Gluten, nut & dairy free chocolate cake

Chelsea winter recipe – from here

Since posting my gluten-free Chocolate Mud Cake, I’ve had a great number of lovely people asking about adjustments to make it nut and/or dairy free. So rather than just awkwardly try and jam in replacements, I set about creating a whole new recipe. Gluten-free flour mix can be quite drying, so I’ve added creamy avocado, coconut milk and brown sugar to help keep the cake lovely and moist. The top can puff up a bit and crack a little sometimes, so I like to cool/serve it upside down. It still tastes amazing. You can either just dust with icing sugar to finish, or use your favourite icing.

*Whittaker’s chocolate is made in a factory where nuts and gluten are present, although none is intentionally added to the chocolate – if you have severe nut allergies, it may not be suitable.


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Gluten free loaf

Nadia Lim’s amazing recipe from here

This is one seriously delicious loaf that everyone will love. It’s so easy to make – simply mash the bananas and mix all of the ingredients together, that’s it! Perfect for the kids to make. This loaf is sweetened with banana and honey, with no refined sugar added, making it a great healthy lunch box idea! Watch the video below for more tips on how to create this recipe at home. To receive my Healthy Food Channel videos and recipes direct to your inbox, subscribe here. 

Science Shows Something Surprising About People Who Love to Write

Article from here

The benefits of writing go far beyond building up your vocabulary.

No matter the quality of your prose, the act of writing itself leads to strong physical and mental health benefits, like long-term improvements in mood, stress levels and depressive symptoms. In a 2005 study on the emotional and physical health benefits of expressive writing, researchers found that just 15 to 20 minutes of writing three to five times over the course of the four-month study was enough to make a difference.

By writing about traumatic, stressful or emotional events, participants were significantly more likely to have fewer illnesses and be less affected by trauma. Participants ultimately spent less time in the hospital, enjoyed lower blood pressure and had better liver functionality than their counterparts.

It turns out writing can make physical wounds heal faster as well. In 2013, New Zealand researchers monitored the recovery of wounds from medically necessary biopsies on 49 healthy adults. The adults wrote about their thoughts and feelings for just 20 minutes, three days in a row, two weeks before the biopsy. Eleven days later, 76% of the group that wrote had fully healed. Fifty-eight percent of the control group had not recovered. The study concluded that writing about distressing events helped participants make sense of the events and reduce distress.

Even those who suffer from specific diseases can improve their health through writing. Studies have shown that people with asthma who write have fewer attacks than those who don’t; AIDS patients who write have higher T-cell counts. Cancer patients who write have more optimistic perspectives and improved quality of life.

So what is it about writing that makes it so great for you?

James W. Pennebaker has been conducting research on writing to heal for years at the University of Texas at Austin. “When people are given the opportunity to write about emotional upheavals, they often experience improved health,” Pennebaker writes. “They go to the doctor less. They have changes in immune function.”

Why? Pennebaker believes this act of expressive writing allows people to take a step back and evaluate their lives. Instead of obsessing unhealthily over an event, they can focus on moving forward. By doing so, stress levels go down and health correspondingly goes up.

You don’t have to be a serious novelist or constantly reflecting on your life’s most traumatic moments to get these great benefits. Even blogging or journaling is enough to see results. One study found that blogging might trigger dopamine release, similar to the effect from running or listening to music.

From long-term health improvements to short-term benefits like sleeping better, it’s official: Writers are doing something right.

White Space Book Club – Bonnie Gray

Today, the Online Spiritual Whitespace (Face)Book Club is finally launching!  Join by simply liking my Facebook Page. I’ll post the book club there using #soulrestbookclub, so we can organically interact in the comments with each other. It’s free. Just get a copy of my book and a fresh journal. Awaken your heart to rest.

To celebrate, I have some amazing news to announce with a very soul exciting GIVEAWAY in today’s post (I’ve been squealing with excitement waiting to tell you, friends)!

But, first things first…

This might sound crazy, but God actually loves to spend time with you.

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Bethany Hamilton – I am Second

At age thirteen Bethany Hamilton was a rising surfing star. From her home in Hawaii she had everyday access to some of the world’s best waves and basked in the warmth of a loving family. But her tranquil beach surf life was shattered one morning when a shark completely bit off her arm. Only the immediate help of her friends, heroic work by doctors and an overwhelming peace kept her alive in the critical moments after the attack. The fact that she survived was a miracle.

What is one to do when their outward passion and purpose in life is seemingly taken away? Bethany looked inward to her relationship with Jesus, who renewed her spirit while also restoring her surfing ability, to even greater heights. Her story is retold today in the movie SOUL SURFER, and continues to inspire others not to give up on themselves..or on God.

I may fall short sometimes but all I want to do is love Him.

Thanksgiving and gratitude

Today is Thanksgiving in various countries around the world. We don’t celebrate it here in New Zealand but I do like to be more thankful on this day.

It’s been almost a month since I lost my mum to cancer, she slipped quietly away to go to heaven and be free from pain and suffering! I’m glad she’s no longer suffering but I miss her dearly. Especially around this time of year with Christmas coming up.

It’s funny I have this blog centered around gratitude and being thankful yet in my current circumstances its something I am really struggling with. The reason why I started this blog about 2 years ago was because I was sick and tired of the internet being filled with negative and ungrateful words so I wanted to add in some positiveness.

I really started this blog for others but right now it feels like I created this blog for me at the time as this. It’s funny how God works everything together for our good and its all in his perfect timing

Wait for the Lordbe strong and take heart and wait for the Lord”– Psalm 27:14

There are so many stories throughout the bible about waiting on and being patient for God. People waiting for their prayers to be answered, people waiting to be healed and others waiting to meet Jesus face to face when he was here on Earth.

I am not that patient even though I like to think I am, so waiting on the Lord is not an easy thing for me. I continually pray for God to come and help me surrender this burden of grief that envelopes me. Even though there is abundance of spiritual food and water around me I am starting to feel dry and weak inside.

An attitude of gratitude is what will get me out of this head space right now.

I am grateful for all the amazing memories I have of my mum. We spent almost 29 years together and built such a strong relationship with her. She was more than my mum, she was my best friend. She knew me better than I know myself. Even at the age of 28 I still called her everyday to chat and tell her I love her and she would always respond with ‘I love you to dearly’ I am so grateful for that! I loved her hugs to they were always so war and made me feel safe.

I am grateful for hundreds of photos and millions of memories I have that I will never forget!

I am thankful for God and saving my Mum from her suffering here on earth.

“Give thanks to him, bless his name. For the Lord is good. – Psalm 100:4

Brain balls

I made these on the weekend – they are ‘amaze-balls’

With Dr Libby Weaver – Source

Brain Balls


2 cups walnuts, halves and pieces
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup coconut, shredded
2/3 cup cocoa powder
8 fresh dates, pitted and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup of water
Pinch of salt
1 to 3 drops peppermint oil, optional

Combine the walnuts, sunflower seeds, dates  and coconut in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse for 30 to grind the ingredients..
Add the cocoa powder, salt, water and the peppermint oil to the bowl and process until the mixture forms a paste.
Form the paste into medium sized balls by rolling a portion of the paste between your palms. Place the finished balls on a tray lined with waxed paper and chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Dr. Libby’s nutritional information:
This chewy, nutty treat is an excellent source of the monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids that have the anti-inflammatory properties so necessary for healthy hearts and brain functions.  Keep these easy to make snacks on hand for the perfect after school snack for a burst of energy or as a source of vitamin E and zinc, beneficial for skin and the immune system.

Start missing the lights

 I was sitting at the traffic lights this afternoon after missing the green ‘go’ light for the fifth consecutive time and starting getting annoyed. Then it occurred to me ‘maybe we need to start missing the lights’ more.

Slowing down. Taking time to just ‘stop’. Stopping.

These are all things we don’t do often enough but know we should!

Why is it that we tend to do the opposite of what’s good for us? It is human instinct or is it a learnt behaviour that we need to break? 

God only has good and prosperous plans for us but have we been missing out because we’ve kept going? Have we missed signs or plans from Him because we are too busy? 

We can’t afford to miss His signs too often because we will end up in a self-created ‘rut’! As I learnt the hard way. 

I have been there and wish I hadn’t ended up in a ‘rut’. I remember thinking ‘how did I get here, why am I here, how did this happen and where is God? 

Well, He was there with me in the midst of my ‘rut’ because He is with us all the time. Although, at the time I was angry at God for ‘putting’ in the rut, well that is what I believed at the time anyway. Reflecting back on the situation now, I’ve realised I had actually put myself in the rut because I never slowed down and stopped! 

What I have learnt is we must slow down everyday so we don’t spiral out of control and end up in a self created rut. 

If I was to give my former self one piece of advice it would be ‘slow down more often so you can take care of yourself’!


So, we need to start missing the lights more often!

Blood From Rocks

Another wonderful story written by 1 Story A Week – your are an inspiration – please keep writing =)

1 Story A Week

The roar of laughter from the men surrounding the fire filled the night air. Kuumo shifted uncomfortably in the dirt next to his mother. She smiled a knowing smile, but said nothing. Another burst of laughter soared through the village and found its mark in Kuumo’s heart.

He could feel hot tears of anger and frustration building and willed them to disappear with fierce determination. Warriors do not cry. He forced himself to focus on the dried leaves beside him. Years of practice had given him the ability to weave them into many patterns without much thought. This was just another curse on nights like these.


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