Lightening Up with Coconut Crack Crunch and Green Apples

Green Apples with Coconut Crack Crunch

You may (or may not) have noticed that I went off the grid for the past few weeks. Remember in my last post when I told you about the Simple Green Smoothies 30-Day challenge our family took on in January? Well, after that, Simple Green Smoothies sucked me right into their 21-Day Cleanse/Detox. Brilliant marketing.

I’ve always been intrigued with the idea of a cleanse, but I’m not a fan of diets or anything that is restrictive and definitely nothing that requires one to consume only liquids for days on end. This 21-Day plan uses nutritious foods and complete meals to push toxins out of your body resulting in more energy. I was intrigued to take it on hoping it might lead me closer to my goal to feel lighter in 2016.

For 21-Days you eliminate alcohol, caffeine, meat, dairy, wheat, and sugar from your diet and feast solely on veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds and so forth. You’re probably thinking, “There’s no way! I couldn’t do it.” And honestly, a year ago, or even two years ago when my life was much heavier emotionally, I couldn’t have taken this on either. But now, I’m tired of feeling tired and tired of feeling heavy. I have so many desires and goals I want to accomplish in my life and I need more energy so I was willing to eliminate everything from my diet that didn’t help with the cleanse…except for one thing.

The first day of the cleanse—which I came to refer to as my oil change—I skipped around the grocery store filling my cart with all kinds of gorgeous produce. I planned out meals for the week so that I could use some of my ingredients in dinners that the rest of my family would eat. At the close of that first evening, I thought, “Ahh, this is gonna be easy. No problem.”

On the second day of no caffeine, no alcohol, no meat, no sugar, no dairy and no wheat and after shuffling everyone off to school and work, I found myself back in bed at 10:30 a.m. unable to function and I proceeded to sleep soundly for two hours. When I did wake up, my brain felt like it was covered in goo. I never felt fully awake the rest of the day and I couldn’t wait to go to bed that night.

The third day was much the same as the second. I called my sister after my two-hour morning nap (Horrifying!)—my sister who had been somewhat intrigued to take on this oil change on as well—and I said, “I don’t know if I can go 21 days without coffee. I’m not going to get any work done.” She replied, “Yeah. I can’t do this. I’m drinking coffee right now.”

But I decided, even with the extreme fatigue, I wanted to persevere. I keep reading about these people who give up caffeine and say they’ve never felt better but you have to give it time to get out of your system.

Green Apples with Coconut Crack Crunch

Then the “no-coffee” became a source of fixation. I began to see coffee everywhere: in advertisements, in movies, on social media, and in the hands of people walking down the sidewalk. I would cry out to my family, “Coffee. I just want coffee. I don’t miss anything else.” I started to explain why I missed the coffee. “It’s the ritual of it. The smell brings up fond memories of my mom. It’s warm and I’m always cold. I’ve been drinking caffeine since I was a teenager—clearly, my body does not know how to function without it. I’m so tired. I can’t get anything done. I just want a cup of coffee!!” My family became perplexed by the cuckoo-ness of my coffee fixation and asked, “What’s it going to do if you just have a cup of coffee?” To which I would cry out, “But I have to see this experiment to the end! I just have to see if I’ll feel better without it.” To which my hubby finally said, “Maybe you’ll never know.”

While my fatigued lessened and wasn’t nearly as bad as those first few days, on day 15 of the oil change, I brewed up some coffee and gulped down two cups in a row. I got more done that day than I had accomplished the two full weeks prior. I continued with the 21-Day oil change in regards to everything except the coffee.

It’s officially over and you’re probably wondering, “Well, did it work? Do you feel lighter? More energetic?”

You know, I feel really good. I feel like my body is doing a happy dance from all the nutritious goodness I’ve been feeding it for the past three weeks and I definitely shed some pounds but most importantly, I feel like I got a handle on some bad eating habits that I hadn’t even realized had become habits. I was introduced to a whole slew of amazing recipes that I wouldn’t have tried if I hadn’t done this and many of them will be worked into my regular repertoire.

While I wouldn’t say that I’m brimming with gobs more energy than before the oil change, I feel like everything I’m doing to treat my body more kindly is building upon itself. Hopefully, before the year’s end, I’ll be feeling more like my old energetic self.

What about you? Have you ever given up caffeine and found yourself with energy to spare? How long did it take? What about a cleanse? Have you done one before? What kind? Did it give you more energy? I’m dying to know. Please share down below in the comments.

With love and gratitude,
Carrie

If my story today resonated with you and you think a friend might benefit from it as well, please forward it along or post it on social media. I believe that one small way we can lift the weight of the world is by sharing our stories so we all feel less alone in our journeys. Thank you, kindly.

Green Apples with Coconut Crack Crunch

Coconut Crack Crunch with Green Apple Slices
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Course: snack
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: A few cups
One of the first snacks I ate on my oil change was “Apple N’ Nut Butter.” It was good but I wasn’t “wowed” by it. A few days later, I found myself preparing a coconut trail mix for snack but when I ate it, I felt like I was munching out of a bird feeder. Then, inspiration struck and I came up with the idea to tweak the trail mix ingredients a bit and stir them into the almond butter which is how this unassuming snack became Coconut Crack Crunch and I can’t stop eating it. I’ve taken it over to friends’ houses and kids, husbands and moms all swoon over this dip. Make sure you use green apple slices as their tartness complements the sweetness of the dip well. Also, use an almond butter that has a dip-like consistency like Trader Joe’s. Some brands of almond butter are too solid which doesn’t work well for this recipe. And not to be too bossy, but use coconut flakes—I use Bob’s Red Mill—as opposed to shredded coconut. What are you waiting for? Go make this. So good. Enjoy!
Ingredients
  • 2 cups coconut flakes, unsweetened
  • 1 cup pepitas
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • Pinch or two of sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • ½ cup creamy almond butter
  • 3-4 Granny Smith green apples, sliced
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 300°F.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine your coconut flakes, pepitas, sunflower seed, almonds, and salt.
  3. Gently heat your coconut oil in the microwave for about 25-30 seconds to liquefy it and then combine it with the ingredients in the bowl.
  4. Pour the contents of the bowl onto a rimmed baking sheet and spread evenly.
  5. Bake for about 8 minutes, or until lightly browned, stirring halfway through. Pull from oven and let cool.
  6. Stir a couple tablespoons of the coconut crunch into the almond butter and then sprinkle another tablespoon or so on top.
  7. Scoop up a bit of the dip with an apple slice, pop it in your mouth, and enjoy!
  8. You will have leftover coconut crunch which can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week…if it lasts that long.
  9. PS: This makes a great care package for your favorite college student in need of healthy, delicious dorm snacks.

 

Comments

  1. Carrie – good for you! The recipe looks very interesting to try. I had to give up caffeine because of frequent headaches. Sometimes I miss the energy it provides that day – but now it makes me feel worse the next day and is just not worth it.

  2. A couple of years ago – Ross and I did a 30 day juice cleanse….he had much more difficulty with giving up the caffeine than I did…but, he drinks more coffee and is more into the ritual than I am.
    That first week, we both felt a little flu like and low energy….after that, we felt amazing! I would totally do it all the time, except for two things…the time to shop for everything and all the prep and clean up time….Ugh!
    After that, I shifted to no alcohol, caffeine, wheat, dairy or sugar for the next 6 months…the sugar cravings lasted for at least a month (I also had to really cut out most fruits, because they were still too much sugar for my system)….I lost a lot of weight, had tons of energy, etc…then big life stuff happened – a glass of wine here, a dessert there….last year, I was Vegan for 3 months and felt amazing with it too – again, too much time on the learning curve, prep, cooking, shopping…here is the bottom line for me: I still choose to have a cup of coffee when I feel like it (yes, I am massively productive and creative when I do) and a glass or wine/cocktail when I feel like it….I would happily follow any of these eating plans as long as I could have a personal shopper and chef!

    • Kathleen, thank you so much for sharing. I too feel the same as you. I honestly believe I could be a happy vegan but the prep – plus the making of an additional meal the rest of my family would actually eat – it’s hard to get much else done. And yet I love the way my body feels when I nourish it so generously. So conflicted!

  3. Thanks for the great recipe Carrie! I have just finished the Argonne 30 day food detox (no dairy, gluten sugar, caffeine, alcohol, soy) The first few days were rough but after that I feel amazing and love watching my self become leaner ,healthier and most of all lighter. I am continuing on this healthy heating as a way of life, that is how great I feel. Love finding new recipes to add to my healthy eating regime.
    Hope you journey to “lighten” to continues to go well.
    Best,
    Sue

    • I love hearing how great you feel as well, Sue, after participating in your detox. And I agree with you…the best part of this whole thing has been discovering new, nourishing recipes that make my body so happy! Cheers to us all for treating our bodies so kindly!

  4. You speaking my truth. Heavy. Life feels so heavy. I did give up gluten and sugar for the month of January. Not dairy. Not coffee!! I’m not sure I’m ready for that!! I would agree just those two things made me see that I have some very poor eating habits:( miss you! xox sheil