These are super tasty! I was really surprised, but pleasantly so. If you're looking for a keto, paleo or dairy free dessert, look no further!
Notes: Do not overmix the batter and make sure your avocado is ripe.
• 2 large eggs
• 1 medium, RIPE, hass avocado (3/4 to 1 cup lightly tamped down)
• 1/4 cup coconut oil (lard or melted ghee)
• 4 Tbsp unsweetened, unsalted almond butter, cashew butter (or sunflower seed butter for nut-free)
• 1/2 tsp baking soda
• 1/4 tsp salt
• 1/3 cup Lakanto monk fruit sweetener (erythritol+ monk fruit) or your preferred granulated sweetener (xylitol, coconut palm, maple sugar etc)
• 1/3 cup cacao powder
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1 Tablespoon gelatin (optional, makes them chewy)
• 1/2 cup low carb chocolate chips or chopped up chocolate
1 Pre-heat oven to 350F.
2 Line a small baking dish, like a loaf pan with parchment paper.
3 In the bowl of a food processor combine all of the ingredients except choc chips.
4 Blend on medium-low power until just smooth. No more than 30 seconds. If you overmix the batter the brownies will be cakey. You can use a spatula to scrape down the mix and then fold it together, mashing up any chunks of avocado left. Stir in choc chips at this point.
5 Use the spatula to transfer the batter to the baking dish and smooth it out evenly.
6 Top with a handful of chocolate chips or walnuts or whatever you like.
7 Bake for 25-30 minutes. Until the edges begin to separate from the sides.
8 Remove from the oven and let it cool for 15 minutes before handling.
9 Carefully pick up the loaf by the parchment paper and set it on a cutting board.
10 Cut into 8 squares. Enjoy! Store leftovers in tupperware in the fridge for up to a week.
COURAGE VS. COMFORT
This question has been rolling around in my universe for the last few weeks, and I made this image as kind of a reminder to myself. It came out of reading Brene Brown. As many of you know, she speaks about courage vs. comfort in several of her books and talks. She explains that it stems from her discovery of the famous arena speech by Teddy Roosevelt, a quote which inspires me and gets my gears turning and I just wanted to share:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” - Theodore Roosevelt
At the end of the day, Brown's question to herself and to anyone who's like-minded is, "When I had the opportunity today, did I choose courage over comfort?" Did I allow myself to be vulnerable with others? To be my true self? Did I dare greatly today? These are not questions for the timid or the meek. These are questions for those of us who want to live in the arena! It's not an easy thing, and so I'm wondering who else feels this way? Who else contemplates this?
Just a peek into my brain lately...but I'm curious, if you've read this far ;) what does this inspire in you?
THE 5 DAY HOLIDAY DETOX WRAPUP!
You did it! Nice work, you guys! Way to take some time to put yourself first and focus on your health and wellness. It really is at the root of our lives: how we feel, how we show up for people (or not), how we perform at work, how inspired we feel, all depends on the quality of our health. After these 5 days, hopefully you see that you don't have to make drastic changes to see results and start to feel great! Small changes add up to big results, so go easy on yourself.
As you move into the weekend at the close of our detox, I just wanted to say a couple things about going ‘off’ your detox. While I completely understand the urge to want to drive straight to Dunkin’ Donuts after this, may I just take a moment to suggest a couple things?
You’ve spent the last few days giving your body a break and allowing it a chance to reboot a bit. Hopefully, you're feeling pretty good at this point. Keep in mind, it will be kind of a shock to your system if you just flip the switch and eat everything in sight. You may want to consider easing back into things. I suggest maintaining the principles of this detox and slowly adding things back in.
This can also be an excellent time to try to observe how your body reacts to certain foods. Many of us have an intolerance to some foods and we don't even realize it because we’re constantly eating them and our body never gets a break from them. Many of the culprits are the ‘inflammatory foods’ we cut out this last 5 days. My personal one is wheat. My body reacts within hours of me eating anything with wheat in it. I can tolerate a small amount, but if I’m eating it every day, watch out! I get all the classic signs of inflammation: bloating, digestive issues, fatigue, allergy symptoms. I feel puffy, uncomfortable and tired. Not fun! So, I limit my intake of wheat. That being said, I never would have noticed this before had I not removed wheat from my diet for a period of time and observed what happens when I reintroduced it. The way I felt from wheat plagued me for years! Now, I’m just so grateful I took the time to observe my eating. I feel light years better and equally important, I’ve cut down on inflammation in my body, which as I get older, believe me, I appreciate! Inflammation is the driving force behind signs of aging, and not just cosmetic ones, its also the basis of all illness. So, maybe take this opportunity to do a little observation of your own eating. Think of it as an experiment. And be sure to let me know what you discover!
Lastly, for those of you who may want to continue working on your health and wellness in the New Year, consider “Self-Gifting’ yourself some sessions with me! I offer health coaching in person or online via video chat. You can keep your momentum going and set yourself up right for 2017! As you're running around buying gifts for everyone else don't forget to do the same for yourself. Invest in you. You're so worth it.
We're almost to the end of our 5 days here! How're you guys feeling? There's only 2 more days to go. You've come this far, I have no doubt you can finish strong. Set your intention this morning to choose your health, your wellness, choose YOU.
It's the small steps that add up to great things. Are you ready for great things? Make the decision now. Choose today. You're so worth it!
How's everyone feeling today? Maybe a little tired? A little cranky? Some headaches? Or maybe you feel fine! This is all normal during a detox. Just take this day by day, staying with the discomfort or fatigue, knowing it will pass. Drink lots of water and get your rest. Make sure you get clear on your WHY that I posted about yesterday. Having that WHY crystal clear will keep you going through those tough moments. At the end of this 5 days, you will emerge, stronger, healthier and ready to take on December!
THE NITTY GRITTY OF DISCIPLINE
Being disciplined can be tough. This is why I ask people to get clear on ‘WHY’ they want to make a change to their lifestyle. Because we ARE going to be tempted. We ARE going to be confronted by situations that make us uncomfortable, or angry, or tired. We ARE going to feel weak and want to revert back to our old habits, it's inevitable.
In those moments, the thing that keeps you on track, is having something bigger than the temptation. Something that reminds you of why you started all this. Something that resonates within you and jerks you out of whatever trance you're in, thinking you can eat an entire box of doughnuts and not suffer for it later. Mind you a 'WHY' is not "I want to be the skinniest person at work....etc", a WHY is something that elevates you to be the best you can be like, "I want to be as healthy as I can so my daughter and I can run a marathon for Leukemia in June of next year". That thing that brings you back and reminds you of who you are and what you are trying to do. Knowing that WHY helps you remember what you are working on achieving. And that WHY allows the DISCIPLINE to return and put you back on track. It makes being disciplined a little easier, because once you know what you want, it's hard to be deterred.
The word discipline has such a bad connotation to it, but really all it means is knowing what you want, and holding firm on it despite whatever the world throws at you. We tend to get distracted from what we want amid the hustle and bustle of life. We just need a little reminder of what is important to us, and the discipline seems to come naturally. You know how this feels. You've all been there at one time or another, when you just aren't tempted and you know what you need to do. In those moments it's usually because you have something higher motivating you, a 'WHY'.
So, if you haven’t thought about it, I’m asking you now to take some time to write down your WHY. Get clear on what you want and why it is important to you. Then, write it down, keep it close so you can see it daily and remind yourself of what's important. We all need a little reminder every now and then.
JOIN US FOR THE 5 DAY HOLIDAY DETOX!
Did Thanksgiving do a number on your diet? Are you already so full you can't imagine the next month of holiday parties and cookie exchanges? Me too! That's why we are doing a short and sweet detox to get us ready for the rest of the holiday season! Join us for 5 days of FREE menus, nutrition tips, motivation, inspiration, and community.
We are going to detoxify our bodies from all the Thanksgiving madness and get ready to enjoy the rest of the holiday season. During the 5 days, you will receive an advance menu, shopping list, daily recipes, and inspiration, all for free.
Starts December 5th, so sign up today for 5 days of FREE support and guidance!
In addition, you'll have the power of our awesome REAL FIT community to help cheer you on!! Rid your body of all that bloat and heaviness. Clear the decks and rejuvenate your body and mind so you can focus on what's important this season and not be preoccupied by feeling like crap. Set your intention today by signing up here, and then tell a friend so you can motivate each other to detoxify, lose weight, feel inspired and get REAL FIT!
Sign up today to join our accountability community for 5 days, and let's get REAL FIT!
Are you looking for a healthier side to add to your Thanksgiving dinner? Don't get me wrong, I LOVE mashed potatoes, but I also love having some fresh greens on the table too. I’ve adapted this recipe from the brilliant Ina Garten, better known as the Barefoot Contessa. It’s a great fall recipe that combines the heartiness of squash with the lighter texture of arugula. And the warm vinaigrette with a little parmesan cheese on top is the bomb!! Give it a try this year and let me know how it goes. And above all, enjoy your day and Happy Thanksgiving!
1 (1 1/2-pound) butternut squash, peeled and diced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 Tbsp dried cranberries
3/4 cup apple cider
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp minced shallots
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp Dijon mustard
5 ounces baby arugula, washed and spun dry
1/2 cup walnuts halves, toasted
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil. Place the diced butternut squash on pan. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 Tbsp maple syrup, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and toss, mixing with hands.
Roast the squash for 20 minutes, turning once, until tender. Add the cranberries to the pan for the last 5 minutes.
While the squash is roasting, combine the apple cider, apple cider vinegar, and shallots in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the cider is reduced to about 1/4 cup. Take off the heat and whisk in 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 tsp mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.
Put the arugula in a large salad bowl and add the roasted squash mixture, top with walnuts, and grated Parmesan. Spoon just enough vinaigrette over the salad to moisten and toss well. Serve immediately.
Are you feeling rundown? Fatigued? Experiencing brain fog or allergies? Digestion issues? Sleep problems? General aches and pains? Carrying extra weight that is bringing you down even more? If so, I can totally relate. It’s a horrible feeling. Especially when you add the frustration and guilt that compounds that feeling when you set out to do something about it, only to fail yet again. I’ve been there. Everything on the outside of my life may have appeared to be fine, but inside I was frustrated, confused, disappointed, and just plain tired!
IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY.
My life today has changed drastically. Now, my days are full of fitness and healthy food, from activities to classes, to friends and family. But, as I said before, it didn't always used to be this way. If you're interested, read on to hear a little bit about my story, and maybe what you can do about yours.
I grew up with some crazy ideas about food, and not a lot of education about nutrition and fitness. This environment, along with a lack of actual knowledge about food, started me on the road to what many would call 'disordered eating'. As a teen and in my 20's I struggled with eating disorders and my self-esteem. Food became a refuge and a battleground, using it to comfort myself, but in some ways, abusing myself when it got out of control. I was so entrenched in this mindset that I couldn't even see myself gaining and gaining weight. After a car accident that left me bedridden, I turned to food even more. Once my body had healed, I found I had added 45 pounds to my frame in a very short amount of time. But, while my body had healed my mind had not, and I still used food to comfort and console myself. At this point, I decided to do something about it.
I was tired of all the quick-fixes, the fad diets, the false promises. These programs set you up to fail because not only are they a ‘one-size fits all’ program, they never actually teach you HOW to care for your body long term. I had to be honest with myself: if I wanted true health and wellness, I needed to commit to some long-term lifestyle changes. I got educated about food and how to eat healthier. I learned how to cook. Coming from the Midwest, everything I had learned to cook had a pound of butter and a pound of salt in it. So, I had to learn how to cook food that could actually fuel my body, something that my body was lacking but crying out for! I learned about eating REAL food, not processed junk with no nutritional value. My days of Lean Cuisine’s were over!
This is when I started to really seek out like-minded people. People who know that true health only comes from truly caring for yourself. Caring enough to give your body the nutrition it needs to operate at a high level, to allow the body to repair itself and perform at its peak for you. This is also when I learned about juicing. Drew Canole, of Fitlife.tv, was one of the first people who I got a legitimate juice recipe from. And when I say legitimate, I mean it was a recipe that focused on how I could get nutrients into my body, nutrients it had been starving for despite all the ‘food’ I was putting in it. It wasn't a ‘quick-fix’ weight-loss juice OR one that was all sugar and little nutrient value. This was key. Once my body started to get the nutrition it needed, it was able to repair itself, reset my hormones, reboot my metabolism, give me loads of new energy and lose some weight!
I took lots of photos, as I believe photographs don't lie. I threw out my scale and monitored my success by how I felt, how my clothes fit, tape measurements, and lots and lots of photos. I think photos are great because we tend to focus on minor details, expecting drastic results right away, or think transformation is going to happen over night. However, if we want lifelong lasting health and fitness, then how we feel and how strong and fit our bodies are is a better barometer to go by. So, this may mean throwing out those quick fix expectations and temporary results, and settling in for the long haul of an actual lifestyle change. This is where I believe photos are superior to a scale. I still weighed myself on occasion, but the photos tell the real story. Your body changes in countless ways that you don't always notice right away, but photos don't lie. I was amazed at the changes I saw in some of my photos when I would look back at my progress. I could see not only the weight loss, but the muscle I had gained, the curves, and a strong, healthy body! After I saw the changes my body was going through, and the way I felt, renewed energy, no brain fog, I didn’t even care about my weight anymore, I just wanted a strong, healthy body. The feeling of seeing that success bolstered my resolve to keep going even more!
Most importantly, during this process, I worked with people who had already been through it. In essence, I had a ‘coach’ who mentored me along the way, and most critically, helped me to customize my program to me, to my body, my genetics, my lifestyle. There is no ‘one-size fits all’ way to health and fitness. Having someone in your corner to help you along, overcome obstacles, cheer you on, makes all the difference in the world.
Now, I feel stronger, fitter, more confident, more like myself. Don't get me wrong, I still treat myself, but if I’m paying attention, I find that my body actually craves that which fuels it. So, I tend to end up eating real food ‘treats’ more than the old empty calorie sugar/carb bombs that I so adored. Getting the nutrients my body needed was critical to making this shift, and juicing accelerated this whole process.
If you're interested in what I did to make these changes get in touch with me. I’d be more than happy to talk with you about it. Or if you want to check out the program in a quick nutshell, click on the link below. It will explain everything. And if you're interested in doing the program let me know as you can have ME as your coach to get you through! Isn’t it time you started taking care of you? Give me a shout. We can do this. Together.