Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Easy Vegan Brownies



My guiltiest pleasure is anything sweet. I have such a big sweet tooth, but my recent endeavor in dabbling with vegan desserts has me not only embracing my sweet tooth but it’s leaving me guiltless! Guiltless desserts is my heaven on earth. These vegan brownies only require 3 ingredients you probably already have in your home and are simple to recreate. This recipe gives you 8 delectable squares of those guiltless brownies that will have you wanting more. Don’t let “vegan” stop you from trying this recipe. I’m sure next time around I will add nuts or seeds to the mix just for a little more crunch. These brownies satisfied my sweet tooth for sure. P.S. I couldn’t wait for these bad boys to cool completely in the pan they smelt so good! I had to dig in immediately.  I totally had two squares my first night. :) 

 
INGREDIENTS

  • 3 overripe bananas
  • ½ cup almond butter
  • ¼ cup cacao powder
DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a loaf pan with a greased parchment paper.
  2. Mash bananas thoroughly in a medium bowl  w/ a fork. 


  3. Add in almond butter and cocoa powder into your banana mixture and combine thoroughly.

  4. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

  5. Remove from the oven and let cool completely in the pan before slicing. (This is the hardest part!)
  6. Once cooled, cut into 8 equal pieces and enjoy!






Original recipe adapted from Fablunch 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Vegan Tiramisu




Most of you know that I live for coffee. I’m sure at this point I would bleed out black coffee so tiramisu is my thing. It’s the one dessert other than cheesecake that I can’t resist. When I saw Fablunch create a vegan version I knew I had to recreate it myself. I felt a lot less guilty eating a serving of the vegan version than I usually do. I love how it tastes so similar to the real thing. Everyone in my family loves this version and Haidyn loves the filling so much that she was licking the blender! This recipe creates 6 small mason jars, but I placed everything into one container because I didn’t have the 6 mini jars on hand. It turned out just as amazing as I thought it would.

INGREDIENTS 
CRUST
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 6 dates
  • ¼ tsp instant coffee
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of sea salt
FILLING
  • 1¾ cup cashews (not soaked)
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • ⅓ cup maple syrup
  • ⅓ cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of sea salt
  • cocoa powder for dusting
  • coffee beans for decorating
DIRECTIONS
  1. To make the crust, soak the dates in hot water for 5-10 minutes (shorter if using Medjool dates).
  2.  Add walnuts to the food processor and process until ground.
  3. Add the rest of the crust ingredients and process again.
  4. For the filling, combine all of the ingredients in a high speed blender and blend for 2 minutes until smooth.


  5. Place crust into a medium sized glass container and smooth (you may also divide it among 6 small mason jars if you have them).


  6. Add the filling on top of the crust.

  7. Place the mason jars in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to set.
  8. Remove from the freezer and dust with cocoa powder and add coffee beans if desired.

  9. Refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight to set completely.


See the original recipe here

Monday, October 9, 2017

September Whole 30 Challenge

I wanted a diet program to rid me from all of the bad food my family tends to consume on the daily. We’re pretty healthy as is, but I wanted to cleanse the house of all the junk we had lying around. I also wanted to see how my body felt after completing a cleanse like this and how different it really was from the diet I’ve already put myself on. I’m not looking for an extreme weight loss, but I’m excited to see what COULD AT ALL.happen without eating processed foods

WEEK ONE 
 Throughout the week sticking to whole 30 is such an easy feat. I’m prepared and had no problem making it through the work day (10 hrs this week) and my workouts. Mid-week the first week I felt like I was superwoman. The clarity I had and focus for work and life in general was life changing. I was no longer tired and my days weren’t dragging.  Meal prep made this week a breeze, however when it came to the weekend it was a different story. The energy levels were down. I don’t know what happened because I was eating the same foods as I was during the week, but maybe it was just because Sundays are just lazy days for us  and I was LOOKING for something to eat because I was bored. I wanted to cheat alllll day and I forced myself not to because I know it wasn’t going to be worth it. 

WEEK TWO 
Better week. A new Sprouts grocery store has opened and I was able to browse through the store to find snacks for my sweet tooth w/ whole ingredients. I’m learning how to read labels a lot better and understanding what is actually being said on the label . I tasted some of the snacks that aren’t allowed on the program but i didn’t treat it as I cheated. My work had a tailgate which I prepared for with bringing along a salad instead of craving the sandwiches that were being served. The tailgate day was the ONLY time I’ve cheated thus far as I did have a Pumpkin Beer with a coworker. I was doing so well that I figured fuck it. I gotta live a little. I didn’t feel an ounce of guilt.
WEEK THREE

No cheating this week at all. The temptation has been there, but I was able to resist all the temptation even when I was at Costco. I'm at the point what is good for my body and what will satisfy it for the time being. Knowing that difference is huge for me and knowing that there is so much bad food out there really is terrifying. I'm even more conscious of feeding my little one bad food. I know that she has to be a kid, but I also can limit those bad foods.

WEEK FOUR 

The temptations were gone and I was searching for Whole 30 compliant alternatives that I could eat and incorporate. I actually had food nightmares this entire week because I was scared to eat "bad" foods after this entire month. I didn't know what it would do to my body. Isn't that weird? Overall, I wanted to make sure that I didn't shock my system. 



RESULTS 

 
 Like I said, I knew that this challenge wasn't going to be the reason why I dropped all of my weight drastically. I knew that coming into this program that I would lose some weight, but not a whole ton. It's not that different from the way I actually eat now. I was happy with my weight loss, but I was even happier with the definition I started to see in my body because I was giving up everything processed for whole foods. It really does make a difference.  Eating healthier does make a huge difference!
TOTAL WEIGHT LOST -5 LBS


AFTER WHOLE 30 

After what seemed like the longest month of our lives we made it! We made it through. The first day off of Whole 30 I ate sushi and a brownie sundae and wanted to puke it all up. I felt terrible. Not because it was bad food but because I'm lactose intolerant and ate that sundae regardless . I obviously don't eat like that all the time, but it's what I wanted that day . I gave into my cravings because I'm human. I won't eat like that all the time, but I'd like to eat sushi when I'm out with my family. After this challenge I do want to adopt a more of a dirty paleo eating. I agree that I do better without gluten, grain, legumes and soy, but I do want a little sweetness in my life even if I don't always use it. I don't feel as restricted going the paleo route. I'm excited for this change! I would definitely recommend this challenge for anyone that wants to reset  or even see what affects them in their diet. Waymon found out that he's lactose intolerant during this challenge so as much as it's been hard for us, it was also very helpful and eye opening. Our family is now eating more whole foods more than ever. Haidyn is even eating dark chocolate and coconut date rolls as "candy".  I won't rid my house of all the junk food, but I most of it will be gone for a long time. I want Haidyn to be a kid and eat all the junk that she wants with limitation because that's what I did as a kid. But I do wish I had a lot more healthier alternatives growing up.