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Flourless Chocolate Cake Last weekend I had the opportunity to celebrate a delicious birthday with my dear friend Nora. I have been gluten-free for a while (and have been feeling and looking sooo  much better for it), so I was ecstatic to find out Nora had decided to create a totally gourmet gluten-free feast in honor of her own dietary transition.

This recipe was a total hit, which is why I am sharing it with you. I modified it to be sugar free as well, using xylitol (a sugar alcohol derived from birch or corn). I recommend buying the kind made from birch, which is also called birch sugar sometimes. Xylitol can just about be substituted cup for cup with regular sugar, but will not spike blood sugar or cause any of the other funky sugar issues.

Enjoy this healthier indulgence during your next celebrations! (Thank you Nora!)

Nora’s Birthday French Flourless Chocolate Cake (Gluten-free)

Yield: 12 servings

Ingredients:

7 oz (200 g) semisweet chocolate (45-50 % cocoa)

8 oz (225 g) organic butter, ghee or coconut oil (unsalted)

just under 1 cup xylitol (get the birch kind made from birch, not corn)

5 eggs, separated

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

2. Line a 9 in (23 cm) cake tin with greaseproof or other non-stick paper and butter the tin. (Nora didn’t use the paper)

3. Break the chocolate into small pieces and melt it with butter or ghee over hot water, or in the oven works also

4. Beat the egg yolks with half of the xylitol. I put in all the sugar with the egg yolks and added a couple of tablespoons of warm, not hot water

5. Fold in the melted butter and chocolate mixture – be sure that its not to hot otherwise you cook the eggs

6. Beat egg whites until frothy by using an electric mixer; (gradually add the remaining xylitol,) beating until stiff peaks form.

7. Fold in the beaten egg whites.

8. Bake at 350 degrees until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, approximately 40 minutes.

9. Use a knife to separate the cake from the non-stick paper. Please observe that the cake is quite sticky!

The Flourless Chocolate Cake may be served warm or cold with Cashew Whipped Cream or Coconut Bliss (yumm!). The cream may be dusted with raw cacao powder before serving, and decorated with raspberries or strawberries.

For more amazingly delicious, simple and healthy gluten-free, sugar-free recipes (including a raw, vegan rich chocolate tart), please check out my e-recipe book: “Quick. Healthy. Delicious. 50 Favorite Recipes to Feed Your Life!”

Click the button below to instantly download your copy for only $19.97

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Yes, this recipe really DOES taste and smell a whole lot like pizza!

This is a rich, delicious and satisfying main dish salad that promises to please.

The recipe uses raw goat cheddar, which is unpastuerized and has all the enzymes and nutrients that we expect to be in our pasteurized dairy, but are not. It is much easier on the digestive track that  gluey pasteurized cheese.

2 cups baby arugula
3 cups chopped Romaine, washed and dried
1-2 ripe heirloom tomatoes, chopped
4-5 unsulfured sun-dried tomatoes (soaked until soft & chopped)
3-4 oz. raw goat cheddar cheese (available at most health food stores – really delicious!)
1/4 cup fresh  chopped basil
1 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano or dried
2-3 sun-dried black olives, minced
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
Celtic salt and pepper to taste

Mix everything together, adjust flavors to personal taste, and ENJOY with gusto!

Variations: I added raw corn kernals cut off the cobb, grated zucchini and other summer vegetables for variety. Use your imagination.

Interested in getting lean, energized and healthy inside and out eating amazingly delicious foods like this?

In my 10-week Body Transformation Coaching Program, you get loads of tips, tricks, and recipes to make getting in your best shape ever fun and delicious. Learn more here.

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“Quick. Healthy. Delicious: Fifty Fantastic Recipes to Feed Your Life”

Some of the best learning, growing and magic happens when I am

with clients and students in the kitchen showing them how easy and

delicious healthy meals can be. Unfortunately, it is just not possible

for me to be in everyone’s kitchen in this lifetime.

So, that is where this brand new cookbook comes into the picture – an easy and economical way to have some private cooking coaching no matter where you live.

* Ready to take your taste buds for a ride they won’t forget without spending hours in the kitchen?

* Longing for ways to make healthy and satisfying food for yourself and your family?

* Want to know the secret recipes that allow me to continually wow clients and cooking class students, while being a self-proclaimed “lazy cook”?

* Ready to learn how you can save time and money on your monthly food expenses, while eating like a queen (or king)?

* Would you like to have an easy reference of recipes that you know are good for you, beautifying and even bliss-inducing?

* Looking for a special holiday gift to give a loved one in need of a boost or a health conscious friend?

Just click the button below to reserve your copy today!

$24.97

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This e-book is sure to satisfy all of these needs and so much more.

What’s inside:

  • 50 easy (I mean really simple) recipes that you will want to make again and again. Everything from breakfast to dessert. Recipes include raw foods, “gently” cooked foods and everything in between.
  • Intuitive and flexible kitchen tips – How to tweak any recipe to make it your own, as well as substitutions when you don’t have all the ingredients.
  • Time and money saving secrets that make eating healthy, delicious food a snap!
  • Kitchen tools and special ingredients source guide. Plus resources for buying bulk to save money!

Click the button below to get your copy today:

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Here is a “taste” of what you get:

* Easy Overnight Meuslix

* Gluten-Free Blender Waffles

* Savory Sage Pate Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

* Fennel and Bitter Greens with Citrus Vinaigrette

* Ginger Butternut Bisque

* Winter Lentil Soup

* Buttery Baked Salmon

* Creamy Root Vegetable Puree

* Curry Millet Tart with Red Pepper Sauce

* Decadent Chocolate Tart with Coconut Crust

* Flourless Almond Cookies

Try this FREE RECIPE sample here: Roasted Roots with Fennel

Here’s how it works:

The price of this fabulous book is only $ 24.97 

Simply click the button below to pay safely through Paypal

I can’t wait to “visit” with  you in your kitchen!

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$24.97

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2 omega-3 organic eggs

1 cup coconut cream (or full fat coconut milk)

2 tablespoons organic blackstrap molasses

1 tablespoon vanilla

3 scoops Vanilla Dream Protein (hormone and antibiotic free whey)

1/3 cup ground Flaxseed

2-3 tablespoons Ground Cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon (approximately) of each:

pinch ground Nutmeg

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground Ginger

pinch ground clove

pinch ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon Real Salt, Celtic or Himalayan pink Salt

pinch stevia powder, if needed

2 (15 oz.) cans organic pumpkin puree (unsweetened). Or make your own by pureeing

cooked pumpkin, winter squash or sweet potato.

1 cup organic walnuts

ground Cinnamon, sprinkle to taste

Directions:

1. Lightly oil 9 x 9 baking pan with extra virgin coconut oil.

2. Using a 14-cup food processor, blend eggs until creamy.

3. Add coconut cream, molasses and vanilla to eggs. Blend until thick and creamy (approximately 1 minute).

4. Add one can of pumpkin at a time to the mixture, blending in between.

5. Add remaining ingredients, except nuts, and blend until mixed.

6. Mix in nuts until blended.

7. Taste the batter to check sweetness. Add some stevia or more spices according to your liking.

8. Pour into the sprayed pan and sprinkle cinnamon on the top before baking.

9. Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 45 minutes. Rotate the pan at 50 minutes to ensure even browning.

10. When the bars are cool, cover with plastic wrap or foil. Cracks will appear on the top and will flatten when the bars cool.

Note: Bars must sit overnight for the flavors to meld. They will not taste good right out of the oven.

Looking for more healthy, mouth-watering and super easy recipes to enjoy over the holidays and all year round?

Check out our cookbook:

Quick. Healthy. Delicious. 50 Favorite Recipes to Feed Your Life!

Add to Cart

From sensual smoothies to refreshing salads; mouth-watering main dishes to desserts to die for. Click the purchase button below to  instantly download your copy today and you can be on  your way to enjoying yummy favorites like Gluten-free blender waffles, Antioxidant beauty smoothie, Raw Sage Pate, Turkey Burgers with Sweet Mustard Sauce, Rich Chocolate Tart . . . AND so much more!

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Get your copy today! At $19.97 this is a ridiculously low investment to make in your health.

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Looking for a fabulously delicious way to stay healthy through the cold and flu season? This salad is loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Make a bunch and enjoy the left overs.

For the Roasted Roots:

Choose at least 3 of the following:

1 large onion (yellow or red), peeled

3 large carrots

1-2 sweet potatoes

1-2 medium parsnips (looks like an off white carrot)

1 medium rutabega

2 medium beets*

1 medium daikon radish (looks like a big long smooth white carrot)

2-3 medium turnips

about 1-2 T. extra virgin, cold-pressed olive oil

Real or Celtic salt and pepper to taste

Optional – herbs I like include oregano, thyme and rosemary

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Scrub (no need to peel) your veggies of choice.

Chop into similar sized bite-sized pieces and collect in a large mixing bowl.

* note: if you are using red beets, you may want to prep and roast separately as they tend to color everything else.

Toss the vegetables with the oil and seasonings until well coated.

Line 2 (maybe 3) baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper (available at most health food stores), then distribute vegetables in a single layer on each sheet.

Bake for about 40-60 minutes (depends on the size of your pieces), until slightly browned on the outside and beginning to soften on the inside.

Serve on a big bed of fresh greens(below) while warm or once cooled.

Store the leftovers in the fridge for a quick nourishing snack or side dish.

Great for sweet cravings!

Bed of Greens:

½ bunch arugula, chopped if large

1 bunch spinach, chopped if large

½ bunch parsley, chopped

1/ bunch kale, chopped (lightly steam if you have thyroid issues)

optional: Fresh minced garlic to taste (this will give you an extra immune boost and keep the vampires away!)

Squeeze of lemon (optional)

Extra olive or flax oil (optional)

Add some other raw veggies like diced red bell pepper, chopped celery, grated carrot, etc.

Add a protein boost:

–       1-2 organic eggs

–       3(ish) ounces wild fish, organic poultry or 100% grass fed meat

–       3-4 ounces baked tempeh

–       ½ cup garbanzo, black beans or aduki beans

–       handful raw (preferably soaked) almonds or other nut or seed of choice

Make a bunch and enjoy this throughout your week.

And just wait to see how great you will feel!

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plant-1savegre_costa_rica

Pura Vida

According to Wikipedia:

Pura Vida (POO-rah VEE-dah), used by Costa Ricans since 1956 [1], literally translated means “Pure Life.” Contextually, it means “Full of Life” “Purified life”, “This is living!”, “Going great!” It is used as a greeting, a farewell, and to express satisfaction. The expression was taken from the mexican movie “Pura Vida!”, which came out on February 29th 1956 (director: Gilberto Martínez Solares).

Some foreigners view the phrase as an expression of a leisurely lifestyle, of disregard for time and wanton friendliness. However, Costa Ricans use the phrase to express a philosophy of strong community, perseverance, good spirits, enjoying life slowly, celebrating good fortune, whether small or large.”

My purely Costa Rican experience began with the 2 plus hour taxi to the first destination, Playa Guiones in Nosara. The taxi driver, who spoke decent English, was eager to teach us some Spanish. Our first phrase was “pura vida“.

“When someone asks you how your trip was, say “pura vida””, he smiled. “When they ask you how your day is, say “pura vida”. When you wake up in to the sunrise, “pura vida”. When you watch the sunset over the ocean, “pura vida”.” Well, you get the picture. Pura vida is the way of life, and this way of life rubs off very easily.

We then continued to go over favorite foods – pina, aguacate – and  few lovely poetic phrases, but “pura vida” was what really struck a cord. Ahhh, enjoyment of and savoring of a natural way of being.

So many Costa Ricans (native and transplants) just oozed with genuine love of living and all living things. Environmental concern, fresh organic foods, connecting with nature and community are just part of life there.

The literal translation of pura vida – pure life – is what I look to create. This is not in the monastic sense, but in the sense of living with clarity, sincerity, joy, health and abundance of spirit, all of which leads to manifesting the right people, paths and experiences.

My trip seemed to be blessed with such people, places and experiences from the exhileration of surfing and ziplining to the simple majesty of the sun setting over the ocean. One seemed more inclined to live by the sun. Most of my companions and I were ready to quite by 9pm and ready to rise as the sun did, at 5:30am. And, of course if the sun did not wake you, then the howler monkeys surely would! Their eerie low roar became comforting and something I looked forward to.

On one afternoon I ended up scheduling a massage with a woman who did something called “harmonic healing”. This was a combination of several massage techniques coupled with sound. She began by whispering the words “inner grace” several times, then proceeded to make mesmerizing tonal sounds through out the rest of the session. Such a powerful experience to have the someone really draw you in towards this inner grace.

What I found myself enveloped in was a sense of peace, a joy of life and calm and serenity that I vowed would follow me back to my home in California. I write this to allow each one of you to follow your hearts and pursue your personal pura vida. Better yet, allow it to find you.

Allow kindness to be your default.

Meditate on the beauty that surounds.

Swim in the ocean.

Swing from the trees.

Listen to the animals.

Chant from the mountain tops.

Do something that scares you.

Wake up early to watch the sun’s rays bless us with another day of life on this planet.

Physically or energetically hug your fellow humans.

Talk to the plants.

Tread lightly and give abundantly.

Share your gifts.

Namaste,

Ana

p.s. To savor some deliciously pure creations a la Costa Rica, please see my newest blog Blended Bliss.

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I subscribe to the alumni newsletter sent out by the Institute For Integrative Nutrition, which is where I received my training as a holistic health counselor. This school is quite unique in their approach to health and thriving in life. While most nutrition-based programs focus only on what people eat, IIN teaches about the importance of honoring the whole person. This means considering career, environment, spirituality and our relationships. These are the parts of our lives that feed our souls and give us our light. If you are eating the most pristine diet, but lack joy, love and quality connections with others, most likely your life may feel empty and you will not be truly healthy.
It has been shown that babies who are not touched will get sick and die even if they receive enough food nourishment! This means that although we certainly need to make sure to feed our children and ourselves the best food possible, without vitamin L it may not matter.

Below is an excerpt from the IIN newsletter with some interesting evidence on the importance of love:
“A University of North Carolina study found that hugging lowers blood pressure. The University of Iowa found that cancer patients with satisfying relationships had more white blood cell activity than those with few social connections. A study of Harvard students showed that only 25 percent of those who felt loved by their parents developed a major illness later in life, while more than 90 percent of those who didn’t feel loved developed a major illness.”

So, while it is absolutely important to ask the question of “how do I choose to feed my body?” it appears the question “how to do I choose to feed my spirit and heart?” is equally vital to our wellbeing.
On an early morning walk down to the ocean the other day, I passed a church with a placard out front that read “Welcome. Are you happy?”
How simple, and yet profound! Ask yourself this question, and if the answer is “yes” keep doing what you are doing. If the answer is “no” or “I don’t know”, perhaps it is time to assess what you may need to change to get your “yes”. The road towards change can feel a little uncomfortable, but the rewards are generally great.

So, as we contemplate and enjoy this holiday that is all about love, I invite you to consider and connect with the food that feeds your soul. Resolve to strengthen your primary relationships or create new ones.  Whether you are married, in relationship, living with friends or family, or single, reach out and let them know what they mean to you and make it a point to include this kind of nourishment into your daily life.

Quality connection (vitamin L) is our most potent nutrient!
Love heals all ills!
Share the love and be happy
!

A little mythical animal lore to share:

“Legend says that Hummingbirds float free of time, carrying our hopes for love, joy and celebration.

Like Hummingbirds, we aspire to hover and savor each moment as it passes, embrace all that life has to offer and celebrate the joy of everyday.

The Hummingbirds delicate grace reminds us that life is rich, beauty is everywhere, every personal connection has meaning and that laughter is life’s sweetest creation.”

Chocolate Love Dip

1 1/3 cups raw almonds (soak them 6-10 hours for a smoother consistency) or 2/3-cup raw almond butter
1 cup almond milk
1-teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon natural cocoa powder or raw cacao powder *
2/3-cup dates, pitted

Blend nuts, almond milk, vanilla, cocoa powder and dates. Add more milk if necessary. Use as a dipping sauce for fresh strawberries, fruit slices or just your fingers. Serves 10.

For the smoothest, most luscious consistency I recommend the Vita-Mix 5200. Click here for free ground shipping and a 30-day risk free trial.

Optional, but delicious: It has been shown that peppermint has aphrodisiac qualities, especially for women. Try adding one drop (just one!) Young Living peppermint therapeutic grade essential oil to the blender towards the end. Visit http://vibrant-health.younglivingworld.com for info and ordering.

* Click the link below to order top quality raw cacao from Sunfood Nutrition
Organic Raw Chocolate

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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