Statistically speaking, 90% of pregnant American women will get stretch marks (to some degree) during the third trimester. I admit, I was among the lucky 10% during my first two pregnancies. I managed to escape my 9 months without a single stretch mark. I used TONS of Shea Butter during my first pregnancy, while I barely used anything during my second. (However, I did hydrate far more during my second pregnancy.) Now pregnant with my third, I’m not assuming I will be as lucky this time around. Since Week 20, I’ve been using a DIY salve that I have been LOVING! It feels incredibly soothing and has helped tremendously with my itchy belly. The below recipe is from http://WellnessMama.com (which, if you haven’t checked out her blog, it’s a must!), but with a few modifications. Here’s an amazing salve recipe to avoid and remove stretch marks:
- 1/4 cup Organic, Unrefined Shea Butter
- 1/4 cup Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
- 3 Tablespoons Almond Oil (or Apricot Kernel)
- 1 Tablespoon Calendula Flowers (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger
How to Make Stretch Marks Salve:
- If using the calendula and ginger, add to Almond Oil (or Apricot Kernel Oil) and place in a double boiler or bowl over a small pan of water.
- Bring to a simmer and heat for 30 minutes on medium low heat to incorporate the properties of the herbs.
- Strain through a metal strainer to remove herbs. (Be sure you still have at least 2 tablespoons of liquid oil left.)
- Return the oil to the double boiler. Add the Shea Butter and Coconut Oil.
- Heat until melted. Stir to incorporate.
- Remove from heat and store in small glass jar.
- Use as needed on skin before, during or after pregnancy to alleviate stretch marks and itchy belly.
Who doesn’t love a great, refreshing shake? I’ve always been a huge banana and peanut butter fan. No matter the variation, if a shake contains these two ingredients, you can guarantee I will love it. Over the past year, I’ve dabbled with a healthier and lower-in-sugar version that I now make at least a few times a week. It’s literally sipping a cup of candy…it’s DELISH! Let me know what you think!
- 1/2 or 3/4 banana (I usually do 1/2 due to sugar)
- 2 Pitted dried dates, such as Medjool Dates
- 1 & 1/2Tbs Sunflower Butter (or Almond Butter)
- 1/3 Cup Kefir (Unsweetened)
- 1 Tbs Hemp Seeds
- 1 Tbs Ground Flax Seeds
- 3/4 Cup Unsweetened Coconut Milk (or Almond Milk)
- Optional (1 Tsp Raw Honey)
Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend on high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Enjoy!
About ten years ago, I was on a work trip in Orlando for one of my former clients, Steve Jobs, and his family. Steve’s diet was very healthy and vegan, so I always tried to find the best vegan restaurants on the road for him. This particular trip, I found a restaurant with a great healthy kids menu, as well. (This was never the case in my experineces at the vegan restaurants I frequented.) One of the items on the menu was their Banana, Almond Butter, Marshmallow Cream Sandwich. I ordered it, tasted it, and my life would never again be the same. It was simply UNREAL! I was truly blown away…something so simple, healthy, and a combination I would have never thought up!
Since then, I have occasionally made the sandwich for both myself and my family. My youngest and my husband go CRAZY over it. (My hubby asks for it constantly.) It’s truly an awesome, fun weekend lunch item or snack for the whole family to enjoy. I’ve tweaked the way I’ve made it over the years, as I learned, for instance, it’s much better grilled than plain, and since I never had any marshmallow cream, I simply slightly melt the marshmallows to provide the same taste.
Here’s my version:
Angela’s Banana, Almond Butter & Marshmallow Grilled Sandwich
- 1/2 of a Banana
- Creamy Almond Butter
- 1/4 cup of marshmallows
- Earth Balance Coconut Spread (or Butter)
- bread (I use gluten-free white bread from Trader Joe’s)
Spread the coconut spread (or butter) on one side of each slice of bread. Spread almond butter on the opposite sides. Place one slice down on a non-stick frying pan (coconut spread or butter side down). Place slices of banana on top of the almond butter. Next, sprinkle marshmallows on top of the sliced banana. (Optional: Drizzle a very small amount of honey on top.) Place the other slice of bread with the coconut spread facing upwards on top. Cover and cook on low to medium heat for a few minutes until the bottom slice of bread is darkened to your liking and flip. The marshmallows should slightly melt. It’s most tasty while warm! Enjoy!
After posting a picture of my No-Bake Paleo Cookies on Instagram last week, I received a slew of messages asking for the recipe. Whether you eat Paleo or not, it’s a great, easy and healthier dessert option. After all, isn’t it rather exciting to come across super yummy dessert recipes that DON’T involve any sugar?? My family and friends LOVE them, and I’m sure you will too! Here you go:
No-Bake Paleo Cookies
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup coconut oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 tbsp. cocoa powder
1/3 cup almond butter
2 cups unsweetened, shredded coconut
Pour honey, coconut oil, and cocoa powder in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil for 1 minute and immediately remove from heat. Stir in the vanilla and almond butter until blended well. Stir in shredded coconut. Scoop by spoonfuls onto parchment paper (or wax paper) and refrigerate until hardened. You can store at room temperature, but I always prefer to keep them in the fridge! Enjoy!!
By no surprise, my favorite recipes are derived straight from my grandmother Lou’s kitchen. I previously posted her amazing Ranger Cookie recipe. (It’s utterly the BEST. COOKIE. RECIPE. EVER.) The next recipe that I would like to share of hers is one for a brownie. However, it’s no ordinary brownie. It’s called a Swedish Brownie, and I can guarantee it will be the best “non-brown” brownie you’ll ever sink your teeth into! It’s great for dinner parties if you want something a little unusual yet delicious. Better yet, it’s incredibly easy to make and requires very little prep time. (It typically takes me 35 minutes from start to finish.)
Here is the recipe to the best “non-brown” brownies on the market:
½ Tsp. of Salt
2 Cups of Flour
2 Cups of Sugar
1 Cup Butter (partly melted)
½ Tsp. of Baking Powder
2 Tsp. of Almond Extract
Mix all ingredients in large bowl. Spread in well-greased jelly roll 10×15 pan. (For thicker brownies, use a regular 9×13 brownie pan.) Batter will be thick. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until top is lightly browned and middle is cooked. (If you’re using a 9×13 pan, bake for 25-30 minutes.) Once cooled, sprinkle powdered sugar on top and enjoy!
It’s official. I am the luckiest post-partum mommy around. I have had the pleasure of having my 90-year old grandmother, Grandma Lou, in town from Iowa, and I’ve been devouring her always DELISH baked goods for the past five days. From her famous Swedish Rye Bread, Swedish Cinnamon Rolls (these put Cinnabon to shame!), Swedish Pancakes (my ultimate favorite since I was a kid…I once ate 12 in one sitting), and her Ranger Cookies (the BEST cookie you will ever sink your teeth into!), our mouths and bellies have been quite busy. And if you couldn’t tell by the names, she is Swedish. (She even lives in a town called “Swedesburg,” She also travels the world, takes selfies, rides her bike everyday, and texts with all of her grandchildren from her iPhone. Not bad for a 90-year old, eh?)
Now, I’ve been making her famous recipes for years, but for some reason, they never taste the same as when my grandma makes them. Don’t get me wrong, whenever I bake one of her recipes, I am suddenly the most popular person on the planet and deal with endless requests to bake more. However, for some reason – probably from the 70 – 80+ years she’s had to perfect them – hers just have that extra ‘grandma’s touch.’ (My husband agrees. In fact, whenever we visit Iowa, his first stop is always Grandma Lou’s kitchen. His personal favorites include her apple pie and the famous Ranger Cookies.)
To share our family’s absolute favorite version of the ranger cookie, here is my grandma’s Ranger Cookie recipe. WARNING: They are extremely addictive!
1 Cup White Sugar
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup Shortening (soft)
2 Cups of flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 Cup flaked coconut
1/2 Tsp. salt
2 Cups Rolled Oats
2 Cups Kellogg’s Corn Flakes
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
Cream shortening and sugar, add beaten eggs and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients and add shortening mixture. Drop from tsp to ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes. ENJOY!