Healthy(ish) Chocolate Chip Cookies

When I was lucky enough to receive a hand-me-down cookbook and kitchen-aid mixer last week, it meant I needed to do one thing.


In order to have more cookies and less guilt,  it’s necessary to modify the classic chocolate chip cookie to be healthy(ish). How is this recipe better for you than usual? The cookies are a teensy bit smaller, have A LOT less butter, and substitute semi-sweet chocolate chips for dark chocolate ones.

Because dark chocolate’s good for you.  :)

Tuna gave his stamp of approval – BEFORE I told them they were healthy. “They’re HEALTHY???” he asked in disbelief.

Well – healthyish.

All this cookie talk is making me hungry. ‘Scuse me while I go grab another…



This recipe was adapted from The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook.

Makes 18 cookies


  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 5 tbsp dark chocolate chips


Make sure oven rack is in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375°F.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

Melt 3 tbsp of the butter in a small skillet on medium/high heat for 3-4 minutes until it starts turning brown.

Pour the browned butter into a large bowl and mix in the remaining 2 tbsp of butter until it’s all melted.

In the large bowl with the butter, combine white sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract.

Whisk in the egg. Let the mixture set a few minutes, then whisk again for 30 seconds. Repeat a few times to firm up the dough.

Stir in the flour mixture from the medium bowl and add 2 tbsp dark chocolate chips.

Scoop out a heaping tablespoons of the dough (one at a time) onto the baking sheets to form your cookie balls.

Press in a few chocolate chips on the tops.

Bake one sheet at a time, about 9-10 minutes. Rotate the sheet in the oven halfway through (after 4-5 minuteS).

Let cool on the baking sheet for 10 more minutes, then transfer onto a cooling rack.












 Thanks as always to Jenn @ Peas and Crayons for hosting What I Ate Wednesday!

Getting Back into Shape

As you know, I’ve been trying to make some healthier changes lately in the spirit of spring. Meaning…. I really need to get back into shape after taking the winter off.

Who would have thought that it is HARD to get back into shape!? Makes me wish I had put a little more effort in during the winter. But whatever, I’ll just have to put the effort in now.

In pursuit of training with more effort – I also want to trainsmarter. I have been constantly re-evaluating my training priorities of what works – but what is also realistic (for me).

The Gym Sitch:

For starters, I haven’t been to the gym in months. (When I run, I have been running outside.)

When my outdoor run last week was nixed due to a crazy downpour, I decided I needed a better plan B to outside. Though I could drive to my gym before, it was still about a 10-15 minute drive away – and let’s be honest, that can seem like a pretty big hurdle when on the couch. ;)

I moved in November and now in my new neighborhood there is a gym right down the street from me. So last week, I finally bit the bullet: quit my old gym and  joined the new one! And it’s $10 bucks cheaper than my old gym, so that’s not another pro! I’m already so glad I joined the new gym because I can walk right to it and there’s tons of cool classes. Plus, outdoor runs may be coming to a close soon as the pollen reveals its evil self…

The Goal Sitch: 

I say goal instead of race…because I get weirded out about races. I am a slow-ass-runner, and races stress me out. As far as running goes, I still have a lot to learn after the handful of races I’ve done in the past two years. After my last half marathon, I was beginning to lose sight of why I started running in the first place: for my health (both physical AND mental).

When I started to resent training on an exact schedule and beating myself up for not being an Olympian speedster, I swore to zen running.  I needed to stop obsessing over the lap times on my Garmin and just have fun. I thought that would happen when I took races out of the equation.

The problem is – when I take races out of the equation, I don’t have a goal. And when I don’t have a goal, I don’t run.

Luckily, my friend Stephy reminded me that the Capitol Hill 10K is coming up next month.

I loved running it last year and am thinking it is the perf race goal to get me back into the running groove. My goal is the usual: run the whole thing and don’t die!

In the meantime, I have been running 3 miles several times a week and and plan bumping up the mileage each week according to Hal Higdon’s novice 10K training plan.





Here’s to getting back into shape this spring!

Do you have any races coming up?

Is your gym close by to where you live? 

Friday’s Five

awesome hand-me-down cookbooks


smoothie season


healthy weekend eats


green juice to go


the most beautiful shoes in the whole wide world


Hope you have a GREAT weekend!

What is one healthy thing you did this week?

Do you have any special plans?  One of my BFFLs from college is coming to visit this weekend! So excited.

Tomato Basil Quinoa

I am all about quinoa right now. I can’t get over how easy it is to make and how versatile it is. It’s good as a side dish with chicken, alongside crackers as a snack, or plopped on a bunch of salad for lunch. That’s pretty much the order I ate this in. ;) Tuna has decreed it into the usual rotation, so I’m excited to eat it lots this spring and summer!


Serves 2 (main) or 4 (side dish)


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 10 oz grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/8 cup basil leaves, chopped and for garnish
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese


Add water and quinoa to a medium/large pot.

Add in garlic, onion, tomatoes, salt, and red pepper flakes.

Heat the uncovered pot to a rolling boil.

Cover, reduce to simmer, and cook for 15 minutes.

Remove from burner and let cool for 5 minutes.

Toss in basil and olive oil to serve.




Thanks as always to Jenn @ Peas and Crayons for hosting What I Ate Wednesday!

One Small Change at a Time

As spring quickly approaches, I am starting to get nervous about taking off my winter cardigan…

….sooo to get back on track I am trying to focus on portion control. I’m getting to the point where I know what’s healthy and I try to eat a lot of nutrient-food. But it can be hard to stop at half of the bag.

One small change I’ve been working on lately is to split food items into small snack sized portions.


Just think of it as  200 100 calorie snack packs. :)


A second small change: my new visual for mealtime presentation.

I’m training my brain to think of  dinner portions like how they would be served at a fancy restaurant. Less food for me, please.



Sometimes it’s easy to get down on yourself for not following a diet 100% exactly like you think you should: i.e., number of calories, cutting out food groups or certain ingredients. When that becomes overwhelming (like it has been for me a little bit this winter) it’s important to change your perspective. Like focusing on a healthier lifestyle with one small change at a time.

Thanks as always to Jenn @ Peas and Crayons for hosting What I Ate Wednesday!

What are some healthy food habits you’ve been into lately? 

Does your diet go through phases or are you pretty good about sticking to it?

Friday’s Five

happy birthday to tuna!


food is in fashion (in the Chanel show at Paris fashion week)

participating in my first #FitFluential twitter chat


the World Health Organization’s new guidelines for sugar consumption

getting cozy with a cup of tea


Whew, we made it to Friday! Was scared I would have to take a sick day this week because I came down with a cold mid-week. It’s my one winter cold so far this year, so I’ll take it. Hopefully I’ll feel better soon and will be able to go for a run this weekend!

What are your plans for the weekend!? Doing anything FUN?

Durham in Pictures

This past weekend Tuna and I took a little trip down to Durham, NC to visit my mom!

On Saturday morning, my mom had a healthy breakfast bar for us to wake up to. My concoction was full of strawberry yogurt, granola, chia seeds, flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, almond slivers, and blueberries. Yum!


Oh yeah, and mimosas. :)

We all went on a morning walk in the Duke Forest. The pine trees are sooooo tall.


2014-03-01 13.43.36

After lunch, we toured around the Durham Bulls stadium as it was gettin’ all fixed up for spring. They’re currently adding a new scoreboard to the field.


The sports day continued with a look inside the famous Cameron Indoor Stadium at Duke. Even though our UVA pride was kicking in, it was cool to observe where a lot of bball history has happened.



Apparently there is a tradition called K-ville where students camp out in tents all winter in an attempt to score Duke/UNC rivalry game tickets. That’s just cray, IMO.


The Duke campus is gorgeous and it turned out to be a great day to walk around outside. I wish D.C. would take the hint.





The Duke Chapel -


I spy a wedding….




If you can’t tell, I had fun pretending I was a photographer on our mini vacation. We certainly had to walk off all of the delish food we ate while we were there. And it was definitely nice to get out of town/have a change of scenery! Perhaps we can all take a page from the South’s slower paced lifestyle. I liked having the reminder to stop and take a look around.

Tell me:

What was the last trip you took?

Have you ever been to Duke/Durham?

What camera do you use to take pictures? I use my iPhone