10 Ways to Lower Blood Pressure – Naturally!

November 28, 2017
Lower Blood Pressure Naturally

According to the new guidelines just released by the American Heart Association (AHA) this month, nearly half of all Americans are now living with high blood pressure.  So that means that people that were considered “borderline” at 130/80 – would now be diagnosed with high blood pressure (Hypertension). According to cardiologist Dr. Sinatra – healthy blood pressure levels should be under 120/80.

How do you know if you have high blood pressure?

The thing is, high blood pressure often will have no obvious symptoms. So the majority of people with high blood pressure – are unaware that they have it.  But high blood pressure is often called “the silent killer” – because the first symptom can be deadly.    The best way to determine if your blood pressure is in a good place is to  have your blood pressure measured.  High blood pressure tends to run in families – so if you have close relatives that have had hypertension, you will especially want to monitor your blood pressure regularly – you might want to consider getting a home monitor.  

What are the dangers of high blood pressure?

High blood pressure can double your risk of a heart attack and is a risk factor for stroke, dementia, kidney failure, & blindness. Learn more about risk factors of hypertension from the Mayo Clinic.

10 Ways to Lower Blood Pressure – Naturally

Please note: If you are taking any prescription medications, or under the care of a doctor for any reason – talk to your doctor about these suggestions before implementing them in case there are contraindications or interactions.  Your doctor may also wish to monitor you in case changes need to be made to your prescriptions. These tips are general in nature and may not be appropriate for everyone. Whenever making changes to your diet and lifestyle – it is recommended to do it gradually to allow your body to adjust. 

1. Sprinkle on some cinnamon.

Cinnamon is a very powerful tool when it comes to blood pressure and blood sugar – lowering both. Cinnamon has other benefits – including fighting bad bacteria in the gut, and revving up the metabolism.  According to a 2006 study conducted by the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, just 1/2 of a teaspoon a day of cinnamon could be enough to help reduce blood pressure.  You can add cinnamon to oatmeal, smoothies, add it to nut butter, sprinkle it on fruit, and add it to nuts before roasting, you can also add it to coffee.

2. Load up on plant based foods. (Especially vitamin C, potassium and magnesium-rich foods!)  

Did you know that the USDA recommends adults consume 9 servings of fruits and vegetables each day? Yes, NINE!!  Sadly, on the Standard American Diet (SAD), most people are not getting even half that – with many people barely getting 1 serving a day.  Plant-based foods are rich in important nutrients and electrolytes that help to balance our blood pressure.  Potassium is particularly important for healthy blood pressure levels – so reach for avocados, bananas, squash, sweet potatoes, leafy greens, and prunes.

3. Get Your Omega 3s. 

Best known for their anti-inflammatory effects, omega 3 fatty acids also have blood thinning effects too, which can help to reduce blood pressure. Try to incorporate chia seeds, flax seeds, and fatty fish like wild salmon.  And consider sardines too – not only are they rich in omega 3s, they also are low in mercury, and are high in heart-healthy Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)!  I love making these Flax Raisin muffins – they are grain free, gluten free, low in sugar and high in omega 3 fatty acids- and they are delicious!  Also consider adding some flax or chia to your overnight oats, or making chia pudding.

4. Opt for dark chocolate for dessert.  

For a very long time – experts have pointed the finger at salt as the primary culprit for high blood pressure.  But now experts are saying another white substance may be more to blame – SUGAR. Blood sugar and blood pressure – are closely linked.  Post meal glucose spikes increases blood pressure and the risk for heart attack. So consider skipping dessert, or opting for a square of dark chocolate instead. But make sure to go for dark – the cacao content should be at least 60%. A Harvard study found that dark chocolate lowered blood pressure as well as the risk of heart attack and diabetes.  Dark chocolate is high in magnesium, which helps to relax the blood vessels, and it also helps to improve blood flow to extremities.

5. Choose Olive  or Avocado oil.

A recent study showed that when participants used 2 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil daily, it lowered blood pressure, with 35% of the participants benefitting so much that they were able to stop their medications! It has also been linked to better brain health too.  Avocado oil is also a healthy oil associated with lowering blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides. The other benefit of avocado oil is that it has a high smoke point, so that is the one I recommend for cooking above 300 degrees.

6. Limit alcohol.  

The studies are clear about the link between heavy alcohol use and blood pressure – alcohol raises blood pressure. But what constitutes “heavy drinking” might surprise some – just 3 drinks for women is considered “heavy alcohol consumption.”  Cutting back on the alcohol may not just lower  your blood pressure – a new study found that heavy drinking can also raise the risk of several different cancers – the strongest link being with cancers of the head, neck and throat.  So sticking with no more than 1 drink a day for women, and 2 for men will lower your blood pressure and your cancer risk.

7. Take a daily stroll.

Getting some exercise each day – like taking a walk can help to lower blood pressure.  According to the Mayo clinic, “Regular physical activity — at least 30 minutes most days of the week — can lower your blood pressure by 4 to 9 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg).” If you are concerned with your blood pressure levels or heart health – stick to gentle exercise and talk to your doctor before beginning any strenuous exercise program to be sure your heart is in good enough shape for it.

8. Manage stress levels.

High levels of stress can send your blood pressure soaring.  So trying to keep stress levels under control is important for managing healthy blood pressure.  If you get an elevated reading in your doctor’s office – make sure to check it again – sometimes people can be stressed out at the doctors office – causing their blood pressure to be higher.  Consider acupuncture, meditation, and/or yoga for lowering stress levels.

9. Get plenty of sleep

Getting a poor night’s sleep can do more than make you groggy – it can raise your blood pressure. A 2006 study published in the journal Hypertension found that people who slept 5 hours or less per night were 32% more likely to develop hypertension than those who slept 7–8 hours per night.  Some tips for getting a good night’s sleep – avoid caffeine after 1:00pm, turn off electronics at least 1 hour before bedtime, take a warm bath to help calm the nervous system before bedtime, and take a magnesium supplement before bedtime can also help some settle down to a good night’s sleep.

10. Consider some supplements:

Gradually making the above nutritional and lifestyle changes might be enough to lower slightly elevated blood pressure.  Some people might also find that taking certain supplements could help to get blood pressure into a healthy range.  Again – talk to your prescribing doctor before adding any supplements if you are currently taking medication or speak to your healthcare provider if you are being treated for any condition.

  • Taurine. An amino acid rich in sulfur, taurine has been shown in studies to lower blood pressure. Similar to cinnamon, it also helps to lower blood glucose as well. Taurine may also help support the cells to hold magnesium and potassium, while excreting excess sodium – which means it acts in a similar way to diuretics, but without the stress on the kidneys.  Taurine may also help you lose weight, which is beneficial for blood pressure too.
  • CoQ10– according to Cardiologist Dr. Steven Sinatra, coQ10 is important for cellular health, claiming that “many of my patients who take a water-soluble form of CoQ10 have cut their use of blood pressure drugs in half, while maintaining healthy blood pressure.” He recommends 200-300 mg of CoQ10 for healthy blood pressure levels.
  • Omega 3 fish oils – studies show that omega 3 fatty acids can reduce inflammation and thin the blood.  Taking 1 gram of fish oil may help to keep blood pressure levels in a healthy range according to Dr. Josh Axe.
  • Magnesium– shown to relax blood vessels, magnesium can lower blood pressure and is a very important mineral for heart health. Dr. Josh Axe recommends supplementing 500 mg. of magnesium daily for healthy blood pressure.
  • Chromium – Rat studies show that supplementing with chromium can help to reduce blood pressure and blood sugar.
  • Vitamin C – according to Johns Hopkins Medicine, and a study published in Nutrition Journal, supplementing with vitamin C may help to reduce blood pressure.

Suggested Books:

Related articles/resources:

 

 

Sara Vance Article written by Nutritionist Sara Vance, author of the book
The Perfect Metabolism Plan A regular guest on Fox 5 San Diego, you can see many of Sara’s segments on her media page. She also offers corporate nutrition, school programs, consultations, and affordable online eCourses. Download her free 40+ page Metabolism Jumpstart eBook here.

*This article is for educational purposes only. The content contained in this article is not to be construed as providing medical advice. All information provided is general and not specific to individuals. Persons with questions about the above content as how it relates to them, should contact their medical professional. Persons already taking prescription medications should consult a doctor before making any changes to their supplements or medications.

©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.

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Make Ahead Breakfast – Overnight Oats

August 22, 2017
Overnight Oats

It Back to School time – and one of the best things a student can do to get their brain in gear for the school day is to have a healthy breakfast.

Starting the day with a sugary breakfast is a bad idea – because it provides short-term energy, which is often followed by a crash – negatively affecting energy, mood, and brain function – not what you want in your mid-morning math class!

Instead – you want to make sure breakfast has some protein, and/or healthy fat and fiber – this will balance the blood sugar to deliver long lasting energy, balance the mood and brain function.  Including some brain boosting omega 3 fatty acids too will really help to turn on the brain, boost the mood, and reduce inflammation.

Overnight Oats

No cooking required – just mix ahead, put in the fridge and they are ready to go the next day.  You can also double these recipes for a larger serving.

Chocolate Nut Butter

  • 2/3 cup non-dairy milk – such as coconut, almond or pea protein milk
  • 1/2 cup whole rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon of vegan vanilla protein powder (I like Warrior Blend vanilla)
  • 1 teaspoon of raw cacao
  • 1-2 teaspoons of Nuttzo 7 seed nut butter (contains 900 mg. of ALA omega 3 per serving!)
  • 1 teaspoon natural sweetener like honey, maple syrup, or organic stevia to taste
  • Splash of vanilla
  • Dash of high quality unprocessed salt – I like Real Salt brand
  • Banana slices
  • Dark chocolate chips

Directions: Whisk together the milk, protein powder, cacao, nut butter, vanilla, salt, and sweetener.  Pour into your jar or container.  Add the oats, stir to combine.  Top with banana slices and a few mini chocolate chips.

Brainy Mango Peach

  • 2/3 cup non-dairy milk – such as coconut, almond or pea protein milk
  • 1/2 cup whole rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon of vegan vanilla protein powder (I like Warrior Blend vanilla)
  • 1-2 teaspoons of Barleans mango peach
  • 1 teaspoon natural sweetener like honey, maple syrup, or organic stevia to taste
  • Splash of vanilla
  • Dash of high quality unprocessed salt – I like Real Salt brand
  • Mango chunks
  • Optional – coconut flakes

Some other great make ahead breakfast ideas for kids:

Egg cups

Make & bake these ahead of time, and you will have a ready to go breakfast for the next 4-5 days.  Eggs are rich in an important brain nutrient called choline.

Superfood Smoothies/drinks:

  • Mint Chip Shake – tastes like dessert, but healthy enough for breakfast!
  • Blue Brain On Milk: Serve this amazing brain-boosting milk alongside your breakfast, add it to your smoothie, or as a meal replacement.  Blue green algae may help boost focus, attention, mood, and energy.  See recipe.

 

Sara Vance Article written by Nutritionist Sara Vance, author of the book
The Perfect Metabolism Plan A regular guest on Fox 5 San Diego, you can see many of Sara’s segments on her media page. She also offers corporate nutrition, school programs, consultations, and affordable online eCourses. Download her free 40+ page Metabolism Jumpstart eBook here.

*This article is for educational purposes only. The content contained in this article is not to be construed as providing medical advice. All information provided is general and not specific to individuals. Persons with questions about the above content as how it relates to them, should contact their medical professional. Persons already taking prescription medications should consult a doctor before making any changes to their supplements or medications.

©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.

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The Mint Chip Shake

July 10, 2017
Mint Chip Shake

I have always loved the combination of peppermint and chocolate – it is a classic. And mint chip ice cream? It’s like a Summer dream…well, except for the nightmarish amount of sugar it typically contains. And if you are dairy intolerant – the pain & discomfort that can follow.

Never fear – I have created a delicious, nutritious and easy superfood mint chip shake that rivals mint chip ice cream – but it has no sugar, no dairy, and is loaded with superfoods – yes, really!!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of coconut water
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened alternative milk (I like to use Ripple pea protein milk)
  • 1/2 of a small avocado
  • 1/2 scoop (approx. 2 teaspoons) of moringa powder  (or substitute a greens powder if you can’t find moringa)
  • 1 tablespoon of chia or hemp seeds
  • 1-2 drops of peppermint essential oil (such as doTERRA, or you can use peppermint extract)
  • 3/4 tsp. of organic stevia & monk fruit powder (I like to use Pyure)
  • small pinch of Real Salt (brings out the flavors and sweetness)
  • 1/2 tsp. of vanilla extract (I prefer to use this alcohol-free brand in smoothies)
  • optional – 1/2 scoop of vanilla vegan protein powder (I like Warrior Blend Vanilla)
  • Ice as needed to thicken – about 1/2 cup
  • a small handful of dark chocolate chips or raw cacao nibs

Directions:

  1. Put the liquid into the blender, add the chia seeds and let them soak for a couple minutes.
  2. Add the avocado, moringa or greens powder, peppermint oil, the pinch of Real salt, vanilla, protein powder (if using) – blend until smooth.
  3. Add in the ice, blend until smooth and desired thickness.
  4. Add in the dark chocolate chips or cacao nibs – blend until mixed in.
  5. Enjoy!

About Moringa:

Also known as the horseradish tree and the drumstick tree, the moringa tree is native to North India – and it’s leaves & pods offer a number of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.  Moringa is an excellent source of iron, vitamin B6, protein, magnesium, vitamin A, potassium, vitamin C, and other important vitamins and minerals. It may help to reduce blood sugar, cholesterol, and chronic inflammation.   There is not enough research to determine if moringa is safe during pregnancy – so therefore talk to your doctor first.

About Peppermint:

Did you know that peppermint can be a useful remedy for headaches and digestion issues?  Peppermint has a mild numbing, cooling, and anti-spasmodic effect, and can even improve the flow of bile, and kill certain types of bacteria.  Peppermint may help reduce bloating and gas, and indigestion.  However, persons with reflux or GERD may wish to avoid using peppermint.  Peppermint may also help to thin mucosal secretions and help to decongest stuffy noses.  Applied to the temples (make sure to avoid the eyes!), peppermint may help relieve headaches in some individuals.

Please read:

Please be very cautious with using peppermint essential oils – as they are very powerful and could burn if applied directly to the eyes or skin, or mouth.  Peppermint oils should NOT be used on infants or small children, or taken internally with persons with GERD or reflux.  Talk to your doctor before using peppermint oil if you are pregnant, nursing, or taking medications.  If using peppermint topically – always dilute it with a carrier oil like coconut oil. If consuming peppermint oil internally, always make sure it is a certified therapeutic grade essential oil – and use only 1 or 2 drops diluted in your beverage or food.  Learn more about doTERRA essential oils.

References/Resources:

http://www.healthline.com/health/benefits-of-moringa-oleifera

https://draxe.com/essential-oils-for-headaches/

Peppermint oil

Sara Vance Article written by Nutritionist Sara Vance, author of the book
The Perfect Metabolism Plan A regular guest on Fox 5 San Diego, you can see many of Sara’s segments on her media page. She also offers corporate nutrition, school programs, consultations, and affordable online eCourses. Download her free 40+ page Metabolism Jumpstart eBook here.

*This article is for educational purposes only. The content contained in this article is not to be construed as providing medical advice. All information provided is general and not specific to individuals. Persons with questions about the above content as how it relates to them, should contact their medical professional. Persons already taking prescription medications should consult a doctor before making any changes to their supplements or medications.

©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.

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Coconut Oil Chocolates (Sugar Free!)

April 7, 2017
coconut oil chocolates

If you know me – you know I am a fan of dark chocolate.   I am kind of a chocolate snob actually – it has to be DARK, and high quality.

I am also a huge fan of coconut oil.  Coconut oil is my favorite oil – it is high in medium chain fatty acids – which are boosting to the metabolism, and a good source of energy.  Coconut oil does not require bile salts for digestion – so it is a good fat for people with gallbladder issues. Coconut oil is naturally antibacterial and antiviral, so it helps to prevent bacterial overgrowth while helping to lubricate the digestive tract. This makes it a useful remedy for constipation.  There is even some evidence that coconut oil could potentially reduce the risk of developing dementia/Alzheimers (or reduce the symptom and progression of those with an early diagnosis).  This is a very delicious way to get someone to eat their coconut oil.

I like to make my own chocolates using coconut oil – usually I use raw cacao, but this recipe is way easier – because instead of making it all from scratch, I just use chocolate chips and coconut oil.

Coconut Oil Chocolates (Sugar free)

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips (I used Lily’s Stevia sweetened chocolate chips)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil*
  • Optional – add 2-4 drops of peppermint essential oil (this makes a yummy and tummy soothing mint chocolate) – make sure to only use therapeutic food grade essential oils.

Directions:

  1. Melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil (in a glass container in the microwave for about 30 seconds, or on a double boiler on stovetop)
  2. Once melted, stir together all ingredients.
  3. Pour the chocolate and coconut oil into the silicon ice cube tray – cover, and put it in freezer.
  4. They should be ready in about 15 minutes.
  5. Store any extras in freezer so they do not melt.

This makes 1 batch/tray of mini chocolate squares – I used the square one of these silicon ice cube tray molds (this is nice as it comes with a cover).  If using a larger mold like this heart shaped one, then double the recipe and cover with plastic wrap.

If you

 

 

Sara Vance Article written by Nutritionist Sara Vance, author of the book
The Perfect Metabolism Plan A regular guest on Fox 5 San Diego, you can see many of Sara’s segments on her media page. She also offers corporate nutrition, school programs, consultations, and affordable online eCourses. Download her free 40+ page Metabolism Jumpstart eBook here.

*This article is for educational purposes only. The content contained in this article is not to be construed as providing medical advice. All information provided is general and not specific to individuals. Persons with questions about the above content as how it relates to them, should contact their medical professional. Persons already taking prescription medications should consult a doctor before making any changes to their supplements or medications.

©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.

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Double Chocolate Peppermint Muffins

December 17, 2016
Duble Chocolate Peppermint Muffins

 

My hubby and I are invited to a holiday party tonight and my friend asked me to bring a “healthy but yummy Sara” dessert.  So I decided to come up with a new recipe!  I used my ‘formula’ for flax muffins – and took it the chocolate peppermint route.  They turned out delish!!

Double Chocolate Peppermint Muffins (free of wheat, gluten & grains)

Double Chocolate Peppermint Muffins

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 organic eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 1/2 cup, plus 2 Tablespoons organic cane sugar or coconut sugar (to reduce the sugar content, replace 2 Tablespoons of the sugar with 1/2 teaspoon of powered stevia, or 20 drops of stevia liquid)
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut milk or coconut water
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons of raw cacao powder
  • 1 cup of ground flax meal
  • 3-4 drops of peppermint essential oil*
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon high quality salt (like Himalayan)
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (I like 60% or higher cacao)
  • Optional – crushed candy canes (I use the kind without artificial colorings)
    *Always make sure to use high quality certified therapeutic grade essentail oils if ingesting them. Essential oils are strong 3-4 drops is plenty.  You could substitute 1/4 tsp. peppermint extract if you do not have essential oil.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.Double chocolate peppermint muffins
  2. Melt the coconut oil.
  3. Line your mini-muffin pan with muffin papers
  4. Mix together the eggs and sugar till well combined, then add in and mix together the rest of the ingredients – adding the chocolate chips last.
  5. Spoon batter into muffin papers in the tin, coming up about 3/4 of the way up (they will expand and rise).
  6. Put into the preheated oven (I sometimes press a few extra chocolate chips on the top).
  7. Bake for about 15 mins – until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Remove from oven and right away sprinkle on some of the crushed candy canes if using – I kind of put them in the center.
  9. Allow to cool.
  10. Serve & enjoy!  Keep in an airtight container.

 

If you are interested in learning more about essential oils contact sara@rebalancelife.com

Signature

Sara Vance Article written by Nutritionist Sara Vance, author of the book
The Perfect Metabolism Plan A regular guest on Fox 5 San Diego, you can see many of Sara’s segments on her media page. She also offers corporate nutrition, school programs, consultations, and affordable online eCourses. Download her free 40+ page Metabolism Jumpstart eBook here.

*This article is for educational purposes only. The content contained in this article is not to be construed as providing medical advice. All information provided is general and not specific to individuals. Persons with questions about the above content as how it relates to them, should contact their medical professional. Persons already taking prescription medications should consult a doctor before making any changes to their supplements or medications.

©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.

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The “Frosty”

June 12, 2016
The "Frosty"

As a foodie and a nutritionist – I believe that it is possible for food to be both delicious and nutritious – it just takes a little ingenuity in the kitchen!!  I love to make “upgraded” healthier version of foods – like this Wendy’s style “Frosty!

When I am choosing what I put into my body, it needs to taste great and support my body and brain to function at it’s best.  Foods that are high in sugar might fit the bill on taste – but they will just make you crash and burn and feel like crap in the end.  Plus, it is easy to make something taste great if you just load up on the sugar – where is the challenge in that?  Overtime, a high sugar diet can lead to a host of health issues – read 20 Reasons to Break Up with Sugar to learn more.

To me, it is just not worth the impact on my health to eat high sugar foods – especially when you can make a healthier version that tastes just as good (I think this one tastes even better than the original).

This smoothie is a delicious recovery drink for athletes too!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk, cashew milk, or another alternative milk (you can replace this with water or coconut water if you wish)
  • 1/2 cup coconut water
  • 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder (such as Warrior Blend)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons white chia or flax seeds
  • 1/2 of an avocado (makes light and creamy and richer)
  • 1 spoonful of cashew butter (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 – 3 Tablespoons of raw cacao powder (use more if you want it darker chocolate, less will be lighter)
  • 1/2 of a frozen banana (I freeze them slightly green tipped – lower in sugar and higher in beneficial resistant starch)
  • a few drops of Stevia or a natural Stevia/Monk Fruit sweetener blend if you want it sweetened a little, or a touch of your favorite natural sweetener
  • Ice cubes to chill and thicken
  • Small pinch of Real Salt or Himalayan salt (brings out the flavors and sweetness and adds trace minerals – but just a pinch, so it does not taste salty!!)

Directions:

  1. Put the liquid into the blender, add the chia seeds, allow to soak & hydrate for approx. 3-5 mins.
  2. Put the rest of the ingredients into blender, blend.
  3. Add desired amount of ice to thicken, blend.
  4. Taste & adjust for sweetness.
  5. Pour into a glass, and drink (or eat with a spoon) right away.

This recipe is one of 60 recipes from the Break up with Sugar online program.

Signature
Copyright © 2016 Rebalance Life, all rights reserved

Sara Vance Article written by Nutritionist Sara Vance, author of the book
The Perfect Metabolism Plan A regular guest on Fox 5 San Diego, you can see many of Sara’s segments on her media page. She also offers corporate nutrition, school programs, consultations, and affordable online eCourses. Download her free 40+ page Metabolism Jumpstart eBook here.

*This article is for educational purposes only. The content contained in this article is not to be construed as providing medical advice. All information provided is general and not specific to individuals. Persons with questions about the above content as how it relates to them, should contact their medical professional. Persons already taking prescription medications should consult a doctor before making any changes to their supplements or medications.

©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.

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Mini Banana Muffins (Grain Free)

February 12, 2016
Mini Banana Muffins (Grain Free)

These “better for you” banana muffins are easy to make and instead of being full of white flour, they use ground flax seed*, which is rich in ALA omega 3s.  They are high in protein due to the eggs and nut butter, and have way less sugar than most muffins.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup of nut butter (I used cashew butter – found at Trader Joes)
  • 2 and 1/2 ripe bananas
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt (add a little more if using unsalted nut butter)
  • 1 cup ground flax
  • 1 TBS. virgin coconut oil (soft or melted – plus more to grease muffin tin – if not using muffin papers)

Optional additions (fold these in later after mixing together the above):

  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (I like Enjoy Life brand)
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup chopped nuts (walnuts work great, so do pecans)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Mix together the ingredients in a blender, food processor, or using a mixer.
  3. Gently fold in your chocolate chips and/or nuts – or you can just press them into the top after pouring the batter to the muffin tin.
  4. Grease mini muffin tin, or line with muffin papers.
  5. Fill batter almost to the top. Top with additional mini chocolate chips if desired.
  6. Bake in the middle of the oven for about 17 minutes.

Omega 3 fats are delicate.  Make sure to buy cold pressed ground flax and store it in your refrigerator to prevent oxidation. 

Note – if you are used to super sweet muffins – these might not taste sweet enough at first – but once you get used to eating less sugar – these will taste plenty sweet enough!  It takes time to adjust your taste buds to enjoying less sweet foods.

 

Sara Vance Article written by Nutritionist Sara Vance, author of the book
The Perfect Metabolism Plan A regular guest on Fox 5 San Diego, you can see many of Sara’s segments on her media page. She also offers corporate nutrition, school programs, consultations, and affordable online eCourses. Download her free 40+ page Metabolism Jumpstart eBook here.

*This article is for educational purposes only. The content contained in this article is not to be construed as providing medical advice. All information provided is general and not specific to individuals. Persons with questions about the above content as how it relates to them, should contact their medical professional. Persons already taking prescription medications should consult a doctor before making any changes to their supplements or medications.

©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.

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Sara’s Healthy Holiday Gift Picks (plus Giveaways)

December 12, 2015
Sara's Healthy Holiday Gift Ideas

 

Give the Gift of Health – 14 Gift Ideas!

Ho Ho Ho!!  It’s holiday time – which means celebrating and merriment and gift giving!

Do you have someone on your list that you really care about and want to get them the best gift ever?

What better gift is there than the gift of health?

I have rounded up some of my favorite healthy holiday gift ideas for 2015 to help you get your holiday shopping done!  And don’t worry if you missed out on Black Friday and Cyber Monday – several of these companies are offering special holiday deals right now!

The best part of all?  I am doing a raffle – and giving away over $600 worth of healthy holiday gifts!!!

Note: raffle has ended. 


1: Annmarie Gianni Skincare

Give the gift of glowing & beautiful skin!!   For someone who deserves to be pampered!

Chapter 5 of my book The Perfect Metabolism Plan encourages people to reduce the amount of toxins in our lifestyle – because toxins can contribute to stubborn weight gain & higher disease risk. One sneaky way that chemicals are getting in – are through our skincare products.  So cleaning up our personal care products is important!

That is why I love Annmarie Gianni Skincare products – their products are organic and completely non-toxic, and smell great.  I have been using them for about a month, and every time I wash my face – I feel like I have been to a spa.  And what can I say about their coconut honey mask – it makes my skin feels as soft as baby’s bum.

Sara's Holiday Gift Picks Ann Marie GianniAnne Marie Gianni has gifts for all budgets!

  • The Annmarie Balance Gift Set -$160.00. This skin care gift set is great for all skin types and will help keep your skin in perfect balance! Includes an Aloe-Herb Facial Cleanser, Ayurvedic Facial Scrub, Neroli Toning Mist, Herbal Facial Oil for Normal and Combination Skin, & Purifying Mud Mask – which all work together to leave your skin fresh, moisturized, and glowing.
  • The Annmarie Travel Essentials – $24.95. This kit contains the Rosemary Peppermint Body Wash, Coconut Body Oil and Radiant Skin Silk Body Lotion – which all work together to leave your skin feeling refreshed and hydrated. Using these products in your daily routine is also an amazing aromatherapy experience.
  • Annmarie Gianni Sample Kits – these are great stocking stuffers!
    • Skincare sample kit: $10 each – Give Annmarie Gianni skincare a try – with sample kits. 
    • Sunscreen sample: $5 each – created for people who want to protect their skin from the sun’s rays without exposing themselves to harmful chemicals found in most commercial sunscreens.

ps. Don’t forget to order something for yourself!! 


2: Kraut Source Fermenting Gift Set

Sara's Picks 2015 - Kraut SourceGive the gift of healthy digestion, moods, and immunity.

Studies show that eating fermented foods can support a healthy gut – which is linked to many health benefits ranging from better digestion to weight balance, improved moods, better immunity – and more!

I love Kraut Source fermenting jars – because they are designed to keep the veggies under the brine which is important when making fermented foods. They also have a lot of really good recipes and videos on their site too!

  • The Kraut Source Holiday Gift Pack  $56.00 (usually $70.00), Includes a fermentation kit (one Kraut Source, one quart-size Mason jar, 4 oz pack Celtic Sea Salt, and a pack of organic spices, a handmade maple wood pounder, a jar opening gripper.

3: Skinny & Co. Coconut Oil

Give the gift of sparkling clean teeth, fresh breath and detoxification!  

Sara's Picks - Skinny & CoDid you know that studies show that coconut oil is an effective way to combat tooth decay?  Read this BBC article to learn more!  Oil pulling is also a great way to detoxify – and has a rich history in Ayurvedic cleansing traditions.   This uniquely formulated oil protects tooth enamel and dental fillings while it removes plaque, freshens breath, and whitens teeth, naturally.  Skinny & Co also offers high quality cold pressed alkaline coconut oil for cooking and eating, and wonderfully silky and decadent coconut based moisturizing skincare items too. 

  • The Skinny Coconut Oil Pulling Kit – $30.00.  Includes an 8.5 oz Skinny Oil Pulling Jar – infused with blue peppermint leaf oil & a proprietary blend of essential oils, SKINny Lip Balm, a 100% Natural Bamboo Spoon to reach every drop, plus a How-To Oil Pull Guide.
  • Other nice gift options include the Skinny Beauty Box ($90.00) & the Skinny Facial box ($58.00)

 4:  Four Sigma Foods Mushroom Coffee

Sara's Picks - Four SigmaGive the gift of über healthy coffee – superfood mushroom coffee!

The ‘fun guys’ at Four Sigma foods are bringing you the superfood powers of fungi (mushrooms) combined with coffee – to make a delicious superfood drink.  They are in convenient on-the-go packets, so you can take your superfoods on the road with you!!   Mushrooms are adaptogenic – meaning they adapt to meet our bodies needs to best support our health – such as reducing stress and boosting immunity.

  • Mushroom coffee with cordyceps – $15.  Mushrooms are adaptogenic – so they adapt to help reduce stress and boost immunity.  Cordyceps are known to support for the adrenal glands.   With half the caffeine, double the effects (40 milligrams of caffeine per dose), you have less acidity than regular coffee – no more stomach burn.
  • Reishi Tea – $35. For relaxation and deep sleep. Reishi mushroom is generally known as “the queen of mushrooms” due to its body-and-mind balancing properties. This ancient mushroom drink calms you down and ensures better sleep by naturally regulating the hormonal system and lowering cortisol levels. Contains 20 packets.

 5: Beaming

Sara's Gift Picks - Beaming

For the person on your list that wants to be beaming!! 

Walk into one of the 6 Beaming Superfood stores in Southern Cal – and you will instantly know that you are going to be taken care of with the highest quality clean juices, smoothies, superfood salads, soups and yummy muffins and snacks!  Everything they do is loaded with nutrients and antioxidants – and also super delish!   I love that their cleanses are not just juice cleanses, and they know the importance of healthy fat to manage hunger hormones and boost the metabolism.  So don’t worry about doing their cleanses – you will NOT be hungry.  Maybe someone one your gift list deserves a 1 day reset, or perhaps they are needing a 21 day reboot!

  • Beaming Gift card – holiday special – buy a $100 gift card for $80.
  • Beaming Superfood Smoothie Kit – $75.00.  Contains all of the ingredients needed for you to blend and experiment to your heart’s (and body’s) content – Superfood smoothie blend and superfood protein blend, as well as a smoothie ebook and  2 protein powder packets.
  • The mini purse pack essentials – $12.00 (great stocking stuffer).  Want to know the sign of a true foodie? They carry around their own high quality mineral-rich salt to season their foods – this purse pack of essentials contains 2 different kinds.  And if you want to avoid the blue, pink and white sweetener packets – you will have your low glycemic coconut sugar with you too! I just LOVE the Beaming purse pack of essentials! 
  • Beaming’s Signature Cleanse – Starts at $85.00.  A great way to detox from the holidays and let the body release some unwanted water retention and toxins – choose the one that suits your needs best – perfect for getting ready for New Years!

Sara's Gift picks Yoga Six6: Yoga Six

Give the gift of relaxation and rejuvenation!

Do you know someone that loves yoga, or has been wanting to give it a try? Or just needs to de-stress?
Give him/her the gift of relaxation, flexibility, strength and more !

The 6 in Yoga Six refers to the 6 results of a consistent yoga practice: Stronger, Leaner, Calmer, Clearer, Braver, Further. With 4 beautiful studios around the San Diego area – and more locations in Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin – Yoga Six is a great place to de-stress your life and support a healthy metabolism!  They offer hot yoga, flow deep stretch, boot camp, meditation, and much more!

  • Holiday Special – Purchase a $100 Gift Card and get 1 FREE Month of Unlimited Yoga to Give to a Friend!

 7: Mizu

Give the gift of (BPA free) hydration and protect the environment at the same time – with beautifully designed Mizu!

Sara's Picks MizuI encourage all my clients to stay hydrated throughout the day.  And one key way to do that – is to carry your water bottle around with you. But I don’t recommend drinking from plastic – because plastics can interfere with hormones and is terrible for the environment.  Plus – it is just way more expensive too!

Mizu makes reusable products to hold your drinks – which are designed to help reduce the over abundance of single-use plastics produced and discarded each year.  Hot or cold drinks – wine, coffee, and water – Mizu handles it all with ease and beauty!  Plus -their insulated bottles will keep your cold beverages cold for 24 hours!  This is a practical gift – that anyone can use!  

If you have shied away from reusable water bottles because you don’t like the taste – Mizu uses only the highest quality 18/8 food grade stainless steel (has 18% chromium and 8% nickel) – leaves no metal taste and is durable, easy-to-clean and corrosion resistant.

  • The Mizu Yoga Kit – $64.95 – For the yogi on your list. All new Mizu yoga gift set includes a multi-use G7 glass bottle (for hot and cold drinks), insulated camp cup (coffee and Moscow Mules), and the zen-inducing M8 “fade” bottle.
  • The Mizu Wine Kit – $64.95. For the wine connoisieur on your list. The insulated V8 (800ml) bottle can store an entire bottle of wine at the desired temperature for over 12 hours, and 2-set of stainless steel wine cups provide a stylish yet durable solution to wine drinking outside.

Sara's Holiday Picks - Ab Carver Pro8. The Ab Carver Pro

For the person that wants to rock some rock hard abs – and exercise smarter, not harder!!

I don’t know about you – but I am not a fan of abdominal crunches – and neither is trainer Ben Greenfield (who I interviewed for The Metabolism Summit – coming Feb 1). Check out what his Huffington Post article has to say about crunches (to summarize – they don’t work).

The hot new trend now is to exercise smarter – not harder.  So if you want to rock some rock hard abs in just a few minutes at a time – try out the Ab Carver Pro.  A bonus – it also works your arms and back at the same time!

  • The Ab Carver Pro: $39.99. The kinetic engine provides resistance as you roll it away and assistance on the way back up. This motion works all your abdominals as well as the muscles in your arms. The ultra-wide wheel and performance grips offer stability throughout the completion of your effective core workout.

Sara's Picks - Trigger Point GRID9. TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller

Help the athlete in your life recover better! 

Also when I interviewed Ben Greenfield on The Metabolism Summit – he had just finished the Tough Mudder – which is 24 hours of extreme endurance exercise.  I asked him what he was doing to recover from that, and he told me that he spent an hour that morning on a foam roller – to help his muscles loosen up and recover!  The GRID foam roller is uniquely designed with a ‘Distrodensity” three dimensional surface which replicates the feeling of a massage therapist’s hands.

  • The TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller: $39.99.  – The GRID foam roller is for anybody who wants to move better. Use the GRID for a self-massage and roll through the tight muscles, knots and kinks that prevent feeling good and moving well.

10: Generation UCAN

Sara's Picks - UCANFor the endurance athlete that needs the ultimate fuel.

Have you heard of SuperStarch?  It is a complex carbohydrate (derived from non-GMO corn) that stabilizes blood sugar so you avoid crashing.  It helps you perform better while using fat for fuel. It was discovered to help a boy named Jonah, who had a rare disease, where he could not store carbohydrates – so he needed to eat every 2 hours to live.  With SuperStarch he can go 8 hours.  It is an all-natural, slow-releasing carbohydrate that provides steady energy and blood sugar levels.

Generation UCAN helps to sustain energy, without a crash – or inhibiting  fat-burning. Whether you’re running a marathon, climbing a mountain, competing on the field, or live an on-the-go lifestyle, UCAN is ideal for maintaining steady energy.  Try it as a pre-workout snack, a post-workout shake to optimize recovery, between meals to control cravings, or a meal replacement shake.

Use code: HealthyHoliday to save 15%! 


Sara's Holiday Gift Picks Perfect Metabolism11: The Perfect Metabolism Plan

What better gift could you give someone that the gift of a healthy metabolism?

Okay – yes, I wrote this book. So I probably am a little biased – but wrote it because I know so many people are struggling with their weight and health – and doing everything they have been told to do like counting calories, cutting fat, exercising more and eating less – and are frustrated because it is just not working. Believe me, I’ve been there too (I share a lot of my story in the book).

But the truth is – many of these approaches to weight loss simply don’t work, and they could even be making your metabolism AND YOUR OVERALL HEALTH worse!

One tip from the book that might help this holiday season with sugar cravings – and that is to put coconut oil in tea!

  • The Perfect Metabolism Plan by Sara Vance: $16.95 – Understand the 10 keys that you need to optimize to reboot and reset your metabolism – the real secret to achieving vibrant health!  It also has over 50 recipes and a plan to put it into action. 

12. Cocoa Parlor Dark Chocolate – $5.00/bar (great stocking stuffer)

Sara's Gift Picks - Cocoa ParlourDark chocolate to satisfy your sweetheart’s sweet tooth! 

One of the treats that I recommend to clients that are trying to break free from sugar addiction – without feeling deprived is dark chocolate.  It is good to have especially this time of year – because you can have a square of dark chocolate when you get tempted by the cookies and treats.  But don’t be fooled by beautiful packaging and expensive pricing.  Check out this article written by The Food Babe about how even the most expensive chocolates can be made with cheap GMO ingredients and use artificial flavorings!

So – scurry on past the expensive brands with the beautiful gold packaging and red bows – and grab some Cocoa Parlour instead – a great stocking stuffer!   Check out the ingredient list on a Cocoa Parlor bar – and you might be surprised to see just 3 ingredients for many of their bars!  Unlike many of the chocolate bars on the market – these are made with simplest ingredients – and do not put any soy lethicin into their bars.    They also sell raw chocolate bars – which is even better – because it is higher in antioxidants!

I have tried many different brands – and I have to tell you that Cocoa Parlour comes out on top for me.  My absolute favorite is their Popped Quinoa bar.  I also like their salted almond dark as well – salt, chocolate and almonds – the perfect combo.


Sara's Gift picks - KivaSun13. KivaSun Bison Jerky – $7.99/pack (great stocking stuffer)

High-quality protein-dense gluten-free snacking. 

Not all jerky is created equal – or gluten free.  Kiva bison jerky is gluten free, antibiotic free, contains no added hormones, is high in protein, contains no nitrates or nitrites, and tastes great.

  • Try the Hatch Chile or Original Flavor & taste the KivaSun difference!

14. The ReFuel Bar – $2.49/bar* (great stocking stuffer) 

Refuel BarStuff the stocking with some snack bars that aren’t too sweet. 

Are you frustrated with bars that are too sweet, or have ingredients that you are trying to avoid like soy, gluten, or dairy?  So was I – that is why I created the ReFuel bar!  Just the right hint of sweetness (6 grams – from dates), 8 grams of vegan protein (from pea and hemp), and 9 grams of fiber (from chia seeds and a prebiotic fiber – which is food for the probiotics – keeps your tummy bugs happy and fed).

  • Special Holiday Deal – Save 30% regular price of $29.95 on all ReFuel Bars!  Code HOLIDAY30 should come up automatically.  Expires Dec. 16th.  Order here.

The Giveaway – 4 Amazing Gift Sets!!

I am giving away over $600 worth of healthy holiday gift sets!!!  Enter to win below!! 

Would you like to be the lucky winner of one of these awesome gift sets?

The Home Spa Gift: Value $190 value

  • The Ann Marie Gianni Balance Gift Set -$160.00 value
  • The Skinny Coconut Oil Pulling Kit – $30.00 value

The Healthy Metabolism Home Chef Gift: $102 value

  • The Kraut Source Holiday Gift Pack: $70.00 value
  • The Perfect Metabolism Plan: $16.95 value
  • Four Sigma Foods Mushroom coffee with cordyceps – $15 value

The Work Out Smarter Not Harder Gift: $110 value

  • Generation UCAN multi-flavor sample pack with blender bottle: $29.75 value
  • Ab carver Pro: $39.99 value
  • Trigger Point GRID Foam Roller: $39.99 value

The Stylish Yogi Gift:  $210 value

  • 6 passes to a Yoga Six studio: $120 value
  • The Mizu Yoga Kit – $64.95 value
  • Beaming Superfood Smoothie Blend: $24.95 value

How to Enter: Please note that this raffle has now ended. 

  1. Give us your name, email, and shipping address below. (you will also be added to our newsletter –  you may opt out at any time).
  2. Head over and Like my Facebook page. – Sara Vance at Rebalance Life – and feel free to add your comments to the Healthy Holiday Gift post about which products you can’t wait to try (and feel free to say why).
  3. Wait to see who won the big prizes!!  The winner will be chosen by a drawing that will be held on Wednesday, December 16th at 8:00pm PT!  Remember: You must fill out the form below and also Friend Sara Vance ar Rebalance Life on FB to win! Gift sets will be shipped the next day to address listed on the winning entry forms.

Please note:  Includes shipping within the U.S.  If a winner outside the U.S. is chosen – shipping costs will need to be paid by the winner, or they may forfeit the prize.  All attempts will be made for gifts to arrive before Dec. 25th, but it is not guaranteed.  Must be 18 to enter. 


Don’t forget to sign up for The Metabolism Summit – coming Feb 1st!!

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Note: some of the above links are affiliate links – meaning Sara Vance will earn a small commission for referring you.

Sara Vance Article written by Nutritionist Sara Vance, author of the book
The Perfect Metabolism Plan A regular guest on Fox 5 San Diego, you can see many of Sara’s segments on her media page. She also offers corporate nutrition, school programs, consultations, and affordable online eCourses. Download her free 40+ page Metabolism Jumpstart eBook here.

*This article is for educational purposes only. The content contained in this article is not to be construed as providing medical advice. All information provided is general and not specific to individuals. Persons with questions about the above content as how it relates to them, should contact their medical professional. Persons already taking prescription medications should consult a doctor before making any changes to their supplements or medications.

©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.

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100% Guilt-Free & Dairy-Free Chocolate Mousse

November 3, 2013
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Usually if something sounds too good to be true – it is.  Except in this case!!

This superfood version of chocolate mousse is dairy free and 100% guilt free!!  It is also rich in fiber, omega 3s, magnesium, has no sugar and whips up in minutes!  I know, hard to believe – but all true!  It is a rich and creamy delicious chocolatty delight!!  And unlike other chocolate mousses, this one will not spike your bloodsugar.  It will fill you up, and keep your hunger hormones in control and keep you satisfied for hours!

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe avocado (but not too ripe/brown)
  • 2 Tablespoons of chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
  • 3 Tablespoons virgin unrefined coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup of alternative milk (I used cashew)
  • A splash of vanilla extract or powder
  • 1 Tablespoon of plant-based protein powder (I used Warrior Blend chocolate)
  • 1-2 pinches of Pink Himalayan salt
  • 1/2 of a frozen banana
  • 2 ice cubes*
  • Approx. 12 drops of Stevia liquid (I used 365 Brand from Whole Foods)
  • Optional – top with a handful of raw cacao nibs (or shredded coconut, chopped nuts, goji berries, or whatever you choose!)

* The ice cubes are primarily to chill the mousse, you can omit if you are making it and not eating it right away. Put into the refrigerator to chill.

Note – this recipe requires a Vitamix blender that has a “tamper” – the tool that helps to process thicker recipes, stirring ingredients and removing air pockets in the blender.

Directions:

  1. Warm the coconut oil over low heat on the stove to turn to liquid (skip this step in the hot summer months when it is already liquid)
  2. Put the cashew milk into the Vitamix with the chia seeds and protein powder.  Let soak for about 3-5 minutes, or until the chia seeds are softened.
  3. Then add in the avocado flesh, vanilla, raw cacao, coconut oil, and whip it together until no lumps are visible.
  4. Add in the couple of pinches of Himalayan salt, 1/2 a frozen banana, ice cubes (if using) and stevia – taste and adjust for sweetness.  Sometimes, it is salt that you need more of, and not the sweetener!!

Put into a container in the refrigerator, or pour into a dish and enjoy.  This can make 1 large serving, or two small ones.

This is a Perfect Metabolism program recipe!

Read Cuckoo for Coconut oil to learn more about the health benefits of coconut oil.

Sara Vance Article written by Nutritionist Sara Vance, author of the book
The Perfect Metabolism Plan A regular guest on Fox 5 San Diego, you can see many of Sara’s segments on her media page. She also offers corporate nutrition, school programs, consultations, and affordable online eCourses. Download her free 40+ page Metabolism Jumpstart eBook here.

*This article is for educational purposes only. The content contained in this article is not to be construed as providing medical advice. All information provided is general and not specific to individuals. Persons with questions about the above content as how it relates to them, should contact their medical professional. Persons already taking prescription medications should consult a doctor before making any changes to their supplements or medications.

©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.

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Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes (Gluten Free & Vegan)

February 10, 2013
Screen-Shot-2013-02-08-at-9.47.48-AM-300x265

Serve these delicious Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes for Valentines Day!

  • They are gluten free – so your gluten free loved ones can enjoy a special treat this Valentines Day.
  • These cupcakes contain a healthy dose of cacao, which is high in magnesium and polyphenols – important for heart health.  Dark chocolate has been shown to lower heart attack and stroke risk by 30%.
  • Made with coconut oil which is high in lauric acid, which is useful for lowering cholesterol and protecting the heart.  High in medium chain fatty acids, coconut oil is more easily converted into energy than other oils, so it is less likely to get stored as fat.  Coconut oil also in a natural antibacterial, antiviral, and so it is a powerful tool for our immune system.  Coconut oil is also good for the thyroid too.

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

Cupcake Ingredients:

  • 1 & 1/2 cup gluten free flour blend
  • 3/4 cup cacao powder (such as Sunfood), if you can’t find cacao powder – you can use cocoa powder.
  • 1 teaspooon gluten free baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon aluminum free baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt (such as Real Salt)
  • 1 large avocado
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup, or your personal favorite natural sweetener (I used raw agave for these)
  • 30 drops of Stevia liquid (this cuts down on the blood sugar impact)
  • 3/4 cup flaxmilk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 15 drops of Stevia
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 Tablespoon of flax milk (or another alternative milk)
  • 1/4 cup of fresh or frozen raspberries (optional)
  • Fresh raspberries to top each cupcake (optional).

Frosting Directions:

Melt the coconut oil gently over low heat on the stovetop, or in a Pyrex dish in a hot water bath. Then mix together all the ingredients in a blender or food processor (except the raspberries).  Add the 1/4 cup raspberries and process until combined*. If using frozen, it will instantly thicken the frosting.  Spoon out into a bowl and place in refrigerator to chill.  Rinse and set aside the fresh raspberries for topping the cupcakes.

*Note: If you do not want the frosting to be raspberry flavored, just omit the raspberries.  It will have a slight coconut taste – if you do not like that – replace the coconut oil with organic butter (this is a non-vegan option).

Cupcake Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line the mini muffin tins with paper lines, or grease with coconut oil.
  3. If you did not line them, mix together 3 Tablespoons of cacao powder and 3 Tablespoons gluten free flour, and use it to dust the muffin tin, pour out excess. This is not essential, but will help the cupcakes to release from the pan.
  4. Whisk together the dry ingredients and set them aside.
  5. Slice the avocado open, remove the pit, and spoon the flesh into a food processor, puree it until it is smooth.
  6. Then add in the sweeteners, flaxmilk, vanilla, and pulse to combine.
  7. Add the dry ingredients, and mix until combined.
  8. Finally, add the melted coconut oil, and mix until combined.
  9. Spoon batter into mini muffin tins.
  10. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 17 minutes – test with a toothpick to see if the cupcakes are done, it should come out clean when poked.

Sara Vance Article written by Nutritionist Sara Vance, author of the book
The Perfect Metabolism Plan A regular guest on Fox 5 San Diego, you can see many of Sara’s segments on her media page. She also offers corporate nutrition, school programs, consultations, and affordable online eCourses. Download her free 40+ page Metabolism Jumpstart eBook here.

*This article is for educational purposes only. The content contained in this article is not to be construed as providing medical advice. All information provided is general and not specific to individuals. Persons with questions about the above content as how it relates to them, should contact their medical professional. Persons already taking prescription medications should consult a doctor before making any changes to their supplements or medications.

©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.

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