+ nutella muffins recipe | healthy sweets | healthy dessert | healthy chocolate muffins | double chocolate muffins recipe | double chocolate cake | dairy free chocolate chips |  gluten free muffins | healthy muffins | soy free | breakfast muffins | dessert muffins | gluten free muffins

Double Chocolate Nutella Muffins (Gluten Free)

nutella muffins recipe | healthy sweets | healthy dessert | healthy chocolate muffins | double chocolate muffins recipe | double chocolate cake | dairy free chocolate chips |  gluten free muffins | healthy muffins | soy free | breakfast muffins | dessert muffins | gluten free muffins

Anyone else have a lot of memories eating Nutella as a child?  I do!  And I’m so excited about this “healthier” gluten free recipe for Nutella muffins. With healthier swaps, such as almond milk, coconut oil, gluten free flour, and maple syrup instead of sugar, this is sure to be a crowd pleaser!

I had such a great time making this recipe last weekend. My best friend and I made it up while rummaging in our cabinets to see what ingredients we had that would cure a sweet tooth.

There’s something so awesome about making up a recipe from scratch and having it turn out perfectly delicious.  These muffins are chocolatey, tender on the inside, naturally sweetened, fluffy, and totally drool-worthy.

nutella muffins recipe | healthy sweets | healthy dessert | healthy chocolate muffins | double chocolate muffins recipe | double chocolate cake | dairy free chocolate chips |  gluten free muffins | healthy muffins | soy free | breakfast muffins | dessert muffins | gluten free muffins

 

Prep Time: 25 minutes | Bake Time: 20 Minutes | Total Time: 45 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1 ½  cups of gluten free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Baking Flour*)
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 jar nutella
  • ½ cup vegan chocolate chips

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Bring 6 cups of water to boil
  3. Rinse sweet potato under cold water and add sweet potato to the boiling water (skin on)
  4. Boil until potato is tender when pierced with a fork (about 15 to 20 minutes)
  5. Remove potato, cut in half (long wise) and scoop out insides (should be soft)
  6. While sweet potato is boiling, combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl:  flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon
  7. In a separate bowl, combine applesauce, egg, vanilla, almond milk, sweet potato, and maple syrup.  Blend in a food processor until smooth
  8. Pour wet mixture into mixing bowl with dry ingredients and combine with a spatula until smooth
  9. Add chocolate chips, combine
  10. Line muffin tin with coconut oil
  11. Pour muffin mixture into muffin tin, filling each muffin cup about 2/3 of the way
  12. Scoop about 1 tbsp of nutella on top of each muffin
  13. With a toothpick, gently swirl the nutella into each muffin
  14. Bake for 20 minutes

 

nutella muffins recipe | healthy sweets | healthy dessert | healthy chocolate muffins | double chocolate muffins recipe | double chocolate cake | dairy free chocolate chips |  gluten free muffins | healthy muffins | soy free | breakfast muffins | dessert muffins | gluten free muffins

+ how to overcome post traumatic stress | post traumatic growth | self worth | confidence | self love | self care | respond to challenge | positivity | mindfulness | mindful | spirituality | inner peace | anxiety | how to manage anxiety | how to manage stress

Post Traumatic Stress vs. Growth Mindset

how to overcome post traumatic stress | post traumatic growth | self worth | confidence | self love | self care | respond to challenge | positivity | mindfulness | mindful | spirituality | inner peace | anxiety | how to manage anxiety | how to manage stress

I’ve heard it said that there are 2 types of people: those who experience post traumatic stress and those who post traumatic growth.  I’m working on being the latter.

When scientists develop an experiment, they see failure as just another datapoint. They expect hypotheses to fail…that’s what makes it an experiment.

We often think, this thing happened to me and so now this is WHO I AM.  But it is not a reflection of our self-worth and it is not who we are as a person. I’m working on seeing my failures as just another datapoint in life.

How do you respond to challenges?  Do you let it knock you down or do you welcome it?
+ vegan salad | healthy salad recipe | curry cauliflower | curried cauliflower | avocado | chickpeas | raisins | almonds | grape tomatoes | food photography | eating healthy | vegan | health recipe | meal prep | salads for the week | creative salad recipe

Curry Cauliflower Salad

vegan salad | healthy salad recipe | curry cauliflower | curried cauliflower | avocado | chickpeas | raisins | almonds | grape tomatoes | food photography | eating healthy | vegan | health recipe | meal prep | salads for the week | creative salad recipe

I’ve been working on being more consistent about meal prepping.  And I have to say that the last couple weeks, I’ve been ROCKING IT. This week, I made curried cauliflower which should last me about 5 salads this week.

In this bowl:

  • Spinach dressed with olive oil and lemon juice
  • chickpeas tossed in cumin
  • baked curry cauliflower
  • grape tomatoes
  • raisins
  • almonds
  • 1/2 avocado
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Breakfast bowl with sweet potatoes, rice, and avocado

breakfastbowl

Yesterday was a perfect day in Sarah-Land.  I visited the holy mecca that is Whole Foods, meal-prepped sweet potatoes, mushroom wild rice, banana walnut muffins, and made some BANGIN’ chicken soup in my crockpot (recipe to come).

Those 3 hours that I spent meal-prepping means extravagant breakfasts for the rest of the week.

In this bowl:

  • Kale dressed with olive oil and lemon juice
  • Mushroom wild rice
  • Baked sweet potatoes
  • 3 grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1/2 avocado
  • Sunny side up egg with pepper
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Salad for Breakfast

Paleobreakfast

I’ve been drinking a lot of home-made chai lattes lately because I’ve been trying to limit my coffee intake.  Coffee can increase my anxiety because of the caffeine.  I think I feel better when I start my day with tea.  I am able to hyper-focus on what needs to get done, rather than being stuck in my thoughts.

I’m a big fan of what I call “salad for breakfast.” This breakfast bowl is gluten free, dairy free, and vegetarian.

Salad:
Spinach dressed with olive oil and lemon juice
Chickpeas tossed in cumin
Baked sweet potatoes (with salt and pepper)
Sunny side up egg with pepper

Latte:
Chai teabag
1/2 cup boiling water
1/4 cup @thenewbarn almond milk
1/2 tsp cinnamon

+

5 quick tips to reduce anxiety

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People tell me I smile a lot…which is funny because on the inside I often feel like a bomb has gone off and i can barely keep up with my anxious brain.

I guess i smile because it’s easier to show that emotion than to express what’s really going on.  But sometimes smiling actually gets me through the anxiety because i remember not to take myself too seriously.

If you’re feeling anxious, try these tips: 

1. take a vitamin d supplements (aka you could be cranky because it’s winter)

2. make room in your mental space for the things that bring you joy (aka don’t fill your mind with negative shit like meaningless gossip and thinking you look ugly today–you don’t.)

3. make room in your physical space for the things that bring you joy (aka clean your  room and do the dishes)

4. put pen to paper (aka spend 5 minutes to write down your F E E L I N G S in a journal)

5. remember to smile (aka don’t take yourself too seriously–we’re all just little specs in this beautiful universe)

+ sweet potato casserole | thanksgiving | paleo | vegan | dairy free | gluten free | healthy thanksgiving side | sweet potato side | sweet potato and walnuts | sweet potato pie

Thanksgiving Sweet Potato Casserole

I don’t need an excuse to eat more sweet potatoes… but if I did, Thanksgiving would be a good one.  Sweet potato casserole is an American Thanksgiving tradition.  And the good news is that this is the easiest Thanksgiving dish to prepare of all time.  Beyond just making some room in the oven, there’s not much else to it.

sweet potato casserole | thanksgiving | paleo | vegan | dairy free | gluten free | healthy thanksgiving side | sweet potato side | sweet potato and walnuts | sweet potato pie

I grew up eating sweet potato casserole with so much sugar in it, it was basically sweet potato pie.  Sweet potatoes are already sweet (hence the name, people), so you don’t have to sweeten it too much.  I sweetened this casserole with just one tablespoon of maple syrup.  (this is optional for you Whole-30’ers).
Friendly Diets:  gluten free, dairy free, paleo, vegan

Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Bake Time 1 hour 30 minutes | Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

**fits in 18 liter pan

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium to large sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup crushed walnuts (you can just crush them in your hand)
  • ¼ cup cup almond or coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup (optional)
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  3. Place whole sweet potatoes on baking sheet
  4. Roast the sweet potatoes for an hour or until soft
  5. Once the sweet potatoes are soft, let cool for about 10 minutes
  6. Cut the sweet potatoes in half and use a spoon to scoop the sweet potato’s insides into a bowl, and discarding the skin.  The skin should be pretty easy to peel off.
  7. Mash the potatoes in the bowl until soft
  8. Add the almond/coconut milk, maple syrup, and vanilla to the sweet potatoes,  mix together
  9. Add cinnamon, cacao powder, salt, and nutmeg. Mix.
  10. Crush walnuts in hand and add them to the sweet potato mixtures
  11. Fold in the walnuts
  12. Transfer to casserole dish and spread until even
  13. Bake for 30 minutes

 

+

Spinach & Sweet Potato Vegan Salad

I usually eat at least one salad every day. Because I meal prepped the rice and sweet potatoes for this recipe, this salad took under 5 minutes to prepare. When I say I eat a salad a day, I’m talking about salads that have protein, carbohydrates (yes, carbs!), healthy fats, fiber etc…the type of salad where you’re not hungry for an entire pizza afterwards.
vegan salad recipe | sweet potato salad | gluten free | dairy free | vegetarian | eggplant | garlic | easy dinner recipe | savory | salad that fills you up |
I love using rice and sweet potatoes as a base for my salads because I feel that they fill me up. If you’re thinking about going gluten free and are having trouble giving up bread, supplementing your hunger for bread with rice and sweet potato is a great option. I find that sweet potatoes, rice, and quinoa give me a similar “full feeling” to bread…but without the bloating.
Sometimes I think about the lack of vegetables I used to eat and I shiver. It’s not uncommon in the American diet to not have vegetables as part of a meal. Also what is up with the term “side” for vegetables??  While I don’t subscribe to any official diet (I’m not paleo, I’m not vegan, I’m not whole 30), I think that everyone in this modern world should be adding more vegetables into their diet.
A really easy way to incorporate more vegetables into your diet is to eat more salads and use spinach or kale as your base.
Lately I’ve been OBSESSED with Trader Joe’s Eggplant Garlic Spread.  It’s such a great topping to a salad.  It adds a great amount of flavor, especially considering I never use salad dressing.  For dressing, I topped this salad with fresh lemon juice, olive oil, and pepper.
Friendly Diets: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Ingredients

  • 2 sweet potatoes*
  • 2 cups rice*
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup grape tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp Trader Joe’s Eggplant Garlic Spread
  • Lemon juice from 1 slice of lemon
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

*I usually make extra sweet potatoes and rice so that I can use these in my salads throughout the week

Instructions:
Sweet Potatoes:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Chop sweet potatoes into cubes.  This video is the best tutorial for this.
  3.  Coat sweet potatoes with olive oil or preferred cooking oil and arrange onto a cookie sheet.  Top with salt and pepper.  Roast for 25-30 minutes.

Rice:

  1. Place a tbsp of olive oil in a pot and turn onto medium heat
  2. Before adding the liquid and once pot is hot, add rice and stir for 3 minutes.  The edges of the rice will get a tiny bit brown, which will add to the flavor.
  3. Pour in the water and vegetable stock and bring liquid to boil
  4. Add in salt and pepper to taste
  5. Once boiling, lower temperature to simmer.  Cover and simmer for 30 minutes

Salad:

  1. In a medium salad bowl, add spinach and grape tomatoes (chopped in half)
  2. Dress greens with olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and pepper
  3. mix greens
  4. top with rice, sweet potato, and eggplant garlic spread
+

Gluten & Dairy Free Chocolate Chip Spinach Muffins

Looking for a gluten free, dairy free, and healthy muffin recipe that cures a sweet tooth?  I’m obsessed with these new dairy and soy free chocolate chips that I bought from amazon and decided to make a batch of chocolate chip spinach muffins over the weekend.

dairy free chocolate chips |  gluten free muffins | dairy free | healthy muffins | soy free | breakfast muffins | dessert muffins

I love baking on the weekends.  For some reason, I don’t mind meal prepping during the week.  But baking…that is an art for the weekends.  There’s something cathartic about mixing the batter and having your house fill up with that sweet baking smell.  I even bought an apron a few months ago and somehow only feel the need to wear it when I’m baking.

These came out  so yummy—and they have no added sugar–they’re sweetened with maple syrup, applesauce and a few vegan chocolate chips!

dairy free chocolate chips |  gluten free muffins | dairy free | healthy muffins | soy free | breakfast muffins | dessert muffins

Prep Time: 10 minutes / Bake Time: 20 minutes / Total time: 30 minutes

Makes a dozen muffins

Friendly Diets:  Gluten-free, Dairy-free

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups fresh spinach (uncooked)
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 ½  cups of gluten free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill Oat Flour*)
  • ⅓ cup cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon  baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • ½ cup vegan chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life)
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil (to line muffin tin)
  • Optional:  12 muffin cups

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Combine applesauce, egg, vanilla, spinach, and maple syrup in a food processor.  Blend until smooth.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients:  flour*, baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg
  4. Pour in wet mixture and combine with a spatula until smooth
  5. Fold in chocolate chips and combine until evenly distributed
  6. Line muffin tin with coconut oil
  7. Fill each muffin tin about ⅓ of the way
  8. Top muffins with some more chocolate chips (optional)
  9. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes

*Bob’s Red Mill Oat Flour is gluten free but not paleo friendly

+

The Top 6 Health & Wellness Podcasts you must start listening to RIGHT NOW

Anyone who knows me knows that I am OBSESSED with podcasts.  I bring them up in conversation, I consistently make friends with strangers over a mutual love of Ira Glass, and I always have my headphones in when I walk anywhere.  (Disclaimer:  I’ve almost been run over a few times and I am not condoning this behavior).

I tried really hard for this post to be my “top 5” favorite health and wellness podcasts and it was so hard to whittle it down that I present to you, My Top 6 Health & Wellness Podcasts:

top 6 health and wellness podcasts you must be listening to | personal development | health inspiration | learning materials | podcast recommendations | health and wellness book recommendations

  1. Her Rules Radio(previously called The Crave Cast)

Each week, Alexandra Jamieson, interviews health and wellness experts, entrepreneurs, and authors on topics ranging from women empowerment, healthy eating, and mindfulness techniques to entrepreneurship and business advice.  She is the co-creator of Supersize Me, and author of Women, Food, & Desire and The Great American Detox Diet.

This podcast holds a special place in my heart.  I began my health and wellness journey feeling like I was the only woman going through what I was going through.  My friends didn’t seem to have food allergies, anxiety, skin issues, and digestive issues like I did.  When I started to completely change my diet, I was the friend who was “no fun”, who stopped drinking, who didn’t go out for pizza, who had to look at the menu at the restaurant well in advance to see if I could eat there.  

A lot of people assumed that I was doing it for weight loss and even belittled me for it, saying that I was already skinny, that I was high maintenance, or seemed to think that I was a blonde barbie who was obsessed with my looks.  This podcast gave me the strength to stick with it.  Not only did it get me into health and wellness in a big way, but also made me feel like eating healthy and having a happy life doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive. It made me feel like there are hundreds of thousands of women going through what I’m going through every day, where I previously felt alone.

Beyond that, Alex is honest, authentic, relatable, and inspiring.

  1. So Money

Ok, this is a financial podcast, why is in this in here??  Financial wellness is an integral part of wellness in general.  For me, my happiness has a lot to do with stability, reducing stress, and control.  So do that…with your money!  Set yourself up for stability by doing the right things with your money, whether it’s investing, contributing to retirement, saving, or starting a side-hustle to generate more revenue.

Farnoosh

Farnoosh Torabi is the author of When She Makes More, Psych Yourself Rich, and You’re So Money.  She’s out to end the negative stigma around wealth and being vocal about money.  She interviews successful entrepreneurs, authors, and financial experts, offering candid advice on subjects like student loans, investing, saving for retirement, and renting vs. owning a home.  

  1. The Minimalists

For the past two years, I have been obsessed with the idea of minimalism–the idea that the more physical items you have, the more it clutters your brain. I have always known from a young age that when my room is messy, I feel stressed.  But I never made a correlation between surroundings and stress until I was older.  

minimalists

I discovered Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus through their blog and quickly started listening to their podcast. They provide tangible tips and advice on how to pair down your items.  Their tagline is “live a meaningful life with less.”  They’re currently on tour–check out if they’re coming to your city!  They also have an incredible documentary, Minimalism:  A Documentary about the Important Things.  It is currently available on Netflix, but I don’t know how much longer it will be there.

  1. The Chalene Show

What do I have in common with the hot pink glittery So-Cal blondie?  Um, A LOT, apparently.  Chalene tells it like it is.  She is a New York Times bestselling author of Push, motivational speaker, and fitness expert.  She puts on makeup every day, she loves dying her hair, she uses fake tanner, and she is ALL ABOUT health and wellness.

chalene

One thing I’ve noticed from being a part of the health and wellness world is that there is this tendency to “one-up” each others’ health habits.  Like,  “You’re not a REAL yogi unless you’re a vegan too,” “Oh you don’t meditate every morning right when you wake up?”  “Well I write a gratitude list every night before bed” “I grew this kale on my rooftop garden and it’s local and organic and I bought the seeds from a nonprofit that supports impoverished bamboo makers in Italy”…do you get my drift?  NONE OF THIS MAKES SENSE.

Chalene’s podcast is for REAL women–there is no shame around wearing makeup, getting excited about buying a new dress, etc.  She is funny, authentic, and always speaks her mind. She opens up about her marriage, her insomnia, and best fitness practices that have worked for her.  She interviews a myriad of health professionals and invites guests with differing viewpoints.   

  1. Better Everyday

What I love about this podcast is that it gets a bit more technical and provides actionable advice. Dr. Brooke and Sarah Fragoso focus on hormonal health, diet, fitness, wellness, and happiness.  Dr. Brooke is a naturopathic doctor who focuses on balancing women’s hormones and Sarah Fragoso is a gym owner, prominent influencer in the Paleo community, and author of the cookbook, Everyday Paleo.

BetterEveryday.png

Sarah and Dr. Brooke answer questions every week from listeners and offer actionable advice, including which supplements to take, which foods to try eliminating from their diet, and much more.

  1. That’s So Maven

This is a newer one that I have started listening to and I have to say, I am SO IMPRESSED.  I have followed Davida’s blog (The Healthy Maven) for a while now, but now that I listen to her voice every week, I feel like I know her even more and relate to her story.  

She focuses on “where healthy meets living” and interviews health experts, as well as other bloggers and influencers.  In addition to health and wellness, this podcast is a great resource for blogging tips, if you are interested in starting your own blog.  You can follow Davida on a myriad of different social media channels, but check out her youtube channel for amazing healthy recipes, travel diaries, and product recommendations, including natural makeup reviews.