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Salted Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars (vegan)

I know. It’s taken me way too long to post the Salted Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars.  I posted this shot week’s ago and I’ve only just had the time today to get it out to you all.

I’m actually vacationing right now in Palm Springs, California. We’re here for about five days and of course, it’s 40+ degrees. We went out for a run this morning and had to stop because it was way too hot.  It didn’t help that we got up a lot later than I wanted to. My body has been naturally waking at 5am, and then 6:30am as the days go by. This morning was 6:30am and I thought, what am I going to do until James wakes up. But then, I happened to fall back asleep until 8:15am!! What!!! I hate losing precious day time.




So, by the time we shuffled out of the building, it was 35+ degrees.  But we ran and made our way to one of the gyms and did some weights.  It’s so important to integrate some form of exercise on holiday.  Sure, it is a time to enjoy life’s pleasures. But, as soon as we get off of some form of routine, we lose our commitment to our health goals.

That’s why James and I make a point to get in early morning exercises.  This could be a run, a hike, the gym, or just a good walk.  I do eat relatively healthy on holiday simply because that’s when I feel my best. It’s also the fact that I need to rejuvenate. But, I’m not exaggerating when I say that we do still indulge. For us, it’s a cocktail by the pool and some amazing red wine for dinner.




Do you see the perspective of balance that I am giving you? There’s a lot of this (exercise and healthy food) and a little bit of that (those indulgences).

Okay, so it doesn’t help that I have pictures of these epic Salted Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars embedded in this post. Hahaha…sorry, about that. But, to be real here, these bars are very balanced. Are they 100% healthy?  Not exactly. Maple syrup is still sugar but I actually made these bars to be as low in sugar as possible without compromising the taste.

For those with peanut allergies, you could totally use almond butter.

Salted Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars (Vegan)

ingredients

For the chocolate crust:
3/4 cup ground almond meal
2 tablespoons raw cacao or cocoa powder
1.5 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoon melted coconut oil
Pinch of sea salt

Peanut Butter Filling:
1/2 cup creamy or crunchy natural peanut butter ideally without salt (*I personally love crunchy for the texture)
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoon melted coconut oil
Pinch of sea salt

Chocolate Topping:
1/4 cup raw cacao or cocoa powder
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon of peanut butter (this helps to incorporate the maple syrup so it doesn’t sink but you can omit ensuring that you blend it well)

Directions:

– Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and set it aside.

– In a medium bowl, stir together all of the chocolate crust ingredients until a moist dough is formed. Press the dough evenly into the bottom of the lined loaf pan, and place it in the freezer to set (about 10 minutes).

– For the filling, in a bowl, stir together the peanut butter, maple syrup, coconut oil and salt.

– Remove the crust from the freezer and pour the peanut butter filling over the top, using a spatula to spread it out evenly. Return the pan to the freezer to set.

– For the top layer, combine the cacao/cocoa powder, melted coconut oil, and maple syrup, whisking well to break up any clumps. Once the mixture has become a smooth chocolate sauce, pour it over the peanut butter layer, and return the pan to the freezer to set until firm. This should take about one hour. About 10 minutes into the freezing process, I add a sprinkle of coarse sea salt.

– Once ready, grab the edges of parchment paper to easily lift the solid bar from the pan. Use a sharp knife to slice the bars to your preference.  I dip the knife into hot water to help cut them. Otherwise, they may crack (although, I kinda like that look!)

These can be stored for about two weeks in the fridge. They can also be frozen.

Roasted Carrot Hummus

Happiness is …. Spring time!  I’m sure that you’re with me on that, right?

I am sitting in a massive craving for some sun and warmth, and mostly, REST. James and I are off to Los Angeles and Palm Springs in exactly two weeks to do just that. I’m also curious in exploring the L.A Health food scene for both research and inspiration. Even just walking through Whole Foods in the U.S is an experience all in itself since a lot of the products I see online are not available here. So, now I get to try them myself!

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5 Signs That You May Be Headed To Burn-Out

I’m a Human Resources Manager with a large hotel (within a large chain) in Vancouver BC. It’s a great place to work actually – great people, ever-changing, and not without it’s set of challenges like any job. This job actually keeps me connected with the women that I work with – career-driven women!  I value that connection and I can honestly say that I truly understand the challenges.

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Why Over-Exercising May Be Sabotaging Your Health

What!?!?  Is Julie actually implying that exercising is detrimental to my health?  If that’s what you’re thinking (and now your confused or worried), hang on a quick minute and let me explain.

Many of you are familiar with my health issues over the years, but more likely, my health in the past six months.

For those of you that are new around here, here’s the quick and dirty story: (Oh, and hey, welcome!)




In late November of 2016, I was diagnosed with low cortisol. Our adrenal glands (they sit on top of our kidneys) produce all of our essential hormones, including the stress hormone cortisol.  Cortisol is an essential hormone to our body as it assists the body with it’s response to stress.

How did I get low cortisol?

I basically burned it out and was running on nothing.  If you’ve heard the term “burn out” before, that’s the unofficial description of adrenal fatigue. I’ve done this at least three times in my life. And, when you’ve had it once, it’s easy to teeter off into burnout again.  The symptoms of low cortisol include:

Dizziness
Fatigue
Unexplained weight loss
Dark rings under the eyes
Palpitations
Cravings for salty food

I’ve since made and re-established some nutritional and lifestyle changes to shift my energy.  And, a proper supplementation plan is definitely key as well.




Okay, so let’s talk exercise. And, I’m framing it to women who may or may not be diagnosed with a high or low cortisol (there are both) or an adrenal issue but who have low energy, and perhaps are having a hard time losing those last five (or more) pounds.  Let’s face it, many of us don’t know that there is a diagnosis for those with severely “low energy” and those symptoms listed above.

There was (and quite frankly still is) a time where I would work out daily and still not be able to lose weight or “tone up”.

Do you know when I feel my strongest and healthiest?

When I exercise for 30-40 minutes a day, take a walk in nature, and of course, yoga.

Why do you think that is?

My body is telling me that it prefers to be more in a resting state versus a period of high impact movement that either creates a surge of cortisol or taps out my adrenal glands.




That is also why many of us come back from holidays, not only looking rested, but looking like we’ve lost weight and looking a whole lot healthier than when we left!

High cortisol can have devastating effects on the body. That’s why intense exercise may not support your health, at least for the short term. Studies have shown that intense exercise can increase cortisol levels. And high cortisol does not allow fat to be burned. In fact, when we’re in a state of stress, the body panics and stores glucose into your gut region (to save for later). That’s why those that lead very stressful lifestyles will likely have excess weight in the gut.

Now, I would never EVER say to stop exercising but you definitely need to take a look at the best forms that will support your overall health.  I talk about some options in my {FREE} Weekend Stress Detox Program which you can get HERE.




I’m personally drawn to yoga, weights, and as much as possible, walking and hiking outdoors. Since my health has improved, I’ve actually recently started to run as I am training for a 5 km race for charity. Some other recommendations could be:

Pilates, and Barre programs
PIYO which is a combo of pilates, yoga and some cardio
Light interval training may be an option but pay attention to any fatigue during and after.

Now tell me: what exercise do you think best supports your health goals? Let’s have a discussion so tell me in the comments below!

Eat Life Balance and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. 
All material on Eat Life Balance is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health related program.

My Favourite On-The-Go Snacks (mostly Paleo)

In an effort to minimize crappy, cannot-pronounce ingredients, I love to make my own snacks. And, for the most part, these are not time consuming.  What I do try to avoid is grains, refined flours, and minimal sugar, if any. Why? Because they tend to spike blood sugar which essentially will make us crave and grab for even more sugary and refined foods that do more harm than good.

I’m going to give you the snacks that I make myself and those that I grab from the store, on the go!

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{VIDEO} 5 February Favourites For Restlessness & Energy

PicMonkey Image

It’s been some time that I’ve put together a video and one that highlights a view of my favourite things!

When I was first diagnosed with low cortisol and adrenal fatigue (ie. low energy and burn out), I naturally started to reach for things that would help to boost my energy, and keep my health balanced.

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The 5 Critical Changes I Took To Improve My Adrenal Fatigue (Part 3)

IMG_6092

Last week, my sweetie (my husband) James was out of town visiting his family.  And while I love my time and routine with him, I do find myself even more productive on my weekends when he’s not there.

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Products I Love: Pascoflair Herbal Medicine

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Recently, I shared with you my recent struggle with low cortisol and adrenal fatigue. I’ll be providing a few more updates on that topic in the upcoming weeks as I work through my protocol. However, what I can share with you is the herbal treatment that I have received specific to restlessness and sleeplessness that can come as a result of low cortisol, adrenal fatigue, and even anxiety.

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10 Ways To Upgrade Your Sleep Routine

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Do you feel like there’s never enough time to get enough sleep or to make a proper breakfast? Now summer is ending, and winter is looming AND, for many of you, kiddies are off to school.  So, our sleep is about to change!  Hey, I’ve got 10 Ways to Upgrade Your Sleep Routine TODAY!!

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Daily Health Ritual: How To Dry Brush

Self Care - Body Spirit

If you’re a follower on my Instagram page, you would have had the chance to see my 3-part post of daily health rituals or what I call “self-care Sundays”.  The image above was directed to the more physical practice that I hold every Sunday night and many of the days during the week.

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