All posts by healthnutornot

I'm a holistic health practitioner (coach) who helps people lose weight, gain energy, and enhance their immune systems in a very unique way. I'm also a total Jesus girl and I love to love people and laugh...a lot!

I love you

“I love you”

by Rikki Ferrier

princess-bride-you-keep-using-that-word

So, Valentines Day is 3 weeks away. If you’re single, you’re probably acutely aware of this, and if you’re in a relationship, this might be your reminder to start preparing those goods!

Love

 

This holiday is all about love, right? Love love love! I hear and see so many posts about love, relationships, etc. but I’m going to challenge our cultures precept of love, and offer an ideology that may be new to many.

love must be true

For those who know me personally, they know that love is something I take so very seriously. Love is many things, and love entails many emotions; good and bad, but of all of these, one things stands out the strongest to me: Love is unconditional.

puppy love

In our culture today, you can’t get on a social media site, such as Instagram or Facebook, without seeing posts about “Do what makes YOU happy”, “Those who love you will never try and change you”, “If they’re not meeting your needs, walk away. You’ll find someone better!”, or surprisingly even, “When they hurt you, just hurt them worse!”etc. Sure these are comforting sometimes, and it can be nice to lean on a cliche to validate your inward desires, but these aren’t the truth. These are not love.  This love is all about pleasing oneself, but a relationship is not for YOU. Love is about what you can give, not what you can get.

have-a-flower-hamster-really-cute

Our culture teaches conditional love. They teach that the moment  someone is no longer making you “happy,” or pleasing you, or meeting your needs, then it’s okay to withdraw your love from them, give them a taste of their own medicine, and pay back wrong for wrong, because that’d be doing what’s fair, right? I mean, they deserve it for the way they acted or for the way they treated you, right??? They hurt you, so you’re going to hurt them BACK! They were rude, hurtful, disrespectful, mean, greedy, inconsiderate, etc, so they had it comin’!! Yeah?

angry owl

gif-kitten-animals-fighting-916327Animals fighting2

Well, maybe I’m going to burst your bubble here, but that’s wrong on so many levels. That, my friend, is NOT love in its totality. That is basing love off of strictly emotions alone. You show love when you feel it, and you withdraw it when you stop feeling it; however, this is exceedingly flawed. Love is not just your emotions; emotions are fickle and always changing, but Love is consistent; Love is an action.

love-is-a-verb-action

Love is NOT conditional. If you love someone, truly love (because we’re all about that “true love,” right?), then nothing they do can cause you to remove your love towards them.

true love

When I say nothing, I mean nothing. There is NOTHING someone you love can do, to cause you to remove that love from them. That doesn’t mean the feeling of love is always there, because I promise you, that it won’t be, but what real love is, is how you act once that feeling is gone. What do you do, and how do you react, the moment you’re no longer feeling that love? Because that’s what will tell you if your love is true or if your love is selfish.

what-is-love-quotes--300x300

So, I’ve said several times that love is an action, and love is shown by the actions you display after the feeling is absent, but what is this action? What IS the actions of love? Well, I’m so glad you asked!

Happy cat2Let’s break it down.

serious-cat-images-2

I think people have heard the famous “Love Verse” by Paul in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, right? I think we’ve heard it so many times, that perhaps we’ve become numb to what it’s actually saying, so I’m going to write it in the inverse in hopes of seeing it in a new perspective, as this helped me so much. 

Love is never impatient. Love is never mean. Love is content with what it has. Love is modest about its successes. Love is humble, and doesn’t get lost in its pride. Love encourages others. Love hurts itself before it hurts another. Love is not easily angered. Love forgets the mistakes of others. Love delights in good. Love doesn’t lie. Love never hurts one another. Love doesn’t distrust. Love isn’t pessimistic. Love doesn’t give up. Love will always succeed.

Now the original.

Love is patient. Love is kind. Love does not envy. Love does not boast. Love is not proud.  Love does not dishonor others. Love is not self-seeking. Love is not easily angered. Love keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil. Love rejoices with the truth. Love always protects. Love always trusts. Love always hopes. Love always perseveres. Love never fails.

I’m sure every one of us is guilty of every single one of these, so I don’t share this to condemn anyone, or to say that I’ve mastered this, because I most definitely haven’t. I share this because this is the goal. This is what to strive for, not worldly love which is conditional. We don’t strive to be the norm, or to have what the normal have, which is worldly love, but we strive for something different, something pure and true; Love.

“If you want what everyone has, do what everyone does. If you want what few have, do what few do.” -Craig Groeschel

Paul never, ever writes what an individual has to do in order to receive this love, or what credentials they must meet to be given this type of love. THIS IS what you do when you love someone.  THIS IS LOVE. If you tell someone that you love them, and you’re not doing these things, no matter what they’ve done to you first, then you’re not acting in true love. We’ve all failed in this, but when you notice you’ve withdrawn your love, then apologize, and ask for forgiveness, and strive to do better next time.

true love

“If you want what you’ve always had, do what you’ve always done. If you want what you’ve never had, do what you’ve never done.” -Craig Groeschel

I hope this was helpful to someone. I share this because it’s something I believe so deeply, and it’s something I try so hard to meet daily. I fail, I fall, and I drop the ball, but dang it, I get back up, dust off the dirt, and I adjust to improve.

 Love2


DISCLAIMER: I’m explaining how love is, and I’m sharing that love is consistent and no matter what someone does to you, you should always treat them with love, but this does not mean that love is stupid. If someone who you love, and someone who “loves” you back, continues to show you conditional love and mistreatment, and constantly withdraws their love from you, then you must be wise and adjust your future accordingly, which may not include them in it, but that doesn’t mean you stop being kind and loving to them. Removing someone from your life is not showing someone a lack of love, sometimes that’s just wisdom. But how you treat them when you part ways can still be expressed in a loving way.


Your high-carb (sugar) diet is giving you wrinkles: The Science

I’m sorry it’s taken so long for me to follow up on the tragic truths of sugar! It’s been a hectic couple of weeks.

stressed dog

You understand… haha.

Carrying on!

Let’s talk about some face facts regarding sugar intake. First off, let’s establish the fact that when I say “sugar”, I’m referring to anything that converts into glucose in your body. This includes all carbs, fructose, glucose, sucrose, lactose, … ya know… all of the “-ose’s”.  When you devour a serving of sugar, whether in some yummy pie or from the carbohydrates in a pretzels or a bread stick, your body converts that sugar to glucose. You need glucose, as it serves as the main source of fuel for your body. However, too much of any good thing leads to some problems.

 

dog-eats-cakes

We’ve all been there…

So, if the promise of a smaller jean size hasn’t curbed your sweet tooth, maybe the desire for smooth skin will. It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but studies show that a lifetime of overeating sugar (or carbs) can make your skin dull and wrinkled.

wrinkleycat

Oh so sexy…

At blame is a natural process that’s known as glycation, in which the sugar in your bloodstream attaches to proteins to form harmful new molecules called Advanced Glycation End-Products (aka AGEs). The more sugar you eat, the more AGEs you develop. As AGEs accumulate, they damage adjacent proteins in a domino-like fashion. Most vulnerable to damage: collagen and elastin, the protein fibers that keep skin firm and elastic. (We want that…) In fact, collagen is the most prevalent protein in the body. Once damaged, springy and resilient collagen and elastin become dry and brittle, leading to wrinkles and sagging. These aging effects start at about age 35 and increase rapidly after that… how fun…

Besides damaging your lovely collagen, a high-sugar (or high-carb) diet also affects what type of collagen you have—another factor in how resistant skin is to wrinkling. The most abundant collagens in the skin are types I, II, and III, with type III being the most stable and longest lasting. Glycation transforms type III collagen into type I, which is more fragile. When that happens, the skin looks and feels more dry and wrinkley (Old! You’ll feel OLD!). The final kick in the face: AGEs deactivate your body’s natural antioxidant enzymes, leaving you vulnerable to sun damage (the main cause of skin aging. ) Yikes!

karate_cat

One group that can attest to sugar’s monstrous and evil effects are people with diabetes, who—because they can suffer from years of undetected high blood sugar—often show early signs of skin aging. Depending on how well their disease is controlled, diabetics can have up to 50 times the number of AGEs in their skin as those who don’t have diabetes.

 

diabetes cat

 

The good news about sugar-damaged skin: It’s never too late to turn back the clock! When you cut the crap, wear sunscreen, and add in foods with collagen producing properties, you’ll be on your way to some smooth and sexy skin!

Foods that have these amazing properties are:

1. Dark green vegetables:  They are packed with an antioxidant called lutein. You need 10 mg to get results – which equates to about 4oz. of spinach or 2oz. of kale. This will boost skin hydration and elasticity, fighting wrinkles. Rich in Vitamin C, regular consumption of kale, spinach,collards, and asparagus help to strengthen the body’s ability to manufacture collagen and to utilize the protein effectively.

2. Beans: These help your body produce a vital anti-aging substance called hyaluronic acid.  Aim for at least two tablespoons of beans each day

3. Red fruits and vegetables:  The presence of lycopenes in these types of foods helps to act as antioxidants, which in turn increases collagen production. Try adding red peppers, beets, and fresh or stewed tomatoes to the diet. Also include sweet potatoes, carrots and more.  Research has found that the antioxidants in red, yellow and orange foods build up under the skin creating extra UV protection.

4. Antioxidants: One of the biggest causes of skin ageing is attack by substances called free radicals, right? They break down healthy skin tissues.  Antioxidants helps neutralize these free radicals before they can do any damage. So to ensure you’re getting lots of these, eat nutrient-dense fruits and veggies (one’s will really bold colors).

5. Flaxseed:  A major sources of the healthy fat omega-3. Skin cells are surrounded by a fatty layer made from this and other fats so, the higher your omega-3 intake the stronger that layer is, and the plumper your skin cells are – which helps disguise lines and wrinkles.  Make sure you get GROUND flax seed. Your body won’t absorb it whole because it won’t penetrate past the shell of the seed.

There are so many more! But you can definitely google that stuff. Google knows everything 😉 Hah!

Google-Knows-Everything

Just be sure to look up NATURAL forms of naturally producing collagen. Slathering yourself with harmful chemicals that claim to help…may only cause MORE free radical damage from all of the toxins. So do your research. 😉 And definitely feel free to email me for advice.

Next blog will tell you about how sugar (or too many carbs) is jacking you up in another surprising way.

Eat Clean. Laugh A Lot. Pray Always.

 

There’s sugar in my

Commence sugar education!

Happy cat2

cat-shouting

So first off, before I explain all of the terrible monstrosities of sugar and how it’s a devil food, you must begin by understanding all of the different names that sugar are allowed to be called (there’s over 50. But I’ll just mention the main ones.) aaaaand you must realize where they stash these little ninjas! I promise…it’s much more than your tasty little late-night dessert-runs.  

girl-eats-her-cookie-monster-cake_650x622_c46b

 

 

funny-possum-eating-cakes-fat-do-must-already-won-pics

Hah! 

Keep in mind, the average “safe” amount of sugar consumption per day is 25 grams or 6 teaspoons (unless enveloped in fiber like berries). However, In a recent study, the average intake was 76.7 grams per day, which equals 19 teaspoons or 306 calories.

Okay so, continuing on! Sneaky names that sugar can be disguised as…

dog in disguise

I put in bold the sneakiest ones. 

Dehydrated Cane Juice
Dextrin
Dextrose
Evaporated Cane Juice
Fructose
Fruit juice concentrate
Glucose
High-fructose corn syrup
Honey
Invert sugar
Lactose
Maltodextrin
Malt syrup
Maltose
Maple syrup
Molasses
Palm Sugar
Raw sugar
Rice Syrup
Saccharose
Sorghum or sorghum syrup
Sucrose
Syrup
Treacle
Turbinado Sugar
Agave Nectar
Barley Malt Syrup
Beet Sugar
Brown Rice Syrup
Brown Sugar
Cane Crystals (or, even better, “cane juice crystals”)
Cane Sugar
Coconut Sugar, or Coconut Palm Sugar
Corn sweetener
Corn syrup, or corn syrup solids

Note: Your body doesn’t care what the label says, it’s all just “sugar”!

There are TONS more. For a complete list of 257 other names that they disguise sugar as, click here.

Moving forward! 

What are some surprising foods that they like to put these undercover death-monsters in?? Let’s list a few…

1.  Coleslaw

3.5 teaspoons (14 grams) of added sugar in 1 cup

Coleslaw can vary a lot on it’s added sugar content. It depends, of course, if you make it yourself or not. But some recipes actually want you to add up to 1 full cup of sugar! So if you don’t want your vegetable side dish to count as your dessert, then I’d avoid buying them from stores and start making your own! 

2. Barbecue Sauce

2 teaspoons (8 grams) of added sugar in 1 oz.

I know that BBQ is pretty much a staple with a lot of people in the summer with all of the picnics and what-not, but I’m sorry, 8 grams of sugar?! And I don’t know about you, but I never limit myself to 1 ounce of bbq sauce. I mean, you kiddin me?? No way. So, get to making your own!  Snag some no-sugar-added  ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, minced onion, garlic, tomato paste, and a pinch of cloves. Rockstar sauce right there!

3. Spaghetti Sauce

2 teaspoons (7 grams) of added sugar in 1/2 cup

Sure it seems safe when you read ‘tomatoes, onions, peppers’ and etc! But what about ‘maltodextrin’ or ‘corn syrup’ and things like that? Do you scan right over it not realizing what it’s adding?? Well, now you know! MAKE YOUR OWN! Or just read the labels before you snag those sauces off the shelf! 

4. Ketchup

1.5 teaspoons (6 grams) of added sugar in 1 oz.

Ketchup toooooo? Ugh! I know! It seems so innocent with being tomato-based and all, but just one single ounce has 6 grams of added sugar!!!! And if you’ve ever been with me when I was eating homemade fries with some ketchup…you’d know, I almost have a 1-to-1 ratio with fries and ketchup. Hah! It’s not safe! However…you can definitely make your own ketchup by combining tomato puree, vinegar, onion powder, and garlic powder. This way the lovely ingredients will be controlled by Chef You!

5. Flavored yogurt

5 teaspoons (19 grams) of added sugar in 6 oz.

6. Instant Oatmeal

3 teaspoons (12 grams) of added sugar in 1 packet

7. Protein Bars

4 teaspoons (15 grams) of added sugar in 1 bar

8. Fat-Free Salad Dressings

Fat-Free Salad Dressings

2 teaspoons (8 grams) of added sugar in 2 tablespoons.
9. Multi-Grain Cereals and Crackers

Multi-Grain Cereals and Crackers

1.5 teaspoons (6 grams) of added sugar per 1 cup serving

 

ugliest01

 

I know…that was my reaction as well… 

I hope this was enough to at least open your eyes to amount of sugar you’re actually eating every single day. 

The next blogs will explain how all of that sugar is making you age faster, lose your hair, crack your nails, dry your skin, make you fat, make you sick, make you tired, etc! ITS THE DEVIL! 

 

Eat clean. Laugh a lot. Pray always. 

otter prayer

 

Even otters have the decency to pray before they eat 😉 

How Did I Catch a Cold? I’M A HEALTH COACH.

My intention of this blog is to explain how you can be eating clean, yet still not be entirely healthy and how you can change that.

Ooookay! So for the last few days, I totally struggled with a baby cold. It wasn’t tragic or anything, but it was undeniably not good! I just started to lose my voice and sneeze literally about 20 times per day.

sneeze2

 

 

 

sneezing

It was especially tragic while driving…

sneezingfit

BUT! It made me realize, oh my gosh! I NEVER get sick! What is going on?? So, obviously I saw a huge need in some self-analyzing. I mean, I’m a health coach! How in the world could I get sick (or sick-ish. I didn’t have a fever or anything)?? There’s clearly something I’m missing.

So, after a while of research, as well as prayer, I realized 2 things that could be seriously affecting my once beautiful immune system.

1. Stress

2. SUGAR

So first let’s address number one: Stress.

stressed-cat

 

I actually don’t feel stressed out. Yeah, I have a ton on my plate, but who doesn’t, right? I’m sure just about every single person reading this would say, “Yeah, join the club!”. So this isn’t about who has more to do or who should and shouldn’t be stressed out, because that honestly is completely and totally irrelevant.

It’s about how you handle the amount of stress you do have. I know myself, and I know that this is something I’ve struggled with my entire life.

By the age of 17, I had had both an ulcer, and Bell’s Palsy. As you may know, both of these are activated by high amounts of stress. Does that mean that I was more stressed than anyone else? I’m not saying that. I’m saying that I had no idea how to handle stress! And I feel that it’s possible that I’m slipping back into the old habits! My problem is that I never feel stressed, possibly because I’ve gotten used to it, I don’t know! But when I start to get too busy to do my pilates, read a book, walk the dog, or take a relaxing bath, then the stress in my body builds up, because I’m doing nothing to release it.

So! The weather stopped me from walking outside as much, and taking on too many responsibilities prohibited me from doing my pilates, which is full of deep breaths and stretching, which are amazing for de-stressing your body, even when you’re not totally coherent of the results.

yoga cat

 

Hah! Pretty much…

Moving on to Number Two: Sugar.

Okay so clearly I’m a health nut, so I’m not sitting here eating Tollhouse Cookies and Poptarts, but am I still eating too much sugar? Everything I eat is 100% natural! The only ‘sugar’ I consume is honey! But wait…that’s pure sugar. It may be completely natural, but IT’S STILL SUGAR. Okay…am I eating other things with sugar? Yeah, I eat my wholesome dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free chocolate chips! But wait… those have 7g of sugar PER TABLESPOON! (Who only eats a tablespoon?…I mean, really.) Okay so those are both ‘sweet’ items, so it doesn’t really take a genius to figure those out, right? So I started reading everything! Turns out, too many things had sugar in them (some naturally, some added with an all-natural sweetener ie: honey). For example, my spaghetti sauce. I don’t buy the known brands, I bought an organic, all-natural one! So, of course, it didn’t contain any nasty artifical preservatives, additives, fillers, or even pesticides! BUT it had some organic sugar added to it. What…the heck.

annoyed cat

 

I was upset. That’s 8g of sugar that ninja-ed its way into my healthy and organic spaghetti squash spaghetti!!!

Plus I eat fruit, greek yogurt, and granola for breakfast nearly every day! The fruit is low-sugar fruits like blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries, so those are okay because they’re way nutrient dense compared to the little amount of sugar in them. But the yogurt… that’s lactose which is still a type of sugar (believe it or not – note the ‘-ose’ at the end), and my granola is some of the lowest sugar granolas, but it still contains 10g per serving! So as you can see, this drastically adds up. I had no idea.

embarassed-bunny

So, in conclusion, I’m going to drop the sweet concoctions that I eat every night (even though they’re all-natural), and start substituting my breakfast for something else, or at least taking away the greek yogurt and cutting back on the granola. I already found a new spaghetti sauce that has less than 1g of sugar in it, but this girl is about to be a sugar detective! And those of you that know me, know that nearly everything I eat, leans on the sweet side. So I’m going to be implementing a LOT of changes…. I’m less than enthused, but I got this!

Dont-Worry-Guys-I-Got-This-Funny-Fire-Kid-With-Garden-Hose

Hah! Anywho…

This little mishap has definitely inspired me to educate everyone on the crap that comes with a sugar-y diet! And yes, a high-carb diet is pretty much the same (depending on your choice of carbs.)

Sugar makes your skin dry and wrinkly, causes you to gain weight (regardless of your caloric intake), kills your immune system, kills your memory, and a ton of other things.

My following blogs are all going to be about this bitter-sweet truth!

sugar-names

 

Until then… Eat clean. Laugh a lot. Pray always.

 

 

Gluten Free! Spaghetti? Dessert?!

husky hungry

 

Hah! My thoughts exactly today. I’ve just been starving all morning! I was to eat EVERYTHING….

let me eat you

Buuuut what if there were foods that you could go monster-mode on and you wouldn’t get fat…?

excited-dog1

 

I know, right?!

So, fun fact, If you’re eating CLEAN, wholesome, GOD-MADE foods, then you don’t have to count your calories, or constantly stress about your macro levels (unless you’re a legitimate athlete), or worry about when you stop eating at night, etc!

I mean, to be honest, if you’re body is constantly telling you that it’s hungry, there’s a reason. You may be eating enough mass and enough calories, but are you eating enough nutrients? 

ashamed dog 2

 

I didn’t think so… if you’re body is missing micronutrients, then you could be starving at a CELLULAR LEVEL, which means you’ll always feel like you need more food because in a way, you DO! But you need the right food. Yes that means fruits and vegetables, but that also includes tons of other things that contain essential amino acids, phytochemicals, antioxidants, minerals, etc. such as nuts, seeds, beans, high-quality meat, and what-not.

So I say that you can eat all you want, because over time, if you only eat nutritious, God-made food (which all naturally are stuffed full of healthy, nourishing, disease-fighting components), then your body won’t crave food constantly! And when it does, it’s actually hungry and not just bored-eating.

am-i-just-eating-because-im-bored-23_thumb

That’s why I advocate a completely wholesome diet with NO counting calories. You eat what you want, when you want, but it just has to be GOD MADE! No maltodexrin, carrogeenan, other preservatives, flavors, colors, etc. That stuff is poison! WHY ARE YOU EATING THAT?! QUIT IT!

slap

 

EAT REAL FOOD! And, as you might already know, 50% of the population has a gluten allergy, intolerance, or sensitivity of some kind, so if you are eating pretty clean, but you’re still suffering from headaches, digestive issues, sleep problems, weird cravings, etc. then I’d definitely recommend dropping the gluten. It did wonders for me and my sister (and many clients). Take out the gluten for 2 weeks and monitor how you feel. NO CHEATING! Or else it’s completely pointless. It takes a while for your body to get all that crap out of your system so just one bite will jack your stuff up.

So here’s some gluten free meals that might get your creative juices flowing! And I’ll also show my favorite gluten-free bread at the bottom! (My old posts also have loads of gluten-free recipes, and if you’d like more, I have so many sources for you to check out that are stacked with GF recipes.)

#1 Delicious Salad w/ a side of tuna!

Lunch

 

 

This was just something super quick that I grabbed out of the fridge before work. I’d like to note…there’s quite a bit of room for improvement here regarding the ingredient list, but I’ll leave that for you to personalize 😉

 

SALAD: Organic mixed greens, TONS of black olives (I have an obsession), cashews (you just can’t see them), and a side of all-natural yogurt dressing (it’s super similar to ranch, but healthy!)

TUNA: A little yogurt dressing mentioned above, and a dash of mustard.

Super simple, fast, easy, and nutritious.

#2: Fruits snack w/ granola and Green juice!

snack

FRUIT: Use whatever you like, but I have a love affair going with cuties, so I always use those, and I tossed some strawberries up in there.

GRANOLA: Organic, gluten-free Pumpkin Seed Granola w/ Flax from Sprouts. (Low sugar, and absolutely scrumptious)

GREEN JUICE: I use Bolthouse Farms Green juice and I throw in my own green powder to give an AWESOME energy and health boost! I also put about 50% water because I don’t like the thick-milk-like texture. (Below is the Green Powder I use. )

photo 2 (5)

#3 LEGIT Spaghetti with a bread stick and Dessert!

dinner4

SPAGHETTI: Spaghetti squash (cut in half, gut/trash seeds, lay face down on a pan, bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes, scoop out insides into a bowl)

SAUCE: Wholesome marinara that I bought from Sprouts, topped with black olives and more tomatoes. (You can totally add some meat in this, just made sure it’s high-quality!)

BREAD: This is the tastiest, gluten-free bread that I’ve ever had! It’s Nut-free, soy-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, and all-natural! SOOO YUMMY! I bought this at Sprouts too – of course 😉

gluten free breadgluten free bread2gluten free bread3  

DESSERT: Banana, sunflower seed butter, honey, cinnamon, Enjoy Life chocolate chips (dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, gluten-free). TASTES LIKE HAPPINESS.

I hope this was helpful! If you have any questions, feel free to contact me, or leave a comment or 2!

funny-dog-cat-cartoon

Eat Clean. Laugh a lot. Pray always.

 

 

Natural Appetite Suppressant? Really?!

So… something rather intrigued me yesterday… figured I should share my thoughts.

listening cats

So, to preface, I wake up at 4:30-5am every morning (M-F), so my breakfast, lunch, and dinner falls on a much earlier scale comparatively to the majority of the population. With that being said, I usually devour my dinner around 3:30-5pm (depending what time I come stumbling in from work.)

Well, yesterday was so absolutely beautiful outside, I knew I should take my dog for a walk because she’s been so cooped up this winter in my apartment! But on my drive home, my stomach was growling continuously so I was arguing in my mind, “Does she really need that walk? I mean… I’m sure she’s okaaaaay.” But of course, then my heart kicked in and was like “Dang it, Rikki! Take your dog for a freakin walk.”

(Side note: You may be wondering why I couldn’t just eat dinner and then take her out, right? Well…knowing myself, when I get in comfy clothes, cook, and eat a nice dinner, then last thing I want to do is go walk a couple miles outside.

You also may be asking, “Why couldn’t you just have a snack?” well… also knowing myself, when I reach that level of hunger that’s ready for dinner, I can’t just have a snack! I’ll take a couple bites, then some monster is released inside me and I end up devour 5x too much and that snack becomes my dinner… It’s a real problem…)

ashamed dog

Now that I’ve covered that, back to the starving me that’s harnessing my dog for a walk. Well, I grabbed my headphones and put on my awesome Jesus music, and commenced to walk my dog in the gorgeous 70 degree weather. She was happy.

poodle walkingh

After I’d walked a minute or so, completely jammin out and also taking awesome pictures of trees and what-not, and just enjoying the smell of the phenomenal outdoors, I was scooped up into the spring-like environment just wallowing in the sun.

cat in sun

Okay so the surprising part, right? I completely and totally forgot about being hungry! My stomach didn’t growl once! I actually ended up walked my dog THREE TIMES further than our usual thing!

funny-shocked-dogs-no-way-husky-snow-pics

I know I’ve heard a lot about how nature and breathing fresh air can feed your soul and suppress your appetite, but I always questioned the credibility of that. I always thought it was just this weird new-agey, modern hippy thing to say.

hippie-dog_o_293426

But despite my misplaced judgement, there is actually so much validity to all that hype! This really isn’t the first time I’ve experienced this effect, but yesterday it was just so obvious due to the combination of the dramatic change in weather and how ravenous I was.

Just had to share! Get your butt outside and soak up some Vitamin D! God gave us such a gorgeous world, why hide inside when there’s a million and one reasons to get off your butt and enjoy this world.

enjoy life

You have every right to enjoy your life. But you’re the only one who makes the decision to do so.

funny_dog_picture_393

You know… interesting challenge, but you should go to google images, and type “Enjoying life” and see what comes up. Go ahead, I’ll wait… okay here I’ll help. Click here.

You’ll find that they’re all outsiiiiide! No one’s playing video games, no one’s watching a movie, no one’s at a club, etc, they’re all outside in this beautiful God-given world! So try to minimize the time you spend in the shadows of your home, and maximize the time you spend truly enjoying your life!

Remember…There’s a big difference between actually living or just simply not dyingIt’s all up to you on which one you want to experience.

Ta-ta for now!

Eat clean. Laugh a lot. Pray always.

Clean Valentines Day Treat Recipes!!!

relationship status

Sooo…Valentine’s Day…we all have our own views on this notorious holiday, some may differ from others.

Love is in the air

Hah!

I don’t know about you, but personally, I just really want the awesome justification that allows me to stuff my face with delicious chocolate until I hurt myself and I can’t be judged for it.

regret nothing

BUT! I do, however, like to make sure that this tasty-goodness-party-in-my-mouth is clean! I do NOT want to stuff myself with crap chemicals and shellac and artificial ingredients and what-not!  So I felt I should share some scrumptious, TASTIER-than-Russel-Stovers go-to treat recipes that I always eat way too much of.

just one

 

I mean really…I can be a monster. It’s a real problem.

Moving on!

Recipes (Most of these are gluten free, raw, and vegan!)

1. Raw Homemade Snickers Bar

2. Raw Vegan Chocolate Ganache Truffles

3. Chocolate Covered Salted Caramel Cheesecakes

4. Cookie Dough Filled Chocolate Truffles V/GF

5.  Vegan Nutella Chocolate Truffles

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1. Raw Homemade Snickers Bar

Raw-natural-Snickers-Bar

 

Prep time: 10 Minutes
Yield: Makes 24 Mini Chocolates or 6-8 Full Size Chocolate Bars
Chocolate Ingredients:
1 Cup Virgin Coconut Oil
1/2 Cup Natural Cocoa Powder
1/4 Cup Natural Maple Syrup
Caramel Ingredients:
1 Cup Pre-Soaked Dates
3 Tbsp Agave Nectar
2 Tbsp Almond Butter
1/2 Tsp Sea Salt
2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
1 1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
Extra Ingredients:
1 Cup Dry Roasted or Raw Peanuts

Directions:
Place Chocolate Ingredients in the food processor and blend until smooth (stopping a couple times to scrape down the sides).
Set aside.
Place all Caramel ingredients into your food processor and blend until smooth (stopping to scrape down the sides).
Coat your silicone molds, muffin tin or mini-muffin tins bottom and sides with a fairly thick layer of chocolate (remember you want these to be able to pop out easily).
Layer in caramel.
Top with peanuts.
Add one final layer of chocolate completely coating the top.
Place in the freezer for 1 hour.
Remove from freezer, serve and enjoy!
Tip – Keep these in a sealed-tight container in the freezer until serving.
Tip – If you are using muffin tins use a knife to scrape around the edges of the chocolates to pop them out.
Tip – If you are using silicone molds remove gently.

2. Raw Vegan Chocolate Ganache Truffles

Raw-Vegan-Chocolate-Ganache-Truffles1
Prep time: 10 Minutes
Yield: Makes 16-20 Truffles
Chocolate Ganache Truffle Filling Ingredients:
3-4 Ripe Avocados
1/4 Tsp Sea Salt
2 Tbsp Unsweetened Almond Milk
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
4 Tbsp Coconut Sap (or Maple Syrup, Agave)
4-5 Drops Liquid Stevia
1/2 Cup Natural Cocoa Powder
Chocolate Truffle Coating Ingredients:
1 Cup Coconut Oil (Room Temperature)
1/2 Cup Raw Natural Cocoa
1/2 Cup Agave Nectar (Coconut Sap or Maple Syrup)

Directions:
Place silicone ice cube tray or chocolate molds in the freezer.
Process each above set of ingredients separately in your food processor until smooth.
Set each aside in separate bowls.
Remove your silicone mold cups from the freezer.
Using a 1/2 Tbsp measure – scoop 1/2 tbsp of chocolate into each silicone chocolate mold and evenly coat the sides and bottom.
Place 1/2 coated molds in your freezer for two minutes.
Remove molds from freezer and fill with chocolate ganache.
Top with remaining chocolate coating.
Place molds or tray on a plate and cover with saran wrap.

3. Chocolate Covered Salted Caramel Cheesecakes

Salted-Caramel-Raw-Vegan-Cheesecakes1

Prep time: 10 Minutes
Yield: Makes 16-20 Mini Cheesecakes
Cheesecake Filling Ingredients:
2 1/2 Cups Raw Soaked Cashews (Soak covered in water for 3-4 hours)
1/4 Cup Coconut Oil (Room Temperature)
1/4 Cup Agave Nectar (Coconut Sap or Maple Syrup)
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
Juice of 1/2 a Lemon
Chocolate Coating Ingredients:
1 Cup Coconut Oil (Room Temperature)
1/2 Cup Raw Natural Cocoa
1/2 Cup Agave Nectar (Coconut Sap or Maple Syrup)
Raw Salted Caramel Ingredients:
1 Cup Pre-Soaked Dates (Soak covered in water overnight)
3 Tbsp Agave Nectar (Coconut Sap or Maple Syrup)
2 Tbsp Raw Almond Butter
1/2 Tsp Sea Salt
2 Tbsp Coconut Oil (Room Temperature)
1 1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
Directions:
Place silicone ice cube tray or chocolate molds in the freezer.
Process each above set of ingredients separately in your food processor until smooth.
Set each aside in separate bowls.
Remove your silicone mold cups from the freezer.
Using a 1/2 Tbsp measure – scoop 1/2 tbsp of chocolate into each silicone chocolate mold and evenly coat the sides and bottom.
Place 1/2 coated molds in your freezer for two minutes.
Remove molds from freezer and fill with cheesecake and top with caramel.
Top with remaining chocolate.
Place molds or tray on a plate and cover with saran wrap.
Place in the freezer for 2-3 hours.
Remove and enjoy.
4. Cookie Dough Filled Chocolate Truffles V/GF

Cookie-Dough-Truffles1

Prep time: 10 Minutes
Yield: Makes 16-20 Truffles
Cookie Dough Ingredients:
3/4 Cup Almond Flour
1/8 Cup Coconut Oil (Room Temperature)
1/8 Cup Agave Nectar (Coconut Sap or Maple Syrup)
3 Tbsp Vegan Mini Chocolate Chips (I used Enjoy Life brand)
Dash Sea Salt
Chocolate Coating Ingredients:
1 Cup Coconut Oil (Room Temperature)
1/2 Cup Raw Natural Cocoa
1/2 Cup Agave Nectar (Coconut Sap or Maple Syrup or honey)
Directions:
Place silicone ice cube tray or chocolate molds in the freezer.
Process each above set of ingredients separately in your food processor (excluding the chocolate chips) until smooth.
Set each aside in separate bowls and fold chocolate chips into cookie dough layer.
Remove your silicone mold cups from the freezer.
Using a 1/2 Tbsp measure – scoop 1/2 tbsp of chocolate into each silicone chocolate mold and evenly coat the sides and bottom.
Place 1/2 coated molds in your freezer for two minutes.
Remove molds from freezer and fill with cookie dough.
Top with remaining chocolate coating.
Place molds or tray on a plate and cover with saran wrap.
Place in the freezer for 2-3 hours.
Remove and enjoy.

5.  Vegan Nutella Chocolate Truffles

Raw-Vegan-Nutella-Chocolate-Truffles-1

Prep time: 10 Minutes
Yield: Makes 16-20 Truffles
Nutella Frosting Ingredients:
1/2 Cup Hazelnut Butter
1/2 Cup Natural Cocoa Powder
1/2 Cup Coconut Oil
1/4 Cup Agave Nectar (or more for more sweetness)
Chocolate Coating Ingredients:
1 Cup Coconut Oil (Room Temperature)
1/2 Cup Raw Natural Cocoa
1/2 Cup Agave Nectar (Coconut Sap or Maple Syrup)
Directions:
Place silicone ice cube tray or chocolate molds in the freezer.
Process each above set of ingredients separately in your food processor until smooth.
Set each aside in separate bowls.
Remove your silicone mold cups from the freezer.
Using a 1/2 Tbsp measure – scoop 1/2 tbsp of chocolate into each silicone chocolate mold and evenly coat the sides and bottom.
Place 1/2 coated molds in your freezer for two minutes.
Remove molds from freezer and fill with nutella frosting.
Top with remaining chocolate coating.
Place molds or tray on a plate and cover with saran wrap.
Place in the freezer for 2-3 hours.
Remove and enjoy.

peanutbutter

As you can see, I get some of my favorite bite-size treat recipes from DamyHealth.com. These recipes are so simple and so yummy!

Have a beautiful chocolate-filled day!!

Eat clean. Laugh a lot. Pray always.

Recipes!!! Gluten free! Vegan! Wholesome!

Heeeeey!

I have to take a moment and say I’m sorry for how terrible I’ve been at keeping you guys updated! “Busy life” is really an overused, lame excuse, but….that’s totally the card I’m throwing on the table right now… don’t judge me.

mystevieous face

hah!

But just to make up for it, I’m posting lots of deliciously healthy recipes for you to try! They’re wholesome and they taste like happiness! AND they are gluten free and/or vegan! Or they can be modified to be that way. 🙂

Recipes:

1. Grilled Chicken and Sauteed Garlic Green Beans and Tomatoes

2. Gluten-free Zucchini Muffins!

3. Mega Energy All Day Awesomeness Drink!

4. Crockpot Clean Stew

5. Vegan Cheezy Rice & Broccoli Casserole

 

 

1. Grilled Chicken and Sauteed Garlic Green Beans and Tomatoes

dinner3

This is definitely just something that’s super easy to throw together when you totally failed at preparing your meals lol! Which I tend to fall to way too often.

Ingredients:

– 1-2 chicken breast (buy cage-free, antibiotic-free, hormone-free, etc.)

– 1/4 tsp Basil, Thyme, Lemon Pepper, Sea salt (really whatever you like!)

– 2 large handfuls fresh green beans (yes I’m using that as a measurement!) — (ends trimmed)

– 2 tbsp minced garlic (I used a cheese grater to mince the cloves. So much faster than a knife)

– 2 Roma tomatoes

– 1 tbsp olive oil

Directions:

1. Season your chicken how you like, toss on the grill (I use a George Forman indoor mini grill. Get’s rid of excess fat!)

2. Fill a large pot with 3-4 cups water. Bring to a boil.

3. While you’re waiting for the water to boil, heat a separate pan with the oil in it on medium-high. Once it’s heated, sautee the minced garlic and tomatoes for 5 minutes or until tomatoes are fairly soft.

4. While you’re sauteing the tomatoes and garlic, place trimmed green beans in boiling water for 5 minutes, or until desired tenderness.

5. Pull green beans out of water and put in sauteing pan with tomatoes and garlic. Add sea salt and cook for a couple minutes to combine flavors.

6. Grab chicken and green beans and throw them on a plate with some quinoa or brown rice and enjoy!

2. Gluten-free Zucchini Muffins!

photo 5]

Ingredients:

– 2 cups almond flour (or ground oats)
– 2 teaspoons baking powder
– 1 teaspoon baking soda
– 1-2 teaspoon cinnamon
– Dash of salt
– 1/2 cup apple sauce
– 1/4 cup olive oil (or sub greek yogurt)
– 1/4 cup non-dairy milk (almond, flax, hemp, etc)
– 1 banana, mashed
– 1/4 cup honey
– 1 large grated zucchini  and 1 mediume grated apple.

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine all the dry ingredients.
  3. In a separate medium-sized bowl, whisk together the apple sauce, olive oil, milk, banana, and honey.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
  5. Fold in the zucchini and apple.
  6. Fill lightly greased muffin cups, and  bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the tops have browned. The insides will be exceptionally moist!
  7. Let the muffins cool to firm up, or eat them while they are ultra-tender and warm!

I ate them with some organic sunflower seed butter and a little drizzle of honey! With a side of fruit.

photo 4 (2)

3. Mega Energy All Day Awesomeness Drink!

photo 3 (5)

Okay so this concoction was absolutely phenomenal! I had so much pure energy, I felt like I could run up a mountain, jump off, and FLY! After trying this, I have it about EVERY DAY! I love it! Plus it is PACKED with other health benefits! The green powder that I use has SO many superfoods in it that purify your blood, detox your body, alkaline your body, regulate your digestion, clear your skin, oxygenate your blood, boost immune system, and so many other things! The amount of health benefits in this drink are just too numerous to mention all of them!

Ingredients:

– 1 bunch of kale and parsely

– 1/2 cucumber

– 6 oz (3/4 c) Green Juice (Naked or Bolthouse Farms brand or whatever but make sure it’s pure and wholesome! READ INGREDIENTS! They like to sneak in carageenen or maltodextrin and such. Sneaky peeps…)

– 2-3 oz water (1/4 c or 1/3 c)

– 1 scoop Super Food, organic, green powder

Directions:

Juice vegetables. Combine with water and Green Juice and powder. Mix WELL and enjoy!

(Sometimes if I don’t feel like hassling with cleaning the juicer and such, I just use the green juice, water, and powder. It works just the same!) Below is the brand of powder that I buy.

photo 2 (5)

4. Crockpot Clean Stew

photo 1 (5)

Ingredients:

2-3 chicken breasts

½ pound baby carrots

1 cup of each: chopped red pepper, chopped onion, chopped tomatoes

2 cups of each: mushrooms and parsely

2 tablespoons minced garlic

8 oz tomato sauce or wholesome mushroom sauce

3 tablespoons mixed seasoning (basil, thyme, sea salt, pepper, white pepper, etc.)

2-3 tbsp Worstershire sauce

water

Directions:

In a 5-6 quart crock pot, combine veggies and worsershire sauce.

Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons seasoning. Toss veggies to coat.

Lay chicken on top of veggies. Pour water on top. Sprinkle with remaining seasoning.

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Salt and pepper to taste.

Remove chicken and shred. Stir back into stew. Or serve chicken whole on top of veggies in a soup bowl.

5. Vegan Cheezy Rice & Broccoli Casserole

 

 

 

 

Broccoli Cheese casserole

 

So…a little background story, my dad used to always make this LEGIT Broccoli Cheese Casserole, I mean, we could eat 3 bowls of that stuff and we’d only stop because we met max capacity in our stomachs! It’d nearly be coming out of our ears!!! But unfortunately, many of the ingredients in that recipe, are not allowed in this challenge! (Like…that terribly delicious, naughty, not-cheese, Velveeta stuff) So I’ve modified some things in order to justify still being able to eat this awesomeness!

Ingredients

1 cup uncooked brown rice

2 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk

1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes

2 tbsp umeboshi vinegar (or any vinegar or salt will do!)

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp garlic, minced

1/4 tsp turmeric

1-1/2 to 2 cups fresh or frozen broccoli florets

 

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place all ingredients in a 4 quart casserole dish and mix until well combined.

Cover and bake 50-60 minutes or until rice is done.

The recipe above is for the rice preparation. If making with cauliflower rice then just decrease the milk to 1 cup and increase the riced cauliflower to 2 cups.

I hope you enjoy these! Do any of these look good to you? Do you have any suggestions to add?

God bless! Eat Clean. Laugh a lot. Pray always.

Day 14-15: Natural Prozac?! More Recipes! Gluten Free?!

HAPPY WEDNESDAY ERRBODY!

crazy-cat2

So a lot of people struggle with depression nowadays, right? Many of you either take anti-depressants or know someone who does, right? Well! Then this post is for youuuuuu! What if I told you that there’s a FOOD that offers the same happy-like reaction as a dose of PROZAC?!!

funny-shocked-dogs-no-way-husky-snow-pics

Crazy, right? It happens to just be simply delicious as well! And ironically, it looks just like a smile.

It’s cashews!!!

A large handful of these tasty nuts provides one to two thousand milligrams of the important amino acid tryptophan, the amino acid that produces the feeling of mellowness and peace!

happy-dog
Actually food, not drugs, will feed your body going to the root cause of your problem, rather then just temporarily removing the symptoms. The “side-effects” of this natural “Prozac,” rather than harmful, are more health benefits.

Only a single ounce of raw, unsalted cashews showcases an impressive array of raw minerals, ready to nourish the cells of your body. These minerals are potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, iron, sodium, manganese, zinc, copper and selenium.
These rockstar nuts also have SO MANY MORE BENEFITS! I was shocked! You can read more about these by clicking here. 

Sooooo in conclusion…eat these! Here’s some legit, delicious, wholesome cashew recipes below.  All are raw, gluten free and vegan (or they can be modified to be that way).

Recipes are as follows:

1. Spicy Cashew Sauce/Dip

2. Raw Cashew Hummus Style Dip Recipe

3. No Dairy Cashew ‘Cheese’ Dip

4. LEMON CASHEW CREAM TARTS (Gluten free and vegan)

5.  Vegan Cashew Frosting!

1. spicy-cashew-sauce-recipe

Ingredients:

1 cup raw cashews
salt & pepper
minced garlic (I used 3/4 Tb.)
1-2 Tb. Sriracha
water
Soak your nuts overnight in enough water to cover them and a dash of salt. Don’t soak much longer than overnight as cashews tend to get weird.

Drain the soaking water and place cashews, 1 Tb Sriracha, garlic and 2 Tb water in blender or food processor.

Start with 1 Tb of Sriracha and 2 Tb water. Add more to reach desired spice and consistency.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

2. Raw Cashew Hummus Style Dip Recipe

Cashew_Hummus

Ingredients:
1 cup soaked raw cashews*Vegan hummus made with soaked raw cashews
1 tablespoon raw organic tahini (sesame paste)
Juice from 1 fresh lemon, or to taste
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon organic minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon organic onion powder
Pinch of sea salt, to taste

Instructions:

Combine the soaked cashews, raw tahini, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, onion, powder, garlic powder, and sea salt in a Vita-Mix or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy.
If it needs more silky body, add a little more extra virgin olive oil. If you like a stronger tahini taste, add another tablespoon of tahini. Adjust the seasonings to your liking.
Note- if your lemon does not yield enough juice, you may need more liquid; use two lemons if you need to. Taste test.
Store in the fridge- in a covered glass bowl or storage container. The flavors get better as it chills. Chilling the hummus also thickens it.
Use as a dip for fresh crisp veggies such as carrot sticks, cucumber sticks, zucchini sticks, yellow squash sticks, red pepper strips and broccolini.
Serves four to six.

3. No Dairy Cashew ‘Cheese’ Dip

cashew cheese

1/2 cup raw cashews
4 tbsp nutritional yeast (adds a great ‘cheesy’ flavor and Vit B-12!)
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/3 cups plant-based milk (almond is great)
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes in oil
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp black pepper
a dash of cayenne pepper

Instructions:
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth and creamy.
Transfer to a sauce pan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally and allowing the flavors to mesh, about 8 minutes.

4. LEMON CASHEW CREAM TARTS (Gluten free and vegan)

lemon_cashew_cream_tarts_recipe_small_pic

Cashew Cream Ingredients:
1 cup raw cashews, soaked at least 2 hours if not overnight
¼ cup filtered water
¼ cup raw coconut nectar (or maple syrup, yacon, agave nectar, honey)
Pinch Himalayan crystal salt
1 heaped teaspoon raw coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or ground organic vanilla beans)
Few squirts of fresh squeezed lemon juice from 1 lemon
Walnut Crust Ingredients:
1 cup walnut pieces (or choice of nuts)
4 honey dates
Pinch Himalayan crystal salt
Splash vanilla extract
Toppings
handful of fresh blueberries
Mint

1. Place the cashews in a bowl and cover with filtered water. Cover the bowl and allow to soak overnight or at least two hours.

2. Drain the cashews and place in a blender with filtered water, coconut nectar, salt, coconut oil, vanilla extract, and lemon juice. Blend until a frosting consistency is achieved.

3. Transfer the cream to a dish and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

4. Place the walnuts in food processor and grind into a chunky, meal consistency. Then add the dates (remember to remove the stone!) and blend until a crumby consistency that forms together when pressed (if it doesn’t, try adding another date). Add vanilla and salt and blend.

5. Take a little crust and form it into muffin/cupcake baking cups. Baking cups can be placed in a similarly sized container to help maintain shape, or used on their own if necessary. Press in middle and flute edges, or press edges into the crinkles, with higher edges than center. Make sure crust has no cracks or crumbs but is smooth, firm crust. Put crusts in freezer for about an hour or two to firm.

6. Remove the walnut cups from the freezer and take small offset spatula or kitchen knife to gently pry crusts loose from the wrappers.

7. Fill each walnut cup with cashew cream and top with fresh blueberries and mint or any other fruit of your choosing.

5. Vegan Cashew Frosting!

Ingredients:

3/4 cup raw cashews, soaked 2-3 hours and rinsed
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
3 tablespoons raw honey (use pure maple syrup to make vegan)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

2-4 tablespoons water, as needed for blending

Directions:

Combine the first six ingredients in a high-powered blender, and blend until smooth and creamy, adding water as necessary to facilitate blending.

I hope you like these! Comment your thoughts, experiences, opinions, suggestions, etc!

Keep on being a rockstar!

Eat clean. Laugh a lot. Pray always.

Praying-Otter-620x836

 

Day 10-13: Super Bowl Grub?!

Soooo the Superbowl is coming up, right?? WHAT ARE WE SUPPOSED TO EAT?!

Shocked dog

Don’t freak out! We got dis. fat-ape

Recipes for the following are listed below (in said order):

1. Creamy Cheese and Chive Dip (Vegan)

2. Skinny Breaded Zucchini Chips (Gluten Free)

3. Quinoa Taco Bites

4. Cheesy (or regular) Kale Chips

5.  Cinnamon Sugar Chips with Pecan Pie Dip (Vegan/GF)

6. Healthy Chocolate Cake Batter Dip (5 Minute Recipe, V/GF)

I also have recipes for wholesome cookies, cakes, fudge, truffles, dips etc. Feel free to email me for any of these (or leave a comment with your email.)

1.Creamy Cheese and Chive Dip (Vegan)

creamy-cheese-and-chive-hummus-

Prep time: 5 Minutes
Yield: 1 1/2 Cups Dip
Ingredients:
1 1/2 Cups Chickpeas (Cooked and Drained)
2 Tsp Braggs Liquid Aminos (Or soy sauce)
3-4 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Hemp Seeds
1/4 Cup Dried Chives
1/4 Cup Nutritional Yeast
Directions:
Place all ingredients into your food processor and blend until smooth.
Top with a few extra dried chives.
Serve with chopped veggies, baked tofu or warmed up on your lean protein.
Enjoy!

2. Skinny Breaded Zucchini Chips (Gluten Free)

Zucchini-Sticks

Ingredients:
1 Medium – Large Zucchini
1 Tbsp Olive oil
2 Tbsp Egg Whites
¼ Cup – 1/3 Cup Almond Flour (depending on the size of your zucchini)
Salt and Pepper
(Condiments: Low-Sugar Natural Ketchup and Non-fat Plain Greek Yogurt – in place of sour cream)
Directions:
Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
Slice zucchini into thin coins.
Place in a bowl with your olive oil, egg whites, almond flour and salt and pepper.
Toss until zucchini is completely coated in mixture.
Cover baking sheet with parchment paper and evenly place zucchini on sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes on each side – watch these closely. Depending on how thin you slice them and the heat of your oven – times may change.
Remove, place on a plate and enjoy.

3.Quinoa Taco Bites

Quinoa-Bites

Prep time: 10 Minutes – Cook time: 40 Minutes – Total time: 50 Minutes
Yield: Makes 24 Taco Bites
Ingredients:
2 Cups Cooked Quinoa
1/4 Cup Egg Whites
1 Cup Chopped Cauliflower (You can also use zucchini, carrots or any other shredded vegetable)
1/2 Cup Drained 1% Cottage Cheese (or Dry Curd)
1/8 Cup Chopped Onion
1/4 Tsp Garlic Salt
1 Tsp Taco Spice
1/2 Cup Daiya Vegan Cheese (or you can use Hard Cheddar Cheese or Parmesan Cheese)
1 Tbsp Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
1/8 Cup Salsa
1 Small Firm Avocado (Diced)
Directions:
Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Spray mini muffin tin with a healthy, non-stick cooking spray.
Place egg whites, cauliflower, cottage cheese, onion, taco spice and hot sauce into your food processor and blend until smooth.
Remove and place in a bowl. Add in the avocado, salsa, cheese and quinoa.
Mix ingredients gently and completely.
Scoop ingredients into your mini muffin tin and pat down evenly.
Place in the oven for 40-45 minutes (until bites are golden brown).
Remove from oven and let set in the muffin tin before removing for 10 minutes.
To remove – gently take a butter knife around the edges of your bites to release them from your tin.
Serve and enjoy!

4. Cheesy Kale Chips – (can be made without nutritional yeast)

Cheesy-Kale-Chips-764x1024

Ingredients:
1 large bunch kale
1 tbsp olive oil spray
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
sea salt
Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Tear kale into bite sized pieces, wash, shake dry and place in a bowl.
Spray kale with olive oil OR use a measured 1 tbsp and just mix to coat all the kale.
Place kale on baking sheet and sprinkle with nutritional yeast and lightly dust with sea salt.
Place in oven and bake 4-5 minutes, turn over and bake for another 4-5 minutes or until crispy. Be careful, it can burn quickly if you don’t keep an eye on it!
Remove from oven when crispy. Enjoy!

5. Cinnamon Sugar Chips with Pecan Pie Dip (Vegan/GF)

Clean-Vegan-Gluten-Free-Cinnamon-Sugar-Chips-with-Pecan-Pie-Dip-
Prep time: 7 Minutes – Cook time: 7 Minutes – Total time: 14 Minutes
Yield: 3-4 Servings
Cinnamon Sugar Chip Ingredients:
3 Large Brown Rice Wraps
1 Tbsp Melted Coconut Oil
1 Tsp Cinnamon
1/4 Tsp Stevia Powder
Pecan Pie Dip Ingredients:
1 Cup Pre-Soaked Dates (Overnight)
1 Cup Pecans
1 Large Chopped Banana
2 Tbsp Agave Nectar (If you want your dip to be sweet)
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Tbsp Cinnamon
1/8 Tsp Nutmeg
Directions:
Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
Brush rice wraps with coconut oil.
Sprinkle cinnamon and stevia evenly over brown rice wraps.
Cut into chips or use a cookie cutter as I did.
Place chips on a parchment-lined baking sheet or baking stone.
Place in the oven for 7-13 minutes (until golden brown).
Remove from oven.
Place all pecan pie dip ingredients into the food processor and blend until smooth.
Place in a bowl for dipping, sprinkle chips on a plate and serve!

6Healthy Chocolate Cake Batter Dip (5 Minute Recipe, V/GF)

Cake-Batter-hummus1

Ingredients:
1 1/2 Cups Chickpeas (Drained and Rinsed)
1/4 Cup Natural Peanut Butter (or any other nut butter of choice)
1/4 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
2 Tbsp Agave (Honey, Maple Syrup or Stevia)
7 Pitted Dates or (2 Packets of Truvia, Stevia of choice, 2 Tbsp Honey, Maple Syrup or Agave)
3 Tbsp Flax Meal (Ground Flax)
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
Dash of Salt
1/8 Tsp Baking Soda
2 Tbsp Natural Cocoa
1/3 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips (or Carob)
Directions:
Place all ingredients (excluding the chocolate chips) in your food processor and blend until perfectly smooth.
Scoop into a bowl and stir-in chocolate chips.
Serve!

I hope these are helpful to you!

Remember: EAT CLEAN. LAUGH A LOT. PRAY ALWAYS.