Chocolate Covered Coconut Bites

Originally, these were going to be caramel bites made with dates and a little bit of coconut.  However, the consistency wasn’t quite right and before I knew it the coconut had taken over!  But not to worry, they tasted great anyway!

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I love chocolate in all shapes and forms and a box of chocolates with various fillings (like the ones you get for Valentine’s Day) is one of my top favorites.  But I rarely eat them because of their high sugar content and long list of unrecognizable ingredients!  These Chocolate Covered Coconut Bites help fill that void.  Made with only 3 ingredients they are a much healthier version of those sinful (yet delicious) boxes of chocolates. Read More

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Bell Pepper & Shallot Cauliflower Rice

Have you ever made cauliflower rice?  I’m sure you have.  It’s been pretty popular, especially among people who follow or have heard of the Paleo diet.  But for good reason, as cauliflower rice is not only delicious, but nutritious as well!  Today’s recipe features cauliflower rice made with red and orange bell peppers (hence the orange-ish color) and shallots. Read More

All About the Salads

I have been eating a lot of salads lately.  Why?  Simply because they have sounded appealing!  A proper salad is filled with fresh, vibrantly colored ingredients, and contains a good serving of carbs, protein and fats; nothing like a wimpy store-bought or depressing restaurant salad.  I’ve had plenty of disappointing salads while eating out.  You know, wilted lettuce, skimpy portion sizes, brown avocado, dressing that is too sweet, missing ingredients, and the list goes on.  While there isn’t a whole lot I can do about a sub-par restaurant salad, I can make a delicious salad at home.

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This post is all about tips for making the perfect salad; from which greens to purchase, how to prep and store them, to a plethora of topping ideas.  Eating a salad shouldn’t leave you hungry and unsatisfied, but rather leave you comfortably full and feeling good!

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Paleo Crepes

One of my favorite things about the weekend is spending a few extra minutes cooking breakfast and then sitting down at the table with my boys and enjoying our meal.  I usually make pancakes on Saturday mornings, but this past weekend I decided to mix things up a bit and made crepes instead.  This recipe is grain-free and Paleo friendly, perfect for a healthy breakfast! Read More

Gluten Free Sugar Cookies

Don’t be misled by the name of these cookies.  Although they are called “sugar cookies”, they don’t actually contain much sugar.  In fact, the only sugar this recipe uses is maple syrup!  My Gluten Free Sugar Cookies are made with just 8 wholesome ingredients: rice flour, coconut flour, arrowroot starch, gelatin, xanthum gum, egg, butter and maple syrup.  They are free of gluten, wheat, nuts and refined sugar! Read More

10 Tips for Better Sleep

I used to be the best sleeper.  I never had issues falling asleep.  I maybe woke up once or twice during the middle of the night in between sleep cycles and then effortlessly fell back asleep.  I would wake each morning at the same time without an alarm, feeling refreshed and ready for a new day.  Well, having a child changed ALL that!

I have struggled with sleep on and off since the birth of my son back in September 2014.  Over time, I have found a few things that work for me and have gotten my sleep back on track.  Unfortunately, my son still doesn’t sleep through the night (I know, right?) but following a few sleep “rules” I am able to effortlessly fall back asleep after waking with him.

So, here are my personal tips for getting better sleep:

  1. I only use my bed for rest/sleep: I only lay on my bed when I am winding down for the night and getting ready to sleep, or taking a nap during the day.  For me, laying down on the bed is a signal for my body that it is time to rest.  After a few minutes I will usually feel more tired and dozing off isn’t an issue.
  2. I have a before-bed routine: Every night my family (me, my son and my husband) goes through a bedtime routine.  Not only does it help me fall asleep, but my son knows when bedtime is approaching and we never have any issues getting him to bed.
  3. I darken our room: Light can be a huge stimulant and hinder your ability to sleep.  I make sure to close our blinds and turn off electronics to ensure the darkest sleep possible.
  4. I use a white-noise maker:  I have a small air filter that is run every night.  I do not like hearing any strange or abrupt noises (even my husband’s breathing bothers me) so this does the trick.
  5. I make sure the bedroom temperature is cool: I set the thermostat to a cooler temp at night.  If the weather permits, I will open a window.  I often wake up and cannot fall back asleep if i’m too hot at night, so these measures help me sleep better.
  6. I write down a to-do list for the following day: If I am anxious or feel like I have a million things on my plate, then I will make a to-do list.  Writing things down helps put my mind at ease.  I don’t feel the need to go over tasks again and again because they are all written down and cannot be forgotten.
  7. I supplement with magnesium or take an Epsom salt bath: Magnesium is very helpful for falling asleep.  Many of us are deficient in this nutrient even if we eat a healthy, real-food diet; it just isn’t as prevalent in food as it used to be.  I found that supplementing with just 200 mg a night helps me fall back asleep after I have woken.
  8. I do not consume caffeine after 1:00 PM:  Too much caffeine definitely keeps me up.  Even if I am tired, consuming too much caffeine late in the day will make me restless and unable to fall asleep.  This includes extra dark chocolate (85% or higher).  If I eat too much dark chocolate before bed I will be restless.
  9. I make sure to eat enough before bed:  If I am hungry I just cannot fall asleep.  And if I manage to go to bed slightly hungry then I will wake up in the middle of the night and have trouble falling back asleep.  Do not be afraid to eat after dinner if you are hungry, even if it’s not something you normally do.
  10. I have tried acupuncture:  I tried acupuncture for the first time about 8 months after my son was born.  I was having night sweats (probably hormone related) and could not fall asleep after waking to feed my son during the night.  Acupuncture cleared my night sweats and improved my ability to fall back asleep.  Yes, this could have been coincidental, but I think it is worth a shot if trying other things has not helped.

*Note, these are tips that have helped me, personally.  I am not a doctor or nutritionist or health expert.  Just a mommy sharing what has helped me improve my own sleep 🙂

Do you have trouble sleeping?  Are there any tips you have for a good night’s sleep?

Chicken Stir-Fry

Stir-fries are great meal options because they are quick and simple.  As long as you have some sort of meat and a few different veggies in your fridge, then you are good to go!  But what really makes a great stir-fry is the sauce and flavorings you use.  This Chicken Stir-Fry recipe uses my go-to sauce that tastes good with any combination of meat and/or veggies.

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Protein Plantain Brownies

I love baking with plantains.  They are the perfect ingredient for creating a grain-free, egg-free, and nut-free recipe because they form a cohesive dough that binds together and bakes into a dense, moist treat!  If you use plantains before they ripen, they have a very mild taste; making it easy to highlight whatever flavor you are looking for.

My recipe for plantain brownies is made using just 4 ingredients: plantains, pitted dates, cocoa powder and protein powder.  This recipe is low in sugar, but if you have a preference for sweeter desserts you can always add more dates, or any sweetener of your choice. Read More