Cookie Dough Brownies

Hello.  Two of my favorite things, in one.  Does life get any better?

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Yesterday the baking bug hit.  Love when that happens on Sundays :).  Who doesn’t like treats for the week?  Well, I certainly do…but I had one thing to consider.  We leave for the week on Tuesday.  So I needed to bake something that wouldn’t last us more than three days.

Enter cookie dough brownies, and the freezer :).

I’ve seen the idea all over the Pinterest.  Brownies, from a box or scratch, topped with cookies.  You really can’t mess it up.  But, because we were being so indulgent here, I took the opportunity to really healthify our treat.  And lemme tell ya, we weren’t complaining.

We used half this batch of brownies (but you can use all) to make a small portion of this delicious treat

Cookie Dough Brownies

Brownie Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup of cocoa powder
  • 1/2 + 2 tablespoons of boiling water
  • 2 ounces of unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup + of applesauce (add a tablespoon or two if needed)
  • 2 flax seed eggs (1 tablespoon of ground flax, 3 tablespoons of water per flax egg)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 cup of All purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup of Whole Wheat flour
  • A large dash of salt

Brownie Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and begin boiling water
  • Put cocoa in large mixing bowl, and add the boiling water directly
  • Add the chocolate, and whisk until smooth
  • Whisk in the applesauce and butter
  • Add the flax eggs, egg whites and vanilla
  • Fold in the flour and sugar until completely incorporated
  • Pour into an 8×8, greased pan.
  • Bake for 25-35 minutes, depending on doneness.

my half batch that I baked in a bread pan.

I let the brownies cool completely, for a few hours.

Once the brownies are done,  you just need to add the cookie dough!


Many recipes call for a peanut butter cookie dough on top, which requires no baking, just setting.  But I ultimately used some left over zucchini chocolate chip cookie dough that I had frozen and added Sundrops (or MnM’s) to the dough.  I baked the cookie dough on top for about 5-7 minutes (way undercooked)…let cool completely, then let set in the fridge for about an hour.  I imagine any cookie dough could really work — but this was a healthy cookie dough and like I mentioned before, I’m all about making this as healthy as possible since by nature it is SO indulgent.

These things were AWESOME.  And I can’t wait to have some more tonight :).


Quesiton of the night:  Cookie DOUGH or cookie?

Cookie dough most of the time, I’m sorry…

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Healthy Holiday Tips

Thanksgiving is absolutely one of my favorite Holiday’s of the year.  Next to my birthday and Maybe Christmas ;).  Any holiday that involved lots of good foods, family, dessert and time off work is A-OK in my book.

We all know I don’t need a holiday to make an excuse to indulge in desserts (hello), but just like everyone else, I need to keep myself in check during the holiday season to not COMPLETELY go overboard.

So, I thought it might be helpful/fun to share some of MY tips to a healthier, and happy holiday season :).



Healthy Holiday Tips!

1.  Be Prepared

  • For me, the holiday is about family and appreciating that time we have together.  Thankfully my in laws are crazy active like me, so I know we’ll fit in some sweat, but I don’t want to have to schedule or prioritize exercise OVER family time.  So, in order to start the holiday off on a healthy foot, I am front loading my week BEFORE leaving for vacation with exercise. Monday and Tuesday I am prioritizing healthy eating and exercise, so that I feel good going into the holiday.  And of course, anything I do over the holiday is bonus!

2. Hydrate

  • This one is super simple, but also super important.  DRINK WATER.  H20 people!  Especially if you are traveling, planes = dehydration plain and simple (pun, ha).  Water will also help you regulate your hunger, and help to distinguish between hunger cues vs. thirst cues.  I plan on constantly having water around at all times this holiday, constantly sipping, to help keeping my body flushed and running well 🙂

3. Give yourself permission

  • My plan for this weekend is to never OVER INDULGE, but to constantly allow for indulgences when they are available.  There are a ton of yummies that are going to be available to me this weekend that aren’t normally.  I don’t want to keep myself from enjoying them until Friday and then all of a sudden binge because I’ve been driving myself crazy skipping the good stuff.  Having a glass of wine with the family, enjoying a piece of pie for dessert, indulging in some cheese and crackers BEFORE dinner, all OK.  Just balance it out, and do it in MODERATION.  I don’t want to deprive myself this weekend, I want to give myself permission to indulge within moderation

4. Make exercise FUN

  • Hello Turkey Trot!  I swear every town has a Turkey trot  — and they aren’t competitive or serious, they’re for everyone and they’re fun.  And this is just one way to enjoy exercise.  Take walks with Grandma who you don’t get to see very often.  Take the little ones to the park to run out their (and your) energy for awhile. Take a yoga class with your MIL.  Run with your bro and sister.  Get the exercise in, but keep it enjoyable and include the family  so it’ll actually happen 🙂

5.  Offer to help!

  • If you are a bit of a control freak like me, you like to know what you’re doing, eating, seeing, etc. ha.  Well if you want to eat a little healthier, offer to bring healthy dishes, or offer to HELP find recipes or ways to healthify your normal Thanksgiving meal staples.   Applesauce = great substitute for butter.   Complex carbs vs. white bread.  Load up on fresh or roasted veggies.   If YOU help make the dishes, you know what’s in them and can make them healthy options!

And these my friends, are just a few easy tips to keep from tippin’ the scale this holiday season!

Question of the Afternoon:  What are your healthy holiday tips?

Happy Thanksgiving Week and Workout Plan

Happy Thanksgiving Monday everyone 🙂

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Zach and I are headed to North Carolina to spend the holiday with his family tomorrow afternoon and I could not be more excited! Just 1.5 days to get through and we’re on our way to good eats, family and fun!

This Morning

I swear my alarm changed itself last night.  Seriously.  Before I went to bed, I set it to 6 AM so that I would have plenty of time to snooze for a few before getting up for a run.

Welp, my alarm went off and I didn’t even look at it, assuming it was 6 AM. I let it snooze for a few minutes, and realized my alarm was set for 613?!  How random is that?

I ended up getting out of bed around 628 and hurrying myself to the gym.  I managed to squeeze in 4 miles before work which was fine-by-me.

Workout of the Day:  4 speed miles on the treadmill

Looked like this:

  • 1 mile warm up (930 pace)
  • 6 X 400’s at 8.0-8.3 pace with 400 recovery in between
  • Total of 4 miles.



I’ve got some SPEEDY in laws (I know I’ve chatted about this before) — like elite runner brothers, BQ father in law, speedy sister in law, etc etc, so I am fully expected to get my butt handed to me at some point this weekend.

I have thought about how I want to plan out this weekend, and when it comes down to it, I don’t want to.

This weekend is the first holiday that all of the Jara clan has been together like this.   All the kids, their spouses, etc.  It’s something I want to enjoy…and let’s face it, they’re all health freaks, so we’ll fit stuff in :).  Here is my “plan/goals”

Workout Plan Of the Week:

  • Monday: 4 speed miles on the treadmill/ strength
  • Tuesday: 4 recovery miles
  • Wednesday-Saturday: ENJOY FAMILY,  3 runs of any distance, 1-2 yoga classes with MIL.
  • Sunday: Run in Denver

Question of the Morning:  How are you switching up your routine for Thanksgiving?  Are you working out MORE, Less, the same?