Waffles Everyday

Waffles can save the day. Their nooks and crannies create pools of syrup, while maintaining the crunchy edges. You can make them in so many flavors, shapes, toppings add ins, from savory to sweet. Heck….you can use them as sandwich bread!IMG_1614


These are so fluffy, light, moist and full of fall flavor, you may want to make these everyday! And they are macro friendly!


If the macros for the entire waffle don’t work, the waffle is super easy to portion out into halves or quarters. It’s already in a grid. Love that!





Pumpkin WafflesIMG_1612

  • 79g Kodiak Power Cake Mix
  • 25g NLA for Her Vanilla Cupcake
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 90g Pure Pumpkin Puree
  • 46g Liquid Egg Whites
  • 2.5 fl oz Almond Milk

Heat up waffle iron. In a small bowl combine all dry ingredients. In a separate small bowl combine all wet ingredients. Pour wet ingredients into dry and fold with a rubber spatula until just combined. Spray waffle iron with some non stick spay (I like to use Trader Joes coconut oil spray). Pour batter into waffle iron and close lid. Cook following your waffle iron directions.

Pour your favorite maple syrup, whipped cream, or did I hear someone say spiced caramel??

Macros for Waffle only:

458 Calories • 57g Carbs • 7g fat • 42g protein • 761 sodium • 8g sugar

(Your macros may vary depending on the brands of food you use)




Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Soon all the bloggers, Instagramers, Facebookers, Pinners, and the like will be hosed down in orange. Pumpkin will be oozing from every social media outlet we encounter. Starbucks will be pumping out pumpkin spice lattes like Arnold Schwarzenegger pumps iron. So if pumpkin everything is such a popular flavor, why keep it exclusive to fall?? It’s August, 100 degrees out, and pumpkin is on my mind.

When I think of making macro friendly treats, the top three flavors for me are Pumpkin, Chocolate or Peanut butter. All three of these lend a flavorful, moist treat. Moist, being the key word here. I find that when I want a higher protein, low sugar, macro friendly snack, it’s difficult to get them to be moist. They end up being dry, dense, hockey pucks. Not really a desirable outcome. But when you add pumpkin it adds just the right amount of texture and moistness with out having to add fats or sugars.

I wanted to make some pumpkin muffins for this weekend and started out with a basic muffin recipe. First batch came out a bit dry and bland. So for the second batch added more pumpkin puree and chocolate chips. Let’s face it, everything is a little better with chocolate. Plus adding the extra pumpkin made it nice and moist, like a traditional muffin!


Make them and enjoy the last of these beautiful summer mornings!


Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups Kodiak Cake Power Cake Mix
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 scoop (25g) NLA for Her Vanilla Cupcake Protein
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup liquid egg whites
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 2 tbsps.  Joseph’s Sugar Free Maple Syrup
  • 1/3 cup Lily’s Dark Chocolate Chips


Pre-heat oven to 350°. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with parchment paper baking cups. In a medium bowl combine all dry ingredients together. Use a whisk to sift them together. In another medium bowl whisk together all wet ingredients. Mix until thoroughly combined. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, mix until just combined. Gently fold in chocolate chips.

Divide batter evenly into the 12 cups. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Do not overbake or they will be dry!! Check at 15 minutes; if they still need to bake longer do so at 1-2 minute intervals until baked through. Once done, remove from oven and immediately (and carefully because they’re hot!!) remove muffins from muffin tin and cool on a wire rack.

Once cooled enjoy with a nice cup of coffee!!


88 calories • 11g Carbs • 3g Fat • 6g Protein • 124 mg Sodium • 1g Sugar

*UPDATE* Store in an air tight container or they will dry out quickly!!

That’s not bad for a little muffin!! Remember, pumpkin is in the store year round….make the most of this awesome, healthy ingredient!


As a side note…..these baking cups work really well and will not stick to your muffins! I also happen to love their neutral color! Give them a try!








It’s Not Them, It’s You

There are a few things in life that when face to face with them, it’s really, really hard to say No to them. Case in point: Red Licorice. Red Vines to be exact for me. I love it. Everything about it. Soft, chewy, fruity.  I mean, lets be honest…who can only have one strand of licorice?? Just like, why would you only have one glass of wine?

But licorice doesn’t treat me well. It never gives back what I want. And it doesn’t really fit my macros. So a girl has to do what a girl has to do. She ignores it. I see it in the grocery store and I’m forced to turn the other cheek. At Costco there’s huge pallets of Red Vines in gigantic tubs; dream come true, right? No. Its torture.  I will turn on my heel, avoid the isle and go down the next one. I swear the ropes reach out to grab my hand. But I can’t. I just can’t.  At the movie theater, I turn up my chin and walk straight past the concession  stand. It may wink and nod, but alas, I cannot go there. If I pick up the pack I will never want just one strand. I will always want more.

See…they literally jump out of the gallon jug at me!

So when you realize this about yourself you have two choices. Either you give in to your craving, realizing that you will inevitably eat the whole pack OR you avoid it like the plague. I choose the second option.

I’m not much of a binge eater, however I do have a few red light foods. I get asked frequently how I can have all these baked goods in my house and not eat them. Well, I do eat them, just not in an all night binger kind of way. However, I rarely make the foods I have a hard time saying no to. Like cheesecake. Its bad. I’ll pick at that all day and all night long I love it so much. Carmel, well, we’ve been over that, it’s all the love in a jar.

Red light foods are simply those you cannot say NO to if face to face with them. The ones that once you start eating them its hard to stop. Hard to stop the picking, biting, mouthful, plateful madness that seems to take hold of every part of you.

Know your red light food list. We’ll use mine as and example: Red Vines, Caramel, Cheesecake, and Red Wine (no one can use this list against me in future interactions).

Ok, now how will you manage these? Not bring them into your house? That definitely works! Avoid the hell out of them. It may be what you need to get over the hump. It’s not them, its you. They likely won’t care. So there’s that.

If you absolutely need to have some, buy a small portion. Enjoy it at the movies or a friends house. For instance I would make a cheesecake for a special gathering where the majority of it will be enjoyed by others, not just me. Its a win/win for everyone! When I get the desire to whip up that perfect batch of caramel, I do so with the intention of eating some and sharing the rest. I hand it out the next day. It cannot linger on my shelf.

Lastly if it makes its way into your home, control the portions. Divide it up into small portions and store them away. If it’s freezer friendly, store it in the freezer. Put it up out of reach and out of site. I know. This seems unrealistic. I get it. I’m there with you….If the tub of red vines makes it into my cart, then into my house, they’ll find their way into my hands…and then, well, you know the rest of that story. But I thought I’d throw in a few tips just in case they happen to work for you. Avoidance. It’s my option of choice.

So if by chance your red light food, catches your eye with its charm, perhaps it even blows a kiss, that warm smile….Keep walking. There’s nothing there for you. ♥







Reality is Oreo Cookie Cake

Reality is, I need to reel in my diet. So what does one do if she isn’t going to bake a cake? She blogs about it. Its a logical answer. Still, it bites. Plus this cake is so good, I wanted to make another. IMG_8930

Often we can find our desires at odds with what our current reality can give us.  It’s pretty cool when one is given the honest truth of where your reality lies. Sometimes we’ll see it reflecting back at us, yet we choose to look away and ignore the reflection starring back at us. Often times it takes experiences to see that reflection through the eyes of others. And if you’re lucky enough to have it told in an honest, kind way, it helps you to see the truth. May not always look pretty, may not be where you want to be, but it’s an opportunity for change. A chance to create the life you want around your current reality. Its yet another lesson in letting go. Letting go of what we thought we wanted in order to allow what we need in our life. IMG_8871


Ok, the cake. The Oreo Cookie Cake. Looks fancy. Nearly worthy of being in the front of the refrigerated glass case at the bakery counter. Reality is, this cake is so much easier to make than it looks! Its just the ganache drizzle that makes it appear all pretty. It’s really just vanilla buttercream and chocolate cake. Smash up some Reece’s Oreo cookies for the filling, call it a cookies and cream filling, then all the boys come running to your yard. Not true. That is definitely not reality. But, it will make for a delicious treat for anyone who loves an Oreo on occasion.


For this cake I used the Reece’s Oreos, which is a great combo, peanut butter and chocolate. Who doesn’t love that?! It would be easy enough to substitute this with any Oreo cookie. The classic, mint, S’more, Birthday Cake in a cake (is that a double negative?). You could crunch them up and add them to the outside layer of frosting as well if you’re really into them! There are endless variations to this cake. So play around with it and have fun! Just try not to eat a whole sleeve (not speaking from experience there).

Oreo Cookie Cake

(as adapted from Sweetapolita Midnight Cookies and Cream Cake)
  • 1 1/2 cups (180g ) all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups (300g) sugar
  • 3/4 cup (90g) dark unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (6g) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (4g) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) salt
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup (190ml) buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup (190ml) hot brewed coffee
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons (10ml) pure vanilla extract

For the Frosting (and filling)

  • 2 1/2 cups (5 sticks)(575g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 5 /4 cups (600g) confectioners sugar
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons (70ml) milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (23ml) pure vanilla extract
  • pinch or two of salt
  • about 8-10 Oreo cookies (flavor of your choice) crumbled

For the Ganache:

  • 5 ounces (150g) semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup

For the Cake:

Pre-heat oven to 350° Line 3, 6″ cake pans with parchment paper, grease and flour.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add all dry ingredients to the bowl and mix on low setting until combined.

In a separate medium bowl combine all wet ingredients, whisking to slightly break eggs apart and incorporate all ingredients.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry, mix on medium speed until thoroughly combined. Batter will be thin.

Divide batter evenly in each pan, bake for 20 minutes or until cake tester inserted in the middle comes clean. If the cake isn’t done after 20 minutes, bake in 2 minute increments until done. Once cake is done, remove from oven and let rest on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Once cooled, take a knife and run along edges of cake to loosen from sides of cake pans, invert and let cakes cool completely on wire racks.

For the Frosting:

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter on medium speed for about 6 minutes until butter is very light, fluffy, and creamy.

Add remaining ingredients and whip again for 8 minutes. Frosting will be light, very white and fluffy!

Take about a third of the frosting and place in separate bowl and add in the crumbled Oreo Cookies, set aside.

For the Ganache:

In a small bowl over a small saucepan with simmering water, place the butter and chopped chocolate in the bowl. Let the chocolate and butter melt together. Once melted stir in the corn syrup. Let cool on the counter until ready to use.

To Assemble the Cake:

With a sharp serrated knife, cut domes off tops of cakes. Take first cake layer and place either directly on cake plate or on a 6″ cake round. Take half of the Oreo filling and make an even layer on cake. Place second cake layer on top of filling and repeat. Once third cake layer is on top, spread an even layer of the vanilla buttercream all over the cake as your first crumb coat. Place in refrigerator for 10-15 minutes. While cake is chilling, take 4 Oreo cookies, and with a sharp serrated knife saw Oreos in half. Set aside.

Take cake out of refrigerator and coat with the final layer of frosting, getting it as smooth as possible, with no dark cake showing. Place back in refrigerator for another 10 minutes. Once cake is chilled, remove from refrigerator. Take the chocolate ganache, with a large spoon, ladle a small amount of ganache onto center of cake. Keep adding ganache until it covers the top layer of the cake and starts to spill over. You’ll have to use your own judgment on how many drips you want. I use the back of the spoon to help it spill over the sides. Once you’ve reached your desired look, place cake back into refrigerator to let the ganache set.

Once cake is chilled and ganache is set, remove cake from refrigerator. In a piping bag fitted with your choice of piping tip, fill bag with remaining amount of vanilla buttercream. Pipe eight mounds evenly around cake. Take halved Oreos and place onto the mounds of frosting. Chill finished cake in refrigerator. Before serving let cake sit out at room temperature for 10-15 minutes and enjoy!

Sometimes we can have our cake and eat it too. Other times we must sacrifice what we want now for what we want most. It’s not often those two things come together, but when they do, it’ll be a beautiful thing.







Because Summer…


Memorial Day is upon us. Lucky for us here in California, its nice, sunny and warm. My favorite kind of weather! Which also means bikini season is upon us. So I thought….Hey, lets make a cake to celebrate! I mean it has berries in it. So don’t get too worried. A piece is all you’ll need (but its so yummy you’ll want more!)

This cake will have everyone at the party in a buttercream, berry cake daydream just at the sight of it. Once they eat it, they’ll have died and gone to summer dessert heaven. Floating on clouds of vanilla buttercream. Bouncing along spongy white cake tops, popping berries in their mouths with wild abandon. At least that’s where I went with it. It’s that good. And berries are kinda my thing. So there’s that.

IMG_8562It’s light enough to be served at any summer affair and elegant enough to make it the center of attention.


The four layers make a spectacular plating and a very generous serving. And if you are genuinely keeping an eye on your bikini ready figure, then you could easily split this in two and share. Not gonna lie….I ate the entire piece. Now chicken, rice, tilapia and asparagus will be in my near future.

True story. More on that to come.

I really did love the combination of all these components together. The cake is light and moist. The buttercream frosting adds just the right amount of richness. While the berries are the highlight of the cake and add the perfect amount of tartness to balance it all out. And lets not over look the colors, the quintessential summer palate. Everyone wins! You will be standing on the podium giving your acceptance speech the next time you show up with this winning cake.


Summer Berry Layer Cake


For the White Cake (as adapted from Sweetapolita Perfectly Delightful Vanilla Birthday Cake)

  • 1 1/2 cup (360ml) whole Milk, at room temperature
  • 7 large egg whites (210g) at room temperature
  • 1 whole egg at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon  (23ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 3-3/4 cups (430g) cake flour, sifted
  • 2-1/4 cups (450g) sugar
  • 1-3/4 tablespoons (25g) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt (8g)
  • 1-1/2 sticks (170g) butter, at room temperature and cut into cubes
  • 6 tablespoons (85g) vegetable shortening, cut into cubes

For the Vanilla Buttercream

  • 2 cups (4 sticks) (460g) unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
  • Approximately 4 cups (500g) confectioners sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (47ml) milk
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

For the Berries

  • 2 pints blueberries
  • 2 pints blackberries
  • 2 pints raspberries
  • 1 quart strawberries
  • splash of lemon juice
  • sprinkling of sugar


For the Cake:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350° Grease, line with parchment paper and flour two 8″ rounds pans (you will be using the twice). If you have four 8″ rounds, you can use parchment paper circles for ease.
  2. In a medium bowl or measuring cup, combine and stir 1/2 cup of the milk, stir the egg whites, whole egg and vanilla. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the dry ingredients, including the sugar, together on low speed (the “stir” setting on most kitchen aids) for 30 seconds.
  4. Add the butter and shortening, blending on low speed for about 30 seconds, then add remaining 1 cup of milk, and mix on low speed until just moistened. Increase to medium speed and mix for 1-1/2 minutes (90 seconds), but no more.
  5. Scrape the sides of the bowl and begin to add the egg/milk/extract mixture in 3 separate batches; beat on medium speed for 20 seconds after each addition.
  6. Divide batter evenly between the four cake pans (or divide batter into two pans, you will bake the first two layers, then follow with the remaining batter) Or the best way to do this is to weight the batter out in the pan on a scale to ensure each layer is even (this is my preferred method). Spread the batter evenly with a small offset palette knife.
  7. Bake cake layers two at a time in center of oven and 2″ apart for 20 minutes or until a cake tester comes clean with inserted into the center. Be careful to not overbake! Check cake at 20 minutes, but not before. If cake is not ready at 20 minutes, re-set timer for 2 minute intervals until tester comes clean. Let cool in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Then take small metal spatula and loosen the sides and invert cake onto greased wire racks. Gently turn cakes back up so the tops are up and cool completely.
  8. Wash the two cake pans and line, grease and flour again and repeat.
  9. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature for up to two days.


For the Vanilla Frosting

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter for 6-8 minutes on medium speed. Butter will become very pale and creamy.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and mix on low speed for one minute, then on medium speed for 6 minutes. Frosting will be very light, creamy and fluffy.
  3. Best if used right away.

For the Berries

  1. Pick through, rinse and dry all berries.
  2. Cut stems off of strawberries and quarter them with a paring knife.
  3. Place all berries into a bowl, squeeze about a tablespoon of lemon juice over berries and sprinkle lightly with sugar. Stir until coated.

Assembly of Cake

  1. With a serrated knife, gently trim the dome top of the cake layers. Set aside (these are you taste test bites!)
  2. Place first layer of cake, cut side up, on cake plate or an 8″ cake round (easier to use if you will be transporting your cake). Dollop a generous amount of vanilla frosting on cake. Using an offset spatula, spread frosting evenly over the cake. Then take about a 1/4 of the berry mixture and spread an even layer of berries over the frosting, keeping in mind to bring some berries to the edge so they peek out!
  3. Repeat process for all remaining layers. For the top layer place berries however you like for decoration.
  4. Place cake in refrigerator to set. Before serving bring cake out for 15-20 minutes, cut and serve.
  5. Enjoy!


This cake is just as much a joy to make as it is to serve. Take time this Memorial Day to honor those that gave their lives in order for us to be here having our cake and eating it too. Happy Summering everyone!








Priority vs. Passion

If you ever get a chance to read any of Mark Manson’s articles, I highly suggest reading them. Not only is he a talented writer, he’s direct and to the point. Brutal honesty. I love that, cause at the end of the day what else is left?

One of my favorite articles was from October 2015  titled “Screw Finding Your Passion.” In it he discusses the disillusion we have in regards to finding our passion. What we all fail to realize is it’s already in us, we’re just ignoring it half the time. My favorite quote from the article reads:

“Seriously, you’re awake 16 hours a day, what the fuck do you do with your time? You’re doing something, obviously. You’re talking about something. There’s some topic or activity or idea that dominates a significant amount of your free time, your conversations, your web browsing, and it dominates them without you consciously pursuing it or looking for it.”

See. Brutal truth. So, this is how I arrived at baking and fitness.

I literally have ALWAYS been doing these two things on some level my whole life, without even recognizing it.  With baking, I was the little girl who would pretend play at her kitchen cooker for hours cooking and baking up a storm. I was always by my moms side as she made a million Christmas cookies to deliver. I was the teen who did Ski Team in High School and the Cindy Crawford video in her living room on weekends. And not even one time  did this occur to me this was a passion of mine, until recently. Like, wow, holy shit….this is my thing!!

Lucky me, right? Not really. It comes with work. It comes with diligence and making it a priority. Sure it makes it more fun, but I also have to make it a priority. Cause let me tell you, there are plenty of days I wanna sit my butt on the couch with pre-made cookies and a glass of wine and do a whole big bunch of nothing. Problem is….that won’t get me anywhere.

So how does this apply to fitness with someone who’s passion is to sit on the couch with pre-made cookies and a glass of wine doing absolutely nothing? Well, just because fitness isn’t your passion or you have zero drive for it, doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate it into your life like any other priority. Shouldn’t one’s health be at the top of your priority list? Like if you’re walking around feeling like crap all the time, wouldn’t you wanna fix that? We all have things on our priority lists that aren’t also on our passion list. I mean, lets be realistic, paying bills isn’t exactly a passion. Yet we find a way to get the bills paid.

I think we have a tendency to feel pressured to love fitness. All of us on the other side, who really do love fitness, seem to take it on as our moral obligation to help all those others see the light. We cheer, encourage, support, throw out lots of “atta girls”, coach and coddle you through each rep. We want you to wake at 4am bright eyed and bushy tailed ready to get your sweat on!!

No. Just no.

I love working out, but that still sucks ass. So there’s that. But, I choose that because I make exercise a priority. There are days that I know that 4am is my only opportunity to get it in, so I go. So, sometimes we don’t have to love it. We don’t have to pretend to be that person who’s all excited to be up and at it with the sun. You don’t have to fake it if you hate it. However, you still need to do it. You can go screaming and crying all the way through, but you still have to get it done. If you want to look and feel a certain way, then you better put those cookies away, put a cork on the wine and get your ass off the couch.

Truth is, you may never love fitness the way I do. You may have to drag your tired, lazy, whining ass to the gym every day, but  you’re making it a priority. You’re doing something that’s putting you first. You’re doing something you can at least take pride in. And maybe in the daily grind of making it a priority, you’ll find an acceptance of it, but never love it. And that’s ok.


Celebratory Cake

IMG_7160This weekend marked the end of my 12 week Jessie’s Girls Challenge. That 12 weeks flew by (as it always does). I had a woman once tell me “the days are long, but the years are short.” That statement always resonates with me because we all go on and on about how quickly time flies. Yet on a day to day basis we all can’t wait til 5pm, bed time, Friday, the next Monday, end of the month etc. Next thing you know, it’s  Christmas. The time passes, do something you love.

Anyhow…..naturally I wanted to make a celebratory cake for the completion of my journey. With spring in full bloom and summer at our noses, I wanted to make something that tasted of both these seasons.

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Blackberry Buttercream Frosting…..summer can’t get here quick enough! See….I said it…I’m asking for time to fly by. At least I’m doing what I love!


This cake was the perfect taste of spring and summer. And the colors!

I started with making a blackberry sauce. Its really simple! You simmer blackberries in a pot with sugar, squeeze of lemon juice, and water and watch while the blackberries breakdown into a lovely, silky sauce.



Once all the berries are broken down, you push the berries through a sieve (I used a fine mesh colander) to help strain out the pulp and seeds.


Then you end up with a gorgeous smooth sauce. This is what will be used in the buttercream frosting.


The rich buttermilk cake with the zest of Meyer lemons topped with the vanilla buttercream infused with the blackberry sauce tastes exactly like we are about to usher in summer. Try to use the freshest ingredients when possible. Fresh black berries are everywhere right now!

Recipe as adapted from Jaclyn at Food plus Words


Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Vanilla Blackberry Buttercream

For the Cake:

  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • zest of two lemons
  • 3-4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temp
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs at room temp
  • 3 large egg yolks at room temp
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tablespoons poppy seeds

Pre-heat oven to 350º butter and flour three 6″ round cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper, set aside.

Combine cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium mixing bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl combine the buttermilk, lemon zest, and lemon juice and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer whip the butter until light fluffy. Add the eggs, egg yolk and vanilla and mix until thoroughly combined.

Scrape down sides with spatula. Alternately add the dry and wet ingredients to the butter mixture in three batches, beginning and ending with the dry mixture.

As soon as the last dry ingredients have been added and is just mixed through, turn the mixer off. Add in the poppy seeds and fold them into the batter with a spatula. Evenly divide the batter between the prepared pans.

Place in middle rack of oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and cool in pans for 10 minutes. Then remove cakes from pans and let cool completely on a wire rack.

Cakes can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


Blackberry Sauce

  • 12 0z fresh blackberries
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • squeeze of fresh lemon juice

In medium saucepan place all ingredients in pan and cook over medium heat until berries start to break down. Use the back of a wooden spoon or spatula to press berries to get all the juices out. Once berries are broke down, strain through a fine mesh sieve to strain out all the seed and pulp to leave behind the juice. Cool in the refrigerator until completely chilled. I like to do this step the night before to make sure it is thoroughly cooled.

Vanilla Blackberry Buttercream

  • 3 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 500 g of confectioners sugar
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3-4 tablespoons of blackberry sauce (or to your liking)
  • pinch of salt

In a bowl of an electric mixer, whip butter on medium speed until light in color and fluffy. About 5-6 minutes. Scape sides of bowl down then add confectioners sugar, vanilla, and salt. Whip for another 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Scape sides of bowl down, then add blackberry sauce 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach the desired flavor.

Cake Assembly

Now that you have all your components of the cake you can assemble it! I like to trim off the top of the cakes with a serrated bread knife to get the cakes flat on both the top and bottom. Set one cake layer on either a cake plate or a cardboard cake circle. With a piping bag filled with your buttercream, pipe a thick layer of buttercream on first layer. Place second layer of cake on top of buttercream and repeat the piping process. Then place final layer of cake on top. With an offset spatula, spread a thin layer (crumb coat) of buttercream over entire cake. Place cake in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to let frosting set.

Once cake is chilled, frost the rest of the cake until you reach your desired look. Let cake chill in the refrigerator. To serve let cake set out for about 10 minutes to soften. Cut and serve!

Take some time to do something you love. The funny thing about life is we think we have time. Enjoy the cake!


On Giving Up


I’m an eternal optimist, with a dash of sarcasm and cynicism. Above all else, my continual outlook on life is through rose colored glasses. Full of hope! Hope for this blog to take off. Hope for the awesome six pack abs. Hope that someday I will have someone who will do my laundry for me and I will never have to fold a stitch again! (that would be the sarcasm)

Sure I have doubts. Sure I have bad days that make all those hopes seem like far off places. It doesn’t mean they aren’t possible. Even the laundry service. Like that’s a real thing, right? It COULD happen. So why give up on my dream? .

Most of us drive cars. I’ve been in an accident before. It was not a pleasant experience. Scary, painful. Totaled my car, gave me whiplash, lost my bike rack and bike etc. AND it was my fault. Not a great day. Luckily the other driver came out unscathed. However, I did not wake up the next day and say “yep, over that! Not driving ever again!” I could look at myself as a failure. I could say I was stupid, made a huge mistake and drop out of the game. That’s not how life works.

We’ve all seen the stories of people who have overcome really adverse conditions to reach their goals. Whether it be the boy who came from the streets to be the first college graduate in his family. Or the triathlete who overcame a physical disability. Or the severely overweight woman who fought her way to be healthy. All these people had in common DESIRE. A desire so strong they would go to great lengths and fight some harsh realities to reach their goals.

So why,when it comes to fitness, are we so “all or nothing” about it?

Maybe we feel as though fitness is not necessary. Makes it easier to let go perhaps? That’s crap, because your health and well being are absolutely necessary. Maybe we feel like it’s not as important as other areas of your life? Again, crap. It is completely necessary to take care of ones self. Maybe you don’t really feel like vanity is that important. Who said this is for vanity?? That’s a judgy reason to not be healthy. There a millions of people who walk around daily without a six pack who are perfectly healthy individuals. Me included. Maybe we feel unworthy in some capacity. As if we aren’t good enough or capable enough to reach our goals. Now that is an area worth exploring and likely the culprit.

I do feel like there are two big issues at hand when it comes to the reasons we give up. One is desire. The second is self worth. I’ve had this particular blog entry sitting here for the better part of 3 weeks. I got busy with life (first excuse), had a small health issue pop up (excuse number two), kids (#3), I wanted sleep (#4) and the list goes on. Bottom line is I was blatantly choosing not to write. Although I desire to get this thing off and running, at the end of the day (which is usually the only time I have) I was choosing to go lay vertical and watch the back of my eyelids. So clearly my desire to do the work it takes wasn’t there. I have zero hesitation with waking up at 4am to get to the gym by 5am to start an intense workout. You’ll see me popping out of bed faster than you can say “swim suit season”. But to stay up late AND have to get out of bed at 4am? Nope. That’s what desire for more sleep looks like.

What I found, though, is the longer I went, the easier it became to come up with excuses. Then the easier it became to go straight to “I’m not good enough. This isn’t working. I don’t really know what I’m doing here. What direction am I going?” Blah, blah, blah, blah. So I stopped and applied the same focus, attention and desire I give to fitness (Which is zero fucking excuses) to my blog. Yes it’s going to take a long time to get it where I want it to be. Yes this is a huge learning curve for me. It’s wrought with new things I don’t necessarily want to do or have the skills to do, but I’m going to have to figure that shit out. I wanted it, now I have to work for it. Put up a fight for it. Even if it’s me who I’m fighting.

Same with fitness, you actually have to work at it. Put effort into it. Be present to make good choices. It’s hard, tiring, we get all whiny about it (me included). So what if  we have one bad day? Should we go all sideways then give up? No!! Let’s say one day I had more than once piece of cake, more than one glass of wine, on top of some other horrific food choices AND no workout. GAH!!

Oh well! Oh. Fucking. Well.

I kept moving forward because it was necessary. If I had given up right then and there, I’d still be stuck with no abs. If I had given up on driving after I crashed, I’d be paying Uber to drive me around. If I had given up on my blog, I wouldn’t be here to inspire one person to not give up. I desire it. I desire to have the abs. I desire to be fit and healthy. I desire to have a blog. I desire to drive.  So I do the work. Pretty basic, right? If you want something bad enough, you’ll make it happen. There is nothing more to it. You’ll trudge through the uncomfortableness of learning something new. You’ll suffer through the pain of a new workout. You’ll be successful at making appropriate food choices. You will do ALL of those things to get to your goal because now you want it. Put up a fucking fight for what you love!!

Your desire to change has to be greater than your desire to stay the same.

Then you’ll feel the shift happen. You won’t give up because you can’t.


Can’t or Won’t

Don’t you hate it when someone says you CAN’T do something? I mean that right there is fighting words. Maybe I “can’t”, but that sure as heck doesn’t mean I don’t want to!! The moment we say “can’t” it triggers something in our brains. That fight or flight. The “Don’t tell me how to live my life!” mechanism goes into full swing for me.

What about won’t? That too, is a strong response. There are several things we’ll come across that are deal breakers. Things we just won’t do, like base jumping perhaps. That is something I won’t do. Ever. It’s definitely not that I can’t. I could totally go through all the steps it takes to learn how to successfully hurdle myself off a cliff. Plenty of people do it. That’s not my style.

Then there’s the lovely grey area between can’t and won’t. The can’t becomes more about that we “shouldn’t”, or the won’t is forced. Where we won’t do something based upon fear, rather than a knowledge of ones self.

I hear all the time: “I can’t eat that!” or my favorite “no, I really shouldn’t have that honey”. All the while you’re looking at someone who clearly says “yes” to everything else. Wait, is that mean? It’s not my intention. It is my intention however, to draw a direct correlation between desire vs. something they just won’t do.

So, lets say you’re in the early stages of a fitness plan. You’ve made the commitment to make healthier food choices. You go to a birthday party. You know there will be pizza, cake, sodas, beer, the works. You can choose to say “I won’t have the pizza, because I don’t want to” vs. “I can’t”. Which sounds better? The first phrase, right? It immediately empowers you with the choice. You’ve said no. You’ve set the tone for your commitment. Whereas “I can’t” feels self deprecating. Feels like you haven’t been given any other option other than NO.

When I set out to bake a cake (or any other thing I do for that matter) I ask myself what do I want to do? Do I want it or not? I never give myself the “can’t” option. Cause really, it’s not about that. Either I want the piece of cake or not. I go in knowing I will be eating the cake. I go in with a plan. I don’t feel guilty. I don’t feel bad. I eat the damn cake and enjoy every bite. I did get some looks though, at a birthday party when I didn’t want the pizza. I don’t know, sure I could’ve had a piece or two, but I really didn’t want to. Wasn’t in the plan for the day, so I said no. Sorry to the people who feel like they had to food shame me, but I didn’t want the Fing pizza! If I’m going to eat pizza, it’s not out of a cardboard box. It’ll be out of a hot deep dish.

So the next time you’re faced with a food choice (especially if your goal is to start making healthier choices), think about what it is you really want. What do you want more? The cake or the results of a healthier choice. It’s ok to want the cake! What’s not ok, is to have all the guilt, shame, resentment for wanting the cake. So once you say to yourself “yes I want the cake, but I won’t eat it” it’s SO much more empowering than saying “yes I want the cake, but I can’t have the cake.” Big difference!

Sometimes we use “can’t” to talk ourselves out of something we are just not willing to put the work into. I can’t do a pull up, so I’m never going to try again (that was me after many failed attempts). Little did I realize I could totally do a pull up, I just needed an action plan to get me there and a little courage to get over my “I can’t” crap. I would never, ever tell my child they can’t do something. EVER. They literally can do anything they want. Why would you limit yourself with so many cant’s? The question you really need to be asking is: “why won’t I do it?” Then you start to dig into the real issues behind the can’t.

So, here I’ve gone into the 3rd and final phase of my Jessie’s Girls 3K challenge and I haven’t filled you in yet! My stats: weight is maintaining at 128. I am noticing some leaning out though. I’ve dialed in my nutrition as promised! Watching my sugar. You may want to sit down for this……no alcohol. Yes, that’s right. Not even so much as a small glass of wine. Not that I can’t, I just don’t want to. I know how adversely it affects me. My carbs are going to stay at 185g per day. However, my sugars go down to 10g or less per day. I am doing triple drop sets now. Which means, first set of 5 reps is my heaviest weight load. Then the following two sets, you drop weight down to where you can lift as many as possible until you reach total failure. I aim for at least 15 reps before complete failure. If I bust out more, that’s a bonus!

It’s been a bit of a mental game more than anything. Figuring out what “to failure” feels like. It basically feels like hell. It hurts, I want to cry. Maybe even puke. But I do it. It reminds me of those times where I had to get a shot as a kid. You’re sitting there and you know the pain that is about to come your way. My mom would always say, “you can scream and cry as loud and as much as you want to, but you have to sit still and get the shot”. So I would. I would scream and cry bloody murder, but I sat perfectly still while they gave me the shot. It’s like that. I’m loving the challenge. It’s those moments of pushing yourself beyond what you thought possible is where growth and change occur. I live for that shit!

So I go along choosing this crazy life. I choose to bake and not eat. I’m choosing to not have the glass of wine after a long day (for now). I try not to base my decisions on whether or not I can’t do something. I simply ask: Is this what I want?

If you want to see what I’ve been up to this week food wise and see my progress, follow me on Facebook at Fit To Bake or on Instagram, @Fit_to_Bake_

Thanks for checking in!



Success Rates

A friend and I were discussing the failure rates of blogs, especially fitness blogs. Suffice it to say……I may not be here in a couple of months. Yep, everything seems to go downhill quickly for us bloggers. If you think about it, there’s plenty of us to go around….some 164+million blogs. So there’s that. But then you add in the fitness blog world and the success rates are even lower. So I got to thinking “why?”

Well, if you think about the number of people who start a fitness routine, they usually quit within the first 3 months. Any connection there? Hmmmmm……(scratching my chin).

You know, its tough, right? You jump in all excited. You get your first bit of results, then things start to taper off. The discouragement settles in and next thing you know the bottle of wine, the couch and TV start to look more appealing. No different from us bloggers here. It can get tedious. You have to work at it. It takes time. It takes effort, research, planning, typing, late nights. Blah, blah, blah.

The food portion of blogging seems relatively easy. I mean, who doesn’t like to talk about food? We all like to look at pretty pictures of foods we want to try. What’s interesting to me, is I find the food part the most challenging. To find a way to be creative, not repetitious, is really, really difficult. However, what makes blogging about the fitness so difficult is this: You. The reader. It’s my job to keep coming up with ways to keep you motivated.

From an honest,” I love you to death, I want you to succeed and I will do anything to get you there,” point of view……how many ways do we have to say “Just Fing do it already!!!!” ? Right? Maybe…just maybe…it’s not the blogger so much as it is, we literally run out of ways to say: stop eating the pizza and eat a turkey burger instead! Put the wine down, get up off the couch and start moving!!

So then WE let it go, start drinking wine and watching TV instead of blogging. It’s a slippery slope my friends. That’s why I kind of feel like there’s a balance out there. You know, that beautiful world where you can have your cake and eat it too? Oh, wait…I’ve said that. That’s me.

That’s all I’m trying to do! Help people live a life in balance. Maybe, just maybe, that’s what will set me apart!

Ok……my progress. I’m starting week 8 today! Has it really been 2 months??  This last week has been fairly good. Could my nutrition be slightly more on point? Yes!! No excuses!! Gonna dial that in. And when I say more on point, I mean watching my micronutrients. I’m pretty spot on with my macros…its those sneaky sodium and sugars that get me. I need to resolve to take less BLT’s (bites, licks, tastes). I always hit it hard at the gym, so nutrition is going to take it all the way for me.

With that said, I’m down to 129 on the scale. Which I’m slightly indifferent to. However,  I’d actually like it to be higher. I’m hoping it stays the same with more muscle gains. I think going into this next phase I’m going to keep my carb load the same, 185g a day. This will help me continue to gain more muscle in the final phase of the program.


There is not huge progress week over week. I *try not to get too in my head over that. But it’s hard sometimes. I put a lot of effort, energy, time, tracking, weighing, measuring, sweating all day, everyday. I want to see it!!! I know it’s all there. It’ll show up. Patience. Consistency. Never giving up!

Thanks for coming along on this ride!!