happy halloween + healthy candy recipe
halloween is tomorrow and over the last few years, it’s become one of my favorite holidays. i usually know what i’m going to dress up as months and months ahead of time and I’ve gotten really into making/building my own costumes rather than buying something pre-packaged at the Halloween store… it’s more fun that way!
another thing i love about Halloween? the candy. duh. unfortunately, the typical halloween candy that you find in stores and probably remember eating as a kid is just… sh*t. sorry, there’s no way around it. so, instead of buying yourself an industrial sized bag of absolute garbage this weekend, you should try making your own healthy candy! the recipe below is incredibly easy to follow, takes about 10 minutes to prepare and is customizable based on what you have on hand/what you like. i can’t stand milk chocolate because a] it tastes like wax and b] it’s terrible for you, so I used dark chocolate [which actually has some health benefits when eaten in moderation] to make my own healthy versions of crunch bars, almond joys and chocolate turtles… with some other variations in there, as well!
for about 24 pieces, all you need is:
- 1 bag of vegan dark chocolate chips [i used these from enjoy life]
- your choice of fillings [i used pecans, almonds, and brown rice cereal]
- your choice of toppings [i used pepitas, coconut flakes, goji berries, caramel sauce, and fleur de sel]
there are just a few, really easy steps to this:
- line a cookie sheet with wax paper.
- place your fillings in little piles on the cookie sheet in whatever arrangement/combination you would like.
- using a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips, stirring constantly, until fully melted and smooth.
- drizzle the melted chocolate onto your fillings, covering the piles completely and then add the toppings.
- place the cookie sheet in the freezer for at least 30 minutes before devouring… and be sure to share!
what are your halloween plans? what are you dressing up as?! i’m off to new orleans for the weekend… i’ll be sure to share the details of my trip [and my costume] next week.
first image courtesy of cute autumn
fall favorites: vegan apple crisp
apple crisp is one of my favorite fall dishes that i had never made myself… until this week! since i was an apple crisp rookie, instead of experimenting and creating my own recipe, i followed one from damy health that I found on pinterest [because where else do I find anything of value these days?] and just swapped out some of the ingredients to suit my preferences.
this is a vegan apple crisp that contains no refined sugar [just raw honey!] and can easily be made gluten-free if you just swap out the flour and oats for gluten-free variations. here’s what you’ll need:
- 4 medium apples, peeled and sliced
- 1 tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 heaping tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- pinch of ground ginger
- 4 tbsp. raw honey [or other natural sweetener of your choice]
- 1/3 c. whole wheat flour
- 1/2 c. rolled oats
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 2 tbsp. coconut oil [melted]
- pinch of salt
- optional: your favorite non-dairy vanilla ice cream
pre-heat the oven to 350° and lightly grease a 9×4 bread pan with coconut oil.
- in a large bowl, toss the apple slices with lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and 1 tbsp. of the honey.
- place the apple mixture into the bread pan and bake for 10 minutes.
- in the meantime, mix the remaining honey, flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, coconut oil and salt together in the bowl.
- when the apples are done baking, remove them from the oven and sprinkle the oat mixture on top of them, distributing evenly.
- bake for another 20-25 minutes or until the topping is golden brown.
- remove from oven and let cool [but not too much, this is best served warm!].
- place on serving dishes, top with a scoop of non-dairy ice cream and enjoy!
motivation mondays: week 8
welcome to week eight [eight?! i seriously cannot believe i started this series two months ago] of motivation mondays! i hope everyone enjoyed their weekend and is all rested up and ready for a new week… and a new month! november is on saturday?! how. did. that. happen?!
so, let’s get to it! i came across this little gem last night when i was trolling pinterest before bed [i know, i know, this is a terrible habit, but do you have a pinterest? it’s so addictive]… anyways…
this one really hit me. have you ever felt like you’ve been working so hard to get your sh*t together, have a plan and a goal in mind only to have that all just blow up in your face when life throws you a curveball? or have you ever just been in the middle of something and realized, “wow, i this is not what i want to be doing… like at all“? honestly, if this hasn’t happened to you, you’re probably doing something wrong [or just really lucky, i’m not sure which]. this one hit home for me for a few reasons.
i moved to new york about four and a half years ago knowing that i was going to work in fashion for some really trendy company and go to fashion week every season and walk around in fabulous, expensive designer clothes all of the time, drinking starbucks and getting drunk at fancy cocktail parties with other really fabulous people and be a workaholic and never leave new york. ever.
fast forward to the present: i currently do nothing related to fashion except go shopping and get dressed every morning [thank god], i’ve been to fashion week once and hated the pretentious atmosphere, i quit my job at a high end department store after two years when i experienced firsthand how truly awful it is to work in fashion and i have a serious love/hate relationship with new york to the point that i dream about moving somewhere new [specifically somewhere warm] every single day. i’m now working in a totally new field [that i love] and can’t wait to see where i go from here.
did i expect to hate working in fashion? nope. did i have a “plan b” just in case fashion wasn’t what i thought it would be? definitely not. did i figure it out anyways? yep. And i am still figuring it out every day. it’s a constant process. do i sometimes feel like i wasted four years in college getting a degree i have absolutely no interest in using? duh. do i wonder why i hung around in a job that i didn’t like for as long as i did? you bet. but here’s the thing i’m starting to realize… it’s not always about the time you “wasted” when things don’t end up how you thought they would. and that doesn’t just go for school or work… that goes for anything… friendships, relationships, projects, your morning commute, your dinner plans… because with a positive attitude, you can look at everything as a learning experience.
even if things don’t make sense or seem fair right now, walk away from whatever it is that no longer serves you and remind yourself that one day you will understand why it all happened. i know that personally, i spent two years in a job i hated because i made two of the best friends i have ever had in my whole life while working there. and i got a lot of free stuff and a sick discount, soooo it wasn’t a complete waste of my time.
so, how about you? have you ever had life just blow up in your face only to realize further down the road why it happened? i would love to hear about it in the comments below or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
some fun things for you guys to check out on this monday morning…
this article from mindbodygreen about a former n.f.l. player finding his purpose after a huge setback. [see?! goes along with today’s motivation mondays theme!]
have you heard of suja juices? annie lawless, the founder, also has an awesome lifestyle blog, blawnde, that i’ve been reading religiously ever since i discovered it. i relate to her on many levels and love her lifestyle tips… she keeps. it. real.
october has me feeling all in the fall spirit, but rather than going with the traditional pumpkin carving this year, i’m going to try painting some pumpkins instead. these are just too pretty and i need them in my apartment now.
before i send you on your way, i want to make sure everyone saw this post from last week with a very special offer for my readers. if you’re interesting in working with a health coach, check it out!
coming up this week: another fall inspired recipe and a recipe for healthy halloween treats, just in time for all of the parties you’re headed to this weekend!
see you soon!
image courtesy of top it
eurotrip recap part 2: munich snaps + schloss neuschwanstein
hopefully you have had a chance to read my first eurotrip recap post [and if you haven’t, go check it out!] where i gave a rundown of my experience at oktoberfest, a.k.a. one of the most fun weekends of my life, and while oktoberfest was what brought us to Munich, we did have some time to explore the city beyond the festival grounds. below are a few pictures i took [not the best quality due to the high volumes of beer i was drinking] throughout the weekend while strolling around, taking it all in!
[augustiner biergarten, where we ate/drank one evening]
now onto day 4: after what was basically one of the craziest days of my life [see eurotrip recap part 1, day 3], we decided to take a day trip to schloss neuschwanstein, a castle in the mountains outside of munich that i have dreamed about visiting since i first saw pictures of it many, many years ago. i couldn’t wait to check this one off of the bucket list! i mean, it inspired cinderella’s castle, so like, what girl wouldn’t want to visit this place?! we booked a day trip through mike’s bike tours and had a great experience… the bikes were such a great addition [and a great way to get some exercise in on vacation]! the castle is absolutely beautiful and the history behind it is so fascinating.
to get to the castle we walked about 20 minutes up a hill from the village of schwangau, which is home to a smaller castle where king ludwig II [the king who built neuschwanstein] grew up and dreamed about the castle he would one day build in the gorge near his childhood home. honestly, the pictures don’t even come close to doing this place justice.
[biking in the countryside below neuschwanstein… felt like a fairytale!]
[my mom, my brother + myself with a castle just casually in the background. nbd.]
[how perfect is this view?!]
the last picture is the view of the castle from marienbrücke, a bridge that spans the gorge where neuschwanstein is built. directly behind me was a beautiful waterfall that feeds into the small creek below the castle. the bridge is not very big and was packed full of other people trying to take pictures and due to my extreme fear of heights [have i mentioned that before?] i couldn’t bring myself to hang around long enough to get a picture of that.
we did take a tour of the inside of the castle, which i definitely recommend doing. the interior of the castle was only partially completed because ludwig died mysteriously while it was being constructed, and the 14 rooms [of the total 200] that they take you through on the tour are the only ones that were completed before his death. it definitely left me with a little bit of an eerie feeling, walking through this gorgeous castle that was left unfinished under mysterious circumstances that are still debated to this day.
after our day at neuschwanstein, we arrived back in munich and headed to the train station to catch the night train to my new favorite european city [and topic of the next eurotrip recap post]… budapest!
quiz: do you need a health coach?
“health coach” is a relatively new term that’s becoming more and more mainstream every day. however, when i tell someone that i’m a health coach, 9 out of 10 times that statement is answered with, “a health coach? what’s a health coach?” it dawned on me that some of you reading my blog might not be familiar with what a health coach is either… and so, this post was born!
so, what is a health coach? the answer is actually pretty simple. i always describe a health coach as someone who works with clients to address their health concerns, help them establish goals related to their overall health and wellness, and then ultimately acts as an educator and support system as they make lifestyle changes and work towards their goals. in addition to addressing concerns around diet and physical health, a health coach will also look at other aspects of a person’s life, including relationships, work-life balance, physical activity, hobbies and spirituality, to see how these things might be contributing to their health issues.
as a health coach, i don’t push one particular diet, prescribe rigid diet plans, count calories or suggest that clients make dramatic lifestyle changes all at once. instead, i work with clients over an extended period of time [typically six months, but sometimes longer], looking at where their life needs balance and making suggestions for small, manageable changes they can make and stick to over time.
to give you an example, if a client tells me that their goal is to lose 20 pounds, the first thing i would look at is their diet. if there are major issues, like they eat mcdonald’s every day and drink soda with each meal, i’m not going to tell them to immediately stop eating mcdonald’s and drinking soda [even though they should] because even if they did this, it. would. not. stick. instead, i’d suggest that they try replacing one soda per day with a glass of water or, if they are feeling adventurous, a green juice. and then if that goes well, maybe we’ll try replacing one burger with a vegetarian sandwich and so on.
as they make progress, we’ll keep making small changes that they can maintain. and, best of all, i’m there to guide and support them throughout the entire process and hold them accountable. this approach might not get you results overnight, but it will get you results that last. it’s about creating a new, healthy lifestyle, not crash dieting, losing the weight you wanted to lose and gaining it back when you finally decide to binge on everything you have been depriving yourself of.
so, do you need a health coach? take this quiz to find out!
- do you have health concerns that do not require medical attention, but you don’t know how to address on your own?
- do you feel like you are constantly trying the latest fad diet, with minimal results?
- do you feel like you have made changes to your diet or routine that are supposed to make you feel good, but don’t?
- are you lacking balance in [any aspect of] your life?
- are you ready to make lifestyle changes to improve your health, but aren’t sure where to start?
if you answered “yes” to any of these questions, working with a health coach is something that will help you to reach your goals and live a happy, healthy, balanced life.
if you’re ready to take this step towards creating a life that you are obsessed with, email me at email@example.com. if you mention this blog post, you will receive one month of free health coaching [in addition to your free initial consultation] when you sign up for a 6-month program. not sure if working with a health coach is right for you? email me with your questions! i’d be more than happy to chat with you and see if this might be a good fit.
i can’t wait to hear from you!
image courtesy of steph brescia photography
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