The Girl On The Train- So Good I Forgot What Being Social Was

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They only come around every once and a while, a book so good, so compelling, you cant put it down. From the moment you start it pulls you in with such a strong gravitational pull you are helpless to resist. I can remember having this feeling several times as a child, which is maybe why I was always such an avid reader growing up. One of the most memorable was when I was in elementary school. Being a child fascinated with the dark and mysterious it is not surprising I found my way to R L Stein books. I never liked the Goosebump series, too easy of reads for myself. Instead I went straight for the Fear Street books which were geared towards young adults.  I became obsessed. Within the first few months I had finished off the entire series at that time. I cant remember just how many books that was exactly, but 50 would not surprise me.  I remember one day staying home sick from school just so I could read all day, finishing off 3 whole books. Looking at my bookshelf adorned with all of the books I had read was like looking at my prize possessions. To this day looking at my bookshelf gives me a sense of comfort and accomplishment.

As I have gotten older books rarely grab me like the once did. Perhaps it is because now most of the books I read are non-fiction and what can I say, a book on the reasons why we overeat just does not pull me in the same way a book about flying wizards does (Let’s not even start on my obsession when reading the Harry Potter series). With that said, non-fiction can’t isn’t my everyday read, but I do still need a way to escape sometimes, to leave the real world and get drawn into a place of fantasy and excitement.

Recently I had kept hearing how good “The Girl On The Train” was by Paula Hawkins from several people. One of which was my mother, a devoted reader herself and a woman whose taste in literature I trust 100%. Without even knowing what the book was about I went and purchased a copy. I have found it rare for a book to not live up to its expectations when it is a best seller and is recommended by so many people.This book was no exception.

Within the first 50 pages I was hooked, always a tell-tale sign of a good book for me. This book had a unique perspective from the various characters I had never read before. The book started with re-capping the protagonist’s thoughts as she rode her local train in the morning and evening. You were not involved in what was actually happening in the moment, instead you had to grab bits and pieces from her thoughts and reflections from the day. Reading through the main characters thoughts I became sympathetic, but also frustrated with her. She was intriguing and sad. This book was a murder mystery which kept me hanging on till the very end. Once it was all finished I felt a sense of sadness as I knew I had just lost what had been my best friend for the last week. If you have not read it yet, I highly recommend grabbing a copy.

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Health & Fitness Articles of the Week – 06/20/15

F.D.A. Sets 2018 Deadline to Rid Foods of Trans Fats–  Although this does not fix all of the problems that exist with unhealthy food it is a great start. “The decision Tuesday was final and would effectively remove industrial trans fats from the American diet by 2018, a change that the agency has estimated could prevent 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths from heart disease each year.”

Science Weighs In On High-Heels– I for one wear heels almost every day. Now not the stiletto type, mine tend to be more chunky heels. However I have wondered many of times if this is something I should be doing every day. This article is interesting as I have not seen a lot on the subject. “This difference between new and experienced heel wearers suggests that “wearing high heeled shoes may at first lead to adaptation and increased strength,” as the ankle responds to the stresses placed upon it by the unfamiliar shoes. But the senior women, who had been wearing heels the longest, showed weakening of those same muscles, compared even with the freshmen, as well as much weaker muscles along the front and back of the ankle and dramatically worse balance.”

How I Eat Vegetables Like a Californian (Even When I’m Not in California)– I was just commenting the other night over a homemade dinner fresh from the farmers market how I could not imagine my life without the deliciousness of roasted vegetables. I was not always a veggie eater, this was a skill I had to learn. However now I can barley eat a meal without them. I like this post because it gives great advice on how to bring vegetables from an occasional affair to an everyday relationship.

Is Virtual Reality the Future of Fitness?– Immersive fitness, a trend of the future? I love fitness classes. I was never one into team sports, more of a lone wolf when it came to fitness. However once I started getting into fitness classes I found my niche. Feeling like a part of a community while still getting to work out solo. Some of my favorite classes are spinning classes where rooms are dark, screens in front of you show real life mountain roads or music videos. I for one would try this trend for sure, however when you work in front of a computer all day it is nice to have your workouts be a place away from technology.

How To Eat Whatever You Want … Without Overdoing It– I have struggled with this. When I started incorporating “treats” back into my life after restricting food for so long I could almost never not binge. It has taken me years to learn how to balance food and emotions. This article has some great advice!

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Health & Fitness Articles of the Week – 06/07/15

Meet the Pegan Diet: The Better-for-You Child of Paleo and Vegan– Maybe it is because I live in San Francisco a very health concise city, or maybe it is because I live with a personal trainer and spend a lot of time in the health and fitness world, whatever the reason I feel like there is a societal pressure to define how you eat. Are you vegetarian, vegan, paleo? Do you follow a Mediterranean diet, gluten free,  or farm to table? I have tried many times to define the way I eat. To fit into one of these clubs. At the end of the day I have learned I eat my own way with an emphasis on tweaking based off of what my body needs. However if I had to classify myself into a group I think it would be this new found pegan diet. This article is a great read and lays it all out. Big thanks to Dustin for sending this along.

A Drink for Babies Is No Hangover Cure– One of the reasons I drink alcohol less now then I used to when I was in my twenties is not because I don’t love the taste, in fact I love how wine tastes more now then I did when I was younger. The real reason is I hate how I feel the next day after indulging in one too many the night before. But what if there was a cure? After some celebrity endorsements the children’s medication Pedialyte helping to cure hangovers it is now trending.“The Pedialyte itself is truly helping because it is rehydrating,” she says. “But any non-alcoholic decaffeinated beverage will do the same thing.”

The Vegetable Butcher Explains Why You Should Always Wash Your Produce-I hate washing produce. It just feels like an extra step I never want to do. However it is important to do. This is a quick guide on washing fruit and veggies.

The Right Dose of Exercise for a Longer Life– “Two new, impressively large-scale studies provide some clarity, suggesting that the ideal dose of exercise for a long life is a bit more than many of us currently believe we should get, but less than many of us might expect. The studies also found that prolonged or intense exercise is unlikely to be harmful and could add years to people’s lives.”

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Avocado Chocolate Cookies Recipe

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I have a sweet tooth. I have had it ever since I can remember. Growing up I always craved cookies, cake, chocolate, you name it. Every year for my birthday I would get an ice cream cake from the famous Baskin Robbins. My favorite part was when the frosting was cold and hard right out of the freezer. I would enjoy the cake on my actual birthday and would always have a piece for breakfast the next morning. In college I can remember having a whole summer where my lunch consisted of a pint of Ben and Jerry’s oatmeal cookie dough ice cream. Eating dessert like this never crossed my mind as a bad thing. It was just wanted I wanted and therefore I did it. Now with 20/20 hindsight I can see how much sugar I consumed and just how bad it was for me.

Now I almost never indulge in dessert. Not because I don’t love it, I do. I have just learned I still have no self control when I eat it. I will tell myself I will only have one bite, then I will have a second, third, I am soon licking the plate and laying in bed with a sick stomach. I will now save my dessert indulgences for special occasions like weddings, birthday’s, or when I place is famous a treat on the menu. However let’s be realistic, sometimes you need something sweet. This is where I have learned to make desserts that hit the craving, but also will not kill your waistline.

This recipe like many others I use I found on pintrest. My favorite recipes are the ones which are easy, fast, and have only a handful of ingredients. Did I also mention they need to taste delicious as well? This is a great go to if you are craving something sweet. The best part about it is you can also eat these cookies for breakfast as well. No need to wait till the end of the day. I enjoyed my cookie right out of the oven with a glass of cashew milk. A perfect end to a long day. Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/2 avocado
  • ½ cup coconut sugar (I got mine at Trader Joes)
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup dark cocoa powder
  • 50 g. dark chocolate chips (I didnt have any around, so I used walnuts instead)
  • ½ tsp. baking soda

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. In a bowl mix together avocado and coconut sugar until smooth. Add in the egg. ( I used my kitchen aid)
  3. Mix in the cocoa powder and baking soda.
  4. Add in chocolate chips or nuts
  5. Using a spoon place dollops of cookie dough in a baking sheet with parchment paper. This should yield about a dozen cookies.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the cookies don’t stick as much to the paper as they did before baking.
  7. Cool down end enjoy! These cookies also taste really good cold, so you can put in the fridge as well