Vegan Chocolate & Hazelnut Smoothie

Processed with VSCO with t1 presetAuthor Bio: Hiya, my name is Ines. I am a sport and exercise science university student and personal trainer. I am very passionate about all things wellness, health and fitness related. I am always on the hunt for a good coffee shop and sunshine! My blog is my happy place where I share all my thoughts and passions, where I get freaky and inspired! Join me @ines_castro88 for vegan and lifestyle inspo.

I never thought I could love a smoothie this much!
Today I am sharing with you my favourite smoothie recipe which has easily become one of my raw breakfasts.
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I have shared it with a few people (non-vegan) and they all love it and get really surprised when I tell them it is completely raw and vegan.

There is probably a similar recipe out on the internet, but until I find it, I will remain very proud of myself for creating this dreamy drink! It is super easy and quick to make and it tastes incredible…almost like Nutella!


You will need:

1 small/medium frozen banana

2 pitted dates

4 hazelnuts (also good with almonds)

1/2 cup of raw fine oats

1 very full tsp of raw cocoa powder

Blend everything together with about 1 1/2 cups of water, although you can adjust the amount of water depending on how thick you want your smoothie.

Pro Tip: After I blend all my ingredients the smoothie is quite runny, so I  leave it on the fridge for about 5-10 minutes before drinking. This will make the smoothie thicker and creamier due to the oats we added.

If you find that your blender does not completely blend the dates, leaving chunky bits at the bottom of your cup, try to soak the dates in warm water before making your smoothie. I highly recommend making the smoothies with raw cocoa powder and not any chocolate drink powder as it won’t have that crisp sweet and bitter taste of cocoa.

I hope you have a go at this easy raw smoothie, it is a great way to incorporate raw meals into your diet. Let me know your thoughts in the comments, thank you so much for reading!

Lots of love,

Ines x


Healthy and Natural Salad Recipies

14232021_337849189881144_1552326325535517094_oAuthor Bio: I’m a 25 years old Italian girl with a Master Degree in Environmental Law. I love to travel, discover new places and cultures from all over the world. Now I’m on my journey to improve my life on this planet by eating healthy, exercising, practicing yoga and sharing positivity through my Instagram Gallery @giuliatheitaliangirl. I feel constantly inspired by nature, and blessed to be able to live in our beautiful planet.I love to spend as much time as I can outside in the nature. My motto is “Healthy Life Happy Life”, and sharing my ideas is what brought me to open my Instagram gallery called Giuliatheitaliangirl. Sharing my efforts to live a healthy and respectful life make me improve myself everyday, and hopefully it will inspire other people to do the same. You can also follow me on Facebook at Giulia theitaliangirl and Youtube at Giulia theitaliangirl.

Spring is already here and…summer is coming!

Long days and hot weather make my body craves fresh and tasty food.

Today I’m really happy to share with you some heathy recipes of fresh meals you can have everyday.


-It is going to be all salads related-

I love salads and to me they are the summer version of vegetables soups that I literally consume everyday during winter periods! The best thing about eating salads and vegetables in general is that you can eat them everyday and as much as you want, they are an amazing source of good nutrients for our body. Plus, you can change them a little bit with a little effort and make them taste different every time; you are surely not going to be bored by these amazing recipes.

Before we start, here are some useful tips to bare in mind when shopping food:

– Always search for fresh products, go to the local farmers’ market or shop into organic stores –

Most of all in this particular case: salads are going to be consumed raw, so make sure to nourish your body with the best option. They are probably they are going to be a little more expensive, but it is better to buy and consume a little less food and do not through anything away, than buy a ot of low quality products you are going to hate and trash.

– Always prefer seasonal products –

You are not going to find every product you crave in any period of the year, but always trust nature. It knows which are the nutrients our body needs in that particular period, and if we follow this route we are certainly going to feel better.

– Every place on earth has is very products, perfect for the weather and the people who live there –

Not everyone lives in tropical or Mediterranean territory. And that is ok, every place has amazing different products, and believe it or not, our body was made to be able to consume and nourish itself the best with products coming from is birth territory. It is something we have in our DNA.

So don’t search for strange food only because you saw them on the internet, on social media, and they seem fashionable.

Look for what is really healthy for you and your lifestyle and it will certainly improve your wealth.

– Always make sure to wash multiple time every ingredient –

Most of all, in those situation where we are not able to find organic options. But in general it is important to prevent your body to process dust and microbes from the travel the food has to suffer from the vegetable gardens to our homes.


– Build up your salad –

Always start choosing the salad you prefer, then add tomatoes, beans etc. ; only at the end add seeds/oil and salt.

– The less topping the best tasting –

Never overtop your food. We should eliminate salt from our meal at all. Every single ingredient has the amount of sodium our body needs to live healthy and safe from related disease.

Sometime what our body craves is the taste of the salt itself. We abuse it, and our tongue tend to loose the capacity of tasting real food flavor. But we are always in time to step back, reduce the amount of salt a little bit every time, and to discover again the real flavor of every ingredient. It is an amazing experience you are going to love, and your body and health will surely benefit from it.

I also want to share with you some amazing ideas to grow your own vegetables garden. You actually don’t need to have a real or big backyard. Some vases will do the job. Plant some lettuce, tomatoes, carrots and onions, and you already have the ingredients you need to produce your own meals!

Here is mine!


Now that we know what to look for, I’ll share with you some recipes, and remember, I’m from Italy, it might be a really different climate and season in regard to where you live. Get inspiration and personalize your meals, do not try to perfectly recreate what I’m currently eating.

1. Simple and fresh

-Green lettuce
-Whole-wheat toasted bread
-Extra virgin oil of olive
-Slices of red onions
-A Bit of salt


2. Seeds

-Your favorite green salad
-Linen seeds
-Sesame seeds
-Sunflowers seeds
-Some chicory leaves
-Lemon juice
-A bit of salt
Seeds are already full of good fats, so you should avoid putting to much oil on it, but if you like to just don’t exaggerate.

3. Mediterranean

-Iceberg salad
-Rocket salad
-Oil of olive (extra virgin)
-Balsamic vinegar (Aceto Balsamico di Modena Igp is the best)
-A bit of salt

4. Beans salad

-Mixed wild salads (“misticanza”)
-White beans
-Extra-virgin Oil of olive
-A Bit of salt

5. Sweet and Sour Salad

-Oranges (sliced)
-Balsamic vinegar
-A little bit of squeezed orange juice


Remember not to put to many ingredients, four is the magic number. In general, you should be able to taste every single ingredient. If you don’t, you probably overtopped the plate.

I am very curious to know which are your favorite recipes so please share with me yours!!

Have a good time and don’t forget to take a look at my Instagram @giuliatheitaliangirl to stay connected and share ideas!

See you next time!

Until then, Live Healthy Live Happy!


Vegan Strawberry Ice Cream

Sarrah Crow is a lifelong  animal lover and foodie. She dedicates her life to promoting safe and happy lives for animals by using only cruelty-free products, eating a vegan diet, and volunteering at an animal shelter. She can be found on twitter at (@SARRAHCROW) and on Instagram at  (SARSAPARILLA.JANE).

Summer is just around the corner and for me that means one thing: finding every possible way to beat the heat.

From going for a swim to staying hydrated, there are many ways to survive this hot season. My personal favorite way is to stay in and eat some sweet ice cream. You can find vegan ice cream in most supermarkets, but they typically only have one or two flavors. These brands also aren’t always healthy either. So in order to stay cool and feed my sweet tooth the healthy way, I came up with my own strawberry ice cream recipe – no ice cream maker required!


I chose strawberry because it’s my favorite in everything from ice cream to muffins to just eating them whole. This recipe is so simple you can use your own favorite fruit and make it your own. I’m planning on trying apple and watermelon next. I totally encourage you to creative with it and experiment until you find a flavor you just can’t get enough of.

If you have an ice cream maker, you can just throw the mixture into it and let it do its thing. But as I do not have an ice cream maker even though I love ice cream (a little too much), I thought I couldn’t be the only one. This recipe will probably take you around 4-5 hours, so it’s best to start early if you want some the same day.

But most importantly, enjoy your awesomely sweet creation and stay cool!


  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • ¾ cup canned coconut milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 ½ cup pureed and strained strawberry juice


  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the sugar, almond milk, coconut milk and cornstarch. Heat until bubbly and thickened. It will continue to thicken as it cools. Once cool, add the vanilla.
  2. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
  3. Combine with the strawberry juice.
  4. Place mixture in a stainless steel baking dish and freeze for 45 minutes. When it begins to freeze near the edges, remove from freezer and vigorously stir with a spatula (you may use a handheld mixer or blender to make it easier on your wrists). Return to the freezer and repeat this process every 30 minutes until frozen (about 2 to 3 hours).
  5. Store in a covered container in the freezer.

Enjoy and comment below to let us know what you think!

5 Minute Vegan Berry Porridge

unnamed-1.jpgAuthor Bio: Everything began with a iron deficiency. Saskia got ill through her lifestyle and bad eating habits. So she got vegan and is now a girl compassionate for vegan food, animals and body positivity.She thinks that you can live great without eating animal products and that you can truly experience happiness through it.She can be found on her Instagram account @vegmitdemfleisch and her blog .

After the gym I am always hungry and exhausted, so something really good and sweet has to come to my tongue. I don’t always want to make myself a protein shake or just eat bread with some lame spread on it. Therefore here comes my tasty 5-Minute-Porridge!

It’s really made in 5 minutes (tested myself :D) and so easy. The perfect meal when you don’t have any time or just don’t feel like cooking a big meal. Because porridge without anything on it isn’t so nice, I’ll give you guys the delicious berry version!


100 g Oats

30 g Instant oats

200 ml (when using protein powder 250 ml) Plant Milk

250 g Soy Yogurt (cherry, vanilla or neutral)

50 g Flaxseeds or Chia Seeds

1 handful (150 g) frozen mixed berries

20 g Protein Powder (Vanilla or Neutral)

Some spoons Jam (cherry, strawberry or raspberry)

Optional: Syrup (e.g. maple syrup or agave syrup)


Microwave the plant milk 2-3 minutes. Mix oats, instant oats, flaxseeds (or chiaseeds), protein powder and frozen berries in a bowl. Then add the soy yoghurt and mix well. Add the warm plant milk and mix all up. If you like, you can now add sweetener like syrup and of course spread the jam all over the almost finished porridge.

At the end, you microwave the porridge 1-2 minutes. Finished!

You can decorate it with fresh or frozen berries, nuts, bananas, chia seeds and so on …


Quick and Easy Breakfast Parfait

Sarrah Crow is a lifelong animal lover and foodie. She dedicates her life to promoting safe and happy lives for animals by using only cruelty-free products, eating a vegan diet, and volunteering at an animal shelter. She can be found on Twitter (@sarrahcrow) and Instagram (sarsaparilla.jane).
Mindfulness Fam– Make sure to send our contributing writer, Sarrah, some love by following her on Instagram and giving this beautiful recipe a “thumbs up” and a kind comment!
Now back to the recipe ….



Sometimes mornings are so hectic that you don’t have enough time to cook a good, healthy breakfast.

Or maybe you just really don’t feel like cooking that morning (I know I’ve definitely been there). However, we all still share the want to be healthy.

This recipe is great for those mornings where you are in a rush because with these simple ingredients, you can make enough for a few days out. You can also easily store it and just quickly assemble the different parts on a hectic (or lazy) morning.

The most important trick that I can offer you would be to make the cashew cream the night before. This way, the only “cooking” aspect of this recipe, it to simply place the ingredients in your mason jar.

You can throw it in a mason jar with a lid and eat it whenever!

You can put whatever nuts and seeds you want in the granola as well, so you really have so much freedom with this recipe and it will definitely be your new favorite quick and easy breakfast!

If this sounds like a dream come true to you, keep reading to get the recipe:


–     (Recommended) Nuts & Seeds:

  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup chia seeds

–     Cashew Cream:

  • 1 cup cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 ½ tsp agave or maple syrup
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt

–     Fruit/Berries:

  • Your favorite! Choose at least two.


  1. Put all the nuts and seeds in a food processor and lightly process. Be careful not to process it too fine! You want granola, not flour.
  2. Add all the cashew cream ingredients to a blender until smooth. Remember to soak the cashews the night before you plan to eat this!
  3. Parfaits are all about layers. Layer however you want! I recommend from top to bottom: fruit, granola, cashew cream, granola, fruit.
  4. Enjoy!

If you would like to be a contributing writer for The Mindfulness Mission Magazine, just like Sarrah, please complete our Google Form in the Contributing Writer Program! tab or e-mail Samantha at



Green Smoothie Recipe

Starting your morning off by drinking a green smoothie is not only great for your health and your metabolism, but it is also great for your skin.

In addition, if you are like me, and your days can become quite hectic, starting off your morning with a green smoothie is a great way to ensure that you are getting all of your nutrients in first thing in the morning.

Here is a photo of the ingredients that I use for this recipe:


The ingredients create a sweet and tart taste that is typical of a green apple.  Therefore, the sweet taste of the green apple will mask the taste of whatever greens that you choose to include within your smoothie.

Here is a photo of the final product that I have created along with the recipe:


-1 Ripe Banana

-1 Green Apple

-1 Scoop of Vega Protein Powder in the flavor “plain”

-1 Handful of Spinach

-1 Dash of Cinnamon

-1 Dash of Stevia

-2 Teaspoons of Raw Cacao Nibs (raw chocolate)

-1 Teaspoon of Almond Butter

-1/4 Teaspoon of Vitamin C Powder From Pure Synergy (this is not needed, but a great bonus)

-1 Serving of the Green Powder by Pure Synergy (this is not needed, but a great bonus)

-1/4 Teaspoon of Coconut Oil

-365 Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (fill up your container for as much smoothie as you would like)

Enjoy! Comment below and let me know if you have tried it.

Organic Butternut Squash Ravioli

As many of you already know, I am all about living a healthy lifestyle.

Therefore, if I want to live this lifestyle day-in and day-out, I need to have “back up” meals that I know are safe, healthy, and delicious for the days where having a home cooked meal just isn’t an option.


This product, by Rising Moon isn’t just healthy, as all of the ingredients are organic, but it truly tastes like a farm-to-table meal that you would devour straight from a chef-in Italy.

In this blog post, I am going to tell you about how I season this dish, so my family can enjoy an organic, healthy, and delicious meal that is convenient for me, and quite a treat for them!


First things first- One package of the pasta is just over five dollars, which I find to be a great buy, considering that it is organic. Two individuals can share one package, however, if you are serving some hungry eaters, you may want to cook two packages.

The pasta cooks for 6 minutes after the water has come to a boil. Once the raviolis have floated to the top of your pot, you know that they are done cooking.

Once the raviolis are done, I season them in a bowl with a teaspoon of Earth Balance, which is a healthy vegan butter that is made out of vegetable oils. The goal here is to have the raviolis gently coated in the Earth Balance. You will know if you have too much by determining if there is left over butter at the bottom of your bowl. If there is, no worries, feel free to strain the pasta.


In this photo, I have the pasta with a coat of Earth Balance and I placed a pinch of oregano into each bowl, for a true Italian taste.


The next step would be to cut up some fresh basil, as this flavor reinforces the fresh flavor of the ravioli. Last, but not least, I sprinkle some vegan parmesan cheese from Follow Your Heart. If you have not tried their Parmesan cheese yet, it tastes IDENTICAL to the “real thing”. However, this version is much healthier, as it does not contain the saturated fat, hormones, and high level of cholesterol in a way that regular cheese does.

I promise that you and your family will love this recipe.

Make sure to comment below and let me know if you are going to try this recipe! I purchased the pasta at Whole Foods, however, it can also be purchased online and there is a “store finder” on the Rising Moon sight.

If you don’t already, make sure to follow me on Instagram @the_mindfulness_mission . This is where I post on a daily basis!

Shhh … Secret “homemade” Vegan Waffles

Breakfast is one often one of those meals that we just let slip by.

Trying to throw ingredients together for breakfast before work or trying to make yourself a healthy meal while your children are pulling at your shoe-strings isn’t exactly the picture perfect scenario to make the most important meal of the day.

This often leaves us grabbing unhealthy items that are pre-made. For breakfast, most of us are looking for quick and easy. This can quickly become a bigger problem than what meets the eye because most granola bars, cereals, etc are lacking in protein and are high in sugar, which can leave us feeling tired, weak, and can even cause dizziness.

Now everybody knows that here at Illuminating Inspirations, our CEO Samantha Joy and her contributing writers love a good smoothie for breakfast. Its quick, easy, and nutrient/protein packed. However, every now and then we want to switch up our meals and find something nutritious and delicious that the whole family can enjoy.
This is where her creation of her “homemade” vegan waffles came into play and all of us at Illuminating Inspirations have been making it ever since.


At this point, you are probably wondering, “why is the word “homemade” in quotations marks, and this is because they aren’t exactly 100% homemade, but that doesn’t mean that they are lacking in nutrition.

So heres our secret …


For this special waffle recipe that your whole family will enjoy, we use Vans wheat free and gluten-free waffles that are vegan. Pop them in your toaster oven. We consider three waffles each as a nice serving per individual.

Now here are the goodies that we put on tip that give it our special Illuminating Inspirations touch. Each waffle gets a spread of Earth Balance (vegan butter), a spread of organic creamy almond butter (greatprotein), and a sprinkle of agave waffle/pancake syrup (a great low glycemic choice). Lastly top the entire piece with banana slices.

A feast for all of your senses that your whole family will love. Quick, easy, and healthy as always.

Enjoy your breakfast!

xoxo the Illuminating Inspirations Family

Vegan Chinese Rice Noodles

Who doesn’t love the salty and satisfying taste of Chinese Food?

Chinese food has been (and probably will forever be) my favorite dinner indulgence;however, when I go out to a Chinese food restaurant, I often find that my food is often filled with sodium, GMO’s, and artificial ingredients. (yuck)

So if I don’t have time to search high and low for some organic Chinese food, I like to make my own.

I understand that the idea of creating your own Chinese food can be daunting, but this Vegan Chinese Rice Noodles recipe is the perfect way to start. With just a few ingredients and some simple spices, theres no way that you can go wrong!



-One box of Brown Rice Noodles
-Small vegetable broth
-One bottle of Tamari (gluten-free soy-sauce)
-Earth Balance (butter substitute)
-Sesame Seed Oil
-Frozen stir-fry vegetable blend


1.)Open the box of brown rice noodles. Break apart the noodles in a large bowl. 
2.)Measure 1/4 of a cup of vegetable broth. Heat up the broth over the stove on medium heat until it simmers.
3.)Mix the noodles in with the vegetable broth until the noodles soften. You can pour in more vegetable broth if needed.
4.) Drizzle the tamari over the noodles and mix in until the noodles turn into a dark brown color, as pictured.
5.) Add in two teaspoons of sesame seed oil and mix it in with the noodles.
6.)Either microwave your vegetables or allow the vegetables to heat up in the pan with the noodles. (I personally prefer to pour the frozen vegetables right into the pan.)
7.) Once the vegetables are heated, mix in two teaspoons of earth balance into your dish.
8.)Pour into a large bowl and enjoy.



Turmeric Mexican Rice

This dish is so much more than a delicious lunch or dinner. This dish is surround around the ingredients “turmeric” which is a cancer fighting spice.

“Epidemiological studies have linked the frequent use of turmeric to lower rates of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer; laboratory experiments have shown curcumin can prevent tumors from forming; and research conducted at the University of Texas suggests that even when breast cancer is already present, curcumin can help slow the spread of breast cancer cells to the lungs in mice.”

Not to mention that brown rice is also gluten free and contains an abundance of healthy vegetables that support the body.

This recipe is extremely flavorful and the spices give it a mexican flare, but overall, this dish is a true health-tonic.

Tumeric Mexican Rice


1.) Brown Rice (amount depending on how many servings are needed)

2.) Turmeric

3.) Yellow Onion

4.) Cherry Tomatoes

5.) Spinach

6.) Black Beans (make sure the can is BPA free)

7.) Salt, Peper, and Cumin

8.) Earth Balance (vegan butter)


1.) Cook the brown rice according to the given directions. Place a tablespoon of Earth Balance in the pan and the brown rice shortly after the butter makes a smooth coding to the pan.

2.) Cover the brown rice with turmeric and mixed until the rice is completely yellow/ orange.

3.) Once the rice is covered with turmeric, add in chopped yellow onion. The more onion the stronger the taste. This recipe allows for lots of variety or the ingredients depending on your preference.

4.) Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper to contain the flavors as you cook.

5.) Add in a handful of spinach and tomatoes into the rice mixture so they wilt.

6.) Add in your desired among of black beans.

7.) Give the dish a coding of the cumin spice for flavor.