Vanilla Bean Purple Sweet Potato Creamy Cashew Berry Cake

How about a slice of vanilla bean purple sweet potato creamy cashew berry cake? These cakes are vegan, gluten free, wheat free, refined (cane sugar) free, dairy free, soy free and yes they’re still delicious! Flavor packed little squares! Here is the easier-than-you-think recipe!

Ingredients: 

Crust
6 soft dates (pitted)
3 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut
2 tbsp coconut oil
3 tbsp almond meal
1/2 nuts (almonds, peanuts whatever you have)
1/2 cup rolled oats

Bottom Layer
1 cup cashews (soaked in water for 3 hours and drained)
1/2 purple sweet potato (peeled and steamed)
2 tbsp coconut BUTTER (melted)
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 tbsp rice flour
3 tbsp water

Top Layer
1 cup cashews (soaked in water for 3 hours and drained)
10 raspberries
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp maqui powder
1 tbsp pomegranate powder
2 tbsp beet (finely shredded)
2 tbsp coconut BUTTER (melted)
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 tbsp rice flour
3 tbsp water

Directions
Make each layer separately in the food processor (wash the container between each layer). Starting with the crust – throw all ingredients into the processor and blend until a ball is formed. Crust should be pliable and easily to shape without falling apart. Line square glass dish with parchment paper and press the crust into the paper and the edges of the dish. Spread evenly.
Wash out the food processor and blend the first layer ingredients together until smooth and silk. Pour into the dish. Wash and repeat with the second layer.
Place the layered “cheezecake” in the freezer for 3 hours. Cut into squares and top with desired goodies (I used chocolate covered cacao nibs and blackberries). If you want to drizzle it with a magic chocolate sauce shell, mix 1 tbsp cocoa powder with 1 tsp of coconut oil and maple syrup. Serve when cakes are thawed, yet still cold. Like cheesecake.


Baby It’s Cold Outside – New Year’s Eve at the Cabin

Idyllwild CA
We spent New Year’s Eve at the cabin this year. We invited a few of our friends and caravanned up the mountain just in time for a mini snowstorm. ^^^My favorite spot in Idyllwild (pic taken by a sneaky photographer – thank’s Dany, u da best). With hot cider in our mugs and a few brews stashed in the boys pockets (oh those boys), we hiked up to the lookout rock to enjoying the view of the canyon before the rain and snow came that evening.
Idyllwild CA
idyllwild-ca-pine
dany-and-ev
^Our lovebird friends that are moving to Nashville to finish pharmacy school. We are so stoked for you guys, but we’ll miss our weekly hangs and tasty excursions. I hope we can keep a yearly vacation going… just 3 more years until you move back to us! And we can’t wait to see you in Nashville for that White Coat ceremony!
Idyllwild
^^^Babes
Idyllwild CA
I woke up early on New Years day to check out the snow before it melted away. What a gorgeous morning – the perfect way to start my 2017. Then D and I made buttermilk pancakes, eggs and bacon for the crew.
Idyllwild CAIdyllwild CAIdyllwild CAIdyllwild CA
I pray that you have a wonderful New Year filled with all the best that life can bring. Health, happiness and love to you and your families.
Idyllwild


Burn Boot Camp Workout Video and Chocolate Coconut Protein Muffins

Burn Boot Camp | A Bit of Bees Knees
This is my second month at Burn Boot Camp and I am really enjoying my time here! It has become my daily routine – wake up in the morning, put on my workout clothes and lace up my shoes, fill up a water bottle, pack an extra outfit for work and I’m good to go. My whole day is more productive, my mind is sharper and I’m excited to be spending time focusing on my health. Burn Boot Camp’s pillars of success are mindset, organic whole food nutrition, strength training, burst training, and providing a positive environment – it’s just the place I want to be.
Burn Boot Camp | A Bit of Bees Knees
My trainers help me focus on my goals, give nutritional advice and push me to improve in strength and cardio training. There is a “weekly protocol” that changes every week and they never do the same workout twice! Classes are always interesting, challenging and fun. Every other day we alternate between different muscle groups with burst and strength training techniques. Here is an example of our weekly protocol –>

Weekly Protocol

Monday – upper body superset w/ elevator push-ups
Tuesday – bodyweight burst training mini-camp w/ sprint finisher
Wednesday – cardio pyramid whiteboard w/star crunch finisher
Thursday – partner leg strength chipper w/ partner bunny hop finisher
Friday – partner core/conditioning droplet w/ half burpee jump knee tuck finisher
Saturday – full body strength circuit w/ squat press finisher
Burn Boot Camp | A Bit of Bees Knees

A word from my trainer Brittanny:

“Burn Boot Camp focuses on 2 exercise formats: strength and burst/cardio training.  On strength days we are working on muscle hypertrophy meaning we are seeking maximum growth of our muscles lifting heavier weights working toward muscle fatigue and muscle failure, making those last few reps of the set nearly impossible to sustain.  Burst training is HIIT (high intensity interval training) with more cardio and athletic conditioning; a full body work that builds strength, power, mobility, balance, and agility.  On burst and cardio days your heart rate will spike much higher than strength days – that’s one big difference. We never combine the 2 types of training so it’s either cardio/HIIT day or a strength day.  We never train the same body part the following day because we expect our clients will be sore! It’s a good thing therefore we work on a totally different muscle group or training format. No workout is every the same and the protocol changes every week.”

I asked my trainers, Jeffrey, Brittanny and fellow BBCer Shastin to help me make a short clip to demo some examples of strength and burst/cardio training that we do at the gym.

Song by: MØ – Final Song

weighted back lunges
bicep curls to overhead press
bent over low rowers
jump squats
jump tucks
cricket burpees
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I always follow my BBC workouts with lots of protein – usually a protein shake, lean turkey or chicken with a side of veggies will do, but somedays I’ve got mad cravings for chocolate! Here is a yummy recipe from “Beyond the Blender Bottle” by Burn Boot Camp that uses  After Burn protein powder – everything you need to fuel your potential.

Chocolate Coconut Protein Muffins


Chocolate Coconut Protein Muffins

Ingredients:
2/3 cup oat flour
1⁄4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 serving of Afterburn whey protein
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons coconut sugar (or sweetener of choice)
1⁄4 cup unsweetened chocolate almond milk (or regular almond milk) 3 egg whites
2 tablespoons liquid coconut oil (or melted coconut oil)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place 8 silicone cupcake liners on a sheet pan. Whisk together egg whites, almond milk, and coconut oil in a mixing bowl until smooth. Add remainder of ingredients into the bowl and stir until well combined.

Evenly divide cupcake batter among cupcake liners.

Bake in the oven for 14-16 minutes, or until center is cooked. Let cool and enjoy! Makes 6 servings; 1 serving is 1 muffin
NUTRITION INFO: Macros for 1 serving: 126 calories, 6.5g protein, 12.8g carbs, 6g fat, 3.6g sugar 1.9g fiber
*I made my muffins smaller (bitesize) so the nutrition info is cut in half for 12 mini muffins. Drizzle with natural PB and a few crispy coconut chips

Chocolate Coconut Protein MuffinsChocolate Coconut Protein Muffins Chocolate Coconut Protein Muffins Chocolate Coconut Protein Muffins


Champurrado

Champurrado
Every time we drive to the cabin I ask D to take the slightly longer route so we can stop at the taqueria shop on Ramona Expy. They make a mean champurrado – a Mexican hot chocolate thickened with corn flour masa. It’s pretty amazing. Here’s how I make it back at home:

Ingredients
2 cups of water
3 star anise
3 cinnamon sticks
1/2 tsp fresh nutmeg
1/2 c. corn flour masa
4 c. milk
1 Mexican Abuelita (or Ibarra) chocolate tablet (chopped)
1/2 cup piloncillo (unrefined whole cane sugar) or sub with brown sugar

Directions
In a large pot, combine water, star anise, cinnamon and nutmeg. Boil. Cover and simmer for 15 min. Slowly add corn flour masa stirring to remove clumps. Add milk, chopped Mexican chocolate and piloncillo. Stir until the chocolate is melted and the sugar has dissolved. Let simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Serve hot!


Newport Beach Boat Parade

Newport Beach Boat Parade
Every year Newport Beach has a boat parade in December to celebrate the holiday season. Everyone decorates their boats with lights and Christmas decorations. We have gone for decades…Mom would dress us up in the fluffiest winter jackets when we were little. I would complain about looking like a Michelin man (think Ralphie’s little brother in The Christmas Story – I can’t put my arms down), but I was warm. We would drink hot cider and sit on a friends boat to watch the parade or some years we’d be lucky enough to be in it! This year our friends Monica and Evan invited us to watch the parade from their sailboat at the Bahia Corinthian. I love the Christmassy feelings when we watch the parade. I love our home sweet home and this fun Christmas tradition.