Maple Sea Salt Fudge

Hey there,

Ready for the holidays yet?  Me neither!

What if you had one more, quick & easy, healthy, NO BAKE dessert recipe in your arsenal to have at your fingertips for the remainder of the parties and gatherings?  

I love to have some desserts in the freezer - especially this time of year!  This helps cut back on the last-minute prep stress and means that if someone stops by last minute or we're running out and want the kids to be able to partake in dessert too, we have some options on hand.

This Maple Sea Salt Fudge is sooooooo satisfying!  It's delicious and festive, plus it's full of protein and healthy fats to help keep you from devouring the cookie platters you just worked so hard to create.  :-)

<< These are gluten free, dairy free, vegan, and paleo>>

Don't they LOOK amazing too?!

Fudge.jpg

Maple Sea Salt Fudge

Ingredients:

1 cup almond butter

1/2 cup cashew butter

1/2 coconut oil (melted then cooled to room temp.)

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1.5 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 tsp sea salt (optional: extra for garnish)

 

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, mix together nut butters, maple syrup, and coconut oil.

2. Mix in vanilla and sea salt.

3. Line a cake pan (8X8 works well) with parchment paper.

4. Spread mixture evenly into cake pan.  

5. Optional: Garnish with sea salt.

6. Place in freezer for 1-2 hours.

7. Cut into squares (using a warm knife). Place remaining squares back into the freezer to store.

 

Let me know if you try these! 

 

In holiday cheer and good health,

Tara

 

P.S. Whatcha doing January 8th - 17th?  Care to join me and a bunch of awesome ladies looking to start off the New Year feeling & looking our best? 

Details about this 10-Day Healthy New You Reset can be found here.  Come, take a look!

Holiday Spiced Sugar Cookies

Hey you,

It wouldn't be a holiday season without using our favorite cookie cutters or making a complete flour-y mess of the kitchen floor with the kiddos, would it? ;-)

These Holiday Spiced Sugar Cookies will hit the spot!  They are doughy / soft and just a bit sweet...nothing that will send you into that sugar craving downward spiral.  Bring them along to your next holiday party or cookie exchange....and double the batch to keep some extras at home!

<<These are gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, and soy free.>>

In Joy and Health,

Tara

HolidaySpicedSugarCookies.JPG

Holiday Spiced Sugar Cookies

Ingredients:

2.5 cups almond flour

¼ cup honey

1 large egg

1.5 T coconut oil

½ tsp pure almond extract

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp sea salt

½ tsp ginger

½ tsp nutmeg

½ tsp cinnamon

coconut flour (for rolling out and dusting)

 

Directions:

1.    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2.    Mix all ingredients in a food processor, mixer, or by hand.

3.    Flatten dough to about 1/3 – ½ inch thickness.  Cover and allow to cool in fridge for 30 minutes.

4.    Place dough between wax paper, sprinkle with coconut flour, and roll out with a rolling pin.

5.    Dust again with coconut flour before using cookie cutters.

6.    Collect “scraps” and repeat steps 4 & 5 until all dough is used.

7.    Place cookies on a baking sheet greased with coconut oil or lined with parchment paper.

8.    Decorate as desired or leave cookies plain.

9.    Bake 7-10 minutes (until edges start to turn golden-brown).

Almond Coconut Bliss Balls

Hellooooooooooooooo!

It's December 3rd.  Yup.  Go check, I'll wait.

:-)

Well, sometimes you need a break from the fancy-schmancy cookies and pies that turn your kitchen upside down and your floors into a flour skating rink.

I feel ya.

Try these Almond Coconut Bliss Balls!

These are a delicious snack or dessert and require NO BAKING!  They come together quickly, so they work wonders when you're in a pinch and need to bring something sweet to your office potluck, your next holiday party, or just to have something on hand for out-of-towners.

<<<These are gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, grain-free, no refined sugar, vegan>>>

Enjoy!

In good health,

Tara

AlmondCoconutBliss.jpg

Almond Coconut Bliss Balls

 

Ingredients:

1 cup coconut flakes (unsweetened)

½ cup almond flour

2 T honey

2T coconut oil

1 tsp pure almond extract

½ tsp cinnamon

 

Directions:

1.    Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.

2.    Refrigerate for 30 minutes to harden.

3.    Roll into balls (approximately 1 T each).

4.    Place in freezer on a wax paper covered plate for at least 1 hour.

5.    Keep in container in freezer or refrigerator and serve cold (will melt if left out too long).

THE Chocolate Chip Cookie

Hey all,

How was your Thanksgiving?  We had a great time making memories, eating food, seeing family...ya know, checking all the boxes.  ;-)

Truth be told, Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday.  I don't eat turkey or go to the parade. I can't even have most of the desserts anymore with my food sensitivities.  BUT, a holiday that we've turned into counting our blessings that also gives us a 4-day weekend together and marks the beginning of the Christmas / New Year's festivities?  Now that's what I'm talking about!

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, then I hope you saw my post yesterday where I thanked YOU for being in my life.  The support, comments, emojis, questions, and presence I feel and get from you is what makes everything I do so much fun.  If I know you are making and enjoying the recipes I create, I will keep 'em coming!  When I hear that my workouts helped you get healthy, lean, & strong, they'll be more where those came from.  Every message and email where you allow me to step into your world for a moment by sharing something about your health journey is a blessing.  And for that, I'm thankful.

Enough of the sentimental stuff, right?!  You want this recipe!

The chocolate chip cookie is such a staple this time of year during parties, gatherings, and cookie exchanges.  Heck, even Santa stops to nibble as he's stuffing presents under the tree and navigating our chimneys and all.  

This year I set out to create the perfect chocolate chip cookie for my family (and maybe yours?).  It needed to be gluten and dairy free.  No refined sugar.  And, as we came to find out, no coconut oil if I wanted my husband to like them too (and I did!).

So, after countless attempts and notes and crumb-filled counters, I think I nailed it!  Based on the speed at which these disappear, even amongst those that swear they don't eat anything 'healthy', I'd say they pass the test.  

I hope you and your family agree.

Do you plan to make these?  Please let me know!  Share a picture on Facebook or Instagram and tag me!  It would make my day.  :-)

In health and holiday cheer,

Tara

ChocolateChipCookies.JPG

THE Chocolate Chip Cookie

Makes 36 cookies (plus an extra nibble of the raw cookie dough)

Ingredients:

Dry:

4 cups almond flour

1-cup chocolate chips (choose carefully… or make your own)

1 tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. sea salt

¼ tsp. ginger

Wet:

½ cup avocado oil

1/3-cup maple syrup

4 tsp. vanilla

 

Directions:

1.    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2.    In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients together.

3.    Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until well combined.

4.    Place tablespoon-sized balls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

5.    Use hands to flatten balls to make cookie shape (these cookies will not change shape much at all when baking).

6.    Bake for 12 minutes (edges should look golden-brown).

 

***These are gluten free, dairy free, egg free, vegan, grain free, and contain no refined sugar!

Crustless Pumpkin Pie... and a Thanksgiving Travel Workout

Thankful and Grateful...


I want to take a moment to say THANK YOU for signing up for being part of my community here on the inter-webs.  I look forward to creating even more recipes, workouts, videos, and all-things-womens-health moving forward….so that I can share it all with you!

If you're hosting on Thanksgiving this year, or maybe just want to bring along a dessert that you know you'll enjoy, this Crustless Pumpkin Pie recipe will hit the spot!  Best of all, it's gluten free, dairy free, soy free, and contains no refined sugar.  If you or any of your friends or family are avoiding these categories of food for health reasons, you'll be the hit of the party for serving (or bringing) a dessert that they can have.  :-)
 

Check out my Crustless Pumpkin Pie recipe here.
 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Are you traveling this holiday season?

Did you catch my video that includes a quick & easy full-body workout? It's perfect for hotel rooms or extended family's bathrooms…whichever!  ;-)

You can watch that right here.

Cheers to a peaceful, laughter-filled holiday!

In health and gratitude,
Tara

You're Invited: 25 Tips to Stay Healthy During Holiday Travel

With Thanksgiving Day right around the corner (11 days away, to be exact), many people are finalizing plans to hit the road via plane, train, automobile, or all of the above to visit loved ones and tolerated ones alike.  :-)

Many of my clients tell me it's the hustle and bustle and travel of the holiday season that sets them back further than the actual holidays themselves when it comes to their health goals. Can you relate?  Me too!

Eat Real Food.JPG

So, I have put something together for you!

Starting tomorrow, inside my private community on Facebook, we will be taking the whole week to talk about ways to stay on track while you make your rounds this holiday season.

To get in on the fun, join this (FREE) group of awesome ladies that are striving to take better care of themselves and their families.

Hope to see you inside the group!

In good health,

Tara

Lentil - Veggie Soup

When does soup season officially start in your household?  My car said it was 45 degrees outside yesterday morning when I was up and out early.  Commence souping!  

I've been focusing on natural immunity boosting this past week with my private Facebook community, Lean In with Tara Allen Health.  The omnipresent echo of late October sniffles always seem to inspire my most nurturing of recipes.  Besides the winning ingredients (garlic, spices, plants, protein) in this next recipe, the fact that it is a soup - a hot liquid - will be key in helping to fight off some germs.  When we bring a mug of something nice and hot close to our face (no burning yourself though, deal?!), the steam helps to kill off those pesky buggers that like to hang out in our nostrils and cause head colds.  So, take your time with your soup or tea or coffee and try to inhale as you canoodle with your warm cup of ANYthing. :-)

Here's a soup recipe that I happen to love.  I wanted something warming, hearty, plant-based, and free of dairy and gluten so my whole family could partake.  If it passes that taste-test for your family, make it in large batches next time around and freeze some so if/when you ARE feeling under the weather, you have this on the ready and don't even have to worry about cooking.

Lentil-Veggie Soup Immunity.jpg

***Lentil-Veggie Soup***

 

Ingredients:

 

1 pound lentils, rinsed

2 quarts broth (chicken, veggie, whatever)

1 cup onion, chopped

1 cup tomatoes, chopped

1/2 cup celery, chopped

1/2 cup carrots, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 T olive oil

2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp chili powder

 

Directions:

 

1. Pour olive oil in bottom of large saucepan on stovetop (medium heat).

2. Add carrots, celery, onion, and garlic, and cook about 5 minutes (onions should become slightly translucent).

3. Add all remaining ingredients.

4. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low.

5. Cook an additional 30-35 minutes on low.

6. Serve as is for a chunkier consistency.  Or, use an immersion blender (or transfer to a blender in batches) for a smoother consistency (picky toddlers, anyone?). ;-)

7. Freeze any leftovers that won't be eaten over the next few days.

 

Here's why I'm breaking up with hand-washing...

What are YOUR big rocks?

Are you mopping the floor when your house is on fire?

Are you chewing gum for the extra calorie burn, but then chugging down a Venti Frap on your way home from work?

Watch this #WonderWednesday LIVE video to see what the heck I'm talking about…and help figure out where to start with your weight loss and health goals.

Then, come back and drop a comment.  Tell me, what is one of YOUR big rocks?

In good health,

Tara

P.S. It's subtle, but around a minute or so in, I shoo away a neighbor so I can keep talking to you guys!  :-O  Oops.  At least I'm passionate!  Haha.

Pumpkin Cider Muffins

We've made it through our first official week of Autumn.  The older I get, the more I realize that I'm a Fall kinda person.  The Summer is nice and all (hello beaches and flip flops and berries), but there's just something about the Fall that's refreshing.  I like rediscovering my sweaters that were hibernating during the hotter days and I really like when the barista knows that the latte I just ordered is supposed to be hot.  In the Summer, it always seems to puzzle people that I still enjoy a hot cup of coffee!

Driving around town, I get excited to see the Halloween and Fall decor on suburban stoops everywhere as we begin several months of back-to-back holidays to look forward to.  There are bails of hay, some semblance of a colorful leaf kid's craft hanging on the door, and pumpkins - one for each family member - lined up on the steps.  I love that.  In fact, that's the extent of the future for all the pumpkins we hunted for today.  For the following recipe, I highly recommend purchasing (organic, BPA-free) pumpkin puree.  Unless, of course, you're a glutton for punishment and lots of extra work...??

I dreamt up these Pumpkin Cider Muffins when I was feeling left-out for seeing cider-everything.  Don't get me wrong, I can get down with some apple cider, but where did the cider doughnut craze come from?  

Here's what I needed... a healthier, tasty, Fall-like baked good that made my house smell like one of those toxic candles that we no longer buy.  If it was healthy enough to work as breakfast, a snack, or dessert and could be made in batches and frozen so I don't have to make them 28 times this season....even better!  

Hope you enjoy these Pumpkin Cider Muffins as much as my family does.

Happy All-Things-Pumpkin Season!

 

In good health,

Tara

PumpkinCiderMuffins.jpg

Pumpkin Cider Muffins

 

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups pumpkin puree
  • 6 eggs
  • ½ cup honey
  • 6 T coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 T cinnamon
  • 2 tsp nutmeg
  • ½ cup walnuts

Directions:

1.    Preheat oven to 350 F.

2.    In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix well.

3.    Spoon batter into paper-lined muffin tin (or grease muffin tin).

4.    Bake for 22 – 25 minutes (until golden brown and toothpick inserted comes out clean).

5.    Optional: Serve with nut butter and hemp / chia seeds on top to increase protein content.

Like this recipe?  Sign up below for my newsletter list to receive more delivered straight to your inbox!

Name *
Name

After School Smoothie Routine

We're heading into the fourth-ish week of school here in New York and at this point, we've changed up our routine quite a bit to accommodate a 3.75 year-old who is now in preschool in the afternoons.  This beautiful child of mine is usually TIRED and HUNGRY!  If not hungry, she's "starving".  Did I mention how hungry she is? Yikes!  I'm assuming she'll be going up a size…or 5…soon with the way she's been putting back food lately.

In this video, I talk about how we're satisfying her hunger, specifically after-school, without skimping on the veggies she so badly needs.

If you are new to smoothies or would like to simplify things a bit for yourself, sign up for my newsletter here and receive my Formula For the Perfect Plant-Based Smoothie.  This PDF can be saved or printed and will help give you fresh ideas to make healthy and balanced smoothies that you and your kids will love.

Tell me, how have you adjusted your schedule with food and/or sleep since the school year began?  Any tips for a newbie school-mama like me?  ;-)

In good health,

Tara

FREE Webinar!

In just 3 days, I am hosting a FREE webinar - The truth about calorie-counting and what you can do instead.

This live event is for you is you find yourself jumping from diet to diet, have ever tried to count your calories or macros, or would like to learn more about your metabolism and a better way to manage portions without making you want to pull your hair out.

Is this you?  Join the group now so you're all set to pop in and catch the webinar!  If you can't make it live, the replay will be available in this group as well.

Can't wait to see you there!

In good health,

Tara

caloriecanva.jpg

Wine and Weight Loss

Have you ever wondered what, if anything, your beloved glass of wine at the end of a long & hard day might have to do with your weight loss efforts?

I went live on my Facebook page yesterday to discuss how your (well-deserved!) glass of pinot or merlot is messing with your fat loss efforts.  I know, I know....don't shoot the messenger!

Check out the video if you want to learn the 3 ways alcohol consumption can interfere with your weight management and body composition goals.

What's coming up???

FREE Webinar: The Truth About Calorie Counting: Why it doesn't work and what you can do instead.

Whatcha doing next Tuesday, August 22nd at 8 PM EST?  Join me LIVE as I talk about the reasons calorie counting does not work for weight loss and tell you what you can do instead!

This free webinar will be hosted inside of my Facebook group, Lean In with Tara Allen Health.  The replay will be made available there as well if you can't make it at that time.  :-)  Join now so you are all ready to watch on Tuesday!

In good health,

Tara

Pioneer Nutrition and Fitness Coaching

Some of you have been requesting more information about my new coaching program.  Most importantly, you get me as your coach.  ;-)  I am your partner, guide, educator, cheerleader, and accountability buddy.  I have partnered with another company to bring you the best of the tech world, while allowing me to focus completely on YOU and your health journey.  Along with high-quality videos, we will be communicating through the very portal where you will also view your daily lessons and workout program. 

What does this portal look like once you get started?  Well, here is a sneak peak!

This is a 12-month program.  12 months will pass whether you make a change or not.  I want you to be the person you've always imagined one year from today.  And, I want you to start seeing and feeling this progress as soon as we start working together!

Hit me up with all of your questions!  Tara@TaraAllenHealth.com

 

In good health,

Tara

6 Easy Meal Ideas - Mix N' Match Style

Do you want to be able to make a few things on a weekend and have meals to eat for the rest of the week?  I'm not talking about the same meals every night either!

The video is complete with a baby vs. mom battle over a pen. I won, for the record.  Haha!

With just a few extra ingredients, your 1-2 hours in the kitchen on a weekend can create SIX different dinners to put on the table during the hustle and bustle of the weeknights.

Tell me, what's your favorite way to meal prep?

 

In good health,

Tara

Bringing Your Own Food

Hey Superstar (felt like an appropriate greeting for this rainy, Monday afternoon),

Have you ever tried to bring your own food somewhere and been denied?  Maybe you or your kiddos have food allergies or you're just trying to feed real food to your family?

This is something we are faced with all the time.  Usually it's no big deal - we just bring our little cooler bag everywhere with us.  However, there are some instances where outside food is not permitted.  

What do YOU do?  What has your experience been like?

Let's change the culture!  If there is a facility that cannot accommodate allergies and those looking to eat mostly unprocessed food, then they should be allowing outside food.  We're more than happy to buy silly souvenirs to make sure you make money on us.  :-P

In good health,

Tara

Oatmeal Bites

 

Full disclosure here...

Sometimes it gets quite tedious to feed Jagger (the baby) anything liquid-y and messy like oatmeal.  Often, his time in the highchair eating breakfast is when I like to chat about what we're doing for the day, eat my own breakfast, and/or load the dishwasher while no one is trying to crawl inside.

I decided it was about time to create another recipe that got in some healthy, breakfast ingredients in convenient, finger-food bites.

Alas, these oatmeal bites were born.

Jagger-dude polishes these off within minutes and Magnolia feels like she's getting dessert for breakfast.  I don't correct her - these could absolutely be used for a dessert at well!  

I've since experimented by adding and subbing lots of other mix-ins, and let me tell you, these bad boys are pretty versatile!  Feel free to get creative and let me know how they come out for you.

Oatmeal Bites

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 cups of quick oats (we use gluten free)
  • 1 cup pureed carrot (pumpkin or sweet potato work well too)
  • 2 large & ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 medium & ripe avocado, mashed
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 T crushed walnuts (optional)
  • 2 T raisins (optional)
  • 1/2 large carrot, grated - save half for garnish (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients.
  3. In a blender, mix the wet ingredients and add to dry ingredients.
  4. Spread batter in a greased, 8X8 cake pan.  (Any baking pan with an edge will be fine, just keep a close eye and adjust cooking times).
  5. Add grated carrot garnish to tops, if using.
  6. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until top is golden brown and batter no longer jiggles.  
  7. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before cutting into squares (or triangles or dinosaurs…whatever will make your kiddo smile).

Enjoy!

 

In good health,

Tara

 

Quality PLUS Quantity for healthy fat loss

Hey there! 

[Thanks for rolling with the kiddos interrupting my live video!]  :-P  

Food quality PLUS food quantity is the secret sauce for healthy fat loss.

I'm NOT a believer in counting calories - at least not over the long-term.  I believe, in general, we could benefit from less stress surrounding food choices and body image.  However, it IS true that if you take in more energy (calories) than your body uses, you will gain weight.

Quality of nutrition is SUPER important!  Less chemicals and additives; more real & whole food.  That's what truly nourishes our bodies.

So, if you're looking for both HEALTH and FAT LOSS, the key comes from eating high quality foods in appropriate portion sizes for your body / activity level / hormones.

This is one of the topics that is customized specifically for you in my online program - Pioneer Nutrition & Fitness Coaching.  It is a 12-month program, with the option of committing to just the first 3 or 6 months if you're a get-my-toes-wet-first type of person.  

Instead of trying every single year to lose the fat, this program takes one year and since it's done in a lifestyle-changing & sustainable way, you'll have to find some new thing to obsess over every year for your New Years' resolution.  ;-)

Intrigued?  Ready to dive in?  Here's the link. 

In good health,

Tara

Watermelon "Cookies"

I've been on a watermelon kick lately, because…Summer.  Our latest creation involved the baby, the toddler, some fun cookie cutters, and MOST DEFINITELY a couple of baths afterwards.  ;-)

Check it out:

Squeezing Exercise in (For Busy Peeps)

I was approached by the Diabetes Council a few weeks ago to participate in an article about squeezing movement into our busiest of days.  With a little preparation and a bit of creativity, you can rack up a good amount of heart-racing, muscle-pumping exercise right there inside of the daily grind…and fun!

Interested in these tips?  Be sure to stop and read #26.  ;-)