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Month: December 2015

Cranberry Dark Chocolate w/Naturally Delicious Kelowna

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This past summer I came across one of the most delicious desserts I had ever tasted.  Our amazing photographer decided to bring this pregnant mama a little cheesecake surprise and that day the love affair with Naturally Delicious began. Ben and Lee, do a amazing job at creating desserts that you can enjoy and still feel great after eating. This is my go to when I host parties, attend parities or I’m looking for a delicious hostess gift.  I asked this amazing couple to take over the blog today and let us in on one of their delicious recipes.   And because it’s Christmas and I love our readers..I have a little giveaway! Make sure to check your Instagram;)

Enjoy!

Rachel

Photography By: Rebecca Siewert

Desserts By: Naturally Delicious Kelowna 

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At Naturally Delicious, one of our biggest challenges is Balance. After all, we ARE a dessert company! So we are in the business of “indulgence” as it were. Funny story; before we started dating, I (Lee) ate VERY differently than we do now. I thought I’d impress Ben with my fantastic cooking skills, so I invited him over for dinner. One tiny head of broccoli and one whole brick of cheese later, I had dinner ready. There was literally more cheese than broccoli. And Ben ate his whole plate clean, just like his mom taught him. While we still like cheese and love broccoli, this story is not something we suggest you try at home!

But let’s fast-forward 6 years. We have been working towards a more holistically approach to food, and have found that changes in our eating habits have actually changed our lives. We are learning that food isn’t just about consumption, it’s actually about sustainability as well. We are all about truly enjoying each ingredient for what it is and believe that nutrition and flavour can actually be on the same team. Let’s be honest… dessert will always still be dessert. It doesn’t really matter how good your sugars or fats are, Cheesecake should never replace a balanced meal. But we certainly don’t need to feel guilty every time we taste something we love. Food can taste great, and be great for you too!

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Knowing what is healthy and delicious can be an extremely hard balance, especially when dietary restrictions like “gluten free”, “raw”, or “vegan” start getting thrown around. I (Lee) got to a point where eating out was more of a stress than it was a treat, and getting prepared food that was “safe” for me to eat generally tasted like cardboard. Very expensive cardboard. We thought we would share a festive dessert recipe with you that we love, just in time for Christmas. It’s ridiculously quick and easy to make. It tastes nothing like cardboard, and is great for the whole family… accept the kiddos just before bed!

 

Cranberry Dark Chocolate

Makes 12-16 chocolates in a chocolate mold

Chocolate Toppings

  • 3-4 dates, cut into quarters
  • 2 Tbsp shredded coconut
  • 2 Tbsp chopped nuts ( I used walnuts and almonds, but you can you whatever you have on hand including seeds),
  • 2 Tbsp dried cranberries
  • Sprinkle of hemp seeds (optional)
  • Directions:

Place a quarter of a date in each cavity of the chocolate mold. Add a sprinkle of coconut, nuts and cranberries in each mold. Make sure the cavity is not too full and still has plenty of room for the melted chocolate to go in :). Move on to making the chocolate.

Dark Chocolate

  • ½ cup extra virgin coconut oil
  • ¼ cup cacao powder
  • ½-¾ tsp honey (use less sweetener if you like a darker chocolate)
  • ⅛ tsp vanilla extract
  • ⅛ tsp ground ginger
  • 2 pinches of salt

Directions:

  • Measure out the coconut oil and honey into a heat resistant bowl
  • Melt the coconut oil and honey by steaming them in a pan of boiling water with a steamer plate until they are melted. It should take about 3-4 minutes.
  • ( if you don’t have a steamer you can melt the coconut oil in the microwave)
  • Whisk in the cacao, vanilla, ginger and salt.
  • Pour the melted chocolate into the molds over the toppings
  • Place molds in the freezer for 15 minutes

(what we love about this recipe is that we can eat it as soon as we are done cleaning up-good for impatient people like us ;p)

  1. Enjoy your chocolates!

Stocking Stuffers For The Healthy Guy

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Every year Troy and I set aside time on Christmas Eve night to exchange stockings after the kids have gone to bed. I love this tradition so much because it gives us time to intentionally sip wine together, talk, and often laugh together about the random items with which we have filled each other’s stockings. Giving gifts is my love language. I love planning them, secretly taking ideas from conversations throughout the year, and coming up with a theme for whatever will be in this year’s stocking.

Troy’s goal for this year has been to make positive changes to his health and fitness. If you are a parent or know a parent, you know how much work this job requires and how much of a struggle it can be to get away and get those workouts in. Troy and I have been working on supporting each other as a couple in staying accountable to making time for our fitness and being consistent when it comes to making healthier choices for our bodies. I truly believe slow changes are lasting changes, so we don’t go overboard in this house on eliminating specific foods or swearing off things that may not be the best for us. But one big change for Troy this year was removing perfumes and scented items from his life. This was major for him because he was very clear that he didn’t want to go to work smelling like incense or like an essential oils rep. (He he!) One thing I’ve learned during my marriage to Troy is that I can make suggestions and offer information, but change only comes when he reads it himself or hears it from his friend Brian. (Thanks. Brian.)

There is tons of research that confirms that many of the ingredients in fragrances are neurotoxins that have poisonous effects on the brain and nervous system. When we put such ingredients on our bodies, we can experience negative mental and physical effects, and our brain tissue can become inflamed.

These fragrances and scents disrupt our natural hormone balance, causing a series of emotional concerns, including anxiety, mood swings, and depression. These scents have also been linked to decreased sex drive and migraine headaches.

But not all scents are created equal. There are some amazing companies that are taking our health into consideration by producing products that are free of estrogens and synthetic scents. Beware of brands that claim they are “all natural” or “infused with essential oils” or make similar statements. Today’s chemical industry is making it harder and harder for us to detect the poisons that companies are adding into their products. One of the best things you can do is head to your local health food store and start exploring the ingredients on the back of the bottles. In addition, contact companies and ask for ingredients lists and information about how their products are manufactured.

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One of the best companies I have across in my research is Zero Xeno. This company is forthright about their products’ ingredients and is willing to give their clients a lot of information about the process by which their products are made. Troy and I both love their products because they smell great, our skin loves them, and we feel confident in using them on our children as well. If you’re looking for a great item for your stockings this year, make sure to check out Zero Xeno. I’ve also included some links to some of my favourite Health-Conscious Stocking Stuffers for that special guy in your life.

Deep Blue Soothing Blend

Daily Routine De-Odor Cream

Boody 

Swell 

Inspire Him To Cook

Enjoy, and happy shopping!

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Full Body Strength And Core Workout

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Hope you guys are having a great start to your week! Tonight’s workout will challenge both upper and lower body while keeping your heart rate pumping with bursts of cardio. Try to keep your break minimal and really push that body to work hard tonight. Remember to take 5-10 minutes to stretch post workout and drink plenty of water to help that body rehydrate and flush toxins.

Have fun!

Rachel

Level: Beginner-Advanced

Equipment needed: Free weights

Timed workout: 30-60 seconds for each movement

Repeat workout 1-3x

  • Curtsy lunge
  • Thread the needle
  • Squat shoulder press
  • Push up
  • Standing shoulder swimmers
  • Lateral skaters
  • Back fly
  • Side plank with elbow to knee
  • Jack push up

This & That/Making Memories

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I’m not a crafty mom. The idea of cutting out perfect little shapes or making costumes for my children is beautiful in my mind but overwhelming and daunting in real life. I continually try to challenge myself in this area, though, because I want my children to be creative and eager to design with their hands and minds. When I started putting together Adelaide’s nursery, I knew I wanted the boys to be a part of the decorating process. They would spend hours reading books and playing in her room before she came, so having them put their little hands to work on the room’s final details seemed like the perfect way to help them prep for baby Adelaide. Because craftiness is an area in which I struggle, I asked my friend and artist Nicole Young to come help us out with our project. We decided to make a mobile for Addie and sent our ideas over to Nicole.

Having Nicole come into our home and help us with this project was so fun, and it gave me a chance to tap into my boys’ creative side without worrying whether I would screw up my designs or actually never really complete this vision I had. McCarthy immediately took to Nicole’s soft and gentle personality and eagerly waited for each instruction from her. She was so patient and kind, and she took things slowly with the kids as they asked a million questions and stole her paintbrushes.

The mobile came out exactly as I had envisioned it, and I was thrilled that I’d done this with my boys! They constantly twirl it for Addie, and Bennett reminds her daily that he made this for her.

Photography by: Rebecca Siewert

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Thank you, Nicole, for bringing this vision to life and giving us this special memory.

If you are interested in seeing Nicole’s art or hiring her for a project of your own, you can check out her work out here.

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Raw Christmas Cookies

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Christmas baking and candy making is something the kids and I look forward to every year. Problem I ran into these last few weeks is I haven’t had a fully functional kitchen due to our reno project. I didn’t think it would slow me down, but I found that whipping up lunches and dinners wasn’t near as easy and dealing with the kids on top of that was getting stressful! Although these last few weeks have been challenging, it has also forced me to explore raw cooking options and drink plenty of cold-pressed juice from Natures Fare. And thank goodness for raw cookies! These cookies are very easy to make, your kids will have fun helping and you will sound super hardcore when you tell people you’re now eating raw 😉

Enjoy~~*

Rachel Doell

 

Ingredients:

All of these ingredients can be purchased at a grocery store like Nature’s Fare. I used all organic ingredients.

  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 2 tbsp raw honey
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp vanilla bean powder or vanilla extract
  • ½ cup raw cacao powder
  • 1 pinch of sea salt.

Directions:

Grind the nuts in a food processor or Vitamix until they reach a flour consistency. Put nut mixture in a medium mixing bowl then add dates, honey and coconut oil to mixer. Blend until it becomes a dough-like ball. Add your dough to your nut mixture and mix with your hands until blended. Slowly add your vanilla bean powder and raw cacao. Roll into small balls or pancake style cookies, sprinkle with sea salt and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Adding Fashion To Your Fitness w/Hemmfit

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Tonight my husband asked me what my goals are over the next few months and years. My response: To be a better mother. In my 20’s I would have seen this as a lame answer, but it’s been on my heart for some time now. I want to show my daughter beauty through my personal freedom and teach my sons strength by saying no to the things that drain me…all the while focusing on the things that bring me life. One of the things that brings me life is dressing my body. There was a time that I would dread the idea of shopping for myself; my legs where not small enough for my liking and my small chest got swallowed by every shirt I put on.  Today I see the body as a piece of art. Now I’m not a painter, I don’t craft and I most certainly do not sew. But I do love art and the body is where I see this gift come alive in me. I love to teach people how dig deep for their strength, sculpt muscles they didn’t know existed or learn to love the shapes that are developing under the clothes they are wearing.  I do take great pride in the pieces I add to my closet because I see clothing as an expression of art. Whatever your style, colour pallet or design choice is, you can create it with clothing. It does not require the perfect shape, the cleanest canvas or the straitest lines. Fashion simply asks that you come as you are and explore.  I’m exploring…and currently my favourite avenue is “To&From”. My wardrobe needs to consist of pieces that will take me from the studio to school pick up, meetings or a lunch date. I recently teamed up with Hemmfit because I was obsessed with these Moto leggings and needed to get them on my body. These pants have taught spin, barre, bootcamp, as well as had date night with my husband and drinks with friends. They pair great with loafers, boots or your favourite pair of running shoes. And I love that they have edge! If you know me you know I love edgy pieces that I can throw a t-shirt and leather jacket on with.  Adding simple pieces that have so many options brings joy and simplicity into my day and I want you to enjoy this as well! So Hemmfit is going to give you 20% off any order you place from now until Monday, December 14 using the promo code DRF20!! There are tons of “To&From” options on their site and the quality is amazing! I’ll be adding pictures of the pieces I love to Instagram everyday to help you with outfit ideas…and drop some gift ideas by tagging your significant other 😉

Enjoy ~~*

Rachel

Photography By: Rebecca Siewert

Leather Jacket: Zara

T-Shirt: Mulberry Press Co

Moto Leggings:Hemmfit

Sports Bra:Hemmfit

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Glute Lifts And Hamstring Walk Out

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Creating lifted and toned glutes takes hard work, dedication and consistency. If you’re looking to add some definition to your glutes or hamstrings, start adding specific muscle training exercises to workouts at least 2x a week. The below exercise is great because you can do it anywhere, with or without weights, and it’s a great way to really target your glutes and hamstring. Make sure to squeeze your bum really hard at the top of your movement and don’t rush through it. Enjoy!

 

  • Main Muscles Used:
  • Glutes
  • Hamstrings
  • Quadriceps
  • Secondary Muscles:
  • Abs
  • Back
  • Calves

Protect Their Skin


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We shouldn’t have to worry about what is in the products we put on our children’s skin. But recently many companies have been forced to reveal that they have included harmful ingredients in their baby products. These products are now known to contain ingredients that can cause cancer and hormone imbalances. When I look at Adelaide’s soft little skin, I can’t imagine putting these harmful ingredients on her. Skin is her largest organ, which is working to help keep her body strong and healthy.

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If you can’t eat it, don’t use it! Although this saying may seem a little extreme, it makes a lot of sense when we are talking about the innocent little skin of our babies and the chemicals we are allowing their bodies to digest through their skin every day. The good news is, however, that there are some fantastic companies producing some of the most amazing products for our little ones.

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Over the next couple months I’m going to be adding a whole new section to our site called Products I Love. Under this title will be products I use and love for myself, Troy, Adelaide, and the boys. My hope is to make your health journey as smooth as possible while you experiment and learn new tips and tricks.

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I recently discovered Carina Organics, and I absolutely love them. This company takes a lot of pride in making sure its products come from the highest quality ingredients and that it preserves nature in its harvesting process. Its products are also free of synthetic substitutes and include fresh and amazing-smelling ingredients.
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For more information on these ingredients, check out Carinaorganics.com or visit NaturesFare.com

Photography By: Rebecca Siewert

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Full Body Power Workout

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Whether you’re recovering from Thanksgiving or prepping for that Christmas dress. This workout will have your heart rate rising and your muscles burning. If you don’t have ropes, don’t stress! Just throw in another form of cardio (such as burpies) and keep your weighted portion the same. Enjoy guys and remember to re-fuel for optimal recovery.

Beginner: 30-45 seconds each exercise

Intermediate-Advanced: 45-60 seconds each exercise

Repeat workout 1-3x

Equipment needed: Ropes and free weights

  • Ropes
  • Kettlebell swings
  • Bicep curl
  • Leg surrenders
  • Plate roll in
  • Hop push up
  • Ropes