluten, high in fibre, and losing weight.

The peanut butter I used had pumpkin, sunflower, and flax seeds, which add nutrition in the form of protein, iron, zinc, magnesium, calcium, omega 3 essential fatty acids, B vitamins and Vitamin E to name a few. It only added to the flavour of the bread!

Recipe below by: Monique Volz @ Ambitious Kitchen)

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups mashed banana (about 3 medium ripe bananas, mashed)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup almond butter
2 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup coconut flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips, dairy free if desired plus extra for sprinkling on top

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 8×4 inch or 9×5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper and spray with non-stick cooking spray
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer or in a regular bowl, combine bananas, vanilla and almond butter; mix until well combined, smooth, and creamy
  • Add in eggs, one at a time and mix until combined. With the mixer on medium-low speed, add in coconut flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix again until just combined.
  • Gently fold in chocolate chips
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Sprinkle a few extra chocolate chips on top
  • Bake for 25-35 minutes or until tester inserted into centre comes out clean
  • Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool for 20 minutes, then carefully invert, remove bread from pan and place back on wire rack to cool completely.
    Cut into 12 slices and enjoy!

Other recipes you might like:

Discover the Deliciousness of Soft Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies
Try These Easy Spelt Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Jakes Tiger Boost Nut Butter Recipe – Cherry Overnight Oats

Rochelle

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Disclaimer: Run Body Run is an online magazine that shares events and services related to fitness, health and well-being that may be of interest to our followers. Please note Run Body Run is not affiliated in any way with the pages or people whose stories and recipes are shared in our articles. However, this article may contain affiliate links for products that we feature on our Recommended Products Page. We only endorse products we use and truly believe in. If you are interested in any events, products or businesses mentioned, please contact the companies and organisers directly for full information. If you feel that parts of this blog relate to you and you’d like to discuss this further, please fill out the form on our contact page.

Jakes Tiger Boost Nut Butter Recipe – Cherry Overnight Oats

Jakes Tiger Boost Nut Butter Recipe – Cherry Overnight Oats

Using Jakes Tiger Boost Organic Nut Butter to liven up your overnight oats. This makes a really filling breakfast perfect for run days to give you fuel!


SERVES: 1-2

INGREDIENTS:
For the Cherry Overnight Oats:
• 1/2 cup porridge oats
• 1/2 cup frozen sweet cherries or fresh if in season
• 1 tbsp Jakes Tiger Boost (Indulgently rich and biscuity, with cashews, brazil nuts, toasted coconut, sunflower seeds and tiger nuts)
• 1 tbsp desiccated coconut
• 1/2 cup almond milk

Jakes boost tiger boost nut butter

Photo Credit: Jakes Boost

For the Cherry Nicecream:
• 1/2 cup frozen sweet cherries or fresh if in season
• 2 frozen bananas
• 1 tbsp Jakes Tiger Boost
• 1/4 cup almond milk

METHOD:
• Chop the cherries roughly and mix with all the other ingredients. Transfer to your serving jar and leave for 10 mins or overnight so the oats can absorb the liquid.
• Chop the bananas. Blend everything together, scraping down the sides of your blender as necessary.
• If you have extra cherries you can create a layer of cherries over your oats, then a dollop of your favourite Jake’s Boost (Tiger Boost in this case) and then finally top with your nicecream.
• For an extra treat mix some nut butter with maple or agave syrup to make a sweet sauce to drizzle on top!

Enjoy!

Recipe provided by Ginger Vegan and published by Jakes Boost
This is not an affiliate link but a personal recommendation. Jakes Boost has given RunBodyRun permission to share their recipes.
Find out more about Jakes Boost or to purchase their delicious nut butters visit www.jakesboost.com

 

Emily Hambleton – The Power of Personal Strength & Determination

Emily Hambleton – The Power of Personal Strength & Determination

Talk about personal strength and determination!  It never ceases to fill me with inspiration to read about people who feel low, lost, and overwhelmed and fight back against those feelings. 

Here’s my scenario: I picture them as a boxer in a corner of a boxing ring, with their coach whispering to them. The bell goes, and they leave their corner.   They are faced with their opponent, and their feelings. They’ve faced this opponent previously, and somehow the opponent keeps winning. Something has changed, they are physically and mentally tired of those feelings and have decided they are not going to let them win, again. They are determined to stand their ground, face their opponent, come out swinging, and win! Emily’s Story reminded me of this scenario that sometimes plays in my mind’s eye.  Her own determination and personal strength shine through.  Tracy, Emily’s coach, gave her a hand with a little ‘boxing strategy’.

Tracy Dean is a world-class runner and her running CV can be considered ‘quite impressive’. It stretches from representing Great Britain as a member of the GB Ultra Running team, being the 2013 UK’s Trail Running Champion, and finishing 7th in the world in the 2018 World Champion 24hr Race in Romania. The race was running a 1.2k loop for 24hrs!! All this, and coming 8th female in the 2017 Ultra Trail Mont Blanc’s CCC, a 100k trail race crossing the Italian, Swiss, and French Alps,  along with too many 1st and 2nd places to mention, rightly gives a huge impression that Tracy knows how to train physically, mentally,  is clued into nutrition, and is rather, you could say…determined! Her philosophy is:

‘You are who you believe you are, you will achieve whatever you tell yourself you can achieve, you become all that you tell yourself you will be. You are the best version of yourself right now and you are moving forward to become the greatest version of yourself for the rest of your life’.

Tracy has a fundamental belief that people can change, and as a personal trainer has applied her knowledge, and experience of physical/mental training and nutrition to helping others reach their potential.

Emily’s Story

It was September 2018 and I was off work following a huge decline in my mental health. I was in a very dark place and got diagnosed with PTSD and anxiety. I was on over 7 different medications and I couldn’t wake up without having a panic attack. Getting dressed was an effort and I longed for a day where I didn’t feel terrified or had the feeling that I was going insane.

My sister had a membership at the gym and convinced me to sign up. I couldn’t think of anything worse. I had put on 6 stone following the death of my dad when I was 17 and I was unbelievably self-conscious so I couldn’t help thinking that putting myself in this environment would make me worse. However, a week later I found myself walking on the treadmill after taking 2 hours to even walk into the gym. I spent the whole of that walk crying so my sister suggested going to a class. I was willing to try anything to help my panic attacks so I reluctantly agreed to the provision that I could stay at the back in case I wanted to get out. The next day I found myself standing at the back of the class crippled by fear waiting for it to start. The class was led by Tracy Dean and this was the first time I’d ever met her. She smiled at me and started the class and before I knew it I had completed my first ever gym class.

To this day I still don’t know what made me do it but I told my sister to go and ask Tracy if she did personal training. I signed up that day with her and from that day my life changed forever.

I began to look forward to my weekly training session and it was something to focus on. The weight began to drop off and I was learning new techniques to help my anxiety attacks.

Around two months into my journey, I began running. I’d always dreamed of being a runner but never thought I could do it but the feeling of getting outside and running with the wind in my face was like no other feeling I’ve ever had before and soon the panic attacks were getting less and less. I struggled massively at the beginning of running. I’d panic the second I got out of breath, I didn’t understand the concept of warming up so I’d think I couldn’t do it after a few minutes of running, I hated road running because I thought everyone was staring at ‘the fat girl running’ and had horrendous shin splints and hip pain from running with so much excess weight.

However, I pushed on and each week I was addicted to getting better and seeing results. I couldn’t run for more than 10 seconds when I first started. Last week I achieved my longest run which was 9 miles.

I’m so excited to progress, enter races and take my running to the next level. That was 18 months ago.

Now, my life is so different. I never envisioned it. Instead of turning to food as a comfort, if I feel anxious, stressed or scared I lace up my pumps, headphones in and I go for a long run. I absolutely love pushing myself and have recently factored in a weekly track session. From 20-30 daily panic attacks I haven’t had a big one in over 6 months and if I feel one coming on I run it off.

I am also now off all medications, I’m over 50lbs down and have my first proper challenge planned!

On the 28th August 2020 I will be attempting the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge to raise money for the staff wellbeing team in A&E. I am an A&E Nurse and have been in awe of my colleagues during the pandemic, many will suffer from PTSD as a result of this pandemic so I would like to give back to my department. The challenge will consist of 3 peaks, 24 miles in less than 12 hours. This will be my biggest challenge to date and I am thoroughly enjoying my training for this and pushing myself every week on the mountains.  

If I hadn’t taken the step of getting such an amazing coach like Tracy Dean I dread to think what my life would be like. Right now, I am the happiest I’ve ever been, the fittest, the strongest and I’m getting better every single week. My goals are in reach and my confidence is increasing every week.

2 years ago I didn’t see a way out. 

Today I wake up every morning with a smile on face excited for the next adventure. Running has 100% changed my life.  Just take the first step, lace up your pumps and the rest will be history.

Such an inspirational story!

If you would like to find out more about Tracy Dean you can contact her on Facebook or by visiting Tracy Dean Coaching ultraendurancecoaching.com

Rochelle

Did you find this article interesting? Visit our other sections Mind & Body, Inspirational Life Journeys & Recipes to read more!

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Disclaimer: Run Body Run is an online magazine that shares events and services related to fitness, health and well-being that may be of interest to our followers. Please note Run Body Run is not affiliated in any way with the pages or people whose stories and recipes are shared in our articles. However, this article may contain affiliate links for products that we feature on our Recommended Products Page. We only endorse products we use and truly believe in. If you are interested in any events, products or businesses mentioned, please contact the companies and organisers directly for full information. If you feel that parts of this blog relate to you and you’d like to discuss this further, please fill out the form on our contact page.

Try this easy strawberry bread for a midweek treat

Try this easy strawberry bread for a midweek treat

During lockdown, I remembered I used to bake A LOT when my children were little, well, even when they were big! It’s something I always enjoyed doing. There were always freshly-baked muffins, cookies, and bread waiting to be devoured. As life got busier and busier, the baking happened less and less.

I started using the extra time lockdown seemed to afford to start baking again, much to my son’s delight!

Making quick bread appealed to me, as they bring a sense of comfort, although not as a comfort food. It reminds me of spending time with my grandmother teaching me how to bake. The sense of creating food from scratch, with fresh flavourful nutritious ingredients, and delicious smells filling the house is my feel-good pick me up. It always puts a smile on my face. The music I have playing in the background always adds to the atmosphere.

In the image above are the strawberry bread and banana bread next to it – was made with MCT coconut oil from Hunter & Gather and good quality honey. My son was very happy to sample them both!!

Try out the strawberry bread recipe from An Italian In My Kitchen. It has become my son’s new favourite!!

Ingredients

    • 1/4 cup butter softened (50 grams)
    • 3/4 cup sugar (150 grams)
    • 1 egg
    • 2 cups flour (260 grams)
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup milk (60 grams)
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1 1/2 cups chopped strawberries (195 grams)

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F  (180°C Celsius).  Grease and flour a 9 – 9 1/2 inch (24 centimetre) loaf pan.
  2. In a medium bowl cream, the butter and sugar then add the egg and combine.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. With a wooden spoon add flour mixture alternately with the milk to the creamed mixture in three parts, then add vanilla, mix just until combined. The mixture will be thick. Gently fold in the strawberries.
  5. Spoon batter into the prepared loaf pan, if desired sprinkle with topping**.  Bake for approximately 45 – 50 minutes.  Let cool completely before drizzling with a simple glaze.
    **topping – mix 3 teaspoons brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.
Simple Glaze
  • 1/2 cup powdered/icing sugar (60 grams)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon cream

In a small bowl mix together until smooth, icing sugar, vanilla, cream and milk should be quite thick. (if you want it thicker add more powdered sugar/icing sugar)

 

Rochelle

Did you find this article interesting? Visit our other sections Mind & Body, Inspirational Life Journeys & Recipes to read more!

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Disclaimer: Run Body Run is an online magazine that shares events and services related to fitness, health and well-being that may be of interest to our followers. Please note Run Body Run is not affiliated in any way with the pages or people whose stories and recipes are shared in our articles. However, this article may contain affiliate links for products that we feature on our Recommended Products Page. We only endorse products we use and truly believe in. If you are interested in any events, products or businesses mentioned, please contact the companies and organisers directly for full information. If you feel that parts of this blog relate to you and you’d like to discuss this further, please fill out the form on our contact page.