As some of you know, I’ve been doing an 8 week challenge since the end of January, which is all clean eating and a complete body detox, from things like refined foods, sugar and caffeine, to name a few. One of my new years goals is to loose weight. I feel like this has been a resolution as long as I can remember. But this year…it’s different. This year, I loose it…FOR GOOD.
You see over the past 5 years, I’ve been pregnant 3 times (and had 3 beautiful babies). But with each pregnancy, I gained 60 lbs! You read that right…60 POUNDS! You see, I had this crazy belief before I was ever pregnant, that when a woman gets pregnant, she should just eat whatever she wants because that’s the only time in her life that she will ever really be able to get away with it. I obviously wasn’t sure how my body would behave when I would get pregnant…
Would I be nauseous all the time?
Would I not want to eat certain foods?
Would I crave weird things?
Well those answers came with my first pregnancy and I was quite surprised by them. I wasn’t sick…at all. Never, actually, with all three of my pregnancies. I am lucky, in that sense (although I had all other kinds of complications with 2 of my pregnancies that I’ll share about some other time). The smell of mint gum bothered my nose from time to time with my first pregnancy but really, that was as far as food repulsion’s went. To my surprise, I started craving all kinds of fatty foods. I wanted creamy pasta with sausages (my husband was elated when I requested that…his fave!). I ate entire bags of chips and full tubs of ice cream. And the worst one…I fell in love with BigMac’s. Let me tell you…I think I had one every single week of my first pregnancy, possibly more. I was obsessed with those (I never liked them before). And with each craving, I gave in, because after all, when else would I ever be “allowed” to get away with eating like that.
Well, the problem with that kind of thinking, paired with doing that THREE times in FIVE years was that in end, I was left addicted to all those foods and my body was fully paying the price for all the damage I had put it through. And by the time the 3rd kid comes around, you have no time or energy to put towards yourself! It’s survival most days and whatever you can shove into your mouth, you do (at least in my experience). Along with all the transitions we went through in 2014 and with my dealing with postpartum depression, I had very little motivation to change my eating habits. In fact, I lost about 30 lbs post-pregnancy (just naturally) and then put 20 of the lbs back on! Unbelievable!
So needless to say, it’s time for a change. It’s time for me to treat this body with some respect. Cause you see, I lost respect for my body these past 5 years. I thought I could just eat whatever I wanted and that my body would just bounce back. Well, it didn’t and I’ve paid the price for those poor decisions. I’ve never felt worse in my life, physically speaking. I ached all over, had the worst heartburn constantly and don’t get me started on what was happening with my bowels…it wasn’t pretty. I kept thinking “I’m too young to feel this way. I have three active kids that I need and want to keep up with!” Not only that, I want to in-still good and healthy eating habits for my kids, at a young age. So, it’s time for change.
Enter the 8 week challenge. This has honestly been LIFE CHANGING and it’s only been 12 days. I am completely shocked that I was able to give up coffee with almost ZERO withdrawal symptoms. I had a few headaches but nothing too severe. I have more and more energy everyday, the heartburn is completely gone and the bowels are much happier!
I will talk more about the challenge, detailing what it’s all about and how you can take the challenge in another post. But for now, I want to talk briefly about the foods I’ve been eating the past 2 weeks. I’m SHOCKED at how GOOD most of these foods are! And it’s even more exciting when you love how it tastes and know that your body is loving how it FEELS! That’s huge! I NEVER thought I would be able to get off sugar…especially after the last 5 years. But with making easy changes, I’m honestly so impressed with the results. The two founders of the 8 week challenge, Bonnie & Briar, are amazing and have come up with a cookbook that has over 80 clean and sugar free (processed) recipes! I will be sharing some of them in the weeks to come. You will want to stay tuned for Stuffed Chicken Bruschetta…let me tell you…it’s the best chicken I’ve ever made. You won’t want to miss that one so make sure to subscribe to our newsletter, if you haven’t already!
So let’s get to the goods of this post! The Chocolate Coconut Balls. OH. MY.GOODNESS! Let me tell you something, you THINK you need that chocolate bar…but if you were to substitute it for these, you would never know the difference! And it’s all GOOD FOR YOU! These little balls of heaven are life changing! No joke! Even my hubby agrees. They are SO rich and satisfying, so smooth and velvety. They will fix your chocolate crave guaranteed! I honestly wish I had known about these when I was pregnant. I think these will be a new staple in our home for the rest of our lives! That’s how good they are! And I don’t want to share them with the kids! I hide behind the fridge doors when I want to eat them! Lol! Here’s the recipe! Try them today, you’ll be glad you did!
- 2 1/2 cups of walnuts or almonds (I prefer walnuts)
- 3/4 cup of dates (packed & pitted)
- 1/4 cup of unsweetened coconut, finely shredded
- 1/4 cup of cocoa powder
- Blend nuts and dates in a food processor until crumbly. Add in coconut and cocoa and pulse until combined. Roll into small balls, between your palms. Let them set for about 20 minutes in the refrigerator before eating. Store in refrigerator afterwards. Enjoy!
- Serving size: women: 2-3 balls, men 3-4 balls
- - Make sure to get the packed and pitted dates. If you shop at Presidents Choice stores, in the baking aisle, they have No Name packed and pitted dates. They aren't cheap, but they are worth every penny! They even sell a two-pack to save some money.
- - Also, for an extra chocolate taste, roll the balls in some extra cocoa at the end. Remember, cocoa on it's own is NOT sweet, so don't lick your fingers after you've rolled them! (I made that mistake!)
Love & Blessings,