Recipes: Superfood Cookie Butter

I have teamed up with the Professional Personal trainers at to bring you a delightfully decadent tasting, yet somewhat guilt-free, snack: SUPERFOOD COOKIE BUTTER!

Balance is key to a healthy lifestyle, as well as to a good diet. Part of maintaining that balance is never feeling like you are depriving yourself of snacks and treats. To create the perfect healthy Cookie Butter, it needed to have a rich, satisfying texture, and bold, spicy flavours.

Coconut Oil is such a versatile ingredient – You can use it for making flaky vegan pie crusts or as an intense moisturizer/cleanser/tooth whitener in beauty applications. When kept below 24 degrees Celsius, it has the perfect buttery consistency.

We use the same spices in our Better than Yia Yia’s Gingerbread cookies, which is the perfect flavour profile for traditional Cookie Butter. We added turmeric for an extra health kick and black pepper to help absorption in the body. Toasting the spices in oil for a few minutes helps them release their essential oils, bringing out deeper flavours, and removing any chalkiness that sometimes happens with ground spices. Pink Himalayan Sea Salt was chosen for its extra minerals, but table salt or fine sea salt can also be used.

Since this is a dessert, we have to have some sugar. We chose richly flavoured sweeteners like brown sugar, molasses and pure maple syrup, because a little goes a long way. Maple syrup also has a low GI, which means that it does not spike your blood sugar, leading to fat storage; The calories you consume are more quickly expended as energy. Molasses also help with the classic gingersnap cookie flavour, and help with the smooth, thick consistency of the final product.

To preserve the healthy oils in the cooked spices and to keep your Superfood Cookie Butter fresh, keep it in the refrigerator up to four weeks. Remove it about 15 minutes before digging in.



3 tbsp + 1/2 cup Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
2 tbsp Ground Cinnamon
Pinch of Ground Clove
1 tsp Ground Ginger
Pinch of Turmeric
Pinch of Black Pepper
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Pinch of Grated Nutmeg
Pinch of Pink Himalayan Sea Salt


1 tbsp Brown Sugar
1 to 2 tbsp Pure Maple Syrup
1 to 2 tbsp Fancy Molasses


TIP: Make it Chocolate Cookie Butter by adding 1 tbsp of Cacao Powder

TIP: Make it Crunchy Cookie Butter by folding in chopped nuts


How to Enjoy Superfood Cookie Butter

  • Blend it into Smoothies
  • Spread it on Toast – Top with Chopped Nuts like Almonds, Pecans or Walnuts for a crunchy breakfast
  • Try Baking with it – Mix Clean Cookie Butter Swirls into Cakes and Cupcakes
  • Use it as a Dip
  • Melt it and Pour it onto Ice Cream or Greek Yogurt
  • Eat it on a Spoon

1. Warm your spices in 3 tbsp Coconut Oil over low heat for 1 – 2 minutes. You want to warm the spices to bring out their oils to give your Cookie Butter more flavour. I also find that cooking spices like turmeric and cinnamon soften their flavours, giving them more sweetness and less of a chalky taste.

2. Add your sweeteners. Continue warming the mixture over low heat until the sugar has dissolved and the molasses are combined.

3. Turn off the heat and let cool for 20 minutes.

4. Add room temperature spice mixture to 1/2 cup Coconut Oil.

5. Stir to Combine. Refrigerate 10 to 15 minutes until the mix starts to solidify.

6. Remove from the refrigerator and shake to redistribute spices and molasses. Chill for another 15 minutes, or until it reaches a ‘Peanut Butter like’ consistency.

7. Stir your Cooled Cookie Butter and Enjoy! Recipes: Japanese Balance Bowls

I recently had the pleasure of teaming up with to create more Delicious, Healthy, Nutritious and Versatile Meals… Japanese Balance Bowls.

I was inspired by my travels through Tokyo last year. Major department stores like Shinjuku’s Isetan and Shibuya’s Tokyo Hands had large underground grocery stores and patisseries. Filled to the brim with fresh fish, meats and produce, simple preparations are best to let the beautiful ingredients shine.

These Balance Bowls are so simple to prepare and can be customized to suit your tastes. Plus, you can make them ahead of time and store them in the refrigerate them for a quick, balanced lunch or dinner.


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You CAN Win Friends with Salad

In recent years, it seems like the risk and frequency of various illnesses and diseases caused by poor diet has been rapidly increasing. As a result, celebrity chefs, doctors and personal trainers, among others, have been trying to communicate healthier lifestyle and eating habits to the masses.

Chef Jamie Oliver has been one of the most prominent personalities in the healthy eating movement for years. One of his newest shows, Jamie’s Super Food, explores cities and islands with the healthiest, longest living populations, and creates inspired healthy dishes.

In the first episode of Jamie’s Super Food, he ventured to the wild Aegean island of Ikaria, Greece. There, he “uncovered” what many of us know, yet we choose to ignore: to live long, full lives, we need to eat clean, vegetable-based diets, with smaller portions of meat, and exercise every day! For most Canadians and Americans, our portion sizes and waist-lines continue to expand at alarming rated, and we have not stopped to do anything about it.

As Jamie explained about the Ikarian diet, they eat tonnes of fresh greens and vegetables every day – dressed with healthy Greek olive oil – along with fresh cheese from healthy goats, and consume smaller portions of meat. It is the essence of the Mediterranean diet and something we should all aim to do more often.

To get you started with your Mediterranean diet, I am making a quick and easy Fennel Slaw. This is a great addition to your Meze (Greek appetizer and dip) spread, or served as a sweet and sour burger topping in place of fatty, sugar-loaded coleslaw. This Easy Fennel Slaw is a great dish to make in advance since it just continues to meld together the longer it sits.

Whenever I am creating recipes with, we come up with fast, simple and healthy dishes that can be prepared early in the week and that keep well in the refrigerator. Most salad greens are too delicate to last for more than one day, but the fennel and carrot in this slaw are robust and will not break down.

TIP: Serve your Fennel Slaw on top of quinoa and wilted spinach, and with crumbled feta cheese for a balanced, light lunch.

Bon Appetit!

CleanWorkout Collaboration: Maca Boost

If you are looking for extra energy, try this quick and easy Maca Boost. No need to worry about the typical “caffeine crash,” plus it will jolt your mind to be more alert and focused.

Not only does Maca balance your hormones to make your feel better, it is full of antioxidants to improve the look of your skin and minimize aging.

Start everyday with this simple shot and be prepared to feel amazing.

Countdown to Easter: Part Three

I love finding new ways to enjoy chickpeas – they can be used for so much more than hummous!

For Part Three of my Countdown to Easter Series, I use chickpeas two different ways – first as delicious crunchy, spiced chickpeas (warning: these are addictive and healthier than chips!), and second as a spicy vegan soup that is loaded with superfood spices.

Keep up the fasting!

Countdown to Easter: Part Two

How are you doing with your lenten fast? Things are about to get a lot easier (and tastier!) with my recipe for Beets and Skordalia.

This simple salad features three main ingredients: beets, potatoes and garlic. This dish will keep you full, energized, and keep the vampires at bay.

Stay tuned see what is next on my Countdown to Easter Series.

Countdown to Easter: Part One

Easter is one of my favourite holidays and not just because of the food (which is epic!). It is a time of year to be thoughtful and to make small sacrifices during lent.

The Orthodox calendar is fairly strict when it comes to fasting, and while it is not good to make excuses, I am just terrible at following it. Aside from certain days when I try to avoid meat and dairy altogether, instead of exactly following the rules, I simply try to eat more vegan and vegetarian meals and limit eating red meat during lent.

I will be showcasing some of these delicious, hearty and simple veggie-based meals over the next few weeks. To kick off my Countdown to Easter series, here is a recipe for Spanakorizo (translation: Spinach Rice).

This dish can be a filling meal, or can be served as a side dish. I like to load it up with lots of spinach to make it extra healthy. Use the biggest pot you can find – it will make wilting down your greens a lot easier. Throw in as many onions, green onions, leeks, or shallots that you have – they will make it even more delicious!

Be sure to check back for more on my Countdown to Easter series. Enjoy!


Superfoods for the Win

If I am being honest, I have never really enjoyed vegan foods – especially desserts and pastries. However, dietary restrictions and allergies are a big concern for me and my clients. I do not want to limit people’s enjoyment of my food because of an allergy or a lifestyle.

After months of thinking and experimenting, I finally created a flaky, vegan coconut oil pie crust that the biggest butter fanatics would enjoy.

With the help of the personal training team at Clean Workout, we created a pie that is not only vegan, but packed with superfoods. It will help fuel your body from the inside out, while satisfying your dessert craving.

Enjoy it! It is practically guilt-free!

Quick and Healthy Chia Seed Pudding

This recipe was inspired by my personal trainer from Clean Workout. A quick, easy and delicious recipe for Chia Seed Pudding.

This pudding will kick start your metabolism and get your day off to a healthy start. Best of all, if you do not have time to allow the pudding to set, enjoy it as a drink! It is delicious, satisfying and will fill you up for the morning.

Oscar 2015 Beauty: On the Carpet and at Home

Below are some of my favourite beauty looks from the 2015 Oscars. You can easily re-create the looks at home with my tips and product recommendations.

“No Make Up” Make Up

One of my favourite beauty looks for every day is the “no make up” trend. It has been all over the NYFW runways, so it was no surprise that many starlets, including Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Jennifer Lopez, opted for the trend.

Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Jennifer Lopez let their natural beauty shine through with a natural make up look.

Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Jennifer Lopez let their natural beauty shine through with a natural make up look.

Showstopping Lips

For evenings, I love bold lips and sultry eyes. This look is a classic for the Red Carpet and a definite nod to Old Hollywood. Margot Robbie, Lupita Nyong’o, and Jena Dewan all looked confident and beautiful with their statement make up.

Margot Robbie, Lupita Nyong'o, and Jena Dewan exuded confidence and glamour with their sultry eyes and bold lips.

Margot Robbie, Lupita Nyong’o, and Jena Dewan exuded confidence and glamour with their sultry eyes and bold lips.

Get the Look

Every look you see on the red carpet has one thing in common: a foundation of healthy, glowing skin.

When prepping your skin for a flawless face, what you put into your body is just as important as what you put on. A healthy lifestyle that includes daily exercise (sweating out the toxins!), SPF, and proper nutrition is the best place to start.

1.   When Life Gives you Lemons, Make Lemon Water: Cleaning from the Inside Out

Having suffered from acne as a teenager and still having my occasional struggles, I now have the healthiest skin I have ever had in my life. I start each morning by drinking a glass of warm water and lemon juice. Among its many benefits, lemon water helps to cleanse your system of toxins, and maintain skin’s radiance with its antioxidant benefits. Start your day with lemon water, and then eat your greens (if you prefer, have them as a juice or shake) half an hour after drinking your lemon water. Your body will be prepped for digesting and metabolizing all the healthy vitamins they have to offer.

Make sure you are getting all the necessary vitamins. Vitamin E helps maintain healthy skin, eyes and immune system. I always make sure to take my Vitamin E supplement with my Vitamin D (to promote a healthy immune system, bones and teeth). Unless you live in a sunny climate, chances are you are not getting enough Vitamin D from moderate sun exposure.

Vitamin supplements are the second best way of making sure you are getting all your necessary daily vitamins. It is always best to consume the natural vitamin source by enjoying a balanced and colourful diet. The more colour, the more natural vitamins. Kale, spinach, broccoli, beets, red bell peppers, nuts and lean proteins are staples to my daily diet and include a wide range of necessary vitamins.

Please note, the above diet and supplement regimen has helped my skin, but may not be for everyone. Please consult a physician prior to taking supplements or making dietary changes.

2.   Water, Water Everywhere

Staying hydrated is incredibly important to maintain a healthy body, immune system, and flushing out toxins (toxins that can inevitably cause acne). Wherever you are, no matter what time of day, you should always be drinking water. While you should be drinking your 2 Litres throughout the day, I start each morning with 1 L, including my lemon water, so I do not forget. It is easier to drink 1 L than you might think, especially if you prepare a full teapot for personal consumption. Coconut water can also substitute some of your water intake for the day.

3.   Start with a Blank Canvas

Now that you have thoroughly cleansed and purified your body, your skin is surely looking radiant. To create the perfect canvas for your make up, wash your face with a gentle cleanser (or if you have very dry skin, plain water). Pat your face dry with a soft towel making sure not to scrub. You do not want to irritate your skin or spread oils if acne is a concern.

Once skin is cleansed, it is time to moisturize. I start by lightly patting an eye cream onto the eye lid, around the orbital bone, and under the eye.

Use your fourth finger to apply in soft taps so you do not pull the gentle skin around the eye. Next apply your moisturizer and SPF in that order. If using multiple moisturizers, apply them from lightest, to richest formulas.

My preferred moisturizer is Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil Light, followed by an oil-free SPF. If you are going out at night, skip the SPF so you do not feel the product build-up.

Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil Light, available at Sephora.

Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil Light, available at Sephora.

To perfect your already glowing complexion, use your fingers to apply a thin layer of NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer. Conceal any blemishes and underage dark circles with NARS Creamy Radiant Concealer, gently tapping with your fourth finger. I also blend a small amount of concealer on the upper eye lid to provide a smooth base for eyeshadow, or just to provide a flawless appearance. When you are happy with your blending, use a fluffy brush to dust a sheer translucent powder, like NARS Pressed Powder, over the entire face. This will set your make up base. Keep the pressed powder with you throughout the night for touch ups.

Three steps to a perfect complexion: NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer for sheer coverage, NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, and NARS Pressed Powder.

Three steps to a perfect complexion: NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer for sheer coverage, NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, and NARS Pressed Powder.

4.   Building the Look

Once your skin and base is complete, the rest of the look is easy. Choose either your eyes, your lips, or your cheeks to emphasize, unless you are going monochromatic for the “No Make Up” trend.

Among the Red Carpet trendsetters, there are subtle differences between each of the women.


Make Up Nudists

Jennifer Aniston – Greek Goddess

Jennifer Aniston has perfected the California-Surfer-Greek-Goddess look like no one else. Growing up Greek, myself, she has been a pinnacle of beauty and elegance that I used to shape my own look. To replicate subtle healthy glow, use to products with a bronze hue keeping the skin matte, lips glossy, and eyes bold. Use a matte bronzer, like NARS Bronzing Powder, and apply highlighter under the brow bone and above cheeks for a glowing look. Use a subtle brown gloss with some shimmer, like Laura Mercier Lip Glace in Bare Beige, and load lashes with a curling mascara like Dior Overcurl.

Reese Witherspoon – Pale Perfection

Reese has perfected the “No Make Up” trend, with the only noticeable colour being on the eyes. The subtle orange-brown showcases her blue eyes, and her muted creamy pink lipstick is meant to look like she is not wearing anything. Using a peachy brown eye shadow hue like MAC Eye Shadow in Texture, sweep the colour onto the upper lid and lightly as a liner on the lower lid. Her cheeks are dusted with an ultra-sheer wash of colour, like Clinique Blushing Blush in Aglow, and the lips have just enough colour and sheen to look healthy. Try Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick in Salut.

Jennifer Lopez – Glamour Barbie

Jennifer Lopez’s make up is all about big lashes and a luscious, healthy looking Barbie-pink smile. To get the look, prep the eye by applying a thin line of dark eyeliner like Lancome Le Crayon Eye Kohl in Black Coffee  to help false lashes blend in. Next, glue your band of false lashes as close to the lash base as possible. For a dramatic look, choose a dense set like 156 Genevieve by Make Up For Ever. Complete the look with a light pink lipstick with a blue undertone like Buxom Full Bodied Lipstick in Mistress.


Bold Bombshells

Margot Robbie – Understated in your Face

For going out, Margot Robbie’s look is a personal favourite of mine, and is incredibly easy to pull off. Start with defining your brows with a matte shadow and lightly pulling the colour through the hairs with an angled brush. Lancome Color Design Eyeshadow in Vintage works well for my dark chestnut brows. Load upper lashes up with a black volumizing mascara like Dior Diorshow, and lower lashes with MAC Extended Play. Finish the look with a matte, orangey-poppy red lipstick, like my personal favourite NARS Heat Wave.

Lupita Nyong’o – Dewy Perfection

When applied with a light touch, luminizers can be your best friend and will take your look to new heights. For Lupita’s dewy skin, mix a little bit of luminizer into your foundation or tinted moisturizer (before applying your setting powder). Her make up artist has used it all over, but you can also control the product and just apply under the brow bone, above the cheeks, the bridge of the nose, and lightly on the chin. Try BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal. Next, create a smokey eye look with a cool icy shade like Make Up For Ever Eye Shadow in ME 116 Silver. Polish your pout with a beautiful glossy and glitter bronze like Buxom Full On Lip Polish in Ava.

Jenna Dewan – Magic Mink

Jenna Dewan’s look is all about lush, soft, mink lashes. Similar to Jennifer Lopez’s lash-ious look, apply a thin line of black eye liner to the upper lash line so the lashes blend seamlessly. Try the Too Faced 3-Way Lash Lining Tool to wiggle colour as close to the lash roots as possible. Apply a band of dense lashes like Make Up Forever Lash Band 30 Zoe. Finish the look with an electric orange-red lip stick like MAC Lipstick in Lady Danger.

By following my easy make up and skin care tips, you can replicate your very own red carpet beauty look at home. The most important thing with make up is to have fun! If you do not like the look, just wash it off and start again.



I am always on the lookout for new beauty trends, products, and even natural cosmetic alternatives. Beauty, however, starts on the inside, and what you put into your body is just as important as what you use on the outside.

Here is a collection of some of my favourite products, tips, and tricks to looking and feeling your best!