Tag Archives: snacks

Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Cereal Bars [gluten free]

As a traveler, I’m not usually the person that seeks out the best shopping spots in a given area. I’m not huge into shopping and my husband absolutely loathes it, so shopping is never on our vacation checklist. While I prefer making memories, taking photos, and going on adventures while traveling, I do enjoy nabbing a souvenir that reminds me of the trip and is unique to the area.


For instance, I picked up coasters in New Orleans that have the city’s symbolic fleur-de-lis design on them. When I put my drink on one, memories from my time there come to mind.

The last time I was in Italy, I bought a bracelet from a street vendor. Every time I wear it, I think of the magic of Venice.


During my trip to Ireland a few months ago, the souvenir that I took home was a jar of locally made honey. I nabbed it at a health food store during my excursion to the Cliffs of Moher, and every time I use some of that honey, I think of the rolling hills of Ireland. Now I wish I had bought more of it!


Recently while I was spooning my Irish honey into my green tea, I got the idea to make pumpkin spice cereal bars that are glued together with the goodness that is honey.


I’ve always been a big cereal lover. I eat it with protein powder mixed in & with banana or blueberries; sprinkle it on top of my smoothie bowls; and sometimes I eat it dry with a handful of dried cherries & chocolate chips for a healthy dessert. There’s something about chocolate with oat cereals like Cheerios that is just so yummy!

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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

Currently Loving: My Top 5 Travel Snacks

Happy Friday!

What are your plans for the official first weekend of summer? In thinking about my summer season, the next month or so is going to hopefully include lots of local SoCal fun, and then the month after that will involves lots of travel and time away from home. When I’m on-the-go traveling, especially if there are long car rides and/or long flights involved, one of the things I make sure to do is bring healthy snacks.


I just don’t think you can ever go wrong with bringing healthy food with you. It usually comes in handy at the times I prep for it – like at lunchtime on a plane – but I also find that it’s great to have snacks on hand for random times when hunger strikes. For instance, if I’m going out to dinner later than I normally eat, a snack packed in my bag comes in handy to hold me over.

So far this year, here are my 5 favorite (very portable) travel snacks!


Chocolate peanut butter energy bites. I find energy balls to be the perfect little pick-me-up! I threw a bunch of them in a plastic bag and brought some to Cabo with me last month.

No Cow Bar at the beach

My beach snack last weekend

No Cow bars. I recently started eating these bars by D’s Naturals, and have quickly become a big fan. They’re dairy free, and are made with organic brown rice and pea proteins and sweetened with monk fruit and stevia. At 170 calories & 20 g of protein a pop, they pack a great protein punch – especially because when I’m traveling sometimes the protein in my diet can be lacking a bit. The bars also have a ton of fiber – which is great to keep your digestive system regular when you’re traveling and eating a diet that’s different from your norm (TMI?!).

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7 Healthy Snacks & Desserts I’ve Been Eating Lately

Hi friends!

I hope that you had a wonderful weekend! I had a great 3 days out of town for ShiftCon, and then I came home to spend time with my little family. Highlights on Sunday were a relaxing few hours at the mostly empty beach…

Carlsbad Beach-Sept '15

…and making vegan s’mores via our fire pit under the Blood Moon:


I’ve been wanting to make s’mores for months since finding these vegan marshmallows at my natural foods store, and even included it on my Before 30 Bucket List. Mmm, now I can check that one off the list!

S'mores Collage

I’m going to share some highlights about ShiftCon – a conference that puts the topics of wellness, health, and the environment front and center – in my next post, but today I want to chat with you guys about new snacks that I’ve tried lately. As of late I’ve been obsessed with both popcorn and cereal, so here are my recent favorites of those, plus a few other yummy snacks I’ve been noshing on! 
ICONIC Vanilla Bean

ICONIC Protein Drinks. Recently ICONIC sent me their Cafe au Lait, Vanilla Bean & Chocolate Truffle flavored protein drinks to try. While I typically don’t go for milk or milk-based protein drinks, I was intrigued in trying ICONIC because their products come from grass-fed and hormone free cows and include organic fair-trade blue agave.

Naturally, I liked the chocolate flavor the best. It reminded me of these Special K protein shakes I used to drink as a teenager – only with a much healthier ingredient list, less calories and more protein. Each bottle contains 20 g of protein and 130 calories, making it an ideal easy snack post-workout when I want to fuel my recovering muscles with a nice dose of protein.

479 popcorn

479 Degrees Sea Salt Caramel Artisan Popcorn. [gluten free] Ooh baby baby, sweet and salty popcorn! I love the short and sweet ingredient list on this popcorn and the fact that it’s made with organic ingredients and rBST and antibiotic-free butter. At 100 calories a cup, this popcorn is a perfect sweet & salty snack.

Vans GF cereals

Van’s Cocoa Sensations & Blissful Berry Cereals. [gluten free, vegan] Recently Van’s sent me these boxes of their new gluten free cereal line flavors to try, and I’ve been snacking on them often. The cocoa cereal is obviously my favorite given my love for anything chocolate. I’ve been eating some with protein powder, blueberries/sliced banana and almond milk for breakfast, and noshing on it when I’m starving waiting for dinner to cook or just want a little something sweet at night.

Made with a blend of oat brown rice, millet, quinoa, and amaranth flours and sweetened with cane sugar, these cereals are a great alternative to the artificially dyed and corn syrup-filled cereals that you (and your kids) might normally eat.

Dried Bananas

Made in Nature Dried Bananas. [gluten free, vegan] Made in Nature, one of the vendors at ShiftCon, sent me a cute package with some of their products prior to the show, and their dried banana slices were definitely my favorite! Containing just organic banana and lemon juice, they make for a perfect healthy grab-and-go snack, and I have been adding a couple of them to my smoothie bowls.

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Chocolate Chip Almond Butter Cookie Dough Pretzel Dip

Hi friends!

Happy Memorial Day weekend to all of my readers in the U.S.! I am really looking forward to a couple of days home with my hubby. We don’t have too much on the agenda, which is great since last weekend we were away in Palm Springs, and next weekend I’ll be in Miami celebrating my best friend’s bachelorette party (can’t wait!), so I’m hoping to have some fun out and about in San Diego and a pretty low-key holiday weekend.

I had planned on doing a last recap of my DietBet today, but then I realized that it’s almost Memorial Day and I had shot a recipe on red, white & blue dishware earlier this week that would be great to whip up for a small holiday gathering…

cookie dough pretzel dip-2

…so, this deliciousness seemed more appropriate today instead! Plus, Fridays seem like the best days to gush over desserts, do you agree?

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7 Healthy Snacks I’m Loving Lately

While some people feel best eating three square meals a day, I’m much more of a small-meals-and-snacks kinda girl. Typically eating something every three or four hours means that I usually have healthy on-the-go munchies in my purse and car, as well a number of favorite healthy quick snacks in mind. Here are some of my current top snack picks:

apple slices

[apple with nut butter & cinnamon] 

I’ve declared my love for apples before, and lately one of snacks I’m loving the most is an apple sliced with some peanut/almond/cashew butter and sprinkled with cinnamon. It’s a nice mix of healthy carbs, fat and protein, and nut butter has a way of keeping me from being starving a few hours later.

Blue Diamond Honey Cinnamon Almonds

Honey cinnamon almonds to the rescue during my work trip this week!

[Blue Diamond honey roasted cinnamon & honey dijon almonds]

While I’ve been a fan of Blue Diamond almonds for awhile, recently the company sent me a few flavors of their nuts to try that I hadn’t gotten my hands on yet. Almonds are perfect for an on-the-go snack, and they came especially in handy this week while I’ve been in Las Vegas for work. One night I came back to my hotel room starving, and a few handfuls of Blue Diamond almonds came to the rescue until I had dinner in front of me.

Honey dijon almond eating in the airport

Honey dijon almond eating in the airport

Almonds are one of my favorite nuts, and since I have an obsession with both cinnamon and honey, their honey roasted cinnamon flavor is my favorite. I also like the honey dijon almonds for a bit of salty satisfaction.

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Cinnamon Almond Butter Date Truffles

Hey friends!

Hope that you had a fabulous weekend. A highlight of my last few days included meeting up with my friend Trish and her little pup for a hiking doggie date….

Elfin Forest Hiking with Harley

Temperatures were in the 80s on Saturday, but it didn’t feel too hot because it was nice and breezy. Harley wasn’t slowed down by the warm weather and was her usual maniac, super friendly self.

Harley & Cody

Harley & Cody

Another fun thing I did over the weekend was volunteer with a group called CropSwap. The organization is dedicated to harvesting produce from farms, which would have otherwise gone to waste, and getting it to people who can’t afford to buy fresh fruit and veggies. As a health coach whose passionate about the importance of nutrition and eating a healthy diet full of whole foods, I wanted to get involved because I think it’s an awesome cause.

CropSwap March 2015-Sisters Heritage Farm

On Sunday morning we met at a farm in the area and harvested oranges to be donated to Feeding America. The farm had tons of pigs (lots of piglets too!), goats and dogs to play with. The pigs are apparently fruit hogs, and they love to eat orange after orange!

Sisters Heritage Farms pigs

Another highlight of my weekend was food, obviously. I made this pancake combo – banana oatmeal protein pancakes with strawberries, blueberries & chocolate chips – two days in a row. How pretty are they?

fruity banana protein pancakes

Are you guys tired of my protein pancakes pictures yet? Don’t answer that… because I’m not tired of showing off my beautiful pancakes!

almond date truffles-1

I spent a good amount of time in the kitchen experimenting. My Marine worked all weekend, and it always seems like when he’s gone and I’m not working and have some downtime, I cook and bake up a storm. He gets home and I’m all, “Hey try this… oooh have some of that!” and shoving food in his face. I don’t think he hasn’t any complaints about it though. 🙂

almond date truffles-3

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Peanut Butter Oatmeal Date Bites

Any time I have guests in town, I make sure to have some good meal ideas, ingredients on hand to prepare to prepare those yummy meals, and restaurants ideas for a couple of delicious meals out. I’m pretty sure that anyone that knows me expects nothing less – After all, I call myself a foodie for a reason! 🙂

When my mother-in-law was in town visiting a few weeks ago, we enjoyed some pretty awesome eats. We strolled around at the Vista Farmers Market one day….


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Dark Chocolate Drizzled Salted Caramel Rice Crispy Treats [Gluten Free & Vegan]

Today is the birthday of the wonderful, amazing man that I’m fortunate enough to spend my life with.


7 years ago, celebrating the first birthdays we were dating by skydiving together… We were just college kids!

Birthdays are celebrations, and celebrations call for dessert, so today I’m sharing with you guys a new sweet tooth creation I’ve come up with. Meet my latest food obsession: chocolate drizzled salted caramel rice crispy treats.

crispy treats-4

Lately, as I stand in my kitchen deciding what to make for a meal, I find myself somehow breaking off a piece of one of these rice crispy treats as a pre-meal snack.

While having a conversation with my hubby the other night, I all of a sudden found myself with one of these babies in my hand. It was like I blacked out and awoke with a sticky, delicious treat in my possession.

Okay, perhaps I’m being dramatic… but I just love these!

crispy treats-3

The recipe all came to fruition after making these salted caramel granola bars via Oh My Veggies. Oh my deliciousness, every time I read her blog I’m practically drooling because every recipe looks so good!

fleur de sel

After I originally bookmarked the granola bar recipe, I nabbed some fleur de sel salt for the first time, which is a sea salt hand-harvested in France. After buying it and having full intentions of making the granola bars ASAP, I got caught up with a little thing called moving to a new city and becoming a homeowner, and I forgot about the bars for awhile – that is until I had my father-in-law in town and was looking for fun treats to whip up.

Green juice with salted caramel granola bars

Green juice with salted caramel granola bars

I found the idea of making “caramel” by throwing mainly almond butter, maple syrup, a few dates into a food processor to be a genius idea. For this recipe, I modified her caramel into my own by using brown rice syrup, almond butter, fleur de del and vanilla extract. The crispies in this recipe are Barbara’s brown rice crisps — the healthier version of Rice Krispies cereal.

crispy treats-1

crispy treats-5

Rice crispy treats remind me of childhood, along with fruit roll ups and those sour straw things I would eat at my school’s rollerskating night. But these rice crispy treats are better than the ones I would uncover from those shiny blue wrappers as a kid. These are sweet and salty, with a hint of almond butter flavor and a drizzle of chocolate on top. They’re made with simple ingredients I can pronounce – minus the fleur de sel, but we’ll just refer to that as fancy schmancy sea salt!

crispy treats-2

This recipe makes a big batch of rice crispy treats. I feel like I just keep eating them, and I still have a few left!  Kid friendly and healthy foodie approved, these treats will make for a great dessert or snack that everyone in the family can enjoy.

cripsy treats-6

Chocolate Drizzled Salted Caramel Rice Crispy Treats [Gluten Free & Vegan]
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 18
  • 1-1 lb 5 oz jar of brown rice syrup
  • 1-10 oz box of brown rice crisps cereal
  • ½ cup creamy almond butter
  • 1 TSP fluer de sel
  • ¼ cup (vegan) dark chocolate chips
  • 2 TBSP chocolate soy milk (any kind of milk can work)
  • 1 TSP vanilla extract
  1. Melt the brown rice syrup in a small saucepan over low heat until it's liquified.
  2. Add the almond butter, vanilla extract, and fleur de del. Mix well until smooth.
  3. Pour the brown rice crisps into a large bowl. Pour the "caramel" sauce on top. Mix with a wooden spoon until everything is well incorporated.
  4. Pour into a 8x11 pan and press into the dish well.
  5. In another small saucepan, add the chocolate chips and soy milk. Melt over low heat, constantly mixing with a spoon. When chocolate is fully melted and smooth, remove from heat. Evenly drizzle on top of the rice crispy treats.
  6. Place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 90 minutes before cutting into squares. Cut into 12-18 treats, depending on how large you'd like each to be. Keep in the fridge until ready to eat.

Sweet ‘n Salty Roasted Chickpeas

Hi friends!

Hope you had a fabulous Valentine’s Day weekend. My V Day was nice and low key. I made tomato basil soup and asparagus risotto for a cozy dinner at home, and we drank a bottle of California zinfandel from Cline Cellars….

V Day Dinner Collage

…and we enjoyed strawberries, chocolate and port for dessert.


My hubby got me gorgeous pink roses that I’ve been staring at all weekend, and I surprised him by booking a getaway to Lake Tahoe for this weekend. Adam has been there for work and raved about how beautiful it is, and I’ve never been there, so I thought it’d be an awesome spot to spend a long weekend. It’s actually totally coincidental that I booked the trip right around V Day, but we’re definitely looking forward to it!

pink roses

V Day dinner

Other yummy highlights of my weekend were a Mexican salad….

Mexican salad

…champagne with strawberries….


…and what I’m sharing with you today, roasted chickpeas:

chickpeas-3I’ve been loving roasted garbanzo beans for awhile now, but last week was the first time I made them sweet ‘n salty…and I’m obsessed! I’ve been digging the combo of sweet and salty lately in general, and this recipe is awesome because it packs a protein, fiber, and vitamin  punch, while also satisfying my urge for something sweet.

chickpeas-4I’ve made these chickpeas twice in the last week, and both times I had planned on only eating half of them, and wound up eating the whole thing. They’re just so yummy and easy to keep popping in your mouth. I suppose in that way they’re addictive like your typical chips, only they’re healthy and afterwards you have a happy, full belly! 😉


If there’s one thing I’m sure of, it’s that I’ll be making some sweet ‘n salty roasted chickpeas again this week. They may be my new favorite snack/lunch!


Sweet 'n Salty Roasted Chickpeas
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 TBSP cane sugar
  • ½ TBSP light brown sugar
  • 1 TBSP vegetable oil
  • ¼ TSP sea salt, plus additional for sprinkling
  • ¼ TSP cinnamon, plus additional for sprinkling
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, combine chickpeas with vegetable oil, sugars, sea salt and cinnamon. Toss to coat evenly.
  3. Spread chickpeas out on a baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, toss chickpeas around and sprinkle with additional sea salt and cinnamon. Bake for 15 minutes more, or until chickpeas are slightly crunchy and browned.
Some of the sugar may melt away from the chickpeas while baking and burn on the pan. Don't worry, the chickpeas will still have some sweetness to them in the end!
Nutrition Information
Calories: 275, Fat: 10 g, Saturated fat: .5 g, Carbohydrates: 39 g, Sugar: 11 g, Fiber: 9 g, Protein: 11 g


Are you a fan of sweet & salty combos?

My favorite is dark chocolate with sea salt. So good!