Love Yourself Healthy

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The aisles are filled with cards, flowers, candies and chocolates. Valentine's is upon us and "love" is definitely in the air.

So what happens after the flowers fade and the chocolates been eaten? Hopefully, you can show yourself some self love. It's great to celebrate a month of love but it's really important to remember that you don't need the love and approval of other people to know you are worthy.

There are all sorts of ways to practice self-love this Valentine's Day but as a chef and health expert, I see that people often turn to food to show love. And why not? Food is everywhere. But there's the love that can fill you up and leave you feeling happy and healthy and then there's the other love that leaves you feeling empty... buttercream frosting doesn't heal the cracks of the heart, sorry ladies. But major food companies are blasting us with messages telling us to celebrate and indulge in too much wine or too many overly sweet candies and chocolates in an effort to satisfy our desire to "feel loved". Our food choices often depend on our emotions, but I challenge you to love yourself healthy.

Love yourself with the foods that leave you feeling vibrant, fresh and healthy and free yourself from artificial relationships and artificial foods.

Food is just fuel for our body and the right fuel will leave you feel strong and ready to take on the world. You are worthy of good food and good health. Start loving yourself healthy today. Let the food choices you make be a reflection of how much you love yourself.

Show yourself some love with these Berry Baked Oatmeal Bars.

A little sweetness and color from fresh berries make the Berry Baked Oatmeal Bars a powerhouse of nutrients, antioxidants and fiber.

berry baked oatmeal bars - gluten free, vegan, low sugar
berry baked oatmeal bars - gluten free, vegan, low sugar

Berry Baked Oatmeal Bars

(Vegan, gluten free, free of refined sugars)

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups gluten-free oats
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup coconut or almond milk
  • 1 medium/large ripe mashed banana
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3 Tablespoons coconut oil (quality matters!)
  • 1 flax egg; or real egg for a vegetarian option
  • 1 Tablespoon Activz Dried Raspberry powder *optional
  • 1 heaping cup of fresh or frozen berries
  • *stevia to sweeten

Directions:

Preheat your over to 350°F and lightly grease an 8x8 pan with coconut oil.  In a blender or processor, (I love my Vitamix), add one cup of oats and blend until you have yourself some oat flour.

Berry Baked Oatmeal - gluten free, vegan, low sugar
Berry Baked Oatmeal - gluten free, vegan, low sugar

Using a large mixing bowl and whisk together your wet ingredients reserving berries for last. Stir in your dry ingredients and mix well.  Pour your batter evenly into the greased pan. Sprinkle berries over the top of the batter and lightly press them down with a spatula. Bake your cakes for 35 to 40 minutes. [at 35 minutes, the bars are set but very moist].

Allow pan to cool before slicing bars.

Berry Baked Oatmeal - gluten free, vegan, low sugar
Berry Baked Oatmeal - gluten free, vegan, low sugar

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