Some people start a blog to document a wedding, a baby's growth or a weight-loss journey, then fall off the writing wagon soon after the big event passes or after they reach their goal. Not Anne-Marie Nichols! She has been blogging about her favorite food trends, kitchen tips and recipes on This Mama Cooks! since 2004. In 2007, she added a nutrition focus and tacked on a few extra words to her blogs title ("on a diet"). Now the mom of two hopes to inspire her readers—and their families—to take small steps to live healthier, happier lives.
Here's what keeps Anne-Marie feeling great, inside and out:
My favorite way to work out: Reformer Pilates. I’ve fallen in love with it thanks to my wonderful instructor, Alisa at Axis of Movement. She’s helped me eliminate my lower back and sciatica pain and improve my core strength. I go twice a week and take a Pilates mat class from her, too.
I'm happiest when I'm: Meeting my health goals for the day—drinking my water, taking my vitamins, exercising, brushing and flossing, and getting eight hours of sleep.
Most embarrassing song I’ll admit I work out to: Anything by Duran Duran. I’m stuck in the ‘80s.
My fave fit snack: Larabars. They’re the only snack bar that I can eat since they’re gluten- and sugar-free.
My biggest indulgence: Cheese. Since it’s an indulgence, I splurge on local artisanal and fancy imported cheeses and try not to worry about the price per pound cost.
Speaking of indulging, Anne-Marie shared one of her favorite sweet treat recipes with us, a sugar-free, dairy-free chocolate mousse! Click below for the 411.
Anne-Marie has found creative ways to enjoy her favorite dishes, even with her gluten and dairy intolerances. This dessert fits the bill and tastes great!
One serving packs in seven grams of protein—more than is in an egg. (Photo courtesy of Anne-Marie Nichols)
- 14 ounces extra-firm silken organic tofu
- 1 teaspoon Triple Sec
- 3 ounces dark agave nectar
- 4 ½ ounces unsweetened chocolate
- ¼ cup dark agave nectar
- Cut a slit in the tofu container and carefully pour out the water.
- Remove the block of tofu and carefully place it on a pile of 4 or 5 plain paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. Gently press the tofu into the towel(s) to remove the excess water until the towel is completely damp. You may want to turn the tofu block and "blot" it on the towel(s) to remove excess water. (The more moisture you remove, the thicker your mousse.)
- Place tofu in food processor and whip until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
- Add the Triple Sec and 3 ounces of dark agave nectar and pulse to combine.
- Melt chocolate and 1/4 cup of dark agave nectar in a double boiler or in a small sauce pan or pot over very low heat. You'll find that the chocolate and agave, once completely melted, will "set up" and be the consistency of chocolate frosting.
- Remove the chocolate from the heat and add it to the tofu mixture. Process until blended and smooth. You'll need to scrape down the bowl to make sure there are no white tofu streaks in your mousse.
- Transfer mousse to parfait or sherbet glasses and serve immediately. The mousse will be about room temperature and fluffy. (Or you can refrigerate to cool. However, mousse will "set up" and be almost the consistency of cheesecake.)
Nutrition information per serving: 193 calories, 11 g fat