Ducks, spiders, turtles, and...dessert?

Almost every morning around 6:30, I go for a walk. My Mom always asks me if I went for a jog…I think it’s because I always come back really sweaty. It’s REALLY humid here right now, so even just a walk makes me sweat like crazy.
 
The truth is, my intention with the walk is not “exercise”. I do it as a form of meditation. It gives me a chance to connect with nature in the silent morning hours. I typically chant a mantra or recite an affirmation of some sort while walking to keep my mind focused. It’s a truly transformative experience (yes, every morning) and I can’t wait to get out of bed each morning to go. I see the same people time and time again. I can’t be sure, but I think I see the same animals time and time again too.
 
There are all kinds of things out there! Ducks, turtles, egrets, cranes, a variety of other birds, spiders, frogs, fish (though I don’t really see those), worms, crickets, grasshoppers, and lots of little insects. I think there also might be a gator or two in our neighborhood lake. I’ve even seen a couple of baby snakes. I don’t want to creep you out as I talk about some of these creepy crawlies because I am the girliest of girls when it comes to bugs and scary reptiles. But I’m amazed at how not-scared I am of them. All of a sudden, there’s a realization that I’m no longer in my house, I’m in theirs. Then of course, there are the trees, plants, water, dirt, and Sun.


Every morning, I am able to catch a glimpse of something more beautiful than the last. So far, I have never taken my phone with me, simply so I can preserve the peace and distraction-free environment for myself. But, I felt like I really wanted to share this with you. And honestly, a picture can’t capture the beauty I get to see every morning. Being in nature every morning helps me start my day grounded. I have an opportunity to quiet my mind, get some fresh air, envelope myself in the sounds and the sights, and as a result, I come back refreshed and ready to start my day.
 
Taking these walks also helps me play the role of silent observer. For those of you who know me, you know I love to talk, so this is a welcome break from my voice J. This observer role has made me realize that it’s VERY rare to see an overweight animal in the wild. The only time you really see overweight animals is when there’s human intervention (dogs/cats that eat too much, cows that are fed corn instead of grass, ducks force-fed until they develop fatty liver disease which then becomes foie gras, etc.).

You and I as humans, are only overweight because of us. We let our senses dictate everything. If your tongue likes the taste, you eat more. If your nose likes the smell, you get hungry. If the texture is nice, you want to enjoy it. Turns out that you and I aren’t exempt from the Universal order everything else follows (ie: the Sun rises and sets each day, the wind blows, the rain falls, animals only eat what they need, etc.). If you overeat, you become overweight. GASP! What a revelation.
 
Well, I’ve never believed in portion control and the truth is, you don’t have to worry about it either if you don’t want to. The only time you ever need to practice portion control is if you choose to eat nutrient-deficient foods. If you choose to eat whole, nutrient-dense foods most of the time, your body will naturally provide the portion control.
 
You see, as with the animals, when your body is getting all the nutrition it needs, there will be no desire to consume more than you need. This is better for your waistline, your moods, your organs, the environment, and really the world at large.
 
We all make it so complicated (me included) – you need to eat Paleo or Keto or Plant-based or Vegan. Honestly, it doesn’t really matter. I’d say, the simpler the ingredients, the better. For example if you eat a peach, it’s way better than eating peach flavored ice cream. Keep aiming for a simple list of ingredients in any packaged foods you buy and work on buying more produce and less packaged foods. If there are ingredients you can’t pronounce or easily identify, I’d avoid them.
 
This way, your body will feel satisfied and nourished and you won’t have the burden of how to lose weight. Your weight will naturally regulate itself to whatever is best for your particular body. There’s no perfect weight for every person, instead, trust your intuition. If you dig deep and feel overly heavy, then you are.
 
I totally understand you not wanting to give up the foods you love most. And honestly, I’ve never given up my favorite foods. I just consume them in moderation. For me, that means one day a week, I can have whatever I want. Six days a week, I need to eat the way my body wants me too – no dairy (although now I’ve cut that out completely), no grains, no gluten, no refined sugars, no soy, and as many organic items as possible.
 
Do I have weeks when I fall off? Yes, of course. I’m human. But overall, I try to maintain a healthy, clean diet 80-90%, and let myself cheat 10-20% of the time.
 
As you know by now, I cannot live without my sweets though! That’s why I created the Love Bites Dessert Kits. It’s a quick, easy, healthy way to enjoy cookies, brownies, muffins, and other sweets. All my dessert kits are grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, Paleo-friendly, soy-free, corn-free, non-GMO, and each one has a vegan option. I use high-quality ingredients like almond flour, organic coconut nectar, Himalayan pink salt, and organic coconut oil. Of course, you can enjoy one of my Kits, but I also want to share a super easy trick with you that I use most days of the week in the Summer.
 
The only reason I love Summer is because ice cream just tastes so damn good this time of year. Ever since I completely stopped eating dairy in January (for both ethical and dietary reasons), I’ve had to find other dairy-free ways to enjoy this treat! In the grocery store, you can find great options for dairy-free ice creams, but for me personally, they still contain some questionable ingredients. Well, I found an awesome alternative that’s also super easy…NICE CREAM! It’s ice cream that’s made out of frozen bananas! YUM!
 
Here’s an easy recipe you can try. I would also probably add some peanut butter or sunflower butter to this recipe to jazz it up a bit more!

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 bananas sliced into coins and frozen overnight
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon coconut nectar, honey, or maple syrup (you can add a little more to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened hazelnut milk, unsweetened almond milk, or coconut milk
  • raw or roasted pecans to to add on top.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Leave the bananas out for a few minutes to soften slightly before blending. Put bananas, non-dairy milk, cocoa and sweetener into a blender.

  2. Purée, turning off the motor and stirring the mixture two or three times, until smooth and creamy.

  3. Put the ice cream in the freezer for a couple of hours.

  4. Pour into two bowls and serve with pecans. Optionally, you can also add in some organic peanut butter or sunflower butter.