Holy Chocolate Balls! Jude is turning 5.

WOW. Tomorrow I will officially have a 5 year old son. Words simply can’t express how grateful I am for being graced with the honor & privilege of being Mom to this rad little dude JUDE. For reals though, being a Mom is tough stuff- no matter how ‘ready’ you think you are for the job- You are just NOT.  I had NO idea what TRUE unconditional love looked like until Jude came along. It’s like all the vomit, poop, crying, screaming, crazy & trying times really showed ME what I was made of. As a parent, you really lay it all out on the line for your little person- there is nothing else like it. Such a blessing and a reminder that LOVE ALWAYS WINS. Perhaps some things in my childhood were not the best, but being a MOM reminds me that none of that really matters because as a parent, you are just doing the best you can with what you have. SO, the next time you see a Mom struggling to get her shopping done & keep her kids wrangled in- all at the same time- how about giving some grace & offering to help her- instead of judge her? After all, we are all in this together & I know I could have never done this without  the help of a small village of friends to turn to along the way. You know who you are. Thanks ladies! xo


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Thanks to you my dearest JUDE

– your strong will and curiosity keep me on my toes

-your humor reminds me to HAVE FUN DAILY and not take life so seriously

-your kind heart and desire to help others reminds me that kindness really can change the world

-your building and DIY nature makes me want to make more things instead of buy them

-your love makes me want to be a better ME

-your unique style inspires me to stay true to mine

-your desire to live a healthy life reminds me to take my own advice

-your zest for life makes me feel SO thankful to be alive

-your desire to stop, smell & pick the flowers for me makes me proud of the little man you have become

-your lack of desire to be like everyone else refreshes me

When you LIVE OUT LOUD you force me to do the same & for that I thank you.

Happy 5th Birthday my love.

I love you more than words. You stole my heart. You are the real deal. Shine On.

Love, MOM

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Jude is having a Lego + Boxing Birthday party this year. I’m super excited to teach him & his little friends some KIDboxing (hosting the party at the kickboxing gym where I work) + we will be doing some FUN Lego games too! I will post lots of pics after his party on Sunday 🙂

Tomorrow is Jude’s big day & he requested ‘anything chocolate’ -so I whipped up some gluten & sugar free  Birthday Brownie Balls to send with him to preschool. Get the recipe below! (if you have to avoid nuts at your school then just replace the almonds with sunflower seeds & the PB with sun butter).

Birthday Brownie Balls
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Serves: 14 balls
Ingredients
  • ¾ C raw almonds
  • 1 tablesoon raw cacao powder
  • 12 pitted medjool dates
  • 2 tablespoon all-natural organic peanut butter
  • Optional Superfood Add ins: goji berries, Enjoy GF choc chips, hemp seeds, chia seeds, coconut flakes (unsweetened)
Instructions
  1. Place almonds in a small food process or and process for about 30 seconds or until your almonds are finely chopped like almond meal. Set aside.
  2. Next, process the pitted dates until they become like a paste.
  3. Then, add the rest of the ingredients, including the almond meal, and pulse for an additional minute.
  4. Form dough in to balls and eat! If it is having trouble sticking, add a tablespoon or 2 of honey.
  5. *You can make them into bigger sized balls & then place them in cute cupcake wrappers- fun!
  6. **Need more balls? Double the recipe!

FYI: These are such a yummy snack- not just for birthdays 🙂

Keep it real! xo Branda

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Detox Your Life: Coffee Creamer Swap!

Your body is SO smart & knows exactly how to heal you. IF you stop pumping it full of pills & toxic foods & let it do it’s job.

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If you want to clean up your diet start with your drinks. Water is your friend & most other drinks are not. I know you might NEED your coffee, but please figure out a way to sweeten & add cream to it without chemicals. When I drink coffee I use unsweetened almond milk and coconut oil to flavor it, but when I first made the transition away from creamer, I also used a little bit of pure maple syrup. The maple syrup helps to get the sweet taste without all the chemicals. Be sure you are using a PURE  natural maple syrup- NOT the sugar filled artificial syrup like Log Cabin or Aunt Jemima. Why? Because here is what is in the fake sugar filled syrups –>  INGREDIENTS: CORN SYRUP, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, WATER, CELLULOSE GUM, CARAMEL COLOR, SALT, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, SODIUM BENZOATE AND SORBIC ACID (PRESERVATIVES), SODIUM HEXAMETAPHOSPHATE.

What is in pure maple syrup? INGREDIENTS: MAPLE SYRUP

Get the point? I thought so.

My #1 rule to eat by? LESS IS MORE. Real food rocks.

Take a look at the back of your creamer bottle- how many of those ingredients do you recognize? That’s what I thought. Make the switch today.

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Holiday Hottie {Online} Challenge

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Do you want a rockin’ holiday bod? Need some help avoiding weight gain during the holidays?

This Challenge has 3 parts –> all designed to help you eat healthy, stay on track & be accountable during the holidays. We communicate in an online Facebook forum + you will be able to download all of the materials there too- making this challenge completely virtual! The Healthy Holiday Hottie Challenge will help you cleanse your body, stress less & eat clean during the toughest months of the year.

starts Nov. 14th (& ends dec.20th)

PART 1: A 12-Day Cleanse- this is a MUST HAVE program to help you change your taste buds and overcome cravings BEFORE the holidays. {Plus a great tool to have on hand for after the holidays too ;)}

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No fad diets, no pills, no meal substitute protein shakes or powders, can do what the 12-day Detox can do for you, naturally! I would like to invite you to experience the best your body can be!

In the next 12 days you can dissolve your sugar cravings and forget about carbs! Experience what it is feels like to completely purify your body and cleanse your entire system of stored up toxins that have been weighing you down for years.

Drop up to 5 pounds and fall in love with your radiant skin and new sense of vitality!

What You Get:

Exclusive access to the 12-day Detox support community {a private Facebook forum} where you can access a wealth of information and encouragement!
Eloquent, complete day-by-day approach that will keep you on track, through the excitement and challenges of your daily program.
Lifetime access to your program so you can repeat as often as you like
Daily meal plans with nutritious, wholefood options
12-day supported detox schedule
Goal setting activities
Self-care tips and tools
Free bonus-gifts
You won’t find this kind of support anywhere else!

Throughout the 12-days you will learn how to reduce painful inflammation, integrate exercise and vital movement into your daily life, and transform your body into its best state of being!

You’ll also learn:

Effective ways to release toxins
How to shop healthy & confidently
Incorporating Superfoods
How primary foods affect your health
Travel tips during your cleanse
Motivational techniques & visualizations
Everything you consume during your 12-day Detox, is designed to give your body the best, most compact sources of nutrition. If you’re trying to lose weight, this is the perfect kick-off!

You’ll recognize the real benefit to this system is cleansing and detoxing with good nutritious whole foods. ..not chemicals or processed foods…just good clean food.

Most importantly, afterwards you will enjoy the emphasis placed on teaching you the no-fail secrets to maintaining your healthy lifestyle indefinitely!

PART 2: In addition to the cleansing recipes, you will receive my ‘Easy & Clean’ meal plan which contains easy to make clean eating meals + some bonus holiday-inspired recipes. Hosting a holiday meal or event? Attending a holiday party or potluck? You need some tasty holiday dishes that won’t leave you feeling guilty & bloated!

PART 3: The last past of the challenge will be focused on reducing stress. So starting on December 6th, the 15-day #stressfreeme challenge will start. You will be challenged to do something small each day- all designed to help you stay stress free during the holidays!

RECAP: an all-inclusive 12-day cleanse, clean eating holiday recipes & less stress = a Rockin Holiday Bod.

Get on the road to feeling good + looking good! GO HERE to register —>

http://bodybybranda.com/healthy-holiday-hottie-online-challenge/

 

 

9 Best Foods for Your Skin

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  1. Almonds: loaded with Vitamin E, almonds protect your skin against sun damage.
  2. Flaxseeds: The Omega 3’s in flax help to erase fine lines and age spots.
  3. Sweet Potatoes: These taters are loaded with Vitamin C, which when consumed, act almost like collagen in its wrinkle smoothing abilities
  4. Spinach: The folate in dark, leafy greens like spinach help maintain and repair DNA, which may reduce the likelihood of cancer-cell growth
  5. Coconut Oil: Suffering from dry, itchy skin? The Omega 3 fatty acids in Coconut oil can be the best moisturizer
  6. Carrots: The Vitamin A found in carrots can boost eye health as well as clear up your skin from breakouts
  7. Green Tea: Green tea contains catechin, which has proven anti-inflammatory properties.
  8. Water: Hydrated skin keeps it looking supple and glowing
  9. Mango: The Vitamin A in mango helps repair flaky skin to a beautiful, smooth texture

Want glowing skin? Try a mix of green goodness to get the job done!

Green and Glowing Smoothie

Ingredients:
1 cup cleaned spinach leaves, firm packed
1 cup cleaned kale, rough chop, firm packed
1 cup green seedless grapes
1 Bartlett pear, core, stem and seeds removed
1 orange, peeled and quartered
1 banana, peeled
1 teaspoon chia seeds
1⁄2 cup water
2 cups ice

Directions:
Place all ingredients in blender and process on a low speed for 15 seconds, increase to medium, then high until well blended. Going green never tasted so good!

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How to Make {Easy Detox} Green Juice

Should I get a juicer? I get this question a lot so I wanted to write this post to refer my clients to and for anyone else who is wanting to dust off their juicer or perhaps purchase a new one.

Juicers separate the pulp from the juice and we drink the juice only.

 When we juice green vegetables, we liberate the chlorophyll and our bodies immediately absorb it (this does not happen when blending because the fiber remains in tact).  Chlorophyll is a detoxifier and an incredible healer of inner and topical inflammation and wounds.  The chlorophyll remakes our blood.  It is centered on magnesium and our blood is centered on iron.

Chlorophyll is a neutralizer of toxins and can deal with anything you have.  It is good for kidney, heart and liver conditions. Green juice is an amazing detoxifier. {You need to be careful to use simple juices if you are on a lot of medication.  If you are very sick, you will probably release toxins very quickly.  This will happen in the form of bowel movements & sometimes your liver dumps a lot of toxins}

So juicing rocks for the above reasons, but one of the things I dislike about it is how spendy it can be {especially when you use all organic produce which I highly recommend}. I use the recipe below to ‘cheapen the deal’ if you will & drink organic green juice all week long for under $20.

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{Easy Detox} Green Juice

  •  4 romaine lettuce leaves
  • 2 large kale leaves
  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 green apples

 

Wash all the produce and then individually place through the juicer. This recipe only makes one serving. Try to drink the juice immediately to get all of the benefits. If you have to save it for later then place it in an airtight container for no more than a day. Don’t forget to clean your juicer right away- it’s such a pain in the butt if you wait until later when everything is super stuck on.

Pricing: (obviously will vary at your local store, but you get the idea) A bunch of organic romaine lettuce (8-10 leaves) $1.99, a bunch of organic kale (4-8 leaves) $1.99, one large organic cucumber $1.00 (or 2 small Persian cucumbers), 2 organic green apples (bag of 10 for $4.99).

5 Days worth of Easy Green Detox Juice {Shopping List/Cost}:

3 bunches or romaine lettuce = $1.99 X 3 = $5.97
2 bunches of kale = $1.99 x 2 = $3.98
5 cucumbers $1 x 5 = $5.00
1 bag of green apples = $4.99
TOTAL: $19.94

 So I know there are other ways to make green juice & some might be even cheaper, but this is just one way I like to do it and wanted to share! Once you fall in love with green juice you can play around with it a little. Maye use just one apple, just 1/2 cucumber, or sub spinach for the kale etc. Find your favorite blend & rock out with it.

PLEASE NOTE:
I don’t recommend juice fasts. This is because in my experience I have seen them do more harm then good. For an easy 5-day detox (aka oil change for the body), I recommend drinking the above green juice + eating a primarily vegan diet (lots of fruits and vegetables, some nuts/beans/grains, no dairy/gluten/processed foods and only sugar from fruit. Once you have detoxed for 5 days- then slowly add back in some meats (if you are a protein/meat lover) and just listen to your body to see what else it needs. Be careful not to detox then retox! Keep it clean yo!

Looking for an easy to use & fairly cheap juicer? I have this one –> http://astore.amazon.com/bodbybra-20/detail/B000MDHH06  & love it! Nothing fancy, but gets the job done.

Looking for more yummy juice & smoothie recipes? Click the pic below for my ‘Drink Green Get Lean’ recipe book!

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You + February = LOVE

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Yipppeee!!! It’s time to love ME!

It’s that time of year again. Yes, I mean FEBRUARY. The month of LOVE. I know. I know. We are supposed to be loving up our sweethearts and spending time & money on them right? I disagree! Don’t get me wrong, I love my sweetheart, but I spend a lot of time doing nice things for him & my son all year long- this is exactly why I am asking you to pull the old switcheroo & make this month about YOU! This challenge was designed to help you stop being critical of your body and learn to focus on what matters! It is time to slow down, meditate, calm your cravings, and nourish your body with superfoods. AND because Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, this challenge will be packed full of brand new ‘sweet treat’ (superfood) recipes that you will LOVE! {Yes they are so good that even your sweetheart won’t be able to tell they are healthy}.

BONUS: The first 8 participants to register for the ‘Love Yourself’ challenge will be mailed a FREE SKOOP 5-day Challenge packet to try for the first 5 days of this challenge! Experience for yourself the amazing benefits + awesome powers of super foods (10 servings of veggie/fruit + probiotics + adaptogens + antioxidants) all in the convenience of one little packet! (It’s also organic, free of gluten & non GMO- c’mon you know I only recommend the best!)

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PERFECT for busy + healthy babes like YOU.

Read more & register for the challenge at the link below.

http://bodybybranda.com/love-yourself-challenge/

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Skoop: Get Your Super On!

Some of you already know that I am SUPER picky about what I put in my body. I read ingredient labels for a living and will not recommend any products with shady business practices and/or suspect ingredients. SO, basically I rarely recommend or get behind any food brands or supplements. BUT, on that rare occasion when I find something I LOVE- I must share. This is it! A seriously amazing product that I DO support!

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Okay, I admit it. I am a Superfood junkie, but let me tell you why! Our minds and bodies flourish under the influence of plant-based Superfoods. They’re rich in antioxidants, probiotics and adaptogenic herbs that reduce inflammation and acidic build-up, give you all-day energy and resilience, and supercharge your immune system’s ability to fight disease. Skoop is not a meal replacement, but rather a good choice ‘kick-starter’ for your day. Most Americans don’t get a full ‘packet of nutrition’ which means our bodies think we are never quite full. So we graze and graze (mostly on processed foods) which leads to weight gain. If you start your day with Skoop – you will be taking on the day by taking in something speedy and wholesome- this alone raises the health bar. Easy peasy & just my style.

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Skoop is plant based, free of gluten and GMO’s plus packed with with 41 plant-based ingredients that have been thoughtfully selected, harvested, and blended to work synergistically with each other and you!

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Have you ever wondered what THREE pounds of vegetables looks like?

Here is one version —>

Now imagine having this for breakfast. Not that appealing if you ask me. But one little scoop of Skoop has the equivalent of this and can get your day off to a great start!

Skoop can be enjoyed several ways, but my favorites are in my oatmeal & in my almond milk. SO easy.

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Skoop even comes in handy dandy packets. Perfect for traveling or when you are on the go!

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Alright! I will stop raving now, but expect to see new recipes from me that involve the use of this amazeballs product because I’m hooked! Check out more info  + get your hands on some here –> Skoop

Take the 5-Day Challenge: Try Skoop for 5 days straight. If you don’t begin to feel a difference, they’ll refund your purchase! Click here for details.

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Easy Peasy Crunchy Munchy

This recipe was created by accident, but turned out fab. I was trying to put together an easy + clean eating snack for my three year old son. I wanted a safe snack  to take with us to holiday parties and one that he could take to school to share with his friends. These crunchy munchy bars turned out to be a real winner!

PLUS with only 3 ingredients – this recipe is SO easy to make! In all honesty, these bars turned out to be more of  a hit with the grown-ups- so if you don’t have kiddos- be sure to give them a try anyway 🙂

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Click HERE for the recipe!

SPREAD THE WORD! Take these to your holiday potlucks and gatherings. Introduce people to the fact that treats made with natural sweeteners can taste just as good if not better than those with refined sugar + toxins. Does your little one or someone in your office have an allergy? Use sun butter instead of peanut butter. Be sure to choose a GMO free organic cereal too. We love the Nature’s Path brand!

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Want to reduce stress {instead of create it} this holiday season? Join us for the FREE ‘Stress Free Me’ Challenge!

Click the here for details.