For those seeking something sweet without dunking into the decadence of chocolate, these energy balls are for you! What a fun and healthy way to enjoy the taste of homemade Snickerdoodle cookies! These delicious energy balls are loaded with oats, cashews, dates, vanilla and cinnamon to keep you enjoying the taste of homemade sweets, while treating your body right. What a classic, with a twist… well, technically a roll. Love the idea of energy balls? Check out our round-up of 4 Lip-Smacking Energy Balls for a Tastier Snack Time >


It's easy to make room after a large meal for this light and airy mousse. Made with creamy avocado, ripe banana, coconut milk and cacao with a hint of maple syrup. Top with jewels of pomegranate or fresh berries before serving.

Get the recipe for Raw Vegan Chocolate Avocado Mousse with Pomegranates


Meanwhile, the tanning industry makes misleading claims for the healthfulness of indoor tanning. One claim is that it helps build a base that protects against sunburn. It does, but only slightly — the equivalent of a sunscreen rated SPF 4 or less. Another claim is that tanning is a good way to stimulate the skin's production of vitamin D, a hormone that's essential to bone health and has been linked to a reduced risk for several cancers. But you can get all the vitamin D you need in a daily vitamin D supplement, which offers all the benefits without any of the risks to your skin.

This basic (and delicious) vegan cookie recipe can be used in a variety of tasty ways. Try peanut butter and peanuts in place of chocolate chips, or adding mini vegan marshmallows on top and broiling for a torched effect.

Get the recipe for Vegan Chocolate Cookies


The recipes include a selection of comfort foods and indulgent treats that have been made healthier by reducing their levels of fat and calories. For example, a typical slice of chocolate cake has 746 calories and 38 grams of fat, whereas Alexander’s recipe for Dark Chocolate Layer Cake with Buttercream Frosting has just 294 calories and 6 grams of fat.
What is it about these foods that make us feel guilty? It’s different for everyone. Generally speaking, American society’s obsession with healthy eating can make it seem “better” to opt for a salad (nutritious, lower in calories, green) rather than a burger (oily, higher in calories, processed). In some cases, people have arbitrarily decided (perhaps after reading a misguided article or two) what foods are “good” or “bad” and feel guilty after eating a “bad’ food as a result of this categorization.
Not only does it change your buying behavior but it also changes your EATING behavior. You’re more likely to have a greater amount of an item you label as ‘guilt-free’ than one you see as neutral. Research by Brian Wansink  - a known leader in studying consumer behavior and marketing research -  has shown that labeling a food as ‘low fat’ increased the consumption of that food by as much as 50%. Regardless of the amount more we may have - the idea is that when we see a food as ‘guilt-free’ we consume more of it than we would it’s ‘guilty’ competitor.  
It’s a truth that was this week illuminated in a quite startling way, with the announcement of a new tourist attraction, Cheat Day Land, a pop-up museum named after the day of indulgence in a week of dieting. “Cheat Day Land,” explained the press release, alongside images of sexy ladies eating giant slices of pizza, “is a space where healthy lifestyle advocates can take a break from their dietary restrictions and indulge in whatever strikes their fancy for the day. Everyone’s entitled to a cheat day after all.”
Raw desserts often feature a short list of whole, unprocessed ingredients like nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. They get their sweetness from dried fruit, raw agave nectar, and other natural sweeteners. No refined or artificial sweeteners here! They are no-bake! Great for the warmth of spring or summer, and also for energy conservation, you can avoid cranking up the oven to 350 when making a raw dessert. Most raw desserts are gluten-free and vegan!

I just read through this whole exchange and I understand both (all three, rather) sides of the point. As someone who has trudged my way through binge eating disorder-turned-bulemia-turned binge again, a few short years ago, my goal was reduced to the smallest nutshell of wanting freedom with food–not freedom from it. I have been through layer after layer of motives, belief systems regarding food and exercise, victory and despair. I currently find myself in a place of peace. On the way, I was the person who could not forgive herself for her poor decisions, learning the hard way that my unforgiveness only compounded those choices and led to further destructive behavior. I think folks who identify with that mindset are the author’s intended audience. As far as Mandy’s point about tough love, I had many points at which I would have given many things to have had someone in my life offer some accountability. If I got it, I certainly did not recognize it. I married a beautiful man who had no grid for my struggles. He wrestled competitively for most of his life, a crazy high metabolism and no problems with eating whatever he wanted. His weight has not fluctuated more than 5 pounds in the 11 years I’ve known him and he has no ailments outside of a bum knee from an old injury. He does not go work out and never thinks twice about what he eats despite having a sizeable sweet tooth. His version of tough love was to tell me to put up with the trigger foods because my choices were my own. I had to climb a steep mountain to keep foods in the house that I considered triggers. There is a great chance that I would be much slimmer now if I had been feeding only myself and had total jurisdiction over the pantry’s contents. However, if not for that scenario, I may not have been nudged into deeper freedom. I found myself with an opportunity to take advantage of a rigorous situation: how do I get myself to make good choices in an environment over which I did not have total control? I learned that there is an idealism in me which is strong enough to override impulses and bad habits. I don’t even know how to articulate what it was, but the notion was implemented with the question, “would I be happier if I did eat “x” or if I did not eat “x?” Sometimes the answer has been yes, sometimes it’s been no. I had to repeatedly search deep within myself to discover what is really important to me. Asking myself this question turned a new page in my life. It isn’t my focal point anymore, but from time to time I find myself asking it again. I transitioned into a different stage where my internal dialog became “You are a grown-a!$ woman and can make a decision you’re willing to stand by,” haha. This question has not been limited to regarding my food choices, either. I have had to find my own unorthodox inspiration to pursue joy in my life. Along these lines, I learned some other things about myself. It turns out movement, not merely exercise, is something I cherish, so I make it a priority in my day. I discovered that the only reason I was so concerned with my body image was because other people made it their business to criticize me (I went through a season of heavy criticism at a sensitive age. Not all had to do with my body, but much of it did). Once I moved past being so self-conscious, I didn’t mind being a little chubby. In fact, I like my curves and they do not get in my way! Something I never expected began to occur as soon as my attitude settled into contentment. Every couple of weeks I think to weigh myself. And you know what? I am a few ounces less each time! I know that this rate of progress is not for everybody, but for me it is golden. It simply confirms that if in my mind I am free, the rest really does take care of itself. My greatest motivator is, has been and will always be joy. It doesn’t matter if there are chips, kale, cookies or quinoa in the kitchen; what matters is that neither healthy nor unhealthy food control me. Also, I have learned that it is wise to be okay whether or not those around me are.

To make this quick and healthy dessert, simply whip up some unsweetened coconut cream in a food processor to form a whipped cream consistency and serve with some fresh berries. That’s it! You now have a delicious guilt-free dessert that doesn’t add unnecessary amounts of sugar plus this recipe is dairy free and packs in a nice dose of fiber and antioxidants from the berries.
Well, buckle up, because these healthy desserts are about to take you on an unexpected, yet truly exciting ride. This means we’re not talking about chocolate covered strawberries—as tasty as they are. From potassium-packed chocolate banana bread muffins to “clean” cookie dough (that’s totally safe to eat raw), these amazing healthy desserts prove that healthy eating doesn’t have to mean salads without dressing. What’s more, making healthy choices can mean actually looking forward to what you eat.

I know exactly where you are because I’ve been there myself…I remember being so tired that I could barely function. I gained 30 pounds out of nowhere and had a severe case of brain fog. I also started to get severe anxiety and panic attacks. I was driven and motivated…until I wasn’t. I didn’t know what was happening to me. All I wanted was to get my life back…

Andrea Soranidis is the author of popular food blog ThePetiteCook.com. She loves to share healthy and gourmet recipes inspired by her foodie adventures, and her aim is to help other foodies cook delicious easy recipes with natural ingredients. Follow The Petite Cook on Facebook (www.facebook.com/lovethepetitecook) for your daily source of cooking inspiration from all around the world.

If you’re looking for an alternative to cream and sugar-based ice creams, a can of coconut milk perked up with espresso beans is just the ticket. The healthy fats in coconut butter (similar to peanut butter, but made with coconut flakes instead of nuts) rounds things out.

Get the recipe for Vegan Vanilla Faux Ice Cream


Protein is important on the keto diet, but too much of it will cause you to fall out of ketosis. If you are consistently eating more protein than is necessary for your body, your body will actually convert that protein into glucose, and use that glucose for energy. This is known as gluconeogenesis, which will actually break down your  lean muscle, and can also raise your blood glucose and insulin levels. Obviously, this will affect your ketosis, as you will have glucose fueling your body again.
Fat-free Greek yogurt is a healthy alternative to sour cream or traditional full-fat yogurt. One 6-ounce serving has 100 calories, about half the calories of full-fat yogurt. This serving also has nearly 20 grams of protein and about 20 percent of your daily calcium requirement. Enjoy fat-free Greek yogurt as a dip for fresh cucumber slices, or blend it with fresh berries in a smoothie.

Silken tofu is incredibly soft and creamy, often used in dairy-free desserts, just like in this tasty recipe with cocoa and maple syrup. It's healthier than your typical pudding so you can enjoy it for breakfast, too!

Get this recipe for Cocoa Silken Pudding


Did you say guacamole?! Being one of the latest crazes, guacamole is something people are willing to bathe in and always willing to pay the extra dollar. This is not just any ordinary guacamole, though; this is guacamole combined with bacon and cheese. Extremely low in sugar, this cheesy guacamole is perfect for dipping carrots or celery into. If you find yourself unable to stop once you’ve started, try making a smaller portion using just one avocado.

Rich and delicious, this vegan carrot cake is filled and topped with a thick layer of dairy-free cream cheese frosting for extra creaminess in every bite.

Get the recipe for Vegan Carrot Cake with "Cream Cheese" Frosting


Changing habits is an emotional processes by nature. They can be borne out of unhappiness, an intrinsic motivation such as being able to keep up with one’s kids, or simply a desire to lead a healthier lifestyle. Whatever the reason, lifestyle changes are often deeply personal. While some people love engaging in health and fitness communities, others would rather keep their information in a private app and never say a word about their goals. But no matter how you slice it, almost anyone who is trying to make a change in their diet has experienced food-related guilt. One study found that 80% of women and 70% of men suffer from food guilt. So what is food guilt and why does it happen to so many people?

Don’t get angry. If you become angry at yourself after eating more than planned, think about why. You know one or two “out-of-the-ordinary” meals won’t reverse all of your progress. If you let minor setbacks get to you, you could be getting into a dangerous mindset. If you try to restrict and lower your calories below what Noom has set for you, you are likely to binge later on. This binge-restrict pattern is very difficult to get out of once it’s become habit. The best thing you can do for yourself after overeating is to continue as planned. Don’t try to account for the extra food, and don’t be angry at yourself. Everyone slips up in dieting, even those who have done it countless times. Forgive yourself and move on.
If there are certain foods that you really love and don't want to miss — like those creamy mashed potatoes or the dessert that's just calling your name — then limit ordinary foods like corn or a dinner roll to save calories where you won't miss them. Keep in mind that this isn't your only chance to eat these favorites. You can have pumpkin pie in March if you want to.
Great, super rich,vven taking short cuts with recipe! We loved this cake. I took a couple of shortcuts and it still came out great. First, I made this in a cheesecake springform pan without the water bath around it ( these pans would leak) so it would be easier to get out of the pan without inverting. Baked fine without the water bath around it and came out of pan. Secondly, I did not do the sugar, flour mixture in a pan as I thought I might burn it. I melted the chocolate in a double boiler and added the sugar and milk right to it in the double boiler. Thirdly, I did not make the topping but thought I might serve it with thaws frozen raspberries. S all in all, I made the recipe easier and it was rich and delicious. Pros: Delicious Cons: None
What is it about these foods that make us feel guilty? It’s different for everyone. Generally speaking, American society’s obsession with healthy eating can make it seem “better” to opt for a salad (nutritious, lower in calories, green) rather than a burger (oily, higher in calories, processed). In some cases, people have arbitrarily decided (perhaps after reading a misguided article or two) what foods are “good” or “bad” and feel guilty after eating a “bad’ food as a result of this categorization.

Did you say guacamole?! Being one of the latest crazes, guacamole is something people are willing to bathe in and always willing to pay the extra dollar. This is not just any ordinary guacamole, though; this is guacamole combined with bacon and cheese. Extremely low in sugar, this cheesy guacamole is perfect for dipping carrots or celery into. If you find yourself unable to stop once you’ve started, try making a smaller portion using just one avocado.

I've made so far: The chocolate chip pancakes. Amazing tasting, speedy and a great breakfast. Breakfast nachos! Better than expected and took all of 5 minutes. Sausage Biscuit, a more time intensive meal but I found the end result great. I actually used the leftovers to make things other than sausage biscuits such as a reasonably sized sausage sub for lunch as well. The biscuits were so good that I ate a couple on their own!

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