Chocolate pudding cups with hidden greens? YES!



  • 1 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate (at least 72% cacao), melted
  •  3 very ripe avocados
  •  ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 scoop Field of Greens
  •  ½ cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp honey (or your favorite sweetener)
  • 1 cup coco whip, lite
  • Chopped almonds and toasted coconut flakes (as toppings)


  1. In a bowl or food processor, mash avocado until smooth.
  2. Add cocoa powder, melted chocolate, coconut milk, honey, and Field of Greens. Blend until smooth.
  3. If not sweet enough, add more honey (or other sweetener). If too sweet, add a pinch of cocoa powder

To serve:

In a glass: Add a layer of chocolate pudding, then add a layer of whipped cream, followed by slivered almonds and toasted coconut. Repeat layers until the cup is full (but we think three layers looks great).


Nutty-Matcha Granola

Boost your daily antioxidants with matcha and assorted berries, and fuel your day with plant protein with this delicious granola topping!

Nutty-Matcha Granola




1/4 cup almond butter



1/4 cup honey



1 tsp. vanilla extract



2 cup rolled oats



1 serving vanilla ProMatcha 



2 Tbsp. ground flax



1 tsp. cinnamon



1/4 tsp. salt



1/3 cup chocolate chips








1. Preheat oven to 325F and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray 



2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add honey and almond butter. Stir until almond butter is melted. Add vanilla extract, then remove from heat



3. Add oats, protein powder, cinnamon and flax. Mix well. 



4. Spread granola evenly over baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes, then mix and bake for an additional 8 minutes. 



5. Cool, then add chocolate chips



Vibrant Assemble idea: Top 1/2 cup of Nutty-Matcha Granola over organic vanilla yogurt with 1/4 cup each of blueberries and strawberries- YUM! 




Vibrant Green Detox Smoothie



This nutrient dense drink will help detoxify your system and help you feel MORE vibrant for 2017! #STAYVIBRANT


2 celery stalks, chopped

1 small cucumber, chopped

1 scoop Field of Greens

1 handful spinach

Handful of fresh parsley or cilantro

1 lemon peeled

1 organic apple, seeded, cored and chopped 


1. Blend in a high speed blender and enjoy! 



Remember to Savor the Moment

Slow down & enjoy the fleeting moments #backtoschool #parenting #motherhood #mindfulness

Summer is coming to a fast end here in Central Florida and we’re already several weeks into the school year. I think I’m like most moms who were secretly counting down the days until school started. Don’t get me wrong…summer is great. Evenings are pretty much stress free because we’re not dealing with piles of homework, cooking dinner, walking the dog, and getting showered and ready for bed before 9:30 p.m. Though I've loved every second of those stress-free nights, I always look forward to being back on a schedule (my Type A personality just reared its ugly head in that sentence).

But as I secretly counted down the days, I also became painfully aware of how quickly time is flying by, how fast my daughter is growing up, how few summers I have left with her before she goes off to college. It's during these moments of realization that I pause my thoughts and breathe. And remember to savor every moment I have with her — whether it's chaotic or relaxing. Being present with her, learning to be present in life in general, can sometimes be a daily lesson.

We're all running around at warp speed, caught up in a myriad of daily tasks and activities outside of school and work as we rush from here to there. Most of us live in a near constant state of stress. I remember when that stress felt normal to me, almost like I thrived on it. It's when you're caught up in that state of mind that you are NOT present. You're in survival mode. And when you're just trying to survive, do you really stop to smell the roses? Do you slow down long enough to notice that your kid no longer calls you “mommy” or she outgrew that cute little speech impediment that made certain words sound so cute?

I think any time we let stress consume us, we miss out. When I’m stressed, worrying, and feeling anxiety, I have to remember to hit pause. I’ve also had to rethink what I’m actually stressed about. If I’m stressed at work, I leave it there. If I’m stressed about being overbooked with activities, I decide to cut some things out. For me, controlling all those stress factors (Type A!) helps me stay present, less distracted, and enjoy the fleeting moments more.

Why Morning Workouts Are #WorthIt

Why Morning Workouts Are #WorthIt #fitness #exercise #healthy #weightloss

Why Morning Workouts Are #WorthIt #fitness #exercise #healthy #weightlossInstead of hitting the snooze button – how about hitting the gym instead?  Working out first thing in the morning helps you lose weight – or to be more accurate protects you from gaining it.  How?

It actually signals your body to tap into its fat reserves for fuel, as opposed to simply "burning off" our most recent snack or meal.

Check out this recent study.  They got 28 young, healthy male volunteers.  The men spent 6 weeks eating a specific hefty diet of 30% more calories and 50% more fat than they'd previously been eating. While some of them spent the 6 weeks gorging themselves and barely exercising, the others did an identical workout program each day. Half these volunteers worked out first thing in the morning on an empty stomach (considered fasting); the other half hit the gym after a high-carb breakfast. The fasting exercisers ate the same breakfast; they just did so after working out.

So what were the results? After the month-and-a-half eating fest, those who hadn't worked out at all had, unsurprisingly, packed on about six pounds each. The guys who'd been exercising after breakfast, gained weight too, but – only about half as much.

BUT, the people who'd worked out before breakfast daily – hadn't gained any weight at all. They'd been able to eat just as much as their fellow volunteers – without paying the price in additional pounds.

Note though that the fasting exercisers didn't lose weight: They just didn't gain weight. Still, as the study the authors wrote; this experiment did provide some of the first evidence that "early morning exercise in the fasted state is more potent than an identical amount of exercise in the fed state." 

Another study also helps to illustrate why timing is so important.  Two groups of men ran on treadmills until they burned 400 calories.  One group of guys ran on an empty stomach; while the other ate a 400-calorie oatmeal breakfast about an hour before their workout.  Actually, all of the runners burned fat during their workouts, and remained in a heightened fat-burning state after they'd gotten off their treadmills. But results were more intense for those runners who'd skipped the oatmeal. In other words, exercising after a long period of not eating could set you up for a longer, more intense fat burn.

Best Health,

Jeanne Ricks, CHC

About the author: Jeanne Ricks is a Holistic Health Coach & Clinical Hypnotist who provides personal diet, wellness & nutrition coaching combined with Hypnosis to help you achieve your personal best.

The Creative Mind: A Blessing and a Curse

The Creative Mind is Both a Blessing and a Curse #creative #letyourlightshine #stayvibrant #explore

The Creative Mind is Both a Blessing and a Curse #creative #letyourlightshine #stayvibrant #exploreI have roughly 7 billion ideas floating around in my head at any given moment during the day. I plan medicine wheel herb gardens while grocery shopping. My brain designs acrylic brush stroked mandala masterpieces while I’m getting dressed in the morning. I mentally concoct mechanized duck-food dispensers from irrigation pipe while scrubbing the shower and yesterday, I basically dreamed up an entire makeshift root cellar for vegetables while painting our shutters out front. If I had a dollar and a minute for every creative idea which surfaces during my day, I might actually have enough money and time on my hands to make them all happen. Instead, I just keep pondering new possibilities and prioritizing my “to do” list in the hope that someday I’ll find a way to tackle every project that’s bouncing around in my busy brain.

A creative mind is a blessing and a curse, especially for someone like me. I’m caught between a love of simplicity and a smattering of swirling ideas and intense desires to create with unbridled chaos. Idea overload is typical for most creative people. However, in recent years I’ve come to realize that many of my artistic friends function among an explosion of partially completed projects lying around them in their studios or homes. Accepting the fact that some endeavors will likely never be completed, these folks just keep creating in spite of the half finished clay candelabras resting in the corner. I’ve simply not been able to relate.

I’ve always been reluctant to begin working on a project unless I feel confident that I can carve out a reasonable timeframe by which to finish the endeavor in its entirety. Plagued with little desire to create unless I’m working in a semi-organized workspace and unable to tap into my imagination if a partially painted canvas is staring at me, begging for color from across the room. I’ve limited my artistic abilities for many years. This ongoing desire for structure and my self-imposed time constraints have not only narrowed my ability to work on multiple projects at once, but also restricted my freedom of expression and my ability to grow as an artist and as a writer. This is unfortunate, but thankfully it is no longer the case.

About 10 months ago, my husband and I uprooted our children from the city and decided to move to the country. We sold our house and we purchased a small amount of acreage and began renovating a home on a little piece of property called Wildwood Acres. This move has drastically changed everything for me. It has altered my perception of time, broadened my creativity, redefined my notions of success and most importantly, it has loosened that self-imposed choke hold of perfection that has been strangling my ability to live and grow freely in my craft for many years.

I’m sharing this because I believe that although not everyone is an artist, a writer, or a lover of projects in general, almost everyone seems to have some form of a “to do” list that just keeps getting longer by the day. I know there must be others out there who are also frustrated, adding to your list, but sabotaging your ability to accomplish even the smallest tasks simply by refusing to change your perception of what success and accomplishment really mean. Maybe you are like me, creating fictitious barriers, limiting your accomplishments because of your own lack of personal flexibility. My burning desire to reach some self-imposed objective of “simplistic perfection” spilled over into every piece of my life and held me back immensely.

I can’t start on a new painting until I finish the canvas over in the corner.
I can’t read this book until I've finished reading the one I started last week.
I can’t get out the sewing machine until I finish learning how to crochet.
I can’t paint the studio until I decide where to hang all of my artwork.
I can’t begin writing my blog until I finish writing this short story.

I’ve been lugging around this warped idea of simplistic perfection for years. It’s laughable to me now as I’ve come to realize that anytime I insert the word “perfection” into a project or plan or piece of writing (or almost anything in my life for that matter) it immediately becomes everything but simple, and it’s almost always far from perfect. Our adventures here at Wildwood Acres have removed the word perfection from my vocabulary in a big way and replaced it with words like: “functional,” and “good enough”. I’ve quickly learned that if I wait around for the perfect weather to plant the garden, I’ll almost certainly run out of summer days for the blooms to fully come on the vine. I’ve learned that if I really want to make a couple blueberry pies for tonight’s dessert, then I can’t wait until I have finished baking bread, folding all of the laundry and balancing the checkbook to go grab a bushel of berries because I’ll simply run out of daylight. If we want our laying hens to be safe during the night, we can’t wait until we’ve saved up enough money to build the best, most picture perfect fence around the chicken coops. We have to get creative and improvise, find a way to fashion a make-shift enclosure with materials we already have on hand in the hopes that it might keep the critters out until we can afford something a little more functional and aesthetically pleasing.

I can walk away from things now. I can leave projects undone. I can go to bed and get a good night’s sleep, give my brain a break, get up early and pick up where I left off in the morning. I can get along fine, knowing that I’m juggling multiple projects and that many of them might hang around in an unfinished state of being for quite a while. One thing will take precedence over another thing. That’s okay. The partially stacked wood will still be stackable in three weeks if we decide to shift gears and work on planting gardens instead. And the matching glass beaded necklace and wristlet I started working on over the summer will still be lovely even if I wait to finish it over the winter months, when I have more time to spend inside.

In summation, I’ve learned that it’s okay to accomplish a lot and a little all in one day. It’s okay to spread projects out over time. It’s okay to be patient and even give up when things aren’t a priority anymore. It's okay if things aren't perfect. It’s wonderful to keep a tidy, simplistic space filled up with big, boisterous, messy and unfinished works of art. Living here at Wildwood Acres has broken down my creative walls and opened up my tolerance for halfway, half done, half minded possibilities. There’s always something to work on here, something to walk away from and something that takes precedence over something else. That’s what I love about this place, this life. Wildwood Acres is an imperfect work in progress all of the time. Such is my artistic brain, a head full of unfulfilled artistic desires, which want to be (and deserve to be) birthed into reality even if they sit idle in my studio, or partially finished in the back of a closet or wave proudly in completion to admiring fanfare.

My wish for all of you out there with a growing “to do” list hindered by stringent, self-imposed barriers of perceived perfection is to simply find a way to open yourself up to the chaos. Make an effort to embrace a new idea of success and sway freely between the beginning and the end, without expectations for precision, enjoying the dance along the way.

About the author: Kristin Mauer is a self-proclaimed yogini, gardening, chicken-keeping, artist, soccer mom who loves all things earthy. She and her husband, along with their teen, tween & toddler children recently decided to sell it all & ditch the city life to embark on their very own modern day homesteading adventure among the breathtaking beauty of the back bay country of Pungo, Virginia. Visit her blog to learn about their home at Wildwood Acres & to laugh along with them as they attempt to navigate this new life at

Time to Detox – Your Social Media

Detox your social media - let 2016 bring positive vibes & inspiration #detox #stayvibrant

Detox your social media - let 2016 bring positive vibes & inspiration #detox #stayvibrantI'm kicking off 2016 with a cleanse.  It's going to be quite extreme, and it's focused on one thing: Instagram.

Scrolling through my Instagram account was making me feel a certain kind of way, and that way was nauseated.  When you follow enough fitness accounts, you encounter many posts that cross the line from #fitspo to #pleasegagme – too many belfies, too much shilling, too much nonsense.  What good is social media if it causes you to roll your eyes, feel bad about yourself, or get angry?  

We're bombarded with literally thousands of images every day.  The ones we view voluntarily should be positive.  

With that in mind, I invite you to take stock of your feed and consider what's worth keeping, and who deserves an unfollow.

Keep following:

1. Things that make you bust out into an uncontrollable smile. For me, it's little white dogs living in Japan, artfully-photographed cupcakes, the beach, and Darrelle Revis eating ice cream (I'd rather see photos of him in the playoffs, but I digress).  What brings a grin to your face?  Figure it out and follow.

2. Genuine inspiration.  Maybe it's an account full of easy recipes.  Or someone who posts a positive mantra that helps set the tone for your day.  I came across a photo of a dietitian/yoga instructor opening up her 2015 gratitude jar on New Year's Eve.  She looked so genuinely full of joy that I was inspired to start my own jar for 2016.  Bottom line: if what you see somehow makes you feel better equipped for a task or simply more positive about life, keep following.


1. Anything that inspires self-doubt and loathing.  If a scroll through your Instagram feed regularly turns into a shopping trip for body parts ("I wish I were taller" "I wish my arms looked like hers" "My butt will never look that good") then it's time to do some unfollowing.  There's a fine line between aspiration and comparison, the latter of which is the thief of joy!

2. Content that brings out stalker-like and trollish tendencies.  Are you guilty of asking your best friend to check up on your ex's account, hoping to spy a photo of a new love interest?  Do you follow a frenemy just to make sure he or she isn't doing as well as you are?  Please, just stop. If someone's photos are raising feelings of angst, envy, or downright meanness, unfollow.  

Utilize Instagram, and all social media, to foster positivity and productivity in 2016.  Stay Vibrant!

Nicole Rodriguez is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, NASM-certified personal trainer, wife, and mother of one in the greater NYC area.  Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @NRodriguezRDN and at

Nope, I don’t cook!

"Life can be so free when you just allow things to be." - Carmen Amara #blog #openmind #stayvibrant

"Life can be so free when you just allow things to be." - Carmen Amara #blog #openmind #stayvibrantI am here to announce everyone reading my blog…I DON’T COOK! Nope, I truly don’t enjoy it at all. Even my daughters say to me, “Mom we love you but please don’t cook.” They know it is not my forte. Why am I stating this you ask? Well, it is because I see my experiences with so many colors and hues. One person may like one thing and the other may like something totally different. But when they join their talents and ideals the world becomes an art form.

Individuals spend so many wasted moments criticizing others and not accepting their points of view. Why not just clear your mind for once and listen to their perspective? See in their eyes and be non judgmental. You may find that you can learn something new from them. Life can be so free when you just allow things to be.

I recall three years ago that my daughter, Melina, was going through a phase of shaving the sides of her hair. I said, “Hey, I’ll join you.” So, my dear friend Seanie shaved it in the back of my gym. Let’s just say my family and ex husband were appalled. In all honesty I loved it and enjoyed the moment of expressing myself artistically. It felt refreshing to try something different. I was neutral to the reactions of others because I did it for me. Shining your own light is such a beautiful expression of our journey here on earth.


I relate a non-judgmental mindset to thinking like a child. They have no knowledge of being biased based on what others tell them. They move throughout their day intuitively. If you can try to be childlike and be open minded with what you experience, you may find yourself less stressed about someone not calling you back or a minor set back. You are just allowing things to happen.

I would love to hear your comments on this topic. Have a wonderful holiday beautiful souls. With much love and light.

Carmen Amara

About the author:
Singer, Dancer, Fitness Model and Healer
Carmen's presence is sensed strongly as she enters a room.  Her multifaceted gifts are one to admire. She fusions many styles of fitness, dance and flexibility which she has integrated it into her own one stop show.  Many fans around the world all agree that Carmen leaves you mesmerized. Carmen has been in the limelight from Theatre, Television, Print Magazines and has an excellent online following. Carmen Amara is a performance artist and certified in Reiki.  She has her own style of training called Amara360 and is a proud mother of two.  She loves to spend time wit nature and travel and perform as well. To see more of Carmen, check out her Website and Instagram.

Beauty Oils – Beyond Coconut Oil

Beauty Oils - Beyond Coconut Oil #beauty #health #coconutoil #skincare #stayvibrant

Beauty Oils - Beyond Coconut Oil #beauty #health #coconutoil #skincare #stayvibrant

Eye makeup remover.  Cuticle soother.  Hair treatment.  Occasional butter replacement.  Yes, coconut oil has earned its place in my beauty arsenal, and in a pinch, it makes its way into a cake recipe.  

However, when it comes to choosing a face oil, I appreciate a product that's liquid at room temperature and easily absorbed.  And if the price is right?  Even better!  

If the December chill is making your mug tight, dry, or downright dull, consider adding one of these oils to your regimen.  I follow the LOC method (liquid, oil, cream) in the evening, utilizing a Vitamin C serum layered under an oil, followed by a light lotion (currently CeraVe).  Brush your teeth and comb your hair between steps to allow for absorption.  

Avocado Oil – You already know this creamy fruit is nutritious and versatile, so it's no surprise that it works wonders for the skin  – and hair.  Rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and Vitamin E, avocado oil delivers a 1-2 punch of moisturization and anti-oxidant benefit.  Though the texture is a bit more viscous than liquified coconut oil, it spreads and absorbs quickly and easily.  

Rosehip Seed Oil – I'd heard a plethora of testimonials extolling the virtues of this oil as a HG (holy grail) product, specifically for scar reduction.  What really sold me?  It contains trans-retinoic acid, a topical form of vitamin A. Retinol, or Retin-A is one of the most, if not THE most widely studied skincare ingredient for acne, wrinkles, and photodamage.  While rosehip seed oil may not be as potent as its prescription counterpart, it is arguably gentler and boasts an impressive essential fatty acid profile.

Emu Oil –  The sign in the window of a local health food store taunted me for weeks: "Emu oil – nature's Botox." Sound too good to be true?  It turns out that a more apt description might be "Emu oil – nature's Restylane," but fillers aren't as synonymous with wrinkle control as is Botox.  At any rate, this oil is like no other I've felt before. It disappears into skin instantly, and is more akin to a serum than an actual oil.  The result is temporarily plumped-up skin that's smooth to the touch.  Check out some other uses for this bird-derived beauty elixir.  

Looking to splurge?  Here's a list of high-end face oils, just in time for the holidays.

Stay smooth…and Vibrant!

Nicole Rodriguez is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, NASM-certified personal trainer, wife, and mother of one.  Follow her on Twitter @NRodriguezRDN.  

Surviving the Holidays!

Surviving the Holidays! #holidaytips #stayvibrant #stress #nutrition #health

Who is excited for the Holiday Season? Twinkle lights, scarfs, yummy food, family, laughter, and so much more to enjoy! Even though this is a wonderful time of the year, providing excuses to come around with family and friends, sometimes the holidays can be slightly stressful! Especially if you are traveling from your home to visit relatives or friends, getting out of a healthy lifestyle rhythm can happen in the blink of an eye!Surviving the Holidays! #holidaytips #stayvibrant #stress #nutrition #healthI always seem to get into a good groove of eating and exercise and then my life brings me to traveling or something else and I fall out of my groove! Over the course of time, I have found some easy ways to stay healthy and feeling Vibrant, even while leaving my daily routine! Here is my survival guide to all things holiday! From stress, to heavier than normal foods, relatives, and beating that pesky cold that is always trying to creep into our bodies this time of year!

First and Foremost, always remember to MOVE YOUR BODY! Its going to be different for everyone, but if you like walking, pack your tennis shoes and try to go out for a 20 minute walk before festivities begin! Maybe you’re into weight-lifting and you can’t find a gym. I know that problem all too well and the solution is to buy some exercise resistance bands and bring those with you! You can do some quick 20-30 minute workouts in your bedroom that will keep you feeling fit while on vacation! So you get the idea, just don’t forget to move your body, especially after a big meal like thanksgiving. Try to resist the “Turkey Coma” and go for a nice walk with your family after eating, it helps the metabolism mobilize to digest those foods and they will make you feel better I promise.

Now time to tackle the problem of Holiday stress! Everyone has that relative that can grind their gears, or planning a meal for 20 people can definitely be overwhelming. So one of the best ways to combat stress is to make sure that you always ask for help, delegate tasks and BREATHE. Yoga Practitioner or not, taking deep breaths helps to relax the nervous system and calm the mind. If you find that your buttons are being pushed or that you ran out of milk you needed for the next casserole, just sit down and breath for 5 minutes with your eyes closed. I promise it helps. The absolute worst thing that could happen is to be overly stressed during the holidays and with the shift in weather, you end up with a cold!

Breath and calmness will help the mind, but then your best defense for your body will be your nutrition! Make sure you get lots of green veggies and vitamin C. Every single morning; I have my Green Vibrance and also a glass of warm water with Fresh Lemon juice. I have this EVERY day, no exceptions. Keeping up healthy levels of Vitamin C and the nutrients that come in green vegetables and Green Vibrance help to keep your immune system strong and in check. I like to look at it like Insurance. I make sure I do both the above and it’s my insurance to keep my body from getting sick even when under stress, traveling, abnormal eating and everything else that comes with the Holidays! So my best wishes to you this Holiday season! Be Merry and Always Be Vibrant!

About Rachel Priest: After growing up in Knoxville, TN, Rachel moved many times with her family and then continued to travel the world globally through the years. After struggling with an 8 year long battle with eating disorders, Rachel Finally found her freedom and self acceptance and love through the practice of yoga and rock climbing. Rachel promotes self-love and acceptance to all students, especially those who struggle with creating a positive self-image for themselves and their life. Rachel believes that through loving your body and the world, we can all create a positive and fulfilling life with the understanding that we are all already a perfect being.

Rachel currently lives in Los Angeles and teaches at various gyms and studios in the area, promoting the idea of self love and acceptance. Beyond Teaching, Rachel is a beach bum at heart and loves the waves and ocean and soaking up the sun.