HEART SMART COOKIE…WHAT???

With all the holiday parties, treats at the office, neighbors bringing goodies, etc. it can be hard to resist the urge to partake in all the culinary confections. Unfortunately, along with this, we may find ourselves with unwanted extra holiday pounds. Well, now you can have your cake (well cookie) and eat it too. This recipe is actually a “heart smart” recipe that uses bittersweet chocolate instead of milk chocolate. Not only does it have less sugar but it has a deeper flavor too. These cookies are great for your children’s teachers, neighbors, cookie exchanges, holiday parties or make them for a sweet treat at home.

chocolate-cherry-cookies-ck-x 

Chocolate-Cherry Heart Smart Cookies (by Marcie Dixon)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • Cooking spray

 PREPARATION:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Combine flours, oats, baking soda and salt in a large bowl; stir with a whisk
  3. Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat – remove from heat
  4. Add brown sugar, stirring until smooth
  5. Add sugar mixture to flour mixture; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended
  6. Add cherries, vanilla, and egg – beat until combined
  7. Fold in chocolate
  8. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray
  9. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes
  10. Cool on pans 3 minutes or until almost firm
  11. Remove cookies from pans; cool on wire racks

But as always, even though they are “heart smart” moderation is always the best key to good health!

Paula Jamieson

Certified Personal Trainer & Fitness Nutritionist

5 TIPS TO HELP YOU STAY FIT DURING THE HOLIDAYS

‘Tis the season for calorie-laden family dinners filled with rich courses of unforgiving fare, parties with egg nog and adult beverages that contain your daily caloric intake and, oh yeah, don’t forget all the candy, snacks and donuts your co-workers insist on bringing into the office or the neighborly home-baked goodies. Combine that with the cold weather hindering your outdoor workouts and it’s almost as though our bodies and fitness are under strategic attack when it comes to celebrating the holidays. But never fear…we don’t have to take this lying down (unless of course it’s in preparation for some ab work or leg lifts)!

Here are 5 great tips to help keep your spirits high and your weight low during this holiday season:

fitness santa

  1. Wake up every morning to 5 – 10 minutes of calisthenics. Even if you plan to work out later in the day, exercises such as jumping jacks, mountain climbers, push-ups, high knees in place or other high-energy moves will spike your heart rate as well as your metabolism helping you burn up to 20% more calories throughout the day.
  2. Completely change your fitness routine during the holidays. If you are a runner, throw in a few days of weight lifting. If you are a weight lifter…jump on a treadmill or stationary bike. You can try a new yoga class or anything that is outside your standard fitness routine. This will force your body to adapt to a new stimulus therefore promoting a higher calorie burn.
  3. Add a little extra to each part of your workout. If you normally do 2 sets of an exercise, adding a 3rd set will completely shock your body and burn more calories. If you normally run 2-3 days a week, add a 4th day or an extra mile to one of the runs that week.
  4. Take up an active hobby during the holidays. Instead of sticking to the kitchen to bake holiday cookies, use your free time to take a ballroom dance class, go bowling, roller skating, take a martial arts class etc. – basically anything that will keep you actively moving and your heart rate up.
  5. Recruit a holiday fitness buddy. It is harder to slack off when someone else is also working out and counting on you to be there. Also, both of you will help each other be accountable — if one of you is feeling lazy that day, you can encourage each other. A fitness friend can also help you stick to those New Year’s resolutions.

BONUS:  If you keep your nutrition intact during the holidays and add one, two or all of these tips to your routine, you may actually find yourself even more fit and energetic this holiday season.

Paula Jamieson

Certified Fitness Trainer / Certified Fitness Nutritionist

 

GIVE THE GIFT OF FITNESS!!!

Have someone that is hard to buy for?  Know someone who would love to increase their fitness level?  Want to “hint” for a gift for yourself?  No problem – we would love to help. Bodyrich Fitness Company has Gift Certificates available for the holidays – they can be for as many personal training sessions as you wish.

Bodyrich Gift Certificate

As always, we offer a complimentary session for new clients – sessions are available now.  For information, contact us at 678-417-0880 ext 8301 / info@atlantapersonalfitness.com

Paula Jamieson

Personal Fitness Trainer / Fitness Nutritionist