Vegan Zucchini Brownies

I am a chocolate lover. I came across this recipe while scrolling through Instagram and was pleasantly surprised by the results. When I first kick started my healthy eating journey by completing the Whole 30 challenge, I was on the search for clean desserts that used natural sources of sugar but still had a decadent and moist texture. Hello zucchini brownies! Every ingredient in this recipe has nutritional benefits and you can indulge without feeling guilty or bloated afterwards.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup organic almond butter
  • 1 1/2 cup organic zucchini (peeled and finely grated)
  • 1/3 cup organic maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup organic raw cacao powder
  • 1/3 cup organic applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon organic ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon organic ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup vegan/gf chocolate chips (Enjoy Life brand)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Peel and grate the zucchini.
  2. Put all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir until well combined. (If using a flax egg, prepare it separately with 1 tablespoons of ground flax + 3 tablespoons of water).
  3. Pour into an 8 x 8 glass baking dish.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 – 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Enjoy!

This recipe will make approximately (16) brownies.

If you try this recipe, be sure to tag me @_alifit_ and has tag #fitbygracewellbyfaith

Happy baking!

ALIFIT ❤

 

This recipe was adapted from The Healthy Family and Home

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Cranberry-Walnut Hemp Protein Power Bites

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I have been obsessed with hemp protein and hemp hearts lately! (Check out my Hemp Matcha Morning Latte post if you haven’t already). Although I am not a vegetarian or vegan, I have been seeking plant based sources of complex protein. The high fibre and high digestibility of hemp protein makes it an ideal post workout source for athletes. The higher the digestibility of a protein, the more efficiently it can be used by the body.

The combination of oats (complex carb) walnuts (brain healthy fats) and cranberries (a sweet yet tangy treat) make this recipe a great option for on-the-go breakfast. Take 3 or 4 of these along with a banana and you’re good to go for the day! The texture is very thick and these will harden when baked, so if you’re looking for a more chewy texture try adding more almond butter and a bit of baking soda.

The other great thing this about this recipe is that you can add other seeds or super foods as you see fit! Being the chocolate lover that I am I would also replace the dried cranberries with chocolate chips to take it up a notch. You could also add gogi berries, raisins or even almonds. In typical ALIFIT fashion the recipe includes only 7 ingredients. Add the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients together and bake for only 10 minutes. Here’s how…

INGREDIENTS

  • 1.5 cups rolled oat (I like to use “Only Oats Wheat-Free Oats”)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla hemp protein powder (I like to use the “Manitoba Harvest” brand)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon 100% pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together oats, cranberries, protein powder, walnuts, and cinnamon.
  3. In a separate bowl, stir together almond butter and maple syrup.
  4. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and mix well.
  5. Drop cookies onto a non-greased baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes.

If you try this recipe, be sure to tag me @_alifit_ and has tag #fitbygracewellbyfaith

Happy baking!

ALIFIT ❤

This recipe was adapted from The Greatist

Hemp Matcha Morning Latte

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It’s Fall! And with the changing season and changing colours of the leaves comes the not so welcomed cooler temperatures and dark mornings. And let’s be real, some days can truly be a struggle to get up and get going in the morning with this new transition in seasons. I have never been a coffee drinker, but am a tea fanatic and am always interested in natural sources for a “pick me up”. A good London Fog or Matcha Tea Latte will often do the trick and give me an extra pep in my step in the morning. I recently discovered that David’s Tea sells Matcha Tea Lattes for 25 cents less than the local Starbuck— Yes. That’s right. A whole 25 cents. The quality of the matcha is also much better and more pure since the premixed Starbucks Matcha is also pre-sweetened. An alternative of course is to take that time and effort to make your own Matcha Tea Latte at home. I challenge you to get up a bit earlier and try this recipe!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup organic unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp matcha green tea
  • 3 tbsp hemp hearts
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 4 drops stevia or 1 pack granulated stevia
  • Pinch of ionized sea salt
  • Cinnamon (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat your almond milk on the stove top
  2. Combine almond milk with all other ingredients and blend
  3. Pour and sprinkle with some cinnamon on top!
  4. Enjoy!

Matcha will not only provide a clean source of energy (minus the crash associated with coffee) but it is also packed with the health benefits of catechin antioxidants which are one of the most potent cancer fighting antioxidants. The hemp protein adds a significant source of plant-based protein and fibre with only 3 tbsp providing 10g of protein. Not to mention the nutty flavour that is conducive to the sweater weather comfort of the season. The unique form of saturated fats in coconut oil also give you a metabolism boost and supports fat burning in the body. And the sprinkle of cinnamon all adds to the luxurious feeling of this scrumptious latte.

If you try this recipe, take a picture and tag @_alifit_ on Instagram with the hash tag #fitbygracewellbyfaith for a chance to win a tin of Matcha Green Tea. The winner will be announced November 30th!

Cheers and happy sipping,

ALIFIT ❤

This recipe was adapted from a segment called How to get that Java Jump without the Coffee on The Social.

Guest Post: Your Someday is Right Now!

By: Solomon Davies

I called this blog ‘’Your someday is right now’’ due to the fact many people are putting off the things God is calling them to do for Him right now and putting it off to someday! Many of us prioritize our agendas and put off what God is calling us to do for Him till some other day or when we feel like it. Seize the opportunity and do what God is calling you beginning right now. We must carry out God’s business with great urgency knowing it will change our lives and impact the lives of many. There will never be a perfect time to do what God is calling you to do for Him! Right now is the perfect time to get started on the download you’ve received from God.

A few years ago, there was an unusual desire in my heart to reach out to the homeless people in the downtown core of Toronto and to also plan an event to honour as many of them as possible. I had previously visited downtown Toronto a lot that summer and saw the amazing work God was doing through bold street evangelists I always saw when I visited. I remember always saying to myself, “God I want the boldness these evangelists have”. I soon felt it in my heart to carry out the desire God had placed in me and do something creative to bless the homeless people in the downtown Toronto area. I have to say trusting God and carrying out the plan He called me to back then was the experience and lesson needed to become the person I am today.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own (Matthew 6:34)

We are not guaranteed a tomorrow, so putting off being a God-solution to a problem in the world today is very dangerous. Great moves of God are usually preceded by simple acts of obedience. When we obey God and boldly ”Step out” into the things He is calling us to, we see Him ”Set up” divine Connections, Encounters, and Opportunities. He is our CEO!
I am reminded by a good friend that received a download from God to launch into a fitness business and go on a missions trip with her church after she had fasted and prayed! She became a bit discouraged after the passing of her grandma. She would be faced with a question many of us often have to answer to, “Do I put off this vision given to me by God till someday? Or do I trust God and begin preparations right now?”. My friend Alison ended up trusting God after more prayer and fasting. She began her plans and ended up going to the missions trip and launched her fitness business ALIFIT.
I finish by encouraging those of you reading this blog…. you might be feeling discouraged due to a lack of resources to carry out the vision God has given you, you might be a person who is lacking motivation….or you just want more direction. My advice is for you to stop whatever you are doing and just talk to Jesus. It is when we run and go to Him that we find rest for our souls. Know God does not call the qualified or equipped, He equips and qualifies the called. So right now, rather than someday, do whatever God tells you to do.

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Have you been putting a desire to get fit and start your health and wellness journey until “someday”? ALIFIT is here to help! Email alifitinfo@gmail.com for availability and rates. 

Compassion 2015: Lessons in Love

God is love.

I have heard and said the cliché several times throughout my life. There’s the typical reference to 1 Corinthians 13 and its depiction of the characteristics of love. Love is patient, love is kind, etc. etc. This supreme definition of love is truly only embodied by the love that we receive through a relationship with God through His son Jesus Christ. God’s love for us is so pure that he sent His son to die on a cross for the redemption of our past, present and future sin. Despite the fact that we continue to be prone to sin, the price has already been paid and His love still prevails. During my recent mission’s trip to India the Lord gave me a fuller picture of what it means to live in love, walk in love and serve in love.

The love that God pours into us is meant to be poured out again.

About 6 months before leaving for India, my dearly beloved grandmother passed away suddenly at the age of 86. Today would have been her 87th birthday. I write this because when I think back to the memories of growing up with her in my life and the nuggets of wisdom she would share, they were always sprinkled with love. Quite often it was what some would call “tough love” delivered with a strong Bajan accent. I had the privilege of living with her for nearly all 26 years of my life, and in the morning on the day in her life would be taken by a brain aneurism, I hurriedly rushed out the door without even a good bye. Later that day when my father would call to tell me she was in a coma I immediately dropped to my knees and cried out to God in anguish to not let that morning be the last time I would see her alive. God’s will had other plans and I held resentment in my heart against myself for not taking the opportunity to say “I love you” before she passed away.

Serve in love.

It was nearly a 2 hour bus ride to Joe Beach. Reverends Sarah and Abraham from The Hope Center India had spent the last month preparing a special event for the women who are supported by their ministry with widows in Chennai. As we stepped off the bus the women were lined up to great us with lush and fragrant wreaths of fresh flowers. We were also greeted with a sprinkle of jasmine flowers. Several of the ladies purposefully tried to toss the flowers into my hair and since my hair is natural the flowers easily stuck. We went up to the dining lounge where we were told we would be serving the women. About 5 minutes later one of the pastors came and told us that the women could not make it up the stairs due to their many infirmities and we would have to serve the lunch downstairs. We immediately started to pray for healing and against the spirit of infirmity.

When we finished praying we made our way downstairs. The women were seated on the ground and we took seats beside them as we listened to the preached Word. There was one woman who seemed immediately drawn to me. As I sat cross legged she came and placed her hand in mine and scooched a bit closer. As I listened to our Pastor preach and looked across the room I thought about how by society’s standards these women are meant to be at the bottom of the barrel, but by God’s standards they are Queens. I felt drawn to her as well and could sense the joy in her eyes. A similar joy to the joy I would see in my grandmother’s eyes when she would let out a great belly laugh. I would later find out that her name was Meli. It then occurred to me: My grandmother was a widow before she passed away. By God’s grace although she was no longer with me, she had lived a great life on this earth and had loved her children and grandchildren dearly. I then heard the Lord say: Now is your chance. Pour out the love of God upon these women that you have received from me. Forgive yourself daughter. Tears began to well up in my eyes and I held on to Meli’s hand a little tighter looked into her eyes and smiled. God knew just what I needed and released me from the guilt and resentment I had been walking in.

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The remainder of the afternoon was such a joy! We all lined up to serve in any way we could. Serving food, pouring water, collecting plates and sharing laughter and even a dance despite the communication barrier. When I offered Meli a bowl of ice cream she pointed to her mouth and crossed her hands over her chest as if to show she was shivering. I realized she was trying to tell me that she had no teeth and the ice cream would be too cold! We exchanged smiles again and I was reminded that love has no language.

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I share this story with you because God told me to. ALIFIT is all about journeying towards physical, mental and spiritual fitness. My experience in serving the women in India and meeting Meli was a defining moment of my faith this year. Sometimes we doubt whether God really hears us when we pray because we often don’t see immediate results. Sometimes we hold resentment, contempt, condemnation, guilt, bitterness or whatever it is in our hearts and it’s these things that prevent us from journeying towards wellness – whether in mind, body or spirit.

Love is the root and wellness can be one of its fruits. You have to love yourself enough to want to see change and build the self-discipline to achieve change. Your desire for change cannot be rooted in the approval or affirmations of others but rather an internal motivation to take care of yourself mind, body and spirit because God has allowed you a temple. Love the temple you’ve been given and take every opportunity you can to show love towards others. 

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 

No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us His Spirit, And  we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Saviour of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. [1 John 4:7-16 NKJV]

If you would like to donate to support the work being done by The Hope Center India with the Dalit widows, you can donate online through Helping Hands or by purchasing a scarf through the House of Tavani. 90% of funds go towards the widows ministry and supporting children in education centers across Southern India.

Choco-Chip Nut Butter Cookies

It’s late at night. You’re craving something sweet and decadent but don’t want to overindulge before bed. Story of my life! In these instances my go-to recipe are CHOCO-CHIP NUT BUTTER COOKIES (see recipe below). It’s the perfect combination of sweet and salty and they’re so decadent you only need 1 or 2 cookies to satisfy a craving. The healthy omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and fibre in the nut butter will help you feel full, while the chocolate satisfies your sweet craving. Only 10 minutes to make and 10 minutes to bake!

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup of the nut butter of your choice (I usually use peanut butter or almond butter. You can also use sunbutter if you’re allergic to nuts)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup flax meal
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • Optional: Cinnamon

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl
  3. Form small balls and place on a baking sheet
  4. Bake for 10 minutes
  5. Enjoy!

Makes about 1.5 dozen cookies

Happy baking!

ALIFIT ❤

Why ALIFIT?

Hey there!

Thank you for stopping by. This blog has been a long time in the making, and I am so excited to finally share it with you and for everything that God is going to do through this! I recently became a Certified Personal Trainer and my goal through ALIFIT is to share my love of fitness and wellness and encourage you on your journey!

Recently during a session with a client as I was explaining the workout plan I had created, she responded: “You’re my goal body. I want to look like you.” Say what?! Girl I want you to look like yourself. This goes for women, young girls and men alike– focus on taking care of the body you have been given, and do not compare or try to attain an image that is not who you were meant to be. God created each of us in His own image, our bodies are His masterpiece and each one is unique and different. Our selfie and social media culture has people constantly comparing their bodies and their lives to others that they have never even met (some of which are literally on the other side of the world!). How about we meditate on the Word of God and the ways in which God calls us to take care of ourselves? Mind, body and soul included.

Now don’t get me wrong, it is important to have goals. If you aim at nothing you will miss every time. But it is important to have S.M.A.R.T. goals. Especially when it comes to body image and fitness, it’s important to honour and recognize where you are at and what you have been given divinely and genetically. The ultimate goal cannot be an image of perfection, but instead a journey of progress. A journey of challenging your body physically and also developing spiritually to recognize that change is possible. Changing old habits and creating new ones that support your new and improved “fit” lifestyle. Change takes time and consistency. Change is uncomfortable. There will be days where you feel like giving up and you feel like you are at a stand still. Have faith in the process. And most of all, have faith in who God has called YOU to be.

My goal is to help you get there.

Love & Smiles,

ALIFIT ❤