My warm-weather friend made my weekend infinitely brighter. I call Chelsea my “Sun Buddy.” She traded the mountains and snow for the desert to become an ASU Sun Devil. She is my beach lovin’ friend! Miss Chelsea and I can talk for 8 hours straight and always find fun in outdoor adventures or some sort of healthy cooking. Saturday we made the greenest cupcakes you ever did see with a modified recipe from the Oh She Glows cookbook.
Please make these cupcakes. Shred some zucchini. Bake it in a cake. Get a little fancy with pistachio crumbs. Impress your family. Don’t tell them it’s made with vegetables. Laugh about the lime green frosting. We call them Shrek Cakes!
Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Cupcake Recipe:
(Adpated from Oh She Glows) Makes 12 large cupcakes
- 1 Tbs. ground flaxseed
- 3 Tbs. Water
- 1 1/4 cup almond milk
- 2 tps. apple cider vinegar
- 3 Tbs. pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1 Tbs. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips (we used mini!)
- 1 1/4 cup shredded zucchini
1. Preheat over to 350 degrees and line cupcake pan.
2. Stir ground flaxseed and water and set aside. In a separate bowl, stir almond milk and vinegar and also set aside.
3. In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients.
4. Pour flax mixture into almond milk mixture. Add in maple syrup, and vanilla.
5. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Fold in chocolate chips and shredded zucchini.
6. Bake for 15-18 minutes; set aside to cool
- 1 large very ripe avocado
- 3 Tbs. confection sugar
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
1. Mash avocado. Using a mixer, combine all ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to frost cupcakes. Garnish with crushed pistachio pieces.
**We joked that avocado frosting would taste like sweet guacamole. It did not, though the avocado is still detectable and I think that is a very good thing. Californians have a special obsession with avocados. ;)
So Clean. So Green.
We loved the cupcakes (and so did our taste testers!) but I think everyone agreed they were best without frosting. The avocado topping is great for looks but the muffins are perfect just by themselves (or with fresh coffee, but that goes without saying.)
Baking aside, I had not properly celebrated Chelsea’s 21st birthday yet! We hit up downtown and stopped for a drink. At an espresso bar. Appropriate? I think so. :) I’m way too excited for our autumn plans, tailgate parties, football games, and all things pumpkin.
I am so grateful to have a friend with such a big heart. People who prioritize their friends and relationships, who can have a conversation without looking at their phones, who make an effort and make time to make silly memories are (sadly) rare. I’ve had too many experiences being someone’s friend when it’s “convenient.” This applies to relationships too. It is painfully obvious when someone values your friendship less than you value theirs. When you find a friend like Chelsea, count yourself lucky.
SUN BUDDIES FOR LIFE ;)
Now go get your green on and post it up on Insta!
Negative people in your life. Chances are someone specific came to mind when you read this title. We all seem to know those black clouds ready to rain on our parade!
This is not an advice column. I’m just sayin’. Not everybody is an optimistic and pleasant human being, and when you encounter these people it might not be worth the energy to give them attention. In fact it might just be better for your health & sanity to let them go…
Physics is coming in handy. As I learned in 10th grade from Dr. Krumbein, “All actions have an equal and opposite reaction.” Sometimes being a healthy & happy person attracts like-minded people. Great! Instant friends. Other times the “reaction” is doubt, skepticism, and negativity. Not great. Buh-bye!
All actions – eating healthfully, being active, smiling, sharing- have a reaction in our bodies. They make you “healthier” but that’s so vague! What’s going on inside EXACTLY?! Well, when your body has nutritious fuel with vitamins and protein and calcium and fiber and probiotics and amino acids, it runs more efficiently. Your system isn’t working so hard to fight out garbage and you just feel good. Physical activity (especially outdoors) releases those feel-good chemicals. Endorphins! But aside from diet and exercise, being a consciously-POSITIVE person makes a world of difference.
Why I think it’s necessary to avoid Debbie Downers:
- Complaining is exhausting. It focuses on negative aspects. Complaining usually includes “victimizing” yourself. Why would you want to be a victim?
- If you do not want my help in finding a solution then please don’t bring me your problems.
- Negativity breeds negativity. If you are constantly exposed to a pessimistic attitude, you may unknowingly begin to adopt the same perspective. It’s like a disease. I’m prescribing a healthy dose of get-out-of-my-ear.
- Negative people point out others’ flaws. What benefit does it bring to discuss someone elses’ faults? Oh right, NONE.
- Hearing girls critique someone’s hair/outfit/pictures/beliefs makes me self-conscious about my own hair/outfits/pictures/beliefs. And I have enough insecurities as it is.
This weekend I took another trip down to Sedona. The drive is almost my favorite part….it’s absolutely gorgeous. I had brunch and wrote a paper. In no hurry, I turned the opposite direction of home when I got to the offramp. 6 lonely miles later, this came into view.
I like looking at pretty things. I like enjoying beautiful weather and taking pictures and sitting on my car and listening to country music and eating clementines. I think it’s important to step back from how “stressed” or “exhausted” we are and do a little reality check. Life is pretty damn good. I was happy. :)
It may seem like a contradiction to be a happy and positive person who alienates certain people. True, we are supposed to “Love thy neighbor.” But I can love my neighbor enough to respect the fact that our lifestyles are incompatible with my health.
Surround yourself with happy people and you will inevitably be happy. :)
Be the sunshine not the cloud! :)