Saturday, March 30, 2013

Carrot Cake for Easter

This is for tomorrow! I think it would be just plain wrong to have a traditional Easter dinner meal without carrot cake!!! And, you know me- gotta step outside the box, experimenting with a healthy version. :p

The cake: 

1 cup walnuts or pecans
3 cups shredded carrots (or about 5 large)
1 cup pitted dates
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon cinnamon
pinch sea salt

Cream frosting: 
1 cup raw cashews (soak 1-2 hrs, if possible)
1/4 cup water
3 T agave nectar
juice of 1 lemon
1/3 cup coconut oil
1 tsp organic vanilla
sea salt, pinch

Garnish: walnuts and ground cinnamon. :)

Dump nuts into food processor. Mix with dates. Add shredded carrots, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Blend until almost smooth. Toss in coconut and pulse slightly. Spoon into 8 x 8 glass dish. Set aside and make the cream frosting. :)

Soak the cashews, rinse and drain. Dump all ingredients into clean food processor (be sure to wipe it out from the carrot mixture!) and pulse until thoroughly blended. Taste to see that it is sweet enough to your preference. Frost onto carrot mixture.

Refrigerator or freeze until serving. Enjoy!

What delicious dishes / desserts are you making for tomorrow's dinner? 

Since tomorrow is Easter Sunday- I'm praising God today that Christ died to set me free and I hope you are, too. Not just from eternal damnation, but from sin in this life.

It's just a matter of remembering and believing who I am in Christ. :) I love the truth that I am blessed with every spiritual gift in Christ Jesus right this very second. Believe the truth and you will be set free. It's the gospel truth. :-)

Happy Easter, everyone!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Hot Yoga = My 1st Try :)

I think bell peppers and hummus are one of the most refreshing snacks for quick and on-the-go situations. Try it sometime! You can buy the fajita veggie mix in the fresh veggie section of your grocery store, grab a small container of hummus and you are set.

So, this was me at the office just before leaving for a hot yoga class with my sister yesterday evening. It was my first experience! I've consistently done stretching routines for over a year now on my own so I was really excited to see how much I could do in a group setting!

Pigeon is my favorite. Just saying . . . :) I guess that's because I'm a runner and this just does the trick to release hip tension after a workout!

As a novice, here are some things that I *heart* about Yoga:

  1. It's a parallel to life (meaning: you try - it's hard, and then it gets easier. You move to the next level. Repeat. You can always improve.)
  2. You compare yourself to the best you can be - not others on their mats. 
  3. It's just as much mental as it is physical. (If you think you can or can't- you're right either way.) 
  4. You feel AMAZING afterwards (I kid you not - my whole body felt better relaxed and in alignment after last night's practice!)
  5. You listen to your body - what are your limits? you'll never know unless you try. 
The ending of the class was incredible as we all just rested on our mats mediating. Whenever I take the time to calm my mind and dwell on the goodness of God I feel refreshed!  {Psalm 46:10}

Do you do yoga? Have you been to a class before? Have you ever done hot yoga? 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

New Recipe! Cauliflower Rice Salad

I tried something new last night! I've been wanting to try my hand at cauliflower rice - forever - so I was super excited when I ran across this recipe from Hallelujah Acres.

Below is my modified version. :p

To make--

Veggie ingredients:
  • 2 cauliflower heads
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 2 small red bell peppers (finely diced)
  • 1 green bell pepper (optional) 
  • 4-5 leaves fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 fresh lemon juice (or 1 extra large lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 small garlic cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

  1. Wash bell peppers. Slice and diced finely. 
  2. Peel and shred carrots. 
  3. Wash cauliflower heads. Cut out hard / tough spots. Dump into food processor. Blend into a rice like consistency. Add basil. Mix but still leave basil intact somewhat for garnish. :) 
  4. Stir all veggies together in a bowl. Set aside. 
  5. Rinse out food processor for the marinade. 
  6. Dump all marinade ingredients into food processor and mix until thoroughly blended!
  7. Taste sauce and adjust to your preferences.
  8. Pour over rice mixture, stir and enjoy!

Delicious & nutritious dinner = satisfaction. :) Perfect ending to a good work day!  

Have you ever even cauliflower rice a try? If not - would you now?   

Monday, March 25, 2013

90/10 Rule

I ate cookie dough last night. :) I hadn't had some in a while and it was every bit as good as I remembered it! Plus, this was the super good kind - totally from scratch, white sugar, white flour, chocolate chips and all. :p 

It's taken me a lot of trial and error to figure out what healthy eating regime/diet to follow in this modern world but I love the 90/10 principle

What's that? It's so simple, really! Make healthy choices 90 % of the time and the other 10 % - eat what you want! 

I love it because it gives me the freedom to enjoy parties / events, and splurges with friends and family without making me feel like I'm doing something bad. It's like you can release and simply have fun in the moment because the goal is not to be perfect 100 % of the time (impossible, btw!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) 

What your 90 % looks like (or whatever your goal is) will look different from other people's diet so don't compare yourself. We are all so different! 

Your body is a machine (amazing!) so I encourage you to individualize your diet for what works for you and to eat for life. Stop listening to the hype- if you are fine with good quality dairy products by all means enjoy! But, if you're constantly fighting mucus you may want to look into laying off for a bit and see if things change and how you feel.

Listen. Your body is constantly sending you messages. :) 

I like to look at my body as a house. A house for my soul. You take care of your house (or car), right? Cleaning, replacing old boards, polishing, decorating, etc. Of course! How much more our bodies! We're not here forever peoples so let's be good stewards.  

Have you found a healthy balance with food? 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Don't Settle.

It's Saturday which means another amazing week is behind us! Last night my brother Bobby and I went to a house/apartment warming party to welcome some newly met friends to town - always fun. :) 

Then, we hit the fro-yo place (sorry, no pic!) to meet up with an old friend where we literally chatted about everything under the sun. I'm totally on a kick. Motto? "Don't settle. Decide and do." 

This morning I skipped yoga class and indulged in a dvd workout called "Killer Legs". Totally awesome! We'll see if I'm sore tomorrow . . . :p

I'm at the office now for a little catch-up work + preparation for next week and then it's back home to get ready for an event this evening!

So, my wk/end is off to an incredible start! Any dynamic plans for you or just kicking back? 

What are you refusing to settle for in your life & instead are choosing to take action on? :) 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Happy "Fresh" Friday {Link-Up}

Happy Friday! And, Fresh Friday at that!!! 

Here are my 3 for the week. :)

#1 - trying something new (details to come . . . )
#2 - dinner @ Panera w/ my fabulous fam
#3 - floors! sometimes you don't think to be grateful for something until you don't have it for a while. :p

Ok- link up or comment and tell me yours!!!!

***Courtesy Factor: please link back to this post. :) ***

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Of Late . . .

Lunch yesterday with some of the sweetest, totally awesomest girls in the world. <3 each and everyone of these precious little dearies!!!

Do you have any of those friends where things "click" and you feel like you can just be yourself and talk about dreams/goals - even if they're craazzy? 

It was so beautiful outside yesterday evening that I just had to eat outside!!! Clearly a desperate case of "I can't stay inside" moment. :p What's the weather like where you are? 

Last night I was invited to a Mary Kay event! Total fun and I have to say when you get a bunch of women together that love make-up it's an experience that's unparalleled. I enjoyed it because I love people - but that's about it. lol!

Of course . . . what happens at a Mary Kay event stays at a Mary Kay event so I'll stop there. Want to know? Just go. :) FYI: it's not just make-up, but I guess that depends on the individual group, too. :p 

But, while we're on this topic of skin care I have to say I find myself inching away from these types of products. I love the people but I'm really not crazy about the ingredient list. 

Are you aware about what goes on your skin? 

This came in the mail!!!!!!!!!!! Yeaah - I *heart* Zig Ziglar. :) I like Tony Robbins, too, but he has such a foul mouth I can only listen to him for so long before I get annoyed but I do LOVE the energy!!!

Excited about this, though. :) 

I think this picture qualifies me as a green smoothie enthusiast, right? We're having the floors redone in our house so I had to make my breakfast in the garage this morning. 

Slightly complicated experience but was do-able. :p Celebrate those small steps of success. :) 

What are you eating for breakfasts these days? I know we all go through phases, so don't feel bad if it's not perfect. That's not the goal. The goal is progress! 

Beautiful walk downtown on my way to class yesterday afternoon! 

School. :) 

Learning to think ahead . . . I can't expect myself to eat healthy if I don't plan ahead. Packing lunches for work is one way that helps me stay on track with the healthy eating. How to you manage this? 

Ooh, yummy- just looking at this picture makes me want more! 

I made this delicious dessert Sunday night. :) It really tasted like "healthy" dip and dots to me- only better!!! 1-2 frozen  bananas, 1 tablespoon sunbutter (or any nut butter), 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder or cocoa powder. Mix together in a food processor and - yum, yum!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Quick / Easy Snack Option

A freshly chilled, crisp apple is one of my favorite snacks! Sprinkle a little ground cinnamon on there and it's nearly heaven. :-) 

This is one of the simplest snacks to throw together and it's so healthy for you!

Apples are a great source of natural fiber. If you eat one 30 minutes before dinner you will eat less and leave the dinner table feeling satisfied without overeating. The reason for this is the fiber expands in your stomach so you don't need as much food. :)

Cinnamon is one of my favorite spices because it helps to regulate blood sugar which is why it's great paired with a sugary fruit like an apple!

All natural! Enjoy. :) 
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What's your favorite fruit? 

Have you ever tried apple slices w/ ground cinnamon? 

Do you like PB on your apples? :) 

P.S: Congratulations to Kate on winning the Core Defender Meal giveaway!!!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Life is Good Because of Grace

Thankful today and praising God for truth! And, that my worth is not in what I've done, past achievements or future accomplishments. It's in the blood of Christ!

Do you know Him today? If not, - I encourage you (!) cry out for mercy and put your faith in Him. Heaven and hell are real- you know this in your heart so don't believe a lie and convince yourself otherwise! (Psalm 14:1)

There is only one way to God- through Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 2:5). It's not about our good works or attempting to earn our salvation that counts (Isaiah 64:6). Praise God because if it were up to us we'd never make it!

"If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." (Romans 10:9-10)

Watch out - this one's a tear jerker! 

So, I'm resting in the joy my salvation today. :) Including blessings of prosperity for each of my readers!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Healthy Salads Galore!

Which salad would you choose? Just for fun, pretend as if this were a restaurant and tell me what # you would order in the comments! 

Friday, March 15, 2013

What Are You Grateful For? {Fresh Friday Link-Up!}

#1 - truth (prov 18:21)
#2 - sappy sweet & salty chocolate brownies
#3 - all of my amazing readers! {love you guys to death - we're almost to 400 followers! join the group if you haven't already. :)}

Only 1 rule - link back to this original post to participate. :) 

Wanna button? Click here!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Raw Chocolate Brownies

Are you ready for some totally amazing, super simplistic RAW chocolate brownies?! Ok- here you go!!!! I made these last night as a "reward" for sticking to the 14 day raw challenge. :)  

I completed the challenge - 99.9 %. I think counts, do you? :p Part of it was learning curve is discovering what is raw and what isn't. 

  • 1 cup nuts (i used pecans)
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 4 tablespoons raw cacao powder
  • 4 tablespoons coconut flour 
  • 4 tablespoons organic blue agave
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt 

Throw it all into a food processor and mix it up! That's it. This is a case of too easy to be true if there ever was one!

Pat into pan. Serve with a smile. :) 

I took a plate into work today and they were all gone by lunch! Slightly selfish reason on my part; these brownies are ssooo good I didn't want them at the house where I would be tempted to eat them all. :p Glad everyone enjoyed them! 

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What's your favorite "indulgent" dessert? :) 

Have you tried making a raw sweet/dessert before? 

Are you more a sweet or salty type of person? 

Link-up for Fresh Friday tomorrow!!! 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Core Defender Meal {Giveaway and Review}

In celebration of day 14 of 14 for my raw food trek - I'm hosting a raw food giveaway sponsored by Core Foods! I really can't believe how fast this challenge has gone by!!! Check out some fun discoveries here:

Core Foods sent me 3 samples of their high fiber Defender bars: raw almond raisin, raw walnut banana, raw cashew cacao.

I love how the Core Food bars are completely raw. A great quick fix to get some live enzymes in for those moments of rush when you don't time to make a salad!

I think this is my favorite part, though! Core Defender makes real food and they label it accordingly - "Real food goes bad, keep me cold". Yes, I love, love it!!!!

Alrighty - have at this deliciously raw bar giveaway sweet blog readers! A winner will be selected next Monday (March 18th) so check back!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, March 11, 2013

Springing Forward!

Happy Monday, dear blog readers! How did you manage the time change? It was a little rough for me considering that I went into it tired, but I'm good to go now and feel all refreshed after a good night's rest. :) Ready to hit this week hard! 

I had the most incredible conversation with a good friend yesterday on the art of goal setting!!! Check out this short little clip - I have a feeling you are going to <3 it! 

Yesterday was such a beautiful day! The sun was shining so I took my lunch outside. :) Organic mixed greens, a shredded carrot with oil based vinaigrette and flax crackers on the side. Hit the spot! 

Total body sculpting workout this morning, stretching + a green smoothie later and I was ready and at it! 

Tomorrow is another health food giveaway! I actually have several boxes from some totally amazing companies that are stacking up (so to speak) and I need to get on this for you guys. Stay tuned. :) 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Cowgirl Up, Skydiving Lessons + Needing a Nap = Random Post

Yeehaw! I got to go to the Jx2 Roping Show this morning. :-) 

Up bright & early this morning to support my baby sister as she kicked off the competition by singing the National Anthem! Amazing job - Mary!!!! You hit those high notes like a pro and I'm so proud of you, girl!

I got back home about 2 o'clock after an amazing and productive day (grocery shopping, running errands, etc). Ate a refreshing salad and then koncked out for an afternoon nap. :) This is so rare for me so I must have been really tired! 

I think everything was just kind of catching up to me as I feel like I've put a lot into this week, emotional speaking - trying to help friends and family through some tough times. Thankful for truth!!!!!!!!! If God is for us, who can be against us?! 

My sweet grandma Mimi treated my brothers to skydiving lessons for all their birthdays! All 5 of them have birthdays back to back (Feb, March & April!) so this was such a great idea and incredible experience!!! Waah - flying through the air in a tunnel at 120 mph is a little fast, for me. :p 

There are only a couple of indoor skydiving places in the entire country so it's pretty neat that they got to do this. One of the perks to living in a military town! Maybe . . . just maybe I could get up enough courage. :-p 

Ok, guys! Happy Saturday -  every blessing to you and have a great wk/end!!!! See you early next week. :) 

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What are you up to this wk/end?

Are you nap person? :)

Would you give skydiving a try? 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Fresh Friday Link-Up

#1 - hanging with the girlfriends
#2 - eating green & clean
#3 - enrolling in school (can you guess what for?!)

Happy Friday, everyone! Enjoy in the fun for Fresh Friday. :-)  

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Finding Your Passion

How was your day? Mine was amazing!

Nothing compares to doing something you love and seeing it make a positive difference in a person's life! I really wish I could do this for a job and get paid for it. :p More on this later . . . :)

Celery sticks with raw almond butter and raisins or "ants on a log" (as most of us probably know them!) make a great snack. 

I learned something new! Not all healthy nut butters are raw. Oops! Who would have thought? I guess it just never occurred to me to check before!
Thursday is piano day, for me, so I was up to that for part of the day! I recently started Mozart's Sonata in C major. It's a pretty familiar tune so I'm sure you'd recognize it if you heard it. :) I both love and hate trills all in one! Once you get the fingering, the scales are really fun!

Care for a banana sweetened smoothie for breakfast? It was yummy! Did you "go healthy" for breakfast this morning?

I got the new Clinique chubby stick for eyes yesterday!!!! Love it so far. :) I'm not really into healthy make-up yet; girls- if you have any tips I'm certainly open! {Oooh, this is scary. I think I love purple a little too much. Purple eyes, purple nails, purple handbag . . . hehe!}

Workout this morning was an easy 2.1 mile run. I woke-up this morning and my gluteus maximus were screaming the language of "give me a rest"! So I listened. :p I love how incredible a stretching session feels when you're good and sore! 

The weather is looking more and more like spring! Only 2 wks until it's officially here!!! Who else is ready for warm spring?!
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Have you found your life passion yet? :) 

Did you workout today? 
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Link-up tomorrow for Fresh Friday!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

7 Days Down - 7 to Go!

It's been one week since I started my raw trek! You guys are totally awesome and so supportive- thank you!!! I just had to laugh, though, when some asked me if I was finding enough to eat or was becoming peckish. hehe! Well, to tell the truth - it was slightly frustrating at first (so true!), but I think I'm in a groove now.

I really believe that it has a lot to do with perspective. If you're constantly thinking, "I can't have that" of course you're going to feel deprived! But, if you have specific goals and know WHY you're doing something it creates a drive that helps to stick it through.

Did you know they actually make raw desserts that you can buy?! These little guys (Laugh Giraffe Organics) are amazing - thanks Mom! 

Ok, so this next part - I have to share with you! I made this on Sunday for dinner and it was absolutely incredible and completely raw, too. :) 

You start by soaking 1 cup of raw cashews for at least 1 hr. This removes the protective covering the nut has (to keep it safe so it can grow) so your body can absorb the nutrients. 

The dressing is refreshingly delicious with a hint of lemon!  

Veggie mix:
spiralized zucchini noodles (click here on how to make - it's SO easy!)
4 large carrots, grated
sugar snap peas, cut into thirds (about 1 cup) 
baby tomatoes, halved (1-2 small plastic containers)
broccoli, tops of 1-2 crowns

Lemon sauce:
1 cup cashews, soaked
1/4 cup nutritional yeast 
agave, to taste (1-2 tsp)
1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cup water


Wash and prepare all your veggies and throw them in a bowl while you prepare the sauce. For the sauce, rinse and drain the cashews. Toss everything in a food processor or powerful blender. Mix well! Taste and perfect seasonings and then drizzle over your fresh vegetables. Let marinate for at least 10 minutes and then enjoy!

{Recipe credit goes to Choosing Raw}

Putting some aside for lunch the next day. :) That's the great thing about making a healthy dinner - you can just make a little extra and save the leftovers for lunch. Takes little to no additional time and you're good to go!

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Do you normally make extra to have leftovers for lunch?

What have you been eating for lunches this week?

What's one fresh food prep tip that you know I could use? :)