Banana Almond Butter Tahini Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie

The best vegan dessert I’ve ever had

This past Sunday I found myself cooking up a storm in my kitchen for majority of the day (putting all the finishing touches on my Whole30 5-day meal plan) and when it was all said and done and I sat down on the couch to unwind, I immediately began daydreaming of new dessert creations. With a few hours to spare before dinner and a running imagination that just wouldn’t sit still and relax, I got up, went back into my kitchen, and assessed what ingredients I had on hand. After realizing I had majority of my favorite things (banana, almond butter, tahini, and chocolate chips), I decided to combine them into the best vehicle possible: a skillet cookie. Being that I am currently dairy & gluten free and that eggs right now don’t seem to be working too well with my stomach, I slowly realized when I popped this baby in the oven that this recipe is actually vegan. While I spent a few minutes questioning who the heck I have become, none of that mattered once I took a bite of this baby. Plus, I happened to have just purchased a pint of Van Leeuwen vegan ice cream (chocolate and mint chip) so I knew I was just about to elevate this to the best (and first?) fully vegan dessert I probably have ever had.
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Whole30 Five Day Meal Plan

Your guide to tackling a week on Whole30!

I am SO incredibly excited to share something with you all that I have been working on for over the past few weeks. As you all probably know by now, I just recently completed Whole30. In my pieces on both my blog and Mindbodygreen, I make it very clear that my number one tip on how to survive Whole30 is meal prepping. Many people respond to this statement saying they don’t know how to meal prep because they don’t know what to make, they don’t have the recipes, or they are overwhelmed in a grocery store trying to make sure they buy the correct amount of food. Well, friends, I am here to help. Behold, my five day Whole30 Meal Plan. This pamphlet contains a meal plan schedule for Monday-Friday with individual recipes for each meal and, most importantly, an organized master grocery list.

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My Morning Routine

Why and how I wake up before 5AM

My days begin at 4:40 AM. I know, you think I am crazy. And don’t start figuring out the  difference between the time when you and I get out of bed in the mornings because, let me reassure you, we probably do not go to bed at the same time; I am a proudly declared grandma. Plus, no two people are the same. Let it be said that I sincerely love the mornings. I love watching the sunrise. I love having time to decompress before rushing out the door. Most importantly, I love having the time to myself before the rest of the city wakes up. So, why does my alarm go off at such an ungodly hour? Because my day starts long before I get to my desk. During my first year at my full-time job I came to notice two things: I was incredibly tired and un-energetic in the mornings, and I was continuously missing workouts when my after-work plans suddenly changed. Between work happy hours, client dinners, meeting up with friends, and just having downright no interest in going to the gym after a 10+ hour work day, I found myself not exercising as much as I would have liked to. Personally, I am someone who views working out as a form of therapy. Playing sports all my life, my body craves the movement and the act of sweating. To be quite frank, without it I turn into a bit of a crazy lady. So, here I found myself, a year of full-time work under my belt, a slew of missed and neglected workouts, the beginnings of some pent-up stress and anxiety, and a new (and very unwelcome) digestive issue. Continue reading “My Morning Routine”

Mexican Turkey Chili

Healthy turkey chili with a spicy kick

Personally, I’m a beef chili person, but when I had so many people ask me whether they could replace the beef with ground turkey in my meat chili recipe (which, yes, you can), I decided it was time to create a new chili recipe for this poultry lovers. In my mind, the a chili with beef deserves to be hearty and simple; hence the minimal ingredients and the doubled beans included in the recipe. However, I decided to amp up the flavor and ingredients for the turkey chili and decided to go a Mexican route, throwing in some canned corn and green chili peppers. Although the recipes may be differ, I promise you, it is still just as easy of a meal to make.

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My Thoughts on Doing Whole30 the Second Time Around

How Whole30 was so Different the Second Time

About exactly one year ago I embarked on my first Whole30 challenge; overwhelmed, intimidated, curious, and weirdly excited. What initially began as a way to hopefully get some answers to some gastrointestinal issues, turned into a much more insightful experience. I learned a lot about myself and my eating habits, specifically that I had a full-blown granola addiction and that I was consuming more sugar than I liked to admit. As outlined in the piece I wrote for Mindbodygreen, I learned that meal prep is an absolute must, you may not need alcohol as much as you think you do, you must listen to your body, and some other important lessons. Fast forward to a year later and I was ready to tackle the Whole30 challenge for the second time around, expecting it to be not too different than the first run. However, now after completing this second go, I am surprised to look back and assess how different these two sets of thirty days were for me.  What was so drastically different? Continue reading “My Thoughts on Doing Whole30 the Second Time Around”

Sweet Potato Crusted Salmon with a Veggie-Packed Salad

If you follow me on Instagram (which I hope all of you do!!), then you know that whenever I am in Florida it is an absolute must that I have my favorite meal: sweet potato crusted salmon from the Food Shack. I don’t know why I never thought of doing something so brilliant, but ever since I had it a few years ago I can never get it off my mind. Finally, after 3 years of claiming I would do so, I have officially created a recipe in my kitchen for my own version and I can safely say it is BOMB. With a few extra steps, you too can be enjoying this incredibly crunchy exterior yet perfectly cooked salmon.

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Spicy Salty Chocolate Mousse

The surprisingly healthy dessert

Sweet, spicy, and salty!? I don’t know if a better trifecta exists. Oh wait, and there is chocolate involved? Now we are freaking talking. This is one of my favorite desserts to serve at a dinner party because not only is it insanely quick and easy to make, but it also is shockingly healthy. Gluten free, dairy free, filled with healthy and beneficial ingredients (hello collagen and avocado), and sweetened simply by honey and cacao powder.

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