Hey you little chestnuts! Happy Christmas season!
I am loving Christmas this year. I have fully embraced my personal challenge to be more Christmas-spirited this December. I would give myself a straight-up A in the Christmas department so far. Well, except for the Christmas shopping part…that part is still quite the struggle. Will it ever not be a struggle? So maybe an A-. But fun foodie gifts like my Pumpkin Apple Butter and this delicious Gingerbread Cashew Almond Butter are saving my rear end a little and making gift giving a little more fun!
I am checking in for a little progress report since it is the end of the year (just about). As some of you guys know, in August my husband and I started strength training more and focusing on building muscle & reducing our body fat percentages. I have been able to go every month to get my body fat percentage tested and it’s been awesome/eye-opening!
Since we’ve been doing this for about 4 months, I thought I would show you a little of the progress I personally have made and how this experience has been for me.
In August I came in weighing less than I do now, 119.3 lbs. My body fat percentage was at about 30%, with only 83.6 lbs of lean muscle and 35.7 lbs of fat.
Last time I got checked, I came in at 125.3 lbs, which is a 6 lb weight gain since August. However, if you look at the numbers, I am now at 34.8 lbs fat, which means I have lost about 1 lb of fat. I also went from 83.6 lbs of lean tissue to a whopping 90.5 lbs lean tissue, which means I’ve gained 7 lbs of muscle. So yes, I’ve gained weight, but I’ve actually lost fat and gained lean muscle, which means I’m stronger, more lean, my body burns more calories at rest, my arms look better, and I feel awesome. Isn’t that legit?
I don’t post all of this to toot my own horn AT ALL…in fact I am shocked and blown away and humbled. I still have some goals to reach- I would love to reach closer to 100 lbs lean mass and maybe only a couple lbs less fat, but I realize it’s a huge, long process, and I’m honestly okay with that. I know there will be ups and downs but the way I feel, the things I’m learning, and the strength I’m gaining is changing me!
I want to post this because I know as women we get so caught up on checking that scale all the time, letting it dictate our feelings and decide for us how we will live, how much we will/won’t eat, how much we will work out, how we will judge ourselves, etc. I want to show that the scale doesn’t show you anything. Really. When you have a goal and you focus on your performance, getting better, going faster, getting stronger, then everything else will fall into place. Ditch the scale and find confidence in the amazing body you have and all the ways you can kick your goals’ butts…that’s a much more fun way to live, I think!
If you need a fun, easy little gift that you can bottle up and give to someone for the holidays, this Gingerbread Cashew Almond Butter is a great solution!! Creamy delicious cashews and almonds whipped up with some molasses, a dash of sweet maple syrup, and holiday spices– duhhhh you need to make this! I want to put this on my toast always and forever. Warning- I made this on the fly and didn’t exactly measure everything…so these are estimates. Taste along the way and adjust as needed!
Gingerbread Cashew Almond Butter
Makes about 7-8 oz
- 5 oz of raw unsalted cashews (about 1 1/2 cups
- 5 oz raw unsalted almonds (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 tbsp melted coconut oil
- 1 tbsp molasses
- 1 tbsp maple syrup or liquid stevia
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp allspice
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- Place cashews & almonds into a large food processor, pulse for about 2 minutes or until the nuts are like a dust and are starting to stick together.
- Add in coconut oil and pulse again for a total of about 5-6 minutes, stopping periodically to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a small spatula. Add about 1 tsp of water and pulse again until it forms a ball in the food processor.
- Add in molasses, syrup, and spices, and pulse again for a minute or so until well incorporated. Use your spatula to scrape the nut butter out of the food processor and into a jar. Store in fridge or give to friends. Enjoy!