Sunday, March 24, 2013

Soooooo Close!

It's the end of Day 20, and I am definitely looking forward to the end of tomorrow! I fully intend to spend the next week indulging (especially in homemade, honey-sweetened, coconut milk coffee creamer), but, like I've said before, then I'll get back to a no-sugar lifestyle. This will be my first indulgence, from Juli (who is AWESOME - I want to be as cool as her!) of

No Bake Caramel Cheesecake Bars (Minus Cheese)

(Juli's picture, not mine)

Prep time: 
Total time: 

For the crust
For the filling
  • 1.5 cups roasted, unsalted cashews
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup raw honey
  • 2-3 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2-4 tablespoon canned coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the caramel
  • 12-14 medjool dates, pitted and soaked in water for an hour
  • 5-6 tablespoons canned coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • salt to top it all off with

  1. Place dates in a bowl of water to soak.
  2. Let’s first make the crust!! Add walnuts to your food processor and blend until you get a meal, almost a walnut butter. Then add the rest of your crust ingredients and blend until well combined.
  3. Add crust mixture to an 8×8 glass baking dish lined with saran wrap, press down until evenly distributed. I sound so professional right now.
  4. Wipe out the inside of your food processor, no need to scrub, then add your cashews and blend until you begin to get a clumpy mess.
  5. Then add your coconut oil, lemon juice, vanilla extract and honey and puree until well combined.
  6. And lastly, add your coconut milk, 1 tablespoon at a time to break down the cashews completely. I used about 3 tablespoons for mine until the cashews became this soupy paste.
  7. Pour your filling onto the crust and use a knife or spoon to spread mixture throughout the entire pan, covering the crust, then place in the freezer for about 1-2 hours or until completely hard.
  8. Once your dates have soaked for about an hour, remove them from the water, and add them to a food processor and pulse until dates have broken down (less than a minute).
  9. Then add your coconut milk tablespoon by tablespoon to the dates while the food processor is still running. Then add your water as well.
  10. And add your vanilla extract and pinch of salt.
  11. Process until you get a caramel. Just let it run for a while. Pick your nose. Look at a trash magazine and BOOM. Caramel. May take 3-5 minutes, tops.
  12. Spread caramel over hardened cheesecake filling.
  13. Top with some course salt.
  14. Place it freezer for about 30 minutes until everything has set.
  15. Cut bars into the sizes you want. The saran wrap will help you pull them out without destroying their gorgeous looks. Just pull on the side of the saran wrap and it will pop right out.
  16. Eat. Eat and remember how wonderful it is to be paleo.
That's how it's gonna be, folks! Three weeks on, one week off. I have really found that I CAN HANDLE IT, and have seen some pretty great things happening with myself, so, naturally, I want to keep it up.

I do have to say, though, that this was not a diet. I didn't count calories or carbs or points or any other hooey. I ate pretty much what I want, when I wanted, as long as it didn't have any sugar (natural, refined, or sugar-substitute), and I also ate as much as I wanted/needed to feel satisfied. I have no clue how many calories I consumed over the past day, let alone the past 3 weeks, so don't ask! Frankly, I don't care. I feel really good, and I am seeing changes happening in my body.

Take, for example, my "skinny jeans": I have a pair of size 10 Banana Republic Skinny Jeans that I chose from a crap swap, eh, maybe 6 years ago. When I got them, I had to pour myself into them (literally - the havoc wreaked on my poor body by my babies is epic). It wasn't pretty. Now, however, they are FLIPPIN' LOOSE!!!!! They aren't skinny jeans at all, but loose jeans. See the following picture and judge for yourself! (Yes, you are looking at my butt, btw...)


Anywho, I'm pretty impressed with myself. Now, if I could only get the "baby belly" to hit the high road, I'd be pretty dang happy! Working on it!
Ta ta for now! Oh, also, I can't find a flippin' picture of me "before" that doesn't look freakish to the point where I would have to explain myself (Ahem. 80's wine night. 'Nuff said.), so, you're going to have to trust me on this, my before was heavier. Also, since I'm close enough to the end of The 21-Day Sugar Detox,  this butt picture will be my "after". Mwah!

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