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The Personal Ramblings of Samm Diep

live ~ laugh ~ love

Category Archives: Health/Fitness

Today is a beautiful day. It’s one of those days where the sun is out and it looks like it’s gonna be all hot and steamy but you walk outside and it’s nice and cool.  That’s the perfect weather for a little outdoor activity.

This morning, I rollerbladed to the gym (approx 2.3 miles each way), worked out for an hour and rollerbladed back. The weather was absolutely perfect! I even stopped and chatted with a couple geologists that were taking pond samples.

My only complaint with outdoor activities on days like these is that my ears get cold and sometimes they hurt. I guess that’s a small price to pay.

I’m glad today is such a nice day. It really makes up for my yucky day yesterday. I haven’t had such a bad day in a long time. Everything that could’ve possibly not worked out, didn’t. Ugh…

Anyway, today’s a new day and I’m making the most of it.

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Notice, the recipe is called “wholesome” not “healthy.” If you want healthy(ish), you’re looking for these oatmeal cookies by my good friend Mikie‘s daughter, Kendra.

I found this recipe online and gave it a few healthier tweaks. I think next time I’m going to add dried cherries instead of cranberries so I can call them Oatmeal Cherry Bomb Cookies! HA!

I’m not generally a fan of baking. I find it to be too slow and lengthy of a process. I prefer the instant gratification of just baking. I also like the constant tasting of what I’m creating. With baking there can be a lot of steps and I don’t always have the patience for it. This recipe wasn’t too bad.

For being my first attempt at baking oatmeal cookies, I’m pretty happy with how they turned out. My arms are a little tired though from all the mixing involved. Good thing I’ve been working out. I didn’t realize oatmeal cookies were so laborious! I guess it didn’t help that I tripled the batch so I could freeze and give some dough away.

Wholesome Oatmeal Choco-Cran Cookies

For you at home, here’s the recipe:

Wholesome Oatmeal Choco-Cran Cookies

  • 1 cup unbleached flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup raw cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup plain, unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon
  3. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and the sugars. Beat in the egg, followed by the applesauce and the vanilla extract. Working by hand, stir in the flour mixture and the oats until just combined and no streaks of flour remain. Stir in the chocolate chips and dried cranberries.
  4. Drop tablespoonfuls of the dough onto the prepared baking sheet, flattening each cookie slightly. Bake for about 10-12 min. Cookies will be light brown at the edges when done.
  5. Let cool on sheet for 3 or 4 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Store in an airtight container.

Yields about 2 dozen cookies.
The oatmeal cookies can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 weeks.

The applesauce really helps keep the cookies moist while contributing to the ‘wholesome’ part. I sectioned off  approx 2 cups of dough into individually saran wrapped balls, labeled them with baking instructions, and popped them in the freezer.

When I got out of the shower today, it sounded like I was in the rain forest. I’ve never been in a rain forest before, but the sound of the pitter pattering rain accented with the slight bird chirps made me wonder if I would see a monkey hanging outside my window.

And, speaking of the local feathered friends… These fowls are crazy! At least once a day I hear the loud thud on the front window of a kamikaze bird trying to make his way into the living room, not realizing there’s a piece of glass in his way. Ouch!

I iron-cheffed a yummy salad today for lunch with the remains of anything green I could find in the fridge.

  • 3 remaining leaves of romaine lettuce
  • 8 oz of chopped baby bello mushrooms
  • halved grape tomatoes
  • some edemame
  • the rest of the sprouts
  • gorgonzola cheese
  • grated parmesian
  • Ken’s Steakhouse light caesar dressing
  • S&P

All tossed together.

Finally! A guilt-free peanut butter you can love to love. I could eat the entire jar in one sitting! But, I guess that would defeat the guilt-free part. This stuff is stinkin’ amazing!

It does need to be refrigerated after opening but it doesn’t separate or get hard. It’s always perfect…. mmmm.. perfectly yummy in my mouth and my belly…. I LOVE THIS STUFF!!!

Better'n Peanut Butter from Trader Joes

Since my skates haven’t arrived yet, Mike and I went for a nice bike ride today.

Crossing the Mississippi River

Unlike most American kids, I didn’t grow riding a bike around the neighborhood. Maybe I was just so content on my skates that my mom never bought me a bike. I’d guess it was either that, or the fact that we were dirt poor when we came to this country. Either way, I didn’t learn how to ride a bike until my early 20’s. Sad, I know. Don’t judge…

I could probably count on two hands the number of times I’ve been on a bike ride.

I’m no pro:

Mike on his bike

But at least it didn’t look like this:

We rode a total of 8.86 miles for 1:10:07 hours and burned approximately 418 calories.

Man! I don’t know how people can ride everyday. My cooter-bone is sore from just an hour! What the heck?!?? Maybe I need a more ergonomic seat.

When we got home, I prepared the rest of the sushi. Mmmmmm….. Oh yeah, baby!

I’ve heard some people say they were born with a tail or gills because they lived at the neighborhood pool growing up. Well, I was born with roller skates on my feet. In my middle school hay days, I spent at least a couple nights a week at Skate City. The rest of the time, I just buzzed through my neighborhood on my 8 wheels.

When we first came to this country and were very, very poor, my mom bought me a pair of these from the thrift store:

metal strap-on skates

Those things were terrible! I didn’t have to be a good skater to know that they were no good.

In the second grade, at my day care, I sat on Santa’s lap and whispered to him that all I wanted for Christmas was “a pair of Strawberry Shortcake roller skates.” I don’t remember a lot from my early years, but I distinctly remembered being completely amazed when they appeared under the tree that xmas. I don’t remember believing in Santa. Even at age 7, I remember trying to rationalize if the day care told my parents and they bought them and wrapped them and, well, who cared? I got my skates!!!

Strawberry Shortcake Roller Skates

Strawberry Shortcake Roller Skates

These are not the actual photos of mine. I don’t even know where mine are. I wore those things until they didn’t fit anymore, then I wore them some more with the velcro open. I wore the toe stops down to the bolt and they had to be rotated and then when the stoppers were complete nubbed, I wore the sides of the wheels down to nothing.

I guess I went through the natural progression of Quad Roller Skates. My next pair was just a basic white artistic style with red wheels and stopper. Again, there was nothing left of those puppies either when I was finished with them.

At age 14, with $114 of my Chinese New Years money, I bought my very first pair of Rollerblades. They had JUST come out and I HAD to have them! They were huge, bulky, uncomfortable, and I never really fell in love with them. I wore them only a few times. They never really fit right or felt right. In hindsight, I would’ve been better off spending the money on a pair of speed skates and becoming a roller derby girl.

Sadly, I haven’t really been on wheels since then.

Fast forward 20 years and I’ve just asked for a brand new (to me) vintage pair of skates that are almost as old as I am. Check these bad boys out:

Vans ACS 500 Roller Skates circa early 80's

Vans ACS 500 Roller Skates circa early 80's

Vans ACS 500 Roller Skates circa early 80's

They are SO HOT! I can’t wait until they get here!!!

Maybe then I’ll be doin’ stuff like this:

Thanks to FM, I am now totally addicted to O.N.E. Coconut Water. Thanks, a lot!

Well, I guess it could be worse. It’s not like beer or something.

O.N.E. Coconut Water

This stuff is super yummy & totally addicting! FM would add a touch of pomegranate concentrate, but I like it just the way it is.

I now see on their website that they also have Acai Water, Coffee Berry Juice, and Cashew Fruit Juice. Interesting…

O.N.E. Coconut Water Health Benefits (straight from their website):

  • O.N.E.™ Coconut Water is excellent for replacing lost
  • electrolytes from exercise or illness
  • O.N.E.™ Coconut Water is an all-natural sports/energy drink
  • O.N.E.™ Coconut Water is a natural isotonic beverage – contains a similar level of electrolytes found in human blood.
  • O.N.E.™ Coconut Water may help promote smoother,
  • more hydrated skin
  • O.N.E.™ Coconut Water is non-allergenic
  • O.N.E.™ Coconut Water is rich in potassium. Potassium helps regulate blood pressure and heart function
  • O.N.E.™ Coconut Water is an effective oral rehydration

And the best part is it’s super yummy! Try it for yourself. I think it’s only available at specialty stores. I picked up a biggun at Cost Plus World Market today but you can also order it from their website.