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SUGAR-FREE BROWNIES & SUPERFOOD TONICS (WHOLE FOODS COLLAB)

When Whole Foods reached out to me last month to collaborate with them on using their superfood powders, I didn’t hesitate to say YES!  If you follow me on Instagram, you know I’m all about the superfood powders, mushrooms, and Chinese herbs.  I add them to my desserts and into my savory dishes, but my favorite way to use them is in warm latte-like elixirs.  It’s such a great (and easy!) way to cram a ton of nutrition into one little mug.

 

My dream would be to open up my own tonic bar, where I can create the most healing elixirs and nourishing desserts for all of you.  I get to live out my dream (temporarily) this week, thanks to Whole Foods, with a pop-up tonic bar.  If you’re in the Los Angeles area, I would love to see you.  Come say hello, sip on the most delicious tonics, and snack on these yummy and nutritious brownies.  If you’re not in LA or you can’t make it, you can tune in for the live stream.

 

 

Better yet, make them yourself and share them with your favorite humans (or keep them all to yourself – I’m not judging!).

 

Some quick notes on the superfoods I used, because knowledge is power!

  • blog article on why I use reishi and a few other mushrooms, which you should read if you have any interest.  It’s packed full of information.  Reishi is great for stress/anxiety, immunity, cancer prevention, and is the perfect nightcap, as it increases your quality of sleep!
  • VITAL PROTEINS COLLAGEN PEPTIDES – Collagen is great for improving the health of your skin, hair, and nails, reducing joint pain, healing leaky gut and improving digestion.  It’s also a great protein source, which can help increase your metabolism!
  • MATCHABAR MATCHA  – Matcha green tea is not only very high in antioxidants (supporting your skin health & protecting you from cancer!), but it’s also high in EGCG, which is shown to increase your ability to burn fat!  Matcha can also help lower blood pressure and increase your focus and concentration.  Yes, please!
  • SPIRULINA – This blue-green algae is a detoxifying powerhouse!  Spirulina can help detox heavy metals, eliminate candida (yeast overgrowth), lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol, boost your energy, and help curb your cravings, while speeding up weight loss.

 

 

These tonics and brownies are also sugar-free and rich in good, healthy fats, which we now know is better fuel for keeping your blood sugar stable, energizing you, turning your brain on and most importantly, shutting off your cravings and hunger hormones.  Try replacing your morning latte with one of these tonics and give the brownies a shot for a sugar-free sweet treat!

 

 

Have you tried any of these superfoods?  How do you incorporate superfoods into your life?

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COCONUT BUTTER & JELLY CUP (single-serving, 4 ingredients, sugar-free, paleo, keto)

I saw someone eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich the other day and had the idea to recreate it as a healthy dessert!  I used to live for PB&Js as a kid.  Since I don’t eat peanut butter anymore (aflatoxin/mold), and the only nut butter I had in the house was coconut butter, this recipe was created.  It didn’t disappoint!  I bet this might be even more delicious if you used SunButter or a Sprouted Almond Butter, so please let me know if you do use any of those and how they turn out.

 

 

I tend to avoid multi-layer desserts, since they require extra steps and seem to take a bit longer (#lazy), but this one is maybe an extra 2 minutes and it’s so worth it!  This is another single-serving recipe (for my/your lack of willpower), but feel free to multiply it to create a full batch.

 

 

Hope this recipe brings you a bit of nostalgia for your own childhood.  Please let me know me if you recreate this one and how it turned out.  Tag me on Instagram, so I can see and share them!

 

COCONUT BUTTER & JELLY CUP (single-serving, 4 ingredients, paleo, keto)
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 1
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Boil water.
  2. While water is boiling, mash raspberries with a fork in a small bowl.
  3. Once water has come to a boil, combine the water with the gelatin and mix. Then add in the raspberries and sweetener of your choice (I used ⅛ tsp of monk fruit). Mash until well-combined.
  4. Set that aside and let cool.
  5. Combine the coconut butter, coconut oil and sweetener (I used ¼ tsp of monk fruit) and mash/stir with a fork until well-combined.
  6. In a muffin tray, add half of the coconut mixture to 1 muffin tin. Freeze for about 10 minutes or until solid.
  7. Pour the raspberry filling on top, then top with the remaining half of the coconut mixture.
  8. Freeze again for 10-15 minutes or until solid.
  9. Pop the cup out and enjoy!

 

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SINGLE-SERVING CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFIN (sugar-free, paleo, keto, SIBO-friendly)

I don’t know about you, but I have zero self-control when it comes to dessert.  Sweet treats don’t last more than a day in my house, and even that is generous.  It’s so serious that I even bought a $70 time locking container to put treats in (that I quickly returned, because $70?!?!).  Every time I bake a batch of cookies or muffins, I immediately give most of them away to clients, friends, strangers on the street.  Anything to get them out of my house, where I will likely inhale the whole batch within hours.

 

 

 

Why don’t I just stop making them, you ask?  Because I love healthy treats and I don’t think life is meant to be lived without them.  The only answer, then, is to create single-serving healthy treats that’ll leave me feeling satisfied without 11 other servings  tempting me with their deliciousness.  And, apparently, I’m not the only one.  I asked my Instagram family if they lack self-control like I do and the resounding answer was YES!  Which is what leads me here, to the first of many single-serving dessert recipes I’ll be creating.

 

 

I was amazed how good this muffin came out, because coconut flour can be challenging to bake with.  It was my first attempt at creating it, and it turned out perfectly!   Let me know if you try this muffin recipe, and comment below with some other single-serving desserts you’d like to see!

 

CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFIN FOR ONE (sugar-free, paleo, keto, SIBO-friendly)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 1 muffin
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp Organic Coconut Flour
  • Pinch of Vanilla Powder or Extract
  • Pinch of Sea Salt
  • 2 Tbsp Vanilla Ghee (unflavored will work fine, too)
  • 2 tbsp Almond Milk
  • Stevia, to taste (I used Omica Organics Stevia and used 10 drops)
  • 1-2 tbsp Chocolate Chips or Chunks (I used ½ Addictive Wellness Chocolate, chopped up)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375º.
  2. Line a muffin tray with 1 parchment muffin liner.
  3. Mix the coconut flour, vanilla, and sea salt until well-combined.
  4. Then, mix in the ghee, almond milk, and stevia until well combined.
  5. Next, fold in the chocolate chips.
  6. Pour the batter into the muffin liner and place in pre-heated oven. Immediately turn the oven down to 350º.
  7. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Be patient, and let it cool down for at least 10 minutes (this will help it not fall apart!).

 

 

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THE BEST CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES (paleo +vegan +keto)

These might seriously be the most delicious cookies I’ve ever tasted.  They are my go-to for every potluck and they are always devoured!  Even people who eat “real” cookies (made with wheat flour, dairy, and sugar) love them.  Trust me, they are a hit.  With super simple and minimal ingredients, they’re so easy to throw together, too.

When I’ve made paleo and vegan chocolate chip cookies in the past, they never have that same moist, chewy texture I was looking for.  But these definitely do!

Just throw all of dry ingredients in a bowl, and mix together until well-combined.

 

Then add the wet ingredients and mix until well-combined.  The mixture should be pretty crumbly, but once you roll them into balls, it should stick together.  You can fold in the chocolate chips at this point, too.

 

 

There’s already very minimal sweetener in this, but if you’re looking to make these keto-friendly, you can leave out the sweetener entirely.  Just let them sit a bit longer (another 10-15 minutes or so) after you bake them to let them firm up.  You can also leave out the chocolate chips, as pictured below, and they’re still pretty yummy!

My patience is always tested (and pretty much always fails!) when I pull these babies out of the oven to let them cool down.  Fresh out of the oven chocolate chip cookies are my vice, and I can’t help but to sneak a taste.

 

 

This recipe is in my free recipe book along with 9 other delicious paleo + vegan, gut-friendly creations.

If you try these, I’d love to hear how they turned out!

 

THE BEST CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES (paleo +vegan +keto)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 12
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350º.
  2. Mix together almond meal, sea salt, and cinnamon.
  3. Add the melted coconut oil, sweetener, and vanilla, until well-combined.
  4. Gently fold in the chunks of the chocolate bar or chocolate chips.
  5. Form the mixture into little balls, and lightly flatten onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
  6. Bake for 12 minutes, or until cookie edges begin to brown.
  7. Remove from the oven, and let cool for 10 minutes, then dig in!

 

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2-INGREDIENT COOKIES (vegan, paleo, nut-free, sugar-free, gluten-free, lowFODMAP)

If you know me, you know I’m all about that dessert!  It’s my favorite meal of the day, and I can hardly get through 24 hours without it.  So, when I can make a sugar-free dessert that’s made with actual whole food ingredients (no flours here!), it brings me the most joy ever.  This recipe will bring you joy, too, because it’s super simple, easy to make, and you probably have these ingredients in your kitchen right now.

 

 

These babies are also SIBO and lowFODMAP friendly, for anybody dealing with IBS or SIBO (which I am – more on this another time!).

 

 

I didn’t have chocolate chips on hand, but feel free to add them in.  They’re even more delicious with them!

 

 

To get more desserts like this, get my FREE RECIPE BOOK here!

 

2- INGREDIENT BANANA COCONUT COOKIES (vegan, paleo, nut-free, sugar-free, gluten-free, lowFODMAP)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 12 cookies
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Place all of the ingredients (except the chocolate chips) in a food processor until well combined.
  4. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  5. Roll into balls, then set on the cookie sheet. Press down lightly to flatten.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until they start to brown.
  7. Let cool and enjoy!

 

 

 

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THE DIRTY TRUTH ABOUT STEVIA

If you have a love affair with stevia, you definitely want to read this.  If you’re someone who has tried to love stevia on your quest to give up sugar, I’ve got some good news for you!

Going sugar-free is all the rage these days, and for good reason.  Sugar, in all it’s forms (yes, even coconut sugar & maple syrup!), has an endless list of side-effects, including:

Side Effects of Sugar Consumption

  • Overeating
  • Food cravings
  • Skin issues & wrinkles
  • Can lead to weight gain & obesity
  • Digestive issues
  • Recurrent yeast infections & UTI’s
  • Candida
  • Inflammation
  • Mood disorders (depression, anxiety)
  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Hormonal issues
  • Fatigue
  • Feeds cancer cells

Many consumers are finally getting hip to sugar’s destructive ways and making the switch to stevia.  But what is it and is it good for you?

Stevia is a plant that has been used for over 1,500 years in Brazil and Paraguay as a medicine for burns, stomach issues, colic and as a no-glycemic natural sweetener.  The raw, unprocessed plant is medicinal and very healthy, but most stevia on the market today has been highly processed.  All stevia is not created equal!  Truvia, a popular “stevia” product, for example, undergoes a 42-step process (!), where toxic chemicals and erythritol from GMO corn are added in.  What started as a perfectly healthy herb becomes a unrecognizable, refined, overly-processed chemical that can cause serious side-effects, such as:

  • Digestive issues, such as gas, bloating, and diarrhea
  • Glucose intolerance
  • Metabolic disorders

Highly-processed stevia brands to avoid:

  • Truvia
  • NuNaturals
  • Stevia in the Raw
  • SweetLeaf
  • PureVia
  • Pyure
  • Sun Crystals

Even if you’re not buying these brands, be careful of your favorite stevia-sweetened protein powder or beverage.  Chances are it’s one of the highly-processed brands above.

Which brand of stevia should you buy?

I’ve done the research and the only brand that I know, love, and trust is Omica Organics.  It is the only stevia I use!  Here’s why:

  • It’s organic.  Most companies radiate their stevia powders to eradicate yeast, mold, and bacteria, but Omica dry-steams theirs, eliminating all pathogens without damaging the green powder or it’s micronutrients.
  • It’s free of preservatives, additives, carriers, or flavorings.  Most companies add preservatives, additives, and flavorings, even if they’re not listed on the label!  Scary stuff!  Omica Organic’s liquid stevia is 100% pure stevia extract.
  • They flavor their liquid stevias with essential oils.  No synthetic flavorings!
  • It tastes amazing!  There’s no weird, synthetic, or bitter taste, that I’ve experienced with every other stevia I’ve tried.  If you don’t like stevia, I promise you will love the stevia from Omica!
  • They work directly with the growers and manufacturers of the stevia plant.  They are involved every step of the way!

Omica sells the pure green stevia leaf powder, which is very economical.  But I prefer the liquid extracts, as they have a richer, fuller taste.  The butterscotch toffee flavor is my absolute favorite, but they also have plain, vanilla, sweet blossom, lemon, and peppermint flavors!

 

Here are  7 sugar-free recipes using each of their stevia flavors:

 

1.  Fall Chocolate Delights                                                                      

 

2.  Butterscotch Pumpkin Bread

     

3.  Peppermint Chocolate Pudding

 

4.  Lemon Meringue Whip Cream

 

5.  Keto Brownie Custard Skillet

 

6.  Chocolate Chip Banana Coconut Cookies

 

7.  Sweet Blueberry Blossom Ice Cream Smoothie

 

 

What are your thoughts on stevia?  Have you tried it?  Do you love it?  Hate it?  Share your thoughts below!

 

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THE HEALTHIEST CARAMEL ICE CREAM RECIPE (SUGAR-FREE, NUT-FREE, VEGAN, KETO)

Summer’s almost over, but I’m still eating all of the ice cream.  I even eat it for dinner some nights, because #YOLO.  I’m a big proponent for intuitive eating, and sometimes you just intuitively want ice cream.  And guess what?  You can have it!  It’s better than eating a whole meal and then also eating ice cream after, especially if you’re trying to lose weight.  Not only that, but you can indulge in this caramel ice cream guilt-free, because it is so healthy and nutrient-dense!

Coconut Butter

The base of this ice cream is my favorite superfood, coconut butter.  If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you already know my obsession.  I eat this stuff straight out of the jar.  Coconut butter is not to be confused with coconut spread, that is often found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store.  Coconut butter (or sometimes called coconut manna) is made only from the meat of the coconut and you can find it in the coconut oil section.  The meat is dehydrated and pureed into a “butter.”  A few of it’s standout benefits include:

  • Increased calorie burn and energy.  Since coconut butter is a MCT (medium-chain triglyceride), it’s burned up for energy instead of being stored in your body (win!).
  • Boosts immunity and fights viral infections.  It contains lauric acid, which is powerful in boosting immunity and fighting viral infections, like the common cold, the flu, and even cold sores and herpes.
  • Improved digestion and regularity.  Because of it’s high-fiber content, coconut butter can help control your blood sugar levels, keep you regular and also lower cholesterol.

Lucuma Powder

Lucuma is a super nutritious subtropical fruit native to Peru, that tastes somewhat like caramel.  Here in the States, it can be easily found in most health food stores in powered form.  It’s a perfect addition to this ice cream because of it’s naturally sweet caramel taste and it’s many health benefits, including:

  • Supporting skin health
  • Improving digestion
  • Helping to regulate blood sugar
  • Improving cardiovascular health
  • High in antioxidants

Tocos 

Adding creaminess and even more health benefits to this already highly-nutritious ice cream is Tocos, short for Tocotrienols.  Tocos is derived from rice bran, and despite containing a wide range of vitamins and trace minerals, it tastes like pure milky goodness.  Studies have revealed Tocos potential in treating certain types of cancers, as well as a few other remarkable benefits, such as:

  • High bio-available Vitamin E, promoting healthy skin and connective tissues
  • Helps remove toxins from the body
  • Improves blood glucose
  • May decrease cholesterol, reducing the risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke

Reishi

One of my favorite medicinal mushrooms, I had to include this one for it’s calming and relaxation benefits.  Especially great if you’re having this ice cream in the evening or if you’re a highly-anxious person (like me!).  Reishi is considered an adaptogenic mushroom, which means it helps the body restore and maintain it’s balance and deal with the negative effects of stress.  Helping to strengthen the body’s immune system, Reishi protects against numerous diseases and illnesses, including:

  • Tumor growth & cancer
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Skin disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Allergies & asthma
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Anxiety & depression
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Viruses & infections

Lakanto

Now, this wouldn’t be the healthiest ice cream ever if I just went ahead and added a ton of sweetener.  Yes, I could have used  a minimal amount of maple syrup or even honey, which are great alternatives to refined sugar, and can be very beneficial.  But I wanted to keep this one sugar-free, for those dealing with candida, inflammation, diabetes, digestive issues, skin issues, or just general sugar cravings.  The less sugar you eat, the less sugar you crave.  Lakanto is a monk-fruit based sweetener that not only has no effect on blood sugar but is also extremely high in antioxidants!

 

 

THE HEALTHIEST CARAMEL ICE CREAM RECIPE (FRUIT-FREE, SUGAR-FREE, NUT-FREE, PALEO, KETO)
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Extremely easy caramel-flavored sugar-free ice cream. No ice cream maker required.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • 18 ice cubes
  • 4 tbsp coconut butter
  • 4 tbsp lucuma powder
  • 2 tbsp tocos
  • 2 packets Reishi (optional)
  • 4 tbsp Lakanto Sweetener - Golden
Instructions
  1. Pull the ice tray out of the freezer to warm up for about 10 minutes, so blending will be a touch easier.
  2. Once the ice has melted a little, place all of the ingredients in a high powered blender and use the tamper to blend until well-combined.
  3. Place in a bowl and enjoy!
Notes
If you like a little crunch in your ice cream, blend the Lakanto in last. The sweetener crystals won't dissolve completely. I preferred it this way!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 Calories: 428 Fat: 19 Saturated fat: 16 Trans fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 65 Sugar: 16 Sodium: 23 Fiber: 15 Protein: 4

 

 

 

8 SIMPLE WAYS TO BEAT SUGAR CRAVINGS

Hi, my name is Amanda, and I am a sugar addict.  My sugar addiction started when I was a kid.  I used to sit and do my homework over an entire box of Oreo cookies.  As a teenager and young adult, not much changed.  I could still easily eat a box of cookies, a few bags of candy, and an ice cream sundae to polish it off.  Ugh, just thinking about it now gives me a stomachache.

Even though these days, I eat a pretty nutritious diet, sugar still has it’s sweet little hold on me.  Whether it’s the raw chocolate treats at the health food store or the gluten-free vegan muffin at the coffee shop, I have to work incredibly hard to restrain myself.  I’ve seen the effects sugar can have not only on my body, but also on my mood, brain, and skin.  And let me tell you, it ain’t pretty.   So, I steer clear of it as much as possible these days with a few simple tricks.  Here’s how you can, too:

 

  1. HYDRATE.

    Many times when you have a sugar craving, what you are really feeling is dehydration.  Starting your day with 32-ounces of fresh lemon juice in high-quality water can set your whole day up for sugar-free success.  But if those sugar cravings still hit, try chugging some water instead.

  2. MOVE.

    Another cause of sugar cravings can be a lack of serotonin, which can be increased by incorporating movement into your daily life.  Find a way to fit in some exercise each day, since you’ll also get so many additional benefits!   If that craving still hits, try to put it off with a quick 10 minute walk or even a few burpees.

  3. SLEEP.

    You’ve been there, those nights where you’ve only gotten 3 hours of sleep, at best, and the insatatiable hunger you have would put a 300-pound football player to shame.  You can blame your hormones for this one.  Leptin, the satiety hormone, is reduced when you don’t get enough sleep, making you want to eat everything in sight.  Be sure you’re getting good, high-quality sleep, and if necessary, take naps.

  4. MEDITATE.

    Be still and feel your feelings.  I know, personally, whenever I have feelings come up that I’d rather not deal with, I make the run for a sugary treat.  But guess what, it never makes me feel better.  Ok, maybe for that moment, but it’s fleeting.  When you find yourself in that same situation, just sit with those feelings and as the saying goes, this too shall pass.  Sure, it’s challenging, but if you can make it through, it’s also extremely rewarding and worthwhile.

  5. EAT NUTRIENT DENSE FOODS.

    Nutrient deficiency leads to chronic overeating and poor food choices.  Your body is not hungry for calories, your body is hungry for nutrients.  When you’re feeding yourself enough nutrients, cravings will dissipate and you won’t need that sugary “pick-me-up.”  So, eat lots of green leafy vegetables and fill your plate up with the colors of the rainbow.  And do me a favor, please don’t start your day off with a sugary, refined-carbohydrate breakfast.  That is setting yourself up for failure all day long.

  6. GET RID OF IT ENTIRELY.

    I don’t believe in moderation, especially when it comes to refined sugar.  It’s like telling an alcoholic it’s okay to have a drink every now and then.  One cookie leads to two and the next thing you know you wake up with a bloated belly, an empty box of donuts on your coffee table, and a heart full of regret.  Not fun.  And just as one would tell an alcoholic to keep the liquor out of their house, I’m telling you to keep the sugar out of your house.  It’s much more difficult to eat something that isn’t available.  Sure, you could get in your car and drive to the nearest 7-11, but that requires much more effort.

  7. GIVE IN (with a sugar-free treat!).

    All that being said, there are times when you just need that sweet little treat, and I’m here to tell you that you can have it.  You can even have it every day.  The trick is to choose quality over quantity.  When you eat the real thing, you’ll need less of it and you won’t find yourself in that sad, regretful pile of donuts in the morning.  There are so many options now, with stevia and monkfruit sweetened treats hitting the shelves on the daily.  Both stevia and monkfruit don’t spike your blood sugar, so you can enjoy them guilt-free, unlike artificial sweeteners (Splenda, Equal, NutraSweet) that have a long list of side effects, including impaired metabolism, cancer, and more sugar cravings (yikes!).

    Just be sure to use high-quality versions of stevia4-Ingredient Healthiest Caramel Ice Cream.  Here are a few of my favorite sugar-free treats:

    • Addictive Wellness Chocolate & Elixirs.  Not only are these chocolates and elixirs sugar-free, keto, vegan, and delicious, but they’re also filled with the most healthy & potent super herbs and medicinal mushrooms!  They have a chocolate for your every need, whether it’s energy, focus, beauty, tranquility, love (be careful with this one!), and even femininity (for that time of the month, ladies).
      • PRO TIP: Mix the Caramel Elixir Blend with unsweetened almond milk for a beverage that tastes like Lucky Charms!
    • Keto Cups from Eating Evolved.  These chocolate coconut butter cups are basically just cacao, coconut butter, and MCT oil, but they taste like pure magic.  I prefer the ones with stevia, but if that’s not you’re thing, they also have ones without.
    • Phi Kind Chocolates.  Another keto-friendly chocolate treat, with the highest quality ingredients: cacao, MCT oil, and sweetened with corn-free erythritol and stevia.  A plethora of truffle flavors for your every desire.  I’m not a cherry dessert fan, but the Cherry Almond Butter Chocolate truffles are my surprise favorite flavor.

 

Did you find these tips helpful?  Share your own tips below!