I just want to start off this post by thanking all my readers for taking time out of your day to view and comment and on my posts! I hope you all have made a recipe or two from my site and have enjoyed them as much as my family and I have.

It's been quite the challenge, emotionally, going from the standard American diet, 3 years ago to the diet I am at now. This diet we are currently on is our lifestyle choice, and it is based on how we feel after we eat. Trust me, some foods don't mix well! Even when you are healthy. It's really been a blessing to finally find the food that works well for my body. And I am only saying this because I am so surprised at how fast I healed after I ran that 8K last Sunday. I was stiff for two days and now I'm 100% back to normal. But I wasn't always like this...

I was born pigeon toed and that was a major issue growing up. I remember going to the doctors when I was young. He said to me, "Mandy, if you don't correct this problem now you are going to have surgery by the time you are 20 years old." Those words have always stuck with me.

My feet pointed inward, which affected my knees, which affected my hips, and from there, my spine and so on. I was very self concious. I had a hard time in high school with gym class. After running a couple laps around the field my hips throbbed and I would get shooting pains under my knees. Months passed and then finally I complained to my mom and told her I couldn't run anymore, it was too painful. She gave me excuse notes so I wouldn't have to run and my teacher almost failed me for it. I always remembered what the doctor had told me, Surgury is in your future.

My parents started taking me to see a chiropractor. Who cracked my hips and my neck. He said my hips weren't in line and it was throwing out my back and I needed to remember to try to walk with my feet pointed straight. I just couldn't remember to walk straight 24/7. And when I did remember I looked funny, like I was focusing too hard and then my legs started to throb. Advil and I were good friends for years.

Since then I have been afraid of being active. I hated living with pain. I stayed away from sports and I became lazy, all out of fear.

I remember living in Victoria, my son Seth was 3 and I was 23. We lived on a main road and I would watch the runners run past our home every morning. I would ask myself questions like Why do they run? What's the point? Does running actually bring them pleasure? How do they have so much energy? What drives them to do this? Am I missing out? It doesn't matter...I can't run anyway...

It wasn't until Tod and got together that all of my questions were answered. He had such a beautiful passion for running. He said when he would visualize his future he would imagine himself happy and running. He ate healthy food to fuel his body and he worked out at home to help build strong muscles for running. He had an amazing glow that attracted me to him. He would run two 7km runs each week. I was blown away.

I ate healthy for 6 months before Tod said to me, "Babe, I think your next step in your health journey is to become active. You've been eating healthy now and you look great but I think exercise brings people happiness and you should get yourself out there. Get active and fit."

Right away my defences went up. So much fear and pain from my past arose. I think I even cried about it. Tod didn't understand that my past was so painful in that area. He never meant to insult me or make me sad. He only wanted what was best for me and I knew that I should at least try something. So I went to hot yoga but with my extremely low blood pressure that didn't turn out so well. Then my mom invited me to a Zumba class and I instantly fell in love. We worked out our arms and abs, did squats, cardio and used our brain, all by dancing to music! All the ladies were so nice and I felt great doing it. I worked up a sweat every class and started to build muscle.

And get this, I started running! I haven't had any knee pain, any hip pain, no problems whats so ever. I'm even surprised. I think it's because I ate so healthy for 6 months before I started working out. All that alkalizing food really helped my body heal. I am now proud to say that at 28 years old I have run two 10km races, one 8km race and one 5km race. And I thought I would never be able to run. Seth and I are running a 5 km race this Sunday together. Me and my little monkey! I am so overly happy, you have no idea! And guess what? I'm still pigeon toed.

My exercise of choice is Zumba now, and yogalattes. Tod's thing is running marathons every week. I love supporting his dream and going to running events with him. He is such a hot date (lol).

So now that you know my story of how I got to this point, I would love to share my wonderful warm spice apple and cream parfait recipe with you! This recipe is free of dairy, nuts (does coconut count?) refined sugar, gluten, flour, preservatives and soy. Enjoy!

This spice blend reminds me of Autumn and Christmas. While the apples cook in the spice sauce they absorb all of the flavour. Peal your apples or leave the skins on for extra nutrients, either way they taste heavenly. The apples go perfectly with the cream and the sweet date caramel. Gosh, you could even eat this for breakfast, it's that good for you.

Serves 4

Prepare ahead - Remove pits and soak dates, covered in filtered water, for 20 minutes


Apples and Sauce

  • 5 apples, cored and chopped into cubes

  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 lemon, squeezed
  • 1 tsp. virgin coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp. unpasteuized honey
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. cardamom
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

  • 1 can coconut cream
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. unpasteurized honey, maple syrup, or 2 drops liquid stevia

Date Caramel
  • 5 medjool dates, remove pits and soak in hot water for 20 minutes
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. maple syrup #2
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. virgin coconut oil

What to do

1. Apples and Sauce - For the apples, peal if you wish, cut out the core and chop into small cubes. Place a medium frying pan on low heat and fill with sauce ingredients. Stir well and then add chopped apples. Stir and cover. Let cook for 5 minutes and then gently turn and stir, cover again and cook until soft but not mushy. Let cool for 10 minutes uncovered.

2. Cream - Add coconut cream, liquid sweetener, and vanilla to a cold bowl. Previously frozen works best (the bowl). Mix with a hand held mixer or better yet an electric mixer, until cream becomes thick and holds shape.

3. Date Caramel - Soak dates in water for 20 minutes, then strain. Melt coconut oil in a pan on the lowest heat. Add dates, maple syrup and melted coconut oil to a high speed blender and blend until a thick paste forms. Add paste to a piping bag or a Ziploc bag and cut the very tip of the corner so a small hole forms - to pipe out the date caramel.

4. Combine! Add cream, apples with 2 tsp. of sauce and then top off with date caramel! This treat will please anyones taste buds. Garnish with shredded coconut if you like.

My kids ate this faster then I did, and then they ran to the kitchen for more!

If you would like something MORE to your parfait, add some of my Maple Granola and give it that nice crunch that everyone loves. Recipe here.

♥  Mandy
Happy healthy eating!


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