Healthier Holiday Cookies

We are all in the midst of holiday gatherings and gift exchanges. That can always be challenging for not only your wallet, but also your waistline. I’ve found a few yummy cookie recipes that are perfect gifts for friends & family. They are super simple to make, healthy, easy on the budget and SO delicious! I guarantee you will be asked for the recipes 🙂

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Flourless Peanut or Almond Butter Brownie Cookies

  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1 Cup All-Natural Peanut Butter or Almond Butter (room temperature)
  • 1/3 Cup Brown Sugar packed
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 3/4 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a small bowl beat the egg. In a medium mixing bowl add the beaten egg, peanut/almond butter, brown sugar, baking soda, cocoa powder, & vanilla extract. Mix everything very well. Fold in the dark chocolate chips.

Roll a heaping spoon full of the dough into a ball and gently flatten onto the baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes. They will look soft and under-baked, but I guarantee they will be yummy! Allow them to cool for about 10 minutes and ENJOY 🙂

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Gingerbread Cookie Dough Balls

  • 2 Cups Raw, Unsalted Cashews
  • 10 – 12 Medjool Dates (pitted & halved)
  • 1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Powdered Ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine Sea Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Water (if needed)
  • Coconut Sugar &/or Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly toast the cashews for 8-10 minutes, stirring once. Let cool.

Place the cooled cashews, dates, spices, & salt into food processor bowl. Whiz until the nuts are finely ground and the mixture starts clumping. If it seems too dry, add the tablespoon of water until the dough forms into a ball. Place in the fridge for 30-60 minutes.

Place the coconut sugar &/or cocoa powder into a bowl. Make small balls out of the dough & roll them into the sugar &/or cocoa powder. Store in a covered container in the fridge & ENJOY!

Here are a couple of other Holiday-inspired cookie recipes I will definitely be trying over the next few weeks!

http://lexiscleankitchen.com/2013/11/26/linzer-torte-thumbprint-cookies-a-note-to-my-readers/

http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2012/12/18/grain-free-sugar-cookies/

 

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http://blog.circlesevenfive.com/post/133828039040/an-interview-with-kaleigh-walker

An Interview with Kaleigh Walker

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Last Sunday the #CSFpartygirls found themselves at WeYogi’s taking a class from nutrition coach and fitness instructor, Kaleigh Walker. Not only did we get to experience -many for the first time- a hot yoga class, but we got tips + tricks for staying fit this holiday season. (Yes please.) And, because we at CSF HQ found these tips so helpful, we figured we ought to share a few of our faves for those of you who couldn’t make the event!

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Top Three Tips to Keeping Fit for The Holidays:

1. When getting dressed for Thanksgiving, we usually retreat to spandex and oversized shirts. (Or, let’s be real, this is us everyday.) But, instead, wear something a little tighter fitting that you feel confident in. You won’t want to get too full and uncomfortably suck in all day if you come dressed to the 9′s.

2. Always bring a dish you know you would eat. Then, you can fill the majority of your plate with your healthy item, adding a couple other dishes as your sides.

3. Feel okay to be assertive. You can say “no” to people offering you more food or dessert.

Now that we have these noted to keep us trim the next month, be sure you check out Kaleigh’s different classes all over Dallas including WeYogi’s and Lync Cycling studio. You can find out a bit more about this blonde bombshell from our interview with her below:

1. Tell us about yourself! What you do, your husband, your home. Tell us anything fun that helps us know you better!

I was born & raised in Kansas, but moved to LA on a whim after college & lived there for 10 years. It was truly life-changing because that’s where I found my husband, yoga, spinning, & nutrition! I turned my passion for health into a career in 2008 & have never looked back. Currently I teach yoga, spin, occasionally dance, am a personal trainer & a nutrition coach. I’m so fortunate to have the opportunity to do what I love each & every day as my career – not many people get to say that. And I’ve loved how welcoming the Dallas fitness community has been to me ever since moving here in March.

When I’m not sweating, I love to spend time cooking & hosting dinner parties with my husband, Russell; traveling (I just got back from a trip to France!); interior design (We just purchased our first home & it’s been SO fun decorating it!); watching Kansas Basketball (if you’re into college basketball, you know why!); and spending time with our two puppies, Sadie & Lucy. I also have 4 nieces & 4 nephews, so it’s a lot of fun being an Aunt.

2. What did you do growing up an athlete? Does this reflect at all in your current workout regimen?


Growing up, I was a very competitive athlete & dancer. I played softball, basketball, volleyball, but was most competitive in golf! (I actually tied for first place in state my senior year of high school.) Dance was also a huge passion of mine, & I still dance to this day! (It’s the best workout ever!) I think both sports & dance built a strong fitness foundation for me & turned me into the hard-working, determined person I am today. They both taught me discipline, mental strength, confidence, the importance of hard work, & camaraderie. I also learned so much about motivating & teaching from my coaches & teachers that inspired me to return the favor & become a teacher myself.

3. What do you love most about nutrition? Have you always been health conscious?

So even though I was very active growing up, I had the worst diet ever! I grew up in a small town in Kansas, so the availability of healthy food was basically non-existent, plus my parents didn’t have the time or desire to cook very much. I grew up on fast food, frozen dinners or meals from a box, so I’ve basically had to start from scratch when it comes to understanding nutrition. After my first month or so of yoga classes in 2006 is when I really started to revamp how I approached food. I began to notice when I ate certain foods or drinks after yoga, I felt like garbage! So I’ve slowly created the dietary habits that seem to work best for me, which is mainly plant-based foods with a little bit of fish/seafood from time to time. I love getting creative with meals in the kitchen with my husband (he’s an amazing chef & we live about a minute from Central Market). And I especially like baking healthy dessert recipes – I’ve got a gluten-free oatmeal dark chocolate chip cookie recipe I’m obsessed with & found a yummy raw cake ball recipe made with chickpeas that is to die for. (Both are on my blog: www.kaleighwalker.com/blog)

4. What is the ultimate cheat meal- All nutrition and health out the window!


My favorite cheat meal would have to be cheese pizza with a chocolate chip cookie for dessert 😉

5. What is your favorite part about the holidays? Does your family have any fun traditions?

My favorite part of the holidays is spending time with friends & family! Now that I have so many nieces & nephews, it’s fun to see them open presents & get excited for Santa & Elf on the Shelf. My family always has a big Christmas Eve party with about 50+ people, so it’s always great to catch up with the people you haven’t seen for a while. And my husband’s family always has a big Christmas dinner on the 25th, so it’s been fun to add in his family’s traditions as well.

6. What are your future goals and aspirations?

I’m a huge proponent of goal setting, & have my 1, 5, & 10 year goal sheet up on my fridge so I can see it every day 🙂 My biggest goals include opening my own yoga + fitness + nutrition studio in Dallas & starting my own charitable organization that focuses on educating families on the importance of nutrition at a young age. Nearly half of the children in the U.S. are overweight or obese, so it’s a huge problem right now in our country that needs to be addressed! Stay tuned!

So, if you’re looking for a permanent fitness instructor, someone to kick your rear back into shape post-holidays, or someone to teach you how to lead a healthy lifestyle, this is your girl. We have absolutely loved the opportunity to know Kaleigh better and we know you will love her, too!  If you’d like to contact Kaleigh, her email is kaloo33@gmail.com.

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And P.S. … right now members of Circle Seven Five receive 25% off private or duo yoga or personal training sessions and 30% off one month of nutritional coaching with Kaleigh.

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Contact me