New Healthy Dessert Ebook!

Guess WHAT?!?! It’s been a few months coming and it is finally DONE.

 

I have published my first healthy dessert ebook! Over the past four years, I have been trying and practicing various baked good recipes. Some I figured out on my own with just one or two tries. Others it was… a process to say the least! Many did not make the cut. But, that just leaves room for continued improvement later on.

Strong Sweet Caroline 50 Healthy Dessert Recipes Ebook

I want you to check out these first 50 recipes I have shared. There is quite a variety from

…chocolate chia cookies

…brownie cookie dough cake

…whole wheat pie crust

…donuts

…protein puppy chow

…lemon bars

and so much more! Some are vegan, vegetarian, paleo, gluten free, nut free, dairy free, lower sugar and higher protein!

Valued at $29.99, the ebook will launch for a special discounted price of $14!

Click this button to order today. Let’s bake healthy together!
 

3 fresh flavors you’ll love this spring

If you are like me, you are mind boggled by how quickly this year is going! It seems like yesterday I was bundled up in sweatshirts and hoodies and now it is shorts and tank top weather.

Maybe I’m just fortunate I’m no longer in the cold spring weather Ohio typically shows. Atlanta has blessed us with a wonderful spring so far. Beside the normal working and training, I have gotten outside more to play some pick up soccer, explore some parks and enjoy nature. Additionally, I open up the windows and start baking and experimenting with some new recipes.

What am I cooking up lately? A lot of meals for Meals Beyond Athletes, but more importantly, I’ve made more time to experiment new healthy recipes and baked goods.

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to lose track of your daily enjoyments when you are caught up in the daily whirlwind?

I know that if I am not intentional about every priority, every action I take, I can get swept up by other people and their needs over mine. It can be difficult but setting boundaries can be one of the most beneficial ways to overcome this. I even have to do this to read and write each day. BUT, I LOVE IT and it COMPLETES ME!

So, why wouldn’t you?

To make this spring even better as you allot time for you and your daily enjoyments, I have three flavors I’ve been LOVING this spring. Whether it is for specific recipes, daily health or personal indulgence, check out these three and let me know what you think.

3 fresh flavors to try this spring by Strong Sweet Caroline

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Super Food Pumpkin Granola & Thanksgiving

This is the season for gratitude. Alright, every day and moment should have some gratitude! With Thanksgiving this week, it’s more important than ever to be grateful for the people, things and opportunities we have in life.

I think it’s easy for people to get caught in the whirlwind of our day to day. It’s the grind right? Different days of the week, as well as highs and lows each day, get us axel-wrapped. But all it comes down to is one life. One.

I think Thanksgiving is being heavily overlooked this year. Christmas decorations put up almost immediately after Halloween, Black Friday deals being blasted for weeks and numerous other distractions keeping us preoccupied with what matters most.

If you are like me, you might need a break from it all. Take a deep breath. Go for a walk in a nature park. Do some yoga. Drink a cup of hot tea. Read a new book. Just sit in quiet with your loved one(s) taking in the environment.

Then, come back and remember that love and appreciate you experienced in the little moments. Live each day finding things your are grateful for–make a list of three things at the end of each day or just think about them in your head.

It makes you feel better, right? As you may have read in my last post, the kitchen is one of my muses and I recently felt unattached. My boyfriend David helped me find reconnection and reminded me why he is one of the people I am most grateful for in life. He cherishes me more than anyone and helps me find my inner self and overcome any challenge, even when he travels and is states away.

My latest recipe got me excited to cook and work towards what I’m grateful to work towards — inspiring others to make health simple. David liked it too, even though he isn’t a big pumpkin fan. 🙂

Strong Sweet Caroline | super food pumpkin granola and gratitude

Here is a recipe perfect for Thanksgiving: pumpkin granola! Make ahead of time and put in separate bags for gift giving, sprinkle on top of some yogurt for a dessert or use at home as a breakfast like I did topping my egg whites.

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What are you most grateful for this week? Thanks for reading and look forward to more gratitude and positivity in the blog and each day in your own life.


Super Food Pumpkin Granola

Makes 10 1/2 cup servings

Macros: 158 calories, 4.7g proteins, 22g carbs, 5.8g fats

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rolled or quick oats
  • 1/4 c uncooked quinoa, rinsed well and patted dry with paper towel
  • 2 Tbsp agave
  • 2 Tbsp brown rice syrup
  • 1/3 c pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 c chia seeds
  • 1/4 c raw pepitas
  • 1/4 c chopped nuts
  • 1/2 c dried berries

Process

  • Preheat oven 325 degrees.
  • Spread oats and quinoa on a parchment lined baking sheet. Toast for 10 minutes in oven.
  • While oats toast, in a small bowl combine agave, brown rice syrup, coconut oil, pumpkin puree, spices, salt and vanilla.
  • Pour the toasted oats into a medium bowl and add chia seeds, pepitas, nuts and fruit.
  • Pour the sweet pumpkin mixture and stir in until oats and seeds evenly coated.
  • Spread on baking sheet again and bake additional 20-30 minutes until golden.
  • Granola will crisp as it cools.

“Beet” dreary weather with a vibrant protein smoothie

Beet Protein Smoothie by Strong Sweet Caroline

Happy Halloween! Whether you celebrate this holiday or not, I hope y’all have taken some time to enjoy the crisp weather and seasonal joy that’s upon us. Fall is here and it has actually started out rather brutal. I do not know about you, but I do not like the cold. When the weather goes from the 70s to the 40s, that drastic change is too much for me!

Nonetheless, I’m now enjoying a sip of warm tea while I look out into the wooded section near my apartment. We had rain this weekend so it is nice to have some clear air to breathe.

Caroline and David Lee Haney
David and I at the Lee Haney show this past weekend

This past weekend was a doozy with errands, meal prepping, and support David and his fitness clients who competed in the Lee Haney Games. Both of us are overcoming a cold (and he also had a sinus infection). With a lot of moving parts and higher stress, it wore me down. It became a bit dreary getting sick.

What do you do when you’re sick? I try to find ways to first, get better as quickly as possible! I do not use over the counter medication when I can help it. Food and natural products like herbs are the best source in my opinion. Second, I seek ways to occupy my mind.

Vibrant Flowers

David brought home a bouquet for me to liven the apartment! I love the colors so much that I wanted to also eat something that bright, vibrant and healthy. This lead to my latest kitchen creation, a dairy-free protein beet smoothie!

Protein beet smoothie and flowers

Crazy, I know. Where will you get 25g of protein without using Greek yogurt or milk in the recipe?

Strong Sweet Caroline Beet Protein Smoothie

Egg whites. Mine are from Egg Whites International and come in a convenient half gallon jug with a pump. Simplicity is key when baking or eating, right? And a touch of vanilla whey/egg white protein powder from True Nutrition.

Beet Protein Smoothie with True Nutrition

The rest were an assortment of fruits, kale, ground golden flaxseeds, cinnamon and honey.

Beets. Why did I choose them? I felt I’d been seeing recipes and postings about them splattered all over the place. I have never tried making them myself and the more I read, the more healthy benefits they seemed to offer. So why not?

The best beet benefits I like are:

  • Low calorie – per cup is about 60 calories, 17g are carbs, 4g fiber, 9g sugar
  • High in folate, magnesium and potassium
  • Anti-inflammatory and help with muscle recovery

More benefits and details can be found at Dr. Axe’s site. Try out my recipe for yourself or modify to your liking! It will make your day more vibrant.


Strong Sweet Caroline Beet Protein Smoothie

Serving: 1, about 12 ounces

Beet Protein Smoothie

Macros (my version below): 283 calories | 25g protein | 38g carbs | 3g fats | 5g fiber | 22g sugar (all unprocessed, natural sugars)

Ingredients

Process

  • Combine ingredients in blender or food processor, starting with whole ingredients and adding liquid at the end.
  • Blend until smooth and enjoy!

Strong Sweet Caroline Beet Protein Smoothie

Thanks for reading. Please subscribe and share and reach out with any questions. I’d love to help you be strong (and enjoy sweets too).

-Strong Sweet Caroline

Quality cooking time and spaghetti squash DIY video

How do you define quality time spent with loved ones? Is it that you run errands and go shopping together? Do you watch the same television show? Host parties and get-together’s? Since David and I have been dating, we have shared a bond over quality cooking time.

As bodybuilders, yes, we eat a lot. Yes, we spend more time in the kitchen than the average couple. However, we also make time for quality cooking time.

What I mean by that is, we commit to usually once per week where we will cook one nice meal together. None of the recipe will have already been “meal prepped” for the week. It will start from scratch, beginning to end.

What works for us is assigning specific parts of the meal each of us will prepare. Since I cook 99% of David’s meals while he is gone for work, he usually takes charge of the protein. He has also become quite fond of our new cast-iron skillet, which somehow, I STILL have not had the pleasure to try!

But, nonetheless, David works the oven and I will gather up vegetables, side dishes and, my specialty–desserts.

The meal we prepared a few weeks ago was homemade Greek flatbread pizzas.

Strong Sweet Caroline | Homemade Greek Flatbreads and Vlog

We used Naan flatbreads, fat free Balsamic dressing, fat free feta cheese, shrimp, chicken (which was precooked), spinach, onions, garlic, peppers and dry spices. In about 45 minutes, the meal was made.

Strong Sweet Caroline | Homemade Greek Flatbreads and VlogStrong Sweet Caroline | Homemade Greek Flatbreads and Vlog

Dessert consisted of our favorite, Enlightened Ice Cream. If y’all have not tried it, it is a competitor to Halo Top. And in my opinion, way better. More creamy and satisfying flavors.

This week, while David’s been gone for work and I’ve been working my jobs and checking off priorities for launching my company, it dawned on me. We are the lucky ones.

Why is that? Because after dating for 10 months, both 25 years young, we understand and prioritize “quality time” with loved ones. I’d say that is pretty uncommon, wouldn’t you?

David and I are putting together a series of weekend videos. The latest shows some of our shenanigans with me cooking spaghetti squash, his breakfast routine and some farmer’s market fun.

How will you make the most of quality time? Do share in the comments, subscribe and follow our adventures!

 

– Strong Sweet Caroline

Oh my, Omega! Grind with gratitude.

Phew, this week has been a doozy! From working the two part time jobs to doing more research on my requirements as a food business start up in Atlanta, there has been a lot of information to take in. Some days, I forget to take time for what makes me tick or an even more productive business woman. A few days ago, I decided to listen to a short podcast. This was a “restart button” for me.

When I was a sales rep, I was on the road 4-6 hours per day. Besides having phone conversations or listening to my stations on Pandora, I would often find podcasts to enjoy. As leadership guru Zig Ziglar once quoted, “automobile university” is best to attend when commuting or traveling.

The podcast chosen was by one of my favorite female entrepreneurs, Lori Harder. In “Earn Your Happy” podcast episode 172, the focus was on taking action towards what you want to be doing. We often hesitate to start a new hobby, a new class, a new business, a new adventure until we feel “ready” or feel “qualified”. From my first-hand experience, that is bull shit.

I’ve been known to wait too long to make decisions. I would hesitate, need to “do more research or investigate” and, in a sense, procrastinate. It was from my own insecurities. In this fast-paced world, I cherish time. I have realized that the longer I take to make a decision, the more time I waste on create solutions and solving problems. I cannot afford to do that anymore. Can you?

Strong Sweet Caroline | Omegas and grind with gratitude

After the 10-minute podcast ended, I knew what I needed. I need to keep grinding with gratitude. Even when I’m exhausted, I know that the 24-hour day is for me. It’s for me to conquer.

Yesterday, I did some grocery shopping and meal prepping for one of my clients (until the full launch in a few weeks). I almost just walked out of Costco with only broccoli and chicken breasts. I pondered for a few minutes (after remembering the piece above about time) and grabbed some salmon. I have been neglecting my own and the health of my client by not including more foods with omegas.

In the dictionary, “omega” is the last letter in the Greek alphabet and is also defined as “the last in a series”. Do not put it last in your personal health!

Here are a few reasons why.

  1. The three “omegas” are needed for life-long health.
    • Essential fatty acids are the omegas. Omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9 should all be in your system. They can help regulate cholesterol levels, reduce cancer risks, help in athletic recovery, support joint health, balance mood, brain functionality and more!
  2. Omegas can be supplemented but is best from whole foods.
  3. If heart disease runs in your family, this could help.
    • Dr. Weil and many others have explained it is beneficial (not directly proven) that consuming more omega-3s will help prevent cardiovascular health issues.

These are a few reasons I grabbed some salmon to meal prep and make this chili lime salmon with basmati rice and steamed broccoli. Balanced meal with protein and omega-3s, carbohydrates and one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables out there!

Strong Sweet Caroline | Omegas and Grind with Gratitude - salmon meal

You do not have to eat salmon to get omega-3s in your diet. Additionally, I take fish oil capsules every morning and use flaxseed meal with my oat bran. Dr. Axe and Dr. Weil share more comprehensive lists of foods to consider for increasing your omegas. Thankfully, my fish will help me #grindwithgratitude. How about you?

Appreciate you joining. Don’t forget to subscribe for more updates on my company, leadership, recipes and life!

Cheers,

Strong Sweet Caroline

Instagram.com/strongsweetcaroline

carolineaweihl@gmail.com

Precision and cream of rice chia bowl

I’m slowly but surely making my way. I put one foot in front of the other. I take one step at a time. Precision is key. Just like anything worth having, if you don’t take baby steps, one step at a time, how can you learn to walk?

Today, I had the pleasure of talking to a gal on the phone. Similar to me, she is interested in starting a meal prep company in her local area. She wanted to pick my brain about why I’m doing it, how I’m getting started, etc. The current word that comes to mind is precision.

I am become more precise on my vision. I am building the detailed framework and business plan of what I want it to be now and what it will become in two years, five years and even ten years. The more precision I have, the better off I will be in aligning action steps, goals and needs.

When you work with someone on a project, do you prefer they ask a general question like, “how can I help”? Or would you rather they ask a specific question like “what can I work on for your website today”?

For those who enjoy firearms, think about it like target practice. You cannot improve your accuracy until you load the weapon, step up to the line, aim, and fire. Sure, you might be off the first shot. You may be off the first 30 shots. But as long as you are improving on your consistency and precision, you will get better.

I shared an Instagram photo a few weeks back of some sweet potato donuts I made. I was going to share the recipe, but haven’t felt ready yet. It’s not quite to the precise taste and consistency I am confident sharing.

Strong Sweet Caroline | Precision

But, that’s OK. It gives me more reason to keep trying, continue baking, researching new methods to prepare the ingredients, use the oven and get better. Take one more step in the right direction.

Instead, I’m excited to share a breakfast recipe I made with inspiration from acai bowls. This one was for a higher carb, medium protein, low fat day to speed up my metabolism. I enjoyed a few other foods that day also, like nonfat Greek yogurt with rice Chex cereal and powdered peanut butter. If you’ve not tried that, I HIGHLY recommend. So good. Add natural almond or peanut butter for added amazingness.

Strong Sweet Caroline | cream of rice chia bowl

Nonetheless, this recipe featured hydrolyzed caseinate protein in fruit punch flavor from True Nutrition, cream of rice, unsweetened almond milk, chia seeds, and topped with some peaches, blueberries, and Trader Joe’s roasted cocoa nibs. Why the assorted ingredients?

Strong Sweet Caroline | Cream of rice chia bowl ingredients

  • Hydrolyzed caseinate – one of the purest forms of whey protein and most readily digested into your body. True Nutrition has some of the best products if you need pure, quality ingredients.
  • Cream of rice – it’s essentially granulated rice and is easily digested in the body as a carbohydrate.
  • Unsweetened almond milk – delicious and lower calorie milk substitute. I am removing conventional dairy products from my diet again because every time I try to bring them back, my body does not respond positively. I’ll spare you the details.
  • Chia seeds – per serving, chia seeds offer high fiber, high protein, high omega-3 fatty acids. They are unique because they can be consumed raw or like in this recipe, soaked and puffed up and “jell-like” texture.
  • Fruits – natural source of sugar, antioxidants and vitamins.
  • Cocoa nibs – cleaner source for my fellow chocoholics and gives a little crunch.

Time for you to try it yourself! How precise will you be? I’d eat it as a pre workout or post workout treat.


Cream of rice chia bowl

Estimated macronutrients (will vary based on amount of toppings)

400 calories | 20g protein | 55g carbohydrates | 8g fat

Strong Sweet Caroline | Cream of Rice chia bowl

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup cream of rice, prepared as directed on box in the microwave
  • 1/2 scoop True Nutrition or alternative brand hydrolyzed caseinate whey protein in a fruity or vanilla flavor
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup (or just under) unsweetened almondmilk
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa nibs
  • 1/4 banana, sliced thinly
  • Handful blueberries
  • 2 slices peach, thin

Prepare

  • Make cream of rice in one serving bowl.
  • With a little water left in the cream of rice bowl, add protein powder until thoroughly combined.
  • In separate bowl, combine almond milk and chia seeds and let sit in refrigerator for at least 15 minutes.
  • While chia sets, gather other toppings.
  • Using a spoon, push cream of rice protein mixture to 1/3 of the bowl.
  • Pour the chia mixture into other 2/3 of bowl.
  • Add toppings as pretty as you like!