Chocolate Cake Batter Chia Energy Bites {vegan + gf}

Energy bites are a favorite snack in my household. I’ve even turned my immediate family on the east coast onto energy bites, because I’m always whipping them up when I visit as a healthy snack to have around.cake-batter-energy-bites-1

And as a big fan of keeping things interesting in the kitchen and in life in general, I’m always coming up with new energy bite combinations. Today I’ve got a new one to share: chocolate cake batter chia energy bites!  


Made with oats, plant-based protein powder and chia seeds, these vegan, gluten free bites pack a nutritious punch. They get their cake batter flavor thanks to the combo of cashew butter, cinnamon, vanilla and cocoa, and are sweetened with dates and maple syrup.


They’re the perfect little bite to hold you over until a meal or give you some quick on-the-go healthy fuel.

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How I Get My Healthy Living Act Together

Hi there!

Hope that you had a great weekend! After recovering from travel and fighting a cold last week, I’m feeling better rested and more settled. I feel like my blog posting has been a bit more sporadic than usual the last couple of weeks, but this week I should be back to normal scheduling!

As I resume to a better sense of normalcy this week, a top priority of mine is getting back to cleaner living. While I always maintain a healthy lifestyle, lately my healthy living balance has been tipping more into the ‘indulgences’ side of things a little more than I typically strive for. This happens every now and then and it’s certainly not the end of the world. After all, healthy living is a journey, not a destination right?

donutjuice-collageWith that being said, today I’m sharing the ways that I get my clean living act together after a few too many celebratory drinks, simple carbs and desserts. Doing these things helps me to feel my best in many ways, including reducing any bloating  and increasing my energy levels. Let’s get to it!


I amp up my fruit & veggie intake. While I always eat fruits & veggies daily, when I’m focused on eating clean I eat them even more. As I talked about in this post, I usually eat at least a serving of fruits or veggies at every meal.

orzo vegetable soup-5

My easy orzo vegetable soup

I use MyFitnessPal app to track my nutrition and calories, including tracking my macros – which means balancing out my carbs, fat and protein to make sure I’m getting the right proportions of each.

I know that some people aren’t into tracking nutrition, and I really think it’s just a matter of figuring of what works best for you. I do it because I like crunching numbers and ensuring that my diet is maximizing my nutrition. Otherwise, my plant-based diet can be too carb-heavy and not have enough protein.


I exercise harder. Over the past month, I’ve worked out an average of four times per week (and I’ll be talking more about my workouts lately on here soon!). While that’s a totally respectable amount of exercise, I kick my sweat sessions up a notch to usually 6 days a week. I love a lot of variety in my exercise routine & hate getting bored with my workouts!

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Life Lately: A Wedding Extravaganza East Coast Trip

Hi there!

Long time no talk. I have been crazy busy lately! An anniversary, 2 weddings, a bachelorette party & visiting family on the east coast have all taken place… and today I thought I’d back it up a few weeks to share with you guys just what I’ve been up to!

At the beginning of the month, my hubby and I celebrated 7 years of marriage! I was traveling to the east coast two days later, so we elected to celebrate lucky #7 locally.


First up, we went to a San Diego Chargers game. They played the Saints and the game was so much fun….until the Chargers totally blew their 13-point lead in the last 4 minutes and lost the game. Whomp whomp. 


Let’s just say that there were many die-hard fans that were not too pleased after the game. Even we were bummed out about it, and we are both really fans of other teams (the Giants for me, the Eagles for him).


After the game, we headed down to Coronado to have dinner at Il Fornaio. It’s an Italian restaurant I’ve mentioned on the blog before that offers great views of downtown San Diego. It was a gorgeous day, so we sat outside to enjoy our meal.

downtown-sd-view {Pasta pomodoro for me for dinner}


{And gelato + a boozy coffee to split for dessert}


It was such a fun day together! I especially appreciated it since I knew we’d be apart for a few weeks, and since A has been so insanely busy with work & school lately.


A few days later, I headed cross country to NJ. Even though I was just in my home state of NJ over the summer, this east coast trip came up when I found out that two of my friends were getting married in the same weekend. One of my close friends works for JetBlue and was able to hook me up with free flights, which was awesome!


complimentary snacks on my JetBlue flights = a happy traveling me

It was actually the first time I’ve ever flown JetBlue (they don’t fly a lot of routes that I do… yet!) and I absolutely loved them. Free wi-fi, free TV, free snacks, enough space to sit so that I don’t feel completely claustrophobic… it’s the little complimentary things that make me a happy traveler! I was able to work the entire flight out with easy wi-fi access, and the 6-hour flights flew by (pun intended!) both ways.


The first wedding was for the friend that I’ve had the longest in the world. Ashley and I started cheerleading together at age 7 and were carpooling buddies our senior year of high school, and now as adults, we keep in touch & meet up whenever I’m in the area. She looked so happy and stunning at her wedding!


Sans my hubby, my friend Danielle was my date for the night. It was fun to get to catch up with her the whole night and crash at a hotel together!

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Apple Pie Banana Bread {vegan + gf}

Hello, hello!

Today I have what’s quickly becoming a new favorite recipe of mine to share with you guys, so let’s dive right into it!

Banana bread is one of my favorite ways to use ripe bananas, and I’m sure a lot of you would agree with me on that! There’s just something so comforting and yummy about a banana bread fresh out of the oven. I like to eat a slice with a cup of hot tea.

Today’s recipe takes a twist on banana bread – a cinnamon apple twist, because hello October! This is my last recipe creation using the fruit from my apple picking excursion in Julian. There’s been lots of apple eating and baking in my kitchen over the past month!  apple-banana-bread-9 Continue reading

Visiting Ireland’s Cliffs of Moher {Travel Recap}

Hello, hello!

Today is my last recap from my trip last month to Ireland. So far I’ve talked about my favorite attractions & fun in Dublin and my Dublin vegetarian eating guide… and today I’m back with a recap of my visit to the Cliffs of Moher!


Funny enough, I’m putting together this travel post as I’m currently 40,000 feet in the air en route to NYC. I’m heading east to my home state of New Jersey for lots of wedding festivities: I’m attending  2 friends’ weddings this weekend and a bachelorette party the following weekend, and also have some bridesmaids dress shopping from my brother’s upcoming wedding planned.

Of course, there will be lots of family time as well. I usually try to see my parents and the rest of my east coast-based family every couple of months, but I’m on a roll because this will be the third month in a row that I’ve seen them. Yay for family time!


But I digress, back to my most recent Euro trip! When I planned my trip to Ireland, I knew that I wouldn’t have too much time to do sightseeing outside of Dublin. One place that I really wanted to see during my trip was the Cliffs of Moher. I had seen plenty of travel sites and movies featuring it, and had visions of the beautiful green cliffs.

Since the Cliffs of Moher is a solid 3+ hours away from Dublin, I decided to do a travel tour. With a pretty busy trip schedule, it seemed like it would be my only chance to see the Irish countryside. An all-day tour became the plan, and my sister Kelsey and cousin Alanna joined me for what became a memorable travel day!

With my sister and cousin on our Ireland tour

With my sister and cousin on our Ireland tour

I decided to book a tour with Paddywagon Tours, which seemed like a popular Irish tour company that offers a variety of options. I easily booked with them in advance online. Early morning, we walked to a meeting spot in a Dublin city center point and were greeted by a very prompt tour guide who was full of one-liners throughout the day, including: “How do you know an Irishman is lying? If their lips are moving!”

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Why I Yoga

“Every moment you are on this planet, every moment that your heart is beating and your breath is flowing, is an opportunity to celebrate. So many wonderful blessings come into our life, and when we’re present, we see them. When we’re strong and disciplined we push away the garbage, and when we’re bold we make the big choice to light up the world around us, to celebrate…”

– Outlaw Yoga 


Happy Friday & last day of September!

Speaking of September, it’s deemed National Yoga Month by the Department of Health & Human Services. It’s the month where the worldwide yoga community celebrates the practice. As a yogi, I think that every month is yoga month, but this month I’ve definitely been thinking about my motivations for getting my Om on most days.

Lately I’ve popped into a few yoga classes at CorePower in Encinitas to sweat it out in their heated classes. To commemorate National Yoga Month, the yoga chain launched a campaign called #WhyIYoga – which encourages yogis everywhere to share why they practice.


So what are the reasons that I keep coming back to my yoga mat? 

One motivation is to find balance. I find that the practice of yoga gives me balance not only in the physical sense when I’m standing on my head and trying out more progressive asanas, but also mentally and emotionally. Yoga gives me perspective and centers my mind, body and soul.


It gives me the space to practice mindfulness. I can have so much going on, but when I hit my mat, I’m focusing my energy on the present moment. Even if I at first am not in the mood for yoga – which certainly is the case sometimes – after a couple of minutes of flowing through some poses, I notice that I’m more at-ease and relaxed. The stresses of life melt away a bit, and I always feel better after I’ve practiced. I never regret a yoga session!


“Go from a human being doing yoga to a human being yoga.” – Baron Baptiste

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A Day in the Life: Workouts, Health Coaching, & Running Out of Groceries

Hey, hey!

I haven’t done a day in the life type of post in awhile, so today I’m sharing what one day last week looked like for me. I’m also joining in on Arman’s What I Ate Wednesday party!


The reality TV lover in me always finds this type of blog post interesting, but if it’s not your cup of tea, tune back in on Friday or check out my  pumpkin chocolate chip cookie recipe from earlier this week.

Since I work from home and do a few different things for a living, my schedule can vary a lot. The day before this, I worked for 9 hours straight, then took a class at a fitness studio in the evening. The day after this, I went grocery shopping in the middle of the day, then was working at 9 pm… so the point is, I like to change it up and my schedule all depends on what work I’m doing & what else is going on in my life!

7:30 – Wake up, get dressed & ready, feed my pup, and check my publicist work emails while drinking a glass of water. I always wake up thirsty!


8:15-9 – I do a morning workout of 20 minutes of yoga + 20 minutes of spinning on my bike trainer. I’ve been using that equipment a lot lately!


9-11:15 – I make a chocolate cherry protein smoothie for breakfast, and work on a couple of different work things.

My smoothie contains: 3/4 cup frozen cherries + 1/2 scoop chocolate plant-based protein powder + 2/3 cup chocolate almond milk + 2 TBSP chocolate powdered PB + 1 TBSP cocoa powder.

11:30-12:15 –  I have a conference call with a client of the public relations agency I work for.

12:15 – I get ready to leave for a health coaching session – well, it’s more accurate to say that I hurriedly rush around my house getting my stuff together (I anticipated that my call would be a bit shorter), getting changed into non-workout clothes.

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies [vegan + gluten free]

Hi friends!

Hello from San Diego, where it is hot, hot, hot! We’re having a heatwave here, and today is warmer than any summer day I’ve experienced here. I’m working from my pool this afternoon after seeing that temperatures were hitting the triple digits. There’s this strong hot breeze going on and it’s pretty crazy for us spoiled San Diegans (many of whom do not have AC, myself included)!

Saturday night's sunset in Carlsbad

Saturday night’s sunset in Carlsbad

The heatwave started a few days ago, so I spent a ton of time at the beach over the weekend. Coastal walks with the pup, a burrito picnic dinner at sunset, the dog beach, watching NFL Sunday football games on my phone with my feet in the sand…. I practically lived at the beach for a few days! No complaints there! 

Harley enjoying the dog beach

Harley enjoying the dog beach

Rewinding back to two weekends ago when it was feeling more autumn-ish, I was bitten by the baking bug as I usually am when fall starts and I’ve got apple & pumpkin on my brain.


My friend Tiffany, who throws great parties where her and her hubby play movies in their backyard on a projector screen, was having a ladies’ night. I wanted to bring a seasonal dessert, so I whipped up a new pumpkin cookie recipe that I’m sharing with you guys today!

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10 Healthy Ways to Embrace Autumn

Happy Friday, and Happy Autumn friends!

Yesterday officially marked the first day of fall for all of us in the Northern Hemisphere! I really enjoy this time of the year, how about you guys? Keeping it nice & light, today I’m sharing 10 fun ways to embrace the season!


1.) Go apple picking. Already have this one checked off my autumn list!

2.) Hit the trails // Go for walks. I love the crisp air and cool breezes that hit in fall. I love the return back to the steady 70 degree days in San Diego, and it’s actually my favorite time of the year weather-wise in the Northeast where I’m from.

If you live near hilly terrain, take advantage of the perfect outdoor workout weather and hit the trails with your pup, family or friends. If you live in a flat area, visit your favorite area park – or try a new one! – to get some nice long walks in. If you live in an area that gets cold and icy in the winter, get outdoors now while you still can!


Scenes from my hike yesterday

Just yesterday evening I went hiking with my pup at Elfin Forest, and it was glorious!

3.) Reevaluate your goals & start fresh with your intentions. For me, a new season feels like a new start. Take time to think about the ways that you can improve your life and cultivate new healthy habits.


4.) After you do #1, make apple pie autumn granolaI just made a batch earlier this week, and it’s like fall in a bowl. The recipe is vegan, gluten free, free of refined sugar… and delicious!

5.) Stash up on your herbal tea collection. I’m a big tea drinker, but I pretty much stop drinking it all of summer while it’s hot out. The desire to sip a hot drink hits me once the weather cools down a bit, and I love stocking up on new teas this time of the year. Peppermint & pumpkin flavors are my favorite autumn-time teas!

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Where to Eat Vegetarian in Dublin [Travel Recap]

Hello, hello!


Last week I talked about my favorite adventures in Dublin on my recent trip to Ireland, and today I’m back to share a guide to vegetarian eating in Dublin.


I initially didn’t have very high expectations for plant-based eating in Ireland because I know that the traditional Irish diet is very meat-and-potatoes-ish, and also because of my previous experiences in meat heavy European countries like Austria and Germany.


Falafel with arugula at the Dublin airport

But when I started doing research on eating vegetarian in Dublin, I found that healthy eating in general is becoming more popular in Ireland. I did not have a problem coming up with a list of restaurants to potentially dine at, and I thought that I’d share some recommendations for where to eat veg in Dublin. Here are my favorite meals that I enjoyed in Dublin!

Cornucopia. I learned from my Lonely Planet travel book that Cornucopia is recognized as Dublin’s best-known vegetarian restaurant. I ventured there with my parents and sister one night, and it did not disappoint!


Placing an emphasis on locally grown & organic ingredients, Cornucopia offers lots of wholesome options – from salads and sandwiches to a variety of hot dishes like red onion, leek and sundried tomato polenta cakes with mushroom sauce. The salads weren’t your standard boring classics either: they were items like bulgur, fennel, chard and cherry vine in a green chilli vinaigrette.

We were all starving, so we just mixed and matched a bunch of hot dishes with different salads, then dug in and shared all of our plates. I could not even tell you what the below & above pictured dishes actually are, but everything was fresh and flavorful!


The restaurant has a ton of seating and is located in the heart of downtown Dublin.


Johnnie Fox’s. The very first night in Ireland, we ventured maybe half an hour out of the city to one of Ireland’s oldest traditional pubs called Johnnie Fox’s. Situated in Glencullen on top of the Dublin mountains, it’s famed for being the highest pub in the country.


Johnnie Fox’s was my first experience with the deliciousness known as Irish bread. I’m a sucker for yummy bread, and whoa, it’s so good — grainy, fresh, and just wholesome tasting. This turned out to be a theme in Ireland: awesome fresh bread everywhere!


Most of the menu is not vegetarian, but the couple of items they offered that were veg-friendly sounded awesome. With my sister on the trip who’s also a vegetarian, it was nice to just split meals with her a lot and get to try multiple items. At Johnnie Fox’s we ordered their vegetable lasagna + the above pictured bean & veggie stew. Both were delicious, and tasted even better after a day of not really eating real food & just snacking while traveling!

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