Erin Stanczyk | eat.move.rest.

avocado

Valentine's Raw Avocado Chocolate Mousse

Eat, Food + Nutrition, RecipesErin StanczykComment
Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | Valentine's Raw Avocado Chocolate Mousse
Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | Valentine's Raw Avocado Chocolate Mousse

Love Yourself To Life!

Yesterday morning I lead yet another early bird spin class full of hard-working, sweat-dripping FlyRiders at Fly and we were definitely feeling the love! As Valentine’s Day approaches, it can be a time of overwhelming emotion for many of us--some positive, and some negative. My playlist and message in class was that whether you have someone to share this holiday with or not, there should be no shortage of self-love! 

Ultimately, you can't expect to be loved by anyone else until you learn to truly love yourself. Part of loving yourself is pushing yourself to try new things, face your fears, embrace your flaws, and accept your weaknesses. We are all perfectly imperfect!
Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | Valentine's Raw Avocado Chocolate Mousse

The other part of loving yourself is treating yourself, and what better way to do that than with a guilt-free, yet incredibly delicious dessert?! It wouldn't be Valentine's Day without a little (or a lot) of chocolate! However, my Raw Avocado Chocolate Mousse recipe is anything but unhealthy--in fact, it's raw, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and packed full of antioxidants and healthy fats!

Feel free to jam out to one of my favorite songs from yesterday's ride while you peruse, and click here to visit my Spotify channel, where you can check out more of my favorite songs & playlists to work out and rock out to!

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | Valentine's Raw Avocado Chocolate Mousse
Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | Valentine's Raw Avocado Chocolate Mousse

The breakdown

Avocados actually contain more potassium than bananas and are one of the few fruits that have a high fat content, but, it's the good kind! Healthy fats are actually good for our heart and cholesterol levels, so don't fear the fat! Avocado also does wonders for hair, skin, nails--you name it--this super smooth superfood is one you don't want to go without. Check out my simple Holy Guacamole recipe here!

Bananas are full of potassium, as we well know, but did you know that when a banana is leopard-spotted it is actually ripe and ready to eat? I used to eat my bananas even when they had a some green on them, until I learned that a fully ripe banana is so much sweeter and better for you, because all of the starches have converted into sugars that your body can then use for instant fuel and energy. It also makes for a super-sweet addition to a refined-sugar-free dessert! For more on the benefits of fully ripe bananas and the lowdown on Fruit vs. Refined Sugar, visit my blog post to read up on why fruit won't make you fat!

Cacao is virtually the same as cocoa, except that it is raw, whereas, cocoa has been roasted at high temperatures. Raw foods retain all of their living and active enzymes that aid in healthy digestion and antioxidants that fight off disease-causing free-radicals in the body. Raw! Raw! Raw! For more on the benefits of cacao, check out my top 10 superfoods blog post!

Dates are the sweetest of all the fruits, and are full of natural, unrefined sugars. I love to use dates as a replacement for other less healthy sweeteners like regular table sugar and syrup. They also make a great on-the-go snack, packing a good amount of calories into a small tasty package that you can bring anywhere with you! For another delicious date recipe, check out my Rad Raw Blackberry Cheesecake recipe here!

Sea Salt is simply evaporated salt water, and is an upgrade from regular table salt because it contains trace minerals that the body needs in order to thrive. Adding just a dash to a sweet dessert can help to really round out the flavor.

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | Valentine's Raw Avocado Chocolate Mousse

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Raw Avocado Chocolate Mousse

raw, vegan, gluten-free, refined-sugar-free, oil-free

It wouldn't be Valentine's Day without a little (or a lot) of chocolate, however, my Raw Avocado Chocolate Mousse recipe is anything but unhealthy--in fact, it's packed full of antioxidants and healthy fats, and best of all, it is oh-so fluffy, smooth and sweet! Share it with a loved one or better yet, treat yourself without the guilt! This recipe also makes the perfect fruit dip or goes great spread on toast!

ingredients:

  • very ripe, speckled banana
  • very ripe, soft avocado
  • 2 tablespoons cacao or cocoa powder
  • 5-8 pitted & soaked dates (or other sweetener)
  • dash of sea salt

method:

  1. Pit dates and soak in warm water.
  2. Place peeled ripe banana in food processor or high speed blender along with avocado and blend for a minute or so, scraping the sides in between if need be.
  3. Add in cacao or cocoa powder, sea salt, and pitted dates and make sure slightly mixed in before turning food processor or blender on again.
  4. Blend for 2 minutes or so, scraping down the sides as you go. Give it a taste test and add more sweetener accordingly.
  5. Dish up, top with fruit and a sprig of mint and enjoy!

options:

  • top with cinnamon, coconut flakes, a sprig of mint, and/or fresh berries
  • use as a fruit dip
  • use agave nectar, coconut nectar, maple syrup, or stevia for sweetener in place of dates
  • spread on toast or use as a fruit dip
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Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | Valentine's Raw Avocado Chocolate Mousse
Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | Valentine's Raw Avocado Chocolate Mousse
Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | Valentine's Raw Avocado Chocolate Mousse

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Treat Yourself

This Valentine's Day, treat yourself and shower yourself with unconditional love! Release what isn't serving you and embrace what is! 

Leave a comment or drop me a message on my contact page and let me know what you want to see more of, and don't forget to subscribe to my newsletter to stay up-to-date on current blog posts, my monthly In The Raw newsletter, and exclusive bonus materials!

Designed For Your Lifestyle,

Erin

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest.

The Amazing Avocado!

Food + Nutrition, Recipes, EatErin StanczykComment

One of my husband and I's favorite favorite whole foods is avocado! We slice it up, mash it up, and put it on just about everything! Avocado can make a great addition to almost any meal, and is touted for its many health benefits: 

Guacamole | Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest.
  • Add to your morning smoothie, to amp up the smooth and creamy texture 
  • Slice it and add it to just about any salad for a dose of healthy fat 
  • Mash it up and make guacamole to dip veggies and chips in
  • Spread it on a slice of toast or add to a sandwich or wrap
  • Massage into your scalp for a great deep conditioning treatment
  • Buy the oil form to rub on your skin for an extremely moisturized body

Health Profile

Avocados are rich in healthy fats. Who would've thought...A healthy fat?! Good news! Yes, there are "healthy" and "unhealthy" fats. Incorporating fat into our diet can aid our bodies in better absorbing other vital nutrients in foods, such as vitamins A, D, E, and K. Avocados can also help reduce total cholesterol, by improving your "good," HDL-cholesterol, and lowering your "bad," LDL-cholesterol, as well as slowing the development of heart disease. 

Alkalinity is another thing the avocado has going for it. The pH scale goes from 1-14, 1 being highly acidic, 7 being neutral, and 14 being highly alkaline. We want to strive to keep our bodies in a slightly alkaline state, a little above 7. If we are too acidic, it can causes inflammation inside our bodies, which exhibits itself in many unwanted forms, from acne, to acid reflux, to heart disease. Eat an avocado for an alkalinity boost that will help your hair, skin, and nails to grow and glow! 

As with any food, though, there can be too much of a good thing. Limit your intake of avocado if you already consume a diet high in other fats. One avocado typically contains about 230 calories! Dusty and I like to split one over lunch, or whip up a quick batch of guacamole and make it last for a couple of days in the refrigerator.

The Amazing Avocado | Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest.

Vote with your dollar!

Remember when it used to be a big deal when it was "avocado season" and you could get it on your Subway?! Now Chipotle cranks out batches of guac that take 48 avocados to whip up…multiple times a day! Enter the health nuts. In 2012, the American obsession with super foods and the relatively new concept of "good fats" versus "bad fats" drove avocados to superstar status. Avocado demand spiked 34 percent in 2012, with yet another 10 percent increase in demand for 2013, says Mike Lew, of Bon Appétit.

I say Power to the People! I have always been a firm believer in leading by example, and a key component to that mantra is voting with your dollar. While much of our country is in a healthcare crisis, there is becoming a greater amount of awareness about health. Health starts with what we put into our bodies! If the demand for avocados, and other healthy foods keeps increasing, then suppliers will continue to supply supply supply! Prices will also begin to fall! So if you want to see more healthy options in your local supermarket, keep buying what makes your body feel good, and you will continue to see it more widely available.

The same goes for organic produce, the higher the demand, the more there will be. Which brings me to one last fun fact before I share the recipe: Avocados are actually on the Clean 15 list, meaning that they contain some of the lowest pesticide residues. So if you can't find an organic avocado, don't sweat it, apparently the pests just don't like waiting around for an avocado to ripen! Must be because they don't realize just how incredibly delicious they are. Let's keep it that way! :) (Keep your eyes peeled for my future post on the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15, so you can better navigate the produce section!)    


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ERIN & DUSTY'S BASIC, HOLY GUACAMOLE! RECIPE

When selecting an avocado at the grocery store, you want to pick one that is barely soft when you apply pressure, and super dark green in color. Many times the store will only have green hard avocados in stock. Then you simply need to let them sit out on your countertop for a day or two, or to speed up ripening place in a paper bag with a fruit like an apple or a tomato and close it up. Both give off a high amount of ethylene gas, that will cause the avocado to ripen quickly. You can also use this trick to ripen bananas! One trick that I've learned, is if the stem of the avocado "pops" off easily, then it's good to go!

ingredients:

  • 2-3 ripe avocados
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro (or a few pinches of dried)
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • need heat? add in a dash of crushed red pepper or cayenne red pepper

method:

  1. Slice each avocado in half and remove the pits.
  2. Scoop out the avocado flesh and discard the skin.
  3. Add to a bowl with other ingredients and mash with a fork.
  4. Enjoy with just about anything!

notes:

  • The best way I've found to store leftover guacamole is to put it in a tupperware and cover it with a piece of saran wrap that is pressed down directly on top of it to reduce any exposure to air. (The citrus from the lime also helps to preserve). Place it in the refrigerator and eat within a couple of days.
  • You can also add in other ingredients such as onion, garlic, and tomato, but this recipe is just as delicious and takes no time at all to make! Enjoy!
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Designed for Your Lifestyle,

Erin 

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design