freshii obsessed

The green queen spotted in her natural habitat munching on a delicious Metaboost Salad with grilled chicken from Freshii!

Metaboost Salad

  • Spinach
  • Field Greens
  • Mango
  • Carrots
  • Almonds
  • Goat Cheese
  • Edamame
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • + chicken (or tofu & steak)

An omelette a day....

Three things I will never get sick of = overnight oatmeal, paleo pancakes & omelettes (yes, i do realize that all are breakfast foods)! Kylie's picture perfect weekend breakfast = veggie omelette stuffed with green peppers, red onion, tomato, egg whites & salsa with avocado and lemon on the side! You just can't beat it.

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Blackberry banana paleo pancakes

Hell friggen YES! Felt like embodying a little bit of my "creative edge" this afternoon and BAM! out popped these Paleo friendly pancakes for the win! No other way to spend a Saturday (in my option) then in the kitchen making something deeeeelish! These ones are blackberry banana flavor & drizzled with a blackberry currant lemon sauce! 

 pancake Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 4 free-range eggs, whisked
  • 1 ripe banana, medium sized
  • 1/2c blackberries, whole
  • 1 package/tbsp stevia (2 if you want em' super sweet like i do!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon flax seed, ground
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
  • coconut oil (for skillet)
  • splash of almond milk (if consistency is still too thick)

Lemon Sauce ingredients

  • lemon
  • blackberry

Method

  1. Place skillet on medium heat & add 1 teaspoon of coconut oil
  2. Add wet ingredients together in a mixing bowl and blend using a whisk or fork (try not to completely mash the blackberries or your pancakes will be completely purple/blue colour!)
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the all dry ingredients together
  4. Fold both wet and dry ingredients together and then whisk till smooth
  5. Spoon batter 1 tablespoon at a time onto skillet (add coconut oil to skillet as necessary)
  6. After 1-2 minutes flip pancake with bubbles appear
  7. Repeat step #5 till all batter runs out
  8. Transfer pancakes onto a warm plate and top them off with blackberry currant lemon sauce, strawberries and fresh banana slices!

Have a beautiful blissful day xo

Pancake Sunday~

Cacao CASHEW paleo pancakes

Serves: 3

Ingredients

  • 2 free-range eggs + 1/4 cup organic egg whites
  • 1 1/2 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1/3 cup raw cashews, whole
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp flax seed, ground
  • 1 tsp stevia, powder
  • 1 pinch of sea salt
  • 20 g (1/2 scoop) vanilla protein powder
  • 3 tbsp cacao nibs, chopped

+ coconut oil for cooking

Instructions

  1. In a food processor (or Vitamix), pulse cashews until finely ground
  2. Pulse in baking soda, then pulse in eggs, banana, and vanilla until very smooth
  3. Stir in chocolate cacao nibs by hand
  4. Heat coconut oil in skillet over medium heat
  5. Spoon batter 1 tablespoon at a time onto skillet
  6. Flip pancakes when bubbles form
  7. Cook for about a minute on second side
  8. Serves best with organic maple syrup, dairy-free coconut whip cream & granola!!

These are sure to make you feel *blissful* !! Enjoy xo

Smoothie bowl to soothe the soul

probably Couldn't get more blissful than this...

 

Serves: two large smoothie bowls

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 ripe banana
  • 1/4 ripe avocado
  • 1 cup blueberries, frozen
  • 1 cup strawberries, frozen
  • 1/2 cup pitted cherries, frozen
  • 2 large handfuls spinach
  • 2 1/2 cups cup non dairy almond milk
  • 2 tbsp flax seeds
  • 1 handful ice cubes

toppings:

  • banana, sliced
  • kiwi, sliced
  • goji berries
  • granola
  • flax seed, ground
  • coconut, shredded
  • hemp hearts

Method:

  1. Place spinach, flax seeds, ripe banana, avocado and non-dairy milk into your Vitamix/blender and puree until smooth.
  2.  Next, add all frozen ingredients including; blueberries, strawberries, pitted cherries & ice cubes and blend (don't puree too much! It's nice to have some texture to the smoothie bowl)
  3. Pour your smoothie into a white bowl (for the photo, obviously!)
  4. Lastly, add some fun and colourful toppings to your smoothie bowl creation!
  5. Enjoy immediately aka don't wait too long or it will melt! ;)

Oldie but goodie!

Carrot x Almond Butter Bliss Balls

Frankly I've missed these bad boys. I'm totally obsessed with carrots. Carrots and dip, carrot smoothies, carrot cake; to name a few! I use to make all sorts ofdifferent "bliss balls" but to be honest they've got pretty damn expensive! When you think about it, they all contain super overpriced nuts, seeds, butters and other expensive gluten-free, vegan, paleo, sugar-free ingredients lol... Even though they break the bank, it's totally worth it to know all of the ingredients I'm eating in my healthy treat. Plus, I do really enjoy making these little guys on a Sunday afternoon then saving them to snack on for the week... I hope you enjoy too!

Serves: 22 balls

Ingredients:

  • 5 long stemmed carrots
  • 1 cup quick organic oats
  • 1/2 cup quinoa flakes
  • 3 tablespoons flax seed meal, ground
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 3/4 cup raw almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon, ground
  • 3 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

Method:

  1. Pulse ingredients in your blender (I used my Vitamix) or food processor for one minute or until you have reached a thick/chunky consistency.
  2. Next, line a baking sheet with a light layer of virgin coconut oil or wax paper.
  3. Using your hands start creating small 1-inch ball formations.
  4. Place each bliss ball on the baking sheet and allow them to set in your refrigerator for a couple hours prior to eating!
  5. Remove and enjoy!!!

The Blissful Belly

xo

Thailand stole my heart

    Let me just start off by saying that Thailand has officially kicked my case of "wanderlust" into super high gear. Enough time has passed that I have finally allowed my full experience to settle, sink in and be absorbed from the aftershock. After a ton of reflecting on my twenty five hour plane ride home (and every single day since), a large part of me doesn’t even believe that this experience actually happened. Deciding to embark on this journey was by far the most spontaneous, impromptu, go with the flow type things that I have ever done and I feel like the luckiest person in the world to have experienced all that I did in this majestic country. After getting a very small but broad glimpse into this insanely beautiful part of the world, it’s easy to see why so many people spend their hard earned money & time exploring the country and then never return! My biggest problem now is wanting to go back and explore Thailand even further, tap into all the places i missed and this time, stay even longer. There is still so much to be seen. After all, this was the trip of a lifetime so there's no way I won't be heading back there in the near future. 

Nui Bay (Island off of Ko Phi Phi)

Nui Bay (Island off of Ko Phi Phi)

Before fleeing Canada and jet setting off to this far away land, I did my due diligence and bothered a ton of friends who had already been to Thailand and asked them to send me a list of their Thailand travel recommendations. This way I could essentially copy their trips and not miss out on anything for myself (smart plan, right?)! Since I've now been for myself I thought I would do the same on my blog and share some of my experiences in each place that we stayed throughout the journey. This could get a little long.. but if you're planning on going to Thailand try to stick with me! 

Phuket

Patong Beach Sunset, Phuket

Patong Beach Sunset, Phuket

Stayed at Novotel Phuket Beach Resort (Patong beach). Flew into Phuket from YYZ (25 hour flight connecting in Shanghai) then 45 minute taxi drive from Phuket Airport to the resort on Patong Beach (main beach in Phuket).

I personally think that Phuket was a great intro to Thailand so I'm really happy that I started here instead of Bangkok. The resort was literally less than a 3-minute walk to the main beach strip, which couldn't have worked out better for us. Patong beach is SO lively!!! Plenty of street vendors and beach massages to go round. You can buy anything you can imagine down the side alley streets where they sell clothing, food, monkeys (haha), souvenirs, etc. We stayed here for 3 nights/4 days – Probably 1 day too many in my opinion. I loved the location of our resort because it allowed me to run up and down the beach during sunset. The sunset beach runs are definitely a top highlight of my trip.

MUST SEE IN PHUKET:

  • Patong Beach Night Market (get ready for lady boys galore!)
  • Run down the beach board walk & back (about 10km there and back)
  • Tiger Kingdom (but not if you're an animal rights activist)
  • Kok Chang Elephant Trekking (they use baskets on the elephants which i found out later was really inhumane as well)
  • Rent jet skis and go joy riding!!!
  • Local bars - so many to chose from and such cheap draanksss
  • Have dinner at a beach bar on Patong Beach (the one we found was picture perfect)
  • Try out so many different restaurants (no shortage of food here! & they offer MUCH more then just Thai)

We missed going to James Bond Island, which was an excursion that I really wanted to do but we couldn’t do everything in the short time we had. Also missed going to a famous Ping Pong show.. not going to explain what that is but we decided against it... LOL.

Koh Phi Phi

Koh Phi Phi Island

Koh Phi Phi Island

My most favorite place ever in Thailand!!! We stayed at P.P Casita, a very cute, but very small individual bungalow style resort. I was happy there. It had everything we needed and we weren't in our lil bungalow very much anyway.

To get to Koh Phi Phi Island we took a day boat tour from Phuket to Koh Phi Phi then got off at Koh Phi Phi and stayed on the island while the boat went back to Phuket (I highly recommend this – great way to see all of the little islands on the way there!). Our boat tour stopped at Mosquito Island & Monkey Beach 1.

The next day we rented a kayak for 4-5 hours and toured around Phi Phi Island ourselves as much as we possibly could – this was really BY FAR the best day of the entire trip. We got a little lost on the Kayak but the sun was shining and it was so much fun. We stopped at Nui Beach (MUST SEE – favorite spot of the trip - check my Instagram for photos) & Monkey Beach 2 (yes, there’s two! One is an actual beach and the other is a cove with Monkeys in the trees – bring food aka bananas and they'll love ya). We also found a really cool hidden cave we didn’t know existed. It was honestly so nice being out on the open water in 30+ degree weather.

We stayed on Phi Phi Island for two nights total but most definitely could have done four or five nights here. A lot of people told me to stay there longer but I really didn’t know what it was all about before actually going and experiencing it for myself. If I go back (which I WILL), I'll probably do at least four nights on Phi Phi Island. The day following the kayaks we rented a Long Tail Boat (for 60 CAD) with our own personal driver. He took us to the famous “Maya Bay” & "Long Beach” spots also one other beach that I forget the name. Long tail boats are so fun & I feel they’re so authentic to Thailand – also a must do! Koh Phi Phi is mostly a huge party land so if you ain't into that scene stay clear! Everyone is very young and very fun. There’s no elephants or tigers here but so much fun & endless things to do just by staying on and around the island itself.

 MUST DO ON KOH PHI PHI:

  • Must try bucket’s!!!! Not going to lie, I think I only had one during the time I was there and it was most definitely enough!!! Make sure you get the ones with sealed lids and you pour them in yourself (but seriously be careful because they’re deadly).
  • Get a bamboo tattoo! You can get one literally on every corner & I got one, obviously!
  • Go to DoJo’s, Stockholm Syndrome and Slinky’s Beach Bar- they have an insane fire show! We ate dinner right next to Slinky’s on the beach and this crazy thing happened in the middle of the ocean where the tide was so far back you could walk on the water!! Very insane but such a cool thing to experience.
  • Full day booze cruise - we actually missed this but I keep hearing how much we missed out on this one so try to find it!

It takes one full day to get from Koh Phi Phi to Koh Samui... 2 buses + 2 boats = death while hung over – I literally puked all over the buss hahaha not kidding. sorry Scott!!!

KOH SAMUI

Vikasa Yoga Retreat, Koh Samui

Vikasa Yoga Retreat, Koh Samui

Stayed at New Star Beach Resort  (MUST STAY HERE) !!!!! I 100% recommend this resort.. you get treated like actual royalty!! It wasn't exactly on the beach or anything but we had scooters to ride so the distance was more than okay for us! We stayed here for three nights and I probably could have stayed one or two more days! I felt like I saw a lot but I really enjoyed our hotel and we never got to use the infinity pool like i wanted too.

I LOVE Koh Samui! At the time I was feeling super frazzled and sick but the traveling hell was all worth it in the end. This island had a little bit of everything and the airport is absolutely gorgeous, I've never seen anything like it - the island is totally set up for tourists. There’s beautiful beaches, night life, and SCOOTERS! This is one place that I definitely need to come back to revisit. While I was here I did some yoga at the Vikasa Yoga Retreat, which totally made my entire trip & the trek worthwhile. I need to come back to this place with some girl friends so they can experience it, too. It was more beautiful in real life then you can even imagine and no photo can do this place justice.

Must do in koh samui:

Check out Chewang Beach, hot oil/Thai beach massages, Nu Muang Waterfall & rent scooters. The downtown area is super lively/busy with lots to see & many places to eat.. it was so hard to choose just one! We didn’t get to Big Buddha statue because Scott had already seen it/I wasn’t too interested in going there anyway. One thing I was a little bit bummed about is the "Ang Thong Marine Park", which was a huge day trip that we missed. Try to look into this - I think it would be a worth while day trip pending the weather because it was raining for us.

It was a long, bumpy and dangerous 2.5 hour boat ride from Ko Samui to Ko Tao that we had absolute TERRIBLE weather for... it was raining, cold, wet and everyone was sick on the boat ride over. ew

Koh Tao

Stayed at Koh Tao Resort but I would not recommend this one. By far one of the best views on the island (once it stopped raining) but very far away from the main Sairee Beach strip. We stayed in Koh Tao for two nights and that was long enough for us. Maybe because it was due to the fact that it was raining the entire time we were there so we didn’t get the full Ko Tao experience that we had hoped for! 

Koh Tao island is best known for it's diving as it has one of the best dive schools in the entire world. It was raining for the entire time we were on the island so we didn’t really bother with it since the water wouldn’t have been clear enough for us to experience the diving like we wanted too.

While we were in Koh Tao we met up with two of my good friends from back home, which made it all the more fun! It's always so cool to see friends you know from home in another country. The only place I really wanted to explore while in Koh Tao was a little spot called Koh Nang Yuan. Koh Nang Yuan is a famous look out point that involves hiking to the top of a steep hill to get to the top. The cool thing about this site is you are able to see a large part of the island divided by a path of sandy beach! I found this spot on Instagram when I was searching must see’s in Thailand so regardless of the rain I knew we had to check it out for ourselves. We ended up going to this site by a personal long tail boat ride and had it been nicer weather, it would have been an incredible day spent on the beach with turquoise views!

Overall Koh Tao was very much chill, laid back, hippy vibes. I found it super relaxing with lots of fun places to eat, drink and share some laughs. I even found some yoga - but when don’t I find yoga? The rain actually gave me some time to get my work done. Even though I was traveling Thailand I was still putting in lots of time working each day. One really cool cafe type spot we found was called Koppee Espresso Bar. We almost spend an entire day there when it was raining just eating endless amounts of muesli and overdosing on coffees :) The island has these bar hop adventures that they offer on Monday, Wednesday & Friday’s. We didn’t take part in the pub crawl because we were preparing our bodies for Full Moon Party the following day but it looked like it could have been a lot of fun!

It is a 1.5-hour long boat ride from Koh Tao to Koh Phangan and once again, it was yet another terrible boat ride that involved everyone being sea sick… including us!!! The rain, heavy waves and high winds made it so rocky on the boat that everyone ended up puking either into bags or off the side… YOU’VE BEEN WARNED PEOPLE!

Koh Phangan

Koh Phangan

Koh Phangan

So last but maybe the most memorable of all, Ko Phangan. We stayed at Haadlad Prestige Resort in Koh Phangan. A very long 45 minutes away from the famous Full Moon Party/Haad Rin Beach and I would absolutely NOT recommend the resort. Regardless of price stay somewhere on Haad Rin Beach, that’s where all of the action is and the 45-minute scooter ride was very inconvenient for getting back and fourth. We booked so last minute that all the near by hotels filled up because of the Full Moon Party so we got stuck pretty far away.

The island, similar to all of the islands I visited in Thailand was beautiful. On the night we arrived went to one of the most incredible restaurants I have ever experienced in my life called Koh Raham/ Haad Son. The restaurant was situated on the bay of Thailand and overlooked the ocean. This place was literally a JUNGLE in every sense of the word. I can’t really explain it because trying to emulate the experience of this restaurant would never do it justice. You literally just have to go here and see it for yourself. Picture you were in the middle of the amazon but it had with rope swings, white twinkling lights and deep house music? Probably doesn’t make much sense to you but I will never forget the feeling I felt when leaving this place. It was the feeling of needing to experience it again, only this time, for the sunset. Oh, and the company wasn't too bad either!

 Ko Phangan was great, but it wasn't exactly what I was expecting it to be. The island is huge and I think the main reason people go there is strictly for the Full Moon Party because it's filled with tourists (more so then the other islands from what I could tell). Since we weren't staying near the party itself I feel like we kind of missed out on the entire Koh Phangan experience. We planned to stay here on December 24th then attend the Full Moon Party on the 25th, but our plans were slightly changed when Scott got terribly sick (food poisoning!!!!!) and we sadly didn’t end up making it to the party that night. Safe to say it was a very interesting Christmas for the both of us aha! Looking back, all that really mattered was that we were both together and safe because that situation could have turned out lot worse then it did!

Overall Ko Phangan did not do it for me. I mean, it did because it was Thailand and it was incredible, but compared to Koh Samui and Koh Phi Phi I don’t know if I would go back. The only way I would feel like going again was if I was back there to experience the party that we had missed. It was definitely an unfortunate way to end the trip but it was a small set back in the gran scheme of how incredible this journey truly was.

From Ko Phangan we took a 1 1/2-hour boat ride to Ko Samui where we then took a flight from Koh Samui Airport back to Phuket. From there I left for Toronto & that ended my fairy tail Thailand adventure. I flew back to Toronto and Scott continued (and is still continuing) on his on journey through Asia, Australia, etc. 

Koh Phi Phi Island

Koh Phi Phi Island

Koh Nang Yung, Ko Tao

Koh Nang Yung, Ko Tao

Kok Chang Elephant Trekking, Phuket (Scott's photo)

Kok Chang Elephant Trekking, Phuket (Scott's photo)

 my Five biggest learning's while traveling in Thailand

1)    Thailand is not as inexpensive as everyone says it is. I mean yes, if you want to eat meat and noodles off the street from vendors then you can definitely find a way to spend zero dollars here. In our case, we stayed at all extremely nice/clean resorts, went out for dinner every single night, we did every excursion we could find, and the list goes on. This trip for me was most definitely not cheap (or as cheap as I thought it would be). If you want to experience all that Thailand has to offer you will need some money to do so... sorry to crush your dreams!

2)    NOTHING IS CLOSE BY!!! Before starting this journey I was under this impression that getting from place to place was going to be a damn walk in the park. REALITY CHECK - it was most certainly not! Each destination took at least a half day of traveling to get too. For example; The bus and/or driver will pick you up from your hotel at least 2.5 hours before you need to catch a boat to your next destination. The boat you're taking will leave at least 30-min to 1hr late (every time..guaranteed) then the boat ride itself will take anywhere between 2-5 hours from island to island (if the weather is good). Next you have the struggle of getting off of the boat with 1000 other people/luggage and finding a way to your hotel. In some cases, the hotels are an hour or more away, then there’s the process of arriving, checking in, unpacking and you catch my drift. Just don’t underestimate how far these places are from each other. Biggest learning… Do your research beforehand so you can factor in the length of time it will take you to travel, duh!

3)   SCOOTERS BEWARE. Scooter's were all fun and games till i tried to take one up a steep, muddy hill alone then fell off and lightly scraped the side part of one. I was totally unharmed but upon returning the bike the next day we were forced to pay a ridiculous amount of money for the two scuff marks UNDERNEATH the bike. This obviously still doesn't bug me at all anymore... aha It was very annoying and the worst part is that they keep your passport when you rent the bike so that when these situations happen, you're basically screwed. Not going to lie, stealing the passport in the middle of the night and ditching the scooter crossed my mind more then just once!

4)  Thailand is the most magical place on earth and I need to get back there again soon. I would love to spend some more time exploring South East Asia. Since returning from this trip I've done some research into Philippines, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia and they're now all on my "list". I really learned so much from taking this spontaneous this trip. I used to have a very poor idea of what South East Asia would be like before ever actually going there for myself. For a long time I didn’t even want to travel there because all I could think about was “I can’t eat noodles everyday…what about my yoga..” and other stupid misconceptions such as those. Thailand has so much more to offer then pretty beaches and Pad Thai (which I didn't even eat once, btw). The entire essence of the culture and way of living there are all things that I find difficult to describe. I learned a lot about myself during this short trip. A lot of things were really put into perspective for me such as how little I really need to feel happy, whole and content. Also how much I genuinely enjoy traveling, exploring, seeking new adventures and being in the presence of good company.

5) Speaking of good company... Good company is everything!!! Scott was by far the most perfect person I could have ever traveled with to Thailand, even though I didn’t know him too well beforehand. I was actually so surprised at how well we connected, literally in every sense. Our travel compatibility was "on point", to say the least. We were completely on the same page on our adventure and it made traveling together so much easier and stress free for the both of us (#goals). I really can’t say enough great things about the person he is and how much I truly admire him after getting to know him as I did, and essentially living with him for the duration of this trip. He totally helped bring out a light, playful and spontaneous side of myself that I absolutely loved and will always hold onto. I can proudly say that I learned more from my time with Scott in two weeks then I have ever learned from anyone... ever. Everything about him is so uniquely fascinating to me I kept wanting to know more and more! It's always fun getting to know someone so different then yourself. Most importantly, I really could not have done this trip in the same way without him. When I say I “left my heart in Thailand” I actually mean it.

By far the hardest part of my entire journey to Thailand was surprisingly not the twenty-five-hour flight there, but the final goodbye. Getting on that plane home had me feeling like I was walking away from the best memories of my whole life. I will forever hold this experience near and dear to my heart and I truly recommend Thailand to anyone and everyone who is blessed with the opportunity to go. I hope this post gave you some good insights into your trip to Thailand and if you have any questions about money, resorts, etc. I am more than happy to answer them for you!

Safe travels & happy journey wherever it may lead you

xoxo

Haadlad Prestige Resort - Koh Phangan

Haadlad Prestige Resort - Koh Phangan

raw cacao energy balls!

The words healthy & chocolate are like music to my ears! Eat these raw cacao energy bites guilt-free and thank me later ;)

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Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups (dry) old fashioned oats
  • 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
  •  3 tablespoons chocolate (gluten-free) peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup chocolate (vegan) protein powder
  • 2 tablespoons almonds, slivered
  • 1 tablespoon flax seed
  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 1 package or tablespoon stevia 
  • 2 tablespoon cashews, chopped 
  • pinch of sea salt 
  • coconut oil to roll

Method

  1. Stir ingredients in a medium sized bowl and mix together until combined.
  2. Transfer ingredients from mixing bowl into your Vitamix or food processing machine.
  3. Pulse mixture until you reach your desired consistency *careful! you do not want them too liquidy/smooth in texture or they won't roll well!
  4. Remove mix from your Vitamix/ food processor and place in a bowl
  5. Refrigerate and allow to set for 15 - 30 minutes
  6. Remove from fridge and using warm hands, roll mix into small 1-inch balls.
  7. Recipe makes 12-15 balls.

ENOJY XO

Oatmeal Banana Nut Cookies

I’ve had this delicious cookie recipe on me for about a week or so and I've finally found time to sit down, chill out and write it  (as i’m on my final plane ride to Thailand - yipppie)! 

My best girlfriend Brittany and I are both super passionate about healthy eating, working out, practicing yoga daily and really all things wellness related! We've both been on the "health tip" as they call it ever since I met Britt at soccer many years ago. Not everyone finds friends so like-minded and similar in interest themselves so I feel very fortunate to have met Britt and uphold an awesome friendship throughout the years. She's always there to hold me accountable and she's kept me on track with my #ThailandBody goals before I set out on this strange adventure. I was recently talking to Britt about how badly I wanted to bake something (guilt-free) that I could and use for a snack leading up to my travels... That’s all she needed to hear and not before long we had one of our traditional sweat dates in the works, this time.. it included treats!

After the majorly productive gym and sauna sesh, we got straight into the baking! This is the go-with-the-flow cookie recipe we came up with and I must say, it’s exactly what I was going for!!! Thanks #theblissfulbritt for the help. Also - if you get the chance, check out Brittany’s personal website: http://beautyfuel.co xo

Yields: 24 cookies

Bake: 325 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until light brown on the edges

Ingredients:

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups quick oatmeal (we used Quaker)
  • 1/4 cup applesauce (unsweetened)
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, unsalted, chopped
  • 1/3 cup dates, chopped 
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon, ground
  • pinch sea salt

Optional: honey, vanilla extract, ground nutmeg

Method:

  1. Gather two medium sized mixing bowls for use
  2. In the first bowl, mash the 3 ripe bananas until smooth then fold in all wet ingredients - eggs, applesauce and continue to stir
  3. In the second bowl mix in the required dry ingredients - oatmeal, walnuts, dates, ground cinnamon & sea salt
  4. Slowly fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients bowl and mix together until you reach the desired thick consistency
    • (Note: If the consistency is a little too runny to form into cookies continue to add in more oatmeal until the cookie mixture thickens up a bit)
  5. Pre heat oven to 325 degrees
  6. Line a traditional aluminum baking sheet with wax paper or a light layer of organic virgin coconut oil (we use DoTerra coconut oil blend)
  7. Use a spoon to grab the cookie batter then with clean hands, roll the cookie batter into small - medium sized balls (it’s best if you lightly grease your hands with coconut oil as well to avoid sticking)
  8. Once all cookies have been laid out onto the baking sheet, insert the sheet into the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes 
  9. When the cookies have reached a golden brown consistency, remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool before indulging (guilt-free).

Thailand Journey

"This is going to be the longest day ever” is exactly what I thought to myself as I was leaving in sheer panic on my way to the airport. For some reason I always find myself rushing to these things! Nothing is ever calm, cool and collected for me while traveling - it always seems to happen this way at least. My mom was nice enough to drop me off today.. I really felt bad saying good-bye as I won’t be home for Christmas this year (for the first time ever). As much as that saddens me (because I friggen LOVE Christmas), I know that this journey will be far worth while - at least that’s what I hope! 

When I got to departures Terminal 3 the line for China Eastern Airlines was the only one that was jam packed and coincidently, the one I needed to wait in. I had about 1hr 45min to check my luggage, get through customs, grab something to eat, exchange some Thai Baht currency, run to the washroom, etc. and time was ticking more quickly than usual. When I finally got to the front of the 100 person line to check my bags, the woman left with my passport for a quick second and came back telling me I got a free upgrade! YES! Free upgrade? Amazing. That’s probably the best news you could ever hear before departing on a 15 hour foreign flight where no one speaks english. Anyway, I was so rushed to get through customs that I had no time to do any of those tasks mentioned above. In that moment I knew this travel experience was going to be anything but relaxing for me!

I’ve never traveled to Asia before and i’m not going to lie, I was/am a little bit nervous. This is a whole new ballpark for me. I literally know nothing (or very little) about this side of the world and the no one speaks english thing definitely puts things in perspective as to how far it really is away from home. That being said, I got scammed for the first time when I landed in Shanghai (and by scammed I mean I can’t read Chinese). I went to one of the airport cafe's to grab a small coffee before my next flight to Phuket so that I'm able to stay awake like I am right now - it worked! The gentleman who was taking my order handed me the entire menu to pick out the coffee I wanted. I went with the first one “Traditional Drip Coffee”, usually $1-$3 CAN dollars, right? Well, I obviously had no Chinese/Thai Bahts on me because I was unprepared and almost missed my original flight and didn’t have time to stop, remember? So I was left with paying with US because of course they didn’t take Canadian currency. My usual $2.00 drip coffee ended up costing $14.00 US…. FOURTEEN US DOLLARS FOR DRIP COFFEE? Not even a latte or cappuccino? I didn’t even believe the guy but then I heard the other person behind me flipping out because they didn’t know they purchased a $180.00 US glass of wine… Once I heard that I didn’t feel so bad for myself anymore… Things could have been worse - thankfully I didn’t ask for an extra spicy caesar or I would have had to taken out a line of credit! ahah

That’s all of the shenanigans for one day. Traveling 30 hours across the world is no easy task. I remember doing this same distance when I went to Australia, but this seems longer for some strange reason. I’m very eager, excited and anxious to land in Phuket. I am meeting my travel buddy at our resort (Novotel Resort - Patong Beach), but I haven’t seen him in a while so I have some huge belly butterflies going on at the moment. I can’t wait to wake up tomorrow and experience my first day in Thailand! 

Kylie xoxo


overnight peppermint chocolate chip oatmeal

Not usually the biggest peppermint chocolate fan but hey, I was feeling a little bit festive. Is anyone else freaking out that it's DECEMBER 6th?! Where has this year even gone? Anyway, one of my favourite style of overnight oatmeal thus far! The mixture of peppermint, milk chocolate, almond milk & cacao nibs makes this oatmeal simply irresistible!! I've had quite a few requests for this recipe so here it is... Enjoy my friends & happy Sunday :)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 banana, mashed
  • 3/4 cup quick oatmeal
  • 3 tablespoons milk chocolate protein powder
  • 1 teaspoon white chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 2 tablespoons cacao nibs 
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup 
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 3/4 - 1 cup almond milk 

Optional: vanilla extract, raw cacao powder, greek yogurt

Method

  • Using a fork, begin mashing the banana in a sealed container, bowl or mason jar
  • Next add all of the dry ingredients into the same bowl and stir until all ingredients are combined
  • Lastly, pour your choice of almond milk overtop and continue to stir the ingredients together
  • Seal the oatmeal bowl with saran wrap or lid & allow the ingredients to set in the refrigerator overnight
  • In the morning remove the overnight oatmeal from the refrigerator & top with greek yogurt and cacao nibs!

- the blissful belly xo

W a n d e r..

that one time in Thailand...

Oh my gooooooodness!! I am very (EXTREMELY) excited to announce that I will be heading to Thailand for Christmas and throughout the month of December!!! It's always been a goal to mine to explore Thailand and South eastern Asia - I honestly can't believe it's actually happening for me this year in 2015. After just starting a job at a new company, I did not foresee traveling anywhere in my immediate future (unless for work). Working for a company that fuels your passions and allows you to work remotely is a driving factor of why I am completely obsessed with my job. 

This is a trip that is completely & 100% out of my comfort zone, but I am so excited to see what sixteen days in Thailand has in store for me... The only down side to this trip is leaving my family over the holidays as it will definitely be a first for me. Regardless, I know that this is an opportunity that I am definitely not willing to pass up and I hope that my family understands my logic behind my decision to travel.

The travel time to Thailand from Toronto totals 21 painful hours - that part I am definitely not pumped about but heres hoping the trip worth it! Back in 2013, I traveled to Australia to visit a couple girlfriends for five weeks and that was a similar flight length (& i somehow managed to make it through)! For this trip I will be flying into Phuket, then traveling along the South eastern Cost of Thailand hitting spots like Krabi, Ko Tao, Ko Phi Phi, Ko Samui, Ko Pha Ngan, etc. The only plan we have thus far is to hit the famous Full Moon Party in Ko Pha Ngan on December 25th - there's worst ways to spend Christmas, right? Unfortunately for me, I need to somehow make it back to Phuket for my flight home on the 27th @ 2am. Could be cutting it close! Whose idea was it for me to fly home the day after the Full Moon party?! 

Anyways... I'm super eager to get this trip underweigh, just over one month till take off & I wanted to share. <3

Listen to my Thailand soundtrack here:  

https://soundcloud.com/kymcleod/sets/thailand-vibes

paleo x pumpkin pancakes

Yes, another pumpkin recipe delight... I just can't get enough ;) I never really liked pumpkin as a kid but it's now one of my most recent  food obsessions... I find myself ordering pumpkin at every place I can.

These paleo pumpkin pancakes are especially yummy. Give em' a try!

Recipe is as follows; Yields: 3 pancakes

ingredients

  • 3 whole free-range eggs
  • 2 tbsp apple sauce (this one was homemade)
  • 1 tbsp maple extract
  • 4 tbsp pumpkin pure
  • 2 packets stevia (or another sweetener)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp almond meal

 Method:

  1. Place a non stick pan on med-high heat and add a teaspoon of coconut oil. Allow the coconut oil to melt onto the pan.
  2. Mix all of your wet ingredients together; 3 eggs, apple sauce, maple extract & pumpkin pure in a medium sized bowl using a whisk or fork.
  3. Next, in a separate bowl, mix the following dry ingredients together; stevia, cinnamon, baking soda and almond meal.
  4. Fold both wet and dry ingredients together and whisk till smooth.
  5. Use a spoon to scoop the mixture and create medium sized circles on the skillet with about 1/3 of the pancake batter. (you may need to add more coconut oil onto the skillet for the next pancake to avoid sticking)
  6. After 1-3 minutes check on the pancake (lift up one side) to see if the edges have become a golden brown colour, if so flip it to the opposite side and cook for an additional 1-3 minutes. (Little bubbles may appear on the top of the pancake when it is ready to be flipped over)
  7. Repeat step # 5 until batter runs out.
  8. Transfer pancakes onto a warm plate and top them with maple syrup, cinnamon & pumpkin seeds!

Enjoy xoxo:)

Paleo pumpkin spice bread with maple pumpkin frosting

Oh my gee!!! Thanksgiving is already here and I am obviously thankful for this abundance of PUMPKIN in my life!! This pumpkin spice bread is one of my all time favourites... I changed it up a bit by adding something new... maple pumpkin frosting! 

Enjoy my friends & happiest Thanksgiving to you and your families :)

Pumpkin spice bread ingredients:

  • 5 large free-range eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin pure
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup ground flax meal
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 3 packets stevia
  • 1 teaspoon maple extract
  • 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil

maple pumpkin frosting ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons lactose-free greek yogurt (liberte)
  • 3 tablespoons pumpkin pure
  • 1 teaspoon maple agave nectar
  • 2 packets stevia

method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 F.
  2. Line your baking tin with a layer of organic virgin coconut oil and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine all wet ingredients, including: pumpkin pure, eggs, maples extract & coconut oil.
  4. Then use a separate bowl to mix your dry ingredients; cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, cloves, stevia, baking soda, coconut flour & ground flax meal.
  5. Fold dry ingredients into the same bowl as the wet ingredients and whisk together throughly.
  6. Next, pour the mixture into the baking tin. 
  7. Bake pumpkin spice bread for 30-33 minutes at 400 degrees F or until you are able to remove a clean toothpick from the bread.
  8. In a separate bowl, combine all frosting ingredients together then whisk until you reach a fluffy consistency. 
  9. Allow the bread to cool completely before slicing then top with frosting. Enjoy!!

Pumpkin Spice Banana Oat Bars

With pumpkin on my mind, I thought I would try a new recipe including all my main flavour favourites... pumpkin, spice, coconut, banana and oatmeal! and TA-DA... here you have these Pumpkin Spice Banana Oat Bars!

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cup quick organic oats
  • 1.5 cup pumpkin pure
  • 1/3 cup organic coconut milk
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 free-range egg
  • 1 tsp baking power
  • 1 tsp coconut extract
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon, ground
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Method

  1. Use a fork or wisk to mash the banana into a smooth paste in a medium size mixing bowl.
  2. Add the pumpkin pure, coconut milk, egg, coconut extract then stir until smooth.
  3. Next add the quick oats, baking powder, cinnamon and spices and stir just until combined.
  4. Line a 8x8 dish with a light layer of coconut oil then pour all of the batter into the pan.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for about 28-35 minutes.

Enjoy <3 xo