Wednesday, December 5, 2012

December Sanity Challenge & German Chocolate Bites

As I mentioned in my last post, I found out about the December Sanity Challenge from Carrie at Ginger Lemon Girl. The idea of a little accountability and support for staying sane and enjoying the Christmas season is perfect for me. There's even a facebook page to stay up to date with new blog posts and things like helpful quotes for inspiration. Love that.

So far I haven't done a stellar job at getting this going. I've been trying to get my own goals settled in my head and have read these great posts for a little inspiration:

Carrie @ Ginger Lemon Girl -

Cheryl @ Gluten Free Goodness -

Valerie @ City Life Eats -

Iris @ The Daily Dietribe -

One immediate benefit is getting to know some really great new-to-me blogs.

Shirley from Gluten Free Easily is a part of the group and I've been enjoying her ideas, too.

So anyway, my goal is to stay healthy and serene through December. Serene may be too far reaching a goal for me! So to stay healthy and not be stressed is my real goal. I know I need to work on my body and spirit and need to make specific goals.

First, I will exercise daily. My goal will be to either bike (indoors, no excuse for bad weather) for one hour or walk with my pup for at least three miles per day.

Alternatively I could play outside with my bff!
To stay healthy I will focus on unprocessed, whole foods and keep sugar to a minimum while making a deliberate exception to have a holiday treat no more than once a week. I know sugar lowers my immune system and will let a passing cold or flu bug take hold.

To alleviate stress I will also attempt to get eight hours of sleep per night. Not easy during menopause and certainly not easy with a snoring dog in our room but I will do my best to be in bed at a decent hour.

I will also set boundaries for holiday invitations and requests so I don't overdo. This may be difficult but I feel it's really necessary. My own stress transfers to my family and that isn't ever fair. This helps me to enjoy the traditions I really enjoy like a holiday craft day and tamale making (mostly eating) with Gabby and gives me plenty of time to take care of myself and my family.

And last but not least I will get back into my too-long-ignored Bible study and focus on the real reason I am celebrating Christmas.  I will finish the entire December study and I know it will be a blessing.

One thing I am adding this year is a cookie exchange that my friend Laura at has created.

It's been years since I've participated in a real live cookie exchange and this one is different.

It will be gluten free, vegan, artificial dye, flavors and preservative free and we'll use only low glycemic sweeteners.

This exchange will be much more of a challenge than the buttery, sugary Christmas Spritz cookies of years past!

We've started a Pinterest board to share ideas and I'm excited to have like minded people to exchange with!

This recipe is one I may include although I'm not sure it really qualifies as a cookie.

I think we've all made faux Lara Bars and there are dozen of recipes in the blogosphere but I really like this version.  It's such an easy recipe to make. I am not used to very sweet desserts anymore so if you are I would switch out one of the spoonfuls of coconut oil for honey. To me, the dates are plenty sweet.

Laura had made some delicious raw macaroons and shared some with me last week. I stole her presentation by packing my tablespoon very full of the fruit and nut mixture and then tapping it out into my hand. They look prettier than my usual rolled balls.

German Chocolate Bites

In a food processor combine:

1 cup Raw Pecans
1 cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
12 pitted Dates, roughly chopped
2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
2 Tablespoons Cocoa
1 Tablespoon Vanilla

Process all ingredients by pulsing until the mixture looks similar to the photo on the right.

At this point I dump everything into a large bowl and press it together into a ball.

Taking a tablespoon measure pack the chocolately goodness into the spoon tightly.  Tap the treat out into your hand. If it won't release quickly tap the side of the spoon onto the side of your bowl and it should come right out.

The recipe will make 15 to 16 depending on how much you nibble as you make them.


Thank you Gabby for the bff pic!


Laura said...

WOWEE! I love German Chocolate and will try to make them soon. They look deeeelish.
Love the action shot of you having a joyful time with you bff. :)

gfe--gluten free easily said...

Thanks so much for the link love, dear! I like your goals very much. I'm working hard on mine ... although that doesn't sound right given the focus, does it? I love the Christmases where when they are behind you, you think how lovely they were and feel a bit wistful rather than exhausted and just glad they are past. That definitely does not serve "the reason for the season."

Those German Chocolate Bites looks super yummy to me!


Cheryl Harris said...

Thanks so much for joining us. Those sound like great goals for the season and I bet your pup will be very appreciative, too! And I really appreciate a recipe I can eat--bonus!

Carrie said...

Chacha, LOVE that you joined us this year! Lovely post and I love your goals and probably even more that delicious german chocolate treat! Thank you so much for sharing!~!

leah said...

I found some dates today and can't wait to try your recipe.

Sounds like you have some great goals. May God give you a blessed, serene month!

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