September Goal Digging

Where in the world did summer go? I honestly feel like here in the Midwest we never really got to experience summer. I’m a weirdo who loves the heat and actually kind of missed it. I suppose it was Mother Nature’s way of giving us a break after the stupid cold winter we had.

I also feel like summer didn’t exist since my parents didn’t put up their pool this year after they moved. There was no lounging around on a pool floatie. Lame.

As much as I love summer, I love fall even more. It is hands down my favorite season. The beautiful colors on the leaves, the cool weather, the clothes, and pumpkin EVERYTHING!

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Did you see the Starbucks already released the PSL? I haven’t had one yet, but am currently trying to find a way to make them at home with actual pumpkin. Also, am I the only one NOT surprised that there isn’t pumpkin in the PSL? I’m betting there isn’t any Oprah in the Oprah Chai either. ;)

Being that it is a new month and I need some motivation around here to get things done, I’m committing to some new Goal Digger goals! I did this back in July, but slacked off a couple of weeks in. Birthday week hit and it all went down the drain.

Here are my goals for the month of September!

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Daily:
- No Snacking After 9pm: Always a downfall of mine!
- Half-Marathon Training: We’re doing awesome with this! Just want to keep it up!
- Do a Hobby For 20mins: Writing/Knitting/Scrapbooking just something creative!
- Workout DVD: Half training is great, but I need to amp it up! I don’t have a specific DVD in mind, just one of them daily from my mass collection or a workout I find on YouTube

Monthly:
- 10+ Mile Bike Ride: Have not been on my bike enough this year
- Attend Zumba: I found a place that does them during the day, so it should be easy to attend!

Weekly:
- Work Outside the Home: So, I can drink some PSLs ;)
- Complete Scrapbook Page: Trying to scrapbook my daily happy photos
- Attend Weight Watchers Meeting: I lead, but rarely attend.
- Earn 15 Activity PointsPlus: Move that body more!

Reward:
$50 for whatever I want! Cash is always a great incentive!

Along with these goals, I’m also making the switch to counting PointPlus again instead of doing Simply Filling. Not going to lie, I’ve been resisting it. I love my Simply Filling. I love the way I eat on it and the fact that I don’t have to measure my food.

That last part though is what I think has been getting me in trouble. My bowls of oatmeal have gotten bigger, my fruit snackage has grown, and I haven’t turned on my food scale in at least 4 months. I’m having some portion distortion. Haha.

This morning I got out my food scale and measured out what I have been eating for oatmeal. When I calculated the PointsPlus, it turns out I was eating 9 PointsPlus of oatmeal. Eek! That’s without anything mixed in!

So, I measured out the 1/2 cup serving and made Hungry Girl’s growing oatmeal bowl for only 6 PointsPlus. It was filling and I’ll probably keep that on my list of breakfast go-tos.

I’m going to try my best to continue eating the foods I was on Simply Filling, because I tend to lean more towards processed things when counting PointsPlus. Which is another reason I’m resisting it. I know myself and PointsPlus isn’t always the best way for me to go. I’ll be trying to make the right choices though.

That’s all I can do, right? :)

What are you looking to accomplish this month?

Will you be doing your own goal digging? (Get your printable HERE!)

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Granola Bars w/ Honey Roasted Vanilla Blue Diamond Almonds

This post was sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds. As always, opinions are my own.

This post was sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds. As always, opinions are my own.

I have been a fan of Blue Diamond ever since they were at Fitbloggin’ last year. They won me over with the Toasted Coconut Flavor. Seriously, they’re like a tropical vacation in your mouth. Sadly without the laying on the beach in your bikini though.

When I was given the chance to try out their new honey roasted flavors, I couldn’t say no. I REALLY knew I couldn’t say no when I read the flavors were Honey Roasted Vanilla and Honey Roasted Chipotle.

They arrived and I tried my hardest not to dive into them. I actually put them out of sight and completely forgot about them.

Then a couple of weeks ago, I remembered that I had to bring something along on our kayaking trip. I quickly tried to think of something easily portable and something that wouldn’t need refrigeration.

Enter granola bars! Quick, easy, portable! I had all the ingredients to make some, except the crunch factor.

Thankfully I remembered the Blue Diamond Almonds sitting in the cupboard before I threw in the towel! ;)

The result was great! They are chewy and have awesome flavor! The blueberries with the Honey Roasted Vanilla almonds works perfectly together!

Honey Vanilla Almond Blueberry Granola Bars by Brooke: Not On a Diet

Honey Vanilla Almond Blueberry Granola Bars

Recipe adapted from Fun Fresh Feast

Make 16 granola bars

Ingredients:

3 cups rolled oats, divided
1 cup chopped Honey Roasted Vanilla Blue Diamond Almonds (can do this in your food processor)
1/2 cup raw pepitas
1 cup dried blueberries
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
3 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 ripe banana
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2) Line a 9 x 13 baking dish with parchment paper (wax paper works too), extending it up the sides. Spray with cooking spray. Set aside
3) Measure 1 cup rolled oats and raw pepitas into a food processor. Pulse a few times until the oats are smaller and the pepitas are roughly chopped. Do not over-process.
4) Pour into a very large bowl, and add the remaining oats and the almonds. Mix together.
5) Add dried blueberries, cinnamon and sea salt; mix in. Set aside.
6) Mash ripe banana in a medium bowl. Set aside.
7) Combine honey, brown sugar, and coconut oil in a small saucepan. Stir over medium heat until coconut oil is completely melted. Add warm oil mixture to mashed banana and vanilla, stir to combine.
8) Slowly pour oil mixture over dry oatmeal mixture and stir until completely coated. Dump mixture into the prepared pan, and press down firmly and evenly.
9) Bake for about 25 minutes, or until lightly golden brown around the edges.
10) Cool in pan on a wire rack for about ½ hour before cutting into bars, then cover and refrigerate for at least another hour before serving. Store bars in the fridge for the best texture.

They were a big hit on the kayaking trip! As were the Honey Roasted Chipotle ones I brought along to snack on. I love it when simple things come together to make delicious things!

Honey Vanilla Almond Blueberry Granola Bars by Brooke: Not On a Diet

Are you a fan of honey flavored things?

Have you ever made your own granola bars before? If so, what was in them?

New Look!

If you’re reading this in your reader, click through to check out my new look!

After a late night (I’m typing this up around midnight), I finally got my redesign done. Why I decided to do it during a weekend I was busy, I have NO IDEA. But, I suppose it is better just to get it done than continue to put it off!

I’m super happy with how everything turned out!

First thing you will probably notice is the new colors and header!

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Red and teal is by far my favorite color combo ever! I think it is bright and cheery, plus there are polka dots! I heart polka dots! :)

The next two big things are probably something you didn’t notice right away.

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There’s a new tab that says “Work With Me.” This will lead you to my Passion Fruit account. There are a few ways that you can advertise on Brooke: Not On a Diet to help drive traffic to your website. There’s also an option on there where you can take over my blog for the weekend. I plan on adding other things in the future, but thought I’d just get things started! :)

The other thing is over on the right hand side at the top of the sidebar! This is where you can click to subscribe to my newsletter! I plan on sending on a newsletter at least once a month filled with good stuff not here on the blog. It could be some hand articles I found, a simply recipe I created, and even announcements before they hit the blog!

When you sign up, you get access to my top 13 steps for a healthier lifestyle!

Want to know my Top 13 Steps for a

There you have it! A quick rundown of what’s new here on Brooke: Not On a Diet! I’m still working on other things, including an e-book! Sign up for the newsletter and I’ll keep you up to date on that along with a discount for when it is available!

What do you think of the new look?