The road to self-improvement is a rocky one, full of ruts and potholes, mudslides and blockages. Oftentimes, you wonder if you’ll arrive at your destination. Should you turn around and go back? Is this even a path you should pursue? It’s never quite as easy as we anticipate.
I’m up to day 21 of my daily exercise challenge. 3 weeks. I thought it would be easier by now. I figured I’d be addicted to the endorphin rush, eager to drive to the gym to get in my daily hit of movement. Instead, I’ve been begging my husband to literally kick me out of bed and my friends to yell at me until I get my butt into those compression tights and through the doors of the local Planet Fitness. My motivation is waning.
It doesn’t help that I haven’t really seen any improvement at all.
I’m not expecting miracles. But I figured that I’d make some gains in my endurance by now, be able to push myself a little further, a little harder. The most I’ve managed were 3 2-minute slow jogging intervals a couple days ago. This is nothing like my Couch-to-5K training in 2008. And I’m a little ticked off by that.
I forget that I have to be kinder to myself. That my body doesn’t bounce back the way it did pre-back injury. And it won’t respond the same way. Patience. It seems I am constantly learning that lesson.
Still… 21 days. I may not feel any different, and I’ve only dropped a few pounds, but it has to be doing something for me. Right? Just keep swimming…
- 1 cup (16 Tablespoons) Kerrygold butter, cut into 16 pieces
- 4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used Ghirardelli, which is 60% cacao)
- 4 oz unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped roughly
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 5 large cage-free eggs
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1¼ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk chocolate chips
- 1 cup toasted almonds, chopped roughly
- 1 cup mini marshmallows
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9×13 baking dish with coconut oil or butter, line with parchment paper, and set aside.
- In a microwave safe bowl, heat the butter, bittersweet, and unsweetened baking chocolate at 50% power for 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until the chocolate is all melted (this is slow going, but it keeps you from accidentally seizing the chocolate). Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sugars, eggs, and vanilla extract. Beat at medium speed for 3-5 minutes, or until lifting the paddle from the bowl produces distinct ribbons.
- On low speed, beat in the slightly cooled melted chocolate.
- Add the salt and flour, mixing only until just combined.
- Remove bowl from mixer and gently fold in the chocolate chips and nuts.
- Spread into the prepared baking dish and bake for 30 minutes.
- Sprinkle marshmallows over the top and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out slightly moist. If the marshmallows aren't browned enough for your taste, you can place the brownies under the broiler for a couple of minutes to toast them.
- Cool on a wire rack for at least an hour (preferably until completely cool) before slicing and serving.
*Be sure the brownies are fully-cooled before you grip the parchment paper and yank them out. Otherwise, you'll be eating brownie trifle.
*If you’re impatient, you can pop the brownies in the freezer to cool faster. Frozen brownies, by the way, are actually really easy to cut.