Absolutely delicious chocolate mousse pudding

In need of a quick dessert for the Thanksgiving table? Have no fear! Vegan chocolate mousse pudding is here!!

It’s made with my favorite ingredient ever ….avocado! 🥑 I know what you may be thinking but look at this beauty… 😍

(Oh and it has been picky sweet tooth Father-in- law approved! 😏)

What You’ll Need

2 ripe avocados

1/2 cup of organic unsweetened cacao powder

1/4-1/2 cup of maple syrup (depending on how sweet you like it. I used 1/4 and it was sweet enough to me)

1/2 cup of non-dairy milk (I️ recommend almond or coconut milk)

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Optional: 1/4 cup fresh or frozen raspberries to blend in or use for garnish

1/4 cup of mint leaves to blend in or use for garnish

Nuts for garnish

What To Do

1. Blend together all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth.

2. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

3. Enjoy! 😋😉

Sweet Potatoes for dessert… who knew? 😏

I would have never believed it if I didn’t try it for myself– sweet potatoes make a damn good brownie! 😋

I’ve read about mishaps with sweet potato brownie recipes, and I was so hesitant to try it when the delicious smell filled my kitchen, but 🤷🏼‍♀️

… loved it!

It will make a great addition to the vegan Thanksgiving desert table next week! Bonus, it can be made with left over sweet potatoes and you won’t feel so bad when the kids OD on brownies 😂

Let me know how yours come out!

Sweet Potato Brownies
f cooked and chopped sweet potatoes

  • 1 cup of peanut or almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseeds
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of organic, melted virgin coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup of maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon of organic vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1+ cup of dark chocolate chips (I️ used Enjoy Life’s chocolate chips)

To make:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix up a flax egg with the ground flaxseed and water. Set aside while you whip up the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Using a food processor, blend all the other ingredients except the chocolate chips.
  4. Mix in the chocolate chips by hand.
  5. Grease a rectangular pan and pour the mixture in being sure to top generously with more chocolate chips!
  6. Bake for 30 minutes.

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie 🎃

I️ love pumpkins just as much as the next basic babe, but PSL are just too sweet for me! (and filled with things you’d never want to put in your body anyway!) Here is a quick and easy recipe for some pumpkin spice goodness!

Did you know pumpkins have lots of vitamin A- essential for cell renewal & repair, keeps your skin glowing and an important immune booster? Clearly no coincidence that pumpkins are best at a time of the year people need an immune boost! 😜🙃

Also- those little seeds inside…. AMAZING nutritional perks! Copper (supports healthy skin, hair & nails!), Iron (strong hair & nails, necessary for red blood cell production & energy), Magnesium (calms nervous function & muscles), Phosphorus (supports strong teeth, bones & immune system and helps maintain electrolyte balance), & Zinc (fights inflammation & redness, collagen formation & tissue healing) .

Convinced of pumpkin goodness yet? 😏


* Please, Please note: always use non- BPA lined cans when using any canned products!

1 can of chilled organic light coconut milk

3 organic bananas (I️ used frozen)

3/4 cup of PURE organic pumpkin purée (do not use mix)

1 tablespoon organic real maple syrup

1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice

1/4 teaspoon of organic vanilla extract

Optional: Pumpkin seeds and cinnamon for garnish (and a delicious bonus!😋)

1. Blend bananas until they crumble in the blender, the add the coconut milk. Blend again until smooth.

2. Add all the rest of the ingredients and blend together until smooth.

3. Top with pumpkin seeds & cinnamon, if desired. ENJOY!

It’s all temporary…

As I was walking our Catskills property, I was noticing the foliage more than usual. The changing of the leaves, the shape of the trees- I had this momentary longing to remember what the property looked like in the summer and winter seasons. In the same thought, my mind quickly snapped back to the present foliage. No use in thinking behind and ahead– there’s so much right in front of me. (A thought pattern that I’ve been retuning to a lot since having a baby. Never wanting to rush ahead or long for what was since in that blink of an eye, she’s not the age I left her at!)

The word “temporary” kept running through my head. Non-stop. Temporary..temporary… temporary. It’s a term that doesn’t have much weight in life because well, it’s temporary. It’s fleeting. It won’t stay.

But … what does?

I’ve been getting a lot of shit from people who ask me “when are you going to buy a house?” “You have a kid now… you’re going to need more space!” And to that, me and Jason bought a weekend property and started to build a tiny house! 😂 We can’t handle being told what to do, I suppose. Especially when it’s a matter of materialistic things. We have enough room for us and our lifestyle where we’re living now.

It always circles back to this idea: we just don’t want anything permanent.

Don’t get me wrong, when we got married & had a baby -we meant permanent business! But the whole concept of working your whole life to acquire stuff and more stuff, then needing to work more to maintain that stuff, just sounds insane to me. This idea of so much freaking stuff is literally choking me as I type these words.

I used to have to change my whole closet out seasonally because I had so many clothes. Then one day after not having the time to change all my seasonally inappropriate attire out, my sweater and I got sick of being worn in the middle of August & I threw out all of my clothes until everything I owned fit into my closet. And I haven’t stopped throwing things out since…

The idea of a tiny house is not at all daunting to me. It’s freedom. Freedom from things and places. It allows us to be in nature more. It allows us to be with each other. Because here’s the thing: WE are temporary.

If my husband read those words he would say to me “That’s morbid Kar…” but I know he would understand my complete thoughts here. We are all just living our lives on this spinning rock with no effin’ clue as to what comes next or what we’re doing here! We spend our whole lives being so damn serious about these jobs and bank accounts and “grown up” decisions that are staying put on this spinning rock when we die. They literally mean nothing. Some may call me naive but the truth is, I won’t let my fear be bigger than my faith. Faith that there’s more to being here than the BS and drama we have filled our lives with.

Our time with the ones we love isn’t forever. There’s a reason & a season and then- things change. The realization of “temporary” isn’t to be sappy or morbid but to snap us back to this present moment. Take the time to just revel in its beauty and feel it deep in our soul.

I believe deeply in health and wellness. Not so much because of what it physically makes us look like but because it nourishes our soul when we’re feeling good physically. The physical body will die someday but our souls and our presence we made here with our time on earth– THAT, my friends, is the whole. freaking. point. Everything is temporary…except your soul.

What are those material things doing for you after you’re gone? You can’t enjoy those things forever. I’ll be the biggest hypocrite here and ask if obtaining degrees and certifications are worth denying your soul of its purpose? To some, I’m sure the education sets their souls on fire & to the life long students: keep it going. But I truly wonder about the motives for the things that we do? Unless you’re doing something consistently and ruthlessly that makes you feel complete… you’re truly wasting your time.

I think your moments deserve every last piece of something you really love. Appreciate all the people that surround you and get rid of everything you own so that nothing distracts you from your present. Set your soul on fire every damn day because nourishing your soul will be the only thing that will remain and the only thing you are actually taking with you…

A journey towards health

I have to be honest, sitting down to write this post has been no easy task. I literally cringe thinking back and feel a sadness for the girl I was. A lot of insecurities are sitting in the following words and for a while I thought it was possible to become a health coach without fully telling my story from start to finish. There would be a dishonesty in pretending that I was always a healthy, exercise loving girl or that getting to a healthy place in mind and body were easy. It wasn’t- and it is still a balancing act some days- but shedding some light on my truths is something I feel like I have to do in order to help others and finalize my own healing in so many ways. So here goes…

I remember as far back as grammar school thinking that my body wasn’t good enough. This is where my relationship to food became pretty skewed.  I used to create “meal plans” and exercise routines for myself- of which I could never actually stick to- and would feel guilty for it. I would gather old magazines and create vision boards of “fitspo” inspiration. I was a dancer and loved the idea of my body maybe one day magically changing into these long, lean muscles that could move in these graceful manners. Instead, my body was often greeted with painful hips and knees when moving in those ways.

At 12 years old, I loved the idea of being “the tiny one”- and I was, but never felt it. My mother used to complain about her body and at other times say things like “Sorry Kar- you got my body!” Although I don’t think her words were intentional, it made me realize that if her body wasn’t nice, and we had the same body type, then my body wasn’t nice. Not to mention, my older sister was the ultimate tall and skinny Barbie- opposite of me completely. My 5’4″ body just never measured up to my “ideal body.”

Fast forward to high school, I started my freshman year at around 85-90lbs. I remember my guy friend teasing me about wearing a bra at all and insinuating that my bras must be super padded. (oh, they were!)  Being older and having a bit more freedom meant a lot of time spent out with friends. We went to cafes, diners, fast food places, pizza, ice cream and of course, like most teenagers, alcohol. This partying also meant less sleep and pretty much no physical exercise at all. Needless to say, my metabolism kept me slim but by NO means healthy at all. I was often bloated, tired, had migraines and suddenly started developing reactions to foods I was eating without ever realizing what was happening. When you feel like crap most days, it becomes your baseline and so you don’t notice when the little signs are creeping up.

By the time college came, I was literally in my own bubble with zero awareness of what I was physically doing to my body. Up all night partying, school and work all day- eating out constantly. To make matters worse, my physical body wasn’t the only thing that was under a lot of stress. My emotional and mental well being weren’t in the best place either. My step father had the diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder and was in a very depressed state. During this time he had attempted suicide a few times and my reality when I went home at night was really scary. I never knew who I was getting, if he had a good day or a bad day, if he was upset with me over something trivial or was happy I was home. Worst of all, never knowing if I would find him alive or not. This anxiety caused me to pick up more shifts at work than necessary, find things to do to be out of the house, more partying, more escape from reality. It caused a lot of turmoil with all relationships around me- my family, my friends and my boyfriend.

I was managing a children’s gym and teaching about 18 classes a week when things started crashing down around me, one at a time. I had to move out of my house for my sanity, I had relationships problems with just about everyone around me, including myself, and my body literally felt like I was 100 years old. One after another, abnormal symptoms started to appear. I felt like I was walking around in a fog, felt “ADHD” like- never being able to wrap my head around anything before having to concentrate on the next thought, my stomach was bloated all.of.the.damn.time, my joints hurt, my face broken out and my energy level was so low it was scary. Really scary. My friend suggested that I try going gluten free for a while, just to see how I felt. And WHOA did it make a world of difference for my energy, joints and mind! I was gluten free for 3 or 4 years when I noticed how bad nuts made me feel- particularly almonds. Then I would have random reactions to fruits such as bananas. It seemed like everything I ate made my stomach bloat and cause this sharp, shooting pain. So I put gluten back into my diet figuring small doses wouldn’t make me feel any worse than I’m already feeling.

I was at a really low point with no hope to feeling better and no idea where to turn to next. I knew my body wasn’t responding to foods the way it should or the way it used to. I ended up contacting an allergist who administered a prick test on my back for any reactions to common foods I was eating. As he walked back into the room a few minutes later, he laughed and said “You may need to start eating meat my dear, because with the looks of this test, I’m not quite sure what you can eat anymore.” (Yah, any little hope I had of finding out the root cause that day-SQUASHED!)

The test showed I was reacting to 58 things that I ate pretty regularly. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, chocolate, dairy, wheat– you name it! (He didn’t actually test me for meat since I had been a vegetarian for so long, there was no chance that any sort of meat would have caused the reaction in my body.) My body was in full on FREAK OUT mode and totally inflamed. I spent the next few months on an elimination diet. Every few days putting new foods back into my diet after an initial 2 week cleanse of every food that I reacted to except for almonds and tree nuts. (I was told that my levels were a bit too high to safely put those back in without complete supervision.) To this day, I don’t eat any tree nuts.

The elimination diet gave me so much insight into how my body was reacting to things and the most amazing thing to come of it was realizing how GOOD I was supposed to feel! I had felt like complete crap for SO long that I didn’t even realize what feeling good felt like. This experience completely changed my perspective on how the body works and with that, my obsession with nutrition and wellness was born.

It started with myself. I re-ignited my yoga practice I had abandoned during this time of madness and dove head first into learning more about yoga philosophy. I enrolled in my first yoga teacher training. I also started to research the hell out of my condition and what caused my body to react like this. Stress, poor self care, not enough nutritious food, perhaps too many antibiotics over the years (I had a bad kidney infection as a child that caused me to be hospitalized and was given antibiotics for nearly a year afterwards)- the list could go on and on. But at this point, I stopped counting the items on it and started to turn to healing.

During this time, I realized how much inquiry I was getting from friends and coworkers about what I was eating, how I was feeling, my energy levels, how to help their issues, etc. In true “out of balance” Karen fashion- I quit my Masters’ program (that I was really close to completing, by the way 🤦🏼‍♀️) and dove head first into a health coaching certificate at The Institute of Integrative Nutrition. BEST DECISION I’VE EVER MADE!

Perhaps because it was the first thing I ever did strictly for myself (I asked no ones opinion before enrolling & didn’t tell a lot of people for a while either) but this program changed my life. It not only pointed a positive direction for my career but it pointed out all of the areas I needed to work on for me, without the shaming that comes a long with “accountability” type programs. I was excited to do homework & couldn’t wait for the next week of work. Isn’t that how school should be?! I’ve learned how to calibrate and recalibrate my life to achieve my perfectly unbalanced balance. I’ve learned that pumping the brakes is necessary some times but so is completely diving in. The good, the bad, the messy and the beautiful- this journey was worth it.

So now, I’m on a mission. I’m fighting for a pure, clean, honest & safe life for my family and myself. And now, for other people as well. My honest truth is that I don’t want to be another health coach who is going to give you endless amount of pretty pictures recipes with ingredients you don’t know much about or where to buy. I don’t want to give you a diet plan. I want to show you the beauty in the simplicity of a good life. I want you to find your balance with your health and mind. I want you to not only look good but more so, feel good!

I’m on this mission to spread the idea that balance is this insane notion to be played with- not achieved.

My wellness journey may have started with me but it’s shifting towards everyone else now & I couldn’t be more excited for what comes next!

Cinnamon- Vanilla Smoothie

Okay, okay… so I promised myself I wouldn’t get too excited for fall until September 22- the first official day of autumn…


I can’t help falling in love with everything cinnamon!

Around here the weather is just getting to the “ooh, may need to bring a sweater with me” point, which means this smoothie is perfect! Still a cold smoothie but with just the slightest hint of fall in there.

As always, I’m the queen of smoothie approximations. Feel free to add or decrease your amounts for your preferences. Recipe below! Continue reading “Cinnamon- Vanilla Smoothie”

Finding balance within the WILDEST of adventures…

So I figured I would start this blog off with a bang… start it with the wildest of adventures- AWAITING THE BIRTH OF MY BABY. ;P Insane! I’m literally just waiting… could be weeks, days, hours or even minutes! Partaking in the journey to motherhood has in fact, been the wildest of adventures. It has been a wonderful way to reclaim my balance in life however, due to the unbalanced and totally unpredictable nature that growing a human requires of a person.

There are a few things you could have counted on from pre-baby Karen… I would wake up and drink my lemon-ginger tea, I would practice some yoga, find some time for meditation, drink my green juice- ya know, all the typical healthy stuff. But here I was morning sickness that was not settled by the ginger, sick at the thought of ANYTHING green, too tired to get on my mat (or too swollen to comfortably do asana at ALL towards the end), and breathing … who are we kidding? I had a child sitting on my ribs for months! My routine, my patterns, my sense of health and wellness, my identity was being questioned by this human I had growing inside of me. My place of balance I had found before pregnancy was no longer working for me. It was really hard to change my habits and beliefs about what I “should” be doing everyday. I was at a cross roads that I think so many people face: “I know this is good for me but… (enter excuse).”

Now I would love to say that I powered through and drank that juice, got on my mat everyday and never had an unhealthy craving- but I would be lying. And I’d rather not lie. In fact, I ate more ice cream than I have ever have in my life & those pints my friend,  were my biggest teacher.

It is true, I worked hard to get myself into these routines to start but once they became part of my day to day, they were easy for me. This isn’t the case for everyone, especially those who are just starting out on their wellness journey. Experiencing these struggles in what felt like a foreign body at times, really helped me to put myself into some of my  health client’s mindsets. It has also helped me to understand physical limitations of my yoga students that I haven’t ever had to consider. It taught me how to re-balance when I was out of whack and most importantly: It has taught me about not getting stuck in routines, even the healthy ones. 

I’ve come to learn the modifications of my yoga practice quite well. I’ve learned that having some ice cream at the end of the day may in fact make the whole day worth it. I have learned the beauty of just taking a walk when reaching for my toes is no longer accessible to me. I now bend at the knees or say “screw it” when something drops to the floor– these are all my new normals. Soon, I’ll have a baby girl in my arms and will have to adjust ALL over again. Getting stuck in these habits- not an option. Going with the flow is the ultimate in learning to balance, over and over again.