Those that know me know that there aren’t many workouts that I don’t like.  I love group classes, but am equally happy to workout on my own, or just go for a run.  But most of all, I love partner workouts.  When you get to work through a program with someone that can equally challenge you and push you, but still have fun . . . well, that’s where there’s magic.  Today, I had the privilege to do a partner workout – something I haven’t done in a while, and I got to do it with some that I haven’t been able to work out with in a while either.  And it was awesome for so many reasons.  If you’ve never done a partner workout before, grab a friend, and at the very least, go for a short run together.  You’ll have fun and I’ll bet you get more exercise in than you thought you could!

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But, before I made it into the gym this morning, I had a little baking session.  With both kids back in school, the issue of snacks has reared it’s ugly head again.  Since both kids’ schools have a no-nut policy, any snack they bring must be nut-free.  Before you all start screaming at me to pack them fruits and vegetables, don’t worry, they get a LOT of fruits and veggies.  That being said, for my son, snacks must be eaten outside the school (and don’t forget, we do get cold winters here in Toronto), and in his case, they need to be able to be eaten quickly (in an ideal world, he’d have his snack eaten in the 30 or so steps it takes for him to get from the door to the soccer field).  Sure, both kids will happily eat my chocolate chip cookies any day of the week.  But if that’s the ONLY snack I pack for them, they will eventually tire of those . . . so I need some new snacks.

I’ve spent the past few days searching the web for nut-free kids snacks.  Not surprisingly, most of the suggestions involve fruit.  But when we’re dealing with the time and weather constraints, there are only a few fruits that make the cut as acceptable – like pre-sliced apples in a ziplock bag that can be stuffed into a pocket when they’re done – anything else requires too much packaging, is too fiddly, or wouldn’t be great to eat in the cold (most likely while wearing gloves).  Same thing goes for veggies – cucumbers are a go-to for us, especially the little pickling ones (we even grew those in our garden this year) along with peppers.  But other veggies, like cherry tomatoes are more likely to get squished than actually eaten!

So, where are all recipes and advice for “healthy”, low- or no-sugar, nut-free baked-good snacks to make for kids to take in their lunches??????  Oh right.  They don’t exist.  Ok.  I’m exaggerating.  There are about 4.  Which is why, I suppose, I keep going back to my chocolate chip cookie recipe.  When you take out regular flour from baked goods, the way to achieve a decent facsimile of a traditional baked good is through the use of various nut flours.  Removing traditional forms of white and/or brown sugar also changes the texture of baked goods (altho brown sugar can be quite successfully replaced with coconut sugar in most cases).

I did, however, find a carrot cookie recipe that fit all my criteria, so I decided to give it a go, but only after I had made a full batch of my chocolate chip cookies!  They were super easy to make, they smell delicious (in fact my whole house smells so good thanks to these little gems), and they can easily be frozen and brought out as needed.  The kids just got home and did a taste test for me, and to be honest, they thought they were a lot tastier than I did.  I’ll be honest my biggest complaint about the recipe was that the cookies ended up being a little dry for my taste.  Since the kids seemed to like them, they were cheap and easy to make, I’ll have another go at them next week using a bit more butter.  Once they are truly edible, I’ll post the recipe!

Ok . . . and now for my last point.  I read in a post on Instagram that as of today, there are only 100 days left in this calendar year, and I can’t quit believe it.  If you’ve never done a 100 Day project, this would be the perfect time to start one . . . And if that is just way out of your comfort zone, maybe you can use to today to reflect on what’s gone on in your life so far this year and what you might like to focus on before this year is though.