Why I Hate Fitness Blogs
There is this thing on the internet that I sometimes see that makes me physically ill. These posts are often veiled under “fitness” or “inspiration”, showing pictures of thin women with quotes how they must WORK HARDER and PUSH FOR THEIR GOAL. I’m assuming here that the goal is weight loss.
The problem with these pictures is that fitness has very little to do with the way you look. I know fat people who work out every day. I know skinny people who can’t remember the last time they went to the gym. Fitness is about increasing your actual, literal, physical strength. It is about being able to run as long as you want to, keeping your muscles evenly strengthened so one doesn’t overcompensate for the other (a common cause of injury), and making you strong enough to tolerate common aggravations to the body, such as hunching over a computer or in a desk for long days.
These pictures show women that if they don’t like their bodies, it’s because they aren’t WORKING HARD ENOUGH to torture their bodies into a pleasing shape. It gives unrealistic expectations about the actual effect of working out. When someone has been working out for months and they look the same, they begin to think that they’re doing something wrong, they’re not working hard enough, and that thinner women at the gym are somehow better, more knowledgeable, and are working harder than them. It’s not true, it’s awful, and it causes a lot of damage.
If you honestly want to work out, think about WHY you want to do it. Is it because someone said to you, “It’s so cute the way your tummy sticks out like that!” or “It’s ok if you put on a bit of weight, your sister was always the thinner one anyway,” or “Your face is looking a bit rounder these days,”? These people passing judgement on your body could easily have said things like, “It’s cute how much you talk,” or “It’s ok if you don’t like reading books”. These things are judgements of a person that someone else sees. Maybe I do talk to much, maybe I don’t like reading books, does this cause me to make a beeline to the “make-myself-better-for-these-other-people room”? Because that’s how I see the correlation because those first statements and the gym.
The best part about exercise is that it should make you feel GOOD. Exercise releases endorphins. Some people talk about a “runner’s high”. Same sort of thing. Exercise is definitely good for your body, you just have to do it for the right reasons.
When I work out, I run and beat out all the frustrations I am dealing with. I exercise my back to combat my nasty desk/computer habit. I lift weights. Then, when I’m done, all the chemicals released from exercise make me happy and relaxed. I shower, put on my favourite clothes, and go about my day. I stopped weighing myself. I stopped standing sideways to see how far my stomach stuck out. These were the things that were killing me. I don’t do them anymore, and I know that I have never looked better.
A few things all came at once to convince me to make these tarts:
- I was invited to a staff dessert potluck by my co-worker
- Someone who works near me asked me to bake something sweet for them.
- An anonymous reader asked me to make “anything with chocolate!”
And so, with much internet browsing and brainstorming, these tarts were born.
The idea is that they have a graham cracker crust and chocolate filling, like s’mores! I was also going to make marshmallow fluff as a topping to make it truly s’mores flavoured, but I ran out of time and used a whipped cream topping instead.
Process the graham cracker crust and press it into a greased cupcake tin. Or you could press it into a pie. Bake for 10 minutes.
Now, the filling! I used Oh She Glows’s recipe, but for some reason my coconut milk didn’t separate when I put it in the fridge overnight. I tried to cook it a little so that some water would evaporate and then the filling would be solid. While the filling is good fresh out of the fridge, it gets sort of melty at room temperature so beware!
Fill baked crusts!
Serve with some coconut whipped cream and enjoy! Or try it with marshmallow fluff and let me know how that goes.
Ingredients (Recipe based off pie recipe from Oh She Glows):
- 3/4 cup almonds
- About 18 graham crackers
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp coconut oil (I used butter as the extra tablespoon for flavour)
- Pinch of salt
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 cup chocolate chips
Coconut whipped cream:
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp corn syrup or other sweetener
- Process almonds in food processor until they are crumbly. Add graham crackers and process into crumbs. Finally add oil/butter and salt.
- Press the filling into a cupcake tin or into an 8” pie plate. Bake for 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees F depending on how brown you want your crust.
- While crusts are baking, melt together the coconut milk and chocolate chips in a pot. Stir until any chocolate mixture that rides up the spoon thickens as it cools.
- Pour mixture into the crusts, NOTE: The crusts are quite shallow so the filling can actually fill 24 tarts but the crust recipe only makes 12ish tart crusts. Feel free to double the tart crust recipe. However, if you are making a pie then it should fill the whole pie.
- Refrigerate for 2 hours and enjoy!
Anonymous asked: ANYTHING WITH CHOCOLATE!
Okay, you asked for it! (Stay tuned for Friday!)
Easy Summer Fruit Crumble
Fruit crumble is my absolute favourite dessert to make. How could you not love it? Chop some fruit, sprinkle stuff on top, bake it, and everyone thinks you are the greatest cook in the room. Amazing.
Another great thing about it is that you can tailor it to whatever dietary restrictions people have; it’s so easy to make it vegan/gluten free/nut free and it will still taste like food.
I’ve been meaning to cook for weeks but I’ve been working at a day camp. One of the most fascinating things about children is how their genes are represented in themselves and their siblings. How does a mom with tanned skin and dark hair have two daughters with blonde hair and blue eyes? Isn’t it interesting that two sisters can have the same expression on their face but otherwise look quite different? Biology is wonderful.
Back to crumble. I forgot to take any pictures of the finished product, so here is basically what the crumble looked like, but naked.
The best kind of crumble is held together with butter. I used a potato masher to get the butter into crumbles, but you can use your hands or a fork.
Your crumble topping should look a bit like this.
I kept on procrastinating taking a photo of the finished product, and in the end the crumble only lasted in my house for about a day. You can imagine that the fruit was baked and soft and bubbling, and the crumble was golden brown and buttery. You’re welcome.
- 4 peaches
- 1 cup blueberries (You can use other summer berries like raspberries, strawberries, or blackberries!)
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup flour (for gluten free version, use gf flour or almond meal)
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup butter (for vegan version, use margarine. I don’t know if coconut oil would give quite the same flavour, but you could try and just add a pinch of salt)
- Rub your crumble pan with oil or butter. Preheat over to 350 degrees F. Chop peaches into roughly 2.5 cm pieces. Toss peaches and blueberries in your pan with honey and vanilla. Set aside.
- Cut butter into pieces and incorporate into the dry ingredients. Use your hands, a fork, or a potato masher until no large pieces of butter remain.
- Pour crumble over fruit and bake for 30 minutes or until the fruit mixture bubbles and the crisp topping is golden and smells baked.
- Enjoy with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!
Oatmeal Raisin Energy Bars
This is another food processor recipe.
I know, I know. I said I would do something new. A lot of people don’t have food processors. Blah blah blah.
I just needed to make these bars because work has drained me and this recipe adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie is so irresistibly easy!
These are the only ingredients. Isn’t that fantastic?
Pulse it all in the food processor until it gets a bit sticky
Form into bars and you are done! Yes, it is a small recipe but I just wanted to try bringing these bars in to work to see how I would enjoy them.
- 1/2 cup raisins (80g)
- 6 tbsp quick oats (30g)
- 1/2 cup walnuts (40g)
- A few pinches of salt
- 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Optional: 1/8 tsp cinnamon and nutmeg
Pulverize the oats in a food processor, then add all other ingredients and blend very well. Form into balls or bars. (If you want, you can portion the dough into plastic bags before smushing the bars, so your hands don’t get sticky.)