Natural Products Expo West was this past weekend.  It’s the world’s largest natural, organic and healthy products event, where brands release their new products and product lines.  It’s a jam packed weekend full of free samples, networking, snacking, snapping photos/videos and blisters…so many blisters!  For a Natural Products Expo, there sure was a ton of junk food being disguised as health food.  Like 99% of it – no joke!  Foods filled with canola oil, cane sugar, gluten, additives, preservatives, and gums.  I’m the one at these things flipping over boxes, asking for the ingredient list, and scanning for anything suspect.  I asked the brands a million questions, like “Is this organic?  Are the nuts sprouted?  How are those mushrooms extracted?”  And when all of the answers matched what I wanted to hear, I stuck around, talked to the founders, and taste-tested a bite (or two!).

There were a number of companies there that I already love and rave about, but I wanted to share some new brands and products that you will be hearing a lot more about in the coming months.  Before I get into it, I do have one caveat.  My diet is mainly comprised of fresh, mostly raw, some cooked vegetables, but sometimes a girl needs a snack-y food, some chocolate, or a bit of a nut-based spread.

So, here were my favorite new finds this year:

Michelle’s RawFoodz Dips

Ingredients:  Filtered Water, Extra Virgin Organic Olive Oil, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Organic Hemp Seeds, Nutritional Yeast, Organic Sesame Seeds, Organic Onion Powder, Sea Salt, Organic Coconut Palm Sugar, Organic Minced Garlic, Organic White Chia Seeds, Organic Black Pepper, Organic Dill

Miyoko’s Cultured Cream Cheese

photo courtesy of Miyoko’s

Ingredients:  Organic Cashews, Filtered Water, Organic Coconut Cream, Organic Green Onions, Sea Salt, Cultures, Organic White Pepper

Vivoo Organic Raw Chocolate Bars

Ingredients:  Organic Raw Cacao Mass, Organic Coconut Sugar, Organic Siberian Pine Nuts, Organic Raw Cacao Butter, Organic Reishi

Healthy Crunch Kale Chips

Ingredients:  Organic Kale, Organic Sunflower Seeds, Organic Cucumber, Organic Lemon Juice, Extra Virgin Organic Olive Oil, Nutritional Yeast, Organic Coconut Sugar, Organic Dill Weed, Himalayan Salt

Sprout Living Drinkable Oats

Ingredients (all organic):  Gluten Free Oat Flour, Pea Protein, Coconut Crystals, Heirloom Red Banana, Matcha Blend (Matcha, Lucuma, Maca Root, Spirulina), Sunflower Seed Protein, Pumpkin Seed Protein, Golden Flaxseed, Whole Food Vitamins & Minerals (Guava, Lemon, Sesbania, Amla, Holy Basil, Annatto), Sea Buckthorn, Himalayan Pink Sea Salt, White Mushroom, Stevia Leaf


Look out for these products either online or hitting the shelves soon! 




I gave up eating meat in late 2009, not for any moral or ethical reason, but because it just started to gross me out.  I guess my decision to stop eating meat was more for health reasons than anything.  The more I read about veganism, the more I began to believe that the human body is not designed to digest animal protein.  Not only that, but learning about all of the hormones and antibiotics animals are fed made me give it up cold-turkey (no pun intended).  I would still eat the occasional piece of fish or raw goat cheese, but I considered myself “vegan-ish.”  I really thrived off a plant-based diet.  Because animal protein is much harder to digest, I had all that extra digestive energy to use.


photo courtesy of Primal Pastures via Instagram


But then a few months ago, I started craving meat again, so I gave in here and there.  Some days I can’t get enough meat, and other days I feel grossed out by it again.  I’m listening to my body!  And most recently, because I’m dealing with some gut issues (SIBO – more on this another time!), meat is one of the only foods I can handle.  I still am eating a mostly plant-based diet, but I do want to make sure that the animal protein I am eating is of the highest-quality – organic, pasture-raised, free of hormones/antibiotics/drugs, and fed it’s natural diet.


photo courtesy of Primal Pastures via Instagram


  • To avoid harmful toxins, antibiotics, hormones and other drugs that can disrupt your hormones and immune system, and put you at higher risk for cancer and heart disease.
  • Pasture-raised animals are lower in overall fat, lower in Omega-6 fats, higher in Omega-3 fats, and higher in CLA – making them more heart-healthy.
  • Higher in vitamins and minerals.
  • Decreased risk of food poisoning.
  • Better for the environment, because it decreases greenhouse gas emissions.

I’ve compiled a list of a few companies that I love and trust, that I’ve been sourcing my meats from.  Not only do I trust that I’m getting the healthiest meats around, but they taste so much better than anything you’d pick up at the grocery store.


photo courtesy of Primal Pastures via Instagram


US Wellness Meats has a wide range of grass-fed beef, pasture-raised poultry, duck, organ meats, wild seafood, bone broths, fats, and even snacks.  I recently ordered a whole chicken, chicken gizzards, beef liver, and bone broth from them, and everything was delicious!


I first found this company on Instagram, where I saw their animals roaming around, looking so happy and free!  You can also take a tour of their farm, in California.  A wide range of meats, organ meats, and broths, as well.


This company creates a curated box of high-quality beef, chicken, or pork.  They also give you the option to customize, which is great!  Last year, I bought a box for my sister and her husband, who loved it!


Do you eat meat?  Where do you buy your animal products from?











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
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 1 muffin
  • 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)
  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!).












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!


Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 12
  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!








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
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 12 cookies
  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!
















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


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


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


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!



Prep time
Total time
Extremely easy caramel-flavored sugar-free ice cream. No ice cream maker required.
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 2 servings
  • 18 ice cubes
  • 4 tbsp coconut butter
  • 4 tbsp lucuma powder
  • 2 tbsp tocos
  • 2 packets Reishi (optional)
  • 4 tbsp Lakanto Sweetener - Golden
  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!
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





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:



    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.


    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.


    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.


    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!