Category: Snacks

Paleo & Gluten-Free Chocolate Cherry Loaf with Toasted Coconut

Paleo & Gluten-Free Chocolate Cherry Loaf with Toasted Coconut

Can you believe thanksgiving is ALREADY right around the corner?! I swear one week we were hitting low 70’s in October and the next thing I knew, I’m breaking out the parka jacket and cranking the heat in my car. Instead of complaining about the cold (which I’ve already done a fair share of LOL), I’m doing my best to embrace the “colder” days with open arms. How? BAKING. Now, if you know me, I’m not much of a baker. I hate following meausurements which typically gets me in trouble anytime I try to bake and “eyeball” how much flour or baking soda to add.

However, if you catch me in RARE form, I occasionally get the itch to bake, mostly because I’m craving something sweet, warm, and healthy to have on hand for dessert. Otherwise, I can promise you, I will not be baking just for FUN 🙂  In order to make baking more enjoyable for me, it’s super essential that I always have some staple baking ingredients on hand. Bobs Red Mill has ALWAYS been one of my go-to’s. Thanks to a recent delivery I got from them, I’m now ALL stocked up and ready to take the winter by storm (no pun intended)!

If you dread going outside in the dead of winter, I recommend having a few of the following staples on hand which you can always use interchangeably!

Flours/Powders all from Bob’s Red Mill:

Coconut flour, almond flour, buckwheat flour, ground flax meal, carob or cacao powder, shredded unsweetened coconut, gluten-free oats (blend in food processor to make oat flour)

Additional Baking Staples:

Refined sugar-free sweetener of choice (maple syrup, honey, date nectar, coconut nectar, organic vanilla bean); Coconut oil; Baking Powder; Eggs; Cinnamon; Himalayan Salt; and Almond Butter, Apple Sauce, or Mashed Banana as a thickener

Now to this recipe that I think will please EVERYONE at your thanksgiving gathering!

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Dry Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Buckwheat Flour
  • 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour
  • 1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill Carob powder (or can substitute with cacao powder)
  • 1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill ground Flax Seed Meal
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp himalayan salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Primal Palate Gingersnap seasoning

Wet Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup creamy almond butter (Whole Foods no salt/sugar added)
  • 1/3 cup d’vash organics date nectar (honey or maple syrup work well too!)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup organic apple sauce
  • ¼ cup melted coconut oil
  • ½ cup mashed banana (~ 1 medium banana)
  • 1 cup pitted cherries (I used frozen cherries and defrosted them in microwave / then drained extra liquid)

Additional/Optional Toppings:

  • Bob’s Red Mill Unsweetened Shredded Coconut (if you like the taste of toasted coconut, I totally recommend this!)
  • Dairy-Free Chocolate Chips
  • Crushed Walnuts or Pecans

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Directions:

Set oven to 350 degrees farenheit. Coat a tin loaf pan with either coconut oil or parchment paper. (I used a 10 1/2″ x 5 1/4″ x 3″ metal loaf pan).

In a large bowl, mix all of your dry ingredients will with a fork. Set this aside and grab a separate bowl to mix all of your wet ingredients (EXCEPT FOR THE CHERRIES) together. Blend very well. You can then combine your dry ingredients into your bowl of wet ingredients. Again, blend very well so that everything is evenly dispersed. Finally, fold the cherries (and optional chocolate chips or crushed nuts) into the batter. Mix well.

Pour batter evenly into loaf pan. Sprinkle with shredded coconut (and/or optional crushed nuts). Bake in oven for 45-50 minutes (or longer if necessary). Top should be a little hard when done and you should be able to stick a fork in the center without it coming back all gooey!

Let cool for 10-20 minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy!!

 

This post is not paid for by Bob’s Red Mill. I received free product and that is it. I simply just love their products and would use them in baking regardless!
Baked Butternut Squash, Apple, & Date Skillet Oatmeal

Baked Butternut Squash, Apple, & Date Skillet Oatmeal

Happy November guys!!

November is one of my FAVORITE months for multiple reasons. First of all, early November in New England has got to be the prettiest for fall foliage. Secondly, it’s my birthday month (hehe). Lastly, it’s THANKSGIVING and who doesn’t love shoving your face until you quite literally, can’t fit anything else in your stomach? …EVEN if you TRIED. Yep, November is a pretty damn GREAT month to celebrate. And what better way to celebrate than with a tasty, fall-inspired recipe just in time for the holidays?!

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Honestly, it feels like it’s been forever since I’ve posted a recipe on the blog. I’m really excited about this one because butternut squash and dates are my absolute favorites. This recipe is REFINED-SUGAR free yet irresistibly and naturally so sweet! Your tastebuds will be dancing for joy after devouring this one. I promise! And if you’re thanksgiving dinners are anything like mine, this will be a nice, HEALTHY dessert amongst all the sugary pumpkin and pecan pies! Or if you have a sweet tooth like I do in the morning, this makes for a perfect breakfast snack when you’re on-the-go!

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I’m really excited about a new product that I included in this recipe. I’m constantly looking for healthier, low-glycemic, and refined sugar free sweeteners. I was introduced to D’Vash Organics,  a 100% organic, California-date nectar. It’s vegan, non-GMO, and believe it or not, has 25% less sugar than honey! Honey typically is about 16 grams of sugar per TBSP, while D’Vash is 12 grams of sugar per TBSP, making it a REALLY great low-glycemic alternative similar to maple syrup, coconut sugar, and honey. I also love the unique flavor it adds. I’ve always said dates are natures candy and this sweetener NAILED it.

Use code ‘EATRUN‘ for 20% off your D’Vash Organics orders!


Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped butternut squash (I prefer to buy it already cut at Whole Foods to IMG_7732save me cooking time)
  • 2 cups Gluten-Free Quick Oats (I prefer Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 2 cups Cashew milk (I used the brand Pacific)
  • 1 TBSP cinnamon
  • 1 TBSP ghee (I prefer the madagascar vanilla bean ghee from fourth&heart)
  • 3 TBSP D’Vash Organic Date Nectar
  • Pink Himalayan Salt (just a few shakes)
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup organic (no sugar added) apple sauce
  • Raw pecans

Directions:

First, you’ll want to pre-roast the butternut squash. Set your oven to 415 degrees. Coat the butternut squash in coconut oil, cinnamon, and a little bit of Himalayan salt. Place on a baking sheet (lightly coated in coconut oil as well) and bake for about 35 minutes or until squash is soft.

After you remove your squash from the oven, lower the heat down to 350 degrees. Mash 1 cup of the butternut squash together. In a cast iron or oven-safe skillet, heat 1 tbsp of ghee over the stove top on LOW heat. Once the ghee has melted, add in ALL ingredients including the butternut squash, the 2 cups each of oats and milk, cinnamon, date nectar, apple sauce, and egg.

Stir evenly with a whisk until it is all well blended. Feel free to add a few, light shakes of the Himalayan salt. After about 2-3 minutes, remove from heat. Option to sprinkle pecans on top. And then place in the oven and let cook for about 30-40 minutes or until the top is a light golden brown. Make sure to cut a small indent before removing from the oven to ensure it’s cooked fully through (shouldn’t be overly soft or mushy).

Once finished, remove from oven and let cool for about 20 minutes before serving. Option to top with sautéed apples or blueberries, ice cream, yogurt, or even smothered in peanut butter or coconut butter!

Don’t forget to use code ‘EATRUN‘ for 20% off your D’Vash Organics orders!

XOXO,

CAL

 

Top 3 Products for When You’re on-the-go (+ Life Updates)!

Top 3 Products for When You’re on-the-go (+ Life Updates)!

Hi friends!

Hope your week is off to a great start! Before I dive into today’s blog post, I wanted to share a few life-updates with you! PS – I feel like I’m always sharing drastic updates LOL. It’s NEVER DULL around here. Soo a few things – I just wrapped up my first FULL farmers market season for BerryGood Bliss – I can’t believe how quickly the time flew by. It’s been such a whirlwind and I’m SO pleased that people even LIKE my product! My goal this summer was to get my brand out there, test my products and see if people even enjoyed it (which luckily is a success!), make meaningful connections, and of course strategize next steps in the business plan to continue to grow BerryGood. As I’ve mentioned previously, starting a business like this adds up financially (BIG TIME). I’m so glad I took the time that I did to go all-in and build the brand. I know had I been working full-time during this period, I would have continued to put it off and not give it a 110%.

That being said, I’m being realistic in knowing that I can’t continue to support my current lifestyle (personal/housing, social, and business expenses) in the way that I am at the moment. Part of having a passion project like BerryGood is knowing that at times, you’ll need to HUSTLE big time and likely be working twice as hard to make ends meet. I’m fortunate enough to have found a part-time HR position (HR is the field I worked in prior to leaving my corporate job) that will allow me to work flexible hours (20-25 hrs a week) in order to balance both work and BerryGood. This new lifestyle will definitely be a challenge for me at first – learning how to find some kind of balance between work, my social life, my blog, fitness, and so on. However, I’m trying to look at this as an exciting time in my life and ready to take on new challenges with a SMILE. So that’s pretty much the BIGGEST change in my life right now. Oh and ps I’ve also decided to pursue my CorePower Sculpt teacher training (because I can just never be satisfied not having free time HAHA). But in all seriousness, this is something I’ve always wanted to do and timing worked out well on my end/the commitment for this training is very doable. So will keep you guys posted there!


Moving on to some of my favorite products that I always have on hand whether I’m traveling on vacation, going away for a quick weekend getaway, spending the night at my moms or dads house, or just out of the apartment for the day! I tend to have a “firey” metabolism and if I’m hungry, but without anything to hold me over, things can get ugly (aka HANGER strikes at its best and you can ask Justin, it’s certainly not a pretty sight). Lastly, none of the below is sponsored. This is simply all my own, un-biased opinion!

1) Protein Bar

As much as I love switching up my bars, I always seem to revert back to RxBar as my snack of choice. Why? Because their ingredients truly are no BS.

  • High in Protein
  • Vegetarian Friendly
  • No funky protein powder ingredients (aka casein + WPC, skim milk/milk powders, soy protein, vegetable oils, gluten, dextrin/glucose, soy protein, artificial sweeteners, etc.)
  • No added sugars
  • No Soy
  • No Gluten
  • TASTES DELISH!

The main ingredients in RxBars include: egg whites (high in protein, no cholesterol, & easily absorbed into the body) + dates (which help to bind & act as a natural sweetener) + nuts (for texture, healthy fats, & sustained energy).

PS – my favorite flavors include: Peanut Butter, Maple Sea Salt, Chocolate Sea Salt, and Mint-Chocolate.


2) Collagen Peptides

Collagen has been a STAPLE in my diet for almost the past year. I’ve truly noticed differences in my skin first and foremost, as well as my hair, nails, gut-health, better sleeps, joint/muscle recovery, and not to mention, it makes my lattes EXTRA frothy!

My go-to collagen is Vital Proteins and I LOVE that they sell individual serving sizes for when you’re on-the-go. These have been essential for traveling. I simply add it right into my warm coffee or tea and it dissolves instantly and is flavorless.

3) Elixirs

I never used to be a “beverage” person, but oddly enough, in the past year, I’ve been craving warm, nurturing beverages like golden milk (turmeric & black pepper + warm coconut milk), coffee & tea of course, and hot coco. I recently have fallen in love with the products from Four Sigmatic. Their goal is to “make drinking mushrooms and superfoods delicious and easy-to-do with their Mushroom Coffees, Mushroom Superfood Blends, and Mushroom Elixirs”.

Lately, I’ve been REALLY into their Mushroom Hot Cacao with Cordyceps. I’ll heat up either almond milk or coconut milk and then pour the contents in my mug, stir, and enjoy! It makes for the perfect night-capper, especially when I’m craving something warm & chocolatey. Plus the added benefits of the superfood mushroom AND the fact that it comes in an individually sealed bag for convenience makes these products that much better.


Look out for a similar blog post in the future! I certainly have a few more products I always rely on for when I’m on-the-go, but wanted to be mindful of this post getting too lengthy! 🙂

Raw Vegan Cookie Almond Butter Chocolate Cup

Raw Vegan Cookie Almond Butter Chocolate Cup

I realize the title is quite obviously a run-on sentence but after creating this mouthwatering treat, I struggled trying to find any words to describe all of these BOMB flavors in one bite. So here you have it! I find it’s nutty chewy inside similar to a raw/vegan dessert bar, but it’s outside chocolatey moist layer to reflect the same taste you have when biting into a peanut butter chocolate cup. This dessert was one of those random experimental, “let’s throw everything in a food processor and see what happens” moments, and lo and behold – it turned out to be #1 boyfriend approved (which let’s be honest, anything that’s identified as a “vegan dessert” tends to be shut down immediately as he grabs for his box of girl scout thin mints). See below for details!

What you’ll need:

  • Tart tin (I used frieling tart pans) / but a bread tin or cupcake tin will work just fine as well!
  • Parchment Paper

For the bottom layer “raw cookie”:

  • 1/2 cup soaked & then drained cashews (soaked for ~ 1 hour)
  • 3 dates
  • 2 TBSP almond butter (I used justins vanilla almond butter)
  • 2 TBSP almond flour (via Bobs Red Mill)
  • 1 TBSP unsweetened shredded coconut
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon & himalayan pink sea salt
  • 1 tsp organic vanilla
  • 1 tsp organic maple syrup

For the the chocolate layer / recipe inspired via: The Coconut Mama

  • 1/3 cup and 2 TBSP coconut oil
  • 2 TBSP coconut butter
  • 2/3 cup cacao powder
  • 1/3 cup organic maple syrup
  • 1 tsp organic vanilla

Directions:

Throw all “bottom layer/raw cookie” ingredients together in a food processor until well-blended. Crust should look a bit crumbly and will feel sticky enough to mold together in tin. Line each tin with a square of parchment paper. Each tin can be filled with about 2 heaping TBSP of the raw cookie layer. See below picture for visual details. Put in freezer and let sit for about an hour.

Once your crust has hardened in the freezer for about an hour, you can begin to prepare the chocolate layer. In a large saucepan, melt the coconut oil & coconut butter on low heat. Once melted, add in the remaining ingredients & mix well for about 30 seconds to a min. Remove from heat and spread evenly over each of the bottom cookie layers. Once your chocolate is evenly spread throughout, sprinkle some extra shredded coconut on top and place in freezer. These treats can be eaten after sitting in the freezer for about another hour or until there is a hard shell formed. Once that process is complete, you should easily be able to remove the entire dessert from the parchment paper and place into an air tight container. Store in freezer otherwise chocolate may melt. Oh and feel free to drizzle with EXTRA Peanut Butter because WHY NOT?!

Heavenly Nut Butter Flavor Combo’s from Jem Organics

Heavenly Nut Butter Flavor Combo’s from Jem Organics

You know a product is all that it’s made out to be, when you see every influential health & nutrition blogger post about it daily. The product I’m referring to today, is Jem Organics -handcrafted in Oregon, blending high-quality almonds from Spain into delicious and unique nut butter flavors for all to enjoy. Upon receiving the package, I opened it up to find the cutest little bite-size jars full of creamy nut butters. From Cinnamon Red Maca, to sweet & spicy Cashew Cardamom, to Superberry Maqui Camu, and their savory Cashew Curry Tahini – I was sold.

Those of you who know me well, know that I can’t keep my hands out of the almond butter jar. Obviously, these mini jars didn’t last too long in my kitchen, but they most certainly added a heightened flavor profile to each dish that was lucky enough to be drizzled by some Jem organics.

So how can you get your hands on one of these exclusively tasty jars of Jem Organics nut butter? Check out their website at Jem Raw and explore their flavor options! P.S. If you sign up, you get 25% off your first order – WOO!

Once you’re stocked up – try out some of the below recipe options for some EXTREMELY DELICIOUS and JAZZY nut butter layering.

Zoodles, Sweet Potatoes, Beets, Sauerkraut, a Fried Egg, Crispy Chickpeas, Avocado all topped with Jem Organics Cashew Curry Tahini
Coconut Yogurt topped with Caramelized Apples & Banana, Granola, Goji berries, Bee Pollen, & Jem Organics Cinnamon Red Maca Almond Butter

Goji Blueberry Modern Oats topped off with Jem Organics Superberry Maqui Camu Almond Butter
Chocolate Chip Coconut Pancakes layered with Jem Organics Cinnamon Red Maca Almond Butter

Everything you need to know about Turmeric & Tips on Adding it into you Daily Diet!

Everything you need to know about Turmeric & Tips on Adding it into you Daily Diet!

If you follow me on Instagram @eatrunandallinbetween , you’ve likely seen me post about turmeric at least once a day and may be wondering, what is all of this hype around turmeric? Let me fill ya in!

It started with a podcast I listened to on Rich Roll (of course), while interviewing Dr. Rhonda Patrick. Rhonda is CRAZY smart and so interesting to listen to. If you’re looking to get your GEEK on, I’d definitely recommend checking out either interviews with Rhonda or some of her own personal video’s she shares on various topics. Her resume is QUITE long, so rather than me trying to summarize it, I’ll send you to this link! Anyhow, during the podcast with Rich Roll, she went in PRETTY deep on turmeric and curcumin. She explained in depth on why anti-inflammatory foods are SO important for the mind and body – turmeric being one of the most critical sources for anti-inflammatories.

Before I go into the research I’ve found, a quick disclaimer is that I’m NOT a registered dietician nor am I practicing in any field of nutrition, medicine, or holistic medicine. This is purely information I’ve found and have been hearing about for quite a while now, which is why I wanted to share this with you…but more importantly, inspire you with ideas on how to incorporate turmeric into your diet!

Research is now proving to us why adding yellow spice to your daily meals is a HUGE benefit. There have even been studies showing the potential possibility of incorporating turmeric into your diet to help prevent dementia (i.e. Alzheimer’s) and certain cancer. According to the article by bodyandsoul , “Cancer researcher Ralph W. Moss believes so. He says turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory, it inhibits the growth of new blood vessels in tumours and it’s a powerful antioxidant.”

To break it down a bit further for you – Turmeric contains a chemical called curcumin, which is a member of the ginger family and extremely powerful in its benefits. You may hear turmeric and curcumin used interchangeably. Curcumin is high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Because of these two factors, there is strong evidence that suggests the following can be preventable by incorporating turmeric (or if you can find a supplement with purely curcumin) in your diet.

-Alzheimer’s Disease – According to Alzheimers Society, they say that “curcumin has been shown to break down amyloid-beta plaques in lab-based studies.”
-Can help to prevent Cancer – again, coming back to the chemical curcumin, there have been studies done on animals, showing how it could help in “either reducing the number or size of tumours or the percentage of animals who developed them”.
-Anti-Inflammatories – as mentioned above, the most powerful factor in combatting inflammation is by incorporating curcumin into your diet. Try swapping out your ibuprofen next time for a daily dose of turmeric and see if you notice a decrease in headaches after consistent consumption!
-Arthritis – Because of curcumin’s high ant-inflammatory characteristics, there have been studies done showing an improvement with those experiencing arthritis or other variations of joint pain.
-Improved Brain Function – when curcumin is eaten in combination with healthy fats, signs of improved brain function have been shown according to Positive HealthWellness.

These are just to name a few. Again, I have no background in medicine, so if you’re interested in learning more, check out some of the hyperlinks I added in the above paragraphs.

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Alright, so for the fun stuff – how can you start incorporating turmeric into your diet?

  • Add it your Quinoa or any grain you typically cook with. Usually I’ll make a huge pot of quinoa on Sunday to use throughout my meals for that week.

Directions: I’ll add 1 cup of quinoa & two cups of water into the pot. I’ll also add a LOT of turmeric spice, some cumin, and onion powder to the pot. I’ll then cook the quinoa as I normally would – bringing it to a boil, then letting it sit on low heat for 15 – 20 mins. I love adding my spice early on in the recipe so that my quinoa cooks with it and absorbs all of the tasty flavors!

  • Roasted Veggies – Most of you know my meal prep also consists with roasting a crap ton of veggies on Sunday. I personally love to sprinkle turmeric on my roasted cauliflower with a little bit of curry spice as well. Obviously turmeric tastes great on all veggies, but cauliflower is my fave!
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    P.S. – turmeric does have a tendancy to stain – so either cover your baking sheet in aluminum foil or use a baking sheet you’re not terribly tied to ☺
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  • Add it your bullet proof coffee. On days when I work from home, I make a pot of coffee. Then I add about a mug full of coffee to my nutribullet, I’ll add a TBSP of coconut oil, a TBSP of non-dairy creamer (loving the califa coconut milk one lately), add a sprinkle of cinnamon, TURMERIC, and honey. Blend for 30 seconds, then pour into a mug. It’s like your own, at home frothy latte, but with way more benefits 😉

  • Another hot trend is “golden MYLK”. If you’re not up for crafting your own golden milk, Rebbl has their own delicious flavor to chose from and can usually be found at your nearest Whole Foods or other organic markets. Otherwise, check out this 5 minute, tasty recipe from the Wellness Mama. Enjoy!
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  • Make an egg scramble with it! Add a tsp of turmeric to your usual go-to egg recipe – so delicious and an easy way to get your daily dose in!

  • Add it to a stew or soup!
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Lastly, Make a Face Mask! If you just can’t get enough of turmeric, try using it as a face mask! This helps with “dullness” and can help clear scars, acne, and other inflammation. However, I will warn you, you may come off looking like you just went for a spray tan 😉 That being said, the slightly orange tint will fade after 2-3 face washes!

Directions: You can either add it to one of your own face mask remedies or you can make your own concoction by mixing a tablespoon of turmeric with either a TBSP of fresh cream & a TBPS of whole flour; a TBSP or 2 of yogurt, or of course any facial moisturizer you have on hand. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes before washing off.

Vegan and Gluten-Free Pumpkin Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Cookies

Vegan and Gluten-Free Pumpkin Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Cookies

Who else craves freshly baked cookies (requiring minimum effort) on a rainy football Sunday?! If so, I have the perfect recipe for you – completely vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free! These cookies are entirely guilt free and will be sure to cure that sweet-tooth of yours!

These cookies were inspired by the Wild Friends Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter after I purchased not just one, but the pack of THREE from Amazon Prime (Amazon Prime was clearly designed for impulsive shoppers like myself). I should have known how dangerous of a purchase this would be, but hey, I was in the moment and like every other basic chic during fall, I was in need of pumpkin spice everything.
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So fast forward to me finding every possible way of not spooning the entire jar of peanut butter into my mouth, I decided baking with it was the next best thing.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2/3 cup of gluten-free oats (Bob’s Red Mill is my go-to)
  • 1/3 cup of Wild Friends pumpkin spice peanut butter (feel free to substitute with ANY nut butter of choice)
  • 1/4 cup organic pureed pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp of cinnamon & pumpkin pie spice
  • 3 to 4 (heaping) TBSP of Enjoy Life Foods Dairy Free Chocolate Chips
  • Coconut Oil (to coat your baking sheet)

The apple sauce & pumpkin can be used interchangeably – for example – if you have no applesauce, just double your pumpkin to a 1/2 cup & vice versa!

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Directions:

Set your oven to 325 degrees fahrenheit. Meanwhile, in a large food processor, add all of your ingredients EXCEPT for the chocolate chips & coconut oil. Blend well to a thick consistency (it’s okay if it’s a little chunky)! Add in your chocolate chips & blend for just a few seconds in order to spread the chocolate chips evenly throughout the batter. Next, line a baking sheet with foil & coat lightly in coconut oil (I use a spray bottle). Finally, spoon the batter on the baking sheet in approx ~ 2 1/4 inches across per each cookie. Bake for about 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden on the top. Before indulging, let your cookies sit & cool for a few minutes once you’ve pulled them out of the oven. Enjoy!!

Best kept refrigerated!

What I love about RXBARs

What I love about RXBARs

If you follow my daily postings through my instagram account, you’ve probably noticed my latest obsession with rxbars. What I love about these bars (and you’ll easily find it on the packaging) – these bars have absolutely “no BS”. They’re as natural as it gets. I also love that these bars are both high in healthy fats AND high in protein. Typically if I’m lacking in my macros for protein, I’ll go for a quest bar. And on the other hand, if I’m lacking in fat, I may go for a larabar.
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RXBARs make it easy to get both in one serving! The bars contain roughly 12 grams of protein which come from both the 3 egg whites that are included in the ingredients and the nuts. The bars are rich in antioxidants, healthy fats, protein, and of course GREAT flavor to keep you full and satisfied!
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Recently, I ordered their sample pack online so that I could finally get my hands on ALL of their new, delicious flavors! Unfortunately, the only grocery store by me that carries them is Wegmans, but they only carry 3 flavors. So, being as obsessed with them as I am, I couldn’t help but purchase the sample pack.
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Their flavors now include the following: Coconut Chocolate, Blueberry, Chocolate Sea Salt, Pumpkin Spice, Peanut Butter, Coffee Chocolate, Apple Cinnamon and Mint Chocolate Chip.
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My favorites so far? In order, my top 3 would have to be …Chocolate Sea Salt taking 3rd place, Pumpkin Spice taking 2nd (legitimately tastes like pumpkin pie), and last but not least…Mint Chocolate Chip taking 1st place!
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If you can’t decide which flavor to try, my suggestion? Go for the sample pack. You are welcome!

Essentials you Should Always Have in your Kitchen

Essentials you Should Always Have in your Kitchen

When it comes to balancing food shopping and your budget – I totally get it. It’s a constant battle.

Whole Foods > Whole Pay Check?
Organic > Not Organic?
Quest bars > Kind Bars?
Almond Butter > Peanut Butter?

For me …I find that some weeks I give in to the Whole Food brain wash and buy every healthy, organic snack I see on the shelf. And some weeks, I go in with a tight budget and an even leaner grocery list. I find this balance works. Especially when you can stock up on the right essentials to save you at least a few grocery trips!

So when is it worth spending those extra few bucks on groceries when it could have gone to that new lulu sports bra you’ve been eyeing? Let me share with you my faves!

  • Chia Seeds: Lucky for you – Wegmans and Whole Foods carry these in their bulk food section! Otherwise, this product is quite popular and can be found at most health food stores or even online through Amazon Prime!
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  • Goji Berries: Again, these berries can be quite pricey – but I swear by them! They are the perfect sweet topper or can be great for snacking! Again – these can be bought in bulk or can be found in a packaged bag. Keep an eye out for sales on both these and chia seeds!
    Red dried goji berries in wooden spoon
    Red dried goji berries in wooden spoon
  • Amazing Grass Product: I’ve been using the chocolate infusion for quite some time now. You can refer to my recipe here — you’ll see I rave about all of the nutrients you’re getting in just one scoop! This brand is a bit expensive, but when it comes to spending a few extra dollars – the health return you get from 1 scoop is completely worth it!
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  • Almond Butter: I absolutely love almond butter – but let’s be honest, some of the brands like Justin’s can be a bit expensive! It’s great to splurge every now and then, but if you kill a jar of almond butter in a week like I do, it may be time to re-evaluate how much money is going into one jar! Stick to the bulk food section and make your own container of almond butter. Both Whole Foods and Wegmans have this option.
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  • Coconut Oil: I LOVE coconut oil and I now buy it in 2 forms. I have a the big jar and I have the spray kind. I’ve been able to find the spray bottle for a much cheaper price through the brand PAM.
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    Maca Powder: Again another superfood, that is on the pricier side. But here’s the good news, you only need about 2 tsps to get the nutrients you need from this green powder! So make sure you splurge on the price, but are generous with your serving size!
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  • Almond Milk: Thank god for the 2.8L of Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk that I buy. This large carton lasts forever and is most definitely one of my essentials, whether it be for smoothies, oatmeal, or just some coffee!
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  • Frozen Veggie Burgers: These are an easy, quick go-to when your in need for protein! Throw them in a salad, whip one up for dinner – whatever works! I tend to switch up the brands. So far, I’ve tried Dr. Praegers California Veggie Burgers, Amy’s California Veggie Burgers, Vegan Boca Burgers, and the Engine 2 Diet Veggie Burgers – all of which are great choices in my opinion! But the Engine 2 really spiced up my taste buds.
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  • Frozen Shrimp: Similar to the veggie burgers, these are another go to of mine. You can usually find these in bulk and they’re so quick and easy. They go perfectly in a stir-fry, with a pasta dish – you name it! Definitely worth an investment on my grocery list.
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  • Frozen Acai Packages: I buy mine from the brand Sambazon and you can now find these in the frozen food section of most grocery stores. They are great for a filling smoothie or acai bowl and can work for any meal of the day!
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Enjoy!

The Healing Powers of my MACA Green Smoothie

The Healing Powers of my MACA Green Smoothie

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Okay, so maybe I’m exaggerating a bit when I say that this smoothie has “healing powers”. Mind over matter, right? If you believe it, anything is possible!!

Ok ok, for real though, this smoothie is the answer to all of lifes problems. I’ve been a bit obsessed with this combo at the moment and I’m most certainly not ready to let it go just yet. You may be wondering, what IS it about this smoothie that makes it so wonderful?

Why Amazing Grass Chocolate Infusion?
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1 scoop of this and you’ve nailed almost of your most important nutrients >> 11 grams of plant-based protein, organic wheat grass, acai, goji, flax seed, maca, chorophyll, kale, digestive enzymes, & active culture probiotic blends are just a few of the amazing nutrients you’ll find in this powder!

Why Maca powder?

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Maca is a superfood derived from Peru. It’s healing powers include, but are not limited to energizing the body naturally, aiding in the endocrine system to help deal with stress, provides an incredible amount of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and is rich in fiber. If that didn’t sell you enough, the Peruvian warriors used the maca root to increase their strength and endurance – HECK YES!

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So what else is in this smoothie that makes it so delicious and nutritious??

Ingredients:

  • 1 Frozen Banana
  • 1/2 Avocado
  • 1 Cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (add more or less depending on how thick you like your smoothies)
  • 1 scoop of Amazing Grass Chocolate Infusion
  • 1 TBSP of Maca Powder
  • 1-2 Cups of Spinach or Kale
  • Cinnamon
  • Dash of Vanilla Stevia

–> Now Blend well – feel free to drink alone or top with some bee pollen, fruit, nuts – whatever your heart desires!

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Ooey Gooey Breakfast Bars

Ooey Gooey Breakfast Bars

For this week’s breakfast on-the-go, I was inspired by a variety of breakfast bar recipes I’ve seen on Pinterest and Instagram lately! I used a combination of various recipes found online to create these delicious bars!

Start by setting your oven to 350 degrees. Then take out a large baking sheet and coat it in coconut oil.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Very Ripe Bananas
  • 1 TBSP of Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  • 2 cups of oats
  • 2 drops of coconut stevia

Mix all of the above ingredients in a bowl together VERY well.
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– 1/2 – 1 Cup of mixed nuts (I prefer almonds, cashews, goji berries, raisins, walnuts, mulberries >> make a bulk batch of your own from whole foods or wegmans!)
– 1/2 cup blueberries
– 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
– Pumpkin Pie Spice
– 1-2 TBSP of chia seeds or flax seeds
– Cinnamon

Fold these mixed nuts and berries in gently as to not smooch or damage your delicious berries!
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Next, lay your mixture evenly across the baking sheet – this should be about 1/2 an inch in thickness (so be careful as to not make it too thin or too thick!). Finally, lightly coat your layer of oats in cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Toss this in the oven for about 30 minutes or until the edges are slightly beginning to crisp to a nice light brown! This can be served warm or cold and can be stored in a tightly closed container in the fridge for up to a week!
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I chose to pair these breakfast bars with egg-veggie muffins to keep it a well balanced meal of protein, carbs, and fats!

Enjoy this for an awesome breakfast, snack, or dessert!

Breakfast Special

Breakfast Special

Hi there! I thought rather than doing multiple separate posts, I’d share a collection of some of my delicious breakfast’s over the past few weeks. It’s funny because the first time we had a “snow day”, it was great because we could work from home and I could actually take the time to make myself a delicious breakfast. However, after the 3rd or 4th time of working from home, it got old very quickly. When you’re stuck inside all day, in a small space, with an endless pantry…let’s just say it can leave you slightly crazy by the time 3PM rolls around.

Anyhow, if you haven’t already gotten the sense, breakfast IS EASILY my FAVORITE meal of the day. I literally LIVEEE for easy Sunday mornings, where I can brew my cup of hazelnut coffee, take my time to cook up whatever breakfast I crave, stay in my sweats until noon, and spend hours on pinterest and blogs…

And if I’m not at home cooking my own breakfast, than you’ll likely find me exploring a new breakfast/brunch spot because WHY NOT? : )

Check out below for what I’ve been cooking up lately in the kitchen…

Savory Dish:
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– 1 egg/1 egg white omelet with spinach, cherry tomatoes, salt, black pepper, and garlic powder to taste
– A side of mixed greens w/ EVOO and a dash of balsamic glaze
– 1 Slice of Ezekiel Toast topped with avocado, salt and black pepper to taste

Cinnamon Raisin French Toast:
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Ingredients:

– 2 Slices of Ezekiel bread
– 1 egg, 2 egg whites
– 2 TBSP unsweetened vanilla almond milk
– Cinnamon to taste
– 2 Drops of Vanilla Stevia
– 2 TBSP of Coconut Oil (acts as a butter replacement as well)
– Optional: Shredded Coconut, Fresh Berries, Pure Maple Syrup

Directions:

In a small bowl, whisk together your eggs, almond milk, cinnamon, and vanilla stevia. Meanwhile, begin to heat up your pan with the coconut oil. Dip your 2 slices into the bowl and cover well, then add to the stove. Leave it on med/high heat, but continue to watch so that the edges are just lightly browned. While those are cooking (should only need about 2.5 minutes or less on each side), slice your fresh fruit to top.

Vegan Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes
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Acai Bowl:
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Ingredients:

– 2 TBSP of Acai Powder
– 1 Frozen Banana
– 1 TBSP Almond Butter
– 1/4 Cup Frozen Blueberries/Strawberries
– Dollop of Honey
– Almond Milk (1/2 cup – 1 cup) ** Add this in slowly, you want the bowl to be very thick and creamy. Add in JUST ENOUGH almond milk to allow it to blend.
– 1 – 2 drops of vanilla stevia
– Cinnamon to taste
Optional: Fresh Berries and sliced banana to top, granola to top (LOVE the Purely Elizabeth brand or try making your own), mixed nuts, shredded coconut, honey
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Directions: Blend together all ingredients. Remember, add in your almond milk slowly – you want to be able to SPOON your acai bowl, not drink it : ) Once well blended, top with fresh fruit, granola, coconut, and honey to taste.

What’s HOT in the Fitness World Right Now?

What’s HOT in the Fitness World Right Now?

As the majority of you likely know by now, I’m not a certified nutritionist or fitness trainer. I’m just your every day health nut who works an 8-5 job, but still finds time to get my workouts in and cook up some nutritious meals throughout the week. That’s one thing I won’t ever give up. That being said, you can find me scrolling through health and fitness blogs, instagram, twitter, and pinterest accounts. That’s where I do my so called “research”. What I like about this is that I’m not just reading facts, but true experiences and real time feedback. I pretty much discover the new “hot” foods, ingredients, supplements, workout routines, etc. simply through following various fitspo accounts. The other thing about these accounts I follow is that they’re real people just like me. Obviously, there are accounts I follow that 100% dedicate their life to fitness and healthy and likely have over 100K followers. But then there’s also accounts I follow where they may be attending grad school or have a 8-5 job like myself. These people may not have 6-packs and they may only have 2k followers, but their posts and “fitspo” still inspire me, regardless of how well known they are in the fitness world.

All of that being said, I find myself trying out new ingredients, products, supplements, and workouts based on the feedback I hear from the accounts I follow. So, based on what I’ve been reading up on lately, here’s a look of the hot supplements, products, and workouts I’ve been keen on adding to my daily regimen.

Hot Products:

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Arctic Zero and a new brand I just ordered called “Wink” Frozen Desserts
Purely Elizabeth Granola
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– 18 Rabbits and Raw Vegan Macro Granola Bars
Frozen or Freeze Dried Acai Powder
– Quest Bars

Supplements:

Spirulina
Chlorophyll
– Fish Oil Pills
Apple Cider Vinegar “shots”
– Plant Based Protein or Designer Whey Protein Powder

Workout Routines:

Tabata Workouts: Typical workout would look like 4 minutes of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off of cardio (ex. burpees and jumping jacks or skaters and high knees); then 3 x 30 seconds of strength (ex. lunches w/ weights and push ups); then do 2 more sets of cardio and 2 more sets of strength — REALLY great way to get a hard, fast, full-body workout in. More Tabata Workouts Here!
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Booty Exercises – I’ve been incorporating a lot of Barre and Pilate moves into the ends of my workouts. Lots of leg raises w/ ankle wights, donkey kicks, bridges, etc.
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– Continued focus in nighttime yoga (15 – 20 minute sessions and always ending with handstands against the wall… WILL GET THERE ONE DAY!)
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What’s in my Lunch Box?

What’s in my Lunch Box?

Hey guys! Apologies for the lack of posts in the past week…works been pretty busy…so unfortunately, when I get home, all I want to do is be lazy : ) Anyway, wanted to update you all in what has been in my lunch box over the past week or two.

Summer Couscous Salad:

Ingredients (Serving: Enough for 5 days of lunch):

1 cup Tri-Colored Pearl Couscous (follow instructions for cooking on package)
1 cup diced cherry tomatoes
1-2 cucumbers diced
1/3 Cup Finely diced Scallions
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Black Pepper to taste
Optional: Baby Kale and Baby Spinach

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Directions:

Cook your couscous according to package directions. Once cooked and drained, put aside to let cool. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix together your dressing and vegetables. Once your couscous is somewhat cooled, add that into the large bowl. Set aside in the fridge. When you’re ready for lunch, top your couscous on a bed of mixed greens (I prefer baby kale and spinach with mine).

Breakfast Options:

Mint-Chocolate Chip Green Protein Smoothie:
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Ingredients:

1 frozen banana
1 scoop chocolate protein powder
1 tsp of peppermint extract
2 heaping handfuls of fresh spinach and kale
1-2 drops of vanilla stevia
Cinnamon to taste
3-4 Ice Cubes
APPROX 1 Cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (slowly add this into your blender in order to get the right consistency…)

Blend and Enjoy!

Snacks from the Week:

Smores (I’m still obsessed…sorry…) Quest Bars
Buddha Bowl Himalayan Popcorn (Coconut Oil, Himalayan Salt, and plain old popcorn…such a great healthy popcorn brand)!
Carrots and Hummus (LOVE LOVE the cilantro jalapeno hummus from wegmans)
Apples, mixed berries
Greek Yogurt (Fage Plain 0%)
Mixed Nuts and Dried Fruit

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What’s in my Lunch Box?

What’s in my Lunch Box?

What’s in my lunch box this week? A whole lot of goodness!

Blackened Salmon (Recipe serves for 1 whole week):

Ingredients:

– 1.5 lbs of fresh salmon
– Coconut Oil (2 TBSPs)
– A LOT of Spices (plan on emptying our your spice cabinet)
– Ground Paprika (1 TBSP)
– Ground Cayenne Pepper (1 TBSP)
– Onion Powder (1 TBSP)
– White Pepper (1/2 tsp)
– Black Pepper (1/2 tsp)
– Dried Basil and Oregano (1/4 tsp each)

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Directions:

In a large saucepan, add your coconut oil and set to med/high heat. Mix all of your spices together in a bowl, and then add your salmon fillets onto the sauce pan. Top your salmon with a little bit of coconut oil spray and rub it with your spices. Let this cook on high heat for about 3-5 minutes or until “blackened”. Turn the fillets over and mimic the previous step once more.

Pesto Zucchini Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes:

Ingredients:IMG_0432

– 5 Zucchini’s
– 1 cup of chopped cherry tomatoes
– 3 TBSP of Pesto (I bought mine from Whole Foods – but feel free to make your own)

Directions:

Using a spiralizer, spiralize the zucchini in thick strands. Add your cherry tomatoes, your pesto and toss all of that together. Top it off with your blackened salmon and enjoy for lunch or dinner!

Breakfast/Snacks:

Spiced Almond Date Balls – Whole Foods Recipe
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Pear, Goat Cheese, and Pistachio – Whole Foods Recipe (I added cinnamon and honey on mine!)
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Caramel Apple Rice cakes topped with PB2, Banana, Cinnamon and Honey
Lightly Salted Rice cakes topped with hummus and avocado
Quest Bars

Enjoy!!!


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