Protein Cookie Dough Butter

We all have those late-night sugar cravings, or in my case, all-day sugar cravings. Nothing could beat the sweet satisfaction of taking spoons full of Nestle Toll House chocolate chip cookie dough after dinner. However, with spring break next week, I thought it might be time to find some other alternatives to satisfy my cookie dough addiction.cookie-2

I came up with this recipe a few weeks ago, and it is great because it satisfies that sugar craving. At the same time, this edible cookie dough will not cause you to backtrack too much, so you can still reach your fitness goals. Feel free to play around with the nut butter to regular butter ratio: the more nut butter you add, the better it is for you. This recipe will fill up about one mason jar. I recommend keeping this in the fridge just like you would with regular cookie dough. Plus, it tastes much better cold. For my vegans out there, just substitute the butter for vegan butter, and use dairy-free chocolate chips instead.

Happy snacking!

Prep time:cookie-1

12 minutes

Things you will need:

  1. Electric hand mixer/cake mixer
  2. Mixing bowl


  • ¾ cup nut butter (I used almond butter)
  • ½ cup grass-fed unsalted butter
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. pink Himalayan sea salt
  • 3 scoops of gluten free protein powder (I used vanilla)
  • 3 tbsp. coconut crystals
  • 1 tbsp. of almond milk
  • 3-4 tbsp. dark chocolate chips

Photo & Video credit: Taylor Wilson

*Article originally published by Taylor Wilson on Her Campus UFL


I Traded Coffee for Green Tea: Here’s What Happened

Don’t get me wrong, I love coffee. I was one of those people who had to have their coffee in the morning to function. My roommate was crazy about green tea at the time, so I thought “Why not?” Now, it’s a year later, and I am constantly drinking green tea, and trust me, it’s not for the taste. This is what I have noticed since then:


  1. I lost weight

Green tea contains bioactive compounds that tell your brain to break down fat cells. In other words, if you drink green tea in the morning, it will boost your metabolism for the rest of the day. This means that your body will continue to burn calories without even exercising. How awesome is that? *Tip: For a super boost in metabolism, have a cup of green tea on an empty stomach, then do a little cardio.

  1. My stomach is flatter

Now, I am not saying I have a six pack (or even close), but it does help lessen general bloating and water weight. Green tea has anti-inflammatory effects, which will inherently reduce inflammation in your gut, giving you the appearance of a flatter stomach. So try drinking a cup of green tea in the morning before you hit the beach.

  1. I gained more mental clarity throughout the day.

This may seem crazy since I used to need to have my coffee to function, but what I didn’t realize was the mental fog I had from all the sugar in my coffee (No, I am not cool and drink my coffee black). Green tea contains about half the amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee, so try drinking two cups of green tea in the morning to even it out.

  1. I am not as hungry in the morning.

Green tea helps reduce appetite. So throughout the day, you will probably consume fewer calories without even trying (goodbye lbs). Even more so if you drink green tea a few times a day.  


  1. It reduces my anxiety and relaxes me before bed.

Green tea has many anti-anxiety effects on the brain, leaving you calm, focused and alert. If you get the jitters from all the caffeine in coffee, you might want to give green tea a try. However, if you drink green tea before bed, make sure to get the decaf option.  

I love my green tea. I drink about three cups a day, but that doesn’t mean I don’t hit up Starbucks occasionally. Hey, a girl has got to have her mocha caramel frappuccino when she needs it!

*Originally posted on Her Campus at UFL

Photo credit: Wilson

Fat-Blasting Fire Shot

The fire shot is a game changer. I have always been one to test just about every detox method I come across. There are a few I have stuck with and seen some results after a week or so, but I could see results the next day after having a fire shot. If you are just looking for a quick fix to make you feel better about your beach day tomorrow, this drink is for you. And if you are looking for an easy way to incorporate more nutrients into your diet, this drink is also for you. I have made a fire shot almost every day for the past four weeks. I haven’t weighed myself, but I definitely feel slimmer and my stomach looks flat due to less inflammation and bloating.

img_9736I stumbled across this recipe from a holistic nutritionist and personal trainer, Lyzabeth Lopez. She swears by it, and now, so do I. Some of the benefits of the Fire Shot are reduced inflammation, anti-nausea properties, clear skin and a boost in metabolism.

It is best to drink the fire shot 15-20 minutes before having a heavy meal, especially with red meat. The combination of these ingredients aid in digestion which helps your body to break down food faster and conserves more energy. I also like to have the fire shot first thing in the morning.  It wakes me up and gets me ready for the day. A warning, you may become addicted to the fire shot. I can’t explain why, but my mom and I can’t stop drinking them!


  • 1 organic lemon juiced
  • ½ organic orange juiced
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar (with mother)
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 5-10 grams of organic turmeric root
  • 5-10 grams of organic ginger root
  • 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tbsp. raw honey
  • 3 handfuls of ice (optional)



  1. Blend all ingredients for at least 30 seconds
    • You can use any blender (Magic/Nutri Bullet, Ninja blender, etc.)
  2. Drink immediately


Here is a more in-depth look at some of the benefits:


Lemons contain more potassium than grapes or apples. Potassium is good for the heart. Lemons are alkaline, which means they help balance the body’s pH levels. They are rich in vitamin C and flavonoids that work against infections like the flu and colds. Lemons also help detox us and improve liver function which aids in weight loss.

Fresh Orange Juice

Fresh orange juice is full of vitamin C and antioxidants which are great for our immune system and skin. Oranges are rich in dietary fibers which can help relieve constipation and lower cholesterol. Studies have also shown that oranges can help fight liver cancer and prevent kidney disease.

*Pro tip – you can juice the fruit by hand or use a hand juicer like this one

img_9716Apple Cider Vinegar

So I must say ACV has an acquired taste but give it some time and you will get used to it, the health benefits are worth it. ACV is a great digestive aid and helps to break down meat because it contains probiotics. ACV also helps with weight loss, lowering cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar levels, it increases satiety and reduces your risk of heart disease. The suggested amount is 2 tbsp. per day to see results. You can also increase your ACV intake by adding it to your salad dressings. Make sure to buy a bottle “with mother” because that is where a lot of the nutrients are.

Cayenne Pepper

img_9712Cayenne pepper boosts our metabolism, acts as an anti-inflammatory and helps our bodies digest. Cayenne also has detoxing properties and aids in weight loss. Cayenne can ease an upset stomach, reduce muscle and joint pain and lower cholesterol. And better yet, it helps us reduce those salty and sweet cravings, which let’s be honest, are almost everyone’s weakness (and it’s definitely mine).


Most of the nutritional values that are in turmeric lie in one of its ingredients, curcumin. Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant that helps boost brain power and fight inflammation. Turmeric has been found to prevent cancer, fight depression and reduce your risk of heart disease. Turmeric is best absorbed with a pinch of black pepper, I often swallow a few peppercorns before my fire shot.

*Pro tip – Tumeric root can be hard to find in local grocery stores, try looking at a Whole Foods or a Fresh Market. In a pinch, you can use ground turmeric but make sure that you get the organic option. 


Ginger is packed with nutrients and bioactive compounds that have powerful benefits for your body and brain. Ginger also has many antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea properties. For this reason, ginger is a great way to calm an upset stomach or cure a hangover. *Note: the more ginger you add, the spicier the drink will get


Raw Honey

Raw honey is great! It contains a lot of vitamin B and antioxidants. Plus, it has natural sugars, which are a good source of energy and boosts your metabolism.

Grandma’s Chocolate-Chip Cookies (but healthier)

After coming home this semester, I had a major craving for something sweet. I don’t know if it was all of the holiday cheer or my lack of sleep from finals week, but I was determined to make it as healthy as possible. I wanted a really good chocolate-chip cookie, so my search began.

I started with one of my favorite resources for sweets, my mom. She gave me a cookbook, “Against All Grain” by Danielle Walker, so I definitely cannot take all the credit, but I did tweak it to make it my own. I didn’t have all of the ingredients in my pantry so I had to work with what I had. “Against All Grain” has hundreds of grain-free recipes that I would highly recommend. You can check them out on her website or cookie-1purchase one of her cookbooks (we have two of them), which have even more recipes to tryout!

The result was better than I could have hoped for. These cookies taste like the ones your grandma used to make when you were a little kid. I mean nothing really beats homemade chocolate-chip cookies. These are a great holiday treat and something to satisfy that sweet tooth. They are also sure to wow all of your friends, even if they are not on a wheat-free diet. These cookies are so addicting that just writing about them has actually prompted me to make them again tonight… Happy Holidays!

Prep time: 15 minutes            Yields: 1 dozen


  • ¼ cup grass-fed unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup coconut crystals
  • 2 tbsp. organic honey
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups blanched almond flour
  • 2 tbsp. coconut flour
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp pink Himalayan salt
  • ½ cup dark-chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Place the butter and the egg in a food processor (I used a cake mixer, either works)
  3. Add coconut crystals, honey and vanilla extract. Mix again until combined.
  4. Add the coconut and almond flour, baking soda and salt. Mix for about 30 seconds.
  5. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure you mix in all the dry ingredients and pulse again.
  6. Add in the chocolate chips and mix by hand.
  7. Use two spoons to scoop the cookie dough into balls and place them on a baking sheet. Flatten the balls a little bit with the bottom of your spoon.
  8. Bake for 10-12 mins until golden brown around the edges. Let cool for about 5 mins.






Bacon & Cheese Egg Muffins

These breakfast muffins are so delicious and super easy. I was actually surprised at how good they were. Just refrigerate these, pop them in the microwave and you are good to go. Or if you are looking for a way to change up breakfast meals from your regular yogurt and berries or scrambled eggs (at least that’s what I always eat), this recipe is perfect for you. Plus, they are actually really filling, I could only eat two at a time.

I want to also address the negative stigma that has been placed on bacon and why you should NOT be afraid of it. The media has told us that bacon is unhealthy because of its high levels of saturated fat, sodium and nitrates. As I img_9407have discussed in my previous posts, saturated fat is good for you! It is polyunsaturated and trans fats that you need to steer clear from. As for the high levels of sodium, it is recommended for those who follow a ketogenic diet, to have an increased sodium intake. When you eliminate processed foods from your diet and decrease your daily intake of carbs, your sodium levels drop. Take it from me, you do not want to have low sodium levels. When sweating, your body’s sodium levels and electrolytes decrease, mix that with the hot Florida sun and volleyball, and you are not feeling too hot.

As for the amounts of nitrates in bacon, you can simply counteract its negative effects by consuming more antioxidants. To effectively avoid nitrates you would also have to cut down on vegetables, but as long as your diet is rich with antioxidants, do not stress over nitrates. This does not mean you should eat bacon all day, every day, but consumed in moderation it is just fine. Here is a list of some foods that are loaded with antioxidants:

  • Berries (blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, cherries, etc.)
  • Green tea, black tea and coffee, cocoa powder, red wine
  • Tomatoes, red bell peppers, eggplants (most antioxidants are in the peel)
  • Eggs (See perfect! You are already eating eggs in this meal)
  • Artichoke, garlic and onion, sauerkraut
  • Broccoli, brussel sprouts and kale
  • Watercress and spinach
  • Pecan nuts
  • Spices such as cinnamon, vanilla beans and ginger root

Bacon and Cheese Egg Muffins

What you’ll need:

  • 5 eggs (preferably organic or cage-free)
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 6 slices of bacon
  • 6 cup muffin tray
  • Pam/something to grease the muffin tray, butter works too


  1. Preheat oven to 375 F
  2. Spray muffin tray cups with pam (tip: spray over the sink to minimize mess)
  3. Shred 1 cup of cheddar cheese or use pre-shredded cheese in a bag
  4. img_9405Mix 5 eggs and ¾ cup of cheese in mixing bowl
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste
  6. Line the edge of the muffin cups with bacon slices. When the bacon overlaps, lay the excess bacon on the bottom of each cup
  7. Use a ladle or large spoon to place egg and cheese mixture into each muffin cup. Try to make it as even as possible
  8. Sprinkle what you have left of your cheese on top each muffin cup
  9. Bake 15-18 minutes

Let me know if you liked this recipe or if there are any other topics you would like me to discuss!

Dark Chocolate Avocado Cookies

img_9253Before you call me crazy for putting an avocado in a cookie recipe, hear me out. It is actually delicious! I thought a cookie couldn’t possibly taste good with an avocado in it, but since I put avocados in everything I thought I would give it a shot. Surprisingly, the results were better than expected. I didn’t even hesitate to scrape the cookie mix from the bottom of the bowl and lick the spoon clean.

Chocolate is my guilty pleasure, and with Halloween around the corner, I wanted to make something that was at least semi-healthy to indulge my sweet tooth. Avocados are extremely healthy and beneficial for athletes; and dark chocolate with a high cocoa content, is actually quite nutritious. Before getting to the cookie recipe, I am going explain why you should eat more avocados and why you should give up the milk chocolate and switch to dark.

Avocados are an athlete’s best friend, which is why I am going to try to incorporate avocados into every recipe on SunSandVolley. To start off, avocados are an excellent source of saturated fat. (I talked about the importance of adding healthy fats to your diet in my post, Bacon & Guacamole Fat Bombs.) One avocado packs an extremely concentrated amount of energy and nutrients. The monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats found in avocados help to lower poor cholesterol, promote lean muscle growth and keep you feeling full longer. Here are some more reasons why you should love avocados:

  • They are loaded with vitamins. One avocado contains up to 15 grams of fiber, more than any other fruit, and nearly 20 different vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, including beta-carotene and vitamins C, E and B6.
  • Avocados are full of critical electrolytes including potassium and magnesium, which contribute to proper cell and muscle function (in other words if you sweat a lot in competition, you need all the electrolytes you can get).
    • Side note: Avocados contain up to 3 times more potassium than a banana.
  • Avocados are an anti-inflammatory food. This is particularly beneficial for athletes because it will reduce inflammation (swelling) in the joints and help your muscles recover faster by healing tissue damage.
    • Side note: Since avocados are an anti-inflammatory, they also reduce inflammation in your gut, which in return will make your belly less bloated.
  • Avocados make your skin glow. The healthy fats in avocados will give your skin a better appearance, especially if you have not had enough healthy fat in your diet for a long time.
  • Promotes healthy weight loss. Avocados will make you feel satiated longer and if you eat them regularly, you will naturally consume less calories during the day because you won’t be as hungry. This is due to the healthy fats and high amounts of fiber in the fruit, but keep in mind that one avocado is about 240 calories.

Dark chocolate with 70-85% of cocoa has been found to:

  • Rich with antioxidants. Dark chocolate contains more antioxidants than some fruits, including acai berries and blueberries
  • img_9250Lowers your risk for cardiovascular disease
  • Contains flavonols, which help to protect your skin against the sun (so particularly beneficial for beach volleyball players since we are always in the sun).
  • Improves blood flow on a short term basis, which improves cognitive function.
  • Packed with vitamins. Dark chocolate contains fiber, potassium, phosphorous, zinc, selenium, RDA for iron, magnesium, copper, manganese and many more.

However, dark chocolate does contain moderate amounts of sugar. For this reason, it is best consumed in moderation.


  • 1 avocado
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup dark cocoa powder
  • 50 g. dark chocolate chunks
  • ½ tsp. baking soda


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Using a food processor or a hand mixer blend together avocado and coconut sugar until smooth. Then add in the egg.
  3. Mix in the cocoa powder and baking soda.
  4. Stir in chocolate chunks
  5. Using two spoons place dollops of cookie dough on a baking pan with parchment paper.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes. If you are unsure if they are cooked enough, check to see if the cookies still stick to the parchment paper, if they don’t they are ready.

These next steps are optional and are definitely NOT healthy. I had originally planned to make this avocado icing, but I wanted to make it a bit more “halloweeny” (plus I have a major sweet-tooth).

  1. Put ½ cup of white chocolate chips in two separate bowls.
  2. Microwave chocolate for 1-2 mins.
  3. Add 4-8 drops of desired food coloring in each bowl. Use a fork to whisk chocolate and food coloring until smooth.
  4. Drizzle chocolate over cooled cookies.
  5. Eat cookies like a little kid on Halloween.

Song: Don’t Wanna Know by Maroon 5

Bacon & Guacamole Fat Bombs

You may be wondering why you should eat something called a fat bomb, but trust me they taste good and are good for you. Before I get to the recipe, I am going to explain why you should consider adding more fat to your diet.

It has been proven that the ketogenic diet, which includes high amounts of saturated fat, benefits athletic performance. I have felt the benefits in my own health and athletic performance within six weeks of following a ketogenic diet two years ago.  I experienced the following:

  • Healthy weight-loss with INCREASE in muscle mass
  • Higher energy levels throughout the day with increased focus in school and volleyball
  • Improved stamina in activities with high intensities for longer periods of time
  • Vertical jump increased by 4 inches
  • No sweet or salty cravings because I felt fuller longer
  • Clearer skin
  • Daily allergy symptoms went away

So what is a ketogenic diet?

A ketogenic diet usually refers to a low carb, high fat diet, in which the body produces ketones from the liver to be converted to energy. On the contrary, consuming carbohydrates will make your body to produce glucose and insulin to be used as fuel. By lowering your intake of carbs your body will enter a state of ketosis, which in turn will make your body a fat-burning machine. As in you can actually burn fat without even exercising! Who doesn’t want that?

Now to the bacon and guacamole fat bombs and what they can be used for.

  • Pre- and post-workout snacks
  • A great way to add more fat into your daily diet
  • Awesome party snacks


  • 1-2 avocadoes, approximately 2 cups when mashed
  • ¼ cup of unsalted grass-fed butter
  • 2 cloves of fresh garlic crushed
  • 1 small chili pepper finely chopped (optional, I didn’t use one)
  • 1-2 limes, freshly squeezed, at least 4 tablespoons of lime juice
  • ½ a small white onion, grated
  • A dash of freshly ground black or cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt (I used pink Himalayan)
  • 1-2 tablespoons of freshly chopped cilantro
  • 4-6 large slices of bacon
  • 2 tablespoons of bacon grease, cooled, not HOT


Start to finish: 45 minutes (20 minutes active)   

img_9023-11. Pre-heat oven to 375 F. Line tray with baking sheet paper and lay slices of bacon on tray with out overlapping them. Place tray in oven and cook 10-15 minutes until crispy (time will depend on thickness). When done, remove tray from oven and set aside to cool. Reserve bacon grease.

img_9029-12. Cut the avocados in half and take the seeds out. Use a spoon to scoop the avocado from its skin. Place avocados, butter, chili pepper, onion, garlic, salt and pepper in the bowl.

3. Mix together using a potato masher or a fork.

img_9031-14. Pour lime juice and bacon grease into bowl for taste (be careful not to use too much bacon grease) and mix well.

5. Set mixture into the fridge to cool for 20-30 minutes.


img_9033-16. Crumble bacon into separate bowl or plate.

7. Remove mixture from fridge and start creating balls, should make about 6-8 depending on size. Use an ice-cream scooper or a spoon to make the balls.

8. Roll each ball into bacon crumbles then place on a plate or tray.

9. Eat immediately or store in air-tight container in fridge for up to five days. Enjoy!

Let me know in the comments box below how you and your friends liked this recipe!