Homemade Granola Bars

I mentioned in my morning post that I am working on eating less processed goods and more WHOLE, REAL foods.  Generally speaking, I do pretty well with this.  I eat a lot of fresh fruits and veggies, good lean meats, and fresh baked breads in my daily diet.  BUT, one area that I am particularly weak on is bars.  I LOVE bars of all kind.  Ever since I started running and using them as pre-run fuel, it was true love.

Welp, while I’m all about balance, my obsession with bars has gotten a little out of balance.  For me, it isn’t eating the BARS that is bad, it’s the processed nature of such bars.  So — something I am working on this week is creating my own bars that I can snack on, hopefully finding that I don’t feel like I’m missing anything by not getting the prepacked variety.

I want to start with some of my favorite recipe inspirations for you guys, via my favorite bloggers and pinterest.

Easy No Bake Peanut Butter Granola Bars from Fannetastic Anne 🙂

These take 5 minutes to prep, have PB as a primary ingredient, and are stocked with seeds. My kinda bar 😉

Oatmeal Dark Chocolate Granola Bars Fannetastic Anne 🙂

Oatmeal and dark chocolate?  I need this in my life.

Almond Energy Bars via Carrots’n’cake

These just LOOK beautiful and crunchy!

No Bake Peanut Butter Bars

I’m drooling. . .

And these are just a few of my favorites, friends.  The options out there are ENDLESS.  I started working on some baked goods last night via some free continental breakfast oats — and will be working through out the week trying to perfect my own little recipe 🙂 ❤  The ingredients I’ve been using so far include:

  • Peanut butter (duhh)
  • Rolled oats
  • Brown sugar and maple oats
  • Trail mix (raisins, M&Ms)
  • Applecause

These are my must have’s basically, but I’m looking to add more seeds and crunchy goodies moving forward!  Hopefully by next week I’ll have a recipe to share with you guys 🙂

Question of the Afternoon:  Ever make  bars yourself?

Oatmeal Cookie Butter Cookies

Oh MAN do I have a good one for you all today!

PicMonkey Collage

That’s right.  Trader Joe’s is a brilliant man — and he made a smart lady out of me last night int he kitchen with his Crunchy Cookie Butter.


These cookies remind me of the cookies you get from a really good bakery (specially Latecia’s in my old Chicago neighborhood).  This batch made one LARGE cookie for me (plenty to share if you’re  nice) but the proportions are EASY to translate into a much larger batch.


Oatmeal Cookie Butter Cookies


  • 2 tablespoons of Crunchy Cookie Butter
  • 1 tablespoon of oats
  • 1 tablespoon of whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of applesauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon of milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • small handful of Reese’s Pieces


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a cookie sheet evenly
  • Begin by mixing the cookie butter (room temp), oats, flour and applesauce in a bowl
  • Mix the baking soda, vanilla and milk together in a small container before adding it to the mixture
  • Carefully fold and combine the ingredients together until it looks like they are evenly distributed
  • Add the Reese’s pieces
  • Put the dough onto a greased cookie sheet (I baked one large cookie)
  • Cook for 12-15 minutes

Notes:  You’ll notice these proportions are VERY easy to multiply in order to make a batch of cookies.  You could easily double or even quadruple the recipe and make a bunch of smaller cookies! YUM!

Please, I cannot recommend this cookie enough.  Give her a shot — and thank me later.

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Taking Good Care Of Myself and a Recipe

You know what day it is today?




Midway through my first full week in almost a month and I gotta say, I’m doing pretty well.  I’m not saying work is all smiles and roses, but who expects that.  I get through my 9-5 and have been taking full advantage of my time OUTSIDE of that.

Ever since last week’s scare I have been constantly evaluating and reevaluating how I feel and what my body is telling me.  You all know I love being active, but just like everything in life there can be too much of a good thing and sometimes we need to find balance.  With snow on the ground, it makes it easier to find creative ways to utilize my small apartment gym and not focus so much on running as I had been.

For me, this balance has been:

  • More YOGA
  • More strength training (Hello NTC app.  LOVE it)
  • Lots of walks
  • Shorter, fewer runs

So far, my body feel strong and I think it’s appreciating the extra love :).

Kindness Yoga

Speaking of taking care of myself . . .

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I gave my body a special treat last night. I took my first class at Kindness Yoga Studios here in Denver (click on the picture for their link, this computer is being a little funny). The class was challenging but perfect in oh-so-many ways and was exactly what the doctor ordered.  I plan on doing a full recap of my experience later today, so stay tuned!

It was past 7 by the time I got home so needless to say I was hungry!  I was so thankful that I had taken some extra time in the morning to prep my meal.

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On the menu last night was Curried Chicken Salad for one!  Served on a toasted pretzel bun with a side of Whole Foods tortilla chips :).


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HEALTHY Curry Chicken Salad for One


  • 3-4 oz of plain, 0% milk fat Greek yogurt
  • 4 oz grilled chicken
  • 1 teaspoon (or a couple pinches to taste)
  • Handful of grapes
  • 1 small celery stalk
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of dried cranberries
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Put the yogurt in a small mixing bowl and mix in curry until well distributed
  • Add the chicken to the mixture
  • Halve the grapes and small chop the celery
  • Add the chopped vegetables along with the dried cranberries to the mix
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Enjoy!

photo 2-32


I of course toasted a little bun to go with mine, but you can serve this on top of any bread of choice or even greens! It was surprisingly delicious and EASY!  I let mine sit in the fridge all day and I think that did a lot for the flavors all coming together.  I will definitely make this again!

Treat of the day



I enjoyed more of the Immaculate Baking company cookies last night for my treat.  Seriously, if you have these in your local grocer, get them.  Super easy, gluten free, and delicious.  There really is nothing like a fresh baked cookie. . . and these are the best drop cookies I’ve found (you  know I’ve done my research).

This Morning

I had two anxious furballs vying for my attention well before 6 this morning — so it wasn’t TOO difficult to talk myself out of bed for a quick and dirty workout before the sun was up.

Workout of the Day: 3.16 miles in 30 minutes



I did an easy warm up mile and was feeling better than I have in awhile so decided to try and slowly integrate speed work back into my routine.  After my first easy mile, I did 400 repeats at 7.0-7.4 with 400 recovery in between until I reached 3 miles (4 sets).  I felt good at the end and walked it out until I hit 30 minutes.

I was surprised how strong I felt both this morning and at yoga last night. . . but I guess that shows I am doing something right with taking care of myself lately!

Be back later with a full recap of my Kindness Yoga experience 🙂

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