Now that we’ve wrapped up the year and beginning anew, it’s a good time for a fresh start. That means getting back to healthy foods and healthy routines again. 

Ginger & Mango team up to provide a healthy smoothie with a little bit of kick! Spicy Mango Tango Smoothie is V & GF.

Smoothies are a good thing and a great way to increase the amount of fruits and vegetables we eat.  Too many of us look to the next best fad diet instead of what's right in front of us.  Instead of low carb, calorie counting, magic pill taking or using a special wrap, it really comes down to simplicity. Eat simple, real foods, mostly plants!  That's why I love this new ebook called 40 Days of Green Smoothies by Becky Striepe.  It's the perfect companion to do just that! (Want to WIN this? Keep reading)

Satisfy your chocolate cravings and give yourself a little boost with these vegan & allergy-friendly protein bites.

  My kids are always asking me to make more protein balls.  Every time I make them, they get gobbled up.  I could totally complain about how quickly they burn through these little treats, but I really can't .  I mean, there could be worse things they want to eat. Thankfully, you can whip up a batch or two of them in no time, because no cooking is required.  Yesterday, I tried my hand at a different combination and OH MY  GOODNESS,  these are just so so good.  Rich, chocolatey, bursting with espresso and best of all, hidden inside these little gems, is protein.  Yay for SunButter & Arbonne Chocolate protein powder!  

Getting out of bed early isn't awesome, but this breakfast recipe from the new book Vegan Bowl Attack! by Jackie Sobon of Vegan Yack Attack IS!

  Bowl food. It's the latest craze! But while I was creating a Pinterest board for vegan bowl food, Jackie Sobon went ahead and created an awesome cookbook.  Darn it!  :)  Actually, I LOVE this cookbook.  It is filled with more than 100 one-dish, plant-based bowls that everyone can enjoy, vegan or not.  They're hearty, nutritious and delicious, and sure to please anyone.  Just take a look at that Apple Pie Smoothie Bowl, doesn't it look fun?.

Protein bites that taste like Heaven in your mouth. No bake, loaded with only "good for you" ingredients & Top 8 Free.

Have you ever just wanted something to eat? You don't know what that something is, but you've got to find it and will eat through the pantry in an effort to satisfy it.  Well friends, this is what your stomach has been longing for! This little blissful bite of protein, not only satisfies any sweet tooth, but it's perfect for all you snackers, breakfast-skippers, people on-the-go, non-cooks, protein junkies, food-allergy friends, & vegan foodies,,,,,REALLY! SunButter Craisin Protein Bites will satisfy any craving and you won't feel guilty if you eat 2 (because you will).

Decadent Dates- stuffed with Organic SunButter and naturally sweet, raw, healthy, Top 8 free and decadently delicious

A group of my friends are doing a month long challenge, incorporating both food & fitness.  Each have 3 daily goals to hit every day related to food while the fitness side of it is basically getting their bottoms to the gym at least 5 days a week.  It was fun to hear all their goals and how varied they were, however there were a few consistent themes.....

  • No sugar/sweets/desserts, etc.
  • No wine, alcohol or sodas.
  • No fast food, fried food, packaged food.
  • Less coffee (notice how I just said "less").
  • More water.

What I love about this is that it simply cuts out all the crap food and allows their bodies to focus on nutrient rich, whole, real food.

Turning Spring's produce into wonderful, vibrant, Gazpacho soup is only a blender away.

I'm not a fan of rainy days, but today, I'm not going to complain.  It's actually been raining for several days now but its turning everything green and beautiful again.

My office window faces out back, and although the sound of the rain  pouring down is quite loud, so is the sound of the birds out back.  The robins, doves, chickadees & cardinals are all busy, singing, chirping, flying around and eating from my bird feeder.  There is even a mamma bird who made its nest in my hanging garden and now her babies are finally popping their heads out and flying around.  So, so cute.

Why am I telling you this?  Because it is 1 of the reasons why I love Spring.  This season is just full of life and color.

Just like my Gazpacho Soup ....like my comparison?  Loaded with fresh veggies, raw, unprocessed, did I mention, fresh?  I mean, you can't get much better than this.  This soup is FULL of life-giving, nutrient rich veggies and vibrant color. 

Berry Popsicles

Every time I walk through the frozen section of the grocery store, I catch a glimpse of the Popsicles and quickly re-live a moment in my childhood.  I use to love, love, love Popsicles.  It could be simplest of them all, you know the ones, liquid filled in a clear plastic tube only to be frozen until ready to have the top cut off.  Then there were those fun superhero ones, with multiple colors, flavors and shapes that looked like rockets most of the time.  Oh, and then there was those push-pops! My mom didn’t buy those often but when she did, oh my goodness!  

It must be a kid thing, because my kids love Popsicles too.  We couldn’t really eat ice cream due to my son’s dairy (among other) allergies, so frozen fruit treats were the way to go.  Occasionally, I’d let them indulge in some sugary ones, but most of the time, the ones made from real fruit juice filled my freezer. Have you seen how expensive those are though? I can understand why,  100% organic berries and natural sweeteners would be more pricey than fruit flavored sugar-water.

So, I started making my own, and I'm going to show how to make your own Popsicles, using only 4 ingredients. Of course you can always buy them, pre made,  but making them at home will save you money, let you create your own flavor combinations and provide your family with a treat that is actually good for them.

One of the things that I love about allergy-free baking is the challenge. I enjoy taking a recipe that is known and loved and turn it into a treat that my son, and others that share his allergies can have. I also love being able to hear my friends rave over something and then hear their shock when I tell them it's vegan. Like Vegan Oreo Truffles. Did you notice in the title it says "Oreos"?  Did you know they are vegan, which means they are free of dairy and eggs as well as any other animal products. Now don't mistake vegan for healthy, however, it won’t kill my kid, and so in that terms, it’s healthy enough.  (I used regular Oreos, but read the labels, because some DO contain milk and may be in a facility that also produces peanut products). Oreo Truffles go back a long time; I couldn't even tell you where it originated from or who gets credit for the original recipe. You may have seen them served on a platter at a party or may have even tasted one (or 3) before. Basically, its crushed Oreos, mixed with cream cheese then coated in chocolate or candy coating. Tastes amazing, but absolutely NOT what you want to hand anyone with food allergies or certain restrictions. Here’s where I come in, making this something you now CAN eat.

pie crust no bake

It's funny how much we like to categorize things and put it in a neat little box, unfortunately, it just doesn't really work that way.  Most things are more complicated than that.

Take diets for instance. There are over a 100 different dietary theories (many piggy-backing off of another) which I studied for my health degree. What I learned from this was that there is not a 1-size-fits all.  Kinda like how every girl hoped they could fit into Cinderella's glass slipper and yet, it was made ONLY for her!

I know what your thinking, "what does this have to do with Pie Crust?".  Well let me tell you!