Sometimes living a healthy lifestyle seems hard. Waking up early in the morning to run before the heat is difficult at times. When I have a gym session planned for the end of the day, I find myself making up reasons why I shouldn’t go (“I’m too tired” or “it’s not really worth it”). There are days where a huge piece of s’mores cake sounds way better than a green smoothie for breakfast. Sometimes sitting on the couch with my feet propped up and the TV on sounds so tempting in comparison to a walk in the blazing heat, or doing little chores outside. Aaaaannnddd eating a whole batch of banana bread cookies sounds better than almost anything.
What I’ve come to realize about my version of ‘healthy living’ is that listening to your body is the best thing you can do for yourself. I’ve experienced some medical issues (a long, drawn-out affair with debilitating vestibular migraines, but I won’t get into that) that can make exercising hard, and my idea of ‘healthy’ meals is different from a lot of other people’s. However, I realize that each of us is unique and my philosophy on food and exercise (and heck, on life!) is basically that each person is an individual and intuitively knows how to take care of him/herself best! Sure, guidelines from fitness magazines, nutrition help from doctors, and encouragement from friends are all really helpful tools in terms of how to get started on living a healthy lifestyle, but ultimately it’s up to each one of us to take care of ourselves, and listen to our bodies in regard to what we need to eat and do in order to feel our best. I’m a big believer in the concept that sometimes a huge piece of cake for breakfast does make me feel better, as long as it’s a rare habit and I make it into a special moment. I used to push myself to go for a run every day, but now I really listen to my body: if I don’t feel like running, I first look to alternatives such as taking a nice walk (sometimes with camera in hand) or reading on the stationary bike for a while but if those don’t sound good, I take the day off without thinking twice about it. I feel my best when I let my body rest when it asks for rest.
I know I don’t talk a lot about my exercise and eating habits on here (and it won’t become a huge topic on this blog), but these banana bread cookies I made brought a huge smile to my face because I know that they are good for my sweet tooth and for my body. I love when super-healthy foods make me feel like I’m indulging in the world’s biggest cookie while lounging on a couch all day. These banana bread cookies are super soft and they taste amazing. I ate this batch of cookies for dessert and for a pre-workout snack! They’re so nutritious, versatile, and make ‘being healthy’ seem like a dream and not a chore.
Banana Bread Cookies
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
Scant 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Scant 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1. In a medium sized bowl, mash up one ripe banana until it is as smooth as you can get it (or, use a food processor or blender if you’ve got them on hand). I used a fork and a little forearm strength and it worked great!
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3. Add all ingredients to the mashed bananas and mix well. Try to refrain from eating all the batter.
4. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray.
5. Use a tablespoon to scoop out batter and put it on the cookie sheet. You should have enough batter to make about six cookies.
6. Bake the cookies for about 15 minutes. Check on them and if they need more time (depending on how moist your banana was, they might), go ahead and keep them in the oven until they are soft, but solid. Let them cool (if you can keep your hands of of ‘em and then dunk ‘em into an ice cold glass of milk, any kind will do!