A Grateful Life

recipes and tips for better living

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Moringa: A True Miracle Nutrient Everyone Should Consider Taking

Last night a dear friend of mine who's fought and beat ovarian, cervical, and uterine cancer shared on a wellness call i hosted how she's been able to keep her cancer at bay. While she takes the same daily superfood supplement i do, we started to chat about specific herbs that are in the blend we love, about how healing plants are, and the importance of alkalinity. A few of us on the call were comparing the size of our home grown moringa plants (ps mine won) and recognized i have not been sharing much lately on my blog or on my social media posts about WHY i consume the superfoods i do, and WHY they are so vital to have in your daily diet. 

Because it's one of my favorites, I'll start today by highlighting Moringa.  It's been used Ayurvedically to treat and prevent over 300 curable illnesses. The picture above is actually of me standing in Mexico on the third story of our rental home that had a gigantic moringa tree growing outside.

how cute was our little place?  Three stories,  a view of the jungle, and a short walk to the sea.
Here's how impactfully powerful this little leaf can be:
Moringa is said to have between 3-25x more iron than spinach, 4x more beta-carotene than carrots, 4x the chlorophyll of wheatgrass, and 4-17x more calcium than milk. A half cup of cooked leaves contains 100% of the recommended daily serving of vitamin C, and it's said to also naturally contain Omega 3, 6, 9 and Zeatin.

Ayurveda, being the sister of yoga and mother of all healing sciences lists about 300 diseases that can be treated with this wonder herb known as the Miracle Tree, Never Die Tree, or also known in the Ayurvedic community as Shigru, Sahijna, Munaga, Shobanjana and Sainjna in the Ayurvedic community.

Doctors in West Africa have used it to treat diabetes and doctors in India sometimes use it to treat high blood pressure. Some imbalances i read that it can potentially treat are arthritis, stroke, cancer asthma, anxiety, anemia, cough, headaches, hypocholesteremia, discharge intestinal fat, hormonal imbalance, detoxification, diuretic for kidney, prostate disorders, tuberculosis, migraine, hangover, stomach ulcers, skin infections, sores, blackheads, blood impurities, bronchitis, chest congestion, eye and ear infections, fever, glandular swelling, joint pain, psoriasis, respiratory disorders, intestinal worms, lactation, colitis, sleep disorder, jaundice, malaria and urinary disorders. Its said to nourish your whole body, kidney, liver, heart, eye, strengthen your teeth, skin and hair, AND as a longevity plant it's documented that some who take Moringa live healthily pass the age of 90.

Pretty cool stuff right? It's something i consume daily in my superfood blend and have for the past 4 or 5 years since i first learned about it.  I'm excited to see my little moringa tree at home grow into something as incredible as this amazing 3 story tree!

Ayurveda and Discovering How To Eat For Your Unique Needs

One of the concepts i shared about this month in my "Get in the Flow + Love Yourself " Challenge is Ayurveda. While I've shared my video series on it before here, it's been a while and it's something that's helped me incredibly and deserves to be mentioned again. Ayurveda is the sister science of yoga and the oldest system of medicine that’s practiced in the world today. I first learned about it during my studies for my Holistic Health Practitioner’s certification, and later really started to put it into practice when i enrolled for my yoga teacher training and began to actively practice more yoga-based theories. As someone who has suffered from digestive maladies my entire life, i found the concepts of Ayurveda and learning how to balance my doshas to help me out IMMENSELY in feeling better, living more vibrantly, and making better choices that fit uniquely for MY needs and MY constitution.
Ayurveda is based on a blend of 3 areas: diet, lifestyle, and herbs. Just as every part of our body is interconnected so are we to the Universe. We ARE nature and have every aspect of nature in us (air, wind, fire, water, earth and space). Each of us have a different balance of these elements which in turn can cause imbalances in our body, and if we don’t LEARN how to approach our diet, herbs, and lifestyles correctly, these imbalances can manifest as diseases and lifestyle illnesses. For me, i suffered digestively. While i’ve learned through the act of whole foods cleansing, doing nutritional challenges, and experimenting with a variety of theories, Ayurveda and educating myself on how to eat for my dosha and the season, has helped me IMMENSELY understand Why some of the most healthy foods i was eating were not making me feel energized, rooted, or vibrant. I hope my 7 part series offers you a bit of insight so you can start practicing a few of the methods and see how they fit for you. I’ll include a link to a short dosha quiz, but just know, if you struggle trying to figure out how to balance your dosha, if you choose to eat seasonally, you’ll always be working on balancing the dosha which is naturally going out of balance due to the season. Feel free to shoot me questions through my website. I love chatting about Ayurveda and I'm here to help you discover optimal health for yourself.
Being summer now, you’ll mostly want to enjoy foods that cool your body naturally.
Here are a few..

*images sourced via google


Sunday, July 30, 2017

Deconstructed Buddha Bowls: Simple Techniques to Stellar Plant Based Bowls

If you've followed me on Instagram, Facebook or even this blog for any length of time, you're well aware of my love for healthy plant based food.  As someone who grew up very sick, in hospitals, and suffered from a lot of digestive malaise, discovering food as medicine and whole foods detoxing has really provided me not just with the healing i was searching for, but gave me the permission and passion to share what helped me in an effort to educate others.  It's actually how this blog was born almost 10 years back.

Many of the older recipes on this blog were created after taking my first raw foods certification course and studying for my Holistic Health Practitioner's and Nutrition Counselor's certifications.  As a matter of fact, i'm not even sure if Facebook was in existence then, and surely Instagram was not around yet.  Over the years as social media became more popular i've spent much of my time sharing recipes on social and educating in my online formats, through my virtual programs, and social communities i've cultivated rather than here on my blog.  I've even put together four ebooks and a clean eating grocery list, including my newest Buddha Bowl ebook full of recipes and my Plant Based Slim Down Ebook which i followed to a T last month when i dropped 6.75 inches and almost 5 lbs in 42 days.  I never intended to publish and sell my ebooks, rather they have always just been a resource for my clients/challengers who invest in their health and commit to any one of my programs.  They were created to simply share what worked for me, and offer a step by step guide, meal plan, and recipe selection for those who wanted to follow my exact same plan and get the results i was getting.

After many requests at where you can find my ebooks and recipes i made sure they were all housed in one simple place for you to access.  While you can scroll down to see a deconstructed buddha bowl, my food prep for it, and how fast it is to eat healthy, if you want all of my exact recipes, eating regime, and my slim down plan, you can click HERE to get started on your program.  As mentioned above all four of my most sought-after ebooks and slim down programs come with your commitment to one of my virtual programs.  You invest one time and you get EVERYTHING including my coaching and online communities for eternity.  Pretty Badass right?  I sure think so!  After being on the hunt myself for optimal health, weight loss, and healing, and purchasing every program out there, i wanted to make sure i could offer my clients something that was personal, community driven, had every resource you need and most importantly gave you a coach that could help you customize your plan and a program that WORKS.  Fact was, i spent hand over fist on programs and did my research before launching my first program and what i found was a lot of people selling the next 'best' program, with very little support or follow through, and an auto-responder that got me no where or a 'coach' that didn't show up for me when i had a Question.  Get excited for what you get in my All Access Member Program....Check it all out HERE.


I'm a girl who LOVES to eat out of bowls.  Maybe because i love to get every little bite on my plate, and bowls make it so much easier to do that, or maybe it's because i like saucy things and bowls are such great containers for sauce, but either way this girl is all about BOWL EATING.  So the first thing you'll need for your meal is a badass big bowl.  The white ones i use are from Target.  They are bigger than a normal salad bowl, slightly smaller than a serving bowl, and perfect to spread out my veggies so my bowls are picture perfect!

Next, if you're a busy woman, you might want to consider doing some food prep for the week or half week so that you're bowls can literally be thrown together in under 2 minutes.  I steam most of my veggies so depending on how busy my week looks or if i'm traveling, sometimes i do a good amount of prep, sometimes i do it right before i make my food, but i will admit, having your buddha bowl content prepped before hand makes it so easy and fast to get your bowl made before your hangry girl mouth has a moment to be noshing on something else that's faster to grab and less vibrant for your body, mind, and soul.  Generally when i prep i zoodle zucchini with a julienne peeler, noodle carrots with a basic veggie peeler, grate beets or chop small for fast steaming, slice sweet potatoes, chop mushrooms, de-stem/clean/and steam my kale or other greens, and i always keep the insides of my zoodled zuchs for my superfood smoothies to thicken them up, and save the inside of my carrots for noshing with dips.

A few things that generally make their way into my buddha bowls:  

-Bragg's nooch (nutritional yeast) - important for B12 for those of you who are vegan
-Rawmesan (a common topper on my bowls) - you can make it with nooch, nuts, and sea salt 
-Coconut Aminos (similar to soy sauce/tamari but gluten and soy free)
-Seeds (hemp, pumpkin, or other such toppings)
-Tahini (sometimes made into a dressing with lemon and coconut aminos and spices)
-All the STEAMED veggies (i cook most all of my veggies for easier digestibility // steam or grill)

From there you can get super creative using my buddha bowl recipe ebook and slim down guide, and either master the recipes in there or start to create your own.  I guarantee your mouth, heart, and tummy will be happy.  Those of you who don't follow a grain free lifestyle, add some quinoa or rice, and those of you who love your proteins, add some fish, eggs, or other humanely raised and clean source of protein.  I'm not a big fan of Soy Foods, but if you choose soy, always look for GMO and organic!


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

What If I Fail?!?...Oh but Darling, What if you FLY??: What Is Virtual Fitness Coaching

You may be wondering what it is i actually do as a 'Virtual Fitness Coach' or how you can too turn your blog or passion for health and wellness into a sustainable and rewarding career.  I want to give you an inside because I too was the girl who was scrolling blogs, following foodies and fit girls on instagram, and started my own blog (this very one) 10 years ago with a dream to make my love of health my independent career.  I spent years trying to figure out how one turns their passion for wellness into a real business without burning the candle at both ends with their healthy side-hustles.  In truth the solution ended up being a very simple recipe that i learned just a few years back that anyone can do, but very few WILL because it requires WORK and PASSION and EXCITEMENT. These days most people seem to either want to invest their time in working for 'the Man' 9-7 and end up to tired to pursue their day-dreams after work hours, or they legitimately WANT to pursue their dreams and start to, but hit their first few road blocks, aren't doing the right personal development/business development work, and so they quit.  I know because i not only see it everyday, but i did it myself too! 

Less than 4 years ago I was teaching yoga full time and then some. I was exhausted, teaching on auto-pilot, and no longer felt like i was growing myself or achieving new goals. I drove from studio to studio, chasing paychecks, taught private classes, cooking classes, led workshops, detox courses, and was 'living my passion' ultimately at the expense of my own sanity, health, and wellbeing. I'd come home many nights and pour a massive glass of wine (or a few) and try to shut off my life until i had to be ON again and punch the time clock the next day. I wanted change and growth. I wanted to get in my best shape and feel like a women who really appreciated the skin she was in, and i wanted to be PUSHED and inspired to do more in life, and ultimately i wanted a PURPOSE and to feel like i was making a difference in this world. I kept visualizing what i could create provided my years of experience teaching and holding space for others and i wanted to make an impact that could be felt far deeper than within the confines of the few yoga studios i taught at. .When I enrolled as a Coach I didn't realize what it really meant or the opportunity i was given. I didn't know that the sheer act of me choosing to work on myself, to challenge my fitness and health and prove to myself that i could do MORE than i was doing, would inspire others to do the same. I could clearly visualize myself being part of team of women who helped others with their health and fitness, but i wasn't sure how i could do that without feeling hypocritical because frankly i was plateaued and needed something that would work for me too. In the end it was the choice i made to be a Coach that actually made me get committed to my fitness and accountable to my own health. Within my first couple months of coaching it became abundantly clear to me the ability I had to create REAL change in my own life and the lives of others while not taking shortcuts or accepting my own self limitations or excuses. Within one year i became an Elite Coach, was recognized in the top 0.01% of our company and started mentoring other women to have the same level of success i had.


It's surely not comfortable (and generally not socially acceptable) to share stuff like this, but had it not been for the brave women who came before me who shared their successes and stories as well, i may not be here now in a space to help more women find freedom. If in sharing this today i can inspire even one woman to take a leap of faith like i did, then my openness to share something this personal is completely worth it. 

I've been a coach now since September 2013, a three time Elite coach and 3 time top 100 coach. I have multiple Elite, Diamond and Star Diamond coaches on my team who i've personally mentored, and one who is currently the number 7 coach in our entire network. I don't say that to toot my own horn, i say that because THAT is the quality and caliber of women i choose to work with: women who are excited to stretch themselves, are hungry for growth, and aren't scared to chase their dreams. The transformations i've experienced and seen from my challengers and coaches are truly beyond words. How can i express the feeling of someone saying to you, "THANK YOU for not giving up on me" when you know your encouragement and support provided them new levels of confidence, helped them lose 25, 50 or 100 lbs, helped them earn a six figure income, helped them love them self enough to save their marriage or helped them get out of debt? I see women on our team reaching their fitness goals, optimizing their health, earning supplemental and full time incomes, and reinventing who they are and how their families eat and live. Even more exciting for me is that I am literally surrounded by people with HEART, and passion, perseverance, and women who remind me everyday to be a better and bigger person than the person i was yesterday. 

Let me be clear that my willingness to share THIS and my personal information is not to entice you to join me for a get rich quick opportunity. If that is what you're looking for then please move on to my next recipe post. Nothing in life that is WORTH IT comes without hard work. My achievements and those of my team are because we are incredibly hard workers, committed to the development of our small businesses and to the success of others which all takes time.  I'm focused not just on my personal growth but making sure others are reaching their goals with their fitness, health, and career goals as well.  I care about people, and i'm incredibly passionate about what i do and helping you fulfill your dreams. 

I hope that you take the time to connect with me and learn more about what we do as Sol Warriors Coaches, the team i train, and the opportunities that are available on the team for those who are the right fit.  Coaching has absolutely changed my life, the lives of many of my coaches, and improved the lives of my challengers and team-mates who show up, do the work, and never give up. I know it can for you too. You do not need experience or certifications to coach, however you must be a hard worker, you must want to get in your best shape, you must want to authentically help others and be a part of a team, you must want to build a life of design, and you must have a 'never give up' attitude. Until you spread your wings you will never know how far you can fly.

Apply here to connect, inquire, or learn more :www.tinyurl.com/JoinTeamSolWarriors

**Beachbody does not guarantee any level of success or income from the Team Beachbody Coach Opportunity. Each Coach's income depends on his or her own EFFORTS, diligence, and skill. See our Statement of Independent Coach Earnings located in the Coach Online Office for the most recent information on our Coaches' actual incomes." Statement of Independent Coach Earnings: http://tbbcoa.ch/TBB_SOICE.**

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Spring Into Your Best Body Challenge

It's SPRING and the layers of clothing are slowly going to start slipping off and revealing what's been hiding under our sweaters and stretch pants the past 6 months.  This challenge isn't just about looking good, it's about FEELING good inside and out, and coming into your most confident and happy self. If you focus on getting the inside right, the rest will fall into place. So during this 21 day challenge we'll be focusing not just on FITNESS and NUTRITION but also on MINDSET and teaching you how to to THRIVE on simple, delicious, healthy eats and NON-CHEAT treats. You'll get a ton of recipes and support including my Buddha Bowl (grain free/gluten free/soy free) recipe ebook that fits right into our 21 day portion balanced meal plan. Plus learn how to create HEALTHY delicious non-cheat treats and snacks that taste like CHEAT FOODS but are kid-approved, satiate your cravings, and truly just help you stay on track without feeling deprived.

Expect to learn and experience:

- the exact same techniques i've used myself and with my clients to lose weight, tone up, and fire up our metabolism while eating delicious food and not feeling deprived

- how to prepare simple and healthy plant based Buddha Bowls and NON CHEAT treats like snack bars and superfood brownies, PLUS get our favorite recipes for healing and fortifying simple super-smoothies and smoothie bowls

- how to eat in the right portions/right macros for weight loss and weight maintenance success

- tips on holistic living and how to eat a naturally detoxifying diet

- experience a FUN and supportive accountability community, group challenges, ab challenges, GREAT FITNESS, and did i mention FUN!?!?

With Your Enrollment You'll Get:

- Access to an ANNUAL membership of Beachbody FITNESS ON DEMAND from top trainers including Autumn Calabrese, Shaun T, Tony Horton, Chalene Johnson and more. You'll get ACCESS TO FULL PROGRAMS, workout calendars and meal plans for the sought after 21 day fix, 21 day fix Extreme, p90X3, insanity max 30, Core De Force, Hammer and Chisel, piYo, and more including our full yoga studio). You'll have every workout i use daily to achieve my results

- a customizable meal guide that you can follow as flexitarian, vegetarian, vegan, paleo, pescatarian, gluten/soy/dairy free

- guidance on how to customize your meal plan for your dietary preferences 

-portion containers to measure the appropriate macro nutrients for success

- my ongoing coaching free

- free membership to my Online Community with exclusive slim downs and recipe ebooks including my BPTN and 10 day hustle guide

- the Buddha Bowl Downloadable Ebook

- a month's supply of superfood shakeology


To inquire or learn more simply use this link: www.tinyurl.com/MfitBootcamps

**To enroll TODAY (for those of you who do not yet have all the program materials) you will need to purchase your All Access Challenge Pack with Shakeology Here to be enrolled with me.  I do recommend following your purchase with an email to me in case your enrollment does not register on my roster.  Contact me HERE after your enrollment through the link above.  This is a value well over a $1000 however it's yours right now for just $199.  You will continue to receive my coaching support and online community access even after our challenge is complete.

Note: this program is created to meet YOU where you're at, in a non-dogmatic way, and is customized to fit YOUR unique needs. You CAN follow it as vegan/vegetarian/paleo/balanced nutrition or otherwise. Every individual gets a one on one call with me, recommendations on their workouts and meal plans, and options for customizations uniquely for them. My goal is to help you achieve your ultimate optimal health, fitness, and wellness goals.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

No Bake Pumpkin Energy Bites

If you thought my Salted Chocolate Dipped Maple Almond Butter Bites were easy, then this is a CAKE walk...and ironically these little balls taste like cake too.  They use only six simple ingredients (if you count spices and salt as an ingredient), no baking, no prepping, it's literally drop the food in the food processor, blend, and roll into balls.  YES, it's that simple, and they are so delicious.  They are just as good without chocolate in them.  As a matter of fact, if you leave out the cacao nibs and add a pinch of powered ginger and a dash of cinnamon to the recipe below, you'll essentially have what tastes like the healthiest version ever of the Hostess Cinnamon Streusel Topping that comes on their little coffee cakes (yes i ate these as a kid).

You'll need:

`9 medjool dates - remove the pit, if they are very dry you may need to soak them in water for a few minutes.  i used the ones pictured.  They were quite moist and required zero soaking
`1/2 cup of coconut flour
`1/2 cup of pumpkin puree (i used canned)
`1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
` a couple cranks of sea salt
`2 Tbsp of cacao nibs (or chocolate chips)

Step One:  Add everything but the cacao nibs/chocolate chips to a food processor with an S blade, and process until it makes a sticky crumble texture and tends to wad up on one side of the food processor.    Add the cacao nibs/chocolate chips and process again to mix in   Test the batter by making sure if you grab a little piece it's tacky and will stick together when you start rolling.

Step two:  Roll into balls of any size you prefer.  I rolled medium sized balls and this recipe yielded 11 pumpkin energy bites. 

Step 3: Devour or Share.  I recommend keeping any remaining bites in a glass container in your refrigerator. 

 The bites are really 'cakey' inside, and taste almost like pumpkin or carrot cake.  
They are truly delicious.


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Salted Chocolate Dipped Maple Almond Butter Bites

These are seriously so good, so simple, and the hardest part is not eating them all.

I chose to use Enjoy Life chocolate chips to keep the recipe allergy free and VEGAN, but if you're not vegan or dairy free you can pick your favorite chocolate to use for the outside of the 'bites'.


1/2 cup Maple Almond Butter (or any almond butter)  
1/4 cup Coconut Flour
1/2 cup Chocolate Chips
Pink Coarse Grind Sea Salt for topping

Step one:  Mix the coconut flour into the almond butter in a bowl until fully combined and semi crumbly, but also still sticks together.  If you have a more oily almond butter you may need more coconut flour.  If your almond butter is really dry you may need less.

Step two:  Use either a rounded teaspoon scoop or a Tbsp scoop (depending how big you want your bites) to scoop the batter onto parchment paper.  Once complete, let set in the freezer for 10-20 minutes (based on your patience factor of which i have about ZERO).

Step three:  Melt the chocolate morsels in a tiny pot or bowl if using a microwave. 

Side note, I got rid of my microwave YEARS ago after reading a bunch of not-so-healthy side effects of using them.  Sometimes i get sad when i see microwaved mug cakes on pinterest and realize i would have to make it in an oven and it will take longer, but then i remember my health is more important than the time lost from not microwaving.  No offense meant if you have one, rather it's something you might want to read up on.  If you do have a microwave and I came over your house, I'd probably be jazzed AF to use it.

Step four:  Remove your 'naked' maple almond butter bites from the freezer and use a fork or spoon to submerge them one by one into the melted chocolate and fully cover.  As you dip each one, place it back on the parchment paper, top with a pinch or crank of sea salt, and freeze for another 10 minutes

Step five:  My favorite part...  Remove from freezer and EAT.  I'm one of those girls who can't have just one (of any treat), so generally I either make a half batch or i make them when i'm about to leave for an event or to meet someone so I can gift them to my friends.  You do need to keep these in the freezer or fridge until you've eaten them all.  ENJOY!

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