5 Ways To Walk Away From Self-Doubt + A Healthy Self-Care Smoothie Bowl

I'm standing in my kitchen at 3 am having a heart to heart with my cat, groggy, tired, and feeling awful about myself, I immediately want to dive into a pint of Haagen-Dazs, but I've recently broken up with ice cream so know this is a just a moment of self-loathing. This last month has been a whirlwind of highs and lows and lots of stress in-between. I'm currently working on my Master's degree in Nutrition and it's a very tough, fast paced, wonderful program. I'm learning everything there is to know about nutrition and I'm excited to be on this adventure and all of the amazing opportunities that will come from it, but it's hard. Really hard. I've been on an awful sleep schedule, staying up late nights doing group projects with people all over the world, going to bed at 4 am and waking up at 11 am. It seems I do school work all of the time and feel like I cannot keep up in the blogging world.

My friends are all moving at warp speeds and I'm in the back seat like, "Hey, I'm still here too!" My goal is to be able to blog, make food recipe videos full time, and teach yoga and fitness classes, but it's not an easy transition. The road is scary and filled with many what-ifs. I'm doing my best to not let other people's wonderful success cloud mine, but the comparison game is real and heartbreaking.

My Dad has always said to me: "To thy known self-be true. Don't be like anyone else, because you are different, you have what other's don't. Focus on that instead of focusing on what everyone else is doing." It's scary and daunting and very overwhelming at times. I have not been in this blogging world as long as my other friends have, I have not had the time to perfect my craft just yet. I know that in time, it will be my turn too. I work tirelessly on my blog and school and my business and sometimes it seems as if I'm doing everything wrong. Do you guys ever have these feelings of self-doubt? The ones that creep into your mind at 3 am when everything looks blurry and sleep is desperately needed. I've always been a person with vaulting ambition. I act before I think and that motto has always worked wonders for me. I believe that if you think too much, you can talk yourself out of anything. Just this week, an amazing opportunity knocked on my door that could be life changing and could take everything next level for me. I typed the words yes before my brain could stop me because I knew if I sat on it for anytime, my mind would say no. Over thinking is the devil and when it begins to happen, walk away from it. I believe in saying yes before you have the experience because that is the only way you will grow. I'm not in this business to stay the same, I'm here to grow and be better and meet amazing friends along the way. 

Self-doubt has the power to cripple me. It begins so small, that I barely notice it The triggers are scrolling through other people's Instagram feeds and it starts there. I start to think crippling thoughts, that I cannot do what they can do and I'm not good enough. None of that is true of course, I can do anything anyone else can do! You know the quote by Thomas Edison: "If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves." I have that hanging up on my wall above my computer where I blog in my office. I stare at it multiple times per day because it's true. For example, I thought I would never get through this session of school with the boat-loads of research projects and pages and pages of research and writing. But I did it! We wrapped yesterday and it's done (for now) I got through it, even though my brain the entire time, was doubting my ability to get it done. Not my entire brain, just the part that's mean, the one that sits on your shoulder on the left and taunts and gnaws at you. 

I've developed some tricks to quell those mean voices and feelings of self-doubt. 

1. Do yoga! Get on your mat, get out of your head, and just flow. Or meditate for a few minutes, but I find movement helps me more. Move through the emotions and let those loathing thoughts come and go. After a quick 20-minute yoga session, I always feel better and lighter. 

2. Make something beautiful that's food and eat it. I made the best smoothie bowl last night with some Perfect Keto MCT Oil Powder and it was life changing! This stuff is amazing, gives me zing's of energy, and sets me up for a full day of research. I took Perfect Keto's MCT Oil every day this week and have noticed a huge difference in my energy levels and focus. Perfect Keto's MCT Oil Powder is made from coconuts and that's it! Perfect Keto MCT Oil Powder is also flavorless so you can add it to your bulletproof coffee, smoothies, soups, pasta, really anything you can think of! If you haven't tried MCT Oil you should because it gives you a clean energy feeling without the crash later. You can order Perfect Keto here and use my coupon code: FITTY15 for 15% off your order until May 8th. I'm also hosting a giveaway with the awesome folks of Perfect Keto to give away a canister of their MCT Oil Powder, come follow me on Instagram for more info on the giveaway! 

3. Get outside! One of the fastest ways to get out of your own head is to go outside and even better if you bring your furry friend along with you. My darkest days have been cured by going on a long, fun, trail run with Roxy. We just hit the trails and go until our lungs can't breathe anymore. Okay, I'm being slightly dramatic with the whole not breathing things, but running works! And if you don't run, walk. Or do yoga outside, or take your workout outside. I'm currently building a yoga deck in my back yard for just this reason. Get off your phone, and get outside and breathe in the fresh air. I'm also really good at outdoor dance parties and can dance like it's 1999! 

4. Clean your house. Okay so this one isn't so fun, but piles of clutter make me very anxious, creating more self-doubt in my mind. A clear space is a clear mind and clearing out anything that you don't need from your home will help calm you down and make you feel less anxious. The first room I always clean in my house is my kitchen because it's the room (beside's my office) that I spend most of my time in. Clean up and you'll feel better after, I promise! 

5. Journal or blog. Writing every day, even if it's just on post-it's or in a journal can help take any mind from self-doubt to motivation. Write our your goals, dreams, and what you want daily and make those things happen! Anytime you are feeling down, go back to your list of goals and check off the ones you've made happen. You'd be surprised how enlightening it is to see your goals accomplished on paper. Start with one goal a day and then add to the list from there. They can be as small as trying a new workout class to as big as finally contacting that PR company about a writing partnership. 

Check out my yummy Spring Smoothie Bowl that's super easy to make and super healthy! I added a scoop of Perfect Keto MCT Oil Powder for an extra zing of energy! 

Let me know if you do any of these tips to help with self-doubt and what works for you. 

I really hope these tips help draw you away from self-doubt or even help when you have those crazy moments of stress. At the end of the day we are all in this together and reaching out to friends and trying new things can help a lot in doubtful times.

Healthy Collagen Strawberry Milk | Strawberry Syrup (No Refined Sugar!)

I'm a colorful girl! I been told I have a very colorful personality and I love eating foods filled with tons of saturated color, but artificial dyes and I are so not friends. Lately, if you've been following me on the gram then you know I've been obsessed with making healthy, fun, vibrant, coffee concoctions. With that, I deiced my cream needed and upgrade and yesterday I was craving something sweet to add to my coffee. I decided to experiment and try my hand at homemade strawberry milk and homemade strawberry syrup. Now, it took a few trys but I did it! I've come up with a healthy collagen strawberry milk recipe for you guys and I'm pretty stoked about it. You can make this anytime, or make a big batch on Monday, seal it up, keep it super cold in the fridge and have it for the remainder of the week to add to your coffee or whatever. And who doesn't love strawberry milk? Now, I bet your thinking, that all strawberry milk is filled with tons of sugar. And while that certainly may be true for the store-bought stuff, it is not true for my version. 

Milk:

What you'll need:

1-pound of organic strawberries 

1-cup of organic coconut sugar

1-tbs of vanilla extract (completely optional) 

2-cups of heavy cream or whole milk (don't use low-fat milk for this as it's too thin and won't blend properly.) 

Add all ingriedeints except the milk to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15-minutes until the strawberries turn into a jam like substance. 

Next transfer everything to a blender and blend until everything is combined. 

Next, add the milk to the saucepan with the blended strawberries and heat until combined. You now have healthy, homemade straberry milk. 

I use coconut sugar in replacement of conventional sugar because coconut sugar burns up differently in the body and will not give you that awful sugar crash later on in the day. It's a steady state burn, meaning you won't feel crappy later and it won't add inches or bloat to your waistline. Just make sure you have fairly fresh strawberries and you should be all set! 

Strawberry Syrup:

What you'll need: 

1-pound of organic strawberries

1-cup of organic coconut sugar

1-cup of water 

2-scoops of Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides

Bring everything to a boil, then simmer all ingredients together until it becomes a jam-like substance. Let cool, then transfer to a sealed glass jar. The syrup will keep in the fridge for up to a week and can be used on toast, in coffee, on ice cream, in penne pasta, the possibilities are endless! 

What types of syrup would you guys add to your coffee? What's your favorite milk and syrup flavor? 

Bonanza Banana Pineapple Muffins

The buttery, rich taste hits my tastebuds and my eyes pop open, and I start smiling from ear to ear. Yes, you read that right, this is what you'll experience if you make delicious, easy, banana pineapple muffins, that make a fantastic breakfast or dessert option. In fact, shouldn't we all have dessert for breakfast? I mean think about it. We would certainly be in a better mood first thing in the morning, enjoying a delicious sweet treat with a hot cup of coffee. Now, I bet your thinking to yourself, "but Genevieve I can't possibly eat dessert for breakfast!" Oh but you could my friend, because guess what? My bonanza banana pineapple muffins are super low in sugar and might actually be considered healthy by some. "What?!" you say, and I say, "Yes my friend, you can eat them anytime, anywhere without an ounce of guilt. And the best part is? They feature the new Vital Proteins Banana Cinnamon Vanilla Whey Protein Powder which is so yummy and basically tastes like banana sugar cookies, I kid you not. And this banana whey protein powder goes in my bulletproof coffee every morning because it's that good! And if you're wondering if the banana is super overpowering, it isn't. This banana whey protein powder has just the right balance of cinnamon, vanilla, and banana and the flavors balance themselves out nicely. 

So a funny thing happened yesterday. Well, actually it's not funny at all, but I was in the middle of a food blogging photo shoot and I was taking a behind the scenes pic with my iPhone and all of the sudden in the middle of the photo, rainbow lines spewed across my phone screen and it literally looked like an alien take over. Then it stopped recognizing my touch and it basically went into the phone abyss or technology abyss. I'm not sure what one would call it, but it's awful and until yesterday I had no idea how much I relied on my phone. These bonnanza banana pineapple muffins will save the day though, and I'll just have to sit tight with them until I get a new phone. 

Comment below and let me know if you guys make these muffins and what you think of them! 

Delicious, Creamy, Easy, Lasagna Made with Beef Gelatin!)

What is the meal you fondly remember your Grandmother making when you were a child? You know, the meal that when you smell those familiar smells it brings you right back to that kitchen and that food. I love food (which is a good thing, considering I'm a food blogger) I'm Italian (mostly) and grew up around authentic, classic, Italian food. I remember visiting my Grandmother and smelling the lasagna right as I entered the door. The smell of the buttery ricotta and marinara sauce wafted through my nostrils, and every time I couldn't wait for dinner to start! We all have these memories from childhood surrounding food where something sends us back in time to those delicious dishes. Lasagna is a favorite of mine and I'm always working on news ways to up my lasagna game. You guys have to try my recipe! Not only is it creamy and comforting, but it's got an undeniable flavor that will send your taste buds over the moon! I've put a twist on my classic lasagna recipe and beefed it up with two scoops of Vital Proteins Beef Gelatin. Get it? Beefed it up, haha. 

Most lasagnas out there have tons of ingredients, mine doesn't. My lasagna is a classic, simple, easy to follow a recipe that is perfect to make on your food prep days to have for the remainder of the week. And it freezes well too! This lasagna also has tons of protein, not only from the organic ground pork but from the two scoops of Beef Gelatin. With this recipe, you are looking at 53 grams of protein for the total recipe. Pair this with a giant salad and you've got an easy, perfect meal that is especially delicious on those nights where you can't think of anything to make, but take is not going to cut it. 

Power Protein Balls | Why Waking Up With The Sun Rules

I don't know about you guys, but the first thing I want after a long trail run is all the food. My running trail is right near Starbucks so I typically just grab an Americano to go and call it a day. Lately, when I've been running I've been feeling like I really need a strong source of protein after so I came up with this fun recipe that people of all ages will love! It's super easy to make to and you don't need very many ingredients. The Power Protein Balls have a good amount of carbs, healthy fats, and 22 grams of protein to fuel your body properly after your run or whatever activity you're doing. These Power Protein Balls also work as a great quick breakfast option and are awesome as a pre-workout snack. The best part about the Power Protein Balls though is that they are super easy to make and don't require an oven of any kind! 

I went to a retreat a few weeks ago and I've made it my mission to wake up with the sun. I want to be one of those people that can go around saying, "I wake up at sunrise!" I truly believe that waking up with the sun and starting my day with some coffee and yoga makes all the difference in the world. I also feel like I get ten times more things done and can power through my day like a badass! Now, keep in mind that this is coming from someone who has a terrible habit of staying up all night working and going to bed at 4 am. Some say it's because my Mom had me at night at 8:30 pm and astrologers believe that mean that I would be considered a night owl. Astrologers believe that the few hours after the time you were born is when you are in your most productive state. Well, that may be great for some people, but I want to start my day off with a bang and watch the sun come up in the back yard while my dogs run around to play. If you think about it, dogs have amazing energy. Roxy can literally wake up from a deep sleep and if I call her name, she ready to take the day. So I guess what I'm really saying is that I want to be more like my dogs. I'm laughing at myself as I write this, but dogs are alway ready to go. And really, who doesn't want to be more like their dogs? So by having these Power Protein Balls prepped each week, I can have a breakfast and post-run option that's easy to grab, and I'll be saving money on my Starbucks bill because I won't be getting an Americano post run. 

You can make these Power Protein Balls many different ways and I will post different versions of them on the blog if you guys enjoy this recipe. Don't be afraid to get creative with these and add different things. You may not like sunflower butter, but I love it, so it really depends on your tastes. 

What you'll need:

Utensils: Mixing Bowl, Spatula, Kitchen Aid Mixer 

  • Rolled Oats
  • 1-scoop of Vital Proteins Cocoa Collagen Whey
  • 1-cup of raw honey 
  • 3/4-cup of Peanut Butter
  • 3/4-cup of sunflower seed butter
  • 3/4-cup of organic, unsweetened, shredded coconut 
  • 1-tbs of organic unrefined coconut oil
  • A dash of pumpkin spice 
  • 1-tbs of organic chia seeds
  • 1/2-cup of organic semi-sweet chocolate chips 

You certainly don't have to use a Kitchen Aid Mixer, but I found it be a much quicker option versus hand mixing everything. 

So I'm curious, what time do you guys wake up in the morning? Do you like waking up with the sun or do you have a specific wake up time? Buddhists say to rise with the sun and set with the stars, and in doing so we are naturally synching up with our natural bio-rhythms. I know many people who do this who lead highly successful lives. I always feel more successful when I've started my day early and set everything I want for that day into motion. I feel calmer too because I have more time to get all of the things done that I need to. I'm one of those people who gets a plate of things to do and then adds to it, and adds to it and adds to it, and well you get the picture. Before I know it my plate is so full that I'm left at the end of the week feeling discouraged and over worked. Waking up at 5 am and watching the sunrise, with my coffee in hand makes all difference. I have time in the morning to breathe, do yoga, and just be for the first couple of hours in the day. Now, I hear this all changes when you have kiddos, but since I'm not there yet, I might as well as take advantage of it. My goal this week is to wake up at 5 am every day and see if how much more productive I am. I'm curious to test out my theory more this week and really work hard to get on this new sleep schedule. I know that waking up at 5 am probably sounds nuts to most of you, but try it for a week and see how you feel. You may actually like waking up at the crack of dawn and that concept might not sound so foreign anymore. And this is coming from a pro night owl who works in the wedding industry and is typically up editing until the sun rises.

I'm excited about the changes that will come from being on this new schedule and morning yoga, coffee, dogs, and a Power Protein Ball in hand sounds oh so delicious! 

Healthy, Homemade, Granola, And Yogurt Parfaits

I've had one of those weeks where I've wanted to hit the rewind button a thousand times. Have you guys ever been there? Multiple times I've wanted to grab something sweet because of stress and higher cortisol levels, but I know eating sweets is not the answer. I find myself buying bags and bags of granola every week, spending boatloads on something I can make at home. Yet, every week I spend $5.00 or more on granola, promising myself I will come up with my own, homemade version. So this week when grocery shopping, I finally decided it was time to stick to my word and put my money where my mouth is. You can do all kinds of amazing things with this recipe, such as yogurt parfaits (which I'll show you here) trail mix, oatmeal cookies, and healthy apple crisp which is coming your way in a future post.

In this recipe, I use Vital Proteins Vanilla Collagen Peptides to give my granola an added protein boost so it works great for a pre and post workout. This granola can also be tossed in a baggie on the go! Here I'll show you how to make a quick, healthy, snack, and my batch makes double what you'd get from the store. The best part is, you most likely already have all of these ingredients at home in your pantry and my version is made with way less sugar than the store-bought versions. Many people have warned me that granola burns easily, but I did not have this issue. 

What kind of snacks do you guys like to make at home? What are your favorites? Any particular ones you could recommend to me that you think I would like? Anything you'd like to see more of on the blog as far as recipes go? I'm all ears when it comes to trying new things and I love making clean, healthy, versions of store bought items so comment below and tell me what typical store items you'd like to see turned into a healthy recipe. 

I cook my granola on low at 250-degrees for the first thirty minutes, then I turn and cook it at 300-degrees for another 20-25 minutes. You can do this if you want your granola to be crispy on the outside, but creamy on the inside.

Add fresh, greek yogurt and fresh organic strawberries to turn these into yummy parfaits. All you have to do is add the yogurt layer to the glass first, then add a layer of granola, another layer of yogurt, and thinly sliced strawberries, then more granola, and top with more strawberries! 

St. Patrick's Day Shamrock Marshmallows | No Corn Syrup

When I was a little girl, I would walk into the kitchen at my Grandmother's house and watch in amazement as she made homemade marshmallow fluff. I would help her stir everything together (she didn't have a kitchen aid mixer at that time) so I would hand mix until everything got fluffy. I swear, I credit my strong forearms to my Grandmother since I was her mixer for everything! Flash forward 15-years and I completely forgot how fun making homemade marshmallows is. I only mixed the ingredients for my Grandmother, I never actually made them myself. So when I got the idea to use marshmallows for St. Patricks Day, it seemed fitting to make them green and without corn syrup. Marshmallows taste delicious, but corn syrup is one of the highest cancer causing sugars in the world, and I stay away from the stuff and act like it's the plague. I also do not advocate the use of corn or Karo syrup to my followers, so adding it to one of my recipes would seem dishonest to you guys. But don't worry, I've created a marshmallow recipe that does not use any corn syrup of any kind and it can be made all year long, minus the green all natural food coloring which can be purchased here. 

At first, I had anxiety about making homemade marshmallows, I mean the time you have to take the fluff and spread it out into a baking pan is a small amount, and I was worried I would mess everything up. To my surprise, it was actually super easy making these marshmallows and everything turned out perfectly. On Wednesday night when I was planning my recipe, I realized I did not have a candy thermometer, but after a late-night target run (don't all bloggers do late night target runs?) I had my candy thermometer in hand and I was ready to begin. Pro tip: Make sure you prep everything before hand, or it can become really stressful because the time to get the fluff into your baking is very small, so the more you prep beforehand, the better off you'll be. 

Get all of your ingredients out, along with your pot, candy thermometer, baking pan, parchment paper, and Kitchen Aid Mixer. You need a high powered mixer of some sort, (remember those strong forearms I talked about earlier) you don't want to sit there for 20-minutes hand mixing everything. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper and then you are ready to begin! 

Ingredients you'll need: 

1-cup of water, divided into a 1/2 cup each

5 tbs of Gelatin 

I cup of Maple Syrup 

1/4 tbs of Himalayan Sea Salt

2 tbs of organic vanilla extract 

1-cup of organic powdered sugar 

1/2 cup of arrowroot powder

These can be made any time of the year!

These can be made any time of the year! Get creative with them and let me know what you think! 

Taste The Rainbow...... Or The Smoothie!

I've been seeing rainbow smoothies all over Instagram. It's like the thing to do these days! It's not only beautiful to photograph, but it's a bit challenging to make. All of the things that make for a great recipe, don't you think? A lot of the rainbow smoothie recipes that I see on Instagram aren't healthy at all, Don't worry though friends, because I've got a healthy version just for all of you. You are going to need lots of fruit for this recipe so make sure you have everything on hand before you begin, or else you'll just get frustrated with it and walk away. I've also added Collagen Peptides to my version, and Beauty Collagen Greens to the green layer, but that is completely optional. 

I find inspiration on Instagram and Pinterest all of the time. I'm also constantly coming up with new ways tweak my own recipes. I've always wanted to make a rainbow smoothie, but I figured it would be way to hard to do. However, I love a challenge, and I decided to give it a try myself. Pro tip: Use a piping bag instead of a spoon and your layers will come out a lot smoother than mine did. But this isn't bad for a first try! 

Note: For the blue layer I used this all natural food coloring which you can find here. 

Copyright Genevieve Jerome Photography-0089.jpg
There are affiliate links throughout this post. When you click on them, a small percentage goes to me and it's how I keep my website up and running you guys I appreciate the support!

There are affiliate links throughout this post. When you click on them, a small percentage goes to me and it's how I keep my website up and running you guys I appreciate the support!

Orange Dreamsicle Smoothie | Healthy and Delicious!

Have you ever walked into a mall and smelled the intoxicating scents of the cluster of cafeteria food type places and thought, "I must get something!" Even though mall food is usually pretty gross, there is something weirdly intoxicating about picking a place to eat, getting in line, and enjoying the foods of the world. Have you ever tried an Orange Julius? I personally have not, but I hear they are wonderful! I have tried an orange cream popsicle and the other day I sliced up a bunch of oranges and had no idea what to do with them. Yes, I could make my go-to orange mint salad, or use the juice as a meat marinade. But then I thought, why not attempt to make an orange creamsicle smoothie that's clean? I put my creative mind to work and came up with a clean orange dreamsicle smoothie that I think you all will love! (I'm calling it dreamsicle because it sounds whimsy and tastes magical!)

I know that after a good, long, trail run I want something that's easy to make, thirst quenching and protein packed. This smoothie is also great to take with you to the mall instead of shelling out money on cafeteria food. I still adore the crepe stand in my local mall and go crazy over those to-go potatoes. This is fantastic smoothie to make if you've got loads of oranges or if you have an orange tree! I've added Vital Proteins Unflavored Whey Protein Powder to this recipe which you can purchase here. 

I've got a lot of orange themed recipes coming your way over the next few weeks! There are so many things you can do with oranges, besides make fresh squeezed orange juice. I'm also slightly obsessed with photographing oranges and all of their various varieties. Check out the list below of my top favorite oranges for cooking and zesting.

1. Blood Oranges- Tart, but have a deep sweetness to them are fantastic in cold pasta or fresh marinades. 

2. Cara-Cara Oranges-Super sweet and fantastic for smoothies, juice, and great for making an all-natural, good smelling, house cleaner. 

3. Meyer Lemons-Yes friends, lemons are a part of the citrus family and if you follow me on snap chat or Instagram then you know how I obsessed with Meyer lemons I am. The Meyer lemon is a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange. How cool is that? I use them for homemade salad dressings, on eggs, in pasta, as a chicken marinade, and as a facial toner. 

4. Mandarin Oranges- They're sweet! They're sour! And they work in every meal possible, even things you wouldn't think an orange would taste good in, the mandarin orange is an all around, impressive work horse, and delicious to boot!

Now, let's put all of those oranges to good use and get to smoothie making! 

How To Make Heart Shaped Pancakes With Natural Red Whipped Cream-Perfect For Valentine's Day!

Everything in stores is red and pink, the candy aisle is stock full of those heart shaped candy hearts, and kiddos are getting ready to hand out cards to their friends. Valentine's Day is here and I've got just the recipe you can make with your family and loved ones, or it's wonderful for a Galentine's Day brunch. It's easy to make and pretty clean, but with a few goodies snuck in. After all, it is Valentine's Day! I'm going to show you lovelies how to make heart shaped pancakes using heart shaped cookie cutters and my favorite Vital Proteins flavor, Vanilla Collagen. 

I don't know about you guys but I love coming up with fun breakfast ideas, and pancakes are a staple in our house. Not only do I have this recipe for you guys, but I have some fun Valentine's Day date ideas too! 

After you've eaten your heart out with these yummy pancakes, you can go enjoy a full day of Valentine's fun.

1.) Go see a $5.00 black and white film. The Stanford movie theater in Palo Alto features romantic old-school films like Casablanca and Love Story. 

2.) Do a Paint and Wine night at Pinot's Pallete. Pinot's Pallet's are popping up all over the place and learning to paint a fun painting while drinking some wine and bubbly is a fun way to connect with your partner and create some fantastic art! 

3.) Go hiking and explore the great outdoors in your local town. I know that when I've eaten a ton of pancakes the first thing I want to do it burn them off. Hiking with your sweetie-pie is free and a great way to connect in the fresh air, around beautiful scenery. 

4.) Go Rock Climbing! It's me and Shane's 1-year anniversary with Rock Climbing as we went last year on Valentine's Day and we are completely obsessed with it and go at least three times a month now. 

5.) Go explore some caves! Cave mining is a fun way to test your limits and learn all bout the historical caves in your area. We live near cave mines and we are planning on exploring them as it's something totally new to us. 

Whatever you plan to do on Valentine's Day, do it with your loved ones. Or devote and an entire day to pampering you! Start your day off with my yummy, delicious, pancakes and then devote an entire day to face masks, a bubble bath, a skin coffee scrub, a yoga class, and watch some fun movies. 

I hope you guys have an awesome Valentine's Day!

How To Make All Natural Red Whipped Cream:

Grab one beet and juice. Next add a cup of heavy whipping cream to your Kitchen Aid Mixer and whip on. Whip the beet juice and heavy whipping cream until it is nice and thick. Let stand in fridge for two hours before using for decoration or eating. You can add the all natural red whipping cream to a piping bag and decorate your pancakes with it! 

Collagen Peptides Pink Hot Chocolate-Valentines Day Celebration!

I love Valentines Day! The second I realize it's coming I plan a bunch of recipes and get excited about all things pink and red. I'm am uber dork and a hopeless romantic at heart. I've watched Love Story more times than I can count and Breakfast At Tiffany's is at the top of the greatest movies ever made list for me. Love Actually is on in our house every year around Christmas time and the thought of being someone's Daisy sends me over the moon! Bonus points if you got the last reference. 

I love all holidays actually, the thought of spending times with loved ones and giving out gifts is so fun to me! I remember working in retail when I was nineteen years old and watching all of the guys surprise their girlfriends at work with roses and candy on Valentines Day. It always made me gush and happy that people still find this holiday fun. 

Most people don't know this, but Valentines Day isn't just an "American holiday and an excuse to buy your loved one something." Valentines Day dates back to the Roman's and actually has quite the brutal history to it. When I wrote for my college newspaper I did an entire article on the history of Valentines Day. Did you know that Saint Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome in 269 A.D.? Emperor Claudius 11 had biased beliefs about young men who had to fight in the war. Claudius decided it would be better to not have men fight who did have wives and families so he outlawed marriage for soldiers. Valentine defied Claudius and performed marriages between young lovers in secret. Once Claudius found out about Valentine's actions he sentenced him to be put to death. I won't get into detail on that because it's pretty bad, but that is just one of the legends of Saint Valentines Day. Up until Saint Valentine's death sentence, the jailor's daughter would visit Valentine and their love affair lasted until February 14th. Before he died he wrote and signed a letter, "From your Valentine."

So there is a certain romance to Valentines Day, but overall the history of it is pretty gruesome. After many years though Pope Gelasius made Valentines Day an official holiday. Years later, Valentines Day cards were introduced in America in the 1840's. 

Despite Saint Valentine's Day history, I still have a fondness for it, which is why I've come up with a fun recipe for you! Pink Hot Chocolate! It's super easy to make and delicious to drink. I hope you guys enjoy this. Check out the recipe below and let me know what you think. You can purchase all Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides here. 

Did you guys know Valentine's Day had such a history? Comment below and let me know. 

Let's Vow Not To Make Resolutions This Year | Green Smoothie Recipe

The New Year is all about starting new resolutions right? Well, I'm all about setting goals for yourself, but I think "resolutions" are rather silly. They are little deals we make with ourselves that we never stick too and that rarely make it past February. How about this year we do something different? Let's make vows to ourselves. I vow to eat clean 80% of the time, I vow to blog every day in January to keep my brain and heart happy. I vow to eat as much kale as possible. I vow to not take things people on social media say so personally. I vow to chase grace to be a better human and have more patience. I vow to be a better wife, a better daughter, and a better friend. See, we are much more likely to stick to vows than resolutions. Resolutions are great if you stick to them and make that commitment to yourself. I find keeping deals with myself is better if I actually really to need make those change. I need to write every day, my body adores kale, and I need to step up my wife game. 

I think we put so much pressure on ourselves this time of year. We try to accomplish every thing and end up achieving nothing because we are so full with all of our resolutions that we want to explode by the time February rolls around. We end up back where started with our head in a tub of Ben and Jerry's and are hearts sad and depressed. Let's vow not to do that this year! And I don't mean vow not to eat ice cream because that would be silly, I mean let's vow to take the pressure off of ourselves a bit and ease into everything. For example, make daily goals. Daily goals are a lot easier to achieve than full blow "resolutions." My top three daily goals today are to write (which I'm doing now so check) make a green smoothie (gotta keep that kale comin, see recipe below) and do a workout. So far two of my three daily goals are checked off. I know I'll workout because I'm starting a new fitness program today that all of my online friends are raving about, even though I'm currently doing three fitness programs right now, I think starting a new one is a good idea. 

Just keep moving, chase grace, drink a green smoothie when you can and don't be so hard on yourself. I know it's easy to get caught up in it all, but you need to take care of yourself first and you won't be able to do that making a long list of resolutions that are impossible to keep. 

Let's vow not to make resolutions this and instead make daily, manageable goals that we are psyched when we accomplish them. 

Happy Vowing! 

Now, here's that smoothie I've been talking about all throughout this post. 

Comment below and tell me what your vows are this year. :)

Equilibrium Energy Superfood Review

Disclaimer: This post has been sponsored by Equilibrium Energy Superfood. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

I love trying new products to share with my followers so when Honey Colony reached out to me and asked me if I wanted to sample their new honey, energy, superfood, I jumped at the chance! Anyone who knows me know I adore honey and basically drink 1/2 a bottle a day. You think I'm kidding? I'm not, ask my husband! He jokes that hummingbirds and bees should be following me around everywhere for how much honey I consume. I have in my morning coffee, in my smoothies, over greek yogurt, by itself on a metal spoon. I love honey! And it's so good for your body. It's got anti-inflammatory properties, antioxidants, it promotes healthy bacteria in the body, it helps fend off a cold, it's really nature's wonder drug! I will be sure and do a whole other post and YouTube video on why I adore honey so much. 

When I opened up Equilibrium's Energy Superfood, I assumed it would be honey but it's actually not. It's mixture of all kinds of good stuff for your body. The list of ingredients are too long to list, but here are a few stars of the show:

  • Bee Pollen
  • Organic Tumeric 
  • Raw Honey
  • Panax Ginseng Root
  • Cordyceps 

And those are just the first few ingredients!

According to Honey Colony's website, Bee Pollen has been proven to be one of the most complete naturally occurring foods. Bee pollen is rich in B complex vitamins and contains vitamins A, C, D, E, selenium, lecithin, and phytochemicals. It is rich in antioxidants, and is a natural appetite suppressantantibiotic, and anti-allergy. And you all know how much I adore Tumeric. I practically live on the stuff! Tumeric has been shown to have wonderful medicinal abilities including, but not limited to anti-inflammation, tumour growth inhibition, destruction of bacteria membranes, and immune system enhancement, according to Honeycolony.com. 

The benefits of taking this stuff is pretty spectacular and it claims to give you an immediate energy boost. I did not really notice a different in my energy levels after taking it, but the taste is great and it works wonderfully in smoothies. I will be taking Equilibrium Energy Superfood daily to reap all of the benefits the ingredients in it have to offer. It's sort of like a power packed super pill, but in food form. Plus, it's super easy to take! You can mix in your bullet proof coffee, or in a smoothie, you can eat it off a spoon, or put it on top of some fruit. The possibilities of eating it are endless, get creative it with it and have fun! 

The only con to Equilibirum Energy Superfood is the price tag. For college students and young people, they may not be able to afford the $100 price tag. You pay $98.50 for 12oz. That's a bit pricey for the average fitness person, but it does have raw, high grade, ingriedients so I understand why the price is so high. 

The Benefits of Bulletproof Coffee And Why I Drink It Multiple Times Per Day

I swear I started drinking coffee in the womb. I've been drinking the delicious stuff since I can remember. You know the hilarious saying from Gilmore Gils, she's 90% and 10% caffeine. Yup, that's me. I'll take a strong cup of coffee any day over an alcoholic beverage and when I can add coconut oil to it it's even better. Did you know Trader Joes now sells coconut oil single serving packets?! That's a story for another time, but with those out now I can literally make my bullet proof coffee anywhere.  You can make bull proof coffee using grass-fed butter (that's truly the original way) but I prefer to be different and use coconut oil. The coconut oil gives my skin a nice glow and things all work properly if you know what I mean. (Insert laughing emoji here). I also add a heaping scoop of Collagen Peptides to help keep my skin clear and hair growing. 

I first started seriously drinking bulletproof coffee in over a year ago and I now I drink it multiple times per day. I'm addicted to the stuff! The benefits from drinking it are pretty cool too! Below I've outline why you should drink bullet proof coffee every day and a recipe, along with a how-to make it video. 

The benefits of drinking bullet proof coffee:

 

 

Easy Mini Pumpkin Pies

I've loved pumpkin pie every since I was a little girl. I remember going to my Grandmother's house in excitement and anticipation for her delicious pumpkin pie. My Dad would have his with a side of strong, black, coffee, a tradition we still do together today. There are ton's of recipes out there for pumpkin pie. But mine is clean with minimal ingredients and tastes so delicious you would never even know it's considered healthy. You could make these treats any day of the year, but these are wonderful to bring to Thanksgiving dinner or your next Holiday party. They're mini, so all of you really need is one and you are satisfied. My recipe is also easy to make and is not overly complicated. There is also an unexpected, secret ingredient in here I think you will all love!

Chocolate Cupcakes With Collagen Peptides

I don't know a single person on the planet who doesn't love cupcakes. Homemade cupcakes that is. The smell of chocolate cupcakes baking in the oven, the moist cake as you take a bite of out one because you're too impatient for them to cool off. The frosting that melts in your mouth. Seriously, I don't know a single person who doesn't love cupcakes. But not everyone can eat them, and let's face it they're not exactly good for you. Not to worry, though, because I've come up with a recipe that's cleaner than and made with less sugar than most cupcake recipes. My recipe also includes Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides. And you all know how much I adore Collagen Peptides. You won't be able to taste the Collagen Peptides as they're flavourless, but you will reap the benefits of them. Clearer skin, longer hair and nails, and higher energy levels. Seriously, though my skin has never looked better since taking Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides. This stuff is truly amazing! So why not add it to cupcakes? I did just that! 

 

So without further ado, let's get started! 

You can add any frosting of choice. This is an organic, chocolate cream frosting. 

You can add any frosting of choice. This is an organic, chocolate cream frosting. 

I added a dash of rainbow sprinkles to mine You can do that or opt to have the cupcakes with out sprinkles. The cupcakes will keep in the fridge for up to 5-days. If you can wait that long to eat them! ;-)

Quick, Easy, Autumn, Dinner Bowls

I love potatoes and I love organic grass-fed beef and I like easy. I came up with a recipe for you guys for Fall that's quick and easy to make. Bonus: You can use the leftovers for creative things like pasta bowls, veggies, salads, you name it! I use 4-simple ingredients and some spices for my Autumn bowls and they don't take very long to make. Once you've mastered the potatoes, you've mastered this dish. 

What you'll need:

Red and Yellow Yukon Gold Potatoes

Organic Celery 

Organic Shredded Carrots

Organic, grass-fed beef

Spices to taste 

After your potatoes are cooked up, grab a bowl and mix in your beef, spices, and veggies, and you have a quick, easy, Autumn dinner bowl that's great for dinner. You can do all kinds of yummy things with the leftovers too! I'm adding mine to some butternut squash and penne pasta with Kerry gold butter for dinner tonight. :) 

Comment below and tell me what you would add to this yummy fall dish. 

Perfect Roast Chicken

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I'm not a huge protein consumer, but I do like an easy, protein staple recipe to have on hand when I want to cook something light, easy, and delicious. Some people prefer beef, while other love chicken. Roast chicken is an easy meat staple to make on a Sunday that can last you through the week if stored properly. Chicken is a lean, protein-packed meat and great for clean eaters and paleo lovers alike. This perfect roast chicken can be made any day of the week and only takes a few short hours. Once you get the hang of the prep work involved you'll know this recipe by heart, but can always refer to it here when you need a refresher. 

Perfect Autumn Smoothie Breakfast Bowl

Ever since I discovered Acai in that surfer movie about the girl who lost her arm to a shark, I've been addicted to them. Smoothie bowls that is, not sharks. At first, I thought making them would be a challenge and finding Acai smoothie packs would be even harder, but then I learned that Whole Foods sells them and I've been making them ever since. This is an easy one with limited ingredients, but you can add anything you like to them. I added a heaping scoop of Vital Proteins Cocoa Collagen Whey to give mine a chocolate taste. Healthy options are the best of course. My blog will be featuring more fun smoothie bowl ideas as we go into the holidays. Smoothie bowls are a great dessert option when you're not looking to fill up on Apple Pie. 

You can essentially make this Autumn Smoothie Bowl using the frozen fruit you have in your freezer and dry staples you have in your pantry, like organic pumpkin seeds. Just make sure you have the acai packs and you are good to go. 

Comment below and let me know how you'd make your smoothie bowl and what toppings you would add. Which ingriedients should I use next? 

Clean Peanut Butter Mood Smoothie Copycat Recipe

I don't know of a single person on the planet who doesn't adore peanut butter. Now, you may not adore it as much as I do, but I think we can all agree that it's pretty delicious. I love going to Jamba Juice from time to time, but my wallet and waistline not so much. Today, after doing day 4 (doing the entire program over again) of a 21-day workout program I'm doing I kicked my butt and was craving a peanut smoothie like woah. I could have gone to Jamba Juice, wasted gas and money but instead, I came up with my own clean concoction that I think you all will love. You can find the protein powder that I used for it here. It's worth every single penny! 

You can drink this gem either pre or post workout or you can have it for a healthy dessert option because it literally tastes like healthy Peanut Butter Ice Cream. I used my VitaMix which you can find great deals on refurbished ones here, but any high powered blender should do the trick. 

Perfect Roasted Carrots

 

When I've had a busy week I like easy, go to meal options and sides that I can make in a snap. This side-dish is easy to make, kid-friendly, and even doggie approved! Did you know dogs love carrots? This side-dish is also wonderful for Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays because it's easy to make in a pinch. Guest's will love the smell of the Herb De Provance and the smell that the roasted carrots bring into your kitchen is amazing! You could also add rosemary, thyme, and some lemon and these will really stand out at your dinner table. I like to pair these carrots with fresh roasted chicken (recipe for that coming soon) greens and some jasmine rice. The perfect Sunday or anytime dinner! 

Brunching So Hard: Quick, Easy, Healthy, Blueberry Pancakes

Give me a strong cup of coffee, my favorite book, and a Sunday morning and you've just given me the excuse to make easy, healthy, yummy, pancakes in a flash. I figured this post fits perfectly into day 5 since tomorrow is Sunday! You can whip these cakes up in a flash and have boatloads for leftovers. Kids love these, parents, love these, dogs love these, everybody loves these! I mean, who doesn't love pancakes?! You can use any kind of fruit you like, but I especially love adding fresh, organic, blueberries to mine. 

 

These pancakes can be made any day of the week and are espcially delcious with organic maple syrup (I buy the best stuff from Trader Joes!)

Pumpkin Pie Pancakes With Collagen Peptides

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Do you ever wake up on a cold, overcast, fall morning craving pancakes? I could eat pancakes, along with a strong cup of french roast coffee any day of the week. Pancakes can be a wonderful breakfast option, but can definitely make you feel like you just ate 10-cases of sugar dough when made with sugars and fillers. So I got to thinking, I love pumpkin pie and I adore pancakes. Why not make a clean version for you guys? I thought well, I make pumpkin syrup that's clean, I can surely make pumpkin pie pancakes that are clean too! After racking my brain and coming up with various recipes in my kitchen, I've developed the perfect, clean, pumpkin pie pancake recipe for you guys that I think you'll really enjoy! These pumpkin pie pancakes also have my favorite Collagen Peptides in them which I use every day to help keep my skin clear and my energy levels up. 

Bonus: Make these for breakfast for your family the day after Thanksgiving and you'll be the shining star! Plus, these are great to eat before a long hiking day. We don't go shopping on Black Friday instead, we go outside and play! I will definitely be making these Black Friday and I know my family will appreciate having a healthy meal at their fingertips that is of course, pumpkin themed! 

Delicious, Cheesy, Clean, Macaroni and Cheese

I do not know a single person on this planet who doesn't adore homemade macaroni and cheese. Do you know anyone who doesn't just love the stuff? I could eat macaroni and cheese any day of the week, but I especially love it when it's fall, the weather is getting colder and comfort food is my main squeeze. Macaroni and cheese is delicious, but most of the time it's filled with too many ingredients that I cannot pronounce. I know that when I eat this delicious, cheesy pasta, I want basic, simple, clean ingredients that I can pronounce. No artificial flavors or fillers. I want my macaroni and cheese to be cheesy, moist and have some vegetables mixed in so I feel like I'm getting a full meal without having to make other dishes. Usually, macaroni and cheese is considered a "side dish" but with my take on it, you'll have a complete dinner ready to go and then if you make enough you'll have leftovers for lunch, breakfast, brinner, whatever. It's so good, you'll be glad you made a lot for everyone to eat!