Thank you Leigh from Aluminarium! My family loves these. I left out the coconut flakes and substituted maple syrup for the agave nectar, but they still turned out fabulous. This was also the first time I ever used our combo microwave/convection oven for baking. Since I realized AFTER I already mixed everything up that I didn't have a cookie sheet, I baked the cookies in a pyrex bowl. I could only cook a few at a time, so it took forever...but it was worth it.
After loving these so much, I went to Walmart and bought a 12 inch round cookie sheet for the next time I make these. Got it back to the Airstream and there were little handles on it which made it too big to fit in the convection oven. Fortunately, we were boondocking that night in the Walmart parking lot, so I was able to return the pan and walk across the street to Kohls. I knew they would have a large selection of perfect small, round cookie sheets. Wrong. They had the same ONE as Walmart. So, I ended up buying a square brownie dish. It mostly works, but the corner catches as the turntable goes round and it doesn't have all the surface area I had hoped for. I made the kids chocolate chip cookies on my new pan tonight and am about to try my second batch of breakfast cookies. Last time I only made a 1/2 batch just in case we didn't like them. They were all gone at breakfast. This time I want leftovers for another morning, so we are going to do a full batch. I highly recommend this recipe. Not only do they taste great, but their ingredient list includes ground flax, coconut oil, nuts, dried fruit, and oats. So they basically rock in the nutritional arena and are vegan and gluten free. It could be the way my convection oven cooked them, but mine were a little crumbly, so make them small "one-bite" sized or eat over a bowl and spoon up all the goodies that fall off at the end.
It's day 4 and we are 1000 miles into our trip West. Our first night on the road was a stay at a dumpy campground just before Joplin, MO. None of our stuff was in the right place. We had to move 2 things to get to the thing we wanted. We were still winterized due to freezing weather, so we didn't have use of the bathroom or kitchen which made it a little less comfortable.
Day two ended in a great KOA outside of Oklahoma City. The day was beautiful so we de-winterized, played, and relaxed at the campsite and didn't hit the road until 1pm. That doesn't even include our TWO stops before ever getting out of the Oklahoma City city limits. (once for gas and much needed bath for the Gray Whale and another for a potty emergency) This late start made it a hard travel day. We broke our own rule and drove until after dark trying to our next stop.
We nixed our plans to head to Dallas due to changes in weather and a postponed visit with friends. Instead we headed across I-40 toward Amarillo, TX. ***Side note...guess what song came on the radio while we were pushing to get to Amarillo by sunset? Our campsite in Amarillo was an oasis called the Oasis. It was amazing, if we could have enjoyed it. Since night temps were around 20 degrees, we couldn't use the full hook ups, and it was dark, so we could barely see its beauty. About 1:30am, the wind started. I have camped many times in my life and never experienced wind like this. No storm or rain, just wind. It howled and shook the Gray Whale and kept us up most of the night. Silas was convinced that we were going to flip over or be lifted away. By morning ice had formed on the inside of all the windows, but the wind had died down slightly. We were still nervous about towing on the interstate in these winds because they were 25 mph gusting up to 45 mph, but the winds continued to decrease throughout the day, so it was fine.
Last night we made it to another great campground in Albuquerque called American RV Park. We want to stay here forever. Nice bathrooms, playground, level sites, complimentary continental breakfast each morning, and free wifi, We may stay a couple of days to relax and see the sights around Albuquerque.
***Another side note...this is the song the kids were singing in the truck on the way here..."If I were a turkey, I'd live in Albuquerque."
Before I finish, let's look at the good, the bad, and the ugly of healthy choices on the road.
Good: The pre-cooked chicken breasts I froze came in handy tonight for a quick dinner of chicken, green beans, and strawberries. Breakfast smoothies have been an easy start to our day.
Bad: I'm still trying to get in my physical therapy exercises to rehab an injured foot, but I have to admit that it is a challenge to do them all twice a day. The best place I have found to get in a few sets is at the playground. There is always a bench or bar that can be used for a few different exercises.
Ugly: 3 of the 4 of us have had "stomach" issues...ok, I'll just say it...diarrhea. We don't know why. Something wrong with the fresh water tank? Different eating habits? A bug? We have a whole camper water filter attached where the city water comes in and then we filter it again in a Brita filter. Tomorrow are going to empty the fresh water tank, bleach it, and re-fill it. I would hate to switch to buying all of our water.
That does it for our update. To all our family, friends, and soon-to-be-friends, safe travels and WanderWell.
When traveling, we find it to be such a temptation to eat out more than we should. It's expensive and (usually) unhealthy. So, tonight I started cooking and freezing meat for our trip. I cooked 4 chicken breasts and a pound of grass fed beef all seasoned for burritos. This should help when we need a quick dinner by just adding cheese, beans, and warming up in the microwave or skillet. Toss some lettuce and tomatoes on top and we have a meal that even the kids love. If I want to be gluten free that day, I can throw it all in a bowl with minute rice.
Tomorrow I am cooking some turkey meatballs, grilling 6 chicken breasts, and browning 3 more pounds of grass fed beef for spaghetti.
On a slightly different note, I'm still trying to decide which kitchen appliances I want to drag along with us. The items that have made it to the wish list are the Vitamix, the crockpot, and the steamer...which are all rather large. Since space is such a premium, what would you take?
I travelled for work for 2 days. You know the drill...lots of driving, hotels, restaurants. Here's what I did to stay on my clean eating commitment.
- Drank my protein shake before I left & grabbed a Lara bar for my morning snack. Love Lara Bars! They only have like 3 ingredients and they hit the sweet tooth in a healthy way.
- Found a health food store on route and got a fruit and protein smoothie and wheat grass shot for lunch. Not a fan of wheat grass, but I hold my nose and chug it so I can get a little green goodness for my insides. P.S. On the topic of protein smoothies, always ask what they put in them. If it says sugar free anywhere, or if it has flavored syrup in it...stay away. Mine had almond milk, whey protein, strawberries, and banana. If you have the option to add flax, chia, or some other form of fiber, do it.
- Made sure I had gum in the car for when the munchies hit. (I used to get Mike & Ike's instead...still chewy and yummy, but a lot more sugar and calories.)
- Stopped for gas break and got a bottle of water, cup of ice, and cashews for snack. Since chomping ice is a great way to beat the munchies, but a terrible way to treat your teeth, I think we should start rating gas stations by their ice quality. So I vote Circle K for #1 and Jack Flash as #732. Circle K has THE BEST, little, round, pellet, crunch-apart-easy ice I've ever crunched. Jack Flash's ice is big, dangerously pointed, and will not crunch. Your tooth will break first. Crazy as it sounds, I will definitely be looking for more Circle K's on my route in the future.
- Had a dinner meeting at Houlihans and ordered the grilled chicken and spinach salad with strawberries and dressing on the side. Hold the cheese, add pecans...perfect!
- Brought my Magic Bullet and had my protein shake in my hotel room. See the picture above. I even brought a banana, a little single container of So Delicious Coconut milk, and a straw 'cause I can't drink a proten shake without a straw. Add ice from the hotel and voila! Not as great as the Vitamix does, but not bad. However, in hindsight, I wish I had gone down to the hotel lobby and eaten breakfast there. It was free and they had plain oatmeal with walnuts and raisins. I love oatmeal. Then I could have had my protein shake for lunch or snack later. Oh well. Next time.
- Brought along another Lara bar for after my meeting.
- Lunch was a drive thru Panera Bread "You Pick Two" with the Black Bean Soup and 1/2 Strawberry Poppyseed Salad (dressing on the side). Yummm.
Summary: I felt great and came home weighing the same as when I left...success!
My name is Stevyn. I am a wife, mother, and exercise physiologist with one foot in the world of travel and one foot in the world of fitness. Learn more about me here.
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