BEST BREAKFAST CEREAL EVER


Hey everyone! I hope you are all loving your spring as much as we are. Here in Western Canada our weather has been all over the place, by the hour. Going from rain, to hail, to bright blue skies. It's pretty bizarre! But on the nice days I find myself in the garden with the kids, getting our hands dirty, loving the smell of nature. 



So you may have noticed that I've been blogging less lately and sorry to anyone who likes reading and catching up with us but I'm just so involved in planning Health & Wellness day, potty training, making desserts for people AND gardening that all my free time that I used to spend blogging is now being taken over by activities and other fun. I promise to write here as much as I can!

Over the Easter break I made this cereal and it was a total hit. I grew up hating cereal. I always found it....WAY TO DARN SUGARY! Like a total over load to the taste buds. So cereal of any kind was banned from my house. This recipe was originally supposed to be granola but with all the awesome dried fruit I decided to pour homemade almond milk over top and let it soak for 10 minutes, then eat it up. And wow was it ever delicious! Seth likes to devour things, just like Tod, but I like to savour my yummy food. Taking little bites and thinking about the textures, flavours and how totally awesome it is for us!


This cereal is so easy too. Basically I took whatever I had in the house and then just threw it all together. You can follow my ingredients or you can use your own.


I'm so happy because this cereal is the best whole foods recipe ever! Nothing comes from a can or has been processed to death. All the fruit has been dehydrated and all the grains, seeds and nuts are still in their raw form as well. Now that's beautiful food!


If you don't have a dehydrator I'm sure you can bake it. Try baking it at 275°C for 45 min to an hour on parchment paper on a large cookie sheet. Stirring once half way through. If it's not crunchy enough for you place it back in the oven for longer.



My 2 year old, my 8 year old, and my 13 year old loves this cereal! I'm so happy I created it for us!


Enjoy this cereal and feel the love from all these nourishing ingredients!

♥ Mandy


BEST BREAKFAST CEREAL EVER
Makes a lot!

Wet

  • 1 cup nut or seed butter, I used sunflower seed butter today
  • 3/4 cup raw honey or maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract


Dry
Grains, dried fruit, seeds and nuts of your choice! I used:

  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup hemp hearts
  • 3 Tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup dehydrated sprouted buckwheat
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried figs
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup banana chips
  • 1/2 cup cranberries
  • 1/2 cup dried pineapple
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut


1. Toss all the wet ingredients into a pan and turn on to the lowest heat. Mix for 2 minutes and take off heat before it gets hot.

2. Mix dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Pour wet mixture over top of the dry ingredients and stir. 

3. Lay paraflexx dehydrator sheets on top of the dehydrator trays and pour cereal on top. Spread out into a thin layer on as many sheets as needed. Dehydrate on 115° for 2-3 days.

4. Serve with homemade almond or coconut milk! Let your cereal soak in the milk for 10 minutes before eating. That way the flavours to into the milk and it is even more delicious!


SOFT SERVE PEANUT BUTTER VANILLA ICE CREAM TOPPED W/ DATE CARAMEL & CASHEWS ALL IN A CHOCOLATE SHELL


WOWZA!!! Now this is a real treat!

K so go to your local Thrifty Foods and buy a tub a Vanilla ice cream made by Screamin Brothers.

Make sure you have honey, peanut butter, dates, maple syrup, raw cashews, coconut oil and a dark chocolate bar too. The shredded coconut is totally optional.

Melt your dark chocolate bar and pour into a tart mold, or muffin liners, or any cool molds you have. Sprinkle on shredded coconut if you like. I froze mine so they would harden faster. 


Remove the pits from 6 dates and soak in filtered water for an hour. In a small pan add 3 tbsp. coconut oil and 3 tbsp maple syrup and turn on to your lowest setting. Let melt and turn off stove. Then add 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 2 heaping tbsp. almond butter and a dollop of honey, Stir. Trust me this date caramel is worth every step!

Fill your sink full of hot water and place the vanilla ice cream inside for 10 minutes to soften.

Add your sauce mixture from the pan to your high speed blender along with your soaked dates and a pinch of ground celtic sea salt. Save date water for a smoothie!! Blend on high until dates are blended up, nice and smooth like.

I poured my date caramel into a Ziploc bag, cut a small hole in the corner and was ready to pipe my caramel on my ice cream...after I was eating it by the spoonful. What? No one saw....


In a bowl mix 2 heaping tbsp peanut butter with 1 tbsp honey. Add the soft vanilla ice cream to the bowl and mix. Take your chocolate tart bases out of the freezer and take out of the mold. Yes mine broke a bit but its still delicious! Spoon your soft serve vanilla peanut butter ice cream into your tarts, sprinkle with cashews for an awesome crunch AND drizzle on date caramel.

There, your world has now been rocked!

This post has been sponsored by #SCREAMINBROTHERS


SOFT SERVE PEANUT BUTTER VANILLA ICE CREAM TOPPED W/ DATE CARAMEL & CASHEWS ALL IN A CHOCOLATE SHELL
Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 dark chocolate bar
  • 3 Tbsp. shredded coconut

Date Caramel
  • 6 dates, pits removed and soaked for 1 hour
  • 3 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 3 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 heaping Tbsp. almond butter
  • 1 tsp. unpasteurized raw honey
  • a pinch of celtic sea salt, ground

  • 2 heaping Tbsp. peanut butter
  • 1 Tbsp. unpasteurized raw honey

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, chopped


1. Melt your dark chocolate bar by breaking it into small pieces and placing it into a small porcelain bowl. In a medium pot filled 1/4 full of water, heat on med heat and place bowl with chocolate inside. This is called the double boiler method. Stir chocolate until it has melted. Pour liquid chocolate into
4 - 4" tart molds, or muffin liners, or any cool molds you have. Freeze to harden. Sprinkle on shredded coconut (optional). 

2. Remove the pits from 6 dates and soak dates in filtered water for an hour. 

3. In a small pan add coconut oil and maple syrup and turn on to your lowest setting. Let coconut oil melt and turn off stove. Stir. Then add vanilla extract. almond butter and honey. Stir.


4. Fill your sink 1/4  full of warm/hot water and place the vanilla ice cream container inside for 10 minutes to soften.

5. Pour the sauce mixture from the pan to a high speed blender along with the soaked dates and a pinch of ground celtic sea salt. Save date water for a smoothie!! Blend on high until dates are blended up and smooth. Optional - pour date caramel into a Ziploc bag and cut a small hole in the corner to pipe on tarts.

6. In a bowl mix peanut butter with honey. Add the soft vanilla ice cream to the bowl and mix. Take your chocolate tart bases out of the freezer and take out of the mold. Scoop the soft serve vanilla peanut butter ice cream into your tarts, sprinkle with cashews and drizzle on date caramel. Serve immediately.

Thank you Screamin Brothers for sponsoring this recipe! Your ice cream is top notch!!

Happy Easter Everyone!

ROASTED NUT FREEZER FUDGE


How on earth did the last day of March creep up on us so fast!? Wow, spring is here and I am pumped :)

I love creating new dishes to please the family when they get home from work and school!

Not only do I make them feel loved but they are quiet for around 10 minutes (lol every mom needs ten minutes of quiet time!)

Haha but honestly this chocolaty fudge is soooo perfect, thanks to the coconut cream!

I highly recommend making this when you have company over. Brownie points.

ROASTED NUT FREEZER FUDGE
What the perfect way to tell your friends and family that you love them? Make this fudge! Not only will they love you forever but they will be super impressed that you made chocolate this good! This chocolate if free of dairy and refined sugar. Feel free to switch up the cacao powder for carob powder.This fudge is creamy, decedent, and melt in your mouth delicious.
Serves 5

Prepare ahead - Place 1 can of coconut milk in the fridge the day before. This helps the milk separate. The cream will rise to the top and the water will sink to the bottom, use the solid cream only.

  • 1/2 cup cacao butter, coconut butter or coconut oil
  • 1 can coconut milk- full fat, cream only
  • 2 heaping tbsp. nut butter of your choice
  • 1/4 cup unpasteurized or raw honey, clear unpasteurized raw agave nectar or pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup raw nuts of your choice, I used almonds and hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder (or cocoa)
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut (or cranberries)
  • pinch or two of ground celtic sea salt


1. Preheat oven to 350° F (180° C). Melt cacao, coconut butter or coconut oil on the lowest temperature in a large pan.

2. Once it has melted add the coconut cream from the can (save the water at the bottom for a smoothie) and add the nut butter. Stir well until they both have melted. Turn off heat.

3. Stick your finger in the liquid to make sure it's not hot, just slightly warm. Once mixture has cooled add sweetener, cacao powder, and vanilla extract and stir.

4. Place nuts on a baking sheet and place in the oven on the middle rack. Set the timer for 5 minutes.

5. Once nuts are done, wait a couple minutes for them to cool and place them on a cutting board and chop as chunky or as fine as you like. 

6. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour the mixture on top of the parchment paper and sprinkle nuts and shredded coconut (and cranberries if using) on top. Sprinkle ground celtic sea salt on top of the liquid fudge (I added 5 turns of my salt grinder - I didn't measure).

7. Place the dish into the freezer to set for 2-5 hours. Take out of the freezer, leave on the parchment paper and cut into squares. Serve cold! 

To store left overs (if there are any) keep fudge on parchment paper and place in a freezer safe bag, kept in the freezer.


FITNESS FOR THE BUSY MOM & IMPROVING THE BODY, MIND & SOUL


Mandy's Healthy Life isn't just about food it's about living a healthy lifestyle and being the best you can be - for yourself, family & friends. So let's improve together!

As most of you know I have three children, a dog, and a wonderful husband who works so I can stay home and raise our youngest, Kyri.

I have been on this health journey now for 4 years (almost). I have learned so much amazing information on eating healthy, fitness, and improving my life. There are so many inspiring people in this world like Jutida Wignall, Rich Roll, & Alicia Silverstone, who have all helped our family grow.


After having kids it's super hard to get your body back to pre-baby shape! It's been two years since I had Kyri and my body weight likes to fluctuate if I don't stay active! If I eat too many healthy cookies, cakes or desserts I gain a bit of weight from all those healthy fats. But the awesome part is if I work out those healthy fats give me so much energy for working out. Staying on a work out routine helps keep me positive, full of energy (yes working out gives me energy) and any gained cake weight just melts off.

I work out as often as I can but it's hard when you have a little one at home. I can't just go out to the gym whenever I want, and I can't go run 10km with my kid in a stroller (she'd cry the whole way home GET ME OUTA HERE!!" So what do us busy moms do? We set up play time for the kids and work out at home!

I like to do a video after I've taken my two oldests to school. It's a pilates yoga blend and I've been doing (on and off) for the past 8 months. You can take it pretty easy if your tired or not up to par, or you can push it as hard as you can - tighten every muscle in your body and get toned super fast. Seriously I saw improvements within the first couple weeks, mind you I did the video 5 days a week. Then I enjoy my after yoga shake!


AFTER YOGA SHAKE
Mmm this is my fave. It's my reward for working out!
  • 1 pear or apple, core removed
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp. chia seeds
  • 1 Tbsp hemp hearts
  • 1 tsp. maca powder
  • 1 banana
  • 4 dates, pits removed & soaked in the water for 1 hour
  • 1 tsp. raw honey
  • 4 ice cubes

1. Blend and serve! Enjoy.


Drinking mommy's 'After Yoga Shake'. Made with dates, chia seeds, hemp hearts, water, pear and more! Mmm mmm good! 

#organicingredients #workoutshake# lovemylife #nutritious #lifeboosting #delicious #yoga 

#wholefoodsrockmysocks #datesareamazing#healthykids #mandyshealthylife

Fllow me on Instagram & Twitter @MandyDugas19

Tod watches the kids so I can go to Zumba in the evening and Grandma D. comes into town to babysit during the day. I do Zumba twice a week with my mom.


I am also training to run a half marathon this year, in April! I started training in January. My goal is to run just over 1 km each run. I started at 3.5km and have improved my distance every week since then. I do not stop running until I reach my front doorstep. My last run was 18.3km on Sunday. What do I eat on the morning of a run you ask? I had lemon water, waited for it to digest, drank a shake, then ate fruit, came home from church ate a bowl of sprouted buckwheat with hemp seed (totally plain), grabbed a sip of water and headed out the door. I didn't stop running once and I ran around the whole bloody town. I felt great! My body is honestly telling me that my lifestyle is working. If you have read my post on my last 8Km race you'd know how amazing it is to me that I can even run at all!

I use my husband's Garmin running watch (It was my Christmas gift to him two years ago) and he said it was the best gift he's ever gotten. And I agree. It is awesome. You put it on your wrist, turn it on, connect to a satellite so it can read your distance and press start and away you go!! The watch will read your distance, your speed and your time. Perfect while training and running the race.


BUT....The only thing is that if someone gets sick or if there is a change of plans I can't work out. And lately that has been happening more often. So what have I decided to do?

Wake up earlier! Tod and I have been waking up before day light to meditate. It has improved my days by 50%. We wake up, drink our lemon water, brush our teeth and sit down in our living room and make it as dark as possible by closing the blinds, turning off the lights and we sit on a soft surface like a blanket or thin cushion and sit and relax. I close my eyes and think of my body. I feel my body from my feet to my head. Then I let it all go. If I catch myself thinking about errands or duties I say Okay I'll come back to you later and I try to let everything go again. It's hard, don't get me wrong, and sometimes I spend the whole session sending thoughts away. But sometimes I just sit there... and feel the calmness of my mind. I start to sense my own energy. I always receive an overwhelming feeling of gratitude to the point where I could cry tears of joy. It's so wonderful.



The benefits I have noticed since I started waking up early to meditate are

  • I get an hour to myself to think
  • While I meditate I release all tension, let go of the ego and clear the mind
  • I feel WAY less stressed through out my day
  • During sudden mishaps (like Kyri peeing on the couch) I feel calm, collected and in control
  • I am constantly surrounded in this ora of LOVE
  • I am always wanting to help others
  • I am aware of my surroundings
  • I have a new respect for nature, food, and my body
  • I can see a clear difference between my ego and my soul
  • I am seeing everyday how I am on the right path (signs pop up everywhere) &
  • I am falling asleep easier and am having deep undisturbed sleeps.

and I enjoy having a spiritual experience with my husband by my side. Then I get ready while the kids are still sleeping. After I eat 3-4 pieces of fruit like oranges, kiwis, apples and bananas. This whole early morning process helps me get in some ME time before my thoughts are devoted to others for the rest of the day! Which is super important. Then I can make time to work out at home.


Questions I've asked myself...

What are the things you want in your life?
Have you sat in a quite room and thought about your life and your future?
Are you where you want to be?
Are you on the right path?
What changes could you make to help improve your life?
What can you do everyday for others?
Are you surrounded by love?
Do you give as much love (or more) as you receive?
Do you go about your day giving all you have to give?
Do you envision your future?
Do you share your goals and dreams with others?
Do you have the ability to turn off the ego?
Can others see that you are full of energy, love and compassion?
Do you feel healthy, fit, and happy?

I find that all my questions are answered in some form or another after meditating. If I need to work on them I do.

Everyone can use a little self improvement. I hope everyone is enjoying the start of their spring. We are all so excited for the warm weather!

Thanks for reading!

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