smoothiebowl

Raspberry Coconut Smoothiebowl

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Hi loves!

As you can see The Sparkling Darling got a huge makeover! My boyfriend has been working on the makeover for the past couple of weeks & yesterday he finally finished it. I absolutely love the new look. It’s much more me than the old one. It’s more girly, fun, & personal. I owe a huge thank you to my wonderful boyfriend for doing all this work for me. Please let me know what you think of the new design in the comments. I would love to hear your thoughts!

So now that we talked about the new blog design, let’s talk about this recipe. Smoothiebowls are a favourite breakfast of mine. I love that I can change them up, however, I like & depending on what foods I have on hand. Also smoothiebowls never fail to keep me full all the way till lunch. & then they are just so good! Please tell me I am not the only one who has an obsession with smoothiebowls?

Sometimes I also enjoy eating smoothiebowls – not only for breakfast – but also for lunch as well when the temperature is really high. Smoothiebowls are also perfect for a post workout meal or a healthy dessert to satisfy that sweet tooth (a smoothiebowl tends to make me feel better than a box of chocolates). 

Full of raspberries & coconut milk this smoothiebowl is perfect during the summer months. I love the combo of coconut & raspberries – for some reason I find the combination quite exotic & tropical. This smoothiebowl kind of made me wish I was sitting on a paradise beach while looking at the ocean. Anyways, I hope you will enjoy it as much as we do around here. 

Raspberry Coconut Smoothiebowl
Serves 2
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 2,5 frozen bananas
  2. 300 g frozen raspberries
  3. 1 can full fat coconut milk
  4. 1/8 tsp vanilla extract
Toppings
  1. Granola
  2. Sliced bananas
  3. Shredded Coconut
Instructions
  1. Blend all the ingredients in a high speed blender. Pour the smoothie into two bowls and top with desired toppings.
The Sparkling Darling http://www.thesparklingdarling.com/
Summer salad

Perfect Summer Salad

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Hi beauties!

This weekend my boyfriend and I went grocery shopping & we saw the most beautiful strawberries. Of course I couldn’t resist buying some. I mean I have been waiting all winter to eat fresh & sweet strawberries! 

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Strawberry smoothie

Strawberry Mint Smoothie

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Hi loves!

I am so excited to share this Strawberry Mint Smoothie. It’s such a great summer smoothie. I am actually  thinking it would be the perfect summer drink too. I haven’t tried it yet but I have a pretty good feeling about it being a great daiquiri! But for now let us keep it to a healthy & fresh strawberry smoothie, shall we? 

Strawberry smoothie

I made the smoothie this weekend when I got home from a sweaty (but amazing) Strala class. Have any of you guys tried Strala Yoga? I tried it for the first time two months ago & I have fallen in love with Strala. I love the philosophy of Strala. It’s all about listening to your body & move it however feels good to YOU. If you are into yoga you have to try Strala.

But back to the smoothie.  At first I was just going to make a regular strawberry smoothie but then I saw our mint plant with all it’s beautiful green mint leaves. I figured why not try adding it to smoothie? Boy, was I in for a treat! It’s definitely not the last time I am experimenting with mint in my smoothies. 

Strawberry Mint Smoothie
Serves 2
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Total Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 400 g frozen strawberries
  2. 1 ripe banana
  3. 10 mint leaves
  4. 1 cup milk of your choice (I used rice milk)
  5. 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
Instructions
  1. Blend all the ingredients until smooth. Pour into two glasses & serve.
The Sparkling Darling http://www.thesparklingdarling.com/
 Love, 

Heidi 

Healthy juice

Deep Purple Juice

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Goodmorning beauties!

You are in for a treat today! This Deep Purple juice is SO good (& very healthy). & it’s proven by my boyfriend so just go ahead & serve it to your boyfriend or husband. Even kids! If my boyfriend likes it I am pretty sure every kid in the world likes it too. But before we dive into this juice I want to thank you. 

Thank you for your sweet comments on my last post. Your support means the world to me. I am so thankful for you guys. This blog wouldn’t be possible without you so thank you for still reading even though I haven’t been around much lately. But I promise you I’ll do my very best of posting once or twice a week in the future. 

& now for this healthy juice! I made this juice last week & it was a total winner. I had it with a salad for lunch & it was just perfect. But hey, this juice is good with any meal – or on it’s own. It would definetely be lovely on a hot afternoon to cool you down. 

Healthy Juice

This juice is super healthy. It contains beet root which is such a healthy vegetable. Among other things beet root helps lower blood pressure, fight inflammation, & it’s rich in nutrients & fiber. What’s not to love? & the beet root gives the juice such a pretty purple colour. I hope you’ll love this nutrition bomb as much as we do around here!

Deep Purple Juice
Serves 2
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 large beetroot
  2. 5 oranges
  3. 3 apples
  4. 3 carrots
  5. A small chunk of ginger (the size of a thumb)
  6. Ice cubes for serving
Instructions
  1. Peel of the ingredients and put them in the juicer. Pour into glasses and serve with ice cubes & a straw.
The Sparkling Darling http://www.thesparklingdarling.com/

 

Sunshine Juice

Sunshine juice

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Hey you beautiul people!

I am here to share the perfect juice for summer. I made it for my boyfriend and I the other day & it was absolutely amazing. We sipped on it while sitting on our balcony – just soaking up the sun. The weather has been lovely this weekend. Perfect for drinking cold, healthy, & colourful juices. Ah, how I have missed you summer!

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Smoothie 4

Coconut Berry Smoothie

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If you have been following The Sparkling Darling for a while you know I am a huge smoothie lover. I can drink smoothies like it’s nobody’s business. Breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, dessert. I am always in the mood for a smoothie. Especially, now that spring has finally arrived. This morning the birds were singing as I rode my bike to yoga. Hopefully the temperature will rise soon too!

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Peanut butter date smoothiesaturated

Peanut Butter Date Smoothie

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I am finally back with a blogpost. I am sorry I have been away for the past week. I certainly didn’t plan that! But my week just got so busy. Mostly with work. I was working long hours last week! However, I don’t mind it at all – unfortunately the blog and my yoga classes suffered from it. I didn’t go to a single yoga class last week. I was just too exhausted to to do either yoga or write blogposts when I got home from work at night.

At first I gave myself a really hard time about this but then I was like: you know what? It’s okay. I am doing my best and sometimes I don’t have time for all the things I want to do. But honestly, who has? I could beat myself up about the fact that I don’t write as many blogposts as other bloggers but that just doesn’t do me any good. Instead I have decided to blog as much as I possible can but without comparing myself to other bloggers. So some weeks you might see five blogposts, other weeks three, and some weeks you might only see one. That way I also know I’ll only write when I truly have the time to write and the content will be much better. On that note let’s jump to the smoothie recipe I am here to share with you guys!

This smoothie is creamy, sweet, and scrumptious. & it will keep you full all the way till lunch. It kept me full for a little more than four hours. It’s filled with peanut butter, dates, and bananas which all add nutrients to the smoothie. The dates give the smoothie a nice sweetness. If you aren’t a big fan of dates you can leave them out. I tried the smoothie without dates too and it was really good as well.

Peanut Butter Date Smoothie
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  1. 3 small frozen bananas or two large
  2. 6 pitted dates
  3. 2 tbsp peanut butter
  4. 1 tsp vanilla
  5. ½ cup oats
  6. 1 ¼ cup nondiary milk
The night before
  1. Mix the oats and milk together in a bowl and place the bowl in the fridge over night.
In the morning
  1. Blend all the ingredients together, including the oats. Pour the smoothie into two glasses.
The Sparkling Darling http://www.thesparklingdarling.com/
Love, 

Heidi 

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Chocolate Bomb Smoothie

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Hi beauties, 

I hope you are all doing well. I am just popping in really quick today, as I don’t have very much time to write this post. But I promised to share the recipe on the Chocolate Bomb Smoothie I posted on Instagram the other day. & I am a lady who likes to keep her word so I figured rather a short post than no post. 

I made the Chocolate Bomb Smoothie for my boyfriend and me the other morning and it turned out to be pretty amazing. We both loved it. If you are a chocolate lover you will fall in love with this smoothie. It’s creamy, delicious, and irresistible. I added lots of chocolate granola on top of our smoothies. If you prefer to skip the granola by all means do so. However, I do think the granola adds a nice crunch to the smoothie. & it’s even more chocolate! What’s not to like? 

Chocolate Bomb Smoothie
Serves 2
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Cook Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 large frozen bananas
  2. 3 tsp cocao powder
  3. 2 tsp vanilla
  4. 2 tbsp flax seed oil
  5. 1/2-1 cup non diary milk (depending on how thick you want the smoothie)
  6. Chocolate granola
Instructions
  1. Blend all the ingredients in a high speed blender. Pour into two glasses. Add chocolate granola on top.
The Sparkling Darling http://www.thesparklingdarling.com/
If you haven’t already read my interview with Larice from Feeding Your Beauty, I can highly recommend it. She is a very inspiring woman – you will se so for yourself once you read the interview. You can read the interview here.

Love,

Heidi  

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Interview with Larice from Feeding Your Beauty

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I am so excited to share this post with you guys! I have been following Larice from Feeding Your Beauty for quite some time now and I love her blog. She postes such mouthwatering vegan recipes and they are all really easy to make. Larice is also an incredible sweet, kind, and supportive person. I hope you will enjoy the interview with her as much as I do.

  1. Tell us about yourself!

I’m the girl behind the blog Feeding Your Beauty, a space where I share healthy plant-based recipes and tips on looking and feeling your best. I was inspired to start a blog when I realized how much better I felt and looked following a healthy vegan diet. I’m a proud mom to an energetic two year old daughter, and married to my best friend. We live in a beautiful part of Michigan with our three crazy cats. I’m certified as a recreational therapist, and worked in a health care setting up until this past fall, when I decided to stay home full time with my daughter. I also have a degree in health sciences, in which I did coursework in psychology, nutrition, and disease prevention. I’ve worked as a health coach, and have developed wellness programs for large organizations. Helping people get healthy is, and always has been a huge passion of mine. I love learning about the positive effects of healthy eating, and creating nutritious recipes that also taste great!

  1. What is your approach to health and food? 

I have a pretty laid-back approach to food. I don’t really define my diet beyond “plant-based/vegan.”  I wouldn’t say I’m high/carb low fat, 80-10-10, grain-free, raw, raw until 4 or any of those labels, but I dabble in all of them. I think each one has their benefits, and I like to stay open-minded and informed about various eating styles. For me, and my family, it works best to combine a little bit of everything. I try to make sure vegetables make up a large portion of our diet, but we also eat a lot of fruits, some nuts, grains, and beans. I also try to avoid as much packaged/processed food as possible, but we don’t avoid it entirely. It can be very convenient at times! And there are plenty of healthy options out there. Some days we are gluten free, other days we might have some bread or pizza made with wheat.  It’s all about finding the right balance, where you’ll feel your best, but also not be stressed about food. Food should be fun, and delicious!

macaroni and cheese new

  1. How long have you been vegan, and why did you go vegan?

I’ve been fully vegan for nearly three years now.  My journey to a fully plant-based diet has been a long and winding road. Growing up, my mom was vegetarian, so I was familiar with the lifestyle, and the reasons behind choosing it. I had brief moments in childhood where I wanted to stop eating meat, but they wouldn’t last long. After all, I had a dad who ate meat, and that was a big influence as well. Even though I have always considered myself a big animal lover, I didn’t think I could give up eating meat, let alone dairy and eggs. I was able to keep mentally separating “farm animals” (cows, pigs, chickens) from “other animals,” meaning the animals that most people care about and fight to protect… dogs, cats, wild/endangered animals.  It’s an ability I think we all develop starting from a young age, when we are taught about where our food comes from. I’m ashamed to admit that I used to tell myself things like, “turkeys aren’t cute, so I don’t feel so bad about eating them.” Most of the time, though, I just wouldn’t let myself think about it.

Then, about six years ago, three things happened. First, I read Alicia Silverstone’s book, “The Kind Diet.” This was huge for me. I was initially enticed by the book because she mentions clearing up her skin with diet. This was something I was always interested in, how food affects your complexion. I battled stubborn acne for a long time, basically all of my 20’s. It wasn’t always severe, yet it never went away, it was like a dark cloud that followed me around everywhere I went.  I tried everything. I saw several dermatologists, I was on antiobiotics, I tried different kinds of birth control pills, and countless prescription and over-the-counter acne treatments.  I had painful, cystic acne that would leave scars, and my skin was both oily and dry. I had very low self-esteem and a negative self-image because of my skin. Reading the book gave me hope that a healthy, unprocessed diet could help give me smooth, glowing skin. It also gave me something else to think about:  the plight of animals in the food industry. This led me to buy only organic chicken and dairy, and I cut most other animal foods out. It sort of planted the seed in my mind. Soon after that I watched Food, Inc., which was another huge eye opener for me as far as just how horrendous conditions are in factory farms.  Around this time, I also watched Forks Over Knives, which sort of just brought everything around full circle, dispelling all the myths surrounding the over-emphasized nutritional value of animal foods, and that they are really doing more harm to our health than most people realize.  I couldn’t un-see the things I had seen, and decided to cut meat, dairy, and eggs for good.

Of course, it isn’t always easy completely changing your diet. Although I followed a vegan diet about 80-90%, I found myself being influenced by those around me. Soon after making this decision, I moved from Chicago back to Michigan to be closer to my now husband.  I was working for a big company, with over 400 employees, yet I was the only vegetarian, let alone vegan.  I still wanted to be vegan, I just wasn’t as motivated as I was at first, and I didn’t have a lot of social support. I was fortunate to have my sister-in-law with whom I could talk to about a plant-based diet, but she lived in another city and I didn’t know any vegans in my area.

The motivation came back after I had my daughter. It was that strong bond I felt with her while breastfeeding that finally made me kick dairy food and never look back. I made the connection. It felt so wrong to me to eat something that a mother cow produced solely to feed and nourish her baby cow. Cows feel that same bond, mom and baby cry for days after being separated. I wanted no part of it. Suddenly I was having all of these epiphanies. Animals have their own lives, their own purpose, separate from us. Even though I had started my journey to veganism years earlier, it wasn’t until later that I really started thinking about things like speciesism, and seeing the whole big picture.  I was resolved to keep animal products off our plates and out of our house.

  1. How does eating a plant based diet makes you feel? 

I have enjoyed so many perks since becoming fully plant-based and vegan. I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything, flavor or nutrition-wise, and that is the honest-to-goodness truth! My skin finally cleared up soon after finally dropping dairy, refined sugar and flour. One thing I noticed, as a runner, is that I felt so much better during and after my work-outs.  I ran my fastest 5K ever, just last year, even faster than when I was in high school.  Also, I rarely get sick, despite my husband’s best efforts to bring germs back home from the office, and also despite working in a health care setting where colds and flus are always circulating. I used to suffer from headaches a lot, and afternoon sugar cravings, and now those are pretty much non-existent as well.

stacked pancakes

  1. How do you deal with the social aspect of being a vegan (eating out, family gatherings, friends etc.)?

 I am so fortunate to have other vegetarians and vegans in my life. Both my mom and my aunt are vegetarian (now mostly vegan), so they already paved the way for “different” eating styles in my family. I’ve been really lucky not to have anyone in my life that is outwardly unsupportive of the way I eat. About a year ago, my husband told me out of the blue that he just couldn’t stomach eating meat anymore. He had never eaten much meat, but would occasionally buy and cook his own steak and bacon, and always ordered pepperoni on his pizza. We have watched some documentaries together, like Food, Inc. and Cowspiracy, and being a fellow animal lover I think they had a big impact on him. I’m not going to lie, I was pretty much overjoyed when he came to this decision on his own. 

  1. What does a typical day of eating looks like for you (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks etc.)?

A typical breakfast for me is a big smoothie and toast (usually with avocado or nut butter), sometimes oatmeal with fruit, or chia pudding, and every once in a while I’ll make pancakes or waffles. For lunch I usually make a big veggie bowl with roasted sweet potato, a pile of greens, cooked and raw veggies, maybe some leftover quinoa and/or beans and a quick homemade dressing like my maple tahini dressing. Many times I eat leftovers from the night before for lunch. I often make smoothies for my daughter and me for a snack, or fresh fruit, muffins, homemade granola bars, healthy raw or baked cookies, or hummus and veggies.  Dinner is usually a soup, stew, stir fry, pizza, pasta, roasted veggies, etc.  We have our favorites for dinner, and then I like to throw in a new recipe once or twice a week.

vertical starfruit

  1. What are your thoughts on exercise? How does your exercise regime look?

 Running is my favorite way to exercise. I don’t even think of it as exercise, I just love to do it. I like to be outside, and explore my surroundings. I push my daughter in a jogging stroller and we run all over the neighborhood, usually stopping along the way to visit different parks and playgrounds.  Our daily runs come to a screeching halt around December when it becomes too cold to take her out. During December – February, working out becomes a bit of a challenge for me. I am not the gym type, and have never enjoyed running on a treadmill. During the coldest and snowiest months, I try to do some kind of at-home exercise, like yoga, strength training or dance. I took ballet lessons throughout my childhood into my 20s, so I sometimes just go through the bar exercises I can remember holding onto the kitchen counter! Occasionally I pop in a yoga or workout DVD. More often than not my exercise is playing with my daughter. Pulling a kid around in a sled is probably the hardest cardiovascular exercise I’ve ever tried! She also loves a good dance party and playing “chase.”

  1. I know you have a  very sweet and beautiful daughter. How do you deal with raising her as a vegan/raising her in a vegan home?

 Deciding to raise our daughter mostly vegan was kind of a no-brainer for my husband and I. Especially once he decided not to eat meat. I say “mostly vegan” because I’m not militant about it. For example, sometimes my daughter wants to try my husband’s cheese pizza, and I don’t make a big deal out of it. 9 times out of 10 she doesn’t even touch it, other times she’ll have a couple of bites and decide she doesn’t like it. If we are at a family gathering and she is offered conventionally-made cookies, I don’t raise a stink. She has a cookie. I usually try to bring super yummy vegan treats and desserts with us, not only so my daughter has the choice, but also to show family members that you can have equally delicious sweets without any animal products.  My goal along the way is to teach her to eat healthily, and the reasons mommy and daddy don’t eat animals. Food should be nourishing as well as fun and tasty, and I don’t want a lot of pressure or stress surrounding food choices. When she is a little bit older she can choose for herself whether or not to eat animal products. At home I will always be the main cook, and mama’s kitchen only serves 100% plant based dishes. 

strawberry avocado minted

  1. I know you like to read a lot of books and articles about veganism, plant based diets etc. Do you have any book or articles recommendations that you found especially helpful and good? 

 As far as books go, I would have to recommend Alicia Silverstone’s, The Kind Diet, it’s the one that started it all for me and is especially great for newbies. “Voices of the Food Revolution” by John and Ocean Robbins, and “Whole” by T. Colin Campbell are must-reads as well. Reading these books makes you feel so excited about following a plant-based vegan lifestyle. Some of my favorite go-to cookbooks are Vegan with a Vengeance, The Oh She Glows Cookbook, and Healthy Happy Vegan Kitchen. Various blogs and websites were really helpful for me too. I was absolutely obsessed (still am!) with Chocolate Covered Katie, her blog really got me into the whole blogging world, and made me want to start my own. I also love Hummusapien, Detoxinista, No Meat Athlete (great info for vegan runners), and Happy Healthy Life. I also have found really inspiring websites like One Green Planet, and Finding Vegan, which have thousands of plant based recipes. Informational sites like Veganhealth.org, and the Vegetarian Resource Group are really helpful as well when researching all the health aspects of being vegan.

 Going fully plant-based and following a vegan lifestyle are decisions I’m so happy I made, and I wouldn’t dream of going back. It’s such a delicious way to eat, and I’ve never felt better about my skin.  I think more than just a way of eating or living, it is also a completely different perspective on our relationship with animals. If I can be healthy without anyone else having to suffer, I will always choose the compassionate route.

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Follow Larice: 

Blog: www.feedingyourbeauty.com

Instagram: instagram.com/feedingyourbeauty

Facebook: facebook.com/feedingyourbeauty

Love, 

Heidi