Cookies, certification, and chest day

I started to write this post about the amazing cookies I made, and then got some great news about a certification I completed… and figured that people like lists with three items, so I added another “c” to the list with our chest workout.  Enjoy!

First, cookies… honestly, that’s probably the item that brought you here so might as well talk about it right off the bat. I have always made my recipes with oats in them, because that’s what we have in the house, but I felt like experimenting with some flour to make items that are more “cake-like”. Luckily, my first attempt was a success!

  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1.5 scoops whipped vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 TBSP cinnamon
  • 1 TBSP vanilla
  • 1 tsp Stevia brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • water (as needed for consistency)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine all wet ingredients in a large bowl. Mix in dry ingredients. Add water as needed to get the batter sticky enough to hold together. I added it 1/4 cup at a time.
  3. Place spoonfuls on a greased baking tray and bake for approximately 17 – 20 minutes. I got 15 cookies out of the mixture. You can take them out when they’re still slightly soft as they’ll continue to harden up after cooking.
  4. The nutritional value is pretty good, if I say so myself. And, the taste is great (Kyle agrees) – I think the coconut flour adds amazing taste.

Per cookie: 98 calories, 6g carbs, 5g fat, 8g protein

I love baking cookies.... it's a problem.

I love baking cookies…. it’s a problem.

Next, certification. With my interest in health, fitness, bodybuilding, and coaching growing more each day, I wanted to take it a step further. Short of going back to school for nutrition, I did some digging and found a course through CanFit Pro – Nutrition and Weight Loss Specialist. I took the course back in May, and finally sat down long enough to complete the online segment and write the final exam over the Canada Day weekend.  Yesterday, I got the official news that I passed! The course was helpful in broadening my knowledge in creating meal plans for clients. I’m a firm believer that education is always helpful, and this was something I could do with a professional organization backing it up.

Finally, chest day workout! In the bodybuilding world, Monday is jokingly referred to as International Chest Day, and for the last year, we’ve followed suit.  However, we’ve recently changed up our training schedule for a variety of reasons, which has shifted chest to Wednesday evening. A quick thought – women commonly overlook working their chest which is a big mistake. It’s a large muscle group, any work you can do involving a large muscle is beneficial to your overall body composition – work it!! Here’s our training overview from this week’s session:

  • Incline DB chest press (4 sets)
  • Incline Smith machine press (more upright than with DBs) (4 sets)
  • Incline Smith machine press with bands – drop set
  • Cable chest fly (4 sets – last set drop)
  • Iso chest press with bands (3 sets)
  • Incline DB chest fly superset with pushups (3 sets)

*We started using bands in our training about a month ago and have really noticed the difference in load and intensity. Using the band keeps the intensity on through the whole range of motion, increasing the blood flow to the working muscle. They’re not necessary, but it’s a way to change up the stimulus in your training program. We had to buy them from a fitness supply store.

Quick progress check – Since last Monday I’ve made an effort to clean up my diet, meaning I’ve cut out the junk snacks, but have kept my calories pretty high to support our training. I’m keeping a good balance of macro nutrients, but am aware of the carb / fat balance right now. I’ve noticed some positive changes in my body: I’ve dropped about 4 lbs (mostly water weight) and some definition is coming back with some striations in my shoulders. Taking it slow and keeping the calories as high as possible to stay happy. With 9 weeks to go, there’s plenty of time!

9 weeks to go. Slow and steady, with lots of food.

9 weeks to go. Slow and steady, with lots of food.

About Ashleigh

I'm passionate about health and fitness. I work as a Health Promotion Specialist, a group fitness instructor, and also a coach for physique competitors / weight loss clients. I grew up as a competitive athlete, and have continued with this passion as a Women's Physique competitor. Research and writing is another interest of mine, which I use to share my knowledge with the general public.
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