Chocolate Almond Butter Cookie Balls

I hope everyone had a great weekend πŸ™‚

Mine was pretty uneventful. Michael and I saw True Grit on Friday night. It took everything I had in me to not fall asleep. I was a little bored. Sorry. Saturday we went to Redstone to have dinner and Michael had a few drinks. We are friendly with the bartender there so we sat at the bar to eat. We got to talking to the guy sitting next to us, and he made a comment about how I was drinking only water. He said “Is there a story behind that?” Well, for one, it was typical for me to have a water in my hand at a bar, pregnant or not. However, I then pointed to my belly and said “6 1/2 months pregnant.” and smiled. He replied “I suspected, but thought you looked way too skinny to be pregnant…wow, 6 1/2 months!” “You look great.” Umm, hello. Loved him. It made my night. Michael tells me this all the time, and I DO kiss him for it. But it’s always nice hearing it from a complete stranger (knowing my hubby isn’t just saying it because he loves me).Β  πŸ™‚ Anyway, turns out this guy had a 3 year old daughter, and he went on to tell Michael how it was the best thing that ever happened in his life, and there was nothing like it. I know that as much as Michael used to always said he wanted a boy first, that he is so thrilled to have a “daddy’s girl”Β  on the way. He is going to be an unbelievable father.

I have been feeling a little “lazy” lately. Even though intelligently I know I am not “lazy.” I am just slowing down. As I have said on here a few times, my workouts are getting pretty pathetic. I am also moving around much slower in general. It’s getting harder to move around, get up and down off the couch like I used to. Simple things like that. So, hearing a stranger call me “skinny” at 6 1/2 months pregnant made me feel pretty good. As shallow as that sounds. Grant it, I was sitting down, and there was a napkin on my lap πŸ˜‰

It’s justΒ  absolutely fascinating to me to see how limited my body has become. I am used to being in much better shape, and it’s almost like I took for granted being able to do all the things I could do before. I know it’s only a few more months until I can do those things again…but it’s just really weird for me.Β  I have been strength training and doing cardio since I was 14 years old. It’s weird when you go from being at a certain fitness level, to see it decline so much. To give myself some credit, I am still doing what I can. I am still moving. I still do 25-30 minutes of cardio a few days a week. I try to get as much strength training as I can in.Β  I just get hard on myself when I have a week where I felt like I didn’t do much. Even though I am leaving the gym feeling fatigued.Β  I compare myself to these freakishly in shape pregnant women I have seen at my gym running miles on the treadmill when they were 7 months pregnant. I am barely doing 2 miles on the elliptical in the same amount of time I used to surpass 3 1/2 miles now . It’s also rough because I have been out of my yoga class for about a month now. No class times seem to work with my schedule. I have done my DVD a few times…but honestly. I can NOT get into doing the same DVD over and over. It’s borderline torture to me. Now is when I need it the most. I am super bummed about the whole thing. I wish there were more classes available in this area. I just haven’t found one close enough, that doesn’t conflict with my schedule πŸ™

The best I can do is listen to my body with the workouts, and make sure I am still getting good nutrition:

In the juicer–


Nutrient-Packed Beet Juice

1 beet root and stems, leaves

bunch of mixed greens (collards, spinach)

2 stalks celery

1 pear

4 carrots



***Speaking of juicers…..IΒ  want to say RIP Jack Lalanne. I dedicate this juice cocktail to you. You were a fitness legend and a true inspiration. You were loved and will be missed πŸ™


I have been trying to keep a nutritious edge on my treats as well. Last night was his and hers pizza night:

I had my usual. Spinach and Goats cheese on multigrain with some caramelized onions on top.

Dessert I made an oldie but goodie that I have been craving for a while now. My raw vegan Almond Butter Chocolate Cookie Dough Balls:

These are such a tasty treats. Very simple to make, very little ingredients:

good thing I just stocked up πŸ™‚


Raw Vegan Chocolate Almond Butter Cookie Dough Balls

yields 6


1/2 Cup Raw Almond Butter

1 Tablespoon Agave (or natural sweetener of choice)

1/8 Cup Cacao Nibs

1 Tablespoon Carob Powder or Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1/2 teaspoon Sea, Celtic or Himalayan Salt

1 Pinch Cayenne Pepper

Mix is all together by hand, really well. Then scoop with a small cookie scooper onto wax paper and let set in refrigerator (or freezer if you are impatient) until a little firm.Enjoy πŸ™‚


Let me know if you try them!!!!

Lesson on Cacao:

**Cacao is chocolate is it’s original state, unprocessed, unheated, no fillers, no additives. It contains a wide array of unique properties and minerals, including high levels of magnesium. It may increase your focus and alertness and contains nutrients to keep you happy. They also contain the highest concentration of antioxidants! See more about cacao’s super-food properties here**

I am working on a healthier version of a delicious recipe….that includes chocolate and peanut butter πŸ™‚ Stay tuned!


I have places to go, and people to beat up. I will talk to ya’ll later!

What was the best thing you ate/made over the weekend?

What’s something that made you smile recently?

Have a fantastic day!


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  • Reply Lauren @ Hungry Dancer

    I get some pregnant women in my store, who I can’t even tell they are pregnant until they turn to the side! You would totally be one of them!! I just go excited because I have all the ingredients for the balls already in my house! YAY!

    January 24, 2011 at 3:21 am
  • Reply Keri

    Those cookies look great, I will have to try them…I just need to round up some of the ingredients first! Thank you for your nice comment on my blog πŸ™‚

    January 24, 2011 at 7:27 am
  • Reply Katerina

    Those cookies are fantastic. I didn’t gain too much weight during my pregnancy and when I was 9 months I looked like 6.

    January 24, 2011 at 7:53 am
    • Reply laury

      Wow. Lucky you. That’s awesome πŸ™‚

      January 24, 2011 at 12:42 pm
  • Reply Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat

    I had a ton of great eats on the weekend, including a blogger meet-up in Toronto (the subject of my post today!) and some wickedly delish salmon last night. I’m glad you had a great weekend Laury, and your story about the guy telling you that you looked to thin to be pregnant is what made me smile this morning!

    January 24, 2011 at 9:11 am
  • Reply Tweets that mention Chocolate Almond Butter Cookie Balls --

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Laury Raiken, linda goodwin. linda goodwin said: Chocolate Almond Butter Cookie Balls: I have been strength training and doing cardio since I was 14 years old. I… […]

    January 24, 2011 at 9:23 am
  • Reply Angie

    There’s nothing like a compliment from a STRANGER to make your day. In general I find that even though my man says nice things to me I like hearing it from someone us to confirm his words lol…. Sometimes Pete doesn’t say the right stuff, The other day hes like man you’re looking skinny when I was changing and he was like your boobs got a little smaller but your in such good shape. OBVIOUSLY, I teared up almost instantly, no girl wants to hear that. But in all honesty I know he just meant that I’ve been doing a great job with the workouts and have lost about 20 lbs… obviously some booby fat is gonna leave too. Just kind of pissed me off LOL… What do you do when you man makes a comment that as triggered to give you a compliment but in reality kinda pisses you off? If you know what I mean lol

    January 24, 2011 at 9:57 am
    • Reply laury

      Oh, the boobies are the first thing to go!!! I remember going from a C cup to a small A. My current condition made them grow rapidly. But I imagine after the breas feeding is over they are going to deflate πŸ™

      January 24, 2011 at 12:31 pm
  • Reply Cynthia

    Those almond butter balls look delicious!

    January 24, 2011 at 10:16 am
  • Reply thehealthyapron

    best thing I ate this weekend? BEETS! I blogged about it.

    What made me smile? Yesterday a girl at Guess kept telling me how tiny I was. I don’t think of myself as tiny but as superficial as it was…it made me feel good, especially after the email I sent you this past weekend! But ps. feeling much better since my email to you because the clothes I tried on yesterday validated that my fitness routine is working!! Yay! Numbers flumbers.

    ps. you DO look amazing! I only hope to look like you when I’m preggo!

    Have a great day!

    January 24, 2011 at 10:27 am
  • Reply Kat

    For what its worth, you are totally my role model and such an inspiriation for me. I hope I can be half as ok with my body as you are when I get pregnant. I would be freaking out by now!! So no I dont think its shallow at all you felt good after a strangers compliment. You deserve one πŸ™‚

    January 24, 2011 at 10:27 am
    • Reply laury

      Thanks so much, Kat! That made me smile even more today πŸ™‚ It was my biggest fear…seeing how I would react to my body changing like this. However, I have been pleasantly surprised with myself!

      January 24, 2011 at 12:29 pm
  • Reply thehealthyapron


    January 24, 2011 at 10:28 am
  • Reply thehealthyapron

    Darn it…my post didn’t save. ok one more time…

    I tried beets and love them! I blogged about it!

    Smile: Yesterday the gal helping me at guess kept telling me I was so tiny. I don’t think of myself as tiny but made me feel really good (I know superficial but who doesn’t like being told they are thin?) ps. the clothes I tried on yesterday validated that my fitness routine is working!! numbers flumbers!

    pps. you look amazing!! That guy at the bar was totally right! I hope to look as good as you when I’m preggo!

    ppps. almond balls will be made soon!

    January 24, 2011 at 10:31 am
    • Reply laury

      Not superficial. Anyone that says they are not flattered by a stranger complimenting them is lying! Physical beauty doesn’t measure self worth and all…but I think it’s only human to feel especially when it is physical compliment. Scorn me for saying it πŸ˜‰

      January 24, 2011 at 12:28 pm
  • Reply Kristina @ Life as Kristina

    That juice-I love the color! PIzza with goat cheese? yes please and chocolate covered almond balls-genius!

    January 24, 2011 at 10:35 am
  • Reply Shanna, like Banana

    It’s always wonderful to receive a compliment. And you do look FAB!

    January 24, 2011 at 11:15 am
  • Reply Leashieloo

    Hurray for Dough Balls! And I saw the new about Jack, this morning πŸ™ At least he lived a LONG, full and healthy life!

    January 24, 2011 at 11:25 am
  • Reply susan

    Yum yum, can’t wait for the recipe for chocolate peanut butter dough balls, I’ll be in heaven with them and probably put on a few pounds! I didn’t have a great weekend, I worked all weekend but it was okay and had a few laughs in work. I’m smiling now because I have a date next Saturday night!! Can’t wait to tell you all next Sunday.

    January 24, 2011 at 12:51 pm
    • Reply laury

      Ohhhhh!!! How exciting!!! I can’t wait to hear about it πŸ™‚

      And the bon bons will be a “healthier” version. I will break it down so you won’t make a lot to over eat πŸ™‚

      January 24, 2011 at 1:05 pm
  • Reply Mary @ Bites and Bliss

    Those cookie dough balls looks so freaking delicious!! And how nice of that bartnender to compliment your figure. πŸ™‚ I only pray to not turn into a whale whenever I’m prengnant lmho. And yeah, it must be kind of tough not being able to do all the workouts you’re used to..but like you said, only a few more months and you’ll be back into it. Plus..back ot the bartender, it’s not like you’re really suffering from it! πŸ™‚

    January 24, 2011 at 12:53 pm
  • Reply Julie (A Case of the Runs)

    I know the feeling of fighting to stay awake during a movie. I am guilty of falling asleep during a few and feel SO bad because obviously we paid for my ticket.

    I’m also sad about Jack’s passing… he did push-ups on his fingertips! I’m glad he lived a long, healthy life. I am not sure I’d want to hang around that long, but if I am as healthy as he was… why not?

    January 24, 2011 at 12:56 pm
  • Reply Katie

    Random stranger compliments are so much better than coming from family. It should be the other way around, shouldn’t it? Those are the ones that you remember the longest though. πŸ™‚

    January 24, 2011 at 1:00 pm
  • Reply Caree @ Fit-Mama

    Curious what is the best juicer to buy?? One that is good but not super expensive? Also, curious what your drink tasted like??

    And yum those almond balls look awesome!

    January 24, 2011 at 1:07 pm
    • Reply laury

      I have the Jack Lalanne power juicer. RIP, Jack πŸ™ I like it a lot!

      I don’t know how to describe the taste of the juice?? I am bad at descriptions. It wasn’t very sweet…I like the combo. Carrots always give juice a nice flavor, no matter what the mix. I find.

      January 24, 2011 at 1:10 pm
  • Reply Kathleen @ Kat's Health Corner

    Those Chocolate Almond Butter Cookie Balls are calling my name!!! πŸ˜€ They look so good!

    January 24, 2011 at 2:19 pm
  • Reply Kathleen @ Kat's Health Corner

    I love this post!! One thing that made me smile recently was reading your lesson on cacoa. So many nutrients! Yum!

    January 24, 2011 at 2:21 pm
  • Reply Jennifer @ Evolving Well

    One thing I must say is this…. I’ve realized lately from my own personal health work that I need to make room for my own exhaustion in my life. I was saying to a friend, jokingly “I need to make room for Tired at the table.” But it’s sooo true. So, honor your energy levels and, as Nicole or any other yoga teacher would tell you, do not compare yourself to others. Yoga teaches us that what is of our greatest concern is that happening on only our own mat. So, just take that idea out into the world with you and apply it. I’ve def found it helpful for myself.

    January 24, 2011 at 2:23 pm
    • Reply Laury

      Jen, you really need to start teaching prenatal yoga…like… week πŸ˜‰

      January 24, 2011 at 11:25 pm
  • Reply Eschelle

    your pizza sounds amazing I really need to get myself some goat’s cheese now lol!!

    January 24, 2011 at 2:50 pm
  • Reply Morgan

    Hello cute prego…The raw almond chocolate balls look so yummy! I make similar things to those sometimes and they never last long!
    Thanks for the report on True Grit. I will pass on it! πŸ™‚

    January 24, 2011 at 2:59 pm
  • Reply Laura

    I was sooo bummed to hear about Jack Lalanne late last night. Very sad, but such a good health role model.

    Your beet juice looks soooooo good.

    January 24, 2011 at 3:44 pm
  • Reply Sophia @ Raven Waves

    I don’t really have any desire to see True Grit. I’m not surprised you almost fell asleep haha! Don’t worry if you’re slowing down. I’m sure it’s getting too be pretty difficult to move now πŸ˜‰ But you still look great! Love the spinach and goat cheese pizza! YUM! The best thing I made were pb and chocolate kiss cookies this weekend. Something that made me smile was my boyfriend saying I looked beautiful, little compliments like that make my day!

    January 24, 2011 at 3:53 pm
  • Reply Kace

    It’s nice that he didn’t just assume you were pregnant or make a comment without asking, thats super awkward! But you’re right, a compliment from a stranger absolutely makes your day!

    January 24, 2011 at 3:54 pm
    • Reply laury

      It does!! I just noticed your avatar….LOVE IT πŸ™‚

      January 25, 2011 at 3:13 pm
  • Reply Shayla

    Compliments like that are the best….especially when they come at the right time!

    I just have to tell you that you’re absolutely gorgeous and make for a very beautiful pregnant woman. I really enjoy following your blog since hubby and I will start trying for a baby this summer….like you I am very much into fitness and nutrition and love exercising! I can only imagine how hard it will be when you know and feel that you need to slow down….but you’re taking such a healthy approach to it and it’s very inspiring.

    I too have seen those pregnant woman at the gym and wonder if I’ll be able to keep up like that and I can’t help but worry if I won’t be able to. That’s why I love your healthy perspective to listen to your body and get good nutrition…a growing healthy baby is the number one priority and that will happen if you put your health first. I’ll remember this post and thank you for being so honest about your feelings, it truly helps all us women out here and it’s so inspiring to read. You and Tina from FFF are very inspiring women, thank you! πŸ™‚

    January 24, 2011 at 4:07 pm
    • Reply laury

      Hey Shayla! What a sweet comment! Thank you so much or taking the time to leave such a kind note on my blog. I can only hope to inspire others out there. It means the world to me! πŸ™‚

      Yes, listening to your body is key. As tough as it is to not compare myself to others as far as the workouts go, baby comes first!!! I thought I was going to be a rockstar with my workouts until the end. But you know what, it’s ok. I am doing the best I can…and still able to do a lot more than some pregnant women who unfortunately get many restrictions. Thanks again for your amazing comment, and have fun trying!!!

      January 24, 2011 at 5:27 pm
  • Reply Maryann

    It must have been nice to get that compliment! I love getting compliment from other guys just for a little ego boost every once in a while and Im not even pregnant πŸ™‚ Sounds like youre doing an awesome job of getting workouts in…wayyy more than most people would in your position! Keep it up and have a great week! πŸ™‚

    January 24, 2011 at 4:53 pm
  • Reply Jess@atasteofconfidence

    Don’t be hard on yourself- I am sure you are doing so much better than other pregnant women and you are so close to being back to your normal self:)

    The best thing I ate was thai food!

    January 24, 2011 at 5:11 pm
  • Reply Hayley

    Try not to be hard on yourself! Everyone is different, and your body is responding differently to pregnancy than those other women you might see at the gym. Pregnancy involves a lot of significant changes in your body and it makes sense that you are not doing all of the things you used to! Just remember that you are doing what is healthy for you and your baby- listening to your body is a good thing! πŸ™‚

    January 24, 2011 at 7:36 pm
  • Reply Kris |

    Awwww, how cute was this guy you met at the bar! You Do loo fab for 6 1/2 months, i hope I can look as good as you when pregnancy strikes!

    I am a huge fan of dessert balls πŸ˜‰ I will get these going very soon! Anything small like this, I ate wayyyy to fast…….and often 😐


    January 24, 2011 at 8:13 pm
  • Reply Jennifer (She's a Fit Chick)

    You should NOT beat yourself up about your fitness levels. If it makes you feel better, I have been doing TERRIBLE with my fitness stuff the past few months and I don’t have a good excuse like a baby in the belly πŸ™‚ Just the fact that you are still working out is amazing. You are awesome and don’t forget that! πŸ™‚

    January 24, 2011 at 8:35 pm
  • Reply Stefanie

    For what it’s worth, I think you are the cutest mama ever! And you are doing right by your body and your baby girl by eating healthy and staying active!

    And oh my yum, I can’t wait to try those balls!! πŸ™‚

    January 24, 2011 at 8:39 pm
  • Reply Alexandra (Veggin' Out in the Kitchen)

    I love cookie dough – it’s the only reason I ever make cookies πŸ˜‰ Yours look amazing, and much more healthy than traditional cookie dough! πŸ™‚

    January 24, 2011 at 9:18 pm
  • Reply Tiffany @ Simply Shaka

    RIP in Jack. I hate the people commenting on the news sites saying “Well, why be healthy, you’re going to die anyways” pisses me off. He was truly an inspiration for all ages!

    I just did a post of everything that made me smile today, too funny.

    True Grit is supposed to be great but it looks meh. I’m not a fan of the Coen brothers movies, too dark for me. I want to laugh or be in suspense when watching a flick.

    No Munchie pic?? πŸ™

    Hope your preggy self rests and relaxes. I can’t imagine going from a certain regime or active lifestyle to not so much anymore. I am sure baby girl will be worth it though πŸ™‚

    January 24, 2011 at 9:53 pm
  • Reply Courtney F

    OOOH I loved those comments! I know it made your day!
    It is truly amazing how pregnancy does affect your body.

    January 24, 2011 at 10:02 pm
  • Reply Charlie

    I really have to buy some almond butter. I tried it once and didn’t like it but it was when I didn’t like natural PB either. Now that I do, I would probably love natural almond butter too ;).

    January 25, 2011 at 12:04 am
  • Reply Alisa Fleming

    I have to admit, I was so surprised at the high praise and reviews True Grit got as I almost fell asleep in it too! Decent movie, but nothing spectacular. Good to know I’m not alone.

    Once you have that little baby, your last worries will be about your body. Plus, you will be back to your old tricks in no time!

    Love how those cookie dough balls look like little scoops of ice cream!

    January 25, 2011 at 1:41 pm
  • Reply Laura

    I’m definitely trying those Cookie Dough Balls tonight. I’ve had Strep Throat all weekend and couldn’t eat anything… so I’m salivating just thinking about those.

    Thanks for continually tempting me… with healthy food! {seriously, if everyone saw amazing food, like you post, on TV and on billboards, the world would be a much thinner, healthier and happier place because they wouldn’t be able to pass these things up.} Thanks for always treating my taste buds!

    January 25, 2011 at 3:08 pm
    • Reply laury

      Awww, that is a bummer! Hope you feel better! Let me know how they turn out. And thanks so much for the great comment πŸ™‚

      January 25, 2011 at 4:14 pm
  • Reply Hey, Big Tuna

    […] is everyone today??? So glad you all liked my Raw Vegan Almond Butter Dough Balls yesterday! Please let me know if you try them! They are super easy to make! Also, thank you for such […]

    January 25, 2011 at 3:10 pm
  • Reply Melissa

    wahoo…love comments that make you feel pumped up!
    As I have never been pregnant I don’t know from first hand experience the change as pregnancy progresses. I know that I would probably feel the same way:) You are doing more than any of the people in my family did when they were pregnant (and I have a big family!!!). You are such a great example of what being healthy means…no matter what is going on!
    Just know you are doing a hang in there!!

    January 26, 2011 at 6:06 pm
  • Reply Jennifer (The Gourmetour)

    I’m making these as we speak!!!!
    I didnt have the nibs so I mashed frozen 70% cacao Ghiradelli chips. I also did 1/4cup almond butter, 1/4cup Justin’s Maple Almond Butter.. just for a little something extra. They’re setting now (in the freezer haha!) so I will let you know how they taste!

    May 26, 2011 at 9:36 pm
    • Reply laury

      Awesome!!! Hope you like them…I’m obsessed! The cayenne is my trick so I don’t eat the whole batch πŸ˜‰

      May 26, 2011 at 11:19 pm
  • Reply Heather

    These are Delish, but I’m wondering what the calorie content is on these. Can someone tell me please? THANK YOU! πŸ™‚

    March 14, 2012 at 6:44 pm
    • Reply laury

      I’m not big on calorie counting but from the recipe there’s approx 120 per ball? I focus more on the protein and healthy fat πŸ™‚ and recently I revamped this recipe to make it even tastier and lower in sugar and calories so check back in a week πŸ™‚

      March 14, 2012 at 10:13 pm
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