Santa’s Got a Brand New Bag! (Oh yeah…)

Poor Santa! So much sugar! But the poor fellow LOVES cookies! Is there an answer? Yes! santa 2No need for the Old Elf to be totally deprived of his seasonal favorites! Step into my Christmas kitchen for a quick recipe share of two satisfying confections that do not deliver a huge sugar/carb hit. These macaroon and oatmeal recipes will more than fill the bill for treats that do not overdo things and Food-Talk-4-You-12will keep you in balance.

Midnight Macaroons were developed to be part of a regular care package sent to our daughter for a moment of hugs-across-the-miles during her grueling night shifts as a Resident Physician. She shared them with her fellow residents during their – rare – breaks.

Midnight Macaroons

Preheat oven to 350 degrees or convection oven to 325 deFood-Talk-4-You-3grees

Cover baking sheet with parchment paper

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl:

• 1 1/3 cup unsweetened, finely shredded coconut
• 3 tablespoons gluten-free flour (I used Krusteaz Brand)
• 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
• ¼ cup cocoa
• 2 tablespoons mini dark chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli Brand)

Food-Talk-4-You-2Beat/whip 3 large room temperature egg whites until they become fluffy.

Then gradually add 1/3 cup white sugar while beating.

Add ¼ teaspoon almond extract and continue beating until stiff peaks form.

Spoon whipped egg white mixture into the dry ingredient bowl and gently fold Food-Talk-4-You-5ingredients until combined.

Using a cookie scoop – I used a 2 inch scoop – place dough onto prepared baking sheet. These will not spread out.

Bake 25 minutes and cool on a rack. Smaller cookies will need less time to bake.

For an optional added chocolate “hit” you can easily dip the tops of these into melted dark chocolate.

These are not especially sweet (YAY!) and are totally satisfying and provide LOTS of nutritional goodness through the egg whites, coconut flakes, and dark chFood-Talk-4-You-6ocolate.

I stress in Toolkit for Wellness – barring severe allergic reactions – an 80/20 approach to anti-inflammatory eating should meet our needs to be mindful of how we ‘fuel’ our bodies without making Food-Talk-4-You-8us obsessive. I choose to stray from the path of “no grains” once in a while as a serving of white rice is savored or a gluten-free corn chip is enjoyed at a party. But, oatmeal labeled “gluten-free” has been calling me like sirens from the deep.

I bought a bag of Bob’s Red Mill Brand Gluten-Free Rolled Oatmeal last year and ended up just giving it away to a friend. I didn’t trust myself to not go down a very slippery slope into regular bowlfuls of carbohydrates in the morning. Well, I took the plunge this year and used some of that oatmeal to create a fabulous treat. So far, so good. One cookie every other day or so! Who is in control at all times? Me! I can do this!

Traditional oatmeal cookies call for a total of 1 cup sugar (brown and white), but I eliminated one third cup of that and did not lose a bit of flavor or fun. I think this could even be made with less sugar than that and be just fine.

Low Sugar, Gluten-Free Oatmeal, Raisin, Walnut Cookies

Food-Talk-4-You-1Preheat oven to 350; or 325 degrees for a convection oven. Cover baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine in a medium-sized bowl:

• ½ teaspoon gluten-free baking soda
• ½ teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
• ½ teaspoon sea salt
• 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
• 1 cup gluten-free flour

Cream in a large bowl:

• ½ cup grass-fed butter
• 1/3 cup brown sugar
• 1/3 cup white sugar

Mix into the butter mixture:

• 1 egg
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 2 teaspoons water

Add dry ingredients to the wet and mix until combined.

Stir in:

• 1 ½ cups gluten-free rolled oats
• ¾ cup activated nuts, chopped (See Recipe chapter in Toolkit for Wellness)
• ½ cup golden raisins

Using a cookie scoop, put scoops of dough onto prepare baking sheet.
Bake 10-12 minutes for 2” cookie scoops. Smaller scoops will require less time.

cookies in freezzer
Cookies in freezer

My only improvement on these delicious recipes is that I will use a smaller scoop next time so I can have more cookies and smaller servings.  A move to smaller treats will keep these cookies closer to the 80 side of the equation! These both freeze well, by the way; so the treat can last longer if you are not sharing them.

icaughtsantacom-2-90_grid_6So, now we see Santa settling by the hearth with his NEW, favorite book to learn of other amazing ‘tweaks’ he can make in his daily life that will revolutionize his health and peace of mind!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to one and all!


PS- Thank you for making Toolkit for Wellness a Best Seller in ALL of its categories at one time or another!

Remember! The eBook is still at $0.99 until Christmas when the price goes up. If you prefer reading on a devise, that’s a great bargain for yourself or someone you care about.

But wait, there’s more! The paperback version is ready and also available through Amazon! Click HERE to get yours today!





Let’s Get Back to the Basics!

 Are the basic tenets of personal wellness slipping as the hustle and bustle of the holiday season reaches a fever pitch? Add the daily responsibilities of work, family, and household needs, and we have a recipe for feeling over-whelmed and out of control. Just the opposite of what we want to be about! Let’s rein in this downward spiral by taking just a few minutes to return to the basics.

What are the basics?

ToolkitforWellnessBolder(1)As discussed in my new book, Toolkit for Wellness – Master Your Health and Stress Response for Life, before leaping into drastic changes in order to be “more healthy,” a few mindful steps must occur.

B-R-E-A-T-H-E and connect with yourself and your creator…
Amidst the hustle of publishing my book and the increasing responsibilities as a care-giver, I was just as guilty of dropping my stress-reducing practices as anyone else might. Today, that stopped. Stressed

Coffee brewing time exercises continued as usual; but calming breathing time and connecting time had slipped by the wayside.
I mean, if I don’t take five minutes for this, what’s the point to living?

So, sit down by the window if it’s too cold or wet to be outside and do the following:

Breathe-300x199• Close your eyes

• Rest your hands palm side up on your knees to be open to the universe

• Take several mindful breaths – feel the air enter, circle around your lungs, and exit gently

• Think only on the movement of air within you – if thoughts creep in, gently release them

• Acknowledge there have been times when you strove to be in total control and the sole source of power – sort of like relying upon a paper match that only dimly lights and is soon consumed; when, in fact, you should have plugged in to the Power of the Universe instead

• Connect with your “Forever Power Source” to recharge, praise, and seek guidance

• Renew you commitment to working with your body as a team. We family-bondingall want our bodies to work properly 100% of the time, but are we fueling it properly 100% of the time? Knowing our cars won’t work properly to get us to our destinations if they are not properly maintained and filled with the proper fuel, how can we expect our bodies to get us there if we ignore how we treat and fuel them? At what point today do you not care if your body is functioning properly?

• Remember Thanksgiving! We should count our blessings every day; be thankful you have been equipped to meet the needs of this moment and this day

tired-santa-dogThese basic steps to starting the day take just a very few minutes and will help us all refocus and keep our inner selves on track, even while we do the many extra activities that come with the holidays. These basics may also help us redefine what is really important and what is worthy of our time!

To a calmer, more centered December!


Toolkit for Wellness is available as an eBook on Amazon for just $0.99 until December 24th! Just click on the tab under the banner to buy it.

Paperback version is going to be out very soon! I know many of you prefer holding an actual book! Not only will it be nice to have something to hold, but many of you have also said it will make a perfect gift to give this year! I’ll keep you posted about it.