{mm} peanut butter n’ banana oat cookies, why I love yoga + how to love your size no matter what




 It’s Monday & I’ve got loads of good stuff to share–an easy peasy yum cookie recipe that uses PB2 powder (per your request!–& is less than 100 calories per cookie), why I love yoga, how to love your size no matter what, as well as some of my fave finds from across the www from this past week.


Let’s start with yoga. 

Rebecca, a bring joy reader & the talented lady behind the blog Strength & Sunshine, invited me over to her space to guest post today.

Not only is Rebecca pretty amazing because she is passionate about yoga, fitness, good eats (she’s veg-heavy & gluten-free), she wows me with her work ethic & commitment to sharing with her readers.


She began her blog less than a year ago, & since then has been blogging 5 days a week.

In addition, she’s finishing up her senior year of high school–that’s right, she was 5 years old when I was her age–yet she finds time to run a daily blog among all her other activities. Wowzers.

On her blog today I share my yoga story & why I think yoga’s not going anywhere anytime soon, plus 10 reasons why I love yoga.

Check it out, here.

(And if you have time, leave a note to Rebecca letting her know how awesome she is!)


How to love your size, no matter what 

We’ve talked body image quite a bit, particularly in this post–Is it possible to lose weight without resorting back to disordered eating? as well as in my curves post.

You also know that I’m in the process of losing the 50+ extra pounds of fat I gained during my last pregnancy due in part to the fact that I always gain a lot of weight during pregnancy coupled with my gestational diabetes.

(I’ve lost 27 pounds so far, about 30 more to go to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight–hooray!)

how to never look fat again

Something I haven’t talked much about is the in between process. You know–when you’re in between sizes & nothing really fits & you don’t want to have to go buy a whole new wardrobe only to have it not fit in a few months once you lose all the weight.

A month or two ago, I discovered a fabulous book on the clearance rack at Barnes & Noble–How to Never Look Fat Again: over 1,000 ways to dress thinner without dieting (you can get it on Amazon for just $6, plus free shipping if you have a Prime membership).

The title alone had me intrigued, & since it was only $2, I bought it (I’m a sucker for sales, what can I say). I know it sounds gimicky, but it really is a revolutionary book. The author, Charla Krupp, argues that women need to stop wearing clothes that don’t fit, don’t flatter, & make them feel frumpy & fat. She outlines what every body type needs to wear (she calls them “fat-free clothes”) to feel their best.

I love the premise behind this book, because–it’s true!

how-to-love-your-size-no-matter-what Too often we feel fat, or think we look fat, when in reality there is nothing *wrong* with us or our bodies, we’re just wearing horrible fitting clothing, or clothing that is no good for our body type.

Since I’m pear-shaped, I need to stick with solid, dark colors on the bottom & keep the prints for up top. Right now I’m a size 12–when I lose the rest/most of my baby weight I’ll be somewhere in the 4/6/8 range depending on the piece & brand of clothing–and honestly, when I wear the right clothes (like this outfit), I feel pretty fabulous, even though I’m not back to my pre-pregnancy weight yet.

This outfit is a perfect example of what Karla would call a “fat-free” outfit (photo taken yesterday, FYI). Flattering in all the right areas. And, I feel great in this outfit. You can’t deny when you feel good about what you’re wearing, you feel more comfortable in your own skin & it shows.

Check out Karla’s book–it will help you find the clothes that help you feel & look your best self, no matter your size/shape.

the blender girl


A fab cookbook to put on your “want” list

 Have you ever heard of the blender girl (ie. Tess Masters)?

She has a new book out–it looks incredible! Lots of super simple, blender-friendly recipes (you know that’s totally my style)–all vegan & gluten-free.

If you’re interested in knowing more, Gena of Choosing Raw has a review of it, plus shares a recipe from the cookbook, chai rice pudding, here.

{You can get The Blender Girl cookbook on Amazon, for only $11.98, here.}


More good stuff to check out:
(you know, in your “free” time 😉 )

♥ Easter’s this weekend! Looking for some veg-spiration? Richa has compiled 25 Easter-themed recipes, so no excuses–you’ve got lots of recipes to choose from for your Easter brunch/dinner this weekend.

♥ You know I love coconut oil not just in my cookies, but on my face as well. Here are a few other uses for the good stuff.

♥ And, holy cow. My fave, fave podcast of all time is no longer on public radio. (*sniffle*)

brilliant recipes to pin:

all recipes vegan + gluten-free

peanut butter brownie cookies
(maybe this is a recipe that could also utilize PB2 powder?)

strawberry creme truffles
(oh my. oh my.)

taco casserole
(the Mexican vegan version of the 1950’s brilliant invention)

grilled aspargus spring salad with meyer lemon vinaigrette
(asparagus will be in season soon–put this on your list to make!)

asparagus & edamame salad w/ lime miso dressing
(another asparagus recipe for your arsenal)

roasted carrot & miso chickpea spread
(a frugal way to use leftover soup!)


Recipe time!

A dear bring joy reader, Kristin, made my low-cal siracha peanut sesame noodles & let me know she’d love to see more recipes & ideas for PB2 powder (one of my 5 foodie finds from Friday’s post).

So Kristin, & all you PB2 lovers, this one’s for you.

(And am I the only one who loves to eat oatmeal topped with peanut butter & sliced bananas? This is that, in a cookie.)

The banana helps to lighten the recipe (replaces some of the oil), but it’s also a way to make the recipe a bit more frugal (remember my 10 tips for frugal baking?), since a banana is cheaper than a 1/2 cup of coconut oil.

If you don’t want the banana flavor, you can omit the banana & use 3/4 cup + 2 TBS. total coconut oil, but that will bump up the total fat & calorie count as well as make this recipe a bit more pricey.

lightened up peanut butter n’ banana oat cookies -- vegan + gluten-free

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: about 40 medium-sized cookies

Serving Size: 1 cookie

Calories per serving: 98

Fat grams per serving: 3.7 g

lightened up peanut butter n’ banana oat cookies -- vegan + gluten-free

a lightened up blend of oats, peanut butter & bananas in a cookie -- vegan + gluten-free


  • 1/2 c. agave
  • 3/4 c. coconut sugar
  • 1 TBS. blackstrap molasses
  • 1/4 c. ground flax seed
  • 1/3 c. almond milk
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c. coconut oil (room temperature, not melted)
  • 1 medium ripe (ie. "spotty") banana (about 1/2 cup mashed)
  • 1/3 c. + 2 TBS. PB2 powder (plain or chocolate)
  • 1 c. white rice flour
  • 1/2 c. buckwheat flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 3 c. old-fashioned rolled oats


  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. In a standing electric mixer or food processor, blend agave, coconut sugar, molasses, flaxseed, milk, & vanilla. Blend until smooth.
  3. Add coconut oil, mashed banana, & PB2 powder. Process until smooth.
  4. Sift flours (I make my flours from whole buckwheat groats & white rice using my Blendtec) with baking powder & baking soda. Add rolled oats & stir.
  5. By hand, mix flour into wet mixture, until all flour is incorporated into wet mixture. The dough should be thick & firm, but still a little sticky.
  6. Using a medium cookie scoop scoop dough onto baking stone. For these cookies, a baking stone is preferred because it bakes the cookies more evenly & doesn't dry them out like a traditional cookie sheet, but if you don't have a baking stone, a cookie sheet works.
  7. Bake for 8 minutes for medium cookies, 10 for large. Make sure to not overcook, otherwise cookies will be dry (& who wants a dry cookie??). You want to remove cookies when they still look slightly undercooked. If you leave them on the baking stone for 5 or so minutes after removing from the oven they will continue to cook as they cool. Remove to a cookie rack.
  8. Because of the high moisture content of these cookies, you'll want to eat them within a day or two, or freeze the rest. Store in an air-tight container until you eat or freeze.

Additional nutrition info: 15 g carbs, 2 g protein, 1 g fiber, 7 g sugar; 3 WWP points


And one last thing.

I’ve received some pretty fantastic emails from you this past week about various things. Thank YOU for giving me feedback & sharing with me.

I always love hearing from you & appreciate when you take the time to let me know how a recipe turned out or about some book you think I should know about.

On that note, have a great Monday. I have a feeling this week is gonna be pretty great.


P.S. Are you on my exclusive email list for updates?
If not, sign up here, & you’ll get my free ebook, SIMPLE, with 15 of my fave gluten-free, soy-free, vegan recipes.

Thanks for coming to bring joy today!
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Have a question for me, or just want to say hello,
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  1. Natashia M
    on April 16, 2014 at 10:07 pm said:

    Yeah for yoga and fun recipes!! And #10 is my fav about yoga.

  2. Marly
    on April 16, 2014 at 8:38 am said:

    Another thoughtful and well-written post. I love it! I agree that we need to find our own way of defining our bodies…and our lives! I guess it’s true what they say about the journey because I constantly find myself unknowingly meandering on these things…and redirecting when I realize I’ve fallen back into old ways of thinking. Thanks for all the links you’ve provided, including one of mine. You’re so kind! And this recipe? Fab-u-LUS!!

  3. Kristen
    on April 15, 2014 at 5:46 pm said:

    OH YAY!!! YUM YUM YUM!!! I can’t wait to try these cookies! THANK YOU! Setting aside a banana to get spotty just for these cookies! I have all the ingredients except white rice flour and bulgar flour. I also bought the chocolate PB2 yesterday at Target! I agree, I love to eat my oatmeal with a giant spoonful of peanut butter and a whole banana on top. Really starts the day off right! 😉 By the way, I have been craving your siracha peanut sesame noodles! Have to go buy more noodles and slaw mix ASAP! 😉

    I am very curious about the book, “How To Never Look Fat Again.” I will have to check that out for sure! You look so cute in that pic above!

    I also wanted to let you know that I am loving your ebook, Fit, Strong, Lean. I have learned so much from reading it! Highly motivating! 🙂 I will send a more detailed report later on. 🙂 xoxo

  4. Emily C.
    on April 15, 2014 at 5:39 pm said:

    Peanut butter is one of my top 5 favorite foods and I’ve eaten oatmeal with it and banana for breakfast more than a week running. I haven’t tried PB2 yet. Do you like both the plain and chocolate flavors? Do you use it as a substitution just in sauces/dressings or any time you’d use peanut butter? I thought I’d read that it’s not quite the same.

    I know your picture is during a transition time but have to say you look great because you look genuinely happy.

    Off to check out lots to promising links. Thanks!

    • Janae Wise
      on April 15, 2014 at 9:04 pm said:

      Hi Emily!

      I like both chocolate & plain, but like plain better. The chocolate flavor isn’t very chocolate-y–you could just add some cocoa powder to the plain & it would be the same thing (though probably better). I like to add a bit of stevia to it, if I want it sweet. It’s not quite the same as regular PB because it doesn’t have the fat that regular does, but I feel like the flavor is essentially the same. You can use it in place of regular PB in most recipes, as long as the recipe isn’t relying on the fat from the PB.

      Hope this answers your question!

      (And thank you for your kind compliment–I’m feeling pretty awesome these days, it’s true.)

  5. Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
    on April 14, 2014 at 11:21 pm said:

    Thank you for your sweet words Janae! I am so honored to have you on the blog today XOXO

  6. Heather @ The Soulful Spoon
    on April 14, 2014 at 9:01 pm said:

    What a beautiful post Joy!:) And I love the recipe too:) I just wrote today about how I view my body now versus my old dieting day beliefs. The change has been tremendous and I now see my body as not just a number on a scale, but a vessel of energy and love:) Plant-based living did that for me. Thank you for being a beacon of light that promotes this message too!:) Your blog is more of a blessing than you could know<3

  7. lfwfv
    on April 14, 2014 at 8:06 pm said:

    Thanks for sharing Janae! I always enjoy checking out the links you share 🙂