Birthday Survival

So, I officially survived another year. I’m 31. Yikes!

Saturday, 7/11 was my 31st birthday and it was spent having the time of my life with my husband.

He surprised me with reservations to Disney’s Be Our Guest restaurant, one of the hardest venues to book out of all the dining options. It took him almost a month and a half of constant refreshing on the reservations page, but he did it.

The food was AMAZING, the decor was right out of the movie, and the child in me was on cloud nine for the duration of the evening.

While I did work out that morning, the last thing on my mind was diet — I enjoyed everything I wanted to, and I have no regrets. I spent my 31st birthday with the joy and wonder of a child, and the candy-consumption to match. It was glorious.

Now that the weekend is behind me, though, it’s time to resume my clean eating. I’m not going low-carb, but I am watching my sugars, aiming for high protein, and lots of healthy fats to compliment my veggies. Let’s hope 31 is my healthiest year yet!

Weight: 132.8
Height: 5’3″Pant Size: 4/6
Shirt Size: XS/S
Happiness: OFF THE CHARTS!

Bon appetit, my friends!

~ Tori

High Protein, Low Carb Brownies

Alright, folks, I’m on day three of my low-carb, high intensity workout regimen and, amazingly, I haven’t caved and scarfed down my stockpile of Cadbury Creme eggs …yet.

I have, though, suffered from some pretty intense sweets cravings, which has led me on an internet search to find something sweet that won’t break the carb bank.

I found a few low carb recipes, but nothing really blew me over and most of them were RIDICULOUSLY high in fat and calories (basically pure-butter blocks!), so …I decided to improvise and make my own!

Tori’s High-Protein, Low-Carb (grain-free/gluten-free) Brownies!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of Splenda (it is low carb, after all)
  • 4 oz of unsweetened, pure dark chocolate (melted)
  • 1/4 cup of melted butter or ghee
  • 2 full scoops of your favorite low carb Chocolate protein powder
  • 1 cup of egg whites (or egg substitute)
  • 1/2 cup Walden Farms brand sugar free chocolate syrup (aka, nectar of the gods)
  • 1/2 cup Walden Farms brand sugar free caramel syrup (tastes like melted dulce de leche ice cream!)
  • 1 cup of fat free cream cheese, softened (but NOT melted!)
  • 1 dash chili powder
  • 1 dash sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Trader Joe’s Coconut Oil Spray (a godsend!)

Directions:

I’m the first to admit that I’m not much of a baker, so I definitely am not one to “sieve” this, or “whisk,” that, and –by some miracle of the pastry heavens– this recipe came out perfectly by just combining ALL of the ingredients in one giant bowl and beating it into a creamy oblivion.

Hint: the harder and longer you whip, the fluffier the brownies will be.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and spray your pan (use a brownie dish for THICK, moist brownies, or a COOKIE SHEET for thin, crispier brownies – my preference) well to ensure nothing sticks.

Pour in well-beaten batter and gently rock pan to get the better evenly spread out.

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Tiny little cream cheese lumps survived the beating, but they didn’t impact the flavor or texture at all!

If using a smaller pan, bake at 350 degrees for 18-22 MINUTES. For a cookie sheet or larger pan, bake at 350 for 14-16 minutes. I baked mine for about 18 minutes in a cookie sheet and thought they turned out a little well done, but still SUPER delicious.

And, seriously, don't these look perfect?! Hard to believe they're completely flourless.

And, seriously, don’t these look perfect?! Hard to believe they’re completely flourless.

I could barely wait for them to cool, and managed to cut this tray into TWENTY FOUR giant servings (think 2×2″ brownies!).

Calorie/Nutrient Content for one brownie (assuming 24 servings in total):

  • 81 Calories
  • 5.3g fat
  • 2.2g carbs
  • 4.6g protein

I’m going to keep playing with the recipe to see if I can boost up the protein a bit more (maybe Greek yogurt instead of cream cheese? more protein powder?) and reduce the fat a tiny bit, but only 2.2g carbs for a solid 5 bites of brownie is a win-win in my book!

On that note… bon appetit, my friends!

~ Tori

Current Temptation: Raphsodic Bakery Cupcakes!

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These beautiful cupcakes are my current temptation.

Eighteen vegan, gluten-free, and DELICIOUS cupcakes are sitting in my fridge, begging to be devoured.

If you are vegan and/or following a gluten-free diet and live in the Orlando area, you NEED to check out Raphsodic Bakery on Mills Ave. Located right next to the Colonial/ST RD 50 intersection, this co-op is a haven of delectable treats and kind bakers.

I’ve always been greeted with a smile (and a free sample), and I’ve never made it out of the store without a box of goodies to savor for the week.

I can’t speak highly enough for the quality of their products, their customer service, and the overall warmth of their environment. In fact, when I called in my order last night (I pre-paid for two cupcake boxes after they announced a special on Facebook!), they threw in two free scones (also vegan and gluten-free) as a thank you for my repeat business.

Seriously, how amazing is that?

Regardless of what diet you’re on, Raphsodic Bakery is the place to go in Orlando when you’ve got a sweet tooth. So, what are you waiting for? Go check them out and tell them Victoria Elizabeth sent you! 🙂

Bon appetit, my friends!

Tori