Saturday, November 03, 2007

Healthy Peanut Butter Cookies

I'm excited to share with you the little things I do to change some of the recipes I love with a tiny tweak or two. Since I eat every 2-3 hours, I need small healthy snacks. I eat this way for a few reasons.

First, it evens out the insulin use in my body. Less of the highs and lows of moods and/or starvation feeling. Two, I get hungry that often. Three, I eat less when I am not voracious.

I break the 21 points a day that I learned in Weight Watchers into smaller 3-6 point meals and snacks through the day. For instance, 3 for breakfast, 3 for a snack, 4-5 for lunch, 2-4 for a snack, 5-6 for dinner, and 2-3 for a bedtime snack. The bedtime snack is usually a small bowl of cereal and milk equal to 3 points.

If you can eat a sweet without needing more, then these cookies can fit well into a plan. Following the recipe, one cookie is 2-3 points. So do plan for it and don't justify having more. (I found out that salt water taffy is 1 point for 1 piece. I had eaten 4 or 5 and thought it was 1 point. sigh. No cookie that day:-D )

Peanut Butter Cookies

1/2 Cup Butter
(Another really good thing is to substitute one Tablespoon of the butter with 3 Tablespoons of ground or milled flax seed. The flax adds Omega-3. For people like me who don't eat fish, this is a very important addition.)1/2 Cup Applesauce (unsweetened.)
1 Cup Peanut Butter
1 Cup Dark Brown Sugar(I love dark brown versus light brown for the caramel flavor.)
1/2 Cup Splenda for Baking (sugar blend.)

Mix well.
2 Eggs
1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Baking Powder
2 1/2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour

Mix well, roll into large teaspoon size balls, press with fork to make criss-cross designs and bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes (or so since everyone's oven is different.)

Let the cookies cool on the pan for several minutes or they fall apart. Freeze most of them, put only one dozen out at a time. They stay fresh that way:-) Another thing I do is keep the dough in tupperware in the fridge. I bake some every few days for the freshness of it. Store it in the back, behind something, on a lower shelf to avoid the temptation to eat the dough:-)

Each cookie should only be about 3 inches in diameter when baked. I count each cookie as 2 points, but they are also good for you as they have B vitamins, protein, fiber, and fruit in them. I can't tell the difference in white and wheat flour in peanut butter cookies. Try them and you'll see that they are a good substitute for the high sugar, high white flour cookies you are used to eating.

One of my goals in creating a new lifestyle was to find alternative choices. What could I have rather than what couldn't I eat. It's a much more positive outlook. On top of that, I'm always finding new and fun things because I'm looking for them with an adventurous attitude. It makes the journey fun instead of work. The growth, the journey...that's the gift I didn't expect. The amount of confidence that I can change, I can help others, and I can make a difference.

So, yeah, start with something small like a cookie recipe. Then branch out and experiment with ways to grow an open mind to new foods and watch your attitude gradually expand. Happiness isn't a place or an ultimate destination. You can't "get" happy. You have to choose to take the steps toward your dreams. Those steps, that growth is what gives you confidence. The sense of accomplishment with dreams still ahead of you, that can help make you happy. So try something new today. Try a different cookie, try writing down the idea that has tickled the back of your mind for so long, and ask yourself what the next step is on your journey.

One day, like me, you'll look back a year later. You'll say, "That year went so fast! Look at me now!" Then smile in the mirror at the sparkle in your eye. Go on. Make the decision to look toward that tomorrow vision so you can look back on yesterday's accomplishment.

May God bless you with joy and commitment to your journey,
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