{Lightened Up} Carrot Cake Milkshakes

*This post was written in 2011! I’ve updated the recipe and removed a lot of the story-telling :).

A lot of times when the weather starts to warm up my girls and I crave milkshakes! I would never pass up a freshly made strawberry milkshake made from a local ice cream shop, but sometimes we have to limit the amount we have per week :).

This milkshake still contains ALL the creaminess, but it’s lightened up and naturally sweetened!

I think my favorite part is the whipped topping made with Coconut Cream! We had a lot of leftover cream so the girls and I dipped fresh berries in it alongside the milkshakes. Such a yummy treat!



{For the milkshakes}

1 frozen banana, sliced

1 cup non dairy milk, frozen into ice cubes

2 TB. non dairy milk, or more if needed to blend

1/4 cup chopped carrots

2 pitted dates

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1/2 cup ice cubes

{For the whipped topping}

1 can refrigerated coconut milk, full fat

2 -3 TB. pure maple syrup


{For the Milkshake}

  1. Add all ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth and creamy!

{For the whipped topping}

  1. Open the bottom of the can and remove all the solid cream, NONE of the liquid. In a bowl, add the cream with the syrup and beat until fluffy, for 5 minutes. Top the milkshake with the cream and enjoy! {There will be leftover cream, which is definitely ok! You can dip berries in it!}

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Cherry Chocolate Milkshake

Dear Calories,

I used to fear you.

I used to cry when I found out your amount on my favorite chocolate cake.

I used to check you often, like a jealous girlfriend...And everytime, you seemed to disappoint. I knew you could never be trusted.

Calories. Your shady. You pretend to be something you're not.

You say you're so little, but then I check with your friends sugar and fat, and well, they've made up for your "little" size alright, and hiding what "half" the calories really means.

So decietful.

You jerk.

Oh Calories.

Just when I think you are doing my body good..

You are really doing it OH.SO.WRONG.

You say that the smaller the size you are the better for me, when in reality, your a lying backstabbing no good sun of a biscuit.

No nutrition, just pure sugar, and bad fats, and lard.

Oh wait, but your only 120 calories..

Then I guess it's worth it right?

Is it worth checking every box, calculating every number, crying over nothing to eat on the menu besides a dressing-less salad?

Is it worth the limits, and the nasty food, and the small bags of packaged oreos.

BUT it's ONLY 100 Calories!

Oh calories...

I want you to know I am leaving you. I find it pointless to check you and watch you like a hawk. You drive me crazy, and I don't know why I would do that to my self.

I will no longer eat something because of your size, but I will eat food based of it's nutrition, and it's benefits for my body. And don't try and convince me that it's healthy for me to eat a certain amount of calories per meal, and that a 300 calorie frozen meal is good for me.

Because it's NOT.

You see, I am sorry calories, but a 300 calorie frozen meal will not satisfy. I will be starving 20 minutes later, thus consuming more of you. I won't be getting the nutrition that I need when I am depriving myself from healthy fats, good carbs, and much needed protein.

I know that I don't want to count on you the rest of my life. Because I hate diets. I am all for a lifestyle.

And I am sick and tired of asking for the nutritional information at a restaurant.

I'm not stupid.

I know what is in macaroni and cheese, and I most definitely know what is in that chocolate cake.

pure deliciousness :)

I know that if I eat a salad with a nuts or avocado, tons of veggies, and fresh dressing, that I am most likely consuming more calories than a piece of rice cake topped with a tomato.

But instead of 100 calories, I'll get the fats, proteins, carbs, & nutrients that my body needs.

So calories,

We are no longer dating in a very unhealthy relationship.

We are now friends.

Best friends.

Even though I think you are a rotten dirty tramp sometimes.

You see calories, I am no longer afraid of your numbers. I know who you are and I know all about you. I know your secrets and I know how you trick.

And I will no longer count you because, well, I hate math.

You will no longer be my Chris Brown, and I will no longer be your Rhianna. You can't beat me up, and bring me down.

From now on I don't want to know anything about you. I respect who you are, and I'll leave it at that.

Good bye


Peace out.

Cherry Chocolate Milk Shake

(serves 2....or 1 ;] )


2 fudge schmalls(recipe below)

1 frozen banana

1 cup frozen cherries

6 cubes frozen coconut milk

1/4-1/2 cup coconut milk (or other non dairy creamy milk-help/soy vanilla)


Blend in a blender until creamy. Add extra cherries and sprinkle with cocoa-nibs.


Fudge Balls

(Adapted from ChocolateCoveredKatie!)


1/2 cup pecans

1/2 cup walnuts

1 1/3 cup pitted dates

1 tsp. vanilla

4 TB cocoa powder


Blend all ingredients in food processor until combined and somewhat crumbly/moist.

Form into schmalls and store in fridge/freezer.

S'mores Protein Balls and A Healthy S'mores Milkshake

I started a Twitter account! I am not sure how to set the icon on my page yet, but if you want to follow me, you can go HERE.


I hate camping.

And I know your thinking that it's probably because I am a pretty pretty princess that doesn't like to get dirt underneath my nails.

So true.

But I also have been traumatized, thus the main reason why you won't find me in the woods, pitchin' a tent, eatin' beef jerky..

You see when I was of the ages 12-18 my mother so kindly forced me to attend church girls camp. Now, let me say, before I had ever attended, at the age of 12, I was BEYOND excited to go. I loved the idea of hanging out with my gal pals for a week, talking boys, hiking, and playing games.

Truth be told, I don't think I really knew what camping really was.

You see, there were no "tents" my first year of girls camp. No "mattresses," not even ones full with air. There were no showers, or toilets that involved flushing, and there definitely wasn't running water to wash our faces or brush our teeth.

(Water bottles are very versatile my friends.)

Frostbite was in the corner of my mind as I tried to fall asleep everynight, but that didn't seem to bother me as much as the bats that came screaming into our tent through out the night, probably chasing the mice that ran across our floor. Do bats eat mice? I dunno, but I am pretty sure they like moths. Moths the size of Baby Boo's head.

And just because I am deathly afraid of creepy crawlers, and flying freak shows, doesn't mean I forgot about the wardrobe. Each group was given a color to go along with, and some how my group always got stuck with the colors of pee pee & poo poo, while other girls who were sans acne and beautiful even though they hadn't showered in days, got lucky enough to wear the pinks, and greens. I guess it didn't bother me too much that I was blending in with dirt and bear droppings, because I was just so grateful boys weren't allowed at camp.

But I don't think that frostbite, dirty faces, and poop were all that bad, until I had my first camp breakfast "meal." Eggs and red jello definitely don't sit right when you have to complete your first 5 mile hike an hour later. Trust me folks, even a continental breakfast from the Holiday Inn with packaged muffins, and fake eggs would have tasted ALOT better. But I seemed to even let THAT pass, as I thought about campfire Smore's.

Smore's are my favorite. I didn't care how many horrible camp songs I had to sit through, as long as I was eating a burnt marshmallow off a wire hanger, keep on singing "NOAH HE BUILT AN ARKY ARKY" in my ear, because I am at peace with my smore's.

And some how, I think, If they would have just had more SmoRe'S...

I probably wouldn't be as traumatized.

Smore Schmalls


3/4 cup cashews

2 grahm crackers (minus high fructose corn syrup)

5 chopped dates

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

1/3-1/2 cup marshmallows

2 heaping TB chocolate chips


1. Using a food processor, process cashews till fine crumbs. Then add crackers until fine crumbs.

2. Next process dates into mixture, until dates become finely chopped. Then add vanilla and marshmallows. Process until mixture becomes somewhat "wet" and thicker crumbles appear. Then process chocolate chips until they seem to have been chopped up.

Mixture should look like so when done:

You want it chunky and crumbly, but when you mush mixture together, it will stick.

4. Form into schmalls and store in freezer.

My husband and I have been munching on these all weekend. They are such a sweet treat/craving cures.

Somehow, I think that 5 miler hike would have been much easier with these schmalls in my faney pack.

Yes, that's right...A faney pack and a bear droppings color shirt.

Ok, so I didn't stop with these schmalls.

Schmalls are very versatile.

You see, life wouldn't be complete with out a Green Drink...

Smores Green Drink


1 1/4 cup non dairy milk (something creamy like soy, coconut, or hemp)

1 1/2 cups spinach

1 frozen banana

1 1/2 smore schmalls



1. Blend all together in a blender until smooth and creamy.

Somehow I strongly believe this would be a MUCH better breakfast selection than eggs and red jello.

Although if it was green jello....

Scratch that.

Ok, so I didn't stop there...


I wanted to go further than I have ever gone before.

Let me introduce you to one of my favorite foods on earth...

Smores Milk Shake


2 frozen bananas

4-5 coconut milk ice cubes

2 large smore schmalls

splash of coconut milk

1/2 tsp. vanilla (optional)


1. In a high powered blender or food processor, blend bananas until creamy, then add coconut ice cubs, and process until creamy, like so:

2. Then add in schmalls and process until combined.

3. Pour in a glass and slurp away into dream land...

I love these because they are SOO easy to make! ONLY 3 ingredients!

What are those cups you ask?

It's frozen coconut milk of coarse! It's what you use when you don't own ice cube trays.

I know I know..

I learned it at girls camp.

Now, these probably won't taste like your regular milk shake at Wendy's, but your doing body a HUGE favor by slurping one of these bad boys. These have healthy fats, minimal sugar, and tons of nutrients!

If only I would have come up with this when I was prego and craving a milk shake every 3-4 hours. I probably wouldn't still be trying to loose a few.

Now, I know your thinking that I would probably never even consider sending Baby Boo to girls camp for fear of torment or poop colored shirts, but as I was photographing this milkshake in the rain this morning, I thought about all the good memories I have and the important lessons I learned.

And then as the sun began to shine through I realized that girls camp had nearly taught me the most valuable lesson of them all. Valuable enough that I think my own daughter should benefit from it as well..

Marry someone who hates camping just as much as you.

Sweet Potato Cupcakes w/ Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

...That are vegan...

Don't ask me why I didn't include that in the title.

Actually, please ask me.

Maybe it's because I know If wrote vegan, 1/2 of you wouldn't look at it.

And that 1/2 of you would also think I am weird.

Let me just say this...If vegan looks (And taste) THIS good...

Then I am A-O-K with with weird.

There is nothing wrong with being weird. For instance. You might think that my 7 month old daughter is weird because she likes to make out with herself in the mirror.

You think it's weird. I think she is simply expressing her self in a healthy way....

But if she is still doing this 10-15 years down the road...I might agree with you on the weird...even a little worried...thing.

And let me be clear that I am not saying Vegan's are weird. Because I myself eat alot of Vegan dishes.

Am I weird?!?

Heck to the no! (Just nod your head and agree)

You see what I am trying to do is explain and teach...I think that is how I am going to put it.  I have alot of friends and family who question the way that I eat. They always ask me..."Now is this vegan, does this have butter, what did you put in those cupcakes...??" And I simply reply with..."yes, maybe not, and you don't want to know!"

This post isn't about trying to convince everyone to eat the way I do, or avoid animal products all together. I really want to share with others how I made the decision for me not to eat meat sometimes, as well as avoiding some dairy. And in return, I will share with you something that may...well...

Make you love me forever.

Choosing to not eat meat (all the time) didn't really happen because I simply saw how cows & pigs were killed, and decided from then on I was turned off. It happened gradually. I started watching documentaries and reading books. I learned the truth about our food and it's industry and realized what I was putting in my body was potentially harming me. I didn't like the thought of mass production and animals sitting in their own droppings. It scared me that animals who were sick and full of diseases were being processed and packaged and shipped to stores around the nation. It bothered me that in ONE hamburger was the meat from 1000's of different cows. It terrified me that young children, and MANY adults were sick with diabetes and a number of other diseases due to the mistreatment of their bodies. And it sickened me that products are recalled all the time due to contamination.

I thought about my daughter and my family, and then I thought about our bodies. Why would I want to put harmful things into my body, which is such a blessing. My body is a temple, and I should treat it that way.

Now I'm not saying eating meat is a bad bad naughty tsk tsk thing. But too much of anything is a never a good thing. Unless it's chocolate. I will NOT argue there. So I began to eat meat in moderation, and if I ate it, it was usually chicken, and I made sure it was organic. Call me a freak, but I wanted my chick a dees fed the right food, treated properly, and taken care of..aka not stuffed with crap, barely able to walk, unable to see the light of day...

I began to include whole fresh ingredients, and a lot of my meals were vegetarian/vegan based. Of coarse I love the occasional goat cheese, eggs, and Argentine Empanadas because they are my favorite, but I chose to remember all things in moderation.

And I have never felt better. I love my body and what it does for me, and I want to treat it the best way possible.

Again, this is not meant to force a vegan/vegetarian diet on you. Every person is different and requires different needs. This is all based off of me...and what is best for me and makes me happy :)

And what makes me happy the most...

are these delicious VeGaN cupcakes :)

Vegan Sweet Potato Cupcakes w/ Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients: (Cupcakes)

1 1/2 C whole wheat pastry flour

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 tsp. salt

3/4 tsp. Baking soda

3/4 tsp. Baking Powder

1 cup soy milk

1 tsp. apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup canola oil

1/2 cup organic sugar

1/2 cup sucanat or brown sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. almond extract

1 cup sweet potato puree

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 cup earth balance (butter)

1/2 cup vegan cream cheese (tofutti is best-or reg cream cheese)

3-4 cups powdered sugar

2 tsp. vanilla

3-4 TB 100% pure maple syrup

1-2 TB soymilk

Directions: (Cupcakes)

1. Preheat oven to 350. In a liquid measure, whisk together soymilk and vinegar, and set aside.

2. In a separate bowl sift together flour, BP, BS, and spices and set aside. In another bowl add sweet potato and soymilk. Mix until combined. Add oil, vanilla, almond extract and combine. Then add sugars and mix until combined. Then add the dry ingredients and mix...until combined :)

3. Pour batters into cupcake pan and bake for 22-27 min.

4. Once done, let cool and prepare frosting.

5. For frosting cream butter and cream cheese until smooth. Then add powdered sugar, syrup, vanilla, and soymilk. The trick with frosting though is to do it in batches to reach your preference. I like my frostings sweet. If you want it more sweet at sugar. If it's too thick add milk. If it's not enough cream cheesy add more by the TB, and does it need more maple? You get the idea.

6. Frost cupcakes and top with pecans. Eat..and Enjoy!

I topped mine with more maple syrup...

That was definitely a smart move.

These are so moist and the frosting is so creamy, you wouldn't even guess they were...shhhh..the V word!

Which is why I don't usually tell people..aka..the hubby. Poor guy doesn't even know what I feed him. But he keeps coming back for more :) SO I guess I don't feel to bad!

I promise if you try these..

You will be puckerin' up to me trying to squeeze for more "V" dishes from me!

Just ask Baby Boo...

I hope those kissable lips are for me and not for someone...or something else Baby Boo!

What a weirdo.

Layered Peanut Butter Crisp Bars

I am going to make this short...

and sweet...

I am extremely passionate about living a healthy lifestyle.

I love to post ideas about ways to eat better foods for our bodies.

But I would be lying if I said I ate that way all the time.

Truth be told...

I believe in healthy living, but I also believe in living...

Every so often...

I like to live a little =]

Layered Peanut Butter Crisp Bars

Adapted from: Baked


*Layer One*

7 Cups Rice Krispy cereal/Brown Rice Cereal

3/4 cup creamy natural peanut butter

1 cup Brown rice Syrup

1/2 cup Honey

1 tsp. vanilla

*Layer Two*

8 ounces 60-70% dark chocolate

1 1/4 cups creamy peanut butter

*Layer Three*

1 tsp. Brown Rice Syrup

6 ounces 70-80% Dark Chocolate

1 stick Organic Butter


*Layer One*

1. Put cereal in a bowl and set aside.

2. In a pot on the stove, add honey and syrup and heat. Continually stir until melted about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and add in vanilla.

3. Add syrup mixture to cereal and stir until combined. Using a baking sheet covered in a baking mat or "lots" of grease, flatted out cereal to coat whole pan. Press down and make even.

4. Set aside.

*Layer Two*

1. Place ingredients in a metal bowl above a pot full of simmering water. (aka double broiler)

2. Continually stir ingredients until melted and creamy. Remove from heat.

3. Let cool for a couple of minutes then pour onto prepared pan full of krispies.

4. Put in freezer for about 30 minutes, or while you are getting the next layer ready.

*Layer Three*

1. Do the same thing as you did Layer two.

2. Place ingredients in a double broiler, and stir until melted and creamy.

3. Let sit until somewhat cool, then pour on top of layer one and two. Place in freezer for 30 minutes.

Once mixture is solid, then you can cut into squares. Keep refrigerated, due to melting =]

Let me tell you...

living a little every so often is definitely okay!

Oh and Fun Fact:

Throwing those bad boys in the microwave for a few seconds, then topping it with peanut butter ice cream...

Definitely a wise choice...

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

About a year ago, before Baby Boo came into our lives, I used to spend evenings cooking and baking away in the kitchen trying to kill time while my Hubby studied his little heart out for school.

Occasionally I would experiment with different ingredients, and when Hubby got home I would test them out on him. A lot of times he would humor me as I tried to force feed him black bean brownies, but I knew that if he didn't like it, NO body would.

Then one day I stumbled upon a recipe. A recipe like no other. I wasn't to fond of this kind of food, and I didn't really know what to expect, but the ingredients sounded AMAZING. I knew I had to try it. So that day I did just that. I went to the store, got my ingredients, threw it together, tasted it...and fell on the floor.


I couldn't believe something could taste so good.

Later that night my Hubby's friends were coming over and I KNEW I just HAD to share it with them. They too were a little skeptical since I had already tried to feed them Vegan Cookies the last time they came over, but I knew that if they just tasted ONE bite...they would be in love.

When they walked into our house I told them I had made something, and I wanted them to tell me what they thought. They looked at me a little frightened and said, "what's in it?"(Oddly I always get that kind of response when I cook something for someone) I told them to just try it, and they so kindly did.

They took one bite...

Then they took another...

Then they looked at me in amazement, and licked their bowls clean.

It was love at first sight.

And to this day, they still talk about it.

So what is this most delicious recipe that I have talked so much of??

Meet Chocolate Pudding



Now I know a lot of you may not like pudding. I would say it isn't the dessert of "choice" for many, but you are going to really have to trust me on this one.

I feel like I am always saying that.

Anyways. The ingredients may shock you, as they did to me. But it makes this dish all the more enticing and amazing.

For starters,



peanut butter. You can NEVER go wrong with peanut butter...

in my eyes at least =]

Now the second ingredient may surprise you,





Just trust me...

Chocolate Pudding

1/4 cup Peanut Butter

1/3 cup Agave Nectar

1/8 cup Cocoa Powder

1 Medium Avocado

1 Tablespoon coconut oil

1 tsp. Vanilla

Dash of Salt

recipe adapted from Fitnessista




Throw all ingredients into food processor or high speed blender. Mix until combined and creamy.

It really is that simple..

Another reason why you should make this..ummm...