Choco-Cherry Pistachio Almond Larabites

This recipe is a really mouthful!

My love affair with Larabars began one day at Costco. After reading endless gushing blog entries about this whole-foods energy bar, I had to give them a try. Naturally, shopping at Costco meant I had to buy a billion Larabars in bulk (ok, maybe it was more like 12).

They didn’t last long! I particularly liked the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip and Blueberry flavours, but I dreamed of trying some of the more exotic flavours not available in Canada. Despite their deliciousness, I wasn’t smitten with the price. I turned to my favourite blogs to recreate these bars at home.

This combo, however, is all my own! It reminds me of Black Forest Cake, but perhaps a tad less indulgent. Never fear though, they will most definitely satisfy any case of the munchies!

Choco-Cherry Pistachio Almond Larabites

Yields 16 ‘bites’ (approx. 2.5 tbsp. each)

  • 1/2 c. almonds, whole
  • 1/2 c. pistachios, shelled and whole
  • 3/4 c. medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/2 c. dried cherries
  • 1/4 c. vegan chocolate chips (I use EnjoyLife brand)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • optional: zest grated from one orange

Pulse the nuts together in your food processor to achieve a slightly larger-than-desired size. Remove nuts and place aside. Place dates and cherries in food processor and process until the fruit forms a paste (you may want to break up the fruit at this point with a spoon for ease of incorporated). Re-add nuts, chocolate, vanilla extract and optional zest to food processor and process until well incorporated. Shape heaping tablespoonfuls of paste into desired shape (balls, muffin tins) or, press paste into a small pan and cut into desired size. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

The best thing about making your own Larabites is that you decide the size (and shape)! Smaller appetite, smaller bites! Spherical or mini-muffin shaped! You could even use cookie cutters as moulds! Maybe something like this:

Nama-tasty!

iPhone adventure: Midday run!

Good afternoon!

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I was fortunate enough to have the afternoon off on this beautiful sunny day! So what’s a girl to do? Go running of course. :) I’m lucky enough to live by a beautiful waterfront path that makes running a pleasure, never a chore. I’m also a Cancerian; they say we’re drawn to the water, although I’ve never been tempted to go swimming mid-run. I’ll stick with just enjoying it from the path.

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Let’s get going. Ah, but wait! First a quick stretch:

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Here are some pictures along the way (hover to see captions!)

 Isn’t the scenery gorgeous!? How could you not like to run while enjoying that?

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Phew, excellent workout! I re-fuelled with a bottle of water, some organic raspberries, and a homemade Larabite (the recipe will be posted sometime this week)!

Plan for the rest of the day: making dinner, restorative yoga class, and possibly renting a movie. Tomorrow, I begin another 8 day marathon work week, so I’m going to squeeze in all the R&R I can before then!

Do you like to run, or is there another type of exercise you enjoy? What makes you run happy? Post a comment below!

Zing!

Well, I did it. Eight days ago, I looked ahead at my week with dread and fear as I embarked on a insane work week, culminating into over 75 hours of work hours.

It wasn’t easy, I’ll tell you that. Battles of epic proportions took place. Extreme feats requiring inane amounts of strength and will were required of me. I conquered it all.

Ok, now I’m just getting dramatic ;)

Truthfully, this huge span of work was hard on me; I was doing a combination of twelve-hour night shifts, and day shifts in the cafe I work at. Lots of flipping back and forth with sleep schedules, not to mention my social life has been non-existant.

I like routine, in fact, I thrive on it. I could happily do the same thing everyday, for the rest of my life. Let’s face it though, life should be fun! It should be, shall we say, full of zing!

When I’m faced with challenges like these in my life, I have found that keeping as much normalcy and routine as possible is extremely beneficial to my mind and body. I try to keep up with yoga and cardio (riding my bike to work is great for this!), and also try to fuel my body with my favourite healthy foods.

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Snacking on fruit is a mainstay, and overnight oats are so comforting, especially with the warmer weather we’ve been having. But where are the greens you ask? Never fear!

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For Tropical Zinger Green Smoothie is here!

Serves 1 (approx. 2 cups)

  • 1 handful (approx. 1.5 c.) of spinach
  • 1/2 a banana (chopped and frozen)
  • 1/2 c. frozen mango OR peaches OR pineapple
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1″ piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 c. orange juice
  • 1/2 c. ice cubes
  • optional: protein powder of your choice (I use VegaOne)
  • optional: 1 tbsp. flax seed or maca powder
  • optional: additional water until desired consistency

Start by adding spinach, fruits, ginger, orange and lemon juices, and optional protein powder, flax seed, and maca to your blender. Blend on a high speed until smooth and add ice cubes to running blender. Taste and adjust liquid and fruit amounts to achieve desired sweetness and consistency. Serve in a tall glass or smoothie cup. Sip and enjoy!

This smoothie is oh so refreshing; if I close my eyes and sip, it’s almost like I’m on a beach somewhere far away from all the hustle and bustle. Not to mention, drinking my greens makes me feel great!!

What is your favourite smoothie combination? Leave a comment below!

 

What I’m Loving this Month: May

Can you believe it’s June?! I know everyone says this, but it rings so true; time just keeps going by faster and faster. The weather here in Ontario has been perplexing too, a real mix of beautiful summer-like days and dreary thunder storming weather. We still have a few weeks until summer officially arrives, but I’ve been ringing in the season all month long! Here are some things I have been enjoying this past month:

1-Smoothies

Since moving back home for the summer (I come home for the four months I’m not in school) I have discovered my love for smoothies as a quick and easy breakfast option. My summer jobs start very early in the morning (I have to be up before 6) and I don’t often have the time or convenience to sit down to a  filling breakfast. I lamented this at first since breakfast is my  favourite meal, but then my blender and I started getting friendly. I joined the Health is Happiness smoothie challenge this month, and discovered some really great concoctions I love! These smoothies have done a great job at keeping me full and energized through my work day. I’ll be sharing a favourite recipe soon!

2-Farmer’s Markets and Park Jaunts

Whenever I have a (rare) day off I usually hop on public transit and wander the city for a while. I have discovered some cool things, seen some pretty sights, and had fun exploring the city. Here are some pictures I took on one of my outings.

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3-Ultimate Breakfast: Chia Seed Bowl and Blissful Buckwheat Granola

Yummy and oh so filling! Angela‘s concoctions never fail to impress; recipes are here and here. When making the granola, I subbed homemade almond meal (almonds ground in the food processor until flour-like in consistency) for almond pulp, and hemp seeds for sunflower (I didn’t have any on hand). Between these recipes and all my smoothie making, we can’t keep bananas in the house uneaten!! Also, I’m now out of chia seeds, egad!!

4-Books: Inside by Alix Ohlin and The Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

The awesome thing about my summer job is that I get to read while working! So far this summer I’ve read 17 books, and these two have definitely stood out. I’m not one for spoiling books so I won’t give anything away, but they are both great stories that kept me turning pages until I was through!

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5-Yoga

By no means is my love for yoga confined to this month, but since moving home requires me to leave my beloved studio for a while, I made it my mission to find one in the city that I could call home for the summer. I used my Passport to Prana to try out different studios before settling on Octopus Garden. Their rates are excellent ($90 gets you unlimited classes for a month) and the teachers are superb. I have especially taken a liking to Restorative classes after a long work week.

I also had the awesome opportunity to take a class with Tara Stiles this month when she visited the city! Her energy was so contagious and her sequencing was very fun! I also got her to sign my copy of Yoga Cures!

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6-Hydration Belt

I’m going to sound like a big running nerd when I say that this piece of gear has changed my life.

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Although I certainly don’t look all that awesome wearing it, I sure FEEL awesome! I love running hands free, and having access to more water allows me go on longer runs. For a girl who used to be daunted by any run longer that 5km, I feel limitless now!

Those are some of the things that made my month awesome! What are your favourite May things? Leave a comment or a link back to your faves!

Hey there!

ImageThat’s me in the middle, and the look on my face pretty much sums up how I’m feeling right now! This picture was taken during a 5K race that my friend and I (she’s the redhead on the far left) ran together. It was a blast!

So here’s a quick intro; my name is Suzanne. I’m 20 years old and I have a huge passion for healthy living. I love to do yoga, run, cook, and spend time with friends and family. I’m always on the go and try to carve out time each day for the things I love. I have found that doing the things I love is instrumental to my health, both mind and body, so this blog is a place where I will get to share that with you!

So kick your feet back and enjoy. I hope you’ll stay awhile :)

P.S. If you have a blog similar to mine (or even not so similar), post a comment!! I would love to follow you :)