A Grateful Life

recipes and tips for better living

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!


Monday, November 28, 2016

DIY Coffee Bean Infused Coconut Body Oil

Here is one of my all time favorite Body Brews that is super easy to make and will leave your home and skin smelling amazing. This body oil is made with 2 simple ingredients: organic caffeinated coffee beans and organic coconut oil.  Think of the body brew as "Maui Babe" meets Holistic Healing Body Oil. 

Because caffeine constricts blood vessels it's often added to skin-care products to help reduce cellulite, promote a tighter tummy, and reduce under-eye puffiness. Along with the cooling effects of coconut oil you have the perfect blend of anti-inflammatory body care that Ayurvedically balances Pitta Dosha (aka heat) and helps re-invigorate the body and mind.  Here's the exact extraction and DIY body brew making process. It's such a great home-made gift, and it's what i'm using right now to remove makeup and wash my face with (coconut also has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal effects). 

What you'll need:

One jar of organic coconut oil
1/4 to 1/3 cup of organic coffee beans
Mesh strainer, glass bowl, funnel.


Melt the coconut oil in a pot over low heat.  Add coffee beans and simmer an hour or two over the lowest heat.  Strain through a mesh strainer into a glass bowl to cool.  Once cool, funnel back into the original jar and remove any bean fragments.  Lid and enjoy liberally massaged into your body daily.


Sunday, November 27, 2016

10 Tips To De-bloat After Over-Indulging

So you had an indulgent weekend or week, or maybe you just feel like you are ALWAYS puffy, inflammed, or bloated.  I get it because i've been there.  As a matter of fact i'm waking up today on the heels of Thanksgiving ready to put each one of these tips into action knowing that they are the simple solutions to maintaining good health and living a bloat-free life.

If you're reading this blog around the holidyas you'll know how hard it can be to stay on track this time of year and how hard it is to resist temptations.  Even your most health conscious advisors are enjoying a little more than usual.  It's the way of the season and it's fine, as long as it's in balance and you're taking the right measurements to enjoy it all in an 80:20 way and organizing time to sweat out your indulgences.  Hitting every party is fine if you have the energy, but it's not if you can't control how much and what you're putting in your mouth or if it leaves you too lethargic to get up and work out.  Remember it is always WAY EASIER to put on weight than it is to take it off, so don't assume that the little bulge you are seeing now is just putting a temporary dent in your fitness goals.  It's going to take time and hard work to undo the damage you do with over eating, over sweeting, over drinking, and under exercising this time of year.

If bloat is the issue from an over indulgent weekend, holiday, event, or eating the wrong foods then use these 10 tips to get anti-bloat results FAST.  Some will work for you immediately, some overnight, and some take a few days to really reap the best rewards.  All are super beneficial for your health, wellness, and will ease inflammation, bloating and give you the anti-bloat results you are looking for.

10 tips to beat bloat:

1. Skip your morning coffee or tea and rather start the day with a warm or hot mug of water with lemon.  This alkalizes your system, gives an overall 'clean sweep', and the bitter helps to stimulate digestion and elimination.  If lemon water isn't your favorite you can replicate this with using a small amount of pure cranberry juice (not from concentrate).  The bitter component of cranberry diluted with water will also help flush your system.  (This does not work with Ocean Spray or other sweetened or cranberry juice 'drinks'.  It must be PURE cranberry juice/not from concentrate).  Additionally look at investing in Triphala which is an Ayurvedic 3 herb combination used to help tonify your digeston and help with daily elimination.

2.  Skip the starchy veggies and grains and eat pseudo-paleo for a day or two.  Paleo eating is primarily eating lean animal protein, water rich veggies like spinach and broccoli, and low sugar fruits such as berries, while avoiding all starchy foods and grains.  Though sweet potatoes, beets, starchy veggies, organic grains, and sweet fruits are considered 'good carbs' the starch turns into glucose (sugar) in your body which gets stored as glycogen in your muscles.  In this process your body brings more water into the muscles for retention.  This is why so often when you see someone go on a low-carb diet they lean out fast.  As their muscles become deplete of glycogen they lose all the water weight they were holding onto.

Pseudo-paleo eating for someone who does not have time to cook or meal prep.  You can buy everything pre-cooked

3.  Enjoy foods that have a diuretic quality (aka help you shed water weight).  My two favorites are asparagus and dandelion tea.  In saying that, you also want to limit your sodium intake.  Stay away from processed foods, packaged foods, over-salting your food, and limit your sodium intake to the sodium that is naturally in the food you are eating.  All organic plant based foods are rich in minerals, so rely on your veggie's natural mineral content, or if you must salt, use himalyan sea salt sparingly while de-bloating.

4.  Drink more water.  If you're coming off a weekend of over-indulging, likely you've started to create new patterns and expanding your stomach so that it's feeling hungrier faster.  More often then not, when we're hungry it's simply our body's response for a need for more hydration.  Keep a hydro-flask or other water bottle handy and full and sip often.

5. Avoid dairy which is mucalegnic and causes inflammation in the body and up your probiotics, superfood nutrition, and digestive enzymes.  Instead of having yogurt, milk, cream or a yogurt based smoothie try a superfood smoothie with vegan shakeology.  It's packed with probiotics, digestive enzymes, and adaptogenic herbs that bring your body into balance.  You'll curb your sweet tooth while practicing pseudo-paleo, and will need only a scoop rather than a bunch of ingredietns to make a great superfood smoothie.  

6.  Swap out your happy hour drinks for fresh pressed green juice.  Pick a cold-pressed green juice with minimal or no sweet fruits.  These juices not only refuel electrolytes, but have an anti-inflammatory effect in your body.  Those that contain bitters like dandelion and lemon, and diurectics like parsley will have a more immediate effect on lessening bloating and inflammation.  You can find lots of green recipes on my blog or stop by a juice bar near your home.  If you choose a juice with fruit in it (or opt to eat some fresh fruit) select either pineapple or papaya which are rich in digestive enzymes.  Always eat fruit and drick your green juices on an empty stomach, and wait at least 30 minutes before eating anything else.

7.  Stop eating for the day by 7pm, enjoy a digestive health promoting tea like peppermint tea or a detox tea, and get to bed by 10pm.  Getting a great night's sleep on a closer to empty stomach will make your sleep state better and allow your body to naturally detoxify while you rest.  I recommend having your next morning's meal at least 14-16 hours after your last meal to ensure your body has fully digested, detoxed, and that you've allowed your body time to reach it's fat burning state (after approximately 12-14 hours of fasting).  So if your last meal was at 7pm, have breakfast the next morning at 9am.  The word 'breakfast' is two words put together = 'break' and 'fast'.  Every day you have breakfast you are essentially breaking a fast and have given your body an opportunity for natural detoxification.

8.  Exercise INTENSELY.  Opt for either a cardio or cardio with weights workout.  The primary detoxifier and ridder of sodium in your body is SWEAT, so make sure whichever workout you are doing you are moving vigorously for you, rather than mimeing your workouts.  GET A GOOD SWEAT GOING.  I recommend picking a workout that is 30 minute to 45 minutes long.  Some of my favorite high sweat workouts are from Core De Force,  Insanity Max 30, and 21 Day Fix.  You can access all of these workouts through my free membership link.   Sign up through that link to enjoy full a month of fitness (scroll down and press start FREE TRIAL).  Alternately truly COMMIT to getting results that last and reset your patterns by joining our next challenge starting THIS WEEK here.

9.  Consider starting a 3 day plant based cleanse.  My favorite short cleanse to reboot is the 3 day refresh.  By the third day of eating light plant based foods and taking all the detox supplements you are completely de-bloated, have set new patterns and habits, have shrunk your stomach, eased all inflammation, and completely feel reset.

10.  Twist out the extra in a yoga or hot yoga class.  While hot yoga is not for everyone, YOGA is for everyone.  No matter what your skill level you can find amazing classes online.  I recommend visiting  my virtual yoga studio and trying the series in my 3 week yoga retreat.  All classes can be done from your home and are available for my club members or those starting their free trial membership today.


Time for a quick refresh: 3 day plant based cleanse

This is one of the cleanses I personally use when I need a kick reset, plateau breaker, jumpstart, or am just feeling constantly 'full and dull'.  Doing a short plant based cleanse is a great way to disturb patterns and create new habits.  Generally speaking we all KNOW what we need to do to get healthy, feel better, lose weight, or debloat, but it's our daily patterns and habits that limit our ability to execute things the way we should.  This short 3 day refresh cleanse is the perfect way to break patterns, reset your body, and allow it time to gently detoxify and heal with 3 days of plant based nutrition and detoxification supplements.

Here's what to expect, Days 1-3:

Upon Waking, have 8-10 ounces of room temp or hot water with lemon
Breakfast (within an hour of waking), have a cup of fruit from the recommended list
Mid-Morning, have a cup of fiber sweep mixed with filtered water
Lunch (at least an hour after fiber sweep), Vanilla Fresh shake blended with 1 1/4 cups of filtered water.  Enjoy a serving of fruit (or blend it into your vanilla fresh shake), and a serving of veggies from the recommended list, and a healthy fat.
Afternoon Snack, either a green juice or a plate of veggies with hummus
Dinner (as least one hour after your afternoon snack), Vanilla Fresh shake blended with 1 1/4 cups of filtered water.  Also enjoy a veggie entree (the meal plan that comes with the 3 day refresh, contains many as does my blog), and optionally have a cup of veggie broth.
(sample day pictured below)

See my write up/review and results from one of my recent 3 day refresh cleanses HERE.


Saturday, November 26, 2016

Simple Plant-Based, Protein-Packed Breakfast Parfait

For those mornings when you want something warming in your belly, try this 5 minute gluten-free breakfast parfait.

10 grams of protein on it's own!


`1 container of Purely Elizabeth Gluten Free/Sugar Free Oats
`1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
`1 Tbsp Coconut Flour
`Stevia to taste
`sea salt to taste a pinch
`small handful frozen blueberries
`1/3 banana, chopped
`coconut chips
`maple almond butter
`hot water


Add the first 3 ingredients with half the frozen blueberries into a small mason jar or bowl, add hot water to cover, stir, and continue to add hot water until you reach your desired thickness.  Add stevia and sea salt to taste.

To your oatmeal base add a layer of frozen bluberries, top with the banana, coconut chips, maple almond butter, and optionally top with a few cacao nibs.  Entire jar has 16 grams of protein.


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