Texas Cowboy Cookies

This Monday I was in the mood for baking! My husband was off work so I cancelled dinner (sorta, we’d went out for a HUGE lunch so no one was really hungry.) Instead i baked these deliciously amazing cookies at 6:00 P.M. while feeding the kids leftover mac and cheese! I also didn’t have enough butter so I improvised with butter flavored Crisco, thats the same thing, right?

These delicious cookies have the perfect ratio of sweet to salty, plus a little crunch from the pecans. I refer to them as the “Everything but the kitchen sink cookies”.. when y’all ask whats in them because really, everything is in them! When I’m feeling nice I omit the coconut in the recipe because my husband hates coconut flakes (but I LOOORRRVVEEEE coconut, so its an every other batch kinda compromise!)

Recipe is below, enjoy!!

CowboyCookies

Ingredients:

3 C. flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. baking soda
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 C. butter (room temperature)
1 1/2 C. sugar
1 1/2 C. brown sugar
3 eggs
1 Tbsp. vanilla
3 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 C. Old Fashioned rolled oats
2 C. chopped pecans
2 C. sweetened coconut flakes

*Recipe yields a TON of cookies, so if you don’t want to bake all night, halve the entire recipe!*

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer beat butter on medium until smooth. Add sugar and brown sugar and beat for 2 minutes (stop and scrape down sides if needed.) Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each egg. Mix in vanilla.
  4. Stir in flour mixture, blend it until just combined. Add chips, oats, pecans and coconut, mix until fully incorporated.
  5. drop by heaping rounded tablespoon onto an ungreased baking sheet allowing plenty of room between cookies. (I baked 6 cookies at a time on a 10×14)
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes until edges are slightly golden brown. Allow cookies to cook on pan for about 2 minutes (once they flatten) and then remove to a cooking rack.
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Mirena – What No One Warns You About

Mirena is the real reason behind me starting this website, and the reason behind my renewed healthy, natural lifestyle quest. After going through the Mirena crash (that no one warns you about) I felt like I needed to add my story to the internet in case there were more women out there going through what I went through. Yes, Mirena is GREAT for so many women; but there are just as many of us out there who did not have good experiences. Because of that I wanted to make a post to let anyone know who’s going through hormone problems after Mirena, you’re not alone. Lots of us have gone through this and there are ways to minimize side effects of the crash.

So you got your Mirena in. It’s supposed to be the most amazing thing ever! The idea of it is awesome, and for SO many women it works wonderfully, but then there are us with not so hot experiences.

For me, Mirena was great at first, after the initial torrential blood fest that lasted roughly 55 days wore off (to be fair, we were all warned). After that it was smooth sailing, right? No periods, no pregnancy. A win-win. Well here’s my story with the lovely Mirena. Nothing catastrophic happened, I just began presenting symptoms that were odd and I didn’t want to deal with.

Before I dive in, here’s a little side information about my health: I’d consider myself a fairly healthy person after having 2 kids in 2.5 years. I’m 5’4″, 130 lb., I exercise regularly, I eat healthy, and I get a normal “mom” amount of sleep (lets be real, we could all use more sleep).

So roughly 9 months into my “5 years” with Mirena I began to increasingly feel funny and fairly unwell. I no longer considered myself in excellent health which was super bizarre for me, I’ve always been healthy! My symptoms were not all at once but more gradual. I became extremely exhausted, had mood swings, anxiety, excessive thirst, ZERO sex drive, odd cramps, spotting and the semi- return of my period. Many more months passed and these symptoms did not go away.  I hit the 1 year mark and I decided to have the Mirena removed. The idea of having a foreign object semi-permanently lodged in my nether regions no longer sat well with me and I KNEW my symptoms were being brought on by something involving my reproductive health. I made my removal appointment, which wasn’t easy but I was in no mood for crap. Apparently Military doctors *at my location* hate removing Mirena early, for whatever reason… (They literally told me and other women that Mirena is expensive and they don’t want to remove it and waste money.)

Finally Mirena removed. They did a few routine cultures at the same time and called me back THAT DAY (another rarity with mil health care!) Come to find out I had a pretty gnarly bacterial infection down there (thanks Mirena) and was prescribed Flagyl (the holy mother of all evil antibiotics, pretty darn potent for someone who never takes antibiotics) and then a following dose of Diflucan. Come to find out later, this drug cocktail basically obliterated all of my healthy gut microbes, only intensifying my Mirena crash symtoms.

The Mirena Crash

Mirena removed. Maybe one year in, maybe 5 years in. Many women have zero problems or side effects from Mirena removal. Others have a whole slew of issues that no one ever warned them about when they considered Mirena.

So, what exactly “crashes” when the Mirena is removed? The IUD Mirena provides the body with a synthetic flow of hormone, levonorgestrel. When you remove that flow of fake progesterone the body is then required to make it’s own which could take days, weeks or longer to restart because it has become “lazy”, relying on the synthetic provision from your IUD instead of producing its own. This restart gap causes your body to essentially go into withdrawal if progresterone levels aren’t sustained. This causes hormone imbalance or estrogen dominance.

The symptoms of a Mirena crash vary widely between individuals, but here are some of the most common:

  • Runaway emotions such as anxiety, sadness, anger and depression. Severe cases have produced suicidal thoughts.
  • Frequent mood swings
  • Exhaustion/Fatigue
  • Physical symptoms such as muscle fatigue, cough, sore throat and even fever which are often misdiagnosed
  • Nausea, vomiting and stomach pain
  • Breast tenderness
  • Decreased sex drive and painful sex
  • Consistent sadness, hopelessness, and/or anxiety
  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Feeling of always being tired
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Loss of interest in once enjoyable activities
  • Excessive sleeping or insomnia
  • Changes in appetite
  • Thoughts of suicide

My personal symptoms included many of the things listed about but I could feel my issues were absolutely hormonal and a clear sign of an estrogen/progesterone imbalance. I visited my Physician for the symptoms and he told me what I already knew. My symptoms were likely caused by the Mirena removal and I’ll just need to let my body reset. “Come back if you have more problems”. My Mirena crash lasted four months and revolved around my monthly cycle. My worst days were the week before my period and 3-4 days into my Period. My best days were days 1-7 of my cycle. My symptoms included:

  • Tiredness
  • Fatigue
  • Extreme mood Swings
  • Severe Anxiety
  • Depression/Feelings of despair
  • Brain Fog
  • Eye itchiness/dryness
  • Post nasal drip
  • Dizziness
  • Trouble Concentrating
  • Loss of interest in once enjoyable activities

The Mirena Crash is very real and more and more women are coming forward to report their symptoms and tell their story. Many physicians will not acknowledge the side effects you experience as being attributed to the Mirena crash after your device has been removed. Even fewer who do acknowledge your symptoms will offer little to no remedies or solutions to ease your symptoms. They solely rely on the information provided by the manufacturer and because the Mirena crash causes such a wide array of symptoms, you’d be really lucky to get any help from a doctor at all.

Mirena removal has the potential to cause some very serious symptoms in women. These symptoms should not go unheard. If you feel like you cannot cope or are scared by these symptoms you’re experiencing after Mirena removal, please be persistent and honest with your doctor. There are many natural supplements that you can take to help get your body back on track and back into balance. Here are the amazing products that helped me get back on track and ease my symptoms.

Olive Leaf Extract

Fermented Cod Liver Oil

Evening Primrose

Plexus Slim

Plexus BioCleanse

Plexus ProBio5

 


 

Homemade (no bake) Protein Bars

So it’s been a minute since I’ve posted on my blog. SO LONG that we aren’t even a family of 3 anymore and haven’t been for over a year! WHOOPS.

I’m happy to be starting this week off right by a hot workout (thanks Shaun T/Cize) and a batch of protein bars that will last us through the week.

I’ve been meaning to make these bars for some time now (in my previous life I kept these stocked constantly in my fridge/freezer -I like mine SUPER cold). I’ve used this recipe for over 5 years and its my go-to recipe for quick, easy and delicious bars without crazy added preservatives beyond whats in the main ingredients.

To start off you’ll need a sturdy bowl and a SUPER sturdy thick spoon, this stuff gets sticky, some wax/parchment paper, a baking tray, and another glass bowl/heatproof spatula and a pot that your glass bowl fits over (double broiler).

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Add all of your dry ingredients to your (Whey protein powder, oat flour, chopped nuts, I used almonds, shredded coconut) to your sturdier bowl and stir to combine. Next add your milk and stir it to begin making your sticky protein “meat” (as my 3 year old calls it). Lastly, add your peanut butter and mix with that sturdy wooden spoon, you’ll get a bit of a workout here! You’ll want to be pretty precise with your measurements, too much liquid will make your bars wilty – you want them to be fairly stiff but not so stiff that they feel like biting into nougat. If you feel like the consistency is off just add more or less milk/powder/flour.

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Next, lay out your parchment paper on a baking tray (make sure the tray you use will fit into your freezer!!) Form your bars using your hands and lay/press them onto your parchment paper. I found it easiest and least messy to roll about 2 Tbsp worth of meat between my hands, place it on the parchment paper and then form into a bar. You’ll be able to make about 8 medium sized bars.

Once all of your bars are made, place your tray in the freezer for about 20-30 minutes.

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Now that your bars are nicely firm you’ll want to start to double broil your chocolate.

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Melt your chocolate and you can either dip your entire bar, or lightly coat the tops by spreading, depending on how much extra calories you wanna add 😉

Return each bar to wax paper once coated and freeze one more time.

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Let your 3 year old lick the chocolate spoon and bowl.

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Remove and enjoy in moderation! I like to keep my in the fridge because I enjoy them cold.

INGREDIENTS:

– 1 1/2 cups Chocolate Whey protein powder

– 3/4 cup of oat flour

– 1/4 cup peanut butter

– 1/8 cup coarsely chopped seeds

– 1/8 cup shredded coconut

-1/2 cup milk or soy milk

Coating : semi-sweet chocolate

225 calories, 15g protein, carbs 12g , of which sugars : 2.5g, 16g fat, 5g fiber