Fourth of July Berry Dessert

What is 4th of July without a red, white, and blue treat?

This was originally posted last July 4th; we figure it's worth a repost. This weekend, we hope you celebrate America's birthday to the fullest. Go all out on parades, red, white, and blue, and yummy treats. Attending a party this weekend? Make this cheerful dessert. It definitely won't disappoint. 

This summer, especially for The Fourth, I wanted to create a tasty treat that satisfied my sweet tooth but didn't sit too heavy on my stomach. With that in mind, I snagged some fresh berries from the market, whipped up some coconut whipped cream, and layered them all together for a festive dessert. It's simple, I pulled it together in under 30 minutes, and it's absolutely delicious.

Pro tip: layer it in a clear glass to see the vibrant colors and top with a sprig of mint and some lemon zest.

Fourth of July Berry Dessert

Ingredients ::

+ blueberries
+ strawberries
+ 1 can of coconut milk (full fat)
+ 1 tsp cinnamon
+ 1 tsp vanilla extract
+ 1/4 lemon, juice
+ 1/4 - 1/2 cups coconut sugar (amount to taste)

Recipe ::

1. Place your can of coconut milk in the refrigerator and let sit 12 hours to overnight. This step separates the liquid and coconut meat. 

2. Remove your can from the fridge, flip it over, open it up, and scrape out the coconut meat into your mixing bowl. Set aside the liquid to be used in another recipe. 

3. Add the cinnamon, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and coconut sugar to the coconut in your mixing bowl. 

4. Whip until soft peaks are created. Place bowl in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to solidify more. 

5. When you're ready to plate, add a little bit of whipped cream to the bottom of your glass, top with a layer of blueberries, more whipped cream, a layer of strawberries, repeating until you get to the top.
 
6. Serve and enjoy! Makes at least four. 


+ What's your favorite festive dessert?

Tag @yourfriend_em on Twitter or Instagram when you make this berry dessert. Share this with people who could use some sweets in their lives. Hashtag #thegreatvibesguide to spread the Great Vibes! Xx.


Healthy Snacks for the Office

Granola popsicles are something you need in your life. 

Editor's Note: This post originally ran August 24th, 2016. The Team thought it best to bring back to the forefront of our minds, as resolutions may have fallen to the wayside and mindless snacking on the rise. Office snacks are great to have on hand for any time you're so hungry you want to bite someone and too tired to do anything more than go to the vending machine. Keep nearby to stave off disaster. Xx. 

Normally my day goes something like this: I snag a filling breakfast, scarf down a quick lunch, and then it's 4 p.m., and I am so hungry, I can't decide whether to wait until dinner and know I'll be an emotional mess or eat everything in sight until I'm bloated and uncomfortable. Sound familiar?

What do I snack on at the office or on really busy days? is a question I get from almost every client of mine. The issue usually to be solved lies in being restricted to the snacks present in the office rather than what is sustaining and nutritious. It is because of this problem that settling for a candy bar or stale chips only to be hungry 20 minutes later is more common than not. Since I am going to be working with some amazing interns soon, and having snacks at creative meetings is a must for me, I wanted to group together delicious alternatives that kick boring snacks like granola bars to the curb. 

I love these snacks because of their low sugar content, mix of healthy fats and protein, and minimally, if at all, processed ingredients. Enjoy!  

The perfect savory balance between creamy and crunchy. It's a colorful treat for your eyes and a flavorful party for your tastebuds. Using carrots, celery, peppers, or whatever vegetables you have on hand is a great way to up your vegetable intake and ensure nothing you buy goes to waste. Great Vibes Tip: Buy plain hummus and stir in extras for a change of pace (i.e. olives and oregano, parsley and lemon, pine nuts and basil, hot sauce, etc.).

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Whether you call them rice crackers or cakes, they usually are accompanied by horrified faces from childhood memories of plain, stale snacks. But, they've gotten quite the remix. What I love about these is the crunch factor you can't get from a simple slice of bread. I've shown you two ways here: one with avocado, cayenne, salt, and pepper; and the other with almond butter and banana. Great Vibes Tip: Try peanut butter with a drizzle of honey or hummus with a slice of tomato. Endless options. Delish!

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Probably my favorite of this entire bunch and one you can only really do if your office has a freezer. That being said, it is incredibly simple. Blend up one banana, a dash of cinnamon, and three (+/-) cups of coconut milk. Divide the mixture among your popsicle molds. I used an actually popsicle mold, but paper cups, old yogurt containers, or an ice cube tray works flawlessly. Place in the freezer for ten minutes. After the ten minutes are up, cover the exposed part with granola, press down gently, and then push your popsicle stick into place. Cover and freeze until solid. Great Vibes Tip: Make your own granola! Bake 3 cups oats, 1/2 cup buckwheat, and two tablespoons chia seeds on a baking sheet in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 12-15 minutes. While baking, stir together two tablespoons coconut oil, two tablespoons maple syrup or honey, a teaspoon of cinnamon, and half a teaspoon of turmeric. After the dry ingredients have become slightly fragrant, remove from the oven, mix with the wet ingredients, and place back into the oven. Turn the oven off, and let sit for 5-8 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Keeps well in a glass container in the refrigerator. 

I could chat the benefits of kombucha for an incredibly long time, and you've seen me make cocktails with it here and here. I love this snack, because it is easy for on-the-go travel. It provides healthy bacteria and that sweet and savory element that satisfies almost all cravings. To make the roasted chickpeas, strain the liquid from one can, pat to dry with a paper towel, and mix with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and black pepper, salt, and cayenne to taste. Bake on a baking sheet at 395 degrees Fahrenheit for about 25 minutes, stirring every 5 or so, until crispy and crunchy. Great Vibes Tip: Don't like chickpeas? Roast cashews or almonds for a delicious alternative. 

Sometimes, nothing is going to satisfy that sweet craving except chocolate. Rather than dive into a bag of M&Ms (though that has a time and place) choose rich, dark chocolate, preferably 65% cacao or higher. The above chocolate is found at Trader Joe's with an impressive cacao content of 82 percent. Have a couple squares and savor each piece. If you still want more 10 minutes later, have another square. Repeat until satisfied. 

+What is your favorite snack here? Which one are you most likely to make?


Five Go-To Smoothie Recipes

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It is no surprise how fond I am of smoothies (exhibit ABC). They are cheap to make if you shop smart, they take moments to whip up, and they are just as great for breakfast as they are for a snack or dessert. Plus, when it comes to sneaking greens into your daily routine, there's nothing better than a chocolate smoothie with spinach - can't even taste it, promise.

Let's face it, though. Sometimes it's easy to get stuck in a rut. In fact, I feel that way right about now! I thought I would dig through my personal files, draw out my favorite combos I've made in the past, and put them together for you in a handy dandy post. This is a preview of a 14-Day Smoothie Challenge coming your way in May. Interested? Stay in the loop by clicking below!

 

Let's get started with five go-to smoothie recipes you don't want to miss!

A couple notes first:

1. For creamy, thick smoothies, freeze berries or bananas beforehand. Best way to freeze bananas? Peel, slice, and lay bananas flat on a baking tray. Place in the freezer. Transfer to a bag and use when needed.

2. The liquid measurements (i.e. 1.5 cups of almond milk) are just estimates. Use more or less depending on desired thickness of smoothie.  

3. Ice is always optional. 

4. If these aren't sweet enough, have no fear! Add in an all natural sweetener like maple syrup or honey to satisfy your need. Start at 1 teaspoon and increase to taste. 

4. Top them with the good stuff! I often put toppings on my smoothies (i.e. granola, chocolate shavings, coconut, almond meal, fresh berries, soaked nuts, etc.) to make these into nourishing and complete meals. Everyone has a unique diet and these recipes are perfect bases for getting all the necessary goods. Don't be afraid to limit the liquid, make it more thick like a frosty, and top it with yummy goodness for a great smoothie bowl. 

Okay. Nowwwww let's get started ... 

Almond Banana Smoothie
great for protein needs and sweet cravings

Ingredients::
+ 1 cup ice
+ 1.5 cups almond milk
+ 2 bananas
+ 2-3 tbsp almond butter
+ Optional: 1 tsp cinnamon & nutmeg
To make:
Throw all ingredients into a blender, send for a whirl until combined, pour into a glass, and enjoy!

Berry Detox Smoothie
great for bloating or indigestion

Ingredients::
+ 1 cup ice
+ 1 cup fruit juice or non-dairy milk of choice
+ 1 cup frozen berries
+ 1 cup spinach or kale (fresh or frozen)
+ 1/2 cup bananas (already peeled, sliced, & frozen)
+ 1 tbsp chia seed
+ 1 tbsp flax seed

To make:
Throw all ingredients into a blender, send for a whirl until combined, pour into a glass, and enjoy!

Anxiety Kicker Smoothie
great for headaches, stress, or anxiety

Ingredients::
+ 1 cup ice
+ 1.5 cup non-dairy milk of choice
+ 1 cup frozen berries
+ 1 cup spinach or kale (fresh or frozen)
+ 1/2 cup oatmeal
+ Optional add-ins: 1 tbsp chia seed, 1 tbsp flax seed, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp tumeric

To make:
Throw all ingredients into a blender, send for a whirl until combined, pour into a glass, and enjoy!

The Creamy Goodness Smoothie
great for belly bloat or fatigue

Ingredients::
+ 1 cup ice
+ 1 cup non-dairy milk of choice
+ 1 cup frozen mango
+ 1 half of an avocado
+ 1/4 cup oats
+ 1 tbsp chia seed
+ 1 tbsp flax seed

To make:
Throw all ingredients into a blender, send for a whirl until combined, pour into a glass, and enjoy!

PB (or AB) Cup Smoothie
great for chocolate cravings or protein needs

Ingredients::
+ 1-3 cups ice
+ 1.5 cups of non-dairy milk of choice
+ 1 frozen banana
+ 1 cup spinach or kale (fresh or frozen)
+ 1 tbsp (or more) cocoa or cacao powder
+ 1 tbsp organic peanut butter or almond butter

To make:
Throw all ingredients into a blender, send for a whirl until combined, pour into a glass, and enjoy!

And there you have it! Make these your own by changing up the fruits you've used, asking questions, and finding a recipe that makes you happy dance all around the room. 

Cheers to Great Smoothie Vibes! Xx. 


What is your favorite smoothie?

Tag @yourfriend_em on Twitter or Instagram when you make any of these recipes. Share this with people who could use some smoothie in their lives. Hashtag #thegreatvibesguide to spread the Great Vibes! Xx


P.S. Get a free 8-page Guide to Great Vibes filled with recipes, tips, and tricks to the lifestyle and body of your dreams.  >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

P.S.S.S. Have you checked out all of the
other places Emily's spreading the Great Vibes?

Cocktails with a Twist: The Kombucha Paloma

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I've always been fascinated by cocktails; how they mix together so quickly and beautifully, how they slow us down on that first sip to appreciate and savor, and how they bring us to a time of traditional elegance. I grew up with the classic words, "shaken, not stirred" and couldn't help but fall in love with 5 o'clock drinks signalling the close of a long day. I imagine F. Scott Fitzgerald settled into a chair, cocktail in hand as he listened to Zelda rattle on to their friends about the latest gossip.

So turning 21 didn't mean guzzling down large volumes of alcohol - though that certainly had it's place - but rather finally being welcomed into the cool club where elegance, simplicity, and tradition are welcomed and celebrated.

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I'm happy to celebrate the beginning of Spring with collaborations and a new chapter: Cocktails with a Twist. I want these drinks to be just as simple as the recipes I post, taking little to no time yet bursting with flavor. At the same time, I want them to be twists on the classic and more traditional cocktails.

First at bat is a cocktail inspired by The Paloma - a tequila, grapefruit, and lime concoction topped off with sparkling water. I nixed the lime - couldn't find it fresh, but I'm sure it would be delicious - and replaced the sparkling water with plain kombucha from UpDog Kombucha. It's safe to say my world is forever changed. UpDog Kombucha's plain kombucha adds just the right sweetness to keep you coming back for more while also providing yummy health benefits like supported digestion and anxiety relief. Alongside freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, it's an irresistible combination.

Everyone's preferences are different when it comes to alcohol. If you find this is too weak or strong, adjust accordingly. I always make a recipe first the way it's listed, second with a little twist, and finally a third time to make sure I've got it just how I like it. I hope you share your versions in the comments or via social media so we can all enjoy! This cocktail can also be made without the tequila for a refreshing drink if you are expecting, have little ones who want to get in on the Great Vibes, or just want to sit back for an alcohol-free evening.

Without further ado ...

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The Kombucha Paloma

Ingredients ::

+ 4 Parts Freshly Squeezed Grapefruit Juice*
+ 4 Parts Plain Kombucha
+ 3 Parts Tequila
+ Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
+ Sugar (optional)**

Recipe ::

1. Add the first three ingredients to a shaker with ice (optional addition of sugar here).
2. Shake well. ***
3. Place ground salt onto a plate.
4. Coat the top of your glass with a little grapefruit juice and roll it along the plate to salt the rim.
5. Strain shaker contents into your glass.
6. Add ice if desired.
7. Sip & enjoy!

Notes ::

* I typically make 1 part = 1 ounce, however if you are making for more than one, keep the ratios the same, and all is good!

** This cocktail gets its sweetness from the plain kombucha and the grapefruit juice (i.e. it's not super sweet). If you're not used to that or want it to be a tad less savory, add whatever kind of sweetener or sugar you prefer to taste.

*** Kombucha naturally carbonates, so when you go to combine the ingredients, it might pop the top of your shaker slightly. This is normal, but be sure to hold the top and bottom carefully to form a tight seal. Don't cry over spilled cocktail if a little escapes -- it's all part of the Great Vibes!

Cheers to Cocktails & Great Vibes! Xx.


+ What's your favorite cocktail?

Tag @yourfriend_em on Twitter or Instagram when you make The Kombucha Paloma. Share this with people who could use some tequila in their lives. Hashtag #thegreatvibesguide to spread the Great Vibes! Xx

This post is done in collaboration with UpDog Kombucha. All opinions are honest and my own. Thank you for supporting the companies that support The Great Vibes Guide. Xx.


P.S. Get a free 8-page Guide to Great Vibes filled with recipes, tips, and tricks to the lifestyle and body of your dreams.  >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

P.S.S.S. Have you checked out all of the
other places Emily's spreading the Great Vibes?