Saturday, May 26, 2012


The last time I posted, I left you all hanging for some chocolate recipes. Sorry about that.

There is so much going on in my life since my last post. Many things I can not disclose on my blog. Just know that they are all good things (hard things, but good things, nonetheless) and I could use your prayers to propel me through to the other side.

The biggest thing is that after my amazing weekend at All Things New, things in my life broke open. I was able to see things that I've never been able to see before. And I was able to experience God in a whole new way. To learn what it means to fully trust Him to take care of me. To fully rely on Him to direct my path. What Paul was talking about when he said he was content in the midst of chaotic circumstances. It's such a freeing and hopeful place to be.

If you think my experience was unique, I can assure you that it wasn't. Check out what some of the attendees had to say:

"This weekend has been a defining point for this next season of my life"

"God showed me who I am as a woman, that I am important and that I have value"

"This event opened the possibility that God loves me, not just mankind, but me"

"God spoke truth to me that I haven't been able to hear before"

"I would do it all over again"

If my story or these attendee testimonies struck a cord with you, I would urge you to strongly consider attending the next event. Your life will truly never be the same. And that is a good thing! Our next event is tentatively scheduled for April 4-7, 2013. You do not have to live in MN to attend. We strongly encourage you to attend with a friend or two, so start talking with your friends about it now!

Okay, so now... onto the chocolate! :-)

I just posted a new question to my FAQ's page. Make sure you go there to check out the entire answer. But essentially I want to address the part of the question that talks about being bored with a diet.

As you know, I've been on this candida diet for almost 2 months now. I'm not going to sugar-coat it (no pun intended!). This is the single-most hardest diet I have ever been on. It's the most restricted diet I've ever had to be on. And it's also one of the most rewarding diets.

The trick is not getting bored. We tend to want to give up when things get hard or we feel deprived. It stirs up anger in some of us (at least in me) because I feel entitled to have what I want. And that is CHOCOLATE!

So, when I start to crave something, I set out to find a healthy alternative that will satisfy that craving. That's how I discovered these recipes below.


A quick side note: My Dr approved unsweetened cocoa for me on this diet. His reasoning was that unsweetened cocoa powder has a low glycemic index and that it doesn't act like sugar to feed candida. You, however, want to make sure that you are talking with your own Dr about what is appropriate for you.


Salted Dark Chocolate Bar
I reworked Avery's Vegan Coconut Oil Chocolate Bar recipe to be sugar-free. I also added variations such as the sea salt mentioned below.

2 T coconut oil
5-10 drops Creamy Vanilla Liquid Stevia
1/2 tsp alcohol-free vanilla extract
2 T cocoa powder, unsweetened
dash sea salt

Prep a small bowl by lining it with saran wrap. Then, in a separate bowl, mix together the coconut oil, vanilla stevia and vanilla extract in a bowl until well blended. Next add in the cocoa powder and beat until everything is mixed together well and it's a creamy consistency. Add in the dash of sea salt and mix again. Pour the prepared chocolate into the saran wrap-lined bowl. Place the bowl with the mixture in it in the freezer. My freezer takes about 5 minutes to fully harden the chocolate. Enjoy!

Note: Because of the coconut oil in this recipe, it melts really fast. So, take out small portions that you want to eat or eat the whole bar fast before it melts! haha

Variations: I've added Peppermint Extract. I've omitted the sea salt. I've used Chocolate Raspberry Stevia. I've multiplied this recipe to make a big large batch. The possibilities are truly endless! Have fun with this!


Homemade Peppermint Patties
I reworked Halle's Healthy Organic Peppermint Patties recipe to be sugar-free and use candida-friendly chocolate.

1/2 c coconut oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
liquid stevia, to taste
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2-1 tsp of peppermint extract, to taste
1/2 c Dark Chocolate Bar recipe (see above. omit sea salt. multiply recipe to make 1/2 c. omit freezing. add a few pinches of guar gum to thicken the sauce. you may even want to freeze the sauce a bit to thicken it up, but not to harden it.)

Mix together all the ingredients, except dark chocolate. (if mixture is too liquidity, freeze first then proceed to cutting). Cut into patties. In the meantime, start making your dark chocolate bar recipe, but don't freeze yet. (see above for notes). Line a cookie sheet with wax paper. Take each patty and dip into the chocolate mixture. Freeze until chocolate on patties hardens. Repeat until you get the desired thickness of chocolate coating. Keep in the freezer, so the chocolate doesn't melt.

Note: This recipe works just as I've typed it above, but I feel like I haven't perfected it yet. I'm working on making thicker chocolate sauces that would probably work better. And I'm toying with the idea of adding some coconut butter to the "patty" part to make it a bit richer, since we're taking away the honey. Play around with different things until you get it to your liking.


Whole New Mom's DIY Homemade Protein Bars
These are sooo amazing! They are one of our favorite snacks, but we feel like we're eating a treat. I've had friends try these (who don't follow a strict diet) and thought they tasted better than candy bars! Yum!

Notes: I've made these with all almonds; I've made these with all 4 nuts/seeds she mentions. They're all good! For the seed and nut butter, I've used almond butter, but want to venture into something more fun like Sunbutter. For the sweetener, you'll obviously want to stick with the stevia. 2 tsp's liquid stevia or 8-10 drops should be enough. I've topped mine with her Homemade Chocolate / Carob Bar recipe and it's to die for! I've also made these plain, without any chocolate topping, and they are still yummy.

Substitutions: The bars themselves shouldn't require any substitutions. However, if you end up using the Homemade Chocolate / Carob Bar recipe, you'll want to substitute liquid stevia for the honey (unless you can find vegetable glycerine). I just added 4-5 drops at a time, re-tasting each time, until I got the sweetness that I liked.


Allison's Grain-Free Kitchen Sink Cookies
These totally hit the spot! Great cookies for the Candida diet; when you just are craving a sweet cookie.

Substitutions: 1/2 tsp liquid stevia for the maple syrup. Omit the dried cherries and chocolate chunks to make it candida-diet-friendly.


Miel's Skillet Brownies
Craving those small brownie bites? Crave no more! These are decadent, rich and oh-so-satisfying. Bet you can't eat just one bite?!

Substitutions: 1 scoop stevia powder + 2T unsweetened almond milk in place of the honey.

Notes: "1 scoop of stevia powder" refers to the little scoop that comes in the Trader Joe's stevia powder. It's about the equivalent of 1/2 of a 1/8 tsp, if that makes sense?!


Of course, I couldn't enjoy my new chocolate freedom without making a few new candida-diet-friendly MIAG's, now could I?

Cocoa-Loco MIAG

1 c canned coconut milk
3.5T raw unsweetened coconut flakes
1T lucuma powder
handful fresh organic spinach
2T homemade Cinnamon Vanilla Sunbutter
1/2 tsp alcohol-free vanilla extract
1/4 tsp coconut extract
1T unsweetened cocoa powder
4 drops NOW stevia natural
1T raw coconut butter

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until well mixed.


Coconut Cream Macadamia Nut MIAG

1T raw coconut butter
1T unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 c raw macadamia nuts
stevia, to taste
1 c unsweetened coconut milk
3.5T unsweetened raw coconut flakes
1/3 c oat bran
handful fresh organic spinach

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until well mixed.


I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as my family did. And I hope this inspires you to make your own healthier versions of your favorite chocolate cravings!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Top 10 Workout Songs for May

The Top 10 Workout Songs For May
May's shaping up to be a big month for remixes. LMFAO remixed Madonna. And they were, in turn, remixed by Mord Fustang. Plus, Flo Rida and The Wanted saw their recent hits given an uptempo makeover. On the rock front, Neon Trees and The Black Keys also made this month' top 10. Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull's latest collaboration was another gym favorite. And YouTube darlings Karmin made their transition from covering pop hits to writing pop hits look effortless. Here's the full list, according to votes placed at Run Hundred--the web's most popular workout music blog.

To find more workout songs--and hear next month's contenders—folks can check out the free database at Visitors can browse the song selections there by genre, tempo, and era—to find the music that best fits with their particular workout routine.

-Chris Lawhorn, Run Hundred

Please note that by featuring these songs I am not condoning anything the song lyrics may promote. These are posted for you to decipher appropriateness  for yourself and to hopefully motivate and inspire you to get active! Thanks, Amy