My apologies for my blog absence! I have been in summer mode and enjoying the outdoors and all that summer has to offer!
A few months ago I decided to finally give up peanuts and almonds for good. I have taken food sensitivity tests and they are major inflammatory foods for me. They make my tongue itch, and I was starting to get hives all over my arms when I ate them so I decided to give them up because if they are causing external issues I can only imagine what they are doing internally! With all that being said, I have been using cashews a lot more in recipes. It is not the worst thing either as they have always been my favourite nut. So here we have...
Chocolate Chip Granola Bars (Gluten Free + Vegan-ish)
You will need:
- 2 cups gluten free oats
- 1/2 cup natural cashew butter
- 1/3 cup mixed super seeds (I have a ziplock bag that I have pumpkin, chia + hemp seeds in and use to garnish different meals, etc)
- 1/3 cup honey (this is why they are vegan-ish, some vegans don't consume honey so if you fall into that category, substitute with maple syrup)
- 1/3 cup dairy free mini chocolate chips
- Either a silicone mold or a parchment lined square baking pan
- Mix together all the ingredients except for the chocolate chips in a food processor or a blender until well combined. You should be able to grab the mixture and form it into balls without it crumbling apart too much. If they do not hold together at all, add more cashew butter or honey.
- Finally, add in chocolate chips and stir them in manually (if you blend them in they will still taste the same but I like them with chocolate chips showing as I am a small child at heart)
- Either scoop into the molds or the baking pan and freeze for at least 3 hours. If you are using a baking pan, cut evenly into bars after the 3 hours. Keep frozen or store in the refrigerator for best results
HAPPY SUMMER! XO
OMG. I saw Erin Ireland (@erinireland) make @feastingonfruit recipe and had to try them out and I'm sure glad I did!
I am going to keep this link here so people can circle back!
summary/cole's notes version:
- they are amazing and you can make them in bulk to have in your freezer for your family! (or just yourself)
- the cookies: dates, vanilla, coconut flour + vegan chocolate chips
- the filling: bananas, coconut milk + dates
- they need to be made the day before you want to eat!
- MAKE THEM!!!
This post is a little bit different than my regular ones. For those of you who don’t know, I consider myself a very spiritual person. This spirituality began at an early age with my fascination of the unknown and the afterlife. I see a spiritual medium on a regular basis, do reiki, acupuncture, spiritual meditations and workshops, which all have one thing in common: they are energy workers. To be completely honest, I went to Catholic school for grade/high school but never felt very connected to some of the teachings just the idea of “something bigger” and universal love. My favourite lesson in religion class was when we learned about world religions and I made the connection that all religions had one thing in common: faith in a higher power.
When my mom passed away 3 years ago I can honestly say that it brought a deeper and more beautiful meaning to my spirituality. It is what got me through the past three years and made the grieving process that much easier. In my eyes my relationship with my mom isn’t over it is just different. As cliché as it sounds, I feel her every single day (and I don’t mean just think of her) I mean I hear her voice in my head, I hear her witty remarks to things going on in my life, I get signs from her every single day, she is with me always. I truly believe that everything positive that has happened for me over the past three years was guided and orchestrated by her. I have angels in my court, we all do. So that leads me to “211”. My birthday is February 11th, i.e 2/11, a date that forever connected and bonded me to my mom. There are some days of the year that are harder than others without my mom, but my birthday is the one I find the hardest. I didn’t fully appreciate how big of a bonding my birthday was with her until she passed. I never thought much about what she had to go through to get me here or what a SPECIAL connection that was. The closer I get to motherhood (I am not pregnant, I just mean to the idea of becoming a mother myself), the more I realize these points too and am blown away it took me this long to realize it. Anyways, back to 211. I started to see this number about six months ago everywhere and I mean everywhere and at the times I needed it the most. My spiritual medium I go to confirmed that she is sending me numerical signs to show how much she is around. On my mom’s birthday this past week, I saw “211” at least 10 times! Whether that means on a license plate, billboard, the gas in my tank, the price of something. I truly believe it is no coincidence and they are signs from my mom that she is with me at that moment I see it but quite frankly she is always there and that is so comforting. People often asked how I got through her death and how I was able to maintain positivity (for the most part) and it is simple: my spirituality and the idea our relationship is still carrying on.
Today is my third half marathon. My first I did one while my mom was alive, the other was right after her death and it was emotionally and physically crippling. For anyone who has trained for anything physical or endurance based, you know how mental and emotional it is. When you are in a darker place it is even more of an obstacle. Needless to say, my last half marathon did not go well. This time I feel very emotionally/psychically/mentally strong. Throughout my training I have felt my mom with me, especially on the longer runs and I can hear her encouraging voice in my head and it pushes me. Then one day it hit me (and this wasn’t new information to me), a half marathon is 21.1k, 211. I had never made the connection and I knew that was confirmation she would be with me throughout it all. Now I know there are some people that might think that all of these are coincidences or not a big deal. To those people I say, I hope one day you experience life’s little magic and open your heart and eyes to these little reminders and signs from the universe. Every day to me is full of magical moments like this and I truly believe this is what keeps my spirits high. So if I end up running this race in 2 hours and 11 minutes, I hope I open up at least one person’s eyes to the magic that this universe has to offer.
My oh-so-lovely acupuncturist Anne Matthews (of Energy Tree Studios) asked me to keep a food journal so I thought I would share it with you all so you can get a glimpse into how I eat (+ how it makes me feel) , when I eat, my workouts, as well as my indulgences (spoiler alert: it's usually sugary, creamy or carby)!
I am seeing Anne to work on my digestion! I have a very sensitive digestive system and have had issues with it for as long as I can remember (I think it stems from my childhood diet based heavily on processed foods- that story is for another day though!) Anne thinks that I might not be assimilating nutrients as best as possible so is helping me get to the bottom of it. Since seeing Anne, I already feel so much better and am hooked on acupuncture! I had never done acupuncture before seeing Anne and the craziest part is, I HATE NEEDLES. I know people don't usually LOVE needles but I pass out every time I get blood taken so needless to say, I am slightly traumatized by them (I am not even exaggerating that I have passed out every single time! It is funny when I say it but so scary when it happens = cold sweats, disoriented, panic)
Anywayssssss, here it is! 6 days in the life of MOI!
Sunday (April snow storm day, "snowed in")
- 9am: bulletproof coffee with collagen creamer + coconut milk
- 11am: 5k run
- 12:30pm: homemade french toast with sprouted bread, coconut milk, cinnamon, 1/2 banana, 2 strawberries, butter + maple syrup
- 3pm: homemade energy ball (dates, chia, hemp, pumpkin seed)
- 330pm: 1 cup gluten free Annie’s Mac + cheese with Valentina hot sauce
- Felt tired within 30 minutes (of course)! Lol it was worth it. Took a digestive enzyme to help me break it down
- 7pm: homemade broccoli chicken and brown rice casserole + mini individual cheesecake
- 730am: bulletproof coffee + energy ball (made with protein powder, dates, chia, peanut butter)
- 930am: spin class
- 1030am: energy ball + banana
- Felt very energized + mentally clear
- 12pm: scrambled eggs (2 eggs + coconut milk) with 1/3 avocado + 1 tbsp 7 layer dip (tomatoes, cheese, pinto beans, onions)
- 3pm: mint tea
- Started to feel sleepy + slight brain fog
- 4pm: 1 cup quinoa, 1/2 cup Brussels sprouts, 1/2 cup sweet potato
- Mental fog better
- 430pm: 2 homemade cauliflower bites (cauliflower, eggs, carrots, cheese)
- Felt very bloated after this!
- 9am: bulletproof coffee + 2 energy balls
- Woke up feeling great
- 10am: 70 min run (10k)
- 12:30pm: green smoothie: 1 cup spinach, 1 banana, 1 cup coconut milk, 1 cup water, 1/2 cup avocado, 1 scoop vanilla protein powder, 1 tbsp hemp seed powder, 1 tsp ashwaganda, 1 tsp spirulina, 1 tsp moringa powder
- 3pm: Impact Kitchen Harvest Salad (quinoa, arugula, Brussels, hemp, egg, apple, onions, cauliflower, substituted bacon for more Brussels) + raw chocolate chip cookie
- 5pm: kombucha
- Feel really good! Usually hard boiled egg (harvest salad) makes me bloated but the kombucha prevented this! WOO!
- 9am: bulletproof coffee + energy ball
- 1130am: quinoa, shredded chicken, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes + hot sauce
- 330pm: banana + energy ball
- 530pm: spin class
- 7pm: 1 oz. mozzarella cheese
- Felt slightly hungry going to bed but my laziness got the best of me and I did not want to make food
- 730am: energy ball + coffee with cream
- 11am: green smoothie (same as one from a few days ago)
- 1pm: Vega protein bar (my lazy on the go snack)
- 2pm: GF English muffin + butter
- Carbing up for my Friday run!
- 6pm: quinoa pasta with pesto
- CARBS, CARBS, CARBS! I LOVE CARBS!
- 8pm: popcorn + sparkling water
- 9am: bulletproof coffee + gluten free English muffin with butter
- More carbs for my run!
- 11am: 15K for 100mins
- 130pm: vega chocolate coconut protein bar
- Kept one in my car to eat right after my run, I was SO hungry after it
- 330pm: gluten free toast with 2 poached eggs, 1/2 avocado + sea salt
- 530pm: 1/2 small gluten free vegetarian pizza with onions + jalapeño
- As expected, this bad boy did not sit well. TOO processed + too much dairy for my system. Was delish though!
I love meal prepping because it requires organization, playing with your food + making sure you are going to feel your best during the week. These cauliflower muffins are packed with vegetables, protein + my favourite part: you can eat them on the go!
I would suggest using this recipe loosely and adding in any vegetables that are going bad in your fridge or ones you think would taste good (ex. peppers, zucchini, jalapeños, broccoli, etc).
- 1 large head of cauliflower (makes about 3 cups chopped)
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1/2 cup cheese (I used parmesan)
- 1/2 white onion
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- Your choice of spices (I used chili powder + paprika)
- Avocado or coconut oil (for greasing of muffin pan)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Place cauliflower in food processor and blend until fully chopped
- Add in onion, carrots + eggs and blend again until fully chopped and combined
- Finally add in salt, pepper, spices + cheese
- Coat muffin tin cups with oil and then scoop mixture into each individual tin. Repeat
- Cook for 35 minutes or until tops are crispy. Let cool for at least 30 minutes as they will still be soft in the middle
You asked for this recipe, so here it is my friends! (it is so easy too)
- 2 cups gluten free oats
- 1 cup natural peanut, cashew or almond butter
- 1/4 pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup hemp seeds
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
Mix together all the ingredients in a blender or food processor for no longer than 40 seconds. You can manually stir together all the ingredients as well, I just prefer the ingredients to be finer within the granola bar.
Scoop mixture into plastic molds and place in the freezer for at least 1 hour. Keep stored in the freezer (my favourite) or fridge. IT IS THAT EASY!
I have never made carrot cake until now but I have had my eye on a recipe from Hemsley + Hemlsey (two British sisters with an amazing cookbook and company) so decided to make it for Easter!
I switched up their recipe a tad but here it is!
- 2 cups shredded/grated carrots (I cleaned, peeled + diced in my Vitamix)
- 1 cup almond flour
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 3 tbsp. pure maple syrup
- 2 tbsp. melted butter or coconut oil
- 2 tbsp. cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 cups Greek or Icelandic Yogurt
- strained overnight over cheese cloth or j cloth (gets rid of access liquid to make thicker consistency)
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 2 tbsp. pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla (or vanilla bean)
- Preheat oven to 400 and grease a rectangular baking dish with coconut oil
- Mix together almond flour, sea salt, baking soda + cinnamon in a bowl
- In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, maple syrup, coconut oil/butter, carrots + walnuts in a bowl
- Mix together both mixtures and pour the batter in the baking dish
- Cook for 35 minutes and let cool entirely
- Spread frosting over the cake and sprinkle with walnuts
ENJOY AND HAPPY LONG WEEKEND!
I love me some green algae! Spirulina is hands down my favourite superfood. It is energizing, detoxifying, packed with iron + one of the most nutrient dense foods on earth. It is like spinach on speed! So naturally I made the ultimate energy ball that will keep you full + fuel you both mentally and physically.
- 1.5 cup dates
- 1/2 cup coconut butter (also called coconut manna)
- 1/3 cup spirulina powder (my go to brand is Organika)
- 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
Mix together all of the ingredients in a food processor or high powered blender. Form into balls and store in the fridge or freezer!
They are great on the go or when you need a pick me up!
- 1 box of brown rice lasagna noodles
- 2 cups butternut squash (cubed)
- 2 cups tomato sauce
- 1 cup ricotta
- 1 cup spinach
- 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella or cheddar cheese
- 1 garlic clove (minced)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- Use a large pot for the lasagna noodles. Fill with water, bring to boil + cook your noodles according to instructions on the box (as all brands are different). Strain + rinse with cold water
- In the meantime, boil another pot of water for the squash. Add squash once water has boiled + cook for 10 minutes or until squash is fully cooked. Pour over strainer and run under cold water
- Place ricotta + spinach in a food processor and blend until fully combine
- Clean food processor. Next, add in the butternut squash along with the garlic, sea salt + pepper. Blend until fully combined
- Use a medium sized baking dish (I used a 6x8 casserole dish). Spread 1 cup of the tomato sauce evenly on the bottom of the dish. Top with lasagna noodles evenly to cover the sauce
- Next, top the noodles with all of the spinach ricotta mixture. Spread evenly to cover. Top with another layer of the noodles to cover entirely
- Top with all of the butternut squash mixture and spread evenly. Top with a final layer of the noodles
- Finally, add on the remaining amount of tomato sauce (1 cup), spread evenly on top of the noodles and sprinkle the shredded cheese throughout the top
- Cook for 30 minutes at 350. Let cool before storing in the fridge
- 3 ripe bananas
- 1 cup gluten free oats
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips (or vegan chocolate chips)
- 1/4 cup natural almond or peanut butter
- 2 tbsp hemp seed
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- In a food processor, combine the following: bananas, eggs, vanilla, nut butter + hemp seed
- Next, add in the oats and blend until fully combined
- Finally, manually add in chocolate chips
- Insert cupcake liners into cupcake tin and add mixture to each so they are 2/3 filled
- Cook for 20-25 minutes depending on your oven and desired texture. Let cool for at least 15 minutes