What Does It Take To Live a Balanced Life?

What does it take to live a balanced life, in health and fitness and… all? Gosh, that’s one question that has, or rather, had me stumped.

What does it take to live a balanced life? My thoughts, tips, and real life examples. #pathTofit. @cottercrunch

You see, today is the last day for the PATH TO FIT challenge with Whole Foods and Garmin. You can see my personal goal for PATH TO FIT post here. Anyway, for this last week, they asked us to share how we live a balanced life with fitness and healthy eating. I pondered… a lot.

I kind of did the opposite of what most would do for a New Year’s Challenge. I ditched the resolutions and focused on fun activity and flavorful meals. Nothing to really measure.

I focused more time on doing what I LOVE in every day movement.

Yoga. My favorite move to start the day!  vivofit garmin

Hiking, a little yoga, and teaching my weekly strength class. I did NOT ADD anything to my fitness, in fact, I simplified it.  I took out the “need to run X many miles per day” mantra and replaced it with “just move, enjoy, and play.”

#pathtofit Garmin vivofit shopping at whole foods

I did the same with food. I love cooking. I love fueling others (and myself), I love creating flavorful gluten free food. So I focused on nourishing all three, key word here NOURISH. And it felt AMAZING!

one dish cod veggie potato bake - Easy week night dinner recipe that is #paleo friendly. @cottercrunch

So the question remains…

what does it take to live a balanced life?

Here’s what I have found works for me (us). Which will probably be different from someone else’s “balanced” approach. Hey, we work differently, yes?

Okay, here goes!

  • Simplicity
  • Playing to your strengths –> what you LOVE and brings you JOY. That sticks!
  • Recognizing where you are OFF balance and being able to adjust where you need to. Whether that be more rest, more steps, less wine (whoops), more family time, more sleep, more vegetables, more healthy fats, etc.
  • Asking for help where you need it AND when you need it. You may be strong, but sometimes that downward pull of an OFF balance life takes an extra hand to get it back up to where you can stand up right. Ya know?

I guess you could say that living a balanced life means always being  a little OFF balanced, but working on it, and being okay with being a continuing “work in progress.” I know I’m okay with that. Progress is good!

So is THRIVING, not STRIVING.

To wrap things up, I’d like to offer ANY of you all (yes, international readers) a chance to win a GARMIN Vivofit and my favorite new Whole Foods Supplement Mushroom Matrix NRG. I will ship these to whoever, because they are too good not share.

Garmin Vivofit and Mushroom Matrix NRG supplement review and giveaway. #pathtofit

Garmin  vívofit has helped me monitor my steps, periods of movement, calories needed each day, and sleep. The Mushroom Matrix NGR has helped me get in my Vitamin D and B Vitamins through organic mushrooms and herbs, infused with natural fruits. NRG Matrix is also great in supporting mental clarity and physical endurance. And yes, I found this at my WHOLE FOODS and fell in love!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Best of luck! Giveaway ends this Friday!

What do you think it takes to live a Balanced Life?

For more links on living a balanced life, check out here, here, here, here, and here. Then go grab some healthy chocolate recipes here. Or if you need some extra motivation, read HERE!

Happy Sunday Link up friends.

Cheers!

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This post was the last of a series of six posts that I’m doing in partnership with Whole Foods and Garmin to share my #PathToFit this year. The garmin was sent to me for free, but all opinions are my own, always.

Gluten Free Triple Berry Chocolate Cake Bites!

Um.. Can we just talk about this month’s healthy bites flavor for a second? Total “amazeballs” and I never use that word. In fact, I loathe it. But I must confess, these bites…they are AMAZING and I’ve been hoarding them like no other! I know, shame on me.

triple berry cocoa cake bites _ Gluten free and great for valentines day! @cottercrunch

But I couldn’t help myself. You wanna know what else? I’m not even a huge chocolate berry combo fan. Yet I can’t get enough of these.

They remind me of flourless cake. The dark chocolate decadent kind with berries on top. Now that I like. Must be the cake texture. Which is why I named these Triple Berry Chocolate Cake bites. Swoon!

triple berry choc cake bites - cottercrunch #glutenfree valentines day treats!

But wait, it gets better! These bites are total LOVE bites, made with LOVEGROWN Foods limited edition Chocolate Strawberry Heart Power O’s. That’s what makes the third berry complete, and that’s what makes them have a cake like texture.

love grown power Os -heart cereal

When you grind up the cereal, it makes a base for the cocoa powder, freeze dried berries, dark chocolate nut butter, and almond meal, and chocolate chips. Um… you see? Utterly addicting combo!

triple berry cocoa cake bites (GF)

And I get to give it away! Yep, a box of healthy bites and a box of Love Grown Foods Chocolate Strawberry Heart Cereal. Both gluten free and dairy free, yet sweet and satisfying. Let’s not forget to mention –> FULL OF LOVE!

Okay okay, let’s get to the recipe and then to the giveaway, open to US and Canada, whoop whoop!

4.9 from 8 reviews
Gluten Free Triple Berry Chocolate Cake Bites
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert or snack
Serves: 30-32
Ingredients
  • 1 cup coconut or almond flour
  • ⅓ cup ground strawberry Power O's cereal (you can use vanilla or berry protein powder instead if you don't have the cereal, or ground banana chips)
  • ¼ cup crushed freeze dried berries (raspberry and blueberry) Feel free to use regular dried as well
  • ⅓ -1/2 cup chocolate nut butter of choice (I used Dark chocolate Nuttzo)
  • ¼ cup Enjoy Life GF/DF chocolate chips
  • 2-3 tbsp Cocoa Powder
  • ½ tsp raspberry extract
  • ½ tsp butter or vanilla extract (optional)
  • ½ or more cup honey or maple syrup
Instructions
  1. First, grind up your cereal if you are using it. Then just mix up dry ingredients and add in nut butter, extract, and, crushed berries, and honey. Mix well, then roll into balls/bites. Freeze right away then use cocoa Powder after frozen. That's optional for extra chocolate taste! Store in fridge or freezer to maintain freshness. Makes around 32-35 bites, give or take.
  2. NOTE –> if your batter is dry, you might need to add more honey and/or nut butter to keep batter from being to dry.
Notes
if you are wanting paleo, just leave out the cereal. or replace it with ⅓ cup almond meal. It works great either way!

This giveaway is ending Monday the 9th, so hurry and enter and go make these treats for you special Valentine! Okay, enough Corny Cotter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Favorite Valentines Day Treat to Make?

Cheers!

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Gut Loving Cranberry Pineapple Elixir with Turmeric

Here we go! Second week of 2015. How’s it been treating you? Are you one to start the detoxing and cleansing? I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t believe in detoxing. But that’s just my personal preference. To each their own. I think the liver is the only one that needs to focus on detoxing for us, but sometimes we just need to give it a little TLC or support. I know my liver and digestion definitely need some extra support after a few month’s of crazy eats and frequent stress. I also think it’s great to support the liver when you are doing heavy training or racing. Which is why I have the Kiwi supporting his liver too, ya know?

Okay, so instead of focusing on detoxing and cleansing by eliminating foods, let’s maybe shift focus on adding in nutrients that support the liver in doing it’s job.

  • Nutrients like bromelain (a proteolytic enzyme found in pineapple) that helps support digestion by breaking protein.
  • Nutrients like Turmeric (a powerful ant-inflammatory spice) that can help reduce inflammation in the gut and whole body. You can see my whole post about turmeric HERE along with another recipe.
  • Nutrients like those found in Cranberries (including digestion-aiding enzymes). In fact, a new study has been linked cranberries to helping prevent attachment of bacteria to the stomach lining,  You all know i love a good soothing cranberry smoothie.

And thanks to antioxidant rich Bai Drinks, I can now add in coffee fruit to that list of nutrient packed ingredients. Coffee fruit is the fruit in which the coffee bean grown. Remember, I used it in my SUPER FRUITCAKE smoothie. Yep, that delicious one! Coffee fruit is a amazing SUPER FRUIT rich in antioxidants and helps fight free radicals. Free radicals cause cell damage. Free radicals are caused by… well… STRESS.

Which leads me to this recipe.A new Gut loving Elixir recipe.

Cranberry Pineapple Elixir

It’s like a tune up for my liver and gut. Ahh.. post holiday tune up’s feel nice!

Gut Loving Cranberry Pineapple Elixir with Turmeric
 
Simmering will extract the beneficial compounds from the turmeric
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 6-8 oz fresh pineapple juice (i use bai bubbles Peru pineapple).
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • Lemon juice
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cranberry juice
  • Optional - honey, stevia, etc.
Instructions
  1. There are two ways you can make this. You can just add in the the turmeric, or you can boil it first it first like i did with this recipe! See link --> http://www.cottercrunch.com/2014/06/chronic-inflammation-turmeric-ginger-lemonade/
  2. I highly recommended boiling a tsp of your turmeric in 2 cups hot water first, then strain the turmeric and add in lemon juice. Let it cool. Pour into cup and mix in your pineapple juice and cranberry juices. Sweeten with stevia or even ginger if you'd like. 
  3. Note: If you don't have Bai Bubbles, you can use 4oz pineapple juice and then 4 oz sparkling water to make it bubbly. Although using Bai has the best taste! Serves 2!
Notes
Recipe by Lindsay at Cotter Crunch

Cranberry Pineapple Bai Elixir - cottercrunch.com

Can you see why I’m so hooked now? Plus the color along just makes me smile. Speaking of smiles, Bai Drinks would love for one of you all to try out all their drinks, so their offering a giveaway. Your smiling nowm aren’t you?

bai bubbles

For today’s giveaway, one lucky winner will receive onec ase of Bai5 (pic below) or Bai Bubbles (pic above), or a mix of both! That’s  twelve bottles.

bai 5

Enter in below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclaimer: I actually first found Bai 5 at my local grocer and at Target. I fell in love with Molokai coconut and was about to work may way through buying and trying each flavor when Bai contacted me. So honest to goodness, this is why I am sharing and why I wanted you all to try it too! I was compensated for this review, but just keepin it real ya’ll.

Do you detox? Or do you find ways to support the body?

Cheers!

 

Gut Loving Cranberry Pineapple Elixir with Turmeric
 
Simmering will extract the beneficial compounds from the turmeric
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 6-8 oz fresh pineapple juice (i use bai bubbles Peru pineapple).
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • Lemon juice
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cranberry juice
  • Optional - honey, stevia, etc.
Instructions
  1. There are two ways you can make this. You can just add in the the turmeric, or you can boil it first it first like i did with this recipe! See link --> http://www.cottercrunch.com/2014/06/chronic-inflammation-turmeric-ginger-lemonade/
  2. I highly recommended boiling a tsp of your turmeric in 2 cups hot water first, then strain the turmeric and add in lemon juice. Let it cool. Pour into cup and mix in your pineapple juice and cranberry juices. Sweeten with stevia or even ginger if you'd like.
  3. Note: If you don't have Bai Bubbles, you can use 4oz pineapple juice and then 4 oz sparkling water to make it bubbly. Although using Bai has the best taste! Serves 2!
Notes
Recipe by Lindsay at Cotter Crunch

Bourbon Peanut Butter Gingerbread Healthy Bites {Grain Free}

Happy December 1st! Oh my, one month left in 2014! How on earth did that happen? Time flies when you are… BUSY! Anyway, today is the first of the month and Cyber Monday, which makes it even more special for my little small biz, Healthy Bites! YAY!

bourbon PB gingerbread bites (4 of 1)

I’ve paired up with Sarah from A Loving Spoon to create an awesome Healthy Bite Flavor for December, plus a giveaway, plus a Cyber Monday deal!

bourbon gingerbread bites with Loving spoon (4 of 1)

But before I get the giveaway and recipe, a little about Sarah (my good friend) and her Nut Butters –> A Loving Spoon!

The A Loving Spoon nut butters story begins back in 2009, when founder and CEO, Sarah Kay Hoffman, was on the Gut and Psychology Syndrome diet (she has Colitis, and was in the beginning stages of healing her gut). Sarah bought raw coconut butter, walnut butter, peanut butter, cashew butter, pecan butter and almond butter as a way to satiate her cravings for sugar, snacks and dessert. Every night you would find her digging into the raw nut butters. As Sarah began to heal, she also stopped craving the traditional form of snacks, dessert and processed, chemical-filled foods.

Sarah’s passion for health and healing is something I can very much relate to since it’s the same reason I started Healthy Bites. Her nut butters are pure, processed free, and delicious. Which makes this recipe and giveaway even more SPECIAL! Be sure to check out her blog for more info and beautiful recipes!

bourbon gingerbread bites 3 (4 of 1)

Okay, you ready to get this recipe going?! I am! These bites are a fun twist on a classic gingerbread! The bourbon definitely makes it more unique and of course, FESTIVE! Great as a gift or just to eat for yourself!

Let me know if you try them out.

Bourbon Peanut Butter Gingerbread Bites (Grain Free)
 
Ingredients
  • • ¼ cup pumpkin seed or other nut/seed mix (I used cinnamon grain free RENOLA from larabar)
  • • 1/3 cup coconut flour (can also use peanut flour or almond flour)
  • • 1/3-1/2 cup of A Loving Spoon Honey Vanilla Bourbon peanut butter
  • • ½ cup Protein Powder of choice (vanilla)
  • • 1 tbsp. cinnamon (or pumpkin spice)
  • • ½ tbsp. ground ginger
  • • 1/4 to ⅓ cup raw honey or maple syrup.
  • • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract.
  • • 1/4 tsp bourbon or bourbon extract (optional)
Instructions
  1. In large bowl, add in all your dry ingredients. Then mix in your nut butter, extracts, and last the honey. Mix well (I use my hands) and roll into bite size balls. You can then roll bites in the extra ginger/cinnamon batter after you roll. Makes about 18-20 balls. Feel free to roll into larger bites, or smaller to make more. Freeze or keep in refrigerator to maintain freshness.
  2. Notes --> I used Growing Naturals Vanilla Sprouted Pea Protein to keep them dairy free.

Okay, so after you make these bites, go enter the giveaway so you can make more or share them for the Holidays. Sound good?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And yes, I’m giving away a copy of my 2nd Ebook as well. That’s open to ALL!

BONUS Cyber Monday Special --> A loving Spoon is having a heck of a Cyber Monday Deal as well, buy 4 jars of nut butter and you will get my 1st Edition of the Healthy Bites Ebook for FREE! WOO! Lots of giveaway today. I kinda like that, don’t you?

Cheers and Have a Marvelous Monday!

LC (Healthy Bites Creator!)

 

Gluten Free Banana Mac Nut Muffin Protein Bites

Welcome November! I’m not gonna lie, it seems that each time a new month comes along, I’m eager to start fresh or REFOCUS. October was ended up being similar to September… I wanted it to just be done. How sad is that? But this month, November, it’s ALL going to be good. Because like i mentioned last week, it’s not about STRIVING, but THRIVING!

This month’s Healthy Bites Flavor and Giveaway(s) are totally THRIVING! Full of great flavor, ingredients, originality, and well… just plain GOODNESS! Just like life needs to be, yes? Okay okay, Corny Cotter moment. Let’s get to the giveaway and recipe!

banana mac nut protein bites

This Month’s flavor sent me on a Quest.. with Quest Nutrition. Clever, I know! Anyway, I wanted to find a way to incorporate one of their delicious bars into a healthy bite.

Here’s what I came up with…

Banana Mac Nut Muffin Protein Bites!

banana mac nut muffin protein bites

Each bite as a pieces of Quest Banana Nut muffins in it. This is a combo you have got to try!

banana mac nut muffin bites

[print_this]

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup GF oats or granola (to make it grain free just use ground banana chips)
  • 2/3 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup peanut flour (can use coconut flour instead)
  • 2/3 cup vanilla protein (I used Les Mills Grass Fed Whey)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp banana cream extract (you can use plain banana extract or just leave it out)
  • 1/4 cup macadamia nuts
  • 1-2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 chopped Banana Nut Muffin Quest Bar (don’t have a bar? Just add in a few pieces of dates or any other cinnamon flavor snack bar)
  • 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup crunchy nut butter (I used Nuttzo)
  • NOTE: Add more protein if batter is too runny. Add more nut butter or honey if it’s too dry. Just depends on the type of nut butters you use and the oil in it.

Directions: In large bowl, add in all your dry ingredients. Then mix in your nut butters, extracts, and last the honey.  Mix well ( I use my hands) and roll into bite size balls. When cooled, roll bites in more vanilla protein or peanut flour with cinnamon! Makes about 24-26 balls. Feel free to roll into larger bites, or smaller to make more. Freeze or keep in refrigerator to maintain freshness. Also, if you are using the QUEST bars in the bites, i recommend storing them in fridge not freezer so that the don’t get too hard to eat. [/print_this]

 

The other special ingredient you see in that recipe is the protein. Les Mills was gracious enough to send me their new grass fed whey protein to try out with my Healthy Bite recipes. Oh man, what a creamy taste! I really liked how simple and wholesome they made this protein, which is why I thought it would be a great use in Healthy Bites!

LES MILLS™ Good Protein is low carbohydrate, dairy-based protein powder, sweetened with stevia leaf extract. It contains the same ratio and types of proteins found in real milk, whey and casein. Whey gives a fast release of amino acids, and casein provides a slower release over several hours. Together, they provide optimum muscle recovery. “

ingredients (les mills protein)

So, there you have it. WHOLESOME yet FLAVORFUL Healthy Bite flavor for November! And with great products/companies to work with.

Now about that giveaway, we’ve got 3 winners!

One for the Healthy Bites (one box).

One for a box of 12 Quest Bars and a 4 pack of the new Quest Chips.

quest bars

And one for LES MILLS™ Good Protein (2 bags – Chocolate and Vanilla!).

les mills protein

The Healthy bites and Quest giveaway is open to US and Canada. Les Mills protein just open to US. Either way, there’s a lot up for grabs! Sound good?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What’s your favorite type of muffin? 

Cheers,

LC

5 Reasons to Hike More and #Eatclean with LÄRABAR!

5 Reasons to Hike More Plus an #Eatclean Giveaway with LÄRABAR!

trails-in-colorado_thumb.jpg

This is a sponsored post on behalf of LÄRABAR, all statements and opinions made are ALWAYS my own!

Renola Hike

Did you know there’s actually a National Take a Hike Day? Yep, on November 17th, which is three weeks from today. It’s true! And you know I’m all about this day! Hiking is my go to activity for many reasons. Let’s take a look at the reasons why, shall we?

hiking in colorado

  1. It’s good for the mind. It’s clears your head without having to really tax the body. You can listen to the sounds of nature, which gives you a sense of calmness (Which I ALWAYS NEED).
  2. Getting outside gets you your daily dose of Vitamin D, which we all need more of in the Fall and winter months. Vitamin D is an essential nutrient needed to keep your muscles and bones strong. Although you can get sources of vitamin D from enriched foods, the best source is the sunshine itself! I always crave it in the morning, And that morning sun actually helps naturally set your bodies circadian rhythm.
  3. Increases Bone Density – FACT: The CDC says 150 minutes of hiking per week keeps your joints flexible and helps stave off the joint stiffness associated with osteoarthritis.
  4. It’s good for the heart and gives you energy – Aerobic Activity, such as hiking, helps elevate your high-density lipoprotein levels and lower your triglyceride levels. This, in return, can lower your risk of heart disease. Plus when you move your briskly, while hiking, you send oxygen to your muscles and organs. This is literally like a breath of fresh air to your body and gives it a boost of energy and strength for those lungs. Gosh I love that!
  5. It allows me to DISCONNECT and RECONNECT with friends/family or myself. I can’t say this enough, but hiking with my husband allows us to GET AWAY from life for a bit and just catch up. No distractions.


cotters in co

So you see, there is so much goodness that comes from getting outside and taking a hike. In fact, that’s how Lara from LÄRABAR created her REAL FOOD products back in 2000. It was on a hike. (That’s where I do my best thinking too.). She had this revelation… that people needed to simplify their life and their diet. Her passion for natural foods, fun and an active lifestyle inspired the LÄRABAR brand today!

larabar

LÄRABAR wants to get more people eating clean and getting outside, now that’s my kind of passion!

LÄRABAR was kind enough to send me a whole bag of their wholesome goodies to try out, including the new grain free RENOLA. There’s not a bar or a flavor we don’t like.

FullSizeRender[3]

This brand has fueled us through many hikes, travel, long rides, and more. Powered by real food feels good!

FullSizeRender[1]

LÄRABAR would like share in the celebration National Take a Hike day by offering one reader a whole lotta LÄRABAR GOODIES so you can eat clean and get outside.

FullSizeRender[4]

Sound good? Trust me, it is

To win:

Bonus if you don’t want to wait for the giveaway -> just head over and grab a coupon to save on a purchase of LÄRABAR . Check here for where to buy!

This contest ends in a week and will be announced next Monday, November 3rd! YEEEHAAW!

Cheers,

LC

 

WINNER ANNOUNCED -–> CONGRATS to TESS! 

Pumpkin White Chocolate Cookie Dough Healthy Bites Recipe

It’s October… how did that happen? Either way, I’m excited! A new month brings new FLAVORS! And Fall flavors in particular. In fact, my twitter and pinterest is blowing up with ALL THINGS PUMPKIN. Think we’ll get sick of it by Christmas? Hope not!

Anyway, I’m jumping on the pumpkin bandwagon today and sharing a pumpkin healthy bite recipe.

IMG_4027

But wait..

It’s not your average pumpkin recipe. Nope. It’s way better, and equally nutritious as it is delicious!

How does Pumpkin White Chocolate Cookie Dough Sound? Um, ya…

Pumpkin White Choc Cookie Dough  Bites

[print_this]

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips (I used the dark chocolate chips from Enjoy Life Foods. I would also use plain white chocolate chips if you don’t have any other white chocolate nut butters t add in.)
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup coconut flour (can also use peanut flour, oat flour, or almond flour)
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut butter (I used Sweet Spreads White Chocolate Flavor)
  • 1 cup Vanilla Protein Powder
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup raw honey or maple syrup.
  • 1/2 tsp Butter or Vanilla Extract.
  • 1-2 tbsp Pumpkin Spice
  • Optional- for more crunchy texture, add in 3 tbsp chopped nuts
  • NOTE: Add more protein if batter is too runny. Add more nut butter or honey if it’s too dry. Just depends on the type of nut butters you use and the oil in it.

Directions: In large bowl, add in all your dry ingredients. Then mix in your nut butters, extracts, and last the honey.  Mix well ( I use my hands) and roll into bite size balls. When cooled, roll bites in more pumpkin spice! Makes about 20-22 balls. Feel free to roll into larger bites, or smaller to make more. Freeze or keep in refrigerator to maintain freshness. [/print_this]

These are UNREAL! I may be a wee bit bias though. Winking smile

The white chocolate addition (as mentioned in recipe) just so happens to come from my new favorite coconut butter. Have you heard of Sweet Spreads? Great company and product to LOVE for sure!

http://www.sweetspreads.com/spreads/coconutters.html

Sweet Spreads is an all natural flavored coconut butter! Nothing fake about these jars of goodness. Which is why I had to try them with Healthy bites! They have six different flavors: White Chocolate, Dark Chocolate Mint, Maple Pancake, Vanilla Cupcake, Chocolate Brownie, and Cinnamon Roll.

When I heard they had the white chocolate, I knew I had to have it. It’s the Kiwi’s favorite! And cookie dough is his favorite Healthy Bite Flavor. Combine that with Fall and you’ve got yourself my October Healthy Bite. Logical, right?

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Anyway, let’s get to the giveaway! Sweet Spreads will be joining in this month. They have graciously offered to giveaway a sample pack of Sweet Spread Jars (like seen above).  Giveaway is open to US residents for the Sweet Spreads and it’s open to US and CANADA for the box of Healthy Bites.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Go enter! And let me know if you try this version of Healthy bites!

white choc. cookie dough and pumpkin bites

Have you had your fill of pumpkin yet? Hope not!

Cheers,

LC

Favorite Uncommon Finds and Gift Ideas

These past two weeks in Colorado have been great! Actually, they’ve been a good learning lesson, but more on that later. What I noticed the most is that what I find uncommon (in Texas), other Coloradans find common. And vice versa!

Like how many new Kombucha flavors they have!!! We need this flavor more common in Texas please.

Kombucha

Or the fact that you can visit all your favorite Colorado based FOOD companies on a day to day basis, not to mention bring them Healthy Bites!

flapjack officelovegrown

 It also common (in Colorado) to find every flavor imaginable of your favorite bars because they are based out of Boulder, and because your Colorado friend shares! Um, ya. Uncommon in Texas, which makes me think we should move to Colorado for food and friends.

kind bar flavors

But I have to say, one of my favorite UNCOMMON finds this past week was extra time. Yes, uncommon in Texas. I need to make it more common. The kiwi and I MADE extra time to go on a hiking date and go out of service.. cell phone reach that is. That’s probably the most uncommon and most VALUABLE.

Wouldn’t you agree?

Okay, now let me get to some other Uncommon finds, or rather, gifts. You see, I have a lot of people to thank for this trip, and for the support they have given us. And seeing that the theme of our time away was “UNCOMMON,” I thought about thanking them with a few personalized gifts from Uncommon Goods, one of my favorite websites for gift ideas! Actually, I might as well start ordering gifts for Christmas too! Is that too soon? Haha.

uncommon

Uncommon Goods is an privately-owned retailer that endeavors to feature unique designs and handcrafted gifts created in harmony with the environment and without harm to animals or people.

Anyway, here are some of my favorites UNCOMMON Gift ideas for Family, Friends, and More!

The Tea to Go and DIY Butter Kit really stuck out to me for one of my family members. And maybe if I get the kit, they will share their butter. Haha!

butter

image

You all know I have friends who enjoy wine, like me. So I thought about getting a fun wine glass set. These wine glasses have Musical notes that are labeled with sandblasted fill lines. All you do is pour your wine to the desired note and run your moistened finger along the rim. As your finger moves around it will alternately slip and stick, causing the glass to vibrate ring like a crystal-clear note. This could be way too much fun at a dinner party!

photo 2

Lastly, there’s this. Not gonna lie, I might order a few of these plates myself. I kind of think it’s perfect for when you need a free hand, yes? Definitely a good mom gift!

photo 3

Visit UncommonGoods to see more gifts ideas for any and all!

Now how about I share these UNCOMMON gift ideas with you all! Uncommon goods is giving away a $50 gift certificate to their site. It’s open to US residents. But if you are international and win, I’ll be happy to send you another UNCOMMON small goodie in it’s place. Sound good?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

* Uncommon Goods compensated me for this post and review, but all opinions are my own and I really am ordering one of these gifts! Winking smile

What’s your favorite Uncommon Find come lately?

Cheers!

LC

p.s. Go check out who won the healthy bites and love grown foods giveaway from last week! WOOHOO!

Cinnamon Bun Healthy Bites Recipe

Well, it’s September. Whoa.. where did summer go? I don’t know about you, but as soon as September hits, I start to crave Fall flavors, smells, etc. Maybe it’s the memory of childhood? You know, the back to school hot oatmeal drenched in maple syrup and mom’s cinnamon rolls on the weekend. Hmmm.. no wonder I had cavities. LOL! Okay, not so healthy but it’s the memory and the experience that makes me smile.

Anyway, September’s Healthy Bites flavor captures all of Fall in a Ball. Clever, aren’t I? And it just so happens that September is build a better breakfast month, so why not go with a breakfast flavor too, a healthy one!

cinnamon-bun-bites.- gluten free and great for breakfast on the go. Protein packed!

Ready for the Recipe and Giveaway?!

Cinnamon Bun Enery and Protein Bites Recipe
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Cup gluten free Super oats (if you don’t have super oats, then use ¾ cup GF oats and ¼ cup chopped pumpkin seed, flax, or chia seed).
  • ½ cup Vanilla Protein of Choice (I actually used Flap Jacked Apple Cinnamon Protein Pancake batter here. But for Vega, you can use Vanilla Vega or Growing Naturals Protein.
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • 1 tbsp Cinnamon and ½ tbsp cinnamon sugar
  • 1 tsp butter extract
  • ½ tsp Cinnamon roll or cinnamon extract (I use brand mentioned below in notes)
  • ⅓ cup peanut butter or seed butter
  • ⅓ cup maple syrup (or honey if you can’t use maple syrup)
  • Optional – ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • GRAIN FREE OPTION - Use banana chips or ground coconut instead of oats
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, mix your dry ingredients. Add in your nut butter and syrup and extracts being the last . Note: If you use bigger oats or thicker protein, you might need to use more honey or nut butter.
  2. Mix well ( I use my hands) and roll into bite size balls. Coat bites with extra vanilla protein/cinnamon. I usually coat them after they have set in freezer for at least 5-10 minutes. Then return to freezer after. You can grind your oats if you want before hand if you’d like, or keep it crunchy and leave it as is.
  3. Makes anywhere between 26-27 balls. Just depends how big or small you roll them. Mine are usually around 18grams
  4. Freeze or keep in refrigerator to maintain freshness
Notes
Recipe by Lindsay at Cotter Crunch

p.s the cinnamon roll extract is from here. http://www.amazon.com/Imitation-Cinnamon-Roll-Bun-Extract/dp/B0073VODFC

The giveaway will include one batch of Healthy Bites (your choice) plus the 2nd edition of my Ebook (left side bar for automatic purchase).

Volume II ebook cover

Love Grown Foods is also letting me giveaway  a bag of Super Oats plus 4 mini boxes of Power O’s.

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So that’s 3 winners!! The healthy bites giveaway and Love Grown Foods is open to US residents and Canada but the eBook open to ALL!!! Sound good? GO ENTER!

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Happy Almost Fall!

Anyone else craving the food smells of Fall yet? I’ll just assume yes. Winking smile 

LC

Cherry Cocoa Pistachio Bites and Healthy Bite Link up

Healthy Bites is where it all began. Yes, over 5 years ago I started making these little balls of goodness for my husband (aka the kiwi). I also made them for me since I couldn’t eat gluten, and at that time there were very few decent gluten free bars, etc. You can read more about that story here.

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Below is one of my first “boxes” I ever made.

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But it was also at that time I stopped guest posting on the kiwi’s old blog and started my own. This one. I should have named it Sherpa Wife Chronicles, but hey, I love good alteration, so Cotter Crunch it was.

Today I’m going back to my roots, of where it all began. Sharing gluten free recipes and supporting my husband. That’s my TRUE passion, and I’m needing a refresher today! I’m hoping on a jet plane and going to “sherpa” the kiwi at his race this weekend. I’m beyond excited, just to be there and cheer!

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And I’m beyone excited to share with you another BALL/BITE recipe and then let you LINK UP whatever BITE/BALL recipe you have been making. So let’s get this show on the road, shall we?

Cherry Cocoa Pistachio Bites

[print_this] Ingredients :

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour, peanut flour, or flapjacked buttermilk pancake batter.
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder or other chocolate protein powder
  • 1/4 cup nut butter of choice
  • handful of dried cherries
  • 1/4 cup crushed pitaschios
  • butter extract (1/2 tsp) –optional, can use cherry extract or vanilla too!
  • 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
  • Optional add ins –> ground ginger or cinnamon

Combine 1/2 cup coconut or peanut flour, 1/2 cup cocoa powder or chocolate protein, 1/4 cup nut butter like eatnuttzo, and a handful of dried cherries and crushed pistachios in a large bow. Mix well. Then add in your honey or maple syrup. Add in a dash of cinnamon or ginger for extra spice Mix again and then roll into bite sized balls. Makes about 15-18 balls. Feel free to roll into larger bites, or smaller to make more. Freeze or keep in refrigerator to maintain freshness. [/print_this]

cocoa cashew pistachio bites II

Now it’s your turn! If you have a recipe similar to a healthy bite, or have a made one of my  recipes in the past on your blog, LINK UP!

healthy bite recipe link up

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What’s your favorite HEALTHY BITE flavor combo?

If you linked up or left a comment, then you will automatically be entered into my 2nd Healthy Bite Edition Ebook giveaway. Just a way to say THANK YOU!

Now go live your passion!

Cheers,

Sherpa Wife Cotter

p.s.

I use Flapjacked Protein Pancake batter a lot when making healthy bites. Great source of WHEY protein. They just so happen to be running a back to school special this weekend, so go check it out!

BacktoSchoolSale