A Grateful Life

recipes and tips for better living

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Make At Home Superfood Infused Vegan Chocolate Bark

If there is one thing i have a deep love for that never seems to waiver, it's chocolate.  That said, i'm not an 'any-kind-of-chocolate' type of girl.  I don't care for the cheap drug-store chocolates, milk chocolate, or white chocolate.  Rather i should say, i'm not entirely opposed to them, but I just don't get the same 'feels' with them as i do with a deep, dark, rich, slightly sweet, decadent, melt in my mouth, take me to outer-space, type of darker-quality-chocolate.

I also prefer Vegan preparations of chocolate, given my intolerance to dairy, and i love when chocolate is infused with healing herbs, ayurvedic medicinals, coconut, and love....

Enter....my latest affair with chocolate....this simple make-at-home Superfood Infused Vegan Chocolate Bark.

4 Tbsp Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
1 Tbsp Coconut Butter (I used Nutivas coconut manna)
2 Tbsp cacao powder
1 scoop or 1 packet VEGAN Chocolate Shakeology
2 Tbsp Vegan Vanilla Shakeology
Culinary Dried Rose Petals
Sea Salt

What i love about using Shakeology specifically for this recipe is that it infuses the bark with over 70 adaptogenic herbs and superfoods including some of my Ayurvedic favorites such as Ashwagandha and Moringa.  Ashwagandha is a rasayana meaning it's used to promote physical as well as mental health.  Specifically it's known to strengthen your immune system, increases your stamina, and has even been shown to help reduce cortisol levels (the stress hormone that makes us store fat).  Moringa is a super-nutrient-dense green packed with anti-oxidants and poly-phenols.  It's known to help with inflammation, is packed with vitamins and minerals, and is revered in Ayurvedic medicine for helping to prevent or treat over 300 dis-eases.


Start with your base:  Coconut Oil and Coconut Butter
Melt them in a pot stirring over med-high heat stirring often 

Remove from the heat and add in the powdered cacao and shakeology, stirring until all little lumps are smoothed out.

Pour into a non stick container and let set in the fridge for a short moment to cool.
Before the top begins to harden add on any additional toppings; pictured here dried rose leaves and sea salt.  Other great options are goji berries or dried cherries, dried coconut, pumpkin seeds, and sea salt.  Once your toppings are on, place the bark pan in the freezer until frozen (freezes quite quickly).  Remove from freezer once set, break into chunks, and store in the freezer until ready to each (they do melt quite quickly).


Friday, September 15, 2017

The 4 Year Anniversary: 1,460 days of setbacks and growth

Today is my 4 year Anniversary. That's 1,460 days of experience and growth that was mostly cloaked in a vail of failure that most people saw as big wins. I share that because every Victory, every WIN, every success of mine has spawned from a set back in life, a 'missed shot', a hurdle i faced, a let down, or a self limitation that i had to CHOOSE to not just overcome, but to LEARN from. Who remembers when i earned my first trip to Grand Cayman? Did you know it's not because i was the BEST, but because i was on the list of up and comers, and just enough people QUIT before me so i got pushed up. I wasn't 'good' enough back then per se, shit, i didn't even know what i was doing! BUT i showed up, never gave up, and so I made the cut. Take NOTE: In life, you never really 'fail' at anything, rather YOU QUIT, or others quit...so don't quit.


I ALMOST SAID NO. I almost said NO to the very opportunity that changed my life. ACTUALLY I DID SAY NO because i wasn't thinking with my creative ingenuity, rather i was thinking with my EGO MIND (a word of caution; to be a great leader, make sure you're not living in your ego mind - it's a foolish place that's not built on love or growth). Thing is, i just automatically assumed it wasn't for me, and then when i was like meh, okay i'll give it a go, I almost quit because of the learning curve. Ummmm, for those of you that know my coaching journey, you know that would have been a HUGE mistake! It's propelled my life forward in every way shape and form.

Earlier today I hopped off a call with the Executive Director of Sales for one of the World's leading health and fitness companies who invited me to present to their entire network of entrepreneurs. I'll be sharing my story/advice/expertise to a group of many people, some who are insanely successful and accredited health professionals, certified yogis, personal trainers, integrative coaches, health fanatics, athletes, and individuals who are likely FAR more educated then myself (the very girl who dropped out of the University to head west and get an associates degree in fashion because, in truth, i wasn't into scholastics). This opportunity i was invited to today to speak....do you think i'm stoked??? YAH. Do you think i'm also SCARED AF? YAH! That inner voice creeps in that says 'I'm just a girl who wanted to change her life and made a commitment to herself to do it...what do i have to share with anyone?', and then the giant within comes out and says YOU ARE EVERYTHING TO SHARE IT WITH EVERYONE!!! If it weren't for someone who pushed back into my fears and hesitations i wouldn't be here today with an opportunity to positively impact so many lives and help others who desire the same shifts and tools for growth.

You may recognize the girl in this photo, she's sort of insta-famous. LOL. No not me. hahahah (TOTALLY KIDDING). My coach Amy. She didn't have to teach me anything. All she had to do was plug me into the right tools and resources, walk the path before me, and show me what was possible. Amy, I'm so grateful that you saw the opportunity for me and followed up with me and leaned into my hesitations. I needed a coach and someone to push me to do something different that would make a difference in my life and I feel blessed daily now that I get to be that person you were for me, for others. 

Excited to be taking one of my top coaches Bethany to Leadership, be accompanied by my top coach who's been on the team only 2 years and ranked in the top 10 of our company, Moira Kucaba, who earned her trip independently and her top coach Erin Hopkins and spend the day at the spa with Amy Silverman literally the day AFTER i speak to 450K coaches on our national call! To say i'm humbled by the growth and expansion of our team because of our mission to spread a message of health, and help women stay accountable to their goals is an understatement. I wake up daily with gratitude from having one of my best friends Jaclyn Hughes be my ride or die since the start, to having my rising star team collaborate together and work with me daily, to now having this next opportunity to help mentor, support and collaborate with a new group of leaders I'll be training later this month. I'm just so grateful for the resilience i've gained from every set back and the FAITH i innately have that my vision coupled with my passion and hard work would come to life. It's so crazy that i'm 1,460 days in and all i can think about is how exciting the next 1,460 will be for everyone and where my new coaches starting now will be in even just a year! I wrote THIS BLOG one year in and reading it today really hit home.

If you're still reading (and if you're about GROWTH and positivity you just may be), then PLEASE know this opportunity is not EXCLUSIVE to anyone! Sure i reach out to women who i authentically and genuinely want to see go next level in life and who i believe would LOVE this opportunity, but if i don't know you're interested, i don't know to reach out and connect and see if it's a fit for you too. Don't be silently watching someone else live out YOUR dreams. If you're ready to level up your life, or just dabble your pinky toe into the world of health and fitness very part time, reach out to me or fill out my JOT so we can schedule a time to chat. I love connecting:  www.tinyurl.com/JoinTeamSolWarriors


Sunday, August 20, 2017

28 Day Whole Living Challenge

 You've been sharing with me what you're looking for, and i've been listening. This 28 day program is broken down into 4 parts over 4 weeks:

Week 1: Purify and Assess
This week you'll revamp your eating habits with an optional 3 day detox program, start nourishing your body through whole foods and cut out processed foods. You'll learn how to properly stock your kitchen with the right staples for abundant wellness, learn ways to food prep for success, and get acquainted with the basics of our 28 day program including energizing your body with workouts that build your strength and endurance week after week that incorporate cardio, strength training, and flexibility.

Week 2: Dive In
This week -- with your system cleansed and your mind and body re-energized -- it's time to dive in to the heart of your challenge. As you set out on a healthier approach to nutrition and whole body wellness, you'll start to jot down everything you eat to help you identify challenges (whether it's managing portion sizes or coping with cravings). You'll learn my simple proper-portioning approach to balanced eating and your meal plan will be 100% customized for your preferences and to achieve your desired results (options include no grain, gluten free/dairy free/soy free, vegetarian/or primarily plant based, vegan, and lean down/maintenance/or weight gain). You'll use either the trackers i provide, my online accountability resources and community, or use a food diary. You'll also have the option to either intensify your exercise program during Week 2 or turn it down (to accommodate your personal needs and goals), and begin exploring simple stress-relief techniques.

Week 3: Ramp it up
Your primary goal in the third week is to shake off any remaining bad habits and crowd them out with new healthy ones. You'll learn nutritious substitutions for food indulgences and get new strategies for energizing your body everyday. You'll also pick up a few mindful-eating and meditation techniques for your whole-body makeover and continue to record your food intake and monitor your stress in your journal.

Week 4: Create Lasting Change and Habits
During this fourth and final week of the official plan, we'll be practicing the art of consistency and fighting off old patterns. We'll reflect on all the positive changes you've made so far -- and zero in on any areas where you'd like to see more progress. While you'll keep nurturing your new healthy habits, you'll also be paying attention to the areas where you need improvement most and be using your journal to uncover any reasons why you might be struggling. Before we wrap week 4 we'll connect one on one to refine your routine and set a new action plan that fits your lifestyle moving forward. On this call you'll have the opportunity to get a new customized program, reaffirm your intentions, and set new goals for healthier living for the remainder of this year, with an outlook of how you'd like to feel as you shift into the next season.

**Your challenge package includes 30 super nutrient dense meals, the 28 day challenge, my coaching and one on one calls, a year membership of streaming/downloadable fitness classes, customizable meal plans, my ebooks and recipe books, food trackers, and my member exclusive online community. Enrollment cost is 160 and 100% guaranteed. Enroll or inquire for more details at www.mfitandhealth.com or www.tinyurl.com/MfitBootcamps


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Moringa: A True Miracle Nutrient Everyone Should Consider Taking

Last night a dear friend of mine who's fought and beat ovarian, cervical, and uterine cancer shared on a wellness call i hosted how she's been able to keep her cancer at bay. While she takes the same daily superfood supplement i do, we started to chat about specific herbs that are in the blend we love, about how healing plants are, and the importance of alkalinity. A few of us on the call were comparing the size of our home grown moringa plants (ps mine won) and recognized i have not been sharing much lately on my blog or on my social media posts about WHY i consume the superfoods i do, and WHY they are so vital to have in your daily diet. 

Because it's one of my favorites, I'll start today by highlighting Moringa.  It's been used Ayurvedically to treat and prevent over 300 curable illnesses. The picture above is actually of me standing in Mexico on the third story of our rental home that had a gigantic moringa tree growing outside.

how cute was our little place?  Three stories,  a view of the jungle, and a short walk to the sea.
Here's how impactfully powerful this little leaf can be:
Moringa is said to have between 3-25x more iron than spinach, 4x more beta-carotene than carrots, 4x the chlorophyll of wheatgrass, and 4-17x more calcium than milk. A half cup of cooked leaves contains 100% of the recommended daily serving of vitamin C, and it's said to also naturally contain Omega 3, 6, 9 and Zeatin.

Ayurveda, being the sister of yoga and mother of all healing sciences lists about 300 diseases that can be treated with this wonder herb known as the Miracle Tree, Never Die Tree, or also known in the Ayurvedic community as Shigru, Sahijna, Munaga, Shobanjana and Sainjna in the Ayurvedic community.

Doctors in West Africa have used it to treat diabetes and doctors in India sometimes use it to treat high blood pressure. Some imbalances i read that it can potentially treat are arthritis, stroke, cancer asthma, anxiety, anemia, cough, headaches, hypocholesteremia, discharge intestinal fat, hormonal imbalance, detoxification, diuretic for kidney, prostate disorders, tuberculosis, migraine, hangover, stomach ulcers, skin infections, sores, blackheads, blood impurities, bronchitis, chest congestion, eye and ear infections, fever, glandular swelling, joint pain, psoriasis, respiratory disorders, intestinal worms, lactation, colitis, sleep disorder, jaundice, malaria and urinary disorders. Its said to nourish your whole body, kidney, liver, heart, eye, strengthen your teeth, skin and hair, AND as a longevity plant it's documented that some who take Moringa live healthily pass the age of 90.

Pretty cool stuff right? It's something i consume daily in my superfood blend and have for the past 4 or 5 years since i first learned about it.  I'm excited to see my little moringa tree at home grow into something as incredible as this amazing 3 story tree!

Ayurveda and Discovering How To Eat For Your Unique Needs

One of the concepts i shared about this month in my "Get in the Flow + Love Yourself " Challenge is Ayurveda. While I've shared my video series on it before here, it's been a while and it's something that's helped me incredibly and deserves to be mentioned again. Ayurveda is the sister science of yoga and the oldest system of medicine that’s practiced in the world today. I first learned about it during my studies for my Holistic Health Practitioner’s certification, and later really started to put it into practice when i enrolled for my yoga teacher training and began to actively practice more yoga-based theories. As someone who has suffered from digestive maladies my entire life, i found the concepts of Ayurveda and learning how to balance my doshas to help me out IMMENSELY in feeling better, living more vibrantly, and making better choices that fit uniquely for MY needs and MY constitution.
Ayurveda is based on a blend of 3 areas: diet, lifestyle, and herbs. Just as every part of our body is interconnected so are we to the Universe. We ARE nature and have every aspect of nature in us (air, wind, fire, water, earth and space). Each of us have a different balance of these elements which in turn can cause imbalances in our body, and if we don’t LEARN how to approach our diet, herbs, and lifestyles correctly, these imbalances can manifest as diseases and lifestyle illnesses. For me, i suffered digestively. While i’ve learned through the act of whole foods cleansing, doing nutritional challenges, and experimenting with a variety of theories, Ayurveda and educating myself on how to eat for my dosha and the season, has helped me IMMENSELY understand Why some of the most healthy foods i was eating were not making me feel energized, rooted, or vibrant. I hope my 7 part series offers you a bit of insight so you can start practicing a few of the methods and see how they fit for you. I’ll include a link to a short dosha quiz, but just know, if you struggle trying to figure out how to balance your dosha, if you choose to eat seasonally, you’ll always be working on balancing the dosha which is naturally going out of balance due to the season. Feel free to shoot me questions through my website. I love chatting about Ayurveda and I'm here to help you discover optimal health for yourself.
Being summer now, you’ll mostly want to enjoy foods that cool your body naturally.
Here are a few..

*images sourced via google


Sunday, July 30, 2017

Deconstructed Buddha Bowls: Simple Techniques to Stellar Plant Based Bowls

If you've followed me on Instagram, Facebook or even this blog for any length of time, you're well aware of my love for healthy plant based food.  As someone who grew up very sick, in hospitals, and suffered from a lot of digestive malaise, discovering food as medicine and whole foods detoxing has really provided me not just with the healing i was searching for, but gave me the permission and passion to share what helped me in an effort to educate others.  It's actually how this blog was born almost 10 years back.

Many of the older recipes on this blog were created after taking my first raw foods certification course and studying for my Holistic Health Practitioner's and Nutrition Counselor's certifications.  As a matter of fact, i'm not even sure if Facebook was in existence then, and surely Instagram was not around yet.  Over the years as social media became more popular i've spent much of my time sharing recipes on social and educating in my online formats, through my virtual programs, and social communities i've cultivated rather than here on my blog.  I've even put together four ebooks and a clean eating grocery list, including my newest Buddha Bowl ebook full of recipes and my Plant Based Slim Down Ebook which i followed to a T last month when i dropped 6.75 inches and almost 5 lbs in 42 days.  I never intended to publish and sell my ebooks, rather they have always just been a resource for my clients/challengers who invest in their health and commit to any one of my programs.  They were created to simply share what worked for me, and offer a step by step guide, meal plan, and recipe selection for those who wanted to follow my exact same plan and get the results i was getting.

After many requests at where you can find my ebooks and recipes i made sure they were all housed in one simple place for you to access.  While you can scroll down to see a deconstructed buddha bowl, my food prep for it, and how fast it is to eat healthy, if you want all of my exact recipes, eating regime, and my slim down plan, you can click HERE to get started on your program.  As mentioned above all four of my most sought-after ebooks and slim down programs come with your commitment to one of my virtual programs.  You invest one time and you get EVERYTHING including my coaching and online communities for eternity.  Pretty Badass right?  I sure think so!  After being on the hunt myself for optimal health, weight loss, and healing, and purchasing every program out there, i wanted to make sure i could offer my clients something that was personal, community driven, had every resource you need and most importantly gave you a coach that could help you customize your plan and a program that WORKS.  Fact was, i spent hand over fist on programs and did my research before launching my first program and what i found was a lot of people selling the next 'best' program, with very little support or follow through, and an auto-responder that got me no where or a 'coach' that didn't show up for me when i had a Question.  Get excited for what you get in my All Access Member Program....Check it all out HERE.


I'm a girl who LOVES to eat out of bowls.  Maybe because i love to get every little bite on my plate, and bowls make it so much easier to do that, or maybe it's because i like saucy things and bowls are such great containers for sauce, but either way this girl is all about BOWL EATING.  So the first thing you'll need for your meal is a badass big bowl.  The white ones i use are from Target.  They are bigger than a normal salad bowl, slightly smaller than a serving bowl, and perfect to spread out my veggies so my bowls are picture perfect!

Next, if you're a busy woman, you might want to consider doing some food prep for the week or half week so that you're bowls can literally be thrown together in under 2 minutes.  I steam most of my veggies so depending on how busy my week looks or if i'm traveling, sometimes i do a good amount of prep, sometimes i do it right before i make my food, but i will admit, having your buddha bowl content prepped before hand makes it so easy and fast to get your bowl made before your hangry girl mouth has a moment to be noshing on something else that's faster to grab and less vibrant for your body, mind, and soul.  Generally when i prep i zoodle zucchini with a julienne peeler, noodle carrots with a basic veggie peeler, grate beets or chop small for fast steaming, slice sweet potatoes, chop mushrooms, de-stem/clean/and steam my kale or other greens, and i always keep the insides of my zoodled zuchs for my superfood smoothies to thicken them up, and save the inside of my carrots for noshing with dips.

A few things that generally make their way into my buddha bowls:  

-Bragg's nooch (nutritional yeast) - important for B12 for those of you who are vegan
-Rawmesan (a common topper on my bowls) - you can make it with nooch, nuts, and sea salt 
-Coconut Aminos (similar to soy sauce/tamari but gluten and soy free)
-Seeds (hemp, pumpkin, or other such toppings)
-Tahini (sometimes made into a dressing with lemon and coconut aminos and spices)
-All the STEAMED veggies (i cook most all of my veggies for easier digestibility // steam or grill)

From there you can get super creative using my buddha bowl recipe ebook and slim down guide, and either master the recipes in there or start to create your own.  I guarantee your mouth, heart, and tummy will be happy.  Those of you who don't follow a grain free lifestyle, add some quinoa or rice, and those of you who love your proteins, add some fish, eggs, or other humanely raised and clean source of protein.  I'm not a big fan of Soy Foods, but if you choose soy, always look for GMO and organic!


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

What If I Fail?!?...Oh but Darling, What if you FLY??: What Is Virtual Fitness Coaching

You may be wondering what it is i actually do as a 'Virtual Fitness Coach' or how you can too turn your blog or passion for health and wellness into a sustainable and rewarding career.  I want to give you an inside because I too was the girl who was scrolling blogs, following foodies and fit girls on instagram, and started my own blog (this very one) 10 years ago with a dream to make my love of health my independent career.  I spent years trying to figure out how one turns their passion for wellness into a real business without burning the candle at both ends with their healthy side-hustles.  In truth the solution ended up being a very simple recipe that i learned just a few years back that anyone can do, but very few WILL because it requires WORK and PASSION and EXCITEMENT. These days most people seem to either want to invest their time in working for 'the Man' 9-7 and end up to tired to pursue their day-dreams after work hours, or they legitimately WANT to pursue their dreams and start to, but hit their first few road blocks, aren't doing the right personal development/business development work, and so they quit.  I know because i not only see it everyday, but i did it myself too! 

Less than 4 years ago I was teaching yoga full time and then some. I was exhausted, teaching on auto-pilot, and no longer felt like i was growing myself or achieving new goals. I drove from studio to studio, chasing paychecks, taught private classes, cooking classes, led workshops, detox courses, and was 'living my passion' ultimately at the expense of my own sanity, health, and wellbeing. I'd come home many nights and pour a massive glass of wine (or a few) and try to shut off my life until i had to be ON again and punch the time clock the next day. I wanted change and growth. I wanted to get in my best shape and feel like a women who really appreciated the skin she was in, and i wanted to be PUSHED and inspired to do more in life, and ultimately i wanted a PURPOSE and to feel like i was making a difference in this world. I kept visualizing what i could create provided my years of experience teaching and holding space for others and i wanted to make an impact that could be felt far deeper than within the confines of the few yoga studios i taught at. .When I enrolled as a Coach I didn't realize what it really meant or the opportunity i was given. I didn't know that the sheer act of me choosing to work on myself, to challenge my fitness and health and prove to myself that i could do MORE than i was doing, would inspire others to do the same. I could clearly visualize myself being part of team of women who helped others with their health and fitness, but i wasn't sure how i could do that without feeling hypocritical because frankly i was plateaued and needed something that would work for me too. In the end it was the choice i made to be a Coach that actually made me get committed to my fitness and accountable to my own health. Within my first couple months of coaching it became abundantly clear to me the ability I had to create REAL change in my own life and the lives of others while not taking shortcuts or accepting my own self limitations or excuses. Within one year i became an Elite Coach, was recognized in the top 0.01% of our company and started mentoring other women to have the same level of success i had.


It's surely not comfortable (and generally not socially acceptable) to share stuff like this, but had it not been for the brave women who came before me who shared their successes and stories as well, i may not be here now in a space to help more women find freedom. If in sharing this today i can inspire even one woman to take a leap of faith like i did, then my openness to share something this personal is completely worth it. 

I've been a coach now since September 2013, a three time Elite coach and 3 time top 100 coach. I have multiple Elite, Diamond and Star Diamond coaches on my team who i've personally mentored, and one who is currently the number 7 coach in our entire network. I don't say that to toot my own horn, i say that because THAT is the quality and caliber of women i choose to work with: women who are excited to stretch themselves, are hungry for growth, and aren't scared to chase their dreams. The transformations i've experienced and seen from my challengers and coaches are truly beyond words. How can i express the feeling of someone saying to you, "THANK YOU for not giving up on me" when you know your encouragement and support provided them new levels of confidence, helped them lose 25, 50 or 100 lbs, helped them earn a six figure income, helped them love them self enough to save their marriage or helped them get out of debt? I see women on our team reaching their fitness goals, optimizing their health, earning supplemental and full time incomes, and reinventing who they are and how their families eat and live. Even more exciting for me is that I am literally surrounded by people with HEART, and passion, perseverance, and women who remind me everyday to be a better and bigger person than the person i was yesterday. 

Let me be clear that my willingness to share THIS and my personal information is not to entice you to join me for a get rich quick opportunity. If that is what you're looking for then please move on to my next recipe post. Nothing in life that is WORTH IT comes without hard work. My achievements and those of my team are because we are incredibly hard workers, committed to the development of our small businesses and to the success of others which all takes time.  I'm focused not just on my personal growth but making sure others are reaching their goals with their fitness, health, and career goals as well.  I care about people, and i'm incredibly passionate about what i do and helping you fulfill your dreams. 

I hope that you take the time to connect with me and learn more about what we do as Sol Warriors Coaches, the team i train, and the opportunities that are available on the team for those who are the right fit.  Coaching has absolutely changed my life, the lives of many of my coaches, and improved the lives of my challengers and team-mates who show up, do the work, and never give up. I know it can for you too. You do not need experience or certifications to coach, however you must be a hard worker, you must want to get in your best shape, you must want to authentically help others and be a part of a team, you must want to build a life of design, and you must have a 'never give up' attitude. Until you spread your wings you will never know how far you can fly.

Apply here to connect, inquire, or learn more :www.tinyurl.com/JoinTeamSolWarriors

**Beachbody does not guarantee any level of success or income from the Team Beachbody Coach Opportunity. Each Coach's income depends on his or her own EFFORTS, diligence, and skill. See our Statement of Independent Coach Earnings located in the Coach Online Office for the most recent information on our Coaches' actual incomes." Statement of Independent Coach Earnings: http://tbbcoa.ch/TBB_SOICE.**
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