Body Talk & Chocolate-Mint Bliss Bites

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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

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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!

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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!! 🙂

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Light & Love,
Amanda