A cookie that’s actually good for you!
Beat the Couch season is upon us and I’ve been busy rounding up a gang of beginners who are ready to start running either the first time, or the first time in a long time!
As usual, we’ve started to gather a very eclectic list with people as young as 15 and some over-60s, too. Beat the Couch tends to bring together people of all ages, from all walks of life, which is one of the reasons why I love it so much.
Just as varied as the people taking part are the reasons why they’re taking part.
There’s no doubt that running can be a great contributor to good body composition and makes you feel fit in a very empowering way; some people want to lose weight, some people want to keep up with their kids; some people know they’re slim, but have never felt strong.
However, some people run because they have an alarming cookie habit.
Their theory is that they don’t have to stop the cookies as long as they can run them off. (Cookies are, of course, interchangeable here with KFC, slices of cake, glasses of wine ... whatever the vice!)
Many of us are very emotionally attached to the treats in our life and find the idea of giving things up very difficult. We’d rather run for days, than stop the treats!
The thing is, when we look at the reality of how much exercise we have to do to burn off the calories, it can be very, very depressing.
For example, I once read a statistic that said you’d have to run around a chair 100 times in order to burn off the calories from one peanut.
I don’t know who thought it was a good idea to do that experiment, but I do know that I’d like to work in their office. Imagine trying to walk in a straight line afterwards. Hilarious.
Anyway, I did a little more research and discovered that you’d have to run for ten whole minutes to burn off the calories from one chocolate chip cookie. One!
What happens if you eat the whole sleeve? (Not that any of us would do that, right? Ahem.)
The thing is, if you start thinking of weight management as a calories in versus calories out mechanism, then it gets a bit depressing.
Good health (and weight) is about more than just calories. You can eat the “right” amount of calories, but if you consume them as Doritos and Coca Cola (or other such junk), then you massively undernourish yourself and generate inflammation that makes matters worse.
To be honest, I find it more helpful for clients to separate out the two things.
Exercise to be strong enough to lift the heavy things without having to ask for help. And eat good quality food because it’s actively nourishing for you!
Framing exercise in a positive way is a good step. Rather than thinking, I have to exercise because I (ate the cookies, drank the wine, etc), try thinking: “I want to be more fit this year than I’ve ever been!”
Likewise, with food, try not to think, I can’t have this cookie because it’s junk and I hate exercise.
Instead, try, I can have this healthier cookie because it’s actually nourishing.
On that note, is there such a thing as a nourishing cookie?
If you’ve tried my Holy Crap cookie recipe before (PS, we make and sell them now at Miles!), then you’ll know that a cookie can be nourishing, especially when it’s lower in sugar and higher in protein and fibre.
Here’s another cookie recipe for you that fits the bill for “healthier”. It’s still a treat, but it’s better for you than a processed option for the following reasons:
1, It only uses ingredients that you know and understand
2, It’s lower in sugar than most store-bought items
3, It’s packed with extra protein and fibre (whole oats and chia seeds) to help steady energy release
4, Oats help lower cholesterol and chia is rich in plant-based omega 3!
It’s still a cookie (so easy does it), but it’s a win.
Try making these over the weekend and let me know how you do. (And heads up, all the details for Beat the Couch are online at natural.bm ….so come and run with me!)
Chia Chocolate Chip Cookies
Ingredients (makes 12-14)
• 1 cup small oats (gluten-free if need be)
• ½ cup almond flour
• ½ cup brown rice flour
• ½ cup sugar (or try ¼ cup coconut sugar and ¼ cup regular organic sugar)
• ¼ cup mini chocolate chips (allergy friendly if need be, eg Enjoy Life)
• 2 tbs chia seed
• 1 tsp baking powder
• ½ tsp salt
• 1 egg (vegans can replace with a flax egg)
• ½ cup non-GMO safflower or coconut oil
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
1, Using a hand whisk, whisk the dry ingredients together in one bowl and the wet in another
2, Combine the two bowls and stir well, then use your hands to completely form the dough
3, Chill the dough in the fridge for 1 to 2 hours
4, Preheat oven to 355F. Lightly oil a large baking sheet
5, Roll the dough into small golf balls. Flatten halfway and space apart on the tray
6, Bake for 12 minutes, at which point open the oven briefly and check they are spreading. If they need extra help, lightly flatten the top of each cookie with the back of a fork
7, Bake for another two to three minutes until very lightly golden
8, Leave to cool completely on the rack before transferring to a plate or storage
• Catherine Burns is a qualified nutritional therapist. For more details: www.natural.bm, 505-4725, Natural Nutrition Bermuda on Facebook and @naturalbda on Instagram
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