Step into the light of your purpose & have a cupcake

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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

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-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

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-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!

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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!

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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

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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!

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Love & Light,
Amanda

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Peanut Butter Tuesday

First and foremost, I have to give a shout out to my Miami Heat for winning the 2013 Finals! A week late but woo hoo! I was so stoked I did a head stand for them!

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A lot of hard work those guys put in and it seemed like the games were never going to end! Besides yoga, basketball is my favorite sport and was my life growing up in grade school and in high school! It is where I had fun, connected with teammates, got my exercise, expressed my emotions, learned how to play well with others, laughed, cried, celebrated, trumped my fears, learned hard work, and had an outlet. I do not play ball as much as I wish I would today, but yoga has been able to fill the same shoes now that basketball used to. A basketball court and a yoga mat are my two places where I feel so connected on every level!

And since we are on the subject of balls…ahem…basketballs…I figured that I would keep this next treat in line.

I give you, Peanut Butter Quinoa Balls

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These were SO incredibly simple & so yummy  I could not stand it. It was impossible for me to just have one…or two… 🙂

Ingredients:

1 cup puffed quinoa OR quinoa flakes OR oatmeal would prob work (I could not find the puffed quinoa, so I tried the flakes (as pictured) and they were perfect!)

1/2 cup peanut butter

3-4 table spoons agave OR maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

toppings: vegan chocolate chips, melted

coconut…I used the chocolate chips & just sprinkled coconut over the melted chocolate and they were yummy!

Mix together all of the ingredients. Put in the fridge for 15 mins. Form 12 balls. I was able to make 12 out of the measurements listed. Put back into the fridge for 15 more mins. Dip in melted chocolate, if desired. There you have it. Balls. 🙂

And now that we are on the topic of peanut butter…I will add one more delight to the mix. So, if you are not into the peanut butter balls, how about peanut butter cups!?! Ohhh yeah!

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I loved these, too! They were fun to make and they came out adorable, don’t ya think?

Another simple one.

Peanut Butter Cups

You will need:

Mini cupcake wrappers and cupcake tin/pan to help create the shape

Nonstick spray to spray wrappers with

Top layer:

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 tablespoon agave OR maple syrup will work I’m sure

2 tablespoon cacao powder

Bottom layer:

2 tablespoons peanut butter OR almond butter

1 tablespoons coconut oil

1 tablespoon agave OR maple  syrup

Prep:

Mix together ingredients for top layer in one bowl and ingredients for the bottom layer in another separate bowl. Pour bottom later in cupcake wrapper in cupcake pan and then pour the top layer right over. Put in the freezer to set up. I think I left mine in for at least 30 minutes!

And then you can either enjoy them as is or use with other recipes as toppings maybe. The night after I made these, I had some raw ice cream. You know I used a peanut butter cup for a topper! It was perfect!

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And the Raw Ice Cream is perfect just by itself, too. So easy peasy!

Raw Ice Cream:

Slice up one (or as many as you’d like) banana and place in the freezer until frozen or REALLY cold. Then take out of the freezer and put in food processor and blend until creamy like the ice cream man would do it. Done.

So, you got three desserts in one post! Have fun with that!

Life is short, eat dessert first…especially if its raw or vegan dessert! Ha!

Light & Love,
Amanda

Puppies with a side of Graham Crackers!

I would like to introduce you to my little darlings, Maya & Leo.

Maya is about 6 months old now and leo is about 3 months old. They are both Labrador pups and the most delicious pups I have ever laid my eyes on. Wouldn’t you agree?

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My boyfriend, Wade, and I adopted Maya first. We had the idea that we wanted two dogs to keep each other company and bring double the love and fun into our home, but we started with one to make sure we were capable parents. And after lots of getting up in the wee hours of the morning and cleaning up potty accidents, we decided we were ready for our Leo.

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We adopted Leo on my birthday! We brought Maya with us to help pick her brother out and to see if they mingled well, and oh, did they ever! They love to cuddle with each other, as well as with us. And it is so delightful!

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And aside from the cuddling and cuteness, Maya and Leo have brought Wade and I a bucket of opportunities to learn from when it comes to patience, love, forgiveness, kindness, control and being in the moment. How grateful we are to our little fur balls of energy!

Now, aside from chasing our tails, lets get crackin’, graham crackin’, that is! Mmmm…

This past weekend I was looking for a creamy dessert with a crunch, I mean, who isn’t, right? I not only found the dessert sent from heaven, but I also found another one that reminded me of my childhood, which is always a great thing, because that means I get to play!

I remember when my mother would serve me graham crackers with a glass of milk. I would dip the graham crackers in the milk, let them soak up the liquid, and then devour! It was always such a great snack at any time of the day: breakfast, mid-day snack, or after dinner for dessert. Mom was a genius! So, I came across this recipe on ohsheglows.com that called for crushed up graham crackers. I did not have any graham crackers, nor was I going to make a special trip to the grocery store. On the same post, there was a recipe for home made graham crackers (probably for people like me who are not going to make that trip to the store, right?). I just happened to have all the ingredients! And, I was off.

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They not only tasted like, if not better than, the graham crackers I dipped in milk as a child, but they were enjoyable to make and my inner little girl got to make all sorts of fun cut out shapes. It is very similar to making cut out cookies once the dough is made. You just roll it out and design away! I made hearts, along with squares and rectangles and poked holes in them with a fork to give them the traditional graham cracker look!

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Then, once the crackers are made you can do SO many fun creations with them. As pictured above, I put some sunflower seed butter in between two graham crackers and made a mini peanut butter sammy. I also lathered some sunflower seed butter on the heart shaped cracker and sprinkled some shelled hemp seeds on top! Ah-Mazing!

You could also crush up the graham crackers with a few other yummy ingredients and come up with a fabulous pie crust or cheesecake pie crust. Or sprinkle crushed up crackers on top of some ice cream (raw banana ice cream, of course! Recipe to come in the future)! If your an outdoor-campfire seeker, roast up some marshmallows and make s’mores! What fun! Or, if you want to hop into my childhood memory, simple just serve some crackers plane with a nice cup of almond milk to dip them in! So many possibilities!

Here is the recipe for these crackers that sent me down memory lane.

Home Made Vegan Graham Crackers:

Dry Ingredients:

1.5 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

Wet Ingredients:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons almond milk

3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter

2 tablespoons maple syrup

2 tablespoons molasses

1/2 tablespoon ground flax seed + 1 tablespoon water (modified egg)

Preheat over to 350 degrees. Mix together the flax seed and water in small bowl and set aside for at least 5 mins to gel up a little bit. Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Then mix your wet ingredients in a small bowl, also adding in your water-flax combo. Combine wet and dry ingredients together. Stir with a spoon. The dough will start to turn really thick, and when this starts to happen, forget about the spoon and use those hands, sista! Form the dough into two balls.

Lightly flour counter top or cutting board and roll out the balls of dough, one at a time. Be careful not to make the dough too thin when you are rolling it out. Each time you roll the dough out, get your cut outs ready or a knife to create shapes! I was able to draw my shapes with a knife just fine. If you do the traditional square/rectangle graham cracker shape, take a fork and make little holes in the dough down the middle of cracker. Most importantly, have fun!

Each shape that you create, place on parchment paper lined baking sheet and maybe sprinkle with a little sugar on top. Put in the over for 15-18 mins, rotating the crackers 180 degrees halfway through, not flipping. But, if you accidentally flip them, like I did, it is not the end of the world! They still came out fabulous! 🙂

Allow the crackers to cool for about 10 mins and then eat ’em up! Enjoy!

Light & Love,
Amanda