Sweet Potato Avo Brownies (V,GF)

These brownies are gooey and decadent without being full of sugar and gunk.  I’ve been having these as an afternoon snack with a little vegan yogurt and berries and, you guys, its pretty amazing.  I’ve also been pinching off a little and forming them into little “bites” for my green smoothie bowl in the morning. Any time I can justify brownies for breakfast, I’m in. Not to mention that my smoothie bowls taste like ice-cream but leave me feeling energized and satisfied.  Hip-Hip-Hooray–Dessert for breakfast!



  • 1 large ripe avocado
  • 1 medium roasted sweet potato, skin removed
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup full fat coconut milk (from can)
  • 6 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips


  1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Peel sweet potato and cut into chunks.  Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes.  Flipping once.
  3. Combine all ingredients expect the chocolate chips in a food processor and process until smooth.
  4. stir in the chocolate chips.
  5. Line a 8 X 8 baking dish with parchment paper and smooth brownie mix into dish.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.  Remove and let cool.
  7. Try not to eat entire pan with a spoon.



She-Ninja Coffee

She Ninja CoffeeWell if this won’t put a little fire in your morning, I don’t know what will.  She-ninja coffee is my version of Bullet-Proof Coffee.  It can be made with regular coffee (organic of course), Herbal Coffee, Tea, or Swiss Water decaf coffee.  Really,  whatever floats your boat.

The idea is that you replace breakfast with this blend on your low-carb days.  If you’re following my meal plans, you know I use a system of carbohydrate cycling to help the body utilize fat stores as energy while still enjoying delicious high carb plant based foods on my “regular” and “feast” days.

Enjoy, my She-Ninja Friends!

She-Ninja Coffee


    • 1 3/4 cup brewed coffee (decaf or regular, or your dandelion tea)
    • 1/2 cup Full Fat Coconut milk from a can
    • 2 tablespoon almond butter or Peanut Butter
    • 10 grams cacao butter (about 4-5 wafers)
    • 1/2 scoop vanilla VEGA protein powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional


    1. Blend all ingredients in a blender and reheat on the stove if you prefer it hot.  You can also add in 1-2 cups of ice to make a chilled smoothie like beverage!

Green Monster Pancakes

Who doesn’t love a plate of pancakes?  I have some many fond childhood memories of pancake breakfasts…or when we were really lucky, pancakes for dinner.

Our pancakes look a little different these days.  I strive to get to squeeze as much nutrition into my gluten free vegan pancakes as possible– transforming them from a “meh–not so good for you food” into a nutrition powerhouse.  Here is my most recent pancake creation– full of protein, fiber, and even greens!

Green Monster Pancakes

Green Pancake


    • 1 TBSP coconut oil
    • 1 Banana
    • 3 TBSP ground flaxseed
    • 3 handfuls spinach/baby kale
    • 1.5 cups unsweetened almond milk (homemade is best!)
    • 1.5 cups chickpea flour (can substitute with oat flour)
    • 1 TBSP chia seeds
    • 1 TBSL hemp seeds
    • 2 tsp cinnamon

For Toppings:

  • Almond Butter
  • Blackstrap Molasses

1.  Preheat oil on med-high skillet
2. Blend the banana, flaxseed, greens, and almond milk in a high speed blender
3. Stir the green liquids into the dry ingredients and mix well.
3. Pour 1/4-1/2 cup batter per pancake onto the skillet.  Flip when the pancake it is easy to slid the spatula under the pancake.
4. Once both sides are cooked, place on plate and spread with almond butter and drizzle blackstrap molasses over for a protein and iron rich treat!

No Bake Immune Boosting Oatmeal Balls

21728312_10108587084001721_2935115220672835439_nThis morning while making Oat-Pancakes, Leif noticed there was a recipe for some oatmeal bars on the back of the flaxseed package.  Of course, we can’t say no to a yummy ball recipe, so we quick whipped up a batch but, in true form, changed up the recipe to meet our needs.

You can 100 percent just use oatmeal in this recipe but, having just made our favorite Immune Boosting Cereal blend yesterday, we decided to use that instead.  The result was a delicious, immune boosting ball that makes for a great snack or a quick breakfast when paired with a little fruit or a smoothie (I made little balls and mixed them into my smoothie bowl this morning).  Check out the recipe for the Immune Boosting Cereal here.


  • 1 cup Immune Boosting Cereal Blend (1 cup GF rolled oats)
  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup Almond or Peanut Butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice


Mix everything into a bowl.  Form into balls and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet and place in the freezer to harden.  Store in the freezer or refrigerator.

Chickpea Cookie Dough

unnamed-4I have always been a fan of cookie dough.  As a kid, I’d still it when my mom made cookies.  Thankfully, I didn’t die from eating raw eggs.  When I became vegan, my love for cookie dough did not diminish but my risk of getting salmonella did.  I love cookie dough more than I love actual cookies…and that’s saying something because I really love cookies.  This recipe blew my mind though.  This is about as guilt free as it gets when it comes to eating cookie dough.  This can be eaten by it self or added to smoothies or banana nice cream for a blizzard like experience.


These balls are full of protein, healthy fats, and fiber rich carbs (and chocolate) making them the perfect post workout (or anytime) snack.  My kids can’t get enough of it and they are approved by the families at our preschool (we took them to a potluck today).

So, here you go…


  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 7-10 dates
  • splash of vanilla
  • 1/2 cup nut butter
  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips (we like Enjoy Life)


Add everything but the chocolate chips the the food processor and process until a dough forms.  Add in chocolate chips and pulse a few times to chop them a little.

Roll into balls and store in the fridge!  Boom. Done.



Cascade Super MarathonOn Saturday I raced for the first time in a long time.  I wasn’t sure what to expect from my body as some of my chronic hip and hamstring pain returned about a month ago and I started an early taper, even taking a full week off completely from running.  I was over trained.  Depression set in a bit and I questioned whether or not I should even race.  But, I’d paid for it and goodness knows I’d worked for it so I was going to do it.

I set my alarm clock for 5 AM.  I woke at 4:40 in a little panic because it was already light outside. I laid back down and then… at 5:25 woke up and realized my alarm hadn’t gone off.  I pried my breast away from Rein and slipped downstairs to make the coffee, oatmeal, and dress for the race.  I was out the door by 6– plenty of time to drive up to Snoqaulmie pass, check in, and relax (aka, go to the toilet 1,001 times) before the marathon started.

As I drove along, I sang and got pumped up.  About 10 miles out, I checked my email for parking directions.  What came up was an email, from my spam folder, that declared the start time had been changed to 7 AM! WTF?  It was 6:58 and I was still 10 minutes away.  I cursed.  I actually said out loud, “Well, I guess I’m not supposed to run today…” and thought about going back to North Bend to hike.  With some encouragement from a friend, I decided to try.  I whipped into the parking area at Hyak, jumped out of the car and peed in the parking lot, ripped off my sweats and fleece and asked the first person I saw where the start was…  “Half mile down the road, jump in, I’ll take you!”

We jumped in his SUV and sped off.  At the start, I ran up to the start line and asked if I could still run.  The organizers were AMAZING!  “What’s your name!” a guy shouted from a van.  30 seconds later I was handed my race bib.  I pinned it on and took off.

The first 5 miles was an out and back along an alpine lake.  I was literally alone for the first couple of miles.  I was laughing and enjoying myself.  I cranked out a couple 7 minute miles and then started seeing other runners on their way back from the 2.5 mile turn around.  I hit the turn around and headed back, chasing down each runner one by one.  As I went back through the starting area, one of the race organizers cheered me from her car!  “I knew it! I knew it!  You’re not alone!” she shouted.  I laughed and ran on towards the tunnel.

As I approached the entrance of the tunnel, tiny little flashlight in hand, I passed a pacer and his lone passenger.  The “passenger” felt is appropriate to call me “cutie”. Ew.  As I entered the tunnel, I began to feel disoriented, even nauseated.  I slowed way down to get my barring.  I must have said something out loud because the creeper said from behind, “Come run with us big guys, we’ll protect you!”  No thanks, I’ll take my chances in this long dark tunnel.

With each step, my eyes began to adjust to the darkness.  All I could see was what was directly in front of me.  Every once in a while, I’d shine my light at the sides of the tunnel.  The further in I went, the more I began to feel the things.  I felt the darkness. Not just the darkness from being one mile in to a 2.5 mile long tunnel…but the darkness from the traumas of the last 7 years.  The sudden loss of my sweet nephew, the loss of trust, and the trauma from Rein’s birth.  The song, “If you’re going through hell, keep on going…” played through my head.  “Keep going,” I said to myself. I imagined the end, the light, and anticipated a feeling of “rebirth”….  I felt like I was flying and as I flew, I let the pain and hurt exit me and soak into the darkness.  Then, I could see the light.  I saw people moving –they looked so small.  At first I thought they were crouched down, then I realized just how big the tunnel was and how little we were.  Like a butterfly, busting out of its cocoon, I slid into the light.  Onward.

I ran on.  Continuing to pass people.  Admiring the clouds as they floated through the trees and mountain peeks.  A hummingbird buzzed over me.  I smiled.  Hummingbirds.  Small, fast, graceful, wise.  Sometimes I get visits from these tiny creatures when I need them the most.  The hummingbird represents wisdom.  I thought, “What kind of wisdom do I need right now?”  Do I need to slow down?  Am I going to be able to hold this pace for another 15 miles?  Sometimes wisdom might be interpreted as caution.  Sometimes it might mean to GO and go fast.  So I went.

I spent a lot of time alone in the forest during the race.  I talked to myself, out loud.  I smiled a lot.  I groaned.  I questioned.  I hurt. I ran.  I remembered why I was running.  I pulled my core in.  I focused.  At mile 17, I passed an aide station and a very handsome, athletic looking man complimented my cadence… I felt all the feels and ran.

I crossed gorgeous bridges spanning over misty rivers.  My feet hurt.  My hip was aching.  I told my hip (like actually said out loud), “Today’s not your day…”  and I ran.

Those last 6.2 miles.  On man.  If you’ve ran marathons before, you know.  I reminded myself, “Its supposed to be uncomfortable…” and I ran.  Mile 23, I knew I was going to do it.  I knew I was going to go under 3:35 and finally qualify for Boston.  I knew I could slow down if I wanted and still make it in plenty of time.  I started to lose my focus and I felt my body stray and slow.  Nope.  I pulled my core in, shoulders back and I started laying shit down on the trail… “Payton, I really freaking miss you.  Its bullshit you had to leave…”  “Death, I really fucking hate you.  Fuck you, death.”  “Oh, and Trump, You’re a piece of shit.  Fuck you and your misogyny.  Fuck you and thinking that the female body is yours for the taking.  Fuck you and your cronies making choices about my body, the bodies of millions… Fuck you for trying to destroy our mother…”  I mean, I really said these things out loud alone in the woods.  I said them with authority, people.  I said them like they were the most true and powerful things that could ever be said… I even threw in some lions breathes.

Then, before I knew it, I hit mile 25.  I looked at my watch and I realized I could walk if I wanted to and I’d still qualify and still PR.  Not going to walk.  I picked it up and went for it.  Then I heard it.  I heard the cowbells and the cheers and knew the finish line was near.  I knew that a few more turns through the evergreens and I’d be digging it out across the finish line with a 20 minute PR and a Boston worthy marathon time.  I heard myself shout, “GO!” and I went.  I probably made some ugly faces as I went.  As I came around the last turn, the announcer called out my number, “Number 79!  She started 15 minutes late!  She’s pulling in around 3:20!”

All smiles and arms up as I sprinted across that line.  By this time, it was raining.  I’d tossed my long sleeve shirt along the way and hadn’t checked any gear.  I grabbed some bananas and ran straight to the shuttle bus to return to the car.  And just like that, I was done.  All those 5:30 AM wake up through the winter after all night nursing sessions were paid for.  I left everything on the trail.

And to think I almost went hiking instead.


The Happiness List.


I have been slowly working my way through Mo Gawdat’s book Solve for Happy. One of the things he says that has helped him to be happy, even in times of immense loss, is a happiness list. His list is forever growing. When I started my list last week, it had things like coffee, the post run high, my kids’ smiles. There’s one BIG thing though. There’s an experience (or 2 actually) that so fully flood my body with contentment when I think about it. It has happened twice to me but in two very different ways– The moment when I finally met my babies. With Leif, the labor was painful and long. The labor itself was not peaceful but powerful, painful, and exhausting. The emotions that reached every corner of my body when I pushed him out were absolute Heaven.

Rein, was different. My labor was peaceful, even zenful. I enjoyed the waves of contractions that rang in my hips. I enjoyed working through each one. Then, as we know, the birth took a quick turn (literally, he turned transverse) and I ended up with a traumatic cesarean. I can still hear my own voice sometimes, the screaming– “Why isn’t he crying?!?!?!?!” Yesterday, while running, I remembered this. I felt my heart racing and tears pooling in my eyes. And then I said to myself, “He’s alive. It’s okay. He’s okay.” When they placed him on my chest, the experience was much different. It was relief. It was “Oh My God, we’re both still alive…” It was “Welcome home, how was a I complete without you?”

When the world feels really dark, this is where I go. I go to those first moments of holding Leif and Rein. Their wrinkly bodies on my bare chest. My lips, between joyful cries, telling them how much I love them and kissing their heads over and over while midwives and doctors sew me back together (I needed to be sewn up after both births–just different places).

This is the feeling I pray ushers me into the afterlife when my time on earth is done. This is the sacred space where I will always feel at home.