Summer and Macadamia Nut Mango Bars

20140610-093347-34427363.jpg
Hi everyone! It has been a little bit since I have written last. Happy June! What have you been doing to welcome in the summer?! I have been walking through some big changes these past couple of weeks that have been incredibly challenging, but relieving and liberating all at the same time. They have been changes made all in the name of self-love. The emotions come in like waves, right. Like, one minute, I will be happy and the next I feel as if my toes have lifted off the ground and the wave is rising up, my head just barely above water. Then, it settles, my feet land and the internal glitter shines! Emotions are like that; I can either choose to sink, swim against them or let them wash over me. I stay connected to the Universe through this time because I know she has my back. I keep my heart open, my head up and I step back to let the light shine beautifully on the path I will walk.

20140610-105609-39369670.jpg

Today’s recipe is great to surf into summer with!

Macadamia Nut Mango Bars

20140610-105835-39515169.jpg
You will need:
Crust
2/3 cup pecans or walnuts
1/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-3 tablespoons of maple syrup (add tablespoons one at a time for consistency of your choice)
Salt, to taste

Filling
1 cup macadamia nuts, soaked
1-2 cups cubed fresh or frozen mangos (I used frozen)
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
1-2 tablespoons maple syrup
Juice from one lemon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
Water, maybe, for consistency
Salt, to taste

To prepare:
Soak the macadamia nuts for at least an hour to activate them. Begin with the crust and a food processor. Process the pecans or walnuts first. Then add in the other ingredients creating a crust that sticks together. Remove the crust from the food processor and place it on a parchment paper lined dish. Then, with a spatula, form the crust into a square. You can make it as thin or as thick as you’d like. Let the crust sit in the fridge while you prepare the filling. Clean out the food processor and drain the macadamia nuts. Add the macadamia nuts to the food processor and blend. Then, one by one, start to add in the other ingredients for the filling. You may or may not need to add water for consistency. It should be on the thicker side. Taste tests are welcome! Then, slowly start to spoon out the filling on top of the crust. Use a spatula to evenly spread out the filling over the crust. Then place the mango bars in the freezer to set up. Let them sit in the freezer for about an hour or so, and then when you’re ready to serve you can cut up the squares with a knife. Enjoy!

Also, I have found it especially important to connect and play with my girlfriends during this time in my life. Here are some acro yoga pics that I have been trying out with my girls! So fun! Summer is here…don’t forget to play!

20140610-111555-40555022.jpg

20140610-111554-40554535.jpg

20140610-111553-40553966.jpg

20140610-111553-40553393.jpg

20140610-111847-40727161.jpg
Light & Love,
Amanda

Groovy ways to start your days

Hi everyone!
Ever feel like you get up on the “wrong side of the bed?” Ha, I think that is such a funny saying. When I was a little girl and I felt this way, I would literally go back to my bedroom, get back into bed and climb out of my bed a second time, with the intention of it being the right side of the bed. Maybe that is all it takes? Starting over. I have been told before that when I am having an off start to my day that I can start my day over as many times as I’d like. And, who knows what throws us off when we rise and shine anyway?! Maybe, we ate something funky the night before, got tumbled up in a funky dream, have the butterflies about a job interview or new life embarkment or we just couldn’t shake an argument we had the day before with a lover or a best friend?! There are so many things out there that can throw our energies off to where we just don’t want to begin the next day…or is it that we don’t know how to begin? Here are some little tricks and tools that I use to help me when I would rather hit the “snooze” button and sleep the day away.
1: Strrrrretchhhhh
In a world that is so face paced and on the go go go, it can be easy to pop up out of bed the minute that alarm buzzes only to get moving again before our bodies even have the chance to wake up. I am guilty of this; I have two adorable pups that nudge me for their breakfast at 6am every morning and it is so typical to jump right up for them and into my day before I am even ready for it. So, I when my alarm sounds or my pups whine, I have tried to let myself slowly wake up. I wiggle my toes, my fingers, blink open my eyes, and I bring my arms above my head, my toes reach out long towards the end of the bed and I give myself a nice long full body good morning stretch to get my blood flowing and energy moving. Then, I sit up and let my toes dangle down to touch the earth. When is the last time you noticed your toes, eh? I notice my toes and my feet and I say, “good morning” to them, for they will be carrying me throughout the rest of my day. 🙂

2: Mirror Talk
Yes, this is exactly as it sounds…self talk in the mirror. It is one thing to talk to yourself out loud while driving in the car or cleaning the house, but to look yourself in the eyes and have a conversation with yourself is incredibly empowering…after you move past the judgement of it being awkward, of course! So, lately to kick off my mornings, once I run the sleep out of my eyes, I mosey on over to the bathroom mirror and I look myself in the eyes and say, “I am going to have a really great day today!” That simple! And if you can think of more to add to that then go for it!
3: Vacuum Meditation This is a new little meditation that I have been using in the mornings and it leaves me feeling light and ready! I do it right at my breakfast table…right after I have said good morning to my toes and did some self talk in the mirror, of course! 😉 It is very simple and I even find myself using it throughout my days if I need it. I sit with my feet touching the floor and my hands open on my lap. I start by focusing on my breathing and then I start to imagine my guardian angels circling around me with giant vacuums! They gently start to vacuum all the stagnant energy and unsupportive thoughts that I have running through my mind and body; they suck everything away creating space and leaving me feeling light and airy. It is so lovely! If you don’t dig the angels, then use whatever makes you feel comfortable…even if you just imagine a giant vacuum above your head…that is perfect! I even send my angels with the vacuums above my house, over each of my dogs and my loved ones. The meditation can be as long or as short as you’d like. Have fun with it! Our thoughts are so powerful and this meditation is oh, so sweet!
4: Start Over So, remember how I said that when I was a little girl I would go back to bed and get up on the right side of the bed? Yes, so maybe tapping into your inner child and doing just that will help to reset your morning, followed by a yummy breakfast! And, prepare a meal that appeals to all of the senses…something that has great texture, a yummy taste, colorful and easy on the eyes and fills the room with a beautiful aroma. Mmmm!

Another great way to start your day is by baking this next recipe…

Vegan & gluten free…

Vanilla Dream Cloud Cookies

20140424-214516.jpg

You will need:
1 1/4 cup gluten free flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup almond milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Fluffy Frosting
1 can of unsweetened coconut milk, put in fridge overnight, flipped upside down
Powdered sugar, to taste

To Prepare:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Like a baking sheet with parchment paper. First, mix together flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl. Then beat together the coconut oil, almond milk and vanilla until it is creamy. Add the flour mixture in and mix together until combined. If you need more almond milk, another tablespoon or so can be added. Mold the dough into a ball and wrap with plastic wrap; place in fridge for 10-15 minutes. While you are waiting, practice some headstands, handstands or hop into a groovy meditation, right? 🙂
Take the dough out of fridge and on a lightly floured surface roll the dough out and begin to cut out shapes that you fancy. I went with circles and I even drew a heart.

20140425-080239.jpg

Lay the cookies on the parchment paper lined baking sheet. When the sheet is all filled up, sprinkle a little sugar on top of each cookie. Place in the oven for maybe 7-10 minutes or so. Be sure to pull cookies out and check bottoms for some golden browning because these babies can be tricky and you do my want to over cook them! Remove cookies and let cool completely.
While cookies are cooling, get ready to make your fluff! Bring out your upside down coconut milk and open it upside down with a can opener. The top liquidy part of the milk you are going to pour off into a bowl and save for a yummy smoothie later…that’s what I did! The part that you want is below that liquid in a more solid form…mmmm….that is your treasure! Scrap the solid coconut milk out of can and into a bowl. Get your beaters out and blend baby, blend! The coconut milk will soften and turn into a whipped frosting. Add a little powdered sugar, if you wish, but this stuff is amazing without! You will have to hold yourself back from licking the bowl, watch! 🙂 When you have whipped the frosting to your liking, begin to frost your cookies, making them look very fluffy and cloud-like, hence the name. For extra fun, you can sprinkle cinnamon on top.

20140425-081117.jpg
Serve right away or store in the fridge! I love these cookies…I ate several and shared the rest! I felt like I was eating a cloud! Enjoy!

Also, for some extra fluff, here are some Easter pics up Maya and Leo for you to enjoy!

20140425-081337.jpg

20140425-081352.jpg

Love the babies and their bunny ears!

Light & Love,
Amanda

Body Talk & Chocolate-Mint Bliss Bites

20140212-184039.jpg

Hi everyone!

Happy Valentine’s Day/Week to you all! I love and honor you and I hope you are doing the same for yourself!
Four years ago, I started making this little holiday a day to celebrate the love for myself. Every day, I focus on loving myself, but this day, four years ago, I stopped smoking cigarettes and I remember telling myself that I was doing it for the love of myself! I was so proud (and I still am)! Each year, I try to do something extra groovy for myself like take a yoga class in a new studio, get a pedicure, go on a date with my hunie, add something healthy into my life, make something extra yummy to share or take my pups somewhere they’ve never been before.This week, I seem to be applying to Graduate school for the love of myself! Weeee! What will you do to show the love?
Another way I show the love for myself daily, is by taking care of my body and maintaining a positive inner dialogue. This leads me into a conversation about the body. I used to be so wrapped up in what people thought about me based on my body and appearance. I was so consumed with these thoughts that they did nothing but paralyze me and cause pain. No matter what I did, I wasn’t good enough and someone was always better than me. I beat myself up with my thoughts because I was stuck in the fear-based ego-state-of-mind and I put my body through the worst things because of it. I would not eat all day long, exercise on top of it, and then eat too much at night. I would over exercise and if I missed a day, I would beat myself up even more. If I did not feel skinny enough or pretty enough, I would not let myself go out in public. I would eat unhealthy things to cope with the feelings and thoughts that were constantly running through my head. I was so self-absorbed and full of fear that I could not truly enjoy the beautiful life that was happening before my eyes. Thankfully, I hit a bottom.
My first step was to recognize and admit that my unhappiness with my body was directly connected to my unloving thoughts about it. I recognized that I was not going to get anywhere healthy if I kept talking to myself in such an awful manner. So, I cut the crap, forgave myself and became my biggest fan. On days that I didn’t like my thighs, I picked out a part that of myself that I did like and I focused on that… All day long, if I had to. Most importantly, I realized that I am not a body; I am a beautiful soul that shines bright, comes from a natural state of love, is granted all the happiness I could possible wish for and any thoughts that do not stem from love are not real. This body is a vessel for me to navigate through this world that I am in.
My second step was to change my internal dialogue by inviting Spirit/God/the Universe in to support me and my thoughts. It was clear that I needed help with this because I had tried and failed too many times on my own. For every unsupportive or unloving thought that popped into my head, I would notice it and invite Spirit in to help reinterpret the conversation or clear away the thoughts. By clearing away the thoughts, I began to create space for love and a groovy new internal dialogue began to manifest itself.
Step three, I started to implement new healthy habits by making little commitments. Thoughts and behaviors go hand-in-hand. When I am thinking in an undeserving way, then I am most likely going to have behaviors that go along with it. Where thoughts go, energy goes. When I had a self-destructive mindset, my behaviors followed suit; I would either deprive myself of food at meal times, overwork my body or fill my body with foods that were not the healthiest choices. Once I became a witness to those negative thoughts, called them out and invited Spirit in, I could then add the healthy behaviors in my life. I started doing things to let my inner glow shine bright! Not only that, I attracted healthy things, as well; Yoga came into my life, healthy people came into my life, I evolved into a vegan and gluten free eater, I knocked off the unsupportive eating habits and behaviors (like smoking!), I started teaching and sharing health tips with others…It was magical and magnetic, and it continues to be! And, whatever weight that I was trying to lose or look I was trying to achieve started to appear. I find that when I align myself spiritually, the weight drops off and everything falls into place. Most of the time in life, I find that all I need to do is forgive myself, shift my thinking into a more loving space and stay connected to the Universe because it always has my back.

20140212-205817.jpg

So, along with loving yourself, incorporating healthy behaviors to shine bright and treating yourself during this week of Valentine’s Day, I have a treat for you!

Vegan and gluten free…

Chocolate Mint Bliss Bites

20140212-221242.jpg
You will need:
-1 cup of pecans
-1/4 to 1/2 cup of shredded coconut
-2 teaspoons of flax seed
-1/4 cup maple syrup
-1 teaspoon (maybe a little more) peppermint oil
-4-5 medjool dates, pitted (but you can get away without them)
-about 1/2 package of vegan chocolate chips

To prepare:
In a food processor or high speed blender, blend the pecans, first. Then add flax, coconut, peppermint, maple syrup, and dates (optional) and blend together completely. Line a plate with parchment paper. Make balls out of your pecan mixture and press them down a little to flatten like a cookie. Place in the fridge to stiffen up while the chocolate is melted. In a pan, slowly head up a half of a package of chocolate chips. If you turn the temp up any higher, you will burn them. Stir the ch chips whole they melt. When chocolate is almost completely melted, take out the cookies in the fridge and begin to frost them with the chocolate. I found it easiest to dip the one side of the cookie in chocolate, set it on the parchment paper plate chocolate-side down, and the spread frosting on the rest of the cookie with a knife/spoon. The idea is to get the whole cookie covered in chocolate… So, however creative you can get! Then, when all the cookies are lathered in chocolate, stick the plate back in the fridge to let the chocolate harden completely, 30 minutes or so. Then, transfer cookies to a container to store in. Share and enjoy!
Love & Light,
Amanda

20140212-223658.jpg

Let the love soak in

20140128-183148.jpg

Hey everybody!
In my last post, I wrote about the confusion that I was experiencing with life. I wrote about how life does not have to be this straight and narrow line that I need to walk. It is a path that takes wicked turns and does loopy-loops all over the place. (Hands up, right!? Weeeee!) This week, I am still very confused…the job, the schooling, the boyfriend, my future… It is all still right there dancing about and being weird. Ha ha… But the difference in my thoughts this week compared to last week is where the magic and the miracles lie. I have nestled into the confusion and accepted it for what it is… I don’t even give it a label anymore. My ego does, though. My ego calls it all kind of things… Stupid, not good enough or bad, which is where the sensations of discomfort come from. I notice it and I forgive it anyway. I have settled in, gone within and I am embracing the confusion for what it is and trusting completely in love and the Universe. I am surrendering to the plan that is not mine and going with the flow of life’s natural order, which stems from nothing other than the highest good.
Thinking about my loving self (truth) and my fearful self (ego) reminds me of my most favorite movie, The Black Swan, with Natalie Portman. Incredible movie! When I first saw this, it hit me in such a deep deep way. I thought I knew why, but going through these recent transformations and creating awareness about the different conversations I have with myself, which come from ego or love, has led me to understand why I fell in love with this movie on such a soul level. My black swan is my ego/fear and the white swan is my love/truth. There seems to be this endless dance between the two, right?…my black swan wants to tear down and destroy, while my white swan is learning how to frolic about, dance, love and shine! The black swan feeds illusions and the white swan extends love, love and more love! Today, and now in my future, I will let my white swan dance and I will embrace her awakening! I will love myself and I will let it soak in!

20140128-191219.jpg

This week’s recipe is a groovy little cookie that will bring your light right out to shine brighter than it already is!

A give you a vegan and gluten free….

Lemon-Ginger-Chia Seed Cookie

20140128-194037.jpg

You will need:
1 + 3/4 cup gluten free flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill or Namaste Foods)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
1 + 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1/2 cup vegan butter (earth balance)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon flax seed + 3 tablespoons water

To prepare:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk together the water and flax in a small bowl and let it sit to gel up. In a medium/large bowl mix all the other ingredients together with a mixer or beaters. When batter is formed, rolls balls of batter and put on the parchment paper lined baking sheet. Then press each ball down with a fork making a criss cross with the lines of the fork. Place in oven and bake for about 10 minutes. Cookies will get a little golden brown on the bottoms. Take out and let cool. To jazz them up a little more, you can prepare the Vanilla-Lemon Glaze…

20140129-080751.jpg

Vanilla-Lemon Glaze:
Lemon juice, to taste
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 8 oz container vegan cream cheese
1/4 cup vegan butter (earth balance)
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Drizzle the glaze on top of the cookie. Sprinkle with cinnamon for extra yum! Enjoy!

Light & Love,
Amanda

20140129-081056.jpg

Step into the light of your purpose & have a cupcake

20140107-161956.jpg

Helloooo!
Things have been moving around pretty quickly these days in my little life. I am just so tickled that I don’t even know where to begin! I notice little shifts start to happen when I have more fun, listen to my inner goddess, converse and listen to feedback from the Universe and take action. And in the last month or so, much bigger shifts have been rolling in. I have no idea what I am doing and I am trying to remain in this space of not judging what is happening, but just noticing it, enjoying it and loving it all as it manifests! The moment I stopped listening to my ego’s thoughts of fears and I started saying “yes” to what showed up… Miracles started to rapidly occur!

Here are the facts:
-I made the radical decision to go plant-based/vegan with my eating on October 22, 2012.
-I decided I needed to get creative with what I was eating because 6 months into the vegan eating plan I was bored with avocado sandwiches… Although they are quite delicious! So, I hopped online and searched for recipes… Which turned into me sharing these recipes I found off other fabulous blogs, tweaking them to my own flavor or coming up with my own meals and treats to eat. I became an artist with my food creations and I started sharing about it through the popular social medias sites, like Facebook and Instagram.
-I made the decision to create a blog, Eat.Sweat.Play.,because Facebook and Instagram just couldn’t hold all the fabulous information that I needed to share with others…Plus, I felt like giving back and putting vegan recipes out there to the new (and the already established) vegan eaters of the world who were struggling with creativity in preparing food, just like I did in the beginning. Also, I was good at writing and I loved it! Blog was activated on July 6, 2013.
-September 2013, a friend and employer from Lululemon asked me to pose not only in their yoga clothes, BUT also, with a plate of one of my yummy plant based creations in a little photo shoot for their product notification email! They came out to my home, shot some pics and it was another experience of fun and love!
-October 2013, I became a Kid’s Yoga Teacher, got licensed, immediately, and now I have my own little business, Kidding Around Yoga with Amanda. What? I’m now a business owner! What the heck!? Pinch me! The skies opened and the opportunity just dropped into my lap. My role in it all; : I said “yes” and I showed up. At the training I connected with myself, created relationships with some fabulous people, learned how to teach meditation and yoga to kids, had an absolute blast doing it, and fell in love with the entire experience… Even the scary parts! You can check out Kidding Around Yoga with Amanda here:
https://www.facebook.com/Kiddingaroundyogawithamanda
-November 2013, taught my first kid’s yoga class. It felt amazing and I fell in love, yet again!
-End of November 2013, another women’s atheltic clothing store, Lolë in Palm Beach, which is based out of Montreal in Canada, got in touch with me to see if I wanted to do Yoga in the window for them to not only help promote their store, but my kid’s Yoga, as well. For the whole month of December, I said “yes” to showing up every Monday for an hour to do some groovy poses in their beautiful space in some of their beautiful and very functional clothes! I am now friends with the employees, I love their clothes, I love their message they promote to “Live Out Loud Everyday,” and incredible opportunities have stemmed from just saying “yes”to them and showing up! Check out the Lolë sites to learn more about this awesome company! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lol%C3%AB-Palm-Beach/681454825206886

http://www.lolewomen.com

20140107-184004.jpg

20140107-184039.jpg

-December: Soul Feather is born! I started having little nudges from the Universe to spread my authentic truths and inspirational messages in a bigger way in conjunction with my blog. I was having some blocks with just going out and randomly speaking, so, I decided to create a little meet up group and name it Soul Feather. I created a Facebook page, first, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Soul-Feather/682830458415615 where I could post light and inspiring quotes and messages, along with the Soul Feather meet up dates and relevant information. Again, I said “yes” to what my inner voice was telling me, created the group, set up the event with a date and everything else fell into place… Lolë Palm Beach said that they wanted to be my location for the Soul Feather meet up. Aveda graciously supplied the event with a complimentary tea that was deeelicious and Aveda said that they want to help me promote Eat.Sweat.Play. https://www.facebook.com/AvedaCHSS

20140107-215146.jpg

-January 5, 2014: Soul Feather’s first meet up! Again, no idea what I was doing (I still don’t!) but I just said “yes,” trusted my inner goddess, knew that I was supported by the Universe and I showed up! People came! We had Aveda tea and kale chips I made and brought to share; comfortable and simple. I opened the group with a friendly little intro about myself and how I was drawn to create Soul Feather, everyone engaged in a conversation of what attracted them to Soul Feather, having an opportunity to share their truth, and then I introduced a simple, but, beautiful little meditation with some helpful tips before diving into it. My favorite part: seeing everyone all zenned out after the meditation was over and feeling the energy radiating throughout the room. In love, yet again! There was even a puppy in the room that felt the stellar vibes…he ended up on his back and completely chilled out. I cannot wait until Soul Feather’s next meet up on January 19th! Weeeee!

20140107-220034.jpg

20140107-220050.jpg

So, I just keep saying “yes” to the things that make my heart sing, I show up, trust that the Universe is supporting me completely, and stay on the love zone as much as I can, which takes place in my thoughts! I do move away from that space, though, more than once a day, I’m sure… But I’m not there for too long and to help move myself out of it I just watch my thoughts about myself, what’s happening inside of me and I flood my thoughts with positive affirmations. I cannot wait to see what is next!

20140107-220809.jpg

Now, I know you are just dying for the cupcake part of this post, right? Good, because, trust me, it’s worth it! This little baby is deliciously toothsome and I hope you devour and enjoy it as much as I did!

Gluten free and vegan…

Banana Cupcake with Peanut Butter Frosting

20140107-221447.jpg

You will need:
Cupcake
2 bananas (ripe, preferably)
1 1/4 cup gluten free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegan butter (Earth Balance)
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 flax eggs (2 tbs ground flax seed + 6 tbs water)
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Frosting
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 8 oz. package of vegan sour cream
1/2 cup vegan butter (Earth Balance)

Cupcake tin & cupcake wrappers

To Prepare:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare your flax egg by whisking together the flax seed and egg in a little bowl to let it gel up. Peel the bananas and mash up with a fork in a bowl. Then add all the other ingredients including the flax seed after it has time to gel up. Mix with beaters or a mixer until all ingredients are nicely mixed together. Then put a couple tablespoonfuls of th batter in each cupcake wrapper in the tin. Put in the oven to bake for about 20 minutes. While the cupcakes are baking, mix up the frosting by mixing up all the frosting ingredients in a bowl and then placing in fridge to stiffen up a little before frosting. Licking the excess frosting from beaters is always open in my kitchen… And trust me, you will want to lick this frosting off! Mmmmm!
Once your cupcakes are done, let th cool a little before frosting. Then store the finished cupcakes in fridge before serving. Enjoy!

20140107-223929.jpg

Love & Light,
Amanda

2014, let’s have some fun!

Happy New Year’s Eve to you all! I hope you all have some groovy plans tonight to welcome the new year, whether that is going out dancing, reading a book, watching the ball drop in Times Square, building a snow man with your kids, cleansing yourself in the ocean, eating yummy food or painting your toe nails! This is my last post of 2013! How incredibly weird and fun is that to say!? I’m certainly looking forward to 2014 and all the magic that it will be bringing!
20131231-143541.jpg

My resolution for the new year will be to have fun, spread light and raise my vibration even more than I have been! And by doing any one of these things, I am doing them all! I can’t spread light without having fun or raising my vibration, nor can I have fun, without raising my vibration and spreading light, and, well, you get my point here… It is a fantastic and efficient resolution and I am incredibly pumped! As Gabrielle Bernstein, author of Spirit Junkie, puts it “Measure your success by how much fun you’re having.” I plan to do just that, this year. I have even told friends of mine that when I catch myself not having fun to remind me! It is so much better when you have others supporting you and cheering you on! So, when I am resentful at someone, full of fear, nervous or worrying about something out of my control, I will ask myself, “Is this fun for you right now?” or I’m sure the Universe will remind me, and the plan is to then shift my energy back into the fun zone! This will be a year of movement, flow, love, wellness, connection, happiness, fun, honoring myself and completely stepping into my calling. I am ready baby! I am ready to get jiggy wit it all! I am willing to say “yes” more and forgive often! And I love the idea of miracles unfolding, being completely immersed in the moment, falling in love, not knowing what’s coming next and knowing that I am entirely supported by the Universe!

20131231-145256.jpg
Along with raising my vibration, spreading light and having fun comes creating healthy food and sharing it with the world! I love the food I put in my body and I love sharing it with you!

Today, I have two recipes for you. They are both gluten free, plant based and bound to get your glow on!

Spaghetti Squash with Green Lentils

20131231-150231.jpg
You will need:
1 spaghetti squash
1 cup green lentils
Olive oil
Thyme, to taste
Salt & pepper, to taste
Fresh basil, to taste (optional)

To Prepare:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Wash, dry and slice you spaghetti squash in half, long ways. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and set aside, maybe to roast later on for fun. Brush on a little olive oil to the inside of each squash half. Then season with salt and pepper to your liking. Place each half on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper face down. Bake for 30-40 minutes, I’d say, and the squash is finished when a fork can easily pierce through the squash. While your squash is roasting, prepare your lentils by adding a 2 cups of water to 1 cup of lentils in a pot. Bring to a boil and then cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes. When the squash is finished roasting, make your spaghetti by dragging a fork along the inside of the squash. Little spaghetti-like strands will just form…pretty fantastic if you ask me. Scrape as much as you’d like from each squash half and put into a bowl or you can save the squash skin and use it as your bowl! Fun! Then mix in your lentils, sprinkle in some thyme and basil, and add some more salt and pepper to the taste that you prefer. Enjoy!

20131231-151048.jpg

My next yummy is for your sweet tooth when the ball drops at midnight!

Avocado-Cacao Mousse Bites

20131231-151325.jpg
You will need:
For the crust
1 cup walnuts
1/2 cup pecans
1 cup medjool dates, pitted
1/2 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sprinkle of salt
For the mousse
1 banana
1 avocado
2 tablespoons cacao
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon almond butter
1 tablespoon maple syrup

To prepare:
Prepare your crust by adding all the ingredients into a food processor and blending together. Then, in what ever dish or cupcake tin you would like to store your bites in, form a crust in that. I used all different kinds of containers; cupcake tins, mini cupcake tins and one little glass dish. I just pressed the crusts down into each of them and put in the fridge while you prepare the mousse.
For the mousse, blend all the ingredients in the food processor until the texture looks like mousse or similar to pudding. Then pull out your crust(s) from the fridge and place spoonfuls of mousse onto your crust(s). Feel free to lick the left over mousse that gets stuck on the sides of the food processor! I did! Yum! Then top off with some shelled hemp seeds, coconut, cinnamon or maybe some fruit. I put mine in the freezer for a bit to let them stiffen up a little more before serving. They are just dreamy! Enjoy!

Enjoy your night tonight and Happy New Year 2014 to you all!
Love & Light,
Amanda

20131231-152824.jpg

Check your reflection

20131224-165234.jpg

Happy Christmas Eve to all you groovy people out there! Sending all my light and love filled thoughts and energy to you!
‘Tis the season to be with family! Fa la la la la la la la la! Since the holidays have a beautiful way of bringing family members and friends together, I felt like I was being called to create a post about it. In my holiday experiences there has always been so much love bouncing around. Along with the comfort and joys seem to come occasional personality conflicts, windy arguments, and natural stress among family members, too. Let’s be honest, it is almost expected to happen at some point with individuals who are so closely connected and comfortable with one another and I hear about many people fearing this part of the holidays the most. How can you possibly stay lit up with Grinch tip-toeing around your tree?!
Well, you do know how much I have been into using positive affirmations lately because I have been writing about them and sharing them with you. I am here to tell you, that even groovier affirmations can be used in those tense holiday moments. I have come to believe that when I am engaging with a friend, my boyfriend, or a family member, that whatever is showing up or transpiring between me and that other individual is for a reason and they are always opportunities for me and that individual; opportunities to have fun, laugh, play, love, forgive, connect, or even heal. If something shows up that I do not like, am afraid of or makes me feel uncomfortable, in the past, I would typically shut down, lash out or turn into a victim and blame that other person for causing me pain. Most likely, it would take me some time to let it go before I even considered moving into forgiveness. This cycle caused me such a great amount of pain that it finally brought me to my knees. Each time I would get angry at someone for their words or actions that I didn’t like, I would get resentful and a resentment does nothing but take energy from me, block my love and dull my glow. So, I had enough and I shifted. I stopped playing the victim, started taking responsibility and the light within me grewer brighter! Instead of lashing outward, I started looking inward and used my flashlight to shine light on the piece that was hurting it so I could give it love and let it go, while also releasing that individual, too. I started asking myself questions like, “What is it within me that feels uncomfortable or afraid over you?” or “What is my reflection trying to show me?” The outside conditions are merely reflections of my inner conditions. I also started to practice saying loving things to myself and to the person in my head, such as, “I love you,” “I forgive you,” “I support you,” “Please forgive me,” and “Thank you.” When I play through these loving thoughts in my mind, energy goes, and love flows. It is like magic and it is oh-so-groovy! With these thoughts running through my head, I find that I am able to love more, play more and be in the moment, which is where I love to be the most during the holidays with my loved ones!

20131224-183620.jpg

Today, I have a simple little cookie recipe that I whipped up this week that is tasty, light and sure to raise your holiday vibration!

Vegan & Gluten free….

Cinnamon Apple Oat Cookies

20131224-183908.jpg

You will need:
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened regular apple sauce
1/2 tablespoon plus a sprinkle of cinnamon
1/2 cup glutenfree oats
1/2 cup almonds (ground up in a food processor)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sprinkle of salt
1/4 cup almond butter

To prepare:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, create almond flour with the almonds by processing them to a fine texture. Then mix all the ingredients up together in a bowl. Line a pan with parchment paper. Form little balls with your batter and place them on your baking sheet and press them down with a spoon to flatten some. Bake for 15 mins, maybe more. Take out of the oven, let cool, share and enjoy!

Love & Light,
Amanda

20131224-185902.jpg

I honor my human in me

Hello! Happy Saturday! This last week has been a week of different situations strung together all reminding me of one very big thing…humility; the acceptance that I am human. I need to keep this at the forefront of my mind … Continue reading

Have a cookie!

Hello! Happy Monday and welcome to December, one of the fastest moving months! Woo! It seems as though Decemeber always seems to creep into November with the Christmas excitement around the corner; Christmas music playing on the radio stations, twinkling lights throughout the neighborhoods, and red and green filling up the shopping centers! After the Thanksgiving holiday passed, I couldn’t help myself…I went into our attic and pulled out the few Christmas decorations we have and decorated our home. It brings a whole new energy to the place and I completely dig it! We can’t get a tree this year because we have two adorable pups that are still under one year old and it would be tragic if they decided to eat a Christmas tree with ornaments for a late night snack, ha! So, we have a little tree up where they can’t reach that will due.
My favorite thing I like about this holiday is the inner child in me that it brings out to play. From holiday cookies to, snow angels, to gingerbread houses, to Christmas lights, to stocking stuffers, to flying reindeer, to the grinch that stole Christmas, to snowballs, to sledding, to family members overload, to yummy food, to the star on top of the tree, to ice skating…. I could go on forever!
My hope for you is to find your inner child throughout this holiday season and bring him or her out to play! Show up fully & get goofy! Some of my happiest memories come from the winter and the holidays!
Every Christmas holiday growing up my mom would create dozens of different kinds of cookies (she still does!). She would freeze them so they stayed fresh and create little plates filled with cookies for friends, family members, and sometimes complete strangers… Which was the best! One special cookie that my mom makes during the holidays and all year round, that all my friends would come to my house and eat up, are her chocolate chip cookies! They are the best and I have modified her recipe to be vegan, gluten-free and just as tasty for the holidays that are speedily approaching! You can never go wrong with a chocolate chip cookie!

Gluten-free/Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

20131203-143627.jpg

You will need:
1 1/8 cup gluten free flour of your choice (Bob’s Red Mill has a great gluten free all purpose flour)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter (Earth Balance vegan spread)
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 flax egg (1 tablespoons ground flax seed + 3 tablespoons water)
1/2 package of your choice vegan chocolate chips
1/2 cup gluten free oats (Bob’s Red Mill has some)

To Prepare:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Prepare your flax egg by mixing the flax & water together to let it gel up a little bit. Mix all the ingredients together.
Form little balls (tablespoonful) out of your cookie dough and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or greased with vegan butter or a spray to prevent sticking.
Bake for 9-11 minutes and then take out of the over to let cool for a couple of minutes.
Serve with a glass of almond milk. Mmmmm…enjoy!

20131203-180607.jpg

And if your lucky… You’ll have some company who will want to lick up the excess cookie dough that got caught on the beaters and the remnants left in the bowl! That was always my favorite thing as a kid…sneaking the raw cookie batter which the biggest spoon possible and running into another room to eat it ferociously before I got caught! Lucky for you, this batter is vegan and completely edible in the raw!! 🙂

20131203-180843.jpg

Light & Love,
Amanda

Teachers and Donuts

“Sometimes when we try to release a pattern, the whole situation seems to get worse for a while. This is not a bad thing. It is a sign that the situation is beginning to move.” -Louise Hay

Happy weekend!!!

I am always looking for new teachers out there to inspire me, raise my vibration, and create new space in becoming the happiest person I know! My teachers come in SO many forms. They are everywhere and it just tickles me to say that because it just lets me know that the universe is always supporting me and sending me little friendly reminders that their is always more work that I get to do! My teachers include, books, audio CDs, Facebook posts, school teachers, movies, lectures, friends, parents, animals, children, my job, homework assignments, public figures, yoga, nature, the cashier at the grocery store,my boyfriend, and complete perfect strangers; the list just keeps getting greater and they always show up right on time.

Right now, one of my guiding lights has been author and spiritual luminary, Louise Hay. I am currently reading her book, How to Heal Your Life and it is nothing short of magnificent. Funny thing is, this book has been on my book shelf for almost 4 years and I just now I noticed it. See what I mean about the universe being right on time? Comical. When I noticed it, I felt a flutter through my body like every cell jumped up because I knew it meant I was ready to receive this information. Each morning I read a chapter and I sit still and meditate after. Louise has this way of gently breaking down the unproductive thought patterns that we have and how they create our external realities and then substitute those thoughts with uplifting-full-of-love affirmations that are rewired into the brain to replace the old thoughts.

The quote I posted at the beginning is one of my favorites! It rang so true to me. So many times when I am trying to implement a new behavior, it feels as if my body and mind are rejecting it at first and I tend to get really discouraged. One day this week, in particular, I felt this discouragement and it was coming out left and right all over my yoga mat and through my thoughts. But you know what, I remembered this quote and I just kept forgiving myself for the thoughts that came in that were not supportive of myself and I kept saying “I approve of myself” all throughout the class no matter what, and after that class came to an end, I felt lighter and even more ready to move forward as the spiritual warrior I am!

On that note, I will complete today’s post with a dreamy recipe that many of you have requested that I put up pronto! I love it & thank you for asking!

This recipe was inspired by another lovely teacher of mine, Oh She Glows I tweaked a few things to make it gluten-free, but these donuts will have your taste-buds shimmying and your tummy doing a little twist & shout dance!

Gluten-free/Vegan Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Donuts

20131026-141005.jpg

You Will Need:
1/2 tsp apple cidar vinegar
6 tbsp almond milk
1/2 cup fresh or canned pureed pumpkin
1/4 cup organic cane sugar (or white)
1/2 a banana or 3 tbs unsweetened apple sauce
2 tbsp lightly packed brown sugar
2 tbsp Earth Balance (or other non-dairy butter substitute), melted
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon + 1/2 tsp ginger, + 1/4 tsp nutmeg (or 1.75 tsp pumpkin pie spice)
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour
1/2 cup chick pea flour

For the cinnamon sugar topping:

1/4 cup Earth Balance (or other butter sub), melted (approx estimate only)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

To Prepare:
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease two mini doughnut pans or two regular sized doughnut pans with Earth Balance (or other butter substitute). Or if you’re like me and you don’t have a donut pan, take tablespoonful scoops of batter and find something to press into the batter to form your own hole in the center to creat a donut.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, milk, pumpkin, sugar, applesauce or banana, brown sugar (sift if clumpy), and melted Earth Balance (or other butter sub).
3. Stir in in the dry ingredients (baking powder, baking soda, spices, salt, and flours). Mix until combined.
4. Using a ‘zip-lock’ baggie or pastry bag, spoon the batter into the bag and then secure it with the zip lock or rubber band. Twist the bag slightly and then cut off a hole at the corner to ‘pipe’ out the batter. Pipe the dough around the circle and gently flatten down with slightly wet fingers to smooth. Repeat. Or do the other way that I mentioned in #2 if you don’t have a donut pan on top of parchment paper.
5. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350F or until they gently spring back when touched. The bottoms will be brown. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before carefully using a butter knife to remove. Place on cooling rack for another 10-15 minutes.
6. Cinnamon Sugar: Melt Earth Balance in a small bowl and dip the cooled doughnut top into the butter and then dip top into the cinnamon-sugar mixture. You could cover the entire donut but I felt like that was too much, so I just did the tops. Your choice!

I hope you enjoy these as much as my friends and I did!

I leave you with a lovely image and quote that was posted on Facebook by my fav spirit junkie, Gabrielle Bernstein.

20131026-142818.jpg

Light & Love,
Amanda