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Recent Happenings + Friday Favorites & Link Love

Happy Friday, y’all! Can you believe it’s the end of July? This month flew by – from an amazing week of r&r with my family on Lake Keowee in South Carolina, to celebrating my 31st birthday with friends in NYC, to Chicago for a non-stop week of presentations and meetings for work… it’s been a whirlwind.

Oh, and we bought a house.
 
My hubby and I are buying our first house! We close on it today (Friday), so as you read this, I’m hoping all goes smoothly and we’re owners of a new home. Pictures coming soon.
 
In all the hubbub, I haven’t had a chance to publish new posts (although I do post on Instagram every day, so keep up with me there in the meantime!). It’s been a struggle to devote the time as my full-time work in health policy has been increasingly demanding — when I’m not on the clock, I’m trying to recover from the grueling pace with lots of rest, walks with my pup, and warm sunny rays.
 
IMG_6026
 
#Realtalk: This year has been all about healing from SIBO and adrenal/hormonal issues, so I’ve really tried to prioritize rest and recovery… it’s been a looooong process full of ups and downs. It’s been super frustrating when all I want to do is connect with you guys and share the glow! Seriously, everyday I love hearing from you, getting inspired by you, and feeling the energy and love. Sending lots of gratitude to you all for staying with me even through the slower periods. 
 
I can’t wait to share some exciting posts coming up — part 3 of the smoothie how-to post (everything you need to know about smoothies — did you see part 1 and part 2?), how to make the switch to an ecofriendly beauty routine, my new favorite mantra, a giveaway for an empowering new book, Lady Bits, and… 
 
An updated website! Keep your eyes out for a fresh, new look for MTG coming early this fall. 
 
Alright enough rambling, now on to the awesome tips and articles in this week’s Friday Favorites and link love:
 
Beauty Counter Ecofriendly Makeup
  • BeautyCounter cosmetics – have you tried them? My husband gifted me some for my birthday and I can’t wait to try more!
  • 9 Tips for Constipation Relief – I know, I know, not the most pleasant subject, but everybody poops. Seriously. It’s a HUGE part of our overall wellness that can get ignored as it’s not the most appealing topic to discuss, but it’s super important. I like Magnesium Citrate and a Squatty Potty to help move things along – and now my clients are hooked!
  • This real food 2-day reset is helping me get back on track after a crazy month. The Carrot Cake Smoothie and Skinny Reuben Salad are my fave. 

Gluten-free, Dairy-free Avocado Chocolate Mousse

  • Lady Bits by Dr. Brianne Grogran, DPT. I love this book – it’s stuffed to the brim with valuable info about women’s health… from aging to understanding our cycles to nutrition and yoga. Keep your eyes out for a giveaway coming soon or buy a copy now

Wishing you a wonderful weekend, friends! 

 

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Dark Chocolate Superfood Brownies

It’s my first day back from a week-long vacation and these babies are my saving grace. Talk about comfort food, yum. 
 
Dark Chocolate Superfood Brownies - gluten free and dairy free
 
Just editing the pictures had my mouth watering! 
 
But seriously, make these today. They’re a delicious, healthy take on a classic brownie. And they’re made of pecans and sweetened with medjool dates, y’all! No flour, no processed sugar. 
 
I know, I know, you’re probably thinking: pecans can be made into a brownie batter? Yes. We have the amazing Detoxinista to thank for that – her Healthy Double Chocolate Cookies inspired these superfood brownies. And you guys know I’m a huge fan of using medjool dates as sweeteners as well (see my Chocolate Avocado Mousse, Decadent Sweet Potato Chocolate Mousse, Apple Pie Ice Pops, and more). Add in the cinnamon, coconut oil, goji berries, and cacao nibs, and you’ve got yourself a superfood brownie. 
 
Superfood brownies > regular brownies. #truth.
 
And, they’re naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, paleo, grain-free, and soy-free. Vegans, try using a flax or chia egg and let us know how it goes!
 
Dark Chocolate Superfood Brownies - gluten free and dairy free
 
I add in the goji berries and cacao nibs at the end and only pulse the processor a few times – it leaves little chunks that add some crunch as well as beautiful pops of pink from the gojis. Not a fan of cacao nibs? Try chocolate chips! 
 
I’ve made these countless times and usually make a batch or two then slice and freeze so I have an ‘anytime’ dessert – simply heat and eat. I top them with frozen sweet cherries (the hot brownie and frozen cherries are incredible together!) and peanut butter, or frosted with Chocolate Avocado Mousse. They hit the spot, for sure.
 
And, I’ve been known to eat them for breakfast, drizzled with cashew butter and topped with fresh berries. They’re subtly sweet and rich, and power me up for the day. 
 
These are a hit in my house, and I couldn’t wait to share them with you! Enjoy. 
 
Dark Chocolate Superfood Brownies - gluten free and dairy free
 
Dark Chocolate Superfood Brownies
 
Inspired by The Detoxinista's Healthy Double Chocolate Cookies
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1.5 cups raw pecan pieces
  • 14 pitted, soft, plump medjool dates - soak in water to soften if needed
  • 6 TB cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 TB vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup goji berries
  • ¼ cup cacao nibs
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Grind the dates and pecans in your food processor until a crumbly consistency.
  3. Add all of the other ingredients except for the cacao nibs and goji berries.
  4. Pulse a few times to get all of the ingredients incorporated and then run your processor until the ingredients start to form one big ball of 'dough' on the side of the food processor.
  5. Add ¼ cup of goji berries and a ¼ cup of cacao nibs and pulse a few times to incorporate (I like to leave small pieces of gojis throughout for crunch and pops of color, so I only pulse a few times - if you'd like a smooth batter, incorporate until smooth)
  6. The batter will be in a big ball.
  7. Transfer it to a parchment paper-lined 8X8 pan and use your fingers to spread the batter into an even layer - the batter may not reach all of the sides, which is no problem. (And, the parchment paper simply helps to avoid sticking to the pan). Put a sprinkle of water on your hands to help the batter not stick to your hands.
  8. Bake for about 20 - 25 minutes or until a fork/toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for at least 20 - 25 minutes so the brownies stay together. Serve warm and enjoy!
Notes
Store in an air-tight container for 3-4 days or freeze.
 
Dark Chocolate Superfood Brownies - gluten free and dairy free
 

 Products I used (buy them on Amazon!):

 
 
For everyday recipes, pictures, resources, and healthy living tips,
check out Made to Glow on
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.
 
Have you seen the Made to Glow Amazon Shop?
It’s full of my favorite products – from food to kitchen gadgets to books to body products. Check it out!

Strawberry Coconut Chia Popsicles with Cashew Butter Drizzle

It’s officially summer. Wahoo! Today, I’m sharing some scrumptious ice pops that are the perfect 4th of July dessert – and also double as a snack, or even breakfast.

Strawberry Coconut Chia Popsicles with Cashew Butter Drizzle Gluten-free and Dairy-free

Strawberries. Chia seeds. Coconut. Cashew butter. 

These babies are full of tasty real food nutrition and besides the freeze-time, they’re super easy and quick to make (and kid-friendly).

Strawberry Coconut Chia Popsicles with Cashew Butter Drizzle Gluten-free and Dairy-free

And, here’s the thing – if you’ve seen my other recipes, you know I share recipes that are easily customizable to various dietary restrictions and flavor preferences. We’re all different so do what works for you! #truth.

  • Nut-free or not a fan of cashew butter? Omit or use your favorite nut/seed butter.
  • Don’t have any coconut nectar? Try subbing honey or maple syrup – add a little bit at a time, taste, and add more if needed. Both of those are sweeter than coconut nectar, so you may not need a lot.
  • Like using full-fat coconut milk better? Go for it! You may need to adjust the ratio of sweetener and strawberries as the coconut flavor from the thicker coconut milk may overpower a bit.

Head on over to Red and Honey where I’m sharing the full post and recipe.

Looking for more popsicle recipes?

This lovely Purely Pops Cookbook is full of easy no-bake ice pop recipes – check it out here. These Apple Pie Ice Pops are from Purely Pops and are a crowd-pleaser! 

MTG’s Smoothie How-To Guide: Part 2 – “Where do I start?” PLUS a Recipe for a Creamy Orange Mango Green Smoothie

Smoothie How-To Guide Part 2 Easy Formula and Creamy Orange Mango Smoothie

Photo original by Ryon:Lockhart Photography

Have you seen Part 1, “Smoothie 101″? Click here to read.

I remember when I first started getting into smoothies. I was working on the Food As Medicine program at The Center for Mind-Body Medicine in Washington, DC, and just getting started on my wellness journey. My manager at the time – my dear friend, Jo – brought in smoothies for me to try and I was hooked!

The flavor combinations were endless, and you could almost feel the vitality bursting from the colorful produce. Definitely food as medicine.

From then on, smoothies have been a staple in my healing repertoire and daily routine, and in my opinion, are a pretty fantastic way to get your fruits and veggies in each day.

But when you’re new to blending, a common question is, ‘where do I start?’ Check out my tips in Part 2 of the MTG Smoothie How-To Guide. I am very honored to be featured in Radiant Health Magazine – so very exciting! 

Check out the article, which includes my tips for getting started with smoothies… including an easy-to-follow formula, tips to make the best smoothies, and ways to make smoothies part of your daily routine.

Oh, and don’t forget the Creamy Orange Mango Green Smoothie – perfect for summer. Cheers!

Creamy Orange Mango Green Smoothie

Check out Part 2 of the MTG Smoothie How-To Guide – “Where do I start” plus a recipe for a super creamy Orange Mango Green Smoothie! Click here to view Part 2.

Did you miss Part 1, “Smoothie 101″? Click here to view Part 1.

Also check out my favorite smoothie and juice recipes or browse my Smoothies & Juices Pinterest board. 

Chocolate Avocado Mousse

Oh my gosh, y’all. Chocolate-lovers, take note. 
 
Gluten-free, Dairy-free Avocado Chocolate Mousse
 
This super creamy mousse is rich and velvety – the perfect spread or spoonful to nip any craving in the bud. If you’ve seen my sweet potato chocolate mousse or healthy chocolate frosting, you know I’m a sucker for chocolate-y spreads/puddings/mousses.  
 
Gluten-free, Dairy-free Avocado Chocolate Mousse
 
I have a sweet tooth, but because of my dietary restrictions, I like to make my chocolate treats at home. Plus, when you can have fun experimenting combining chocolate with other foods like sweet potatoes, yogurt, avocado, or coconut, why not? Amiright?! 
 
When my hubby and I tried Brianne’s Dark Chocolate Pudding, it instantly became a fave in our house… it calls for raspberries, and chocolate and raspberries is a long-time fave of mine. Bri’s Dark Chocolate Pudding inspired this recipe – so why not make both?! You’ll thank me later. 
 
So, back to this gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, paleo, nut-free, soy-free chocolate-avocado mousse. It’s made with ripe avocado for some super healthy fats, yes!
 
Avocado Chocolate Mousse - Gluten-free, Dairy-free
 
I like to spread it on pancakes, waffles, toast, apples, Flackers, or I let it sit at room temperature for a bit and it becomes more of a pudding… perfect for topping with berries, seeds, and more chocolate, of course. 
 
Gluten-free, Dairy-free Avocado Chocolate Mousse
 
This mousse is one of my favorite MTG recipes. It’s out of this world delicious and comes together in less than 15 minutes (including clean-up!)… let’s be real, time is a huge factor in whether I make a recipe or not, so this is perfect. Cheers!
 
Chocolate Avocado Mousse
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 8 drops stevia
  • 8 very soft, plump medjool dates (soak them in water soften if needed)
  • A little less than ¼ tsp of salt
  • Flesh from 2 ripe avocados
  • ½ TB vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 TB melted coconut oil
  • 1 TB water
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients, except for the water, in a food processor.
  2. Pulse the mixture a few times until it has started to mix together.
  3. Wipe down the sides of your food processor. Pulse a few more times.
  4. Turn the food processor on for awhile to further mix, and pour in the water while it's running.
  5. Process until fully incorporated. The mousse should be smooth and velvety.
  6. Taste.
  7. Too bitter? Add another drop of stevia or another date and process again.
  8. Store in the fridge or freeze.
Notes
This mousse hardens a bit in the fridge - just stir it up to make soft again.
I double the recipe and freeze half in small glass containers. Put the container in the fridge overnight to thaw and it will be ready to eat the next morning!
Not a fan of stevia? Try adding maple syrup or honey to taste.