Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Peanut Free Protein Balls

What do you do when you find a box of stale cereal? Usually I would throw it away, but being that I was hungry and in a creative mood, I decided to make protein bars. Halfway through mixing ingredients, I realized the consistency was perfect for no bake protein power balls instead, so that is exactly what we ended up with! 

Here are the simple ingredients;
4 servings Special K protein flakes, ground in the Vitamix. 
2 tbsp Chia Seeds
40 grams Dayes, pitted
3tbsp WowButter peanut free soy butter
1/4c Walden Farms Pancake Syrup

I started by mixing the Special K cereal in the Vitamix. 
Then added my chia seeds

I emptied the contents in my KitchenAid and then put my dates with a few tablespoons of water and the walden farms syrup in the Vitamix and blended until almost smooth. I added the WowButter and blended again, then added that to the dry mix in the KitchenAid. I mixed all the ingredients until well incorporated. The mixture was exactly 300 grams, so I rolled them into 10 equal 30gram balls. Before placing them in my fridge, I ate one to make sure it was safe. It was! Crunchy from the Gia seeds, so if you don't like the crunch, you can wet your chia first for a few minutes, use only 1tbsp or omit them all together. 

Hope you enjoy! 

Friday, March 6, 2015

Chick Pea Blondies

Once upon a time I was sitting standing in my kitchen when my ravenous sweet craving came rearing it's ugly head. I walked to the pantry and eyed the peanut butter. Just last week I had an inappropriate relationship with said peanut butter jar (who shall remain nameless for now), so I knew that taking even a "tablespoon" of this magical mixture would become problematic for a girl who has been diligent about counting her macros, so, I started dreaming of healthy brownies instead. I have made my black bean brownies in the past, and that sounded great, but I didn't have the same chocolate fudge protein powder I had previously used and didn't want to be disappointed by the taste. What could I make? Chick peas! Maybe healthy cookie dough? No, still tempted to eat the entire bowl. Hmmmm, how about a healthy blondie? Would my kids try it? Sprinkles. Yes, everyone loves sprinkles! 

So, the healthy, protein, chick pea, birthday blondie was born. So good. So yummy, and I could portion them. So smart! 

I used ingredients I had in the cabinet, but believe me, you can you a huge variety of items you already have to make these. Don't be stumped by the items I've used! ...and please, share your own recipes if you have good ones!!!

Here's mine. 

🔸1 can Chick Peas, drained and rinsed. 
🍁1/2c Walden Farms Pancake Syrup (can use honey, agave, or another sweetener of choice)
🍶1/4 tsp butter extract
🍨2tbsp vanilla protein powder 
🎉3tsp Sprinkles, plus additional 1tsp for topping. 
(Optional 🍁1/4tsp maple extract)

Preheat oven to 350°. Line 8x8 pan with parchment paper or butter sides and bottom. 

Purée chickpeas until smooth texture. Mix in all ingredients. Pour in to pan and sprinkle remaining 🎉1tsp sprinkles on top. Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes depending on the gooeyness of your choice! 

Let cool for about 30 minutes. Cut in to portions, 8 or 16. I did 16 but still ate two right away!!!! Hope you enjoy! 

Visit my InstaGram @LivingSemiCrunchy

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Egg Muffins

Always tweaking past recipes to make them better. I don't think these could be any better. Simple, easy and a great breakfast item to have on hand for busy morbings, camping or any other traveling. Hope you enjoy. 

🌱1 bunch green onions, chopped
🍎1 red bell pepper, diced
🍚1 cup grated cheese
🐷1/2c bacon pieces (optional)
🍳4 egg yolks
🍳8-10 egg whites. 

Preheat oven to 350°. In a separate bowl, mix egg yolks and whites. In a cupcake pan, layer green onions, bell pepper, cheese and bacon bits. Pour egg mixture over top of each "cupcake/muffin." Place in oven between 20-30 minutes depending on how crispy you want the outside. I did 30 minutes and they were delicious! 


Xo Shan 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Let's get personal...

Since my last Instagram post, I have received a few emails regarding my personal story and I realized I've never written out the journey I've been on over the last decade. Perhaps i didn't think anyone would really have an interest, but mostly I haven't written it because it isn't easy to talk about. Today, I will break my silence and hopefully someone can relate to my struggles and find the light that I have. 

2003 started with a break up. I had too much time to get myself in trouble. I was devoting most my waking hours to my career, and as soon as I was out of the office, I was out partying as hard as I had been working.  I was hitting the bottle hard, and not taking care of my body.  At the time I didn't realize, but I was wasting away. Coffee for breakfast, often skipping lunch or barely eating a late lunch and drinking alcohol as my dinner. I was getting to bed late and scraping myself out of bed the following morning to do it all again. The gym was a joke back then. I was definitely not working out, although I continued to pay for my 24 Hour Fitness membership just so I could say I belonged to a gym. These behaviors lasted for several months. I lost weight rapidly, eventually people started asking me if I was okay. At 5'10" I was hovering around 130 pounds. No muscle, no butt, clothes falling off. My normal size 8 jeans went down to a 4, and I thought it was great. This anorexia lasted several months until one night changed me forever. It was 4th of July and my friends were throwing a party. There was a smorgasbord of appetizers and treats. I hadn't been around so much readily available food in quite a while. I ate. I ate, and I ate, and I ate. I ate so much, that I felt terrible sick. I remember the car ride home. The sick feeling I felt from over eating, and I was hoping I would make it home and not succumb to this car sick feeling I felt. As soon as I was dropped off I ran to the bathroom, and my relief was immediate. I didn't know then that the feeling I felt would become addictive. That feeling created a new pattern of destructive behaviors. A few days of low calories, mostly from coffee and alcohol, followed by a day of binging and purging. Within a few months the effects of my behaviors had taken a toll.  Debilitating migraines, tooth decay, hair loss and my skin was grey. I had insomnia and was frequently disoriented. 

During this time I met my husband. We worked together and he quickly saw I wasn't eating well. His family owned a deli and he would bring me sandwiches at lunch. He thought he could save me with food, but that would be like saving an alcoholic with beers. The thing about eating disorders as opposed to other addictions is you cannot eliminate or avoid it. Everyone must eat. Every day. Several times per day. 

Within a couple months of marriage, I found out we were expecting. I thought carrying my precious child would stop my purging, and it did mostly. I know there was at least once I could not stay strong enough and gave in to the relieving feeling of purging. As a mom, I definitely scaled back my problem, but food was still a necessity, and if I ever over ate, I knew there was a way out from that feeling. 

Over the following 6 years or so, I yo-yo'd my weight. Gaining during pregnancies, and continuing to gain more weight even after pregnancy, at one point weighing 170lbs. I was unhappy, unhealthy, tired, and just over all miserable. 

Then in the summer of 2013, I came across the "If It Fits Your Macros" diet. During the first three months of incorporating iifym, I gained a 6 pack (okay, maybe a 2-pack), and realized I NEVER once over ate, felt "too full," or purged. It was the first time I was able to eat, without restrictions, and not fear food or what would happen when I ate. I am not "cured" from this disorder. It is with me forever, but I can control it far better than I ever have. My skin is a normal color, my teeth are the healthiest they have ever been, my hair stopped falling out, and my migraines have not made an appearance in a couple years. My over all health is noticeably better than 10 years ago. 

I have feared talking about my eating disorder for years. I'm not even sure my closest friends are privy to this information. I was ashamed and knew better, but couldn't stop, but I feel like talking about it helps hold me accountable, and also may help someone else who struggles with similar issues. 

Eating disorders are serious, life-threatening illnesses that impact 8 million people each year in the United States. If you, or someone you know, suffers from an eating disorder, visit or call 1-844-348-6212

Xo Shan 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Healthy Cookie Dough

I took another stab at this healthy version of my favorite sweet treat! I love cookie dough, and can't seem to keep my fingers out of the batter while mixing, so it's such a treat to be able to devour this GUILT FREE! 

This recipe can easily be adjusted with ingredients you currently have at home. 


🍚1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
🍨1 scoop vanilla protein powder
🍯8 tbsp nut butter of your choice (I used Maranatha Maple Almond Butter)
🍁1/4 cup Walden Farms Pancake Syrup
(Can use honey, agave, or even maple extract)
🍞1/4 tsp butter extract (optional)
🍫14g Dark Chocolate Chips (I used Lily's sweetened with stevia)

Mix all ingredients (sans chips) together and add water if you desire a runnier texture. Fold in chocolate chips and enjoy. 

Xo Shan

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Matcha Green Tea

I have a new obsession with Matcha Green Tea. I have always loved it, and am always hearing of its health benefits, but after drinking it for a few days in a row, I truly felt a difference in my evergy level. I decided to do some of my own searching to see what other benefits I was getting from this fantastic morning ritual. Here's what I found...  

Energy Booster

One of the most unexpected benefits matcha drinkers experience is a boost of energy through the day. In one study, researchers had thought that this was from the caffeine in matcha, but they found that it was actually the combination of matchas natural properties. Another recent study in particular found that matcha even improved physical endurance by 24%. Even if you arent facing a grueling workout, matcha can help you through the everyday marathon, whether its that project due the next day or getting the kids from school to soccer practice.

Calorie Burner

Already nearly calorie free, matcha is a great addition to a weight loss program by tackling the problem from both sides. It boosts metabolism and burns fat. One recent study even suggested that matcha may help burn calories by four times. At the same time, matcha does not put any stress on the body. It doesnt raise blood pressure or heart rate, making it a safe alternative to questionable quick fixes or pharmaceuticals ridden with side effects.

Detox Deluxe

Green is truly the color of health. Matcha helps to safely cleanse and purge the body of harmful elements. Chlorophyll the element that gives green tea and other plants their signature verdant color is also a powerful detoxifier, helping to eliminate both chemicals and heavy metals from the body. And because matcha is carefully shade-grown, it is substantially richer in chlorophyll than other green teas, making it a superior daily detox.

I think these added benefits are a great reason to incorporate this super tasty drink on a daily basis! 

Thanks to for the information! 😉

Sweet Eggs first thing in the morning

I have the worst habits around the holidays. It all starts with Halloween and the buckets of candy my children bring home. I try to remove as much as possible, but there is still too much and I can't pretend like it doesn't exist. I sneak one or two pieces from time to time. The sugar just sends me in to a tailspin causing cravings and withdrawals, making me want more and MORE! Last night was no exception as I made my nightly cup of tea. I just love a piece of chocolate with hot tea! Since I fell asleep shortly after having my little treat, I woke with raging cravings for sugar! I immediately wanted to walk to the cabinet where the Halloween cabinet is hidden, but I had to stop the madness. It was one of those mornings when you tell yourself it's "You vs. You" and that is what I did. While the kids were asking for their over easy eggs, I decided the best thing to do was make some delicious sweet eggs and today's creation was awesome! 

Here is the recipe;
1c egg whites (I was hungry!)
1/4tsp butter extract
1/2tsp vanilla extract
1/2tsp cinnamon
2-4 packets stevia
1/4c fat free ricotta cheese
1/4c oat bran

I scrambled all the ingredients together until well cooked and drizzled Walden Farms Pancake Syrup on the top. My kids said it smelled like french toast and loved it too!