Chocolate Coconut Bites

Matt and I are actually getting into the habit of waking up at 5-5:30am so that we can workout in the morning. It's really hard to get my butt out if bed, but as soon as I'm up, I'm happy about it. Because of the way my work schedule is, if we wait until the evening to work out, it takes up our entire evening. If we wake up early and work out, we have a whole evening of freedom. With a whole 2-3 hours of freedom before bed, there are lots of things that we can do-- like experiment with raw vegan desserts! 

I got on Pinterest while I was crossing the Manhattan bridge on the train home from work yesterday (you only get cell phone service when you're above ground). After perusing through a bunch of ingredient-heavy recipes, I found one that I already had most of the ingredients for: raw chocolate coconut macaroons. Not really sure why they were called "macaroons" because the looked nothing like macaroons, but whatever.

I went to the local bodega, grabbed a couple things, and then started prepping. 

It wasn't until I have completely mixed the mixture that I realized the recipe required a dehydrator... Which I don't have... 

I had to improvise a bit, and they didn't turn out as pretty as the picture, but they still taste really good and light! 

Ingredients:

- 3 cups unsweetened shredded coconut

- 1/2 cup coconut oil

- 2 tbsp vanilla extract

- 3/4 cup cacao powder

- 3/4 cup organic raw maple syrup

- 1 tsp sea salt

Directions:  

- Preheat the oven to 360 degrees  

- Mix together 2 cups of shredded coconut, 1/4 cup coconut oil, 1 tbsp vanilla extract, cacao powder, 1/2 cup maple syrup, and 1/2 tsp sea salt

- Mix all other ingredients in a separate bowl (this way, you can have some chocolate and some not) 

- Prepare a baking sheet with cooking spray  

- Place coconut mixtures in spoonfuls into the baking sheet  

- Bake for about 8 minutes

They came out looking pretty janky. I almost threw them out! But I decided, as ugly as they were, it was worth trying. And they were good!! 

I removed them from the pan with a spatula and formed them back into balls. Then I out them in the fridge to enjoy later. 



Eco Tan Review

If you've been on my blog for more than 3 seconds, you've probably noticed how fair skinned I am. I am one white whitegirl. 

That being said, I've never had a lot of luck with self tanners. I've tried a bunch of different kinds, but they never work for me. I always end up looking like a carrot. Pale girls out there -- can you empathize?

It's a tough life for us because we don't tan easily in the sun, and we also don't want to spend so much time in the sun that we end up with a bunch of melanomas. 

Enter-- Eco Tan: Australia's TRUE Certified Organic Tan & Body Care Range. 

These awesome Aussies sent me their Invisible Tan lotion last week, and I couldn't be more impressed with the product. Not only do they work, but they're 100% natural, 100% vegan, and 100% beautiful :)

The products are Certified Organic, Certified Toxic Free, and accredited by Choose Cruelty Free! I'm all about all of that stuff. 

The package came with their Invisible Tan lotion as well as the Extreme Exfoliant Glove. Before applying the tanning lotion, I hopped in the shower to exfoliate and shave. The glove feels really abrasive at first, but holy cow -- my skin felt so soft after exfoliating. I will probably use this glove year round to get rid of dead skin! Don't worry. It's washing machine safe, and I will wash it.

After some extreme exfoliation action and a nice close shave, I dried off with a towel and applied regular body lotion to the areas that typically look weird when you apply a self tanner: ankles, knees, elbows, arm pits, and jawline.  I let that lotion sink in for about 10 minutes and then began to slowly apply the Invisible Tan lotion. 

I started on my lower shin, using circular motions with my bare hands to apply the solution. I used the excess to rub into my feet and ankles (not applying lotion directly to those areas). I really just brushed it over the tops of my feet. Then I did upper legs, using the excess to cover my knees. Then tummy and back, and arms and chest. For my face and neck, I wanted the lotion to be a little thinner. I put a dot of my regular face lotion in my hand and mixed it with a dot of tanning lotion before spreading that onto my face, neck, and ears. 

I washed my hands several times throughout the process -- and paid particular attention to my knuckles and between my fingers. 

This process worked really well for me. 

After just a couple hours -- it got even more bronze after the 8-hour mark. 

After just a couple hours -- it got even more bronze after the 8-hour mark. 

One super great perk about this product is that it really lives up to its name -- it goes on clear and doesn't rub off on clothes. I simply let it sink in for about 10 minutes and then got dressed and ready for the day. By the time I got home for dinner, my skin was nicely bronzed!

Oh, and did I mention that it doesn't smell awful like most tanning solutions. It has a kind of minty smell to it. 

I love this product and will definitely continue using it. 

Before

Before

After

After

Have y'all tried this one? Do you use another tanning lotion? Let me know in the comments below!

WIAW 3 + Personal Training

So I've been thinking a lot about getting a personal training certification (the NASM) lately. I'd really love to be more knowledgeable for you guys, and I'd love to be more of a resource to my friends and family. I want to help people become healthier!

Matt and I chatted for a bit about what that would look like. One thing that I definitely know I want to think about is how I can best serve you guys and the people around me as a trainer. I think my default trainer personality is something close to Jillian Michaels -- which is a little to harsh to motivate most people. Especially through a computer. 

I want my teaching style and my encouragement to model my 4 favorite instructors: Kathryn Budig, Karena Dawn, Katrina Hodgson, and Bob Harper. 

Kathryn is a super fun yoga instructor who teaches all over the world. She's so down to earth and loveable. She makes yoga fun, and she doesn't take herself too seriously. She's extremely relatable. 

Karena and Katrina (the Tone It Up girls) are so good at creating a community and making people feel pretty. They go out of their way to meet people and, like Kathryn, are super goofy. 

Bob is one of the Biggest Loser trainers. I love watching him train people because he really seems to care about their lives and motivates them in a really loving way. 

I plan to spend some time studying these four awesome instructors more before and while I work on my PT certification. Hopefully, I'll start my training this fall!


WIAW

Okay. This week's WIAW isn't going to be super exciting. I had a CRAZY busy day at work, so I hardly had time for anything. 

For breakfast, I had 2 eggs, 1 egg white, and a cup of greek yogurt and granola. This is more than I normally have for breakfast because I knew what my work schedule looked like for the day, and I didn't know if I would have time for my 10am snack. 

I didn't have time for my snack. And I only had time to scarf down about half of my lunch (chicken and a big salad) before a meeting. 

I ate my afternoon quest bar in a meeting. 

After dinner, we packed our stuff and went to the gym. I sipped on a Cellucor BCAA sample while lifting. 

When we got home, we made protein smoothies. I got a new protein powder this week that tastes amazing. Cellucor is my current favorite protein powder. They have such fun flavors!! For my smoothie, I just mixed a frozen banana with a scoop of protein, fresh raspberries, and coconut water. 

Do you ever have those days when you feel like you don't have time for anything-- not even food?

Thai Lettuce Wraps + Happiness & Wellbeing

Happy Monday, y'all!

As I'm typing out this blog, I'm mentally preparing myself for the day ahead. We have 12 fresh-out-of-college new hires starting at my office today -- it's gonna be loud! I work for a small company, so that's a huge increase and will definitely affect the overall office feel. I hope I can get a seat in the kitchen at lunch!! haha

I have a super simple recipe (2 ways) for you guys. The first time I tried this thai recipe, I made it in wrap form. It was great this way, but pretty dang messy. So the second time, I made it into a salad, which was much less messy but felt less fun and fancy. 

Ingredients:

  • Lettuce leaves
  • Bean sprouts
  • Red or orange bell pepper
  • Carrots
  • Snap peas
  • Shelled sunflower seeds
  • Toasted sesame oil
  • Low sodium tamari sauce
  • Lime juice

Directions:

  1. Chop the pepper, carrots, and snap peas into long strips
  2. Fill lettuce leaves with veggies and seeds
  3. Mix 1 Tbsp sesame oil with 1 Tbsp tamari and 1 Tbsp lime juice (for the dipping sauce)

If you follow my social media pages, you probably saw me freaking out on Saturday about the articles I wrote for Happiness & Wellbeing Magazine. H&W is a digital wellness mag based in Australia. I am so honored that Cass (the editor-in-cheif at H&W) is letting me participate in this way! 

I first found out about this mag when my favorite international yoga teacher, Kathryn Budig, was their cover girl. I've been hooked ever since. The magazine makes me really happy because of the overall positive vibe it has. The contributors are very healthy and very optimistic about life. I love it!

The two articles I wrote were:

  1. Does Your Body Really Need Dairy?
  2. How to Stay Fit When You Are Working Full-Time

You can download a copy for 2 bucks here, read my stuff, and support this awesome publication!