Pure Genius Giveaway and Vegan Pumpkin Ice Cream Recipe

Disclosure: This giveaway is sponsored by Pure Genius Provisions. I received products in exchange for the giveaway. Opinions stated are my own. 

Guess what? It is late October! It means the holiday season is almost here. Believe it or not, I am going to get you ready for it with some delicious treats! Why? Because if you find healthy ways to indulge, you won’t feel deprived. When you aren’t deprived, you’ll be less likely to over-indulge once less healthy treats are at your fingertips.

How can you feel like you’re indulging without actually indulging? With vegan pumpkin ice cream and deliciously fudgey bean brownies of course! I’ve got the super easy recipe for the ice cream along with a chance to win a 4-pack of the best bean brownies and blondies!

Pure Genius contacted me and sent some of their snacks to try over the summer and I fell in love. Brownies are one of my all-time favorite desserts! I’ve made bean versions on my own, but somehow those geniuses in the Pure Genius factory make theirs taste like fudge! They also have less sugar (from pure maple) than I’ve used as well as flax. With fiber, protein and omega-3, these are a healthy indulgence if there ever was one! Plus, if you have a special diet you need to follow, they are vegan, gluten-free and nut free.

After chatting with the great marketing team and seeing them at Expo East this year, we decided to do a giveaway. Entry details are below and, just in case you don’t win, there’s a discount code for everyone, too! I should mention, that the company won a Nexty Award at Expo for best new dessert – that says a lot since many “natural” desserts aren’t necessarily healthy with protein, fiber, and minimal sugar. Well deserved!

Being that it’s fall, with this batch that I received, I decided to make my usual banana ice cream with pumpkin spice. With a good blender, you’ll have a no-sugar added ice cream to pair with your bean brownie in no time. Just thinking of the yumminess can make Halloween candy cravings go away!

If you have both together, I do recommend sharing with a friend or significant other🙂

Single Serve Vegan Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream

  • 1 small banana, sliced and frozen
  • 1/4 Cup pumpkin purée
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin spice blend
  • 1-3 Tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • Add all ingredients to a high quality blender
  • Pulse until well blended and soft-serve consistency
  • Serve with a Pure Genius brownie

Now for the giveaway!

One lucky winner will be sent a pack of 2 brownies and 2 blondies! You must enter by Friday, October 28, 2016.

Entries are being accepted both here and on Instagram. If you’d like to enter on the blog, comment below:

  1. Between brownies and blondies, tell us what your favorite is.
  2. Tell us what your favorite thing to pair with a brownie or blondie. 

I’ll go first – my favorite is {usually} brownies {I’m indecisive and love too many foods}. I love to warm them up slightly and pair with peanut butter.

Can’t wait? You can also head right over to PureGenius.com and place an order by October 31 to receive 15% off! Just use the code “JONES15“.

Good luck!

Mustard Greens Fall Power Bowl with Cranberry Dressing

Plant-based protein bowls are part of my diet multiple times per week, especially in the fall so, seeing this theme for The Recipe Redux made me very excited.

“Packed with protein, fiber and color, plant power bowls are trendy and delicious.
Show us the healthy recipe that’s in your bowl.”

Plant-based proteins are not just attractive and delicious. They also provide anti-inflammatory benefits that are great for athletes, particularly those who have joint pain or slow recovery.

It is important to understand that animal proteins do not need to be a part of every meal or even every day in your life. While I follow a very plant-based diet, including eggs and fish, I realize that there is no one diet for everyone and the inclusion of animal products in other’s diets is a personal choice. You need to eat what works for your body. Having said that, research shows that everyone can benefit from more plant-based meals since fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds all promote longevity. Continue reading

Simple Refined-Sugar Free Cranberry Sauce

I always loved cranberry sauce in the fall as a kid… okay, I’m exaggerating. I somehow loved the canned gelatinized sugar filled cranberry stuff. It must have been the texture. My palate wasn’t as refined before my teenage years! But, I have always loved tart and sweet flavors together.

Now, as a dietitian, I reduce sugar in almost every recipe and swap the refined sugar for natural sugar whenever I can. I’ve done a lot of tweaking with cranberry sauce over the past few years and think I’ve found the perfect balance for this super simple healthier version. Continue reading

A Weekend of Plant Based Eating in St. Louis

Last weekend we headed to St. Louis for my good friend Katie’s wedding. She and her now husband, Kevin, moved to the city for her post doc at Washington University. Katie and I lived together for our second year of grad school in Buffalo and while we had similar philosophies about where our food should come from, she was much more of a foodie than me! I have to attribute some of my foodie-ness to her and for this reason, immediately knew we’d have some good eats while visiting. She gave good recs but we also did some of our own research. Here’s what we ate and did!

We arrived and took the metro link right to our hotel across from Busch stadium. After dropping our stuff, since it was before check in, we walked to the arch and then ubered a few miles away to Lulu’s EateryContinue reading

Garlic Herb Salmon Sandwich

Disclosure: I received the Sabra Spreads mentioned in this post. Opinions stated are my own.

While the sabra spread contest ended a few weeks ago, my use of the spreads is still going strong. I’ve used the garlic herb and cracked pepper on eggs and roasted potatoes but, I had to share this sandwich recipe, too. Last week on “National Kale Day” (yeah, I celebrate as many of those food days as I can), after a tough workout, I decided to throw the grilled salmon that I had marinated in the Sabra spread on some sprouted grain bread with steamed kale, sprouts, onion tomato and more of the spread. It was amazing! It’s also a lot easier than you think to make delicious salmon on a weekday! Hopefully I can motivate you to cook up this great source of recovery protein and anti-inflammatory omega-3’s and throw it on some sprouted grain bread to refuel those muscles! 

The veggies and sprouts are an easy way to give your sandwich a nice crunch, and make it more colorful. Remember, you eat with your eyes first and should be eating a rainbow! I used Lancaster Food Co. bread this time around but, you can read more about my bread recommendations here. Continue reading

Expo East 2016 Review

Wow does this trade show have a lot to see! I could only make it for one day this year, and sadly didn’t have time for any of the educational sessions, but that day went by in the blink of an eye! There were so many new products on the floor (and many I’d seen last year) that I’m excited to recommend to clients, use myself, and keep my eyes opened for in local stores. As you can see below, I ended up able to bring plenty of products home… maybe too many!

I made it to the convention center right when the hot products expo was opening and bee-lined over to that area since the main floor wasn’t opening until 10. I thought it would be a quick stop but, all areas of the Baltimore Convention Center were packed with vendors. While I wasn’t speaking to the owners or employees of the companies, or other dietitians, I felt like I was running through the building past the other vendors! Continue reading

Wanderlust 108 Brooklyn Review 

It’s World Smile Day! In honor of that, and Wanderlust 108 coming to the city of Philadelphia, I wanted to share my 108 Brooklyn experiences and hope I can inspire you to smile a little bit more🙂
If you live in a city with a Wanderlust 108, you have no excuse not to go! While I recommend paying for the event which allows you to do the run, extra yoga sessions, and gives you other perks, ANYONE can come to yoga, meditation and the festival for free! 

I can’t remember how I found out about Wanderlust festivals but, without being able to commit to 4 days in VT or Vancouver just for yoga and zen in the past few years, I was SO excited when the first Wanderlust 108 Mindful Triathlon in Brooklyn was announced a bit over 2 years ago. What’s a mindful triathlon, you ask? A 5(ish)k run, outdoor yoga/yoga dance party, and meditation. With thousands of other people! Not to mention it was in Prospect Park which I now know is a massive, active, beautiful green space with many activities. Even botanical gardens! 

I immediately signed myself and my awesome younger sister up and we had the time of our life. After doing a fun 5k run side by side, the ridiculously fun and inspiring yoga dance party with MC Yogi made me a Wanderluster for life. It was even pouring down rain and we, along with lots of other yogis, enjoyed ever second of vinyasas, flows, and breaths. Another factor that really grabbed my attention was the speakers – from wellness-minded politicians to an ex-NFL player who found strength through meditation as he healed from a paralytic injury, I was inspired to radiate positive energy to the world not only in my career but my everyday interactions! 

Em and I left feeling so energetic while still at peace. Like the feeling you get from your favorite weekly yoga class times a million. I couldn’t wait to go back again! 

Unfortunately, dates for the few 2015 festivals conflicted with other life events so when 2016 dates were announced, we were prioritizing! Since the Philly Wanderlust is the weekend of my good friend’s wedding in St. Louis, we headed back to Brooklyn this year!

We drove from my parents in CT where we were staying for the weekend and had amazing breakfasts from Granola Bar Westport on the way {like cashew yogurt, berry parfaits}. It was perfect ’cause while I’d love to sit and eat in the adorable spot, you can order ahead and pick up! 

We arrived to Brooklyn on a gorgeous September 11 morning. The festival was certainly bigger and more energetic than the first! I have to say some of the extra vibes I felt had to have come from the fact that it was the 10 year anniversary of 9/11. What a place to be on that day. 

Pre-5k, MC Yogi pumped us up {in an inspiring Yogi kind of way}. We realized that by “5k(+/-)” on the site, they actually meant closer to 6k (5.96 to be exact). Which, was more challenging than I’d like to admit. No timing system or chips, but, I did have my Polar watch so that we figured out how long it was! Due to foot and ankle pain and fear of stress fractures I hadn’t run more than 2 miles for months. Earlier in the week before the triathlon, I found out I have bone spurs and arthritis in both feet and ankles as well as arthritis in my right knee. The good news is, the doc at Rothman said I can keep running, it will just hurt. I can handle that BUT handling .6 miles after I thought I’d finished a race was not on my to do list! The energy of prospect park and joy of the people around me got Emily and I through that extra .6 and to the festival before yoga! 

This year, while I knew of all the vendors there, was really excited for many of them such as RxBar, Perfect Bar, Weleda and Coconut Bliss. Spiritual Gangster clothing (LoVE them) was there too and I scored an $85 pair of super cute sweats for $5. YUP. 

MC Yogi killed it again with the most fun yoga dance party, this time in the bright shining sun!! He brings strangers together so easily to just smile, laugh, flow and have fun together. It was good to practice some meditation after yoga, too since I never make time for it (wellness is a process!). Emily had to hop on a train to head back to CT and then UConn that day so we missed the extra activities they added for those that bought tickets for the 5k but, next time we are definitely staying for the outdoor aerial and other fun forms of yoga! 

[Side bar: My mom and Tim were watching football while we were yoga-ing so, after dropping Mom and Em at Grand Central, I was super hungry and convinced Tim we needed Chef Chloe in our life finally. It was more amazing than I imagined. She needs to open a Philly location. So, if you live in NYC, Chicago or LA – get there now.]

This event brings people of many backgrounds together to find peace, joy, and hope. It reassures me that there are still so many good people in this world that are working towards bettering our planet daily. And, it lights a fire that keeps me motivated to be thankful, be kind, and support others each and everyday. 

We can’t sugar coat it, we live in a scary world. You can be ignorant to world events, you can dwell on them, or you can accept them and do what you can to make the world a better place. While it won’t change everything, even just smiling makes a difference. It is contagious so, give everyone you see today {and everyday} a nice big smile. Even if you have RBF and have to force it, it will make you happier too! 😉