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Twix Bars

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I would love to be the mom that has children who play calmly while I bake, cook and clean. My reality lately, though, is I come out of these simple tasks with crazy eyes and amazingly sweaty, all while wondering how things got so crazy?! Raising three children is no joke and it is not for the faint of heart. Dear Martha Stewart Mom, I tip my hat to you and envy you for the lack of sweat you have smelling up your body right now.

Okay, so now that we got that out of the way, lets talk about how to survive your health journey without losing your mind.
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Here are my tips:

  • Put 3 hours per week aside to successfully prep healthy foods for the week.
    • They may fight you on this at first, but when the kids are actually enjoying the food they are eating and aren’t starving by Tuesday, they will love you and help to protect those hours.
  • Triple your recipes. 
    • No matter what it is, make 3 of them and freeze them!
  • Get the kids involved.
    • I want the kids to feel like their opinions matter on what we do or do not eat. They get to pick out snacks they make themselves now or recipes they want to try. This helps with distractions while I get prepping done, helps eliminate stress, and I get to remind them it was their choice when they don’t want to eat it.

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These Twix bars are currently stocked in our freezer for dessert nights, treats for the kids, and are a perfect pairing for nap time coffee.

Enjoy~~*

I found this amazing recipe on Bakerita and had to remake it. It did not disappoint! FullSizeRender (3)

Ingredients:

I purchased all my ingredient for this recipe at my local Natures Fare Market.
For the shortbread crust:
For the caramel filling:
  • ½ cup creamy almond butter
  • ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

For the chocolate topping:

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Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 14×5” tart pan or 8×8” square pan with coconut oil (I recommend lining the pan with parchment paper as well if your pan doesn’t have a removable bottom).
  2. Combine coconut flour and salt in a bowl. Add the maple syrup and stir until fully combined and crumbly. Add the room temperature coconut oil and mix until a large dough ball forms, pressing out any clumps of coconut oil. I used my hands at the end to bring the dough fully together.
  3. Press the dough into the prepared pan. Bake for 9-11 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges. Let cool completely.
  4. For the filling, combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan and heat until all of the ingredients are melted and throughly combined. Pour over the crust and let cool in the refrigerator until set before topping with chocolate layer.
  5. For the chocolate topping, whisk together all of the ingredients and pour over the cooled caramel layer. Smooth evenly and sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Let cool until set. Slice into 1-inch slices, or 16 squares. Keep stored in the refrigerator

Boombaloo Summer Is Here!

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I recently spent the day with BC Tree Fruits picking cherries, taking pictures and learning about the amazing fruit that’s available in the Okanagan Valley. Today, Boombaloo Okanagan launched their summer issue, and once again I’m blown away by the amazing work and dedication all the contributors put into each article!

Congratulations on another amazing job Boombaloo.  You can prevue your summer issue here!

Photography By: Abbie Rose

Blue Jumpsuit: Blonde 

Coconut Milk Coffee Ice Cream Bars

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I recently stumbles upon the Foodie Teen and totally fell in love with this girls blog. I decided to take one of her popsicle recipes and re-work it with a little java love.

Photography By: Abbie Rose

Enjoy~~*

Coconut Milk Coffee Ice Cream Bars:

All these delicious ingredients can be purchased at Natures Fare Market.

  • 2 cups full fat coconut mil
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup black coffee chilled (Optional)

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For the Salted Caramel:

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Dark Chocolate Coating:

  • 2/3 cup dark chocolate
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil

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Directions:

For the Coconut Milk Popsicles:

  • 1. In a small bowl, whisk together ½ cup of the coconut milk and the arrowroot powder.
  • 2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine all remaining ingredients until it starts to bubble, then stir in the arrowroot/coconut mixture and whisk very well for about a minute or until thickened. You’ll feel it in your arms, but you should also be able to see the whisk leaving a trail in the mixture!
  • 3. Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool. Whisk again vigorously (the mixture may have gotten a little thick, so whisk very well!) then fill your popsicle moulds and freeze until solid, at least 3 hours.

For the Salted Caramel:

  • 1. In a small bowl, combine the coconut milk, vanilla extract, and salt.
  • 2. Place the coconut sugar and water in a small saucepan over low heat, and, stirring constantly, heat until it starts to bubble a little around the edges.
  • 3. Quickly add the coconut milk mixture in one go, turn up the heat to medium, then simmer for about 10 minutes, whisking every minute or two, until the mixture has thickened slightly. It may splatter a little!
  • 4. Remove from heat and let cool completely, whisking every so often as it cools to prevent lumps.

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For the Dark Chocolate Coating

  • 1. Combine dark chocolate and coconut oil in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until smooth. Let cool slightly before using.

To Assemble

  • 1. Remove the frozen popsicles from their molds.
  • 2. Place the salted caramel into one bowl, the chocolate coating into another bowl, and have your chopped toasted almonds nearby. Prepare a sheet pan lined with parchment paper at the end of your ‘assembly line’!
  • 3. Dip a popsicle into the salted caramel, flipping the popsicle to make sure everything is coated. Wait about a minute whilst turning the popsicle constantly until the caramel sauce has hardened, then quickly dip it into the chocolate coating. Again, make sure the whole popsicle is coated in chocolate! Quickly sprinkle both sides with chopped toasted almonds, then wait about 30 seconds for the chocolate to set and place the popsicle onto the prepared sheet pan.
  • 4. Repeat with the remaining popsicles. Store any leftover caramel sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Any leftover chocolate coating can be poured into ice cube trays, frozen, and re-melted at a later date for an instant chocolate sauce.
  • 5. When you’re done coating all the popsicles, eat immediately or place into an airtight container in the freezer for up to 6 weeks.
  • 6. Enjoy!

 

 

Zesty Strawberry Watermelon Smoothie

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It’s officially strawberry season here in B.C and my little family is loving it! We have been blending, baking and enjoying our body weight in strawberries these days.  Adelaide is especially fond of these beautiful red treats and the delicious snacks that have been filling her day. As the days get warmer, we tend to eat lighter, fresher and more local based meals. It has been our goal over this last year to really enjoy the foods that are in season and can be accessed easily. So as the berry bushes start filling up, we are not only using these items daily, we also are filling our freezer and getting ready to prepare for the colder, dryer months.

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This Zesty Strawberry Watermelon Smoothie is a delicious start to any morning. I came up with this smoothie after my friend ” Justine  ” sent me a little gift of essential oils. For awhile now I’ve been starting my morning off with a warm cup of water and lemon essential oils to give my gut the proper jump start it needs for the day. I recently started experimenting with adding these delicious and healthy oils to my recipes and I’m loving it! Just 1 drop of lemon adds the perfect amount of zest to this traditional fruit smoothie. If you’re interested in more information on essential oils, check out  Alowellness.com  

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Ingredients:

Photography By: Abbie Rose

All of my ingredients have been purchased at our local farmers market and Natures Fare Kelowna.

  • 1 drop of doterra lemon essential oils
  • 2 cups watermelon chunks
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries
  • 4 tsp chia seeds
  • fresh ground ginger to taste
  • organic maple syrup or raw honey to taste

Directions: Place all ingredients in blender and mix till smooth. Serve chilled with a fun straw~~*

 

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Strawberry Watermelon Summer Salad

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Lighter, earlier and seasonal. This is our current goal. I recently started taking a course called “Align and Thrive,” which my good friend Dana leads.  The goal with this course is to gently re-train your body to break old habits and re-create healthier ones that actually stick! Dana has a much lovelier way of describing the course..Sorry Dana!  I’m currently in week #5 and it’s working. Once again, I was trying to think of a much cooler way of telling you it’s working, but it’s just as simple as that..It’s working! Every week we are given something simple and attainable to work on, that in turn helps us start to realize what things we may be practicing or holding unto in our life that really aren’t the best for our health.  If you want to sleep, eat, and feel better this is most definitely the course for you. One of the first habits we worked on was eating a lighter dinner. The science behind a lighter dinner is that it gives our digestive system a chance to take a break and we sleep better because our bodies are not working as hard during the night to process those big dinners.  When I heard this habit come up in the first session, I immediately went into all the excuses why it wasn’t the habit for me. I’m breastfeeding. I train late. I believe snacking is good..blah,blah,blah you get the point. But I had decided before I signed up for the course that I would stay committed for the 9 weeks. I would follow the habits even for just 1 day and see if I saw a difference . I instantly saw a difference with my sleep! Previously, I was having restless sleeps and waking up feeling over tired, foggy and pretty overwhelmed. Within the first couple days of switching my dinner to a 6:30p.m finish and not eating until breakfast, I saw a huge change in my sleep. My sleeps were deep, restful and I woke up feeling positive about the day I was about to take on. I was hooked. Troy saw such a huge change in my energy that he actually got right on board and has been following this habit with me for 4 weeks now. We do break it here and there based on situations that come up in life, but I can honestly tell you that it has been such a huge shift for both of our bodies that we actually try to avoid it as much as possible.  Our lunches are the heavier meal of the day and we have switched our dinner to light and fresh.  Things like delicious salads, soups and small amounts of protein are now what you will see on our dinner table.

Photography By : Abbie Rose

edit-0088This delicious salad is a recent creation that we are just loving! It’s fresh and the perfect blending of flavours.

Strawberry Watermelon Salad

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  • 1 cups watermelon
  • 2 cups strawberries
  • 6 basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Jersey land raw feta cheese
  • Fresh black pepper to taste
  • edit-0081Dressing:
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar
  • Directions:

Combine your cubed watermelon and strawberries in a medium size bowl. Add your chopped basil leaves and raw feta. Grind fresh black pepper to taste and serve cold.

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Breastfeeding And Doing You

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two days this little lady of mine turns eleven months! Together, we have battled workouts, sleepless nights, and teething difficulties, and we are still breastfeeding buddies! I never thought I would be able to say I breastfed for this long, but here we are celebrating eleven months of solely breastfeeding, and it doesn’t seem like Adelaide will be wanting to stop any time soon.

I previously wrote a little blog post regarding my journey with breastfeeding, so I’m not going to cover that tonight. If you are interested in my rollercoaster experience, you can read my blog post here. The journey with Adelaide was full of ups and downs for months. The milk would come; the milk would go. Adelaide would be satisfied some days, and other nights she’d be crying because I didn’t have enough that day. As I felt my milk supply start to decline, the memories of my previous experiences with McCarthy and Bennett kept creeping into my mind. Maybe I’m not made for this; maybe my body doesn’t know what it’s doing. This is too stressful. I want to give up! I could give you a hundred reasons for why I wanted to give up! But I would also be able to give you the same number of reasons for why I wanted to keep going.

If you are reading this article and you have chosen not to breastfeed, know there is no judgment coming from this mom. This is my story, my experience, and the choices I made were right for me. I know the battles we face as moms daily! We need to support one another, rally around each other’s situations, and celebrate when someone else makes a breakthrough.

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So Adelaide and I pressed on, and I was determined to try everything I could to keep the milk flowing. I love reading blog posts that are short and to the point that give me the information I need without a lot of words. So that is exactly what I’m going to do! Rather than drag you through the emotional mess of my stressed-out-breastfeeding-mom experience…I’m going to fast forward and tell you what did work for me!

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Eat your fat:

Fat is amazing because it makes us feel positive, packs nutrition into our bodies, and tastes delicious! When breastfeeding, our babies are feeding off our fat stores and depleting us every day if we are not refueling properly. When people hear “fat,” they often think that eating it will slow down our baby weight loss or make us fatter. This actually couldn’t be more wrong. When we eat healthy fats, our bodies function better. Our bodies know how to burn healthy fats, and our cravings for negative food choices actually are depleted when we eat healthy fats. Drinking coconut milk, for instance, made a huge difference in my milk supply. Coconut milk is packed with delicious fats, and my body was craving more sustenance. I started making protein shakes every day to help my body get more liquid as well as the fat it was craving.

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Work out less:

If you would have told me this with babies #1 and #2, I would have told you where to put your opinions. But we live and learn, right? With Adelaide, I definitely noticed a change in my milk supply when I did any workouts over 40 minutes. I started realizing that my body just couldn’t balance breastfeeding and these extended workouts, so I ditched them. I shortened everything to 20-30 minutes a day—quick and powerful—and I saw results. The baby weight kept coming off, and my milk supply increased! Though I believe working out is one of the best things you can do for your mind and body post-baby, there are times when you can overdo it. So set your clock, ladies, for 20 minutes and go! This is the type of workout that will leave you gasping for air and sweating your ____ off. Don’t take it easy on yourself because you’re a mom and you’ve worked hard enough already today! Yep, you heard me! Move your butt and remind yourself who are and why you will not take the easy road.

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Let your friends feed your kids:

Okay, this may seem weird to some of you, and that’s okay! When I was in the depths of breastfeeding struggles, I enlisted the help of my sister-in law and my friend Rebecca, who are milk machines, to help me feed Addie while my supply increased. You will never know how thankful I was for those bags of milk and the amount of stress it took off this mom. Struggle is a real thing, ladies. It happens to all of us at some time or another in our lives, so to pretend we have it all together is just way too stressful. Be open, be honest, and trust the people you know have your back with your story…and maybe even let them feed your babies. J

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Do what brings you life:

Dear Mom,

I know in this craziness of having a baby and not being to think straight, the only thing you want to do is sleep. So do that! But then I want you to write down one thing that brings you life and go do it! If your partner is not available, enlist a friend to hold your baby or babies. When we relax our minds and feed our souls, the body responds in positive ways. If we are always running on fumes, our bodies will know it, and so will your baby. Stress does kill your milk supply, and it also can make the flavor of your milk change, causing your baby to be a poor eater. Whether it’s taking 10 minutes in the morning to throw some music on and clear your head or getting your nails done once a week, you do you! This is so important because you’re Mom, and the joy you carry with you is so important to the ones around you.

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Do what works for you:

This is my last one, and for me it was the most important. I believe in sleep training and 100% support it, but it wasn’t the best thing for Adelaide early on. My milk dipped, and I panicked. I knew from previous experience that it might not go back up, so I made the choice to wake up in the middle of the night (sometimes many times) and nurse her to keep my body producing. This worked for me! I did wean her off of this at 10 months because I felt like I was solid at that point. Adelaide loves nursing (which was not the case in the beginning), and I feel like we are just the most special team together. Sometimes people’s advice is amazing, and other times you need to shelf it. This is your baby and your body, and you need to do what works for you.

 

I hope this helps encourage you in your journey. Feel free to leave questions or comments.

BOOMBALOO/Spring 2016

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BOOMBALOO magazine officially launched their spring issues today and surprised us with with the cover shot! Thank you Natalie, for support, encouragement and flexibility;) I love being a part of this talented and inspirational group of writers.

A special thanks to Abbie Rose, for delivering these beautiful photos! I can’t wait to work on another project with you.

Rachel~~*

 

Here is  little sneak peak at my article. Please feel free to leave comments, questions or feedback.

Enjoy~~*

What do we do when we are running out of air? We panic! We thrash, grab onto anything nearby for support, scream, look crazy, and gasp with exhausted relief once oxygen breaks through.

 This is what motherhood can feel like for me. I decided to write this article very honestly because I know I’m not alone. I also know there are millions of moms out there who love their babies with every ounce of their being and feel guilty for looking crazy and being crazy while we love them. My crazy is an overwhelming feeling that I must escape but I can’t leave or let myself leave. My panic is feeling I’m failing at it all and worrying that I might run out of air while I try to perfect this thing called motherhood. My exhaustion comes from comparing myself to everyone else and believing the lie that I’m in this alone. Today, as you read this article, I want to offer you a shoulder you can cry on, the motivation to continue running, and the inspiration to dig deep and remind yourself of the amazing strength you have been created with…Read more here

 

Easy As Pie…Blueberry Crisp

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“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?” “What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?” “I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet. Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing” he said.

A. A. MILNE, Winnie-the-Pooh

Photography By: Abbie Rose

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I love food and I love sharing its goodness with the people I love. A couple months back we started something in our home called “Community Night.” We decided that we have four walls, we love people and we want to create a place for people to rest, laugh and feel safe when life just is not that great. On Fridays, from 4-12am we leave our door open for friends and family to come share a meal with us, a quick glass of wine or just to bring kids to run in our yard and take a break. It’s potluck style, so everyone shares meals, ideas and I get to try my latest creations on my willing friends. I love creating in the kitchen and giving people the opportunity to try foods that are delicious, simple and healthy. This week’s crisp creation was a hit and is officially going to be a staple in our house and on the community table. It’s the perfect dessert to bridge the gap between your gluten free friends and the ones that make fun of the gluten free friends;)

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Final thought….

If you don’t have a community that you share meals, stories and your journey with, I highly recommend it. Your marriage, your children and your soul needs this! We were created to be story tellers, to share experiences and offer love to one another.  It doesn’t need to be fancy. All you need is food, a place to gather and garbage bags.  You will not be disappointed in the outcome….I promise!

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Easy as pie..Blueberry Crisp

You can find all of these delicious ingredients at your local Natures Fare.

  • Ingredients:
  • 4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • Crisp topping:
  • 2 cups gluten free quick oats
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup gluten free flour mixture or almond meal
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt

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Instructions:

Mix together crisp ingredients. pour the berries into an 8 by 8 pan, and then layer with crisp topping.

Bake at 350 degrees 35 to 40 minutes, or until fruit is bubbling and topping is slightly golden.

Top with coconut milk ice cream and enjoy~~*

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

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After a week of exploring Victoria and Vancouver, we are home from our travels and I’m so happy to be back in my kitchen.  Before I leave on trips I do a full clean of our house, fridge and laundry, leaving the perfect environment to come home to and relax in. Knowing my family is going to wake up the first morning back probably hungry and slightly cranky, I always keep these few, delicious ingredients for muffins in the house to throw together. Today we stayed in our PJ’s for hours, drank a pot of coffee to wake up and reminisced. This past week will go down in the memories books as one of my favourite times as a mom, so I totally intend on getting organized tonight so I can share some of my fun photos from our trip tomorrow on the blog.

Photography By: Abbie Rose

Clothing By: Community Folk

Rachel

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Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins:Ingredients:

You can purchase all these ingredients at Natures Fare.

  • 2 cups gluten-free quick oats
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup oil coconut oil or butter
  • 1/2 cup none dairy chocolate chips
  • Feel free to add any dried fruit to seeds to these muffins.

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix throughly. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Cool and enjoy with your java.

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Coconut Nut Butter Surprise

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One week ago, after seeing my Naturopath, I decided to start bringing the whole 30 lifestyle into our daily eating habits. This came with lots of resistance and some tears of frustration over my Vegan attempt not working for my body. After 2 months of not eating meat, I started to feel extremely loopy and couldn’t really think clearly. After seeing my Naturopath, we learned that my body was struggling in many different ways, 0ne of them being my auto immune disorder (Hypo-Thyroid.) To make a long story short, my body was not doing well without the nutrition of meat and I was advised to start eating good quality meat once again, as well as eliminate all sugars, dairy, grains, legumes and everything else in life that is delicious! Haha, I laugh but in that moment I actually was pretty bitter at my body for betraying me once again! My Naturopath gave me a couple different options for executing this plan, one of them being the Whole 30 lifestyle as well as including some methods from “Eating right for your blood type.” I spent days reading, crying and feeling sorry for myself…That’s the honest truth. For anyone who has struggled with a sickness that leaves you depressed, fighting for energy, confused with a foggy brain and emotional from battling hormones that fight you instead of supporting you…I feel your pain friend and I know you feel mine. But in the words of my friend Steph “You are fighting to be whole and I believe you will be.” It may not sound very profound but it always amazes me when the right words we need in a certain moment are spoken, and I am encouraged to put my big girl panties on, pick up my armor and fight again. I’m not giving up! I will continue to experiment, fight and believe there is an amazing plan for this broken body.

It’s been 1 week since I changed my eating and I can honestly say my energy levels have probably tripled, my thoughts are clear and my mood has improved. I miss my old life and I would be lying if I pretended everything was awesome. I’m fighting for balance in all of this, so I’m still giving myself 1 day a week to enjoy wine and paleo desserts. There is still so much to learn and so much work to be done as we try to get my levels to go into the positive…But I can, I will and I must!

If I’ve learned 1 thing in the 9 years of training it’s that what works for one will not necessarily work for another. We are each individual, we each need to find our way and create our own story, That’s why God gave us dessert;)

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I’m beyond thankful for the relationship I have with Natures Fare and the constant support their team offers in my health journey. They are constantly offering helpful tips and encouragement as I fight this battle with my body.

xoxo

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Serves 4

 Ingredients :

All of these ingredients have been purchased at Natures Fare.

1 can coconut cream

4 dates

¼ cup nut butter

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Directions:

Blend full speed until creamy and smooth. Place in freeze until firm, top with raw cacao nibs and enjoy~~*
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