Almond Butter Bites

Happy almost Halloween! Are you dressing up this year? We’re doing a DC family costume this year, I’m going as Diana Prince, hubs will be Clark Kent and the pups are going as Batman and Wonder Woman. I whipped up a batch of these ghoulish almond butter bites for a healthier snack to munch on while handing out candy. They’re a gluten free, vegan alternative to my favorite halloween candy: peanut butter cups. I first made a version of these at Easter and they disappeared in minutes!

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Friday Favorites 2/2/18

This week’s edition of Friday Favorites is all about some tough love things I learned on Whole30. Mostly I learned that I can do hard things and when it comes down to it, following the ‘rules’ is really not that hard.

No added sugar.
No grains.
No alcohol.
No pancakes, cookies, cake, donuts, ice cream, chocolate etc. 

This sounds amazing right?! haha.

You can do anything for 30 days. I promise. If I did this I know you are capable of doing it as well. Do this for you, because your best friend is doing it too or because you’ve tried at everything else and haven’t been successful. There is some tough love in this post, but know that it comes from a place of love.  I truly believe if I can complete a Whole30 you can too.

  1. You won’t actually die if you go more than 3 hours without a meal. I’m a snacker. Like snacks on snacks on snacks kind of snacker. Sweet, salty, healthy, not healthy I’m not too picky. I used to ALWAYS have snacks in my car, my bag, my purse. A lot of ‘diets’ insist that you need snack to avoid overeating at meals. Guess what?! You are not going to starve. Eat three balanced meals per day, stopping when you are full. The only exception, you may need to add some fuel pre/post workout if they last longer than 60 minutes.
  2. Whole30 is so much more than a diet. It’s a complete change in how you approach, shop for and prepare your food. It’s about buying local, fresh and sustainable foods. Fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds, aka things that grow in dirt. Not shiny, packaged, chemical laden, lab-made food. You can eat meat, you can eat a lot of meat, or you can actually do this as a vegan/vegetarian. There are so many possibilities and so many delicious, fast and easy recipes just waiting to be whipped up in your kitchen. If you can boil water or cook an egg, you can make most of these recipes. DSC_0330
  3. Fill half your plate with vegetables. This isn’t rocket science, no matter what diet you’re on or whatever food group you’ve decided is bad, vegetables are always in. Steamed, sautéed, roasted, or raw it really doesn’t matter. I prefer leafy green or cruciferous veggies like broccoli and brussel sprouts to carrots and peas. If you think you hate vegetables, roast them in the oven with a little olive oil, salt and pepper until they are golden brown and crispy. You’ll never look at broccoli the same way.
  4. Drinking your coffee black is not hard as queen bee Melissa Hartwig would say. Although somedays it’s definitely better with some NutPods or vanilla bean ghee stirred in. If you prefer a skinny white mocha with extra whip, ask yourself if you’d willing eat a king sized candy bar every day for breakfast on top of whatever else you usually eat. My guess is no. So please just stop with the sugary beverages in the morning. Drink a cup of coffee, tea or hot water, make yourself a real breakfast and start the day fueled and ready for anything.

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    My favorite Whole30 Breakfast: Greens, Potatoes, compliant bacon or sausage, avocado and a runny egg.

  5. I can’t live without “BLAH BLAH BLAH” I promise you, you can live without whatever food first came to mind. I can live without chocolate, I don’t ever want to, but I can. I can say to my favorite cookies, cake, burger, wine etc because I want to. I wanted whole30 to be successful. I wanted to get my health back on track, because I owe it to myself to try. I am working on being the best version of myself. For me that was trying Whole30 and committing to a full 30 days. For you that might mean one less coffee run this week.
  6. Bonus: Self care is so important, you should not be rewarding yourself with a stale break room donut, or hitting the drive thru because you “earned it.” How about treating yourself to an Inspiralizer so you can make veggie noodles on demand? Or a cast iron skillet? Maybe a week of Blue Apron or Territory meals because life and you don’t have time to shop/cook this week? That workout class you’ve been dying to try? Or the essential oil your friend recommended? Treat yourself with things that will improve your wellness or feel good. A bouquet of flowers or new candle always brightens my mood! DSC_0325

Whatever it is that is holding you back from trying Whole30 or going out for a run or heading to the gym, put it away. Lock it up in a box and throw it away. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.

You deserve to eat real food.

You deserve to move your body every day.

You are loved.

You are worth it.

Excuses do not serve you. They have no place in your life. Get out of your own way. Maybe you went into the New Year with big goals, resolutions or intentions and failed miserably the first week. Don’t let the rest of the year go by because of one slip up or mistake. Make February your month, own it, even if the groundhog sees his shadow and we have 6 more weeks of winter.

Love and take care of yourself so that you can give and receive the love of others. I believe in you!

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Whole30 Week 5

We’ve made it to the final week of January Whole30! I’m both excited and nervous to enter the Food Freedom stage. Part of me is like YASSSS CHOCOLATE and the other part of me is like what if I go completely off the rails and shove all the food into my mouth on Thursday? I know my tastes have started to change, my husband mentioned pizza yesterday and I was like, no it doesn’t even sound good. I had to stop eating grapes the other night because they were too sweet, fruit really is nature’s candy, just a few and I was totally satisfied. Not going to lie, I have missed chocolate like crazy so it will be interesting to see how that tastes this week.

If you haven’t started reading Food Freedom Forever, I suggest you download a copy of it ASAP. It’s really helped me reflect on why I did this in the first place and given me better insight on how to approach food after the Whole30. I’ve already experienced several NSVs (non scale victories) but I’m definitely hoping to see some results on the scale as well. Click through after the photo for this weeks plan.

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My favorite breakfast this week: a sweet potato topped with grainless granola, almond butter, coconut flakes, chia seeds and Coconut Cult. It woke up my sugar dragon, so proceed with caution on this one, but gave me the energy needed to power through a tough bike workout. 

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Whole 30 Week 4

Guess what?! We’ve made it to the last full week of the Whole30! I’m really excited about this weeks meals. Most come together in 40 minutes or less and a lot of things can be prepped ahead of time. I’ve included some tips below to help make your week easier. Since it’s your last full weekend on the Whole30, why not make it special by cooking up a fancy pants meal for you and a friend. Or head out to a compliant brunch/lunch on Sunday morning. Celebrate your hard work, talk about your process for food reintroduction and pick up a copy of Food Freedom Forever.

Click through for this week’s plan and meal prep tips.

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Friday Favorites 1/19/18

Happy Friday! It’s been a crazy week, we started fostering a 3 year old weenie dog, Briella, on Monday and she’s turned our home upside down! We’re so in love with her already and so happy we get to spend the next few months with her. Oscar’s not quite as thrilled with her but they’ve been caught snuggling a few times.

A few weeks ago I posted a photo of my grocery haul from 365 by Whole Foods (a more accessible version of Whole Foods). I scored big time on some produce thanks to their rewards program and a 20% off coupon. They reached out asking if they could repost my photo and of course I said yes. Fast forward to this week when they posted it and  I was kind of shocked at how many negative comments there were on their inflated prices. I knew this weeks favorites had to be a post about saving money at the grocery store.

While I know first hand shopping at Whole Foods typically means “whole paycheck,” I was pleasantly surprised by the prices on my most recent visit to 365. Even without the coupon this would have cost me about $45, not bad for a full weeks worth of mostly organic produce! Click through after the photo to see what I stocked up on and my tips for saving $$

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Whole30 Week 3

Here’s your Whole30 week 3 meal plan and shopping list. We’ve officially reached the half way point, and I don’t know about you but I’m feeling really good!

I chose a bunch of Instant Pot recipes this week, it makes quick work of weeknight dinners. You’ll want to pick up a copy of this cookbook, if you don’t already have it, it’s full of recipes, tips and tricks. Don’t fret if you don’t have an instant pot, many of these recipes can be done in a slow cooker by adjusting the cooking time. You’ll also notice there’s quite a lot of sweet potatoes this week, personally I need a bit of extra carbohydrates with all of the training I’m doing. If you don’t like them please swap with yellow or red potatoes, cauliflower rice or serve over greens.

I’ve added a servings guide this week, most make 4 servings, 2 for dinner and 2 for lunch the next day. Be sure to adjust up if you’re cooking for a family or down if you’re doing the Whole30 solo.

This week is a great night to invite some friends over for dinner, share a delicious Whole30 approved recipe, and maybe drop a few hints about how great you feel.

Whole30 Week 3

A few tips: You’ll want to prep your chia pudding, breakfast bake and apple cinnamon hot cereal the night before, as they take some extra time. You may want to grab an extra veggie to roast along side the greek burgers on Sunday night. Most of all have fun with these, go a bit outside of your comfort zone and treat yourself to a Spiralizer or new kitchen gadget.

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Friday Favorites 1/12/18

Happy almost weekend! This week’s favorites are some of the recipes I’ve been cooking up on the Whole30. With food this good it hardly feels like a ‘diet’ or a reset. The food is that good! I won’t lie, I would really like a huge chunk of chocolate.

Racing this past weekend at the Hot Chocolate 15k was no easy feat, they were literally handing out chocolate chips, M&M’s and marshmallows at the aid stations. I grabbed my finishers medal and headed out, I didn’t want to be tempted by the huge mug of hot chocolate, fondue and other treats they give to participants at the finish line. If you haven’t done a Hot Chocolate race, I would definitely recommend it, check in and packet pickup were seamless and the race was really well organized.

 

I branched out of my comfort zone this week and tried a few new things mixed in with some old favorites. Click through to check them out!  Read More


Whole30 Week 2 Meal Plan & Shopping List

Hello! I hope your first week of the New Year, and Whole30 is going well. Here is your meal plan and shopping list for week 2 of the Whole30. Even if you’re not joining me, and thousands of others, for a Whole30, these meals and recipes are delicious! You won’t regret making one or two of them this week. There are a ton of veggies this week, and I swapped in some vegetarian meals wherever possible. If you don’t eat or like pork, you can easily swap in chicken or turkey.

I’ve really enjoyed this last weeks meals, especially these Greek Style Meatballs I whipped up from Whole30 Fast & Easy. If you’re in NorCal, swap out the romaine, for another lettuce as there’s currently a E. Coli warning on romaine. Click through after the photo for this week’s plan.

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Whole30 Meal Plan and Shopping List

Happy almost New Year! I’m doing some shopping and meal prep today for the start of my Whole30 tomorrow before heading to a movie. I’ve laid out all of my meals for the week, and will be grabbing a few emergency foods to keep with me. Most of the recipes can be found in the new Whole30 Fast & Easy cookbook or the original Whole30 book.

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I’ll be posting meal plans every week along with a shopping list. I know how daunting it can be to stick to a meal plan which is why I created these. You can prep some items ahead, I’ll be hard boiling eggs, roasting some vegetables and prepping mayonnaise and salad dressings today. Otherwise most of the meals come together pretty quickly, especially if you buy prepped or frozen veggies. Just be sure to check the labels on everything you buy to ensure there’s no added sugars, soy or other off limits foods snuck in there.

I also highly recommend you head over to whole30.com, sign up for their daily emails and check the forums if you have any questions. I’m also here if you need someone to hold you accountable. Wishing you a safe and fun New Year’s Eve!

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Recipe: Gingerbread Fat Balls

Hello, I hope you all had a wonderful holiday! I spent the day celebrating with family and took a bit of a break from the blog and social media. I did a ton of baking, spent time with family we don’t get the chance to see often enough and truly tried to stay present. These gingerbread fat balls are Inspired by @leefromamerica‘s pumpkin spice fat balls I whipped up for Thanksgiving. I wanted a healthier treat to balance out all the cookies. I hope you enjoy them and be sure to check out Lee’s original recipe coconut ones.👌 I can’t wait to experiment with more seasonal flavors.

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Ingredients:

1 cup unsweetened coconut shreds
1 cup almond meal
1 tbsp ground flax seed
1/3 cup cashews (whole or chopped)
1/2 cup pecans (whole or chopped)
1/4 cup raw pepitas
4 large medjool dates (pitted & soaked in warm water for 10-15 minutes)
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
1-2 tbsp almond or other milk

Add nuts, coconut, and seeds to bowl of food processor and pulse until very finely chopped. Transfer mixture to a large bowl.
Drain water from dates, add to food processor and pulse until smooth. In batches add about half the nut mixture back in. Slowly add in molasses while running machine. Add spices and the rest of the nut mixture. Add almond milk if needed 1 tbsp at a time until mixture forms a large ball. Taste and adjust spices as necessary (they will get a bit spicier after sitting for a few hours. Divide and roll into balls. I like to make 2 sizes, smaller ones (1-2 tbsp) and slightly larger ones.

Notes: my food processor started smoking while testing another version of this recipe, which is why I did this in batches. You may be able to just dump everything and process at once. I would recommend starting with the dates first, blending those and then adding everything but the molasses and almond milk. Molasses and milk should be added while running the machine.

Let me know your thoughts if you make them, I’d love to see your pictures.

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